WASHINGTON – The following statement was issued last week on behalf of the 3,500-member National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys by bankruptcy attorney and NACBA president Carey Ebert of Fort Worth, TX:
“We salute the House of Representatives for putting U.S. homeowners and the economic recovery first by enacting H.R. 1106, which is urgently needed legislation to allow homeowners to modify their mortgages and avoid foreclosure.
The legislation approved today will not excuse families from paying their mortgage. It simply gives bankruptcy court judges the authority to modify loans and puts a floor on the downward spiral of home values in neighborhoods across the country,
At a time when an estimated 6,600 families a week are losing their homes, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Obama Administration are now on record as the latest parties to recognize the fact that judicial modification must be part of the solution to today’s worsening home mortgage foreclosure crisis.
Many members of the U.S. House played important roles in making sure that this help for American homeowners came to pass. Among the leaders in this effort were Reps. John Conyers, Brad Miller, Zoe Lofgren, William Delahunt, Steve Cohen, and Linda Sanchez. The House leadership – including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank – were instrumental in making sure that legislation with real remedies survived the process.
It is painfully clear that the continuing, and indeed worsening, foreclosure crisis is perhaps the single largest impediment to this country’s economic recovery. It is now up to the U.S. Senate to move with the same sense of urgency on curtailing this threat as it did with the economic recovery bill signed into law in late February.
Ever since the mortgage foreclosure crisis erupted into the public view in 2007, a broad array of consumer, civil rights, housing, community, labor and other organizations, as well as economists, have advocated judicial mortgage modification relief as an effective approach to stemming the growing tide of foreclosures – a solution that, unlike every other solution being considered in Washington, comes at absolutely no cost to U.S. taxpayers. This is one solution we know will work. The infrastructure already is in place. It is something the bankruptcy courts do every day with other assets. And, estimates are that this solution alone could cut foreclosures by at least 20 percent.
Data released by NACBA and others make it very clear that the foreclosure crisis will not be resolved through top-down voluntary efforts on the part of the financial services industry alone, no matter how many carrots or incentives are given. Judicial mortgage modification cuts through the impediments to sustainable mortgages. Courts must be empowered to implement economically rational loan modifications where the parties are unwilling or unable to do so on their own.”
The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys at nacba.org is the only national organization dedicated to serving the needs of consumer bankruptcy attorneys and protecting the rights of consumer debtors in bankruptcy. Formed in 1992, NACBA now has more than 3,500 members located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.