RECENT VOTES

Mortgage Reform

On May 7, 2009, the House considered H.R. 1728: Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act. This measure puts an end to many of the practices that contributed to the rise in foreclosures. It requires lenders to actually certify that a potential borrower can repay the loan they are seeking. Stunningly, this obvious step was not always taken, resulting in loans that were made without income documentation and mortgages given in excess of some borrowers' ability to repay. The bill eliminates financial incentives that enabled some lenders to make profits by placing people in costlier mortgages than they could afford.

We have also seen an explosion of home loans that were sold, resold, sliced into pieces and sold again, making it almost impossible to determine who is responsible for making sure that the loan is still sound. H.R. 1728 brings accountability to this secondary mortgage market.

H.R. 1728 includes a number of consumer protections, from prohibiting excessive fees for loan modifications and late payments, to requiring that lenders tell borrowers more about the terms of their loan, such as the most someone would pay with a variable rate mortgage. The bill recognizes that renters are also at risk as a result of the housing crisis. It protects tenants if the home they are renting is subject to foreclosure, giving them up to 90 days to relocate if the unit is their primary residence. I have been advocating for this tenant protection for some time and am pleased that this piece of the housing puzzle was included in the package.

I voted YES. H.R. 1728 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

240

3

0

12

REPUBLICAN

60

111

0

7

TOTAL

300

114

19

7

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0