Ellen Tauscher introduces anti-foreclosure bill

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, introduced a bill Wednesday that would let the California Housing Finance Agency issue an estimated $10 billion in new bonds to help refinance “underwater” mortgages and jump-start growth in neighborhoods devastated by home foreclosures.

The bill also would grant CalHFA the power to use Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) money to help families refinance their homes at a price they can afford in order to avoid foreclosure.

“Foreclosures are decimating neighborhoods from Fairfield to Antioch and Oakley,” Tauscher said in her news release. “This legislation will help families in the hardest hit areas get the additional resources they need to stay in their homes and keep these vibrant communities from disappearing.”

Tauscher’s co-authors on the bill are Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose; Dennis Cardoza, D-Atwater; Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.; and Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y.

Cardoza’s Central Valley district includes more than half of the city of Stockton, which has been rocked by one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates. “As I have continued to say, the foreclosure crisis remains at the heart of our nation’s economic crisis. It is imperative that we pursue all means to address this problem and ensure that taxpayer funds are being used in the most responsible way,” he said.

UPDATE @ 8:36 A.M. THURSDAY: Click here for a copy of the bill.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Arne Simonsen

    Okay, how will CalHFA refinance “underwater” mortgages?

    Will this be another gift of taxpayers’ money to people who bought homes that were beyond their means?

    Who is going to get ripped: the original mortgage holder or the taxpayers?

    This is a slap in the face to all homeowners who purchased within their means, took out fixed rate mortgages, have great FICO scores, and kept their LTV below 80%?

    My wife and I have been very responsible with our finances to earn a very high FICO score so that we could get lower fixed interest loans. And now these irresponsible homeowners are just going to waltz in and get what we worked hard to achieve?

    What a rip!!!!!!!

  • Elwood

    Oh, goodie, just what we need! Another dimmiecrat spending proposal.

    How does Ms. Tauscher propose that we pay for this largesse?

    Print more funny money?

    Or raise taxes?

  • Lois Smith

    How are they going to refinance houses in cases where the values are now so far below the loan amount? You cannot use the same loan amount as the value is not there even if you gave them a fixed rate loan. Are you just going to forgive the difference? In that case every mortgage holder deserves a break! We have sometimes struggled to pay but have clean credit and are not upside down in value, but I would love to get rid of some of my mortgage too!

  • Philip Taylor

    Why do you want to protect an industry that nearly collapsed America!

    Let the judge adjust the principal and do not use taxpayer money for this.

    These “SURE FAIL” mortgages should be declared as a misrepresentation and become NULL and VOID and entirely new fixed rate mortgages with adjusted Principal should be done by a JUDGE forcing the Mortgage Services/Banks to do write-downs!

    We must begin to ask who you represent since a third of your money seems to come from Washington DC!