Mark wrote a letter to everyone he could think of, explaining our languishing home mortgage modification process. We were hoping for two or three form letters in response to the six he sent out. We finally received this one via email.

Of note is the fact that the Congressman highlights the Making Home Affordable program, and recommends that we contact our lender and ask about the plan. This confirms our assumption that our letters would not even be read, since the reason we are agonizing is because we ARE in the midst of trying to make the Making Home Affordable program work for us, and it’s been a big cluster-* from the beginning.

From: Congressman Earl Blumenauer <or03ima@mail.house.gov>
Date: Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 11:56 AM
Subject: Reply from Congressman Earl Blumenauer

November 19, 2009

Dear Mark,

Thank you for contacting me about your mortgage situation and the state of the economy. I am deeply concerned about for the thousands of homeowners in my District who are in foreclosure, or on the verge of becoming delinquent on their mortgage. I have heard horrendous stories of people who have been in their homes for 10 or even 20 years and never missed a payment, but due to unforeseen circumstances such as the loss of a job or a medical crisis in the family, are now struggling to make ends meet. Worse, they often find that their property is worth less than their debt on the house, are as a result, they are on the brink of losing their home.

I have been outspoken in Washington DC that in order to stop the economic freefall, we must take immediate steps to shore up housing values and provide families with some degree of financial stability. That is one reason why I am adamantly supporting legislation that will allow judges to modify mortgages for individuals who have declared bankruptcy. It is outrageous that judicial modifications are allowed for speculators and vacation homes, but not for regular homeowners.

Recently, the US Treasury announced details of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan (http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/).

This plan will allow expanded refinancing options for homeowners who are currently in foreclosure, or who are still current on their payments but concerned about becoming delinquent. Lenders and homeowners will be offered direct financial incentives to refinance their loans into lower interest rates. While refinancing will not reduce the overall amount that is owed on the loan, it will help borrowers secure safer, fixed rate loans with lower interest rates, thereby reducing the amount of interest that would be repaid over the life of the loan. Homeowners are encouraged to contact their lenders and ask about the plan.

The following resource is also available to help Oregonians find additional information about avoiding foreclosure, as well as contact information for HUD-approved counseling agencies. These counseling agencies can help with answering questions about the Making Home Affordable Program, as well as contacting your lender and clarifying information.

HUD Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure <http://www.hud.gov/foreclosure/>

Through HUD’s online guide, homeowners can find and contact local housing agencies to determine what free services are available to help avoid foreclosure.

It is also important to note that unfortunately, there are some fraudulent foreclosure prevention services and hotlines are attempting to portray their organizations as affiliated with honest efforts.  Be sure that you are working with a HUD-approved counselor, such as those available via the above website.

Our nation is committing unprecedented resources towards stabilizing the economy. I am hopeful that these new programs will provide Americans with some fiscal security, and help to stabilize the value of what in many families is their greatest asset, their home. Thank you for contacting me with your concerns.

Sincerely,
Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress

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