Monday, February 22, 2010

House Dems announce Foreclosure Rescue for AZ

Rep. Waters, I and others are working for fair foreclosure relief for Arizona's middle-class families.

UPDATE: Rep. Tovar and I will discuss this at 7pm tonight on Horizon, Channel 8, PBS-KAET-TV, Phoenix and statewide. Watch us here.

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX -- Arizona House Democrats announced on Monday a foreclosure rescue package to get Arizona back on the right track when the state ranked second in the nation last month for foreclosures.

The Foreclosure Rescue for Arizona Act, House Bill 2765, an omnibus bill, and other foreclosure bills introduced by House Democrats will prevent fraud and help families, homeowners and renters stay in their homes.

“Foreclosure Rescue for Arizona not only will combat fraud and bad actors preying on homeowners, but also it will help get our economy back on track,” said House Democratic Leader David Lujan. “Arizona ranks second in the nation in foreclosures, and these bills protect the safety and financial health of hard-working Arizonans.”

Foreclosure Rescue for Arizona:

· Protects homeowners who are facing foreclosure from scams and fraud.

· Grants a 60-day relief period to homeowners who are in foreclosure and in danger of losing their home.

· Allows homeowners subject to foreclosure to remain in their homes as renters.

· Encourages parties involved in foreclosure proceedings to restructure loans to prevent foreclosure and delay a sale for up to one year if the lender fails to negotiate in good faith with the borrower.

· Requires a landlord to allow a tenant at least 30 days to vacate a foreclosed property.

· Requires the maintenance of properties during the foreclosure process.

· Creates a mandatory foreclosure mediation program supervised by the Arizona Supreme Court.

· Requires “equity purchasers” or “foreclosure consultants” to be licensed.

“This package of bills could not come at a more critical time for our state,” said Rep. Rae Waters, D-Ahwatukee (District 20). “Arizona is on the wrong track and we must work to enact legislation that strengthens our housing market and the financial well-being of our communities. Those steps include fighting scams and fraud and encouraging lenders and borrowers to work together for the best possible outcome.”

In January, Arizona jumped to second in the nation in foreclosures, with one in every 102 Arizona homes foreclosed. Of the top 10 metro areas hit hardest by foreclosures, Phoenix was the only one to post a monthly increase.

“All of us have a financial interest in restoring property values, repairing neighborhoods and putting Arizona back on the right track,” said Rep. Daniel Patterson, D-Tucson (District 29). “We can all benefit from these bills and working together, and that’s a winning combination for Arizona’s economy and quality of life.”

House Democrats’ Foreclosure Rescue for Arizona Act will provide relief for middle-class families and homeowners struggling through tough times, while Republicans’ corporate bailout package would cost the state $3.7 billion, double the current budget deficit, and it would raise taxes on homeowners while lowering property taxes on big corporations and their friends.

“Republicans continue to give away tax breaks to big corporations and the rich while middle-class families and homeowners pay for it,” said Rep. Anna Tovar, D-Tolleson (District 13). “When Arizona’s homeowners are facing a foreclosure crisis, it doesn’t make sense to make the same homeowners pay for tax breaks and giveaways to big corporations like Wal-mart.”

- from House Dems PIO

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