The Save Our Neighborhoods Act of 2012
Keep families in their homes
Maintain home values and a strong tax base
Stop home abandonment and neighborhood blight
Congressman Hansen Clarke’s legislation would allow some homeowners to stay in their homes by suspending the foreclosure process for up to three years. Suspending foreclosures would encourage banks to agree to modify mortgages and make payments more affordable. At the end of the foreclosure suspension period, a court would be able to reduce the mortgage principal for underwater mortgages.
- The court must suspend the foreclosure process for a period of 60 days for any homeowner who requests such action.
- The lender must meet with the homeowner within 30 days of the beginning of the 60-day foreclosure suspension to discuss a modification of the mortgage.
- If the homeowner and the lender do not agree to a mortgage modification within 60 days, then the court may stop the foreclosure process for up to three years.
- A homeowner is eligible for a foreclosure suspension of up to three years if:
- The homeowner has a federally related mortgage loan (as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which includes the vast majority of home mortgages);
- The homeowner has suffered a financial hardship but has the ability to pay some rent for the property;
- The property in question is the homeowner’s primary residence.
- During this foreclosure suspension of up to three years, the homeowner must pay an amount determined by the court.
- When the foreclosure suspension of up to three years ends, the court must order an appraisal of the property. If the property is underwater, then the court must lower the mortgage principal to an amount
determined by the court, taking into consideration the fair market value of the property. If the fair market value is greater than the principal on the mortgage loan, then the court must order payments set at a reasonable interest rate.