Merkley Applauds President Obama’s New Effort to Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure

– Today, the Obama Administration announced a new effort to help troubled homeowners who are facing foreclosure.  Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement:

“So far, we have not done enough to stem the tide of foreclosures across America and our families and communities are paying the price.  The number of families falling behind on their mortgage payments continues to rise and the recovery in our housing market has been painfully slow for three straight years.

“I’ve been incredibly frustrated at the pace with which the Home Affordable Modification Program has been able to provide assistance.  We must chart a new path if we want to see real results.

“I welcome the decision by the Obama Administration to make the types of changes I’ve been pushing for that are necessary to help more families.  Under the new program, homeowners who are currently underwater will finally have a chance to refinance their loans into a mortgage they can afford.  It will also provide temporary relief to folks who are looking for work and having a hard time paying their mortgage.  These are crucial improvements.

“A foreclosed house is a tragedy for a family but its impact is felt well beyond the walls of the home.  The surrounding community also gets hit hard. Boarded up homes are bad for property values and bad for local businesses.  That just continues the downward spiral that drags on our economic recovery.  We simply have to turn the housing crisis around.  I look forward to continue working with the Administration to do just that.”