WASHINGTON – Maryland Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, just issued a statement, regarding Republican efforts to repeal the Emergency Homeowner Loan Assistance or “bridge loan” program in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act passed in 2010.
The “bridge loan” program, authored by Cummings, offers up to $50,000 interest-free for as long as 24 months; assisting borrowers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, who are underemployed or who face debilitating medical bills.
“Republicans have not submitted a single proposal this year to stem the tide of foreclosures or assist responsible homeowners who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads,” said Cummings. “The complexity of the foreclosure crisis requires a comprehensive approach. This is a small, targeted program that utilizes experienced, state and local regulators and housing counselors who are equipped to ensure that those who benefit from this program receive the necessary support and education to be able to repay the loan they receive and resume paying their mortgage upon expiration of the program.
“The program costs taxpayers nothing and provides a significant benefit, preventing foreclosures which otherwise will further depress property values of neighboring homes and communities. I am aghast at the idea that Republicans would seek to destroy this program. It is a chance for all of us to come together to provide a shelter from the storm for those who need it so badly.”
Republican Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus announced last week that Committee would consider legislation next week to eliminate the bridge loan program, calling it a failure.
“Calling this program a failure is unjustifiable,” said Cummings. “It has only been in existence for a few months, with states still in the planning stages, making that label entirely inappropriate. Rather than creating jobs for Americans, helping families out of foreclosure and rebuilding the middle class, my colleagues across the aisle seem interested only in destroying the progress made last year. I know in my heart that we can do better.”