Make the call!
Wall Street bankers are spending millions to change the rules to make Local Principal Reduction impossible to implement. Please call Del. Maggie McIntosh Chair of the Environmental Matters Committee and sponsor of the "Predatory Lenders Protection Act"*!
Maggie McIntosh chair of the Environmental Matters Committee:
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3990
Here’s a sample script:
“My name is __________. I’m calling to oppose SB 0850, the Predatory Lenders Protection Act. Home foreclosures are up in Maryland and this bill stops our local cities from taking the actions necessary to protect communities hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. The only people it helps are the Wall Street bankers who created this mess in the first place. Please make sure this bill dies in your committee.”
This bill is going to a vote on THURSDAY APRIL 3rd! We need to stop it now!
You should also call your MD Delegate and tell them to oppose this bill too. It’s the same switchboard number: 1-800-492-7122.
*The bill is officially known as SB 0850/HB 1346, the “Prohibition on Acquiring Mortgages or Deeds of Trust by Condemnation.”
WHY WE OPPOSE SB 805/HB 1346
- Maryland has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country.
- The bill seeks to make it impossible for cities to consider adopting Local Principal Reduction (LPR)programs.
- In a Local Principal Reduction program, the city works with private investors to acquire a set of the worst, hardest to fix underwater mortgages (especially “Private Label Securities” or PLS loans that often have predatory features and refinances them to restore home equity. If banks refuse to cooperate, cities may use their legal authority of eminent domain to buy the bad mortgages at fair market value and then reset them to current value. In Baltimore City alone, nearly 13,000 homeowners are stuck with predatory PSL loans.
- No Maryland city has yet voted on or even introduced a Local Principal Reduction program. There is no reason for the legislature to act hastily. The mortgage industry just wants to shut down even consideration.
- Because many predatory loans have been bought and sold in pieces in complicated transactions on secondary mortgage market, cities may need to use their constitutional power of eminent domain to help free loans from “PLS trusts” even when servicers, trustees, and borrowers all agree on the sale of a loan. But SB 0850/HB 1346 would make even this voluntary use of eminent domain to fix bad loans illegal.
- While in the past the power of eminent domain has been sometimes used to push poor and working class people out of their homes, this (potential) use of eminent domain could keep families in their homes by helping them escape the underwater predatory loans that were particularly marketed to African American communities. The legislature should not single out and ban a program aimed at saving families from foreclosure.