Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill that would increase oversight on mortgage services to protect homeowners facing foreclosure.
Under H.R. 6102, or the Homeowner Mortgage Servicing Fairness Act of 2018, Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) oversight of mortgage servicers that conduct business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be increased. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own or guarantee nearly 60% of all mortgage loans.
To prevent harmful mortgage servicing practices, the bill also requires documentation of servicer behavior and FHFA evaluation of the services provided to borrowers. It also penalizes servicers who fail to meet minimum standards established by the FHFA.
“Mortgage servicers play a critical role in determining whether homeowners experiencing financial hardships will be forced out of their homes,” said Waters, a ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services. “However, despite the lessons learned during the foreclosure crisis, we continue to uncover evidence of bad behavior by our nation’s mortgage servicers. Borrowers can’t choose their servicer, so it’s especially important that Congress provide strong protections to prevent servicers from taking advantage of borrowers and to protect borrowers from foreclosure. This bill will implement common-sense reforms to ensure that servicers are giving borrowers every possible opportunity to avoid foreclosure.”
The legislation is supported by the National Consumer Law Center and the National Fair Housing Alliance, according to a news release.
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