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Congressman Clarke says suspend foreclosures, keep homes occupied

Congressman Hansen Clarke represents Michigan's 13th Congressional District.
Congressman Hansen Clarke represents Michigan's 13th Congressional District.

Although Michigan’s foreclosure activity declined in the first quarter of 2012, Michigan still has the 7th highest foreclosure rate in the country.

Democratic Congressman Hansen Clarke represents Michigan’s 13th district. This week he's in Washington D. C. and hopes to introduce a bill that would suspend home foreclosures nationally for up to three years.

According to Clarke, the bill would encourage lenders to voluntarily negotiate and modify loans by giving a home owner a more time to pay, by temporarily suspending foreclosure and eviction for at least 60 days. If lenders are not willing to negotiate, a home owner could then ask a federal judge for an extension for up to 3 years.

“However the home owner must to be able to make payments on the mortgage, likely to lower payments and be able to maintain their property. The goal is to keep family home occupied so we don’t have the plight of abandoned vacant homes throughout neighborhoods,” Clarke says.

The bill counts on lenders to voluntarily negotiate and help modify loans with homeowners, but they are not forced to do so.

Clarke says, "Americans are fed up with depressed home values and seeing their life savings they put in their homes just evaporate. They’re going to demand that the federal government and that congress take action.”

Zoe Clark is Michigan Public's Political Director. In this role, Clark guides coverage of the state Capitol, elections, and policy debates.
Mercedes Mejia is a producer and director of Stateside.
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