The crisis in the housing market has had a significant impact on Maryland homeowners–both those who are at risk of losing or who have already lost their homes, as well as those who have felt the spillover effect of declining home values. Aside from the record number of foreclosures, the Pew Charitable Trusts estimates that 61 percent of Maryland homeowners will see their home values decrease, with an average decline of $9,941.

In response to this crisis, this week the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3221, the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008.  This legislation will allow homeowners facing foreclosure to refinance into lower-cost, government-insured mortgages they can afford to repay, keeping at least 400,000 families from losing their homes.

H.R. 3221 also provides $4 billion to enable cities and states to buy and rehabilitate foreclosed properties that are currently driving down home prices, destabilizing neighborhoods, and reducing state and local revenues. Additionally, the bill provides tax credits to stimulate home buying, expands homeownership opportunities for veterans and helps returning soldiers avoid foreclosure.

To further shore up the housing market, the bill would place a tough, independent new regulator in charge of the housing Government Sponsored Enterprises (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks) and makes assistance available – if necessary – to ensure the continued availability of affordable home loans.

Watch floor speech
Read news release
Click here for a summary of H.R. 3221

If you are a homeowner struggling with or worried about foreclosure, you can receive counsel and assistance by calling the Maryland HOPE Hotline 1-877-462-7555.

Telephone Town Hall Meeting:
Join me for my next telephone town hall meeting on Monday, July 28 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. where I will provide an update on what Congress is doing to stimulate the economy, provide relief from rising gas prices and address the problems in the housing market. To participate, dial (877) 229-8493 and enter pin number 12897 anytime during the hour-long meeting.

As always, thank you for allowing me to share this update with you. If there is anything you wish to share with me or bring to my attention, please do not hesitate to
contact my office.

Sincerely yours, 
Steny H. Hoyer 

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