Congressman Crowley Cheers Mortgage Relief for Homeowners

February 2, 2012
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), praised President Obama’s call to expand federal housing programs to make it easier for homeowners in New York’s 7th Congressional District to refinance their mortgages at today’s low interest rates, even if they owe more than the current value of their home. Crowley also applauded the President’s call to create a Homeowners Bill of Rights to end unscrupulous lending practices of the recent past and protect American consumers.

“Owning a home is part of the American dream. Unfortunately, times are tough and many homeowners are struggling to keep up with mortgage payments. The President’s call to expand the ability of middle-class homeowners to refinance their mortgages and, in turn, lower their monthly payments comes at the right time. We need to find ways to both help people stay in their homes and save more of their income for other expenses,” said Rep. Crowley. “I also welcome the President’s proposed Homeowners Bill of Rights to create one, straightforward set of commonsense rules and protections. These safeguards will protect families from hidden fees or dangerous ‘fine print’ when shopping for a mortgage. It will also establish firm, new safeguards to protect homeowners from inappropriate foreclosure practices.”

The President called on Congress to expand the federal government’s current mortgage refinancing program known as the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP. HARP allows people whose home mortgages are guaranteed by the government, which is about 50 percent of all American homes, to obtain more affordable mortgages even if the value of their home is less than their current mortgage. The expansion of this program, called for by the President, will include homeowners with privately held mortgages.  

“The Obama Administration’s HARP home refinancing program gives millions of homeowners the opportunity to take advantage of today’s historically low mortgage interest rates, which, for many New Yorkers, could mean the difference between meeting payments and not,” continued Crowley. “I look forward to working with the President on broadening this opportunity to all homeowners. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to check to see if they are eligible for HARP today so they can take advantage of lower monthly mortgage payments. And, if you have questions or need assistance, I encourage you to contact my office.”   

Click here to find out more information about HARP. 

Congressman Crowley is a seven-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He serves as chief deputy whip in the Democratic leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and is a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.