What: All Issues : Housing : Preventing Bank Foreclosures on Homes : S 896. (Housing loans modification) Kerry of Massachusetts amendment that would allow tenants in foreclosed buildings remain in their homes for the duration of their leases, or for 90 days if they didn’t have a lease/On agreeing to the amendment (2009 senate Roll Call 182)
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S 896. (Housing loans modification) Kerry of Massachusetts amendment that would allow tenants in foreclosed buildings remain in their homes for the duration of their leases, or for 90 days if they didn’t have a lease/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 182     May 06, 2009
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by John Kerry, D-Mass., that would allow tenants in buildings backed by federal mortgages subject to foreclosure to remain in their homes for the duration of their leases, or for 90 days if they didn’t have a lease or if the property was sold to someone who intended to use it as a primary residence.  The amendment was offered to a bill that would ease application and eligibility requirements for a $300 billion foreclosure prevention program enacted to help blunt the impact of the economic downturn.

Kerry said his amendment is intended to protect people who are renting a home in a property that is undergoing foreclosure.

“We have taken a lot of effort to try to help troubled borrowers in communities that have foreclosed properties. Here is the problem that exists. If you are a renter and living in a property that has been foreclosed on, you have nothing to do with the foreclosure, you are paying rent, you have a lease, but a lot of these people are getting kicked out of their apartments, out of their homes,” Kerry said.  “We are protecting legitimate, low- to moderate-income folks in America who do not get protections otherwise from being just booted out on the street, which is literally what has happened in the absence of this protection.”

Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Kerry’s proposal is bad because current law already has processes through which to deal with these issues, and Kerry’s amendment will disrupt them.

“This changes the law, as we understand it. It has been working a long time. It will cause all kinds of problems. Once a property is foreclosed, what do you do with it next? It delays it,” he said.

By a vote of 57-39, the amendment was adopted. Every Democrat present voted for the amendment.  All but one Republican present voted against the amendment.  The end result is that the measure went forward with language that would allow tenants in foreclosed buildings remain in their homes for the duration of their leases, or for 90 days after the foreclosure on their house, if they didn’t have a lease.

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