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O'Malley pitches foreclosures bill to lawmakers

O'Malley recent mug.jpgGov. Martin O'Malley (D) made a rare appearance before legislative committees on Tuesday to pitch a bill he said would put financially strapped homeowners on a more even footing with "faceless, giant mortgage servicers who don't even have the decency to pick up the phone."

O'Malley's bill would give eligible borrowers the right to mediation before a foreclosure sale can take place on their home. The legislation is among the governor's top priorities this session and the latest in series of initiatives intended to stem the tide of foreclosures in Maryland.

O'Malley touted the bill to committees in both the House and Senate on Tuesday afternoon. He was accompanied by U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who told the House Economic Matters Committee that the legislation would be "another tool to help people maintain their dreams."

The governor's testimony attracted a large media turnout reminiscent of his appearances last year to plead with lawmakers to repeal the death penalty. That measure did not pass.

The foreclosures bill is less controversial but has some critics. Republicans on the House committee questioned O'Malley about whether it would be cost-effective and whether the state is doing enough to discourage irresponsible loans in the first place.
The bill would also require mortgage servicers to pay a $100 "cost of business" filing fee to help fund housing counselors and defray judicial costs.

By John Wagner  |  February 16, 2010; 2:47 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , Governor , John Wagner  
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They should fund this by charging those who speculated, those who overspent on houses they couldn't afford and those who took out loans they didn't understand. NOT ON MY DIME!!!

Posted by: savethepcbs | February 16, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley, you are a blatant fool. You drained the rainy day fund and now you want to give away the total store. Don't you understand that you continue to punish those of us in the middle class that acted with careful, conservative financial decisions and did not get in over our head, or stupidly and blindly purchase housing and other assets above our ability to pay? Don't you understand that credit is like crack--remember like your brethen in Baltimore? Once your hooked, it's all over. The likelihood of refailure on a refinanced or workout mortgage is greater than 50%? Banks pass through all kinds of mortgage concession costs, such as lower interest rates on failed mortgages and other administrative costs to "good" customers that continue to pay their loans on time. This is why you get next to 0% on your savings account and get hosed on any future new loan. When will the liberals get this? This guy should have a hammer and sicle next to his name and face everytime he's in the media. Yes, I'm speaking to those citizens in Potomac, Bethesda and Takoma Park-why don't you contribute more in taxes to help these poor souls out? Oops-you couldn't or wouldn't since you are members of NIMBY-all for the concept, but not in your neighborhood or on your dime. Some things haven't changed.

Posted by: jpncpamba | February 16, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

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