Dodd Lays Out Plan To Protect American Homeowners

WASHINGTON - Presidential Candidate Chris Dodd today released a comprehensive plan to protect American homeownership. Saying that we needed proven leadership to address the issue, Dodd laid out a plan that would help keep Americans affected by the mortgage crisis in their homes through immediate action and proposed structural reform of the system to ensure that families have access to affordable mortgages in the long run.

"Homeownership is the cornerstone of the American dream and essential to the strength of a healthy and vibrant middle class," said Dodd. "It will take proven leadership that knows the issue and how to get things done, if we are going to get immediate action to help families threatened with foreclosure in the wake of the subprime mess and forge long term solutions to keep home loans affordable."

In his capacity as Senate Banking Committee Chairman and with his skill for bringing together leaders to find solutions to the most complex and pressing problems, Chris Dodd has already started to work to put the subprime mortgage market back on track. Earlier this week, he convened a meeting with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson and received a positive response that was reflected in the markets.

Dodd's plan for Affordable Home Mortgages is below and available at

Keeping the American Dream Alive: Affordable Home Mortgages

Chris Dodd has been the leading voice in trying to fix the subprime mortgage lending crisis that threatens the American Dream of homeownership. Foreclosure rates are at record highs, and millions of hard-working Americans face the prospect of losing their homes because they were victimized by unscrupulous lending practices.

Years of predatory lending practices in the subprime market have led to this crisis that is harming not only homeowners, but also harming the economy as a whole. Chris Dodd has been fighting to end these practices, in which lenders and brokers have pushed unaffordable, costly and abusive loans on unsuspecting borrowers. As Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Dodd is doing everything in his power to help Americans avoid foreclosures in the present, and unscrupulous lending in the future.

We need that same type of leadership at the Presidential level. That's why Chris Dodd has called on President Bush to take immediate action to help keep people in their homes. But unfortunately, the President has failed to use the power he has to help Americans keep their homes.

Chris Dodd understands that homeownership is the cornerstone of the American dream, and has a plan to keep people in their homes and to ensure that families have access to affordable home mortgages.

Immediate Action

Dodd has worked for immediate action to address the current crisis and keep people in their homes:

Chris Dodd believes we need to focus immediate help on the millions of American homeowners who are currently trapped in these unaffordable subprime loans. After Dodd convened a Homeownership Preservation Summit this spring, a number of the largest lenders and servicers pledged to modify loans as much as possible to help homeowners keep their homes. Now it is even more essential for servicers to work with borrowers to make loans affordable going forward, both for the sake of families and to avoid flooding the already glutted market with more homes for sale. Dodd helped secure $100 million in the 2008 HUD appropriations bill for this purpose.

The Federal Reserve Board must continue to be vigilant about maintaining liquidity in our capital markets so that banks can offer credit to homeowners. Its intervention over the past two weeks has had an overall positive effect, and Chris Dodd believes it should not hesitate to continue to act and use all the tools it has in its power to help homeowners.

Chris Dodd has called on the President to raise the portfolio limits imposed on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and to do so in a way that is consistent with safe, sound and pro-consumer practices. This step can help inject some badly needed liquidity into the mortgage market. All major housing industry groups have joined Dodd in calling for cap relief.

Fundamental reform

As President, Dodd would make fundamental reforms to the system to ensure affordable and safe mortgages in the long term:

Chris Dodd will continue to insist that the Federal Reserve Board and its fellow federal financial regulators fulfill their statutory duty to prohibit reckless subprime lending practices. Dodd has held hearings to highlight this problem and to push regulators to address these abusive practices. This step would not only help borrowers, but would also create greater certainty in the subprime market for lenders as well as investors. If the Fed does not act, Dodd will not hesitate to address this issue with Congressional action.

Chris Dodd will modernize the Federal Housing Authority. Strengthening FHA will create cheaper, safer, more consumer-friendly mortgages for subprime borrowers. Dodd is working to move this legislation this fall, and will continue his efforts under a Dodd administration.