December 8, 2008
Senator Richard J. Durbin Press Conference
Senator Durbin will be holding a press conference on Tuesday, Dec. 9th, at 12:30 p.m., where he will announce that the very first bill he will introduce in the first minute of the first day of the 111th Congress will be his Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy legislation. He will further announce his intention to see to it that this legislation is included in the economic stimulus package that will be considered in the first weeks of the new Congress. Assuming this new legislation is the same as the bill he offered in October, 2008, it is Senate Bill S.2136.
1. Attend the press conference.
If you are in DC, or a member of an organization that is headquartered in DC, PLEASE ATTEND OR URGE YOUR ORGANIZATION to attend.
2. Write an op-ed for your local paper in support of this important legislation. You know what to say: Tell a story of someone you know who is about to lose a home through no fault of their own. Remind readers that this legislation requires no federal funding. Bankruptcy courts deal with valuations every day. If you own TWO homes, you can revalue the mortgage on the second already! If you own 10 homes in a corporation, you can revalue the mortgages on all of them. Why not extend the same right to poor single-home owners who can afford to pay a fixed-rate, market rate mortgage for the current value of the home?
3. Contact your Senators and Representative and ask for their support for this legislation. They are hearing every day from the mortgage industry that this "can't" work. We know different.
4. Get the word out: If each of you e-mails 10 people who are concerned about the impact that foreclosures are having on your community, that will be an additional 2000 e-mails. Trust me, 2000 e-mails or calls from constituents is a huge number, and if you ask the people on your list to send it along, we can get a viral movement started.
Write to people who are being directly affected by the economic downturn: your friends who are realtors, contractors, subs, mortgage brokers, property managers, commercial landlords. They have the greatest stake. E-mail your friends who have lost their jobs, or whose companies are at risk. E-mail people who work with homeless services and charities. Let them know that this is a simple and cost-neutral way to help all homeowners. It does not create a complicated new federal bureaucracy. And remind them that it's past time to focus on keeping people in their houses, in order to stabilize the real estate market.
Thanks to Marc S. Stern, Seattle, WA
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