Apr 24, 2009

Anti-foreclosure bills in jeopardy with choice of GOP conferees

LANSING – It may be some time before Michigan gets any real relief from the home foreclosure crisis if the move by Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop on Thursday is any indication.

Bishop named Sen. Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, to the conference committee trying to find a compromise between he House passed version of the anti-foreclosure bills and the Senate passed version. Bishop did a similar thing with the smoking ban bill in December when he assigned two Republicans who voted against the bill to the conference committee. That bill died despite a workable compromise.

Earlier this month the Senate approved a package of three bills, House Bills 4453-4455, along party lines that would have given a 90-day reprieve from foreclosure for homeowners who commit to working with their lender and a housing counselor that was approved by the House with bipartisan support in March. The bills passed by the House stipulated that if at the end of the 90 days a homeowner is eligible for a loan modification, but the lender does not give it to them for whatever reason, then the lender would be forced to take the foreclosure through the judicial process.

But Richardville, a shill for the mortgage industry whose greed plunged the country into a financial meltdown, stripped the third party provision out of the bill, and he fought off numerous attempts by Senate Democrats to put the provision back in the bill on the Senate floor. Richardville, carrying water fort he mortgage industry, used the lame excuse that it ads an extra step for mortgage companies and may cost them a few more dollars.

Consumer groups like the Michigan Advocacy Project and the Michigan Foreclosure Taskforce said stripping the judicial piece out of the bill will cost more people their homes.

In addition to mortgage industry shill Richardville, Bishop added extreme right-winger Alan Sanborn – who has a history of non-comprise and divisive rhetoric - to the three-Senator contingent. The only good news is the addition of Sen. Tupac Hunter, D-Detroit.

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