BILL NUMBER: AJR 20 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Caballero MAY 28, 2009 Relative to the federal Housing Opportunity and Mortgage Equity Act. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AJR 20, as introduced, Caballero. The federal Housing Opportunity and Mortgage Equity Act. This measure would urge the Congress to enact H.R. 230 to provide all homeowners, including those in California, the opportunity to refinance their current home loans with a lower interest rate and to assist qualified home buyers with mortgage financing. Fiscal committee: no. WHEREAS, Increasingly difficult economic conditions in California are putting enormous pressure on housing markets, and particularly, on individual households; and WHEREAS, Many working families find that serious declines in real estate markets have left them owing more on their homes than the homes are worth; and WHEREAS, Many of these same families face additional economic pressure as the interest rates on their mortgages are scheduled to rise; and WHEREAS, These conditions, coupled with rising unemployment in California, which now stands at over 11 percent, have contributed to the high number of home foreclosures in the state; and WHEREAS, It is projected that nearly 350,000 homes will be lost to foreclosure in California through the end of 2009; and WHEREAS, In addition to the destructive impacts on the state and local economies and on individual neighborhoods, these foreclosures shatter the lives of residents by uprooting families from their homes and placing a lasting stain on their credit history; and WHEREAS, While steps have been taken to reduce the rate of foreclosures, they cannot keep pace with a continuing rise in the number of troubled loans and defaults; and WHEREAS, If this pace continues, the state and the nation could likely face a collapse of the real estate market from which it may take decades to recover; and WHEREAS, Legislation has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives which is aimed at preventing families from defaulting on their home mortgages and thereby arrest the growing rate of destructive foreclosures; and WHEREAS, The proposed Housing Opportunity and Mortgage Equity Act (H.R. 230), by Congressman Dennis Cardoza, would give Californians an opportunity to refinance these troubled home loans to lower their interest rates; and WHEREAS, Specifically, H.R. 230 would use a below-market interest rate on fixed-term loans of up to 40 years to refinance these troubled loans; and WHEREAS, Refinancing these troubled loans would not only serve to prevent foreclosures, but would serve to help stabilize California's real estate market and, particularly, home prices; and WHEREAS, The Legislature recognizes that Congress is now considering a variety of approaches to dealing with the nation's credit and real estate crises; now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature respectfully encourages the Congress of the United States to enact H.R. 230 to provide all homeowners, including those in California, the opportunity to refinance their current home loans with a lower interest rate and to assist qualified home buyers with mortgage financing; and be it further Resolved, That the chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the Majority Leader of the Senate, and to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States.