Speaker Pelosi issued the following statement this afternoon following a meeting late this afternoon that House Democratic leaders held with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke:
House Democratic leaders today made it clear to Secretary Paulson and Fed Chairman Bernanke that they must take immediate action and do everything they can to help hardworking Americans stay in their homes.
The solutions to the problem at the root of our economic crisis — aggressively addressing home foreclosures — have been known for some time. Further delay in implementing these solutions is unacceptable. The leaders urged Secretary Paulson to take the following measures:
First, Secretary Paulson must exercise all of the authorities granted to him under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA) to facilitate residential loan modifications and avoid preventable foreclosures.
Second, the Democratic leaders called on the Secretary to use his authority to encourage mortgage servicers to take advantage of the HOPE for Homeowners Program and to engage in systematic loan modification initiatives.
Finally, the leadership urged Secretary Paulson to support FDIC Chair Sheila Bair's $24 billion foreclosure mitigation proposal, which would substantially reduce preventable foreclosures for as many as 2 million borrowers.
Our country faces a serious and worsening foreclosure crisis that is affecting millions of Americans. Addressing the underlying problem of home foreclosures, and stopping the continued drop in home values, is essential to restoring confidence in our financial system, freeing up the flow of credit consumers and small businesses, and spurring renewed economic growth.