Johanns Votes To Aid The Housing Market And Protect Consumers

Senator Mike Johanns today voted in favor of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009. The legislation aims to help stabilize the housing market by encouraging greater participation in the Hope for Homeowners program. Additionally, the bill provides stronger consumer protection by increasing the amount the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) can borrow from the Treasury and more than doubling the amount of Americans' personal savings that can be insured by FDIC. The bill passed by a vote of 91-5.

"During times of such economic uncertainty, it is important that we work towards solutions that help stabilize the housing market and provide confidence to consumers that their bank accounts are protected," Johanns said. "While not perfect, this legislation is a step in the right direction. This bill seeks to keep homeowners out of foreclosure and provides Americans with assurances that their deposits are secure."

The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act temporarily extends for four years (from December 31, 2009 until December 31, 2013) the increase in federal deposit insurance coverage from $100,000 to $250,000 and makes a corresponding extension for credit union accounts. It also extends the borrowing authority for the FDIC from the Treasury Department from $30 billion to $100 billion to provide an additional layer of assurance for bank customers. Additionally, the bill makes a number of changes to the Hope for Homeowners Program, in an attempt to make the program more usable for homeowners, which would hopefully allow them to avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy and get them back on the path to homeownership.