Congress yesterday sent the president legislation that encourages banks to spare homeowners from foreclosure, after the industry helped scuttle a tougher measure that would have forced lenders to reduce monthly payments of owners in bankruptcy, the Associated Press reported yesterday.
The House voted 367-54 to pass the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act. The Senate had previously voted 91-5 in favor of the bill and approved the final version by unanimous consent.
The bill would expand an existing $300 billion program that encourages lenders to write down an individual’s mortgage if the homeowner agrees to pay an insurance premium.
The program, set to expire in 2011, would swap out a homeowner’s high-interest rate for a 30-year fixed loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration.
In addition, the bill extends through 2013 an increase in deposit insurance by the FDIC from $100,000 to $250,000.