Dems call for ending foreclosures against the unemployed

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Dozens of House Democrats are calling for a moratorium on mortgage foreclosures against anyone who has lost their federal emergency unemployment benefits.

Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) introduced legislation last week with 55 Democratic co-sponsors called the Stop Foreclosures due to Congressional Dysfunction Act.

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Under the bill, foreclosure proceedings could not take place against anyone holding a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and who is now struggling to keep up with mortgage payments because they lost their unemployment benefits in late December. Cartwright said these people should not face foreclosure just because Congress has failed to extend these benefits.

"Since December 28, due to the inaction of Congress, more than 2 million Americans have been cut off from emergency unemployment insurance," Cartwright said last week. "In my district, people have been particularly impacted by the expiration of these benefits.

"These Americans worked hard, played by the rules, and lost their jobs through no fault of their own. They should not lose their homes as well due to congressional dysfunction."

Democrats last week launched a petition to force a House vote on extending unemployment benefits. However, that effort is expected to fail, as Democrats would need more than a dozen Republicans to sign it in order to force the vote.

Cartwright said he and Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) are working on a letter to Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt, which will ask him to enforce a "no foreclosure" policy on people who have lost their benefits.

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