People in Michigan and across America are suffering, and it is wrong to unfairly tax families when they are faced with the prospect of losing their home. I look forward to working with the President and my colleagues to prevent additional, unfair economic hardship in the lives of those who find themselves in truly unfortunate circumstances. We need to make it easier, not harder, for Americans to keep their homes.

Declining home prices and rising foreclosure rates have left some families having to sell their homes for less than they paid for them, and sometimes for less than the outstanding debt. The IRS currently taxes any loan forgiveness as “income

In addition, the President’s plan will urge Congress to reform current laws to make it easier for the Federal Housing Administration to offer aid to mortgage holders with subprime mortgages. His proposal will also include an increased effort to enforce predatory lending laws and strengthen lending practices.

From 2005 to 2006, the Detroit metropolitan area had the highest percentage of households in foreclosure in the 150 largest metropolitan areas, with an average of more than 10,000 foreclosures in each quarter. The foreclosures affected 1 out of every 21 households, nearly five times the national average. Over the first quarter of 2007, Michigan had over 29,000 foreclosures and Detroit was on pace to record 11,000 for that same time period. The Mortgage Relief Act, is companion legislation to H.R. 1876 introduced in the House by Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) and Ron Lewis (R-KY).