Virginia Senate Passes Foreclosure Moratorium Bill

The Virginia Senate took a big step this week and unanimously approved moratorium on foreclosures for homeowner with high risk mortgages. The bill,  SB 797, introduced at the request of Governor Tim Kaine, provides a one month moratorium on all high-risk mortgage foreclosures. The measure is much needed relief for a state that has foreclosure rate increases of more than 750% in some areas.

While the Virginia Senate is the first legislative body to pass a moratorium, Massachusetts was the first state to provide relief for homeowners facing foreclosures. Last November, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law legislation that would provide mortgage holders a 90 day "Right to Cure" before foreclosure and also provide rental rights to tenants of foreclosed properties. We highlighted the "right to rent" as a way to keep people in homes and decrease the number of vacant properties saving neighborhoods from suffering from increase crime and decreased property values.

Currently, New York state and Minnesota have the boldest moratorium bill. NY AB 9695 / SB 6724 sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman James Brennan and Republic Senator Frank Padavan, would give a one-year moratorium on all home foreclosures. Since it was introduced, the bill has added over 60 Assembly sponsors and would preserve the financial position of both parties, ensuring that the mortgage holder and lender are not punished. As Assemblyman Brennan said, "There's nothing wrong with giving people some time to see if better arrangements can be worked out." The bill sponsors and supporters will hold a press conference at Brooklyn Borough Hall 209 Joralemon Street, at 1pm this Friday, March 7 to formally announce the legislation and answer any questions.  MN HF 3612 would also impose a one-year moratorium on foreclosures from subprime loans.

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