|2:51 PM EDT||
Patrick McHenry, R-NC 10th
Mr. McHENRY. Mr. Speaker, there are many good and decent people who are in financial distress right now across this country. Some with mortgages they can't afford. Some made poor financial decisions. Some were victims of fraud. Some were simply speculators acting on their instincts.
But the reality is that most borrowers are paying on time. They are making their mortgages; 92 percent of borrowers are paying on time across this country; 6 percent are late but not yet in foreclosure, and 2 percent are actually in foreclosure. This bill is directed to the 2 percent on the backs of the 98 percent. That means that 110 million households are meeting their obligations. This legislation under consideration today would require that those 110 million families bail out the lenders
on Wall Street. And I will tell you it's simply a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
We are sending the message to financial institutions and Wall Street investors that when those investors make poor choices and take ill-advised risks that the Federal Government will step in and bail them out. That's a bad decision. In fact, this is a $300 billion taxpayer bailout that will cost the American taxpayer $5,000 for every foreclosed loan that is dumped into the program. And make no mistake about it. They will be dumped into the program. And it's not the homeowners who will control
this. It will be the lenders and servicers who will decide to take advantage of this for their own personal advantage, the servicers and the lenders.
The one thing that we know for sure is that those lenders and servicers are only going to submit those loans that they don't believe will pay. The American taxpayer will instead be punished. Ultimately, the real losers are the American taxpayers who are left to guarantee the loans that nobody else wants.
Mr. Speaker, in the past couple of months, I received several calls, letters, conversations I have had with my constituents, talking about the struggles that they are making in order to pay their mortgage. They don't want to have to pay somebody else's mortgage. They are struggling enough to make their ends meet with high gas prices, the rising cost of health care. And I'm not advocating that we do nothing. In fact, I have been working very hard in my district with foreclosure prevention seminars,
working with the Hope Now alliance, which has helped 1.4 million homeowners stay out of foreclosure, keep their homes.
These are the things that Congress should be doing, is helping individuals get through this crisis. We shouldn't have a massive bailout of lenders on Wall Street. We shouldn't bail out the servicers. They took ill-advised risks, and as such, the losses should be carried by them, not by my constituents who are paying on time.
Let's oppose this legislation and do what's reasonable and right for the taxpayer.