3:36 PM EDT
Barbara Lee, D-CA 9th

Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, let me thank Chairman Frank and Chairwoman Waters for bringing this badly needed legislation to the floor today. Millions of families in America are seeing their dream of homeownership turning into a nightmare. Foreclosure rates have reached crisis levels. In California and in many parts of my district, too many families are facing devastation, and entire neighborhoods are on the brink of collapse.

Homeownership has been the primary means that most Americans have to accumulate any kind of wealth, to send their kids to college, to start a small business, or to do whatever they want to do to be part of the American dream.

I want to thank Chairman Frank for including language in this legislation which I introduced with Senator McCaskill to address the Reverse Mortgage Proceeds Protection Act which protects seniors from losing their homes.

We are beginning to see some of the same abuses in the advertising and high-pressure sales of reverse mortgages as we saw in the subprime mortgage crisis. These provisions will ensure that vulnerable seniors are fully informed of hidden costs and pitfalls of reverse mortgages before they sign.