Baltimore – Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings has become one of Capitol Hill’s most outspoken lawmakers on behalf of families facing foreclosure, reports the Washington Post in Monday’s editions. Read the story.
“In recent years, Cummings has dedicated a substantial amount of time and energy – and outrage – trying to force changes he says would help stem the ripple effects of the foreclosure epidemic, particularly on minority communities that have suffered disproportionately from the fallout,” writes reporter Brady Dennis.
On June 16, Rep. Cummings partnered with DHCD and other groups for his seventh foreclosure prevention workshop at Woodlawn High School, bringing together struggling borrowers and counselors, pro bono attorneys and lenders. The workshops help homeowners and lenders find sustainable alternatives to foreclosure.
The Washington Post story quoted critics who charged that some of the reforms Cong. Cummings advocates as the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform are prolonging the crisis, rather than letting the market adjust.
Rep. Cummings passionately disagrees.
“A lot of people say, let them be foreclosed upon because you are holding off the inevitable,” Cummings told the Post. “I don’t see these folks who are losing their houses as some kind of collateral damage. This is usually their biggest investment in life. This is where they raise their family . . . The people that come to me, they don’t want a handout, they just want to be able to get through this storm.”
Since the foreclosure crisis struck Maryland in 2007, Maryland’s HOPE Counseling Network has helped more than 75,000 distressed homeowners. Under the leadership of Governor Martin O’Malley, the state has enacted some of the nation’s most comprehensive and far-reaching reforms of the foreclosure process.