On March 30, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) introduced S. 690, the Homeowner Advocate Act of 2011, with 13 Senate co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.
The bill would establish an Office of the Homeowner Advocate in the Department of the Treasury. The Office is intended to assist homeowners, housing counselors, and housing lawyers in resolving problems with the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), and identify ways to improve HAMP’s effectiveness through administrative changes and legislation.
Established in 2009, HAMP, the Making Home Affordable Program, is a joint initiative by the Treasury and HUD. HAMP seeks to assist homeowners in modifying their mortgage payments with their lenders but has been under scrutiny for its slow pace.
The Homeowner Act of 2011 was introduced in the Senate in response to
the House vote the day before on H.R. 839, the HAMP Termination Act of
2011 (see Memo, 4/1). Both S. 690 and H.R. 839 were referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.