Obama signs laws to help homeowners, prevent fraud

May 21st, 2009 - 5:57 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, May 21 (DPA) US President Barack Obama Wednesday signed laws designed to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure and to combat mortgage and financial fraud.
The two separate bills, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act and the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, “will protect hard-working Americans, crack down on those who seek to take advantage of them and ensure that the problems that led us to this crisis never happen again,” Obama said at a signing ceremony in the White House.

The housing bill builds on earlier legislation to prevent foreclosures by removing many of the administrative barriers, expands refinancing options for homeowners with certain kinds of government-backed loans and protects renters who face eviction when their property owner falls behind on payments.

The fraud bill would combat corporate and mortgage fraud by beefing up government anti-fraud efforts. It would establish a government commission to examine the causes of the mortgage and financial crises that contributed to the steep US economic contraction and the global recession.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to be formed under the law will have 10 members from both major US political parties, appointed by Congress.

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