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House debates bill to pay nonprofits for distressed homeowner help

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The House of Representatives discussed a bill Friday that would provide federal funds to nonprofit counseling and nonprofit legal organizations assisting homeowners facing foreclosure. The Aiding Those Facing Foreclosure Act of 2010, also known as H.R. 5510, gives funds "to assist homeowners with legal issues directly related to such default, delinquency, foreclosure or any deed in lieu of foreclosure or short sale," the bill says. It does not allocate funds to hire legal representation for borrowers. Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) spoke in favor of the bill, saying "it is unthinkable that we could have used TARP funds for every major corporation, all of the banks, all of the Too Big To Fail, and yet we would deny homeowners in the hardest hit states some assistance." The legislation would amend the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. H.R. 5510 is sponsored by Ohioan Democrat Marcy Kaptur, along with 27 other representatives. The bill's counterpart, S. 3979, was introduced into the Senate by Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Kaptur recently introduced another bill into Congress, which would dissolve the relationship between the government-sponsored enterprises and Mortgage Electronic Registration System. Write to Christine Ricciardi.

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