Reverse Mortgage Legislative Update: February 12, 2010

Most of Washington DC ground to a halt this week as not one but two blizzards hit Washington in less than a week.  The Federal Reserve closed for at least a day, and Congress delayed all votes until next week.

The week was an eventful one for many congressmen however.  Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA) passed away this week from complications from gallbladder surgery. Rep. Murtha, the first Vietnam combat veteran to be elected to Congress, was an important member of the Appropriations Committee’s military subcommittee and was known for his opposition to the Iraq war.

Former Rep. Charlie Wilson (R-TX) passed away on Wednesday. The preliminary cause of death was cardiopulmonary arrest. Rep. Wilson is best known for his backroom deals to arm the mujahedeen against the Soviets in the 1980s, inspiring the movie “Charlie Wilson’s War.”

In addition, a number of other representatives announced that they would not seek reelection this November, including Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA).

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was supposed to deliver testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday, but the hearing was postponed due to the snow. However,Bernanke’s written remarks were released. In his written testimony, Bernanke notes that while the economy continues to need “accommodative” monetary policies, at some point the Federal Reserve will need to tighten monetary policy.

Finally, an anti-H.R. 4173 commercial began airing in Illinois and Colorado this week (and I imagine some other states as well).  The commercial, paid for by The Committee for Truth in Politics, calls the bill a “big bank bailout” that gives the government the ability to provide up to $4 trillion in emergency funding next time Wall Street crashes.

In Florida, there are two bills pending in the legislature related to reverse mortgages.  Senate Bill 1532 and House Bill 845. Both bills contain a provision dealing with mental capacity suitability, under which a lender is not required to make a reverse mortgage loan if he or she has reason to believe the borrower is unable to enter into a contract for any reason.

Written by Reva Minkoff

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