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WASHINGTON – Today, President Obama will sign the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act and the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act into law.

"These landmark pieces of legislation will protect hardworking Americans, crack down on those who seek to take advantage of them, and ensure that the problems that led us into this crisis never happen again," said President Obama.

The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act is an important step towards stabilizing and reforming our nation’s financial and housing markets – helping American homeowners and increasing the flow of credit during these difficult economic times. This legislation will strengthen our nation's housing sector and facilitate the goals of the Administration's Making Home Affordable Program by helping millions of American homeowners stay in their homes.

The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act will protect the American people by giving the federal government new tools and resources to prevent fraud. This reform bill will help the federal government keep markets free and fair, so that American consumers can thrive.

Fact sheets on both pieces of legislation are below.

The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act

Expanding Reach of Making Home Affordable to Help More Homeowners. The deep contraction in the economy and in the housing market has created devastating consequences for homeowners and communities throughout the country. Since January, the Administration has made significant progress in developing and implementing a comprehensive plan for stabilizing our housing market, the centerpiece of which is the Making Home Affordable Program (MHA). By reducing foreclosures around the country, the average homeowner could see their house price bolstered by as much as $6,000 as a result of this plan, and as many as 9 million homeowners may increase the affordability of their mortgages and avoid preventable foreclosures.

Our progress in implementing MHA to date has been substantial. We have introduced detailed guidelines for loan modifications which will establish a new standard practice for affordable modifications in the industry. Servicers covering more than 75 percent of loans in the country have now begun modifications and refinancings under the Administration’s MHA Program. We have also launched, a consumer website for the program, which has had more than 17 million page views in less than 2 months, announced details of our Second Lien Program, Home Price Decline Protection Incentives and Foreclosure Alternatives Program, strengthened Hope for Homeowners as a part of the MHA program, and expanded the efforts of the federal government to combat mortgage rescue fraud.

Increasing Flow of Credit by Expanding FDIC and NCUA Capabilities. The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 contains provisions that will help to restore and support the flow of credit in the US economy. The act authorizes new important tools to assist in stabilizing the financial system during the current economic downturn. Together these provisions, described below, should provide additional support for increasing the flow of credit in the US economy.

Increasing Consumer Protections Related to Housing

Provides Comprehensive New Resources for Homeless Americans. This legislation significantly increases aid to homeless Americans, appropriating $2.2 billion dollars to help solve the crisis of homelessness, and address the enormous costs homelessness can impose on individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities.  In addition, the legislation consolidates homelessness programs to improve effectiveness and streamline administration, and targets assistance to families with children – the fastest growing segment of the homeless population.

The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act

Strengthening the Capacity to Fight, Prevent, and Deter Fraud. The legislation strengthens the capacity of federal prosecutors and regulators to hold accountable those who have committed fraud. The amendments expand the Department of Justice’s authority to prosecute crimes involving mortgage fraud, commodities fraud, and fraud involving U.S. government assistance provided during the recent economic crisis.

Providing the Resources to Keep Markets Free and Fair
There is no shortcut to effective fraud enforcement and prevention. FERA will also provide needed resources to help the Department investigate and prosecute those who engage in fraudulent schemes.

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