Paying Virginia families get punted?

Bills to protect paying Virginia homeowners from being foreclosed are being shuffled around. In the Virginia State Senate, instead of voting up or down on the foreclosure reform bills, members of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee punted on the issue and sent the bills to the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee. Even after being punted from one Senate Committee to another, these bills still haven’t been placed on the docket to be voted on at this Monday’s Commerce & Labor Committee meeting.

The bills in question are:

  • SB 836, patron Sen. Chap Petersen: extends the foreclosure sale notice from 14 days to 30 days so homeowners have more time to sell the home
  • SB 795 patron Sen. Don McEachin: places additional duties on the foreclosure trustee to make sure families have really defaulted and that the right person is getting foreclosed on

All the foreclosure bills that were introduced in the Virginia House of Delegates have already been killed. These senate bills would automatically die if they don’t get a hearing this week. That’s because we are approaching the mid-point of the 2011 Virginia General Assembly session. If a bill isn’t heard and passed by this weekend, then it won’t be able to “cross-over” into the other chamber, effectively killing the bill for this legislative session.

A recent report found that 87% of housing counselors in Virginia had their clients foreclosed upon before any loan modification could be completed. Is keeping paying Virginia families in their homes so unimportant that Virginia legislators would let these bills die? For the sake of Virginia’s economic recovery, let’s hope not.


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