Following is a press release from House Democratic Caucus.
The House Wednesday took action to provide information and counseling services to families seeking loans and other financial products. Rep. Troy Kelley (D-University Place) led Senate Bill 6272 to its passing the Legislature with a vote of 69-27.
Kelley is prime sponsor of the similar House bill focusing on financial literacy counseling, House Bill 2829.
“This bill is about helping Washington families understand the types of loans they agree to before it’s too late,” Kelley said. “Families will continue being burnt by bad loans if we don’t step up, provide information to the public, and support the groups counseling these families into home security.”
The bill requires the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), which regulates financial services in Washington, to distribute information about the laws applying to financial institutions and assists the public in better understanding what types of loans and other products are available.
DFI is responsible for a variety of assistance programs including education and outreach, as well counseling and outreach about loan products and practices relating to home ownership. DFI is also required to convene a workgroup to explore consolidating the outreach campaign and broadening participation among stakeholders.
“Too many people in our state aren’t given the information they need to make an informed decision,” Kelley said. “This bill is a step towards preventing future crises like the one we’re dealing with now.”
Also passed Wednesday in the housing security package was a bill to prevent the foreclosure scams hitting families around the nation. The legislation, House Bill 2791, is an Attorney General Rob McKenna requested bill, will create additional protections for homeowners threatened with disclosure or delinquencies.
“Too often these struggling families feel isolated, with no choices, until these scam artists come along offering false help,” Kelley said. “We need to make sure Washingtonians who fall behind in mortgage payments know what they’re entering into, and prevented from having a bad situation turn tragic.”