Crownsville, MD – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin thanked Maryland housing counselors for being on the front lines in the fight to save people’s homes in a tough economy and an equally tough political environment.
“I find it cruel, absolutely cruel, that there are those in Congress who want to zero-out funding for counselors when this is a program that we know is working; the results speak for themselves, the outcomes are dramatic,” the Maryland senator said during a quarterly training session for participants in the MD HOPE Counseling Network, hosted by DHCD.
Maryland, under the leadership of Governor Martin O’Malley, established the HOPE Network in 2007, just as the national foreclosure crisis was hitting the state, Secretary Skinner said.
Over the past four years, counselors have helped more than 68,000 families, achieving positive results in 92 percent of completed cases. But counselors told Senator Cardin that they were worried they might be forced to close their doors as partisan bickering over the budget continued in Washington.
One counselor asked what could be done to compel lenders to contribute more to foreclosure prevention efforts. “After all, these are, in fact, their clients, not ours,” she said.
Cardin vowed he would work with others in Congress to preserve funding for foreclosure prevention counseling, as well as for financial literacy efforts in general. He said President Obama’s jobs proposal would help homeowners by putting people back to work and putting the economy back on track. He urged counselors to get involved to help change the political climate.