Sen. Kissel: Bill Seeking to Improve Bank-Homeowner Communication During Foreclosures Passes Out of the Senate

April 29, 2010

Hartford, CT- State Senator John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) voted Wednesday, April 28th, in favor of SB 225, An Act Concerning the Duties of a Mortgagee in a Foreclosure Action on Residential Real Property. The bill, which passed the senate with a vote of 34-1, seeks to improve communication during foreclosure proceedings by requiring that a representative of the bank, rather than the attorney for the mortgage holder, be available to work with a homeowner to seek alternatives to foreclosures in advance of a judgment.

Senator Kissel thanked Sen. Andrew McDonald, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee, for his leadership on the floor of the senate and applauded the bipartisan effort involved in getting the legislation passed.

“Earlier this session the chairs and ranking members of the Judiciary Committee came together for a joint press conference for the first time I can remember,” said Sen. Kissel. “This bill was important enough for all of us to put aside our partisan differences and do something that will make a positive difference in the lives of Connecticut residents.”

Senator Kissel also praised local community banks for their excellent customer service and indicated that the bill was directed primarily at large financial institutions. “This bill is about bringing human accountability to large financial institutions,” said Sen. Kissel. “We are not talking about local community banks or credit unions. Local banks have been tremendously responsive to the people in the communities they serve. It’s these large banks and their predatory collection and foreclosure practices that have caused me to lose faith in the national financial system. I do believe in regulation as well as the need to monitor these practices. The least we can do is require banks put down the name and phone number of a person who will assist in the mediation process.”

“These are our friends, these are our neighbors, these are our constituents,” added Sen. Kissel. “This bill is asking very little to do a lot of good.”

SB 225 is currently awaiting action in the House.