(By Senators Kessler, Foster and White)

Urging Congress implement the Homeowners and Bank Protection Act.

Whereas, The onrushing financial crisis engulfing home mortgages, debt instruments of all types and the banking system of the United States threatens to set off an economic depression worse than the 1930s; and
Whereas, Millions of American citizens are threatened with foreclosure and loss of their homes over the upcoming months according to studies released by Realty Trac and Moody's; and
Whereas, This financial crisis is now threatening the integrity of both state and federally chartered banks, as typified by the run on deposits of Countrywide Financial in California during the month of August 2007; and
Whereas, A banking collapse would wipe out the life savings of American citizens and drastically undermine the economic stability of our states and cities; and
Whereas, This crisis is such that it requires emergency action that only the United States Congress has the capability to enact. Congress must move quickly to keep people in their homes and avert social upheaval; and
Whereas, Congressional action must include the following:
(1) Congress must establish a federal agency to place the federal and state chartered banks under protection, freezing all existing home mortgages for a period of months or years which would be required to adjust the values to fair prices and restructure existing mortgages for a period of months or years which would be required to adjust the values to fair prices, and restructure existing mortgages at appropriate interest rates. Further, this action would also write off all of the speculative debt obligations of mortgage backed securities, derivatives, and other forms of Ponzi Schemes that have brought the banking system to the point of bankruptcy; and
(2) During the transitional period, all individual homeowner foreclosures shall be frozen, allowing American families to retain their homes. Monthly payments, the equivalent of rental payments, shall be made to designated banks, which can use the funds as collateral for normal lending practices, thus recapitalizing the banking systems. Ultimately, these affordable monthly payments will be factored into new mortgages reflecting the deflating of the housing bubble, and the establishment of appropriate property valuations, and reduced fixed mortgage interest rates. This adjustment will take several years to achieve, in the interim period no homeowner shall be evicted from his or her property, and the federal and state chartered banks shall be protected so they can resume their traditional functions, serving local communities, and facilitating credit for investment in productive industries, agriculture, infrastructure, and other prudent financing needs; and
(3) State Governors shall assume the administrative responsibilities for implementing the program, including the "rental" assessments to designated banks, with the federal government providing the necessary credits and guarantees to assure the successful transition; and
Whereas, In a similar financial crisis in the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt intervened to protect banks and homeowners, for example, in April, 1933, he introduced legislation as a "declaration of national policy...that the broad interests of the Nation require that special safeguards should be thrown around home ownership as a guarantee of social and economic stability..."; therefore; be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Legislature hereby urges Congress to implement the Homeowners and Bank Protection Act; and, be it
Further Resolved, That a copy of this resolution shall be forwarded to members of West Virginia's congressional delegation and also be delivered to the President of the United States for immediate implementation.