May 11, 2020

Rep. Vargas introduces Bill to Promote Credit Access for Homebuyers During COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington, D.C. (May 11, 2020) — Representative Juan Vargas (CA-51) introduced the Promoting Access to Credit for Homebuyers Act which provides low to middle-income homebuyers with better access to credit during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“If the 2008 financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that the most affected during an economic downturn are low to-moderate income families and workers,” said Rep. Vargas. “They are the first to support our economy and the last to recover along with it. This is why I’m proud to introduce a bill that will help families and workers access mortgage credit as current restrictions may prevent them from doing so.” 

The bill will prevent Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) from imposing additional restrictions or costs on borrowers. These entities are set up to support lending to low and middle-income individuals. Current regulations, however, are blocking homebuyers from working with their banks to secure mortgages. 

“Our communities and families across the nation are struggling with financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Rep. Vargas. “Many families are struggling to afford their mortgages and need the ability to pause their mortgage loan payments to make ends meet."

Rep. Vargas’ bill allows lenders to continue lending to low to middle-income homebuyers without the fear of losing money. It also prevents the housing market from becoming short on loans available to low-and-middle income borrowers. 

Without this bill, borrowers who inquired about, requested, or received a forbearance through relief provided in the CARES Act may also be affected. A forbearance agreement takes place when a homebuyer agrees to postpone or reduce a series of their mortgage payments.

“Some of these policies unfairly impact a large number of families seeking to take advantage of the relief offered to them in the CARES Act,” said Rep. Vargas. “My bill will help American families and workers afford homes throughout this crisis. It will also allow lenders to keep providing loans to individuals that they would normally lend to, regardless of the current economic crisis.” 

Vargas represents California’s 51st Congressional District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, all of Imperial County, and California’s entire U.S.-Mexico border. Vargas was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and is currently serving his fourth term in Congress. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee.