Business & Economy
HUD Secretary Donovan and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller Unveil First Public Service Announcement for $25 Billion Mortgage Servicing Settlement PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Derrick L. Plummer   
Monday, 06 August 2012 08:24

Television PSAs, Homeowner Help Website, New Mortgage Assistance Guide Launched to Educate Homeowners about Resources Available to them through Historic Mortgage Servicing Settlement

WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced today the launch of the National Mortgage Servicing Settlement’s first public service announcement (PSA) television ad titled “Homeowner Help.”  The PSA, which can be viewed at www.hud.gov and www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com, is designed to educate homeowners about the resources available to them through the mortgage servicing settlement.

The “Homeowner Help” PSA, amplified through three key components – 30 second television and radio spots, customized for both national and local media markets, a HUD Homeowner Help website and a new Mortgage Assistance Guide – is aimed at educating homeowners about the various options and opportunities they can seek for assistance to find out if they are eligible to benefit from the settlement.

“The National Mortgage Servicing Settlement represents the single largest-scale principal reduction effort we’ve seen since this housing crisis began and the PSAs and online tools announced today will create an extended opportunity for homeowners, across the country, to gain  access to information, options and opportunities that could help to keep them in their homes,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Already the servicing settlement is helping homeowners and making a difference, and our goal is to ensure every eligible family is aware of the help it provides.”

In addition to being televised, “Homeowner Help” will also be broadcast in both English and Spanish language radio formats for national and localized markets. The launch of the national PSA and new online tools will remind people who are in mortgage trouble, to call the their servicer, Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE or visit the national settlement website at NationalMortgageSettlement.com to seek out available help.

“If we learned anything from the housing crisis, it is that that there is no one solution,” said Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. “We want homeowners to know the possibilities that they have with this settlement. PSAs are already running in Iowa and we’re hopeful that information shared helps people in a substantial way.”

In April, a Federal District Court approved the landmark $25 billion agreement between the Justice Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 49 state attorneys general and the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers – Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo – to address mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses. The settlement will provide up to $25 billion in relief to borrowers and direct payments to the states and federal government and it is the largest multi-state settlement since the Tobacco Settlement in 1998.

To view the new PSA “Homeowner Help,” click HERE:

Script (.30):

Announcer:     Are you a homeowner who’s facing mortgage trouble?

A government settlement with the nation’s biggest mortgage servicers provides help and hope for many people fighting to save their homes from foreclosure.

If you’re behind on your home loan, call your mortgage servicer—that’s who handles your mortgage.

See if this settlement affects you and if maybe there’s other help available.

Contact your state attorney general, click on NationalMortgageSettlement.com, or call the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE.

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HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and  transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter @HUDnews, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.

 
Loebsack Introduces Middle Class and Small Business Tax Relief Act PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 06 August 2012 07:43

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after introducing the Middle Class and Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2012.

“I am fighting for commonsense, fiscally responsible tax cuts for middle and low income families, small businesses, and family farms.  That’s why I’ve introduced an initiative to allow them to keep their tax cut.  Growing up, my family wouldn’t have been able to afford to put food on the table if taxes on working families went up.  I stand ready to work with anyone who will support commonsense compromise to get these tax cuts done.

“Washington is broken, and today is just more evidence of that.  There are too many people in Congress interested only in political ideology rather than actually helping Iowa families.  Last year the economy was taken to the brink by a group in Washington that is more concerned about rigid ideology than people’s jobs. That is simply not me.  I am not willing to do that to Iowa families. Washington needs to learn how to compromise.  I have introduced commonsense legislation and am willing to work with anyone who is interested in putting the middle class, small businesses, and family farms ahead of politics.  I always have and always will fight for Iowans.”

Loebsack’s Middle Class and Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2012 extends tax cuts for married joint filers making up to $250,000 and individual filers making up to $200,000.  Additionally, the bill:

  • Includes an exemption for small business and family farm income;
  • Extends for one-year the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and current capital gains and dividend rates;
  • Includes a one-year patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax;
  • Extends for one year the current Estate Tax rates.

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Wind energy production tax credit PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 06 August 2012 07:43
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Senator Chuck Grassley issued the following comment about the two amendments he filed to The Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012.  The Finance Committee is expected to mark up the proposal this week.

Grassley comment:

“It’s not right to single out one energy incentive over others before a broader tax reform debate.  I’ve filed two amendments.  One is a straight two-year extension of the wind credit, like the legislation I introduced earlier this year.  The other is a one-year extension with necessary provisions so that wind-energy producers can, in fact, take advantage of an extension that’s for only one year.  An extension needs to be effective.  I’m working with Chairman Baucus, Ranking Member Hatch, Senator Cantwell, and Senator Bingaman, and it’s my understanding there’s support from the committee leaders to include wind energy when the committee meets to take action.”

Description of the Grassley amendments:

Grassley Amendment #1 to The Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012

Short Title:  Wind Production Tax Credit Extension

Description of Amendment:  Extend for two years, through December 31, 2014, the section 45 production tax credit for wind which expires on December 31, 2012.

Grassley Amendment #2 to The Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012

Short Title:  Wind Production Tax Credit Extension

Description of Amendment:  Extend for one year, through December 31, 2013, the section 45 production tax credit for wind which expires on December 31, 2012.  Modify placed-in-service date for wind to a “begin construction” rule.

Background information:

Senator Grassley authored the legislation that created the wind-energy production tax credit in 1992 as a way to provide a level playing field for this renewable resource against coal-fired and nuclear energy and to help grow an innovative energy industry.  He has won passage of extensions a number of times.  The credit has been a tremendous success in helping to develop clean, renewable and domestically produced wind energy.

As this point, wind-energy production supports 75,000 American jobs and drives as much as $20 billion in private investment.  During the last five years, 35 percent of all new electric generation in the United States was wind.  There are nearly 400 wind-related manufacturing facilities in the United States today, compared with just 30 in 2004.

Conventional energy sources, including oil, gas and nuclear, enjoy countless tax incentives and many of them are permanent law.

 
HUD SECRETARY DONOVAN AND IOWA ATTORNEY GENERAL TOM MILLER TO HOST PRESS CALL ANNOUNCING LATEST CONSUMER EDUCATION EFFORTS FOR THE HISTORIC $25 BILLION MORTGAGE SERVICING SETTLEMENT PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by HUD Public Affairs   
Thursday, 02 August 2012 07:30

WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller will host a press call tomorrow announcing the latest consumer education efforts for the historic $25 billion mortgage servicing settlement. In April, a Federal District Court approved The Justice Department, The Department of Housing and Urban Development and 49 state attorneys general landmark $25 billion agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers (Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo) to address mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses. The settlement will provide up to $25 billion in relief to borrowers and direct payments to the states and federal government. This settlement is the largest multi-state settlement since the Tobacco Settlement in 1998.

WHO:            U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

WHAT:          Press Conference Call with HUD Secretary Donovan and Iowa Attorney General Miller Announcing Latest Consumer Education Efforts

 
Governor Quinn Signs Legislation Strengthening Workers’ Right to Privacy PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Nafia Khan   
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 12:36

New law makes Illinois one of the first states to prevent employers from demanding social network passwords

CHICAGO – August 1, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law protecting current and prospective employees’ right to privacy in the fast-growing world of social media. House Bill 3782 makes it illegal for an employer to request an employee’s or job candidate’s social network account information, such as username or password, in order to gain access to their account or profile. Illinois is the second state to enact such a law.

“Members of the workforce should not be punished for information their employers don’t legally have the right to have,” Governor Quinn said. “As use of social media continues to expand, this new law will protect workers and their right to personal privacy.”

Sponsored by Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), HB 3782 prevents employers from screening potential job candidates or reprimanding current employees based on information from their social network accounts that would otherwise be private. The new law protects workers’ privacy and their choice to make certain information from their social network accounts private.

“Employers certainly aren’t allowed to ask for the keys to an employee's home to nose around there, and I believe that same expectation of personal privacy and personal space should be extended to a social networking account,” said Leader Radogno, who pointed out employers are not allowed to ask employees or job applicants about age, sex, race, or sexual orientation—all information that could be easily gleaned from a social networking site. “This law will not only protect employees’ reasonable rights to privacy on the Web, but will shield employers from unexpected legal action.”

The law’s definition of social networking sites does not include email, and it does not prevent employers from obtaining information in the public domain about current or prospective employees.

“Social networking accounts are places where we document the personal and private aspects of our lives, and employers have realized they can get answers to questions they are already prohibited from asking by gaining unfettered access to our accounts,” Ford said. “This legislation may protect employers from future lawsuits as much as it protects employees and jobseekers.”

The law is effective Jan. 1.

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