Town Hall: Sunday, March 23, 2014
I will be holding a Town Hall Meeting to discuss all of the issues facing Congress. The Town Hall Meeting will take place Sunday March 23rd from 2:00 to 3:30 PM at Birmingham High School, located at 17000 Haynes Street, Lake Balboa (near the intersection of Balboa Blvd and Victory Blvd).
Over the years, I’ve held over 170 Town Hall Meetings in the San Fernando Valley. They are a great opportunity for me to listen to what’s on the minds of Valley residents and respond to questions.
In addition, my district office staff will be on hand to assist you with any problems you may be having with federal agencies.
January 17, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake. It is important for residents of the San Fernando Valley to remember how vulnerable we are to earthquakes. Many Valley residents have vivid memories of the destruction caused by the Northridge Earthquake. Fifty-seven lives were lost and more than $20 billion dollars in property damage resulted from those ten seconds of violend shaking.
When calamity strikes, good preparation can help mitigate the damage caused, keep loved ones safe, and make it easier for our emergency services to respond effectively.
Here are some preparations those of us in earthquake country can make today to help make our homes and families safer.
Know your home
- Identify "safe places" in each room of your house -- under a robust table/desk or against an inside wall.
- Practice "Drop, Cover, and Hold On!" drills in each room with your family.
- Know all the potential exits to your home.
- Plan a meeting location outside of the home for your family.
For more information about earthquake preparedness, I encourage you to take advantage of these resources:
- FEMA's Emergency Supply List
- California Governor's Office of Emergency Services: Preparing Your Family for an Emergency
- California Governor's Office of Emergency Services: Tips for the Elderly
Mortgage Modification for those Facing Hardship
Congressman Sherman helped create the HAMP program to help those having significant difficultly making their mortgage payments. The goal is to reduce foreclosures, which are a tragedy for the families involved, and adversely affect the neighborhood. Qualifying homeowners often have their payments reduced to 31 percent of their monthly pre-tax income.
For help finding out if you’re eligible for a lower payment under these new policies, you can contact our Valley office at (818) 501-9200.
You can find out if your mortgage is owned by Fannie or Freddie by going online to:
http://www.FannieMae.com/loanlookup/ or https://ww3.FreddieMac.com/corporate/, or calling 1-800-7FANNIE or 1-800-FREDDIE.
For more information you can also visit: http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/
Refinancing at Lower Rates for Those with Low Equity (or No Equity)
Mortgage rates are at historic lows and many homeowners want to refinance to reduce their monthly payments by hundreds or even thousands of dollars. But many homeowners do not have the 20 percent equity required to refinance, and some owe more than the current value of their home.
Congressman Sherman cosponsored the HOME Act which allows those with mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to refinance – even if they owe more than their home is currently worth. Even if you write your check to a major bank, your mortgage is probably owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
This provision will help create jobs in the San Fernando Valley. Homeowners who save hundreds of dollars each month are good customers for local Valley businesses. Furthermore, it does not expose the federal government to additional risk because these mortgages are already guaranteed or owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.