Lenders asked for 'dry wall' mortgage help

April 19, 2010 at 7:01 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 19 (UPI) -- Florida and Louisiana officials say they want people in their states to get mortgage relief like that given to Virginians whose houses contain Chinese drywall.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fla., wrote to Fannie Mae last week asking for assistance. Landrieu and Nelson also wrote to Freddie Mac seeking the same six-month relief the mortgage lenders gave to Virginians whose houses were built with the material, The Miami Herald reported Monday.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has received more than 3,000 complaints, with the majority of them from homeowners in Florida and Louisiana.

The drywall has been found to make houses smell bad and cause headaches and breathing problems. It also damages wiring and appliances and corrodes metals.

Many of the complainants have moved out of their homes and are making both mortgage and rent payments, the Herald said.

Government agencies recommend the Chinese drywall be gutted and replaced with good material to eliminate any possibility of lingering effects.

Virginia homeowners have been granted six months of mortgage relief by Fannie Mae. LeMieux said he would like Floridians to get at least that much relief, in a way that doesn't affect their credit ratings.

I implore you to consider an even longer period of relief so as to allow these homeowners to remediate their homes to the best of their ability," he said.

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