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Published: Tuesday, 6/8/2010

Homeowners ignored

THE Ohio Senate had a timely opportunity to help thousands of homeowners who are threatened with foreclosure. But summer recess beckoned, and the GOP-majority Senate evidently couldn't be bothered to do its job.

Housing advocates note that nearly 25,000 foreclosure filings occurred in Ohio in the first three months of this year - a record, and 9 percent more than in the same period of 2009.

Yet even those figures could not persuade the Senate to act on an already-diluted measure the House passed more than a year ago. That measure calls for a six-month moratorium on home foreclosures, requires notification to renters when an owner files for foreclosure, and mandates registration of home loan servicers.

State Rep. Mike Foley (D., Cleveland), the sponsor of the House bill, accused Senate Republicans of carrying water for big banks. A spokesman for the GOP caucus countered that many members have fundamental reservations about state government getting directly involved in the foreclosure crisis, and prefer instead to focus on working toward a good economy that creates good-paying jobs.

But in the meantime, Ohioans are losing their homes in record numbers, renters are kept in the dark about foreclosures that could put them on the street, and predatory home lenders continue to operate in anonymity.

And the Senate goes on vacation, with this advice those who worry about keeping their homes: You're on your own.

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