April 3, 2012

Our View: LePage wins veto vote,
but Maine families lose

National mortgage companies can thank the governor for a veto that could hurt Mainers.

Gov. LePage won again Monday, bringing his perfect veto streak to 16-0. That's 16 times he's used his executive authority to knock down a law that received at least majority support from both legislative chambers, and the Legislature could not muster the two-thirds support to override.

click image to enlarge

By vetoing a bill designed to prevent large national mortgage companies from foreclosing on homes they did not own, Gov. LePage has acted in favor of giant lenders at the expense of Maine families.

2007 File Photo/The Associated Press

The latest bill was designed to prevent large national mortgage companies from foreclosing on homes that they did not own. The creditor would have had to show up at a foreclosure proceeding with original documents, or be prepared to swear, under penalty of perjury, why the documents were unavailable.

The necessity of the extra step was made clear after the discovery by Maine lawyers of routinely botched home foreclosures by bank employees who did not even look at the documentation they were approving.

In his veto letter, LePage said the new law would "add a new burden on our lenders" and "create more paperwork ... with little benefit for Maine people."

So LePage and the Republican majority of the House have determined that inconvenience for giant mortgage companies outweighs the inconvenience a Maine family would encounter after being unjustly evicted from their home.

LePage is clearly the winner here, but Mainers should ask who else won. It certainly wasn't the people who struggle to pay their mortgages or those who hope to buy a home. The winners are big national mortgage companies that will be able to continue rushed, flawed foreclosure processes, thanks to Maine's governor.


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