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A: First and foremost, the bill authors, Rep. Melissa Hortman and Sen. Patricia Torres Ray. There were many other Republican and Democratic legislators, too numerous to name, who took a keen interest in moving the bill forward. The committee chairs and lead minority members of the key House and Senate committees through which this bill had to travel deserve credit, as well, for without their support the bill would not have become law. The Minnesota Bankers Association, the Minnesota Credit Union Network, the Minnesota State Bar Association and the Minnesota Land Title Association all were instrumental in and critical to the ultimate success of the legislation. Last, but far from least, a group of grass-roots consumer advocates — Jewish Community Action, Isaiah and Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, specifically — were key factors in making this bill happen.
Q: Foreclosure rates have fallen dramatically; does this law have the power to still help a significant number of people?
A: Yes. It is true that foreclosures are declining in Minnesota — and that’s a good thing. However, it is a mistake to believe the crisis has passed. There were about 18,000 foreclosures in Minnesota last year, which is 300 percent above the normal rate. The trend is going in the right direction, but we are not out of the foreclosure woods yet.
Jim Buchta • 612-673-7376