State Rep.'s Mortgage Reduction Questioned 5-10-2011

Elizabeth Erwin Reporter, KPHO CBS 5 News
PHOENIX An amendment would have helped people in foreclosure get the information many say they deserve, but at the last minute, a lawmaker decided to drop it.
The timing behind his move has CBS 5 News asking tough questions.

The amendment was dropped just days after Rep. Carl Seel got a major modification on his home loan.
Coincidence?
We talked to both sides on this one, so you can decide.
"People are losing their houses left and right that shouldn't be losing their houses," said Darrell Blomberg.
Blomberg is a Realtor and lobbyist who wanted to craft a bill that held big banks accountable in foreclosures.
At the same time, Rep. Carl Seel was facing foreclosure himself.
So when Blomberg approached Seel to help, Seel said yes.
The two agreed to add an amendment to Senate Bill 1474, a bill about landlord-tenant relations.
"Came time for the amendment to be put up and Mr. Seel was not on the floor of the House," Blomberg said.
Rewind to about a week earlier.
Seel had submitted paperwork to modify his home loan.
"Low and behold, two or three days later he pops up with a principal reduction loan modification taking over $100,000 off his loan," said Blomberg.
Seel got more than 50 percent slashed off the principal of his mortgage.
Two days later, he's a no-show on the House floor.
CBS 5 News wanted to give Seel a fair shake, so our crew stopped by his house to get the straight story.
"It has nothing to do with your loan modification?" asked reporter Elizabeth Erwin.
"It has absolutely, unequivocally nothing to do with it," Seel responded.
Seel said he was told by House lawyers the amendment wasn't germane, that it was too far off topic to be included in the bill.
Blomberg said he doesn't buy it.
"Your average homeowner in Arizona doesn't have that, 'I'm a legislator and I'm going to draft some legislation card' to play to force their lender's hand," Blomberg said.
"So you didn't use your position as a state representative to modify your home loan?" Erwin asked.
"None whatsoever. There's no connection whatsoever, and if need be I'll swear in court to that," Seel said.
Seel said he plans to craft his own lender accountability bill next session.
Blomberg said he doubts the bill will ever be written.

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