December 21, 2020

Van Hollen, Fischer Bipartisan BUILD Act Passes Senate

Bill Would Help Ensure Habitat for Humanity, Similar Non-profits Can Build Homes for People in Need

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) released the following statements after the Building Up Independent Lives and Dreams (BUILD) Act passed the U.S. Senate. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would allow nonprofits to once again use forms that are less complex when they are issuing 0% interest loans. This will help ensure the organizations can continue to make these loans to borrowers.

“Habitat for Humanity and other nonprofit organizations offer help when the need is dire and families are struggling to put a roof over their heads – especially in tough times like these. The BUILD Act will ensure groups like Habitat for Humanity are not constricted by overly burdensome regulations, so they can get help where it’s needed, fast. I’m glad to see the Senate pass our bipartisan legislation, and I hope the House will take action at once so these nonprofits are able to continue providing a vital service to families across Maryland and our country,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“Every family deserves a place to call home, and non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity provide a vital service helping to ensure that happens. Unfortunately, complicated mortgage loan forms have made doing so more difficult. The BUILD Act will enable groups like Habitat for Humanity to help even more Americans in need,” said Senator Fischer. 

“We are thankful to Senator Van Hollen for his leadership of the BUILD Act to help non-profits, especially smaller organizations, with the cost and complexity of the TRID rule, while continuing to ensure that the material terms and costs of the mortgage loans they offer are fully disclosed. We appreciate Senator Van Hollen’s strong support and partnership with Habitatfor Humanity to help us build more homes for low-income families,” said Ron Cramer, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity, Frederick County Maryland.

The full text of the bill is available here. 

Background on the BUILD Act:

Rules require all mortgage lenders who make five or more loans per year to fill out complex and expensive disclosure forms designed to protect consumers. These forms replaced simpler ones that had existed for years. 

Habitat for Humanity (Habitat) issues 0% interest mortgages to its clients, who are often the families receiving Habitat homes. The goal of these loans is not just cost savings, it is to help families build credit and learn financial responsibility. Because the new forms are longer, more complicated, and expensive to complete, most volunteers are not able complete them. 

The BUILD Act would allow nonprofits to use the old forms when issuing 0% interest loans, even if they make more than 5 mortgages. Staff and volunteers are familiar with these forms and they still have the adequate consumer protections needed for non-interest-bearing loans.