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Lawmakers disclose their mortgage debts

Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) chairman of the Democratic

Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is interviewed by Roll Call in his DCCC office. (Feb. 11, 2011) Credit: Getty Images File

WASHINGTON -- Democratic Rep. Steve Israel reported he owes as much as $1.5 million in mortgages and equity loans on his home in Dix Hills and condo here on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand reported she doesn't owe a dime on her home in Brunswick, near Albany. She and her husband Jonathan bought it outright last year, using the proceeds from the sale of their home in Hudson, an aide said.

Members of Congress for the first time this year had to list mortgage liabilities on their personal financial disclosure reports, a requirement of the STOCK Act aimed at preventing congressional insider trading. The law, enacted this year, included the rule as a check on favorable treatment of lawmakers by banks and financial institutions, said Craig Holman of the watchdog group Public Citizen.

Gillibrand, a Democrat and a key sponsor of the act, posted her filing for 2011 on her website in May. Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer's filing wasn't posted. The House posted its reports for 2011 Thursday.

All five House members from Long Island said they have at least one mortgage, whose value they list in ranges.

Israel listed his mortgage liabilities as between $750,000 and $1.5 million. Israel, who is going through a divorce from his wife, Suffolk Family Court Judge Marlene Budd, also has his three-bedroom, two-bath Colonial house in Dix Hills on the market for $499,000, an aide said.

Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, reported a $100,000 to $250,000 mortgage on her Mineola home. She listed a $50,000 to $100,000 mortgage on a Westhampton house she rents out.

Rep. Peter King, a Republican, has paid off his mortgage on his Seaford home, an aide said. He listed a 2001 mortgage of $100,000 to $250,000 for a condo in Washington's Foggy Bottom.

Rep. Gary Ackerman, retiring this year, reported a mortgage of $250,000 to $500,000 and a line of credit of $50,000 to $100,000 on his Roslyn Heights home. He owes another $50,000 to $100,000 on a line of credit on a vacation home, his filing said.

He added a light touch to his last filing, on a page for reporting gifts -- "Source: 'The people.' Description: 'The blessed opportunity for 30 years to pay back, in some small measure, the good things that happened to me.' Value: 'Priceless.' "

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