Fri, 11 Jan 08
US home foreclosures will rocket in 2008, signalling the worst slump since the Great Depression...
Subprime lending — mortgages with interest rates that suddenly escalate after a few years, forcing often naive and unprepared homeowners to default — has taken a heavy toll. Houses vacated by foreclosures are deteriorating into eyesores, encouraging crime, depressing property values, costing localities revenues they need for police and other vital services.
Some Northeastern cities —
But the pain is being felt nationwide. The U.S. Conference of Mayors projects the weak housing market and large inventory of unsold homes may reduce cumulative
President Bush's so-called interest-rate "freeze," announced in late fall, is not having its intended impact. It’s entirely voluntary and is projected to apply to only 12 percent of the mortgage holders — none already in default in 2007 — that are likely to have severe difficulty making their monthly payments.
Some better ideas are before Congress, including a House-passed bill that requires lenders to verify all applicants' income and document their creditworthiness.
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