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Will bailout help the average homeowner?

September 25, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Part of the proposed Wall Street bailout plan in the works in Washington requires the government to renegotiate the mortgages it acquires to help homeowners keep their homes.However, some are wondering if it will go far enough to help people already in trouble with their loans.

There have been many protests across the country against the bailout bill. Many taxpayers believe the bailout is helping those on Wall Street and not the little person who is struggling to live on Main Street. Home values are continuing to slide and foreclosures continuing to rise.

Darren Hendon is with the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, or NACA. It is a non-profit agency that works with homeowners in trouble with their loans to get their mortgages modified. Darren says the $700-billion bailout under consideration in Congress isn't going to help NACA's clients.

"Bailout is bailing out the people who created the problem in the first place. They made a ton of money off the backs of homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payment," said Hendon.

Hendon and NACA believe there needs to be a provision to freeze foreclosures.

"The solution to the problem is to stop the foreclosures. Put a moratorium on the foreclosures and to not assist Wall Street -- bailing Wall Street out -- and bail out 'Main Street'," said Hendon.

Lisa Watson of Inglewood has owned her condominium for many years, but now this self-employed single woman is scrambling to keep it from foreclosure. She is one of Hendon's clients and it looks like NACA might be able to help her. However, she too would like to see a bailout that is designed to help the little guy and not big business.

"Right now it looks like they're already in agreement and it's going through. And I don't know if they've really concerned themselves about the people who have been impacted by this," said Watson.

Some may say responsibility does lie with the home buyer. Are they to blame for getting into bad loans?

"They are partly responsible for not reading what they signed. But, in the end, or even in the beginning, they were sold a bill of goods from people who they trusted," said Hendon.

"People on 'Main Street' who, I think, definitely had a responsibility for their part in it. But the people on Wall Street have a greater responsibility because they have more information," said Watson.

There is currently a tentative deal on the bailout legislation, but not all of the provisions have been worked out. However, there are encouraging signs for homeowners, like Lisa Watson, that there will be a provision to help troubled homeowners directly. Once again, officials say nothing is set in stone just yet.

 

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