Thursday the Senate began a debate on taking measures to help curb foreclosures nationwide. Highlights for the bill:
- Make loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration more widely available
- Makes $4 billion available to communities to buy and rehabilitate foreclosed homes
- Provides tax credits of $7,000 for buying a foreclosed home
- Provides tax credits to homebuilders and businesses hurt by the housing downturn
- Returning soldiers will be given an extra 6 months before foreclosure procedures could begin
This came after outcry that the government was more interested in bailing out the financial industry and less interested in the suffering American public. Many lawmakers are criticizing this bill saying that it isn’t going far enough.
It is reported that Democrats will try to add something that will allow bankruptcy court judges to lower mortgage payments for homeowners in danger of foreclosure. This was the main ingredient to another bill that Republicans blocked with the support of the Bush administration in February.
Info from NPR.org
Florida, second only to Nevada and California (respectively) in foreclosure rates is up almost 70% from February 2007 according to RealtyTrac as reported by South Florida Business Journal. With over 32,000 homes in foreclosure procedures during the month of February, 1 in every 254 homes is being effected.
Nevada had around 61,000, 1 in every 165 homes, and California had around 53,000 or 1 for every 242 homes.
The Cape Coral-Fort Myers area had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate in January with 1 in every 84 homes in some stage of the foreclosure process.