Foreclosure help may be on the way - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Foreclosure help may be on the way

April 12, 2008

Albany -- For sale signs in yards are becoming as common as the mail boxes you see in front lawns.

"With the economy, the gas prices, people just aren't able to afford to pay their mortgages anymore," said Allied Home Mortgage Branch Manager, Fred Polite.

And with two million homes already going into foreclosure this year it may be a while before these signs go away. "It's wide spread. Foreclosures are just everywhere right now, which has a lot to do with the adjustable rate mortgages and the predatory lending," said Polite. 

But the state government is trying to do their part to reverse this. Governor Sonny Perdue is looking at state legislation that would give homeowners more time and information before facing foreclosure.

"Once you start getting those letters, 31 days or less the City of Albany offers consumer credit and default counseling," said Housing Counselor, B. J. Jackson Burton.

This bill requires lenders give customers a 30 day notice, instead of the current 15, before foreclosing. And foreclosure notices must include the name, address, and phone number of the person or company which can negotiate a settlement.

"What we do is work out and negotiate a repayment plan with your lender. There is not rescue funds available, but there are funds available to your lender," said Burton. And that may help keep more families in their homes.

The Senate also passed a bill this week that would give large tax breaks to homebuilders. It will also give seven thousand dollars in tax credits for people who buy foreclosed property. The bill now heads to the White House.

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