Ambiguous effects of Housing Bill for Indebted Home-owners in Columbia, South Carolina
The rising interest rates combined with an uncertain economy is rendering many borrowers insufficient to repay neither their mortgages nor the mounting interests on them and has forced them into the uneasy position of making their homes into foreclosures. With this number racing towards the million mark, it was about time too that the Senate did something about it.
The numbers on Columbia foreclosure homes are startling to say the least. The County of Beaufort reported 117 homes that became foreclosures from Jan 1 till June 25, 70 in the first quarter (188% increase from 2007) alone. On a larger scale, there were 813 Columbia foreclosure homes (one in every 373 homes) in the second quarter alone, ranking it 77th nation-wide.
Nationally, the stats are even more tragic for the second quarter, with one home in every 171 households being in foreclosure amidst 740,000 odd foreclosures.
The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 is a mammoth 600 page long bill which hopes to help 400,000 odd homeowners to put off their foreclosures. While it’s not yet been signed by President Bush, attributed to reservations on a $400 billion aid to local communities to increase utility of foreclosure homes, it’s expected that he’ll approve it within a week’s time.
The housing bill is going to provide aid to Freddie Mac and Frannie Mae, the biggest players in the nation’s mortgages market, apart from tax credits to first time home buyers. But how exactly it’ll help the hundreds of local owners of Columbia foreclosure homes reeling from risks of foreclosure are far from clear cut.
While a lot of the owners of the Columbia foreclosure homes think the bill is a godsend, immediate effects for the residents of Columbia, South Carolina are questionable. Some feel badly affected states like California and Nevada will get higher, faster aid while it might be a year even before the Columbia foreclosure homes see any direct effect of the bill.
NeighbourWorks America Spokesman, Douglas Robinson, feels the bill should give some relief to home buyers by reducing the costs of mortgages. On the other hand, alternatives for foreclosures have popped up, such as modifications from lenders, short sales of homes and deeds on foreclosures.
Mr.Robinson believes that a small repair work in the house could lead to bigger expenditures in the future. He stressed on the urgency of the situation and the need to act immediately, without which all the help could go down the drain.