Recovery needs housing, credit, stimulus

Feb. 9, 2009 at 2:25 PM
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ELKHART, Ind., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. homeowners facing foreclosures or who watch home values fall may be helped by legislation outside of the stimulus plan, President Barack Obama said Monday.

While the Senate version of the economic plan includes a tax credit for home buyers, his administration will be unveiling a series of programs designed to help strengthen the wobbly mortgage market, he told a crowd at an Elkhart, Ind., town hall.

One possible provision that he supports would permit bankruptcy judges to modify mortgage rates, something they can't currently, he said.

The current law "makes no sense" because it's forcing "a lot of people into foreclosure who potentially would be better off, and the bank would be better off, and the community would be better off if they're at least making some payments, but they're not able to make all the payments necessary."

He called the stimulus plan just one leg of a three-legged economic recovery stool, saying, "We've got to deal with the credit crisis; we got to deal with housing. There are a whole bunch of other steps that we're going to have to take, and this is one of them."

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