Economist: Save at-risk borrowers, not bloated bankers

08/22/07 Mitch E. Perry
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As the subprime-mortgage crises ripples through the housing market, the Wall Street Journal reported today that President Bush is looking at giving the Federal Housing Administration more flexability to help those facing foreclosures to refinance their homes.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has reportedly told his staff to work with the Housing and Urban Development department to find ways to help individuals caught in the fallout of the credit crunch.

The paper reports that the administration is looking to FHA to offer refinancing options to homeowners, including those who aren’t yet in default of foreclosure but are at risk of falling behind in their mortgage payments.

But one economist has another idea.

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. His idea, as detailed in an essay originally published on the Common Dream website, is to change the rules on foreclosure to allow these homeowners to become renters, paying fair market rent. He told WMNF today how this would happen.

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