State News

Easley pushing plan to help struggling homeowners

Posted July 1, 2008

— Gov. Mike Easley called on lawmakers Tuesday to approve a measure that could help some homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages.

A House judiciary committee began examining House Bill 2623 on Tuesday but didn't vote on it.

The proposal would require that mortgage providers give borrowers at least 45 days notice before starting foreclosure proceedings. The commissioner of banks would be notified about the delinquent borrowers and would have the power to negotiate new loan terms to help the homeowner.

Through the end of May, foreclosures were up 17 percent statewide over last year.

Easley said House Bill 2623 could help up to 25,000 North Carolina families keep their homes – about half of the expected foreclosures statewide in the next two years – who ran into financial difficulties when payments on their adjustable-rate mortgages ballooned.

"These are hard-working, middle-class families that have just run up on a stump," Easley said in a news conference. "If we can do anything as a state – as a government – to facilitate a consensus, to broker an agreement, then we ought to do that to help these families out.

"This is not a bailout. This is not the state taking money and trying to pay mortgages off for people. This is not the state trying to subsidize banks. This is just the state trying to come together with the lending institution ... and the homeowner."

Rep. Dan Blue, D-Wake, the chief sponsor of the bill, said the legislation is targeted at families, noting the homes involved in the program must be owner-occupied.

"Foreclosures mean not only tragedy for the families that may be involved, but for their communities," Blue said. "We're concerned about saving neighborhoods and saving families and saving this investment and the equity that they have in houses."

Commissioner of Banks Joe Smith said he would use existing staff to carry out the program, which officials expect to be fully operational by this fall.

The plan needs the approval of both the full House and the Senate before it could be sent to the governor's desk for Easley's signature.

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  • ncvaluer Jul 2, 2008

    I think the first thing the commission should do is go in and remove their 54 inch plasma TV, all their video toys, their new cars and put that money toward their mortgage. THAT is why they are in trouble because they don't know how to control their spending. No priorities...and now that they know the gov is gonna help out. Give me a break!!!!

  • colliedave Jul 1, 2008

    And what happens if they fail to make regular payments on the new loan?

  • gcfarms Jul 1, 2008

    Yet another ploy to screw over the HARDWORKING,HONEST and RESPONSIBLE people that make smart finacial decisions and do what is right. I am tired of the HONEST people having to pay for all the IRRESPONSIBLE people that decide to live over their means and decide that the rest of us should bail them out of their problems. If you cannot pay your bills,it is your fault!!! If you were stupid enough to go for those low payments on these interest only or variable interest loans then too bad. The only time that I feel sorry for anyone having finacial problems is when a sudden medical emergency occurs and you have sudden medical expenses. I am tired of paying for people that make irresponsible decisions on their finances!!! Many people have house payments less than 1000. I figure that the 150 grand that Easley wasted in Europe would help about 150 people pay their house payment for one month. That would go a lot further to bail out our economy.

  • ralyrosegrl Jul 1, 2008

    Now, this article doesn't say that the state is going to pay for anything. If you actually read the article is states that the state will help to re-negotiate their loans and they have to be given a 45 day warning. The reason its important to do this is due to the fact that the housing slump is pushing the economy into (or already in, depending on who you talk to) a recession. Its a bigger picture than just bailing people out. If all the banks and mortgage companies, or even half start to go under due to non-payment of loans, then we are going to have a even bigger crisis, FDIC or not. Its also a bigger picture than some people making stupid decisions. There were some mortgage companies to blame as well. There is already a glut of unsold homes on the market-banks don't need houses that are foreclosed. They need money. I'm not happy with the situation either-but I think this is the lesser of two evils. Help them, or hurt the whole economy.

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Jul 1, 2008

    STOP the complaints...You have 2 choices 1. do nothing 2. try what I've been doing for 6 months, read your legislators weekly
    report and contact them. I have 2 black and 2 white in our area, you need to have a fair dialoque with all. They will listen to the voters..Right now they only listen to special interest groups like NAACP or Black Caucus or State Employees Association. And their spending reflects they listen to these groups. Not one mention of middle class citizens who pay the bills....

  • wonderif Jul 1, 2008

    here's a thought Easley,
    pay these struggling homeowners what you spent on your trip to Europe! Might help them some don't cha think?

  • Howie275 Jul 1, 2008

    RKBA wrote
    "So now, I have to pay my own mortgage plus help pay for all those people who purchased more than they can afford"

    No, you need to look at more as we are paying for these people to go out to dinner everynight, smoke 3-4 $4per pack cig's a week and fund all their hobby's so they can pay their mortgage.

  • Howie275 Jul 1, 2008

    Good way to promote more people to go out and get something they can't afford and leave it to the rest of us to pay.

    I still say there are only 2 ways to make ends meet these days. You need to either make $250,000 or more a year or do nothing at all and let the gov pay your way. Anywhere in the middle and your screwed.

  • alwaysCool Jul 1, 2008

    No one is helping me pay my bills, but I would love it for the Gov to take over my bills and help me out since his wife was able to take that expensive trip on my tax money. Maybe they should reimburse the money and each of the residents get a refund.

  • testing2005 Jul 1, 2008

    I agree with all the comments and I have one response that that:
    vote Republican, only Democrats try to tax the ..... out of everyone to give money to those who refuse to work, who want to live off of others and get paid for sitting and doing nothing.
    International trips - no problem, taxpayers will pay for it, I will just tell them, I will raise taxes on rich.

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