Tuesday, July 14, 2009
President Barack Obama is mulling new ways to delay foreclosure for jobless homeowners who are unable to keep up with monthly payments, an administration official said on Monday.This is on top of free college, subsidized health care, extended benefits by time and dollars. And if your house is more underwater than before, they've got a program for that too.
The official told Reuters it was reasonable for policymakers to consider options for loan forbearance -- allowing borrowers to delay, defer or skip payments -- that are more effective than those currently available in the private sector.
The number of failing home loans has been climbing for three years as risky borrowers have defaulted on their easy-to-get loans, property values have sunk and the unemployment rate has climbed.
But the official said the idea, which is still evolving, was difficult from a policy perspective and carries potential hazards. It could help more people struggling with economic difficulty, but it also could create perverse incentives that distort the housing market, said the official, who did not want to speak on the record about internal administration debates.
The official said such a program would be in keeping with other measures to help workers who have lost jobs in the current recession.
Look, it could be worse. You could try buying temp jobs in New Hampshire.
H/T: Casey Mulligan.