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While Our Heads Are in the AIG Sand … « The Washington Independent

Jul 31, 2020
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Housing advocates are reminding usthat the foreclosure crisis at the root of the economic collapse is also a long ways from ending. And the numbers are startling.
Without government help, 2.4 million homeowners will lose their homes to foreclosure this year, according to the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), an advocacy group.
Every 13 seconds another family receives notice a lender’s foreclosing on their home. That means 6,600 additional foreclosures start every day at a time foreclosure rates already are four times normal levels. A week ago, the number of families forced into foreclosure since January 1 surpassed 500,000.
The Federal Reserve reported earlier this monththat home values nationwide fell $870 billion in the last quarter of 2008 alone. Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research, has estimatedthat home wealth has tanked more than $6 trillion since the housing crisis began. CRL projects that 73 million families will each lose $6,000 in home value in 2009 just for living in the proximity of foreclosed homes.
Meanwhile, housing legislation that would cut into these numbers remains stalled in the Senate over a provision, unpopular among the banks, that would allow bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of primary mortgages to help homeowners keep their homes. Credit Suisse has estimatedthat the bankruptcy provision alone would prevent 20 percent of all foreclosures — keeping more than 1.6 million families in their homes between now and 2013.
Claiming time restraints, Senate leaders don’t plan to take up the housing bill until after their two-week-long Easter recess, which doesn’t end until April 20. Yet Congress had plenty of time to fritter the last week grappling with efforts to clawback $165 million in bonuses to AIG — hardly a tiny sum, but it’s a rounding error relative to the cumulative wealth being lost by the country’s homeowners while the housing bill idles.
“Continued delay by Congress costs us all,” CRL warned in a statement issued today. “The sooner the Senate acts to get such legislation to the President’s desk the better for all of us.”
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Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

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Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
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