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Bush to announce initiatives to help overstretched US homeowners cope with housing slump

Bush to announce initiatives to help overstretched US homeowners cope with housing slump

President George W. Bush on Friday intends to discuss ways to help the hundreds of thousands of American borrowers hard hit by the housing slump and credit crunch that are rocking financial markets.
In a White House event, Bush will talk about several initiatives and reforms to help homeowners with risky mortgages keep their homes, a senior administration official said Thursday night. Bush also will discuss reform efforts to prevent these kinds of problems from arising in the future.
Foreclosure and late payments have spiked especially for so-called subprime borrowers with blemished credit histories or low incomes. Higher interest rates and weak home values have made it impossible for some to pay or to keep up with their monthly mortgage payments. Some overstretched homeowners cannot afford to refinance or even sell their home.
Mortgage foreclosures and late payments are expected to worsen. Some 2 million adjustable rate mortgages are to reset to higher rates this year and next. Steep penalties for prepaying mortgages have added to some homeowners' headaches.
The official said Bush will direct Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson to work on an initiative to help troubled mortgage holders get services and products they need to keep them from defaulting on their loans. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the initiatives ahead of the presidential event.
The economy enjoyed a strong revival in the spring although growing troubles in housing and credit markets have darkened prospects considerably since then. The Commerce Department reported on Thursday that the gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 4 percent in the second quarter _ the strongest showing in more than a year.
But that growth could be the best showing for some time as the economy continues to be battered by the worst housing slump in 16 years and a widening credit crisis that has sent financial markets on a roller-coaster ride in recent weeks.


Updated : 2021-05-17 13:12 GMT+08:00