Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Loans 'Creating Blight' In Some Communities

The New York Times has this report on foreclosures. "The housing boom of the last decade helped push minority home ownership rates above 50 percent for the first time in 2004 and the overall foreclosure rate below 1 percent. Social scientists laud these accomplishments because ownership can foster greater neighborhood stability and economic progress."

"But hidden behind such success stories lies a disturbing trend: in the last several years, neighborhoods with large poor and minority populations in places like Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta have experienced a sharp rise in foreclosures, in some cases more than a doubling."

"The increase in foreclosures could be the first of a wave of financial distress for many minority homeowners, experts say, because they are twice as likely as whites to have taken out expensive subprime mortgages, most of which will jump to higher interest rates in the next two year."

"Advocates for the poor say that aggressive lenders and mortgage brokers have given loans to borrowers who are lured by dreams of home ownership but have few savings and little job security. Many families might be better off, and receive less expensive loans, if they saved for a down payment and paid down other debts before buying a home, said Kathleen E. Keest, a senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending."

"The Mortgage Bankers Association said lenders used a number of factors like credit scores and the size of down payments, in addition to income, to determine what kind of loan and interest rates are offered to borrowers. Douglas G. Duncan, the chief economist at the trade group added some increase in total foreclosures is to be expected simply because the number of mortgages has increased substantially over the last decade."


At 3:38 AM, Blogger wmbz said...

The idea that anyone can "own" a home is obsurd and always has been. The American dream should be "get out of debt". In 1928 roughly 10% of Americans owned homes. My grandparents did not own a home until they retired.
We will come full circle again, in time!


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