With 8,000 foreclosures daily and looming elections, Congress is close to approving the most sweeping changes to mortgage financing since the New Deal, reports the New York Times. The pricey aid bill aimed at helping hundreds of thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure has bipartisan support, despite the threat of a presidential veto.
The House has already passed its version of the Senate bill, which proposes refinancing options with federal guarantees, buyers tax credits, counseling and $4 billion for purchasing and rehabbing vacant properties. Critics say it adds up to a handout for irresponsible borrowers on the taxpayers’ dime. Others argue the biggest threat to the voluntary program may be that it’s so murky that lenders won’t bother using it.