Congressman Paul Kanjorski is one of few people in Washington seriously trying to address the potentially catastrophic issues arising from the mortgage meltdown crisis. He understands all these issues and is doing what is possible to stem the bleeding. Their is no magic cure for the economic troubles however, or as he puts it, "there is no silver bullet."
He announced $230 million in funding for mortgage counseling services this year. A shocking 40% of homeowners facing foreclosure never even contact their lender. Many have no idea there are alternatives to foreclosure and ways to hold off what they feel is inevitable. Banks don't want your home, especially in this climate. Houses are sitting unsold, foreclosed homes are sitting empty, magnets for crime and looting and are bringing neighborhood property values down.
Contacting a counselor and discovering your options and opening negotiations with your lender to see what can be done are things a mortgage counselor can assist with along with educating delinquent homeowners about some of the intricacies of finance. 400,000 homes have already completed foreclosure and an estimated 2,000,000 more could cripple our economy. This has the potential to affect everyone, as Kanjorski said, "few people I know are islands unto themselves, the economy affects all of us."
This isn't the time to point fingers and lay blame on greedy lenders, mortgage brokers, homeowners looking to get rich flipping houses or crooked appraisers. There is plenty of blame to go around and the biggest blame sits in Washington where the belief in deregulation constantly lands us in these economic crises. Regulation of these industries would have prevented this crisis.
Rather our first priority must be to stave off economic disaster. That means, as Kanjorski says, invoking the Golden Rule: we must save as many homeowners as we can because we should. Also, those foreclosures will eventually affect every one of us if we fail. "This is going to be a difficult, frustrating process," the Congressman admitted.
The counselors will be free to homeowners seeking advice and they can get assistance by calling 1-888-995-4673. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency also has help at 1-=800-822-1174.