60 Minutes Feature: Providing Context

Linda Ingram – a HUD-certified housing counselor in the St. Louis region – responds to the 60 Minutes feature below:

We first heard about the next wave of foreclosures when an attorney from the Center for Responsible Lending spoke to the [St. Louis Foreclosure Prevention] Task Force.  Alt-A mortgages include the option ARM where homeowners can choose the payment to make.  These are such dangerous loans because the homeowner does not even have to pay the full interest which results in negative amortization. Those buying or refinancing are now faced with skyrocketting adjustments. Loans made in 2004 and 2005 are going to reset in 2009.  Now, homeowners cannot count on increased equity to bail them out. George McCarthy, a housing economist at New Yorks, Ford Foundation likens the Option Arm to a “neutron bomb”.  He says “It’s going to kill all the people but leave the houses standing”.  As with other mortgage difficulties we would recommend that the homeowners call a HUD certified housing counseling agency that provides help at no cost to the homeowner

If you live in the St. Louis region and are having troubles making your mortgage payment (or foresee troubles in the future) do not hestiate to contact Linda Ingram. She works for an organization called Beyond Housing and can be contacted by e-mailing lingram@beyondhousing.org or by calling 314-533-0600.

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