NEWS

Hare calls for moratorium on foreclosures

Matt Hutton

In response to the housing crisis, Congressman Phil Hare has called for a moratorium on home foreclosures.

During its upcoming session, Congress is expected to consider action on the subprime mortgage crisis.

For Hare, the housing problem is personal. When he was child, Hare’s father lost his home after becoming ill.

“Losing a home tears a family apart. I know what it does. We have to tackle this thing head on,” he said.

Hare said the government cannot bail everyone out, but it has to start by imposing a moratorium on foreclosures, he suggested maybe for 90 or 120 days.

“If we don’t, we’re looking at a hit to the economy that will absolutely make sure we are in recession,” he said. “It doesn’t do anyone any good at all to repo homes.”

Hare suggested a proposal that would allow consumers to keep their homes at a fixed-interest rate, close to what they were paying before the big increases in interest rates kicked in, which in some cases were as much as $1,000 increases per month.

While Hare did not let consumers off the hook entirely, he puts much of the blame for the problems on Relators who artificially increased home prices and steered people to loans they knew the buyer couldn’t afford.

“These are professionals who knew they weren’t going to make it. I think you have an obligation to go after these guys ... they’ve been there and done that and know what it means. People don’t, unfortunately, read all the paper work,” he said.

Hare said he knows firsthand how destructive losing a home can be. After his father lost his home, he became an alcoholic.

“My dad was never the same after that, and he never did anything wrong,” he said.

“Everything he worked for was gone. He never recovered from it. I can’t sit on the sidelines of it. These cases are heartbreaking.”

The Register-Mail