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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mortgage rescue plan will save your house but will cost you equity

I am surprised at the negative tone of Michelle Singletary's article on the new HOPE plan to save homeowners (Mortgage rescue plan will save your house but will cost you equity, Boston Globe, Business Section, October 19, 2008: G6).

She is correct that the homeowner will suffer some long term cost in having to share equity appreciation with the government. However the upside benefits to the homeowners and to society are enormous.

The homeowners get to keep their homes. They will have an affordable place to live for the foreseeable future. The will have the opportunity to build up some equity in their homes, a privilege that renters do not have. They will continue to be able to take mortgage interest payments from the income taxes that they owe, another privilege that owners do not have.

The continuation of residence in the same neighborhood will ensure that the neighborhood reduces the possibility of foreclosure blight that is beginning to afflict some streets in our towns and cities. For local and state governments, property taxes will continue to be paid on time. For those homeowners with children, their education will not be disrupted by a move to a new school catchment area.

All in all, I believe that the benefits of HOPE outweigh its disadvantages.

Sent to the Boston Globe

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