Local Governments Bailing Out Trouble Loans

William Yardley writes about local governments lending money to save people from foreclosure.

Many wonder the government is bailing out the middle class?

Why should tax payers subsidize the well off who make bad loan decisions?

Seattle, which has nowhere near the kind of foreclosure problem other cities have, began a modest program last month offering loans of up to $5,000 to help a few dozen homeowners avoid losing their homes.

Not only are people in Seattle relatively prosperous, but they have a reputation for being nice, too. Yet no sooner had Mayor Greg Nickels announced the program than opposition surfaced.

“Just can’t agree with using taxpayer dollars to bail out private homeowners, no matter how the mayor tries to justify it,” read a complaint posted on the “Soundoff” section of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Web site.

Mark Ellerbrook, who manages Seattle’s homeownership program, said that, aside from residents hoping to apply, few people were enthusiastic about the program. He said he understood that reaction, given the local housing market.

“People struggle to buy homes in this city, for sure,” Mr. Ellerbrook said. “And then you have what looks, on the face of it, like the city giving money to people who made bad decisions.”

About Luke Ford

Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist at Avondale College in Australia, Luke Ford moved to California in 1977. He graduated from Placer High School in 1984, reported the news at KAHI/KHYL radio for three years, attended Sierra College and UCLA, was largely bedridden by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for six years, and converted to Judaism in 1993. From 1997-2007, Luke made his living from blogging. Living by Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com), he now teaches the Alexander Technique (moving the way the body likes to move). Lessons cost $100 each and last about 45 minutes. In 2011, Luke completed a three-year teaching course at the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles. His personal Alexander Technique website is Alexander90210.com. Luke is the author of five books, including: » The Producers: Profiles in Frustration » Yesterday’s News Tomorrow: Inside American Jewish Journalism
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