Push to halt foreclosures gains momentum - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Push to halt foreclosures gains momentum

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Several banks have voluntarily halted foreclosures in  two dozen states. There's now a push to go even further -- to impose a freeze in all 50 states on all foreclosures.

This debate has the president squaring off with some members of Congress.

To some, the foreclosure situation is like a runaway train. Now, a number of groups are saying it's time to put on the brakes, and some leaders in Congress are calling for a national halt on foreclosures.

"I think we need a combination of a freeze potentially and also we need to sit down with the banking industry because its absolutely imperative that we keep people in their homes," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, (D-FL).

A West Palm Beach real estate broker from our area agrees that it would be smart to freeze foreclosures across the country.

"I think it's a very good thing and I think the way the foreclosures were going through the system, that it was too fast, too much," said Deidre Newton, lic. real estate broker Community Real Estate Services, Inc.

The idea seems to be picking up steam, and now groups such as the NAACP, National Fair Housing Alliance and others also want a temporary halt on foreclosures, saying low-income and minority homeowners are seeing the highest rates of foreclosures.

But the president does not support the idea. "I'm not sure about a national moratorium because there are in fact valid foreclosures that probably should go forward," said David Axelrod, Obama senior advisor.

Some feel a freeze is necessary to stem the flow of illegal foreclosure filings and to make sure that banks and lenders can show they're following the law.

But what if you're one of those homeowners who's paying your mortgage on time and you're not in foreclosure. What would a freeze on foreclosures mean for you?

"It actually may stop the property values from plummeting further. Which may not be a bad thing because all of us that own property were concerned about our values going down and down and down," Newton said.

Some in the Obama Administration oppose a national freeze on foreclosures, because they fear it could slow down the economic recovery, and hurt the already weak housing market.

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