Banks to benefit most from White House program to help fight foreclosures

Vicki Needham
Banks will get the biggest benefit from an Obama administration housing program designed to help unemployed homeowners escape foreclosure.

Housing experts expressed concern that banks, not homeowners, will be helped by the White House’s $3 billion funding infusion — $2 billion from the Treasury Department and another $1 billion from the Housing and Urban Development Department — going to those states hit hardest by the housing market crash and unemployment.

“Giving money to the banks isn’t what the government should be doing right now,” said Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

“I’m not a big fan; it’s ill-conceived,” he said.

The basic principle is to help struggling homeowners but with so many people underwater on their mortgages the new funding is unlikely to do much good, Baker said.

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