While Congress debates the latest economic stimulus package, you might be wondering how assisting distressed homeowners helps you and your community. While homeowners facing foreclosure will see the most direct benefit from a bailout, each of us has a stake in the housing market.
Foreclosures drive down the value of surrounding homes. Foreclosures beget foreclosures and as more families lose their homes and move away, the entire neighborhood becomes destabilized. Foreclosed and vacant homes can also attract vandals, vagrants, and vermin.
Lower property values mean less money for community and education projects at the state, county, and city levels.
In addition, the more homeowners who fall behind or default in payments, the tighter lending standards become, which means it's tougher for all of us to borrow money for cars, college, small business needs, etc.