Thursday, February 12, 2009


Treasury Secretary Geithner’s plan to “leverage and mobilize private capital” along with government funds to help take $500 billion worth of distressed assets off the balance sheets of the nation’s troubled banks did little to encourage the markets. The specifics of the Administration’s proposal have yet to be revealed, but, according to Christopher Viale, President of Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp., the plan reveals Geithner’s likely thinking about how his department intends to help the millions of homeowners facing foreclosure.

For Viale, whose “Home Sweet Home” initiative is designed to stave off the next wave of mortgage foreclosures and keep as many people in their homes as possible, Geithner’s approach will also, he hopes, be a public-private solution. “The problem is too big for government alone,” said Viale. “But until we see the specifics from Treasury on exactly how mortgage relief will work, I’m concerned that their approach might not go far enough. America needs a relief plan that provides options to homeowners beyond the group that is already in default. There are millions more Americans who are barely making their monthly payments.”

Viale should know. Cambridge Credit Counseling is a professional debt counseling organization that helps educate Americans on the importance of sound financial management. Cambridge, which has counseled well over 1.5 million consumers, is on the front lines of the country’s economic meltdown. Viale’s “Home Sweet Home” initiative hinges on a “50/40” concept: rewriting mortgages out to terms as long as 50 years and reducing the monthly payment by as much as 40%. The result would enable consumers in financial difficulty to meet their financial obligations – mortgage payments, credit cards, medical costs, establish personal savings and remain productive in the economy.
"Preventing foreclosures and helping consumers pay their bills doesn’t just stabilize the economy, it’s a form of stimulus in itself,” said Viale.

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