States Take Lead in Housing Crisis

States are in the forefront of policymaking to minimize damage from the mortgage meltdown. President George W. Bush on Thursday (Dec. 6, 2007) announced a groundbreaking agreement with major lenders to temporarily freeze sub-prime interest rates that are set to rise, but California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger got there first: He unveiled a similar deal last month.

"(Bush's plan) essentially captures the same spirit of what we announced in Fresno a couple of weeks ago," Preston DuFauchard, the commissioner of California's Department of Corporations, said in a conference call after the president's announcement. Both plans are limited to borrowers current on their monthly payments but who will have trouble paying higher rates that kick in next year.

California is not the only state to address the crisis.

  • In Michigan, the attorney general last week sent letters to 30,000 homeowners who are one to three months behind on their payments, inviting them to attend a forum Dec. 13 to meet with their lenders and discuss ways to avoid foreclosure.
  • Illinois has set up Homeowner Outreach Days, during which residents can meet with lenders and attend workshops about foreclosure prevention and scams. Three such events conducted so far have drawn about 200 people each, and several more events are scheduled.
  • Iowa is one of at least six states (along with Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts and New Jersey) that have set up foreclosure hotlines. These enable borrowers to reach counselors who can then talk to lenders for them about loan modifications.

Their efforts come as the already bad mortgage problem is about to get worse. This year 1.5 million homes will enter foreclosure, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Dec. 6, and more will do so next year.

Read the full report States Take Lead in Housing Crisis on's Web site.

National Homeownership Month


37 Researchers Working to Transform Biomedical Science

Quick View

Biomedical researchers are on the front lines of scientific innovation. From responding to global pandemics to pioneering lifesaving cancer treatments, these researchers push past scientific boundaries to solve pressing health challenges. For nearly 40 years, The Pew Charitable Trusts has supported more than 1,000 early-career biomedical scientists committed to this discovery.

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.