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Letter: Distorting the housing market

Published 11/25/2009, West Central Tribune

Despite bailouts the housing financial deck of cards is still teetering. Next year 48 percent of the outstanding home mortgages will have a negative loan value, whereby the amount owed will be more than the home’s value. Currently one of every 136 homes are foreclosed; this is distorted by a backlog of unrecorded foreclosures. Calling the recession over is laughable. Last April Congress and President Obama established the federal $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. The result was a scammer’s bonanza. Nineteen thousand filers who claimed the credit never bought homes. Another 74,000 filers ($500 million tab) were not first-time buyers. Five hundred people under 18 claimed the credit, including a 4-year-old (of $150,000 income unqualified parents). The year’s cost to taxpayers was over $5 billion; $43,000 for every house sold.

Word count: 349

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