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Published: Thursday, 12/18/2008

Finkbeiner makes plea for homeowner relief

Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner has called upon U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and congressional leaders to help city homeowners hit hard by foreclosures.

Mayor Finkbeiner sent letters this week to Mr. Paulson; Steve Preston, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Republican U.S. Sen. George Voinovich and Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, both of Ohio, and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, (D., Toledo), calling on the Bush Administration to provide additional assistance for struggling Toledo families.

The mayor has requested $4.75 million in rescue funds for successful local housing counseling agencies to assist city homeowners in keeping their homes, and $630,000 for successful local housing counseling agencies to negotiate loan modifications with lenders and package rescue loans.

Mr. Finkbeiner also asked for a national 120-day moratorium on foreclosures and mandatory negotiations between lenders and homeowners, with criminal penalties for failure to do so. He also seeks a systematic loan modification program that reduces the first lien mortgage payments to as low as 31 percent of monthly income, based on interest rate reductions, extension of term, and principal forbearance.

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