Friday, October 3, 2008
Trying to take the offensive in an economic crisis, Gov. Charlie Crist signed an executive order Thursday freeing $571 million in state-backed financing that real estate developers and reluctant buyers can tap to build and buy new homes.
House lawmakers are scheduled to vote today on the $700 billion financial industry rescue package, amid intense lobbying from President Bush and industry groups who say it is crucial for stabilizing the U.S. economy. But, even if passed, the bill will probably do little to help the hundreds of thousands of homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure.
A planned increase in a fee that Fannie Mae introduced last year has been cancelled, saving new homebuyers about $500 on the cost of a $200,000 home. The fee will stay at 0.25 percent, instead of rising to 0.5 percent on Nov. 1.
Rates on 30-year mortgages have risen for a second straight week, climbing to the highest level in a month - 6.10 percent.
The talking heads on cable news say that credit has all but dried up, and businesses can't get financing for operations or expansion. But some local bankers insist they have money to loan. In many cases, the Wall Street hysteria does not filter down to the smaller finance businesses.
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