Hit Hard By Home Foreclosures

At a Congressional hearing on the foreclosure crisis, a Cuyahoga County official said the situation is “worse than it’s ever been – far worse.”

Paul Bellamy, who oversees the Foreclosure Prevention Program for County Treasurer Jim Rokakis, says the problem is quiet because the banking industry has changed the rules. “The industry is not processing loans the way it used to,” Bellamy says. “It makes it look liked we’ve leveled off, and in fact, we haven’t.”

Chairing the hearing was Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who called Cleveland “the epicenter of home foreclosures in the United States.”

Kucinich said the government had not adequately addressed the crisis when it gave the nation’s major banks bailout money last fall. One proposal put on the table was to force banks that took bailout money to offer better terms to people facing foreclosure.

But Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from southern Ohio, said government is not the answer. “If big federal government spending, big federal government regulation was going to get us out of this economic downturn,” Jordan said, “we’d have been out of it a long time ago because that’s all the government has been doing.”