Friday, February 22, 2008



WASHINGTON — Prodded in part by some of the nation’s biggest banks, the Bush administration and Congress are considering costly new proposals for the government to rescue hundreds of thousands of homeowners whose mortgages are higher than the value of their houses.

Not since the Depression has a larger share of Americans owed more on their homes than they are worth. With the collapse of the housing boom, nearly 8.8 million homeowners, or 10.3 percent of the total, are underwater. That is more than double the percentage just a year ago, according to a new estimate of the damage by Moody’s

This isn't necessarily a problem for all of these people. Not everyone needs to sell their house. It will be difficult for people who lose their jobs to move to a new one. If broader economic troubles continue, and unemployment rises, this will add to the difficulties.