Sub­prime de­vel­op­ment

The Covington News - - News -

Wash­ing­ton will save the banks from the sub­prime mort­gage cri­sis. But who will save the cit­i­zens of New­ton County from the con­se­quences of sub­prime de­vel­op­ment? The sort of de­vel­op­ment that has lead to ex­tra sec­tions of this pa­per to ad­ver­tise fore­clo­sures. Lo­cal land own­ers, de­vel­op­ers, lawyers, and banks made money while the sub­prime ponzi scheme con­tin­ued. As did some buy­ers who “turned” the houses for higher prices, while the mar­ket was­boom­ing. But, now the day of reck­on­ing is at hand. The good cit­i­zens of New­ton County are fac­ing va­cant/rental hous­ing that drives down their real es­tate val­ues and hous­ing pat­terns that are go­ing to over­load our schools and other pub­lic ser­vices. Poorly or un­qual­i­fied pur­chasers were en­cour­aged to bor­row money to buy homes and the down pay­ments and even clos­ing costs. They had no stake in the homes they were pur­chas­ing nor the abil­ity to re­pay the loans. Th­ese trans­ac­tions only ben­e­fited the land own­ers, de­vel­op­ers, lawyers, banks and the oc­ca­sional house flip­per. We can pre­vent this sort of lo­cal greed from harm­ing us in the fu­ture. We can vote with our feet for the bet­ter lo­cal bank­ing cit­i­zens in New­ton County. Does your lo­cal bank re­quire 10 per­cent cash down pay­ments on home pur­chases? If not, you should get an­other bank. And they should not al­low sec­ond mortgages for down pay­ments and clos­ing fees. Banks to shun here in New­ton County in­clude Com­mu­nity Bank, First Ge­or­gia Com­mu­nity Bank and McIn­tosh Com­mer­cial Bank. We don’t need that style of bank­ing in New­ton County. (See Rachel Oswald’s re­port on lo­cal banks ( http:// www. cov­news. com/news/ar­ti­cle/3876/). The City of Cov­ing­ton, New­ton County and lo­cal busi­nesses should join the cit­i­zens of New­ton County in pa­tron­iz­ing only lo­cal banks that honor a 10 per­cent cash down pay­ment rule for home loans. Lo­cal greed is a lo­cal prob­lem that we can solve without leg­is­la­tion or reg­u­la­tion.

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