Will Bailout Funds Help Oklahoma Homeowners?

Saturday, February 21st 2009, 11:02 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- President Obama is pledging $75 billion that's left over from the federal financial bailout to help struggling homeowners. But what the funds will do for Oklahoma homeowners is still up in the air.

"It's going to drop the payments for a lot of people who had declines in income overtime," Oklahoma Christian University finance professor Jody Jones said. "I think it's a band aid patch. I think inevitably that if you're in a home that you can't afford, there's no way you can afford it."

Finance professor Jones said the plan could also help homeowners get back to interest rate to a level where they can afford their payment and incentives for banks that help with borrower's loans.

"This isn't a surprise party, there's a process you go through, it's not that you go to court and then boom, your home is foreclosed," said Ann Marie with the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Foreclosure Department.

Ann Marie deals with foreclosed home auctions with the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department and every week, she's seeing hundreds of homes going up for bid.

Marie believes with the President's housing plan, things will get worse before they get better.

"It's going to take a little while because there were so many millions of people involved with so many homeowners. And with the banks having so much trouble with the mortgage company, it's just who knows. You're just going to have to take it one day at a time," Ann Marie said.

Jones said without the specifics, it's hard to tell if the bill will really help Oklahoma homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure.

"Even if we drop the mortgage payments, we haven't dropped the taxes, we haven't dropped insurance, haven't dropped upkeep. If it provides for a way to get caught up, you need to get caught up and get into a house that you can actually afford," said Jones.

The President will announce more specifics about the program March 4. To see if you're eligible for help, just contact your bank or mortgage company.