The Republicans are no longer avoiding the foreclosure crisis but it is now the focal point as the competition hones in on Florida. Mitt Romney has moderated his tone from the strident attitude he had displayed in Las Vegas. Speaking at Tampa Bay he said, “The idea that somehow this is going to cure itself all by itself is unreal … There’s going to have to be a much more concerted effort to work with the lending institutions and help them to take action”.
Last October during an interview Romney had said, “Don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom”.
His rival in the Republican camp New Gingrich has come down on the banks for netting profits by foreclosing on hapless house owners. Gingrich wants repeal of laws introduced by the Dodd-Frank. These were barriers to the granting of loans by small banks. Rules should be changed, he felt, to encourage banks to agree to greater number of short sales of underwater units where the value of the house was less than the loan due amount.
There is plenty of anger against President Obama. Many are of the opinion that he has not done much to address the crisis.
In some parts of Florida and Homestead the anger against Obama and his party is visible. The owner of a business unit, Castellano Triana held up a sign that he had painted himself reading, “Vote Republican” displaying it at a busy intersection of Carol City. The region had been decimated by the housing crisis. Tirana is a tenant nursing dreams of house ownership. He is one of the many undecided voters but considering the current mood he would probably vote for Romney. He said, “I’m going to stand here every weekend until Obama is gone. My sign was going to be more nasty, but my family said ‘somebody’s going to shoot you’. I can’t explain the housing crisis, but I know that if the economy was better, everything would be better”.
Patricia Newlan resides in condo development in Homestead where out of 87 units, 10 are in foreclosure; this has resulted in others paying more for maintenance. She is not sure of what Romney plans to do specifically but she is leaning towards him because he has the record of being a “smart businessman”.
Photo by meddygarnet