Referring to the mortgage meltdown a “wake-up” call, North Carolina Governor Michael Easley, stated, “If Washington isn’t going to act, the states are going to act.”
North Carolina is one of nearly a dozen states that are starting to make legislative and regulatory changes to protect subprime borrowers, but economists and others say their actions come too late to benefit most homeowners who are at risk of losing their houses.
Maine, Minnesota and Ohio are among states that have tightened restrictions in the subprime market. Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania have rolled out mortgage programs intended to refinance loans by homeowners at risk using the proceeds of state bond issues and federal lending agencies.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that 550,000 subprime homeowners began a foreclosure process over the past year, and specialists say they believe that number could double over the next two years.