Survey Finds Resistance to Mortgage Bailout Plan

Washington-A survey conducted for Reecon Advisors, an independent real estate economics and information company, finds that a slight majority of people opposes using federal bailout funds to help pay the mortgages of homeowners who are in default.

According to the survey, 51% of respondents oppose using the bailout to help homeowners in trouble, while 43% support helping troubled homeowners.

David Lereah, a former chief economist at both the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors, is president of Reecon Advisors, which has started publishing an online, weekly newspaper about residential real estate (www.reeconadvisoryreport.com).

Mr. Lereah said in a news release that the findings indicate that there are "significant political barriers to proposals now being drafted in Congress to use some of the remaining $700 billion of bailout funds to help stem foreclosures by helping defaulted homeowners with their mortgages."

"As a new Federal foreclosure policy unfolds in the months to come, public opinion will certainly play a central role. It's clear that people have strong opinions. The outcome could shape the real estate markets for many years to come," Mr. Lereah said.

The survey also found that consumer confidence in real estate is significantly higher than the stock market, despite the depression in property values. By a margin of 53.7 percent to 30.8 percent, those surveyed think real estate is a better long-term investment than the stock market, considering the current economic situation.

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