Mad Money

On the Line: Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell

In the nationwide mortgage morass, there is at least one bright spot; one instance of a state doing things right: Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania's Foreclosure Plan

The Keystone State, under the leadership of Gov. Ed Rendell, has actually seen a year-over-year decline in foreclosure activity thanks, in most part, to Rendell’s proactive housing initiatives.

Speaking on Monday’s Mad Money, Rendell explained that the state took early action in 2003 to stem the tide of foreclosures by adding additional staff to the banking department whose sole task was to oversee lending practices within the state. In addition, Rendell said, Pennsylvania employed various housing counseling agencies and gave every potential homeowner four free hours of counseling. Rendell said educating the people of Pennsylvania about the best ways to finance their home had a “definitive effect” on the state’s diminished foreclosure rate.

But Rendell also led two statewide programs that have been at the forefront of helping homeowners avoid foreclosures: REAL (Refinance to an Affordable Loan) and HERO (Homeowners Equity Recovery Opportunity Loan Program).

These programs work, Cramer said, as evidenced by the state’s lower foreclosure rates, so why can’t they be adopted on a national level?

Cramer believes the Federal Housing Authority should follow Rendell and his progressive initiatives for handling this housing crisis. Unfortunately, a little thing called politics has gotten in the way.

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