U.S.A. -"Mortgage companies are embracing it. The home builders who
overreached in the housing boom stand to gain billions in tax breaks.
And investors who snap up foreclosed homes will get a sweet tax credit. But consumer groups?...As the Senate unveiled its bipartisan housing bill on Wednesday
evening, it was clear that the path to passage meant ditching the
provisions that might help hundreds of thousands of homeowners...As a result, housing advocates are feeling steamrolled because a
bankruptcy provision aimed at helping homeowners in foreclosure was
removed from the bill. The compromise bill also slashed in half the
foreclosure prevention funds proposed in the original Democratic bill...'If you did a cost-benefit analysis, I think consumers might not fare
better than industry,' said Brenda Muniz, legislative director of
ACORN, the community housing agency. ' Regardless of the fact that the
[housing industry] got us into this problem, they still have a lot of
power. We’re disappointed, but I can't say we're surprised.'...Nonetheless, the bill is still shaping up to have a generous pile of
tax breaks and credits for Big Business — most notably home builders,
who will be able to write off in 2008 and 2009 major losses going back
four years...'It started off in a very good place for consumers, average Americans,'
said Andrew Jakabovics, a housing expert for the Center for American
Progress. 'But it turned into something that was targeted at a narrow
sector of the economy.…The net operating loss provision is basically
a handout to the building groups.'...
The so-called carry back provision was a big win for the National Association of Home Builders...The union characterizes the tax measure as a corporate handout for a
handful of big firms that helped cause the subprime crisis and that
made billions in profits off subprime-related projects. 'This bill will force American taxpayers who are already struggling
with foreclosure, job loss and shrinking retirement savings to pay
again for home builders' reckless and unethical behavior,' LIUNA
General President Terence M. O’Sullivan said."...