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News Now

CU System
Vermont CEO Subprime rate freeze a good start
BURLINGTON, Vt. (12/17/07)--A Vermont community development credit union (CDCU) CEO gives the Bush administration's plan to freeze interest rates for certain subprime mortgages good marks for facing the problem but adds the plan would help only a limited number of people. Caryl Stewart, CEO of the Burlington-based Opportunities CU, told the Burlington Free Press the program is "a good start." The administration's plan would freeze rates for certain subprime mortgage holders for five years. The program is an interesting concept that shows the government is attempting to face up to the mortgage crisis, Stewart said, adding that the White House knew it had to do something about the market. Stewart had this advice for the government: Develop regulations to guide the mortgage industry so the free market doesn't go wild. About 2,400 of the 62,000 mortgages in Vermont--or 3.9%--are subprime, adjustable-rate mortgages. Foreclosures in the state increased 25.9% through September from the same period a year ago. However, Vermont has the lowest percentage of homes in foreclosure in the nation, said a report by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.
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