LI taxpayers concerned with fairness of mortgage plan

Many Long Island residents are calling President Barack Obama?s new foreclosure prevention unfair because it has those who paid their mortgages on time bailing out those who didn?t. However, economists are quick to add that stopping foreclosures is in all Americans? interest.
The $75 billion plan loosens refinancing restrictions for many borrowers and provides incentives for lenders in hopes that the two sides will work together to modify loans. But no one is required to participate.
?Everybody has problems,? June Lyman, of Huntington, says. ?And it just seems a certain few are getting bailouts.?
Sal Mirando, of Plainview, agrees. He says he works two jobs and pays his taxes and mortgage on time. Mirando says many of those facing foreclosure created their own problems.
?They got into these high mortgages and created a lot of debt for themselves. They saw equity in their homes going up and started spending their equity,? Mirando says.
Long Island Association economist Pearl Kamer says while taxpayer frustration over the mortgage mess is understandable, preventing more foreclosures is vital.
?When you have boarded up homes, you have vandalism, you have more crime,? Kamer says. ?When you have more foreclosures, you're putting downward pressure on home prices for everyone.?
Dowling College economist Marty Cantor adds that these are extraordinary economic circumstances that call for government help.