Arizona Candidates Should Be Ashamed For Ignoring Foreclosure Crisis

Compared to Nevada, Arizona has done next to nothing to help struggling homeowners.  In fact, it seems that judges and legislators bend over backwards to poke homeowners in the eye.  Remember this come election day.  From the Phoenix Bus. Journal:

Arizona and Nevada have been navigating the same economic storms, namely depressed housing values, continued foreclosures and tough job markets.

But the political climates in the two Southwestern states when it comes to housing and mortgage lenders couldn’t be more different.

The housing issue and help for underwater and struggling mortgage borrowers doesn’t register politically in Arizona.

The housing market has not come up in the U.S. Senate race between Richard Carmona and Jeff Flake, nor any of the state’s three competitive congressional contests.

The issue has not been a priority at the Republican-controlled Arizona Capitol other than the GOP’s controversial budget raid of $50 million that was part of a mortgage settlement between big banks and various states.

Arizona’s congressional members have not been at the forefront in sponsoring foreclosure-related legislation or talking about the issue on the campaign trail.

Arizona and Nevada have some of the highest foreclosure, short sale and underwater mortgage rates in the country. But in Nevada, the political attention given to the housing crisis is very different.

Both candidates for a Las Vegas-area congressional seat say they support some help for struggling homeowners.

U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., and Democratic challenger John Oceguera both want to see some action on the issue. That includes a federal bill that allows foreclosed homeowners to qualify for new mortgages if their payments are the same as what they afford in paying rent.

In contrast, the Senate race between Flake and Carmona has focused on the former’s support for uranium mining in the northern part of state and the latter’s temper and ties to President Barack Obama.

The housing issue has also not come up at all in the tight presidential race despite the political unpopularity of big lenders such as Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase & Co.

However, Mitt Romney’s remarks last year in Las Vegas that foreclosures should run their course could still be sitting in some Nevada voters’ minds.

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