THE OBAMA PLAN: Can the administration save housing?
The first sign of a major plan from the Obama administration to help millions of underwater borrowers refinance out of their mortgage and avoid default appeared in the state with the fifth lowest foreclosure rate. "Over the medium term, housing activity will stabilize and begin to grow again, if for no other reason than that ongoing population growth and household formation will ultimately demand it. Good, proactive housing policies could help speed that process," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Aug. 26. A few weeks later, President Obama unveiled his new jobs bill and formally announced a plan was on its way to address the largest black hole in the middle of the economy: the roughly 11 million Americans who currently hold mortgages worth more than their home.