Vintage Article: Mortgage Relief

Below is an article from The Pittsburgh Press, printed on April 5th, 1933.

The Roosevelt administration has gone to the root of the problem in recommending debt relief for distressed farmers overburdened with high-interest mortgages on land bearing inflated values.The new bill might well be added as an amendment to the farm price relief measure and both passed together. And then when Mr. Roosevelt, as he has promised, acts to help the small home owner of the city, and asks Congress to permit negotiation of reciprocal tariff agreements to improve our world trade, the nation will be on a firmer basis.Generally, as Mr. Roosevelt said, his plan provides a means by which “through existing agencies of the government, the farm owners of the nation will be enabled to refinance themselves on reasonable terms, lighten their harassing burdens and give them a fair opportunity to return to sound conditions.”The bill proposes, at the outset, the issuance of two billion 4 per cent bonds, the interest guaranteed by the government. These bonds may be used to purchase outstanding mortgages, or to make new loans. The distressed farmer will be assured of an immediate decrease in interest payments to 4 percent, he may arrange amortization of his loan over a longer period of years, and if his distress is extremely acute, he may secure a reasonable moratorium.The possibility also exists to scale down the values of land on which mortgages were given when those values were unduly inflated; but it is not likely that this scaling down will apply to mortgages made in very recent years, for during that period land values have already been reduced.

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photo courtesy of Halle Stoutzenberger

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