By MICHELLE R. SMITH
Associated Press Writer
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank is floating a proposal to use the interest the government collects from the federal financial bailout fund to give loans to unemployed homeowners struggling to pay the mortgage.
The House Financial Services Committee chairman said Monday at appearances in Fall River and New Bedford that the plan would enable people who’ve lost their jobs to continue making mortgage payments until they get another job.
The lack of help for jobless homeowners has been identified as a weakness in the Obama administration’s plan to tackle the mortgage crisis. A recent report by a congressional oversight panel said the $50 billion program “was not designed to address foreclosures caused by unemployment,” now the main cause of default.
A Treasury Department spokeswoman declined to comment Monday.