Homeowners got screwed by Wall Street – now they're getting screwed by their state governments. Earlier this year – homeowners won a $25 billion settlement against some of the nation's largest mortgage lenders.
That money was sent to the states, where it was supposed to be funneled down to struggling homeowners, to prevent more foreclosures. But a new report by the nonprofit organization Enterprise Community Partners – states are instead using that money to plug budget holes and fund pet projects. In fact – more than half of the money allocated to the states so far has not gone to homeowners. For example, in South Carolina, the state legislature has instead siphoned off that money to fund incentives for corporations to move to the state. And in Georgia, Republicans have directed nearly all of the $99 million in settlement money for homeowners to a vague economic development program. Homeowners desperately need help – and the housing crisis continues to weigh down our economic recovery. It's time for state governments to get their priorities straight.