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Scott Jagow: The Fed has now cut its interest rate a point and a quarter within about a week. That should get the economy’s juices flowing. But will it help people on the verge of losing their homes? Doubtful. More now from Jeff Tyler.
Jeff Tyler: Right now, around the country, more than 800,000 properties are in some stage of foreclosure. The Fed’s move won’t save them.
Rick Sharga: The rate cut will probably help market psychology more than it will help anything else. It will probably have a very marginal effect on real foreclosure activity.
That’s Rick Sharga with Realty Trac, which follows national foreclosure activity — 2007 set records. And Sharga expects that foreclosures will remain steady for the first part of this year.
Sharga: We’re probably going to be looking at between a half a million and three-quarters of a million properties being repossessed by the banks over the course of 2008.
If you’re in jeopardy of losing your home, reach out to your lender. Sharga says most banks don’t want to take your property — they don’t want to be in the real estate business. So they’ll often negotiate a refinance package, figuring that less is better than none.
In Los Angeles, I’m Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.