Some of the money in the state’s mortgage settlement with big banks will be paid directly to the state to be used to avoid preventable foreclosures, but there's no legal requirement in Georgia law that it be spent for any particular purpose. Some lawmakers said they want to put the money in reserves.
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) wants to see the end of government-owned mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and he has filed a proposal to phase them out over 10 years. Isakson’s bill would replace Fannie and Freddie with a single Mortgage Finance Agency to guarantee residential mortgages. After 10 years, that agency would become a private entity.
Half of metro Atlanta homeowners are upside-down in their mortgages, according to fourth-quarter data from Zillow.com, but the rest of the state is in better shape. Nearly 22 percent of mortgage-holders are underwater in the Augusta metro area, and experts say rural areas probably have fewer than that.