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ING Direct, the discount stock broker best known for its bright orange logo and branches that look like sandwich shops, is releasing a survey on people’s attitudes toward home ownership and mortgages on July 7.
Thankfully, two thirds of the 2,100 people surveyed still believe that home ownership represents the American Dream. Asked what could have prevented this housing meltdown and 42% said requirements for bigger downpayments would have reduced the number of foreclosures. More than 40% also said they may refinance their mortgage this year.
ING is promoting one of its products called the Easy Orange mortgage. The idea is that you can make payments every two weeks instead of once a month and pay off you mortgage faster. Of course you can usually pay more toward your mortgage without incurring fees, but for most people in the past decade paying off a loan early was a radical concept.
I can still remember my Dad’s glee when he tossed the burning receipt from his very last mortgage payment in the fireplace. Hopefully more people will take that approach in the future and get out of debt instead of under it. That way the American Dream doesn’t become a national nightmare.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.