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MARYLAND

Where's the Help for Me?

I am a single mom, the sole source of income for my family, and I own a home in a nice neighborhood in Montgomery County. I moved to Chevy Chase so that I could send my son to the public schools there. It was the right decision; he is happy, safe and learning.

But this month I was laid off from my well-paying job. (I am a construction manager, a doomed career in the current economy.) The Obama stimulus and bailout plans are a great step, but they leave out people like me. I have been a homeowner for 23 years, and I am in my third home. If I don't get a job within nine months, I will not be able to pay my mortgage. Why not have the mortgage payments of the unemployed reduced to 31 percent of their current income and tack on the unpaid monthly amount to the end of the loan? This would keep responsible people, who are in their current financial situation because of layoffs in this economy, in their homes.

This is a reasonable solution and could keep many people off the street. Think about it: If we are unable to refinance due to unemployment, who is going to rent us a home? No one.

Some people say Washington is immune to economic downturns. I beg to differ. And I fear that now that I am unemployed, our world is about to fall apart.

-- Shawn Goldstein, Chevy Chase


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