Matt Battiata doesn't give up easily.
In January 2009, the CEO and lead listing agent for the Battiata Real Estate Group traveled to Washington, D.C., on a mission. Meeting with representatives from both houses of Congress, Battiata lobbied for his plan to stem the tide of foreclosures, a plan he still regards as "maddeningly simple." The proposal, which he says doesn't cost the government a nickel: compel banks, which were getting a $700 billion government bailout, to reduce fixed interest rates for buyers and homeowners to 3 percent, and allow upside-down homeowners (those who owe more than the current value of their properties) to refinance.
It didn't happen.
"The problem with all the government programs they've come up with," Battiata said from his Del Mar office overlooking I-5, "is they were all voluntary on the part of the banks to participate. The government didn't put any teeth in them."
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