November 22, 2008

Britain set for drastic economy moves

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is about to implement drastic moves aimed at stemming the soaring number of home foreclosures, sources say.

Brown and Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling on Monday are expected to announce a series of unprecedented steps to give help to struggling homeowners hit hard by the deepening recession and financial crisis, The Times of London reported Saturday, citing unnamed government sources.

It said Brown and Darling will institute rules allowing homeowners facing foreclosure a three-month grace period before lenders can initiate foreclosures; will move to expand a scheme to allow strapped homeowners to sell parts of their homes to local governments; and expand an earlier effort to help laid-off workers make mortgage interest payments, the newspaper said.

A full-scale nationalization of Britain's banks is also not being ruled out, The Times said. Darling is set to force the partially nationalized Northern Rock Bank to curb its aggressive foreclosure practices, and the government is telling courts to consider alternatives before issuing foreclosure orders, sources said.