11 hours ago

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AFP) The US government would snap up 300 billion dollars of bad home loans, Republican John McCain vowed Tuesday unveiling a new plan to help struggling homeowners if he is elected president.

"People are no longer able to afford their mortgage payments," said McCain as he laid out what he billed as an original proposal for addressing the grassroots impact of the Wall Street credit crisis.

"As president of the United States, I would order the secretary of the treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America and renegotiate at the new value of those homes, at the diminished value of those homes," he said.

Doing so would enable struggling homeowners to meet their mortgage payments and stay in their homes, he told the second of three presidential debates with Democratic rival Barack Obama.

"Is it expensive? Yes," he said. "But we all know, my friends, that until we stabilize home values in America, we're never going to start turning around and creating jobs and fixing our economy.