Most Americans say feds should act on foreclosures

Thursday: A new report showing a spike in the number of initial default notices banks sent to homeowners is seen as a healthy sign for the housing market; Also, following the death of Osama bin Laden, CIA drone strikes are severely weakening the power of al-Qaeda; And, the incredible story of 23-year-old Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, who was awarded the Medal of Honor.

A majority of Americans say the federal government should act to prevent home foreclosures, but a sharp partisan divide exists between Democrats and Republicans on the issue, according to a new Gallup poll.

Overall, 58 percent of Americans say the government should help prevent foreclosures, while 34 percent say they think the housing market should resolve its problems on its own.

However, political affiliation and personal income come into play when breaking down the results, Gallup found.

"A sharp partisan divide exists, with 76 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of independents favoring government action and 64 percent of Republicans opposing it," writes Dennis Jacobe, Gallup's chief economist.

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Furthermore, survey respondents who make at least $90,000 a year are less likely to favor government intervention in the foreclosure process. Americans who have graduated from college are also less likely to want the government to take action in the foreclosure crisis.

"Still, half or more of both groups are in favor of government intervention," Jacobe says. See the results, courtesy of Gallup, below:


President Obama said in his State of the Union address that he is sending Congress a plan that "gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage," Jacobe notes.

"Regardless, with the majority of Republicans opposing any government action and preferring that the housing market fix itself, it seems unlikely that new housing market legislation is going to pass the Republican-controlled House this year," says Jacobe.

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    Dan Burrows, a veteran of Aol's DailyFinance, SmartMoney and MarketWatch from Dow Jones, covers the markets and economy with an eye toward investing for the long haul.