“Foreclosures continue to mount. That seems to be one of the greatest challenges. You get foreclosures growing in a community. That pushes the values of new homes down. How do we slow those foreclosures?” Graves said.
Graves spoke Wednesday at the Carpet and Rug Institute’s annual meeting at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center. He noted that the health of Northwest Georgia’s floorcovering industry is tied to the health of the housing market.
Graves said he and U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., have proposed a bill that would allow people to withdraw from their 401(k) and individual retirement accounts to pay down the principal on their home mortgages without any penalties. Currently, those who withdraw funds early from such retirement plans usually face stiff tax penalties. Graves said the idea came from citizens and business leaders in the Northwest part of the state.