Several local realtors said the mortgage agreement announced Thursday could have an area impact.

The problem of homeowners being "underwater," when the house is worth less than is owed the bank, is not a big one in this area, Prudential Fox Property in Oneonta co-owner Barbara Roberts said.

The biggest local impact would come from people in other areas who can sell their homes because of the provisions in the agreement, she said.

That will allow more people to move into the area.

The area has largely been spared the problem because few local banks engaged in subprime lending. The number of foreclosures was about 100 in Otesgo County from 2008 through Aug. 2011. There were about 80 in Delaware County during that time, she said. The high number of second homes kept that total down. People in that position generally have the financial strength to support a second home, she said.

Kattie Flanagin is the manager of the Realty USA office in Sidney. She hadn't read the details of the agreement, but the plan could be helpful to local homeowners. She didn't have statistics on how many people were affected, but her agents have had cases where the homeowner is underwater.

"Something needs to be done to help people in that situation," she said. There have been instances where a homeowner was working with a bank for five to six months on the problem with no answer, "That shouldn't be the case," she said.

"I think it's a good thing," Benson Agency Real Estate co-owner Betsy Shultis said. There are agents working with sellers in that situation. She did not have statistics on how many. But she is in favor of the agreement that helps people stay in their houses, she said.

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