Stopping the housing crash is central to fixing the economy, and halting foreclosures would be a big step towards that, according to Ken Rosen from Berkeley, who is notable as being one of the economists who was suitably gloomy last year in Davos. Foreclosures cost 50-60 percent of the value of the mortgage whereas you might be able to keep someone in their house for 30 percent, he said. A house with a modified loan isn’t sold on, which further depresses house prices and errodes bank capital.