Play It Again, SAM

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Taking Home Ownership Out of the Box

Of course there is no "one SAM fits all." That said, we need both government and the financial services industry to start coming up with ways to implement DistresSAMs right now. It may not be easy. The IRS will have to cooperate, financial institutions will need to take steps to create liquidity for these instruments in the secondary market, and underwriting and valuation criteria will have to be accurately developed. I do believe however that all of these things can be done quickly — quickly enough to have a real impact on the current foreclosure crisis before it gets even more out of hand, assuming it hasn't already.

Some far less tangible things may also have to happen — Americans will need to conceptualize homeownership in a different way than they did before; financiers and government may have to conceptualize the notion of a mortgage very differently than they have for decades.

I also believe that a non-distress SAM might just become a most-requested tune pretty soon, to replace the cacophony of the current situation. But that's another topic for another day. For now, we must focus on minimizing the misery wrought by the scary din of foreclosure.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Adam Levin Chairman and cofounder of Credit.com and Identity Theft 911. His experience as former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs gives him unique insight into consumer privacy, legislation and financial advocacy. He is a nationally recognized expert on identity theft and credit.

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