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Howard's End: Breadwinners Taken From Families

Insurance and death benefits don't kick in until a death certificate is issued, so millions of dollars is being raised by real estate agents and mortgage bankers to save the homes of those who died or are missing following last week's terrorist attacks in the United States.

"We want to make sure that no victim of the tragedy will be forced to lose their home" said Steve Cook, spokesman for the National Association of Realtors in Washington.

"We know many of the families have lost a breadwinner and will be unprepared or simply unable in the short-term to meet their living expenses," he said.

"We realise that many of the families are holding on to the hope that their loved one will be rescued and they may not be thinking about the rent or mortgage, but we want to be ready to help when they do."

"We want to make sure that people retain their homes and their credit ratings during this difficult time and our aim is to be there in October before other insurance and benefit programs kick in," said Sal Prividera of the New York Realtors Association.

"We are working with the firefighter and police unions to reach their members as well as the victims families. Every penny will go to help the victims," he said.

The Mortgage Bankers Association of America, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mae, the National Homebuilders Association, the Independent Community Bankers of America and the Homeownership Alliance have pledged to raise $25 million to support the victims and their families, the rescue workers and others affected by the events of September 11.

Any New Zealander wanting to make contact or offer a donation can do so by making contact through http://www.nysar.com

If the role was reversed would the Americans help us? - you bet they would!!

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