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Our thoughts: Protect responsible home buyers
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 Last Sunday we ran a front page story on foreclosures. If you drive through many of the newer communities in Newton County and Social Circle, you can see evidence of those foreclosures plainly in the unkempt yards and in some cases broken windows caused by vandals.

 The real shame of this is the fact that the people being punished are not the ones being written about in the paper. Those being written about, and the ones Congress has rushed to help, are the same ones who have abandoned these homes - most without a care. A great majority of people who owned these now-lost homes are people who shouldn't have been allowed to buy them in the first place.

 The truth is that the people being punished are the unsuspecting souls - those who in good faith took their hard-earned cash and invested it in the great American dream, those who trusted that the community they moved into would be settled by people with legitimate mortgages who would take care of and pride in their homes. They also trusted that the dream would be protected by strong home owners' associations.

 Unscrupulous and bankrupt builders and bank lenders have made HOAs in our area almost powerless.

 We would like to see some type of county or city ordinance passed that at least requires banks taking back homes in foreclosures to keep up the outside appearance of the houses they now own.

 This could be set up as a contingency for every new home built in the future in Newton County or Social Circle.

  It's time that elected officials start protecting people who try to do the right thing, instead of those people who try in every way they can to circumvent proper procedures.