Looks like the Italians are helping out their home owners. From Italian Banks to Freeze Mortgage Payments for Unemployed:
The Italian Banking Association (ABI) on Wednesday decided to allow mortgage holders who are in serious economic difficulty to suspend payments for up to one year.
Local media said the measure will go into effect in January and will apply to three categories of mortgage holders who are now unemployed following the economic downturn.
To benefit from the payment deferment mortgage are holders who have simply lost their jobs, who are on temporary lay-off plans, who were self-employed but have fallen out of business and who have lost family members whose income supported the entire family.
According to the article, the Italian housing market isn't the bomb like the U.S., but look at what the Italian government is reacting to, an unemployment rate of 8.4%, expected to peak at 10.7% in 2010.
Now isn't the U.S. already at 10.2%?