CHICAGO (1/22/09)--A couple of credit unions from the Chicago-area are offering advice in the Chicago Tribune for President Barack Obama on how to use the remaining $350 billion of the federal government’s bailout fund. Jerry Haley, president of the $39.8 million asset, Matteson, Ill.-based USA One National CU, said the restructuring of upside down mortgages--in which a homeowner owes more than the house is worth--is a good place to begin (Chicago Tribune Jan. 21). Because the current economic crisis started in the housing market, and due to the probability that a rebound in the housing market is likely needed to spark an economic recovery, putting the skids on foreclosures would be beneficial to the economy, Haley told the newspaper. Sandy Brillowski agrees that the Obama Administration needs to place the funds directly into programs--if not consumers’ hands--to stop foreclosures and help small businesses, she told the paper. Brillowksi, marketing vice president for the $149.1 million asset, Naperville-Ill.-based Hawthorne CU, said she believes an indirect route to helping people--such as with the recent Wall Street bailout--is too risky and time consuming.