Uncle Sam plans to offer temporary help to unemployed

Washington - (NBC) - A Congressional vote, and President Obama's signature, means when your state unemployment benefits run out, the federal government will put your check in the mail.

It also extends COBRA health insurance subsidies, so people who've lost jobs can still see a doctor. However, it's a temporary fix -- only for two more months.

President Obama says he's working on a long-term solution.

"Too many folks still out of work. That's why we're doing everything we can in the short term to accelerate private sector job creation," said Obama.

More jobs, with paychecks, helping people pay their mortgages. New numbers show foreclosures are up eight percent over last year. Right now, one in every four homes sold was in foreclosure. That's five times the normal rate and those sales are still taking a long time. 

"You're probably looking at 60 days somewhere in there. I think that would be reasonable. Maybe pushing 90 days," said Home seller Joel Silberman. 

The good news is analysts think the housing slump has hit bottom. 

"The market's actually up quite a bit from where it was a year ago and it's continuing to climb a bit," Jed Smith of the National Association of Realtors said. 

Later on Friday, the Commerce Department reports housing starts, how many homes are being built.