House Democrats Call for Principal Reduction, but Tax Time Bomb Would Make That Damaging for Borrowers

By: Wednesday December 12, 2012 10:00 am

Here’s a case of just not understanding what’s going on. Yesterday, Elijah Cummings and 18 House Democrats wrote a letter to the President and lead Congressional negotiators on the fiscal slope, urging them to include “provisions that will provide assistance to homeowners who are currently underwater on their mortgages” in the final deal. This sounds [...]

Administration Housing Policy in a Second Term

By: Friday November 9, 2012 1:22 pm

Of all the thumbsuckers about the second-term Obama agenda I’ve read, the ones that reflect the least contact with reality concern Administration housing policy. It’s beyond clear that the first-term policy framework sought to protect banks and allocate losses from the collapse of the housing bubble elsewhere. That was the point behind HAMP, designed to [...]

Fannie and Freddie Offer Breaks to Homeowners in Path of Superstorm Sandy, After Pushing to Foreclose Faster on Same Areas

By: Wednesday October 31, 2012 10:00 am

Well, now we know what it will take to put a stop to the foreclosure crisis – a massive storm affecting the entire Eastern seaboard. For homes in that area at risk of foreclosure, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer a small bit of mortgage relief: The government-controlled mortgage finance giants said Tuesday that [...]

Freddie Mac Resisted Mass Refinancing Programs

By: Monday October 29, 2012 12:27 pm

I’m glad Jesse Eisinger went back and examined why one of the GSEs failed to offer mass refinancing for years, until the federal government basically insisted. But I think this is a story that attempts to set up a binary ideological dynamic where Occam’s razor suggests a lot of bipartisanship in neglecting homeowners. To start, [...]

White House Promises to Dump Ed DeMarco If They Only Get the Chance in a Second Term

By: Wednesday October 24, 2012 10:50 am

In one of the more cynical campaign promises I’ve seen in a while, the Obama Administration has apparently been running around to housing advocates telling them they will fire Ed DeMarco as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency… after the election. In 2010, Senate Republicans opposed Mr Obama‚Äôs choice to replace Mr DeMarco and [...]

Romney Campaign Advisor Pinned Down on Housing Policies

By: Monday October 22, 2012 10:51 am

Mike Konczal decided to do some sorely missed actual reporting at last week’s debate, seeking out Glenn Hubbard, one of Mitt Romney’s key economic advisers, for a discussion on housing policy.

Big Banks Whining That Fannie and Freddie Won’t Accept Their Toxic Loans Blindly Anymore

By: Friday October 5, 2012 10:26 am

Mitt Romney’s comments attributing the difficulty of getting a mortgage to Dodd-Frank QRM rules was really way off base. The rule is on track to be completed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on the timeline set out in Dodd-Frank, by 2013. As it’s not in place now, it places no penalty on lenders to [...]

FHFA Bullying States into Making Foreclosures Faster

By: Friday September 21, 2012 7:43 am

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has decided to raise guarantee fees from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on mortgages in states that respect the rule of law. Really, that’s about the size of it. As Shahien Nasiripour points out today, the g-fees will go up in five states that have slowed the foreclosure process by [...]

Fannie and Freddie Overseer Announces New Repurchase Process

By: Tuesday September 11, 2012 1:01 pm

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has made a key change for new loans that the entities it oversees, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will purchase or guarantee. Under the new plan, FHFA will identify and reject faulty loans earlier in the process, rather than after the fact, once the loans sour. By “faulty loans,” they [...]

Short Sales Would Be Subject to Taxation, Too, If Congress Doesn’t Act

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 1:52 pm

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced new short sale guidelines that would go into effect November 1. These guidelines are designed to eliminate red tape and encourage short sales as a way for underwater borrowers to get out of their home without going through the foreclosure process. In [...]

Housing Market Shifting Into Dangerous Equilibrium

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 7:08 am

Existing-home sales rose slightly in July, and while the numbers are still at a historical low, this has spurred a new round of optimism over the housing market. At the same time, the fragility of the market can be seen in the report by the National Association of Realtors that applications for home mortgages fell [...]

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