The Democratic Platform’s Dishonest Nonsense on Housing

By: Tuesday September 4, 2012 7:48 am

I gave a qualified decent review to the Democratic Party platform on the deficit and social insurance programs. I cannot come close to doing the same on housing. In fact, the platform plank on this issue is so disingenuous, it makes Paul Ryan’s convention speech look scrupulously honest. I have to go through this 285-word [...]

NYT Front-Pager on Administration Housing Policy Misses Several Key Points

By: Monday August 20, 2012 7:03 am

Any time you hear defenders of the Obama Administration talk about how they did all they could for the economy, reached the limits of what was possible, they typically conveniently ignore housing, and the hundreds of billions of dollars they left on the table there. Today the New York Times at least bothers to pick [...]

FHFA Analysis Shows Principal Reductions as an Even Better Deal for Taxpayers

By: Tuesday July 31, 2012 6:59 am

FHFA leader Ed DeMarco has indefinitely put on hold the question of whether he will allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to offer principal reductions to delinquent underwater borrowers. He’s actually said nothing about it publicly since April. But Nick Timiraos leaks out the details of a new study that shows the benefits of principal [...]

On Bailouts and Wall Street, Treasury and Deceit

By: Thursday July 26, 2012 11:03 am

The debate over Neil Barofsky’s book has taken a turn into a broader debate over bailing out Wall Street at the expense of Main Street, which is both the right conversation to have and also kind of a dismissal of the main argument. Matt Yglesias tries to referee this debate by fitting it into this [...]

Barofsky Set to Enter National Debate With Book on TARP’s Failures

By: Monday July 23, 2012 8:15 am

It’s fair to say that former Special Inspector General for TARP, Neil Barofsky, whose book I profiled on Friday, plans to become as much a part of the national conversation over the next couple weeks as humanly possible. He got bumped from Face the Nation yesterday in favor of coverage of the Aurora, Colorado shooting, [...]

Barofsky Book: Geithner Confirmed in 2009 That HAMP Was Designed for Banks to Spread Out Foreclosures

By: Friday July 20, 2012 6:26 am

The Huffington Post described a scene in a forthcoming book by Neil Barofsky, the former Special Inspector General of TARP, where Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner delivered a string of F-bombs during a discussion about transparency. I’ve read the book, and while that’s an amusing diversion, it’s nowhere near the headline story. The important moment in [...]

Loan Modifications During Foreclosure Crisis Provide Only Temporary Relief

By: Thursday June 21, 2012 1:04 pm

The other day, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a $60 million program for housing counseling and legal services for borrowers threatened with foreclosure. This will enable them to fight their evictions and get the support they need for working with banks for modifications. I’m happy to see any money from the foreclosure fraud [...]

Treasury Confirms That HAMP Being Used for Settlement Relief

By: Monday June 11, 2012 9:25 am

I will attempt to recap my foreclosure fraud panel at Netroots Nation at some point. I know Lisa Derrick took video on her phone of the event, but apparently there’s been a hitch in getting that uploaded. Just as soon as we cross that hurdle, we’ll bring it to you. Until then, there is the [...]

BofA Begins “Pay Settlement With Other People’s Money” Scheme

By: Tuesday May 8, 2012 6:17 am

Bank of America says they have begun mailing notices to their borrowers about principal reduction opportunities under the foreclosure fraud settlement. You may recall that BofA inked a side deal on the settlement that would allow them to extinguish an additional $850 million of the cash penalties by reducing loan balances more deeply than called [...]

Frank, Miller Try to Open Up Accountability for Fed, OCC

By: Thursday April 19, 2012 7:35 am

Barney Frank and Brad Miller tried to shake up a House Financial Services Committee hearing yesterday. As per usual, Republicans wanted to go after the CFPB’s funding and subject it to the appropriations process. As it stands, CFPB derives its funding from a portion of the funding of the Federal Reserve, which comes from sources [...]

Missing the Point on DeMarco and Principal Reduction

By: Wednesday April 11, 2012 7:42 am

The commentary and the straight reporting on Ed DeMarco’s principal reduction speech seem to be missing the big picture here. DeMarco discussed “limited benefits” from principal reduction for a reason – he’s not looking to write down current mortgages. This happens to represent 3/4 of all underwater homes in the Fannie and Freddie portfolio. DeMarco [...]

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