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 [...]

FHFA’s Christmastime Moral Relativism and the New New Housing Market

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 6:19 am

FHFA has situational ethics here. They rail against states with long foreclosure timelines, even increasing their guarantee fees. But when faced with headlines about foreclosures during Christmas, they become beneficent, and act to increase foreclosure timelines.

Lack of a “Foreclosure Wave” Determined By Banks

By: Friday November 30, 2012 6:13 am

Here’s a pretty jerky victory lap clearly planted by the mortgage lending industry, with the boastful title “Foreclosure Wave Averted as Doomsayers Defied.” Let’s hear this out for a second. When banks pulled back on foreclosures two years ago following a government investigation into allegations of faulty practices, market researchers, academics and Wall Street analysts [...]

Tax Exemption for Mortgage Debt Relief Still Not Extended, Future Hopes Dim

By: Tuesday November 27, 2012 6:23 am

The not-all-that-possible reduction or elimination of the mortgage interest deduction has set the hair of many a journalist on fire. Many of them have homes and benefit from that deduction, after all. And they cannot escape the fact that, if Republicans tell them that deductions have to be targeted instead of rates – which is [...]

On Economy, Justice, Obama Housing Plan Fell Well Short

By: Monday November 26, 2012 9:15 am

Over the holiday, Zachary Goldfarb released a fairly remarkable article recounting a meeting between the President and top economists: One year and one month before President Obama won reelection, he invited seven of the world’s top economists to a private meeting in the Oval Office to hear their advice on what do to fix the [...]

Short Sales Continue to Dominate Consumer Relief in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

By: Monday November 19, 2012 7:12 am

The second report from the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight has arrived, and it shows a continuation of one trend, tempered by the first batch of consumer relief in the form of actual principal reductions.

Yes, Banks Are Paying “Penalties” in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement With Other People’s Money

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 8:30 am

This one offers a bit of vindication. I cannot tell you how much grief I got from “official sources” over the clear reality that banks would be able to pay off their penalties in the foreclosure fraud settlement with investor money. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan flat-out said it, and then had to backtrack and obfuscate. [...]

More Noises About Administration Firing Ed DeMarco After the Election

By: Friday November 2, 2012 1:00 pm

Zach Carter find yet another indicator that, after the election, Barack Obama plans to fire Federal Housing Finance Agency Administrator Ed DeMarco. But this claim has even less meat on its bones than the previous pledge. It comes from Bank of America analyst Ralph Axel, who argues that the Administration plans to use housing policy [...]

Resetting the Market: Ireland’s Plan for Mass Mortgage Write-Downs

By: Tuesday October 9, 2012 7:45 am

Ireland had one of the larger housing bubbles in the world. I remember visiting the country in 2006 and seeing these brand-new roads and buildings everywhere. The Celtic Tiger included a housing boom, and that went bust in a hurry. For years, the country has struggled under bailouts and austerity programs. The Irish housing market [...]

In Year Six of Foreclosure Crisis, Depressingly Slow Moves Toward Solutions

By: Thursday October 4, 2012 8:45 am

Behind the scenes of last night’s debate – well behind – is a foreclosure crisis that has entered its sixth straight year. This is another fire that has not been put out. The only approach in the debate to even talking about this fire was a brief discussion by Gov. Romney about qualified residential mortgages, [...]

Another Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Scam: Banks Trying to Get Credit for Already Discharged Debt

By: Sunday September 30, 2012 9:03 am

Though I’m not sure anyone pays attention to them anymore, the President delivered his weekly address this weekend, and it was all about how Congress has to help “responsible” homeowners (because the irresponsible ones deserve nothing, after all they fleeced those responsible banks to get the loan). In the address, President Obama contrasted his approach [...]

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