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 [...]

A Look at the Housing Plank of the GOP Platform

By: Wednesday August 29, 2012 7:06 am

The GOP platform was approved and released last night, in that order. There have already been so many reports about parts of the platform, I don’t really feel the need to repeat everyone else. However, few words have been formed about the housing plank of the platform. So let me make my stand there. The [...]

Nobody Offering the Solutions Needed on Housing

By: Friday August 24, 2012 12:15 pm

The New York Times editorial board is sellling the hype over the housing recovery. They stress that even with the recovery we’re seeing in home prices and sales, we are pretty far from what would be considered a normal market. In addition, the structural problems with the housing market persist. High unemployment, poor jobs, stagnating [...]

Merkley’s Rebuilding American Homeownership Plan Gets Economist Support

By: Monday August 13, 2012 10:58 am

Jeff Merkley’s HOLC-type plan for mass refinancing of underwater borrowers is not a panacea for this foreclosure crisis, but it certainly would help us prevent the next one, and without the legal implications that could trip up an eminent domain scheme. Ending the persistent problem of underwater borrowers would not only stabilize the housing market [...]

FHA Short Refi Program Has Helped Under 1,500 Borrowers in Almost Two Years

By: Monday July 30, 2012 1:55 pm

In discussing the potential options for immediate implementation of Jeff Merkley’s HOLC-type plan for current, underwater homeowners, Mike Konczal reveals a pretty amazing stat that says a lot about the relative seriousness with which the Treasury Department and other federal agencies have attacked the foreclosure crisis thus far: The report notes three potential homes for [...]

Geithner Gives Thumbs-Up to Merkley’s HOLC-Like Plan

By: Thursday July 26, 2012 1:04 pm

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner gave a fairly strong endorsement to Jeff Merkley’s plan to set up an Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) type authority to purchase and refinance current underwater mortgages, and plans to work with him to set up pilot programs by the end of the year. Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee today, [...]

Jeff Merkley’s HOLC-Type Plan for Underwater Borrowers

By: Thursday July 26, 2012 7:07 am

Despite the heavily lobbied narrative that housing is in the midst of a recovery, the reality is far more stark. New-home and existing-home sales fell last month, and what stability we’re seeing on prices comes in large part from a massive shadow REO that isn’t sustainable. Mortgage delinquencies actually rose in June. And you have [...]

HARP Refi Numbers Not as Strong as Advertised

By: Tuesday July 17, 2012 8:55 am

The Federal Housing Finance Agency engaged in a little back-patting yesterday for improved HARP figures, which they say are a direct result of their changes to the system to allow for more underwater borrowers to take advantage of low refinancing rates. The truth is a little murkier. For the first five months of 2012, more [...]

Rep. Brad Miller on Using Eminent Domain to Reset the Housing Market

By: Friday July 13, 2012 12:45 pm

The reason I initially contacted Rep. Brad Miller today was to discuss an issue that has come into vogue this week as a potential solution to the housing crisis. San Bernardino County is considering a partnership with Mortgage Resolution Partners on a scheme that would condemn underwater mortgages through the process of eminent domain, and [...]

IMF: Principal Reductions Now!

By: Wednesday July 4, 2012 6:51 am

The International Monetary Fund has explicitly called for principal reductions for underwater borrowers to deleverage individual balance sheets and jumpstart a soft recovery. An endorsement of principal reductions at such an establishment level could remove some of the stigma, and force a deeper reckoning over the need for them. And the IMF goes further, stating [...]

Confirmed: HARP 2.0 Ripping Off Underwater Borrowers

By: Monday June 18, 2012 9:37 am

The Wall Street Journal gets around to noticing that the latest version of HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, has been manipulated by the leading mortgage servicers to trap their borrowers. And they add a bit of a twist. Because servicers set the fees from closings on refinances, this trapping of their borrowers also happens [...]

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