The Pileup Behind the Fiscal Slope, and the Consequences of Inaction

By: Friday December 21, 2012 7:03 am

Say what you will about the 2010 deal to extend the Bush tax cuts, which helped to set up what we’re seeing this month. But there was definitely a virtue in getting it done by early December, allowing for a productive lame duck session that repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, passed the New START arms [...]

The Housing Cliff

By: Monday December 10, 2012 7:45 am

Forgive me if I slip into some cliff metaphors for the next few posts, but the employment of the tool actually makes more sense in this context. The fact is that the expiration of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, as explained by Adam Levin of Credit.com, represents a real threat to a nascent housing [...]

Short Sales Increase As Debt Relief Tax Time Bomb Nears

By: Thursday December 6, 2012 9:15 am

I’ve had more than a few assurances that Congress would get its act together and pass an extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, so that underwater homeowners who get some debt relief won’t have a big tax bill staring them in the face to make their financial situation even worse. But if that’s [...]

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 [...]

Financial Services Roundtable Joins Up With Homeowner Group to Urge Extension of Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Tax Relief

By: Thursday November 29, 2012 12:18 pm

It’s not often that the homeowner advocates at the Center for Responsible Lending and the bank lobbyists at the Financial Services Roundtable agree on anything. But they’re teaming up on urging Congress to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which would continue the foreclosure crisis-era policy of forgiving payment of taxes on debt forgiveness [...]

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 [...]

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.

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 [...]

CFPB Scrutinizes Credit Scores

By: Wednesday September 26, 2012 1:50 pm

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has shifted its attention to the credit bureaus, and their tendency to calculate credit scores they give to the public that vary from the credit scores provided to lending companies. Credit bureaus sometimes provide Americans with credit scores that are different from those that lenders use in deciding whether to [...]

Republican Dan Lungren Working to Gain Support to Avoid Principal Reduction Tax Time Bomb

By: Tuesday September 18, 2012 11:44 am

Here’s some good news in an otherwise dispiriting Congressional session. A Republican House member is trying to accumulate support for a bill that would extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act by three years. As I’ve been reporting, a failure to extend this law would mean that all debt forgiveness, in the form of principal [...]

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