Housing Update & Mortgage Modification Plan and Foreclosure Assistance Resources; HEMAP – targeting Treasury’s housing funds to loans for unemployed homeowners, Barney Frank’s proposed bill…

housinginyourhands

Our previous post on Rep Frank (D-MA) proposal on extending some of the TARP and/or stimulus funds targeted for housing to a program that loans money to unemployed homeonwers to make their mortgage payments here.

A model is emerging in the hearings on the Hill, HEMAP (WSJ):

(…)The proposal to keep out-of-work homeowners in their homes, which was discussed at an oversight panel field hearing last month in Philadelphia, could be based on Pennsylvania’s Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program.

With HEMAP, which was established in 1984, Pennsylvania state officials provide a two- or three-year loan to a jobless homeowner, depending on the individual’s finances and the economic situation. Using that program, homeowners aren’t responsible for repaying the vast majority of the principle or any of the interest on the loan until he or she finds a job.

Specifically, a struggling homeowner participating in the Pennsylvania program, which has depleted resources, requires jobless homeowners pay a token $25 a month until they get another job and their gross income surpasses 35% of their monthly housing costs, including mortgage and utility payments.

In some cases, when the household has some income, the payments would be made partly by the homeowner and partly by the state…

HUD has been lobbied for the legislation/program and they and Treasury sound positive on its implementation, my problem is the Frank legislation wants to use repaid TARP loans and I think they need to end TARP in December and use stimulus money or some of the 50b sitting in the HAMP fund instead:

…According to people familiar with the Obama administration mortgage modification program, officials from the Housing and Urban Development agency have met with Pennsylvania officials responsible for the development of the HEMAP program to discuss whether the state program could be expanded nationally. The presentation was met with a positive response from the HUD officials, they said. A federal official familiar with the mortgage modification program said the meeting took place and “a range of options are being discussed to expand the mortgage modification program nationally.”

Meanwhile, Neiman said he plans to discuss the HEMAP program with key Treasury officials as well as HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “I would propose that Treasury consider using TARP funds to fund existing or future state emergency mortgage assistance programs,” Neiman said.

Treasury spokeswoman Meg Reilly said the department continues to study further ways to help unemployed homeowners. …She pointed out that the Treasury’s $50 billion modification program, known as the Home Affordable  Modification Program, or HAMP, is open to the unemployed.

Sadly since Treasury has not agreed to open their NPV test and have the servicers give detailed explanations for denials on HAMP applications (as FDIC did with the IndyMac mods), there is no way to verify that underwriters are in fact properly considering the unemployed. Anecdotally I can say from all interviews I have seen with servicers they say the unemployed cannot be helped, I would not count on them considering these apps until I have seen it.

However, Dodds argues that even though the HAMP program is open to the jobless, it isn’t being used effectively to help them. “It’s real chaos with the mortgage companies trying to get HAMP going,” Dodds said.

He adds that, unlike the HAMP program, a federal loan approach to the jobless could help a large number of people in a short period of time. It also solves the concerns of mortgage servicers who complain they will be sued by mortgage securities investors who argue that these lenders will file lawsuits against them for modifying mortgage payments, he said….

WSJ

WSJ

I can attest to the chaos with HAMP applications and servicers :( I will recuse myself from commenting further on this program, cause there but for the grace of God go I…I will say if the banks arent going to modify loans effectively and Team TOTUS cannot see that tax increases, increased deficit spending and regulation will hamper growth and job creation, well in that scenario which seems more and more likely, we may see extended high unemployment for years (in the economic forecasts of PIMCO for one example the ‘new normal pretty much sucks). Anyway if this is the case we may really want to consider programs like this, if nothing else it is a way to directly stop the housing bleeding as a result of the rolling foreclosures tied to unemployment…

but it burns me to think of taxpayers loaning other taxpayers money to pay the banks that all the taxpayers loaned all our money to to begin with because the banks will not modify the damned loans.

Since fannie and freddie are backing most of these loans, that is ALSO the taxpayers funding the losses! so we are loaning ourselves money to pay banks who we loaned money to service loans and transfer funds to FANNIE FREDDIE whom we own and whom we also are loaning money to keep afloat. What the hell kind of outfit is this government running? How many times do we have to loan ourselves money in and out of many government pockets with banks making transfers? Why cant we just do the damned HOLC like HRC proposed in oh what 2007 now, she first raised it in 2005…we could have bought the houses many times over and stopped the bleeding, but then we couldn’t line many pockets eh? the frakkers.

Other Resources:
Making Home Affordable Treasury Program
e.Fannie Mae.com (servicer updates)
HUD- Department of Housing & Urban Devlopment
Fannie Mae mortgage customers call Fannie Mae at 1-800-7FANNIE (1-800-732-6643) or www.fanniemae.com/homeaffordable
Freddie Mac mortgage customers call Freddie Mac at 1-800-FREDDIE (1-800-373-3343) or www.freddiemac.com/avoidforeclosure
VA mortgage customers (thank you for your service) vall VA Financial Counselors at 1-877-827-3702 or www.homeloans.va.gov
FHA -www.fha.gov
Hope Now Alliance (Hank Paulson’s Plan) 1-888-995-4673 or www.hopenow.com

October 20, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Foreclosures, Hillary Clinton, Housing, Obama Administration, Politics, TARP, Unemployment Statistics. 8 comments.

Update: Video added; ‘LendMe’ allows nook owners to share books; Barnes & Noble reveals ‘The Nook’ e-reader…

Courtesy of zune186

nookfront_DV_20091020151913

Update 2: WSJ: 4:41 p.m. They’ve announced “LendMe” technology, allowing Nook users to share “from Nook to Nook.”

Update: WSJ is live blogging the B & N announcement event now!

Ooohh!!! Sweeeet!!! Me likey!

nook

Our previous post on the potential Kindle slayer here. We LOVE our Kindle, but the lend feature suggested here is a HUGE plus! It sounds like it has the e-ink which I love (no glare from a backlit display) AND a color touch pad on the bottom instead of the keys..not sure how I feel about that pad over key thing for something I use constantly like my Kindle. But then I am not an iPhone user but as a readaholic I am their target audience, or maybe not, maybe they are going for the iPhone users who panned Kindle as ‘not kewl enuff’..hey the real book sale money is in we readers baby don’t forget it B&N! Now all Americans need are jobs so we can afford these lovely devices…You know what they need to give us? A scanning device so we can upload our libraries to our digital readers, I would pay beaucoup bucks for that baby!

PCMag:

..The Barnes & Noble e-reader will be called the “Nook,” and will retail for $259, according to reports by both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times….B&N, which has scheduled a press conference on Tuesday in New York to announce the e-reader, apparently began circulating ads this week to announce the device, The Times reported.

Wired:

Pictures and details of Barnes and Noble’s forthcoming e-book reader have leaked, and it is hot, both inside and out. It will be on sale next Tuesday.

..The reader, named the “Nook,” looks a lot like Amazon’s white plastic e-book, only instead of the chiclet-keyboard there is a color multitouch screen, to be used as a keyboard or to browse books, cover-flow style. The machine runs Google’s Android OS, will have wireless capability from an unspecified carrier and comes in at the same $260 as the now rather old-fashioned-looking Kindle.

But it’s the details of the Barnes & Noble service itself that have us really interested. Gizmodo, which first broke the leaked images, has information that B&N will be discounting titles heavily in their electronic format, which is as is should be (no paper, printing or shipping costs). The Nook will also be able to get books from the Google Books Project.

And over at the Wall Street Journal, somebody got a peek at an at ad set to run in The New York Times this coming Sunday. The ad features the line “Lend eBooks to friends,” and this has the potential to destroy the Kindle model. One of the biggest problems with e-books is that you can’t lend or re-sell them. If B&N is selling e-books cheaper than the paper versions, then the resale issue is moot. And lending, even if your friends need a Nook, too, takes away the other big advantage of paper…

October 20, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Education, English Literature, Entertainment, Fiction, Popular Culture. 2 comments.

Twofer Tuesday: Hey Congress/TOTUS- What have you done for us lately, ain’t nothin goin on but the rent!

M’kay Congress and Nobel prize winning TOTUS, WHERE ARE THE JOBS?!?!?!?!?

Stop frakking about with everything BUT JOBS (and the war in Afghanistan)!

Ain’t NOTHING GOING ON BUT THE RENT! (and the war which TOTUS is voting present on)

WOTS is the delay in the UE extension is because Reid and Isaakson want to extend the homebuyers tax credit and HUD chief Donovan and the WH are stalling on that (Donovan just testified yesterday that the tax credit is very expensive but the WH is ‘looking at it’. How nice. meanwhile the bill is stalled and people are losing their UE and it isnt retroactive) JOBS JOBS JOBS JOBS ARE JOB ONE!

Courtesy of nostalgiagold

What have you done for the American people lately Congress??? Besides ignore us I mean…

Courtesy of seminole06

October 20, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Politics. 1 comment.

Update: GOP proposes amendments for housing tax credit and Dems Johanns and Nelson propose amendment banning ACORN from any federal funding; Unemployment Update: Extension still stalled in the Senate…

10/23 See Update http://moderateinthemiddle.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/unemployment-update-senate-cloture-vote-on-unemployment-extension-next-tuesday/

Update: The Hill:

(…)Since early October, Senate Democrats have been looking to quickly push through a bill that would extend jobless benefits by at least 14 weeks. But Republicans have blocked the immediate consideration of the bill on the Senate floor, objecting because the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has yet to score it and because a voice vote would preclude GOP amendments….

…Republicans said that a quick vote on the bill would have precluded Isakson’s amendment and others that have bipartisan support. Nebraska Sens. Mike Johanns (R) and Ben Nelson (D) are pushing for an amendment banning all federal funding for ACORN.

Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) dismissed Democratic suggestions that Republicans are the “party of no” for holding back support on the bill.

“I think when all is said and done, you’ll see a lot of support for unemployment extension. That’s not the issue,” Kyl told reporters. “The question is how you pay for it. The question is what is the score for it, and whether some other amendments will be allowed.”

Democrats plan to find the extra revenue by extending by 18 months the federal employment surtax, paid by employers and set to expire at the end of the year. The CBO expects the extension of jobless benefits to cost approximately $2.4 billion, according to a Democratic aide.

GOP senators, hoping to avoid a tax extension, are planning amendments that would pay for the prolonged jobless benefits by using bailout or stimulus money, according to a Senate Republican aide.

The Indpendent reports an E Verify amendment is also coming to the floor:

(…)The stalling of legislation to expand unemployment insurance (UI) has little to do with the benefit itself. First, there’s a push to attach an extended homebuyer tax credit to the bill — something the Obama administration is wary of.

But also there’s this: Republicans are hoping to attach a number of amendments related to ACORN and immigration — provisions that have delayed floor action on the UI bill indefinitely, according to the offices of both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The agreement ends after that.

The Republican amendments include at least two provisions related to ACORN; one related to the E-Verify program; one to pay for the UI benefits with unspent stimulus money; and one providing tax relief….

fiddling-while-rome-burns

Update: Courtesy of James McConnell at the Chicago Economic Policy Examiner:

Democratic politicians will hold a press conference Tuesday to blast Republican politicians for holding up legislation to extend unemployment benefits another 14 weeks for the nation’s out of work citizens. Elected representatives in both houses of Congress have agreed on the details of a bill and apparently have the votes to pass it, but Republicans blocked passage by unanimous consent, and continue to offer what Democrats characterize as unrelated amendments…

(more…)

October 20, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Foreclosures, Labor Department, Obama Administration, Politics, Unemployment Statistics. 4 comments.

‘V’ : NYC don’t be worried by the giant red V appearing in the sky Friday…

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a giant frakkin ‘V’! It is a promo for the new ABC series!! And ABC was nice enough to notify New Yorkers (unlike Nobel prize winning TOTUS and the AirForceOne flyby incident).

NYPost:

To promote its new alien-invasion series, ABC is recreating the shock of something inexplicable appearing in the skies over New York.

Starting Friday, the giant red letter V — written by skywriting planes — will begin to appear over New York landmarks like the Statute of Liberty, the network says, to promote “V,” a remake of the 1980s miniseries, that begins next month.

…ABC won’t specify which landmarks will be getting the giant V treatment, but it will go on for several days, it says. New Yorkers can expect to see the sky graffiti overhead early Sunday and again on Halloween.

Using skywriting is a natural fit for the series, which is about spaceships simultaneously appearing over 29 US cities, marking the world’s first encounter with an alien race. The V stands for the series’ alien Visitors, who are promoting a message of peace through sharing advanced technology.

But some people begin to suspect that the Vs are hiding a malevolent agenda including an FBI agent (played by Elizabeth Mitchell from “Lost“) and a news anchor (Scott Wolf, “The Nine“).

Oh noes!! They are only going to air 4 episodes before going on hiatus?? Are they TRYING to kill the show? Sigh.

..Four episodes of “V” will air this year before it goes on hiatus, returning early next year…

October 20, 2009. Tags: , , , . Entertainment, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Popular Culture, Sci Fi, Suspense. 2 comments.

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