h/t PK4 on ZH: Rick-
“we need a new amendment that gives every American a house, a car with or without fins, 4-5 weeks of vacation with every Monday off …since government knows better than any other enterprise …and we have years of documented evidence to prove it (paraphrased from earlier today).He also stated that big funds will tell the government that if you don’t guarantee them (GSE debt) that they will dump’em. Bottom line. “GSE’s will cost more than any other bailout …and they haven’t even slowed down.”
Housing Update: 1 in 7 home loans now in default or foreclosure (14.69%), 4.3 million units in shadow inventory and purchase applications plunged 27%, lowest level in 13 yrs, but don’t worry! Tim Geithner says Euro Debt crisis could never happen here…
And the hits just keep on comin’ in housing…
Calculated Risk is covering all the bases:
Details from the MBA conference call on the Q1 delinquency RECORD, highlights include:
FHA foreclosure starts up sharply. “Shadow inventory” of 4.3 million loans that need to worked through (90 day delinquent or in foreclosure) – or they will become REOs or distressed sales. Prime fixed rate is now the key problem! “Sand states” will not be as dominant as the problem moves to prime fixed rate.
On the horror show that is the purchase application drop (just like Cash for Clunkers, they cannibalized future sales):
…The Refinance Index increased 14.5 percent from the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 27.1 percent from one week earlier. This is the lowest Purchase Index observed in the survey since May of 1997. …
Housing: Team Obama plans to ‘poll’ Americans to see what we want to do with Fannie, Freddie? Where is the leadership?! plus Ben Bernanke testifies before JEC…
Update: Ahh HousingWire says they are taking responses to their poll via the Register first. Team Obama’s answer for everything is a meeting, a poll, a panel, typical faculty lounge stuff, lol
The administration said it will first seek public response via the Federal Register listed at regulations.gov. The administration will then hold a series of public forums on housing finance reform.
Update: HousingWire has the details on the ‘poll’ Team Obama plans to take, what a disgrace! Should have and still should just do HOLC, but then Credit Suisse and UBS might take a loss, Gawd Forbid, but it is fine if taxpayers shoulder it, I call shenanigans….
The Obama Administration today puts the public behind the mic on the reform of the US housing finance system, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A list of questions published today targets the opinions of mortgage market participants, industry groups, academic experts and consumer and community organizations, according to an e-mailed statement from the US Treasury Department.
Here is the Treasury Press Release:, they do not list where to send your input, lol, but here is their contact info:
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220
General Information: (202) 622-2000
Fax: (202) 622-6415
7:23: Shaun Donovan (HUD Sectry) says he does NOT believe the stress on housing affordability fueled the crisis and that it was vagueness in the programs that was a problem. Oh boy.
Ed Royce R-CA is disputing this and citing Geithner’s previous testimony that the GSEs used the affordability mandates to buy bad loans…well yeah!
Okay we’re 20 mins in and it’s a smack down, you must watch this hearing!
now Mel Watt D-NC is talking up low income rental housing and the GSE roles in that. This is one of Barney Frank’s pet plans. I have long said they will take these foreclosed homes and convert them to Section 8 after families lose them. Unreal.
7:20 am AZ time: Watch the hearing live now here
ZOMG!! BUY A FRAKKIN CLUE TEAM OBAMA!!!! Lordy, Lordy..I thought these guys were SOOPER GENIUSES who had a plan before he even took office!
Now we have an uncapped FAN FRED FHA debt growing exponentially and they want to take a frakkin poll? Are you frakkin kidding me?!
The hearing with the House Financial Services Cmte has begun and Spencer Baucus R has nailed the issue-
Ranking Member Spencer Bachus gives opening remarks at a Financial Services hearing on the future of housing finance, where the Obama Administration failed to provide a plan for reforming Fannie and Freddie.
If that hearing doesn’t terrify you, see Ben Bernanke live here before the Joint Economic Cmte suddenly acknowledging we have a serious fiscal crisis and need immediate action, funny he didn’t say that before they rammed down the Obamacare bill huh? frakker.
HOUSING UPDATE – Financial Services Cmte asking for your experiences with JPMorgan Chase ahead of hearing tomorrow…
Update: There is another hearing tomorrow, see today’s hearing here:
April 13th from prepared testimony reads more like a PR show by the banks.
April 14th will be the regulators the National Law Center and those pro HAMP vs The Bankers Assoc and others
Both will be broadcast live
Barriers to Principal Reduction
April 13: House Financial Services Committee
The Recently Announced Revisions to HAMP
April 14: House Financial Services Committee
RE: Congressional Hearing in Washington DC, Tuesday 4/13/10, 10am with the Financial Committee.
Okay peeps, if you have a HAMP experience you would like to relate to the House Fin Svcs Cmte ahead of the hearing tomorrow on HAMP and servicers please contact as follows with your experience:
Just had a phone call from Brendan Woodbury – who is also handling tomorrow’s House Financial Services Committee hearing
He said for me to asap FAX over all I have – I asked him if it would be ok to have others do the same – he said by all means.
FAX ASAP what you have gone through to
Congressman Barney Frank
MARK URGENT – PERTAINS TO FINANCIAL MEETING 4/13/10
FAX to (202) 225-0182
The head of mortgage lending for JP Morgan Chase David Lowman entered testimony suggesting a Quick turn around and assistance for any homeowner trying to stay in their home.
More info here including David Lowman’s prepared testimony (click on the link to his name).
House Financial Services Committee
Any HAMP applicant, after either introducing you to their friend..RALPH!, or laughing deliriously in response, will happily hand over evidence of, in most cases, 15+ months of fruitless attempts to work with the servicers on HAMP.
HAMP is all voluntary. HAMP to date, is extend and pretend to keep homes off the market until the deluded banks think prices will come back. Forecasts suggest 15 YEARS before prices are back in sand states.
In written testimony prepared for a hearing in Washington Tuesday of the House Financial Services Committee, some of the nation’s top mortgage lenders warned of the risks of relying heavily on forgiving principal as a means of averting foreclosures and argued for concentrating mainly on other methods, such as reducing interest rates….
These banks forget TARP, its entire purpose as written was to buy bad home loans and relieve the foreclosure crisis that led to the financial collapse. Instead they got a free ride, FED continues to give them free money, they have rates so low savers are punished, they continue to devalue our dollar so we have less purchasing power, and they won’t fix the damn housing issue which is back with a vengeance.
If they will not work out the loans to resolve the issue, then the House needs to go ahead and do the cram down bill instead, which we have been opposed to until now. The banks need to share the economic pain they brought upon us all.
If we had LET THEM FAIL, they would’ve done write downs themselves to keep afloat. Our interference with TARP let them avoid the principal writedowns to begin with.
One more time – FAN FRED FHA back all these loans anyway, the TAXPAYERS are ALREADY on the hook. Not working through mods quickly with writedowns means walkaways continue apace. They are accelerating and the recent FAN home attitudes survey showed fully 15% of those surveyed agreed it was ok to walk away if facing financial difficulty making payments.
…When asked if financial distress makes stopping payments on an underwater mortgage acceptable, 15 percent of respondents said yes in Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey, a remarkable level of public acceptance for homeowners who walk away from their mortgages in light of the growing number of defaults in Fannie Mae’s portfolio.
Both delinquent mortgage borrowers and those current on their mortgage payments are more than twice as likely to have seriously considered stopping their payments if they know someone who has already defaulted, according to the survey released today.
Underwater borrowers were more than twice as likely to be behind on their mortgage payments and were more than twice as likely to believe stopping payments was acceptable than borrowers who were not underwater. Only 33 percent of respondents cited their moral qualms as a factor motivating them to pay their mortgage…
Even conservatives are FINALLY accepting HOLC (HomeOwnersLoanCorporation like in Depression)- CATO INSTITUTE!
…The omission of recourse has been a major flaw of the Obama loan modification plans. If the taxpayer is putting something on the table, then borrowers should be expected to do the same. During the Great Depression, FDR recognized as much.
The primary New Deal vehicle for addressing foreclosures was the Home Owners Loan Corporation. The HOLC required recourse and practiced it. In fact, approximately a third of HOLC revenues were from deficiency judgments against delinquent borrowers, including wage garnishment. Perhaps there are some parallels to today, as the HOLC found the second most common reason for foreclosure to be “obstinate refusal to pay.”
FDR recognized that many delinquent borrowers could afford neither their mortgage nor a deficiency judgment; we must recognize the same today. Recourse is not a cure to stop every foreclosure. It is, however, a proven method for reducing some foreclosures…
and now admit it would have been better in 08. Gee who said that? Hillary that’s wh0.
…First, we must address the skyrocketing rates of mortgage defaults and foreclosures that have buffeted the economy and ignited the credit crisis. Two million homeowners carry mortgages worth more than their homes. They hold $3 trillion in mortgage debt. Nearly three million adjustable-rate mortgages are scheduled for a rate increase in the next two years. Another wave of foreclosures looms.I’ve proposed a new Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC), to launch a national effort to help homeowners refinance their mortgages. The original HOLC, launched in 1933, bought mortgages from failed banks and modified the terms so families could make affordable payments while keeping their homes. The original HOLC returned a profit to the Treasury and saved one million homes. We can save roughly three times that many today. We should also put in place a temporary moratorium on foreclosures and freeze rate hikes in adjustable-rate mortgages. We’ve got to stem the tide of failing mortgages and give the markets time to recover.
Update 3: Ahhh BofA was facing the MASS AG Suit when they found religion. This is limited to the worst products in the Countrywide portfolio:
…The bank’s program is limited to Countrywide borrowers whose loan balance is at least 120% of the estimated home value, who are at least 60 days overdue, and who can show that financial hardship makes them unable to meet current payments. The bank estimated that 45,000 customers will qualify for principal reductions averaging more than $60,000.
Only the riskiest loans will be eligible. They include subprime loans; “option adjustable-rate” mortgages entailing minimal payments now but big increases later; and certain loans that have a fixed rate for two years and then adjust annually.
The bank’s move is part of an agreement to settle claims over certain high-risk loans made by Countrywide Financial, which the bank acquired in mid-2008. The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, which was negotiating with the bank, said it was prepared to file suit had the agreement not included principal reductions….
Update 2: Some details from Reuters by way of CalculatedRisk:
From Reuters: BofA to start reducing mortgage principal-sources
Bank of America will … announce plans to start forgiving mortgage loan principal for troubled homeowners who owe more than 120 percent of their home’s value or are battling ever-expanding “negative amortization” loans.
According to a summary of the program obtained by Reuters, Bank of America pledged to offer an “earned principal forgiveness” of up to 30 percent in two stages. The lender will first offer an interest-free forbearance of principal that the homeowner can turn into forgiven principal annually over five years, provided they stay current on their payments….
Update: In an amazing coinkydink the IG just issued a report ripping the Obama Housing Plan to shreds just as these ‘voluntary’ principal reduction programs are announced, heh:
A government watchdog agency criticized the Obama administration’s $50 billion campaign to avert foreclosures by reducing mortgage payments for millions of distressed borrowers.
A report by the inspector general of the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, said results of the loan-modification program so far have been disappointing. The report, released Tuesday evening, also said that the U.S. Treasury has failed to measure results properly for the Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP, and that it may merely delay foreclosures in too many cases.
When President Obama launched HAMP in early 2009, the government said it would help as many as three million to four million homeowners avoid foreclosure. So far, however, about 169,000 households have successfully completed trial periods and been given long-term payment relief…
I know this is unpopular. However, if we had done what Hillary proposed in 2007 (HOLC like FDR did) or what MAC proposed in 2008 (every homeowner getting a reduction to market rates, not forgiven, but the principal being non interest bearing and tacked onto end of loan), then IMO the housing markewould have cleared already.
Instead President Credit Suisse-UBS has continued with the EPIC fails of HARP, HAMP, extend and pretend, and we STILL face 5-6 million foreclosures in the year ahead.
Now Bank of America is doing what Sheila Bair at FDIC has been proposing for two years, they are writing down principle on underwater loans. ThThey are approaching it in a manner which ties the homeowner to the home, it can be done. So you ‘earn’ the forgiveness over a 5 year period of payments. This way underwater homeowners stay and the cash flow is assured for 5 years. Good deal.
The key issue IMO is with continued UE we cannot sustain the underwater walkaways, resets in pick a pay horror products AND the natural loss of homes to UE. Something needs to be done to clear it out before it continuesto snowball. We have entered the double dip in housing already, see sidebar for HousingWire and CalculatedRisk pieces.
Also recall please that the ENTIRE BASIS OF TARP was HOUSING. The way it was sold by Paulson was that it was a vehicle to purchase MBS and CDS b and free the banks from the problem. Had they done this they could have done HOLC like FDR, bought the loans and written them down in one fell swoop (and anyone who thinks taxpayers arent already backing these collapsing loans hasnt been paying attention- FAN FRED which now have an UNCAPPED TAXPAYER GUARANTEE from treasury, are backing ALL the remaining loans being writtern today). See our piece this week on FAN FRED .
Diana Olick reported it on CNBC this morning, PS MiM are BofA shareholders) when the video comes up we will post!
forgive typos, on the go with the netpad EEEPC which is kewt but doesnt show the whole box I am typing in right now, arrgle!
Update: Lynch (D-MA) unloads on Geithner; Market Mover Wednesday: Geithner, Paulson AIG testimony on the Hill…
Gee Lynch in Massachusetts seems a little edgy wonder why?!
James Lockhart (Dubyahs head of FHFA) of all people calls for principal reductions on CNBC this morning and Barney Frank D-MA said it will not happen..Through the Looking Glass…
James Lockhart, former head of the Federal Housing Agency, told CNBC Tuesday that he wants more generous mortgage modifications, including principal payment reductions.
…Although the latest Case-Shiller Index indicates the housing market has been improving for the last five months, there could be another spike in foreclosures, said Lockhart. While banks and investors have already marked down mortgages on their books, he said, that benefit has not yet been passed onto homeowners….
…“We still haven’t seen the falloff in foreclosures,” he said. “All the solutions have been on the income-side, and people’s balance sheets are suffering. It’s coming to the point where I think we really have to consider much more aggressive [loan modifications and] at looking at reducing principals.”
Lockhart also expects strategic defaults will start to occur more frequently. “You look at the bankruptcy numbers; the stigma is not there anymore,” he said….
Rep. Kucinich D-OH has called for an investigation into what looks to everyone like a backdoor TARP...
…Representative Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat who was an early opponent of Obama in the 2008 presidential race, thinks the move is backdoor way to help banks, and a congressional subcommittee he leads is investigating the Treasury’s decision to cover unlimited losses at the housing finance companies.
“This new authority must be used responsibly and for the benefit of American families,” Kucinich said. It “cannot be used simply to purchase toxic assets at inflated prices, thus transferring the losses to the U. S. taxpayers and acting as a backdoor TARP.”
That’s exactly what Treasury is doing, says Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy Research in Washington. “This looks like the original TARP,” Baker said, referring to $700 billion financial rescue fund, known officially as the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Waxman and Issa also ‘concerned’
…Kucinich is not the only one on Capitol Hill up in arms. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, said he doesn’t like the idea of a “blank check” for Fannie and Freddie.
And Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, called it “a continuation of the bailout policies that have mortgaged away the future solvency of our country.”…