$275 Billion Plan Seeks to Address Housing Crisis
Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Edmund L. Andrews, The New York Times
MESA, Ariz. — President Obama announced a plan on Wednesday to help as many as nine million American homeowners refinance their mortgages or avert foreclosure, saying that it would shore up housing prices, stabilize neighborhoods and slow a downward spiral that was “unraveling homeownership, the middle class and the American Dream itself.”
The plan, which was more ambitious and expensive than many housing analysts had expected, drew praise from consumer advocates as well as the financial industry.
Some Americans, Underwater but Ineligible, Are Riled Up
Nick Timiraos and Michael M. Phillips, The Wall Street Journal
President Barack Obama's new foreclosure-prevention plan is already sparking outrage from some Americans who won't qualify for federal aid -- and from those who resent having to foot the bill for those who do.
"What do you expect from the government?" said David Newton, 46 years old, proprietor of DJN Management LLC, which owns 232 rental apartments in the Atlanta area. "The government isn't out there to help people who obey the law and follow the rules."
Fed Leaders Issue Bleak Forecast
Neil Irwin and Annys Shin, The Washington Post
It could take years for the nation to fully bounce back from the recession, according to new projections by leaders of the Federal Reserve, who indicated that even once the economy starts expanding again, it will be an "unusually gradual and prolonged" recovery.
The unemployment rate will remain elevated through at least 2011, according to the policymakers' official forecast, released yesterday, and the economy this year could shrink by 1.3 percent. That would mark the sharpest contraction in 27 years.
Delinquent Borrowers Turn Increasingly to Litigation over Mitigation
Charles Winiowski, MBA NewsLink
TAMPA, Fla.--Mortgage servicers should expect increased state and federal litigation on servicing activities as borrowers and even state and local governments turning to increasingly sympathetic courts to resolve contractual conflicts and/or to disrupt the foreclosure process, analysts said.
Terry Hutchens, president of Hutchens, Senter & Britton, Fayetteville, N.C., told participants yesterday at the Mortgage Bankers Association's National Mortgage Servicing Conference and Expo that while lenders or mortgage servicing firms in the past might be given the benefit of the doubt in the event a home foreclosure case went to court, juries and judges in the current unfriendly judicial environment do not feel as inclined to cut mortgage firms or their attorneys any slack whatsoever.
Brokers: Commission rates holding up in Florida
Natalie Keith, Inman News
Whether they've had to take a cut in their commission percentage rate with the sale of a foreclosed home or saw a decrease in commission dollars per sale due to plummeting prices, many brokers throughout Florida have seen their income drop precipitously with weakened market conditions.
"People are trying to close sales any way they can," said Ellie Trahan, a broker with Golden Rule Real Estate in Ocala. "One of the first things that gets cut is the commission."
Obama's mortgage plan up against fast-rising defaults
Maura Reynolds, The Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Washington -- The housing plan unveiled by President Obama on Wednesday goes further than any previous effort to break the vicious cycle of declining home values, rising mortgage defaults and frozen credit that triggered the country's worst recession since the 1930s.
And it embraces strategies that attack the complex problems on several fronts but without requiring a long struggle in Congress.
We already own the banks -- shouldn't we run them?
Michael Hitzik, The Los Angeles Times
The worst thing about ideological sloganeering is that it obscures, rather than clarifies, the facts of a situation.
Exhibit A: The question of whether we should "nationalize" our crippled banks. To the political right, the very word smacks of the world of banana republics. To the left, it's just what those idiots on Wall Street deserve, and long overdue.