Why are Republicans so clueless when it comes to anyone outside of their rich folks’ club bubble?
John Boehner: Time For Government To Stop Helping Homeowners
House Speaker John Boehner thinks it’s about time for the government to stop trying to aid people with underwater mortgages.
Responding to a plan President Barack Obama unveiled Wednesday to help homeowners refinance, Boehner scoffed at the idea and then suggested government should get out of the way of increasing foreclosures and falling prices.
“One more time? We’ve done this. We’ve done this at least four times where there’s a new government program to help homeowners who have trouble with their mortgages,” the Ohio Republican told reporters on Capitol Hill.
“None of these programs have worked. I don’t know why anyone would think that this next idea is going to work,” Boehner continued. “All it does is delay the clearing of the market. As soon as the market clears and we understand where the prices really are — [that] will be the most important thing we can do in order to improve home values around the country.”
Obama’s plan would require legislation from Congress to permit the Federal Housing Administration to help certain homeowners — specifically, those who are underwater but current in their payments and whose loans are not held by the FHA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac — to obtain new loans at better interest rates, saving $3,000 a year on average. A similar plan already aids people whose mortgages are held by one of those government-backed entities, but other homeowners usually cannot get a bank to refinance their loans.
While the administration’s loan modification effort so far have fallen far short of its goals — reaching fewer than 1 million homeowners when it aimed for 4 million with the last initiative — Shaun Donovan, secretary of housing and urban development, argued Wednesday that doing more is vital.
“Economists on all sides of the political spectrum have recognized that a broad-scale refinancing effort is one of the most important things that we can do, not only for families and for the housing market, but also for the economy more broadly,” Donovan said at a White House briefing.
They came by the thousands, transforming normally festive Cal Expo into a venue emblematic of California’s nightmarish housing meltdown.
An estimated 10,000 people were in line Friday morning when the Cal Expo Pavilion’s doors opened on a five-day event aimed at helping distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure.
The line for the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America’s “Save the Dream” event stretched from the Pavilion, through Cal Expo’s east parking lot, onto Exposition Boulevard and nearly to Ethan Way – a distance of half a mile.
Sacramento-area homeowners stood shoulder to shoulder with those from all parts of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona and far beyond, hoping to have their mortgage payments lowered in order to keep their homes.
Their stories ran the gamut: underwater mortgages, unemployment, financial crises, long-missed loan payments and frustration trying to talk with lenders.
NACA officials this week wrapped up a six-day event at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where an estimated 40,000 came through the doors.
NACA CEO Bruce Marks said Friday that he expects that many at Cal Expo by closing time Tuesday.
“You’d think that the crowds would diminish by now, but they’re not. They keep coming,” Marks said. “This (Sacramento event) is probably going to have about as many as we had in Los Angeles.”
NACA, headquartered in the Boston suburb of Jamaica Plain, will be working with homeowners around the clock through 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Its services are free, and it serves both the employed and unemployed. Options include renegotiated loans, interest rate reductions, loan principal reductions and mortgage restructuring. NACA said it has legally binding contracts with major lenders, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/10/09/3091190/10000-wait-in-line-at-cal-expo.html#ixzz11uTuhBNd
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This is totally outrageous…
The Washington Post
Some of the nation’s largest mortgage companies used a single document processor who said he signed off on foreclosures without having read the paperwork – an admission that may open the door for homeowners across the country to challenge foreclosure proceedings.
The legal predicament compelled Ally Financial, the nation’s fourth-largest home lender, to halt evictions of homeowners in 23 states this week. Now it appears hundreds of other companies, including mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, may also be affected because they use Ally to service their loans.
As head of Ally’s foreclosure document processing team, 41-year-old Jeffrey Stephan was required to review cases to make sure the proceedings were legally justified and the information was accurate. He was also required to sign the documents in the presence of a notary.
In a sworn deposition, he testified that he did neither.
The reason may be the sheer volume of the documents he had to hand-sign: 10,000 a month. Stephan had been at that job for five years.
How the nation’s foreclosure system became reliant on the tedious work of a few corporate bureaucrats is still a matter that mortgage lenders are trying to answer. While the lenders may have had legitimate cause to foreclose, the mishandling of the paperwork has given homeowners ammunition in their fight against foreclosure and has drawn the attention of state law enforcement officials.
Ally spokesman James Olecki called the problem with the documents “an important but technical defect.” He said the papers were “factually accurate” but conceded that “corrective action” may have to be taken in some cases and that others may “require court intervention.” Continue reading…