Housing Recovery Narrative Surges Forward, But Reasons for Price Rise More Sinister

By: Wednesday August 8, 2012 8:45 am

The “housing is back” narrative got another boost with a story in the Wall Street Journal that simultaneously makes an unequivocal statement about home prices, and then acknowledges wild variance in the data set.


Come Saturday Morning: Minneapolis City Council to FIFA: Mortgage Principal Reductions, Please!

By: Saturday August 4, 2012 6:45 am

Yesterday, the Minneapolis, Minnesota City Council approved an amendment to its fiscal year 2013 Federal Agenda, calling on the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to establish a principal reduction program for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac owned or insured rental mortgages.

Why Ed DeMarco Won’t Be Fired

By: Wednesday August 1, 2012 6:50 am

When Ed DeMarco rejected participation for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the HAMP principal reduction program, condemnation on the left was fast and furious. But the statute is a bit unclear, and no matter, what Ed Marco may be a convenient villain for an Administration that has done little to solve the housing problem over three years.

FHFA Opts to Reject Principal Reductions for Fannie and Freddie Loans

By: Tuesday July 31, 2012 1:15 pm

I was wondering whether FHFA Acting Director Ed DeMarco would respond to that Wall Street Journal article today pressuring him to allow participation from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in an Administration principal reduction program. Well, he has. DeMarco rejected participation for Fannie and Freddie, opting to go ahead with principal forbearance and other loan modification programs and blocking principal reduction.

FHFA Analysis Shows Principal Reductions as an Even Better Deal for Taxpayers

By: Tuesday July 31, 2012 7:25 am

FHFA leader Ed DeMarco has indefinitely put on hold the question of whether he will allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to offer principal reductions to delinquent underwater borrowers. He’s actually said nothing about it publicly since April. But Nick Timiraos leaks out the details of a new study that shows the benefits of principal reductions are greater than FHFA first surmised.

Report: Lawmakers, Top Officials Knowingly Received VIP Loans From Countrywide

By: Thursday July 5, 2012 2:19 pm

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Darrell Issa’s perch, has released a new report on the practice of now-defunct mortgage lender Countrywide handing out special mortgages at low rates to members of Congress and other key officials through their “VIP” program. And it does not appear to pick sides or divvy up the information to protect one party or the other.

Ed DeMarco’s Relatively Insignificant Choice

By: Monday April 16, 2012 9:20 am

Good columnists like Edward Luce are explaining some of the basics of the ongoing housing/mortgage crisis, but they’re still assuming that the decisions open to Ed DeMarco will have a greater effect than is being discussed. That’s because his decisions about principal write downs would apply only to a small part of the overall depressed housing market.

More Terrible Media Reporting About Housing

By: Wednesday April 11, 2012 4:27 pm

I’ve noted before that one of the reasons we don’t get good housing policy in this country is that the media by and large doesn’t understand it. When Ed Henry shows that he doesn’t know how home loans work, it means more complex issues about housing policy have no chance of moving past the demagoguery stage. That’s what I thought when I saw this story from ABC News about how taxpayers are paying for mowing lawns! Oh noes!

Analysts Missing the Point on DeMarco and Principal Reduction

By: Wednesday April 11, 2012 10:10 am

Coverage of Ed DeMarco’s speech on principal reductions has sometimes missed the point he’s talking about applying reductions to only a small subset of the underwater mortgates held by the GSEs, so the benefits of the policy are also seen as relatively small. It seems he and the Administration are focused more on interest refinancing than principal reductions.

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