Over 1 Million Homeowners Bounced From HAMP Since Program Began

By: Friday September 14, 2012 6:45 am

The August housing scorecard is out, and as Arthur Delaney notes it contains a dubious milestone. Over 1 million homeowners have now been kicked out of the HAMP program, either by being turned down for a permanent modification or going into a re-default on their modification once it became permanent. And all 1 million of those borrowers end up in a worse financial situation than when they started out with the program, trapped by their servicer into bad scenarios.


Kamala Harris Embarrasses Herself by Touting Terrible Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

By: Thursday September 6, 2012 1:55 pm

Mitt Romney has no answers on housing. His new housing section on his website consists of vague imitations of what the current Administration is already doing. But Obama is indefensible on this issue. Completely. Totally. Utterly. Harris praises him for “leadership,” but generating a foreclosure mitigation system that was nothing more than “foaming the runway” for the banks, so they could absorb foreclosures more slowly, was anything but leadership.

The Democratic Platform’s Dishonest Nonsense on Housing

By: Tuesday September 4, 2012 9:20 am

I gave a qualified decent review to the Democratic Party platform on the deficit and social insurance programs. I cannot come close to doing the same on housing. In fact, the platform plank on this issue is so disingenuous, it makes Paul Ryan’s convention speech look scrupulously honest. I have to go through this 285-word section line by line.

NYT Front-Pager on Administration Housing Policy Misses Several Key Points

By: Monday August 20, 2012 8:45 am

Today the New York Times pick up the story of the Administration’s weak programs to rescue homeowners, noting that the Administration’s response to the foreclosure crisis, which I would label something between “non-existent” and “counter-productive,” has weighed down the recovery. But the real problem is the Administration didn’t want to put the banks at further risk.

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.

On Bailouts and Wall Street, Treasury and Deceit

By: Thursday July 26, 2012 11:10 am

The debate over Neil Barofsky’s book has taken a turn into a broader debate over bailing out Wall Street at the expense of Main Street, which is both the right conversation to have and also kind of a dismissal of the main argument. Matt Yglesias tries to referee this debate by fitting it into this [...]

Barofsky Set to Enter National Debate With Book on TARP’s Failures

By: Monday July 23, 2012 9:10 am

It’s fair to say that former Special Inspector General for TARP, Neil Barofsky plans to become as an important part of the national conversation. In an interview this a.m. Barofsky was unyielding in saying that you cannot view TARP in a vacuum, both in the sense of that being the only emergency support afforded the banks or in the sense of TARP being solely designed to save the banks, and not to help homeowners or spur lending.

Barofsky Book: Geithner Confirmed in 2009 That HAMP Was Designed for Banks to Spread Out Foreclosures

By: Friday July 20, 2012 6:48 am

The important moment in the book for me comes conveniently after Barofsky recounts this FDL News item, one of my HAMP horror stories. Barofsky shows how HAMP’s faulty design led to all sorts of problems like this, with trapped borrowers, extended trial payments, no-doc modifications, and eventually unnecessary foreclosures. Barofsky mused that Treasury didn’t care about the suffering of borrowers under HAMP.

Treasury Confirms That HAMP Being Used for Settlement Relief

By: Monday June 11, 2012 11:00 am

One of the more annoying provisions of the mortgage fraud settlement is how servicers can get credit towards the settlement-required principal reductions via reductions under HAMP, for which they’re paid incentives. That implies tax payers are paying part of the penalties servicers are supposed to pay under the settlement. Recently, HUD confirmed this.

Bank of America Begins “Pay Settlement With Other People’s Money” Scheme

By: Tuesday May 8, 2012 8:15 am

Bank of America says it began mailing notices to their borrowers about principal reduction opportunities under the foreclosure fraud settlement. Recall that BofA inked a side deal on the settlement that would allow them to extinguish an additional $850 million of the cash penalties by reducing loan balances more deeply than called for in the settlement. At the time it was announced, the thinking was that BofA could avoid that $850 million by reducing balances on loans it didn’t actually own, and now that seems likely to happen.

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