More Noises About Administration Firing Ed DeMarco After the Election

By: Saturday November 3, 2012 2:24 pm

Zach Carter find yet another indicator that, after the election, Barack Obama plans to fire Federal Housing Finance Agency Administrator Ed DeMarco. But this claim has even less meat on its bones than the previous pledge.

It comes from Bank of America analyst Ralph Axel, who argues that the Administration plans to use housing policy as its “secret weapon.”

 

Romney Campaign Advisor Pinned Down on Housing Policies

By: Monday October 22, 2012 2:00 pm

Mike Konczal decided to do some sorely missed actual reporting at last week’s debate, seeking out Glenn Hubbard, one of Mitt Romney’s key economic advisers, for a discussion on housing policy.

HARP Refi Numbers Not as Strong as Advertised

By: Tuesday July 17, 2012 11:40 am

The Federal Housing Finance Agency engaged in a little back-patting yesterday for improved HARP figures, which they say are a direct result of their changes to the system to allow for more underwater borrowers to take advantage of low refinancing rates. The truth is a little murkier.

Confirmed: HARP 2.0 Ripping Off Underwater Borrowers

By: Monday June 18, 2012 1:00 pm

The Wall Street Journal gets around to noticing that the latest version of HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, has been manipulated by the leading mortgage servicers to trap their borrowers. And they add a bit of a twist. Because servicers set the fees from closings on refinances, this trapping of their borrowers also happens to be quite lucrative.

House Democrats Call Out Administration on Poor HARP 2.0 Refinancing Effort

By: Wednesday May 30, 2012 10:00 am

A group of over 50 House Democrats are calling out the Obama Administration for their management of the HARP 2.0 program. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Ed DeMarco, the Democrats point to data showing that the new version of HARP, designed to steer more refinancing to underwater borrowers, simply isn’t meeting those goals.

As Predicted, Ally Bankruptcy Will Delay Loan Modifications, Settlement Actions for Borrowers

By: Monday May 21, 2012 9:40 am

When Ally Financial’s mortgage unit Residential Capital filed for bankruptcy last week, I had an inkling it would spell trouble for the foreclosure fraud settlement the parent company signed with state and federal regulators. How would individuals get loan modifications in the midst of a bankruptcy proceeding? Now it looks like they won’t.

Donovan Acknowledges Banks Gaming HARP 2.0 to Increase Profits

By: Sunday May 13, 2012 7:00 pm

The design of HARP 2.0 has artificially profited banks at the expense of homeowners. The banks, in a very strange and apparently coordinated manner, have unilaterally decided that they will only perform HARP refis for underwater borrowers on the loans they already service. This eliminates competition for those loans. And the immediate effect of that is higher costs for underwater borrowers, who are trapped and cannot get a refi with anyone but their old servicer. So the servicers raise the interest rates they offer on the refi. In some documented cases, the closing costs, which are almost entirely profit for the bank, are higher than the savings on the refinance.

More Evidence of HARP 2.0 Ripoffs

By: Wednesday April 18, 2012 7:32 am

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports a decrease in mortgage purchase activity last week, but an increase in refinancing activity, led by the new version of HARP. No surprise, since banks are using HARP on their own loans to capture much of the interest spread during the refinancing.

Banks Benefit From Trapping Customers in HARP 2.0

By: Friday April 13, 2012 6:30 pm

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, showing no ill effects from a foreclosure fraud settlement that was supposed to penalize them for fraudulent misconduct, both announced robust earnings gains today. Matt Stoller has a good look inside the numbers. But I was intrigued by the fact that both banks attributed stronger mortgage lending numbers for their earnings gains.

HARP 2.0 Setting Up as Another Disappointment

By: Monday March 26, 2012 2:02 pm

The revised HARP program intended to encourage refinancing at lower interest rates was announced last year, and the updating of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s Desktop Underwriter program was supposed to make the changes turnkey, leading to mass refinancings allowing any lender to refinance another lender’s loan. But
Kathleen Pender reports that, while this was supposed to free up newly eligible borrowers to shop around for the best refi, this isn’t happening

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