New program for swimmers

Still nibbling around the edges of the problem — but at least it’s addressing the right problem:

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced on Monday morning new rules that will allow many more “underwater” homeowners – who owe more than their properties are worth – to refinance at today’s ultra-low rates.

FHFA estimates up to a million borrowers will use the program, which was originally rolled out in early 2009 and has fallen far short of the number of people it was supposed to help.

Only mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be eligible.

In the past, borrowers who owed only more than 25 percent more than their homes are worth could participate in the program. Now, there is no cap on how much a borrower owes.

6 thoughts on “New program for swimmers

  1. James Michael Curley (1874-1958). For anyone interested in who Obama is using as a template in the conduct of his domestic policy should check out Boston Mayor James Michael Curley. This “new” policy for underwater homeowners came straight out of Curley’s political playbook.

  2. Given the horror stories surrounding access to HARP, one wonders if it’s worth the effort. And of course the question always is, wouldn’t it be cheaper for the taxpayer simply to cram down mortgages to the home’s current value??

  3. Cheaper, better, less “austere”, more just. So basically, never gonna happen (at least under the current administration). Sigh, fun to dream.

  4. Or how about we try a program known to work, like FDR’s HOLC? More scamming and lying and tinkering round the edges and traps for the unwary.

    FDR created 15 million jobs through his programs, like WPA and CCC. WPA was created by executive order. Obama could do that tomorrow, if he wanted to. So he doesn’t want to.

  5. in return for not holding the bank that refinances liable for fraud in the origination of the original loan – bonus points, knocks a big hole in cases California et al are bringing against the banks

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