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Obama Housing Plans vs. Reality

Posted on Feb 15, 2012
AP / Cliff Owen

President Obama holds up a proposed mortgage application form at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, Va., Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012.

By Cora Currier, ProPublica

The Obama administration recently unveiled a string of proposals to help struggling homeowners and get the housing market back on its feet 2014 part of the administration’s “We Can’t Wait” election year to-do list. Of course, the White House has made big promises before about helping homeowners, only to see them disappoint time and again.

Here are the latest proposals, whether they are anything new and whether they stand a chance of going anywhere.


President Obama wants to allow homeowners whose mortgages are backed by private-sector companies to refinance at lower rates through the Federal Housing Administration. (The FHA insures many mortgages, and it is not the same as the FHFA, the regulatory agency in charge of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.) The president stressed that the proposal would help only “responsible” homeowners who were current on their payments 2014 to counter Republican complaints that his housing policies reward foolhardy borrowers.

Déjà vu: This is only the latest in a long series of attempts by Obama to help homeowners refinance. There have been a few, minor attempts to push refinancing through the FHA. Via a separate program launched in 2009 that used Freddie and Fannie, more than 900,000 homeowners have refinanced, substantially fewer than the goal of 4 million homeowners.

Will it happen? Unlikely. This plan needs to get through a Congress that is staunchly opposed. “How many times have we done this?” said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.


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Republicans have a number of objections. First, Obama wants the plan to be paid for with a fee on the banks in repayment for the bailout, a tactic that’s raised Wall Street hackles in previous budgets. Secondly, some Republicans balk at passing more risk on to the FHA, which is in danger of having to ask the Treasury for a subsidy for the first time in its nearly 70-year history. Even if the plan passes, its impact would likely be limited. For the Obama administration to instigate mass refinancing without Congress’ help, many say it would need to get Fannie and Freddie on board, a move the companies’ regulator has so far been reluctant to endorse.

Bill of rights

A so-called “homeowner’s bill of rights” aims to make things clearer for borrowers, requiring a standard set of forms and disclosure of fees and conflicts of interests. It also calls for help for those very close to foreclosure, including a right of appeal on the decision to foreclose. (Homeowners have claimed wrongful foreclosure for a wide variety of reasons, and have had little recourse to appeal mortgage servicers’ decisions.)

Déjà vu: This may be just a branding of efforts already under way across different agencies. The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it is already developing a set of standard disclosure forms and rules aimed at preventing misleading or fraudulent practices by mortgage servicers. As for an appeal process, Treasury already has a system for complaints about foreclosures, and is reportedly expanding its review process for those denied eligibility for government loan modification programs. Advocates have criticized Treasury’s current review efforts as ineffective. And, separately, federal bank regulators are developing new standards for mortgage servicers.

Will it happen? According the White House’s announcement, a host of agencies that deal with housing will work to enact new rules in keeping with the bill of rights. But right now the bill of rights itself is simply a set of guiding principles that don’t yet have any teeth. (We’ve documented problems with enforcement on similar guidelines.) The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the CFPB did not respond to our queries on exactly how the bill of rights relates to existing efforts.

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By PrestonDawkness, February 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Want to thank all of you, for your Powerfull stand against Oboma & His Corrupted political partners.

But there is so much more we can do. Being aggressive and focusing on the facts and truth is only the first step.

We musT follow Up with more details standing by our convictions and dont back down.

Oboma has NOT brought CHANGE, In fact ~! ~ THE ONLY real THING needing CHANGE !....Was Barack Hussein Obama II.


Barack Hussein Obama II (

Who hates American Values ) who is A ” SELF PROCLAIMED Enemy” ~of responsible, Morally Conscious HARD WORKING Americans.

oBOMAS Irresponsible & DRUG MAFIA and reckless supporters KNOW~ that Barack Hussein Obama II, WILL FORCE YOU to paY THEM, out of your PockeT .{ FOR all of their UNCHECKED Vices and THRILLS/ 

{ All on YOU

| / At your COST & Sacrifice.\

...This UN~CHANGABLE fraud, has done His VERY BEST to Inspire VIOLENCE. 

THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. saying ......To his supporters.Saying “Get ready for hand-to-hand combat with your Fellow Americans” – Obama has ALSO DECLARED to his Supporters. “I want all Americans to get in each others faces!– Obama Demands ! 

“You bring a knife to a fight pal, we’ll bring a gun” –

THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. ANGER VIOLENCE And more taxes….. THIS IS OBAMAS Change for america /“Hit Back Twice As Hard”. He commands !  *Obama on the private sector: ~~ “We talk To these folks…~ / so I know whose a*$ to KICK.“ OBOMA wants to KICK your a*$ /```

Shouting THAT Republican victory would mean ~ “hand to hand combat” and HE IS EXPECTING people to be on Edge and ON BORDERLINE killing MODE, `` VIOLENT / and STAND and STOMP and MOB for their immoral CAUSES and THIS IS WHAT HE LIVES FOR ./ ./ ./ THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. !* Obama Tells democrats: “ I’m itching for a fight.” !

....PLEASE…. go to reXes NEW WebsiTe ~ ! Oboma *( Just like Adolf Hitler~~\oBOMA~~~ Demands !—[ THE FINAL SOLUTION - for Un~Wanted Children

Barak Obama is A MURDERER .~Torturing UNWANTED babys on DEATH ROE.


OBAMA TAKES a little NEW BORN innocent child, BORN ALIVE sTabS it iN the head and SUCKs ITS BRAINS OUT.

This is just too wrong and horrible.  Please stand for Loving Children and the USA. 

  Respectfully and Thankfully Thank you ALL for your Time.


SLAUGHTERING }]  21 LITTLE Helpless Children at Waco.

  Click Here

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By gerard, February 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Again probably too little too late, but better than nothing.  Obviously aimed at election, which undercuts its moral validity. Stopping the war in Afghanistan two or three years earlier and redirecting the money to domestic needs might have done more good a lot sooner.

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