mortgage refinance

FHFA Firestorm!

firestormThe FHFA just pooped on half a million Americans and denied those underwater on their mortgage to obtain partial debt forgiveness. Millions of American homeowners holding out hope are outraged. Acting FHFA director Ed DeMarco:

Today, I provided a response to numerous congressional inquiries as to whether the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) would direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to implement the Home Affordable Modification Program Principal Reduction Alternative (HAMP PRA). After extensive analysis of the revised HAMP PRA, including the determination by the Treasury Department to begin using Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) monies to make incentive payments to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FHFA has concluded that the anticipated benefits do not outweigh the costs and risks.

Given our multiple responsibilities to conserve the assets of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, maximize assistance to homeowners to avoid foreclosures, and minimize the expense of such assistance to taxpayers, FHFA concluded that HAMP PRA did not clearly improve foreclosure avoidance while reducing costs to taxpayers relative to the approaches in place today.

HARP Another Siren Song for Homeowners

siren with harpWith much fanfare and headline buzz, Obama announced a new program to help homeowners.  What is it?  They simply lifted the 125% refinancing cap for mortgages attached to residential properties.  Previously one could not refinance a home more than 125% of it's current value.   Now you can refinance your mortgage where the principle is twice what the value of your home is.  Nice huh?  Mortgages only held at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will qualify and the program is only open until 2013. Your bank must approve and any mortgage sold to Fannie, Freddie after May 31, 2009 also doesn't qualify.

house mazeWe have a name, HARP, for this program. Yet another mnemonic, similar to hopeless HAMP which was also released with much fanfare. Homeowners found HAMP to be a labyrinth of bureaucratic no help, designed to be a rat maze pretending somewhere there was some cheese.

Washington Post:

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, working with the Obama administration, said that up to 1 million “underwater” borrowers might benefit from an expanded program that targets homeowners who owe more than their properties are worth.

NACA Save the Dream Mortgage Help Tour

Mother Jones reporter Andy Kroll has gotten down and personal with desperate homeowners. In the illusion of recovery Kroll witnesses people showing up for free help from a group I've never heard of, the NACA.

Currently the NACA is touring the country with free help for distressed homeowners in the Save the Dream program. Current Pit stop is Charlotte, NC. Here is Kroll's account from the NACA mortgage help tour at San Francisco's Cow Palace: