Archive for the ‘Washington News’ Category

Housing Crisis Disappearing

April 6th, 2009
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Home Sales in February are beginning to increase with foreclosure defaults supplying much of the housing inventory.  With mortgage interest rates below 5% on thirty-year fixed rate home loans have caused a spike in FHA mortgage lending and home buying for first time homebuyers.


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Despite an ongoing recession, dropping home sales and a foreclosure crisis, there are some indications that the housing market may be heading for a recovery. CBS News’ Priya David reports on some positive movement in Portland, Oregon that may reveal signs that the housing crisis could be disappearing.  Some realtors and lenders believe that we are seeing the bottom of the housing slump and that the real estate market in many areas around the country will see a rebound later this year and in 2010.

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Hank Paulson The Worst is Just Beginning for Housing Markets

January 16th, 2009

A year ago, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson predicted the fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis was “largely contained.” The reports indicate that housing markets across the nation continue to decline.

Most homeowners and people residing in the United States, would disagree with Treasury Secretary Paulson. The foreclosure rates rose 81% in 2008 and so far in 2009 the foreclosure crisis looks to be a major issue facing President Barrack Obamma.

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Commission Recommends Enforcing Fair Housing to Minimize Housing Crisis

December 9th, 2008

In a recent article written by Hope Yen, the discussion of Fair Housing, Fair Lending and Quick Reforming is examined. According to recent reports, President-elect Barack Obama is being urged to strengthen enforcement of fair housing laws to curb the sub-prime mortgage debacle and mitigate the housing crisis doesn’t disproportionately hit minorities and the poor. A bipartisan commission pointed Tuesday to waning prosecutions of fair housing complaints, particularly under the Bush administration. “The system doesn’t work,” former Housing and Urban Development secretary Henry Cisneros said at a news briefing on the 85-page report prepared by the commission, which was co-chaired by Cisneros and former HUD secretary Jack Kemp. Cisneros said stronger HUD enforcement is needed in the interim until a separate agency can be created, saying, “This is the only way to address serious problems of housing segregation and discrimination that led us to our current foreclosure crisis.” Ultimately, the panel said Congress and the Obama administration must create an independent agency that would be free of inherent conflicts of interest at HUD. As it stands, HUD is in the awkward position of suing sub-prime lenders it also depends on to administer housing programs.

In its six-month investigation, the commission said a discriminatory lack of lending by financial institutions in lower-income neighborhood communities opened the door for high-cost home loan lenders to set up shop, resulting in “steering” of subprime mortgage lending toward minorities and the poor that later forced them to default. The commission says more than 4 million cases of housing discrimination occur each year, yet fewer than 30,000 complaints are filed to HUD. Of those, the number of cases prosecuted have steadily declined from 88 in 2001 to 31 in 2007. In 1995, HUD prosecutions numbered 125 — higher than recent years but still a fraction of total complaints. HUD’s popular mortgage program, the FHA loans have always made great strides in bridging the gap for minorities to become homeowners.

HUD delays in investigating fair housing complaints also have grown, currently averaging 502 days. Citing in part a “lack of leadership” in the last eight years, Cisneros, who served under President Bill Clinton, said Obama’s transition team had responded “very positively” to the commission’s findings and recommendations. Obama earlier this week expressed impatience with Bush’s response to the mortgage foreclosure crisis. “I expect an open hearing from the top people in the administration when they’re named, including the HUD secretary and the president-elect,” Cisneros said. Kemp, a Republican who served under President George H.W. Bush, said in a statement that the federal government needs to return to the business of “getting things done.” He did not appear at the news briefing, citing health difficulties.

More Fair Housing Recommendations:

o Revive the President’s Fair Housing Council, which has met only once in recent years, to promote coordination of housing enforcement with HUD, the Justice Department, bank regulatory agencies and housing groups.

o Create a five-year HUD multimedia program aimed at educating people about their fair housing rights.

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