The spectacular failure of Obama's housing policy

There's no other way to describe what Obama has wrought with his wrong headed, misguided policies for homeowners. It is an Epic Fail that has made the situation much worse and delayed the recovery in home values by artificially propping up mortgage holders who can't pay.

This piece in the New York Times by David Streitfeld doesn't come out and say this, of course. But all you have to do is read what many homeowners have decided to do about their valueless homes; walk away leaving the bank - and the rest of us - holding the bag:

After three years of plunging real estate values, after the bailouts of the bankers and the revival of their million-dollar bonuses, after the Obama administration's loan modification plan raised the expectations of many but satisfied only a few, a large group of distressed homeowners is wondering the same thing.New research suggests that when a home's value falls below 75 percent of the amount owed on the mortgage, the owner starts to think hard about walking away, even if he or she has the money to keep paying.

In a situation without precedent in the modern era, millions of Americans are in this bleak position. Whether, or how, to help them is one of the biggest questions the Obama administration confronts as it seeks a housing policy that would contribute to the economic recovery.

"We haven't yet found a way of dealing with this that would, we think, be practical on a large scale," the assistant Treasury secretary for financial stability, Herbert M. Allison Jr., said in a recent briefing.

The number of Americans who owed more than their homes were worth was virtually nil when the real estate collapse began in mid-2006, but by the third quarter of 2009, an estimated 4.5 million homeowners had reached the critical threshold, with their home's value dropping below 75 percent of the mortgage balance.

Incredible. After pouring $80 billion into the loan modification program, they are still looking for a way to avoid what they should have done in the first place; allow the market to work and wring all of this bad paper out of the system.

The estimate of 5.1 million foreclosures this year is staggering - 10% of all home mortgages might go into default. And yet, the Obama administration's answer is more government intervention. 

The result is that it is estimated that more than 500,000 people who otherwise could make payments on their home loans, got up and walked away because the value of their property had fallen 30% or more. Part of the problem is that home values continue to decline. If there had been even a modest recovery, many of those walk aways probably would have stayed put.

So congratulations are in order for our president. It's very difficult to make a very bad situation catastrophically worse - something he managed without much trouble at all.




There's no other way to describe what Obama has wrought with his wrong headed, misguided policies for homeowners. It is an Epic Fail that has made the situation much worse and delayed the recovery in home values by artificially propping up mortgage holders who can't pay.

This piece in the New York Times by David Streitfeld doesn't come out and say this, of course. But all you have to do is read what many homeowners have decided to do about their valueless homes; walk away leaving the bank - and the rest of us - holding the bag:

After three years of plunging real estate values, after the bailouts of the bankers and the revival of their million-dollar bonuses, after the Obama administration's loan modification plan raised the expectations of many but satisfied only a few, a large group of distressed homeowners is wondering the same thing.

New research suggests that when a home's value falls below 75 percent of the amount owed on the mortgage, the owner starts to think hard about walking away, even if he or she has the money to keep paying.

In a situation without precedent in the modern era, millions of Americans are in this bleak position. Whether, or how, to help them is one of the biggest questions the Obama administration confronts as it seeks a housing policy that would contribute to the economic recovery.

"We haven't yet found a way of dealing with this that would, we think, be practical on a large scale," the assistant Treasury secretary for financial stability, Herbert M. Allison Jr., said in a recent briefing.

The number of Americans who owed more than their homes were worth was virtually nil when the real estate collapse began in mid-2006, but by the third quarter of 2009, an estimated 4.5 million homeowners had reached the critical threshold, with their home's value dropping below 75 percent of the mortgage balance.

Incredible. After pouring $80 billion into the loan modification program, they are still looking for a way to avoid what they should have done in the first place; allow the market to work and wring all of this bad paper out of the system.

The estimate of 5.1 million foreclosures this year is staggering - 10% of all home mortgages might go into default. And yet, the Obama administration's answer is more government intervention. 

The result is that it is estimated that more than 500,000 people who otherwise could make payments on their home loans, got up and walked away because the value of their property had fallen 30% or more. Part of the problem is that home values continue to decline. If there had been even a modest recovery, many of those walk aways probably would have stayed put.

So congratulations are in order for our president. It's very difficult to make a very bad situation catastrophically worse - something he managed without much trouble at all.




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