Thursday, December 18, 2008
What’s as difficult to find as a new private housing development? Perhaps it’s a successful large-scale government program to help Americans in difficult housing financial condition. After the disappointment of the effort to help New Orleanians find “the road home” (see my Aug. 29, 2007, entry), the ballyhooed “Hope for Homeowners” project of HUD’s Federal Housing Administration has been deemed a failure so far, with only a handful of homeowners submitting applications since inception of the project in October. Among the problems, according to critics cited by the Washington Post: a reluctance of creditors to agree to refinancing, restrictions against a high payment-to-income ratio for homeowners, and a required pledge by the homeowner that he or she didn’t provide false information on the original loan application. (A combination of these latter two would dissuade a lot of troubled homeowners, wouldn’t it?) And so the search continues for a way to keep homeowners in their houses, to provide reliable payments to creditors, and to stem the tide of foreclosures and abandoned homes that is causing neighborhood predicaments across the nation …
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