Hillary Clinton's Answer to the Mortgage Meltdown
by atdleft, Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 10:59:59 AM EDT
I wrote this back on December 5, just when we were beginning to learn about how serious the mortgage meltdown was becoming. And now that this mortgage meltdown may take us down into a greater economic crisis, I think this is still a timely issue that needs to be discussed. And by the way, Hillary won't be able to help us get our of this crisis as our next President if we don't make sure that she wins. Please check out Hill's new MyPA page to not only help Hillary win Pennsylvania, but also tell the campaign how you'd like your money to be spent. Awesome, isn't it?
But anyways, on to the feature presentation... ;-)
I think we all know now how serious the mortgage crisis is becoming. People are losing their homes. Builders don't know if they can build more homes. Here in my neck of the woods in Southern California, our entire economy is being affected, and we just don't know if we'll be seeing any relief any time soon. So what can be done? How do we start to fix this mess in real estate?
Enter Hillary Clinton:
"Mortgage lenders didn't have balance sheets big enough to write millions of loans on their own. [...] Wall Street originated and packaged the loans that common sense warned would end in foreclosure. Some people might say Wall Street only helped distribute risk. I say, Wall Street shifted risk away from the people who knew what was going on and onto the people who didn't."
Yep, Hillary was at the NASDAQ MarketSite today to talk about this problem. Oh yes, and she also talked about solutions. Want to see
what Hillary's proposing?
Hillary will challenge lenders and financial institutions to take three immediate steps today: 1) Voluntarily support a moratorium of at least 90 days on home foreclosures; 2) freeze the fluctuating rates on subprime loans for at least 5 years until they can be converted into fixed rate, affordable loans; 3) Require regular status reports on the progress they're making in converting unworkable mortgages into loans families can afford so we have real accountability.
Hillary is proposing a comprehensive work out-not a bail out-that would end the foreclosure crisis. If Wall Street refuses to act, Hillary will propose legislation to tackle the problems in the housing market head on.
Wow, that sounds like a clear plan of action! But wait, how exactly will this affect us? How will Hillary's solutions provide real help for us? Well, as Hillary recently wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, our economic slump will only worsen if we don't do something about the mortgage crisis. 1.8 million foreclosure notices have been sent out so far this year, which is an increase of 74% from 2006. Now think about that for a moment. 1.8 million people losing their homes this year? And all because they were suckered into a bad deal that could never work?
OK, so let's get back to Hillary's plan of action. In her letter to Henry Paulson, Hillary outlined a plan of action that she would take if the Bush Administration does not take the three steps she mentioned earlier. Let's see what she says:
I will consider legislation that enables lenders to convert unworkable mortgages into stable, affordable loans without the permission of investors. Protection from lawsuits will remove the obstacle that keeps lenders, servicers and others from turning mortgages that were designed to fail into mortgages families can afford. Right now, servicers who process monthly loan payments and interface with homeowners have flexibility to modify loans. However, they are reluctant to fully exercise this discretion in part because they fear investor lawsuits. Investors who own the securities into which the mortgages have been packaged may assert that they are harmed when servicers help at-risk borrowers. Protection from lawsuits could enable the servicers to help homeowners avoid foreclosures, help investors avoid the losses they would otherwise suffer, and help the economy. [...]
A fund of up to $5 billion to help hard-hit communities and distressed homeowners weather the foreclosure crisis. The fund will support initiatives by states, cities, and community groups to reduce foreclosures, and to help cities cope with the financial and social costs associated with an increase in vacant properties. The fund will provide a much-needed boost to communities already feeling the effects of the economic downturn. [...] Financial counseling can cost as little as $3,000 per household, while each foreclosure costs a local community $227,000 when the harm to surrounding property values is included. Foreclosure prevention is more critical than ever. The concentration of foreclosures in particular neighborhoods has a negative ripple effect on communities. It leads to higher rates of crime, lower tax revenues, and lower property values. Low-income communities are especially at risk. Risky subprime loans are three times more likely in low-income neighborhoods than in high-income ones. [...] The foreclosure crisis threatens to undo the gains in minority homeownership rates. Lawsuits have been filed against mortgage lenders alleging discriminatory practices. Regulators should be especially attentive to these concerns.
My goodness, Hillary certainly knows her stuff when it comes to the real facts on the mortgage crisis and what needs to be done to solve it. But wait, you'd like to see some more? Well, you can always check out Hillary's page on the mortgage crisis. Over there, you can find out more about Hillary's ideas on how to protect the American Dream of becoming a homeowner.
After all, if we want real solutions to this real problem hurting working families and their dream of owning their own home, shouldn't we have a President that's strong enough to lead on Day One? Hillary understands that the problem is more than just subprime mortgages. It's about people losing their homes. It's about workers in every sector from mortgages to construction losing their jobs. It's about a serious economic issue that can't be ignored any longer. And guess what? Hillary knows what to do, and she'll be ready to act and solve this problem.Think about it. Isn't it time we have a President who cares about our concerns? Isn't it time that we have a President who doesn't just talk about the problems we face today, but also make solutions happen? :-) ...... Oh yes, and btw... Here's Hill's NEW ad up in Pennsylvania taking on the economic crisis... Yet another reason to check out the the MyPA page and see how you can help put this ad on the air all over the state! :-)