Friday, April 03, 2009

Neighborhood Stabilization Programs are reaching heavily into foreclosed areas.
$4BB of federal monies authorized by Congress in 2008 and another $2BB dollars in the 2009 economic stimulus package are being distributed to dozens of cities, towns and counties in the United States. These are aimed at purchasing blocks of distressed properties to create “land banks” for future redevelopers. Private investors can work jointly with nonprofits to assemble and prepare real estate for government purchase. Sidelined by the recession, now local builders and developers may be able to help reconstruct damaged houses and manage them until they are ready for resale. Contact local housing and community development agencies that are making Neighborhood Stabilization proposals to the federal government. If local officials have not yet prepared proposals for HUD, you may be able to talk to them and get the process started. Tamarac in Broward County, the closest area to Palm Beach County receiving initially distributed funds for this plan, will get almost $5MM. For Further information. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 2 weeks ago US mortgage applications soared 32% as record low interest rates spurred home refi loans, accounting for 78.5% of all applications. reports that in 2008 the housing market lost an estimated $3.3 trillion in value. Credit Suisse Group AG estimates that a total of 16% of all US households (8.1MM homes) with mortgages could fall into foreclosure by 2012. The Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that at the end of 2008, a little more than 9% of all US home loans were either in arrears or foreclosure. The $75BB incentive plan for lenders applies when they lower interest rates so that a borrowers monthly mortgage payment is no more than 38% of his or her pre-tax income. Then the government program would match the amount reduced by the lender to bring payments down to 31% of their pre-tax income, or to lower the principal owed on the mortgage, according to Market Watch. Part of the initiative provides for servicers to receive $1000 for each loan modification, and government funding for each month the borrower stays current on the loan. Homeowners can also receive $1000 annually for 5 years as long as they stay current on loan payments – this comes from the Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) and from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A plan allowing judges to rewrite mortgage terms for homeowners in bankruptcy court is under consideration so that rather than force people into foreclosure they can make at least some of the payments. There is a fear, however, that this “cram down” law, if passed, would stop investors from buying mortgage-backed securities, fearing judges could unilaterally change the terms of the deal the securities were created around, according to MSNBC, thereby destabilizing the marketplace.

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