Saturday, February 12, 2011

Obama housing plan to end Fannie, Freddie - The Hill's On The Money

Obama housing plan to end Fannie, Freddie - The Hill's On The Money: "Under the administration's plan, there would be no future Fannie and Freddie providing broad, full guarantees in the housing market, according to senior administration officials.

While the administration's report calls for the winding down of Fannie and Freddie, it does not reach a single conclusion as to what the housing market should look like at the end of the transition. Rather, it provides three options, with varying roles for the government to play.
I notice once again that the Obama administration is big on proposing sweeping changes to huge sectors of the economy, but small on saying exactly how they expect it to be done. Same thing with health care reform--they left it up to Congress. The House passed one version, the Senate passed a different one, and then when Scott Brown got elected and the Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, they passed up conference committee entirely and had the House ram through the flawed Senate bill (it doesn't even have a severability clause). Now, here they go with this huge plan to "wind down" Fannie and Freddie, but there is a menu of approaches for doing it. Somebody else is supposed to take responsibility for deciding how this can be done.

And how about that great mortgage reformation plan the Administration came up with that didn't work?

Geithner's casual la-de-da attitude toward this is typical of him.

If I made major decisions this way, people would say I was nuts. If you decide to do something, the "how" is everything. It isn't an afterthought. If you have decided to do away with the current massive federal government role in the housing market, you need first to know exactly HOW you are going to do it. If there isn't a clear "how," then it is time to go back to the drawing board--not to start the process of change.

This is like having a surgeon who says, "I am going to do an operation on you that has never been done before. We have come up with three different ways to do it. We will start the operation, and then I will let the surgical team decide which one of them to use." Wouldn't you suspect that the surgeon actually doesn't know how to do this at all? And that maybe the whole thing will result in muddling through and maybe causing a disaster?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Obama Calls For End Of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Obama Calls For End Of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac: "NEW YORK -- The Obama administration plans to wind down bailed-out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the next five to seven years, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Friday.

The taxpayer-owned mortgage giants, which were effectively nationalized in 2008, guarantee nine of every 10 new mortgages along with other government agencies. Delinquencies on home loans backed by the two companies have cost taxpayers more than $150 billion."

As I said below, this is a herculean task. "Winding down" Fannie and Freddie? Somehow the private sector is just going to take over the multi-trillion dollar responsibility of buying, securitizing, and "guaranteeing" 90% of the mortgages in the US?

Well, at least it will be a good practice round in case nationalization of health insurance collapses and they have to get the private insurance industry to take it back.

Fannie, Freddie reform won't halt more huge taxpayer losses - Feb. 11, 2011

Fannie, Freddie reform won't halt more huge taxpayer losses - Feb. 11, 2011: "NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- When the dust settles, the federal bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be the most expensive government rescue of the financial crisis -- it already stands at $153 billion and counting."
The Obama administration is considering ways to have private corporations take over most of what Fannie and Freddie are doing, which right now amounts to backing up 90% of the housing market. Good luck. This is going to be a major challenge.

Home Owners Association Takes Home Over Legal Fees

Home Owners Association Takes Home Over Legal Fees: "The smile on Hillary's face masks a dark secret she doesn't share with customers. She's owned this southwest side condo since 2005. Her youngest son's father paid cash for it and put it in Hillary's name.

But it's not her property anymore. Why?

She was late in paying monthly maintenance fees to her homeowners association."

Another one of those "isolated examples" that keep happening. And in this case, she paid the maintenance fees. She lost her home because she didn't pay the attorney fees.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

At Lincoln House: The housing reset

At Lincoln House: The housing reset: "The housing bust left many things in its wake, but some of the most troubling detritus are the “zombie” and obsolete subdivisions sprawled across peripheral areas – approved and platted, some partially built but most just lots, unimproved roads and the occasional lone lamppost – all over the country but particularly prevalent in the South and Intermountain West."
This is the weblog of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. They have some ideas about what may happen to the zombie subdivisions.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Smart Set: Water View - January 25, 2011

The Smart Set: Water View - January 25, 2011: "The time for sea living is here, and Dennis Chamberland — star of the recent VBS.TV episode “The Aquatic Life of Dennis Chamberland" — intends to be its pioneer. This underwater dominion will be named Aquatica. “We are the first humans who will move there and stay with no intention of ever calling dry land our home again,” he writes on his Atlantica Expeditions website. “We represent the first generation of a people who will live out their lives beneath the sea.”
And of course there is a web site.

Restless in Texas: HOA inmates rally for reform

Here's a link to the HOA Reform Coalition's Feb. 15 rally in Austin.

AZ Supreme Court accepts George Staropoli's amicus brief in challenge to HOA statute « HOA Constitutional Government

AZ Supreme Court accepts advocate’s amicus brief in challenge to HOA statute « HOA Constitutional Government: "The Arizona Supreme Court has accepted my amicus curiae brief in support of constitutionality of the DFBLS/OAH due process statutes (Gelb v. DFBLS, CV 10-0371-PR). The Court has yet to decide if it will hear the Petition from the homeowner. Neither party objected to my brief, not even the CAI HOA law firm that received harsh treatment. I had presented background facts and arguments in an effort to assist the Court in understanding the disgraceful state of affairs with HOAs."

Interesting--let's see what effect it has on the court.

Good Legal Advice or Confidence Game? You Decide.

Good Legal Advice or Confidence Game? You Decide.: "An over-reaching attorney, who uses the lure of a “free seminar” to get access to the directors of a community association and, once in the door, threatens the board with personal liability if they don't immediately hire him and his consultants to investigate and pursue a construction defect claim. This scenario is not fiction. It is apparently happening with alarming frequency in the current over-heated market for construction defect legal work. Let's analyze it."

Thanks to Fred Pilot for forwarding the link to this advice from attorney Tyler Berding. I have seen things like this happen.