The Great Obama Real Estate Bubble Fix Has Burst


Four million homeowners saved from foreclosure just this week!
Major banks agree to modify mortgages in record numbers.
Jobless rate peaks below 10 percent as White House predicted.

Okay, which of the above statements is not true?

1817 study of the White House south facade bas...
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The heck with it…don’t have time to wait while you think about it…mainly because, you shouldn’t have to think about. ALL the statements above are false: Banks are seemingly going out of their way NOT to modify mortgages and, when they do, according to various news reports, they modify interest and not the part of the mortgage that really matters! And we know what that is.

The number of homeowners facing or going into foreclosure keeps rising showing no real sign of stabilizing.

And, here’s the best (or worst) part—the entire Obama administration projection of where we would be right about now in terms of the national unemployment rate, is way, way off. Much higher than they thought it would be.

Even though the major banks–and mortgage lenders–got bailed out using all of our tax dollars, there are even reports now that the administration is not likely to really hound them too much to step up their “efforts” to modify mortgages, without which there can be no lasting and true economic recovery anytime soon.

The joke (only it is not so funny) turns out to be not that the Obama administration was too bold, but that it is not nearly bold enough. Apparently unwilling and maybe unable to take on the big banks.

You will be hard pressed to find a respected economist (are there such things?) who will not tell you there can be no recovery till the real estate market not only rebounds but starts to thrive again. ( I said thrive not create a new bubble!)

So, what did we get for our taxpayer bailout of the banks? Not much. They are raising credit card fees, not really going out of their way to modify mortgages of those who need help and pretty much are going back to business as usual.

Guess it was worth a try?

About Author

Charles is currently reporting for KNX Radio in Los Angeles, is the co-author of the book No Time To Think, and can be found commenting about the news on his blog, The Feldman Blog, as well as on The Huffington Post.


  1. Yes.. They are all false statements.. We seem to be getting further in the whole. With unemployment exceeding 10% in most areas ..No loan modification program will work.. So there will be more foreclosures coming.. As far as banks are concerned I predict another wave of stimulus being sent their way when they are forced to show “Mark-to-Market” balances on their books.

  2. Kenneth G. Smith II on

    If someone can pay rent, that rent can be considered part of a mortgage payment. The government is providing $8,000 for first time buyers, so why can’t the government pay part of the payment and have the borrower repay the government in the future?? Here is an example of how it could work.

    • Mr. and Mrs. ZZZZZ have a mortgage payment of $1,170 ($200,000 loan with 30 year payout at 5.75% interest).
    • The ZZZZ’s lose their job and can only pay $470, so the government pays the difference of $700
    • So the ZZZZ’s remain homeowners and work through their problem. It takes the ZZZZ’s 10 months to get back on their feet, the government paid out $7,000 and now the ZZZZ’s owe the government.
    • But the government says okay, you can start paying us back in seven years and the payment will be over 10 years at an interest rate of 3%.

    What the government has done is to provide assistance to the property owner (just like the bailout plans for the Financial Industry and Automotive Industry) and requires them to pay back the obligation starting in seven years. This is not a freebie, but short term assistance. Franklin Roosevelt called it Lend Lease.

    This program is not perfect, but it can assist a lot of people who want to own homes. Most importantly, it is channeled directly to the property owner, not a large corporation that has other motives besides keeping the property owner solvent.
    A significant benefit of this program is that payments to financial institutions will resume and cash flow will get back to normal levels, thus credit availability should improve.

    There needs to be conditions such as confirming gross income via income tax statements; confirming employment and confirming current payroll. The only group of individuals who would be excluded are those who own more than one property (there should be no break to the investor who treated real estate as a business) and cases where mortgage fraud exists in the form of straw buyers and invalid sales (properties that sold more than three times within five years and the value change was greater than 150%).

    This total assistance would be capped at $50,000 and could run for 24 to 36 months
    In a given year up to $25,000 could be provided.
    The government would be releasing the funds over 12 months, thus the federal outlay would be limited.
    The total cost of $10 million loans receiving assistance would be $250 billion per year or $500 billion in total.
    This is much cheaper than the TARP bailout and part of this can be funded with the current $70 billion in TARP repayments.
    The greatest difficulty in implementing this program is processing and accounting. Loan Servicing companies would need to add staff (if one servicer can process 50 applications a week, 4,000 servicers would need to be hired, plus additional support staff) Wow, as many as 10,000 new jobs would be created. Add to this job creation the fact that several million homes do not go into foreclosure and more jobs are not lost due to desperate situations.

    Yes it is possible and yes it can work.

    The reason it can work is because real estate goes through cycles. If people are forced to sell at liquidation prices, everyone loses. Give property owners a chance to get back on their feet, get back to work and the whole economy starts to turn around.

    As stated earlier, this is not perfect and many will complain about the injustice. But think about the injustice of the corporate bailouts, the injustice that first time home buyers get a break, the injustice that shareholders come before the individuals who created value in the companies by buying products. One can go on and on, or we can try.

    We only fail if we do not try.

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