Homeowner Relief? Jobs?

HARP on This

Obama is pushing for an expanded federal refinancing plan for homeowners who are underwater. He said it would allow many borrowers who owe more than their house is worth to refinance into a loan with 4 percent interest. It could come in the form of  an extension of the Home Affordable Refinance Plan known as HARP. Under that federal plan, homeowners with mortgages owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and some of the other big lenders can apply to refinance to the current lower interest rates if they don’t owe more than 125 percent of what their house is worth.

I don’t know anybody who has benefited from the original HARP plan. I know it’s much less than the government had hoped for.  Why don’t we simplify the process and make it so people can actually take advantage of the program first, then expand it.

Just another haphazard “feel-good” attempt to make it appear like somebody’s doing something to mitigate the pain. Until lenders are really willing play ball it won’t have much if any impact.

Bridge to Nowhere

I just read that The Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program will likely pay out less than half the $1 billion that Congress allotted it. This federal initiative was designed to give bridge loans to homeowners struggling to make mortgage payments. It was initially supposed to help some 30,000 homeowners by giving them zero-interest loans for up to $50,000. As long as they stayed current on their payments the loans would have been forgiven in five years.

Due to HUD’s mismanagement along with tough qualifying rules handed down by Congress, it appears that over $500 million will be going back to The Treasury.

This kind of thing is hair-pulling frustrating to read as the economy continues to sputter, foreclosures are still dragging the overall housing market down, and homeowners still need help.

Phoenix Fares Well in “Job” Creation

According to new figures just by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Phoenix comes in at No. 6 in the nation for new job growth in terms of raw numbers.      Between August of 2010 and August of 2011 the Phoenix metro area added 31,300 new jobs.

This represents an annual growth rate of 1.88%.  Phoenix ranked 18th nationally in this category among 100 major metropolitan areas.

Hmmm, wonder what the average salary is for these newly minted positions? How many outside of the service industry?  HOLD THE PICKLES, HOLD THE LETTUCE! Remember McDonald’s hired 50,000 workers in the US on April 19th and 1000 or so were hired here in the valley on that day alone.

That’s ok because before too long we’ll be singing Mandarin folk songs as we toil in the fields for a bowl of rice daily. And we’ll be wistfully harkening back to the halcyon days of slinging burgers for minimum wage to feed our families.

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