What Bipartisan Foreclosure Relief Looks Like

2 comments April 3rd, 2008at 07:11am Posted by Eli

Huzzah! We are saved!

Senate Democratic and Republican leaders rushing to address the nation’s housing crisis reached agreement yesterday on a package that would provide billions of dollars in tax rebates to the slumping home-building industry while offering little to homeowners threatened with foreclosure.

After working through Tuesday night to flesh out a bipartisan agreement, lawmakers unveiled a bill that rejects the most ambitious plans for aiding distressed homeowners, including a Democratic proposal to permit bankruptcy judges to modify the mortgage on a person’s primary residence.

Instead, lawmakers settled on a sharply scaled-back array of measures that would provide $4 billion in grants for cities to buy foreclosed properties, temporary tax breaks worth up to $7,000 for home buyers who purchase foreclosed properties, and new tax deductions for almost every American who owns a home. The package, which would cost about $15 billion over the next 10 years, also would jump-start stalled legislation to streamline the Federal Housing Administration, one of the top priorities of the Bush administration.

Families who cannot afford to repay their home loans — the group at the heart of the mortgage meltdown — would benefit mainly from $100 million to expand foreclosure counseling services and greater latitude for local housing authorities to use tax-exempt bonds in refinancing subprime loans.

Home builders and other businesses suffering losses in the flagging economy, meanwhile, would get the lion’s share of federal spending in the bill: $6 billion in tax rebates.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) lauded the agreement as “a robust package” that is “good news for the American people.” But the lead negotiators on the deal, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and the panel’s ranking Republican, Sen. Richard C. Shelby (Ala.), acknowledged that the legislation does not go as far as either side would like and represents only their first attempt at helping to resolve the nation’s housing problems.

(…)

Still, some economists, local politicians and advocates for borrowers reacted with disappointment. They estimated that 8,000 families per day are sliding into foreclosure and said that without a major new mechanism for renegotiating mortgages, the package announced yesterday is unlikely to help most borrowers struggling to keep their homes.

“It’s not clear what good it’s really doing,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. “It’s a bipartisan effort not to help the right people.”

(…)

Republicans proposed the temporary tax credit for home buyers, which would provide $3,500 a year for two years to buyers who purchase homes in foreclosure….

Both parties wanted to help home builders and other businesses. Under the agreement, corporations that lose money in 2008 and 2009 would be permitted to apply their losses to tax returns from as far back as 2004, making them eligible, according to a bill summary, to “receive any applicable refunds.”

It sure doesn’t look like providing relief to the people actually getting foreclosed on was anybody’s top priority, was it? Or even their second or third priority. Way to stick up for the little guy, Democrats.

(h/t TeddySanFran)

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

2 Comments

  • 1. elmo  |  April 3rd, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Wow. They get cash, and we get…counseling.

  • 2. globalgreedu  |  May 6th, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    the dead School to my parents and we a scientist. along in the it is a


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