February 5, 2009

WITH THE PUNCTURING OF THE OIL BUBBLE...:

Senate OKs homebuyer tax credit (ASSOCIATED PRESS, February 5, 2009)

The Senate voted Wednesday night to give a tax break of up to $15,000 to homebuyers in hopes of revitalizing the housing industry, a victory for Republicans eager to leave their mark on a mammoth economic-stimulus bill at the heart of President Obama's recovery plan.

The tax break was approved without dissent and came on a day in which House lawmakers moved separately to revamp a program that was intended to help hundreds of thousands of borrowers avoid losing their homes, but which has had fewer than 500 applicants and helped only about two dozen so far. [...]

Congress last year created the Hope for Homeowners program, which was supposed to allow 400,000 troubled homeowners swap risky loans for traditional 30-year fixed-rate loans with lower rates. But only 25 loans have been approved since the program started in October out of 451 applications, despite more than 66,000 calls to the Federal Housing Administration about it from consumers and lenders.

Under the bill approved by the House Financial Services Committee, several restrictions on the program would be lifted in hopes of allowing more people to qualify.

Meg Burns, the federal housing official in charge of the program, testified this week that tight restrictions on who can qualify and high fees have led to the disappointing results. The bill approved Wednesday would reduce those fees and lift some of those restrictions.


...those ARM's look better than fixed rates. Anyone have any idea how much it would cost to just turn the stimulus into two months payment for every primary residence mortgage in America?

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 5, 2009 7:39 AM
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