It seems that the decision makers running the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac government refinance programs did not learn anything from the current, and continuing, housing bust. If bad loans got us into the current mess, why do Fannie and Freddie think that more bad loans will get us out? In a recent press release it was announced that the two government-owned agencies will now refinance loans up to 125% of the current home’s value!
Does this spell trouble for the FHA home loans? All facts from the mortgage industry and government point to the fact that mortgage default rates take a huge spike upwards with high loan to value loans.
I would venture to say that many of the mortgage debtors (in trust deed states) may not realize that by refinancing through this program, they will be going from a non-recourse loan to recourse refinancing, in many cases.
My bet is that actions like this will give a false sense of recovery for awhile, only to have us fall further in the future, much like the stimulus money is currently doing.
In his statement FHFA Director Lockhart said, “The higher LTV refinancing will allow more homeowners to strengthen their finances.” Do you really believe this? If the government really wanted people to stay in their houses, they would allow them to go into foreclosure and help them find alternative housing. Moving them into a 125% LTV recourse loan is setting them up for disaster and setting taxpayers up to take on the resulting new losses.
Perhaps the government is not being 100% honest in their touting this 125% refinancing program as a way to help people stay in their houses. In reality, it may actually be a way to help banks keep from writing down assets while they earn enough money to increase their capital base.
Some folks like to say that where California goes, so goes the rest of the country. The “tax and spend” government in California did not yet come up with a comparable plan and have been beat to the punch by the Feds. California’s 26 billion (or more) deficit, the absence of a viable budget, and the need for issuing IOU’s rather than cash payments, is no excuse. Only a few months ago California tossed out $ 100 million towards a credit to new home buyers for 5% of the purchase price (up to $ 10,000). Now that the first pot of money is depleted, there are two new bills pending in Sacramento proposing to double or triple the original $ 100 million.