Harping on Harp, among other things

Written By: Theresa Furzland, Op Ed Writer

In December I promised to be giving updates on the new HARP refinance programs as details emerge, and so being good to my word I am returning to the subject. Unfortunately there are not many details to talk about, and what there is to say is almost guaranteed to give you a headache.

For the most part we are holding our collective breaths waiting for Fannie to roll out the new DU portal in March –Freddie is doing slightly better implementing the program. We also do not have clear details on what and if any MI issues are and how they will be worked out. I know this program is going to help some people, but will it be at the cost of our sanity? We are just going to have to continue to be patient and as we are well used to doing, continue to work with what we have and pass on what education we can to our customers, seeking out what benefits we can find.

Need FHA Training? CLICK HERE: http://www.FHA-Classes.org

How about some non-harp harping. What about all those folks that don’t have agency loans…but wait! There’s hope for them too, so our government says! The newest proposal is to come to a settlement with (no not all, just 5) of the largest banks that service non gse mortgage products to write down borrower’s principal balances on loans that are current but underwater and offer relief to customers that were hurt due to crappy foreclosure processes. Estimates show that the program will help approximately 100,000 homeowners. There are currently over 2 million Americans facing foreclosure. Many are calling it a “slap on the wrist” to the lenders and the benefits that will “trickle down” to homeowner’s looks pretty limited also.
There are also currently more empty houses in this country than homeless families and more foreclosed properties poised to hit the market. I’ve recently had the chance to view this issue from “the other side” as a home buyer looking to purchase. We have viewed homes that would have been beautiful if they had only been taken care of. I would say probably half of the houses we looked at suffered from not being properly winterized. We live in Northern Minnesota with the average freeze coming in October. When the “Asset Manager” is in Florida and there is no sense of urgency, there are problems. Guaranteed. I breaks my heart to see these houses going to waste while everyday working with potential homeowners that are frustrated because they can’t buy them. Yes, I will admit that many improvements have been made over the last year or so, but I’m just afraid it is a matter of putting a band aid on a broken leg. With this being an election year, I am doubly concerned. We are going to hear so much misinformation that we are most certainly all going to have serious headache issues by the time spring rolls around.

Need FHA Training? CLICK HERE: http://www.FHA-Classes.org

Here’s one last little tidbit to leave you with. The extension of the Tax Cuts. When you look at the news releases as compared to the actual facts of this you can only admire the level of double speak obtained. The funding is to come from a fee assessed on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (everyone’s favorite scapegoat these days). This sounds great in a sound bite until the homebuyer goes to get a loan and realizes that their interest rate is .25% higher than it would be without this “fee”. So, in the end the tax cut that helps the American citizen is funded by the GSE’s that are owned by the American citizen and in business only because this citizen has bailed them out and now if the citizen wants to obtain any access to the funds offered by the company they own, they must pay more for it. The kicker is that the average person has no idea that they are paying 3 times for money that is theirs in the first place. But then by the time they are through all of the documents and disclosures required to apply for this money, they have too much of a headache to worry about who’s paying for what.
My advice for 2012 – Buy stock in Excedrin.

About The Author

Theresa Furzland - As an op-ed writer, Theresa Furzland has 25+ years of experience ranging from origination, processing, closing and post closing. She is currently a producing Branch Manager for LendSmart Mortgage, LLC and own and operate Willow Wood Mortgage Services, Inc. 

Opinion-Editorial (Op-Ed) Disclaimer For NAMP® Library Articles: The views and opinions expressed in the NAMP® Library articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official NAMP® policy or position. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world application as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of NAMP®. Nothing contained in this article should be considered legal advice.