So I got suckered in the last go around. I completely hook, line, and sinker bought into the “Change You Can Believe In”…and the hope. I phone banked for Obama, went to a rally, championed him relentlessly in my articles, with friends, and my family who all thought I was some kind of crazy! He energized me, I will give him that.
Obama stump speeches sounding awfully familiar now…does he actually think he can fool us twice with his rhetoric?! It does appear there are some still hypnotized by his cadence, repetition of certain key phrases, and hand gestures, but I can only pray they remember his mandate also back then…he asked repeatedly that WE HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE. I was his biggest fan, until I started doing just that in February, 2009 with his first major policy initiative. Needless to say, the blinders came off almost immediately. I am focusing here on only one on-going policy that has served to take us further backward into the abyss, the crux of our economic collapse, and Obama’s hand in making sure it happens: The Foreclosure Crisis, and the ultimate total loss of middle class wealth.
2009: Obama’s Promise, & First Major Policy Speech.
Feb. 18, 2009 NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- President Obama unveiled a $75 billion multi-pronged plan Wednesday that seeks to help up to 9 million borrowers suffering from falling home prices and unaffordable monthly payments.
The long-awaited foreclosure fix marks a sharp departure from the Bush administration, which relied mainly on having servicers voluntarily modify troubled mortgages.
Sharp departure?!! Um, no…it was nothing less than a continuation, and a whole lot more in taxpayers being on the hook. Bush’s plan was already failing because it was voluntary…why did Obama continue a flawed Bush policy…as he did on most every other policy over the course of his first term?! Read on to see parallel:
Obama, on the other hand, will make it easier for homeowners to afford their monthly payments either by refinancing the mortgages or having their loans modified. The president is vastly broadening the scope of the government rescue by focusing on homeowners who are still current in their payments but at risk of default. And he puts billions of federal funds into enticing servicers to modify the loans of those who've already stopped paying.
While still voluntary, the program contains a mix of carrots and sticks for mortgage servicers and investors, both of whom have been seen as resistant to modifying loans. The program would not only give servicers $1,000 for each modification, but would give them another $1,000 a year for three years if the borrower stays current. It will also give $500 to servicers and $1,500 to mortgage holders if they modify at-risk loans before the borrower falls behind.
But the administration is also wielding a big stick. It will work with Congress to amend bankruptcy laws to allow judges to modify mortgages, a step community advocates say is badly needed but that the financial industry abhors.
Was Congress even asked if they would or could get this part done before it was promised?!! Not that I saw anywhere, certainly was not promoted or pushed by this Administration…or Nancy Pelosi…on anything close to level on HCR.
Bottom line, Obama continued with voluntary program…”pretty please politics” with bankers?!!! And just how did this promise to save 9 million homeowners from foreclosure pan out?
We handed banks $75 billion, to begin with, and got this:
2009 Foreclosure rates shattered records in 2009:
A record 2.8 million properties with a mortgage got a foreclosure notice last year, jumping 21 percent from 2008 and 120 percent from 2007, the Irvine, California-based real estate data company found.
The loan failure rate -- and thus the fallout for home prices and the economy -- would have been even worse without foreclosure prevention programs and loan processing delays caused by sheer volume, the company said.
In many cases loan fixes don't stick, however, and so a new record of at least 3 million properties getting a filing is seen in 2010. Filings include notice of default, auction sale or bank repossession.
State, federal and private efforts to modify loan terms for at-risk borrowers either don't go far enough or are expanding too late to help many struggling homeowners on a permanent basis, many industry experts and economists agree.
"Until the lenders start to get into principal balance reduction you're going to continue to see high redefault rates," Rick Sharga, senior vice president at RealtyTrac, said in an interview.
"We haven't seen any appetite for that on the part of the lenders yet," he added.
One in every 45 households got at least one filing last year, a rate almost four times that of 2006.
On a quarterly basis, foreclosure activity did slow in the fourth quarter, declining 7 percent from the third, but rose 18 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008.
Taxpayers on hook for $75 billion, and nothing happened…just got worse. ALL because Obama ignored the advice of Paul Volker who adamantly insisted he Nationalize the Banks to ensure monies were utilized in the way they were intended so it got fixed; ALL because Obama made it VOLUNTARY for banks to participate, which resulted only in the banks hoarding our tax dollars; ALL because as plan progressed, Obama let banks keep toxic assets on books at face value, which created a HUGE shadow inventory to prolong the inevitable. That also served to encourage property values on current mortgages to take steep declines, and leave the rest of us neighbors seriously underwater on the value of our homes against our loans.
Could he have hurt us ANY more? Nope…he has achieved his goal on his single most important aspect of our failing economy…take away middle class wealth. My entire life…a person’s home was their biggest asset. This is the first time in my nearly half century on this planet, that owning a home is now your biggest liability. I’d say yes…he achieved his goal.
“Foreclosure floodwaters receded somewhat in 2010 in the nation’s hardest-hit housing markets,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Even so, foreclosure levels remained five to 10 times higher than historic norms in most of those hard-hit markets, where deep faultlines of risk remain and could potentially trigger more waves of foreclosure activity in 2011 and beyond. Meanwhile foreclosures became more widespread in 2010 as high unemployment drove activity up in 72 percent of the nation’s metro areas — many of which were relatively insulated from the initial foreclosure tsunami.”
2011: Enter “Robo-Signing”….hmmmm, don’t remember any bankers going to prison over this! Funny, scandal didn’t break until after 2010 midterm elections.
While the declines seem like good news for the housing market, where a flood of foreclosed homes has depressed home prices, much of it is due to processing delays caused by fall-out from the "robo-signing" scandal that broke in late 2010.
During the year, banks spent more time making sure paperwork was legal and proper, creating a backlog in the foreclosure pipeline.
"Foreclosures were in full delay mode in 2011, resulting in a dramatic drop in foreclosure activity for the year," said Brandon Moore, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
This is flat out BS:
As a result, the average time it took to process a foreclosure climbed to 348 days during the fourth quarter, up from 305 days a year earlier.”
Backlog was “created” due to banks wanting to artificially prop up home prices, and keep toxic assets on books for as long as they could! They held onto shadow inventory, and continue to do so. Robo-signing was a mere speed bump when it should have halted all illegal foreclosures altogether!
2012 promises to continue with the march towards increasing foreclosures…may even pick up steam as “delays” hit, and more and more homeowners walk away from “bad investments” without an increasing intolerance for holding onto bad investments. Then there is the continuing high unemployment rate and cost of living to factor in....just look at what’s happening to our seniors in 2012:
That decision swept Mr. Johnson, 79, into a rapidly expanding demographic: older Americans who have lost their homes in the Great Recession. As he hauled his belongings by pickup truck from this Atlanta suburb and moved into his daughter’s basement, Mr. Johnson became one of the one and a half million Americans over the age of 50 who lost their houses to foreclosure between 2007 and 2011. Of those, the highest foreclosure rate was for homeowners over 75.
This and the AARP still supports Obama?! If it’s Medicare or our oldest seniors highest in foreclosure rates in losing their homes, can someone please explain this?!!
Having voted for Obama along with so many other overly enthusiastic supporters, it boggles the mind to me how any single one of them can still be on board with ANYTHING he has done or said since taking office. We all heard the same stump speeches, the same promises, the same policy platform…how could anyone support what he has given us in actual policy? I ask that of Dems, Independents, AND Republicans who voted for him in 2008. This election is about ALL of us.
Reagan did not blame Carter, and Obama did repeat over and over in campaign that “the buck would stop with him.” Yes, our starting point was awful, but please review his Convention speech, and ask yourself…did we get ANYTHING that we were promised…any hope whatsoever? We did get change, just not the kind anyone should believe in, and certainly not the change that takes us backward.
Fool us twice….shame on us.