Friday, October 5, 2012

DEBATE: What Housing Crisis?

Eric Gay - Associated Press
A Housing and Foreclosure Crisis? What? Is there is still a housing crisis? That should be your reaction after Tuesday nights' second presidential debate failed to touch upon the topic that started the great recession. In the first debate, October 3rd, both President Obama and Governor Romney steered clear of addressing the foreclosure crisis that helped push the country into a recession, devastated millions of families and has continued to hold back the economy or even resemble a recovery. You may have by now come to the conclusion - The Housing Crisis is Over.

Tracy Van Slyke, Director at New Bottom Line @ HuffingtonPost:

HuffPost Politics Blog: The Real Debate Loser: The Voters

President Obama and Governor Romney gingerly sidestepped into housing and Wall Street abuse for an estimated two minutes. That seems like enough time to talk about, oh you know, the reason our economy is in the tank, millions of jobs lost, life savings ripped away, over 15 millions homeowners underwater, and millions of others unfairly (and often illegally) foreclosed on.

There was nothing about any attempts to hold Wall Street accountable for crashing the economy. There was zip about how to help the millions of homeowners still suffering. There were no policy proposals debated, much less put forth, including potential major solutions such as principal reduction, which economists from both ends of the political spectrum, say is key to get rebuilding our economy.
But even though I'm angry and depressed right now, I'm not going to give up. Neither will the homeowners and underwater voters pressuring the candidates to talk real solutions, not regurgitate attack ads. There's too much at stake.

* Only eight months ago, the president delivered 20 minutes of rhetoric on foreclosures, Wall Street crimes and how it wrecked the economy. He bragged on how the administration had made fixes and it was a top priority to repair the economy and hold Wall Street accountable!.....what happened? Try to watch even 10 minutes of the above video...any 10 minutes...why how about any 5 minutes or even 3 minutes. If you watch even a 2 minute will be more time ...than the president spent on this topic - during the entire debate.

Over the next few weeks, our Home Is Where The Vote Is campaign will continue to pressure both candidates to address the housing crisis as they travel the country talking to voters and homeowners in key swing states like Nevada, Ohio, Colorado and Florida. President Obama and Governor Romney ignore underwater voters in these swing states at their own peril.

We will call on the next presidential debate moderator, Candy Crowley, to fill the void left by her predecessor and to make the connection that the American people want to know which candidate can fix the housing crisis and rebuild our economy.

From Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia:

The First Presidential Debate: Apparently, This Housing Crisis Is Over

......First, in his opening remarks, Obama said "housing has begun to rise." He’s right: the housing market is in better shape today than when he took office in 2009. More surprising was that Romney didn’t argue. Romney did point out several ways that broader economic performance worsened during Obama’s presidency, but the housing market wasn’t one of them. Had Romney wanted to point to the ongoing pain from the housing crisis, he could have pointed to the stubbornly high foreclosure rate in many states or the fact that the market is still not even halfway back to normal. But he didn’t.

Second, Obama and Romney were more focused on preventing the next housing crisis than getting out of this one. They mentioned housing only in their brief debate over government regulation. Obama cited banks’ risky lending practices in the past as reason for why regulation is important for the future. Romney got into the weeds, agreeing that mortgage regulation is important and, in fact, blamed the continued uncertainty over the Dodd-Frank "qualified mortgage" rules** for banks’ {and their} reluctance to lend today.

But that was about it for housing. There’s a long list of what the candidates didn’t say about housing. Not a word about refinancing, principal reductions, selling government-owned foreclosed homes, or the mortgage interest deduction – all hot-button housing issues. Why wasn’t there more debate over housing? Two {Bronx} cheers to the candidates for focusing on rules to prevent the next housing

* President Obama discusses a proposal to help more responsible homeowners refinance their mortgages at today's historically low interest rates. February 1, 2012.

**A "qualified mortgage," is a mortgage meeting standards (with legal & financial measurement parameters)that automatically "count" (qualify) the mortgage as being within a borrower's ability to repay.


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