Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. That’s how presidential candidate John McCain must feel after announcing his own plan to fix the housing mess today. McCain proposed allowing homeowners with high-interest, adjustable rate loans taken out after 2005 to trade for a safer, 30-year loan, with government backing. The cost of the plan was estimated at up $10 billion.
Candidates Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama have already supported federally-funded bailout funds. Clinton called McCain’s proposal a “warmed over, half-hearted version of the very plan he criticized, to help families restructure mortgages to save homes and keep housing prices from falling further.”
Maude Hurd, president of the housing advocacy group Acorn said: “With a national mortgage delinquency rate approaching six percent, now is not the time for dipping toes in the kiddie pool,” said Hurd. “We need solutions of a great enough scope to meet the enormous challenges we face, like Chairman Barney Frank’s proposal to refinance up to $300 billion worth of risky mortgages into affordable, fixed-rate mortgages. Bush and McCain’s baby steps aren’t going to get it done. The banks must sacrifice, not just homeowners.”
Hurd went on to note that Airzona has been among the worst states hit by the crisis. In February, the state saw a 210% increase in foreclosure filings, to 9,650 properties. It was the fourth-hardest hit state in the nation, according to realtytrac.com.
Well, at least everyone’s agreeing on something, sort of.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.