It’s Election Day. For those still undecided, haven’t voted, or otherwise concerened here’s where the two presidential candidates stand on housing issues.
Barack Obama wants the Federal Reserve to have more authority over regulating financial insitutions, reducing what he calls the patchwork of regulatory authorities that contributed to this crisis. He wants banks to renegotiate loans with troubled borrowers. He wants judges in bankruptcy court to have the ability to restructure home loans. Better loan term disclosures. He also wants a 10% mortgage interest deduction for borrowers who don’t itemize their return.
McCain proposed a new “HOME Plan” allowing homeonwers to trade a burdensome mortgage for a manageable loan that reflects their home’s market value. Those eligible would be holders of a sub-prime mortgage taken after 2005 who live in their home (primary residence only); can prove creditworthiness at the time of the original loan; are either delinquent, in arrears on payments, facing a reset or otherwise demonstrate that they will be unable to continue to meet their mortgage obligations; and can meet the terms of a new 30 year fixed-rate mortgage on the existing home. McCain says no taxpayer money should bail out real estate speculators or financial market participants who failed to perform due diligence in assessing credit risks.
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.