Mortgage loan

By Jon Anderson
Columnist

No, I didn’t dig this out of my 2008 file drawer.

According to RealtyTrac, March 2015 saw an 11 percent jump in foreclosures across the U.S. compared to February. That translates into 152,147 homes rocketing down the chute to foreclosure and the loss of people’s homes in the first quarter of 2015. In the nearly 8 years since the housing bubble popped, apmid a white hot market, people are still losing their homes to foreclosure at staggering levels.

And then there’s Detroit: actively depopulating its own city by issuing as many as 62,000 eviction notices this year to homeowners delinquent on their property taxes. It’s being called an eviction “conveyor belt” that will effect one-seventh of Detroit’s remaining population. This, after the 2008 tidal wave of 250,000 people forced out of the city, leaving behind tens of thousands of their homes. The news of Detroit’s rebirth may have been exaggerated.

These are people who managed to hang on to their home through the worst recession in 80-years, only to lose it now.

So what’s the National Association of Realtors’ response? Why to spend $7.7 million on lobbying in the first quarter of 2015 for the Mortgage Choice Act (and complain about rising flood insurance premiums). As benevolent as “Mortgage Choice” sounds, its goal is to weaken the regulatory “burdens” on residential mortgage lending.

Side note: Doesn’t every piece of legislation, PAC/SuperPAC, and fringe group sound benevolent these days no matter now evil it is?

The Mortgage Choice Act passed the House of Representatives on April 14. NAR is not alone in its support, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Home Builders and the Real Estate Services Providers Council Inc. (shockingly, all groups who make money directly or indirectly from mortgages).

(more…)