Florida Housing Market Crash
It’s old news that the financial crisis and the housing market created devastating consequences for homeowners and communities throughout the country. Workers who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut are struggling to stay current on their mortgage payments. Refinancing to lower mortgage rates is not an option for even those with a steady income because in many cases the property isn’t worth what’s currently owed. Millions of families are expected to face foreclosure and bankruptcy in the next several years.
Homeowner’s Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
In the meantime, it has been reported that the Obama Administration’s ambitious Homeowner’s Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), implemented to offer assistance to as many as 7 million homeowners, has reached only a few hundred thousand families and only on a temporary basis.
Adding insult to injury, last month the U.S. House of Representatives defeated the so called “cram down” provision to a financial reform package that would have temporarily allowed bankruptcy judges to adjust the value of a mortgage to reflect the current value of the home.
Maybe Washington will help us after all. Last night, in his State of the Union address, President Obama pledged in one simple sentence in an entire speech, “This year, we will step up refinancing so that Homeowners can move into more affordable mortgages.” Now, that’s good news, right?
The Supreme Court of Florida, at least, is forcing the banks to talk to their customers before they can foreclose on their home. A new administrative order mandates mediation in every foreclosure case and requires that a representative from the bank, not just their lawyer, actually be there to talk. This is good news, right?