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Piece by Piece Update

June is National Homeownership Month

June 11, 2012





Please take note of the following news and calendar items.


Efforts to Protect Veterans from Foreclosure

(Courtesy of National Housing 

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Conference) A webinar on Tuesday, June 19 at 3:00 p.m. will feature speakers from the lending community and federal government to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities to protect military families from foreclosure.  Learn about how the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and other federal programs are being used to help Veterans sustain homeownership and housing stability, and what more can be done to preserve homeownership for the military community. 


Speakers on the webinar include:

  • Danielle Johnson-Kutch, Policy Analyst at the U.S. Dept. of Treasury
  • David Gibbons, Marketing Director at Wells Fargo
  • Ethan Handelman, Vice President for Policy & Advocacy, National Housing Conference

Register Now.  


QM and QRM rules are delayed

andp brown(Courtesy of NHC) The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced last week that it was reopening a portion of the qualified mortgage (QM) rule for additional comment. The reopening focuses specifically on new mortgage loan performance data that has become available, rather than reopening the entire rule again. The QM rule implements a portion of the Dodd-Frank law designed to limit mortgage origination to loans that the borrower has the ability to repay. The delay means a rule is unlikely to appear until after the election in November.


What does this mean for access to affordable housing?

  • Uncertainty about the QM and other regulations is part of  what's making it hard to get a mortgage right now.
  • The qualified residential mortgage rule (QRM) won't come out until after the QM rule does. QRM, which defines mortgages that can be securitized without the additional cost of the issuer retaining risk, is a subset of the QM, so regulators are likely to wait. QRM also requires six regulators to agree, unlike QM which is coming from a single regulator. See the NHC comment letter on QRM.

It also means regulators are trying to get it right-to craft a standard that makes mortgage credit available broadly but also safely to low- and moderate-income borrowers in all parts of the country-so that we don't see a repeat of unsafe mortgage products.  MORE



Majority of Completed Foreclosures Comes From Five States andp brown Georgia was one of five states that accounted for nearly half the total of foreclosures that occurred over the past year through April 2012, CoreLogic's national foreclosure report revealed. In April 2012, 66,000 foreclosures took place across the country, which is down from 78,000 a year ago. Approximately 1.4 million homes, or 3.4% of all homes with a mortgage, were in the foreclosure inventory as of April.  For the last 12 months, more than 838,000 foreclosures have been finalized nationally.  But 409,000 of these foreclosures came from five states, led by California.  The Golden State completed 142,000 foreclosures in the last 12 months, followed by Florida (92,000), Michigan (60,000), Texas (58,000) and Georgia (57,000). These five states accounted for 48.8% of all completed foreclosures nationally. MORE



Proof in Power of Housing Counseling to Keep Owners in Homes

HUD recently released reports on two types of counseling: pre-purchase and foreclosure prevention. In both studies, HUD reported counseling significantly improved the likelihood homeowners remained in their homes.  The studies enrolled clients in the fall of 2009 and early 2010. For those who enrolled into pre-purchase counseling, HUD revealed that 35 percent of participants became homeowners within 18 months of pre-purchase counseling and only one of those buyers fell behind on mortgage payments. The foreclosure counseling study revealed that of those who received assistance, nearly 70 percent obtained a mortgage remedy to retain their home, and 56 percent cured their defaults and became current again. MORE 



Wireside Chats on Transportation Referendum Begin this Week

andp brown(Courtesy of ARC) Watch a brief promo for the Wireside Chats.  There are only a few days left to sign up for a Wireside Chat to learn about the upcoming Regional Transportation Referendum.  Register at www.wiresidechats.com.  You may also download  educational materials from Metro Atlanta Voter Education Network (MAVEN) to share with your network for an overview of the issues surrounding the upcoming transportation ballot initiative.



GeorgiaWatch Reports on Foreclosure-Related Court Cases

andp brownThe 2011 Court Watch Report is a publication of PBP partner Georgia Watch, a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) watchdog group that focuses on consumer education and research in the areas of health care, insurance, identity theft, personal finance, and energy and utility issues. The Court Watch Report is intended to inform the public about state court decisions that affect consumer rights in Georgia.  This latest report includes background on JIG Real Estate, LLC v.s. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc (2011) in which the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in favor of Georgia consumers facing possible home foreclosure.  The Court upheld State statute which authorizes the rescission of foreclosure sales under certain conditions. This statute allows homeowners some respite from foreclosure actions.  See pages 25-27 of the report. 


How Has the Housing Crisis Changed the Landscape of Affordable Housing in the United States? 

(Courtesy of Shelterforce)  With house prices lower now than they have been in years, we don't really have to worry about getting people into homes, right? Not so fast. How much a home costs is only one of many factors when determining affordability. Eavesdrop on a Shelterforce-hosted conversation as they examine the issue of affordability with leading housing researchers and policy experts: Dr. Raphael Bostic, outgoing assistant secretary of Policy Research and Development at HUD; Chris Herbert of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard; Alan Mallach, fellow of NHI, Center for Community Progress and the Brookings Institution; Jeff Lubell of the Center for Housing Policy; and Janneke Ratcliffe of the Center for Community Capital at the University of North Carolina.


Read what they have to say on questions such as: How has the housing crisis changed the landscape of affordable housing in the United States? How should we adapt federal policy to address the differing needs of hot markets and cold markets? How do we increase residential stability? What is the role of existing, unsubsidized supply in the affordability discussion? MORE


Calendar Items


Housing Information Outreach Session:  Improve Your Credit

Tuesday, June 12; 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm; Ponce de Leon Branch Library, 980 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, GA  30306.  Sponsored by the Fulton County Housing and Human Services Department.  For more information, contact Tim Klein at 404-885-8300. MORE


Budgeting Back to the Basics Workshop

Saturday, June 30; 10:00 am to 12:00 pm; Ponce de Leon Branch Library, 980 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, GA  30306.  Sponsored by Marable Home Retention Foundation.  www.marablefoundation.org   





Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator  



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