Housing Headlines 9/10-9/14



By Dusty Henry

Last week saw mortgage rates getting close to record lows and this week delivered. But with all of this week's great news comes harsh reminders of the importance of the Fair Housing Act, the weight of the housing crisis' long term effects, and enforcing new legislation.

National Mortgage Debt Goes Down By $900 Billion



In a report from HSH, Peter Miller compares figures from the Federal Reserve to discover a massive fall in debt. In 2008 mortgage debt was at $11.075 trillion and now is at $10.178 trillion. HSH attributes this to home prices, mortgage rates, refinancing, and loan modifications. It will be interesting to see within the next year how the mortgage debt will flow.

Eminent Domain Legislation Proposed



In an effort to prevent companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from offering up loans in areas with underwater loans seized by eminent domain, Rep. John Campbell has presented federal legislation for a new bill to take action against this. The bill will keep companies like this from lending in these areas in hopes to focus on restoration. More updates to come as the bill makes it's way through the legislative system.

Housing Discrimination against Homosexual Leads to Lawsuit in Boston



A gay couple in Boston is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester on allegations of discrimination, according to Curbed. James Fairbanks and Alain Beret, the couple, were hoping to purchase a former Catholic retreat to renovate but after Fairbanks and Beret lowered their offer (upon the results of a troublesome inspection) the diocesan chancellor refused to make the deal about the "potentiality of gay marriages" on the premises. This is a contemptuous issue that has yet to be resolved, but stresses the importance of compliance with the Fair Housing Act and the repercussions that can follow if you do not.

Housing Crisis Debts Comparable to GDP



Housingwire reports on analytics from Interthinx that the total amount of loses of the housing crisis (including taxpayer bailouts, mortgage-backed securities litigation, and loses from lawsuits) totals to about $13 trillion dollars. Compare this to the nation's U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is $15 trillion, the number is staggering.

Record Low Rates for Mortgages



Again, this week mortgage rates dropped .3% to 3.4% - a record low for the past 15 years. This is another pleasant sign of things picking up in the housing market. Hopefully this rate will stay consistent within the next few weeks as well.

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