In the last couple months, President Obama has been busy with a lot of things, and some personal appearances and speeches around the country. It seems that a lot of government's focus is still on how to alleviate the housing and mortgage crisis, especially since foreclosures continue to plague lenders in all areas of the country. And, not everyone is thrilled with the lack of success of previous government programs. "Too little too late," and "too complicated" are a couple of criticisms by those paying close attention to how the government is trying to help homeowners in mortgage trouble. Now there are a few new initiatives that are being announced as better ways to get the job done.
- Writing down home values for new FHA loan- For the many homeowners who are severely underwater in their mortgages, with home value well below mortgage balance, the government wants to help by refinancing those loans down to an amount of 115% of current market value through a new FHA loan.
- Payment cuts for the unemployed - Lenders are being incentivized to write down payments for the unemployed to no more than 31% of their income, a plan that the administration hopes will help the unemployed to hold on to their homes until they find work.
- Short sale incentives - The government is offering cash incentives for completing short sales. Borrowers will receive up to $3,000 per sale to help pay the homeowners' relocation expenses. They also will give lenders up to $1,000 to cover administrative fees for each transaction.
If throwing money at the problem will help, it seems that there may be some improvement on the way.