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No Silver Lining

So on a week that started with Black Monday and shows no signs of getting better from there, my plan today was look for the silver lining, for little bit of positive financial news to share. I tried to find something. I really did.

Instead, I’ll offer this, from Housing Wire. Remember that mortgage rescue bill, the one that’s supposed to help a lot of troubled borrowers? It was the government’s way of showing it could do something to ease the foreclosure crisis, even though the entire plan depends on whether lenders and servicers will voluntarily agree to take losses on loans. The Federal Housing Administration is offering $300 billion in guarantees for the refinancing the loans into lower cost, fixed-rate mortgages.

Some of those servicers and lenders told the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday that, well, they will try their best on this one, but don’t expect much. From Housing Wire:

While affirming Wells Fargo’s commitment to loss mitigation, execitive vice president Mary Coffin estimated that 30,000 to 40,000 borrowers might qualify for the Hope for Homeowners program. “We will use this program where it is needed,” she told House members. Other servicers provided similar estimates, but said the total number of loans pushed to the program would likely end up being lower. “We do believe, based on our experience of the last year and a half, that the numbers of borrowers who ultimately take advantage of the program could be lower than the number that preliminarily qualify, as there may be several crucial barriers to the program’s widespread use,” said Molly Sheehan, a senior vice president at Chase Home Lending.

Well, that’s reassuring. No worries here. Good to know in the midst of a crisis threatening the stability of the nation’s entire financial system that we’re right on top of this thing.

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