Monthly Archives: January 2012

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Joyce’s Voice..President’s administration expands foreclosure prevention program.

Joyce's Voice..President's administration expands foreclosure prevention program.

It sounds good, but in my opinion this could cause more issues than good. What are your thoughts?

The Obama administration is taking another swing at improving its main foreclosure prevention program.

The administration said it was expanding eligibility for its Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP, to borrowers with higher debt loads and tripling the incentives it pays banks that reduce principal on loans.

The administration also said it would offer incentives to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce principal on loans. Previously, the government had only offered incentives to private lenders and banks. The program was also extended to December 2013. It was initially set to expire at the end of this year.

The changes were announced in a joint press conference held by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Assistant Treasury Secretary Tim Massad, and White House National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling on Friday afternoon.

Originally designed to help some 4 million mortgage borrowers when it was first introduced in February, 2009, HAMP has helped fewer than 1 million homeowners.

Has Obama’s housing policy failed?

With these changes, HAMP is turning into an “all of the above strategy to help responsible homeowners lower their costs and stay in their homes,” said Gene Sperling, the Director of the National Economic Council, who also took part in the press conference.

Here’s a rundown of the new changes:
•Expansion of eligibility: HAMP was designed to bring the debt ratio of mortgage borrowers down to 31% of their incomes. Those whose mortgage payments were already below that level had been ineligible for a modification. They may qualify now. The new guidelines will allow for a more flexible approach that takes other debt into account when calculating debt-to-income ratios.
•Extension of eligibility to owners of rentals properties: The old HAMP rules applied solely to owner-occupied homes but now those who own rental properties may also qualify for a HAMP modification.
•Triple balance-reduction incentives: The new HAMP will pay between 18 cents and 63 cents for every dollar that lenders take off the mortgage principal, up from between 6 cents and 21 cents.
•Pay Fannie and Freddie the same incentives: Currently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not offer principal reduction plans as part of their HAMP modifications. To encourage this assistance, Treasury said it will pay the same principal reduction incentives to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac if they allow servicers to forgive principal in conjunction with a HAMP modification.

While the new changes could greatly expand the number of homeowners that receive help from HAMP, it could invite controversy.

Read more at:NEW YORK (CNNMoney) By Les Christie

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Joyce’s Voice…Immigrants Likely to Jump-start Nation’s Housing Market

Rather than hinder the economy, immigrants will increasingly become the future homebuyers of America, helping to jump-start the nation’s housing market. In fact, by 2030, at astonishingly high levels, immigrants are projected to learn English, buy homes, acquire citizenship and attain solid economic footing in the United States.

Those predictions are among key findings in a first-of-its-kind study to track how immigrants will integrate during the next few decades.

The report, “Assimilation Tomorrow: How America’s Immigrants Will Integrate by 2030” was released in mid-November by the Center for American Progress (CAP), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, D.C.

Authors Dowell Myers and John Pitkin tracked the cohort of immigrants that arrived during the 1990s, a decade of robust levels of immigration. They note that while only 25.5 percent of immigrants from the cohort owned their own homes in 2000, that ratio will jump to 70.3 percent by 2030, putting them on par or slightly ahead of the homeownership rate of native-born.

“This is the American Dream… and that achievement is something you don’t hear about very often, because it doesn’t support an agenda held by restrictionists,” commented Meyers, a professor in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development at the University of Southern California. Meyers, a demographer and urban planner, co-authored the report with fellow demographer John Pitkin, an economist who is a senior research associate in the Population Dynamics Research Group of the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development.

The “Assimilation” report is the second part of a project conducted by USC in partnership with the Center for American Progress, with funding support from the MacArthur Foundation. In the first part, “Assimilation Today,” the authors described the process of immigrants’ assimilation as it unfolded over the last two decades.

The initial report found that immigrants are following the path of their predecessors and assimilating just as rapidly today as they did in the past.

The second report looks ahead to 2030, analyzing what immigrant integration will look like, and why their achievements are important. The authors focused on the cohort of immigrants who arrived in the 1990s, part of the largest wave of immigrants to come to the U.S., examining the achievements for adult immigrants and their children, and between all immigrants and Hispanic immigrants.

Three key findings are highlighted by the authors in their latest report:

  1. Immigrants are assimilating into American life, like their predecessors. They are on track to achieve great successes by 2030. Most impressive is the fact that the percentage of immigrants who own rather than rent their homes is projected to rise from 25.5 percent in 2000 to 72 percent in 2030. Furthermore, the percent speaking English well or very well is projected to rise from 57.5 percent to 70.3 percent and the percent living in poverty is projected to fall from 22.8 percent to 13.4 percent.
  2. Hispanic newcomers show very positive rates of advancement by 2030. Hispanic immigrants’ advancements mirror that of all immigrants, albeit from a lower starting point. Their anticipated increase in homeownership is particularly noteworthy, from 21 percent in 2000 to 67 percent in 2030.
  3. Immigrant youth (age less than 20 on arrival, roughly 20 percent of all immigrants) also show positive gains and dramatic changes between generations. The changes illustrate just how much an early arrival helps in the integration process. The authors also note they are surprisingly resilient, despite setbacks by the Great Recession of the late 2000s.

Calling the coming decade a “pivotal period, the authors believe success of new immigrants will be “a vitally important contribution to the new economy.”

Immigrant success is important, the authors emphasize, in part because of dependence on their human resources in forthcoming decades. The coming retirement of the large generation of baby boomers is expected to create urgent labor needs among private and public employers.

Immigrants are also expected to help shore up programs such as Social Security. The housing market also depends increasingly on immigrant households. “Without their buying power homeowners would find it harder to sell their properties,” the authors state.

“This research is a must-read for any policymaker who is concerned that America’s newcomers aren’t becoming new Americans and for politicians who think the immigrant community can be ignored,” said Angela Kelley, CAP’s vice president for immigration policy and advocacy.

The 37-page report, along with other CAP publications, may be viewed at www.americanprogress.org.

NWREporter February 2012

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Joyce’s Voice…Top Seattle Real Estate Agents!

Top Seattle Real Estate Agents!

Thank you so much to all of my client who voted for me to get this award. I can’t tell you how much this means to me! I truly appreciate you allowing me to represent you in your real estate transactions in 2011 and I look forward to working with you again in the future. Thank you again for recommending me to your friends and family, my business is built upon referrals. Wishing you all a wonderful year in 2012.

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