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HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan

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AIR DATE: September 25, 2012

It's the subject presidential candidates are avoiding on the campaign trail  - the foreclosure crisis. Republican Mitt Romney told the Las Vegas Review-Journal the market would fix the problem fastest. The Obama administration has tried a variety of programs to keep homeowners in their homes but they have had little effect with soaring unemployment and plummeting home prices. Still is some kind of program better than nothing?
 
GUEST
 
Shaun Donovan, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
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    COMMENTS:
    What will the Obama admin do to ensure homeowners can continue to short sale? What will they do to ensure the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 doesn't expire at the end of this year?
    ChrisSep 24, 2012 09:05:34 AM
    Las Vegas area home prices haven't been "plummeting" for a few years. The home buyer tax credits in 07 and 08 were effective in getting buyers into the market helping to shore up prices. Lately, prices have actually been going up as buyers are coming back and investors see opportunities. It's true that HAMP and HARP 1 were useless for Las Vegas due to how underwater homes are (many up to 200% loan-to-value). But HARP 2.0 and HAFA have been very useful helping homeowners lower their payments or short sale their home. Short sale has thus far been the most efficient method of letting the market correct without the fallout of distressed and vacant homes created when homeowners walk away.
    ChrisSep 24, 2012 09:02:40 AM
    This foreclosure "crisis" is a storm in a teacup. If someone cannot afford their mortgage, they should just move out. That's life. If the house is underwater and the owner loses money getting out, big deal... good people lose money on bad investments all of the time. Cheap houses on the market will be bought by investors and modest income people who couldn't have afforded them at "bubble" prices. Bottom line, let the market naturally clear and let prices set their own level. Any economist worth their salt would tell you that that is absolutely the only way to truly stabilize the housing market.
    Tom HurstSep 22, 2012 04:08:24 AM
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