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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
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FHASecure: A PR-driven Bush Program?

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According to Guy Cecala, the publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, who was interviewed for a Forbes article examining the failures of the FHASecure program, “FHASecure was a PR-driven program created to show that the Bush Administration wasn’t ignoring the mortgage crisis,” (Forbes.com 8/29/08).

In fact, the Federal Housing Administration, which oversees the FHASecure program, suggests that the recent mortgage refinancing numbers released by FHASecure (325,000 American families having been refinanced into affordable mortgages since the housing crisis began through the Bush initiated program, according to its Website) are grossly inflated as only an iota of the loans refinanced (3,911 or 1.2%) were actually made to borrowers in default.

Mr. Cecala goes on to claim that the FHASecure program was created a year ago with the belief that only some subprime borrowers should be helped. Since then, the mortgage crisis has severely worsened, and foreclosure rates continue to rise, that now all type of borrowers are being impacted and might be using the program before their loan goes into default status. The actual amount of loans in default status and receiving help — the types of borrowers that could use independent mortgage counseling or help modifying their loan — are extremely low in numbers; much less than the FHASecure program (the Bush Administration) would want you to believe.

An FHA official, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Forbes that he agreed with Mr. Cecala and saw the program has inherently flawed as its restrictive terms of eligibility keep many borrowers from participating. Lenders would also have to prove that borrowers were in arrears due to ARM resets, though there are other factors pushing them into default (i.e. see TILA violations, Alt-A loans, etc.).

Basically, if you or someone you know is in an underwater mortgage, and have had your loan reset or that period is looming, there are several independent Websites that can be resourceful (HousingWire.com, L.A. Land Blog, InjuryBoard, etc.), and if it still seems like the situation is one that is too great, contacting an attorney to find out what your options are is always a wise decision and puts you on an more leveled playing field with the lenders.