- FHFA announced last month that the HARP Program would be extended through 2015, though if the program is not expanded it is hard to envision it helping very many people beyond this year.
- Mortgage Officials met with the White House in April at which time the Obama Administration continued to indicate its support for expanding HARP to private-label loans and extending the HARP eligibility date:
At this point talk is cheap. Underwater homeowners want to see a little less talk and a lot more action, however so far the Obama Administration has not been willing to flex the political muscle needed to make the changes necessary to bring HARP 3.0 to fruition.
- One positive piece of news is the nomination of Mel Watt to replace Ed Demarco as director of the FHFA. If Watt is confirmed it is conceivable he will lift restrictions such as the May 31, 2009 securitization cut off date for HARP eligibility.
- There is no update to pending HARP legislation. The Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2013, bills H.R. 736 and S. 249, continue to sit idle in chamber committees.
- The change.org petition to expand the Merkley Mortgage to other states is still active. Please sign the petition if you have not already done so.
Month – May 2013
President Obama has finally taken the action to oust Ed Demarco as head of the FHFA. Congressman Mel Watt, D-N.C. has been nominated for FHFA director. The choice is curious to say the least. The Senate must confirm the selections and this is a very partisan selection. Republicans are already criticizing the nomination and they have enough power to block the confirmation. Republicans previously blocked the selection of Joseph Smith who appeared to be a much more qualified candidate. Smith had experience as a Banking Regulator. Mel Watt does not. I want to see Ed Demarco ousted but I’m not real confident that the Mel Watt nomination will standup, and frankly I’m not overly impressed with his credentials to run such an important agency. I would have much preferred Mark Zandi or Ted Tozer who were also to be rumored as candidates for the position.