Make Harp 3.0 Happen

Advocating for The Expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program

Month – February 2014

HARP 3.0 Petition Ends Well Short of the Goal

The HARP 3.0 Count Up Clock Petition is now closed. The final tally was 1509 signatures. I can’t even begin to express how disappointed I am with the result. I never expected to get to the 100,000 signatures needed for the White House to issue a response. But I did expect way more than 1500 signatures. What saddens me the most is how little the media seems to care about the the plight of underwater homeowners. We could get much more traction on this issue if the media fairly and accurately told our story. But to them the financial crisis is ancient history. You are three times more likely to see a story about how much the real estate market is improving than how badly underwater homeowners are still struggling. Anyway, here are some numbers from the petition effort that may interest you.

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  • 2628 clicks to the petition were generated from this website
  • the press release announcing the petition recorded 2354 reads
  • the press release recorded 182,841 headline impressions
  • I personally sent 377 emails with petition details to individual journalists/bloggers
  • Only 3 articles were posted that referenced the petition
  • Only 2 journalists replied back to the email I sent

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    Housing Recovery Perceptions Are Hindering HARP 3.0

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    HARP 3.0 Count Up Clock:

    Failure of The Obama Administration, Congress, The FHFA, and Other Policy Makers To Implement HARP 3.0 Has Now Reached 2034 days 4 hours 49 minutes 41 seconds

    Please click here to sign the HARP 3.0 Count Up Clock Petition
     

    Since launching The HARP 3.0 Count Up Clock Petition two weeks ago it has become painfully evident to me that the perceptions of this sham housing recovery are greatly hampering the efforts of underwater homeowners that are pushing to expand the Home Affordable Refinance Program. The perception held by policy makers, the media, and much of the public is that the housing recovery has resolved the issue of negative equity home ownership. It simply isn’t true. Millions of people are still underwater on their mortgages. And what is really scary is that housing recovery is way softer than most people realize. This sham housing “recovery” has been greatly fueled by investors making all cash purchases and sales of distressed homes. We are a long long way from a true housing recovery. But the cries of assistance have fallen on deaf ears. I spared no expense in blasting a press release to announce the HARP 3.0 Count Up Clock Petition. I followed up that media blitz with hundreds of emails to individual members of the media. The result: two small articles and a couple of email responses from journalists that have promised to check it out. It is actually quite amazing the number of signatures we have managed to garner with virtually no exposure from the media.

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    What really burns me up is that yesterday the FHFA issued a release that the HARP program has officially passed the 3 million loan mark. The media jumped on this news as an opportunity to declare the HARP program as a great success. This would have been a perfect chance for news organizations to also mention how many people have not been helped by HARP, and how many underwater homeowners could benefit from HARP 3.0. Much like our policy makers, the media has dropped the ball on this under reported story. Even worse is that the HARP program is touted for being a much greater success than it truly is. At the height of the housing crisis more than 15 million homeowners were underwater. Several million other homeowners had so little equity that refinance opportunities outside of HARP weren’t available. Less than 1 out of every 5 homeowners that the HARP program was designed to help have been able to refinance under HARP. 20% is a pretty crummy success rate if you ask me.
     

    Here is the list of media coverage the HARP 3.0 Count Up Clock Petition has received thus far:
    HousingWire.com: Find out who wants to force HARP 3.0
     
    MyMortgageInsider.com: HARP 3: Experts Weigh In on When New HARP Program will Happen
     

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    HARP 3.0 Petition Progress and Other News

    HARP 3.0 Count Up Clock:

    Failure of The Obama Administration, Congress, The FHFA, and Other Policy Makers To Implement HARP 3.0 Has Now Reached 2034 days 4 hours 49 minutes 41 seconds

    Please click here to sign the HARP 3.0 Count Up Clock Petition
     
    The Petition has passed the one week mark, and now we are in the media blitz phase. Yesterday I sent out a press release to inform the media about the HARP 3.0 Count Up Clock. For this to be successful we really need some media attention. Click here to view the press release.

     
    I need your help to make this thing take off. If you support HARP 3.0 and you want to do something to make it happen, send me an email. My address is marcus(at)makeharp3happen(dot)com.

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    Underwater homeowners need to fight for this. Nothing is going to be given to us. In fact, what little assistance that was available to us is being taken away. In 2010 $7.8 billion in “Hardest Hit Funds” were distributed to 18 states to assist struggling underwater homeowners. This money was intended for mortgage relief. States have instead been using the money to demolished blighted properties. Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio have decided instead of distributing money to homeowners headed for foreclosure that they would prefer to destroy homes abandoned by people who have already been kicked out of their houses. Other states are sure to follow suit.
     
    A further insult to underwater homeowners is the expiration of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. The law provided a tax exemption for mortgage debt forgiveness. The exemption expired on December 31, 2013. As it stands now any mortgage debt that is forgiven through a loan modification or short sell is treated as taxable income.
     
    It is time to stand up and fight this insanity! We need to send message. The HARP 3.0 Count Up Clock Petition is your opportunity to be heard. Tell the President, Congress, and other policy makers that enough is enough. We’ve been waiting too long for HARP 3.0. We need it now!
     
    As a final note, don’t forget to support underwater homeowners that own small businesses. I recently wrote about Andrea Greene and the Connecticut Cookie Company. Eating cookies might not Make Harp 3.0 Happen, but they do taste yummy. So go buy some cookies.
     

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