Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Policy Status Update

by Bill McBride on 2/22/2012 09:15:00 PM

Back in January I listed several policies and agreements that were expected soon. Here is a status update ...

• Extension of payroll tax cut and extended unemployment benefits: Signed into law today by President Obama.

• Mortgage Servicer Settlement. Announced, but still waiting for documents on the National Mortgage Settlement website.

• REO to Rental Program: A pilot program was announced on Feb 1st, from the FHFA: FHFA Announces Interested Investors May Pre-Qualify For REO Initiative. Reuters reported last week: Freddie Mac pitches REO plan to mortgage-bond investors

Freddie Mac has begun talks with institutional mortgage-bond investors interested in buying hundreds of distressed single-family residential properties across the US in order to convert them to rental units, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

Freddie Mac is making efforts to fast-track its own version of a proposed US foreclosure-rental program ...
And the NAR chief economist Lawrenece Yun said today:
"A government proposal to turn bank-owned properties into rentals on a large scale does not appear to be needed at this time.”
It still isn't clear how soon this program will be in place (or the size).

• A surge in refinance activity in March from HARP. Still waiting ...

And on Europe:
• Greek debt deal: Announced, but there are several hurdles over the next couple of weeks.

• The second round of the ECB's 3 year Long Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) will be held on February 29th.