“…and it’s NOT a perfect world.”
In a town hall meeting this week on his cross country bus tour, President Obama got an ear full from a Realtor who said directly to him, “The loan modification system has been a nightmare and the lenders are so tight and you have to be so perfect. And it’s not a perfect world.”
She noted that in the spring, the market was gaining traction but went cold when what she called the “debt ceiling fiasco” added uncertainty to the market.
“We have no consumer confidence after what has just happened,” she told President Obama. “I should be out working 14 hours a day and I am not.”
President offers a solution: wait
Obama agreed with her that the debt ceiling situation was tense and that negotiations were last minute and it hurt consumer confidence. “It was inexcusable,” he said. He noted the administration was considering several alternatives that would encourage banks to get back to lending, but offered no specifics or timetables. He pointed to companies hoarding cash rather than investing and that even banks that are financially sound are not lending.
Obama offered to the Realtor that growing the economy will trickle down to housing but that it is a process that will take time.
A far different tone
This tone is far different than at a town hall meeting in April of this year shortly after announcing he was running for re-election. At that time, the President called housing “the biggest drag on the economy” and advised that it was smarter for some people to rent, but that his administration would be working diligently on solving the problem, all the while, he exuded confidence that he could solve the housing crisis.
The June FHA Assessment report called the Obama proposal for FHA loan limits ineffective and the Administration’s loan modification program HAMP has been an absolute disaster, as the Realtor alluded to in her comments to the President.
Could this really be the solution?
Now, the Administration is proposing, among other ideas, to rebrand Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a solution. Regarding this potentially fruitless move, Neil Cavuto of Fox News said, “More often than not, a new paint job ends up being the same snow job. Sometimes the jury remains out on name changes, like Kentucky Fried Chicken changing its name to KFC as if folks still didn’t still don’t know it’s fried chicken. Now it’s F chicken. are you F serious?”