Saturday, October 20, 2012

Good thing the foreclosure crisis has been resolved!

Sarcasm, folks. Of course it hasn't been resolved. But, listening to the presidential debates and the main talking points this election, you'd think it had been.



Not Romney.

Not Obama.

No one.

Or is it just me? I mean, I guess it could just be me. I have been busy lately. I suppose it is possible that I completely missed it. That some brilliant proposal to solve the housing crisis strode in on a white horse  unbeknownst to me.

No... No. Nopey. Nope.

I wouldn't miss that. If either candidate had a brilliant plan for housing, it wouldn't matter how distracted I've been by child rearing, I would know about it.

EVERYONE would know about it.


You bet.

So no one has a plan. Okay. It's a complicated issue. Indeed. It's gone on far longer than anyone hoped. And it's far from over.

But why isn't it at least being acknowledged?

Are they just hoping - presumably because they don't know how to fix it- that it will go away? That we'll forget about it? That if it's ignored, it will erase itself as an issue that actually plagues millions of Americans still today?

I don't get it. And I'm not the only one.


A few weeks ago, I did a segment for Huff Post Live about the foreclosure crisis along with Tracy Van Slyke of Home is Where the Vote Is.

Home is Where the Vote Is is a campaign launched by The New Bottom Line that "gives voice to the underwater homeowner."

They are asking that same question.

From their site:
More than 15 million Americans are living in homes that are underwater, many of them are in the key swing states of Ohio, Nevada and Colorado.  We give voice to the underwater voter.
Neither President Obama nor Governor Romney are really addressing the root cause of the housing crisis or proposing any bold solutions to fix the problem.
The facts are clear:
Nationally, there are more than 15 million underwater homes, that are $1.2 trillion underwater. Resetting those mortgages to fair market value would save the average underwater homeowner $543 per month, pumping $104 billion into the national economy every year. This would create 1.5 million jobs nationally.  The bold and necessary solutions are clear, and have been advocated for by economists on both ends of the political spectrum. 
-The predatory practices of big Wall Street banks caused the economic collapse and foreclosure crisis, destroying millions of jobs and devastating communities.
-Americans’ homes have lost $6 trillion in value because Wall Street banks artificially inflated the housing bubble and then crashed the market. The continued housing crisis is a major drag the overall economic recovery and significant source of financial pain for families everywhere.
-With $700 billion in negative home equity and millions of homeowners being held underwater, banks have chained the American economy to a crushing housing debt load.

HELLO! This needs to be part of the election dialogue. If not now, when?!

Home is Where the Vote Is encourages underwater homeowners to contact the candidates to let them know that this issue is important to them. But whether you're underwater or not, it's important. This impacts us all.

What can you do? You can go to their site to share your story and sign a petition that states:


It’s time you STAND WITH US.
I also suggest following their blog for information and ways to help bring housing to the table.


The Home For Good campaign recently sent more than 35,000 postcards to the Obama and Romney campaign headquarters demanding that they make foreclosure a top campaign issue.

From the press release:

During the first Presidential debate, both President Obama and Gov. Romney made no mention of how they would solve America’s continuing housing crisis with millions of homeowners still underwater. Instead, Gov. Romney promised to “repeal and replace” the consumer protections ushered in by the Dodd-Frank legislation.
And, while President Obama has created the Consumer Financial Protection Board, initiated the Making Home Affordable program, expanded housing counseling, and joined 49 state attorneys general in a national mortgage settlement with five major banks, these programs have yet to reach the millions of homeowners who could and should benefit from such assistance. 
“Abuse by banks and the financial industry, inadequate consumer protections, and massive long-term unemployment caused the mortgage and homeownership crisis, continue to plague a huge swath of the US public, and hold back our economy,” added Jenkins. “The candidates’ silence on these issues is as politically shortsighted as it is morally appalling.”
Three of the eight states with the highest foreclosure rates are presidential battlegrounds: Florida, Ohio, and Nevada. In Florida there were 27,000 new foreclosure filings in August alone—one out of every 328 homes in the state. According to market research firm CoreLogic, more than 3.7 million homes have been lost to foreclosure in the past four years.
Who knows if the postcards made an impact on President Obama, but last night on the Daily Show with John Stewart, he finally talked about the housing crisis:

It's a start. But, if I were fighting to save my house today I would want to hear a lot more.
Like an actual plan.

What do you think? Why have both campaigns been so quiet on the issue?

Is it because no one wants to say the 'F' word?

Further reading:



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