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16 April 2010

Week in Review: Things We Liked from the Week That Was

There was a lot of finger pointing in Washington this week. The Federal Government is urging banks to forgive principals in order to help homeowners avert foreclosures. And banks, in turn, are hesitant to become more lenient, instead pressing the government to reduce interest rates.

In another back-and-forth, former Fannie Mae executives said that competitive pressures, combined with the political goal of increasing homeownership, were to blame for the company’s decision to back riskier mortgages. On the flip side, though, the Treasury Department said poor management decisions and weak regulation were the causes. All sides have presented their arguments, and, like so many other things, the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle. What do you think?

A record number of homes were lost to foreclosure in the first three months of this year. This may seem upsetting, but it also indicates that banks are wading through the many foreclosed properties quicker. Good news for those in limbo. Also on the good news front, another report out this week showed that the number of delinquent loans dropped 16,630. Although this may seem modest to the industry, I bet all of those homeowners would feel differently. With all this change though, we still shouldn’t expect home prices to return to bubble-era highs anytime soon. It’ll be 2039, according to some, in various areas.

In my last bit of news: This week is tax week, as you undoubtedly know. The good news here is that 54% of working Americans, according to a CareerBuilder study, say they will be using whatever they get back from Uncle Sam to pay off bills. Another 12% will renovate their home with the new cash. We can be excited about both!

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