Industry News

Foreclosure relief plan draws mixed industry response

Some view interest rate freeze as more harmful than helpful

A plan to freeze interest rates for a segment of homeowners who face the prospect of foreclosure is either political grandstanding, a delaying tactic, a finger attempting to plug a bursting dam, or the right cure for an ailing market, depending on who you talk to in the real estate brokerage community. Real estate agents and brokers are definitely talking about the Bush administration's effort to bring together mortgage-market players in a program to assist some distressed subprime borrowers to refinance into safer loans and avoid resetting rates that would lead to more defaults. An estimated 1.2 million subprime borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages would be eligible to participate in a fast-track process to refinance or apply for modified loan terms under this program, the Treasury Department announced this morning. The Treasury Department estimated that perhaps 1.8 million owner-occupied subprime mortgage resets will occur in 2008 and 2009. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr....