But I Voted For Him

And now I want me money.  Or so goes the general consensus if you read the Reuters article describing the Home Rescue Plan.

Obama, grappling with the worst U.S. housing crisis since the Great Depression, pledged to help as many as 9 million families keep their homes by reworking their mortgages.

Let’s not forget that the whole reason those 9 million families are struggling is because the government “pledged to help as many as 9 million families keep obtain their homes by reworking cheating* on their mortgages.

Eight months later, the plan is plagued by delays, red tape

delay and red tape?  A government program defined by delay and red tape?  Come on!

some critics say, a reluctance by banks to do their part.

Riiight.  Cause last time the banks “did their part” a housing bubble was created, then burst and we were plunged into this problem.  After which the banks were rewarded for “doing their part” by having themselves taken over, vilified, their CEO’s fired and then their pay limited.  Honestly, why wouldn’t the banks “do their part?”

Just 17 percent of eligible borrowers have had their loans modified and monthly payments cut. Hardly any have been given a cut in the amount they owe on homes which are now worth less.

Huh.  Weird.  It doesn’t seem that banks want to lend money to people who demonstrate that they can’t pay money back to banks that lend them money.  Bitches!  Oh, especially hard hit are the owners who have negative equity-who would have guessed?

For homeowners like Jeff Latta, there was no help at all.

Latta, a 53 year-old retiree, pays $1,600 in monthly home payments that eat up 93 percent of his pension and he struggles to make child support payments.

So, a 53-year-old man decides that he wants to quit working at 53 [at least] and discovers that he is having trouble paying the bills.  Unbelievable.

To help pay his mortgage, Latta has slashed his bills by hunting for food in the wooded hills around his town of Albany in southern Ohio, and growing his own vegetables.

Serious.  I wonder if “slashed” means the same thing in Reuters talk as it does in Pino talk?  However, to his credit, Mr. Latta is doing a lot more than many other folks in his condition.  But let’s be honest here, if $1600 is 93% of his pension, he has $120 left over.  No vegetable is going to cover that gap.

In March, Latta heard about Obama’s Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, that allows mortgage payments to be reduced to 31 percent of a homeowner’s income.

Awesome.  Because you can just legislate away the annoying aspects concerning the laws of Economics.

Latta applied for a loan modification but was rejected. His bank said his income from selling pumpkins and firewood — a net of $906 in 2008 — was too high.

Serious.  Even HAMP must know on some level that this is just silly; it’s designed to fail.

That banks lent irresponsibly in the U.S. property boom is irrefutable. As San Diego-based realtor Steve Rodgers says: “If you could fog a mirror, they’d give you a mortgage.”

While this is true, it is also true that banks were forced to carry a required portion of their lending portfolio in this low income high risk demographics.   To say that they did this on their own is disingenuous.

Look, in the end I feel bad for Mr. Latta.  But check this out, if you make $1720 a month you can’t afford to live in a house.  Move to an apartment.  Or a smaller house.  Or something.  And more advice?  Give up on the pumpkins and firewood and move to Raleigh; they have work there.

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