Obama expands HAMP mortgage bailout program to include landlords and real estate speculators

This strikes me as the sort of policy the Left would go berserk over if a wealthy Republican – like say, Mitt Romney – came up with the idea. But when Obama does it it’s all good, I guess. Never mind that HAMP has been a bureaucratic nightmare since its inception in 2009, and has done little if anything to stabilize the housing market. It’s full speed ahead anyway with HAMP 2.0, which now also aims to assist not only struggling homeowners but also landlords and so-called speculators by subsidizing bank loans, artificially lowering interest rates, rewriting private contracts, and even outright forgiving principal in some cases.

Maybe it’ll all work out better this time around.

Bloomberg reports:

The Obama administration will extend mortgage assistance for the first time to investors who bought multiple homes before the market imploded, helping some speculators who drove up prices and inflated the housing bubble.

Landlords can qualify for up to four federally-subsidized loan workouts starting around May, as long as they rent out each house or have plans to fill them, under the revamped Home Affordable Modification Program, also known as HAMP, according to Timothy Massad, the Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial stability. The program pays banks to reduce monthly payments by cutting interest rates, stretching terms, and forgiving principal.

The government’s need to protect neighborhoods from blight and renters from eviction, by keeping the current owners in place is outweighing concern that taxpayers will end up bailing out real-estate investors. The program is being enlarged after less than 1 million borrowers modified loans through HAMP, compared with the administration’s stated goal in 2009 of helping 3 million to 4 million homeowners.

“When we started the program we focused on owner-occupied houses because the need was so great and we wanted to target the efforts to that group,” said Massad. “Given where we are today, more and more people recognize that vacant properties are a problem no matter how they became vacant.”


John Burns, an Irvine, California-based real estate consultant, said it’s “ridiculous” for taxpayers to come to the aid of individuals who made bad bets.

“What kind of precedent are you going to set?,” Burns said. “Are you going to refund people who lost money on the stock market too?”

Government help to homeowners comes after President George W. Bush’s administration rescued banks with the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008, when the housing crash sparked the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Wall Street benefited from Federal Reserve emergency programs to keep credit flowing, while Bush and President Barack Obama directed federal money to save companies including General Motors Co. (GM) and Chrysler Group LLC. The Obama administration then pursued a series of programs meant to reduce foreclosures.

John Russell, 61, of Northville, Michigan, said he was never a speculator seeking to flip houses. He bought four rental properties in neighborhoods in the state more than 10 years ago and said he planned to keep them for decades more. Now the houses are worth far less than he owes, his rents have tumbled, and he has to spend about $20,000 a year to keep them operating.

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  • RefudiateObama2012

    @SarahPalinUSA: Pres. Obama, where does personal responsibility come into play? And how much will this new, unauthorized mortgage bailout cost taxpayers?

    • WordsFailMe

      Democrat or Republican?

  • MiketheMarine

    I remember seeing a video of a black women the day after Maobama won the elction. she was very happy that uncle obama was going to pay her mortgage and fill her car with gasoline. Apparently, he is trying to do just that. That is well and good except he is using our money instead of his own.

    • Sober_Thinking

      All the better to buy votes with my dear…

      We’ll hear gleeful, brain dead black women sqealing again about “obama money” if he gets re-elected… count on it. Because quite frankly, he’s doing what he promised and paying off those who voted for him. Suckers…

  • CalCoolidge

    “Obama expands HAMP mortgage bailout program t…”

    It won’t make any difference. Prices are still falling in most places. Too much supply, not enough demand, the bubble won’t re-inflate because of a few pennies of extra leverage.

    There are no bargains in a falling market, but a lot of oppurtunity to be underwater down the road.

    • Sober_Thinking

      Very true my friend…

  • Obama is being true to self as all good liberal socialists. If it fails, you must throw more money at it.

    “It is not the outcomes that ought to be judged but that I care so much….”

    • Sober_Thinking

      Problem is, it’s America’s money… not his goofy “obama money” that some claimed he was using…

      • What? I thought that the Feds already changed the faces on the $3 bill to the mighty O’


  • sDee

    The left goes berserk over what Media Matters tells them to.

    • WordsFailMe

      The American left, the CBC and the rest of the Democratic Party-

      ……….. Pavlov’s dogs and a moron with a bell……..

      • virginiagentleman1


    • barney59

      Media Matters is the Pravda for our home-grown commies.

    • Sober_Thinking

      Very good point.

  • denbren52

    I am a landlord, with private financing thank God, but if I had bank financing and qualified for this program, I’d be very leery of signing a pact with the devil. I believe Obama has his sights on private property ownership and would love nothing more than to eliminate all landlords and give the housing to the occupants (OCCUPY). He has also talked about taking vacant homes in foreclosure (private property owned by the banks) and renting them to low-income families. Where does this right to “take” foreclosed homes come from?

    • Sober_Thinking

      He thinks it’s fair… which makes him unbalanced… (get it FNC?)

  • trustintheLORDwithallyourheart

    My husband has been telling me for many years now that there is no Republican Party — that it is the same party as the Democrats — just a bunch of wolves in sheep’s clothing. I argued with him about this, but now I see that he was right. They have rejected the Tea Party platform, they did not support Reagan, they are thwarting at every turn a conservative agenda, they are putting up candidates that are much more liberal than what we think a Republican should be, they have not defunded or repealed Obamacare, they are all talk about conservative ideals, but absolutely no action. They are drunk on their own power and perks. We can’t call them our representatives, because they have done nothing to put forth or support conservative legislation. We’ve been had! After this election, it is time to wipe out the fake Republican Party and replace it with a genuine Conservative Party, that is if we can find any genuine Conservatives who are honest in their ideology and willing to step up to the plate. We also need term limits to ensure that they will be true servants, and not just running for the power and the perks.

    • Sober_Thinking

      A 3rd (or 4th) party: Tea Party 2016!

  • c4pfan

    I could have sworn that Obama based that program by a Romney guy? No?

  • Sober_Thinking

    Never mind that traitor-and-chief behind the curtain… the Wizard of Ouch will save the day.

    Hypocrites, thieves, and liars…

    • WordsFailMe

      Defeating him and his traitorous band of sycophantic, racist toadies and deviants will never be enough for me….

      but it’ll be close…

      • MiketheMarine

        I agree. Someone here has suggested launching them into outer space and that idea is growing on me.

  • Trust1TG

    Here’s a little review of the discussion in 2008 – helps to get perspective:

  • Trust1TG

    OBAMA has no right to spend money we don’t have without the permission of Congress and the voters!!!! Time for no more spending.

    Next thing you know Obama will be promising Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, the Moslem Brotherhood more billions we don’t have.

    He’s a spend-a-holic.

  • NJK

    “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”
    ― Albert Einstein

    This isn’t about helping anyone, it’s about the appearance of helping someone. His face is on the home page of my computer, and this is the caption. I can’t even look at this guy. They don’t understand the “Women,” tactic is old and won’t work anymore.

    Obama: Dems have ‘better story’ to tell women
    The Associated Press

    Hey Obama, you’re hurting the future of my daughter, and she’ll be a woman someday.
    You lie!

  • kong1967

    Maybe they should stop interfering in the market. Government is the reason we are in this situation and they are only digging the hole deeper. The market cannot correct itself properly if government keeps manipulating and preventing the outcome.

  • NYGino

    Look at it this way, it’s a going away, wedding present to Barney Frank. The Dems are so thoughtful and sincere.

  • Jay

    You think this bad? Wait ’til the Annointed One is a lame duck. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.