News that Gets My Goat
Reading the “How Texans Voted” report from Thomas Voting Reports this week I see that Texas Republicans voted with their party to defeat three measures to help Americans who are upside-down on their mortgages. The bills in question, HR 830 and HR 836, and amendments, would repeal the FHA Refinance Program and the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program. These measures cover homeowners who are current on their mortgages and whose loans are not insured by the Federal Housing Administration, or are age 62 or older, or have lost their jobs or have fallen behind because of a serious medical condition, or for active duty service personnel, veterans, and Gold Star families. (Foreclosure rates in towns near military bases are more than twice the national average.)
This program is funded from already approved but unspent Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds. Seems that the GOP is OK with bailing out big banks and insurance companies, but stands against helping ordinary people. Five million Americans have lost their homes to foreclosure since the Great Recession hit in 2007, compared to a historical average of 100,000 per year. According to the Wall Street Journal, one in four American homeowners owe at least 20% more on their homes than their homes are worth.