Daniel Indiviglio: Is The U.S. Treasury Smart or Generous?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Treasury released additional details (link opens .pdf) about the homeowner bailout, or in Washington-speak the "Making Home Affordable" program. Part of those details included some new ways for homeowners to avoid foreclosure. I thought the far more fascinating part, however, was the so-called "Home Price Decline Protection Incentives" (HPDP). It's the most interesting part of the homeowner bailout that you probably haven't heard about. I have been fascinated with the HPDP since the bailout was announced in February, and now we finally have some detail to dig into.

For some strange reason, virtually no one is talking about the HPDP. I haven't seen a single article on it. Here's how the new fact sheet describes it:

This initiative provides lenders additional incentives for modifications where home price declines have been most severe and lenders fear these declines may persist. These incentives will encourage servicers to undertake more modifications by assuring that incremental investor losses will be partially offset.

All of the initiatives within the homeowner bailout have attempted to stabilize the housing market. But this is the only one that provides a sort of insurance to investors if home prices continue to decline. In February I remarked that it seemed like the housing bailout included everything but the kitchen sink. I was wrong: this is the kitchen sink.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate MarketThe 2009 Obama Administration Housing Amelioration PlanThe U.S. GovernmentTreasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Posted May 31, 2009 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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