Some days, I feel like I must be one of the few homeowners in the country who is not facing foreclosure or underwater on our mortgage. That certainly was the case this week, where nearly every day brought news good and bad about the economically and emotionally devastating wave of foreclosures happening from coast to coast.
On Monday, Citigroup announced it would begin modifying mortgages. On Tuesday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said it would begin doing the same for loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie—and pay $800 to every servicer who did so. On Wednesday, experts and non-experts alike (although, thankfully, not Joe the Plumber) began dissecting the Fannie/Freddie plan and all the reasons it wouldn’t work—or at least not on a very large scale. On Thursday, RealtyTrac announced its monthly foreclosure numbers. And last night, as I settled down to watch a Tivo-ed episode of “Without a Trace,” guess who the missing person was? A bank manager who had recently been transferred to “loss mitigation,” i.e., foreclosures.
So much for escapism.
Obviously, the current economic crisis is too large and pervasive for any of us to escape. McStain Enterprises, a private green, innovative builder in Denver, decided this week to close its headquarters and opt for a cost-saving “virtual office” instead. Public builders presenting at an investor conference on Tuesday advocated for a new housing stimulus to “fix housing first” and get the economy moving again. But the likelihood of getting such a bill through Congress seems slim for many reasons, not the least of which is the tremendous competition for those bailout dollars. Banking, housing, mortgage finance, auto manufacturing….the list of requests grows daily. –Alison Rice
BUILDER has officially embraced the blogosphere with the launch of blogs on green building, sales and marketing, construction and more from Boyce Thompson, Patrick Duffy, Ted Cushman, Brad Haubert, Patrick Hendry, David Miles, and Scott Sedam. This week’s posts discussed Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s change of plans for the $700 billion in bailout money, achieving lean operations, and much, much more. BUILDER Design Editor Jenny Sullivan has also launched her own blog at http://jennysullivan.tumblr.com/.
Want more local and regional news headlines? Visit BUILDER’s hand-picked housing headline feed at http://builderonline.tumblr.com/, which is updated daily with housing-related stories from major newspapers and regional business journals.
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Learn more about markets featured in this article: Denver, CO.