Feds should do more to help underwater borrowers: Moody’s

Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), so-called "HARP 2.0," to attract more eligible borrowers by removing the 125% LTV (Loan to Value ratio) cap, modifying lender representations and warranties, and expanding MBS eligibility. As a result of these program changes, the number of eligible underwater borrowers greatly expanded

Principal Reduction Programs. The federal government’s effort to help underwater homeowners obtain mortgage write-downs is called the Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA). PRA is a part of the Making Home Affordable program, and struggling homeowners with mortgages not owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac may qualify.

Analyzing the housing market through the perspective of 384 markets, fiserv case-shiller indexes pointed to a slow, but steady pace toward recovery after dramatic prices declines. According to the Fiserv indexes, in the fourth quarter of 2011, home prices in 18 percent, or 70, of the 384 metro areas tracked were either unchanged or had increased compared to a year ago during the same quarter.

 · An analysis of European LBO companies found that 254 had a combined 133 billion euros ($167 billion) of debt due by the end of 2015, with more than half owed by 36 borrowers, Moody’s.

Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) are teaming up on the measure that would require fannie mae and Freddie Mac to remove barriers and fees for their borrowers who are underwater.

In this report, Blagg found that borrowers with collection debt in addition to student loans, such as medical, utilities, retail or bank debt are more likely to default on their student loans.

 · New underwater refinance programs to start Oct. 1. Two new programs for refinancing underwater and low-equity mortgages are due to launch Oct. 1. That means homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than the property is worth should have an easier time getting their mortgage refinanced into a better home loan. The new programs,

Although researchers find that some underwater borrowers who could continue paying their mortgages strategically default anyway, the vast majority continue to pay. Many homeowners, out of a combined sense of fear, shame, courage and morality, resist making what is otherwise a logical financial decision.

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Underwater homeowners feeling stuck. For almost two years, home foreclosures have swept the nation, spreading misery among once-buoyant families, spattering lenders with red ink and undermining efforts to restart the economy.

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