HOUSING RESCUE PROGRAM DETAILS RELEASED

March 6, 2009

– President Obama earlier this week unveiled details of his home loan aid plan designed to help millions of Americans who are at risk of losing their homes.

Administration officials say the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan could help nearly nine million households restructure or refinance their mortgages to avoid foreclosure.

The plan includes a $75 billion homeowner stability initiative that targets at-risk homeowners, many of whom have adjustable-rate mortgages that have increased house payments to as much as 50 percent of their monthly incomes.

This initiative offers cash incentives to lenders and borrowers for working out loan modification agreements that result in lower monthly mortgage payments and allow homeowners to keep their homes. Any bank that receives federal money under the Treasury Department’s $700 billion financial rescue program will be required to take part.

Another component of the plan is intended to help as many as five million responsible homeowners who took out conforming loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to refinance through those institutions.

To finance that effort, the Treasury is providing the two companies with up to $200 billion in capital on top of $200 billion that it had already pledged to them.

“This is not going to save every person’s home,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. “The plan is not intended to . . . augment somebody’s loan for a house that they couldn’t afford under any economic situation, good or bad.”

According to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, nearly 12 percent of homeowners — a record 5.4 million — were at least one month late or in foreclosure at the end of last year.

New York Times/Associated Press

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Hurricane Ike – Katy, TX update 1:00 p.m. 9/16/08

September 16, 2008

Things are certainly improving in the Katy Area today. Our power in Grand Lakes was restored just minutes ago so if any of you are staying with friends, I would call your neighbors to see if you are back  on the grid. We are located near the Arbor Lake, North of Fry and East of Peek. It was a welcome sight to see everything in the house come to life.

However, there are still parts of our area without power but hopefully that will be corrected in the days to come. It is my understanding there is no school for Katy kids tomorrow but I will clarify that further later.

If you have areas that still need power, please let me know and perhaps we can get together and implore Centerpoint to get Katy powered up. This morning, Grand Lakes Presbyterian Church help a breakfast for residents without power. That was a very special thing to do and much appreciated by those of us eating breakfast bars and warm bottled water.

If you need help finding someone, let me know and I will see what we can do for you. I wish everyone a quick return to “normal” life and am praying for those that have lost more than just electricity. Take care.


Hurricane Ike – Katy, TX update 6:00 p.m. 9/15/08

September 15, 2008
30 p.m. 9/15/08

Katy new construction (2 story!) that has collapsed on itself and slid off the foundation 6:30 p.m. 9/15/08

00 p.m. 9/15/08
Downed trees in Katy, TX 6:00 p.m. 9/15/08

Here we are now two days past the storm that has so devastated the Houston/Galveston areas. I am writing from Katy, TX, a sprawling suburb located 20 or so miles west of the city center.

We have fared fairly well as Ike passed, leaving downed trees, missing shingles, torn fences and more important, lack of electricity in its path.

There are areas north of I-10 that have suffered worse that those South of 1-10, but the damage everywhere is very hit and miss. You can drive down one street and see nothing out of place while two blocks over, there are missing patches of roofing and debris everywhere the eye can see. So it is very hard to report exactly how each area has come through the storm. I appreciate any and all reports coming in from areas and reporting on damage and power restoration. Centerpoint is suggesting that it may take up to 4 weeks to restore all power but Mayor White is working hard to get that revised. Although I do not mind roughing it these past few days, that will be a bit much and I will be seeking refuge among my friends fortunate to be in the right power grid.

00 p.m. 9/15/08

Damaged roof in Katy, TX 6:00 p.m. 9/15/08

At least a cool front has moved in and tonight will be pleasant – for those of us using mother nature as our air conditioner. It is my understanding that FEMA has been mobilized to the coastal areas first to take care of the devastation there and will be working their way to us. I you need assistance, remember to dail 311 (non-emergency) and 911(emergency).

Have a cool and comfortable night and I will recap more tonight or tomorrow morning.