At the height, or rather the depths of the most recent recession, when the housing market tanked, the federal government launched the Home Affordable Mortgage Program, or HAMP. The objective was to encourage lenders to do the right thing and help homeowners in Texas and the rest of the country who suddenly found themselves in financially underwater homes bail out.
A lot of homeowners in Texas and elsewhere in the country have been fed through a foreclosure ringer over the past few years. And it's no secret that a lot of those actions were the result of bank foreclosure abuses. The relegation of procedures to third-party operations and the practice of robo-signing have all been well documented in the wake of the housing market crash, the resulting foreclosure flood and rise in bankruptcies.
It is a little late in coming by a lot of peoples' measure, but the federal home-finance companies, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae say they are now ready to start making it easier for underwater homeowners to obtain some sort of a bailout.
Bank of America bought up subprime mortgage monolith, Countrywide Financial, back in 2008. Life hasn't been easy for the banking giant since then. And now the headache associated with the effort to recover from Countrywide's bad mortgage bundles appears to be getting worse.
There are a lot of people who have negative things to say about bankruptcy. The history of the bankruptcy process in the United States is a varied one. As far back as the early 1800s, no less than Alexis de Tocqueville, that French-born student of the American culture, offered that while Americans display great business sense and entrepreneurial spirit, they too often don't pay their debts.
State attorneys general are starting to expand the queue of governments going after Standard & Poor's, the credit rating service. Texas has not reportedly joined their ranks, but it may only be a matter of time.
The federal government is looking to promote a kinder, gentler mortgage environment for homeowners. In the wake of the recent housing bubble burst and the damaging recession that left so many people in Dallas and across Texas scrambling through foreclosures and bankruptcies to keep their financial heads above water, this could be good news.
The number of Texans filing for bankruptcy appears to have gone down for the second straight year. One U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Texas has seen filings reduced by as much as 10 percent.
Recently, some statistics were released which indicate a couple of encouraging trends regarding foreclosures in the Dallas area. The statistics are from the company CoreLogic.
When the national mortgage-foreclosure settlement against the biggest mortgage companies yielded $135 million for Texas, housing advocates and distressed homeowners were glad to hear that the state would have money to help it prevent future foreclosures.