Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Portland Hardest Hit Outreach Session Meeting Notes.

Below are MY notes from this morning's Hardest Hit outreach session in Portland. (IF you attended and think I overlooked or misstated anything I ENCOURAGE you to add a comment using the link at the bottom of this post).

(There were about 25 in attendance, including folks from throughout Portland Metro area, and members from several Congressional offices were also in attendance).

Staff comments
  • Will be some effort to limit back end loan ratio, perhaps to no more than 51-55%
  • HH funds could leverage Bank of America to extend up to 9 months loan forbearance for unemployed, underemployed borrowers. [This would be in addition to the months of reduced payments for unemployed/underemployed that HH funds would purchase].
  • Likely that allocation process to entitlements will not be the same for HH as it was for NSP. More direct contact between OHCS and counseling agencies and lenders.
  • May not need to be unemployed or underemployed to qualify, "in danger of" might be a way to reach intended target.
  • May be possible for homeowner to participate in unemployment related relief AND then later loan modification or short sale programs. (Throw in the counseling support and some families may benefit from three pots of HH funding). 
  • Anticipated actual funds available for program late Summer at earliest, more likely early Fall
Audience comments:
  • Continuing problem with lenders (and Fannie and Freddie?) not making properties available for sale near ultimate price that they are receiving at foreclosure.
  • Assessment of borrower by counselors may need to take into account future employment outlook.
  • Include line item for legal support services in application, make Treasury say it is not eligible.
  • Continuing owner occupant restriction may prevent borrower from taking job elsewhere in future.
  • Important to create homeowner continuing incentives to stay with home.
  • Use of 120% LOCAL median income is important for Portland Metro.
  • Congressional reps encouraged industry to advise of specific HAMP issues, they are trying to compile listing of those issues for follow up.
  • Need for outreach and marketing of program as well as training for counselors.
Audience Comments on Allocation:
  • I did not hear a specific % or formula advocated.
  • May need to include projections of future foreclosures (some caused by ARM resets) and/or reassess foreclosure rates on regular basis and reprogram funds accordingly.
  • Portland metro may offer better prospects than some areas for future employment. Areas where construction was major employment source may not come back, or take longer to come back economically.
  • Suggestion that allocations within Multnomah county may be useful.
  • Important that allocation formulas take into account location of minority homeowners. [Note my prior post HERE has Oregon county, city, and congressional district minority home ownership rates from the 2008  American Community Survey. An ACS query within that post will provide the actual counts of minority homeowners].
 Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

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