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Paulson’s Last ‘Bailout Plan’ – Hope Now

A year old press release from the US Treasury:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson (L) listens to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Alphonso Jackson speak after their meeting with the Hope Now alliance at the Treasury in Washington October 31, 2007. The Hope Now alliance is trying to reach struggling homeowners and help them avoid preventable foreclosures.

Statement by Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. on Announcement of New Private Sector Alliance – HOPE NOW

October 10, 2007

Washington, DC–Thank you, Secretary Jackson, for being here today. And thank you to everyone here today with one common objective – helping homeowners stay in their homes. We all know well the turmoil in today’s mortgage markets. A combination of stagnant or falling house prices, low down payment mortgages and resetting adjustable-rate mortgage rates are creating real challenges for many American homeowners. More and more homeowners are having trouble meeting their monthly mortgage payments, and foreclosure rates have risen in recent quarters. Foreclosures are painful not only for families, but also for neighborhoods, for mortgage servicers, for mortgage investors, and for the economy as a whole. This morning, I welcome you all here to applaud a new alliance of mortgage market participants who recognize that cost, and are stepping up efforts to prevent it for as many families as possible.

On August 31, President Bush announced a foreclosure prevention initiative. He asked Secretary Jackson and me to spearhead an effort to identify struggling homeowners and help as many as possible to keep their primary residences. We have been meeting with the nation’s leading mortgage counselors, mortgage servicers, lenders, investors and other industry experts to explore their ideas on how to reach and help homeowners.

We learned that many individual participants are already actively engaged. Leading mortgage servicers have increased their outreach to borrowers who may need help. Mortgage counselors have been working hard to support the large numbers of homeowners who are calling them and asking for help. State and local governments across the country have started innovative programs targeted at people and neighborhoods hit worst by the market downturn.

Each of these steps is critical, and each has an impact. But we also know that we will not be nearly as effective as we need to be unless everyone is working together. Only through better integration of their efforts can mortgage counselors and mortgage servicers reach the greatest number of borrowers facing payments they can’t meet and only with increased coordination can they be more effective in finding solutions for those homeowners.

Today, for the first time, 11 of the largest mortgage servicers representing 60 percent of the mortgages in America, several of the leading mortgage counselors, investors, and large trade organizations have come together and formed a partnership to help more Americans keep their homes. These leaders recognize that by working together, coordinating and scaling up their activities, they will be able to work toward the goal to help more homeowners.

Their partnership, called HOPE NOW, has put together an aggressive plan to reach more homeowners and help them find a way to stay in their homes. And I’m glad to see the American Securitization Forum, representing investors as well as servicers, is joining this alliance, recognizing that mortgage investors also have an interest in expanding the reach of mortgage counselors to prevent foreclosures whenever possible…

Here are some of the groups that are involved:

(Click on link for the full list)

Regular readers will recognize a lot of the usual suspects, such as ACORN, La Raza and the National Urban League.

Many if not all of these same groups got another slice of pie in the July 2008 housing bill. And they were slated to get still more in the bailout plan currently under discussion.

And just what was “Hope Now” hoping to accomplish?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is HOPE NOW?

HOPE NOW is an alliance between counselors, servicers, investors, and other mortgage market participants to maximize outreach efforts to at-risk homeowners and help them stay in their homes. 

If I can’t pay my mortgage, why should I call my mortgage lender/servicer?

Your mortgage lender can help you identify the options available to you, should you have trouble paying your mortgage…

What is a loan workout?

Either a loan modification or a repayment plan.

What is a loan modification?

A modification occurs any time any term of the original loan contract is permanently altered.  This can involved a reduction in the interest rate, forgiveness of a portion of principal or extension of the maturity date of the loan.

What is a repayment plan?

A plan that allows the borrower to become current and catch up on missed payments that are appropriate to the borrower’s circumstances.

And, believe it or not, ACORN, La Raza and the National Urban League soon began to criticize this program for trying to establish repayment plans, rather than actually modifying the terms of the mortgage.

That is to say, they were furious when some people were still asked to pay back a portion of their loans rather than just being given their houses for free.

The outrage.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, September 28th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Paulson’s Last ‘Bailout Plan’ – Hope Now”

  1. retire05 says:

    The tenative bill has been put on line. All sites that made it available, Porkbusters, Fox Business News, and the government site have crashed. Fox Business News just announced that the volume of traffic crashed their site.

    This is the Shamnesty Bill on steroids. Americans are not going to sit idly by this time and let the Congress do whatever the hell it is they want.

    Grab your ankles, kids. SanFranNan has been at work along with the very people, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, who are part of the problem.

  2. JBean says:

    Ah, yes: Hope Now (not to be confused with the new and improved “Hope for Homeowners,”)

    Struggling homeowners find little hope in federal program

    “Among the chief complaints about Hope Now is a lack of transparent data. Even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has said that he can’t get reliable data on loan modifications.

    At the time of its creation, Hope Now sought to modify up to 1.2 million adjustable-rate mortgages issued to sub-prime borrowers, those with the weakest credit. In a statement March 3 on its Web site, operated by mortgage-industry players, Hope Now said that more than 1 million homeowners had received loan workouts since last July.

    That just muddied the waters. It included a period well before Hope Now began, and didn’t distinguish among one-month payment deferrals, temporary freezes on adjustable rates and modifications into fixed-rate loans.

    “The big question is how many real loan modifications are happening, and I don’t think they know,” said Kurt Eggert, a professor at the Chapman University School of Law in Orange, Calif., and a member of a Federal Reserve consumer advisory board. “How can you say you are on top of the problem if you don’t know how broadly the ‘best solution’ is being applied?”

    If you read the story, it seems the problem is that the homeowners in question actually worked and were responsible in trying to forestall foreclosure (in spite of taking out risky loans). The system just can’t handle that type of homeowner.

  3. PoliticalJules says:

    Please watch this even though it is a hassle to watch videos. This gives the best overview I have ever seen. Hover your mouse over the pause button cause it goes fast.


  4. Virginia Shanahan says:

    “My message to the American people don’t let Congress seal this deal. High financial crimes have been committed.”

    “We are Constitutionally sworn to protect and defend this Republic against all enemies foreign and domestic. And my friends there are enemies.”


    Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) – “We are under Martial Law”

    What the hell is really happening in Washington?

  5. platypus says:

    The first link was a Democrat!?!?!

    I see a lot of kicking and screaming, and not much go along to get along.

    This might not be good for McCain unless he allows himself to be pushed toward conservatism.

    I can picture the Republican ticket flipping, in which case it would be Sarah taking 48 states.

    Monday is going to be a popcorn day. Bring on the clowns and the dancing bears!

  6. texaspsue says:

    Obama is claiming that he deserves credit for drafting the Bill. (WHAT ARROGANCE.) If this is true (SARC.) ….Congress, RUN! HIDE! ………………but, what ever you do….DON’T VOTE FOR THIS BILL.


    “Monday is going to be a popcorn day. Bring on the clowns and the dancing bears!”

    Haha, I afraid that you have that right platypus. This has been the craziest and most entertaining Presidential election, EVER! :-)

    God help us!

  7. artboyusa says:

    Bailout schmailout. The same people who got us into this now have a masterplan to get us out? Screw that and screw them.

  8. BillK says:

    I can understand the dislike of the bill, but should it fail I would expect a four figure drop in the Dow at least, if not more.

  9. 1sttofight says:

    Got this in an email today. Makes a lot of sense to me.

    Subject: Bail Out—HA!!! Bail ME out!!!

    I don’t know about you, but I LOVE his plan. Ah well, it’s nice to dream isn’t it?

    Were any of you wondering how AIG was going to pay back the American people? It is a loan right? There are no consequences to greed and mismanagement of money anymore. Check out what this guy says below – he is preaching to the choir here… Maybe this guy should run for President?

    The difference between a successful person and others is not the lack of strength, not the lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will –Vince Lombardi

    An outstanding plan!

    I’m against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

    Instead, I’m in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a We Deserve It Dividend.

    To make the math simple, let’s assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.

    Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..

    So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion that equals $425,000.00.

    My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a We Deserve It Dividend.

    Of course, it would NOT be tax free. So let’s assume a tax rate of 30%.

    Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.

    That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam. But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket. A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

    What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?
    Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.
    Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads
    Put away money for college – it’ll be there
    Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
    Buy a new car – create jobs
    Invest in the market – capital drives growth
    Pay for your parent’s medical insurance – health care improves
    Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean – or else
    Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

    If we’re going to re-distribute wealth let’s really do it…instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( ‘vote buy’ ) economic incentive that is being proposed by
    one of our candidates for President.

    If we’re going to do an $85 billion bailout, let’s bail out every adult US Citizen 18+!
    As for AIG – liquidate it. Sell off its parts. Let American General go back to being American General. Sell off the real estate. Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

    Here’s my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn’t.

    Sure it’s a crazy idea that can ‘never work.’ But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

    How do you spell Economic Boom?

    I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion We Deserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC.

    And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

    Ahhh…I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

    Kindest personal regards,


    T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic
    PS: Feel free to pass this along to your pals as it’s either good for a
    laugh or a tear or a very sobering thought on how to best use $85 Billion!!

  10. BillK says:

    The popuist statements as to “what could we do with the money” are all great but they ignore the larger issue of the fact that most Americans would need to be put on unemployment or welfare as their employers closed or laid off most of their employees because they would be unable to access capital.

    So gee, your mortgage would be paid off but you’d be dependent on the government for every other aspect of your life.

    Sad thing is, many Americans would take that deal.

  11. Colonel1961 says:

    $85 billion divided by 200 million people is $425.00, not $425,000.00. Sorry, it’s the economist in me…

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