Focus of TARP Could Shift to Housing

TARP ( you remember the bail – out and the unaccountability of the banks in receipt of the money?)

TARP stands for Troubled Asset Relief Program and was initially 700 Billion dollars. The first chunk of money went to the banks who, according to mainstream media, have used it for huge golden-parachutes for top executives and buying troubled banks in China. 350 Billion of the initial TARP monies have been released and spent

Today President Bush made the call stating to Congress the other half of the TARP money would be needed. This means the money should be available shortly after Mr. Obama takes office.

Without getting all political here, Barney Frank has introduced a bill (HB 384) which would require the Treasury to use a series of steps to help prevent foreclosures.  Some of these steps could include a loan guarantee program that would backstop lenders who agree to modify loans, a program to pay down second mortgages that stop or slow down loan modifications, and purchases of whole loans with the goal of modifying them or refinancing them.

The National Association of Realtors is also asking for input into the process by leaving the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits at last years high of $729,750 in high cost areas, as well as subsidizing some mortgage rates.

Congressman Frank is asking for anywhere from 40 Billion to 100 Billion of the next round of TARP money go to stopping foreclosures. Yes, that is with a B.

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