The Dow Jones is near record highs and mortgage interest rates are holding at record lows, yet the percentage of troubled mortgages and the number of foreclosures are both rising.
We’ve yet to see any sustainable bump upwards for housing prices.
The landmark $25 billion settlement with the nation’s top mortgage lenders spells relief for some victims of mortgage abuse, but it will help only a small fraction of the millions of Americans who owe more on their houses than they are worth.
Still, something’s better than nothing, which is what millions of homeowners had been getting from irresponsible mortgage lenders who acted with willful disregard in the scramble for profits.
President Obama praised the settlement, saying it will “speed relief to the hardest-hit homeowners,” in addition to ending some of the most abusive practices in the mortgage industry.
It should mean the end to shoddy practices that some companies utilized, such as processing foreclosures without verifying documents. Just as unimaginable, some employees signed papers they hadn’t read or used fake signatures to speed foreclosures, known as “robo-signing.”