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Proposed minimum downpayment rule debated

Proposed mortgage lending rules being considered by federal regulators are drawing fire from a variety of players in the housing industry.

At the heart of the debate is a rule that would require borrowers submit a 20 percent downpayment to purchase a home. Intended to help prevent the type of defaults that contributed to the mortgage crisis a few years ago, critics say the rules would stifle the economic recovery and shutout many credit-worthy buyers or, at least, increase their costs through higher interest rates when they can't meet the proposed requirement.

Town meetings on the economy and budget

Sen. Bernie Sanders will hold a series of "town meetings" on the economy and federal budget priorities.

He hopes to discuss ways to prevent cuts to programs that benefit Vermont's working families.

Report's housing affordability claim debatable

The Vermont Economy Newsletter released its annual housing affordability analysis yesterday.

Art Woolf, the report's author, states

Vermont's housing affordability improved in 2010 for the fourth consecutive year, making last year the 5th most affordable year in the 24 years he's published the report.

Optimism at Vermont Economy Conference

heaps and woolfThe recovery is progressing well for the U.S. and Vermont, according to presenters at the Vermont Economic Outlook Conference last Friday. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, listed five reasons he expected the economy to continue improving well:

Report: Affordable housing drives local economic growth

According to a new report from the Center for Housing Policy, affordable housing development drives local economic growth.

The report cites National Association of Home Builders estimates that building 100 new Low-Income Housing Tax Credit units for families can lead to the creation of more than 120 jobs during the construction phase.

Furthermore, that activity ripples through the economy, supporting businesses that supply the construction trade as well as retailers, health services, and restaurants where newly employed workers spend their pay.

VHFA diligent during foreclosure procedures

Last week, Vermont joined other states in examining complaints some mortgage firms have engaged in questionable practices during foreclosure proceedings.

At the center of the investigation is "robo-signing," when mortgage service employees with no knowledge of a particular case sign foreclosure documents.

Thomas Candon, Banking Commissioner at the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration and a VHFA Commissioner, said his office hasn't received any complaints regarding this practice.

VHFA's low delinquencies, foreclosures on VPR

VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter appeared in a news segment aired by Vermont Public Radio yesterday and today about the Agency's low delinquency and foreclosure rates.

Read the transcript online.

VHFA home loan delinquencies, foreclosures low

Recent analysis of VHFA home loan data shows delinquency and foreclosure rates of VHFA mortgages were considerably lower than rates for Vermont and the nation.

As of June 30, 2010, VHFA home loans that were delinquent by 90 or more days were just 0.94% of all the Agency’s outstanding loans. Vermont’s rate was more than twice as high: 2.05%. The national rate was 4.54%.

The number of VHFA loans in the foreclosure process on June 30, 2010, was 1.37% of all VHFA loans, compared to Vermont’s overall foreclosure rate of 2.71% and the national rate of 4.57%.

Report: Recession likely to keep poverty rate high for years

According to researchers at the Brookings Institution, the poverty rate among all Americans is likely to remain above 14 percent through 2020, due to the relationship between unemployment and poverty.

The situation will be even worse among children, with the poverty rate remaining above 21 percent through 2020.

The worst year is likely to be 2014, with at least 16 percent of all Americans and 26 percent of all children living in poverty.

Tighter credit standards may thwart community stabilization

Formerly foreclosed upon, newly renovated homes might sit vacant as a result of stricter credit standards following the foreclosure crisis. That's the concern reflected in a survey conducted by NeighborWorks at a recent meeting in Philadelphia.

Two dozen non-profit organizations representing $740 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds were polled.

“The concern is real and it is across the board,” said Thomas Deyo, Deputy Director of National Initiatives and Applied Research at NeighborWorks America.


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