As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, November 30, 2007

California: Special Session-O-Rama

Looks like that Dec. 5 deadline for voting on a health care proposal has been extended, after the power play of scheduling it on the day of the Republican Assembly retreat was justified by the Speaker's office by saying "Deadlines are deadlines." Until they aren't.

And now, there's talk of a third special session, this one on the subprime mortgage crisis. I guess the inaction on the first two was not sufficient; we need a third. And I appreciate efforts to stop predatory lending, though I'm not sure how this would make a dent in what is a national credit lending problem.

I'm still not sure we have a housing "crisis" or just a housing market downturn, but I am pretty sure that nothing the Assembly is going to do in a special session this year is going to affect it one way or the other. Well, they are probably capable of making it worse. But I don't think they can or will do anything to increase the value of my home, and while I'd love the help, I don't particularly think they should try.

I'm not as dismissive as Dan Weintraub; this is most definitely a crisis. But I'm not really sure what the Assembly can do. The bills they have proposed would only apply to new loans. That's important, but they would not do a whole lot for those facing foreclosure. And anyway, those entering into new loans would have to be deaf, dumb and blind to agree to some no-money-down ARM at this point. And this bit from the press conference is flat-out embarrassing:

In an illustration of the complexity of the crisis, though, one of the homeowners presented at the press conference as a victim said the house he lost was actually one of two that he owned.

While many owners have lost homes they occupied, others were investors who saw the real estate run-up of the past decade as an investment opportunity.

Sacramento resident Carlos Villegas said he was forced into foreclosure when monthly payments on the house he bought in 2005 shot up from $2,200 to $3,550.

"They gave me three days to move," he said. "I feel frustrated with the system.

In response to questions from reporters, Villegas said after the foreclosure, he moved back to a smaller house he had purchased 10 years earlier, which he had been renting out.

Of all the people with foreclosure problems, you found a guy with another house?!?

The credit mess is a national problem, and state solutions are nice, but they're not going to work. Perhaps driving down the costs of healthcare through a new reform would be the BEST way to help those struggling with home payments.

Labels: , , , , , ,