Nine Ways to Improve the Housing Market Through the Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

Foreclosure CrisisI think I’ve made my position on the foreclosure fraud settlement pretty clear. Nevertheless, there’s a time to stew and a time to figure out how to make this work as well as possible. I think there are some tangible steps that can be taken, if not to improve the deal, then to improve housing policy overall to the benefit of homeowners rather than bank balance sheets. Here’s a probably incomplete list:

1) Release the terms. It’s hard to fully commentate on the settlement without the settlement terms in hand. It’s unconscionable that these haven’t been released, and everyone with even a passing interest in housing policy should be up in arms. Once we get the terms, then we can better know where things need to be shored up. It’s an absolute joke that we’ve gone 24 hours without settlement terms; we should not go a week.

2) Follow the money to the states. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has already announced that he will not put the hard money that states receive in the settlement to anything dealing with housing, but to plug his budget holes. I imagine that will be the case in Republican states throughout the country, and indeed it will be a tempting target for any state with a budget shortfall.

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