News & Moves: November 24, 2008

Read to find out how the country reacts to economic plan
By By Jennifer Powell, Staff Writer | November 23, 2008
New Mortgage Aid Plan changes rates, terms

Federal officials and mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced a plan that borrowers would get reduced interest rates or longer loan terms to make their payments more affordable, the Associated Press reported. However, it only applies to loans Fannie and Freddie own or guarantee. Of all the loans Fannie and Freddie represent, only 20 percent are delinquent. “The plan falls short of what is needed to achieve wide-scale modifications of distressed mortgages,” Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said in the article.

Bernanke Names Fannie, Freddie fixes

Federal Reserve Board President Ben Bernanke gave a speech via satellite on the future of mortgage financing to the University of California Berkeley Conference. Bernanke presents several options to fix Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. One option: consolidate GSE and FHA and become government agencies that securitize mortgages. Watch the full speech from Bloomberg TV to learn about all the options they are considering for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Fast FACT: 47.8%

According to a report by, Nevada is No. 1 with the most loans that have negative equity. Of 609,577 loans in the state, 47.8 percent are under water.

Country reacts to economic plan

Plans for Middle Class, Economy

President-Elect Obama discusses the need for a rescue plan for middle-class Americans before fixing other problems in the economy. In a radio address from the Associated Press, he lays out his plans for the economy, both long-term goals and short-term goals.

Key Wins for Housing

The election on Nov. 4 produced significant wins for the housing industry. The NAHB noted candidates who gained the support of NAHB won 26 of 33 seats in the Senate and 309 of 337 seats in the House.

Pressure on President-Elect Obama

On “Dollars & Sense“ from Bloomberg TV, Kevin Hassett, McCain's campaign economic advisor from American Enterprise Institute, and Barry Bosworth of Brookings Institution discuss the challenges the President-Elect faces in the next few months and the pressure to find solutions and implement them quickly.

Economic Team Begins Strategizing

President-Elect Obama has put together his economic team. Watch the news clip from the Associated Press as he discusses his plans for the economy's problems.

Country Reacts to Economic Plan

Unemployment is at 6.5 percent and 1.2 million jobs were lost so far this year. But President-Elect Obama said he plans to confront the crisis head-on by implementing a rescue plan for the middle-class and a stimulus plan to help bring the economy back up and create jobs. However, reactions to his plan have reiterated it will not be easy and will not happen overnight. Watch the news clip from WBRC Birmingham to hear what local businesses in Alabama have to say. 

ProBuild Purchases Centex's Lumberyards

Assets of component manufacturer/lumber distributor CTX Builders Supply were purchased by Denver-based ProBuild Holdings from Centex Homes. CTX Builders Supply operates six distribution and manufacturing plants in North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. The company produces wall panels, roof and floor trusses for Centex.

New Hire at Harkins Builders

Steve Rubin of Harkin Builders
Steve Rubin
Marriottsville, Md.-based Harkins Builders announced a new hire to their company. Steve Rubin, a 15-year home building veteran, is coming to the company as their new Business Development Manager, focusing on business developments in the Mid-Atlantic region. Rubin is a member of the board of Home Builders Association of Maryland and is the 2008 president of the association's Land Development Council.
Chapter 11 Takes Another Home Builder

Christo Bardis, co-founder of Sacramento, Calif.-based Reynen & Bardis Communities, a home building and land developing company, filed for Chapter 11 protection in court mid-October, the firm announced. Bardis listed liabilities of $100 million to $500 million and assets between $10 million to $50 million.

J.P. Morgan Modifies Its Mortgages

J.P. Morgan Chase announced it will modify around $70 billion of its own mortgages that are in or nearing default. The company feels the initiative will help stem the tide of foreclosures that is taking over the country. A 90-day moratorium was placed on all foreclosures to begin the process of applying the guidelines. Two dozen new regional counseling centers will open, and an additional 300 loan counselors will be trained.


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