Month: June 2015
New Monthly Housing Scorecard Introduced by HUD
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) are introducing a brand new scorecard for our country’s housing market. The scorecard intends to display monthly data regarding the impact of this Administration’s efforts for housing recovery and key market indicators, as well as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) assistance programs for American homeowners. This monthly report will feature data which is key to determining the health of our country’s housing market.
The American public will be able to monitor for themselves the efforts to invigorate the market which have made by this Administration, giving them the ability to hold the housing industry and the government accountable.
The goal of this Administration is to give the housing market as a whole and individual homeowners stability. As a means of helping this Administration to achieve these objectives, a comprehensive approach was developed which includes a coordinated effort between home buyer tax credits, community development and neighborhood stabilization programs, local and state housing agency initiatives, refinancings and modifications to mortgages, as well as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae support. The efforts of this Administration are built upon mortgage-backed securities issued by the Treasury and Federal Reserve purchase programs that have worked to help keep interest rates for mortgages at record lows during the past year.
FHA has also worked to help keep these rates affordable by playing a backstop role of importance by supporting refinance and new home purchase activity while the mortgage industry saw a lot of private capital leaving the market. Since April 2009, FHA has worked to help almost 400,000 home owners to keep their homes through the use of loss amelioration efforts, including options for modification. The Federal Housing Administration has also worked to take regulatory steps and administrative efforts to pursue essential reforms and tighten risk management in order to make its finances stronger, while giving homeowners access to affordable mortgage capital as a means of preventing foreclosures.
In fact, since April of 2009, servicers have reported that as many as 2.8 million homeowners have received restructured mortgages. This figure includes the over 1.2 million American homeowners that began trial modifications through the HAMP program and the almost 400,000 homeowners that saw benefits through loss mitigation. 346,000 homeowners in HAMP have also going into a permanent modification of their mortgage, saving them an average of $500 each month.
Also reported in the housing scorecard are the areas that give focus to HAMP compliance reviews as well as the scope of the compliance activities of the Treasury. The Treasury compliance activities include file reviews, reviews of NPV or net present value model applications and on-site reviews. Second look compliance-related reviews done by select services are also included for the first time as a part of this report to ensure that borrowers that might be eligible were properly solicited and evaluated for the HAMP program. The compliance activities of the Treasury will help to improve the performance of the servicers and help to improve processes that are designed to minimize the possibility that borrower applications could be overlooked, or that applicants might be denied their modifications inadvertently.
The Driverless Car, Bringing Auto-Pilot Down From the Sky
Recently Google revealed the testing of the driverless car, the car which can drive itself from A to B without any input from the driver aside from entering the destination. The car works with a sensor on the roof which continuously spins 360A� to gather information of its surroundings up to 200 ft, while a sensor on the left rear wheel tracks movements to place the car on the map. The car has undertaken extensive road testing and appears to be an effective piece of technology.
This kind of development could work wonders for modern day business with the ability to use laptops and mobile phones while the car takes over driving. My personal opinion is this kind of technology would be better applied as a reserve option in case of emergency or legitimate reason to take eyes off the road temporarily, using the system to allow the car to take over.
The use of auto-pilot has for a long time been an important feature for the cabin crew aboard commercial airlines. Incorporating a similar method into a car however could be difficult with the added external factors of traffic and variable surroundings, if this is developed smoothly it would still however take years to become commonplace within the auto-motive market, it would be a tremendous luxury to have to allow the car to take over the driving while you have a break or attend to that email you should have replied to over an hour ago.
This technology could prove to be a significant development in the use of the car, with the potential for its use as an auto-pilot style system, however while this technology is still in development it is important to remember to stay focused at the wheel, thousands of accidents occur every year as people lose focus at the wheel, this can often be down to tiredness after a long week at work with consecutive late finishes and early starts or simply down to a stressful day at the office.
Remember the importance of taking a break from driving on long journeys, even if only for 10 minutes at a service station for a coffee break. The break from the repetitive cats eyes and headlights can help the mind re-focus on the task in hand, getting you home safely.