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Posts Tagged ‘taxpayers’

Gov. Brown Signs Bill Giving LLC Residents a Voice

September 27th, 2013 Comments off

Following a story we last posted Sept. 11, 2013 regarding a California measure that would give land lease community (LLC) residents and local jurisdictions a voice when community owners seek to redevelop the real estate, MHProNews has learned Gov. Jerry Brown signed the legislation into law. While local government has no actual power to prevent the conversion of the property even if a majority of community residents do not approve, SB 510 will avert costly litigation that has plagued dozens of cities because the law of property rights has not been clear. Sponsored by Rep. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett says, “This bill protects affordable housing, protects local governments and taxpayers, and brings closure to many years of litigation over this issue.” As noozhawk.com says, there are approximately 5,000 lLLCs in California comprised of one million residents.

(Photo credit: nbcsandiego.com–manufactured homes in Calif.)

Fannie and Freddie Repaying Taxpayers

August 9th, 2013 Comments off

Taxpayers may yet see a profit from the $187 billion bailout by the federal government of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2008. To date, Fannie Mae has seen $105 billion of the $116 billion it borrowed from Treasury repaid, including $10 billion from the most recent quarter. Of the $71 billion Freddie Mac received, as of Wednesday it has repaid $41 billion, and expects to earn $29 billion later this year. During the housing bubble years the two firms had become the main source of funding for home loans, and hardly anyone expected a payback, according to CNNMoney. The housing market improvement during the past year is the main reason for their return to profitability. As MHProNews has learned, the record low mortgage rates spurred refinancings, increasing the pairs’ fees.

(Photo credit: Jonathan Ernst/Yahoo!Reuters–Fannie Mae headquarters)

Manufactured Home Taxes Now Payable Online

June 19th, 2013 Comments off

The Vinton County Treasurer’s Office in McArthur, Ohio reports taxpayers can now pay real estate and manufactured home taxes online. “The online payment system offers added convenience for the taxpayer and streamlines the process of collecting taxes. I hope that in time it decreases wait time for those taxpayers who choose to come to the office,” says Treasurer Vicki Maxwell. As vintondaily informs MHProNews, second half manufactured home taxes are due July 31.

(Photo credit: gfhomesandland)

County Assessor Makes Multimillion Dollar Error

March 20th, 2013 Comments off

MySuncoast reports from Venice, Fla. a magistrate in Sarasota County determined property taxes on some of the 19,000 manufactured homes in the county were improperly increased between 22 percent and 90 percent because the property appraiser’s office did not abide by Florida statutes. Although the companies that own the communities pay the taxes, the home owners ultimately pay their share. A resident of 1,300-site Bay Indies MHC, Mike Rafferty, noticed his property value increased 22 percent in an area with flat or falling property values. As MHProNews has been informed, on March 19 the Value Adjustment Board approved the decrease of over $16 million for just two of the county’s 60 MHCs. Rafferty says he and his neighbors will likely see a $75 rebate each this year, and similar amounts in years to come. “Commercial parks are going to see relief, and that relief is going to be absorbed by some of the other taxpayers in the county,” he noted.

(Photo credit: MHProNews.com)

Eliminating GSEs could Still Leave Taxpayers Exposed to Risk

March 6th, 2013 Comments off

According to Anthony Randazzo, director of economic research at Reason Foundation, the federal government’s continued belief that everyone should own a home is what created the housing bubble in the first place, and it could happen again. Writing in the Orange County Register, he says with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac being propped up to the tune of $187 billion, and continuing to offer subsidized insurance to mortgage investors with no upper limit on the size of the loans they may purchase could lead to another meltdown. The Bipartisan Policy Center, which includes two former HUD secretaries and Sen. George Mitchell, proposes phasing out the GSEs within five to ten years and replacing them with a new entity that would not buy mortgages but would offer catastrophic insurance against another meltdown. As MHProNews has learned, that would continue to leave the government on the hook for another bailout, protecting the banks and investors once again.

(Image credit: bankrate)

FHA may be Teetering on the Edge

December 26th, 2012 Comments off

Townhall tells MHProNews the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) continues to make risky loans to borrowers with low credit scores and/or high debt ratios. Based on zip codes, these borrowers have an expected foreclosure rate of 15 percent, accounting for 44 percent of FHA loans to people of low to moderate means. Not only are taxpayers exposed to the possibility of a bailout, but foreclosures and the ensuing blight reduce the tax rate, making it tougher for municipalities to provide services to those neighborhoods. Backing over $1 trillion in U.S. home loans, the FHA may be facing a $16.3 billion shortfall by the end of Sept. 2013, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. FHA is attempting reforms that may or may not be successful, but time may be running out for an effective correction to be made.

(Image credit: FHA)

Vacant Houses a Real Drag

October 8th, 2012 Comments off

Speaking at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, HousingWire tells MHProNews Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke says the 1.6 million vacant houses across the nation are stalling a housing recovery, as well as harming surrounding house values. Those not on the market in particular present a danger because they tend to fall into further disrepair. Duke says investors will repair the more high-end homes and turn them into rentals, while the lower spectrum homes may receive government assistance. She says, “Doubtless there will be costs associated with solving these problems, but it is important to also consider the costs of doing nothing. For example, it costs local taxpayers to let vacant buildings decline, it costs money to tear them down, and it costs money to convert them to a better use.”

(Photo credit: DorNob–abandoned house)

Bernanke Strongly Suggests a Stimulus is Coming

August 31st, 2012 Comments off

In his annual speech at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, CNNMoney tells MHProNews Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke talked up providing more stimulus for the economy, saying the two previous rounds of asset purchases improved financial markets and led to two million jobs. Previously, the Fed intimated it would provide stimulus only if the economy further weakens, but now it seems to be saying stimulus may come if the economy remains static. Said Bernanke, “The odds are strong that the Fed’s asset purchases will make money for the taxpayers, reducing the federal deficit and debt. And, of course, to the extent that monetary policy helps strengthen the economy and raise incomes, the benefits for the U.S. fiscal position would be substantial.” In 2010 at the annual symposium Bernanke hinted that the government might initiate the bond-buying program, but did not begin until more than two months later.

(Photo credit: CNNMoney/Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke)

Regulator May Act Against Eminent Domain Plan

August 14th, 2012 Comments off

fhfa-logo-headerReuters tells MHProNews that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) raised concerns about a private investor group’s controversial aim to seize and restructure poor-performing mortgages. The federal housing regulator of the GSEs said it is concerned about the program’s constitutionality. “FHFA has significant concerns with programs that could undermine and have a chilling effect on the extension of credit to borrowers seeking to become homeowners and on investors that support the housing market,” the agency said in a statement. Edward DeMarco, the acting director of the FHFA, has objected to principal reductions on mortgages. DeMarco told reporters “the anticipated benefits do not outweigh the costs and risks.” Concerns about costs to taxpayers was also expressed. Mortgage Resolution Partners, a San Francisco-based group backed by some prominent West Coast financiers, is promoting the concept. Eminent domain traditionally has been used by local governments to condemn buildings and properties for public works projects. A related column in Industry Voices can be found here. ##

(Graphic Credit: FHFA Logo)

Republican’s Plan for Fannie and Freddie

August 13th, 2012 Comments off

HousingWire reports while Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-WI), Gov. Mitt Romney’s running mate for the White House has proposed privatizing “the business of government-owned housing giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, so they no longer expose taxpayers to trillions of dollars’ worth of risk,” and an end to the $188 billion in bail-outs, major lender and realtor organizations propose private capital in a first loss position but not without some form of government guarantee. Tom Cronin of the Collingwood Group said private capital would be slow to return to the marketplace until risk retention, qualified mortgage and new servicing standards are in place. He does not see that happening anytime soon. MHProNews has learned while Romney has not said what he may have in store for Fannie and Freddie if he wins the presidency, on Sunday’s “60 Minutes” he did say his platform will have its own budget plan he and Mr. Ryan will follow.