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WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Michele Bachmann steadfastly refused Thursday to answer questions about her family’s business and finances, saying that she — not her husband — was the one seeking the White House.

The Minnesota Republican faced queries about Marcus Bachmann’s Christian counseling clinic that attempts to convert gay patients as well as her own beliefs on sexuality during a luncheon at the National Press Club. With her husband sitting nearby, Bachmann said she expected scrutiny as a candidate but questions about her family were off-limits.

“I’m running for the presidency of the United States. My husband is not running for the presidency. Neither are my children. Neither is our business,” she said.

“I am more than happy to stand for questions on running for the presidency of the United States,” she continued. “I have no doubt that every jot and tittle of my life will be fully looked at and inspected prior to November of 2012.”

Bachmann, who is campaigning hard ahead of next month’s debate and straw poll in Iowa, has steadfastly refused to discuss the family’s business that has faced criticism from gay rights groups. When asked to describe her beliefs on gay therapy, Michele Bachmann said she loved her husband of 32 years and then said her husband was not a campaign issue.

She also faced questions about her opposition to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Washington Post reported this week that its analysis of her loan documents suggests her family used those federally subsidized programs in 2008.

“Unlike all of you, who I’m sure paid cash for your homes, there are people out there like myself who actually have to go to a bank to get a mortgage. This is a problem: it’s almost impossible to buy a home in this country today without the federal government being involved,” she said.

“We need to get the federal government out of these programs.”

For full article: http://news.yahoo.com/bachmann-says-she-not-husband-running-office-201319758.html

NOTE: For those who have mortgages on their homes, the involvement of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in the process is usually “out of your hands”, being done by the bank at the time of the mortgage.

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The Obama administration is examining ways to pull foreclosed properties off the market and rent them to help stabilize the housing market, according to people familiar with the matter.

While the plans may not advance beyond the concept phase, they are under serious consideration by senior administration officials because rents are rising even as home prices in many hard-hit markets continue to fall due to high foreclosure levels.

Trimming the glut of unsold foreclosed homes on the market is “worth looking at,” said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in testimony to Congress last week.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904233404576458300001332210.html

“Home values fell three percent in the first quarter of this year, marking a pace of decline not seen since 2008 when the housing recession was at its worst,” the group says. “Home values fell one percent between February and March and 8.2 percent from March 2010. The cumulative decline in home values since the market peak is now 29.5 percent .

Full article: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/these-charts-show-how-dismal-the-housing-market-really-is-again/

from ZeroHedge.com:

Ever wonder why the banks have been stowing away cash as if in anticipation of a torrential rainy day? Well, it just started pouring. According to the WSJ: “The Obama administration is trying to push through a settlement over mortgage-servicing breakdowns that could force America’s largest banks to pay for reductions in loan principal worth billions of dollars…Terms of the administration’s proposal include a commitment from mortgage servicers to reduce the loan balances of troubled borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth, people familiar with the matter said. The cost of those writedowns won’t be borne by investors who purchased mortgage-backed securities, these people said…some state attorneys general and federal agencies are pushing for banks to pay more than $20 billion in civil fines or to fund a comparable amount of loan modifications for distressed borrowers…Regulators are looking at up to 14 servicers that could be a party to the settlement…Banks would also have to reduce second-lien mortgages when first mortgages are modified…Under the administration’s proposed settlement, banks would have to bear the cost of all writedowns rather than passing them on to other investors. The settlement proposal focuses on pushing servicers who mishandled foreclosure procedures to eat losses, by writing down loans that they service on behalf of clients. Those clients include mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as investors in loans that were securitized by Wall Street firms.” In other words, we have just reached the pinnacle of banana republic socialist insanity. In one fell swoop the teleprompter will not only grant reprieve to the banks for decades of fraudulent mortgage activity, but undercapitalize themselves and have them at risk for another liquidity run, which would of course mean another record multi-trillion taxpayer bailout. And the worst case: the 10 million or whatever underwater mortgages will get an average reduction of $2000 each. This is unf******believeable!

From the WSJ:

A settlement could help lift a cloud of uncertainty that has stalled the foreclosure process since last fall. Economists have warned that foreclosures need to proceed for the housing market to continue on a path to recovery. It’s unclear how many borrowers would benefit from a deal. Servicers have thus far had difficulty managing the volume of troubled loans.

So far, most loan modifications have focused on shrinking monthly payments by lowering interest rates and extending loan terms. Banks, as well as mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have been shy to embrace principal reductions, in part due to concerns that many borrowers who can afford their loans will stop paying in the hope of being rewarded with a smaller loan. But some economists warn that rising numbers of underwater borrowers will drag on housing markets and the economy for years unless more is done to help them.

Several federal agencies have been scrutinizing the nation’s largest banks over breakdowns in foreclosure procedures that erupted last fall. Last week, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said only a small number of borrowers had been improperly foreclosed upon. But the regulator raised concerns over inadequate staffing and weak controls over certain foreclosure processes.

A settlement must satisfy an unwieldy mix of authorities, including state attorneys general and regulators such as the newly formed Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, who support heftier fines. They must also appease banking regulators, such as the OCC, that are concerned penalties could be too stiff.

“Nothing has been finalized among the states, and it’s our understanding that the federal agencies we are in discussions with have not finalized their positions,” said a spokesman for Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who is spearheading a 50-state investigation of mortgage-servicing practices.

For more info: http://www.zerohedge.com/article/socialism-gone-apeshit-obama-wants-use-proceeds-20-billion-fraudclosure-settlement-reduce-un

The action on all these fronts in the days before the 112th Congress opens shows that oversight has suddenly become a hot topic in Washington, and it’s forcing the White House, House Democrats and the influence industry to take notice.

Republicans have begun to lay out their hearing schedule, which will include investigations into how regulation affects job creation; inquiries into Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the foreclosure crisis; and an examination of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’s failure to come to agreement on the cause of the crisis. Issa also wants to investigate WikiLeaks disclosures.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/46981.html#ixzz1A1O6NspM

Last week I interviewed an investor who buys foreclosed properties and rents them out long-term for solid returns. He claims that’s the only way to right the housing market — get long-term investors to eat up the excess inventory. The biggest roadblock, however, is credit. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both limit the number of investor mortgages.

Foreclosure
Fuse | Getty Images

Multiple sources now tell me that the Administration, specifically over at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is considering ways to get more investors into the housing market, possibly with the help of Fannie and Freddie. HUD would not confirm that, but Fannie Mae’s chief economist Doug Duncan said it is definitely on the table both at HUD and at Fannie

For full story:  http://www.cnbc.com/id/40590863

from New York Times:

Save Florida Homes Inc. and its owner, Mark Guerette, have found foreclosed homes for several needy families here in Broward County, and his tenants could not be more pleased. Fabian Ferguson, his wife and two children now live a two-bedroom home they have transformed from damaged and abandoned to full and cozy.

Foreclosure
Photo: Jeff Turner

There is just one problem: Mr. Guerette is not the owner. Yet.

In a sign of the odd ingenuity that has grown from the real estate collapse, he is banking on an 1869 Florida statute that says the bundle of properties he has seized will be his if the owners do not claim them within seven years.

A version of the same law was used in the 1850s to claim possession of runaway slaves, though Mr. Guerette, 47, a clean-cut mortgage broker, sees his efforts as heroic. “There are all these properties out there that could be used for good,” he said.

The North Lauderdale authorities, though, see him as a crook. He is scheduled to go on trial in December on fraud charges in a case that, along with a handful of others in Florida and in other states, could determine whether maintaining a property and paying taxes on it is enough to lead to ownership.

full article: http://www.cnbc.com/id/40088963//

     Barney Frank has had to loan his campaign $200K. His opponent has closed the gap in the polls, and Charlie Cook is now calling the race between Frank and Sean Bielat “leaning Democrat” instead of solidly Democrat. So the colorful Congressman has had to go into combat-mode:

Rep. Barney Frank (D.-Mass.) is so freaked out over his boyfriend’s behavior and his own election troubles that he’s attempting to be nice to people, according to a columnist at the very liberal Boston Globe.

When Frank’s boyfriend Jim Ready was caught on tape heckling Frank’s Republican challenger Sean Bielat, Globe columnist Brian McGrory reports he phoned the liberal icon to ask if he condoned Ready’s behavior. (h/t Ace of Spades)

From the Globe report:

When I called Frank yesterday to ask if he condones his partner goading and mocking an opponent, he told me that “Jimmy’’ is a talented amateur photographer putting together a photo essay of the campaign.

When I asked if Frank planned to apologize for Ready’s behavior, Frank said: “Jim should have broken it off and not responded. But Bielat shouldn’t have initiated the conversation. I don’t see what was inappropriate about taking his picture.’’

I’ll mark that down as a no.

A few moments later, my phone rang again. It was Frank, adding, “Jim’s new to political campaigning. He takes it more personally than someone who’s used to it.”

After we hung up, Frank called again, saying, “You know, he calls me dude. I didn’t realize that was troubling people. He calls all sorts of people dude.”

There’s a larger point to all of this. For the last three decades, the political establishments in Boston and Washington have excused Frank’s consistently obnoxious behavior as Barney being Barney. Maybe they’ve done it because he was unique as an openly gay congressman. Maybe it was out of deference for the way he unapologetically and effectively carried the flag for the most liberal of causes. Maybe it was out of fear that he’d train his quick wit and substantial intellect against anyone who happened in his path.

What a difference a year makes.

for the rst of the story and videos: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=39515