Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Dec 20th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Protecting the Home Front

barbara palmer 1SANTA CRUZ > Real estate agent lobbies for struggling local families

Barbara Palmer, president of the Santa Cruz County Association of Realtors, met with 28 out of the 55 U.S. Representatives from California, as well as Treasury and Federal Housing Finance Agency executives on five separate trips to Washington D.C. last year. Lobbying on behalf of cash-strapped homeowners and the statewide realtors association, Palmer emphasized the devastating impacts of foreclosures on families and neighborhoods.  

“I’m looking for practical solutions, “ Palmer says. “There are some very practical rule changes that could be made, that do not necessarily require writing down principal, that could save many people from losing their homes, right now, and in the year ahead.”

Palmer is worried about many exorbitant, adjustable rate mortgages (ARM’s) out there, originated in the hey day of flexible, if not predatory, lending practices beginning around 2003 that are scheduled for significant interest rate hikes on their 10 year anniversaries later this year and next. Palmer says the interest rate hikes of ARMs, in some cases exceeding six percent, may push many families already struggling to stay current over the edge of foreclosure in the near future.   

A practical solution? Palmer advocates for banks to refinance these ARMs into 30-year fixed mortgages at today’s low interest rate of around 4 percent, making loan payments manageable for many households in potential trouble, even if the refinanced loan still renders the homeowner “underwater” in terms of current market value. “At least the family can make the payments and stay in the home,” Palmer insists.

One key obstacle is that, by current rules, the refinanced loan cannot exceed 125 percent of market value, cutting off that option for borrowers more than “25 percent underwater.” “Waive that appraisal requirement and the 125 percent of market value rule,” Palmer  proposes, ”and let families out of these exorbitant ARMs and take advantage today’s low interest rates with a 30-year fixed.” Are there any incentives for the banks to do this? “Yes,” replies Palmer enthusiastically, “the banks have a real PR problem. Here’s a way for them to solve it. ”

Recalling the famous axiom that “all politics are local,” Palmer is serious when she says, “all solutions are local too, we just need to work them out.”

“My vision is to get local bank officials, troubled homeowners trying to avoid default, realtors and public officials all in the same room and come up with workable alternatives to foreclosure,” she says.


Check back with Good Times later this week for an in-depth look at the continuing local foreclosure crisis.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire