By Felix Salmon: This is an important milestone, even if it's too little, too late:
Bank of America Home Loans has begun reaching out to customers who may be eligible for forgiveness of a portion of the principal balance on their mortgage under terms of a recent settlement…
The recent surge in mortgage rates has hit mortgage refinance applications pretty hard. But the good news is that it hasn't hurt purchase applications yet. The weekly MBA purchase applications announcement out Wednesday morning should give us more of an insight on the issue.
Q1 was another quarter in which recent patterns in household debt continued. As we report every month, non-housing revolving credit balances continue to be flat, although we now have some more granularity, with the Fed adding that the "number of credit inquiries within six months – an indicator of consumer credit demand –declined again the bulk of household leverage driven by non-revolving debt." Specifically, "there were 158 million inquiries in 2013 Q1, down from the 164 million inquiries seen in the previous quarter."
UnitedHealth, the nation's largest provider of privately managed Medicare Advantage plans, has dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks citing "substantial funding pressure from the federal government." The WSJ reports that physician groups are protesting as many elderly patients are now unsure about whether they need to switch plans to keep seeing their doctors.
Brad DeLong (September 19, 2007): What Planet Does He Live on? Robert Lucas on Mortgages and Monetary Policy:
Perhaps the strangest thing about Robert Lucas's "Mortgages and Monetary Policy" was his insistence that he was:
In February, five of the nation's largest banks agreed on a $25 billion settlement over widespread, systemic mortgage fraud and related issues.
The $25 Billion Deal, announced with huge fanfare, was supposed to help up to a million struggling homeowners, primarily via debt forgiveness.
Let's flash forward a few months to see how debt forgiveness is working out in practice.