News & Resources

White House unveils housing plans as January foreclosure, sales climb

Mar 17, 2012 Walt Wojciechowski

Foreclosure and home sales climbed in January, reflecting the tepid and uncertain state of the U.S. housing market, according to a report released Tuesday by Lender Processing Services (LPS). Foreclosure starts rose by 28 percent last month, while sales increased by approximately 29 percent. Meanwhile, the rate of repeat foreclosures hit a record high of 47 percent of all starts. However, new problem loan rates remain relatively low at a nationwide 1.4 percent. The report comes the same day as President Obama unveiled two new housing initiatives aimed at assisting Americans with government-backed loans. The first plan will cut refinancing fees on any loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The second involves an agreement with financial institutions to review all foreclosure processes on military service members since 2006, and provide compensation to Americans who were wrongfully foreclosed on. "This compensation will come from the mortgage servicers who conducted the foreclosures," the Washington Post reports. "In addition, any service member who was wrongly denied the opportunity to refinance will receive a refund of money lost."