October 1st, 2008 12:03 PM by Lehel Szucs
The House has defeated the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA) on a vote of 205 – 228. NAR supported the package. Media reports about it didnot present the case for the many ways it would have supported the real estate industry.
The summary below presents all the bill’s provisions, condensed into some general subject headings. Many of these provisions are likely to survive in whatever legislation comes next.
Help Homeowners and Borrowers: The legislation responded to the criticisms that lenders have been slow and/or unwilling to work with homeowners and borrowers. It encouraged negotiation in short sales and consumer efforts to refinance or reconfigure existing mortgages:
Get Money into the Financial System Quickly: The credit markets are nearly frozen. Lenders can’t lend because they are receiving no payments on existing loans. The legislation allowed the government to buy troubled loans and mortgage securities. The funds that the institutions received when the government purchased the existing portfolios were to be available to issue new mortgages with more carefully specified and monitored lending standards. Provisions include:
Follow, Protect and Watch Over the Money: Congress will keep a tight rein on TARP. Congress will have the assistance of numerous agencies charged with specific tasks and reporting responsibilities.
Put Brakes on the Bad Guys: Congress wanted to curtail perceived “bad acts” of executives who made big bets and lost.
Give the Taxpayers a Stake in the Profits: Historically, when the government has intervened to shore up a company’s or government’s financial dealings (such as the loan guarantees made to Chrysler and the aid given to New York City during a fiscal crisis), the long-term effect has been that the government has made money back on the deal. The legislation provided an “upside” benefit for taxpayers:
Recoup What’s Still Owed: If, after five years from the date of enactment (the date the President signs a bill), the program has lost money, the sitting President will be required to present a plan to Congress for ways to recover the funds from the financial institutions that benefited from the TARP relief.