In Mesa, Arizona, Wednesday, the President presented the Homeowner Affordability and Stability plan, a multi-pronged effort to support the housing market.
The story made the front page of nearly every newspaper in the country.
The president’s plan is sweeping:
- Incent mortgage servicers to work with at-risk homeowners before delinquency starts
- Let homeowners with good credit but little equity refinance to today’s low rates
- Fund Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to support mortgage markets
It’s a broad plan with many positive angles, but for now, we can’t forget that it’s just a plan. Although the White House shapes and influences housing policy, Congress, Loan Servicers, and the Federal Agencies must still implement and execute it. Until that implementation occurs, these reforms exist only on paper.
It’s a key aspect of the speech that’s not getting coverage.
One thing we learned during the stimulus package debate was that just because the President wants something to happen doesn’t mean that it will. There are always details to be worked out and that’s one reason why the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan couldn’t go into effect immediately. There are still loose ends to tie and details to define.
According to its website, the White House lists March 4, 2009 as the plan’s effective date. Until March 4, therefore, nothing in Wednesday’s speech is guaranteed.