Mortgage Fright!

by Gerri Willis

Check out the story today in The New York Times on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. You can't miss it - it's on the front page. And, it's guaranteed to scare the living daylights out of anyone thinking about buying a home. The story says you can kiss your 30-year mortgage goodbye. The reason? The death of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants at the center of the financial crisis. Both the administration and Republicans agree it's time for these two - propped up by $150 billion of our taxpayer dollars - to go. But the Times story maintains that mortgages will become more expensive - rates higher, fees out of sight. Look, just because lenders have been on the sidelines in the months following the financial crisis doesn't mean they always will be. When the cloud that is regulatory uncertainty passes and prices stop falling, I believe they will get back in and in a big way. The reality is this: We don't need Fan and Fred to oversee the housing market to boost home ownership. We have some of the lowest rates of home ownerships as it is among developed countries. Fan and Fred have bought us nothing but trouble.