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DEBT LIMIT - A GUIDE TO AMERICAN FEDERAL DEBT MADE EASY.

A satirical short film taking a look at the national debt and how it applies to just one family. Watch the guy from the Ferris Bueller Superbowl ...

The White House Proposes Mortgage Finance Reform

Executive Summary

Many see mortgage finance reform as the most significant regulatory omission since the 2007-2008 financial crisis—an omission made all the more astonishing given the primary role of the collapse of subprime mortgages in triggering the crisis. The White House has issued a wide-ranging reform plan that briefly considers mortgage finance reform via the privatization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, although details are scarce and legislative action is not likely this year. A healthy and free secondary mortgage market requires that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be stripped of the systemic privileges that have allowed them to dominate the industry artificially.

 

Background

Widespread defaults on home mortgages as a result of the Great Depression led to the creation in 1938 of the Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae. In 1970 the same impetus drove the creation of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp, known as Freddie Mac. By securitizing mortgages as mortgage-backed securities (MBS) Fannie Mae resulted in the creation of a secondary mortgage market, greatly improving the ability of banks to issue home mortgages. The 2007-2008 financial crisis required the U.S. government to rescue Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, putting them into conservatorship in September 2008, and the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) remain in conservatorship under the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to this day.

Consumer Debt Now Surpasses Mortgage Debt

The debt of American households is on pace to surpass the prior peak debt level of 2008, led by non-mortgage debt, LendingTree found in its Consumer Debt Outlook for June. Mortgages may represent the largest debt for households, but as a percentage of disposable income, home loans are comprising less of a liability, LendingTree found.

In a  research report , the online lender, which analyzed data from the Federal Reserve, said that mortgage-related household debt has declined 5.5%, while consumer credit, which includes revolving credit and installment loans, jumped 45%. Of that, 42% was student loan debt. What's more, LendingTree found that American household debt is on track to hit $1 trillion above the 2008 peak by the end of June. The debt figure has been increasing at a 3.4% annual rate and includes mortgage debt.

[Check out Investopedia's  mortgage calculator to see how much home you can afford.]

By the end of the second quarter, LendingTree is forecasting total mortgage and consumer debt to reach $15.7 trillion compared with $14.7 trillion 10 years ago. During the past decade, credit card debt, student loans and car loans have increased 45% and are set to hit $4 trillion by December. Mortgage balances currently make up about 68% of disposable income, while credit card balances are under 7% of income. In 2008, mortgage balances were as high as 98%, while credit card balances accounted for 10% of income. Millennials, noted LendingTree, are underrepresented in the homeownership rates. "Homeowners today, on average, have significant equity in their homes," said LendingTree in the report. "Ten years ago, equity was virtually nonexistent."

American Federal Mortgage Corporation?

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