The Obama administration will extend mortgage assistance for the first time to investors who bought multiple homes before the market imploded, helping some speculators who drove up prices and inflated the housing bubble.
Landlords can qualify for up to four federally-subsidized loan workouts starting around May, as long as they rent out each house or have plans to fill them, under the revamped Home Affordable Modification Program, also known as HAMP, according to Timothy Massad, the Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial stability. The program pays banks to reduce monthly payments by cutting interest rates, stretching terms, and forgiving principal.Now, it's true that the beneficiaries of this will include people who made legitimate investments--people who bought property with the intention of renting it out. But they are also bailing out the speculators who bought houses during the boom with the expectation of just flipping the house and getting rich. And in either case: why is it the government's job to help rich people? My mistake: for progressives, it is always the government's job to help rich people.