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Real Estate Leaders Give Dold Earful

Congressman holds a roundtable to gain local input on improving the housing climate.

Get a room full of real estate industry leaders and the person who called the meeting could get an earful on the current housing market.

That is what happened to Tuesday morning in his Northbrook office when he invited 10 real estate professionals from different parts of the industry to his office for a roundtable discussion.

“There was a high level of frustration in the room,” Dold said after the meeting. “This is a first step. There will be more meetings. This was a meeting to get an idea of what we in the role of government can do."

Dold’s agenda included foreclosure, loan modification and refinancing, , real estate values, mortgages, stumbling blocks to doing business and other issues.

When it comes to underwater real estate — a property worth less than the mortgage balance — Vice President Connie Conway of Glenview expressed anger at people who abandon property for economic reasons when they can continue to meet their financial obligations.

“We should start by doing something about the walk aways,” Conway said. “People are walking away from their property and they have the means to pay. It would make banks less hesitant to lend to borrowers.”

Scott Ginsburg of Northbrook, the chief executive officer of Prism Mortgage in Deerfield, sees a lot of frustrated potential borrowers. He disagreed with Conway. He sees very few homeowners who do not fight as hard as they can to keep their homes.

“I’m not in love with bankers,” Ginsburg said. “We have to find ways to consider the homeowner. Banks are making money. Now we have to find ways to help the consumer.”

Ginsburg told the story of a potential customer who had an 800 credit score seeking a mortgage with a 57 percent loan to value ratio and income nearly five times the monthly payment. The loan was declined because Ginsburg could not provide proof of a $90.18 bank transaction.

Dold sees possible legislation and more latitude for community banks and other institutions as a possible way to help people like the one Ginsburg described. He acknowledges new laws may not happen too easily.

“We can do that but I’m not sure how quickly it would be,” Dold said about possible new laws. “What we can do is give community banks more flexibility. If the appraisal comes in at $470,000 instead of $500,000 maybe the person has to put 22 percent down instead of 20 percent.”

Deerfield appraiser Rick Hiton was also unhappy with regulation and red tape. Though he has been in the business a long time, he can no longer do appraisals in downtown Chicago as he once did as a result of new federal regulations.

“I’ve been an appraiser 30 years and I can’t appraise on the Gold Coast,” Hiton said. He was referring to new federal regulations that require an appraiser to work within a certain radius of their residence.

Dold also recognizes the current reduction of real estate values is one of the major problems for the economy as a whole. “There is no question as we look at the economy and jobs housing is a big, important aspect,” he said.

RB January 23, 2012 at 11:14 PM
The last time I checked Canada is a foreign country. Keystone will not decrease our dependence on foreign oil. So, no rush there. I'm not suggesting that 8 years is appropriate. My point was that an environmental study is worthwhile. Richard, I do hope you start quoting James Carville more often, if current quotes it will mean that ou have finally started listening to the 'elite' media. The economy we have today is a direct result of the reckless behavior of President Bush. Mr. Obama certainly saved us from a near depression.
RB January 23, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Rich,here's a more current quote from James Carville, "tea party thinks clean water tramples their right to poison themselves". The Keystone has the downside of possible damage to a huge agricultural area and poison drinking water for over six states. The State Department says further research is needed. It's worth the wait to get it right!
Richard Schulte January 24, 2012 at 12:14 AM
The last time I checked, Canada was a friendly country with a stable political system. No need to run oil tankers through the Straits of Hormuz to get oil from Canada. Getting oil from Canada is the first step in finally freeing the US from OPEC. Apparently you have forgotten the oil embargoes from 1973 and 1979-I haven't. The typical recession lasts 11 months. Don't tell anybody, but we are in an economic depression right now. If we did nothing to fix things, our economy would be in better shape. Our President told us that he would have this fixed in 3 years-well 3 years are up. We still have 13 million unemployed folks, 46 million Americans using food stamps and the unemployment rate of black folks is 15 percent and black teens is 40 percent. Everything that the President and the Dem House and Senate did from the first two years of his term has made the economy worse. The one bright star we've got going for us is energy development and the Obama Administration has done it's best to prevent us from developing our natural resources. There are existing oil pipelines all over Nebraska-no problem. You may want to read want the Governor of Nebraska has to say about the Keystone XL pipeline-it's posted by DCB on this thread above. President Obama doesn't give a darn about Americans who are unemployed or under-employed. If he did, he would have approved the pipeline-reason enough to find someone else who actually cares about the American people.
RB January 24, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Hey Rich, when your move to Florida is complete, you may want to tone done your 'drill, baby, drill' rhetoric, they don't want to hear it.
RB January 24, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I'm to saying don't do Keystone. I'm saying that the President's decision to delayitis correct. The politicians make rash decisions sometimes and we end up regretting it. We've lost many of our rights after Mr. Bush lead Congress into many terrifying decisions that we now live with everyday. All rash decisions and some simply wrong. Job growth is no reason to risk destroying the environment with another rapid and thoughtless decision.

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