07-15-2020  12:28 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

I-5 Expansion Loses Support of Albina Vision, City

Gov. Brown says project must have support of local Black community 

Justice Department to Investigate Portland Protest Shooting

Donavan LaBella was standing with both arms in the air holding a large speaker across the street from the courthouse when a federal officer fired a less-lethal round at his head

Seattle Mayor, City Council at Odds Over 50% Police Cut

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says the City Council has failed to speak with the police chief or conduct sufficient research

OSU, UO Among 20 Universities Filing Federal Lawsuit in Oregon Over International Student Order

The lawsuit, filed today, seeks to protect the educational status of nearly 3,500 students attending OSU

NEWS BRIEFS

NNPA Livestreams With Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Val Demings

The audience has an opportunity to be an interactive part of the interview ...

Black Women Often Ignored By Social Justice Movements

‘Intersectional invisibility’ may lead to Black women’s exclusion, study finds ...

Deadline is July 15 to Pay Portland's $35 Arts Tax

The tax, approved by voters in 2012, supports arts education and grants ...

Oregon National Guard Completes Wildland Firefighter Training

The training was conducted using funds that were allocated to the Department of Defense by Congress to enable the National Guard to...

OSU Science Pub Focuses on Influence of Black Lives Matter

The influence of the Black Lives Matter movement will be the focus of a virtual Oregon State University Science Pub on July 13 ...

Chaotic protests prompt soul-searching in Portland, Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Nearly two months of nightly protests that have devolved into violent clashes with police have prompted soul-searching in Portland, Oregon, a city that prides itself on its progressive reputation but is increasingly polarized over how to handle the unrest.President...

0 relief checks OK'd for people waiting for benefits

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon legislative committee on Tuesday unanimously approved the distribution of one-time 0 relief checks to people who are still waiting for unemployment benefits. But, when and how the payment program will operate is still a work in progress.The million...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

COMMENTARY: Real Table Talk

Chaplain Debbie Walker provides helpful insight for self-preservation, and care tips for your family, your neighbors, and your community circles ...

Commissioner Hardesty Responds To Federal Troop Actions Towards Protesters

This protester is still fighting for their life and I want to be clear: this should never have happened. ...

Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

The Language of Vote Suppression

A specific kind of narrative framing is used to justify voter suppression methods and to cover up the racism that motivates their use. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ViacomCBS drops Nick Cannon, cites 'anti-Semitic' comments

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nick Cannon's “hateful speech” and anti-Semitic theories led ViacomCBS to cut ties with the TV host and producer, the media giant said.“ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism," the company said...

China: US Xinjiang warning 'bad for the whole world'

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government has warned it will protect Chinese companies after Washington said enterprises may face legal trouble if they help carry out abuses in the Muslim northwestern region of Xinjiang. The U.S. warning came amid mounting tension with Beijing over human...

'Vanity Fair' cover shot by Black photographer for 1st time

The new issue of Vanity Fair featuring a powerful image of Oscar-winning actor Viola Davis marks the first time the publication has featured the work of a Black photographer on its cover.The historic image of Davis, shot by photographer Dario Calmese, shows the 54-year-old in profile, her back...

ENTERTAINMENT

Times editor resigns, saying she was harassed for her ideas

NEW YORK (AP) — Bari Weiss, an opinion editor at The New York Times, quit her job on Tuesday with a public resignation letter that alleged harassment and a hostile work environment created by people who disagreed with her.Andrew Sullivan, another prominent journalist who expressed concern...

Jimmy Fallon, 'Tonight' show return to studio, sans audience

NEW YORK (AP) — The studio is largely empty, but Jimmy Fallon is out of his home and back to the “Tonight” show stage.The NBC late-night host returned to NBC's Rockefeller Center headquarters Monday, saying he hoped he could provide his audience with a little more...

Autopsy confirms Naya Rivera's death was accidental drowning

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An autopsy confirmed Tuesday that “Glee'' star Naya Rivera died from accidental drowning, officials said, while her family released a statement honoring her ”everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit."The examination, performed the day after the 33-year-old's...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Lebanon looks to China as US, Arabs refuse to help in crisis

BEIRUT (AP) — Facing a worsening economic crisis and with little chance of Western or oil-rich Arab...

Trump administration rescinds rule on foreign students

BOSTON (AP) — Facing eight federal lawsuits and opposition from hundreds of universities, the Trump...

In defeat, Sessions still says Trump right for the nation

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Jeff Sessions took the stage Tuesday night near the Alabama gulf coast with the same...

UK backtracks on giving Huawei role in high-speed network

LONDON (AP) — Britain on Tuesday backtracked on plans to give Chinese telecommunications company Huawei a...

China: US Xinjiang warning 'bad for the whole world'

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government has warned it will protect Chinese companies after Washington said...

Mexico's president turns attention to cartel-plagued states

MEXICO CITY (AP) — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is traveling to three of Mexico’s...

McMenamins
Lois Beckett of Propublica

With housing prices dropping sharply, and foreclosure filings against more than 1 million properties in the first half of this year, the Obama administration is scrambling for ways to help homeowners.

One place they won't be looking: an estimated $30 billion from the bailout that was slated to help homeowners but is likely to remain unspent. Instead, Congress has mandated that the leftover money be used to pay down the debt.



Of the $45.6 billion in Trouble Asset Relief Program funds meant to aid homeowners, the most recent numbers available show that only about $2 billion has actually gone out the door.

The low number reflects how little the government's home loan modification and other programs have actually helped homeowners deal with the foreclosure crisis.

The programs have been marked by poor oversight and consistent under-enrollment. Homeowners have been forced to navigate an often bewildering maze at banks marked by slow communication, lost documents and other mistakes.

The amount of money spent is also low because the government pays out its incentive over a number of years. As of July, according to a Treasury spokeswoman, the government is on track to eventually spend $7.2 billion helping homeowners enrolled in its main loan modification program. That number doesn't factor in other homeowners who may enter the program before it ends in December 2012, but it does assume that all homeowners currently in the program will be able to continue making payments.

In November, the Congressional Budget Office lowered their estimate of the total amount of money the government would spend on its foreclosure relief programs from $22 billion to $12 billion. (The New York Times reported today that the government has "spent or pledged" $22.9 billion of the TARP money so far, a figure that's dramatically higher than ours and that the Treasury spokeswoman said was the Times' own number.)

According to the original TARP legislation, unused funds should be returned to the Treasury and used to reduce the debt. While Congress has the power to re-route those funds into new programs, Republicans seem unlikely to endorse such a plan.

An Obama administration statement noted that they were continuing to look for ways to "ease the burden on struggling homeowners" through new proposals and reconsidering old ones.

The other ideas the administration is looking at have received mixed reviews. Among them: turning foreclosed homes into rental properties or allowing homeowners to refinance their mortgages at today's lower interest rates, an old idea that may not actually help a large new segment of homeowners.

"We have no plans to announce any major new initiatives at this time," the statement noted.
PHOTO: Foreclosed home in Salinas California, by Nick Anfinsen

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