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Poor Andrea Todd...



August 18, 2009 – Comments (3)


In plenty of other states, Andrea Todd would have been a homeowner years ago. Here, she bought just this month -- a difference that helps explain how Vermont avoided the housing bust, and shows the possible pitfalls in President Barack Obama's plan to tighten mortgage regulation…

...Vermont's strict mortgage-lending laws largely prevented the state's residents from signing the types of dubious home loans written in other markets across the country. Its 1990s legislation made mortgage lenders warn customers when their rates were relatively high, and put the brokers who arranged loans on the hook if their customers defaulted. Now, by at least one measure, the state has the lowest foreclosure rate in the U.S.

It came at a cost. The rules also kept some Vermonters like Ms. Todd from buying homes, keeping this rural corner of New England on the sidelines of the housing boom and the economic bonanza that came with it. Vermont's 10-year growth trails the national average...

In laws passed between 1996 and 1998, Vermont required lenders to tell consumers when their rates were substantially higher than competitors', with notices printed on "a colored sheet of paper, chartreuse or passion pink." And in what officials believe is the first state law of its kind, Vermont declared that mortgage brokers' fiduciary responsibility was to borrowers, not lenders. This left Vermont brokers partly on the hook for loans gone sour...

...Vermont's economy grew 60% in the 10 years ending in 2008, just behind the 63% rate nationally, according to the Commerce Department. Vermont lagged Arizona, Nevada and California over the decade but outpaced most of its New England neighbors....

....Vermonters didn't see the same sharp rise in home ownership that swept much of America in recent decades, which, despite the bust, buoyed economic growth. And while part of the increase in U.S. home ownership reflected excesses in lending and borrowing, some of it represented real progress in the form of more Americans achieving the cherished goal of getting -- and keeping -- a home of their own. By 2007, the percentage of owner-occupied households as a whole reached 68.1%, up from 63.9% in 1990, according to U.S. Census data. Vermont started at a higher base but saw ownership rise just 1.1 percentage points in that span, to 73.7%.

Ok, so your question is... who published the article?

The Onion, or the Wall Street Journal?


The answer is here.



3 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 18, 2009 at 5:30 PM, rofgile (99.57) wrote:


 Sometimes your blogs make too much sense, that I'm forced to give you +1 rec.  Actually, most of your of blogs do... :)

 Best wishes,


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#2) On August 18, 2009 at 6:05 PM, devoish (85.41) wrote:

Thanks Rof,

Credit this one to Mr Tim Duy.

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#3) On August 18, 2009 at 6:16 PM, starbucks4ever (87.81) wrote:

The rate of homeownership is high when prices are low. The rate of homeownership is low when prices are high. What is so difficult to understand?

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