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January 2013 Bulletin Summaries

Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) Litigation: Three Years Later
In 2009, the Obama Administration launched the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) to address the foreclosure crisis. Administered by the Treasury Department, HAMP was intended “to help as many as three to four million financially struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure by modifying loans to a level that is affordable for borrowers now and sustainable over the long term.” Yet three years later, only about 840,000 mortgages are in active permanent modification. The greatest obstacle to obtaining HAMP modifications has been the loan servicers’ dismal performance in processing and handling loan modification applications from borrowers. Not surprisingly, frustrated borrowers have looked to the courts to compel servicers to comply with HAMP. This article highlights recent developments in the case law surrounding HAMP.

Federal Court Approves Remedial Plan in Texas Tax Credit Challenge
On August 7, in Inclusive Communities Project v. Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, the federal court entered an order largely adopting a remedial plan submitted by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs in response to an earlier ruling that had invalidated the agency’s method of allocating low-income housing tax credits under the federal Fair Housing Act. The remedial plan alters the Texas allocation system in ways intended to redress the disproportionate approval of developments in racially concentrated areas. This article briefly reviews the background of the case and the remedial order.

HUD Guidance Clarifies Tenant Protections in the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has taken a number of steps to implement the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, including publishing a final notice on the program, posting a variety of materials on its website, and holding weekly webinars on the program. This article reviews several of the developments that relate to public and resident participation and tenant protections.

Thompson v. HUD: A Clarification and Update
As reported in the November/December 2012 issue of the Bulletin, a settlement agreement has been reached in Thompson v. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a long-running public housing desegregation case. In our summary of the settlement, we misstated the geographic targeting provisions of the settlement that target the vouchers for desegregation. This article provides a brief clarification and update.

Recent Housing Cases
This issue of the Bulletin contains a brief summary of recent significant state and federal court decisions relating to affordable housing issues.

Recent Regulations and Notices
This issue of the Bulletin includes a brief summary of significant proposed and final regulations recently published in the Federal Register by federal housing agencies as well as summaries of other published notices and handbook changes recently made by HUD, RHS and other agencies administering affordable housing programs.

2012 Index
An index of articles for the 2012 Housing Law Bulletin is also included in this issue of the Bulletin.

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