National news clear with Oklahoma-colored glasses

by Richard Mize Published: July 19, 2008
Medical treatment can be traumatic, and the housing market in this country, as a whole, is sick. Whether the cure will be worse than the disease is a good question.

Meanwhile, don't let the housing news this week out of Washington, D.C., and Pasadena, Calif., worry you too much. In Washington, they're talking about the government taking over or at least shoring up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In Padadena, mortgage-loaded IndyMac Bank failed — at the epicenter of the housing and credit crash.

It should be clear by now that Oklahoma is going its own way in the housing crisis of 2007-2008-2whenever.

At my request, David Feisal, senior vice president of Tulsa-based SpiritBank and past president of the Oklahoma Mortgage Bankers Association, looked at the news through an Oklahoma lens.

Fannie and Freddie:

The government circling is "welcome news,” he said. "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are, by far, the largest holders of prime mortgage debt in this country. Home owners with mortgages that are part of a Fannie- or Freddie-backed mortgage can be assured their mortgage terms will not be changed at all by any of the proposed actions.”

Got good credit and a down payment? Relax.

"Potential buyers need to know that mortgage loans for borrowers that have sufficient income to qualify for the requested loan amount, have good credit and the ability to make a down payment of as little as 3 to 5 percent of the purchase price will still have financing options,” Feisal said.

What about IndyMac?

News of the bank collapse got me to dust off Phillip L. Zweig's 1986 book, "Belly Up: The Collapse of the Penn Square Bank.” Got it for a buck at a library book sale a few years ago.

Early this week, Amazon.com appeared to have plenty in stock. By Friday, just five were left in stock. So, I'm not the only one brushing up on how banks go bust when bubbles burst and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. winds up holding the bank bags.

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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