HAMP, HARP, and Harpster

Posted on by Phil Querin

My fondness for alliterations compels the title.  I could not resist.  The purpose of this post is to welcome Lake Oswego attorney extraordinaire, Kelly Harpster, to the blogosphere – that vast otherworld known as the Internet, where one can accomplish two respectable goals:  (a) Sharing important information on self-selected topics, and (b) doing so through the lens of our own personal  Weltanschauung.

Quite coincidently, Kelly and I commenced our solo practices at approximately the same time – early 2010.  We had both previously worked at the large Portland firm, Davis W right Tremaine.  As a further coincidence, almost immediately after opening our separate practices, we became interested – nay, fascinated – with the world of bank foreclosures, and the havoc being wreaked upon Oregon homeowners who found themselves in properties and debt from which an orderly retreat was nearly impossible.  For both of us, it became clear that the financial services industry, from Wall Street investment houses such as Goldman Sachs, to the lending and servicing industries, such as Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo – to name a few of the survivors of the crash of 3Q 2008 – were primarily responsible for what has become a foreclosure crisis of epic proportions.  While the Big Banks [my term] queued up to take billions of taxpayer-funded bailout money, distressed homeowners, awash in negative equity, were all but forgotten.[1]  It had become clear to us that the “Little Guy” [my term], was in dire need of help, legally and legislatively.  To that end, Kelly has worked tirelessly since starting her solo law practice.

Although, I had a head start in my blogging ventures, when in 2010, I impetuously leaped, like Hotspur, into the fray, I am pleased to see that Kelly has recently done so as well – albeit with more deliberateness – with “The Housekeeping Report – Oregon Mortgage and Foreclosure News.”  It is a welcome addition of useful, current, and reliable information for all who choose to visit.

For those who know Kelly, they know that she is smart…scary smart.  When, where, and how she has the time to devour the vast amount of knowledge and information she retains is something of a mystery.  Perhaps she is actually a twin, and together they masquerade as one. However she does it, it is accomplished with relish, and the results are immediately recognizable; she knows whereof she speaks.  So for folks who know Kelly, I am sure they are already enjoying her new website.  It is rich in valuable content, designed to inform her legal peers and help The Little Guy, at the same time.

And for those who do not know Kelly, I invite you to meet her vicariously, through the news and views she shares at The Housekeeping Report.  As I learned long ago at Davis Wright Tremaine, Kelly is what we called a “quick study.”  She grasps issues at warp-speed, synthesizes them into bite-size pieces, and adds a dose of hot sauce that is her [sometimes] wicked wit. Readers will not be disappointed.

Congratulations Kelly!  Welcome to the blogosphere!

[1] I acknowledge the government’s efforts through HAMP and HARP, but, in my opinion, they were doomed from the start, since bank participation was voluntary.  The remarkably poor statistical success of these programs bears this opinion out.  Clearly, the effort has improved over time, but one has to wonder whether it is now, too little too late.  [If “deservedness” for financial help was a criterion for distressed homeowners, who are required to submit “Hardship Letters” before receiving assistance, why were the Big Banks not required to do so, as well?  In fact, by all accounts, they received billions of bailout dollars whether they wanted it or not. – PCQ]

Posted in Financial Crisis, Foreclosure, Legislation - Federal, Legislation - Oregon, Lenders, Loan Modifications, Market Conditions, MERS, Miscellany, Real Estate/Distressed | Tagged , , , , , , ,
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