NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Some 650,000 troubled borrowers have been put into trial loan modifications under the president's foreclosure rescue plan, the Treasury Department said Tuesday.
That number represents 20% of eligible homeowners at least 60 days behind in their payments, according to the Treasury report. This is up from 16% a month earlier.
Despite the progress, housing counselors say the number of people falling into foreclosure vastly exceeds the ranks getting assistance. The number of filings hit a record high of 937,840 in the third quarter, according to RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed homes. That's a 5% increase from the second quarter and a 23% jump over the third quarter of 2008.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Unemployed Americans are set to get up to 20 additional weeks of jobless benefits, while new homebuyers are poised to see the $8,000 tax credit extended into mid-next year.
The House approved the measures by a 403-12 vote Thursday afternoon, a day after the Senate passed the legislation. The bill now moves to the White House for the president's signature.
The closely watched legislation would extend jobless benefits in all states by 14 weeks. Those that live in states with unemployment greater than 8.5% would receive an additional six weeks. The proposal would be funded by extending a longstanding federal unemployment tax on employers through June 30, 2011.
The measure would apply to those whose benefits run out by Dec. 31, which is nearly two million people, according to Senate estimates. Those whose checks have already stopped would be able to reapply for another round.
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - After weeks of partisan debate, the Senate voted on Wednesday to lengthen unemployment benefits by up to 20 weeks and to extend the $8,000 homebuyer tax credit.
The measure would apply to those whose benefits will run out by Dec. 31, which is nearly two million people, according to Senate estimates. Those whose checks have already stopped would be able to reapply for another round.
The vote was 98 to 0.
The measure now moves to the House, which passed its own benefits extension in September, giving an additional 13 weeks in high-unemployment states. The two bills must now be reconciled, though the House is expected to support the Senate's version.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The White House unveiled Thursday the first hard data on how many jobs the $787 billion recovery act has created.
So far, 30,383 jobs have been created by companies that have gotten $2.2 billion worth of stimulus contracts directly from the federal government. That equates to $71,500 per job based on just the funds that have been distributed.
These firms have been awarded a total of $16 billion.
Stimulus-fueled job creation has become a very controversial issue. The White House has faced blistering attacks by Republicans, who contend that the recovery act has failed to live up to its promise to put Americans back to work.
The Obama administration downplayed the reports released Thursday, saying they represent just a small sliver of the stimulus that's been spent, since the massive recovery act was enacted in February. The first reports detailing the number of stimulus jobs created or saved were submitted last weekend by
recipients of stimulus-funded contracts, grants and loans.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – As thousands of jobless Americans lose their weekly unemployment checks every day, Congress is still debating who should qualify for a benefits extension.
The House passed a bill last month lengthening benefits by 13 weeks for those in high-unemployment states. While Senate leaders said at the time they would act soon, the proposal has languished as Democrats argue over the terms.
Meanwhile, 400,000 people ran out of benefits in September and another 208,000 are set to lose them this month, according to the National Employment Law Project.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is pushing legislation that would lengthen benefits for the jobless nationwide by four weeks. Those in states with unemployment rates greater than 8.5% would receive a total of 17 additional weeks.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The Obama administration, issuing its first progress report on the $787 billion stimulus program, said Wednesday that $88 billion has been made available and that it's ahead of schedule in implementing most initiatives.
Of the $88 billion, some $28.5 billion has been actually spent with nearly $16 billion going for Medicaid payments to the states, according to the report. The administration has also enacted tax cuts under the Making Work Pay program and begun mailing $250 payments to 54 million senior citizens.
Critics, however, say the money is not being spent fast enough to help arrest the economy's slide. States are now waging yet another round of battles with their budgets after April tax revenues came in under estimates.
House Republicans, meanwhile, latched onto a report that stimulus funds will be used to repave an alternate runway at a little-used airport in an influential Democratic congressman's district.
"The Democrats' trillion-dollar stimulus spending bill was intended to create more jobs immediately, but it has quickly become the latest example of Washington's arrogance," said John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a statement.
The Obama administration's report, which will be followed by similar quarterly updates, touted the stimulus money flowing to the states to bolster education. Thirteen states have been approved to receive money under the state fiscal stabilization initiative that's designed to maintain education spending levels and prevent the loss of teachers' jobs.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – The federal government has made available more than $75 billion for stimulus projects in the 10 weeks since President Obama signed the $787 billion recovery package into law.
Not all of that money has hit the streets, however. So far, $14.5 billion has been spent, nearly all of it to help states cope with rising Medicaid costs.
A CNNMoney.com analysis of the program's financial reports shows how difficult it is to quickly inject billions of dollars into the economy. Experts interviewed said they are not surprised by the pace of spending, though they had mixed views on whether the effort would boost the economy.
"There's a natural tension between using taxpayers' money in a prudent way and getting the money out the door quickly," said Isabel Sawhill, a Brookings Institution senior fellow.
The massive recovery package was designed to stimulate the economy and create jobs, as well as assist states and people suffering from the recession by providing funding for education, Medicaid and other public services.
The federal government is now tasked with putting $499 billion to work in coming years. The remaining $288 billion consists of tax relief, the signature program of which, the Making Work Pay credit, began earlier this month.