The L.A. Times recently reported that the Fed is now looking to find ways to dispose of the 248,000 homes it owns (through bank REOs) by either selling them in bulk to investors who will be required to rent them, or to sell them on rent-to-own basis.

“One idea could be to create pools of foreclosed properties that would be sold in bulk to private investors, who would then rent them out, helping reduce taxpayer losses on the bailouts of Fannie and Freddie. Another idea could be for investors to buy homes and then rent them on a rent-to-own basis.”

Who is kidding whom here? “Rent-to-Own”? What are we – a mattress store?

The Fed will give a new buyer a break by allowing them to rent, then buy at a price (presumably) fixed at the time they enter into this agreement (thus allowing the buyer to get some upside?) Or, is the program designed to let the Renter buy it at market value several years from now, if they qualify? (That way, the Fed gets the upside, and the rental value. It beats having an empty house…)

Why not just take the mark-down to market value today, and reform the existing loan – and allow the current owner to keep it?

Either way, there is going to be a loss.

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