Barrier Technology

17 January 2008

Senator Norm Coleman and Forum Panel Discuss the Housing Sitaution in Minnesota

Yesterday, Senator Norm Coleman, along with a panel of others held a forum in Saint Cloud, MN to publicly discuss the current housing situation in Minnesota. I attended and wanted to share some of the information I came away with. Foreclosures have steeply increased and subprime lending plays a big role. At the time many Minnesotans financed their homes with an ARM, housing prices were on the rise. The basic principle that refinancing into another mortgage product at the time the ARM expired; utilizing the growth in property value was a very realistic, although not risk-free, option. Looking back into 2007 and forward into 2008 with property values actually declining, refinancing to maintain affordable mortgage payments has and will continue to be difficult for many homeowners.

Several audience comments to Senator Coleman focused on the need for much tighter federal regulations in the mortgage industry. Banks are subject to regulatory paperwork and are subject to regular reviews; why shouldn't all mortgage funding companies? Looking back in history, tight funding regulations were put into place in the 80's in response to the housing recession and funding issues back then.

Senator Coleman's response was two fold. 1. Tighter restrictions on fraudulent, predatory lending agencies and speculative buyers MUST be addressed. 2. However, we have to be careful not to restrict and eliminate ALL "subprime lending" in the market place. A large number of subprime mortgages are not in default.

The housing industry, as others on the panel pointed out, led the way for economic growth in the late 90s through 2006; is a main reason the economy has been so negatively impacted the past year; and will be a main factor in our country’s ability to overcome the economic downturn. With housing prices on the decline and mortgage rates relatively low, now is a prime opportunity for home ownership. We need to encourage and educate as many people as possible on the benefits and responsibilities of homeownership. At the same time, ensure there are a variety of prudent financial options available. There are many responsible, hard working people who don't qualify for a conventional mortgage, yet deserve the opportunity to become a home owner.

From Barrier's point of view; consumer confidence, regulation on speculative/fraudulent investments, and responsible access to mortgage funds, are critical to support a steady recovery of the residential housing industry. This is a prime opportunity for many to seek first-time homeownership.Fire-rated sheathing, town homes, multi-family construction, housing market, small cap, otcbb, ibtgf, barrier, blazeguard, mycoguard, fire-rated paint, intumescent paint, mold, mildew, fire-retardant plywood, frt, sips, structurally insulative panels, fire-rated wall assemblies, commercial modular, modular home construction, green building products, LEED, control room, electrical panel backer board


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Location: Watkins, Minnesota, United States

Barrier develops, manufactures, and markets proprietary fire resistant building materials designed to help protect people and property from the destruction of fire. Barrier's award-winning Blazeguard® structural wood panels exceed International Building Code requirements in every targeted fire test and application. Blazeguard® is coated with Barrier's patented, non-toxic, non-combustible Pyrotite formulation, which releases water when exposed to the heat of fire.