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Are We Ready to Solve the Housing Crisis? - 10/31/10 09:58 PM
With three years of struggle under our belts, are we ready to solve the housing crisis? Are we ready to accept a strategy that could help stabilize housing and begin to get the economy rolling again? Now that housing has become mired in yet another calamity (the the foreclosure scandal), are politicians, economists, pundits, and homeowners ready to take the medicine necessary to get our country back on track? While I’d like to think so, I’ve yet to see any positive action being taken.
The U.S. has thrown billions into the failed mortgage modification program, HAMP, the results of which (80 comments)
Consumers Express Concern About Paying For Housing - 10/30/10 07:18 PM
Consumers Express Concern About Paying For Housing In a recent Washington Post poll, consumers reported increased concern over their ability to pay for their housing. Showing an increase of 16% in just the past two years, 53% of consumers said they were “very concerned” about making their monthly housing payments. Separating the results of homeowners and renters, the poll reported almost three-quarters of renters and about half of homeowners “somewhat” or “very” concerned.
The results present a less than optimistic view that large numbers of renters will be making the transitions to owners in the near-term.
Several weeks ago I wrote a POST describing a settlement offer from Lowe’s for customers who had purchased “tainted” drywall, and the response from most was that the offer was more of a bad joke than a serious effort to help consumers. In the original offer, many of the victims were to receive Lowe’s gift cards ranging in value from $50 to $2,500, with a few eligible for additional cash settlements of up to $2,500. Not all were losers however—a fact which most found disturbing--the attorneys who handled the case would receive (7 comments)
Title Insurers Drop Demands For Indemnifications From Lenders - 10/29/10 08:42 AM
Title Insurers Drop Demands For Indemnifications From Lenders A story in the Washington Post reports that three major title companies have agreed to drop their demands for written indemnifications from lenders re-selling their REO inventory. While the change is not yet universal—Fidelity National continues to demand an agreement from Bank of America—it appears that the insurers seem to believe the impact of the “foreclosure scandal” will be contained.
Click HERE for article
The Housing Guru: The expert source for all your housing questions—now featuring daily updates of Today’s Housing News (4 comments)
Monday Morning Quarterbacking and Incompetence: The Government is Expert
Once again we find that politicians and bureaucrats have failed us. Speaking at a housing conference in Arlington, Sheila Bair, Chairman of the FDIC, said that banking regulators should have realized that the streamlining and cost cutting done by banks in processing foreclosures must have come at a cost, but those measures were never examined. According to Bair, “. . . those types of questions were not asked.”
Speaking at the same conference, Ben Bernanke, the financial wizard who totally missed the looming collapse of the housing market, said, (21 comments)
Clear Capital™: Sudden and Dramatic Drop in U.S. Home Prices - 10/22/10 09:49 PM
Clear Capital™, a real estate data firm located in California, has issued a special alert on a dramatic change in U.S. home prices. According to the release, prices are continuing to fall following the artificially induced highs of the Homebuyer Tax Credit, and have fallen 5.9% in just two months. While this is counter to what has been reported in the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, the Clear Capital™ data is more current.
Further declines in home prices have been predicted by a number of housing experts as the market continues to struggle with high levels of inventory, foreclosures, unemployment and (20 comments)
The Unholy Alliance of Wall Street, Big Banks and Government - 10/22/10 03:07 PM
Foreclosure-Gate, as it has aptly been named, has exposed yet another layer in the dishonesty that seems pervasive in our culture; and far from an anomaly, it seems emblematic of the unholy alliance of Wall Street, big banks and government. And we have all become jaded to the stories. Sure, we may protest and complain, but we do nothing to bring about the dramatic changes necessary to reverse the trend. And if we fail to let our political leaders know that we are unwilling to tolerate their continued participation in the destruction of our economy, we’ll deserve the ultimate consequences.
Surprise—Surprise: The White House Finds no ‘Structural’ Foreclosure Issues - 10/20/10 06:01 PM
An article on MarketWatch reports that HUD Secretary Donovan has stated that there are no “structural” foreclosure issues and that the “housing recovery that has begun can continue.” And while the government would like foreclosure scandal to just go away, many attorneys and homeowners facing foreclosure seem intent on getting their “day in court.”
Additionally, the states’ attorneys general are all performing investigations to see if the laws in the various states have been broken. It seems probable that most foreclosures will proceed, perhaps on a slightly longer schedule, but I do believe that the impact of this crisis will (22 comments)
Foreclosure Crisis And The Significance of “Broken Chains of Title” - 10/17/10 02:08 PM
While most of us have had our fill of articles and blogs on the foreclosure crisis, I’ve found one more that I think is worth the time of those who want to better understand the issue and its potential affect upon both housing and the economy. A recent article by John Mauldin in his weekly newsletter, Thoughts from the Frontline, provides an analysis of how we arrived at this point in the foreclosure crisis and describes the potentially disastrous consequences.
I found this week’s entire newsletter to be informative, but it is long; and those who wish to read only (9 comments)
The Little House That Could Bring Down The Big Banks - 10/15/10 09:39 AM
A small, nondescript farmhouse in Maine may one day host a monument marking it as the spot where the first volley of Foreclosure-Gate was fired. The house, owned by Nicolle Bradbury, is just one of millions facing foreclosure, but, according to an article in the NY Times, the owner refused to go quietly and sought help from a local nonprofit group offering legal assistance to foreclosure victims.
The article provides additional insights into what may become the biggest story of this recession, a “political football” that most don’t yet know how to grasp; and a crisis so complex, it has (14 comments)
FHFA Releases Statement Regarding Foreclosure Process Deficiencies - 10/14/10 11:02 AM
Acting Director of FHFA, Edward J. DeMarco, has released a statement addressing the recent foreclosure filing deficiencies and providing guidelines for dealing with those deficiencies. In his statement, DeMarco presented a four-point policy framework:
1. Verify Process – Mortgage servicers must review their processes and procedures and verify that all documents, including affidavits and verifications, are completed in compliance with legal requirements. 2. Remediate Actual Problems – When a servicer identifies a foreclosure process deficiency, it must be remediated in an appropriate and timely way and be sustainable. (and must review) . . . Pre-judgment foreclosure actions . . . (6 comments)
A Foreclosure Moratorium Won't Solve The Problem - 10/13/10 08:26 PM
While recent news stories have focused upon the “robo-signing,” of foreclosure documents, including some allegations of forgery and fraud, a foreclosure moratorium won’t solve the problem. The securitization of mortgages and the potential processing of illegal foreclosure documents are merely components of the crisis they helped spawn; the issue that has yet to be addressed is negative equity. Until the banks and political leaders can agree upon a solution, the economy cannot begin a path towards robust growth.
The packaging of mortgages and Wall Street’s insatiable thirst for more—more profits required that more mortgages be created, causing banks to (46 comments)
Foreclosure Scandal Demonstrates The Value of Owner’s Title Insurance - 10/11/10 10:10 AM
Many homebuyers, eager to reduce their expenses during the purchase process, question the need for purchasing owner’s title insurance. After all, the bank’s attorney has already researched the title for the bank, how much risk could there be? However, the recent allegations that the country’s major mortgage lenders improperly processed foreclosure documents, and in some cases, actually forged signatures or made false statements, have demonstrated the value of title insurance.
The foreclosure issue is just one of many potential scenarios which consumers and attorneys cannot identify in advance, and the problem should serve as an incentive for homebuyers to ALWAYS (13 comments)
The Foreclosure Scandal Has Become Pandemic - 10/09/10 10:34 AM
As more mortgage companies “fess-up” regarding their apparent fraudulent processing of foreclosure documents, the foreclosure scandal has become pandemic. And while the early response from many, including myself, was that this issue would soon be swept under the rug, with no benefit for struggling homeowners, and allowing banks to proceed with foreclosures, the problem has exploded in significance.
Attorneys and state courts around the country have begun to question the manner in which banks have processed thousands of foreclosures each month, and numerous errors have been discovered. Court documents have revealed the casual manner in which foreclosures were often allowed (104 comments)
The Unemployment Numbers in Context - 10/07/10 04:55 PM
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its weekly unemployment claims report showing a better than expected drop in total claims; however, I think it’s important that we put the unemployment numbers in context. While new claims fell for the fourth time in the past five weeks, the overall trend is far from indicating a recovery.
A quick look at the graph from Calculated Risk of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) shows how closely “total separations,” the red line, and “hires,” the blue line, are tracking each other. With millions of unemployed and underemployed, and with approximately (15 comments)
Fall Home Maintenance Tips - 10/06/10 10:41 AM
The seasons have once again changed and the cool nip of fall is in the air; it’s time to review your Fall Home Maintenance Tips. As we prepare for winter there are several important home safety issues that must be addressed as well as ways to make your home more energy efficient and comfortable.
Click here for Fall Home Maintenance Tips. The Housing Guru: The expert source for all your housing questions—now featuring daily updates of Today’s Housing News
10 Reasons for Buying a Home in Today’s Market - 10/05/10 03:31 PM
I will begin by stating that I’m not a real estate agent and derive no income from real estate sales. The information provided is to help potential home buyers make the most prudent choices regarding the purchase of a home.
As a former home builder, I have built and sold hundreds of homes and have experienced both good and bad markets. Each day I read news about housing and the economy, and while much of that news is negative, I believe the current market to have some of the best opportunities for buyers that I’ve experienced during my entire career. (88 comments)
Advice Home Buyers/Sellers Won’t Find On TV - 10/02/10 02:51 PM
Eager homebuyers and nervous sellers are often confused by conflicting news stories, most of which focus upon the more sensational aspects of the housing market and economy. With TV, major newspapers, magazines, and Internet sites bombarding consumers with ever-changing economic news, many are paralyzed in fear of taking action either too soon or too late.
Sellers want to know if home prices are still falling, and if they’ll be able to compete with foreclosures and short-sales. Buyers also want to know if home prices are falling; and if they are, how long they should wait to get the best deal. (85 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.