foreclosure: Housing Economy will not fully rebound until 2025 - 04/14/10 10:49 PM
The cities that saw the bubble housing boom in the first decade of the century—cities in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona especially—won’t see the next big boom until around 2025 according to the financial services company, Fiserv. Fiserv expects other markets in the Northeast and Midwest to take a full ten years before price spikes equivalent to 2006 and 2007 return.
For most of the country some level of normalcy will prevail starting in 2011, but the recovery period will be prolonged almost everywhere in the U.S. Factors that will keep housing cycles from a more historic 10 year pattern are … (1 comments)

foreclosure: 228,000 helped to keep homes through loan modifications in March 2010 - 04/14/10 06:31 AM
President Obama's foreclosure prevention plan has helped nearly 228,000 delinquent borrowers keep their homes, the administration said Wednesday. That's up from a month ago, when roughly 168,000 people received long-term mortgage modifications.
Another 781,000 troubled homeowners were in trial modifications, through March, officials said. Of these, 108,000 have been approved for permanent modification by servicers and are awaiting borrowers' acceptance. So far, some 19.8% of trial modifications have become permanent, up from 15.5% a month ago.
Overall, some 6.7% of the estimated 3.4 million eligible borrowers have received long-term help.
While the number of people receiving permanent modifications is steadily growing, … (0 comments)

foreclosure: Federal Foreclosure Funding Goes Unspent - 04/09/10 11:00 PM
The Recovery Act allocated $4 billion in rehabilitation money for foreclosed homes, but with only months left on the funding less than half of the money has been spent to date. As of mid-March 38% of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds had been obligated. All funds must be committed by September or the funds will be lost to the communities that have received grants.
Some communities have used the funds to buy up and renovate foreclosed homes to resell to low income families. Some municipalities have used the funds to tear down abandoned eye-sores. Others are purchasing and renovating apartment buildings … (4 comments)

foreclosure: As of April 5 - HAFA is Here - 04/07/10 10:48 PM
The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program debuted April 5. Lenders have been ramping up for a deluge of Short Sales for the past several months and the government’s latest program will probably boost the numbers even though there are flaws in the program. HAFA may help individuals who qualified for a trial loan modification, but didn’t make the final cut for a permanent loan change. The same paperwork prepared for HAMP will apply to HAFA as well.
Bank of America and other servicers have more than doubled the number of Short Sales they are handling in recent months. There is real … (4 comments)

foreclosure: Mortgages to Exceed Value until 2015 to 2020 - 04/06/10 10:31 AM
First American CoreLogic has estimated that even in the healthier markets that are now beginning to heal from the steep price drops of the last three years, homeowners currently with underwater mortgages will continue to have mortgages that exceed value until late 2015.
By the 4th quarter of 2009 First American CoreLogic estimated that over 11.3 million residences with mortgages had negative equity. That’s 24% of all U.S. mortgages.
By using a subset of mortgage holders, CoreLogic was able to project the length of time it will take for the average homeowner to again reach positive equity. The typical borrower will … (26 comments)

foreclosure: Pets Suffer in Foreclosures Too - 04/04/10 10:49 PM
It’s not just two-legged homeowners who are suffering when a home is foreclosed upon. Foreclosure is leading to a surge of abandoned pets in many communities.
In many cases, homeowners forced out of their homes have no way to bring beloved pets with them when they move to rented quarters, or drive hundreds of miles to new and unfamiliar locations to look for work. Family pets are being left behind to starve, or are taken to overburdened animal shelters in hopes that the pets will find new homes. Many animal shelters have been bursting at the seams because of the foreclosure … (5 comments)

foreclosure: Loan Modifications Fail to Stem Tide of Foreclosure - 04/01/10 10:43 PM
The government’s Mortgage Metrics Report by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) reveals that half of the loans modified under HAMP at the beginning of 2009 were once again delinquent by the fourth quarter of 2009.
Fully 14% of all mortgage loans were delinquent by the end of 2009 according to this report. There were twice the modifications in the fourth quarter as occurred the same quarter a year before. Most payments were reduced by at least 20%.
New foreclosure filings fell 15% in the fourth quarter as mortgages remained delinquent … (21 comments)

foreclosure: Government’s New Foreclosure Prevention Plan - 03/31/10 10:55 PM
The Obama Administration revealed on Friday a new plan to stem foreclosure. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Herbert M. Allison contends that the nature of the foreclosure crisis has shifted from one of sub-prime mortgages to one of helping the unemployed and under-water to survive bad times.
For loans above 115% of market value mortgage write-downs will be considered in order to bring the homeowner’s payment to 31% of income. In response to concerns that the mortgage write-down program would encourage people to default who might have otherwise continued to pay, the government has held firm that this program will impact … (1 comments)

foreclosure: Government Official Says HAMP is Not Working - Now what? - 03/30/10 10:50 PM
Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), admitted that far fewer homeowners will receive assistance under the HAMP program and other government efforts to ease foreclosure than originally estimated. Barofsky estimates that only 1.5 million to 2 million homeowners will be helped as opposed to the 4 million originally expected to receive foreclosure help from the government.
Barofsky does not believe offering modifications is a meaningful goal of the foreclosure program, since so few have actually been helped and many who have received modifications are redefaulting.
Herbert M. Allison, assistant Treasury secretary for financial stability said … (1 comments)

foreclosure: Private Loan Modification Agencies are Outpacing HAMP - 03/28/10 02:22 AM
The Hope Now Alliance is the private sector loan modification alliance of mortgage servicing companies, mortgage insurers and non-profit counseling agencies who are dealing with non-HAMP qualified loans. Primarily these are vacant and investor-owned homes that no longer have a resident owner. According to Faith Schwartz, Executive Director of Hope Now Alliance, approximately 25% of single family homes are owned by Investors who do not qualify for the HAMP program.
Hope Now Alliance closed almost 100,000 proprietary loan modifications during the month of February compared to the Treasury Department’s HAMP Program which closed 50,364. Between the two programs nearly 150,000 loans … (0 comments)

foreclosure: NODs Up 20% in California - 03/26/10 07:32 AM
Despite the news from some quarters that delinquency rates may be starting to slow down, California is initiating more notices of default starting in February than in previous months. NODs jumped by 19.7% in February after a four month decline. While properties scheduled for foreclosure continued at a record pace, actual sales back to the bank or to third parties declined in February in California by 11.9%, according to a tracking site, ForeclosureRadar.
The editors of ForeclosureRadar blame government efforts to increase fairness and oversight of the process without really curing the problem of under water mortgages. ForeclosureRadar said that despite … (0 comments)

foreclosure: Delinquencies Appear to be on a Downward Trend, maybe.... - 03/24/10 11:29 PM
The pace of new delinquencies has slowed during the winter months, according to a report by the valuation company, Lender Processing Services (LPS). The company believes that the trend is a reflection of the slowed pace of foreclosures due to HAMP and private loan modification programs.
With 7.5 million loans still in some stage of delinquency, we are far from economic recovery, even though the pace of new defaults seems to be slowing.
Further, the pipeline appears to be clogged as Lenders try to work out alternatives to foreclosure and deal with a growing number of delinquencies. Of loans delinquent for … (0 comments)

foreclosure: Housing Prices Continue Decline - 03/18/10 10:31 PM
Integrated Asset Services (IAS) Housing Price Index (HPI) declined for a sixth straight month in January, a 2.3% decline overall.
IAS speculated that the decline was made worse by extreme weather in the Midwest. Illinois saw a decline of 4.9%, Missouri 4.4% and Minnesota 3.5%. The Northeast saw a drop of .5%, the South a drop of 2.2% and the West a price decline of 2.6%, just like the average decline of the Midwestern states.
The HPI is now down 30% from its high in mid-2007.
The shadow supply of foreclosed houses continues to be a concern to the economists at … (2 comments)

foreclosure: Foreclosure Overhang Inhibits Home Appreciation - 03/13/10 12:08 AM
Barclays Bank has weighed in on the crystal ball gazing activity of predicting how much further the housing market will decline. The bank believes as long as there is a large stockpile of bank-owned and pre-foreclosure property, the values cannot rise appreciably in most markets, although the risk of a steep decline goes away with each passing month of housing sales growth.
Nationally, Barclays says that home prices will drop another 4 to 5% before hitting bottom. The benefit of the home modification program has been that it has slowed the number of homes going into foreclosure so that the remainder … (1 comments)

foreclosure: Extreme Home Tear Down - 03/07/10 01:31 AM
A news broadcast in southwestern Ohio reported recently about a man who bulldozed his home rather than allow the bank to take his home after the bank failed to accept a Short Sale offer of $170,000 for the $350,000 home.
The homeowner, Terry Hoskins, hoped that his actions would help make banks “think twice” about taking away a person’s home.
The incident seems to have hit a nerve with many agreeing that Lenders must try harder to work with beleaguered homeowners, while others wondered what could possibly be accomplished by such an extreme act.
The incident underscores figures from First American … (3 comments)

foreclosure: Another Disaster in the Making: ARM Resets - 02/04/10 09:31 PM
Many are expecting interest rates to rise quickly very soon by at least a point. This will cause many Homeowners already distressed by job loss or under water mortgage payments to have to pay even more every month. It is expected that the next adjustable rate mortgage reset will lead to another jump in residential defaults.
Specifically, here is what is in the works: Rates are resetting. Currently, interest rates are at historic lows with 30 year fixed mortgages below 5%. As interest rates increase ARMs are likely to readjust by as much as double where they are now. Just … (1 comments)

foreclosure: Why you should be leery of HAMP/HAFA - 01/28/10 09:06 AM
The new federal rules for the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program announced November 30 Supplemental Directive 0909, to be effective April 5, but available for Lenders to start as soon as they have a policy in place regarding the new program.
While HAMP (Supplemental guideline 0901), the Home Affordable Modification Program, is designed for those who can fit modified payments into their budget at 31% of their total income or less, the HAFA program is for those who need to give up their primary residence because they fall outside the HAMP guidelines or they fail to make HAMP payments.
Every … (0 comments)

foreclosure: Treasury Dept Announces Home Affordable Foreclosures Alternative Program - 01/23/10 11:02 PM
On April 5, 2010, a new Treasury Dept program entitles - Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) goes into effect. HAFA is part of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
It provides incentives in connection with a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure on a loan eligible for modification under the HAMP program. HAFA applies to loans not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. It is a complex program with 43 pages of guidelines and forms, designed to "simplify" and streamline use of short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosures.
Highlights of the HAFA:
Complements HAMP by providing … (0 comments)

foreclosure: HAMP Workouts Double in December - 01/21/10 09:56 PM
Apparently displeased with the lack of modifications completed by the end of November, the feds made house calls to Lenders in December to make sure the people who could be helped with loan modifications were being helped. As a result, completed permanent modifications doubled to 66,465 with another 46,056 final modifications just lacking Homeowner signature. A total of 902,620 Homeowners have applied for HAMP modifications since last March.
In addition to looking over the shoulders of Lenders the government extended the review period for Homeowners until January 31st so that all Homeowners are given a fair amount of time for evaluation.

foreclosure: Who Will Provide Mortgage Relief for American Veterans Wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan? - 04/23/09 10:57 AM
Clearly, everyone who has trouble making mortgage payments does not deserve a bail-out. But figuring out who does is proving to be tricky. So while the Obama administration scrambles to check the surge of middle-class foreclosures, many Americans will continue to complain that not enough is being done, that they have been left out. There is one community; however, that DOES deserve help, in a big way and soon – current era veterans who suffer from life-altering injuries connected to their military service. If the U.S. government fails to address their housing problems the heavy burden will bring down more of … (0 comments)

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Dave Rosenmarkle

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