Workout Wars: 2008

Services for Real Estate Pros with S.P.O.C.H. a 501c3 Charitable NP

Though I've been in this end of the business for almost two decades,  I haven't been controversial, and haven't made too much of a media splash.  However, since Fight Foreclosure! hit the shelves I've been interviewed by TV, radio, mainstream print news media, and occasionally asked to comment on current topics including foreclosure. 

By and large, most reporters have shaped my comments to fit in with their conventional thought.  Only ConsumerAffairs and MarketWatch have had the courage to print what I've stated.   

Of course, on live radio talk show interviews, I am free to speak my mind.  I have NOT been invited back to FOX Business News.... presumably because I challenged the assumptions and conclusions by the good folks at FOX regarding homeowners' purported widespread abuse of foreclosure laws.... squatting in their homes without making mortgage payments.  I pointed out that homeowners don't make the rules, and 99% of the time it is the lenders who refuse to accept homeowners' late or partial payment.

Last week, I spent a few hours with a local business reporter and told how many housing counseling services are funded by the lending industry and questioned the inherent conflict of interest. The counselors push for "band-aid" loan workouts which primarily benefit the lenders.  I've spoken with or received emails from  hudreds of distressed homeowners across the USA who have sought help from housing counselors (both for profit, and non profit).  Their experiences were an exercise in futility.... 

The reporter wrote I recommended anyone facing foreclosure should "run to see a credit counselor" which is only a half truth.  I qualified that remark by warning homeowners most loan loan workouts required the homeowner to waive their legal rights to pursue the lender for predatory lending practices, or to pursue the lender if the loan itself was made or serviced in violation to state or federal law... I implored homeowners not to sign any workout document without having them reviewed by an attorney.  But that crucial point was omitted.


and, due to the convoluted bundling, securitizing, and insuring of the securities,

we have no idea what  lenders' best, financial self interest is....

Are there no laws to compel lender to offer affordable loan workouts to their distressed customers?

(Yes, there are laws you can use to compel your lender to treat you fairly! Click for info!)

Three or four months ago, I predicted the "nationalization" of Fannie and Freddie to a reporter from MarketWatch.  I believe the $300,000,000,000 + the government has allocated to the national housing problem will be used to purchase loans from "Wall Street" which were bundled into and sold as securities, and are now proximate cause to a global financial crises.  While "Wall Street" isn't willing to accept the risk and subsequent loss arising from their irresponsible but hugely profitable business practices, the government/taxpayers are again called on to bail them out.  The FNMA/Freddie plan bails out Wall Street first, and maybe, just maybe, will help a few hundred thousand homeowners save their home.

Private profits, but shared loss?  This is Socialism for the rich and Capitalism for the poor. 

Comments (3)

Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi David,  Why is it there exists so little written, or in the popular media, about this subject ?  As agentswe have all seen bits and pieces of the problem but not quiye from your vantage point.  Keep it up !

Sep 13, 2008 06:05 AM
Roland Woodworth
eXp Realty - Clarksville, TN
eXp Realty

David.. Interesting post here.. I have seen where some lenders are eager to work with home owners and others who would rather just foreclose.

Sep 13, 2008 04:23 PM
David Petrovich
S.P.O.C.H. a 501c3 Charitable NP - Oakhurst, NJ

"I have seen where some lenders are eager to work with home owners and others who would rather just foreclose."

That is certainly true, and to the general real estate practitioner trying to implement a "common sense" short sale, there is no rhyme or reason to lenders' decision making process. 

Why do you think it is certain lenders seem to act reasonably while others do not?

Sep 13, 2008 11:05 PM