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Keyword: housingbubble

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  • Bet on Foreclosure Boom Turns Sour for Investors

    02/01/2011 7:22:16 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 7 replies
    NY Times ^ | February 1, 2011 | By JULIE CRESWELL and BARRY MEIER
    David J. Stern may be the best-known beneficiary of the foreclosure boom, having made millions in recent years from evictions processed by his law firm, the largest of its kind in Florida. But when he took part of his firm public early last year, he had plenty of help from a constellation of investors also looking to cash in on people losing their homes. Early in 2010, the back-office processing operations of Mr. Stern’s law firm were converted into a publicly traded company called DJSP Enterprises. Mr. Stern pocketed nearly $60 million from that transaction, public filings show.Behind that big-money...
  • Nearly 11 Percent of US Houses Empty

    01/31/2011 6:38:03 PM PST · by driftdiver · 27 replies · 1+ views
    CNBC ^ | Jan 31, 2011 | Diana Olick
    I usually find the quarterly homeowner vacancy and homeownership report from Census pretty lackluster, but the latest one released this morning was anything but. Strawberry Mill Valley America's home ownership rate, after holding steady for a while, took a pretty big plunge in Q4, from 66.9 percent to 66.5 percent. That's down from the 2004 peak of 69.2 percent and the lowest level since 1998
  • Foreclosure Document Fraud Drives Notaries to Take the Fifth

    01/27/2011 1:21:25 PM PST · by Kartographer · 19 replies
    DailyFinance/AOL ^ | 1/26/11 | ABIGAIL FIELD
    Among the many legal problems now being discovered with the foreclosure documents that banks have been using are false notarizations. The most typical variety of this problem occurs when a notary certifies that the person whose signature appears on a document really did sign it, even though the notary didn't witness the signing. While such false notarizing is criminal, I've not yet heard of any notaries being charged. However, in Maryland, Steve Lash of The Daily Record reports that 18 current and former notaries have invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in a foreclosure case.
  • Memo To Banks: You Are Toast

    01/21/2011 2:49:02 PM PST · by Kartographer · 34 replies
    BusinessInsider ^ | L. Randall Wray
    MERS has screwed up the records so badly that in many or most cases no one knows who holds the notes, who is entitled to receive mortgage payments, and who has got the deed. What we used to call “mortgage backed securities” are probably mostly unsecured. It is not clear that any of the securitizations of home mortgages were done properly. In that case, the securities are not mortgage backed. Mortgage servicers do not have the right to foreclose, and neither do the securities holders. Homeowners can follow the example in Utah because, apparently, all states have a similar provision...
  • There's No End in Sight to Minn. Foreclosure Mess

    01/21/2011 10:22:26 AM PST · by Son House · 19 replies · 1+ views
    StarTribune ^ | January 20, 2011 | JENNIFER BJORHUS and JIM BUCHTA
    More than 70,000 Minnesota homeowners were behind on their mortgages and received pre-foreclosure notices last year, a warning that the housing market still faces serious hurdles in 2011. About 71,665 struggling homeowners got the notices in 2010, up 8 percent from 2009, according to the Minnesota Home Ownership Center, which released the numbers Thursday. The number of notices rose 3 percent in the Twin Cities metro area, but 15 percent elsewhere in Minnesota. The numbers suggest that despite glimmers of hope in the job market, the state could see more people lose homes this year than they did last year,...
  • The Allure of Real Estate

    01/17/2011 3:44:27 PM PST · by An Old Man · 14 replies
    The Market Oracle ^ | Jan 12, 2011 | MISES
    Fred Buzzeo writes: These days everyone is sitting at the edge of their seats waiting for a real-estate recovery. Indeed, during the past ten years, everyone has become a real-estate addict. It is hard for me to walk down the street without someone telling me that the market has "hit bottom" or that the market is on the "rebound." Do I know anyone interested in this piece of property, they ask? Is the timing right? Can I put together a deal? These are the questions that I am constantly bombarded with by the real-estate "junkies" that I encounter while making...
  • Housing Market Slips Into Depression Territory (Real Headline)

    01/13/2011 8:34:45 AM PST · by Red in Blue PA · 55 replies
    cnbc ^ | Jan 11, 2011 | Cindy Perman
    Home values have fallen 26 percent since their peak in June 2006, worse than the 25.9-percent decline seen during the Depression years between 1928 and 1933, Zillow reported. November marked the 53rd consecutive month (4 ½ years) that home values have fallen.
  • Banks lose key foreclosure ruling in top Massachusetts court

    01/07/2011 2:38:16 PM PST · by ninonitti · 43 replies
    Reuters ^ | January 7, 2011 | Jonathan Stempel and Dena Aubin
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - In a decision that may slow foreclosures nationwide, Massachusetts' highest court voided the seizure of two homes by Wells Fargo & Co and US Bancorp after the banks failed to show they held the mortgages at the time they foreclosed. Bank shares fell, weighing on broader stock indexes, on fears the decision could threaten lenders' ability to work through hundreds of thousands of pending foreclosures. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts' unanimous decision on Friday upheld a lower court ruling. It is among the earliest cases to address the validity of foreclosures done without proper documentation....
  • A Study of Real Estate Markets in Declining Cities

    01/07/2011 12:17:18 PM PST · by JerseyHighlander · 4 replies
    Executive Summary: The “Great Recession” of 2007 to 2009 has taken a great toll on housing markets in most cities and metropolitan areas in all parts of the country. Though the pace and extent of the overall economic recovery of these markets is still far from certain, many places will likely resume growth and fully recover within the next decade or so. This is almost certainly not to be the case for all metropolitan areas. In fact, a number of large metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) experienced severe recessions during the latter half of the 20th century and prior to the...
  • Peter Schiff: Housing still has at least 20% on downside to go.

    12/30/2010 1:16:40 PM PST · by GlockThe Vote · 85 replies · 97+ views
    Business Insider ^ | December 30, 2010 | Gregory White
    Peter Schiff: Here's Why Home Prices Have To Decline At Least 20% And Probably More Gregory White | Dec. 30, 2010, 12:09 PM | 6,520 | 25 House prices have to decline at least another 20.3% to come back to the historical trend and may have much further to fall, according to Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Schiff breaks down the horrible state of the U.S. residential real estate market just days after a negative Case-Shiller number pretty much confirmed we're in a housing double-dip. Schiff explains that, if we all believe that...
  • The Fallacy of a Pain-Free Path to a Healthy Housing Market

    12/23/2010 11:47:06 AM PST · by FromLori · 13 replies
    Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas ^ | Danielle DiMartino Booth and David Luttrell
    In the mid-1990s, the public policy goal of increasing the U.S. homeownership rate collided with a huge leap in financial innovation. Lenders shifted from originating and holding mortgages to originating and packaging them for sale to investors. These new financial products enabled millions of Americans who hadn’t previously qualified to buy a home to become owners. Housing construction boomed, reaching a postwar high—9.1 million homes were built between 2002 and 2006, a period when 5.6 million U.S. households were formed. The resulting oversupply of homes presents policymakers with a formidable challenge as they struggle to craft a sustainable economic recovery....
  • In a Sign of Foreclosure Flaws, Suits Claim Break-Ins by Banks

    12/22/2010 9:04:11 PM PST · by moonshinner_09 · 70 replies
    NYTimes ^ | December 21, 2010 | ANDREW MARTIN
    TRUCKEE, Calif. — When Mimi Ash arrived at her mountain chalet here for a weekend ski trip, she discovered that someone had broken into the home and changed the locks. When she finally got into the house, it was empty. All of her possessions were gone: furniture, her son’s ski medals, winter clothes and family photos. Also missing was a wooden box, its top inscribed with the words “Together Forever,” that contained the ashes of her late husband, Robert. The culprit, Ms. Ash soon learned, was not a burglar but her bank. According to a federal lawsuit filed in October...
  • Walking Away from Your Home for Dummies

    12/08/2010 6:26:03 AM PST · by Palter · 67 replies · 1+ views
    WSJ ^ | 07 Dec 2010 | Nick Timiraos
    You might call it, “Walking away from your home, for dummies.”Brent White, the University of Arizona law professor who’s made a name for himself by urging more underwater homeowners to consider walking away from their homes, has published a 168-page book to help borrowers who are wrestling with that decision. In a tone that is both conversational and precise, “Underwater Home: What Should You Do if You Owe More on Your Home than It’s Worth?” lays out the case for and against walking away from an upside-down mortgage where the home is worth less than the mortgage balance. As is...
  • Worry NOT Over Falling Home Prices (U.S. economy is not centered on flat or declining home price)

    12/05/2010 7:06:12 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 56 replies
    Real Clear Markets ^ | 12/05/2010 | John Tamny
    A ways back in an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan suggested that a new economic contraction would be possible "if home prices go down." The following day USA Today reported that the rate of homeownership in the U.S. had declined to 66.9%, down from 69.4% in 2004. The article's author noted that, with millions of houses on the verge of foreclosure, the rate of homeownership could fall to "its lowest level in 50 years." This expression of concern dovetails nicely with Greenspan's assertion that "right under this current price level, mainly 5, 7...
  • Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners

    11/11/2010 6:35:47 AM PST · by Chunga85 · 57 replies
    Rolling Stone ^ | 11/10/2010 | Matt Taibbi
    When you meet people who are losing their homes in this foreclosure crisis, they almost all have the same look of deep shame and anguish. Nowhere else on the planet is it such a crime to be down on your luck, even if you were put there by some of the world's richest banks, which continue to rake in record profits purely because they got a big fat handout from the government. That's why one banker CEO after another keeps going on TV to explain that despite their own deceptive loans and fraudulent paperwork, the real problem is these deadbeat...
  • Judge's Bombshell Ruling Exposes The Biggest Flaw In Obama's Disastrous Foreclosure Program

    11/02/2010 12:45:58 PM PDT · by FromLori · 13 replies
    The Business Insider ^ | 11/2/10 | Joe Weisenthal
    Interesting story here... CourtHouseNews (via Denninger): A La Jolla man can keep his home for now, after a federal judge granted his motion for a temporary restraining order blocking Washington Mutual and JP Morgan from foreclosing on his house because the banks misled him into defaulting on his mortgage. Kaveh Khast claimed the banks instructed him to stop making his mortgage payments so he could qualify for a loan modification. A Washington Mutual representative confirmed receipt of the documents, but did not contact Khast within two months as promised. After learning JP Morgan Chase had acquired Washington Mutual, Khast contacted...
  • U.S. Homeownership at Lowest Level in a Decade

    11/02/2010 11:02:17 AM PDT · by ilovesarah2012 · 19 replies ^ | November 2, 2010
    The nation's homeownership rate is at the lowest level in more than a decade, hampered by a rise in foreclosures and weak demand for housing. The percentage of households that owned their homes was unchanged at 66.9 percent in the July-September quarter, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. That's the same as the April-June quarter. The last time the rate was lower was in 1999, when the rate was 66.7 percent. The nation's homeownership rate was around 64 percent from 1985 through 1995. It then rose dramatically during the Clinton and Bush administrations, hitting a peak of more than 69 percent...
  • U.S. home prices expected to slide another 8%

    11/01/2010 9:15:54 AM PDT · by Qbert · 20 replies
    CNN Money via Yahoo Finance ^ | 11/1/2010 | Les Christie
    The robo-signing controversy is just another issue that the already sluggish housing market didn't need -- but most analysts do not think it will have far-reaching impact. Nevertheless, the housing market still faces many problems: a weak economy, sluggish hiring, tight mortgage underwriting, falling home prices, and slowing sales. Then there's the potentially disastrous number of foreclosures that may occur over the coming years. "The market faces much bigger problems than the robo-signing issue," said Mike Larson, a housing market analyst for Weiss Research. Prime among them are declines in home prices. And while cheaper homes are good for buyers,...
  • Why your bank does not own your mortgage

    10/27/2010 5:28:23 PM PDT · by SGW · 23 replies · 1+ views ^ | 10/27/10 | Gil Guignat
    A few days ago, we wrote an article entitled:”Millions of home owners sending monthly payments to wrong bank.”Some of you accused us of trying to scare homeowners and of exaggerating the situation.The fact is that this is a very, very serious issue which will most likely result in the government having to print $6 trillion to paper over this mess had not Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank insisted in giving loans to anyone with a heartbeat. Arizona has been one of the hardest hit areas by real estate foreclosures. Add to this bank fraud to the equation and the consequences...
  • Bill Black On Foreclosuregate: Calls For The Immediate Termination Of Bernanke, Geithner And Holder

    10/25/2010 6:12:20 PM PDT · by Chunga85 · 24 replies · 2+ views
    Zero Hedge ^ | 10/25/2010 | Tyler Durden
    Bill Black, who will soon, together with Neil Barofsky, be a guaranteed shoe-in for the POTUS/VP position (both as independents, of course), was on the Ratigan show today, following on his op-ed from last week (here and here) calling for the long-overdue nationalization of Bank of America, and discussing the rampant fraud at the heart of mortgage gate. And contrary to ongoing lowball estimates from the like of JPM and Goldman, Black provides numbers about the bank liability that are simply stunning: "Credit Suisse says that by 2006 49% of all mortgage originations were liars loans. When independent folks study...
  • Foreclosure Mess Scares Away Investors as 'Fear Has Taken Hold'

    10/23/2010 6:45:23 PM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 23 replies
    Money News ^ | 10/22/10
    Foreclosure Mess Scares Away Investors as 'Fear Has Taken Hold' Friday, 22 Oct 2010 02:23 PM Investors who have been snapping up foreclosed homes are backing off in the wake of the U.S. foreclosure fiasco, driven off by sagging inventory and fears over legal title. Some economists say the trend could hurt the overall housing market. With foreclosed properties accounting for a large portion of housing sales, and investors accounting for a large portion of buyers — particularly in some key markets with very high foreclosure rates — the implications for the broader economy could be serious. Investors who would...
  • Foreclosure mess to test stocks' rally

    10/17/2010 5:56:28 PM PDT · by Kartographer · 14 replies
    Reuters/YahooNews ^ | 10/17/10 | Edward Krudy
    U.S. banks will be in the limelight this week as several household names report earnings and investors worry a forced halt to foreclosure proceedings could hit the sector and end the recent rally. Bank shares fell sharply on Friday on very high volume, continuing a slide from the previous day. Although recovering some of their losses, Bank of America (BAC.N) shares hit their lowest in more than a year, while the KBW bank index .BKX> fell 2.4 percent. Shares of Bank of America, the nation's largest mortgage lender, fell 9 percent during the week. More than 595.9 million of its...
  • Check Out Chris Whalen's Terrifying Presentation On The 2011 Foreclosure Crisis (2008 Was Cakewalk)

    10/07/2010 8:01:00 PM PDT · by blam · 29 replies · 1+ views
    The Business Insider ^ | 10-7-2010 | Gus Lubin
    Check Out Chris Whalen's Terrifying Presentation On The 2011 Foreclosure Crisis (2008 Was A Cakewalk) Gus Lubin Oct. 7, 2010, 10:04 PM Chris Whalen has doubled his warning about the coming banking bloodbath. At a Thursday conference with Nouriel Roubini, Institutional Risk Analytics' Whalen said the foreclosure crisis would make 2008 look like a cakewalk (via Prag Cap): The U.S. banking industry is entering a new period of crisis where operating costs are rising dramatically due to foreclosures and defaults. We are less than ¼ of the way through the foreclosure process. Laurie Goodman of Amherst Securities predicts that 1...
  • Strategic Defaults Threaten All Major U.S. Housing Markets

    09/30/2010 6:28:05 AM PDT · by blam · 8 replies
    Real Estate Channel ^ | 9-30-2010 | Keith Jurow
    Strategic Defaults Threaten All Major U.S. Housing Markets Keith Jurow 09/30/10 8:00 AM EST In my last article, we examined the shadow inventory to determine how many distressed properties (not on MLS) were almost certain to be forced onto the market in the not-to-distant future. For a sensible follow up, let's take an in-depth look at so-called "strategic defaults" to see how many homeowners are likely to "walk away" from their mortgage debt although they might be financially able to continue paying it. Strategic Default Defined According to Wikipedia, a strategic default is "the decision by a borrower to stop...
  • Nearly one in four second-quarter home sales a foreclosure

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nearly one in every four U.S. homes sold in the second quarter was a deeply discounted foreclosed house, putting the market on pace to work through distressed properties in about three years, RealtyTrac said.
  • Walking away with less (shortsales)

    09/26/2010 12:18:55 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 26 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 26 September 2010 | Dina ElBoghdady and Dan Keating
    A new wave of distressed home sales is rippling, more quietly this time, through American cities and suburbs. Its unsettling effects are playing out here in Manassas, along Brewer Creek Place, a modest, horseshoe-shaped street lined with 98 brick townhouses. Several years after the U.S. foreclosure crisis erupted, the U-Hauls are back. The last time, banks seized nearly every fourth house on the street through foreclosure. This time, homeowners are going another route: a short sale. Completed short sales have more than tripled since 2008, and 400,000 of these deals are projected to close this year, according to mortgage research...
  • The group most out of step on walking away from mortgages

    09/17/2010 8:36:37 PM PDT · by Bhoy · 36 replies
    American Thinker ^ | September 17, 2010 | Thomas Lifson
    Pew released a very interesting poll Wednesday that provides a revealing look at American values and a particular demographic group that is out of step with the rest. The topic could hardly be more relevant to the economic crisis that has caused so much suffering: attitudes toward walking away from mortgages - in other words shirking the obligation to pay back the lender for funds received. But for me the most fascinating aspect of the study is that, with one single exception, most demographic segments of the population share roughly the same opinion distribution. While some demographic groups are more...
  • ‘Irresponsible’ Mortgages Have Opened Doors to Many of the Excluded (by Obama's economic advisor)

    09/10/2010 5:28:31 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 13 replies
    New York Times ^ | March 29, 2007 | AUSTAN GOOLSBEE
    “We are sitting on a time bomb,” the mortgage analyst said — a huge increase in unconventional home loans like balloon mortgages taken out by consumers who cannot qualify for regular mortgages. The high payments, he continued, “are just beginning to come due and a lot of people who were betting interest rates would come down by now risk losing their homes because they can’t pay the debt.” He would have given great testimony at the current Senate hearings on subprime mortgage lending. The only problem is, he said it in 1981 — when soon after several of the alternative...
  • Housing Meltdown - Grassroots effort leads to attorney general probe

    09/08/2010 10:34:06 AM PDT · by Chunga85 · 3 replies
    Daily Business Review ^ | 9/7/2010 | Paola Iuspa-Abbott
    Lisa Epstein, an unemployed oncology nurse, and Michael Redman, a former online salesman for Toyota, never planned to be on the front line of the foreclosure crisis. But that happened when they independently mounted campaigns to challenge a system they say is stacked against consumers and where courts are more focused on moving cases than dispensing justice. For nearly a year, Epstein, 44, and Redman, 35, have spent countless hours in South Florida courthouses scrutinizing foreclosure documents filed by lenders’ lawyers. They have sent copies of filings they consider improper — including potentially fabricated documents and many with signatures they...
  • Fannie Mae tries to stimulate market for foreclosed homes

    09/05/2010 5:02:58 PM PDT · by fightinJAG · 19 replies · 1+ views
    LAT ^ | Sep 5, 2010 | Kenneth R. Harney
    If you're a buyer with little cash or a small-scale investor looking for a deal on a foreclosed house, a little-publicized national lending program could be just what you need this fall. Here's what it offers: • Minimal down payments — 3% for buyers who plan to live in the house, 10% for investors. Most of your down payment can come from documented gifts from relatives or others with no direct connection to the transaction. • No requirement for an appraisal on the property unless you're applying for additional money to renovate the house. This is crucial because lowball appraisals...
  • U.S. housing value down at least $4 trillion

    09/05/2010 10:12:18 AM PDT · by Nachum · 20 replies
    Philadelphia Inquirer ^ | 9/5/10 | Alan J. Heavens
    If you've recently had your house reappraised for sale or refinancing, and wonder where the equity went, consider this:Since the real estate boom ground to a painful close about 31/2 years ago, the nation's housing stock has shed from about $4 trillion to $7.1 trillion in value.The amount depends on who's counting. A study by Equifax Inc. and Moody's Analytics Inc. says the downturn began in early 2007 and cost $4 trillion through March. The Federal Reserve says the downturn began in the fourth quarter of 2006 and cost $7.1 trillion through March.
  • Time to let home prices fall?

    09/05/2010 1:01:21 AM PDT · by Chet 99 · 45 replies
    LA Times ^ | Tom Petruno
    You can't force someone to buy a house. But as a society we've long tried to make homeownership an offer you couldn't refuse. And since the real estate mega-bubble burst three years ago, the government has tried even more tricks to get people to sign home purchase contracts. Now, a grim reality has set in: Despite the still-rich basket of tax breaks for residential property owners, and the lowest mortgage rates in a generation, the pool of willing or able buyers is dwindling.
  • Approx 1/4 of Mortgages Underwater by $766B

    08/27/2010 1:05:15 PM PDT · by ExxonPatrolUs · 13 replies
    CoreLogic Real Estate News and Trends ^ | 8/26/2010 | CoreLogic Inc
    From CoreLogic Real Estate News and Trends •23% of mortgaged properties (11 million) were under water by $766 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2010 •An additional 2.4 million had less than 5% equity – That makes 28% negative or near negative •5 million borrowers are in “severe negative equity” and defaults will be high for an extended period •Top 5 states: Nevada 68%, Arizona 50%, Florida 46%, Michigan 38%, California 33%
  • Over at the Washington Post, in the comments section, "Brad" sums it up nicely

    "Brad" commnets: Below is a brief history of why the housing bubble burst. » 1977: Democrat Jimmy Carter signs the Community Reinvestment Act, guaranteeing home loans to low-income families. » 1999: Democrat Bill Clinton puts the CRA on steroids by pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase the number of subprime loans. » September 1999: The New York Times publishes an article headlined "Fannie Mae Eases Credit to Aid Mortgage Lending," which warned of the coming crisis due to lax lending policies of the Clinton administration. » 2003: The White House calls Fannie and Freddie a "systemic risk" and...
  • US July Existing Home Sales Plunge 27.2% To 3.83M Rate (How's that Obamanomics working out?)

    08/24/2010 3:35:21 PM PDT · by tobyhill · 7 replies
    wall street journal ^ | 8/24/2010 | Meena Thiruvengadam and Sarah N. Lynch
    Existing home sales plunged to their lowest level in 15 years in July as inventories soared, painting a grim picture for the housing market absent government support in a stubbornly sluggish economy. Home resales dropped a record 27.2%--nearly twice as much as analysts had expected--to an annual rate of 3.83 million in July, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. Meanwhile, inventories rose to 12.5 months from 8.9 months in June, pressuring already depressed home prices. Inventories are at their highest level in more than a decade. "Historically July is the peak inventory month in any given year," NAR Chief...
  • Is Paul Krugman About To Call On Bernanke To Create A Brand New Housing Bubble?

    07/19/2010 7:21:59 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 1 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 07/19/2010 | Joe Weisenthal
    Last summer there was a bit of a spitball fight when some critics of Paul Krugman dredged up an old 2002 column of his in which he seemed to call for another housing bubble. Here's what he said: "The basic point is that the recession of 2001 wasn't a typical postwar slump, brought on when an inflation-fighting Fed raises interest rates and easily ended by a snapback in housing and consumer spending when the Fed brings rates back down again. This was a prewar-style recession, a morning after brought on by irrational exuberance.To fight this recession the Fed needs more...
  • Homes lost to foreclosure on track for one million in 2010

    07/14/2010 9:38:51 PM PDT · by Rennes Templar · 21 replies
    AP via Yahoo News ^ | July 15, 2010 | Alex Viega
    LOS ANGELES – More than 1 million American households are likely to lose their homes to foreclosure this year, as lenders work their way through a huge backlog of borrowers who have fallen behind on their loans. Nearly 528,000 homes were taken over by lenders in the first six months of the year, a rate that is on track to eclipse the more than 900,000 homes repossessed in 2009, according to data released Thursday by RealtyTrac Inc., a foreclosure listing service. "That would be unprecedented," said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac. By comparison, lenders have historically taken...
  • Let's Ditch the Home Ownership Dream (Let's face it: Not everyone deserves to own a house)

    07/14/2010 11:45:59 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 49 replies · 2+ views
    Housing: America still has far too many underwater debtors labeled as "homeowners," but Washington can't bear to let them liquidate. Instead, it saddles taxpayers with ever-costlier bailouts. The federal government has tried just about every trick in the book to revive the nation's housing market and forestall a feared tsunami of foreclosures. How well have they worked? The answer depends on how you judge success. If the object is to keep "owners" - really, maxed-out debtors - in their homes, the results have been so-so. But there's another way of framing the issue. What if it would have been better...
  • House Prices Are Still Too High And They're Going To Tank -- Ritholtz

    06/30/2010 2:46:10 PM PDT · by blam · 21 replies
    The Business Insider ^ | 6-30-2010 | Henry Blodget
    House Prices Are Still Too High And They're Going To Tank -- Ritholtz Henry Blodget Jun. 30, 2010, 11:47 AM We had Barry Ritholtz on TechTicker yesterday. He's still a big bear on housing...(go to the site of to article to view a video) We're on our way to a second leg down in housing prices, says Barry Ritholtz, writer of The Big Picture a founder of investment research firm Fusion IQ. Why? In short, because house prices are still too high. Even after a plunge of more than 30% from the 2007 peak to the 2009 trough, house prices...
  • New Housing Starts Decline 10% in May (unexpected, again)

    06/16/2010 11:02:51 AM PDT · by OldDeckHand · 7 replies · 469+ views
    Real Estate Channel ^ | 06/16/2010 | Michael Gerrity
    According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's jointly announced new residential construction statistics for May 2010, privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 574,000. This is 5.9 percent (±2.2%) below the revised April rate of 610,000, but is 4.4 percent (±2.6%) above the May 2009 estimate of 550,000. Single-family authorizations in May were at a rate of 438,000; this is 9.9 percent (±2.1%) below the revised April figure of 486,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a...
  • Report: FBI to "arrest hundreds of people" next week for Mortgage Fraud

    06/11/2010 2:00:20 PM PDT · by blam · 29 replies · 1,336+ views
    Calculated Risk ^ | 6-11-2010 | Financial Times
    Report: FBI to "arrest hundreds of people" next week for Mortgage Fraud by CalculatedRiskn 6/11/2010 01:20:00 PMFrom the Financial Times: FBI to target mortgage fraud: The FBI is preparing to arrest hundreds of people across the US as early as next week for offences including encouraging borrowers to falsify income on mortgage applications, misleading home owners about foreclosure rescue programmes, and inflating home appraisals ... The FBI is scheduled to release its 2009 mortgage report on June 17. (excerpt with permission) The FBI usually only arrests people engaged in fraud for profit and not fraud for housing - they typically...
  • Voodoo Used to Influence Outcome of Mortgage Fraud Case

    06/09/2010 10:08:25 PM PDT · by DogByte6RER · 8 replies · 56+ views
    Mortgage Fraud Blog ^ | June 7, 2010 | Mortgage Fraud Blog
    Voodoo Used to Influence Outcome of Mortgage Fraud Case Ruben Hernandez, 34, California, owner of Downey Motorcars, and co-defendant Joel Rodriguez, 45, a California resident, owner of Coast to Coast Mortgage, were sentenced in a mortgage fraud case. Hernandez and Rodriguez were convicted by a jury on May 6, 2010. Hernandez was found guilty of four counts of filing a false application and three counts of grand theft. He received a 12 year sentence. Rodriguez was convicted of six counts of filing a false application and five counts of grand theft. He received a 12 year, 8 month sentence. Hernandez...
  • Lower prices could mean deflation and double-dip recession

    06/08/2010 12:34:01 PM PDT · by Qbert · 38 replies · 34+ views
    CNN Money via Yahoo Finance ^ | 6/8/2010 | Chris Isidore
    Lumber prices are sinking. And while that might make a trip to Home Depot cheaper, it's also a sign that the global economic recovery and the U.S. housing rebound are in danger of stalling. Only a few months ago, inflation was the main worry of many economists. But falling prices for the raw materials of many industries, including lumber, have set off deflation warning bells for some economists, who worry that they could signal another global economic downturn. Prices for framing lumber have tumbled 21% from their peak only five weeks ago, according to figures from the National Association of...
  • The Housing Collapse of 2010 Will Be Worse Than 2008

    06/05/2010 2:31:38 AM PDT · by combat_boots · 26 replies · 1,402+ views
    Gerald Celente Blogspot ^ | 4 June 2010 | (60 Minutes video interview)
    "Sub-prime mortgages are just the start the worst still to come" 60 Minutes special. Get out of Dollars and the US Stock Market. There is going to be a run on the dollar soon as China becomes a net seller of treasuries instead of a net buyer like they are currently. They just announced a 600b bailout of their own, how do you think they will pay for it? Dump their 1Trillion plus in US treasuries. The game is up. In 2010 a hundred US dollars wont even buy you a case of beer.
  • Home-Sales Decline Suggests Trouble; Drop in Home Sales in Wake of Tax Credit Tops Forecasts

    06/05/2010 5:26:05 AM PDT · by Brilliant · 15 replies · 665+ views
    WSJ ^ | 6/4/2010 | JAMES R. HAGERTY and NICK TIMIRAOS
    <p>The withdrawal of federal tax credits for home buyers led to a steeper-than-expected plunge in May home sales in much of the U.S., as the housing market struggles to wean itself from government support.</p> <p>Economists and real estate analysts expected home sales to slow after the tax credit, of as much as $8,000, expired at the end of April. But early data from real estate brokers indicate that the sales decline has been far more substantial than expected, with some markets showing declines of 25% to 30%...</p>
  • Is Housing Already Double Dipping? (Purchase apps at 13 yr. low, prices to decline 7-15%?)

    06/05/2010 3:06:45 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 36 replies · 1,115+ views
    Pragmatic Capitalist ^ | June 4, 2010
    The market was ecstatic on Wednesday in anticipation of Friday’s big job’s report. But while the market rallied 2.5%+ there was a potentially far more important story than the census driven job’s report: the real estate data. While the data came in “better than expected”, primarily due to the end of the home buyers tax credit, there was an underlying red flag. As the end of Spring buying season coincided with the tax credit the buyers have literally become non-existent in the housing market. This was clear in the most recent mortgage applications data also released on Wednesday. Diana Olick...
  • When Will the Housing Recession End?

    05/10/2010 3:58:51 PM PDT · by grand wazoo · 88 replies · 976+ views
    The Affordable Mortgage Depression ^ | 5/11/2009 | Whitney Ross
    A Graphical Illustration Why the Downturn Will Persist Through 2013 What We Know Will Happen Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Will Reset Adjustable Interest Rate Mortgages will continue to reset through 2012. These resets will trigger a steady flow of foreclosures. While there exists a material supply of foreclosures, house prices can not maintain inflation-adjusted value and the Housing Market will not recover. The worst offending Affordable Mortgages, the Option-ARMs, are only now beginning to reset. These mortgages will result in massive foreclosures within the markets they were utilized. While the bulk of ARM resets will end in 2012, it will take up...
  • House Prices Are Falling Again

    05/08/2010 5:20:51 AM PDT · by blam · 43 replies · 1,104+ views
    The Business Insider ^ | 5-8-2010 | Michael David White
    House Prices Are Falling Again Michael David White May. 8, 2010, 8:08 AM Isolate recent values on the First American index of property values and a national fall is not difficult to anticipate. Since I began in August to forecast a continuation of falling values, frequently I met with anger, disbelief, myopia. This week I wanted to take a closer look. So I pulled out one of the best number sets, and applied my crude math in exactly the same way I always do, but I did a close up on five years of data before and after the peak....
  • Stunning 2006 Barney Frank Video Surfaces (The Tulip Tapes)

    05/07/2010 6:19:17 PM PDT · by kristinn · 94 replies · 10,410+ views
    Human Events ^ | Friday, May 7, 2010 | Connie Hair
    Link to page with YouTube Video.(Video caption: Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) speaking at a forum on national housing policy on December 11, 2006. Three weeks after making this speech at the Treasury Department, Frank became Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Frank on Democrats taking over regulatory reform:“You will see far less difference with Democrats taking over in the Financial Services regulatory area than in virtually any other area of public policy, because we did work together on things like regulatory relief and we have more to do yet in the deregulation. One of the things we did was...
  • Why We Need Fed Transparency

    05/03/2010 6:44:31 PM PDT · by blueyon · 2 replies · 334+ views
    market watch ^ | 5/03/10 | y Karl Denninger
    Let's face the now-documented facts: The Fed knew about the housing bubble, and both Alan Greenspan and BEN BERNANKE intentionally suppressed any public discussion of same by The Fed. This isn't conjecture any longer, and we can no longer believe that there was any sort of mistake involved here, nor a difference of opinion. As disclosed from the Fed Minutes (the real ones, transcripts, not the abbreviated cheat sheets) and as now written about on Huffington Post, we have a problem here with credibility - and intentional misdirection: "We run the risk, by laying out the pros and cons of...