Thursday, May 31, 2007

Foreclosure filings in Kent County...not seen since the Great Depression

Grand Rapids, Michigan

A report and video from 24 Hour News 8: Foreclosure filings in Kent County are coming in at a record pace not seen since The Great Depression.

In the 1990s, there were roughly 500 foreclosures a year. In 2006, 2,500 homes foreclosed in Kent County - up 74 percent from 2005.

So far this year, the Register of Deeds told 24 Hour News 8 more than 60 foreclosures per week are being filed, more than 1,000 total through April. The county projects more than 3,200 for 2007.

“‘We're in what we would consider a perfect storm,’ said Tracy Coffman of Home Repair Services, a non-profit group that provides guidance to any family facing foreclosure. ‘So we have people who are out of work or people who are re-employed but employed making less than what they were making before and now having to deal with a higher mortgage payment. And that combination is escalating our foreclosures to a rate we have just not seen.’”


Home Repair Services is a non-profit organization serving low-income homeowners throughout Kent County, MI.


County Profile & Overview
With a healthy economy, low taxes, affordable housing, and Midwestern hospitality, Kent County offers the best in both business and family location. Located in Western Michigan, Kent County is the fourth largest population center in Michigan. Covering 864 square miles, the County is home to 590,417 people. The County seat, Grand Rapids, has a population of 197,800 and is 150 miles west of Detroit; 180 miles northeast of Chicago; and 30 miles from Lake Michigan.



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Foreclosure filings in Kent County...not seen since the Great Depression

Grand Rapids, Michigan

A report and video from 24 Hour News 8: Foreclosure filings in Kent County are coming in at a record pace not seen since The Great Depression.

In the 1990s, there were roughly 500 foreclosures a year. In 2006, 2,500 homes foreclosed in Kent County - up 74 percent from 2005.

So far this year, the Register of Deeds told 24 Hour News 8 more than 60 foreclosures per week are being filed, more than 1,000 total through April. The county projects more than 3,200 for 2007.

“‘We're in what we would consider a perfect storm,’ said Tracy Coffman of Home Repair Services, a non-profit group that provides guidance to any family facing foreclosure. ‘So we have people who are out of work or people who are re-employed but employed making less than what they were making before and now having to deal with a higher mortgage payment. And that combination is escalating our foreclosures to a rate we have just not seen.’”


Home Repair Services is a non-profit organization serving low-income homeowners throughout Kent County, MI.


County Profile & Overview
With a healthy economy, low taxes, affordable housing, and Midwestern hospitality, Kent County offers the best in both business and family location. Located in Western Michigan, Kent County is the fourth largest population center in Michigan. Covering 864 square miles, the County is home to 590,417 people. The County seat, Grand Rapids, has a population of 197,800 and is 150 miles west of Detroit; 180 miles northeast of Chicago; and 30 miles from Lake Michigan.



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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Solano County: 1 in 4 subprime loans will end in foreclosure

Solano County, California

The San Fransisco Chronicle reports:
In 2005, almost one-quarter of mortgages in the Vallejo-Fairfield metropolitan area were subprime loans, according to the Center for Responsible Lending's analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data.

“Vallejo home prices fell 8.5 percent from November to March, according to DataQuick Information Services. For people who bought in recent months without putting any money down, that means they may owe more on their mortgage than the house is worth.”

“In a report called ‘Losing Ground,’ the center spotlights the Vallejo-Fairfield metropolitan area (which comprises all of Solano County) as a potential trouble spot, with one of the highest projected foreclosure rates in the country. The report predicted that 23.8 percent of subprimes there will end in foreclosure,’ said Paul Leonard, director of the center's office in Oakland.”

Vallejo Neighborhood Housing Services is too overloaded to handle new cases, so it refers calls to a toll-free number, (888) 995-4673, run by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit group that tries to preserve homeownership.

Calls (from across the nation) have been increasing at an absolutely crazy rate, said Tracy Morgan, a vice president at the foundation. We've been getting 650 calls a day for the last month or two. A year ago we were only getting 75 calls a day.



The full article can be read here.


The Center for Responsible Lending had released a report on March 27, 2007. A Net Drain on Homeownership: Subprime loans made during 1998-2006 have led or will lead to a net loss of homeownership for almost one million families.


The pdf file to this report can be found here.


The Center for Responsible Lending is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices.


The Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) partners with local governments, other nonprofit organizations, borrowers and mortgage lenders/servicers to help homeowners recover from financial difficulties.


Vallejo Neighborhood Housing Services exists to facilitate the production, acquisition, rehabilitation and preservation of housing for low to moderate income households in order to combat community deterioration and to preserve neighborhood stability




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Solano County: 1 in 4 subprime loans will end in foreclosure

Solano County, California

The San Fransisco Chronicle reports:
In 2005, almost one-quarter of mortgages in the Vallejo-Fairfield metropolitan area were subprime loans, according to the Center for Responsible Lending's analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data.

“Vallejo home prices fell 8.5 percent from November to March, according to DataQuick Information Services. For people who bought in recent months without putting any money down, that means they may owe more on their mortgage than the house is worth.”

“In a report called ‘Losing Ground,’ the center spotlights the Vallejo-Fairfield metropolitan area (which comprises all of Solano County) as a potential trouble spot, with one of the highest projected foreclosure rates in the country. The report predicted that 23.8 percent of subprimes there will end in foreclosure,’ said Paul Leonard, director of the center's office in Oakland.”

Vallejo Neighborhood Housing Services is too overloaded to handle new cases, so it refers calls to a toll-free number, (888) 995-4673, run by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit group that tries to preserve homeownership.

Calls (from across the nation) have been increasing at an absolutely crazy rate, said Tracy Morgan, a vice president at the foundation. We've been getting 650 calls a day for the last month or two. A year ago we were only getting 75 calls a day.



The full article can be read here.


The Center for Responsible Lending had released a report on March 27, 2007. A Net Drain on Homeownership: Subprime loans made during 1998-2006 have led or will lead to a net loss of homeownership for almost one million families.


The pdf file to this report can be found here.


The Center for Responsible Lending is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices.


The Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) partners with local governments, other nonprofit organizations, borrowers and mortgage lenders/servicers to help homeowners recover from financial difficulties.


Vallejo Neighborhood Housing Services exists to facilitate the production, acquisition, rehabilitation and preservation of housing for low to moderate income households in order to combat community deterioration and to preserve neighborhood stability




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Sunday, May 27, 2007

No fairy tale; Three pigs found in a foreclosed home in Oregon

Clackamas County, Oregon

Police from Clackamas County Sheriff's Office say that a an Oregon homeowner left three pigs inside his home because he was upset the home went into foreclosure.

Channel 8 reports (and video): “Lovett bought a home on SE Wildcat Mountain Drive in Eagle Creek a few years ago. In January the house went into foreclosure. Neighbors told police that Lovett was extremely distraught over the the situation. He apparently told several that he had put the animals inside the house over a week ago and even joked about the fact that they did not have any water.”

When deputies responded to complaints about the pigs, the inside and outside of the home were trashed.”

“Thomas Getten, an animal rescue expert from Estacada, was called to try and rescue the pigs. He was able to coax them out of the house with some food. He told KGW that the three pigs were a little dehydrated but otherwise doing fine.”

Neighbor Pat Bradshaw in the video appears to have a good sense of humor about the situation and begins to laugh when saying: “I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in”—when trying to describe how he saw “three little pigs” looking out from his neighbor's window.


See slide show of ransacked house


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No fairy tale; Three pigs found in a foreclosed home in Oregon

Clackamas County, Oregon

Police from Clackamas County Sheriff's Office say that a an Oregon homeowner left three pigs inside his home because he was upset the home went into foreclosure.

Channel 8 reports (and video): “Lovett bought a home on SE Wildcat Mountain Drive in Eagle Creek a few years ago. In January the house went into foreclosure. Neighbors told police that Lovett was extremely distraught over the the situation. He apparently told several that he had put the animals inside the house over a week ago and even joked about the fact that they did not have any water.”

When deputies responded to complaints about the pigs, the inside and outside of the home were trashed.”

“Thomas Getten, an animal rescue expert from Estacada, was called to try and rescue the pigs. He was able to coax them out of the house with some food. He told KGW that the three pigs were a little dehydrated but otherwise doing fine.”

Neighbor Pat Bradshaw in the video appears to have a good sense of humor about the situation and begins to laugh when saying: “I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in”—when trying to describe how he saw “three little pigs” looking out from his neighbor's window.


See slide show of ransacked house


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Friday, May 25, 2007

Housing Prices Seen Heading Back in Earth's Direction


Earth

Are home prices coming back to earth? (graph from patrick.net) Most indicators seem to be pointing that way, especially those based on rising inventories and skyrocketing foreclosures.

Todays news from NAR: “The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $220,900 in April, down 0.8 percent from April 2006 when the median was $222,600. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less, but there is a downward skew in the current national comparison because sales have shifted away from many high-cost areas during the last year.”

Existing home sales dropped 2.6 percent to an annualized pace of 5.99 million last month, marking the second straight monthly decline in sales. Sales are now at their lowest ebb since June 2003. NAR says tighter lender standards are to blame.

An interesting study by Fitch Ratings: Link Between Falling U.S. Home Prices & Rising Subprime Defaults.”

“Fitch analyzed the default rates, defined as the sum of 90 day+ delinquency, foreclosure, REO and bankruptcy rates, of loans originated in 2002 through 2006 and the cumulative HPI rate following origination. Fitch conducted its analysis at the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) level, rather than using state or national numbers. By weighting the home prices based on the amount of subprime loans in each MSA, Fitch was able to create a more accurate picture of home price inflation levels in the areas where subprime mortgages are concentrated. ”

“The analysis showed that subprime loans originated in the first quarter-2006 (1Q'06) have experienced only 0.5% of home price inflation after 12 months, but that defaults have jumped to 8.3% of outstanding mortgage balances. 'This contrasts starkly to 2005 full-year originations which experienced average HPI of 17% after 12 months and very low defaults of 1.7%,' said Managing Director Glenn Costello. ”

Calculated Risk has an excellent analysis and graph illustrating the current inventory situation: “Supply is increasing, and will most likely continue to increase through the summer months. And sales are still high (based on percent of owner occupied units) and will probably continue to fall. Right now I'm expecting 'months of supply' to reach 9.5 months by mid-summer.”

I strongly recommend reading Paper Money's analysis on April's Existing Homes Sales Report, proving once again how things aren't so difficult to figure out.

“Sales are, in fact, down in EVERY region with the majority of declines in the double digits.”

“Keep in mind that we are now seeing existing home sales declines on the back of last years fairly dramatic declines further indicating that the housing markets are not bottoming as many had suggested last fall.” See table on bottom of Paper Money's page.

If you're not much into charts and just want to use some of that good ol' common sense (along with a few laughs) then be sure to check out Dr. Housing Bubble's latest: “Real Homes of Genius: Special Edition” After looking at some of those homes, common sense should be screaming to you by now that it doesn't take a “genius” to figure out where home prices are destined.

Don't agree? Think the housing market has reached a bottom?—and is now emerging from an 18-month slump? Look no further—for a quick change in mind—in this article from CNN titled “Big drop in home prices predicted”. Still not convinced?—and even think now might be the right time to buy? OK, then be sure to check out this sitePlenty of deals just seem to keep on popping up.


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Housing Prices Seen Heading Back in Earth's Direction


Earth

Are home prices coming back to earth? (graph from patrick.net) Most indicators seem to be pointing that way, especially those based on rising inventories and skyrocketing foreclosures.

Todays news from NAR: “The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $220,900 in April, down 0.8 percent from April 2006 when the median was $222,600. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less, but there is a downward skew in the current national comparison because sales have shifted away from many high-cost areas during the last year.”

Existing home sales dropped 2.6 percent to an annualized pace of 5.99 million last month, marking the second straight monthly decline in sales. Sales are now at their lowest ebb since June 2003. NAR says tighter lender standards are to blame.

An interesting study by Fitch Ratings: Link Between Falling U.S. Home Prices & Rising Subprime Defaults.”

“Fitch analyzed the default rates, defined as the sum of 90 day+ delinquency, foreclosure, REO and bankruptcy rates, of loans originated in 2002 through 2006 and the cumulative HPI rate following origination. Fitch conducted its analysis at the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) level, rather than using state or national numbers. By weighting the home prices based on the amount of subprime loans in each MSA, Fitch was able to create a more accurate picture of home price inflation levels in the areas where subprime mortgages are concentrated. ”

“The analysis showed that subprime loans originated in the first quarter-2006 (1Q'06) have experienced only 0.5% of home price inflation after 12 months, but that defaults have jumped to 8.3% of outstanding mortgage balances. 'This contrasts starkly to 2005 full-year originations which experienced average HPI of 17% after 12 months and very low defaults of 1.7%,' said Managing Director Glenn Costello. ”

Calculated Risk has an excellent analysis and graph illustrating the current inventory situation: “Supply is increasing, and will most likely continue to increase through the summer months. And sales are still high (based on percent of owner occupied units) and will probably continue to fall. Right now I'm expecting 'months of supply' to reach 9.5 months by mid-summer.”

I strongly recommend reading Paper Money's analysis on April's Existing Homes Sales Report, proving once again how things aren't so difficult to figure out.

“Sales are, in fact, down in EVERY region with the majority of declines in the double digits.”

“Keep in mind that we are now seeing existing home sales declines on the back of last years fairly dramatic declines further indicating that the housing markets are not bottoming as many had suggested last fall.” See table on bottom of Paper Money's page.

If you're not much into charts and just want to use some of that good ol' common sense (along with a few laughs) then be sure to check out Dr. Housing Bubble's latest: “Real Homes of Genius: Special Edition” After looking at some of those homes, common sense should be screaming to you by now that it doesn't take a “genius” to figure out where home prices are destined.

Don't agree? Think the housing market has reached a bottom?—and is now emerging from an 18-month slump? Look no further—for a quick change in mind—in this article from CNN titled “Big drop in home prices predicted”. Still not convinced?—and even think now might be the right time to buy? OK, then be sure to check out this sitePlenty of deals just seem to keep on popping up.


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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing?

Boston

A report and video from channel 5 focusing on the pre-foreclosure business in Boston.

“You can call it bottom feeding, but I think it's doing a service.” said Shelia Farragher-Gemma (co-founder of ForeclosuresMass.com), when asked by channel 5 reporter Sean Kelly if approaching people in pre-foreclosure stage is considered bottom feeding.

“A lot of these people are behind the 8-ball and they need to figure out a way to get out, that's one of the things we try to do, is show them ways to get out” said investor Derek Ebrecht .

Reporter Sean Kelly then asks: “You keep saying its helping people; I see it as making money?”

Ebrecht responds: “Hmm. Ah well, I have to… Everyone has to make money”

The full report can be found here.

These flippers are serious and are out there every day knocking on peoples’ doors to the point where they are now becoming a privacy concern.

ForeclosuresMass.com reported April foreclosure filings in Massachusetts dipped slightly from March but are up 63 percent year-over-year. The state experienced 2,002 foreclosure filings last month, down from 2,190 in March. There were 1,228 foreclosure filings in April 2006, the company said.



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Wolves in Sheep's Clothing?

Boston

A report and video from channel 5 focusing on the pre-foreclosure business in Boston.

“You can call it bottom feeding, but I think it's doing a service.” said Shelia Farragher-Gemma (co-founder of ForeclosuresMass.com), when asked by channel 5 reporter Sean Kelly if approaching people in pre-foreclosure stage is considered bottom feeding.

“A lot of these people are behind the 8-ball and they need to figure out a way to get out, that's one of the things we try to do, is show them ways to get out” said investor Derek Ebrecht .

Reporter Sean Kelly then asks: “You keep saying its helping people; I see it as making money?”

Ebrecht responds: “Hmm. Ah well, I have to… Everyone has to make money”

The full report can be found here.

These flippers are serious and are out there every day knocking on peoples’ doors to the point where they are now becoming a privacy concern.

ForeclosuresMass.com reported April foreclosure filings in Massachusetts dipped slightly from March but are up 63 percent year-over-year. The state experienced 2,002 foreclosure filings last month, down from 2,190 in March. There were 1,228 foreclosure filings in April 2006, the company said.



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Wave of Foreclosures in Sacramento County

Sacramento

News 10 reports and video: “Foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2007 set a record in Sacramento County. And one Sacramento zip code may be the hardest hit in the entire state.”

“Sagging home values and adjusting mortgages are largely blamed for the 3,077 notices of default sent to Sacramento County homeowners in the first three months of the year. ”

“A News 10 analysis shows that most of the home owners who defaulted in the first quarter of 2007 had owned their homes less than four years.

The report then focuses on zip code area 95832 (a bit too much) where 2.2 percent of the homeowners defaulted on their mortgage loans for the first quarter of this year.

“Of 23 houses on Richfield Way, five went into default in just the first three months of this year.”

Here’s where it gets real interesting: “At a recent courthouse auction, a five-bedroom, four-bathroom 3,500 square foot house on Richfield Way that sold in July 2005 for $526,000 was offered by the bank for $295,000. There were no takers.

That's an amazing 44% drop in just 2 years.

There is also an edited version of the video uploaded by a YouTube user.


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Wave of Foreclosures in Sacramento County

Sacramento

News 10 reports and video: “Foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2007 set a record in Sacramento County. And one Sacramento zip code may be the hardest hit in the entire state.”

“Sagging home values and adjusting mortgages are largely blamed for the 3,077 notices of default sent to Sacramento County homeowners in the first three months of the year. ”

“A News 10 analysis shows that most of the home owners who defaulted in the first quarter of 2007 had owned their homes less than four years.

The report then focuses on zip code area 95832 (a bit too much) where 2.2 percent of the homeowners defaulted on their mortgage loans for the first quarter of this year.

“Of 23 houses on Richfield Way, five went into default in just the first three months of this year.”

Here’s where it gets real interesting: “At a recent courthouse auction, a five-bedroom, four-bathroom 3,500 square foot house on Richfield Way that sold in July 2005 for $526,000 was offered by the bank for $295,000. There were no takers.

That's an amazing 44% drop in just 2 years.

There is also an edited version of the video uploaded by a YouTube user.


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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Comptroller Dugan: Concerned Over ‘Stated Income’ Subprime Loans

News Release from the Comptroller of the Currency: John C. Dugan said today he is increasingly troubled by the growing use of unverified “stated income” in subprime lending, and said he believes the federal agencies should address the practice in pending guidance.

“Sound underwriting – and, for that matter, simple common sense – suggests that a mortgage lender would almost always want to verify the income of a riskier subprime borrower to make sure that he or she had the means to make the required monthly payments,” Mr. Dugan said in a speech to Neighborhood Housing Services of New York.

“But the norm appears to be just the opposite: nearly 50 percent of all subprime loans last year accepted stated income,” he said.


“Apparently verified income is viewed as a critical factor in determining whether a loan can be saved, which of course begs the question: if loan verification is such an important predictor of the borrower’s ability to repay in the current environment, why wasn’t it equally important when the loan was first made?” Mr. Dugan asked.

But he said such uses of stated income lending should be the exception, rather than the rule, for three key reasons:
  • Stated income is too great a temptation for misrepresentation and, in its most extreme form, outright fraud.
  • The practice also undermines transparency: “How can lenders seriously talk about debt-to-income ratios, for example, if the denominator of ‘income’ is really an unknown variable that can be whatever the borrower says it is?” he asked.
  • It is not a safe and sound underwriting practice to make mortgage loans that substitute future house price appreciation for borrower income as a key source of repayment, as appears to have been the case in many subprime loans underwritten in the last few years.
Let's hope this message gets heard, well worth reading, the complete statement can be found here.


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks. It also supervises the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the OCC has four district offices plus an office in London to supervise the international activities of national banks.


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Comptroller Dugan: Concerned Over ‘Stated Income’ Subprime Loans

News Release from the Comptroller of the Currency: John C. Dugan said today he is increasingly troubled by the growing use of unverified “stated income” in subprime lending, and said he believes the federal agencies should address the practice in pending guidance.

“Sound underwriting – and, for that matter, simple common sense – suggests that a mortgage lender would almost always want to verify the income of a riskier subprime borrower to make sure that he or she had the means to make the required monthly payments,” Mr. Dugan said in a speech to Neighborhood Housing Services of New York.

“But the norm appears to be just the opposite: nearly 50 percent of all subprime loans last year accepted stated income,” he said.


“Apparently verified income is viewed as a critical factor in determining whether a loan can be saved, which of course begs the question: if loan verification is such an important predictor of the borrower’s ability to repay in the current environment, why wasn’t it equally important when the loan was first made?” Mr. Dugan asked.

But he said such uses of stated income lending should be the exception, rather than the rule, for three key reasons:
  • Stated income is too great a temptation for misrepresentation and, in its most extreme form, outright fraud.
  • The practice also undermines transparency: “How can lenders seriously talk about debt-to-income ratios, for example, if the denominator of ‘income’ is really an unknown variable that can be whatever the borrower says it is?” he asked.
  • It is not a safe and sound underwriting practice to make mortgage loans that substitute future house price appreciation for borrower income as a key source of repayment, as appears to have been the case in many subprime loans underwritten in the last few years.
Let's hope this message gets heard, well worth reading, the complete statement can be found here.


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks. It also supervises the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the OCC has four district offices plus an office in London to supervise the international activities of national banks.


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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Activists Dressed in Black and Seeking for a Temporary Ban on Foreclosures

Denver
A report and video from 7NEWS : “Community activists are asking the Denver Clerk and Recorder to suspend foreclosures for six months so homeowners can try and save their homes.”

“Members of "ACORN," The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, marched to the Wellington Webb building as part of their campaign.”

“The protesters wore black clothing to symbolize what they called "the death of the American dream of home ownership." Among the group were several homeowners who are now faced with foreclosure.”

The full article can be read here.


ACORN is the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities. Since 1970, ACORN has grown to more than 350,000 member families, organized in 850 neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities across the U.S. and in cities in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Peru.



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Activists Dressed in Black and Seeking for a Temporary Ban on Foreclosures

Denver
A report and video from 7NEWS : “Community activists are asking the Denver Clerk and Recorder to suspend foreclosures for six months so homeowners can try and save their homes.”

“Members of "ACORN," The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, marched to the Wellington Webb building as part of their campaign.”

“The protesters wore black clothing to symbolize what they called "the death of the American dream of home ownership." Among the group were several homeowners who are now faced with foreclosure.”

The full article can be read here.


ACORN is the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities. Since 1970, ACORN has grown to more than 350,000 member families, organized in 850 neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities across the U.S. and in cities in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Peru.



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An Avalanche of Foreclosures, says Kucinich

Ohio
From Cleveland, WKYC-TV reports (streaming video) on a congressional hearing that was held in Northeast Ohio on Monday because of the growing problem of foreclosures and predatory lending.

“How in the world, other than a hearing like this, would people ever get a chance to be heard on their neighborhood's falling apart because of an avalanche of foreclosures?” asked congressman Dennis Kucinich.

The local Federal Reserve spokeswoman said they are actively involved in foreclosure activities but policy decisions are made in Washington, not Ohio.

From Columbus, the Enquirer reports: “Ohio’s Foreclosure Prevention Task Force held its fourth meeting today in what was billed as an opportunity for borrowers facing foreclosure or people who’ve been through the foreclosure process to tell their stories.”

“Mark Lawson, a senior attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, told the panel that his organization has so many people calling for help with mortgage-related problems that it can’t begin to handle them all.”

“This is an epidemic. You think it’s bad now? You have a tsunami of foreclosures on its way,” said Tom Conley, a “self-described foreclosure intervention specialist from Columbus who said he went through a foreclosure a year ago” and who warns that “investor seminars are being offered around the country teaching people how to profit from people saddled with overvalued houses and mortgages they can’t afford.”

The full article can be read here.

The Ohio Foreclosure Prevention Task Force was established by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, in early 2007. According to RealtyTrac, the state wide average in Ohio for foreclosure filings was one for every 59 households, higher than the national average of one foreclosure filing for every 92 households.


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8,190 REO's listed for sale on Countrywide Financial's website as of May 22, 2007


8,190 REO's Listed
Total Asking Price: $1,593,201,601
(As of May 22, 2007)

Source: http://www.countrywide.com/purchase/f_reo.asp

A detailed breakdown by state is available here.


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Saturday, May 19, 2007

L.A. Times Blog: Breaking News on Home Affordability

Peter Villes, a journalist and blogger with the L.A. Times reports that 80% percent of L.A. families can't afford to buy a home based on a report released from the California Association of Realtors.

“ Now, we understand the real estate market doesn't work this way, but the Realtors try to measure "affordability," and it is worth taking a quick look at their findings. The California Association of Realtors reports that you need an income of $101,000 to buy an entry level home in Los Angeles, which means 80% of local families can't afford to buy a home.

What's interesting to note is that the Realtors' report assumes the purchase of homes be made with an option ARM loan and about $50,000 for a down payment (10% of median-priced entry level home). I would think it would be in the Realtors' interest to take a good look at this chart .

The full article can be read here.


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Friday, May 18, 2007

David Lereah: “It was a poor choice of title”

David Lereah, the Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors in an interview with Robert Siegel of NPR on his last day on the job.

Siegel: Uncharacteristically nowadays, You're not all that upbeat about real estate, you recently predicted a real estate recession?

Lereah: Well, were in the middle of a real estate recession now, no doubt about it. The recession started 18 months ago, so this has been a regular recession for real estate. And the big news is this recession is going to be longer than we thought.

Siegal: But to put this in some context, you have been a positive voice for real estate. So much so that a couple of years ago, you published a book in 2005 whose original title was "Are You Missing The Real Estate Boom", the subtitle of that book was "Why Home Values and Other Real Estate Investments Will Climb Through the End of the Decade." What went wrong? Where was the point where you stopped seeing real estate values going up through 2010 and something happening to it instead?

Lereah: Great Question! First the boom was Double Day Random House Word that ..

Siegal: that your publisher, you are telling me

Lereah: It wasn't my title unfortunately. So it was a poor choice of titles.

The full interview can be heard here.

Lereah will become a senior executive at Move Inc., an online real estate service.

Below are the top three links by Google results keyword "David Lereah"

David Lereah Watch
David Lereah - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
David Lereah (NAR)



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“The actual crisis hasn't started yet”

Chicago
A report and video from CBS 2 on the current foreclosure situation in Chicago.

“A record number of homeowners are now defaulting on their loans and risk losing their homes – 7,000 in the Chicago area in April alone.”

“Debbie Clark owns a home in Marquette and recently got the shock of her life. Her adjustable rate mortgage, or ARM, will jump from 7 to 13 percent in a year.” (Something tells me we'll be hearing a lot these stories next year.)

“For the last two years, she's paid about $1,000 a month. In August, it jumps to $1,300, in February $1,410, finally capping at $1,635.”

“They would say do not worry, when you have to worry, because if you don't worry, they will come two years later, hike your mortgage up so high that you cannot even eat,” she said.

“When a broker or realtor or some other person talks somebody into taking a loan that they really can't afford, that's no different then robbery... The broker, the realtor is not your friend. These are business people who only make money when you close on a loan.” said researcher David Rose from the National Training and Information Center. (Someone who tells the truth maybe?)

The actual crisis hasn't started yet,” said John Groene of Neighborhood Housing Services. “We'll see that in a couple years.”

The full report can be read here. Be sure to see the video, well worth it.


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Thursday, May 17, 2007

“There’s just not much people can do these days”

Boston
The Boston Herald reports: "The number of Bay State homes put up for foreclosure auction nearly quadrupled last month as tough market conditions left financially strapped homeowners unable to refinance or sell."

“There’s just not much people (in financial jams) can do these days,” said Tim Warren of market tracker The Warren Group, which yesterday reported banks advertised 1,712 foreclosure auctions in April.

"He conceded that lenders stopped writing the riskiest mortgages a few months back after the subprime market collapsed. "

"But Warren said many 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages taken out during the 2002-2005 refinancing boom will face their first “rate resets” in the next year or so. "

"If borrowers can’t afford the resulting higher interest rates, “we may be facing continued difficulties,” the expert said."

News events from the Warren Group can be found here.


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“Nobody forced them to sign a loan they couldn't afford in the first place.”

Orange County, CA
A poll taken by ocregister's Lansner on Real Estate blog : "No government aid for foreclosures, poll says" the results from 870 votes cast online.

"9.2 percent: Yes"
"90.8 percent: No"

A sample of the comments below:

"Nobody forced them to sign a loan they couldn't afford in the first place."

"What the government should have done though, is controlled the lending standards over the past years."

"Either clean and flush the system of this irresponsible mess now and start over with more responsible standards, or just let everyone drift in a slow bleed downward in a deflationary spiral."

"If they really wanted to address this problem: (1) Make negative amortization loans illegal. (2) Make pre-payment penalties illegal. (3) Make lying on a loan application a felony."

The writer also states the poll is an "unscientific sample of public sentiment ", 90.8 % is enough science for me.

The original article can be read here.


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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

14,029 REO Offered For Sale on Countrywide Financial's Website

Total REO Asking Price: $2,595,030,003
(As of June 16, 2008)


Source: http://www.countrywide.com/purchase/f_reo.asp

Click on state below for detailed listings
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State Count Total Asking
Price($)
Average Asking
Price($)
AK061,339,400223,233
AL13314,887,600111,937
AR272,591,40095,978
AZ678137,286,887202,488
CA3,524902,656,367256,145
CO24244,070,932182,111
CT14426,270,523182,434
DC247,042,600293,442
DE223,642,799165,582
FL1,604304,264,164189,691
GA67984,211,118124,022
HI228,249,900374,995
IA414,326,438105,523
ID4011,871,034296,776
IL52578,627,287149,766
IN26817,342,95364,713
KS455,080,500112,900
KY908,307,79792,309
LA302,501,00083,367
MA28146,659,089166,047
MD25571,423,299280,091
ME121,256,800104,733
MI1,09492,393,31784,455
MN48272,186,813149,765
MO22020,570,21693,501
MS808,272,803103,410
MT071,554,300222,043
NC12424,807,348200,059
ND03314,700104,900
NE182,407,800133,767
NH7012,774,398182,491
NJ17142,431,849248,139
NM182,386,300132,572
NV546124,162,900227,405
NY14334,386,098240,462
OH42325,874,38061,169
OK302,616,20087,207
OR7216,600,800230,567
PA12413,772,686111,070
RI8314,218,800171,311
SC727,690,399106,811
SD07652,40093,200
TN21120,276,33496,096
TX46364,806,898139,972
UT3513,583,100388,089
VA628153,753,467244,830
WA8623,835,700277,159
WI838,304,810100,058
WV406,032,700150,818
WY04452,600113,150
Total14,0292,595,030,003167,055









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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

12,287 Homes Offered For Sale on Countrywide Financial's Website

Total REO Asking Price: $2,186,243,046
(As of June 5, 2008)



Source: http://www.countrywide.com/purchase/f_reo.asp


Click on state below for detailed listings
.
State Count Total Asking
Price($)
Average Asking
Price($)
AK041,042,600260,650
AL13012,718,50097,835
AR231,906,80082,904
AZ33375,349,487226,275
CA3,240826,742,646255,167
CO23240,988,855176,676
CT13824,607,023178,312
DC256,880,425275,217
DE172,392,300140,724
FL1,378247,602,116179,682
GA63972,336,520113,203
HI186,289,300349,406
IA313,406,183109,877
ID348,752,512257,427
IL52372,570,045138,757
IN24514,391,39958,740
KS413,643,00088,854
KY796,968,45488,208
LA332,824,70085,597
MA28848,731,210169,206
MD23665,723,846278,491
ME121,319,900109,992
MI1,02778,594,26976,528
MN41959,473,887141,942
MO18715,834,06184,674
MS786,841,30387,709
MT061,119,400186,567
NC11720,222,098172,838
ND02159,80079,900
NE212,217,900105,614
NH6411,503,900179,748
NJ13630,902,967227,228
NM182,312,200128,456
NV24956,672,892227,602
NY13530,012,197222,313
OH39222,718,07657,954
OK332,707,50082,045
OR6915,723,192227,872
PA10810,481,46397,051
RI7812,056,400154,569
SC656,095,59993,778
SD06610,500101,750
TN19217,226,78889,723
TX40557,308,406141,502
UT3010,673,600355,787
VA562134,888,577240,015
WA7119,441,800273,828
WI747,099,05095,933
WV405,760,800144,020
WY04396,60099,150
Total12,2872,186,243,046157,946










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