Saturday, June 30, 2007

13,304 Homes Offered For Sale on Countrywide Financial's Website

Total REO Asking Price: $2,395,057,581
(As of June 29, 2008)


Click on state below for detailed listings
State Count Total Asking
Average Asking

View more charts

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

LSR: U.S. Faces Severe Credit Crunch

The Telegraph Reports: “The United States faces a severe credit crunch as mounting losses on risky forms of debt catch up with the banks and force them to curb lending and call in existing loans, according to a report by Lombard Street Research.”

“The group said the fast-moving crisis at two Bear Stearns hedge funds had exposed the underlying rot in the US sub-prime mortgage market, and the vast nexus of collateralised debt obligations known as CDOs.”

“‘Excess liquidity in the global system will be slashed,’ it said. ‘Banks’ capital is about to be decimated, which will require calling in a swathe of loans. This is going to aggravate the US hard landing.”

“Charles Dumas, the group's global strategist, said the failed auction of assets seized from one of the Bear Stearns funds by Merrill Lynch had revealed the dark secret of the CDO debt market. The sale had to be called off after buyers took just $200m of the $850m mix.”

“Lombard Street said the Bear Stearns fiasco was the tip of the iceberg. The greatest risk lies in the ‘toxic tranches’ of lower grade securities held by the banks.”

“The worst of the US property crisis has yet to hit since there is an overhang of $2,000bn of mortgages with adjustable rates which have yet to be reset. Many borrowers could see payments jump by half, or even double.”

“At the same time, a spike in 10-year US bond yields by 0.65 percentage points over the last six weeks has drastically repriced the cost of fixed mortgages, knocking away a key prop for the US housing market.” read more >>

About LSR

Lombard Street Research was founded in 1989 by Tim Congdon CBE and quickly established its reputation as a leading provider of independent macroeconomic research. "Our consistent aim has been to provide accurate economic forecasts in order to improve the investment thinking and strategic decisions of financial institutions, banks and corporations worldwide."


Monday, June 25, 2007

BIS: Years of loose monetary policy has fueled a dangerous credit bubble

A report from the Telegraph. “The Bank for International Settlements, the world's most prestigious financial body, has warned that years of loose monetary policy has fueled a dangerous credit bubble, leaving the global economy more vulnerable to another 1930s-style slump than generally understood.”

“Virtually nobody foresaw the Great Depression of the 1930s, or the crises which affected Japan and Southeast Asia in the early and late 1990s. In fact, each downturn was preceded by a period of non-inflationary growth exuberant enough to lead many commentators to suggest that a 'new era' had arrived", said the bank.”

“In a thinly-veiled rebuke to the US Federal Reserve, the BIS said central banks were starting to doubt the wisdom of letting asset bubbles build up on the assumption that they could safely be cleaned up’ afterwards - which was more or less the strategy pursued by former Fed chief Alan Greenspan after the dotcom bust.”

“It said this approach had failed in the US in 1930 and in Japan in 1991 because excess debt and investment build up in the boom years had suffocating effects.”

The bank said it was far from clear whether the US would be able to shrug off the consequences of its latest imbalances, citing a current account deficit running at 6.5pc of GDP, a rise in US external liabilities by over $4 trillion from 2001 to 2005, and an unprecedented drop in the savings rate. ‘The dollar clearly remains vulnerable to a sudden loss of private sector confidence,’ it said.” read article >>

From Bloomberg: “Other risks facing banks include the potential for a ‘weakening in household spending,’ the report said. The possibility of a slump in real estate markets remains ‘a significant risk to financial stability,’ while the growth in securitization has spread ‘direct and indirect’ risk across the financial system, the BIS said.”

“‘Who now holds these risks, and can they manage them adequately?’ the report asked. ‘The honest answer is that we do not know.’”

“‘Hedge funds might be most exposed, since many have tended to specialize in purchases of the riskiest sorts of these instruments,’ the report said.”

“The BIS said it was unclear whether the collapse in U.S. subprime mortgages would spill over into other markets. Investors are increasingly concerned about how the decline will affect the values of collateralized debt obligations, securities that package other debt such as subprime loans, the bank said.”

“‘Exactly where in the CDO market the risks posed by subprime and Alt-A mortgages are concentrated is difficult to measure,’ the bank said...” read article >>

About BIS

The Bank for International Settlements (or BIS) is an international organization of central banks which exists to foster cooperation among central banks and other agencies in pursuit of monetary and financial stability. It carries out its work through subcommittees, the secretariats it hosts, and through its annual General Meeting of all members. The BIS also provides banking services, but only to central banks, or to international organizations like itself. Based in Basel, Switzerland, the BIS was established by the Hague agreement of 1930

BIS 77th Annual Report (24 June 2007)


Saturday, June 23, 2007

240+ Homes Up For Auction In Northern California

From News 10. “More than 240 homes repossessed by the lenders in the Central Valley and Bay Area will be sold in a three-day auction beginning Saturday in Sacramento.”

“At first glance, the foreclosure auction appears to be a bargain hunter’s dream. In some cases, the opening bid starts at well under half the price of the property’s recent market value.”

“For example, the starting bid for a one-year-old home at 10216 Shoech Way in Elk Grove is $279,000. Property records show the house sold new last year for $620,000.”

“Foreclosure specialist Alexis McGee says…the buyer must be careful. The excitement and competition at the event can drive the price beyond the fair market value, she said.”

“‘Create a maximum bid sheet for every property,’ McGee advises. ‘Walk when it goes over your top price. Do not get personally connected to any house. There is no reason to get caught up in a bidding frenzy.’”

“Buyers need a $5,000 cashier’s check to register, and properties can be financed with as little as 5 percent down. But some of the homes in poorer condition require a 30 percent down payment.” read more >>

From Ben's Blog: At What Point Will It Be Worth Looking At An Auction? for some great comments and opinions. There is also a video from channel 13 covering this story.

If you are considering buying a house at an auction, be sure to see this YouTube video on How Not To Bid.

REDC sold more than 265 properties in San Diego, Los Angeles and Riverside during two weekends in May, and is planning to hold another auction in Atlanta on July 7.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Credit cards of higher importance over mortgages to subprime borrowers

Experian Subprime Lending Study Shows Consumers Are More Likely to Pay Bankcard Debt Before Mortgage Debt

“According to the latest Experian study on the subprime lending market, subprime consumers -- those with an Experian credit score of 620 or lower -- are more likely to be 30 days or more late on their mortgage payments than on their unsecured bankcard obligations. As consumers have historically paid mortgage debt over bankcard debt, this finding represents a significant departure from conventional behavior.”

From Businessweek: “The significance? One explanation could be that many recent subprime homebuyers simply aren't that worried about losing their homes because they don't have much to lose. Most put down small or zero down payments. If prices have fallen since they bought, they may actually owe more than the house is worth, making it an easy choice to walk away.’”

“At the same time, keeping access to their credit cards has become more important than ever, says Stan Oliai, vice-president of decision sciences for Experian Decision Analytics. ‘People are using credit cards for everyday items like gasoline and groceries, and to tide themselves over from paycheck to paycheck,’ says Oliai.”

“According to Experian's research, prime borrowers have exhibited more conventional behavior than subprime ones, perhaps because they have more to lose from a home foreclosure and aren't quite as reliant on credit cards to get them through the month. Experian's study shows that they remain less likely to be late on their mortgages than on their credit cards.”

“Many subprime mortgage borrowers ‘don't have much skin in the game," says Douglas Duncan, chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Assn. Subprime loans that originated in 2004 and 2005—which account for a big share of those now entering delinquency—involved extremely small down payments, Duncan says. ‘Some people said, 'Let's roll the dice and see if we can get a house. And if it doesn't stick, we've still got to have the credit card to keep going and we've got to have the car to get to work.’” read more >>

About Experian
Experian(R) is a global leader in providing analytical and information services to organizations and consumers to help manage the risk and reward of commercial and financial decisions.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

‘Substantial Discounts’ at Condo Auction—St. Petersburg, FL

Fifty condos went up for auction this Saturday in St. Petersburg, Florida. Twenty were offered at absolute price (sold to highest bidder regardless of price). Out of the fifty that were being offered, twenty sold, and at 'substantial discounts'.

Tampa Bay Business Journal. “The Enclave at Sabal Point sold at least $1.7 million worth of inventory during the two-hour auction June 16 that attracted 39 registered bidders, some from as far away as Arizona and Canada.”

The converted apartments, which included one- to three-bedroom units in five floor plans, sold for an average of $86,000 each. Their previous asking prices ranged between $95,000 and $190,000.”

“‘Most of the units were occupied so we had a number of investors seeking to buy them as income properties,’ Craig King, president of J.P. King Auction Co., stated in a release. A few Enclave residents bought their own units, he said.” read more >>

From J.P. King Auction Co.

“‘This was a good turnout in a market where condominium sales have been slow at all levels. Because these were entry-level condominiums, our target market was very different than it would be for new or renovated units. We succeeded in reducing the seller’s inventory by 20 units, and the auction marketing program has also led to negotiations that could lead to sales of quite a few more units in the very near future,’ said Craig King, president of J.P. King.”

“‘Most of the units were occupied, so we had a number of investors seeking to buy them as income properties. But we also had some individuals buying units for their own personal use,’ said King.”

Have these 'investors seeking income properties' read the latest post titled A Renter’s Paradise In Florida from Ben's Blog?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Developer to auction off 40 condos on Sunday—Jersey City

The Jersey Journal. “Traditionally, when developers have problems selling the last of their units and run out of rabbits to pull out of their hats, they turn to an auction to unload the properties quickly.”

“But now one Hoboken-based developer, Erik Kaiser, of REMI Companies, is flipping the script by holding an auction on the front end of sales, on June 24, at the Hyatt Regency in Jersey City, where he hopes to unload 40 units within several hours.”

“Is it a sign of a slump?”

“Are the units a tough sell in the one area of Hoboken that has yet to be touched by the real estate boom?”

The answer appears to be no to both questions.

“The project was met with "unexpected" delays that brought construction to a screeching halt for months, forcing the developer to rip up a number of pre-construction contracts and bringing pressure from the project's financier.”

“‘We wanted to have one year worth of marketing efforts wrapped up in one day,’ said Kaiser, adding that he expects to sell all 40 units at the auction.” read more >>

Auction Information:
The condos are open for inspection at 600 Jackson St., Hoboken.
The auction will be held at 1 p.m. next Sunday at the Hyatt Regency, 2 Exchange Place, Jersey City. Bidders must register before the auction and present a cashier's check or money order in the amount of $10,000, as part of the required 10 percent deposit.
For more information: 201-963-9010 or

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Take your pick...50 condos to be auctioned off this Saturday in St. Petersburg, FL

St. Petersburg, Florida

A report and video from Fox 13: “50 south St. Petersburg condos are on the block this Saturday, including 20 that will be sold at absolute auction.”

“‘It sells regardless of price,’ says J.P. King Auction Company spokesman Carl Carter.”

“‘No minimum bid, no reserve. The high bidder gets it,’ he said.”

“The number of condos for sale in Pinellas County has mushroomed from 1,450 in May of 2005 to more than 9,000 units last month. But prices are dropping: The average condo price was $200,000 in January and was $170,000 last month.”

From Auctioneer J.P. King:

Enclave at Sabal Pointe Condominiums

50 garden-style condominiums -- 20 selling absolute!

Take your pick of these 50 garden-style condominiums and buy one at your price. These units come in five different floor plans, but they all have a lot in common – the Enclave amenities, the beautiful courtyard, balconies/patios and more floor space than you’ll find in comparable condos.

• Clubhouse with flat-screen TV and bar
• Two pools
• Fitness center
• Playgrounds
• Picnic areas
• Lush tropical landscaping
• Pet-friendly

Ideally located, for work or play
• Only 15 minutes to downtown St. Petersburg offices via nearby Interstate 275
• Five minutes to St. Pete Beach, one of the nation’s most popular beaches, with Pinellas County’s longest undeveloped stretch of public beach
• 20 minutes to Tampa Airport

Any ideas on the possible outcome of this auction?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

RealtyTrac: Foreclosure filings in May—Up 90% percent


May foreclosure numbers from RealtyTrac: Nevada secures the No.1 spot at an unbelievably high percentage of foreclosure filings: One filing for every 166 households. Second place goes to Colorado: One filing for every 290 households. Third and fourth places go to California and Florida, who lead the nation by number of foreclosure filings (CA: 39,659 , FL: 21,704).

From Bloomberg: “U.S. foreclosure filings surged 90 percent in May from a year earlier as more homeowners fell behind on their monthly mortgage payments, RealtyTrac Inc. said.”

“There were 176,137 notices of default, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions last month, led by California, Florida and Ohio, the Irvine, California-based seller of foreclosure data said in a report today. The median price for a U.S. home slid 1.8 percent the first three months of 2007 as the housing slump entered its second year, according to the National Association of Realtors. The filings rose 19 percent from April.”

“A jump in foreclosures at a time of year that traditionally is the busiest for home sales means the slide in prices probably isn't over, said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. Typically, more than half of all home sales occur in the April to June period, according to Freddie Mac, the No. 2 mortgage buyer.”

“‘Such strong activity in the midst of the typical spring buying season could foreshadow even higher foreclosure levels later in the year,’ Saccacio said in the report. That will add ‘to the downward pressure on home prices in many areas.’”

Full article can be found here.

I'm amazed at how the National Association of Realtors managed to call a bottom in the housing market just a few short weeks ago, “...but according to Yun, foreclosures, ‘will be a rather minor impact in terms of sales and home pricing.’”

A related video from CNBC featuring First Trust Advisors Chief Economist Brian Wesbury calling bottom and Professor Nouriel Roubini in disagreement. “‘I think the worst is behind us,’ Wesbury said. However, chairman Nouriel Roubini thinks the worst is actually ahead of us.”


Monday, June 11, 2007

Townhouses sold at 50% discount in Fort Myers, FL. - local area homeowners outraged.

Fort Myers, Florida

Homebuilder Levitt and Sons auctioned off 50 townhouses in Fort Myers on Thursday night. Fisher Auction Co handled the red-hot bidding process selling homes at 50% less than what they sold for between 2003-2006. San Simeon-area homeowners who purchased similar townhouses at nearly double prices just a few years ago were outraged.

A report and video from Wink News: “The two and three bedroom townhouses in the San Simeon development, which is off of Winkler Avenue, were selling for prices we haven't seen in Southwest Florida in quite some time. And that was the whole point. Marketing reps with the developer, Levitt and Sons, say they're trying to quickly unload the fifty homes. Most of them were left over after people and investors backed out of deals when the housing market changed. Levitt and Son's Jama Shaw said, ‘This is our aggressive approach in moving onto our next phases and new floor plans.’”

“Greg Toher was outraged when he heard the prices some of the homes were going for. Walking out of the auction room, he told us, ‘$145,000! Unbelievable! We paid $300,000! They just got rid of at least four for $145,000!’ He says he closed on his three bedroom San Simeon townhome in December, ‘You've got to be kidding me, that's not fair.’”

“New buyers may be getting a steal, but current San Simeon homeowners, like Greg, tell WINK News they feel like they've been ripped off. Tara Gionpalo said, ‘I feel really mad, really sad, hurt.’”

“Victoria Toher said the developer went back on their word, ‘They promised us they were not going to go below market value.’ A Levitt and Sons representative told WINK News on Thursday night that the homes did go for fair market determined by the hundreds of bidders at the auction.”

Full article can be found here.


Saturday, June 9, 2007

7,017 Homes Offered For Sale on Bank of America (Countrywide) Website

Total REO Asking Price: $1,064,945,892
(As of June 9, 2009)


Click on state below for detailed listings
State Count Total Asking
Average Asking

View more charts


Friday, June 8, 2007

Ohio A.G. Cracking Down On Appraisal Inflation

The state of Ohio has filed suit against ten mortgage brokers and lenders for causing undue influence on appraisers.

From the Ohio Attorney General's Office: “Attorney General says appraisal inflation is the nasty truth of mortgage fraud

“The complaints state that these companies have committed unconscionable acts or practices in violation of the Consumer Sales Practices Act by knowingly compensating, instructing, inducing, coercing, or intimidating appraisers for the purpose of improperly influencing the independent process.”

This undue influence results in the consumer owing more money on their mortgage than their house is actually worth, which prevents the consumer from refinancing the house when their loan interest rate increases or mortgage rates drop. The homeowner is then trapped in a loan they cannot refinance and a house with a sale value less than the outstanding balance of the loan.”

“‘Predatory lending is driving Ohio’s shameful home foreclosure rate. Today’s crackdown on appraisal fraud will help protect consumers and move us one step closer to driving unscrupulous lenders out of our communities,’ said Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann.”

The Ohio Attorney General's Office Press release can be found here.


ACE MORTGAGE FUNDING, LLC - Cincinnati, Ohio (Suit filed in Hamilton county)

PREMIERE SERVICE MORTGAGE – West Chester, Ohio (Suit filed in Butler county)

ISLAND FINANCIAL, LLC – Twinsburg, Ohio (Suit filed in Franklin county)

SAGE CREDIT COMPANY, LLC – Irvine, California (Suit filed in Franklin county)

WALL STREET MORTGAGE BANKERS – East Rockaway, New York (Suit filed in
Franklin county)

ALL LINE APPRAISALS – Phoenix, Arizona (Suit filed in Franklin county)

APEX MORTGAGE SERVICES, LLC – Columbus, Ohio (Suit filed in Belmont county)

AMERICAN HOME BROKERAGE, CORP.- Garden Grove, California (Suit filed in
Franklin county)

filed in Belmont county)

FIRST OHIO BANC & LENDING, INC. – Independence, Ohio (Suit filed in Belmont

Update: Video available courtesy of Bubble News Network.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

CNBC asks, Wolves or Vultures?

CNBC, “The Foreclosure Boom”, and an interview with RealtyTrac about the “booming” foreclosure business. CNBC in good humor asks if those investing in real estate foreclosures are wolves or vultures.

“The big question is though, when does avid investing cross that line and preying on those who are down on their luck?”

“Realty track says they are only helping to get these homes sold and are helping the homeowners who would rather sell the house than see it go to the bank. But critics say it's nothing more than food for the vultures.”

Bruce Marks from Neighborhood Assistance Corp of America says: “It's a service to the investors ... the wolves... who are preying on home owners who want to keep their home and aren't even aware that this information is going on RealtyTrac or any of these websites.”

CNBC says, “The fact is that this information is public information-- and for investors out there--it's possibly a great way to a get a great deal.”

See video

I was under the impression that we are now faced with a foreclosure 'crisis' instead of a 'boom' and millions of people's lives are being affected --but I guess that's just me and the so-called critics. Anyways, if you see this as a boom and your wolf instinct tells you that great deals can be found”-- I suggest you first read these 10 reasons on why It's A Terrible Time To Buy before running out and looking for a “great deal”. OK?

Investing in foreclosures is a billion-dollar-a-year business. Even Donald Trump is making money by “educating” his students at Trump University on what he calls a real estate goldmine.

“The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America ("NACA") is a non-profit, community advocacy and homeownership organization. NACA’s primary goal is to build strong, healthy neighborhoods in urban and rural areas nationwide through affordable homeownership. NACA has made the dream of homeownership a reality for thousands of working people by counseling them honestly and effectively, enabling even those with poor credit to purchase a home or refinance a predatory loan with far better terms than those provided even in the prime market. ”


Monday, June 4, 2007

Group wants sheriff to stop foreclosure sales

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Activist community group ACORN held a rally at the Allegheny County Courthouse to raise awareness concerning the rising number of mortgage foreclosures.

The group asked Sheriff William Mullen to halt the monthly public sales of foreclosed properties for at least six months stating that predatory lending is to blame for the rising number foreclosures.

A report and video from KDKA Channel 2 : “According to the group, the number of foreclosures has more than quadrupled over the last decade with about 5,000 people losing their homes each year.”

“Foreclosures in Allegheny County are on pace to exceed 6,000 this year up from 2400 in the year 2000.”

“KDKA's Andy Sheehan confirmed that the FBI is investigating one local mortgage broker.”

“Now, a $25 million rescue bill has been proposed in the state legislature. ACORN is asking the sheriff to stop the foreclosure sales until that bill has passed.”

“‘Pennsylvania housing is working on a plan right now to help individuals in this circumstance,’ Lee told KDKA, ‘and we think that if there's a possibility of just holding off some of the mortgages, some people may be able to save their homes.’”

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.

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency is the Commonwealth's leading provider of capital for affordable homes and apartments. Created to help enhance the quality and supply of affordable homes and apartments for older adults, persons of modest means, and persons with disabilities, the Agency operates homeownership programs, rental housing development initiatives, and a foreclosure prevention effort.

Allegheny County Sheriff Sales are held on the first Monday of each month in the Gold Room on the 4th floor of the Allegheny County Courthouse, 436 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Saturday, June 2, 2007

Governor of Colorado Signs New Laws on Mortgage Fraud


“Joined by legislative sponsors, consumer-protection advocates and mortgage brokers, Gov. Bill Ritter today signed a tough new package of bills into law aimed at stemming Colorado’s rising tide of residential-property foreclosures and mortgage fraud.”

“‘Colorado has one of the highest foreclosure and mortgage-fraud rates in the country,’ Gov. Ritter said at Brothers Redevelopment Inc., which runs the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline through the state Division of Housing. ‘We’re on pace to log another 37,000 foreclosures this year, which was up about 30 percent from 2006, and that was up 30 percent from 2005. Those are just staggering numbers.’”

“‘But the good news is that these bills will help stem the tide by setting standards for mortgage brokers, by prohibiting predatory lending practices and by protecting consumers in Colorado.’”

Here is a summary of the foreclosure and mortgage-fraud bills.

* HB 1322 (Marshall/Groff), “Mortgage Fraud Prevention Act”
* SB 85 (Veiga/Massey), “Protect Consumer Real Estate Transactions”
* SB 203 (Groff/Marshall), “Mortgage Broker Licensing”
* SB 216 (Veiga/Marshall), “Mortgage Loan Acts Practices”
* SB 249 (Veiga/Rice), “Real Estate Title Escrow Settlement”

The full press release is available here.
There is also a video available from (CBS4) DENVER

According to RealtyTrac: Total Foreclosures Available Year-to-Date for Colorado: 44,473.

Brothers Redevelopment Inc: A local, non-profit housing redeveloper providing safe, affordable, accessible housing and housing services for the low-income, elderly and disabled of Colorado.

The Colorado Foreclosure Hotline connects borrowers with non-profit housing counselors who can provide information on a borrower’s options when facing foreclosure. Counselors can also act as facilitators for communication between lenders and borrowers.


Friday, June 1, 2007

Home foreclosures at the Jersey Shore—up 110%

Ocean City, New Jersey

CBS 3 Reports (and video ): “A cooling real estate market has lead to a tremendous amount of home foreclosures at the Jersey shore.”

“‘Every deal was a record breaker and then the market became saturated. Eventually it dropped and the door closed. Investors couldn’t sell homes for what they bought them for, so they were unable and had no intention of making mortgage payments,’ said Brasslett.”—CEO of Ivy League mortgage

“Mortgage brokers say homes of all shapes, sizes and prices are going into foreclosure. A brand new two-story home in Ocean City is up for foreclosure because more than half a million dollars was owed to the bank.”

“A unit at Flagship Condos in Ocean City went back to the bank Wednesday at a Cape May County sheriff’s sale. ‘The bank didn’t want to buy it back, but they have taken it back through foreclosure action,’ foreclosure specialist, Adam Palmisciano said.”

The full article can be found here.

The Jersey Shore area includes Cape May, Atlantic, Burlington, Ocean, and Monmouth counties. A site featuring slide shows of the Jersey Shore Boardwalks.


Mass. AG Cracking Down on Foreclosure Rescue Schemes

Boston, MA

The Boston Herald Reports: “Attorney General Martha Coakley today imposed emergency regulations to crack down on foreclosure rescue schemers who have been accused of cheating homeowners out of their properties.
The regulations, coming amid a surge of foreclosures across the state, would bar so-called rescuers from making profits on homeowners struggling to pay their sky-high mortgage payments.

The attorney general says she knows of no case in which a deed was returned after a successful bailout.

What are the different types of foreclosure schemes out there? Here's a video from KiroTV in Seattle in a recent article titled Hazards Of Foreclosure Rescues explaining the different types of scams to look out for.

From the National Consumer Law Center in Boston:
What is a Foreclosure “Rescue” Scam?

Phantom Help
Foreclosure rescue scams most often appear in one of three varieties. The first might be called “phantom help,” where the “rescuer” charges outrageous fees either for light-duty phone calls and paperwork the homeowner could have easily done or makes a promise of additional robust representation that never occurs. In either event the homeowner is usually left without enough assistance to save the home, and with little or no time left to prevent the loss of the home or seek other assistance.

False “Bailouts”
A second variety of the scam is the “bailout” that never quite works. This scenario includes various schemes under which the homeowner surrenders title to the house in the belief that she is entering a deal where she will be able to remain as a renter, then repurchase the home over the next few years. Homeowners are sometimes told that surrendering title is necessary so that someone with a better credit rating can secure new financing to prevent the loss of the home. Beware! The terms of these deals are almost invariably so bad that the buyback becomes impossible, the homeowner permanently loses possession, and the “rescuers” walk off with all or most of the home’s equity.

The third variety is a bait-and-switch where the homeowner does not realize she is surrendering ownership of the house in exchange for a “rescue.” Many homeowners later insist that they believed they were only signing documents for a new loan to make the mortgage

Update: There is also a video available from channel 5 on this news event.


What's the first thing you learn in Economics 101?

Antoine Augustin Cournot


Web Traffic data provided by



A reader from Calculated Risk commented on testing Alexa's web traffic statistics for I included in the mix, plotted the recent Existing-Home Sales Data provided by the National Association of Realtors and included a chart from S&P/Case-Shiller (HPI) for a simple,—yet interesting comparison.