Archives for September 2009

Pilot Program Could Help Home Foreclosures

By Mike Colpitts The federal government response has been painstakingly slow to the foreclosure epidemic. But one city councilman is proposing a pilot program that could give mortgage holders of distressed homes a chance to stay in their residences amid the worst economic downturn in a generation. The program, already approved by the Los Angeles City Council, would use up to $1-million in Community Redevelopment Funds to provide loans of up … [Read more...]

Appraisal Reforms Sought

By Kevin Chiu Already under attack for inaccurate and sometimes fraudulent appraisals, a coalition of real estate industry related organizations is banding together to reform appraisal practices in an effort to fix part of the system that triggered the worst real estate crash since the Great Depression. Appraisers have been named as defendants in a series of lawsuits brought by homeowners at the peak of the real estate … [Read more...]

Nationalized Lending May be Permanent

Nearly 9 out of 10 home mortgages are now being sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government sponsored enterprises taken over by the federal government at the peak of the financial crisis and backed by taxpayer money. The government supported program has strongly nationalized mortgage lending and put the housing market on life-support. As foreclosures climb to new record levels on almost a monthly basis, despite increasing home sales in … [Read more...]

Housing Shows Stabilization

By Mike Colpitts More than four years after beginning its downturn, many housing markets are stabilizing. Stabilization is key and the first step in the recovery process as markets settle from the worst housing crash since the Great Depression. The long-running housing depression is far from over, but there are more indications that stabilization is developing on a wide scale nationally than at any other time since the downturn … [Read more...]

Foreclosures Maintain Record Rate

Foreclosure filings fell less than one percent in August from the record high foreclosure rate in July, according to the monthly RealtyTrac foreclosure report. Some 358,471 properties had filings, keeping activity 18% above a year ago. One in every 357 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing during the month. After hitting a high for the year in July, bank owned properties dropped 13% indicating a slowdown in the foreclosure process by … [Read more...]

Revolt May Start in California

By Kevin Chiu The first major move to pressure bankers to modify home mortgages may be developing in California. The action, planned for a vote next week, could be the most significant move yet to force bankers to take responsibility for millions of bad mortgages they issued to homeowners. The movement could signal a revolt against bankers started in California, where so many other actions are born. Option Arm Adjustable Rate mortgages … [Read more...]

House Poor Growing

By Mike Colipitts Fewer people are going to the movies. Fewer yet are buying goods in stores. Major grocery chains are seeing a rise in what were second rate brand food products selling at a discount. The savings rate has risen and may hit a new high. America is on a budget squeeze, and a growing number of homeowners are suffering from being house poor. Hundreds of thousands of older people who had already retired are being forced to take … [Read more...]

Pop Goes the Housing Market

By John Hines Economist Bankers won't tell you, but bankers are almost always motivated home sellers. They don't become bankers to be landlords. The U.S. mortgage market is worth $10-billion in profits each year, and the people who peddle money like a pharmacist dispenses pills can make a lot more money making loans. The direction bankers and mortgage companies are taking these days is a study in contrasts as bankers wait on the sidelines … [Read more...]