Jun 20

Don’t miss:

- Worldwide Financial Criminal Network Revealed Part1 (Veterans Today, June 15, 2014):

(MDC-NYSE) Denver Headquarters of Organized Crime. Illegal Mortgage Backed Securities $100 Trillion, Bank Bailouts, Derivatives $5,000 Trillion and the theft of 12 million American’s Homes through illegal foreclosures.
Denver’s Organized Crime Boss Hogs Leonard Millman and Larry Mizel who run MDC a Financial Conglomerate of Organized Crime who are the Bankers behind the Illegal Mortgage Backed Securities Frauds that lead to the 2008 Bank Bailout which was set up by their partner in crime U.S. President George W Bush to loot the U.S. Treasury and hide their crimes. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his Law partner Lanny Breuer maintained the cover up without any prosecutions of these horrendous crimes. Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer head of the Justice Department’s criminal division were partners for years at a Washington law firm that represented a Who’s Who of big banks and other companies at the center of foreclosure fraud. Breuer resigned last year from the Justice Department after a series on the Bank Frauds done by PBS Frontline.com.

Hillary Clinton laundered over $2.5 Billion of Narcotics Money from the Iran Contra Drugs for Guns run out of Mena, Arkansas to MDC’s cutout M&L Business Machines Company while her husband Bill Clinton was Governor of Arkansas. Hillary Clinton and her Rose Law firm had created Foreign Trusts for Bush, Millman and Mizel that Norman Brownstein is now the Trustee in order to avoid U.S. Taxes and to hide the true identity of who is behind these trusts. Brownstein is one of six of the CIA Council to then CIA Director George HW Bush. Bush-Millman-Clinton Zionist Organized Crime Family Flow Chart (1) Leonard Millman, Larry Mizel and Norman Brownstein control AIPAC the American Israeli PAC, the ADL Anti Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Both Mizel and Browstein are Directors of AIPAC and The Simon Wiesenthal Center. Leonard Millman’s other partner in crime Convicted HUD figure Philip Winn and a major player in the fake Mortgage Backed Securities and former Director of MDC is a Director of the ADL.

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Apr 30

- A mortuary of 7,000,000 foreclosures and counting: Nation still faces 9.1 million properties that are seriously underwater. (Dr. Housing Bubble, April 20, 2014):

If a foreclosure happens in the wilderness, does it make a sound? It seems like people have conveniently forgotten that since the housing crisis hit we have witnessed more than 7,000,000+ foreclosures. Do you think these people believe the Fed is almighty and can stop a speeding train or turn water into wine? Apparently some people forget that the Fed failed to prevent the tech bust or the housing bust in the first place. Now, the Fed is somehow the cult leader and the leader will not let housing values fall. The nation still has 9.1 million seriously underwater homeowners on top of the more than 7 million that have gone through foreclosure. It is abundantly clear that the mindless drivel of “buying is always a good decision” is just that. Investors are starting to pull back in expensive states because value is harder to find. I see the lemmings at open houses and you can see the drool at the side of their mouths hoping for a morsel of real estate. The Fed, for better or worse, has turned us all into speculators. Simply putting your money in a bank is a losing battle because inflation is eroding your buying power. Yet wages are not keeping up. What you have is people competing with investors, foreign money, and a market with low inventory and trying to guess the next move from the Fed. Yet the tech bust and housing crash (keep in mind these happened only since 2000) were major events not prevented by the Fed. Continue reading »

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Mar 15

- California Governor Sued Over Foreclosure Fund Diversion (Bloomberg, March 14, 2014):

California Governor Jerry Brown was sued by nonprofit groups claiming he raided most of a $369 million special fund for distressed homeowners to pay the state’s general expenses.

Brown diverted the money over objections by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a fellow Democrat, after she had secured the fund for homeowners from a $25 billion national settlement with major banks in 2012 over mortgage-servicing practices, according to a complaint filed today in state court in Sacramento.

Continue reading »

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Feb 15

- “Foreclosure Rebound Pattern”: Foreclosure Starts SUDDENLY Jump 57% in California (And Soar In Much Of The Country) (Testosterone Pit, Feb 14, 2014):

From Federal-Reserve-fueled bubble to debilitating return to reality – reality being a financial calamity – to Federal-Reserve-hyper-fueled bubble: that’s the US housing market over the last ten years. There are many places around the country, including some cities in Silicon Valley, where home values are now higher than they were at the peak of the last bubble. Of course, no one at the Fed or in government calls it “bubble.” They’re talking about the housing “recovery.”

Continue reading »

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Dec 08

- Luxury Home Foreclosures Soar – Up 61% Versus Last Year (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Dec 8, 2013):

I’ve always wondered what would happen once private equity players decided enough was enough and foreign oligarchs finished their real estate money laundering transactions. Well, we might be about to find out.

According to RealtyTrac, foreclosures for homes worth $5 million or more are up 61% this year despite the fact that overall foreclosures are down 23%. The question is, does this merely represent holdouts from the prior housing bubble, or is it a sign of things to come? Only time will tell.

From CBS:

Foreclosures in the ultra-high-end housing market — homes worth $5 million or more — have skyrocketed 61 percent over last year.

Continue reading »

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Dec 08

- The 1% Also Don’t Pay Their Bills: 10 Ultra Luxury Properties In Foreclosure (ZeroHedge, Dec 8, 2013)

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Oct 25

- Half of nation’s foreclosed homes still occupied (CNNMoney, Oct 24, 2013):

Foreclosure sounds like the end of the line, but actual eviction can take months or years — even after the bank has repossessed a home.

RealtyTrac estimates that 47% of the nation’s foreclosed homes are currently occupied. The percentage actually tops 60% in some hot housing markets, like Miami and Los Angeles.

Those still living in repossessed homes include both former owners and renters. Either way, their time in the homes is mortgage and rent free.

Continue reading »

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Jun 16

- Bank of America Lied to Homeowners and Rewarded Foreclosures, Former Employees Say (ProPublica, June 14, 2013):

Bank of America employees regularly lied to homeowners seeking loan modifications, denied their applications for made-up reasons, and were rewarded for sending homeowners to foreclosure, according to sworn statements by former bank employees.

The employee statements were filed late last week in federal court in Boston as part of a multi-state class action suit brought on behalf of homeowners who sought to avoid foreclosure through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) but say they had their cases botched by Bank of America.

In a statement, a Bank of America spokesman said that each of the former employees’ statements is “rife with factual inaccuracies” and that the bank will respond more fully in court next month. He said that Bank of America had modified more loans than any other bank and continues to “demonstrate our commitment to assisting customers who are at risk of foreclosure.”

Six of the former employees worked for the bank, while one worked for a contractor. They range from former managers to front-line employees, and all dealt with homeowners seeking to avoid foreclosure through the government’s program.

Continue reading »

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May 29

What can you say?


- Homes See Biggest Price Gain in Years, Propelling Stocks (New York Times, May 28, 2013):

Americans are in a buying mood, thanks largely to the housing recovery.

The latest sign emerged Tuesday as the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index posted the biggest gains in seven years. Housing prices rose in every one of the 20 cities tracked, continuing a trend that began three months ago. Similar strength has appeared in new and existing home sales and in building permits, as rising home prices are encouraging construction firms to accelerate building and hiring.

The broad-based housing improvements appear to be buoying consumer confidence and spending, countering fears earlier this year that many consumers would pull back in response to government austerity measures.

- Keeping The ‘Recovery’ Dream Alive; 3 Big Banks Halt Foreclosures In May (ZeroHedge, May 28, 2013):

What is the only thing better than Foreclosure Stuffing to provide an artificial supply-side subsidy to the housing market? How about completely clogging the foreclosure pipeline, by halting all foreclosure sales, which is just what the three TBTF megabanks: Wells Fargo, JPMorgan and Citi have done in recent weeks. Under the guise of ‘ensuring late-stage foreclosure procedures were in accordance with guidelines’, the LA Times reports that these three banks paused sales on May 6th and all but halted foreclosures. Perfectly organic housing recovery – as we noted earlier… and guess what states the greatest number of ‘halts’ are in from these banks – California, Nevada, Arizona – exactly where the surges in price have occurred.

Via The LA Times,

Sales of homes in foreclosure by Wells Fargo & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. ground nearly to a halt after regulators revised their orders on treatment of troubled borrowers during the 60 days before they lose their homes. Continue reading »

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Feb 14

- “Boomerang Foreclosures” Are Back As Bernanke’s Second Housing Bubble Begins To Pop (ZeroHedge, Feb 14, 2013)

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Feb 14

- Home Prices Are Back… To 1894′s Levels (ZeroHedge, Feb 14, 2013):

Six years after the onset of the traumatic US housing crisis, the optics are there that suggest a stabilization is occurring. Whether real or manufactured by record-low foreclosures, bank supply withdrawals, and fed-subsidized cash REO-to-rent trades, the sad truth is that jobs (and the GDP-enhancing multiplier effect that they create) are just not coming. Even Bob Shiller prefers the potential for 4% gains in stocks over housing risk in the medium-term as he points out that – inflation-adjusted – house prices are back at levels first seen in 1894… now that is a long-term investor.

Source: Goldman Sachs

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Feb 08

- Fraudclosure Fail | ROMAN PINO vs THE BANK OF NEW YORK – Florida Supreme Court: We Can’t Stop the Fraud (ZeroHedge, Feb 7, 2013)

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Jan 07

- 10 banks agree to pay $8.5B for foreclosure abuse (AP, Jan 7, 2013):

WASHINGTON — Ten major banks agreed Monday to pay $8.5 billion to settle federal complaints that they wrongfully foreclosed on homeowners who should have been allowed to stay in their homes.

The banks, which include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, will pay billions to homeowners to end a review process of foreclosure files that was required under a 2011 enforcement action. The review was ordered because banks mishandled people’s paperwork and skipped required steps in the foreclosure process.

The settlement was announced jointly by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve.

Separately, Bank of America agreed Monday to pay $11.6 billion to government-backed mortgage financier Fannie Mae to settle claims related to mortgages that soured during the housing crash.

Continue reading »

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Dec 31

- Payback time: Florida homeowners foreclosing on banks (CNNMoney, Dec 26, 2012):

NEW YORK – Since the housing bubble burst in Florida five years ago, more than 400,000 borrowers have had their homes foreclosed on by their lenders. But for some, it’s payback time.

Hundreds of homeowners and condo associations are foreclosing on banks that have failed to pay dues and other expenses on the properties they’ve repossessed.

When banks foreclose on a home they become responsible for paying fees to the homeowners association — both any unpaid fees going back as far as 12 months and all expenses going forward.

In many cases, however, banks are failing to pay, leaving these associations short on cash, according to Miami-based attorney Ben Solomon.

But now, homeowners groups are putting liens on the properties until banks pay up and foreclosing on them if they don’t.

So far, Solomon’s firm has filed more than 1,100 liens against banks on behalf of homeowners and has pursued 131 foreclosures. In more than 90% of the cases, he said, the banks settle by paying the bills. Continue reading »

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Aug 17

- The Truth About How The Fed Has Destroyed The Housing Market (ZeroHedge, Aug 16, 2012):

When observing the trends in the housing market, one has two choices: i) listen to the bulls who keep repeating that “housing has bottomed”, a false mantra which has been repeated every single year for the past four, or ii) look at the facts. We touched briefly on the facts earlier today when we presented the latest housing starts data:construction of single family residences remains 46 percent below the long-term trend; the more volatile multifamily houses is 15 percent below trend and demand for new homes 47 percent below. This is indicative of reluctance by households to make long-term investments due to fear of another downturn in housing prices. Bloomberg summarizes this succinctly: “This historically weak demand for new homes is inhibiting the recovery of demand for construction workers as well, about 2.3 million of whom remain without work.” But the best visual representation of the housing “non-bottom” comes courtesy of the following chart of homes in negative or near-negative equity, which via Bloomberg Brief, is soared in Q4, and is now back to Q1 2010 level at over 13.5 million. What this means is that the foreclosure backlog and the shadow inventory of houses on the market could be as large as 13.5 million in the future, which translates into one simple word: supply.

Here is Bloomberg’s Joseph Brusuelas on this topic:

Approximately 13.5 million households hold negative or near-negative equity positions on their mortgages. Many of them will likely lose  those homes to foreclosures, which are again on the rise. At best, an increase in foreclosures will constrain a recovery in prices; at worst, a flood of inventory to market will put further downward pressure on prices.

In other words it is Bloomberg, not us, coming up with the perfectly logical idea that a number as large as the total number of underwater mortgages may and will end up on the market as foreclosures, which in turn will clog up the market clearance piping for years, if not decades to come.

Continue reading »

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Jun 14

- Foreclosures up for first time in 27 months (Reuters, Jun 14, 2012):

Foreclosure starts rose year-over-year in May for the first time in more than two years as banks resumed dealing with distressed properties after a mortgage abuse settlement earlier this year, data firm RealtyTrac said on Thursday.

The $25 billion settlement between major banks and states, formally approved in April, had been expected to jump-start foreclosure proceedings that were previously stalled by uncertainty about the liability of banks.

Overall foreclosure activity, which includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, affected 205,990 properties in May, a 9.1 percent increase from April.

Continue reading »

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Jun 01

See also:

- Collapse: 100 Million Americans Don’t Have A Job!


- Foreclosures made up 26% of U.S. home sales in first quarter (CNNMoney, May 31, 2012):

NEW YORK — Homes in some stage of foreclosure accounted for more than one in four home sales during the first three months of the year, according to a report released Thursday.

Distressed properties that were either in default, scheduled for auction or bank-owned accounted for 26% of all residential sales during the first quarter, up from 22% in the previous quarter and 25% a year earlier, RealtyTrac said.

Altogether, 233,299 distressed properties were purchased during the quarter, an 8% increase from the previous quarter. Those homes sold for an average of $161,214, 27% below the average price of a home not in foreclosure.

Continue reading »

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Mar 06

- Couple Lives In $1.3 Million, 4,900 Square Foot Home For Five Years Without Making A Single Mortgage Payment (ZeroHedge, Mar 6, 2012):

Wonder how Americans can afford to buy millions of iGadgets, a second LCD TV for the shoe closet, and eat at restaurants more than almost any time in the past despite sliding personal income? Simple – increasingly fewer pay the biggest staple bill in a US household: their mortgage. The following story of Keith And Janet Ritter, who have lived in their Fort Washington, MD $1.29MM, 4,900 square foot McMansion for 5 years (which they purchase with no money down) without ever making a single mortgage payment, and who are not even close to being evicted, may explain much about the way US society currently operates, and why other perfectly responsible and hard-working taxpayers (who do have to pay for their mortgage) continue to fund tens of billions in Fannie and Freddie losses who are first on the hook to absorb the implicit losses by allowing families such as the Ritters to live in perpetuity without paying, and the banks to keep said mortgage on the books at par without any impairments.

The Washington Post has more on this absolute horror story of a case study of just how busted the USSA has become:

The eviction from their million-dollar home could come at any moment. Keith and Janet Ritter have been bracing for it — and battling against it — almost from the moment they moved into the five-bedroom, 4,900-square-foot manse along the Potomac River in Fort Washington.

In five years, they have never made a mortgage payment, a fact that amazes even the most seasoned veterans of the foreclosure crisis.

Continue reading »

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Oct 28

Flashback.



YouTube Added: 08.06.2011

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Oct 16

Don’t miss:

- The Cure For The Housing Market: Alan Greenspan: ‘Buying The Homes And Destroying Them Or Burning Them Was The Low Cost Option’


Gallery

- Banks turn to demolition of foreclosed properties to ease housing-market pressures (Washington Post, Oct. 13, 2011):

Cleveland — The sight of excavators tearing down vacant buildings has become common in this foreclosure-ravaged city, where the housing crisis hit early and hard. But the story behind the recent wave of demolitions is novel — and cities around the country are taking notice.

A handful of the nation’s largest banks have begun giving away scores of properties that are abandoned or otherwise at risk of languishing indefinitely and further dragging down already depressed neighborhoods.

The banks have even been footing the bill for the demolitions — as much as $7,500 a pop. Four years into the housing crisis, the ongoing expense of upkeep and taxes, along with costly code violations and the price of marketing the properties, has saddled banks with a heavy burden. It often has become cheaper to knock down decaying homes no one wants.

The demolitions in some cases have paved the way for community gardens, church additions and parking lots. Even when the result is an empty lot, it can be one less pockmark. While some widespread demolitions could risk hollowing out the urban core of struggling cities such as Cleveland, advocates say that the homes being targeted are already unsalvageable and that the bulldozers are merely “burying the dead.”

Continue reading »

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Oct 08

- Could they have stopped the credit crunch? Fannie Mae knew about dodgy mortgages in 2003, says report (Daily Mail, Oct. 4, 2011):

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae knew about allegations of improper foreclosure practices by law firms as early as 2003 but did not act to stop them, a government watchdog has said.

But it wasn’t until mid-2010 before the company’s overseer began to scrutinise the conduct of some of the law firms when news reports emerged of dubious practices, a report revealed today.

An unnamed shareholder warned Fannie Mae of alleged foreclosure abuses in 2003, the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said in the report.

Fannie Mae responded by hiring a law firm to investigate the claims in 2005, which reported it had found foreclosure attorneys in Florida ‘routinely filing false pleadings and affidavits’ the following year.

Continue reading »

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Aug 26

- JPMorgan Is Foreclosing On The U.S. Treasury (Business Insider, Aug. 26, 2011):

Here’s a hilarious story tracked down by Yves Smith.

Recently in Hillsboro, Ore. JP Morgan completed a foreclosure sale on a home that had a tax lien on it. The bank could have corrected this “mistake” by paying the IRS. Instead it claimed that its mortgage was senior to the lien and foreclosured on the Treasury.

JP Morgan Chase v Treasury

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Jul 21

- Special report: Banks still robo-signing (Reuters, Jul 19, 2011):

NEW YORK/IMMOKALEE, Florida (Reuters) – America’s leading mortgage lenders vowed in March to end the dubious foreclosure practices that caused a bruising scandal last year.

But a Reuters investigation finds that many are still taking the same shortcuts they promised to shun, from sketchy paperwork to the use of “robo-signers.”

In its effort to seize the two-bedroom ranch house of 87-year-old Margery Gunter in this down-on-its-luck Florida town, OneWest Bank recently filed a court document that appears riddled with discrepancies. Mrs. Gunter, who has lived in the house for 40 years and gets around with the aid of a walker, stopped paying her loan back in 2009, her lawyer concedes. To foreclose, the bank submitted to the Collier County clerk’s office on March 3 a “mortgage assignment,” a document essential to proving who owns a mortgage once the original lender sells it off.

But OneWest’s paperwork is problematic. Among the snags: state law permits lenders to file to foreclose only if they already legally own a mortgage. Yet the key document establishing ownership wasn’t signed and officially recorded until months after OneWest filed to foreclose on Mrs. Gunter. OneWest declined to comment on the case.

Reuters has found that some of the biggest U.S. banks and other “loan servicers” continue to file questionable foreclosure documents with courts and county clerks. They are using tactics that late last year triggered an outcry, multiple investigations and temporary moratoriums on foreclosures.

In recent months, servicers have filed thousands of documents that appear to have been fabricated or improperly altered, or have sworn to false facts.

Reuters also identified at least six “robo-signers,” individuals who in recent months have each signed thousands of mortgage assignments — legal documents which pinpoint ownership of a property. These same individuals have been identified — in depositions, court testimony or court rulings — as previously having signed vast numbers of foreclosure documents that they never read or checked.

Continue reading »

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Mar 24

…Just the wrong kind of record. At just 250,000, this was the lowest annualized new home sales number ever. So on one hand you have a TV clown tell you the housing market bottomed in August 2008, on the other you have a pathological tax cheat Welcoming all to the Recovery, and on the mutated third hand (thank you Fukushima), reality continues to indicate that the biggest depression in history persists without abating.

Source: ZeroHedge


Mar. 23 (Bloomberg) — Purchases of new U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in February to the slowest pace on record and prices dropped to the lowest level since December 2003, adding to evidence the industry is floundering.

Sales decreased 16.9 percent to a 250,000 annual pace, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a gain to a 290,000 rate, according to the median estimate. The median price fell 8.9 percent from the same month in 2010.

Builders are struggling to compete with existing homes as foreclosures add to the overhang of unsold properties and drive down values. The figures underscore the Federal Reserve’s view that the housing market “continues to be depressed” even as the rest of the economy improves.

Continue reading »

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Feb 25

Ever wonder why the banks have been stowing away cash as if in anticipation of a torrential rainy day? Well, it just started pouring. According to the WSJ: “The Obama administration is trying to push through a settlement over mortgage-servicing breakdowns that could force America’s largest banks to pay for reductions in loan principal worth billions of dollars…Terms of the administration’s proposal include a commitment from mortgage servicers to reduce the loan balances of troubled borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth, people familiar with the matter said.

The cost of those writedowns won’t be borne by investors who purchased mortgage-backed securities, these people said…some state attorneys general and federal agencies are pushing for banks to pay more than $20 billion in civil fines or to fund a comparable amount of loan modifications for distressed borrowers…Regulators are looking at up to 14 servicers that could be a party to the settlement…Banks would also have to reduce second-lien mortgages when first mortgages are modified…Under the administration’s proposed settlement, banks would have to bear the cost of all writedowns rather than passing them on to other investors.

The settlement proposal focuses on pushing servicers who mishandled foreclosure procedures to eat losses, by writing down loans that they service on behalf of clients. Those clients include mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as investors in loans that were securitized by Wall Street firms.”

In other words, we have just reached the pinnacle of banana republic socialist insanity. In one fell swoop the teleprompter will not only grant reprieve to the banks for decades of fraudulent mortgage activity, but undercapitalize themselves and have them at risk for another liquidity run, which would of course mean another record multi-trillion taxpayer bailout. And the worst case: the 10 million or whatever underwater mortgages will get an average reduction of $2000 each. This is unfuckingbelieveable!

From the WSJ:

Continue reading »

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Feb 05



NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – If the saying “as goes California, so goes the nation” still rings true, then Americans are facing a depressing future, according to a list of the country’s most miserable cities.

Ravaged by falling house prices, high unemployment, a massive budget deficit, rampant crime and high state taxes, California filled four of the top five spots in the Forbes list of unhappy urban areas.

Stockton, in the state’s Central Valley, topped the list, followed by Miami, in Florida, Merced, Modesto and Sacramento — all in California.

“California was hit by the bursting of the housing bubble about as hard as can be imagined,” said Kurt Badenhausen, Forbes senior editor.

Continue reading »

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Feb 03

This is as I’ve said many, many times ‘The Greatest Depression’.


We are officially in the middle of the worst housing collapse in U.S. history – and unfortunately it is going to get even worse.

Already, U.S. housing prices have fallen further during this economic downturn (26 percent), then they did during the Great Depression (25.9 percent).

Approximately 11 percent of all homes in the United States are currently standing empty.  In fact, there are many new housing developments across the U.S. that resemble little more than ghost towns because foreclosures have wiped them out.

Mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures reached new highs in 2010, and it is being projected that banks and financial institutions will repossess at least a million more U.S. homes during 2011.

Meanwhile, unemployment is absolutely rampant and wage levels are going down at a time when mortgage lending standards have been significantly tightened.

That means that there are very few qualified buyers running around out there and that is going to continue to be the case for quite some time to come.

When you add all of those factors up, it leads to one inescapable conclusion.  The “housing Armageddon” that we have been experiencing since 2007 is going to get even worse in 2011.

Continue reading »

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Jan 29


Added: 28. January 2011

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Jan 28

‘Recovery’ is ‘The Greatest Depression’!


Take the foreclosure tour here:

- A Frightening Satellite Tour Of America’s Foreclosure Wastelands (The Business Insider)

RealtyTrac is out with the total foreclosure numbers for 2010. On the whole things are getting worse.

72 percent of major metro areas saw an increase in foreclosure volume. Although some of the worst hit areas in Nevada, California and Florida improved from 2009, the foreclosure rate in these areas remains shockingly high. If not for some foreclosure suspensions due to the robosigning scandal, these numbers would have been higher.

For a frightening way to visualize the foreclosure crisis, we’re borrowing a Google maps technique described by Barry Ritholtz.

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Jan 13

WASHINGTON Jan 13 (Reuters) – Banks seized more than a million U.S. homes in one year for the first time last year, despite a slowdown in the last few months as questions around foreclosure processing arose, a leading firm said on Thursday.

Banks foreclosed on 69,847 properties in December, bringing the year’s total to 1.05 million, topping the prior record of 918,000 homes seized in 2009, real estate data firm RealtyTrac said.

The number of foreclosure filings, which includes default notices, auctions and repossessions, was a record 2.9 million last year, including 257,747 filings in December.

“Total properties receiving foreclosure filings would have easily exceeded 3 million in 2010 had it not been for the fourth-quarter drop in foreclosure activity — triggered primarily by the continuing controversy surrounding foreclosure documentation and procedures that prompted many major lenders to temporarily halt some foreclosure proceedings,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.

“Even so, 2010 foreclosure activity still hit a record high for our report, and many of the foreclosure proceedings that were stopped in late 2010,-which we estimate may be as high as a quarter million, will likely be re-started and add to the numbers in early 2011,” Saccacio said.

Continue reading »

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