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see also 1/3 of all homes underwater — at a minimum

EDITORIAL NOTE: With a few places as an exception, home prices, once predicted as bottoming out LAST YEAR, continue to drop and are expected to take another plunge of 15%-20%. Experts who once predicted the bottom in 2010 are now saying it will be sometime in 2012. Here is what I say: home prices will continue to drop and could even go to near zero because of the rise of title problems caused by exotic Wall Street scenarios in which the title to most properties were affected. As for when they hit “bottom” it will be when the foreclosure nightmare is over. Even the optimistic experts concede that is, on average, another 8 years, with New York topping the list at 57 years.

The reason is simple arithmetic. Start with joblessness, lack of capital for new businesses, and add a healthy amount of fraudulent foreclosures pushing the market downward while the Banks report higher and higher profits through accounting tricks that would baffle the most avid puzzle fanatic. Basic fact pattern: as the prices go lower people “default” on mortgages that have probably long since been paid off. The further prices go down the more people are underwater — either worse than before or for the first time. I spoke with one homeowner who bought his home for $550,000 and only took out a mortgage for $175,000. “Now I see and feel the problem,” he said. “I never thought that I could ever be underwater because the mortgage was so low compared with the purchase price. Yet here I am, the house listed for $175,000, the broker telling me I’ll be lucky to get $140,000 and after all selling expenses I might see $125,000 or less.”

He’ll need to come to the table with money in order to sell and he knows that whoever he pays is probably not entitled to the money. he just wants out of a neighborhood that is a virtual ghost town. What was once a thriving community is  bereft of the family, secure atmosphere on the brochures.

Home Prices Drop in Nearly 3/4 of U.S. Cities

home valuesWASHINGTON — Home prices dropped in nearly three quarters of U.S. cities over the summer, dragged down by a decline in buyer interest and a high number of foreclosures.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that the median price for previously occupied homes fell in the July-September quarter in 111 out of 150 metropolitan areas tracked by the group. Prices are compared with the same quarter from the previous year.

Fourteen cities had double-digit declines. The median price in Mobile, Ala. dropped 17.7 percent, the largest of all declines. Phoenix and Allentown, Pa., Atlanta, Las Vegas and Miami also experienced steep declines.

Eight cities saw double-digit price increases. The largest was in Grand Rapids, Mich., where the median price rose 23.7 percent. South Bend, Ind., Palm Bay, Fla., and Youngstown, Ohio, also saw large price increases.

The national median home price was $169,500 in the third quarter, down 4.7 percent from the same period last year.

Most analysts say that prices will sink further because unemployment remains high and millions of foreclosures are expected to come onto the market over the next few years.

Sales of previously occupied homes dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in the third quarter, slightly ahead of last year’s pace for the same period. Sales were lower than usual for the summer season last year because a federal tax credit inspired more buying in the spring.

This year, sales are on pace to finish behind last year’s total, which was the lowest in 13 years.

Sales are low even though the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgages is hovering near 4 percent.

Regionally, the median home price in the Midwest fell 2.2 percent to $142,300 in the quarter from the year before, even as sales activity jumped 25 percent. In the South, the median price also slid 2.2 percent to $153,200 and home sales increased 15.5 percent.

The Northeast’s median home price dipped 6.5 percent during the period to $236,700, as sales rose from the previous year by 11.6 percent. The median home price in the West dropped by 9 percent to $205,700 in the third quarter from a year ago. Sales there increased 16.7 percent.

Also see:
Where Are the Real Home Bargains? Not Where You Think!
Mortgage Rates Stay Low, But Homebuyers Aren’t Budging

Top 10 Cities For Military Retirement
Gallery: 10 Cheapest Places To Retire

17 Responses

  1. @anon—-for what anon?–a case or what? if thee is any case which i would rely on today its AHMSI v HUD US District ct MTD –AHMSI OUT!

    Generally speaking I rely on my own experience in admin law–im not buying most what i see on the OCC stuff– no appeal? –admin law says fails due process 4th amendment

    must wait for OCC form–BS–they have an OFFICIAL OCC form which I can use as modified to state the claim—im not gonna play by the rules set out by these supposed independent revieweres–they are lacking authority to promulgate rules—maybe delegated 1st review shot–so must make case–but expect denial and appeal to OCC reviewer–the ombudsman determination is final agency action–take appeal to district ct then–as if the admin stuff was a trial ct—on record below

    im not good at the state cts but iv spent a lifetime on agency admin law–i feel finally they must play in my environment

  2. DCB,

    Who are you relying on???

  3. The following is not legal advice. it is preliminary ans speculative analysis based upon sketchy information–which itself is speculative. The reporters are attempting to ascertain what is happening but do not take it to the bank. Best take it to an attorney well-schooled in ADMINISTRATIVE LAW.

    The following appeared on November 11, 2011–authored by HUFFPOST–which please be mindful is a part of the MURDOCH press and so lacks credibility in my book–and may be merely designed to confuse. But taken at face value the one piece worth noting is:
    ” The restitution payment process is designed to be easier and quicker than a foreclosure review scheme announced by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency last week, the source said. Under that program, mortgage servicers are sending out letters this month to 4 million former homeowners asking them if they want their foreclosures audited, a process that could take months. Receiving a restitution payment from the new possible settlement would not preclude borrowers from suing their banks or asking the OCC to review their foreclosure, the source said, stressing that the payments are solely for bad servicing and are not meant to make borrowers whole if they were wrongfully foreclosed.”

    So now there are two distinct programs–one actually announced by OCC–and for which a form can be obtained online at the official OCC website–along with a description of the 2-tier ADMINISTRATIVE appeals process. This REAL LIVE program is designed to award damages to make wrongfully foreclosed people whole. This program applies only to foreclosures in 2009-2010. At least somethoing about the foreclosure and/or deed in lieu DIL had to occur 2009-2010. The 3 obvious classes of such people that can be generally described are those:
    1) veterans on active duty in that time frame that were foreclosed.
    2) victims who were engaged in some phase of loan modification negotiations but were foreclosed while so doing, and
    3) vicims who were foreclosed or DILed out of their homes by collectiona agencies [aka loan servicers] using defective documentation –most notably docx “created” by a rob-signing process

    This is not an exhaustive list. Homes seized because they were next door–or the wrong houses etc would also fall into this class–which underscores one point. The info posted on websites asserts that loan #’s MUST be provided–how will that be possible if your home was accidentally seized despite the fact you had no loan? So basically the specific “requirements” on the OCC claim forms should be seen as guidelines–the rule-making process may not be fully effective at this point–notice and comment may be defective so even the so-called rules may be appealed in connection with the administrative review process.

    Now lets discuss the REAL OCC program wth a view to each class –in summary.
    Obviously vets whose homes were seized in defiance of federal are the most sympathetic group and damage claims for them should be pursued most agressively. The two prong proofs of 1)”entitlement” [ie I was a vet on active duty when my home was seized] and 2) “amount of damages is easier –it shuld be relatively easy to prove the active duty and date the foreclosure activities occured–ANY overlap should trigger a claim–although the reviewers likely will even try to squeeze a guy with both legs blown off–send the photos ok!

    Damages should be easier–the SPIRIT of the program is to make victims whole. So how?
    1) Vets Iv spoken with received large upfront signing bonuses –$25,000-$300,000 depending on rank, training, initial enlistment or re-up. Given the size of these payments it is not unusual for the vets to have plunked down 25% downpayments. The predatory collection agencies appear to have seized homes from these soldiers even if they were making payments–hard to fight the 800 number and defend while you are doing night patrol in a black-zone in Baghdad. So equity in the home —or amount of downpayment is a certain damage claim. The guys Iv spooken with also noticed when they got back that everything from their toothpast to Grandad’s gun collection conveniently disappeared without trace–along with all records of purchase. The Administrative law process does not demand the anachronistic rules of evidence–if your evidence is credible it comes into the decision-making. Hearsay is OK. [Lawyers hate admin proceedings because its a more level playing field–beware the whiners]
    How to prove damages? The vet should make an affidavit listing ALL her stuff–item by item. A verifying affidavit by a credible 2nd party is good–but not necessary. Get grandma to state what she saw–let her list the heirlooms. Get another affidavit from the local furniture ealer to state what the replacement cost for these items of furniure and applicances would be. NOT FMV used–its not even certain that there is an FMV of cloth-covered furniture or bedding or clothing because of bedbugs. For vets go with replcement cost. A range is needed—-insurance companies have algorhythms –based on value and size of house and incomes etc–what are people similarly situated likely to own and what type of replacement cost. A person living in a $150,000 house is likely to have bought midrange items. Insurance adjusters have tables and can estimate the amount of a fire loss—-they either do replacement or FMV dependening on the policy coverage–go with the replacement but place in evidence the FMV too. For heirlooms which the preservers put 1st in their trunks along with the guns etc—–its harder–document and appraise.

    Now be brave for the vets—-claim everything at max value. They earned it and you have the high-ground. Hard to say the vet was COMPLICIT.

    Now Claas 2: the party that the collection agency demanded default as a condition to “modification” —–these are fairly sympathetic. Often the story goes: “we were working towards modification–sent the docs 4 times –told dont worry about the notices on the door–went to work at 8AM and when I got home at 6PM –my house was empty!” In my view if you can prove this “entitlement” fact pattern, then follow the vets’ proof of damages process–affidavits if no invoices. Not surprisingly invoices along with family albums disappeared too. Do your best to support the big ticket items with credit card records etc—but dont drop the claim because no receipts–it is a reasonable assumption you were not sleeping on the floor. Now lets note—the collection agencies charge for every keystroke–every copy—so you should too. I recently outfitted an apt–it cost for everything from ice-cube trays to toilet paper [not to be confused with robo-signer docx–which used a higher grade of paper]. You list everything down to thumbtacks and that half-used jar of mayo!
    And lets not forget any professional fees incurred during the modification process–and costs of reconstituting your income tax files.

    The 3rd class–those who were induced or intimidated into abandoning or otherwise lost homes via the speedy foreclosure process guaranteed by use of no questions asked rob-signing.
    Maybe these folks are not as sympatheitc victims as the shell-shocked vets or the tricked beievers in Tim Geithners mock-HAMP pretend program, but they were victims of deception nevertheless.

    The 3rd class–victims of faulty doumentation—these people are in effect assessing penal damges for collection agencies abusing due process–subverting the court systems etc. Basiclly ungluing the framework of modern civil property law and the concept of perjury.
    How to prove it—if the documents were created by some notorious outfit–use the newspapers to demonstrate that fact–attach the articles –links etc. Make sure you note if LPS/DOCX and/or MERS had a hand in the process because they signed Consent Orders promissing not to do bad things–albeit without admitting they did [THANKS FOR NOTHING OCC] If there was a “corrective filing” it pretty much cinches this issue. So look to the Recorders office for a 2nd assignment of mortgage—if they amended the supporting documentation for the complaint etc. These cases are the toughest to establish the “entitlement” aspect–because of these proof issues. One might suggest that because Linda Green’s several signatures appeared on the front page of an October 2010 NYT that any docx signed by her is bogus–but technically the reviewers may not see it that way–but try anyway. In my view her indiscretion is so egregious and widespread that the burden of proof on her signature should shift to the collection agency seeking to stand on her signature–the appeals officers may be inclined to agree. After all it is the constitution that she undermined. And how are we supposed to know what the real Linda Green signatre looks like–the real one is most easily proved by the servicer–not the victim. MERS’ involvement with its endless list of VPs etc same–MERS has the list of authorized persons at the time–and should be able to provide that –we do not—let em publish the list OCC –please–or else shift the burden of proof now rather than after the fact as we appeal this issue innthe DC District Court–and demand all cases where they did not so shift the burden be set aside.

    Lets speed it up and get it over with.

    If MERS did not actually properly appoint anyone then lets have it be known now—or just make use of MERS in Assignments of Mortgage per se defective to move things along.

    So lets assume participation by MERS and/or DOCX/LPS was per se bad documentation for arguments sake–or corrective documentation was filed, so our victim of faulty documentation has met the “entitlement” prong. Now what were the damages?

    Well this is arguably a tad more grey than damages for the others. The others flat out did not expect to lose everything over a day at work–either at Wall Mart or in Baghdad. The faulty documentation folks may or may not have. It is a facts and circumstances case it seems to me. If the victim was apprised by her lawyer that the case would be pstponed pending corrective documentation–assuming it was possible to correct–ie the collection agency had a provavble right. [by no means certain, see AHMSI v HUD Federal District Court in Texas–AHMSI had no standing to own notes or pass title to real estate in name of trusts] ——then this victim was equally as SURPRISED as the other 2 classes. You need an affidavit as to state of mind here at least –and the same damages hold as the others. The attorneys’ word should be set out in affidavit. Lacking an attorney–the defendant victim should state whether she was aware that the fake documentation was an issue and expected it to be corrected before seizure. Of course this must be factual–sworn.

    Then proceed to damages.

    This brings up the item noted at the beginning–the ALMOST AGREED AG deal. Now Im sorry but Im in the ranks of the skeptics on this one. We have heard the AGs have a deal almost as often as we have heard Europe’s troubles are over. There is no deal. But lets say there was a deal as referred to. Is a “safe harbor” payment by somebody adequate?

    I am absolutely speculating here –but it seems to me that the $1000-1500 being discussed here is totally distinct and separate from the OCC damages. The AG purported almost deal is punitive in nature–the OCC real deal is compensatory economic damages. The 2 are additive and in no way should anyone waive anything by agreeeing to receive the AGs punitive damages.

    So make your claims for compensatory damages–as innovatively as possible and just wait fot the maybe AG deal—-which may devolve state by state–so in NY you might get a check for $1500 but in Ohio—you are much more likely to be awarded with a prorata share of a very large SHAFT. In either case –dont hold your breath–and focus on the OCC REAL DEAL—-the AG almost deal sounds like a nasty distraction to me–more bait n switch to keep people from filing OCC claims

    Now on OCC claim PROCESS. The OCC site now clearly sets ou the form–either online or pdf print. I would recommend the completion of the printed form myself–along with a witness to the fact I placed the form in the envelope a sent it registered mail to OCC. PROVE NOT ONLY THAT YOU SENT IT BUT WHAT YOU SENT.

    Also as a practicuioner of admin law for 35 years, including a few in IRS —– this is not advice–but a warning to use an atty–and a good one versed in admin law—

    There is a doctrine called exhaustion of administrative remedies. Basically the doctrine is that you must make the factual record at the bottom —lay out all arguments there in detail–or waive them. All adnmin determinations MUST be subject to review at the discretion of the claimant. Possibly in this instance the servicers may also be able to appeal–its not yet clear to me. Certainly they will appeal any adverse decision by a reviewr or 2nd tier hearing officer if the record is incomplete, the decision arbitrary etc.

    So 1) make a complete record at the reviewr level—-everything–attach support affidavits, invoices etc–anything that establishes either “entitlement” to damages or the amount of damages. No matter what.
    2) be prepared to appeal –in all liklihood the reviwers will be doing data entry if you do not use the electronic submission–im skeptical of the electonic submission because I do not see how you put the necessary proofs in–basically it is an aplication for a safe harbor award–something like the minimum necssary to shup you up–and you will not really be able to claim exfhaustion of remedies or a complete record—-the reviwer will deny this or award reduced amounts because you f=did not put proof on the record and then its too late to supplement the record. Iv seen attys with decades experience lose on this—–it is a huge trap for unwary attys–the evidence gate along with the argument gate closes hard when you hit that submit button—it may get you your $500 faster but its a quick way to toss away a good $15000 CLAIM–dont fall for the trap–warn all the attys –make the record at the reviewer level even if you expect them to ignore it.

    The claim goes to the OCC if the servicer is named—not just the servicer–I suggest you send to both, as if serving a complaint. If the servicer is not named, dont fret send it to OCC also as well as your state consumer protection and FTC–lose nothing but postage and copy costs.

    If the claim is denied in part or full then there is an appeal ON THE RECORD before the reviewer. No additional iformation can be offered except to respond narrowly to the reasons stated for denial. Likely these reasons will have been made by the servicers’ employees who will file opposition to the well-constructed claim. the claimant should be entitled to see the opposition as a matter of due process ans Adminstrative Procedures Act or its equivalent as adopted by OCC.

    the appeals officer decision itself is subject to review by the OCC Ombudsman. And that decision or the lower officers determination will be a final appealable Order by the agency that can be taken to a District Court. It is unclear to this writer at this time oif appeal to the Ombudsman is in lieu of appeal to the District Court —

    Generally speaking the foregoing is the way federal administrative processes operate—however nothing herein is intended nor represented to be authoritiative—except the need to get a qualified attorney’s advice BEFORE HITTING THAT SUBMIT BUTTON.

    The sort of AG deal is completely different–there is no process –there is no agreement. If someone confuses the two and simply inserts in the OCC form something akin to
    “Ill take the AG agreed $1000–then the claim will be subject to denial and no real opportunity to appeal may exist–because no basis for damages will have been set out.

    On the other hand if OCC should wish to simplify and expedite the program it should clearly state in a public ruling—“if you qualify for relief, you may elect to accept as liquidated damages the amount of $X in lieu of a detailed proof of specific dameges.”

    So far OCC has not adopted this procedural option–it should. Get a good attorney if you are not one–if you are grab your admin law hornbook and red it cover to cover ASAP.

  4. @carie

    sometimes we have too many words

    I could have said Nemo Dat “you can’t give away what you don’t own”

    The Banks Nemo Dat-ed to the Investors.

  5. @Carie,

    When they use “investors” and “mortgage” in the same sentence, it is to connect the investors’ money with the burst bubble. Until investigations have been fully conducted into the securitization process, it is how it is explained. Give them the time to investigate and press charges. For right now, anything contrary to “investors own mortgages” is a mere allegation. Repeating allegations ad vitam eternam doesn’t make them true.

  6. also @ Carie

    I had heard that Dylan Ratigan was looking for foreclosure nightmares
    so I sent my little book to him priority mail.

    It came back unopened and” refused” Maybe they don’t accept anything by mail.

    So too with Biden, These peole have so much coming at them from all of us,things get lost in the translation..

  7. @carie

    You are right too.

    When you make a contract with someone, truth is of the essence.

    I think what Biden meant to say was the Banks don’t own the mortgage.
    He is well aware that the Constitution states that no bank can lend its credit. Art 1 Para 10 Cl 1 .

    Whatever that securitizating was the banks claim to have done with Investors fails simply because when a contract is formed all the parties to the contract have to agree to any changes including selling rights the banks didn’t have.

    Oh G-d Proses read the law. The banks and Courts are in real trouble.

  8. @enraged

    You are right. In 1994 when the bank hid four of my mortgage
    checks into order to fake a default, accelerate and demand lawful money for the the Bank’s credit lent, Hardly anyone knew what I was talking about. It helps to know there are thousands of people who now understand the various frauds perpertrated by the banks

    Not only do candidates have to declare they are against the fraudsters at the banks and the financial institutions but the fraudsters at the Title and Insurance companies.

    LPS Docx was only a part of the fraud connecting the banks, the courts,and the land registrys to produce this massive ponzi scheme
    and heist of our properties.

    .

  9. The thing that bugs me about AG Biden is that he said on the Dylan Ratigan show that the “investor” owns the “mortgage”…still clueless…

  10. @Marilyn

    Up until a few months ago, homeowners were asleep at the wheel too. With FL and OH having started to go after MERS for recording fees, Schneiderman and Biden’s actions, the equation will soon be completely reversed:

    Are you part of the problem or part of the solution? It is a well known fact that, in order to win the next elections, candidates will have to openly declare their hate of banks and financial institutions. They’ll have to swear some allegiance to… We The People! What a novelty idea!!!

    Exciting times we live in!!! I agree with Trespass on that one. In the end, it will come down to: are we leaving a better world than we found coming here? Better not leave ’til it’s over…

  11. John O brien and Massachusetts looks like it on its way to correcting its land registry.

    Except for a few more countys in this country, the Registrar of Deeds are asleep.

  12. Good question. What’s the sense of buying anything anywhere in the states since no register of Deed anywhere is adequately documented?

  13. What is the sense of anyone buying property in a county where the Register of Deeds have not corrected the record to reflect the true owners and that the registrys contain fraudulent conveyences of title, forgeries, fraudulent notaries.done by the corrupt Title Attorneys of Comanies like Fidelity National Title, Coronet Title, Chicago Title, Old Republic etc.

  14. Where is this house…maybe I will be your new neighbor lol

  15. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/right-to-rent-foreclosure-crisis-banks_n_1087940.html

    That’s exactly the reason why I posted this site last night.

    Don’t you dare pay a cent to the bank for the right to stay in your house! Stop paying your mortgage, squat in your home and sit tight. This country does not have enough cops, sheriffs, troopers, military, etc, to physically force you out. Showdown has to happen now, before it gets too cold.

    Show this article to all your neighbors. Those who have no clue will get the wake-up call of their life! Sit down with them and tell them what you intend to do: stop paying and squat until banks have reimbursed everything they owe, the economy is looking up, the bankers have been tried and sentenced.

    I really, really believe that now is the time. What is the worst that can happen? You lose the house? You’re loosing it as we speak anyway: it’s worth peanuts! Now is the tie to act.

  16. Add to that picture: Borrowers will not be doing home improvements unless they are determined to stay put for a decade or better.

    Home MAINTENANCE by borrowers who are financially strapped will be either done as cheaply as possible or not at all, causing homes to fall into disrepair. Eventually even this neglect will be evident, even in neighborhoods that are not suffering the look of ghost towns due to foreclosures.

    The need for immediate repairs will cause the sale prices to drop further and also cause more homes to pass through the hands of ‘flippers’ who will insist on a substantially lower price. As prices spiral downward, the ‘upside’ resale price obtained by these ‘flippers’ will likely also compress. The ‘flippers’ who find they have acquired property with defective title will also find they lose the money they sunk into the property for the duration of any litigation. This may force the ‘flippers’ out of the market.

  17. I can believe it … The nicest house in my neighborhood has now been foreclosed on twice since 2006 … at the high point it sold for 459k , in 2009 after the first price crash it still sold for over 300k ,, it was listed after the last foreclosure , 2 months ago for 189k and the realtors were saying that the first 169k bid would get it … now it is said that 140k would buy it ,,, 4200′ under a/c 5/4/3 pool with spa , granite , good floors , nice neighborhood … if this thing sells for 140k that throws EVERYBODY in the neighborhood that has a mortgage into an upside down position on comps as this is without a doubt the nicest house in the subdivision … it would make my 2800′ house worth only about 100k…

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