Realtors and Pundits Still Calling the “Bottom” of the Housing Market as Prices Slide

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by Barry Ritholttz www.ritholtz.com

There have been some interesting buzz regarding the residential real estate market. I want to put some of it into a broader context. Yes, the usual bottom callers are out yet again, unrepentant and shameless after getting it wrong for 5 consecutive years.

Residential Write Downs: This is resurfacing for the umpteenth time. Today’s version came from HUD secretary Shaun Donovan (via Reuters). A rumored settlement involving $20-25 billion dollars in relief to distressed homeowners from banks involved with robosigning (BAC, WFC, C, JPM, ALLY etc.). The settlement might kick a $20,000 reduction for one million borrowers who are underwater. Those of you who bought a house you could afford and stayed current in your payments do not qualify. And, this settlement does nothing about the rampant fraud and destruction of property rights the banks engaged in.

New Home Starts: Total housing starts fell 4.1% in December to an annual rate of 657,000, reflecting a 20.4% decline in construction of multi-family units and a 4.4% increase in single-family starts. Multi-family units has been the one bright spot for builders in a strong rental market. Despite this, 2011 had a record low number of total completions for both single family and total housing units.

Perhaps the warmer than usual weather helped Single-family starts post a 10.2% increase year-to-year. The chart below puts that number into context: The blue line is single family homes, still 75% below the 2005-06 peak and well below prior 40 year lows.

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click for larger chart

Courtesy of Calculated Risk

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Remodeling Moves Higher: “People are remodeling instead of moving” said David Crowe, chief economist of the painfully obvious at the National Association of Home Builders. The key to this are the huge number of current homeowners who either are unable to sell their currents homes, or if they do, no longer will qualify for a new mortgage, or lack a 15-25% down payment for another purchase in order to move.

During Q3 2011, homeowners took out $5.3 billion in home equity/refinancing. That has been driving some of these renovations. Note that this is more than 90% below the credit bubble peak of $83.7 billion (Q2 2006).

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click for larger chart

WSJ

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The bottom line remains: Housing is a dark spot in the economy, and the regular bottom calling we hear is best ignored. One day, housing will once again begin contributing to US economy, but until we see higher Employment and greater household formation, that time is off in the future.

We get Existing Home Sales at 10:00 am.

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Sources:
One million homeowners may get mortgage writedowns: U.S.
Margaret Chadbourn and Aruna Viswanatha
Reuters, Jan 18, 2012
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/18/us-usa-housing-donovan-idUSTRE80H1LI20120118

Homeowners Stop Waiting to Spruce Up
CONOR DOUGHERTY
WSJ, JANUARY 20, 2012
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204555904577167303887587024.html

 

61 Responses

  1. @K
    I dont know the answers –you are in BK ct or Fed district ct?

    I guess ill find out–im going to get dragged into fed ct soon–if you have an action going in fed and start up a deal in state–im guessing that they will try to pull em together–but dont know

  2. @ DCB

    Not Ohio. No Lawyer. Pro se. Couldn’t get one. My state, lawyers are pro banks. Yes, BK is Fed. Ct. so just filed adversary proceeding there. Trial is scheduled sometime towards end of this year. Giving thought to also filing something in State Court too. Have to research that; can you file in two different courts simultaneously. Of course with different allegations. Don’t think I could do the RICO there as I would imagine Fed. Ct. is the proper venue. Have to look in to that.

  3. Tue, 2011-09-27 11:07 — NationalMortgag…
    Ranieri Real Estate Partners LP (RREP), a real estate financial services company, and private equity funds affiliated with WL Ross & Company LLC (WL Ross) have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Deutsche Bank Berkshire Mortgage (the company or DBBM), a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank. DBBM originates multifamily loans for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). DBBM is the second largest originator of Fannie Mae loans and services a $28 billion multifamily loan portfolio.

    So on one side of the ledger via AHMSI—–homes are vacated—etc—and on the other side —-servicing multi-family–a practical hedge?

    and also the BankUnited deal–busy people

  4. @K

    So you have filed an actual complaint in a federal district court using an attorney–is that where you are alleging damages from TILA etc?

    its unrelated to BK action?

    Why fed ct? isnt state cheaper?

    sorry if im too nosy—

    I dont understand why they dont come after the house—here they are super aggressive–come after many houses every week–and its a small rural county

    this is ohio—these self-promoting democrat former AGs that everybody thinks so much of never did anything but file a few complaints and get headlines–never investigated—couldnt even spell escheat—did not know what it was or what dept was responsible for it

    sad

  5. @ DCB

    I get the moral hazzard thing and no free house but we offered to negotiate we wanted cash and they get the house. In over 30 years of homeownership we have never once missed a mortgage payment. Never not one. We were snookered into a refi. after depleting a good portion of our savings trying to get a mod. Had we been smart we should have just walked away and quit paying while we still had savings left. Our credit rating was 760 and now is probably in the negative now. We did not begin with wanting a free house. However, I am still puzzled why judges find it reprehensible that people would have the audacity to expect the real figures of payment on the home be disclosed as well as all the money that was really made by many parties and the total debt has been paid many times over. But on the flip side, don’t seem to have any problem with the numerous times over that security has been pledged and repledged earning far more than was disclosed to the borrowers. None of it makes any sense. Very simply put, if judges ruled on law rather than bias, we would be much further along in some kind of resolution to this horrible situation and economy we now find ourselves in. Who can figure?

  6. @K
    “What really shows their true intent is what they have been willing to spend to fight one pro se lititgant rather than settle. Quite amazing but shows how badly they really want the house.”

    I am frequently amazed at how big corporations manage litigation. There was a really interesting instance recently where a drug company had their expert testify to subject matter which poorly supported the legal argument the company was defending but hammered the marketing, public and govt relations.

    I imagine that managing counsel is announcing early retirement about now.

    Generally in ordinary litigation the managing attorneys responsible to real clients must do cost/benefit analyses. They use these in connection with putting numbers on litigation. Sarbanes Oxley mandates they disclose litigation which might material impact the company—-so that tends to chill settlements of big dollars. The house side of it is the moral hazard thing–no free homes.

    The judges think that way too—-equity abhors a forfeiture. Frankly, I simply cant stand straight faced before any judge and state I think the default position is a free house if these claimants cant show proof. Yeah–I know the feds seem to have no problem with allowing a deafault to a collection agency–call it the “benefit of the doubt”. I think that is abhorrent too—more so. There should not be ANY benefit of the doubt—-if there is a real doubt–then the note or receivable–house claim mortgage whatever should escheat to the state–but you must name the state and then negotiate it out as a purchase at auction.–or otherwise

    I expect there to be legislation at stayte level after election to address escheat where there is insufficient proof of right by collection agencies—not fed regulated—-not covered by this upcoming settlement—-

  7. Bankruptcy proceedings are held in district courts and a trustee oversees the proceedings and makes a ruling of discharge or if he feels there are assets available to pay off creditors he handles the estate with regards to distribution of assets. An adversary proceeding is held in district court also but you have a judge assigned to your case like any other court. I filed a complaint which is really no different than filing any motion in any other court to begin litigation. I think I’ve defined right but I’m sure someone here will correct me if I’m wrong. The trial is already scheduled for the end of 2012 and we are now in the discovery phase of the court schedule. I know it’s very confusing for lay people and this year has been a crash course on mortgages, securities, law 101 and in a few months court. Sheer anger has been the only thing that keeps motivating me even when I feel like giving up. I also believe that each one of us that is successful against these no good white collar criminals helps, if even in a small way, those others that are also fighting for their homes and rights.

  8. @K
    Im sorry–I thought you were in California. You are in a judicial state?
    What is the cation descrption of the “adversary proceeding”? Im simply curious—–is it a sort of BK declaratory judgement action? and so the judge you refer to–is that a real BK judge or a magistrate –i dont know a thing hardly about BK procedure.

  9. @DCB

    I don’t know anything about CA laws. In my case, they had 3 other attorneys send me letters about foreclosure and each got a return response telling them must prove standing and that the title is perfected or don’t bother me. Once I filed the chap 7 they have to file for a lift stay to proceed with foreclosure proceedings. I waited for them to file a lift stay but after several months that did not happen. I then decided to file an adversary proceeding and let the bankruptcy court know. Even though the trustee filed it a no asset case and abandoned the properties (we also have a rental) we have not been discharged because of the adversary proceeding. The attorney now is handling the adversary complaint and litigation and in which foreclosure is not being pursued at this point. Because I am in a judicial state, they must file a lift stay to move forward with foreclosure. I don’t think they can now because of the fact that I rescinded the loan back in Jan. 2011 and that will be argued at trial. It is really confusing because there are so many legal issues involved. That was why I tried to at least find an attorney that I could let review everything and provide me some insight. I’ve contacted at least 50 attorneyes as well as legal help organizations to no avail. I will just have to wing it. I didn’t push the “standing” issue to far with this court because my gut feeling is that it won’t go well. I have no choice but to use my intuition as well as trying to understand and apply the applicable laws. I know I don’t have to tell you, it is no easy feat. I won’t give up without a fight. It has turned so nasty that I must be touching on a nerve. What really shows their true intent is what they have been willing to spend to fight one pro se lititgant rather than settle. Quite amazing but shows how badly they really want the house.

  10. @K
    thanks for the lucid explanation–the bk aspect and california law create a spin on things that is outside any scope of my experience

    im curious though—under the bk and cal rules—-would these guys be in pretty much same position whether the largest unsecured creditors or the secured creditor?

    are uyou basically arguing they lack standing?–ie do not represent the holder of the note—have you demanded that the opposition cousel demonstrate some letter or other proof of authority to represent some trust/bank

    are you dealing wirh a non-bankrupted servicer or post-bankrupt collection agency?

    do they have the title already and you are trying to block their seizure?

    the stories about them slipping in while you are at work and putting all your stuff outside or in storage–landlords cant usually just toss stuff in the street–some duty to protect–but what might happen is a “rogue” preserver–or at least thats what they want you to think–iv heard stories that the collection agency types do not pay the preservers very much—-they make it up in salvage —dont know though–any ideas on this last???? anybody???

  11. @ DCB

    I think it capped damages for violations (tila). Rescission – That is a big part of my complaint. Yes you have to tender and what may be a better workout for one situation may not be the best for another. I was sent a letter in Jan. 11 denying my right to rescind the refi. I stopped paying the mort. in Jan. 11. If I am interpreting the entire law regarding rescission, once a request to rescind is received by the lender, the lender has 20 days to file a declaration basically objecting. If they do not do that, they are in violation. It also renders any security interest void. With that said, it does not get rid of the money obligation it just becomes an unsecurred debt. Any money that was paid by anyone on that debt must be refunded to borrower. There are some exclusions, but if you had a mortgage and the interest was $1,000 a month and you paid for one year, you would be entitled to $12,000 returned. I am giving you a very shortened summary as all settlement fees paid must also be refunded. Some people are trying to use this in a chap. 13 because then the debt is unsecurred and can be part of the repayment plan. I filed a 7 so the best I could do would be to recoup some of my monetary loss before having to give back the house. This is what I find confusing, there are so many different avenues with which to nail these criminals on and because I am pro se without any legal help or advice, I have to try to sort it all out and try to decide which path to take. Basically, I have kept all paths open but I’m not sure how this will fare with the judge???? Please do not take what I said as correct because I am self taught just be reading and researching. I’m sure one of the legal eagles on this site will correct me if I have erred. I would like to have gone after fraud but the courts make it quite a legal challenge to prove it. I might add a RICO allegation if I can get information from discovery which is proving to be very difficult. I also maintain that I was duped and induced to enter the contract. I believe that our particular situation very much fits the legal requirements of unjust enrichment although I have not read much where it has been used. What they did to you is just not surprising. They lie. They cheat. They deceive. They trick. And they steal. They know we are living here and have been. They know that everything I sent them went certified mail with our address. There 4 lawyers send mail to us, HERE. Even still, I just found out that each month since Feb. 11, they have an inspector drive by and report whether the home is occupied. What I find fascinating is that both our cars are kept in the garage, at ALL times when we are home. How would they know for sure by just a drive by?? Here is the real eye opener and the reason, the have been tacking on a $489.00 charge for each and every drive by. These people are worse then common theives. I just hope they stick to driving by because if they try to enter our home it won’t be pleasant. We believe in the right to bear arms.

  12. @k
    ” that tells me what the lender is going to make off of my loan. The reason for this is to give one the opportunity to get themselves the most competitive rate”

    ok –now i see the relevance–one question iv always had is whether the consequences of tila are adequate–or if it was really a sham solution that basically capped damages for violation—do you have a view on this–i was thinking biggest problem with these fed statutes was that basicall rescission was big gun–but you had to tender the amt borrowed from whomever—–which is a worthless remedy when the very actions taken by the predators shoved from top shelf prime to bottom shelf subprime

    i got a call from my insurer about 60 days after signing an AHM seemingly simple refi loan in 2004—-to explain why my casualty insurance rates jumped substantially —-“because of the type of loan” –i was dumbfounded–what was wrong with this type of loan–i did not understand–i was paying the amount in the coupon book–not 4 option at the time—–only much later did i realize that i was paying less than interest owed –because the supposed teaser rate expired 2 weeks after the loan was signed instead of a year as i had thought

    i was converted to subprime despite decades of no problems–only after they seized the house and sought caualty insurance money from a postr-vacate seize and freeze did i realize why the insurance rsate went up so much–everybody knew from the beginning but me

  13. @ DCB

    It is difficult to break it down simply. I thought that BoA was lending me the money. I am given disclosures pursuant to real estate laws (which are specifically cited in my complaint) but I don’t know them off the top of my head, that tells me what the lender is going to make off of my loan. The reason for this is to give one the opportunity to get themselves the most competitive rate. This falls under TILA and RESPA laws. However, not disclosing all parties and terms in simple contract law also would make the contract voidable. I am having a hard time expressing it here because I don’t have all of my research and law in front of me, but I think I did a pretty good job in my complaint although the judge may not agree. Simplest answer, the party actually loaning the money and the amounts made were not disclosed.

  14. The loan (mortgage) contract. I think I know where you are going with that question; they never loaned any money?

  15. @K

    If you are referring to your promissory note as the “contract” —then i sort of understand?

    So what you are saying is that by signing the note you become entitled to a disclosure of the counter-party’s funding sources? please help me understand? maybe if you can explain it simply enough for me to understand–a court will also??

  16. @K
    “The contract is voidable based on the fact of non-disclosure of all parties and the amount of dollars they actually make on use of my signature.”

    please clarify–what contract?

  17. @ ETolle

    Huge Lies – Massive Fraud, agreed. I addressed that in my complaint. The contract is voidable based on the fact of non-disclosure of all parties and the amount of dollars they actually make on use of my signature. You could even tie in the ridiculously low “real” APR which also would allow for rescission. The problem is the courts are not upholding the law which gives a big “you go guys” signal to the banks.
    We both know that if we contracted with a judge to sell something for a certain price and we disclose ourself as the seller and then the judge comes to find out that we really just used his signature for other purposes and the thing he bought from us was really not the “thing” we were selling but rather his signature; I would bet my last dollar that the judge would use simple contract law to void the sale. Perhaps this analogy is a bit weak or not completely on target, but I’m sure you get what I really mean.

  18. Katheryn, things have changed, the fraud is massive, it demands a new way of quantifying….it’s not about the glass being half full or half empty…..at closing we were all lied to as to the size of the glasses and how much we could all drink.

  19. @ Enraged

    I’m sorry; I just call it like I see it. I guess my glass is half empty 🙁

  20. @DCB

    I’m not sure I understand about the race disparity with regards to BK. I am a little slow at times, I refer to them as senior moments! Yes, there is a difference between moments and all the time! I know the rules changed in 05 but isn’t it based on income vs. debts. Even if you don’t qualify at first look the means test will define whether or not you do a 7 or 13, that is, based on if you wish to go with a 7. It would seem that this is an unbiased way to determine who does or does not qualify.

  21. @ Enraged & K

    Re topic of retroactivity: pls see attached re bankrutcy:
    “The bankruptcy system got dramatically more complex and thus expensive with the 2005 amendments. Race disparity is just one instance of rampant disparity for those in similar financial situations. Complexity, including the possibility that any given debtor is choosing chapter 13 for moral reasons, makes it possible to justify any chapter choice in most cases and tends to mask unfair disparity of various kinds, including by race.

    Speaking just for myself, I think we need a single portal to the bankruptcy system for individual debtors. This would make it a lot easier to move toward more similarity of results for the similarly situated and to reduce the cost of administration through simplification. Debtors with higher incomes might be required to pay something out of surplus income to old creditors, and the current standing chapter 13 trustees could be redeployed as the trustees for all individual cases.
    http://mail.aol.com/35363-112/aol-6/en-us/mail/DisplayMessage.aspx?ws_popup=true

    Now let me note: some of us signed notes prior to the bk change which took away the right to walkaway and start fresh at behest of banks that for some reason expected future defaults –so if you have a job you are basically supervised for 5 years–kind of like debtors prison with a manacle on your leg in your apt.

    But for those who signed notes pre-debtors prison w/o bars—-we signed when we COULD walk away–so the change had huge impact–where did retrocativity go–not there–because BANKRUPTCY IS A PRIVILEGE that can be taken away—

    If feds REALLY wanted to correct all this –they would not try to carve out an exemption bsased on race–but get rid of the changes made in 2005 by the credit card companies and deficiency chasers–its easier to scratch out words than add more layers

  22. @DCB and K,

    You two guys really know how to liven up a party! 🙁

  23. @ DCB

    Well said. Summary. People do Not Matter Anymore. We have allowed ourselves to be devalued as civil and caring human beings. Money Money and Mo Money is now the American Motto.
    People will sell their souls for a few bucks more when they have more than they would ever need. I don’t know if I still want to be around when this country actually falls.

  24. k
    Something is seriously wrong with society today and we are seeing the results.

    When animals are lodged in close confinement as in multi-family housing –prison etc, their stress levels rise dramatically with crowding–all animals same—–add to that other stresses at core–fear of job loss–fear of loss of auto—tools necessities—lost self respect

    if you do that to rodents, they will rspond by eating ther young—-higher forms –and birds abandon the nest and young

    so the activities you describe are natural–just not normal for the US

    add to it the govt taking tens of thousands of young men to hellholes and training them to kill civilians /terrorists [aka freedom-fighters in their own eyes] in urban environments–shoot older brothers right in a house in front of the families–and these soldiers get all twisted up–because urban policework in Iraq is not what a soldier is supposed to be doing——they come back and are like time bombs—

    big difference today vs 40 yrs ago vietnam–is those guys were forced to go—-knew they were victimized —knew it was not popular and not going to be treated as heroes—-when come home—and not urban warfare ongoing–they did not build and have great expectations–just stay alive till can escape vietnam hell

    these kids join after a barrage of false pumping—join the army and learn stuff, front end signing bonuses—-big heroes—-then come home and realize all BS—their great expectations dashed all at once–crash–bam

    naturally the abrupt realization you went thru hell under false pretenses–and then treated as expendible as soon as you get back–bad bad bad—but even worse—they can grab you back in anytime–so hell looms constantly–and you cant get a job because of it

    older ones—-wife leaves because of uncertainty–kids gone–house gone –job gone–you realize how youv been screwed—in vietnam the end finally camne when the drafted blacks said enough—and started rolling grenades into officers’ tents–shooting officers in the back in the field–the military doesnt like to lose their west pointers so they were marked for death by these peoples’ assassination squads–

    that has not happened in Iraq Afghan–or at least we dont hear of it–cause no info from there—–but the guys blow up when they get back–cant usually get at officers so just hurt whoever is in the vicinity when the fuse finally burns down

  25. With that said, here is what is really scary; if they can do that without having to properly or legally go through the process what will stop the same thing from happening for any other reason. I’m probably not expressing this very well but I mean you will have no due process, they break down your door without a search warrant. oh well that’s just a minor technicality. There can be no tolerance for not abiding by the rules of law period. It opens a door to which there will be no return. The too big to fail banks are no exception. If their paperwork is not in order too bad for them. There should also be felony convictions. We, as a nation, should demand it.

  26. 100% Agreement Kill em through their pockets that is all they understand but the legal system has to be on board or there is no chance

  27. @ neidermeyer

    I agree with your analysis but my gut feeling is Newt has some disturbing psychological problems. Not just the wives issues. I read a short bio on his life and I can’t for the life of me find it again. I don’t know how many people read it but he came right out and said, ” I’ll live my life any way that I want, but I’ll tell them I’m living it any way I think they want to hear it”. I am paraphrasing but that was the jist of it. I also believe he earned money off of the Fannie thing, in spite of what he claims. Lastly, he is a loose cannon and that is dangerous particularly in our world today. I do agree that O’bama would much prefer Mr. “I have created over 100,000 jobs, but he doesn’t give the figure of how many jobs were lost because of Bain”. He is as clueless to ordinary folks as I am to rocket scientists. I just don’t see anyone of any value to the middle class who have so badly been desecrated. The middle class holds the other two ends up. That is just math and can’t be changed.

  28. @ DCB

    I don’t think much of any of them. They are all corrupt and money is the main motivator next to power. The choice is either stay home a refuse to vote or pick between bad and really bad. It is hard to believe how much, we as people, have sunk. It used to be people had principles for which they stood. I remember being one of the kids who always stuck up for the underdog or the least liked kid. I wasn’t in the popular group and not in the picked on group, but I always felt the need to protect those less able to protect themselves and to speak up. Now, kids are committing suicide due to being bullied and there seems to be not a sole who steps up and says that’s wrong. People are murdering their own kids all over the place with no regard to human life much less their own flesh and blood. Something is seriously wrong with society today and we are seeing the results. We have advanced in our technology but have moved backwards as humans. I don’t know if there is a “fix” except we destroy ourselves and start over 🙁

  29. @ K

    I saw one pack paper beside the main breaker—trick in case the homepwner doesnt pay them–the breaker heats when winter comes and draws current —–and the house burns down–nice to make sure they are licensed and bonded

  30. @ Neidermeyer

    Makes sense re wheres 20K might work–so my thought is that the reason the value would be so low is that the roof is shot–wiring etc—and thats a big problem

    maybe the natl jobs program would be to guarantee 20k loans for home repairs as a 2nd—coupled with some form of protection to keep the collection agencies from stealing the new fixtures as fast as they are installed—-along with the wires and pipes from the walls

    I was noting that seizing a mans minicastle–and whats left of his self-respect contributes to break up of families —father cant face his wife and kids after their home seized—–shame—his fault–homeless–shame—toture—kids cant even answer phones, India calling to make you feel like S…, wife afraid to answer door–could be a process server, a 300 pound threatening and well-armed bouncer from the collector——–war of phsychology—-get out of our house deadbeat———or else——-or like Keith Sadler of Wood County Ohio—an entire SWAT team to carry him bodily out of his dead parents home

    [interesting on that for you guys here–the bank alleged only that it originated the note 10 years earlier–never even alleged they were holder—didnt matter the 12 SWAT team guys with full riot gear smashed in the door and dragged him out and to jail as a trespasser in his own home——is that why we have SWAT teams? to beat up domestic terrorists like Keith Sadler who simply became a “fun” outing for the SWAT team–bored –no terrorists to use all that expensive stuff on–the $500k SWAT mobil command center——-the 6 SUVs—the armored vans and backup cars–these guys were much better equipped to beat up Keith Sadler in Wood County–a rural county–than a squad in Afghanistan—maybe they called in backup from neighboring counties to join in the display of police power

    it is shameful—-

  31. they are sneaky little devils aren’t they; if you’re dead you can’t sue em
    for incompetence

  32. @ Katheryn

    There is a 3rd kind thats most important—-those whose customers get electrocuted—few guys who play with housewiring are stupid enough to allow themselves to arc

  33. @DCB , Katheryn ,,

    Newt wasn’t my first choice and he isn’t perfect (I like Santorum) but he has a history of not giving a sh*t about stirring the pot… he got things done in 94/95 and he isn’t afraid to abuse government power in the conservative direction to counteract 40+ years of great society socialist/democrat abuses in the progressive direction. What tilted me in Newts direction is that he named anti-FED people as cabinet members if he becomes the nominee … Team Obama doesn’t want Newt ,, they want Romney because he fights like a girl and he is so similar to Obama in so many ways that he won’t be able to draw distinctions without seeming silly. Obamacare/Romneycare is a killer ,, his past abortion cheerleading in Massachussetts is a killer for many ,, he just plain seems robotic and detached and his priveledged work history doesn’t help .. any idiot can buy a bloated business with OPM and cut costs..

  34. $20k isn’t going to work anywhere but maybe Iowa , Arkansas , Mississippi or Nebraska where a farmhome may have only appreciated a few percent before the crash and settled back a few percent, the real money there is farmland which is at all time highs as the robber barons of Wall Street are buying it up. Here in Florida that’ll only take the typical homeowner 25% of the way to break even … We need to rape GS/WF/MS/BAC/JPM with real settlements based on lack of standing and the “loans” already being satisfied when sold to the syndicate.

  35. Re retroactivity—-Agencies do it all the time. They say they made a “mistake of law” when the did earlier rule-making–or made individual determinations. Ie the state of the law was confused and they have simply corrected misinterpretations/conflicts/ambiguities. Same for legislatures–if they can describe the law change in the foregoing terms–then its NOT RETROACTIVE LAW CHANGE. It just may seem that way at an individual level of application.

    I have to agree that the law does clarify what happens if a nominee is used. Frankly I never quite understood the meaning—-and im pretty confident that was intentional–maybe Eric Holder could provide some history. “nominee” is somewhat amorphous—it is what you want it to be or not be—–i know what “nominal” means in real property law–but nominee is sort of like designee i guess —anyway minnesota clarified that whatever it is it doesnt destroy the chain–what is interesting would be WHO ASKED FOR THE CHANGE—WHY?? What case were they trying to overturn—–if they were on notice of title defect at that time–then FINS-LPS was engaged in knowing misconduct elsewhere–perhaps—-isnt minnestota a office location for that pair–the docx stuff wouldnt work w/o the MERS–planning? planning to do what—

  36. @Katheryn

    The political machinery pays the attendees frequently—–especially young. Others are “party” operatives—the RNC [and the deep-pocket backers] want Romney. They are sure he will deliver if Obama completely implodes–but as we have noticed, he’s an acceptable second choice for RNC et al. As long as Bernanke, Geithner, Summers or a new Paulsen GS soundalike is calling the shots,

    The thing they cannot take is Newt. Hes old enough and has enough $$$ he does not need their kickbacks–after leaving office. They dont like him becase “hes a loose cannon” hes unpredictable” —in other words–they cant put the “fix” in—-as close to incorruptible as we are gonna get close to in the next few years.

    In 1960, I asked my Dad who he was going to vote for: He made answered immediately; “Kennedy!” I was surprised because my Dad was pretty conservative. I asked “Why” –he responded without hestitation: “Hes already so rich he doesnt need to steal”

    I think my Dad would have to think a bit harfer today–then there was an 85% tax rate on top earners and few loopholes. It took a couple generations to build real wealth–today these guys make billions because its a competition–like a big monopoly game–there is no such thing as enough money for the players–the difference—JFK was NEVER a money man and his greedy underhanded father was too old to steal more.

    At the time however NIXON proved Dad correct. Im glad Newt is both older and richer than NIXON. like Perot. On the other hand Obama seems a lot like NIXON to me—machine-made——runs on Stop the War and then expands it—–creates $$$$$—-regulates everything that doesnt matter. What a difference 50 years makes.

  37. So many choices so little time – I have to go with Extra Crispy

  38. @ Katheryn, regular or extra crispy.

  39. Two kinds of electricians – Good ones and Dead ones!

  40. DCB, undertrained and self-employed are two separate deals all together. But rest assured….if you need anyone to twist wires in this economy, there are plenty of skilled folks out there. Just knock on a tent zipper.

    Hey, can you (or anyone) elaborate (again) on this issue? Mortgage was originated prior to this bill’s enactment (2003), and yet the wording’s saying it’s retroactive. How can that be? I have to admit to be particularly thick on the points you made yesterday.

    Is one just stuck within their time machine ruling? BTW, check out the ruthlessness, the audacity of what happens when a corporation gets to write their own legislation and simply pays a so called legislator to out it through. The following is MN’s answer to a free pass for MERS. Agency laws be damned!

    507.413 AUTHORITY OF MORTGAGEE DESIGNATED AS NOMINEE OR AGENT.

    (a) An assignment, satisfaction, release, or power of attorney to foreclose is entitled to be recorded in the office of the county recorder or filed with the registrar of titles and is sufficient to assign, satisfy, release, or authorize the foreclosure of a mortgage if:

    (1) a mortgage is granted to a mortgagee as nominee or agent for a third party identified in the mortgage, and the third party’s successors and assigns;

    (2) a subsequent assignment, satisfaction, release of the mortgage, or power of attorney to foreclose the mortgage, is executed by the mortgagee or the third party, its successors or assigns; and

    (3) the assignment, satisfaction, release, or power of attorney to foreclose is in recordable form. The county recorder and registrar of titles shall rely upon this assignment, satisfaction, release, or power of attorney to foreclose to assign, satisfy, release, or foreclose the mortgage.

    (b) This section applies to any mortgage, assignment, satisfaction, release, or power of attorney to foreclose executed, recorded, or filed before, on, or after August 1, 2004.

  41. @ ET
    Ok I was too literally specific–I should have said “unempoyed” and/or “under-employed”

    I would be a tad careful about under-trained electricians” in particular however

  42. @ Enraged

    I knew that 🙂

  43. Oops! Last post was addressed to Katheryn… Sorry about that.

  44. @Joann,

    “I am also at a loss as to explain why more people, be it politicians or press, don’t hammer the truth and the real facts to main stream America.”

    Right now, they are not suffering from it directly (and hardly, indirectly). When it hits them, they will talk about it.

    “These people feel exempt from it all now but they are not looking past their nose. It will eventually affect everyone but the most privileged and wealth endowed.”

    The most priviliged are only “most privileged” because we allow it.
    Government has to chose which money it wants the most: theirs or ours. Apparently, theirs is better right now but there is a hell of a lot more of ours. Once we remove ours (stop paying taxes of any kind) and we stop participating into the economic system as it is, theirs will dwindle and government will learn a hard lesson. We’ll kick it and choose a new one, whatever shape and form it takes.

    People are all, without exception, guided by two primal emotions: pain and pleasure. Right now, an increasing number of people are feeling deep, deep pain but some are still experiencing intense pleasure. Enough pleasure, in fact, to stop them from wanting to make any change in the status quo.

    Pain is the only agent of change. As long as pain is not widespread enough, there won’t be any change. Start inflicting serious pain to W.S. (stop paying any debt and close bank accounts) and you’ll start inflicting serious pain to government as well, especially if, in the meantime, collecting taxes from us and exporting anything, weapons included, becomes problematic.

    We know what to do. ‘Til we do it, nothing will change and it will keep on getting worse and worse. Eventually, pain will hit everyone. Then… watch out for all those changes!!! It will be head spinning!!!

  45. @ DCB

    They are destroying America, that was the plan. A complete dictatorship. I don’t know why the masses just don’t get it. The question is, will the AG’s not in agreement hold firm? You are right about the pockets of America which the $20,000 might make a difference but it could not, generally, help this economy or the middle class an iota. I am also at a loss as to explain why more people, be it politicians or press, don’t hammer the truth and the real facts to main stream America. These people feel exempt from it all now but they are not looking past their nose. It will eventually affect everyone but the most privileged and wealth endowed. Last night while watching the debate, Rommney is no longer even talking about jobs. All he spoke of was the greatness of wealth and how he is not ashamed of profit and individual wealth. We know that many parts of South Carolina have a very high unemployment rate. I sit and listen and watch as so many of these South Carolinians cheer and hoot for a man who wouldn’t have a clue what it is like to hold a “real” job. He is not in their corner but they follow like good little girls and boys. Are these people simply incapable of searching for the facts and applying them or do they just prefer to be followers of whatever sounds and looks good? Sorry if I offend anyone from that area, but I just get sick watching them root for a person who would, without hesitation, lead them to the slaughter house. I just don’t get it.

  46. Ok In order to get at them –you would have to have your loan put into an MBS offering trust that was syndicated —securitized in some real way by GS as the manager.

    Then you look for –or discover one way or another the electronic spreadsheet that the manager used to develop cash flows with NPVs that the manager wacked up by filling in blanks in the boiler-plate trust language–the sheet would also most likely predict the amounts in each “group” of homeloans and that would provide instruction to the originator sames force to push certain types of loans that needed to be marketed–i can imagine incentives changing during a quarter based on success in mktg

    the highest profit generators were ARMs from which a person could not refi–loan trapped by subprime reclass from 4 option ARM in particular

    the lender wants to believe his money will get the promised high return–cant prepay –so return guaranteed–lead to primes trapped and converted to subprimes by illusory teaser tates that convert to negative amortization immediately–ie credit ret looks like you are underpaying–also your casualty insurance rises—because insurance cos recognize experiene in seize and freeze etc goes up–they all knew from the beginning–certainly before the homeowner did

  47. @ DCB, you wrote, “shouldnt be a plumber, htg guy or electrician on unemployment in this country….”

    Truth be told, a huge swath of America’s unempoyed are NOT nor were they EVER covered by unemployment insurance. The vast majority of these trades people you mention were self employed and are living from hand to mouth as we speak, inches from a tent in the woods.

    Another desperate yet untold truth is that no amount of money will fix the system because it broken, shattered, all Humpty-Dumpty like. All the money’s in the hands of the wealthy, and there’s no prying it loose from that grasp. No Mom-Pop funding. No start-ups small or large i.e. no job creation micro or macro. The wealthy have red hotels on every lot while all our properties are turned over in default.

    But the real big game-changer here, the thing that is broken and can’t be repaired is the lie that was housing and the debt/equity myth. We all functioned financially off of our housing’s equity turned into debt creation. College, vacations, retirement, illnesses, insurances, emergency funds, what have you….it was all a big lie. People haven’t awakened to the fact that it’s not coming back. See ya’.

    Put all of this stuff on the back of ever dwindling energy supplies and that spells zero growth from here on out. So….how do billions of people survive, much less prosper given these circumstances? Once again I yield to Kurt Vonnegut: “Things are going to get unimaginably worse, and they are never, ever, going to get better again!”

  48. This one should accompany the other —this guy is one of the beneficiaries of the AG settlement. Thank your AGs for supporting Mr. Shwartzman–lets not forget Federal Reserve and FDIC. And they expect this will all blow over by election—no it will be front and center. They cant do it now–political suicide–Schwartzman and Ross screwed it up for the whole industry.

    My take, article below title should have been either: Shwartzman tells Feds to go pund sand, or Catch Me if You Can.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-20/schwarzman-said-to-avert-financial-disclosure-in-stock-reshuffle.html

    in re http://news.firedoglake.com/2012/01/21/foreclosure-fraud-settlement-terms-laid-out-but-holdout-ags-not-signed-on/

  49. If you want to kill anything, stop feeding it. Go back to the most sorereign state of all: autarchy.

    Get your money out. Stop paying taxes. Close your bank accounts. Squatters in your own home. Grow your food. Get a couple of goats for milk and cheese. Raise some rabbits. Go back to basics. Relearn to hunt, sew and knit. Use your legs to go anywhere. Walk, ride your bike. Gather wood. Dig a well. Build your own water distillery. Create strong, human scales communities and, if necessary, go back to bartering and trading. And since it is cyclical, it will start again for a few thousand years until humans forget (once gain).

    That’s what happened with the Tower of Babel: they had become too big and too full of themselves. No need to panic. We know what to do. And whatever happens, they’re always be plenty of humans to start again. ‘Til they mess up again… and collapse and start again.

  50. @ Katheryn
    You have said $20 k is inadequate to fix the economy. I agree with you—very large pools of homes especially those owned by 30 somethings thin on equity with families –these are underwater and those people are being tortured.

    Houses that are fairly modest in overpriced areas at $250k are under water by $50 to 100k–if not more depending on how many homes are dumped. Are jobs leaving? very region specific.

    But on the other hand there are many in rural and lower middle class America where that 20 k puts houses in the actual FMV—-but Im referring to houses financed at 60 k down to 40k —-it has to be that low to have needed impact to that community.

    I do not know if that either qualifies mobile homes or inner city homes–or really low end homes. The biggest concern iv have on even this application is what about repairs? For most of the homes iv looked at there is usually 20k in repairs needed to preserve a house valued 50k. roofs top of list–electric seriously out of date–furnaces–so 20k is the right number to save housing units for use

    but the horror of it: the 40-50 k older house is destroyed much more quickly than renovated at a cost of 20k, the housing unit is replaced by a multi-family controlled community at a cost of well over $100k??? Is it appropriate to force people into ghetto-like conditions in some cases if they can maintain their homes–families with kids happily playing in their backyards in safe neihborhoods close to schools. Is it ALWAYS better to force them into multi-family controlled units? To take away a man’s castle? No castle there in the multi-family home—maybe thats one reason families breaking up–men who have had their last shred of dignity torn away. NO situation which he can do to control his own home. No wonder the young ones run.

    shouldnt be a plumber, htg guy or electrician on unemployment in this country-if there is its because of complete failure of govt at all levels—

  51. @DCB,

    There. You have it directly from E. Toile again. Didn’t come from me. G.S. is the real evil behind the past century of financial scandals, anywhere and everywhere. They’re behind the inability of poor countries to get out of their hole, they are behind the 1948 creation of the most destabilizing country in the world (which shall remain unnamed as I expect, otherwise, that it might become violent…), they’re behind most ongoing wars and civil wars.

    Now, do you want to have the sweetest revenge of all? Simple: stick around long enough to see G.S. collapse. From now on, that’s what I shall live for and endeavor to create: the destruction of G.S.

  52. Goldman Sachs is the embodiment of moneyed privilege, the offspring of Harvardites who were coptered into to their stone walled private schools in the Berkshires like little Draco Malfoy. Tucked in each night with, “Goodnight you future Princes of Venture Capital, you budding Robber Barons”. There’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever, except that they use their access to our money via their privilege to alter our landscape. And they always do that. Because that’s what they do. They don’t know anything else.

    With access to unlimited supplies of our free leveraged money, they [steal] buy water rights in Columbia, diamonds in Africa, cocaine in Mexico, farmlands of Oz, fracked gases in the heartland, oil in Iraq, mountaintops in Appalachia, cattle of the Amazon, and rare earth minerals planet wide. And their undefended/uncontested global coup d’état has usurped governments across the planet, self-installing the future leaders of the world’s once great powers sans-elections, countries that used to have voting booths before Sachs money decided otherwise. A quaint notion elections….so 20th century.

    They own the military complex that profits wildly off of the clockwork wars that we’re never asked our opinions of, the same ones that our kids die in and get wheelchairs for.

    They’re behind MERS and the takeover of the legal system all the way to SCOTUS, and the wildly successful campaign to turn the once burgeoning industry of homeownership into the new norm – a rental class, people who feel lucky just to receive food stamps and heating assistance before even that aid is pulled as austerity’s gloom spreads like a fevered plague.

    We need to snuff them out through withdrawal of any support mechanisms i.e. finance and votes.

    No Peace.

  53. Who are they kidding? A $20,000 principal reduction will help improve the housing market and economy? You can’t even buy a new car for that now days. They better stop smoking that funny stuff because if they think we are that stupid to believe such bullshit, they are delusional. They are setting up deals and investment companies to buy blocks of foreclosures so they can rent us the houses they stole after making millions and millions off of them. BULL They are all sell-outs. Shameful.

  54. @DCB,

    What your point?

    It has occured to me that he was, indeed, very negative, he didn’t spread joy and hope and, in my book, 70 is a very young age to kill over… Connection?

    Anyway, this one is completely accurate: why you’re in debt. Puts some perspective as well but not the kind I like to have…

  55. @DCB,

    another one from your brother…

  56. did nt he die shortly after this?

  57. @DCB,

    Is this your brother? When I listen to him, I could swear I’m reading from you… 🙂

  58. One thought about new one family housing starts—-I cant imagine who is doing that considering its worth less finished than the parts cost—-but my guess is that a good chunk is people contracting for special deluxe homes

    Problem—-if you put up a lot for which you paid cash —–as your downpayment—you get a construction loan—–the builder gets about half done and bankrupts—what happens?

    Ill tell you—you cant get another contractor to touch it because of a few things ——workmans liens on the house from unpaid suppliers and subcontractors——issues about defective work—-no scheduled subcontractors–and a steadily shortening time before the house must be finished and the construction loan due

    you can go from a person with 25% equity buliding your dreamhouse for which you diligently saved for 15 years —to a person debating whether chapter 7 or 13 is your better fit–in a 15 second phone cal “your general contractor just filed for bankruptcy”

    residential home-builders rarely have performance bonds–you owe the loan in a few months with a half-complete house—-you discover the contractor underbid by 30% ———and probably overstated his draws from the bank—–you are royally screwed

    do not build in this environment–no up front money to these contractors who are going to collapse in next 2 years–the scheme i just described is in theie appendix to the real estate builder business plan handbook—break seal and read in case your business is going down

  59. […] Visit link: Realtors and Pundits Still Calling the “Bottom” of the Housing Market as Prices Slide […]

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