July 2011

RealtyTrac Numbers

Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011

For the most part, these new numbers do not reflect new cases – they are the old cases that have been rotting away in the system due to robosigner gate related delays. Housing recovery is going to require two simple things: Stopping the losses and absorbing the inventory. Washington has waste...

Is Dodd-Frank reviving the Shadow Banks?

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

They're back. In the past few months, it appears, shadow banks, financial firms that make loans but aren't actual banks, seem to be making a come back. In case you have forgotten about these things already, shadow banks are financial firms, like hedge funds or money market funds or even insurance ...

New Regulations Help Regional Banks At Expense Of Big Banks: Analysis

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

NEW YORK - New regulations announced over the weekend will likely benefit PNC Financial Services Group Inc, US Bancorp and smaller U.S. banks at the expense of bigger competitors including Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co. International regulators said they will require the biggest bank...

BofA Director: Countrywide Deal 'Worst Deal We Ever Made'

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

When Bank of America bought Countrywide Financial for $2.5 billion in stock in 2008, it must have seemed like a good deal. The troubles with Countrywide, then the nation’s biggest mortgage lender, were known at that point -- defaults and foreclosures were piling up, and there were rumors that bankr...

South Florida banks show modest improvement in latest BauerFinancial report

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Six banks declined and seven improved in BauerFinancial's quarterly rating of South Florida lenders. Coral Gables-based Bauer rates banks on a scale of zero (lowest rated) to five stars (highest rated). Six banks declined and seven improved in BauerFinancial’s quarterly rating of South Florida lend...

Jamie Didn't Know: The Tragic Legacy of JPMorgan Chase's CEO

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Why are people still interested in what Jamie Dimon has to say? As CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Mr. Dimon presides over a serial corporate criminal whose long list of confessed crimes got longer only last week. As an investment and economics "expert" he failed to anticipate the worst financial crisis in m...

BofA Hopes Latest Mortgage-Security Loss Estimate Is on the Mark

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

NEW YORK—Bank of America Corp. this week said it had finally fenced off its losses from the now-toxic, mortgage-bond deals. However, it is not the first time the bank has claimed to have the losses penned in. The nation's biggest bank by assets confirmed Wednesday it was paying a high-profile gr...

Right to Rent: Will the Obama Administration Finally Fix Housing?

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

The concept of "right to rent" has been floating around Washington for almost four years. Under this proposal, foreclosed homeowners would be allowed to remain in their house as renters paying the market rent, for a substantial period of time (e.g. five years) following a foreclosure. While several ...

The 12-Cent Victory

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Yesterday, something rare happened in Washington. Main Street beat Wall Street. Consumers beat lobbyists. Small business defeated big banks. Despite weeks of hyperbolic ad campaigns and a lobbying blitzkrieg, the Senate reaffirmed its decision to limit the "swipe fees" that banks charge businesses f...

Federal Reserve Raises Swipe Fee Cap In Victory For Wall Street

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve delivered the punchline Wednesday to the year-long joke that has been the lobbying blitz over debit card swipe fees. Amid heavy Wall Street pressure, the Fed nearly doubled the amount it will allow banks to charge retailers and consumers under a new regulation while...

Fed Halves Debit Card Bank Fees

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

WASHINGTON — Fees paid by retailers to banks for debit card purchases, a $20 billion annual expense that has been the subject of a furious political battle over the last year, will be cut in half after the Federal Reserve voted Wednesday to cap the charges. The cap was mandated last year in the Do...

S&P: U.S. Rating Will Be Slashed To 'Selective Default' If Payment Missed

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

NEW YORK - The United States would immediately have its top-notch credit rating slashed to "selective default" if it misses a debt payment on August 4, Standard & Poor's managing director John Chambers told Reuters. Chambers, who is also the chairman of S&P's sovereign ratings committee, said on Tu...

BLAZE Your Financial Future: 5 Steps to Create Wealth in Your Life

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

These days, it seems that many people need some tough love when it comes to their financial health. Every day, I meet people who have become unemployed, have taken a pay cut, or are experiencing a slow period in their business. On top of that, they have credit card and student loan debt, and their ...

Skyrocketing Costs Of Child Care: 1960 to Today

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

It cost $25,299 to raise a child from birth to age 18 in 1960. The amount rose to $226,920 last year. This may be one of the many reasons Americans are having fewer children these days. Adjusted for inflation, the 1960 sum equals about $192,497 compared to $235,996 in 2010, about a 22% increase. ...

The Housing Crisis: How to Reach Escape Velocity

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

May's drop in new home sales is just the latest sign that the housing market continues to be bleak, as it has every right to be with a "shadow inventory" of 1.7 million impending foreclosures hanging over it. But there is some good news: Discussion of the need for more aggressive foreclosure relief,...

What the kids learned from the recession: Skepticism

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Retailers and financial institutions, take note: Tomorrow’s customers are wary of you. A new poll finds that more than 7 in 10 teens believe businesses try to trick them into spending more than they should. In addition, 6 in 10 think credit card companies entice people into taking on more debt than...

KB Home Reports Wider Loss, and Shares Skid

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

KB Home reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss as margins and homes prices fell and write-downs of land values rose. Shares of KB, which has operations in nine states, were down 15 percent, or $1.84, to $10.08 a share. This summer is the fifth anniversary of the housing slump, which follo...

One in 10 NYC Mortgages Seriously Delinquent

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

I. One in 10 residential mortgages in New York City is seriously delinquent – meaning over 90 days delinquent or in foreclosure – according to an analysis of the regional housing market released this week by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Part of a new online resource called Regional Mortga...

LPS Finds Serious Delinquencies Outnumber Foreclosure Sales 50:1

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

There were 4,084,557 mortgages in the United States 90 or more days delinquent or in foreclosure as of the end of May, according to Lender Processing Services (LPS). With foreclosure sales at 78,676 at month end, the volume of seriously past due loans over-shadowed the number of completed foreclosu...

Mortgage Fraud Reports Up 31 Percent In First Quarter Of 2011

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Years have passed since the housing crisis first brought the U.S. economy to the brink, but reports of mortgage fraud are only increasing, up 31 percent in the first quarter of 2011, according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a Treasury bureau that tracks illegal financial activity. In ...

Updated consent order points to Ocean Bank's 'unsound' practices

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Ocean Bank's latest consent order cites "weaknesses in asset quality, management, earnings, capital, liquidity, sensitivity to market risk, and its Bank Secrecy Act program." Ocean Bank of Miami has entered into an updated consent order with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. that addresses its b...

Mortgage Fraud SARs Jump 31% as Investors Demand Loan Buybacks

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

A total of 25,485 suspicious activity reports (SARs) involving alleged mortgage fraud were submitted to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) during the first quarter of this year. According to a report released by the federal agency Tuesday, that tally is up 31 percent from 19,420 in ...

European Banks May Need To Raise $72B To Meet Capital Requirements

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

LONDON/FRANKFURT - Europe's banks may need to raise over 50 billion euros ($71.6 Billion) after regulators slapped an extra capital surcharge on big lenders to make them safer and forbid the use of debt to pad out the extra cushion. Bank shares hit a low for the year as lenders in France and German...

World Bank Will Provide $1 Billion For Insurance In Mideast Investment

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

WASHINGTON - The World Bank's political risk guarantee agency said on Monday it would mobilize about $1 billion for insurance coverage for countries in the Middle East and North Africa to encourage foreign direct investment. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, or MIGA, said its underwrite...

Global Regulators Agree To Impose Extra Capital Charge On Biggest Banks

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

BASEL - Global banking regulators have agreed on a proposal to slap an extra capital charge on the world's biggest banks to make them safer by 2019. The surcharge is part of a series of regulatory reforms launched in response to the financial crisis, which forced countries worldwide into costly bai...

Interest Rates Must Rise Globally To Curb Inflation: International Report

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

BASEL, Switzerland - Global interest rates must rise to avoid high inflation becoming entrenched, the Bank for International Settlements said on Sunday. It also warned that delaying deficit cuts could risk intensifying the sovereign debt crisis and have grave consequences were investors to lose con...

France, Banks Agree To Make Greek Plan More Agreeable To Creditors

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

The French treasury and banks have agreed on a proposition to make a Greek debt rollover more palatable to creditors through a combination of longer maturities and less risk, Le Figaro reported on Sunday. Under the plan, creditors would reinvest just 70 percent of the proceeds reimbursed when Greek...

George Soros: Country Leaving Euro Currency 'Probably Inevitable'

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

VIENNA - Billionaire investor George Soros thinks a country will eventually exit the euro zone and urged policymakers on Sunday to come up with a "plan B" that could rescue the European Union from looming economic collapse. Soros, famous for making $1 billion by betting against the British pound in...

Freddie Mac-Taylor Bean Settlement to Yield Pennies on the Dollar

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Freddie Mac has entered into a proposed settlement with the now defunct Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. (TBW) and the creditors’ committee appointed in the lender’s bankruptcy proceeding. Under the terms of the agreement, Freddie Mac will be granted an unsecured claim in the TBW bankruptcy e...

Freddie Mac-Taylor Bean Settlement to Yield Pennies on the Dollar

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Freddie Mac has entered into a proposed settlement with the now defunct Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. (TBW) and the creditors’ committee appointed in the lender’s bankruptcy proceeding. Under the terms of the agreement, Freddie Mac will be granted an unsecured claim in the TBW bankruptcy e...

Audit Finds GSEs' Regulator Let Complaints Slip Through the Cracks

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Servicers have been ordered to institute a clear resolution process for consumer complaints as part of the robo-signing settlement with federal regulators. Accountability when it comes to dealing with distressed borrowers has become a central focus of mortgage servicing reform, but an audit conduc...

Freddie Mac-Taylor Bean Settlement to Yield Pennies on the Dollar

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Freddie Mac has entered into a proposed settlement with the now defunct Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. (TBW) and the creditors’ committee appointed in the lender’s bankruptcy proceeding. Under the terms of the agreement, Freddie Mac will be granted an unsecured claim in the TBW bankruptcy e...

Why Some Housing Prices Are Still Falling and Subprime Loans Are Still Sliding

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

In October 2007, CNBC's Diana Olick called me about Countrywide's so-called plan to modify mortgage loans scheduled to reset to higher rates. Subprime borrowers with a strong payment history would be able to refinance and possibly get prime FHA loans. Current paying borrowers with credit issues woul...

BofA Reaches Settlement With Investors Over Legacy Countrywide Deals

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Bank of America has agreed to pay investors $8.5 billion to compensate them for Countrywide’s dealings years before the subprime lender was acquired by BofA. The company said in a statement Wednesday that the settlement resolves “nearly all” of its repurchase exposure stemming from legacy first-lie...

Bank of America Settles Claims Stemming From Mortgage Crisis

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Just how much will it cost the big banks to atone for the mortgage mess? Bank of America announced Wednesday that it would take a whopping $20 billion hit to put the fallout from the subprime bust behind it and satisfy claims from angry investors. But for its peers, the settlements may just be sta...

Moody's Says It May Downgrade Some U.S. States, Municipalities

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

NEW YORK - Moody's on Wednesday warned it may downgrade some Aaa-rated U.S. states and municipalities if the country loses its top-notch rating or if federal funding falls significantly as part of a plan to reduce the nation's deficit. Most states and some municipalities rely on federal funding for...

Double-Dip Recession: Is Your Small Business Ready?

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Economists are in a heated debate. Some analysts say it's possible a double-dip recession could hit later this year or in early 2012. If it does, are you ready? Is your pipeline full of new opportunities? Are you easily finding new business? Have the orders been flowing consistently from your existi...

Regulators Report Performance of Serviced Mortgages Is Improving

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

The performance of first-lien mortgages serviced by large national banks and federal thrifts improved during the first quarter as a large number of troubled loans worked their way through the system, according to a report released Wednesday by federal regulators. The quarterly study issued by the O...

Fed Chairman Points to Distress as Holding Housing Sector Back

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

The Federal Reserve says it will complete its purchases of $600 billion in Treasury securities by the end of this month as planned – a program that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says has succeeded in keeping mortgage interest rates low. These low interest rates combined with the reduction in home pric...

Industry Insiders Weigh in on Case-Shiller Uptick

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

In what Standard & Poor’s analysts described as a “welcome shift from recent months,” the closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller index showed its strongest positive movement since June of last year with the release of Tuesday’s report. The 20-city composite reading posted a 0.7 percent increase in April...

Shadows Shrink on More Distressed Sales and Fewer Delinquencies

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

The shadow inventory of repossessed and soon-to-be repossessed homes not yet visible to the market has been trimmed, according to new data released by CoreLogic Wednesday. The company reports that as of April 2011, the industry’s shadow supply fell to 1.7 million units, down from 1.9 million units...

Real Estate Veteran Reveals Five Trends to Watch in a Struggling Market

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Greg Rand, a 20-year real estate veteran and author of Crash Boom (Career Press), recently divulged five new trends in the struggling housing market. “The secret to making sure your real estate doesn’t turn into a money pit is to watch the trends, so you can predict where the prices will rise and w...

FHFA Records First Monthly Uptick in Home Prices in a Year

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Home prices in the U.S. rose in April for the first time since last spring, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported Wednesday. The agency’s House Price Index recorded a 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted increase between March and April – the first month-over-month gain since May 2010. T...

How Long Before The Unemployed Find Work Or Give Up?

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

WASHINGTON -- A new study from the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the Great Recession that technically ended in 2009 has doubled the time it takes before the average unemployed person either finds a job or gives up looking for work. Each month, BLS announces the latest...

Here's how people without work are paying the bills

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

The anemic economy has left millions of Americans out of a job, and often for long stretches at a time. A new survey from Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies takes a look at how they are getting by. Transamerica enlisted polling firm Harris Interactive to survey 668 people who had been fully...

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