June 2011

Ending "Too Big To Fail"

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

I. Introduction Over two years ago, the United States and the global economy faced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The crisis was rooted in years of unconstrained excess on Wall Street, and prolonged complacency in Washington and in major financial capitals around the world....

Industry, Lawmakers Faceoff with Regulators on QRM's Default Impact

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The debate over what constitutes a “Qualified Residential Mortgage” (QRM) is heating up, with a pivotal argument centered around whether or not the proposed QRM stipulations will actually lower the risk of default. In one corner you have the handful of regulators charged with putting the definition...

NeighborWorks Sends $67M to Agencies for Foreclosure Counseling

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

NeighborWorks America announced this week that $67.7 million has been awarded to 37 state housing finance agencies, 17 HUD-approved housing counseling intermediaries, and 84 community-based organizations to provide counseling to homeowners facing foreclosure. The grant money was awarded through the...

QRM

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The National Association of Realtors® is urging regulators to go back to the drawing board on the proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage rule. At a news conference on Capitol Hill today, the original sponsors of the QRM provision in the Dodd-Frank Act – Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Kay Hagan (...

whether state banking regulators will be undercut by their federal counterparts when it comes to con

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

One of the most classic American political debates — state versus federal law — is surfacing again in the banking sector, as regulators work to put in place the financial reforms passed a year ago in Washington. At issue is whether state banking regulators will be undercut by their fe...

HUD, NeighborWorks Roll Out Emergency Program for Unemployed

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lost income from unemployment has left many homeowners unable to make their mortgage payments and pushed them to the brink of default, some into foreclosure. Housing analysts and economists have become especially vocal about the effect of extended periods of joblessness on mortgage performance. Th...

PMI Program Rewards Servicers for Foreclosure Prevention

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mortgage insurer PMI has announced the launch of its new MODEL Servicer Program to identify mortgage servicers who score high marks for keeping borrowers in their homes. These companies will benefit from certain advantages when doing business with PMI. “Since the beginning of the housing crisis, P...

The National Association of Realtors® supports comprehensive reform of America’s housing finance mar

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The National Association of Realtors® supports comprehensive reform of America’s housing finance market that protects taxpayers and ensures the availability of affordable mortgage credit today and into the future. “As the leading advocate for home ownership and housing issues, NAR believes that a m...

Don’t Mandate Large Down Payments on Home Loans

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Recent proposals call for requiring prospective homeowners to make a 10-20 percent down payment when purchasing a home. This is seen—mistakenly—as “getting back to the way mortgages used to be made.” In fact, low down payment home loans1 have been a significant and safe part of the mortgage finance ...

Top 50 bank stats

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

"With all the FHA MIP changes recently, the MI companies are excited. But just like investor overlays on Fannie & Freddie programs, MI factors look good, and are true, but may not be 'real world.' These 'aggressive factors' from private MI have been known for months. There are so many restriction...

Fla. couple threatens bank with foreclosure

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Months after Bank of America wrongly foreclosed on a house Warren and Maureen Nyerges had already paid for, they were still fighting to get reimbursed for the court battle. So on Friday, their attorney showed up at a branch office in Naples with a moving truck and sheriff's deputies who had a jud...

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

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 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 ...

Moody's: U.S. CMBS Loan Delinquencies Slip to 9.18%

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The delinquency rate on loans included in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) transactions fell four basis points in May to 9.18 percent, according to Moody’s Investors Service’s Delinquency Tracker (DQT), which tracks all loans in U.S. conduit and fusion deals with a current balance greate...

Commercial Mortgage Delinquencies Mixed with CMBS Faring Worst

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Delinquency rates among different commercial and multifamily mortgage investor groups were mixed in the first quarter of 2011, according to a study released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The delinquency rate for loans held in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) reach...

Delinquencies Decline for CRE Collateralized Debt Obligations

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Delinquencies on U.S. commercial real estate loan collateralized debt obligations (CREL CDOs) decreased last month, reversing the previous month’s increase, according to the latest index results from Fitch Ratings. From March to April, the delinquency rate rose from 14.1 percent to 14.8 percent. B...

Political battle threatens centerpiece of financial reform

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

ORLANDO — A year ago, President Obama championed the creation of a government agency that would be charged with protecting Americans’ wallets and restore certainty to the nation’s financial system. But just weeks before its official launch, the future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is ...

Banks’ bid to delay debit card swipe-fee rules fails as Senate vote falls short

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Banks lost a key battle on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to preserve billions of dollars in debit card fees, despite a lobbying blitzkrieg that tested the industry’s ability to move beyond the stigma of the financial crisis. A proposal by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) to delay and rewrite a law that curtai...

Deficit Hysteria: Washington's War on the Young

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's one of modern political life's strange ironies that defending Social Security and Medicare is considered an "old people's issue." Old people are doing just fine with these programs, thank you very much -- at least so far. Anti-government hawks like Alan Simpson and Pete Peterson also made a d...

Survey: 87% of First-Time Homebuyers Don't Foresee Payment Troubles

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Prospective homebuyers cite worries about future unemployment, concerns about property affordability, and the local economic outlook as issues that hold them back from jumping into the market, according to an industry survey commissioned by Genworth. But the Virginia-based mortgage insurer says th...

Most Believe Housing Recovery Remains Distant

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

45 Percent of U.S. Adults Say Government Not Doing Enough to Prevent Foreclosures Trulia and RealtyTrac on May 18 released the latest results of an ongoing survey that has tracked American attitudes toward foreclosed homes since 2008. Harris Interactive® conducted this online survey on their behalf...

Retired Floridian Returns Home To Find His Home Foreclosed Upon, By Mistake

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Here's a friendly reminder to everyone who has summer vacation plans: Before your departure date, it's a good idea to solicit the help of a trusted friend or neighbor to look after your domicile while you are away on holiday. It's a good way to ensure that pets get fed, plants get watered and mail d...

Student Loans

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo is hoping to make its student loans more attractive to families. The San Francisco-based bank says it is now offering fixed-rate student loans, which is a departure from the industry practice. Unlike federal student loans, the private student loans issued by banks typica...

Wells Fargo's New Fixed-Rate Student Loans Come With High Interest

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

NEW YORK — Wells Fargo is hoping to make its student loans more attractive to families. The San Francisco-based bank says it is now offering fixed-rate student loans, which is a departure from the industry practice. Unlike federal student loans, the private student loans issued by banks typically c...

Rahm Emanuel, Arne Duncan Trumpet DREAM Act Despite Political Barriers

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Despite the DREAM Act’s low likelihood for Senate passage, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called for a renewed awareness of the plight of undocumented students in advance of the measure’s first senate hearing this Tuesday. "We just need the human potential, the tremendous capacity, to cont...

Recent Studies Confirm College Ultimately Worth The Cost

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

NEW YORK -- Creighton Olsen routinely questions the wisdom of his college investment. Specifically, whether his struggle to secure a decent-paying job since graduating from college a year ago justifies the expense. "I guess I thought I'd get a good job and make a decent enough salary and be able t...

Where Is the Value in a Four-Year Education?

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Value. Okay, that wasn't exactly how it went. But just as our view of plastics has changed significantly since the era of The Graduate, the American dream of the 1960s -- marriage, a family, a house in the suburbs and hopefully a decent college edu...

Senators Want Fed-State Coordination in Foreclosure Resolution

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

A dozen U.S. senators are pooling their influence to persuade federal regulators to work with state attorneys general and other federal agencies, including the U.S. Justice Department and HUD, as the various parties work to “fix the broken foreclosure process,” as the lawmakers put it. In a letter...

Foreclosure Filings Decline but Signs of Renewed Activity Evident

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Foreclosure filings slipped 2 percent between April and May and were down 33 percent from a year earlier, according to a new report released by RealtyTrac Thursday. The company says foreclosure filings — including default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions — were reported on 214,9...

Industry's Past Due Mortgages = 6,350,000

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Data released by Lender Processing Services (LPS) Tuesday puts the number of home mortgages that are delinquent or in foreclosure at 6,350,000. The company’s assessment is based on mortgage performance statistics derived from its loan-level database of nearly 40 million mortgage loans through the e...

Investors Moving Foreclosures Faster Than Banks Along West Coast

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Third-party investors are reselling foreclosure properties they’ve scooped up at auction at a rapid pace in states along the country’s Western seaboard. In fact, they’re moving distressed homes faster than lenders, according to a local tracking firm. ForeclosureRadar, based out of Discovery Bay, C...

Regulators Extend Deadline for Servicers' Foreclosure Review Plans

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Federal regulators with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) have issued notices extending the deadline for 12 of 14 mortgage servicers to submit their action plans for conducting foreclosure reviews. As part of the consent agreements annou...

JPMorgan Settles SEC Mortgage Securities Case for $154M

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday that JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $153.6 million to settle charges that it misled investors in a complex mortgage securities transaction just as the housing market was starting to plummet. The New York-based financial institution noted in a s...

OCC Takes Enforcement Action Against Eight Servicers for Unsafe and Unsound

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today announced formal enforcement actions against eight national bank mortgage servicers and two third-party servicer providers for unsafe and unsound practices related to residential mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing. The...

Obama's Partner in Athens

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Athens, Greece: President Obama's fate may rest, in part, on his counterpart in Athens. A year ago, the U.S. economy was poised for recovery, only to be roiled by the first Greek debt crisis. This past week, it was déjà vu: Wednesday's positive trends on Wall Street were foiled by Thursday's riots o...

As Greece goes to privatize some of its sovereign real estate holdingsin order to raise capital

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

As Greece goes to privatize some of its sovereign real estate holdingsin order to raise capital, it finds itself the only country in Europe without a centralized registry of deeds. About 40% of properties are currently in dispute and lack clear title. Why does this sound vaguely familiar? And it is ...

Five economic lessons from Sweden, the rock star of the recovery

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

STOCKHOLM — Almost every developed nation in the world was walloped by the financial crisis, their economies paralyzed, their prospects for the future muddied. And then there’s Sweden, the rock star of the recovery. This Scandinavian nation of 9 million people has accomplished what the United ...

Freddie Mac's Serious Delinquencies Continue Descent

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The nation’s second largest mortgage company has again reported a decline in the percentage of loans it holds that are 90 or more days past due and in foreclosure. Freddie Mac says its serious delinquency rate for single-family mortgages dropped to 3.53 percent in May. That’s down four basis poi...

Fannie Mae Extends Selling Agent Bonus to Move REO Properties

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

CORRECTION: Timeframe for incentive eligibility has been corrected to reflect that initial offers may be submitted on or after June 14th. Fannie Mae announced Tuesday that it is beefing up incentives to encourage sales of its HomePath REO properties to owner occupants. Now through October 31, qua...

CoreLogic Analyzes Negative Equity and Default Trends

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Underwater borrowers have become a focus of numerous industry surveys and analyses, and a growing concern for market participants due to the potential of negative equity to trigger default. A recent study by CoreLogic delved deeper into the statistics to examine the distribution of negative equity...

An Anomaly Within the Housing Numbers: Washington D.C.

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The nation’s Capitol stands out as the “shining star” in nearly every market report that crosses the wire. Washington, D.C. has consistently defied the recent declines in home prices. The latest S&P Case-Shiller index upheld D.C. as the only city where home prices are increasing on both a monthly ...

Analysts Don't Foresee Rise in Home Prices Until 2014

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Markets across the country are in full-fledged correction mode. That combined with the prevalence of foreclosures has analysts at the research firm Capital Economics convinced that the double dip in home prices will continue throughout this year. In fact, they say the structural factors that are co...

Clear Capital: Stability Ahead as Distressed Property Prices Rise

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The real estate valuation firm Clear Capital sees signs of market stability as we move into the summer months. New data released Thursday by the company shows that U.S. home prices continue to fall, but the 2.3 percent drop recorded for the three months ending in May was half the decline seen in t...

Return of Optimism for US Housing

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The housing market in many US cities is performing better than recently released national data would suggest, leading some analysts and real estate brokers to express cautious optimism about the prospects for a recovery. List prices rose in 24 of 26 cities tracked by Altos Research in May, with San...

Class-action lawsuit ties VA to plight of homeless veterans

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The alleged failure of the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide stable housing to veterans suffering from severe cases of post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental disorders leaves many of them facing homelessness, according to a class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court ...

Mortgage Servicing Litigation Jumps 88%: Report

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Litigation related to mortgage servicing surged during the first quarter, after last fall’s robo-signing issues raised questions about servicers’ procedures and garnered widespread attention from mainstream media. Mortgage servicing litigation increased 88 percent over the first three months of thi...

Foreclosure fees haunt homeowner associations

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Three years into the foreclosure epidemic, desperate condominium and homeowner associations are now beginning to employ aggressive law firms and collection agencies in a new tactic aimed at recovering delinquent fees. The debt collectors working for these associations are asking the courts to use m...

Communities find creative ways to collect homeowner fees

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The sun was getting high and Alex Diaz de Villegas was perspiring as he rode a golf cart across a Homestead community's 60 lushly landscaped acres. He inspected recently planted palms and visited three newly built gatehouses where guards screen nonresidents by asking for identification. "You would...

New York Appellate Court Rules Against MERS

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

In another blow to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), a New York appellate court ruled against the embattled mortgage ownership and servicing rights company in a case last week, casting doubt on its business model and increasing speculation about the role that possible re-foreclo...

California Appeals Court Declares MERS Proper Beneficiary

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ruling in favor of Avelo Mortgage, the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeals declared Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) a proper beneficiary on the deed of trust in Ferguson v. Avelo Mortgage. In his June 1 ruling, Judge David S. Milton stated that MERS, ...

Bankers Advocate Opposition of Mortgage Servicing Amendment

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The American Bankers Association has sent a letter to key lawmakers in the Senate, urging them to reject foreclosure legislation proposed by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). Their bill, tagged the Regulation of Mortgage Servicing Act, has been introduced as an amendment t...

Justice Watch: Suit challenges state law redirecting rent payments

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Who would have thought financially strapped condo owners and banks would be on the same side? Leave it to the Florida Legislature to find a way. Lawmakers amended the Condominium Act last year to allow condo and homeowner associations to direct tenants — under threat of eviction — to redirect rent...

Community association sues delinquent owners

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lawsuit brings cash beyond state foreclosure limits South Florida condominium and homeowners communities that have foreclosed on delinquent owners have been stymied by a state law limiting what boards can get from a bank for past-due assessments to 12 months or 1 percent of the original mortgage. ...

States to Fight Lawsuit Accord

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Attorneys general in 38 states are fighting a proposed class-action settlement they said could make it much harder for state law-enforcement officials to regulate debt collectors. The proposed settlement involves a February agreement by Encore Capital Group Inc., the nation's largest debt buyer by ...

Arizona Democrats To Donate Paychecks To Jobless After Failed Special Session

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Democratic members of the Arizona legislature are going to donate their paychecks to the unemployed people they failed to help in a special session earlier this month. Arizona lost its eligibility for the final 20 weeks of benefits for the long-term jobless because lawmakers didn't tweak state law...

CPS Set To Lay Off 1,000 Teachers This Week

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

An estimated 1,000 teachers are expected to lose their job this week the Chicago Public School system struggles with a multi-million dollar budget deficit. Though the layoffs are part of the school system's annual cutback in teaching staff on account of school closings and declining enrollments, so...

Wells Fargo and U.S. Mayors Form Foreclosure Prevention Alliance

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The U.S. Conference of Mayors and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage have joined forces to create a national alliance focused on foreclosure prevention, property disposition, homeownership promotion, and community development. The three-year initiative will address housing challenges with strategies and ou...

California Foreclosure Prevention Program Gets Support of 20 Servicers

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The California Housing Finance Agency said Wednesday that 20 mortgage servicing companies are now participating in the state’s Keep Your Home California program to assist families struggling to remain in their homes and avoid foreclosure. The $2 billion program is funded with federal dollars allot...

States deep in debt, too

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

It’s not just the federal government - the states are broke, too. The 50 state governments owe more than $1 trillion in unfunded pension contributions and health care obligations to retired public employees, according to an Associated Press survey of state-level budget data. And the worst may ...

States That Cut The Most Funding Lost The Most Jobs: Analysis

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Republican governors have touted spending cuts as both fiscally responsible, and economically prudent. But a new analysis casts doubt on that narrative. In recent months, Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) both claimed their budgets, heavy on the spending cuts, would pave the ...

Florida Realtors Join Governor to Bring Business to the Sunshine State

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Florida Realtors president, Patricia Fitzgerald, was in Canada last week with Gov. Rick Scott and other business leaders to encourage Canadian companies to do business in Florida, a move expected to benefit the state’s troubled real estate markets. “A large percentage of Florida property sales each...

Independent Research Studies Validate Benefits of Mortgage Counseling

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Housing counseling increases the likelihood a homeowner will be granted a loan modification by 200 percent, according to research from the Federal Reserve. The central bank also found that counseled borrowers received more favorable terms on their loan modifications compared to borrowers who go it...

Household Wealth Gets Strong Bounce Even as Home Equity Falls

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Home equity continued to head south during the first part of the year, but losses were eclipsed by another big jump in the value of financial assets as the stock market sustained positive movement. This, combined with a further reduction in overall debt levels, pushed household net worth higher du...

Servicers Respond to Treasury's Decision to Withhold Incentives

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Treasury says it will not pay program incentives to three of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers until it sees evidence that they’ve made improvements to the way they handle borrowers under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). After reviewing three key areas of program implementati...

Treasury Puts Performance of 10 Largest HAMP Servicers on Display

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The U.S. Treasury has released its regular monthly report card on the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). New this time is an assessment of how the 10 largest HAMP servicers are performing. Four servicers have been designated as needing “substantial” improvement: Bank of America, JPMorgan ...

3 big banks lose mortgage modification incentives

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bank of America, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo must make 'substantial improvements' if they want Obama's Home Affordable Modification Program to start paying them again. The Obama administration has punished three of the nation's largest banks, judging them unworthy of receiving financial incentives thr...

HAFA Short Sales up Over 70% in April

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Servicers completed 1,666 short sales and deeds-in-lieu (DIL) of foreclosure under the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program in April. That’s up 73.7 percent from the 959 HAFA transactions completed the month before. HAFA has been in place since April of 2010. According to Treasu...

SEC Has Credit Ratings Agencies in Its Sights

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

As it peels back the layers of the secondary market to delve deeper into the trading of the subprime mortgage bonds reputed for setting off the financial crisis, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has set its sights on major credit ratings agencies. The SEC is considering bringing civil ...

Fitch Downgrades Servicers on "Slow" Response to Foreclosure Crisis

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fitch has downgraded the ratings of several U.S. residential mortgage servicers. The agency said its reasoning for the downgrade stems from the burden that comes with managing delinquent mortgages in an environment of heightened regulatory scrutiny. Fitch also cited what it described as the serv...

Inventory Overhang Means 6.5M New Households Needed

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Experts blame the massive inventory of existing homes on the market for hindering the U.S. housing sector’s recovery. The overhang has been inflated by large volumes of foreclosures, and it’s expected to grow with millions more coming down the pipeline. Brendan Lowney, macroeconomist for the firm ...

Home Sales Dampened by Declining Consumer Confidence

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

According to Freddie Mac’s latest market outlook, over the first four months of 2011, sales of existing homes are up 5 percent from the pace of 2010 — in line with the GSE’s earlier projections of a 5 percent annual increase in existing-home sales this year. Regardless, Freddie’s economists say go...

Few condos remain unsold despite housing downturn

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

An oasis of stability in a struggling condo real estate market, Fort Lauderdale is continuing to outpace the tri-county area, according to a recent report. Since 2003, roughly 5,100 condominiums were created or converted in the city's downtown and beach area. Now, fewer than 2 percent of the create...

Fed Voices Concern Over Chronic Weakness in Real Estate Markets

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ongoing deterioration in real estate markets and rising levels of distressed residential and commercial properties are areas of acute concern for officials at the Federal Reserve. “[R]eal estate conditions have remained weak and adversely affected the performance of many banks,” Michael R. Foley, ...

Fed's Beige Book Paints Shades of Improving Credit Quality

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Federal Reserve published a new rendition of its popular Beige Book on Wednesday, relaying insight from professionals in the field on regional market conditions. A number of Fed districts noted improvements in overall credit quality, specifically Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Kansas City,...

Pending home sales rose strongly

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pending home sales rose strongly in May with all regions experiencing gains from a year ago, pointing to higher housing activity in the second half of the year, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings,...

Distress Claims Smaller Share of Dwindling Existing-Home Sales

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Distressed properties accounted for just 31 percent of existing-home sales in May, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Tuesday. The ratio of distressed homes – typically bank-owned or pre-foreclosure short sales – took a dive last month compared to earlier in the year. May’s market...

Housing Report Card Points to Future Distress

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC) released a housing report card Thursday that confirms most key market indicators trending southerly, signaling more distress may be in store. “The existing home market continues to remain weak, with most indicators still grading at poor levels and almost al...

Existing-home sales were down in May as temporary factors and financing problems weighed on the mark

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Existing-home sales were down in May as temporary factors and financing problems weighed on the market, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 3.8 percent to a se...

Report: Slow Foreclosures and Oversupply Fuel Market Declines

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Backlogged foreclosures, severe oversupply, and negative equity triggered a further decline in home prices in April, according to the latest RPX Monthly Housing Market Report from Radar Logic. The New York-based real estate data and analytics company tracks home prices in 25 major metropolitan are...

Housing Drags Economy

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 24, 2011 The U.S. housing market has fallen into a double-dip slump after last year’s stimulus-driven stabilization and will continue to weigh on the pace of economic recovery through the coming year. Housing-related output has fallen dramatically since the bubble burst in late 2006, detract...

FIRPTA Reform Needed Now to Ease Commercial Real Estate Equity Gap,

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

FIRPTA Reform Needed Now to Ease Commercial Real Estate Equity Gap, Roundtable Testifies; Obama Issues Statement Encouraging Foreign Investment in U.S. Testifying before a House Ways and Means subcommittee yesterday, Roundtable President and CEO Jeff DeBoer urged Congress to move quickly in reformi...

Fitch: Subprime Price Rally Hits Month Seven

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Prices on credit default swaps (CDS) involving subprime mortgages more than doubled their increase from last month, extending the rally to an unprecedented seventh straight month, according to the latest index results from Fitch Solutions. Subprime CDS prices rose 1.7 percent overall, though price ...

The Educational Crisis of Young Men of Color

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Since this nation was founded over two centuries ago, there has been nearly constant tension between tradition and evolution. Yet over the years, from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, the forces of progress have haltingly advanced, and continue to do so today. After all, just fifty years ...

The State of CMBS

Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2011

JP Morgan and Wells Fargo have set up conduits for their commercial-backed mortgage securities to get them off the balance sheets. Is this dangerously close to what happened ahead of the crisis with residential backed mortgages? Here are a few summarized thoughts; SOME SIMILARITIES. BUT IMPORTA...

Financial Planners: The Consultation, What to Bring and What to Ask

Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What to Bring; • Gather and organize your financial information. • A list of your current assets and liabilities • Current statements for investment accounts you have • Tax returns for the last couple of years • Your check register or a report showing typical income and expenses flowing throug...

Financial Planners: Suggested Questions to Ask References

Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When seeking references for a financial planenr its best to find both past and current clients in life situations similar to yours. Suggested questions to ask include; • Exactly why they use this advisor and their experiences. • How often did the adviser communicate with them? • Has th...

Financial Planners: Whats the Best Way For You to Pay?

Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Financial Planners are paid based on a variety of compensation models; • An hourly rate • A flat fee to complete a specified project • A quarterly or annual retainer fee • A fee charged as a percentage of assets that they manage on your behalf (Typically anywhere from 2.0% per year to .50%...

Financial Planners:What Are Your Needs?

Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Before you beginning looking for a financila planner its a good idea to put some thought into what type of help you need, where you are and where you want to be; • Compute your net worth - If you have under $100K you may want to continue to focus on these first four steps and sav...

Financial Planners: Some On-Line Resources

Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011

National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (www.napg.org) American Institute of CPAs Financial Planning Association BrokerCheck - Finra.org - Financial Industry’s Regulatory Agency SEC-regulated firms – http://adviserinfo.sec.gov click on “Investment Adviser Search” to see “Form...

Financial Planners: Post Interview Checklist:

Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisers (online at www.napf.org) provides a financial advisor checklist that will help you determine whether you've found the right advisor for your needs, as follows: • Did she spend at least two hours at your initial meeting getting to know you, you...

Financial Planners: Tips For Taking Ownership

Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The fact of the matter is that merely reading about financial matters will vastly increase your understanding and comfort level, which will in turn lead you to make smarter and proactive decisions about your money. Rather than tackling books, start with magazines, newspapers, and the Internet. Try s...

Financial Planners: Some Tips For Avoiding Madoff-Type Fraud (checks and balances)

Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When purchasing investments, make sure you are writing checks to a third-party custodian, like Fidelity Investments Co. or Charles Schwab & Co., not to your financial adviser directly. Call the independent institution to verify it's serving your adviser, and never send checks anywhere but that f...

Who Are the Real Victims of Foreclosure?

Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011

I just finished reading about the Nyergers. That’s the retired cop and his wife who moved to Florida, bought their dream home for cash and then – thanks to a paperwork error – found out the bank was foreclosing on them. My guess is this happened because someone forgot to tell the bank’s lawyer t...

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