Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Another settlement

Yesterday we got another check for Wells Fargo's illegal foreclosure through the mortgage settlement. All in all for losing over $400,000 dollars, the heartache of losing property, the frustration of the banks being bailout versus the American public, we were compensated $3,300.

Hardly fair...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Joke--Federal Banking Regulators

After an independent review on one of our foreclosed properties--which was illegally done, we got a settlement check for $300.00.

Well that certainly compensates us for the banks fraud.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Man oh man

"Some borrowers who received compensation for possible foreclosure abuses were told to take a hike this week when they tried to cash the checks.

Just when it seemed the mortgage mess might be tailing off, it was the latest debacle for a program whose flaws have raised fresh doubts about the competence of America's big banks and their federal regulators in Washington.

The company that the regulators chose to handle the distribution of $3.6 billion to more than 4.2 million borrowers had failed to transfer the funds to the bank that issued the checks, according to a New York Times report Thursday.

Some recipients' checks were honored. But other borrowers called the Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday to complain that they were turned away, the Fed said in a news release Wednesday. It didn't say how many people were affected."

JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pathetic

"WASHINGTON — washington A belated attempt by bank regulators to get compensation for homeowners who were foreclosed on by mistake turned into a debacle by the time it was shut down in February and is now becoming a scandal as more details emerge.
The Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) was set up in 2011 to engage outside consultants to look at foreclosures taking place in 2009 and 2010 and determine where errors were made.

But last February, regulators decided after two years with only 100,000-some cases reviewed that the process was too much trouble, and opted instead for a $9.3 billion settlement with the biggest mortgage companies that awards the victims pennies on the dollar for their losses.

In all, 80% of those subject to the foreclosures covered by the agreement will get $1,000 or less, while the outside consultants who handled the review reaped a windfall of $2 billion, nearly $20,000 for each case actually reviewed.

At a hearing last week before a Senate Banking subcommittee, lawmakers grilled representatives of the two regulatory agencies involved, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve, about these consultants and the review process."

I ask, when will the fraud end with this mortgage crisis? Pathetic!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Swimmingly

"Bank of America BAC +2.5% recorded net income of $2.6 billion in the first quarter, significantly above last year’s $653 million, on $23.7 billion in revenue. Earnings of 20 cents per share were short of estimates.

Shares dropped 3.3% on the miss in pre-market trading, to $11.88.

The bank reported an increase in deposits and a 57% increase in mortgage originations, though mortgage banking income was down from a year ago. As a result, net income in consumer and business banking declined slightly from 2012."

So glad the banks have come out of this so swimmingly.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Multifamily



"New-home construction in the U.S. jumped more than forecast in March as multifamily projects climbed to the highest level in more than seven years.
A laborer works on new home construction at the Chateau at Fallon Crossing development by Standard Pacific Homes in Dublin, California. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Starts climbed 7 percent to a 1.04 million annual rate, the most since June 2008, after a revised 968,000 pace in February that was larger than previously reported, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 80 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 930,000. Building permits, a proxy for future construction, fell.

Builders are rushing to satisfy growing demand for rental units, propelling the jump in construction that will help support economic growth. Work began on fewer single-family houses last month, adding to evidence that part of the market is pausing."

Monday, April 15, 2013

Back to red

"Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) reported a 30% jump in first-quarter net income to $3.8 billion, or $1.23 a share, and a 6% increase in revenue, to $20.5 billion, helped by strength in investment banking.

The latest results beat analysts' estimates for both profit and revenue.

For most banks, beating analysts' estimates is nice but not everything. But Citigroup is not most banks. It struggled under former CEO Vikram Pandit to show any traction after a near-death experience during the financial crisis."

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Decline?

"Nationally, foreclosure activity continues to decline, according to RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif.-based foreclosure listing site. In March the number of filings fell 1% from February and 21% from a year earlier, and home repossessions hit their lowest level in five and a half years. The national level declines have been driven by dramatic decreases in areas long considered foreclosure hot spots like California, Arizona, Georgia and Michigan.
States With The Largest Increases In Foreclosure Starts In March

The marco-level data sound very promising. But dig deeper into RealtyTrac’s first quarter report and you’ll also find that a handful of states are actually bucking that recovery trend, experiencing dramatic jumps in the number of homes facing foreclosure.

“Overall we are continuing to see a downward trend nationwide with 30 straight months of year-over-year decrease in activity,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. “That said,  there are still these problem spots that are continuing to see foreclosure flare ups, including areas where it didn’t seem to be a problem in the past.”

In the first quarter of 2013, 11 states experienced increases in foreclosure activity compared to a year earlier. Maine experienced the most dramatic jump: a 327% increase in filing activity. Other states where foreclosures surged by triple digits were Arkansas (150%), Maryland (123%), Washington (126%), and New York (114%)."

Friday, April 12, 2013

Silent

"J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon was silent Friday about the bad bets in 2012 placed by a trader nicknamed the London Whale.

The unit houses the Chief Investment Office, which invests the bank’s excess cash and houses various private equity holdings. “Direct investments” in private equity recorded $327 million in “unrealized” losses during the quarter. Lake said she could not discuss what caused the loss but admitted it was larger than the bank would have liked. The unit recorded an overall profit of $250 million."

Of course he did--just sweep it under the rug.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

HARP



"Borrowers with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae (FNMA) or Freddie Mac (FMCC) will have until the end of 2015 to obtain new loans under the Home Affordable Refinance Program, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said today.

HARP previously was scheduled to expire at the end of 2013. The program allows borrowers to cut their loan payments by refinancing at lower interest rates even if they are stuck in homes that have lost value.
More than 2.2 million borrowers have used the program so far. To qualify, homeowners must be current on their payments and have loans originated before June 1, 2009.

HARP is “a useful tool for reducing risk,” FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco said in a statement. “We are extending the program so more underwater borrowers can benefit from lower interest rates.”

Wearing off

"According to real estate data-supplier RealtyTrac, U.S. foreclosure starts increased 2 percent from February to March, the second straight monthly increase following three consecutive monthly decreases.

Florida, Nevada and Illinois posted the highest foreclosure rates for the first quarter, according to RealtyTrac's March and first quarter U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. Florida had the most foreclosures of any state—one in every 104 housing units, or nearly three times the national average.

Florida cities accounted for 7 of the 10 highest metro foreclosure rates, with Miami leading every other metro area in the country for the first quarter. Other cities in the top 10 included Las Vegas at number four, with one in every 99 housing units filing.
 
The U.S. overall reported 152,500 foreclosures in March, a decrease of 1 percent from February and a decrease of 23 percent from a year before. The March decrease helped lower the total for first quarter U.S. foreclosures—including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions—to their lowest level since the second quarter of 2007.

Although the overall national trend continues to head downward, RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist says "late-blooming foreclosures are bolting higher" in some local markets where aggressive foreclosure-prevention efforts in previous years are wearing off."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Higher

"Stocks pushed higher Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve's minutes showed that most members think asset purchases should continue through at least mid 2013.

"People still think that we will have QE in perpetuity," said Douglas DiPietro, head of trading at Evercore. "The path of least resistance is to push the market higher."

The market perplexes me, how when so many are still struggling is this happening? Phony money?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sobering



"Is Housing Really Recovering, or Not?

Here are some sobering thoughts from the midst of a perceived housing recovery:
• Only 30% of home sales are coming from first-time buyers? This is the group that should dominate home sales, especially now that the echo boom generation is starting to enter into the market.
• In many markets including Tampa, Miami, and other parts of the country, most of the sales they see are for cash. And internationally, in many of the most booming cities, like Miami, New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, London or Sydney, a large number of sales are to foreign buyers.
• To qualify for an FHA or government-sponsored loan, which comprises most of the loans these days, you have to bring a foreclosed home up to code, which costs $15,000 on average.
• The typical young family, most likely burdened with recently acquired student loan debt, can't afford to buy a home for cash, put $15,000 into it to repair it, and then get a loan for it. Speculators can though. And that’s exactly what they're doing.
• Nearly 25% of home mortgages are still underwater, even though we've had this "rebound." We have gone from 30%, at worst, to near 25%. Not particularly great progress.
• Things are much worse in states like Nevada, which has the highest rate of mortgages underwater at 52%. In Florida, 40% of mortgages are underwater. In Arizona that number is 35%. Georgia 34%. Michigan 32%. Illinois 28%.
• The most underwater major cities include Tampa at 44%. Miami's at 41%. Atlanta 38%. Phoenix 37%. Riverside 36%. Detroit 35%. Chicago 33%.
• 92 million baby boomers will die between 2012 and 2042, creating a massive supply of homes on the market. This will overwhelm the demand for homes from the rising echo boomers for decades to come.
• The mortgage refinance market share is expected to drop dramatically in the coming years, making up only 52% of mortgage originations in the fourth quarter of 2013 and 33% in the fourth quarter of 2014, the report states. First-time home purchases are attempting to pick up the slack in refinances, but even with the modest anticipated growth, mortgage originations are predicted to drop.
• "We expect economic growth to come in at 2.1% in 2013, as strength in the housing market and business investment will help to offset fiscal tightening," said an economic and strategic report from Fannie Mae. "Tax increases will restrain activity in the first half of the year, but we expect growth to pick up in the second half." 


From Utah Association of Mortgage Professionals

Settlement fraud

"Florida received more than $330 million as part of a multi-state foreclosure fraud settlement with the nation’s biggest banks. Other states have used their share of the dollars to plug budget holes, and they’ve been criticized for not spending the money on housing-related issues. That’s not the case in Florida. Still, as the legislature works to craft a budget, some lawmakers worry their colleagues may be tempted to spend the money in other ways."


How does a settlement get reached for wrongful foreclosure on Americans and then state governments can use the money willy-nilly? Who's driving???

Monday, April 8, 2013

Aloha

"The number of foreclosure lawsuits filed by lenders in Hawaii rose 9 percent in February, when compared to the same month last year, according to data from the state Judiciary.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports there were 375 new foreclosure lawsuits filed in February, which continued a gradual rising in the number of cases since Hawaii's foreclosure law was amended last summer to force lenders to revise how they initiate new cases."

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Limitless fraud

"Bank of America on Friday won a federal judge’s approval for a $2.43 billion settlement with investors who said the lender hid crucial information when it bought Merrill Lynch. The accord, among the largest investor settlements stemming from the recent global financial crisis, was approved by Federal District Judge P. Kevin Castel in Manhattan. Judge Castel called the settlement “fair, reasonable and adequate.” Shareholders said Merrill’s mounting losses and bonus plans should have been disclosed before investors voted on the merger in December 2008. Bank of America denied the plaintiffs’ claims, but the chief executive, Brian T. Moynihan, has said the settlement would remove uncertainty for bank."

Limitless

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Deals at risk

"It's still possible to buy a foreclosure and make it the home of your dreams. It's just harder these days.
Investors, both individuals and national corporations, are rushing into the market with the intent of turning foreclosed properties into cash-generating rental units.

Lenders are only slowly listing homes for sale at a time when the general appetite for home purchases is increasing. Demand for properties is leading to bidding wars and higher prices that aren't necessarily justified by appraisals, putting deals at risk."

Banks still playing with the market to their benefit.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Botching

"Private consultants and federal regulators are facing a fresh round of scrutiny in Washington after botching a broad review of foreclosures and failing to thwart financial misdeeds.

A new report by the Government Accountability Office will take aim at the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for creating a bureaucratic maze that delayed relief to homeowners in foreclosure, according to a draft of the 74-page document provided to The New York Times. The regulators, the report found, designed a flawed review of troubled loans that the consultants carried out and mishandled.

Adding to the scrutiny, the Senate Banking Committee plans to hold a hearing next week to examine the foreclosure review and other recent missteps at consulting firms like Promontory Financial and Deloitte & Touche, according to several people with direct knowledge of the matter. Senator Sherrod Brown, the Ohio Democrat leading the inquiry, is expected to broadly question the quality and independence of consulting firms that are paid billions of dollars by the same banks they are expected to police."

BY DESIGN

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fined

"For more than a decade, four of the nation’s largest mortgage insurers paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to home lenders in exchange for business, raising insurance prices for consumers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday.

The consumer watchdog agency fined Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., United Guaranty Corp., Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. and Radian Guaranty Inc. a total of $15.4 million for an alleged scheme that the bureau said was a common practice in the lead-up to the nation’s housing meltdown.

“Illegal kickbacks distort markets and can inflate the financial burden of homeownership for consumers,” CFPB director Richard Cordray said.
 
Lenders typically require homebuyers who cannot afford a 20 percent downpayment on a house to buy mortgage insurance to offset the risk of default. The lender, not the borrower, selects the mortgage insurance company."

Rates fall



"Mortgage rates in the U.S. fell, decreasing borrowing costs as the housing market moves into its second year of recovery.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.54 percent in the week ended today, down from 3.57 percent, McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac (FMCC) said in a statement. The average 15- year rate slipped to 2.74 percent from 2.76 percent.

U.S. home prices rose 10.2 percent in February from a year earlier, the most since March 2006, Irvine, California-based CoreLogic Inc. said yesterday. It was the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year gains as low borrowing costs drove demand for a thin supply of homes."

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hmmm

"Matthew Taylor, a former Goldman Sachs banker, surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on securities-related charges, a spokesman for the bureau said on Wednesday.
Details of the criminal charges were not revealed, but Mr Taylor was sued last year by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for alledgedly defrauding Goldman of $118m and hiding a $8.5bn futures.

Mr Taylor has previously denied the CFTC allegations.

The CFTC alleged Mr Taylor concealed the size, risk and losses of S&P 500 e-mini futures contracts he traded. He allegedly did so by entering “fabricated e-mini futures trades in a manual trade entry system that his employer used.” The system was not intended for e-mini contracts, a type of future that trades on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the CFTC claimed.

From November to December 2007, Mr Taylor allegedly amassed positions in the futures contracts worth over $8.3bn."

I can't help but wonder how much fraud there really is in these institutions (big banks/investment firms), people Americans trust their money with.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fannie record profits

"Mortgage financing giant Fannie Mae Tuesday reported a record profit of $17.2 billion for 2012, a testament to how much the housing market has improved lately.

Just four years ago, the government had to step in and take control of Fannie Mae, which was brought down to its knees by deep losses from foreclosures and plunging home prices after the real estate bubble had burst.
It was the first full year profit reported by the company since 2006, and marked a significant turnaround from the $16.9 billion loss it posted for 2011.

It also means that Fannie Mae is poised to pay tens of billions of dollars in additional dividends to the U.S. Treasury, perhaps as soon as this quarter, in what could turn out to be its largest repayment to date. The government has pumped in $116 billion in bailout funds in its rescue of the company.

Fannie's improvement in results stems directly from a sharp drop in losses on its loan portfolio. That's because of the decline in foreclosures and delinquencies on the mortgages it owns or guarantees.
The company said it expects its "earnings to remain strong over the next few years."

Renter nation

"This year’s report starts off with a hard-hitting review and forecast of the volatility of the housing market by three chief economists and leads right into how the current “fiscal cliff” could very well point to us becoming a “renter nation”. The Mortgage Interest Deduction debate moves to the pages of the 2013 Trends Report with a review of this politically sensitive issue and why its possibly inevitable loss may severely cripple an already depressed housing market. “To be frank, mortgage debt isn’t as popular as it used to be”, says Donald B. Marron Director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

Two large transactions also draw a lot of attention and scrutiny. First was Warren Buffet’s successful acquisition of the combined networks of more than 53,000 Prudential Real Estate and Real Living agents generating in excess of $72 billion in sales volume in 2011. And secondly the successful IPO of the world’s largest residential real estate brokerage group Realogy obtaining a $3.5 billion dollar market cap on day one. It is estimated that these two groups collectively between them control over 50% of the home sales in the United States. Add in Keller Williams Realty and RE/MAX Swanepoel says and you can see how this industry once dominate by ten of thousands of “Mom and Pop” business have in two decades consolidated down the “Fab Four” holding companies with control of over two thirds of all home sales in the United States."

Monday, April 1, 2013

Wall Street bubble

"Stockman predicts that “this latest Wall Street bubble, inflated by an egregious flood of phony money from the Federal Reserve rather than real economic gains, will explode, too.” Let it first be said that on matters monetary Stockman is partially in the right, that the Fed’s quantitative easing measures are an abomination that plainly expose the adolescent thinkers in residence at the world’s foremost central bank."

More fraud to American citizens??