Archive for 'Short Sale'

The report is in for the month of June and the results for home sales in California are showing positive once again according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Pending home sales were up again over 12 percent as compared to June  2014, marking the seventh straight month of year-to-year gains and the fifth straight month of double-digit advances. A breakdown of distressed sales by County is in the chart below.

LOS ANGELES, July 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — California pending home sales continued to gain steam in June, registering seven months of continued annual increases and the fifth consecutive month of double-digit increases, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

In a separate report, California REALTORS® responding to C.A.R.’s June Market Pulse Survey saw a reduction in floor calls, listing appointments, and open house traffic, compared with May. The Market Pulse Survey is a monthly online survey of more than 300 California REALTORS®, which measures data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month and the last year.

Pending home sales data:

  • California pending home sales were up 12.5 percent on an annual basis from the revised 107 index recorded in June 2014, marking the seventh straight month of year-to-year gains and the fifth straight month of double-digit advances.
  • Statewide pending home sales fell in June on a month-to-month basis, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* decreasing 2.6 percent from a revised 123.6 in May to 120.4, based on signed contracts.  The month-to-month decrease was slightly below the average May-June loss of 1.9 percent observed in the last seven years.
  • A shortage of available homes in the San Francisco Bay Area stifled pending sales in June, pushing the PHSI to 127.9, down 5.3 percent from 135.1 in May and down 0.9 percent from the 129.1 index recorded in June 2014.
  • Pending home sales in Southern California continued last month’s increase by rising 4 percent in June to reach an index of 109.6, up 14.2 percent from the June 2014 index of 96.
  • Central Valley pending sales fell in June, dropping 8.2 percent from May to reach an index of 99.5 in June but up 14.2 percent from the 87.2 index of June 2014.

Equity and distressed housing market data:

  • The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – declined slightly in June to make up 92.4 percent of all home sales, remaining near the highest level since late 2007. Equity sales made up 92.6 percent of all home sales in May and 89.9 percent in June 2014. The share of equity sales has been at or near 90 percent since mid-2014.
  • Conversely, the combined share of all distressed property sales (REOs and short sales) rose slightly in June, up to 7.6 percent from 7.4 percent in May. Distressed sales made up 10.1 percent of total sales a year ago. Ten of the 43 counties that C.A.R. reported showed month-to-month decreases in their distressed sales shares, with Alameda and Santa Clara having the smallest share of distressed sales at 1 percent, followed by San Mateo (2 percent), Contra Costa (3 percent), and San Francisco (3 percent). Glenn had the highest share of distressed sales at 27 percent, followed by Merced and Siskiyou (both at 23 percent).

June REALTOR® Market Pulse Survey**:

  • Reversing last month’s decrease, the share of sales closing below asking price increased to 43 percent in June, up from 40 percent in May, but down from the highest point of 55 percent in January 2015.  More than a third of homes (33 percent) closed over asking price, and 24 percent closed at asking price.
  • For the one in three homes that sold over asking price, the premium paid over asking price increased in June, suggesting increased market competition among home buyers in some local markets. In June, homes that sold above asking price sold for an average of 11 percent above asking price, up from 8 percent in May and 7.3 percent in June 2014.
  • The 43 percent of homes that sold below asking price sold for an average of 11 percent below asking price in June, up from 7 percent in May.
  • The share of properties receiving multiple offers was unchanged at 65 percent in June but down slightly from 66 percent in June 2014.
  • The average number of offers per property increased slightly to 2.9 from 2.8 in May and 2.7 in June 2014.
  • REALTOR® respondents reported that floor calls, listing appointments, and open house traffic all declined in June, compared with the previous month.
  • While the majority of REALTORS® (83 percent) expect better or similar market conditions over the next year, the percentage of REALTORS® who are optimistic about conditions over the coming year has been on the decline for the past six months from 62 percent in January to 44 percent in June.

Share of Distressed Sales to Total Sales
(Single-family)

Type of Sale

Jun-15

May-15

Jun-14

Equity Sales

92.4%

92.6%

89.9%

Total Distressed Sales

7.6%

7.4%

10.1%

     REOs

3.5%

3.6%

4.4%

     Short Sales

3.7%

3.4%

5.4%

     Other Distressed Sales (Not Specified) 

0.4%

0.4%

0.3%

All Sales 

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Single-family Distressed Home Sales by Select Counties
(Percent of total sales)

County

Jun-15

May-15

Jun-14

Alameda

1%

3%

4%

Amador

8%

9%

23%

Butte

9%

5%

8%

Calaveras

6%

10%

16%

Contra Costa

3%

2%

4%

El Dorado

8%

5%

12%

Fresno

10%

11%

17%

Glenn

27%

0%

21%

Humboldt

16%

14%

8%

Kern

9%

8%

11%

Kings

11%

13%

25%

Lake

18%

15%

23%

Los Angeles

8%

7%

10%

Madera

9%

5%

9%

Marin

4%

2%

3%

Mariposa

20%

18%

40%

Mendocino

20%

16%

10%

Merced

23%

16%

16%

Monterey

8%

7%

13%

Napa

12%

4%

6%

Orange

4%

4%

6%

Placer

5%

6%

7%

Plumas

20%

16%

18%

Riverside

10%

10%

13%

Sacramento

11%

10%

13%

San Benito

8%

6%

7%

San Bernardino

12%

10%

17%

San Diego

4%

5%

6%

San Francisco

3%

3%

3%

San Joaquin

12%

10%

14%

San Luis Obispo

4%

6%

5%

San Mateo

2%

1%

3%

Santa Clara

1%

1%

2%

Santa Cruz

4%

4%

7%

Shasta

8%

13%

14%

Siskiyou

23%

17%

19%

Solano

21%

9%

13%

Sonoma

9%

3%

6%

Stanislaus

11%

8%

12%

Sutter

12%

13%

8%

Tulare

14%

14%

21%

Yolo

5%

2%

12%

Yuba

18%

16%

9%

CALIFORNIA

8%

7%

10%

*Note:  C.A.R.’s pending sales information is generated from a survey of more than 70 associations of REALTORS® and MLSs throughout the state.  Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, offering solid information on future changes in the direction of the market.  A sale is listed as pending after a seller has accepted a sales contract on a property.  The majority of pending home sales usually becomes closed sales transactions one to two months later.  The year 2008 was used as the benchmark for the Pending Homes Sales Index.  An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2008.

**C.A.R.’s Market Pulse Survey is a monthly online survey of more than 300 California REALTORS® to measure data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month and the last year.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

SOURCE CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

CONTACT: Mary Belongia, (213) 739-8363, maryb@car.org

RELATED LINKS
http://www.car.org

Bank of America Tiptoes into Landlording Business

Foreclosure properties

Foreclosure properties. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It seems like it was only yesterday that when an investor wanted to purchase a property through the short sale process, two things that the Banks demanded were that the homeowner was not to receive any cash and that they were not allowed to stay in the property after the sale. All of that has now been turned on it’s head. Some banks are now offering cash to homeowners for the keys to the property and now BoA will allow some owners to stay on as tenants. The idea is to eventually sell the properties off to investors. Good news for investors and it’s been a long time coming.

Bank of America Corp. has tentatively joined a nascent housing industry movement in which homes in or near foreclosure are sold to investors as rental properties.

The bank on Friday began a test program for 1,000 homeowners headed into foreclosure in Nevada, Arizona and upstate New York — borrowers it has been unable to help with loan modifications but hopes to keep on as renters. If successful, the program could be tried in California and rolled out nationally.

Consumer advocates maintain it often would be better for homeowners, communities and the banks themselves to keep troubled borrowers on as renters rather than kick them out. Seizing and selling empty homes creates neighborhood blight and accelerates downdrafts in housing prices, they contend.

Bank of America doesn’t plan to become a longtime landlord for borrowers turned tenants. In the pilot, it hopes to take possession of homes for no more than three months before selling them to investors making a bet on the recovering housing markets. If the program becomes established, the goal would be for the investors to take over as soon as the occupants relinquish ownership and pay the first month’s rent.

Whether this scheme can work is to be determined by the pilot, the first such test announced by any major mortgage company. The bank wants to find out whether getting a loan off its books with a quick sale at a deep discount is a better deal financially than the foreclosure process, which can drag on for months or even years in highly regulated states such as New York.

“This pilot will help determine whether conversion from homeownership to rental is something our customers, the community and investors will support,” said Bank of America’s Ron Sturzenegger, who oversees about 1 million troubled loans inherited from aggressive mortgage giant Countrywide Financial Corp., which Bank of America purchased in 2008.

Homeowners can’t apply for the program themselves, a bank spokesman said.

The trial is limited to a tiny slice of the 1 million loans that Bank of America owns outright. It is not testing any of the additional 8 million home loans on which it provides customer service but which are owned by investors in mortgage bonds.

Bank of America executives said the 1,000 homeowners selected are all at least 60 days late on their loans and are not qualified for or not willing to accept other alternatives to foreclosure.

They will be offered one final deal: hand their property titles to the bank, which would cancel their mortgages in what’s known as a deed in lieu of foreclosure, and sign contracts agreeing to rent the home for up to three years at or below market rates.

Source

Hopefully this program works out for all parties and the foreclosure backlog starts moving again.

Mortgage Lenders vs The Scarecrow: If I Only Had a Brain

Are you kidding me? The Banks are just now paying homeowners to get out of a house they can’t afford anymore? They should have been doing this years ago instead of dragging out the short sale process and then delivering the big “No” months later. And then letting the house go through the foreclosure process, which eats up more time and costs them even more money in the process. Here’s one for you: “The banks have realized, ‘We are losing more on the foreclosures than the shorts,'” Augustyniak said. “And they are even willing to compensate the sellers, to give the sellers money to vacate the property.” Wow! What a revelation! Any half-assed Real Estate investor straight out of a short sale seminar in 2006 could have told them that. Guess it takes a while to sink in.

Chase Puts Their Money Where Their Mouth is With Large Short Sale Cash Incentive

McGeough Lamacchia Realty and Dorner Law negotiate a $35,000 payment to their short sale client at closing.

Quote startIt’s important for people who cannot pay their mortgage to be proactive with an alternative such as a short sale.Quote end

Chase Bank sent a homeowner (name withheld) a solicitation letter offering up to $35,000 to do a short sale. Back in August the homeowner called McGeough Lamacchia Realty right away and the home was listed for sale within two weeks.

Once an offer was obtained the staff at McGeough Lamacchia Realty and Dorner Law submitted a short sale package to Chase along with their solicitation letter to remind them that this $35,000 was offered. After five weeks of negotiating Chase not only offered a short sale approval and waived the entire deficiency balance but they agreed to pay this homeowner the entire $35,000.

Over the past year more major banks have realized that paying distressed homeowners a substantial sum is a great way to incentivize them to move out of the home they can no longer afford. Chase has been sending out these solicitation letters of up to $35,000 for about a year. Citi Mortgage has been paying up to $12,000 for about 6 months and Bank of America has most recently agreed to pay up to $20,000.

McGeough Lamacchia Realty and Dorner Law have negotiated large sums for its clients before, but this $35,000 is a new record that they are proud of. These programs are only offered on the loans where these banks actually own the mortgage. Most mortgages are being serviced by the large banks on behalf of one of the three GSE’s: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA (Federal Housing Administration). FHA does offer a $1,500 incentive to do a short sale under their Pre-Foreclosure Sale program. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not currently offer any money unless the short sale is through the Treasury’s HAFA program.

Under the Treasury’s HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative) program which came out in April 2010, lenders are paying $3,000 to distressed homeowners who complete a short sale through the HAFA program.

“It is clear that the major banks have woken up and realized that a short sale is the best way to decrease losses and assist distressed homeowners in a graceful and dignified exit from their home. It’s unfortunate that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac still haven’t seen the light,” says Anthony Lamacchia.

Short sales are increasing across the country for several reasons:

  •     They are becoming better known to distressed homeowners.
  •     Banks have realized that they save tremendous money through a short sale vs. a foreclosure
  •     Banks have finally hired more staff and are working hard to better their short sale processes
  •     All the major banks are now sending out letters offering short sales to homeowners who cannot qualify for a loan modification. Bank of America recently came out with a Home Transition Guide.
  •     Banks recognize that the sooner they get out of a non-performing loan the more money they save.

“I did my first short sale 20 years ago. They are a great alternative to foreclosure and it is nice to see more distressed homeowners are finally opting for them, especially now that these great incentives are being offered,” says Attorney Hillery Dorner.

Nationally short sales have increased 12% in 2011 and many believe they will increase by much more in 2012.

“One thing distressed homeowners need to know now is that banks will be foreclosing much faster in 2012 than they did in 2011 due to these robo-signing issues for the most part being worked out. Therefore it is important for people who cannot pay their mortgage to be proactive with an alternative such as a short sale,” says John McGeough.

For more on this story, visit the New England Short Sale Blog

About McGeough Lamacchia:

McGeough Lamacchia is the #1 Listing Agency in Massachusetts and named one of the Top 100 Real Estate Teams in the country by RealTrends and the Wall Street Journal. They are a full service real estate agency specializing in short sales in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

So there you have it. All you seminar graduates, go out there and make some money.

Foreclosed Self Storage Facility Goes for $10.5 Million

Foreclosed Self Storage Facility Goes for $10.5 Million

Bancap Self Storage Group, Inc., the “#1 Self Storage Broker in California,” recently announced that the firm has successfully brokered the sale of the Casino Self Storage property located in the city of  Moorpark in Ventura County, California.  Dean Keller, the firm’s president, was the exclusive listing agent and sole broker in the transaction.  The sale was facilitated by special servicing company LNR Partners, LLC on behalf of a CMBS fund that had foreclosed on the property earlier this year.  The buyer was Public Storage, a publicly traded REIT, which will re-brand the property with its name.

“This is a classic example of a very desirable first class property that was just over-leveraged in a very difficult economic climate,” Keller said “It is the nicest storage facility in the city and it should perform very well in the long run.”

The property sold for $10.5 million on an “all cash” basis. This was much less that the property’s outstanding debt at the time of foreclosure.  Although physical occupancy was over 85%, economic occupancy was approximately 66%, offering further upside potential to the buyer.  The facility’s gross potential income at the time of closing was approximately $1,078,000 per year.

Casino Self Storage contains nearly 85,430 net square feet of self storage space divided into 822 units, including 91 climate controlled units.  The attractive two-story project was built in 2005 and is located on Los Angeles Avenue (also known as State Highway 118) on a highly visible corner in retail and commercial oriented location.  The buildings are constructed of concrete block and stucco with metal partitions, roofs and doors.

“There have only been a handful of foreclosed storage properties listed for sale in Southern California in the past few years and we have been the exclusive listing broker for most of them,” Keller said.  “There are plenty of buyers looking to “steal” lender owned properties, but we have been able to obtain very good and fair prices for the sellers – usually millions of dollars more than the “direct offers” received from potential buyers and other brokers before our listing and marketing of the property.  Self storage is such a unique property type and it takes a specialist with proven expertise and experience to maximize value for sellers in this unique property niche.”

Bancap Self Storage Group is the “#1 Self Storage Broker in California” with over $900 million in completed self storage sales, including many lender-owned “REO” properties, numerous portfolio sales, and a record setting single property sale at over $31 million.  For more information contact Bancap Self Storage Group at (949) 888-5355 or visit the company web site at www.bancapselfstorage.com

Contact: Dean Keller

Phone (949) 888-5355

Fax (949) 203-6105

Email: DKeller@BancapSelfStorage.com

Foreclosure Crisis Black Magic Report Released

Foreclosure Crisis Black Magic Report Released

Foreclosure Crisis Black Magic Report Released-Image via Wikipedia

Occupy Wall Street adds another exhibit to the Wall Street Hall of Shame and call it Deconstructing the Black Magic of Securitized Trusts by Oppenheim Law’s foreclosure defense team Roy Oppenheim and Jacquelyn Trask-Rahn.

The banks must be held accountable for their conduct on all levels

The Black Magic article will be published in Stetson Law Review’s Spring 2012 issue and is posted on OppenheimLaw.com. In the article the attorneys analyze the continued failure of the banks to follow the rules, and how their fraudulent documentation involving millions of foreclosures opened the door on an even larger scandal regarding the improper securitization of “mortgage-backed” securities, that were never mortgage-backed. The article chastises a court system that has become a private collection agency for the banks, and which has seen the practice of “lore” rather than law as rules of evidence and civil procedure are blatantly disregarded in order to promote expediency rather than protecting the due process and property rights of homeowners.

The article calls for members of the legal community and implores them to protect the integrity of the judicial system through the foreclosure epidemic: “The judicial system was never meant to be evaluated by how swift justice could be dispensed or by how quickly a particular judge could dispose of cases on his or her docket. As officers of the court, both judges and attorneys are responsible for protecting the integrity of the system, ensuring that the system is never compromised solely for financial expediency.”

Going viral with corporate greed and systematic fraud

Legal documents don’t typically go viral, but this article caught the attention of highly influential consumer advocates and bloggers such as April Charney and Neil Garfield, who both commented on the article.

“Exceptionally well written and I am looking forward to these authors going forward to tackle the negotiable/non-negotiable debate raging right now …,” consumer advocate and attorney April Charney said in an email to legal peers.

Charney is an attorney with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and has been called the “Angel of Foreclosure Defense.” She has been at the forefront of the legal fight against home foreclosures in America.

“Explicitly articulates the basic problem with foreclosures today as well as providing insight into the changing mortgage approval process,” noted Garfield on his highly trafficked website Livinglies. “The authors clearly explain how the system was rigged to provide the appearance of passive entities to avoid tax consequences and in so doing ignored basic requirements of substantive law.” Garfield stated that the article “is balanced and … should be used as an authoritative treatise in memos to the Court.”

Are banks too large to be governed and too big to be caught?

In fact, the article has gone viral due in large part to the notion by a growing segment of the population that the banks have become too large for government to control. “We pinpoint how securitized trusts are emblematic of the problems inherent in the whole system, ranging from robo-signers to fraud-closure,” said award-winning blogger and real estate attorney Oppenheim.

Homeowners finally have a fighting chance in court

The other reason that the article has gone viral is that the court system is finally paying attention to the fact that there are real defenses available to homeowners. Homeowners are now in a better position to bring a defense and fight the banks rather than just walking away. Further, when they fight, they become part of the overall protest movement.

When Oppenheim was asked what should be done with the conclusions drawn from the article, he said, “It’s simple! Like all people the banks must be held accountable for their conduct on all levels. Management must go and the owners and bondholders must be responsible for allowing management to run amuck. Finally, the banks have proven to be too big and powerful to be adequately regulated and governed, taking on the illusion of being a fourth branch of our government. To restore true capitalism and democracy, they must be broken up. It’s just plain common sense!

For a copy of the executive summary or full article submitted to Stetson Law Review, the online versions of the full article are available on OppenheimLaw.com or the Executive Summary on the South Florida Law Blog at http://southfloridalawblog.com/2011/10/25/executive-summary-deconstructing-the-black-magic-of-securitized-trusts/

Oppenheim Law
2500 Weston Rd Ste 404
Weston FL 33331
954-384-6114

Contact:

Lisa Buyer
954-354-1411 x 14

Web Site: http://www.oppenheimlaw.com

Foreclosure and Mortgage Trends Revealed in New Report

Image via Wikipedia

CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), a leading provider of information, analytics and business services, today released its U.S. Housing and Mortgage Trends, a report that provides data on housing sales, valuation, negative equity, shadow inventory and foreclosure activity and trends.  The latest trends report from CoreLogic shows that homeownership rates for the 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 prime homebuyer age cohorts are down almost 10 percent in 2010 compared to 1980.  The report also shows:

  • Real median income for prime home-buying age segment in 2010 was at the same level as in the late 1970s.
  • Median income fell by 2.3 percent from 2009 to 2010, and real median income has declined more than 7 percent since its peak in 1999.
  • Consumers continue to allocate a higher share of household expenditures to housing, which means they have less money left to spend on non-housing consumption.
  • Of the foreclosure properties that were auctioned in 2006, 66 percent became REO properties. Once in REO, 85 percent have only sold once and have not gone back into REO.
  • The REO recidivism rate within five years of the initial REO sale is only 2 percent.
  • Investors have shifted from buying properties at foreclosure auction to buying properties at the REO sale, increasing the burden of losses on the banks holding REO properties.

The full CoreLogic U.S. Housing and Mortgage Trends report is available at http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/researchtrends/us-housing-and-mortgage-trends.aspx

About CoreLogic

CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, analytics and services to business and government. The company combines public, contributory and proprietary data to develop predictive decision analytics and provide business services that bring dynamic insight and transparency to the markets it serves. CoreLogic has built the largest U.S. real estate, mortgage application, fraud, and loan performance databases and is a recognized leading provider of mortgage and automotive credit reporting, property tax, valuation, flood determination, and geospatial analytics and services. More than one million users rely on CoreLogic to assess risk, support underwriting, investment and marketing decisions, prevent fraud, and improve business performance in their daily operations.  The company, headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., has more than 6,500 employees globally with 2010 revenues of $1.6 billion.  For more information visit www.corelogic.com

CORELOGIC and the stylized CoreLogic logo, are registered trademarks owned by CoreLogic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. No trademark of CoreLogic shall be used without the express written consent of CoreLogic.

CONTACT: real estate industry and trade media, Bill Campbell, +1-212-995-8057 (office), +1-917-328-6539 (mobile), bill@campbelllewis.com, or general news media, Jordan Hassin, +1-202-232-6601, jhassin@crosbyvolmer.com, both for CoreLogic

Web Site: http://www.corelogic.com

Foreclosure Abuses by Banks Spurs Demonstrations

Foreclosure Abuses by Banks Spurs Demonstrations

Foreclosure Abuses by Banks Spurs Demonstrations-Image by Getty Images via @daylife

While thousands of Americans are rallying as part of the Occupy Wall Street protests, community development and consumer advocates in Raleigh are calling upon state and federal officials to protect consumers against big banks overstepping their legal authority.

The rally sponsors include Community Reinvestment Association of N.C., N.C. Association of Community Development Corporations, N.C. Community Development Initiative, and N.C. United.

While not a part of the national movement, advocates will hold a rally and march on the grounds of the state capital at noon today to call attention to the same kinds of illegal activities that are driving Occupy Wall Street and putting Americans in danger – namely, the widespread legal violations used by some banks to pursue foreclosures.

Speakers at the rally will be calling on key public officials to serve as “cops on the beat” to enforce the laws that govern the mortgage industry and to be vigilant in protecting consumers from manipulative practices that have widespread impact on local property values and home sales.

The rally coincides with a N.C. Supreme Court hearing of Dobson vs. Wells Fargo, a case in which the bank is pursuing a foreclosure without proper documentation to show its ownership of the loan. If the court finds in favor of Wells Fargo, it will overturn well-established N.C. property rights laws, place extreme burdens and inequities on low- and middle-income families when defending against foreclosures, and cause devastating decreases in property values for thousands of North Carolinians.

“Our system of protecting private property is what makes it safe to invest in this country,” said Peter Skillern, executive director of Community Reinvestment Association of N.C. “The big banks cannot be allowed to turn that system on its head by falsifying documentation in order to snatch property back from homeowners.”

Additional events will take place in cities throughout North Carolina during the month of October in order to spread awareness of the consequences of fraudulent foreclosure practices and the remedies that are needed.

CONTACT: Peter Skillern; office: +1-919-667-1557×22; cell: +1-919-667-4201; Michael De Los Santos; office: +1-919-667-1557×23; cell: +1-919-672-4755; or Susan Perry-Cole; cell: +1-919-608-1158

Web Site: http://www.cra-nc.org

Distressed Property Owners Get Some Help With HUD Grants

Distressed Property Owners Get Some Help With HUD Grants-Image via Wikipedia

Esperanza has received a $271,443 grant from the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to deliver foreclosure prevention counseling and assist with application to Federal and other mortgage modification programs. Esperanza is one of 23 intermediaries awarded, and will work to deliver housing counseling through its own national network of service providers.

Nationwide, the need for assistance to obtain a mortgage modification or to avoid mortgage scams continues to rise. Hispanic individuals and families are especially at risk of a mortgage default. According to a report by the Center for Responsible Lending, Hispanic borrowers are 71% more likely to have lost their home to foreclosure than non-Hispanic white borrowers. It is estimated that 731,660 Hispanic homeowners are at imminent risk of foreclosure (“Foreclosures by Race and Ethnicity” 2010. Center for Responsible Lending). Esperanza is one of only two Hispanic HUD intermediaries in the United States, and its national network of bilingual counselors ensures that these individuals receive the full services they need without linguistic barriers.

Esperanza’s network of providers will use grant funds to support bilingual housing counselors in key markets, to conduct outreach and counseling efforts designed to identify and assist victims of mortgage modification scams, many of whom are often ashamed to seek assistance, as well as prevent new cases from occurring through vital information dissemination, and to report those cases to the applicable authorities. Between October of 2011 and 2012, Esperanza and five of its affiliates in Arizona, Florida and Pennsylvania will serve over 1200 individuals and families.

Esperanza has engaged in high quality housing counseling in Philadelphia since 1989. The Esperanza branch office in Philadelphia assists well over 600 persons each year, nearly 50% of which are foreclosure-related cases with an 80% success rate at resolving foreclosure. Esperanza has served as a HUD-approved intermediary since 2009 and administered a network of multiple housing counseling agencies since 2008. Esperanza’s local housing counseling efforts and its network have served over 11,292 families since inception.

Esperanza is the largest Hispanic faith-based community development corporation in the United States. Founded in 1987, its purpose is to strengthen the Hispanic community nationwide by raising awareness and identifying resources through a network of more than 12,000 participating Hispanic faith groups and churches in 42 states representing 27 countries of origin. Esperanza’s capacity to serve as a national housing counseling intermediary includes nearly two decades of delivering housing counseling in Philadelphia and experiences working with faith and community based organizations nationally since 2002 to provide training, technical assistance and programmatic and capacity-building sub-awards. For more information about Esperanza’s work, please call 215-324-0746 or visit www.esperanza.us.

http://www.esperanza.us

Foreclosure Numbers Keep Rising as Banks Release Inventory

Foreclosure Numbers Keep Rising as Banks Release Inventory-Image by niallkennedy via Flickr

BankOwnedProperties.org reports that Alabama and Georgia showed a drop in bank foreclosures in March of 2011 but then spiked upwards in April and continues to grow in both states. Behind this activity is the cumulative effect of foreclosure processing delays which masked the reality of the foreclosure effect. The August numbers reveal what lies behind that veneer.

Activity jolted higher in August providing evidence that lenders are disproportionately pushing batches of delinquent loans through foreclosure as they fix their paperwork and documentation actions and as some local markets are determined able to absorb more foreclosure inventory. Across the United States there are some 1.4 million more homes in the process of being listed in foreclosure.

In the Birmingham, Alabama area, home prices declined in August, pressured by foreclosure-related transactions.

In Alabama’s largest metro area, home prices, including distressed sales, fell by 9.6 percent in May from 2010. In April prices fell 9.3 percent compared to the same time in 2010. The overall decline for Alabama home prices was 8.9 percent in May.

Unemployment findings seem to mirror the volume of foreclosures. Notice the number of foreclosure properties and the unemployment numbers in close proximity of the same month for the states of Alabama and Georgia:

Alabama Bank Foreclosures
August:  1048
July: 1087
June: 1305
May: 1281
April: 1308
March: 1027
February: 1190
January: 1141

Alabama Unemployment Rate and Numbers
August: 9.9% (213,271 people)
July: 10% (215,426)
June: 9.9% (213,271)
May: 9.6% (206,809)
April: 9.3% (199,749)
March: 9.2% (195,210)
February: 9.3% (196,714)
January: 9.3% (196,125)

Georgia Bank Foreclosures
August: 7732
July: 4277
June: 6098
May: 5616
April: 3828
March: 3575
February: 4569
January: 4587

Georgia Unemployment Rate and Numbers
August:  10.2% (478,953 people)
July: 10.1% (474,258)
June: 9.9% (464,867)
May: 9.8% (460,172)
April: 9.8% (460,896)
March: 10.0% (468,550)
February: 10.2% (476,750)
January: 10.3% (483,873)

Alabama’s unemployment rate slightly dropped to 9.9 percent in August down from 10.0 percent in April, as a weak labor market was again unable to sustain the growth of people looking for jobs. And more significantly, August’s unemployment was above the 9.1 percent rate of August 2010.

The number of unemployed people rose above 200,000 for the first time since May 2010, to almost 213,271 in August 2011. Statewide unemployment peaked at 10.4 percent in late 2009, when nearly 225,000 people were jobless. But storms and tornadoes damaged areas of Alabama which also added to the unemployment numbers.

The weak national economy also affects Alabama. The national unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent in August, from 9 percent in January.

In Georgia, more than half of the state’s 159 counties have jobless rates higher than 10 percent. In Brunswick, where the unemployment rate increased to 9.8 percent from the 9.6 percent jobless rate in April, there were 140 new job seekers and only 23 of them found a job. Fulton County, which includes the city of Atlanta, was at 10.9 percent. Georgia appears to be sustaining better employment numbers even though foreclosures continue to rise, revealing that the number of foreclosure properties in progress are about to deluge the market.

Those who have struggled over the past six to twelve months with securing employment while delinquent on their payments are exposing the backlog now of homes that will soon be available to the buyers and investors.

CONTACT: Susan Redfield, BankOwnedProperties.org, susanredfield@bankownedproperties.org, +1-347-329-4477

Web Site: http://www.BankOwnedProperties.org

UFAN: Will investigations by state Attorneys General help uncover improper practices by mortgage lenders?

In a statement released by her office, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced recently the creation of a mortgage fraud task force. The task force is comprised of 17 lawyers and eight special agents from the state Department of Justice, and will investigate everything from small scale fraud targeting borrowers to large scale corporate practices, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

The task force created by Harris signals that California is now taking an aggressive approach to the fraud underlying the mortgage crisis seriously affecting the state, and coincides with a nationwide effort among all 50 state attorneys general to investigate the causes and effects of the mortgage crisis, as reported by the L.A. Times. Harris told the Times “California was disproportionately harmed by the mortgage crisis, and our homeowners badly need relief. We will critically evaluate every possible avenue of relief for Californians. If it will result in real accountability and real results, no option will be off the table.”

According to the Attorney General’s Office, “Last year alone, there were foreclosure filings against 546,669 California homes. It is projected that between 2009 and 2012, a total of 2 million California homes will enter the foreclosure process. In the last year, the California Department of Justice has received thousands of complaints related to foreclosure scams, mortgage fraud, and mortgage servicing practices.” These figures are distressing to say the least.

In conjunction with the announcement of the task force, the Attorney General announced the subpoena of Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) in May for its role in “robo-signing” of mortgage documents. Robo-signing refers to bank employees signing documents required in the foreclosure process without verifying their content or accuracy. LPS is alleged to have prepared and recorded these false foreclosure documents on behalf of some of the major mortgage lenders and servicers in the country. The company is based in Florida but has several offices in California and, according to its website, services more than 50% of the mortgages in the US. In its press release, the Attorney General’s Office warned that the risks of robo-signing are particularly serious in California where foreclosures are mostly unsupervised by the courts.

UFAN has recently filed suit against Bank of America (case # 34-2011-00109314) and Wells Fargo (case # 34-2011-00110146) in Sacramento County Superior Court, alleging multiple causes of action related to mortgage lending practices. It is UFAN’s hope that the investigation will uncover facts that will bolster the cases filed.

ABOUT THE UNITED FORECLOSURE ATTORNEY NETWORK

UFAN Legal Group, PC dba United Foreclosure Attorney Network (UFAN) is a Roseville, California-based law firm providing mortgage litigation and other debt related legal services. The dedicated attorneys and staff at UFAN work tirelessly to seek justice and fight for the rights of its clients. For more information call toll free 1-866-400-4242.

This release may constitute attorney advertisement. The information in this release and on the UFAN website (ufanlaw.com) is for general information purposes only. Nothing in this release or on the UFAN website should be taken as legal advice. Prior successes are no guarantee of future performance. Litigation is inherently uncertain and results in litigation are never assured.

 

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