Posts Tagged Foreclosure
In a report by NPR today we see part of the problem. The scale and the complexity of the number of homes going into foreclosure is overwhelming. Without the help we offer, there might be no chance.
First of all the sheer scale of the challenge.
Tiffany Palmer, who works on the call center floor, says more and more homeowners are in trouble because they’ve had their hours cut at work or because a spouse has lost a job. With the recession, there are now a lot more middle-class people with decent credit who can’t pay their mortgages. Nationally, one-third of the people who are falling behind on their mortgages are in traditional “prime” fixed-rate mortgages.
Bank of America has 8,000 people working on the problem and gets about 2 million calls a month. BUT the process is still opaque and will only work if the applicant has a lot of help.
Economists, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, have repeatedly said that preventing foreclosures is good for the housing market and the whole economy. But, in many cases, loan modifications aren’t going through.
The U.S. Treasury Department has started issuing banks foreclosure report cards. The last one found that under the president’s plan, Bank of America had modified only 4 percent of loans that were more than 60 days delinquent. The bank says it has doubled that number in just the past month. The next report card is due Wednesday.
The last report card found that JPMorgan Chase extended loan-modification offers on 20 percent of its delinquent loans. CitiMortgage was at 15 percent and Wells Fargo had modified only 6 percent.
Janine Emlinger, a 48-year-old homeowner in Curtis, Ohio, says she’s been trying for a year to get a loan modification, but Bank of America keeps losing her documents. So she keeps falling further behind on her payments.
Our work may be just beginning.
How do you tell your kids that you have lost your job or that you are leaving your home? I don’t think that there is an answer – but we can learn from others’ experience.
Sesame Street will confront our greatest fears and sense of shame – of letting down our children tonight – full on. Don’t let Grover fool you. And by the way – have a full box of kellenx at hand.
Watch your local listings as the President’s speech on Health Care may alter the schedule a bit.
WDET has linked up to a new organization in Detroit called Foreclosure Detroit. It is an organization that is dedicated to offering advice and help. Their website is a model for how to organize assistance and is a worthy model for us all.
I think that it’s arrival also tells us that the “New” will emerge from the ashes.
From NPR today:
Foreclosure actions across the nation were up 7 percent in July compared to the previous month, and rose by nearly one-third compared to a year ago, according to real estate marketplace company RealtyTrac.
The company said filings such as default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions were reported on more than 360,000 U.S. properties during the month. One in every 355 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in July.
“July marks the third time in the last five months where we’ve seen a new record set for foreclosure activity,” said RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio. “Despite continued efforts by the federal government and state governments to patch together a safety net for distressed homeowners, we’re seeing significant growth in both the initial notices of default and in the bank repossessions.”
The company said that Nevada documented the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate, with 1 in 56 housing units subject to a foreclosure action. California was next with a rate of 1 in 123 housing units.
Here is a very helpful interactive map from NPR that shows us the situation
Many renters have been badly affected by the crisis as the home they’ve lived in has been foreclosed under them. Here is a helpful piece from WOSU, Columbus. What is going on in your market?
If you are a renter and suspect that your rental property might have foreclosure issues:
Check to see if the property that you live in is currently in foreclosure.
The Franklin County Clerk of Courts website allows the public to search case information online at www.franklincountyclerk.com. In order to search, you need to look up the property in the case information online section on the website and search by the landlord’s name.
Call the Columbus Urban League at 257-6300 if you are a renter whose rental properties have been foreclosed upon. You may be eligible to receive funds that will assist with relocation costs such as a deposit for a new apartment and for moving expenses.
Call Senior Options at 462-6200 for information on the Senior Rental Rescue program. Free counseling and monetary relocation assistance is available to low-income senior households who are residents of Franklin County but live outside the City of Columbus. Senior renters facing foreclosure are often left with unpaid utility bills, moving costs and security deposits at their new homes. This program can help!
Where a Homeowner Should Contact to report problems with an abandoned home in their area:
City of Columbus Residents – Contact the City of Columbus at 311
Franklin County Residents: Franklin County Board of Health (614) 462-3160
Address: 280 East Broad Street, Room 200, Columbus, OH 43215
Web Site http://www.franklincountyohio.gov/board_of_health/
The NYT offers a well argued review of the state of play in Foreclosure Relief – It’s not a good news story!
In March, the Obama administration began an antiforeclosure effort that offers lenders up to $75 billion in incentives to modify troubled mortgages. If that sounds like a lot of money, it is. But so far, it has not been enough to persuade the mortgage industry to do what is needed to help Americans stay in their homes and keep the economy from falling into deeper trouble.
The first report on the program, released last week by the Treasury Department, shows that as of the end of July, 235,247 mortgages had been modified on a trial basis. That is not even 9 percent of the 2.7 million troubled loans currently deemed eligible. (During the trials, borrowers are granted reduced monthly payments. After they pay on time for three consecutive months, the lowered payment will be fixed for at least five years.)
The report also shows that 117,295 trial-plan offers were pending at the end of July, but it is unclear how many of those will ultimately result in reworked loans.
Why aren’t the banks snapping up the incentives?
The bottom line for me as I watched this segment is this: A person on their own is unlikely to get through the bureaucracy. What we are doing is essential!
Here are the up to date stats for Foreclosures – it’s getting worse in the sunbelt: (Mortgage Loan.com Kirk Havercamp July 31 09)
Sun Belt cities continue to be pummeled by foreclosures, with California and Florida heavily dominating the list of worst-affected communities, according to new data from the foreclosure management tracking firm RealtyTrac.
Rising unemployment is also causing foreclosure rates to begin creeping up in areas where homeowner defaults had not previously been considered a major problem, according to the report, while rates are actually beginning to ease in some Rust Belt cities hard hit by the economic downturn.
Florida and California accounted for 25 of the 30 U.S. cities with the worst foreclosure rates in the first half of 2009, with Nevada and Arizona splitting four of the others. Las Vegas, Nev. had the highest foreclosure rate of all U.S. metro areas, with 7.45 percent of all single-family homes, or one in13, receiving a foreclosure notice in the first six months of the year.
Close behind were Fort Myers, Fla. and Merced, Calif., with rates of 7.20 and 6.89 percent, respectively, or about one in 14 and one in 15 homes. Even so, foreclosure rates in both communities were down slightly compared to the second half of 2008, whereas Las Vegas posted a 22 percent increase.
Foreclosures up nearly 10 percent nationwide
The overall U.S. foreclosure rate was 1.19 percent, or one home in 84. A total of 1.5 million U.S. homes reportedly received foreclosure notices in the first half of the year, representing a 9.5 percent increase over the last six months of 2008.
Above-average levels of foreclosures were reported in a number of states where homeowner defaults had previously remained low, suggesting that rising unemployment was beginning to show up as a factor in markets like Provo, Utah and Boise, Idaho, which posted increases in excess of 60 percent and 45 percent, respectively, compared to the previous six months. Oregon, Arkansas, Illinois and South Carolina also saw areas of sharp increases.
Signs of improvement in the Rust Belt
At the same time, signs of improvement were seen in hard-hit old industrial cities in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana where layoffs and unemployment continue to be a serious problem. Foreclosures in Detroit, Mich., which topped the RealtyTrac foreclosure list in 2006 and 2007, was down 8 percent in the first six months of 2009, following a 16 percent drop in the second half of last year; the city presently has the 38-highest foreclosure rate in the nation.
Cleveland, Ohio with the nation’s six-worst foreclosure rate in 2007, decreased 11 percent from the previous six months and 30 percent from the first half of 2008, dropping it out of the top 50 for the first half of 2009. Six-month declines were also posted by Flint, Mich.; Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Toledo and Akron, Ohio.
The survey tracks foreclosure rates in U.S. metropolitan areas of 200,000 or more, counting households that receive one or more foreclosure filings during the reporting period as a single event.
WBUR’s Radio Boston show ran this important piece that displays further evidence that No One is outside the Mortgage Crisis – even the Treasury Secretary!
Economist Mark Zandy of Moody’s Economy.com says it bluntly – foreclosures are the single biggest threat to our economy.
According to the Warren Group, a Boston real estate firm that keeps track of these things in Massachusetts, last month people were falling behind on their mortgage payments at an alarming rate.
I’m not an economist or a mortgage banker, but I try to keep track of this metric. You don’t need a PhD in economics to anticipate that a lot of the foreclosures are connected to the now infamous subprime mortgages.
This week Radio Boston’s David Boeri interviewed homeowners whose adjustable rate mortgages have climbed while the value of their homes have tanked and they are between the worst rock and hard place.
On the not too distant horizon, experts tell us the next wave of foreclosures will hit people who had good credit, bought their homes with 20% down and a boring, standard 30-year fixed rate mortgage.
And, yesterday Congressman Barney Frank warned lenders (again) that if they don’t increase the number of loan modifications, Congress will revive legislation to empower bankruptcy judges to write down home loans.
Many Americans, even the most powerful and influential, are having housing troubles. Last month, the AP ran a story that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner finally pulled his suburban New York home off the market and rented it because its value had dropped below what he paid for it.
During the Great Depression, people sold apples in the streets to get enough money for their next meal. Fast-forward 80 years to another recession and meet Angela Logan, who is selling apple cakes to friends, neighbors and total strangers over the Internet to get enough money to save her home from foreclosure.
People become very resource full when they are desparate