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25 Feb 2011 23:26


Biz: Bank Of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo feel heat over mortgages

  • The current environment of heightened regulatory scrutiny has the potential to subject the corporation to inquiries or investigations that could significantly adversely affect its reputation.
  • A statement from Bank of America • Noting in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the company could be subject to huge penalties over their abusive mortgage practices. They’re not alone; Wells Fargo and Citigroup ware in the same boat, and it’s all thanks to the shady way that the trio dealt with their foreclosures. The reports from the companies suggest that all three will take a financial hit for said shadiness. Bank of America says that the state and federal inquiries “could result in material fines, penalties, equitable remedies (including requiring default servicing or other process changes), or other enforcement actions, and result in significant legal costs.” In other words, they’re screwed for screwing over homeowners. Oops. source

26 Jan 2011 11:17


Biz: Housing numbers: Prices, sales on the up-and-up right now

  • 17.5% jump in single-family home sales source
  • » Oh, and home prices are on the up, too: Good news, everybody. The housing market appears to be improving – home prices are at their highest since April 2008, and sales of single-family units are at their highest in eight months. This is a fundamental suggestion that the recovery seems to be gaining wings. But will it last? It seems like just yesterday we were talking about the anger of a double-dip.

20 Jan 2011 10:40


Biz: Some positive home sales news, because we need some

  • 12.3% jump in existing home sales in December source
  • » Oh yeah, some more good news: The annual rate of 5.28 million homes, while far below the mid-naughts peak of 7 million in September 2005, is a bit higher than analysts expected. The number hit a low of less than 4 million home sales back in the middle of last year. Granted, people’s homes are still getting foreclosed en masse, but this isn’t bad news.

13 Jan 2011 09:38


Biz: A record year: How bad were home foreclosures in 2010?

  • 2.9 million the number of foreclosure notices homeowners received in 2010 – a record, but only modestly above 2009
  • 1 million the number of people who lost their homes as a result – Nevada led the nation in Foreclosures, BTW source

01 Jan 2011 21:54


Biz: Henry Paulson personally lost $1 million in the housing crisis

  • See? Treasury secretaries suffer just like the rest of us. You can call Henry Paulson a lot of things, but one thing you can’t call the Bush-era Treasury Secretary is “unaffected by the financial crisis.” See, Paulson’s home just got sold on the D.C. housing market, and it went for far less than he bought it for. Let’s check the numbers already:
  • $4.3M the cost he paid for his home, near the National Cathedral, in 2006 (which is swank, BTW)
  • $4.6M the amount Paulson, no longer a bureaucrat, put the home on the market for in April
  • $3.25M the amount Paulson’s home finally sold for a couple of weeks ago – a $1 million loss source

28 Dec 2010 11:09


Biz: Ready to be depressed? Read this assessment of housing numbers

  • The double-dip is almost here. There is no good news in October’s report. Home prices across the country continue to fall.
  • Standard & Poor Index Committee Chairman David Blitzer • Expressing fear that recently-released housing numbers are a harbinger of a double-dip. The numbers, which showed a 1.3 percent decline in home prices in 20 key cities, were apparently much more dire than many analysts were expecting. “It was a bit of a surprise,” said IHS Global Research’s Pat Newport. “I wasn’t expecting it to lag so badly in all 20 cities.” source

25 Oct 2010 10:51


Biz: Good news hard to come by in housing market, but here’s some

  • 10% boost in existing home sales in September source

07 Oct 2010 20:03


U.S.: Obama stops the foreclosure smorgasbord from becoming worse

  • what Obama said he would veto the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act, a minor bill  which passed both houses with little debate.
  • whyThe timing is suspect – as a side effect, the bill could allow mortgage lenders to rush through foreclosures more quickly from outside states. source
  • » Why this is a big deal: In recent weeks, politicians (especially Democrats) have been attacking mortgage lenders for using aggressive, shady techniques to push through foreclosures – a process which was impeded after the companies’ documentation came under question. A leading mortgage firm, Ally (better known as GMAC) recently had to halt all evictions in 23 states as a result of these documentation problems – revealed by one of their own employees in sworn testimony. The big story there, though, is that the smorgasbord of eviction is still on in 27 other states.

06 Sep 2010 10:54


Biz: Housing market: Would a correction help homeowners?

  • Housing needs to go back to reasonable levels. If we keep trying to stimulate the market, that’s the definition of insanity.
  • George Mason University real estate finance professor Anthony B. Sanders • Suggesting we let the housing market go to hell so it can correct itself. It’s a somewhat unique argument, but considering the way that overdevelopment and overbuilding has defined the real estate market of the last decade. So, the debate as it currently stands: Does the Obama administration keep trying to stimulate growth in the housing market, or does it focus less on devlopment and more on ensuring the value of the investments that millions of homeowners have already made? A tough answer, but we think the latter sounds like a good idea. source

25 Aug 2010 10:24


Biz: New home sales are straight-up in the crapper, too, guys

  • 12% the decline in new home sales in July, which is craptastic and as bad as yesterday’s number
  • 276,000 the annual rate in units – the lowest level since the data series started way back in 1963 source