BofA’s Response About REOs

In case you didn’t catch it in other places…..

Bank of America’s statement about their foreclosures/REOs:

  • Foreclosure sales have been abnormally low since we learned of the pending implementation of the administration’s Making Home Affordable program. From that point, we delayed the initiation of foreclosure proceedings and sales for customers that may eligible for a loan modification under MHA. As a result of this policy, our foreclosure sales in recent months have been as little as half the normal pace we experienced before.
  • Until a foreclosure is completed, Bank of America continues to exhaust every possible option to qualify customers for modification or other solutions.
  • Now that Making Home Affordable programs are operational, we do project an increase in foreclosures as we exhaust every available option to qualify customers for modifications and other solutions.
  • While we have very strong loan modification programs now available, unfortunately, these foreclosure projections reflect the increasing number of customers who will not qualify for loan modification because they have suffered major life events servicers can’t solve…primarily unemployment and underemployment.
  • We do not hold foreclosed properties off the market. The vast majority of mortgages serviced by Bank of America are owned by third-party investors. We have an obligation to them to prepare foreclosed properties for market and sell them as efficiently as possible.
  • People still talk about the banks are holding properties off the market for accounting purposes, let’s please note the last paragraph.  The banks don’t own that much of the paper.

    More here at this link:*blog*&par=RSS

    4Q Seasonality

    Rob Dawg said to keep an eye on seasonality, and I think we can all concur that the real estate market around the holidays is “different” than other months.

    I took out RSF and La Jolla, and ran stats on Carlsbad-to-Carmel Valley detached.

    Let’s compare 3Q to 4Q:

    Year 3Q/4Q Sales diff 3Q/4Q $/sf diff
    268 so far

    If you take out 2002 and 2006, the average decline in sales is -26% between 3Q and 4Q.

    Last year was the only year where there were double-digit declines in both sales and average cost-per-square foot. What does that mean?

    It was my experience that there was a lousy selection of homes for sale (accounting for lower pricing), and/or terrible pricing that left most sellers waiting.

    The numbers for July and August of 2008/2009:

    Sales: 292/268
    $/sf: $388/$340

    After the late-reporters we should see that we’re on the same track for sales this quarter as 3Q08, but running around -12% on pricing. Assuming that a trickle of REOs are coming to keep sales about ‘normal’ (-20% or so for 3Q-to-4Q), and we should see them keep pricing 10% to 15% under 4Q08.

    If it goes like that, it’ll be setting up a boisterous first half of 2010, with buyers hearing about more people “stealing one from the bank”.

    Congratulations Park View!

    — Chula Vista Park View can lay claim to being the best Little League All-Star team in the world.

    After falling behind 3-0, Park View rallied to defeat Taiwan 6-3 Sunday to win the 63rd Little League World Series before a national television audience and 32,400 at Howard J. Lamade Stadium.

    Manager Oscar Castro talked about winning the championship for San Diego: “Being from San Diego, we always get close but we never get it with the Padres and Chargers. I’m really happy we got it for the city and for our community.”

    Shortstop Andy Rios went 3-for-3, scored two runs and knocked in one for Park View. Third baseman Seth Godfrey went 1-for-2, driving in two runs. Kiko Garcia got the win in relief, working 3 1/3 innings of no-hit, shutout ball while striking out six.

    Said Garcia on the thrill of winning: “To think you’re the best team in the world … wow.”

    Taiwan took a three-run lead in the top of the third on two home runs.

    Park View had built its reputation on the long ball, hitting a LLWS-record 19 home runs coming into the championship game. But today it won with small ball.

    On not hitting any home runs, Garcia noted: “It’s kind of shocking because that’s what we usually do (hit home runs).”

    Park View scored one run in the third on a single, double, intentional walk and a Taiwan error. The hosts left the bases loaded in the inning.

    In the fourth, Park View struck for three runs with help from some unexpected sources. Jensen Peterson led off with an infield single, and Nick Conlin followed with a double. Peterson and Conlin came into the game a combined 0-for-8 in the series.

    Godfrey, who the team likes to claim is Little League’s best No. 9 hitter, made it 3-2 with a sacrifice fly to center. Conlin scored the tying run on a wild pitch. After Garcia struck out and Luke Ramirez was intentionally walked, Bulla Graft drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out, line-drive single.

    Chula Vista Park View becomes the second team from San Diego County to win the Little League World Series. El Cajon/La Mesa Northern won the title in 1961, defeating El Campo, Texas, 4-2.

    Two other teams from San Diego County have played in the LLWS championship game. La Mesa Northern (1957) and El Cajon Western (1977) lost in the final.

    Garcia sent this message to the team’s fans: “Thanks for being supportive. We brought it back to Chula Vista for you guys. I hope you enjoyed it.”

    MID Changes?

    Here’s a story about the changes being discussed to the mortgage interest deduction.  The $41 billion in savings over 10 years sounds trival – but could it have unintended consequences?

    Would you change your plans about buying a house if the MID was lowered?,0,4745.story

    Tops on the CBO’s hit list for housing: Slash deductions for homeowner mortgage interest from the present $1.1-million limit to $500,000, phased in with $100,000 annual reductions starting in 2013.

    Taxpayers now can write off mortgage interest on their principal home debt up to $1 million and on home equity debt up to $100,000. Under the CBO’s option, that maximum mortgage debt amount would shrink yearly until it hit $500,000. Over a 10-year period, this change would boost tax collections by an estimated $41 billion.

    The CBO offered up a second option if Congress wants to raise a lot more money: Replace the mortgage interest deduction with a flat 15% tax credit for everybody with mortgage amounts below the declining limits in the first option. Rather than taking write-offs tied to income tax bracket, every homeowner would get a credit worth 15% of mortgage interest paid.

    Who would benefit? Primarily lower- and moderate-income taxpayers who don’t itemize on their returns. Who would pay more? People with big mortgages and higher-than-average incomes, who are more likely to itemize under current rules.

    “People with big mortgages” sounds like they are putting more of the burden on the higher-cost areas like California.  Once they get started, what’s next?

    Other items on the CBO’s revenue-raising target list:

    Get rid of all write-offs for state and local taxes, including property taxes. That would pump $343 billion into federal coffers from 2010 to 2014, and $862 billion by 2019.

    Clamp a 15% cap on the value of all itemized deductions — not just mortgage interest and property taxes but also charitable contributions, medical expenses and casualty losses. The revenue windfall: $1.3 trillion over 10 years.

    Revert to the capital gains approach that prevailed before 1987. Rather than taxing most gains at 15% as the current code does, the CBO plan would exclude 45% of gains from taxation and tax the remaining 55% at an individual’s regular tax rate. New money raised: $48 billion over the next decade.


    Severe Conditions

    Selling in the newer tracts can be treacherous – do your homework, and get help!

    The 147 houses in these two Carlsbad tracts were sold by Shea Homes in 2003 and 2004, and have a $111/mo HOA fee and the Mello-Roos is $884/yr.

    Current Activity:

    2 = NODs

    1 = NOTS

    1 = Bank-owned not on market

    3 = Active listings

    3 = Number of REOs resold since 12/08.

    Seven houses are waiting to sell; four bank-related deals vs. three active listings.

    Are buyers going to gravitate towards “stealing one from the bank?” Yes, they are, and sellers should expect a tough fight.

    Here’s a youtube video that shows how quickly things can change in five months:

    (I mis-spoke in the video, the first house you see just closed for $780,000, not $760,000)

    The homeowner who has a trustee-sale date next month just gave up after trying for 62 days to short-sell their 3,495sf plan with ocean view for $779,000:

    If you are buying or selling, keep track of the foreclosure activity!

    Drought Is Over (?)

    The foreclosure flood has begun……well, it starts with a drop, right?

    I was assigned another REO from Bank of America today, and while I’m glad to see that I’m still on their roster, they must be trying to teach me a lesson – the last two were in Pala, now another one in VC:

    18728 Clearview Lane, Valley Center

    4 br/3 ba  2,522sf  3-car garage

    YB: 2000

    2.69 acres

    SP: $755,000 11/05

    Opening Bid: $340,000  8/21/09

    Back to bene

    We’ve seen the subprime, zero-down foreclosures roll through, now we’re working through the rest. 

    The former owners had put down almost $200,000 when they bought the house, so their payment couldn’t have been much more than what their rent will be from now on.   They made no attempt to sell the property either, just went down with the ship.

    All eight REOs assigned to me this year have been sent within a week after the trustee sale.  No servicer delay there.

    Another Auction Site

    Investors – how do you like the idea of buying mortgages that are in default?  Or once foreclosed, buying the properties direct from the seller/lender?

    Here’s a link to a company doing it:

    They’ve just gotten started in the last few months, so tread carefully, but I love the idea.  If the offering/bidding process was this simple, we’d sell more homes.

    They are selling notes and properties through an internet auction.

    Check out this one in rural Oceanside, out by Fallbrook:

    The lender just foreclosed on this one (with a $150,000 opening bid!) so you are buying the property, not the note. 

    300 Wilshire

    3 br/2 ba


    2.43 acres

    Current High Bid: $145,000

    Eight days left.



    Here is the direct link:

    Like most auctions they have a 6% buyers fee packed on top of the winning bid, but still, there could be some deals. 

    If you make a bid on this or any item through their website, during the registration process they ask you how you were referred.  If you put “Jim Klinge” in the box, I’ll get a chunk of their fee – and it won’t cost you any more!

    You gotta look everywhere these days!

    REO Constipation

    We’ve followed the same four REO listing agents since 2007, looking for clues about the flow of REO inventories.  Here is a comparison of late-August numbers:

    August 21, 2007 – 382 Actives/111 Pendings = 3.44

    August 21, 2008 – 121 Actives/147 Pendings = 0.82

    August 27, 2009 – 44 Actives/135 Pendings = 0.33

    On foreclosureradar there are 4,274 bank-owned properties, for these REO specialists to only have 179 properties on the market today indicates a major blockage.

    Maybe they are just closing them quickly? Here are their year-to-date numbers, through 8/15:

    Year # of SOLDS $$/sf DOM
    $299 65
    $216 81
    $165 66

    They are closing fewer than last year?


    Maybe the moratoriums bogged them down, and they are rolling now? Here are their July’s stats:

    Year # of SOLDS $$/sf DOM
    $298 63
    $201 74
    $169 60

    Even though the powers that be have choked off the flow of REOs, it doesn’t seem to have stopped REO pricing from plummeting 44% in the last two years.


    August is almost over, has there at least been an overall increase in REOs listed this month, compared to July, 2009?

    Month Total New REO Listings

    True, this month isn’t over, but even with a three day blitz we’re not going to come close to last month’s new REO listings.


    The 8,000 lb. gorilla in the room are the 20,672 defaulted properties in San Diego County. Can they get a loan modification or short sale completed, or are they destined for the court house steps too?

    The servicers are getting aggressive about closing short sales quicker. One in process got an unexpected incentive yesterday – if we can close by the end of September we get a 7% commission, instead of 6%. But it’s not the taxpayers taking the hit, it’s the private mortgage insurance company.

    Another month gone by, and what do we have? Servicers racking up more fees, deadbeats enjoying more free rent, and buyers waiting anxiously to steal one from the bank. We need an REO enema!

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