A viewer’s comment on YouTube led me to this terrific inside view of the 2008 financial crisis, and the resulting impact on the world. It rightly blames the entire fiasco on the Tan Man, who pitched his mortgages to Wall Street based on the yields generated if borrowers made their full-interest payments, when in reality, only a much smaller minimum monthly payment was all that was due.
It’s eerie to watch today as our financial markets are in question again:
I make a quick comment in at the 2:38-minute mark, standing in front of the most-expensive REO listing we received in the era – a 2,900sf house in downtown Carlsbad that sold for $603,000 in December, 2009. It’s still owned by those buyers! The realtor.com estimate today is $973,900.
The media has been playing first 1-2 minutes of Good Morning, Vietnam, but that’s not enough. You really need the eight-minute version to appreciate his full talent in this movie. He seemed like a great guy too:
In the San Diego-Carlsbad area, 11.4 percent, or 66,899, of all residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity as of the third quarter 2013, according to CoreLogic. It was a slight improvement from 2Q13, when 13.6% of all mortgaged properties were in negative equity.
LOS ANGELES, Aug 16 (Reuters) – In the age of Facebook and Twitter, a new crime has hit America: “Sharpie parties,” gatherings of party revelers armed with “Sharpie” magic markers and lured by social media invitations to wreak havoc on foreclosed homes.
Five years into the U.S. foreclosure crisis, Sharpie parties are a new form of blight on the landscape of boarded-up homes, brown lawns and abandoned streets. They are also the latest iteration of collective home-trashing spurred by social media.
At least six Sharpie parties were reported in one California county in recent months, where invitations posted online drew scores to foreclosed homes.
The partygoers are handed Sharpie pens on arrival by their hosts and urged to graffiti the walls – a destructive binge that often prompts other acts of vandalism including smashing holes in walls and doors, flooding bathrooms and ripping up floors.
The negative equity problem for U.S. homeowners might be worse than previously thought, at least according to a new measure from Zillow.
The online real estate data provider, in its first negative equity report, said 15.7 million, or 31.4% of homeowners were underwater on their mortgages in the first quarter. That’s up from 31.1% three months earlier but down from 32.4% in the first quarter 2011.
Homeowners owed $1.2 trillion more than the value of their homes in the first quarter, according to Zillow.
With roughly 10% of homeowners 90-days-plus delinquent on payments, negative equity “remains only a paper loss” for most, said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries.
“As home values slowly increase and these homeowners continue to pay down their principal, they will surface again,” Humphries said in a news release.
An alarming number of homeowners see strategic default as a viable option should their home continue to depreciate. Almost half of the homeowners participating in an online poll from Housing Predictor say they will walk away from their mortgage obligation if falling home values persist.
Five years into the housing downturn, and Housing Predictor found that 47 percent of those surveyed would intentionally stop making their mortgage payments even if they could afford to in order to get out from under the sinking investment of home-sweet-home.
The number of mortgage borrowers open to strategic default has risen sharply since Housing Predictor last surveyed public opinion on the issue roughly a year-and-a-half ago. In October 2010, 36 percent of homeowners participating in the poll said they would throw in the towel should housing prices continue to drop.
Housing Predictor says the foreclosure crisis, falling home prices, and lingering doubts that the value of homes will increase over most homeowners’ lifetimes are contributing to the increase in mortgage holders who say they will walk away.
FICO estimates strategic defaults to be more than a $20 billion problem annually.
When David Martin and his wife bought their north Seattle condo five years ago, they figured they had plenty of time to downsize if they needed to before they retired.
Now, with the property worth roughly $60,000 less than the balance of their mortgage, Martin, 68, has been giving serious thought to just walking away, a process lenders call “strategic default.”
“Guilt and morality are one side, and objective financial analysis are on the other side,” Martin said. “They’re coming to two opposite conclusions. I wonder how many other people are struggling with the same question.”
For now, Martin is electing to stay in his home and continue paying the mortgage.
“We intend to continue as we are on the basis that we gain nothing from acting at this point,” he said in a note. “We think that the real estate market in Seattle will rise by 2013 enough to offer better alternatives. There is a small chance that the federal government will act to offer more rational choices. The real possibility is that the debt might be refinanced in 2013 at a level that might offer enough reduction in payments to allow us to hang on long enough to shore up our financial position.”
“We’re finding that people are much more willing to walk away when the other party is unknown or what you might call a ‘bad bank,'” said Seiler. “Those are the ones that received a lot of bailout funds or were active in the subprime market, giving loans to people who couldn’t afford them and they knew that.”
The mortgage lending industry’s widespread reluctance to modify loan terms has also changed homeowner attitudes about walking away, according to Ruyle.
“They feel much better about doing it if they’ve tried to contact the lender and the lender won’t budge,” he said. “They feel justified about it because they’ve tried to do their best to work it out.”
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Delinquent borrowers facing foreclosure are learning that they can stay in their homes for years, as long as they’re willing to put up a fight.
Among the tactics: Challengingthe bank’s actions, waiting to file paperwork right up until the deadline, requesting the lender dig up original paperwork or, in some extreme cases, declaring bankruptcy.
Nationwide, the average time it takes to process a foreclosure — from the first missed payment to the final foreclosure auction — has climbed to 674 days from 253 days just four years ago, according to LPS Applied Analytics.
It takes much longer than that in Florida, where the process averages 1,027 days, nearly 3 years. In D.C., foreclosure averages 1,053 days and delinquent borrowers in New York often stay in their homes for an average of 906 days.
Because California is a trustee-sale state, the delays are shorter – only 11 months on average:
And while some borrowers are lookingfor ways to make good with lenders and get their homes back, many aren’t paying a dime. Nearly 40% of homeowners in default have not made a payment in at least two years, according to LPS.
Many of these homeowners are staying in their homes based on a technicality. There is rarely any dispute over whether or not they have stopped paying their mortgage, said David Dunn, a partner at law firm Hogan Lovells in New York, who represents banks and other financial institutions in foreclosure cases.
“In my experience, they never say, ‘I’m not delinquent’ or ‘I want to pay my bill but I’m confused over who to send it to,’ or ‘Oh my God, you mean I didn’t pay my mortgage?’ They’re not in technical default. They’re in default because they’re not paying,” he said.
“Consumer attitudes have gotten a lot more negative about long-term commitments, and the No. 1 long-term commitment most people in this country made is buying a house,” David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P Index Committee, told CNBC.
Prices in August were also revised to show a decline of 0.3 percent after originally being reported as unchanged. The index has leveled off in recent months and analysts are hoping the market is at least stabilizing.
“Over the last year home prices in most cities drifted lower,” Blitzer said in a statement.
“The plunging collapse of prices seen in 2007-2009 seems to be behind us. Any chance for a sustained recovery will probably need a stronger economy.”
This was probably the more pertinent comment from the same article:
The number of U.S. homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages decreased modestly in the third quarter, though levels remained high, data analysis company CoreLogic said Tuesday.
The number of properties with so-called negative equity — in which the amount owed on the mortgage exceeds the property’s value — was 10.7 million, or 22.1 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage.
That is a slight decrease from 10.9 million, or 22.5 percent, in the second quarter, CoreLogic said.
“Although slightly down, negative equity remains very high and renders many borrowers vulnerable when negative economic shocks occur, such as job loss or illness,” Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic, said in a statement.
As the housing market struggles to recover, the large number of underwater homeowners has prompted concerns of more foreclosures to come if borrowers become unable to keep up with their payments or decide to walk away.
A new survey by Pew Research says 36 percent of Americans believe walking away from their mortgage is perfectly acceptable. We want to know if you would ever simply leave your mortgage and your home behind.
Tell us what you think. Share your opinion:
Would you ever leave your mortgage and your home behind?
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