What the Housing Market Actually Looks Like

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 8:30 am

This week brought more good statistical news for the housing market. Existing home sales rose at a decent clip in November, nearing post-bubble highs not seen since the artificial spike from the homebuyer’s tax credit (I’ve noted that the end of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act could be giving the same spike). Inventory fell [...]

The Mortgage Scam Against Widows, and Why No Mortgage Lender Should Ever Get Legal Immunity

By: Wednesday December 19, 2012 9:15 am

Dealbook had an item yesterday about the qualified mortgage rule and the bid by mortgage lenders to acquire a “safe harbor,” essentially a shield against consumer lawsuits, in the process. I’ve already gone over this topic and continue to oppose giving banks a safe harbor of any kind on the merits. But just to shift [...]

Investors Pushing to Buy Housing Other Than Foreclosed Properties

By: Tuesday December 18, 2012 9:10 am

Tom Lawler pulls out an interesting piece of data from the latest housing statistics. Foreclosures have been dropping in 2012, mainly because of the rise of short sales as a foreclosure alternative. This appears to be changing – the repossession rate in November was 11% above that of October and even up 5% year-over-year – [...]

Banks Want Nevada to Change Laws Criminalizing Foreclosure Fraud

By: Monday December 17, 2012 11:06 am

One of the most successful states at restoring due process and the rule of law to the foreclosure process has been Nevada. The state put into law the simple principle that, before a bank takes someone’s home away, they must actually prove that they own the property. And if they try to fabricate that property [...]

Yes, We’re Still in the Middle of a Foreclosure Crisis

By: Thursday December 13, 2012 3:26 pm

The Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight released some interesting data on the first-lien and second-lien portfolios of the five services sanctioned in the foreclosure fraud settlement. Calculated Risk reproduces the data here. Despite the heavy investment in a narrative of the foreclosure crisis being over and the housing recovery underway, these loan portfolios show substantial [...]

Meet the Robo-Witnesses: Foreclosure Defense Lawyer Tom Cox on New Practices in Foreclosure Fraud

By: Thursday December 13, 2012 7:45 am

Last week, Thomas Cox, the Maine lawyer who performed the deposition that basically exposed robo-signing, won the $100,000 Purpose Prize for his work on behalf of homeowners at risk of foreclosure. I spoke with Cox this week to get a ground-level picture of what is happening in the courts in the post-settlement landscape. Have banks [...]

NYT Reports on Investor Purchases of Foreclosed Homes for Rental Conversion

By: Tuesday December 11, 2012 9:15 am

I touched on this before, but this New York Times piece exposing the next bubble, the bulk purchase of foreclosed homes by private equity firms and hedge funds for rental units, is really critical. Basically the same people who were present at the creation of the original bubble are driving the boat in this second [...]

Occupy Our Homes Marks First Anniversary With National Day of Action

By: Thursday December 6, 2012 10:25 am

One of the more refreshing developments of the past couple years has been the Occupy Our Homes movement, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street. For the past year, activists have directly challenged the banks and defended homeowners facing foreclosure, consistently chalking up victories in the form of sustainable modifications. Thursday’s Occupy Our Homes’ anniversary, and [...]

FHFA’s Christmastime Moral Relativism and the New New Housing Market

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 6:19 am

FHFA has situational ethics here. They rail against states with long foreclosure timelines, even increasing their guarantee fees. But when faced with headlines about foreclosures during Christmas, they become beneficent, and act to increase foreclosure timelines.

Maxine Waters Easily Attains Ranking Democratic Spot on House Financial Services

By: Tuesday December 4, 2012 3:17 pm

On both sides of the Capitol, there was news on the committee that holds oversight responsibilities over Wall Street today. In addition to Elizabeth Warren getting her spot on the Senate Banking Committee, Maxine Waters assumed the spot of ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee. Here’s her statement: I am deeply humbled to [...]

Lack of a “Foreclosure Wave” Determined By Banks

By: Friday November 30, 2012 6:13 am

Here’s a pretty jerky victory lap clearly planted by the mortgage lending industry, with the boastful title “Foreclosure Wave Averted as Doomsayers Defied.” Let’s hear this out for a second. When banks pulled back on foreclosures two years ago following a government investigation into allegations of faulty practices, market researchers, academics and Wall Street analysts [...]

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