The Path for Housing Is Dangerous

By: Thursday September 13, 2012 12:59 pm

The other channel of a potential economic recovery would be housing. This was the channel that got Paul Krugman so jazzed last week. I should note that the Federal Reserve’s economic projections show basically no difference from their last ones in June, and Bernanke said specifically that housing is “a piston that has not fired” [...]

Housing Advocates Start Campaign Organizing Underwater Homeowners

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 10:19 am

We’re supposed to turn away from some of the underlying problems in the housing market, because the fundamentals are strong, and a combination of private equity house-flipping and deliberate blight will bring the market back into positive territory. But the truth is that there are still between 11 and 16 million underwater homeowners in America. [...]

Negative Equity Still 800-Lb. Gorilla in Housing Market

By: Tuesday June 12, 2012 1:00 pm

Kathleen Pender at the SF Chronicle, one of the few national journalists to keep up with the government’s newly-tweaked HARP refinancing program, has a new story out claiming that the program is starting to “help the severely underwater.” The statistics she cites, rather than the anecdote, however, show the program isn’t really helping the severely [...]

Housing Recovery Bubble Popped Again by New Case-Shiller Data

By: Tuesday March 27, 2012 11:00 am

The deep investment in the notion of a housing recovery took another hit today, as home prices fell to a 10-year low. The housing market started the new year with a thud. Home prices dropped for the fifth consecutive month in January, reaching their lowest point since the end of 2002. The average home sold [...]

Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Predictably Leading to More Foreclosure Actions

By: Thursday March 15, 2012 12:55 pm

I wrote when the foreclosure fraud settlement was announced that a potential consequence would be a spike in foreclosure actions. The fact that robo-signing and servicer abuse appear to be ongoing issues only adds to that analysis. The relief of the burden of lawsuits from state or federal regulators would certainly lead the banks to [...]

The Pernicious “Foreclosures are Good” Meme

By: Thursday March 8, 2012 11:00 am

The New York Times editorial board has an appropriate take today on the barrage of housing-related spin coming from all corners lately. If you follow these issues, you would have to be willfully blind not to notice a concerted effort to paint the housing recovery as just around the corner, the bottom reached, the best [...]

CNBC’s Diana Olick’s Wrongheaded Analysis of the Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

By: Monday February 13, 2012 10:55 am

We’re going to have to endure this line of argument from those savvy business reporters, and Diana Olick is at the head of the pack, so we might as well take on this argument about the foreclosure fraud settlement directly. Let’s take a step back for a second to remember the fall of 2010, when [...]

California AG Harris Turned Down a Guaranteed 60% of the Foreclosure Fraud Deal

By: Friday January 27, 2012 6:19 am

Somebody really wants this foreclosure fraud settlement to go through. So much so that California was offered a sum to participate in the settlement sure to piss off the other 49 AGs across the country. Only California was guaranteed earmarked funds from the settlement. Earlier we heard they would get $8 billion out of the [...]

Donovan Claims “Imminent” Foreclosure Fraud Settlement, Again

By: Wednesday January 18, 2012 1:47 pm

Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, made some news today at the US Conference of Mayors, by saying that a foreclosure fraud settlement was imminent and that it would include principal write-downs for up to one million borrowers. About one million American homeowners would get writedowns in the size of their mortgages [...]

White House to Announce Fannie/Freddie Refi Plan

By: Monday October 24, 2011 6:27 am

As soon as today, the White House will announce that millions more underwater homeowners can take advantage of a refinancing program if their loan is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This is a plan that had been expected for a couple months when the President announced it as part of his [...]

Levitin Crystallizes AG Settlement Travesty

By: Wednesday October 19, 2011 11:48 am

I wanted to give more space to Adam Levitin’s superlative take on the attempted foreclosure fraud settlement and the state of housing and the economy in general. Basically his take is that the economy is weighed down by debt, particularly mortgage debt. A substantial chunk of homeowners owe more on their houses than they are [...]

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