Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the size of the foreclosure inventory in the nation. There has been some speculation that distressed property inventories are about to skyrocket. Today, we want to reveal what is actually taking place in this segment of the housing market.
CoreLogic, in their most recent National Foreclosure Report, reported that foreclosure inventory has decreased by 23.2% since this time last year. The report also showed that foreclosure inventory has decreased in 49 of the 50 states and that 45 states have posted a year-over-year, double-digit decline (see chart below).
Other findings in the report:
The Seriously Delinquent Rate (homeowners more than 90 days behind in their mortgage payment) is 3.1% which is the lowest level since November 2007
The Foreclosure Rate is 1.1% which is also the lowest level since November 2007
This was the 53rd consecutive month that showed a decline in the Foreclosure Rate
Though foreclosures do remain in the market, the number is dramatically decreasing. The fact that mortgage delinquency rates are also decreasing means the worst of the foreclosure crisis is in the rearview mirror.
With Californians being urged to cut water use as the state’s historic drought drags on, a growing number of local water agencies are enlisting the public to play water cop with their smartphones.
From Long Beach to Placer County, officials are rolling out apps that allow users to snap and send photos of homes and businesses that are violating watering restrictions or operating broken and wasteful irrigation systems.
The apps put more boots on the ground to spot waste and leaks that might go unnoticed, officials say. They say the high-tech citizen reporting programs are intended to encourage water conservation, and not to be used as evidence to fine offenders.
But at least one private company is taking things a step further. Creators of Vizsafe, a neighborhood watch app, have added a feature allowing users to map photos of water wasters — a practice dubbed “drought shaming” on Twitter and Instagram.
The company’s app provides people with useful information about their communities, said Peter Mottur, chief executive of Rhode Island-based Vizsafe. “People have a right to hold others accountable and that is what I think we are doing.”
Privately reporting excessive water use or leaks that have gone unnoticed is “fantastic,” said Karen North, a professor of social media and psychology at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
“But to the extent that people then publicly shame each other for that behavior,” she said, it could force “a lot of really solid compliance, but it can also lead to a lot of animosity.”
Matthew Kahn, a professor of economics at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, said the mere existence of the apps could increase conservation.
“While we all fear Orwell’s Big Brother,” he said, “we all try harder when we are being watched, even if that is a little creepy. You may need these social apps to motivate these behavioral changes.”
Long Beach’s water department released its first app to report water waste in 2010, but revamped it in August so users could add photos, said Melissa Keyes, a special projects coordinator who helped design the service.
The number of app-generated complaints initially increased five-fold, to about 25 a day, but has recently returned to lower levels, she said. “We wanted people to feel they had an outlet to get their frustrations out when they were doing their part and they saw others weren’t,” she said.
The anonymous complaints typically prompt a letter from the water agency to the property owner. Most complaints involve broken sprinklers or irrigation leaks, Keyes said, and often the owners aren’t aware of the problem. So far the city hasn’t seen fence fights erupt over use of the app, she said.
The water-waste app provided downtown Long Beach resident Sherry Ray-Von a convenient way to deal with a nearby apartment building resident who she said washed his car every day for months.
She tried to discuss the matter with the man, she said, but he shrugged her off.
When the upgraded city app came, she thought: “This is great. This is my chance to get this guy.”
She said she snapped a photo of the runoff, sent it to the water department and a few days later, the car washer stopped.
In Placer County, the water agency released a multipurpose water-saving app in May. It lets users report water waste, but it also features a shower timer that estimates how many gallons a person uses. So far, the agency has received 30 complaints, mostly about water runoff, said Matt Young, the agency’s director of customer services.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District forwards app complaints, most involving over-watering or irrigating outside permitted periods, to five water inspectors in the field, who remind offenders of the water usage rules, said spokesman Marty Grimes.
In Palm Springs, 67-year-old real estate salesman Victor Yepello said he used to see broken sprinklers and excessive watering when he biked around the city. But when he got home, he’d often forget the locations or to call the local water agency to complain, he said.
Then he discovered the Desert Water Agency’s new waste-reporting app. This summer, Yepello saw a small river of runoff coursing down Mesquite Avenue from a nearby house, so he stopped, snapped a photo and sent it and the address to the water agency.
Within a few hours, he said, an email came back telling him the problem was a broken irrigation line the property owner hadn’t noticed.
“I don’t see it as a way to snitch on your neighbor,” Yepello said. “If you spot something that is a real problem, report it.”
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently announced its “Back to Work” program, which is giving individuals who suffered a long period of hardship during the recent housing crisis a second chance to prove they can carry a mortgage and own a home.
The program will waive many of the waiting periods associated with a significant “economic event” such as bankruptcy (Chapters 7 and 13), short sale or foreclosure.
Potential candidates may be first-time or repeat home buyers, and the program can be used for the 203K rehab loan. It must be approved by an FHA lender, and as some lenders are choosing not to participate, you may want to contact your mortgage professional for more information on this.
To participate in the program, individuals must be able to demonstrate they’ve recovered fully from the “event”, and document the fact that they did have a household income loss of at least 20 percent for a period of at least six months that coincided with the “event.” They also need to prove current, stable and documentable employment to qualify.
As well, they need to demonstrate a 12-month positive payment history, and this specifies on-time payment of all mortgage and installment debt. There is some latitude for credit card debt, but it is slight.
Applicants also must attend counseling sessions before being able to participate in the program. This is usually a one-hour session with a HUD-approved counselor, and was designed to help participants prevent the “economic event” from happening again.
If you have been foreclosed on or have completed a short sale, don’t be so quick to throw away mail from your past lender. Payments to 4.2 million borrowers will be distributed to those whose homes were in any stage of the foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010 and whose mortgages were serviced by one of the following companies, their affiliates, or subsidiaries: Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.
In most cases, eligible borrowers will receive a letter with an enclosed check sent by the Paying Agent–Rust Consulting, Inc. Some borrowers may receive letters from Rust requesting additional information needed to process their payments. Rust is sending all payments and correspondence regarding the foreclosure agreement at the direction of the OCC and the Federal Reserve.
Borrowers can call Rust at 1-888-952-9105 to update their contact information or to verify that they are covered by the agreement. Information provided to Rust will only be used for purposes related to the agreement.
Watch out for scams. Beware of anyone who asks you to call a different phone number than the number above or to pay a fee to receive a payment under the agreement.
SO WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT
The Federal Reserve Board issued enforcement actions against four large mortgage servicers
–GMAC Mortgage, HSBC Finance Corporation, SunTrust Mortgage, and EMC Mortgage Corporation–in April 2011. Under those actions, the four servicers were required to retain independent consultants to review foreclosures that were initiated, pending, or completed during 2009 or 2010. The review was intended to determine if borrowers suffered financial harm directly resulting from errors, misrepresentations, or other deficiencies that may have occurred during the foreclosure process.
For homeowners who are in danger of losing their home to foreclosure, it is common to feel like you are alone and that there is no one to help. This simply isn’t true. There are real people who have been in the same situation who have found solutions. Take, for example, Punipuao W. of Hawaii.
Punipuao found herself struggling to keep her home after her husband passed away. “With only my income, I was no longer able to make my monthly mortgage payment,” she said. Faced with the prospect of losing the home she and her husband had bought together, she began looking for alternatives to help her keep the home.
She pleaded with the bank for relief, “but their responses gave me little information and even less hope.”
The prospect of losing the home she and her husband had shared for over 20 years was difficult. “I was so distraught,” she said. “I did not know where to turn.
“Then, one day, my miracle came through a red envelope in the mail.”
In the envelope was a note from a local real estate agent with the Certified Distressed Property Expert designation (or CDPE). This designation meant that the agent was trained specifically to help people like Punipuao. She called the agent.
“About four hours after I made the call, he was at my door offering help. I told him my story.” In merely two days, she received a call from the bank saying that the president of the bank was reviewing her file. “That was a good sign,” she said.
A few days after that, Punipuao had been approved for a trial loan modification. “There were many tears of gratitude at the miracle that came to me in the form of my agent. I thank god for sending me that miracle.”
Punipuao’s story is just one of many. I have a report entitled “From Foreclosure to Freedom” which tells other stories of real homeowners who faced foreclosure and found relief. Download the report, read the stories, and then contact me for a free, confidential consultation.
Recently, well last year, I wrote about both the National Mortgage Settlement (In February 2012, 49 state attorneys general and the federal government announced a historic joint state-federal settlement with the country’s five largest mortgage servicers), and the Independent Foreclosure Review (Ten mortgage servicing companies subject to enforcement actions for deficient practices in mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing reached an agreement in principle with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve Board to pay more than $8.5 billion in cash payments and other assistance to help borrowers).
Today I received an e-newsletter from BPE Law Group which summarizes the most recent happenings with both lawsuits settlements. I thought it was very well put together and so I’m sharing it with you below. I highly recommend BPE Law Group (info at the end of this post) should you have any further questions regarding these legal matters, and how they might affect you.
If your loan was owned or serviced by any of the settling banks – BofA, Wells Fargo, Chase, Citi, or Ally – and your home was foreclosed upon between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011, you may be eligible to receive a cash payment as part of the settlement. A settlement administrator has been appointed to accept claims and to oversee the distribution of settlement payments.
Claim forms must be submitted by no later than January 18, 2013.
In addition, a separate Program had been lauched previously creating a Independent Foreclosure Review for those who may have been foreclosed between 2009-2010. However, the processing has been a nightmare. Last week, a Settlement was reached whereby the settling lenders agreed to pay $8.5 Billion to a fund and the Foreclosure Review was shut down. Within the next few weeks, a process will be set-up to submit claims. Watch your mail box for more. You can learn more at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/bcreg/20130107a.htm
None of the above Settlement programs bars a foreclosed party from asserting separate damage claims against their lender, assuming they have the financial capacity to do so. A few Class Action lawsuits have been set up around the country although they, like individual lawsuits, appear to be bogged down in the Courts.
If you have questions concerning your rights and possible recovery against your lender, you may want to have a follow-up consultation with us.
This home loans crisis is destroying hopes and dreams and families across our nation. If you know anyone struggling with these problems, please do them a favor and pass this newsletter along to them. We have a flat fee $200 consultation that guides you in identifying the problems and risks and creates a strategy to deal with them. A similar program is being set-up for Commercial Property Owner Consultations.
Steve Beede, Founder and Managing Partner
BPE Law Group, Inc.
Main: 11140 Fair Oaks Blvd., Suite 300, Fair Oaks, CA 95628
Satellite: 9245 Laguna Springs Dr., Suite 200, Elk Grove, CA 95758
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to get your financial house in order.
Elk Grove, CA – Elk Grove will soon be home to a state agency headquarters, bringing more than 1,500 high-quality jobs to the Elk Grove economy and helping balance the city’s jobs-to-housing ratio.
The California Correctional Health Care Services announced the new location for its
headquarters in the Laguna Springs Corporate Center at 9260 Laguna Springs Drive. The city estimates that the jobs will generate up to $4 million dollars in economic benefit to the City.
“California Correctional Health Care Services selecting Elk Grove as their new home means high paying, high-quality jobs for the City of Elk Grove, and is a tremendous shot in the arm for our local economy,” said Mayor Steven Detrick. “This is a significant accomplishment for the city, and represents a true collaboration between the Elk Grove City Council and city staff.”
For more than three years, Mayor Steven Detrick and Councilmember Gary Davis served on an Ad Hoc Committee tasked with attracting state agencies to Elk Grove.
According to state officials, the headquarters moving to this location spreads more of the state business throughout the region, helping to balance commute routes. Approximately 700 cars will be removed from heavy northbound 99 and I-5 commutes. Roughly 50 percent of Correctional Health Care workers already live in Elk Grove, South Sacramento and the Pocket area.
“Consolidating headquarters operations for Correctional Health Care will increase our efficiency, reduce expenses, and contribute to building the health care culture I believe we need for the organization to succeed. The selection of this location is the first step in these efforts,” said Federal Receiver J. Clark Kelso.
Correctional Health Care officials were drawn to the site because of free parking, plenty of retail and consumer services within walking distance, and public transit services.
“With nearly one out of every three workers in Elk Grove employed by the State of California, the city has worked tirelessly to bring state offices to Elk Grove,” said Councilmember Gary Davis. “The new California Correctional Health Care Services facility located in Elk Grove will relieve traffic on the freeways, improve air quality, and be an impetus for even more job creation.”
The City of Elk Grove has been focusing efforts to balance the job-to-housing ratio and attract state jobs to Elk Grove. The city has sponsored legislation requiring state agencies to take into account the location of employees when considering a move.
The city was also the first in California to introduce an incentive program targeting state office buildings. The program is designed to bring state jobs closer to where their employees reside by offering incentives that may be used towards relocation costs, fee reductions, construction costs, building improvements, monthly rent, or even transportation or other quality of life subsidies for the employees. The program was recently expanded to include federal office buildings.
California Correctional Health Care Services is in negotiations with the Laguna Springs Corporate Center. If the negotiations are successful, it’s anticipated a new lease will be executed and the phased move will begin next year.
Q: what happens to my second lien if both my wife and i are on the second lien and she filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy? will they go after me now? My wife was laid off last year and was living on unemployment for while. now there is no more unemployment money. the mortgage and second lien depended on both me and my wife to pay. now its all on me and we are in trouble. i have wife and child with another baby on the way due beginning next year in addition with another family member living with us. i am sole provider. The second lien was not part of a typical 80/20 loan instead we used second lien money towards house improvements since it was crappy house. we cannot afford attorney to give us any legal advice. we got loan modification for second lien and they are pressuring to sign that before we are even approve to loan modification on first lien. what if we decide to short-sale or foreclosure, will they go after me due to second lien? HUD counselors are useless and bank is all about taking all they can. thank you, Mike
A: Mike, your question is “what if we decide to short-sale or foreclosure, will they go after me due to second lien?” The answer is, it depends.
If you decide to short sale, the second lien will require some type of payment towards allowing the short sale. The second lien holder will decide what their terms are. Sometimes they want as little as 10% of the balance owed and sometimes as much as 3% of the purchase price. What you can also definitely count on is that they will continue to pursue you for the deficiency.
If you foreclose, the second lien goes away, however the senior does not.
Your initial question re bankruptcy sounds like she may not have filed yet, and that you are investigating your options. May I suggest Norm Schriever, a debt counselor, with Unity Financial Solutions. Tell him I referred you and he will give you a free one hour consultation.
He is also affiliated with the Law Office of Kristin Marshall who is a real estate attorney. Unity Financial specializes in Credit Card Settlement, Debt Management and Bankruptcy. Most recently they have been assisting homeowners who have concerns with their mortgages and need options on what to do. The company will review your loan documents free of charge and advise you free of charge. Their goal is to help individuals in the long run to clear up their debt and begin again as quickly as possible.
They work in conjunction with the law office should the need arise for bankruptcy or court matters. They are also members of the BBB and have been featured on msNBC, CNNMoney.com, New 10, SacBee and are on Facebook.
Q.:I rented a home in July of this year and learned recently that is in foreclosure. The owner wants me to assume the loan and pay him off $20,000.
Is this a difficult process? The home is perfect for me, but I filed chapter 7 this year and don’t think I will qualify for much of anything at this point. Can you give me feedback on this?
1. Assumable loans are rare these days, so verify that the loan is indeed assumable. 2. With your recent BK filing, you more than likely will not qualify for a loan for another few years, possibly 3 to 5 years. Meet with a reputable lender to see when you will qualify again. Since you are in Rio Linda, I recommend Eddie Fairchild of Summit Funding at (916) 504-9636. 3. Do not sign any paperwork without professional representation from a REALTOR and reputable ttle company. 4. DO NOT give up any money with the intention of potentially owning the home. 5. Divorce the property. Be prepared to leave the property. From a professional vantagepoint, and based upon the information you have provided, the circumstance is not leaning in your favor.
With the holidays upon us, you may want to think about being settled and look ahead. Start looking for another property to rent, and cut your loses now rather than allow any more time to go buy and watch your hard earned money go down the drain on a property that has no interest in you. Sorry to deliver the message so hard, but I’m just the messenger, by profession I might add! 🙂