Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Technorati button
Reddit button
Myspace button
Linkedin button
Webonews button
Delicious button
Digg button
Flickr button
Stumbleupon button
Newsvine button

CoreLogic: US Jan Foreclosures Rise But Trend Still Positive

WASHINGTON (MNI) – The number of foreclosures completed on residential
homes with a mortgage totaled roughly 61,000 in January, up from 56,000 in
December but still down nearly 18% from last year, data analytics firm CoreLogic
reported Thursday.

Despite the slight uptick in January foreclosures, CoreLogic Chief
Economist Mark Fleming said in a statement that “the backlog of distressed
assets continues to fade as the foreclosure inventory has fallen to a level not
seen since mid-2009, with less than 3% of all mortgages in foreclosure.”

Fleming added that only six states have seen a rise in foreclosure
inventory from last year as improvement has been “widespread.”

CoreLogic said there were approximately 1.2 million homes in the
foreclosure inventory in January 2013 – which is nearly a 21% decrease from
January 2012 when the inventory of foreclosed homes stood at 1.5 million.

On a month-over-month basis the foreclosure inventory fell 3.3% from
December and now only 2.9% of all homes with a mortgage are considered part of
the foreclosure inventory compared to 3.5% in January of last year.

CoreLogic defines the foreclosure inventory as any home that has been
placed into the foreclosure process by a mortgage servicer and remains their
until either the borrower pays off the necessary amounts to stop a foreclosure,
the foreclosure is completed and sold to a third party or the home enters into
the lenders REO inventory.

Anand Nallathambi, CEO of CoreLogic also said in a statement that the
foreclosure inventory is still “too high” but that the recent improvement is a
good sign.

“We expect this trend will continue in 2013 as the housing market
stabilizes and purchase activity picks up,” Nallathambi added.

–MNI Washington Bureau; tel: +1 202-371-2121; email:


Article source:

Stop Fema Now to Meet March 9th at Silverton First Aid Squad

Saturday, March 9 2 PM

Got news to share? Send your news tips, accomplishments, photos and stories to We are always looking for great news here in Ocean County.

Posted by
on Feb 27 2013. Filed under Events, In the News.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Article source:

Why Millennials Should Stop Complaining and Start Living

As a 20-something, you might not be working your ideal job. Maybe you aren’t making as much as you envisioned when you were in college. You’re probably renting an apartment when you’d like to own a home, have six digits in student loan debt and little in savings. Or maybe you’re just worried because you haven’t met The One.

We keep reading and hearing about The Plight of the Millennial; it seems young professionals everywhere are struggling with the economy, lack of job prospects and high student loan balances. And that gap between what we envisioned and our reality creates anxiety.

Yet Millennials have a LOT to celebrate in this economy. Here are a few common complaints and how to look at the bright side:

Complaint No. 1: Your dream job isn’t within reach

Had a slow start to your career? Can’t find the dream job you were promised? You may not be developing your career as quickly as you would like, but not getting an offer yet means you have time to explore your options and better define your career path.

When things move slowly, you have time to analyze, respond and redevelop your goals. You have time to find your calling. And, for some perspective, being unemployed at 25 can actually be more appealing than being unemployed at 52. It’s easier to be nimble when you’re starting out, rather than suffering the loss of a job you’ve had for 30 years.

Complaint No. 2: Your student loans are massive

You may have student loans, but do you know what else that means you have? A college education. It’s one thing our parents’ generation largely didn’t have, and it’s one thing they made sure we did.

Neither of my parents got to go to college, and though they couldn’t afford to foot the bill, they did sign their name to the loans that afforded me my education — and for that, I am grateful. You should be, too!

Complaint No. 3: Your savings account is nil

Don’t have any savings? Countless baby boomers don’t, either, now that they’ve lost a lifetime’s worth of 401(k) accounts. And they don’t have another lifetime to start from scratch and rebuild. We do. We have our whole lives to save — assuming we start now.

Complaint No. 4: You can’t afford to own a house

Don’t own a home? Have you seen what happened to homeowners everywhere over the last few years?

Not having a mortgage right now means you won’t go through a foreclosure. Homes aren’t the best performing asset right now. Buy some stocks instead. It’s what you’re supposed to do in a down market. (Did you sleep through Econ I?)

Complaint No. 5: You’re still single

Not married? At least you’re not part of the 40 percent of people who are divorced in our age group. Don’t be in such a hurry to get married; you’ll be a lot more likely to find your partner when you ease up a little and relinquish some of the anxiety around finding The One. It’s okay to be not married at 29.

Complaint No. 6: You live with your parents

We’re called the Boomerang Generation for a reason; lots of us are still living with the ‘rents. And while moving out is a good goal, saving some serious cash on rent can work to your advantage in the long run. Just make sure you don’t kick back long enough that you wake up in your childhood bedroom at 37.

I deeply believe in our generation. But we need to get our act together. Being a Millennial in this economy is anything but a misfortune, and we should stop treating it as such. In fact, you could argue that this is the greatest time in history to be between the ages of 20 and 30. We have opportunities available to us that generations before only dreamed of — we just need to recognize and leverage them.

Krista Goral is an IT consultant by day and doubles down as a writer, blogger, philosopher/doer by night. She explores the everyday human experience on her two blogs, Response Crafting and Moments in Notes. Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, we offer edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work — this isn’t your parents’ career-advice blog. Be Brazen.

Article source:

New York City Foreclosures Linked to Crime

A Queens homeowner facing foreclosure. (NYTimes)

A Queens homeowner facing foreclosure. (NY Times)

New York City has, in many ways, been spared the worst ravages of the foreclosure crisis. A city of renters, where single family homes are the exception rather than the norm and co-op and condo boards regularly turn their noses up at perfectly decent financial packages, we have avoided the magnitude of problems suffered by many other American cities.

But foreclosures have still troubled the city—and often indirectly. For example, many renters in overleveraged multi-family properties suffered when landlords fell behind on payments and ceased to conduct maintenance. And where foreclosures have hit New York, they have also been tied to increases in crime, according to a new report by NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate Urban Policy.

That the two should be tied together is not so surprising. Across the country, a combination of falling fortunes and vacant homes, desperation and a place to conduct desperate acts, have produced similar patterns. Marijuana growers and meth labs have both taken advantage of empty abodes and absent neighbors.

But the correlation between foreclosures and crime in New York, even given the city’s active street life, its declining crime rates and its far-from-abandoned neighborhoods, is noteworthy. For each property receiving a foreclosure notice, the immediate neighborhood saw a 0.7 percent increase in total crime, a 1.5 percent increase in violent crime and a 0.8 percent increase in public order crime, according to the report. However, significant increases in crime only occurred on blocks where there had been three or more foreclosures. Neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of foreclosures and existing crime rates saw the biggest upticks.

The study suffers from the classic problem of causation versus correlation: the question of whether foreclosures caused crime, or whether they simply happened more often in neighborhoods already beset by poverty, where underground and illegal economies were already thriving, is difficult to say. That empty, unattended properties invite illicit behavior is well-established, but do they actually cause crime, or just harbor it?

The study did establish that crime was not simply relocating from adjacent blocks, as might be expected in high-crime neighborhoods where local law breakers would be inclined to seek out new spots suited to their nefarious purposes. However, it was impossible to tell whether or not the crime might have migrated from other, more far-flung areas.

“This research indicates that foreclosures are not just an issue affecting individual homeowners; they threaten the stability of the surrounding neighborhood as well,” Furman Center Co-Director and study author Ingrid Gould Ellen said in a release about the study.

Likewise, the study’s finding that properties which resolved their foreclosures before going to auction had less of a negative effect on communities than those that had failed to do so is hard to separate from other factors. Foreclosures resolved before auction would seem to be associated with homeowners who had more resources at their disposal—financial, community, legal—that would also prove helpful in combating crime.

“This suggests that finding ways to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and resolve their cases more quickly might go a long way to addressing the effects we see,” Ms. Gould added.

Greater financial assistance and community intervention may well help to curb the negative impact of foreclosures and, in connection, crime rates.

A year after the banks reached a settlement over foreclosure abuses, it is easy to imagine that the foreclosure crisis is behind the country. New York in particular, with a giddy trophy market powered by the international elite, can seem above it all. But the reality is that many homeowners, and in particular those spread across the five boroughs, are still struggling with the problem, which is deeply complicated and in many cases, unresolved by the settlement. Dinette Rivera, a 38-year-old single mother in Queens, recently told The Times that she was overjoyed to receive a letter from Bank of America telling her that her second mortgage would be forgiven, only to receive another letter, a short time later, also from the Bank of America, telling her that her first mortgage was being foreclosed on and she would need to vacate.


Follow Kim Velsey via RSS.

    Leave a Reply




    Article source:

CoreLogic report offers more evidence of easing foreclosure woes

An improving single-family housing market is helping to reverse foreclosure woes that had plagued the Pikes Peak region over the past few years.

The Colorado Springs-area foreclosure rate — the percentage of properties in some stage of foreclosure — declined to 1.07 percent in December, down from 1.45 percent in the same month a year earlier, according to a report released by CoreLogic, a California-based housing data firm.

The area’s foreclosure rate had been as high as 1.86 percent in January 2011, CoreLogic’s report shows.

By comparison, the state’s foreclosure rate in December was slightly better at 1.01 percent; nationwide, the rate was 2.96 percent.

In another measure of an improving foreclosure picture, 3.47 percent of Springs-area mortgages were delinquent for 90 days or longer in December, down from 4.15 percent during the same month last year. About three years ago, nearly 5 percent of local mortgages were delinquent for at least three months.

Statewide, the mortgage delinquently rate was 4.14 percent in December; nationwide, it was 7.28 percent.

Data compiled by the El Paso County Public Trustee’s Office and the Colorado Division of Housing have shown similar trends. The number of foreclosure filings against Springs-area property owners — which soared as the local and national economies nose-dived starting in 2007 — has declined each of the last few years after hitting a record high in 2009.

With mortgage rates at historical lows, more individuals and  investors have been buying homes; that increase in demand is helping to boost prices. As a result, homeowners have either been able to sell their homes or have seen their properties increase in value — helping them to avoid foreclosure actions, said Hank Poburka, a broker with The Platinum Group Realtors and board chairman of the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors.

Likewise, Poburka said, banks seem to be holding off on some foreclosure actions or are more willing to work out loan modifications with homeowners.

“It’s kind of a combination of everything,” Poburka said. “The people that would be under water and would normally be foreclosed on are getting a kind of an extra lease on life, if you will.”

Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228 Twitter @richladen
Facebook Rich Laden

Article source:

Program helps TN families avoid foreclosure – WBIR



A Tennessee agency has helped more than three thousand families avoid foreclosure, and stay in their homes.
The program is called Keep my TN Home.  It’s a foreclosure prevention effort, targeted at folks who’ve lost their job or taken a big cut to their income.
Tennessee received around $200 million dollars for the program, but it’s only used about 35%.

The agency says it wants people to know help is out there.
“These are folks who have been working and paying their bills all their lives. They’re not in a position to do that now because of a job loss or a big loss of income. We’re viewing this as a bridge, to when they’re back working and paying their own way and it keeps them in their homes,” said Ralph Perry of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.

People do have to qualify for the program.  You can learn more about it and apply at this website.

Article source:

Orlando Senator files four foreclosure bills, calling Florida’s No. 1 ranking …

Calling Florida’s position as the No. 1 state for
foreclosures “shameful,” Sen. Darren
, D-Orlando, has filed four bills aimed at helping struggling homeowners.

The bills would provide taxpayer
support for people who are on the verge of foreclosure, make it more difficult
for banks to sue homeowners for additional debt after a foreclosure and crack
down on lenders who use false documents in court.

They stand in contrast to another
bill that seeks to speed up the foreclosure process, which can take an average
of more than two years in Florida.
The bill, filed by Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, is a rehash of a 2012 proposal
that led to protests by consumer groups. Passidomo said the long, drawn out
foreclosure process is hurting the market and slowing down the housing

Soto, who led the protests against
Passidomo’s 2012 bill, said his proposals are aimed at taking the state in the
opposite direction when it comes to foreclosures.

“These bills represent a vision for
resolving the foreclosure crisis where we work with families to save their
homes and make them more affordable as well as provide meaningful debt relief,”
he said in a statement.  “This vision stands in stark contrast to the
numerous bills filed over the past few years with the sole intention of kicking
thousands of Florida’s
working families out of their homes for the sake of expediency.”

Florida lawmakers also have about $200
million in funding available from a national mortgage settlement last year.
That money is not included in Soto’s proposal and lawmakers have not decided
how to use it yet. Some fear that the money could be swept away into
non-housing-related issues, though legislative leaders have promised not to
allow that to happen. Florida’s foreclosure rate is the highest in the nation and foreclosure filings increased significantly last year. 

Soto’s full statement is below:

Article source:

Hicks: Former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley facing foreclosure

Former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley is facing foreclosure.

The Journal News reported Frehley hasn’t paid the mortgage on his New York home in almost two years. In a Feb. 15 foreclosure filing, the U.S. Bank National Association said Frehley stopped paying the $735,000 mortgage on his Ossining, N.Y., home on March 1, 2011. He has an outstanding principal of $703,581.48. Maybe he should open a KISS merchandise stand in front of his house.

Frehley also supposedly hasn’t paid his taxes in almost two years, the Journal News reported via the Yorktown tax receiver’s office. Records show he owes a 2011 lien of $5,131.61 for town and county taxes along with $13,425.94 for 2012 county, school and town taxes. He supposedly hasn’t made a payment since Dec. 30, 2011.

On top of all his other troubles. the guy who replaced him, Tommy Thayer, is still wearing his clothes.

Frehley was in KISS from 1973 to 1982, and rejoined the band for a spell in the 90s.

Just to add insult to injury, his former bandmate Gene Simmons estimated the KISS brand to be worth between $1 and $5 billion in 2011, according to CNN.

Contact Tony Hicks on Facebook at, or on Twitter at

Article source:

City of St. Louis passes new foreclosure ordinance



ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - The City of St. Louis has passed a new ordinance in an effort to prevent foreclosures.

Maggie Crane, a spokesperson for Mayor Francis Slay, says the St. Louis Board of Aldermen passed Board Bill No. 160CS and it was signed by Mayor Slay Wednesday.

Crane says in the last year 1,116 homeowners in the city have gone through foreclosure.

“Home foreclosures present dangers to the health, safety and welfare of the public, thereby creating a public nuisance. They hurt property values and interfere with the collection of real property taxes. It’s a serious concern, which municipal government cannot ignore,” Mayor Francis Slay said. “The City is heartened by the willingness of the major lenders in town to participate in home foreclosure mediation.”

The ordinance asks lenders to meet with homeowners to review reasons why the loan is difficult, possible changes that could be made, and look into federal housing resources before completing a foreclosure.

A similar ordinance is in effect in St. Louis County.

Lenders will need to issue a “notice of mediation” to the homeowner and the mediator and pay the $100 filing fee. This will come at no cost to the city or city taxpayers.

United States Arbitration and Mediation Midwest Inc. will handle mediations and try to contact the homeowners three times over 15 days. If the homeowner is not reached, the foreclosure process will continue.

Homeowners who respond and decide to participate in mediation will be scheduled to meet with the lender. Lenders will then pay an additional $350 fee for mediation services.

The homeowner will be allowed to stay in the home if an agreement is reached with the lender.

If an agreement is not reached, the foreclosure process can continue.

All lender forms are available on the City of St. Louis’ website, and on the website of United States Arbitration and Mediation Midwest Inc.

The ordinance goes into effect immediately.


Article source:

In Spain, banks buck calls for mortgage law reform

Suicides caused by eviction has angered public by what they see as a lack of compassion among Spanish banks.The placard reads Without flat, on the street? Take the street, do not be silent'. Photo (File) Reuters

Suicides caused by eviction has angered the public by what they see as a lack of compassion among Spanish banks. The placard reads ‘Without flat, on the street? Take the street, do not be silent’. —Photo (File) Reuters

MADRID: For more than a century, Spanish law has determined that if a person borrows money to buy a home, they can only be freed of the debt when it is repaid. Even in death, the debt is not cancelled. As the country enters another year of recession, calls are mounting for the system to be relaxed. But the banks worry this would damage their access to funds.

Take Francisco Lema, an unemployed 36-year-old builder, who dropped off his 8-year-old daughter at school on February 8 and returned to the family’s rented fourth-floor flat in the Andalusian city of Cordoba.

The house he built himself had been repossessed, leaving a debt of 22,000 euros ($29,000) on the mortgage he took out to cover building materials, said family friend Maria Jose Vadillo, an activist for Stop Evictions Cordoba, a pressure group. His parents had stood guarantor for part of the loan. Now he was struggling with the repayments, said Rafael Blazquez, another activist with the same group.

His wife, who was out, returned home to find his body on the street, covered with a sheet.

Everything pointed to suicide, a police spokeswoman said; a witness had called to say Lema had jumped off the balcony. His wife declined to be interviewed. Of the two banks involved in the case one, Kutxabank, confirmed Lema had a mortgage with a savings bank it owns.

The other, Caja 3, did not respond to inquiries. Activists and police say Lema was one of four people who have killed themselves this month in Spain because of forced evictions and the consequent debt loads.

“The foreclosure process here is very tough,” says Jose Garcia Montalvo, economics professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. “The law is brutally clear and it’s not interpretable case by case.”

Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government has taken steps to ease the burden. In November, it said it would suspend evictions for two years for vulnerable homeowners who can no longer pay, including those with small children, the disabled and the long-term unemployed. Last month, the finance minister announced more measures including partial debt-forgiveness for some defaulted borrowers who pledge to repay a certain amount of the remaining debt within five years.

But lawyers, activists and opposition politicians want more.

Thousands of Spaniards bearing placards and banners took to the streets in 50 cities around the country on February 16 to protest against forced evictions. Spain’s three main judge associations have said the government has not done enough, and a petition with close to 1.5 million signatures this month persuaded parliament to debate the possibility of cancelling mortgage debt once a home is handed back to the bank.

Spain’s eviction law is in breach of European law on consumer protection by not offering homeowners a legal chance to argue against eviction until after they have been thrown out, Juliane Kokott, the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, has said. The Court ensures the application of European Union law across the member states.

“The mortgage law is missing a social dimension,” Fernando de Rosa, a conservative judge with strong links to the ruling People’s Party (PP), told Reuters. “It’s too strict in the relationship between the bank and the borrower.”

Spain's banks have been the subject of protests over their treatment of customers as they receive state aid. Photo (File) Reuters

Spain’s banks have been the subject of protests over their treatment of customers as they receive state aid. —Photo (File) Reuters


Spain’s banks, which have already been bailed out by Europe to the tune of 40 billion euros, are lobbying against any change.

Moody’s said earlier this month that easing the legislation would diminish borrowers’ incentive to keep up with mortgage payments. Any change in the law eroding investors’ protections would undermine confidence, the agency said. That risked damaging Spain’s already weak credit rating. As of January 10, two ratings agencies pegged Spanish debt just one notch above junk.

In the United States, if you default on your mortgage you can often cancel the debt by handing back the house to the bank, and hope the bank agrees to accept it in lieu of the outstanding sum. In Britain, you can write off the liability through personal bankruptcy: your credit will be damaged for a time but you can wipe the slate clean. In Ireland, which suffered a similar housing boom and crash to Spain, the government has made it easier for people to be declared bankrupt, and proposed new routes for mortgage holders to discharge their debt.

In Spain, homeowners remain liable even after the bank has repossessed the property. Banks have a claim on debtors’ salaries, and can put a claim on the estate of the deceased. That’s not unique, but experts say it is harsher than in many countries.

Spanish house prices are around a third below their peak. More than 80 per cent of the population own their homes; the mortgage debt totals over 600 billion euros or around two-thirds of gross domestic product. So far, nearly 400,000 properties have been repossessed by banks since the 2008 housing crash, and the number is rising, although no statistics are available on how many of these are homes.

People who call for reform note that while individuals have no escape from their mortgage debts, real estate companies – which built up debts of 280 billion euros to the banks – have an easier get-out. Many have declared themselves bankrupt and their bad loans have ended up in Sareb, Spain’s so-called ‘bad bank’.

Others say huge, lifelong debt burdens will deter even the able-bodied from seeking work or starting a business, so are not profitable for the banks to hold onto.

“It encourages these people to work in the black market or live on subsidies and it doesn’t benefit banks other than acting as a threat for others to keep up with their payments,” said Mikel Echavarren, chairman at Irea, a Madrid-based finance company specialising in real estate.

The Spanish Platform of People Evicted by Bankia (PAH) members in a protest against banks last year. Photo (File) Reuters

The Spanish Platform of People Evicted by Bankia (PAH) members in a protest against banks last year. —Photo (File) Reuters


Pressure is mounting internationally. Warming himself by a tin bucket filled with smouldering coals outside a central Madrid branch of Bankia, 38-year-old unemployed Ecuadorian Emilio Azuero is one of many who came to Spain during the boom years, bought property at the height of the market, and now face eviction and debt. He joined a spontaneous protest at the site for three months until police cleared the site at the beginning of February.

In his home country, mortgage debt is cancelled with the return of the property to the bank. In Spain, his debts would exceed 100,000 euros if he lost his home.

Ecuador said in January it had presented a case to the European Court of Human Rights that argues Spanish law abuses fundamental rights by not allowing homeowners to explain their situation in court during the eviction process. The Latin American country estimates that as many as 15,000 Ecuadorian families in Spain are affected by eviction processes or mortgage repayment problems.

But one important reason the banks oppose reform is that, as the euro zone debt crisis runs into its fourth year, they have struggled to borrow on the money markets. Instead, to a limited extent, they turn to the mortgage-backed bond market where they can use their home loans as collateral.

Spain is the biggest issuer of mortgage-backed bonds in Europe, with 578 billion euros of bonds linked to mortgage assets outstanding as of November 2012, according to Moody’s. That is equivalent to 15 per cent of the banks’ total funding.

Making it easier for bad debtors to cancel debt would push up the rate of default, which for Spanish banks is at 3.5 per cent – around a third the rate of the home loan defaults in Ireland.

“We have managed to maintain one of the lowest mortgage default rates in Europe despite the recession,” said Santos Gonzalez, chairman of the Spanish Mortgage Association, which represents banks accounting for most of the mortgage market, including Santander, BBVA and Bankia. “Do we want a knee-jerk reaction to a crisis that has affected a small percentage of people by changing the structure of our whole mortgage market, weakening its guarantees?”

Laws governing the repayment of mortgages ensure that homeowners keep up with payments, says economist Montalvo of Universitat Pompeu Fabra. “If you don’t pay, the bank will get it back somehow and with interest,” he adds.

One way banks have kept the default rate low is by renegotiating mortgages with borrowers. Official data is not available but according to an independent audit carried out by consultant Oliver Wyman in September, banks have renegotiated almost one in 10 residential mortgages. By comparison, 11 per cent of large companies’ borrowing has been restructured.


Marcheline Rosero has reached an agreement with her bank which reformers say could serve as a partial model. She and her family escaped eviction from their small Madrid flat when she fell behind on mortgage payments two years ago, and lender Bankia repossessed it.

The unemployed 45-year-old, confined to a wheelchair by childhood polio, reached an agreement to stay by paying the bank a nominal rent of 240 euros per month.

But under the existing law she still owes most of a 222,000 euro home loan even after handing the property – now valued at 60,000 euros – back to Bankia. “I’ve got a debt there that I haven’t paid back that is accumulating interest,” says the former office clerk, greeting her three children as they return from school.

Bankia said the bank does everything possible to find alternatives before eviction. It has renegotiated around 80,000 mortgages since 2009, a spokeswoman said: she could not say how big a share of the total that was. The bank declined to comment on proposed changes to law until they materialised.

Chema Ruiz, a Madrid-based activist for ‘Support for those Affected by Mortgages,’ a not-for-profit group which advises those struggling with repayments, says banks delayed many evictions in November, but courts have started to send out eviction notices again.

More homeowners are attending weekly support meetings, he said; he sees 80 to 100 new cases a week. “Every week there are more people and of higher social standing.”

Article source: