August 5, 2016 |
Begun as the government's response to the foreclosure crisis, the Treasury Department's Home Affordable Modification Program wasn't supposed to last forever. The Dec. 31 end of the foreclosure relief program, which offered a more affordable payment by adjusting interest rates, extending the loan term, and reducing or forbearing principal, will leave a gap that the government is trying to fill. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, is proposing consumer protection principles to guide mortgage servicers, investors, government housing agencies, and policy makers as they develop foreclosure-relief solutions to replace what is better known by its acronym, HAMP.
July 25, 2016 |
Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? That's the creeping sensation Florida homeowner Lisa Epstein had as she reviewed the foreclosure case against her. She'd never dealt with the financial institutions taking her to court and their paperwork didn't seem to be in order. Most of the millions of Americans foreclosed upon when the housing bubble burst didn't fight back. But some actually read the inscrutable documents sent by financial institutions. These people pushed back, and in the process revealed the systemic fraud at the heart of the foreclosure crisis.
June 7, 2015 |
A couple of studies have crossed my electronic desk, and I thought I'd share them with you, because both relate to topics I have written about in recent weeks. The first is a Cornell University analysis, published in an article in the June issue of the American Sociological Review, contending that foreclosures "fueled racial segregation in the United States. " The paper, co-authored by Kyle Crowder of the University of Washington and Amy Spring of Georgia State University, acknowledges that nine million American families have lost their homes to foreclosure since the real estate downturn started in 2007.
May 17, 2015 |
Most of us believe in second chances. If we didn't, no one would ever show up at a Phillies game. The second chance I'm talking about, however, is for someone who has lost his or her house as the result of foreclosure. It's been about nine years since the start of the U.S. foreclosure crisis, which peaked at 7.7 million houses in foreclosure in 2012. With the passage of the years, once-distressed homeowners with restored credit are reentering the housing market, even though damaged credit profiles and lender rules will greatly restrict the overall share of those eligible to buy. According to the National Association of Realtors, California, Florida, and Arizona, where the foreclosure crisis started, are expected to have the largest share of return buyers within the next decade.
July 7, 2014 |
Residential real estate has its own version of the 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead. Call it Zombie Foreclosures . RealtyTrac, a search engine that collects real estate data nationwide, defines the phenomenon this way: "properties that have started the foreclosure process but have never been foreclosed and the homeowner has vacated. " One in five U.S. homes in foreclosure, or 141,406, are zombies, it says. Andrew Frank, of Long & Foster Real Estate in Blue Bell, said he's been told many zombies rose from the "robo-signing" era of 2008 through 2010, when some mortgage servicers failed to read foreclosure documents before submitting them to courts or other agencies for action.
February 3, 2013 |
Because I've covered the foreclosure crisis as long as I have, even a quick read of the latest proposed rules affecting mortgage servicing highlights all the abuses borrowers have mentioned over the last few years. Choose the situation your servicer dumped on you and send me an e-mail about it. Experiences will be published. The most common abuse that the latest rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau address is "double-tracking," in which a servicer simultaneously pursues foreclosure and offers alternatives to loss of the home.
October 26, 2012 |
TRENTON - The Christie administration Wednesday acknowledged failure in managing $300 million in federal money to help struggling homeowners but declared that the problems had been fixed and an increasing number of homeowners were being saved from foreclosure. "Listen, it's indefensible; the program was not being run well," said Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard E. Constable III, who inherited the issues after he assumed his post in January. "We did a disservice to the folks that we were supposed to serve.
July 28, 2012 |
Rising home foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies have contributed to an increase in child abuse, a Children's Hospital of Philadelphia PolicyLab study suggests. The study, the subject of a July 16 article in the journal Pediatrics, used data submitted from 38 of 45 pediatric medical centers around the country. The data, which covered 2000 through 2009, show that every 1 percent increase in 90-day mortgage delinquencies over a one-year period was associated with a 3 percent increase in children's hospital admissions for physical abuse and a 5 percent increase in children's hospital admissions for traumatic brain injuries suspected to be caused by child abuse.
June 2, 2012 |
The mortgage scams just keep coming — and from unexpected places. Now, the states are raiding funds from a multibillion-dollar settlement among 49 attorneys general, the federal government, and five major banks to plug holes in their budgets. ProPublica.org, a nonprofit news website, reports that states have siphoned off about 40 percent of the $2.5 billion that the settlement put aside to specifically cover foreclosure-related expenses, housing counseling, and legal aid for victims.
May 18, 2012 |
Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, along with New Jersey, saw higher rates of foreclosure filings in April from a year ago, RealtyTrac reported Thursday. Philadelphia foreclosure filings fell about 11 percent from March, but were 24 percent higher than April 2011, continuing a six-month trend confirmed by a number of other sources, including CoreLogic, the real estate information provider. Even so, at 2,400 filings, Philadelphia's number is one-fifth that of Chicago's, 400 fewer than New York, and well below comparable metro areas.