California leads housing gain

October 12, 2012

A sharp drop in new defaults shows that California is recovering from the housing collapse faster than any other state, according to a report by a home-loan data specialist. That’s somewhat ironic, as California led the U.S. into the bust. (San Francisco Chronicle).

Foreclosures are at their lowest since 2007 in the Golden State, down 13 percent from  year ago.

The trend is nationwide, with value of homes in America up 1.2 percent in July — the biggest increase since August 2010.

At the same time, home sales in the state’s biggest markets accelerated and real estate values jumped by 11 percent.

It will become harder for lenders to seize foreclosed properties as of Jan. 1 when new legislation takes effect, and that might adversely affect the speed at which the state’s economy recovers.





  1. thinkaboutit says:

    Funny-annoying, how posters with a certain agenda are vehement to dismiss cases of wrongdoing on the part of the mortgage industry.

    There are too many foreclosures and, yes, forced short sales on record now from homeowners with previously A+ credit to deny the massive theft being committed against responsible Americans. Look at the sales of any given neighborhood. Foreclosed homes *are* being flipped (by larger scale investors this time) as higher priced rentals (and no pets allowed, by the way). It’s no longer uncommon to find several families or groups of roommates living in the typical 3/2 to make ends meet.

    Scan the Craigslist ads. You’ll see them, entire families wanting to rent one room. The fact that the American family is largely displaced is under-reported. Either the government will step in and recreate another wave of subprime borrowing (doubtful) or investors will continue to get richer from the struggling collective of the under- and unemployed.

    Either way, home ownership won’t be the same for the next decade or so of this economy. So much of the population who owned homes in the past will be too gun-shy, cynical, understandably mistrusting (or most likely, ineligible to qualify for a decent mortgage rate) to own again in their generation.

    I’ve posted before that I used to think owning a home was the ultimate goal, not for the foreseeable future if at all. Average Americans have gotten screwed overall. That said, I realize that there has been a huge number of homeowners who bought in over their heads or used their homes as piggy banks for frivolous spending. Everybody knows that.

    However…I submit there are just as many who lost good paying jobs, whose hours were cut, who experienced catastrophic medical issues that insurance did not cover, those who were abandoned in divorce, spouses who were widowed and a mix of other hardships that the banking industry saw fit for opportunistic gain.

    Even in my own situation, I would have been considered a good risk on paper, but BofA’s servicing arm said that the investor simply refused to modify my loan to the then-current market rates in order for my loan to become equally as affordable as my neighbor’s…plain and simple. ReconTrust (, owned by BofA, did not assist customers who were intent on keeping their homes. No way.



    BofA’s ReconTrust Settles Charges – Analyst Blog

    Posted 8/17/2012 5:11 PM by Zacks Equity Research

    On Thursday, Bank of America Corporation ‘s ( BAC ) foreclosure division – ReconTrust Co. – settled charges made by Washington State Attorney General, Rob McKenna. The charges were filed on the grounds that ReconTrust failed to comply with the state laws of Washington.

    McKenna claimed that this division was futile in the role of an unbiased third-party, acting on the interests of both lender and borrower. Moreover, it did not have an office in the state of Washington.

    In addition, it failed to identify the actual loan owners and provided conflicting information to the borrowers regarding the methods to stop foreclosures. To resume its discontinued business in the state, the company will have to fulfill the conditions laid down to safeguard the interests of the homeowners.

    Texas-based ReconTrust is a foreclosure trustee services provider in California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Virginia and seven other states.

    Earlier this year, five large U.S. banks – JPMorgan Chase & Co. ( JPM ), Bank of America Corporation ( BAC ), Citigroup Inc. ( C ), Ally Financial Inc. and Wells Fargo & Company ( WFC ) – accused of faulty foreclosure practices, agreed to a $25 billion settlement deal. Under this settlement, Bank of America had the largest financial commitment of $11.8 billion. Out of this amount, ReconTrust has already paid a sum of $1.1 million.

    Even though it will take awhile to fully overcome the foreclosure mess, this settlement is a step forward. We believe that various corrective measures would surely prevent yet another foreclosure crisis, if these are implemented correctly.


    Robo-signed foreclosures:


    Archived blog post in re postponing trustee auction sale:

    “Short Sales Resisted As Foreclosures Are Revived,” NYTimes

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  2. Jack L says:

    Prices will still be more than the so-called middle class can afford, especially in SLO County. I see the new trend in cities are the super tiny 300 sq ft apartments or condos or whatever they will be. Touch all the walls from the middle of the room. Looks like to me we will be living like we used to see in the photos of third world inner cities. The end of an era.

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    • abigchocoholic says:

      Looks like to me we will be living like we used to see in the photos of third world inner cities. The end of an era.
      Really? Life that bad for you? You’re probably living better than 99% of the people on the planet and yet all you can think of to do is to comment something this?

      Is there some requirement here that I’m not aware of that all comments are required to be over the top, negative exaggerations? Over and over and over I see these type comments. You people ever think that all your negativity is age related? Obviously, I don’t know your ages but I’d be willing there’s a high correlation to age and negativity.

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      • thinkaboutit says:

        Abig? What you don’t know is a lot.

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  3. Cindy says:

    In an effort to conceal the rate at which homes are being foreclosed on, banks like BofA and Chase have been systematically pushing homeowners into “short sales”. Generally the homeowners begin attempting to obtain mortgage modifications and the banks string the homeowners along for many months. Then they turn down the homeowners applications and recommend that the applicants except a short sale deal (we take your house and you don’t owe us anything). This way the bank reports less foreclosures.

    This is nothing but a bunch of smoke and mirrors from the banksters.

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    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Yep, that’s part of their “MO.” Very clever.

      Another aspect of their MO: Nobody goes to jail and the government gets all the money. I told you guys that you are being ruled by gangsters. Read on:

      New York Attorney-General Eric Schneiderman has released an amazingly detailed account of criminal fraud on the part of JP Morgan but – as usual – fails to name any individuals to be prosecuted. [This is the game they play: Government prosecutors grab the limelight by appearing to be hard-liners on the side of truth and justice, but they seldom send any of the crooks to prison or even slap them with meaningful fines. Instead, they prosecute the corporations these con men control. Billions of dollars in fines are paid, not to the victims of bank fraud, but to the governments that employ the prosecutors. In the end, those fines are paid either by bank stockholders or, more likely, by taxpayers, who are on the hook for federal bailouts that go to banks so they can pay their fines.]
      Reuters 2012 Oct 10

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    • abigchocoholic says:

      In an effort to conceal the rate at which homes are being foreclosed on, banks like BofA and Chase have been systematically pushing homeowners into “short sales”.
      Wrong. A short sale saves the bank money and time and keeps a foreclosure off an owner’s record. It’s called win win when it can be accomplished. But anyone in the business knows short sales are very difficult to make happen –the exact opposite of what you are asserting.

      This is nothing but a bunch of smoke and mirrors from the banksters.
      Not in your area at least. Foreclosures are way down on the central coast. Inventory for sale is also way down. Houses on the market often have multiple offers within the first week. Prices are moving up. It’s quickly becoming a seller’s market.

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    • pasovino says:

      But Romney wants to open it up for the bankswho are just so Squeezed! Obama hasn’t done SQUAT to the banksters…though he is hamstrung by the house

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  4. MaryMalone says:

    A closer look at the data reveals a dark side to the numbers, as we see the entry-level homebuyers squeezed out of a chance of owning a home, and yet another large-scale shift of wealth from the wage-earner to the moneyed.

    Investor Groups are Crowding Out First-Time Buyers for Houses $313,200 and Under.

    By Alejandro Lazo
    October 11, 2012, 12:25 p.m.

    Housing inventory in California keeps coming up short. Lower-priced homes attractive to first-time buyers are in particularly scarce supply, according to a report released Thursday by real estate website Zillow.
    The number of lower-priced homes available in the Golden State shrank by more than 40% over the last year, according to the analysis. Lower-priced homes were defined as those that sold for $313,200 or less. California saw the largest inventory reduction in that classification of any state.
    The reason is because cheaper homes — particularly foreclosed properties — have become highly attractive to investors who have developed a sophisticated industry around buying up properties, fixing them up and selling them or renting them out.
    Renting out foreclosed homes has increasingly emerged as an investment opportunity to Wall Street. Financiers are busily studying ways to take the single-family home rental business, for years mostly a mom-and-pop affair, and make it a bigger industry. That has made it difficult for first-time shoppers to compete.
    “First-time home buyers are being squeezed out of the market by falling inventory and the rapid influx of investors looking to buy basic homes to rent out,” Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries said in a statement. “Investors are paying in cash and can close sooner, which is more favorable to banks and homeowners looking to sell.”
    ….continues at

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    • r0y says:

      I don’t remember who said it way back when (circa 2008 or 2007?) but they claimed all of this financial crap, TARP, bailouts, toxic assets, mortgage frauds – all of it was designed to “steal” property from the middle class.

      Of course, many wrote him off as a bit loony (at least I did), now I am thinking he may have been on to something. This whole thing reeks of government take-over… let the banks get everything, and when the people cry out, the government takes over the banks… and their assets.

      Maybe that is still too extreme a thought now. It sure was 3-4 years ago; however, now it doesn’t seem “impossible” to me anymore.

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