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The Collateral Damage in This Housing War

We try our best to deliver a blog post everyday that is filled with facts and studies on the housing industry. Every once in a while, one of our bloggers asks to be able to voice their ‘opinion’ on a particular point. This is one of those days. Here is Steve Harney’s opinion on the […]

Will Falling Prices Create Wave of Strategic Defaults?

Strategic default:  when a borrower defaults on their mortgage even though they have the financial ability to repay it.  Strategic defaults lead to foreclosures. It is important to realize that an increase in the number of foreclosures will dramatically impact any possible housing recovery. A loss of income or an increase in negative equity (where the […]

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Is the Window of Opportunity Beginning to Close?

Several banks had recently suspended foreclosure procedures on hundreds of thousands of homes while they were forced to review all their paperwork. The lenders had to prove they fulfilled the legal requirements for repossession. We have reported that homeowners of all non-distressed properties were given a window of opportunity to sell their house without the competition […]

Innocent Until Proven Guilty. Even Homeowners?

There has been a furor the last two weeks regarding the robo-signer scandal.  Dean Hartman, a guest blogger and friend, made the case that a moratorium makes no sense and would do more harm than good. Others have made the opposite argument. The KCM Crew has posted on possible ramifications and a possible silver lining to […]

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The New Foreclosure Mess: A Possible Silver Lining

There is no doubt that the current foreclosure mess is creating havoc in the housing industry. Listings are being removed from the market and many closings are being delayed and, in some cases, even canceled. No one is sure what the full impact of the situation will be or when it will be rectified. However, there […]

Two Wrongs Don’t Make It Right

Here is guest blogger Dean Hartman’s strong opinion on the current foreclosure mess. – The KCM Crew This is just my less-than-humble opinion, intended to spark some dialogue. A common scenario: People default on their mortgage (that’s wrong) and the bank is compelled to foreclose to protect the interests of their shareholders. During the process […]

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The New Foreclosure Mess: What It Means To You

Last week, we reported on the beginnings of the mess the banks created by using ‘robo-signers’ to fast track foreclosure filings. We detailed the challenge and said that “the process of foreclosing may grind to a screeching halt”. And, it has. Bank of America has announced that it has halted foreclosures in all fifty states. […]

The Attack of the ‘Robo-Signers’

Just when you thought the real estate industry could not possibly become more surreal, IT HAS! The controlled flow of foreclosures to the market has been the number one concern of every housing analyst. There could be a ‘double dip’ in house values if they were released too quickly. The recovery could take years if […]

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House Prices: What Impact Will Foreclosures Have?

Foreclosures have had a major impact on house prices over the last several years. The next six months will again see a flood of distressed property inventory coming to the market. Will this cause a ‘double dip’ in home values as some are predicting? We want to take a very objective look at this issue […]

Walking Away: New FHA Short Refinance Option

The current administration continues to attempt a myriad of policies aimed at bringing about a recovery in the housing industry. It is not their belief in the importance of homeownership that drives this policy. This administration has openly questioned whether the government should continue to support homeownership as an American ideal. Every policy had one […]

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Are Modification Programs Actually Working?

One of the greatest threats to a housing recovery is the months’ supply of housing inventory available for sale. A normal market would have between 5-6 months inventory. We currently have 8.9 months of inventory and most experts believe that number will increase rather dramatically when the National Association of Realtors’ August Existing Housing Report […]

Afraid of Foreclosure? Know Your Options

The economy has destroyed the financial stability of many households. More and more families are in fear of losing their home to foreclosure. We feel for these families. Steve Harney, a featured contributor, has shared his own personal story with us in an open letter to this blog where he proclaimed “there is always hope”. We […]

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Will the Shadow Inventory Ever Come to Light?

The big question about shadow inventory is when this backlog of foreclosures will come to market. Prices will not be adversely affected until these distressed properties are actually put up for sale. Only then will they truly be competition to existing homes for sale. It seems that day may be upon us. Much of the […]

Are There Over Seven Million Foreclosures Coming?

There have been some extraordinary numbers being bantered about when talking about the number of foreclosures that will be coming to market over the next 18 months. Different studies have estimated that number to be between 5-8 million. Let’s take a look at one of these studies today and see how these totals are being […]

No Miracles in Modification Program

The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is the administration’s hope for troubled homeowners trying to avoid foreclosure by modifying their current mortgage payments. The original release said the program was: …aimed at helping 3 to 4 million at-risk homeowners – both those who are in default and those who are at imminent risk of default […]

The Truth about Foreclosure “Facts”

The goal of this blog is to create clarity from the confusion in today’s real estate market. We try to take complicated issues and break them down into simpler pieces, and then try to explain how the pieces fit together. There is no situation more difficult to dissect than the current foreclosure numbers. Yet, understanding this […]

Shadow Inventory about to See the Light

As I mentioned in a post earlier this month,  5 Keys to a Real Estate Recovery: I believe both the increase of distressed properties and the timing of their release to the market will be the biggest real estate story of 2010 … Anytime the supply of an item increases and demand remains flat, pricing […]

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A Foreclosure’s Impact on Neighboring Home Values

Yesterday, we covered the coming surge of distressed properties that will enter the market in 2010. Today, we will discuss the impact these properties will have on housing values as we proceed throughout the year.  Questions you should be asking yourself are: 1) Do distressed properties sales impact the value of the surrounding homes, 2) […]

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Foreclosures: Their Impact on Real Estate 2010

I firmly believe the foreclosure situation will be the main story line in real estate for the rest of 2010. There will be other key factors (unemployment, government involvement, interest rates, etc.). However, no issue will have the same impact as the tidal wave of distressed properties about to come to market. For purposes of […]

The Fed’s Report Card in Real Estate

“Alas, all the Fed’s purchases and all the government’s men can’t put the residential real estate market together again.” – from a column by Caroline Baum in Business Week In yesterday’s blog, I covered the reasons the administration’s new modification program could make sense. Today, I want to look at the other side of the […]

New Modifications: Nonsense or Does It Make Sense?

Last week ended with a somewhat surprising announcement that the administration has decided to offer an addition to their modification program called Making Home Affordable Program Enhancements to Offer More Help for Homeowners. The new enhancements look to give relief to people who are unemployed and those approaching 20% negative equity in their homes. Why […]

Foreclosures Easing Up? Not Exactly

There has been much conversation about how distressed properties will impact home prices as we move into the second half of 2010. And it appears that no matter how much data is available, there still remains a feeling that the situation is improving. People look at the foreclosure filings and say things are in fact […]

Can Option ARMs Bear the Weight of Interest Rates?

In a previous post, we talked about our concerns regarding the number of families in 2010 that were going to have their Option ARM mortgages resetting or recasting. The term ‘reset’ deals with the change of interest rate. The term ‘recast’ deals with the actual change in the mortgage amount. In either case their mortgage payment could be affected. […]

Puzzled Banks Now Buying Time

Often I get asked why banks are not foreclosing on borrowers even after they do not make mortgage payments for many months. Actually, the answer is quite logical. To fully appreciate the banks position we must understand that the current housing market is like a Rubik’s cube. Every action the bank takes creates a challenge […]

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I’m Fine, It’s My House That’s Drowning.

First American Core Logic just released their Fourth Quarter 2009 Negative Equity Data Report last week. Negative equity, often referred to as “underwater” or “upside down,” means that borrowers owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth. The reason this report is so important is that studies have shown that there is a direct […]