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MERS: A MESS We Should Know About

The greatest hurdle standing in the way of a complete housing recovery is the backlog of distressed properties that must be liquidated. The banks must release these properties to the market in a controlled fashion. If released too quickly, they will crush house values. If released too slowly, the recovery will be further delayed. However, the control […]

Foreclosures: The Eye of the Storm

We have seen many headlines recently reporting that foreclosures and foreclosure sales have decreased over the last few months. However, though the headlines are technically accurate, they don’t reflect what is actually taking place. Foreclosure statistics are being impacted by the issues surrounding the challenges with faulty paperwork which the banks have spent the last […]

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What Exactly Is Shadow Inventory?

It is difficult to read an article about real estate today without the term ‘shadow inventory’ being mentioned. But, what exactly is shadow inventory? It refers to the inventory of homes not yet for sale that will eventually come to market in the near future. Most definitions include properties already foreclosed on and owned by […]

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Distressed Inventory to Step Out of the Shadows

We are beginning 2011 with much more positive news about real estate than we have had in several years. The pending sales numbers (houses going into contract) have been climbing for several months. Last month’s Existing Homes Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors showed an increase of over 12%. Demand definitely seems to […]

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Will Foreclosures Be Erased?

A court in Massachusetts voided two bank foreclosures this past Friday. The decision has already created a ripple effect across the banking community. Will other courts also decide to void local foreclosures? Does this put an added burden on banks when they are trying to complete a foreclosure process? What will it mean to the […]

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How Will the Foreclosure Mess Impact Prices?

Three months ago, it was revealed that many banks were guilty of improperly processing the paperwork on their foreclosures. Most banks at the time declared a foreclosure moratorium while they reviewed their paperwork and corrected any errors. Today, we want to give you an update on the situation and explain how the housing market will […]

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Negative Equity: Not Good But Improving

Back in October, we posted that falling home prices would drive more homeowners into a negative equity situation where their home was worth less than the amount of their mortgage (also known as the house being ‘under water’ or ‘upside down’). If a homeowner falls further into negative equity, it increases the chances that they […]

Current Foreclosure Facts from LPS

Lending Processing Services (LPS) issues a monthly Mortgage Monitor which looks at several aspects of mortgage performance. We like to study this report to see what is currently taking place with delinquencies and foreclosures. The November report (which covers through October) had some very interesting information. Delinquency Rates All delinquency statuses are calculated using the MBA […]

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Shedding Some Light on the Issue of Shadow Inventory

There appears to be some confusion regarding the amount of shadow inventory that currently exists and the impact it will continue to have on the real estate market. Today, we want to bring some clarity to both of these issues. First, let’s define shadow inventory because part of the confusion is in differing definitions.  Originally, […]

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Modifications Not the Answer to Foreclosure Crisis

Even the government now realizes that there is no way to prevent a large number of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) from entering the housing market. The impact will be continued downward pressure on all home prices. Distressed properties sell at discounted values: foreclosures at 65% of full value and short sales at 85% […]

Are Foreclosures Spreading To Your Neighborhood?

First, there were the foreclosures caused by sub-prime loans. Then, there were the foreclosures credited to the exotic Alt-A loans. Many of these loans were written in the states that had the highest increase in real estate values – California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. Because the majority of these loans were taken in these states, […]

The New Foreclosure Mess: An Update

Banks have lifted their freeze on foreclosures. It seems a doomsday scenario will be averted. There is no way to absolutely predict what the fallout will be from the banks’ negligence in  their foreclosure filings. There will be lawsuits and some will cry out for the banks to make forms of restitution to injured parties. […]

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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 […]