Thursday, January 26, 2012

Foreclosure sales made up 20 percent of all homes sold despite lower numbers in 3Q.

Foreclosure sales fell in 3Q, but still made up 20 percent of all homes sold

By Associated Press, Published: January 25

LOS ANGELES — Foreclosures made up a smaller slice of all U.S. homes sold in last year’s third quarter, as banks delayed placing properties for sale and home sales slowed.
Despite the decline, foreclosures still represented 20 percent of all homes sold in the July-September period — about four times more than at the height of the housing boom, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

As of Dec. 31, there were more than 680,000 U.S. homes owned by banks and another 715,000 in some stage of foreclosure, Blomquist said.
All told, 221,536 bank-owned homes and others in the foreclosure process were sold in 2011’s third quarter. That’s down 11 percent from the second quarter and down 5 percent from the third quarter of 2010.

Foreclosures, often in need of repair, typically sell at big discounts and weaken prices for neighboring homes.
Homebuyers who purchased a foreclosure in the third quarter paid an average of $165,322, representing a discount of 34 percent from the average sale price of all other homes, RealtyTrac said.

The discount was unchanged from the April-June quarter, but declined from 37 percent in the third quarter of 2010.Nevada led all states with foreclosure sales accounting for nearly 57 percent of all home sales, RealtyTrac said.

Several other states had foreclosure sales that made up at least 20 percent of all homes purchased in the third quarter: California, Arizona, Georgia, Colorado and Michigan.

For complete article, visit Foreclosure Sales make up 20 % of sales. WP

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Foreclosures malpractices. Read This !

Great news!

Victims of bad foreclosure practices can now apply for review and possible compensation!!!

Who is eligible?
To meet the initial criteria to qualify, victim's mortgage loan would need to meet the following criteria:
Their mortgage loan was serviced by one of the participating mortgage servicers.
Their mortgage loan was active in the foreclosure process between January 1,2009 and December 31,2010.
The property was their primary residence.
Will you be notified if you are eligible?
The 14 mortgage servicers that are part of this program (see below for list) began mailing out letters to eligible borrowers. However,if a homesellers have moved,or lenders do not have previous homeseller's correct address,the letter may not make it to the victims.

Which lenders/servicers are involved?
America’s Servicing Co.
Aurora Loan Services
Bank of America
EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company
GMAC Mortgage
IndyMac Mortgage Services
MetLife Bank
National City Mortgage
PNC Mortgage
Sovereign Bank
SunTrust Mortgage
U.S. Bank
Wachovia Mortgage
Washington Mutual (WaMu)
Wells Fargo Bank,N.A.

How to apply for a review of your client's file if they feel they are a victim of an improper foreclosure proceeding:

Call 1-888-952-9105,Monday through Friday,8 a.m.–10 p.m. ET or Saturday,8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET. This will put them in touch with a representative of the independent review and they will take their information over the phone (I think), help them fill out a claim form (if victims received one in the mail) or can request for a form.
There has also been a website set up and it is my understanding that victims could file their claim online as well, but at this point they cannot...  there is not a whole lot on the site so I’m thinking they may add the ability to file a claim online soon.

The deadline for filing a claim is before April 30,2012.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Foreclosure Avoidance Options

Foreclosure Avoidance Options

Foreclosure is one of the most devastating financial challenges that a family can face and one that many times can be avoided. The options available to residents for foreclosure are many, including but not limited to short sales. Following is a brief explanation of these solutions:

A reinstatement is the simplest solution for a foreclosure, however it is often the most difficult. The homeowner simply requests the total amount owed to the mortgage company to date and pays it. This solution does not require the lender's approval and will 'reinstate' a mortgage up to the day before the final foreclosure sale.

Forbearance or Repayment Plan
A forbearance or repayment plan involves the homeowner negotiating with the mortgage company to allow them to repay back payments over a period of time. The homeowner typically makes their current mortgage payment in addition to a portion of the back payments they owe.

Mortgage Modification
A mortgage modification involves the reduction of one of the following: the interest rate on the loan, the principal balance of the loan, the term of the loan, or any combination of these. These typically result in a lower payment to the homeowner and a more affordable mortgage.

Rent the Property
A homeowner who has a mortgage payment low enough that market rent will allow it to be paid, can convert their property to a rental and use the rental income to pay the mortgage.

Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure
Also known as a "friendly foreclosure," a deed-in-lieu allows the homeowner to return the property to the lender rather than go through the foreclosure process. Lender approval is required for this option, and the homeowner must also vacate the property.

Many have considered and marketed bankruptcy as a "foreclosure solution," but this is only true in some states and situations. If the homeowner has non-mortgage debts that cause a shortfall of paying their mortgage payments and a personal bankruptcy will eliminate these debts, this may be a viable solution.

If a homeowner has sufficient equity in their property and their credit is still in good standing, they may be able to refinance their mortgage.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (military personnel only)
If a member of the military is experiencing financial distress due to deployment, and that person can show that their debt was entered into prior to deployment, they may qualify for relief under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The American Bar Association has a network of attorneys that will work with servicemembers in relation to qualifying for this relief.

Sell the Property
Homeowners with sufficient equity can list their property with a qualified agent that understands the foreclosure process in their area.

Short Sale
If a homeowner owes more on their property than it is currently worth, then they can hire a qualified real estate agent to market and sell their property through the negotiation of a short sale with their lender. This typically requires the property to be on the market and the homeowner must have a financial hardship to qualify. Hardship can be simply defined as a material change in the financial stability of the homeowner between the date of the home purchase and the date of the short sale negotiation. Acceptable hardships include but are not limited to: mortgage payment increase, job loss, divorce, excessive debt, forced or unplanned relocation, and more.

This represents only a summary of some of the solutions available to homeowners facing foreclosure. Locate a CDPE in your area for an evaluation of your individual situation, property value, and possible options.

Understanding your options now could mean all the difference in the world.

DS NEWS: New REO Inventory in 2011 = 804,423 Homes

RealtyTrac’s year-end report released Thursday shows foreclosure filings – including default, auction, and bank repossession notices – were reported on 1,887,777 U.S. properties in 2011. Of that total, 804,423 homes were taken back by lenders as REO.

Last year’s tally of nearly 1.9 million properties with a foreclosure filing seems staggering, but it’s actually the lowest reported since 2007. It’s 34 percent below 2010, 33 percent below 2009, and 19 percent below the 2008 total.

RealtyTrac’s newly appointed CEO Brandon Moore describes foreclosure activity last year as being in “full delay mode.” “The lack of clarity regarding many of the documentation and legal issues plaguing the foreclosure industry means that we are continuing to see a highly dysfunctional foreclosure process that is inefficiently dealing with delinquent mortgages – particularly in states with a judicial foreclosure process,” Moore said.

These delays, however, may be coming to an end. Moore says there were strong signs in the second half of 2011 that indicate lenders are finally beginning to push stalled foreclosures through in select local markets.
“We expect that trend to continue this year, boosting foreclosure activity for 2012 higher than it was in 2011, though still below the peak of 2010,” Moore said.

Despite signs that some markets are experiencing a pickup in foreclosures, RealtyTrac’s analysis shows that processing timelines continued to increase.

On the national stage, properties foreclosed in the fourth quarter took an average of 348 days to complete the process, up from 336 days in the third quarter and up from 305 days in the fourth quarter of 2010.
RealtyTrac says the length of the average foreclosure process has increased 24 percent from the third quarter of 2010, when lenders began to re-evaluate foreclosure procedures as a result of documentation and affidavit errors.

New York holds the title of ‘longest foreclosure process in the nation’ – an average of 1,019 days.
New Jersey documented the nation’s second longest end-to-end foreclosure process, at 964 days. Florida has the third longest at 806 days. Foreclosure activity in both these states dropped more than 60 percent from 2010 to 2011.

All three states with the longest foreclosure timelines employ the judicial foreclosure process.
Texas continues to register the shortest average foreclosure process of any state, at 90 days, but that still represents an increase from 86 days in the third quarter and 81 days in the fourth quarter of 2010.
At 106 days, Delaware has the second shortest foreclosure timeline in the nation, and Kentucky lays claim to the third shortest, at 108 days.

More than 6 percent of Nevada housing units (one in 16) had at least one foreclosure filing in 2011, giving it the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the fifth consecutive year. That’s despite a 31 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from 2010.

Arizona registered the nation’s second highest foreclosure rate for the third year in a row, with 4.14 percent of its homes (one in 24) receiving at least one filing in 2011.

California registered the nation’s third highest foreclosure rate for all of 2011, with 3.19 percent (one in every 31 homes).

Other states with 2011 foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest include: Georgia (2.71 percent), Utah (2.32 percent), Michigan (2.21 percent), Florida (2.06 percent), Illinois (1.95 percent), Colorado (1.78 percent), and Idaho (1.77 percent).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Foreclosures drop to lowest level since 2007

Foreclosures drop to lowest level since 2007
Posted By JON PRIOR On January 11, 2012

Banks filed foreclosures on roughly 205,000 homes in December, the lowest monthly total since November 2007, according to RealtyTrac.

The 1.8 million foreclosures for 2011 dropped nearly 35% from 2010.
Unexpected delays kept 2011 numbers from passing the previous year's total [1] as was originally expected. Still, one in every 69 homes received at least one filing.

"Foreclosures were in full delay mode in 2011, resulting in a dramatic drop in foreclosure activity for the year," said Brandon Moore, RealtyTrac's new CEO. "The lack of clarity regarding many of the documentation and legal issues plaguing the foreclosure industry means that we are continuing to see a highly dysfunctional foreclosure process that is inefficiently dealing with delinquent mortgages — particularly in states with a judicial foreclosure process."

Problems arose late in 2010 of improper filings at the state court houses. Mortgage servicers and third-party firms will spend much of 2012 sorting through [2] any financial harm done to borrowers, and settlement talks with the state attorneys general continue [3].

Foreclosure timelines vary wildly from state to state. It takes the longest in New York. The foreclosures completed there in the fourth quarter of 2011 took an average 1,019 days to complete, up 37% from the same period one year ago. The next longest was Florida at 964 days.

In Texas, a nonjudicial state, foreclosures took an average of 90 days to complete. The national average for the foreclosure process increased to nearly one year from start to finish: 348 days.

One in 16 Nevada homes received a foreclosure filing in 2011, according to RealtyTrac. It's still the highest foreclosure rate in the country despite dropping 31% from the year before.
Scheduled foreclosure auctions in Arizona dropped 41% from November to December alone. Still, the state registered the second highest foreclosure rate for the third year in a row with one in 24 homes there receiving a filing.

One in 14 homes in Las Vegas received a foreclosure filing in 2011, the highest rate for metro areas of 200,000 population or more. Ten of the top 20 cities were in California, RealtyTrac said.
Moore said lenders showed signs of pushing through the backlogs in the second half of last year.
"We expect that trend to continue this year, boosting foreclosure activity for 2012 higher than it was in 2011, though still below the peak of 2010," he said.

Loan Mods and Delinquencies Rise in November: HOPE NOW

Loan Mods and Delinquencies Rise in November: HOPE NOW

The number of mortgage modifications completed during the month of November rose 5 percent from October, bringing the year-to-date total to about 969,000, according to HOPE NOW, a voluntary private sector alliance of mortgage industry participants.

Proprietary modifications continue to outpace modifications completed through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Of the nearly 84,000 modifications completed in November, 57,000 were proprietary while 26,877 were completed through HAMP.

Of the 5.13 million modifications that have been completed since 2007 when HOPE NOW began reporting data, 4.22 have been proprietary and a little more than 900,000 were completed through HAMP.
While completed modifications rose from October to November, 60-plus day delinquencies also increased. After reporting 2.65 million 60-plus day delinquencies in October, HOPE NOW reported 2.77 million in November.

Foreclosure starts, on the other hand, declined in November from 209,000 to 166,000.
Completed foreclosure sales rose from 64,000 in October to 71,000 in November.
About 68 percent of proprietary modifications completed in November reduced principal and interest payments for borrowers, and about 66 percent lowered principal and interest payments by at least 10 percent.

About 83 percent of proprietary modifications were fixed-rate modifications with an initial fixed period of at least five years.
“There are more alternatives to foreclosure than ever before for homeowners through federal programs, proprietary modifications, and state level initiatives such as Hardest Hit Funds,” said Faith Schwartz, executive director of HOPE Now.

“Mortgage servicers and non-profit, housing counselors are using all tools at their disposal to find options that fit each individual homeowner’s situation whenever possible,” Schwartz said.
According to Schwartz, the industry continues to emphasize “improving the customer experience through enhanced technology, single point of contact and leveraging all tools available to assist with foreclosure prevention, which in some cases includes graceful exits.”

HOPE NOW plans to host homeowner outreach events in several cities in the first quarter of 2011, including: Charlotte, North Carolina; Miami and Tampa, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Sacramento and Los Angeles, California.