Archive for January, 2010

Fed Says No More MBS Purchases- Interest Rates Move Higher

The Federal Reserve offered its most upbeat economic outlook in nearly a year at the conclusion of its regular two-day policy meeting Wednesday.

After emerging from the closed-door assembly, the Fed committee issued a statement that touted improvements in the labor market and business spending, but cautioned that “recovery is likely to be moderate for a time.”

Taken directly, it may not sound like a rave review, but when you compare it to what Fed officials have been saying since last April-“Economic activity is likely to remain weak for a time”-it’s certainly an improvement.

Even with the rosier outlook, the Federal Reserve committee voted to keep the target range for its benchmark federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25 percent, and noted that “economic conditions…are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.”

The decision to maintain the near-zero rate, though, was not unanimous – the first dissenting vote among Fed policymakers since January 2009, according to a CNN report. Thomas M. Hoenig, Kansas City Fed president, felt

economic conditions had improved enough to make exceptionally low rates “no longer warranted,” according to the central bank’s statement.

Fed officials are holding to their plans of pulling back from the secondary market in the coming months. The committee confirmed that its program to purchase mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and debt from the GSEs will come to a close on March 31, as previously signaled. By that time, the Fed says it will have bought $1.25 trillion of MBS and about $175 billion of agency debt. The Federal Reserve has already begun to slow the pace of these purchases to help facilitate a smooth transition when the agency makes its exit.

Michael S. Barr, assistant secretary of the Treasury, says now that markets have begun to stabilize, private participants will start to return when the Fed withdraws its support. He told the Washington Post, “I’m not going to say there will be no effect on rates,” but it should be an orderly transition.

The Fed said it will also be closing a number of its temporary credit facilities over the next few months. The anticipated expiration dates for the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) remain set at June 30 for loans backed by new-issue commercial mortgage-backed securities and March 31 for loans backed by all other types of collateral.

The Fed’s meeting adjourned a day before its top central banker, Ben Bernanke, learns if he will continue as the agency’s chairman after Sunday, when his current term expires. The Senate has scheduled a key vote for Thursday that could instill the Great Depression scholar for another four years, although approval is not a slam dunk. A growing faction of Democrats have already indicated they will not support Bernanke’s reinstatement.

From DSNews

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Making an Offer on a Short Sale? What You Need to Know…

Buying A shortsale? 

Short Sale Buying in Sacramento

Short Sale Buying

Are you looking to buy a new home? Are you thinking that now’s a great time to find bargains? Before you make an offer, it pays to know a little about the seller’s situation.

If a home is being sold for below what the current seller owes on the property—and the seller does not have other funds to make up the difference at closing—the sale is considered a short sale. Many more home owners are finding themselves in this situation due to a number of factors, including job losses, aggressive borrowing against their home in the days of easy credit, and declining home values in a slower real estate market.

A short sale is different from a foreclosure, which is when the seller’s lender has taken title of the home and is selling it directly. Homeowners often try to accomplish a short sale in order to avoid foreclosure. But a short sale holds many potential pitfalls for buyers. Know the risks before you pursue a short-sale purchase.

You’re a good candidate for a short-sale purchase if:

If you’re serious about purchasing a short-sale property, it’s important for you to have expert assistance. Here are some people you want to work with:

Some of the other risks faced by buyers of short-sale properties include:

The risks of a short sale are considerable. But if you have the time, patience, and iron will to see it through, a short sale can be a win-win for you and the sellers.

* Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®. A REALTOR® is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and is bound by NAR’s strict code of ethics.

 Are you looking to buy a new home? Are you thinking that now’s a great time to find bargains? Before you make an offer, it pays to know a little about the seller’s situation.

If a home is being sold for below what the current seller owes on the property—and the seller does not have other funds to make up the difference at closing—the sale is considered a short sale. Many more home owners are finding themselves in this situation due to a number of factors, including job losses, aggressive borrowing against their home in the days of easy credit, and declining home values in a slower real estate market.

A short sale is different from a foreclosure, which is when the seller’s lender has taken title of the home and is selling it directly. Homeowners often try to accomplish a short sale in order to avoid foreclosure. But a short sale holds many potential pitfalls for buyers. Know the risks before you pursue a short-sale purchase.

You’re a good candidate for a short-sale purchase if:

If you’re serious about purchasing a short-sale property, it’s important for you to have expert assistance. Here are some people you want to work with:

Some of the other risks faced by buyers of short-sale properties include:

The risks of a short sale are considerable. But if you have the time, patience, and iron will to see it through, a short sale can be a win-win for you and the sellers.

* Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®. A REALTOR® is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and is bound by NAR’s strict code of ethics.

 Are you looking to buy a new home? Are you thinking that now’s a great time to find bargains? Before you make an offer, it pays to know a little about the seller’s situation.

If a home is being sold for below what the current seller owes on the property—and the seller does not have other funds to make up the difference at closing—the sale is considered a short sale. Many more home owners are finding themselves in this situation due to a number of factors, including job losses, aggressive borrowing against their home in the days of easy credit, and declining home values in a slower real estate market.

A short sale is different from a foreclosure, which is when the seller’s lender has taken title of the home and is selling it directly. Homeowners often try to accomplish a short sale in order to avoid foreclosure. But a short sale holds many potential pitfalls for buyers. Know the risks before you pursue a short-sale purchase.

You’re a good candidate for a short-sale purchase if:

If you’re serious about purchasing a short-sale property, it’s important for you to have expert assistance. Here are some people you want to work with:

Some of the other risks faced by buyers of short-sale properties include:

The risks of a short sale are considerable. But if you have the time, patience, and iron will to see it through, a short sale can be a win-win for you and the sellers.

* Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®. A REALTOR® is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and is bound by NAR’s strict code of ethics.

 

Courtesy: YOUR INTERACTIVE MAGAZINE
 
Note: This article provides general information only. Information is not provided as advice for a specific matter. Laws vary from state to state. For advice on a specific matter, consult your attorney or CPA. 

 

 

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Sacramento County home prices turned upward in 2009

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Courtesy of SacBee-

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Published: Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 6B

New December statistics paint 2009 as the year when

Sacramento County home prices finally ended a dramatic four-year free fall.

Median sales prices for new and existing homes combined rose 0.6 percent in 2009, property researcher MDA DataQuick reported Thursday. The percentage represents a welcome change for thousands of anxious Sacramento County homeowners who saw their values drop 20 percent in 2007 and plunge another 37 percent in 2008.

The newest numbers reveal a 2009 real estate market prodded by government stimulus, more than five months of interest rates below 5 percent and plenty of cheap bank repos in its early months. The year also brought an $8,000 first-time homebuyer federaltax credit and several months of a similar $10,000 state tax credit for buyers of new houses.

Prices for Sacramento County resale homes alone closed at $178,000 for the year, up 2.4 percent from the start of 2009, DataQuick reported. It was a second straight month to beat the previous year – after 41 months of annual losses.

“That’s probably because of the slowdown in (bank repo) sales,” said Bob Bronswick, Roseville-based president and chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “And if you look at it, our primary market is entry level. There’s been such demand for it, and prices over the asking price. We’ve garnered a lot of multiple offers.”

DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage said Sacramento County sales under $100,000 fell from a year earlier while rising slightly in the $500,000 and $800,000 categories.

The reversal of a long downward trend in prices appeared inside a December report showing that capital-area homeowners closed 40,534 escrows in 2009. The tally was 496 escrows shy of 2008 in Amador, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties, DataQuick reported. While robust for a market pocked with foreclosures, job cuts and anxiety, the annual total was one of the lowest since 1998, DataQuick records show.

“Everything I have in escrow right now is a short sale,” said Roseville-based ReMax real estate agent Jaye Crews. Those are sales, increasingly common in distressed newer neighborhoods, in which banks accept offers below what they’re owed. For Crews, short sales and first-time buyers have largely taken the place of her earlier bread and butter – move-up buyers.

The Sacramento Association of Realtors says one in four December sales in Sacramento County and West Sacramento were short sales. DataQuick said Thursday that 50.6 percent of Sacramento County sales were bank repos. That’s down from 71 percent as 2009 opened.

This continued prevalence of short sales and repos shows that the market – while it’s more stable – is still not normal. Collectively, Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado counties remain mired in 12.4 percent unemployment.

As 2010 begins, almost 12 percent of the four-county region’s mortgages are late, in the foreclosure process or tied to bank-owned homes, according to First American CoreLogic. That’s a sizable increase from 7 percent at the beginning of 2009, when unemployment was 8.7 percent.

DataQuick reported that 3,450 new and existing homes changed hands in December in the eight-county region, beating 3,183 sales in November. December sales normally rise from November.

While prices have largely stabilized in Sacramento County they’re still under pressure in Placer County, where homes are more expensive. Prices in Placer County finished 2009 down 13.6 percent.

“A lot of stuff is still highly discounted in Lincoln Hills,” said Crews. “We’re definitely seeing stability in markets and places where there aren’t a lot of houses for sale. But, boy, in those new-home tracts even six or seven years old. Ouch.”

With so many newer houses being resold, new homes accounted for just 9 percent of capital-area sales in 2009. That’s down from 25 percent market share in the boom that spanned 2002 to 2006.

Many in real estate circles believe 2010 will proceed with less artificial stimulus. The federal tax credit expires at the end of April. And Wednesday, the Federal Home Administration, which insures many first-time buyer loans, announced it will charge higher fees and require higher down payments from buyers with credit scores below 580. At least 40 percent of Sacramento-area loans in 2009 were FHA loans.

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Sacramento Short Sale And Foreclosure News

Titanium Holdings Launches Excellen REO
Loss Mitigation Solutions Provider Expands Presence in to REO Space

Titanium Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Titanium Solutions, Inc., a provider of loss mitigation solutions, recently announced the launch of a new business unit, Excellen REO. Excellen REO is a full service REO asset management company that offers a complete suite of services designed to create a customized property liquidation process for each client.

“As the mortgage industry faces various challenges during this economic downturn, the success we have experienced with Titanium Solutions for more than a decade has uniquely positioned us to understand and respond to the changing needs of our clients,” Patrick Carey, CEO of Titanium Holdings, explained. “We have made a number of strategic decisions during the past year and the launch of Excellen REO is the latest result of that effort. Excellen REO will help us expand the client relationships that we have built over the years and establish new partnerships as we offer a comprehensive solution to all of their property liquidation needs.”

Cary Sternberg, president of the new company, leads Excellen REO. With almost 40 years of experience in asset preservation, management and liquidation, Sternberg is the former senior vice president of the REO department for American Home Loan Servicing, Inc. In this position Sternberg managed more than 200 employees and 33,000 assets. His previous titles also include first vice president of home loan servicing and REO of Indymac Bank FSB, national REO manager of Ocwen Federal Bank FSB, president of Virginia Commonwealth Realty and senior vice president of American Family Homes.

“We have assembled a staff that leverages decades of experience in REO management and key business partners across the country,” Sternberg said. “Titanium Holdings has created a formidable reputation in the industry and I look forward to garnering that same level of trust for Excellen REO.”

Excellen REO services include pre-marketing, valuations, marketing and sales negotiation, closing and funding and alternative sales methods. The company will leverage a nationwide network of real estate brokers and local eviction attorneys, as well as property preservation companies.

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Sacramento Foreclosures and Short Sales to Continue For at Least Four Years… Analysts say

Sacramento Foreclosures will continue until prices rebound, people get back to work and the economy improves. Analysts say that will be at least four years. But economists agree that the California economy is more tied to joblessness than to housing.

Foreclosure Drive

Even though there are signs California may be beginning to emerge from the recession; the numbers indicate there are many more homes to come through the “foreclosure pipeline”.  Housing sales have been growing for several months, and state Controller John Chiang on Thursday released his December cash report that showed the month’s receipts rose above estimates by $481 million, or 5.7%.

According to an article the other day in the Bee, even the Appraisal Institutes economic forum analysts agree that joblessness and politics have more to do with the economy than foreclosures.

(Source: The Sacramento Bee) trackingBy Jim Wasserman, The Sacramento Bee,

Jan. 16–Even as Sacramento entertains ambitious proposals for a new NBA arena, economists Friday warned it will take up to four years for the region to recover from its overbuilding and overspending spree.

Analysts Friday told 150 residential and commercial appraisers that area recovery could begin taking shape in mid- to late 2011. But it will be prolonged, slow and susceptible to setbacks, they said during a 2010 economic forum sponsored by the Sacramento Sierra chapter of the Appraisal Institute.

The pronouncements came as the capital region endures 12.4 percent unemployment and predictions the jobless rate may rise to 13.5 percent. Hanging, too, over Friday’s forum: a wild-card specter of new state cuts that many fear could disproportionately afflict the capital.

“I don’t expect 2010 to be anything more than a year of stabilization,” said Garrick Brown, Sacramento research director for commercial real estate brokerage Colliers International. Brown said rents are still falling and more stores, offices and industrial spaces are sitting empty.

“I think we’re about to enter a period of two to three years where there’s virtually no new construction,” he said. “It means there’s going to be a lot of developers out there without a lot to do.”

Brown said retailers are again filling large area stores that went dark after 2008 retailer implosions. But they won’t fill smaller shopping center spaces any time soon.

“You won’t see a new push by mom and pop retailers for four or five years. They’re dependent on home (refinancings) and it’s not happening,” he said. Unfilled space and tenants struggling to pay rent are forces pushing many owners toward foreclosure, he said. That suggests a sequel to the residential meltdown that began in 2007.

But an often-predicted tsunami of commercial foreclosures won’t happen, Brown said. Instead, they will dribble out “in waves of distressed assets the next five years.”

Folsom home-building industry consultant Greg Paquin told appraisers that commercial real estate “is where (the residential market was) two years ago.”

He said 2009 was the bottom for capital-area home builders, who reported a half-century low of 2,814 sales for the year. That’s an 84 percent drop from the housing boom’s 2004 peak. Sales will rise 10 percent this year, said Paquin, president of The Gregory Group.

Though residential foreclosures still cloud the housing market, Paquin said he doesn’t expect a double-dip recession or spiraling inflation, or, in response to a question about rising commuting costs, the death of suburbia.

“I’ve heard people say the suburbs are dead.

I strongly disagree,” he said. “I think we’ll see urban-style development in suburban areas.” Paquin, like Brown, expressed anxiety about the politics of state budget cuts. Both analysts noted that large-scale state employee layoffs could push area unemployment past 15 percent, delay recovery by a year or two and send the foreclosure rate “vertical.” Said Brown: “Until we get a handle on that, it’s hard to know what’s going to happen to our local economy.”

Los Angeles economist Chris Thornberg sounded the same theme, saying the economy rests more on political decisions than fundamentals.

Thornberg declared the U.S. recession over, saying, “The recession didn’t end because the problem of imbalance was fixed. It came to an end because of massive government intervention in the economy.”

Thornberg, head of Bacon Economics, said the shape of recovery depends on the “politics of the next 18 months.”

He told appraisers he’s bullish on California and praised a return of cheaper housing once again aligned with incomes.
“For all intents and purposes we’re back to where we need to be,” he said.
Thornberg counseled patience in working off excesses from 15 years of large trade deficits, overspending and debt.
“We have to work our way back to where the economy can grow normally,” he said.

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Sacramento Short Sales… All the rage in 2010

Sacramento  Short Sales Shark Attack

Shark

“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…”

“Houston, we have a problem…”

“We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto!

Can’t think of any more silly quotes right now, been a long day, but I just got an email from Chris McLaughlin, one of the nations top real estate attorneys and a huge investor of real estate; hope he doesn’t mind, but it was so interesting I thought I’d pass it on to you here.

 

 

Forth,

Just when you thought things were turning the corner…
looks like we could be in for a double dip recession.

Don’t take my word for it … why do you think the FHA recently gave the green light for property flipping to FHA buyers?  They know things are going to get worse, so they need to start moving more properties ASAP.

Here’s why:

#1 While the subprime crisis may be showing signs of
stabilizing, the ARM crisis is just beginning to rear
its ugly head. 

According to one business journalist: “The big wave of Option ARM resets has yet to come, and given the drop in home prices, refinancing won’t be realistic.”

Look for more short sales coming in 2010.

#2. Municipal Defaults: yep, local towns and counties
are feeling the pinch with foreclosures and tax
defaults draining their coffers.  And when a town
goes broke, it will put their resident’s property
even further underwater.

Look for more short sales coming in 2010.

#3.  Commercial Real-Estate Collapse: The second
largest chain of malls has already declared
bankruptcy.  Obligations needing refinancing
in the commercial market are in the trillions.
And most of them, even with positive cash flows,
are as underwater as residential mortgages.  As
these businesses crash, they will cause even
more unemployment.

Look for more short sales coming in 2010.

#4.  Loan modifications aren’t working.  Unless
and until there is meaningful principal reduction,
most people getting a loan modification will stop
making their payments if they are $100,000+
upside down on their home.  And there are A LOT
of people upside down.  Look for lots of “jingle
mail,” where the homeowner just sends back the
keys, in 2010. 

Look for more short sales coming in 2010. 

But look for a lot more buyers now that FHA has given the green light. 

Are you seeing a theme yet?

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Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Findings

Weak Underwriting Standards To Blame for Financial Crisis!

Ya don’t say… you mean not checking to see if people really make as much as they claim and giving loans to people with terrible credit isn’t a good idea? 

By now it is common knowledge that the global financial meltdown, fuelled by the housing crash and now propelled by a smashed economy and unemployment was the direct result of a huge bubble in housing and real estate values that was caused by easy credit. Leave it to the U.S. government to spend untold millions of dollars to have several days of hearings two years after the sub-prime meltdown to sit around and talk about it…

I guess documenting testimony from experts will give the powers that be something to stand on as they re-build, over regulate and totally screw up our mortgage industry.

It will be interesting to see the changes ahead in the way mortgages are sold, under written and securitized. I’ll bet we don’t like the end result.

According to DSNews on the 14th:

Thursday was day two of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission hearings, aimed at uncovering the root causes of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.

.
The witness list included financial regulators at both the federal and state level, who confessed that supervision and oversight was lacking and failed to head off the financial system’s near-meltdown.

FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair took top billing at the hearing. “Not only did market discipline fail to prevent the excesses of the last few years, but the regulatory system also failed in its responsibilities,” Bair said.

Bair told the commission that record profitability at Wall Street firms worked to shield them from regulatory second-guessing about how the money was coming in.

She also said that at the onset of the crisis, “It’s been estimated that half of all financial services were conducted in institutions that were not subject to prudential regulation and supervision. Products and practices that originated within the shadow banking system have proven particularly troublesome.”

Mary Shapiro, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), told the inquiry committee that there were many interconnected causes of the financial crisis. At the top of her list was “the rise of mortgage securitization and its unintended facilitation of weaker underwriting standards by originators and excessive reliance on credit ratings by investors.”

Shapiro said her organization is currently evaluating investment firms’ practices related to subprime mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations in the real estate bubble.

“We are seeking to determine whether investors were provided accurate, relevant and necessary information, or misled in some manner,” Schapiro said.

According to state regulators’ testimony, it was the supervision at the federal level in Washington that obstructed their efforts to avert financial catastrophe, but they too echoed Shapiro’s sentiments that it all began with the mortgage industry.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the mortgage lending industry had “careened out of control” in the years preceding the financial crisis. “The housing bubble may have officially burst in late 2007, but those of us on the frontlines of consumer protection have seen predatory lending practices since the late 1990s,” Madigan said.

Phil Angelides, chairman of the congressionally-appointed commission and a former California treasurer said he will also be asking former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, and former chairmen of the SEC, including Christopher Cox to testify before the panel.

“We’ll be asking them to come before us because they were the watchers, and I will assure you, we will be as probing of the regulators who were on the scene at the time as we will be of people in the private sector,” Angelides said.

Angelides’ committee is modeled after the Pecora Commission, which probed Wall Street’s 1929 crash and led to the creation of the SEC and other financial reforms of the time.

On Wednesday, Angelides and his fellow panel members heard testimony from the heads of four of the nation’s largest financial firms on their business practices leading up to the crisis and their miscalculations of the severity of the meltdown.

Courtesy DSNews

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Sacramento homes sales fall by 32 percent for November

Sacramento Real Estate Market Reports

Its easy to understand why; in most cases, you cannot come close to buying a new home for what you could buy a re-sale for here in the Sacramento area.

I have said for a long time that our entry level price range must eventually “bounce” here in our Sacramento housing market in and get back in line with replacement costs. When the supply of repos and short sales slow, the prices must recover to be closer with new construction. I mean it’s almost ridiculous: In some neighborhoods, if someone gave you the lot, paid for the permits and gave you a truckload of lumber, you still couldn’t build a new house as cheap as you could just buy a re-sale home!

Michael Shaw of the Sac Bee wrote a great little piece the other day and I am including it here:

November new-home sales in Sacramento were 32 percent lower than the same month in 2008, according to figures released by California Building Industry Association on Wednesday.

A total of 141 new homes of all types were sold in the four-county region, compared with 181 sales the year before. The average price paid for those homes, however, inched 2.8 percent higher to $329,300.

The association reports home sales figures compiled by analyst Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, which tracks new home communities with more than 10 units.

In the state, the November sales rate at California new-home communities was 4 percent lower than 2008

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A Clogged Foreclosure Pipeline- And over 13% of Loans are Delinquent-

Foreclosure Rates May Soar

Foreclosure Notice in Sacramento

Foreclosure Notice in Sacramento

Courtesy Chris Mcglaughlin

One in every 7.5 homeowners either fell into delinquency or foreclosure as of November 30, 2009, according to the December mortgage monitor report from Lender Processing Services.  The total number of delinquencies reached a record high of 9.97%, a 5.46% increase from the previous month and a 21.29% increase from November 2008. Loans falling into more severe delinquent categories reached 5.01% through November, compared to 1.52% of loans improved toward a current status.  That’s compared to November’s mortgage monitor report, when 4.02% of current mortgages through December 2008 fell into delinquency by October 2009.  More than 4% of the loans that were current in December 2008, fell behind by 60 days or more, including foreclosure, by the end of November 2009. 

Click here for Sacramento short sale help.

It’s the highest rate for that part of the year since LPS began reporting the data.  The foreclosure rate in November reached 3.19%, a 1.46% increase from the previous month and an 81.41% increase from November 2008. This doesn’t include the amount of homes falling into the shadow inventory of foreclosure. Some data providers like First American CoreLogic speculate that number could be as high as 1.7 million as the roadblocks of the government incentive programs and moratoriums clog the foreclosure pipeline.  “Foreclosure starts continued to decline as a result of loss mitigation efforts like the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and elevated delinquent loan volumes,” according to the report. “The reduction in foreclosure starts, combined with the steady increase in the number of seriously delinquent loans, has resulted in an ever-growing ‘shadow’ inventory of troubled properties.”  The states with the most non-current loans were Florida, Nevada and Mississippi. Those with the fewest were North Dakota, South Dakota and Alaska.

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Sacramento Foreclosures At Trustee Sale Still Slow

How long can this go on?

Loan Modification

I hear through the grapevine that over 90% of the Sacramento County Trustee sales are still being postponed at courthouse steps.

But it looks as if they haven’t scheduled that many?

The entire Government, Industry and powers that be are pushing hard to get homeowners to contact their banks/servicers and get a loan modification started, yet only 4% of the trial loan modifications become permanent.

This must have a lot to do with the fact that most loan modificatrions are only for 5 years, they fix the payment problem (reductions in payment have been about $500 Ave) for a while, but there is typically no reduction in principle.  The payment terms are typically changed to a 40 or 45 year loan, with 2 or 3% interest for five years and then reverting to todays rate. So, why do that? I see many homeowners are instead just throwing in the towel even if they can now afford the payment. 

Can’t blame them. 

The negative equity problem must be addressed.

Statewide, according to Default Research Inc.

California, the country’s most populous state, saw Notice of Default and Notice of Trustee Sale recordings drop by an average of 16.8 percent in 2009, and Los Angeles County, the country’s largest county, saw foreclosures decrease by 16.5 percent. The hardest hit cities with foreclosures in the state were Los Angeles (20,256), Sacramento (13,495) and San Diego (10,745).

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