Banks Are Forcing Homeowners to Keep Paying After Short Sales

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 21, 2009

I heard recently from a reader who said the bank she had a mortgage with wanted her to continue to pay off part of the loan even after she sold her house for less than what she owed—a process known as a short sale.

Banks have always been able to pursue deficiency judgments against borrowers who didn’t pay everything back, but they didn’t do so aggressively so far in this housing slump.


rick.jpg

Rick DeBruhl, the consumer affairs reporter at the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, sent us this report he did recently. The homeowner is being asked to pay $75,000 of the $200,000 difference between what he owes the bank and what his house is worth. Rick says he is hearing of more cases like this recently.

What’s interesting too about this case is that the bank, One West, is the entity formerly known as IndyMac. The private equity firms that bought IndyMac from the federal government agreed to continue the homeowner-friendly policies initiated by the FDIC after it took over IndyMac. Now that no longer appears to be the case.

Thanks to Rick DeBruhl for the tip and the clip!

Reader Comments

responsible for myself

September 21, 2009 8:15 PM

why should the bank and its shareholders be on the hook for someone over paying and then not willing to honor their mortgage commitment. This homeowner has ot lost his job,, he just wants to be free to buy a house but not responsible to pay for it .. regardless of its current worth.. He signed the papers,, live with your obligaton.

Benjamin Ficker

September 21, 2009 11:22 PM

Here is where that homeowner's agent is failing them. In Arizona, if that homeowner had gone to foreclosure, the bank can not go after them for the deficiency. Their agent should know that and make sure that was negotiated as part of the short sale.

justin

September 22, 2009 9:36 AM

this may be important

Wes

September 22, 2009 9:38 AM

It's about time. These people signed a contract and have abrogated their duties to repay the loan. Just because the outcome was not as desired or planned for the speculator doesn't mean the loan becomes null and void.

The banks need to step this up a notch and make sure everyone who gets a loan modification receives a 1099.

DanTe

September 22, 2009 9:49 AM

Getting deadbeats to pay their debts. WOW! What a concept!

Igor

September 22, 2009 11:48 AM

Good. Maybe those deadbeats will finally realize this is not a f&@^%#ing monopoly money, it is real money. If you borrow money, you have to pay it back.

Holly Garfield

September 22, 2009 12:22 PM

I am forced into a short sale by Indymac. The market is dead, and I am currently asking $320K when I owe about $343K principal. Still no takers. Indymac told me to prepare papers for an income analysis. I clearly can't make any kind of payments, so I suspect they will not even try something that will only send me to bankruptcy court fo a couple of thousand tops in a shrinking IRA. Indymac bought the mortgage from my original lender and my mortgage insurance is with AIG. I lost income after two mortgage payments in the stock market crash. Indymac will also accept the deed in lieu of payment if a short sale gets no offers after 90 days on the market at a short price. The house has been on the market at steadily decreasing prices since February, so there is a record of attempts to avoid a short sale. I am having trouble finding a single tear to shed for the two companies.

Each short sale will need to be processed for potential payback and a legitimate attempt at a normal sale, but that is normal. This way those who walk away or attempt to keep money they owe and can pay don't get off scott free. A short sale is a loss to the lender or insurer, so they should be free to recover their loss if the owner isn't strapped for cash after the sale. Indymac may still be friendly, but that doesn't mean they give away the farm.

The article doesn't go into detail about the borrower's ability to pay back what she is asked to pay. Someone is still out at least $125K and the $200K shortfall indicates a house where the income had been able to sustain $75K in payments over time. I may not be terrribly sorry for Indymac, but the numbers for this borrower just don't add up to a complete inability to repay. And the borrower is not crying about an inability to repay.

Lord

September 22, 2009 12:42 PM

They can ask, but that doesn't mean anyone has to agree, especially in non-recourse states like Arizona. If they aren't willing to forego it, the option is foreclosure, worse for both parties.

Bill

September 22, 2009 1:02 PM

Now that's something. Maybe the definition of "homeowner friendly" has changed a bit? Thanks for the info...had not heard of this before.

Bob Hertzog

September 22, 2009 1:18 PM

What's worse is that when OneWest (owned by George Soros, Michael Dell, etc.) purchased IndyMac from the FDIC, they paid anywhere from 58-70 cents on the dollar for their mortgages, and are covered on 80-90% of future losses from the FDIC. This is called a loss-share agreement, which over 50 banks now have with the FDIC. To give you an example, in this case (I am the agent featured in the news clip), OneWest will make a NET PROFIT of over $100,000 if/when they foreclose, thanks to the FDIC. Nice, huh? I wrote a blog on this that actually spells out the formulas that were used in this case. Feel free to read it at www.hertzogblog.com.

Merrill

September 22, 2009 2:09 PM

Didn't Arizona just pass a law forbidding lenders from seeking deficiencies from home owners who sold their property for less than what was owed?

Beany

September 22, 2009 3:00 PM

To be honest, I fail to see the problem in this.
The bank loaned the money to the customer - they have a right to expect repayment. Why should the sale of the house be linked to whether they get repaid?

roberto

September 23, 2009 12:17 AM

Holy cats, read up on stuff before you post! AZ is a non-deficiency state for owner occupied home loans. That means after the trustee sale, the bank cannot go after the prior owner. So, in a short sale, if the bank asked anything so ridiculous as a promissory note, the owner should tell the bank to screw off,refuse to sign and let the bank foreclose.

Mike Jones

September 23, 2009 7:52 AM

What's wrong with paying back what you legally owe? If your house appreciated for the past few years, would you or the bank be allowed to keep the money? no difference at all.

Jc

September 23, 2009 11:12 AM

Well...It shouldn't be a surprise here, We have the Tail of two evils...One who run to the bank Like "Bonnie & Clyde" (Style) And the other one who never had had scrupulous, neither Decency.

Michigan2

September 23, 2009 11:35 AM

I am a realtor and currently working on a short sale. I estimate that unemployment here is really closer to 15%. Finding a buyer for a house with a job, good credit, and enough money to purchase a house is nearly to imposible.
The buyers we do have have jobs but really no money and credit scores are generally under 700 and that is viewed as good.

The house I am selling has been listed for almost six months and has had several price reductions of thousands of dollars and I finally got an offer.

The problem with the offer is the buyer needs $5500.00 in concessions to close the deal. The service company will only pay $2700.00. They won't let me raise the sale price, which the buyer can afford and the house will still appraise, and give that back to the buyer. And if I cut the broker's comission and give money to the buy to pay prepaids the service company says NO and wants that money too. You would think that something is better then nothing but this service company I guess wants nothing.

If it took me just under six months to get one offer what are my chances of selling this house before the mortgage company moves to foreclose.

I think that is really what the mortgage/service company wants....to just foreclose.

milkman

September 23, 2009 1:47 PM

Good! You should be forced to payback every penny you took!

Tom

September 23, 2009 1:55 PM

Not sure about Arizona, but in California there are statutes that protect borrower from anti-deficiency on "purchase money loans". That doesn't imply that One West can't impose the requirement as a condition to a short sale. In my opinion the owner / borrower should, after attempting to negotiate, refuse to do the short sale.

Tara

September 23, 2009 2:47 PM

The reason they can ask for the note is that the borrower is renegotiating the original terms of their note. And yeah, it is perfectly fair. Enough is enough. I am a Realtor and just sick and tired of all this. AND.....short sales need to just plain stop! They are trashing property values and giving the idea to people that they can just stop caring. They are bottlenecking the system like crazy. Nothing is closing in a decent amount of time, the whole thing is insane.

SoCal

September 23, 2009 3:39 PM

There should be some consequences of not living up to your side of the contract. At the very least, if a homedebtor is forced into a short sale or foreclosure, they should be prevented from buying a house/condo for 10 years. This will prevent another out-of-control housing bubble and crazy price increases, and let the rest of us afford to buy a house at a decent price.

Mike

September 23, 2009 3:43 PM

I have never heard of such a thing. An entire group of people on this message board defending the rights of the mega-corporations! These bankers created an artificial bubble through greedy business practices. I am appalled that anyone would agree that a bank should harass these homeowners who simply wanted to be a homeowner. If this article is true, the bankers are aggressively pursuing these people for simply having to sell the property. Who could have imagined that a 50% reduction in home value would have taken place since 2006? The bank made the loan on that piece of property; they should take it back and move on. The bankers took the risk with their aggressive lending practices, they gamed the system and now they want to screw hardworking Americans out of their entire lifesavings! This is just plain wrong.

MB Girl

September 23, 2009 3:43 PM

Listen guys, I don't get it...the home owner entered in a business deal just as the Bank did! If they get a mortgage to buy a house and all goes well he keeps the profit...and SO DO THE BANKS: the interest they collect is their profit; both win! but If the house prices goes down...WHY IS ONLY THE OWNER SUPOSED TO TAKE THE LOSS??? When a home owner walks away...guess what? the owner LOOSES ALL the investment they made for a few years...The BANKS KEEP the profit it made for the years!!! PLUS gets the home! DAH... It was a business agreement and the banks KNEW what they are getting! I do feel so sorry for the banks...poor them :-( ...ALSO the agreement clearly says that the owners pay the loan OR if they can not pay it, the banks take the house back...SO,when an owner can not pay anymore BOTH parties are keeping their part of the contract agreed upon! The owner walks away with a loss and the bank walk away with a house and interest it made. What part of that you guys do not get?

Mike

September 23, 2009 5:24 PM

Crazzzzy, The banks give people loans That they were able to pay at the time. now the citizen can't pay anymore that's is part of the business deal with losses as much as you did with the profits. back in the good days when you were making millios and millios you were very happy now deal with it and take full responsability. there.

Enlightenment

September 23, 2009 6:29 PM

Homebuyers, Realtors, Appraisers, Bankers, Builders, and more caused the housing bubble and crash. Yes, all of you caused it!

Home owners whine because they lost money, yeah life sucks, you screwed up.

Realtors whine because they can't sell houses, yeah life sucks, we don't need ya, go get a job that requires you to do real work.

tired of this baloney

September 23, 2009 6:57 PM

People. Get a grip. A mortgage is not a moral obligation signed in the blood. It is a two-party contractual agreement written in plain ole ink, and both the lender and the borrower are fully aware of the terms: pay as agreed, or forfeit the house. Period. Furthermore, those terms are written by the lender, for the benefit of the lender. So things are no longer working out in the lenders' benefit in the way they used to, and now lenders are getting stuck with houses they don't want? Cry me a river. Do you think the lenders spend one moment in torment over their "moral obligation" to borrowers stuck in underwater mortgages for houses which have lost 50% of their value? Puh-leez. Grow up. This is business. That's how the lender views it, and that's how any borrower with half a brain should view it, as well. The lenders were equal partners in the contract, and NOWHERE is it written that the borrower is the only party allowed to take a loss.

Joe Rogan

September 23, 2009 8:29 PM

Oh come on !!!! Y'all bunch of whiners. Just slap in a set of new granite counter-tops, and stick on some cheap half-a$$ed siding (that'll probably blow off in the next windstorm over 35 mph), and jack up the price by 200 k smackers. That should get 'em coming tripping over each other to buy the house.

M

September 24, 2009 12:32 PM

Cognitive disconnect much ? the 70 % of the fiscally challenged are going to take everyone else right down the drain with them. for the o so smug crowd , without cheap fossil fuels , your house is an expensive chicken coop. ya'll be out there like hyperconsumers in the headlights . when the olduvai express train comes rolling on down the track.
leaving nothing but the crap stained underoos of idiots who think the grocery store shelves ,magically fill up every tuseday. i will laugh at your remains and then use em for compost.

Bob

September 24, 2009 12:55 PM

Here we are in a near depression. The financial sector and realtors have screwed the pooch. Tax payers are bailing out all the rat bleeptards. politicians don't pay taxes, get kick backs from everyone and support the likes of ACORN.

But, by God, the homeowner, that lost his job, has to be accountable for all their faults! Damn him!

Revolution - its coming.

Bob Hertzog

September 24, 2009 2:37 PM

I am the Realtor that is representing the client in the story. I'm fully aware of the Arizona Anti-Deficiency Statutes, and my client is fully protected by it. They cannot come after him after the close of escrow for the deficiency.
Because of the Loss-Share Agreement that the FDIC signed with OneWest Bank when they "purchased" IndyMac from the FDIC, OneWest now makes a net profit of over $100k by either foreclosing or approving the short sale.
This whole loss share agreement issue was just written about for the first time by the WSJ on August 31, 2009. All of us, as taxpayers, should be directing our frustration at the fact that our government has chosen to bail out banks rather then helping homeowners to stay in their homes.

Rather than go into the details of these loss share programs, you can either google search it, or visit my blog at www.hertzogblog.com. Either way, it's an issue that all Americans should be VERY concerned about. Just two days ago, FDIC's Sheila Bair stood up in front of the Finance Committee and told them they they are almost out of money, and need to borrow more from the Treasury. Gee, I wonder why?

All of you do some research on this, and make your voices heard!

Eric

September 24, 2009 7:51 PM

I think all of OUR taxpayer bail out money needs to be repaid by the banks?

Garo

September 24, 2009 7:55 PM

Yeah homeowners signed the paper, make them pay up for their obligations. FORGET about the CROOKS in the banking industry and government, it's the people's fault!

jimbo

September 24, 2009 8:18 PM

The agreement, that both parties agree to, allow for the bank to take back the home in case of the borrower not being able to pay. Also the taxpayers money, which includes the borrower, is bailing out these banks. So why shouldn't the borrower just simply pack up and leave?, sayonara.

mister d

September 25, 2009 2:01 PM

The ultimate responsibility for the value of the house has always been on the bank. When a person signs a mortgage note they agree to pay x amount of dollars for typically 30 years. When the person cannot meet their obligations the bank has the right to take the asset. End of story in states with no recourse.

Cincy Lawyer

September 25, 2009 2:35 PM

What a bunch of heartless sh*ts. This crisis was caused by the banks, who were irresponsible, immoral, fraudulent sheisters. I'm an expert in mortgage backed securities, having structured government loan and MBS transactions in the late 80s and early 90s and represented RTC during the S&L crisis. THis was all preventable and foreseeable, and the people who tried to stop it, like me and my colleagues, were persecuted, prosecuted, put out of business, blackballed and worse.

We have paid BILLIONS of dollars to the SOBs who caused this crisis and you all are saying the poor schmos who got caught up falling for the banks' (and mortgage brokers') lies and deceit should not only lose their homes but be in hock for the rest of their lives? How do you think the housing prices got to where they did? The "free" market and "natural" forces? You have to be kidding me!

Even if you are selfish and heartless and greedy, you should know that destroying the middle class like this is destroying our way of life, not just that of the poor bastards who are now in foreclosure and losing their jobs. If you're in the top 1/2 of 1% of the country, this may be in your best interests (as long as you don't mind seeing people die), but if you are not in that elite class, you are being screwed, too. A lot of only moderately wealthy people who thought they were the screwers are going to find out they are the screwees, too.

I'm remembering the saying by whom I do not know to the effect that: They took the Jews, and I wasn't a Jew, so I did nothing. They took the gypsies, and I wasn't a gypsy, so I did nothing. They took the Catholics, and I wasn't a Catholic, so I did nothing. Then they came for me.

Beware that they are coming for you.

Sinclair Noe

September 25, 2009 7:48 PM

The mortgage is a non-recourse loan. And you are correct, the banks wrote the loan; they are only entitled to get the house - they have no further recourse. The bank in this case is just trying bully tactics. You'll see more of this in the future. And for the posters who support the bankers in this case, just wait, in time you will learn the bankers have stolen peoples' homes, jobs, incomes, and government. Maybe you'll understand when they steal your lunch.

Strategery

September 27, 2009 2:08 AM

tired of this baloney, you are 100% correct.

I bet most of the people using the term "deadbeats" or the ones suggesting that every penny should be repaid are the same people who fueled the housing bubble (and collapse) and are now benefiting from government bailouts, which have gone to banks--not borrowers. They also fail to realize banks purposely made loans people could not repay just so they could foreclose on the house later--expecting the price to increase. In addition, the interest rate is supposed to include the costs of bad loans.

Too many people stay trapped in debt when a bankruptcy filling would free them, citing moral reasons, even though finance companies have no problem raising credit card rates to 30% for no reason.

The person mentioned in the article probably has a trashed credit record by now--just let the bank have the house and they can eat the loss.

cmsv

September 27, 2009 9:33 PM


How heartless. I wonder if any of you have lost jobs!

Most of the good jobs have been outsourced to other countries, making these loans fraudulently induced. Certainly you must see how corrupt the banks (especially the Federal Reserve Banking System) are.

Re-read Katherine Austin Fitts articles on the Housing bubble and the Federal Reserve System. Watch "Freedom to Fasicm" by Aaron Russo.

Most important, be good citizens and never take the side of the banks, people are more important than money.

Ka Ma

September 28, 2009 11:57 AM

This country is in crisis. And big banks have been beneficiaries of our tax dollars to stay afloat.
There are fraudulent activities going on in banks including Indymac Bank/One West Bank. They are suppose to be working with home owners to help them stay in their homes. Instead they are playing every trick in the book to deny home loan modifications. They bought these assets very low and their business plan is modify as least loans as possible and foreclose as many homes as possible. And they are accomplishing this by literally pretending that they are trying to modify and then making sure the application is denied. You can find web posts all throughout the internet about this situation These banks or as they refer to themselves as "group of investors" are taking home buyers for a ride on these loan modification applications. And then they push the process long enough where foreclosure is what you are left with. Someone needs to light some fire under these institutions. A lot of our tax dollars went into putting them back on their two feet. So who is going to help home owners get back on theirs?

Rockon

September 29, 2009 7:19 AM

Hi...

A mortgage is not a moral obligation signed in the blood. It is a two-party contractual agreement written in plain ole ink, and both the lender and the borrower are fully aware of the terms: pay as agreed, or forfeit the house. Period. Furthermore, those terms are written by the lender, for the benefit of the lender.

I think that is really what the mortgage/service company wants....to just foreclose.

http://investmentloss.net/

rken

October 3, 2009 5:05 PM

"why should the bank and its shareholders be on the hook for someone over paying and then not willing to honor their mortgage commitment."

The home buyer did not coerce the bank into providing the mortgage in the first place. Clearly the mismanaged bank over-payed for that mortgage. Who else should pay for the bank's bad management decisions? You the tax payer -- LOL!

Keep'n cozy in Canada!

fedup

October 12, 2009 4:14 PM

To all of those in the judgement seat telling us home owners that we need to be responsible for our obligations?? Very ignorant comments, based on the shear fact that as a home owner trying to live up to my obligation and trying to structure a loan mod plan )paying back ALL PRINCIPLE AND INTEREST!! Have had little cooperation from my lender INDYMAC NOW ONE WEST?? I lost my job and now have proof of income and they still would rather foreclose and take a loss than allow me to repay my obligation!! They actually tell you, when you call, to do a 'short sale'! So once again, for you ignorant people who have no clue, stop being judgemental and stop supporting the big financial institutions...you do realize that they just used our tax dollars to get bailed out of their OBLIGATIONS???RIGHT???

Undecided

October 12, 2009 5:46 PM

I'm screwed. I owe 350K on a house that is now being assessed at 210K. That's doesn't account for the 80K I put down on the house to buy it.

Now there are no jobs in my area so I was forced to move root my family to another city to live. Now I'm paying rent in one city and the mortgage on a house I can't live in.

I’m down 140K, plus my down payment (80K), plus the money I put into the house(30K).

S z

October 26, 2009 2:51 PM

I definitely can't side with banks on this one. We bought a tiny home because it was all we could afford. Now through some act of nature having twins and can't even fit a second crib anywhere. We would love to have a short sale and pay the bank rest of what we owe but in monthly payments as we don't have that kind of lump sum. Guess what, they won't talk to us. Why are they encouraging foreclosure when we have always paid on time and maintained good credit? I guess being honest can come back to bite you.

managing partner

November 3, 2009 8:25 AM

mr "responsible for myself" I DONT THINK YOU QUITE UNDERSTAND THE GREED OF BANKS THAT HAVE LEAD TO THIS BLOW-UP..

A) BANKS START WITH A 100K LOAN AND END THE END YOU HAVE PAID 300K
B) HAVE YOU CAKE & EAT IT TOO...WELL LET SEE...THE BANK IS A PARTNER IN THE PROPERTY...THE VALUE GOES DOWN...INFLATION GOES UP...JOBS ARE LOST
BUT THE BANK...YOUR PARTNER STILL WANTS THE SAME PROFIT....HOES THAT WORK FOR YOU....ARE YOU STILL WITH ME HERE....

PUT YOU MONEY IN TO A FUND...YOU ARE THE INVERTOR JUST LIKE THE BANK...YOUR FUND LOSES MONEY....YOU WHAT.....THAT RIGHT YOU LOSE YOU AS_ RIGHT...BANKS ARE THE WORST BUSINESS PEOPLE ON THE PLANET....THEY USE YOU MONEY TO MAKE THEM MONEY AND PAY 1.5% AND KEEP THE YEILD.....THEY SCREW YOU LEFT AND RIGHT.

YOUR PROBLEM IS NOT WITH THESE PEOPLE THAT LOST THERE HOMES AND GOT SCREWED...YOUR PROBLEM IS WITH THE GREEDY BANK...AND NOW YOU ARE PAYING FOR IT....AND YOUR GRAND CHILDERN WILL BE PAYING FOR...KEEP YOU EYE ON THE DOUNUT....NOT THE HOLE....

YOU ARE NEXT...THE BANK IS SCREWING YOU NOW.....YES RIGHT NOW....LOOK AT YOUR BANK STATEMENTS AND YOU WILL SEE...

BANK "STEAL" 3 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR FROM BANK STATEMNT.....THATS ALL...AND IF THEY NEED MORE MONEY...THEY STEAL IT FROM THE TAXE PAYERS.....HOW THAT HOPE & CHANGE WORKING OUT FOR YOU...WITH OUR NEW "BOY" PRESIDENT WHOM THINKS HE IS A KING....KEEP EYE ON YOUR OWN DOUNUT...

dropdabomb

November 6, 2009 6:00 PM

Homeowners get the shaft & Idiot wall street bankers get a free ride, free money from the Feds! Fuk the Banks!! Their all Bankrupt!

FYI......If your facing a deficiency AFTER sale, file for Bankruptcy, and wash your hands of Idiot banker types.

becky

November 29, 2009 1:49 PM

The comments posted earlier to this blog are very ignorant...so I'm guessing the posters are bank execs? First off Indy Mac/OneWest owned by George Soros ( a left wing ultra Liberal anti establishment-type billionaire) and Michael Dell (billionaire, computer geek) are the real crooks in this case. These two bought out the defunct bankrupt Indy Mac from the FDIC and in the process made a sweetheart deal which has the Feds (that's you and me taxpayers) taking the lion's share of any loss sustained in a foreclosure. This means if a homeowner defaults on his loan and the balance is, let's say, $100,000, George and Mike only sustain a loss of $20k the federal gov picks up the $80k balance. George and Mike kick the homeowner to the curb and resale the house making a profit and not losing anything. George Soros and Michael Dell are helping to create blight in my neighborhood. With all the middle class homes being foreclosed on, there is nothing but vacant homes attracting criminals. The TARP money did not put any contingencies on the banks to modify loans to help homeowners. Additionally, IndyMac/OneWest managed to make themselves exempt from every law passed to help homeowners. Their loan modification procedures are a joke.
To call hardworking, law abiding homeowners deadbeats, only confirms what idiots bank employees and managers are!

becky

November 29, 2009 2:02 PM

The comments posted earlier to this blog are very ignorant...so I'm guessing the posters are bank execs? First off Indy Mac/OneWest owned by George Soros ( a left wing ultra Liberal anti establishment-type billionaire) and Michael Dell (billionaire, computer geek) are the real crooks in this case. These two bought out the defunct bankrupt Indy Mac from the FDIC and in the process made a sweetheart deal which has the Feds (that's you and me taxpayers) taking the lion's share of any loss sustained in a foreclosure. This means if a homeowner defaults on his loan and the balance is, let's say, $100,000, George and Mike only sustain a loss of $20k the federal gov picks up the $80k balance. George and Mike kick the homeowner to the curb and resale the house making a profit and not losing anything. George Soros and Michael Dell are helping to create blight in my neighborhood. With all the middle class homes being foreclosed on, there is nothing but vacant homes attracting criminals. The TARP money did not put any contingencies on the banks to modify loans to help homeowners. Additionally, IndyMac/OneWest managed to make themselves exempt from every law passed to help homeowners. Their loan modification procedures are a joke.
To call hardworking, law abiding homeowners deadbeats, only confirms what idiots bank employees and managers are!

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About

BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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