Categories: Foreclosures

Banks Are Forcing Homeowners to Keep Paying After Short Sales

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 21

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...

Foreclosures Down Even Though Some Government Programs Are Off To A Slow Start

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 10

Michael Barr, the Treasury Dept.’s assistant secretary for financial institutions, briefed Congress on the Administration’s various housing related programs on Sept. 9. Barr said 45 loan servicers accounting for...

Hope Now's Numbers Mostly Going In The Wrong Direction

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 04

Hope Now, the alliance of banks, mortgage servicers and non-profit mortgage counselors, came out with its July data this week and the numbers still look bleak. While the actual...

Foreclosures and mental health

Posted by: Peter Coy on August 24

In case you missed it ... the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine put out this press release last week: PHILADELPHIA – The nation’s home foreclosure epidemic may be taking...

Foreclosures Spread As Unemployment Rises

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on July 30

The foreclosure crisis has entered a new phase. It's spreading beyond the wreckage of the housing bubble to metro areas in Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arkansas, Illinois, and South Carolina where...

How One City Battles Foreclosures and Crime

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 29

Lancaster, California, a city of 145,000 people about 60 miles north of Los Angeles, is among the hardest hit in the nation by the housing bust. Home prices have fallen...

St. Regis Resort Foreclosed On

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 20

Oh, the irony. The St. Regis resort made famous as the spot where AIG staged a blowout, $440,000 party for its salespeople just two weeks after receiving $85 billion...

Foreclosures fall 11% in the Second Quarter, Loan Applications Up

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 09

My colleague Prashant wrote recently about a second wave of foreclosures possibly headed our way in the second half of this year as banks tried to unload homes they...

Boston Fed: Obama Loan Program Unlikely To Work

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on July 07

A study released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston this week indicates that the $75 billion that the Obama administration is directing to the lending industry to encourage loan...

Get ready for another big wave of foreclosures arriving as soon as this summer

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on July 06

The housing market has shown some signs of bottoming, but the next wave of foreclosures could delay any sort of recovery. The Chicago Tribune had good piece today on another...

Survey Says Bigger Downpayments Prevent Foreclosures

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 03

ING Direct, the discount stock broker best known for its bright orange logo and branches that look like sandwich shops, is releasing a survey on people’s attitudes toward home...

"Not Paying the Mortgage, Yet Stuck With the Keys"

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 25

Check out this great Washington Post story from yesterday about the backlog in foreclosures. The human interest is a woman from Glen Allen, Va., who moved out of her house...

Obama Mortgage Plan May Be Expanded

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 19

A front page USA Today article criticized the Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable plan, which created incentives for lenders to reduce the interest rate on loans to troubled borrowers rather...

Stopping foreclosures may NOT be good for the economy

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 11

I like this piece by Matthew Padilla, who writes the OC Register's Mortgage Insider blog. He quotes two economists who say that stopping foreclosures is not necessarily a good...

A California foreclosure story: Can you be both broke and happy?

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 04

Please read this little story and tell me what you think: Consider the plight of Stephanie and Bob Walker, who bought a $799,000, three-bedroom home in Los Angeles with a...

As foreclosures soar, Jobs are the New Problem

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 28

New foreclosure data out today illustrates two important trends. One is that the problem has spread from adjustable rate loans to borrowers with bad credit to prime borrowers, an...

Are Banks Keeping Foreclosed Homes Off the Market?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 21

Buyers looking to purchase foreclosures should still have plenty of opportunities. Only 30% of bank-owned properties are listed on the multiple listing services, says Rick Sharga, senior vice president at...

The Coming Foreclosure Tsunami

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 13

National Short Sale Center, which helps homeowners negotiate the sale of their homes for less than what they owe their bank, says the country is due to experience record-setting amounts...

Brand New Houses Being Torn Down

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 28

This video came to use courtesy of two Kiwis, Hugh Pavletich, an urban planner in New Zealand, and Mike "Mish" Shedlock, a financial advisor. It shows brand new homes in...

How Toxic are the Worst of the Mortgages?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 22

MDA DataQuick’s John Karevoll gave me a little background on some of the firm’s recent research on loan defaults. Karevoll said he wanted to find out just how toxic...

California's Foreclosure Notices Soar

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 22

Lenders filed a record number of mortgage default notices against California homeowners during the first three months of this year, according to the research firm MDA DataQuick. The company blamed...

Avoiding foreclosure: Tips from the government

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 22

The U.S. government has captured the cheesiness of YouTube quite well in a series of ten tips on how to avoid foreclosure. There's the homely plant in the background. The...

Foreclosures: Being 88 yards away from one lops 1% off your home's value

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 21

Here is a brand-new rule of thumb on foreclosures, courtesy of two professors from Harvard and one from MIT: "A foreclosure at a distance of 0.05 miles lowers the price...

Home Construction Plunges, Foreclosures Soar

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 16

Lots of bad housing news out today. The Commerce Dept. reports a 10.8% decline in new home construction to an annual rate of 510,000. That’s the second worst number...

Foreclosures jump 30% in February

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 12

Research firm RealtyTrac released its latest foreclosure stats today. Default notices, bank repossessions and other foreclosure related activities jumped 30% in February from the prior year. That’s more than...

Homeowner Stability Plan Begins

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 03

For millions of troubled homeowners, help may finally be on the way. On March 4 the U.S. Treasury Dept. is expected to begin implementing the Obama Administration’s $75 billion,...

Foreclosure filings drop, Florida is an unlikely Winner

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 12

Foreclosure activity dropped 10% from December to January although it's still up 18% from January 2008. New numbers from RealtyTrac show that foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale...

Boston's Hancock Tower, New England's tallest building, is facing foreclosure

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on February 10

It looks like the next wave of foreclosures could come in the commercial real estate market. The big news today is that the iconic 60-story John Hancock Tower is...

Foreclosure solutions: Salmon on Glaeser on Ellickson

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 03

Recommended reading for today: Felix Salmon's blog post on Ed Glaeser's review in The New Republic of Robert Ellickson's book, The Household: Informal Order around the Hearth. Lots of good...

Foreclosures Fly, New Home Sales Suffer

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 21

Foreclosures are the place to be. Low-priced, bank-owned homes are selling briskly, says market research firm MDA DataQuick. Newly-built homes, on the other hand, are sitting on the sidelines....

New York Report Blames Adjustable Subprime Loans

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 19

A new report from the New York State Governor’s Task Force to Halt Abusive Lending Transactions (HALT) is out. It shows just how toxic the subprime adjustable rate mortage has...

Over one Million People Lost their Home in 2008

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 14

Foreclosures.com came out with its latest numbers today, a 63 percent rise in foreclosures for 2008, with a total of about 1 million throughout the year. The foreclosure process...

Foreclosed Homes Sell At Steep Discounts

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 18

I went to a bank-owned home auction run by ValueHomeAuctions.com on Saturday. The event, in downtown Los Angeles, started at 9:30 and it was only half-way done when I...

Foreclosures Expected to Spike in January

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 11

More than 259,000 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice in November, down 7% from October, but 28% higher than a year ago, according to the research firm RealtyTrac. Some...

Advice for struggling homeowners from PMI

Posted by: Peter Coy on December 04

David Berson of PMI, the private mortgage insurance company, visited BW recently. Today, I got an email from his p.r. person, Mark Lindsey, with a response to Chris Palmeri's blog...

Foreclosures Continue at Banks that Said No More

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 03

I’ve been getting emails from readers who say they are still receiving foreclosures notices, even from banks that have said they would halt foreclosures until the New Year. “Foreclosure is...

William Frey, the guy who doesn't want you to get your loan modified

Posted by: Peter Coy on December 02

To many people, William Frey is this year's leading candidate for the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. To others, he's a hero. If you haven't heard of Frey yet, you...

Should You Stop Making Your Mortgage Payments?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on November 21

A debate has sprung up in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other blogs about whether it’s right for homeowners to deliberately stop making payments in order to qualify for...

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae planning a foreclosure holiday

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on November 20

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are putting a temporary halt to foreclosure sales and evictions of occupied single-family homes during the holiday season. It’s not just that the government-controlled mortgage...

Paulson and Bair's Dueling Foreclosure Strategies

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on November 18

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and FDIC Chairwoman Shelia Bair battled it out on Capitol Hill today over competing plans for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Plan funds. House...

Squatters "Hold Houses Ransom"

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on November 18

Many weird stories have popped up at a result of the real estate bust, but none stranger than this recent item from California's Riverside Press-Enterprise. A character named King Solomon...

Look closely at California's foreclosure rate drop and you'll see a new state law clouding the picture.

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on November 13

You might be surprised to learn that the California foreclosure rate actually decreased by 18% in October compared to September, according to RealtyTrac’s new report. But the news isn’t necessarily...

Buying Foreclosed Homes--Stories from the Trenches

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on November 10

There was a great story in the Los Angeles Times yesterday about the reporter's struggles to buy a home in foreclosure. I was particularly fascinated by what appears to be...

California leads Country in Foreclosures and Reform

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on October 27

California could be leadind the country in foreclosure mitgiation effots. A new Golden State law forces lenders to give homeowners at least 30 days notice before starting any foreclosure...

Foreclosure Advocates March on Washington

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on October 23

In the 1960s activists marched for civil rights and to protest the Vietnam War. Now its the foreclosure crisis. Community activist group Pico National Network is marshalling faith-based organizations...

Foreclosures to Top 1 Million

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on October 09

Web site Foreclosures.com just released its monthly U.S. Foreclosures Index for the month of September. Foreclosures increased by nearly 7% from August to September -- making it nearly certain--the site...

One way to avoid foreclosure: live with a stranger

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on August 08

It seems that more and more Americans faced with foreclosure are renting out rooms in their homes to help pay the mortgage. Of course, this is a trend that is...

This is what a foreclosure auction looks like

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 07

Ever wonder what a foreclosure auction looks like, y'know the ones held on the proverbial courthouse steps? I do, and this raw footage from a San Diego courthouse auction...

Latest prediction: California's housing market will hit bottom first

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on August 01

It’s easy to call a bottom to the housing slump. The tough part is getting the timing right. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has made many such predictions. "All the signs...

Extreme Makeover -------> Extreme Foreclosure

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 29

I love this Washington Post story todayabout an extravagant makeover that just went into foreclosure. It seems that the owners took out a big loan against their beautiful home...

When the old family home goes into foreclosure

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 18

Some of you may remember Tim Mullaney, who worked for BW for a number of years and wrote some nice guest blogs for Hot Property. Tim has since moved on...

It's Not Just Ed McMahon

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 27

Is that a swimming pool in front of the Pentagon? Nope. It’s boxer Evander Holyfield’s old Atlanta estate and it has joined the growing list of celebrity homes going into...

One state is succeeding in slowing foreclosures... at least for now

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on June 13

If you’ve been reading HotProperty's coverage of the foreclosure crisis, you’re not going to be surprised by RealtyTrac’s latest report, which shows that foreclosure filings jumped 7% in May...

Short Sale Expert Weighs In

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 12

It's not every day that we get a CEO answering questions from readers, so when one does I like to give it a little extra attention. That said, here's a...

Green Pools--Not the Environmentally Friendly Kind

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 06

The Los Angeles Times had another sad but well reported story about the housing bust hitting home. This time it’s in Temecula, California, one of the those classic ex-urbs...

The Candidates and the Crisis

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 28

Barack Obama visited Las Vegas, one of the hardest hit housing markets in the nation, and used it as a backdrop to unveil his fix for the mortgage mess....

Angelo's at it Again

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 21

The Los Angeles Times has a piece today about an accidental email exchange between Countrywide chief Angelo Mozilo and a borrower trying to renegotiate his home loan. Angelo's angry...

One Man, Nine Foreclosures

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 14

On the same day the RealtyTrac reports that the nation’s foreclosure filings surged 65% in April to 243,353, Reuters has this wild tale of one man responsible for nine of...

"Mortgage Loan Welfare"

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 08

Figuring out a solution to the foreclosure crisis is turning out to be a divisive issue. Nobody wants to see people get kicked out of their home, but as my...

The Painful Cost of Foreclosure

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 08

Everyone knows the price of foreclosure on home owners. They lose a place to live, their credit rating, whatever down payment they made, their hopes, their dreams. New numbers...

Renters also are losing homes to foreclosure

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on April 30

The foreclosure crisis is causing hardship, not just for homeowners but for an unknown number of renters. The Houston Chronicle today tells the story of a contractor who rebuilds Louisiana...

Are you more likely to catch the flu or face foreclosure?

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on April 23

It depends on where you live. In Nevada, the odds of losing a home to foreclosure could soon be about the same as getting the flu if predictions in...

A Minnesota painting contractor with four houses in foreclosure

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on April 21

The Minneapolis Star Tribune tells the amazing story of a painting contractor, living with his wife and three children in a trailer park, who three years ago managed to buy...

Buyers Beware

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 15

I wrote a story for the magazine last week about the surprisingly low prices I saw at an auction of foreclosed property in Los Angeles. One home that had...

Where foreclosures are rare and jobs are plentiful

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 08

MainStreet.com, a sister website of TheStreet.com, has put together a nice little story featuring five towns around the country that have low foreclosure rates as well as low unemployment rates....

Inner cities are getting mauled by foreclosures

Posted by: Peter Coy on March 28

A new study by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City says that inner cities are being harmed even worse than other parts of the country by the foreclosure crisis....

Hop aboard the Foreclosure Bus!

Posted by: Dean Foust on March 12

So it's come to this: Enterprising real estate agents -- desperate for a sale -- have taken to organizing "foreclosure bus tours" for prospective buyers and investors. This from Inman...

Finding Foreclosures for Free Online

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 11

I can remember during the last great real estate bust in the early 90s, I went to a real estate expo at an arena in New Jersey. Banks had...

Project Lifeline is a few feet too short

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 15

The Bush Administration keeps attempting half-fast solutions to a fast-moving problem: foreclosures. The latest is Project Lifeline, a voluntary agreement by six big lenders to consider granting 30-day grace periods...

The real reason borrowers default

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 15

Installment LXVII in the long, sad saga of how we got into this housing mess: Bankers didn't understand what caused people to default on their mortgages. They assumed that people...

House price: $3,500. Mortgage: $228,000

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 02

True story. In reporting for my cover story in this week's issue on the housing market, Meltdown, I spoke with a 73-year-old man named George Clark. In 1977, Clark and...

Foreclosures filings accelerating in several states

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on January 29

No surprise that Nevada, Florida, Michigan, California and Colorado topped RealtyTrac’s ranking of the states with the highest foreclosure rates in 2007. But what is interesting is that foreclosure filings...

Subprime borrowers losing investment properties to foreclosure

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on January 18

Foreclosures are primarily hurting families who are losing homes they bought to live in during the boom. But plenty of investors, including subprime borrowers, are getting burned, according to the...

The Foreclosure Tide Turns

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 19

Interest rate cuts, borrower-friendly legislation, President Bush and even Alan Greenspan stumping for homeowner debt relief. Could all of this actually be slowing the foreclosure tide? The latest numbers from...

Delinquencies highest since at least 1986: Things are bad in Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana

Posted by: Peter Coy on December 06

The Mortgage Bankers Association said today that delinquencies in the third quarter were at their highest rate since it began surveying in 1986. It was 5.59% seasonally adjusted, up...

Florida condo owners footing bill for foreclosures

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on November 29

The spate of foreclosures in Florida could make it even more expensive to live the beachfront condo lifestyle that the state is famous for. Condo associations, which collect fees...

Twists in the Mortgage Forgiveness Act

Posted by: Peter Coy on October 05

Recommended: This piece by Michael Shedlock from the Seeking Alpha blog on unforeseen complications in the Mortgage Forgiveness Act, which is supposed to help people avoid foreclosure. The big kink...

Foreclosures: Miami vs. NYC

Posted by: Peter Coy on October 03

Miami has nightclubs, tall buildings, and sandy Atlantic beaches. New York City, ditto. (Pictured: New York's Coney Island.) What does Miami have that New York doesn't have? Foreclosures! According...

More defaults on insured mortgages

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 28

Defaults by borrowers with private mortgage insurance rose 30% in August from a year earlier, according to new numbers from Mortgage Insurance Companies of America. There were 58,441 defaults this...

Should we revive a Depression-era bailout organization?

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 21

Unless you're one of our older readers, you probably don't remember the Home Owners' Loan Corp., which was set up during the Depression to rescue people from foreclosure. It refinanced...

Pulling the Plug on Adelphia

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 21

Psst. Want to buy a corporate headquarters, barely used? Grubb & Ellis and auction house LFC have the listing on the former headquarters of Adelphia Communications. That’s the cable...

Foreclosures Heat Up in August

Posted by: Maya Roney on September 17

Ah, August. A big month for vacations, backyard barbeques, pool parties— and giving your house back to the bank. According to the guys at RealtyTrac, August 2007 had the highest...

Regulators jawbone against foreclosures

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 04

Federal and state banking regulators issued a joint press release today aimed at one of the most frustrating aspects of the housing mess: People are losing their homes because they...

Attend a trade show! Win a house!

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 17

I've gone to trade shows and conferences where the sponsors give you a goodie bag full of worthless tsochkes--key rings, beer huggies and T-shirts you'd only wash your car with....

Look to your left, then right. One of you is foreclosed.

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 14

I vividly remember during freshmen orientation at the University of North Carolina a few years ago (ahem, 28 to be exact) that the chancellor played the little game where he...

Foreclosures Are Up, Up, Up— No Matter How You Count

Posted by: Maya Roney on July 30

The total 2007 U.S. foreclosure tally is quickly nearing one million and could exceed two million by the end of the year, RealtyTrac said this morning. The Irvine, Calif.-based Web...

Real Estate Guru Admits He's "In a Pickle"

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 10

Paul Wenske of The Kansas City Star dug up the story of a real estate guru named Michael Ledman who ran afoul of the housing slump and a felony charge....

Are you the owner of this house? You might be...

Posted by: Dean Foust on July 02

For all of those investors who bought into hedge funds or into collateralized debt obligations -- seduced by the high returns that the fund managers promised -- here's a look...

"Foreclosure Rescue Scams"

Posted by: Dean Foust on June 21

Have been meaning to mention a story I authored in last week's magazine about the rise in so-called "Foreclosure Rescue Scams," in which unscrupulous individuals or groups approach homeowners facing...

Foreclosure Math: 4 + 3 = 1 Big Mess

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 14

In foreclosure mathematics, 4 plus 3 equals 1, as in one big mess. At least that's the way it seemed at today's conference call for journalists by the Mortgage Bankers...

Foreclosure Heat

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 12

The latest data for RealtyTrac shows a sharp jump in foreclosure activity, up 19% in May from the previous month and nearly twice the number of May 2006. Sad...

Vacation homes--the next domino to fall?

Posted by: Dean Foust on June 01

I've wondered whether the foreclosure wave would eventually lap up onto the vacation/second home market. I've heard anecdotally from real estate agents are how some clients were buying second homes...

Real Estate Rubbernecking

Posted by: Maya Roney on May 30

Foreclosure vultures—before you swoop down and snatch up that property, you might want to check out what it looks like—and now you can do it without leaving your desk! Irvine,...

The Latest Foreclosure Victims

Posted by: Maya Roney on May 16

Speaking of foreclosures in Ohio...it turns out that an evicted man in Cincinnati recently walked away from his home without alerting anyone about the 60+ cats and kittens he left...

Among the losers: Condo associations

Posted by: Dean Foust on April 10

In cities where investors were diving into condos on hopes of flipping it for a quick profit, there's a new trend: When said buyers realize they made a losing bet...

Foreclosures are heating up...

Posted by: Dean Foust on February 07

You've probably seen stories in recent weeks about how foreclosures are starting to rise in the subprime mortgage market. Barry Ritholtz, a Wall Street research guru, has come across a...

Foreclosure: How Big a Risk?

Posted by: Peter Coy on December 19

A study out today from the Center for Responsible Lending predicts that subprime borrowers are going to lose their homes to foreclosure on a massive scale. Looking at more than...

A Mixed Message On Foreclosures

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 08

For those property watchers who are anxious to see when and if the sharp climb in interest rates and the slowdown in home prices is translating into widespread defaults in...

Foreclosures on the rise

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 26

A story on Inman News reports that, according to RealtyTrac, foreclosures grew for the second straight month in July, and have now jumped more than 12% in the last two...

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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