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16 August 2012

New Financial Regulations May Lead to Your Mortgage Getting Sold

 Real Estate         No comments

The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just released new rules demanding changes in how delinquent mortgages are serviced by banks. Rules include dedicated representatives for mortgagees who are facing foreclosure and collection stays on accounts seeking loan modifications. Hopefully, this is going to mean better service for troubled mortgages, but it could have lasting ramifications for all mortgagees.

23 March 2011

Housing Double Dip Data Can No Longer Be Downplayed

 Real Estate         7 comments

It’s ironic that regardless of all the hype around “green shoots” and hopium filled speeches to inspire investor confidence that real estate — when left to a solely organic recovery without any sort of government induced steroid-like stimulus program — will likely take years, if not decades, to get to 2006 real estate bubble prices. [...]

17 February 2011

MERS Fallout: 50% of All Mortgages in U.S. Now in Question

The Mortgage Electronic Registration System, known as “MERS”, fallout just keeps getting better. In recent months legal challenges have arisen regarding alleged inadequacies and improprieties in the foreclosure process including allegations of insufficient or incorrect supporting documentation and challenges to the legal capacity of parties right to foreclose. Consistent with the Membership Rules there will [...]

10 February 2011

30 Year Mortgage Rates Over 5% Got You Down? Try 18%!

So you think 30 year fixed mortgage rates over 5% is a bad thing? You think an interest rate above 4.99% has some sort of mystical, psychological barrier to entry? How does 10% sound? What about 18.5%? So quit your cryin’… we all knew 30 year mortgage rates in the 4% ballpark couldn’t last forever. [...]

25 January 2011

Best Cities to Rent versus Buy

 Real Estate         1 comment

Even with the bursting of the credit bubble and real estate bubble, one might rush to judgment that it’s a perfect time to buy everywhere in the USA or renting is a loser’s folly. Wrong. Sorry to burst your bubble. For the datamongers (like me) curious how the numbers were compiled: The price-to-rent ratio is [...]

24 January 2011

Take a Guess Who is Paying Fannie & Freddie’s Legal Fees

Only in America! Not only did taxpayers bail out Fannie and Freddie and overpay (still overpaying) the executives, but we’re also paying their legal bills. Kinda like paying the Captain of the Titantic an overly generous salary for ramming the iceberg, rescuing him from certain death, then paying his legal bills after the families of [...]

19 January 2011

Bridging the “Trust Deficit” in U.S. Real Estate

 Banking,Real Estate         No comments

I found the use of the phrase “trust deficit” in U.S. real estate amusing since it’s a euphemistic way of saying “no one wants to buy an asset that may decline in future value“. Hello? Double dip in real estate anyone? You’ve [FHA Commissioner David Stevens] talked a lot at this confidence about the lack [...]

11 January 2011

The Morality Double Standard: My 2010 Strategic Default Prediction One Year Later

In my 2010 financial market predictions, I predicted that strategic defaults (e.g. a homeowner stops making mortgage payments even though they can afford the payments, but feel they have made a bad investment) would be a small trend that continued to gain momentum. Follow up data from PBS Newshour suggests this prediction has been proven [...]

27 December 2010

Debtor’s Remorse, Visualized

Some seriously scary underwater homeowner chartporn via Bloomberg Businessweek. Finance people and math geeks (like me) plot these types of XY graphs in their head without thinking about it, which is probably why we avoid debt like the plague, but if more people could close their eyes and visualize just how screwed they could potentially [...]

8 December 2010

It Pays To Wait, But Not with Interest Rates

For those who like to say it pays to wait, they might want to put an asterisk next to that idiom when referring to interest rates. In today’s world of quantitative easing and bond/credit traders wired to marketplaces at near the speed of light, one scrap of news or the most subtle of rumors can [...]

5 December 2010

China’s $15 Trillion in (Economic) Potential Energy

 Real Estate         No comments

Even though I managed to sneak through physics with an “A”, I don’t think I learned all that much other than how to plug n’ chug a book full of equations. But one of the few conceptual things I’ve retained is the usefulness of potential energy, particularly elastic or chemical energy in it’s natural resting [...]

21 November 2010

Mortgage Backed Securities: If You Erase the Debt Record, We All Go Back to Zero

One of the more clever ideas from the movie Fight Club is the idea that terrorism could originate from nefarious actions involving economic warfare. This means actions that could affect the value of our currency, the value of our future investments, repayment of our debts, etc. Here’s a brief quote: [Narrator turns himself into the [...]

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