Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Gold Price Crash Through Key Support, Crude Oil in Freefall - Clive_Maund
2.Marc Faber Warns Japan's Bond-Buying Program is a Ponzi Scheme - Bloomberg
3.Silver Price and Powerful Forces - DeviantInvestor
4.Stocks Bear Market Catastrophe as Stocks Flash Crash to New All Time Highs - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Marc Faber Warns Not to Hold Any Gold in the U.S. - GoldCore
6.U.S. Housing Market San Francisco at Critical Mass - Harry_Dent
7.Global Scramble For Silver - Coins “Hard To Get,” “Premiums Likely To Jump” - GoldCore
8.Major World Stock Market Indices Analysis: SPY, QQQ, DAX, FTSE, CAC, HSI - Michael_Noonan
9.Japan's kaput?! - Axel_Merk
10.Tesco Empire Strikes Back, £5 off £40 Discount Voucher Spend Explained, Exclusions Warning! - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 5 days
The Cultural and Political Consequences of Fiat Money - 20th Nov 14
United States Social Crisis - No One Told You When to Run, You Missed the Starting Gun! - 20th Nov 14
Euro-Zone Tooth Fairy Economics, Spain Needs to leave the Euro - 20th Nov 14
Ebola Threat Remains a Risk - New Deaths in Nebraska and New York - 20th Nov 14
Stock Market and the Jaws of Life or Death? - 20th Nov 14
Putin’s World: Why Russia’s Showdown with the West Will Worsen - 20th Nov 14
Making Money While The World Burns - 20th Nov 14
Why This "Quiet Zone" Is Now Tech Stocks Biggest Profit Sector - 20th Nov 14
My Favorite Stock McDonalds Just Got Kicked Off My “Buy” List - 19th Nov 14
European Economies in Perpetual State of Shock, What's Scarier Than Deflation? - 19th Nov 14
Breakfast with a Lord of War and Nuclear Weapons - 19th Nov 14
The U.S. Economy’s Ebb and Flow - 19th Nov 14
What You Need to Know Before Investing in Alibaba - 19th Nov 14
Forget About Crude Oil Price Testing 2009 Low - 19th Nov 14
What Blows Up First? Part 5: Shale Oil Junk Bonds - 19th Nov 14
Bitcoin Price Did We Just See an Important Slump? - 18th Nov 14
How to Profit From Oversold Crude Oil Price - 18th Nov 14
Stock Valuations Outrunning Profits Growth - And the Band Played On - 18th Nov 14
ECB Buy Gold Bullion? Japan's Monetary Policy Dubbed "Ponzi Scheme" - 18th Nov 14
Gold, Silver, Crude and S&P Ending Wedge Patterns - 18th Nov 14
How High Could USD/JPY Go? - 18th Nov 14
On Obama and the Nature of Failed Presidencies - 18th Nov 14
Globalism Free Trade Immigration Connection - 18th Nov 14
An Epiphany From Hell - Buy Gold and Silver - 18th Nov 14
Too Difficult to Get a U.S. Home Loan - 18th Nov 14
Has the Gold Bear Trap Been Set - 18th Nov 14
Gold Price and Miners Soar on Huge Volume - 17th Nov 14
Cameron Says Second Global Economic Crash is Loomin, Japan in Recession - 17th Nov 14
How to Play the Stock Market 2014 Year-End Rally - 17th Nov 14
What The Fed Has Wrought, Who Needs Wage Earners Anyway? - 17th Nov 14
Stock Market Indexes Fluctuate Along Record Levels - Will Uptrend Continue? - 17th Nov 14
Stock Market Trend Deceleration Tends To Precede Corrections - 17th Nov 14
Stocks Bull Market Set to Continue After Consolidation - 17th Nov 14
The World Is Run By Fools, And We Let Them - 17th Nov 14
Gold Price Golden Bottom? - 17th Nov 14
Gold Dragons Grand Strategy - 16th Nov 14
Gold and Silver 2015 Trend Forecasts, Prices to Go BOOM - 16th Nov 14
Stocks Bull Market Grinds Bears into Dust, Is Santa Rally Sustainable? - 16th Nov 14
Stock Market Inflection Point - 15th Nov 14
Gold And Silver – A Change In Suppressed Down Trend? - 15th Nov 14
Gold Market Capitulation? Not Likely - 15th Nov 14
The Most Valuable Stock Market Investment Secret of All - 14th Nov 14
Gold Stocks Apocalypse - 14th Nov 14
The Looming Uranium Crisis: Strategic Implications for the Colder War - 14th Nov 14
Stealth QE4 - Operation Tokyo Twist as Japan Sacrifices Pensions Funds - 14th Nov 14
My Secret Gold Strike Investing Strategy - 14th Nov 14
The Return of the U.S. Dollar - 14th Nov 14
Why Lower Crude Oil Prices Won’t Kill the Renewable Energy Boom - 14th Nov 14
The "Financial Mass Destruction" Investing Play Is All Upside - 14th Nov 14
Hyperinflation in the U.S.? - 14th Nov 14
Stock Market Year End Rally - 14th Nov 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Dramatic Stock Market Selloff

The Forgotten U.S. Housing Market Foreclosure Crisis

Housing-Market / US Housing Aug 10, 2010 - 03:24 AM GMT

By: Submissions

Housing-Market

Faiz Shakir writes: The economic meltdown of 2008 grew out of a foreclosure crisis, as Wall Street banks drove lenders to make loans that were then securitized and sold around the world, in an unregulated slew of credit products. This inflated a housing bubble that, when it burst, severely damaged an already weak economy, sent millions of homeowners into foreclosure, and put millions more out of work, leading to even more foreclosures as unemployed workers began to miss mortgage payments.


Many homeowners who were able to stay in their homes now find themselves underwater -- owing more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth. But so far, the foreclosure prevention efforts undertaken by Congress and the Obama administration, while well-intentioned, have failed to produce widespread results. This not only hurts homeowners but undermines economic recovery. Proposals for a variety of more aggressive, and potentially more effective, measures have so far not been taken up, as the programs unveiled have often lagged behind the heart of the problem. According to analysts at Morgan Stanley, "Without more intervention, the housing market will continue its 'slow motion' adjustment that will continue to inhibit economic growth and drag down consumer spending." "It's certainly a weight on the economy," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. "Nothing works all that well in the economy when house prices are falling."

FORECLOSURES RISE WITH UNEMPLOYMENT: Nearly three million homeowners received at least one foreclosure filing in 2009. As of July 2010, one in seven mortgages is delinquent or in foreclosure. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, one in 10 homeowners missed at least one mortgage payment between January and March, which is an all-time record and a 9.1 percent increase from last year. The number of homes foreclosed upon set a record for a second consecutive month in May, while banks had an inventory of approximately 1.1 million foreclosed homes as of March.

According to the latest report from Realty Trac, foreclosures rose in 75 percent of the country's metro areas during the first half of this year, and about 3.5 million homeowners have stopped paying their mortgages, but have yet to be foreclosed upon. "We're not going to see real price appreciation probably until 2013," said Realty Trac Senior Vice President Rick Sharga. "We don't see a double dip in housing but we think it's going to be a long painful recovery for the next three years." And while subprime loans drove foreclosures early in the crisis, now high unemployment is the culprit behind missed payments. "Look at a place like Salt Lake City," said Sharga. "The foreclosure rise there appears to be entirely related to the economy." At the same time, almost 25 percent of homeowners are underwater.

HAMP DISAPPOINTS: The Obama administration's signature foreclosure prevention program -- the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) -- was meant to keep 3 to 4 million troubled borrowers in their homes by lowering their mortgage payments to a sustainable level. However, according to the latest data, fewer than 400,000 borrowers have received a permanent mortgage modification, while more than 500,000, 40 percent of the total, have dropped out of the program. As the Huffington Post's Shahien Nasiripour and Arthur Delaney laid out, HAMP "has fallen short of its goals -- rather than significantly and permanently reducing home foreclosures, it is only delaying them," as borrowers make lower payments for a few months but ultimately get dropped from the program. "HAMP has not put an appreciable dent in foreclosure filings," noted a report from the Special Inspector General for TARP, the program that funds HAMP. "Foreclosure filings have increased dramatically while HAMP has been in place, with permanent modifications constituting just a few drops in an ocean of foreclosure filings." HAMP's problems stem from banks' inability to process enrollments in a timely manner and a lack of incentive for banks to ensure that borrowers successfully complete the program. So far, only $250 million of the $50 billion available for HAMP has been spent.

TAKING SMALL STEPS: The Treasury Department has acknowledged that HAMP has shortcomings and has launched new measures in an attempt to deal with the realities of today's housing crisis. Last week, it announced, "As many as 50,000 struggling homeowners in five U.S. states with high unemployment may receive help from a special $600 million federal fund," called the "Hardest Hit fund," which will "help unemployed or under-employed people keep up with their mortgage payments...[and] try to assist homeowners who are facing negative equity by reducing the principal of loans that they owe." The Department of Housing and Urban Development has also announced $79 million in grants for foreclosure mitigation.

These initiatives, while aimed at the right outcomes (as only 0.1 percent of HAMP modifications actually lower loan principle), are, as Firedoglake's David Dayen noted, "not nearly enough to deal with the scale of the problem." "Maybe with several of these droplets, you can actually start to fill the ocean," he wrote. "But $79 million, while helpful to a targeted set of families, isn't going to solve this mess." Last week, the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank released research showing that the implementation of judicial loan modification -- known as "cram down" -- is a good way to incentivize private loan modifications. Legislation giving judges the ability to modify mortgages in bankruptcy has come up for a vote in Congress multiple times, but has yet to become law.

© 2010 Copyright Faiz Shakir- All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

Barbara Ann Jackson
14 Aug 10, 23:28
foreclosure mills, etc

CASE IN POINT: FORECLOSURE MILLS, JUDICIAL FRAUD, CONSUMER EXPLOITATION, GOVERNMENT SHAMS

“Media headlines are abuzz with what is going down with foreclosure mills in Florida, particularly foreclosure bill baron, Attorney David J. Stern. Unscrupulous foreclosures are more criminally exploitive than what becomes reported; it is not easy to detect nor prove. Even so, appalling collection abuses have resulted in . . .” @ http://www.lawgrace.org/2010/08/14/foreclosure-mills-judicial-fraud-consumer-exploitation-government-shams/


iSteve
20 Aug 10, 05:01
Here's the solution- “Equity Warrants”.

Most of today's underwater homeowners are not sub-prime borrowers. But because of negative equity about 15 million potential homebuyers are locked-out of a housing market that desperately needs more buyers. Some are choosing default as an option, some attempt "short-sells" which is a more honorable form of default. Some just dig-in and hope for better days when their home values return to fair value.

Unfortunately as the number of bank owned properties increase, more downward pressure is forced on home values. So it may take a long time to work the red ink through the system.

So what are “Equity Warrants”.

The underwater homeowner could--without bank approval--put their home on the market and accept any qualified and reasonable offer. Of course since the homewater has negative equity there will be a loan payoff shortage that will have to be covered. Basically an Equity Warrant is an IOU where the issuer is granting the holder of the Equity Warrant, rights to the future equity in any home they own within the next 10 (or 20) years. When, the borrower's future equity equals the amount of the warrant, or the term of the Warrant expires and is called, the holder of the warrant would convert the warrant to a note secured by the home owner's real equity. If at the expiration of the Warrant, the Warrant issuer still doesn't have enough equity to settle the debt, an unsecured note could fill the gap.

This system would create millions of potential homebuyers, thereby improving our housing market and home values.

1. For the bank it's a mater of trading under collateralized mortgages for un-collateralized Equity Warrants. A major "plus" would be the elimination of a potential default which would likely cost substantially more than excepting the warrant, even if it expires worthless.

2. For the homeowner it's an escape, trading a bad situation for a potentially better situation.

3. For the housing market it's a new buyer calling a real estate agent.

4. No taxpayer dollars needed!

What could go wrong?

Obviously this is only a concept. Some refinement is needed followed by an act of congress.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014