Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.U.S. Housing Bull Market Over? House Prices Trend Forecast Current State - Nadeem_Walayat
2.The Coming U.S. Economic Collapse Will Trigger a Revolution - Harry_Dent
3. Stock Market Crash a Historical Pattern? - Wim_Grommen
4.Global Panic - U.S. Federal Government Stockpiling Ammo – Here’s What We’re Going to Do - Shah Gilani
5.AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs - Aaron Smith
6.This is Your Economic Recovery With and Without Drugs - James_Quinn
7.Gold and Silver Price Getting Set To Explode Higher - Austin_Galt
8.The Something for Nothing Society - Lifecycle of Bureaucracy - Ty_Andros
9.Another Interesting Stock Market Juncture - Tony_Caldaro
10.Inflation vs the Deflationary Straw Man - Gary_Tanashian
Last 5 days
Scotland Independence House Prices Crash, Deflationary Debt Death Spiral - 31st Aug 14
Obama’s “Catastrophic Defeat” in Ukraine - 30th Aug 14
Stock Market Inflection Point Approaching - 30th Aug 14
Gold And Silver - Elite's NWO Losing Traction. Expect More War - 30th Aug 14
Corporations Join Droves of Americans Renouncing US Citizenship - 30th Aug 14
Peter Schiff U.S. Housing Market, House Prices Bubble Warning - 30th Aug 14
Russia, Ukraine War - It’s Time to Play the “Gazprom Card” - 29th Aug 14
The One Tech Stock Investment You Should Never Sell - 29th Aug 14
Bitcoin Price $500 as Current Downside Barrier - 29th Aug 14
Don't Get Ruined by These 10 Popular Stock Market Investment Myths - 29th Aug 14
Low Cost Transcontinental Gold - 29th Aug 14
Gold Bullish Central Banks Should Give Money Directly To The People - Helicopter Janet? - 29th Aug 14
US House Prices Bull Market Over? Trend Forecast Video - 29th Aug 14
The Fed Meeting at Jackson Hole Exposed Yellen’s Greatest Weakness - 29th Aug 14
AAPL Apple Stock About To Get sMACked - 29th Aug 14
A History of Unlimited Money: Learn From It or Repeat Its Mistakes - 29th Aug 14
How You Can Play to Win When Market Makers Are Calling the Shots - 28th Aug 14
EU Gas Supply Is In Real And Imminent Danger - 28th Aug 14
Central Banks at the Root of Evil - 28th Aug 14
European Bond Market: Bubble of all Bubbles! - 28th Aug 14
Employers Aren’t Just Whining: The “Skills Gap” Is Real - 28th Aug 14
The ISIS Menace - Just What We Need, Another War - 27th Aug 14
The Risky Business of Methane-Rich “Fire Ice” - 27th Aug 14
CFR Recommends Policy Shift that is Very Bullish for Gold - 27th Aug 14
Ukraine Standoff Signals Global Power Shift - 27th Aug 14
Stock Market Panic Decline Begins - 27th Aug 14
The Monopoly of the Government Education Cartel - 27th Aug 14
How to Invest in Silver Today for Double-Digit Gains - 27th Aug 14
The Big Solar Energy Breakthrough We've Been Waiting For - 27th Aug 14
U.S. Empire’s Bumpy Ride - 27th Aug 14
Gold Market and the Interest Rate Trap - 27th Aug 14
Stock Market Staring Into the Great Abyss - 27th Aug 14
A Look at the Coming 30-year Inflation Cycle - 27th Aug 14
Forex Trading - Will USD/CHF Rally Above 0.9200? - 27th Aug 14
Europe’s Depressing Economy Dog Days of Summer - 27th Aug 14
How The Coming Silver Price Bubble Will Develop - 26th Aug 14
A Nation of Shopkeepers - Supply-Side (Voodoo) Economics? - 26th Aug 14
Stock Market Bear Tracks Abound In Wall Street - 26th Aug 14
65,000 U.S. Marines Hold up a Mirror to the Economy - 26th Aug 14
Bitcoin Market Provides Clues for Investors - 26th Aug 14
The Key to Trading Success - 26th Aug 14
Will The US Succeed in Breaking Russia to Maintain Dollar Hegemony?... - 26th Aug 14
Even Mainstream Academia Worried about Massive Bubbles in Markets - 26th Aug 14
Iraq and Syria Follow Lebanon's Precedent - 26th Aug 14
Colonization by Bankruptcy: The High-stakes Chess Match for Argentina - 26th Aug 14
Dow Stock Index On The Cusp - 26th Aug 14
Prohibition Laws and Agency Regulations - 26th Aug 14
Will Canadian Regulators be Able to Avoid Final Fatal TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V) Crash? - 25th Aug 14
HUI Gold Mining Stocks Elliott Wave Projection - 25th Aug 14
Stock Market Uncertainty Resolved With New High - 25th Aug 14
Go Forth Multiply And Replenish The Earth - 25th Aug 14
Dollar Dumping: When Actions Speak Loudest - 25th Aug 14
A Plethora of Currency, Stocks and Precious Metals Chartology - 25th Aug 14
Why Isn’t Fed Monetary Pumping Helping the U.S. Economy? - 25th Aug 14
Myths About Money and Inflation - 25th Aug 14
The Fed Will Raise U.S. Interest Rates in March 2015 - 25th Aug 14
Gold Price Manipulation Still Alive - 25th Aug 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

The Biggest lie in Stock Market History Revealed

Why U.S. House Prices Are Still Falling

Housing-Market / US Housing Jun 27, 2011 - 08:51 AM GMT

By: Janet_Tavakoli

Housing-Market

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleIn October 2007, CNBC's Diana Olick called me about Countrywide's so-called plan to modify mortgage loans scheduled to reset to higher rates. Subprime borrowers with a strong payment history would be able to refinance and possibly get prime FHA loans. Current paying borrowers with credit issues would be offered Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans under a new expanded program.


Mortgage Loans with Less than Zero Value

Mortgage modification programs, including HAMP, were abysmal failures. At the time I told Olick that mortgage servicers were selling loans for 3-6 cents on the dollar and they were happy to dump them:

"They work 13-hour days trying to salvage what they can, doing anything to avoid reporting a delinquency or foreclosure. They disclosed disturbing information unavailable even on trustee reports. The servicer asserted the rating agencies are incorrect in their optimism; recovery rates of 60% are unattainable. My average recovery rate assumption of 30% is also currently unattainable."

If loans couldn't be sold to a sucker, banks and their servicers walked away. Mortgage securitization complicated matters, and often homes are left vacant and not foreclosed upon. Looters strip vacant properties of pipes, fixtures, and anything of salvage value. The loans within the securitizations are worthless.

Why do banks and trustees pretend the loans have value? If banks and lenders foreclosed, it would be revealed that the cost to maintain the property before resale and the legal costs relative to the value of the property meant that they had negative equity.

At first this was a problem for loans with low loan balances, but as property values dropped, even loans with higher balances had the same problem. The problem spread, and it hasn't yet stopped spreading.

Triple Tragedy: Meltdown, Spreading Contagion, and Crime

This tragedy is echoed by similar problems in Ohio, Michigan and other subprime targets on the West Coast, Nevada, and in the South. Although some examples aren't as stark or depressing, the general idea of plummeting property values and vacant properties infecting a neighborhood and its surrounding areas still stands. Affected states have to carry the burden of these paralyzed limbs, and banks and their cronies that perpetrated this mess just walk away. This video, first reported by the Chicago Tribune is a stunning local example:


 

Since 2007, Chicago's Englewood and West Englewood areas slid into a sinkhole. Homes that once housed lower middle class and middle class families stand empty. Those with the means to move have fled. Those without the means have stayed while the prairie reclaims a large part of the south side of Chicago. More and more homes have been boarded up. Grass has grown so high in some formerly residential areas it obscures all but the tallest humans. Crime soared. Property values in surrounding neighborhoods are plummeting as the wasteland spreads to their doorsteps.

"Countrywide Broke the Law"

It would be easy to turn away from this and blame the borrowers. Some of the borrowers were absentee landlords who knew what they were doing. Some borrowers overreached. But in many cases, people were victimized by predatory lenders. For example, a complaint of alleged fraud against Goldman Sachs, includes allegations of fraudulent practices by Countrywide, now owned by Bank of America. A former Countrywide employee stated that approximately 90% of all "liars' loans, loans that allowed reduced documentation about borrowers' income and assets, sold out of a Chicago office had inflated incomes.

The borrowers weren't inflating the income. Countrywide routinely doubled the amount of the potential borrower's income to qualify borrowers for loans they couldn't afford so that Countrywide and its mortgage brokers could continue to earn fees and commissions. Prior to a settlement in which Countrywide paid a paltry $8 billion--the damage done is much greater-- to eleven states, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan stated: "Countrywide broke the law, homeowners did not."

Fed's August 2007 Back Door Bail Out of Countrywide

In August 2007, investors shunned Countrywide's asset backed commercial paper (ABCP) backed by its mortgage loans and demanded much higher interest rates. In the ensuing panic, Countrywide wanted to borrow around $11.5 billion from banks on its credit card-like revolving credit lines, but the banks balked. The banks asked the Fed for concessions, and the Fed agreed.

The Fed deal appeared to have been leaked. On Thursday, August 16, 2007, the Dow fell more than 340 points when it appeared Countrywide was about to go under, but rebounded to close down only 15 points. The next morning the Fed announced its new bank lending concessions.

The Fed bailed out Countrywide and its affiliated banks through its back door. The Fed agreed to let banks borrow against private label mortgage loans with phony "AAA" ratings, cut the banks' discount rate from 6.25%* to 5.75%, and extended "overnight" borrowings to 30 days.

BofA, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Deutsche Bank, and JPMorgan Cut and Run

Banks that supplied money -- and in some cases now own -- suspect mortgage lenders also packaged up and sold those loans to investors. They own or owned mortgage "servicers" that cannot recover foreclosure costs combined with the costs of maintaining and reselling the house. After pumping up appraisals and falsifying borrowers' income on applications, banks are walking away and sticking taxpayers with the bill.

According to the Woodstock Institute, the mortgage servicers and trustees linked to abandoned properties in Chicago are Bank of America, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Deutsche Bank, and JPMorgan Chase.

Despite evidence of widespread interconnected mortgage lending, securitization, and foreclosure wrong-doing and fraud, there are no meaningful felony indictments of senior executives at mortgage lenders or of senior executives of banks bailed out by taxpayers.

*Corrected typo from 6.75% to 6.25%. The events surrounding episode and other bailouts are covered in detail my book on the financial crisis and the resulting economic stagflation: Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street.

By Janet Tavakoli

web site: www.tavakolistructuredfinance.com

Janet Tavakoli is the president of Tavakoli Structured Finance, a Chicago-based firm that provides consulting to financial institutions and institutional investors. Ms. Tavakoli has more than 20 years of experience in senior investment banking positions, trading, structuring and marketing structured financial products. She is a former adjunct associate professor of derivatives at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business. Author of: Credit Derivatives & Synthetic Structures (1998, 2001), Collateralized Debt Obligations & Structured Finance (2003), Structured Finance & Collateralized Debt Obligations (John Wiley & Sons, September 2008). Tavakoli’s book on the causes of the global financial meltdown and how to fix it is: Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street (Wiley, 2009).

© 2011 Copyright Janet Tavakoli- 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.


Post Comment

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

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014