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Monthly Archive for: ‘April, 2013’

Pushing the clog through the drain

The Florida House of Representatives approved the fast-track foreclosure bill this week, bringing it only a vote in the Senate away from reality. Stay tuned. The 2013 Legislative Session ends this week. The bill is expected to make it easier for banks to use “show cause” orders on non-homesteaded properties. In those cases, homeowners would have to prove why the judge shouldn’t enter an immediate foreclosure judgment if the bank’s paperwork is properly documented. But “properly documented” paperwork doesn’t prove that paperwork isn’t fraudulent, and the greatest harm is the removal for an owner to be able to examine and challenge the authenticity of that paperwork. The...

Housing Bubble 2.0 upon us

It’s a sad reality that about half the foreclosures across the country are people falling into mortgage default for a second time. But that’s what happens when the only modification the lenders were offering weren’t loans that really matched the borrowers’ realistic ability to pay. But if you were offered one lifeline, you’d take it – even if it saved you for just a little while. Many of those homeowners took those lifelines – loan modification that were designed with increases in the interest rates or loans the borrower never could afford – because they had nothing else. Some of those homeowners are falling into trouble again. At the same time, talk is everywhere about a...

The check is in the mail

That’s the word out of Washington this week to victims of some of the worst foreclosure fraud in the country.  A handful of people will get $125,000, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. But most who receive checks won’t get anywhere near enough to fairly compensate them for the plethora of fraudulent foreclosures and predatory lending practices at the hands the nation’s largest lenders. Remember, this settlement involved only those in foreclosure in 2009 and 2010 with loans serviced by 13 lenders who signed a settlement with the federal government. Regardless of whether you receive a check, you’re still...

Banks make bad neighbors

Recent news reports say Palm Beach County has 25,702 homes that are empty, bank-owned, but not on the market. The so-called shadow inventory is 78 percent higher than it was during the first quarter of 2012, according to RealtyTrac. Banks are holding the properties off the market so they won’t have to record their real value on the books when the sale is considerably lower than the recorded mortgage.  But banks are not good neighbors. Reasons to care if your neighbor is struggling: Unpaid taxes, unpaid HOA fees. Reasons to care if your neighbor’s house is part of the shadow inventory: Unpaid taxes, unpaid HOA fees, unkempt yard, vandalism, potential squatters. It is in everyone’s...