Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bank Repossessions Down 29% Over 12 Months

Foreclosure filings experienced their eighth straight month of declines, according to RealtyTrac.In May, filings fell 33% from a year earlier and 2% month-over-month, according to the online marketplace of foreclosed properties. The number of homes that were repossessed (referred to as REOs or real estate-owned properties) in May also declined to 66,879, down 3.8% from April and 29% year-over-year, the firm said.

The huge year-over-year drop in foreclosures doesn't necessarily mean the housing market is staging a recovery, however, James Saccacio, the CEO of RealtyTrac, says the declines are likely due to lingering effects of the "robo-signing" scandal, which broke last September, when it was discovered that banks were playing fast and loose with foreclosure documents.

In some cases, it was found that banks brought foreclosure proceedings upon homeowners when they had no standing to do so. Sloppy paperwork sometimes made it impossible to tell which entity was the rightful owner of the mortgage notes.

To help fix the mess, foreclosure proceedings were temporarily suspended. Even though the suspension has since been lifted, the pace of foreclosures remains significantly slower as banks more thoroughly review each case to ensure they are being handled legally and properly.

"Foreclosure processing delays continue to mask the true face of the foreclosure situation," said Saccacio. "Lenders are somewhat unevenly pushing batches of bad loans through foreclosure as they overhaul their paperwork and documentation procedures."

There's another factor at play, as well. The banks can't sell the homes they've already seized so they aren't as incentivized to repossess more homes.

"[There's] weak demand from buyers, making it tough for lenders to unload their REO inventory," said Saccacio. "Even at a significantly lower level than a year ago, the new supply of REOs exceeds the amount being sold each month."

The banks don't want to take on the expense of maintaining the homes -- property taxes, heating costs, repairs and insurance -- if they can't sell them quickly.  Selling off the inventory of repossessed homes is crucial to the housing market, said Jim Gillespie, CEO of Coldwell Banker. Sold at steep discounts, REOs compete with new homes for buyers and have severely depressed new home sales.

"That's a critical element for the economic recovery," said Gillespie. "If new homes were selling anywhere close to their levels of five years ago, it would add a full point to the GDP."

The steepest drops in filings have come from judicial states, ones in which the courts are involved in repossessions. In these states, where foreclosure proceedings are subject to the scrutiny of the courts, it appears banks are taking special care to make sure they've stamped out the last vestiges of the robo-signing issues.

Nevada, where most cases are handled outside of court, continued to be foreclosure central. One of every 103 households received a notice of some kind in May. However, that was an improvement of 23% compared with May 2010. Arizona, with one filing for every 210 households, and California, one for every 259, were second and third.

The judicial state of Florida, where the housing market is no better, has seen a much greater drop-off in filings over the past year, down 62%. It now has the eighth highest foreclosure rate, of one filing for every 461 households. A year ago, it was in the top four, along with the other "Sand States." provided by cnn money.

Even though bank repossessions are down they are still going on since the unemployment rate is still high in the US up to 9.1%, Florida at 10.6% and California at 11.7%. When employment goes down then the repossession are going to be down as well.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Los Angeles Home and Condo Sales Statistics as of 062411

As you can see the number of condo and condos sale in May 2011 went down 25% and the price also came down 9%. The home and homes market in May 2011 the number of units went 19% and the price went down 8%. That is showing us that the  market has slowed that a little bit and he reason are as follow: The bank are nor releasing all the foreclosures at once, that's why the number of units sold in going down.

 Single Family Residence
 Time Period Number of Sales Median Sale Price 
 May 2011 4,178 $324,000 
 May 2010 5,154 $350,000 
 Apr 2011 4,297 $333,000 
 Apr 2010 4,619 $335,000 
 2011 YTD 22,074 $325,000 
 2010 52,172 $340,000 
 Time Period Number of Sales Median Sale Price 
 May 2011 1,312 $300,750 
 May 2010 1,731 $339,000 
 Apr 2011 1,378 $290,000 
 Apr 2010 1,408 $316,000 
 2011 YTD 7,293 $295,000 
 2010 17,507 $320,000 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mortgage Relief For Home Owners

Mortgage Workouts, Now Tax-Free for Many Homeowners; Claim Relief on Newly-Revised IRS Form

WASHINGTON — Homeowners whose mortgage debt was partly or entirely forgiven during 2007 may be able to claim special tax relief by filling out newly-revised Form 982 and attaching it to their 2007 federal income tax return, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

Normally, debt forgiveness results in taxable income. But under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, enacted Dec. 20, taxpayers may exclude debt forgiven on their principal residence if the balance of their loan was $2 million or less. The limit is $1 million for a married person filing a separate return. Details are on Form 982 and its instructions, available now on this Web site.

“The new law contains important provisions for struggling homeowners,” said Acting IRS Commissioner Linda Stiff. “We urge people with mortgage problems to take full advantage of the valuable tax relief available.”

The late-December enactment means that reporting procedures for this law change were not incorporated into tax-preparation software or IRS forms. For that reason, people using tax software should check with their provider for updates that include the revised Form 982. Similarly, the IRS is now updating its systems and expects to begin accepting electronically-filed returns that include Form 982 by March 3. The paper Form 982 is now being accepted, but the IRS reminds affected taxpayers to consider filing electronically, which greatly reduces errors and speeds refunds.

The new law applies to debt forgiven in 2007, 2008 or 2009. Debt reduced through mortgage restructuring, as well as mortgage debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure, may qualify for this relief. In most cases, eligible homeowners only need to fill out a few lines on Form 982 (specifically, lines 1e, 2 and 10b).

The debt must have been used to buy, build or substantially improve the taxpayer's principal residence and must have been secured by that residence. Debt used to refinance qualifying debt is also eligible for the exclusion, but only up to the amount of the old mortgage principal, just before the refinancing.

Debt forgiven on second homes, rental property, business property, credit cards or car loans does not qualify for the new tax-relief provision. In some cases, however, other kinds of tax relief, based on insolvency, for example, may be available. See Form 982 for details.

Borrowers whose debt is reduced or eliminated receive a year-end statement (Form 1099-C) from their lender. For debt cancelled in 2007, the lender was required to provide this form to the borrower by Jan. 31, 2008. By law, this form must show the amount of debt forgiven and the fair market value of any property given up through foreclosure.

The IRS urges borrowers to check the Form 1099-C carefully. Notify the lender immediately if any of the information shown is incorrect. Borrowers should pay particular attention to the amount of debt forgiven (Box 2) and the value listed for their home ( Box 7).

Note: Legislation enacted in October 2008 extended this relief through 2012. Thus this relief now applies to debt forgiven in calendar years 2007 through 2012.

Related Items:

Frequently asked questions on the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act

Form 982, Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness


Publication 4681, Canceled Debts, Foreclosures, Repossessions, and Abandonments

For more update information on the Mortgage Relief Act check the Irs website:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Steps To Follow When Buying a Home

Buying a home can be stressful. There are so many questions to be answered and decisions to be made, such as where you should live, what can you afford, and how do you find a real estate agent. Eventually, a whole new set of questions start coming, like, what color should you paint the kitchen? Thankfully, there are more tools than ever to help buyers answer these questions right from the get-go. To make your home shopping process, from shopping to moving in, easier and less stressful, follow these tips:

Personal Finances – Make sure you’re financially ready to take on home ownership before you meet with an agent or starting looking at homes. That means cleaning up your credit and saving enough money for a down payment (20 percent is ideal), and extra costs like home insurance, property taxes and closing fees. Boost your credit score with help from an app like BillTracker which helps you manage when your monthly bills are due. A site like lets you create a budget with specific savings goals in mind, such as buying a house.

Where to Live - Before you start looking at specific homes, narrow down the neighborhoods you’d like to live in based on your lifestyle. Transit Score can help you understand your commuting options, Walk Score will show you how many amenities, like shops and restaurants, are within close proximity, and Zillow Real Estate Market Reports lets you compare what’s happening with home value trends in different neighborhoods. But, don’t stop there. Continue your research when you are driving around town, by using real estate apps for iPhone, BlackBerry or Android to get a sense for home prices in different areas.

Finding an Agent - Hiring the right agent can be one of the most important decisions you will make during the home buying process. The right agent can save you precious time and money. So, in addition to following a recommendation from a friend or co-worker, check out local agent ratings and reviews. It’s helpful to know the experiences that other people have had working with a particular agent.

What Can You Afford? – When you’re standing in the living room of your dream home it’s easy to get caught up in the emotions of such an important investment. Before that happens, get a financial reality check using an app like the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace iPhone App to help you figure out if you can afford the home and how the mortgage payment would affect your monthly budget. Once you’re ready, you can get personalized loan quotes and then contact a lender to start the pre-approval process right from your phone.

Moving - Nobody likes moving. It’s a never-ending process with so many details to tie up. Thankfully, apps like Moving List, (iPhone, iPad) Moving Checklist (BlackBerry) and Moving Planner (Android) can help you get organized. These apps come with pre-populated to-do lists that you can edit and organize by categories or dates. Some even help you decide what to pack and what to throw away.

Decorating – You’ve bought the house, the boxes are unpacked, and now comes the fun part – decorating your house to reflect your personal style. And do-it-yourself home decorating has never been easier. A site like Decomash allows you to take a photo of your living space with your iPhone and the app will find complementary artwork that matches your room. Sherwin Williams Color Snap enables you to capture real-world colors and match them to one of 1,500 Sherwin Williams paint colors.

Interest Rate For This Week

Fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages sank to new lows for the year, continuing a downward spiral for the eighth straight week, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

Here’s a closer look at how rates fared for the week:

▪ 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.49 percent this week, down from last week’s 4.55 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.72 percent.

▪ 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rates averaged 3.68 percent--its lowest level since November 2010. A year ago at this time, the 15-year rate averaged 4.17 percent.

▪ 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.28 percent this week, slipping from last week’s 3.41 percent average. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.92 percent.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Short Sales Tips For Seller

If you're thinking of selling your home, and you expect that the total amount you owe on your mortgage will be greater than the selling price of your home, you may be facing a short sale. A short sale is one where the net proceeds from the sale won't cover your total mortgage obligation and closing costs, and you don't have other sources of money to cover the deficiency. A short sale is different from a foreclosure, which is when your lender takes title of your home through a lengthy legal process and then sells it.

1. Consider loan modification first. If you are thinking of selling your home because of financial difficulties and you anticipate a short sale, first contact your lender to see if it has any programs to help you stay in your home. Your lender may agree to a modification such as: Refinancing your loan at a lower interest rate; providing a different payment plan to help you get caught up; or providing a forbearance period if your situation is temporary. When a loan modification still isn’t enough to relieve your financial problems, a short sale could be your best option if:

Your property is worth less than the total mortgage you owe on it.

You have a financial hardship, such as a job loss or major medical bills.

You have contacted your lender and it is willing to entertain a short sale.

2. Hire a qualified team. The first step to a short sale is to hire a qualified real estate professional and a real estate attorney who specialize in short sales. Interview at least three candidates for each and look for prior short-sale experience. Short sales have proliferated only in the last few years, so it may be hard to find practitioners who have closed a lot of short sales. You want to work with those who demonstrate a thorough working knowledge of the short-sale process and who won't try to take advantage of your situation or pressure you to do something that isn't in your best interest. A qualified real estate professional can:

Provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) or broker price opinion (BPO).

Help you set an appropriate listing price for your home, market the home, and get it sold.

Put special language in the MLS that indicates your home is a short sale and that lender approval is needed (all MLSs permit, and some now require, that the short-sale status be disclosed to potential buyers).

Ease the process of working with your lender or lenders.

Negotiate the contract with the buyers.

Help you put together the short-sale package to send to your lender (or lenders, if you have more than one mortgage) for approval. You can’t sell your home without your lender and any other lien holders agreeing to the sale and releasing the lien so that the buyers can get clear title.

3. Begin gathering documentation before any offers come in. Your lender will give you a list of documents it requires to consider a short sale. The short-sale “package” that accompanies any offer typically must include:

A hardship letter detailing your financial situation and why you need the short sale

A copy of the purchase contract and listing agreement

Proof of your income and assets

Copies of your federal income tax returns for the past two years

4. Prepare buyers for a lengthy waiting period. Even if you're well organized and have all the documents in place, be prepared for a long process. Waiting for your lender’s review of the short-sale package can take several weeks to months. Some experts say:

If you have only one mortgage, the review can take about two months.

With a first and second mortgage with the same lender, the review can take about three months.

With two or more mortgages with different lenders, it can take four months or longer.

When the bank does respond, it can approve the short sale, make a counteroffer, or deny the short sale. The last two actions can lengthen the process or put you back at square one. (Your real estate attorney and real estate professional, with your authorization, can work your lender’s loss mitigation department on your behalf to prepare the proper documentation and speed the process along.)

5. Don't expect a short sale to solve your financial problems. Even if your lender does approve the short sale, it may not be the end of all your financial woes. Here are some things to keep in mind:

You may be asked by your lender to sign a promissory note agreeing to pay back the amount of your loan not paid off by the short sale. If your financial hardship is permanent and you can’t pay back the balance, talk with your real estate attorney about your options.

Any amount of your mortgage that is forgiven by your lender is typically considered income, and you may have to pay taxes on that amount. Under a temporary measure passed in 2007, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation Act, homeowners can exclude debt forgiveness on their federal tax returns from income for loans discharged in calendar years 2007 through 2012. Be sure to consult your real estate attorney and your accountant to see whether you qualify.

Having a portion of your debt forgiven may have an adverse effect on your credit score. However, a short sale will impact your credit score less than foreclosure and bankruptcy.


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Scammers Are Using For Sale Home Listings as Rentals

Some home owners are getting a surprise when a person shows up on their doorstep, with a lease agreement in hand, saying that he or she is renting out their home, which isn’t for rent but for sale.

Law enforcement and real estate professionals are finding a growing scam involving for-sale listings being promoted as rentals--without home owners’ consent.

Scammers are taking listing information of homes for-sale--including photos--and then reposting that information on rental sites and tweaking it to pass the home off as a rental. The scammers then use a fake lease agreement and collect rent from unsuspecting consumers.

And when the scammers don’t present keys for the property, they give the unsuspecting renter permission to call a locksmith to gain access to the home.

Les Sulgrove, president of the Des Moines Area Association of REALTORS®, recently issued a warning to association members about the scam. He suggested real estate professionals set up Google alerts for the home addresses they’re listing so they’ll learn if their clients’ information is being misused on another site.

“All it takes is cutting, pasting, and changing some key pieces of data,” Geoff Greenwood, spokesperson for the Iowa Attorney General’s office, told the Des Moines Register. “People find out the hard way what they paid for wasn’t for sale or for rent.”

Source: “Growing Online Scam Uses Legitimate for-sale Home Listings to Trick Renters,” Des Moines Register (June 5, 2011)

Monday, June 06, 2011

El Gobierno Esta Presentando Una Ayuda Para Los Propietarios de Casa En Problemas

Noticias de última hora: Nuevo Programa de Obama rescata a los propietarios bajo el agua

05 de junio 2011 · Deja tu comentario Su fácil de leer esta historia y ser escéptico ... después de todo, 2012 es un año electoral. Muchos verán este programa propone como nada más que una buena compra de edad votación de moda .... Sin embargo usted lo ve, principales deducciones saldo de la hipoteca están de vuelta en el juego.   .. Eso es correcto, el programa de patrimonio neto negativo está de vuelta sobre la mesa.

¿Hay alguna forma en que algo como esto va a suceder dado el republicano (y Tea Parties) intentó pasar a un enfoque más conservador para el gasto? Recuerde que la gente, este es SU dinero del pagador de impuestos el dinero ... ... que se va a reducir los saldos de capital de la hipoteca.

Comparte tus pensamientos .. es hora de rescatar a los propietarios de viviendas?

La administración Obama quiere ayudar a más estadounidenses que luchan permanecer en sus hogares mediante la reducción de la cantidad que debe en sus hipotecas en problemas, un alto funcionario del Tesoro dijo el sábado.

"Estamos definitivamente tratando de facilitar la reducción de más capital," dijo Timothy Massad, en calidad de secretario adjunto del Tesoro para la estabilidad financiera. "Es una pieza muy importante de la solución global", dijo.

El gobierno está intentando a través de programas financiados por los contribuyentes para evitar que los propietarios pierdan sus casas. Casi $ 50 mil millones han sido retiradas del rescate de los bancos 700 mil millones dólares conocido como Programa de Alivio de Activos en Problemas, o TARP, para ayudar a propietarios en dificultades.

La persistencia de alto desempleo y un débil mercado de la vivienda suponen una amenaza para las perspectivas del presidente Obama reelección el próximo año.

Hasta ahora, uno de los programas ha ayudado a unos 670.000 propietarios en dificultades ganar más bajos pagos de la hipoteca. Pero eso ha hecho muy poco para ayudar al mercado de la vivienda en general, que se mantiene deprimida como en otras partes de la economía han comenzado a recuperarse.

Un exceso de casas en venta, las ejecuciones hipotecarias, la escasez de crédito y la demanda poco han impedido la recuperación de la vivienda. Los datos recientes muestran que los precios cayeron por debajo de la casa baja visto en abril de 2009 durante la crisis financiera.

"Este ha sido un mercado de la vivienda muy, muy difícil como consecuencia del hecho de que pasamos por una crisis financiera terrible", dijo Massad periodistas en el marco de un evento de prevención de ejecuciones hipotecarias en Washington.

Uno de los programas de la administración ayuda a propietarios en dificultades evitar la ejecución hipotecaria, proporcionando modificaciones permanentes préstamo.

Otro programa, el aumento gradual de ahora, da a los estados que han sido los más afectados por la caída de precios de las casas de financiación para ayudar a reducir el principal del préstamo de un prestatario, entre otras cosas.

"Creo que los va a hacer una gran diferencia en cuanto a los problemas de los propietarios de viviendas desocupados y la caída de precios de la vivienda", dijo Massad. Sin embargo, agregó que el proceso fue complicado.

Saturday, June 04, 2011