50 Ways to Leave Your Lender

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February 1, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, TARP, Taxes, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. Comments off.

Meredith Whitney & Jamie Dimon on principal forbearance in the JPMorgan Chase earnings call PLUS Are JPMC, BofA, Citi taking kickbacks for second liens on short sales?! & HAMP/MHA assisted a whopping 7% of those eligible last year..

Update:  Short Sale Kickback video added

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In other great news, Diana Olick is breaking a HUGE story now on CNBC that the big servicers, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citi have demanded off-HUD, off ClosingStmt payments to release second liens they hold in short sales (against RESPA law).

Treasury told Diana they were unaware of this and will look into it. Good grief. and they wonder why the servicers dont want to do mods? THEY ARE GETTING KICKBACKS ON SHORT SALES! Plus they get an INCENTIVE PAYMENT to do short sales from Treasury (we the taxpayers) now. My Lord this is unreal.

Again this is the fault of the WH and Treasury.  Treasury actually RAISED the cap on the ‘incentive fees’ the servicers can earn by doing their damn job as servicers today to 35 billion. Banks will do exactly what they can and no more. Sheila Bair at FDIC is the only one moving on principal forbearance, as usual she is ahead of the curve.

Plus the AP isn’t buying the BS spin anymore in its reporting of the much vaunted numbers Treasury is spinning today on their newly permanent mods (which they told the servicers to waive documentation for to achieve, the only thing the trial mods can be disqualified for now is ‘property’ disqualification, nice eh?):

The Obama administration’s mortgage relief plan provided help to only 7 percent of borrowers who signed up last year, another black mark for the struggling program.

Ouch that’ll leave a mark.

About 900,000 borrowers have enrolled in the $75 billion program since it launched in March, the Treasury Department said Friday. But as of last month, only about 66,500 homeowners had received permanent relief. Another 46,000 have been approved and should be finalized soon.The plan aims to make borrowers’ mortgages more affordable by reducing the mortgage interest rate to as low as 2 percent. They receive temporary modifications, which are supposed to become permanent after borrowers make three payments on time and complete necessary paperwork, including proof of income and a letter explaining the reason for their financial hardship.

The Treasury Department is pressing the 102 mortgage companies that are participating in the program to do a better job….

This is a great back and forth. I think we can confirm Treasury is doing exactly JACK SHXT about meaningful mods after hearing this discussion, so much for Obama being tough on those fat cats:

CalculatedRisk:

Here is an exchange between Meredith Whitney and Jamie Dimon on the JPMorgan conference call this morning (ht Brian):

Whitney: [W]e’re reaching a critical point in terms of all of the loan modification efforts and this is an industry question but then how it specifically affects your Company, given the fact that the industry feedback and statistics on the loan modification efforts are not good, so you question what’s the next initiative and the issue of principal forbearance. How much momentum do you think that has, can you comment on what stage we are in terms of obviously the extension ends [soon] with the last slug is over in February, so where do you think we are in terms of the government’s efforts to influence banks to do certain things?

Dimon: Well remember we do modifications of our own and we do the government modifications and I do think they’re kind of new, it was complex, and I think people will get better at it over time, Meredith. We have not thought of a better way to do it than loan by loan, which is does the person want to live there, can they afford to live there, and we really think that the payment, how much you’re paying is more important than principal. Even if you are going to do something on principal, to do it right you have to do it loan by loan and it effectively comes a similar kind of thing. The difficulty is the loan by loan part and we’ve asked the government and I think they tried to streamline a little bit to have programs because there’s too much paperwork involved in it so a lot of the reasons we’re not getting to final modifications half the time we don’t finish the paperwork, so they need the lower payments but they weren’t finishing the paperwork so we’re trying to get better at it, honestly, we rack our brains to figure out if there’s a better way to do it and you can do it more macro than loan by loan but once you start talking about macro, you’re going to get involved in a lot of issues about whether the people live there, whether they have the ability to pay, whether they were honest when they first told people how much their incomes were, so we’re working through it.

Whitney: Okay, do you get a sense that there’s something right behind HAMP, that there’s another solution for the government or is it more your efforts?

Dimon: We’re trying to do this, look, we’re trying to have ideas and they are trying to have ideas but if we had a brilliant one we would be very supportive of doing it. We want to do the right thing for the people.

Whitney: Okay, so a point of clarification on your answer, issue of principal forbearance is not something that people should be overly concerned about with respect to reserves and capital for the bank?

Dimon: No, I think if there’s a macro government force on something like that you could have a fairly significant effect on loan loss reserves and losses, etc.

Whitney: But is that a real, any momentum?

Dimon: Honestly Meredith you probably know as well as we do.

Whitney: I don’t know. I can’t help myself on that one.

Neither can we!

January 15, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, FDIC, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Obama Administration, Politics, TARP, Taxes, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. Comments off.

Housing: Treasury to pay servicers and homeowners to do short sales

From the radical to the sublime, or the sublimely stupid. Are we in the Twilight Zone or what? I dunno anymore. If these yahoos cannot get the servicers to do meaningful mods, then at this point why the hell not pay people to leave their homes and pay servicers to do their fiduciary DUTY by allowing a short sale@@?!!@@ Off The Rails. And they think servicers will do MORE mods when they can get paid another fee to do short sales where they already make money?

What a clusterfxck this whole thing has been and continues to be. HOLC DAMMIT! We would have bought these houses ONCE. Now we are paying and paying and paying. When FAN FRED FHA have to write these loans down taxpayers will pay yet again for these same houses.

I mean talk about moral hazard. It is a moral hazard to buy the loans directly through HOLC once, when we own FAN FRED anyway, but it is not moral hazard to pay people to leave their homes and loans? And to keep interfering in the market so it does not correct? If we bought them, once, we would be done in one fell swoop. This endless tinkering is what leads to market uncertainty and lack of capital investment.

But by all means let’s BS around the sanctity of the contract. Who are they kidding? No contract has been protected since Chrysler bondholders got screwed and we all know it. We are paying for these losses ANYWAY as all these loans are now owned by FANNIE and FREDDIE and increasingly, FHA.

WE the taxpayers are ALREADY the damned owners. When the short sales go through WE the taxpayers will take the loss via FAN FRED and have to send them MORE money. Why not leave the people in their houses if we have to pay for losses anyway? But nooooo then the banks.servicers couldn’t get nice fees right? frakkers. sigh.

WSJ:

Under the plan, borrowers will receive $1,500 from the government if they sell their homes for less than the amount of their mortgages. Mortgage-servicing companies will also receive $1,000 for each completed short sale. The program is open to borrowers who may be eligible for the government’s loan-modification program, but don’t end up qualifying, or are delinquent on their modification, or request a short sale or deed-in-lieu transaction.

The short-sale program is the latest addition to the Obama administration’s $75 billion foreclosure-prevention plan, which includes incentives for mortgage companies and investors to rework troubled loans. The government first said in May that it would include short sales in the program, but it has taken months to finalize the details.

Under the new guidelines, second-mortgage holders can receive up to $3,000 of the sales proceeds in exchange for releasing their liens. Investors who hold the first mortgages, meanwhile, can collect up to $1,000 from the government for allowing such payments.

Borrowers who complete a short sale under the program must be “fully released” from future liability for the debt, according to the guidelines…

That ‘fully released’ is key. In recourse states homeowners are liable for the difference between the short sale and the loan balance on the mortgage. But this guideline will release people from that debt. Also the IRS has a nifty habit of coming after people for taxable income on that difference. However there is a loophole there…

WSJ:

The Internal Revenue Service counts debt forgiveness–the difference between the home’s sale price and the amount owed on the mortgage–as regular income, although there are exceptions for bankruptcy, insolvency, forgiven deductible mortgage interest and seller-financed debt. You also cannot deduct losses from price declines, or expenses you incur for real estate brokers, attorneys or others involved in the sale. Primary homeowners, however, get a break from being taxed on the shortfall, at least until December 31, 2012, thanks to the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007…

December 1, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Obama Administration, Politics, TARP, Taxes, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. 1 comment.

Housing: Existing Home Sales rocket up 10%, 2.5 year high; median price down 7.1% y/y

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The Economic Eeyore in me must note that in the West, the epicenter of the bubble collapse, sales were only up 1%. But take good news where you can get it!

CNBC:

The National Association of Realtors said sales surged a record 10.1 percent month-over-month to an annual rate of 6.10 million units, the highest since February 2007, from a downwardly revised 5.54 million-unit pace in September.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected October sales to jump to a 5.70 million-unit pace from the previously reported 5.57 million units in September. Compared to October last year, home sales were up by a record 23.5 percent. U.S. stock indexes extended gains on the data, while Treasury debt prices were little changed.

“Many buyers have been rushing to beat the deadline for first-time buyer credit that was scheduled to expire at the end of this month, and similarly robust sales may be occurring in November,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Distressed transactions accounted for 30 percent of sales last month and continued to weigh on house prices. First-time buyers made up a third of sales in October.The national median home price fell 7.1 percent from October last year, the smallest decline in over a year, to $173,100. Homes in foreclosure typically sell for 15 to 20 percent less than traditional homes….

The big news, the inventory (we are all waiting for the shadow REO to hit the market):

The inventory of existing homes for sale in October fell 3.7 percent to 3.57 million units from the previous month, NAR said. At October’s sales pace, that represented a supply of 7.0 months, the lowest in 2-1/2 years, from September’s revised 8.0 months.

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November 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Obama Administration, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. Comments off.

Update: DOW closes down 203-ISM well below expectations, 30 yr bond hits 4.00%, pending home sales rocket -Market Mover Thursday: Weekly Jobless claims rise..

Update: 4:54 pm EST: DOW closes down 203 to 9509.28; S & P down 27.23 to 1029.85, NAS down 64.94 to 2057.48

grizzly1

Update 1:22pm EST:

DOW now down 176.85 to 9535.43

S & P off 23.29 to 1033.79

NAS down 58.05 to 2066.37

30 yr now 3.95%!

10 yr 3.19%

Update: ISM well below expectations 52.6, that is a DROP from August reading of 52.9, thus delta going wrong way…DOW now down 82 to 9630…

but pending home sales JUMP (IMO off the pending END to the homebuyer tax credit, ends Nov 30th) markets ricocheting off the data…

Pending Home Sales rocket, NAR says it is due to paperwork backlogs wha?
Okay NAR says pending home sales UP but NOT NECESSARILY CLOSING, ahh funding and appraisal disputes abound, NAR says sales up on short sales pending for ‘complex appraisal rules’.:

up 16% in the West
up 8.2% in the NorthEast
up 3.1% in Midwest
up 0.8% in the South

wall_st_bear_small‘unexpectedly’ (Only to the Hopium Smokin’ KoolAid Drinkin’ Pundits is this ‘unexpected’)

This is the weekly jobs number, the big one, monthly August jobs data will be released tomorrow.

Breaking on CNBC-

Weekly jobless claims (week ending 09/26) rise 17,000 to 551,000

Personal spending up 0.3%– 1.3% all Clunkers

Initial claims for state unemployment insurance rose to a seasonally adjusted 551,000 in the week ending Sept. 26 from a revised 534,000 in the previous week. Analysts polled by\ Reuters were expecting claims of 530,000, which would have been unchanged from the previously reported figure…

..Government data on Wednesday showed spending dropped at a 0.9 percent annual rate in the second quarter after rising 0.6 percent in the January-March period…

Jim Rogers joins MiM’s bandwagon in a call we are  ‘facing retro 70s inflation’

The US faces high inflation because of the weak dollar and the Federal Reserve’s policy of printing money to counter the effects of the crisis, legendary investor Jim Rogers told CNBC Thursday. Price rises in the US are already steeper than the inflation rate reported by the government, Rogers added.”There’s no question the US is vulnerable to hyperinflation down the road or certainly the inflation we saw in the 1970s, I would expect that to come back in the foreseeable future, certainly in the next few years,” he said.


“The true inflation rate in America? It’s certainly at least 6 or 7 percent, the US government lies about it, as you know, everybody who shops knows that prices are up, everybody except the US government, and I wish we knew where they shopped so we can shop there too and get good prices.”

Rogers repeated his view that the Fed’s quantitative easing program is “debasing the currency” and said he was “extremely worried” about the fate of the dollar over the long term…..

Waiting for September ISM release..

October 1, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Labor Department, Obama Administration, Politics, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. Comments off.

Market Update: DOW closes up 180…Meredith Whitney on Financials – CNBC.com

Market Closing Update:  Meredith’s call gave us an incredible boost, leading financials higher  DOW up 180 to 8327, S&P up 21 to a nifty 900 and NAS up 35 to 1791…but Meredith only applied the good news to Golden Slacks, this is a relief rally built on air, but hey smoke em if you got em, every up day is a good day…
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MiM considers Whitney and Tilson the 2 people who know WTH they are talking about on the financials and what is coming for the banks and the markets…Golden Slacks will make a bundle, again…and the vaunted stress tests did not consider the level of unemployment we are hitting and the level of toxic mortgage assets still on the books of the banks….

…(thanks in part to FASB changes that removed the impetus to sell the bad debt for what it is worth not what they want it to be worth, we are getting more foreclosures now b/c banks are not willing to take the immediate write downs of a short sale or a modification with principal writedown,

(foreclosures take longer to process and banks are SITTING on TONS of inventory, not taking reasonable offers to avoid taking writedowns!!! foreclosures can take 18 months and banks are playing for time and anecdotally, banks are rejecting FULL PRICE OFFERS from homebuyers and selling at HIGHER PRICES to INVESTORS AGAIN, recreating the entire cycle, utter morons!

TOTUS is doing some more arm twisting in a meeting on July 28th with Geithner anf Donovan of HUD and the top 25 mortgage servicers…let’s see what comes of that, methinks the idiot banks should do some more mods before Barney Frank writes new forced loans for them …)

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July 13, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Labor Department, Obama Administration, Politics, TARP, Taxes, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. Comments off.

Homeowners Short Sale Option – CNBC.com

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May 15, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Housing, Obama Administration, Politics, Uncategorized. Comments off.

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