Author: Carrie B. Reyes

Shiller: cramdowns are the cure

Offering cramdowns to underwater homeowners is the solution for the struggling housing industry, according to the firm, long-standing conviction of economist, Robert J. Shiller. Shiller claims writing down a home’s loan balance to reflect its fair market value (FMV) would decrease default potential, revive homeowner optimism, increase home values and revitalize neighborhoods. Shiller presents two routes for the U.S. to arrive in cramdown land. The first road: the government creates an Office of Mortgage Modification, and gives it the authority to impose cramdowns if it is more cost effective for a lender’s balance sheet than the alternative foreclosure or...

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FHA rescinds ill-conceived collection accounts rule

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently rescinded its more stringent requirements for financing home loans to buyers with collection or disputed-bill accounts of $1,000 or more. Even if a collection account was opened in error, the rescinded rule would have required the buyer to resolve the issue before closing on the home loan. This restriction announced earlier this year was to go into effect on July 1, 2012. Critics of the rescinded rule claim low-income and minority applicants were being pushed out of eligibility by these increasingly high lending standards. The FHA will release a revised rule on collection...

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Setup homes waste time

Setup homes are over-priced listings that buyers reportedly love to tour, but inevitably will not submit an offer on when less expensive comparable properties are available. Sellers of over-priced homes are either misled by their agent into thinking their home is correctly priced, or allowed to stubbornly assert their home is an exception. Seller’s agents allow their sellers to over-price their homes for a number of reasons; most are intentional, some not. An agent may have inaccurate expectations about the property which exceed market realities, or they may be aware of the pricing problem and simply not want to...

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CFPB addresses consumer complaints with online access for all

Borrower complaints against lenders have been collected since July 2011 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. So far it has collected 45,000 complaints from consumers about unfair or abusive lending practices. 37,000 of those complaints were forwarded to the relevant companies, who responded to 89% of them. 80% of the complaints the CFPB received have been resolved to the consumer’s satisfaction. Most important to our readers, a whopping 42% of the complaints pertained to mortgages. The CFPB has made these consumer complaints available to the...

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College graduates: a powerful economic force

Do you think a college degree makes a difference in succeeding as a real estate agent? No (56%, 73 Votes) Yes (44%, 58 Votes) Total Voters: 131 College graduates play a significant role in a city’s economic success. However, attaining and keeping graduates is a struggle for some urban centers. The national average of metro area residents with a four-year degree is 32%. In California, Contra Costa County leads the way with 44% and Fresno trails with fewer than 20% of its residents with a four-year degree as of 2009, according to the U.S. Census. Related article Age and...

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[M]ost people join CAR in order to obtain the forms, not for the other services. And if there were any viable choices for agents, CAR would immediately suffer as much as a 40% to 50% loss in membership. […] CAR owns the “for profit” company that produces their software, with top officers in CAR sitting in top management spots in ZipLogix. This is the living, breathing definition of a conflict of interest. […] On their website they parade their forms software as “free” when cost of their forms software for non-members as a percentage of their actual membership cost speaks for itself.

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