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The Ghetto Is Public Policy

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in The Atlantic:The Effects of Housing Segregation on Black Wealth. As the wealth gap widens between whites and blacks in America, and after reading this list and this list, he concludes The Ghetto Is Public Policy. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 12, 2014 - 31 comments

"Shortfall fears for interest-only mortgage holders"

"More than a million people with interest-only mortgages face a financial crunch when they have to pay them off, a watchdog is warning. Some 2.6 million UK householders have the mortgages but the Financial Conduct Authority said estimates suggested that nearly half would not have savings or other funds to cover the final bill. The average shortfall is £71,000, according to FCA research." Gruaniad version.
posted by marienbad on May 2, 2013 - 28 comments

''Escrache'' it's direct action.

Mortgage fraud, faux-democracy and escrache in Spain. Those unfortunate enough to lose their homes are also burdened with a debt for life.
Anatomy of an ‘escrache’.
Spanish banks repossessed 30,000 family homes in 2012 and those who take part in doorstep protests may face fines of up to 6,000 euros in Madrid.
Between 2002 and 2008 an average of 754,000 new homes were built in Spain every year. It is currently estimated that up to 6 million homes remain vacant.
posted by adamvasco on Apr 14, 2013 - 17 comments

Houses from beyond the grave.

The latest foreclosure horror: the zombie title
The Kellers are caught up in a little-known horror of the U.S. housing bust: the zombie title. Six years in, thousands of homeowners are finding themselves legally liable for houses they didn't know they still owned after banks decided it wasn't worth their while to complete foreclosures on them. With impunity, banks have been walking away from foreclosures much the way some homeowners walked away from their mortgages when the housing market first crashed.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 11, 2013 - 36 comments

From the Oakland Hills to the Bubble’s Epicenter

First the Bubble. Then the Short. Now the Long.
Some neighborhoods in Oakland are as devastated as any of the worst hit regions across America — Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix. Now the morphing of the housing bust and foreclosure epidemic into a lucrative multi-billion dollar opportunity for major investors is also uncannily centered upon Oakland and the greater Bay Area, where companies flush with hedge fund cash are buying up homes by the thousands. The entire sweep of the US housing bubble, financial crisis, and foreclosure wave can therefore be told by looking at persons and companies with intimate links to Oakland and the Bay Area. What follows is one account.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 11, 2012 - 41 comments

Thanks, Housing Collapse!

14 Year Old Buys House in Florida Meet Willow Tufano, age 14: Lady Gaga fan, animal lover, landlord. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Mar 9, 2012 - 102 comments

Is the dream of home ownership dead?

Despite low mortgage rates (and rising rental demand), home ownership levels among young people remain at their lowest levels in decades--a trend that began even before the housing market crash. Although unemployment and other debts may be precluding many young people from buying a house now, it may also be part of a societal shift where renting is considered just as good as, or superior to, owning. NPR's On Point discussed the question today, as well as linked to NYT and US News stories on the subject. Megan McArdle offers a dissenting view.
posted by Cash4Lead on Mar 7, 2012 - 145 comments

The largest settlement in history over fair lending practices

Bank of America agreed to pay $335 million to resolve allegations that Countrywide Financial engaged in widespread discrimination against African-American and Hispanic borrowers on home loans. The Department of Justice is calling this the largest settlement in history over fair residential lending practices. According to the DOJ’s complaint, Countrywide systematically charged more than 200,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers higher fees and interest rates than white borrowers with similar credit profiles. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Dec 21, 2011 - 31 comments

Bank of America is a shitty neighbor

"I live next door to a house owned by Bank of America, and they are the worst neighbors I’ve ever had. The previous owner, Mike, was a good guy; he occasionally had loud parties, but we were always invited and the food was great. Then he was killed on the job. He had been single and had no will, so his house swiftly defaulted to the lender. More than three years later, that house is still empty." An essay on trying to fight off suburban decay, and the changing face of the margins of American society.
posted by ardgedee on Nov 16, 2011 - 62 comments

Too big to fail...too big to sue?

TARP is winding down...bring on the lawsuits. Within the next week, the US government is set to sue a dozen banks for billions in losses caused by those banks' misrepresenting the risks of mortgage-backed securities. This is in addition to numerous State Attorneys General suing the banks for failing to reach an agreement in foreclosure abuses. Insurance giant AIG will also be suing BofA to recoup losses over the mortgage bonds. BofA had also agreed to a settlement of $8.5 billion to cover losses from soured mortgage debt issued through Countrywide. Deutsche Bank is suing WaMu. Goldman Sachs already settled with the SEC for $500 million for their fraud and have been sued by othersseeking to recover losses. [more inside]
posted by darkstar on Sep 1, 2011 - 56 comments

Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law

After researching Texas's unusually generous adverse possession laws, Kenneth Robinson filed a $16 Affadavit of Adverse Possession and moved into a home in Flower Mound, TX worth an estimated $300,000. [more inside]
posted by KathrynT on Jul 22, 2011 - 130 comments

Sweet, sweet payback

Homeowners foreclose on Bank of America. (Not an Onion story.) A Florida couple watches as their lawyer and sheriff's deputies foreclose on a Bank of America branch that had refused to pay the couple damages for wrongfully seizing their home.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Jun 3, 2011 - 59 comments

Now You See It, Now You Don't

Homeowners are using a little known loophole in the bankruptcy laws to shed their second mortgages.
posted by reenum on May 9, 2011 - 42 comments

Iowa loophole voids mortgage

Matt and Jamie Danielson, with the aid of their bankruptcy attorney, were able to use a little known loophole in the Iowa law to void their mortgage and own their house outright after making just one payment. However, further investigation has uncovered some unsavory events in the couple's past.
posted by reenum on Apr 21, 2011 - 60 comments

Not the insurance you're looking for

Bank of America has allegedly engaged in mortgage fraud, according to an Anonymous website. The first batch of leaked emails appear to show that bank employees were trying to hide documents from regulators. The emails are put into context on the website Seeking Alpha which explains that they refer to the use of force-placed insurance to increase mortgage servicers' profits through kickbacks from insurers - a practice which has just been forbidden under a settlement imposed by the US' states attorneys general. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Mar 15, 2011 - 93 comments

The 25-Year 'Foreclosure From Hell'

Patsy Campbell has been fighting her foreclosure in Florida courts for the past 25 years. She has not made a mortgage payment since 1985 while foiling the efforts of several banks to evict her from her home in Okeechobee, Florida.
posted by reenum on Dec 30, 2010 - 150 comments

Dear Homeowners Of America, if you can't walk after reading this, it's because you've been well and truly...

Somebody fed the hydra a hand grenade. The “robo-signer” scandal began September 20th when news broke that GMAC/Ally was suspending foreclosures in 23 states due to flawed affidavits submitted in foreclosure proceedings there. Since then, JP Morgan Chase, and Bank of America, and now possibly Littleton Loan Servicing (a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs) have admitted similar problems. With yesterday’s announcement by Bank of America that it will be suspending foreclosures in all 50 states (not just the ones where foreclosures go before a judge) all signs point to the fact that mere false affidavits are no longer the issue; other, more serious problems are now being uncovered, e.g. forged assignments and failure to serve papers. Up to 40 state’s attorney’s general are poised to announce a joint investigation. What does all this mean? Well…uh…can you actually prove you own your house? And can your bank? And can the investment bank who’s been collecting the payments from the bond they made out of your mortgage? If you can’t, you’re going to have a hell of a time selling it.* And so will all the banks.* Did I mention that bank-owned (REO/forclosures) sales are 25 percent of the housing market? [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Oct 9, 2010 - 146 comments

Donald Duck And Glenn Beck Remixed In Cartoon (SLYT)

Right Wing Radio Duck "Donald's life is turned upside-down by the current economic crisis and he finds himself unemployed and falling behind on his house payments. As his frustration turns into despair Donald discovers a seemingly sympathetic voice coming from his radio named Glenn Beck. "
posted by Arthur Phillips Jones Jr on Oct 2, 2010 - 52 comments

Our new robo-signing overlords...

From his cubicle inside a sprawling beige stucco building, Stephan works as the leader of the document execution team for GMAC Mortgage. He has signed off on as many as 10,000 foreclosures in a month, according to court documents. That's barely a minute per case... [more inside]
posted by ghharr on Sep 25, 2010 - 96 comments

Just walk away and there will be an end to the horror. I await your answer.

Mortgage financing giant Fannie Mae announces policy changes designed to encourage borrowers to "work with their servicers and pursue alternatives to foreclosure"...and threatens borrowers with new penalties for strategic default. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Jul 1, 2010 - 44 comments

Wells Fargo, You Never Know What Hit You.

Wajahat Ali, a solo practitioner from California, takes on Wells Fargo in an attempt to get his clients' home loan modified. Lots of ball dropping and passing of the buck ensues. He describes the Kafka-esque nature of the experience.
posted by reenum on Jun 20, 2010 - 41 comments

Purchase risky debt on a massive scale and then place a bet that the debt will fail!

Betting Against the American Dream. In 2005, just as Wall Street started to get cold feet about the housing market, the Magnetar hedge fund helped create a new wave of billion-dollar mortgage-backed securities, pushed bankers to include riskier sub-prime mortgages, and then shorted the securities, making millions when the bubble finally burst. Traders on both sides of the deals pocketed enormous fees even if their banks went under when the securities failed. Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica, This American Life, and NPR's Planet Money track down some of the big winners in the housing/financial crisis. No time to read or listen? It seemed so much like a scheme from The Producers, they even recorded a show tune to explain it all. (Previously, 2, 3)
posted by straight on Apr 15, 2010 - 30 comments

It Wasn't Obvious to Me

A lot of people figure things out, but it takes a special talent or maybe personality to figure it our and do something about it. Previously, we heard about the man who wrote the software that blew up the economy. Now we find out whom that software was written. [more inside]
posted by JohnnyGunn on Mar 15, 2010 - 40 comments

Worst decade in generations.

Aughts were a lost decade for U.S. economy and workers. For most of the past 70 years, the U.S. economy has grown at a steady clip, generating perpetually higher incomes and wealth for American households. But since 2000, the story is starkly different. The past decade was the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times, a sharp reversal from a long period of prosperity that is leading economists and policymakers to fundamentally rethink the underpinnings of the nation's growth. Meanwhile, some of the administration's remedies might be making things worse: U.S. Loan Effort Is Seen as Adding to Housing Woes. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jan 2, 2010 - 69 comments

Homeowners! You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Mortgages!

The Moral Dimensions of Ditching a Mortgage: University of Arizona law professor Brent T. White has written a provocative new paper (pdf) that urges homeowners with "underwater" mortgages" to walk away by strategically defaulting on their mortgage debts. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Nov 30, 2009 - 164 comments

Minority bounty

Bank Accused of Pushing Mortgage Deals on Blacks: "They referred to subprime loans made in minority communities as ghetto loans and minority customers as 'those people have bad credit', 'those people don't pay their bills' and 'mud people,' " [a Wells Fargo subprime loan officer] said in his affidavit, filed in the NAACP's lawsuit (pdf) against 13 mortgage lenders. "The company put 'bounties' on minority borrowers. By this I mean that loan officers received cash incentives to aggressively market subprime loans in minority communities."
posted by hayvac on Jun 8, 2009 - 40 comments

Michael Osinski wrote the software that turned mortgages into bonds

My Manhattan Project: How I helped build the bomb that blew up Wall Street. [print version]
posted by blasdelf on Mar 30, 2009 - 34 comments

Blow-by-blow of Wachovia's Demise

A blow-by-blow analysis of Wachovia's demise, as told by the bank's local paper, The Charlotte Observer.
posted by SeizeTheDay on Dec 21, 2008 - 16 comments

Tanta Vive!

The Compleat ÜberNerd: a fascinating series of blog entries detailing the nitty-gritty behind the mortgage industry by Calculated Risk's "Tanta." If you're curious about automated underwriting systems or the ins and outs of mortgage servicing or if you just enjoy some Mortgage Pig Excel art, Tanta was the blogger for you. Tanta, otherwise known as Doris Dungey, passed away on Sunday morning (NYT obit, CR obit).
posted by mullacc on Dec 1, 2008 - 15 comments

They laughed at Peter Schiff

The laughed at him. Foretelling the doom and gloom of the mortgage crisis as a pundit in these 2006-2007 interviews, Peter Schiff held to a grim economic outlook. Recently in the Washington Post, Schiff writes: "Our leaders irrationally promoted home-buying, discouraged savings, and recklessly encouraged borrowing and lending, which together undermined our markets."
posted by thisisdrew on Nov 14, 2008 - 33 comments

Trickle Up Bailout?

Jonathan Koppell and William Goetzmann on why Congress should let Wall Street hang for a bit and use the $700 billion to directly refinance homowners' bad mortgages. Fire away, mefites! [more inside]
posted by puckish on Oct 1, 2008 - 84 comments

And then there were...?

Washington Mutual seized by FDIC, sold to JP Morgan.
posted by empath on Sep 25, 2008 - 209 comments

If God gives you lemons...

Among European countries, Spain has been hit particularly badly by the global credit crisis. Miguel Marina, a recently unemployed real estate agent (what else?) has been one of its victims. Unable to keep up with his mortgage payments or to find a buyer for his home, he has found an original solution: he's raffling his apartment at 5€ a ticket. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on May 28, 2008 - 20 comments

The Giant Pool of Money

The Giant Pool of Money. This American Life teams up with NPR News to explain the Housing Crisis. [more inside]
posted by empath on May 11, 2008 - 53 comments

Real Estate Links

You're familiar with the grand-daddy of (overhyped) real estate AVMs, or even some lesser known, but more accurate competitors. In this market, it can be tough to get out from under your current home before buying new. But did you know that you can also swap your home?
posted by greensweater on May 5, 2008 - 5 comments

Value-added housing costs

How far away from work do you live? How much of your pay gets used up to get you to and from work, get you around town, and pay for where you live? As gas and food prices continue to rise, "affordability" has become a more critical notion for everyday Americans. The Center for Neighborhood Technology developed their Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, which aims to help better inform renters and owners about the relationship of transportation options to where one lives.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 28, 2008 - 85 comments

Housing Crisis: 1 in 33 Face Foreclosure Within 2 Years

Will States Respond to the Foreclosure Crisis? Their headline is that 1 in 33 homeowners are projected to face foreclosure in the next two years. But I found the stat that neighboring homes will lose $356 billion in value a rather staggering number to swallow for those not facing the threat of foreclosure.
posted by jacobw on Apr 17, 2008 - 65 comments

America's Captains of Industry!

As is the custom these days, GMAC Bank is suing mortgage broker HTFC for selling them improperly secured loans. The deposition of HTFC's CEO Aron Wider reads like a Joe Pesci role with 73 creative uses of the f-word over twelve hours of testimony. A federal judge fined Mr. Wider and his attorney $29K for Mr. Wider's constant use of bad language, insults, refusals to answer questions, and his lawyer's failure to control his client.
posted by uaudio on Mar 20, 2008 - 53 comments

Subprime Artistry

The Subprime Primer. [via] An entertaining, lo-fi, comic-book style explanation of the complex Subprime Mortgage mess.
posted by afx114 on Feb 17, 2008 - 77 comments

living in a gilded cage

America's debtor prisons.
posted by geos on Jan 25, 2008 - 81 comments

Newsfiltered: A Big National Story That's A Lot of Big Local Stories

Yes, the Subprime Mortgage Crisis was 2007's top national business news story for the second year in a row (and odds on favorite to Threepeat), #2 news story overall (TIME put Pakistan at #1, for AP, it was the Virginia State Massacre). But then I saw that it was the #1 local news story in my town. [more inside]
posted by wendell on Jan 4, 2008 - 14 comments

DOOOOOM! Oh wait, Nevermind. We're fine. You're still doomed though.

Some see an economic apocalypse. Others see an err.. economic apocalypse. But have no fear! A solution is at hand. [more inside]
posted by Lord_Pall on Dec 13, 2007 - 61 comments

Graphical explanation of CDOs

A graphical, animated explanation of how collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) work, by Felix Salmon, Maryanne Murray, Jeffrey Cane, Jacky Myint, and Shazna Nessa. The collapse in CDO valuations and the resulting losses to investors played a major role in the recent banking crisis. Via Paul Krugman.
posted by russilwvong on Dec 6, 2007 - 42 comments

Two hedge funds that predicted sub-prime crisis see corporate debt as next casualty

Two hedge funds that predicted sub-prime crisis see corporate debt as next casualty Two hedge fund firms that racked up huge gains betting on the subprime mortgage meltdown have begun winding down those trades and looking elsewhere. They're now betting against corporate debt using derivatives.
posted by janetplanet on Nov 15, 2007 - 26 comments

So, it wasn't the Happiest Town on Earth?

Remember the Town Disney Built? -- 50% of the homes in Celebration, Florida are up for sale. A failure of corporate-owned and -planned Community™? or just a fallout of the bursting of the housing bubble? And whither New Urbanism? [more inside]
posted by amberglow on Oct 4, 2007 - 66 comments

Minsky Meltdown ahead?

Minsky Meltdown ahead? Named after Hyman Minsky, an economist who was known for his research concerning financial crises, specifically asset bubbles based on credit cycles. [much more inside]
posted by umop-apisdn on Aug 29, 2007 - 75 comments

Countrywide Empties Out on Widowmaker

Countrywide Empties Out on Widowmaker gives a vivid idea of the turmoil in the mortgage market, and the difficult American real estate environment. "You sold your unlimited subway card after the 5th race, plunged full-bore on a filthy hot dog, a beer and a 9-1 shot that finished next-to-last. You are Countrywide."
posted by Adamchik on Aug 16, 2007 - 42 comments

A world of Casey Serins

What's the link between:
1) the quickly-growing number of American homeowners becoming unable to pay their mortgages after their ARM's reset (a trend nicknamed "ARMageddon" -- applicable in the UK too), which is translating into soaring foreclosure rates, and in turn forcing at least 60 US semi-shady mortgage brokers to go belly-up in the past year (i.e. the "subprime meltdown"), and...
2) the recent implosion and impending financial bailout -- which may become the biggest since the Long Term Capital Management fiasco of 1998 -- of two Bear Stearns hedge funds which dealt in mortgage securities? [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl on Jul 11, 2007 - 123 comments

Sub-prime blues

For those of you who haven't been following The Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter and other purveyors of financial and real estate schadenfreude, the sub-prime mortgage market is in some serious trouble. The stock charts of the likes of New Century Financial and Fremont say a lot, although BusinessWeek and MarketWatch have been helpful in explaining. Is there really fraud in 70% of early payment defaults? I know traders are given to hyperbole, but Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch as "almost junk"?
posted by Adamchik on Mar 5, 2007 - 55 comments

Assistance offered to teachers

Assistance offered to teachers in Santa Clara, the county with the highest median house price in the US [from fark] See attached flame inside>>>
posted by plinth on Jun 20, 2000 - 7 comments

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