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Michael Burry, the former head of Scion Capital LLC who predicted the housing market’s plunge, talks with Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman about his investments in agricultural land, real estate and gold.

Michael Lewis made him famous in his book “The Big Short”.

(This is an excerpt. Source: Bloomberg)

“I believe that agricultural land, productive agricultural land with water on site, will be very valuable in the future. And I’ve put a good amount of money into that. So I’m investing in alternative investments as well as stocks.”

“I think there is some value in real estate. You have to buy it right. It’s not in general, that’s the problem. I think that there are an awful lot of people out there looking to buy these distressed properties out there and so you need to find special situations. That is how I’ve invested from the beginning. I’m looking for these special situations, these unique ideas and that’s true in real estate too.”

“In my situation I’d rather go long on housing itself, real estate itself. Depending on how you structure it, in the real market, in the physical market, you can get some pretty good deals and I’ve done some of that too.”

“Paulson is big in gold and that is something is interesting to me and given how I see the world playing out. Other than that, I’m just saying, other than gold I haven’t really bought into the other…

Source: Bloomberg TV

Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

© 2010-19 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.

Posted in Bank Owned, bogus, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, fannie mae, FED FRAUD, federal reserve board, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, goldman sachs, heloc, insider, investigation, mbs, mortgage, naked short selling, Real Estate, rmbs, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, sub-prime, trade secrets, Wall Street1 Comment

Home Equity Loans are hard to recover

Home Equity Loans are hard to recover

Debts Rise, and Go Unpaid, as Bust Erodes Home Equity

Published: August 11, 2010

PHOENIX — During the great housing boom, homeowners nationwide borrowed a trillion dollars from banks, using the soaring value of their houses as security. Now the money has been spent and struggling borrowers are unable or unwilling to pay it back.

The delinquency rate on home equity loans is higher than all other types of consumer loans, including auto loans, boat loans, personal loans and even bank cards like Visa and MasterCard, according to the American Bankers Association.

Lenders say they are trying to recover some of that money but their success has been limited, in part because so many borrowers threaten bankruptcy and because the value of the homes, the collateral backing the loans, has often disappeared.

The result is one of the paradoxes of the recession: the more money you borrowed, the less likely you will have to pay up.

“When houses were doubling in value, mom and pop making $80,000 a year were taking out $300,000 home equity loans for new cars and boats,” said Christopher A. Combs, a real estate lawyer here, where the problem is especially pronounced. “Their chances are pretty good of walking away and not having the bank collect.”

Lenders wrote off as uncollectible $11.1 billion in home equity loans and $19.9 billion in home equity lines of credit in 2009, more than they wrote off on primary mortgages, government data shows. So far this year, the trend is the same, with combined write-offs of $7.88 billion in the first quarter.

Even when a lender forces a borrower to settle through legal action, it can rarely extract more than 10 cents on the dollar. “People got 90 cents for free,” Mr. Combs said. “It rewards immorality, to some extent.”

Utah Loan Servicing is a debt collector that buys home equity loans from lenders. Clark Terry, the chief executive, says he does not pay more than $500 for a loan, regardless of how big it is.

“Anything over $15,000 to $20,000 is not collectible,” Mr. Terry said. “Americans seem to believe that anything they can get away with is O.K.”

But the borrowers argue that they are simply rebuilding their ravaged lives. Many also say that the banks were predatory, or at least indiscriminate, in making loans, and nevertheless were bailed out by the federal government. Finally, they point to their trump card: they say will declare bankruptcy if a settlement is not on favorable terms.

“I am not going to be a slave to the bank,” said Shawn Schlegel, a real estate agent who is in default on a $94,873 home equity loan. His lender obtained a court order garnishing his wages, but that was 18 months ago. Mr. Schlegel, 38, has not heard from the lender since. “The case is sitting stagnant,” he said. “Maybe it will just go away.”

Mr. Schlegel’s tale is similar to many others who got caught up in the boom: He came to Arizona in 2003 and quickly accumulated three houses and some land. Each deal financed the next. “I was taught in real estate that you use your leverage to grow. I never dreamed the properties would go from $265,000 to $65,000.”

Apparently neither did one of his lenders, the Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, which gave him a home equity loan secured by, the contract states, the “security interest in your dwelling or other real property.”

Desert Schools, the largest credit union in Arizona, increased its allowance for loan losses of all types by 926 percent in the last two years. It declined to comment.

The amount of bad home equity loan business during the boom is incalculable and in retrospect inexplicable, housing experts say. Most of the debt is still on the books of the lenders, which include Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase.

“No one had ever seen a national real estate bubble,” said Keith Leggett, a senior economist with the American Bankers Association. “We would love to change history so more conservative underwriting practices were put in place.”

The delinquency rate on home equity loans was 4.12 percent in the first quarter, down slightly from the fourth quarter of 2009, when it was the highest in 26 years of such record keeping. Borrowers who default can expect damage to their creditworthiness and in some cases tax consequences.

Nevertheless, Mr. Leggett said, “more than a sliver” of the debt will never be repaid.

Eric Hairston plans to be among this group. During the boom, he bought as an investment a three-apartment property in Hoboken, N.J. At the peak, when the building was worth as much as $1.5 million, he took out a $190,000 home equity loan.

Mr. Hairston, who worked in the technology department of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, invested in a Northern California pizza catering company. When real estate cratered, Mr. Hairston went into default.

The building was sold this spring for $750,000. Only a small slice went to the home equity lender, which reserved the right to come after Mr. Hairston for the rest of what it was owed.

Mr. Hairston, who now works for the pizza company, has not heard again from his lender.

Since the lender made a bad loan, Mr. Hairston argues, a 10 percent settlement would be reasonable. “It’s not the homeowner’s fault that the value of the collateral drops,” he said.

Marc McCain, a Phoenix lawyer, has been retained by about 300 new clients in the last year, many of whom were planning to walk away from properties they could afford but wanted to be rid of — strategic defaulters. On top of their unpaid mortgage obligations, they had home equity loans of $50,000 to $150,000.

Fewer than 5 percent of these clients said they would continue paying their home equity loan no matter what. Ten percent intend to negotiate a short sale on their house, where the holders of the primary mortgage and the home equity loan agree to accept less than what they are owed. In such deals primary mortgage holders get paid first.

The other 85 percent said they would default and worry about the debt only if and when they were forced to, Mr. McCain said.

“People want to have some green pastures in front of them,” said Mr. McCain, who recently negotiated a couple’s $75,000 home equity debt into a $3,500 settlement. “It’s come to the point where morality is no longer an issue.”

Darin Bolton, a software engineer, defaulted on the loans for his house in a Chicago suburb last year because “we felt we were just tossing our money into a hole.” This spring, he moved into a rental a few blocks away.

“I’m kind of banking on there being too many of us for the lenders to pursue,” he said. “There is strength in numbers.”

John Collins Rudolf contributed reporting.

© 2010-19 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.

Posted in Economy, heloc1 Comment

CALIFORNIA Lawmakers| Banks refuse to testify at HELOC hearing

CALIFORNIA Lawmakers| Banks refuse to testify at HELOC hearing

DinSFLA here: This was a huge problem in Florida where a family was renovating a kitchen or bathroom and out of the blue bam you  receive a letter stating that you no longer have a HELOC!
My guess is they knew what was coming and they “suspended” the helocs! Birds of a feather flock together!

Date: August 5, 2010
Contact: Dan Okenfuss, (916) 319-2053

Banks Refuse to Testify at California Consumer Protection Hearing

Nation’s Largest Banks Reject Opportunity to Explain Home Equity Line of Credit Suspension Practices

(SACRAMENTO) – Large national banks with a substantial presence in California, including Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, have refused to testify at a hearing originally scheduled this week by the Assembly Select Committee on Consumer Financial Protection and Assembly Banking & Finance Committee. The hearing was planned to investigate the banks’ practice of suspending and reducing the home equity lines of credit (“HELOCs”) of homeowners across California.

Representatives from the large banks were invited to explain the justification behind the tying up of millions of dollars of credit lines throughout the State. The hearing has now been cancelled due to the banks’ unwillingness to participate.

“It’s very frustrating,” says Assemblyman Ted Lieu, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Consumer Financial Protection. “I have heard from many constituents who have had their HELOCs stripped away from them, often without any apparent legitimate basis. The banks owe the people of the State of California an explanation for these credit line suspensions that have had significant adverse effects on individuals, families and the California economy. It’s very suspicious that the banks would turn down an opportunity to explain themselves.”

Large national and regional banks have been suspending HELOCs and reducing credit lines since 2008 as a result of declines in the values of the properties securing those credit lines. But many borrowers and consumer advocates have stated that banks have gone too far – suspending HELOCs en masse for their own benefit and often in the absence of circumstances warranting such suspensions. Many of these banks have been sued in California and other states for engaging in HELOC practices alleged to be in violation of federal regulations and state consumer protection statutes.

Several California residents whose HELOCs had been suspended during the past two years were scheduled to testify, as well as professional appraisers and consumer advocates.

“There were plenty of borrowers and consumer advocates lining up to give their side of the story. The primary purpose of the hearing was to ask important questions of the banks and to seek some accountability. The banks apparently have something to hide,” stated Lieu. “As long as this HELOC suspension issue persists, I will continue to demand answers and to insist that California borrowers receive the fair and legal treatment that they deserve.”

Assemblymember Ted W. Lieu is Chair of the Select Committee on Consumer Financial Protection. He represents the 53rd Assembly District, which includes El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Lomita, Marina Del Rey, and portions of the City of Los Angeles.

© 2010-19 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.

Posted in heloc, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD1 Comment

Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (URPERA)

Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (URPERA)

DinSFLA Here: Now if we just put these time frames such as ‘1999’ with all that is happening today we arrive to some answers…Don’t we?

Electronic communications make it possible to conduct old transactions in new forms.  Some of the oldest kinds of transactions governed by law are transactions in real estate:  for example, sales, leases and mortgages.  In the Middle Ages transactions in real estate were conducted symbolically, without paper or signatures.  Writing, printing and more universal literacy brought paper deeds, mortgages and leases, memorialized by words on paper with manual signatures.   These were filed in public records to establish who had rightful title to any piece of land.  Several centuries have gone by since that initial migration to the then-new technology of paper documents and manual signatures.  A new technology of computers, software to run them, and electronic communications has come to replace paper.  The law of real property must now make a transition to accommodate the new technology.  The efficiency of real estate markets makes this imminently necessary.

This long dependence on paper, however, casts up certain barriers to using electronic communications to carry on real estate transactions.  The law of the states of the United States has many “statute of fraud” requirements that inhibit the use of electronic communications.  Statute of fraud requirements put total and express reliance upon paper documents and manual signatures to make transactions enforceable.  No paper, no enforcement.  These same requirements have also made it more difficult to develop electronic analogues to transactions in paper that are equally enforceable.

The first step to remedy the problem took place in 1999 when the Uniform Law Commissioners promulgated the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA).  This act adjusted statute of fraud provisions to include electronic “records” and “signatures” for the memorialization of all kinds of transactions, including basic transactions in real estate.  It is possible to have sale contracts, mortgage instruments (in whatever form a jurisdiction uses) and promissory notes memorialized in electronic form with electronic signatures that will now be treated the equal of the same paper documents with manual signatures.  This is the result of the widespread enactment of UETA and of the subsequent enactment of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign) by Congress.

Real estate documents must be recorded on public records to be effective.  Recording takes place in most states in a county office devoted to keeping these records.  Recording protects current interests in real estate by clarifying who holds those interests.  The chain of title leading to the current title-holder, meaning the historic record of documents relating to transactions for a specific piece of real estate, establishes the marketability of that piece of real estate by the current owner of interests in it.  The real estate records establish this chain of title.  State law governs these local recording offices, and there are requirements in the law of every state relating to the originality and authenticity of paper documents that are presented for recording.  UETA included optional provisions dealing with governmental authority, including that of local governments, to accept and utilize electronic records.  However, not all states adopted these optional provisions, and confusion still persisted whether these provisions, coupled with the rest of UETA, authorized recordation of electronic records.

The Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (URPERA) removes any doubt with regard to the ability of a local recording office to accept and otherwise process electronic documents and signatures for recording.  Further, there must be an orderly conversion of every recording office in the United States for electronic recording to become accepted universally.  That will be a complex process, but it needs a starting point in the law.  URPERA, promulgated by the Uniform Law Commissioners in 2004, provides that essential start.

The act does three fairly simple things that will have monumental effect.  First, it establishes that any requirement for originality, for a paper document or for a writing manually signed before it may be recorded, is satisfied by an electronic document and signature.  This is essentially an express extension of the principles of UETA and E-Sign to the specific requirements for recording documents relating to real estate transactions in any state.  Second, it establishes what standards a recording office must follow and what it must do to make electronic recording effective.  For example, the office must comply with standards set by the board established in a state to set them.  It must set up a system for searching and retrieving electronic documents.  There are a minimum group of requirements established in URPERA.  Third, URPERA establishes the board that sets statewide standards and requires it to set uniform standards that must be implemented in every recording office.

These may be simple steps in the law, but the entire process of implementing electronic recording of electronic real estate documents will be complex from state to state.  Inserting URPERA in the law of a state requires careful scrutiny of its real estate law.  If paper documents are effective, for example, when they are time-stamped when delivered to a recording office, when should electronic documents that may be delivered electronically when an office is closed be considered effective?  Answers to questions like this one will take some work and some complex decisions as URPERA is considered for enactment in any state.

Notwithstanding this need for careful effort, it is important to make the start on electronic recording of real estate documents.  Real estate transactions involve billions of dollars in the United States.  The efficiency of real estate markets depends upon the adoption of technology to make them faster and more competitive.  After UETA and E-Sign, the key is URPERA.  Every state needs to consider it as soon as possible.

More info…ElectronicRecording.org


Electronic Property Document Recording (ERDS)

© 2010-19 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.

Posted in deed of trust, heloc, mortgage, note, Real Estate1 Comment

Couple says bank at fault in foreclosure proceeding

Couple says bank at fault in foreclosure proceeding

I think this is the case for many of us who needed the HELOC when times got tough or for an emergency.

A dispute over a foreclosure is headed for trial.

By: Judy Wiff, Pierce County Herald Published June 29 2010

A dispute over a foreclosure is headed for trial.

A jury trial is set for March 16-17, 2011, in a case brought by Wells Fargo Bank against Deborah and John Sherman II, 434 Court St. North, Prescott. The bank claims the Shermans failed to make payments and now owe $384,236.

According to the Shermans, they had a 10-year draw period on a line of credit, but when they went to withdraw funds, they found the bank had reduced the credit limit based on a “substantial decline” in the value of their property.

“The Shermans have never been behind on a payment and use the line of credit in the running of their business,” wrote their attorney as he challenged the foreclosure action.

Continue reading…here

© 2010-19 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.

Posted in case, heloc0 Comments

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