housing crisis

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Aging Condos in a Financial Bind That Could Doom Them

'Washington Post' looks at growing problem

(Newser) - For the fifth straight summer, children could only gaze at the expansive pool at their condo complex in Maryland through a chain-link fence. A dirty tarp covers the in-ground pool at the 60-year-old Grand Bel II complex in Silver Spring, which has no money to run it or fix the... More »

Can 'Earthships' Solve Canada's First Nations Housing Crisis?

'I just hope it doesn’t look like a Flintstones house'

(Newser) - Could earthships be the solution to the housing crisis in Canada's First Nations communities? US company Earthship Biotecture thinks so. “This housing that we make is made to take care of people. Feed them, keep them warm, with no utility bills," the company's Michael Reynolds tells... More »

Banks Admit Wrongly Foreclosing on US Troops

At least 700 active-duty troops lost homes during crisis

(Newser) - America's biggest banks have admitted that they wrongfully foreclosed on the homes of at least 700 military personnel, in some cases evicting families while troops were serving in war zones, the New York Times reports. The wrongful foreclosures by banks including Citigroup and Wells Fargo surfaced as part of... More »

29% of Homeowners Are Mortgage-Free

Including 34.5% of those homeowners ages 20 to 24

(Newser) - In a country ravaged by the housing crisis, a hefty chunk of homeowners—some 29.3%—have escaped the mortgage burden entirely, a new report by Zillow finds. A great deal of the 20.6 million Americans who own their homes outright are retirees: 77.6% of people 85 and... More »

Widows Forced Into Foreclosure by Mortgage Rules

Fine print keeps them from taking over the house

(Newser) - The housing crisis may be ebbing, but a particularly vulnerable group is falling into foreclosure because of the fine print on mortgages, the New York Times reports. Widows are finding that they can't take over the mortgage—which is usually in their husband's name—without being up-to-date on... More »

Educated Americans Have More Debt Woes

They 'thought they were immune' to the financial crisis

(Newser) - Think highly educated Americans came out better in the 2008 financial crash? According to two new studies , those with college degrees actually took on more unmanageable debt than other Americans, reports Time . "People with college educations may have thought they were immune to any economic problems," says Sherman... More »

US Housing Construction Hits 4-Year High

Up 15% in September: Commerce department

(Newser) - US builders started construction on single-family homes and apartments in September at the fastest pace since July 2008, a further indication that the housing recovery is strengthening. The Commerce Department says builders broke ground at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 in September. That's an increase of... More »

The Government Needs to Start Buying Mortgages

Economists Joseph Stiglitz and Mark Zandi have a plan to fix the housing market

(Newser) - Five years after the mortgage crisis began, housing is still one of the biggest factors dragging the economy down. There's just one option left, economists Joseph Stiglitz and Mark Zandi write in the New York Times : Mass refinancing. "Well over half of all American homeowners with mortgages are... More »

One in 30 Homeowners Over Age 75 in Foreclosure

AARP says delinquency growing among the over 50 crowd

(Newser) - Older Americans are increasingly feeling the hovering specter of foreclosure, after years of not suffering as acutely from the housing crisis, according to a new AARP report. While younger Americans still have a higher rate of serious delinquency, older Americans are now falling behind at a much faster rate, the... More »

At Long Last, Our 'Housing Bust Is Over'

Market has finally turned, says 'Wall Street Journal' economics editor

(Newser) - The US housing industry is far from healthy, but the worst is behind us, writes Wall Street Journal economics editor David Wessel. "The housing bust is over," he declares, marshaling a slew of long-range stats. Among them: About 10% more existing homes were sold this May compared to... More »

US' New Biggest Bankrupt City: Stockton

California city expected to file paperwork today

(Newser) - The city of Stockton, Calif. , will today file for bankruptcy, becoming the largest city in the US ever to do so, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Stockton, a river port and agricultural city of nearly 300,000 about 90 miles east of San Francisco, became a victim of California's... More »

Finally, We Realize It's OK to Help Sinking Homeowners

Public's hatred of debt relief seems to have passed: Nicole Gelinas

(Newser) - When Bank of America announced this month that it was going to reduce the mortgage balances for some underwater homeowners, the news didn't set off the usual flurry of critics complaining that these people were getting an undeserved break, notes Nicole Gelinas in the Los Angeles Times . "The... More »

Foreclosures Inch Downward ... a Whole 0.1%

Some very small signs of progress

(Newser) - Banks initiated the fewest number of foreclosures since 2007 last quarter, according to new figures from the Mortgage Bankers Associations. But don't be too quick to don the rose-colored glasses: The number of loans in foreclosure remains stubbornly high at 4.4%—down only a hair from last year'... More »

Pot Growers Head for the ... 'Burbs?

Housing crisis creating bargains for growers

(Newser) - America's green, leafy suburbs are becoming home to an increasing number of people growing a green, leafy product. The housing crisis has caused an influx of marijuana growers from rural areas and commercial zones to the suburbs, the New York Times finds. The growers are snapping up spacious homes... More »

$26B Mortgage Settlement a 'Modest' Help: Experts

Many struggling homeowners not covered in deal

(Newser) - The $26 billion mortgage settlement announced yesterday will be a boon for some—but the terms of the deal leave many homeowners out in the cold. Recipients of loans owned by the Federal Housing Administration, for instance, won't directly benefit from the settlement; nor will those with mortgages held... More »

Banks Ink $26B Deal to Help 2M Homeowners

49 states sign on to deal with nation's top 5 banks

(Newser) - America's five biggest banks have hammered out a $26 billion settlement for their role in causing the mortgage meltdown, reports the Wall Street Journal . The deal—the biggest of its kind since 1998's $206 billion settlement with the tobacco industry—was hammered out during almost a year of... More »

Calif., NY May Sign On to Robo-Signing Settlement

Obama administration nearing deal for mortgage relief

(Newser) - California and New York are close to signing on to the Obama administration's multibillion dollar mortgage robo-signing settlement, significantly expanding the deal, the New York Times reports. If California signs on, the settlement total will jump from $19 billion to $25 billion. In exchange, the states want measures to... More »

2006 Transcripts Show Fed Was Clueless on Housing

Geithner, Bernanke, others missed signs of the pending collapse

(Newser) - The Fed released transcripts from meetings in 2006 today that reveal just how badly its top officials blew it on the looming housing crisis, the New York Times reports. The industry was showing signs of distress, but the Fed's attitude boiled down to, eh, no big deal. The officials... More »

Downturn Slams Gen-Xers; Boomers, Not So Much

Housing prices are the real culprit

(Newser) - The recession is hurting most of us, but Gen X has taken the brunt of it—thanks to housing prices that fell off a cliff 5 years ago and are still tumbling. Consider the 30-year-old Gen-Xer who bought a house in 2006 for $250,000. That value has now dropped... More »

Perry Gave Huge Tax Grants to Subprime Lenders

Countrywide, WaMu got $35M as they upped risky loans

(Newser) - Rick Perry handed mortgage lenders millions to draw them to Texas—right when their risky lending practices surged. The governor gave Countrywide $20 million and Washington Mutual $15 million in what he called an exemplary job-creation move; in effect, that $35 million subsidized dangerous subprime lending, an AP analysis of... More »

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