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Foreclosures Still 'Astronomically High'

They account for 28% of all home sales

(Newser) - Sales of homes in some stage of foreclosure declined year-over-year in the first quarter, but they still accounted for 28% of all home sales—a share nearly six times higher than what it would be in a healthy housing market. As a slice of all home purchases, foreclosure sales peaked...

Audits: Top Mortgage Firms Defrauded Taxpayers

Confidential reports could lead to prosecutions

(Newser) - A set of confidential audits could lead to fraud prosecutions for five of America’s biggest mortgage lenders, officials briefed on the documents tell the Huffington Post . The scathing documents accuse Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Ally Financial of defrauding taxpayers by making false claims about...

Home Prices Have Fallen 57 Months in a Row

Home values fell 3% in first quarter of 2011

(Newser) - There's still no sign of a housing market bottom, as continuing home foreclosures caused housing values to fall 3% in the first quarter of 2011 over the previous quarter, their biggest dive since late 2008, reports the Wall Street Journal . "We expected December and January to be bad,...

US Sees Big Shift in Attitude on New Houses

Nobody wants them; they'll take foreclosures instead

(Newser) - If previous patterns held, sales of new homes would be seeing a healthy bounce right about now, notes the New York Times . After all, the economy is showing a little life, rates are low, and demand has been pent-up for a while. The reality? Sales of new homes were down...

Wary of Vacant Homes, Florida Realtors Pack Heat

More real estate agents are applying for concealed weapons permits

(Newser) - Real estate agent: a dangerous job? In Florida, some think that it is. Many of the homes on the market are vacant, and therefore a possible haven for crime—and as a result more and more real estate agents are considering packing heat. "You don't know what's waiting for...

GOP Votes to Ax Foreclosure Aid Program

But bill is unlikely to clear Senate

(Newser) - The House of Representatives yesterday passed a bill that would kill off President Obama’s top foreclosure prevention program, in a 252-170 vote that broke mainly along partisan lines. Republicans said the Home Affordable Modification Program, which gives banks incentives to modify mortgages, had proven ineffective, helping less than 600,...

Home Sales Fell 9.6% in February

Media sales price hits lowest level in almost 9 years

(Newser) - Fewer Americans bought previously occupied homes last month, and those who did purchased them at steep discounts. The weak sales and rise in foreclosures pushed home prices down to their lowest level in nearly 9 years. Sales of previously occupied homes fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4....

Free House: Iowa Loophole Gets Couple Facing Foreclosure a House for One Payment
Loophole Gets Couple a House for Just One Payment

Loophole Gets Couple a House for Just One Payment

Facing foreclosure, they discover a 123-year-old law

(Newser) - Thanks to a loophole in Iowa law, Matt and Jamie Danielson now own their $278,000 home outright—for the cost of just one mortgage payment. The Danielsons fought foreclosure—and won—by citing a 123-year-old law that requires mortgages be signed by both spouses. A home-loan approval Matt Danielson...

Fed: Banks Did Not Make Single Wrongful Foreclosure

Consumer advocates livid over finding

(Newser) - The Federal Reserve’s probe into the robo-signing scandal and other abusive mortgage practices failed to turn up a single wrongful foreclosure, the Fed’s Consumer Advisory Council revealed yesterday. But many consumer advocates on the council, which is made up of outside experts, complained that the Fed had too...

Homeowner Forecloses on Bank Office

Philly man wins levy after bank fails to answer questions as required by law

(Newser) - A Philadelphia homeowner is giving his local branch of Wells Fargo a taste of its own medicine. Concert promoter David Rodgers, embroiled in a dispute with the bank over required homeowner insurance, sued Wells under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act when the bank refused to answer his questions as...

20K Troops, Vets Lost Their Homes Last Year

But VA says that number could have been much worse

(Newser) - Last year saw the most military foreclosures since 2003, despite efforts from Veterans Affairs to counsel and assist floundering servicemen. More than 20,000 active-duty troops, reservists, and veterans who’d taken out special government-backed mortgages lost their homes last year, the USA Today reports, and foreclosure filings in the...

11% of US Homes Vacant
 11% of US Homes Vacant 

11% of US Homes Vacant

Prices set to fall even further

(Newser) - The latest census figures on the housing market make for grim reading for homeowners. Some 18.4 million homes are vacant—11% of the nation's housing supply—and home ownership rates are dropping rapidly, CNBC reports. Prices are down year-over-year in all 28 major metropolitan areas tracked by the Wall ...

Calif. Lawyer: Break Back Into Your Foreclosed Homes

Radical attorney helps clients squat in bank-owned properties

(Newser) - One California attorney isn't afraid of getting on the wrong side of the law to help clients who have been evicted from their homes. Michael T. Pines of Pines & Associates advises clients to break into their foreclosed homes and live there illegally. He has personally broken into at...

Banks Claimed a Record 1M Homes Last Year

And this year will be even worse

(Newser) - Banks repossessed a little more than a million homes last year, a record high, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac —and that’s despite a sharp drop off in the fourth quarter thanks to the robo-signing scandal . Next year will likely be even worse, one RealtyTrac exec tells...

Court Ruling Could Void Thousands of Foreclosures

Massachusetts supreme court rules against banks

(Newser) - A court ruling in Massachusetts today that went against the home lending industry has the potential to further foul up the foreclosure process across the nation. The state's highest court invalidated the foreclosures of two homes because the banks involved—Wells Fargo in one case and US Bancorp in the...

Man Torches Foreclosed Home, Shoots Himself, Wife

He threatens mayhem in 911 call

(Newser) - Economic hard times took a deadly turn when a soon-to-be-fired 60-year-old California man apparently torched his foreclosed home and shot himself and his wife. Authorities found the remains of two people in the ashes of the suburban San Diego home after the man called 911 to report that he had...

Arizona's Newest Resident: Bristol Palin

She pays cash for 5-bedroom foreclosure, no pool

(Newser) - Maybe Sarah Palin's Alaska is getting a tad too brisk this December, because Bristol Palin is taking her dancing shoes and heading to snowbird central, reports the Arizona Republic. The ex-governor's eldest daughter has bought a 5-bedroom house in Maricopa, plunking down $172,000 in cash. The house mirrors the...

Nevada's Sunny Census Numbers Belie Gloom

Figures show incredible growth ... but lately, not so much

(Newser) - New Census figures tell the tale of Nevada's explosive growth, but the truer, more recent story is one of bust, reports the New York Times . Nevada's population soared 35% to 2.7 million from 2 million between 2000 and 2010, putting it in the No. 1 slot in terms of...

In Foreclosure Chaos, Banks Loot Wrong Homes

Homeowners return to find possessions gone

(Newser) - Amid wrongful foreclosures and screwy paperwork, banks have been breaking into homes whose owners still occupy them, a flurry of lawsuits argues. Owners have returned home to find the locks changed and their property—from laptops to old photos to the ashes of a loved one—missing, the New York ...

For Some Homeowners, Foreclosure Comes by Mistake

Many forced to hire lawyers, file lawsuits to stop the process

(Newser) - The foreclosure mess gets messier: A growing number of people are finding themselves embroiled in a foreclosure fight even though they've never defaulted on their loans—in some cases, they didn't even have loans to default on. An extensive AP story looks at some of the cases, including a man...

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