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It's probably the number one issue -- the state of real estate and the many foreclosures.  What is happening to home prices?  Is your home losing value or gaining value now?  What about foreclosures in your neighborhood -- are they affecting the value of your home?  Is there a foreclosure to buy and can you get a deal on this property?  We will list information here and hope it helps you.  And below you can see daily real estate news just as real estate professionals receive it on a daily basis.  Also below we have the current mortgage rates for various types of popular home mortgages.

NEW LAWS HELP HOMEOWNERS KEEP THEIR HOMES WHEN FACING FORECLOSURE

Update March 7, 2013  There are now new laws in California that can help California homeowners keep their homes when they are in trouble making mortgage payments and facing foreclosure.  But these new laws by themselves are not enough because families with mortgage problems probably also have other debts with high interest rates, and these other types of loans also need modifications. 

But the better news is that there are new specific state laws that prevent lenders from foreclosing if the homeowner has applied for home loan modification, or if the lender did not follow specific steps to be sure that the homeowner knows what rights and relief is available to them.

At the same time the housing market has improved dramatically in recent months and this might allow some homeowners to sell their properties instead of losing it in a foreclosure.  The market is also very healthy for rentals and homeowners might consider renting their homes to help cover mortgage payments.

But a big problem remains and that is that banks and lenders are still hesitant to lend money.  There are record low mortgage rates being quoted all the time, but those low rates don't do anyone any good if the banks are not lending.

It's one thing to force down interest rates -- but the only way to cure the real estate crunch is to increase the ability for families with problems to get loans.

And while mortgage loans are cheap, many families in trouble are saddled with high credit card debt.  The government has done a great job pushing mortgage rates down to under 4-percent or even lower, but families with mortgage problems might also have credit card problems and with maxed-out credit cards with rates of 30% or higher, these homeowners will find it difficult to quality for a new mortgage.

If the government really wants to end the really estate crisis it will take more than just lower interest rates on mortgages.  Credit card rates will have to be forced down to reasonable levels, so that families in trouble will be able to qualify for the lower-interest mortgage plans they desperately need.

I find it ironic that so much attention has been placed on lowering mortgage rates, but nothing has been done to lower credit card rates.  Some families today might find their monthly credit card bills are as high as mortgage payments because of interest rates that years ago were illegal.  There was a time when credit card rates came under usury laws and were capped at 18-percent.  At a time when bank certificates of deposit are paying 2% or less, credit card interest rates of 30% or more are absolutely out of whack.

Today, only mobsters and credit card companies and lenders of last resort such as payday loan companies can get away with charging interest rates of 30%.  And in all cases, those who can least afford the high rate loans are stuck paying them.  No wonder foreclosures are still continuing.

BANKS DON'T WANT TO BE STUCK WITH FORECLOSURES

Update October 13, 2011  There was an interesting development during the third quarter of this year-- banks cut back on their foreclosure actions.  Some of the drop in foreclosures is the result of various lawsuits against the big banks and mortgage companies over problems with loan documents.  Another reason for the drop in foreclosures is that banks don't want to be sitting with foreclosures when the real estate market is slow and it takes so long to get a sale.

Condo Vultures in Miami is a real estate consulting group and it is reporting a drop in Florida foreclosures during the third quarter because in Florida a foreclosure can take two years before completion, and then banks will face more costs trying to rehabilitate the foreclosed homes to make them ready for salel.

In a report, Condo Vultures wrote that "lenders are reportedly looking at a time span of nearly two years to repossess a South Florida property,” according to Peter Zalewski, a principal of Condo Vultures® LLC.  “In real terms, this means that a lender that files a notice of default against a borrower today will probably not repossess the property until 2013.  Once a lender does finally obtain ownership, the bank is typically faced with additional expenses before the South Florida property can be resold to recoup some of the loss.  Given this reality, it is understandable why lenders are not enthusiastic about repossessing a South Florida property from a borrower in default," the report said.

Here in California there are reports that banks are now rehabiliting the foreclosed properties into rental units in order to get some revenue while they also wait for the real estate market to turn around.  And in some cases, banks might postpone a foreclosure action hoping that giving the homeowners another chance to make good on their loans will ultimately be the cheaper thing to do.

A SLOPPY MARKET FOR FORECLOSURES

Update June 9, 2011  The foreclosure market is a sloppy market -- sloppy for buyers and sloppy for sellers.  It's sloppy because it is stuck with banks unwilling to finance buyers, foreclosures stalled by the banks because of faulty paperwork, and real estate in general in a slump.  Meanwhile prices continue to fall in most markets.  There is no clear direction for anyone, anywhere, and that's why I describe it as a sloppy market.

If you are looking to buy a foreclosure you had better have cash if you want to close a deal quickly.  This is because banks are just not lending.  And now there is a fear on the part of the banks that if they sell a foreclosed property that they foreclosed unlawfully or without proper paperwork and notices, they could face liability for their errors.  This further complicates the market and keeps it in paralysis.

If you are in default on your mortgage and fear foreclosure, the current sloppy market and the stalemate that many banks find themselves in might buy you more time to rescue your home or stay in your home until you are forced out.  In fact, some attorneys are telling me that they can keep residents in their foreclosed homes for as long as six months because of the mess that the foreclosure market is in right now.

If you are facing a foreclosure you definitely should consult with an attorney.  You should also consider a "short sale" and check our "Real Estate / Short Sales" page for more information.

If you are looking for foreclosures and short sales in the Santa Clarita area, go to our section called "Real Estate / Santa Clarita" where we have an article and a video, and if you are looking for help to get a home mortgage modified go to our section "Mortgage Deals / Help."

What are the latest mortgage rates that are available?  Start your mortgage rate shopping here by using this link.  Remember to always check for special deals with local lenders and real estate agents, and with the sellers themselves.  Home builders also can have special mortgage rates and can even buy down or pay lenders a fee to give, the buyer, a discounted mortgage.

Here on our new media website "Moneyman" Alan Mendelson who is the original Best Deals TV Show reporter on KCAL9 and consumer advocate, shows you the best deals on TV, and the best buys, bargains and where savvy shoppers go to save, and how to get the most for "your money" with the best of Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County.  Our Best Buys TV Show has the best TV deals and is the only regularly scheduled weekly best deals TV show in Southern California.  We show you the best buys and best deals on TV and more deals and bargains on www.alanbestbuys.com and www.bestbuystvshow.com and watch for our Las Vegas TV show Vegas Best Buys.  Some of the content can come from paid advertising and from our advertiser paid TV infomercial programs.  The Best Buys TV Show is a paid infomercial program which may also include news and information which is not sponsored or paid for by advertisers.  AlanBestBuys.com has the highest ranking among competitive sites in Southern California according to the independent website ranking companies Alexa.com and Quantcast.com and our Best Buys TV Show is the most watched shopping and consumer information show in Southern California.

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