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
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
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
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."