Posts Tagged: ‘Underwater homeowners’

Home Prices Increase, Outpacing Wages

April 6, 2015 Posted by kingcade

According to RealtyTrac, home prices are rising 13 times faster than wage growth nationwide. From 2012-2014, median wages rose only 1.3% and median home prices climbed 17%. Low interest rates have helped keep buying an option. However, with wages not keeping pace with home prices in many of the markets analyzed, real estate experts believe this will result in another housing bubble.

On the flip side, homeowners who lost equity in their homes during the crash are likely rejoicing over the rapid increase. At the height of the crash, 13 million homeowners were underwater. Now the number is down to seven million.

According to the report, the markets with the highest rate of price appreciation compared to wage growth were:

• Merced, CA
• Memphis, TN
• Santa Cruz, CA
• Augusta, GA
• Palm Bay-Melbourne- Titusville, FL

First-time buyers often purchase starter homes, which according to RealtyTrac, have faced the biggest deficit in inventory. Rising home prices could be an incentive for more people to list their homes and ease up the tight inventory levels.

Click here to read more about rising home prices outpacing wages.

Choosing the right attorney can make  the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

BOA’s $17 Billion Mortgage Settlement Explained

September 8, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Bank of America has agreed to a legal settlement with the Department of Justice to avoid prosecution for hundreds of billions of dollars in bad mortgage loans, making it the largest corporate legal settlement with the government in U.S. history. The total “on-paper” cost of the deal is reportedly as high as $17 billion. But many are calling the deal deceptive. In reality, the settlement is unlikely to cost BOA anywhere near that amount. Much of the deal will be tax deductible and half of its cost is made up of actions on behalf of homeowners that are in the bank’s best interest- not in the form of cash refunds that will cost the bank money.

So what does this settlement mean for struggling borrowers and underwater homeowners? While the details are still being worked out, the deal includes roughly $9 billion in cash payouts and $7 to $8 billion in “consumer relief” actions such as mortgage write-downs and refinancing for struggling borrowers. These consumer relief provisions do not require the bank to spend money they would not already spend in the normal course of business operations. For BOA, helping people stay in their homes and keep making payments is better for the bank’s revenue than foreclosing on struggling homeowners.

The settlement requires BOA to relax loan terms, reduce principal amounts and destroy abandoned properties that are hurting property values. Even at face value, the reported settlement is minuscule compared to the harm caused by Bank of America companies. The on-paper cost of the deal is less than 7 percent of the value of the mortgage deals Bank of America and its subsidiaries Countrywide and Merrill Lynch made before the housing crisis that have since gone bad.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/08/07/3468558/bank-of-america-deal-shrinkage/

Homeowners may be unaware their homes are no longer in Foreclosure

April 21, 2014 Posted by kingcade

A recent report from RealtyTrac confirms that an increasingly larger number of homes in the foreclosure process actually have positive equity. According to the report, the share of foreclosures with positive equity in the first quarter reached 35 percent, up from 31 percent in the previous quarter and 24 percent in the third quarter of 2013. This percentage includes borrowers who have defaulted on their loans or are in some other stage of the foreclosure process but their homes have not been taken over by the banks, yet.

The reason behind this can be attributed to timing. Once a foreclosure is initiated, it can sometimes take years to complete the process. As we have seen, a lot can happen to housing prices in a couple of years. Home prices have risen dramatically in the past couple of years; some that are still stuck in the foreclosure process have regained their equity.

Homeowners may be unaware of this, either because they have moved or have stopped keeping tabs on their home’s property value. A high-percentage of all homes in the foreclosure process are vacant. RealtyTrac has not cross-referenced to see how many of the vacant ones have positive equity.

Real estate experts agree that paying attention to home values can make all the difference. In certain cases, struggling borrowers may be able to hang onto their homes by refinancing. The latest numbers reveal 9.3 million homes, representing 19 percent of all properties with a mortgage, were seriously underwater in the fourth quarter. Florida has the second highest percentage of seriously underwater properties at 31%. Nevada has the highest share of underwater properties at 34%.

Click here to read more on this story.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Foreclosure Nightmare Far from Over

March 7, 2014 Posted by kingcade

The revival of the U.S. housing market has produced a sigh of relief for much of the economy, as home prices and construction have finally rebounded. However, for some homeowners the foreclosure crisis has never ended. The worst of the foreclosure crisis passed years ago, but it has continued to cast a shadow over homeowners in places like Maryland, where many old cases have yet to work their way through the system.

Last year, Florida’s foreclosure rate was the third-highest in the country, behind Nevada and Illinois, according to RealtyTrac. Nationally, it is estimated that 5.2 million foreclosures have been completed since 2007. But the vast majority happened in the early years of the recession, with 2013’s foreclosures making up just 9% of the U.S. total.

Maryland’s high foreclosure rate is actually linked to the state’s attempt to remedy the process for underwater homeowners. In 2010, the state passed a law requiring mediation if homeowners requested it, and some foreclosure cases from early in the housing crisis are now going through the program.

Consumer advocates believe that these reforms are an important preventative measure against abusive practices that abruptly forced people out of their homes. Mortgage servicers have continued to employ abusive practices, which plague underwater homeowners and prolong the pain.

The Moody family, for example, missed one payment in February 2009 after Paul Moody suffered a back injury and lost his job. Five years later, after dealing with three different mortgage servicers, two foreclosure attempts and more than a dozen different applications for loan modifications, there is still no resolution in site. Attempts to seek relief from state and federally backed programs have gotten the family nowhere.

The major rules for mortgage servicers only went into effect in January 2014, allowing many abuses to continue despite intense scrutiny and demands for reform at the height of the housing meltdown. For instance: servicers are now prohibited from “dual-tracking” homeowners by offering them a loan modification while moving forward with a foreclosure at the same time. Mortgage companies are now required to ensure their customer representatives can actually answer question and access relevant documents to eliminate red tape issues, mixed messages and unreturned phone calls.

The good news is, the Moody’s have been able to stay in their home while negotiating with their lenders. A quicker resolution could be far worse- at least from the homeowner’s perspective- Legislative attempts to fast-track foreclosures have denied homeowners their rights and took their properties away before they could save them.

The end is slowly coming into sight for others as well. Nationally, foreclosures have hit a six-year low. Though many Maryland homeowners are still underwater, the delinquency rate for loans that aren’t yet in foreclosure is dropping, falling from about 11% of all mortgages in 2009 to 8% by the end of 2013, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Rising property values in the area means that fewer foreclosed houses remain vacant for long.

Click here to read more on this story.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Many Florida Homeowners still Underwater as Government Aid Runs Out

May 27, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Now in its third year, the Hardest Hit Fund in Florida has served only about 15 percent of the 40,000 homeowners who have applied for help. Once this aid runs out, underwater homeowners are left to find adequate employment or continue struggling with mortgages far bigger than the value of their home. Although the Hardest Hit Fund is a federally funded program, each state decides how to use the money. In Florida, state officials have given principal reductions a high priority.

Since unveiling the state’s version of the Hardest Hit Program in 2010, the Florida Housing Finance Corp. has spent $108.8 million in assistance and an additional $25 million on administration and counseling, according to a first-quarter report released last month by the corporation.

Florida’s handling of the federal program has been criticized for focusing on mortgage modifications and interest-rate reductions more than on principal reductions. The country’s five-largest lenders — Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Ally/GMAC, Citi and Chase — agreed to fund the program as part of a settlement related to allegations that they had dealt in illegal mortgage documents. However, according to the Treasury report, only Citi has forgiven the principal of borrowers not in foreclosure.

The Florida program has also managed to serve homeowners who make more than the local median income. Though about 90 percent of the funds have gone to homeowners with annual incomes of $50,000 or less, about two dozen recipients of aid had incomes of at least $90,000 a year, according to the Florida Housing Finance Corp.’s quarterly report.

Click here to read more on how Florida homeowners are still ‘underwater’ as government aid runs out.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the website, www.miamibankruptcy.com.