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Foreclosures Down 68% From Peak

Foreclosures are falling fast. Since reaching a peak in September 2010, the number of foreclosures has plunged 68 percent – from 117,225 nationwide to 38,000 as of July, according to CoreLogic's July 2015 National Foreclosure Report, released this week.
In the past year alone, foreclosure inventory has fallen by nearly 28 percent and completed foreclosures have dropped about 24 percent. Completed foreclosures are the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure.
Since the financial crisis began in 2008, about 5.

Apartment Rents Grow Faster than Incomes

The average employee isn’t getting a big raise this year—but apartment rents are growing more quickly than ever.
“Across most markets, renters are paying a higher percentage of their incomes in rent,” says Luis Mejia, director of U.S. multifamily research with the portfolio strategy division of research firm CoStar.
That’s not stopping apartment rents from going up. That’s partly because the average income is surprisingly high for households living in rental housing with unrestricted rents. These households can, on average, afford to pay and they don’t have that many attractive alternatives.

Apartment Markets Survive New Construction, So Far

The cities where developers are opening the most new apartments are handling the new supply pretty well, at least for now.
“Looking at rent growth performances, there’s really only one spot [major metro apartment market] that is having trouble digesting new supply,” says Greg Willett, chief economist for RealPage Inc. “That’s Houston.”
But developers aren’t finished. Even as they race through an incredibly busy year for new construction, apartment developers are now planning even more new projects.

Return Buyers: Housing's Next Boom

Over the next five years, the housing market will see around 1.5 million eligible return buyers jump back into home ownership. These return buyers, nicknamed 'boomerang buyers,' lost their homes during the housing crisis, and they've restored their credit and are ready to impact housing again.
Since 2006, 950,000 of these former owners have already purchased a home again, and boomerang buyers will continue to be an important market for real estate professionals to target.
"Now fueled by a gradually improving economy and the strong rebound in home prices, some of these former distressed owners have returned to the market, and more will likely become eligible in coming years," says Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of REALTORS®.

Property Defects and You

Disclosure problems are the single biggest source of negligence actions against practitioners.

Three years ago, I was buying a small investment property and my real estate agent marched into my office unannounced. She tossed onto my desk a stack of property disclosure forms that the seller and [listing] agent had filled out and asked if I had read them. I told her I hadn’t yet had a chance to look at them as carefully as they required. This was an inexcusable omission on my part since, as an attorney who has worked with property buyers, sellers, and agents on hundreds of matters, I know how important it is to review such disclosures carefully.

6 Key Housing Stats to Gauge the Market

Existing-home sales were back on the rise in July, marking the third consecutive month of increases, while low inventories of homes for-sale and rising prices were the reason behind first-time buyers falling to their lowest share since January, according to a new report from the National Association of REALTORS®. Total existing-home sales – which include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops – rose 2 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million. Sales are at the highest pace since February 2007, and are 10.

Bad mortgage advice could cost you tons of money and time.

Are you thinking about buying or refinancing a home in the near future? If so, chances are you're getting all kinds of advice from well-intentioned friends and family.
Just remember to keep this important piece of advice in mind: Don't listen to everything you hear. According to industry professionals, some words of wisdom are not wise at all.
To help you separate the bad advice from the good, check out five common statements that should cause you to cover your ears immediately.
Bad Advice No.

NeighborWorks Gets $63 Million to Help Prevent Foreclosures Through Counseling

NeighborWorks America announced on Tuesday that $63.1 million had been awarded by the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program for assistance and counseling for families and individuals facing foreclosure. The funds were awarded to 29 state housing finance agencies, 18 HUD-approved housing counseling intermediaries, and 67 community-based NeighborWorks organizations. More than 167,800 families who face foreclosure are expected to be assisted by the funds. The organization notes that even though the number of households facing foreclosure has dropped below the peak from a few years ago, “many hundreds of thousands of homeowners will still face trouble with their mortgages this year.

California Governor Sued for Diverting Housing Settlement Funds

It’s not just fraudsters and criminals who warrant mention in our scam of the day features; sometimes, state governments and their officials make the cut as well. In California, governor Jerry Brown and other government officials are being sued by three nonprofit home owner counseling organizations, claiming that $369 million of funds meant to help struggling homeowners was instead diverted to pay down the state’s debt. California was awarded a portion of the $25 billion national mortgage servicing settlement in 2012, with the funds to be used for home loan counseling and other educational services to help home owners avoid foreclosure.

Real Estate Scam of the Day: Fannie Mae Employee Involved in ID Theft Ring

Federal prosecutors announced that seven people, including a Fannie Mae employee, have been charged in a North Texas identity theft ring that illegally gained access to the personal information of 1,100 Fannie Mae customers.  Charges against the seven included bank fraud and aggravated identification theft, and was based on alleged involvement from 2009 through last year.[1]
Among the defendants is 40-year old Katrina Thomas of Garland, Texas, who worked as an underwriter for Fannie Mae.  She is accused of forwarding customer information to others who then used it to illegally access bank accounts.