Archive for Sunday, November 28, 2010

Number of foreclosures in Douglas County still rising

November 28, 2010

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Map of foreclosures in Douglas County

View an interactive map of foreclosures in Douglas County from 2006 to 2010.

Recently mortgage paperwork from a national bank crossed the desk of Lawrence attorney Jonathan Becker.

It came with a signature Becker recognized: M. Matthews.

Becker receives information from an electronic mailing list that tracks the employees of national mortgage companies who have allegedly signed off on an enormous number of mortgage documents without checking the detailed information that they contained.

Those employees have been dubbed robo signers — and M. Matthews is among them.

“We know it is a false affidavit,” Becker said about the paperwork.

The day after Becker spied the questionable signature, banks and federal regulators were testifying before Congress on the faulty paperwork practices that threatened to worsen the nation’s housing crisis.

The Kansas Attorney General’s Office is among the 50 attorneys general who are investigating the process.

“Part of what we are doing is creating a framework to identify how many Kansas homeowners might have been affected by this,” said Gavin Young, spokesman for the Kansas Attorney General’s Office. “There is just no way of knowing.”

Young couldn’t say much else, noting that the attorney general’s office considers the matter an ongoing investigation.

Foreclosures rising

Foreclosures in Douglas County have continued to climb. So far this year, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has auctioned 204 homes that have gone into foreclosure. That’s a 62 percent increase from the number of total sheriff’s sales in 2009 and a 143 percent increase from 2007, the year before the economy tanked.

Business at Housing and Credit Counseling Inc. has remained brisk.

At the start of the economic downturn, the nonprofit agency mainly counseled clients who had taken out bad loans or had mortgages that were beyond what their salaries could cover, said Robert Baker, director of education. Now, it’s people who’ve been laid off.

“What you are a seeing now are more folks who had decent jobs and could afford the mortgage, but now in an economic downturn it is not affordable,” Baker said.

As foreclosures rise, Becker sees more people willing to walk away from their homes.

“I’m seeing people come in and you can look at them for 35 seconds and you can tell this guy is struggling and depressed. And the reason he is depressed is because he is facing a no-win situation. He is trying to put a roof over his wife and kids,” Becker said. “You tell him you can walk away and not have pay on your mortgage, you can just see the anxiety just literally shedding off of him.”

If banks know homeowners are ready to surrender their home, Becker said, they have become more willing to work out a loan modification.

Both Becker and Baker said working with banks to modify mortgages is taking longer and has become more complicated. Instead of automatically sending homes into foreclosure, banks are more willing to hire attorneys to litigate the cases, something Becker said actually can be beneficial for his clients.

At HCCI, counselors can spend up to 40 hours on a single case.

“And I know there are exceptional cases that took a lot longer than 40 hours,” Baker said.

A messy paper trail

There’s no question in Becker’s mind that local residents are among those holding mortgages that are being called into question by Congress.

At the root of the problem was the continuous buying and selling of mortgages once the homeowner signed the dotted line. To help process those transactions, the banking industry in 1997 created the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) to help track those loans. According to the Associated Press, three out of every five mortgages on the market are registered through MERS. MERS doesn’t actually hold the promissory note to the home, just the mortgage records.

“We are seeing this over and over again,” Becker said. “Either the promissory note and mortgage get separated at birth or they get separated somewhere down the line so you end up with someone holding a promissory note that is no better than a signature note that you get at your local bank. And a mortgage that they can’t foreclose on because they don’t have the promissory note.”

The court then has to make a determination on who owns the property.

For those going into foreclosure, the lost trail of paperwork can buy homeowners more time.

One of Becker’s clients is a couple who have been able to stay in their house for four and half years while the banks straightened out the paperwork.

“If a homeowner stands up and raises the slightest question about the paperwork, it grinds it all to a halt,” Becker said.

Google Map

Foreclosures in Douglas County

View a larger version of this map.

Comments

christopherhess 4 years, 7 months ago

Based on the title of the article, it seems like the second section "Foreclosures are rising" should be the lead content since it contains statistics and trends supporting the title. In fact, the other two sections might best be suited in another article on improper foreclosure processes. Whether some (or even many) foreclosures are associated with the robo-signing phenomena, local economic distress such as job losses leading to unaffordable mortgages is the point to explore.

douglas6280 4 years, 7 months ago

This cannot be true especially after the 'recovery summer"...

douglas6280 4 years, 7 months ago

This cannot be true especially after the "recovery summer"...

Alceste 4 years, 7 months ago

Does it make people "feel" important to use non-sensical terms like "downturn"? "Shortfall"?

Why don't we just call it like it is instead of trying to fluff it all up like it isn't something horribly bad?

It's funny as all get out when I hear words like "budget shortfall". I don't know what that is....I do know what bad management is; what bad accounting is; what bad projections are....funny how government likes that phrase "budget shortfall". The bean counters aren't very good at their jobs and are "optimistic" instead of being pragmatic. I've found pragmatic to be most effective in my personal finances.....; simpletons who actually bought into the stupidity "I'll be making more money every year because I am so good....". HAHAHAHAHAHHA!

Same with "downturn". Funny, funny, funny......

Clevercowgirl 4 years, 7 months ago

Douglas6280: This is sadly true. You simply have to follow the foreclosures (legal notices) in the paper every day to see what is happening in Douglas County. The prices of real estate are still spiraling downward. Until the mortgage mess is straightened out, the construction and real estate industry will be at a standstill. As a backlash to the mortgage fiasco described above, it has almost impossible for an average borrower to get a loan. Not to mention the fact that even the responsible real estate investors/contractors, who have never defaulted on any loan, can't get a loan now. Until the feds lighten up on the "credit freeze" the prices on real estate will continue to tank because basically, only cash buyers can come to the table. How pathetic that the mortgage industry was able to operate in such a fast and loose manner, and the backlash is so severe, that we can't seem to work our way out.

imastinker 4 years, 7 months ago

I don't know who you are referring to, but it's incredibly easy to get a loan. I just had a package put together for a USDA loan for a tenant of mine who is eligible for a zero down loan at a killer interest rate. I own the house and can't refinance it because it's investment property, but he can buy it and get an interest rate I can't touch at zero down. It's better for me to sell it at a loss and get rid of it. The sad part is that it's not really investment property. It was my home and I couldn't sell it so I rented it out at a pretty big loss each month.

The homes you are referring to that are torn up by homeowners being foreclosed on. I've been in lots of them. They are so torn up that they are unliveable, which means an appraiser can't give an appraisal. No appraisal means no loan - which is where the cash buyers are coming in. The cash buyers are buying them and fixing them up and reselling to people who can get financing for it now.

My point in saying this is that it's not the fed restricting loans.

Sunny Parker 4 years, 7 months ago

What has happened to all of the billions of dollars Obomba took from our grandchildren to create jobs?

Jimo 4 years, 7 months ago

3,700,000 jobs were created or preserved - so far. Granted, almost half of it was in tax cuts so that was virtually wasted (but hey at least - YOU - got to pay less to the IRS!). And it didn't come close to off-setting the anti-stimulus of the massive cutbacks by the States.

What happened to the billions Bush took from our grandchildren to destroy millions of jobs? 16 million jobs destroyed at last count. (Where are your tears for that, sunny??) 8 long years that left the stock market lower than when he started, the middle class poorer, the economy in a shambles (buy hey at least - the BILLIONAIRES - got to pay less to the IRS!).

Alceste 4 years, 7 months ago

Woops. Put the message below in the wrong place.....NOT....LJWorld.com "staff" don't have clue 1 about coding....seemingly create all pages for a browser OTHER than MSIE. I shall ALWAYS use MSIE with a Windows machine for the pure fact that running anything other than a Microsoft product with Windows is like running a Ford part in a Chevy: Might work....might not. When will these little script kiddies understand that Microsoft is not the enemy? Please code your website more better: ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

sunny (anonymous) says… What has happened to all of the billions of dollars Obomba took from our grandchildren to create jobs? ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I think you meant to put in RaYGunBushBush didn't you? Let's not leave out LewPerkins, either....

Joshua Montgomery 4 years, 7 months ago

Alceste, I don't agree or disagree with your post, but wanted to point out that when you swear undying loyalty to Internet Explorer, you seriously damage your credibility.

Just saying....

parrothead8 4 years, 7 months ago

Those billions are lining the pockets of corporate America, which posted a $1.659 trillion profit (the highest in American history) for the third quarter of 2010, according to the U.S Commerce Department.

I'm glad right-wingers are so confident those businesses will create jobs and lead us out of the financial mess created by a recent Republican administration. I'm sure all of the unemployed/underemployed will benefit any day now from the wealth corporate America is hoarding.

fan4kufootball 4 years, 7 months ago

The problem is that a lot of the jobs that were created or preserved where government jobs! Others were infrastructure type jobs -therefore not long lasting. Small business creates the bulk of jobs in the U.S. !

imastinker 4 years, 7 months ago

Toe - it's interesting you say this. I think so too, but nobody is talking about it. There's lots of farms for sale with CRP income that expires in 2011.

Sigmund 4 years, 7 months ago

But we raised sales taxes to pay for buses, increased property taxes to pay for a new library, paid end of the year bonuses to City employees, and even raised parking fees downtown. This simply can not be true!

Alceste 4 years, 7 months ago

sunny (anonymous) says… What has happened to all of the billions of dollars Obomba took from our grandchildren to create jobs? +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I think you meant to put in RaYGunBushBush didn't you? Let's not leave out LewPerkins, either....

Godot 4 years, 7 months ago

MERS was created by the investment banks in order to make it easier for them to securitize mortgages, bypassing the states' property registration processes and procedures, those that protect property owners and the chain of title. It also saved the mega banks millions upon millions of dollars in mortgage registration fees.

Ms. Metz, please ask the Douglas County Registrar of Deeds how many properties in Douglas County have MERS listed as mortgagee or mortgage servicer. Then multiply that number by the mortgage registration fee (j$70 or so?) That will tell you how much the Douglas County taxpayers have been gouged by the big banks just for unpaid mortgage registration fees.

ChristineMetz 4 years, 7 months ago

Hi Godot,

You make a good point. Several people I interviewed for this story mentioned that by using MERS, mortgage lenders were able to bypass having to pay mortgage registration fees. I thought including that concern was a little too complicated and off track for this story . But I do plan on following up on the item in the future.

Thanks for your interest, Christine Metz Lawrence-Journal World

Jimo 4 years, 7 months ago

So, we're to assume that the new AG - funded by the financial industry - will throw the book at these companies for perpetrating a fraud on the courts? My guess is that, if it's not just all swept under the rug, that they'll just be allowed to refile. Ooopsies! Sorry that our sworn statements were revealed to be false representations. Happens to everybody.

A fair result would be (at minimum) the refusal of the courts to recognize a legal mortgage, transmitting these into equitable claims, subject to adjustment or discharge in bankruptcy (rather than undischargeable debts).

But like much else in this massive eruption of fraud expect criminal prosecution to be rare if at all.

Why is it that the Republican's buddies on Wall Street never have to live with the consequences of their actions but the average Joe has to live with consequences he never caused at all? Could it be: Bribery in the form of secret corporate campaign contributions?

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

My guess is that we'll be too busy hunting after imaginary voter fraud to spend time fixing a problem that will impact all of us, whether we foreclosed or not. After all, if you buy a house from a foreclosure (or even not from a foreclosure) you need to know that you really did purchase that house and have a clear deed to it. With the robo signature problem, someone could potentially come up to you after you're paid off your mortgage and say they're the true owners of your house.

Kudos to the Lawrence AG for catching the robo-signature!

George Lippencott 4 years, 7 months ago

Author

Any idea how many of these are rentals being dumped and how many are owner occupied reflecting true hurt.

imastinker 4 years, 7 months ago

I actually looked at the neighborhoods they were in and not too many looked like areas with predominately rentals. I saw hardly any around the university.

ChristineMetz 4 years, 7 months ago

Hi Moderate,

We didn't take a look at how many of the foreclosed properties were rentals. The public records we received shows the name of the homeowner, but it doesn't indicate if the home is a rental property or not. I'm not even sure if there are any public records available that says what property is or isn't being rented. And, I know from experience, attempting to track down owners of these properties can be a difficult task. By the time the home goes into a sheriff's sale, most have disconnected the phone and vacated the property.

Hope that helps. And, thanks for your interest. Christine

ChristineMetz 4 years, 7 months ago

Opps. I forgot to say, I'm the reporter who wrote the story.

Sigmund 4 years, 7 months ago

ChristineMetz (Christine Metz) replies… ". And, I know from experience, attempting to track down owners of these properties can be a difficult task."

Scroll to the top of this page, click link "Real Estate" which takes you to "Hometown Lawrence." Click "Property Values" and input a property address or name. http://www2.ljworld.com/propertyvalues/

As an example try "Lance Johnson" and where you see multiple properties under the same name you can assume those aren't multiple primary residents. http://www2.ljworld.com/propertyvalues/?q=Lance+Johnson

I believe anyone can get current raw data from the from the City as the LJ World has done as long as you agree to a few reasonable restrictions. Having that access would allow custom searches which can be even more revealing.

Clevercowgirl 4 years, 7 months ago

Use your phone book, George. It's the homeowners that are mostly in default. Landlords are not having trouble renting, due to the large number of foreclosures.

George Lippencott 4 years, 7 months ago

OK

How did you come to that conclusion? To my knowledge, the phone book does not tell me if the name is living there or the owner. I admit I could do the homework but hoped the author who wrote the article did it - it is a logical question to ask – particularly if your story has a tale of woe associated with it.

As far as renting - not clear. Is that house (down on I believe Mississippi) that has been abandoned and is now looking to be demolished by our taxes symptomatic or exceptional? As houses are fully depreciated and new properties come on the rental market some of the slums probably become hard to rent at a profit. Data I have seen suggests that our rental market is not congested. Walking away may be attractive for some of our absentee landlords!.

Alceste 4 years, 7 months ago

Moderate:

I think your post is demonstrative of an individual who is ENVIOUS of those who understand how to manipulate the tax code better than you could even imagine.....particularly when it comes to the depreciation of rental properties.....

fancy80 4 years, 7 months ago

How many rentals do you own? I know several people that own rentals and they are having troubles renting them. What is your secret?

Godot 4 years, 7 months ago

"The industry is seeking legislation that would effectively affirm MERS's legality and block any bill that would call into question what MERS does. MERS has spent more than $1 million in lobbying since fall 2008, when lower courts around the country began to rule against it......... If successful on Capitol Hill, the industry could in one quick swoop make all lawsuits related to MERS across the country moot and remove one of the key uncertainties dangling over the mortgage industry................Consumer advocates say such legislation would retroactively bless all mortgage transfers made through MERS - and eliminate one of the strongest legal arguments that homeowners in foreclosure are using to challenge their cases. .......... Some of the advocates are referring to the idea as the "great MERS whitewash bill."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/18/AR2010111806137.html

kernal 4 years, 7 months ago

Thank you Countrywide and the rest of the irresponsible lenders who made fraudulent real estate loans and gave money to unqualified buyers. Twenty per cent of you should be in jail, sixty percent of you were greedy and the other twenty percent were probably just stupid, or ignorant, of traditionally responsible lending practices. I don't think we saw enough accountibility for that.

Godot 4 years, 7 months ago

Hopefully some executives will go to jail; at the least, what they have been doing could be called racketeering. Add to it the stock manipulation and insider trading, and the Justice Department could be kept busy for years upon years prosecuting the banksters.

Alceste 4 years, 7 months ago

I concur. However, the "unqualified buyer" knows full well and good that he/she is attempting to buy more than they can afford, irrespective of what they are being "told" by the "finance manager". The ultimate responsibility has got to go back to the person requesting/applying to BORROW money. They know the "formula" relative to income, current state of indebtedness, and what the NEW debt is going to create. If they do not, then they have no business buying.

Godot 4 years, 7 months ago

The issue of MERS and foreclosures is the root of the financial crisis. The investment banks created the securitized mortgages to sell to pension funds and large institutional investors; the lucrative market for these mortgages led the Countrywides and Wells Fargos of the world to throw loan underwriting standards out the window. They, and their mortgage brokers, falsified loan applications, lent money with no documentation of income, paid appraisers to inflate property values, etc., etc. Then they used MERS to slice and dice these mortgages and package them into Mortgage Backed Securities which are packages of mortgages (in whole or in part). Then they paid the ratings agencies like Standard & Poors and Moody's to rate the package of mortgages as AAA when they knew that there were only a small portion of good mortgages in the package. They knew that the bulk of the mortgages would fail. They sold these "securities" as AAA rated, and even said they were guaranteed by the government, when the guarantee did not exist. Then they bet against (shorted) the same mortgages they were selling as guaranteed, and made billions on the bet. They lied, they cheated, they stole, and they are now lobbying Congress to make laws that would, retrospectively, legalize the crimes they committed. If you want to make a difference, contact every member of Congress and tell them to stop the looting and start the prosecuting.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

That's exactly my view.

The rating agencies were a lynchpin, without which the whole thing wouldn't have happened.

But Alceste has a point - people applying for mortgages should pay more attention and not get loans they can't afford to pay back.

In addition, anybody buying those securities should have known better than to think they deserved a AAA rating, since they were backed by sub-prime mortgages.

Godot 4 years, 7 months ago

I don't have any sympathy whatsoever for the borrowers. It is just my opinion that their individual responsibility pales in comparison to the systemic fraud perpetrated by the lenders and securitizers.

Speaking of fraud, the buyers of the MBS were not only not told that they were purchasing subprime loans, they were told that they were prime loans, rated AAA. They were flat out lied to. Lawsuits have been filed to address that very issue.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Maybe.

But if they couldn't get a bunch of people to get loans they couldn't afford, the whole thing might have been a much smaller mess.

Con artists say that they can't con people who aren't stupid and/or greedy.

Didn't the buyers have some sort of responsibility to do a little research - used to be called due diligence?

Godot 4 years, 7 months ago

The courts will sort that out. The buyers of the MBS claim they were lied to by the investment banks and the supporting ratings by Moody's and S&P. These entities are required, by law, to tell the truth. They did not; they lied, flat out lied, and their regulator, the SEC, did nothing to stop them. When the buyers/investors cannot trust the sellers and the regulators, how can there be a market? What these TBTF banks and the lazy/inept/corrupt regulators did was destroy trust in the market. They ruined it, and in the process, they have ruined us.

tbaker 4 years, 7 months ago

Please don't forget to direct an equal measure of scorn for the federal government who drew up the rules that authorized and encouraged the behavior in company's like Countrywide.

George Lippencott 4 years, 7 months ago

Alceste (anonymous) replies… Moderate:

I think your post is demonstrative of an individual who is envious of those who understand how to manipulate the tax code better than you could even imagine.....particularly when it comes to the depreciation of rental properties.....

You support what is going on?? I find this subject more complex than what seems to be addressed here. AS for those taking advantage of the tax code. well it is legal - why be envious??

Alceste 4 years, 7 months ago

No, I do NOT support what is going on in any way, shape, or form. HOWEVER, there are many in over their head because they chose to purchase a house they simply could not afford; knew it; but WANTED to believe what that "loan officer" told them. Buyer beware.

I believe the little boys and girls who sold the "products" should have their assets seized and confront prosecution. Most of them didn't even get their collective hands slapped. (And that includes the real estate agents, most of whom are in cahoots with the mortgage "broker" as well as the dopes who determine value of a house for "lending purposes". All this lot were, are, continue to be, and generally always will be GREEDY.). I know I've always felt violated whenever a piece of property was bought with "conventional financing" instead of cash. $400 for "document prepartion fees"? Say What?! (That translates: "Run a photo copy machine for two minutes"). I will never again use a real estate agent or a bank to buy anything. Cash or my own attorney or private "financing" or nothing.

Nonetheless, Moderate, it does NOT excuse the individual or couple who wanted so much (too much) too soon and now find themselves "upside down". I know I never purchased more house than I could afford, and I rather suspect you never did either. "Progressive home ownership" is what I suspect both of us were taught. The ME NOW generation were taught that (by the likes of you and me!)...but paid no heed. Just the concept of an ARM is offensive to me, too.

Here's the way: Live within your means; Pay yourself first; invest; buy insurance .

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

It's easy to wag a finger at "those people" without knowing all the circumstances. I didn't buy more house than I could afford, and I turned down quite a bit more house than they told me I supposedly could buy. Yes, I'm sure there were some stupid decision makers out there who just got greedy, but it's never quite as simple as all that.

I know people who consulted with not just the loan officer but several other independent consultants and were still told to take an offer that ended up being affordable... until. And I think that's the key right there. Affordable until someone loses a job. Affordable until someone has unexpected medical expenses or has a sick parent or gets a new job in another state and has to move or gets divorced.

Back when houses still had value, if you had a crisis, you could sell. If you needed to move across town, you could sell. If you were in your house for five years, you could easily get back what you owed and a bit of cash for the down payment on the bigger house. These days, when you owe more than your house is worth, it's easier to just walk away and take the loss than it is to keep throwing the payments at a credit score.

alm77 4 years, 7 months ago

". $400 for "document prepartion fees"? Say What?! (That translates: "Run a photo copy machine for two minutes")." As a former Secondary Market Mortgage Processor, I can see you have no idea what you're talking about. I worked for hours on loans, fact checking, collecting and stacking documentation to verify declarations made by borrowers, making phone calls, correcting data input, and many other things. It was hard work and I earned my money.

First of all, there are/were guidelines given to us by the federal government. Telling someone they were qualified for a loan, according to the guidelines of Fannie and Freddie, did not equate telling them they could actually afford it. If the computer approved it, and the borrower wanted it, we did the loan. The buyers signed on the line. That was their responsibility. Imagine if we'd gotten into the business of actually trying to determine if someone could afford it. What standards would we use? We would also probably be sued for some sort of discrimination if we ventured into that territory. The fault lies with the loose lending guidelines put forth by those in power for the last 8-10 years, not the brokers, not the loan officers, not the real estate agents or the appraisers.

Secondly, buying a home, even with financing, was historically the safest and smartest investment a person could make. To insinuate that borrowing in an of itself is irresponsible is absurd.

Kash_Encarri 4 years, 7 months ago

I was an originator for three years. One of the things that I would do when meeting with a customer would be to sketch out rough estimate of what the guidelines say they could afford. After adding the caveat that everything was contingent upon what they put down on the app checked out, I would then place it back on the customer to think for themselves - could you feel comfortable with a mortgage payment of $X? Would you have to make drastic changes to your lifestyle in order to afford this payment?

This didn't really ingratiate me with the realtors, or with my manager, but when the bank I was working for got sold, I was offered a position with the new company and 3 of the other 4 originators were not because of the quality of my loans.

Alceste 4 years, 7 months ago

Ok....my error.....it would have been more better for me to have written that it was a whole hour....60 minutes....for them "documents" to get prepared......and let me add, I left out a WHOLE LOT of the nonsense I've seen on those "fees". It's racket and even if one took 77 showers a day one would NOT be cleaning the slime off their collective bodies for participating in this SHAM. Accept responsibility......

George Lippencott 4 years, 7 months ago

Alceste

Perhaps those you listed should include the "lawgivers" who underwrote that behavior with our tax money?? If a business (or person) has no negative consequence from an action that enriches them - well!

Alceste 4 years, 7 months ago

Thank you, Moderate. Add them to the list and SEIZE their assets and PROSECUTE the SOB's. Now we're communicating. I don't care what "political affiliation" the running curs have.....lock 'em up.....first take their money and property, please.

beaujackson 4 years, 7 months ago

All that "Hopy - Change" is finally coming true...

meggers 4 years, 7 months ago

You do realize that the housing bubble burst before Obama took office, right?

Cheap political pot-shots are a sore substitute for the truth.

Steve Jacob 4 years, 7 months ago

Everyone seems to be off point. I think we have about cleared out the "balloon" payment foreclosures. I think the 2010 and 2011 foreclosures are more due to losing jobs. Hard to make a house payment on with no job. What hurting this town is those houses are going for cheap, and the people wanting to move can't get what they want.

monkeyhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Very good point, srj. At one point I had a number of properties in Lawrence. I thank God for the three amigos who gave me a good progressive education in how to kill a city, so I was able to sell ahead of the collapse. Even at that time I could not get the price I wanted for some of the properties, so I ran with anything halfway reasonable. I even auctioned one, but I suppose it all depends on how badly one wants out. If some people are holding out for a certain price, maybe it is time to be real. There is some speculation that it will take 20 years for a property to be worth what it was just a few years ago. Equity is a thing of the past.

George Lippencott 4 years, 7 months ago

That was my question. What are we here in DG land facing? Job losses here have been well below those elsewhere.

If we are starting to see property beinbg abandoned it would behoove us to get ahead of that before it starts to eat up our governmenrt budgets.

gphawk89 4 years, 7 months ago

Still? Not tapering off, not flat, but still rising? After almost two hopey-changey years??

tbaker 4 years, 7 months ago

Equity is a thing of the past. Yikes! So Monkey: What do you think about someone buying investment property in Lawrence and owning a few rentals? Conventional wisdom says now is the time to do that? What say you?

monkeyhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Do think prices have bottomed out? Do you like no growth policies and regulations in a place like Lawrence (let alone the glut of apartments and other rentals)? Do you like tax hikes while your property devalues? Is there someone out there throwing around money for speculation or do you have cash?

I have never thought of conventional wisdom applying to Lawrence, but far be it from me to advise you. That is the job of your accountant.

BigPrune 4 years, 7 months ago

The foreclosed properties I've seen are not priced cheap enough. Some have even been higher than neighboring properrties. I saw a rule of thumb 10% discount but the house needed that 10% to be brought back up to snuff. What I think was done with the bailout money, is it propped up the banks so they wouldn't have to take as large of a loss. It also propped up everyone else's house so the tax man could commeth to keep taxing the property what it is not worth anymore.

I read an article awhile ago regarding Citibank. They had over 100,000 people try to get their loans modified and only approved 1,400. Where else would our tax money go, other than keeping the banks in business?

The bailout was a fraud sold as a rescue for the common folk in the big hurts, when in reality it bailed out the fat cats.

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