Cleveland Foreclosures: City Giving Land Away — The Reality of Foreclosure and What It’s Going to Take to Stop the Crisis from Getting Worse

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This past Sunday, the CBS news magazine show, 60 Minutes, showed how it affects you when your neighbor goes into foreclosure. The show also detailed what it’s really going to take to solve the problem.

The show focused on foreclosures in Cleveland, which is tearing down houses (yes, tearing them down!), in order to preserve surrounding home values. And, in many cases, the city is giving the land that these properties used to sit on to neighbors who turn them into gardens and green spaces, which help to sustain property values.

Cleveland Foreclosures: Why the City is Tearing Down Houses and Giving Away Land

When a home sits vacant because it’s been foreclosed on and the owners have moved out and/or been evicted, thieves come in. This leads to vandalism and other crimes. So, Cleveland has started to tear down homes — more than 1,000 of them already with 20,000 more scheduled for demolition — and give the vacant lots to homeowners who live next door for example. This stabilizes property values because instead of having an empty house that invites crime sitting there, you then have a nice green space which can be turned into an attractive garden orother green space.

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How to Stop Foreclosures in Cleveland: What Lenders Can Do

One thing the City Treasurer in the piece pointed out was that about the only thing that can stop more foreclosures — and greater damage from being done to neighborhoods in Cleveland (and indeed, around the country) — is for banks to write down principal balances on home loans.

This would stem the tide of foreclosures and stop many from resorting to voluntary foreclosure (eg, purposely walking away from a home even when the homeowner can afford to pay, but chooses not to because the value of the property has dropped so much).

As this government official so eloquently put it (and I paraphrase), “They [banks] hand a hand in causing this crisis; this is one way they can help clean it up.” See video below for full story.

Related Posts

Home Foreclosure News of the Day: Why Some Cities are Tearing Down Foreclosed Homes

Foreclosure Crisis Deepens Yet Again: The One Thing Lenders Won’t Do That Could Significantly Decrease Foreclosures Immediately

Home Foreclosures News: Squatters Taking Up Residence in Foreclosed Homes

Home Foreclosure News of the Day: 15% More Americans Willing to Voluntarily Walk Away from Their Homes

Foreclosure Advice: Should You Continue to Pay Your Mortgage While You Wait for a Home Loan Modification?

Can You Legally Take Ownership of a Foreclosure Property That Has Been Abandoned via Squatter’s Rights?

Foreclosure Cleanup Money: HUD Ponies Up Another $1 Billion to Help Clean Up, Clear Out and Rehab Foreclosed Properties

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Copyright © 2011 Yuwanda Black for Foreclosure Business News. Article may not be reprinted or reproduced in any manner without the express, written consent of the author.

3 Things Homeowners Who Are Behind on Their Mortgage Payments Need to Stop Foreclosure

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According to the MSNBC.com article, Housing market improves, but foreclosures spoil the party, a recovery in the housing market doesn’t look like it’s going to happen for a few years. And, this is becasuse of the glut of foreclosures that are clogging the market.

Foreclosures Will Stall Housing Recovery Until 2015?

The article explains, stating:

There are multiple, strong headwinds that will hold back that [housing market] recovery. The biggest is the long pipeline of housing foreclosures glutting the market with houses owned by banks looking to unload them at bargain prices. The steady pace of new foreclosures feeds that pipeline. And historically high rates of mortgage defaults and delinquencies, precursors to future foreclosures, have created a “shadow inventory” of homes that have yet to hit the market.

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With unemployment still hovering right around 9%, the article hits the nail on the head. And, if more isn’t done to help the Average Joe homeowner — even those who are getting jobs won’t be able to stop foreclosure because many are so far behind.

What Homeowners Who Are Behind on Their Mortgage Payments Need to Stop Foreclosure

i) Give Principal reductions: We’ve discussed this ad nauseam on this blog;

ii) Lenders with Common Sense: Eg, those who are willing to forgive and/or tack overdue payments and late fees on back of the loans (especially when you consider that many homeowners are so far behind that they don’t have thousands of dollars to “catch up” missed mortgage payments); and

iii) Lowered interest rates: This will keep mortgage payments affordable if a ahomeowner is able to refinance and/or modify their home loan.

What do you think? How much longer will foreclosures affect the housing market? Tell us inthe comments section below.

Related Posts 

Home Foreclosure News: Bankruptcy Attorney Explains Why Foreclosure Is Inevitable for the Vast Majority of Homeowners Going Through the Home Loan Modification Process

Foreclosure Advice: Should You Continue to Pay Your Mortgage While You Wait for a Home Loan Modification?

Home Foreclosure News of the Day: Is the Housing Crisis Finally Coming to an End? The Answer May Surprise You

Home Foreclosure News of the Day: Banks FINALLY Considering Writing Down Principal Balances – Because They Were Forced to By This

Home Foreclosure News: Should the Government Intervene or Let the Market Take Care of the Home Foreclosure Situation?  

Stopping Foreclosure: Banks Considering Giving Principal Reductions, Permanent Modifications & More to Prevent Foreclosure for Many Homeowners

P.S.: Get Foreclosure Clean Up (& Other Real-Estated Related) Job Leads: FYI, don’t forget to bookmark the site and come back for direct leads on foreclosure cleaning jobs, foreclosure cleaning contracts and foreclosure cleanup request for bids. Site is updated once to three times weekly with fresh leads.

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Home Foreclosure News: Bankruptcy Attorney Explains Why Foreclosure Is Inevitable for the Vast Majority of Homeowners Going Through the Home Loan Modification Process

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If what this bankruptcy lawyer is saying is true, the reality is that most homeowners who are seeking a home loan modification won’t get one. And, indeed banks don’t WANT to give them one. It’s a sad reality, but lenders are continuing to prey on homeowners, giving them false hope that their home loans will be modified when in fact, these same homeowners are on track to lose their homes.

This is a practice known as dual tracking

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According to bankruptcy attorney Jason L. Jones of Avatar Legal, P.C., Being in the [home] loan modification process prevents the individual homeowner from facing the actual underlying problem which is the need to move to more affordable housing. “ [Source: ScoopSandiego.com; article linked to below]

The message Mr. Jones says he wants to send to homeowners trying to prevent foreclosure is this: foreclosure is inevitable for the vast majority of homeowners. So, give up the idea that you will be able to save your home via the home loan modification process. Nine times out of 10, it’s just not going to happen.

The sooner you accept this, the easier it will be for you to make sound financial decisions based on reality instead of false hope. This way, you can get on with your life – both financially and emotionally. 

Why Home Loan Modifications are Hopeless for the Vast Majority of Homeowners

Quite simply because it’s more lucrative for lenders to foreclose according to attorney Jones, who explains in the article, Home Loan Modifications – Aid or Scam, stating:

Indeed, it is more profitable for the banks to foreclose on property because of the fees and surcharges involved, typically around $30,000 per foreclosure. Anytime property changes hands, fees are paid to all sorts of companies such as appraisal, title, and escrow. And many times, these companies are actually owned by the banks, so everybody makes out. It creates a situation where the banks actually try to force foreclosure instead of modify the loan. (emphasis added) So the homeowner loses . . .

Foreclosure Statistics: How Much Does It Costs to Foreclose?

See this related post on what it costs to foreclose on a home (when reading this remember, if banks own the companies that foreclosure fees are being paid to, then of course, it’s in their best interest NOT to work with a homeowner to modify their home loan). 

What bankruptcy attorney Jones says makes perfect sense when you consider how few home loans have been modified via federal “prevent foreclosure “programs like HAMP and HARP. Banks do what is in their best financial interests. And, if it were in their best interest to modify home loans, more would have done so (many, many more). But, they haven’t. So what gives?

What Do You Think?

Do you think what bankruptcy lawyer Jones said makes sense? Should more homeowners accept the inevitable and forget about trying to modify their home loans via programs like HAMP and HARP? Share in the comments below.

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Home Loan Help: Documents Needed to Apply for a Mortgage Modification with HSBC (and Other Lenders)

Mortgage Foreclosure Timeline: How the Foreclosure Process Works & How Long You Actually Have to Move if You Eventually Lose Your Home

Stopping Foreclosure: Obama Administration to Launch 2 New Programs to Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure (One is for Unemployed Homeowners)

Home Loan Modifications: 30% of Those Made in 2009 Were Seriously Delinquent or in Foreclosure Process — Lessons Learned?  

Foreclosure Crisis to Drag on for Another 9 Years?

Stop Foreclosure Help: What Happens When You Stop Paying Your Mortgage

Home Loan Modification Help: Lenders Call It “Dual Tracking”; Homeowners Call It “Double Crossing”

Underwater On Your Home? Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? Should You Reaffirm Your Mortgage?

“Cash for Keys” Can Help if You Have a House in Foreclosure & Can’t Afford to Move

Stopping Foreclosure: Banks Considering Giving Principal Reductions, Permanent Modifications & More to Prevent Foreclosure for Many Homeowners

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Copyright © 2011 Yuwanda Black for Foreclosure Business News. Article may not be reprinted or reproduced in any manner without the express, written consent of the author.

Celebrity Home Foreclosure News: CSI Actor Losing Home to Foreclosure

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Former CSI: Crime Scene Investigation star Gary Dourdan is facing foreclosure on his Venice, California home . . . The actor, who most recently appeared in the big screen comedy Jumping the Broom, did not pay the July installment of his loan and owes $61,558.90 as of Sept. 28. [Source: Former ‘CSI’ Star Gary Dourdan Facing Foreclosure on Venice Home]

Read about Other Celebrities Who’ve Recently Faced Foreclosure Below . . .
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Tiger Woods’ $865,079.36 Monthly Mortgage Payment

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Stopping Foreclosure: “Extreme Home Makeover” Family Held Raffle to Avoid Foreclosure?

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Home Foreclosure News of the Day: Could Some Big Whigs FINALLY be Headed to Jail Over This Whole Housing Crisis Mess?

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I highly doubt it, but one can hope. Two states’ Attorney Generals — with others thinking about joining — SEEM to be getting serious about seeing that some of those who started this whole foreclosure crisis will be going to the clank, clank, as Madea would say.

According to the article, California and Nevada Announce Joint Investigation Into Mortgage and Foreclosure Fraud:

Attorney General Kamala Harris of California and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced an agreement to jointly investigate misconduct and fraud in the mortgage industry. . . .

AG Harris commented:

“The mortgage crisis is a man-made disaster that has taken a heavy toll on the country, but it saved its worst for California and Nevada.  The mortgage crisis is a law enforcement matter, and we will prosecute to hold accountable those who are responsible and also protect the homeowners who are targeted for fraud.  I am delighted that California and Nevada are entering into this alliance to leverage the best results for our investigations and look forward to forging similar collaboration with other states.”

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No one who had a hand in all of this happening has gone to jail, eg:

Companies that pushed zero-down, no-doc home loans (so-called exotic home loans) ;

Lenders that gave those with  poor credit (eg, 580 credit scores) zero-down home loans: many of these borrowers even got money BACK at closing;

Lenders that gave those with  poor credit (eg, 580 credit scores) zero-down home loans: many of these borrowers even got money BACK at closing;

Lenders who unfairly targeted the poor/working class with high-interest ARMS (adjustable rate mortgages) that they never should have been put in; and

One and on and on.

The practices were atrocious. And, because lenders often sold loans before the ink was dry on the paper, they never absorbed the losses. THIS is what finally broke the camel’s back and had the American taxpayer bailing out banks.

So yeah, it’d be nice if  a few heads rolled over this. It would not only restore some faith that someone is looking out for the interest of The Average Joe, but could act as a deterrent in future white-collar crime like this. Too many just blatantly get away with it.

If a common robber on the street stole snatched someone’s purse, he’d get some jail time most likely. Did you know, for example, that the maximum sentence for robbery in California is 25 years to life? This even applies to first time offenders with out injury or weapons involved during the robbery.

Definition of Robbery: Have Those Responsible for the Home Foreclosure Crisis Not Committed Robbery?

According to Wikipedia, robbery is: 

. . . the crime of taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. At common law, robbery is defined as taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, by means of force or fear. Precise definitions of the offence may vary between jurisdictions. Robbery differs from simple theft in its use of violence and intimidation.

Have people’s property (LITERALLY) not been taken? Have homeowners not been “permanently deprived” of their property by being foreclosed on. The fear factor — we’ll ruin your credit, take the very roof from over your head, make you homeless?

I’d say we have a case here for “common robbery.”

Hence, nail the suckers!

What do you think?

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Home Foreclosure: How the “Greed Is Good” Culture Has Come Back to Bite Us in the A**

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Foreclosure & Credit: How Does Foreclosure Impact Your Credit Report?

Home Loan Help: Documents Needed to Apply for a Mortgage Modification with HSBC (and Other Lenders)

First-Time Home Buying Advice: Is It Better to Buy a New Home than a Foreclosed Home?

P.S.: Foreclosure Clean Up Job Leads: FYI, don’t forget to bookmark the site and come back for direct leads on foreclosure cleaning jobs, foreclosure cleaning contracts and foreclosure cleanup request for bids on jobs. Always check under “Recent Posts” for the most recent job listings.

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Home Foreclosure Crisis in Chicago Highlights Nationwide Issue: Will Renting Foreclosed Properties Cause Existing Home Values to Plummet?

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Chicago is like a lot of other big cities (eg, Atlanta, Miami, Nevada) – trying to find a solution to the seemingly never-ending home foreclosure crisis. One they’ve come up with is to rent foreclosed properties. The Chicago Sun-Times article, Foreclosures increasingly becoming rentals, states:

With more than one in 10 houses in Chicago vacant, and experts expecting the foreclosure crisis to continue to grow, nonprofits and the city are renting out more of those properties and offering incentives for those willing to buy.

If non-profits and the city are renting foreclosures, most likely, many of these– if not all — are Section 8 (low-income) tenants.

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Is Another Housing Crisis on the Horizon: Turning “Owner” Neighborhoods into “Renter” Neighborhoods

In a few years, what will these neighborhoods look like? Will properties maintain their value if they’ve turned from primarily homeowner neighborhoods to low-income renter neighborhoods? Will more owners who are on the fence about keeping their property start abandoning them because the neighborhood is “changing?” Could this present yet another housing crisis in a few years?

We touched on this in the post, Foreclosures Set to Skyrocket Again: 1.5 Million Homeowners Scheduled to Be Foreclosed on Next Year, writing:

. . . private investors have been buying up homes and renting them out. The government has even solicited investors to buy foreclosed homes and turn them into rentals.

This could turn into a nightmare that no one is really addressing right now. How? Renters don’t care about property like homeowners do. That’s just a simple fact. And, who are these investors likely to rent to. Section 8 tenants – because it’s guaranteed money. 

So, when owners see their neighborhoods turning into primarily low-income renters – from primarily working or middle-class homeowners, this changes the complexion of the neighborhood. 

What do you think? Share in the comments below.

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Mortgage Loan Modification: Top 10 Questions About (Home) Loan Modifications

Home Foreclosures: Why So Many Homeowners are In Limbo When Trying to Refinance or Modify Their Home Loans Now

Foreclosure & Credit: How Does Foreclosure Impact Your Credit Report?

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Home Foreclosure News of the Day: Occupy Our Homes, an Offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street Group, Stages Protest of Foreclosed Homes in East New York

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Tuesday marked the first national day of action of Occupy Our Homes. The 99% movement, joined by community activists, occupied vacant, bank-owned houses in over 25 cities across the country for families that have lost their own.

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Read the full story at The L Magazine, Protesters Occupied Foreclosed Homes in East New York.

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Foreclosure Cleaning, Construction & Commercial Supply Contracting/Job Leads for 12/7/2011

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Property Preservation Company Seeks Lawn Care Provider (Orange County, CA):  Scope of Duties: Need company/crew that can handle large cuts (and shrub trimming, leave raking, etc.) from Oxnard to Orange counties. Prefer licensed vendors. Get full details on this lawn care job.

Property Preservation Company Seeks Foreclosure Cleanup Contractors (Connecticut): Immediate Need. Scope of Duties: Provide a range of services on foreclosed properties, eg, boarding up windows, lawn care, snow removal, trashouts, winterization, etc. Compensation: Paid per assignment every 14 days! Must have or be willing to acquire foreclosure cleaning license and insurance. Get full details on this foreclosure cleanup job

Learn why property preservation companies are excellent places to look for foreclosure cleanup jobs.

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Get 1,500 Contacts to Start Landing Foreclosure Cleaning Jobs. Learn more in the The Property Preservation & Real Estate Industry Contracting & Subcontracting Directory.

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Property Preservation Company Seeks Foreclosure Cleanup Contractors (Winchester, VA): Scope of Duties: Provide a range of maintenance and preservation work on foreclosed properties in Winchester and surrounding areas. We prefer companies with at least 2 yrs industry experience, and those who are familiar with HUD, VA and FNMA procedures. Compensation: Paid per work order; 1099. Must have foreclosure cleaning license and insurance. Get full details on this property preservation job

City Request for Proposal for Landscaping (St. Clair, Michigan): The City of St Clair Parks and Recreation Department is soliciting proposals for skate park landscaping improvements. Due Date: December 9, 2011. Term:  Project will need to be completed by May 1, 2012. Get full details on this city landscaping contract.

City Request for Proposal for Landscaping Contractor (Santa Rosa, CA): City will select more than one contractor to provide services. Pre-submittal meeting: December 14, 2011. Due Date: January 13, 2012. Term:  Get full details on this city landscaping contract.

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P.S.: Bank Failures Can Mean Big Business for Foreclosure Cleaning Businesses! Learn which banks closed have closed recently. Then, learn how to use bank failures to grow your foreclosure cleaning business.

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Home Foreclosure News: Occupy Wall Street People Have Been Stealing Our Ideas on How to End the Home Foreclosure Crisis

ForeclosureBusinessNews.com: “Foreclosure News the Average Joe Can Use!” Find Trusted Vendors, eg, Foreclosure Lawyers, Mortgage Consultants, Cleaning Co’s, Etc.

Ok, the title of this post is a big, bold fib – but it’s LIKE someone from Occupy Wall Street has been reading this blog because guess what — they’re proposing the same ideas we’ve been spouting here for over six months now on how to end the foreclosure crisis.

And thank goodness – they have louder, more intelligent voices than this little blog. But, it’s nice to know that it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to end the housing crisis. Maybe because this group is made up of regular folk, common sense can prevail. 

The bottom line is, the foreclosure crisis could have been well on its way to being over if the “powers that be” would just grow some friggin’ cojones and take the suggestions that not only we have been spouting, but housing experts to. And now, Occupy Wall Street is lending its voice to the discussion.

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This Is the Solution to the Home Foreclosure Crisis 

In the May 9th post here entitled, Foreclosure Crisis Deepens Yet Again: The One Thing Lenders Won’t Do That Could Significantly Decrease Foreclosures Immediately, we stated: 

How do we get out of this mess is the question; one that no one has been able to solve. But, there is a solution. Lenders hold the key to it and the vast majority of them just aren’t willing to exercise the option. What is it?

Stopping Foreclosure: The One Thing Lenders Could Do to Stem the Tide of Home Foreclosures

Reduce principal balances. What exactly does this mean?

What is a Principal Reduction? It’s when a lender agrees to “forgive” part of the outstanding balance on your loan. 

And we’ve been saying it since before then. And, this is just a tiny real estate blog amongst millions of others on the net with no influence. If WE can see the wisdom in this, then why can’t the so-called big whigs (bankers, legislators, etc.) see it?

Well now, more than just “we” are seeing it. Occupy Wall Street has created an off-shoot group, Occupy Our Homes, that’s specifically targeting foreclosures.

The CBSNews.com article, No place like home: “Occupy Wall Street” targets foreclosures, explains their mission this way:

A spinoff of the protest movement, Occupy Our Homes, is launching a campaign Tuesday to help people facing foreclosure fight eviction.

The “national day of action,” which will involve rallies in more than 20 cities nationwide, builds on existing grass-roots efforts around the U.S. to prevent banks from seizing homes and to draw attention to the millions of homeowners at risk of losing their properties.

One of the goals of the group is to get principal balances reduced. The above-cited article states:

President Obama made a campaign promise that he would support amending the bankruptcy code to do exactly what the protesters are calling for: reduce mortgage principal to the value of the house.

A Harvard Professor Says Giving Principal Reductions Is One Solution to the Home Foreclosure Crisis

In the post Foreclosures Set to Skyrocket Again: 1.5 Million Homeowners Scheduled to Be Foreclosed on Next Year, we quoted a Harvard professor who saw the wisdom in principal reductions. We wrote: 

We’ve long said it on this blog – the best things banks can do to prevent foreclosure – for millions! – is to reduce the principal balance. Now, a Harvard professor, who is an economic advisor to the president, is championing the same thing in The Los Angeles Times article, Obama administration ramps up mortgage refinancing effort:

A far more ambitious proposal is offered by Martin Feldstein, a Harvard professor and top economic advisor to President Reagan: Reduce the principal on the mortgages so that the loans are no more than 110% of the value of the properties. . . . Banks would absorb half the cost of the principal reduction, and the government the rest.

Could this practical solution to the foreclosure crisis finally gain some traction?

As more than a quarter of American homeowners are predicted to lose their homes before the housing crisis recedes, the Average Joe Homeowner can only hope. 

Related Posts

 Foreclosure Homes for Sale: Banks Prolonging the Crisis?

Foreclosure Crisis to Drag on for Another 9 Years?

Stopping Foreclosure: Banks Considering Giving Principal Reductions, Permanent Modifications & More to Prevent Foreclosure for Many Homeowners

Home Foreclosure News: Why Home Prices May Be Depressed for Some Years to Come & What It Means for the Average Homeowner

Home Foreclosure News of the Day: Banks FINALLY Considering Writing Down Principal Balances – Because They Were Forced to By This

Some Banks are Purposely NOT Foreclosing on Homeowners in Default: Here’s Why

The Real Estate Market and House Values: Foreclosures Continue to Drag Down Home Prices – Options It Leaves for the Average Homeowner

Prevent Foreclosure Help: Another Big Bank Not Playing by the Rules — If Your Mortgage is With Chase, You’re Screwed

Home Foreclosure News: 9 Million Homeowners Could Go Into Foreclosure Between 2009 & 2012

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Copyright © 2011 Yuwanda Black for Foreclosure Business News. Article may not be reprinted or reproduced in any manner without the express, written consent of the author.

Home Foreclosure News of the Day: Deputies Refuse to Evict 103-Year-Old Woman and Her 83-Year-Old Daughter

ForeclosureBusinessNews.com: “Foreclosure News the Average Joe Can Use!” Find Trusted Vendors, eg, Foreclosure Lawyers, Mortgage Consultants, Cleaning Co’s, Etc.

Recently, we reported that even during the holidays, homeowners trying to prevent foreclosure get no breaks. We referred to it as a lack of compassion and sympathy.

Well, now it appears that some on the foreclosure frontlines do have a heart. According to the MSNBC article, Deputies refuse to evict 103-year-old woman:

Fulton County [Atlana, GA area] Sheriff’s deputies and a moving company hired by the bank showed up at Vita Lee’s Penelope Road home . . .  Deutsche Bank apparently holds the mortgage that is being serviced locally by Chase . . . But when the men saw the frail woman, they opted to leave instead of carry through with the forced move.

One commentor on the article summed it up perfectly, writing:

These lawmen are to be commended. They kept their oath and protected and served those they swore to. Nice to see in this growing age of police militarism.

While the 103-year old took it just fine, her 83-year old daughter didn’t fare so well. She was sent to a local hospital, suffering from  stress-related symptoms brought on by the situation.

Related Posts

“Cash for Keys” Can Help if You Have a House in Foreclosure & Can’t Afford to Move

Mortgage Foreclosure Timeline: How the Foreclosure Process Works & How Long You Actually Have to Move if You Eventually Lose Your Home

Stopping Foreclosure: What to Do When the Bank Refuses to Accept Your Mortgage Payments & Tries to Escalate the Home Foreclosure Process

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P.S.: Foreclosure Clean Up Job Leads: FYI, don’t forget to bookmark the site and come back for direct leads on foreclosure cleaning jobs, foreclosure cleaning contracts and foreclosure cleanup request for bids on jobs. Look under “Recent Posts” heading for most current job leads.

P.P.S.: Like this post? Tweet it and follow Foreclosure Business News on Twitter.

Copyright © 2011 Yuwanda Black for Foreclosure Business News. Article may not be reprinted or reproduced in any manner without the express, written consent of the author.

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