Foreclosure notes 2/11/13 – 2/15/13

U.S. Foreclosure Starts Fall to Six-Year Low in January (RealtyTrac)

“The U.S. foreclosure landscape in January was profoundly altered by the effects of new legislation ((HBoR)) that took effect in California on the first of the year… he downward foreclosure trend in California accelerated into hyper speed in January, decisively shifting the balance of power when it comes to the nation’s foreclosure activity.

One in every 300 Florida housing units had a foreclosure filing in January – more than twice the national average. A total of 29,800 Florida properties had a foreclosure filing during the month, up 12 percent from the previous month and up 20 percent from January 2012.

With one in every 344 housing units with a foreclosure filing in January, Nevada posted the nation’s second highest foreclosure rate for the fourth consecutive month.

The Government Whiffs, Again, on Mortgage Servicer Abuse (Washington Monthly)

It may sound strange that mortgage servicers make more money kicking people out of their homes than working with them to make the loan affordable. After all, a foreclosed home sells for much cheaper than a modified loan… Cash incentives to modify loans through HAMP, the Obama Administration’s foreclosure mitigation program, did not outstrip servicer compensation incentives. So with the decision to modify or foreclose completely at their discretion, servicers quickly learned to game the program. They chronically “lost” borrower’s income documents to extend the default period. They prolonged trial modifications to rack up fees, and many of the fees were not in the original lending agreement.

Surge in foreclosure auctions shows Chicago-area market’s pain (Chicago Tribune)

More than 35,000 homes and small multifamily buildings in the Chicago area completed the foreclosure process last year, the highest number since the housing crisis began, and the vast majority of them became bank-owned… within the city of Chicago, there were 20 communities where more than 1 in 10 owner-occupied one- to four-unit residential buildings and condos went through foreclosure from 2008 to 2012.

Pilot Plan To Help Underwater Homeowners Launches In Multnomah County (Daily Kos)

((the)) plan would use government-back bonds to create a trust fund that would finance new mortgages for an estimated 8 million homeowners – 85,000 in Oregon – whose mortgages are more than the value of their homes.

((the)) trust fund would be used to offer a new 15-year mortgage at 4 percent or a 30-year term at 5 percent. Both rates would be lower than the mortgage they replace and could substantially cut monthly payments, freeing up income that families can use for other purposes

Don’t be late on your rent in Arkansas! Because if you are, you could wind up behind bars. (Truth Out)

… landlords and corrupt public officials abused an Arkansas “failure-to-vacate” law to bring charges against more than 1,200 tenants in 2012 alone. And the number of people who’ve actually been effected by this law, which charges people as criminals simply on a landlord’s say-so, could be much higher. While most states handle late rent payments and evictions as civil matters, Arkansas’ new use of the “failure-to-vacate” law could put you in jail for being as little as 10 days behind on rent…

When bankers lie (San Francisco Bay Guardian )

It turns out, however, that LIBOR has been a lie, and that the world’s biggest banks rigged the rate to skim off billions of dollars in value from other corporations and the general public. In a devastating set of revelations that began to surface two years ago, the panel of the largest global banks that set the LIBOR rate conspired to manipulate it, to increase or decrease LIBOR, solely because a higher or lower quote on particular days would allow them to reap millions in instant profits.

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