Wednesday, August 29, 2012

No Surprise Here on the Decline

    The huge decline in completed foreclosures is a positive signal that the housing market is on a positive path of recovery and stabilization. These five states accounted for approximately half (48.1 percent) of all foreclosures completed over a one year period ending in July 2012. Those states were California (118,000), Florida (92,000), Michigan (61,000), Texas (57,000), and Georgia (54,000). No surprise here but these two Florida metro areas had the highest percentage of homes in foreclosure: Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (11.5 percent) and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (11.3 percent).

Paul Antonelli 
That Short Sale Guy 
LaRosa Realty

Monday, August 27, 2012

Supreme Court finally ruled on MERS

Washington Supreme Court finally ruled on Thursday that the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) can't foreclose on any properties through the state's non-judicial process unless they hold the promissory note.
In the court opinion, Justice Tom Chambers wrote, "Simply put, if MERS does not hold the note, so it is not a lawful beneficiary."
Since the company is not recognized as a beneficiary without the promissory note, MERS could not, in the two cases the court examined, appoint trustees to initiate non-judicial foreclosures.
The opinion stated that only the "actual holder of the promissory note or other instrument evidencing the obligation" could act as a beneficiary and appoint a trustee to foreclose on a property.
The two plaintiffs named in the cases were foreclosed on by trustees appointed by MERS.
The Mortgage Electronic Recording System was created back in the 1990's as a way to record and track the transfer of mortgages electronically. The ease of the system allowed those who bought and sold mortgage-backed securities to avoid the cost of recording fees and the inconvenience going to a county court to record ownership.
Aside from tracking ownership, MERS in certain states was also named as a beneficiary of the deeds of trust.
In its statement, MERS said it had ceased commencing foreclosures in its name over a year ago, so this opinion does not impact its current operations. The opinion will, however, create confusion for Washington homeowners while the trial courts consider its effect on pending cases. We remain confident that MERS' role in the U.S. housing finance system is valid and will withstand legal challenges.
 What a bombshell! This is something that could have ramifications around the country. MERS understands that they don't have the right to foreclose on homeowners, and that is why they are not foreclosing on any new ones.
Now lets see if any one actually prosecutes them for this.  There has been so much fraud in foreclosure cases, no wonder the housing market has been struggling to find its feet!
Paul Antonelli
That Short Sale Guy
LaRosa Realty
Celebration, FL 

Friday, August 24, 2012

FHFA New GSE Short Sale Guidelines

FHFA New GSE Short Sale Guidelines

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) are issuing new mortgage servicing guidelines designed to align and consolidate existing short sales programs into one standard short sale program.
The new guidelines, which go into effect Nov. 1, will permit homeowners with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages to sell their home in a short sale if they are current on their mortgage or if they have an eligible hardship. Servicers will be able to expedite processing a short sale for borrowers with hardships such as death of a borrower or co-borrower, divorce, disability, or relocation for a job without any additional approval from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
According to the FHFA, the new guidelines will allow servicers to accomplish the following tasks:
Offer a streamlined short sale approach for borrowers considered to be most in need of assistance;
Quickly and easily qualify certain borrowers who are current on their mortgages for short sales;
Offer special treatment for military personnel with permanent change of station orders; and
Consolidate existing short sales programs into a single uniform program.
Furthermore, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will waive the right to pursue deficiency judgments in exchange for a financial contribution when a borrower has sufficient income or assets to make cash contributions or sign promissory notes. The GSEs will also offer up to $6,000 to second lien holders to expedite a short sale.
"These new guidelines demonstrate FHFA's and Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's commitment to enhancing and streamlining processes to avoid foreclosure and stabilize communities," says FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. "The new standard short sale program will also provide relief to those underwater borrowers who need to relocate more than 50 miles for a job."

Are they going to kill the housing market

The Republican Party's presidential platform will not include a proposal to preserve the mortgage interest tax deduction.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the omission of the deduction is seen as a victory for conservative activists who are seeking to create a simplified tax code that eliminates many current deductions. The committee drafting the Republican platform reportedly raised a great deal of debate, and the vote on its omission was decided in a show of hands after both sides felt they had won the voice vote.
The amendment failed on a show of hands after committee leaders couldn’t decide which side had won a voice vote.
Kevin Erickson, a Minnesota delegate opposed to the deduction, cheered the decision. "Comprehensive tax reform that we're talking about means the entire thing gets redone from the ground up," he says.
"The deduction shows the Republican Party's policy of supporting the middle class and supporting those who want to enter the middle class," Sigler says.
However, Delaware delegate John Sigler warns that the omission of the deduction will agitate voters.