Thursday Links


Audit Uncovers Extensive Flaws in Foreclosures – NY Times

In a significant number of cases — 85 percent — documents recording the transfer of a defaulted property to a new trustee were not filed properly or on time, the report found. And in 45 percent of the foreclosures, properties were sold at auction to entities improperly claiming to be the beneficiary of the deeds of trust. In other words, the report said, “a ‘stranger’ to the deed of trust,” gained ownership of the property; as a result, the sale may be invalid, it said.

In 6 percent of cases, the same deed of trust to a property was assigned to two or more different entities, raising questions about which of them actually had the right to foreclose. Many of the foreclosures that were scrutinized showed gaps in the chain of title, the report said, indicating that written transfers from the original owner to the entity currently claiming to own the deed of trust have disappeared.

Quelle Surprise! San Francisco Assessor Finds Pervasive Fraud in Foreclosure Exam - Yves Smith

Almost no foreclosures were conducted properly. One cause is the issue we have been writing about for nearly two years: the failure of the parties to the original securitization to convey notes properly to the securitization trusts. That failure can’t be remedied at this late date, so the only way to create the appearance that the trust has the right to foreclose is either by filing improper documents and hoping no one notices, or document fabrication and forgeries.

Lowest-Income Renters Left Behind in Housing Crisis – WSJ

US Housing Starts, Permits Up Modestly From Depressed Levels; Tentative Signs of a Bottom in Construction - Mish

Foreclosures on the Rise Again – CNBC

One in every 624 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing in January, up 3 percent from the previous month, according to a new report from RealtyTrac.  Foreclosure activity froze in many states in 2011, due to processing delays after fraud, or so-called “Robo-signing,” were uncovered in the fall of 2010.  The thaw is now on.

“We expect the pattern of increasing foreclosures to continue in the coming months, especially given the finalized mortgage and foreclosure settlement reached in early February between 49 state attorneys general and five of the nation’s largest lenders,” said RealtyTrac’s CEO Brandon Moore in a written release.

Faulty reasoning keeps Fannie and Freddie out of foreclosure deal – LA Times

The chief regulator and conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is adamantly opposed to principal forgiveness, a key element of the foreclosure settlement. But analyses show he’s wrong.

Obama Proposes Extending Tax Waiver on Mortgage Debt Forgiveness – DS News

The Great Las Vegas Real Estate Scam – TBI (hat-tip Patrick)

Europe & Economy

Big Long Is New Big Short as Bass Joins Subprime Bet – Bloomberg

Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass, who made $500 million betting against subprime debt in the crash, is raising a fund to buy home loan securities.

Europe Demands More Greek Budget Controls – Bloomberg

MFGlobal Reveals You Are A Bank Counter-Party - Barry Ritholtz

Austerity Policy Destroying Greek Society - Yves Smith

Consumers not fooled by gov’t. stats - NY Post

Consumers, it turns out, were a lot less optimistic in early February, according to a University of Michigan survey. And they didn’t spend nearly as much during Christmas or in January as the geniuses who follow this stuff for a living thought.

And — surprise! — the Federal Reserve yesterday showed more nervousness than expected in the minutes of its recent meeting.

What? They aren’t thrilled that so many jobs were created in January?

Misc. Thursday Links

San Francisco Bay: a garbage can for 7 million people – Mercury News

Bay Area residents pollute San Francisco Bay every year with enough trash to fill 100,000 kitchen garbage bags, according to the first comprehensive study of the volume of litter flowing into the bay.

The Prophets of Linsanity – BusinessWeek


Crime chiefs agree to get tough on illegal tiger trade – BBC

Over the past century, tiger numbers have dropped from about 100,000 to about 4,000 tigers in the wild today.

And over the past decade, there has been a 40% decline, with conservationists warning that some populations were expected to disappear completely within 20 years unless urgent action was taken.

This entry was posted in Macro Trends and Analysis on by .

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Greg Fielding

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J. Rockcliff Realtors

15 Railroad Avenue

Danville, CA 94526

DRE #:01397948

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About Greg Fielding

I am a longtime real estate agent who has pretty much seen it all during the housing boom as bust. With experience in selling high-end property and low-end foreclosures, raw land, short sales, development work, apartment buildings, and working with investors, I bring a well-rounded perspective to my work.I also have started to do some paid real estate consulting. If you have questions or just need some good real estate advice, book an appointment at addition to selling real estate, my insights have been featured in The New York Times, The Big Picture, and regularly on I have also done consulting work with ForeclosureRadar.Starting my career, in 2003, I have sold homes throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties, specializing in Danville, Alamo, Blackhawk, San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, and Orinda. I live in Danville with my three kids.

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