Bulk REO pilot plan disappoints – HousingWire
Dale said he is “disappointed that 85% of the REO units due to be sold are already occupied by tenants.”
“The pilot plan will therefore do almost nothing to reduce the number of vacant homes for sale or provide more homes to rent,” he said.
Why banks are reluctant to foreclose on expensive homes – Felix Salmon
For all the talk of strawberry pickers buying McMansions at the height of the subprime bubble, expensive homes are much more likely to be owned by rich people than cheap homes are. And if a rich person owes a bank somewhere north of a million dollars, the bank is likely to be quite aggressive in attempting to get all of the money it’s owed, rather than simply letting the borrower walk away from their house.
Optimists point to declining home inventories in relation to sales, but they’re looking at an illusion. Those supposed inventories don’t include about 5 million housing units with delinquent mortgages or those in foreclosure, which will soon be added to the pile. Nor do they include approximately 3 million housing units that stand vacant – foreclosed upon but not yet listed for sale, or vacant homes that owners have pulled off the market because they can’t get a decent price for them. Vacancies are up 1m from 2006.
Robosigning 2.0: Coming to a Foreclosure Review Near You – Credit Slips
California AG Harris wants halt to foreclosures - McClatchy
In a letter to Federal Housing Finance Agency acting director Edward DeMarco, Harris said “a good-faith pause” is needed following the recent multi-state settlement with the nation’s largest lenders over mortgage abuses.
Economy & Europe
Not What Paul Volcker Had in Mind – NY Times
A U.S. Boon in Low-Cost Borrowing – NY Times
A combination of unusual and unsustainable forces has pushed the cost of borrowing as low as it has ever been, so low that many investors effectively are paying to lend money to the government.
Greece’s default gets messier – Felix Salmon
Senate Bill 1234, written by Sen. Kevin de León,D-Los Angeles, would require businesses with five or more employees to enroll them in a new “Personal Pension” defined benefit program or to offer an alternative employer-sponsored plan.
The new system’s investments would be professionally managed by CalPERS or another contracted organization. Employees would contribute about 3 percent of their wages through a payroll deduction, although they could opt out of the plan. Employers could make voluntary contributions into the fund.
How much would you pay for a year of hassle-free parking in Walnut Creek? – Crazy in Suburbia
The listed value is $1500.
It’s all but a done deal now: Apple will unveil the iPad 3 on March 7. The event is due to begin at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (1 p.m. ET).
Apps for Apes: Engaging Orangutans with iPads - Scientific American
So far, the animals have been watching videos of themselves and playing with simple games or an app for finger painting. They might one day also be able to connect to animals in other parts of the zoo—or even other zoos—through Skype or programs like it.