Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bad News Is Always Good News For Someone Else

Foreclosed homes have been bad news for most of us. But not for investors looking to snatch up homes on the cheap.

Top 10 best cities to buy foreclosed homes:

Oklahoma City
San Antonio

Foreclosure categories - from MSN

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Another Record Drop In Home Prices

Almost 11% in January. Worst hit cities include Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, and what a surprise, Detroit. Anyone interested in buying the Manoogian Mansion (home of our Detroit mayor) for cheap? I hear it might be available soon.

Former Countrywide Execs Start New Mortgage Firm

Isn't this sort of like cigarette companies that get you hooked on nicotine and then sell you the patch? Former Countrywide executives, including the company's former president, have started a new company called PennyMac aimed at helping borrowers restructure loans so they can avoid foreclosure and maintain their payments. My guess: they've probably got some great leads from their past customer list.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Cuts Just Keep On Coming

For the sixth time since August, the Fed has cut the benchmark lending rate, this time by 3/4%. The cut is a reaction to continued economic fears and the reluctance of some banks to lend to each other.

The Bear Isn't Looking So Bullish

Nearing a financial collapse, the once mighty investment bank Bear Stearns is being purchased by JPMorgan Chase for the paltry amount of $2 per share. And for the first time since the great depression, The Federal Reserve will provide special financing to JPMorgan Chase for the deal. The Fed agreed to fund up to $30 billion of Bear Stearns’ less liquid assets. Bear Stearns shares had once peeked at almost $160, but by Friday were down to $30 per share. What's most surprising about the quick fall of Bear Stearns, established in 1923, is that because it's an investment bank it has been generally detached from the issues affecting subprime lenders. The collapse of one of the world's largest and most historic investment banks would have large implications across the globe.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Isn't This An Oxymoron?

Fortune Magazine's Top 10 most admired mortgage companies. This list is a real head shaker. Every company listed is either in major debt, teetering on bankruptcy, or embroiled in scandal and lawsuits past and present. What's next? Top 10 most loved tax auditors?

Great write up on the Truth About Mortgage blog.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

26 & Counting

February foreclosures were up 60% nationally over February of last year, the 26th consecutive month with a year-over-year increase.

Also, mortgage rates climbed again this week, the fourth time in the last five weeks.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Federal Reserve To Infuse $200 Billion Into Credit Markets

For the first time ever, the Federal Reserve announced it will offer to swap up to $200 Billion in U.S. Treasury securities in exchange for other debts including mortgage-backed securities. The program is being coordinated with central banks in Europe and Canada, which plan to inject up to $45 billion into their banking systems. The move is being done in an effort to show the world's lenders it has faith in the highest quality debt. The plan has received a positive reception from many analysts, and the stock market responded with its best day in five years.

Monday, March 10, 2008

FBI And Justice Department Investigate Countrywide

Countrywide just can't seem to stay out of the news. Now the Wall Street Journal reports that the lending giant is being investigated for misrepresenting its financial position as well as the quality of its mortgage loans. In addition, Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo was one of three mortgage industry executives brought in front of a Congressional committee on Friday to answer questions regarding their exorbitant pay. The company continues to pile up heavy losses. $1.2 billion in the third quarter of 2007 and $422 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. The company's stock fell 80% between February and December of 2007.

Hmm. Do you think Bank Of America might be feeling a little buyer's remorse right about now?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

This Is Getting To Be A Broken Record

The last quarter of 2007 proved to be more of the same as foreclosures hit an all time high and delinquencies reached their highest level in 23 years. And the MBA predicts more of the same for 2008.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Construction Spending Falls To Lowest Level In 14 Years

Down by 1.7% in January. Cutbacks included spending on residential projects, hotels, highways, & state and local government projects.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tag...I'm It

Okay, fine. A certain radical individual just challenged several of us blogger dudes and dudettes to a game of tag. List seven interesting things about myself, then ask seven more people to do the same. I don't usually like forwarding things like this to unsuspecting victims, but I'm willing to post it here. I'll get my revenge on little Miss Radical later (revenge is a dish best served cold). This isn't easy, as I don't think it's up to me to decide what's interesting about myself. So I'll just list them as seven things you don't know about me:

1. I once won a national cow chip throwing contest. I was the last person to throw, and managed to hurl a dried piece of cow turd over 50 yards (my secret: while everyone else threw their cow chip like a baseball, I found a flat piece and threw it like a Frisbee).

2. In 1984, I spent my summer vacation working as a security rover at the ABC studio in Hollywood during the L.A. Olympics. I escorted guests to the set for their on air interviews, and managed to meet every U.S. gold medal winner as well as many other celebrities.

3. As a teenager, I once came perilously close to drowning. I was trapped under large raft for several minutes and after I could no longer hold my breath I started to sink to the bottom of the lake. As I was sinking, I managed to grab the last rung of the raft's ladder and pull myself up. Even though I can remember it like it was yesterday, I've never been fearful of going back in the water. My favorite activity is scuba diving.

4. Until about four years ago, I suffered from severe insomnia. I just couldn't shut down my brain. I finally put a bed in my basement and slept downstairs so I couldn't see the sun coming up. I'm better now, and I actually sleep in a bedroom.

5. I held my first job at 12 years old, working three to four days a week during the summer for my father's lawn care business.

6. My father might be the only father to ever be disappointed that his son went to college. He wanted me to take over his lawn care business. I never wanted to see another lawn mower as long as I lived. He got over his disappointment, but I never got over my hatred of lawn mowers.

7. I hate talking on the phone, even with my closest friends. If you call me, get to your point. I don't even have a land line. My cell phone is my only phone. If you want to chat, meet me in person. We can talk all day.