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Recession Not Over In Us

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This is a Reuters story, but seeing as how the British press seems bent on a real estate rally, you might not get this sort of news, so I though I'd post it.

U.S. home foreclosures set another record in July

Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:11am EDT

By Lynn Adler

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. home loans failed at a record pace in July despite ongoing federal and state programs to avoid foreclosures, which have severely strained housing and the economy.

Foreclosure activity jumped 7 percent in July from June and 32 percent from a year earlier as one in every 355 households with a loan got a foreclosure filing, RealtyTrac said on Thursday.

Filings -- including notices of default, auction and bank repossession -- have escalated with unemployment.

"July marks the third time in the last five months where we've seen a new record set for foreclosure activity," James J. Saccacio, RealtyTrac's chief executive, said in a statement.

"Despite continued efforts by the federal government and state governments to patch together a safety net for distressed homeowners, we're seeing significant growth in both the initial notices of default and in the bank repossessions."

More than 360,000 households with loans drew a foreclosure filing in July, a record dating back to January 2005, when RealtyTrac started tracking monthly activity.

Notices of default, auction or repossession have reached nearly 2.3 million in the first seven months of the year -- with more than half a million bank repossessions, the Irvine, California-based company said.

Making timely payments keeps getting more harder for borrowers who have lost their jobs or seen their wages cut.

The unemployment rate is 9.4 percent and President Barack Obama has said he expects it will hit 10 percent.

Obama's housing rescue is gaining traction in altering terms of loans for struggling borrowers, but slowly.

Earlier this month the U.S. Treasury Department detailed the progress of the top servicers in modifying loans and prodded them to step up efforts to stem foreclosures.

SUN BELT STILL SUFFERING

States where sales and prices surged most in the five-year housing boom early this decade remain hardest hit.

California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada accounted for almost 57 percent of total U.S. foreclosure activity in July.

Illinois had the fifth-highest total filings, spiking nearly 35 percent from June, in an example of how moratoriums often delay rather than cure an inevitable loan failure.

Default notices spiked by 86 percent in July, from artificially low levels the prior two months. A state law enacted on April 5 gave delinquent borrowers up to 90 extra days before foreclosure started, RealtyTrac said.

Michigan's foreclosure activity fell 39 percent in July from June, mostly due to a 66 percent drop in scheduled auctions. A state law that took effect July 6 freezes foreclosure proceedings an extra 90 days for homeowners who commit to work on a loan modification plan.

Other states with the highest foreclosure filing totals last month included Texas, Georgia, Ohio and New Jersey.

Nevada had the highest state foreclosure rate for the 31st straight month, with one in every 56 properties getting a filing, or more than six times the national average.

Initial notices of default fell 18 percent in the month, with a new Nevada law taking effect on July 1 requiring lenders to offer mediation to homeowners facing foreclosure. Scheduled auctions and bank repossessions each jumped more than 20 percent, however, boosting overall foreclosure activity in the state by 4 percent from June.

California, Arizona, Florida, Utah, Idaho, Georgia, Illinois, Colorado and Oregon were the other states with the highest foreclosure rates.

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This is a Reuters story, but seeing as how the British press seems bent on a real estate rally, you might not get this sort of news, so I though I'd post it.

U.S. home foreclosures set another record in July

Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:11am EDT

By Lynn Adler

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. home loans failed at a record pace in July despite ongoing federal and state programs to avoid foreclosures, which have severely strained housing and the economy.

Foreclosure activity jumped 7 percent in July from June and 32 percent from a year earlier as one in every 355 households with a loan got a foreclosure filing, RealtyTrac said on Thursday.

Filings -- including notices of default, auction and bank repossession -- have escalated with unemployment.

"July marks the third time in the last five months where we've seen a new record set for foreclosure activity," James J. Saccacio, RealtyTrac's chief executive, said in a statement.

"Despite continued efforts by the federal government and state governments to patch together a safety net for distressed homeowners, we're seeing significant growth in both the initial notices of default and in the bank repossessions."

More than 360,000 households with loans drew a foreclosure filing in July, a record dating back to January 2005, when RealtyTrac started tracking monthly activity.

Notices of default, auction or repossession have reached nearly 2.3 million in the first seven months of the year -- with more than half a million bank repossessions, the Irvine, California-based company said.

Making timely payments keeps getting more harder for borrowers who have lost their jobs or seen their wages cut.

The unemployment rate is 9.4 percent and President Barack Obama has said he expects it will hit 10 percent.

Obama's housing rescue is gaining traction in altering terms of loans for struggling borrowers, but slowly.

Earlier this month the U.S. Treasury Department detailed the progress of the top servicers in modifying loans and prodded them to step up efforts to stem foreclosures.

SUN BELT STILL SUFFERING

States where sales and prices surged most in the five-year housing boom early this decade remain hardest hit.

California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada accounted for almost 57 percent of total U.S. foreclosure activity in July.

Illinois had the fifth-highest total filings, spiking nearly 35 percent from June, in an example of how moratoriums often delay rather than cure an inevitable loan failure.

Default notices spiked by 86 percent in July, from artificially low levels the prior two months. A state law enacted on April 5 gave delinquent borrowers up to 90 extra days before foreclosure started, RealtyTrac said.

Michigan's foreclosure activity fell 39 percent in July from June, mostly due to a 66 percent drop in scheduled auctions. A state law that took effect July 6 freezes foreclosure proceedings an extra 90 days for homeowners who commit to work on a loan modification plan.

Other states with the highest foreclosure filing totals last month included Texas, Georgia, Ohio and New Jersey.

Nevada had the highest state foreclosure rate for the 31st straight month, with one in every 56 properties getting a filing, or more than six times the national average.

Initial notices of default fell 18 percent in the month, with a new Nevada law taking effect on July 1 requiring lenders to offer mediation to homeowners facing foreclosure. Scheduled auctions and bank repossessions each jumped more than 20 percent, however, boosting overall foreclosure activity in the state by 4 percent from June.

California, Arizona, Florida, Utah, Idaho, Georgia, Illinois, Colorado and Oregon were the other states with the highest foreclosure rates.

It is interesting that Oregon and Colorado are on the list. I always thought that they were amongst the less insane markets in the US. Is my impression wrong or is this just "catch-up" now that the problems are becoming uniformly severe nationally rather than more focused on particular states?

Initial claims and retail sales weren't that great either.

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No, it's still fairly regionalized. The problem with Oregon is they never had much of an economy and their bubble was from rich Californians moving north. When the Calif. bubble collapsed, Oregon was particularly hard hit.

Colorado -- the same thing. Rich hippies moved to the state with the best mountains. They brought their immense pollution, changed the voting patterns of the state, brought their real estate bubble and voila.

It is interesting that Oregon and Colorado are on the list. I always thought that they were amongst the less insane markets in the US. Is my impression wrong or is this just "catch-up" now that the problems are becoming uniformly severe nationally rather than more focused on particular states?

Initial claims and retail sales weren't that great either.

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1 in 355 mortages got foreclosed on a monthly basis.

That means 1 in 30 on an annual basis.

1 in 30 is 3.333% of mortgages getting foreclosed on an annual basis.

Personally I thought it would be much worse than this certainly into double digit percentages by now.

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Bill - off topic but I wanted to ask a question. In a previous thread you said you still have the day job. Is this a 9-5 job working for a private employer or are you referring to your own film making company? If it's a private company, what do you do there?

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No, it's still fairly regionalized. The problem with Oregon is they never had much of an economy and their bubble was from rich Californians moving north. When the Calif. bubble collapsed, Oregon was particularly hard hit.

Colorado -- the same thing. Rich hippies moved to the state with the best mountains. They brought their immense pollution, changed the voting patterns of the state, brought their real estate bubble and voila.

Fair point.

Same problem as here really. You don't need that many rich people (or people who think that they are rich) to change prices dramatically in the areas close to where they live.

I used to think that the impact of localized wealth was some sort of square root function of the distance from the place where the wealth was generated. I think that it has become increasingly linear during the bubble. From the sounds of it, traditional relationships are being re-established.

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1 in 355 mortages got foreclosed on a monthly basis.

That means 1 in 30 on an annual basis.

1 in 30 is 3.333% of mortgages getting foreclosed on an annual basis.

Personally I thought it would be much worse than this certainly into double digit percentages by now.

That's because the US government has been holding off on foreclosures but it seems the flood gates may be opening now.

Just wait until the Option-ARM/Alt-A defaults start next year.

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That's because the US government has been holding off on foreclosures but it seems the flood gates may be opening now.

Just wait until the Option-ARM/Alt-A defaults start next year.

I used just he July figures as the previous months repos were very low because of Obama. Julys figures have rocketed, so I used them.

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First of all, do you get this sort of news from Reuters?

On point now: For the first time in my lifetime, the mobility of Americans has come to a screeching halt. It was actually a way of life to buy a home, live in it for a year or two, then sell it, buy a bigger home, etc. It was nuts. People were relocating wherever they darn well pleased, so the really pretty and once isolated spots suddenly got bid up out of all local proportions.

Fair point.

Same problem as here really. You don't need that many rich people (or people who think that they are rich) to change prices dramatically in the areas close to where they live.

I used to think that the impact of localized wealth was some sort of square root function of the distance from the place where the wealth was generated. I think that it has become increasingly linear during the bubble. From the sounds of it, traditional relationships are being re-established.

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I'm a writer for software documentation. I'm very fortunate that I get to work from home due to my age/experience plus my wife is handicapped. It is a very good job and I guard it carefully.

Bill - off topic but I wanted to ask a question. In a previous thread you said you still have the day job. Is this a 9-5 job working for a private employer or are you referring to your own film making company? If it's a private company, what do you do there?

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I'm a writer for software documentation. I'm very fortunate that I get to work from home due to my age/experience plus my wife is handicapped. It is a very good job and I guard it carefully.

No problem. I won't pry any further. I was just interested. Your image is one of financial reporter, so I wondered if you worked for a TV network, that was all.

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First of all, do you get this sort of news from Reuters?

On point now: For the first time in my lifetime, the mobility of Americans has come to a screeching halt. It was actually a way of life to buy a home, live in it for a year or two, then sell it, buy a bigger home, etc. It was nuts. People were relocating wherever they darn well pleased, so the really pretty and once isolated spots suddenly got bid up out of all local proportions.

I am more used to Bloomberg than Reuters but yes, there are quite a few on this site who post stories from all sorts of news / market websites.

I agree with your assessment of mobility and the impact of relocated wealth on local communities. From your original article, I assume that is a big contributing factor to the problems in a place like Idaho arose because locals had to stretch themselves very thinly to compete with external money when trying to buy somewhere to live.

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I'd not heard anything about Idaho in particular, but yes, that makes perfect sense.

I am more used to Bloomberg than Reuters but yes, there are quite a few on this site who post stories from all sorts of news / market websites.

I agree with your assessment of mobility and the impact of relocated wealth on local communities. From your original article, I assume that is a big contributing factor to the problems in a place like Idaho arose because locals had to stretch themselves very thinly to compete with external money when trying to buy somewhere to live.

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I was a reporter for the first 30 years of my working life, but when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, I was making a good living freelancing and that suddenly dried up. Here I was with 4 kids and a mortgage. eeeek! I had to reorient my career to something more secure. Now I've worked myself into a really nice position so I can return to my interest in monetary reform. No, I'm not an economics expert in general -- just this small corner of monetary history. I'm just an average reporter/writer who stumbled on this deliberately hidden group of historic facts and brought those to light with a book that turned into "The MoneyMasters."

No problem. I won't pry any further. I was just interested. Your image is one of financial reporter, so I wondered if you worked for a TV network, that was all.

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I was a reporter for the first 30 years of my working life, but when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, I was making a good living freelancing and that suddenly dried up. Here I was with 4 kids and a mortgage. eeeek! I had to reorient my career to something more secure. Now I've worked myself into a really nice position so I can return to my interest in monetary reform. No, I'm not an economics expert in general -- just this small corner of monetary history. I'm just an average reporter/writer who stumbled on this deliberately hidden group of historic facts and brought those to light with a book that turned into "The MoneyMasters."

And yet also a legend in your own right because of that particular niche area of work.

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