Jersey agents being sent back to school

From the Today’s Sunbeam:

Bill in New Jersey Legislature calls for real estate professionals education

A measure sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney, which would require real estate professionals to complete continuing education courses as a condition of their license renewal was approved last week by the Senate Commerce Committee.

“The real estate market crisis of the past few years was caused, in part, by home buyers securing loans and purchasing properties that they simply could not afford,” said Sweeney, D-3rd Dist.

“The role of a professional real estate agent is to guide potential buyers, and help them to select the property that best fits their needs, that is also within their price range. As the federal government continues to work to improve the real estate market, it is imperative that real estate professionals know ins and outs of the market, so that they can best advise their clients on making responsible purchases.”

Sweeney’s bill, S-2068, would require real estate brokers and agents to complete continuing education requirements as a condition of their license renewal. The New Jersey Real Estate Commission would be responsible for determining the course content, and the number of credits needed to gain the biennial license renewal.

“Buying a home is the most expensive purchase that most people ever make, and those purchases should be guided by professionals who have the needs of their clients in mind,” Sweeney said.

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205 Responses to Jersey agents being sent back to school

  1. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Incoming NJ Gov. Chris Christie planning to slash spending up to 25 percent

    Governor-elect Chris Christie and his transition aides are compiling plans to slash New Jersey state spending and state programs by as much as 25 percent in response to the continuous flow of dim financial news from the New Jersey Treasury Department, according to an internal document obtained by The State House Bureau.

    Even before he takes office next month, his team is looking for programs that can be eliminated entirely and calling on state administrators to find untapped federal funds to cover whatever they possibly can.

    “Absent strong action, revenues and expenditures will likely remain out of balance for the foreseeable future,” according to a Dec. 18 memo from the state Office of Management and Budget to all cabinet members and agency directors.

    The letter was dispatched “at the request of the governor-elect’s transition team” and said the deadline for responses is Jan. 6, nearly two weeks before Christie is to be sworn in. Christie, a Republican, defeated Democratic Governor Jon Corzine in last month’s election and has been critical of Corzine’s spending practices and budget forecasts.

  2. still_looking says:

    First,

    Yeah, Continuing Education for

    “should be guided by professionals who have the needs of their clients in mind,” Sweeney said. ”

    With some exceptions, I can’t see this happening…

    All while we looked (at the peak) only two realtors told us not to buy.

    Can you guess who? Hint: they host/post here….

    sl

  3. crossroads says:

    2 sl

    “The New Jersey Real Estate Commission would be responsible for determining the course content”,

    does this mean fluff course?

  4. freedy says:

    where will the 25 per cent come from?

    payroll?

  5. grim says:

    More courses = More revenue

    Don’t put it past the vampires to suck blood from their own kind.

    Who does the teaching? I bet those were the folks really pushing for the legislation.

    I’m all for higher/continuing educational standards as a requirement for licensure, but I’m betting this turns out to be fluff.

    You probably get 3 CEs for going to AC.

  6. grim says:

    It is still harder to become a hair stylist in New Jersey. Remember folks, the powers that be have decided that those who cut our hair should be kept to a higher standard than those who sell houses.

  7. crossroads says:

    how about remedial math classes for consumers? and lenders

  8. grim says:

    From the APP:

    Corzine trims budget as Christie plans more cuts

    New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has whacked more than $800 million from the current state budget less than a month before leaving office, he said Tuesday as his successor announced preparations for steep reductions for the fiscal year ahead.

    The $839 million in Corzine’s additional cuts include $100 million from eliminating the state’s contribution to the employee pension fund, $5 million from cancer research, $2.3 million from charter school aid and $607,000 from a hiring freeze at motor vehicle agencies. The revised budget does allow $20 million in delayed municipal tax relief payments that will be released to cities and towns and an income tax surcharge on the wealthy to end Dec. 31.

    The cuts are needed to keep the current budget balanced as tax collections continue to fall short of projections.

  9. grim says:

    I am unfamiliar with this source, so grain of salt it.

    From Renew America:

    2009 stimulus plan package — new jobs numbers ranked by state

    Back in February 2009, the White House projected 3.5 million jobs would be created by the end of 2009 if they passed their jobs stimulus package.

    Actual job creation results were published on Friday, December 18th, 2009 on one of the U.S. Government’s House Ways and Means Committee’s websites (Click to View). Instead of President Obama’s new 3.5 million jobs, the U.S. had already lost over 2.6 million jobs by the end of November 2009.

    New Jersey expected the democrats to win for them 100,000 jobs, but they instead lost 61,700 jobs.

  10. grim says:

    From IHS Global Insight:

    House Prices in America:
    3rd Quarter 2009 Update

    Two years of relentless house price depreciation ended in the third quarter of 2009. Prices edged up by 0.2% from the previous quarter, led by a 2.1% increase in California. Prices still declined from the second quarter in approximately half of the metropolitan areas studied (161 out of 330), but this is down from over 300 in the fourth quarter of 2008.

    For the first time, we are showing no metros to be extremely overvalued, a sharp contrast to 2005 when 52 metro areas were judged to be extremely overvalued. For the country as a whole, the housing market is now slightly undervalued. When all of the 330 metro areas are weighted by market value, the nation is 8.6% undervalued. When weighted by housing units, the nation is 10.1% undervalued.

  11. grim says:

    IHS saying that NY Metro/North Jersey properties are now undervalued.

  12. lostinny says:

    375 Gator previous thread

    Please tell me that didn’t really happen. I would absolutely write letters everywhere I could explaining what she did. What a, well I can’t say it here.

  13. still_looking says:

    lost, 12

    Sure you can!

    What a f*cked up mercenary, greedy, scummy bitch who is less useful than a maggot and deserves her own personal deadly, Hospice qualifying diagnosis.

    (there, how’s that?)

    sl

  14. still_looking says:

    cross, 7

    how about basic finance? I earn this much, I need to have x for an emergency fund, x for retirement, x for expenses and only (x% of x) should be my mortgage.

    sl

  15. still_looking says:

    grim, 5

    of course. we used to be required to have 50 cme’s yearly….then .gov decided that we needed 100 instead..

    follow the money… no truer words spoken.

    When do Congress Critters get assigned CPEs (continuing pillaging education) credits?

    Maybe they should be assigned simple math classes instead (a la crossroads.)

    “Let’s see….13 Trillion dollars of debt is how much interest over how many years???) Ah, f*ck it, it’ll get paid eventually. Spend away! Party on!”

    sl

  16. lostinny says:

    13 SL
    I was just gonna call her an f’n c word but I think yours works well too.

  17. still_looking says:

    lost, 16

    Just trying to help :)

    sl

  18. Schumpeter says:

    grim (5)-

    Yep. Go to AC, sit in a conference room, nurse your hangover for a couple of hours, and go back to r@ping the public.

    Wake me up when NJ gets serious about RE and adopts single licensure (the only proven way of cleaning out the RE cesspool). Until then, caveat emptor.

  19. Schumpeter says:

    grim (6)-

    You ever see somebody do their own hair with a Flowbee? Only a true professional should be trusted to render a quality haircut.

  20. Schumpeter says:

    crossroads (7)-

    And, Realtors. The fail rate for NJ’s salesperson exam runs consistently around 60%. The most common cause of those results are candidates completely bombing the math portion of the test, which is almost entirely solving for x (6th grade stuff).

  21. Shore Guy says:

    ” Corzine’s additional cuts include $100 million from eliminating the state’s contribution to the employee pension fund,”

    How is this a “cut”? It is like one of us “cutting” our expenses by failing to pay the electric bill or mortgage.

  22. Shore Guy says:

    “single licensure”

    ?????????

  23. lostinny says:

    17 SL

    Thanks. I can always use the help, especially this early when my brain isn’t yet working.

  24. Schumpeter says:

    Sorry. Single licensure is simply eliminating the salesperson class of license and raising the bar to require any RE practitioner to hold a broker’s license. In states like Colorado (which I think was the latest to adopt it), scores of salespeople simply leave the business, which automatically cleans up a lot of problems.

  25. frank says:

    Let’s be serious, the only reason you’re a RE agent is because you’re too dumb to hold any other job. What education?

  26. lostinny says:

    24 Schump

    So much for people striving to be the best they can be in their line of work. I can’t even say chosen profession here because I don’t know what posses most people to not only enter, but stay in a particular line of work anymore. Especially when they suck at it.

  27. Schumpeter says:

    …as opposed to frank, who is simply too stupid to live.

    Get back to the mall and count, bitch.

  28. yikes says:

    anyone get stuck in Mount Laurel (around exit 5 on the NJ TPke) this AM?

    18-wheeler skidded and went over the embankment. i imagine it looked like something out of a movie

  29. Schumpeter says:

    lost (26)-

    A person who sucks at something who doesn’t realize he sucks is a very dangerous thing.

  30. lostinny says:

    29 Schump

    Exactly. I should introduce you to some of my colleagues.

  31. Shore Guy says:

    “A person who sucks at something who doesn’t realize he sucks is a very dangerous thing”

    The other day, I mentioned a Univeesity of Chicago study about work competence. The bottom-line finding:

    Those who are the worst performerd rate themselves the highest and the most competent, well, they are filled with self doubt and tend to rate themselves well below their actuall performance.

    The poor performers need to be wumped upside the head to get the message.

  32. marty says:

    21. Nail on head. NJ pension system will have to be bailed out, I think the FEDs will nationalize the entire system.

  33. still_looking says:

    29, Schump, Lost,

    No kidding! I could tell you medical stories that’d curl your hair.

    As always, most of these folks have no idea (one in particular) just how dangerous (in my field, it’s lethal) they are.

    sl

  34. Schumpeter says:

    I think- for shorthand- we can refer to this condition as “Frank Syndrome”.

    “A person who sucks at something who doesn’t realize he sucks is a very dangerous thing”

  35. Schumpeter says:

    sl-

    I’m not a doctor, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night…

  36. still_looking says:

    Apologies for the length. The link is here in video and transcript We can’t compete because the best and the brightest don’t get to be at the top of the corporate ladder.

    I have a sort of a metaphor that’s a little facetious, but not completely, about it. I call it anti-Darwinian; it’s anti-Darwinian in America’s corporations. That means, a guy goes to college and this is the guy that gets to be the CEO and, yet, he’s in college and he’s the kind of guy that was the president of the fraternity. Now, all these presidents of fraternities aren’t bad guys, but basically the normal guy that I remember at college was–he’s always there at the fraternity or the eating club. He’s always there to be there. If you have a bad day, you walk over to the club and you’re feeling bad–your girlfriend left you; you did bad on a test score or whatever–and you go over there; he’s always there.

    He buys you a drink and you sit around with him; he commiserates with you; you play a little pool or whatever and he tells you whatever it is. Yeah, my girl left me; yeah well, they’re all no good–usual conversation back and forth. What would happen would be–you’d like the guy. You can’t help but like him; you used to wonder a little bit, when the hell did he do any work? But, he was always there for you. He never made many waves; he never said anything too obtrusive; or, he never showed too much intelligence. But, he was a good guy. He goes–that same guy goes out into corporate America and politically he’s astute. He knows how to get along with people and he never really rocks the boat. He never comes up with any great idea; he’s not a threat to his superior and, as a result, he moves up the ladder because, really, in corporate America, there’s really very little accountability. What happens in corporate America–he moves up that ladder.

    There’s a good show, “How to Succeed in Business,” that was out many years ago that sort of sums it up. If you say–if a genius has an idea in corporate America–the genius has an idea; the next idea is, they give him an idea to resign. So, he moves along the ladder and he gets up slowly up to the top. Now he has two attributes: he’s likeable, he’s politically astute and he’s a survivor–he’s not really a threat and he gets to the top. These are the attributes of today’s CEOs for the most part, with exceptions. He doesn’t ruffle feathers; he doesn’t get the board upset; and as he moves up the ladder, he finally gets to be number two to the CEO. Now, the CEO has the same attributes–where he doesn’t want to be threatened and he’s a survivor. The CEO will never let anybody be number two who’s smarter than he is. So, by definition, the assistant to the CEO is a little dumber than the CEO; now this guy now is the assistant. The board likes him; the CEO eventually retires and they make this guy the CEO–the fraternity president we’re talking about. Now he’s now the head guy–the CEO–and he’ll bring in a number two guy that’s a little dumber than he is because he doesn’t want to be threatened. So, by definition, we’ll be run by morons pretty soon.

    /snip

    This is why our companies are in trouble, our government is in trouble and why our country is doomed until this philosophy changes…

    sl

  37. safeashouses says:

    #2 sl,

    And every agent I’ve met at an open house always tries to increase the top of our price range by at least 10 to 20%, or steer us to a condo at the top of our range, neglecting we’d have to pay $300 to $500 more in hoa fees.

  38. still_looking says:

    Oh, forgot,

    It’s Carl Icahn speaking at Yale.

    Emphasis in above excerpt is added by me.

    Again, apologies for length.

    sl

  39. safeashouses says:

    #3 cross roads

    Clot should write the curriculum.

    He could teach how to feed a bank a $hit sandwich.

    The phrase “no one will be spared” will be their new oath.

    Plus what whiskey goes best with ramen and cereal.

  40. BC Bob says:

    As the result of unprecedented stimulus, spending and printing our economy should be on fire. 2.2% GDP, is abysmal. Take away govt spending along with the inflation component and it approaches zombiism. We have pissed away trillions and net result; 25M unemployed/underemployed. We are spinning out of control. Got demand?

    The banks that repaid TARP are healthy?

    http://www.sitemason.com/files/esMlDW/bailouttallydec2009.pdf

  41. leftwing says:

    “While it may not go away what nation or bank is going to be buying AAA rated securities secured with subprime sludge”

    Once the market clears there will always be buyers for paper. New risk parameters will priced, so maybe the top tranche will now be a smaller % of the whole and the lowest level twice as large but the paper will re-appear.

    Think the LBO market. The excesses of the late 80s/90s crashed out that market (remember all the government intervention then for those around – Treasury actually prohibiting banks from lending into certain situations). Period of consolidation of the losses and the market comes back healthier. Different ratios, equity contributions, but the market for the paper came back and exceeded earlier levels.

  42. still_looking says:

    Safe, 37

    I kept a copy of the Case-Schiller lifetime, inflation adjusted HPI chart with me at all times….

    and usually a copy of the printed tax information with name/date/price of property so I knew what price and when it was bought.

    They didn’t really like that, I’m sorry to say.

    sl

  43. yikes says:

    John says:
    December 22, 2009 at 8:33 am

    What the heck a bond of the day! 5.7% tax free in the 40% tax bracket is almost a 10% taxable equivalent.

    RE is going down another 10% in Tri-state. What else you gonna do with your money. Pres O is raising them taxes soon and he is trying to kill new issuance of tax free bonds, build america bonds at really just tax america bonds.

    But John, Lurked said that RE only went down 15% in the tri-state. You think it’s going to go down another 10%?

    No way! Lurked can’t be wrong here. Impossible.

  44. Schumpeter says:

    My money’s on John’s call.

    BTW, a shot of Knob Creek and a lump of butter right into a steaming bowl of quality oatmeal is a helluva way to start the day.

  45. yikes says:

    has this been discussed? savages in the NJ public school system!

    http://wcbstv.com/local/gang.attack.honor.2.1386340.html

    ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (CBS) ―

    David Muneton, an eighth grade honor student, needed reconstructive facial surgery after being savagely beaten by a gang of 11 students on Dec. 18, 2009, in Engelwood, N.J.

    What began as an innocent mistake ended in a vicious attack on a local honor student.

    Police said as many as 11 students beat up the eighth-grader leaving him severely injured, and he may even lose his sight.

    CBS 2 HD spoke with some of his friends about what led to the brutal attack.

    The incident near a school soccer field was so violent that 13-year-old David Muneton needed reconstructive surgery to his face to correct several broken bones.

    His friends at the Janis Dismus Middle School in Englewood are stunned.

  46. frank says:

    1,100-sq.-ft. co-op in a postwar building at 400 East 56th Street, Plaza 400 sold for $770K. The place has maintenance of $1,996 and $1K in taxes and it can be rented for about $2500.
    Because of the negative carry of $500, the seller should pay the buyer to take on the liability, instead they paid $770K.
    Where’s the recession?

  47. NJGator says:

    Lost 12 – Sorry to say that it did indeed happen. Not to my friend, but to a friend of a friend. People Suck.

  48. frank says:

    Where’s the recession?

    Personal incomes rose in November at the fastest pace in six months while spending posted a second consecutive increase.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/24/business/economy/24econ.html?hpw

  49. NJGator says:

    Brazil: Boy Ordered Returned To NJ Dad’s Custody
    Chief Justice Rules In Favor Of David Goldman, But Expert Says That Still Doesn’t Mean Sean Is Coming Right Home

    A New Jersey father’s fight for custody of his son may be one step closer to being over.

    David Goldman has been fighting for his son Sean’s return for years, after the boy was kidnapped and taken to Brazil. On Tuesday the chief justice of Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled the 9-year-old should be handed over to his father.

    It’s been a five-year emotional rollercoaster, yet now Goldman is the closest he’s ever been to bringing his son home.

    “It’s a wrongful abduction so the mother originally wrongfully abducted the child and he should be returned to the father,” Barbara Sobal said.

    Sobal worked with Goldman on this case and said, unfortunately, it’s not over yet.

    “Their judges still have to review it and it could take another six weeks for the court to convene again,” Sobal said.

    Delays and disappointment are what Goldman is used to, said close friend Mark DeAngelis, who’s seen the agony up close.

    “It’s a pain and anguish that’s almost hard to describe. You know it’s one of those things where someone can’t be themselves. I think that’s the best way to put it,” DeAngelis said.

    Because Goldman has been here before, winning rulings only to be disappointed by appeals, he’s taking a wait-and-see attitude, letting others speak for him, including New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, who has been in Brazil for the past few days.

    “Our hope is that the judge’s opinion, 30 pages long, will be fully honored and effectuated,” Rep. Smith said. “As soon as Sean can be transferred to his dad the better for everyone, and our hope is that it would be immediate.”

    What Goldman’s calls an abduction began in 2004 when his then wife took their son to Brazil for what was supposed to be a vacation. She never returned, divorced Goldman and then remarried. She died last year while giving birth and custody of Sean has been with her family ever since.

    The boy’s maternal grandmother wrote a letter to Brazil’s president claiming the 9-year-old was a native Brazilian and that “I am being threatened with the loss of my grandchild, Sean, as a result of a campaign on international pressure which does not take into consideration the interests of a 9-year-old child who very much wants to stay with those who comforted him after the death of his mother.”

    But friends say enough is enough.

    “We’re hoping that these people realize that it’s over and they just need to do the right thing right now and prepare Sean to come home,” DeAngelis said.

    Goldman’s New Jersey-based lawyer said late Tuesday night she believes the order requires the boy to be turned over immediately, but she hadn’t heard from lawyers for the Brazilian family. That family’s lawyer has said all along they would appeal if the decision went against them but as of late Tuesday had not indicated what their next step will be.

    http://wcbstv.com/local/sean.goldman.brazil.2.1386471.html

  50. 3b says:

    #11 grim: Your thoughts??

  51. leftwing says:

    Relo

    From yesterday re: trade-ins:

    I just traded in a Ford Expedition to get a Jeep Sahara two days ago. True story below.

    I went to a dealer about 50 miles from here becuase the local guys didn’t have the exact model I wanted and you gain leverage when the dealer has the car you want. Chose the dealer by looking up which one had not only my car but which one with the car had the most inventory. Picked the dealer that had 114 jeeps and 15 saharas (!!) on the lot now, all new.

    They wouldn’t negotiate price over the phone so I drove there. Did not think I would actually be buying that day so I didn’t drive the trade-in although I brought the old invoice and had the condition rating (verbal) from another dealer’s evaluation (the lowest grading available – ‘fair’).

    So, what happens? The dealer gives me a lights out offer off the msrp and sends over their used car guy to evaluate what my trade-in is worth (sight unseen mind you). He looks at the sticker, takes down a few minutes of data from me, and gives me the trade-in value associated with the ‘excellent’ (not the ‘fair’) condition rating. We sign all the contracts. They prime the new car, fill it with gas, and hand me the keys telling me I have to take it off the lot today so they can get their floor planning money from the manufacturer.

    Now the good part: I need to get the trade-in down since I have to take the Jeep today so I call our babysitter to get in the car and drive it down. When she gets there I hang out and they look at me like ‘what are you still doing here?’ I tell them I’m waiting for them to confirm the details on the trade-in. They tell me we’re done and they DON’T EVEN LOOK AT THE TRADE-IN. I mean, nothing. Did not even start it. Did not put the key in the ignition to even confirm the miles I told them. I could have replaced the 5.4L HiPo engine with a lawnmower engine and racked up an extra 100k miles than what I represented and they wouldn’t have known. They didn’t care.

    Bottom line: Shop where your trade-in is going, don’t just visit your local dealer. A dealer with bloated inventory just wants a new car off the lot (particualrly before year end) and jacking up the trade-in value gives them latitude to bring down the final cost to you while maintaining some level of msrp discount that they can stomach. Find a hungry dealer and you can throw the Blue Book trade-in value out the window.

    My final deal was 17% off msrp and a grand more of trade-in value than I should have received based on the Blue Book. That is $1k of hard cold cash that stayed in my pocket this week. Shop, baby, shop. It’s a buyer’s market for new cars now.

    Hope this (apologetically long) background helps.

  52. prtraders2000 says:

    I don’t quite get that IHS report. Edison area was overvalued by 30% in 2005. Prices drop 10% and now the area is fairly valued? Inflation?

  53. lostinny says:

    51 Leftwing

    Thank you for the info and hope in your story. You say you got 17% off MSRP. Do you know where that 17% off left you in terms of whether you paid close to dealer invoice price?

  54. 3b says:

    PGC From yesterday’s post (#379) Ridgewood has 70 SFH listed for sale on the mls, does not look to me like they are burning through inventory.

    Wyckoff the Sparta of Bergen Co? You need to revisit that thought.

  55. 3b says:

    4348 frank; For the love of God, do you ever read past the headlines? There is more there, read it and think about it.

  56. safeashouses says:

    #52 prtraders

    I didn’t get that either. Even with 20 to 30% drops in the towns we like, median house is still 5 times median income. The rent vs buy spread has narrowed over the last 2 years. I’ve spotted a few houses that a 20% down 30 year fixed mtg would actually be 10% or more a month cheaper to own vs rent a similar house in the same neighborhood. But how many people have 70 to 150k in cash for a downpayment plus reserves?

  57. leftwing says:

    lost

    Below invoice.

    MSRP (before any rebates and including destination charge) was $33,840. That number came down to $28,200.

    Their first hard offer to me was $30,300 which they said was slightly below invoice (which they showed me but I didn’t keep).

  58. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (5) Grim

    As a cle user I can tell you that your view is spot on

    (32) Marty

    Having the feds take over state pensions is the idea. That is a card that each state governor is told to have in his deck.

  59. All Hype says:

    3b (55):

    Frank went to the Steve Liesman School of Economics.

  60. lostinny says:

    57 Leftwing

    Thanks for the info. And congrats!

  61. Sean says:

    Via Art Cashin UBS

    ‘Tis two days before Christmas
    and at each brokerage house
    The only thing stirring
    was the click of a mouse

    Down on the Exchange
    the tape inches along
    Brokers bargained and traded
    as they hummed an old song

    This year’s been uneven
    but since March prices rise
    Yet the volume is stagnant
    that’s hurting some guys

    The Prez got a Nobel
    and bought two guys a beer
    While Chairman Bernanke’s
    Time’s man of the year

    And Lloyd made a comment
    that caused some to smirk
    That over at Goldman
    they’re doing God’s work

    Swine Flu didn’t explode
    to a global pandemic
    And health care reform
    may make treatment systemic

    Private planes got the boot
    Vegas trips caused some screams
    And a Bronx-born Latina
    has joined the Supremes

    Iran had elections
    some say they were fixed
    The streets filled with young folks
    who twittered and twixt

    From Balloon Boy to Tiger
    there’s little to cheer
    But it’s Christmastime, Alice
    and Santa is near

    So stop looking backwards
    have a cup of good cheer
    And kiss you a loved one
    raise your hopes for next year

    And amidst all the trading
    Christmas themes we will heed
    And share our good fortune
    with families in need

    And tomorrow they’ll pause
    as we wait on the bell
    To sing a tradition
    a song for old “Nell”

    Don’t let this year’s problems
    impede Christmas Cheer
    Resolve to be happy
    throughout the New Year

    And resist ye Grinch feelings
    let joy never stop
    Put the bad at the bottom
    keep the good on the top

    So count up your blessings
    along with you worth
    Your still living here
    in the best place on earth

    And think ye of wonders
    that light children’s eyes
    And hope Santa will bring you
    that Christmas surprise

    So play ye a carol
    by Mario Lanza
    Unless you are waiting
    to celebrate Kwanzaa

    Sure Hanukah’s ended
    and Ramadan’s gone
    Different folks, different holidays
    may their spirit live on

    Whatever your feast is
    we hope you all still
    Find yourself just surrounded
    by folks of goodwill

    Thursday, as the bell rings
    hark to your heart’s call
    And as Santa would shout
    Merry Christmas to All!
    Reply With Quote

  62. kettle1 says:

    Does anyone here think that the FEDS taking over pensions will be a good thing for the pension holders?

    My guess is that it would be modeled off of the standard federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp take over, and the holders would see a definite cut in benefits.

    But then again something is better then nothing.

    Better yet, just call it like it is and cut benefits to the level that is available from the existing funds, then legally go after the individuals who intentionally underfunded it.

  63. db says:

    this pretty much sums up Corzine’s tomfoolery …Corzine tries a McGreevey maneuver The release makes it clear Corzine will be pulling a stunt right out of the Jim McGreevey playbook:
    “The plan includes a proposal involving excess surplus balances that have been accumulated by school districts across the state. Under the proposal, which would require enactment of legislation, beginning in February 2010 districts would be required to use a portion of those excess surplus balances – totaling $260 million — in place of state aid payments. Since these surplus balances represent funds in excess of those needed in districts’ operating budgets, substituting the excess surplus balances for state aid payments should have no impact on school district programs, school operations, or local property tax bills.”
    ://blog.nj.com/njv_paul_mulshine/index.html

  64. Mocha says:

    Hey Schump,

    Your’re a r/e agent, and I assume, by proxy of our last discussion, that you’ve got your sh!t together. Let me ask you this: To what extect did poor education/certification standards of r/e agents exacerbate the re bubble?

  65. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Re : Gator’s Real Estate Story…..

    Absolutely Incredible !!

    I strongly suggest everyone go to the previous thread and read post #375. It will burn off both your eyes.

    Here’s a teaser….

    “The cost of treatment will be immense, and take any and all of his current resources. He will be destitute at the end by all calculations. It is possible for him to end up as a ward of the state. So, a representative from the title company placed a call on his behalf to the selling agent, updating them on the news, and asking to back out of the deal on the table. Here’s the kicker: the selling agent called back and said, “I ‘Googled’ the type of brain cancer he has, and he can live for another year. We’re not letting him out of the deal.”

  66. fly-over says:

    re#65
    Won’t the financial guys back out of the transaction now that there is a material change in the status of the borrower?

  67. Sean says:

    Turbo Timmay says job growth by spring, better hope you don’t freeze to death by then.

  68. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [387] [prior thread] chifi

    “On the initial read, I thought Nom was disclosing the person to whom he lost his virginity. I thought it highly inappropriate.”

    WTF????

    Now she is a nice person, and looks good for her age, but ewwwwwwwwwww.

  69. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [66] fly-over.

    That deal will die when Tom decides to push it in front of a judge. These days, I would not want to be representing the realtor trying to enforce that contract. Not without a fully pre-paid retainer anyway.

  70. BC Bob says:

    Sean [67],

    He also stated with stimulus unemploy rate would be 8-8.5%, without it 10%. Then again, he’s an underwater homeowner/landlord.

  71. 3b says:

    New Home Sales Fall 11.3% Theres the recession?

    No tax credit, no sales. So the tax credit will be made permanent.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-home-sales-crater-as-subsidy-ends-2009-12-23

  72. fly-over says:

    re: 69
    Frustration of purpose?

  73. Schumpeter says:

    mocha (64)-

    Believe it or not, I don’t think it caused much of the damage. What we DID do was reinforce a lot of bad decisions that people all through the RE chain had already made, since we parroted the party line, rather than advising people to think things through for themselves.

    However, a good salesperson’s job is to get people to stop thinking and allow emotion to overtake reason.

    IMO, the job that faces the shred of RE industry that is left is whether we want to go ahead and deliver the kill short to ourselves by continuing to be salesmen…or save ourselves by moving toward truly being consultants and living up to some semblance of fiduciary responsibility.

  74. Schumpeter says:

    kill short = kill shot

  75. Schumpeter says:

    BC (70)-

    I keep thinking to myself that Eraserhead is always talking his own book.

    The tragedy is, it’s a coloring book.

  76. Schumpeter says:

    3b (71)-

    They could run the credit to 20K and make it forever. It doesn’t matter anymore.

    The train has been revved to 140 mph and it has jumped the tracks.

  77. Essex says:

    However, a good salesperson’s job is to get people to stop thinking and allow emotion to overtake reason.

    —————————————-

    Sometimes. I always viewed sales as developing a mutually beneficial agreement between two parties. And yes, I have done a few of those. I spent a dozen years in the field.

    Also sales has a nasty way of weeding the morons out simply by making them starve.

  78. BC Bob says:

    Never understood the fascination with the tax credit. In this area, if you pay close to 06-07 prices, you’re underwater upon closing.

    Better idea, eliminate the tax credit, repackage it and utilize it as gap insurance. Let AIG underwrite it. After all, they are just a ward of the state.

  79. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    I would like to meet the lawyer who can apply Frustration of Purpose to a diagnosis of Brain Cancer…..

  80. John says:

    Which brings up another lesson of 2009: Buying bonds with low yields is risky, even if they’re “riskless” government securities. And buying bonds with super-high yields is safer even if they’re junk.

    With junk bonds then yielding more than 20% and investment-grade corporate bonds yielding in the double digits, these fixed-income securities provided the near certainty of equity-like returns with the lesser risk of debt securities. But a year ago, investors were fleeing such opportunities in favor of the “safe” harbor of Treasury securities, which were yielding just over 2% for the benchmark 10-year note.

    The supposedly riskier investment-grade corporates returned 21% for the first 11 months of the year while junk shot up 50%. The safe Treasury alternative was down 5% over the period.

    At this point, neither stocks nor investment-grade corporates nor junk bonds are screamingly cheap. Equities have priced in strong earnings gains for 2010 while credit-market spreads have shrunk sharply. Foreign markets, to which U.S. investors have been flocking in large part because of the falling dollar, no longer have currency translation as an advantage now that the greenback appears headed higher. The only thing that hasn’t changed is that cash yields virtually zero.

  81. Stu says:

    BC (78):

    “Never understood the fascination with the tax credit.”

    I’m hoping and praying they DON’T extend it so I can buy my next home for way more than $6,500 off. I figure, we’ll know if they are extending it by April 1st. If they do extend it again, renting in Glen Ridge will seriously be considered.

  82. BC Bob says:

    Don’t be blindsided by Greece. You would need 3-4X the GDP to equal California.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-budget23-2009dec23,0,7164018.story

  83. lisoosh says:

    I find I don’t really want to buy a house anymore. Certainly not in New Jersey.

    It just looks less and less attractive all the time. As things get worse I can see neighborhoods destabilizing, and the rural areas aren’t cheap enough or amazing enough to warrant the investment.

    I love older homes, many of the best in the state are in crumbling towns -Newark, East Orange, Plainfield, Trenton. You look at them, with their mahogany railings and leaded windows and wonder what happened to the people who built and inhabited them initially.

    If those places can crash so badly, anyplace can and buying a house now is a very long term prospect.

  84. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [79] fiddy

    You rang?

    That is simply good lawyering. Making (and winning) alternative arguments.

    Last week, I got asked to draft something for a brief. The senior partner said that the law was clear and there was a bad precedent directly on point, so he was not optimistic.

    I proved that the precedential case was distinguishable and potentially wrongly decided. I also proved that there were exceptions in the law that covered our situation. Jr. partner made a point of calling me from the courthouse to let me know of their victory.

  85. BC Bob says:

    Stu [81],

    I agree. Unfortunately, I believe that they will extend. What official, up for re-election, will vote to eliminate the subsidy with mid term elections right around the corner? I would not be surprised if it was increased, along with an extension, at that time.

  86. lostinny says:

    83 Lisoosh

    Good point. DH and I were just talking about this the other day. I asked him if he still wants to buy something. He said no. I wonder if spending more on rent for a bigger space isn’t the way to think about a permanent solution.

    Also, I love older Victorian homes, rowhomes, etc. Homes with a lot of original character- dark wood, stained glass, non cookie-cutter architecture. If money fell from the sky, there’s no doubt in my mind I’d buy something along those lines. But at this point, I think its a lost cause to kill myself saving when, like you said, if those places can crash so badly, anyplace can. It’s so sad to me to see homes like that deteriorate.

  87. John says:

    BTW with regards to yesterday’s conversation about true whole sale pricing. This site is great, but you need a dealer number, it gives you all recent auction sales, all cars coming off lease in next two weeks, all dealer inventory that is available for swapping etc. Lots of times you don’t even need to do auction. Unless you have a friend who is a dealer go on to site you are guessing.

    http://www2.manheim.com/

  88. relo says:

    Lefty,

    Thanks for the response. Congrats on the success of your approach. Won’t work in this instance as at the moment the is liitle to no inventory to speak of.

    Money flows from the impatient to the patient. Read that in a poker book, but it applies to most things.

  89. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    I guess I should amend my statement….

    I would like to meet the judge who would rule in favor of a realtor trying to enforce a contract on a gravely ill homebuyer.

    Especially a realtor who “Googled” the form of illness and found the buyer could live for another year.

  90. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    I guess I should amend my statement….

    I would like to meet the judge who would rule in favor of a realtor trying to enforce a contract on a gravely ill homebuyer.

    Especially a realtor who “Googled” the form of illness and found the buyer could live for another year.

  91. chicagofinance says:

    clot: I always pictured you as Joe Don Baker who played an alcoholic investigator.

    From the remake of Cape Fear
    0:57 sec – Sam calls Kersek and tells him Cady came after Danny at school. He’s changed his mind about the hospital job. How soon can Kersek arrange it? While Kersek talks to Sam, he mixes Jim Beam and Pepto Bismol into his coffee. at 1:09:27

    Schumpeter says:
    December 23, 2009 at 8:49 am
    BTW, a shot of Knob Creek and a lump of butter right into a steaming bowl of quality oatmeal is a helluva way to start the day.

  92. lostinny says:

    89 Fiddy

    As scummy as it might be, doesn’t it come down to contract law? I mean if he doesn’t have some type of let out clause in the contract, he may very well be on the hook. I should hope there’s a precedent somewhere that could allow him off the hook if they went to trial. Personally, I’d throw some money at the inspector and tell him to find something wrong.

  93. relo says:

    J: Thanks again. I saw that site referenced in a number of places. FWIW, I’ve placed it on craigslist to see what the cat drags in.

  94. relo says:

    I’m surprised he let someone else take the shot.

    chicagofinance says:
    December 23, 2009 at 1:33 am
    Today was Donnie day. Also I got my picture taken with Starks on the center of the court.

  95. RentinginNJ says:

    Not sure if this was already discussed, by the Census Bureau released it’s 2009 population change estimates:

    - On a net basis, NJ lost 31,690 residents to other states in 2009
    - This loss of residents was offset by a gain of 37,360 new immigrants (international, both legal and illegal)
    - Births exceeded deaths by 38,795
    - NJ’s total population grew by 44,381, with the grown driven by babies and immigrants

    http://www.census.gov/popest/national/files/NST_EST2009_ALLDATA.csv

    My commentary….
    The net internal migration (residents leaving NJ for other states minus people moving into NJ from other states) population loss was the smallest since 2002 (it peaked in 2006 at -76,853). A lack of job opportunities, falling home values and the inability to sell one’s home has likely hampered the ability of people to leave the state.

    Barring some major governmental policy changes in NJ (i.e. tax and spending cuts), once the economy begins to recover, I would expect the trend of people leaving the state to pick up strength. NJ could very well lag the U.S. in any broad-based recovery in housing.

  96. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Yes, Contract Law…..I guess I am trying to apply common sense to the situation.

    My main complaint is with the realtor, who suddenly became a medical expert and legal consultant for the sake of a 1.5% commission check.

  97. lisoosh says:

    lostinny says:
    December 23, 2009 at 11:53 am

    “I wonder if spending more on rent for a bigger space isn’t the way to think about a permanent solution.”

    That’s where I am leaning. Not as a permanent solution, but as the solution which will allow me a comfortable lifestyle while still offering the flexibility to go with the flow, at least while things are so volatile.

    Either that or I am one of Clots committment-phobes.

    The other option is to buy with 0 down interest only (are they still available?), live life to the fullest and then when the bill comes due either sell, or buy something else and then foreclose on the original home and let someone else pick up the tab.

    Feels so 2005 to me though……

  98. relo says:

    94:

    his atrocious Game 7 in the NBA Finals against the Rockets where he shot 2-18 from the field and 0–11 in the 4th quarter

  99. lostinny says:

    96 Fiddy

    Common sense and a shred of human decency obviously takes a back seat to her commission.

  100. still_looking says:

    Fiddy, 89

    Well… any asshole realtor who thinks they can adequately predict the life expectancy of someone based on “Googling” the diagnosis deserves to be their own physician.

    I hopes she fatally stabs herself in the aorta whilst trying to remove her own appendix. What a f*cking shithead.

    sl

  101. BC Bob says:

    “I’m surprised he let someone else take the shot.”

    relo [94],

    I’m surprised that he isn’t chucking 3′s with this team.

  102. lostinny says:

    97 Lisoosh

    “The other option is to buy with 0 down interest only (are they still available?), live life to the fullest and then when the bill comes due either sell, or buy something else and then foreclose on the original home and let someone else pick up the tab.”

    I thought about that as well. But this stupid conscience of mine won’t let me do that. Of course, a one way trip back to Maui and the Infiniti truck I want make it very tempting. (sarcasm off)

  103. BC Bob says:

    “Well… any asshole realtor who thinks they can adequately predict the life expectancy of someone based on “Googling” the diagnosis deserves to be their own physician.”

    SL,

    LMAO.

  104. chicagofinance says:

    It was good to see him. I shook his hand and thanked for the dunk and the early 90′s. He was really gracious. I was also taking a leak next to Charles Smith and it took all the control I had not to say “…you have to dunk that ball…” Of course, I would always have to mention when telling the story that I had my dick in my hand when I said it, so I took a pass….

    relo says:
    December 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm
    I’m surprised he let someone else take the shot.

  105. Here 4 Now says:

    Re: #45

    I’m sure Al Sharpton will be marching any day now. Er, wait … never mind.

  106. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    still_looking…

    I’m still_chuckling over that comment. Good thing I was finished with my coffee.

  107. relo says:

    104: My friend’s nickname for him at the time was “soft-serve”.

    I could have done w/ out you mentioning it once.

    104: I was also taking a leak next to Charles Smith and it took all the control I had not to say “…you have to dunk that ball…” Of course, I would always have to mention when telling the story that I had my dick in my hand

  108. yikes says:

    Schumpeter says:
    December 22, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Shore (156)-

    All people in the NE corridor who reach age 62 should be forcibly quarantined within the state of PA.

    Schump – how will this affect my taxes? And are you talking the Pennsyltucky portion of PA? Pittsburgh? Or Bucks County?

  109. Schumpeter says:

    Too bad the NBA is going belly-up pretty soon.

    These will all be fun stories to tell around the trashcan fires.

  110. gary says:

    “The role of a professional real estate agent is to guide potential buyers, and help them to select the property that best fits their needs, that is also within their price range. As the federal government continues to work to improve the real estate market, it is imperative that real estate professionals know ins and outs of the market, so that they can best advise their clients on making responsible purchases.”

    This is a joke, right?

  111. Schumpeter says:

    yikes (110)-

    I think I’d nominate some of the flyover between, say, Happy Valley and Pittsburgh for those Senior Internment Camps.

    By all means, I think the residents of PA under 62 should reap serious tax breaks for “hosting” our quarantined elders.

    And, those tax breaks should serve as hush money for when they crank up the soylent green machines.

  112. Schumpeter says:

    gary (112)-

    They left out the part about getting as many consumers as possible onto the crack pipe of lifelong, crippling debt.

  113. John says:

    Wait a minute I thought re agents represented sellers? gary says:
    December 23, 2009 at 12:44 pm
    “The role of a professional real estate agent is to guide potential buyers, and help them to select the property that best fits their needs, that is also within their price range. As the federal government continues to work to improve the real estate market, it is imperative that real estate professionals know ins and outs of the market, so that they can best advise their clients on making responsible purchases.”

    This is a joke, right?

  114. plg says:

    I also had the same exact feeling recently. I had an insatiable desire to buy, to aquire my little piece of the earth. Instead of saving our asses off to buy, I am really leaning towards renting a larger space.

    Entry level homes are is still over 300K in NJ. That puts you, with taxes and insurance, at somewhere in the 2000-2600 per month range. I don’t like the idea of spending that on rent, but in the end, it is probably better than spending it on mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance with the risk of the house depreciating or stagnating. The risks of buying far outweight the rewards. The risk of renting is straightforward…maybe houses appreciate more, inflation kicks your ass but neiter is likely.

    I thought I was along in my thinking, guess some of you are on the same page.

  115. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Hey, if Obamacare is going to turn docs into de facto government employees, why not actually be a government employee?

    “NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — More doctors are dropping their private practices, choosing to go to work behind bars treating murderers, rapists and other hardened criminals.

    Better pay, better hours, retirement benefits and free malpractice insurance are just a few of the reasons why physicians are picking prisoners over civilian patients.

    In 2009, private contractor Prison Health Services (PHS) saw a 77% increase over 2008 in the number of respondents applying for job opportunities.

    At the University of Massachusetts Medical School, this year 22 of 150 new students chose the correctional health care clerkship as their first choice, more than double the typical response.

    “Students are looking for an employer who offers flexible work hours and a steady paycheck. Correctional health care offers both,” said Dr. Michelle Staples-Horne, medical director for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, adding that doctors who have stayed with a government agency long enough also benefit from pension plans.

    Typically a salaried job with steady work hours, correctional physicians can earn starting salaries of around $140,000, according to Staples-Horne, roughly the same as the average school loan for graduating med students. . . . “

  116. Schumpeter says:

    plg (116)-

    What you should do is buy what you want, FHA it at 3.5% down, put the entire 3.5% against your closing costs in the form of a seller concession, then immediately default.

    Play your cards right, you could have a helluva long run in that house. I think I know enough now to be able to advise people how to milk it up to three years.

  117. BC Bob says:

    “Hey, if Obamacare is going to turn docs into de facto government employees, why not actually be a government employee?”

    Nom,

    The commmand economy is starting to dictate this.

  118. Schumpeter says:

    Housing should not cost anyone more than the price of the utilities and cable bill.

    I have a squatter in one of my short sale properties, and this guy has taught me a gazillion new tricks. Kind of a shame to toss him out on his ass; he’s really been a value-add.

  119. make money says:

    Clot [118],

    36 months rent free is 36X$1500=$54,000. Nice little savings. You can maximize this up to 100K if you get a two family and collect rent.

  120. Schumpeter says:

    plume (117)-

    Nice idea. However, we can make that whole system self-sustaining, and probably profitable, by:

    1. Forcing prisoners into indentured servitude.

    2. Forcing prisoners to become front-line infantrymen in our various endless wars.

    3. Forcing prisoners to compete (for no pay) in various forms of televised, gladitorial-type combat. All events would feature Thunderdome-type outcomes.

    4. Renditioning disabled prisoners into outer space.

  121. Schumpeter says:

    Tell me two muscled-up death row inmates in a fight to the death won’t outsell MMA. Even Kimbo Slice.

  122. Schumpeter says:

    It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

  123. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [125] clot

    You and my BIL can be in charge of the Panopticon.

  124. make money says:

    Forcing prisoners to compete (for no pay) in various forms of televised, gladitorial-type combat. All events would feature Thunderdome-type outcomes.

    I will buy front row season tickets to these bloody events.

  125. Schumpeter says:

    make (129)-

    If you did, I’d find a way to get Isiah into the square circle.

  126. Schumpeter says:

    plume (128)-

    Why do you want to treat the prisoners that well? First thing you know, they will want stuff.

  127. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [119] BC

    It gets better. Let’s see if we can pick the country that has:

    Greater government intrusion into and control over the economy, availability of goods and services, pricing for goods and services, business structure and governance, business management, and compensation;

    Regulation that converts entire industries into de facto or actual government employment;

    Takeovers of entire industries and the use of said industries to further political goals;

    Targetting certain industries deemed “harmful to the state” for reduction or elimination;

    Greater executive branch role in controlling dissemination of information and in determining content;

    Crackdown on expatriates and on outbound wealth transfer;

    Goal of disarming potential resistance movements; and

    stated goal of one party rule.

    Now, which country am I describing????

  128. Schumpeter says:

    plume (132)-

    Two picks:

    1. Cuba

    2. Venezuela

  129. scribe says:

    We have to get John started …

    here we go …

    I was barreling down Queens Boulevard in my [fill in make and model of car] when I hit a bump in the road. Almost knocked over those hookers who were working [fill in name of notorious Queens neighborhood from the 1970's.] Who should it be but George Ball of E.F. Hutton fame, who was heading back from the [whatever those Labor Day tennis games are]. So I picked him up and threw him in the back of my [car] and off we went to ….

    to be continued ….

  130. make money says:

    If you did, I’d find a way to get Isiah into the square circle.

    Just throw in a 6 foot ugly black woman and he’ll jump right in.

  131. meter says:

    “Entry level homes are is still over 300K in NJ. That puts you, with taxes and insurance, at somewhere in the 2000-2600 per month range. I don’t like the idea of spending that on rent, but in the end, it is probably better than spending it on mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance with the risk of the house depreciating or stagnating. The risks of buying far outweight the rewards. The risk of renting is straightforward…maybe houses appreciate more, inflation kicks your ass but neiter is likely.

    I thought I was along in my thinking, guess some of you are on the same page.”

    Not the best strategy in the world, IMO. If the carry cost is the same, you’re probably better off buying and taking the risk that the property will appreciate, This is of course assuming you plan to stay in that property for, say, 10 years or more. I would even take that risk for a shorter (though not much shorter) time frame given that rents where I am are much lower than what it would cost to carry an equivalent house if purchased.

    If I were extremely averse to risk, my strategy would be to rent just enough house that I need at that point in time, pocketing the remainder for a rainy day (or better yet a vacation property overseas).

  132. Schumpeter says:

    Let’s hear it again for make money, folks…he’ll be here all week…be sure to tip your waitress…try the fish…

  133. Schumpeter says:

    Somebody slap me. I keep eyeing SRS, under $7.25.

    Guess I’d better not shoot against those “safe haven” REITs, though.

  134. Schumpeter says:

    One little day trade won’t hurt…

  135. meter says:

    “I would even take that risk for a shorter (though not much shorter) time frame given that rents where I am are much lower than what it would cost to carry an equivalent house if purchased.”

    is supposed to read:

    “I would even take that risk for a shorter (though not much shorter) time frame. Given that rents where I am are much lower than what it would cost to carry an equivalent house if purchased, I am in no such position to buy.”

  136. meter says:

    Schump…DON’T PUSH THE RED SHINY CANDY-LIKE BUTTON!

  137. still_looking says:

    138 Schump,

    consider yourself slapped… want to lose money? It’s going to zero, if it doesn’t get rev/split 10:1 —

    really. just don’t. take my word for it.

    sl

  138. still_looking says:

    wrt 143

    Unless you are looking to short it, maybe?

    Then carry on…. cuz it’s decaying like carrion.

    sl

  139. chicagofinance says:

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    December 23, 2009 at 1:27 pm
    119] BC
    Now, which country am I describing????

    Hudson County?

  140. BC Bob says:

    “HERMITAGE, Tenn. – A man dressed up as Santa robbed SunTrust Bank on Old Hickory Boulevard Tuesday at 10 a.m.”

    “It was a little unbelievable. He was actually jovial which was scary. He explained he had to rob the bank because Santa had to pay his elves,” said Jones.

    http://www.newschannel5.com/global/story.asp?s=11716931

  141. 3b says:

    #78 if you pay close to 06-07 prices, you’re underwater upon closing.

    But frank thinks that is a good thing.

  142. Schumpeter says:

    BC (146)-

    Maybe grim wants to rethink this Tennessee thingy now.

  143. Schumpeter says:

    BC (146)-

    elves = meth dealer

  144. 3b says:

    #97 Feels so 2005 to me though……

    So??

  145. John says:

    There is a santa afterall.

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Convicted scam artist Bernard Madoff has been moved to a low-security medical center at the prison where he’s is serving out a 150-year prison sentence, according to media reports Wednesday. The Federal Bureau of Prisons did not disclose the reason for the move. Madoff, 71, was reportedly moved to the wing on Dec. 18.

  146. Schumpeter says:

    Mission accomplished. See? This is why we fight endless wars; the newly-liberated get good, old American 2-for-1 bang for the piaster:

    BAGHDAD (AP) – Bombs targeted Iraqi Christians and Shiite Muslims Wednesday, killing at least eight people and wounding four dozen before coinciding religious observances that will take place under heavy guard.

    Insurgents have routinely targeted Shiites and Christians in an attempt to undermine the country’s security gains and its Shiite-dominated government. Security forces in recent days have been concerned that the Shiite holy observances known as Ashoura and Christmas gatherings would be targeted by large-scale attacks.

    Ashoura marks the seventh-century death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussein.

    In the first of Wednesday’s attacks, a bomb targeted a historic church in the northern city of Mosul a day before Christmas Eve services, killing two people and wounding five.

  147. 3b says:

    #116 And don’t forget ever incrreasing property taxes, now and forever the state of New Jersey without end Amen.

  148. fly-over says:

    Zimbabwe

  149. John says:

    Nice reminds me of time I went to Ivan Boesky’s daughter’s party (trader at smith barney), she was such a bitch.

    George Ball is now 70, how time flies by.

    George ball, who ran Prudential-Bache Securities in the 1980s–when the brokerage firm perpetrated the biggest swindle in Wall Street history–is back.

    “I would have regretted it had Prudential marked the end of my career,” says the 67-year-old chairman of Sanders Morris Harris Group Inc., a Houston-based investment bank that is enjoying a growth spurt in New York. “I still enjoy playing the game.”

    Among bankers, brokers and regulators of a certain age, Mr. Ball’s name is instantly recognizable.

    He served as the No. 2 executive at E.F. Hutton from 1980 to 1982. Three years after he left,

    the now-defunct firm pleaded guilty to 2,000 counts of mail and wire fraud in a check-kiting scheme that occurred during Mr. Ball’s tenure. After Hutton, he moved to Prudential-Bache as chief executive.

    Mr. Ball hoped to turn Prudential into a top-tier retail brokerage. But those ambitions crashed when regulators charged that the company had defrauded hundreds of thousands of customers by misstating the risks involved in investment partnerships sold by brokers. Prudential paid restitution and penalties totaling $2 billion–the costliest settlement ever for a brokerage.

    Although he was never charged with wrongdoing at either Hutton or Prudential, Mr. Ball resigned from Prudential in 1991 and all but vanished from Wall Street.

    Today, Mr. Ball is resurfacing as the chairman of Sanders Morris, a small 20-year-old firm that’s trying to build its clout in the nation’s financial capital. Although Sanders Morris has struggled–it was just about the only U.S. brokerage whose profits and stock price fell last year–it has added dozens of investment bankers over the past couple of years, and a fifth of its 558 employees are based in Manhattan.

    The unlikely re-emergence of Mr. Ball, who visits the city twice a month to drum up business, highlights one of the rules of Wall Street: Even players who suffer the worst setbacks can make comebacks.

    “Ball was never tagged personally with any of the problems that befell Hutton or Prudential, and he has a lot of friends, so he’s still plenty viable in the business,” says Richard Lipstein, a principal at executive recruiting firm Boyden.

    Hello, Houston

    mr. ball owes his career resurgence to his tennis buddy Don Sanders, a former Hutton colleague. Mr. Sanders called shortly after the Prudential debacle and offered Mr. Ball the job of chairman at his fledgling Sanders Morris. Mr. Ball moved to Texas, sold his Park Avenue apartment for $3 million and started over.

    His revival rests largely on the fact that people like working with him. At Prudential, he was famous for taking employees to Paul Stuart to buy them expensive suits, and writing thousands of odd but endearing staff memos known as “Ballgrams”–including one that famously read, “Losses suck.”

    “He is a great communicator, a great motivator of people, and has a photographic memory,” says Paul Scura, a former Prudential investment banking chief. “He can remember you, your kids’…

    scribe says:
    December 23, 2009 at 1:35 pm
    We have to get John started …

    here we go …

    I was barreling down Queens Boulevard in my [fill in make and model of car] when I hit a bump in the road. Almost knocked over those hookers who were working [fill in name of notorious Queens neighborhood from the 1970's.] Who should it be but George Ball of E.F. Hutton fame, who was heading back from the [whatever those Labor Day tennis games are]. So I picked him up and threw him in the back of my [car] and off we went to ….

    to be continued ….

  150. still_looking says:

    154 fly

    gold

    sl

  151. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [133] Joseph,

    “Two picks:

    1. Cuba

    2. Venezuela”

    Both meet the criteria, but are we thinking hard enough? There are others that can populate that list.

  152. PGC says:

    #54 3b

    Ridgewood has 3 or 4 closing a week so I would say it has about 5 months worth of inventory.

    Wyckoff is like Sparta in Sussex County. A triple digit level of 500K plus homes wih 2 or 3 closings a month.

  153. leftwing says:

    Re: SRS

    Don’t.

    Their paper can get refinanced.

    The IBs will make it so. I used to bank some of these animals. They are nirvana – shelf registration, no roadshow secondaries done overnight for which you pocket 4%. Often accompanied by a bond. Both of which reduce your senior exposure. What’s not to like?

    Pick another fight. You won’t win this one. Too many dollars and self interest out there.

  154. CB in SJ says:

    So, if I am correctly following Sweeney’s logic, we need to better train realtors so that they can prevent the banks from overlending. We really have some brilliant leaders in this state.

  155. freedy says:

    does anybody know if Al Sharpton lives in
    Fort Lee,, thought i saw him last night .

  156. Schumpeter says:

    left (159)-

    It’s a day trade; I ain’t marrying it.

    Over the longer run, I sorta agree with you. Basically a legalized Ponzi.

  157. Schumpeter says:

    BC (160)-

    A pitched battle of idiots vs retards.

  158. Painhrtz says:

    John Mad Libs for Christmas?

  159. BC Bob says:

    Double whammy tomorrow; Senate votes on heath care and raising the debt ceiling.
    Merry X-Mas taxpayers.

  160. Painhrtz says:

    Nom going to go with good ole USA?

    Where the constitution is nothing but really expensive toilet paper and it is a government of the government for the government by the sheople.

    Have a nice Christmas or had a lovely Chanukah everyone. You to Clot, while oblivion may be closer, the fiddle sounds awfully nice.

  161. BC Bob says:

    That’s health.

  162. BC Bob says:

    “Nom going to go with good ole USA?”

    Nom threw out a trick question. It can’t be the US, that’s too obvious.

  163. John says:

    This is what BC Bob wants for Christmas

    Golden Kaiser Schnitzel Comes with Real Gold

    http://www.odditycentral.com/news/golden-kaiser-schnitzel-comes-with-real-gold.html

  164. Thundaar says:

    Somehow they have to have realtors take classes that matter. CCIM, business classes, appraisal courses, etc….The AC bullsh&t sleep-a-thon is a joke.

  165. Alap says:

    Four retiring Parsippany cops share $900K in sick, vacation pay
    By Eugene Paik/For The Star-Ledger
    December 23, 2009, 5:31AM

    PARSIPPANY–Four township police officers, each with more than 24 years of experience, will retire by the end of the month.

    They’ll also receive nearly $900,000 during the next several years for unspent time off.

    Like other retired Parsippany officers in past years, Lt. Kevin Carhart, Sgt. Carl Kohler and patrolmen Robert Luongo and Richard Murphy are owed compensation for unused vacation, personal and sick days.

    They’re the latest to be due substantial payments for days off — payments that are doled out over time.

    Before the policy was changed in 1999, Parsippany had no restrictions on how many days officers could save up. The officers, however, are still able to be compensated for an unlimited amount of unused days accrued before 1999.

    Carhart, Kohler and Luongo are retiring at the end of December, and Murphy left earlier this month. Police Chief Michael Peckerman said at least 21 officers should be eligible for retirement by 2013.

    According to township administrator Jasmine Lim, Carhart will be paid $317,238 for the next two-and-a-half years while Kohler will receive $200,791 over five years. Murphy will receive $89,378 over the next year-and-a-half, and Luongo will get $292,185 for three
    years.

    Lim was unable to immediately say how many days each officer had accrued.

    The officers insist the payout is no retirement gift.

    “This is not a golden parachute,” said Parsippany Police Sgt. Eugene Natoli, president of the superior officers bargaining unit. “This is something that was earned.”

    Carhart, 55, is in his 30th year with the department. The 45-year-old Kohler has been with Parsippany for 26 years, and Luongo, 46, has been with the department for 25. Murphy, 51, has been a Parsippany officer for roughly 24 years.

    “It’s a loss for the organization,” Peckerman said. Their experience will be “very difficult to replace.”

    But decades on the job have taken a toll on the officers, and Luongo said one thing he won’t miss is the stress.

    “It’s time to move on,” he said. “It’s been 25 years in a high-stress job like this.”

    The retiring officers said they wouldn’t have been able to use all of the days even if they wanted to.

    Kohler said an understaffed police force has officers thinking twice about using vacation and sick time. In fact, Kohler and Natoli said, an officer would likely have to work overtime to fill in for an absent co-worker.

    Jerry Cantrell, president of the grassroots New Jersey Taxpayers’ Association, remained unmoved.

    Sick days “are only for when you are sick,” Cantrell said. “They are not a bonus when you retire.”

    The retirements will reduce the police department to 101 officers, said Patrolman Ed Ailara, president of the Parsippany Policemen’s Benevolent Association.

    Parsippany, with about 53,000 people, is Morris County’s most populous municipality

  166. BC Bob says:

    John [169],

    Only if 8-10% lower.

  167. Schumpeter says:

    thundaar (170)-

    No way. The fail rate on those classes would be close to 99%.

  168. make money says:

    http://www.courant.com/health/hc-dodd-health-center-1222.artdec22,0,4716491.story

    100 million grant may not help Uconn Hospital.

    Then why through good money after bad. Easy. It’s not Dodd’s money.

  169. relo says:

    171: If I thought this gravy train would last, I’d tell each of my kids to become a cop and go to school at night. Plan B – BOE administrator.

  170. yikes says:

    Schumpeter says:
    December 22, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Five former Navy seals, some flash-bang grenades and a little camo.

    ive actually looked quite hard and i can’t find flash-bangs anywhere.

    i know they aren’t legal, but come on … somebody legit has to be selling them somewhere.

    you know, just for WTSHTF

  171. John says:

    Best job is NYC Garaage man. Same pay as NYC cop or firman yet you can start at 18. Lucky to be a cop or fireman until you are 24. You can retire the day you turn 38. Friend did it and got married at 38 and moved to florida as a retiree all on NYC’s dime. Said who wants to work and raise kids.

    relo says:
    December 23, 2009 at 4:39 pm
    171: If I thought this gravy train would last, I’d tell each of my kids to become a cop and go to school at night. Plan B – BOE administrator.

  172. relo says:

    U.S. Treasury Department
    Office of Public Affairs

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 23, 2009
    CONTACT: Treasury Public Affairs (202) 622-2960

    TREASURY RECEIVES $45 BILLION IN REPAYMENTS

    FROM WELLS FARGO AND CITIGROUP

    TARP Repayments Now Total $164 Billion

    WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury received repayments on its Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) investments in Wells Fargo and Citigroup in the sum of $45 billion, bringing the total amount of repaid TARP funds to $164 billion. Wells Fargo repaid $25 billion under the Capital Purchase Program (CPP) and Citigroup repaid $20 billion under the Targeted Investment Program (TIP), both of which will wind down at the end of this year. Treasury now estimates that total bank repayments should exceed $175 billion by the end of 2010, cutting total taxpayer exposure to the banks by three-quarters.

    In addition, effective today, Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Citigroup terminated the agreement under which the U.S. government agreed to share losses on a pool of originally $300 billion of Citigroup assets. This arrangement was entered into in January of this year under Treasury’s Asset Guarantee Program (AGP) and was originally expected to last for 10 years. The U.S. government parties did not pay any losses under the agreement and will keep $5.2 billion of $7 billion in trust preferred securities as well as warrants for common shares that were issued by Citigroup as consideration for such guarantee. With this termination, the AGP is being terminated at a profit to the taxpayer.

    Treasury currently estimates that TARP programs aimed at stabilizing the banking system will earn a profit thanks to dividends, interest, early repayments, and the sale of warrants. Total bank investments of $245 billion in FY2009 that were initially projected to cost $76 billion are now projected to bring a profit. Taxpayers have already received over $16 billion in profits from all TARP programs and that profit could be considerably higher as Treasury sells additional warrants in the weeks ahead.

  173. Shore Guy says:

    The Senate bettern ot get its heart set on getting agreement in conference fo healthcare “reform” legislation. This is from the chair of the House Rules committee, one of the most powerful folks in the Democratic party, and she is not happy.

    http://m.cnn.com/cnn/ne/us/detail/419668/full

  174. Shore Guy says:

    ” Taxpayers have already received over $16 billion in profits from all TARP programs ”

    Which is dwarfed by the taxes we have given up. When considering the lost tax revenue, we are, seriously, in the red.

  175. Shore Guy says:

    And merry Christmas to you too:

    2085 related »

    5 Hostages Held At Rural Va. Post Office
    CBS News – 1 hour ago
    Authorities say as many as five people are being held hostage at a post office in a small town in Virginia. Wyethville .

    snip

  176. Shore Guy says:

    As we used to sing when carroling at the Shore:

    We wish you a Merry Christmas
    We wish you a Merry Christmas
    We wish you a Merry Christmas
    And a happy New Year

    Give us some friggen’ pudding
    Give us some friggen’ pudding
    Give us some friggen pudding
    And bring it out now

    We won’t go until we get some
    We won’t go until we get some
    We won’t go until we get some
    So bring it out now

    We would hate to have to break you knee caps
    We would hate to have to break you knee caps
    We would hate to have to break you knee caps
    But you know that we will

    We wish you a Merry Christmas
    We wish you a Merry Christmas
    We wish you a Merry Christmas
    And hope you can still walk next year

  177. Shore Guy says:

    Merry Christmas everyone. Even if you don’t celebrate it, I hope you have a great December, 25th; it is agreat day for Chinese, Indian, or Thai food, if nothing else.

  178. yikes says:

    Stu says:
    December 22, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Veto, are you a recent buyer? If so, I’ll bet you the appraisal fee that your home is worth 30% less than it was during the peak. I’m almost willing to wager 35% by July. No one wants to admit their losses. Look at Frank.

    With Stu on this. 3 houses on our street (size: all within 200 sq feet of one another):

    house 1: bought for 600k in 06. zillow curent has it for 540.

    house 2: ours. very comparable to house 1 (bigger yard, 100 less sq feet). we paid 535k early this yr.

    house 3: very comparable to 1 and 2. sold for 515k this fall.

    so we’re down 20k in just a year. would probably be called an “elite” town in Bucks …

  179. danzud says:

    I think the good reverend lives in Englewood, NJ

  180. BC Bob says:

    ” Taxpayers have already received over $16 billion in profits from all TARP programs ”

    Did the above come from a skit on SNL?

    http://www.sitemason.com/files/esMlDW/bailouttallydec2009.pdf

  181. Schumpeter says:

    BC (186)-

    Somebody should tell them to quit pissing on our feet and telling us it’s raining.

  182. confused in NJ says:

    Interesting, National Grid is second largest US Utility and is British Owned. They are currently looking at outsourcing all IT functions to India. Be interesting in the next major infrastructure blackout to see Congress deal with foreign ownership. Our Government is Completely Dysfunctional.

    http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/12/national_grid_to_outsource_at.html

  183. Schumpeter says:

    Fraudy, being trip-wired for utter destruction yet again:

    “Recently there has been much speculation that the US government will do anything, anything, to rekindle the housing bubble. Even if that means providing Option ARMs at blue light special prices and hiring Angelo Mozillo as Mortgage Czar (we hope we are kidding about the latter). Yes, those very same Option ARMs which banks’ balance sheets are still expecting to be neutron bombed by, courtesy of the long gone days when there was private sector mortgage origination risk. Now that all the mortgage exposure is borne by taxpayers, we decided to analyze how the ARM spread to the traditional 30 Year Mortgage has moved throughout the year. Somehow we were not surprised that the 30 Yr – 1 Yr ARM spread for Freddie Mac just hit a record wide this past week. The government is presumably actively encouraging borrowers to approach the GSEs, and using the same NINJA protocols, to ask, nay, demand, an Adjustable Rate Mortgage. Who cares what happens one year down the line? Certainly not the US government which has $3 trillion in T-Bills to roll by this time next year.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/fed-has-officially-spread-itself-too-thin

  184. d2b says:

    I always figured that Madoff had a terminal condition and that is why he confessed. I would bet that he moved a bunch of money into an undisclosed location beforehand. Generations of his family will never have to work. Wonder who in his family knew all along.

  185. Schumpeter says:

    Here’s the large intestine of the whole housing market, laid open (so to speak). No Becky, Lies-Man or Beaker to view the turd that’s festering there and pronounce it good. Just the facts, ma’am.

    Care to comment here, Frank?

    “As we progress into 2010 keep an eye out on this divergence. In its “all in” gamble to get every renter back to homeownership status, the ARM spread, both absolute and relative, will be the most indicative light of just how much money the Fed and the administration are willing to burn in order to extend and pretend until there is nothing left to either extend or pretend.

    Last but not least, also keep an eye out on underlying core interest rates. While the move in the Treasury curve is a whole new topic altogether, from here on out near term rates can only blow out (zero is a hard bottom). This will likely wreak some major havoc on not only the current and future ARM contingent, but the fixed mortgage population. Observe that the 30 year Freddie has not budged since the beginning of the year: it started the year off at 5.01% and is now at 4.94%. This has occurred even as the 10 year has blown out from 2.21% on January 8 to 3.75$ today: a massive 154 basis points. It appears the 30 year Fixed (wholesale or otherwise) is the primary bastion behind which the mortgage vigilantes are fortified: if they can retain it, look for the next round of action to happen in the 1 Yr ARM and 5/1 ARM arena.

    And for those who are interested in some of the regime change observations form a macro perspective, the chart below demonstrates just why it is that mortgage securitizations may not be all the lucrative or even interesting to securitizers going forward: the key take home from this chart is that while the Mortgage spread return as a percentage of total return has collapsed from 40 bps to sub 20 bps, so has securitization, and for a reason. Remember: securitization is merely a massively leveraged way to express an “off balance sheet” bet. If you assume that leverage multiple was between 20-40x, the potential return has been cut in half from 8-16% down to 4-8%. At these return expectations, investors are willing to put money into HY and other fixed income funds (and judging by mutual fund flows, are actively doing so). The Fed has singlehandedly eliminated the “risk” in the mortgage market, and as long as it continues intervening in it, will make the much needed resecuritization phenomenon impossible. Bernanke has created the biggest Catch 22 imaginable, guaranteeing that the longer the Fed continues in being the market in mortgages, the less likely it is that the private sector will ever get involved.”

  186. kettle1 says:

    Yikes 176

    ….look harder my friend.

    Merry Xmas all!

  187. kettle1 says:

    CLot,

    I feel like a dope for not running out and picking up a nice fat NINJA loan and then promptly defaulting on it and living rent free for about 3 years.

    I probably would if my wife would let me do it :(

  188. safeashouses says:

    #193 kettle1

    jsut think if you had also done a heloc and paid off any other debts you had.

  189. yikes says:

    Alap says:
    December 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Four retiring Parsippany cops share $900K in sick, vacation pay
    By Eugene Paik/For The Star-Ledger
    December 23, 2009, 5:31AM

    PARSIPPANY–Four township police officers, each with more than 24 years of experience, will retire by the end of the month.

    They’ll also receive nearly $900,000 during the next several years for unspent time off.

    Like other retired Parsippany officers in past years, Lt. Kevin Carhart, Sgt. Carl Kohler and patrolmen Robert Luongo and Richard Murphy are owed compensation for unused vacation, personal and sick days.

    at the risk of … ah, hell … i “know someone” who worked for the federal govt or 31 years or so and has about a year of sick days saved up. those are the best … if you got in on that deal …

  190. still_looking says:

    Everyone is asleep already??

    sheesh.

    sl

  191. chicagofinance says:

    No. I just mixed some coffee, scotch and pepto bismol….

  192. cobbler says:

    still_looking says:
    December 23, 2009 at 11:34 pm
    Everyone is asleep already??

    sheesh.

    sl

    Yeah – this is what I like the least about this blog. When I’ve got time to get to the computer in earnest everyone is already snoring away. OTOH, the whole host of people get up at an ungodly hour of 430 am or so to post – which I do only if I’ve got a 7 am flight out of Newark, and then complain for a week.

  193. Essex says:

    It’s weird…I used to like to sleep a lot. Now it just reminds me of death.

  194. d2b says:

    Municipal Employee sick time is interesting because a decade ago,nobody wanted to work for the government. Some of the sick and vacation days were increased in lieu of raises over he years. Plus, great city and state workers (and there are some) provide true value and are missed if they take off. They are being punished for being good workers by not taking sick time.

    My brother’s starting salary as a government lawyer was half of the private sector but he did it because he wanted his nights and weekends. Those benefits were a direct trade off for salary dollars.

    Philadelphia’s solution was to cap time at six months and let employees trade two sick days for one vacation day instead of losing them.

    One of my first jobs paid you for unused vacation and sick time at the end of the year. I would love this because you are rewarding those that show up everyday.

  195. lisoosh says:

    I’m awake.
    Only RE associated thing I can say is that they used that “unexpected” word again today when mentioning low new house sales.

    Then they spun it into decreased activity in “expectation of the homebuyers credit ending” THEN they spun the spring bounce by saying that it was expected due to the “extension of the homebuyers credit”.

    That credit sure is magical, it can make the market do ANYTHING. The spinners sure don’t want to make it go away. Guessing the news copy came directly from the NAR.

    Sigh.

  196. scribe says:

    From the WSJ, 12/24:

    Foreclosure Challenges Raise Questions About Judicial Role

    By AMIR EFRATI

    A group of state and federal judges presiding over foreclosures are wiping away borrowers’ mortgage debt, invalidating foreclosure sales and even barring some foreclosures outright.

    The decisions in recent months by a handful of judges in states including Massachusetts, New York and Texas mark a new phase in the judiciary’s battle to stem the rising tide of foreclosures by punishing mortgage companies for paperwork mistakes and alleged mistreatment of borrowers.

    The number of judges taking such action remains small, and most foreclosures go through without a challenge.

    But the growing number of rulings against lenders’ claims is raising questions among some legal experts about judges’ impartiality.

    “The question is whether judges are changing the rules in the middle of the game…just because there is a financial crisis,” says Todd Zywicki, a law professor at George Mason University and a critic of policy initiatives aimed at curtailing lenders’ ability to foreclose.

    As early as 18 months ago, several judges in California, New York, Ohio and elsewhere would dismiss foreclosure cases if they could find reason to do so. But those judges often allowed the mortgage companies to refile their foreclosure claims after attesting to their ownership of the mortgage in the county in which the homeowner lives.

    Now, after the country has been mired in a housing crisis for more than two years, more judges are calling these companies on their paperwork glitches, and in some cases going much further in their efforts to help homeowners.

    It makes sense for judges to demand that mortgage companies follow the rules to the letter if they want to win foreclosure cases in court, says Raymond Brescia, an assistant professor at Albany Law School who has written about the role of the courts in the financial crisis. “I don’t think that’s a crazy idea,” he says. “To expect plaintiffs to prove their case is what the judicial system is founded on.”

    But if judges decide to help borrowers in ways that overlook the merits of individual cases, Mr. Brescia adds, that would “undermine the integrity of the judiciary, and that’s not going to help anybody.” Instead, he says, it might trigger a backlash from legislators or regulators to rein in activist jurists.

    At the heart of some of the court rulings is what became a common practice among mortgage companies: filing a foreclosure claim without showing proof that they actually own the mortgage and have the right to foreclose. This occurs in part because mortgages change hands multiple times after the original loan is made, but the mortgage documents and the contracts between borrowers and lenders are never altered to reflect those changes. Years later, it can be difficult to verify who is the owner of the mortgage.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126161279914403525.html

  197. Maybe the millionaires like Corzine can afford their full property taxes but those of us in the 75-100k range could really use the rebates we are used to getting! At least give us a couple hundred bucks so we’re not completely upset. Can’t wait to vote this clown out of office.

  198. I think that holding real estate agents to a higher standard like required classes and possibly a test is a great way to weed out the incompetent from the rest. Making them take classes will, however, take time away from selling homes. In this economy I dont think we can afford to have any less attention on making housing sales. I guess will just have to hope that the buyers can easily recognize the incompetent from the competent in the real estate – this could be very difficult.

  199. dennis says:

    #36 still looking. I didn’t read all the posts, so I apologize if this is a duplicate.. A book called “the Peter Principal” explains another aspect of your theory. A worker may likely get promoted if he does well, whatever “well” means to his superiors. He can continue to get promoted until he’s in a job he can no longer do well, then he stays there. In other words, one gets promoted to one’s level of incompetence= the peter principal