Calls to scrap failed HAMP program grow louder

From USA Today:

Inspector general: Mortgage modification program a ‘failure’

A mortgage modification program aimed at saving homeowners from foreclosure has failed because regulators are “afraid to rein in or impose penalties on the mortgage servicers” whose record “has been nothing short of abysmal,” the program’s watchdog told Congress Wednesday.

As a result, some House Republicans moved to scrap the 2-year-old program.

Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the government’s bank bailouts, bluntly labeled the mortgage program a “failure” in testimony before the House oversight committee.

“And I think that if Treasury doesn’t respond to some of these things in a quick manner,” he said, the call to dismantle the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) “is just going to become a louder and louder chorus, and understandably so.”

Three Republicans, led by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, introduced a bill Tuesday to end the program, saving up to $30 billion in unspent bailout funds.

“We think any objective look at this, it doesn’t warrant continued spending of taxpayer dollars,” Jordan said. He did not say what, if anything, he would replace the program with.

This entry was posted in Foreclosures, National Real Estate, Politics, Risky Lending. Bookmark the permalink.

161 Responses to Calls to scrap failed HAMP program grow louder

  1. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Regulators Zero In on Loan Servicers to Fix Foreclosures

    U.S. mortgage servicers face a new era of tighter oversight as regulators seek to cut the number of botched foreclosures and increase loan modifications for struggling borrowers.

    The industry, which oversees $10.6 trillion in loans, has been overwhelmed by more than 3 million foreclosures since 2006. The housing-market collapse exposed failures — in the way servicers are paid, track loans and process property seizures — that threaten to stall a fledgling rebound in prices and sales.

    “If we fail to act decisively now to deal with the foreclosure crisis, we risk triggering a double-dip in U.S. housing markets,” Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said in a Jan. 19 speech to mortgage-industry executives in Washington. “The problem is serious, and the need for action is urgent.”

    Changes being studied include a new fee structure for servicers, independent reviews of rejected requests to ease loan terms and a fund to compensate victims of improper foreclosures, according to Bair and other federal and state regulators. Lawmakers have proposed reining in the privately run Merscorp Inc., even as the company says it could serve as a national mortgage registry.

    While regulators are in the early stages of their work, any changes probably will raise the cost of servicing loans, which would mean higher costs for homeowners. The reforms are in part a response to a long list of court cases that showed banks trying to foreclose using shoddy documentation or without being able to demonstrate they had the standing to do so.

  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Foreclosures Rose in 72% of U.S. Cities as Crisis Spread in 2010

    Foreclosure filings increased in almost three-quarters of U.S. cities last year as unemployment caused homeowners to default and mortgage distress spread to new regions of the country, according to RealtyTrac Inc.

    Notices of default, auction or repossession rose in 72 percent of U.S. metro areas with populations of 200,000 or more, the Irvine, California-based data provider said today in a statement. Among the country’s 20 largest cities, Houston, Seattle and Atlanta had the biggest increases from 2009.

    “Deep fault lines of risk remain and could potentially trigger more waves of foreclosure activity in 2011 and beyond,” RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James J. Saccacio said in the statement. States where the crisis began — California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona — accounted for 19 of the 20 cities with the highest foreclosure rates. Boise, Idaho, ranked 20th.

    A national jobless rate of more than 9 percent is increasing loan defaults and cutting home prices as foreclosed properties are sold at a discount. Values dropped 1.6 percent in November from a year earlier in 20 major U.S. metro areas, the biggest annual decrease since December 2009, according to the S&P/Case Shiller home-price index.

    The number of U.S. homes receiving a foreclosure filing will jump 20 percent this year as unemployment remains high, RealtyTrac said earlier this month.

  3. grim says:

    I no longer enjoy snow.

  4. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  5. nj escapee says:

    Grim, 3 come to frost free key west where the real estate prices are cheap and the real estate taxes are even cheaper.

  6. Mike says:

    Grim Number 3 Agree, rather be at work than home shoveling!

  7. NJGator says:

    Man up, guys. It’s Winter! What did you expect?

  8. Mike says:

    I’ve seen on the board some discussing municipal bonds, just looking for some opinions because there are some 30 year issues with a high coupon and safe rating that make them tempting. Any favorites tax or taxable anyone? Short terms? Puerto Rico or other states, Laddering? Have not owned any in years. Hope to hear before the shoveling starts.

  9. Essex says:

    Keys are sweet. But you know. Jobs there consist of food services and hospitality. Or perhaps niche bidness

  10. nj escapee says:

    Essex, it’s a virtual world for work. I’ve been working remote for more than 5 yrs.

  11. gary says:

    Calls to scrap failed HAMP program grow louder

    I thought this ended when housing bottomed in 2007.

  12. Neanderthal Economist says:

    mike. munis still serving their purpose but i’d just stick with rated higher quality essential service right now.
    if a few weaker credits go bk route, as is predicted by many, markets spook, retail overreacts by selling everything of course but credit spreads prob continue to widen.

  13. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Get shoveling guys. I will be drinking coffee while the HOA shovels up to my door. Parking lot plowed already, blow out of space, while your gone they plowed it also.
    They really do a good job here. I rent here so fees are not an issue, but at 250 a month I would not complain. Grounds, golf course, all keep A1, gated 24 hour manned booths, roving security patrol, not a bad deal.

  14. grim says:

    Man up, guys. It’s Winter! What did you expect?

    Not a busted snowblower this morning, that is for sure. Thinking the electric starter option is more of a bargain than it seemed.

  15. NJToast says:

    Mike,

    Where do you live. If I have to deal with snow, sounds like your place is the one to be at.

  16. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Toast Vernon NJ on a mountain flanked by ski slopes, so we get are far share of snow.

  17. Mikeinwaiting says:

    are = our, more coffee one cup just doesn’t do it.

  18. Mike says:

    Neanderthal Number 12 Would an example of an essential service be the NJ Turnpike? Puerto Rico Power Authority has some good short terms with A1 ratings. Thanks for input

  19. 30 year realtor says:

    My twin 15 year old sons are home. Who needs a snowblower? The electric start option would help.

  20. NJToast says:

    Nice area Mike but a bit too far for me to get into the city.

  21. Mikeinwaiting says:

    30 year, that is the way to go, get that young blood out there. At 15 it is all fun, no aches & pains.
    Toast, I know people who do it, consider it crazy.

  22. NJCoast says:

    NJ escapee-
    My husband is down in the Keys drinking at Angelo’s and I’m up here shoveling. UGH.

  23. nj escapee says:

    Coast, you two truly are a modern couple. :)

  24. NJToast says:

    Well, there you have it – agents predict a healthy real estate market. I am thinking their idea of healthy is similar to a BMI of 33 and an HBA1c of 9.8.

    http://www.northjersey.com/realestate/114663824_Agents_predict_healthy_real_estate_market_.html

  25. NJGator says:

    Our snow blower is busted too. So we’re drinking coffee and paying some local kids to dig us out. You should have seen the look on their face when Captain Cheapo told them the two tire tracks they dug on our driveway were not enough to get their cash.

  26. House Whine says:

    1- must be nice. But for those of us dealing with the public having “hands-on-jobs” we don’t have many options. Oh, yeah but at least my job can’t be outsourced (yet, that is).

  27. House Whine says:

    1- meant to be in response to 10.

  28. nj escapee says:

    Whine, 27 globalism is a double edged sword. It allows opportunities for some of us to work from wherever we’d like as we’re often on conference calls / virtual meetings with folks in China or India who are pursuing our jobs.

  29. NJGator says:

    What exactly can one do with a Masters degree in The Beatles?

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41275129/ns/today-entertainment/

  30. #30 NJGator – What exactly can one do with a Masters degree in The Beatles?

    Hopefully a decent version of A Day in the Life.

  31. JJ says:

    Example of muni bond madness. On 10-18-2001 NYU issued 40 year munis that are investment grade and AMT free. Bond was priced at par with a 5% coupon.

    That was a few weeks after 9/11 New York University issued bonds while trade center was still burning and wall street was paralized and way before the huge cuts in interest rates and bond had a 40 year duration.

    Same bond in 2011. Now only a 30 year duration. Treasuries are 100′s of bps lower and bond is still investment grade. NYU is charging tons of tuition, huge waiting list, wall street doing great, rates are very low, NYU sits on huge tracts of Manhattan property etc. Bond is now priced at 92 with a yield of 5.5%.

    What does NYU have to do with California, NJ, Illionis munis? Nothing. If anything NYU is much stronger in 2011, has a 25% lower duration, if anything its prices should be higher not lower, but Whitney painted all munis with same brush.

    NEW YORK N Y CITY INDL DEV AGY CIVIC 05.00000% 07/01/2041FAC REV REV BDS NEW YORK UNIV SER. 2001
    Basic Analytics
    Price (Ask) 92.234
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 5.530%

  32. Libtard says:

    Man are the kids today lazy. When I used to shovel driveways for cash, I was much more of a perfectionist. These kids were unbelievably lazy. First attempt, the sidewalk was only cleared halfway across the property. The driveway was essentially two tire tracks up to my truck, and they didn’t even shovel out the second spot. And these were younger kids. They were probably 15 years old or so. I suppose this is the result of the everybody gets a trophy mentality. Man is our future in bad hands if this small sample is representative of the larger population. I suppose, they would be ideal candidates to work in the public sector.

  33. JJ says:

    How can someone who hires someone to shovel his driveway while he sips coffee talk smack.

    I shoveled my driveway, sidewalk, dog run, unburied my car and wifes car checked some email helped get the youngest daughter dressed, made coffee, kissed the kids goodbye, chit chatted with wife and was reading the wall street journal on my 7:14 am train and was at work on time. Snowblowers and paying people to shovel snow is so lazy. Man up and get out there and shovel. And if you have a son, get the belt out. I saw a stupid neighbor down street out there at 5am while his three sons 19-27 were sleeping in bed, back in my day a Dad like that would have got up gave those three sons a taste of leather and went back to bed, when he got up that sidewalk better not have a flake on it or they get the belt buckle side on bare skin like a real man would do.

    Libtard says:
    January 27, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Man are the kids today lazy. When I used to shovel driveways for cash, I was much more of a perfectionist. These kids were unbelievably lazy. First attempt, the sidewalk was only cleared halfway across the property. The driveway was essentially two tire tracks up to my truck, and they didn’t even shovel out the second spot. And these were younger kids. They were probably 15 years old or so. I suppose this is the result of the everybody gets a trophy mentality. Man is our future in bad hands if this small sample is representative of the larger population. I suppose, they would be ideal candidates to work in the public sector.

  34. Dink says:

    And those are probably the least lazy kids as most couldnt even be bothered to wake up to shovel some driveways for extra cash. 3 years in my current residence and never had an offer to shovel snow.

  35. Libtard says:

    We are going outside to shovel in a little while JJ. Unfortunately, my tendon is still not 100% and if I shovel, it feels like there’s a golf ball in my shoe for the rest of the day. I also have a lot of work to do this morning (logged in remotely). Gator and Junior will help me and then we have to shovel out our other home, so don’t give up on us just yet.

  36. Essex says:

    Careful you don’t want to bust your nut. Congrats on the house btw. Blue Ribbon School.

  37. Al Mossberg says:

    33,

    lmao. Throw a piece of cake at those lazy b_stards. That’ll get them moving.

  38. Libtard says:

    Thanks Essex. It’s good to see that you can have a sense of humor after all of my ripping.

  39. Shore Guy says:

    Grim,

    Adriens with electric start. I have been very pleased for several years.

  40. Libtard says:

    cnbc:
    Cramer: Case-Schiller Not a Good Index for Housing

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/41274473?__source=yahoo|headline|quote|text|&par=yahoo

    The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index is “the single-most pessimistic but least accurate housing metric out there,” Cramer said during Wednesday’s “Mad Money.”

  41. Shore Guy says:

    Also, I suggest that people buying one get a bigger size than they think they will ever use. You don’t need one for ordinary snow and when the big ones come….

  42. Libtard says:

    Something is funky with mine. I’m getting pretty close to writing to the manufacture. On the bright side, Hanover Sports (who sold it to me), agreed to pay for this repair if it is indeed the same problem as last time, which I know it is.

  43. Shore Guy says:

    Ariens, even. Blasted Droid corrections

  44. shawn212 says:

    Any recommendations for a Business Attorney in NNJ? Need to set up legal form/structure for my start up.

  45. New in FL says:

    No snow, but it is pretty cold in Hanoi today. I think it topped out in the mid-50s. The locals are suffering big time. Little pots of fire on the sidewalks everywhere.

  46. relo says:

    Seth Klarman’s year-end letter is out. Just don’t be within reach of any sharp objects when reading.

  47. JJ says:

    Maybe you should play QB for the Chicago Bears

    Libtard says:
    January 27, 2011 at 9:24 am

    We are going outside to shovel in a little while JJ. Unfortunately, my tendon is still not 100% and if I shovel, it feels like there’s a golf ball in my shoe for the rest of the day. I also have a lot of work to do this morning (logged in remotely). Gator and Junior will help me and then we have to shovel out our other home, so don’t give up on us just yet.

  48. Shore Guy says:

    Hey, Stu. More bad news for your favorite company.

    http://us.mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSN2615983920110126?ca=rdt

    Anyone want to go in on buying a former collosus? I have some change in my couch cushions and my car’s ashtray.

  49. Shore Guy says:

    With profit dropping 95%, how long can it be beforer HP buys them?

  50. #49 – Kodak’s digital revenue fell 25 percent, while revenue at its consumer digital imaging group, which includes the licensing portfolio, fell almost 40 percent to $731 million.

    Wonder what Leica is going to do should Kodak go away.

  51. Libtard says:

    I think for once, I made a better call than JJ on this.

  52. Libtard says:

    Kodak that is. Off to do what those lazy kids didn’t.

  53. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    Don’t offer money, oder Wii games to the kid who does the job well.

  54. Ben says:

    Why do people feel the need to brag about the fact that they shoveled the snow in their driveway? Every storm it happens and there are posts all over to try to solidify some sort of blue collar association. Hell, even Paul Krugman posts on his blog that he did. Funny part is, I drive by his home in Princeton and he pays a guy in a jeep with a plow to do his driveway.

  55. JJ says:

    Boo Hoo, I am only up 71% on my Kodak bond. Plus I got 18 months of interest which makes it more like 85%. I need more losers like this.

    Actually I think another 20% down kodak is getting bought.

    Symbol Description Quantity Closing Mkt Value Total Cost Basis Unrealized
    Gain/Loss Unrealized
    Gain/Loss % Type
    277461AV1 EASTMAN KODAK CO SR NT 9.20000% 06/01/2021 06/01/2021 12,000.0000 $10,920.00 $6,372.00 d +$4,548.00 +71.37% Margin

    Libtard says:
    January 27, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I think for once, I made a better call than JJ on this.

  56. JJ says:

    Not blue collar a “work ethic” thing.

    Ben says:
    January 27, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Why do people feel the need to brag about the fact that they shoveled the snow in their driveway? Every storm it happens and there are posts all over to try to solidify some sort of blue collar association. Hell, even Paul Krugman posts on his blog that he did. Funny part is, I drive by his home in Princeton and he pays a guy in a jeep with a plow to do his driveway.

  57. JJ says:

    my new plan to not pay bonus to anyone for a day when they flat leave me by telecommuting or snow stuff is working. Someone who makes $500 a day in the 100% bonus pool, should get a $500 penalty for flat-leaving.

    In the age of “evites” where “maybe” is an option instead of yes or no we need to go back to the days of stoning “flat-leavers”

  58. still_looking says:

    Stu Gator

    Congrats on the house! (I posted in the wee hrs this morning on yesterday’s thread)

    sl

  59. still_looking says:

    Debt,

    There’s a post for you, too. re: wine. I’m too tired to even cut/paste.

    sl

  60. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [45] shawn212

    I know of tons of attorneys at all price points and areas of expertise.

    Email me at nomdeplumenj@gmail.com. I would need to get some more info before making a recommendation.

  61. still_looking says:

    grim,

    There’s always the keys… I like snow -but I’d rather fly to the snow to enjoy it.

    sl

  62. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [55] Ben

    I shoveled (part) of my driveway. Not bragging at all. I wish I had someone to do it for me.

    As for part, I have a very long driveway. Can hold 6 cars, but ever since the last three snowstorms, it will only hold three until May. 3 feet of snow on the rest.

    The Brig got buried. The plowed pile across the street looks like an Alaskan glacier. And no one is parking out in front of my house on the street until June. My neighbor’s car is out there and it hasn’t moved since the Christmas week Snowpocalypse. It ain’t moving until the spring thaw.

  63. JJ says:

    Finally, a real man like me. Once I even did laser eye surgery on myself with the teachers electronic pointer while performing CPR on a drowning victim while getting a BJ during a business meeting where I sold ten million dollars worth of services.

    In fact, on way to work today I shoveled out JFK Airport as I had ten minutes to kill while the train was sitting in Jamaica.

    I have already fired three people, got laid twice and submitted 12 reports. Good day so far. On way home I promised to feed the animals at the Bronx zoo so I might be 15 minutes late. Later I need to come up with something to overcome gravity before I whip up a meal for 500 at the local soup kitchen.
    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    January 27, 2011 at 10:29 am

    [55] Ben

    I shoveled (part) of my driveway. Not bragging at all. I wish I had someone to do it for me.

    As for part, I have a very long driveway. Can hold 6 cars, but ever since the last three snowstorms, it will only hold three until May. 3 feet of snow on the rest.

    The Brig got buried. The plowed pile across the street looks like an Alaskan glacier. And no one is parking out in front of my house on the street until June. My neighbor’s car is out there and it hasn’t moved since the Christmas week Snowpocalypse. It ain’t moving until the spring thaw.

  64. A.West says:

    JJ,
    I thought real men have a 3 car garage to keep the snow off the cars, and have their lawn service guys plow and snowblow driveway and sidewalks by 8am.
    That’s what I did. Division of labor. I was one of the first in the office this AM. This is the first year I didn’t do my own snow removal, new long driveway would require me to purchase a serious snowblower.
    But I’m going to have a huge bill from my lawn/snow guy for January. I initially thought a snowblower would have a 5 year payback period, but if it keep snowing like this, it would be more like a 2-3yr payback period, depending on whether I charge myself for my labor in the formula.
    And at current tax rates, a penny saved is two pennies earned*, a factor that clearly works against such division of labor for highly taxed folks. When income tax hits 70% and the sales/vat tax hits 20%, people will have to do virtually everything for themselves, or leave the country to engage in voluntary trade.
    *i.e. I have to earn about $500, pretax, to buy $250 of pretax services, given federal and state income taxes, as well as state sales tax.

  65. 30 year realtor says:

    Just when I thought the market couldn’t get any worse, then came the snow…

    Can’t show the house if you can’t find it. My lock boxes are all buried or frozen!

  66. JJ says:

    Sadly, I park on the street. Funny I made a huge fuss when I bought my 5 Series that it had to be mint and garaged. Meanwhile since I got it in 2008 it has never been in a garage even for one minute. Also other than a day or two it has been on the street 99.9% of time. My old SL is clogging my garage and my wifes monster truck is so big I can’t fit a second car in it.

    Real men park on street. Got to keep it real. Hey the guy with the volvo with three million miles on it most in world has never garaged his car. Real men don’t garage their cars. Look at Californication, do you see him garaging his porsche or washing it.

    Rich people have snowblowers, long driveways, big houses and fancy cars. Not us middle class people. Of course the guy who told me this definition of middle class is 100k to 5 million a year. One year he made in the hey day 100 million in one year the guy who told me this, but said I am not rich, rich people make that every year and not just in one lucky year. Other guy told me buying new cars is for rich people, he makes three million a year. The definition of rich gets higher and higher each year.

    A.West says:
    January 27, 2011 at 10:48 am

    JJ,
    I thought real men have a 3 car garage to keep the snow off the cars, and have their lawn service guys plow and snowblow driveway and sidewalks by 8am.

  67. dan says:

    How come one of JJ’s neighbors didn’t blow him while he was doing their driveways? I knew that story was flawed.

  68. Painhrtz says:

    30 Gator the same thing you can do with a newly minted law degree these days, wipe your backside with it

    Grim electric starter is the most glorious thing

  69. JJ says:

    My neighbors don’t work, their lazy butts are all in bed. Bets is guy who was a Y2K guy laid off in 2000 still “looking” for work. Wife now works full time and he puts kids in camp all summer and after school programs so he can be free 8-5 52 weeks a year. Has Lawn Service, Maid Service, Snow Removal Service Guy is only 46 and has not worked since 36 and only has two kids, best is wife does all cooking and shopping too. What an idiot wife.

    dan says:
    January 27, 2011 at 11:17 am

    How come one of JJ’s neighbors didn’t blow him while he was doing their driveways? I knew that story was flawed.

  70. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [64] JJ

    “Finally, a real man like me. ”

    Thanks, but I don’t profess to be anything close to your online persona. But make a GTG sometime and we can compare biceps or something.

  71. homeboken says:

    John – please find a way to fellate yourself without involving the internet world, your stories are tired and reek of a man who longs of approval from the world.

  72. Ben says:

    “Not blue collar a “work ethic” thing. ”

    Great. Most people with a good work ethic don’t brag about shoveling snow for 30 minutes.

  73. Libtard says:

    Or spare tires.

  74. 250k says:

    Snow? – paying someone else or shoveling yourself, nothing to brag about.
    You got this you can brag: http://www.snowmeltingcable.com/site/page/applications

  75. shawn212 says:

    nom, i sent a note to your email – thanks

  76. JJ says:

    Actually took an hour, damm plow buried me with melted snow that froze. They salted streets made a slushy mess plows came through in middle of night threw it on my walk and it froze.

    Actually, I wish I did not have to come in, but I have to lead by example. Todays lazy kids if a 40 something boss with ten kids and a back back who lives 60 miles from work comes in at ten am due to snow the lazy snot nosed punk kids will come in at ten am. No respect they have. Kids born in the 1980s are the worst workers.

    Workers from 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1990′s and 2000′s are good. Heck my newspaper boy had my papers on my walk at 5 am but 1980′s era staff were moaning about making it to work by nine am.

    Ben says:
    January 27, 2011 at 11:31 am

    “Not blue collar a “work ethic” thing. ”

    Great. Most people with a good work ethic don’t brag about shoveling snow for 30 minutes.

  77. JJ says:

    I saw that on a short sale recently where person paid for that with home equity loans.

    250k says:
    January 27, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Snow? – paying someone else or shoveling yourself, nothing to brag about.
    You got this you can brag: http://www.snowmeltingcable.com/site/page/applications

  78. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    250K

    Hook that radiant heat system to a solar thermal collector and you have a nice setup! Snow clouds aren’t a problem, set the system to crank the loop temp during the day. The heat capacity of the drive way will do the rest of the work.

  79. Painhrtz says:

    JJ, I thought the snow blows you?

  80. Anon E. Moose says:

    Re: [1];

    “If we fail to act decisively now to deal with the foreclosure crisis, we risk triggering a double-dip in U.S. housing markets,” Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said in a Jan. 19 speech to mortgage-industry executives in Washington. “The problem is serious, and the need for action is urgent.”

    I hate repeating myself, but alas — “Man needs more to be reminded than instructed.”
    - Samuel Johnson.

    How to “deal with the foreclosure crisis”? Get out of its way. The problem is not falling prices; the problem was the bubble. When the mortgage payment absorbs all the oxygen in the room, or more precisely, all the cash in the budget, there is nothing left to buy the consumer goodies that keep 70% of the economy going.

    Neither is the problem foreclosures; foreclosures are the solution to malinvestment. If banks weren’t bailed out, and sellers not subsidized, banks would be compelled to sell at market clearing prices to meet their cash needs. No warehousing of REOs off the market. And transaction flow means that realtors make money, if less than they did in 2005.

  81. JJ says:

    New Jersey state offices closed until noon, according to an e-mailed statement from the State Police. New Jersey Transit suspended bus routes with no estimate on when they’d be restored and said trains would have 30-minute delays, with some canceled and others combined.

    So people who live and work in NJ for govt got a half day while people in NJ who work in NY had to be at work at nine am.

  82. morpheus says:

    this is how I plan to deal with the snow:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmQ7BL7s5nQ

  83. chicagofinance says:

    Finished off my property….4 hours..ugh…going to eat and then head in…..this one was worse because it rained ice by me before it snowed…. :-P

  84. morpheus says:

    83: I am sure clot deals with the snow in this manner.

  85. JJ says:

    How big is your place? Four Hours!

    chicagofinance says:
    January 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Finished off my property….4 hours..ugh…going to eat and then head in…..this one was worse because it rained ice by me before it snowed…. :-P

  86. ditto says:

    If your car is less than 15 years old it can be pretty much be left out in all weathers. They’re not like they used to make them in the old days, in a good way. Talking of useless things from the 80′s, those Datsun Cherrys started to rust the first time you washed them.

  87. Libtard says:

    JJ,

    I thought you rent.

  88. Qwerty says:

    http://njexperts.com/2010/12/31/2010-a-year-of-defining-moments-for-the-sue-adler-team/

    “After hearing me speak at the Inman Connect Conference in NYC, The leaders of ORPI, the largest real estate company in France, approached me to learn about social media and internet marketing for realtors. They came to my office in October and have since invited me to speak at their national convention in Paris!!!”

  89. Libtard says:

    I meant ChiFi! Whoops.

  90. Painhrtz says:

    Lib i thought that said Gefillte Fist, I was like wow you chosen folks are getting a little weird for me or I have just been reading too many of JJ’s posts.

    So when can you get back on the skates? Not that you will have time with the new house.

  91. chicagofinance says:

    Libtard says:
    January 27, 2011 at 12:45 pm
    I meant ChiFi! Whoops.

    Yeah….I rent a 2900 sq. ft. whole house with 1.5 acres……I already am raking the owner over the coals with my ridiculous rent roll, I don’t need the white glove service……believe me, I am a city boy, I have no tolerance for this suburban bullcrap….

  92. JJ says:

    I own a small house with no mortgage and low taxes. My annual housing cost is about one paycheck a year. I just moan and groan about housing costs. Being small means low electricity, low heat bills I can fix things myself and I don’t have to pay for shoveling. Heck for most of time I mowed whole lawn as it only took 30 minutes. I live walking distance schools, stores and trains so I only buy gas once a month for car. I can’t afford NJ.

    Libtard says:
    January 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    JJ,

    I thought you rent.

  93. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    So my rental just got re-assessed for 2011. The last assessment was in 2008. The assessed value has dropped by 21%. Given that i know the owners are leveraged to the hilt from public records, they must be seriously underwater at this point. They were leveraged to the hilt at the peak value.

  94. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Shore,

    You have to wonder if the saudi royal family is getting a little nervous.

    Egypt Opposition Leader Mohamed ElBaradei Arrives In Cairo To Lead Tomorrow’s Massive Protest
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/egypt-opposition-leader-mohamed-elbaradei-arrives-cairo-lead-tomorrows-massive-protest

  95. Painhrtz says:

    Cat they have to be, surprisingly gas has not hit 4 dollars on the egypt news yet. Why would the Suez canal ever be important. Can’t wait for all the radical sand dwellers to cut off the Gulf of Hormuz

  96. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Pain,

    Protests growing in Yemen as well. The choas is spreading. if they cant get a hold on it, then it is only a matter of time before the saudi royal family gets its turn. It is probably a fair guess that any new regime that comes to power will not be very friendly towards the US

  97. jcer says:

    Is there something in the water, here. I just closed on a condo on the Mold Coast or is that Gold Coast. This might be a sign of the impending apocalypse, the people on njrereport are actually buying homes! I just figure inflation will bail me out(4.25% loan) and in the meantime I don’t have to deal with the landlord and can live in a new apartment.

    After 5 months wells fargo approved my short sale and then told me I had 10 days, then my lender, hmm Wells Fargo proceeded to f’up every detail in every document, including the adddress of the property, the purchase price, the interest rate, the property taxes, the payoffs to the condo board, and every fee quoted on the GFE. After 5 hours on tuesday I finally closed. I don’t know if I ever want to deal with a bank again!

  98. grim says:

    Congrats! I think the owners outnumber the renters.

  99. Painhrtz says:

    Cat oil is going to get much more expensive, hope Il Duce has Carteresque platitudes lined up cause nothing kills a presidency like gas lines and no heat

  100. Painhrtz says:

    GrimI bet you never thought that day would come

    Congrats jcer

  101. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Pain

    Natural gas is looking nice. Yes it will go up in price as well, but the US has huge reserves and it is ultimatly a more secure fuel for home utilities.

  102. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Congrats Jcer

  103. Anon E. Moose says:

    Re [105];

    Had to happen sooner or later. “The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent” as the saying goes (I think that was Munger). Or more to the point – the reasons that people came here in dismay at the housing market in 2005 is becasue they had need to buy a house. Those needs have likely only grown more pressing in the interim. By holding off 4-5 years, NJRER buyers have improved their positions, even if they didn’t catch the absolute bottom.

  104. Anon E. Moose says:

    Con’t [110];

    And congrats as well, jcer. I personally like the gold coast condo idea more than the manicured suburban lawn, but I’m not sure its what I want for my kids. Nothing rational here, just gut feeling.

  105. relo says:

    34: JJ,

    ROI on the snowblower very high this year. My kids can opt out of helping around the house, with the understanding that if invoked they can never consider asking for anything again.

    BC, Shore, what song is the line “He don’t work and he don’t get paid” from?

  106. Alap says:

    Congrats JCer. I recently closed (end of nov) on a townhouse as well. A nicely discounted foreclosure.

  107. onthebrink says:

    Jcer, Alap
    Congrats on your new home! The way I see it, short sales are great and foreclosures can be even better.

    Can we have a show of hands for any renters left here on the blog? (My hand is up)

  108. JJ says:

    So wells fargo got a property off its books by a wells fargo mortgage. I am very disappointed in you people buying homes. You are preventing the bottom from occuring. I must stop you from buying. Please stop buying homes.

    jcer says:
    January 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Is there something in the water, here. I just closed on a condo on the Mold Coast or is that Gold Coast. This might be a sign of the impending apocalypse, the people on njrereport are actually buying homes! I just figure inflation will bail me out(4.25% loan) and in the meantime I don’t have to deal with the landlord and can live in a new apartment.

    After 5 months wells fargo approved my short sale and then told me I had 10 days, then my lender, hmm Wells Fargo proceeded to f’up every detail in every document, including the adddress of the property, the purchase price, the interest rate, the property taxes, the payoffs to the condo board, and every fee quoted on the GFE. After 5 hours on tuesday I finally closed. I don’t know if I ever want to deal with a bank again!

  109. grim says:

    I would have been closing in two weeks.

    It’s all over when grim buys.

  110. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [74] libtard

    No spare tire anymore. Except for the fact that I don’t look like the guy who says “I pick things up and put them down”, I am in damn good shape.

  111. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I’ll match my six-pack against JJ’s any day.

  112. JJ says:

    New issue, AMT free Tax exempt.
    California paying 8.6% tax free on new issue. OUCH
    Taxable equiv is is like 14% for high income people
    even chifi will be alarmed

    SAN MARCOS CALIF REDEV AGY TAX 08.50000% 10/01/2030ALLOCATION TAX ALLOCBDS SER. 2011
    Basic Analytics
    Price (Ask) 98.759
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 8.630%
    Yield to Maturity 8.630062%

  113. JJ says:

    I have a fosters six pack. Oil cans.

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    January 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I’ll match my six-pack against JJ’s any day.

  114. JJ says:

    Luckily I was blessed with amazing good looks although I do have a bit of dun-lap disease. That is where your belly dun-lap over your belt.

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    January 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    [74] libtard

    No spare tire anymore. Except for the fact that I don’t look like the guy who says “I pick things up and put them down”, I am in damn good shape.

  115. Libtard says:

    I don’t think I’d want to see that shirt come of his back.

    http://tinyurl.com/jj-at-home

  116. chicagofinance says:

    96.Banana Bender says:
    January 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm
    JJ 86: Judge for yourself bloke.

    Haven’t lived there in 2 years d-bag…

  117. Painhrtz says:

    Lib seriously JJ’s momma’s basement is much nicer than that

  118. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [76] shawn

    You have mail.

  119. JJ says:

    http://washingtongenerals.com/opportunities.html

    I think I will apply, a job where I get paid big bucks to lose.

  120. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Verizon t1 hub in jersey city is down. Half the posters just lost their
    Internet access

  121. JJ says:

    His street name is “dot-matrix”

    Libtard says:
    January 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I don’t think I’d want to see that shirt come of his back.

    http://tinyurl.com/jj-at-home

  122. chicagofinance says:

    9.JJ says:
    January 25, 2011 at 11:06 am
    Now this double dip title is interesting. Any ladies on board I would like your opinion.
    So ladies, what is this “double dip” rule? Does this make sense?

    JJ: here is your answer….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry4ngf766N0

  123. JJ says:

    what is with you and utube, every broker dealer and bank blocks it.

  124. morpheus says:

    renters?
    Don’t blame me: i signed two contracts for sale in the past. The first one sold for $6000 more but it took the sellers an additional 8 months thereafter to close. The second one sold for $3000 more after we gave the seller what he wanted. Did not even hear of another offer. He did not give us a chance to counter-offer.

  125. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom ;

    Time to exercise is/was one of the primary benefits of being post-employed.

  126. Libtard says:

    As the gentleman picked up my broken snowblower he offered me some good advice. He said just by a Honda next time. I said, “you guys sold me this Simplicty!” He said, “it’s better than the entry level stuff and about the same quality as the Ariens.” He then said, still, I never ever see Honda’s for repairs. Hanover Sports is where I bought and get my machine serviced.

  127. sl (60)-

    Sorry, been busy. Robert Craig and Quintessa are good wines.

    I do three cabs/cab blends that are sick good. They are from wineries that are very new and haven’t been Parker-ized and “discovered” by the Wine Spectator. All these wines are very concentrated, rich and have a pretty good lick of new French oak. I bet you would like them all:

    1. Albertina Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendocino 2007- Low-yield mountain fruit. Super-rich. Dusty, soft tannins. Retails well under $30/btl.

    2. Sweet Valley Righteous Red, Columbia Vly, 2008- This is made by Josh McDaniels, who is the asst. winemaker at Leonetti (big cult following). The kid is all of 23 years old, and this is his third vintage. He spent last spring working with Paul Hobbs at Vina Cabos in Mendoza and just keeps getting better at what he does. “Righteous” is an 80% Merlot/20% Cabernet blend; lots of blueberry, boyesenberry and cinnamon (new oak). Virtually all the grapes are from top vineyards in Walla Walla, such as Seven Hills, Arete, Las Collinas and Forgotten Vineyards. You can score this gem well under $20!!!!

    3. Sweet Valley “Double Barrel” Red, Columbia Vly. 2008- Stylistically very similar to the Righteous, but firmer, as it’s 50-50 Cabernet/Merlot. Again, a ridiculous wine for the money, as you should be able to get it for under $25.

    You can e-mail me offline, and I’ll give you some places in your area who can get these wines for you.

    Grim, thanks for letting me pimp my wine.

  128. chicagofinance says:

    clot: how can I buy this stuff so you make money off it?

  129. relo says:

    133: Stu,

    I read somewhere that most of the “name brand” snowblowers on the market were made by the manufacturer MDT. Point of the article was not to let the salesmen try to differentiate by price. Honda was an exception to the preceeding.

  130. Painhrtz says:

    Lib what is wrong with your simplicity? mine keeps stalling under load, but i fould the plug as I ran under half choke for and hour. lean mixture kills plugs. F*cking machine was designed so it takes an advanced level ASE tech to change a plug

  131. Juice Box says:

    What in the hell is going on around here, did somebody give the buy signal or something?

  132. Painhrtz says:

    juice you didn’t get the memo?

  133. grim says:

    I was lucky enough to find tomorrow’s price today, unfortunately the second lienholder didn’t agree.

  134. Juice Box says:

    re #140 – Grim let me guess the second lienholder wanted a promissory note right and the sellers balked?

  135. Juice Box says:

    re #139 – Inventory sucks does it not? Why should I bother looking now?
    Anyway, I want a large tax rebate from the Feds and State and cash out when I buy so why should I settle for less?

  136. grim says:

    Grim let me guess the second lienholder wanted a promissory note right and the sellers balked?

    Nod.

  137. Confused In NJ says:

    I got the 15.5 inches shoveled today, including the deck, but will wait till tomorrow to use the roof rake. The wet snow is like glue. Had to clean the satellite dish to get reception.

  138. Juice Box says:

    I gather Egypt did not want their people to see this video before tomorrows
    demonstrations so they shut off the entire internet. FYI the whole country is off
    tomorrow,

    Video of protester sniped from the Associated Press.

    http://video.ap.org/?f=None&pid=oT7qj_wiVHTbYae3scwok4_irYjJ2R8Z

  139. NJToast says:

    Snow Blowers:

    Ariens, Toro and Simplicity are in the same league. Some believe Simplicity is a bit better but that’s subjective. Sounds like some of you have different experiences with them.

    Have had two Ariens – first one ran 26 years and then sold it. 1 starter cord and a couple of spark plugs over the years and that’s it. As a kid, ran it 8+ hours plowing out the neighborhood. # 2 I sold after 4 trouble free years.

    Honda makes the best machine and at 2x+ the price of the others, it should be. Full blown hyrdrostatic transmissions and engineered beyond belief. Large unit with track drive I believe is $3400.

    MTD makes their own MTD brand, Cub Cadet, Yardman, Troy Bilt and some other private label units. Engines are good, transmissions and snow handling / blowing are not competitive with Ariens and the others in its class.

    The 2nd Ariens I had was rated at 6HP. I handled most snow well but overall, too small in my opinion. By something bigger as it will make your life a lot easier and the snow removal process significantly quicker.

  140. Libtard says:

    The issue with my simplicity has nothing to do with the engine. She starts easy every time. There seems to be some kind of manufacturing issue with mine as the same problem occurred as last winter. Some kind of belt just snaps regardless of snow depth, consistency. It’s pretty annoying.

  141. Barbara says:

    Im going to order an Arien this week. My hestitation? Never owned a snow blower because they look like dangerous farming equipment and I know people a limb or two lighter from farming equipment. Safety first.

  142. nj escapee says:

    I used to own a Toro 2 stroke with electric start which was great. Was light weight, made about an 18 inch swath, very light weight so smaller folk (if you know what I mean) could easily move it around. Only pain was mixing gas and oil. I’m happy to say those days for me are over.

  143. Libtard says:

    Barb. You only lose fingers and limbs if you are too stupid and/or lazy to pull the key when cleaning out the snowjams. Trust me, it’s the only way to get hurt with these things. Did you ever hear of an accident that occurred while 0ne of these things were turned off? Just don’t be lazy/stupid and you’ll be fine.

    As for starting issues, most people don’t really understand how to prime an engine or how to unflood a flooded carburetor. I mowed lawns for a living as a kid so this stuff is old hat. It’s when belts snap that I’m really at a loss. And I do all of the required maintenance every season and always empty the gas tank at the end of the winter. I use a turkey baster to transfer the gas from the snowblower to the lawnmower. Then you run the engine until all of the remnant fuel is burned off. Do the same thing in the fall with the mower and you’ll never have a problem. Oh yeah, clean out the airfilter once a month and change the plug every 5 years.

  144. Barbara says:

    Libtard, good to know. I will let the nagging about the key begin before it even arrives.

  145. shawn212 says:

    hey Nom, wrote you back

  146. Shore Guy says:

    Ket,

    I may have mentioned here before that well-informed USG officikals — think NSC, DoD, and Agency — have told me that going into Iraq was insurance against Saudi oil going off the market in the event that the Saudi royal family gets the Shah treatment.

  147. Shore Guy says:

    Cue the Talking Heads and Road to Nowhere:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703293204576106234062909502.html

    A Presidency to Nowhere High-speed rail and solar shingles are not the answer to America’s “Sputnik moment.”

    snip

  148. Punch My Ticket says:

    BMW? Nassau County? Hope this isn’t JJ?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/nyregion/28bmw.html

  149. Pat says:

    Stu and Gator: You are truly role models.

    I know you can fix that place up and resell in a year to make up for the treadmill of the other one.

    Or make it your dream home.

    What I truly hope is that you hear the calling and pull up stakes. Maybe abroad or for gubmint. Bullshit spotters are in short supply down here, but us good ones get paid.

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