Foreclosure filings up 75% in 2007

From the Wall Street Journal:

Foreclosure Filings Surged 75%
In ’07 as Subprime Mess Grew
January 29, 2008; Page D3

Foreclosure filings soared 75% in 2007 from a year earlier as credit trouble and falling home values fell on homeowners, a foreclosure-listing service said.

There were 2.2 million foreclosure filings last year. More than 1% of all U.S. households were in some stage of foreclosure during the year, up from 0.58% in 2006, RealtyTrac said.

In December, foreclosure filings zoomed 97% from a year earlier, giving the fourth quarter the highest quarterly total since RealtyTrac, Irvine, Calif., began issuing its report in January 2005.

RealtyTrac Chief Executive James J. Saccacio said that for the year, properties in some stage of foreclosure increased 79%. That statistic, he noted, indicates “some properties may have just entered the initial stage of foreclosure in 2007 and could be going through the rest of the foreclosure process in 2008 unless lender and government intervention efforts begin to gain more traction.”

From RealtyTrac:

U.S. Foreclosure Activity Increases 75 Percent in 2007 According to RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report

RealtyTrac(R) (, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released year-end data from its 2007 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows a total of 2,203,295 foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — were reported on 1,285,873 properties nationwide during the year, up 75 percent from 2006. The report also shows that more than 1 percent of all U.S. households were in some stage of foreclosure during the year, up from 0.58 percent in 2006.

A total of 215,749 foreclosure filings were reported in December, up 97 percent from December 2006 and bringing the fourth-quarter total to 642,150 filings on 527,740 properties — up 1 percent from the previous quarter and up 86 percent from the fourth quarter of 2006.

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67 Responses to Foreclosure filings up 75% in 2007

  1. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Fed May Cut Rate to Below Inflation, Risking New Asset Bubbles

    The Federal Reserve may push interest rates below the pace of inflation this year to avert the first simultaneous decline in U.S. household wealth and income since 1974.

    The threat of cascading stock and home values and a weakening labor market will spur the Fed to cut its benchmark rate by half a percentage point tomorrow, traders and economists forecast. That would bring the rate to 3 percent, approaching one measure of price increases monitored by the Fed.

    “The Fed is going to have to keep slashing rates, probably below inflation,” said Robert Shiller, the Yale University economist who co-founded an index of house prices. “We are starting to see a change in consumer psychology.”

    So-called negative real interest rates represent an emergency strategy by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and are fraught with risks. The central bank would be skewing incentives toward spending, away from saving, typically leading to asset booms and busts that have to be dealt with later.

    Negative real rates are “a substantial danger zone to be in,” said Marvin Goodfriend, a former senior policy adviser at the Richmond Fed bank. “The Fed’s mistakes have been erring too much on the side of ease, creating circumstances where you had either excessive inflation, or a situation where there is an excessive boom that goes on too long.”

  2. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    A Mortgage ‘Tweak’ We Don’t Need
    January 29, 2008; Page A17

    Politicians are always willing — if not quite qualified — to play the role of economic savior. And with fresh bad news about the economy coming out regularly, there are plenty of would-be saviors auditioning for the role.

    Some of their proposals are serious reforms. Others are Keynesian-inspired, more silly than harmful. But too many are dangerous ideas that would undermine recovery and do long-term harm to both homeowners and our general prosperity.

    One of the most dangerous proposals is now moving through the House of Representatives. The Emergency Home Ownership and Mortgage Equity Protection Act was voted out of the Judiciary Committee recently. It takes aim at Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings to make it easier for buyers to rewrite the terms of their mortgage contracts in court. It would do this by changing how a debtor’s principal residence is treated in bankruptcy, allowing mortgage contracts to be modified by the courts.

    In short, if this bill becomes law a mortgage would no longer be a matter between a borrower and a lender, but instead, between a borrower, a lender and a judge. Rather than interpreting private contracts, judges would suddenly be able to rewrite them.

    Current bankruptcy law has existed for more than 100 years, and was designed to promote homeownership by making mortgages secure from outside meddling. Strong contracts make for a vibrant mortgage industry. Weakening mortgage contracts would endanger the future of American homeownership by making it harder for homebuyers to obtain a loan.

  3. grim says:

    New Jersey foreclosure filings up 34.06% since 2006, up 52.75% since 2005.

  4. grim says:

    From the AP:

    Ahead of the Bell: House Foreclosure Mtg

    A House subcommittee will meet Tuesday to discuss ways to stem the tide of foreclosures that has caused turmoil on Wall Street and trouble on Main Street over the past year.

    The House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on commercial and administrative law has scheduled a hearing on foreclosure prevention efforts for 2 p.m. Tuesday.

    It comes amid intensified worries about the housing crisis. With nearly 2 million mortgages made to subprime borrowers with poor credit scheduled to jump up to much higher interest rates over the next two years, policymakers are increasingly worried about the impact on the economy.

    Scheduled to speak at Tuesday’s hearing are Jack Kemp, who served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President George H.W. Bush, Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, David G. Kittle, chairman-elect of the Mortgage Bankers Association, Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s and Faith Schwartz, executive director of the Hope Now alliance and John Dodds, director of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project.

  5. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    Foreclosure rate almost doubled in 2007: report

    More than 1 percent of all households faced foreclosure during 2007, almost twice the previous year’s rate, a real estate marketing company said on Tuesday.

    The total number of foreclosure filings rose 75 percent last year to 2,203,295, with rates highest in Nevada, Florida and Michigan, according to RealtyTrac. Filings rose at the end of the year, with December marking the fifth straight month of more than 200,000 foreclosures reported, it said.

    Foreclosures have soared as falling U.S. home prices have exposed underwriting standards weakened during the housing boom to boost volume. Billions of dollars in losses at lenders and Wall Street banks have resulted in lenders putting money out of reach for many borrowers who had depended on getting new loans or refinancing an adjustable mortgage before higher monthly payments kicked in.

    Lower appraisals on homes have also prevented borrowers from refinancing into loans with easier terms.

    “Some properties may have just entered the initial stage of foreclosure in 2007 and could be going through the rest of the foreclosure process in 2008 unless lender and government intervention efforts” gain traction, James Saccacio, RealtyTrac chief executive officer, said in a statement.

  6. Clotpoll says:

    grim (3)-

    Here’s what else is up: federal tax lien filings, especially those against people who live at some pretty swank addresses.

    I have to slag thru the tax lien filings every day to get to the lis pendens. Pain in the a$$.

  7. SG says:

    Good read on cause of housing bubble and outlook for 2008,

  8. kettle1 says:


    i did an preliminary GIS mapping of that data over the weekend but found that for that level of data my XML/KML is too weak to it in any reasonable visual presentation. i can e-mail you the sample i did if you are really interested.

  9. kettle1 says:

    regarding budgets and spending…

    NPR did a piece last night on state budgets and one of the people they talked to was the Illinois governor.
    Of all the aspects they discussed, cutting spending was an absolute last resort and was implied to be a bad thing for the public.

    When will people wake up and realize that every penny the government spends comes out of your pocket and a large portion of it goes into the pockets of the politico’s and their buddies???? Are people so incapable of independent thought and self reliance that the concept of “reduced services” is so scary? i propose an inverse salary relationship; the governor and assemblymen will have their salary and benefits reduced by the same percentage of any and all increases in the state budgets and benefits packages.

    oh and apparently 20 something states are running in the red tis year

  10. grim says:


    What is with the property across the street from Casalerno/Charlie Browns?

    1285 Van Houten Avenue
    Purchased: 10/3/2006
    Purchase Price: $535,000

    MLS# 2479038
    Current Asking: $405,000

  11. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Tousa, Florida Homebuilder, Files for Bankruptcy

    Tousa Inc., the Florida homebuilder that lost 98 percent of its market value in the past year, sought bankruptcy protection from creditors after missing three interest payments this month.

    The company, based in Hollywood, Florida, listed assets of $2.3 billion and debt of $1.8 billion in a Chapter 11 petition filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

    Tousa, now the largest builder in bankruptcy, missed a Jan. 15 payment on $200 million in 7.5 percent senior subordinated notes due 2015. The company also missed a Jan. 1 interest payment on $300 million in 9 percent senior notes due 2010 and $185 million in 10.375 percent subordinated notes due 2012.

    “This action is necessary to reflect the realities of today’s homebuilding market,” Antonio B. Mon, Tousa’s chief executive officer, said in a company statement.

    Homebuilders Levitt & Sons LLC, Kara Homes Inc. and Neumann Homes Inc. also sought bankruptcy protection as U.S. home sales and prices slumped. Levitt, based in Fort Lauderdale, is the second- largest U.S. homebuilder in bankruptcy. The Levitt Corp. unit filed for Chapter 11 protection on Nov. 9 with 37 affiliates, submitting schedules listing $340 million in debt.

    Kara, based in East Brunswick, New Jersey, was the third- largest U.S. homebuilder in bankruptcy. The closely held company filed for Chapter 11 protection in October 2006, listing debt of $297 million and assets of $350 million. Kara’s reorganization plan was confirmed in September.

  12. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Countrywide Deal Driven by Crackdown Fear
    January 29, 2008; Page A3

    The fear of potential regulatory crackdowns helped drive Countrywide Financial Corp. into the arms of acquirer Bank of America Corp., people familiar with the situation say.

    Though the big home-mortgage lender faced large and unpredictable losses on defaults, the more immediate danger was pressure from regulators, politicians and rating firms, these people say. That realization helped spur Countrywide co-founder and Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo to call Bank of America in December and start talks that led to the Charlotte, N.C., bank’s $4 billion deal to acquire Countrywide, which was announced Jan. 11.

  13. grim says:

    Miami real estate blogger hit with a $25m defamation suit.

  14. BC Bob says:

    “The $81 billion New Jersey Investment Council is looking to commit a total of $6 billion to private equity, real estate and hedge funds by June, FINalternatives has learned.”

    “In an internal memo to the state’s investment council, investment director William Clark is recommending a total of $1.7 billion be invested directly into hedge funds, with 24% allocated to long/short funds, 21% to distressed strategies, 21% to multi-strategy funds, 19% to credit strategies and 15% to event-driven funds.”

  15. Willow says:

    Re: Tax Assessments from last night

    There is at least one town in NJ that does not seem to up the tax assessment after permitted renovations. Don’t know why they don’t, but this created a huge problem when they were reassessed. All the upgrades were now included in the tax assessment and taxes went up tremendously on those properties.

  16. Wow I had not heard that about the builder in Florida. It’s a difficult time and sorry to see it’s hitting developers also. I live in Florida and there are so many reason people are wanting to leave. Raised insurances after 2004 hurricanes. Taxes increased and now with so many foreclosures.

  17. Clotpoll says:

    BC (14)-

    “…21% to distressed strategies…”

    No shortage of those here. Time to charter to NJ Vulture Fund and get on the gravy train.

  18. BC Bob says:

    Clot [17],

    Why not give it to Paulson? That’s John Paulson.

  19. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Countrywide Q4 loss provision $907 million vs $71 million

    Countrywide loan production almost cut in half in 4Q

    Countrywide Q4 revenue $1.16 billion vs $2.76 billion

    Countrywide Q4 loss $422 million vs $622 million profit

  20. All Hype says:

    So much for the Tan Man’s rosy outlook.

  21. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Countrywide Financial Posts Loss on Overdue Mortgages

    Countrywide Financial Corp., the mortgage lender that Bank of America Corp. plans to buy, lost $422 million in the fourth quarter, failing on its promise to return to profitability.

    The net loss equaled 79 cents a share, compared with a gain of $621.6 million, or $1.01 a share, in the year-earlier period, the Calabasas, California-based company said in a statement today. The average estimate of 13 analysts compiled by Bloomberg predicted a loss of 28 cents.

    Chief Executive Officer Angelo Mozilo agreed Jan. 11 to sell the company he co-founded in 1969 for about $4 billion in stock to Bank of America, the nation’s second-biggest bank. He vowed in October to restore profit before year-end after Countrywide, the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, posted a $1.2 billion third-quarter loss, the first in 25 years. Investors have speculated Bank of America may try to lower its bid.

    “Bank of America is going to keep its options open because they are in the catbird’s seat,” said Sean Egan, managing director of Egan-Jones Ratings Co., the credit-rating firm. The bank’s chief executive officer, Kenneth Lewis, “is going to be very careful about throwing the full creditworthiness of Bank of America behind Countrywide.”

  22. Clotpoll says:

    grim (19)-

    A billion-dollar swing from profit to loss.

    Count on it getting worse, too. My local Countryslide office is one of the tops in NJ. The guys there now tell me it’s a ghost town.

    I have to resist the temptation to ask them how they feel about manning a kiosk at a B of A branch. Wonder what color their smocks will be?

  23. grim says:

    Count on it getting worse, too.

    Forced REO liquidation.

    More than 15,000 Countrywide REO properties advertised on their site, asking prices total to more than $3 billion.

  24. Kelly says:

    So I have been trying to find some big HELOC properties – no luck yet. But I have a question about a Randolph property I was looking into –

    Purchased 2005 – $690,000
    Mortgage 1 – $483,000
    Mortgage 2 – $172,500
    (Financed 95%)
    Now Bank Owned – Asking $784,500

    What accounts for the additional $129,000 the bank is asking for? Could negative amortization possibly be that high?

    Thanks in advance.

  25. Clotpoll says:

    Also, Countryslide is getting no play during the current refi rush. Their rates are at least 50 bps over the competition.

  26. grim says:

    $690,000 purchase with a $35,000 down payment?

    I can’t help but shake my head in disbelief.

    Is it any wonder that these properties are ending up in foreclosure?

  27. Clotpoll says:

    kelly (24)-

    The banks price REO to the market (or, at least, what their appraisers and agents perceive the market to be).

    It’s likely that somebody told them 784.5K should be the number. Who’s the lender?

    I’d bet it’s a smaller company that doesn’t have extensive foreclosure/REO experience.

  28. gary says:

    grim [10],

    Good question. Actually, I was going to ask you about it.

  29. Sean says:

    We won’t see much action this week in the US House of Representatives. They have a half day today and they might introduce the Stimulus Plan this afternoon for its first reading. Today is the only day for voting this week. The rest of the week and into next week they will all be on vacation at the “Democratic Retreat”. The Republicans had their Retreat last week.

    They never let an economic crisis of epic proportions get in the way of a good vacation and surely a good time chilling in some exotic warm local with the lobbyists.

    The Senate is also on a short calendar, and they will not be introducing a stimulus bill this week.

    So much for a boost in the markets this week………….

  30. John says:

    I am so excited – after we get our next rate cut we will be setting the stage for our next Black Swan event. Where will people go to chase the next bubble? Won’t be RE or Tech or China, we will have some wild new fad no one can anticipate and it is coming soon, by 2013 there will be a brand new blog focused on the coming crash and Grim better get ready. The RE bubble is slowly deflating and by 2011 is will be as outdated as a speakeasy.

  31. Clotpoll says:

    kelly (24)-

    Also, with a second mortgage that high, the property may not have simply gone back to the first lienholder for $100 at the sheriff sale.

    A second holding a mortgage as high as 175K may have come in and bid on that property, thereby forcing the first into a bidding war. I’m seeing that more and more on expensive, multiple-lien homes that go to the sheriff sale. The second either figures they have a shot at the house…or they get the bitter pleasure of giving the first an “eff-you” by forcing them to pay up to take the house.

  32. Clotpoll says:

    John (30)-

    “Where will people go to chase the next bubble?”

    Stamps and rare coins.

  33. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    USG swings to 4th-quarter loss on 7.3% lower sales

    USG Corp., the Chicago building-products company, swung to a fourth-quarter loss from a year-earlier profit on 7.3% lower sales. The loss was $28 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with net income of $100 million, or $1.11, in the year-earlier period. Shares outstanding rose 10% to 99 million. Sales were $1.2 billion against $1.29 billion. A survey of analysts by Thomson Financial produced consensus estimates of a loss of 12 cents a share on revenue of $1.16 billion. The loss reflects a nickel a share of charges for staff cuts, site closings and asset impairments. “High inventories of unsold homes, tighter mortgage-lending standards and a decline in residential repair and remodeling activity caused wallboard shipments and prices to fall throughout 2007,” Chairman and CEO William C. Foote said in a statement. The downturn in residential construction should continue through 2008 while non-residential building stays stable, USG said. Meantime, reduced demand for its products will continue to hurt sales and profit, USG said.

  34. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    Countrywide: 1 in 3 subprime mortgages delinquent

    Countrywide Financial Corp, the largest U.S. mortgage lender, on Tuesday said more than one in three subprime mortgages were delinquent at year-end in the $1.48 billion portfolio of home loans it services.

    Countrywide said borrowers were delinquent on 33.64 percent of subprime loans it serviced as of December 31, up from 29.08 percent in September. It also said borrowers were at least 90 days late on payments on 17.25 percent of subprime mortgages.

    The rate of late payments rose to 7.32 percent at year end from 5.76 percent on prime home equity loans, and to 5.76 percent from 4.41 percent on conventional first mortgages, Countrywide said. For all loans, the delinquency rate rose to 8.64 percent from 7.12 percent, it said.

  35. Kelly says:

    I am going to check out someone houses listed on that countrywide list.

    Nothing really good yet – but here is one

    Morristown home purchased
    Purchased 2005 – $435000
    1st Mortgage – $348000
    Second Mortgage $87000
    (100% financed – I am surprised they did not finance closing cost)

    Listed on Countrywide page for $435900.

  36. SG says:

    On Next bubbles, there is article today on marketwatch.

    In America, land of the bubbles, the next pop will be the biggest

    The dot-com ’90s created $7 trillion in market value. The housing boom created $12 trillion in “fake wealth.” Janszen predicts the next great bubble will be a $20 trillion “alternative energy” bubble. In fact, Wall Street’s already hustling biofuels, solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal and hydroelectric as the new alternative energies destined to replace oil, gas and coal in this next new economy.

  37. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Junk Bond Rising Spreads Signal Worst Bust Since ’01

    The market for high-yield, high-risk bonds shows that a U.S. recession is a foregone conclusion.

    Junk bonds are off to their worst start since 1990, falling 1.8 percent and triggering $17 billion in losses this month, according to index data compiled by New York-based Merrill Lynch & Co. Yields relative to Treasuries are rising at the fastest pace in at least 11 years as prices drop.

    The pain may only get worse. Speculative-grade borrowers made up the majority of U.S. corporate debtors for the first time last year, according to Standard & Poor’s. The default rate will soar to more than 8 percent this year, the highest since Enron Corp.’s collapse rippled through the market in 2002, estimates Zurich-based UBS AG. Yields show retailers, homebuilders and mortgage companies are among companies at the greatest risk as banks rein in lending.

    “You’re somewhere between half and 60 percent of the way from the top of the market to the bottom of the market” if the economy contracts, said Michael Parks, a managing director at Los Angeles-based TCW Group Inc., which manages $148 billion in assets. “Who wants to put a lot of capital to work there?”

  38. John says:

    I don’t think the alternative bubble is going to last.

  39. Sean says:

    re: (14 )


    Quote from the article. “Most academic studies support the contention that smaller, less established hedge funds tend to generate superior returns.”

    I would love to know over what time period those studies were done and what the sampling of Hedge Funds were.

    Sure let’s invest billions in start up hedge funds! Let’s lock up lock up the money for years! Hey, I have an Idea why don’t we invest in derivatives! You know like CALPERS did, some nice collateralized debt obligations and convertible bonds. We can hire a crack time of level 5 ex-Goldman employees who just happen to be looking for work to be our risk management team so we know we have the best people available. They will perfect for ensuring proper risk management of derivatives use, counter party exposure, and exposure to leverage.

    Corzine must love being a the helm with 81 billion dollar in play money!

    I knew last night we are all in for a ride of our lives after listening to George W. last night imploring Congress to allow the States to issue tax-free bonds to help homeowners refinance their mortgages.

  40. SG says:

    John: Are you in the camp that says Oil is going to run out soon and world needs to come up with alternative energy or in the camp that says there is enough oil in the world?

    If you are in first camp, then looking at the fact that China and India will put increasing pressure on oil demand with limited supply, it autmatically forces one to think alternatives. And in that case, there is always possibility of hype (just like Internet). The factors may be true but the possibility is that psychology goes gangbusters behind it, with all media coverage etc… and bubble starts building. Looking at last 2 bubbles, I am starting to believe that media and investing world looks for growth and convincing story for general public and blows it up to an extenet where it becomes unacceptable to argue with them. Just like in 2005, if you would have said there is housing bubble, majority people would have disagreed.

  41. Al says:

    Funny picture at the top of the article:

    Fed enters key meeting with no clear path

  42. make money says:

    “Where will people go to chase the next bubble?”

    It’s already here. GOLD and precious metals.!!!!!!!

  43. Kelly says:

    Regarding the Randolph info I posted earlier –
    “Offers must be pre-qualified through Countrywide Home Loans.”

    but also –

    “Outstanding Home, New York Style, In a Quet Development.”

  44. kettle1 says:

    SG, John

    in case you arent aware, i am in the “oil is running out” camp ( actually its a supply demand problem, oil is not going to stop existing). Shell has actually posted an open letter stating that they predict oil supply will peak around 2015….

    anyway alternatives are going to be a huge growth field and while the long term growth will be sustainable i do expect to see artificial value inflation due to the “wallstreet looking for next bubble” effect mentioned above.

  45. me says:

    clot, (31)

    Exactly what I saw at a Bergen County Sheriff sale on a foreclosed SR prop.

    1st lien holder: 450K,
    2nd lien holder: 6Million – YES Million$$

    Got bid up to 1.25M bought by some guy (who relisted it at 1.45M)- still has it.

    78 Woodcliff Lake Rd. SR.

    Never bothered with sheriff sales after that. Also had the (dis)pleasure of seeing the “vultures” in action. UGLY. UGLY. UGLY.


  46. Clotpoll says:

    sl (45)-

    “Ugly” is where the opportunity lies.

  47. kettle1 says:


    I think the “bust” in energy supplies that is going to happen over the next 10 to 15 years is going to be as ignored and poo-pooed as this housing bubble was. And when the public starts to become aware of it, it will be hyped as some disaster that happened out of nowhere and could not have been predicted, just like this bubble. The math doesnt lie, and the numbers that even the oil companies themselves are running say that we do not currently have enough energy supplies or capacity to maintain our rate of growth in energy usage.

  48. make money says:

    Never bothered with sheriff sales after that. Also had the (dis)pleasure of seeing the “vultures” in action. UGLY. UGLY. UGLY.

    it’s the one with the highest offer that gets the property and not the one who makes the most noise and acts a fool.

  49. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Home prices falling at record rate in November

    The decline in U.S. home values accelerated in November, with prices falling for the third month in a row in all 20 cities tracked by the Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday by Standard & Poor’s.

    For the 20 cities, prices fell a record 2.1% in November. In the past three months, prices fell at an annual rate of 16.2%.

    Among those 20 cities, prices have fallen a record 7.7% in the past year. For the original 10-city index, which has a longer history, prices are down a record 8.4% in the past year, exceeding the drop recorded in 1991.

    Home prices fell in all 20 cities in November, led by a 3.6% drop in Los Angeles.

    The outlook is grim, economists said.
    “With supply overhang enormous and mortgage financing tougher to obtain, home prices are going to decline considerably further in the quarters ahead, most likely to a double-digit pace on a year-over-year basis before too long,” wrote Joshua Shapiro, chief economist for MFR Inc.

    “We reached another grim milestone in the housing market in November,” said Robert J. Shiller, chief economist at MacroMarkets LLC and one of the developers of the index.

    He noted that prices fell at a record pace in November in 14 of the 20 cities. In eight of the cities, prices have been falling for more than a year.

  50. John says:

    I don’t think there is any shortage of oil long term. In fact I think instead of these stupid rebate checks I like to see GM/Ford/Chrysler given a few Billion to fully develop their hyrdrogen/Electric cars and a tax rebate of 5K for anyone who buys an american made non gas powered car. Get some jobs in Detroit and get some joint US patent protected fuel saving technolgies in place to cut oil consumption and drive down prices, but I guess Bush figures long term some redneck spending his check on a chinese plazma is better for the economy.

    John: Are you in the camp that says Oil is going to run out soon and world needs to come up with alternative energy or in the camp that says there is enough oil in the world

  51. grim says:

    NY Metro area home prices down 4.84% year over year in November.

    NY Metro area home prices are down 5.54% from the peak set in June of 2006.

    NY Metro area home prices have fallen to August/September 2005 levels (not inflation adjusted).

  52. Al says:

    Oil companies has a huge lobb in senate – there will never be any law about fuel economy…..

    They want us to drive SUV – the bigger the better.

  53. John says:

    Exchange says it questioned Kerviel’s actions


    The Globe and Mail
    January 28, 2008

    ROME — Société Générale SA struggled Monday to defend its stated assertion that Jérôme Kerviel, the young trader the French banking giant accuses of massive fraud, acted entirely undetected for almost a year as his trading positions climbed to tens of billions of euros.

    French investigators said Eurex, the European futures and options exchange, questioned trades by Mr. Kerviel, 31, in November. The trader was put under formal investigation Monday, four days after SocGen revealed it had lost €4.9-billion ($7.2-billion) as a result of his unauthorized trading spree.

    “In November, 2007, Eurex said it was worried about a particular position that had been taken,” said Jean-Claude Marin of the Paris prosecutor’s office.

    He said Mr. Kerviel had “justified his positions, saying they were not speculative because he had hedged against them. The bank was right to think that he was practising his normal duties as a trader, even if a certain number of positions appeared to exceed his authority.”

    For its part, SocGen has said it was entirely unaware about Mr. Kerviel’s outsized trades until he was confronted by his immediate bosses 11 days ago. The bank said Mr. Kerviel had committed an “exceptional fraud” and had “falsified documents” and used other employees’ passwords to create fake hedges. Without hedges, the trading positions were uninsured, that is, they were fully exposed to potential losses.

    Mr. Marin said Mr. Kerviel had admitted to acting alone but also claimed unauthorized trades were widespread at SocGen, the country’s second-biggest bank. The prosecutor added that Mr. Kerviel “felt that he benefited from a certain tolerance” from the bank.

    Mr. Kerviel’s lawyers said their client will be investigated for breach of trust, breaching computer security and falsification, but not fraud. One of his two lawyers, Elisabeth Meyer, called the judges’ decision to exclude the fraud from investigation “a great victory.”

    Mr. Kerviel joined the bank in 2000 and initially worked in SocGen’s back office, where he gained intimate knowledge of the bank’s control systems, and evidently learned how to elude them. He became a trader in 2005.

    Ron Dembo, the founder and former chief executive officer of Canada’s Algorithmics Inc., a risk management advisory firm that counted SocGen among its clients, said the bank clearly underestimated the behavioural risks of its employees. “To take a guy who was in the back office, who knew how to circumvent things and how to get around limits, and turn him into a trader is what you would call risky,” he said in a phone interview.

    Mr. Dembo, who is now CEO of Zerofootprint, a Toronto organization that helps companies reduce their carbon output, said the pity of the rogue trader affair is that SocGen had been a global leader in equity derivatives since the early 1990s and was making fortunes from them. “They created immensely complicated structures that were mathematically based,” he said.

    Now, analysts said the outlook for SocGen is grim, even though the bank is raising €5.5-billion to shore up its capital. The investment firm Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc. said: “A breakup scenario à la ABN Amro is looking increasingly possible for SocGen.”

    Other analysts think a takeover, possibly by rival BNP Paribas SA, France’s biggest bank, HSBC Holdings PLC or Italy’s UniCredit is a viable option, though French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said Monday that the bank was under no pressure to merge. Some analysts think the French government would block a sale to a predatory foreign bank.

    Citibank’s analysts predicted nothing but woe for SocGen in the wake of the rogue trader scandal. “We believe the SG’s [SocGen’s] business model will shift fundamentally as a result of the … losses … SG’s trading ‘black box’ has been discredited, and substantial changes will be needed in order to restore the confidence of regulators and ratings agencies.”

    Citibank put SocGen’s fair value at €53 a share. SocGen’s value has taken a beating. The shares fell 3.8 per cent Monday to €71.05, giving the company a market worth of €33-billion. Last spring, before the subprime disaster hit, SocGen shares traded as high as €160.

    As SocGen’s shares fall and the bank comes under increasing pressure to explain how its risk management system failed so badly, it looks increasingly unlikely that Daniel Bouton will survive as the bank’s chairman. French President Nicolas Sarkozy Monday told reporters: “I don’t like to pass personal judgment on people, especially when they are in trouble. But in a system of high rewards, which may be justified, no one can escape responsibility when there is a problem.”

  54. mneer1 says:

    Could one argue that even this measure is understated due to the many transactions that took place with seller concessions and all the remodels?

  55. me says:

    clot, (46)

    I dunno. We got pretty discouraged after that. There are real pros out there that make their living off of it. We should have bailed after seeing the note for the second lien holder.

    (shaking my head in disbelief) MM (42) We actually agree???? Egads… My FIL –scoffed — and I mean REALLY scoffed at me when I told him gold was going over $1K.

    His response: “maybe in my lifetime”


  56. Sean says:

    re: alternative energy bubble

    It really makes no difference how much oil is in the ground that can be extracted cheaply for the USA. High oil prices will continue as most of the oil used in the USA does not come from the Middle East where the cheap oil is located. American companies have been pushed out of the Middle East and have no access to the Russian market. American companies are investing in Central and South America offshore drilling. There are already huge finds out in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and off of South America that is very expensive to extract. These huge finds will keep the oil flowing but prices will never again be $30 per barrel.

    Alternative energy is about a 1 trillion dollar bubble already. Expect it to jump to at least 20 Trillion before it pops. That is if you subscribe to the belief that the next bubble needs to be bigger than the last bubble.

    Make no mistake about it, there will be a hydrogen economy for small automobiles (trucks will continue to run on diesel do to horsepower requirements), and there will be a large amount of investment in useless scrub land that will be turned into wind farms and large solar farms will be built in the south and west.

    Coal fired electrical plants are a safe bet too, there are literally dozens in the building and planning stages.

  57. kettle1 says:


    so you feel that the alternative energy market is already artificially inflated ala housing ?

  58. Shore Guy says:

    # 35 “(100% financed – I am surprised they did not finance closing cost)”

    Heck, they probably got the seller to pay the closing costs and include a weekend in Barbados.

  59. 3b says:

    #51 grim: NY Metro area home prices have fallen to August/September 2005 levels (not inflation adjusted).

    So 2006 was the peak, as opposed to 2005? I know there have been discussions as to when the peak for housing was, 05 or 06, looks like 06 I guess.

  60. Shore Guy says:

    # 56 “as most of the oil used in the USA does not come from the Middle East where the cheap oil is located. ”

    You are accuract that the oil we tend to import comes from non Middle Eastern sources. Nevertheless, except for Canadian oil, that has no effect on the longterm costs we pay for oil. Oil. like wheat, etc. is fungible. In the world markets it make no difference where the oil comes from, the price is a worldwide price. Lets say oil output in the Gulf declined, those who currently buy that oil would simply approach Nigeria, our “friend” Hugo, and Mexico seeking to buy it. If Our prime sources declined, we will justr get it from other locations. The fungibility of commodities is an important consideration.

  61. Kelly says:

    Here is another good one – not HELOC (which is what I am looking for) but good comp killer from Dover.

    Purchased 2006 – $440,000
    2006 Line of Credit (same day as mortgage and notated on Mortgage) $44,000
    2006 Mortgage $352,000 ( both from Weichert)
    (Looks like 90% financed property – pretty good compared to the other foreclosures I have seen.)
    2007 $352,000 loan bought by Wells Fargo
    Wells Fargo files foreclosure June 2007
    Listed Craigslist 2008 as follows:

    $295000 Huge Home For Sale For A Dam Cheap Price
    Seller/Bank will take highest acceptable offer.

  62. kettle1 says:


    did you notice this text in the craigslist add???

    in Magny Cours 2002 French hopes in SR2 rested with PiR Competition with their selection of Pilbeam and Debora chassis Team boss/driver Pierre Bruneau hoped that local Sodemo Peugeot power would thrust them towards the front We have tested at Magny Cours about six weeks ago with the Pilbeam and got some good results said the enthusiastic Bruneau We also took the Debora to Dijon last week and made a lot of improvements so we are confident of some good points this weekend British racer Ppregnancy but it is to be assumed that Vader will believe the baby (not twins) to be dead along with his wife given that Padmis mocked up to look pregnant at her funeral The novel also states that Obi-Wan took Luke’s mother and baby Leia to Alderaan after the birth of the twins It also briefly alludes to the duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin1915 also saw the publication of a story in part based on a personal experience The story was titled ‘Edna’ and published as

    it was in super fine print at the bottom

    what is up with this stuff being all over craigslist lately???

  63. kettle1 says:

    link to add for anyone curious

  64. Shore Guy says:

    # 46 ““Ugly” is where the opportunity lies”

    When I was in college a guy I knew used to say something like that. Except,in his case, it was shortly before last call.

  65. Dan says:


    Were do you get that information? It is great! (I would like to extract some info for a couple of properties)


  66. njpatient says:

    47 kettle


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