Mortgage Modification Program A Failure

From Bloomberg:

Loan Modification Recipients Fall Short, Drop Out

About 25 percent of homeowners who received trial loan modifications through President Barack Obama’s main foreclosure prevention plan are failing to keep up with their new reduced payments, the Treasury Department said.

At least 196,000 borrowers have missed some or all of their required payments, according to comments Treasury officials made on a conference call today and calculations from government data. An additional 115,000 homeowners who started trial repayment plans last year have either dropped out or been kicked out of Obama’s Home Affordable Modification Program, the officials said.

“None of these programs have really been a success,” said Vivek Sriram, a mortgage strategist for RBC Capital Markets in New York. “With the high unemployment rate, it’s tough to solve the problem because these people will redefault even if their loan terms are fixed.”

The U.S. has shed 7.2 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, with almost half those losses occurring after Obama took office in January 2009. The mortgage program, which Obama said would target as many as 4 million Americans struggling to hold onto their homes, has successfully modified 66,465 loans as of Dec. 31, according to data released today by the Treasury.

From UPI:

Mortgage modification numbers still small

Only a few U.S. homeowners enrolled in a federal foreclosure prevention program have achieved permanent loan modifications, statistics indicate.

Data released Friday by the U.S. Treasury Department showed that only 7 percent of those in the Obama administration’s Making Home Affordable program have moved from its trial phase into a permanent loan modification — about 66,000 of the 850,000 homeowners enrolled, The Washington Post reported.

Government and industry officials have said the main reason is that many of the homeowners in the program’s trial phase have been unable to provide enough documentation to prove they qualify and are at risk, but housing advocates counter that in some cases, homeowners have indeed provided the necessary paperwork but are in limbo while waiting for their lenders to act, the Post said.

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

169 Responses to Mortgage Modification Program A Failure

  1. grim says:

    Calling those who have received modifications “permanent” is a misnomer (or perhaps intended as such).

    If the recidivism rate in the HAMP program is anywhere near other earlier modification programs, tens of thousands of “permanent” mods will still move into default.

  2. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    From Fitch ratings: “Overall, prime RMBS 60+ days delinquencies rose to 9.2% for December 2009, up almost three times compared to the same period last year (3.2% in December 2008). The 2006/2007 vintages combined rose to 12.7% from 4.3%.” They’re talking about residential mortgage backed securities, which of course are pools of residential loans.
    From Lender Processing Services:

    “Total delinquencies, excluding foreclosures, increased to a record high 9.97 percent, representing a month-over-month increase of 5.46 percent and a year-over-year increase of 21.29 percent. Loans rolling to a more delinquent status totaled 5.01 percent compared to 1.52 percent of loans that improved. Of loans that were current in December 2008, 4.37 percent were either 60 or more days delinquent or in foreclosure by the end of November 2009, a rate higher than any other year for the same period.”

  3. grim says:

    Good thing we approved all that age-restricted housing in NJ. What a great use of resources.

    From the Record:

    A new approach in housing slump

    As its occupancy rate hovers around 40 percent, Heritage Pointe, a retirement community in Teaneck, has begun promoting short-term stays for seniors whose children leave the area for vacation, or longer trial stays for, say, two weeks or a month.

    Heritage Pointe began pushing a short-term stay program late last year after seeing some demand, but also because a down economy has made people more reluctant to make long-term commitments, said Lisa Kelly, director of multifamily operations at Kohl Asset Management, a division of Congers, N.Y.-based Kohl Partners, which took over Heritage Pointe’s management in October.

  4. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    N.J. consumers plan to spend more, poll finds

    If plans for Atlantic City getaways and long vacations are any indication, New Jersey consumers appear to be slowly regaining confidence, according to an annual report being released today.

    The New Jersey Consumer Intentions index, which measures consumer confidence based on expected purchases, rose to 42, up from 39 a year ago, according to Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll.

    The poll found more New Jerseyans plan to visit Atlantic City, take a vacation for a week or longer, and buy or build a home. However, fewer residents plan to buy or lease a car, purchase a new computer or buy a major home appliance.

    Overall, the results show Garden State residents are returning to optimism, said Peter Woolley, director of the poll. Nearly six in 10 respondents said they think business conditions will improve this year, up from four in 10 a year ago.

    Plans for discretionary purchases like vacations also indicate consumers are feeling more relaxed about their personal finances, he said.

    “When you let your belt down a little bit, the first thing that’s going to come back is some fun,” he said.

    Woolley cautioned, however, that consumer optimism “always runs a little bit ahead of reality.” “There’s still some anxiety out there,” he said.

  5. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Home building is going nowhere

    After plunging by about 75% from the lofty levels during the housing bubble, new home construction has finally stopped falling.

    But, despite massive healing efforts by the government and the industry, home building hasn’t shown any real improvement since bottoming early last year.

    Through November, housing starts were essentially flat for the past year at an average annual pace of about 550,000, bouncing higher in one month and drifting lower in the next.

    Economists expect little change when the government reports on December’s starts activity on Wednesday of the coming week. The housing number will be the major economic release of the week.

  6. grim says:

    From Crain’s:

    Tishman Speyer under fire

    Last week, lenders signaled that they would push Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village into foreclosure unless the Tishman Speyer-led partnership that bought the massive apartment complex for $5.4 billion comes up with an overdue mortgage payment. The threat marks a new low for the deeply troubled deal. It’s also a major embarrassment for Tishman Speyer, one of the city’s most successful and prolific developers, which is led by billionaire art collector and power broker Jerry Speyer and his son Rob.

    This is not an isolated setback for the firm, which at the peak of the boom from 2005 to 2008 was the nation’s third-largest buyer of real estate, according to Green Street Advisors Inc. In fact, Stuy Town is one of five huge Tishman Speyer deals—including two of the largest residential transactions in American history—that have soured during the real estate collapse.

  7. renter says:

    We are look at a 1454 square foot house that sold for $360,000 in 2001. It is a short sale and they are asking more than this. Was the bubble started in 2001?

  8. renter says:

    Was the bubble started in 2003——-> Were prices already on an upswing in 2001?

  9. yikes says:

    did i call that jets win or what?

    if anyone has an address for Norv Turner (SD coach) or Nate Kaeding (SD kickeR), plse let me know.

    would like to send each of them a nice fruit basket for helping the Jets win.

  10. Cindy says:

    Gary – 203 My honest first 60-second reaction to this chart is: I can hardly wait for 9-1-2012. We are more than halfway there, but it is taking forever.

    I hear 60% of those resets are in CA.

  11. Cindy says:

    205 – Lisoosh

    “She doesn’t have to like everyone…AND, you might let her know now that not everyone will like her…That will help with peer pressure down the road.

    She doesn’t need to change to be someone everyone likes….

    Sounds like you have an awesome kid there…

  12. House Whine says:

    Hallmark store in my town is much emptier than it used to be, which is fine with me. I called them 2 wks. ago, asked if there were any clearance holiday items- was told yes- a whole section full. I went in to check it out 1/2 hr. later and was told no such shelf existed. I ended up finding the clearance shelf myself! IT’s not that big a store- how hard is it for the staff to know their own merchandise. Then the cashier was snooty when I mentioned I was buying holiday stuff to use for next year. Now I don’t care if they close the store- who needs them.

  13. Cindy says:

    More on loan mods….James Hagerty WSJ

    “Is Slashing Mortgage Principal the Answer?”

    “You have to be quite careful not to design a program that induces more people to walk away” or one that strikes people as unfair.”

  14. sastry says:

    [Political OT] Why can’t “liberals” and “conservatives” get together like the one below to address Frivolous Lawsuits, Bank Bailouts, and Corruption in the Military-Industrial Complex? The lobbyists are too strong?


    “I believe that life is precious from the womb to a natural death,” Brown said.

    The Roman Catholic church has long been an organized and vocal critic of the death penalty, but the new effort is trying to bring in other conservatives shaped by both evangelical faiths and political ideology.

    Now, liberals and conservatives – longtime opponents on contentious social issues from abortion to capital punishment – are working together in a time of strong political polarization.

  15. renter says:

    Thanks Grim.

  16. sastry says:

    #13: Lisoosh

    “She doesn’t have to like everyone…AND, you might let her know now that not everyone will like her…That will help with peer pressure down the road.

    A corollary. There will be a small set of people that will like her no matter what, there will be a small set that will dislike her no matter what, and a big chunk of people won’t really care for her either way. That realization may help her with a more realistic expectation from life.

    I will follow notes from you, lisoosh, Nom, West, etc. My daughter is just over 2.5, so I can use your experience as a guideline.


  17. Cindy says:

    Chicago – I am obviously still working through yesterday’s thread…about the game last night – Offense – yes, but no one even mentioned SD’s three missed field goals – 3 missed FGs – one after another – That’s a bunch. We have to figure a bit of luck in the outcome as well…..

  18. sastry says:

    renter, you probably know this, but…

    from the chart, the peak/bottom is when the curve hits zero (so the peak in NJ prices is close to end of ’06 — give or take a few months).

  19. freedy says:

    how many on this blog really think consumer are ready to go back and spend
    money like the good old days?

    Let’s all go to AC and spend ,, let’s all
    rush to the Car dealers, malls,

  20. Cindy says:

    13 – Sastry So true. You can never go wrong letting her know that her true friends will care about her just the way she is.

    There comes a time, around junior high, where the @ssholes seem to be popular. Some kids are tempted to “change” to impress them.

    I guess what I am focused on is letting your kids know they do not need to change who they are and what they care about to please others. That is just as important as teaching respect.

    If you don’t, you may end up with a follower who will do anything to please others…by high school – you would regret that…

  21. njescapee says:

    Shore, from previous thread:


    How are things like food, electric, gas, flood insurance, insurance down there? Also, do you fly back to the NY area often? I aam trying to get your long view on air fares.

    How is beach access? We are early morning and evening beach walkers.

    Shore, prices are slightly higher for gas, food, electric. Have Publix, Winn Dixie, Albertsons and plenty of excellent restaurants. Flood insurance costs me 850 / yr. We have Air Tran which has helped increase competition on Delta, Continental, etc. I live 5 mins from the airport.

    Beach depends on what you want as there are over 100 islands. Middle keys has Bahia Honda rated as one of the 10 best. We have Zachary Taylor, Smathers and Higgs beaches. It’s not the jersey shore.

    Key West temp dropped down to 43 last monday, a record breaker.

  22. gary says:

    renter [8],

    In spring of 2001, there was a house in Fair Lawn that came on the market; it was on the market for 2 hours. We bid on the house that day. By the next day, there were 6 bids on the house. I asked the realtor what the highest bid was and she said, “I can’t tell you that, just keep bidding and I’ll let you know if you’re in the running.” Does that answer your question?

  23. Sean says:

    re#21 Freedy – They can’t spend the bunch powl has been taken away.

    Consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 8-1/2 percent in November. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 18-1/2 percent,
    and nonrevolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 3 percent.

  24. renter says:


    An excellent answer.

  25. freedy says:

    so how can the newspapers print,,, consumer are going to spend more?

  26. WHYoung says:

    I would suspect that plans to go to Atlantic City just might be an indication that you’re vacationing closer to home.

    A day trip on the casino bus and lunch at their all-you-can-eat Buffets are a lot cheaper than a plane ticket.

  27. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    cindy, #15

    Great end quote from that WSJ piece:

    “There used to be a scarlet D on your forehead if you defaulted,” says Mr. Capasse. “Now it’s a badge of honor.”

  28. Pat says:

    lisoosh, my daughter is also kind and a bit of a follower. I thought it was due to the fact that she’s younger than the rest (August B-day), but now I see it’s personality.

    For example, last night she let girl A be rude to girl C, without saying anything immediately. Girl A plays with her often, but will choose popular kids over my kid when there is a choice. She will always try to break into the popularity pack, and will be continuously hurt by them. I see it.

    Last night, at bedtime, we talked about the impending horror of popularity contests and the results of mimicking the behavior of the clique. There is already a clique, which is so sad.

    I explained about the lifetime of reputation these girls might have, and the lack of sense of true friends. I told her that if she treated each child as a friend, she would find good friends.

    She cried for the pain she thinks Girl A is going to have to go through.

    And she told me she completely understands.

  29. Cindy says:

    31- Way cool, Pat. The valuable time you spend with meaningful conversations now (that will actually help your daughter navigate this cruel world) will keep the lines of communication open in the future.

    It is so hard to tell your kids “Who said life would be fair?” But it has to be done. The parents who skirt the issues or ignore the behavior will regret it in the future…my opinion.

  30. gary says:

    Cindy [27],

    Amazing, isn’t it? I can’t imagine what 2012 and 2013 is going to look like. A 10 mile wide meteor is hurtling towards earth at 17,000 mph but don’t worry, we’ll look into it after the Superbowl.

  31. Cindy says:

    34 – Gary

    “A 10 mile wide meteor is hurtling towards earth at 17,000 mph…”

    Check out the video @ 33….

  32. yikes says:

    what is all this talk about spending?

    you don’t spend because there’s a fear you could lose your job and it is very, very difficult for most people in the country to get another one quickly.

    is that not reason enough?

  33. gary says:


    I just saw it after I posted. :) I guess it’s the most natural comparison that comes to mind.

  34. lisoosh says:

    #13 Cindy, thanks. Yup I do tell her that not everyone has to like her. She’s actually pretty popular without being a “Queen Bee”, but can have a fragile ego during little girl fights, which are already starting.

    Starting to get into boys now. Ugh. Well into her first crush (hearts in her journal), she decided she was bored with pining to asked him if he wanted to be her boyfriend! She blew me away with her b@lls, I told her most adults don’t have that kind of common sense and courage.

    Does have a mouth on her though, and stubborn as a mule.

  35. House Whine says:

    36- Here are the categories of the friends/family that are still spending:

    1)Older retirees with a steady income stream from social security and pensions

    2) Older married baby boomers who have already paid off their mortgages and kid’s college tuitions and who still have two incomes (even if their incomes have been cut a bit)

    3) Single baby boomers without children

    Other than that, the rest of us are not secure enough to spend on wants.

  36. lisoosh says:

    #18 sastry – Nothing like parenthood to teach you about your own inadequacies.

  37. Cindy says:

    39 – Lisoosh – “Boys – Ugh”

    May I recommend “Reviving Ophelia” by Mary Pipher?

    “Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls”

    I still have a copy – been around for years – 1994 – Eye opening stuff about what girls have to deal with…

  38. Pat says:

    It must be the age. Girl A can talk about nothing but which boy likes which girl, etc. Even my kid rolls her eyes after 15 minutes the obsessive talk in the car. The other kid C didn’t even know what was going on.

    I’m going out to get that book today.

  39. sastry says:

    lisoosh, true. I need to also be aware that my life lessons may or may not be directly be applicable to her — being aware that my daughter is not a younger me :)


  40. lisoosh says:

    The consumer – I think that there was a bit of recession fatigue to factor into last month. Even though sales were down, I think they were higher than they could have been due to people feeling that they needed a treat or two – gifts for the kids, see a movie, a nice meal out.

    A long cold winter and no improvement on the horizon will kill that impulse quickly.

  41. lisoosh says:

    Pat/sastry – nothing worse than seeing your kids have to suffer.

    We can’t fight their battles either, this is training for the world on a smaller scale and they need to learn, all we can do is give them the tools.

    sastry -my daughter is way cooler than I ever was. EQ off the charts.

  42. Cindy says:

    What are your opinions about this inflation/deflation argument?

    Hoisington Report – 4 pages – through The Pragmatic Capitalist

    “Thus, our current economic circumstances guarantee there will be no surprise inflation. Employing those who are out of work and fully utilizing our resources will be a slow process. More importantly, it will take time to get the monetary engine reignited. Banks will have to begin lending and people and companies will have to determine that prospects are good enough to take the risk of expansion and investment. It will take years for these processes to get started because of our over-indebtedness and falling asset prices.” page 3

    Debt overwhelms monetary policy idea…

  43. Is Gary Karl Denninger?

    “One wonders when our government will recognize that a loan made to someone who claims to have $200,000 in income but really makes $50,000 simply cannot be refinanced into anything the borrower can afford nor is there any way to prevent that loan from defaulting. This is the ultimate fraud and outrage in “extend and pretend” and “mark to fantasy” – there is no possible way for these loans to be “made good” no matter what happens in the future – they were always going to blow up unless house prices continued to rise forever, thereby allowing the “borrower” to roll them over time and time again.

    Those who believe we can “make it all ok” are delusional beyond words.”

  44. freedy says:

    but it’s ok, consumer spending is up.

  45. Sean says:

    freedy –

    “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Mark Twain, (1835 – 1910)

  46. freedy says:

    well the lies keep getting repeated.

    all is well?

    off to the malls

  47. chicagofinance says:

    C: Only the first miss had a real impact. The second miss was at the end of the half and was a “for the hell of it” 57 yarder. Once a kick goes for over 50 yards, it is really just a lark. The last miss dictated the way the Jets played defense. So it is not a simple to say that the Jets won by 3 and it was a missed field goal. If the Jets were winning 17-10 instead of 17-7, there is no way that they would let the Chargers easily march down the field on a prevent defense in the last 5 minutes. Rex Ryan said as much after the game. At that juncture, the strategy was to make SD waste time on the clock, not to prevent a score.

    19.Cindy says:
    January 18, 2010 at 7:55 am
    Chicago – – yes, but no one even mentioned SD’s three missed field goals – 3 missed FGs – one after another – That’s a bunch. We have to figure a bit of luck in the outcome as well…..

  48. Anon E. Moose says:

    Light traffic today. I guess most folks are off from ‘work’. [heh]

  49. jamil says:

    quit today.

    Is everybody preparing for one year anniversary of the inaugural of the Chosen One, ie the lightly-tanned negro (to paraphrase Harry Reid) ?

    Looks like MA is celebrating the anniversary by sending tea-party supported Republican to US Senate.

    Well, The Chosen One did promise Change..

  50. Cindy says:

    52 – Chicago…good game.

  51. Happy Daze says:

    Northern NJ realtors are now claiming that the success of the Jets will now cause an acceleration of housing prices.

    No word on how the failure of the Giants to make the post-season will be accommodated.

  52. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    For all the ridicule and abuse the tea party has taken they sure are making their impact felt. Kudos to them even if they are still stuck in the left/right paradigm.

  53. wallies says:

    #10 –
    Looks like the bubble got started in 1998 to me.

  54. Al,

    Tea Party my butt. It’s all about economics. W sucked so we changed the quarterback. O is now under center and appears to suck equally. Maybe we ought to try W again?

    There’s really nothing more to it than that. The worst part of the whole charade is that neither party cares a damn bit about the country. Do you really think those old white guys in DC care what you do with your unborn fetus or care about Dwayne’s education or ability to own a home?

    Keep on paying attention to the non-issues such as healthcare and national security. Meanwhile, the fat cats with the largest lobbies continue to reap all the awards. No campaign finance reform equals no representation.

    Anyone who thinks or feels differently is as oblivious and ignorant as Jamil.

  55. Mr Hyde says:


    we didnt slide into bubble territory in the NY NJ area until about 2003 or so. until that point we were seeing a more or less normal real estate cycle.

    We didnt even start the “growth” phase of the 2000’s Re cycle until 98.

    The market normally moves in a cycle similar to the business cycle. you only turn bubbleicious when you begin to significantly exceed historical norms without some new sustainable economic driver behind the growth.

    There was no driver for the majority of RE growth past 2003 – 2004 besides the abandonment of lending standards. And that is about as sustainable as running on meth 24/7

  56. Mr Hyde says:

    Stu 60……..

  57. lisoosh says:

    #61 -disagree. The psychology of the bubble was already in place by 2002 -I remember even arguing about it with a Realtor even then.

    Stats are always a lagging indicator. By the time it shows up, the activity is in the rear view mirror.

    Much like everyone knows its a recession before a single economist ever calls it.

  58. Mr Hyde says:


    I dont disagree with you. The mentality and mania had begun to develop as early as 2002, by actual homes prices werent in real bubble territory until after 2003. Left to its normal cycle and without granddaddy greenspans interest rate “help” things would have probably topped out in the neighborhood of 2003-4 prices.

    also note that if pigs had wings they could fly.

    I have a data set going back 200 years for reale state. It shows a pretty consistent 18 yr boom/bust cycle . SO i still think we would have peaked around 2007 but without the governments efforts it would have probably been at half what the peak ended up being.

    The government is now repeating the same mistake by trying to put a floor under RE. They can delay the drop, but in the end the drop will occur and just like the business cycles, the longer you delay it the harder it hits.

    Our lovely fearless leaders are effectively causing a magnified housing implosion by playing the current game of attempting to create a RE floor.

  59. Hyde, Lisoosh.

    For whatever reason, at least since I’ve been paying attention to the economy, the Northeast is always last to the party good or bad.

  60. jamil says:

    Sausage: “Tea Party my butt. It’s all about economics.”

    This is all about nationalizing 1/6 of US economy aka Health care reform by using secret backroom deals, outright bribery, and the unprecedent and unconstitutional power grab. Eventually, people will rise against the tyranny.

    I hope and expect that tea parties will have effect in the local level too, ie voting in school district and city level elections and stopping the spending and tax hikes. This is exactly what people on this board had long advocated too. This is your opportunity to take back the county.

  61. Mr Hyde says:


    Much like everyone knows its a recession before a single economist ever calls it.

    economics is about as much of a science as astrology is. At least astrologists can tell you where a given constellation will be in the sky at a given time, an actual testable “hypothesis”

  62. Whoops…It appears I was still posting as that blabbering Republican party mouthpiece we all choose to ignore.

  63. Mr Hyde says:


    you are either STU and need to fix your name or someone is pretending to be the b@stard child of Stu ad jamil

    Jamil aka The Sausage Party says:
    January 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm

  64. Jamil,

    Keep believing man. Keep believing. And keep saving those unborn children as you simultaneously loosen the restrictions on semi-automatic weapons. Both will surely save the country.


  65. confused in NJ says:

    In New Providence NJ we first talked about a Real Estate Bubble in 1998 when prices started to skyrocket and traditional fundamentals began to collapse. That was also the year that Property Taxes took off based upon a 1997 reassessment which saw average taxes increase $1K.

  66. Mr Hyde says:


    took my 2 1/2 yr old son skating on saturday, afterwards we watched one of the local hockey league matches. The league was for younger kids and my son kept insisting he was big enough o play with them and he wanted to go get his skates….

  67. Hey Jamil,

    If Brown loses, will you finally shut your trap?

  68. Hyde,

    I took Gator Jr. (4 year old) to a Devil game a few months back. About three months ago, we watched Emilio in the Mighty Ducks movie. He is now taking public lessons at our local rink and is dying to play hockey as well. More power to him. Lesson three is on Thursday. I’m hoping he can walk/skate all the way across the rink without falling. We’ll get there, but I’m not pushing. Noone with my bloodline is playing professional sports. There has only been one dude from NJ in the history of the sport to get a contract. All of these parents of future NHL all-stars are as ignorant as Jamil and the tea-partiers who believe they are impacting anything besides their thick skulls.

  69. PGC says:

    Gary / Mike,

    When I look at those reset graphs, it is interesting to compare back to previous graphs.
    Here is the IMF one from 2007

    Between 2007 and now I would expect the makeup of that graph to change. Forcloseures to date, refis and writedowns should change the profile of the graph. That Amherst graph looks like to IMF graph with ethe Agency debt ripped out.

    Hence the question, when was the graph compiled.

  70. Mr Hyde says:

    stu 74

    its all about him having fun anything else is a distant #2

  71. Mr Hyde says:


    You out there? have a tech question for you?

  72. yikes says:

    chicagofinance says:
    January 18, 2010 at 11:07 am

    C: Only the first miss had a real impact. The second miss was at the end of the half and was a “for the hell of it” 57 yarder. Once a kick goes for over 50 yards, it is really just a lark. The last miss dictated the way the Jets played defense. So it is not a simple to say that the Jets won by 3 and it was a missed field goal. If the Jets were winning 17-10 instead of 17-7, there is no way that they would let the Chargers easily march down the field on a prevent defense in the last 5 minutes. Rex Ryan said as much after the game. At that juncture, the strategy was to make SD waste time on the clock, not to prevent a score.

    disagree, Chifi. all misses were brutal. you change play-calling up 10-0. definitely take more chances with a 2-score lead.

    the 2nd miss really damaged the kid’s psyche – he had made 20 in a row!

    team had to lose some confidence in him, esp considering his history vs. the jets in the playoffs.

    i dont pin it all on the kicker, or the coach … jets deserve some credit for a great gameplan executed to near perfection in the 2nd half.

  73. Shore Guy says:

    I have found the following exercise fascinating:

    Go to Zillow and type in the name of a town in which I have an interest, select for sale and recent sales, then zoom in a bit so individual homes are easily visible. The gulf between asking prices and recently sold is amazing. It is a wonderful example of how people still do not get it and graphically illustrates that we have some ways to go.

  74. Shore Guy says:

    There are two houses on SE 19th St in Pompano Beach FL 33062. Both are on a lagoon and a block from the beach on the same side of the street. They are 3-4 houses from each other; the more expensive one is slightly larger, but not THAT much larger, and it is closer to the traffic sounds of A1A. They are of the same vintage and both 3 BR and 2 BA.

    The one that closed recently sold for $665,000, the one still on the market is listed at $1,399,000.

  75. d2b says:

    Bobby Ryan and James Van Reimsdyk are both from NJ.

  76. lisoosh says:

    Shore, I’ve been noticing that too- the spread is huge.

  77. Shore Guy says:

    Once delusional sellers start selling at realistic prices (whether because of the need to move for a transfer, short sale, whatever) I suspect we will see another big leg down thast will surprise even those of us who frequent this board.

  78. Shore Guy says:

    Heck, there are now 3 BR places in Boca, east of the Intercoastal (not the most fashionable district, but an easy walk to the South Beach Park) going for $400m and less. Whither Belmar?

  79. d2b,

    I stand corrected. So now his one in a million shot is reduced to two in a million. :P

  80. pricesstillskyhigh says:

    80 Shore

    Long time lurker post very rarely. Thanks for that tip. I am looking in the Bridgewater area near Milltown. Though there is a gap between asking and sold, it’s not much. The houses are overpriced and still seem to be selling.

    Beginning to feel that all the talk about prices not falling in some places may be true.

  81. Mr Hyde says:


    no surprises here. The historical trends are strong on this point. a failure to see a rapid downward correction from our current level would be a historic anomaly. The lack of such a correction will surprise me.

    I think people will be shocked when some places being to blow through adjusted 2000 prices.

  82. d2b says:

    I have a 9 year old. He’s playing baseball for three seasons right now. Loves going to the field and loves the game. It’s the way it should be.

    I hope that he is good enough to play D-1 baseball someday. My buddy was a D-3 quarterback and only played in three games in his entire career. It’s on his resume and he gets interviews all of the time because of this.

  83. Painhrtz says:

    Bobby Sanguenetti (Rangers draft pick), Jim Dowd. Stu there have been quite a few actually. Even though we are on the southern border for Hockey.

    Agree with Hyde more about fun, hockey players tend to be the most rational people anyway. ; )

  84. leftwing says:

    Such animosity.

    I posted it before:

    “That government is best which governs least.” (Thomas Paine)

    Frightening for many of us, Stu and Jamil can each arrive at this conclusion separately and then possibly even agree.

    For Jamil, the appeal of limited government is easy.

    For Stu, a bit harder, but if the government would stop micro-legislating then lobbies would not exist, nor would preferential treatment. After all, the raison d’etre of a lobbyist is to get preferential treatment for a client or exclude one from detrimental regulations. The ‘product’ the politicians sell to these lobbyist ‘customers’ is regulation, or exemption therefrom.

    Many good things begin with the government becoming less, not more, involved in our lives.

    “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”

  85. Shore Guy says:

    “Though there is a gap between asking and sold, it’s not much. The houses are overpriced and still seem to be selling.”

    Stupidity is available in abundant supply. Why people rush in and still over pay for property is beyond me. I had a RE agent qet all prickely when I correctly asserted that a given asking price was too high. The agent said something like, “maybe you should be looking at places you can afford.” We could have purchased for cash, even at the inflated asking price. I responded with something like, “just because I can afford to pay for something does not mean that I will. I only buy if I find value in a product.”

  86. gary says:

    Mr Hyde,

    In late 2000, early 2001, we were standing in line at open houses. The realtor would stand at the front door of the house with a clip board. On the way out, the realtor would instruct anyone interested in the house to give their highest bid and they’d be contacted if they were still in the running. By Monday evening, a day after the open house, the POS would be in attorney review. That’s how far this f*cking insanity has gone. It’s gonna be a loooong walk home.

  87. Mr Hyde says:


    Humanity is its own worst enemy. Rome didnt fall because of barbarian tribes, it fell from internal decay.

    People didnt buy 5X the home they could afford because such a thing had never happened before, but because “its different this time”

    The US isn’t crumbling because of Bin Ladin or some guy in a robe in a desert cave. its crumbling due to internal decay.

    We always seem to turn on ourselves in the end.

    We dont need a technological singularity, but an intellectual/philosophical one.

  88. Mr Hyde says:


    See you in line again in 2020, meet you back here in 2025 to debate the 20’s bubble

  89. cobbler says:

    leftwing [91]
    While “less government” concept, in principle, is nice and dandy, we should realize that the American midle class is a creation of the government and its policies from 1930s and on to the 1970s. If the government stops active income redistribution via taxes/entitlements, and ends any and all trade restrictions, the society in no time will shift to what they have in Brasil (or rather Columbia) with all the relevant effects. Tea partiers (you, too) should realize that since they are (generally) not smarter and not more hard-working than their peers in say India, the only thing that stands between them and the average Indian’s quality of life is the government and its policies.

  90. Pat says:

    Cindy, loved the book, thanks. Speed read, re-reading now. Bought extra copy for A’s Mom.

  91. Mr Hyde says:


    I agree with leftwing in principle, but there is a very large middle ground between what you just described and a minimalist government.

    If the government did not waste its time legislating our daily lives and focused on security and foriegn policy, we would all be better off.

    I am pragmatic in that the only chance for a semblence of the american middle class to be maintained is through significant trade barriers and protectionism. It will happen eventually and i dont think its all bad (its a mixed bag). Trying to have an american laborer compete with slave labor is a sick joke at best.

    defense ( not the military industrial complex) and trade are the 2 main components of a minimalist government with the 3rd facet being the managing real interstate issues, not the BS they bull with the interstate commerce clause at this point.

  92. njescapee says:

    I’m sorry to butt in but… what has more fed and local govt spending really done. we have bloated bureaucracies with little to show for as far as benefits to it’s citizens. govt takes this big pool of our money so it can be exploited by cronies. Do you really think the government will spend your money better than you can?

  93. lisoosh says:

    #98 – Protectionism is a two way street and I’m not convinced it’s the key to anything, especially with todays automated manufacturing. Instead of 100 Chinese kids making the toys, we’ll have 30 robots making them while supervised by 2 engineers. Whoop de do.

    American labor SHOULDN”T be competing with slave labor, it should be focused on something completely different.

  94. I totally support smaller government as well. I just hate how so many people think one party is actually far superior then the other. They both suck so why cheer lead for either of them? It truly is bread and circus and the lobbies always win. Good thing AARP is so big that they pretty much kill any chance of there being any health care reform. Meanwhile, salaries remain the same or lower for three years now and health care costs continue to go up between 5 and 15% a year. I don’t think that Obama Care was a good plan nor did I think that the Republican drug benefit was as well. It’s all a frigging joke actually. I did notice that many of the large health care service providers continue to profit hand over foot and injury lawyers like my brother continue to enjoy an increasingly nicer lifestyle.

  95. Barbara aka B-Cat says:

    oh yeah, this was a big win for healthcare. A destined to fail horse and pony show and both sides can look like heroes to their constituents. Just a few doable changes need to be made, wheel did not need to be reinvented, instead it was ALL DRAMA.

  96. Mr Hyde says:

    lisoosh 100

    once again i dont disagree with you, but we have to realize that any nation that doesnt maintain its base manufacturing capacity either through human labor or through automation is eventually at the economic and military mercy of those who do have the manufacturing base.

    In a perfect world the distribution of manufacturing seems like a great idea and highly efficient, but in practice fails to perform as promised for anyone except a handful of corporations.

    protectionism is a 2 way street but there are very few ways to prevent a 3rd world county from undercutting you and making impractical to maintain certain aspects of manufacturing if they choose to use slave labor and ignore industrial health and safety standards including pollution standards.

  97. cobbler says:

    Do you really think the government will spend your money better than you can?

    Obviously, the answer is “it depends”… Each of us thinks that he or she personally would spend their money much, much better than the government. When we look at huge overconsumption of most things, money spent on drugs, purchase of useless real estate (hey – link to the blog topic!) it becomes not as straightforward. Don’t forget that (at least for the Feds) the share of discretionary spending is very small, and within it, the share of what we’d deem frivolous is yet smaller. And for non-discretionary – well, just see how popular are the suggested minor reductions in Medicare spending…

    Regarding the state and local spending, otoh – prohibition of collective bargaining for the government employees will do wonders.

  98. Annie says:

    #89 It’s on his resume and he gets interviews all of the time because of this.

    I doubt that very much. D3 and he gets interviews becasue of it?? Most if not all employers would not give a damn. Your friend is telling tall tales.

  99. Annie says:

    #87 Beginning to feel that all the talk about prices not falling in some places may be true.

    It’s not.

  100. njescapee says:

    cobbler, when I drive down the I95 corridor through the beltway area, I hear the sucking sound coming from my wallet. you see all that construction down there? It’s the result of massive federal spending I mean squandering of our money. If there are 35,000 lobbyists in DC you know there gotta be multiples of that in the bureaucracy. just my opinion.

  101. I think I like this new Annie character. :P

    I too was surprised at the athlete comment.

  102. cobbler says:

    defense ( not the military industrial complex) and trade are the 2 main components of a minimalist government with the 3rd facet being the managing real interstate issues, not the BS they bull with the interstate commerce clause at this point.

    Well, as long as we intend to stay as a single country, I’d add education to this list (we are losing big vs. the countries from China to Germany by tribalizing it. There is no reason why per student spend in NJ should be 2x of what it is in the Midwest. There is also no reason why Rutgers should be 2x of what UNC or UC Berkely is).
    Health care is largely a philosophical issue – OK, it is not listed as a right in the Constitution – otoh, we don’t allow to people to die in the street anyway, and take them in and spend huge amounts of money anyway. Why not then have a single payer basic care – from cold to appendicitis to a broken leg; if one wants any sort of an elective procedure, either pay up or get a separate insurance?

    The regulations side – from air pollution to the nuclear power to whatever – is the stickiest issue of all. There is simply too many people willing to spend to no end demagoguing anything. In Europe, they have an advantage of trusting the “elites” to do the right thing; here, the standard way of thinking calls for distrust; as a result we either don’t do anything, or do something wrong or useless.

  103. Do you really think the government will spend your money better than you can?

    There are definitely economies of scale to be obtained through the socialization of certain rights such as healthcare and education. At the same time, the lack of any profit motive in the public sector, due to the guaranteed raises and uber-sized benefits destroys any chance of there being any costs savings versus what is obtainable in the private sector. Government unions ensure that no one is fired and that no one works too hard. Gross levels of compensation for executives in the private sector ensure that rates will continue to increase in perpetuity.

    It’s a tough nut to crack. What we really need is a great motivator, not owned by one of the two major parties, who has access to a sh1tload of tasers.

    Anyone else notice that there are more and more government workers furloughed yet there seems not to be any reduction in services? Now how could that be?

  104. cobbler says:

    njescapee [107]
    Why federal construction in I-95 corridor (actually, countercyclical) is any worse than construction of useless, pro-cyclical (and actually slowing down the traffic) malls where the manufacturing plants used to be – see around Rts 1, 22, etc.? In both cases this is your money…
    Had your ever driven Going-to-the-Sun road in the Glacier NP (strongly recommend, totally unbelievable views) – I am sure there were some during the Great Depression foaming at the mouth about their money being spent building it?

  105. PGC says:

    Do you really think the government will spend your money better than you can?

    I would rather have gvmt speding it than big business. In theory the gvmt is working on my behalf were with big business I am just a mark in a casino.

    Can anyone show anywhere in the world where small gvmt in a democracy works.

    As for legislating daily lives, if people and companies are left to regulate themselves the end result is never good.

  106. SS says:

    Quick question to the R\E folks:

    Are the numbers on accurate? If not, where can I (a non-realtor) find comps?

  107. cobbler says:


    Very large majority of those who are not government employees or their family members would vote for abolishing their unions (I’d rather suggest disallowing the collective bargaining rights, otherwise they could form whatever). However, most of the money you and I pay in taxes (at least, federal and state) is spent not on the government payroll but on entitlements/redistribution either between people (SS, Medicaid, Medicare) or between the states (NJ gets $0.60 for a buck of federal taxes, MS gets $2) and towns (see Camden v. Westfield). Again, the issue is how much poverty we want to see next door.

  108. SS says:

    Why not just “incentify” our health professionals? If patients get healthy – you get paid, if not – you don’t.

    This would lower some costs.

    Then you have to have tort reform to lower the number of cases brought against doctors. The frivolous lawsuits would end – saving the govt, insurance companies, doctors, and ultimately the patient/taxpayer a boatload of cash.

    The principles are actually quite simple. Now if we can only separate the lawyer from the politician we’d be set!

  109. Cindy says:

    Pat @ 97 – Glad I could help.

  110. njescapee says:

    cobbler, my point was that there is a lot of wealth now concentrated in the DC area while much of the rest of the US is fly-over territory. why are so much of our resources concentrated in that hole?

  111. Mr Hyde says:

    Hurray for taxes.?.?.?

    Police showed up just got rear ended

    Monday sucks

  112. confused in NJ says:

    The principles are actually quite simple. Now if we can only separate the lawyer from the politician we’d be set!

    Can’t be done, most Politicians (e.g. Clinton & Obama) are Lawyers.

  113. yikes says:

    so many companies take away the incentive to work.

    wife has #s she has to hit in order to get a bonus in her sales gig.

    so she gets those and then turns on cruise control (ie stays at home, doesnt work).

    cant believe companies dont jack the bonuses up. wouldnt my wife want to work harder if the bonuses were uncapped? of course. (they were uncapped last year and the bonuses were outstanding.)

    more money for her = more $ for the company. now nobody is working because the incentive was destroyed.

  114. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    PGC 75 When ever that chart was done(different from the one you posted) my post speaks clearly of a rise in loan delinquency of unprecedented levels. We shall see how it plays out, not long to wait. The sh*t either hits the fan this year or it doesn’t. I am patient can wait no gun over my head. IMHO we got big trouble ahead, now if the gov goes crazier than it has already ( more mods,prin.reduce) more time but the end result will be the same.

  115. chicagofinance says:

    A 57 yarder? Who the hell do you think he is Morton Anderson? When you go over 50 yards, it is 50/50 at best….57? No F Way…not in a playoff game….SD was already near death for the third…the fact he missed it just made it futile….

    79.yikes says:
    disagree, Chifi. all misses were brutal.
    the 2nd miss really damaged the kid’s psyche – he had made 20 in a row!

  116. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    98. You hit the nail on the head. Tariffs are on the way. Isolationalism will be nice for a change. Maybe we could even get off imported oil and bring our soldiers home. Then the Euro’s will have to provide for their own defense.

  117. Cindy says:

    Christy the Terminator? WSJ Opinion

    “New Jersey’s New Republican Governor rules out a tax increase”

  118. freedy says:

    lets see what kind of set he’s got

  119. Shore Guy says:


    I believe the closed-sale numbers on Zillow are accurate, although they do not reflect any incentives. The “Zestimates”? Well they are pathetic and do not seem to reflect any reality in our dimension; however, they may be accurate in the Twilight Zone.

  120. Shore Guy says:


    The only way for CC to be deemed a success is to first become hated.

  121. Barbara aka B-Cat says:

    121 yikes
    seems like they just need to make the numbers higher in order to get the current going bonus. She’s hitting them too easy of she gets to stay home and not work.

  122. Veto That - aka 'The Operation' says:

    the most recent comp in my town just sold for over its 2005 price.
    Makes me sick.

    The more i look at the data and comps, the more i am convinced that the bottom of the nj housing crash was four months ago.

    im going to bed.

  123. Stu says:


    Wait until May. Once the stupid tax credit is dropped housing prices should start to drop again. Especially the credit for non first time buyers. You might see a slight price increase before then.

  124. Morpheus says:

    He should be OK. Probably be a little sore for a few days. If it lasts longer than a few days, a week, then he might have a problem.

    Alcohol deadens the pain.

  125. grim says:

    The more i look at the data and comps, the more i am convinced that the bottom of the nj housing crash was four months ago.

    The more I look at the last crash, the more I’m convinced that when the bottom comes, it’ll be here for 4 or 5 years.

    You are an idiot to think you need to day trade the real estate market.

  126. NJGator says:

    Ket 118 – Hope everything is ok. At least the police are coming to help you. When I lived in Jersey City, my parked car was hit during a high speed police chase. Car was smeared with white paint, yet the police report insisted that the suspect who was driving a red car was the only one who hit me. He, of course, was uninsured.

  127. chicagofinance says:

    grim: That is the most acerbic thing I’ve seen you post here…period…4 years plus….good to see…

    133.grim says:
    January 18, 2010 at 9:42 pm
    The more i look at the data and comps, the more i am convinced that the bottom of the nj housing crash was four months ago.

    The more I look at the last crash, the more I’m convinced that when the bottom comes, it’ll be here for 4 or 5 years.

    You are an idiot to think you need to day trade the real estate market.

  128. chicagofinance says:

    By sundown tomorrow, Christie needs to sack about 10,000 people or else this is what I say…

    125.Cindy says:
    January 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm
    Christy the Terminator? WSJ Opinion
    “New Jersey’s New Republican Governor rules out a tax increase”

  129. Veto That - aka 'The Operation' says:

    “You are an idiot to think you need to day trade the real estate market.”

    Grim, this is harsh, no?
    IMO there is a good possibility that this is as low as prices will crash and will continue to go up slowly from here.
    Thats just a forecast.
    What makes you think im trying to day trade a house?

  130. sas says:

    none of you blokes mentioned today is a birthday of a great man. no not me… ha ha..

    A man I admire very much: MLK.

    A real radical, and was not liked and was not popular at the time.

    But, there is a Jedi mind trick the media & powers that be play when it comes to MLK. There is so much to his message then the usual touchy feely good “I have a dream” speech. and sing kumbaya with a black man.

    No, He was more than that, and you will never hear it.

    My 2 favorite speeches: “The other America” and “Why I oppose the Vietnam war”

    the later is what got him assassinated.

  131. sas says:

    so, google the text of those 2 speeches, and read them. Then you will know why the media & power elite will not touch and don’t want you to hear the other aspects of MLK.

    you read “why I oppose the vietnam war”, then you know why…he had to go…


  132. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    “The forces of global integration are a great tide, inexorably wearing away established order of things…. People…are susceptible to misguided protectionism, to the poisoned appeals of extreme nationalism, and ethnic, racial, and religious hatred. New global environmental challenges require us to find ways to work together…. We need a new strategy of security….Nations have begun to put that strategy in place through a new network of institutions and arrangements…. through this web of institutions and arrangements, nations are now setting the international ground rules for the 21st century, … isolating those who challenge them from the outside.”
    President Bill Clinton speaking to the UN General Assembly on September 22, 1997

  133. chicagofinance says:

    Vito: so wholly out of character that I wonder whether it was him…

    137.Veto That – aka ‘The Operation’ says:
    January 18, 2010 at 10:01 pm
    “You are an idiot to think you need to day trade the real estate market.”

    Grim, this is harsh, no?
    IMO there is a good possibility that this is as low as prices will crash and will continue to go up slowly from here.
    Thats just a forecast.
    What makes you think im trying to day trade a house?

  134. Morpheus says:

    my god: SAS is the “smoking man” from the X-Files!

  135. sas says:

    “SAS is the “smoking man” from the X-Files!”

    ha. ha.
    nope, I don’t roll smoke.

    but I will let you in on a little secret: CIA gave X-files producers storyline plots. They still do it today. A popular one today is 24 on the Fox network.

    you know that movie top gun? it was an air force movie, created by USAF and paid for by (for the most part) by USAF.

    Propaganda runs deep in Hollywood. Both corporate and social engineering.

    Always remember:
    he who pays the piper calls the tune


  136. chicagofinance says:

    The secret agent looks dead-on like grim, but I cannot figure out who is the pigeon?

  137. Veto That - aka 'The Operation' says:

    “I wonder whether it was him…”

    Chi, i’ll admit ive never seen him initiate such aggression towards anyone.

  138. sas says:

    yes, also look for propaganda in the bestsellers list.

    another little thing, back in the 80s, there was a real push in the business press and books. They tried to make CEOs a rock star or one worthy on virtue that should be admired and achieved. (while employee wages went down and productivity went up, and busted unions).

    remember Lee Iacocca? ha ha.. he was PR advertisement spokeperson for this model that spread like hotcakes back in the 80s. Made everyone wanna be a “leader” in the corporate ladder system work env.

    hence, your current MBA was based on this false model, and its in essence worthless.

    This is a hard topic to explain, perhaps offline one day.

  139. sas (138)-

    I don’t think “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” won him too many friends, either.

  140. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Bush Family Purchased 100,000 Acre Ranch in Paraguay in 2006.

    Chile may be a good place to flee. Equador is worthy of a look.

  141. sas (146)-

    Read any of Gladwell’s recent stuff on CEOs never actually fitting the profile of the maverick, iconoclast entrepreneur?

    You would love it. He nails it when he lays out the case that virtually every legendary American CEO is a stone-cold predator, and the furthest thing from an entrepreneur that one can imagine.

  142. Just got back from a soccer event in FL (Disney, to be exact). Observations:

    1. FL is a wasteland. Miles upon miles of empty new homes & condoshacks all the way in from the airport.

    2. The only tourists at Disney are from Brazil. Not just a few, not just a noticeable contingent…ALL of them. If the Real tanks, Disney is done. The Brazilians are taking over the world.

    3. The service at Disney absolutely blows. The staff in most of the hotels and restaurants look like the extras from “Scarface”, and the simplest of questions gets answered with blank looks and shrugged shoulders. The majority of the staff I had dealings with could not communicate in simple English. Craziest of all, many have a noticeable f-you, manana attitude which must have old Walt spinning in his grave.

    4. The resort hotels at Disney are threadbare and showing their age. All of them need a big dose of refreshment & refurbishing…and you get the feeling that the money’s just not there to do it.

  143. sas says:


    I heard of this bloke. Never read any of his books.


  144. Al (148)-

    I hear the Bush’s place is just down the road from Mengele’s.

  145. sas (151)-

    Try “Outliers”…or check his story on CEOs in the current New Yorker.

  146. sas says:

    Al “The Thermostat” Gore,

    I know sometimes we can be all be a little doom & gloom here on the boards.

    but take it from someone whom once worked behind the iron curtain.

    if the SHTF in the states to the point you are thinking about fleeing the country. Tell you right now, it will be 2x worse in other places.

    if you are really concerned, move out or away from a major city.


  147. sas says:

    “Try “Outliers”…or check his story on CEOs in the current New Yorker.”

    sure, i will look into it. I have nothing else better to do. waiting for death gets boring afterawhile….

    ha ha :P

  148. NIce to see the world kept spinning out of control while I was gone:

    “The latest to join the Greek bashing goon squad is Deutsche Bank, with a note released on Friday, which highlights the key dangers to the country: the ability to finance deficits, capital flights, and an outright default if money does not turn up from under the mattress.”

  149. sas (154)-

    Lodi is behind the Iron Curtain?

    I had no idea. ;)

  150. Wow. Four great days away, then I read one of Jamil’s posts.

    He’s a bigger buzzkill than a batch of bad PCP.

  151. Shore Guy says:

    Has anyone here spent much time on Sanibel or Captevia Islands?

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