Rotten in Denmark (Maine)

From the NY Times:

From a Maine House, a National Foreclosure Freeze

The house that set off the national furor over faulty foreclosures is blue-gray and weathered. The porch is piled with furniture and knickknacks awaiting the next yard sale. In the driveway is a busted pickup truck. No one who lives there is going anywhere anytime soon.

Nicolle Bradbury bought this house seven years ago for $75,000, a major step up from the trailer she had been living in with her family. But she lost her job and the $474 monthly mortgage payment became difficult, then impossible.

It should have been a routine foreclosure, with Mrs. Bradbury joining the anonymous millions quietly dispossessed since the recession began. But she was savvy enough to contact a nonprofit group, Pine Tree Legal Assistance, where for once in her 38 years, she caught a break.

Her file was pulled, more or less at random, by Thomas A. Cox, a retired lawyer who volunteers at Pine Tree. He happened to know something about foreclosures because when he worked for a bank he did them all the time. Twenty years later, he had switched sides and, he says, was trying to make amends.

Suddenly, there is a frenzy over foreclosures. Every attorney general in the country is participating in an investigation into the flawed paperwork and questionable methods behind many of them. A Senate hearing is scheduled, and federal inquiries have begun. The housing market, which runs on foreclosure sales, is in turmoil. Bank stocks fell on Thursday as analysts tried to gauge the impact on lenders’ bottom lines.

All of this is largely because Mr. Cox realized almost immediately that Mrs. Bradbury’s foreclosure file did not look right. The documents from the lender, GMAC Mortgage, were approved by an employee whose title was “limited signing officer,” an indication to the lawyer that his knowledge of the case was effectively nonexistent.

This entry was posted in Foreclosures, Housing Bubble, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

111 Responses to Rotten in Denmark (Maine)

  1. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Wall St blames homeowners in foreclosure fiasco

    Wall Street’s reaction to the allegations that some banks cut corners while foreclosing on 3 million homes since 2007: Pay your mortgage in the first place.

    The building furor over whether the largest U.S. mortgage lenders used so-called robo-signers and incomplete paperwork to force delinquent borrowers from their homes has mushroomed into a probe by the attorneys general in all 50 states, with U.S. Congressional hearings not far behind.

    Those on Wall Street, however, are largely unsympathetic, insisting that possible errors in the foreclosure process are beside the point, that the process begins only when a borrower starts missing mortgage payments.

    “If you didn’t pay your mortgage, you shouldn’t be in your house. Period. People are getting upset about something that’s just procedural.” said Walter Todd, portfolio manager at Greenwood Capital Associates.

    Some said the issue is one of personal responsibility for one’s own debts.

    “Everyone’s responsible for following the law. If we all don’t have to pay our mortgage, should we just stop paying taxes, too?” said Anton Schutz, president of Mendon Capital Advisers. “Your mortgage didn’t get to a robo-signer by accident, it’s because you’re not paying.”

  2. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey Yes the Home Owners are at fault regardless but the media like the Robo Signers now.

  3. Lamar says:

    That’s rich. Where was the mortgage industry outrage when GGP, Morgan Stanley and Vornado walked on loans that they could perfectly well afford to pay?

  4. Lamar says:

    Everyone should stop paying their mortgages and plunge all these criminal bank enterprises into insolvency. Time to break their stranglehold on everything that moves.


  5. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Morning Clot, burning it down so early. At least let me have a cup or 2 of joe.

  6. Everyone’s responsible for following the law… Your mortgage didn’t get to a robo-signer by accident, it’s because you’re not paying.

    Oh, this will end well.

  7. Essex says:

    So how ‘did’ harry reid make his money?

  8. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Tosh look who’s calling the kettle black, biggest crooks on the planet.

  9. homeboken says:

    From Fannie CEO Raines on CNBC this morning…What an unbelievable case of revsionist history. The guy is delusional, and the CNBC bobbleheads let him spout off this nonsense wiithout questioning him (save Quintilla’s “some may disagree with you”)

  10. a mad as hell reinvestor101 says:

    “That’s rich. Where was the mortgage industry outrage when GGP, Morgan Stanley and Vornado walked on loans that they could perfectly well afford to pay?”

    I, for one, agree with the WSJ and don’t think anyone needs to be picking on the bigger companies that were forced into not paying due to real estate terrorists like you. Where else are we going to get a damn job? You real estate terrorists types don’t have any damn jobs to offer. STOP PICKING ON CORPORATE AMERICA, otherwise they’ll just pick the hell up and leave for environs where the damn people appreciate them and give them low taxes.

    I, for one, love the oligarchs and pledge my allegiance to them. If you had any damn sense, you’d do the same.

  11. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Pay your f’g bills deadbeat!!! What time is Bernanke’s speech today? I want to know how much free money he is going to give Wall Street.

  12. Essex says:

    10. I cannot argue with that one. Even through your satire and pathetic self-castigation — 3/4s of our household income from the generosity of a multinational corporation. To deny that as a corporate citizen, in good standing, is the very best lifestyle of the 21st century is simply nonsense.

  13. Juice Box says:

    Isn’t getting off the hook in court on a Technicality part of the American Way?

  14. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “I, for one, love the oligarchs and pledge my allegiance to them”

    How about they pledge their allegiance and buy agency debt. The same crap that foreign cb’s are dumping. Sell? Sell to whom? All the idiots have bought and they’re buried to their nose in doo-doo paper.

  15. 30 year realtor says:

    Chain of title and following proper legal procedures are essential. Borrower and lender are both essential to the transaction. Each has certain responsibilities and remedies which are clearly spelled out in the documents. There is no catch all provision which states, in case of massive fck up on lenders part borrower must surrender their rights under the law.

  16. #13 – Isn’t getting off the hook in court on a Technicality part of the American Way?

    It has been since the landmark case of Otter vs Faber College.

  17. Lamar says:

    In the fascist states of Amerika, only corporations have rights. Individuals are merely units of production or consumption.

  18. ricky_nu says:

    these numbers (CPI, sales) look like bunk to me this morn……

  19. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Size of aid program- this QE things could just be a big con to prop the markets before the election.

  20. Essex says:

    17. It is what it is until it isn’t. Big corprations been very very good to me.

  21. Essex says:

    Or there for the grace of God go we.

  22. Lamar says:

    If all the numbers are so great this AM, why is Bergabe talking deflation and further QE?

    Somebody here is lying.

  23. reinvestor101 says:

    “I cannot argue with that one. Even through your satire and pathetic self-castigation — 3/4s of our household income from the generosity of a multinational corporation. To deny that as a corporate citizen, in good standing, is the very best lifestyle of the 21st century is simply nonsense.”

    It’s about damn time that someone besides me recognize which damn side our bread is buttered on. Without the oligarchs, we’re nothing and we should all be making damn sure that they’re treated well. The question is this–what the damn sacrifices will you make to keep your damn job? Will you vote in the right people to keep taxes low as hell? Will you accept layoffs and reduced hours to save yourself? Will you shut the hell up when your damn money doesn’t go around as far as it used to because we needed to print more? Will you stop with your stinking hoarding and being a damn cheapskate when they need you to spend with abandon?

    Let’s get something damn straight. There’s no daylight between my interests and the oligarchs.

  24. reinvestor101 says:

    “How about they pledge their allegiance and buy agency debt. The same crap that foreign cb’s are dumping. Sell? Sell to whom? All the idiots have bought and they’re buried to their nose in doo-doo paper.

    Stop it, Mr Chicken Little Sky is Falling. Every damn time I mention a positive, you go negative. Who cares if these chickenshlts want to act like a bunch of damn pantywaists? Real men buy and hold and where the damn pantywaists run for the damn exits, that’s where real men step the hell up.

    Bernanke is a “main”–a full grown “main” and he’s got this.

  25. reinvestor101 says:

    “In the fascist states of Amerika, only corporations have rights. Individuals are merely units of production or consumption.”

    Look, I’ve had to deal with your daily rants calling people motherhubbards, threatening to put a cap in someone’s ass and your behaving as an overall subversive malcontent. What I will not put up with is the misspelling of this great nation’s name. It’s “America” and you damn well better not forget it.

  26. A.West says:


    I don’t agree with your burn everything down & rebuild outlook. The reason is simple. Today’s popular culture and philosophy is worse now than it was about 230 years ago. As bad as things are, there are still a few remnants of enlightenment age ideas remaining in our constitution, legal structures, and way of life. Yes, it has been eroded and corrupted in the ensuing years, but there is still the concept of rights, liberty, and equality before the law embedded within our structures, that could be nurtured back to greater vigor if their proponents turn the intellectual tide.

    In contrast, if we were to tear up the constitution and legal system today, who would rewrite it, and what would they write? It would be written by haters of individual rights and reason, coupled with multitudes of pressure groups. It would be even worse than what we have now, because the dominant ideas in our culture right now are so bad. The people you despise in politics today would be given more power to have their way with you, not less. Imagine a constitutional convention today – with Barney Frank and friends in charge.

    What we need to tear down and rebuild is the corrupt philosophy and culture that will continue to drag down the country until it is replaced with something better.

  27. chicagofinance says:

    Pat: chill out a little please….

  28. chicagofinance says:

    We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it…..LOL

  29. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Very busy today, won’t be able to comment on much, but for the 2 or 3 keeping score, it is now Day 76 of the Obama Administration’s suppression of the 2nd quarter expatriate report.

  30. Unexpected HEHEHE says:

    What gives me a chuckle re the current stock market is the claims that investors are too pessimistic. The Dow goes up 10%+ in a month. Every bit of bad news is a buying opportunity because it means QEII is coming. Every bit of good news is a buying opportunity because “we are turning the corner”. Where exactly is the pessimism coming from? All I hear from Bloomberg and CNBC re stocks is it is all good. I could see such a claim back in September but these clowns are still coming on TV etc and saying the same thing. How can anybody be short?

  31. leftwing says:

    Question for the professionals on the board…

    A potenial buyer wants a disclosure statement. I’ve never signed one before. Can’t believe people are so stupid as to want me to tell them what is wrong with something I am selling them. Kind of like asking your future father in law what’s wrong with his daughter the night before before you propose to her….

    So, I’m looking for some financial materiality language with which I can qualify the whole thing. The definition of materiality in it now is basically something that may have caused the buyer to reconsider, which is too broad. I’d like to limit my disclosures to those that are financially material to the transaction, i.e. circa 3% of purchase price. I’d also like to do so without jamming that figure right under the buyer’s nose.

    Of course the Realtor has ironclad boiler plate language covering his backside if for some reason disclosure is not adequate.

    I’ve looked various definitions of materiality, including FASB, but they have the same ‘reconsider’ standard embedded and no hard numbers.

    Anyone have some off the shelf language I can use? Or a definition of financial materiality they can point me to that I can reference?

  32. prtraders2000 says:

    Materiality – the amount of error or omission that would affect the judgment of a reasonable person.

    per CPA study guide

  33. 30 year realtor says:

    #32 – I would ask the other side for specific questions. NJ law does not require a disclosure, but it does require the seller/agent to disclose defects they are or should be reasonably aware of.

    Invite them to have a home inspection and to ask questions about anything they fear regarding the condition of the property. Offer to provide a one year home warranty.

    If I asked you for a disclosure it would trouble me if you wanted to redefine materiality. The longer you owned the home the more concerned I would be.

  34. Samivel says:

    Heavy anti foreclosure communist propaganda on
    NPR this a.m. The left’s very own weapons of mass destruction
    booddoggle. Drink deeply the vomit.

  35. scribe says:

    Question OT:

    Besides the usual suspects like Ron Paul, who are the big proponents/opponents of returning to a gold/silver standard? Do you know of anyone who’s done a rational analysis of what it would take to return to the old standard, and how it could be done, short of a total disaster/collapse of fiat money?

  36. Juice Box says:

    re: #32 – I don’t think any piece of paper you create to limit your liability will change how courts might rule the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act covers this in detail, since the sale is usually “as is” unless there was fraud.

    Those sneaky Realtors however have an exception.

    Disclosure I am not a lawyer and I have been kicked out of a Motel 6.

  37. Mr Hyde says:


    Consider that the current derivatives market has a notional value of about 700 trillion. For comparison global GDP is about 90 trillion. how do you convert debt based fiat money into non-fiat money without forcing a massive flushing of excess debt from the system. Since debt is money any such action would lead to a wee bit of disorder.

  38. A.West says:

    Search through the publications of Lawrence H White. His focus is on banking systems but I’m pretty sure he’s worked on the gold standard in conjunction with free banking.
    Richard Salsman published a book “Gold and Liberty” nearly 20 yrs ago which offered a plan as well, I think. Now the US is probably too far gone, to go on gold would require an admission of govt bankruptcy, I think.

  39. Unexpected HEHEHE says:

    “Consider that the current derivatives market has a notional value of about 700 trillion. For comparison global GDP is about 90 trillion”

    John does not believe in notional values. All derivative instruments held by a bank are worth what the bank says they are worth. That’s why banks are such a value.

  40. Mr Hyde says:

    Either there is due process of law or you have a kleptocracy/”banana republic” oligarchy. At present, that is the decision we face as a nation. If the banking Elites and their partners in the Central State (Fed and Treasury) are allowed to “win” and gut the property laws of the states, then the U.S.A. will be revealed as a kleptocracy/”banana republic” oligarchy.

    If state laws are upheld, then the “too big to fail” banks are insolvent and they will fail. Then the question of kleptocracy arises once again: will the banks be allowed to fail as per Classic Capitalism, that is, their owners and managers will have to absorb the losses of that bankruptcy/failure, or will the Central State use its powers to collect taxes and cover the private losses of the Bank/Financial Power Elites? Privatizing profits and socializing losses has been the entire game plan since the global house of cards collapsed in 2008.

  41. Mr Hyde says:

    I was wondering what happened to this case:

    PENSACOLA, Fla. – A federal judge ruled Thursday that parts of a lawsuit by 20 states seeking to void the Obama administration’s health care overhaul can go to trial, saying he wants hear additional arguments from both sides over whether the law is unconstitutional.

    In a written ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson said it needs to be decided whether the plan violates the Constitution by requiring individuals to have health insurance or be penalized through taxes and by overburdening the states by expanding their Medicaid programs. Another federal judge in Michigan threw out a similar lawsuit last week.

    Vinson set a hearing for Dec. 16. The lawsuits will likely wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

  42. Lamar says:

    west (26)-

    Problem is, the “intellectual tide” cannot be turned, because TPTB have succeeded in turning us into a nation of idiots.

    We now have an educational system in which the ignorant teach the ignorant. The feedback loop is closed. There are no numbers behind an intellectual rebirth of America, so the only available avenue is to do it through armed revolution.

    No big deal. Tom Jefferson always knew the tree of liberty would need refreshment from time to time.

    Burn the mf’er down, and start over!

  43. Lamar says:

    Meaningful education is now concentrated among a handful of individuals. The rest of us are drones, contented with public entertainments and media drivel.

    This is not by accident.

  44. Lamar says:

    Waiting for Superman? Better off going home and eating a bag of Doritos for dinner.

  45. Lamar says:

    HE (31)-

    Shiny is a proxy for the shorts.

    To the moon, Alice.

  46. Lamar says:

    When a massive amount of people turn to an utter simpleton like Glenn Beck in search of reason and an intellectual basis for political action, you pretty much have the setup in place for the end of days.

  47. Lamar says:

    Can a Beer Hall Putsch be far behind?

  48. Unexpected HEHEHE says:


    Gold? What’s gold?

  49. chicagofinance says:

    Family Feud with Italians from NJ….

  50. leftwing says:

    Thanks for the feedback on the disclosure.

    Juice, nice link. Should have known that the reason the disclosures exist is not for the benefit of the buyer, but to protect realtors.

    I’m selling now because of my view on market direction not because I have something major to hide. If I’m right I don’t want some schmuck coming back in the future down 20% on his purchae trying to reclaim his losses from me using the overly broad definition of materiality, which is anything one would “attach importance in determining whether OR HOW to proceed” (emphasis mine). That’s a pretty low threshold and the fact that the buyer wants the disclosure gets my defenses up. He’s either stupid (assuming he should rely on someone whose interest are diametrically opposed to his own) or he’s smart, setting groudwork in case things don’t work out. I generally avoid trying to get into fights with really smart or really stupid people.

    Seems like two choices for my document, either don’t sign one and go ‘as is’ or redefine materialty. All things considered I think I’ll now redefine materiality to an explicit financial number and make it prominent. If he’s uncomfortable he can walk, re-negotiate around that number, or due further diligence. At least I won’t have to deal with him in the future if he proceeds and things don’t work out. Since, as we all know, the new rule of law is that everything must work out well for everyone always, or else you have standing to sue to make it so.

    For the realtors here, read juice’s link to the Gennari decision. Be careful what you wish upon the banks regarding actions based on inadequate documentation arising from industry practice. Unless you have performed ‘reasonable diligence to ascertain the accuracy of the information dislclosed’ by your sellers under these low threshold materiality guidelines you are liable not just for damages but for treble damages for homes you have sold. I would guess that many realtors have not performed ‘reasonable diligence’. I would also think that the typical ‘you don’t need to fix that’ piece of advice would clearly expose you to the ‘how to proceed’ materiality threshold. Unless, of course, each of you cross referenced the notes you took on your walk throughs and discussions with your clients and reconciled them to the seller’s disclosure form before closing. Which of course I’m sure all you do.

    If I were a lawyer I would find the most sympathetic person out there who bought a real crapper from a realtor associated with a major national firm. Aggregate others who similarly purchased from the same firm and file a suit. The individual realtors will no way be able to produce written notes and reconcile them to the seller disclosures. The ‘how to proceed’ materiality threshold can easily be hit for any house. Show the missing diligence over numerous offices and hit the mothership with a RICO. Settle for big bucks from the realtors.

    Yet another way to insulate thousands of overpaying imbeciles from their stupid decisions.

  51. Al Gore says:

    Look what the fing Kenyan is doing now. Selling C-130’s to the Chinese.

    “Dear Madam Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

    Pursuant to the authority vested in me by section 902(b)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991 (Public Law 101-246)(the “Act”), and as President of the United States, I hereby report to the Congress that it is in the national interest of the United States to terminate the suspensions under section 902(a)(3) of the Act with respect to the issuance of temporary munitions export licenses for exports to the People’s Republic of China insofar as such restrictions pertain to the C-130 cargo aircraft to be used in oil spill response operations at sea. License requirements remain in place for these exports and require review and approval on a case-by-case basis by the United States Government.


    First its C-130’s, then its F-22’s.

    I sure do hate this piece of garbage.

  52. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    while waiting for some software to download, I came across this on CNBC:

    “But Bank of America’s recent decline—down almost 10% this week—is driven by fears that the bank could be hit with huge liabilities for faulty mortgage pools. And I’m pretty sure that is not going to happen.

    Why not?

    Because the politicians will not let the financial stability of the largest bank in the nation be threatened by contractual rights. Not when there’s an easy fix available that won’t cost taxpayers a dime.

    Here’s what is going to happen: Congress will pass a law called something like “The Financial Modernization and Stability Act of 2010” that will retroactively grant mortgage pools the rights in the underlying mortgages that people are worried about. All the screwed up paperwork, lost notes, unassigned security interests will be forgiven by a legislative act.

    There’s a big difference between the financial crisis of 2008 and the new crisis. In 2008, banks were destabilized by the growing realization that they were over-exposed to the real estate market. Huge portions of their balance sheets were committed to mortgage-linked investments that were no longer generating the expected revenues or producing losses. That was a problem of economics that could only be solved by recapitalizing banks or letting some of the biggest banks in the U.S. fail.

    The put-back crisis is not driven by economics. It is driven by legal rights. And there’s simply zero probability that the politicians in Washington are going to let Bank of America or Citigroup or JP Morgan Chase fail because of a legal issue.

    So here’s what I expect will happen. The lame duck session of Congress will pass a bill that essentially papers over the misdeeds of the banks that originated mortgage securities. Every member of Congress and every Senator who has been voted out of office will cast a vote for the bill. And the President will sign it.

    Will the public be outraged? Probably. Financial bloggers will scream from the high heavens against another bailout of the banksters. Congress may try to create some cost for banks in exchange for the forgiveness, perhaps requiring more mortgage modifications.

    But the much feared put-back apocalypse will be laid to rest.

    If you’re skeptical about the possibility that this will happen, you have greater faith than I do in the ability of the political system to resist doing favors for bankers. “

  53. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [53] Al

    I’ve no love for Dear Leader, but a C-130 is hardly advanced or damaging to US security. Rather, its the Bucks for Boeing bill, designed to shore up support among the riveters.

  54. Unexpected HEHEHE says:


    It’s a given.

  55. Nicholas says:

    I contacted the and I will let you know if I get a response.


    I noticed that the second quarter expatriate list is not available for viewing on the webpage. My guess is that the pages have not been indexed by the site for cross-referencing when doing searches.

    Could you point me to the correct location of the second quarter expatriate list and possibly make sure that it gets added to the files that get searched on the site?

    If perhaps, for some reason, that the report has not been made public on purpose please inform as to the reason or cause.


  56. scribe says:

    hyde, west

    Thanks for the responses

  57. spyderjacks says:

    The wife sent me a link for a possible upgrade house in Washington boro. Looked pretty nice at $550k… until I checked the taxes – $40,604! Looks like a jump in 2008 of 170%. Pretty much the same deal for the neighbors.

    I haven’t chased down all that lead up to that special moment. But this just isn’t Montklair or GR. This is the boonies! Sure, under-funded pension plan looks like a part of it. On the board here, I’m pretty sure you’re not all renters – thoughts?

    I’m done watching for signs of clarity with the mortgage crisis. I’m back to watching for the state to collapse… boro by boro.

  58. House Whine says:

    47- The citizenry doesn’t want to think or analyze anymore. They want someone else to tell them what to think, preferably in sound bytes. Whoever grabs their attention and keeps it is who they will believe. It’s very sad.

  59. Nicholas says:

    I contacted the IRS and will let you know if I get a response.


    Although not specifically about this website, I couldn’t find any other area to post general questions about the IRS.

    Recently, I have noticed that the second quarter expatirate report, a required report by the IRS, has not been posted to the Federal Register normally available on I was searching for this expatriate report on the IRS website but found no references to this report even though it has been filed since before 1994 (electronic copies were available that year for the first time).

    I have contacted and ask them if they have forgotten to add it to the register, or perhaps if they failed to index the report in the register.

    I would like to know where I can obtain a copy of the second quarter 2010 expatriate report since it doesn’t appear to be in the Federal Register.

    Sincerest thanks for your help.

  60. Nicholas says:


    My last post is in mod. Probably due to the numerous hyperlinks. Unmod as they are all safe. Just ferreting out more information for Nom about the missing expatriate report.

    See if we can find out where his mysterious report went.

  61. Al Gore says:


    That is one hell of a nice house for sure especially for 550. Like you said, forget it based on taxes.

  62. Lamar says:

    plume (54)-

    Spot on. That was written by someone who understands that banks own America and its gubmint…lock, stock, barrel.

  63. Lamar says:

    spyder (59)-

    40K, to live in the sphincter of NJ?

    It’s all going to come crumbling down.

  64. NJGator says:

    spyderjacks 59 – Are you sure the taxes are right? According to NJACTB they are around $13k

  65. Juice Box says:

    re: #59 – more detail on the taxes on that home.

    Year Taxes paid % Change Tax assessment

    2010 $38,575 7.2% $448,700 —
    2009 $35,968 — $448,700 —
    2008 $35,968 188% $448,700 —
    2007 $12,474 11.6% $448,700 —
    2006 $11,177 2.7% $448,700

  66. Juice Box says:

    re: #59, 65 and 66 Humm Taxes $13,698 on GSMLS

    Total assessed value is 448700
    Tax rate is 2.997%

    i just check with someone who lives a mile away from there, something is wrong with the taxes on the listing.

    FYI the Drive down Route 78 takes about 1 hour to get to Newark Airport.

  67. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Angelo Mozilo, co-founder and former chief executive of Countrywide Financial Corp., has reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over insider trading and civil fraud charges, according to media reports Friday. Two other defendants have reportedly also reached a settlement with the SEC. CNN reported that Mozilo will pay a $67.5 million fine as part of the settlement.

  68. Al Gore says:


    13k is still a lot of tax but if the school system is something you would send your kid to then you might be onto something there. Hopefully the taxes and schools work out for you because that really is a nice house.

    Keep in mind that McMansions are going to be a thing of the past. The utility bill alone will make you cry. I would go in and offer $520 then spend 30k installing solar panels.

    From a SHTF perspective. You have all the water storage you need in the pool. Plenty of good land to grow food especially if you work with your neighbors. You could convert the tennis court into a prison for the zombies flocking from the inner city. I bet you could even bury a 1000 gallon polyethylene fuel tank in that yard and few would notice. Good line of sight for defensive fire. you might need to chop those evergreens down though. MMMM. The possibilities are endless.

  69. NJGator says:

    Zillow’s info does not make sense. Last NJACTB info is from 2008 where the taxes were around 13k. The 2009 and 2010 assessments show the same value as 2008. If the taxes on this home tripled, then that means the taxes on every home in town would have had to triple as well.

    GSMLS shows the 2009 taxes for this house at $13,698 with a tax rate of 3.

  70. Juice Box says:

    re #69 -Spyder, it a propane heating system too would cost perhaps $700 + a month in the winter to heat, based upon 6000 sq ft.

  71. Mike says:

    Another way of looking at this when the grim reaper comes (no pun) even if you paid off your mortgage and did everything you were suppose to do you still don’t own a thing. Do they have mortgages on mausoleums? Which attidude is better, pay it off in 30 years or who cares 30 years from now it’s not going to matter anyhow. Hmm

  72. Al Gore says:


    Did you read the discussion in this link yet?

    Its chock full of goodies. I actually forwarded it to my investment publication and sure enough they are going to publish it in their next issue.

  73. Mr Hyde says:


    Dont forget that if the house was built during the middle of the housing boom it is probably built like crap and isnt likely to age very well. And how about the potential for toxic chinese drywall, radioactive granite, or any of the other fun issues?

  74. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    AG [74],

    Didn’t have a chance. Too long to read now.

  75. Al Gore says:

    One other thing Spyder,

    Dont listen to the communist propaganda from those in and around the communist entity of Montclair. Boonies is boonies but its better than buying a POS cape or circa 76 bilevel just to impress your friends with an address. A sh_tbox is a sh_tbox no matter what zip code you are in.

  76. Nomad says:

    #26 –

    All this talk about burning it all down, etc and the frustration and rage of the public is understandable. Perhaps not rational but understandable.

    The bickering between Dems, Reps (Tea party too I guess) is an exercise in futility. Part of the fuel the creates all the political problems is the fact that it costs a lot of money to run a campaign.

    The one thing that I think would have a significant positive impact is campaign finance reform. Getting it passed would not be easy but there has to be a way to move the politicians around the chess board in such a way that they have no choice to support such a reform. By doing so, you take some of the power and influence of special interests away.

  77. Al Gore says:



    Good point. I think Nom is right. They will legislate away the documentation fraud. Hopefully the court system in 30 years wont be totally corrupt and deny private property right but that is certainly the way we are headed. If the 401k confiscation is passed under the illusion of public pension bailouts then all bets are off. Im dead serious when I tell you that these things are being discussed in the back rooms of DC.

  78. Mr Hyde says:


    By doing so, you take some of the power and influence of special interests away.

    The supreme court has ruled money = speech. Good luck getting the special interests out when the corporations have way more money and hence way more speech then you could ever dream of having.

  79. Al Gore says:


    Yeah I wouldnt buy it myself but to each their own. Its a nice property. If someone is hell bent on buying a home I would rather see them buy something useful than a civil war era remodeled home with a cracked foundation.

  80. Juice Box says:

    re #78 – It’s more than talk.

    Up in Vermont check what is happening.

    Here is the debate this month for the Governor’s job between the six different candidates.

    If you need a good launch watch the whole thing, the Lady from the Marijuana Party is pretty funny to watch.

  81. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Where is JJ? His JPM is down 4.25% on 3X normal volume. I assume he’s a buyer. Having analyzed their financials and everything.

  82. Double Down says:

    Tax appeal question….

    If a property is assessed at $600,000 and it recently sells for $300,000 is that recent sale all one would need to make the case for “market value” at the appeals hearing?

    The sale of the subject house itself should be the best, most meaningful comparable, correct?

  83. chicagofinance says:

    Just asking….anyone here going to this thing?

  84. chicagofinance says:

    Ian Bremmer at the FPA conference described getting the G7 to agree is like herding cats….in the new format as the G20, he described the proceedings as herding cats while simultaneously trying to herd a bunch of other animals that hate cats…..

  85. Essex says:

    Slave Management: Try to make your slave identify their interest with the personal interest of the master. A la Dylan Ratigan’s show.

  86. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    HE [82],

    Is this the net result after stroking oneself for 2,ooo hours?

  87. Essex says:


    by: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

    LTHOUGH I shelter from the rain
    Under a broken tree
    My chair was nearest to the fire
    In every company
    That talked of love or politics,
    Ere Time transfigured me.

    Though lads are making pikes again
    For some conspiracy,
    And crazy rascals rage their fill
    At human tyranny,
    My contemplations are of Time
    That has transfigured me.

    There’s not a woman turns her face
    Upon a broken tree,
    And yet the beauties that I loved
    Are in my memory;
    I spit into the face of Time
    That has transfigured me.

    “The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner” is reprinted from The Rose. W.B. Yeats. 1893.

  88. Unexpected HEHEHE says:


    I am sure JJ’s not worried. I sure he knows what is marked to market, to model and to fantasy.

  89. Confused In NJ says:

    83.Double Down says:
    October 15, 2010 at 4:06 pm
    Tax appeal question….

    If a property is assessed at $600,000 and it recently sells for $300,000 is that recent sale all one would need to make the case for “market value” at the appeals hearing?

    The sale of the subject house itself should be the best, most meaningful comparable, correct?

    No, property assessor will just tell you you got a good deal.

  90. Lamar says:

    stander (71)-

    Looks like Eraserhead just got his marching orders from the Chinese bosses.

  91. Lamar says:

    BC (87)-

    I’d say lookout below, but the only “below” left is the Wil E Coyote/splat zone.

  92. Al Gore says:

    Just FYI

    Re: MERS debacle.

    I talked to my attorney today regarding my MERS mortgage. Told him about my thoughts of eventually paying it off within a few years. He said, “Dont worry about it. Just worry about making sure the discharge of mortgage is filed with the county if and when you pay the mortgage off. If the discharge isnt filed then we sue.”

    Interesting that he also mentioned that we will be left with 3 banks in this country. He said Bank of America will be one of them. I laughed and said they didnt have a chance.

    He must read NJRER.

  93. Lamar says:

    He (89)-

    And then there are the derivatives.

    “I am sure JJ’s not worried. I sure he knows what is marked to market, to model and to fantasy.”

  94. Lamar says:

    Al (93)-

    Lots of crappy lenders and servicers fail to record proper satisfactions of mortgage after payoff. It really sucks when second lienholders don’t do it…and then they go out of business. I’ve seen people have to go to a judge to quiet title.

  95. Lamar says:

    Quote of the week:

    “Buying U.S. stocks because the Fed says it will proactively debase the U.S. dollar is like sitting on the beach in order to get a great view of an incoming tsunami.”

    -John Williams

  96. Al Gore says:


    Took a handgun training course yesterday (never was a big hand gun guy). Taught by a Florida county SWAT team member. Worth every penny. Breeze through the basics then it was onto the range. I may sign up for the advanced course.

  97. Al Gore says:



    “Lots of crappy lenders and servicers fail to record proper satisfactions of mortgage after payoff. It really sucks when second lienholders don’t do it…and then they go out of business. I’ve seen people have to go to a judge to quiet title.”

    Im not sure if that worries me as much as the assault on personal property rights does. If these bastards can confiscate 401k’s then they sure as hell cant confiscate homes. Its the trend that is worrisome.

  98. Libtard says:


    To answer your question about why we benchmark against the S&P500 and the Russel 5,000. Well it’s because as a club, we only invest in stocks and ADRs. Nothing fancy, nothing too speculative and nothing based on TA. We mainly look for companies with 5 years of earnings and revenue growth trading at a low P/E versus it’s historical. Essentially, proven growth at a value.

    Our current portfolio looks like this:

    Accenture Plc (ACN) 6.2%
    Apple Inc (AAPL) 23.1%
    Canadian National Railway (CNI) 9.1%
    Global Payments Inc (GPN) 10.7%
    Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT) 4.5%
    Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO) 4.0%
    Stryker Corp (SYK) 11.2%
    Telefonica S.A (TEF) 6.2%

    CASH 13.9%

    Keep in mind, we recently sold off half of our CMG, 80% of our NFLX and doubled our GOOG the day before earnings. We also dumped what little DV we had left (got out of 2/3rds of our total near the top) the day before Apollo announced.

    We are really on fire these last two years compared to the American indexes and it’s really not all Apple. AAP and the railroads have done us quite well as has Chipotle and NetFlix. Even TEF is doing nicely.

    Our 13% cash position is the largest we’ve been since starting in 2004, but lots of stuff are coming in way overvalued according to our analysis. We buy, sell and hold based on a formula and never stray from it except in the rare case of undesirable controversy. We let earnings, sales and margins as well as a few other stats drive our decisions, not stock price so much.

  99. 250k says:

    Lib (98)

    Does your group as a whole think its time to cash out and take profits or do you have some bylaws about having some minimum dollars invested?

    Raising stops may prove futile if another flash crash event were to take place and my bets are that sometime near or just after the election, we see a correction of some size. Not saying what size but it just seems like we are due for a little something. Time to ring the register and buy some toilet paper with my winnings from the casino. I hear TP might be worth more than the dollars I spend to buy them soon.

  100. dreamtheaterr says:

    Old timers,

    Just a note that after almost 5 years of following this blog, we bit the bullet and closed on a townhome today. Bought from a FSBO around early 2003 prices.

    Clot, bottle of Indian whisky coming your way. First Valley Funding was fantastic to deal with and got us 4.125% for 75 LTV.

    Grim, can’t thank you enough for being the voice of reason all these years.

    BCBob, liquidated silver and gold holdings for our down payment…… what a great run the past couple of years. Thanks!!

  101. chicagofinance says:

    Stu: I appreciate the fact that you opened the kimono, which is completely unnecessary. That said, I will critique your portfolio as substantially higher than average risk, since owning roughly more than 7-8% in any one position constitutes a concentrated exposure. With your approach, you will have your Bill Miller moment……I guess you are “focused value” for lack of a better description? Also, for whatever reason, your portfolio has significant sector holes…..your portfolio reflects the benefits of whatever sectors you are overloaded…..let me look for a better benchmark…..

  102. chicagofinance says:

    The simple answer is that the S&P is 25% financials and you have none. To the extent that financials have sucked for said period, you have smoked the benchmark……at some point you are going to have to add them back…….

  103. Al Gore says:

    “BCBob, liquidated silver and gold holdings for our down payment…… what a great run the past couple of years. Thanks!!”

    Congrats on the house and the rate but for the love of God why did you liquidate now? You are in the biggest bull market in the history of the world. You are going to witness the biggest monetary event in world history and you sold your position?

    AHHHHHHH! Im strapping on my adult diapers because I cant take the insanity anymore. Dont fing sell bullion yet. Maybe never.

    Im going to go bash my head against a wall. We are so fcked.

  104. Mike says:

    Humor From Don Rickles Hello, dummies! Oh my God, look at you. Anyone else hurt in the accident?

    Seriously, Senator Reid has a face of a Saint – A Saint Bernard. Now I know why they call you the arithmetic man. You add partisanship, subtract pleasure, divide attention, and multiply ignorance. Reid is so physically unimposing, he makes Pee Wee Herman look like Mr. T. And Reid’s so dumb, he makes Speaker Pelosi look like an intellectual. Nevada is soooo screwed! If I were less polite, I’d say Reid makes Kevin Federline look successful.

    Speaking of the Speaker … Nancy Pelosi, hubba, hubba! Hey baby, you must’ve been something before electricity.
    Seriously, the Speaker may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don’t let that fool you. She really is an idiot.

    Charlie Rangel … still alive and still robbing the taxpayers blind. What does that make, six decades of theft?
    Rangel’s the only man with a rent-controlled mansion. He’s the guy who writes our tax laws but forgot to pay taxes on $75 grand in rental income! So why isn’t he the Treasury Secretary? Rangel runs more scams than a Nigerian Banker.

    Barney Frank … he’s a better actor than Fred Flintstone. Consider that he and Dodd caused the whole financial meltdown, and they’re not only not serving time with Bubba and Rodney, they’re still heading up the financial system!
    Let’s all admit it … Barney Frank slobbers more than a sheepdog on Novocain.. How did this guy get elected? Oh, that’s right … he’s from Massachusetts. That’s the state that elects Mr. Charisma, John Kerry — man of the people!

    You know, if Senator Dodd were any more crooked, you could open wine bottles with him.
    Here’s a news flash, Dodd: when your local newspaper calls you a “lying weasel,” it may be time to retire.
    Dodd’s involved in more shady deals than the Clintons . Even Rangel looks up to him!

    Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, I really respect you … especially given your upbringing ~ All you’ve overcome. I heard your birth certificate is an apology from the condom factory. I don’t know what makes you so dumb, but it really works for you. Personally, I don’t think you’re a fool, but what’s my opinion compared to that of thousands of others? Even Ben Bonarigo agrees.

    As for President Obama, what can I say? They say President Obama’s arrogant and aloof, but I don’t agree.
    Now it’s true when you enter the room, you have to kiss his ring. I don’t mind, but he has it in his back pocket.
    His mind is open to new ideas — so open that ideas simply pass through it. Obama lies so much, I was actually surprised to find out his first name really was Barack. Just don’t ask about his middle name! But Obama was able to set a record … he actually lied more in 60 days than Bill Clinton did in four years…..



  105. Confused In NJ says:

    105. Mike

    Author Doug Ross political satirist, not Don Rickles.

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  107. isqesis says:


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