Again regulators drop the ball

From the Washington Post:

Regulators lagged in foreclosure oversight

As foreclosures began to mount across the country three years ago, a group of state bank regulators suspected that some borrowers might be losing their homes unnecessarily. So the state officials asked the biggest national banks for details about their foreclosure operations.

When two banks – J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo – declined to cooperate, the state officials asked the banks’ federal regulator for help, according to a letter they sent. But the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversees national banks, denied the states’ request, saying the firms should answer only to inquiries from federal officials. In a response to state officials, John Dugan, comptroller at the time, wrote that his agency was already planning to collect foreclosure information and that any additional monitoring risked “confusing matters.”

But even as it closed the door on state oversight, the OCC chose itself not to scrutinize the foreclosure operations of the largest national banks, forgoing any examination of their procedures and paperwork. Instead, the agency relied on the banks’ in-house assessments. These provided no hint of the problems to come until they had tripped the nation’s housing market, agency officials later acknowledged.

Even when the mortgage industry itself identified possible flaws in foreclosure paperwork, the agency was slow to act. In September, Ally Financial suspended foreclosures after discovering problems with tens of thousands of cases. But even then, the OCC did not begin to examine the operations of other major banks. Instead, the agency asked them to undertake internal reviews and told them it would conduct its own examination later, an OCC official said.

The OCC is one of the nation’s four federal bank regulators and has primary oversight over the largest banks, while the other three – the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of Thrift Supervision – share responsibility for many small and medium-size financial firms. All the agencies failed to spot problems in the foreclosure process.

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147 Responses to Again regulators drop the ball

  1. Confused In NJ says:

    good one.

  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Atlantic City’s Credit Rating Lowered Three Levels Due to Revenue Worries

    Atlantic City, the biggest East Coast gambling center, had its credit rating cut three levels by Moody’s Investors Service out of concern tax appeals by casinos and out-of-state competition for bettors will hurt revenue.

    The downgrade to Baa1 from A1, three levels above speculative grade, affects $151 million of general-obligation debt, according to Moody’s, which changed its outlook to negative. It follows a Nov. 3 decision by Standard & Poor’s to put a negative outlook on the city’s A rating, sixth-highest.

    Atlantic City, a community of about 40,000, finished its 2009 fiscal year Dec. 31 with an $8.1 million deficit, Moody’s said.

    “The city’s negative fund balance position, outstanding tax casino credits and the significant number of remaining unsettled casino tax appeals will continue to pressure the city’s financial position,” Moody’s said in a report dated yesterday.

  3. Lamar says:

    One day closer to oblivion.

    All the Rube Goldberg contraptions work…until they don’t.

  4. Lamar says:

    Wells Fargo well past their 20 days in which to show me the note.

    Think I might stop by one of their branches today.

  5. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot 4,
    Can you just ask your mortgage holder for it & if not produced off the hook?

  6. Lamar says:

    Mike (5)-

    More to it than that.

  7. Lamar says:

    William Black, turning up the heat on the insolvent BAC.

    “William Black ratchets his campaign for putting an allegely insolvent Bank of America into conservatorship by several notches, following up on Jonathan Weil’s argument presented a few days ago that there is massive “book cooking” by Moynahan’s henchmen, and that it is about time that BofA truly opens it books for all to evaluate just how undercapitalized the mega bank truly is.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/bill-black-and-l-randall-wray-demand-bank-america-finally-open-it-books

  8. Nomad says:

    What is BOA’s break up value?

  9. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot6 I gather if not produced you hire lawyer if case in your favor becomes unsecured debt. About it?

  10. Nice article Grim.
    Just a quick note. I notice that it’s written to read as if the OCC is an incompetent regulator (carrying on the theme that all regulation is bad) rather than ‘the OCC is bought and paid for’, which is certainly what I was thinking when I read it.

  11. grim says:

    I gather if not produced you hire lawyer if case in your favor becomes unsecured debt.

    Not even close

  12. Anon E. Moose says:

    some borrowers might be losing their homes unnecessarily.

    I do not think that word means what they think it means. They article gives no detail about what they consider an “unnecessary” loss of the home. I strongly suspect the state-run media are talking about the failure to offer a modification that the deadbeat can keep up with – blaming the banks for the abject failure of Dear Leader’s HAMP, LAMP, CRAMP, HUMP, whatever… to accomplish their stated goals.

    Once again, we’re not talking about foreclosing on someone who paid their mortgage. We’re talking about and bending over backwards to keep deadbeats in homes they could never have realistically hoped to afford.

  13. # 12 – …we’re not talking about foreclosing on someone who paid their mortgage

    In some cases that is exactly whatthey’re talking about. Now, this is most likely very rare, but it is still an issue.
    There are larger issues here. The first deals with robosigning and the problems therein as evidence of sloppy underwriting and paperwork across the board. More importantly, it raises questions about the conveyance of said loans to the trusts and issues of (potentially) fraudulent activities on the part of originators and underwriters. Yves Smith has written and covered that pretty extensively on nakedcapitalism.com.
    Secondly, there are wider issues of servicers abusing the HAMP program (pdf warning).

  14. 30 year realtor says:

    Can’t produce the note? No lawyer needed! Open an account and escrow the payments each month and see what happens. Don’t have to be delinquent to exploit the stupidity of the financial community.

  15. 30 year realtor says:

    I have already run across several cases in which homeowners entered into modifications with their lender and then were told they didn’t qualify for the mod. Payments homeowner was told to make by their lender were paid on time, but lender continued foreclosure as mod was only proposed, not approved. When lender decided to reject the mod, it was almost time for foreclosure sale. Homeowner was lulled into false sense of security, stopped their defenses, didn’t file bankruptcy and foreclosure sale occurred. I believe this is what the article references as “unnecessarily”.

  16. # 15 – That sounds exactly like what I’ve been reading about. Basically servicers gaming HAMP. In a few cases I’ve read about homeowners getting a trial mod, making a reduced payment, only to have that end after 6 months (or however long) with a statement by the servicer saying they were no longer eligible, then being banged for penalties and late payments on the 6 months of reduced payments.

  17. Confused In NJ says:

    Fox News this A.M. made it clear that Stock Market will continue Gains this Fall as Ben pours fictitious money into it from his printing press. I wondered when they failed to steal Social Security dollars to prop it up what they would do and the answer was bogus mortgage derivitaves to be followed by bogus FED printing.

  18. jamil says:

    feds refuse to deal with the problem, and using their power to prevent states doing anything?

    Just like in illegal immigration.

    Big gov rules..

  19. Barbara says:

    They really need to start charging serious monthly fees to be on the MLS.

  20. 30 year realtor says:

    Barbara #19 – MLS comment, please explain further?

  21. JJ says:

    Well recession is officially over. My indicator is the “Friendly’s” indicator. Having three little ones means I get dragged there about once every six months.

    Well in Spring of 2007 customers were 90% black or hispanic. In spring of 2009 customers were 90% white or asian as the higher income groups traded down. In Spring of 2010 I went and it was like 50% black/Hispanic and 50% white/asian. Well the kids got some stupid friendly’s coupon for a prize at school and I went last night. Restaurant was 99% black/hispanic, majority illegal mexicans jibber jabbering on their cell phones while their dirty children licked the booths and countertops and wiped their snot all over. The wives, unlike 2009, were smoking hot like that chick on modern family. One OMG had high heels, skin tight jeans and a designer tight t-shirt showing off her freshly paid for boobs, she had a hoody that she could only fit half way up as her new boobs would not let her zip it all the way up, her and the other mexican wifes were all dressed up in make up and nice clothes. They spend it as soon as it comes in so the money is coming in, I guess Mr. Executive is back at work and has re-hired his landscaper, maid and car detailer. The best news of the day was the Mexican Mothers took their kids to the bathrooms, thank god the new milenumn generation of mexicans know how to use a bathroom and wont be using my backyard to poop and my shi tsu as toliet paper.

  22. Barbara says:

    30 yr,
    Am I correct in that its very cheap or next to free to list on the MLS? I’ve been watching delusional sellers list properties for not months, but years. I’m sick of looking at page after page of dead in the water listings. It would cut back a lot of dead wood if sellers had to shell out significant money every month to list their houses.

  23. chicagofinance says:

    The negotiators were just professionals; the problem is that we (the taxpayer) had hopelessly overmatched dolts (at the municipal level) that didn’t have the marbles to figure out that they neeeded help.

    Shore hate airport delays Guy says:
    November 7, 2010 at 11:52 pm
    “I still can’t believe most teachers, and many local gov’t/union employees don’t pay a DIME to their own health plans.”

    This is because they had better negotiators than the rest of us.

  24. Lamar says:

    mike (9)-

    Pretty much.

  25. Lamar says:

    30 year (15)-

    I’ve seen several cases of that in my area, too.

  26. 30 year realtor says:

    #21 JJ – How exactly did you confirm the statements in your rant? Illegal? Mexican? Fake boobs?

    Are you angry because you live near brown people?

  27. chicagofinance says:

    Help request:

    Client needs to relocate within 15 minutes of Denville. She is being pushed toward a condo complex in Morris Townnship. A 3BR/2.5 bath asking $585K. She wants to keep the outlay under $500K.

    Restrictions: due to physical limitations, wants ranch. Prefers 3 BRS and wants shared services for the outside. Suggestions? She is retired, so the access to Denville is only priority; current lead is close to 287/24, so she is paying some premium for that access which is not really needed.

    Her comment is that this condo-ranch is the one of the only opportunities that fits the bill in the area….

  28. chicagofinance says:

    You make JJ sound like the kid from Sixth Sense…..

    30 year realtor says:
    November 8, 2010 at 8:55 am
    Are you angry because you live near brown people?

  29. 30 year realtor says:

    Barbara #22 – Sellers don’t pay the MLS. Real estate agents pay an annual fee to MLS and a fee for each listing entered (about $40 depending on which MLS). The real question is: Why do agents take listing that they know have little to no chance of selling? Not only do they have to pay for marketing, advertising, etc, but they must also deal with the unrealistic seller.

  30. Jase Rion says:

    there are still a lot uninformed buyers out there. i’ve lost 4-5 bids to homes in ridgewood and north caldwell. on 1 occasion i went above listing price and still lost. i guess there are people who have more money and want the house more than i am.

  31. Nomad says:

    Chifi,

    what about Randolph, E Hanover or Florham Park? Not sure how stable values will be in these areas due to schools, muniticipal finances etc. but probably can get something nice under $500k. I think there is new development in FP – no idea about quality of construction.

  32. Orion says:

    (12)…Dear Leader’s HAMP, LAMP, CRAMP, HUMP, whatever… to accomplish their stated goals.

    HEMP for everyone!

  33. 30 year realtor says:

    Moose #12 – Is there room for an option that doesn’t have to do with you being morally and otherwise superior on any subject?

  34. JJ says:

    I see brown people. Just making a observation that at height of recession people who went to nicer restuaurants traded down to ruby tuesdays/fridays etc. And the ruby tuesdays/friendlys’ crowd traded down to burger king and the $5 dollar Pizza Hut crowd.

    Hey chifi read JFK airport is rushing a muni bond to market before year end that is AMT free. Quirk of tax code airports for 2010 only can issue AMT free bonds Next year doing AMT bonds only. They are rushing a large issue at an unfavorable time towards year end that may offer good yield. I may buy some of that, also on fence if I should buy some of GM IPO, appears underpriced.

  35. JJ says:

    http://www.bike4sudan.com/files/images/truck.jpg

    one of the cars I saw pull into friendlys last night

  36. Juice Box says:

    OCC poster child for what is wrong with BIG Government. By law, the OCC is prohibited from releasing information from its bank safety and soundness examinations to the public, and they are funded by the National Banks, audit fees etc.

    The OCC had enjoyed enviable exclusive dominance over its freedom providing national banks with pre-emptive exemptions from consumer protection laws, what they did in 2003-2004 with all of the State Predatory Lending laws is prime example and now what they allowed to happen again with State Foreclosure laws.

    Once the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is launched will the Republicans move to mute its powers it via not appointing someone like Elizabeth Warren to run it or defund it’s operations to neuter it?

  37. Schrodinger's cat says:

    Morpheous, Firestorm, Nom

    Thanks, had a great time and learned a few new tricks!

  38. JJ says:

    WTF?

    Channel Trend Inc. upgrades AMBAC FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. from NEUTRAL to MOST FAVORABLE.
    BY Investars Analyst Actions – private
    — 7:14 AM ET 11/08/2010

    On November 6, 2010 Channel Trend Inc. upgraded AMBAC FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. (ABK) from NEUTRAL to MOST FAVORABLE.

  39. Anon E. Moose says:

    Tosh [13];

    You should know better than that. “Data” is not the plural of “anecdote”.

  40. Anon E. Moose says:

    30 yr [33];

    We could spitball it a bit, but as a start every one of those deadbeats can come and apologize for how ‘superior’ they acted in 2005 when they advised they advised people like me that it was stupid to be ‘throwing my money away on rent’.

    I actually got a little bit of that yesterday when I ran into a former colleague on the train. Submariner on his ‘fixer’ house and took a bath selling his condo to get there. Commented how ‘lucky’ I was not to have an albatross of a house.

    America gets back on its feet when the deadbeats and the banks both come to realize that there is no cavalry coming to save either of them; and the politicians stop picking my pocket to pay for their sorry attempts to lie to the deadbeats and banks saying otherwise.

  41. yo'me says:

    When two banks – J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo – declined to cooperate, the state officials asked the banks’ federal regulator for help, according to a letter they sent. But the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversees national banks, denied the states’ request, saying the firms should answer only to inquiries from federal officials

    THE STATES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE INDEPENDENT FROM THE OCC

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/30/business/30nocera.html?_r=2&ref=business

  42. Mike says:

    In the middle of 2006 it began to change
    Real estate property values became rearranged
    By reversing the trend of incredible appreciation
    Slower sales, declining values and then depreciation.
    And the sub-prime market began its demise
    While bankers, investors and politicians were so surprised
    At the overall numbers of late payments and default
    Which had been rapidly growing after years of assault.

  43. JJ says:

    New Research from Citigroup. I find it interesting that most people in general and on this site way overestimate what percentage of wealth a person’s home is. Real Estate is on average only 16% of a persons net worth.

    Home A-Loan II
     Mortgage foreclosures haunt the housing market again. Concerns about a
    foreclosure moratorium have surfaced despite a seeming shared
    unwillingness by the banking establishment and the government to go down
    that perilous path. With home loans threatening the real estate industry
    once again and potentially weighing on consumer confidence, it appears as
    if the concerns may be overdone.
     Real estate accounts for only 16% of household net worth. While many
    investors look to housing as being the primary influence on American
    consumer wealth, given its broad ownership, it is critical to understand that
    almost 85% of household wealth comes from other assets including stocks,
    bonds, pensions, mutual funds and life insurance policies. Thus, there may
    be a far less impact than is often cited by reasoned, but poorly researched
    arguments.
     Home prices affected 1997-2007 net worth meaningfully. When one looks at
    the peak of the housing bubble in 2007 and charts the course of real estate
    specific household equity, roughly $10 trillion of wealth was created over a 10-
    year period and about $8 trillion disappeared in the next three years. But, in
    the same 10-year period through 2007, overall household net worth surged by
    almost $35 trillion, pinpointing the lack of understanding that it was not all
    about home prices. Indeed, only $2.6 trillion of the $23.0 trillion of household
    wealth growth from 2002-07 (before the credit and housing bubbles burst)
    came from net gains in real estate.
     Home prices are back in line with historical averages of median income. The
    collapse in house prices since 2007 has brought ratios back into alignment
    with past norms, suggesting that dramatic further price erosion is unlikely.
    Moreover, home prices versus rental costs are also back down to past levels,
    implying that a more typical environment is in place that does not have to
    undergo another major correction.
     Employment and stock markets affect consumer confidence far more than
    home prices. While the housing market’s ascent initially drove feelings of
    wealth during the mid-2000s, that relationship basically has broken down
    and now has returned to its prior lack of cause and effect. Employment
    trends and stock market wealth seem to have much more impact and broad
    consumer delinquencies have eased back as well. Indeed, debt service
    burdens have dropped rather sharply and have plunged to 1989 and 1999
    levels.
     Weaker bond prices may not cause a major change in mortgage payments.
    Lower mortgage rates as a result of drops in Treasury bond yields is not
    necessarily translating into an improved environment for indebted
    consumers since many cannot even qualify for a new mortgage given much
    tighter credit standards versus the days of NINJA (no income, no job or
    assets) loans. Similarly, higher rates may not force much change either,
    though higher rates due to inflation may also mean higher real estate prices
    if the history of the 1970s is any guide.

    Home A-Loan II
     Mortgage foreclosures haunt the housing market again. Concerns about a
    foreclosure moratorium have surfaced despite a seeming shared
    unwillingness by the banking establishment and the government to go down
    that perilous path. With home loans threatening the real estate industry
    once again and potentially weighing on consumer confidence, it appears as
    if the concerns may be overdone.
     Real estate accounts for only 16% of household net worth. While many
    investors look to housing as being the primary influence on American
    consumer wealth, given its broad ownership, it is critical to understand that
    almost 85% of household wealth comes from other assets including stocks,
    bonds, pensions, mutual funds and life insurance policies. Thus, there may
    be a far less impact than is often cited by reasoned, but poorly researched
    arguments.
     Home prices affected 1997-2007 net worth meaningfully. When one looks at
    the peak of the housing bubble in 2007 and charts the course of real estate
    specific household equity, roughly $10 trillion of wealth was created over a 10-
    year period and about $8 trillion disappeared in the next three years. But, in
    the same 10-year period through 2007, overall household net worth surged by
    almost $35 trillion, pinpointing the lack of understanding that it was not all
    about home prices. Indeed, only $2.6 trillion of the $23.0 trillion of household
    wealth growth from 2002-07 (before the credit and housing bubbles burst)
    came from net gains in real estate.
     Home prices are back in line with historical averages of median income. The
    collapse in house prices since 2007 has brought ratios back into alignment
    with past norms, suggesting that dramatic further price erosion is unlikely.
    Moreover, home prices versus rental costs are also back down to past levels,
    implying that a more typical environment is in place that does not have to
    undergo another major correction.
     Employment and stock markets affect consumer confidence far more than
    home prices. While the housing market’s ascent initially drove feelings of
    wealth during the mid-2000s, that relationship basically has broken down
    and now has returned to its prior lack of cause and effect. Employment
    trends and stock market wealth seem to have much more impact and broad
    consumer delinquencies have eased back as well. Indeed, debt service
    burdens have dropped rather sharply and have plunged to 1989 and 1999
    levels.
     Weaker bond prices may not cause a major change in mortgage payments.
    Lower mortgage rates as a result of drops in Treasury bond yields is not
    necessarily translating into an improved environment for indebted
    consumers since many cannot even qualify for a new mortgage given much
    tighter credit standards versus the days of NINJA (no income, no job or
    assets) loans. Similarly, higher rates may not force much change either,
    though higher rates due to inflation may also mean higher real estate prices
    if the history of the 1970s is any guide.

  44. Mike says:

    As values declined and foreclosures mounted
    The failure of Lenders were just being counted
    Century United, Countrywide and American Home were the first to fail
    Indy Mac, Wamu and Wachovia were the next to bail.
    But all of a sudden a timely miracle appeared
    More cash at the problem, seven hundred billion I hear
    Would solve the dilemma at least for now
    Pelosi, Dodd and Frank would tell us how.

  45. Mike says:

    The USA is no longer the place to invest
    Our foreign partners will quickly suggest
    And require their cash be immediately paid back
    But the USA will have lost its knack,
    To cover these investments and pay back the loans
    To our debtor nations who invested in homes
    Truly new territory for our country to feel,
    The inability to repay…a situation quite real.

  46. Confused In NJ says:

    This doesn’t seem consistent with Ben & Tim?

    LONDON (Reuters) – Leading economies should consider adopting a modified global gold standard to guide currency rates, World Bank president Robert Zoellick said on Monday in a surprise proposal before a potentially acrimonious G20 summit.

    Writing in the Financial Times, Zoellick called for a “Bretton Woods II” system of floating currencies as a successor to the Bretton Woods fixed-exchange rate regime that broke down in the early 1970s.

    The former U.S. trade representative, who served in several Republican administrations, said such a move “is likely to need to involve the dollar, the euro, the yen, the pound and (a yuan) that moves toward internationalization and then an open capital account.

    “The system should also consider employing gold as an international reference point of market expectations about inflation, deflation and future currency values,” he added.

    Analysts were cautious. “Going forward that would be something that we could look toward, but it’s not going to happen within a short period of time,” said Ong Yi Ling, analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore, adding that gold prices barely reacted to the comments.

    Gold briefly hit a record high of $1,398.35 an ounce in early trade on Monday on concerns of a continued weakening dollar trend after the U.S. Federal Reserve last week acted to resume buying Treasuries.

    SUMMIT ACRIMONY?

    That policy has fed acrimony among leading economies in the Group of 20 in the run-up to their summit in Seoul on Wednesday and Thursday.

    China and Germany, major exporting nations, have both decried the Fed’s quantitative easing — effectively printing money — which is weakening the dollar.

    Investors are pumping dollars into emerging markets in search of higher yields, and the potentially destabilizing impact of this, along with big current account deficits and surpluses as well as China’s reluctance to let the yuan appreciate faster, are set to dominate the G20 debate.

    France, which takes over the G20 chair after this week’s summit, says it plans to work on a new international monetary system to bring greater currency stability.

    Beijing’s central bank chief has suggested an alternative monetary system based on using the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights, a notional unit of value based on a basket of major currencies, instead of the dollar as the sole global reserve currency.

    Zoellick was a senior official in the U.S. Treasury at the time of the 1985 Plaza and 1987 Louvre Accords on rebalancing currencies among major industrialized nations. He noted that that phase of currency coordination helped launch the Uruguay Round of world trade liberalization negotiations.

    While his opinion article in the Financial Times did not represent either U.S. or World Bank policy, it may reflect a greater openness in Washington than in the last two decades to some form of international currency cooperation.

    “The dollar is losing its relevance especially with the emergence of Asia economies, so a more neutral benchmark may be required. Gold, amid all the recent uncertainty, is proving its worth,” said ANZ’s senior commodity analyst Mark Pervan.

    Gold retreated to around $1,390 an ounce by 1000 GMT as speculators booked profits.

    Zoellick said a new monetary system would take time to develop and should be part of a package approach including possible changes in IMF rules to review capital as well as current account policies, and linking IMF monetary assessments to World Trade Organization obligations.

    The dollar rose sharply on Monday as unwinding of dollar short positions that began with solid U.S. jobs data snowballed, pushing down the euro to its lowest level since the Fed embarked on fresh easing last week.

    (Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan, Nick Trevethan and Paul Taylor; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

  47. JJ says:

    How many people on this site are overinvested or underinvested in real estate if the average is 16% of net worth? We have a lot of all in or all out on this site.

  48. Tom says:

    I figured you’d be posting this too. I just posted my thoughts on whether states should have more authority of national banks.

    This isn’t the first time the OCC came to the rescue of banks when States tried to impose regulations. In 2002 some states including NJ tried to stop the sub-prime problem by enacting legislation regarding predatory lending but the OCC stepped in and overruled the States.

    A side topic I kind of brought up in an earlier comment is why did robo signers suddenly become such a hot topic?

    This isn’t anything new. For years this has been the first defense used by people facing foreclosure. Contest the foreclosure and make the bank prove their case. In many cases they can’t. Heck in some cases they couldn’t even prove they owned the note… because durr they didn’t!

    It’s obvious the lenders weren’t reviewing these cases closely before they initiated the foreclosure process. Is it just because someone came up with a catchy buzzword?

  49. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [41] yo’me

    There is a strong culture of federal preemption at the OCC; they defend their turf from state encroachment quite aggressively. One of my close friends in DC was Deputy General Counsel there.

    I recall an episode that exemplifies this: We represented a national bank that was doing a deal in connecticut, with another national bank. I had a contact at the Dept. banking commission, and she learned of the transaction, then called me to tell me that she expected an application for it (essentially, they wanted to approve or disapprove of it). I reminded her that it was between two NAs, so she had no jurisdiction.

    She made it clear that they would block it if there was no app. I was utterly stunned at the pointless power grab, but being an associate, I dutifully notified the partner. She said to file the app, which essentially meant we submitted to the jurisdiction of the CT state banking department on a matter over which they had no jurisdiction. I thought it was comical.

    The client, being a former senate finance committee attorney, was confused, but agreed to it in order to keep the peace (said client is now at Treasury). The OCC however went nuts, and their examiner called me to lay us out for filing with the state. The partner that ordered the filing is now an Asst. Gen. Counsel at Bank of America. The attorney for the state of CT worked for Blumenthal at the time, who has shown a cavalier disregard for facts.

  50. 30 year realtor says:

    JJ #43 – Historical levels? When did their evaluation of history begin? It is a brave new world. We need to be very careful about what segments of the past we calculate the future on.

    Unlike you, I believe there is a crisis of confidence related to real estate in this country. It is more than fear that what I buy today will be worth less tomorrow. The problems are deeper and will not be cured via QE 2. Just because dollars are worth less and it takes more dollars to buy an ounce of gold or a gallon of oil does not mean it will take more dollars to buy the “American Dream”.

    I have read your comments about people “like you” not knowing what to do with all that cash. Have to disagree. That won’t be our ticket out of the real estate problems!

  51. SG says:

    Barbara: I have program that goes thru this crappy hundreds of listing and re-arranges it for me based on how close list price to realistic price. That cuts down the clutter significantly. If you are interested, Grim has my email. I can run it for you and send report.

  52. NJGator says:

    Grim – You’ve got mail.

  53. JJ says:

    What does the economy or QE2 have to do with housing? Big Ben wants to bring back jobs and keep the economy rolling. Peoples medical, pensions, 401Ks, bonds and stocks value and most importantly stability of jobs and good jobs as well as being able to pay for their kids education are the real worries.

    The worth of my house is an imaginary worry. If my house was worth one million or one dollar what do I care. I am not a real estate investor. It is just a stack of sticks I bought to have a place to live and at the time it was cheaper than renting, it still is cheaper than renting. I don’t plan on cashing out. Most old people who live in their house mortgage free and plan to be taking out of the house in a hearse say my home value is my kids problem.

    from 1997-2007 Gen X and trade up baby booomers drank the housing only rises koolaid. I never drank the koolaid.

    Realtors are generally not good investors. I met so many who invest in housing, if when housing tanks you lose your job why would you want all you money in housing. Serious concentration risk.

    BTW article in WSJ today about insurance companies who usually stick to shorter term bonds average maturity 3-5 who are worried that all the 2009 bonds they feasted on when rates were high may have to get invested in 2012 at 1/4 the rate. Rates can’t stay this low forever, life insurers, pension plans, fire and homeowners insurance must invest prems at a good rate in order to keep prems low and pension funds who have like 50% of money in 10 year bonds needs rates not to stay too low or they will be underfunded. Big Ben telegraphed the free fall in rates. People responded by moving money market money and one year cd money to five year cds, ten year treasuries and 5-15 year corporate and muni bonds. However, that income stream is getting reinvested at lower returns and the 2008/2009 bonds will start maturing in 2011-2015 and if rates stay low too long Mr. Retiree who was pretty smart by going a little more long term will have a delayed crushing.

    I got called out on 20K of bonds in last two weeks as a result of QE2, average coupon 10%. If I have to reinvest at a 5% coupon. I lost $1,000 a year interest income. That keeps up too long we will all be eating in Friendly’s with the mexicans, I will take a taco sunday and a refried burger please.

    30 year realtor says:
    November 8, 2010 at 10:21 am

    JJ #43 – Historical levels? When did their evaluation of history begin? It is a brave new world. We need to be very careful about what segments of the past we calculate the future on.

    Unlike you, I believe there is a crisis of confidence related to real estate in this country. It is more than fear that what I buy today will be worth less tomorrow. The problems are deeper and will not be cured via QE 2. Just because dollars are worth less and it takes more dollars to buy an ounce of gold or a gallon of oil does not mean it will take more dollars to buy the “American Dream”.

    I have read your comments about people “like you” not knowing what to do with all that cash. Have to disagree. That won’t be our ticket out of the real estate problems!

  54. joyce says:

    (33)

    Love it, great comment

  55. Anon E. Moose says:

    30-yr [50];

    I think it is a failure of the economic model of the real estate sales indusrty. Agents get paid more only if the sales prices go up. Enables by flaky lending in the first half of the decade, sheeple were convinced to bet ALL of their money on the house. Compare the pre-quals to what sanity would dictate. Even if it worked out as planned, there would have been no disposable income left A) for necessary maintenance of the house; B) Other large purchases – furniture, new car, vacation; and C) no margin for any income interruption.

    There’s a joke about several hobbies (one of mine included) – How much money does it take? All of it. I’m tired of sellers asking for ‘all of it’ from every person who they grace with an audicence in their ‘palace’. Then I hear them complain about how their kids don’t stay in the neighborhood/move away, etc.; no young families showing up to church – even if they showed, would they have anything left to give? Cognitive dissonance much?

  56. Xroads says:

    Chifi
    Try townhouse complexes in montville. I don’t know prices but certainly fits the 15 minutes to denville criteria

  57. 30 year realtor says:

    JJ #53 – What does the economy or QE2 have to do with housing? I’ll have to assume that you meant to make a different point because the answer to that question appears too obvious.

    My point was historical patterns have little meaning in relation to housing because what we are currently experiencing is not cyclical. The normal or historical rules do not apply. Wasn’t talking about the value of your house, more like the article you cut and pasted was pointless. QE 2 comments were in relation to your comments over recent days indicating that the impact of QE 2 would loosen spending and buying real estate would be making a comeback.

  58. 30 year realtor says:

    Moose, the problem is that you take the whole buyer seller thing personally. The sellers you speak of are the antithesis of you, but the problem is the same. Residential real estate is not about buying for the least or selling for the most, it is about making a very broad life decision that encompasses far more important matters. Buying a home you can afford is an essential element of the process, but not the only element.

  59. JJ says:

    I still don’t get it. Unless I am buying or selling a house or am a real estate investor who cares about home values. The Fed only cares about stability or at least it is a slow and orderly fall. They just don’t want massive losses from banks or Fannie and Freddie losing a ton or their own huge balance sheet of MBS getting impacted. If home prices have zero appreciation for next few years best of both worlds.

    30 year realtor says:
    November 8, 2010 at 11:03 am

    JJ #53 – What does the economy or QE2 have to do with housing? I’ll have to assume that you meant to make a different point because the answer to that question appears too obvious.

  60. 30 year realtor says:

    JJ #59 – “They just don’t want massive losses from banks or Fannie and Freddie losing a ton or their own huge balance sheet of MBS getting impacted.”

    This is a SO WHAT? A MINOR DETAIL? This is what I am talking about! The entire economy going forward hinges on this minor detail.

    Who cares about the value of your house or anyone else’s? This is a broken economy issue, not a real estate issue!

  61. Anon E. Moose says:

    30-yr [58];

    Personally – you bet. That ‘personal’ aspect has been weaponized. When you convince me that “offensive” has been eradicated from the used-house salesman’s arsenal, we can talk about not taking it personally.

    As I look at it, a ‘good deal’ is only a good deal if its a good deal for both/all parties. When I hear that the seller wouldn’t dream of buying their house at its current price, ergo its a bad deal for the buyer. And even if the seller doesn’t admit it, they proved through their demonstrated actions when they themselves bought at considerably lower price/income multiples.

    Furthermore, I’ve had to sit in less than ideal circumstances while this has been going on. If the NAR were to cast my life into one of their commercials I would/should have bought a house in 2005 – fresh out of grad school, good job, 1st kid just born. Had I done so I would have been sucker of the century. I think I would still be a sucker to now say ‘OK, coming back to normal, time to buy’. I want to buy on the downside overshoot, as compensation for the sh!tstorm I’ve had to weather.

  62. JJ says:

    It is a minor issue, home prices have stablized. Being flat in prices for a few years until inflation makes them affordable seems to be the way out. Being a realtor you are overly focused on 16% of a persons net worth.

    Lets say a person has a one million net worth and real estate falls 20%.

    That means he loses 20% of $160,0000 or $32,000. Sad but no big deal, Stocks.Bonds fall 20% it is a much greater impact.

    RE ain’t no big deal. Most nuts I know with one million dollar homes only have like 50K equity in them.

  63. Tom says:

    30 Year:

    “Residential real estate is not about buying for the least or selling for the most, it is about making a very broad life decision that encompasses far more important matters. Buying a home you can afford is an essential element of the process, but not the only element.”

    NAR would be very proud that you’re regurgitating their surroundsound propaganda.

    “Home ownership is more than a financial investment – it’s an investment in a family’s well being and future”

    Don’t forget to tell people they’re a horrible parent if they don’t own a home. :)

  64. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: Think about that one…..remember the guys writing these reports are idiots…..

    My off-the-cuff guess……$500K investable assets; $500K house with $400K mortgage….= $100K net house…..so NET WORTH = $600K of which $100K is house…..sounds like fcuked calculus to me, but maybe there is more thought than I give credit….

    47.JJ says:
    November 8, 2010 at 10:09 am
    How many people on this site are overinvested or underinvested in real estate if the average is 16% of net worth? We have a lot of all in or all out on this site.

  65. chicagofinance says:

    56.Xroads says:
    November 8, 2010 at 11:01 am
    Chifi
    Try townhouse complexes in montville. I don’t know prices but certainly fits the 15 minutes to denville criteria

    thank you

  66. Al Gore says:

    Silver just busted through the 27 resistance. JP Morgan and HSBC will fail. Feel the squeeze.

  67. Juice Box says:

    re # 62- JJ it is not a “minor issue” if the entire Housing sector from Home Builders, Mortgage Companies, Realtors, Bag-holders and the Banks are depending on $30 Billion a month of Fed intervention in the MBS markets alone.

    Tell me when if ever inflation is going to bring back the real investors?

    sa·yo·na·ra suckers..

  68. Barbara says:

    Carpeting in the bathroom makes baby Jesus cry. Sellers, take note.

    http://www.trulia.com/property/3029299447-214-Linden-Ave-Glen-Ridge-NJ-07028

  69. JJ says:

    Citi’s report is pretty through, includes value current value of 401Ks, whole life, pensions, annuities, unvested stock etc.

    People always under estimate their net worth. I added mine up recently and I have orphan 401ks and orphan cash balance pensions from prior jobs that are worth more than my current house.
    People should also add in their current value of their future social security payments.

    The cash in bank and stocks in brokerage account is tip of ice berg. Heck half of Bergan County has 100K of cars and boats in their driveway alone.

    chicagofinance says:
    November 8, 2010 at 11:41 am

    JJ: Think about that one…..remember the guys writing these reports are idiots…..

    My off-the-cuff guess……$500K investable assets; $500K house with $400K mortgage….= $100K net house…..so NET WORTH = $600K of which $100K is house…..sounds like fcuked calculus to me, but maybe there is more thought than I give credit….

  70. Juice Box says:

    re #61 – Moose and Realtor the point has been beaten to death here and elsewhere.

    I am also tired of woe is me coming from the bagholders, most of them put more time into planning their vacation than “very broad life decision that encompasses far more important matters. ”

    I am also tired of the the investor class bellyaching about their bad decisions in MBS/CDOs etc. Due diligence was not performed when they invested in junk securities most did not read the prospectus they were too busy playing golf and partying.

    Others may be enjoying this moment of I told you so call it schadenfreude if you like, but many of us here and elsewhere actually have a concern for the future beyond the bellyaching going on. They were taken sure both the home buyer and the MBS buyer are the bagholders now. The government has thrown them enough life lines already, time to bust this one out so we can move on already for the good of the economy.

  71. poor guy says:

    this house was a good bargain and went to contract very fast-perhaps more than asking. I guess buyers did not mind the carpet

    barbara 68
    Carpeting in the bathroom makes baby Jesus cry. Sellers, take note.

  72. Anon E. Moose says:

    Juice [70];

    Amen, brother.

  73. Barbara says:

    poorguy,
    that price wasn’t bad at all for glen ridge, I just wanted to comment generally about carpeted bathrooms and baby Jesus.

  74. # 39 – You should know better than that. “Data” is not the plural of “anecdote”.

    Hmm, lack of clarity on my part. I wasn’t trying to represent it as anything other than that. Only noting that there have been cases where non-deadbeats have been caught up in this mess.

  75. #71 – Carpeting in the bathroom makes baby Jesus cry.

    Presumably, from the smell.

  76. Schrodinger's cat says:

    30 yr 57

    I disagree. i think this is still very much cyclical the difference being that we have distorted the cycle so severely on the upside we will probably see some wild oscillations until the cycle dampens to its normal range. I have housing data going back to the 1920’s and the great depression didnt destroy the cycle, only distorted it like pushing to hard on a string. there is an approx 18 year housing cycle that has existed for about 150 years it has survived through industrialization, through the great depression and i strongly suspect it will handily survive through the destruction of the $.

  77. JJ says:

    hope it is brown carpeting with a yellow pattern.

  78. safe as houses says:

    #68 Barbara

    That house actually looks pretty nice. Any old house you have to figure 15 to 20k in cosmetic and infrastructure work right away. Most likely those are hardwood floors under the carpets in the other rooms and tile or hardwood under the bathroom carpet. Removing carpet requires very little skill. Just time. And ripping out wallpaper and repainting a room isn’t a big deal. I think with 4 to 5k and 100 to 150 hours of work the average person could buy all the tools and supplies to remove the carpet and wallpaper themselves, repaint the formerly wallpapered rooms, and hire a pro to refinish the newly exposed hardwood floors. I bet a similar house without wallpaper and carpeting would be 10% more.

    The big costs are the roof, sidings, electrical, plumbing, heating, etc.

    The problem is most people look at carpeting and wallpaper and turn up their nose, but its stuff you can fix on your own , while ignoring the soundness of the structure, infrastructure storage and closet space, flow of the rooms etc. The sheeple will gladly pay a lot more for a house with hardwood floors and fresh paint not caring or realizing the siding, roof, and furnace are nearing the end of their useful life.

  79. joyce says:

    (69)
    Future value of SS payments… really? What is the FV of something when you include in the calculations an inflation risk premium of 1000%?

  80. Barbara says:

    safe, I know all of that. I own several older homes and I’m currently looking for a historic fixer that hasn’t been completely molested by the 1970s. Still…..carpeting…..in the bathroom…what were people thinking?

  81. Thundaar says:

    At ‘NARdiGras,’ Realtors Party Like It’s 2005
    By Dawn Wotapka
    National Association of Realtors
    The nation’s real-estate agents partied Thursday night like it was 2005: During a Mardi Gras-themed bash at their annual convention–dubbed ‘NARdiGras‘–they cast aside the housing crash and wined and dined to live jazz music.

    “We really wanted to take a moment to catch our breath,” said Ron Phipps, the national organization’s incoming president and a Rhode Island broker. “It has been a very challenging year and this is our chance to step away from the challenge and celebrate the gift of each other.”

    And step away they did. From more than 150 tables covered in beads, masks and party hats, agents and their friends noshed on classic local fare including gumbo, shrimp etouffee and po-boy sandwiches.

    As they let loose, a parade stunned and delighted the guests. Floats filled with disguised agents tossing beads wound through the room. A local high-school marching band followed.

    “It’s an absolute blast,” said Doug Covill, a Sacramento, Calif., agent attending his first Realtor conference. “It’s not what I expected.”

    Attendees were treated to clowns, caricatures and tarot readings. Given that Realtors are known– and occasionally mocked–for their optimism, we’re sure those mystical cards showed that 2011 will be good to housing.

    Of course, the agents realize things remain tough in the real world and sector’s the pain will be felt well into the new year. Indeed, the Realtors said Friday that pending-home sales, which cover contracts signed, fell in September, retreating after two monthly gains. Part of the trouble comes from disruptions due to the foreclosure moratorium, which will only prolong the crisis. Carl Reichardt, a home-builder analyst with Wells Fargo, noted that “more significant negative changes will be seen next month, as the moratoria more likely impacted October sales rather than September.” That could make the typically slow holiday home-selling season even slower.

    Meanwhile, the same stubborn stumbling blocks remain: Home values have plunged leading frustrated home owners to abandon their homes. Lenders’ requirements for mortgages have grown ultra tight. Unemployment remains near 10%.

    “Before we had a mortgage problem, now we’re feeling the effects of unemployment,” said Mr. Covill. “Buyer confidence is low.”

    Susan Goldy, who owns a Bronx, NY, brokerage, agreed: “The recovery has been fragile. … Every single [deal] is fraught with some sort of difficulty.”

    But, that wasn’t the primary topic of conversation in the decorated conference-center. For a few hours, at least, as Realtors drank, danced and laughed. (One agent even told this Developments blogger to loosen up.)

    “They work hard and they play hard,” Ms. Goldy explained.

  82. 30 year realtor says:

    Tom #63 – NAR sucks. You are correct about them and their BS.

    I believe that this NJ market has much more depreciation ahead. Market will likely drag along the bottom for years after the remainder of the blood letting is done.

    I also believe there are people who benefit from buying a home due to life situation, even under the current market conditions. If you read Moose’s reply to the comment you reacted to, there is a sacrifice to putting your life on hold in the housing department. Just because I recognise this reality does not make me an NAR parrot.

  83. Tom says:

    Barabara,

    “carpeting…..in the bathroom…what were people thinking?”

    Older homes like that have cast iron radiators (as seen in the photos). Cast iron radiators are nice because their mass retains heat longer but for the same reason take longer to heat up.

    In the days before automatic thermostats the tile floors in the winter would be very uncomfortable in the morning.

    I agree it’s nasty. Thankfully there’s the option of radiant floor heating and the cheap fix. A $20 pair of slippers.

  84. Lamar says:

    30 year (58)-

    You remind me of me, about four years ago.

    These days? All I can say is, I appreciate your civility.

    Me? I’m ready to go to the mattresses at the drop of a hat.

  85. dan says:

    Chifi,

    There are a couple of townhouse complexes in Rockaway/Denville area. I think there’s a Regency in Denville and 55+ Fox Hill near Rockaway Mall that’s within 10 minute of Denville. I’m also thinking of Senior Housing on Eisenhower Parkway in Livingston between Route 10 and 280 whose name I can’t remember but was pretty pricey and built in last five years.

  86. Tom says:

    Lamar,

    FYI. Did you realize your domain has expired?

    30:

    “NAR sucks. You are correct about them and their BS.”

    OK apologies then for lumping you in with the rest of the flock.

  87. chicagofinance says:

    True story….
    Some concern on reports of people queuing outside branches of BBVA in Madrid. EUR very soft.
    Bank run? YES!
    http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2010/11/05/395906/its-a-fun-run-not-a-bank-run/

  88. Anon E. Moose says:

    30-yr [82];

    If you read Moose’s reply to the comment you reacted to, there is a sacrifice to putting your life on hold in the housing department.

    Yes there is. No less that the ‘hardship’ due the deadbeats by way of vacating my house – but there seems to be n oimit to how much of my money the government is hell bent on spending to forestall that reality. That hardship is also why I expect to be well compensated by way of a crying low price when I do purchase.

  89. Mike says:

    30 Year No. 58 Try telling that to the flippers

  90. Tom says:

    Anon E. Mouse

    “No less that the ‘hardship’ due the deadbeats by way of vacating my house “

    Why are you and some others so hard on the ‘deadbeats’? That’s a pretty simplistic view of the housing mess. There was a lot that went into creating the mess we’re in today than just a bunch of people not paying their mortgages.

    That’s like if a random person you never met before came up to you on the street and asked to borrow $1,000, which you gave them without checking their ability to pay you back. Then when they don’t pay you back you call them a deadbeat. Someone else might call you an idiot for lending the money without checking their finances in the first place.

    One person not being able to pay their note doesn’t ruin the market. A whole industry setting up conditions without regard to consequences, coupled with regulators that left it up to banks to police themselves while thwarting efforts of state gov’ts to fix the problem….. That’s the type of recipe that can make a real s*** cake.

    During the peak-end of the bubble we had a former bank lobbyist in charge of regulating lenders and then a former bank CEO in charge of printing money and manging the public debt. Did people really think this is how the problem should be fixed?

  91. Schrodinger's cat says:

    Who wants to hijack clots domain!?!?! Who feels lucky, PUNK!!!

  92. Anon E. Moose says:

    Tom [90];

    Between someone like me and someone like the deadbeats, one party got to live in the housing of their chosing since c. 2005, the other party did not. One party failed to pay monthly as agreed for their living arrangements, one party paid religiously. Cast in that light, most honest people would be suprised to learn that the deadbeats are the first party in both cases. I couldn’t be happier than to see the deadbeats living under a f***ing bridge, but I don’t really want that or much care where they live once they vacate my house. Towards that end I can say with personal experience that renting a residence is not a social disease – though one would have thought so to hear them talk five years ago.

  93. NJGator says:

    Barbara 68 – We passed at looking at that place. You can rip out parking but you can’t grow a yard unless you have the money to buy out your neighbors and knock their house down. And it’s also directly across the street from Linden Ave School. Only K-2, but probably gets busy and noisy especially at drop off and dismissal times.

    Speaking of schools, Lil Gator’s bus decided not to show up today. So Stu and I got to experience the “drop line” for cars at his school for the very first time. Man those stay at home moms with mini vans and hybrid SUVs are ruthless, crazy drivers.

  94. NJGator says:

    oops…94 – parking s/b carpeting.

  95. Moose,
    I appreciate your stance, but in the end its not significantly different then being one of the last people on the deck of the titanic complaining that they didnt shove their way to a life boat but waited in an orderly line, and why did you miss getting in a life boat for doing the right thing.
    In the end it doesnt matter if you missed the life boat because you were unlucky or because you were nice (ethical). Enjoy the band while it still plays and dont worry you have lots of company. Plenty of those that played nice as well as those that tried to cheat will end up on the bottom.

  96. Anon E. Moose says:

    Tom [90];

    And it’s “Moose”, two o’s, no u.

    So someone walks up the the perfectly honest deadbeat and loans him some sum of money that he really can’t afford to repay. If the perfectly honest deadbeat wants to make it right, he can just give the money back. Except the perfectly honest deadbeat spent the cash on hookers, blow and — oh yeah, a house or two. Your example makes it sound like the deadbeats had a gun to their head at the closing table.

    Nobody had a gun to their head – everybody played along because at every step of the way it was OPM – Other People’s Money. Party’s over, bill’s due, to the deadbeats, to their (now mostly un-/under/alternately-empoyed) realtors and mortgage brokers, to the banksters and to the investors. They all seem content to stick the taxpayer (i.e., non-homeowning, non-mortgage tax ducuction-taking me) with the check, while deadbeat keeps the house, realtor keeps their Lexus, banksters keep the Greenwich house, and investor gets paid off at par.

  97. JJ says:

    SS in indexed for inflation and does not run out until you run out.

    joyce says:
    November 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    (69)
    Future value of SS payments… really? What is the FV of something when you include in the calculations an inflation risk premium of 1000%?

  98. joyce says:

    Moose-
    Stop saying “my house” and stop acting like you’re the ONLY one who didn’t buy a few years ago.

  99. Barbara says:

    Gator, did not realize the lot was so small. I only accept micro yards if the property is park front. I won’t have to mow it either.

  100. joyce says:

    (98)
    Do you believe in the tooth fairy as well? The government/FED keeps “changing” the CPI to make it better. Better for themselves and the banks. Prices in the supermarket have steadily been going up. Yet, SS has been flat the last two years.

    Core CPI (CPI minus food & energy)… no one needs to eat or heat their home

  101. JJ says:

    MBS buyers at full price back in 2003-2007 were often widows and orphans who relied on their broker dealer recommendation and were misguided by the triple AAA investment rating given to them by Moodys or S&P. They had muni bonds, investment grade bonds, CDs and insured money markets in 2000-2003. When the fed drove interest rates down they were searching for yield and somehow ended up in MBS and stuff like auction rate securities.

    Don’t confuse these people with traders. These retirees often went 100% in GM bonds, MBS or Auction Rate or Lehman Principal Protection bonds as they thought there were investment grade or near cash equivalent. Even worst they were taking on triple CCC junk bond risk with investment grade yield.

    I had a broker back in 2006 who talked me into a 5k Citibank Principal Protection bond at par , I saw it fall like to 65 cents for a few months and now it is at 102. Sad part is so many retail investors after lehman sold the Citi Principal Protection bonds at 65. They will never get that money back. Broker was telling me clients back in 2006 were buying like 100K of this, he even sold his mother this. Sadly it turns out in the end his Mother and me were his only clients who did not sell, the rest are mad at him. Typical wall st. he goes I don’t understand why I told them not to sell.

    So many retail investors lost so much money selling income producing stocks and bonds in late 2008 and early 2009. That is the real cause of a lot of people panic. Not housing. Look at the fools who tendered over one billion of Ford Bonds at 30 cents on a dollar in April 2009. Even more amazing, a 30 year Ford Bond with a 9% coupon tendering the person got 30K for a 100K bond, plus gave up $270,000 in interest payments on top of the 70K loss they booked. I know brokers who were arguing with people you did not sell at 90, 80,70,60,50,40 or 35 whey are you getting out at 30? They did not care. Most won’t publicly admit they made these huge errors. In 2009 I bought a lot of small lots 1k to 10k real cheap, I know retail investors who panic were on other side of trade. I felt bad for them. But in reality I was one of few buyers out there and by me buying was driving up secondary prices, I was doing the lords work.

  102. NJGator says:

    Barbara – yup – it’s non existent – 68 feet deep. There’s a little something on the side, but nothing really useable. Stu and I would actually prefer a small property to keep the taxes more manageable and this one was still too small for us.

  103. Anon E. Moose says:

    Joyce [99];

    “My house”

    I consider it taking personal ownership of the solution to the country’s housing problem. “Personal Ownership” – just like all those management gurus yak about; and kind of like how everyone seemed to believe that every person owning their own home was good for America — turns out used house salesmen, builders, politicians, etc., don’t believe it so much if the price isn’t sky high – which makes me question the obvious motivation for their ‘belief’ system in the first place.

    And Lord knows the Deadbeats wont take ownership of the problem or the solution, and probably can’t afford to take ownership of much more than a 5¢ piece of Bazooka.

  104. safe as houses says:

    #80 Barbara,

    They forgot to match the toilet cover.

  105. JJ says:

    http://community.nasdaq.com/News/2010-11/is-general-motors-a-buy.aspx?storyid=43969

    I hate GM, the IPO is looking to be a sure fire money maker. But somehow I don’t trust “the man”. I can’t pull the trigger, why is that?

  106. safe as houses says:

    I wonder what’s the story with this house.

    http://www.trulia.com/property/3033615696-27-Lexington-Dr-Livingston-NJ-07039

    4 bed 1.5 bath at 379k. Similar house covered in old carpet and wallpaper 1 block over went for 439k in Oct 09. A small 3 bedroom colonial 2 streets over that had gotten the HGTV treatment but had a weird shaped lot went for 439k in July 2010.

  107. nj escapee says:

    Clinton native guesses 7-word phrase with a single letter on ‘Wheel of Fortune

    http://www.nj.com/news/local/index.ssf/2010/11/clinton_native_guesses_wheel_s.html

  108. Lamar says:

    barb (73)-

    carpeted bathroom = mold factory

  109. Juice Box says:

    re: #106 – JJ – liquor up and pull the trigger on that ugly pig.

    GM Sales are up so party like it’s 1999.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/11/gm-sales-top-forcasts-core-brands-up-13/

  110. Anon E. Moose says:

    Socialism on the March! As a prominent leader once said, never let a crisis go to waste.

    “[I]nvestigating complaints that construction companies and real estate firms are illegally charging buyers high interest on unfinished apartments, even though the buyers settled on a price years ago and made down payments” Chavez seizes the complexes as government housing.

    Of course, I’m sure that the people who made those down payments will be the ones installed in the now government-owned apartments, political connections notwithstanding, and the government will competently finish the units to the highest workmanlike standards, just like public housing everywhere else in the world its been tried.

    At least that Chavez guy makes no bones about what he’s doing.

  111. NJGator says:

    For those of you keeping score at home, this is third drug bust near Montclair’s prestigious new $30M school since opening day on September 13.

    Bust #1 was for crack, #2 heroin, #3 was for ecstasy. Any wagers on date and drug for the next one?

    http://www.baristanet.com/2010/11/drug-arrest-near-bullock-school/#comment-243473

  112. Al,

    Those bullion banks carrying the shorts must be hitting the bat phone straight to timmy and bergabe about now.

  113. Gator 113

    Look at the bright side, the drugs are becoming more high class. Crack is for loser bums who live in east orange, heroin is generally a higher end play thing as is ecstasy amongst the youth.

  114. Making use of radar know-how, PARKTRONIC with Car parking Help debuted on S-Class automobiles, and is now accessible around the E-Class Coupe. The very first factor it does is aid you discover a car parking area.

    Utilizing radar know-how, PARKTRONIC with Car parking Help debuted on S-Class autos.

    Sideways-inclined detectors around the front bumper report the length of a car parking room as you drive by it (at speeds as much as 35 km/h)!!! If it is a large sufficient area, a green light is signaled around the show, which can be mounted on prime from the dash, straight beneath the rear view.

    you are able to verify at:
    [url=http://www.parkingassistant.co.uk]parking sensors[/url]

  115. JJ says:

    Juice box, in 2010 GM is largest sell of cars and trucks in USA. Ford is the number 2 seller of cars and trucks in the USA.

    GM wiped out debt, did massive lay-offs, cleaned up balance sheet and unloaded retiree healthcare costs to union plus first 50 million in profits are tax free in new company.

    The Volt and the Cruz are going to be huge hits. I may buy some as a moral compass should never get in the way of making money, in this case I am helping the US Govt and widows and orphans and tax payers.

  116. Juice Box says:

    re #117 – JJ Big Brother US Gov would need to sell their GM position at something like $124 a share to break even. They will be holding for a while because the Turbo Timmay does not want to show a loss.

    I disagree on the Volt. The price point is too high and the Tree Huggers aren’t gonna spring for 40k large for what they can get in a Prius for 22k.

  117. JJ says:

    Shows how far the S Class has fallen!!!! Back in the 90s’s when I hit the clubs in my mercedes sl top down followed by my buddy in his Porsche 911 top down. (yes we took two cars!!! Hard to bring home girls in a two seater if both seats are filled). I never worried where to park. I had your driveway, your front lawn, the sidewalk, firelane.

    A SL or 911 back in the day parked where ever the heck it wanted to park. Heck my owners manual warned me about parking in tall grass as cat convert might cause a fire. In Brooklyn at both Pastels, Turquis and Vegas diner I parked on the sidewalk, Heck at Pastels the bouncer yelled hey Vinnie get your damm Monte SS off the sidewalk we got an SL coming in. Heck I never got ticketed. Heck I never locked it. I parked the damm thing on the Kennedy’s lawn once in Southampton.

    It is very sad that an SL that costs over 100K should have to look for a spot. Damm little Jap boxes should move out of the way. This is america afterall. Now days you need a Rolls or a Ferrari to park where you want. I miss the 1992 recession when I was king of the road. Don’t make me smoke you at 90 mph. Like when some lexus tried to pass me and I lit it up. How dare he, if I was driving ten miles an hour he should know when he see the big Mercedes start the right of way if built in and I only move over for Italian supercars. I need a Ferrari now.

    hispBoashitte says:
    November 8, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Making use of radar know-how, PARKTRONIC with Car parking Help debuted on S-Class automobiles, and is now accessible around the E-Class Coupe. The very first factor it does is aid you discover a car parking area.

  118. JJ says:

    Juice Box so young and innocent. You just hit the value proposition on the head.

    GM gets IPO’d at 29, USA has a ton left to sell on the open market at $124 to break even. USA needs to do everything it can to get that stock up higher and higher so they can slowly unload on open market.

    Volt is a “shock and awe” car, you can’t compare it to a Prius. It is a lights out knock them down everyone on the parking lot come look at me car for 2011. Prius is old hat.
    The Chevy Cruz is a much better deal than Prius anyhow, at 16K it has a lot more shock and awe than a Prius.

    Prius sucks, I drove one, cloth seats, roll-up windows shoebox, about as fun to drive as an 1982 chevette. I think the Chevette got better miles per gallon.

    Juice Box says:
    November 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    re #117 – JJ Big Brother US Gov would need to sell their GM position at something like $124 a share to break even. They will be holding for a while because the Turbo Timmay does not want to show a loss.

    I disagree on the Volt. The price point is too high and the Tree Huggers aren’t gonna spring for 40k large for what they can get in a Prius for 22k.

  119. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Took two years but Ambac just filed

  120. Juice Box says:

    re: #120 JJ – Volt looks just like the Cruze check the pics. 16k Cruze vs 40k Volt? Hah, Treehuggers will be getting taken for a ride on this one.

    Chevy can only make 10k Volts a year in the Obama funded Detroit plant which may be bumped to 30k a year in 2012. Just saying the labor is US and the assembly plant is in Detroit where pot and beer breaks are the norm, you will be lucky if the wheels don’t fall off as you drive it out of the showroom, just like in that 1980s movie Gung Ho.

  121. wallies says:

    Any realtors – or anyone on this board – have any experience with sellers bringing cash to close? Just wondering if it’s starting to happen more frequently.

  122. Barbara says:

    wallies, why bring 50k in cash when you can walk away for free WITH the 50k? No, its not really happening.

  123. Barbara says:

    Gator, Stu – Let’s open up a ‘spensive gourmet sannich shoppe!

    http://www.trulia.com/property/3034027162-183-Glenridge-Ave-Montclair-NJ-07042

  124. Simon says:

    All this talk about carpeting in the bathroom. No one mentions the 16.5 K in taxes for a 450k house, Assuming 20% down at current rates, 45% of PITI is T.

    That’s more disgusting than 20 year old sh*t stained carpet

  125. Lamar says:

    babs (125)-

    Wonder how many weeks it took for the cooks, the waiters and the hosts to rob that place blind.

    Or, how long it took for the owner to stuff the cash flow up his nose.

    Somebody should toss a grenade into that dump and do the whole town a favor.

  126. Lamar says:

    simon (126)-

    I think we’re all so jaded here that obvious shitboxes are duly (and silently) noted. Then we move on, looking for fresh human brains to eat…and poison ivy cures.

  127. Lamar says:

    Sorry for the zombie reference. I’m now hooked on The Walking Dead.

  128. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    CHECK THIS OUT!!!

    Don’t Worry, I’m a Vice-President (Of Two Dozen Companies)

    Management in NTC told the deponent they had the authority to sign on behalf of these firms…..

    He’s also signing as a Vice-President – and can’t list all of them (2:00 in roughly) (!!) – “Chase/Morgan, Wells-Fargo, I’m on pretty much every corporate resolution.” (Ed: Must be nice to be a VP and not get paid by the company you’re a vice-president of, eh?)

    Oh, and he signs as a Notary in one case, and as a Vice-President in another…..

    “I’m a Vice-President of Citi Residential Lending for signing purposes only” smiley

    Oh, and he signs as “attorney in fact” for Argent Mortgage too, but he’s never personally seen the corporate resolution authorizing that. (5:30) And when questioned as to what “attorney in fact” means, he doesn’t seem to have a good grasp of that….. smiley

    6:40 – He doesn’t know what an “Assignment of Mortgage” is, but he executed at least a few… why that’s impressive… signing something but he doesn’t know what it is!

    7:45 – 5,000 documents a day?! (That has to be a mistake, right?)

    9:00 – 10:00ish – Document preparation takes place outside of his presence and knowledge….

    7:00 – Admits to an apparent “signature” that was a facsimile (“e-record”) which was outside of his actual knowledge (that is, it appears, if I’m hearing it right, he didn’t actually know anything about it.) Oh, and he never had an office at, or received a check from, the company he was a “VP” of smiley

    10:30 – Admits that management decides when (and whether) to electronically use his signature and he’s not consulted in the decision…. (getting nervous eh, are ‘ya Deponent? smiley)

    follow the link for the video of the deposition

    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=171620

  129. Brian says:

    JJ re: GM – I only follow the auto market as it reflects US consumer activity, so it’s not my area of expertise, but I’m telling people to really think long and hard about GM before diving in. I don’t have to tell you that stocks can often trade irrationally and that may very well be the case with GM, but I’ve read that much of GM’s “resurgence” was due to fleet sales to rental cos (and gov’t purchases).

    Fleet sales tend to be very lumpy.

    Autonews covered the story here — http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100809/RETAIL01/308099960/1401

    I also tend to avoid companies with S-1’s exceeding 500 pages, but that’s just a personal preference :)

  130. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    This is a nice little one as well

    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=171609

  131. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    You dont need to be fluent in english or to read the documents before signing legal documents….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fKuKJ-IpmI&feature=player_embedded#!

  132. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Check out the video at 7:00 in the video i linked at 133.

  133. NJGator says:

    Barbara 125 – I’ve actually been in there before. Had to shame the owners into turning on the AC on an almost 100 degree day for a 9 months pregnant woman.

  134. Lamar says:

    Time to arrest Bergabe, audit the Fed, and then disband it.

    “Time to begin the Chairman impeachment proceedings. It is one thing for blogs like Zero Hedge to argue (rightly) for the past 1.5 years that the Fed’s actions in the Treasury space are nothing but direct debt monetizations. After all, one can always argue semantics, as some peers have enjoyed doing in the past. Yet when an actual Federal Reserve Fed President, in this case Dallas Fed’s Dick Fisher states it without any trace of hiding the underlying intent, then things get a little serious. To wit: “For the next eight months, the nation’s central bank will be monetizing the federal debt.” It gets worse: even though Fisher realizes that what he is doing is unconstitutional, he also admits that the Fed’s actions are now is effectively a policy tool: “Here is the message: The Fed is going out of its way to be a good citizen. It is time for the Congress to do the same.” In other words, the myth of the Fed’s political independence is now destroyed. All pretense has now gone out of the window as the Fed realizes this is the last “all in” bet. If this fails, it is over. Yet maybe someone in power can precipitate this much needed reset. After all it was Ben Bernanke who testified under oath that the “Federal Reserve will not monetize the debt.” It is time he is impeached and prosecuted for this lie.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/dallas-fed-admits-next-eight-months-nation’s-central-bank-will-be-monetizing-federal-debt-op

  135. Barbara says:

    Lamar,
    I forgot to Tivo that, will have to catch up on Hulu.
    Good call on the coked up restaurant owner. I went to HS with several, only one has been wildly successful, the rest spent it on whores, wives, coke and AC.

  136. Dan says:

    133 yeah just bring the work home and have husband sign as witness.

  137. brewcrew says:

    Saying “Again Regulators Drop the Ball” is akin to saying the Nebraska Cornhuskers dropped the ball against Miami in the 1984 Orange Bowl.

    Hint: google “fumblerooski”

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