“The length and depth of the current housing recession is rivaling the Great Depression”

From Portfolio:

Housing: Bleaker, not Better

Talk about bad news for the thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs dependent on housing and the millions of others indirectly affected by the housing market. In Zillow.com’s latest survey on the state of the U.S. housing market, the situation can be summed up in one word—lousy.

The housing slump, the online real estate company reports today, isn’t only reaching levels not seen for 80 years, it’s actually expected to surpass them.

“While not unexpected, the unceasing declines in home values signal that we’re in for a long, bleak winter of continued troubles for the housing market,” Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries, said in a release. “The length and depth of the current housing recession is rivaling the Great Depression’s real estate downturn, and, with encouraging signs fading, will easily eclipse it in the coming months.”

More people are upside down on their mortgages, foreclosures are on the rise, and housing prices continue to fall in just about every one of the top 25 metropolitan markets.

“The high percentage of homeowners in negative equity continues to be troubling, in that it represents a huge number of people who are not only more vulnerable to foreclosure, but who are essentially trapped in their current homes and are prevented from selling and buying a new home. This has profound implications for future demand and will be a millstone around the neck of the housing market,” Humphries said.

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167 Responses to “The length and depth of the current housing recession is rivaling the Great Depression”

  1. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Most N.J. voters are fine with plan to scrap ARC Hudson River tunnel, poll says

    A new poll finds a majority of New Jersey voters agree with Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to stop construction of a new rail tunnel into Manhattan.

    In the Quinnipiac University Poll released today, 53 percent support the governor’s decision compared to 37 percent who disagree. Even commuters were split, with 50 percent backing Christie and 47 percent supporting the tunnel.

    A Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released Oct. 29 found 51 percent supporting the governor’s decision and 39 percent opposed.

  2. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    U.S. bills New Jersey $271 million for tunnel costs

    The Obama administration wants prompt repayment of more than $270 million in federal grant money dedicated to New Jersey for a rail tunnel to Manhattan that became a political flashpoint when the state withdrew from the project.

    In a letter sent on Monday to New Jersey Transit Executive Director James Weinstein, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) said the state “must immediately repay all the federal assistance” spent so far on the project canceled by Gov. Chris Christie due to costs.

    This includes $271 million, plus interest and penalties, that already had been sent to the state. In addition, FTA is canceling nearly $80 million in funds that were scheduled to be delivered.

    The Obama administration had promised a total of $3 billion in financing for the commuter rail project, which would have become the nation’s largest public works undertaking. The state and the New York and New Jersey Port Authority were also going to put up funds.

  3. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Pay backs a bytch!

  4. grim says:

    Heads they win, tails you lose!

    From the WSJ:

    Mortgage Lenders Set Back in Courts

    The push by mortgage companies to accelerate the snarled foreclosure process is running into resistance from judges who are cracking down on sloppy paperwork.

    In Florida, a state-court judge has begun forcing lawyers to defend fees charged to borrowers by law firms. Maryland’s state appeals court told judges that they can hire experts to scrutinize paperwork filed in foreclosure proceedings—and make lawyers swear that the documents are accurate.

    Since last month, New York has threatened to use “penalties of perjury” against lawyers caught filing bad documents, even if they didn’t know about the problems when the foreclosure process began.

    The moves by dozens of state courts across the U.S. could add to the delays brought about by foreclosure-document crisis. Sales of foreclosed homes have slowed, and mortgage servicers face new expenses as they scramble to shore up their operations.

    Over the long run, borrowers are likely to pay hundreds of dollars in additional fees or slightly higher interest rates, as toughened quality control ripples through the market for new and refinanced mortgages, many experts predict.

    The cost of servicing has gone through the roof, and the legal risks are almost unknowable,” said Dan Cutaia, president of capital markets at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. in Sun Prairie, Wis. As a consequence of rising servicing costs for lenders, “there will be higher pricing for the consumer.

  5. grim says:

    From Newsday:

    Long Island foreclosures stalled in court

    It was over quick in a Nassau courtroom Nov. 9 – a few homes sold as foreclosures while 76 other auctions were held off.

    It’s been more than two weeks since the state’s chief judge ordered attorneys for foreclosing lenders to file sworn statements saying they’ve taken “reasonable steps” to verify details of the case.

    But such filings have been submitted only in about five auction cases out of scores of pending sales, court officials said. That has led to mass postponements of auctions in state court in Mineola, part of an effort to make sure borrowers don’t lose their homes due to lenders’ sloppy documentation, including “robo signing,” in which lenders’ representatives sign foreclosure documents without knowing the facts.

    All this has made buying foreclosures a more risky venture for two real estate investors at the auctions Nov. 9, especially when borrowers challenge their foreclosure judgments after the auctions.

  6. grim says:

    From Zillow:

    Unfortunately, a Bleak Winter Ahead for the Housing Market: Zillow Q3 Real Estate Market Reports

    After some signs of hope last quarter, the Zillow Q3 Real Estate Market Reports brought some grim news. Nationally, home values continued to decline, and several local markets that had been showing strong signs of stabilization took a turn for the worse. A few key facts:

    * U.S. home values continued to decline in the third quarter, falling 4.3 percent year-over-year, and 1.2 percent quarter-over-quarter.

    * With home values 25 percent below their 2006 peak and 17 consecutive quarters of declines, the length and severity of the current downturn is unprecedented since the Great Depression.

    * Negative equity rose to 23.2 percent of single-family homes with mortgages, the highest it has been since Zillow began tracking it in the first quarter of 2009.

    * In five markets, all in California – Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Ventura – home values turned negative quarter-over-quarter after five quarters of gains.

    * Foreclosures reached an all-time high at the end of the third quarter, with more than one out of every 1,000 homeowners losing their homes to foreclosure in September.

  7. grim says:

    From Inman:

    Realogy slips into the red in Q3

    After a strong second quarter, franchise giant Realogy Corp. slipped back into the red in the third quarter, reporting a net loss of $33 million.

    Transaction volumes fell year-over-year both at Realogy’s company-owned brokerages and at brokerages affiliated with Realogy brands but not owned by the company.

    Company-owned brokerages, owned by Realogy subsidiary NRT LLC, operate under the Coldwell Banker, ERA, Corcoran Group and Sotheby’s International Realty brand names.

    These brokerages completed 61,092 transaction sides in the third quarter, down 25 percent from third-quarter 2009. The average home sale price among these brokerages rose 12 percent to $457,782, and the average commission per transaction side dipped slightly to 2.47 percent from 2.49 percent during third-quarter 2009.

    Franchisees closed 229,241 transactions sides in the third quarter, down 19 percent from the same period last year. The average price among franchisees rose 4 percent to $202,272, and the average commission per transaction side remained flat at 2.53 percent.

  8. Al Gore says:

    Ireland 10 years break 8%.

    Its going to be a doomy Wednesday.

  9. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Check this out, judges are starting to acknowledge “show me the note” claims. Now lets see if this spreads. If so the banks are toast.


    If Bank of NY cant produce a clean chain of documentation they cant touch this foreclosure. And robosigned forged documents by non-english speakers dont count.


  10. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Markets looking pretty red this morn, Europe right on cue to send everyone running back to dollar. Ever get the feeling the fix is in, Ha.

  11. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Home values down for 17th straight quarter: report

    U.S. home values fell 4.3% in the third quarter of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, marking the 17th consecutive quarterly decline, according to a report from the online real estate firm Zillow.com. The length and severity of the current downturn is unprecedented since the Great Depression, with home values 25% below their 2006 peak, the report said. The Zillow Home Value Index, down 1.2% from the second quarter, reached $179,900. Of single-family homeowners with mortgages, 23.2% were underwater, the highest since Zillow began tracking negative equity in 2009. The Home Value Index at the national level is calculated using a weighted average of the median home value for each county and includes data from 440 metropolitan statistical areas.

  12. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    Ambac sues U.S. and says IRS may ruin bankruptcy

    Bond insurer Ambac Financial Group Inc has sued the United States to block a seizure of $700 million of tax refunds that it said could destroy its ability to reorganize in bankruptcy court.

    The company said the Internal Revenue Service has been examining and may seek to recoup the refunds, which relate to losses that Ambac suffered from credit default swaps that insured municipal, corporate and asset-backed debt.

    Ambac is seeking a court order letting it keep the refunds, and declaring it has no tax liability from 2003 to 2008.

    “Ambac’s ability to reorganize successfully will be jeopardized or destroyed” if the refunds are seized quickly, Peter Ivanick, a partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP representing Ambac, wrote in Tuesday’s complaint.

    Ambac was once the second-largest U.S. bond insurer and guaranteed payments on more than $550 billion of debt.

    The New York-based company collapsed after suffering huge losses from its guarantees on risky mortgages and other debt.

  13. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Cat 9 This is going to be one hell of a ride if that takes hold. No doubt it will be sited in other courts, enter stage left gov to save banks.

  14. yo'me says:

    Money that should be invested in students, classrooms and fixing infrastructure in Pennsylvania is instead lining the pockets of Wall Street,” Jack Wagner, the state’s auditor general, said in a statement in April after calling on lawmakers to ban swaps. “State and local governments must stop gambling with public money,” he said.

  15. Confused In NJ says:

    Wall Street Takes $4 Billion From Taxpayers as Swaps Backfire
    Share Business ExchangeTwitterFacebook| Email | Print | A A A By Michael McDonald

    Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) — The subprime mortgage crisis isn’t the only calamity Wall Street created that’s upending the finances of U.S. states and cities.

    For more than a decade, banks and insurance companies convinced governments and nonprofits that financial engineering would lower interest rates on bonds sold for public projects such as roads, bridges and schools. That failed promise has cost more than $4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as hundreds of borrowers from the Bay Area Toll Authority in Oakland, California, to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, quietly paid Wall Street to end agreements since 2008.

  16. Yikes says:

    wonder where this guy got these?


    When Phenix City police went to Edwards’ home to serve the warrant, “he ran out of his house with a military-grade distraction device,” Phenix City police Assistant Chief Robert Casteel told the Ledger-Enquirer. “We call it a flash-bang.”

    Edwards, who works with computers at Fort Benning as a civilian contractor, was arrested and extradited to Georgia, and when Phenix City police searched a storage shed on his property, they found explosives from the Army base just outside Columbus.

    “We found actual hand grenades,” Casteel told the newspaper. “They are real hand grenades that have been traced back to Fort Benning.”

  17. Lamar says:

    mike (10)-

    Except the US doesn’t want people running back to the USD.

    You can bet that part of our interface with the “resolution of sovereign debt issues” in the EU will involve some sort of mechanism to keep the EUR/USD high.

    First currency to the bottom wins. Last one loses.

    Print, repudiate, default.

  18. Confused In NJ says:

    Well Arby’s, which owns Wendy’s, has decided to stop peeling it’s fries and make them crispy. Evidently it’s market research indicated people like to eat potatoe skin garbage peels. Reminds me of when Coke changed it’s formula. Sent them some advice but just like Bush & Obama, they’ll ignore it. I should have went to the Bush book signing in Dallas with a copy of my Email to him before he invaded Iraq advising him their were no WMD. He could have signed that for me.

  19. Lamar says:

    yikes (15)-

    Dolt. Everyone knows you don’t store grenades in outdoor sheds.

  20. Lamar says:

    confused (17)-

    Way back in the day, there were a few Arby’s down South where they served beer. Tough to beat a RB sandwich, fries and an ice-cold pitcher of Bud.

  21. reinvestor101 says:

    Someone accused me yesterday of losing my damn mojo. That’s bullspit. My mojo is in fine damn shape and I’m in as good of form as ever and you damn well better not forget it.

    All of our damn problems can be laid at the feet of either domestic real estate terrorists or the damn communists in China. I don’t know about you, but I’m about ready to go kick some commie ass because these scum are doing everything they can to undermine us with their stinking centrally planned economy. They don’t believe in the damn free market, but want to manipulate every damn thing they can and it needs to stop. It’s high damn time to teach these commies a lesson if they don’t get with the damn program.


  22. Fast Eddie says:

    “The length and depth of the current housing recession is rivaling the Great Depression’s real estate downturn, and, with encouraging signs fading, will easily eclipse it in the coming months.”

    So, make sure you bid over asking price on that house because, as we’ve been told, you’re getting real “value” for that purchase. We’re not sure what real value or market value represents, but just believe us, you’re getting a good deal. Except, in a year from now, when that “good deal” you landed turns into a disaster after you realize that your underwater or real close to it.

  23. reinvestor101 says:

    You know what happened when these damn commies ran up these damn trade surpluses before? They got arrogant and half of them wound up addicted to damn opium. The better start remembering that. I’d hate to see that happen to them again.


  24. Fast Eddie says:

    Gotta leave for work now, wish I could stay and discuss the concept of “value” in greater detail but somebody has to earn some money to support the Oblama entitlement programs.

  25. Anon E. Moose says:

    Lamar [19];

    Do you tell that story to your Bordeaux clients?

  26. Lamar says:

    Most people who deal in Bordeaux would rather be drinking Bud and eating Arby’s.

  27. Lamar says:

    Bordeaux is wine for stockbrokers.

  28. Anon E. Moose says:

    Cat [9];

    You really don’t see any problem with forcing every bank to pay $100k in legal fees to foreclose each and every $150k house securing a $250k mortgage? Full employment for lawyers, perhaps, but 40 years in the desert for housing. It doesn’t have to be this way.

  29. Lamar says:

    Another little secret: most Bordeaux made after about 1975 cracks up in the bottle after a few years. Many of the 1982s were prune juice by 2000.

    All those “vintages of the century” were cranked out at super-high yields, massive levels of overripeness (gotta please Parker) and were then both heavily filtered and overoaked. The results are as grotesque as the winemaking would lead you to think.

  30. 30 year realtor says:

    Fast Eddie #21 – Just sold another one over ask yesterday. You have to keep the over ask business in perspective.

    Not quite like a “comp killer” re-sale of the same home, but very similar. Subject property listed for $275,000. Accepted offer after 12 days on market, $280,000. House across the street of same size, on similar lot, also in need of substantial repair, sold in 2002 for $300,000. Much smaller home on half the amount of property and in similar condition, 4 doors up the block sold for $270,000 in June.

    Not trying to claim that buyer “got a great deal”, but they paid what could arguably be considered the lower range of “market value” for the property. Market value is a “moment in time” situation. When evaluating a property an appraiser appraises as of a specific date. I am in no way endorsing buying property in today’s market or promoting paying over asking price. This only serves as an example that what someone pays relative to asking price in no way indicates the quality of the deal they obtained relative to market value.

  31. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “The length and depth of the current housing recession is rivaling the Great Depression’s real estate downturn, and, with encouraging signs fading, will easily eclipse it in the coming months.”

    Been saying it for years; this bust will go much longer and deeper than most can imagine. This isn’t cyclical, it’s secular. What encouraging signs? An 8K govt tax incentive? The onslaught will continue for years and years. Akin to Japan. A slow grind down in prices over many, many years. Then, boomers decide to downsize.

    It’s gonna be a long walk home.


    Bury it. Your’e toast.

  32. Lamar says:

    moose (27)-

    Actually, it DOES have to be this way. Once you open the Pandora’s Box of moral hazard, you can’t get the gremlins back in. They run amok and do their dirty work at every stress point in the market.

    Had we been willing to seek non-fraudulent solutions to housing problems when the market first showed signs of trouble, we’d already be on the way to recovery. However, the gubmint and banksters chose the Ponzi way, much as the Israelites decided to bow to the golden calf at the advent of their forty years in the wilderness.

    The timespan of forty years is important here. It will take the passing of two generations- and the ascent of a third, with no memory of the current idiocy- for equilibrium to return. Until then, smoke ’em if you got ’em.

  33. kurtina says:

    So, while Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research warns that a failure to raise the debt limit could lead to soaring Treasury bond yields and a Greek-like sovereign debt crisis, I think that probably would not happen. Even if Congress won’t raise the debt limit, the United States government retains the economic capacity to pay its bills, and the markets understand that Congress will act to raise the debt limit if the other option is a financial collapse. By contrast, Greek bond yields are through the roof because Greece may be unable to pay its bondholders even if it wants to.

    It’s possible that legal uncertainty around the President’s options for muddling through could lead to a sharp spike in interest rates despite the fundamental solvency of the federal government. If that happened, I believe the conventional wisdom would hold and a debt limit increase would quickly ensue, with no party wanting to be blamed for a debt crisis. This would cause bond yields to drop back to normal. But the certainty of such a response might mean that a spike in bond yields will be avoided altogether, especially if investors do not feel they have a better safe haven than Treasury bonds.

    I’m inclined to bet against a spike in bond yields because we’ve been down this road before: the Wall Street Journal notes that the federal government hit the debt limit once in the last twenty years, and came close two other times. We hit the limit when the Gingrich-led Republican House refused, for a time, to raise the debt limit in 1995 (or rather, attached strings to a debt limit increase that President Clinton found unacceptable and vetoed); and we came close in 2002 and 2003, when split and Republican Congresses were reluctant to send a debt limit increase to President Bush.

    The most financially promising of those options would be to “disinvest” government trust funds that hold Treasury debt, most principally the Social Security Trust Fund. Essentially, the trust funds would redeem bonds they hold ahead of schedule, in exchange for a promise to be paid back later — and such an IOU would not count against the debt limit. Because the trust fund balances exceed $2.5 trillion, this tactic could be used to run the government for several years without hitting the debt limit.

    This tactic works because the debt limit applies to gross debt, including trust fund holdings, which are debts the federal government owes to itself. The government’s true indebtedness is better reflected by net debt, also called Debt Held by the Public. By reducing the amount of debt that the government owes to itself, the federal government can grow the net debt while staying within the gross debt cap.

    The Reagan Administration used this tactic during a budget standoff in 1985; while the AARP sued to block the raid on the Social Security Trust Fund, their suit was dismissed. However, Reagan used the proceeds of the raid to pay current Social Security benefits, and it may not be legal to raid the funds to pay for general operations of government. A raid would also be politically fraught; while the Social Security Trust Fund is an accounting fiction, most Social Security beneficiaries don’t see it that way.


  34. Lamar says:

    30 year (29)-

    You’re way too rational to be here.

    Are you into guns, sedatives, seditious thought, whiskey or extreme right-wing politics?

  35. kurtina says:

    Reagan increase the age of retirement to raid the SS trsut fund,Here we are again,same tactic is being played,Raise the age of retirement to 70 and let the senior suffer.

  36. Lamar says:

    kurt (32)-

    I’m praying the the gubmint raids Social Security for operating funds. If it hasn’t already begun, this will trigger the Second American Revolution.

    I will sit on the side with a fruity drink while old people and busted-out pensioners take apart the gubmint like buzzards on roadkill.

  37. Lamar says:

    kurt (34)-

    Better yet, just level with everyone now, and tell them that we’ll be working every single day of the rest of our lives at pittance wages; then, when we keel over dead (at work, of course), our lifeless corpses will be tossed onto a slag heap, and the next retard debt zombie plebe will take our place on the assembly line of oblivion.

  38. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Cat [9],

    Simply, the recipe for Tarp 2.

    The thieves will find a way to get their hands back into the vault. Before they make that move, armaggedon must rear its ugly head. Someone must go down; bye, bye BAC. This will be the beginning of the dog and pony show. Timmy and all the pundits will plead for funds, otherwise, they will claim, the doors will blown off the hinges.

    Now, the banks realize that Congress will play the role of the bully during these hearings. The banks also know that they will not receive the keys to the vault without “strict” terms. The banks will then agree to “modify” mortgages and will then produce a legal note. In the meantime, Congress will claim they only agreed based on the millions that they “saved”. Remember, it’s all about John Q. Subsequently, the “homeowner” will be saddled with terms which are not much different than present day. Sometime in the year, after modifications, the banks will then foreclose legally.

    At the end of this charade, the banks get what they want and it gave them the fuel to rob the bank a 2nd time. Thank you BAC, we could not pull this off without you.

  39. 30 year realtor says:

    #37 – Have to strongly agree with this scenario. Saving face is essential to working out this mess. Cannot sell the Country down the toilet, save the banks and not try to make it appear that saving Joe Sixpack was the real agenda.

    Government is more concerned about appearances than solutions!

  40. 30 year realtor says:

    Lamar wrote 30 year (29)-

    You’re way too rational to be here.

    Are you into guns, sedatives, seditious thought, whiskey or extreme right-wing politics?

    None of the above. Just an herb smoking real estate novelist…

  41. Outofstater says:

    “Cat 9” An accurate description of the still gathering economic storm.

  42. prtraders2000 says:

    About 600 laid off yesterday @ Chartis (P & C arm of AIG). Heaviest cuts in Jersey City and Berkeley Heights.


  43. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    I agree with what Lamar said at 31. It has to be so if we want the system to disgorge the ponzi.

  44. Tom says:

    Cat, Mikeinwaiting,

    It could get even worse than that if more judges decide their just fed up with what lenders are doing and just wipe out the debt and give the house to the defendants for free.

    Like this Long Island Judge did last year.

    The case has been appealed but not settled yet.

  45. Juice Box says:

    Speaking of Social Security – the drum beats again for privatization.

    Pete Peterson of Blackstone is running TV ads called the OweNo campaign, it’s gonna get messy..


  46. Unexpected HEHEHE says:

    Harrisburg hires bankruptcy counsel


  47. Schrodinger's cat says:


    A significant portion of the private property in the US has had its title tainted by the banks shenanigans. If the judges start to hold banks to black letter law then the RE market gets nuked and far beyond a few people walking away with free homes. Over the last 10 years homes have been securitized and passed around like a spliff at a Grateful Dead concert. Any of the properties that took part in the game probably have compromised chains of title due to the banks shenanigans. Property law has been well established for over 100 years and was ignored during most of this housing bubble. Unwinding this mess nukes not only the banks but also the state and local governments. The values (in terms of PI) of homes face a real chance of being less then their local tax liability if black letter law in enforced.
    As home values implode over this blatant fraud perpetrated by the banks and supported by the government at all levels, tax revenue is going to evaporate just as government funding costs take off due to pension liabilities and debt servicing. Ready for 15K in taxes on a 200K home? If you think such a thing as private property exists at that point then you are delusional, you are renting from the state at exorbitant rates.

  48. Schrodinger's cat says:


    RE SS,

    It’s a lose/lose scenario.

  49. Schrodinger's cat says:

    I wonder how many of these (http://www.realsig.com/theaf.htm) the banks have purchased????

  50. Juice Box says:

    re #46 – it’s going to be the MBS bond holders lawsuits that bring it all down. If investors like PIMCO and Greenwich Financial Services etc can access loan files via discovery and court subpoenas how many mortgages will they find that were sold more than once to different tranches and different MBS? To me that is the only reason why the notes cannot be found because they covered up the fraud by failing to provide the notes etc. The bond investors are already fighting loan mods and now are trying to get back hundreds of billions in put backs.

    More PopCorn!

  51. Schrodinger's cat says:

    I wish i had a mortgage right now. I would love to play the foreclosure game with these crooks.

  52. Unexpected HEHEHE says:


    The only problem I see with any sort of widespread mortgage mod is it’s impact on the MBS holders.

  53. Schrodinger's cat says:


    I cant find the article at the moment, but there was a recent article about a homeowner that was foreclosed on. They hired a good attorney and a financial person to track every step that their mortgage was processed through to its most current holder. They found and documented that BOA had no claim on the mortgage and that the mortgage had been sold to 3 different trusts. They also found that per Massachusetts law the note had been legally separated from the title due to the shenanigans and was now a naked note. The homeowners attorney documented numerous instances of BOA attorneys lying and providing false documentation during the process. BOA dropped the foreclosure when the homeowner threatened to sue BOA using the documentation they had obtained and the documented lies by BOA attorneys.

    My personal guess is that anyone with the money and the cojones to get a good defense team could take the banks to the mat on most of the foreclosure attempts.

  54. Tom says:


    I canned figure out what in my last comment prompted that sort of reply. lol

    Anyway. My opinion is the unraveling the mess isn’t going to nuke the RE market. It’s already been nuked and there was a lot of collateral damage. A lot of people are still in denial in some ways.

    The may different groups that caused the mess need to be yanked out of their bunkers and forced to help clean up the fall-out instead of profit from it.

  55. Schrodinger's cat says:

    Lamar, 30yr

    Is it too late for me to run out and get a nice fraudulently securitized mortgage????

  56. Schrodinger's cat says:


    The RE market hasnt been nuked yet, just a few carpet bombing runs. The values of homes have been fairly stable relatively speaking. If black letter law is enforced the liability that would exist in buying a home with an uncertain title history is potentially huge. Granted that is a very big IF given that the law is now enforced selectively.

  57. Schrodinger's cat says:

    Another idle speculative thought.

    Bank of NY who is being held to the fire in AZ is also the trust holder for GLD. If Bank of NY is shown to note have the real notes for their mortgages and hence the RE trusts the have a very large # of, then do people start to wonder about the integrity of the GLD Trust?

  58. Anon E. Moose says:

    Tom [43];

    That’s precisely the WRONG punishment to the banks, because it gratuitously rewards the deadbeats without regard to their own recklessness. That is moral hazard to the extreme, because the deadbeats are rewarded for placing the bank in a position to need to foreclose, while similarly situated mere fools who make their payments get to watch the ‘consquences’ of default.

  59. Schrodinger's cat says:

    Look at Irish bond spreads…..600+bps


    The impetus for the dollar pop and euro fall.?.?.?

  60. JJ says:

    Irish is facing a very interesting real estate bubble burst. Unlike the USA when you take a mortgage out in Ireland it is secured by ALL of your assets. The house, your bank accounts, your stocks, etc. You have to be 100% broke to walk away. Many homeowners are underwater but very few have defaulted. If RE continues to fall the homeowners net worth will be greater than the mortgage, if it continue Sean and Mary and their three children may be on the plane to Woodside Queens or Banbridge Avenue in the Bronx to rent an illegal apartment in a single family home and good luck with the Irish bank ever catching up with them.

  61. Anon E. Moose says:

    Cat [52];

    OK, gedankenexperiment:

    A house is bought with a mortgage; that mortgage is (fraudulently) conveyed to multiple trusts, who run it through the sausage machine and slice the resulting wurst into MBS tranches, a process which conveniently obscures the fraud.

    A) even (and especially) if the deadbeat had paid on time, there wouldn’t have been enough money to satisfy all the bond holders as promised. Considering most people hold a house for 7 years before selling for one reason or another, they had to know the ponzi would be up sooner rather than later.

    B) The legal solution is clear – the bank can’t sell what it doesn’t own. That means the first trust gets the carcass, and all others get to sue the bank.

    C) If house prices fall because of reluctance of the mortgage market to lend, doesn’t that just validate that the house was bubbled beyond its real value by the ability of deadbeats to borrow against its spulative upside appreciation?

  62. Anon E. Moose says:

    Listening to a personal finance guy on the radio recently, one who I actually largely agree with. Unfortunately he is steeped in real estate and is a true believer. Example: Caller from Florida was underwater by $65k on a house currently valued at $300k and needed to refi because his parents signed the purchase note and now need to get out. He told the guy something like ‘If you can hold on for a couple of years, the house will be back where you can refi it for what you currently owe.’ What he implicitly predicted is 10% compound annual appreciation on this house by 2012. Really?

  63. JJ says:

    Well inflation is still running around to 2% and I think homes are stagent so I say ten years. BTW no way should anyone default who is young on a 65K figure tied to their parents, first you wrecked your parental relationship, second most employers for good jobs do a credit check on a new hire. If someone did a BK in last 7 years for instance they can’t get an officer level or head of job or job that touches money of any kind at a blue chip firm. I had some guy with a BK I had to turn down, he got turned down lots of places. Young kid with a good college degree, looking to move up ladder, a BK better be for at least over 100K

    Anon E. Moose says:
    November 10, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Listening to a personal finance guy on the radio recently, one who I actually largely agree with. Unfortunately he is steeped in real estate and is a true believer. Example: Caller from Florida was underwater by $65k on a house currently valued at $300k and needed to refi because his parents signed the purchase note and now need to get out. He told the guy something like ‘If you can hold on for a couple of years, the house will be back where you can refi it for what you currently owe.’ What he implicitly predicted is 10% compound annual appreciation on this house by 2012. Really?

  64. Tom says:


    I’m not suggesting that’s the right remedy but lenders have been performing these shotgun foreclosures for years. One article I read claimed 80% of foreclosures had documentation problems. It’s causing new problems and the Judges are getting sick of it.

    There’s one case in Florida where someone’s home was foreclosed and sold while he was negotiating repayment terms. The person he was in contact with at the bank wasn’t aware the foreclosure already started and the borrower was never served.

    Three years ago when some states tried to look into it the occ protected the banks. Lenders need to clean up their act because if they don’t there will be consequences. Giving people their homes for free isn’t the solution to the problem. It’s just a warning shot to get lenders to follow the law.


    I don’t know what makes you think house prices have stabilized. All predictions I’ve seen are that housing prices still have aways to go. I while ago I did an analysis of house price to income ratios during the bubble. What I saw was that for years the ratio was stable nationwide at around 3.0. During the bubble it jumped up to 4.6.

    When people are generally locking up so much of their income in housing other areas of spending and savings will have to be reduced or borrow more which just increases the problem. It slows down the economy and leaves people more vulnerable if they hit hard times.

    If mom and dad are spending too much on housing then little Sally can’t get piano lessons which means the piano teacher is going to have financial problems.

    Before you say “but interest rates were so low”… I also looked at how the house price to income ratio changed compared to the prime rate. There were a number of large drops in the prime rate that barely caused a blip compared to what happened starting in 2000.

    Analyzing the data in local markets shows some variations like in our area around the 90’s when there was a bubble but eventually house prices fell back in line.

    I haven’t had time to analyze recent data but with joblessness I would assume the median household income to have dropped so the drop in house prices wouldn’t have restored prices to affordable levels using traditional budgeting rules.

    If housing prices fall it hurts certain segments, if they don’t fall they hurt others. The only thing keeping things from falling apart has been increasing the national debt.

    Unless something major happens that returns the nation as a whole to prosperity we have to realize we’re all %$#!ed and punish the people the %$#@ed us so they learn not to do it again and then get all aspects of the economy to a sustainable level where it can grow at a normal pace. It’s not going to be an easy process.

    I think we’re going to continue to see new problems spring up that were caused by the reckless lending practices during the bubble.

  65. JJ says:

    How about the banks sue the seller of the home to get their money back?

  66. Schrodinger's cat says:


    I dont think they have stabilized,

    I have made a number of predictions/claims that we will see about 50 – 60% off of peak when all is said and done. Prices have been sticky and that is what i was referring to.

    I am quite confident that this wont be settled until we see a home price ratio back in the 2 – 3X range

  67. Fabius Maximus says:

    It was always going to be down to, how slow the cash burns.

    5 lessons from the homebuilders’ survival


  68. Schrodinger's cat says:

    Dont forget that I’m just a cat with a fortunate case of polydactylism.

  69. Juice Box says:

    re # 59 – JJ – Those days of hopping on a plane to Boston or NY are long over since the changes in Homeland Security and immigration. It’s not like you can get back and forth anymore. Air-travel and visas are locked down tight, unless Sean and Mary and their three children cross the Rio Grande they ain’t getting in and out too easy.

    When lads in pubs across Ireland are discussing global economics, you know that the world has changed. Everyone knows everyone else in Ireland, and word has spread that the Irish bailout is saving the foreign bond holders like the German Banks who hold about 127 Billion of the 300 Billion in debt.

    They also don’t have the money to pay even with all of the austerity, and they don’t have a printing press anymore like Uncle Benny. Government’s bankruptcy or Additional EU or even IMF intervention is inevitable in Ireland, the politics there are just too local. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the Labor Party, the Green Party and even Sinn Féin are all making waves. They are having trouble keeping their colalition government running anymore, and budget gridlock is next.

    The will for additional austerity is fading fast and they Irish people are being swayed toward budget gridlock and possible default because they are now very partisan about who get’s an additional pay cut or who gets laid off next.

    Next few months will be interesting.

  70. JJ says:

    Impossible we will see 50-60% off straight up. We can over a long period of time see 50 to 60% off if home prices keep flat lining or have consistent small declines when you take into account inflation. Homes are not that overprice. Take Long Island, we only have 6.5% unemployment that is more like 5% unemployment if the figures were not inflated by 99 weeks of unemployment checks.

    Schrodinger’s cat says:
    November 10, 2010 at 11:32 am


    I dont think they have stabilized,

    I have made a number of predictions/claims that we will see about 50 – 60% off of peak when all is said and done. Prices have been sticky and that is what i was referring to.

    I am quite confident that this wont be settled until we see a home price ratio back in the 2 – 3X range

  71. Tom says:


    Your choice of words confused me but I guess we’re mostly thinking along the same lines then.

  72. Nicholas says:

    I wonder how many of these (http://www.realsig.com/theaf.htm) the banks have purchased????

    I have a wonderful solution to the housing mess. Lets say that there are 300 million americans and there are, on average, 5 people per household. That is 60 million house holds. If 66% of households are homeowners then there are 40 million homes. If we were to employ 10 robo signing machines to forclose on these homes and they could provide 500 signatures/hour then we should be able to clean up this mess in under 330 days.

    I don’t see what the problem is here.

  73. Tom says:

    Ignore last comment I mistook JJ’s response for Cat’s.

  74. Al Gore says:

    Looks like JP Morgan and HSBC are desperate to keep the good shiny stuff down. The vigilantes arent pleased. Cant wait to see if the LBMA cant make good on delivery this December.

  75. Anon E. Moose says:

    Tom [63];

    I fully agree with your analysis re disposable income all being ‘on the house’. My view is that the broader economic recession was not caused by the decline in home values, but by the bubble. The recession on Wall Street may be because of defaults, the recession on Main Street is for the precise reasons you quote.

    As for punishing those responsible: if the used house salesmen split 5%, the mortgage broker got a point or so YSP, and the bank takes it on the chin without TARP2, the party that walked away from the closing table with the biggest check is currently feeding their SS check into a Seminole slot machine. Hence my animus towards the first generation in American history to saddle their grandchildren with a bankrupt economy.

  76. yo'me says:

    Homes are collaterized loans.If the loaner defaults on the contract the bank gets collateral.If the bank gambled on giving loans,not projecting the down side it is their lost.Pawn your rolex to a pawn shop.The shop will not give you 100% loan on appraisal.Most will be 60%.On default shop keeps the collateral and sell it.Shop don’t go after you if he does not get the full amount of loan.Principle of collaterized mortgage.

  77. yo'me says:

    We are to fancy to keep on taking it on behind us.The country of “yes ,no problem”

    Violence erupts as U.K. students protest fee hikes

  78. Fabius Maximus says:

    #44 Juice,

    Were you around for the UK’s attempt to privatize pensions.

    Privatizing SS is a dumb idea that will be open to abuse and will be ripe for corruption. Just like the mortgage mess we are in now.

  79. Nicholas says:

    Market Stats for 20715 Bowie, MD

    Average Sale Price
    Oct 05: 385,452$
    Oct 06: 392,996$ <– Peak
    Oct 07: 330,332$
    Oct 08: 297,837$
    Oct 09: 278,574$
    Oct 10: 251,317$


    141,679$/392,996$ =36.05%

    We have seen a 36% decrease in the average sale price for homes in 20715. My guess is that prices will drop another 10% from here putting us in the 40-50% range that has been discussed for a long time.

  80. Tom says:


    I agree with your first paragraph but I think you’re wrong in your second.

    Banks aren’t taking it on the chin. The banks weren’t much different than brokers. They just acted as a middleman between borrowers and investors. I believe most or at least a large portion of the loans were securitized. I don’t remember exact numbers.

    A borrower goes to their bank looking for a mortgage. The bank contacts the federal reserve saying their lending out $500k, the Fed then creates $500k for the bank to lend. The bank then sells the mortgage to someone like freddie or fannie that guarantees and securitizes it to be sold off to investors or the banks used their own private lable securitization.

    The bank then acts a servicer for mortgage making sure that payments are made and handling modifications or foreclosure. They make their money from fees which causes a bunch of issues including a conflict of interest when it comes time to deal with a borrower unable to keep up payments.

    A 2009 Mortgage Metrics Report from the Office of Thrift Supervision found that the mortgages that banks kept were modified at a rate 50% higher than the number of securitized mortgages modified. Securitized mortgages that were modified had a 70% higher rate of red-default. Banks were also more likely to do a principle reduction modification on loans that they held compared to loans that they serviced.

    In my opinion that implies a few things. Banks were originating mortgages left and right but they knew enough to sell of the worst of them and they are happy to reduce principle balance to keep payments coming in for loans they held but when it was investor’s money on the line they chose options that would be more profitable based on their fee structure.

    The banks deserve no sympathy here.

  81. poor guy says:

    JJ (69)

    with all due respect I will disagree with you on this one. Not on your timeline but rather on the overpricing. Houses are very expensive to maintain nowadays: property taxes, repiar, heating, cooling etc and this maintenance will only increase. So todays prices are not directly comparable to prices a decade ago. Not to mention that there is often a meltdown after bubbles just like stock market as future expectations are lowered

  82. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “Homes are not that overprice”


    Then stop lowballing and hit the offfer. Don’t be a dick for a tick.

  83. relo says:

    44: Sean,

    I heard this guy speak recently. Shore, Al, know (of) him? He said to have a Plan B in case this doesn’t all work out over the next 3-5 years. His: Vancouver as NZ and AUS are “too far”.


  84. nj escapee says:

    Moose, Your whining is getting old. Be grateful for what you have. I’m guessing a healthy family, steady employment. There are a lot of folks out there that are struggling day to day nevermind not getting a great deal on a house in the best neighborhood with the best schools. There, I feel better now. :)

  85. JJ says:

    I still say homes are not that overpriced. Meaning, I have been looking at 1.6 million dollar peak homes that are listed for 1.3 million I would gladly buy for one million.

    I don’t need the homes to fall another 50-60% to be affordable. In most decent neighborhoods if they fell another 20% from today’s prices people would be jumping on them.

    Homes may have another 5-20% to fall in next few years. The free fall is over. if govt did not step in we would have had a good free fall and as usually after bubble bursts it overshoots on downside so if govt did not get involved I would be a buyer now. But sadly govt got involved.

  86. J. says:

    How’s this for delusional:


    House looks to be abandoned, weeds coming up through cracks in the driveway, But the description is priceless (copied verbatim, spelling is as in listing):

    “Beautifull contemporary home with plenty of rooms to spare. Ideal home to live and work from, one of a kind hoe with modern gourmet kitchern, granite countertops, caramic tiles, skylights and much more.”

  87. JJ says:

    Struggling folks, lot less than you think. Nowdays everyone brags how broke they are. Best one was a neighbor, husband and wife work full time with two used cars, both have masters degrees with a 160K mortgage and 7K in taxes. Meanwhile, I know both are mad they came for money but parents never gave them a nickle, so they have two seats of rich parents in their late 70s where they have large inheritances coming in around ten years. They keep bragging and showing off how broke they are, being broke is the new rich. I always brag about how poor I am. Kinda like how green I am when I drink tap water in a cup.

    in 2010 Poor = Rich. “For example I am so broke I could not even afford to buy a new car, no way could I ever afford a new car” Translation, I just picked up a 2008 Certified Pre Owned BMW 7 Series.

    I am so broke we can’t afford an island vacation. Translation, we are going to Grand Floridian in Disney World.

  88. poor guy says:

    no jj they are overpriced. look to what you could afford to buy and maintain ten years ago vs today. one million back then would get you a 1.6 million asking today (hint it would be taxed as an 1 million today)

  89. JJ says:

    it was contempory when Lincoln was president

  90. poor guy says:

    jj (87)

    ok get your drift. however who knows when mommies/daddies pass away and how much is eaten by inflation and bad management. at the moment poor=poor

  91. Anon E. Moose says:

    Tom [79];

    I have no sympathy for the banks. Nor do I much care, presuming the governemnt stops picking my pocket to subsidize these ‘systemically important’ institutions that I have no interaction with but apparently can’t live without. It kills me that any deadbeats are getting principal reductions to stay in houses that they historically overpaid for, but so long as its a deal between the note holder and the lender, I can’t expect to have a vote.

    I can understand the banks being more reulctant to modify loand serviced on behalf of others than portfolio loans – they won’t be sued for modifying terms of the servicing agreement on the portfolio note.

    And yes, even the banks were lending OPM; just like the deadbeats were buying their garage mahal with OPM, and the pension fund managers were buying the MBS with OPM. None of that is solved by rewarding the deadbeats.

  92. Al Gore says:



    He’s one of the good guys. Basically hes been running around with his hair on fire for 10 years. What did he say?

  93. relo says:

    64: JJ,

    Deficiency judgement?

  94. Anon E. Moose says:

    nj escapee [84];

    Your guess is wrong on both counts. I forget, is your ‘escape’ retirement-related? Spending my money, nice fat current-taxpayer funded government pension, perhaps? Social security? If so I applaud you for guessing right at least once and getting out near the top. We can talk more about it when you get back from the early-bird special. Even in my current circumstances, I’m a generous guy (as your checks will attest), so please be sure I leave a respectable tip.

  95. Mike says:

    eventually this 40 month backlog of homes will get sold “there’s an ass for every seat”

  96. JJ says:

    Well if inflation is 2% then a one million dollar home in 2010 is worth 1.2 million.

    My home had $6,400 a year property taxes in 2000 and now has $9,000, since I maintain my own home I guess my wife has to spend 50 cent extra for the two beers and chips I eat while I do a repair.

    The mexicans mow my lawn for 25 bucks a week, but I have only been doing that last three years. I guess that is extra, I still have mower.

    Unless you are an ugly divorced women with little kids, or an old women with no kids whats up with home maint costs. I dated lots of girls when I was single and I painted rooms, installed faucets, put in outlets, moved furniture etc. Heck it was a major bonus for me. Lets see, spend $15 bucks on movie, $50 bucks on dinner and $40 bucks on drinks or show up in jeans and sweatshirt install a new vanity and faucet in two hours then get free dinner, free drinks, a happy and eager women in bed all night and a nice coffee and bacon and eggs breakfast in morning all served with a “happy ending”. Sad part us married men still do same work and all we get “are you done yet”? I need you to help with kids.

    I do give you one thing, RE taxes on million dollar homes in 2000 that are not appraised at 1.8 million and only worth 1.3 million are sky high. That is main reason I don’t want one. Who needs 24k in property taxes. I will stick to my 9k.
    November 10, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    no jj they are overpriced. look to what you could afford to buy and maintain ten years ago vs today. one million back then would get you a 1.6 million asking today (hint it would be taxed as an 1 million today)

  97. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “Struggling folks, lot less than you think.”


    Tell that to the 25M unemployed/underemployed. Come to think of it, run it by the 2M who may not be receiving a check if the extension is whacked.

    Approx 15% at the poverty level. No need to worry, the trust fund will kick in around 2020.

  98. DL says:

    When the NAR says 2011 will be flat, you know disaster is on the way.

    Totally OT: If you want to know what music our nation’s finest listen to before they go into combat, read the comments.

  99. JJ says:

    I know, that is why I managed my Moms money. No clue what wife parents have. They keep it secret. Wife told Mom she should let me invest it, Mom said I have enough money to last me till death, after that what do I care what is left. How selfish is this women. Stealing from her own grandchildren.

    poor guy says:
    November 10, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    jj (87)

    ok get your drift. however who knows when mommies/daddies pass away and how much is eaten by inflation and bad management. at the moment poor=poor

  100. sideliner says:

    a longtime reader…
    what is the consensus in regards to now-pricing on the nj train towns? are we at 2002 pricing?

  101. JJ says:

    Unemployment is a myth. Problem is unemployed people like free money. It is a jack pot. They should call the unemployed WINNERS!!

  102. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “Unemployment is a myth.”


    Actually, I agree with you. Real unemployment is over 20%.

  103. Lamar says:

    First experience this AM with a person begging me for a job. Still kinda sick to my stomach.

    Worst of all, he was 50 y/o, not very well -educated, booted out of the Taj Mahal when the bondholders took it over and unable to produce good references, as his superiors there all got canned too.

  104. nj escapee says:

    Mouse, 94, you’re a real POS. and wrong. I’m employed full time and escaped NJ to get away from the likes of you. I hope you get what you deserve in spades.

  105. Lamar says:

    escape (104)-

    Judging from his posts here, he’s living in a prison of his own misery.

    And I bet he doesn’t have as much whiskey or as many guns as some of us.

  106. JJ says:

    The cut in salary one who actually went to college and has a good job in NYC to move down south will eat up all savings in 36 months. It is for retired cops, fireman, teachers and cops.

  107. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Lamar [103],

    Tell him to kick back; his trust fund will kick in when he’s 60.

  108. nj escapee says:

    JJ, 106, there’s a certain quality of life that is not available in NY/NJ at any price. Can walk or bicycle anywhere I need to get to in less than 15 mins. I put 1k miles yr on my car to go to Miami a few times /yr. Temperature never goes below 50s and I can walk to my favorite fishing spot.

  109. Al Gore says:

    Deficit panel leaders’ plan curbs Social Security

    “WASHINGTON – The leaders of President Barack Obama’s bipartisan deficit commission launched a daring assault on mushrooming federal deficits on Wednesday, proposing reducing annual cost-of-living increases for Social Security, gradually raising the retirement age to 69 and taking aim at popular tax breaks such as the mortgage interest deduction.”

    They will also be means testing social security. There are also plans to confiscate private 401ks and IRA’s and offer an annuity instead.

    I love having my wealth redistributed. Im so out of this country. Let the losers go hungry and the old die. Ill keep my money and my guns.

  110. Al Gore says:


    Interesting that for the first time in a long time metals down and miners up.

  111. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [45] hehehe

    “Cravath, Swaine, and Moore”

    High-powered is right. Harrisburg is not taking prisoners.

  112. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [100] sideliner,

    For the RVL towns, I think that this was much ado about nothing. Any tunnel would not be operationally beneficial to the RVL towns for years, anyone in lower manhattan would be jumping off at Newark anyway, and I thought you didn’t run diesel trains through tunnels? That means nothing changes until they electrify the RVL.

  113. onthebrink says:

    Could you share your tax appeal experience? We are buying a place up in BC and of course, we think the taxes are over the top. First item on agenda will be to appeal tax. Did you hire a lawyer or a real estate agent? Would you recommend the person you used?

    Thanks in advance!

  114. wtf says:

    The IRS has announced that 397 individuals lost their U.S. citizenship within the meaning of Code Sec. 6039G during the quarter than ended on September 30, 2010. In addition, during the quarter that ended on June 30, 2010, 560 individual lost their citizenship within the meaning of Code Sec. 6039G .

  115. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    AG [109],

    Spot market is up, futures are down. Yesterday’s announcement regarding margins took place after the futures close (Floor), during access trading. Therefore, there’s a huge discrepancy between the 2 markets today.

  116. relo says:

    92: Al,

    He was a whirlwind. All the favorites from campaign reform, national, state & local budgets (tax, ss, defense, health care), education reform, you name it. He wrote a book called “Comeback America”, I’m sure it’s all there in detail. As I said, he feels we have a very limited amount of time before it’s irreparable. He’s from the south. I bet he’s way ahead of the curve on ammo.

    A clip is here:


  117. Anon E. Moose says:

    escapee [104];

    I hope you get what you deserve in spades.

    Kindest thing I’ve heard all day. Cheers.

  118. Al Gore says:


    I watched that clip but he is grasping at straws. Its over. The dollar has run its course. Its time for a new currency so lets destroy our debt by inflating this currency to holy h_ll and then reset. Revalue gold to 5000/ounce and repeg the new dollar to gold at 15%. Once that is accomplished then his reforms make sense.

  119. JJ says:

    I drive on average 300 miles a year. Mail box 40 feet away, School 400 feet away, pretty much post office, train, church, five major department stores, five supermarkets, 100 restaurants all under a mile from home. 15 minutes is crazy, where do you live in the sticks. Driving for me everything is well under 2 minutes.
    15 minutes drive, is that one way or round trip. If it is a 30 minute drive that is over a months worth of driving. Heck I can get to JFK airport on foot from my house in under 40 minutes, 10 minutes in a cab. Jesus Christ 15 minute drives. Never heard of such a thing. Heck I never even turn on radio, heat or AC as what is point on a 45 second drive. Holy cow.

    I can walk to fishing too, but never do all the damm mexicans clog up the place for the free food. I guess yo0u ave
    nj escapee says:
    November 10, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    JJ, 106, there’s a certain quality of life that is not available in NY/NJ at any price. Can walk or bicycle anywhere I need to get to in less than 15 mins. I put 1k miles yr on my car to go to Miami a few times /yr. Temperature never goes below 50s and I can walk to my favorite fishing spot.

  120. JJ says:

    I just don’t know if I could take that southern lifestyle. Waiting 15 minutes for a burger in a fast food resturant once when I was down there I almost left across the counter and wanted to strangle the guy. Also weird all these white middle aged guys serving me burgers and stuff at fast food places. How bad is it down there that a 40 year old guy’s career is do you want fries with that?

  121. Anon E. Moose says:

    30-yr [39];

    Just an herb smoking real estate novelist…

    Who never had time for a wife?

    (I kid…)

  122. nj escapee says:

    JJ, like talking to family as they all pretty much live and work in NYC / Nassau / Westchester. No wonder I escaped / ran away. too funny

  123. relo says:

    117: Al,

    I’ll defer to you on the macro elements. While neither the clip nor my memory will do him justice, the strategies are incumbent upon citizens taking action prior to TSHTF, which is why I believe it won’t happen. It was telling to hear a guy with his background talking about high-tailing it.

    Nom, at the same event I was speaking with a partner of a pretty large accounting firm who was talking about how many expat inquiries he’s been getting.

  124. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [120];

    Agree that the ‘pace of life’ is an adjustment point from NYC. As for ‘white middle aged guys’ working food-service – while I agree that perhaps he could be doing better, maybe its a second job; or just maybe its evidence that “jobs Americans won’t do…” turns out to be BS until you add in “…for slave wages like illegal immigrants”. If the pay scale reflects the local cost of living, turns out there are lost of things people would do. Add to that the fact that a beer doesn’t cost $12, nor a ticket to a baseball game $475, and a mortgage payment is half what passes for rent around here — with the physical conditions being much better at that; it turns out you don’t need to make $100k+, work 14 hrs, commute 3 more from the outer burbs, just to scrape by and ‘own’ your own decrepit pre-war shack.

  125. yo'me says:

    #112 Brink

    Application cut off is somewhere in April.I just called the county clerk and they sent me the application with all the requirements needed.They require three recent sales comparables which I got from Zillow.On my case I did not have to go to court.The township clerk came to the house,inspected and made some measurements.She offered $1700 less than what I was paying for.I agreed and she took care of the court paper works and got my adjusted bill on the mail.Adjustments are made on the 4th qtr payments.

  126. Schrodinger's cat says:

    Relo 123

    And how many times in history have populations risen up in order to save their empire, BEFORE TSHTF? People as a group don’t act until the current situation is worse then the “potential” outcomes of any action.

    We are F’d. Secure your own and enjoy the ride. Got popcorn and whiskey?

  127. Al Gore says:

    I could do the southern lifestyle although I may go slightly insane with the slow pace of life as well. I could barely handle Ireland and its slow pace even in Dublin.

    Prior to 2008 I had plans for big house and big property etc. Now its all about deleveraging and small everything. Once retirement comes I will be renting an apartment probably not in this country and will have a big m_ther f_cking boat to cruise the world on.

    Of course I may have to use some precious coins to do so.

    What do you think Nom? A couple AR’s mounted on the bow with so kevlar siding?

  128. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “big m_ther f_cking boat to cruise the world on.”

    AG [127],

    Can I hitch a ride?

  129. Foggidgeriree

    [url=http://healthplusrx.com/gangrene]gangrene[/url] ArguertAget

  130. Al Gore says:



    You may have to leave some of those shiny bricks on shore. We can take the rest to Bermuda for liquidation and/or storage.

  131. JJ says:

    Most of my friends have no mortgage and property tax is only expense. I pay 9K taxes and down south taxes are 2k.

    That is only a 7k savings. I do agree that going out, ball games, football games, beers are all much cheaper down there. To be honest I don’t have time to really do that too much with young kids, plus lots of dinners and stuff I go to is work related and free anyhow. That savings is like maybe 2k a year. Car insurance and home owners insurance maybe another 2k a year. Cheaper sales tax 1k a year. Pretty much I am saving like 10k-20k, a big big deal for a cop retired on a 70K pension. A rounding error for most people between 35-55 at peak of their earnings with a college degree who work in NYC.

    Funny, I am looking at a pre-war shack to buy today. Nice house story goes some hedge fund guy re-did it and then lost job. I think it is cool that it is a real pre-war house, house was built around 1690 and then blown out and renovated. Living in a 320 year old house will be cool. Guy already renovated it and then went broke. if I can get it for 1.1 I am pulling trigger.

    Anon E. Moose says:
    November 10, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    JJ [120];

    Agree that the ‘pace of life’ is an adjustment point from NYC. As for ‘white middle aged guys’ working food-service – while I agree that perhaps he could be doing better, maybe its a second job; or just maybe its evidence that “jobs Americans won’t do…” turns out to be BS until you add in “…for slave wages like illegal immigrants”. If the pay scale reflects the local cost of living, turns out there are lost of things people would do. Add to that the fact that a beer doesn’t cost $12, nor a ticket to a baseball game $475, and a mortgage payment is half what passes for rent around here — with the physical conditions being much better at that; it turns out you don’t need to make $100k+, work 14 hrs, commute 3 more from the outer burbs, just to scrape by and ‘own’ your own decrepit pre-war shack.

  132. chicagofinance says:


    NOVEMBER 10, 2010
    The Heart of ‘Darkness’

    Colts Neck, N.J.

    Under an early autumn sky here in central New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen pointed north toward nearby Holmdel, where 33 years ago he began recording “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” likely the most important album of his notable career. Then, turning east, he said, “And I recorded ‘Nebraska’ five miles that way.” His birthplace, Long Branch, he added, is about a dozen miles from where he stood. On their first date, Mr. Springsteen said, he took Patti Scialfa, his wife of 19 years, on a drive down the nearby back roads to show her a home for retired circus animals.

    Now 61 years old, Mr. Springsteen may have been alluding to his loyalty to the Garden State, but he also was relating how once he’s determined that something’s right, he stays with it.

    He’s kept the core of his E Street Band together since 1974—the band that stood by him when, coming off his 1975 breakthrough album, “Born to Run,” he was embroiled in a lengthy legal dispute: In essence, he couldn’t release new music until a lawsuit with a former manager was settled. Incurring a huge debt, Mr. Springsteen and the band kept touring, then hunkered down in Holmdel to work on his new compositions. The battle, and Mr. Springsteen’s ultimate triumph, is depicted in the Thom Zimny documentary “The Promise: The Making of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town,'” which has been presented at film festivals and on HBO. It’s part of a new six-disc “Darkness” boxed set that includes the original 1978 album, early drafts of what evolved into the album’s songs, previously unreleased tracks and two performance DVDs.

    Hurt and embittered, a determined Mr. Springsteen used the three-year period between albums to re-examine his purpose as a songwriter and bandleader. He decided there’d be no big, brash “Born to Run II.”

    “I tend to think that by the time we finished ‘Born to Run’ my thought process was moving forward—you know, ‘How do I not do that again?'” Mr. Springsteen said.

    “I probably did start out trying to remake a Brill Building-influenced album,” he said, referring to the New York City home to many ’60s R&B and pop composers, some of whom provided songs for the Phil Spector productions that influenced “Born to Run.” “I hadn’t moved into my passion for country music or political or social music.” But, he added, “I didn’t want to be mistaken for a genre artist or neo-soul. I didn’t want to be neo- anything.”

    “The lawsuit gave me a lot more time to reflect,” he said, sitting in his guesthouse, a crackling fire at his back. “By nature, I’m cautious in many ways. I knew I was playing with dynamite. I was suspicious of success and its potential to derail your inner life. It’s a huge distorting mirror. I had a pretty good self- preservation streak, but I had lots of fears.”

    Though he’d been on the cover of Time and Newsweek in 1975, one of those fears was the possibility that he might soon be forgotten. “There was no cable TV, no electronic media, no newsstands filled with entertainment magazines,” he said of the mid-’70s. “The tyranny of the pop-culture media didn’t exist. You were a young kid and nobody gave a damn.”

    He continued, “At that time, I didn’t feel I had the room to play around. I couldn’t be too casual. I felt like an adult doing my job. I was in pursuit of an adult voice and I was interested in an adult-type rebellion. It hadn’t been addressed.”

    Mr. Springsteen leaned on what would become his greatest strength—narrative songwriting—and funneled his anxieties and concurrent willfulness into songs and performances so lean, harsh and direct that they remain startling more than three decades later. “Darkness” is an album in which its characters are angry, aggrieved and alienated, and yet when faced with a hopeless situation they hold on to hope. Though they doubt, they still want to believe, as did Mr. Springsteen way back then.

    “It was like pulling a rubber band really, really tight, then leaving it tight,” he said.

    Mr. Springsteen set aside the boyish tales and derivative sounds of “Born to Run.” Instead, he focused on supporting the complex emotions in his songs, which were built on simple unembellished chords and delivered with bite and innate power. On “Darkness,” the E Street Band is restrained until it must explode, and when it does Mr. Springsteen’s voice is a raw yowl. So is his guitar playing. I proposed that the album’s most affecting moments rise from Mr. Springsteen’s searing, whip-crack guitar solos. He’d have none of it.

    “Look, I was the fastest gun in central New Jersey,” he said. “When I was a kid I made my living as a guitar player frying brains and making 20 bucks from the club owner. But I set out to become a songwriter and a bandleader. I was much more interested in canvases of sound—painting the big picture lyrically and developing the sound of the band.”

    The new “Darkness on the Edge of Town” box includes a video, recorded last December, of Mr. Springsteen and the E Street Band playing the original album’s 10 songs. His guitar playing on those tunes still expresses defiance and rage.

    Risking his career, Mr. Springsteen became who he remains: a distinctive songwriter with the ability to represent the aspirations and frustrations of working men and women who hold tight to the American dream—John Steinbeck with a Fender Telecaster. In subsequent years, he created “Nebraska,” “The Ghost of Tom Joad” and the underappreciated “Lucky Town,” all of which stem in their ways from “Darkness,” an album in which a grown man who had experienced success and stood on the precipice of elimination dug in to say what he wanted to, all else be damned.

    “‘Darkness,'” Mr. Springsteen said, “made very clear what we were after: music built strong enough to be about sustaining things—family, your job. Things that are always relevant.”

    As for changing his voice and sound after having achieved success, he said, “You don’t risk, you don’t get.”

  133. Schrodinger's cat says:


    AR’s? Go for an AR-10 at minimum with a piston system as opposed to gas impingement, especially in a marine environment. that salt air would wreak havoc on a gas impingement AR.

  134. 250K says:

    sideliner #100

    If you regard Westfield as a NJ train town, then some comps are at about 2008 pricing.

    MLS 2796260
    617 Lawrence Ave
    Sold 2/2008 for $1,100,000
    Sold 10/2008 $1,075,000

  135. JJ says:

    Darkness was his last good album. Remember buying it in the Lake Success Mall the day it came out. I puked when the river came out and gave up on him. Guy never worked a day in his life and sings about working men.

  136. Mr Wantanapolous says:


    Great stuff.

    “On “Darkness,” the E Street Band is restrained until it must explode”

    I’ve done my best to live the right way
    I get up every morning and go to work each day
    But your eyes go blind and your blood runs cold
    Sometimes I feel so weak I just want to explode
    Explode and tear this whole town apart
    Take a knife and cut this pain from my heart
    Find somebody itching for something to start

    Promised Land

  137. poor guy says:

    hey jj you just insulted nj’s most loved icon

    I didn’t know there were shacks in long island dating from the 1600s. what are the taxes on it?

  138. chicagofinance says:

    Wantan: video from WSJ website…

  139. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [131];

    First of all, there is a stark dichotomy between those who owned property before c. 2003-2004, and those who did not. Those who did got in on the ground floor, and bully for them. Those who did not haven’t been lifted by the bubble that to this day has barely given back half of its gain. Even someone making your kind of coin who reached to buy c. 2005-2006 is a long way from paying off their house, presuming they still have a job.

    Which brings me to my second point – you’re being parochial. Your zip code or office water cooler is not representative of America. The median household income in this country is ~$52k. Lots of people raise families, have careers, invent things, build things, take vacations, fight wars, etc. without ever breaking $100k, and they’re really not any less for it.

  140. chicagofinance says:

    Cisco getting the living sh!t kicked out of it after hours…..so glad I pitched it en masse after they instituted the dividend…….

    The NASDAQ must be going to get rocked tomorrow….

    Chambers needs to STFU…..

  141. Lamar says:

    BC (107)-

    That trust fund cash should come in handy when he’s ready to renovate the shopping cart he’ll be living from.

  142. grim says:

    From the AP:

    Ask.com laying off 130 workers in search retreat

    Internet search engine Ask.com is laying off about 130 engineers because it no longer plans to use its own technology for indexing and recommending websites.

    The retreat announced Tuesday is aimed at cutting Ask.com’s costs while sharpening its focus on finding answers to search requests posed in the form of a question. The layoffs in New Jersey and China will reduce Ask.com’s work force of about 400 employees by nearly one-third.

  143. grim says:

    Not a good day for high paying jobs in NJ.

  144. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim 143 NJ hasn’t had one of those days for many years.

  145. grim says:

    IAC/Ask.com shutting down the Edison, NJ office.

  146. NJCoast says:

    Bob Dylan at Monmouth University this Sunday. What should I make for dinner?

  147. grim says:

    I’d say hash, but you said dinner.

    Remind him to take his ID if he’s going to venture out into the wild of NJ again.

  148. grim says:

    Anyone need a robosigner?

    From the St. Petersburg Times:

    Layoffs at David J. Stern’s Florida foreclosure firm hit 435

    DJSP Enterprises, the parent company of David J. Stern’s foreclosure law firm, laid off 435 workers over the past week, according to a WARN layoff notice filed with the state.

    The Plantation-based firm said last week it would lay off a total of 560 in the wake of a decision by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to remove their cases and cut ties with the firm. Stern’s company, which was once the ninth-largest Broward County employer with 1,600 employees, has been under fire for allegedly fabricating and/or presenting false and misleading documents in foreclosure cases.

  149. grim says:

    From the LA Times:

    Nicolas Cage’s Bel-Air home goes to new owner for just $10.5 million

    The sale of Nicolas Cage’s onetime Bel-Air estate, which the actor lost to foreclosure this year, has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster. There was hubris, bad taste and a dizzying fall from financial grace.

    The closing scene played out this week when a new owner picked up the sprawling mansion for $10.5 million, a relative bargain for a trophy home that had been listed several years ago at more than three times that amount. The buyer was identified only as a limited liability company, a common cloaking device in high-profile real estate transactions.

    The 1940 Tudor had failed to generate any bids in April when it was offered at the county courthouse steps in Pomona. Six loans totaling $18 million encumbered the house, which the actor had decorated in a style one local real estate agent dubbed “frat-house bordello.” Among personalized touches were garish room colors, three dozen bronze wall sconce holders made from a cast of the Oscar winner’s arm and hundreds of elaborately framed comic-book covers lining the walls.

  150. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Mortgage Lenders Push for Exemption from Dodd-Frank

    Mortgage lenders want federal regulators to exclude most home loans from new requirements that would force lenders to keep a portion of those loans on their books.

    The Dodd-Frank financial overhaul passed over the summer requires lenders to retain a 5% stake in loans packaged and sold to investors. The idea was to force lenders to keep some “skin in the game.” As a result, lenders would be less likely to repeat the shoddy lending practices that led to the housing bust.

    Regulators now must define which loans are safe enough to be excluded from these new restrictions, known as risk retention rules. They are to issue the rules by April 2011 at the latest. The Mortgage Bankers Association said in a letter to federal housing regulators Tuesday that mortgages with adjustable rates should qualify for an exemption from the risk-retention rules. Adjustable-rate mortgages should qualify, the group said, as long as they have an initial fixed payment period of at least three years.

    The trade group also said that interest-only loans, in which borrowers do not make principal payments for several years, should be allowed. They should be permitted only if borrowers can prove that they can afford payments after the interest-only period expires.

  151. Fabius Maximus says:

    So when you put the blame on those American Idol, Dancing with the Stars watchers, just remember who that is ….. :*)


  152. Fabius Maximus says:

    #119 Justin,

    200Billion down, only 1.1Trillion to go.

  153. House Whine says:

    143- Hi Grim. More applicants for the NJ UI fund I guess. I heard on the news this a.m. that Google sent emails to their employees giving them all a 10% raise and $1000 for the holidays. Supposedly, they don’t want them jumping ship to go over to FB.

  154. Lamar says:

    coast (147)-

    Some Highway 51 fare: fried pickles, like at the Velvet Cream in Hernando, MS.

  155. Lamar says:

    Or…some Highway 61 fried pickles, like at the Blue & White in Tunica.

  156. Al Gore says:

    Mortgage interest tax deductions targeted for elimination.

    This should be bullish for home prices. None of these things will solve the fiscal problem. They in fact will make it worse. If for a second you dont think the feds are at war with the American people think again. It will get worse. I promise you.

  157. Tom says:

    Getting that “frat-house bordello” look shouldn’t cost $18 million.

    Cage must have tried to recreate the smell as well. That’s where the designers nail you.

  158. Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post. financial help

  159. onthebrink says:

    Thanks Y’ome – had no idea it was that straight forward.

  160. chicagofinance says:

    John Henry’s $476 Million Liverpool ‘Steal’ May Double

  161. Samivel says:

    “penalties of perjury” against lawyers caught filing bad documents, even if they didn’t know about the problems when the foreclosure process began.

    Strange how this policy has not been extended to matrimonial or personal injury lawyers. Yet another obstacle to delay the foreclosure process and allow people to continue living for free in houses they cannot afford for as long as possible.

  162. I was trying to find this. Thanks a lot.

  163. thank for this relevant information. thank you

  164. great post.Thanks and wish all the best.Will be back soon.

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