Delinquent homeowners get holiday moratorium

From the Philly Inquirer:

Phila. homeowners facing foreclosure get holiday reprieve

Homeowners facing foreclosure got a holiday reprieve Thursday as Philadelphia’s top judge ordered a 30-day moratorium on sheriff’s sales while waiting for a federal relief program to arrive in January.

At the urging of advocates and City Council, and with the approval of Sheriff John Green, Common Pleas Court President Judge Pamela Dembe on Wednesday issued a stay on sales scheduled for Jan. 4.

Citing “the extraordinary and exigent circumstances surrounding the forthcoming sheriff sale and unprecedented relief that has been established by the federal government,” Dembe ordered the stay and scheduled a hearing on Jan. 13.

City Council members Jannie L. Blackwell and Curtis Jones Jr. urged the moratorium at the behest of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, the grassroots advocate for unemployed and low-income workers, which lobbied for the delay to allow a federal foreclosure-intervention program to take effect.

Most of the 1,498 properties listed for sale are residential and could be affected, said Chief Deputy Sheriff Barbara Deeley. The rule will apply only to owner-occupied homes, Deeley said Thursday. Owners will have the burden of proving they live in those homes. The PUP estimated that 1,200 homes are listed for sale in its emergency petition Thursday.

“There’s a lot of happy campers in this city who were going to lose their homes right before New Year’s,” John Dodds, executive director for the PUP, said upon learning of the cancellation of January’s sheriff’s sale.

Without the cancellation, homeowners would have faced a total loss. By contrast, he said, “the loss for a bank is you have to wait a month.”

“In light of the holiday season, this moratorium on sheriff sales will be the best present people living under the foreclosure glare and experiencing distress could receive,” Jones said.

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73 Responses to Delinquent homeowners get holiday moratorium

  1. grim says:

    I’ll open the 2011 prediction thread early next week.

  2. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Massive Housing Data Dump Lends No Clarity

    You would think that with barely a week left in 2010 we’d have a better idea of where we’re headed in 2011, but a new round of data seem to have the experts more conflicted than ever.

    Home sales are weak, but improving, prices are weaker and flat to lower, inventories are pretty much unchanged in the face of a huge shadow inventory, and the foreclosures crisis threatens to get worse before it gets better.

    The National Association of Realtors, at least their chief economist Lawrence Yun, claim that recovery is all about credit and jobs. If both improve, buyers will come back to the market in droves. Yun even claims that rising mortgage interest rates are less important than access to credit, and I think I agree, although I think there’s a bit more to it than that.

    But home prices are more the talk at holiday parties right now. The Realtors reported today that prices were essentially flat nationwide in November, up just 0.4 percent, although other reports have shown them dipping again.

    A survey of economists by MacroMarkets (Robert Shiller’s organization of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index) found the vast majority see no home price appreciation in 2011 with a dimmer view than previous estimates on where we’ll be even by the end of 2014—up just around 7 percent for the five year period.

    It’s important to remember, at this crossroads to the new year, that this is historically the slowest season for housing. Some data are seasonally adjusted, and some are not.

    I think the uncertainty in the housing, and specifically the mortgage market right now, make predictions sketchy at best and dangerous at worst.

    (“Housing is a Massive Dump” would have been more appropriate)

  3. grim says:

    For those who wish to review this year’s predictions:

  4. grim says:

    From WFMZ:

    Workers Left Without Jobs Two Days Before Christmas

    Just two days before Christmas, nearly a hundred employees at a Warren County, New Jersey manufacturing plant are out of a job.

    Thursday was the last day of work for most of the 85 employees at BASF manufacturing in Belvidere. Some will stay on for a few weeks to manage closing operations.

    Employees were notified nearly two years ago the plant, which made automotive refinish products, was closing.

    A BASF spokesperson says the operation is moving to an existing, newer plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

    The company started paint production at the James Street site in 1985.

    Belvidere Mayor Charles Liegel calls the closing a devastating blow to the community.

    “It’s bad news for the town in general. They’re our biggest taxpayer. They employ some people in our town. I think there’s about ten of ’em who actually live in our town,” said Mayor Charles

    A BASF spokesperson says the company is closing the Belvidere site as part of a consolidation of its automotive finishing paint operations.

    Plant officials say it’s an aging facility and the site would require significant investment to continue operations.

    Officials say the 80-year-old plant will be decommissioned and demolished.

  5. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Passaic sheriff’s office lays off 24

    It’s going to be a sad Christmas for 24 employees of the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department who were told Thursday they are being laid off.

    All the job cuts come from the ranks of the so-called “at will” employees — investigators, sheriff’s officers, per-diem jail guards and other workers, most of whom were appointed by the previous sheriff, Jerry Speziale. The employees do not enjoy Civil Service protection.

    Acting Sheriff Charles Meyers announced the layoffs on Thursday after conferring with incoming Sheriff Richard Berdnik, who takes office on Jan. 1.

    “This cost-saving measure will yield an estimated $700,000 a year,” Meyers said. “This action is consistent with the budget discussion that I have had with the county administration and will also put the department in compliance with previous rulings from the Civil Service Commission.”

    In May, the Civil Service Commission found that Speziale had exceeded the number of permitted patronage appointments by eight. State law allows a sheriff to bypass the Civil Service exam and appoint up to 15 percent of his staff on an “at will” basis.

  6. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    N.J. grocery distributor for A&P, Pathmark warns of 1,100 layoffs

    The New Jersey grocery distributor for the troubled A&P and Pathmark supermarket chains said today it may lay off its entire workforce of 1,100 workers and shut down all six warehouses.

    Woodbridge Logistics, a subsidiary of New Hampshire-based C&S Wholesale Grocers, confirmed it filed a notice with the state Labor Department earlier this month warning of 1,114 possible layoffs, effective Feb. 6.

    The layoffs would take place at all six of the distributor’s warehouses, which include New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Dayton and three locations in Woodbridge, said Richard Smith, a company spokesman.

    The company, which entered New Jersey in 1989, is a distributor for the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., the operator of the A&P and Pathmark supermarket chains, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month.

  7. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Was just breezing through prediction thread Qwerty #72, 5 for 6 not bad.

  8. Confused In NJ says:

    Merry Christmas Eve!

  9. Christmas in oblivion. Just smell the rot.

  10. serenity now says:

    Re#9 “Christmas in oblivion”
    Come on Clot be nice – I am sure Jesus’ manager is not in foreclosure.

  11. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Tough economy causing surge in credit card debt litigation in N.J.

    The nation’s recession has caused a jump in lawsuits filed in New Jersey’s courts over credit card debt, with formerly affluent people increasingly the target of litigation.

    Lawsuits to recover debts of between $3,000 and $15,000 increased 25 percent from the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, to the year ending June 30, 2010, according to court records. Court officials say credit card debt is the main reason for that spike.

    Some of the state’s most affluent counties have seen the largest increases in cases, according to court records. Hunterdon saw an increase of 62 percent from 2007 to 2010, Ocean a 56 percent jump, and Bergen a 45 percent increase. That trend came as no surprise to Parsippany lawyer Mitchell Stein, who represents defendants in credit card suits.

    “Traditionally, our clients were lower-income,” Stein said. “Now, you see a lot more people who were relying on credit cards to maintain their expensive lifestyles, and then they can’t pay their debts. They’ve lost their jobs, they’ve been through divorces or they have medical issues.”

  12. serenity (10)-

    Last I heard, Jesus’ manager couldn’t get him a 2 AM lounge gig in Vegas.

    “I am sure Jesus’ manager is not in foreclosure.”

  13. David Rosenberg, fun read:


    1. In Barron’s look-ahead piece, not one strategist sees the prospect for a market decline. This is called group-think. Moreover, the percentage of brokerage house analysts and economists to raise their 2011 GDP forecasts has risen substantially. Out of 49 economists surveyed, 35 say the U.S. economy will outperform the already upwardly revised GDP forecasts, only 14 say we will underperform. This is capitulation of historical proportions.

    2. The weekly fund flow data from the ICI showed not only massive outflows, but in aggregate, retail investors withdrew a RECORD net $8.6 billion from bond funds during the week ended December 15 (on top of the $1.7 billion of outflows in the prior week). Maybe now all the bond bears will shut their traps over this “bond-bubble” nonsense.

    3. Investors Intelligence now shows the bull share heading up to 58.8% from 55.8% a week ago, and the bear share is up to 20.6% from 20.5%. So bullish sentiment has now reached a new high for the year and is now the highest since 2007 ? just ahead of the market slide.

    4. It may pay to have a look at Dow 1929-1949 analog lined up with January 2000. We are getting very close to the May 1940 sell-off when Germany invaded France. As a loyal reader and trusted friend notified us yesterday, “fighting” war may be similar to the sovereign debt war raging in Europe today. (Have a look at the jarring article on page 20 of today’s FT — Germany is not immune to the contagion gripping Europe.)

    5. What about the S&P 500 dividend yield, and this comes courtesy of an old pal from Merrill Lynch who is currently an investment advisor. Over the course of 2010, numerous analysts were saying that people must own stocks because the dividend yields will be more than that of the 10-year Treasury. But alas, here we are today with the S&P 500 dividend yield at 2% and the 10-year T-note yield at 3.3%.

    From a historical standpoint, the yield on the S&P 500 is very low ? too low, in fact. This smacks of a market top and underscores the point that the market is too optimistic in the sense that investors are willing to forgo yield because they assume that they will get the return via the capital gain. In essence, dividend yields are supposed to be higher than the risk free yield in a fairly valued market because the higher yield is “supposed to” compensate the investor for taking on extra risk. The last time S&P yields were around this level was in the summer of 2000, and we know what happened shortly after that. When the S&P yield gets to its long-term average of 4.35%, maybe even a little higher, then stocks will likely be a long-term buy.

    6. The equity market in gold terms has been plummeting for about a decade and will continue to do so. When measured in Federal Reserve Notes, the Dow has done great. But there has been no market recovery when benchmarked against the most reliable currency in the world. Back in 2000, it took over 40oz of gold to buy the Dow; now it takes a little more than 8oz. This is typical of secular bear markets and this ends when the Dow can be bought with less than 2oz of gold. Even then, an undershoot could very well take the ratio to 1:1.

    7. As Bob Farrell is clearly indicating in his work, momentum and market breadth have been lacking. The number of stocks in the S&P 500 that are making 52-week highs is declining even though the index continues to make new 52-week highs.

    8. Stocks are overvalued at the present levels. For December, the Shiller P/E ratio says stocks are now trading at a whopping 22.7 times earnings! In normal economic periods, the Shiller P/E is between 14 and 16 times earnings. Coming out of the bursting of a credit bubble, the P/E ratio historically is 12. Coming out of a credit bubble of the magnitude we just had, the P/E should be at single digits.

    9. The potential for a significant down-leg in home prices is being underestimated. The unsold existing inventory is still 80% above the historical norm, at 3.7 million. And that does not include the ‘shadow’ foreclosed inventory. According to some superb research conducted by the Dallas Fed, completing the mean-reversion process would entail a further 23% decline in real home prices from here. In a near zero percent inflation environment, that is one massive decline in nominal terms. Prices may not hit their ultimate bottom until some point in 2015.

    10. Arguably the most understated, yet significant, issue facing both U.S. economy and U.S. markets is the escalating fiscal strains at the state and local government levels, particularly those jurisdictions with uncomfortably high pension liabilities. Have a look at Alabama town shows the cost of neglecting a pension fund on the front page of the NYT as well as Chapter 9 weighed in pension woes on page C1 on WSJ.

    In the absence of Chapter 9 declarations or dramatic federal aid, fixing the fiscal problems at lower levels of government is very likely going to require some radical restraint, perhaps even breaking up existing contracts for current retirees and tapping tax payers for additional revenues. The story has some how become lost in all the excitement over the New Tax Deal cobbled together between the White House and the lame duck Congress just a few weeks ago.

  14. Can’t wait for the predictions thread.

    In 2011, the gubmint parasites will do all the ultra-violence for us. Wait ’til their benny wagon gravy train gets shut down.

  15. As we all faced and will continue to face challenging times, I would still like to encourage everyone to try to think positive and to wish everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY NEWY YEAR. May 2011 bring you HEALTH and HAPPINESS. Let’s remember that money is great and we all want the CEO’s salary, however nothing will ruin us faster than greed.

  16. Mikeinwaiting says:

    New Home Sales Disappoint “Worst hit for the month was the Northeast. There sales plunged 26.7% on the month and are off 29.0% from a year ago. Sales in the Midwest were off 13.3% from September and are down 53.5% from a year ago, easily making it the hardest hit on a year-over-year basis.”

  17. freedy says:

    No problem, call Dot Herman

  18. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “Inventories of new homes declined by 2.0% on the month and are down 16.5% from a year ago. In absolute terms, new home inventories are in very good shape, at the lowest levels since the late 1960’s. This can be seen in the second graph.

    However, inventories must always be evaluated relative to how fast they are selling. The current rate puts the months of supply at 8.2 months, down from 8.8 months in October, but up from 7.7 months a year ago. While that is well off the peak of 12.0 months, it is still well above normal. A healthy market has about a six month supply of new houses, and during the bubble four months was the norm, as is shown in the graph below.

    Of course, used homes are very good substitutes for new homes, and yesterday we found out that the months of supply for used homes was 9.5 months (see “Used Home Sales Rise Everywhere”)”
    (The Kicker)
    “That means that prices of existing homes are going to continue to fall, making life even tougher.”
    And that my friends is that.
    Same link.

  19. 30 year realtor says:

    #19-Newark is only the beginning of the crime story. Urban centers in NJ are all laying off cops. With smaller budgets police must decide what is cost effective. Throwing money at programs with limited or unknown results is no longer an option. Makes me view the War on Drugs like Einstein viewed Prohibition on his first trip to the U.S.: “The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this”.

  20. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Clot [13],

    “Back in 2000, it took over 40oz of gold to buy the Dow; now it takes a little more than 8oz. This is typical of secular bear markets and this ends when the Dow can be bought with less than 2oz of gold. Even then, an undershoot could very well take the ratio to 1:1.”


  21. Graydon M. Ellery, III says:

    “Urban centers in NJ are all laying off cops. With smaller budgets police must decide what is cost effective”

    100% of police officers focusing on parking tickets? It is nicer than chasing gangs or drug dealers, I assume.

  22. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    OOS [23],

    Classic, hilarious and spot on. Yes, the girders of the LBMA and Comex are shaking. This will be one for the record books.

  23. galgon says:

    I was wondering if someone could give me the sales info for 303 willever way 08886. I never saw a sold sign but the for sale sign is gone and it is no longer listed. I was just curious as to what the final sales price was assuming it sold.

    Thanks in advance.

  24. Mikeinwaiting says:

    If police spent more time trying to fight crime instead of generating revenue the streets would not be that bad. As I grew up in Hudson county & worked on the piers in NYC before they cleaned it up over 30 years ago I might have a different view on “not that bad”. That being said grow a set, freedom is a dangerous thing: you want it , low taxes , less gov. , you take your chances. If not big brother will make you feel soooo safe.

  25. Confused In NJ says:

    Applebees had last call for drinks at 7:45, closing at 8:00.

  26. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Downloading photos so that I have a clear memory card for tomorrow. I’ll probably close out Christmas Eve here on the board.

    The girls got their “Big” gift today because, well, you can’t keep a Boston Terrier wrapped up under the tree overnight. Guess I am going back to zone defense, trying to keep a dog out of the garbage and a 20 month old off the dog. Such a good dog too–we got her from a rescue today and she settled right in. Even fell asleep at my feet tonight.

    This is probably the last year I will have my oldest excited about Santa Claus, so I tried to enjoy it while it lasts. Even went on NoradSanta to show her where he was working. Next year, she will probably want to hang with her friends, listen to her ipod, and try to forget she has a father.

    Well, enough sentimental musings. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

  27. deadbeat says:

    Short sale went through after much cajoling and browbeating. Tale of the Tape:
    Deposit on pre-construction : late 2004, purchased after intentional builder delays in mid-2006. Purchase price $250,000, 20% down. Stopped paying mortgage June 2010, kept paying HOA. Never received foreclosure paperwork, just the odd phone call. Short Sale price $110,ooo. Earlier offer of $105,000 rejected. Took back $25,000 10 year, zero interest note from one of the agencies. Not proud of it, but live to fight another day. FICO is nuked.

  28. Barbara says:

    32. its behind you now. You are already better off than many for it. To quote Don Draper – “move forward.” Enjoy the holidays.

  29. joyce says:

    what do you mean “. Took back $25,000 10 year, zero interest note from one of the agencies.” ?

  30. willwork4beer says:

    Merry Christmas to all from BFE (Central PA Division).

  31. Mike says:

    Merry Christmas To Everyone!

  32. Still_Renting says:

    Merry Christmas !

  33. Confused In NJ says:

    This A.M. weather forecast changed to “Confused gets the snow blower ready again”, Bah Humbug tommorrow, Merry Christmas today.

  34. BC (21)-

    My Xmas wish for 2011.

  35. NJGator says:

    Feliz Navidad, folks!

  36. Christmas in oblivion.

  37. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Merry Christmas folks!

  38. Juice Box says:

    Merry Christmas folks!

  39. China gives the gift that keeps on giving. They keep taking delivery of physical PMs, and now the rate-jacking has commenced in earnest.

    “Following Friday’s failed 3 Month Bill auction, things in China are once again getting interesting, just as the rest of the world has decided to sleep right into 2011. The PBoC, in a surprise move, hiked its lending and deposits rates by 0.25%, the second time the bank has done so since October 19, when its then-raise was the first in 3 years. And by all accounts the PBoC is not done: consensus is for three 25 bps moves by the end of 2011: that the PBoC is starting early may be an indication that the country is starting to seriously worry about its soft landing prospects. Yet one thing that is certain is this move cements the CNYUSD peg: despite all the rhetoric, China will keep the currency peg come hell or high water, as it eliminates any monetary trump card Bernanke may have (just as Germany loves being part of the EUR which has such insolvent countries as all PIIGS members backing up the rear). What is unclear is whether the PBoC has now decided to avoid the RRR hike path as the preferred approach to combating inflation. It is assumed that his action will have a soothing impact on the Chinese 7 and 30 Day Repo rates come Monday, as else more failed bond auctions are certain to be in store for Shanghai in 2011.”

  40. Yikes says:

    merry christmas!

  41. Fabius Maximus says:

    Happy Holidays everyone.

    Take it away Mr Garrison

  42. nj escapee says:

    Merry Christmas from the Conch Republic

  43. Graydon M. Ellery, III says:

    happy holidays for all 57 states!

  44. Barbara says:

    My son like his Nerf semi auto with laser scope bestest. Thought you all might appreciate. No more shrinky dinks for m’boy! Babies all grows up… *sniff*

  45. Barbara says:


  46. babs (49)-

    Just think of your future pride when you purchase Junior his first Tec-9.

  47. Merry Christmas to Mr. Hankey.

  48. onthebrink says:

    Merry Christmas all!

  49. Shore Guy says:

    Hey Stu,

    Time to fire up the snow blower.

  50. NJGator says:

    Shore – Time for the tenants to fire up the snow blower. We are roughing it at a Cancun All-Inclusive.

  51. Confused In NJ says:

    Just tested the snowblower as NOOA upgraded us to a Blizzard Warning with 11″-16″ snow, and blowing drifts, as wind will be 20-30mph, with gusts to 40mph. Triple Bah Humbug! The weather is like the economy, totaly dysfunctional.

  52. grim says:

    Flying out to Nola on Wednesday. Won’t miss the snow, but oh well! A few drinks in and I’ll forget all about it.

  53. gator (55)-

    Is a Cancun all-inclusive anything like a Tijuana donkey show?

  54. …or a Rte. 3 full-body shampoo?

  55. …or an ATW, a la jj?

  56. relo says:

    Holy Smokes,

    Anyone have residential snowblower recommendations? Thanks in advance.

  57. Confused In NJ says:

    61.relo says:
    December 25, 2010 at 10:34 pm
    Holy Smokes,

    Anyone have residential snowblower recommendations? Thanks in advance

    I have found Ariens, which you can buy in Home Depot, to be very reliable. Honda is excellent, but costly. Never had luck with Craftsman, but both my Honda & Ariens are good.

  58. No room for religion
    No room for morals
    Creating false celebrities
    To be the spokesperson for their beliefs and products
    Don’t anyone else see it?
    Sadness festers
    Intuition nonexistent
    Democracy is just a trick for capitalism to win
    Get everyone involved
    Not to acquire peace
    But to get a piece
    A piece of everything
    Of every country and every government
    Casualties only a sacrifice for the greater cause
    Of greater power
    Making everyone believe all they see
    Is all they want
    Is all there is
    All they want
    Is all they see
    The average American

    Everyone just lusting
    After money and power
    And sex
    After shocking moments
    Proud to be a ho
    Fame is all there is
    To keep us closed
    A plan
    Only to control
    And we fall for it
    And for what?
    Meanwhile the boys are out there
    Consolidating the world
    While we’re here in oblivion
    Working hard to party the money away
    To get drunk to forget
    What we don’t even know
    Cause we don’t even want to know
    There’s no room for religion
    Only moldable minds

    Uninterested in looking beyond
    These four walls of a country
    Boxing us in
    Losing everything
    In spite of ourselves
    Including ourselves
    Souls have a sickness
    Called control
    But we don’t own anything
    We only beg and borrow
    From the bank
    that division of the government
    Set up to make more off of our
    Simpleminded, uneducated, no-one-told-us-cause-no-one-ever-knew-themselves ignorance
    We get ahead to fall behind
    Time and time again
    Blindfolded by the American dream
    The average American

    Meanwhile the boys are out
    Following the man
    They only just met
    But will never trust
    To provide justice
    That makes no sense
    There’s no room for religion out there
    Slowly eating away at the core
    With nothing to believe in

    And make home
    We the same average Americans
    With nothing to believe in
    But the picture-perfect painting on grandma’s wall
    That will never be
    Cause there’s no room for religion in democracy

    Alicia Keys

  59. NJCoast says:

    It’s baaack.
    Already a coating on the ground. The good news is my neighbor just got a monster snowblower delivered, he’ll do the whole block trying out his new toy.

  60. dan says:


    Is that an alicia keys song or poem?

    BTW, regarding the six players you gave me against Ray Lewis and wondering whether it’s a fight or a knife fight, well, it’s Ray Lewis. How if he’s not kicking their asses immediately doesn’t it escalate to a knife fight?

  61. pricesstillskyhigh says:

    Can anyone recommend a good buyer’s agent for Bridgewater/Bedminster area? Thanks

  62. Graydon M. Ellery, III says:

    I hate this Global Warming. Thank god we have our best men working on that. I think he invented the Internet before he solved the GW.

  63. Wildie says:

    I hate when people don’t put real estate news on the board (#68), but oh well, guess you’ve got to acknowledge reality:

  64. Wildie says:

    Despite the “granet” counters, it’s going to take a bit more than $8000 from the seller to move this POS:

  65. Barbara says:

    Metuchen flies under the radar on this board but it is by far the MOST wackadoodle of all NJ markets, makes Bergen look tame when comparing size and quality for price. I looked in Metuchen for a couple years, gave up.

  66. Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved MUCH time :-)

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