The New American Ghost Town

From HousingWire:

How the Great Recession created ghost towns

In Detroit, bulldozers crumple vacant homes left behind during foreclosure by the thousands. Las Vegas developments sit abandoned, and the rapid growth of Stockton, Calif., has screeched to a halt in the wake of the Great Recession.

As some markets such as San Diego and Washington, D.C., lead the recovery out of the housing crisis, others are becoming ghost towns. A study from James Follain of the Research Institute for Housing America showed in some markets such as Cleveland and Stockton, a recovery could be many years out as populations are moving out faster than the homes they vacate can either be resold or even destroyed.

“Such decreases in population and employment trigger declines in the demand for housing, and because people are more mobile than houses, it takes many years for supply and demand to become balanced again and for house prices to return to prior levels,” Follain wrote.

From the LA Times:

Housing bust creates new kind of declining city

Although the causes of the decline in these metropolitan areas are distinct from the loss of employment from shrinking manufacturing and industry in some of the nation’s old industrial powerhouses, these areas could experience fates similar to places such as Cleveland and Detroit, with neighborhoods experiencing high rates of vacancies for a very long time, according to a study to be released Thursday.

“Some neighborhoods are going to suffer tremendously or are never going to come back or come back very, very slowly,” said James R. Follain, senior fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government and author of the study published by the Research Institute for Housing America, a division of the Mortgage Bankers Assn.

A traditional city in decline is one that has suffered a sustained population drop, leaving behind empty houses, apartment buildings, offices and storefronts. Cleveland and Detroit, for instance, suffered from the erosion of manufacturing and the loss of residents, who left in search of jobs.

Instead of eroding a particular industry, however, the housing bust left a glut of homes because of overbuilding and the foreclosure crisis. Follain argues that the future of these cities is threatened in similar ways to that of Rust Belt cities.

“Long-vacant neighborhoods are going to develop, and we can imagine what can happen,” he said, including potentially higher crime and lower property taxes.

Celia Chen, a housing economist with Moody’s, predicts that a full recovery in parts of California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida won’t occur until 2030.

“The housing boom elevated home prices in a number of areas far, far above what can be supported by the economic fundamentals, and so prices have fallen significantly, and they will remain below their previous peaks easily for a decade, or even two decades,” Chen said.

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

224 Responses to The New American Ghost Town

  1. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    JPMorgan, GMAC Urge New Jersey Court Not to Suspend Home Foreclosures

    Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other U.S. banks told a New Jersey court that defects in their processes for seizing homes in the state can be remedied without halting foreclosures.

    The banks have taken steps to improve their procedures, making a suspension unnecessary, they said in documents filed yesterday in state court in Trenton, New Jersey, and made public today. The filings came in response to a proposal to freeze foreclosures in the state by six U.S. banks while their procedures are reviewed.

    The banks’ practices came under scrutiny after bank employees signed court documents in foreclosure cases without verifying their accuracy, according to court papers.

    “Bank of America fully appreciates the court’s concerns and looks forward to working with the court to address them,” the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company said. “The court should not take the steps outlined in the order because they are unnecessary and will cause a wholesale delay in administering foreclosure cases that is not in the public interest.”

  2. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  3. Mike says:

    Merck to lose 580 jobs at it’s Kenilworth campus

  4. grim says:

    #3 – From MMM this morning:

    Ax falls at Merck as CEO talks sales cuts

    Eight weeks after the completion of Merck’s merger with Schering-Plough, the new company is making staff cuts while hinting of more in commercial and manufacturing areas.

    Five hundred employees from Schering-Plough’s former Kenilworth, NJ, headquarters, now a Merck campus, are set to be let go next month, according to a post on the New Jersey Department of Labor website. It’s unclear in which part of the firm these cuts are to occur, though.

    Merck CEO Dick Clark yesterday commented on areas where he may authorize reductions. “There is still a lot of duplication, not only in sales force but also in marketing organizations and corporate organizations and issues like that,” said Clark, speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference.

    Employers in New Jersey are required by law to provide notice 60 days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs. Pfizer, another big pharma company in the midst of absorbing a huge company, Wyeth, indicated plans to lay off 400 people by month’s end in Monmouth Junction, a town in the center of New Jersey and the site of Wyeth’s research headquarters, according to the website.

  5. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Some states stopping foreclosure some not. This will skew the market & prolong the pain. Who would buy at any price with a significant amount of foreclosure waiting in the wings. This will create more foreclosure as longer clearing time will force more people needing to sell into it. I’m all for it, stop the process now!

  6. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Treasury Drops Short Sale Requirements

    As more and more homeowners dipped underwater on their mortgages last year and didn’t qualify for loan modifications, the Obama Administration launched a program to help them out.

    The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative program, a last resort, includes incentives to lenders to do more short sales.

    That’s when the lender allows the home to be sold for less than the value of the loan; the lender takes a financial loss, but avoids a far more costly foreclosure. Borrowers also get cash incentives to leave.

    There are close to 11 million underwater borrower, with that number rising has home prices dip again.

    The program wasn’t doing so well by the end of the year and had come under quite the criticism from the industry for being too complicated and too strict.

    A recent report from the folks who oversee the TARP (the Congressional Oversight Panel) said that the Treasury has spent just $4.3 million on HAFA for 661 short sales.

    As for the second lien issue, that’s just a big bad can o’ worms that needs far stricter guidance, not more lenient guidance.

    Second lien-holders, many of whom are the major banks/servicers themselves, have been the fundamental roadblock to short sales so far.

  7. grim says:

    I would discourage anyone from attempting to enter into a short sale if there is a second lien involved. Second liens are nothing but a recipe for months of wasted time, and thousands of wasted dollars.

  8. grim says:

    On a more positive note, from Bloomberg:

    Employment in U.S. Probably Picked Up as Economy Strengthened

    Employment in the U.S. probably picked up in December, raising the odds the world’s largest economy will continue to strengthen in 2011, economists said before a report today.

    A projected 150,000 gain in payrolls, the median forecast of 78 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, would follow a 39,000 November increase and bring the total advance for last year to 1.1 million. The unemployment rate dropped to 9.7 percent from 9.8 percent, the survey showed.

    More jobs and bigger paychecks may continue to lift sales, giving companies like Dollar General Corp. reason to keep adding workers and helping sustain the recovery. At the same time, the pace of progress signals it will take years to recover the 8.4 million jobs lost due to the recession, underscoring why the Federal Reserve is pumping more money into the economy.

    “There’s reason for businesses to be a little more optimistic,” David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television this week. “Businesses will be hiring if they think that hiring is going to increase their bottom line.”

  9. No housing recovery for 20-40 years.

    Oblivion, dead ahead.

    Wake me when the bank runs begin.

    Got my gat and a basement full of goodies for when the shooting starts.

    Dimon has his minder watching Bojangles 24/7.

    Bull market in the US’ two largest exports, debt and inflation.

    Bergabe and Eraserhead warn yet again that Amerika will collapse unless the banksters are allowed to continue to bleed the country dry.

    Dumbocrats/Rethuglicans: two (similar) sides of a festering carbuncle.

    The wheels are about to come off, gang.

  10. grim (8)-

    Want fries with that?

  11. 30 year realtor says:

    Have to assume there are massive portfolios of second mortgages written as the back end of 80/20 and 90/10 mortgages which are completely valueless. Their only purpose is to add false value to a bank’s balance sheet and obstruct short sales.

  12. Essex says:

    Welcome to America! Land of the thin skinned douchebag where distractions rule. Say what is Lilo up to??

  13. Confused In NJ says:

    CHITILA, Romania — Everyone curses the tax man, but Romanian witches angry about having to pay up for the first time hurled poisonous mandrake into the Danube river on Thursday to cast spells on the president and government.

    Romania’s newest taxpayers also included fortune tellers, but they probably should have seen it coming

  14. grim says:


    Likewise 80/10/10s, 90/5/5s, and all of the other circa 2005 innovations.

    Idiots to not run away with the 6k Hafa payoff.

  15. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “Japan’s top government spokesman said the country’s fiscal situation is “approaching the edge of a cliff. Kan is “expressing his deep sense of crisis and resolution about the sustainability of social security as the aging population increases under a low birth rate,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku told reporters today in Tokyo. “The supporting fiscal conditions don’t allow for any delays, it’s finally approaching the edge of a cliff.”

    Sound familiar? You can kick the can down the road until you hit a dead end. Watch this closely, coming soon to a theater near you.

  16. renter says:

    We spent six months and wasted thousands of dollars on a short sale. It was a nightmare and I don’t know why we didn’t get out sooner. It was like having to break off an engagement once the invitations are sent out…hard to do. Our lawyer and our real estate agent knew less than nothing about the process.

  17. Sore feet says:

    If you look at some of the prominent inner ring suburbs surrounding Detroit and Cleveland (think Gross Pointe, Shaker & Cleveland Heights), you have a very large # of vacant homes and few if any buyers on the horizon. The ghost town creep / erosion will spread from city to these types of suburbs even though the local municipalities are in fire drill mode to try to make sure these homes don’t fall into a visible state of disrepair and crush the neighborhoods. Given strapped city budgets, it will be difficult.

  18. Mr Wantanapolous says:


  19. grim says:

    Jobs numbers not making anyone happy this morning.

  20. chicagofinance says:

    Debt Supernova says:
    January 7, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Dude…time to up the dosage on the Lexapro…..

  21. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    JB [19],

    One method to improve the rate; increase the # of discouraged workers. This report may have broken the Ritcher scale, an increase of close to 400K and 40% greater than 2009. Like magic, the rate drops to 9.4%. Can’t wait for this spin.

  22. chicagofinance says:

    What would booya say? Time to look for some toys…..

    grim says:
    January 7, 2011 at 8:38 am
    Jobs numbers not making anyone happy this morning.

  23. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Oops, richter.

  24. chicagofinance says:

    clot: here is a little ditty for you….

    Sitting target
    Sitting waiting

    Is full of surprises
    It advertises

    What am I trying to do
    What am I trying to say
    I’m not trying to tell you anything
    You didn’t know
    When you woke up today

    Sitting target
    Sitting praying
    God is saying

    Knows the prospects
    Learn to expect

  25. chicagofinance says:

    Expect the weather crushed the number….

    Mr Wantanapolous says:
    January 7, 2011 at 8:45 am
    Can’t wait for this spin.

  26. grim says:

    400k were snowed in, so they stopped looking for work?

  27. chicagofinance says:

    OMG Edwards is such a fuking loser….what a c-ck!

  28. 250k says:


    >> Jobs numbers not making anyone happy this morning.

    You can always count on CNBC to see the silver lining; their headline:

    … and from within the article: “U.S. stock index futures shaved losses after news fewer jobs were created in December than expected, but the unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent.”

    Bloomberg’s twist: “Stocks, U.S. Futures Fall on Jobless Data”
    Fox Business perspective: “Futures Favor Red After Jobs Report”
    WSJ: “Futures Modestly Lower After Jobs News”

  29. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Great news; those actively seeking a job have much less competition.

  30. 250k says:

    Re: the ax falling at Merck, I am going to refer back to my 2011 prediction and say this is just the tip of the iceberg for NJ.

    >>Especially in NJ, I expect Jan through April 2011 to bring some fresh new meat to
    >> the unemployment lines. The good news is, by year’s end, there may so few
    >> manufacturing and distribution jobs left in the state of NJ, there won’t be any of
    >> those positions left to eliminate.

  31. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I just learned that a friend of mine from the tax program at NYU just lost his job for a small firm in the S.F. area. Firm is really hurting and the partners cut all but one associate. He was asked to stay on to wrap up matters, but was asking about things back here.

    I would love to go into practice with him, but I don’t think there is anything to commend to him that he move back to NJ. About the only reason he would is that he is from NJ and his kids are here. Otherwise, why come here????

    As for the Deplumes, I can run my current practice from anywhere (my primary client is in Connecticut), and I am barred in Mass. and DC as well as NJ. If the wife needed to move, I could move easily. I would also love it if I found full time work in DC and we moved back there. I really liked it there, and the wife can find work in DC pretty easily. Then NJ would be nothing more than a strange, costly, bittersweet memory.

  32. grim says:

    Labor force participation rate at near 30 year lows?

  33. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Pharma in NJ is toast and has been for years. An industry that size does not move quickly, but once it starts to move its unlikely you will stop it. NJ killed its own golden goose. NJ’s 3 high paying industries, telcom, pharma, and finance are all on the way out. telcom is already gone for the most part and pharma is well on the way.

    If Nj isnt careful it could see a Detroit like future where anything outside of the immediate NYC money flow falls apart as the incomes sources dry up.

    If your in pharma your major options right now are NC (RTP area) or Boston.

  34. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Must drive to Uncasville, CT today for a weekend competition. Not looking forward to sharing the road with the worst drivers in the nation under any conditions, let alone snow.

  35. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Unless NJ were to go all blitzkrieg on its debt problem in the very near future, the state is already toast. There are too many unfunded/underfunded obligations and its major income generators have already abandoned the state and are just busy packing up their belongings.

    Even if the state went all out to make themselves attractive to the existing or new high income industries, the payoff takes decades. The state does not have decades.

  36. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [33] Cat

    Europe is an option too. Wife had some remote opportunities (no guarantee they’d pan out) to go over to Brussels and Luxembourg. I’d be a full-time house husband then, working on my bad french, biking leisurely, and sipping espressos in sidewalk cafes.

  37. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Not looking forward to sharing the road with the worst drivers in the nation

    You said you were going to CT not boston.

  38. BlindJust says:

    Cat – Finance?

  39. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Unless you have some good connections europe isnt really an option. European pharma is under serious pressure from India and SE Asia and as such are even more reluctant to bring in outsiders then they usually are, regardless of whether said outsiders are US or not.
    Besides in the developing social environment would you be comfortable taking a family to europe? I havent considered that in depth but imagine that you would want to be careful about what area you end up in.

  40. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    A fair amount of money leaks out of NYC finance in NJ and more recent location of some of the big financial services to the jersey city area have certainly made an impact. Finance is/was the smallest contributor of the 3, and mainly to a small cadre of very high earners, ( finance, telcom, pharma) but i believe it is/was still a factor.
    Telcom and pharma were really the big dogs as they provided relatively high incomes to a wide cross section of people not just a small cadre of high earners.

  41. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “You said you were going to CT not boston.”

    Beantown blames all the idiot NY and NJ students that don’t have a clue regarding sharing the road with a trolley.

  42. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    “Rielle”: what better says, “my parents are white niggaz from the trailer court”?


  43. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Wantan 41

    Forget the trolleys, they have no idea how to drive in traffic on the highway.

  44. chi (20)-

    Lexapr0? Not strong enough.

    What drug out there shuts off reality completely?

  45. Happy Daze says:

    I found this link on another RE message board and thought I’d share it here:

    For some it’ll be humorous, for others it’s a nightmare…

    and I’m still waiting for my buy-1-get-1-free (but not of this quality!).

  46. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Debt 44

    DMT. Most drugs just alter your perception of reality. DMT throws reality off of a cliff, grabs you by the scruff and throws you into reality 2.0. Say hello to the mechanical elves for me.

    Fun fact; DMT is naturally produced in minute amounts in the human body.

  47. Firestormik says:

    Blizzard time
    First of all I want to apologize for my English – it’s not my native language and I always s@cked even in my native one. I’m staying home today and finally got some time to put some notes for you guys on how to drive in snow
    I googled a bit on the topic but most of the articles are either wrong or cover old cars without ABS and ESC. I’ll cover mostly front wheel drive and a bit RWD since these are the majority of the cars I been driving for the last 17 years. If you own 4×4 you should do your own research and test it to learn how your particular car does in these conditions. In my opinion and experience when it skids and doesn’t have ESC, it’s uncontrollable.
    I used to drive 20K miles 365 days a year and 60 days a year on average were snow\ice covered. I believe it was still USSR time when my city saw a plow truck last time. You all know what has happened in NYC with the sanitation department and I believe it will be getting worse, so be prepared.
    Everything said below is assuming you have average all season tires except the part of getting stuck.
    Let’s start:
    1 .Freshly covered snow, temperature is below 34:
    1-3 inches of snow – don’t be afraid, you are pretty much safe, don’t matter FWD or RWD. Traction is reduced by about twice, so you have to adjust accordingly depending on your tires. Whenever you go out in slippery conditions, once you reach 25mpg you should use your breaks to test the traction so you can adjust. Traction is fairly even across all parts of the road when it’s freshly covered with snow and below freezing point.
    3-5 inches. RWD – if you don’t know what are you doing, please stay home. FWD- still safe, note the next note on how to get out if you are stuck
    5-10 inches of snow
    RWD – stay home for sure
    FWD – stay home unless you have winter tires and know what you are doing. With fresh snow there is no ice underneath, so if you stuck it’s just the matter of snow bank in front of you. DO NOT LET YOUR TIRES SPIN AND SLIP. When you do it, your tires melt snow to water underneath which turns instantly to ice, meaning you stuck for good. The best strategy providing you don’t want to get out of the car and clean the way in front of you is to backup, backtracking your way and then move forward slowly, not letting your wheels slip as much as you can, building momentum to get out. If your transmission is manual it’s even easier to get out – just rock the car back and forth but DO NOT LET THE WHEES SPIN! I had to rescue my neighbor’s Scion twice because of his misunderstanding the concept 
    >10 inches of snow. Winter tires only but stay home if you car ground clearance is less then amount of snow.

    What to watch:
    Temperature is close to freezing point. The most dangerous thing is “black ice”. You are on the road and think the road is just wet, but in fact it looks like wet, but has thin layer of ice on it. One day, driving on highway doing 50mpg in 54HP powered car on 5th gear I was trying to accelerate and discovered my wheels are slipping even with the slight push of the pedal. I don’t know how I managed to get home that day.

    Consecutive snow fall:
    When the roads are not cleaned completely and it snows again, be extra careful since you cannot see what’s beneath of the fresh snow – it can be ice or packed snow.

    Driving technique:
    When your car skids during a turn, DO NOT LET your foot off your gas pedal – that’s the common mistake people do driving FWD car. If you have an electronic stability control, turn you steering wheel a bit further and let it do the work. If you don’t have ESC but have ABS, your best bet is to use your hand brake in order to let your rear wheels skid outward and correct your trajectory. If your car doesn’t have ESC and ABS, apply brakes and step on gas a bit simultaneously. You should try it first in some safe place to be prepared.

  48. BlindJust says:

    So if the owner of a pending foreclosure signs a 10 year lease to a “friend”, for $100/mo, the banks would be unable to evict if the tenant pays?

    “Residential tenants in New Jersey cannot be evicted solely because the property where they live is in foreclosure or has been foreclosed.
    In general, New Jersey law protects tenants against eviction from their homes so long as they:
    * pay the rent,
    * respect the peace and quiet of their neighbors,
    * avoid willful or grossly negligent damage to the property, and
    * obey the reasonable rules theyhave agreed to in writing.”

  49. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Blindjust 48

    I have considered the same thing before as well. One sticking point may be
    obey the reasonable rules they have agreed to in writing.”.

    I have spoken to a few friends who are attorneys and they all opinioned (in their personal non-legal opinion) that that clause could open you up to action by the the banks if they really wanted to. In theory they could argue that your rent is so far out of market norms that it is not a legitimate deal.

    I’m just a cat, so check with an attorney if you really want to play that game.

    Don’t worry about your english, it’s fine!

  50. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    if you really want to play hardball and you have adequate legal resources if needed, then run that plan. You can be pretty sure the bank wont be doing any upkeep, so following qualified legal advise, pay for the upkeep and deduct it form the rent in a manner that is legally sound.

    In theory you may be able to pull that off paying for nothing but unkeep at the end of the day and potentially less if your really lucky.

  51. Sore Feet says:

    With declining income and employment in NJ, perhaps a Dollar Store will come to the Short Hills Mall.

  52. zieba says:


    I (briefly) looked into this for a friend who is a tenant in one such property. I believe the lease has to predate the commencement of the foreclosure proceedings against owner.

  53. BlindJust says:

    Not looking to play that game. I occasionally reassess getting back into RE investments. However, my ability to compute IRR is compromised by my inability to estimate cash flow. My prior assumptions of 10% for vacancy/non-payment factor and rate of inflation for future price, tax and rent are no longer valid.

  54. Libtard in New York says:

    Debt SN (122) from last night:

    “Does anybody else get the feeling that this homeless guy with the radio voice is a hoax and a gubmint plant?”

    Can’t wait to see this guy back on the corner after snorting his first paycheck.

  55. chicagofinance says:

    A bachelor’s degree from a small liberal arts college in the northeast….

    44.Debt Supernova says:
    January 7, 2011 at 9:40 am
    chi (20)- Lexapr0? Not strong enough.
    What drug out there shuts off reality completely?

  56. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    CHifi 55

    Apparently a interdisciplinary degree in religious and women’s studies from NYU dies that as well

  57. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    dies = does

  58. Libtard says:

    Debt Supernova says:
    January 7, 2011 at 9:40 am

    “What drug out there shuts off reality completely?”


  59. JJ says:

    Funny, I put a low-ball offer in on a house, well not so lowball actually, but enough where owner might think he could get me higher maybe. Funny rich are different from you and me. Guy is building a huge house in florida to retire to, has a huge house here and already owns a smaller home in florida that he used for his “snowbird” time. So guy is carrying two houses, building a third and is 70 years old. Told guy I would come by to look at house again in two weeks and did not counter offer when he said it was too low. Guy was like whatever, then again this is a 70 year old guy, who did massive renovations to house in last 24 months then changed his mind and is building a house in Florida. Between the two houses he has now he has ten bedrooms and no kids at home. Crazy these rich folks.

  60. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Ouch, her loans for that degree in religious and women’s studies are variable rate.

    “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life slaving away to pay for an education I got for four years and would happily give back,”. Should have tried some math. The only way out of those loans, short of being a high end hooker is to leave the country. They generally are next to impossible to discharge.

  61. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    If that girl is paying an average of 7% on the loans with a 30yr amortization schedule this is what she has to look forward to

    Monthly Principal & Interest

    Total of 360 Payments

    Pay-off Date
    Dec, 2040

    Total Interest Paid

    If she has a 15 year amortization schedule she is facing:
    Monthly Principal & Interest

    Total of 180 Payments

    Pay-off Date
    Dec, 2025

    Total Interest Paid

    Since she has a poor credit rating she is probably closer to 10%. In the end she is likely to pay more in interest then she did in tuition!

  62. BlindJust says:

    She must not have graduated from Newark Public School or she would have had a basic understanding of personal financial planning.

    “3. Demonstrate an understanding of personal financial planning and sound money management skills.”

  63. BlindJust says:

    If she were attending Columbia, Buffett would pay $100K up front for 10% of her future earnings.

    Oh … sorry … that was just for Columbia MBAs…

    “Right now, I would pay $100,000 for 10 percent of the future earnings of any of you,”

  64. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    To Bad they dont really teach whats in their outline!!! This girl would have been a financial wiz compared to 90% of the population

    􀂃 Prioritize financial decisions by systematically considering alternatives and possible consequences.
    􀂃 Compare strategies for saving and investing and the factors that influence how much should be saved or invested
    to meet financial goals.
    􀂃 Construct a plan to accumulate emergency “rainy day” funds.
    􀂃 Analyze how income and spending plans are affected by age, needs, and resources.
    􀂃 Analyze how changes in taxes, inflation, and personal circumstances can affect a personal budget.
    􀂃 Design and utilize a simulated budget to monitor progress of financial plans.
    􀂃 Develop personal financial planning strategies that respond to and use tax deductions and shelters.
    􀂃 Describe and calculate interest and fees that are applied to various forms of spending, debt, and saving.
    􀂃 Chart and evaluate the growth of mid- and long-term investments.

    Credit and Debt Management
    􀂃 Compare and contrast the financial benefits of different products and services offered by a variety of financial
    􀂃 Compare and compute interest and compound interest and develop an amortization table using business tools
    􀂃 Compute and assess the accumulating effect of interest paid over time when using a variety of sources of credit.
    􀂃 Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of various types of mortgages.
    􀂃 Analyze the information contained in a credit report and explain the importance of disputing inaccurate entries.
    􀂃 Explain how predictive modeling determines “credit scores.”
    􀂃 Explain the rights and responsibilities of buyers and sellers under consumer protection laws, and discuss common
    unfair or deceptive business practices.
    􀂃 Evaluate the implications of personal and corporate bankruptcy for self and others.

  65. BlindJust says:

    My gun-toting, gang affiliated drug dealer would beg to differ.

  66. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Good point. I guess your fiend did very well with this goal

    How will additional education and training in a career field enable you to negotiate a higher salary? What additional cost will you incur to attain your career goal after high school?

    Did he choose .45 or SIG.357 for his negotiations? How much did his negotiations training cost? I hear a nice black market glock goes for about 1K if its clean.

  67. Shore Guy says:

    Here comes the snow again

  68. Shore Guy says:

    About ghost towns:

    Humans have a false sense of permanence. We tend to believe that, what is was destined to be and will continue to be; hoerver, what is, came to be because of a series of events and woud not have been had events been different. BAck in the 1800s, the Erie Canal caused certain hamlets to explode into cities — no Erie Canal, no city. Some of those cities found other reasons for being after the railrads took over freight traffic and others did not. Tose that did found a way to exist and those that did not began their decline.

    Detroit, Cleveland, Camden, whatever — just because circumstances compelled the creation and growth of your city does not mean that you will exist forever. Adapt od die. It is the same thing for species and towns/cities. No place is exempt from this fact. Many of the largest and grandest cities of yesteryear are but piles of ruins today. Things are not different for us.

  69. Shore Guy says:


  70. Al Mossberg says:



    DC over NJ? DC is a diarmed rats nest full of government dependent useless eaters. I hope that place is the first casualty of the upcoming armageddon.

  71. Al Mossberg says:



    Thats why you better invest in a road side vegetable stand if you plan on staying in NJ. We are going back to our roots which means fishing, agriculture, and bog iron mining. Hopefully the government dependents will move to other shores or just die off when it all goes to sh_t.

  72. Juice Box says:

    My BIL is working out of Detroit after moving around quite a bit. He has been looking at houses in the burbs, says even though the houses are really dirt cheap no mortgage needed etc the prices are still dropping like a rock.

    It’s surreal when you look at a suburban town like Dearborn that is Fords Headquarters and was hit with massive amount of foreclosures prices from literally $1,000 all the way to $500k.

  73. Al Mossberg says:

    Interesting day for bullion. First time I’ve seen miners performing with bullion being raided hard.

  74. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    HOT DAMN!!!! Now thing might get interesting!!!


    The Massachusetts Supreme Court just dealt a negative ruling to the banks in the closely-followed Ibanez case, which challenged securitization standards. It’s pretty straightforward: The banks didn’t have the proper parwork to foreclose, says the court. Hence, no legitimate foreclosure.

    Read more:

  75. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    So i wonder how many foreclosures now have to be unwound in Massachusetts! And how many lawsuits follow suing BOA for these actions????

    “The Land Court was correct to invalidate the foreclosure on two distinct grounds. First, the plaintiffs lacked the legal authority to conduct the foreclosures because they were not among the parties authorized to do so under either the statutory power of sale or under G.L.c. 244 §14. Second, even if the plaintiffs had the legal authority to foreclose (which they did not) the foreclosures would still have been invalid because the notices issued by the plaintiffs failed to name the present holder of the mortgage as required under G.L. c. 244 §14. To foreclose on a mortgage securing property in the Commonwealth, one must be the holder of the mortgage. To be the holder of the mortgage, one must be the original mortgagee or be the assignee under a valid assignment of the mortgage. It is not sufficient to possess the mortgagor’s promissory note. The Land court correctly held that the plaintiffs, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo were not holders of the Ibanez and LaRace mortgages at the time of the foreclosure because they were not assignees of valid assignments of the mortgages. Without valid assignments, the plaintiffs lacked the legal authority to foreclose the mortgages. This, without more, is sufficient grounds on which to invalidate the foreclosures and the Land Court was correct to do so.”

  76. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Re Massachusetts ruling

    I am no attorney but from all we have seen so far i have to wonder if there might not be a significant segment of properties in Massachusetts that are essentially impossible to foreclose upon due to the way that the loans have been shuffled. This ruling implies that the legal holder of the mortgage must be the entity to pursue the action. Based on what we have seen, it appears that many of these notes were never legally transferred to the trusts that are claimed to hold them. It could be pandoras box to try and correct some of this mess.

  77. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Some commentary from FT ( from before the final ruling)

    It’s called the ‘Ibanez case’ and here’s the story.

    In late 2005, Antonio Ibanez gets a $103,500 adjustable-rate mortgage loan on a Springfield, Massachusetts property from Rose Mortgage Inc. Rose then sells the loan to Option One Mortgage Co., which then passes it to Lehman Brothers Bank, which then sends it to Lehman Brothers Holdings. Lehman Bros Holdings then sends it to its Structured Asset Securities Corp. to be pooled with other loans and assigned to US Bank, acting as trustee for Structured Asset Securities Corp. Mortgage Loan Trust 2006Z.

    In other words, the Ibanez mortgage gets pooled and securitised into a typical run-of-the-mill subprime Residential Mortgage-Backed Security (RMBS).

    Meanwhile, in the same town, Mark and Tammy LaRace get a $129,000 mortgage from Option One. That loan is sold to Bank of America, which then sells it to Asset-Backed Funding Corp. which then pools and assigns the loan to Wells Fargo, who is trustee for ABFC 2005-OPTI — another RMBS.

    Fast forward two years and both Ibanez and the LaRaces have stopped paying their mortgages and are being foreclosed on by the trustees. Sale notices are published in the Boston Globe, the properties go to auction and are subsequently bought by the trustees US Bank and Wells Fargo in the summer and fall of 2007.

    And then there’s the first court case

    At some point in the foreclosure process, there’s doubt about whether the Boston Globe advertisements (as opposed to say, a Springfield-based paper) satisfy foreclosure notice requirements in the state of Massachusetts.

    The two trustee banks go to the Massachusetts Land Court in the fall of 2008 to debate this — when suddenly, Massachusetts Land Court Judge Keith C. Long orders US Bank and Wells Fargo to prove they had the right to foreclose in the first place.

    Here’s what happens next:

    The Land Court then proceeded to find that (1) neither Appellant had a valid assignment of mortgage at the time of publication of the notices or at the time of the foreclosure sale, (21 the foreclosure notices failed to identify the “holder” of the mortgage, and ( 3 ) the notices were deficient under Mass. Gen. L. ch. 244, 5 14. [A592-93]. Put another way, the Land Court held that Appellants lacked authority as assignees to conduct the subject: foreclosures.

    The judge promptly voids the foreclosure sales and dismisses the Land Court case.

    A semi-technical explainer here

    US Bank and Wells promptly and unsurprisingly disputed the finding — which is the stuff now going to the MA Supreme Court. It’s also where things get tricky.

    One of the problems with the originate-to-distribute mortgage model so prevalent in the years before the financial crisis is that it tends to complicate things. It generates lots of paperwork, lots of bureacratic process and costs — while amplifying the cast of characters involved. In just these two loans you have eight financial entities involved and something like seven (supposed) changes of ownership before foreclosure.

    And in each part of the originate-to-distribute process you have to have the right documents to demonstrate that the mortgage ‘note’ is properly transferred, and in the correct order too. According to Judge Long, US Bank and Wells weren’t the actual holders of the mortgage note when they auctioned off the Ibanez and LaRace houses.

    What’s more, in both cases, there’s a wider issue about something called ‘endorsement in blank.’ In both cases Option One ‘endorsed’ (transferred) the mortgage note using something like “Pay to the order of _____, without recourse.” It didn’t explicitly name who it was assigning the note to — something Judge Long thought didn’t square with Massachusetts law. Or, in detail:

    These blank mortgage assignments were never recorded and they were not legally recordable. G.L. c. 183, § 6C (for a mortgage or assignment of a mortgage to be recordable in Massachusetts, the mortgage or assignment must “contain or have endorsed upon it the residence and post office address of the mortgagee or assignee if said mortgagee or assignee is a natural person, or a business address, mail address or post office address of the mortgagee or assignee if the mortgagee or assignee is not a natural person”).

    If the mortgage notes were never properly transferred, then at the time of the 2007 foreclosures it was Option One that had the right to foreclose, not US Bank or Wells.

    When securitisation standards meet real estate law

    Anyway, the wider issue is that these ‘endorsements in blank’ are actually pretty standard practice in mortgage securitisations. You can read a pretty detailed article about them here. A Massachusetts Supreme Court Ruling upholding Judge Long’s decision could make uncomfortable reading for quite a few securitisation players — and the banks who might then be required to buyback improperly-assigned loans — though there’s some debate as to whether it would have much impact outside of the state.

  78. Juice Box says:

    Cat – This may go down in History as Shay’s rebellion of the 21st century, no ammo was fired (yet) over property confiscation.

  79. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    How many law suits will there be over people who bought auctioned foreclosures, have had the sale reversed by the court, and now want restitution from the banks that sold the foreclosure?

  80. JJ says:

    If she is good looking just make min payment, find a rich guy and get engaged and don’t spring the loan issue on him too the sucker is in lover and already bought the ring. Works for every pretty girl I know.

    Schrodinger’s Cat says:
    January 7, 2011 at 11:04 am


    To Bad they dont really teach whats in their outline!!! This girl would have been a financial wiz compared to 90% of the population

  81. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    JJ 83

    How is that different then being a high end hooker?

  82. JJ says:

    Girl went to a top school, has an interesting degree. She is a catch for a Wall Street guy. My buddies want hot girls with degrees who do not want to pursue a demanding career or a career at all, but need educated spouses from good school. For instance, I date a hot teacher who only dated guys who work in finance, would never date a teacher, she needs income. I dated lots of semi broke hot girls. Non wanted broke guys.

    Schrodinger’s Cat says:
    January 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    JJ 83

    How is that different then being a high end hooker?

  83. BlindJust says:

    High end hookers are cheaper in the long run and still pretend to be interested after consummating the deal.

  84. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    How about some civil suits or (GASP) some criminal actions for this:

    <i.At the foreclosure sale on July 5, 2007, Wells Fargo, as trustee,
    purchased the LaRace property for $120,397.03, a value
    significantly below its estimated market value. Wells Fargo did
    not execute a statutory foreclosure affidavit or foreclosure deed
    until May 7, 2008. That same day, Option One, which was still
    the record holder of the LaRace mortgage, executed an
    assignment of the mortgage to Wells Fargo as trustee; the
    assignment was recorded on May 12, 2008. Although executed
    ten months after the foreclosure sale, the assignment declared
    an effective date of April 18, 2007, a date that preceded the
    publication of the notice of sale and the foreclosure sale.

    …A fella can dream right? If you or i did that it would be called forgery.

  85. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Any one who has been foreclosed on in Massachusetts in the last few years and had a securitized mortgage may now be able to go after the banks. MUST GET MORE POPCORN

  86. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    From Realtytrac, there are currently a little over 19,000 foreclosure properties for sale in Massachusetts. Anyone want to guess what percent were securitized and suffers from the same flaws as the case just decided in the State SC?

    Anyone think its less then 90%?

  87. A.West says:

    No old fashioned bank runs anymore, the US Govt took care of that. Which is why what we’ll get instead is runs on the dollar and US treasury bonds.

  88. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    From page 27 of the Massachucetts ruling

    “There are no grounds on which to limit the Land Court’s decision to future cases”

    That sounds ominous. Legal beagles, does this mean that anyone foreclosed on since 2006 ( the first case int his matter) can now challenge the foreclosure?

  89. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    You are barred in Mass, i smell a career opportunity:

    What is more complicated, and not addressed in this opinion, because the issue was not before us, is the effect of the conduct of banks such as the plaintiffs here, on a bona fide third-party purchaser who may have relied on the foreclosure title of the bank and the confirmative assignment and affidavit of foreclosure recorded by the bank subsequent to that foreclosure but prior to the purchase by the third party, especially where the party whose property was foreclosed was in fact in violation of the mortgage covenants, had notice of the foreclosure, and took no action to contest it.

  90. Al Mossberg says:

    Nothings going to happen to the banks. Whats the worst case scenario? They stop foreclosures and the banks sit on the property so they dont have to realize losses. They then continue to make billions of dollars in the casino gulag.

    Wash, rinse, repeat.

  91. make money says:

    10 yr. through the roof.

  92. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Next question; Does this potentially open up the door to homeowners suing servicers in order to receive their payments back assuming that the group/bank that the servicer was working for did not hold legal claim to the note?

    Isnt there a similar case going on in NY state?

  93. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Al 95

    NOPE! At least with the Massachusetts properties, it means that the trust who bought the mortgages form the banks didn’t actually buy anything as the banks never had clear title to sell the notes to the trusts. As a result you will probably see a whole lot of law suits forcing the banks to buy back the notes from the trusts.
    I am no attorney, but i also wonder if this threatens the tax exempt status of the REMICS that were involved in Massachusetts related transactions?

    This has the potential to cost the banks billions in Massachusetts alone.

  94. Shore Guy says:

    Whilst the various banks may have no entitlement to take the houses away from the folks who did not pay their debts, the people who failed to pay their debts, likewise, have no entitlement to stay in the momes they currently occupy. Given the muddle, perhaps it is appropriate for society as a whole, aks, the government, to seize the properties in question and to auction them off with newly-cleaned titles. The proceeds can go towards paying off the various states’ accumulated debt.

  95. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Anyone wondering why Bill Gross was buying UP MBS? If this spreads from Massachusetts he can promptly r@pe the banks for his pound of flesh when they are forced to buy back the MBS at face value.

  96. make money says:


    And where do you suppose teh banks will the money to pay face value?

  97. Shore Guy says:


    Look in the mirror.

  98. Shore Guy says:


    Did you catch that the ABA Journal ran an article on starting a solo practice? With all the downsizings and newbies being minted by the law schools and not finding work, it seems a growth industry. Maybe it is time to invest in a “shingle” manufacturing company.

  99. Shore Guy says:


    What do you think? With all this promotion of The Promise, is a tour on tap for the Autumn?

  100. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    My understanding of the ruling is that OPTION ONE is the last legally documented holder of the note in this case. Unfortunately they are no longer in business.

    There appears to be a good argument that the majority of securitized RE in Massachusetts is now impaired. Time for a whole lot of Quiet Claim actions???

    No iam not an attorney, and yes this is mostly mental m@sterbation

  101. Shore Guy says:

    momes, homes, whatever. Bloody android keyboards.

  102. Punch My Ticket says:

    Report from Kauai.

    We’re staying in a private condo on the beach. My wife struck a great deal with the owner, 100/night. He (an Oregon lawyer) was that desperate. His taxes and assessments alone are over 1000/month.

    The condo is also listed for sale on the MLS. The place is about 25 years old. This unit needs updating. He is asking 750k. Another unit owner, a permanent resident and local busybody, says no unit has ever sold for more than 400k, even reno’ed.

    But hey, houses only go up, right?

    PS: Not missing cold weather much.

  103. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    NJ has this on the horizion

    NEWARK, N.J. — Six lenders who have combined to file nearly 30,000 foreclosure actions in New Jersey this year face the possible suspension of their operations next month under a court order announced Monday by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.

    The action follows a report submitted to the Supreme Court that, citing depositions and court filings in other states, paints a picture of systemic abuses in the filing of foreclosures that include so-called “robo-signing,” in which employees signed hundreds of documents without checking them for accuracy.

    OneWest and five other lenders were ordered to appear in state Superior Court in Trenton on Jan. 19 to demonstrate why the state shouldn’t suspend their foreclosure actions. The others are Ally Financial, formerly GMAC; BAC Home Loan Servicing, a subsidiary of Bank of America; JP Morgan Chase’s Chase Home Finance; Wells Fargo Financial New Jersey and CitiResidential Living, a subsidiary of Citibank.

  104. dan says:

    JJ and Cat,

    Regarding the NYU deep in debt chick, you two run into the heart of the problem. The banksters that run the country really just want borderline part-time high-end hookers. How come no one in the financial aid office told her to get a boob job and then do the “part-time NYU student/stripping thing”? Oh wait, maybe the banksters will only marry those that didn’t actually do the stripping thing. Well then, how come no one in the FA office mentioned the boob job option?

  105. sas says:

    “What would booya say?”



  106. hughesrep says:


    If you’re a golfer don’t miss Princeville.

  107. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:


    Indictments might be coming down soon re Edwards. Need that marraige privilege in place.

  108. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    US Bank just bought one heck of a time bomb if the liabilities come with the instruments

    U.S. Bank Completes Acquisition of Securitization Trust Administration Business from Bank of America,
    MINNEAPOLIS, Jan 04, 2011
    Under the terms of the agreement, U.S. Bank Corporate Trust Services acquired approximately 2,153 active securitization and related transactions, more than 2.4 million residential mortgage files and 84,000 commercial files, and $1.1 trillion in assets under administration. Additionally, the transaction provided U.S. Bank with approximately $8 billion of related deposits at close.

  109. JJ says:

    Any man who has daughters wants his daughter to marry a educated, well off man who can afford to pay for a nice house for his daughter, enough cash where she can stay home if she choose to (not forced to work) and enough income to pay for all my grandkids college and daughters education.

    The nice 30 year old kid who has 100K in student loans, poor parents and a degree in art history who is working at game stop while looking for real work and still living in his childhood bedroom is not someone most men want for their daughters, it is a lifetime of your daughter working to support them and be his Momma and a lifetime of the daughters parents of watching them struggle and never seeing the grandkids as they are stuck in day care or a lifetime of bailing them out and watching a second set of kids when you should be happily retired.

    I hardly call that being a call girl, sadly more girls no go to college and grad school then men and girls mature quicker than men. When I interviewed interns two summer ago I thought we had a women initative, as there was like 30 women being interviewed and two men. Nope I heard the 20 year old guys basically had sports, video games and texting as hobbies and C averages while the girls had 3.7 GPAs, volunteered at charities, and belonged to business clubs. Sadly the 10 year old girls of today have very few men to marry in 20 years.

  110. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Sweet digs!

  111. Bystander says:

    Regarding the debt chick, personally dealing with this now. Girl that I have been seeing for 9 months has exact issue except she did it at 35, not 22. She taught climbing for years then decided to get an Asian studies degree from Columbia. She now has 150K in debt and a job at a gym. She has no financial acumen whatsoever. She is a good artis and sweet person but I am at a loss on how to deal with this. Of course she is desperate to get married and have kids. Told her we could live together but marriage is not possible unless she starts dealing with her debt. Her relatives cosigned the loans, interest rates are variable..only way out is to fake her death or leave country. Discharge is next to impossible. Any other ideas? I know dumping her is #1 suggestion

  112. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    you already know the answer. Either walk away or accept the debt as your own.

    only way out is to fake her death or leave country. Discharge is next to impossible

    faking a death means you will have to leave the country and carries criminal risks. Your choices are leave the country or eat the debt.

  113. JJ says:

    My friend always dealt with this type of issue by asking if he could do her in the butt. And insist on it. Most girls will be offended it and dump you so problem is solved. Ocasssionally he got lucky and got some butt action. After you do her you may want her debt and all if it is really good.

    Bystander says:
    January 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Regarding the debt chick, personally dealing with this now. Girl that I have been seeing for 9 months has exact issue except she did it at 35, not 22. She taught climbing for years then decided to get an Asian studies degree from Columbia. She now has 150K in debt and a job at a gym. She has no financial acumen whatsoever. She is a good artis and sweet person but I am at a loss on how to deal with this. Of course she is desperate to get married and have kids. Told her we could live together but marriage is not possible unless she starts dealing with her debt. Her relatives cosigned the loans, interest rates are variable..only way out is to fake her death or leave country. Discharge is next to impossible. Any other ideas? I know dumping her is #1 suggestion

  114. chicagofinance says:


    117.Bystander says:
    January 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm
    Discharge is next to impossible. Any other ideas? I know dumping her is #1 suggestion

  115. Bystander says:

    Thanks for your insightful analysis JJ. That is the my third option.


    I was kidding about faking death obviously or leaving country. My irish citizenship is now a curse.

    Any lawyers ever hear of a discharge case? You have to prove it constitutes an undue hardship? How have successful cases worked?

  116. Juice Box says:

    re #119 – Bystander is you are one busted broke fugly guy then go for it.

  117. Bystander says:


    I am not. I am JJ minus the cash. Good looking, no debt, decent job, hundreds of k waiting for right opp. This one threw me for a loop.

  118. JJ says:

    What a great feeling. Many years ago I was a mentor in the group Network of Women. I gave lots of solid advice to many women in their career. One women in particular I told in 1999 look you are pushing 40 your career is going no where. Force your rich boyfriend to marry you or have a kid by home. Come 50 you are going to get pushed out door and with no kid or husband you will be kicking yourself. Well out of blue the women calls me today, JP Morgan is set to fire her, she never pushed boyfriend to marry her, she has no kids and she has a medical procedure coming up and since no husband no one to help her, called me out of blue to thank me for being honest when no one else was and thank me for my advice and wished she listened. I really am a champion of women on wall street.

  119. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Combine JJ and Chifi’s comments and you have a winning plan!!!!

  120. JJ says:

    I am not rich I am just a cheapskate, if you don’t spend it you end up with a lot.

  121. Confused In NJ says:

    One of California’s largest health insurers – Blue Shield – announced plans to hike its premiums by as much as 59%.

    The jacked up premium rates are set to take effect on March 1, pending review from state insurance regulators. The move impacts 193,000 Blue Shield policy holders.

    The company, a member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association with 3.3 million members, which announced the move late Thursday, stressed that its decision has “almost nothing to do with the federal health reform law” and that ultimately the law will help slow down health care costs.

    But responding to this most recent increase the company said, “our individual market medical costs are rising rapidly due to higher provider prices, increased utilization, and the fact that healthier people are dropping coverage during a bad economy,” the company said.

    Despite the steep double-digit hike, the insurer maintained it still expects to lose tens of millions of dollars on its individual healthcare business in both 2010 and 2011.

    “the fact that healthier people are dropping coverage during a bad economy”, this item should go away under Obamacare as it will be illegal to drop medical insurance!

  122. BlindJust says:

    “JJ minus the cash” – no THAT is funny.

  123. Juice Box says:

    Bystander – The hardship part I am sure will be hard to prove since she has an education that entitles her to earn enough money to pay back the debt, she qualifies for higher paying work and really is obligated to seek work that would allow debt repayment before she can claim undue hardship.

    However the trend is your friend. Judges may become more sympathetic due to the millions of cases being filed.

  124. Essex says:

    117. If $$$ is your main concern she’s not the one. Might as well move on. Real love means money ceases to matter.

  125. Bystander says:


    An Asian studies degree entitles her to more income? Can you make a 100k rolling veggie dumplings? She tried to work for the Clinton initiative, bless her. I was not the brighest or most ambitious student but got my liberal arts degree from a state school with manageable debt then landed in IT. I don’t see that path today for any grads.

  126. #130 – Essex – If $$$ is your main concern she’s not the one.

    Thanks Essex, that’s what I was thinking.
    Of course bystander might not be looking for ‘the one’ or even believe in the concept.

  127. JJ says:

    For tax-year 2010, the alternative minimum tax exemption increases to the following levels:
    • $72,450 for a married couple filing a joint return and qualifying widows and widowers, up from $70,950 in 2009.
    • $36,225 for a married person filing separately, up from $35,475.
    • $47,450 for singles and heads of household, up from $46,700.

  128. JJ says:

    Good looking, hunk like a donkey and ready to party all the time, who needs cash!

    BlindJust says:
    January 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    “JJ minus the cash” – no THAT is funny.

  129. Barbara says:

    I couldn’t be serious about anyone who’s decision making skills I did not respect. But that’s just me, a hopeless INTJ.

  130. Libtard says:


    I would go with JJ’s strategy and nip this one in the butt, I meant bud. It seems a lot like Tosh’s issue from a ways back. Hey, whatever happened to that guy anyway?

    And JJ is right about getting rich. It’s not how much you make, it’s how much of it you spend. I’m sure Shore Guy would vouch for this one as well. But go on and buy that iPhone and Netflix membership and fancy new German car. It’ll keep people like you thinking that guys like JJ and me are wealthy.

  131. Bystander says:


    You are talking to guy already married once. Been through the wringer and back. Happy to say I came out financially on top. D-bag ex took our house in Brigadoon thinking she’d sell it more than our 2004 purchase price. She just sold for 75k loss after upgrades and commissions. Not a hopeless naive romantic but looking for a partner who acts fiscally responsible. Not asking alot.

  132. dan says:

    I asked someone at work (for the first time in a while) how her daughter was doing in college thinking that she was either goingto be a senior or had graduated by now. She told me that she’s taking the year off down in NC and just doing some non-college degree type work. Before I asked why, she told me her daughter has watched the class or two above her have no job offers and figures she should take her time rather than compete against them for full-time jobs in May. Don’t know if that’s any better than our $100k case study or not. I’m not sure deferring is the solution either.

  133. Libtard says:

    “Real love means money ceases to matter.”

    Nor does reality.

  134. Shore Guy says:


    You andJohn are correct. People need to spend less on things that do not bring true benefits to their lives. Remember, one has to earn between $1.3 and $1.6 for every dollar one spends.

  135. Barbara says:

    BTW that fixer we put a bid on….that was taken off the market…realtor emailed, said sellers are putting in a kitchen and taking down wallpaper to get their 100k. Did I call it? I did. I laughed and said good luck with that Home Depot kitchen. Listing agent insists its not a cheesy kitchen. Anything under 15k for this place is a cheesy kitchen because it needs more than just a tear out. It will be interesting to see what it sells for then do the math on a year of prop taxes, winterizing and repairs.

  136. Juice Box says:

    re: #133- Bystander Here is an Irish saying for you. It is often that a person’s mouth that broke his nose. You can go and pay a lawyer for the same advise if you like. You will need a sympathetic Judge and creditors who won’t appeal it. Odds are long to say the least.

    If she cannot get a job using her degree then she should try and join the management program at the gym or perhaps do personal training to pay off the debt, that is the reality of it.

    Also, I would not pursue her unless you are really in love and want marriage and a family ASAP. Another Irish saying for you. A man is incomplete until he get’s married and then he is done.

  137. Essex says:

    140. They do look happy. *sniff*

  138. Shore Guy says:

    And this is not to say that one needs to live like a hermit. We have a nice house, drive nice cars, take nice vacations, fly first class, wear nice clothes, and eat awesome food. What we don’t do is spend above our means or try to “keep up” with the spending patterns of those at or above our income level.

  139. #138 – You are talking to guy already married once… Not a hopeless naive romantic but looking for a partner who acts fiscally responsible. Not asking alot.

    Boy, you are not in a fun position…

  140. JJ says:

    My brother once said be careful about marrying a girl only for looks as the women in the nursing homes all look the same.

    Lot easy to get a girl on the side to give you a good roll in hay then it is to get one to Cook, Clean and raise your kids.

  141. JJ says:

    My boss makes several million each year and has never bought a new car or flew first class as he says that is for the rich people.

    Shore Guy says:
    January 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    And this is not to say that one needs to live like a hermit. We have a nice house, drive nice cars, take nice vacations, fly first class, wear nice clothes, and eat awesome food. What we don’t do is spend above our means or try to “keep up” with the spending patterns of those at or above our income level.

  142. Juice Box says:

    re # 147- Just heard a story about a middle aged guy from NJ won the lotto. Pretty regualr Joe with a job at a Fortune 500 company. He went out got the Lamborghini and bought a multi-million dollar shore house and apparently one of those overpriced multi-million dollar condos in Hoboken. Meanwhile he could have invested the money instead and lived a very nice life off the investments. He may be a millionaire now but in say 7-10 years I surmise we will be reading about him in the news about how he lost everything living the high life.

  143. Libtard says:

    “My brother once said be careful about marrying a girl only for looks as the women in the nursing homes all look the same.”

    Funny, after my psychotic (at times) mother remarried, I asked my step-father (who I consider my dad) how he could marry that crazy lady during one of my mother’s temporary lapses of reality. He said, “She’s a great cook!” He had already done the trophy wife thang already. His three kids all went through divorces. My ‘real’ siblings are doing much better. We are still batting .750 between the four of us and the one sister who did divorce only did it after her husband refused to find a real job during a prosperous time.

    Men need to think with their heads and not with their d1cks.

  144. Nicholas says:


    150k is a lot of moola.

    When I got married in 1999 my wife neglected to tell me that she had 5k in credit card debt at 29% interest that she had been carrying for years. She was only making minimum payments and the debt would have taken a lifetime to retire.

    5k does not equal 150k in debt even if inflation adjusted but I can tell you what I did to help right the situation and hopefully that will let you make your own decisions.

    First, I asked her basic questions about the debt, how much do you owe, what interest rate, how long will it take to pay it off, where did the debt come from? The answers: I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I went to Jamaica and other things.

    Tears. Tears. More Tears. For months the same questions. How much do you owe, what is your interest rate, how long will it take to pay it off. I would hand her the cc statement and give her 30 mins to look at it. Repeat the same questions. The answers: I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. She just was financially illiterate.

    After many tears on her part, I sat down with her and used a highlighter to illuminate the important data. I taught her the rule of seven. I then asked her the questions again. Finally the answers came and reality set in.

    AFTER reality check then comes the even harder part. Where is the money that is going to pay for this? How much money do you have? The answer: I don’t know where the money is to pay for that. I have xx amount of dollars in my bank account.

    Correct her right away, you don’t have xx amount of dollars in bank account you have NEGATIVE four thousand, xx dollars total. You are broke, WE ARE BROKE. We have nothing. If we sold everything we own, liquidated all our assets, then we would still owe because of this debt. We are broke.

    When you want to buy something think about that, your broke. When you want a new pair of shoes. Nope your broke. Make the effort to pay off that debt. Want to go out to eat, sorry , the cc company took the money.

    Depends on your salary but it could take years to pay off that debt in the mean time you sacrifice houses, family, vacations, etc. Think carefully.

  145. Bystander says:


    Was dating a girl who was a NYC pharma sales agent. She was crazy for me but flipped on me one night. Reminded me of my ex so I dumped her. This girl is much cuter and sweeter but a. financial wreck. Dating in NY sucks.

  146. Shore Guy says:

    Think with the big head, not the small one

  147. Shore Guy says:

    That debt is likely to be a relationship millstone. If she cannot start making a meaningful reduction in her debt before getting engaged, I suspect she never will. There are no perfect matches out there but there are some which, no matter how we wish otherwise, are just no good for us.

  148. #152 – This girl is much cuter and sweeter but a financial wreck. Dating in NY sucks.

    Yes it does. IDK why, but the cute and sweet ones always seem to have problems with logic and common sense… or horrible taste in men… or are already married.

  149. Juice Box says:

    re # 154 – was crazy for me but flipped on me one night.


  150. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Juice 156 “Backflips?” I would imagine that would have been a plus.

  151. Mikeinwaiting says:

    JJ don’t let that go by.

  152. Shore Guy says:


    She accumulated that debt and she is an adult. Thus, it is her problem to solve
    If you love her, keep dating. If you are open to living together, perhaps it would give her an opportunity to pay off debt before taking things to another level.

  153. Barbara says:

    cute and sweet? That’s a description for a child. Light bulb, anyone? Ask yourself why you like childlike women? Give women who aren’t childlike a break, they see the world as YOU see it and navigates it accordingly.

  154. NJSerf says:

    If you can handle the debt, and want to have kids with this woman then go for it. Be a playa like jj and have her stay at home making you dumplings for dinner while raising your kids.

    Otherwise hit it and quit it.

  155. Doyle says:

    Barb crush kicking in again…

  156. Shore Guy says:


    And wear a condom.

  157. Bystander says:


    Thanks. I put her whole fiscal life on a spreadsheet. Variable interest loans, cc debt.I showed her the % of disposable income going to Starbucks etc. Tears flowed etc. She stopped going there so something seaped in. The plan is to get a better paying job but easier said than done especially when you have no resume to build on. I could pay all her debt and still have 80k. Two years from a divorce-that isalot of trust. Not ready for it. Told her we could live together and reduce her expenses. Need to make the big call on her before lease ends in April.

  158. Juice Box says:

    Babs give the guy a break he is in love, only a crazy lunatic in love would open himself up for abuse on this forum.

  159. #164 – Variable interest loans, cc debt.I showed her the % of disposable income going to Starbucks etc. ..

    What’s the viability of CH 13?

  160. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “Think with the big head, not the small one.”
    “Men need to think with their heads and not with their d1cks.”

    Unfortunately when looking for a mate nature takes over, nature drives you towards whatever look, scent, body type that puts a rise in your fry. We are designed to procreate, nature figures that that is a good thing. As most do this early in life they are at the mercy of their hormones.

    P.S. Bystander your no babe in the woods you know better, sorry pal but you gotta run away. Maybe Barb has a sister.

  161. #165 – Babs give the guy a break he is in love, only a crazy lunatic in love would open himself up for abuse on this forum


  162. Shore Guy says:

    Or a twenty-something daughter.

  163. Juice Box says:

    # 166- Bystander re: “before lease ends in April.” Buy yourself some time, tell her to go month to month on the lease after it expires. Contact the Landlord in writing and tell them you will be going month to month because of a potential move etc and you will give 60 days notice etc. If a contract is sent over from the landlord ignore it and keep sending in the rent checks.

  164. JJ says:

    One girl was such a toxic mess to get rid of that when I lived in NY City I used my friends “butt” advice on her, I actually called him once when she was in the bathroom of my dumpy little NY apt. He told me you know the big iron gates you have on the window of your apt to keep the crack heads out, I go yep, ask her to strip grab on to the iron bars and play “prison guard” and do her from behind. Anyhow friend calls around two hours later and asks did it work, did she go running from apt? I go nope, now that I played prison guard I am the one in prison. Took me months, a court order and the police to get rid of that toxic chick. You would think I was shooting cavair and champaign out of my johnson the way she hung on.

  165. Bystander says:


    You’re right. Off to find homely and angry. Plenty to choose from on Wall St. Unfortunately they like girls too.

  166. Shore Guy says:

    “two hours later and asks did it work, did she go running from apt? I go nope, now that I played prison guard I am the one in prison.”

    Theimage of John bent over and holding the bars whil his toxic gf takes hbim from behind makes me want to wash my eyes with soap.

  167. Barbara says:

    172. Bystander,
    sounds like you’ve already made up your mind. I hope the giggles and the bubble letters on the fridge notes help quell the sting on those CC bills. Ok, that was bitchy but I’m not ugly, just angry!

  168. JJ says:

    OMG this girl was the worst. Next line was I want you to do something with me in bed that you have not done with no other man. Crazy girl goes well, there is one thing but I am saving it for my honey moon night and if you are the right one I will do it with you right now. I go what’s the next best thing you got?

  169. Bystander says:


    All student loan debt so C13 is no help. She has some cc debt. Nothing too insane

  170. NJSerf says:

    (175) jj – I bet she would be perfect for this guy:

  171. #176 – All student loan debt so C13 is no help.

    Nuts… Has she tried contacting the lender (loan servicer/etc) to she if she can modify the payments?

  172. Barbara says:

    Can she work for a high end NYC restaurant/catering/fine foods? Asian studies and all? I dunno, just throwing it out there. You would have to be very ambitious in that line of work and very people friendly. Its an interesting degree, is she an interesting person?

  173. make money says:


    Flying first class on a 3 hour flight is one thing and buing used cars is completely different. I don’t like the fact that someone else pimped my ride for years and handed it down to me as a left over. If you’re Ok with it then where does it end? used cd, dvd, clothes, furniture, appliances, TV????

  174. Bystander says:


    Angry and ugly are often the same thing. There’s a saying- no matter how hot she is, some guy is tired of dealing with her. Not dating strawberry shortcake. She is a genuine person who deserves a shot. I am giving an option for stability not exoneration. No I have not made up my mind.

  175. JJ says:

    I actually never has bought a new car in my life. That is for the rich folk. Believe it or not I never bought a CD in my life. The last record I bought new was on cassette. I also never used the CD player in my 1998 car or my current BMW. Don’t know if they work as I don’t own CDs. Also never bought an Itune. I only get paid once for my work so why should artists. I am taking a morale stance. I say 50% of my furniture is used. Why not. A dining room set costs like 5k and I can get a used one for $300 bucks.

    make money says:
    January 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm


    Flying first class on a 3 hour flight is one thing and buing used cars is completely different. I don’t like the fact that someone else pimped my ride for years and handed it down to me as a left over. If you’re Ok with it then where does it end? used cd, dvd, clothes, furniture, appliances, TV????

  176. Barbara says:

    I think thats great, just don’t do a bail out is all I’m saying, for her own sense of self worth AND for your sanity. But on the real tip, make sure she’s on that pill, yo. Or wrap it up. All bets are off once she’s a mommacita.

  177. Barbara says:

    used furniture! *gasp*

  178. Bystander says:

    Thanks. Magnums are in the nightstand :>)

  179. Barbara says:

    Glad to know you have handy firearms, but what about the birth control?

  180. west (92)-

    Actually, all you need to wipe out a bank is an electronic run…or, the threat of same.

    Worked like a charm to killshot Bear and LEH.

  181. Juice Box says:

    JJ -re: “The last record I bought new was on cassette.”

    Baloney you were buying used 8 tracks of the Bee Gees down on Canal Street.

  182. cat (100)-

    Not only was Gross buying the worst crap that he knew would be slam-dunk putbacks, he did it with max leverage.

    Almost like the guy knew what was coming next; although we all know our financial system is beyond reproach and far above any efforts at front-running.

    [sarc off]

  183. zieba says:

    Oh sh*t. Barb on fire today.

  184. Juice Box says:

    re: #191 – Mortgage arbitrage was a slam dunk when the Fed was buying up 1.3 Trillion of MBS at Par.

  185. relo says:

    By: For you to even consider sticking around there must be something worthwhile. Assume she’s aready tried career placement at the $150k Ivy? I’d call them every day. And then some. Good luck.

    HTJ: What is the conversion rate for $150k to ATW?

  186. Bystander says:

    Touche. Good one. That is my bc. Don’t get pregnant b*tch. Keep a hanger right next to it.

  187. HE (113)-

    Who says Rielle won’t be a co-defendant? She hasn’t been supporting herself with her Oscar-winning films, you know.

  188. chicagofinance says:

    Do you drink used beer (aka urine) too?

    182.JJ says:
    January 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm
    I actually never has bought a new car in my life. That is for the rich folk. Believe it or not I never bought a CD in my life. The last record I bought new was on cassette. I also never used the CD player in my 1998 car or my current BMW. Don’t know if they work as I don’t own CDs. Also never bought an Itune. I only get paid once for my work so why should artists. I am taking a morale stance. I say 50% of my furniture is used. Why not. A dining room set costs like 5k and I can get a used one for $300 bucks.

  189. Bystander says:


    She actually applied to work at the alma mater. They’d probably offer 30K for a fine Ivy graduate working in the asian studies debt. Talk about a ponzi. I have to figure out how to get her on the NJ public dole. Lifetime benefits and pension offset the 150K.

  190. Samivel Veller says:

    Courts in NJ do not care about what the FM rental value of a property is. They will not increase the rent. Similar to whether a mortgagor in foreclosure defaulted on the mortgage payments or not. It’s not important anymore– the world is flat again.
    An individual buying property at foreclosure sale will be saddled w/ subsidizing the lifestyle of occupants of the former owner who present a “lease” for any amount.
    Occupants are counseled to forge leases and fake rental payments (to the prior owner) by anti-lender elements. In the current environment this is acceptable conduct by occupants.
    With fewer properties being sold to individuals at sheriff sales now, this dilemma is largely the banks’ problem.

  191. Essex says:

    Cousin got an Asian Studies degree. Spent a year over there. Now mans a desk at a big bank trading that market. Lives in London, makes $$$$.

  192. NJCoast says:

    Ok it just took 11 hours to get from Monmouth County NJ to Boston. Conn. has the worst roads ever- 10 miles an hour for 6 hours. I’ve never been to Boston before. My husband’s (BC alumni) cousin’s (BC alumni) daughter (BC alumni) is marrying (shocker!- BC alumni) at the BC chapel tomorrow. Barf. Sorry BC Bob but I’m already done with Boston.

  193. jj (119)-

    Again, it is only January…and we may already have our post of the year:

    “My friend always dealt with this type of issue by asking if he could do her in the butt. And insist on it. Most girls will be offended it and dump you so problem is solved. Ocasssionally he got lucky and got some butt action. After you do her you may want her debt and all if it is really good.”

  194. Certainly casts a whole new light on the concept of risk assessment.

  195. jj (124)-

    I just keep thinking of two words: “fox” and “henhouse”.

    “Many years ago I was a mentor in the group Network of Women.”

  196. sx (130)-

    That’s not real love. That’s real stupid.

    “Real love means money ceases to matter.”

  197. Barbara says:

    ugh, terrible grammar mistakes today. I usually have a 20 month old in my lap so give me a break, I’m doing the Lord’s work over here.

  198. NJ Real Estate and Advice for the Lovelorn Report.

    I’m waiting for Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla to show up here.

  199. babs (204)-

    You should’ve identified yourself as Lloyd Blankfein sooner than this, you lowlife troll. :)

    “I’m doing the Lord’s work over here.”

  200. stu (140)-

    Is that woman Rielle Hunter?

    I mean, seriously:

  201. tosh (146)-

    I say hit it and forget it.

  202. Barbara says:

    Lloyd is on the Chairman of the Asian Society. I think our work here is done.

  203. Barbara says:

    errm, – on

  204. Barbara says:

    I can hear the uproarious laughter as BC insider stories are exchanged and compared and contrasted through the generations. Open bar?

  205. stander (152)-

    You need to go to Public Access Channel and watch about 27 hours of Robin Byrd, Midnight Blue and Ugly George nonstop.

    What? Oops…my bad. Thought it was 1983 there for a moment.

  206. shore (159)-

    If the bitch had a brain, she’d have pinned that debt on her co-signers by now.

  207. doyle (162)-

    Don’t. I bet the first thing she’d do to any of us is pummel our arses with a strap-on.

    Talk about love’s labours unrequited…

  208. stander (164)-

    Now you’re thinking right, man! Treat the bitch like furniture.

    “Need to make the big call on her before lease ends in April.”

  209. tosh (168)-

    That, or just your garden variety crazy lunatic.

    “…only a crazy lunatic in love would open himself up for abuse on this forum.”

  210. shore (173)-

    It’s often said that one who rides the tiger eventually ends up inside it.

  211. babs (174)-

    I have a funny feeling that this gal’s most alluring feature is an act that, er, preempts her ability to giggle.

    “I hope the giggles and the bubble letters on the fridge notes help quell the sting on those CC bills. Ok, that was bitchy but I’m not ugly, just angry!”

  212. serf (177)-

    What a dolt. Everybody knows the portal to hell is the door of my office.

  213. Barbara says:

    I had no idea that *cute and sweet* was a euphemism for miming. I can’t keep up with these hipsters.

    “I have a funny feeling that this gal’s most alluring feature is an act that, er, preempts her ability to giggle.”

  214. Can not believe Google thinks this is news!

  215. Recession is the big monster that shook the world. In the United States alone, a lot of cities have suffered, with some ending up as ghost towns.

  216. Does it work? Ear training? Which is worth looking at? This has been a good resource for me play by ear

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