Settlement in the works for NJ robosigners

From the NY Post:

NJ judge OKs talks for ‘robo-sign’ banks

The nation’s six largest mortgage lenders — chastised by a New Jersey judge last month for shoddy foreclosure practices and threatened with the freezing of thousands of foreclosure actions — are expected to open settlement talks with the judge today.

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson had ordered the banks to appear in her courtroom today to prove their foreclosure practices are legitimate — but that hearing has been pushed back until Feb. 14 to allow for the two sides to seek to settle the matter.

Lawyers for banks ensnared in a nationwide robo-signing foreclosure scandal — including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and GMAC’s Ally Financial — are scheduled to meet with Edward Dauber, the court’s lawyer in the case, to discuss a possible deal this morning, court documents show.

Dauber didn’t return a request for comment.

The banks are hoping to prove to the judge that they have cleaned up their act following a nationwide scandal exposing the banks’ widespread practice of submitting forged or falsified documents, so-called robo-signing of loan documents, to speed up home foreclosures.

Last month, in an effort to ensure New Jersey residents aren’t being illegally kicked out of their homes, the state’s chief justice, Stuart Rabner, took the unusual step of ordering the banks to prove their foreclosures are on the up-and-up within 30 days or risk their foreclosure cases being suspended.

GMAC serviced 4,354 foreclosures in New Jersey as of Nov. 30, and Citigroup said it has 4,023 active foreclosures in the state, court filings show.

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150 Responses to Settlement in the works for NJ robosigners

  1. grim says:

    From the Washington Post:

    Ally to dismiss and refile certain Md. foreclosures

    Ally Financial, one of the nation’s largest lenders, said Tuesday that it is withdrawing all of its foreclosures in Maryland that were approved by employee Jeffrey Stephan, the “robo-signer” who admitted he signed off on thousands of files every month with little or no review.

    The company, formerly known as GMAC, said about 250 active cases signed by Stephan will be dismissed and resubmitted in Maryland, a potentially lengthy process that is likely to delay foreclosures and create uncertainty for the state’s fragile real estate market. An Ally spokeswoman said the firm has no plans to take similar action in other states.

    Consumer advocates say, however, that the move puts pressure on the company to withdraw similar cases across the country and may force other lenders who also used robo-signers to follow suit.

    “What they’re doing is triage,” said Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates. “They’re thinking: We’ve got a problem in Maryland. Let’s get in front of it. But they’re naive if they think that what they’re doing in Maryland is going to shut the door on their troubles elsewhere.”

  2. grim says:

    From CNN:

    Crime-ridden Camden, N.J., cuts police force nearly in half

    The mayor of crime-ridden Camden, New Jersey, has announced layoffs of nearly half of the city’s police force and close to a third of its fire department.

    One hundred sixty-eight police officers and 67 firefighters were laid off Tuesday, as officials struggle to close a $26.5 million budget gap through a series of belt-tightening measures, Mayor Dana Redd told reporters. The layoffs take effect immediately.

    Redd said she was unable to secure the $8 million in budget concessions that she says she needed to save the jobs of up to 100 police officers and many of the city’s firefighters.

    The mayor — who said she will continue negotiations with police and fire unions — had been asking the workers to pay more for their health care, freeze or reduce their salaries and take furlough days.

    The apparent impasse has left administrators of a city with the second-highest crime rate in the nation scrambling to figure out solutions to keep residents safe. Camden is second only to St. Louis, Missouri, in annual rankings of cities based on compilations of FBI crime statistics.

  3. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  4. Mike says:

    Curtis and his Guardians are very brave

  5. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Passaic County government layoffs loom as freeholders fail to reach budget pact

    The prospects of a budget compromise between Republicans and Democrats on the Passaic County Freeholder Board appear slim, and layoffs in the Sheriff’s Department are looking more likely with each passing day.

    The Freeholder Board met Tuesday evening for what likely will be its next-to-last meeting before Feb. 15, the earliest day that layoff notices sent to 90 Sheriff’s Department employees can take effect. But once again the board failed to reach a compromise on how to bridge a projected $6.5 million shortfall in the 2011 budget, so trimming the payroll appears to be the only way to close the gap.

    “Everything is on the table,” Freeholder Director Terry Duffy, a Democrat, said before Tuesday’s meeting. “If we can adopt a bond, we can avoid layoffs. But we’re running out of time.”

  6. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Home Builders Still Pessimistic

    Builders remained pessimistic about the outlook for new home construction in the first month of 2011, despite increasing signs of improvement elsewhere in the economy.

    The National Association of Home Builders said Tuesday its housing-market index remained flat at 16 in January. Although companies are adding jobs and economic growth appears to be speeding up, improvement in the construction industry has lagged behind.

    The seasonally adjusted index, based on a survey of 420 builders, has held at 16 for three consecutive months. Numbers above 50 mean more builders view conditions as good than as poor. The last time the home builders’ confidence gauge was above 50 was April 2006.

    Home builders are competing with demand for previously owned homes and have been struggling to get credit to start projects.

    “Unfortunately, a severe lack of construction financing, and widespread difficulties in obtaining accurate appraisal values, continue to limit builders’ ability to prepare for anticipated improvements in buyer demand in 2011,” Bob Nielsen, the NAHB’s 2011 chairman and a home builder from Reno, Nev., said in a statement.

  7. Hi ho!

    “When we had last checked on the total silver sales by the US Mint earlier today, the amount given was 3,407,000 ounces, a number which we had earlier speculated would be a monthly record if sales were maintained at the current pace. And as the number had not been updated we assumed that “either buying interest has ceased overnight (unlikely), that the mint is not updating its numbers (likely), or, worse, that the Mint has now stopped selling any form of silver for reasons unknown.” Indeed, the result was the likely one, and following a quick check today on US Mint sales confirms that sales have once again surged following the Mint’s delayed update. As of today they stood at a whopping 4,588,000, or nearly 1.2 million ounces sold in a few short days. This represents the biggest monthly total sold by the US Mint going back to 1986 when the Mint disclosed its first monthly sales record… And the month is not even over yet. In other words in just the first three weeks of January, the mint has sold more silver than in any month in its history according to its public records going back 26 years.”

  8. Wow. Paterson and Camden in mortal combat to determine Amerika’s most dangerous city.

  9. Lawyers for banks ensnared in a nationwide robo-signing foreclosure scandal … are scheduled to meet with Edward Dauber…to discuss a possible deal this morning, court documents show.

    Well, I suppose we knew that this was going to happen.

  10. JPM sued to disclose loan docs for 2k mortgages from a Bear Stearns trust. Could be interesting.

  11. JJ says:

    home builders should be in dumps who needs them. The few “grey gardens” I looked at that needing fixing up people were coming with contracters getting price to fix it up, lowballing and getting existing house on good block with low taxes for around 400K less than new construction with high taxes. If done right you have equity in a new house the moment you move into it. I actually saw a six bedroom, four bath two acre house with a pool that needed new three new bathrooms, painting and floors and around 20K worth of odds and ends. But no new CO needed as not adding anything. Taxes were 12k. That house brand new taxes in same neighborhood is 30K. Plus all in the new house is 1.8 million, the old house is 1.1 million with 200K renovation. Builders are going up against this.

  12. JJ says:

    remember bear never did mortgages, they bought paper to juice returns when yields were high then chase bought the paper. If paper is bad who do you blame? Should be person who sold paper to Bear in first place.

    toshiro_mifune says:
    January 19, 2011 at 7:09 am

    JPM sued to disclose loan docs for 2k mortgages from a Bear Stearns trust. Could be interesting.

  13. Neanderthal Economist says:

    This is a good parapraph from an article on yahoo finance today which lists the 8 worst real estate states…
    ‘The housing recovery will be wildly uneven. A city like New York, which has a dense population and large numbers of middle class and upper class buyers who will wait until they believe prices hit bottom, will have a rapid recovery soon. Building permits granted in New York City over the last four years have been very low. The supply of apartments is also low. Those forces taken together with an even modest economic recovery will help push real estate prices higher in New York and regions with similar characteristics. The real estate cr

  14. #12 – If paper is bad who do you blame? Should be person who sold paper to Bear in first place.

    At this point it’s like hot potato, last one holding loses.
    JPM & BSC (esp JPM) were more than capable of requesting loan docs to do statistical sampling of what they were buying. Due diligence is more than just phrase.

  15. Mikeinwaiting says:

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 19, 2011) –The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 14, 2011. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 5.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 6.4 percent compared with the previous week.

    The Refinance Index increased 7.7 percent from the previous week. This is the third consecutive weekly increase in refinance applications and is the highest Refinance Index observed since the beginning of December. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1.9 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 3.1 percent compared with the previous week and was 16.0 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

  16. JJ says:

    I agree with 13, only wild card is a lot of people are hanging on holding for a loan mod or to work it out with bank on high end. I think spring selling season may bring the people hanging on to market quickly and I do see a rapid upswing in the rich areas at some point.
    I for one want to live in a rich area. I just don’t want to quickly lose 200K or so as we may not be at bottom. When it hits I am in.

    Also lots of people are sitting now on good stock gains and have lots of interest income pouring in. Money piling in bank is no fun. Can’t go to party and waive your bank statement around. Plus plenty of people I know have been throwing 5k a month into the house fund since 2007 waiting for bottom, 5k a month may not sound like a lot but after several years it starts to pile up

  17. Mikeinwaiting says:

    MBA Purchase Applications will be reported at 7 a.m. ET. Most traders focus on the purchases component of the mortgage report, for which no forecast is available.

    Last week purchases came in at 192.4. A number that comes in higher than the previous week by 5 percent or more would be bullish. If the number comes in lower by that same margin or more it would be bearish.

    What did it come in at -1.9 adj , +3.1 non adj , I guess that’s bearish!

  18. Dissident HEHEHE says:


    It’s an interesting lawsuit because Wells Fargo is the trustee for the Bear trust. The Bear trust is now a sub of JPM. JPM’s sub EMC was the one who dumped the sh*t mortgages onto Bear. Either way JPM look’s like sh*t on this one. It’s kind of like Wells doing a negative marketing campaign against a rival:)

    It will be interesting to see if it comes out how many times EMC reached into the mortgage grab bag to get a combo of sh*t loans that met rating agency approval so they could dump it onto Bear. Hopefully it get played up in the press just how much JPM knew of Bear’s financial condition before the FED sold them Bear in the fire sale. Moreover, it will be even more interesting to know just how much of the sh*t sitting in Maiden Lane I originated at JPM. Can you say f*cking conspiracy? It’s like giving somebody cancer, letting the government extract the cancer, and let you keep the rest of the healthy body.

  19. Neanderthal Economist says:

    ‘A little bit of inflation, the saying goes, is like being a little bit pregnant. In other words, inflation inevitably feeds on itself. Once you have a little bit, a lot more is sure to come. I predict that you’ll be hearing this saying more and more in coming months, if —as increasingly seems will be the case —fears of deflation continue to recede.’

  20. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Re 13,

    “The supply of apartments is also low.”

    I can’t agree with this statement re NYC because it is too hard to gauge. There’s a lot of people who want to sell who are holding out until they have to sell. I have about five friends who have listed their places off and on the past year who are stuck with them because they literally had no buyers show up. Only one of them got an offer and the financing fell through on that deal; that couple is stuck paying two mortgages because they bought a house before they sold their coop.

  21. New in FL says:

    In case anyone remembers and is interested in the outcome….

    About a month ago I asked the board for advice about recovering my security deposit. Our ex-Landlady didn’t return it after we moved to Florida in mid-November.

    I calculated that she owed me about $2,800 of our original $3,300 since we did damage the (my age estimate) 8-year old carpet. She apparently thought that we were on the hook for 100% of the cost of the new carpet.

    NJ law supports a punitive award equal to the improperly withheld deposit, which means that I could sue for a total of $5,600.

    Once it was clear to me that she had no intention to return my money, I filed a small claims suit asking for the $5k max allowable in small claims plus my expenses in bringing the suit.

    That woke her up. She called me and asked to settle. She gave me a cashier’s check for $3k yesterday.

  22. Wake up, people. NY/NJ/train towns no different. Everyone will suffer.

    No one will be spared. No one.

    Forty years in the wilderness. A aging nation, with a follow-up generation of girly-men. Total devastation. Inevitable.

  23. wheaties says:

    Wow, Camden. You ask your unions for concessions so you can employ the maximum number of people. They say no. You cut their numbers in half. Now they have less people to patrol the streets and less people to help reduce crime. Their jobs are more dangerous. Stupid unions.

  24. leftwing says:

    Ban public employee unions.

  25. The MLS will rise rapidly in popularity if Kung-Fu Cantona can teach his new club the finer arts of brawling with fans.

    (ESPN)- Manchester United legend Eric Cantona is making a shock return to the game as director of soccer at New York Cosmos.

    The Cosmos are rising from the flames, with their eventual aim being to secure a place in MLS, and they are determined to make a huge impact. Chairman Paul Kemsley has recruited Cantona with the brief of assembling a squad capable of challenging for honours.

    “I am very honoured to join the legendary New York Cosmos,” Cantona said. “It’s a big project, a wonderful project. The Cosmos are very strong, beautifully made, with a great past. It’s kind of a mix between football and art.

    “I will do everything I can to help us first find our way to regain the No. 1 position in the United States, and then for us to become one of the best clubs in the world.”

  26. Shore Guy says:

    Think of how much overtime work will be available in Camden.

  27. grim says:

    Cosmos, awesome!

  28. #28 – Cosmos, awesome!

    Saw the Cosmos play at Giant stadium when I was a kid. I remember it distinctly because Pele kicked a ball into the stands just before the game started.

  29. UpstateNY says:

    Anyone have any experience dealing with “walking easements”? The property behind mine has a 6′ walking easement across my land to gain access to the water (for canoes/kayaks, but no vehicles or dockage rights). The house behind me was never completed, has no COO, and we haven’t seen the owner in 6 years (I suspect at some point a good wind will knock it down). Is there a process by which I can try to remove the easement? Someone suggested finding a “land use” lawyer but I’ve had no luck tracking one down.

    Thx from the shores of the St. Lawrence :)

  30. chicagofinance says:

    Updated: Wed., Jan. 19, 2011, 3:44 AM
    Triumphant Jets got Empire State fly-by

    Last Updated: 3:44 AM, January 19, 2011

    Posted: 3:23 AM, January 19, 2011

    The Jets were in an Empire State of Mind Sunday night after toppling the New England Patriots.

    As the team’s charter flight descended toward Newark Airport, the captain called an audible and asked the tower for permission to veer closer to the Empire State Building, which was lit up in the team’s colors.

    “Well I’ve had an unusual request,” the captain said. “If it’s green and white, these guys actually want to get as close as we could to see it.”

    Like an airborne offensive line, Newark’s air-traffic controllers gladly cleared a path for the plane.

    “You guys are awesome,” the captain said. “And I will tell you later who said that.”

    According to team sources, he was relaying a message from boisterous head coach Rex Ryan.

    Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum said it was a fitting end to a perfect night. “For the Empire State Building to be lit green and white was already special,” he said. “Then for everyone involved to allow us to have a view on our way back was a great ending for our trip and something that the team will always remember.”

    The route change that brought the Boeing 767 within clear view of the building required special permission to stray into La Guardia’s airspace, FAA spokesman Jim Peters said, but “no other flights were affected.”

    The tower later alerted the jet as it neared the city’s tallest building.

    “Taking you down the west side of the building down the Hudson,” the controller said. “Empire State Building should be at 11 o’clock.”

    “It’s beautiful,” the flight captain said. “Yeah, we’ve got 200 people looking at it. A beautiful night for it, too. Really appreciate it, guys.”

    Controllers then directed Continental charter flight 1915 toward Newark, where the plane landed at 10:53 p.m.

    “Glad to do it,” the tower said.

    Moments later, the tower said, “Clear to land for the champion New York Jets.”

    Asked if they enjoyed the fly-by, the captain said, “We did, and the team did, too. It was great. I know the coach liked it.”

    Such a fly-by request is not uncommon, but in this instance was particularly special for the controllers.

    “It’s kind of cool,” said Ray Adams, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association at Newark. “It wasn’t a typical flight path, but it does happen,” he said.

  31. #13 – Neanderthal Economist – The supply of apartments is also low.

    Looks like the boogie down Bronx is doing its part to create vacancies.

  32. sas says:

    “Camden layoffs”

    wow. not good.


  33. sas says:

    hugh? what gives with the eyetalics?

  34. grim (28)-

    The guys behind the Cosmos thing are moneyed up and serious. They have already taken over the Blau Weiss club on LI, so they now have a built-in youth academy program.

  35. hugh? what gives with the eyetalics?

    I suck and couldn’t properly close the html tag.

  36. Jim says:

    This might be the best thing to happen to Camden. Maybe current residents should just reduce services to nil, get out, and leave the empty shell to the gang bangers and drug dealers. Put a fence around the whole thing and declare martial law.

  37. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [22] new

    Proves my long-held adage: Nothing gets attention like a summons.

  38. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Obama and Hu exchanging worthless platitudes on South Lawn right now.

    I remember being at one of these in 1999. I was working at a federal court across the street, and they asked us if anyone wanted to go. Being new in DC and somewhat star-struck, I volunteered. Basically, they plump out the crowds with federal employees so that the visiting heads of state feel welcomed. Pre-9/11, so a simple background check and no metal detectors.

    They had us roped off in the back, gave us nice programs and little flags to wave (chinese and US), and that was it. I was bored stiff and vowed not to attend another one of these photo-ops.

    I am pretty sure I have long since tossed the program and little flags.

  39. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [38] jim

    Camden has potential as an on location site for the movie industry.

    They can lease it out to Hollywood for Escape from New York II. Wonder who gets cast to play Snake Plisken? Eventually, they can use it for remakes of movies set in Beirut or post-war Berlin.

  40. Juice Box says:

    re # 40 – Comrade the Asian business people I have dealt with tend to think long term in their relationships as in decades not years.

    Since America opened its borders to “free trade” with China they flooded our markets with cheap goods, drove U.S. companies out of business via unfair competive yuan valuation, and many time actually forced the hand of many US manufacturers to relocate entirely to third world countries like Vietnam and Indonesia in pursuit of cheap wages.

    The result is millions of US manufacturing jobs lost to China starting the day they joined they joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

    This is how I envision this meeting.

    Image is safe it is a comic.

  41. homeboken says:

    What the heck is going on in West Orange, saw this listing on-line and caught my eye since it is a re-sale well below current Khov offering prices, and almost passed out when I saw the tax number.

    Property tax of $18,800 annually for a townhouse with zero land? Did a quick scan of the other TH’s on that street and they all had a 18.5k + tax bill. This entire community is unsellable in my book. Who in their right mind signs of for a $1,500 per month tax bill, plus HOA fees, plus insurance, then P&I. My back of the envelope comes out to $6,000 per month in cash outflows, to live in a townhouse and attend WO public schools? This state is truly fuct.

  42. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    “Why European Banks Are Issuing Debt in America”

    “So as a result, European banks, particularly those with strong names and high debt ratings, have come here to issue, hoping that US investors — particularly retail investors — are unaware. But having witnessed this phenomena in reverse three years ago, when we were the ones selling swamp water, I can’t help but wonder if we are about to get a taste of our own medicine, so to speak, as US bond funds (not to mention money market funds) buy Yankee debt because it is attractive relative to other domestic alternatives.”

  43. Today I read some very interesting article. Its Ur article. Thanks

  44. NJGator says:

    Homeboken 43 – Check back on the taxes on that place next year. WO is in the middle of a revaluation. What have those places been selling for? I’m betting the tax bill will be lower next year.

  45. homeboken says:

    Gator – The unit above last sold 4/20/07 for $781,000. Current builder ask in the neighborhood is appx $750,000.

  46. It’s really all over, folks.

    2011, and no investigations or indictments on even one single bankster.

    Bankster-dominated UST and FedCo now triggering global unrest, food riots, economic collapse.

    Middle class done. Toast. Fork-tender. Baaaaaa…

    US Mint sold all-time record amount of silver for one month…and the month isn’t even over. Selling paper gold/silver Ponzi about to go up in smoke.

    Euro about to collapse. Peripheral EU countries now privately placing debt at exorbitant rates. Unsustainable. The vigilantes will make it here soon enough.

    No one will be spared. No one.

  47. homeboken says:

    Gator- correction, looks like there was a recent price chop, current builder asks of 650k – 750k. Previous was 700-850, 1st round of buyers must be loving khov right now.

  48. commercialrealestateconsultant says:

    The problem in Camden can be fixed immedietly. Fire everyone, and hire them back at less pay. There are plenty of people out of work in Camden who would take a city job at a lower pay. When will the federal, state, county and municpal governments understand the rules of the simple principle of Supply and Demand. Half of the people in town hall do not do anything, ……………….Please go see for yourself, if u dont believe me. If they did this they probably could raise the number of police and firemen in the city. The Unions are the downfall of this state and this country!

  49. joyce says:

    every time we repeat the term “robosigner” we are complicit in letting the media cover up forgeries, perjuries… you know those are little things called felonies

  50. gator (46)-

    So the taxes will go from 18K to 13K? And, for how long? I don’t see the gubmint in that hellhole of a town as being able to wean themselves from the tax teat that flows $$$$ 24/7.

    I always believed the market didn’t go to 0. However, the size of the potential market who wants to own a condoshack with any kind of 5-digit tax bill in that town has to be 0 or pretty close to it.

    Oh…let’s not forget the $400/mo. HOA fee in this enclave of the dead, either. Wonder how many “owners” in this gulag are delinquent or in default on those right now…

  51. NJGator says:

    Homeboken 49 – Builder asks or builder gets? New taxes will be set based on builder gets.

  52. Libtard says:

    homeboken (43):

    Welcome to what is known as successful integration. These high taxes (IMO) are primarily the result of so much of your taxes going to pay for those who have less than you. It is why the tax supported Montclair Pre-K costs more for a Montclair resident whose AGI is above 100K than sending your child to a privatized preschool with much longer hours in Bloomfield. It is why our community pools are POS (since we must subsidize this summer activity for those who can’t afford it, rather than improve the pools). It is why I just wrote a check for well over $300 to the PTA so Gator Jr. can be enriched in after care. This is in addition to the after care charge of course. Those who can’t afford it need not pay for enrichment nor the after care. Believe me, you better be pretty well off to live in a successfully integrated town. It costs a lot to pay for everything twice. Then there is the issue of privatizing services. This would result in the termination of lots of local workers and the private companies would not be required to hire back the same number of minorities. Every time the town council discusses the issue of privatization, the entire NAACP shows up to the council meeting as well as every minority leader and union leader in town.

    Of course there are towns like Clifton and Union that are also successfully integrated, but their councils are not quite as progressive. In these towns the non-minorities do not have such guilt complexes since they don’t feel they are as wealthy as the haughty taughty of Montclair. I mean, if you can’t afford to pay for those not as well off as you, then you probably shouldn’t live in Montclair or South Orange right?

  53. home (49)-

    Wake me up when those hamster crates are asking about 475K, with a 7K tax bill and a $250/mo. HOA fee.

  54. Jim says:

    50. I’m not saying the police and firemen in Camden or even Paterson don’t do anything. Never one is a job I would want. But both of those cities are lost causes. They just aren’t going to turn around. Get out the bulldozers. As to what to do with the current inmates, I mean residents, I don’t know.

  55. I enjoyed to find this article. I like your point of view. Thanks a lot. Cheers

  56. joyce (51)-

    The rule of law only applies to the little people.

  57. Anon E. Moose says:

    Upstate [30];

    You’d have to bring a Quiet Title action to remove the easement on the grounds of abandonment. Six years isn’t too bad, but I don’t think it will be conclusive, especially if the property owner puts up any resistance. I don’t recall what the time frame for adverse posession is in NY (10 years rings a bell), and although this strictly isn’t an adverse posession issue, a judge might feel confident in using that as guide to determine if the adjacent property owner abandoned his easement. Of course if a lawyer actually researched the matter for you, they will likely find better law on point.

    Also the realpolitik of the matter is whether you might be seen as a carpetbagger and if the owner of the adjacent property has political clout to influence the outcome. I know of at least one upstate county where a friend’s family lost valuable lake frontage in a property line dispute when black letter law was firmly in their corner, but this was their vacation house and the adversaries were townies.

  58. jim (56)-

    Fence them in, airlift food & water every so often, and let the inmates fight it out.

  59. NJGator says:

    Lib 54 – The problem with the taxes on those townhouses is that WO hasn’t revalued in something like 20+ years and these places are new constructions, some idiots during the peak paid way too much for them and they are appraised much closer to actual market value than much of the older housing stock in town. There are going to be a lot of huge tax swings in WO once the assessments are reset. New assessments should be mailed out before the end of this month and take affect for this tax year.

  60. Wendy says:

    @21 dissident – if they can’t sell after a year, and had NO buyers show up, then they are not priced right. And this is EXACTLY what is going on generally in NYC – no price drops, and in Manhattan, prices are even up. Problem is, the number of sales is way down, so total sales volume is down, even though prices may be up. The failure to change prices means the market is essentially frozen, or as some say “moving sideways.”
    Have you asked your NYC friends about lowering their prices? I would love to hear the response.

  61. 30 year realtor says:

    There is currently an unofficial moratorium on sheriff sales in New Jersey. Most Counties have not held a single sale since mid December. Bergen County has not sold any properties since 12/3/10.

    Just had a client who purchases non-performing mortgages in NJ tell me every sheriff sale he has pending in NJ has been adjourned for 6 weeks. His counsel told hm to expect this to continue for some time.

    The article which is the subject of today’s blog leaves me wondering what “settlement” would really mean.

  62. Anon E. Moose says:

    Joyce [51];

    I don’t care to reargue the merits of the matter, I only point out the dismay in the hearts of all the populists with their pitchforks and torches who wanted to “Stick it to the banks” by giving away free houses to deadbeats when that angry mob discovers that by genuflecting to the altar of the government and leaving a suitable contribution (settlement) in the collection plate, business will largely go on as it had before.

  63. homeboken says:

    Gator – Those are builder asks, and I am certain they will gladly accept an offer that is within 10-20% of their asking.

    These townhomes have had the slow bleed since 2007, but the losses are significant. A few are popping up as delinquent, and I think you will see some bank-owned sales shortly. Builder is going to try and dump the last 25 or so they have on their books and get out of dodge.
    Same story in different town, check out Livingston Town Center. There are abotu 20 original units offered by builder at near original asking. There are 2-3 resales that are 20% below original asking, at least 1 bank-owned sale. And the kicker, another phase being rolled out, asking price TBD. So the range on these asking prices is several hundred thousands of dollars wide, and yet sellers can’t figure out why no body is making a bid.

  64. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    “Have you asked your NYC friends about lowering their prices? I would love to hear the response.”

    Hey, they aren’t stupid. Just delusional. They think, ala the Fed, that if they are able to hold out long enough something magical will happen in the economy and demand will pick up. Reality is people who are buying now are people who have money to burn or an absolute need to buy. Both small groups.

  65. homeboken says:

    clot, 475k with a 7k tax bill is still probably $25,ooo over priced. But I agree, it would at least be in the realm of those not living in fantasy land.

  66. 30 year realtor says:

    Debt #52 – The $400 HOA fee is bound to increase by 50% or more once KHOV is no longer in control of the complex. Typically the initial HOA fee is too low. Builders are notorious for making fees too low to aid their marketing, even in good markets.

  67. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    Bonus Watch ‘11: JPMorgan Seems To Be Sending Some Groups A Hint

    “Bonuses in JPM’s prime brokerage were cut 75 percent (department-wide average). They tried to tell us the 75% was across the board in IB though obviously that’s not the case. There’s expected to be a mass-exodus from PB in the coming weeks, which it sounds like management is hoping for…”

    Could be mistaken but I thought part of the selling point for buying Bear was their prime brokerage, are these Bear legacy employees?

    PS. Bonus season going a lot like Meredith Whitney predicted.

  68. A.West says:

    Sounds like you’ve caught on to the brother-love racket. I suggest reading Atlas Shrugged so you can picture the ultimate conclusion of it.

  69. Juice Box says:

    re: #70 – Wall St bonuses…….Now we know what fate lies ahead to the high end bag holders as it is now revealed to much of the New York-area market. We now bear witness to undersized Banker Bonuses. Realtors and sellers of Manhattan lofts, Hamptons Mansions, Condos in Hoboken and Colonials in West Orange are all now cringing as reality comes home. There will be no Bonus Bounce this year to hold up what remains of the high end markets.

    For the past few months brokers and sellers were holding their breaths, drinking heavily and perhaps even going as far as to secretly plant a St. Joseph medal in the yard to help sell the property. Now with the undersized bonus returning to Wall Street this year there will be no reawakening of the markets and no heroin like infusion of “banker cash”, and no catalyst to spark a full-fledged Real Estate recovery.

  70. NJGator says:

    Today’s Deal of the Day…$10 for a $20 Amazon Gift Card at Living Social

  71. Libtard says:

    A. West(71): Have read Atlas Shrugged. I know all about the ending. Montclair is heading into the toilet anyway. I’m not surprised that progressive lawyer offed himself a few weeks back.

  72. chicagofinance says:

    Honestly, I know this sounds a bit unfair, but I was pretty hacked off this morning on the way to work for this reason. Driving into Red Bank the artery road was backed up due to a team of guys with a backhoe digging up snow. The standard squad car, four or five guys standing and one guy doing work. Was teed me off was that the crew’s cars were parked in a driveway, and I slowly edged past them in backed up traffic. No shit…there was a BMW, a Benz, and Lexus and of those new GMC things…..fckuing graft is a bitch!

    56.Jim says:
    January 19, 2011 at 10:41 am
    50. I’m not saying the police and firemen in Camden or even Paterson don’t do anything. Never one is a job I would want. But both of those cities are lost causes. They just aren’t going to turn around. Get out the bulldozers. As to what to do with the current inmates, I mean residents, I don’t know.

  73. Libtard says:

    The last three plumbers I called into my home drove a Lamborghini (no BS), a Mercedes and a BMW. Talk about the college bubble.

  74. JJ says:

    Plumbers are spenders. If I got a 200K bonus I just invest 100% of it. A plumber will buy a car go to disney world etc.

    Libtard says:
    January 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    The last three plumbers I called into my home drove a Lamborghini (no BS), a Mercedes and a BMW. Talk about the college bubble.

  75. leftwing says:

    Looked at three/four electricians to wire my house. One shows up in perfectly pressed slacks, sweater vest, and a Range Rover. Did the walk through, asked if I had any questions. Replied, “Why in the world do you think I’m going to hire you when you’re dressed like that and driving a better car than I am?” GC almost fell down the stairs.

  76. NJGator says:

    Not sure why this link wound up in Mod. Posting without the teaser.

  77. NJGator says:

    Apparently Christie thinks the PVSC’s sh*t does stink….

    Christie orders Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission to explain friends, family in payroll records

    Gov. Chris Christie has given the commissioners of the state’s largest sewerage authority seven days to explain why they appear to be using their agency as a “piggy bank” for friends and family, or he will likely demand all seven resign.

    Christie said his chief counsel, Jeff Chiesa, will be sending out letters later today on the governor’s behalf to the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners, requesting they list all hires they had been involved with; account for all family members they have on the payroll; provide records of all raises that were authorized, and a justification for each.

    “My initial inclination would have been to demand resignations, but fairness would dictate allowing them seven days to explain themselves,” said the governor bluntly.

  78. JJ says:

    Even better the current commissioner of my sanitation department makes 300K a year. The commissioner also gets to appoint his replacement. The current commissioners Dad had job and the current commissioner has one son he plans on giving job to. Job also pays OT and comes with a free truck. All in 300K base, 100K OT, free car and free medical and pension for life. Highest paid job in my town.

  79. NJGator says:

    2010 ends as 2nd worst year for home construction

  80. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [74] make

    That’s another reason to get on board the Steeler bandwagon. Anyone got a Terrible Towel I can borrow???

  81. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    What the F happened to Delaware????

    I was running the HPI:income ratio for all 50 states. I calculated the % drop needed for each states ratio to reach -1 standard deviation from the long term average ratio. Delaware stands out from all other states at a 60% drop needed to read -1 stdev of the long term average ratio for the state!!!! The state of Delaware would need a 50% drop to hit the long term average ratio. prior to the 2000’s housing bubble the previous peak was in the late 80’s at about 6X (HPI to income ratio). AT the peak of the housing bubble, Delaware say a peak ratio of 12X. It is still at 10.9X as of the latest data!!!!
    There has either been some profound structural change to the state of delaware that stands out from the rest of the nation or I need to find a way to go all in on a leveraged short of Delaware RE. Any guru’s have any idea what is so special about Delaware????
    The long term average for Delaware is about 6.2 and the national long term average is 6.2.

    Here is the chart. Enjoy

  82. Libtard says:

    I think I’m gonna move to Iowa :P

  83. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    From the data i compiled it looks like NJ is right about average for the drop to -1 StDev.

    Of course we all know incomes will drop on average. This means that the chart i produced is a very optimistic one.

  84. Essex says:

    Ya’ll seem especially busy today.

  85. Libtard says:

    Someone’s got to pay for your lifetime of free healthcare.

  86. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    here is the individual chart for Delaware HPI/Income

  87. chi (75)-

    Those snowplow guys are geniuses. They figured out how to game the system, while you hemmorrhaged money to Cornell and U of C in order to obtain an “education” at ultra-inflated prices.

  88. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    One other question for the crowd…

    Are there food lines in North brunswick? I was driving through North Brunswick today at about 1pm. I drove by a little corner church/food bank. The was a line out the door and around the parking lot. Most people in the line appeared to be Hispanic and mostly families.

    I am only guessing at a food line, as for all i know it could have been Wednesday afternoon family bingo. Can illegal immigrants not access food stamps? If it was a food line then that is one hell of a sign of the times!!!!

    This was near where jersey ave meets Rt 1

  89. Essex says:

    Better get off the web and make more money.

  90. gator (80)-

    I’m really beginning to believe that some municipal union is gonna have Christie whacked before he finishes his term.

  91. stu (86)-

    If you move to Iowa, you should get in on one of those ethanol scams. Big money in brewing up this overpriced swill and r@ping the driving public with it.

  92. dan says:

    So how did these two end out? Did they benefit from lower mortgage rates or did they end up in deep trouble?

    Stu says:
    July 31, 2007 at 12:15 pm
    43: skep-tic… I disagree.

    In the past two weeks I have had two different friends ask me about mortgages. They both have piggy back Helocs since they did not put 20% down. They both live in nicer houses than me, they both drive nicer cars and they both have AGI’s that are at least 30% less than mine, not to mention credit card debt (of which I have none). I know most of my other friends have large credit card debt, but they brought their homes prior to the bubble so they managed to save and pay the 20% down.

    IMO, it is about these people having been spoiled when they were growing up and trying to maintain the lifestyle in adulthood (not to mention spoiling their kids) even though they can not possibly afford to without going into serious debt.

  93. homeboken says:

    94 – They can get rid of CC, but the movement has started and is gaining momentum. In order to return to the old regime (for a few years before it all blows up) the would have to get rid of CC, then rig the next election so that CC v2.0 doesn’t just pick up where he left off.

  94. Jim says:

    I’m amazed at all the Christie haters that post comments on the online articles. I’m sure most of them are either teachers or are married to a civil servant. There is no more money people. How can there be with the inflated salaries some of these people are making at the tax payer’s expense.

  95. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    % drop from current HPI/Median Income needed to reach long term average (1984 to 2010)

    Iowa -7%
    North Carolina -4%
    New Hampshire -1%
    Oklahoma 1%
    West Virginia 2%
    Ohio 3%
    Michigan 3%
    Connecticut 4%
    Louisiana 5%
    Texas 5%
    Missouri 5%
    Kentucky 6%
    Nebraska 6%
    Mississippi 6%
    New Jersey 6%
    Arkansas 7%
    Arizona 7%
    North Dakota 7%
    Utah 7%
    Idaho 7%
    District of Columbia 7%
    Tennessee 11%
    Maine 11%
    South Dakota 11%
    Georgia 13%
    New York 13%
    Florida 13%
    Wisconsin 13%
    Kansas 13%
    Washington 13%
    New Mexico 13%
    Indiana 15%
    Rhode Island 15%
    Alaska 16%
    Illinois 16%
    Pennsylvania 16%
    USA 17%
    Minnesota 17%
    California 17%
    South Carolina 18%
    Massachusetts 18%
    Virginia 18%
    Wyoming 20%
    Colorado 21%
    Nevada 21%
    Vermont 21%
    Maryland 22%
    Alabama 22%
    Oregon 23%
    Montana 26%
    Hawaii 26%
    Delaware 49%

  96. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    % drop from current HPI/Median Income needed to reach -1 Standard Deviation below long term average (1984 to 2010)

    Iowa -2%
    Oklahoma 8%
    New Hampshire 9%
    Nebraska 11%
    Ohio 12%
    Missouri 12%
    Kentucky 12%
    North Carolina 13%
    Texas 13%
    Idaho 13%
    West Virginia 14%
    Arizona 15%
    Tennessee 16%
    Louisiana 16%
    Michigan 17%
    Mississippi 17%
    District of Columbia 18%
    South Dakota 18%
    Georgia 18%
    Connecticut 18%
    Kansas 20%
    Wisconsin 20%
    North Dakota 20%
    Arkansas 21%
    Alaska 22%
    USA 22%
    New York 23%
    Utah 23%
    Florida 24%
    Indiana 25%
    Minnesota 25%
    New Jersey 25%
    South Carolina 25%
    Pennsylvania 26%
    Illinois 27%
    Massachusetts 27%
    Nevada 27%
    Colorado 28%
    New Mexico 28%
    Maine 29%
    Virginia 29%
    Rhode Island 31%
    Alabama 31%
    Vermont 32%
    Washington 32%
    Wyoming 35%
    Maryland 35%
    California 35%
    Montana 40%
    Oregon 43%
    Hawaii 43%
    Delaware 61%

  97. Al Mossberg says:

    Starting in 2012 there will be a 3.8% tax on home sales? More goodies thanks to the Kenyan usurper from the healthcare bill.

    “Beginning January 1, 2013, ObamaCare imposes a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income, including the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income.”

  98. NJGator says:

    Movin’ on up: Buy Jeter’s luxurious NYC penthouse for $20 mil

    When Derek Jeter(notes) first tried to sell his luxury condo in September, the $20 million listing showed off empty rooms with fixtures in need of serious updating.

    Worst omission: The kitchen had no range.

    But seriously, folks, prospective buyers would have no idea that a New York Yankees icon slept there. With such spartan rooms, it didn’t even look lived in. Jeter must have been crashing at girlfriend Minka Kelly’s pad at the time.

    Well, it was a miscalculation. Nobody bought the place.

    Come on, Cap’n. In this real estate market — no, in this day and age — you gotta pimp stuff out if you want someone to buy. Even a 5,425-square foot bachelor penthouse residence on the desirable 88th floor of Trump World Tower in Manhattan.

    Well, Jeter is no fool because the listing has been updated with photos of a furnished living space. Either he and Kelly channeled their inner Ty Pennington and Paige Davis and went to work overhauling the place or his real estate agent used old photos and/or got creative with some mad Photoshop skills.

    (It really looks like the latter, but it’s fun to imagine Derek and Minka in paint-splattered overalls. Well, her, anyway.)

    The result? Great success! Now, the condo actually looks like Jeter lives there: Sterile, but with the airs of privilege. The best part: He’s kept the price at $20 million.

  99. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Party on Garth

    Today, Qilu Bank is being investigated over a scandal allegedly involving $227m of forged commercial bank bills, used to provide short-term loans to business, and other forged commercial paper.

    The lender, which is 20 per cent owned by Australia’s Commonwealth Bank, is based in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province, in northeast China.

  100. chicagofinance says:

    Tool Boy: do you mind explaining WTF this means versus just puking up indecipherable crap?

    100.Schrodinger’s Cat says:
    January 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm
    % drop from current HPI/Median Income needed to reach -1 Standard Deviation below long term average (1984 to 2010)

  101. Nicholas says:

    Starting in 2012 there will be a 3.8% tax on home sales? More goodies thanks to the Kenyan usurper from the healthcare bill.

    Please have respect for the President of the United States. I may not agree with his policies, and you may not agree with his policies, but hopefully we can agree to respect the position. I’m getting pretty tired of hearing people slander the President.

    I was not aware that there was a 3.8% tax on home sales in the health care bill, that is very interesting. I will definitely be involved more closely in politics and be paying attention to this issue.

    Have you noticed the number of people who have lost even common decency?

  102. chicagofinance says:

    The F in “F5 Networks” stands for fcuked…..

  103. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    you graduated Cornell with advanced degrees? And you still can’t figure that out after my multiple posts? You should aak for a refund.

  104. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nicholas [105];

    I attribute the coarsening of our culture to the declining standard of living, crumbling national infrastructure, and general technological regression, combined with the fact that getting one’s pocket picked with increasing frequency and effect tends to place one in ill humor.

  105. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [101] Al

    I think I looked at that, and the additional tax applies only to that portion of the profit that is includible in taxable income. Amounts excluded under Section 121(250K single/500K married) should be exempt.

    Don’t quote me on that; it has been awhile since I looked at it.

  106. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    105] Nicholas

    I hear where you are coming from, but it isn’t as if this is a one-sided affair. I recall a lot of choice words for W, and I am old enough to recall the vituperative comments from the left directed toward Reagan.

    Civility returns when the uncivil are shunned. Given the success of Fox and MSNBC, I don’t see that happening.

    Suggest you develop mental filters. Works for me.

  107. I thin the quality of discourse here will improve once Moose is liquidated.

  108. plume (110)-

    I have mental filters, too. Unfortunately, they are talking to me.

  109. Anon E. Moose says:

    All I have to do is mention getting my pocket picked, and invariably a (former?) used house salesman will join the conversation.

  110. Libtard says:

    Dan (96 ):
    “So how did these two end out? Did they benefit from lower mortgage rates or did they end up in deep trouble?”

    I can definitively give the story of friend one. For the life of me, I don’t remember who friend two was. Friend one still lives in the Slummit section of Summit in the same home. They had aspirations to sell their house for 20% more than they paid (as a local realtor told them they could) even though they didn’t do a thing to the house besides paint it. They thought they might move to Mitchel’s neck of the woods as I think the husband travels there alot as a consultant for BOA. Either way, they seem to still be making payments somehow. The other family might have been my Redbank friends who too are still living in the same home. They are somehow holding on too, but I would bet both families are just a lost job away from losing their homes. Of course, mommies and daddies might step in to help them out in the case of family two.

  111. moose (113)-

    We don’t even have to mention douching, but you still manage to show up.

  112. Renter says:

    A few months I was looking at Trulia and an Army Sergeant wrote he was getting out soon and asked for advice on how to buy a home. The “helpful” people there told him he could qualify for a no-money down guaranteed VA loan for 729K.

    What kind of job is an Army guy going to get so he can actually make the payments on that? Ok, 6% of 729,000….

  113. leftwing says:

    “More goodies thanks to the Kenyan usurper from the healthcare bill.”

    Can’t wait until all the change makers at Starbucks realize that they must now buy healthcare and discover the reason is that the universal coverage part of the Lecturer-in-Chief’s grand scheme needs their (healthy) participation to fund it.

    Stated explicitly, several times, in the media by the Great One himself. Funding will not work without more young healthy bodies paying in to cover the new amounts going out for the currently uninsured.

    And Nick, respect is earned. Not granted because some “community organizer” (hoch-patooey!) wins the demographics lotto competing against a frozen dingbat.

    Gen Y will continue to dig this guy, I’m sure…..

  114. NJ Refi says:

    WOW! Your site has a ton of active contributors.

    This is how I look at the mess with these banks, the foreclosures…and the other messes they’re in, by the way. If you tell your kids to clean up their room but never check on them you pretty much know what you’ll see when you finally do check up on them. It’ll be a bigger mess than before. I’m not huge on government involvement but there has to be some enforcement or the problem will never be dealt with properly. I hope they put the screws to them on their foreclosure practices and everything else they’re involved in… modifications, loan origination, fees, etc.

  115. Renter says:

    Would you dishonest people stop pushing the fake “3.8% tax on home sales”?

    Investment income, of any kind, in excess of $250,000, gets a new tax bracket.

    Go cry yourself to sleep because people with over 250K investment income may pay a 3.8 surtax on their profits. That are in excess of $250K.

  116. gary says:

    Gen Y will continue to dig this guy, I’m sure…..

    But… but… Mom, everyone was doing it and I was just following along.

  117. leftwing says:

    Keep your hands off my $9,500.

    My money, not yours, thief.

  118. Bubble Disciple says:

    Al [101]

    I looked into your concern (searched for “3.8”) and found the provision in section 1411 of PL 111-152:

    I think Comrade is correct – I think you are only taxed on the next profit in excess of $250,000. There is some discussion here:

    Anyway, if the sale of your house is going to net you more than $250,000 in profit, you should consider yourself very lucky.

    Note the rest of the law is in this document (the big document that Republicans complain about, but it doesn’t have the 3.8% provision):

  119. Bubble Disciple says:

    comment 126 in moderation

  120. Confused In NJ says:

    The Obamacrats argue that Obamacare must be mandatory to force healthy people into insurance to make insuring people with prexisting conditions viable. Fancy way of saying healthy people, under penalty of law, will pay the medical expenses of less healty people. Be interesting to see what other ways the Obamamites come up with to relieve citizens of their money under the New Deal Socializtion Program.

  121. relo says:


    That is not a tax!

  122. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Cat, if delaware had a larger drop in med income than other states, that could explain why the hou/income is still elevated. Or if they had a spike in incoming residents. Maybe a lot of nj retirees are flooding into delaware on tax revolt?

  123. Neanderthal Economist says:

    104 Chi. Lol. What exactly is so indecipherable about ‘standard deviation’?

  124. serenity now says:

    Re#118 DS
    Sat. nite skit was hysterical and pathetic.

  125. In what year of Harvard Business School do they teach the concept of robbing Peter to pay Paul?

    “We understand that both cajas and Spanish banks have been supporting their RMBS by buying some delinquent mortgages out of the pool. Buying mortgages out of the pool will reduce delinquency rates and will also boost repayment rates – to the RMBS, the loan is considered to have been refinanced by the caja. Issuers are not obliged to provide such support to their RMBS transactions but the rise in delinquencies may have threatened ratings on retained deals, meaning that they would have become ineligible as collateral in ECB refinancing operations. By buying the loans out of the mortgage pool, the cajas would be taking those weaker loans onto their own books. That means that the current 3.7% serious delinquency rate (the orange line on the right-hand chart above) may flatter the performance of the cajas’ mortgage books and underestimate their potential losses.”

    Buh-bye, Eurrp.

  126. Oh, shyte. Just came across Idol.

    I think I have a lesion on my brain stem now.

  127. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot 134 run hard , run fast, rather get piss drunk kill less brain cells. Me I’ll just read.
    Clot 133 “The world is a ponzi” sung to the tune by War. Oh cool found The Cisco Kid think I’ll listen to it.

  128. Yikes says:

    Jim says:
    January 19, 2011 at 8:42 am

    This might be the best thing to happen to Camden. Maybe current residents should just reduce services to nil, get out, and leave the empty shell to the gang bangers and drug dealers. Put a fence around the whole thing and declare martial law

    sounds like a movie or a video game

  129. Shore Guy says:

    In. Mod

  130. Shore Guy says:

    Barry Vincent Ardolf, 45, pleaded guilty last week to charges of hacking dentity theft, possession of child prornography and making threats to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. According to prosecutors, he used the Aircrack Wi- Fi cracking software to gain access to his neighbor’s WEP-encrypted network. He then created Yahoo and MySpace accounts in his victim’s name and aunched a campaign to embarrass and cause legal troubles for the neighbor. He used the Yahoo account to mail child prornography to his neighbor’s co- workers, writing “Check it out. New family pic,” in one Feb. 22 e-mail. Several such e-mails were sent to co-workers at the large Minneapolis law firm where the neighbor worked, according to court filings Ardolf also posted child pronography to the fake MySpace page. “I bet my co-worker that since I’m a lawyer and a darn great one that I could get away with putting up pron on my site here,” he wrote on the page. “I bet that

  131. Settlement in the works for NJ robosigners | New Jersey Real Estate Report That is great to know, you gave me some thing to think about on drive to home from my cousins. Will you be writing far more about this topic? FYI I tried your rss button and it didnt work. I will try again in a couple of hours.

  132. Settlement in the works for NJ robosigners | New Jersey Real Estate Report I admired your article.Btwgood subject.

  133. Duke of Camden says:

    Thanks Stu,

    Sometimes I take a stroll down memory lane to see where we’ve been and what was said.

  134. chicagofinance says:

    Mail-Order Brides Need Goldman IPO to Find Love: Susan Antilla

  135. chicagofinance says:

    clot: pick again…..
    JANUARY 20, 2011
    Snooty? Not Today’s Wine Drinkers


    U.S. wineries are toasting improved health. But a rebound in the number of bottles sold is being undercut by the lower prices many consumers are paying.

    Wine makers big and small have faced challenges since the 2008 financial crisis. Distributors and restaurants slashed inventories as business slowed and credit seized up. Many wine enthusiasts curbed spending as unemployment rose and home values and retirement accounts shrank.

    The economic downturn was toughest for the U.S. wineries that sell wines for $20 a bottle and up. After switching to less-expensive wines in the downturn, many consumers are staying at those lower prices because they liked what they found, industry executives and analysts say.

    Mid-priced bottles are the life of the party. Last year, unit sales of wines priced at $9 to $12 a bottle rose 12% in food, drug, convenience and other stores, a faster growth rate than in other price segments, according to market-research firm Nielsen Co.

    “The market is looking for fairly priced wines,” said Chris Howell, general manager at Cain Vineyard & Winery in St. Helena, Calif. Consumers “have woken up to the fact that there are a lot of choices out there.” He said he doesn’t expect consumers to pay the kinds of prices they paid before the economic downturn. “It’s not ever going to be what it was,” he said.

    Nodding to the new mentality, the winery recently reduced the retail price of its Cain Five brand, a Cabernet blend, to $100 from $125 a bottle.

    By volume, wine sales rose roughly 3% last year, improving on a 2% increase in 2009, according to preliminary estimates by industry consultant Jon Fredrikson of Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates. Still, many small and mid-sized wineries in the fragmented market continue to sell labels at lower prices to woo consumers, squeezing revenue and profits.

    “Things are picking up, but they are against terrible numbers,” Mr. Fredrikson said.

    Industry giant Constellation Brands Inc., whose stable includes the Robert Mondavi and Estancia labels, noted that the level of sales promotions in the industry was a bit higher in its third quarter ended Nov. 30 than it originally anticipated. Constellation disappointed investors earlier this month when it reported that its third-quarter U.S. sales volumes to retailers rose only 2%. In the second quarter, volumes were up 4%.

    Constellation Chief Executive Rob Sands said in an interview that volume growth slowed because the company shifted holiday promotions to higher-priced brands like Mondavi from lower-priced brands. The core higher-priced brands have better profit margins, he said.

    Mr. Sands said consumer demand for wine is “pretty robust,” especially in supermarkets and club stores. But “you are seeing more discounting as you go up the price scale,” especially in wines priced above $20 a bottle. “The consumer is seeing a lot of bargains.”

    Some wine shops say demand over the holidays was healthy. “Corporate gift-giving came back in a big way to us versus the last two years,” said Daniel Posner, owner of Grapes the Wine Co. in White Plains, N.Y., which carries about 2,000 wines. Mr. Posner said his store’s revenue increased about 25% last year, but the boost came against 2009 figures that were “way down.”

    Several industry executives said they’re encouraged by a modest uptick in sales in restaurants. Restaurant-consulting firm Technomic Inc. projects wine sales in restaurants, bars and casinos to rise 1.4% this year, accelerating from growth of 0.8% in 2010.

    Jordan Vineyard & Winery, whose wines are often found at high-end steakhouses, enjoyed a 5.5% increase in overall sales last year, and projects an increase of 6% to 7% this year, according to Chief Executive John Jordan. The Healdsburg, Calif., vintner’s wines retail for between $28 and $55, and run anywhere from $65 to $125 per bottle in restaurants.

    Mr. Jordan said he was so pleased by his company’s performance last year that he bought each of his 100 employees an iPad tablet computer.

    Industry-wide, though, restaurants are selling more wines by the glass and have cut some bottle prices on their wine lists.

    The new year “will be a better year, but we are still going to stay lean,” said Rick Small, owner of Woodward Canyon Winery, in Lowden, Wash., which sells most of its wine for about $50 a bottle.

    Revenue at the 30-year-old winery, which employs about a dozen people, rose 10% last year after two straight years of declines.

    But, Mr. Small said, “Until I see more people wanting to buy my wines, I’m not going to hire anybody.”

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