Pending Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Fell 2.8% in January
Feb. 28, 2011, Bloomberg
The number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes fell in January, a sign the industry that triggered the recession was struggling at the start of 2011. The index of pending home re-sales dropped 2.8 percent after a revised 3.2 percent decrease the prior month that was initially reported as a gain, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists called for a 2.3 percent decrease.
Only 1 in 4 Got Mortgage Relief
Feb. 28, 2011, Wall Street Journal
Just one in four of the 2.7 million homeowners who sought to participate in the Obama administration's signature mortgage assistance program have succeeded in getting their monthly payments reduced. The rest failed to qualify for the program or were disqualified after they were initially accepted into the program, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal of data on applicants to the program newly released by the Treasury Department. In all, about 680,000 homeowners who applied for the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, had received permanent modifications of their loans and were making timely payments or were still in the trial phase as of December.
Waiting Seven Years for Two Answers
Feb. 26, 2011, New York Times
When Zella Mae Green of Georgia filed for bankruptcy to save her home from foreclosure in 2004, she and her lawyer wanted to know two things: Did she actually owe any back payments on her mortgage? And, if so, to whom? It didn’t seem like a lot to ask. But until last week, those questions had been unanswered for seven years.
Lawyers Target ReconTrust’s role in Utah Foreclosures
Feb. 28, 2011, Salt Lake Tribune
A fortnight before Christmas, Layton Mayor Steve Curtis came home to a foreclosure notice tacked to his front door, saying his family’s home would be sold Jan. 18 at auction. Two months earlier, he and his wife, Rae Lynn, had been notified by California-based ReconTrust Co. that foreclosure proceedings had begun on their home. The stunned couple had been working toward a modification of their loan with Bank America.
Arizona Bill Would Void Foreclosures Without Full Title History
Feb. 23, 2011, Bloomberg
Arizona may become the first state to require lenders to prove they have the right to foreclose by providing a complete list of any previous owners of the mortgage, under a bill passed yesterday by its Senate. The legislation, Senate Bill 1259, which is headed to the House after being approved 28-2 in the Republican-dominated Senate, would allow foreclosure sales to be voided if lenders that didn’t originate the loan can’t produce the full chain of title. Arizona permits non-judicial foreclosures, meaning property can be seized from the homeowner without a court order.