F.H.A. Audit Sees Possible Bailout Need
By Annie Lowrey, New York Times, Nov. 15, 2011
Chances are nearly 50 percent that the Federal Housing Administration will need a bailout next year if the housing market deteriorates further, the agency’s independent auditor said in a report released Tuesday.
Lenders Pay Borrowers to Walk Away in Short Sales
By Michael Pollick, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Nov. 15, 2011
To turn the page on the mortgage mess, lenders including Bank of America and Wells Fargo are changing their playbook to favor short sales and offering owners money to walk away. Bank of America is offering underwater borrowers in Florida $5,000 to $20,000 in relocation assistance.
Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against MERS Over Unpaid Taxes
By Todd A. Heywood, The Michigan Messenger, Nov. 15, 2011
Two county registers of deeds filed a class action lawsuit Monday on behalf of Michigan’s 83 counties alleging that the Mortgage Electronic Registration Services owes millions of dollars in property title transfer taxes.
Freddie Blacklists New York’s Biggest Foreclosure Firm
By Joe Palazzolo, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 15, 2011
The past few weeks have been grim for Steven J. Baum PC, New York’s largest foreclosure firm. There were those photos, published in the New York Times, that depicted firm employees mocking victims of the mortgage crisis. And that $2 million settlement with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan over errors in the firm’s legal filings in state and federal court. Now, more bad news: National mortgage servicing giant Freddie Mac has blacklisted the firm.
Housing Woes Won’t Yield to Quick Fix
By Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post, Nov. 13, 2011
We Americans think of ourselves as problem-solvers, but the housing collapse has so far eluded all solutions. Perhaps 10 million homes have gone into foreclosure since 2006; millions more will follow. From their peaks during the real-estate bubble, home prices are down 30 percent, new housing construction has dropped 75 percent and existing home sales are off almost 30 percent. Housing’s collapse is one reason the economic recovery is so weak.