Banks Working With HELOC Borrowers To Prevent Potential Loan-Default Disaster Before It Happens

Banks Working With HELOC Borrowers To Prevent Potential Loan-Default Disaster Before It Happens

The housing bubble that imploded spectacularly in 2008, taking a big chunk of the U.S. economy with it, has a second wave waiting to strike in the form home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). Having learned from the lesson that preventing a disaster rather than recovering from one might, in fact, be a better way to go, lenders — at the urging of regulators — are now working proactively with borrowers to stave off potential doom before it happens. [More]

(tinakugler)

Man Buying Foreclosed Homes To Fix Them, Then Sell Or Rent Them Cheap To Save Town

There is no magic solution to the housing crisis that has hit many towns across America, but one man in Carpentersville, Ill. has come up with a very unique way of addressing the situation. In an effort to save his town from becoming a ghost land of empty, foreclosed homes, he’s bought 193 forecolosed home, fixed them up, and either sells or rents them at a discount to locals. [More]

Detroit Tax Officials Tells Squatters In Foreclosed Homes They're Welcome To Stay If They Pay

It’s too bad our pal Kenneth, the $16 house guy, doesn’t live in Detroit, or he might’ve been able to keep on squatting: Tax officials in Wayne County are going to offer those living in thousands of foreclosed homes the opportunity to stay in those homes for as little as $500. [More]

How To Rent Out Your Basement

How To Rent Out Your Basement

If you own a home with an extra room, you could be sitting on a potential easy income stream. The proposition of taking in a boarder could be especially attractive to those who have basements, since the relative privacy of the bottom floor makes renting the room out less intrusive. [More]

4 Fannie Mae Staffers Placed On Administrative Leave Pending Investigation

4 Fannie Mae Staffers Placed On Administrative Leave Pending Investigation

Four Fannie Mae staffers have been placed on administrative leave while federal investigators probe a series of foreclosed apartments the enterprise sold. [More]

Builder Must Pay $625K In Fines For Allegedly Violating Clean Water Act

Builder Must Pay $625K In Fines For Allegedly Violating Clean Water Act

One of the country’s largest homebuilders stands accused of running afoul of Clean Water Act requirements at 278 sites in 14 states and must shell out a $625,000 fine. The government accuses the Ryland Group of leaking pollutants into stormwater and messing up procedures involving pollution prevention, inspections and permits. [More]

Dealing With The Trials Of Apartment Hunting

Dealing With The Trials Of Apartment Hunting

Although the depressed housing market has made things easy for home buyers, it seems to have had an adverse effect on renters, who face more competition with perhaps fewer openings than ever. Thanks to former homeowners who suffered short sales or foreclosures and are forced into the rental market, there are more renters playing musical chairs. [More]

House Prices In April Rose A Whisker From March

House Prices In April Rose A Whisker From March

Although house prices continue to tumble year over year, and analysts expect prices to continue to drop as the months roll by, April marked an ever so slight nudge in the opposite direction. Previously owned single-family home prices rose 0.7 percent from March, according to the Case-Shiller index, which examined sales in 20 cities. [More]

Could Housing Market Stay Down For 14 More Years?

Could Housing Market Stay Down For 14 More Years?

Home prices continue to fall so hard that it’s tempting to believe they’ve either hit bottom or will do so soon. But some economists think home prices will remain depressed for a decade or more. [More]

U.S. Homes Now At Pre-Bubble Affordability Level

U.S. Homes Now At Pre-Bubble Affordability Level

A new study says that housing prices in the U.S. have finally gone back to a level of affordability that we haven’t seen since before the rapid price inflation of the mid-2000s housing boom. [More]

Homeowners Making $2.6B Per Month Living In Foreclosed Homes

Homeowners Making $2.6B Per Month Living In Foreclosed Homes

Here’s one way to make the mortgage mess work for you: According to The Wall Street Journal, the slowdown in foreclosures due to questions about paperwork, note-holders and robo-signers has allowed some homeowners to live mortgage-free for several months; some are even renting out their homes. The Journal estimates that the “stealth stimulus” gives these homeowners a “subsidy” of about $2.6 billion a month. [More]

Developers Spiking Homeowner Contracts With Hidden Resale Fee Covenants

Developers Spiking Homeowner Contracts With Hidden Resale Fee Covenants

Last April, Techdirt pointed out that a financial firm in Texas was trying to attach “private transfer fees” to homes, so that developers would get a little bit of each sale as it passed among owners in the years to come. It sounded crazy then–imagine having to pay royalties on clothes or furniture whenever you resold them–but the firm is aggressively expanding its plan and has signed up more than 5,000 developers across the country, reports the New York Times. If you buy a new house in the next decade, look for a “resale fee” covenant hidden in a separate document that might not be included in your closing papers or even require a signature. [More]

Man Sets House On Fire, Dies In It, After Losing Home To Homeowners' Association

Man Sets House On Fire, Dies In It, After Losing Home To Homeowners' Association

Feuds between homeowners and homeowners’ associations can get pretty intense, as BoingBoing pointed out twice last week. One feud in Ogden, NC, was so bad that the man’s house was sold by the court to pay for dues and fines levied by the association. The house was sold earlier this summer, reports the Star-News, and last month the man doused everything in gas and set the place on fire. [More]

No One Bought A House In July

No One Bought A House In July

The longer prospective home buyers continue to hold out, the better things get for them. The National Association of Realtors revealed some gloomy numbers for homeowners: July sales of occupied homes dropped 27 percent, marking the biggest month-to-month decline in the four decades in which the organization has tracked the figures. [More]

The Era Of "Investing" In Your House Is Over

The Era Of "Investing" In Your House Is Over

The NYT says using a house to fund a comfortable retirement, pay for the education of your children, and send you on a cruise every winter was a purely 20th century phenomenon. And, like that century, the party is now over. [More]

Couple Says Real Estate Agent Used Their Home For Sex

Couple Says Real Estate Agent Used Their Home For Sex

Earlier this month, a couple in Minnesota filed a lawsuit against a local Coldwell Banker franchise and a real estate agent the company employed, alleging that the agent used the home for sexcapades while they were out of town, ruining their furniture, bedding and carpet. Neighbors say he showed up one day with an unidentified man and said they were going to be preparing the home for an open house, but no open house was held. Or at least not one the neighbors could see; maybe he uses that phrase in a different way. [More]

Bank Of America Is Having A Hard Time Accepting This Whole Death Thing

Bank Of America Is Having A Hard Time Accepting This Whole Death Thing

Dave can’t get Bank of America to accept that his parents are gone, even after sending over the death certificates. He keeps telling the bank to take the house, because nobody in his family wants it and the mortgage is underwater. Bank of America keeps threatening his parents with letters about how behind they are on payments. Oh sure, everything about this story is funny on the surface, but not when Bank of America tries to extract money from a closed account you once shared with your dad, forcing it to re-open and siphon funds from your real accounts. [More]

You Have Nine Years To Build A House In Tampa

You Have Nine Years To Build A House In Tampa

Want to build the home of your dreams and can’t find enough land for it? Try moving to Tampa. The area has 27,923 building lots, enough to keep homebuilders busy for nine years. That’s assuming anyone actually wants to build something, of course. [More]