1.6 Million Homes Hit With Foreclosure Notices In First Half Of 2010

1.6 Million Homes Hit With Foreclosure Notices In First Half Of 2010

If you received a foreclosure notice this year, you’re not alone. According to tracking firm RealtyTrac, 1.6 million properties received a foreclosure filing — defined as default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — during the first half of 2010. The good news: that number is down 5% from the previous six months. The bad? It’s up 8% from the first half of last year. And RealtyTrac doesn’t see any relief coming, as a “massive number of distressed properties and underwater loans continues to sit just below the surface.” [More]

Half-A-Dozen Companies Knew About Tainted Drywall, But Stayed Mum And Kept Selling It

Half-A-Dozen Companies Knew About Tainted Drywall, But Stayed Mum And Kept Selling It

Newly released court documents indicate that over a half-dozen companies knew about the rotten egg smells exuding from Chinese drywall since 2006, but they stayed quiet and kept selling the junk. [More]

I Like Smelling Farts, Chinese Drywall Distributor Tells Court

I Like Smelling Farts, Chinese Drywall Distributor Tells Court

Do you like farts? Documents and depositions unearthed by ProPublica and the Sarasota Harold-Tribune show exchanges between homebuilder WCI Communities and drywall distributor Banner that reveal the sulfur-emitting drywall problem was known as far back as 2006, and yet customers and authorities were not notified. In one deposition, a Banner executive refuses to admit that sulfur-stinking drywall might bother others, seeing as he himself, on certain occasions, enjoys the sweet aroma of another man’s butt gas: [More]

10% Of Homeowners Just Missed A Mortgage Payment

10% Of Homeowners Just Missed A Mortgage Payment

The Mortgage Bankers Association says that if you just missed a morgage payment, you’re not alone — 10% of homeowners just did the same thing. [More]

Want A Job? Head To North Dakota, Just Bring A Sleeping Bag

Want A Job? Head To North Dakota, Just Bring A Sleeping Bag

North Dakota is bucking the downsizing trend by overflowing with jobs — many of them in the oil industry — the New York Times reports. Problem is, the state doesn’t have adequate housing to keep up with would-be carpetbaggers. [More]

When Should I Make Extra Mortgage Payments?

When Should I Make Extra Mortgage Payments?

We get a surprising amount of letters from people who regularly make extra mortgage payments. (Extra payments sometimes confuse the bank and causes headaches.) It seems like it would always a good idea to pay off debt if you can afford it, but with current mortgage rates as low as they are.. does it still make sense? [More]

Maybe Homeowners Wouldn't Strategically Default If Lenders Cooperated

Maybe Homeowners Wouldn't Strategically Default If Lenders Cooperated

There’s an interesting detail at the end of this New York Times article on borrowers who strategically default–that is, they choose to walk away from the home when its value is significantly less than the mortgage balance. It turns out that the homeowner mentioned at the start of the article applied last fall for a loan modification with Bank of America after his income level had dropped, and this was BofA’s response: “The lender came back a few weeks ago with a plan that added more restrictive terms while keeping the payments about the same. ‘That may have been the last straw,’ Mr. Koellmann said.” [More]

Twitter Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed

Twitter Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed

The burgeoning Twitter libel defense industry was dealt a blow recently when the infamous Twitter defamation lawsuit was dismissed. Apparently, it is quite difficult to craft a Tweet that fits the legal requirements for defamation in this country. [More]

Rental Vacancies Are Up Along With Foreclosures. Wait, What?

Rental Vacancies Are Up Along With Foreclosures. Wait, What?

So apparently apartment vacancies were up to 8% in the last quarter, which is weird because one would assume that people getting tossed from their foreclosed houses would be renting. Marketplace has some thoughts on the problem. [More]

Don't Even Try To Sell Your Home Now

Don't Even Try To Sell Your Home Now

Yeah, it’s that bad.

About 1 In 4 Borrowers Is Underwater

About 1 In 4 Borrowers Is Underwater

The Wall Street Journal says the number of borrowers currently underwater on their mortgage (meaning they owe more than the property is worth) has swelled to 23%. Ouch. [More]

When To Buy A Home And How To Avoid Screwing It Up

When To Buy A Home And How To Avoid Screwing It Up

Are you hitting that stage in life where you’re thinking of becoming a homeowner? Morningstar has published two home buying articles that together offer some good, concise advice to the prospective buyer, especially if you’re a first-timer.

Rent Someone's Home On Your Next Vacation

Rent Someone's Home On Your Next Vacation

The next time you travel to another city, it might be cheaper, or at least more interesting, to rent directly from a local homeowner. Cool Tools says Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO.com) is a great way to find rental opportunities when you travel.

First Results Of Gov Study Of Chinese Drywall Inconclusive, But More Tests To Come

First Results Of Gov Study Of Chinese Drywall Inconclusive, But More Tests To Come

Yesterday the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced some findings from its study of the problematic Chinese drywall, which 1,900 Florida homeowners have complained stinks and makes people sick. The commission told the Associated Press that “no connections have been made yet,” but that they’re doing more tests—which means there’s still no definitive answer on who should be held financially responsible if the homes have to be gutted and repaired, which the Wall Street Journal says could cost as much as $25 billion dollars.

Need Affordable Housing? What About A Mobile Home?

Need Affordable Housing? What About A Mobile Home?

Mobile homes have a less-than-stellar reputation, deservedly or not. I know my own mom always warned me against them by saying they were just tornado bait, which was enough to make me leery of even stepping foot inside a friend’s mobile home growing up. But if you’re not irrationally afraid of tornadoes, a mobile home might be a great housing option if you’re on a tight budget or looking to save money, writes Michigan Telephone.

Homeowners With Good Credit Are More Likely To Strategically Default

Homeowners With Good Credit Are More Likely To Strategically Default

Here’s an interesting discovery about mortgage defaults from the LA Times:

Buying Your First Home? Here Are 7 Good Tips

Buying Your First Home? Here Are 7 Good Tips

Ron Lieber at the New York Times has put together seven sensible tips that can help you find a first time home that you can both afford and enjoy living in.

Beware Scammers Installing City-Mandated "Whole House Water Systems"

Beware Scammers Installing City-Mandated "Whole House Water Systems"

A city in Florida has just warned its residents of a weird scam: someone’s been hanging pink notices on doors around town that say, “Due to the water quality in this area, we will be installing whole-house water treatment systems.” You’re supposed to fill out the back of the notice and leave it out for further contact. Remember, don’t let anyone remodel your home on behalf of the city. It probably goes without saying, but still.