Countrywide Home Loans Has Over 15,000 Repossessed Properties For Sale

The Countrywide Foreclosures Blog keeps a running tally of the amount of repossessed or REO (Real Estate Owned) properties Countrywide has for sale on their website.

Right now Countrywide has over 15,000 properties for sale. REOs happen when the lender tries to sell the property at auction and fails. Sort of a “worst case scenario” type of thing both for the lender and for the neighborhood.

15,000 is, well, quite a few.

REOs Offered For Sale On Countrywide’s Website [Countrywide Foreclosure Blog]


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  1. ivanthemute says:

    Huzza! Now I can buy my own little piece of the American Dream (or get a subprime loan at even more subprime rates!)

  2. @ivanthemute:

    No you can’t.

    You can’t get a prime loan.

    You’re lucky if you can put groceries on credit right now.

  3. surgesilk says:

    It is still very easy to get a loan. I refinanced just last week from a 30yr ARM to a 20yr fixed. I got approved in less than a day and the whole process took less than 3 weeks.

  4. @ADismalScience: I had no problems getting approved for a prime loan for about 30 grand more than I could afford about 3 weeks ago.

    Of course, I didn’t take it, because it was 30 grand more than I could afford.

    I could have.

    I believe you’re uninformed.

    I also don’t appreciate your ever lengthening sentences on one line.

    I buy my groceries on credit too. (I do pay it off at the end of the month though)

  5. LorneReams says:

    REOs are getting harder to offload, but it is actually improving a bit with the interest rate reduction (I’m assuming that is the slow decrease at the end of the chart. My experience mirrors that.)

  6. enm4r says:

    @RamV10: I had no problems getting approved for a prime loan for about 30 grand more than I could afford about 3 weeks ago.

    This continues to crack me up. (In a very “this is so wrong it’s funny way) A friend of mine went in looking for the approval on a house he had eyed, and because it was about 50k less than what they though “he could afford” they continued to tell him through the signing that there was no reason to settle, and that he could go after that bigger house [he didn’t want].

    The lesson still has yet to be learned.

  7. yesteryear says:

    this is so crazy! for the first time in years the housing affordability index (HAI) is actually going up in california. for instance, in Q42007 a whopping 27% of the residents in my county (alameda) could afford an entry level home, as opposed to only 23% in Q3. of course the minimum income to qualify is still $112,000… so i’ve got more waiting to do i suppose.

  8. humphrmi says:

    @ADismalScience: There’s plenty of credit for good borrowers now. I just looked into a vacation property and had three offers within a week. If anything, it’s a borrower’s market, banks are tripping over themselves to lend to A-credit.

    Oh yeah and I put all my groceries on my credit card every week, pay it off every month, and fly to Vegas once a year from the free miles.

  9. @RamV10:

    Call me when you close on a house. Getting pre-approved means nothing – the actual lending process at closure is badly constricted right now, particularly if you’re buying commercial real estate. Unless by “prime” you mean “incredibly prime” and have a very high credit score with a bare minimum of revolving debt.

    Also, one can forgive a bit of artistic license with hyperbole, no?

  10. esqdork says:

    @surgesilk: What is a 30-year ARM?

  11. shadow735 says:

    I live in southern calif about 30 min from hollywierd and housed are still going for 500K+, that is if they sell. No way in hell I could afford that, what sucks is I could move to another state and get a house bigger then the ones out here for about 200K and be able to afford it on my own. California = Name Brand

  12. TechnoDestructo says:


    The thing that created this whole mess.

  13. Steve Trachsel, Ace says:

    @enm4r: Lets be honest, there is a disconnect between “what you are qualified for” and “what you can afford”. In a vacuum most people qualify for about 10% more a month then they should ever consider borrowing, and no one, realtors, brokers or customers have learned this.

    I have the perfect example. I make almost the exact same amount as a friend of mine, with similar debt loads (I did his mortgage a few years back). According to the formulas we both qualify to buy the same house. Difference is I am single, have minimal monthly bills (low car and health insurance, low entertainment cost, ect) while he has a wife, a young son and another on the way. He pays a couple hundred more then I do in basic monthly expenses, and also needs to keep a bigger nest egg, which means there is no way he could afford my mortgage. The problem is the brokers havent learned to take that into consideration(and cant do so legally) and the realtors encourage it.

  14. samurailynn says:

    @ADismalScience: You can still get approved (not just pre-approved) through a bank. If you go straight to the institution with the money instead of going to a broker who will in turn have to go to a bank, then you can get what you need.

    I agree that lenders still need to learn their lesson. I wasn’t getting pushed to borrow more, but I was approved for about $40,000 more than I spent (or than I wanted to spend). I was also told that the house I bought would be great for flipping. Seriously, who is going to flip houses right now when they are sitting on the market for about 8-12 months in my area?

  15. @Tracy Ham and Eggs:

    Oddly, this whole concept was largely why ARMs were created to begin with. The idea is that wages tend to rise over time for most borrowers, and that lowering the initial payments pending a reset when the borrower is likely to have more capital is a fair exchange for being able to get a bigger house now.

    Of course, like most great ideas, ARMs were abused and originators fell drunk off the wagon.

  16. Mr. Gunn says:

    “The thing that created this whole mess.”

    Well, that depends on what you mean by “this whole mess”.

  17. Steve Trachsel, Ace says:

    @esqdork: Adjustable rate mortgage. Usually fixed at a rate below the market fixed rate for two, three or five years, then become a variable rate (up to 6% total variance) for the remaining years (total of 30). Sometimes they are called 2/28, 3/27 or 5/25 arms instead.

    Its not the arms that are the problem though, its the interest only or option arms. Those loans allowed people to get into houses while paying no money toward principle for the first few years. When they adjusted the loans were suddenly for more then the original loan and the rates went up accordingly.

  18. darkrose says:

    I just closed on a house about a month ago. Got a mortgage for right at about 3x my yearly salary.

    Of course, I put 1/3 down so that probably had something to do with it. And the property was also appraised at almost 2x my mortgage loan. I was also carrying a first on a second home until just last week when the sale was final on that second home.

    If you have even 1/2 way decent credit, you can still get financing.

  19. .. and they won’t let this investor buy them WITH CASH!

    Seriously, something is very wrong with Countrywide. I am salivating for properties in any condition, as is, whatever, just sell them to me. I’ve got cash and financing. They just aren’t selling.

    These properties aren’t selling at auction because they are being listed at last years prices. Countrywide wants an investor to pay more for the house than it’s worth. They’d rather keep these on their books than sell and get back in the black. It makes no sense…

  20. B says:

    @esqdork: a 30 year ARM is a mortgage where the rate adjusts every year based on the prime rate. Most are fixed for an initial period, usually 5-7 years. They’re useful for people because they can use them to borrow money at a lower rate than they would normally get, but then the rate they are paying can go up drastically, which is what happened recently, which triggered the sub-prime mortgage meltdown.

  21. shadow735 says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: That is one of the things that boggles me too, all there REO properties are way overpriced and they wonder why they are not selling?

  22. @ceejeemcbeegee:

    There’s a theory out there that most of the houses are irrationally undervalued. Bank-held inventory is set to swell in March, and the market has already priced that in. Therefore, many of them are holding on to those assets under the presumption that valuations are below bottom and will rebound in the warm-weather selling season. This portfolio of foreclosure assets was viewed as attractive by Bank of America in their acquisition of Countrywide

  23. B says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: They’re irrationally holding onto bad investments instead of selling them at a loss. There was an article on this on Consumerist a few days ago. Or somewhere, I remember seeing it.

  24. LorneReams says:


    Welcome to bureaucracy. No one wants to sign off on a bid value too low as that would let the borrower off the hook for the surplus amount.

  25. Steve Trachsel, Ace says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: ahh, but you are using normal people accounting, not crazy business math. If they keep them on the books they are still worth last years prices. When they do the books they claim assets worth that amount. If they were to sell them for less they would take a loss for the difference, even if the real assets would increase for the company. Say 30k per house for 15k properties and the company suddenly has a “book” loss of half a billion.

  26. @B:

    If you can stay liquid while the market is irrational, well, that’s how you get paid in financials.

  27. pinkfreud says:

    why would anyone want a house or business? i mean yes you can get better deals than 3 years ago…but in like 2 years they’ll be even lower. im making assumptions…any thoughts? any business though jumping in right now would seem to only get dragged down…id sit this one out for a bit

  28. @pinkfreud:

    Thoughts like that are exactly how you spot a bottom. It reflects an irrational idea that short-term book value of a real estate investment should prevent a businessman from doing business. Ridiculous. If you can open a competitive business and capture a market, who cares if you lose 10% on the value of your HQ building in 2 years?

    Rule of thumb: once Joe and Jane investor start preaching the zeitgeist, take the opposite position with as much capital as you can.

  29. theblackdog says:

    @B: I saw an article describing what you’re talking about in the Washington Post in the last week or so. It starts out with describing an auctioneer in Virginia who basically was standing in an empty square calling out the auction because no one was there to bid on it.

  30. pinkfreud says:

    @ADismalScience: so like….were you investing in apple in the 90s?

  31. pinkfreud says:

    im a graduating with my bachelors next year, apply to grad school because i feel like the jobs out there are going to be so slim, wages havent made real increases in a while, i just dont feel like this is the bottom yet

  32. SkyeBlue says:

    I talked to a lady today who just bought a bank repo’d home here in Arkansas, 3 bedroom on 2 acres for $13,000.00! I guess that is something we need to check into also. In a way it seems like profiting from someone else’s misfortune but if you can purchase a home for that amount it is hard to turn it down. Did they maybe lose the home because they got into a bigger loan than they could afford? I DEFINITELY know that is NOT the way I want to acquire my first home. Just because someone tells you you “qualify” for a $100,000 home doesn’t mean you have to buy one that is that expensive. People have to use some common sense.

    A “liveable” home here in this area runs about $35,000 and up.

  33. @pinkfreud:

    No. I bet on upward fundamentals and downward momentum

  34. yesteryear says:

    @SkyeBlue: wow. that’s 1/3 of the down payment for a house in my area. the median here is 560k

  35. Me - now with more humidity says:

    They’re not discounting yet because they’re still afraid that’ll drive values down farther, creating more foreclosures. It happened in Detroit, for example. It’s a delicate balancing act.

  36. clickertrainer says:

    Countrywide sends me a mailer at least once a week trying to get my home loan business.

  37. Ghede says:

    Dear lord. You do realize that someone with a lot of money and a little bit of insanity could BUY this country right now? I mean literally, buy the land.

  38. SkyeBlue says:

    @yesteryear: wow. that’s 1/3 of the down payment for a house in my area

    I just got a bit curious and checked on and for the “$500,000” range here in our area of western Arkansas you could get a 2000 sq ft. 4 bedroom, 3 bath home on 112 acres!

  39. yesteryear says:

    thats it. im moving to arkansas.

  40. pinkfreud says:

    @Ghede: they’ve already started the chinese and saudi’s own all the debts….what do you think they’ll take or repo when we can’t repay…our banks….our planes….

  41. pinkfreud says:

    @yesteryear: i thought the same thing

  42. Pfluffy says:

    REO properties are scary to buy for anyone. Most often, a buyer at auction cannot do the proper inspections or extensive title searches commonly required. There’s no telling how much money a new owner would have to shell out for repairs and other liens that may have to be satisfied. You have to have a lot of guts and cold hard cash to buy anything “as is”.

  43. samurailynn says:

    @SkyeBlue: @yesteryear:
    But I assume that you’re making “top dollar” in Arkansas if you make around $11 an hour?

  44. yesteryear says:

    i’d like to offer myself up as a repo property. i am relatively young, gainfully employed, and with the right amount of investment could turn quite a profit. any takers?

  45. pinkfreud says:

    @samurailynn: i had a friend who make like 13 bucks an our in missourri and said he was rolling deep

  46. Typhoid says:

    … there’s property for $20,000 in my area… in the ghetto… and there are NO pictures. I’m scared… is there a body in the basement or something?! Maybe a toxic waste dump? It’s like getting “The Mystery Box” or “Door Number 3.”

    I almost want to schedule a tour just for curiosity.

  47. Typhoid says:

    I just wanted to mention that it’s in my major CITY, I do NOT live in the ghetto. Dang it.

  48. @ADismalScience:
    @Tracy Ham and Eggs:

    You are all right. It makes no since.

  49. pinkfreud says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: sense*

  50. Me - now with more humidity says:


    Do you mean “sense?”


  51. humphrmi says:

    @yesteryear: The problem with that is, then you have a nice house, but you’re in Arkansas.


  52. yesteryear says:

    um, i was kidding. i live in the bay area – the best place on earth! yes, i pay 850 for a one bedroom apartment (which is a steal), but i’m 10 minutes from the best city west of NY. no offense, arkansas… ive heard little rock is beautiful this time of year.

  53. samurailynn says:

    @yesteryear: SF is lovely, but I’m glad to be back in Oregon. I make the same amount of money and I can actually afford to own/buy a house now. I’d love to be back in Portland, but I also love the job I have now, so I won’t be moving any time soon.