May 31, 2007 is dead. Casey Serin has pulled the plug.

Probably was the wife.

Anyone got any info?

Any predictions?

Anyone care?

I'll miss the kid. The embodiment of the housing bubble and crash. I can't wait to see him at the Senate hearings though...

Ramen Eaters continue to blame the messenger - watch the goobers take on 60 minutes here

Frankly, I feel sorry for the ramen eaters. You can tell they're getting to the breaking point now.

This realtor defense comes from a realtor marketing firm. I guess they're getting hungry too. Got Ramen?

Don't globalization and workforce mobility lend themselves to renting vs. owning?

Here's something I've been thinking more and more about - the idea that renting is not only preferable financially today (it's significantly cheaper to rent than buy), but it's also preferential when it comes to job mobility, lifestyle opportunity and globalization.

It's gotta be tough to be stuck with a debt-trap you can't rent out for positive cash flow in today's rapidly flattening world. And I would imagine there are many other folks around the world in the same situation.

Globalization requires workers to be flexible and mobile. In the past, if you lost your job, or sought to further your career, you might have to move across town to a new company. Then it was across the state. Then it was across the country. And now? It's across the world.

Knowledge workers are going to be required to be more and more mobile and flexible when it comes to where they work. So the idea of being stationary in a home for 10 years, 20 years or more just ain't gonna cut it in today's world. You're gonna have to move. And your kids are gonna have to move.

Renters can pick up on a dime and go where the opportunity is. Owners (or people who rent money from a bank) are stuck. Even if they move, and rent out their current debt-trap, if they bought in the past few years, the rental income on their debt-trap will be significantly less than the ownership or carrying costs.

Yes, you can try to get your company to absorb these costs - your burden. But who will employers favor - someone with all kinds of entanglements and issues, or someone ready to go?

Same for entrepreneurs - opportunities are breaking out all over the world. Are you going to be free to chase them? Or is your home going to get in the way of pursuing your dreams?

And finally, globalization has allowed people to leave the US, workers and retirees, and live and experience places they've always dreamed of living. And not just one place - places plural. And no matter where you find yourself in the world, there seems to be one truism holding up:

It's cheaper, much much cheaper, to rent than buy.
And that's the problem.

Or the opportunity.

Here little piggy! Here little piggy!

This foreclosure mess is gonna get messier and messier.

Squeal like pig! Soooiiii!!! Sooiiii!!!

Ron Paul wraps up the HP vote with this rant on illegal immigration, anchor babies and amnesty

Immigration ‘Compromise’ Sells Out Our Sovereignty

By Congressman Ron Paul, R-Texas, 5/29/2007

The much-vaunted Senate “compromise” on immigration is a compromise alright: a compromise of our laws, a compromise of our sovereignty, and a compromise of the Second Amendment. That anyone in Washington believes this is a credible approach to solving our immigration crisis suggests just how out of touch our political elites really are.

The reality is that this bill will grant amnesty to virtually all of the 12 to 20 million illegal aliens in the country today. Supporters use very creative language to try and convince us that amnesty is not really amnesty, but when individuals who have entered the United States illegally are granted citizenship – regardless of the fees they are charged – what you have is amnesty.

What is seldom discussed in the immigration debate, unfortunately, is the incentives the US government provides for people to enter the United States illegally. As we know well, when the government subsidizes something we get more of it. The government provides a myriad of federal welfare benefits to those who come to the US illegally, including food stamps and free medical care. Is this a way to discourage people from coming to the US illegally?

Additionally, one of the most absurd incentives for people to come to the US illegally is the promise of instant US citizenship to anyone born on our soil. That is why when Congress returns next week I will be re-introducing my Constitutional amendment to deny automatic citizenship to individuals born on US soil to parents who are not US citizens or who do not owe permanent allegiance to the United States .

There are many other very troubling items buried deep in the Senate’s immigration compromise. The bill explicitly calls for an “acceleration” of the March 2005 agreement between the US president, the president of Mexico , and the prime minister of Canada , known as the “Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America .” This somewhat secretive agreement – a treaty in all but name – aims to erase the borders between the United States , Canada , and Mexico and threatens our sovereignty and national security. The SPP was agreed by the president without the participation of Congress. It should be eliminated, not accelerated!
According to the pro-Second Amendment Gun Owners of America, the legislation also makes it easier to target gun dealers for prosecution. Even gun clubs could find themselves targeted under this immigration reform legislation.

Immigration reform should start with improving our border protection, yet it was reported last week that the federal government has approved the recruitment of 120 of our best trained Border Patrol agents to go to Iraq to train Iraqis how to better defend their borders! This comes at a time when the National Guard troops participating in Operation Jump Start are being removed from border protection duties in Arizona , New Mexico , and Texas and preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan ! It is an outrage and it will result in our borders being more vulnerable to illegal entry, including by terrorists.

I will continue to oppose any immigration bill that grants amnesty to illegals or undermines our liberty and sovereignty.

May 30, 2007

You can't make this stuff up. Put on lots of protection then watch this mortgage broker ad

Thanks MB again for the link... Although in the end I wish I had never seen this. And yes, this is a real ad from a real firm.

This industry is so disgusting folks, I think "mortgage broker" will soon be seen on the level as "crack dealer", "hooker" and "Bush advisor". Careful - you can get an STD from this ad

FLASH: Communist China now desperately trying to stop their runaway stock market bubble

You wonder if a government can pop bubbles. In the end, what usually pops bubbles is after asset prices become detached from all fundamentals (it's the PE stupid), simply not finding any more suckers. Kind of like the US housing bubble - no more suckers.

This situation in China will be fascinating to watch, and one for the text books one day. And the little guys are gonna get slaughtered. Welcome to capitalism, Comrades.

Chinese Shares Plunge After Government Raises Trading Tax to Cool Market Boom

BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese stocks plunged Wednesday after the government raised a tax on share trades, trying to cool a market boom amid growing concerns about a possible bubble.
The main Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 6.5 percent at 4,071.27 after hitting a record high on Tuesday. The Shenzhen Composite Index for China's smaller second market fell even more, closing down 7.2 percent at 1,199.45.

The declines came after the Finance Ministry tripled the "stamp tax" on stock trades from 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent, effective Wednesday. The ministry was trying to "cool (the) stock market," the official Xinhua News Agency said.

"This policy change reveals the government's concern about a possible stock market bubble," said Citigroup economist Minggao Shen, describing the tax hike as Beijing's first formal move to cool the boom. "The market didn't know what the government was thinking until now."

Pigs Fly Alert: USAToday front page story exposes $59 Trillion US Debt ($516,000 per household)

Man, the MSM is going HP it looks like. We've been screaming about this issue forever, and I do believe this is the very first MSM article that I've seen.

Meanwhile, do Americans even care? I think when you say "$59 Trillion" people's eyes gloss over. What's on America's Top Model?

It's sickening that our government so blatantly deceives us, and the MSM goes along for the ride. Bravo to Dennis Cauchon at the USAToday for doing his job. Too bad it's too late, and too bad his MSM peers are so pathetically incompetent.

Folks, we're either going to have to go insolvent, cancel entitlement programs, or print dollars like Wiemar Germany to get out of this mess.

Taxpayers on the hook for $59 trillion
By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY

The federal government recorded a $1.3 trillion loss last year — far more than the official $248 billion deficit — when corporate-style accounting standards are used, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

The loss reflects a continued deterioration in the finances of Social Security and government retirement programs for civil servants and military personnel. The loss — equal to $11,434 per household — is more than Americans paid in income taxes in 2006.

"We're on an unsustainable path and doing a great disservice to future generations," says Chris Chocola, a former Republican member of Congress from Indiana and corporate chief executive who is pushing for more accurate federal accounting.

Modern accounting requires that corporations, state governments and local governments count expenses immediately when a transaction occurs, even if the payment will be made later.

The federal government does not follow the rule, so promises for Social Security and Medicare don't show up when the government reports its financial condition.

Bottom line: Taxpayers are now on the hook for a record $59.1 trillion in liabilities, a 2.3% increase from 2006. That amount is equal to $516,348 for every U.S. household. By comparison, U.S. households owe an average of $112,043 for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all other debt combined.

The cost per U.S. household of unfunded promises made by federal, state and local government:


Social Security

Federal debt

Military benefits

State and local debt

Federal civil- servant benefits

State and local retiree benefits

Other federal obligations


An astute comment from an ignorant anonatroll

Sometimes we get comments so stupid, so ignorant, so completely clueless, that they deserve their own thread.

This is one of those cases.

This anonatroll (man, I wish the trolls would pick a user name so we could mock them later) said that you can't have inflation and decreasing asset prices.

Guess what. We do. And we will.

House prices (assets) and rents are falling, while consumable and service prices are increasing. We'll continue to see asset deflation (as they're overpriced and returning to the mean, and people sell their assets to get to cash - read manias, panics and crashes) while we see inflation on other goods and services.

Also HP'ers know the government inflation data is misleading, especially since rents are the #1 category, and rents are falling thank you housing oversupply.

Another anonatroll said don't worry about home prices - they'll increase as the dollar gets more and more worthless.

Uh, got bad news for you. House prices will fall or stay even in real terms for years to come, while the dollar tanks and true inflation roars. In other words, every day your home will fall more in true value, even if its price stays the same for 10 years.

Any other thoughts or gems of wisdom on the inflation / deflation conundrum, please post here. Here's the anonatroll - I think a pretty telling statement of the lack of financial education and knowledge in America today (that helped us get into this mess in the first place).

Anonymous said...

Can't have it both ways renters. Either there is inflation or there isn't. Can't have inflation and decreasing asset prices. So choose your loonie battle, hyperinflation or housing crash, can't have both.

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

What will be the unintended consequences of the housing crash?

Pulte cans another 1,900. Too bad we don't know the true REIC layoff number

1,900 more get the axe at Pulte today, but the real story on homebuilder layoffs will never be known, since the people who built all these unwanted homes were never "employees" - just contractors and illegals mainly.

But no matter how they're counted (or not counted) the jobs are gone.

And yes, that means a lot of people who aren't able to make their mortgage payment anymore, or buy new GM trucks, or take their family to PF Changs, or wire money back to Mexico (that's why they were booing).

The true REIC layoff number with housing and homebuilding having totally collapsed is likely in the millions. Don't forget ramen eating realtors don't show up in the government reports either.

We've lost another American industry folks (thank you Alan Greenspan). The country who no longer builds things now doesn't even build houses.

Homebuilder Pulte to Cut About 16 Percent of Work Force, About 1,900 Jobs in Restructuring

DETROIT (AP) -- Facing a grim housing market, Pulte Homes Inc. said Tuesday that it is cutting about 16 percent of its work force, or about 1,900 jobs, as part of a restructuring.

Pulte, one of the nation's leading homebuilders, said the restructuring will save an estimated $200 million a year before taxes.

"The homebuilding environment remains difficult, and our current overhead levels are structured for a business that is larger than the market presently allows," Richard J. Dugas Jr., president and chief executive, said in a news release.

May 29, 2007

Is booing Miss USA the last straw for Mexicans?

* Invade our country by the millions, jump the line, game the system, ruin our cities, and flagrantly break our laws - check
* Wave Mexican flags and "this is our land - not yours" signs at illegal immigration rallies - check
* Steal jobs from working Americans - check
* Don't pay taxes - check
* Plant anchor babies - check
* Create severe burden on American taxpayers - check
* Enable the housing bubble - check
* Demand Spanish language option and don't assimilate - check
* Boo Miss USA at Miss Universe pageant - check

None of the other stuff matters to Americans until you get to that last line. But the booing last night in Mexico for poor Miss USA just shows how much Mexicans hate us, even as they steal across our border and break our laws.

That's it though - their sense of timing couldn't be better. Watch for a lot of new additions to the "deport all the illegals and close the borders" cause. Break our laws, sure, but don't disrespect our girls. Them's fighting words. And immigration reform is doomed. Nice work Mexicans.

Miss USA Rachel Smith was booed and heckled by an audience in Mexico at last night's Miss universe competition. The reason given for her treatment is that the audience in the third world country is unhappy with American immigration policies.

No - I'm not kidding. The people in attendance actually slammed a beauty contestant because they want to be able to use American services and cash American checks without any restrictions.

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Instead of trying to help, instead of trying to change minds, instead of trying to convince people of what's happening and what's to come...

Should ya just say F it right about now?

At what point HP'ers do you throw in the towel, realize that some people just can't be helped, take care of yourself and your family, and move along?

And let the lemmings do what they're gonna do anyway.

Can't sell your debt-trap? Bribe a realtwhore!

I think the term "realtwhore" is very appropriate here

I'm sorry, doesn't the NAR have an ethics policy? Something about a silly little fiduciary duty to clients?

Guess that section isn't taught anymore...

Read this and then ask yourself how Casey stays out of jail

Also ask yourself - how will the feds fairly prosecute all the mortgage fraudsters? Or will they?

CANTON TOWNSHIP -- A man who told banks he had annual income of more than $1 million when in fact he was earning less than $25,000 on Social Security was sentenced to 56 months in prison in federal court today.

Scott Edward Ashley, 40, of Canton Township, pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud in November.

He admitted to using bogus documents to fraudulently obtain about $3.8 million in loans, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a news release.

Ashley was also ordered to pay about $1.7 million in restitution.

$1,800 a month disability payment. $150 child support. And yup, $894,000 in Alt-A Liar's Loan debt. Party over.

Just read the whole article in USAToday on Friday. Then ask yourself - how will IndyMac (the Liar's Loan king) ever stay in business? And do you see now how home prices got so wildly and briefly inflated?

Corrupt commission-hungry mortgage brokers, out-of-control fraud and greed, IndyMac and other Alt-A lenders with no oversight, hedge funds buying up the debt, and then... the party ended.

Let's clean up the mess everyone.

(yes, I'm short IndyMac and yes, this whole scheme is caving in)

Neighborhood finds real estate loans too good to be true

Soon, mortgage applications — almost entirely blank — arrived in the mail. Darden signed and returned them. In November, Darden closed on the first house. In December, she closed on a second.

She'd been preapproved for $360,000. Now she was borrowing $894,000.

It would cost her $7,194 a month.

It wasn't until seven months later, though, after she struggled to find tenants and maintain the buildings, that Darden began to wonder just what had happened. It began to make sense only when she studied the finished paperwork.

When she bought, Darden was receiving $1,800 a month in disability payments — as she recovered from a collapsed lung — sometimes supplemented by child support of $150 a week.

But the mortgage application described a woman she did not recognize: an administration manager for a medical supply company, earning $114,000 a year.

Meanwhile, the real Frances Darden was quickly falling behind.

One of the most notable things about Frances Darden's story is how much it echoes the others.

Valerie Hayes says she knew something was very wrong when she went to close on the $440,000 loan for her house, a two-family in East Boston. She'd agreed to $2,300 payments because of expected rental income. But the documents listed payments at $3,300 a month.
"I see the real mortgages and it's apparent to me I got robbed," Hayes says, "but I'm thinking I'm going to make this work."

Why didn't she walk out? Because she'd already given up her old apartment and had a tenant waiting to move in. Within months, though, maintaining the building depleted savings already strained by the mortgage payments. That's when she noticed the reference to a second job — one she never had — earning a fictional $1,846 a month working for Champagne.

Late last year, Hayes moved out and the lender began foreclosure.

Others are still trying to hold on.

There's Macdala Louis, a nursing assistant, who bought on Edwin Street. Her loan application said she had a second job working for a company, Hart Professional Cleaning, that does not appear to exist.

And Jennifer Stone, a medical assistant who bought a $489,000 home with her partner, a special police officer.

"They said we had accounts we didn't even have. They said we had $50,000 in the bank," Stone says. "I didn't even have $700 in my 401(k)."

May 28, 2007

I'm back

Lots of articles now in Europe about the housing crash underway, I'll post some coming up. Brits losing money in Florida. Brits losing money in Spain. And now Brits predicted to start losing money in ... you guessed it... Britain!

I also saw too many hilarious reports from the US press with analysts and headlines trumpeting the "surge in new home sales" showing how the US market is bottoming. Damn, are they that stupid? Prices collapse, sales tank versus last year, and the media and analysts report increasing sales. Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

Finally, in Old Europe villages and cities, I don't get the sense of a housing ponzi scheme, except in the new-build or "off-plan" developments. Passing by country estates, little villas and farming towns on the train, I get the sense of families who own their homes outright, have owned them for generations, and where houses are just that - a home. A place to live. A place to settle down.

Not lottery tickets and get-rich-quick schemes.

After the crash, after realtors go away, after Congress regulates the REIC and after this crazy lending orgy, that's where we'll be again I hope.

Houses as homes.

An HP message to the "Mortgage Slaves" of America

Mortgage Slaves are now spending crazy (and ever-increasing) amounts per month, struggling to come up with the monthly house payment (and expenses), with little left to enjoy the things that really matter in life (you know, like actually having a life, experiences, living within your means and saving)


Was it the lure of future riches (housing never goes down they said), the ingrained sense of nesting (come on honey, Suzanne researched it), the slick homebuilder marketing brochure and advertisements, or just simple financial insanity and ignorance that drove so many people to be so stupid?

I`d say if you stretched and paid 700,000 dollars for a Phoenix condo recently, in addition to having no spending money, you`re probably having second thoughts right about now. Or you`re just ignorant or insane.

There`s a better life out there than being a debt junkie and Mortgage Slave. A life of experiences over possessions, a life where you don`t whore yourself out to an employer in a job you hate just so you can make the increasing payment on a depreciating asset.

If you`re a Desperate Homedebtor, it`s still not too late. You won`t get top dollar if you sell today, but sell you should. You`ll never see these prices (inflation adjusted) again in your lifetime. Never.

But with millions of unwanted homes on the market, and dwindling demand, the only thing that`ll help you unload your debt-trap is a dramatic price reduction. Good luck.

Join us - The Bubble Sitters and Bitter Renters and Spend-Within-Your-Means minority. You`ll be glad you did.

May 27, 2007

The NAR and their local chapters are run by monkeys

Just watch the video.

This is how they (try to) teach ethics to their no-skill, no-ethics, no-morals, no-education, no-worth sea of ramen eaters.

Thanks to housingdoom for the link

Bubbles Greenspan predicts China stock market crash. So does HP. So does gravity.

Just read this post from HP a few days ago about what's going on in China, the land of 1 billion shoe shine guys.

Get ready. It's tough predicting when bubbles will end, and they go on longer than you ever thought possible. But end they do. Oh yes, end they do.

Greenspan Says China Stocks May Undergo `Dramatic Contraction'

May 23 (Bloomberg) -- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said he was concerned Chinese stocks might undergo a ``dramatic contraction'' after its main stock index jumped more than 90 percent this year.

The benchmark CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated A shares listed on China's two exchanges, rose to a record 3938.95 today. The index more than doubled last year as investors bet corporate profits would be boosted by the world's fastest-growing major economy.

``It is clearly unsustainable,'' Greenspan told a conference in Madrid today by satellite. ``There is going to be a dramatic contraction at some point.''

Ron Paul - Positions on the Issues

I've been getting a lot of "where does RP stand on the issues"

Here's a good recap, thank you wikipedia. Or just go to Ron Paul 2008.

Man, I can't wait for the first housing crash question to come up in one of these debates. Can't wait.

May 25, 2007

CNN: "Big drop in home prices predicted" and NAR economist admits to "collapse"

Any homedebtor in America with little or no equity has to be entering panic mode right about now, wouldn't you say? No more housing ATM, no more "real estate always goes up" nonsense, and no more "can't lose" investment opportunities.

And anyone considering buying a new home has to be reconsidering right about now, wouldn't you say? Why buy today when it'll be cheaper tomorrow? Why buy now when it's so much cheaper to rent?

Amazing thing about this article (amidst a sea of "home sales soar" deception yesterday) is the quote from the new TCDL, the NAR Sr. Economist Larry Yun who admits that there's been an "investor driven collapse". Yes, he said the C word - "Collapse". Wow. Someone's not gonna get a good performance review this year at the NAR. Naughty Larry!

Big drop in home prices predicted
Some economists see steeper drop in store for home prices.

NEW YORK ( -- Most industry watchers agree that home prices will continue to slide before they recover, but now some economists say they've got a long way to fall before bouncing back.

David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poors, has forecast a price drop of about 8 percent for the 24-month period through the fourth quarter of 2008.

His prediction came during a general economic outlook session at the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) National Secondary Market Conference & Expo in New York this week.
Housing prices will suffer from a "significant increase in defaults and foreclosures," he said, with affordability still a major issue. Wyss worried how hard the slump will hit already highly inflated housing markets.

He said its impact on areas like South Florida, where much of the buying is speculative investment in second homes, could be big. "You don't need a second home," Wyss said.

Overall, he said he expects the U.S. economy to slow this year to a growth rate of about 2.25 percent, down from 3.3 percent last year.

Celia Chen, Moody's's director of housing economics followed Wyss' lead. "We also have an 8 percent decline in median house prices [for the 24-month period ending March 31, 2008], which is consistent with what David Wyss had."

"That is quite a bold forecast," Lawrence Yun, economist at the National Association of Realtors, speaking from his Washington, D.C. office, said of Wyss's prediction. NAR is predicting a much less severe total decline of 1.4 percent through the slump - prices have already declined three straight quarters - and that a recovery will start to take place in early 2008.

"The run up," Yun said, "was an investor-demand driven boom, and it was followed by an investor-driven collapse."

Taking a little trip this weekend, back Monday

Off to see the sights (and some insanely overpriced real estate) in Zurich, Geneva and Milan the next few days... I'll pop into an internet cafe to do comments, but it'll be a bit slow.

Post articles (use tinyurl), youtube videos or random thoughts that I should write about when I get back.

Was the MSM's performance yesterday the worst you have ever seen?

Here's how today's cheerleader MSM would have spun the 1929 stock market crash (based on their sickening performance yesterday)

Stock market trading soars! Record increase in sales!

Folks, I am dumbfounded, ashamed, sickened and not surprised by what we saw yesterday.

This is of course the same MSM who jumped on tanks with their little American flags blowing in the top left corner of the screen as we bumrushed Iraq to get those bad WMD's that were definitely there

This is of course the same MSM who throughout the housing bubble ran with "real estate only goes up", "new paradigm" and "buy now or be priced out forever" even though it was obvious we were in a historic bubble.

And this is of course the same MSM who refused to report the truth as millions and millions of illegals stormed our border.

I am ashamed of the American journalism profession. I'm not sure exactly when it died, but it is dead. There may be a good reporter or two out there, who wants to report the truth and who wants to dig beyond the press release, but they must be miserable today, surrounded by a ship of fools, and controlled by businessmen with an agenda.

Thank god for blogs. How else would we know what was REALLY going on out there?

Ron Paul on what to do about the illegals storming across the border

More and more of my constituents are asking me when Congress will address the problem of illegal immigration. The public correctly perceives that neither political party has the courage to do what is necessary to prevent further erosion of both our border security and our national identity. As a result, immigration may be the sleeper issue that decides the 2008 presidential election.

The problem of illegal immigration will not be solved easily, but we can start by recognizing that the overwhelming majority of Americans – including immigrants – want immigration reduced, not expanded.

Amnesty for illegal immigrants is not the answer. Millions of people who broke the law by entering, staying, and working in our country illegally should not be rewarded with a visa. Why should lawbreakers obtain a free pass, while those seeking to immigrate legally face years of paperwork and long waits for a visa?

We must end welfare state subsidies for illegal immigrants. Some illegal immigrants – certainly not all – receive housing subsidies, food stamps, free medical care, and other forms of welfare. This alienates taxpayers and breeds suspicion of immigrants, even though the majority of them work very hard. Without a welfare state, we would know that everyone coming to America wanted to work hard and support himself.

Our current welfare system also encourages illegal immigration by discouraging American citizens from taking low-wage jobs. This creates greater demand for illegal foreign labor. Welfare programs and minimum wage laws create an artificial market for labor to do the jobs Americans supposedly won’t do.

Our most important task is to focus on effectively patrolling our borders. With our virtually unguarded borders, almost any determined individual – including a potential terrorist – can enter the United States. Unfortunately, the federal government seems more intent upon guarding the borders of other nations than our own. We are still patrolling Korea’s border after some 50 years, yet ours are more porous than ever. It is ironic that we criticize Syria for failing to secure its border with Iraq while our own borders, particularly to the south, are no better secured than those of Syria.

May 24, 2007

FLASH: New home prices crash at least 11% nationwide while sales fall 10% VERSUS LAST YEAR

UPDATED - chart from housingdoom (that the MSM won't show you)

For the "there is no housing bubble" and "home prices never go down" crowd, today's numbers should drive a stake through their hearts.

And to think we're still just getting started. It's a long, long, long, long, long way back down.

However, watch the MSM and NAR spin today's numbers (VS. LAST MONTH) as good news, and that we're "bottoming out". How many times can we "bottom out" until they realize the bottom is not even in sight? And when will they finally think for a change and do year over year comparisons, the only real thing that matters?

Also, keep in mind these numbers from your government are untrustworthy, have a massive margin of error, and don't even include the use of builder incentives, which we know are massive. So take 'em with a grain of salt - even though it's obvious sales are overstated and prices are down much more than reported.

WASHINGTON, May 24 (Reuters) - Sales of new U.S. homes rose 16.2 percent in April, the sharpest climb in 14 years, while prices fell a record 11 percent, according to a government report on Thursday that showed home builders taking extraordinary steps to move houses.

New single-family home sales rose to an annual rate of 981,000 units from a revised rate of 844,000 in March, the Commerce Department said.

Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting April sales to rise slightly to an 860,000 unit pace from a previously reported rate of 858,000 units in March.

In April, the median sales price of a new home fell $28,500 to $229,100 from $257,600 in March. That's the lowest price for a new home since September 2006 when the median sales price was $226,700.

The previous record decline was a 9.4 percent fall-off in September 1981. Compared with a year ago, April's sales price was off 10.9 percent -- the fourth-largest decline ever. The record 14.6 percent decline was set in July 1970 and the next three largest falls occurred in that same year.

Any questions?

Sacramento Housing Bust: Anyone want a house at 50% off? Anyone? Anyone?

Unintended housing crash consequence #1843: Lots of weeds growing in yards

May 23, 2007

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Isn't an interest-only loan like a 100000000000000000000000000000000 year mortgage and then some? As in it never ends?
And why would someone who has an interest only loan call themselves a "homeowner"
Wouldn't that be like someone leasing a Lexus calling themselves a "car owner"

12 millions illegals in the US? Says who?

Why does everyone believe the government and MSM when they laughably tell you that there are 12 million illegals in the US?

Anyone ever counted them?

Wouldn't we all be surprised (and sickened) to find out there's 20 million? 30 million? 50 million?

That's the issue with illegals - we just don't know. Why? Because they're here illegally! We don't even know who the F they are!
Where's the outrage HP'ers? Where's the rule of law? And at what point did the reporting profession become as big a joke as the realtor profession?

What's the difference between mortgage brokers and vultures?

You're seeing the tip of the iceberg folks. So much will come out over the next few months about the out-of-control-and-unregulated mortgage broker profession, we'll all wonder how this happened without being exposed sooner.

You're going to be sickened. You're going to be shocked. And you're not gonna be surprised.


Think this "there is no housing bubble" mortgage broker genius is still employed?

Why it still makes sense to Buy vs. Rent

Nearly a full third of households are still renting...but if you are one of them, you could be paying a hefty price. Additionally, the children of the baby boomer generation are close to or at the home buying age, but these "echo boomers" could mistakenly decide to put off the purchase of a home because of all the noise about a "bubble" in home prices.

Is there a "bubble"? The simple answer is "no".

Even if interest rates move a bit higher, it won't be enough to cause a nationwide slide in home prices.

The key to a healthy housing market is the job market. If the payment on a new home might be slightly higher due to increased interest rates, it generally won't stop someone from purchasing the home of their dreams...but if they feel their job is in jeopardy, it might be enough to stop them from making a move.

So with the currently low levels of unemployment and the beefy gains in job creations, it looks like the housing market will remain vibrant. Although it will be difficult to sustain the double-digit gains that much of the country has seen, price declines are highly unlikely. Expect a more moderate rate of appreciation, perhaps closer to the historical 6-7% range, which is still very good.

Nope, this isn't a Saturday Night Live skit. Meet "Mortgage Man" (make it stop please)

May 22, 2007

I thought you'd all like to freshen up on other classic bubbles. Here's Japan

Japanese asset price bubble

Inflation-adjusted house prices in Japan (1980–2005) compared to house price appreciation the United States, Britain, and Australia (1995–2005).

The Japanese asset price bubble was a time of skyrocketing land and stock prices in the Japanese economy, lasting from 1986 to 1990. It is one of the most famous economic bubbles in the history of modern capitalism.

In the decades following World War II, Japan implemented stringent tariffs and policies to encourage the people to save their income. With more money in banks, loans and credit became more easy to obtain, and with Japan running large trade surpluses, the yen was able to appreciate against foreign currencies. This allowed Japanese companies to invest in capital resources much more easily than their competitors, which made goods cheaper, which widened the trade surplus further. And, with the yen appreciating, financial assets became very lucrative.

Unfortunately, with so much money readily available for investment, speculation was inevitable, particularly in the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the real estate market. The rates for housing, stocks, and bonds rose so much that at one point the government issued 100-year bonds. Additionally, banks granted increasingly risky loans.

By 2004, prime "A" property in Tokyo's financial districts were less than 1/100th of their peak, and Tokyo's residential homes were 1/10th of their peak, but still managed to be listed as the most expensive real estate in the world. Some US$20 trillion (1999 dollars) was wiped out with the combined collapse of the real estate market and the Tokyo stock market.

With Japan's economy driven by its high rates of reinvestment, this crash hit particularly hard. Investments were made increasingly out of the country, and Japanese manufacturing firms lost much of their technological edge. As Japanese products became less competitive overseas, the low consumption rate began to bear on the economy, causing a deflationary spiral.

The easily obtainable credit that had helped create and engorge the real estate bubble continued to be a problem for several years to come, and as late as 1997, banks were still making loans that had a low guarantee of being repaid. Correcting the credit problem became even more difficult as the government began to subsidize failing banks and businesses, creating many "zombie businesses".

The time after the bubble's collapse, which occurred gradually rather than catastrophically, is known as the "lost decade" in Japan.

Ron Paul on CNN Late Edition Sunday

You watch this guy, and you realize how far ahead of the pack he is. Now if Americans would just see through the MSM spin and religious-whacko cancer within the GOP, they'd take note that Ron Paul is a serious candidate for the presidency.

But I doubt it.

Casey almost shut it down... Or not..

I know HP'ers have a love/hate relationship with Hate Casey, love the blog.

Ask yourselves though, would we have understood how big the problem of liar's loans, flipping houses, cash-back-at-close, mortgage fraud, kids taking out $2 million in loans, greed, capitalism and an REIC running out of control if not for Casey?

Well, the kid's family had an intervention the other day, and said Casey has to either start making some money (gee, there's a thought) or shut down the blog. Kid even signed a contract with his family to that effect.

I sent the kid $50 on behalf of HP'ers to put up a link on his sidebar to say "HP'ers hate Casey Serin too". He hasn't put the link up yet, so have at it HP'ers - assume we'll have a link there, what should it say?

Best post wins and I'll send it to him - keep it short and sweet

Kid's gotta keep the blog up. The internets wouldn't be the same without that car wreck

May 21, 2007

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

I'm going to Vegas this fall. If I don't win should the government bail me out?

You know, I would have been taken advantage of by those deceptive casino owners. I would have signed a marker from the casino not knowing I had to pay it back. I wouldn't have known what I was getting into on that craps table. It's all so unfair! I will have been so taken advantage of!

Oh mighty taxpayer, save me!

Is "median" the best way to understand what's happening with home prices

Home prices are in freefall - just look at the exploding supply, the incredible drop in demand and the surge in how long it takes to sell, and you know what's happening (and what's going to keep happening) with prices. Econ 101.

Also, there is no reputable organization who can document prices (what, we're going to listen to the realtors?). Especially since incentives and cash back are not part of the equation.

But today's question is on HOW prices are reported by the NAR and in the MSM - the use of "median" - half above and half below.

Here's 10 homes:

________ median

The median price in this city is $200,000

But we all know what's happening is that the biggest haircuts are coming at the middle and top of the range - the stupid houses and condos that had no business selling for way above people's incomes. You know, that $600,000* 1-bedroom apartment in Phoenix bought by a flipper with a liar's loan. So that falls to $400,000 (for now). Heck, that $1,000,000 unaffordable house bought on a cash-back at close deal also falls 20% let's say, to $800,000.

In the above example, the median price for this city is still $200,000

Anyone see the problem? Try selling a $600,000 1-bedroom apartment in Phoenix and you will.

Reports of increases and decreases in home prices are typically quoted as changes in the median home price. This can be misleading because changes in the median price doesn't indicate how much appreciation or depreciation has taken place.

The median price is the price that is midway between the least expensive and most expensive home sold in an area during a given period of time. During that time, half the buyers bought homes that cost more than the median price and half bought homes for less than the median price.

Changes in median price measure changes in market activity. When there are more buyers buying less expensive homes than there are buyers buying more expensive homes, the median price falls. Conversely, when there are more buyers buying more expensive homes than there are buyers buying less expensive homes, the median price rises.

Warning - don't watch this NAR ad on a full stomach

I like the pledge pin they give out too...

Leased Lexus - check. Hellhole Tampa condo - check. Putting up new "Price Reduced" sign - check. Bodyguard - ???

Hat-tip to HP'er Sofia on this one. She says the real estate clerk also mentioned most of her clients get their liar's loan financing via IndyMac.

Now hurry! Get out of that neighborhood before they start taking numbers for who gets to swipe the Lexus!

Maybe Ron Paul will help the GOP remember what it used to be about (before the religious whackos took over)

Watch this Ron Paul dorm-room interview series and enjoy. Four more reasons why Ron Paul is catching fire on the internet and sticking it to the GOP establishment. Could you imagine McCain or Rudy having the imagination to do a doom-room youtube interview?

You know it doesn't matter how many millions Romney and McCain have. The internet and youtube are the great levelers. And RP is breaking out.

Even if he doesn't win I hope he stays in the race all the way to the convention. He may remind the GOP of the party it used to be. Small government. Low taxes. Rational foreign policy. Live and let live. Government off the backs of the people.

In other words, nothing like the GOP of today, a party that I don't even recognize anymore.

May 20, 2007

The end of the housing Ponzi scheme: 63% of homes in SW Idaho up for sale are owned by investors

Investors get in - check.

Investors get out - check.

Locals left holding the bag - check.

Repeat all around the world - check.

Southwest Idaho has large jump in number of homes put up for sale

Experts say investors trying to unload houses in highly populated southwestern Idaho have likely boosted the number of homes on the market.

They say a recent drop in median home prices might have triggered the sales rush.

Nearly 8,000 homes are for sale in the area.

Financial experts say that many homes on the market will likely continue driving down home prices.

Ada County saw a 1.3 percent drop in median home prices in March, the first decline in 10 months.

The current situation is good for buyers, not so good for sellers.

Heinrich Wiebe, co-founder of Genius Realty, says he doesn't see any recovery. He says about 63 percent of the homes in the region now up for sale are owned by investors

Pretend you're a realtor or the new Chief Economist of the NAR and tell us why there's no housing crash underway

Oh, man this will be good.

Have at it.

UK stamp tax on home sales freezes up the market

Another reason why buying a home here in the UK is a fool's game - up to 4% "stamp tax" every time you buy.


So buy that £500,000 home (you know, a 1-bedroom closet), and you're already down £20,000, plus your estate agent fee and other closing costs, say another £20,000.

All this does is makes people less inclined to move (i.e. afraid to move), as they know buying a new place is gonna hurt on taxes and fees. Which helps freeze up the market, likely helping drive up prices to the crazy point they're at today.

Ah, you gotta love it when government policy distorts a market.

Stamp duty 'hits property market'

Increased stamp duty has made house prices more volatile and reduced property transactions by as much as 500,000, according to research.

The CEBR study concludes: “As property prices rise in relation to incomes, one would expect demand to slacken and the upward pressure on prices to subside.

“But estate agents believe that a key factor currently sustaining house price inflation is that there is a lack of supply of suitable houses.

“Clearly part of the problem is the lack of new build – as a country we have been building about 60,000 fewer properties a year than would be necessary to stabilise the house price average earnings ratio.

“And this has been largely caused – as the Barker review has pointed out – by planning regulations and social housing requirements. But another aspect of the problem is an unwillingness to put existing houses on the market because of stamp duties.

May 19, 2007

Ron Paul announcing his run for the presidency - four part series on youtube

Great interview on c-span - enjoy

Slowly and surely, the MSM is going HousingPANIC - Forbes on how it's cheaper to rent than buy

I think I'm turning HousingPANIC, I think I'm turning HousingPANIC, I really think so...

I think I'm turning HousingPANIC, I think I'm turning HousingPANIC, I really think so...

Only problem with this MSM article (one day they'll think, not just type) is that they say rents are too low. Uh, rents are where the market says rents are, and hint, they're going lower, not higher.

Cheaper To Rent

These are scary days in the housing market. Sales of existing homes in the first quarter of the year were down 8.4%, but prices have barely budged, dropping only 1.8%. Many potential buyers are wondering if it makes sense to rent for a year and hope that as sales slow even more, prices will finally come down significantly.

In most cities, renting rather than buying is a good idea for now. Green Street Advisors, a research firm specializing in real estate investment trusts, looked at a 19-year average ratio of monthly mortgage payments to monthly rent payments for the 50 largest markets in America. They then looked at a current snapshot of that same ratio and calculated how much rents would have to change to bring the ratio back to its 19-year average.

In 80% of markets, rents are more than 10% below their historical averages, and home prices are too high.

If you're looking to buy in Portland, Ore., you should probably think twice. Rents there are 61% too low. The current ratio of monthly mortgage payments to monthly rents in Portland is 2.04, versus a 19-year average of 1.27.

FLASH: OC Register exposes that true subprime ARM default rate is 21.1%, NOT the 13% reported in MSM

Every day it seems another REIC lie is being being exposed. Watch the floodgates really open up now that the MSM has jumped off the REIC tank, put down the rolodex of realtors, and is (finally) doing their damn job.

Bravo to Mathew Padilla at the OC Register. Keep digging! Especially when it comes to the bigger story of Alt-A liar's loans. With 60% of applicants on those loans committing blatant mortgage fraud by overstating their income by 50% or more, that disaster will unfold soon enough. Plus the feds should review every liar's loan taken out and prosecute every one of 'em for mortgage fraud.

Subprime delinquencies higher than reported

Forget that 13% subprime delinquency number you heard about so much in the press and which some politicos and real estate folks turned on its head pointing out 87% of subprime borrowers are paying their mortgage.

I took another look at the transcript from the first-quarter conference call of IndyMac Bancorp, and caught this statement from CEO Michael Perry:

On subprime loans, one of the things that I think people aren’t aware of is that the Mortgage Bankers Association basically classifies the lender as a prime lender or a subprime lender. So for example, they classify IndyMac and Countrywide as prime lenders, and they classify New Century or whoever as a subprime lender. And all of their servicing portfolio is considered prime or subprime for the MBA. Ok? And so when you see that delinquency number in the press of 13% subprime delinquencies, it’s hugely understated. It is absolutely hugely understated. And the prime delinquencies are overstated.The subprime delinquencies are more like 18, 20, 22% delinquencies and that’s where I think you’re going to see the problems."

To see if Perry had it right, I quizzed the MBA and got this in response from Jay Brinkmann, vice president of research and economics:

"Mr. Perry is correct that we have to differentiate by the type of servicer rather than the type of loan. This may not be a major issue because our latest subprime numbers are 14.4% delinquent by at least one payment, plus another 4.5% in foreclosure, for a total of 18.9% either delinquent or in foreclosure.

For just subprime ARMs that number is 21.1%, so we agree with Mr. Perry's estimates of the current state of the market."

Location, location, location. Will all those new houses in the far-flung suburbs be bulldozed one day soon?

Post-houisng-bubble regulation: Will the REIC and MSM have to expose conflict of interest in the future?

One good thing that came out of the dot-com collapse is that analysts and media have to expose when they have any potential conflict of interest - stock holdings, investment banking relationships, etc.

Well, as we all know, that doesn't happen today with real estate.

You have people like The Corrupt David Lereah out there cheerleading housing, while speculating in investment condos, having his salary paid by six percenters, and making money off of "housing never goes down" books.

You have Nicholas Retsinas at Harvard's Joint Center for Housing putting out "there is no bubble" statements, when his salary is paid for by the who's-who of the REIC.

You have MSM reporters cheerleading housing because their salaries are paid for by REIC ads, and on a personal level their house is their biggest financial asset (or risk). In other words, their entire career and financial well-being rests on house prices going up.

And you have real estate clerks giving their expert unbiased views to the MSM on how we've "hit bottom" and how "it's a great time to buy or sell", when the only thing standing between them and a lifetime of Top Ramen is getting suckers to believe that it's a great time to buy or sell.

Real Estate and stocks should be treated the exact same way. Anyone with a vested interest in the asset in question should be required by law to expose their potential conflicts.

Until then, the public will continue to be duped, conned, lied to, deceived and crushed.

HousingPANIC full disclosure: I don't own any real estate thank god.

May 18, 2007

Ron Paul on Tucker - probably making way too much sense for brain-dead Dem/Rep Americans to understand

If you could live anywhere, where would that be?

What's your favorite town? If you were retired, or didn't have to commute to work (or could work at home) and you could live where you want on the planet, where would that be?

Top 5?

HP'ers international - don't be shy. What's your ultimate city/town?

I have no idea how the realtortrolls, permabulls and NAR can spin their way out of this one: Unsold Home Inventory Soars as Housing Bubble Deflates

Demand is tanking (people know homes will be cheaper tomorrow)

Supply is exploding (as homedebtor panic sets in).

The available pool of homedebtors is shrinking (thank you subprime wipeout)

It's significantly cheaper to rent than buy today (it's always about the P/E)

Jobs are going away (thank you housing crash vicious circle)

Consumer confidence is plunging (housing crash, oil prices, jobs, iraq)

There should be so surprises to HP'ers. Everything is going exactly as it should. Exactly as it always does post-mania, post-bubble, post-Ponzi Scheme. It was all in the book. Now what will we do with all these damn houses?

Housing glut: From bad to worse - Some markets have seen a tripling of property listings since the housing market has cooled. -- The number of homes for sale in major markets ballooned in April, according to a new industry report, adding further evidence that the U.S. housing slump is still trying to find a bottom.

In April, there were 743,367 existing house and condo properties listed for sale in the 18 major metro areas tracked by ZipRealty, a California-based real estate broker.

That was up 33 percent from a year earlier and 7.2 percent higher than in March.

Some of the markets ZipRealty covers suffered far bigger inventory expansions than the total jump. Los Angeles reported a 39.7 percent leap since April of 2006, Miami climbed 53.9 percent and Seattle soared 63.2 percent.

The year-over-year stats only tell part of the story. Many of the areas covered had already experienced a significant sales slowdown and an expansion of the number of homes for sale well before April 2006.

The once remarkably hot Las Vegas metro market, for example, now has more than double the number of homes on the market - 26,243 compared with 13,238 - than it did in September 2005, when the local housing market was near its peak.

In Los Angeles, inventory has more than tripled since July 2005, as it has in Miami since October 2005. In Phoenix, there were 50,062 homes for sale during April, compared with 11,656 in July 2005, for more than a threefold jump.

Nicholas Retsinas, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies REIC poodle, must be feeling stupid right about now

I thought it was about time to revisit the words of REIC poodle Nicholas Retsinas, saying how there was no housing bubble bursting, and calling HP'ers "Cassandra's" and "Chicken Little". He wrote this article last fall, which led to HP calling for his firing, which of course didn't happen because Harvard is a corrupted institution addicted to REIC $$$$

It amazes me to this day that Harvard would put their name behind such a pathetic, biased, unprofessional and blatantly corrupted department and department head. There is a stench coming out of Boston, and it's not just the crashing housing market there. Nope, it's the stench of an REIC cheerleader attacking HP'ers, and reality, at the bequest of his REIC masters.

September 24, 2006
"HOUSING BUST AHEAD." The headline hints of catastrophe: a dot-com repeat, a bubble bursting, an economic apocalypse.

Cassandra, though, can stop wailing: the expected price corrections mark a slowing in the rate of increase -- not a precipitous decline.

This will not spark a chain reaction that will devastate home owners, builders, and communities. Contradicting another gloomy seer, Chicken Little, the sky is not falling.

Cassandra can stop wailing, and Pollyanna can stop cheering. Home prices in some regions are moderating, but for a nation inured to CNN's headline-of-the-moment, this moderation does not rate high on the Richter scale of cataclysm.

Nicolas P. Retsinas is director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, at Harvard University.

Ron Paul - talking about things the GOP doesn't want him to talk about

This guy is just waaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy to honest for the GOP. And for America. Too bad, 'cause a little honesty seems to be what's sorely needed right about now.

Ignorance is not bliss.

Contribute to Ron Paul 2008 here

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Think real estate clerks and mortgage brokers who steered Desperate Homedebtors into depreciating assets they couldn't afford (while earning their big commissions) are getting a few angry phone calls and emails these days?

Half a million to live in a dump. Are we mad?

If I paid half a mill to live in a dump like this, I'd have to question my sanity.

You get one life folks. Working like a slave and spending 50% of your income (or more) to live in a hellhole is folly. You don't have to live in towns like this, you don't have to work for companies who are based in towns like this, and you definitely don't have to spend $500,000 to live in dumps like this.

There's a better way.

May 17, 2007

Historians may look back and say today was the day America died

If this "amnesty for illegals" congressional corruption passes, today will indeed be a black day in American history.

We will no longer be a nation of laws. We will no longer be a nation of fairness. We will no longer be a nation of due process.

Nope, we'll be a nation of lawlessness. Of anarchy. A nation that rewards criminals and illegal behavior. And nation that screws over honest and ethical people around the world who've followed the rules, applied as instructed to enter America, now only to be pushed to the back of the line behind the lawbreakers.

Today should sicken you. Your leaders are corrupt. Your leaders are incompetent. And your leaders have failed America.

And yet you, and your countrymen, don't care, and do nothing. You're fiddling while America burns.

When's American Idol and America's Top Model on again?

Deal Struck on Immigration Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - Key senators in both parties announced agreement with the White House Thursday on an immigration overhaul that would grant quick legal status to millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and fortify the border.

The plan would create a temporary worker program to bring new arrivals to the U.S. A separate progam would cover agricultural workers. New high-tech enforcement measures also would be instituted to verify that workers are here legally.

The draft bill "gives a path out of the shadows and toward legal status for those who are currently here" illegally, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

FLASH: Bernanke - "we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system"

FLASH: HousingPANIC says - "Wanna bet?!".

Either Bernanke is as incompetent and clueless as other Bush appointees, or he's just lying through his teeth to try to calm down the situation.

Either way, he's wrong. Why our leaders think Americans need everything sugar-coated I'll never understand. Just tell it how it is. We can handle it. Even if it sucks.

Fed: Mortgage Defaults Won't Hurt Economy

Fed Chief Says He Doesn't Believe Growing Number of Mortgage Defaults Will Seriously Harm Economy

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday that he did not believe the growing number of mortgage defaults would seriously harm the economy.

Facing criticism from members of Congress about lax regulation, Bernanke also promised that the Fed would do everything possible to crack down on abuses that have put millions of homeowners in jeopardy of defaulting on their mortgages.

"We at the Federal Reserve will do all that we can to prevent fraud and abusive lending and to ensure that lenders employ sound underwriting practices and make effective disclosures to consumers," Bernanke said in remarks prepared for a financial conference in Chicago.

However, Bernanke in his remarks did not detail any specific tightening of regulations, saying only that the Fed would hold hearings in coming weeks on the matter.

Bernanke said while it was likely that there would be further increases in mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures this year and in 2008, he did not believe this problem would be enough to derail the overall economy.

"We believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will be limited and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system," Bernanke said in his remarks, copies of which were distributed in Washington.

Someone tell me the difference between corrupt mortgage brokers and crack dealers

And then tell me the difference between cash-out refi overspending Desperate Homedebtor junkies and crack cocaine users...

Mortgage brokers cashed in on U.S. housing bounty

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Money may not grow on trees but for a while it seemed to grow on houses, and Colleen Moorhead knew exactly where to turn when she needed to harvest some cash.

With a few phone calls, broker Joyce DeAngelo could put Moorhead and her husband into a new mortgage and cut them a check. They used more than $100,000 in cash they netted from the refinancing for living expenses and renovations.

Between 2001 and 2006, the Moorheads refinanced their three-bedroom San Diego home at least nine times, county records show.

But mortgage broker DeAngelo didn't work for free. Each new loan carried up to $13,000 in fees, along with prepayment penalties, and the Moorheads fell deeper in debt.

A marginal presence in the industry 20 years ago, mortgage brokers have become the face of the $10 trillion home-loan industry, the single point of contact between a sophisticated financial world and borrowers committing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a home. Brokers often present themselves as disinterested parties, but the industry feeds on fees from lenders and bonuses when they complete a deal.

Moorhead and her husband now owe $603,000, up from $196,000 when they started, and more than $10,000 over what their house is worth, according to one online estimate. They're likely to lose it soon if they can't somehow make payments greater than their monthly income. Their broker, DeAngelo, said she tried to save them from financial disaster, but her client kept wanting to refinance.

"I told her every time that she can't keep doing this, she's going to lose her house," DeAngelo said, adding that she gave Moorhead tips on straightening up her finances that were mostly ignored. "She has no one else to blame."

As the real estate boom of the last half-decade turns to bust, homeowners like Moorhead say they feel betrayed by brokers who profited from bad advice and saddled them with loans they couldn't afford.

"It seemed like she was a gift from God or something," Moorhead said. "But she's a wolf in sheep's clothing."

I'm hoping this illegal immigrant amnesty bill is a terrible joke. If not, then the USA will become a terrible joke.

Immigration Deal Would Grant Amnesty to Parents, Spouses and Children

Six conservative senators are demanding that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) negotiate a “full and open debate” on the immigration legislation.

Senate Democrats and Republicans are working feverishly with the White House to put the finishing touches on an immigration proposal that could be announced later today or tomorrow.

The deal would give illegal aliens living in the United States amnesty, according to confidential sources. It would also allow illegal aliens to bring their parents, spouses and children into the United States.

Multiple sources on Capitol Hill with knowledge of the proposal said Sen. Teddy Kennedy (D.-Mass.) has been able to extract significant concessions from Republicans. The critical part of the deal is a lengthy section that spells out the provisions related to “Z” visas -- or what my sources described as the “Amnesty Title” of the bill. The “Z” visas would be broken down into three categories as follows:

Z-1 -- Illegal alien present and working in the United States up to January 1, 2007 Z-2 -- Parents and spouses of illegal aliens qualifying under the Z-1 category Z-3 -- Children of illegal aliens qualifying under the Z-1 category

One section of the proposal grants these “Z” non-immigrants four-year visas for an indefinite period of time. These visas would be given to people not currently in the United States if they are related to a current illegal worker.

Sources indicate that these aliens, along with their dependents, would be allowed to legally remain in the United States under certain conditions for an indefinite period of time, even if they chose not to pursue the so called “pathway to citizenship.”


The US: No longer a nation of laws as fraud, cheating and illegal acts go unchecked

Lying about your income on a "stated income" IndyMac Alt-A loan is pure and simple old fashioned mortgage fraud, and against the law.

Millions of Mexicans storming across the US/Mexico border are blatantly breaking the law. Employers who hire them are breaking the law.

Doing a "short sale" to get out of a pre-foreclosure property, then not reporting the short amount as income on your US tax return is tax fraud, and is illegal.

Submitting a knowingly false and over-stated appraisal to "make the number work" is fraud and is illegal

A realtor paying a mortgage broker an unreported spiff under the table is committing tax fraud.

Getting undisclosed cash back after closing is fraud and is illegal.


We send flipping Paris Hilton to jail for 45 days for driving when she shouldn't have, yet we have real estate and mortgage crimes going on all around the nation, with trillions of dollars and the entire world economy on the line, and we don't care?

Anarchy reigns supreme. Your government has failed you, and continues to fail you. And you can thank the NAR and NAHB $$$ pouring into your corrupt congress for that.

What's going on should make you sick. And now we'll all pay the price.

Faux News blames HP and other "online communities" for messing with GOP debate poll outcome where Ron Paul kicks butt

I guess Rudy, John, Mitt, Tommy, Jim and the rest have no "online community" support. Maybe that should tell the MSM something?

If you didn't hate Faux News before, I hope this helps. And it's so funny to see the right wing GOP turn so harsh on Ron Paul. I guess they forgot what it meant to be a true Republican somewhere along the way.