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Eligible borrowers and their heirs will be able to claim uncashed payments made pursuant to the 2013 Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement through their respective states' escheatment process, according to announcement from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) on Wednesday.

The OCC announced that any uncashed payments made pursuant to the IFR Payment Agreement will be escheated at the end of 2015 in order to allow eligible borrowers and their heirs to claim the funds.

Also on Wednesday, the OCC announced that it has terminated foreclosure-related consent orders against three national mortgage servicers that have met the consent order requirements and imposed business restrictions on six banks that have not met the requirements.

More than $2.7 billion has been distributed to more than 3.2 million eligible borrowers from OCC-supervised institutions as a result of the IFR Payment Agreement, representing about 90 percent of the amount available for distribution, according to the OCC. The agency estimates that about $280 million from OCC-supervised institutions will go unclaimed by the end of this year after all efforts to find remaining eligible borrowers have been exhausted; the escheatment of funds from uncased checks will give eligible borrowers and their heirs an additional opportunity to claim the funds.

The OCC determined that Bank of America, Citibank, and PNC bank have complied with the orders the agency issued in 2011 and the amendments it issued in 2013 and therefore the consent orders against them have been terminated.

The six institutions that the OCC determined have not met all the requirements of the IFR were (alphabetically) Everbank, HSBC Bank USA, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Santander Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo, and therefore the OCC issued orders to restrict their business activities.

The restrictions include limitations on the acquisition of residential MSR portfolios, new contracts to perform residential mortgage servicing for other parties, the outsourcing or sub-servicing of new residential mortgage servicing activities to other parties, off-shoring new residential mortgage servicing activities, and new appointments of senior officers responsible for residential mortgage servicing. OCC said the restrictions will vary based on the individual circumstances of each bank, and the agency will continue to monitor the corrective actions for these institutions.

A spokesman for the OCC told DS News that the restrictions are meant to focus servicer action on meeting the remaining requirements in their respective consent orders, and that the restrictions will not impede consumers' access to mortgage loans.

The Independent Foreclosure Review concluded in January 2013 with 10 mortgage servicers reaching an agreement with the Fed and the OCC to pay a combined total of $8.5 billion to more than 3.8 million homeowners whose homes were in foreclosure in 2009 and 2010. The sum included $3.3 billion to be paid directly to borrowers. The claims allege that the servicers mishandled loan paperwork and robo-signed documents related to the foreclosures. The settlement totals were later increased to 15 servicers and a total of $10 billion in payments, according to the Fed.

Distressed Inventory Fading Fast as Housing Market Strengthens

by The Cope Real Estate Team

As the housing market heals, foreclosure inventory is depleting quickly, CoreLogic reported Thursday.

In July, about 949,000 homes were in some stage of foreclosure, down 32 percent from 1.4 million a year ago. Foreclosure inventory also showed a 4.4 percent decline from June. Year-to-date, foreclosure inventory is down by 20 percent.

Currently, about 2.4 percent of homes with a mortgage are in foreclosure inventory, the lowest level since March 2009.

In addition to shrinking foreclosure inventory, CoreLogic also reported steep declines in completed foreclosures and serious delinquencies.

According to the data provider’s estimate, about 49,000 properties were lost to foreclosure in July, down 25 percent from 65,000 in July 2012. From June to July, completed foreclosures fell by 8.6 percent from 53,000 in the prior month. At 5.4 percent, the serious delinquency rate decreased to the lowest level since December 2008, according to CoreLogic. The rate represents fewer than 2.2 million mortgages. “Continued strength in the housing market will contribute to our outlook for ongoing improvement in the stock of distressed assets through the end of this year,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

According to CoreLogic, the decreases were apparent across the country, with every state reporting an annual decline in foreclosures.

“Not surprisingly, non-judicial states have come the farthest the fastest in reducing shadow inventory and lowering delinquency rates,” noted Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

Florida took the lead again as the state with the highest number of completed foreclosures. Over the last 12 months, about 110,000 homes were lost to foreclosure in Florida. California followed with 65,000 completed foreclosures. Other states in the top five were Michigan (61,000), Texas (45,000), and Georgia (41,000).

Florida also held the highest percentage of homes in foreclosure inventory, at 8.1 percent. New Jersey’s foreclosure inventory rate of 5.9 percent put it at second, with New York (4.7 percent), Connecticut (4.0 percent), and Maine (4.0 percent) filling out the top five.

However, in 36 states, foreclosure inventory sits below the national rate of 2.4 percent.

Foreclosure Market Stabilizing as Home Values Rise

by The Cope Real Estate Team

 

With the ongoing housing market recovery, the foreclosure market is also stabilizing and foreclosure prices are bottoming out, according to a report from FNC Inc.

Foreclosure price discounts are now at pre-housing crisis levels, averaging 12.2 percent in Q4 2012. In 2004, foreclosure discounts hovered near the same levels, averaging around 12 percent. At the peak of the crisis, discounts for foreclosed homes averaged 25 percent, data from FNC revealed.

Discounts though tend to be more steep for low-tier properties and average 18.4 percent, while high-end properties (more than $500k) have an average discount of 0.4 percent, with many selling above their actual market value.

 

The technology provider also reported single-family REOand foreclosure sales have been trending downward, accounting for 18.1 percent of sales in Q4 2012, down from 24.2 percent in the same quarter a year ago.

Among the states, Michigan led with the highest concentration of foreclosure sales, with 56 percent of single-family home sales categorized as foreclosures in Q4 2012.

Rounding out the top five for foreclosure sales were Alabama (31 percent), Georgia (27 percent), Illinois (26 percent), Tennessee (25 percent).

When zooming in on performance in metro areas, FNCfound Detroit had the highest percentage of foreclosure sales, 66 percent in Q4.

 

The metro areas that displayed the biggest declines in foreclosure sales over a one-year period ending in Q4 2012 were Las Vegas, Riverside, Sacramento, Phoenix, and Seattle.

In some of those metros—Phoenix, Sacramento, Las Vegas, and Riverside, plus San Diego—FNC also noted many buyers bought foreclosures at prices that exceeded market values. On the other hand, FNC found price discounts tended to be higher in metros located in judicial states, such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, where price discounts were 30-33 percent.

 

 

 

Pending Home Sales at Highest Level Since March 2007

by The Cope Real Estate Team

 

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) jumped 5.2 percent in October to 104.8, its highest level since March 2007, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Thursday. Economists had expected a smaller increase to 100.5.

The September index was revised up to 99.6 from the originally reported 99.5.

On Wednesday, the Census Bureau and HUD reported jointly new home sales—the equivalent of the PHSI—had declined an ever-so-slight 0.37 percent in October. Both reports measure contracts for the purchase of a home.

The PHSI and new home sales report usually move in the same direction—each has increased in all but three months this year—but the magnitude and timing of the changes can vary. The movement in opposite directions in October suggests the PHSI was boosted by sales of foreclosed homes, which would mean continued struggles for homebuilders as buyers sift through foreclosed properties, which are counted as existing home sales.

 

Year-over-year, the PHSI is up 13.2 percent, making October the 18th straight month of year-over-year increases.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, explained the jump in the PHSI by suggesting buyers are responding to favorable market conditions, noting “[w]e’ve had very good housing affordability conditions for quite some time, but we’re seeing more impact now from steady job creation, and rising consumer confidence about home buying now that home prices have clearly turned positive.”

The PHSI does not distinguish distressed or short sale from other home sale transactions in the report.

PHSI data are generally reflected in the report on existing home sales two months out, meaning the October PHSIpoints to stronger growth in completed homes sale transactions reported for December.

Regionally, the October PHSI improved in two of the four Census regions, increasing 15.6 percent to 104.4 in the Midwest and 5.5 percent to 117.3 in the South. The index slipped 0.1 percent to 79.2 in the Northeast and fell 1.1 percent to 105.7 in the West. Year-over-year, the index is up in all four regions.

The index is based on a large national sample, representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined as well as the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales; it coincides with a level that is historically healthy.

 

 

Homeownership Rate Stays Near Historic Lows

by The Cope Real Estate Team

 

The number of households owning homes reached 75,076,000 in the third quarter, increasing from 74,832,000 in the second, but down from 75,251,000 a year ago, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

At the same time, the nation’s homeownership rate (seasonally adjusted) remained at 65.5 percent.

The homeownership rate stayed near historic lows. The rate in the first quarter was 65.4 percent, the lowest since the first quarter of 1997, when the rate was also 65.4 percent. The homeownership rate peaked at 69.2 percent in the second quarter of 2004. The rate measures the proportion of households owning their primary residence, computed by dividing the number of households that are occupied by owners by the total number of occupied homes.

The Census Bureau also reported the homeowner vacancy rate fell in the third quarter to 1.9 percent nationwide, down from 2.1 percent in the second quarter and 2.4 percent one year ago. The homeowner vacancy rate—the proportion of the homeowner inventory for sale that is vacant for sale—is at its lowest level since Q3 2005.

 

The number of housing units for sale in the third quarter, Census reported, was 1,476,000, down from 1,595,000 in the second quarter and 1,862,000 in third-quarter 2011. The number of housing units held off the market was 7,190,000, down from 7,612,000 in second quarter but up from 7,190,000 a year ago.

The stagnant homeownership rate combined with a decline in the number of units held off the market suggests opportunities for home sales. At the same time, the profile of homeowners by age is changing.

The homeownership rate for older Americans—defined as 65 and over—fell in the third quarter to 81.4 percent from 81.6 percent in the second. The homeownership rate for Americans younger than 35 fell to 36.3 percent. The 45-64 age bracket was actually the only group to see an increase in homeownership; the rate for that group increased 0.6 percentage points to 72 percent.

The rental vacancy rate—the proportion of the rental inventory that is vacant for rent—in the third quarter remained at 8.6 percent, the lowest level in 10 years, underscoring a shift in housing patterns.

According to the quarterly report, the number of housing units in the third quarter was 132.8 million, an increase of 121,000 from the second quarter and 487,000 since third-quarter 2011. According to the Census Bureau, 18,145,000 units were vacant, down from 18, 518,000 in the second quarter and 18,804,000 in third-quarter 2011.

The highest homeownership rate in the third quarter was in the Midwest—69.6 percent, unchanged from the second quarter. Homeownership also increased in the West (to 60.1 percent) and the Northeast (to 63.9 percent), making the South the only region to experience a decline (to 66.9 percent).

The median asking sale price for a vacant home rose to $137,000 in the third quarter from $134,600 in the second and from $136,700 one year earlier. The median asking rent in the third quarter fell to $706 from $716 in the second quarter but is up from $700 in the third quarter of 2011.


 

Flipping houses is once again a booming business!

by The Cope Real Estate Team

 

Not long ago, John Irvin was selling women’s shoes in the ­Nordstrom at the Pentagon City mall, pulling down about $20 an hour.

Now he flips houses in Northern Virginia — scooping up short sales, rehabbing them and aiming for a quick sell. He has sold three homes and says he netted more than $30,000 in profit each time.“If I do one house every quarter, I’m making $125,000 a year — at 25 years old,” Irvin said. “All my other friends, they have a 9-to-5 job. They make probably half of what I’m making right now. It’s kind of like hitting the lottery.”

Flipping earned a bad reputation during the housing boom thanks to speculators who bought and sold millions of homes in search of easy profits. But the practice is gaining popularity again as the nation’s real estate market shows signs of life. The number of flips rose 25 percent during the first half of 2012 from the same period a year earlier, according to research firm RealtyTrac, and the gross profit on each property averaged $29,342.

RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said the resurgence in flipping offers another indication that, in many parts of the country, housing prices have finally stopped falling.

“There are flippers in any market, but a market where home prices are appreciating is much more forgiving for flippers than amarket where prices are depreciating,” Blomquist said. “We have turned that corner in a lot of places in the last six months, so that’s going to attract flippers.”

Areas of the country that were hit particularly hard by the housing crash have seen the most pronounced boom in flipping, as investors gobble up foreclosures and short sales — properties sold for less than the owners owe on the mortgage — and resell them to buyers eager to take advantage of record-low interest rates.The Phoenix area leads the country with nearly 10,000 flipped properties during the first half of this year. Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and Atlanta also are high on the list.

Maryland and Virginia also have seen an increase in the number of flips during the past year, according to RealtyTrac. The District saw a sharp increase starting two years ago though the percentage in the last year is down slightly.

“Loan applications have tripled in the past few months,” said Justin Konz, an executive at Chantilly-based Restoration Capital, a “hard money” lender that provides fast, short-term financing to flippers. Konz said the firm funds everyone from weekend warriors flipping a house or two a year to professionals turning around dozens of houses a month.

“We thought it would slow down in the colder months,” Konz said. Instead, he said, business has picked up heading into the fall, with few signs of slowing.

With numerous investors and home buyers vying for a small list of available properties in the District and close-in suburbs of Maryland and Virginia, bidding wars and outsized offers have become a routine part of the landscape. The average gross profit for flipping a home in Maryland and Virginia is about $55,000, and it’s even higher in the District, according to RealtyTrac.“It’s very competitive for people doing what I do, and the margins are very thin,” said Jud Allen, co-owner of D.C.-based Express Homebuyers, a company that flips dozens of local properties a year. “The upside is, if you can find a deal, you know you can sell it and make some money. The difficulty is in finding the deals, not selling the property.”

The flippers flocking to the market today are often a different breed than the opportunistic investors that helped fuel the housing boom.“The flippers we saw going crazy at the height of the real estate bubble were very speculative in nature and were solely relying on home price appreciation to continue at a torrid pace,” said Blomquist of RealtyTrac. “The flippers we’re seeing these days have to be much more cautious. . . . They’re not just relying on time to increase the value of the property; they are improving it.”

The new generation of flippers can still frustrate some would-be home buyers by snapping up properties with cash offers and exacerbating low inventories in certain markets. But Blomquist said they also are playing a useful role.

“I’m sure there are still some bad players out there,” he said. But “the type of property flippers we’re seeing do provide an important function toward getting us to a recovery. They are taking distressed inventory others are not willing to take on.”Doug Clark, a veteran real estate investor in Utah and co-host of the Spike TV show “Flip Men,”doesn’t miss the boom days when home flipping reached stratospheric levels.

“Everything was speculation. Anything you bought was worth more the next morning.. . . You can’t do that these days and stay in business,” Clark said. Instead, he said, being successful requires a keen eye for undervalued properties and a willingness to put in the work required to make the houses attractive to buyers.Irvin, the 25-year-old flipper in Virginia, carefully researched each of his three properties — one in Dale City and a pair in Manassas — before buying. He said he spent tens of thousands of dollars improving the houses, refinishing hardwood floors, updating bathrooms, installing new kitchen cabinets and appliances, and landscaping yards but stuck to a tight budget to maximize his profit.

Irvin, who has a business management degree from George Mason University, plans to close on his fourth short sale this month, a home in Fairfax County that is larger and pricier than any he has flipped so far. With low interest rates, scarce inventory, rising home prices and willing buyers around Washington, he doesn’t plan on selling shoes again anytime soon.

“There’s always somebody who’s going to want to buy your house,” he said. “As long as there are short sales or foreclosures, I’m definitely going to want to be doing this.”

August Market Update

by The Cope Real Estate Team

All numbers are as of today 9-3-2009 and are from the Bakersfield Multiple Listing Service under the category of single family residential (SFR) listed in Bakersfield (BA).

1,192 homes active on the market      

277 of those are bank owned properties      

349 are "short sales" or pre-foreclosure sales 

687 are contingent (waiting on an approval, signature, etc... to become pending

1,221 are in escrow or pending sale (that is excluding anything that went pending prior to 6-1-2009)      

583 of those are bank owned properties      

271 are "short sales"      

and there were 568 homes sold or closed escrow in August 2009 with      

332 of those being bank owned and      

76 being short sales

Please feel free to call or email for any more detailed information on your neighborhood!

June Market Update

by The Cope Real Estate Team

All numbers are as of today 7-6-2009 and are from the Bakersfield Multiple Listing Service under the category of single family residential (SFR) listed in Bakersfield (BA).

1,249 homes active on the market      

305 of those are bank owned properties      

401 are "short sales" or pre-foreclosure sales      

1,206 are in escrow or pending sale (that is excluding anything that went pending prior to 4-1-2009)      

623 of those are bank owned properties      

241 are "short sales"      

and there were 662 homes sold or closed escrow in June 2009 with      

419 of those being bank owned and      

86 being short sales

Please feel free to call or email for any more detailed information on your neighborhood!

April Market Update

by The Cope Real Estate Team

All numbers are as of today 5-10-2009 and are from the Bakersfield Multiple Listing Service under the category of single family residential (SFR) listed in Bakersfield (BA).

1,924 homes active on the market      

412 of those are bank owned properties      

922 are "short sales" or pre-foreclosure sales      

1,415 are in escrow or pending sale (that is excluding anything that went pending prior to 2-1-2009)      

878 of those are bank owned properties      

233 are "short sales"      

and there were 719 homes sold or closed escrow in April 2009 with      

553 of those being bank owned and      

56 being short sales

Please feel free to call or email for any more detailed information on your neighborhood!

Market Update February

by The Cope Real Estate Team

Here is another market update for the greater Bakersfield area! The number of sold homes is down slightly from December but the number of pendings has increased. Finally a good sign!

All numbers are as of today 2-26-2008 and are from the Bakersfield Multiple Listing Service under the category of single family residential (SFR).

4,370 homes active on the market

962 of those are bank owned properties

910 are "short sales" or pre-foreclosure sales

825 are in escrow or pending sale (that is excluding anything that went pending prior to 10-1-2007)

468 of those are bank owned properties

71 are "short sales"

and there were 255 homes sold or closed escrow in January 2008 with

109 of those being bank owned and

10 being short sales

Feel free to call or email for more detailed information. Talk to you soon!

 

Jared

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 16

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Contact Information

The Cope Real Estate Team
Keller Williams Realty
5601 Truxtun Ave #150
Bakersfield CA 93309
661-871-COPE(2673)
Fax: 661-670-5210

Jared Cope DRE# 01506193 | The Cope Real Estate Team