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Real Estate Information Archive


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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.

Five Questions: Why Home Prices Are Rising

by The Cope Real Estate Team


Home prices through July posted their largest year-to-date rise since 2005, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index covering 20 major metropolitan areas.Prices rose by 5.9% from the end of last year, according to the index, compared with a 0.4% gain for the same period last year and a 2.1% gain in 2010, when tax credits fueled a burst of home sales activity.
Are price gains limited to one segment of the market—say, foreclosed properties?
Not really. Data from real-estate firm CoreLogic show that the increases are being felt across all segments of the market. Overall median home prices in August were up by 12% from one year ago, as are median prices of existing homes that aren’t distressed sales. Median prices of bank-owned foreclosures were up by 3%, while median prices were flat on short sales, where banks approve the sale of a house for less than the mortgage-debt that’s owed. Median prices of new homes, meanwhile, are up by 6%.
There are still a lot of foreclosures. How could prices be rising?
While foreclosures are still high by historic standards, the share of bank-owned foreclosures that are selling is down sharply over the past few years. Listings of foreclosed properties are down by 24% from one year ago and by more than 45% from two years ago. While sales of foreclosed properties, which typically sell at a discount, have fallen by about 20% from one year ago, sales of traditional homes are up by 16% from one year ago, according to Ivy Zelman, chief executive at research firm Zelman & Associates. Prices, then, are rising not only because supplies of homes for sale are down, but demand is up.

Are banks strategically holding properties off of the market?

There’s little evidence that banks have seen an increase of marketable, or ready-for-sale, foreclosed properties sitting on their books. It’s true that there are still millions of properties that are in the foreclosure process or where borrowers have missed a couple of mortgage payments, and it’s unclear when or how aggressively banks will move those properties through the foreclosure process. In many cases, lenders and other mortgage companies that handle foreclosures have struggled to meet certain state requirements governing foreclosures. But the actual volumes of foreclosed properties that are sitting on banks books are down by around 24% from one year ago.

How large is the shadow inventory?

Overall, the “shadow inventory” of potential foreclosures is down by around 500,000 from the beginning of the year. Zelman & Associates put its estimate of shadow inventory that exceeds the typical level at around 2.9 million properties. Shadow inventory, however, is falling more slowly than expected, according to estimates from Zelman, because banks have been taking longer to process foreclosures and less successful at completing loan modifications. Zelman now expects shadow inventory to remain steady this year before falling by 20% to 2.3 million by the end of next year. Earlier estimates had put shadow inventory at 2.6 million and 1.8 million units at the end of this year and next, respectively.

Are home prices going to fall further?

Home prices typically strengthen during the seasonally strong spring and summer months, when there are more people shopping for homes. They weaken in the fall and winter. The key, then, is to monitor the year-over-year change in home prices. Prices in July were 1.2% above their year-ago levels, according to Case-Shiller, with 16 of 20 cities posting year-over-year increases. If banks continue to push more foreclosure alternatives at a measured pace and if housing demand remains at its current levels, then “home prices are easily past their bottom and are approaching the self-reinforcing portion of the cycle,” wrote Ms. Zelman in a recent report. The biggest risks to her forecast, she says, are weakness in job growth and the broader economy and tighter credit standards brought on by forthcoming mortgage regulations.





Quick Market Update

by The Cope Real Estate Team

For those of you that are trying to sell, looking to buy soon, or just plain curious- Here are some quick #'s from the Bakersfield Multiple Listing Service as of tonight November 6th 2007-

In the residential category there are-

4,982 Homes Active on the Market    of those

4,157 are located in Bakersfield    of those

670 are bank owned foreclosures   and

571 are "Short Sales"

In the same category there are

743 Homes pending sale or "in escrow"   of those

593 are located in Bakersfield    of those

125 are bank owned foreclosures    and

27 are "Short Sales"

Of the 743 Homes pending sale 443 of them went pending since July 1st 2007. That means 300 of them have been off the market pending sale for more than 4 months now. I would not be surprised if a good chunk of those 300 never reach the sold category.

Just a quick update, please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or for more detailed information about your neighborhood in general!

Have a great night!



Buying Foreclosures

by The Cope Real Estate Team

This is something that has become a huge part of Bakersfield's real estate market. Unless you live in a cave you have probably read some statistic somewhere or talked to someone who "knows everything" about foreclosures in Bakersfield. I'd like to clarify a few things and point out a few of the pro's and con's when looking into purchasing a foreclosure. The first and most important thing is to clarify the difference between an actual bank owned (commonly called REO or real estate owned) home and a seller who still owns their home and is trying to sell it for less than what they owe to prevent a foreclosure (commonly called a short sale).

 SHORT SALES- A short sale happens when someone would like to sale their home but they owe more to the bank than what it is worth on the open market and they do not have the money to pay the difference to the bank. Most of the time they can no longer afford their monthly mortgage payment and they need a way out. Most bank's require the seller to already be in default of their monthly payment and to have some sort of hardship that has caused them to no longer be able to afford their home.

 Once these homes enter the market a lot of times they are priced very low to attract buyers as quickly as possible due to the fact that a foreclosure is in the near future. However once an offer is received it still must be approved by the bank no matter what the offer is. Sometimes this approval process can take in excess of several weeks. There is also no guarantee the bank will accept any offer at all short of the full amount owed.

 If you are looking to buy a home and are not in any hurry these can sometimes turn out to be good deals. It is important to ensure that both your REALTOR and the sellers are familiar with short sales and will be able to negotiate with the bank on the buyer and sellers behalf.

 REO (Bank Owned)- These are the actual true foreclosures. They are homes that the bank has foreclosed on and now owns. Once the bank owns the property they may try to sell it at auction and if it does not sell it comes on the market through the banks REALTOR. What makes these such a great deal is that the bank cannot and will not continue to own the property. They MUST sell! They will set their price based off of several REALTORS recommendations and continue to lower the price until it sells.

 A few things to consider with these properties are that most of the time the bank is selling them "as is" and do not want to make any repairs on top of what they have done to get the home ready to be on the market. This can mean that you will need to be prepared to get a home inspection and make any repairs that need to be done yourself after escrow closes. Most foreclosures need a little TLC if for no other reason than they have been vacant for a while.

 The bank is also going to want a 30 day escrow and is going to be very strict on time-frames and earnest money deposits. Your REALTOR and lender must be very diligent to ensure you meet all of the time-frames during escrow to ensure you don't lose your deposit. The bank will also often have a penalty of $100 or more a day for every day late the escrow closing is even if it is something out of your control, ie... your loan program changed, the appraiser took too long to get the appraisal to the lender, etc....

 Both of these examples can be a chance to get a nice home and one that is sometimes well under market value. It is important though that you understand the difference and what kind of home you are attempting to purchase before you put an offer together. There are many parts to both of these that are not explained here. My goal was to give a brief explanation of these two very different types of transactions. If you would like to discuss foreclosures in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact us and we can provide you with more in depth information based upon your particular needs.

 Have a great day and come back soon!



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Contact Information

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

Jared Cope DRE# 01506193 | The Cope Real Estate Team