As a Real Estate Agent specializing in short sales and foreclosures, I know first hand how devastating this market can be to scores of hard working Americans. As Realtors and as consumers, I think it's important to know the latest foreclosure developments. Here are some of the lesser known stories, not typically covered by the major media. Each title is a link that will take you to the original post:
Pulling Back the Curtain: Exposing the 1% Behind the 2011 Big Bank Bonuses:
The nation’s top six banks—Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs—paid out $144 BILLION in bonuses and compensation this past year, making 2011’s payday the second highest on record for these six firms.
Just half of the banks’ bonus and compensation pools would be enough to write down the principal on all underwater mortgages in the country. (video provided at the bottom of this post)
A Huge Housing Bargain -- but Not for You:
The largest transfer of wealth from the public to private sector is about to begin. The federal government will be bulk-selling the massive portfolio of foreclosed homes now owned by HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to private investors -- vulture funds.
These homes, which are now the property of the U.S. government, the U.S. taxpayer, U.S. citizens collectively, are going to be sold to private investor conglomerates at extraordinarily large discounts to real value.
You and I will not be allowed to participate. These investors will come from the private-equity and hedge-fund community, Goldman Sachs(GS_) and its derivatives, as well as foreign sovereign wealth funds that can bring a billion dollars or more to each transaction.
In the process, these investors will instantaneously become the largest improved real estate owners and landlords in the world. The U.S. taxpayer will get pennies on the dollar for these homes and then be allowed to rent them back at market rates.
And, why–in heaven’s name–would congress want to take on more risk when they can keep millions of people in their homes by simply reducing the principle on their mortgages to the present value of the house?
Did you catch that? Taxpayers are going to get slammed for another $750 billion. That’s nearly as much as Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the fiscal stimulus that added 2 percent to GDP and kept unemployment from rocketing to 13 percent. Bernanke wants to throw that same amount down a Wall Street sinkhole.
While foreclosure rates hit a four-year low in 2011, the early signs for 2012 don’t look good when it comes to housing, as banks have begun to work through a backlog of foreclosures that were delayed by the foreclosure fraud scandal. In fact, the New York Federal Reserve anticipates that 3.6 million foreclosures will occur in the next two years, piling on to the 1 million in 2010 and the 800,000 last year. “The ongoing weakness in housing has made it more difficult to achieve a vigorous economic recovery,” said New York Fed President William Dudley. “Housing has inhibited economic activity through a number of channels.”