Thursday, January 20, 2011

Owners and Renters Agree That Owning a Home is a Smart Decision

Washington, January 19, 2011

A substantial majority of both home owners and current renters agree that owning a home is a smart decision over the long term. That’s according to the results of a National Association of Realtors® survey of 3,793 adults conducted online by Harris Interactive.
The American Attitudes About Homeownership survey found that in today’s challenging economy, 95 percent of owners and 72 percent of renters believe that over a period of several years, it makes more sense to own a home. In addition, an overwhelming majority of home owners are happy with their decision to own a home – 93 percent of owners surveyed would buy again.
“Home owners and renters agree that home ownership benefits individuals and families, strengthens our communities, and is integral to our nation’s economy,” said National Association of Realtors® President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “The results of this survey illustrate just how important issues related to home ownership are to people in this country.” Read the rest of the article at:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Short-sale incentives revamped again | Inman News

Short-sale incentives revamped again | Inman News

A new directive from the Treasury Department, which administers the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA), lifts a cap that had restricted loan servicers to paying second-lien holders no more than 6 percent of outstanding loan balance in exchange for releasing subordinate liens.

See the entire article at Inman News

Friday, January 07, 2011

SJC ruling may void thousands of foreclosures

January 7, 2011 01:08 PM

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today upheld a contentious land court ruling that puts in question the ownership of hundreds, possibly thousands, of foreclosed properties in the state.

The ruling challenges the way lenders have traditionally foreclosed on properties -- without having all the paperwork in place at the time a home is seized. It affirms a 2009 lower court decision that invalidated foreclosures on two Springfield homes because the lenders did not hold clear titles to the properties at the time of the proceedings.

Cambridge attorney Paul Collier, who represented one of the homeowners in the case, said the supreme court ruling invalidates thousands of foreclosures, reverting ownership back to the homeowners who lost the homes, at least temporarily. In most cases, those property takings will have to be redone, further clogging an already bogged down foreclosure process than many real estate specialists say has contributed to the stagnant housing market.

"The banks and the investors are going to have to deal with those homeowners as to what happens to those properties," Collier said.

During the housing boom, millions of mortgages were packaged into bonds and sold to investors, a process that resulted in lengthy and tangled paper trails that can obscure ownership. Many lenders believed they could complete foreclosure transactions and later produce formal proof they held a mortgage. Today's ruling makes it clear that the practice will not be allowed in Massachusetts.

"We agree with the [land court] judge that the plaintiffs who were not the original mortgagees, failed to make the required showing that they were the holders of the mortgages at the time of foreclosure,'' the justices said in their opinion.

The decision will also have national implications at a time when lenders' foreclosure practices are being scrutinized by federal regulators and state attorneys general.