Sunday, December 23, 2012

Monday December 24 Housing and Economic stories


New York City Hits Sandy Victims With ‘Failure To Maintain' Property Citation - ( Residents in one Queens neighborhood are crying foul after they were written up for failing to clean up the city’s own mess. It is yet another new complication in life after Superstorm Sandy. Rosanne and Joe Cavaliere are still trying to clean up from the hurricane. They have branches through their roof, busted front windows, and, to add insult to injury, they recently received a citation notice from the city. “It makes me angry, but it’s also ridiculous!” Rosanne Cavaliere told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider. They got it on Nov. 9, cited with “failure to maintain” their property. But as they pointed out to CBS 2’s Schneider on Tuesday night, it’s a city tree that they were waiting for the city to remove. “It was over two weeks before someone came and removed it from the house, and we were patient enough with that, but then to just be slapped with a violation,” Joe Cavaliere said. The Department of Buildings said the citation is a mere formality. It’s a way to keep track of all downed trees.

Banks book record profits off Fannie and Freddie - ( Bank executives ought to be picking out nice holiday gifts for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Financial firms have made a mint this year offloading home loans on the giant government-backed mortgage insurers. In the third quarter, bank profits from that business hit an all-time high. The huge profit jump comes at a time when the government still needs to decide the fate of Fannie and Freddie, and when many think the companies, which were bailed out by the government in the financial crisis, should be doing more to avert foreclosures. But Ed DeMarco, the head of the government agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie, has resisted calls to lower the amount that underwater borrowers owe on their homes.

How foreclosure backlogs could hurt home buyers - ( Backlogs in foreclosure processing are causing delays in home-price improvement and could wind up affecting the cost of a mortgage. The situation appears worst in New York, where it takes an average of nearly three years — 1,072 days, to be exact — for a home to go through the foreclosure process. It’s not much better in New Jersey, where it took an average of 931 days to foreclose on a home in the third quarter, according to statistics from RealtyTrac. Or in Florida, where it took about 858 days. Nationwide, the average time for homes to spend in the foreclosure process, meanwhile, was just 382 days. That may seem better, but it’s actually still an extended stretch compared with the average of 336 days in the third quarter of last year — and only 140 days in the third quarter of 2007.

Future FHA buyers to subsidize poor performing FHA loans of yesterday -- Will the FHA make mortgage insurance premiums permanent? - (  FHA insured loans are now a major part of the mortgage buffet available to home buyers.  This insured mortgage product has allowed many buyers to go in with 30x leverage when purchasing a new home.  So it should come as no surprise that the FHA is now inching closer to a bailout.  If we look at the actual FHA standing however, we begin to realize that the FHA is putting the screws around recent buyers for their lax products.  First, mortgage insurance premiums are soaring to make up for the capital reserve account that now finds itself $16 billion in the red.  Although on the surface you would think that over half a decade into thehousing crisis, some would realize that low down payment products were a problem here we are relying heavily on the one insured mortgage product that allows cash strapped Americans to once again go into massive debt with very little skin.  That game is however changing and this article will go into some more technical details regarding FHA insured loan products.

The Big Loan Backing Freeport’s Energy Deals - ( Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold‘s deals to buy two oil and gas exploration companies are a big — and controversial — move back into the energy sector. And they’re backed by another big loan underwritten by a single bank. JPMorgan Chase is the sole initial underwriter for a $9.5 billion loan facility to support the takeovers of Plains Exploration & Production and the McMoRan Exploration Company, together worth more than $9 billion. It’s a move that the firm has made something of a specialty. It agreed to provide an enormous $20 billion loan to AT&T last year for the since-scrapped $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA. It arranged an $8.6 billion facility to backCaterpillar‘s $7.6 billion purchase of Bucyrus two years ago. And earlier this week, the bank agreed to provide the initial $3.1 billion financing for Baxter International’s $2.8 billion takeover of Sweden’s Gambro.

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