Investors Classifieds Latest News
Original Post : Carolyn Said, San Fransisco Chronicle Staff Writer
A vast “shadow inventory” of foreclosed homes that banks are holding off the market could wreak havoc with the already battered real estate sector, industry observers say.
“We believe there are in the neighborhood of 600,000 properties nationwide that banks have repossessed but not put on the market,” said Rick Sharga, vice president of RealtyTrac, which compiles nationwide statistics on foreclosures. “California probably represents 80,000 of those homes. It could be disastrous if the banks suddenly flooded the market with those distressed properties. You’d have further depreciation and carnage.”
In a recent study, RealtyTrac compared its database of bank-repossessed homes to MLS listings of for-sale homes in four states, including California. It found a significant disparity – only 30 percent of the foreclosures were listed for sale in the Multiple Listing Service. The remainder is known in the industry as “shadow inventory.”
“There is a real danger that there is much more (foreclosure) inventory than we are measuring,” said Celia Chen, director of housing economics at Moody’s Economy.com in Pennsylvania. “Eventually those homes will have to be dealt with. If they’re all put on the market, that will add more inventory to an already bloated market and drive down home prices even more.”
More than one-third locally
In the Bay Area, a Chronicle analysis of data from San Diego’s MDA DataQuick shows that more than one-third of foreclosures are in shadow territory – that is, they are not registering in county records as having been resold.
For the 26 months from January 2007 through February 2009, banks repossessed 51,602 homes and condos in the nine-county Bay Area, according to DataQuick. Yet in the same period, only 30,823 foreclosures were resold, leaving about 20,000 bank repos unaccounted for.
Turnaround usually quick
Realtors say foreclosures generally go on the market a month or two after the bank takes title and then sell fairly quickly, often getting an accepted offer within a week or two of being listed and then closing escrow within 30 days. That means that foreclosures should register as being resold within three months.
But taking the foreclosures in any given month or selection of months and looking at what happened three months later also reveals a big gap between what banks took back and what they resold.
Tom Kelly, a spokesman for banking giant Chase in Chicago, said the bank sells foreclosed homes in a timely fashion.
“We try not to be in the business of owning homes,” he said. “Our goal is to get them back on the market as quickly as possible. We want to maximize what we sell them for and yet do it quickly.”
What You Don’t know About Loan Modifications Can Hurt You!
Did you know that over 9 million people are in Foreclosure and another expected 9 million on the way. Those are staggering numbers! Most people think they only have a two options to save or delay the NOS (Notice of Sale). First to delay the sale they may try to sell their home with the assists of a Realtor. The bank may allow a couple extra months to try to sell the home. Option two is Bankruptcy. This will put an automatic stay on the sale, generally from 3-6 months depending on the local /state laws.
What many people don’t know is the Obama’s administration pass a new program that banks / lender’s are required to work with the home owner to help them stay in their home. The program, unveiled last month, creates a $75 billion loan modification program that would allow “responsible homeowners” to refinance to interest rates as low as 2 percent. This allows at-risk borrowers to reduce their monthly mortgage payments in an effort to keep them from losing their homes.These loans can be extended as long as 40 years.
Here are some qualifications about the program:
NY TIMES – SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Mercy James thought she had lost her rental property here to foreclosure. A date for a sheriff’s sale had been set, and notices about the foreclosure process were piling up in her mailbox.
Ms. James had the tenants move out, and soon her white house at the corner of Thomas and Maple Streets fell into the hands of looters and vandals, and then, into disrepair. Dejected and broke, Ms. James said she salvaged but a lesson from her loss.
So imagine her surprise when the City of South Bend contacted her recently, demanding that she resume maintenance on the property. The sheriff’s sale had been canceled at the last minute, leaving the property title — and a world of trouble — in her name.
“I thought, ‘What kind of game is this?’ ” Ms. James, 41, said while picking at trash at the house, now so worthless the city plans to demolish it — another bill for which she will be liable.
City officials and housing advocates here and in cities as varied as Buffalo, Kansas City, Mo., and Jacksonville, Fla., say they are seeing an unsettling development: Banks are quietly declining to take possession of properties at the end of the foreclosure process, most often because the cost of the ordeal — from legal fees to maintenance — exceeds the diminishing value of the real estate.