Homes in the shadows

The number of distressed properties not currently listed for sale on multiple listing services (MLSs) stood at 1.6 million as of October 2011, according to CoreLogic. This shadow inventory is approximately half of the industry’s visible inventory of homes available for sale, CoreLogic says. Thus, for every two homes available for sale, there is one home in the “shadows.”

The latest shadow inventory assessment represents a supply of five months and is down from October 2010, when shadow inventory stood at 1.9 million units, or 7-months’ supply. CoreLogic estimates the current stock of properties in the shadow inventory, also known as pending supply, by calculating the number of distressed properties not currently listed on MLSs that are seriously delinquent (90 days or more), in foreclosure, and real estate owned (REO) by lenders.

Of the 1.6 million properties currently in the shadow inventory, 770,000 units are seriously delinquent, 430,000 are in foreclosure, and 370,000 are REO, according to the report. Despite 3 million distressed sales since January 2009, a period when home prices were declining at their fastest rate, the shadow inventory in October 2011 is at the same level as January 2009 telling us that we’re not out of the woods yet. We may not be at the “real” bottom until late 2012 to mid 2013.

Growth in the shadow supply, though, has been reined in by the fact that the flow of new seriously delinquent loans into the shadow inventory has been offset by a roughly equal flow of distressed REO and short sale transactions, the company explained. Still, the shadow inventory is approximately four times higher than its low point (380,000 properties) at the peak of the housing bubble in mid-2006, CoreLogic says.

The company contends that a healthy housing market should have less than one-month’s supply of shadow inventory, which would be an easily absorbed stock of distressed assets with little or no discernable impact on house prices, unless the inventory was geographically concentrated.

Currently, Florida, California, and Illinois account for more than a third of the shadow inventory, CoreLogic reports. The top six states, which would also include New York, Texas, and New Jersey, are home to half of the shadow inventory.


Occupy movement targets foreclosed homes, stops auctions


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — In more than two dozens cities across the nation Tuesday, an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement took on the housing crisis by re-occupying foreclosed homes, disrupting bank auctions and blocking evictions.


Occupy Our Homes said it’s embarking on a “national day of action” to protest the mistreatment of homeowners by big banks, who they say made billions of dollars off of the housing bubble by offering predatory loans and indulging in practices that took advantage of consumers.




In Atlanta, Occupy Our Homes activists went to the courthouses in three of the area’s largest counties, DeKalb, Gwinnett and Fulton, Tuesday morning to disrupt the foreclosure auctions happening there. “We’re using our voices, whistles and other noise. The auctioneers don’t know what to do and some of the buyers left,” said Tim Franzen, an Occupy Atlanta spokesman. The group is demanding an immediate moratorium on all foreclosures, he said.


Hundreds of demonstrators slogged through the rainy streets of East New York, Brooklyn, stopping at the foreclosed homes that are littered throughout the low-income community and covering the “For Sale” signs with Occupy police tape. Their message, as spelled out on protest signs: “Bail Out Workers, not the Banks.” The protesters’ ultimate destination was a home that has been vacant ever since it was repossessed by the bank a couple of years ago. The plan was to take it over permanently and give it to a homeless family to live in.



In Minneapolis, protesters are trying to block the evictions of several area owners who fell behind on their mortgages because of illness or income loss.


One homeowner they’re trying to help is Bobby Hull, an ex-marine and a master plasterer and contractor who has lived in his home since 1968. Hull still has income and access to financial help from family members, just not enough to pay his bloated mortgage principal.


“I can afford $800 or $900 a month; I can’t afford $1,200 to $1,500,” said Hull.


Foreclosure in his case made no sense, said Anthony Newby of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. His mortgage balance was $275,000 but the auction of his home only fetched $80,000, less than one-third of the amount he owed. Everybody, including the bank, would have been better off reducing his balance to an affordable level, said Newby.


“The bank should have come up with some solution that would have kept him in the home,” he said.


A spokeswoman for Bank of America said the lender tried to help. “We have worked with Mr. Hull for the past two years to help identify a home retention solution,” she said. “During that time, we offered him a modification and later reviewed him for HAMP, but unfortunately he did not meet the guidelines for the program.”


Protesters converged on Hull’s home Tuesday, where they pitched tents and put up signs. The plan is to prevent his eviction, which is scheduled for February, by using a crowd of several hundred people to block an eviction order from being served.

There have been hundreds of people with real solutions to the housing crisis and none of them (including me) have never had the chance to provide it to the decision makers in the country. Big business is making the decisions to benefit big business and everyone is just tired of it. It is our God given right to protest things we believe are unconstitutional. Power to the People.

The first of the month means a lot, to many.

We have a serious economic crisis on our hands and the media simply fails to acknowledge it.  You might be waking up to the first of the month thinking the wheels of the economy are fine.  Yet silently, millions of Americans drive into mega supercenters like Wal-Mart only to wait for their monthly allotments of food assistance so they can pay for basic groceries.  This trend is so prevalent that certain Wal-Mart centers are fully staffed at midnight since a large part of our society is waiting for that first day of the month to purchase food for their family.  46 million Americans are now receiving food assistance.  How is this issue swept under the rug?  We also have many more Americans losing their unemployment benefits because of the long-term employment issues.  The statistics show this number decreasing simply because people are falling off of their maximum number of months that they can receive benefits.  Sadly, the country is entering into a low wage environment where the working and middle class have limited employment security yet financial institutions have all the protection from the Federal Reserve even when they operate in a system of graft and irresponsibility.


How can the above even be construed as a positive for our economy?  The percentage of Americans on food assistance has never been so high.  We have more people on food assistance than the entire state of California.  The only reason the markets rallied this week was because the Federal Reserve promised that they will bailout their crony banking buddies around the world.  How does that address the above?  To the contrary, this inflationary push will make the items the working class require even more expensive.

Think about this when you consider spending your money on something you may not need. First get out of debt and then, begin to save for a very rainy day which is certainly coming.