In a really strange turn of events, it seems that home foreclosures are on a downward trend lately..
Very strange, don't you think? So what's the story behind all this? Here's your pro-read of the day:
Would you look at that, a whole nation of empty homes while the number of homeless, desperate and poor continues to increase. If this isn't a random happenstance then I don't know what is. Maybe we need to put those two stats together and make it work.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Foreclosure filings fell dramatically during the first half of the year as processing delays at the banks, which are strapped with excess inventory of repossessed homes, continued to skew the numbers -- and falsely raise hopes that the housing market is staging a recovery.
Foreclosure filings plunged 29% compared with the same period a year ago and were down 25% from the last six months of 2010, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed properties.
Through June 30, 1.2 million U.S. homeowners -- or one in every 111 households -- received a foreclosure filing, according to RealtyTrac.
The deceleration in defaults continued as the year wore on with second quarter filings -- at 608,235 households -- marking the lowest quarterly total since the end of 2007, when the mortgage meltdown was still in its youth.
Squatter nation: 5 years with no mortgage payments
RealtyTrac's CEO, James Saccacio, sounded a sour note, however, contending that the drop-off in filings can be traced not to economic improvement or a pick-up in the housing market, but to processing delays brought on by the robo-signing scandal in which it was discovered that bank employees were signing foreclosure documents without following proper protocols.
"[That's what is] pushing foreclosures further and further out -- we estimate that as many as 1 million foreclosure actions that should have taken place in 2011 will now happen in 2012, or perhaps even later," Saccacio said.
As a result, it will only prolong the housing slump, he said.
Housing prices: No rebound in sight
"This casts an ominous shadow over the housing market where recovery is unlikely to happen until the current and forthcoming inventory of distressed properties can be whittled down to a manageable number," said Saccacio.
Evidence of delays
In the past, banks acted rapidly, often sending out notice of default a few weeks after not receiving a check. These days, they wait much longer, according to Rick Sharga, a spokesman for RealtyTrac.
This is partially due to the fact that banks are already saddled with a large number of repossessed homes and aren't eager to take on more. Following the robo-signing scandal, banks are also taking longer to process foreclosures that are filed to make sure they are done legally. [ed: good, you fuckers]
The average time to process a foreclosure -- from the initial notice to the final sheriff's or trustee's sale -- rose to 318 days in the second quarter, up nearly 7% from 298 in the first quarter and 15% year-over-year, according to RealtyTrac.
In New York, the process now takes an average of 966 days -- or more than two and half years. In New Jersey, it's 944; and in Florida, 676. The Great Shit Wastes is quickest out the door with a scant 92 days, followed by Virginia at 106.
Due to this slowdown, the number of homes that were repossessed by the banks has been declining, too. During the second quarter, a total of 203,876 homes were taken back, down 5% from the 215,046 recorded in the first three months of the year.
Even initial filings, the notices of default banks send borrowers who start to miss payments, are being delayed.
In California, RealtyTrac found the average amount of missed payments documented in notices of default had jumped to $70,000 in 2011, up from $17,000 in 2007.
Sharga believes the disparity is not due to an increase in loan value, which was only 10% to 15% higher in 2011, but because the initial foreclosure filings come at a much later stage of default, when many more monthly payments had been missed.
Delaying the inevitable
Ultimately, the artificial foreclosure delays are prolonging the housing market's ills, said Arnold Kling, an economist with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and formerly with Freddie Mac.
"The government should be trying to speed foreclosures, not stop them," he said. "Postponing foreclosures may simply be putting off the inevitable market bottom. We need to remove barriers to foreclosures."
In fact, he believes the litany of government foreclosure prevention programs are doing more harm than good.
"Instead of housing returning to somewhat normal condition by 2014, we're looking at 2015 or even 2016," he said.
What surprises me the most.. and this is just strange and makes me wonder if I'm reading it correctly, but if I am, then just under 1% of American homeowners were foreclosed upon in the month of June.
Through June 30, 1.2 million U.S. homeowners -- or one in every 111 households -- received a foreclosure filing, according to RealtyTrac.Yeah, that does seem to be what the article is saying. Of course it's poorly written, so I think what it intends to say is that 1.2 million foreclosures happened in total through the current year, not in just June.
And considering that this is during a slow spot in foreclosures, I wonder what the total percentage is since 2008. Please, nobody tell me. I'm not sure if I feel like drinking myself to death today.
No wait. I'm sure I wouldn't drink myself to anything because of the news. Maybe at one time I would have been shocked or angry by all this. And then for a while I just would have laughed at all this in an attempt to try to cover up the tears and crushing depression it would have caused, but now I have very little to no response to all this.
Why are you acting surprised? We all eventually face outrage burnout. It happens. We just cope in different ways. Some try to get re-assured amongst the other people they talk to. You may even laugh it off and stare at a wall for a few seconds as you let it all sink in.
But to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't be surprised by anything anymore. Like, if I found out that those millions in jails were actually in mass graves, I'd be "Yeah, that makes sense." I'm not sure if it's turning me into a monster, or if it's just me not giving a shit about humanity anymore.
Well no. strike that. This shit is not turning you into a monster, it's simply destroying your ability to see the boundaries where most people think they exist. Mainly because they don't actually exist there. Just a few years ago the whole concept of things like high frequency trading was a foreign concept. Now it's just something you joke around about. I may sound callous, but I sort of have to have those small awkward pauses during which we all mutter "Fuck the world". It's basically just a way to cope with all this bullshit.
What is really fucked up and again, funny, is that the mortgage situation is so fucked, that we're going to eventually end up having to reset the whole notion of lockean property rights.
This whole notion of the American version of resetting property right is continually increasing the span of time in which nobody's paying for the property. Nobody can figure out who legally owns it and thus nobody maintains it and if someone decides to squat on it, they'll be shot several dozen times by a privatized paramilitary swat team made up of dropout speed freaks hired by judges who are taking kick backs from the nobody listed above with the most money.
It's all about real estate horse shit on top of banks getting into the business of slum lording. It's only a matter of time before this shit is going to explode. I give it at most a year. And while I'm not sure if this is the case for most people, it's the case for everyone who's probably reading this. Especially as we get to see more and more of the world and you just see the grim reality of it all.
I hate to break it to you, but that's the damn truth there. I guess my advice would be to squat in homes, plant landmines in the yards and call the cops on yourself. I know what you're thinking, now that the swat helicopters are after you what then?
Simple. You hijack a hummer and take the side streets until you lose a few stars.