Essentially much of the current crisis with American banks and mortgage companies can be attributed to the deregulation mania of the current administration. It is true that deregulation began to some extent within the Clinton administration but it rapidly escalated after that.

Homebuilder Lennar Corp. said Monday it’s fiscal first-quarter losses ballooned 77 percent as it booked charges to adjust land and inventory values, while home deliveries and new orders plunged despite stepped-up buyer incentives.Chief Executive Stuart Miller said the company, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, continued to face negative housing market and economic trends during t…

Recently, the Bush administration nationalized the two major mortgage giants. Yes, you read that rightnationalized. Very strange for a Republican administration since this is nothing less than a form of state socialism which Republicans are supposedly adamantly against.

When to file bankruptcy? One rule of thumb: If your total credit cart debt is more than three to five times your monthly income, it may be time to consider filing.


A short story by R.V. Scheide at Sacramento News & Review.

Last week in this space, I suggested the American people might not be as dumb as politicians presume they are. This week, damned if they didnt go and prove me right by derailing the $700 billion taxpayer-funded bailout of Wall Street proposed by the Bush administration. Via telephone, the Internet and street protest, concerned citizens from across the political spectrum have put Washingtons p…

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Another good piece of writing by George F. Will of the Sacramento Bee.

George F. Will

Police Chief Jack Harris, a solid block of a man with a shock of thick gray hair, is stolid and patient, but there are limits. Clearly he is weary of explaining that this is one of America’s safest large cities, with declining rates of violent crime and property crime, even though it has one of the nation’s highest rates of home foreclosures. Unfortunately, there are the kidnappings.

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* Mesa County foreclosures increase again (Marija B. Vader, Grand Junction Free Press)

Colo. The number of foreclosures in Mesa County climbed an additional 20 percent over the same period last year.

* Will you have cash after the closing? (Bob Kieber, Summit Daily News)

When a buyer plans on the purchase of a home, whether it is a primary home, a vacation home or an investment property, they tend to forget one thing in their figures, that is a Reserve. The buyer works with the real estate agent on the price and the mortgage professional on the mortgage program and interest rate, plus the down payment needed and the costs involved for the closing but most buyer…

* Got an ARM? Now might be the time to refinance (Connie Thompson, KPIC)

The Federal Reserve just threw more than a trillion dollars at the housing market, and now we’re looking at some of the lowest mortgage rates in years.

* The top 10 questions about loan modifications (Paul Clement, Grand Junction Free Press)

For many people trying to avoid foreclosure, the process of renegotiating their loan can be difficult to understand. If you are considering contacting your lender to try and arrange for a loan modification in order to avoid foreclosure, ensure that you are adequately prepared and able to present your case in the best possible light by getting as much information upfront as you can. I have compi…

* Germany to Take Hypo RE Stake (Ulrike Dauer, Barron’s)

–Troubled mortgage financier Hypo Real Estate Holding AG Saturday said its supervisory board and the German government agreed on a further capital boost by the government aimed to achieve sufficient recapitalization of Hypo RE, with the government taking an initial 8.7% stake. in Hypo RE.

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* Chase opens Sacramento office for troubled homebuyers (Jim Wasserman, Sacramento Bee)

It’s nothing too special, just a long, gray row of cubicles on the second floor of a Washington Mutual Bank building near Arden Fair mall.

* USenate Addresses Economys Impact (Shane Ferro, Columbia Daily Spectator)

Columbia University Senators addressed financial concerns, ranging from the economic downturns impact on the endowment to its impact on student loans, at a monthly plenary meeting on Friday.

* Portsmouth bucks nationwide foreclosure trend (Adam Leech, Rockingham News)

While many communities in the state have seen sharp increases in foreclosures, plummeting home values, increased unemployment and significant drops in single-family home sales, Portsmouth has seen little to no change from 2006 to 2008.

* Low ‘teaser’ mortgage rates entice, but beware (Lesley Mitchell, Salt Lake Tribune)

the one-year variety. The Mill Creek Terrace condo development last week was offering qualified buyers a 4.625 percent 30-year loan with a 3.625 percent rate for the first year.

* Use Lent to help battle the bad-economy blues (Jeff Brumley, Florida Times-Union)

President Barack Obama and Congress have rolled out economic stimulus plans to reinvigorate the economy and bring hope to millions of Americans facing unemployment, foreclosure and tanking 401(k)s.

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A good piece of writing by Brent Kendall of the Barron’s.

The number of probes by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into corporate fraud and mortgage fraud is growing by the month.

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Jim Wasserman raises many interesting points.

All the breathless media coverage of the Fed’s decision this week to spend another $1.2 trillion to buy mortgage-backed securities and more Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages insinuated that interest rates would take a quick and deep dive into 4 percent territory.

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* Worry Grows Over Insurers (M.P. Mcqueen, Wall Street Journal)

While consumers have been fretting about the safety of their policies at large, publicly traded insurers, some smaller, less-watched companies have been running into trouble too.

* Munich-based Focus Magazine looking for foreclosure interviews (Jim Wasserman, Sacramento Bee)

In an email from Germany this week, reporter Stefan Wagner says he is coming to Northern California in about 10 days to do a magazine story “on the effects of the financial crisis on Californians.” He has done some preliminary research and found that Merced has the state’s highest foreclosure rate – and would like to interview people in the foreclosure belt (my description) who are in process …

* Chase opens its Sacramento center for loan modifications (Jim Wasserman, Sacramento Bee)

JPMorgan Chase opened its walk-in Sacramento foreclosure prevention center this morning with a 9 a.m. briefing for nonprofit loan counselors who have helping some of the bank’s troubled clients.

* How to pair high- and low-priced items at home (Olivia Stren, National Post)

At the Academy Awards in 1996, provocateuse Sharon Stone out-performed the be-sequinned and be-gowned when she sported a basic black Gap mock-neck T. She paired it with a floor-sweeping Valentino couture skirt and kicked off the voguish po-mo trend toward wedding the high and low. (Flip through any tabloid and behold pics of Hollywood glamourati shopping at, say, Whole Foods, dressed in food-st…

* Fannie, Freddie broaden refinance help (Kenneth Harney, San Francisco Chronicle)

Although initial reports suggested that the refis would be for owner-occupied primary residences, the guidelines sent to lenders March 4 by Fannie and Freddie say second homes and small rental properties are eligible, provided their mortgages already are in the companies’ portfolios or securitizations and have been paid on time.

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A great story by Stephanie Armour of USA Today.

Tumbling interest rates are setting off a mortgage-refinancing scramble among homeowners and pulling undecided buyers into the market.

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* States Move to Cut, Cap Property Taxes (Martin A. Vaughan, Wall Street Journal)

Soaring property values in recent years swelled the coffers of counties and municipalities, raising calls for property-tax cuts. Now, even as foreclosures and dwindling home sales shrink local tax bases, a number of state governments are slashing or capping property-tax rates.

* Curse of the Zombie Banks Haunts Fed (Mark Gongloff, Barron’s)

The Federal Reserve’s lending programs have saved the financial system’s life. They also could be making its life miserable.

* Got an ARM? Now might be the time to refinance (Connie Thompson, KVAL)

The Federal Reserve just threw more than a trillion dollars at the housing market, and now we’re looking at some of the lowest mortgage rates in years.

* DON’T PAY FOR WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR FREE (Michael L. Diamond, Asbury Park Press)

The phone call from a mortgage-modification company last fall couldn’t have come at a better time for Roy and Ilene Smith. The Hazlet couple was in debt and needed relief.

* Tempers flare at Saturday meeting over payday loan businesses (Julie Anderson, El Dorado Times)

The issue of money and fair lending regulations brought about a heated discussion Saturday afternoon.

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