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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Foreclosures Ramp Up 30% of mortgages are underwater

San Diego Bankruptcies Sure to Increase says Bankruptcy Attorney from The San Diego Bankruptcy Law Firm.

CNN: Foreclosures Ramp Up, 30% of Mortages Underwater.

According to CNN:

By Les Christie, staff writerFebruary 9, 2011: 10:48 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Sometime, somehow, the foreclosure crisis will ease. But probably not anytime soon.

Home prices dropped 2.6% nationwide during the last three months of 2010, pushing more borrowers underwater, according to a quarterly real estate market survey from

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Now 27% of homeowners with mortgages owe more than their homes are worth. That's up from 23.2% a quarter earlier.

That will surely lead to higher foreclosure rates soon. That's because being underwater is second only to unaffordable payments in leading to foreclosure, according to Zillow's chief economist, Stan Humphries.

Additionally, the report found that more than one-third of all homes were sold at a loss in December. That trend has been on a steady uptick for the past six months, as homeowners try to find ways around foreclosure or out from under their homes.

The so-called "robo-signing" events of the fall also forced the number of underwater mortgages higher.

When banks' foreclosure paperwork came under scrutiny, many halted all repossessions until they could straighten things out. With foreclosures no longer being cleaned out of the system, more homes stayed underwater rather than moving on to foreclosure.

10 foreclosure hotspots
The moratoriums have been only temporary, however, and the defaults that had been stopped up in the foreclosure pipeline could come out in a gush over the next few months.

And any bump in the number of foreclosures adds to the likelihood that more homes will be dumped onto an already bloated market. That would just further depress home prices, continuing the vicious cycle that has plagued the industry for several years.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Rich, Famous & In Foreclosure (Nickolas Cage, etc.)


Rich, famous . . . and in foreclosureStar status won't pay the mortgage -- and some celebrities have seen the foreclosure epidemic firsthand. Here are 5 who lost their homes.

Related topics: homes, home financing, foreclosure, property taxes, luxury

How does Nicolas Cage get behind on his mortgage payments? The same way other rich and famous people do.

"They've stretched themselves higher than they probably should have," says John Anderson, owner of Twin Oaks Realty in Minneapolis and a National Association of Realtors expert in foreclosures. Some couldn't keep up when the rates on their adjustable rate mortgages shot up, Anderson says. Price drops at the high end of the market were so steep that a sale wouldn't cover the debt. In other words, high-end homeowners face the same problems that plague the rest of us.

Buy a foreclosed home

Find the best home mortgage rates
Here are five of the biggest names on the of list homeowners falling to foreclosure. We've included a bit of info about the current markets where these stars once lived. -- you know, in case you'd like to hunt for a foreclosure deal in one of those tony neighborhoods.

Nicolas Cage
The star: He's an Academy Award-winning actor (for "Leaving Las Vegas"), nephew of multiple-Oscar-winning filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola and the former son-in-law of Elvis (he was briefly married to Lisa Presley).

The house: Make that "houses." In November 2009, Cage lost two New Orleans homes -- one in the French Quarter, the other in the Garden District -- worth a combined $6.8 million, according to a report. Cage was behind $5.5 million in mortgage payments, and he owed $151,730 in property taxes to the city of New Orleans. Regions Bank paid $4.5 million for the properties.

MSN Real Estate: Need a zero-down mortgage? Look outside the city
The market: One in 720 homes in Orleans Parish had foreclosure filings in November 2010, according to RealtyTrac. The average foreclosure sales price in the city was close to $110,000.

Erin Moran
The star: She's best known as Richie Cunningham's freckle-faced little sister Joanie on the 1970s sitcom "Happy Days" and co-star of the spinoff "Joanie Loves Chachi."

The house: Los Angeles County court records posted on the entertainment website show that Moran, also known by her married name Erin Fleishmann, owed $315,930 on the Palmdale, Calif., home. The Bank of New York Mellon Trust bought the house at auction for $291,150 in July 2010. According to TMZ, Moran stayed in the home after losing it to the bank and was evicted.

The market: Palmdale, just north of Los Angeles, posted foreclosure filings in November 2010 on one in 80 housing units. The average foreclosure sales price was around $154,000.

Lisa Wu-Hartwell
The star: Viewers of Bravo's "Real Housewives of Atlanta," may remember Wu-Hartwell from the first season as one of the network's touted "six fabulous women from Atlanta's social elite." Hubby Edgerton Hartwell, the former Oakland Raiders linebacker, made frequent appearances.

The house: According to court records posted on, the couple borrowed $2.9 million to buy their suburban mansion in June 2007. Just more than two years later, Bank of America paid $1.9 million for the house at a foreclosure sale at the Forsyth County, Ga., courthouse, after the Hartwells defaulted on their adjustable-rate mortgage.

Is it time to refinance?
The market: RealtyTrac reports there were foreclosure filings on one in 248 housing units in Forsyth County in November 2010. The average foreclosure sales price was around $210,000.

Lenny Dykstra
The star: Nicknamed "Nails," the former Major League Baseball pro was an outfielder for the Mets and the Phillies during the late 1980s and early 1990s. After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, Dykstra -- in a move many found ironic -- started an online financial advisory firm in 2010 called Nails Investments.

The house: Dykstra bought the 6.5-acre property in Thousand Oaks, Calif., from hockey pro Wayne Gretzky for $18.5 million in 2007, according to the Los Angeles Times. He lost the house in a Ventura County foreclosure sale in November 2010 to a winning bid of $760,712, the newspaper reported. Dykstra owed about $12 million to JPMorgan Chase.

MSN Real Estate: Find a foreclosure
The market: One in 201 homes in Ventura County received a foreclosure filing in November 2010, according to RealtyTrac. The average foreclosure sales price was in the neighborhood of $382,000.

Veronica Hearst
The star: The name is Hearst's claim to fame. She's the widow of newspaper heir Randolph Hearst and stepmother of Patricia Hearst, who was kidnapped by left-wing guerrillas in 1974.

The house: Located Manalapan, Fla., near Palm Beach, the Villa Venezia was originally built for the great-grandson of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt. According to The Palm Beach Post, the 52-room, 28,000-square-foot mansion sold to New Stream Capital for $22 million at a Palm Beach County auction in February 2008.

The market: One in 211 housing units in Palm Beach County received a foreclosure filing in November 2010, reports RealtyTrac. The average foreclosure sales price was about $137,000.