Monday, October 29, 2007

Neumann customers plight...

Better know your federal bankruptcy code if you're a Neumann customer pre-closing. Here's an overview from the Trib.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"Sealed-Bid" Auctions

Anyone used this method of sale before? I hadn't heard of it until a read a bit in Crain's about a local developer using the practice.

According to the piece, the "sealed-bid" (as opposed to a public auction), allows for a Seller to look at what Buyers are willing to do. The Seller can reserve the right to reject bids. Something worth a look for you in a slow market??

Universal Realty Group, Inc. was representing the piece in the article.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Borrower friendly holding from the 7th Circuit

Take a read of this case...very borrower friendly regarding the specificity that lender's must include on the Truth In Lending Act form in the closing package.

Civil - Truth in Lending ActHamm v. Ameriquest Mortgage Company, Nos. 05-3984 & 06-3086 Cons. (10/17/07). Appeals, N.D. Ill., E. Div.

Aff'd and rev'd in part and rem'd.Lender violated Truth in Lending Act (TILA) where it failed to explicitly set forth payment period in Plaintiffs' TILA Disclosure Statements. While said statements informed plaintiffs of number of payments and dates of first and last payment, said information was insufficient since plaintiffs could only infer either due dates for said payments or payment period.

New Home Sales Plunge...Neummann files Bankruptcy

WASHINGTON (Associated Press) – Construction of new homes plunged 10.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of nearly 1.2 million units, the lowest level in 14 years according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

Housing activity is now 30.8 percent below the level of a year ago.

The National Association of Home Builders reported that its index of builder confidence fell for the eighth consecutive month in October, pushing the index to a record low of 18 from a reading of 20 in September.

Applications for building permits dropped 7.3 percent to 1.2 million units last month, also the weakest pace in 14 years.

While construction starts rose by 45.4 percent last month in the Northeast, they fell by 10.1 percent in the West, 11.7 percent in the South and 28.4 percent in the Midwest.

On a related note Neumann Homes based in Warrenville filed for Chapter 11 protection.

Countrywide to Restructure Loans

Here's a piece about the country's largest mortgage lender expressing a willingness to restructure some of their ARMs.

Countrywide’s program has three parts. First, employees in a newly created refinance unit will contact 52,000 borrowers holding roughly $10 billion in mortgages and offer alternatives to their existing loans. New options could include loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration or those available under programs offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the big government-sponsored entities that finance billions in home loans.

Countrywide did not specify the interest rates on the refinanced loans, but subprime loans typically have higher rates than those backed by the government-sponsored entities.
In addition, Countrywide said it would identify borrowers who are current on their loans but who may have difficulty meeting the higher payments when their adjustable loans reset. For these customers, Countrywide said it would extend the initial interest rate for five years. Some 20,000 prime and subprime borrowers whose mortgages total $4 billion fall into this category, the company said .

Finally, Countrywide said it would bring interest rates back down to initial levels on an estimated 10,000 delinquent borrowers whose adjustable loans reset. Mortgages held by these borrowers total $2.2 billion, the company estimated.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another tenant victory

This never happens in the courtrooms I'm in:

Siblings get $2.5M from lawsuit
Children exposed to lead in Albany apartments suffering side effects

By BRIAN NEARING, Staff writer Click byline for more stories by writer. First published: Wednesday, October 17, 2007

ALBANY -- Three teenagers who were poisoned by lead paint as children will share a $2.5 million trust fund from their mother's former landlords under a case that attorneys said Tuesday was the largest settlement in upstate for a single family. Full Story.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Landlord liable for emotional distress

Interesting case out of MA here where tenant was awarded monetary damages for emotional distress. The gist of the holding is that the landlord decertified the tenant's unit for a Section 8 subsidy without notice to the tenant. When tenant's income decreased she attempted to use Section 8 and found that it was no longer available. Then landlord proceeded with an action for eviction.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Latino home-buying trends

Former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros is featured in "Latino Home Trends," a new video now available on the Texas A& M Real Estate Center's website.

Speaking at the 2007 Sunbelt Builders Show, Cisneros discusses not only home-building trends in the emerging Latino market, but also Latino homebuyer preferences.

An alternative to Forcible Entry and Detainer...

From the Tribune:

A 67-year-old landlord and his son were charged with battery after they allegedly broke down the back door of a Villa Park home and beat an underwear-clad tenant in his bedroom after an argument over missing rent.

7% Cook County Cap Renewed

Alright the General Assembly has accomplished something this session...the 7% Cook County cap on tax assessments was renewed...story here. Look for Cook County bills to be payable around 12/1...Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Learn about foreclosure buying...

Read about the plethora of foreclosure classes for bargain buyers.

Condo Blues

An interesting read about Corus Bankshares exposure to the tepid condo market.

Today, developers owe Corus $4 billion, $3.7 billion of which, or 92 percent, is in condominiums.


Monday, October 08, 2007

I breached due to frogs...

Funny piece here about a real estate buyer who breached because he couldn't develop the property due to coqui frogs.

"Worst market in 30 years"

Sitting next to an old real estate pro at Rotary Friday and his comment was that the current market is the worst he's experienced in 30 years in the business.