Forbes Magazine recently published the top ten states in February for home foreclosures around the nation. Surprising to few, the top ten states included a great many of the SunBelt States and the Rust Belt manufacturing states which have been hardest hit by high unemployment rates.
There are many factors which Forbes left out in its report and as one who has been a victim of the foreclosure mess, those details are fundamental in assessing the where’s and whys of this situation and how it can be reversed since Mr. Obama’s foreclosure rescue plan appears more directed to duping new home buyers into those loans which were responsible for this mess, and also attempting to “prevent” and assist those NOW who may be adversely affected (sort of like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped).
The top three states, coincidentally, just so happen to be high illegal immigrant population states. Those are: California, Florida and Arizona. Rounding out the top five is another high illegal immigrant state, Nevada. Forbes indicated that “overbuilding” was Arizona’s problem.
Selectively speaking, that is one of the factors but there is much more. The major omission appears to be the fact that most of the states included in the list also just so happen to be non-judicial foreclosure states. Forbes indicated that Florida’s somewhat property protective statutes with respect to their homestead exemption was “cumbersome” and appeared to be a problem in speeding up the process in it’s report and by inference.
I guess we know which side of this scenario Forbes is on – business and the bankers. Actually, the Constitution provides that in civil matters involving disputes of more than $20 (this has not been amended) that prior to any citizen being deprived of property, all are entitled to a jury trial.
I suppose if those corporate banking lawyers hadn’t been so successful maybe some of this could have been averted if many of these owners had had a fair hearing with respect to the circumstances surrounding both their initial purchase, and the progressive legislation which has also occurred since that time which actually removed some of the true ownership rights they even had when signing on that dotted line years ago.
Not all of these foreclosures involve those who bought during the boom.
Many are losing their homes after having “owned” them for many years precipitated by refinances due to increases in property taxes, insurance and the escalating costs of maintenance itself – especially on those homes which were slapped up made of merely stucco and chicken wire as are found in the SunBelt States. Many paid high points and closing costs just to get one of those subprime and “interest only” loans.
Many homes were lost due to lay offs, or lost their jobs to the industry preferred foreigners and their insourcing and outsourcing that is running rampant in this country, and has left many an American now unemployed. Especially in the high illegal immigrant and border states, where crime and property theft also has been escalating over the last few years.
Another factor also left out is that those Sunbelt States are also the states where the huge massive “planned communities” and retirement “villages,” have been built, with statutory “selective” removal for those “communally owned” properties of the homestead exemption which was the end result and nail in the coffin for most of those owners during the bust in this state and municipal collusion with developers. Those HOAs have also been afforded the power to unilaterally raise extra property taxes in the form of assessments by legislative fiat in many of those SunBelt states, Arizona and California being two with such provisions.
The added expense of the degree of upkeep that is also required in these homes in this “big brother next door” type government with lien and seizure rights given your next door neighbor attached to those loans has not been mentioned in any of the reports on this foreclosure tsunami.
Nor mentioned is that those states also have a history of land and real estate fraud, and are actually “foreclosure friendly” states in and of themselves due to their industry, rather than owner, protections which have been lobbied for by the foreclosure, real estate, banking and insurance industries the past twenty years. You don’t “own” these homes, they “own” you, and so do the banks and insurers and their attorneys.
At time of sale, the real estate industry has also been a force in this “new” type of home ownership believing that super-maintained properties bring added commissions. The Realtors also were the ones responsible for actually selling a great many of these loans to unsuspecting home buyers in these subprime offerings also for added commissions pushing and promoting higher end housing due to the initial lower interest rates. Most real estate attorneys cannot even understand the terms of most of these loans, the documents now are so voluminous.
Until the problems are addressed, there will only be a stimulus of a portion of the public who are naive and believe that the government will be there to help now when the vultures start to circle.
Don’t count on it, since it took thousands of victims before the Feds even threw a crumb. And crumbs aren’t going to cure this mess.
Reversal of prior legislation and regulation, rather than collusion with the banking industry is what is called for here. And has been since the 80’s Keating disaster, the actual beginning of the end of fixed rate and assumable loans and true home ownership in this country in pursuit of the American dream.
If you would like to review the list to see where your state fits in, it can be found at: