September Stats Preview: Falling Into Fall Edition

Now that September is in the bag, it’s time for another monthly stats preview. Most of the charts below are based on broad county-wide data that is available through a simple search of King County and Snohomish County public records. If you have additional stats you’d like to see in the preview, drop a line in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

First up, total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:

King County Warranty Deeds

Warranty Deeds were dipped about 4% in King County between August and September. Last year Warranty Deeds rose over 7% during the same month. The number of Warranty Deeds filed in September came in lower than any month in 2000-2007. YOY Warranty Deeds were down 22%. Based on this data, I suspect we’ll see NWMLS-reported SFH closed sales for September fall to around 1,250.

Here’s a long-range view of King County Warranty Deeds, to give you a little more context:

King County Warranty Deeds

Here’s a look at Snohomish County Deeds, but keep in mind that Snohomish County files Warranty Deeds (regular sales) and Trustee Deeds (bank foreclosure repossessions) together under the category of “Deeds (except QCDS),” so this chart is not as good a measure of plain vanillla sales as the Warranty Deed only data we have in King County.

Snohomish County Deeds

Snohomish County marked another month-to-month increase, but I suspect this is because of an increasing number of Trustee Deeds (bank repossessions) rather than an increase in regular home sales.

Next, here’s Notices of Trustee Sale, which are an indication of the number of homes currently in the foreclosure process:

King County Notices of Trustee Sale

Snohomish County Notices of Trustee Sale

Snohomish was basically flat, while King posted a 7% month-to-month increase. Both of King and Snohomish are still marking significantly higher levels than a year ago.

Here’s another measure of foreclosures for King County, looking at Trustee Deeds, which is the type of document filed with the county when the bank actually repossesses a house through the trustee auction process. Note that there are other ways for the bank to repossess a house that result in different documents being filed, such as when a borrower “turns in the keys” and files a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure.”

King County Trustee Deeds

Yet another new high in foreclosure repossessions in King County. I just adjusted the vertical scale last month, but it looks like I may have to adjust it again in October if the current rate of increase keeps up.

Lastly, here’s an approximate guess at where the month-end inventory was, based on our sidebar inventory tracker (powered by Estately):

King County SFH Active Listings

Snohomish County SFH Active Listings

King County looks to be more or less flat over the last three months, while Snohomish is likely to set a new high for the year.

Stay tuned later this month a for more detailed look at each of these metrics as the “official” data is released from various sources.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

63 comments:

  1. 1
    Lurker says:

    That just isn’t a very pretty picture is it?

    Low sales + high inventory + growing foreclosures

  2. 2
    Ben says:

    RE: Lurker @ 1

    Don’t worry, pfft said we have “bottomed”.

    Seriously, with the tax credit expiration,high unemployment, and stricter loan standards, who (besides pfft) did not see this coming?

  3. 3
    Lurker says:

    RE: Ben @ 2

    Indeed the writing was on the wall.

    I think Pfft likes to talk about recovery more on a national level. Other housing markets did see some gains which could help weather another dip but since Seattle never had any YOY gains of its own means that prices are going to hit new lows which in turn would probably increase distressed sales. This probably isn’t going to get much better anytime soon.

  4. 4
    LA Relo says:

    Interesting that this season a year ago listings started to fall while they generally look to be increasing this year.

    I’ll bet we see double digit price declines between now and the end of the year.

  5. 5
    Lurker says:

    RE: LA Relo @ 4

    I noticed the same thing – Inventory levels going up when they typically go down. Perhaps it is because sales are so low. In a normal market inventory levels could start going down because of sales combined w/ less new listings. I guess a YOY comparison of new listings might shed some light on that.

    It could also be because more foreclosures are streaming into the market and more homeowners want to sell before prices fall further.

  6. 6
    sleepwalker says:

    RE: Lurker @ 5

    Is it possible the new listings are expired listings being re-listed by a different broker? I’m seeing a slew of these.

  7. 7
    Lurker says:

    Using Redfin data, it doesn’t appear that the sales to listing gap isn’t much more drastic than back in Sept 2008 but it could get bigger. In 2009 the gap wasn’t quite as pronounced since inventory levels dropped normally into the winter and sales stayed pretty constant all the way through December. The tax credit really played a strong role there. The thing now is that sales have fallen hard after the tax credit and valhttp://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-ajax-edit-comments/ues will continue to get worse. October appears to be a very good candidate to break the current lows (from a $/sq.ft basis) and every day for the next six months could be a new bottom.

    Unless there is a major rally in the perception of home buying soon, there is aboslutely no doubt in my mind that King county is going to see double digit losses by the end of this winter.

    The concern going into next year is how badly will the drop in values cause more distressed properties? We already have a pretty big shadow inventory that is slowly leaking out into the market. We probably have years of that coming.

  8. 8
    Lurker says:

    RE: @

    Odd, that should say

    “The thing now is that sales have fallen hard after the tax credit and values will continue to get worse.”

  9. 9
    Scotsman says:

    BofA delays foreclosures in 23 states. This will get really interesting before it gets better. My guess is it will take national legislation to straighten it all out.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/01/AR2010100105392_pf.html

  10. 10
    The Tim says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 9 – Meanwhile, Wells Fargo has decided to grant no more than 1 foreclosure extension to borrowers attempting to complete a short sale: http://www.housingwire.com/2010/10/01/wells-fargo-denies-homeowners-extensions-on-short-sales

  11. 11
    Scotsman says:

    RE: The Tim @ 10

    There’s been a bunch of discussion on the whole “proper paperwork” issue for some time on a variety of sites. It’s not a great blog topic as it’s too hard for the average guy to follow the legal issues involved. The same holds true for the MSM. But that doesn’t mean the issues aren’t real and a major stumbling block to recovery in both the banking and housing industries. MERS is a secondary issue that has seen little discussion.

    I wonder if Wells and others may be trying to end run the coming debacle by getting as much of their junk cleaned up before major new restrictions come down.

  12. 12
    Newtoarea says:

    Well thanks Tim!

    We moved to the eastside a month ago. Sold our house in another state for a decent profit (lived in it for 15 years), have decent income and could probably get a 500-700k mortgage… We spent the last month driving around with money burning a hole in our pockets thinking now is the time to buy.. A few days of reading and a little soul searching and we are going to enjoy are cheap ($1500month) 4 bedroom rental in Redmond for the foreseeable future. Its “un-American” but, it sure is nice to be mobile, spending probably 800-1500 less a month on a roof and I don’t have to fix the roof.

    Sure we would like a “nicer” place.. but at what cost.

    Great blog! Great stats, Thanks

  13. 13
    ray pepper says:

    Pure ugliness the last few days. Been with the investors on tours of REO/Short Sale Condos under 60k in Federal Way, Puyallup, and Kent. Each and every area we toured we find notice of defaults on other doors, vacant condos, and new locks securing properties with notices of “property secured and found to be vacant-No trespassing.”

    The investors feel these are worth 10-25k AT BEST when you factor in rents of 600-800, dues of 200, taxes of 100, repairs of about 5k. The rent flow is negligible but Lease-Optioning these off will bring returns that are favorable. As we point out the dues are most certainly going to increase with further foreclosures in the coming years.

    The last few days of tours reminds me of Reno, Sacramento, and Las Vegas about 2.5 years ago…One thing for sure………………….they are ALL coming back one way or another!

    Bank it!

  14. 14
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 9 – I think you are right. There are way too many homes in the foreclosure pipeline and a lot of the supporting and fraudulent paperwork has been destroyed. My guess is we see lots of noise from our politicians and then they will vote in favor of the criminals and allow the fraudulent foreclosures to proceed like they did with the banks and “reform”. You will hear phrases like..”It’s the best solution for the nation, these institutions just made some mistakes, they are too big to fail….”. Not very many top crooks will go to jail and the taxpayers will get stuck with all of the losses. How often and how many times will this happen before America votes out ALL of the complicit politicians? Five years? Ten? Everyone without a job and on food stamps? What will it take to rid the nation of most of the big crooks?

  15. 15
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 9 – Bank America is delaying foreclosures in the 23 states which use a lengthy court process. These states actually require documents to verify information on the mortgage, including who owns it.

    Those states are:

    Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin.

    The Bank of Italy(former name of Bank of America) does not give a crap about the other states such as Washington where they are less stringent about the rights of the people. Full steam ahead!

  16. 16
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 14

    I’m surprised they didn’t just make it a blanket policy since I assume delaying the losses would be in their favor. But perhaps internal analysis suggests there will never be a better time to sell. As usual, it’s a great time to buy. ;-)

  17. 17

    Scotsman said “As usual, it’s a great time to buy. ;-)’

    Ah, the mind control technique is working! Must….buy….house….Real Estate Agent= messenger from the Lord who is only capable of speaking truth….Must….buy…house……

  18. 18
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 16

    I’m your biatch. Well, yours and Kary’s.

    How many houses do I have to buy to find redemption?

  19. 19
    Jillayne says:

    The Tim,

    The Wells Fargo story should be interesting to watch. I’m sure there will be more press to come with many homeowners crying about Wells losing paperwork, taking too long to process the short sale package, approvals that come back with lender demands, and so forth. My guess is this problem has many facets and maybe Wells is seeing fraud in the short sale transactions with multiple requests for foreclosure postponements.

  20. 20
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 13

    Pegasus, I think you’re a little over the top on this issue. While its true that the bank employees were filing affidavits without personal knowledge, I doubt that there were very many errors in the actual facts set forth. I would bet that the percentage of filings with material errors is less than 1% and a lot of the errors are incompetent bank employee screw ups that are unrelated to the MERS system.

    The only losses suffered will be the extra man hours for the banks to locate original documents and prepare the appropriate paper work along with the associated time value of money due to the delay. There won’t be a bank bailout at taxpayer expense. The bank shareholders (and customers) will eat the losses in lower profits and higher fees, expect if the FDIC gets taxpayer money and some of the not so smart financial institutions get taken over.

    There might be some legislation to streamline the paper work issues to allow the use of electronic copies or other records kept in the ordinary course of business if they can do it while still preserving the necessary integrity of the real property title records.

    The only winners will be some extra people the banks will need to employ and a bunch of defaulting borrowers who get a few extra months of free rent while the banks pay for their sins.

  21. 21
    Scotsman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 19

    “for the banks to locate original documents and prepare the appropriate paper ”

    It seems in many cases the original documents have been destroyed. That makes it tougher.
    Travel over to KD’s site to do some reading, or check CR. This isn’t nearly that simple.

  22. 22
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 20

    My understanding is that some authorities like William Black suspect that original loan documents were left with bankrupt mortgage brokers who may have destroyed some original documents and disappeared. While that might have happened to some, I think that would be an extremely small percentage. Even if the originals were destroyed, the deeds of trust were all recorded so there are true and correct copies of them in the public records. And while a destroyed promissory note is a problem, I would find it hard to believe that financial institutions were buying secured notes without getting at least an electronic copy. And I also find it hard to believe that they wouldn’t have had the original notes transferred to the loan servicers if they knew anything about the UCC. After all, these were negotiable instruments. The holder of the note can sell it. You don’t leave them with some low life mortgage broker with nothing to lose.

    In most states, the UCC allows you to enforce a lost note if you prove by affidavit that you were the holder, that it was lost or destroyed, and I think you have to indemnify the borrower from loss on the negotiable instrument. Very few borrowers will challenge the issue in court so the bank usually wins by default. I think the banks can find most of the documents and probably do reasonable affidavits for most of the lost documents. But it will cost thousands in admin time by the bank employees.

    Here’s an article discussing a Florida case where the borrower won. According to the article State Street never got the original note. The Note was therefore lost before it got to State Street so under the Florida UCC the affidavit had to be done by the party that lost the Note, not by State Street or any other party standing between State Street and the party that lost the original Note.

    http://discoverytactics.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/securitized-trust-did-not-meet-florida-ucc-requirements-for-enforcement-of-lost-mortgage-note/

  23. 23
    Scotsman says:

    Just saw “Wall Street- Money Never Sleeps.” Good bubble summary, cute girl, Gecko is still bad. Best if you understand the GS/Lehman mess, otherwise it could get confusing.

  24. 24

    By Scotsman @ 23:

    Just saw “Wall Street- Money Never Sleeps.” Good bubble summary, cute girl, Gecko is still bad. Best if you understand the GS/Lehman mess, otherwise it could get confusing.

    I’ve read a bunch of lousy reviews, but I’ll probably end up seeing it. I though the original was great. Oliver Stone makes interesting films.

  25. 25
    Pegasus says:

    By One Eyed Man @ 20:

    RE: Pegasus @ 13

    Pegasus, I think you’re a little over the top on this issue. While its true that the bank employees were filing affidavits without personal knowledge, I doubt that there were very many errors in the actual facts set forth. I would bet that the percentage of filings with material errors is less than 1% and a lot of the errors are incompetent bank employee screw ups that are unrelated to the MERS system.

    I don’t think you have a clue as to what has happened here over the past few years. You have had individuals employed or contracted by three MAJORS, GMAC, Bank of Italy and JPMorgan admit that they EACH processed between 7000 to 10000 fraudulent documents a month. They were not the only ones at these entities doing the same thing. There are many other banks that have been doing the same thing. The state of Connecticut just suspended ALL foreclosures. Two national title companies, Republic and now Fidelity have just announced that they will NOT guarantee titles on foreclosures anymore. MERS IS deeply awash with these mortgages. Many of the existing documents that might have existed were purposely destroyed in this process of fraud. There are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of these fraudulent docs that have been processed.

    Points to ponder:
    1. How did the most of the industry come up with the same fraudulent methods at the same time?
    2. Why are there no cops AGAIN?
    3. What happens with all of the foreclosures already processed with this fraudulent paperwork?
    4. How do you prove mortgage ownership now when many of the supporting documents were destroyed? Remember how most of these mortgages were sliced and diced into many parts and sold.
    5. Why if I am over the top are most of the courts, states, title companies reacting massively?

  26. 26

    RE: Pegasus @ 25 – You’re the expert on not having a clue, so we’ll have to defer to you.

    But I suspect what happened is the documents were prepared by staff and then signed by the manager. I wouldn’t call that fraudulent.

  27. 27

    By Pegasus @ 15:

    RE: The Bank of Italy(former name of Bank of America) does not give a crap about the other states such as Washington where they are less stringent about the rights of the people. Full steam ahead!

    Once again you don’t have a clue what is going on. In Washington they just need to state a few facts (amount owed, deficiency, description of deed of trust). If the borrower wants to contest that information, or a number of other things, there is a process for doing so. It’s an entirely different process that doesn’t involve any affidavits or declarations, etc. The issue simply doesn’t arise.

  28. 28
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 27 – I do have a clue Kary. That is why they continue to process foreclosures in selective arenas with the same fraudulents docs that other states have stopped. Whether the issue does not arise or not they still have problems with the docs. What happens when the title companies can’t guarantee title to the new buyers? What institution will provide financing? How will they sell that new mortgage to a whole new group of suckers? What happens when every home in foreclosure in this state ends up in the judicial system instead of non-judicial? How long will the trustees processing non-judicial foreclosures in this state continue to process foreclosures with tainted docs? Hmmm

  29. 29
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 25

    “How do you prove mortgage ownership now when many of the supporting documents were destroyed?”

    When this washes out, you will find that probably only a fraction of a percent of the supporting documents have been destroyed. I will bet that most of the original documents exist and the problem is largely one of tracking them down and the administrative cost to do so. The banks have been having people without “personal knowledge” sign affidavits as to why they can’t produce the original Promissory Notes.” The fraud is that they swore they have personal knowledge when they didn’t. My guess is that they’re overwhelmed with the volume of foreclosures and they do an affidavit of lost note for convenience and cost savings rather than trying to track down the original documents. If they are doing 8,000 foreclosures a month, they probably have one officer whose given “speaking authority” for the loss mitigation department and they are signing all the affidavits even though they didn’t do any of the work on the foreclosure file. They are also probably doing a lot of affidavits that say the note was lost rather than taking the time to find the note even though the original note still exists in some file somewhere. In most cases they probably can find the originial documents, and now they will have to take the time and spend the money to locate the documents.

    If they can’t find the note, after a reasonable effort, they will use the procedure under the particular states version of the UCC to prove a lost negotiable instrument by affidavit. But now they will have to do it right and have the affidavit signed by the person who actually did the work or perhaps by the custodian of the records depending on the states statute. Probably under most states laws, the last entity whose records show they had the original note will need to have the custodian of their records do an affidavit that (1) they had the original note, (2) they sold the note to the next party in the chain of transfers, (3) that they conducted a reasonable and dilligent search for the original note and can no longer find the original note, but that they have a copy, and (4) either that they didn’t deliver the original note to the next transferee or that they think they did. If they think they delivered the original note, the next transferee will also probably have to do an affidavit saying that they never got it. They may even need an affidavit from each entity further down the chain of title to show the transfer to the final holder because the normal way to transfer a negotiable instrument is to endorse it like you would a check and deliver the original to the transferee. As I understand it, MERS was supposed to eliminate the need to do that among the banks. I assumed MERS would make the transfer affidavits unnecessary, and maybe it does. We’ll see.

    I stopped representing financial institutions before the existence of MERS. I never did sales in bulk of home mortgages. But I did a lot of exotic commercial loans before and also did assignments of commercial loans and loan participations. I don’t know for a fact exactly what went on among the entities in the MERS mess or exactly what each state will require to proceed with the foreclosures. But if you’d like to place a wager and can come up with a reasonably objective criteria for determining who wins, I’m fairly sure my educated guess is pretty close.

    If you’d like me to find you the UCC section on proving lost negotiable instruments I will, but the article I cited previously in response to Scotsman gives the cite to the Florida UCC section.

  30. 30

    By Pegasus @ 28:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 27 – I do have a clue Kary. That is why they continue to process foreclosures in selective arenas with the same fraudulents docs that other states have stopped. Whether the issue does not arise or not they still have problems with the docs. What happens when the title companies can’t guarantee title to the new buyers? What institution will provide financing? How will they sell that new mortgage to a whole new group of suckers? What happens when every home in foreclosure in this state ends up in the judicial system instead of non-judicial? How long will the trustees processing non-judicial foreclosures in this state continue to process foreclosures with tainted docs? Hmmm

    Not only do you not have a clue, you’re apparently barely literate. I’ll repeat: It’s an entirely different process that doesn’t involve any affidavits or declarations, etc. The issue simply doesn’t arise.

    There are no “fraudulent” documents (as you describe them) in Washington on non-judicial foreclosures. Even if there were, the borrower has a period of time to contest the process. If they don’t, then the sale is valid. Title insurance is not an issue because the borrower has to contest the process.

  31. 31
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 26 – So you don’t think that when someone signs a document that all of the info contained is accurate and they took all of 30 seconds to sign that is not fraudulent?

    “In a sworn deposition in July, Erica Johnson-Seck, an Austin, Tex.,-based vice president for bankruptcy and foreclosure for OneWest Bank, said she and her team of seven others sign 6,000 documents a week or about 24,000 a month without reading all of them.

    Johnson-Seck estimated that she spent no more than 30 seconds to sign each document.”

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/political-economy/2010/09/onewest_bank_employee_not_more.html

  32. 32

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 29 – I remember years ago when Rainier Bank was taken over, the acquiring bank had a problem finding Rainier Bank original documents. It caused delay, but I don’t think they were likely to have lost even a dollar of money owed because of it (other than perhaps accruing interest during the delay).

    If original documents were that critical, the banks would spend a lot more money protecting them.

  33. 33

    By Pegasus @ 31:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 26 – So you don’t think that when someone signs a document that all of the info contained is accurate and they took all of 30 seconds to sign that is not fraudulent?

    Well first, I don’t think they necessarily have to review the entire file to be able to sign a declaration.

    Second, fraudulent is the wrong term. To the extent the only error is lack of personal knowledge, at best it would be perjury. Given the rules of evidence, however, I’m not even sure it gives rise to that.

  34. 34
    Pegasus says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 33:

    By Pegasus @ 31:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 26 – So you don’t think that when someone signs a document that all of the info contained is accurate and they took all of 30 seconds to sign that is not fraudulent?

    Well first, I don’t think they necessarily have to review the entire file to be able to sign a declaration.

    Second, fraudulent is the wrong term. To the extent the only error is lack of personal knowledge, at best it would be perjury. Given the rules of evidence, however, I’m not even sure it gives rise to that.

    Really Kary? It appears the State of Florida is on to these crooks and is actually trying to stop the…..FRAUD. Yes they use the term…”FRAUDULENT”.

    “1. there were widespread forgeries by individuals who signed over a MILLION
    Mortgage Assignments as MERS officers with many different individuals
    signing the same four names: Linda Green, Korell Harp, Jessica Ohde and
    Tywanna Thomas;
    2. the individuals signing these names also used many different MERS titles,
    with Linda Green, Korell Harp and Tywanna Thomas claiming to be
    authorized by many different lenders to convey mortgages as MERS
    officers;
    3. the information on the Mortgage Assignments is false particularly
    regarding the dates on which mortgages were conveyed. In several hundred
    thousand cases, Assignments to Residential Mortgage-Backed Securitized
    Trusts state that the Trusts acquired the mortgages AFTER foreclosure
    litigation was filed by the Trusts. This has resulted in a tremendous
    backlog of cases as the wrong parties often file the foreclosure actions.”

    http://www.frauddigest.com/pdfs/MERSletter.pdf

  35. 35

    RE: Pegasus @ 34 – I was addressing the issue of declarations or affidavits filed in foreclosure judicial actions, which so far has been the topic discussed. You’re raising an entirely different issue by bringing up the assignment documents.

    I can’t believe you think your link is even relevant. An unsigned letter from an unknown source that uses the term “fraud” somehow proves your point?

  36. 36
    Pegasus says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 29 – I understand there are methods to circumvent lost documentation. In this case a lot of the documentation is being intentionally destroyed. Trying to do that for over a million foreclosures with many after the foreclosure is almost an impossibility with a clogged foreclosure system. It won’t be long before the class action lawyers gear up in mass. My original point to you was there will have to be some waving of a magic wand to fix this growing nightmare in a TIMELY manner…not one that will take five years to unwind while the real estate market crumbles.

    You don’t understand how great the fraudulent involvement of MERS is. Read this letter to get a clue.

    http://www.frauddigest.com/pdfs/MERSletter.pdf

  37. 37

    RE: Pegasus @ 36 – Your repeatedly posting that link makes me wonder when your subscription to The National Enquirer expires. ;-)

  38. 38
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 35 – Google this to get a clue Kary:

    The Florida Attorney General is investigating fraudulent documents used to
    “facilitate” foreclosures.

    My link is relevant in that it shows the massive corruption of the documents at MERS by robosigners and forgeries. Assignments are important Kary as most courts are now demanding proof of ownership of the mortgage in order to foreclose. Whether the letter is signed or not is not relevant Kary. This blog is not a court of law. I don’t doubt its facts that few if any here are aware of.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    BillE says:

    My daily Redfin updates include lots of new listings, lots of price reductions, and very few sales. More and more of the new listings are bank owned. I’m not in any kind of network with RE industry types, but every week I learn of more coworkers, friends, neighbors, etc. who are letting their house go back to the bank. I watch the short sales in my neighborhood and they are slowly getting foreclosed one by one.

  41. 41

    RE: Pegasus @ 38 – Your link wouldn’t even fool the idiots at CBS that fell for the scam to try to embarrass President Bush. It barely qualifies as a document.

    I agree assignment issues are relevant though. As I mentioned, that started to become an issue back when I was getting out of practicing law.

  42. 42

    RE: BillE @ 40 – I’m showing less than 700 SFR active REO listings in King County. That’s about 7%.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 43 – Kary said there is no fraud.
    Calculated Risk finally is picking up the storys…….
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2010/10/report-title-insurance-company-stops.html

  45. 45

    By Pegasus @ 44:

    RE: Scotsman @ 43 – Kary said there is no fraud.
    Calculated Risk finally is picking up the storys…….
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2010/10/report-title-insurance-company-stops.html

    Well, first I have said I don’t think that the signing of the court affidavits would be fraudulent, as opposed to possibly perjury. Scotsman’s second link uses that term. That’s an entirely different issue than forging transfer documents, an issue you raised subsequently.

    The reason I’m not sure it would be perjury though is that I think we’re basically talking a document custodian issue, and as long as the person signing the declaration has personal knowledge of the nature of the records, they might be okay. That’s something for the courts to work out. This PDF touches on the subject a bit:

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.morganlewis.com%2Fpubs%2F30CC6B45-5043-4845-90B07C467E306112_Publication.pdf&rct=j&q=%22rules%20of%20evidence%22%20%22business%20records%22%20custodian%20%22personal%20knowledge%22&ei=hW2nTJeSJIG4sQPD6aiYDQ&usg=AFQjCNEg-BdLzbrb44SyIpD5HXX0lXIbdg&cad=rja

    Personally I doubt it rises to the level of perjury, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the court determines it’s improper.

    As to your link, I don’t find it a bit surprising at all that title companies would stop issuing policies where there was a question about the declaration in the court proceedings. That’s part of the reason Chase and BoA are holding things in place.

  46. 46
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 45 – And forgery of signatures of knowingly false court affidavits is not fraud? Sure Kary. I forgot that everything is legal and not fraud as long as some attorney says so…..

  47. 47

    RE: Pegasus @ 46 – It would probably just be forgery, or maybe forgery and perjury. I know people like to through the term fraud for impact, but it’s annoying.

    It’s almost as annoying as those who think that any bad financial situation is criminal if it’s big enough. There’s apparently a documentary about to come out where the film maker apparently suffers that belief. Unfortunately I didn’t catch the name of it.

    BTW, there are lots of things that are illegal and not fraud. Legal and fraud are not antonyms.

  48. 48
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 47 – Thanks for the twist. Here is a link to that poor man’s new movie info that is suffering from…. honesty. The movie is called “Inside Job: Criminal Fraud in the Financial Services Industry” Hopefully you will catch what he caught…..Do your homework before you open your uninformed yap and cut this guy up…You will find that he has a big local connection and you probably use his product. His last film was nominated for an Oscar. What have you been nominated for…to take out the garbage?

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2010/10/01/130273644/-inside-job-director-charles-ferguson-taking-aim-at-wall-street

  49. 49
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 47 – Here are some more links to some of Ferguson’s material:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yygWXpYoab4

    I wonder if pfft will defend Miskin?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2DRm5ES-uA

  50. 50
  51. 51
    Jonness says:

    By ray pepper @ 13:

    The last few days of tours reminds me of Reno, Sacramento, and Las Vegas about 2.5 years ago…One thing for sure………………….they are ALL coming back one way or another!

    Bank it!

    Pink ponies are nowhere to be found; thus, the homeownership rate is adjusting back to historical norms. The only question now is, “will we overshoot the bottom?”

  52. 52

    RE: Pegasus @ 48 – Not sure what the product is you mention, but that link hardly convinces me he knows what he’s talking about.

    LOL on the nomination comment. You probably think you can learn something by watching Micheal Moore, and that what he produces are documentaries.

  53. 53

    I don’t know how this topic became part of this thread, but here’s an article on one of the persons who signed.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/realestate/2013042064_realrobosigner03.html

    From the article: “He stated that he would glance at a borrower’s name, the debt owed and a few other numbers, but simply assumed most of the information in the files was correct.”

    Also: “Stephan, who has more than a dozen people working under him, told attorneys he had three days of training for the position and that he didn’t know how the “summary judgment” affidavits he signed were used in judicial foreclosure cases.”

    For the borrower’s sake, I hope there’s more to this than that. If that’s the best they can do (which typically is what newspapers report), that’s really weak. Someone signing these type of documents doesn’t have to cull through corporate records, verify payments, etc. Computers produce records, they do a brief review, and send them off. Also, the signer doesn’t have to have any understanding at all of how the documents are to be used.

  54. 54
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 52 – Link was not to convince you of anything. It was to identify the movie and the filmmaker that you ignorantly slurred without any facts to back up your loose canon smear:

    “t’s almost as annoying as those who think that any bad financial situation is criminal if it’s big enough. There’s apparently a documentary about to come out where the film maker apparently suffers that belief. Unfortunately I didn’t catch the name of it.”

  55. 55

    RE: Pegasus @ 54 – Yes, and the link you posted is a web version of what I heard on NPR.

    Let’s take what is perhaps the largest of the bad financial situations–AIG. There a couple of employees in one department ran a program that destroyed an entire company. Unlike the LA County situation many years ago, however, these employees were not dealing in an area they were not authorized to deal in. Their area of dealing was, however, highly risky, and in the end that had disastrous results (which understates it). But was it criminal? Not under any statute I’m aware of.

    Contrast that with the last two paragraphs of the article you linked:

    “Contrary opinions from some legal experts notwithstanding, Ferguson says he’s convinced the feds have reason to go after Wall Street with the same ‘energy and determination’ it brings to bear on organized crime.

    ‘As a practical matter, it’s impossible to do what they did without committing criminal fraud,’ he says bluntly. ‘And so I think it’s overwhelmingly likely that large quantities of criminal fraud were committed.”

    So let’s see. His opinion is “contrary” to legal opinions and based largely on the size of the problem. How is that different than what I described? Just because he knows how to work a camera, that doesn’t mean he is an expert in criminal law.

    BTW, I would say the same thing about myself and criminal law, because I went to the UW. The old joke is UW graduates have to plea bargain up to Murder 1 because that’s as far as the crim law courses get! ;-)

  56. 56
    Pegasus says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 53:

    For the borrower’s sake, I hope there’s more to this than that. If that’s the best they can do (which typically is what newspapers report), that’s really weak. Someone signing these type of documents doesn’t have to cull through corporate records, verify payments, etc. Computers produce records, they do a brief review, and send them off. Also, the signer doesn’t have to have any understanding at all of how the documents are to be used.

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 53 – Hahaha. Ya sure Kary. This guy has admitted to signing up 10,000 documents a month in depositions. He has also admitted under oath that he rarely reads what he is signing even though he is often signing that he has. He also admitted that many of the documents he signed are post dated and notarized well after he has signed. He is THE reason that many states have stopped GMAC foreclosures because of what he has admitted under oath. Many of the documents that he has signed are complete fabrications. He is just part of the massive conspiracy to perpetrate fraud upon the foreclosure courts in order seize the property of others illegally. Here is a link to one of his documents that he is signing without reading:

    http://calculatedriskimages.blogspot.com/2010/10/gmac-affidavit.html

  57. 57

    RE: Pegasus @ 56 – You’re continuing to mix the issue of signing documents necessary for a court proceeding (e.g. the summary judgment affidavit), with the issue of signing documents necessary to effectuate an assignment. I’m dealing with the former, and have stated that the latter could be an issue. I doubt it’s as big of an issue as claimed (e.g. there are processes you can use when documents are lost or otherwise not proper, similar to how a quit claim deed is sometimes used when there’s a defect in a prior conveyance), but it would be an issue.

    In the context of a non-judicial foreclosure though, that’s something that would need to be raised in a judicial action prior to the foreclosure, at least if the owner of the house wants to maintain their interest in the property.

  58. 58

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2013066598_apuswellsfargoforeclosures.html

    Per article, the person signing bank documents testified in deposition that he mainly only checked dates, and relied on others. It involved a case from Washington state. The homeowner’s case against the bank was dismissed. Apparently the court didn’t think that was fraud, perjury, etc. because the judge didn’t go to the Pegasus School of Law.

  59. 59
    One Eyed Man says:

    Before “Inside Job” was the title to a movie about the current fiancial system issues, it was the title of a book from the late 1980’s about the S & L crisis. The link below is the text of the book. Read the Chapter titled “Lazarus” starting on page 61. In 1987 I quit my job at an Orange Co real estate law firm because one of the partners of the Orange Co firm wanted to take in Robert Ferrante as a client. I was the main associate in the firm who did lending and other documents for S & L deals. Another attorney told me to be careful, that Ferrante and Bronk were “incarnate evil.” I was more than just a little scared because as the book says, Ferrante had been the subject of a mob hit and was “connected.” I had visions of being told to show up at my bosses boat in Huntington Harbor for a Saturday meeting while we cruised to Catalina and hearing someone saying “I’m sorry kid, but you just know too much,” as they proceeded to drop me off half way to Catalina with a cement block tied to my feet. Grishom’s book “The Firm” came out a couple of years later. I guess my experience wasn’t entirely unique.

    http://www.archive.org/stream/insidejoblooting00pizzrich/insidejoblooting00pizzrich_djvu.txt

    The same law firm split up a year later as another S & L client was taken over and its CEO was later convicted of felony charges. Ironically, the same law firm was also one of about 12 firms that acted as plaintiff’s counsel on the class action case against Lincoln S & L and Keating. Who says attorneys are just intellectual whores who work both sides of the street?;-)

  60. 60

    “Who says attorneys are just intellectual whores who work both sides of the street?;-)”

    Whores, maybe, but what’s the saying? You can lead an attorney to culture but can’t make him think?

  61. 61
    BillE says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 42:

    RE: BillE @ 40 – I’m showing less than 700 SFR active REO listings in King County. That’s about 7%.

    That’s nice for King County. Searching different cities in Snohomish County for houses under my maximum price the listings are roughly 10-25% REOs and 35-40% short sales.

  62. 62
    karnold77 says:

    We have had our house on the market for a while, sold it 5 months ago and the sale fell through due to the buyers being unable to finance the loan. We have since have dropped our price twice. We are in the $850k + range. We have been trying to decide if we should drop our price again and lose money on all of the improvements we made- we bought the house 8 years ago for 700k and put over $150k into it-or rent it through the winter and put it back on the market in the spring when it feels more buyers are out there…from the look of things we should probably drop our house price and eat the loss. It is just so hard to do. Especially when we “sold” it 5 months ago.

  63. 63

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 32:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 29 – I remember years ago when Rainier Bank was taken over, the acquiring bank had a problem finding Rainier Bank original documents. It caused delay, but I don’t think they were likely to have lost even a dollar of money owed because of it (other than perhaps accruing interest during the delay).

    If original documents were that critical, the banks would spend a lot more money protecting them.

    Here’s a blast from the past (both this thread in general and the specific topic quoted). Apparently, Bank of Americal is still having trouble finding Rainier Bank documents, but in this case it’s not in their interest to find them, so they apparently just give up.

    http://www.seattlepi.com/seattlenews/article/Lawsuit-Bank-of-America-lost-old-records-on-12474540.php

    As to the thread itself, sort of funny to read all the alarmist opinions on what would happen over the mortgage documentation and foreclosure processing issues. Some people apparently even thought people would end up owning their homes free and clear of the mortgages. As a reminder, the Washington Supreme Court didn’t exactly fully support or kill MERS, but they did indicate that even in the worst case scenario they could still be foreclosed judicially.

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