Weekend Open Thread (2012-04-20)

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Here is your open thread for the weekend beginning Friday April 20th, 2012. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

Be sure to also check out the forums, and get your word in the user-driven discussions there!

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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.

59 comments:

  1. 1
    Pegasus says:

    In Case You Wondered Why Foreclosure Rates Have Dropped Over The Last Year….

    It appears that robosigning has slowed to an excruciating and expensive pace.

    In a quiet office in downtown Charlotte, N.C., dozens of Wells Fargo’s foreclosure foot soldiers sit in cubicles cranking out documents the bank relies on to seize its share of the thousands of homes lost to foreclosure every week.

    They stare at computer screens and prepare sworn affidavits that are used by lenders in courts across the country to seize homes. Paid $30,700 to start, these legal process specialists, the title that goes with the job, swear an oath under penalty of perjury that they’re corporate vice presidents. They’re peppered with e-mails from managers to meet daily quotas of at least 10 or 11 files day.

    If they fall short, they face a verbal warning. Then written. Two written warnings could cost them the paycheck that supports a family. As more than one source for this story told msnbc.com, “I can’t afford to lose this job.”

    In February, the National Consumer Law Center surveyed some 260 consumer attorneys in 45 states, who reported that thousands of homeowners were improperly foreclosed on in just the past year. In four out of five cases, the attorneys reported, lenders failed to properly credit payments or they wrongly claimed homeowners owed bogus fees.

    In February, an audit by the San Francisco assessor’s office of 382 foreclosure cases over the past three years found “one or more irregularities” in 99 percent of the loans and “what appear to be one or more clear violations of law” in 84 percent of the loans.

    http://economywatch.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/19/11269115-inside-the-foreclosure-factory-theyre-working-overtime?chromedomain=bottomline&lite

  2. 2

    RE: Pegasus @ 1

    Let’s Hope These Unnecessary Administration Delay Excuses

    Don’t turn the foreclosed units into destroyed husks with evicted tennants in them too long. This will totally destroy the neighborhood’s home prices.

    Hades, we use computer signatures as a rule at work and a team of Philidelphia Attorneys aren’t shutting our operations down.

  3. 3
    David Losh says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 1

    I’d like to direct your attention to the debt markets.

    You focus on mortgages, and the theft of foreclosure, but foreclosure has a tangible asset to sell, so there is an incentive.

    These same antics have gone on, in my opinion, with all debt. There are probably millions of people employed in the banking service sector who just fraudulently collect on bogus debts.

    It costs nothing to generate bogus debt. Health care is by far the worst, but it can be done on a nickle, and dime scale for every credit card in America.

    My second wife is the only person I have ever known who went over her credit card statement every month. She found inconsistencie regularly, made the phone call, sat on hold, then got the “issue” resolved.

    How many people just pay the bill? She always paid off the cards, but wanted the miles, and so she kept track.

    What does the debt market look like, and especially in these emerging markets that all of a sudden get credit cards?

    You’re right that the foreclosure process should be stopped, but it’s just another symptom of a debt market that has gone out of control.

    What about these student loan charges, small business loans, equipment, equipment leasing, store credit accounts, debt, and more debt in a corrupt system?

  4. 4

    By softwarengineer @ 2:

    Hades, we use computer signatures as a rule at work and a team of Philidelphia Attorneys aren’t shutting our operations down.

    Federal and state law allow the use of computer signatures. My problem is more with the consumer services that provide them, than with using them in a business context.

    http://www.trulia.com/blog/kary_l_krismer/2011/09/electronic_signatures–the_nwmls_steps_off_into_the_great_unknown

    Note though that on REO transactions, many banks won’t accept electronic signatures. On the other hand, the only time I’ve ever had an escrow (improperly) insist upon a change to the purchase and sale contract to allow electronic signatures was on an REO transaction.

  5. 5

    RE: Pegasus @ 1 – So how do you explain the drop of foreclosures in Washington, where robosigning has not been an issue?

    BTW, banks typically have hundreds or even thousands of VPs. Sometimes they’re even assigned to branches.

  6. 6
    David Losh says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 2

    Property is an asset of worth. You pay as you go and in time you build equity. You make payments loaded with interest on that basis, and pay the interest up front, for a future return.

    Banks, and the public, have this idea that they should just foreclose, it’s in the terms of the contract. Well great, if it is a contract then the bank should be held to the rule of law, which they aren’t. Banks have been given free reign to make any claims they want, and manipulate the foreclosure system to show assets, and returns in accounting fabrication.

    In the mean time, you might be correct, properties are being destroyed, but insurance will cover that, and that will be added back into the accounting fabrication.

    The banks need to be held accountable for handing out mortgages like candy. The banks should pay for generating these debts based on a false sense of inflation due to lower lending standards.

  7. 7
  8. 8

    In tsunami related news, Washington has been having a lot of small earthquakes, which probably isn’t that big of news. The bigger news is the very deep small earthquake!

    http://www.king5.com/news/local/W-Washington-quake-storm–148190295.html

    I was aware of the number of quakes, but did not know that the one was a record depth.

  9. 9
    Tatiana Kalashnikov says:

    Here is a story about wealthy Russians buying up pricey real estate in New York. Sadly I am not one of them.

    “Over the past four years, Russians and other citizens of the former Soviet Union have signed contracts to buy more than $1 billion worth of residential real estate in the United States,”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/realestate/russians-court-luxury-real-estate-with-record-breaking-sales.html?pagewanted=all

  10. 10
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 1 – The US government and the DOJ report to Wall Street. You cannot expect an underling to go over the head of its superior. In fact, there is no where to go over the head of Wall Street.

    Obama – pathetic toady.
    Eric Holder – souless corporate man.
    American public – submissive cows.

    1984 is here.

  11. 11
    S. Marty Pantz says:

    This morning, around 9:10, on NBC-TV’s “Today” show, real estate “guru” Barbara Corcoran proclaimed that, in Seattle: “There is no real estate bubble, and prices are going up like gangbusters.” To which Al Roker replied: “Really?”

    http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/47115775

  12. 12

    RE: S. Marty Pantz @ 11 – I suspect that claim will be shown as true, at least as to the current direction of prices, when the April median is announced, but she probably has no way of knowing that.

  13. 13
    David S says:

    By S. Marty Pantz @ 11:

    This morning, around 9:10, on NBC-TV’s “Today” show, real estate “guru” Barbara Corcoran proclaimed that, in Seattle: “There is no real estate bubble, and prices are going up like gangbusters.” To which Al Roker replied: “Really?”

    http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/47115775

    Indeed, and many of the Redfin Forums are ALSO saying Bricka Bracka Firecracker sis boom bah, ‘Real Estate Feeding Frenzy’ RAH RAH RAH!

  14. 14

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 4

    I Always Did Prefer Paper Over Paperless

    Perhaps the Supreme Court needs to rule on computer signatures in real estate business vs general business, rather than either of us shooting from the hips.

    They do call real estate and escrow a business too, and making a big fuss over it sounds like just another “costly” stall tactic to the foreclosure to me, and yes, letting an “unpaid likely foreclosed tennant anyway” squawt in a house for years maybe, may sound sympathetic, but rash unfounded interpertations of the law aren’t an excuse in my book. As far as assuming a distressed tennant sitting in a house with no funds for the mortgage payment contract not tearing the place apart, that’s going to require more than a hip shooting allegation in my book.

    Perhaps Kary, if you had the percentage of stalled foreclosures that got well documented, you might change my mind.

  15. 15

    RE: softwarengineer @ 14 – Assuming you’re talking about a US Supreme Court decision, I wouldn’t hold your breath. I just don’t see them seeing that as a critical issue. It might come up in some other context where they’re deciding whether real estate transactions involve interstate commerce where there’s no loan.

  16. 16
    Blurtman says:

    Illinois governor unveils “bold” plan to save pensions

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/20/us-illinois-pension-idUSBRE83J1DI20120420

    Jeepers, I wonder if clawing back money from Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan is part of the plan. And banning criminal rating agencies Moodys and S&P from any state related work.

  17. 17
    Scotsman says:

    FREE BO NOW!

    Don’t let Obama eat another dog!

  18. 18

    RE: Blurtman @ 16 – Nothing in that article indicates that investing was part of the problem. It blames it all on underfunding.

    In any case, it’s Illinois. They don’t need to outsource their corruption. ;-)

  19. 19
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 18 – Yes, but if you are looking for knowledge in corporate media news releases, you won’t find it. What might be the untold story is the impact on pension funds and investors of the massive fraud concocted by Wall Street and the rating agencies. Even the King County investment pool was defrauded of millions. This is the heart of the crime – an illegal wealth transfer to criminal enterprises who knowingly misrepresented the risk and quality of securities that were purposely created and sold to these investors. In addition to investors like pension funds getting looted, taxpayers are also involuntarily transferring wealth to the banks directly via the Fed’s acquisition of billions of toxic securities, and the ultra low interest rates designed to refill the banks coffers with taxpayer dollars.

    And, yes, the investors should have done a better job than relying on Moody’s bogus Triple A ratings, but that does not at all exonerate the criminals. And yes, Illinois elected offiicias were negligent in the extreme in not adequately funding the pension funds, which is what the story reports. But billions were stolen through fraud, and no one is going to jail, and the bagholders will receive reduced benefits and will have to work longer.

  20. 20

    Nice little profit from a 2.5 year investment!

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2018030560_russell21.html

    Russell Investments Building (former WAMU) resold.

  21. 21
    Scotsman says:

    Everything that’s wrong with D.C. in one pic:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/04/20/unbelievable-jon-corzine-still-bundling-mega-bucks-for-obamas-campaign/

    Just arrest the sucker!

  22. 22

    RE: Scotsman @ 21 – The Weekly Standard is seemingly a good source, but if you check the link to the Obama site on your link, the Corizone donation is not there, and neither is the donation above or below his on the WS’s website.

    But yes, if true . . . .

  23. 23
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 22

    Yes, it is there. In the last group, the $500K+ group, plain as day. At the bottom of the page.

    Try again. C.O.R.Z.I.N.E Not Corizone.

    http://www.barackobama.com/2012-first-quarter-volunteer-fundraisers

  24. 24

    RE: Scotsman @ 23 – I missed the groupings. Sorry.

    That is incredible. But hey, at least there’s transparency! :-D

  25. 25
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24

    “I missed the groupings. Sorry”

    WHOA! Excellent. That’s the way to be. I missed it too the first time around.

    Do you think he’s giving some of that missing $1.2B? What a guy.

  26. 26
    Blurtman says:

    JIM: What was amazing to me, Chris, is in the ’91 S&L crisis, there were a lot of white-collar crimes; a lot of individuals went to jail over that scandal. We recently talked to William Black and he said as a result of the 2007-2008 crisis, nobody has gone to jail. In the case of MF Global, there have been no allegations — or at least nobody is being held under criminal charges. Has that surprised you that $1.6 billion disappears and everybody pleads ignorance in terms of where it went? [16:17]

    CHRIS: Well, no. This is Barack Obama. Look, Barack Obama is bought and sold by the big banks. He could have bought a variety of claims against people who use deception in a securities transaction. It’s illegal; it’s a violation of most state laws and it’s a violation of the uniform securities act. But nobody has bought the claim. He’s waited long enough now that the statute of limitations has run on most of these claims. So this is really Barack Obama. I mean if Mitt Romney has his act together, he should crucify Obama over letting the bankers get away.

    See, what judges don’t understand, especially at the federal and appellate level is that the fraud in the US today is just as bad as it was in the 20s. And when Louis Brandeis came down with his great decision in 1925 in Benedict v. Ratner, he basically slammed the door shut for Wall Street. We couldn’t do structured securities deals for 25 years until they had the revision to the Uniform Commercial Code in the late 50s after World War II.

    Unfortunately, the fraud today is at least as bad if not worse and because the politicians are, as I say, bought and sold by the big banks; that’s where they raise all their money. You know, Obama was just up here in New York raising money from the banks. He’s let them go. And I think it’s only when the public gets angry enough to start voting these people out of office and you start maybe seeing some attorneys general at the state level — like Eric Schneiderman, who may want to run for higher office — do the right thing and bring fraud claims maybe under New York state law (well, It would be better under New York law, in fact, it would be easier to prove), then you may start to see some justice. But you know, Barack Obama dropped the ball. It’s very simple. [18:00]

    http://www.financialsense.com/financial-sense-newshour/guest-expert/2012/04/20/chris-whalen/fallacy-of-too-big-to-fail-why-big-banks-will-eventually-break-up

  27. 27
  28. 28
  29. 29
    Blurtman says:

    Enjoy debt slavery, ‘Merica. Wall Street appreciates the bonuses.

    The latest data shows that the cost for taking over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae has cost us $187 billion. Sure is a long way from the profit good old Hank Paulson told us we would be turning. The current mortgage system and banking system is essentially a churn machine to throw off profits to the financial industry all the while saddling Americans with more and more debt.

    Some people pretend as if we just didn’t have the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. $187 billion is no chump change and this is merely looking at the running total for the GSEs. There are other trillion dollar games at play as well with guarantees, shifting toxic waste to the Fed, and now with insuring low down payment FHA products. The FHA insured loan market is now an even bigger risk.

    http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/government-mortgage-complex-bailouts-coming-fha-insured-loans-student-debt-market/

  30. 30
    Blurtman says:

    Police assaulting citizens without a legal basis to do so.

    Iran? North Korea? Myanmar?

    Amerika.

    “Neither administrators nor campus police possessed clear, lawful authority to order their departure at 3 pm on a Friday afternoon. It turns out that the Occupy Davis protesters were following the law far more assiduously than the police forcibly dismantling their tents, spraying pepper into their mucous membranes and carting them off in flex handcuffs. And there’s evidence that both administrators and campus police knew it! ”

    Consume and obey, citizens.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/04/reports-reveal-two-new-scandals-in-the-pepper-spraying-at-uc-davis/256058/

  31. 31

    RE: Blurtman @ 29 – I’m not a fan of Paulson, but did he ever say we’d make a profit off of Fannie and Freddie? Perhaps TARP, and that very well may be the case there. But I don’t recall anyone saying F&F would turn a profit.

  32. 32
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 31 – You lend me $1,000 which I blow on hookers and coke. You want your money back, so I borrow your credit card, go to the ATM, and withdraw $1,1000, and pay you back the $1,000 plus $100 interest. Hey, you turned a 10% profit. Feel better now?

  33. 33
    StillRenting says:

    I have a question about Fannie Mae homepath properties for the real estate professionals out there. Is there a long delay before the MLS gets updated when an offer is accepted on these properties? One property I have been following is Fannie Mae owned and I decided to go over to the homepath website to check it out. There it is listed as “under contract,” even though it is still listed as “active” in the MLS. I looked at a few other listings in the same area (they all seem to be listed by the same realtor) and they also say “under contract” on the Fannie Mae site but are listed as “active” in the MLS. Is this how homepath properties work, or is it just laziness on the part of the listing agent?

  34. 34
    Natalia Orinko says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 30RE: Blurtman @ 32

    “Neither administrators nor campus police possessed clear, lawful authority to order their departure at 3 pm on a Friday afternoon.”

    The local police in America seem to have far more weapons than they need. Tear gas, M-16’s, flash bang grenades, and on and on. The police departments have acquired all this weaponry through federal grants. But the problem is, there is no enemy. So they make them up. Students!! We’ll start with students!! It’s so silly. A bunch of mis-guided kids.That’s all they are. They aren’t the enemy. They’re just kids. The police wanted all these weapons, and they got them. But for what? They seem pathetic, chasing after windmills.

  35. 35
    calvis says:

    Does anyone remember that link from a couple months ago concerning a forum for underwater home owners that talked about not paying their mortgage and referred to it as a game? It was a classic, but I can’t find find the link. Ray Pepper though it was a GEM of a site as well. Looking for the link to share with friends.

  36. 36
    Bingo says:

    That is a great site. Real people with real problems due to the market fallout playing the HAMPster wheel game. http://www.loansafe.org/forum/ I think the HAMPster wheel game is under the BofA forum.
    I believe it was Pegasus who linked that one.

    Another good site for those interested in new construction that was linked on SB is http://landcast.com/. It allows one to sort new construction sales by plat or by builder.

    Lastly, a good site for renters is http://hotpads.com/search/city/WA/Seattle#lat=47.615072727272704&lon=-122.3304454545455&zoom=20&listingTypes=rental,sublet,room,corporate&loan=30,0.04,0&resultsPerQuad=24. It shows rentals available on a Redfin style map.

    Anyone have any other interesting sites they follow?

  37. 37

    By StillRenting @ 33:

    I have a question about Fannie Mae homepath properties for the real estate professionals out there. Is there a long delay before the MLS gets updated when an offer is accepted on these properties? One property I have been following is Fannie Mae owned and I decided to go over to the homepath website to check it out. There it is listed as “under contract,” even though it is still listed as “active” in the MLS. I looked at a few other listings in the same area (they all seem to be listed by the same realtor) and they also say “under contract” on the Fannie Mae site but are listed as “active” in the MLS. Is this how homepath properties work, or is it just laziness on the part of the listing agent?

    What is different with REOs is the bank will orally accept, and then typically send their addendum out for signature. So they consider the property under contract even though it’s not a legally binding contract. Some listing agents will take the property pending inspection at that point, although technically that’s premature. What the NWMLS did with that recently is make a new rule requiring that the agent only comments be updated to indicate it’s under contract. Some listing agents will also indicate that the bank is in negotiations, or indicate the deadline for “highest and best” offers to be submitted. None of this shows up on the consumer sites. IMHO that doesn’t really matter much because few, if any, REO agents would write up an offer for an unrepresented buyer.

  38. 38

    RE: Natalia Orinko @ 34 – I consider the recent activity to prevent protests regarding marijuana to be worse. Limiting the length of a protest is much more reasonable than not allowing the protest at all.

  39. 39
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Natalia Orinko @ 34 – The local police forces have been militarized via Homeland Security funding. Why?

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/12/20/local-cops-ready-for-war-with-homeland-security-funded-military-weapons.html

    “Roland: Let me just say that the Constitution is being shredded right before our eyes. What we’re seeing here is a militarization of the police force.

    You do not realize but a lot of these police forces across the country have been trained by Mossad. They’re using the same techniques that Israel uses with the West Bank people and the Gaza people right here in the United States.

    What do you mean? What I mean is this, is that these people are being treated more and more like what? -Terrorists.

    The militarization of the police force is one of the most outrageous acts that is happening right now. According to the Constitution, that is illegal. But that has been shredded.”

    http://www.infowars.com/militarization-of-police-in-america-trained-by-mossad/

    Order and control.

  40. 40

    By Blurtman @ 39:

    RE: Natalia Orinko @ 34 – The local police forces have been militarized via Homeland Security funding. Why?

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/12/20/local-cops-ready-for-war-with-homeland-security-funded-military-weapons.html

    “Roland: Let me just say that the Constitution is being shredded right before our eyes. What weâ��re seeing here is a militarization of the police force.

    I think there’s a much more basic explanation.

    Money from the federal government is seen as being free money. Thus, members of Congress brag about this project and that project which they helped push through to benefit locals. They brought the money home, without any regard to where it came from.

    More on point, when Seattle Police moved from revolvers to Glocks, the feds helped pay for that purchase, even though it seems like clearly a local issue (updating police weapons). While getting Glocks might seem like militarization to perhaps those in England, here a sidearm is just standard issue in the US. But for the fact that federal money is free money, there’s no reason for the feds to have been involved in that transaction.

  41. 41
    StillRenting says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 37:

    By StillRenting @ 33:

    I have a question about Fannie Mae homepath properties for the real estate professionals out there. Is there a long delay before the MLS gets updated when an offer is accepted on these properties? One property I have been following is Fannie Mae owned and I decided to go over to the homepath website to check it out. There it is listed as “under contract,” even though it is still listed as “active” in the MLS. I looked at a few other listings in the same area (they all seem to be listed by the same realtor) and they also say “under contract” on the Fannie Mae site but are listed as “active” in the MLS. Is this how homepath properties work, or is it just laziness on the part of the listing agent?

    What is different with REOs is the bank will orally accept, and then typically send their addendum out for signature. So they consider the property under contract even though it’s not a legally binding contract. Some listing agents will take the property pending inspection at that point, although technically that’s premature. What the NWMLS did with that recently is make a new rule requiring that the agent only comments be updated to indicate it’s under contract. Some listing agents will also indicate that the bank is in negotiations, or indicate the deadline for “highest and best” offers to be submitted. None of this shows up on the consumer sites. IMHO that doesn’t really matter much because few, if any, REO agents would write up an offer for an unrepresented buyer.

    Thanks for the info! Yes, if I were going to buy the house I would ask my realtor to find out for me. However, IMHO, I tend to disagree with the basic idea of “realtor-only” comments. I don’t see the harm in full disclosure for buyers, and it just adds another layer of delay while we wait for our realtors to get back to us with the info that is “for their eyes only.”

  42. 42

    RE: StillRenting @ 41 – More typically agent only comments are for things like showing restrictions (e.g call if showing after 4:30), title/escrow issues, etc. They’re sort of shoehorning this quasi-pending status into agent only.

  43. 43
    David Losh says:

    RE: StillRenting @ 41

    The HomePath has become a joke to the listing agents that have them. Some of these people have over 100 listings, and a staff that tries to keep track of where each listing is in the process. The other thing that has made the system more complex is the electronic submission of offers.

    A client of mine submitted an offer on a property that he had been tracking. The first offer died, and he was second up, or should have been. His offer was financed, but the offer that was accepted was for cash, and lower than his offer.

    The other offer came from a person in the listing agents office.

    Another house that I was tracking showed active for six months even though I knew that two offers had died, but nothing changed in the listing status, or information from the listing company. The woman who bought, and closed in December, also a cash buyer, has done extensive work to the property. It looks like she added a ADU while completing the plumbing, and wiring.

    I don’t keep track of REOs, or short sales, but have a feeling that the system is loaded with corruption.

  44. 44
    David Losh says:

    RE: Natalia Orinko @ 34

    You are correct the police are heavily armed, and are allowed to carry military weapons. Some police deal in military weapons because they are allowed to buy tham at a discount. The Glock is a good example of a weapon that went from being nothing to being worth $500. You can buy a Styer for about $200, better weapon, same style.

    If you want to buy a military weapon the police are good friends to have.

    In terms of police actions they can do whatever they want in the name of Domestic Tranquility. We do live in a terrorist society where rogue actions can have grave impacts. The police are no different in that. A show of force is some times all they have because they can’t confront an armed citizenry directly, they would lose.

  45. 45

    By David Losh @ 43:

    A client of mine submitted an offer on a property that he had been tracking. The first offer died, and he was second up, or should have been. His offer was financed, but the offer that was accepted was for cash, and lower than his offer.

    A lower cash offer can be the better offer if the house is not in that good of condition. We recently had to work hard to convince the bank that was the case.

    Another house that I was tracking showed active for six months even though I knew that two offers had died, but nothing changed in the listing status, or information from the listing company. The woman who bought, and closed in December, also a cash buyer, has done extensive work to the property. It looks like she added a ADU while completing the plumbing, and wiring.

    Before the change in the rules, that could have been entirely proper if the bank’s addendum was never signed and returned to the listing agent.

    IMHO a better solution would be to require the REO listings to include their addendum as an attached document, and then getting that signed as part of the original offer shouldn’t be a big issue (assuming it was filled out correctly–but that’s a problem with forms in general).

  46. 46

    By David Losh @ 43:

    The HomePath has become a joke to the listing agents that have them. Some of these people have over 100 listings, and a staff that tries to keep track of where each listing is in the process.

    I doubt that they consider them a joke, but they do require a lot of work and staff.

    The concern I would have as an REO agent is that if the REO client drops you, you don’t have a business at that point. You gave it up for a lot of listings that required a lot of work. Even if they don’t drop you, you’re really at their mercy. Not an enviable position, IMHO.

  47. 47

    Has anyone claiming that our police are heavily armed ever been to Mexico? Even before the drug wars you’d see them in groups heavily armed in the tourist areas where drugs are not really an issue (e.g. Cabo). They don’t just carry around semi-automatic pistols, they carry around rifles.

  48. 48
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 44 – We live in a terrorist society? Define “terrorist.”

  49. 49
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 47

    Those are para military groups, many times hired by the hotels. The businesses pay a “fee” for that protection.

  50. 50
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 46RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 45

    The money is in buying, then selling the properties for a profit, anything else is just a means to an end.

  51. 51
    Blurtman says:

    Terrorism: the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

    This would define our invasion of Iraq, as well as the illegal assault by police officers at UC Davis.

    Terrorism is in the eye of the beholder. And terrorism is conveniently and willingly used as an excuse to assualt citizens or anyone else in the world to achieve political and geopolitical goals, and to maintain and expand power.

  52. 52
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 48

    The claim the police had was that they were out gunned on the street. They were given permission to arm themselves, so they buy weapons to keep in the truck.

    Police cruise neighborhoods with a false sense of security because drug dealers not only have weapons, many are trained in prison. Inside, and outside worlds of prison kind of collide. The police are still going home to a wife, and kids, in theory no sociopaths allowed.

    So we arm the police, but they have very little else to do than act tough.

    They attempt to create an atmosphere of terror, but it pales in comparison to what the people who engage in criminal activity can achieve.

    We have created a terrorist society by these shows of force.

  53. 53

    RE: David Losh @ 49 – They can use the Spanish word for Police? They can get that contract and only be at the resort for one 10 minute walk through a day?

    I think they are police.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    calvis says:

    RE: Bingo @ 36

    Thanks Bingo, I will be bookmarking it this time.

  56. 56
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 29:

    Enjoy debt slavery, ‘Merica. Wall Street appreciates the bonuses.

    The latest data shows that the cost for taking over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae has cost us $187 billion.

    the consequences of letting those firms fail would have been even worse.

  57. 57
    pfft says:

    the markets have voted austerity a failure.

    This Chart Shows What A Complete Disaster Spain Has Become
    http://www.businessinsider.com/spains-ibex-vs-the-sp-500-2012-4#ixzz1soD58IN3

    US 10-year under 2%. Spanish 10-year 6%.

  58. 58
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 30

    I like the Fox News coverage of the UC Davis incident. In their quest to be fair and balanced they continually point out that pepper spray is a food product thus implying that the cops attacked the students with condiments. You can almost hear Bill O’Reilly saying that it’s so popular in his house a meal never goes by without someone saying “please pass the pepper spray.”

    But I don’t think government suppression of civil rights and police tactics to enforce that suppression are as bad today as they were historically (at least if you’re an American citizen on American soil – as we all know, its been made clear that citizens outside the US can be eliminated by executive order based upon the Texas Doctrine (i.e. “he needed kill’n”) which is now recognized by both major political parties, and of course non-citizens are generally sub-human not entitled to constitutionally protected rights and subject to indeterminate incarceration, rendition to a foreign country where torture is considered a form of information technology or rendition to pink slim if beef prices are up). Even so, in a country where you can buy semi-auto assault weapons, you can hardly blame a cop for wanting the fire power of at least a Beretta 92FS if not the greater stopping power of a Glock 22 (.40 cal), which are both popular among law enforcement personel.

    Saddly, tolerance of the human rights of others who differ from those in power has always been relative in America. The man many credit as the father of American freedom (Thomas Jefferson) always declined to free his slaves and only freed something like 5 upon his death (probably his own kids).

    The hypocritical suppression of free speach has a long history in “the land of the free.” I’m certainly not that well educated as to the history of such incidents, but many have resulted in death and/or other harm far worse than the injuries most commonly suffered from pepper spray. I was in a demonstration at the UW in 1972 where one of my friends got sprayed a couple of feet from me when a UW cop (one of about 30 in full riot gear at the Applied Physics Bldg) freaked out and sprayed a peaceful crowd that hadn’t even been asked to disburse.

    Athough human rights progress in the USA may be at best incremental, you’ve got to admit its better than many if not most other nations, and IMO doesn’t seem to be as bad as during periods like say, the McCarthy era, the Viet Nam Era, the civil rights era, or the attacks on the Wobblies here in Washington State in the early 20th Century. Apparently you didn’t need a license to hunt union organizers in Everett in 1916 and could shot them even before they literally got off the boat, although you probably needed one to fish.

    http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?displaypage=output.cfm&file_id=2016

  59. 59
    Blurtman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 58 – I’m not blaming the cops for arming themselves, but the use of a little common sense would go a long way. Students are not terrorists. And the involved UC Davis police hopefully are not above the law and will be arrested for the assault, but I would not hold my breath. Ditto the miscreant in the administration who ordered the assault.

    Interesting link on the Wobblies. I wonder what folks will say a century from now about 2012. And as history has shown, things don’t always improve going forward.

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