Weekly Open Thread (2014-10-20)

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Here is your open thread for the week of October 20th, 2014. 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.

Note: The comment limit in open threads is 25 comments per person.

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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.

34 comments:

  1. 1
    Ed Powell says:

    (reposting an inquiry that I recently found and asking re: “Banks offering cash incentives for short sales” 2/16/10)
    I’m still looking for the mechanism that pushes short sales rather than modifications for the mortgagees that are living in the property. ???

    “36.
    Ed Powell
    October 14, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
    This is several years after the thread, but I echo Haybaler 29’s question- “If Investors are willing to sell REO at fair market prices, taking huge losses (effectively the same or worse than a principle writedown), then why not enter into a modification with the existing homeowner that reflects what (we all know now) is going to happen in the event of a default to the sale price of the residence?”

    Why are loan holders resisting modifications and seemingly pushing short sales? Is there a “mechanism” (or those old collateralized insurance notes?) that covers their losses?

    The economy could have heated up much more quickly if “underwater” home”owners” could have adjusted their mortgage payments and had more disposable income. Any answers? Thanks.”

    Thanks in advance for any 2014 perspectives.

  2. 2
    pfft says:

    Is QE just helping the rich via the stock market?

    the one thing that really contributes to income inequality is to have no income at all

    More on the Fed, QE, and the full employment unemployment rate.
    http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/more-on-the-fed-qe-and-the-full-employment-unemployment-rate/

  3. 3

    RE: Ed Powell @ 1

    Yes Ed

    Its Yin and Yang, you can push short sales as a means of protecting home values, but in the end it also causes money hoarding from the dumped loot from the QEs that lower the interest rates in the first place. This is because the short sales losses are not something a Freddie or Fannie can absorb on bad loans anymore; so any surplus of cash doesn’t go into job creation, it goes into Jack Benny’s vault out of fear.

  4. 4
    pfft says:

    how do democrats lose to these people? LOL.

    I don’t think there’s a mother or father sitting around a kitchen table tonight in America who are saying ‘you know, honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all our dreams would be realized.’

    https://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/21/1338175/-Chris-Christie-I-m-tired-of-hearing-about-the-minimum-wage

  5. 5

    Not terribly surprising news–this bank (Ocwen) has been difficult to deal with forever.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/top-subprime-mortgage-firm-accused-abuses-26348931

  6. 6
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 4 – I know folks in NJ who think that is great. Lots of low bandwidth bigots out there. Do no overestimate the qualities of the voting public.

  7. 7
    The Tim says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 5:

    this bank (Ocwen) has been difficult to deal with forever.

    That story surprised me, as Ocwen was the bank we had to deal with when we bought our home in a short sale. The whole process was very smooth, from the pre-approval the buyers had received on the price all the way through closing roughly 60 days after our offer was accepted by the sellers.

  8. 8
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 6:

    RE: pfft @ 4 – I know folks in NJ who think that is great. Lots of low bandwidth bigots out there. Do no overestimate the qualities of the voting public.

    I supposed there probably is a lot of blustery idiots there just like Christie.

  9. 9

    RE: Blurtman @ 6

    The Folks Left in NJ That Is

    The NE States are losing 40% of their Congressman due to population moving southwest to avoid high property, income and sales taxes to sustain too many insourced cheap wage earners on social programs. Philosophically I agree with Pfft, but let’s be honest, a few bucks a hour ain’t gonna get you that $400K dreamhouse anyway and when BK Whoppers go for $7, who’s gonna buy ’em? McDonalds stocks are spiralling downward due to unaffordability at the present wages already. My local Burger King closed its doors last week, due to no business demand at the present minimum wage menu prices….

  10. 10

    RE: The Tim @ 7

    I’m Kind of on Ocwen’s Side of Late

    With the government moving out of bank welfare to augment lost principle due to foreclosures, I’m not saying its right, but getting what bank money you can before the unit’s trashed [even lying] almost seems justified. Correct me if I’m wrong?

  11. 11

    RE: The Tim @ 7 – Well always hate to say that everyone who works for a particular company is bad, and this is an example of that because you apparently got lucky.

  12. 12
    Blurtman says:

    Just Google “Ocwen fraud” for a real eye opener. They have been acquiring loan servicing companies, including the very scuzzy Litton loan servicing from the very scuzzy Goldman Sachs. Goldman allegedly bought Litton to gain inside info on dodgy mortgages so that they could bet accordingly.

    Here is but one excerpt describing Ocwen.

    “Ocwen built their servicing empire in part by purchasing the rights to handle mortgage accounts from big banks like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Ally Bank, the same ones that settled their own cases of mortgage servicing abuse in the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement in February 2012. So to recap, big bank servicers abused homeowners, paid a nominal fine, and sold their servicing operations to non-bank servicers like Ocwen, who routinely engaged in identical practices. This game of Whack-a-Mole, with customer accounts passed around from one rogue business to another like a hot potato, shows that the problem lies with the design of the mortgage servicing industry itself, not the individual companies.”

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116010/ocwen-mortgage-fraud-settlement-servicer-fined-homeowner-abuse

    Kill the bankers!

  13. 13
    redmondjp says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 9 – McDonald’s must REALLY be hurting. Last night on TV was an ad showing people coming up to an electronic kiosk where they could ask questions about McDonalds food such as “What part of the chicken does the nugget come from?” But the kicker was they actually mentioned the elephant in the room by name: pink slime!

    The (perceived) more-healthy fast food places must be eating their lunch (but not literally).

  14. 14

    RE: redmondjp @ 13 – I saw one of those a few days ago, and it didn’t seem to provide any of the answers. Seemed rather odd, because it just left questions, and probably more questions than their customers had before watching the commercial.

  15. 15

    Interesting poll. Most people not only expect the Rs to take control of the Senate, that’s what they want.

    http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Poll-Voters-expect-want-GOP-to-take-Senate-5838302.php

    I can see compelling arguments for splitting power in that manner. It’s just too bad there isn’t a viable third party that could offer the same thing, without all the social policy baggage.

  16. 16
    Azucar says:

    I used to think that whoever it was in here who was espousing the virtues of living in Kansas City was nuts (regardless of the fact that housing is so cheap there)… until I read about cheesy corn brisket-achos.

    http://wapc.mlb.com/cutfour/2014/10/22/99230456/i-ate-an-entire-order-of-kauffman-stadiums-cheesy-corn-brisket-achos-and-lived-to-tell-the-tale

  17. 17
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 9:

    RE: Blurtman @ 6

    The Folks Left in NJ That Is

    The NE States are losing 40% of their Congressman due to population moving southwest to avoid high property, income and sales taxes to sustain too many insourced cheap wage earners on social programs.

    they are moving in most cases because of the weather. it’s been going on for decades. it’s been thoroughly researched.

  18. 18
    redmondjp says:

    By pfft @ 17:

    By softwarengineer @ 9:

    RE: Blurtman @ 6

    The Folks Left in NJ That Is

    The NE States are losing 40% of their Congressman due to population moving southwest to avoid high property, income and sales taxes to sustain too many insourced cheap wage earners on social programs.

    they are moving in most cases because of the weather. it’s been going on for decades. it’s been thoroughly researched.

    By Suzanne, no doubt!

  19. 19
    pfft says:

    By redmondjp @ 18:

    By pfft @ 17:

    By softwarengineer @ 9:

    RE: Blurtman @ 6

    The Folks Left in NJ That Is

    The NE States are losing 40% of their Congressman due to population moving southwest to avoid high property, income and sales taxes to sustain too many insourced cheap wage earners on social programs.

    they are moving in most cases because of the weather. it’s been going on for decades. it’s been thoroughly researched.

    By Suzanne, no doubt!

    you are right, nobody lives in new jersey, it’s too crowded…LOL.

  20. 20
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 15:

    Interesting poll. Most people not only expect the Rs to take control of the Senate, that’s what they want.

    http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Poll-Voters-expect-want-GOP-to-take-Senate-5838302.php

    I can see compelling arguments for splitting power in that manner. It’s just too bad there isn’t a viable third party that could offer the same thing, without all the social policy baggage.

    “The economy remains the top issue for likely voters — 91 percent call it “extremely” or “very” important. And the GOP has increased its advantage as the party more trusted to handle the issue to a margin of 39 percent to 31 percent.”

    oh god, are the american people really that stupid? it wasn’t too long ago that Republicans nearly defaulted on our debt to repeal Obamacare- one of the few pieces of legislation passed recently that has curbed our debt.

    idiot.

  21. 21
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 20 – Yes. Give us Jeb. We want Jeb!

  22. 22
    pfft says:

    In states where Repubilcan economic policies have been enacted it hasn’t gone well. Just look at Wisconsin and Kansas. Then of course there is 2008…

  23. 23
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 22 – Yes, but we conquered Iraq, thanks in no small part to our Blackwater mercenaries.

  24. 24

    RE: Azucar @ 16
    It was Software Engineer espousing the greatness, or at least affordability of Kansas City.
    Okay, there may not be many jobs there. But there’s jazz, a good baseball team, BBQ, and brisket nachos. I’d take that over Safeco Field’s sushi any day of the week.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Blurtman says:

    Frieden career death watch 2. Would it not be prudent policy for all health care workers who have been treating Ebola patients in Africa to enter quarantine immediately upon rerun to the USA? Or, at the very least, if they return to NYC, to stop by the Goldman Sachs office and press the flesh?

  27. 27

    For those of you into community theater and/or Rocky Horror, or just looking for something to do:

    http://www.rentonreporter.com/entertainment/279618672.html

    I saw it last night and it was pretty good. I was wondering if they could pull it off, and they did.

  28. 28

    RE: pfft @ 17

    Yeah

    Weather causes all the real estate price plummetting in the NE States now too, and I have a bridge to sell you…

  29. 29

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 24

    LOL Ira

    When I was in KC last summer visiting my daughter and inspecting the house I had no idea I’d grab up a couple months ago….I didn’t want to come back to Seattle. I read KC is full of Millenials, ahhhh….they moved there from the NE states because of the weather Pfft says…

    Ohhhh…..jobs in KC? Yes, its horrible all over, but you all know why Seattle’s even worse, too much need for multiple incomes to pay rent. They can squeak by on one income in KC and live by themselves too.

  30. 30

    RE: pfft @ 20

    Both the Reps and Dems

    Remind me 3 year old blaming each other for sand in their eyes in the sand box. Why don’t they just look in the mirror…LOL

  31. 31
    Another Mike says:

    A few weeks ago there was some discussion about Chinese real estate investing in the Seattle area, but no numbers to support it. I ran across this news post recently, with data on Chinese institutional investments in the USA. This doesn’t include private sales, but it does suggest that Chinese real estate investment is probably pretty trivial in the Seattle area.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/10/22/the-top-10-u-s-states-where-chinese-are-investing-in-real-estate/

  32. 32

    Another good Last Week Tonight piece, this time about how the US is abandoning translators in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QplQL5eAxlY

    Interesting comparison to Vietnam, where in many cases the risk was probably a lot less.

  33. 33
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 30:

    RE: pfft @ 20

    Both the Reps and Dems

    Remind me 3 year old blaming each other for sand in their eyes in the sand box. Why don’t they just look in the mirror…LOL

    It’s not the Dems. Republicans are blocking bills that would have created millions a jobs per year.

    Everyone knows our infrastructure system is bad yet Republicans block bills. How about passing Obama’s jobs and infrastructure bill from 2011?

    Republicans also voted against the stimulus that created or saved millions of jobs. Then they are turned around and groveled for stimulus money they said would create jobs in their district.

  34. 34
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 32:

    Another good Last Week Tonight piece, this time about how the US is abandoning translators in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QplQL5eAxlY

    Interesting comparison to Vietnam, where in many cases the risk was probably a lot less.

    even worse is that the one’s who do get here get almost no money or support.

    Kary, by agreeing with you do I risk my Obamabot status? I desperately need you to weigh in on this matter as you are our resident expert on whether someone is an obamabot.

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