Strategic Default Monitor – How To Strategically Default

Thursday, September 29, 2016

New York Foreclosure Alert

New York recently adopted sweeping legislation to reform the foreclosure process. New York's Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, signed legislation into law that:

1. Enhances the effectiveness of settlement conferences for homeowners by prescribing the rights and duties of the parties and clarifying how the process should work to best protect homeowners contesting foreclosures and prevent them from losing their homes.

2. Establishes a Consumer Bill of Rights informing property owners of their rights in foreclosure proceeds to prevent people from losing their homes.

3. Creates the Community Restoration Fund (CRF), a new tool for the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) to assist homeowners facing mortgage foreclosure. CRF will purchase defaulted mortgage notes from other lenders and offer favorable mortgage modifications to keep homeowners in their residences. CRF will have the ability to forgive a portion of a loan’s principal and make the loan affordable in areas where home values have declined or where a homeowner has experienced a decrease in income.

4. Imposes a pre-foreclosure duty on the banks and servicers to maintain vacant and abandoned properties. The bank has a duty to maintain and secure a residential real property where there is a reasonable basis to believe it is vacant and abandoned, and faces civil penalties up to $500 per violation, per property, per day for failing to do so.

5. Expedites foreclosures for vacant and abandoned properties.

6. Requires a lender to auction a property within 90 days of obtaining a foreclosure judgment. In addition, a foreclosing party would be required to take action to ensure that the property is reoccupied within 180 days of taking title.
7. Establishes an electronic registry of vacant and abandoned properties.

8. Provides a mechanism to “expeditiously complete a foreclosure” and work with land banks, Community Development Financial Institutions, and other local nonprofits to rehabilitate properties and resell them to new buyers.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Latest Foreclosure News 8-22-2016

More homeowners taking loan modifications, avoiding foreclosures 8-17-2016
The mortgage industry completed over 100,000 permanent modifications during the second quarter, according to HOPE NOW, the voluntary private sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and non-profit counselors. Of the 100,000 loan modifications, about 69,000 homeowners received proprietary loan modifications, or in-house loan modifications, and 31,684 homeowners received loan modifications completed under the Home Affordable Modification Program. Some homeowners didn’t qualify for long-term permanent loan modification, in which cases the mortgage servicers looked for a short term options that, in many cases, led to a permanent solution. Read More at the Housing Wire

Nearly 650,000 borrowers to receive more money from Independent Foreclosure Review 8-8-2016
The clock is now at zero for the borrowers eligible for payment under the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreements who have not yet cashed or deposited their check, and their money is going to the borrowers who already cashed their checks. The Fed said last year that borrowers who had not cashed their check had until Dec. 31, 2015 to request a replacement check. According to the Fed, the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement, overseen by the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, provided $3.9 billion for borrowers of 13 servicers whose homes were in any stage of the foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010. Read More at the Housing Wire

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Current Loan Modification Trend

For the past several months, loan modification activity have been evident to be in a decline according to data from sources such as the Hope Now alliance. Moreover, the vast majority of the modifications were made via proprietary programs, while a smaller portion were completed through the Home Affordable Mortgage Program. However, this drop does not necessarily always indicate bad news as depicted from the analysis described below.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Weekly Alert: The Terror of Payday Loans


What are payday loans? Simply put, a payday loan is a short-term loan (originally meant to be lend out for a few days or a couple of weeks) at a relatively high interest rate. However, they're often times targeted to low-waged individuals and are designed to tide them into a situation where they find themselves constantly unable to pay off the resulting interest amount.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

NYS States Mortgage Assistance Program


The New York State Mortgage Assistance Program (NYS-MAP) provides home-saving loans to families who are at risk of foreclosure. By averting foreclosure, the program also protects surrounding property values and preserves neighborhood stability.

Program Overview

NYS-MAP is a foreclosure-prevention loan fund that helps homeowners who are unable to get assistance from other sources.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Latest Foreclosure News 5-3-2016

Ocwen responds to National Mortgage Settlement foreclosure holds 4-28-2016
Early Thursday morning, Joseph Smith, the monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement, announced that Ocwen Financial was not in compliance with one of the performance metrics of the National Mortgage Settlement and prohibited the nonbank from taking foreclosure actions on more than 17,000 loans. According to Smith’s office, Ocwen “was delayed” in implementing its Corrective Action Plan for the failure of Metric 31, which relates to the mortgage servicer sending a loan denial motivation to a borrower, because of “difficulties in resolving the technical issues that led to the original fail.” Smith’s office said that because of those issues Ocwen must place 17,496 loans that "could have been affected" by this issue on foreclosure hold... Read More at the Housing Wire

Ocwen foreclosures frozen after National Mortgage Settlement compliance failure 4-28-2016
Less than one day after posting a massive loss for the first quarter of 2016, the nonbank has run afoul of the terms of the National Mortgage Settlement and is now forbidden from taking foreclosure actions on more than 17,000 loans. According to Joseph Smith, the monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement, Ocwen is not yet back in compliance with one of the performance metrics of the National Mortgage Settlement that it failed in the second half of 2014. Smith’s office announced in October that Ocwen failed metric 31, which tests whether the mortgage servicer, Ocwen in this case, sent a loan modification denial notification to a borrower that included the reason for the denial, the factual information considered by the servicer in making its decision and a timeframe by which the borrower can provide evidence that the decision was made in error... Read More at the Housing Wire

Friday, April 8, 2016

Greece Economic Crisis : Pros and Cons of Debt Forgiveness

A recent Bloomberg article provided, in my opinion, the most succinct analysis of the pros and cons of debt forgiveness.

Bloomberg reported on the economic plight of Greece. Greece basically "strategically defaulted" on its debt due to it's inability to pay its creditors. Greece fell victim to Europe's debt crisis when Wall Street imploded in 2008. All of the risky investments finally caught up to Greece like so many other countries, companies, and individuals. A group of European countries tried to help Greece (to keep it from destroying the European Union) by providing several bailouts to Greece totalling, at least, $264 billion. At the same time, the International Monetary Fund (as a condition to lending money) has been pushing for the forgiveness of Greece's debts by its creditors.

The article briefly outlined the benefits of debt forgiveness as follows: