Atlanta Real Estate Blog

Georgia Ranked 10th for Foreclosure Filings in January

From the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

"The Peach State had 11,274 foreclosure filings -- default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions -- last month. This was down 13.1 percent from December 2009, but was 13.8 percent higher than January 2009. The state ranked 10th for foreclosures".

The report also says that 1 out of every 357 houses in Georgia got a foreclosure notice in January. This is in line with national numbers that have a decrease from December, but a year over year increase. Nationally, 1 in 409 homes received a foreclosure notice so we are performing worse than the total market. More from ABC:

“January foreclosure numbers are exhibiting a pattern very similar to a year ago -- a double-digit percentage jump in December foreclosure activity followed by a 10 percent drop in January,” said James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac “If history repeats itself we will see a surge in the numbers over the next few months as lenders foreclose on delinquent loans where neither the existing loan modification programs or the new short sale and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure alternatives works.”

I am still of the belief that banks will moderate the number of foreclosure homes entering the market. Every home they add to supply lowers the value of their REO assets so I believe that they will continue to manage the flow of listings to protect the values. It's in their best interest and it is in our best interest.

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Who Pays for Poorly Underwritten Loans?

Bank of America has filed suit against MGIC, one of the nations largest mortgage insurance companies. MGIC has rescinded many of its obligations to pay saying that they aren't contractually obligated to pay for loans that weren't properly underwritten. According to a Bizjournal story, MGIC cut 1.2 billion dollars in payments and Bank of America has filed a lawsuit as well as discontinued using MGIC for its mortgage insurance. Bank of America has also discontinued using MGIC to insure loans.

If you have a loan with less than 20% down, you or your lender has paid for mortgage insurance on your loan. If the loan goes bad, the mortgage insurance company is supposed to pay up. However, with so many bad loans, mortgage insurers are pointing the finger back at the bank in many cases saying that the loans were not underwritten properly. In these cases, the insurance companies won't pay out and in my opinion, shouldn't.

What was missing during the housing boom was accountability. I don't see a problem making sure that the right entity pays for loans going bad unless its another taxpayer bailout.

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Atlanta Market - 4th Quarter 2009 - Stats and Graphs

The comprehensive report on the fourth quarter of 2010 is in. I would like to temper what looks like good news by saying that some of this is government induced and therefore not sustainable over the long term unless the government inducement creates enough sales to reduce the inventory levels significantly as there is almost a certainty that the sales volume will taper off at the end of the tax credit. Perhaps the most important graph below is the median sales price graph with a trendline on it. Please take a look at that graph. Prices are up and when you see the broad view it may change your perspective on the market. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section at the bottom and I will post them/answer them for you as quickly as I can...

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