Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]
07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]
07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]
07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]
07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]
07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn
07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]
06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]
07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]
07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]
07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]
07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]
07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]
07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]
07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]
07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]
07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]
07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]
07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]
Thinking About Closings
The mortgage processing system is broken. Many delinquent homeowners are taking advantage of the mess and living extended periods of time in the would-be foreclosed properties without paying a dime.
I’ve been thinking about closings. Actually I’ve been thinking about the housing mess, due diligence, the paperwork, “perfection,” mortgages, passing the BUCK(s), and the lengthening foreclosure timeframes. The US housing crisis is still with us. Homes are not selling. Many are NOT even being placed on the market. The inventories of unsold housing stock are growing by far much more than we TH*NK because we have NOT been told the whole story. I am NOT certain the story can be fully told to us at this point in time because the policy makers don’t even understand the breadth and depth of the problem. The normal rules of supply and demand in determining the price of homes no longer apply... well, in essence they do, but not for the reasons one might usually expect.
You see we are now getting deeper into “a blanket moratorium” on the flow of yet more available properties being offered for sale in the market. There is pretty much a nationwide freeze on foreclosures. A big number of homes are underwater... meaning more is owed on the mortgages than what the property is presently worth. Estimates are as high as 40% on homes with mortgages! Officially unemployment stands at 9.6%, but we know the real number is well more than double that. Despite the literal TRILLIONS of newly printed “bailout dollars,” new credit extensions to the general public have not increased – they have declined. For whatever the reason, money’s NOT available to make mortgage payments. Under normal circumstance when arrears go so far, the lender takes back (as in forecloses) on the property and re-offers it for sale. Problem now is who owns the mortgage?
When a property sale is made, the buyer and seller meet with their representatives at “a closing.”
Before this critical event, due diligence (or rather a verification of status) on the property is performed. Is the seller the rightful owner? Have the RE taxes been paid? Is any prior mortgage paid off (or will be paid off with checks at the closing? What, if any, outstanding liens remain in effect? Is there a title (insurance) policy in effect? Are there documents ready to replace any prior liens with updated ones for the appropriate authorities to reflect any change of ownership? This process is known as “perfection.” Remember also that when a mortgage is involved the purchaser is effectively “renting” the property from the lender for the term of the mortgage. The rent is the interest to be paid over the time of the mortgage. All this sounds simple enough... that is IF all the I’s are dotted and all the T’s crossed.
Over time it has become “the tradition” in RE transactions for the mortgages to be sold, re-sold, re-re-sold, and maybe even re-re-re-sold. Mortgages, in theory have value, and can be marketed to investors in the CDO’s (collateralized debt obligations) or MBS’s (mortgage backed securities). These are paper transactions, but each such sale/ flip/ syndication requires the seller of the “paper” to undergo a closing with the new “paper” buyer --- like the closing at the original closing when the real property changes hands. All requirements of the initial closing apply. Check. Check. Check. Check. And Check.
This should be straight forward IF all I’s are dotted and all T’s are crossed. But, if A sells to B, who sells to C, who sells to D, who may then sell to E; if there is an oversight (make that a mistake) made anywhere in this stream of transactions, a valid transfer of ownership has NOT taken place, and a provable claim against the property (make that a foreclosure) cannot be made. There has been no “perfection.” We are now learning that the appropriate due diligence on tens of thousands (maybe even hundreds of thousands) of delinquent mortgages was not done. Legal actions to foreclose are being thrown out of court because of the deficiencies. The bankers or the present “holders” of the so-called financing paper are out of luck in the foreclosure proceedings until they get all their ducks lined up and these ducks are quacking in full harmony. This is going to take time. This will take a lot of time.
Now we are beginning to see bunches of finger pointing and still more “passing of the BUCKs!” Was it fraud, incompetence, or greed that triggered the flood of systematic errors? I suspect some of each is at work here. The system is broken. Many delinquent homeowners are taking advantage of the mess and living extended periods of time in the would-be foreclosed properties without paying a dime. They don’t care about the broken system as long as they have a (temporarily free) roof over their head(s). Then too, they are seeking help and redress from the government. But... is THAT fair to those who are meeting their obligations, and never got overextended in the first place?
The expected foreclosure time frame has expanded from roughly a half year to well over a year-and-a-half (or longer). These homes are NOT presently considered in the market mix and will not be for quite some time. When they hit, they will further depress an already saturated housing market across the country, and selling prices will further decline. The real estate debacle is a central component of our current economic drama. Closing will not occur until we know of the full inventory of properties available in the market. These foreclosures, together with the new construction, the OREO’s (foreclosed real estate already held in inventory by landing institutions), and the normal body of properties offered for sale all hit the market at one time. Only then will we see a true valuation of the real estate, and the closure process for this huge segment of our ongoing malaise can begin in earnest.
I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2010 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This story was published on October 18, 2010.