U.S. Sues UBS for Fraudulent Sales of RMBS But Still Manages to Get It Wrong

The bottom line is that the loans themselves were fatally defective in terms of the loan documents. The money was delivered but not by the named “lender” nor anyone in privity with the named lender. At all times nearly all of the loans were in actuality involuntary direct loans from investors who had no knowledge their money was being used to originate loans without any semblance of due diligence.

All the other parties were conduits and brokers for conduits. None of them were brokers for a plan of investment to which investors agreed. and all of them were based upon fraudulent inflated appraisals.

In equity, as I have repeatedly said, the debt, regardless of to whom it is owed, should be reduced by the excess appraisal amount, a fact that ought to be presumed when anyone attempts to bring an action in collection or foreclosure.

This is because the source of the loan, regardless of who it might be in actuality, assumed the risk of loss associated with affordability and most importantly the risk from a false inflated appraisal. Licensed appraisers warned congress as early as 2005 when 8,000 of them petitioned Congress to do something about them being forced to either bring in false appraisals or not get any work at all.

Contrary to popular myth there is no such responsibility for borrowers to figure out if they really can afford the loan or if the appraisal is accurate. That is the state of the law under the Truth in Lending Act. The “conventional wisdom” that home buyers and borrowers don’t need a lawyer or a financial adviser on the largest investment of their lives leaves a vacuum where consumers are entirely at the mercy of predatory and fraudulent operators like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi, Chase, US Bank, Deutsch, and others.

“Don’t bother getting a lawyer. Save your money. They can’t change anything anyway.” That is the catch phrase used to make certain that the fraud being perpetrated on consumers will not be revealed until it is too late and the courts presume that the fraud never occurred (or that if it did occur, it’s somehow too late to complain about it).

Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.

I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM. A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.

PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345 or 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).

THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.

===========================

Hat tip to Dan Edstrom

see United States vs UBS

see https://dtc-systems.com/us-sues-ubs-to-recover-penalties-for-fraud-in-the-sale-of-rmbs-securities/

So once again the Federal government sues a major bank for fraud and corruption causing “catastrophic” damages to investors and fails to mention any losses to homeowners. Piling the entire loss on the backs of homeowners is the third rail. Nobody touches that because of the erroneous perception that the rule of law is contrary to public policy. That may come as something as surprise to those of you who thought we were a nation of laws and not public policy decided behind closed doors.
*
The successful myth perpetrated by the banks is that since borrowers stopped paying the wrong people on their loan, that they should nevertheless  be held liable and lose their home to the wrong people because otherwise (a) borrowers would get a free house and (b) applying the rule of law would undermine the financial system. Both the premise and result are contrary to good sense and our existing laws. The courts generally twist themselves into pretzels to avoid the law and arrive at the public policy result rather than the legal one.
*
Everyone is willing to accept that the entire securitization process was a gigantic process to perpetrate fraud and, as some lawyers who resigned rather than draft securitization documents, part of a “criminal enterprise.” But somehow the victims are only investors who are still called “beneficiaries” even though it is well established that the trusts named in foreclosure lawsuits never participated in a single business transaction and were neither organized nor existing under the law of any jurisdiction, much less the owner of loans..
*
Once again the suit fails to state that the loans were at best problematic in the sense that transactions utilizing undisclosed third party money compromised the efficacy of the loan closing documents.
*

And once again it doesn’t say that the securitization plan itself was fraudulent in that the entities represented as owning the loans did not exist and/or did not own the loans. It also doesn’t say that the use of fraudulent inflated appraisals (a) hurt homeowner and and that therefore (b) UBS lured investors into an investment plan fraught with liabilities.

Nor does the new lawsuit say that investors were promised that their interests would be remote enough to avoid liability for lending violations and bankruptcies of the originators but in fact the money from investors was directly used in the loans and did not go through the alleged “Trusts” that were supposedly purchasing loan portfolios from aggregators who in fact had no interest in the loans and were merely conduits for a paper chain bearing no relationship to the money trail.
*
But it does hint at what the banks were doing. The review of the loans by UBS was simply a sampling and that sampling, was in fact a method of picking low hanging fruit to serve as benchmarks. From that false process of sampling, UBS hoped to avoid liability for mischaracterizing the real defects in the securitization process. In other words they were using their cherry-picked samples to describe the entire “loan portfolio” which in fact was neither owned nor conveyed to the special purpose vehicle (REMIC Trust) that was created (on paper only).
*
You may remember that in my seminar in Malibu in 2008, I described this process as covering a pile of dogshit with gold plating. In the end it is still almost entirely dogshit.
*
Thus we have revealed the unwillingness of Federal law enforcement to get to the real issue, which would in fact protect both investors and homeowners — the fraudulent nature of the loans themselves, the fraudulent nature of the so-called loan portfolios, and the fraudulent enforcement of documents that fraudulently named the wrong party as the lender and are fraudulently brought to courts on a mass basis for fraudulent enforcement that keeps adding to the pain  and anger of Americans who continue to suffer from the discard of the rule of law in favor of “public policy.”

Sheila Bair Had a Plan to Make Banks Pay for Dishonest Dealing Causing the 2008 Crash

Sheila Bair (ex FDIC Chairwoman) has always understood. She was fired for understanding. It’s hard to understand that the TBTF banks were NOT speculating and never lost any money. Harder still to understand how they stole trillions of dollars from the US economy. And finally harder still to understand how “lenders” could cause a crash.

It’s really quite simple. Usually prices and values are within the same range. Fair market value has always been closely related to the ability of people to pay for housing — i.e., household income. Prices rise when demand becomes high OR, and this is the big one, when the big banks flood the market with money.

Like the 2008 crisis if you look at the Case Schiller Index, you will see that prices went through the roof by unprecedented increases while fair market value was flatlined. The crash was thoroughly predictable and was predicted on these pages and by many other economists and financial analysts.

For more than two decades, maybe three, the housing market has been floating on a sea of unsustainable debt because the investment banks became the “source” of funds in a marketplace where their principal objective was movement of money instead of management of risk. That is because investment banks do that while commercial banks and other lenders don’t — unless they are paid to act as though they are the lender in a transaction where they have no risk. Then they will advertise to people with low FICO scores and anyone else whose loan is likely to fail. They bet on the failure of the loan and the collapse of certificates issued as derivatives.

Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.

I provide advice and consent to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key elements of a scam. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM. A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.

PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345. The TEAR replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).

THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.

===========================

Hat tip Greg da Goose

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-does-wells-fargo-still-exist_us_5b80148ee4b0729515126185

From Huffington Post:

“Wells Fargo may not even be the worst big bank out there. Citigroup, another merger monstrosity, is so poorly pieced together that today, Wall Street investors don’t even believe the bank is worth its liquidation price. JPMorgan Chase has notched 52 fines and settlements since the crash. Goldman Sachs has 16, three of them this year.

In a revealing interview with New York Magazine earlier this month, former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair said she wished regulators had broken up a bank after the crisis, probably Citigroup. [Editor’s note: Obama initially gave that order but Tim Geithner refused]. Forcing at least one institution to pay the ultimate corporate price would have put pressure on other major firms to clean up their acts.

Both the Bush and Obama administrations rejected Bair’s plan. And so today, the American banking system ― rescued by taxpayers a decade ago to protect the economy ― has transformed into a very large, very profitable criminal syndicate.”

So I ask the question again: “Why are foreclosure defense lawyers not more aggressive about challenging legal presumptions upon which the banks and judges rely?”
Legal presumptions are ONLY supposed to be used in cases where (1) the source of the document or testimony is credible and has no interest in the outcome of the litigation and (2) it serves “judicial economy.”
The banks have been publicly humiliated for acting like thieves, liars, fabricators, and the source of sophisticated mechanical forgeries. Neither they nor their puppet “servicers” are entitled to a presumption of anything. If they want to proffer a fact, make them prove it. These people are so not credible that we regularly talk about robosigners, robowitnesses and other people who are hired to say or write something about which they have no knowledge or understanding. Where is the credibility in that?
And equally where is the judicial economy? In all cases where the presumptions are used and the homeowner contests the foreclosure it would take FAR LESS time for the so-called lender to prove its case with actual facts (not presumed facts) than to spend years changing servicers, changing recorded documents, changing Power of Attorney, etc.
Where is the prejudice?  If the Defense raises issues as to the standing and facts alleged in the complaint or initiation of foreclosure proceedings, then the obvious answer is to have the “lender” prove their case with real facts in the real world that do not rely upon jsut testimony from robowitnesses or documents that have been robosigned.

Why Zombie Houses? Local government budget deficits

The appearance of zombie homes and the destruction of hundreds of thousands of them thus destroying entire neighborhoods and subdivisions illustrates a fundamental truth about the foreclosure tidal wave that hit in 2007-2008: the banks didn’t care about the property, they just wanted the record to reflect a foreclosure sale. This alone represents probative evidence that the banks, pretending to act as intermediaries, were actually players in an illegal scheme wherein they were working against both investors and borrowers.

Local governments have been missing the mark in nearly every case. Instead of challenging the lenders as having committed multiple violations of state, county and municipal law including initiating false foreclosures forcing the burden of loss onto the restricted budget of local governments, they are following in the footsteps of pretender lenders and foreclosing on their tax liens, from which they gain nothing in most cases. Were they confront the banks with reality, their budget problems could be cured.

 

Zombie homes occur when “banks” foreclose and then walk away from the property as unsalable or too expense to maintain and insure. The entry of a Foreclosure Judgment or a certificate of sale is actually the first “legal” document in a long chain of nonexistent events. The foreclosure raises the presumption that all that previously transpired was real even when the courts and the borrowers and their attorneys were presuming facts that were simply untrue. In cases where securitization claimed it is fair to say that none of them were real and the foreclosure was initiated based upon fraudulent representations.

For a true lender or creditor the worst possible thing for them is to end up with nothing. That is exactly what happens in the current marketplace. Investors are left in a position of having an empty unenforceable promise to pay from the nonexistent trust that would be empty even if it did exist. Investors think their investment is secured but it isn’t. They have received a promise to pay from the nonexistent trust that is secured by nothing.

And the ability of the trust to pay them never existed because none of the money went through the trust. The entire plan of giving the investors a secured investment was a ruse. And that is why I have said that investors would do far better firing and terminating all relationships and illusions and forming their own servicing entities who would act in the best interests of the investors with respect to the “underlying loans” that the intermediary banks are claiming as their own.

Since the trusts were never used it is fair to say that the trust instruments are irrelevant and that volunteer payments by third parties were neither from a servicer nor were they advances. Without foreclosures the execution of workout agreements would preserve home ownership preserve neighborhoods, maintain the tax base, and most importantly preserve the value of the loan as an asset.

Before the late 1990’s the custom and practice of the industry was to do a workout, if at all possible rather than foreclose. This was true in commercial and residential lending. In commercial loans the business borrower could force the workout in Chapter 11 but homeowners rarely can get any traction in bankruptcy court.

Now, even faced with a cash payoff conditioned on revealing the creditor(s) the servicers relentlessly pursue foreclosure because that is what they are instructed to do by the TBTF banks. No servicer would “lose” the paperwork on a modification 10 times if they were really interested in working things out. Many attorneys representing the servicer and the alleged trust have actually argued that they have no obligation to take the money and that they would rather have the foreclosure.

The fundamental issue is that having committed dozens of illegal acts with respect to each alleged loan neither the servicer nor the broker dealers have the slightest interest in preserving the property or the loan. To the contrary, it is only when the house is foreclosed that the Master Servicer gets to “recover” something called “servicer advances” that neither come from the servicer nor are they an advance since they are paid from the investor’s capital.

The bigger issue is that a foreclosure sale frequently closes the door on attacks from the dozens of traders , investors, hedge funds and insurance companies who remain ambivalent about coming out and saying point blank that they were defrauded, and that there was no underlying loan for the loan documents that were executed.

The actual debt was left hanging without the knowledge of investors or borrowers. The banks created that situation and then grabbed the debts as if they were owned by the banks who held RMBS in street name as nominee for the investors. To all the world it looked like the banks owned the first layer of derivatives, whose value was intended to be derived from “underlying loans.” In truth, the debt relationship arose between the borrower and the capital sunk into a slush fund of investor capital. The source of funds were the investors. The note could only have been legally executed in favor of the investors or an authorized existing entity. That entity could have been the named trust, but it wasn’t.

Look for any indication of any kind that any transaction was ever completed using the name of the trust as a principal. You won’t find it. So in addition to Zombie houses, we have zombie investors, and zombie borrowers.

Homeowners Sue SPS in Class Action Over Failure to Mitigate

Thousands of cases like this one have pointed out that SPS and other servicers like Ocwen do not consult with any investor, do not evaluate the case for settlement, modification or mitigation. The answer to questions arising from the unwillingness of those companies to comply with law stems from the fact that the  vast majority of their income comes from undisclosed third parties (the TBTF Banks).

TBTF Banks (BofA, Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, etc.) do not want settlements or modifications or anything that will make the loan start performing. Subservicers like SPS and Ocwen are used as conduits to other conduits that provides window dressing for claims of compliance or efforts to comply.

Contrary to common sense nobody wants a settlement or modification. The players would rather have the value of the alleged loan reduced to zero or less in the case of foreclosures requiring the bank to maintain the property without any hope of selling it. Common sense says that faced with a value of ZERO versus a value of $200,000, for example, any normal business would select the obvious —- $200,000.

The most extreme cases are where the modification is deemed approved and a new servicer comes in to dishonor it and forecloses, even though the homeowner made the trial payments. Yet Petitions to Enforce the modification agreement are rare; but when they are filed they are usually successful. And in many of those cases the modification is modified for a greater principal reduction than was originally offered.

GET A CONSULT

FREE RESEARCH: Go to our home page and enter subject in search bar.

GO TO LENDINGLIES to order forms and services. Our forensic report is called “TERA“— “Title and Encumbrance Report and Analysis.” I personally review each of them for edits and comments before they are released.

Let us help you plan and draft your answers, affirmative defenses, discovery requests and defense narrative:

954-451-1230 or 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.

REGISTRATION FORM: You will make things a lot easier on us and yourself if you fill out the registration form. It’s free without any obligation. No advertisements, no restrictions. The consult is important to determine how we may be of assistance in the drafting and filing of documents in court or complaints directed to law enforcement.

Purchase audio seminar now — Neil Garfield’s Mastering Discovery and Evidence in Foreclosure Defense including 3.5 hours of lecture, questions and answers, plus course materials that include PowerPoint Presentations.

THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.

=====================

Whether or not the class gets certified or settled the suit brings up certain salient points which again give rise to the most common question of all, to wit: “Why is that?”

The answer is hiding in plain sight: None of these parties represent a creditor or owner of the debt . All of them represent undisclosed third parties who are making money hand over fist in the shadow banking market. A completed foreclosure represents the first and only valid legal document in their long train of lies promulgated by piles of fabricated, forged, robo-signed paper. The justice system isn’t always right but it is always final. That is the game the banks are playing.

If SPS or Ocwen actually was set up to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and preserve the value of the loan receivable they would lose virtually all their business. A performing loan would change the makeup of the pools that the players claim to have created. All the re-sales of the same loan would be based upon a loan, even if it existed at one time, that doesn’t exist presently.

So the players NEED that foreclosure not for investors or a trust that doesn’t exist, but for themselves because most of the proceeds of the re-sales of the same loan went the TBTF Banks. They want to preserve their ill-gotten gains rather than do anything that could possibly benefit investors. And the best way they can do that is with an Order or Judgment signed by a duly authorized judge in a court of competent jurisdiction — not with a modification.

Practice Hint: If you see a case that has been ongoing for 8-10 years that is a strong indicator that the investors have received a settlement and no loner have any claim for payment and/or that the “Master Servicer” is continuing to allow payments to investors out of a pool of investor money — i.e., a Ponzi scheme. Those continuing payments have been inappropriately named “servicer advances.” They are not “advances” because it is merely return of investor capital. And since the payments come from an investor pool of cash the payments are not from the servicer since the money came from the same or other investors.

They are called servicer advances because using that name fictitiously allows the “Master Servicer’ (actually the underwriter of the certificates) to claim a “recovery” of “servicer advances.” The recovery is ONLY allowed after sale of the property after a foreclosure where the buyer is a BFP.

So for example if payments to investors attributed to the subject loan are $2,000 per month, 10 years worth of “servicer advances” results in a “recovery claim” of $240,000. Generally that is enough to wipe out any equity. The investors get nothing. The foreclosure was actually for the sole interest and benefit of the banks, not the investors. And the homeowner again finds himself used as a pawn for others to make money over the rotting carcass of what was once his home.

Hence the trial strategy suggested would be drilling down on whether the trust is receiving payment from a “third party,” whether that party has rights of subrogation or is satisfied by some other fee or revenue. If you get anywhere near this issue the bank will fold up like a used tent. They will pay for confidentiality.

39 Million Americans can’t afford their Housing

Nearly 39 million households can’t afford their housing, according to the annual State of the Nation’s Housing Report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Experts generally advise budgeting about 30% of monthly income for rent or mortgage costs.

But millions of Americans are far exceeding that guideline.

One-third of households in 2015 were “cost burdened,” meaning they spend 30% or more of their incomes to cover housing costs. Of that group, nearly 19 million are paying more than 50% of their income to cover their housing needs.

When so much of your paycheck is going toward keeping a roof over your head, it forces sacrifices in other budget areas, including food, health care and transportation.

“It depends on household type: Families with kids … they cut back pretty severely on food,” said Jennifer Molinsky, a senior research associate at the center. “Older adults cut back a lot on health care.”

In 2015, there were almost 25 million children living in cost-burdened households.

Low-income families with children that are paying more than half their incomes to cover housing cut back the most on food, according to the report. They spend less than $300 a month, compared to households with no cost burdens, which spend about $500.

“To make ends meet, these families often do not buy enough food for their households or they substitute cheaper but less nutritious foods, either of which can jeopardize their children’s health and development,” the report stated.

Low-income households are also more likely to compromise on the quality of housing, including living in places with structural issues.

Low housing inventory levels have helped push up home prices as many markets struggle with a supply and demand imbalance. Bidding wars are common in some places.

Home prices fell off a cliff after the 2007 housing crash, but they have been rising and last year surpassed their pre-recession peak.

That price appreciation has scared away many wanna-be buyers, who have been forced to rent. Demand for rental units has increased and pushed up prices.

As a result, the report found, more than 11 million renter households pay more than half their income on housing — a 3.7 million increase from 2001.

Miami has the highest percentage of cost-burdened renters, at nearly 62%, followed by Los Angeles and Deltona-Daytona Beach, Florida at 57%.

 http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/16/real_estate/rising-home-costs-affordability-harvard/index.html

The Housing Recovery Illusion

What Housing Recovery? Real Home Prices Still 16% Below 2007 Peak

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-16/what-housing-recovery-real-home-prices-still-16-below-2007-peak

Since the financial crisis, home equity has gone from being America’s biggest driver of (illusory) wealth to one of the biggest sources of economic inequality.

And while the post-crisis recovery has returned the national home price index to its highs from early 2007, most of this rise was generated by a handful of urban markets like New York City and San Francisco, leaving most Americans behind.

To wit: home prices in the 10 most expensive metro areas have risen 63% since 2000, while home prices in the 10 cheapest areas have gained just 3.6%, according to Harvard’s annual State of the Nation’s Housing report. And while nominal prices may have returned to their pre-recession levels, when you adjust for inflation, real prices are as much as 16 percent below past peaks.

Despite seven years of rock-bottom interest rates, valuations in 3 out of 5 metropolitan areas remain below their pre-recession peak. Outside, of a few rich coastal cities, the only advantage that this “housing recovery” has brought is that some homes remain affordable for some Americans. However, thanks to the disproportionate rise in home valuations in certain densely populated areas, the number of Americans paying more than 50% of their income in rent is near a record high.

US house prices rose 5.6 percent in 2016, finally surpassing the high reached nearly a decade earlier. Achieving this milestone reduced the number of homeowners underwater on their mortgages to 3.2 million by year’s end, a remarkable drop from the 12.1 million peak in 2011.But as Bloomberg reports, nationally, just 1 in 3 homes has recovered peak value. Meanwhile, in the country’s most densely-populated markets, housing supplies are incredibly tight following nearly a decade of historically low construction.

The lack of inventory for sale is evident in both the new and existing segments of the market. In 2016, the typical new home for sale was on the market for 3.3 months, well below the 5.1 months averaged since record keeping began in 1988. Meanwhile, only 1.65 million existing homes were for sale in 2016, the lowest count in 16 years. And with sales volumes picking up, the inventory represented just 3.6 months of supply, an 11-year low.

Conditions are particularly tight at the lower end of the market, likely reflecting both the slower price recovery in this segment and the fact that fewer entry-level homes are being built. Between 2004 and 2015, completions of smaller single-family homes (under 1,800 square feet) fell from nearly 500,000 units to only 136,000. Similarly, the number of townhouses started in 2016 (98,000) was less than half the number started in 2005.

Renters, it seems, are bearing the brunt of the US housing stock crunch. Despite a relatively strong pickup in multi-family housing, rental markets are tighter than they’ve been in more than 30 years, though there has been some softening on the high end.

According to the Housing Vacancy Survey, the rental vacancy rate fell for the seventh straight year in 2016, dipping to 6.9 percent—its lowest level in more than three decades. MPF Research reports that the vacancy rate for professionally managed apartments was also just 4.4 percent. While some rental markets showed signs of softening in early 2017—most notably in San Francisco and New York—there is generally little indication that increases in supply are outstripping demand.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans exceeding the 30%-of-income “affordability threshold” has declined for five straight years, but while homeowners have enjoyed greater financial freedom, rates for renters have barely budged.

Indeed, 11.1 million renter households were severely cost burdened in 2015, a 3.7 million increase from 2001. By comparison, 7.6 million owners were severely burdened in 2015, up 1.1 million from 2001. The share of renters with severe burdens varies widely across the nation’s 100 largest metros, ranging from a high of 35.4 percent in Miami to a low of 18.4 percent in El Paso. While most common in high-cost markets, renter cost burdens are also widespread in areas with moderate rents but relatively low incomes. Augusta is a case in point, where the severely cost-burdened share of renters was at 30.3 percent in 2015.

In summary, the US housing market’s gains since the crisis have disproportionately benefited certain cities, which creates two problems:

Renters in markets that have seen the strongest comebacks are being squeezed as wages fail to keep up with runaway rents; and,

Cities in the south and midwest, typically post-industrial towns, are filled with homeowners who might still be struggling with an underwater mortgage, and with only tepid gains in housing prices, many are trapped in their homes.

Millennials Want to Buy Homes but Aren’t Saving for Down Payments

https://www.wsj.com/articles/millennials-want-to-buy-homes-but-arent-saving-for-down-payments-1495731583?mod=e2fb

One of the frequent reasons cited for the failure of the US housing sector to rebound to its pre-recession levels, is the lack of household formation among young American adults and specifically the unwillingness, or inability, of Millennials, which last year overtook Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation…

… to move out of their parents’ basement, or stop renting, and purchase their own home. Now, a new study from Apartment List confirms the underlying problem: nearly 70% of young American adults, those aged 18 to 34 years old, said they have saved less than $1,000 for a down payment. This is similar to what a recent GoBanking Survey found last year, according to which 72% of “young millennials”- those between 18 and 24 years old – had $1,000 in their savings accounts and 31% have $0; a sliver (8%) have over $10,000 saved. Of the “older millennials”, those between 25 and 34, 67% had less than $1,000 in their savings accounts, 33% have nothing at all, and 15% have over $10,000.

As the WSJ frames it, with most millennials having saved virtually nothing for a down payment on a home “many will face steep obstacles to homeownership in the years ahead.” It also means that the US housing market, traditionally the bedrock of middle-class American wealth, may never recover to levels seen during the prior economic cycle which incidentally peaked as the housing bubble burst, scarring an entire generation with the vivid memories of what happens when millions of Americans rush to overpay for homes.

Which is not to say that US housing is languishing, on the contrary. As we showed earlier this week, in the first quarter of 2017, the number of California homes that sold for $1 million or more totaled 10,562 up 11.7% year over year and the highest on record for a first quarter.

However, while the 1% (or even 10%) of America’s wealthiest buy and sell trophy real estate among each other (or to Chinese oligarchs) with impunity, creating another bubble in luxury real estate, for the vast majority of America, it’s “middle class”, homeownership is becoming an increasingly elusive dream, forcing many to contend with renting indefinitely.

And, going back to the original study, the culprit appears to be the inability, or unwillingness, or America’s youth to save because according to Apartment List, even senior members of the age group are falling short. Nearly 40% of older millennials, those age 25 to 34, who by historical measures should already own or be a few years away from homeownership, said they are saving nothing for a down payment each month.

Here is the punchline: the vast majority—some 80%—of millennials said they eventually plan to buy a home. But 72% said the primary obstacle is that they can’t afford it.

That’s a pretty big obstacle as the study’s creator admitted. “It’s encouraging that millennials do want to buy homes. It suggests that they are delaying forming households but they’re not giving it up,” said Andrew Woo, director of data science and growth at Apartment List. “The biggest reason [they aren’t buying] is because of affordability.”

This is how America’s most troubled generation sees the problem in their own words: Catie Peterson, a 22-year-old graphic designer in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said she doesn’t expect to start saving for a down payment for another five years or so. “I barely have enough savings to cover my car if it were to break down,” she said. Peterson said she pays $975 a month in rent for a small one-bedroom apartment, which is about one third of her paycheck, leaving little room to save.

“Once I get settled in my career and settled in my family, I think buying a house would be reasonable.” It would, but good luck finding something that is affordable enough for the bank to give you a mortgage.

As for the main reasons cited by Millennials why they are unable to save any money, these should be familiar to regular readers: they include student loan debt, rising rents and the slow starts many got to their careers during the recession. Furthermore, with many living in vibrant urban centers with ready access to restaurants, bars and entertainment might, saving seems less urgent. Furthermore, many are children of the affluent baby boomer generation and some expect their parents to give them a boost when the time comes, i.e., they expect to inherit their parents wealth. In total, some 25% of millennials ages 25 to 34 expect to receive help from friends or family, according to the survey. Still, three-quarters said they expect to receive less than $10,000, which might not be enough to close the gap.

* * *

It was not all bad news: the study found that some young people, if not nearly enough, may be saving more. On average, millennials who make more money save a smaller share of their incomes. Those making less than $24,000 save about 10% of their incomes, for example, while those making more than $72,000 save just 3.5%, according to the survey. Also, more millennials are finding a way to buy homes than a few years ago. First-time buyers have accounted for 42% of buyers this year, up from 38% in 2015 and 31% at the lowest point during the recent housing cycle in 2011, according to Fannie Mae (still, a first-time buyer is anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the past three years, a group that could include older people as well.)

Unfortunately for the generation that represents America’s future, the bad news dominates, and as the WSJ concludes many millennials face daunting odds: “less than 30% of 25- to 34-year-olds can save enough for a 10% down payment in the next three years, while just 15% could save that much within a year, according to the Apartment List survey.”

Of course, there is a loophole. As we reported last week, programs are being rolled out to allow first-time buyers to purchase homes with even smaller down payments.  In fact, none other than the bank which had to be bailed out less than a decade ago, Bank of America, recently announced intentions to slash down payments to help Millennials. Speaking to CNBC, BofA CEO Brian Moynihan, the proud owner of Countrywide Financial, said that his mission is to reduce mortgage down payment requirements to 10% for traditional loans.  Per CNBC:

“But, you know, I think at the end of the day is people forget that, at different points in your life and different points on what you’re doing in life requires you to think about housing differently as a place for you and your friends, as a place for you and maybe your significant other, and then ultimately, a place for family. That drives change. And so yes, it’s taken more time. And we talked a lot about this, you know, four or five years ago, that if you require a 20% down payment, it takes just a little more time to accumulate 20% than it would 3% or none, which is what the rules were for a short period of time.”

“So our goal, going back to regulatory reform, is should you move the down payment requirement from 20% to 10%? Wouldn’t introduce that much risk.”

Of course, as we pointed out last week, we are certain that Moynihan’s sole purpose for wanting to
lower down payments is to help those poor millennials living in mom’s basement, and has nothing to do with the fact that’s Bank of America (and Wells Fargo) has lost a ton of fee revenue to government-backed loans that only require a 3% down
payment.

FHA

Why not?  Gradually destroying lending standards worked out really well last time around.

But we digress, so here is 33-year-old data analyst Gina Fontana who explained her problem so simply, even a Fed president could get it: she said she has saved a bit for a down payment but doubts she will use it anytime soon because home prices are so far out of reach. She added that she had saved enough for a 10% down payment on a $200,000 house when she was living in Philadelphia, but couldn’t buy anything in the neighborhoods she liked.

Now she has moved to Berkeley, Calif., and said the area’s home prices—where starter homes can go for close to $1 million—make the odds of buying a home essentially zero. “I don’t see that ever happening,” she said. “I just prefer to travel.”

Which is why it is only a matter of time before everyone throws in the towel on the housing recovery, and Goldman launches its first millennial travel-collaterialized securitization product (and its synthetic derivative

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-26/70-millennials-have-less-1000-saved-buying-house

%d bloggers like this: