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HOBB Update Message
Friday, 25 September 2009

A message from Janet Ahmad: Taxpayers Stimulus at Work, the Magic Kindom of Mortage Gifts and Promises

A message from Janet Ahmad
Taxpayers Stimulus at Work, the Magic Kingdom of Mortgage Gifts and Promises
Open up a word document because when you hear this weeks news you’ll want to write the White House, some elected official, some state or federal agency or just someone to unload your frustrations and disbelief.  I suspect that these events will not leave any of us speechless. So I look forward seeing your comments.

In this week’s issue of BusinessWeek’s, business editor, Mara Der Hovanesian reports,Builders are jumping on a no-money-down program to bolster sales in depressed markets. Sounds familiar?”   The article describes the latest lending practices of the little heard of USDA program. 

Introducing the newly repackaged USDA Approved “Subprime” will probably leave taxpayers mouths open. The National Association of Home Building (NAHB) cleverly crafted an $11 million Federal Taxpayer Stimulus through USDA a no-money-down, no PMI, contingent upon using builders’ affiliates like the death-defying KB Mortgage.  Related feature: Stimulus Tax Dollars at Work for KB Home 

Just when we thought the well-done subprime loans were a thing of the past, even before a fraction of the builder’s subprime foreclosures are sold, KB Home introduces, KB Home Offers a Magical Gift for Homebuyers.  As I have said before, it is no coincidence that KB Home headquarters is somewhere between Disney and Las Angles with creativity and promotions 
Like magic KB Home again risks its shaky reputation with selling more of its same old lending gimmicks that left families with toxic mortgages and homeless.

Not too long ago HUD recommended shutting down builders subsidiary lending institutions like Countrywide, Lennar, DHI and KB Mortgage; in fact HUD imposed negligible fines for massive loan irregularities and outright fraud.  However, builder confidently defiant responded by filing a lawsuit against HUD.  Today HUD has backed off so D.R. Horton and KB Home boldly, if not playfully lead the pack amongst homebuilders to freely continue the same practices that contributed to the nation’s worst financial meltdown in history.

Read other important news: Snakes, lizards, alligators and dragons; Landmark Decision - legal advantage to avoid foreclosure; Cracked Houses.com; Former NC Gov. Mike Easley Faces Grand Jury; FHA mortgages to explode.

Your participation is vital.  Please take a few minutes to post your comments on these articles and thank the reporters.

Together we have and will continue to make a difference!  Help us to help you.
Take a few minutes to post your comments on the
 H   O  B B    F o  r   u   m    and write you elected officials.  
Thank you, 

Janet Ahmad, President
Home Owners for Better Building
 
**********************************************************************
NEWS UPDATES:
  

Good News Worth Repeating:
Contact Congress: Arbitration Fairness Now!
SEN. FEINGOLD, REP. JOHNSON INTRODUCE MEASURE TO PRESERVE CONSUMER JUSTICE
Arbitration Fairness Act 2009 - View Press Conference Video...
  See photos

Public Citizen Report - Home Court Advantage  
Become involved - Sign Petition: Fair Arbitration Now.com plus, Arbitration Resources & Latest News 

Builders, Federal Stimulus and no-money-down program
BusinessWeek: USDA Home Loans: Subprime Redux?
Builders and lenders are dusting off a familiar pitch: mortgages with $0 down and 100% financing. The deals, which take advantage of a little-known loan program at the U.S. Agriculture Dept., are bolstering sales in some areas. These new mortgages share some characteristics with the old ones now wreaking havoc on the housing market—and critics fear lending standards could slip...  Analysts say federal loans, including those guaranteed by the USDA, accounted for 64% of sales at builder D.R. Horton (DHI) in the latest quarter. Read more...

BEWARE: More KB Home Gimmicks to Finance with KB Home Mortgage
The Magic Mortgage   Kingdom of KB Home - KB Home Offers a Magical Gift for Homebuyers
Like Disney magic KB Home defies its many critics with more of its same old lending gimmicks that left families with toxic mortgages and homeless.  Not too long ago HUD recommended shutting down builders subsidiary lending institutions like KB Mortgage; in fact HUD imposed negligible fines for massive loan irregularities.  Confident builders responded by filing a lawsuit against HUD.  Today HUD has backed off and KB Home boldly, if not playfully leads the pack amongst homebuilders and freely continues the same practices that contributed to the nation’s worst financial meltdown in history.  Together with the National Association of Home Building (NAHB) KB helped cleverly craft an $11 million Federal Taxpayer Stimulus through USDA a no-money-down, no PMI, contingent upon using builders’ affiliates like the death-defying KB Mortgage.  Related articles: Stimulus Tax Dollars At Work for KB Home

Cracked Houses of Savannah Texas Feature
New Community Website - Cracked Houses.com - D.R. Horton & Vision Homes
Why have numerous D.R. Horton and Vision Homes foundations failed in so many of our beautifully designed Huffines Signature Community of Savannah Texas? Why have several D.R. Horton and Vision Home owners experienced water intrusion problems? Why have so many of us experienced this in the first, second and third years after moving into our new homes? Why have so many of us have experienced the same problems more than once after being supposedly 'fixed' by our builders? Read more...

Homeowners Protest Pulte Home for Deceptive Business Activity
Local homeowners accuse builders of deceptive trade 
Bill and Connie Consentino thought they were getting a good deal on a Pulte home in the age-restricted Solera community in Anthem. The incentive package for financing through the builder's mortgage lender included free upgrades, new appliances, landscaping and payment of Local Improvement Districts, or money used to pay for neighborhood infrastructure. The complaints call attention to sales and lending practices of some of the nation's largest public homebuilders, including Pulte Homes, KB Home and Lennar Homes, and their affiliated mortgage companies, Alliance spokeswoman Denise Martin said… Read more...

Pulte Homes Buyers Urge Nevada Attorney General to Take Action
Homebuyers File Complaints Against Nation’s Largest Corporate Homebuilder Alleging Deceptive Practices
Nevada homebuyers today called on the Nevada Attorney General to take action on complaints of deceptive sales and lending practices by Pulte Homes Corp., the nation’s largest corporate homebuilder, and by several other builders. Eighteen homebuyers have filed complaints alleging false statements and concealing of important information in violation of Nevada ’s consumer protection law. The complaints highlight the role corporate homebuilders played in the housing boom, bubble and bust that led to America ’s economic crisis. Pulte and other builders misled homebuyers about the deals they were getting and pushed them into unfair and deceptive mortgages, all the while continuing to buy land and build homes despite clear signs that the housing market was unsustainable. Read more...

Market Watch: Government Accountability Office to audit how the Federal Reserve implements policy
Frank backs Rep. Ron Paul's Fed audit bill
MarketWatch By Ronald D. Orol - WASHINGTON  - House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., said he backs legislation introduced by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, that would require the Government Accountability Office to audit how the Federal Reserve implements monetary policy and examines every aspect of the Fed, including how much it has lent and will lend to specific banks as part of its bank bailout program. "We are serious about some legislation in this regard," said Frank at a hearing on Paul's bill. "I have some concerns, some time needs to elapse before certain disclosures take place, we are working together; we want there to be publicity but we don't want there to be a market effect in the near term." The legislation introduced by Paul, which requires approval by the House Financial Service Committee before it comes to a vote by the full House, has 295 supporters in the House.

The Huffington Post: Millions of distressed homeowners may have legal advantage to avoid foreclosure
Landmark Decision Promises Massive Relief for Homeowners and Trouble for Banks
A landmark ruling in a recent Kansas Supreme Court case may have given millions of distressed homeowners the legal wedge they need to avoid foreclosure. In Landmark Natioal Bank v. Kesler,  2009 Kan. LEXIS 834, the Kansas Supreme Court held that a nominee company called MERS has no right or standing to bring an action for foreclosure. MERS is an acronym for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, a private company that registers mortgages electronically and tracks changes in ownership. The significance of the holding is that if MERS has no standing to foreclose, then nobody has standing to foreclose -- on 60 million mortgages. That is the number of American mortgages currently reported to be held by MERS. Over half of all new U.S. residential mortgage loans are registered with MERS and recorded in its name. Holdings of the Kansas Supreme Court are not binding on the rest of the country, but they are dicta of which other courts take note; and the reasoning behind the decision is sound.
 Read more...

Families buying time in Foreclosures
Delayed Foreclosures Stalk Market
Debra and Arthur Scriven were served notice in June 2008 that their mortgage lender, a unit of Citigroup Inc., was preparing to foreclose on their home. Fifteen months later, the Scrivens are still in their home near Columbia , S.C. , and battling to stay there, even though a dispute with the lender over how much they owe prompted them to stop making regular payments last year... Legal snarls, bureaucracy and well-meaning efforts to keep families in their homes are slowing the flow of properties headed toward foreclosure sales, even when borrowers are in deep distress. While that buys time for families to work out their problems, some analysts believe the delays are prolonging the mortgage crisis and creating a growing "shadow" inventory of pent-up supply that will eventually hit the market. Read more... 

NC Former Gov. Easley Political Contact Deals May have Aided Scam
Buying a lot, the couple may have unknowingly helped inflate prices at a coastal project
More than 200 plaintiffs in on of the largest alleged mortgage fraud cases in state history have said for months that they were duped into paying inflated prices for coastal lots. Now the revelation that former Gov. Mike Easley and his wife, Mary, got a 25 percent discount from a developer named in the lawsuits shows that even the state's highest official may have unwittingly helped hype the prices they paid. No one involved in the fraud cases has claimed that the Easleys were knowingly involved. But the $137,000 discount they received on their lot was not shown in the $550,000 sale price reported to the Carteret County Register of Deeds.  "When you have all these politically connected players and they are setting up pricing that is not reflected in the records at the courthouse, how are my clients ever going to get a fair market price?" said S. Jill Pisner, a McLean, Va., lawyer whose firm filed the first and largest of several lawsuits alleging mortgage fraud in two coastal developments here and one in South CarolinaRead more...

Former NC Gov. Mike Easley Faces Grand Jury
Easley land permits draw grand jury focus 
A federal grand jury wants to hear from two state environmental officials who handled permits on the Cannonsgate land project, a development in coastal Carteret County where former Gov. Mike Easley acquired a soundfront lot in 2005. The officials have been asked to appear today. Questions have swirled around the permitting process since reports in The News & Observer in May showed that real estate broker McQueen Campbell, a friend of Easley, bragged in writing that political contacts by him and the land's marketer, Gary Allen, helped secure the wastewater treatment plant permit in half the one year's time he said it should have taken. Read more... 

Reuters: Officials Warn of the Huge Next Round of Foreclosures
"Option" mortgages to explode, officials warn
The federal government and states are girding themselves for the next foreclosure crisis in the country's housing downturn: payment option adjustable rate mortgages that are beginning to reset, "Payment option ARMs are about to explode," Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said after a Thursday meeting with members of President Barack Obama's administration to discuss ways to combat mortgage scams. "That's the next round of potential foreclosures in our country," he said. Read more...

Snakes, lizards, alligators and dragons - all the warning signs were there
Adolfo Pesquera: Gaming the finance system: breaking down the Housing Jungle
When housing construction was going full throttle --- hmmm? --- how was quality control keeping up? Simple answer: what quality control? In fact, many good craftsmen left the housing industry during its peak, because they took pride in their work, and wanted a pay grade subcontractors were not willing to pay...For builders and lenders, it's all about eliminating risk during the process of making a profit. Less risk equals more profit. No risk equals piles of ill-gotten profit. Homebuilders were, still are, masters of eliminating risk. Warranties written on homes are designed by homebuilders...five years ago...for every four homes sold each month, one house was going into foreclosure. Read more...

 
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