Bankruptcy For Middle Class

Bankruptcy is not about being poor. 8% of people who filled bankruptcy in 2009 earned $60,000 or more per year. The reason this number is high and expected to continue rising? Slumping real estate prices and job losses, especially professional positions. Real estate agents and investors are among the highest professionals types filing for bankruptcy protection. Continue reading

Understanding MERS

MERS is a way for mortgage companies to sell mortgages to one another quickly and with low cost. MERS is a straw party named as the owner of the mortgage. But it doesn’t really own it. But on county records across the country, MERS appears as the owner of millions of mortgages. As I said, the system was designed to avoid the costs involved in transferring mortgages among different owners. In theory, MERS keeps track of who owns the underlying mortgage. In practice, MERS does not keep accurate records. According to a recent study, fewer than 30% of mortgages held by MERS had accurate records. Continue reading

The Home Equity Loan Trap

The default rate on home equity loans is higher than all other types of consumer loans, according to the American Bankers Association. Home equity delinquencies exceed the defaults on auto loans, personal loans and credit cards. Lenders wrote off $30 billion in home equity loans in 2009. Continue reading

Report Explains Failure Of Mortgage Modification Program

Only 340,000 homeowners received a permanent modification of their mortgages under the federal program in the last 15 months. This falls far short of the expected three to four million people the program should have helped. Why has the program failed to assist more homeowners? Two reasons were cited in a recent report to Congress. The Treasury Department, the agency that oversees the program, failed to provide clear goals. The program pays mortgage service providers for loans that get modified. But in many cases, the service providers may more money if the family goes through foreclosure. Continue reading