Oregon Home Prices OFHEO DATA: Oregon Economics Blog

The OFHEO has come out with its latest house price data. Remember that these cover much more of the US than the 20 cities of the Case-Shiller report, but are based home sales only with conventional mortgages. Anyway, we can see the data for Oregon cities, Oregon and the USA.

Here (a bit messy) is the raw data since Q1 of 2004:

Here (even more messy) is the quarter to quarter % change in home values:

Here is the overall depreciation (so positive numbers are bad in the sense that they represent loss of value) since Q1 of 2007 when the market in Oregon really turned:

Overall, it is bad, especially for Bend and Medford which are seeing collapses of California proportions, but overall the state is not doing too badly in relative terms.

Here is a nice picture from their summary report that shows the national picture. Oregon is the 35th best state in terms of home value appreciation (or limited depreciation):

Save Homes from Foreclosure, Here’s How – Please Share With Others: Daily Kos

by War on Error

This info has helped others.  Please pass this to anyone facing foreclosure with Mortgage Electronic Systems Registration on their foreclosure papers.


To learn how the Ownership Society Scam was choreographed.  Read this website:

Read this diary for history, details, and some of people who put together what may be the biggest White Collar Crime in history

MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS  (MERS) – Go to your newspaper’s foreclosure listing and look for MERS on the postings.  50,000,000 mortgages list MERS as the Trustee.  But MERS doesn’t have any promissory notes.  You have to read all this to understand.  But do give it to anyone facing foreclosure.

Without MERS, the huge volume of Mortgage Backed Securities and CDOs could not have been created.  

HERE IS THE SCARY possibility:  Countries, retirement funds, states, counties, etc. invested in these bundled products, based on ratings from the likes of Standard & Poors, Fitch, and Moody’s only to find, when they opened up the bundles, that they were filled with JUNK instead of GOLD. So they lost all of the money they invested. You can watch PBS NOW to learn how junk became traded as gold:


Is it possible that the real money, given to Hedge Funds to purchase MSBs and CDOs, by banks and pension funds throughout the world, left the banks and pension funds virtually empty?  Could this explain the rush to Capital Hill for huge infusions of Bailout Money?  Did banks and pension funds lose everything on their bad bets?  If you watch the PBS NOW program referenced above, it seems that is a strong possibility.  They lost their money gambling on products said to be gold that were, in fact, junk.  Good grief!

The bundles of MBSs and CDOs couldn’t have been so quickly created without the electronic power of MERS.

….What many people refuse to admit is that because of the so-called MERS paperless “system” many of the so-called mortgage backed security trusts do not actually hold the promissory notes which evidence the debts that are supposed to be backing the bonds purchased by these investors.

The situation is reminiscent of the great Great Olive Oil Scandal in the late 1800’s when banks were duped into investing millions of dollars into Olive Oil only to later discover that the tanks which were supposed to be holding millions of gallons of olive oil backing their investments were mostly empty.

This problem with the missing trust assets/promissory notes manifests itself each time MERS and/or the trustees for the bondholders brings a legal action to collect on a debt through foreclosure.  Because neither MERS nor the bondholders trustees are holding the notes, they lack proof of standing to maintain their legal actions and the actions are subject to dismissal.

Many foreclosure actions have been dismissed based upon lack of standing. This a problem that it is a direct result of MERS “system”….


The details are found in the two sites listed in the INTRO.

Together we may be able to help families avoid so much suffering.

…….One informed lawyer who represents homeowners in Florida, April Charney, had foreclosure proceedings against 300 clients dismissed or postponed in 2007 for lack of standing. She is quoted as saying that “80 percent of them involved lost-note affidavits”. . .

They raise the issue of whether the trusts own the loans at all,” Charney said. “Lost-note affidavits are pattern and practice in the industry. They are not exceptions. They are the rule.” Ms. Charney, started challenging MERS and it members lost note affidavits after becoming skeptical of the a lender could possibly lose hundreds of promissory notes.

At least two Florida judges shared Ms. Charney’s skepticism regarding the copious amounts of MERS lost note affidavits and they issued show cause orders, sua sponte, challenging MERS to show proof that it held and/or lost notes in numerous actions. After evidentiary hearings these two alert judges dismissed twenty nine (29) MERS actions to foreclose for lack of standing. One judge struck MERS pleadings as being sham.

A South Carolina court dismissed a MERS action to foreclose for lack of standing even though MERS filed an affidavit wherein a person claiming to be an officer of MERS claimed that MERS was holding a promissory note. The South Carolina court vetted the MERS affidavit claim that it was the holder of the note after being apprised of the fact that MERS had previously told the Nebraska Court of Appeals that it never held promissory notes.

In late 2007 three Federal Court Judges in Ohio dismissed over fifty law suits brought by trustees of mortgage backed trusts where they could not produce the original promissory notes.

Following these decisions the Bankruptcy Court in Los Angelas, California adopted a rule of practice which requires all foreclosing trustees or other plaintiffs to produce the original promissory note when bring an action to foreclose a debt or face sanctions for not doing so. Several court in New York have been routinely dismissing foreclosure actions brought by MERS or its memebers because they continually fail to produce promisssory notes.

Here is a possible way to fight MERS or any foreclosure if they don’t have the proper, original documentation:

……To make matters worse many of the debts evidenced by these undelivered promissory notes were supposed to be secured by mortgage liens. However in place of mortgages being executed in favor of the original lender many of these mortgages were executed in favor of MERS. Because MERS never holds these notes or owns a debt it is not a creditor. MERS has no legal standing to enforce a debt, or so it told the Nebraska Court of Appeals in 2005. However this lack of standing defense must be raised by property owners who are sued.

The most effective economic way to raise this lack of standing defense is by bringing a motion to dismiss in response to the complaint to foreclose. In many states and in federal court this is called a Rule 12 motion. This motion is brought in place of answering the complaint. An honest attorney in most areas of the country should be willing to prepare and bring such a motion for $500.00 to $1,500.00 for a distressed homeowner. Or you might be able to find a lawyer to do it for you pro bono and perhaps a legal aid attorney. At least five judges around the country have dismissed these actions for lack of standing sua sponte, which means they did it on their own volititia. Perhaps more judges will feel the duty to do the same thing in the future.


Lastly, what might be disconcerting.  Who at Fannie and Freddie Mac played along?  Democrats?  Republicans?  Both?  If both, now what?

Or did the likes of CountryWide play Fannie and Freddie?  Playing within the rules?  Could they have succeeded without inside help?


1999 MERS plans for future foreclosures, in place at launch.

MERS list of Shareholders or a list of people getting bailout money:

How to buy a foreclosed home from HUD for $1.00, yes One Dollar:

A very informative website sharing the methods used to steal homes from HOMEOWNERS:

In conclusion, defenders of MERS says it is just an easy way to pass paper.  Fine.  However, when MERS took a Trustee position on deeds filed with Registry of Deeds, the problems escalate.  Imagine, in the old days, listing your fax number as the Trustee on a deed, just because that is how the paper work was forwarded.  How can a homeowner, facing foreclosure, work out a deal with a fax machine or its fax number?

For fun, here is Bush launching the Housing Crisis:




Oregon jobless like 1981; new help for homeowners? by Ryan Frank, The Oregonian November

Oregon jobs: Oregon lost 14,100 seasonally adjusted jobs between September and October, the biggest decline since February 1981. That’s no typo. Since 1981. Rich Read has the story.

Food stamp requests rising in Medford/Bend: The two housing markets powered by Californian transplants during the housing boom now see big jumps in food stamp requests. “I’ve been here 16 years and this is more than I’ve ever seen,” said Lisa Lewis, the state’s self-sufficiency program manager for the Medford area. Many of the people asking the state for help have never been in a welfare office before. They are “blue-collar professionals,” Lewis said. “They’re dry-wallers, electricians, plumbers.”

St. Helens mill shutdown: Boise says it will layoff 300 people from its St. Helens paper and pulp mill, a major Columbia County employer.

Homeowner help?: Lawmakers are again pushing financial officials to send help directly to homeowners to help them avoid foreclosure.

Hotel forecast, um, not good:
Hotel occupancies are forecasted to fall to 58.6 percent in 2009, the lowest rate since 1971. “The deteriorating outlook for the economy is impacting travel habits and spending, and hotels are expected to experience reduced occupancy levels, and to a lesser degree, some room rate erosion through 2009,” said Scott Berman, principal and U.S. Leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Hospitality and Leisure practice.

Anybody got some upbeat news?




Make more on the sale of your home

Stephanie Stricklen, for KGW.com


It’s a buyer’s market! When it comes to the housing market — how many times have we heard that lately?

Well, sellers, this morning’s stretching your dollar is for you. In part two of our series on stretching that home dollar– we have tips for sellers from smartmoney.com.


At #5: picking the wrong buyer. Watch out for people with preapproval letters that are more than 4 to 6 weeks old and people who want to attach all kinds of caveats on buying your house– for example– selling theirs first.


#4: paying for a home stager; someone you pay to ready your place for tours. Smartmoney.com says unless you live in a million dollar mansion, save your cash and use common sense instead.


“You want to make sure that when people have four houses that are similar that they’re going into that yours is going to look the best,” says Mary Low with Iron Gate Realty Group.


Your yard should look healthy and weed free. The inside of your home should be clean, bright, and free of clutter, extra furniture, and knick knacks.


Mistake #3: failing to respond to all offers. If someone lowballs you– see if they’re willing to negotiate rather than rejecting them outright.


“If you’re not motivated to really sell, this is not a market to put your house on,” says Mary.


On a similar vein mistake #2 is: questioning the first offer. Smartmoney.com says too many sellers reject thier first offer thinking if they hold out more money will come– a strategy that rarely works.


And the number one mistake home sellers make? Asking too much.


“You really have to price your home at the competition or a little under in order to really be competitive,” says Mary.


Look around at what’s currently selling in your neighborhood– that’ll tell you if you’re way off the mark.


For additional information:

Oregon Land Sales Contract A Seller Financing Web Site

Announcing the Oregonlandsalescontract.com (http://oregonlandsalescontract.com) web site. The OLSC web site is for the listing of homes in which the seller is offering Owner Carry, Lease Option or Rent to Own terms. The credit crunch has made it hard to impossible for many good buyers to obtain financing. In today’s market sellers have to consider offering terms so they do not miss out on an opportunity to sell their property to qualified buyers. This might seem like the sellers are compromising their position to some. For others, this is an opportunity for sellers to realize the interest income lenders have enjoyed for years.

Please share this link with anyone you feel might consider selling their residential or commercial property with terms or are looking for real estate to buy on terms.

Oregon Land Sales Contract

Portland realtors ranks may slim with economic downturn, KGW.com

By ERIC ADAMS, kgw.com Staff


PORTLAND — Area realtors are adjusting to new economic realities and cutting costs.

The Metropolitan Association of Realtors announced its cutting marketing and other costs as it anticipates that as many as 1,100 of its 7,800 members may not renew their licenses.

Realtors received their renewal notices earlier this month and have until Jan. 1 to pay their bill, which amounts to about $400 and includes local, state and national fees.

Kathy Querin, the association’s chief executive officer, said there is no way to know until New Years Day just how many agents will not renew their memberships.

She said sales have slowed, though, and that realtors may decide they can’t make a living selling houses in the metro area.

“What we do know is the market has seen decline,” she said.

Through September, 15,389 houses have been sold in the Portland area, a 32 percent drop from 2007, according to the association.

The state reports a 3.5 percent drop in real estate licensing since 2005, which many consider was the high-mark year for home sales.

Jim Homolka, president of Re/Max Equity Group, said he expects the number of realtors in the region to shrink by about 10 percent.

Re/Max recently closed its Bend office, where 55 people were employed. Offices that have closed around the Portland Metro area include Tualatin, Raleigh Hills and Vancouver Salmon Creek.

Most of those realtors have shifted to nearby branches, Homolka said.




Land Sales Contract

20 years ago when I first entered real estate money was tight…especially for people that wanted to buy homes in Inner North and Northeast Portland.  No reason to rehash why as what is more important right now is to visit how people adapted and moved forward. 

Land Sales Contracts are agreements between the buyer and the seller that allow the transfer of equity interest in real property.  This tool allows greater flexibility in the terms used to carry properties.  Selling price, down payment or payments, payment schedules and other terms can fit the uniquness of the transaction. 

You might be thinking why a seller would consider contract terms over cash out terms?  There are several reasons why a seller would consider this avenue.  Some are motivated by nessity and others have more calculted reasons.   I hope to discuss those easons on this blog over the coming weeks.  I will leave you with one interesting situation why someone would consider using a land sales contract to sell property. 

One of the first clients I had when I entered real estate was a school teacher.  He and his wife were planning on retiring and over the years they had aquired several rental properties and their family home.  Their plan was to sell all of the properties on land sales contract at an interest rate of at least 10%.   The payments they would recive from the contracts in addition to their other investments would mean they would have a comfortable retirement.  With the exception of the home they lived in which was in Alemeda, all of their properties were located in close in Northeast Portland/Albina.  The buyers put down downpayments that ranged in 10-15% and the interest rates ranged between 10% and 12% .  Non of the buyers could have obtained a loan at the time.  Either because they or the home they purchased would have conformed to lending standards of the time. 

Looking back, I can see the benifits to the buyer, the seller and the community at large.  Contract sales allow the market to move at a time when lending resources were limited.  It allowed families and invidvidulas to invest in the community they lived in and take ownership of their lifestyle.  Bottom line, it was a win, win, win situation for most.  

The challanging times we live in is a good reminder that cash is not always king.  That there is always another way to obtain our goals.   For some selling or buying property on a land sales contract is the right opprotunity and for some the only one.

Beware home equity credit freezesBy WAYNE HAVRELLY, kgw.com

PORTLAND, Ore. — It wasn’t long ago when people were tapping the equity in their homes to pay bills.

Now many of those home equity loans are being frozen by lenders because home values are dropping.

It happened to Debbie Inguagiato who runs a massage therapy business out of her home. She says after 15 years of never missing a loan payment and creating a very high credit rating, shes about to lose her house.

“I don’t think i have ever been this scared in my entire life”, said Inguagiato.

She said a mortgage broker gave her some terrible advice as she was going blind from an eye disease.

Inguagioto said, “I was advised by someone who said she was living off equity of her home for 25 years. She told me she knew what she was doing and she led me through this process of getting a home equity loan.”

Inguagioto used the loan to help pay her first mortgage and start her massage business which has been very slow.

Then, late this summer that home equity loan was frozen because her lender claimed her home plunged in value.

Mortgage companies based in other parts of the country are not always fair when they freeze home equity loans in the Northwest according to realtor and attorney Holly Hummel.

“Your dealing with someone in another part of the country pulling up data on a desktop appaisal that may not take into consideration that you have a brand new kitchen,” said Hummel.

She says while real estate values have certainly dropped in suburban communities like happy valley homes in much of Portland have held up well. Debbie’s home is in one of North Portland’s hottest neighborhoods.

Her home was appraised at $430,000 when she took out the equity loan 2 years ago. However, she says her lender told her the value had dropped to just $262,000, so they froze her loan.

Debbie doesn’t buy it and nor do Portland real estate experts who say the best thing homeowners in this situation can do is immediately contact their lenders.

Hummel said, “I have seen people renegotiate with their lender and have their lender come around to their way of thinking, that in fact their house has not dropped to that level.”

Ronald Stroble, Vice President of Oregon based Umpqua banks mortgage division, said lenders are now working closely with homeowners looking to avoid foreclosure.

Stroble said, “In the old days people thought they cant call lenders because they didn’t want them to know they were having financial trouble. The message to everyone in this financial meltdown is please, call your lender. Find out what options you have.”

Debbie has sent her lender comparable sales in her neighborhood and a new appraisal showing her home is still worth about $420,000.

She’s still waiting to hear back from her lender, Popular Mortgage Servicing Inc.

The New Jersey based company did not return calls from Newschannel 8.

Inguagiato said, “I’ve never been homeless, I plan not to be, but the reality is I don’t know how long a legally blind person would make it out there on the street and I don’t want to learn.”

The mortgage crisis is close to claiming another victim, but Inguagiato is not giving in without exploring every possible option.

If you find yourself in the same home equity loan is frozen and your lender won’t renegotiate, another viable option is to approach local banks and credit unions.

Most local financial institutions had light sub-prime loan exposure and still have plenty of money to loan if you qualify.