Update with July 30, 2010 NOD Lists was updated today (July 31, 2010) with the largest list of Notice Defaults to date. With Notice of Default records dating back over 2 years. documents the fall of the great real estate bust of the 21st centry. The lists are of the raw data taken from county records.

It is not a bad idea for investors and people that are seeking a home of their own to keep an eye on the Notice of Default lists. Many of the homes listed are on the market or will be.

All listings are in PDF and Excel Spread Sheet format.

Multnomah County Foreclosures

The Future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be decided August 17th, by Jim Kim, FierceFinance

The most glaring omission from the Dodd-Frank financial reform act is without a doubt the lack of a plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The government-sponsored enterprises remain encumbered with billions in toxic loans, and unfortunately, the movement to fix these institutions has been stuck on the back burner–until now. The Treasury Department has announced it will hold a conference on the future of Fannie and Freddie on Aug. 17. A Congressional hearing will be held in September.

The administration seems bent on offering a concrete proposal in January, which is welcome news, as the travails of these entities are costing taxpayers a lot of money. So far the tab stands at $145.9 billion; it will likely end up topping $380 billion–which would make it by far the most expensive bailout effort to date.

What sort of solutions will be discussed? I doubt anyone will argue that having some sort of body that guarantees mortgages and sells them for securitization is a bad thing. The key will be to somehow retain the salutary effects of this process, which can lower costs, expand the ability of lenders to make home loans, and protect lenders from rate shocks.

Taking the long view, the rise of securitization has been a welcome development. The real estate crash has revealed that there’s a down side if you let securitization run amok. One theory, as noted by the New York Times, is that this process has led to lax lending. “If mortgage issuers passed along the default risk to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae or to the buyers of mortgage-backed securities, those issuers would have little incentive to screen borrowers properly. While issuers often do have some skin in the game, the enormous amount of both securitization and sloppy lending during the boom made it natural to link the two phenomena.” Indeed, defenders of Fannie and Freddie have long argued that they were pressured to start guaranteeing non-prime loans, to expand the homeownership pie. On top of all of this, securitization has made it harder for loans to be worked out. These are certainly reasonable theories.

The bottom line is that securitization of mortgage loans based on a sound lending standard is a good idea. But how best to do that? Perhaps the biggest issue is whether the government has a role in subsidizing this effort. And if so, what exactly is that role? What are your ideas?


FHA Loan Gravy Train Derailing?

After a week of travel to Motown on business, and seeing the housing bust at ground zero, I have to ask you all some questions regarding housing and our government’s role in the quagmire.

Fannie and Freddie dominated the easy loan space to back all borrowers with a pulse from 2000-2007, and now they occupy a toxic waste dumping ground for many a bank’s bad mortgages while trading as penny stocks with all but explicit taxpayer backing.

The new game in town when it comes to financing mortgages circa 2008-2010 is the truly explicit government backed FHA. That federal agency is THE mortgage market, without which no private bank/investor in their right mind would loan money to anyone to buy real estate at today’s prices. Private loan origination to purchase real estate has all but disappeared.

Is the FHA spigot beginning to twist toward the “off” position?

“The Federal Housing Administration’s Mortgagee Review Board (MRB) published a notice today to announce dozens of administrative actions against FHA-approved lenders who failed to meet its requirements. The total amount of originators that used to write FHA-backed mortgages, the report shows, but are restricted from doing so today, has surpassed the 900 mark.”

“The rate of seriously delinquent mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) declined slightly from May to June, but the gross number of mortgages that are either 90 or more days past due or in foreclosure increased 35% year-over-year.”

“The total value of unpaid FHA mortgages was $865.5bn in June, up 30.3% from $663.8bn one year ago and up 3.3% from $837.8bn in May.”

So we’re on the hook as taxpayers for Fannie and Freddie, and now the FHA is approaching the $1Tillion mark. Delinquencies are skyrocketing, yet the federal government keeps propping up housing prices despite the reality of stagnant wages. Why? How long can this last? When does cold hard cash flow via wages show up in the equation? Perhaps sooner than we all think…

“A total of 168,915 FHA loan applications were received last month, down 6.9 percent from May and 29.4 percent lower than levels seen a year ago, according to the FHA Outlook report.”

How much of an income and/or VAT-sales tax increase is Portland and Oregon willing to pay in order to prop up housing prices via government intervention and real estate bailouts? What business does the government have in financing our privately owned assets?

The sooner the government gets out of housing finance, the sooner most Americans will be able to truly afford a home based upon local wages. Why do we vote for and pay our elected officials to artificially prop up housing and real estate prices?

This post is just a few thoughts from the road, after seeing real estate up close in the Detriot and Southern Michigan area at truly rock bottom prices. Based upon what I saw during my travels, wage based reality bites…

Portland Housing Blog

Demystifying Income Documentation, By Jason Hillard, Fireside Lending Group

Having discussed the importance of the home loan pre-interview, I would like to dedicate a little time to income documentation. There is a lot of confusion about this subject, and thanks to an atrociously lazy mainstream media, and some irresponsible “new media”, disagreements on the issue are still coming up in day to day business operations.

This is a list of the items your mortgage professional NEEDS from you, REGARDLESS of what type of home loan you want or what type of borrower you are.

–most recent 30 days of paystubs
–most recent statement for any depository account, ALL PAGES
–most recent statement for any other liquid assets or retirement plan
–most recent 2 years federal tax returns with ALL PAGES/SCHEDULES
–any divorce/alimony/child support documentation
–any bankruptcy discharge documentation from the last 10 years

The reality is that most loans now are what is referred to as “full doc”, which is to say that you will be subject to a financial rectal exam. There are some stated income programs coming back, but bank on your next home loan funding as a result of a full fledged inquest into your personal finances. We’re talking mortgage court-marshal, so you need to be prepared.

It may sound funny, but you really should frame your thinking around this analogy. Your mortgage professional is really taking up your case, not just packaging a home loan. The underwriter is the judge, jury, and executioner. That is why you need someone who vigorously represents you, like us. (We are not above plugging our outstanding services.)

So I am now going to explain the thinking behind each of these items, from an underwriter’s perspective. You know you are a good person who will pay back what is owed, and so do we. Let’s delve into the mind of the cagey underwriter though, and see where it leads.

30 days of paystubs
This is pretty simple, obviously. But it does go a little beyond “does this person have a job that pays legal tender?”

What the elusive underwriter is searching for is your year-to-date (YTD) numbers. Does this person work an average of 40 hours? Is there overtime pay that is consistent? What about commisions and bonuses? And is this borrower’s income consistent with the tax returns provided?

Now, some check stub formats provide a lot of information, and others leave something to be desired. However, it is estimated that 30 days worth of paystubs will provide an accurate representation of monthly income calculated on a yearly basis. “In plain english”, you say? Your YTD pay divided by the number of months so far this year minus one month equals your monthly income.

Most Recent Depository Statements
This is usually your most recent bank statement, for all accounts you have. This helps to verify liquid assets. It is very important when running your situation through the automated underwriting software to have this information accurate. This verifies the number of months of cash reserves you have and/or whether you actually have your down-payment available.

Why do we emphasize ALL PAGES? We know…your balance is on the first page. However, when an underwriter sees “page 1 of 7″ on your bank statement, they immediately want to know, and quite honestly NEED to know what the other 6 pages say. Are there car loans, lines of credit, etc. that aren’t shown on the 1st page? The underwriter needs to assume the worst at all times in order to protect their mortgage company from exposure to loan buybacks.

Other Asset & Retirement Statements
More “liquifiable” assets. Stocks, bonds, 401ks, IRAs, etc. What resources do you have that you can sell to make your payments in the event that your income disappears? That’s why we need proof of these items. Important note: for most loan programs, the value of 401ks and IRAs will be decreased by 3o per cent. The reason for this is that if you lose your job, and have to dip into these funds to make your payments, there will be about 30% in penalties and taxes you will have to pay for early withdrawal.

Last Two Years Federal Tax Returns (All Pages)
These aren’t always needed. However, we always ask for them. More and more, the automated underwriting systems are requiring them. And even if the underwriter doesn’t need them, it’s a good idea to show them to your mortgage professional. Why? Because, you will be signing a disclosure (4506T) stating that the lender has the right to request transcripts of your last 2 federal tax returns. This right will be exercised. Having a competent mortgage professional look over them upfront assures a smaller chance of “issues” coming up later. You may have what are called “2106” expenses, which reduce your income in the eyes of the underwriter. If you are riding the fence with your debt-to-income ratio, this can implode your home loan.

As for the self-employed, we will always need 2 years of federal tax returns. There’s no way around it right now.

Divorce Decrees & Child Support
Divorce is a nasty thing, and it can rear its ugly head AGAIN the next time you apply for a mortgage. Is there an alimony agreement? Alimony reduces your income. How long will it continue? Is there child support involved? Again, how long will you be obligated to pay it? Is either amount scheduled to increase? The bank has to look at the big picture when it comes to your overall liabilities, and these can play a huge role in determining your debt-to-income ratio.

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13? When was it discharged? What was included? What was excluded? The details and date of your bankruptcy discharge is a crucial piece of information. The lender must document what liabilities remain, which are cleared, and that the requisite amount of time, as prescribed by the mortgage product you are applying for, has transpired since the discharge.

Other Circumstances
You may have a pension that you are looking forward to in the future. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any cash value now, so it cannot be considered as an asset right now. And you’re not receiving any income from it right now, so it doesn’t offset your debt-to-income ratio.

Maybe you just started your own business last year, and things are going great. Unfortunately, current underwriting guidelines do not allow us to consider self-employed income unless you have been in business for two years, as evidenced by 2 years of federal tax returns.

There are all kinds of unique situations, and we are always happy to help you determine where you stand.

Please understand that in order to truly apply for a home loan, you need to have these items prepared. We don’t ask for them just to make your life miserable. Your mortgage professional is your advocate, not your enemy. You have to present them with ALL of the information so that they can properly represent you in front of the judge. I mean underwriter.

If you have any questions about income documentation or mortgages in general, please feel free to shoot us an email! Jason Hillard, Fireside Lending Group Update: New Notice of Default Lists Posted was updated today with the largest list of Notice Defaults to date. With Notice of Default records dating back over 2 years. documents the fall of the great real estate bust of the 21st centry. The lists are of the raw data taken from county records.

It is not a bad idea for investors and people that are seeking a home of their own to keep an eye on the Notice of Default lists. Many of the homes listed are on the market or will be.

All listings are in PDF and Excel Spread Sheet format.

Multnomah County Foreclosures

Multnomah County Foreclosures

It has been nearly 5 months since ( has been updated. As of July 6th, 2010 the site will be updated weekly again. Each week the Notice of Default lists for several counties in Oregon and Clark County will be posted. This information is public information and is provided to make it easier for real estate buyers and the professionals that serve them to develop opportunities in the Oregon market.

Visit Multnomah Foreclosures, download the Notice of Default reports for free and help the Oregon Market grow!

Northwest Residential Apprasial LLC. A Company I will not work with again

I had an appraiser from Northwest Residential Appraisal LLC ( inform me that most people that pay cash for real estate pay more than people that obtain loans. He also asserted that sellers do not consider cash buyers more favorably than they do buyers that obtain loans. In my opinion this Apprasier is either dishonest, ignorant of historical real estate trends when it comes to cash buyers over buyers that seek financing or is covering for some other prejudice he hold against this property. Regardless, I do not want this company around my business again.

This is the type of professionals we have to deal with in Oregon. Everywhere else on the planet a cash buyer is always considered a better option and a buyer that has to obtain a loan as more risky. That is unless you are working with Northwest Appraisal Services LLC.

I will never allow a client of mine to become a victim of this company again.

Fred Stewart
Stewart Group Realty Inc.