June 14, 2012 |
For years, housing experts have worried that a "shadow" supply of homes heading into foreclosure hangs over the market. Although that supply does exist, it appears to be shrinking quickly, according to a new report. The housing data firm CoreLogic reported that shadow inventory stood at 1.5 million units as of April, representing a supply of only four months. That was a 15% decline from the same month a year earlier. That four-month supply is the lowest level since 2009 and mirrors a similar drop in the number of homes listed for sale.
May 26, 2012 |
Unable to qualify for modifications on Bank of America mortgages, a few of California's most distressed homeowners are being offered one last chance to stay in their homes: Become renters instead. Testing a mortgage-to-lease program in the Golden State, Bank of America Corp. sent 300 letters this week inviting borrowers without other options to apply. An additional 1,500 letters will go out in the next few weeks as the bank -- which also is testing the program in three other states -- evaluates whether a national rollout is feasible.
May 16, 2012 |
Angelenos are in some of the worst financial distress in the U.S., with the region's households facing below average credit, housing and employment figures. A nationwide index measuring the financial health of the average U.S. household is currently at 69.9, a hair under the stable 70 level, according to a report from nonprofit credit counseling agency CredAbility. Los Angeles' score is 62.7, placing it as the fifth most financially troubled metropolitan area in the country.
May 9, 2012 |
It's not quite a check in the mail, but certain distressed mortgage borrowers at Bank of America Corp. will be happy they opened the letter anyhow. The Charlotte, N.C., lender said Tuesday it has begun contacting about 200,000 customers who have fallen behind on home loans and owe more than their current home values. It is notifying them that they may qualify to have their loan balances reduced as much as $100,000 as part of a $25-billion, 49-state settlement over foreclosure abuses.
May 3, 2012 |
Wells Fargo & Co. has become so dominant in the mortgage business that major investors and federal regulators are worried that a financial hiccup at the giant bank could roil the already beleaguered real estate market. Wells originates 34% of all home loans - more than the combined total of the next seven biggest mortgage lenders. That's why regulators are closely watching the San Francisco bank, Paul J. Miller, a former Federal Reserve bank examiner, said Thursday. "The problem is there's a lot of systemic risk when one company has that much of the market," said Miller, an analyst specializing in mortgages at FBR Capital Markets & Co. Wells Fargo's balance sheet is viewed by analysts as being among the strongest of the nation's banks, and a major distress in its mortgage business is seen as unlikely.
April 12, 2012 |
Wall Street investment firms have not had the most successful initial public offerings in recent years — and Oaktree Capital Group may be no exception. Despite being highly regarded, the Los Angeles distressed-debt manager raised less in its IPO on Wednesday than planned. The company announced that it raised $380 million by selling 8.8 million shares at $43 each. That's at the lower end of its proposed range of $43 to $46 a share, according to an earlier filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
April 6, 2012
'Damsels in Distress' MPAA rating: PG-13 for mature thematic content including some sexual material Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes Playing: At the Landmark, West Los Angeles; ArcLight Cinemas, Hollywood
April 6, 2012 |
In a movie as stylized as Whit Stillman's "Damsels in Distress,"decor is destiny, so it's no accident that the dorm room shared by Violet (Greta Gerwig) and her roommates at a northeastern liberal arts college prominently features the poster for Max Ophüls' maudit masterwork "Lola Montès. " Violet, an amateur self-help guru who practices her questionable theories on her unfortunate classmates, doesn't share much with Ophüls' eponymous heroine, a Scottish dancer who reinvented herself as the Spanish mistress of a Bavarian king.
April 5, 2012 |
With a trio of sharp, literate films that mapped the emotional landscape of the young, American and upscale, Whit Stillman emerged from the '90s independent film scene as one of the decade's most distinct voices. His 1990 debut, "Metropolitan," earned him an Oscar nomination for screenwriting, and his follow-up examinations of the lives of the "urban haute bourgeoisie," as the characters of his movies were dubbed, "Barcelona" and "The Last Days of Disco," only cemented Stillman's reputation.
March 29, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - A little-known career bureaucrat temporarily filling a key government job has emerged as the person with the most impact on the nation's battered housing market - and is rapidly making enemies. As the regulator over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own or back 60% of the nation's mortgages, Edward J. DeMarco is considered by a growing number of people to be the single biggest obstacle to the housing market recovery for opposing the use of a major foreclosure prevention measure.