March 8, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Could rental houses owned and managed by deep-pocketed hedge funds and big investors be the post-bust steppingstones to homeownership for huge numbers of renters? Could they also provide a form of safe harbor or sanctuary for thousands of families who were displaced by financial difficulties from their previous homes through foreclosures or short sales? A new national study suggests that the answer to both questions is yes. Over the last five years, according to Wall Street analysts' estimates, between $7 billion and $9 billion worth of distressed single-family homes have been purchased and converted to rentals by institutional investors such as hedge funds, private partnerships of high-net-worth individuals and even pools of capital raised among investors in foreign countries.
February 4, 2013 |
Los Angeles, a city where 63.1% of residents rent their homes, is in the midst of a crisis in rental housing. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development laid out the stark facts. Los Angeles rents have increased, after adjusting for inflation, by nearly 30% over the last 20 years. During the same period, renter incomes have decreased by 6%. One important part of the problem is an inadequate supply of affordable rental units. Only 37 units are available and affordable for every 100 would-be renters living at the average renter income level.
February 3, 2013 |
If researchers at the nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending are on target when they say the country is only halfway through the foreclosure crisis, many more people are going to be conned out of a great deal of money trying to save their homes. But it doesn't have to be like that. And it won't be if Uncle Sam has his way. The government is coming down hard on swindlers who cheat owners willing to try almost anything to avoid foreclosure. In December, for example, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took steps to shut down two alleged loan-modification mills that the agency says bilked people out of more than $10 million.
August 30, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The nation's five largest banks are off to a good start on their promise to help ease the foreclosure crisis, providing nearly 140,000 struggling homeowners with a total of $10.6 billion in mortgage debt relief, according to a government report. But the banks have much more work to do to fulfill their requirements under a $25-billion agreement reached in February to settle federal and state foreclosure abuse investigations, key officials said. And to keep the pressure on, the government released the preliminary report Wednesday - the first look at how Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc. were carrying out their commitments.
August 26, 2012 |
Edward Albertian had been working for only a few weeks at his new job, managing the first two Boston-area Staples stores, when he got an unnerving call from his wife. As Staples staffed up, Albertian had been poaching talent from his old company, and his former boss was piqued. That morning, a courier had delivered papers to Albertian's wife threatening them with eviction unless they immediately repaid the $250,000 loan from Albertian's former company that they had used to buy their home.
August 14, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Rep. Dennis Cardoza, a Democrat from California's Central Valley, plans to resign his seat Wednesday rather than retire at the end of the term as he had originally planned. “Tomorrow, I will be submitting my formal letter of resignation from Congress to Gov. Jerry Brown and Speaker John Boehner, effective midnight Aug. 15,” he said in a statement Tuesday. Cardoza, a House member since 2003, announced his retirement plans last fall after redistricting scrambled the state's political boundaries, further shaking up the state's congressional delegation.