realtor Study Reveals Foreclosures Result of Excessive Debt

A recent study by the Pennsylvania Association of realtors reveals that overextended borrowers are only one financial hardship away from foreclosure.

Irvine Home Address … 62 RACING WIND Irvine, CA 92614

Resale Home Price …… $500,000

We sit on the brink of extinction

The world lies in wait

Just a scratch on the surface

Of time that will wash away

We delude ourselves with the notion

That we are here to stay

Napalm Death — Brink of Destruction

Far too many borrowers exist on the brink of destruction. They delude themselves with notions that they have their houses for life, and they are there to stay. A small scratch on the surface of the false veneer of prosperity damages them beyond repair, and they face foreclosure.

The Pennsylvania Association of realtors recently conducted a study of those who experienced foreclosure over the last 12 months. It reveals a group of borrowers who were hopelessly overextended an unable to withstand the smallest amount of financial hardship. Of course, that isn't how the realtors spin it….


Few experiencing foreclosures had subprime mortgages, previously regarded as the main culprit in the meltdown of the U.S. housing market

CONTACT: Samantha Elliott Krepps

External Communications Specialist

PA Association of rEALTORS®

(O) 717.561.1303 X 3006

(M) 717.303.9078

LEMOYNE, PA (Aug. 4, 2010) – Job loss and unexpected medical bills are among the top factors contributing to home foreclosures in Pennsylvania, according to a survey commissioned by the Pennsylvania Association of rEALTORS® (PAr).

Five hundred Pennsylvanians who encountered home foreclosure during the last 12 months were surveyed by Florida-based polling firm Strategic Guidance Systems (SGS) between June 22 and 27, 2010. Fifty-seven percent of the sample said their household had experienced a wage-earner’s job loss in the 12 months prior to their foreclosure,

This is the statistic they base most of their conclusion on. If 57% reported a job loss — not necessarily chronic unemployment — but some short-term drop in income, that means that 43% did not. Nearly half of those who went through foreclosure did not experience any job related financial distress.

while 47 percent said they had been hit by unexpected medical bills.

Don't people carry health insurance any more? Is it reasonable to think that unexpected medical bills that are not covered by insurance are that onerous? To me that is a sign that these borrowers were right on the edge of insolvency to begin with.

Thirty-six percent indicated they had other “unexpected bills.”

Doesn't everyone experience unexpected bills? If your car breaks down, that is unexpected. If the unexpected bills in life cause people to go over the brink and lose their houses, they have borrowed too much money.

The statistics they quote do not support their overriding conclusions. The truth is that most people borrowed way too much money under terms that were not stable, and even the slightest drop in their income put them in such a deep hole that they could not recover.

They forgot the most revealing statistic: 96% of foreclosed owners anticipated appreciation they could convert to cash to make payments and finance a lifestyle their wage income could not support…. Actually, I made that up, but it isn't far from the truth.

If you don't accept my argument that borrowers are hopelessly overextended, take a look at the graphic above modified from the JUNE HAMP report. The median back-end debt-to-income ratio of HAMP loan modifications is 79.9%. I find that number truly remarkable. Remember, the debt-to-income ratio is based on gross income. With 20% set aside for taxes, the median borrower has no disposable income whatsoever. And this is the median; that means half of the borrowers were even more indebted.

Subprime mortgages, which many regarded as the main culprit in the meltdown of the U.S. housing market, appear to have played a minor role in Pennsylvania foreclosures. Forty-one percent of survey respondents held prime fixed-rate mortgages and 12 percent had prime adjustable-rate loans. Only 14 percent carried a subprime mortgage.

Subprime is not the problem. Toxic loans cut across all borrower classifications.

“It’s clear that housing market conditions are closely tied to economic conditions, especially employment. Subprime mortgages have never really driven foreclosures in Pennsylvania,” said Austin Jaffe, Ph.D., PAR’s consulting economist and head of the Department of Insurance and Real Estate at the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University.

This academic pinhead is missing the broader problem. Sure, the housing market is closely tied to economic conditions, especially employment. Duh! The fact is the foreclosure problem is overly sensitive to economic problems because borrowers have too much debt. To fail to make that connection is to miss the real reason for the foreclosure problem.

“The study represents a significant number of Pennsylvanians who have personally experienced foreclosure in some way. They’re people from all walks of life, various socio-economic backgrounds and all parts of the Commonwealth,” SGS pollster Joel Searby said.

Government Programs, Lenders Not Helpful

Many of those surveyed also did not know about the state and federal programs available to those undergoing the foreclosure process:

  • 67 percent of respondents “never heard of” the federal Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative Program (“HAFA”)
  • 57 percent never heard of the federal Making Home Affordable program
  • 61 percent were unfamiliar with the Homeowner Equity Recovery Operation program of the PA Housing Finance Agency.

I find those numbers surprising. The various Bailouts and False Hopes have been well publicized. If more than half of those who are in trouble have not heard of these programs, they must not watch the news or use Google to search for help.

Ninety-one percent of those surveyed said they attempted to contact their lender about a solution to their pending foreclosure but 48 percent said their lenders were “not at all” willing to work with them.

Most of those 48% were probably unwilling to give up their entitlements in order to qualify for a loan modification. If borrowers are not willing to cut back on their lifestyles, lenders are not willing to cut them any slack.

The 30 percent who worked with their lenders said it made no difference. Nineteen percent said it “made things worse.”

The 30% who said it made no difference probably didn't qualify because they were already under the 31% DTI limit and didn't need a loan modification. These people applied to see if they could get some free money, and they were told no. The 19% who said it made things worse are the ones who lost hope and gave up when the loan modification didn't come through.

Most of the survey respondents were between the ages of 40 and 59. At the time of foreclosure, 71 percent had lived in their home for more than five years. Forty-one percent of the sample personally experienced foreclosure; 57 percent narrowly avoided or are currently in foreclosure.

The fact that 71% had lived in their homes more than 5 years shows this is not a problem limited only to peak buyers. I imagine they would also find that nearly 100% either bought at the peak or refinanced with cash out at the peak to put themselves into a situation where they faced foreclosure.

The survey has a margin of error of +4/-4 percent.

The association commissioned the study to understand the impact foreclosures have on individual Pennsylvanians, said Don Roth, PAR president.

The study was funded by a grant from the National Association of rEALTORS®.

In other words, the study is loaded with bias and dubious conclusions and will likely be used to lobby legislators for something that will benefit the NAr.

Foreclosure Process Shows Mortgage Lending Isn’t The Only Problem

By Ilyce Glink — Aug 4, 2010

Are mortgage lenders to blame for record high foreclosures?

Yes. They are. Greedy and foolish borrowers are their accomplices.

Some might say yes, but a new survey conducted by SGS on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors found that the economy, not faulting lending practices, is the main cause of foreclosure in the state.

Yes, that is what they concluded. It is also complete nonsense.

Fifty-seven percent of the Pennsylvania homeowners surveyed said a wage-earner in the home lost their job within in 12 months prior to their slip into foreclosure. Additionally, 47 percent said they were hit with unexpected medical bills.

SGS Executive Vice President Joel Searby said that “most domestic factors [that led to foreclosure] we found were job loss, unexpected bills and change in personal relationships. It was never just job loss. It was always job loss plus something else.”

He refers to the phenomenon as the“plus one factor.”

But maybe the idea of the “plus one factor” will put homeowners’ minds at ease. Foreclosure doesn’t sneak up on you because of the loan you choose or because you lost your job. The “plus one factor” posits that job loss and at least one other factor, one most likely related to the economy, are what send you into the foreclosure process.

So this is supposed to put people's minds at ease? This study tells people they are hanging by a thread, and the slightest financial hardship will break this thread and they will lose their homes. That shouldn't give people comfort, it should scare the hell out of them.

According to the survey, bad mortgage lending isn’t to blame for foreclosures in Pennsylvania. Of those surveyed, 41 percent had prime fixed loans, and only 8 percent had adjustable rate mortgages (ARM).

So what kind of loan did the other 51% have?

Searby says the main takeaway from the survey is that people must understand “it’s not just about the individual type of loan you enter into but the overall strength of the economy.” …

This is stupid. If the loan type a borrower takes out puts them on the brink of disaster, they they have a toxic time bomb waiting to blow up. Is Mr. Searby suggesting people can take out any loan they like as long as economic conditions are booming? We all saw how that turned out.

Similar surveys were also conducted in Nevada and Florida and yielded – surprise, surprise! – similar results. Apparently the “plus one factor” is at work nationwide.

OMG, these people are so stupid. I would expect the same results in Nevada, Florida, California and Arizona, not because the "plus on factor" but because toxic loans and overextended borrowers are the norm in those states.

The NAr and all its affiliate organizations are morally bankrupt liars who only care about duping hapless buyers into overpriced homes. It's shameful.

Racing toward foreclosure

Based on the behavior of some of the borrowers I profile, some people really believed house prices would go up forever, banks would just keep adding to their loan balance year after year, and when they finally wanted to sell, someone else would pay off their debts. I can't fully grasp the thinking, but it is the only explanation for why someone would more than double their mortgage in just a few years.

  • Today's featured property was purchased on 2/15/2000 for $282,000 by a single woman who borrowed $253,518 and put $28,482 down.
  • A husband was added to title in 2001, and the newlyweds refinanced the first mortgage for $264,000. Perhaps the extra $10,000 helped pay off they honeymoon. It appears to have wet their appetite for more HELOC money.
  • On 10/31/2002 they refinanced with a $352,000 first mortgage.
  • On 8/17/2004 they refinanced the first mortgage for $365,000.
  • On 9/19/2005 they obtained a HELOC for $125,000.
  • On 3/3/2006 they obtained a larger HELOC for $269,100.
  • On 11/05/2007 they got a $222,000 loan that appears to be a stand-alone second.
  • Total property debt is $587,000, hence the short sale.
  • Total mortgage equity withdrawal is $333,482. They more than doubled their mortgage.
  • The defaulted late last year, so they have only missed about 9 or 10 months worth of payments so far. Their auction is scheduled for 9/13/2010.

Foreclosure Record

Recording Date: 06/21/2010

Document Type: Notice of Sale

Foreclosure Record

Recording Date: 03/19/2010

Document Type: Notice of Default

Do you think they will sell it before the foreclosure? I am guessing no. The second mortgage lien is quite large, and negotiations with the seconds kill most short sales. I suspect they will need to be blown out in a foreclosure.

Irvine Home Address … 62 RACING WIND Irvine, CA 92614

Resale Home Price … $500,000

Home Purchase Price … $282,000

Home Purchase Date …. 2/15/2000

Net Gain (Loss) ………. $188,000

Percent Change ………. 66.7%

Annual Appreciation … 5.3%

Cost of Ownership


$500,000 ………. Asking Price

$17,500 ………. 3.5% Down FHA Financing

4.57% …………… Mortgage Interest Rate

$482,500 ………. 30-Year Mortgage

$98,522 ………. Income Requirement

$2,465 ………. Monthly Mortgage Payment

$433 ………. Property Tax

$0 ………. Special Taxes and Levies (Mello Roos)

$42 ………. Homeowners Insurance

$135 ………. Homeowners Association Fees


$3,075 ………. Monthly Cash Outlays

-$397 ………. Tax Savings (% of Interest and Property Tax)

-$627 ………. Equity Hidden in Payment

$30 ………. Lost Income to Down Payment (net of taxes)

$63 ………. Maintenance and Replacement Reserves


$2,142 ………. Monthly Cost of Ownership

Cash Acquisition Demands


$5,000 ………. Furnishing and Move In @1%

$5,000 ………. Closing Costs @1%

$4,825 ………… Interest Points @1% of Loan

$17,500 ………. Down Payment


$32,325 ………. Total Cash Costs

$32,800 ………… Emergency Cash Reserves


$65,125 ………. Total Savings Needed

Property Details for 62 RACING WIND Irvine, CA 92614


Beds: 3

Baths: 2 full 1 part baths

Home size: 1,571 sq ft

($318 / sq ft)

Lot Size: 2,814 sq ft

Year Built: 1980

Days on Market: 48

Listing Updated: 40352

MLS Number: S622256

Property Type: Single Family, Residential

Community: Woodbridge

Tract: Ch


According to the listing agent, this listing may be a pre-foreclosure or short sale.

This property is in backup or contingent offer status.

Beautiful single family cottage home located in great South Lake location. The huge kitchen features an abundance of upgraded cabinets and upgraded lighting with a breakfast bar and casual eating area opening to the family room. Formal dining room is light and bright – perfect for entertaining. The separate living room featuring a fireplace could also be perfect for your den or library. The upstairs has 3 large bedrooms including an oversized master bedroom. In addition to the three bedrooms, there's an additional office space and loft area. Technically a 3 bedroom, but lives like a 4 bedroom. This home features tons of storage space, both inside the home and in the garage. The yard is low maintenance. Enjoy nearby pool, tennis court, school, shopping and dining. Welcome home to your cottage in Woodbridge!

These properties with low HOAs and no Mello Roos benefit the most from lower interest rates. When most of the cost of ownership is the payment, the lower interest rates really make some of these houses much more affordable. This property is probably at or below rental parity.

30 thoughts on “realtor Study Reveals Foreclosures Result of Excessive Debt

  1. Alicia

    “Don’t people carry health insurance any more? Is it reasonable to think that unexpected medical bills that are not covered by insurance are that onerous? ”

    How about:

    “Using a conservative definition, 62.1% of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical; 92% of these medical debtors had medical debts over $5000, or 10% of pretax family income. The rest met criteria for medical bankruptcy because they had lost significant income due to illness or mortgaged a home to pay medical bills. Most medical debtors were well educated, owned homes, and had middle-class occupations. Three quarters had health insurance. Using identical definitions in 2001 and 2007, the share of bankruptcies attributable to medical problems rose by 49.6%. In logistic regression analysis controlling for demographic factors, the odds that a bankruptcy had a medical cause was 2.38-fold higher in 2007 than in 2001.”

    **Three quarters had health insurance.**

    Of course bankruptcy is an extreme event but below bankruptcy is it not reasonable to assume a great deal of financial stress lasting for years among those who don’t cave in and file.

    In my view a car breaking down is an expected event. Taht is what the rainy day fund is for. Getting wiped out by huge medical bills is hard to plan for. How much cash should I put by in case I am in a car accident tomorrow that costs me 6 figures after health insurance? A heart attack? A stroke? Contracting MRSA at the gym? The dreaded C ? Say 200k for each person in my household? And that should be saved before they dare buy a home? That would put a quick stop to the consumer economy and the housing market so the sheep are not encouraged to do it (and how many could on a 50k income with no real increase in wages in many cases since the 70s, though of course that doesn’t apply to *us* we are each special and above average).

    1. RahRahGrl

      I have to second this comment. Most middle-class jobs provide health insurance — to lose the job is to lose the safety net. COBRA is very expensive, and to plan for a major catastrophe beyond that is very unusual.

      Moreover, Pennsylvania didn’t experience the anything like the boom that we did, and it’s not the land of conspicuous consumption that characterizes the OC. But they did get hit hard with job losses early in this recession.

      But there is a complete lack of generalization from this study. Why in the world would PA be considered to be representative of other real estate markets? The economy of PA is completely different than CA (in particular OC), FL or NV. Apples and oranges.

      1. tonye

        Actually, stable health insurance is -IMHO- the primary reason for double incomes in a household: both husband and wife with jobs with health insurance.

        1. Maire

          Both can have health insurance but only for themselves. He/she can’t have their own health insurance policy =and= also be on the health insurance policy of their spouse. Usually the one with the most liberal policy and the lowest premiums gets to buy the family policy.

      2. AZDavidPhx

        The simple answer to RahRaHGurl’s dilemma is that people should spend less money on real estate so that they have more money to spend on their medical insurance.

        Something has to give.

    2. mikeD

      How to plan for future medical problems:

      In your emergency fund, plan for 12-18 months of medical insurance payments.

      Simple as that…no need for $200K for each person in the household.

      Cobra is expensive? So is everything else in life….get over it.

      1. RahRahGrl

        18 months of medical premiums for our family (family of 5, both adults employed with good medical coverage) comes out to less than $2K. The cost with Cobra: nearly $20K.

        Big difference.

        The answer to everything in family financial planning is to have an emergency fund. But when a single wage-earner family loses their source of income that $20K reserve is going to get depleted very quickly. And I seriously doubt most people have a fund anywhere near that size.

        Remember, we are talking about PA, where the typical income is drastically different than what we get here in the OC. Which comes back to my original point: there is really no way to generalize any findings from that “study” to the conditions we see here.

      2. Alicia

        We’re not talking about premiums here. We’re talking about financial distress from uncovered or rejected medical claims.

        It is easy for an insurer to put you over the brink by denying 100k+ in claims for a car accident or a major stroke. It happens. If you think it doesn’t then just wait until it happens to you or someone you know. While you’re arguing with them you’re the one at risk of going bankrupt, they can hold out longer than you.

        18 months premiums for our household (two healthy adults) is 15,300, employer provided high-deductible plan. That is typical in our state and demographics (two office worker types in low risk occupations ie we’re not trapeze artists, and no preexisting conditions, in fact we have NEVER used the insurance in 10 yrs other than minor dental). We have that and more in the bank but many don’t. COBRA – well you work it out.

        As for PA being unrepresentative (RahRahGrl) the point is well taken. OC RE is totally unrepresentative of my state but we’re all in the same leaky boat so my wailing about the moronic idiocies in CA RE isn’t going to help me, but it does affect me.

        1. tazman

          I think that the COBRA expense is a white elephant… under the current unemployment law, you qualify for MUCH reduced COBRA payments. When I got laid off last September, the COBRA was supposed to be about $600 a month, not chicken feed but not bad for full med/dental coverage. Because I was involuntarily unemployed, I qualified for reduced COBRA which was about $218 a month.

          In addition, if we accept that most spouses are working, the other spouse most likely has coverage through their work and the unemployment of a spouse is a “qualifying event” for adding the laid off spouse & family members to an existing employer plan, most often only adding another $125-150 extra a month to premiums, which the other spouse was mostly likely already paying through their employer.

          Finally, re-read the post… they had medical debts of $5000…. not the $100k that so many people love to toss out… and even if it was $100k, you always have the right to not pay that while fighting with them, it’s not going to bankrupt you to ignore a bill… it’s only when you are paying that it will lead you to bankruptcy… it really does come down to no reserves and overextended borrowing, pure and simple… everything else is just a red herring

          1. reply to Tazman

            Tazman: there are many different scenarios and costs. You are assuming your situation applies to everyone else. No. If I was to add my healthy 30-something wife to my employer’s plan, it would cost me $600 per month just for her and not counting any children. And I think (please verify) those reduced COBRA payments are no longer available to the newly unemployed or will run out soon.

  2. tonye

    So, I’ve been thinkin’

    Who’s to blame for the mortgage bubble mess?

    Think of mortgages and houses like heroin.

    Let me see, on one hand we got the customers. They want a house, they don’t much care what it will take. They just want a house period. It feels good, so they want one.

    On the other hand you got the people with the houses and the money. Now, normally, unless you are Michael Jackson, your doctor will NEVER give you heroin. They will know it’s bad for you. But, your doctor, again think Michael Jackson, knows you will go elsewhere and not make anymore off you anymore. But, being ethical, a good MD will NEVER give you heroin. The doctor wants your repeat business so he wants you to stay healthy so that you’ll trust him/her and keep making checkups with him.

    Note here: OK, twas a simplification… I think most MDs do really care about keeping you healthy… mine keeps telling something about diet, exercise, alcohol, cigars…. etc…

    Enter the pushers. They don’t much give a damn about your well being. They will sell you as much heroin as you got money for. If you die, they don’t give a hoot. There’s plenty more where you came from.

    So, IMHO, the good doctor is the way lenders and honest realtors used to be. The lender would make sure that only reasonably responsible people would get a loan. Realtors would give you advice about whether you were overpaying or not.

    But, when Wall Street entered the fray (think BANKSTERS now) all hell broke loose. The money came free, lenders didn’t care about responsible individuals, realtors stopped caring about their customer and only thought about their ever expanding commissions.

    Imagine.. in an era when inflation ran low, maybe like 5% a year, real estate went up like 100%. Wage inflation was very low, so how could anyone expect people to pay off these huge loans?

    I think that the BANKSTERS tried to pull a fast one here. The idea was to pass out free heroin to the population at large and then snare them forever. This is 21st century bondage at its best. Screw up a reasonably stable market and create a new class of indentured servants.

    I suppose that the reluctance to foreclose at large is the BANKSTERS sudden realization that their comeuppance is upon them: that a perfect storm had hit them and that no matter what their lackeys do for them (Obama, The US Fed) they are beyond help.

    Long term this will be another chapter of the corruption of the banksters in the US.

    Oh well… I rambled too much… but who’s really to blame?

    I think the banksters are.

  3. Stock Investor

    IrvineRenter: “Don’t people carry health insurance any more?”

    IMHO, it is more complicated.

    California insurers deny approximately 20-25% claims. Underpayments are much more common. Some HMOs almost automatically deny large claims.

    People fail to understand that insurance is not good substitute for proper risk management. Not these days when the financial sector is broken.

  4. squareround

    People should not buy when the mortgage rate is too low. When the rate is low, the price is artificially high. When the rate go to 3.5% next year, the price will go up another 10-15%. However, the rate will shoot up to 20% in five years. When the rate is 20%, the price will be a quarter of current price.

    1. IrvineRenter

      I wish we had some idea how long interest rates will remain so low. It seems to me that rates would begin to rise as the economy improves and capital begins chasing better returns. However, if interest rates remain low for as long as they have in Japan, we could be looking at very low interest rates for a very long time.

      Prices will hover around rental parity until the supply is washed through the system. If low interest rates persist for 5 more years, prices won’t fall. If interest rates rise back up to 7%-9%, prices will crater.

      1. IR_Fan

        If interest rates are up because as you state, the economy improves and capital begins chasing better returns, won’t rental rates also increase?

        Even if we have an inflationary spike which causes rates to go up, won’t rents also increase?

        1. IrvineRenter

          Not necessarily. Rents are a function of wages. If we see higher interest rates without improved employment, rents will not go up. Realistically, with as deep as the unemployment problem is, we are ages away from full employment putting any pressure on wages.

          1. IR_Fan

            But wouldn’t the same hold true of inflation, which would be the reason why the fed would raise rates so much?

            If the inputs to production are capital and labor (to put it over simplistically) and there is no wage pressure, then cost of capital has rise significantly in your scenario of high interest rates but also high unemployment.

            The last time stagflation of that kind was the result of commodity prices (oil) going crazy or
            I guess the US could run into bond viligantism ala Greece and see bad economics as well as a spike in rates.

            And we could have a significant unemployment rate which leads to much lower or flat “real” wages, but that doesn’t mean the inflation won’t cause the nominal wages to increase and therefore nominal rents to also increase.

          2. IrvineRenter

            Right now, mortgage interest rates are so low because the government backed mortgages through the GSEs and FHA are perceived as government securities with a better yield than treasuries. People are buying these things as a safe haven. This huge market distortion became reality the moment we took over the GSEs.

            Safe haven money will move out of mortgages when the economy improves as capital will seek out higher yielding investments. This will occur whether or not the FED does anything to change the Federal Funds rate; in fact, it should precede any action on the part of the FED.

            When coming out of a recession with high unemployment, money leaving safe-haven investments is what will invigorate the economy. But with so many people out of work, there will be a significant lag between the investment and any resulting wage inflation. Money leaving the safe haven of government-backed mortgage debt will cause mortgage interest rates to rise. It is during this lag time when mortgage interest rates will move higher, but we won’t have any wage inflation.

    2. mike23w

      i wish i could find the article, but it was saying the the government will prefer to keep rates as low as possible for as long as possible.

      after reading it, i moved from the interest rates will go up camp, to they’ll probably stay low for a good while longer camp.

      1. Chris

        My God, you finally realized this?

        I know this for a fact since late ’09 and have been buying long term CDs. ZIRP is here to stay for good.

        Hello Japan……

    3. Planet Reality

      This type of comment cracks me up. One only needs to look at history in the 1970s to prove that all 3 can go up at the same time:

      Rising interest rates
      Rising Unemployment
      And Rising home prices
      All happening at the same time

      One segment of the economy can do very well while another crashes. Funny example: Irvine vs Riverside.

  5. AZDavidPhx

    This is why the foreclosure problem is going to be a with us for a long time – the over indebtedness. Many people who are buying in the current market using 30 year loans (thinking their job is safe) will be laid off in the future and will lose the house.

    Telling someone what they can afford is tricky. It is similar to telling them which religion they should practice. Either way, they think they know it all and don’t want to hear it. So many of them are going to buy houses assuming two incomes can barely meet the monthly payment. One income will be lost and they will be toast.

    Buying a house that depends on two incomes is beyond foolish. Your odds of a financial setback double! Apply that to a 30 year timespan and ask how good your odds are.

    The medical bills excuse is hogwash in 90% of the cases. It’s usually because someone got sick and did not work for 5 years after, living off of HELOC and disability money instead. It’s not the medical bill that hosed them, it’s the fact that they did not go back to work after getting better.

    1. IrvineRenter

      The short sale may have gone to escrow. We can watch this for the next 3 or 4 months and see if the lenders are picking up the pace of their processing.

  6. Kirk

    The only reason the economy was doing reasonably well before the recession was the Ponzi style home equity withdrawals. Any way you slice it, these homeowners hung themselves. They are the reason the economy crumbled. Of course, they did manage to stave off the recession for many years while we shipped a ton of our real jobs off to India and China. So, let’s give them some credit.

  7. awgee

    “The central economic problem plaguing this country since 1913 has been the presence of the Federal Reserve System. Without the Federal Reserve System’s debt-currency scheme having effectively supplanted the constitutional monetary system based upon silver and gold, it would have been impossible – not simply improbable, or difficult, but impossible – for politicians in the public sector and speculators in the private sector to have amassed the staggering level of unpayable, unconstitutional, and unconscionable debt that now bears down upon this country.”

    Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Going to the Roots of the Problem

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