Last summer, we at Crunched Credit wrote (here, here and here) about Mortgage Resolution Partner’s (“MRP”), a San Francisco-based venture-capital firm, proposal whereby underwater performing residential mortgage loans held in private label securitization would be seized, refinanced, or restructured and sold to third party investors, with the government recovering the administration costs and MRP earning a fee on each transaction (the “Program”), which (or some version of which) was (and in some cases still is) being considered by, for example, the County of San Bernardino (which has dropped the idea), the City of Chicago (a decision on whether to move forward is still pending), Wayne County, MI (Detroit area) (Wayne County has dropped the idea), and the City of Salinas, CA (which has entered into an agreement with MRP to provide residential foreclosure data but has indicated that this agreement does not mean that they are considering the Program at this time).Continue Reading No Marriage for Mortgage Resolution Partners Yet (But Proposal Still Being Considered)

The warm weather is not the only thing descending on New York City this week as CREFC hosts its annual Distressed Debt Summit at the New York Athletic Club overlooking Central Park. March in New York City is famous for the Big East Tournament (speaking of distressed…), St. Patrick’s Day parades and love blooming along with the flowers. But it won’t be all buzzer beaters, green beer, horse carriage rides and proposals in the park as industry leaders look to discuss the market trends and opportunities in the distressed debt market for 2013.Continue Reading Distressed Debt Conference in Bloom in NYC

Early last month, in Borough of Merchantville v. Malik & Son, LLC, 429 N.J. Super. 416 (App. Div. 2013), the New Jersey appellate court held that a condemning authority, under the State’s eminent domain law, was not required to negotiate with a mortgagee which had obtained a final judgment of foreclosure on the relevant property, was in possession of said property and had the right to sell said property at a sheriff’s sale. Additionally, the appellate court held that the property owner’s express rejection of the condemning authority’s offer to purchase its property and invitation to discuss more reasonable compensation was inadequate evidence that the property was worth more than the amount offered by the condemning authority and constituted a rejection of such offer permitting the condemning authority to proceed with litigation.Continue Reading Left Out in the Cold: New Jersey Court Holds Condemning Authority Not Required to Negotiate with Lenders in Eminent Domain Proceedings

Earlier this summer, the New York State Assembly passed the “Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act of 2012” which imposes criminal liability on those in the residential mortgage business who use allegedly fraudulent and deceptive practices in connection with a foreclosure action, and the Managers who “recklessly tolerate” any such practices. Despite the swift passage in the Assembly, it is unlikely that the proposed legislation will be taken up by the New York Senate before the 2012 legislative session formally adjourns in January. If this bill is to move forward, the most likely course will be for the Assembly to re-enact it in 2013 and then send it to the Senate for consideration. But because of the committed support of New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, it is likely that this bill will be kicking around Albany for several more months – so let’s take a closer look at what might end up on the books.Continue Reading A Closer Look at New York’s “Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act”

We previously covered the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decisions in Ibanez and Bevilacqua on these pages, in which the court gave Massachusetts lenders agita when it upheld lower court decisions invalidating residential mortgage foreclosures.  In a recent decision in Eaton v. Federal National Mortgage Association, the SJC set the record straight by clarifying foreclosure requirements in Massachusetts. Continue Reading Massachusetts Lenders Can Find Solace in Eaton v. Federal National Mortgage Association

Earlier this month I was a panelist at the HOPE NOW REO Symposium in DC. The Symposium brought together residential mortgage loan servicers, community non-profits, private equity investors, government agencies and lenders to discuss the growing number of REO on the balance sheets of Fannie, Freddie and private mortgage lenders. I participated in a panel that focused on how private investors in REO might finance their investment in a pool of REO. One key financing option for investors will be the securitization of the rental income from the REO. Of course, in order to move this forward, we will need rating agency criteria.Continue Reading REO to Rental: Treating the Symptoms and Not the Disease

With little good news on the horizon for the U.S. residential housing market, public and private programs offering the sale of bulk residential REO is, in many circles, the topic for real estate investment.  The REO-to-Rental play is not without its risks – questions about the availability of financing and the viability of a structured exit remain as key questions.  Still, the strategy may present a favorable opportunity for banks and investors alike.Continue Reading Own-to-Rent: New Approach to Overflow REO Gaining Attention

In August I wrote about an amendment to a Chicago vacant buildings ordinance that I thought (and I was one of many) was crazy, despite being sympathetic to the plight resulting from the city’s blight. The City of Chicago subsequently passed a less onerous, yet still problematic, vacant buildings ordinance effective as of November 19, 2011.

In a nutshell, the ordinance requires mortgagees to pay registration fees for vacant residential properties, requires monthly inspections of mortgaged properties to determine vacancy status and imposes maintenance requirements on mortgagees, as if such mortgagees were property owners, even when such mortgagees do not own the property because they have not yet foreclosed on the related mortgage loan and therefore have not obtained title to the related property. Fines and penalties of up to $1000 per day could be imposed for failure to comply with the ordinance.Continue Reading More About that Chicago Vacant Buildings Ordinance

Acting in response to last week’s removal  of the Occupy Wall Street, er, Occupants from, well, Wall Street, a Suffolk county judge ordered that the City of Boston obtain the court’s leave prior to relocating the current Occupants of Boston back to their dorm rooms.  The order is temporary, and the judge intends to hear arguments on the merits in early December.  While the Commonwealth has enjoyed a particularly temperate autumn, average temperatures dropped precipitously last week – a fact that, coupled with Dewey Square’s  proximity to the Harbor, may see to it that the issue becomes moot.  As one Occupant wrote: “Mom – protest’s gr8 but freeeeeeeeezing lol (^_^) – pls send fleece and UGG boots (check bedroom next to Xbox)!!!  GTG – c u at xmas :-)”.Continue Reading For The People; Against Corporate Greed and Securitizations and Stuff

The fallout from Ibanez continues in the Bay State.  As I (fearfully) predicted earlier this year, the SJC of Massachusetts (in its second foreclosure-related ruling of 2011) has affirmed a lower court’s decision in Bevilacqua v. Rodriguez.  The SJC ruled Tuesday that Mr. Bevilacqua lacked clear title to a home he purchased from U.S. Bank (which had