Report: Mortgage foreclosures up 81 percent

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. foreclosure activity jumped 81 percent in 2008, with one in every 54 households getting at least one filing notice, suggesting various state laws and private programs to slow the process have been ineffective, RealtyTrac reported on Thursday.


 


 Nearly 3.2 million foreclosure filings on 2.3 million properties were made last year, the Irvine, California-based research firm said. Filings include notice of default, auction sale or bank repossession.


 


 "Clearly the foreclosure prevention programs implemented to date have not had any real success in slowing down this foreclosure tsunami," James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said in the report.


 


 Foreclosure activity did slow in the fourth quarter overall, declining 4 percent from the third quarter, but jumped nearly 40 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007.


 


 And foreclosure activity last year was up 225 percent from 2006, the year home prices began a deep slump that prevented many homeowners from selling or refinancing.


 


 Home prices have plunged more than 20 percent from the summer of 2006, according to Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller measures.


 


 Filings leaped by 17 percent in December from November.


 


 "State legislation that slowed down the onset of new foreclosure activity clearly had an effect on fourth-quarter numbers overall, but that effect appears to have worn off by December," Saccacio said. "The recent California law, much like its predecessors in Massachusetts and Maryland, appears to have done little more than delay the inevitable foreclosure proceedings for thousands of homeowners."


 


 California required lenders to provide written notice of their intent to start foreclosure proceedings 30 days prior to issuing a notice of default.


 


 Nevada, Florida, Arizona and California, respectively, posted the highest state foreclosure rates last year, RealtyTrac said.


 


 These are states where home prices soared the most during the five-year housing boom earlier this decade.


 


 Foreclosures also rose as interest rates jumped last year just as hundreds of billions of dollars of adjustable-rate mortgages reset, sending loan payments sharply higher.


 


 And lenders that had seldom turned potential borrowers away clamped down, curbing access to new funds, as foreclosures shot to record highs.


 


 RealtyTrac has said that foreclosure activity would spike without a broad permanent fix for troubled mortgages in what economists are calling a deep recession.


 


 Some relief may come from January's tumbling home loan rates, spurred by the promise of massive government purchases of mortgage bonds.


 


 Average 30-year loan rates have fallen under 5 percent, the lowest in some four decades, by several measures. Requests to refinance have soared to the highest level in more than five years, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, which could cut borrowing costs and help keep some borrowers in their homes.


 


 Nevada had the highest rate of foreclosure, with more than 7 percent of Nevada housing units, or one in every 14, receiving at least one foreclosure notice in 2008. There were foreclosure filings on 77,693 properties, up nearly 126 percent from 2007, RealtyTrac said.


 


 California had the highest number of foreclosure filings, at 523,624 properties, followed by Florida and Arizona.


 


 Among the 100 largest metropolitan areas, Stockton, California, had the highest rate of foreclosure, at 9.46 percent. Las Vegas was close behind in second place.


 


 Cities in California and Florida accounted for seven of the top 10 metro foreclosure rates, RealtyTrac said. Economically challenged Detroit was in 10th place, with one of every 22 housing units receiving a filing notice last year.

California Democrats are leading the way on green spending, but what do they have to show for it?

In this clip, Glenn discusses California's crippling energy shortage and pleas to its citizens to stop cooling their homes during the current heat wave. Elected officials want Californians to buy electric vehicles and stop charging them, leaving Glenn to deduce that California lawmakers want people to stay home.

California's grid is under such strain that it requires a power plant in Oakland that burns jet fuel to continue operating through the end of next year to keep the lights on. "That sounds green as crap, doesn't it?" Glenn snarked. Can Americans continue to shrug this off as only California’s problem? Well, between the 17 states who have bound themselves to California by law, how long will it be before the rest of America begins to feel the impact in their lives?

The average price for a gas-powered vehicle is approximately $48,000, while the average price for an electric car is more than $66,000. And according to a study from the Hoover Institution, California will have to double its grid to meet the EV demand.

Watch as Glenn walks through the challenges and the proposed "solutions" out of California.

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After tense negotiations between Amtrak, its workers, and the White House, Biden has announced that they've reached a "tentative deal" to avoid a national rail strike.

Reuters reported:

U.S. passenger railroad Amtrak would resume normal operations Friday as it works to quickly restore canceled trains after a freight rail labor deal was announced, averting a rail shutdown.

"We're saved!" Glenn said on Thursday's radio program. Pay no attention to what was happening just a few months ago with this deal or the fact that it is nearing the midterms. Just stand in awe of the totally coherent Joe Biden and his unquestionable cognitive ability to intervene in negotiations with the union workers and save America.

"This is political theatre at its finest," Glenn said. In this video, Glenn performed a one-man political theater show and illustrated why some might be led to believe that the whole Amtrak debacle was strategically planned — and on International Democracy Day to boot.

Enjoy the show.

Download the podcast here.

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San Francisco Chronicle reported that catalytic converter thieves targeted police vehicles earlier this week.

According to police, at around 1 p.m. on Monday, an SFPD officer discovered that a catalytic converter had been stolen off of a police truck in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. A spokesperson said the officer later noticed multiple police vehicles had been hit by thieves.

No arrests have been made. Multiple officer injuries have been reported in connection to catalytic converter theft incidents.

As San Francisco police were targeted by catalytic converter thieves, House Rep. Nancy Pelosi was in D.C., along with President Joe Biden, and told the American people about the totally successful and not at all disastrous Inflation Reduction Act. Glenn Beck covered the spectacle on his radio program and called the gathering "the worst propaganda ever devised."

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