The below letter was sent to me by a REOPro Default Professionals member evidencing the fact that the REOPro member is writing his State Senator to address issues in the REO market of unfair practices. I thought you all might want to read it yourself. NOTE: I did redact some names and contact information in order to protect others privacy.
Senator David and staff,
The market in Georgia is "on fire," but it is also being completely held back by the CFPB, regulations and the lack of REO/Bank Owned properties coming to market. Georgia has always been an REO state , and for my 14 year career in real estate, we have always been in the top 5 states in the United States. Realtors like S*** R****, M*** P*******, M*** B**** and myself have been drastically down in business due to the red tape to foreclose, and the CFPB making banks jump through hoops in order to foreclose. Some people have filed bankruptcy, have done loan modifications and in some cases have not made a payment in years.
Housing reports are showing that things are up in value, but that is due to the lack of inventory, lower inventory (due to lack of distress properties & still underwater properties in GA), hedge funds turning everything into a rental and multiple offers on almost every property. We are about to go into another bubble, due to the aforementioned. Fannie, Freddie, HUD keep selling loans to investors (who then rent) under the radar to look profitable to the house and senate. Frankly, we are getting tired of this. I drive around Metro Atlanta and see all the vacant, boarded up homes, and houses with bank owned stickers in the window, which have not been introduced to the market. It is getting ridiculous. The consumers, neighbors, Realtors and buyers know what is going on. Wholesalers and there fraudulent deals are back in full force again. We went through the same thing in 2003-2007. We are going through the same thing, but nobody wants to talk about it. The Realtors are tired of it. Nobody can get a house in the middle-lower class, due to all the hedge funds and "all cash offers." Buyers in the average-higher level properties are also paying way to much, due to the limited property. Banks are starting to get pressure form their congressional members about the "millennials" not buying houses. No Kidding? Can they get a job? Pay off their student debt, and are not gun shy after all that happened with the housing market?
I have been selling REO in Atlanta, GA for 9 years and have been selling real estate full-time since 2001. I have seen 3 bubbles, and this "recovery" is far from recovery. It is called manipulation and the selling of loans under the radar and to "non-banks" who do not conform to TARP/HARP and regulations....Ie....Nationstar, Pennymac and Ocwen. They are taking these homes at a discount, then putting them on their website to make a 3% auction fee, while kicking all agents out an neglecting the house and neighborhood. Nationstar use to be a good client, but now they have become Ocwen. They are making millions off their webiste, cutting agents, loan officers and other closing attorneys out of the deal while they make millions and cut jobs. It is getting old. I have paid thousands of dollars in taxes over the past 9 years. I have seen the CFPB get larger and larger. They are looking to build a new campus at 335 per/sqft, which his more than Trump Towers. The #2 guy stepped own. The #1 guy from Ocwen stepped down. Can we stop with the red tape? The CFPB has become Rogue and only flexing their muscles over political agenda. I pay my mortgage, and I am still under water. I could do like others and not pay my mortgage, do a loan modification and play all the other games to my advantage, but I have pride and morals.
My other gripe is that Fannie Mae needs to be more transparent when it comes to procuring agents. I have been told many times "they are not taking new agents," only to find a new agent in their network. I have seen agents who have also admitted to "knowing somebody in Fannie Mae." They then get a lot of business, and have never sold an REO or how to run the task from "cradle to grave" without their staff. I have numerous accounts of such, and frankly it is getting old. Our company is LGBT owned, but evidently it won't matter. Our Realtor network is also tired of the lack of transparency when selecting agents based on experience and results. Freddie, Fannie and HUD claim they have these "open channels," but they do not. Do a survey with moth agents and you will see that Fannie, Freddie and HUD contracts are not transparent and they are favored. I would like my name to remain silent, but i know this to be true.
Can we please look into the below items. They are about to cause another bubble and kill our housing market is a few years:
Hedge funds: they get to buy bulk sales from Fannie, HUD and Freddie. They then rent them, per the contract. How does this help home preservation? I thought all the aforementioned were all about "owner occupants."
The CFPB: They keep suing banks. Really? Has it not been since 2007 now? The stature of limitations in some states is almost over, and some occupants may be able to live in their house for free for the rest of their life. How is that fair to anybody else??
Selling of mortgages to Ocwen. Banks keep selling to Ocwen. They then outsource their work to India, Use their own network and make a ton off their www.HUBZU.com. Their properties sit on the market forever, due to the price and they do not maintain them. The neighborhood suffers and the bank does not care. The same will be true with www.homesearch.com
We need the CFPB and GSE's to stop allowing people to stay in their house for years without making a payment. Really? It is not "fair to them for signing up for a loan they did not mean to sign?" Well, perhaps the GSE's should not have promoted home ownership, backed the banks along with Barney Frank, then blame them for all that happened.
I am simply voicing my opinion. We are going back into a bust again soon. The stock market is overvalued, real estate is overpriced and the GDP and employment is sill low. People are paying more in rent vs. to own. The problem is they can't get a loan or see what is going on despite all the "market indicators." I would be happy to take you or your staff on a tour so you can see what I am talking about.
I am a middle wage earner who pays taxes. I am tired of the games of the current administration the GSE's and the CFPB. It is starting to hurt Realtors, attorneys, lenders, asset companies and vendors. It is hitting our bottom line and we see what is going on. We know Georgia has/always will have a healthy amount of REO. Again, ask some of us seasoned Realtors as to what is going on, and you will see the market is way over valued, and we will crash again. People are paying top dollar at all-time low interest rates. What happens when they raise a couple points? CRASH!!!!!!! Have we not seen this before?
Something needs to be addressed with the CFPB, as they are not helping, they are hindering. Dodd/Frank has also killed off lending for the last 7 years. IF things do not change, we will be back into another housing crisis. I would be happy to talk to you in further detail.