It's not dead, it's gone in to hiding so the industry can recover from the onslaught of politicians with nothing else better to do but "save" everyone and, in doing so, cripple an entire industry. Not to mention them going against one thing that is supposed to happen with a capitalism economy; right alongside success is also failure. Companies fail and get rebuilt. People fail and homes, cars, boats, etc. get repossessed by the banks. It's the capitalistic circle of life! Industries are built on this circle. From mortgage brokers to real estate agents. The irony is that many of their saving programs failed and we will be right back where we were. In the meantime, how many in our industry will now fall? The current administration only saved a few but in doing so they caused a quite a few more to fall. How is that progress? How is that change? To make it worse, those that were saved only failed later. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying there weren’t some serious issues in the foreclosure world. There was fraud, invalid foreclosures, and a few other problems. The government, with the National Mortgage Settlement, made those at fault pay to the tune over $51 billion. However, that still doesn’t change the fact that foreclosures will not die so long as we have capitalism. Banks will still lend, and, for many various reasons, people will still default, and the banks will repossess. We won't have what we did 5 yrs. ago but there will be plenty to go around and if another bubble bursts I bet that there will much less of a noticeable celebration in the industry that makes money from it......after all, we wouldn't want to give the politicians another opportunity to grandstand at the expense of the real estate industry.
Now, speaking of politicians interfering. One of the first things done when the current administration took office was a moratorium on foreclosure activity. All banks that had foreclosures were ordered to stop processing them. Next come the reviews, audits, fines, etc.. (all of which were dealt with as mentioned above and the National Mortgage Settlement) and here we are a few years later and they are now finally getting back to where they can proceed with business, which does mean finally processing those properties in default. Interestingly enough those orders did not include Fannie and Freddie with whom the government has a significant vested interest. What’s the point you ask? Well, have you seen Fannie’s profits for the 2nd quarter? $10.2 BILLION! Yes, that’s billion with a B. So, in essence, the government shut down all of their competition and reaped the rewards. How would you like to shut down every real estate agent in your market area and take every listing out there for nearly 4 years? Pretty slick if you ask me.
I have a webinar to teach in an hour so I better end the rant. I will close by saying what I started with, that REO’s are not dead, but merely in hiding. Banks want to keep a low profile on their foreclosures activity so they won’t have politicians interfering again. Wouldn’t you if you had to pay $51 Billion the last time they interfered? In addition, if you don’t really believe me then understand I have been doing this for 10 years and I know patterns when I see them. Keep an eye on all of the reports and you will see some that state foreclosures are down while others state they are up. Why the confusion? Well…..good question…why?