Antiquated Laws Make Foreclosures More Likely

Many states have laws on the books that make it difficult for home owners to avoid foreclosure, says a new report by the National Consumer Law Center.

The center identifies these state laws as some of the most antiquated and unfavorable to home owners.

  • Fast track foreclosure. In 30 states and the District of Columbia, mortgage holders who allege that home owners have fallen behind on the payments can bypass the courts and move directly to auction off homes. To defend against the action, home owners must get a judge to review the claims and stop foreclosure.
  • No direct notification of foreclosure proceedings. In 33 states and the District of Columbia, there is no requirement that home owners be personally served with a foreclosure notice.
  • No requirement to find solutions other than foreclosure. In every state but California and Connecticut, mortgage holders can move directly to foreclosure without discussing the issue and other potential solutions with the home owner.
  • Eleventh-hour payments can be ignored. In 29 states, a mortgage holder has no legal obligation to stop foreclosure even if the home owner comes up with enough money to bring the mortgage current, including paying penalties and fees.
  • Big penalties are legal. In every state but Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, a mortgage holder who claims a home owner has fallen behind in payments can immediately impose default fees and costs that reduce the chances that the homeowner can catch up by making the payments owed.

“The bottom line is that most state laws are not part of the foreclosure crisis solution today; they are a big part of the problem,” say John Rao, attorney and co-author of the report.

Source: National Consumer Law Center

Target Stores Feel Housing Pain

Among the losers in the housing downturn are Target discount department stores.

Target sells twice as much home-related goods as Wal-Mart and its sales, as well as its stock price, have been feeling the pinch.

Since the housing bubble burst in 2007, sales of home-goods at Target declined more than 20 percent.

“The fact that [home goods] were such a strong core and magnet department certainly had a powerful impact on customers and investors alike,” says Chris Ohlinger of Service Industry Research Systems, Inc.

He believes that housing has now hit bottom and Target will begin to recover–a process, he says, that will take two years.

Source: BusinessWeek.com, Damian Joseph 

Sneak Peek.. Westview listing

Release: March
Stats: 3bed/ 2bath Bungalow- meticulously restored, 4 fireplaces, Hardwoods, Built-in’s, Butler’s Pantry, Claw foot tub, Jetted Tub, SS Appliances- MUST SEE to believe how much more!
Community: Diverse, Multi generational , Energetic, Inviting,- feels like “home”
Neighborhood: Intown Atlanta, Beltline, Public Trans, Sidewalks, Restaurant, Shops/Boutiques
Homes: Spacious 1920 Bungalows, Frame, Brick, 2 story Traditional and a few Cali Bungalows
Residents: Architects, Artists, Media Designers, Corporate Professionals, Entrepreneurs, Lawyers
Cool: This community published their own Neighborhood, “WESTVIEW”, book! Chili & Pizza parties, walking tours, a solid neighborhood association
Website: www.westviewatlanta.com
What do you think?

Fixing Commercial Real Estate Is Key for Recovery

The commercial real estate market is the “one domestic factor that keeps me up at night,” Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart told the Association for Financial Professionals meeting Monday in Orlando.

Lockhart told the group that $400 billion of commercial real estate refinancing was hanging over the market and could slow the country’s economic recovery, which he expects to be clearly underway in the second half of 2009.

 He also said he believed many of the predictions for the timing of the end of this downturn to be too pessimistic. “Economic forecasts will tend to be overly optimistic as the economy goes into a recession, but overly pessimistic as the economy comes out of recession and begins its expansion phase. Perhaps, we should take some comfort from that,” he said.

Source: Reuters News, Alister Bull

The day after; Another West End Party..

Yesterday (Feb 24th) was my birthday! -thanks for all the Facebook shout outs 🙂  My wonderful neighbors (Beth and Joel McBee) had a combined, birthday/ Mardi Gras party in which I was dubbed “Queen” .  We had a lovely time, plenty of Louisianna home cooking, drinks, sweets and another special guest: “Tekitha” – who sung her hit song “My Heart Aches” . (check out theMyspace page www.myspace.com/tekitha  or Youtube of this Solo Artist down with Wu Tang Clan) .   West End certainly knows how to make a person feel special.  As usual, I was able to get only a few pictures before my battery died 😦 … I think Beth has more…

Atlantans Together Anti-Crime Rally

Ok- did it feel like 26degrees out or what? It was FREEZING!  Although I’m glad we didn’t let that stop us!  It was cold, but my girls and I headed out to represent 🙂  The rally was a success and drew people from all over- Grant Park, College Park.. .. B.T.W. was shining;it was a wonderful way to end the day.

Night out in West End

We had a great time out with W.E.N.D….