Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sub Prime Lenders Look Weak

There were a number of rumors today about sub-prime lenders closing shop. This one turned out to be true. This forum on BrokerUniverse seems to be a good source for finding out which sub prime lenders are in trouble.


"Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Ownit Mortgage Solutions Inc., a California-based home lender part-owned by Merrill Lynch & Co., closed this week and told more than 800 workers not to return, a former employee said.

The company informed its staff of the closure on Tuesday, Kevin Panet, who was a training manager for the Agoura Hills- based lender, said in a telephone interview today. Chief Executive Officer William Dallas didn't return messages left on his voicemail and with an assistant.

Ownit joins Ameriquest Mortgage Co., Countrywide Financial Corp., H&R Block Inc.'s Option One, BNC Mortgage Inc. and other lenders in shutting operations or laying off employees as the U.S. housing market slows. Delinquencies are rising, home prices are falling and borrowers of adjustable-rate mortgages are facing higher monthly payments."


Full article...

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Thursday, December 07, 2006 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger I Love Broadband over PowerLine said...

The Quintero`s Paid $874,890 in November 2005. House now worth $639,990 a year later. Ouch. !!!
http://www.modbee.com/local/story/13069752p-13723099c.html

Tax assessors may ease pain for buyers with bad timing.

By J.N. SBRANTI
BEE STAFF WRITER

Last Updated: December 2, 2006, 05:06:46 AM PST

Albert Quintero’s timing couldn’t have been worse.
He made a deal to buy a new Turlock luxury home in November 2005, at the real estate market’s peak.

By the time construction ended in July, Quintero’s Milestone Way home wasn’t worth the $874,890 he was contractually obligated to pay.

Now the same model — a new home on nearby Tapestry Way — is priced at $639,990.

“It’s really tough to swallow that we paid 37 percent more than what our home is worth now,” Quintero said. “We got caught.”

He wasn’t the only homeowner burned by buying at the top of the market.

Potentially, thousands of Northern San Joaquin Valley homes bought within the past 18 months may be worth less than their purchase price, according to county assessors.

But here’s a bit of good news for those homeowners: County assessors will consider lowering the assessments — and thus property taxes — for recently purchased homes.

“If you bought your home within the last two years, I recommend you call us and ask to have your property’s market value reviewed,” said Doug Harms, Stanislaus County’s assessor.

The review is free, and assessors must do it once a year if requested.

A lowered assessment could save homeowners thousands of dollars annually in property taxes.

Take Quintero’s home. If the assessor’s office determines his Milestone Way home is worth $639,990 like the Tapestry Way house rather than the $874,890 he paid, Quintero potentially could owe $2,349 less per year in property taxes.

That’s because property taxes are based on 1 percent of the assessed value.

“The listed sales price these days is no longer necessarily the current market value for a piece of property,” Harms said.

That’s true for a couple of reasons. First, home values have fallen since last winter. Second, many recent home sales — especially for new homes — included the cost of things other than real estate.

Incentives’ costs subtracted

Some builders have been offering new cars, fancy vacations or other goodies as incentives.

“You don’t want to be paying property taxes for the Mexican cruise that was included with the home, and we don’t want you to, either,” Harms said.

So county assessors must subtract the cost of such incentives from the purchase price before establishing the assessed value of the real estate.

“There are so many deals going on that we’re asking more questions about what’s included in the price,” Harms said. “If personal property was included — like refrigerators, drapes or furniture — or services like free cable TV for a year, then we absolutely need to know those things.”

If homeowners have evidence that the value of their home has dropped, county assessors want to know that, too.

“We anticipate getting a lot more phone calls about assessments next week,” Harms predicted.

That’s because property taxes are due Dec. 11. “When homeowners write their checks to pay their property tax bills, they’re going to think their home values are assessed too high.”

Assessed values are printed on the tax bills.

“My guess is that we’re going to find a pretty good number of homes that need to have their assessed market value lowered, especially those purchased within the last 12 months,” Harms said.

This isn’t the first time real estate values have declined and home assessments had to be lowered.

“At one point back in the 1990s, over 50 percent of the residential properties had their assessments reduced,” recalled David Leonard, San Joaquin County’s assistant assessor. “We don’t see a mass dropping of home values like we did back in the early ’90s, but home values last year were higher than they are now.”

Friday, December 08, 2006 11:00:00 AM  
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