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The U.S. is becoming a "squatter nation," where homeowners don't make a payment for as much as...

The U.S. is becoming a "squatter nation," where homeowners don't make a payment for as much as five years while continuing to live in their homes. Nationwide, it takes an average of 565 days to foreclose on borrowers in default from their first missed payments to the final auction.
Comments (41)
  • This is disgusting.
    This is a product of the "Progressive" nightmare we have building to since Wilson. This is a total breakdown of American Ideals and values. What we once fought and died for is now to be frowned on. Look at the so called Arab Spring that Obama is so fond of. This is "EVIL", pure and simple. Americans know what is right and wrong! This progressive/socialist administration is WRONG!
    Pray for the good lord to watch over this wonderful little experiment in freedom called America!
    God knows the extreme left isn't.
    10 Jun 2011, 06:08 PM Reply Like
  • The axis of evil...... Don't be fooled by the bi-partisn smoke screen, they want you to argue and be side-stepped by all this right/left garbage. Sorry to tell it's not a Republican or Democrat problem. If the American people are not engaged, then the politicians will do as they wish, just as they have done.


    By the way, the people I know that are squatting in their homes are, for the most part, conservative Republicans. They think its a "business" decision not to pay under the disguise (excuse) of a free market. Yes, it is disgusting
    11 Jun 2011, 01:40 AM Reply Like
  • It is all part of the plan. This is a balance sheet recession, i.e. too much debt on consumers and banks. By not paying the banks consumers repair their abalnce sheets (hopefully) and banks get reiumbursed by the government for the losses ( via Fed back door). So, banks feel that the greateful to them for executing the plan and don't understand what is all this nonsense about regulation. -))
    10 Jun 2011, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • This one really pisses me off. While the American taxpayer bails out the bankers to the tune of trillions, the average working schmuck that these bankers screwed are called squatters.


    Jerry369, I'm a progressive. And boy would I like to blame the Republicans for this.......and I do. However, try as I might I can't put all the blame on them. The Democrats are equally to blame for this housing/bank mess.


    I don't know what this Arab Spring rant has to do about anything, but, I'll be happy to talk about a contrived war in Iraq that shouldn't have taken place since you brought up the subject. I'll be happy to talk about the President of the United States (Bush) and his lacky Chaney lying to the American People to execute that war which killed hundreds of thousand of people and wounded tens of thousands more.


    A lot of the economic problems we're having can be attributed to spending on this unnecessary war and the spending is only beginning. It will cost trillions to provide healthcare and support for the tens of thousands of young men and women injured in the Iraq war over their lifetimes-we owe them that.


    Yes, it is pure EVIL, to lie to the American People, and conduct a war based on those lies.


    Yes, I pray all the time that this nation will not have to suffer the leadership of men like that ever again. AMEN
    10 Jun 2011, 07:14 PM Reply Like
  • This nation is suffering the leadership of men like that again right now. We're at war in Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq.


    Bush, Obama....Romney....there is no difference. They are just puppets that look good on camera. It's just American Idol on a grander scale.
    11 Jun 2011, 07:34 AM Reply Like
  • Sorry....forgot Pakistan too!
    11 Jun 2011, 07:34 AM Reply Like
  • Well..................... beginning to agree with you.


    I hate that.
    11 Jun 2011, 09:54 PM Reply Like
  • Hey this a 'FREE' country - ain't it? Rent FREE homes just makes it more so - right?
    10 Jun 2011, 07:31 PM Reply Like
  • I like your way of thinking!!! Two thumbs up!!!
    10 Jun 2011, 11:46 PM Reply Like
  • Having paid every bill I have ever had on time and always living within my means, these types of stories make me sick. Most of these people have gotten away with living well beyond their means and will never truly learn. While the banks certainly bear lots of responsibilty for the financial crisis, the burden also falls on those who took out loans they knew they could not afford.
    10 Jun 2011, 08:10 PM Reply Like
  • I'm not saying its right. Indeed, I agree with you. It just pisses me off that we can throw trillions at banks, and the average working schmuck is vilified. Yes, there were a lot of people that got loans that couldn't afford them. But, in my day, banks were responsible for assessing the creditworthiness of their customers. It's their fiduciary responsibility to do so, and that is where the blame lies. Yes, some bad apples do get through, but, that should be a number that does not bring down the financial system of the USA. I would go further and suggest that a lot of people got bonuses for giving those bad loans!!
    10 Jun 2011, 08:23 PM Reply Like
  • This debacle includes the mortgage lenders, commercial banks, investment banks, rating agencies, appraisers, real estate agents, lack of oversight, and the borrower who wanted to "have it all" without first paying for it. Right or wrong, its now everyone's problem to deal with and no one is immune. No one. So you're dealt lemons, go make lemonade and buy a short sale, REO, or depressed property at a discounted price. That's the best way to recover your bail-out tax dollars.


    More importantly, these same banks that caused this problem have now become 3x's as large as they were in 2008 when they were first described as too big to fail. Now they really are TBTF. So do us a favor, if you bank with BAC, WFC, C, JPM, go close your account and put your money in a credit union or regional or local bank. Then write your congressman and demand that commercial banks not be allowed to operate as investment banks and take the customer's deposits to invest in the stock/commodity markets. They should have been wound down and allowed to fail in 2008. Now their size needs to reduced significantly so they don't pose a systemic risk to the economic security of the country and so we don't need the FED to constantly pump them up with taxpayer money. Seems so easy. Too bad the politicians now indirectly work for the banks instead of you.
    11 Jun 2011, 01:29 AM Reply Like
  • Mon


    These squatters are likely not working schmucks and if they are they should be making their payments. Or move out.


    The US government sets the underwriting standards on the vast majority of the loans so the industry has been gutted of best practices and sound underwriting for mortgages. Add on the fraud at mortgage brokers and from consumers and this industry is pathetic.


    All the banks that were over the top aggressive like Wamu and CountryWide and Downey Savings are gone so they paid the price with their equity and careers. I doubt if they got any bonuses.
    11 Jun 2011, 01:54 AM Reply Like
  • J 457


    Open your eyes. The entire mortgage industry failed and banks from small to large failed. What was TBTF was the mortgage industry and by extension our Federal Government which carried so many mortgage guarantees on their books they made AIG look like smart.


    This is the most screwed up industry we likely have ever had and it is not TBTF and other BS it is a desire to get everyone in a home and making loans to people who had no business buying a home.


    The politicians own 90% plus of the mortgage industry so I would say they are not owned by the banks they are the bank at least with respect to mortgages.


    WFC and JPM were not heavily into mortgages hence they could survive the debacle quite well. So what is the point.


    Wake up.
    11 Jun 2011, 02:02 AM Reply Like
  • Tomas, the blind one....


    You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. WFC (Wachovia) and JPM (WAMU) not heavily into mortgages..huhh...
    WFC still heavy into home lending, as is JPM.


    The investment banks were pulling the strings.


    My goodness, learn some basic facts before you spout off and embarrass yourself.
    11 Jun 2011, 02:22 AM Reply Like
  • I agree with everything you said, and I too pay all my bills on time, and always have, even when I was a college student and they sent me that first Visa card.


    But, I have to wonder how many of these people are not the evil overspenders you described, but simply, responsible, hard-working folks who had the misfortune to lose their jobs and just can't find another job.


    I would stay in my house as long as I could for free if I became unemployed and couldn't make the payments.
    11 Jun 2011, 08:37 AM Reply Like
  • J457


    You are an idiot or are just being slick with your analysis.


    Until Wamu was picked up by JPM in a fire sale JPM was a pretty passive mortgage lender. JPM immediately reeled in Wamu's lending practices and started to clean up their cess pool of loans. WFC has always been very conservative in their lending which is why they survived in CA while CountryWide and Downey Savings went belly up.


    Obviously your basic facts are picked up in the popular press or the book of the month which means you don't know much of anything.


    Sorry to be so harsh but kick yourself in the butt and do some real research.
    11 Jun 2011, 08:35 PM Reply Like
  • Tomcat


    Anyone who bought a house without a cushion of money was an overspender and was living on the edge.


    A lot of these people are really hanging around in my opinion hoping for a government bailout or writedown of the principal. Again their math is faulty and their greed for something free is clouding their vision. They should move to a place in the country that has jobs and move on with their life. Life is too short to wait around and hope that someone bails you out.


    If the economy turns and they recover they can also be presented with a bill for all back taxes, mortgage payments, etc or if forgiven they have an IRS income event.


    Nothing is free.
    11 Jun 2011, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • "The investment banks were pulling the strings"....


    Of what?


    All these banks you are mentioning were not into heavy lending, those who risked their capital lending to subprime borrowers were closed down.....
    11 Jun 2011, 09:34 PM Reply Like
  • These people were told by people they thought they could trust that the loans were good for them. Then the bankers bundled the mortgages they knew were risky into securities they sold as triple a investments. They got richer. They got bailed out. The regular guy gets called a schmuck and deluded fools like this Jerry character post ignorant rants thinking it will get them a job as Rush Limbaughs substitute.


    Newsflash Jerry: Rush is at a posh club with a bunch of bankers laughing their heads off at you.
    10 Jun 2011, 09:01 PM Reply Like
  • People who don't pay their mortgages and think they deserve to live free, are what I call parasites....


    The parasites, should be thrown right away from the home....
    11 Jun 2011, 09:36 PM Reply Like
  • Well, you hit that nail on the head. The Rush part is great.
    11 Jun 2011, 10:21 PM Reply Like
  • Joe K


    So Bear and Lehman got bailed out? Merrill Lynch took a beating on valuation. Wamu, IndyMac, Downey and countless others are out of business.


    You don't know what you are talking about.
    12 Jun 2011, 08:29 AM Reply Like
  • Why move? Anyone buyin'?
    10 Jun 2011, 09:34 PM Reply Like
  • Move? Where? It's the same everywhere.
    10 Jun 2011, 11:47 PM Reply Like
  • I'm a buyer!
    11 Jun 2011, 01:30 AM Reply Like
  • Not at all. Some places are holding their value quite well.
    11 Jun 2011, 01:31 AM Reply Like
  • No problem. This should be an IRS taxable event as they are receiving value or they pay 5 years of back rent or mortgage payments.


    I would think long and hard about either of these possibilities being presented to them down the road.
    11 Jun 2011, 12:05 AM Reply Like
  • Sorry but it is not an IRS event until bank forcloses. Then they get taxed on the full amount the bank declares as loss. jejeje.
    11 Jun 2011, 12:24 AM Reply Like
  • Check with CPA or attorney. It's not so black/white. Several strategies for fully mitigating.
    13 Jun 2011, 07:43 AM Reply Like
  • con


    I had a really good income tax professor and the principle he kept coming back to is when you receive value it can be considered by the IRS to be a taxable event. Whether they choose to do anything about it is another question.


    I look at the latest conversations about taxing 401K's and when I hear that I start to believe that everything is going to be on the table. The easiest way to avoid all this mess is get out of the home if you really cannot afford it.


    CPA's right now will say it is not taxable based on code but they will not promise where it is going. I work with a couple and I know their stocks answers that have been cleared by their legal departments.
    13 Jun 2011, 09:09 AM Reply Like
  • Right, people have to make a fundamental economic decision irrespectvce of anything else. An unemployed person, with no assets, is not going to be bothered with nuances. For more sophisticated folks with various properties, where title is held in LLC's or corporate entities, the planning can be commensurate with the particular challenge. Bankruptcy, of course, is another issue/option; as is the manner in which the collateral interest is both held and divested. I think some lenders have mis-represented the tax issue as part of their collection tactics. At least that's what some of my legal friends tell me.
    13 Jun 2011, 12:02 PM Reply Like
  • Convoluted is quite right about these things being much more nuanced than the media usually report, probably because the media just don't know.


    For example, an immigrant family who got into a mortgage on a house because it was cheaper than renting, then got a home equity loan to buy a car, then found the house was worth 40% less than they paid for it and could not be sold might stop paying, send the money to the homeland for a couple of years, build a plot of land and a home for the parents, shove any additional savings into an IRA, then file for bankruptcy a day before the foreclosure, thus staying a few more months rent free, avoiding tax consequences, keeping the car, and making out quite well overall.


    You can call this cheating if you like, but when you consider that the Mortgage Bankers Association defaulted on their $75 million mortgage, one sees more clearly that it is just a business decision whether you are a well funded lobby group, a corporation, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship.



    Some people might say it is unamerican, but actually profiting from the small print and the letter of the law is as American as apple pie.


    As recently as 1842 author Charles Dickens traveled to Cairo on the Mississippi, where he had apparently been swindled in a real estate deal, and wrote the following in "American Notes":


    "Another prominent feature is the love of ‘smart’ dealing: which gilds over many a swindle and gross breach of trust; many a defalcation, public and private; and enables many a knave to hold his head up with the best, who well deserves a halter; though it has not been without its retributive operation, for this smartness has done more in a few years to impair the public credit, and to cripple the public resources, than dull honesty, however rash, could have effected in a century. The merits of a broken speculation, or a bankruptcy, or of a successful scoundrel, are not gauged by its or his observance of the golden rule, ‘Do as you would be done by,’ but are considered with reference to their smartness."


    "I recollect, on both occasions of our passing that ill-fated Cairo on the Mississippi, remarking on the bad effects such gross deceits must have when they exploded, in generating a want of confidence abroad, and discouraging foreign investment: but I was given to understand that this was a very smart scheme by which a deal of money had been made: and that its smartest feature was, that they forgot these things abroad, in a very short time, and speculated again, as freely as ever."


    "The following dialogue I have held a hundred times: ‘Is it not a very disgraceful circumstance that such a man as So-and-so should be acquiring a large property by the most infamous and odious means, and notwithstanding all the crimes of which he has been guilty, should be tolerated and abetted by your Citizens? He is a public nuisance, is he not?’ ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘A convicted liar?’ ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘He has been kicked, and cuffed, and caned?’ ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘And he is utterly dishonourable, debased, and profligate?’ ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘In the name of wonder, then, what is his merit?’ ‘Well, sir, he is a smart man.’"
    13 Jun 2011, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • People who are unemployed should probably look at moving to a job rather than wait for a job to come to their down trodden area. If RE is down it is likely the local economy is down so waiting for something to turn is hope which does not put food on the table.


    Don't know about the collection issue. First I heard of it.
    13 Jun 2011, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • It can also be known as "too smart by half" if all this cloak and dagger planning does not pan out in a huge way and a person is left with nothing but a 5 year hole in their life, no resume, no home, a BR on their record and no future.


    I have seen that trying to make money through craft and guile usually puts a person on a slippery path to more craft and guile then they ever anticipated and the consequences are heavy.
    13 Jun 2011, 09:10 PM Reply Like
  • I will be so rich of not paying mortgages for 5+ years. Wow.... Just wait it out till the housing turn around and becomes positive then sell it to cover all the fees.
    They can move to Iceland if force eviction!
    11 Jun 2011, 01:02 AM Reply Like
  • This mess is something that has been obvious for a long time now. Sometimes the banks cannot foreclosure owing to procedural problems such as missing notes, but just as often, the banks preferred to have the property occupied, even with no payment, because the alternative was either to sell the REO property and recognize the loss, or to keep it in shadow inventory but pay property taxes and maintenance costs. Despite little press coverage, the word spread that people could stop paying and often the banks would do nothing. Many cases involve people who repeatedly remortgaged, taking out far more than they ever put in and living the high life or people who aren't even living in the properties, but getting the rental income (they know there is no equity left so why worry about losing the place).


    The people who suffer are those who pay their mortgage, or who own their homes outright and the investors, especially equity holders, in banks, who are being taken for the ride of the century through absurd accounting rules that mask real losses.


    To try to make this into a political issue is frankly absurd, this is a massive failure of regulation, both in mortgage brokerage and accounting which has created a mess that nobody has a workable solution for.
    11 Jun 2011, 06:28 AM Reply Like
  • You want to end squatters? Make all future home loans recourse loans, with the biting power of retrieval that the federal government has with taxes. This will also make new home loans marketable again through mortgage backed securities and without government insurance.
    11 Jun 2011, 10:25 AM Reply Like
  • I've seen foreclosed properties that don't have people living in them. They are stripped to the studs and anything not nailed down is gone. Might be better to let them live there for free.
    11 Jun 2011, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • The supply of homes is too great. Burn it down.
    12 Jun 2011, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • Why not sell to the Chinese as time shares? "Come visit the friendly USA".
    12 Jun 2011, 09:28 AM Reply Like
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