Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
Almost 40% of appraisers surveyed from Sept. 15 through Nov. 7 reported experiencing pressure to inflate values, according to Allterra Group LLC, a for-profit appraiser-advocacy firm based in Salisbury, Md. That figure was 37% in the survey for the previous year.
“If you thought what was happening before was an embarrassment, wait until the second time around,” said Joan Trice, Allterra’s chief executive and founder of the Collateral Risk Network, which represents appraisers employed by lenders and other companies and has been meeting with regulators to discuss concerns about appraisers being pressured into inflating values.
– From the Wall Street Journal article: Dodgy Home Appraisals Make a Comeback
When in doubt, just make shit up.
That seems to be the mantra of the U.S. real estate industry. A place where home values must always rise no matter what. After all, there’s nothing better for an economy than pricing out average citizens from their means of shelter.
As the WSJ reports, inflated home appraisals have become such a concern that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is looking into it. Which means precisely nothing will be done to stop it. After all, it is official government policy to encourage risky loans to keep housing bubble 2.0 inflated. Recall: Mel Watt, Federal Housing Finance Agency Head, is Pushing Banks to Make Extremely Risky Home Loans.
The WSJ reports:
Home appraisers are inflating the values of some properties they assess, often at the behest of loan officers and real-estate agents, in what industry executives say is a return to practices seen before the financial crisis.
An estimated one in seven appraisals conducted from 2011 through early 2014 inflated home values by 20% or more, according to data provided to The Wall Street Journal by Digital Risk Analytics, a subsidiary of Digital Risk LLC. The mortgage-analysis and consulting firm based in Maitland, Fla., was hired by some of the 20 largest lenders to review their loan files.
The firm reviewed more than 200,000 mortgages, parsing the homes’ appraised values and other information, including the properties’ sizes and similar homes sold in the areas at the times. The review was conducted using the firm’s software and staff appraisers.
Bankers, appraisers and federal officials in interviews said inflated appraisals are becoming more widespread as the recovery in the housing market cools. While home prices are increasing generally, their appreciation is slowing, and sales have been weak despite low interest rates. The dollar amount of new mortgages issued this year is expected to be down 39% from last year, at about $1.12 trillion, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
That has put increasing pressure on loan officers, who depend on originating new mortgages for their income, as well as real-estate agents, who live on sales commissions. That in turn is raising the heat on appraisers, whose valuations can make or break a sale. Banks generally won’t agree to a mortgage if the purchase price or the refinancing amount is higher than the appraised value.
John Williams of ShadowStats.com says, “We are still living in the throes of the panic of 2008. What the central banks did at that time, specifically the Fed and the Treasury, was to take actions to push all the issues into the future. They didn’t do anything to solve the basic problem. The banking system is still in trouble. It is far from solvent, far from normal. You don’t have regular bank lending. If you had regular bank lending, the economy would really be much stronger. It’s not.” Williams goes on to say, “People outside the United States know America is in trouble, and they know the dollar is in trouble. It’s not going to take much to trigger a reversal of the current circumstances. It could be an unusually weak economic statistic, and believe me, those are coming.”
December 2, 2014 Simon Black Sovereignman.com
On October 22, 1981, the government of the United States of America accumulated an astounding $1 TRILLION in debt.
At that point, it had taken the country 74,984 days (more than 205 years) to accumulate its first trillion in debt.
It would take less than five years to accumulate its second trillion.
And as the US government just hit $18 trillion in debt on Friday afternoon, it has taken a measly 403 days to accumulate its most recent trillion.
There’s so much misinformation and propaganda about this; let’s examine some of the biggest lies out there about the US debt:
1) “They can get it under control.”
What a massive lie. Politicians have been saying for decades that they’re going to cut spending and get the debt under control.
FACT: The last time the US debt actually decreased from one fiscal year to the next was back in 1957 during the EISENHOWER administration.
FACT: For the last several years, the US government has been spending roughly 90% of its ENTIRE tax revenue just to pay for mandatory entitlement programs and interest on the debt.
This leaves almost nothing for practically everything else we think of as government.
2) “The debt doesn’t matter because we owe it to ourselves.”
This is probably the biggest lie of all. Two of the Social Security trust funds alone (OASI and DI) own $2.72 trillion of US debt.
The federal government owes this money to current and future beneficiaries of those trust funds, i.e. EVERY SINGLE US CITIZEN ALIVE.
I fail to see the silver lining here. How is it somehow ‘better’ if the government defaults on its citizens as opposed to, say, banks?
3) “They can always ‘selectively default’ on the debt”
Another lie. People think that the US government can pick and choose who it pays.
They could make a bing stink about China, for example, and then choose to default on the $2 trillion in debt that’s owed to the Chinese.
Nice try. But this would rock global financial markets and destroy whatever tiny shred of credibility the US still has.
Others have suggested that the government could selectively default on the Federal Reserve (which owns $2.46 trillion of US debt).
Again, possible. But given that the Fed (the issuer of the US dollar) would become immediately insolvent, the resulting currency crisis would be completely disastrous.
4) “It’s the NET debt that’s important”
Analysts often pay attention to a country’s “net debt” instead of its gross debt. If you have a million bucks in debt, and a million bucks in cash, then your ‘net debt’ is zero. It washes out.
Problem is, the US government doesn’t have any cash. The Treasury Department opened its business day on Friday morning with just $71.9 billion in cash, or just 0.39% of its total debt level.
Apple has more money than that.
5) “They can fix it by raising taxes”
No they can’t. Just look at the numbers. Since the end of World War II, US government tax revenue has consistently been roughly 17% of GDP.
They can raise tax rates, but it doesn’t move the needle in terms of revenue as a percentage of GDP.
In other words, the government’s ‘slice of the pie’ is pretty consistent.
You’d think with this obvious data that, rather than try to increase tax rates (ineffective), they’d do everything they can to help make a bigger pie.
Or better yet, just leave everyone the hell alone so we’re free to bake as much as we can.
But no. They have to regulate every aspect of people’s existence: How you are allowed to educate your children. What you can/cannot put in your body. How much interest you are entitled to receive on your savings.
All of this costs time, money, and efficiency. So do never-ending wars. The bombs. The drones. The airstrikes.
This isn’t about any single person or President. The problem is with the system itself.
History shows that every leading superpower from the past almost invariably fell to the same fate.
Great powers often feel that their wealth and success entitles them to spend recklessly and wage endless, arrogant wars. The Romans. The Ottoman Empire. The British.
History may not repeat but it certainly rhymes. And the lesson here is very clear: debt weakens a nation. It weakens a society.
Generations that will not even be born for decades will inherit these debts by complete accident of birth.
And the people in charge of the system have backed themselves into a corner where there is no way out other than to default– either on their creditors (creating a global financial crisis), the central bank (creating a currency crisis), or on the citizens themselves (creating an epic social crisis).
Bottom line: this is not a consequence-free environment. And while you can’t fix the debt problem, you can certainly reduce your own exposure to what happens next.
Higher home values for the sake of higher prices is not necessarily a good thing if future generations of Americans are being priced out of the market. There seems to be this movement that simply ignores the glaring plight of many Americans regarding stagnant incomes and the reality that we have gained 7 million renting households while facing a similar number in completed foreclosures since the Great Recession hit. The system in terms of organic supply and demand was artificially stunted as foreclosures lagged and banks auctioned off swaths of properties to large investors. With this trend backing off we are now left with higher prices but most regular families being priced out. In California you have over 2.3 million adults living with other adults because of financial challenges. Housing is an illiquid asset. At any point, you can buy a share of Google or Apple stock and sell it back practically in the same day. Not so for housing. At any given point only a short supply of total housing is on the market. Currently housing is priced for investors and not your typical family. Forget about younger Americans that are saddled with large levels of student debt and have lower incomes. When it comes to housing, the kids aren’t alright.
Highest percentage of young adults living at home
We currently have an incredibly high number of young adults living at home. This isn’t some new found appreciation for mom and dad. During the early 2000s the young did have a desire to buy. They bought with toxic mortgages and leveraged every cent they had into real estate. And when the crash hit, much of that reversed. Today, many would like to buy but simply cannot because of household wages. The FHFA is likely going to loosen lending standards but incomes will still be verified.
JPMorgan Chase whistleblower Alayne Fleischmann in her first televised interview
by INFOWARS.COM | NOVEMBER 30, 2014
The elite don’t want the rest of us to truly understand what is going on
by MICHAEL SNYDER | THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE | NOVEMBER 25, 2014
From the dawn of history, elites have always attempted to enslave humanity.
Yes, there have certainly been times when those in power have slaughtered vast numbers of people, but normally those in power find it much more beneficial to profit from the labor of those that they are able to subjugate. If you are forced to build a pyramid, or pay a third of your crops in tribute, or hand over nearly half of your paycheck in taxes, that enriches those in power at your expense. You become a “human resource” that is being exploited to serve the interests of others. Today, some forms of slavery have been outlawed, but one of the most insidious forms is more pervasive than ever. It is called debt, and virtually every major decision of our lives involves more of it. For example, at the very beginning of our adult lives we are pushed to go to college, and Americans have piled up more than 1.2 trillion dollars of student loan debt at this point. When we buy homes, most Americans get mortgages that they can barely afford, and when we buy vehicles most Americans now stretch their loans out over five or six years. When we get married, that often means even more debt. And of course no society on Earth has ever piled up more credit card debt than we have. Almost all of us are in bondage to debt at this point, and as we slowly pay off that debt over the years we will greatly enrich the elitists that tricked us into going into so much debt in the first place. At the apex of this debt enslavement system is the Federal Reserve. As you will see below, it is an institution that is designed to produce as much debt as possible.
There are many people out there that believe that the Federal Reserve is an “agency” of the federal government. But that is not true at all. The Federal Reserve is an unelected, unaccountable central banking cartel, and it has argued in federal court that it is “not an agency” of the federal government and therefore not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The 12 regional Federal Reserve banks are organized “much like private corporations“, and they actually issue shares of stock to the “member banks” that own them. 100 percent of the shareholders of the Federal Reserve are private banks. The U.S. government owns zero shares.
Many people also assume that the federal government “issues money”, but that is not true at all either. Under our current system, what the federal government actually does is borrow money that the Federal Reserve creates out of thin air. The big banks, the ultra-wealthy and other countries purchase the debt that is created, and we end up as debt servants to them. For a detailed explanation of how this works, please see my previous article entitled “Where Does Money Come From? The Giant Federal Reserve Scam That Most Americans Do Not Understand“. When it is all said and done, the elite end up holding the debt instruments and we end up being collectively responsible for the endlessly growing mountain of debt. Our politicians always promise to get the debt under control, but there is never enough money to both fund the government and pay the interest on the constantly expanding debt. So it always becomes necessary to borrow even more money. When it was created back in 1913, the Federal Reserve system was designed to create a perpetual government debt spiral from which it would never be possible to escape, and that is precisely what has happened.
Just look at the chart that I have posted below. Forty years ago, the U.S. national debt was less than half a trillion dollars. Today, it has exploded up to nearly 18 trillion dollars…
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 Mac Slavo activistpost.com
The recent actions of mega behemoth Wells Fargo show us just why so many people are distrustful of large financial institutions. The bank, which claims it will help you achieve what’s important, has done exactly the opposite in the case of Rosemary Ronstein.
At the height of the 2009 financial crisis Ms. Ronstein was facing a home foreclosure. After her husband passed away that same year the widow was searching through personal records when she happened across a 30-year old CD purchased by her husband in 1984 for the sum of $18,000. The CD, which offered the bearer a 10.9% interest rate and renewed automatically until it was cashed in, was originally issued by First Interstate Bank, an entity that has since been acquired by Wells Fargo.
At the time, Ronstein faced the real possibility of having her house seized for failing to pay her mortgage. The CD was like a dream come true. All her problems would be solved, which is exactly the reason why her late husband originally purchased the CD and gave it to her for safekeeping.
But when Ronstein arrived at Wells Fargo to trade in her financial instrument, she says that not only did the bank refuse to make good on the Cash Deposit, they practically laughed in her face.
But when she tried to get the money that she believes is rightfully hers, she the bank “practically almost laughed at me.”
KPHO claims that Wells Fargo refused to comment on the story but claim in court documents that it had no records of the CD and believes it’s possible that it could have already been paid out at some point in the past, pointing out that First Interstate had a policy of allowing customers to retain paid-out certificates. The widow insists that her late husband never cashed out the CD, while her lawyer notes that the CD states that it must be “presented and surrendered” in order to be redeemed. He claims that it’s not enough for Wells to cite a lack of documentation on its part as evidence that the CD had been paid.
“Given the passage of the time, the bank doesn’t have a record of it,” says the lawyer. “And so really what needs to be decided by the court is, what’s the import of the lack of a record in the face of the instrument?” (Source: Consumerist)