housing crisis

Home Repossessions Dive Amid Foreclosure Freezes

The number of U.S. homes taken back by lenders dropped to the lowest level in 18 months in November, the result of foreclosure freezes enacted by several banks following allegations that evictions were handled improperly.

A Florida Housing Development Stalls, and the Cows Move In

Jerilee Wei never expected to be living next to a cow pasture when she bought her home in Lakeland, Fla., in 2007. In her upscale community, newly constructed houses were selling for between $300,000 and $425,000. Then one morning she woke up and found some cattle had moved in.

How the Housing Mess Hit My Neighborhood

Millions of houses are in foreclosure in the U.S. Even if your house is safe, your neighbors may be in trouble, and your neighborhood could suffer as a result. Here's the story of one house in a neighborhood in New Jersey.

Ireland's Austerity Budget:
Not Likely to Avoid Default

Despite its planned austerity budget, the long-term solvency of Ireland is still in doubt. Simply put, the losses which Irish taxpayers must cover are larger than the nation's economy can support, making sovereign debt default likely even with a promised bailout from the EU and IMF.

The Housing Mess Hits One New York Town Hard

In some parts of the U.S., the real estate market remains deep in recession. But even with housing prices sitting at multi-year lows, millions of houses remain empty, unable to attract buyers haunted by unemployment and a weak economy. As part of a new series, Ghost Towns of the Great Recession, DailyFinance takes a look at one town near New York City that is still struggling with the effects of the great real estate bust.

Will Property Taxes Really Escape the Downturn?

A recently updated Fed working paper happily points out that even as other sources of municipal tax revenue have plummeted recently, property taxes have held fairly steady, and the authors expect that to continue. Unfortunately, their optimistic prediction ignores the bigger picture.

Startup RentJuice Is Capitalizing on the Rise of Renter Nation

For years, the property management business has been stuck in the Dark Ages -- using faxes, paper ledgers and out-of-date spreadsheet software. But as the foreclosure crisis adds millions of people to the rental market, new startup RentJuice is aiming to bring property management into the Internet Age.

Jury Rejects Bank's 'Meltdown Defense' in Fraud Case

In a case with wider implications for the financial industry, jurors in a class-action securities fraud suit found that BankAtlantic Bankcorp was liable to shareholders for about $42 million for making false statements about the bank's real estate portfolio and net income.

Is Robo-Signing Just the Tip of the Iceberg?

In a Senate panel hearing Monday, the Iowa attorney general said the problems in the home-loan industry extend well beyond just "robo-signing." A system-wide overhaul is needed, he said.

U.S. Growth to Lag Behind Developing World in 2011

The world economy is poised for more of the same in 2011 -- booming growth in China, India and Brazil, and a sluggish crawl in the U.S. and much of the rest of the developed world. Here are the five most important factors driving expectations for sluggish economic growth in the U.S.:

What's Behind the Drop in Mortgage Applications?

The Mortgage Bankers Association said mortgage applicatins dropped 10.5% last week, the biggest drop in four months. Elsewhere -- housing starts and homebuilder confidence -- signs are more hopeful. But the mortgage mess could be a spoiler.

Philly Scandal Puts Spotlight on Public Housing's Problems

Carl Greene ran the Philadelphia Housing Authority for years with little oversight, until recent revelations about a series of scandals from sexual harassment to financial mismanagement landed him in hot water. But Greene's misdeeds may be just a symptom of the problematic culture of U.S. housing authorities.

What to Do About Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Timothy Geithner's Treasury Department hosts the first public forum today on reforming the ways in which mortgages are financed in the U.S. If the long, messy, politicized slogs over health care and financial reform are any indication, get ready for more of the same, or worse.

Mayor of Trenton, N.J., Faces Forecloseure

Mayor Tony Mack of Trenton, N.J., has a bird's eye view of the housing crisis. According to local media reports, Mack's family home is facing foreclosure. Mack, who took over the leadership of New Jersey's capital city in June, owes his lender $369,000, according to Philadelphia's 6ABC.

These Numbers Paint
a Bleak Picture for Housing

It's getting harder to avoid the evidence pointing to more trouble ahead for housing. Essentially, there's a massive mismatch between rising supplies of homes for sale and dwindling demand from buyers. Not even high-end markets are immune.

Obama's New Attack on the Foreclosure Crisis

In a major revamp, the White House is redoubling the government's efforts to help eligible homeowners stave off foreclosure. It includes more incentives to banks and could assist up to 3 million to 4 million homeowners through 2012.