08-05-2008, 08:03 PM #1
foreclosure filings leveling off, inventory dropping
July's preliminary figures are in, and for what appears to be the first time in several years, foreclosure filings are no longer going up, up, up.
Filing of the form known as "lis pendens" signals the start of the foreclosure process.
Since May in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties, those filings have begun to taper off slightly. Okaloosa is down 14 percent and Walton has dipped 13 percent, while Santa Rosa is up just 4 percent.
News of this development was met cautiously in local banking and real estate circles, where local executives have been speaking recently of "bumping along the bottom."
"It seems to be some stabilization and the beginning of an improvement," said Bob Bennett of First City Bank. "Hopefully, we're getting that traction and we can start on the upward slope. ... But there are so many different factors at work with the national economy."
Gloria Frazier, owner and broker of ERA American Realty of Northwest Florida, offered two theories on what the recent numbers indicate.
"Hopefully, this does mean we're coming out of this slump and the bottom is here, or almost here," Frazier said. "Second, there could be more short sales that are going through. ... But either way ... I think it's a reason to be cautiously optimistic about the future."
Short sales involve the bank or mortgage company forgiving a certain amount of debt and allowing the house to be sold for less than its original price.
When that process began in recent years, the theory worked better than the practice, which turned out to be complicated and often dragged on for months.
"A year ago, the lenders didn't have the process down as well as they do today," said Carmella Bell of ResortQuest's real estate division. "It's more streamlined now and they have procedures to follow. That could have a lot to do with stabilization of lis pendens. ... Hopefully, people who are upside down in their mortgages are not waiting to ask for help ... and lenders are better prepared."
Even people who are not financially troubled and are trying to sell a home have come to dread the words "too much inventory" when it comes to what's on the market.
Data from the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service reflects a slight decline in inventory from January through July in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties.
In Okaloosa, there were 1,394 fewer homes on the market during the first seven months of this year than the same period in 2007. In Santa Rosa, that number was 364 fewer. In Walton, the number was down by 1,066.
"It is also encouraging to note the average inventory of the three counties combined has decreased approximately 12 percent from 2007 to 2008," Bell wrote in an e-mail. "Albeit slight, this reduction in the inventory shows signs of a stabilizing market."
As the housing bubble grew in the early part of this decade, prices reached levels that previously were unimagined. But the aftermath of the bubble bursting appears to have introduced sellers to reality.
"Many have reduced their price to a more reasonable listing, hoping to meet market demand," Bell wrote in her e-mail. "Or, if the market isn't demanding the price they want, some have decided to withdraw their property from the market and hold it for a while."
Brian Robinson of ResortQuest's mortgage division agreed.
"It's still a buyer's market, because more realistic pricing is where it needs to be," Robinson said. "You won't see a lot of 100-percent financing. People need that 10 percent or 20 percent down to get more skin in the game. That's reality. And I'm also hearing from people who have been vacationing in condos here for years who can finally afford to buy where they've been renting."
Mike Roche of Northstar Mortgage Group had a similar take.
"Have we come to a bottom? Are we starting to move or whatever? Nobody's got that crystal ball," Roche said. "But we're getting more applications for loans and that's a very good sign. Now's the time to buy when there's inventory out there and rates are still low (below 7 percent). So many buyers were screaming two years ago, ‘It's a seller's market.' Well, it's our time now."
08-05-2008, 08:44 PM #2
An Appraiser's Theory
This week an appraiser told me that banks are becoming less aggressive about foreclosure, because if they do take back the property they have to bring the real estate taxes and association dues current at that point and then stay current with same going forward. In the alternate, if they leave it in the borrowers name those costs accrue and carry forward to the ultimate purchaser.
I have no idea if this is really the common thought process. It's just what I was told. It may be one more factor to consider when it comes to the lis pendens stat's.
08-06-2008, 01:13 AM #3
- Join Date
- May 2007
- The Westernish end.
If they don't foreclose that keeps it off the books as bad debt I would assume.
08-06-2008, 06:02 AM #4
No way Jose! The lenders were just waiting for the mortgage bail out plan to be finalized by the morons in Washington. No recovery until the pig in the python foreclosures and ARM resets work their way thru and money is made available to borrowers under reasonable terms.
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08-06-2008, 11:47 AM #5
I think it's important to note that Lis Pendens take a long time to work through the system, so if we are peaking right now in initial filings, that peak will bleed into the market from say four months to over a year. Some of the quotes in the article are asking if it's a bottom, but a bottom of what? A bottom for spring sales of single family homes looks to be last year, but July sales seem to have dropped off a cliff. Condo volume is sitting at a bottom right now with no sign of recovery yet. Maybe they're talking about a bottom in pricing? If so, I would say they are being too optimistic, there are still forces entering the market that will continue to apply downward pressure on price for quite some time to come.
On the flip side, a possible saving grace might be the economy. We might avoid a recession (as it is currently looking) and housing will get support from that. Also, inventory does appear to have leveled off finally, but next spring it could shoot back up, there's no way to know until we get there.
My super-genius assessment of this market is this - this market is really really wacky right now! I have no idea what will happen next, but I'm certainly not feeling any pressure to rush into it.
08-06-2008, 04:30 PM #8
anyone know how much in unpaid dues are sitting on the books in watersound, watercolor, cypress dunes, the preserve, etc, etc?
Just wait until rental income dries up.
08-06-2008, 08:57 PM #10
So what happens when an HOA places their lien for dues, then files the lis pendens to commence the foreclosure process behind existing encumbrances. I've seen Watercolor HOA commence the action already. Do they need to pay off the first positions or do they have Statutory Priority along with the property taxes?
Can we enjoin through assignment or buy their position outright? Could be an interesting way to earn a living.
Last edited by 30ashopper; 08-06-2008 at 11:04 PM.
08-06-2008, 09:57 PM #13
However, most of the Banks are paying the past due fees, eventually, so they can sell the property unencumbered."With Liberty and nothing for all" ---my 3 yr. old nephew's version of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Last edited by 30ashopper; 08-06-2008 at 11:13 PM.
08-06-2008, 11:55 PM #15"With Liberty and nothing for all" ---my 3 yr. old nephew's version of the Pledge of Allegiance.
08-06-2008, 11:58 PM #16
My head hurts. My dues are current.Which community along 30A shall we pillage this evening?....gttbm
08-07-2008, 12:06 AM #17
08-07-2008, 06:21 AM #18
08-07-2008, 06:46 AM #19
08-07-2008, 07:31 AM #20
Regarding paying back HOA - I have been told by lawyer that in FL if it is a condo then they only have to pay back the last 6 mos of dues - special assessments etc. and on homes and townhome assns they have to pay it in full, no matter how old it is. It isn't that difficult to file a lien - everyone in a HOA should make sure that their board - CAM is doing it. The filings are getting very numerous and the budgets are being changed to cover those that aren't paying, Such as rasing dues and or not covering the reserve payment because the normal things need the money instead. Doesn't seem fair to see some people renting out their places and pocketing the money when you know they aren't paying the mortgage or HOA dues.~~~~~~~~_/)~~~~~~~~
08-07-2008, 08:00 AM #21
What about in the foreclosure actions..
I keep seeing properties in the JOE neighborhoods where the HOA, through Shipman, files the lien against the property (sometimes the same owners on multiple pieces) then subsequent to that they file the Lis Pens to foreclose their lien. Does the HOA take the property if it succeeds in its action? What about the original mortgage, does it lose it's first position? If not why would the HOA incur the expense of the Action only to be in 2nd position? Wouldn't it be more fruitful to just place and perfect the valid lien and sit tight?
Can anybody understand and articulate the process? Thanks
08-07-2008, 08:44 AM #22
The Law firm of Becker and Poliakoff have a manual regarding HOA and foreclosure process. As far as how far back the Bank has to pay the Association for arrears, based on entity, it is not clear in the manual.
The Community Association Leadership Lobby (CALL) has a good deal of information on it to refer to, started by B and K. Although I am not a fan of the firm themselves, I start here and research further on my own or with our HOA lawyer."With Liberty and nothing for all" ---my 3 yr. old nephew's version of the Pledge of Allegiance.
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08-07-2008, 11:27 AM #23
Taken with a grain of salt...and some pepper too
Anyone out there have the last piece to this puzzle? Thanks
08-07-2008, 01:03 PM #24
I was told by the lawyer that if we (the HOA) force foreclosure we had better be willing to purchase the property on the steps. Most HOA do not need another liability. We were told that we could go after the owner - personally - for the money owed. This would work in the case that the owner is trying to walk from the property but still has a lot of other assets. But that will cost the HOS money to try and pursue this through the courts - Catch 22~~~~~~~~_/)~~~~~~~~
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08-07-2008, 05:58 PM #25
Go get'em with claws bared.
Liens indicate more trouble to come in paradise--rough number of liens filed by HOA over the last 12 months or so-
hoa's may or may not be able to collect. the bigger issue here is the potential for many, many more foreclosures to come.
08-07-2008, 06:46 PM #26
08-07-2008, 06:48 PM #27
I saw a home originally listed at $598,900 that had been reduced to $597,900. That represents the clearest sign of a bottom I have seen yet.
08-07-2008, 10:18 PM #28
So what do you think the strategy is?
Does this mean that the Watercolor HOA is planning to foreclose on 60 properties and pay off 70 million dollars worth of 1st position mortgages in order to get their $80,000 of HOA dues? I just can't figure out why they are paying Shipman, et al to pursue this course of action. Doesn't this mean that some of the builders who have 3 or more lis pendens are actually going to gain relief of their 1st mortgage?
Paging ScooterBug. Please share some of your wisdom about Watercolor.
08-08-2008, 06:02 AM #29
Also, the passed due fees at a clip of $1000 per quarter more than likely totals moe than $250k, not $80k. With 60 +/- homeowners not paying dues, the HOA is losing $60k per quarter in fees. Anyone from any of these HOA's have an idea of the amount of passed due HOA fees?
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08-08-2008, 06:14 AM #30
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08-08-2008, 06:50 AM #31
When I research the foreclosure of a second position lien it looks like the Plaintiff is looking to take possession by buying the property from the first lien holder. It sounds like the Defendant gets their 1st mortgage satisfied.
This can't be correct.
From around 2/08 - today, watercolor has filed about 13 LisPen filings, most in the last 3 months. From 6/2007 to 1/2008 they filed none. So I think they are in new teritory here. A number of developers appear to be involved in the LisPens. I looked at one where the owner built via St. Joe. Watercolor filed a lien last year and a year later filed LisPen. The property will go up for auction. How watercolor and the bank work out who takes ownership I'm not sure, but since the property will probably auction for less than owed, the bank will no doubt have the right to refuse any offers. In which case I'd guess they will have to take ownership and sell it.
Last edited by 30ashopper; 08-08-2008 at 10:40 AM.
According to Margo's guide, the bank's loan is superior -
The most important part of the foreclosure lawsuit is extinguishing as many
competing interests in the unit as the law allows. Some competing interests
may be superior and others may be subordinate to the Association’s lien.
Competing interests in the unit may include, for example, mortgages, federal
tax liens, construction liens, judgment liens, and leases. The fewer encumbrances
(competing interests) on a unit at the time it is sold, the easier it is to sell, and the
more it is worth to the person buying it at the foreclosure auction. The process
of extinguishing competing interests in the unit is accomplished by naming the
holders of these competing interests as defendants in the foreclosure lawsuit and
proving the Association’s claim of lien is superior to these interests.
Last edited by 30ashopper; 08-08-2008 at 10:46 AM.
08-08-2008, 11:01 AM #34
I'm no legal expert but 30a Shopper's view sounds reasonable. By forcing the property into foreclosure, although they may not collect back dues, they have a better chance of collecting future dues sooner.
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08-08-2008, 11:33 AM #35
So what we're talking about then is an HOA files a lien. Then the HOA files the lis pens to commence the foreclosure action. The property makes its way through the legal process. If the Owner doesn't satisfy the action prior to the auction the property is sold. If there is sufficient money to payoff the first position the mortgage is satisfied. If there is excess funds they go to the lienholders of lesser priority (HOA, etc.) If there are no excess funds then lienholders of lesser priority make motion to gain a deficiency judgement against the Owner in favor of the HOA. The HOA pursues satisfaction of the judgement.
This sounds very cost prohibitive to our HOA ( us owners ) as a business decision. Is the true strategy to move the property into a parties hands who will pay dues timely? I guess this strategy could be fruitful to the HOA if taken in a portfolio view of the odds that Owners will become current when forced to.
Can anyone inform us what the fees that a Shipman or peer gain from the Action? The ultimate cost seems to be the last piece of the equation.
08-08-2008, 11:46 AM #36
08-08-2008, 01:29 PM #37
08-08-2008, 06:05 PM #38
08-08-2008, 07:01 PM #39
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