November 1, 2014

A major US Bank will be unmasked by Wikileaks

You have heard about Wikileaks.  They are the company that has released thousands of critical US documents over the web.  Most of us think that they should not do this because it puts our overseas operatives in physical danger.  But what has been relseased about the operation of our government is embarassing and offensive.  It brings to light some of the disgusting things they spend our money on and the political maneuvering that is done supposedly to futher the cause of the citizens of the United States.  I for one have not paid all that much attention to what has been released about the government because I already felt that they were doing many, many things that I wouldn’t approve of but I can’t control.

Ok, enough background.  In an exclusive interview with Forbes magazines Andy Greenberg, Wikileaks Founder, Julian Assange told Forbes that his whistleblower site, “Will release tens of  thousands of documents from a major U.S. financial firm in early 2011. Assange wouldn’t say exactly what date, what bank, or what documents, but he compared the coming release to the emails that emerged in the Enron trial, a comprehensive look at a corporation’s bad behavior.  It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume,” he told me. 

Forbes goes on to speculate in a related article that the target of this leak very well could be Bank of America.  This would make sense because they now own Countrywide.  If you have followed Countrywide at all, there is a tremendous amount of dirt that lies just below the surface and the debris continues to get churned up on a daily basis. 

I told you in a previous post that an old friend of mine Craig Satkovsky predicted that a major bank will go under in a very short period of time.  Craig is a self-described “nobody” but he doesn’t miss much where the banks are concerned.  Could this be the straw that breaks the camel’s back or more importantly, could this be light that finally wakes up the American public to the absolute destruction these banks have laid upon us. 

We know what the banks have done and continue to do.  They are stealing from us everyday and there is no end in sight.  We will keep you posted on the outcome of this information as soon as it is released. 

Associated links to this post: 

Wikileaks:  www.wikileaks.org

Forbes story:  http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2010/11/29/exclusive-wikileaks-will-unveil-major-bank-scandal/

Now it’s another year of falling housing prices!

It would seem that slowly, begrudgingly the powers that be (the infamous “they”) we refer to in our workshops – are starting to let the truth come forth. Here is the latest quote from a joint Associated Press and Reuters article published through MSNBC. Link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40430566/ns/business-us_business/

WASHINGTON — Home prices are falling faster in the nation’s largest cities, and a record number of foreclosures are expected to push prices down further through next year.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index released Tuesday fell a bigger-than-expected 0.7 percent in September from August. Eighteen of the cities recorded monthly price declines.

Just a scant nine months ago, the same type of articles were speaking of a housing recovery taking place in the second quarter of 2010. Six months ago, it was the end of the third quarter of 2010. Well, the third quarter has come and gone – and now we are seeing the beginning of what Financial Revival Group’s experts and professionals have been preaching for almost a year. The powers that be (“they”) – are now pushing back that recovery date more than a full year! To add insult to injury, don’t forget to read the last seven words of that sentence again…. push prices down through next year.

Folks, we have some very sharp, very plugged in professionals and experts in Financial Revival Group. If you haven’t been to one of our workshops – or this is the first blog of ours you have read – we have been projecting this continued decline for a year now! In fact, we have been saying that this housing crisis won’t start turning around until at least 2014 and maybe even into 2015, and that housing prices will fall at least another 15-20 percent. Can you afford that?

What concerns us is the number of people that are currently underwater on their mortgage – around 16 million! If housing values continue to fall – how many more folks are going to be added to that number?

What will another year plus of falling home values do to your financial situation?

Maybe it’s time you thought about getting out in front of this disaster now. Thinking outside of the box is an absolute must.
Maybe you need to really start thinking about if giving your house back doesn’t make the most financial sense? Can you take another year plus of falling prices, throwing money into a pit where your equity won’t be regained for at least 7-10 years? If these are questions you are asking yourself now – you need to take a few minutes to get the answers. Take 5 minutes and give us a call at (425) 259-2600, or visit our website at www.financialrevivalgroup.com

There are solutions out there. We believe we have them. Don’t you owe it to yourself and your family to investigate ALL of your options? We think you do, and we are prepared to help you navigate this situation.

Do the Math

It’s no secret that one of the hottest of hot buttons on strategic default is the morality issue. If you have ever been to one of our free workshops – you know this is a subject we cover in great detail. While I am not here to debate that you (as a homeowner) have every right to use whatever criteria you wish to make decisions – I also would be remiss in pointing out that the banks do not use morality or emotion when making theirs.

There is a great article today on a blog called “Bargaineering.” Link: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/walk-mortgage.html The article is entitled, appropriately enough – “Should You Walk Away from Your Mortgage?.” In about 6-8 paragraphs it examines both sides of the issues and I recommend you read it. It is short, concise, and when you really read between the lines, the con’s really are pro’s when you look at the big picture. Let me explain that.

In essence it says if you are considering walking away from your mortgage – it really comes down to 5 things. Math, Finances, Contractual Obligation(s), Credit, and Another Place to Stay. The last two are utilized in the con argument.

First, which do you think is going to happen first based on your current mortgage balance to house value; the value of your house will increase enough to match the balance you owe on your mortgage – or your credit will recover? My guess is your credit is going to recover much quicker. If that is the case, then credit damage really isn’t a problem.

Second, finding another place to stay is not really a challenge. Have you looked at the prices in the rental market lately? My guess is you could probably rent a home similar to the one you live in for half the price of your current mortgage payment. Again, Financial Revival Group isn’t looking for the bottom of this housing market to rear its ugly head until around 2014.

The one thing that really struck me was the simple but eloquent statement regarding the math part. Here is the quote:

“It’s simple math. If your home is worth $100,000 and you owe $120,000 on your mortgage, you’re $20,000 in the red. You can continue to pay the mortgage, which includes interest and taxes that you’ll never recover, and pay $1.20 for something you know is worth $1.00; or you can walk away and save yourself a ton of money. The simple math screams that you should walk away because you don’t want to pay more money for the right to lose money.”

You don’t want to pay more money for the right to lose money. That is a very succinct, very powerful statement. Are you currently paying for the right to lose money? Do you believe the housing market is going to rebound by the end of the year, the middle of 2011…. or when? Even the latest government figures point to at least the 3rd quarter of 2011 – and I don’t know about you – but I (nor the Financial Revival Group) believe in that “rosy” outlook.

Again folks, this is your decision – as it should be. If you want more information so you can make a truly informed decision, give us call, visit us on the web, or sign up for one of our free workshops.

People don’t trust banks, and fewer are using them.

A trend I have noticed over the past year or two is the lack of trust that people have in the banks.   This lack of trust is not just from the financial meltdown that they caused.  It started many years ago with all of the nickel and dime fees that the banks use to extract money from us to create enormous profits.   This distrust is further compounded by the way the credit card companies  (owned by the banks)   have made life more expensive and more difficult for almost everyone. 

We are now starting to see that many people have decided that they are going to opt out and not use the banks any more than necessary.   They are using the banking system on a minimal level but the rest of their money is kept elsewhere.   This strategy lowers their fees with the banks and by spending cash, they are not leaving a trail of their spending habits and purchases.   This could be the simplest way for people to flex their financial muscles.  

A new organization with $50 billion per year in funding is part of the new financial reform act recently signed by President Obama.  The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be led by Harvard Law Professor, Elizabeth Warren.  The bureau is supposed to be an advocate organization for the consumer but it it widely believed that their real intention is to monitor the financial dealings of all Americans.   Many people believe that by dealing in cash, that organizations such as this one will not be able to monitor their financial dealings. 

This is the long way around to explain a recent article published in Bloomberg titled:   US Banks Will Close 5,000 Branches, Whitney Says.  The article talks about the lower fees and lower loan demand that banks are experiencing.  This stems partially from the economy and partially from the increased regulations from the “quickly written” financial reform legislation.   This is the same legislation that included the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

We believe what is not said in the article is that more and more people are not using the banks like they used to.  Maybe they are lower income people like the article implies, but we believe it is more widespread than that.   Take a look at the article and let us know what you think below.

Are you keeping more of your money out of the banks or is it business as usual for you?

Morgan Stanley sees the problem but not the real outcome

In a recent Housing Wire article, Jason Philyaw quotes Morgan Stanley analysts when they admitted that they were “overly optimistic” in predicting a modest recovery in the housing market in 2010.  Those same analysts are now saying the lack of recovery rests at the feet of the banks and the politicians.  Please consider:  Morgan Stanley View Political Will to Fix Housing as Scarce

The article discusses some of the options that are available to help in the housing crash.  

‘The analysts suggest additional loan modifications or refinancings, or principal writedowns may help ease the problems facing the industry.’

While loan modifications and refinances may put off the real problem, people have no equity and they are losing more money every day.  Those options will prove to be inadequate over the long run.  These two options in affect simply “kick the can down the road”.  A specialty of our politicians.  Over time, homeowners will decide that it is simply not worth it to continue to pay for a house that is underwater and could take over 10 years to recover.   If the issue of negative equity is not addressed with aggressive action by the banks and the government, this problem could continue for decades.  Just look at Japan.

The only viable option is to immediately start to lower the amount owed on these underwater homes.  I agree with the Mortgage Stanley analysts that their is no political will to do this.  Up until now, the banks and the government have turned a blind eye to the homeowner with the intent of helping the balance sheets of the banks.  The anyalysts go on to say that “Housing prices may fall another 10% before reaching the bottom in 2012.”  This is further hedging to keep underwater homeowners paying.  We believe and have been saying for a long time that housing prices will fall at least 20% more and won’t hit bottom until at least 2014. 

The bottom line is that wherever you are in the equity position on your house, it will get worse.  You cannot expect any kind of help from the banks.  It is true that their is no political will to anything except to get you to keep paying on your house.  They believe that if they string us out long enough the problem will correct itself and they will not have to pay the consequences of their actions. 

Our advice, assess your situation like the banksters would.  If you decide to keep paying because it makes sense for your family, good for you.  If you decide to give it back.  We’ll show you how to do it from a position of power to give you a Financial Revival.   

Collateral Damage

Read a very good article today talking about the “collateral damage” the devastated housing market is causing for folks that are thinking about moving, retiring, downsizing, or have other job opportunities that they can’t pursue. They are collateral damage because they are continuing to make their payment even though their current house value is significantly less than what they owe. Compounding the problem is the fact that they are faced with a number of houses in their neighborhood that are now bank owned. Please Consider:  Hidden Victims of the Mortgage Meltdown

As we constantly talk about in our workshops – banks have a limit of about $1000.00 per property for any and all maintenance of any bank owned property. In this case, one of the biggest detriments to selling her house is the bank owned properties are in a state of disrepair and the lack of upkeep and maintenance has left them a very dilapidated state, which then drives the value of her property down even further.

The article goes on to talk about the banks not rushing homes into foreclosure (that’s sure not what we are seeing at Financial Revival Group) because they are afraid that dumping these homes on the market all at once would devastate the market. True dat! Which is also why we have been preaching that the bank shadow inventory (the homes already bank owned that haven’t been put on the open market) is around 6-8 million at this time, with another 6+ million due to be taken into inventory over the next 2+ years. When the American real estate market is running full tilt boogey – we move around 5 million units a year. That doesn’t mean there are 5 million homes taken off the market; that means that a total of 5 million homes are sold. You also have to account for those folks who are selling the home they are in – to move up – or downsize.

What does that really mean? Quite simply, that there is at least 2-3 years worth of homes that will be sitting in shadow inventory that must be added to the homes we currently “see” on the market. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but even if we use the government s statistics, we are, at least, another year away from the bottom of the market. Now, I will also say that Financial Revival Group doesn’t believe that. We feel we won’t see the bottom of the housing market until at least 2014. Even if we choose to see through the rose colored glasses the government is using, you are going to see housing prices fall another 10+% – and again, Financial Revival Group is thinking over 20% – and we have some very well known economists espousing our position as well.

So, let me ask you a question. Is your home underwater? Take a look in the mirror. Those bruises and that bloody forehead you see – is a result of banging your head against the walls of the box the banks and mortgage companies want you to keep looking for the answers in. Isn’t about time you start thinking outside of the box? What’s more important, your family and financial future – or the appearances you are trying to maintain with your friends and neighbors… who by the way – are probably in the exact same situation as you. Let us help. WE do have an answer. There is a proven way to turn this negative situation into a positive outcome. Call us, or sign up for our free workshop. Here’s the link.

Why a new Rasmussen poll will lead to lower housing prices

A new Rasmussen Poll released today shows that 66% of voters nationwide favor a 10% cut in the Federal workforce over the next decade.  We have talked in previous posts about the overwhelming debt that the US Taxpayer (All of us) are on the hook for.  When we get to the point where our elected officials take our debt seriously and have to do something about it, lowering the number of federal employees is something that will have to happen. 

I wonder if someone from the government commissioned this poll to “grease the skids” when they publicly float this idea?

So why will this lead to lower housing prices? 

Real estate is actually a very simple commodity.  The law of supply and demand controls real estate just like it does other commodities.  When there are a lot of houses for sale and the number of buyers drops, so do prices.  In order for housing prices to hit bottom and start to rise, we need more buyers.  The elimination of federal jobs will add to shortage of buyers and will be another factor in the further lowering of housing values. 

We believe that a decrease of 10% in the federal workforce will not get it done.  Unless there is a major cutback in the benefits packages of federal workers, we believe the number will have to be somewhere north of 20%.   The government will try to reduce the total cost of these workers but the power of the unions will be an impediment which will force more layoffs. 

The bigger story here will be the necessity of state and local governments to do the same thing.  As all of these different levels of government begin to lay off workers, it will take more potential buyers out of the housing market and will add to the number of houses for sale.  This will also increase the numbers of homes the banks will take in foreclosure. 

This is one of those things that has to happen but it will force housing prices lower.  Prepare yourself!

For more information on this and other Rasmussen Reports, please consider Two-Thirds Favor Cutting Federal Payroll by 10%

Dealing with the banks? It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.

I have always believed it is easier to get forgiveness than permission.  My Mom can tell you I tested that theory a whole bunch of times growing up.  If you have tried to deal with the banks to get your loan modified or trying to get some relief from the amount you are underwater, you know that THEY ARE NOT GOING TO HELP YOU!  As a matter of fact, the banks want you to pay everything, forever.  We are saying, you don't have to do that.  As soon as you quit making payments, they start paying attention.  If you decide to give it back to them, they are very limited as to what they can do about it.  Then on top of that, we expect them to be very open to lending money to those us who give our houses back now and want to buy again when the housing market bottoms out.   I got this cartoon from a friend of mine today and it spoke to this issue.  So I thought I would pass it on.  Hope you enjoy it too…

Why should the American Dream become a family’s nightmare?

I was recently reading an excellent article by Gail MarksJarvis, entitled “Ethics of strategic default are really hitting home.”

The article speaks to the moral and ethical issues surrounding Strategic Default. There are the usual comparisons about this being a slippery slope, how an eye for an eye only leaves you blind, and how as consumers we are more likely to justify committing a specific action once that action has been committed against us – meaning that if someone cheats on or against us – we feel much less guilty about doing the same…. as if!

This particular quote by Brent White, a University of Arizona law professor, argued in a recent paper that people have a moral obligation to their families to move on from mortgages that will overburden them. He said “mortgages are legal contracts written with the understanding that they might be breached. Those agreements stipulate what will occur if a borrower does not make payments as required. The borrower must turn the collateral, or home, back to the bank, and when that is done the contract is fulfilled.”

Just one added thought on this post. I think it’s important to note that the government saw fit to provide a substantial amount of “bailout loans” (our tax dollars) directly to these banks and financial institution at literally next to nothing. Our money, loaned to the banks, and at ¼% interest. Exactly what did they provide directly to the consumer? TARP, HAMP – no, no – think again. That was provided as an option through the banks and at the banks discretion – not directly to us.

Remember, you signed a contract. A contract written by the bank, for the bank – with the understanding that if that contract was breached, they get the collateral, which in this case is the house. What is the best financial choice for you and your family right now?

“I am a Wolf”. The story of a big time thief who steals homes.

This story was on the front page of the Seattle Times this weekend so I bought the paper (I do a lot of my reading on line) just for this story.  It tells about a guy named Emiel Kandi and his lawyer Jay Berneburg who exploit people in the greater Seattle area and steal their homes.   They use the legal system to hide their money so they can thumb their noses at the courts, their victims and even the IRS. 

In this blog, we have talked about the major banks and their dismal approach to dealing with the housing crisis.  On one hand, they are not lending money and on the other hand, they are trashing the credit scores of our entire society to validate why they are not lending money.  This creates a huge problem for a society that has been raised to use credit. 

One of the casualties of this deliberate program by the banks are those that just need some short term help.  Since the banks won’t help, this leaves the door open for what the industry has termed, “Hard Money” lenders.  These lenders understand that the risks they take carry greater risk and of course need a greater return.  There are many reputible hard money lenders around the country and they serve a valuable purpose.  Emiel Kandi is not one of them.

According to this hard hitting article, Kandi seeks out desperate people who need help to keep their homes.  He finds them through Mortgage Brokers and Real Estate agents.  With the help of his lawyer, he lends money to people so they can keep their house.  The terms are onerous to the point that you could assume that Kandi wants to make sure that the borrower will fail so he can take the house. 

I am assuming it is his lawyer, Berneburg that has structured his transactions. 

In the article they discuss the terms of the loans Kandi makes and it goes on to say that these terms are not explained to borrowers.  Borrowers are pressured to just sign and are even shown the weapons that both Kandi and his lawyer carry. 

Here are some of the terms of the loans these guys make:

They are commerical loans not residential loans so they avoid most all of the protections for borrowers.

Interest rates up to 90% per year.

All payments must be made in cash, in person and mostly at restaurants.  If you can ‘t track him down, your payment is late.

Borrower must sign a quit claim deed so that Kandi can get the house without foreclosure laws and time lines.

In truth, based on the way they structure these loans, there is probably nothing illegal about them.  Are there moral issues for someone who has morals?  Sure, but that does not seem to stop these two.  They then launder (for lack of a better term) the money through a company that Kandi’s mom owns.  (Bet there wasn’t a lot of maternal comforting there when he was young.)  That way Kandi does not own anything that can be tapped by the courts or the IRS when people fight back against his actions. 

Take some time to read this brilliant article by Christine Willmsen and Sanjay Bhatt of the Seattle Times.  This is the kind of reporting that is missing from our newsrooms today.  We should do what we can to encourage news agencies and journalists to do more of this type of reporting.  For the full story, please consider:  LENDER SEIZES DESPERATE BORROWER’S HOMES. 

If you have a minute, email Christine at cwillmsen@seattletimes.com and thank her for her hard work.

At the Financial Revival Group, we believe that homeowners are going to have to work off of a new playbook in order to survive.   There are legitimate sources for new information but you have to be able to recognize a wolf and not become his next meal.

I have been asked to post some contact information for people who can do something about this.

Piece County Prosecutor:  Mark Lindquist    http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/pc/abtus/ourorg/pa/criminal.htm  pcprosatty@co.pierce.wa.us 

Washington State Attorney General:  Rob McKenna  http://www.atg.wa.gov/ContactUs.aspx 

Washington State Governor:  Christine Gregoire http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/default.asp

Washington State Department of Financial Institutions:  http://www.dfi.wa.gov/about/contact.htm

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