Wednesday, January 30, 2008

You Walk Away

Foreclosures are through the roof. There were 75% more foreclosures in 2007 than in 2006. Look for 2008 to be even worse.

But what recourse does a family have that bought at the peak and is paying a lot more per month for an "asset" that is depreciating in value? Meet You Walk Away:

I spoke with John Maddux a "senior advocate" with You Walk Away (YWA) about the business. As one might expect it is booming. For $995 one receives a half hour of legal counsel where individual strategies are mapped out and all the laws pertaining to recourse vs. non-recourse loans as well as judicial procedures are explained to the customer. YWA also files the necessary legal papers to stop mortgage companies from calling and informs you immediately of how many days you will be able to stay in the house for free. Should the lender take longer to process the documents, YWA will keep you informed of any extra time.

With the amount of money at stake, the fee seems reasonable for the services provided.
More from Mish:

If banks can make "business decisions" to ignore risks, to lend money with no down payment, and fire people at at the first sign of trouble without any remorse, why shouldn't consumers be able to do the same?

Take a look at previous values on homes now being auctioned. Did not lenders make a business decision to ignore insane valuations placed on those homes?

Indeed they did, and one reason was they could securitize the garbage and sell it to pension plans and foreign investors as far away as Norway (see Citibank SIVs Hit Norway Townships). Is Citigroup about to refund Norway townships for the mess it created?

Another reason banks ignored insane valuations is they thought lucrative fees would more than make up for losses on foreclosed properties. They thought wrong.

As a result, lenders became home owners and are now in hock with the auction business.
This thing is going to stay with us for years. America will be very different when it's all over. I just hope we keep our wits about us and come out the other end stronger and better...

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