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Aug 15th 2010 10:48PM Well its good to see something positive coming out of this country. As bad as leaders can be, and as dangerous... people are people worldwide and love celebrating and taking pride in things.
Dec 1st 2009 5:34AM LITA THANKS FOR THIS ARTICLE
This is a huge scam that is going to make it to 60 minutes or 20-20 very soon. State attorney generals have already been contacted and are working on cases across the country there are thousands of complaints everywhere.
In a nutshell here is what is going on.
1- Hundreds of thousands of people have been put on modification programs called "temporary" ones as stated in your article. This resulted in reduced payments.
2- The homeowners were told that if they made 4 payments they would be approved as they didnt want people redefaulting .
3- At the end of the 4 months, without a formal letter, people were called and told they were not approved and owed 4 months at the original rate and that since the payments they sent were partial payments they WERE NOT EVEN APPLIED TO WHAT THEY OWED.
4- These lenders are getting paid for these modifications then booting people off them
5- THE NPV test is a huge problem as it allows the bigger lenders to wiggler out of everything.
6- One lender alone is making 10 million bucks a month just in Govt fees and is rejecting 75% of the people given temporary modificaitons.
PEOPLE ARE IN A WORSE POSITION.
This is because they sent 4 payments at the reduced rate often worked on getting caught up with other bills if they could and now none of that money was ever applied
THEY ARE GETTING NASTY CALLS AND FORECLOSURE NOTICES often without any explanation fo what happened.
The banks are using the so called NPV test to wiggle out of everything.
The end result is going to be ugly. Im a CPA in Connecticut and you would not believe how many people this is happening to. Online just one mortgage company has 59 pages of complaints.
Keep your eye on this story. After making the Wall Street Journal and this AOL news, this is going to blow wide open.
Jun 28th 2009 7:23PM What a pretty lady. The heck with A&F. They had the wonderful policy of not reducing prices when the economy got bad to keep their "image" . Ill make sure no one I know shops there after them pulling this stunt on this girl that obviously looks a lot better than they do at this point.
Apr 12th 2009 7:05AM Im an accountant in the northeast US. I saw this downturn coming for a few years and knew it would be bad. Dont let the media fool you, this has little to do with subprime mortgages. It was long in the making and is directly related to the middle class's ability to afford to survive. Over the last 10 years costs of living have soared while incomes have barely budged or even gone down. We outsourced millions of good paying jobs, cut benefits, cut pensions and enriched the very few at the top. Tax cuts which use to work to stimulate the economy didnt because the wealthy no longer had to form US businesses nor employee US workers when they invested they did so in China, Vietnam, Mexico, etc. In 1982 82% of companies offered company paid for pension plans and most offered medical insurance. Now those numbers are near 20%. People's incomes not only stagnated but their benefits costs (out of pocket) soared.
In any case, that said the worst of the recession was from Oct08-Jan09. Things have actually already started turning around, which is why the market seems to be moving. Real estate started moving, retail sales have been better than expected and might even surprise for March, friends in the oil industry mention an uptick in gas demand as a sign thigns are percolating. While 75% of the "economic recovery spending" is worthless, there is some putting people back to work in jobs across America. This is money given to states, cities etc which is being bid out to small businesses now.
We have lots of problems to work through, and this recovery might stall with any external unknown problems that develop, but we need to address the long term fundamental problems and we still have the risk of hyperinflation.
In a nutshell here is what happened. Good jobs paying good money with good benefits declined. Poorly paid jobs increased dramatically. The middle class ran up debts trying to maintain their standard of living, then refinanced against their growing home equity. Then the bottom fell out of both their stock and houses. Its not just free spending sub-prime (myth) borrowers. The good saving types lost even more than they did (had more in the market, more equity to lose).
This is America and with strong leadership we can come out of this. We do need to get both parties working together though. While I support Obama, we need both sides of the aisle's ideas, as there are some good ones from both parties.
I see people suffering up close being an accountant. Id have to say 80% of the people out there are having a hard time. To anyone having a hard time I hope things get better for you. Some of the mortgage mod programs are working for people, and there are some cheap health care options out there. Nothing is easy for anyone and I certainly hope things improve for my daughters sake as she is entering college this year.
Feb 27th 2009 8:46PM While there is some validity to others comments here, this article is ridiculous. 99.99% of eBays transactions are just fine. There are no more counterfeits on ebay than anywhere else. You can buy knock off bags at any flea market, you can buy fake razor blades at flea markets.
At one time a survey of sterling silver jewelry/chains at major retail chains showed over 25% wasnt even silver.
The problem is Ebay has not had anything positive coming out of them. Their marketing has been inneffective and recently stopped. They have irritated sellers who are also buyers. They have mucked up the site, plastered ads all over and changed so much people are having a hard time.
They banned checks and money orders, just when credit card usage is down, they banned ebooks (while Amazon pushes them) , they banned Live auctions so no more nice NASA space stuff.
This site could be hopping with a reversal of some of the silly decisions, development of a local site, some good marketing and a program to really appreciate both sellers and buyers.
I am not sure they seem to be micromanaged into oblivion lately.
But I have confidence in the good people (employees) of Ebay and hope that people rise to the occasion and bring this site back to a new glory
Aug 25th 2008 2:57PM Large investment funds , some of the same ones that jacked up the oil prices are out buying groups of properties from banks and that is skewing the figures.
Things remain down , and loans are harder to come by. People are even having a hard time getting a pre-approval letter!!!!
Aug 8th 2008 2:12PM The problem with these "settlements" is two-fold.
One the are not buying them now, they are (in the example above for Merrill, buying them at par starting in Jan 09 all the way to jan 10. What good does that do? PEople are still stuck in them, lots can change before now and then as well. ALso the issues that once felt on the hot seat to redeem might slow down the redemptions now.
People cannot get their money, there is additional risk that the firms themselves might not survive. I think they just all bought themselves more time. I think the redemptions should start immediately.
Jul 25th 2008 4:20PM Strawberry shortcake has been a favorite in our house with my wife and daughter. We sell some charms from the 80s in our Ebay store and we are almost sold out so she is making a comeback! Along with other 80s/90s pop stuff like the New Kids on the Block etc...
Our ebay store is at http://onceuponabid.com for the strawberry shortcake items.
Jul 14th 2008 6:14PM Ive been reading Barrons since I was 12 ( im 44 now). They are usually on the pessimistic side, so this is out of character for them! LOL
Being in Connecticut, I say that locally our real estate market dropped 20-30% over the last few years from the frothy high. We headed down before Florida and California. We seemed to level off in the spring, then started down again.
There are a lot of cross-trends going on. For example, low priced starter homes, mobile homes or condos are selling well as people need a place to live. Their prices are not dropping and in some cases making a stand to move up a little.
Prices at the high end for the super rich owned houses are also not moving down much. It is the houses in the middle in the 250-750k range that are getting clobbered and the true meeting of buyer and seller is below recent market estimates.
That said , as a CPA with my own accounting firm the small business credit crunch appeared to reverse when the fed reduced rates. Lots of damage was done and lots of problems abound.
I am curious about this article because right before it came out a stock I was watching had 10x the average volume and it seems to me some of the smart (or maybe early , or REALLY early money) is wading back in.
The economy is a complicated mess and I agree with the inflation figures someone mentioned above.
I think its the inflation without wage inflation which is killing everyone. In the past when we had inflation your house went up in value as did your wages and social security, now you fall behind and your asset values drop. Its a mess for the middle to upper middle class.
Lets hope for some better times!
Feb 5th 2008 6:36PM Tech is the least of peoples worries. Scroll up for my blurb on the economy.
I cannot believe all the morons out there that believed how robust the US economy was while things were coming unglued. Inflation is 15% , housing here in CT is selling 30% below what the listing prices are which are already down 20% or so. Entire cities are filling up with foreclosures.
I have not been able to get through to anyone in the media about the real story of what is going on with this economy, noone really cares.
One thing time will show is that a lot of people who are "rich" got that way by taking advantage of other people. Either with rip off loans, backdating of stock options, fraud at banks, insider information etc.
The joke on Wall sTreet is the China is becoming a money center now. So the people at the top that made money off of all the companies getting outsourced may themselves be outsourced as China find the Wall Street fees very lucrative and will float new issues for 1% instead of 4% that Wall Street charges. Sounds like Wall Street will get Walmartified.
Im just disgusted that noone stands up for the middle class. Noone really understands the huge change happening.