Results for Think Out Loud (Other Results)
Drive down any residential street these days and it is likely you'll see at least a For Sale sign or two. You might even catch sight of an ominous Foreclosure notice. For some people this signals the possibility of a great deal. For others it evokes fear, as the economy continues to suffer. Could your home be next? On July 30th, Governor Kulongoski signed a bill aiming to prevent unnecessary home foreclosures in Oregon. The legislation makes new requirements of lenders: they must make a “good faith effort” to consider modifying the borrower’s loan; and they must notify borrowers whose homes might be foreclosed upon that they have a right to meet with the lender. The legislation passed following a significant spike in home foreclosures across Oregon in the first half of 2009. Oregon now ranks eleventh in the nation for foreclosures. There have been 19,503 foreclosure-related actions in the last six months. Portland, Salem and Eugene all had at least double the number of foreclosures compared to the first half of 2008. It’s speculated that this rise in foreclosure activity might have more to do with unemployment than subprime mortgages.
“Despite the perception that older Americans are more housing secure than younger people, millions of older Americans are carrying more mortgage debt than ever before.”The report also showed the fastest rise of mortgage debt belonged to Americans 75 or older. The percentage increase of seriously delinquent loans among people 50 years or older also made headlines, increasing about 456 percent from 2007 to 2011.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales discusses the city’s new approach to foreclosures on abandoned properties. And best-selling author Mary Roach joins us to talk about her latest book, “Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans At War.”
When the housing market burst, thousands of homeowners found themselves underwater with their mortgages, and stood by as they watched their homes devalue to far less than the amount of their loans. A 2009 study (pdf) found that 26 percent of foreclosures were strategic defaults, meaning that homeowners chose to walk away from mortgages they could still afford to pay to get out of a bad investment. Inside the lending industry, strategic default goes by another name, too: ruthless default. Some bankers consider the act to be immoral or at least, unscrupulous, citing that foreclosure not only affects the homeowner. Neighboring houses of those that foreclosed take a hit on their value, too, because when foreclosed homes sell at discounted prices, it affects what buyers are willing to pay. Foreclosure also contributes to urban blight.
Home foreclosure filings are on the decline across much of the state. The most dramatic is in Linn and Jackson counties. They each saw declines of 56 percent. Does this mean that the Oregon housing market is on its way to recovery? Maybe not. In Portland the story is a little different: foreclosure rates increased by 36.8 percent. That's the highest level in three years. Meanwhile, low interest rates don't seem to be spurring home buying. Due in part to the continued high unemployment rate, many potential home buyers are apprehensive of large investments. Many of the people who are buying houses tend to be those that already have houses, as opposed to first time buyers which are indicative of an improving housing market. And many people who do want to get loans, aren't having success. Because of the current economic instability, lenders now have tougher requirements for who qualifies for a loan.
We begin a new regular segment where we check in on the local business buzz. Our series kicks off with a look into banks and housing. While banks caught up in the housing foreclosure debacle are hurting, others are showing confidence in the future by announcing expansions. JP Morgan Chase plans to open 21 branches around the Portland-metro area and hire as many as 500 employees by the end of 2012. Key Bank's expansion is underway and Portland-based Umpqua Bank may follow suit. News on the housing market has been mixed. Central Oregon is reporting a drop in foreclosures but Portland still holds the distinction of being No. 1 in missed mortgage payments. The "serious delinquency rates" are no surprise to industry analysts who say that the Northwest was last into the recession and it appears that it will be the last out.
"I can’t stand all the bad news!" That’s something I've heard a lot from people — even before the credit crunch and global economic meltdown. War, car accidents, foreclosures, you know the stuff. Why does so much of the news we hear or read seem to be "bad news?" We’re going to try to get at that question by discussing the "news values" that often determine whether or not something makes the news. And we’ll also look at professional standards and the cultural assumptions beneath the news. News is produced by people after all. A number of organizations have devoted themselves to producing positive news: Yes! Magazine in Bainbridge Island, WA; Ode in California; and the just-launched Goodness Magazine in Portland, OR.
Just a day after signing the $787 billion stimulus package in Denver, President Obama traveled to Phoenix today to announce his plan to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. The $75 billion plan has been called ambitious and it certainly has its critics. Millions of homeowners could be affected by the plan, which would create incentives for mortgage brokers to renegotiate home loans and put more funds towards government-owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. READ MORE >>
Foreclosures are up. In fact, the rate at which homes are being foreclosing on in Oregon is now the third highest in the nation. On past shows, real estate experts have talked about foreclosures, depressed market values, and decimated credit scores. But what about short sales? Those are home sales where the bank agrees to take less than the amount owed on the loan. Rick Sadle who negotiates short sales for a living says his business has doubled in the last year. He thinks that may be because more people are willing to explore that option before they go into foreclosure. But he says, short sales are by no means the answer for everyone who's upside-down on their homes. Most experts are not predicting a big turnaround in the housing market anytime soon — that's despite the lowest interest rates in a half century. Though rates are low, only a small percentage of people can easily qualify for credit.
If you're one of the lucky people who live in your own house or apartment, you might look at a white picket fence and think the same thing I do: home, with all the positive associations that come with that word. But for many people who struggle to find or keep a roof over their head, they may look at the fence from the other side: as a reminder of what they don't have. Today on Think Out Loud we're launching a new series called Finding Solutions: What Works and Why where we'll try to explore just that — solutions to some of Oregon's most pressing problems. Take the need for affordable housing as our first case. We've done shows on the economy, on foreclosures, and on homelessness. Today we'll explore some of the factors that lead people to need affordable housing, but, more importantly in this case, we'll examine what ideas are out there to provide homes to more people. We'll focus on people who are taking on different aspects of the problem of unaffordable housing and the people whose lives have been transformed by being able to find affordable housing for themselves and their families. In other words, the possible solutions instead of the problem itself.
Results for OPB
Are you trying to decide who to vote for this November for Mayor of Portland? If so, here's your opportunity to hear both candidates, Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith, answer the tough questions about the future of the city. From fluoride to foreclosures, development to diversity, we'll get the straight talk from both of them on the issues of most importance to Portlanders.
The 2012 candidates for Portland mayor, Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith, were on OPB's Think Out Loud October 9 for a "candidate conversation.+ Candidates, Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith, answered questions about the future of the city, from fluoride to foreclosures, development to diversity.
The Portland-Vancouver area has the second highest percentage of "zombie foreclosures" in the nation, according to a new report from the Internet housing firm RealtyTrac.
A new state program to prevent home foreclosures launches today in 33 Oregon counties.
The Oregon Supreme Court handed down two rulings Thursday that are likely to affect how foreclosures are processed in the state.
Oregon is seeing an unprecedented jump in the number of homes in foreclosure.
The Obama Administration says Wednesday it will unveil additional details about the plan to assist distressed homebuyers. The details will be of particular interest in central Oregon.