Results for Think Out Loud (Other Results)
“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.
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.
Portland Business Journal editor Rob Smith will be in studio for our regular business update. Here are some of the topics we'll be looking at:
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.
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.
Changes are afoot at the North Park Blocks in Portland. Two colleges — Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Oriental Medicine — are resettling near Portland's Old Town neighborhood in the coming years. The colleges will bring over 1000 students, instructors, and staff members to the urban area currently dotted with many social services. Neighborhood advocates hope it will bring increased economic activity to an area that some see as blighted. In other business news, analysts are seeing an increase in small business loans, a good sign of a recovering economy (though real estate trends remain relatively dismal). Meanwhile, the battle over the economics of several potential coal terminals in the Northwest continues to rage, with each side lobbing arguments over the economic wisdom of going forward.
A committee of lawmakers in Salem heard a somewhat optimistic revenue forecast this week. The Legislative Emergency Board, which meets to do the state's business between sessions, is also close to voting on a plan to fund a program to help with the foreclosure problem and monitor mortgage fraud. Meanwhile, the official unemployment rate for the state is down. Harry Esteve covers politics for The Oregonian and joins us for an update.
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 event will take place in the OPB Television studio. It will air live on OPB Radio and OPB Plus, with a rebroadcast on OPB TV later in the week. Follow along and participate in the discussion on our Live Blog:
One of the new Oregon laws to come out of the short legislative session in February adds a step in the foreclosure process that could help homeowners. The law allows homeowners to request mediation with their bank when foreclosure is imminent. It also requires banks to honor homeowners' requests for mediation. The first step homeowners must take to kick off the mediation process is to request a meeting with a federally certified housing counselor. The law doesn't go into effect for a few months, but counselors are already seeing a sharp increase in demand for their services. Similar laws exist in Washington and other states, but some say they're not doing much to keep people in their homes. Either troubled homeowners don't know about the programs or they don't believe that mediation will motivate banks not to foreclose.
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.
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.
Friday a group of protesters met in front of Portland City Hall. The demonstrators say they want banks and elected officials to take accountability for the foreclosure crisis.
As lenders and homeowners ponder the worth of foreclosed properties, one advocacy group is encouraging homeowners not to let go of their homes without a fight.
After a 20-hour sit-in at Multnomah County, a group seeking to change the way homes are foreclosed upon in Oregon says it has won a victory.