Shari Olefson's blog

Landlord Inc.

by Amy Keller - Posted 1/30/2013

As of late 2012, five years after the real estate crash bottomed out, there were still more than 300,000 foreclosed homes in Florida and another 250,000 or so bank-owned properties, called REOs.

In recent months, however, those homes have been coming off the market more quickly. In October, overall sales of single-family homes were up 25%, while inventory was down 30%.

How can we not wonder how long into the future these cases will still be emerging and US position evolving? When we rise above -for a moment- taking sides and (relatively) short term in intended consequences, isn't the bottom line about how America values truth, honesty, honor, abiding the law, doing the right thing and the bravery that sometimes requires? Is that still who we are? And, if not, aren't the Unintended consequences of that way significant?

Given the low returns average folks are getting on investments nowadays, maybe there's an opportunity to invest in what's right (or not invest in what's not right) as these pensions funds are deciding. Financial Fresh Start explores this opportunity a bit. Including micro funds that invest with a conscience.

Lest we forget, no one gets something for nothing, including healthcare. Its fact, not politics: Employers base how much they can afford to pay employees on how much money the company has available to cover those costs. They include into those costs salaries and benefits – including health care. If health care costs more, salaries will be less, meaning it is essentially employees, not employers who at the end of the day pay for healthcare. It’s what even those employee might expect when on the other side of the equation as shareholders. Lest we forget.

Latest on OCC Investigation: Big Banks Allowed to Review Their Own Mistakes?   I've been up close and personal with the various moving parts of this OCC investigation since day one.  I know some of the banks and so called “independent auditors.”   And have received an endless stream of inquiries from homeowners who received letters saying they were eligible, thought they should have received letters, or asked about filing on line.

“Squatters” use Adverse Possession laws to live FREE in vacant homes. Even the Sheriff can’t do much until the bank or new owner steps up.We all know how harmful foreclosure is for homeowners, entire neighborhoods and our financial system. Adverse possessors can make a bad situation even worse. For example, evicting adverse possessors takes more time and money for banks and new owners, perpetuating eye-sores and de-valuation for neighbors even longer.

Happy to be on the set of Fox again this am. Talking about sequestration. What will it mean to your wallet?

We average americans are beginning to "live" what it means when our federal government has to cut spending and increase revenue; our paychecks are a bit smaller courtesy of the expiration of the payroll tax cut, our mail may just have to wait for a week day and there will be more to come. Inside the state budgets, which unlike the federal budget are required to be balanced, folks are seeing pension challanges, public park closures, proposals for new taxes and other service cut backs, an indication of what we can expect at the federal level.

FINALLY DOJ going after S&P for bogus ratings circa ’04-’07 @ $13 million a pop.

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