Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: homeowners

Americans Expect Booming Economy to Continue, Says Conference Board

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 31, 2018: 

The Conference Board’s January survey of consumer confidence came in at 125.4, beating December’s number and outperforming predictions of economic forecasters. Additionally, December’s number had to be revised upward as the original index of 122.1 understated consumer confidence that month as well.

As a measure of the strength of the economy, the Conference Board, which has been conducting similar surveys since it was founded in 1916, established its “baseline” for its consumer confidence index at 100 in 1985. Put another way,

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Carbondale, Illinois Seizes Eclipse Opportunity to Boost Its Economy

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 21, 2017:

Two years ago Carbondale, Illinois’ mayor Mike Henry learned of the epic cosmic event headed his way and decided not to say, “Oh, no!” but instead said, “Oh, yes!”:

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Bank of America Fined Again; Board Likely to Laugh It Off

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 29, 2017:

Photo of Bank of America ATM Machine by Brian ...

Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein fined Bank of America $45 million on Thursday for deliberately and intentionally harming a young couple who got caught up the real estate collapse and had to downsize. Erik and Renee Sundquist made a down payment on a smaller home and borrowed the balance from Countrywide Home Loans. When they couldn’t make the payments on that loan, the couple was advised by Bank of America, which owned Countrywide, to default as a precondition for a loan modification in order to lower their payments.

Klein described what happened next in his ruling in Sundquist v. Bank of America as a series of events so fantastic and bizarre as to be nearly incomprehensible:

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Blowing Up the Globalists’ Plans

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 13, 2017:

Logo of United Nations Refugee Agency.Version ...

Logo of United Nations Refugee Agency.

The Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) grew out of failure. Known alternatively as Chatham House, it was conceived during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 (also called the Versailles Peace Conference). It was decided that, once the so-called “peace” terms were put in place to punish Germany and its allies after the War to end all wars, various insiders decided a one-world government was needed to keep such a catastrophe from occurring in the future. It birthed the

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Is Vancouver Tax on Foreign Investors a Lesson for Trump?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 9, 2017:

View on Vancouver on October 1, 2005

Vancouver, B.C.

The impact of the 15-percent “foreign buyer transfer tax” — a real estate tax that is only applied on foreigners, not Canadians — levied by Vancouver, a West Coast city in the Canadian province of British Columbia, was felt almost immediately: Real estate prices began falling, realtor listings took longer to sell as buyers disappeared, and, consequently, revenues anticipated from instituting the tax aren’t likely to meet expectations.

Observers said the tax was levied to protect the local real estate market from becoming “overheated” thanks to increasing demand from foreign investors. “Remember the Great Recession” became the mantra. What goes up must come down, etc. Indeed, prices have increased by nearly 50 percent over just the last three years, driving the median cost of a home in Vancouver to $1.5 million.

Members of the city council imposed the 15-percent tariff on August 1, and by the end of September investment in the high end of the market had already dropped

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Eminent Domain in Connecticut: Homeowners Fight to Keep Homes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 17, 2015: 

Cover of "Little Pink House: A True Story...

Ten years ago, and 50 miles west of West Haven, Connecticut, the owner of a little pink house refused to give up her home to the claims of eminent domain, and her lawsuit went all the way to the Supreme Court: [Susette] Kelo v. City of New London. She lost her case.

Now, if Janet Rodriguez doesn’t come to terms with the city or the developers who want to put up a huge mall where she lives in West Haven, Connecticut, the Supreme Court just might have another chance to change its mind, and its ruling, in the Kelo case.

Janet didn’t even know her home was in the way of the proposed development until

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Trump’s Use of Eminent Domain to Take What He Wants

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 27, 2015:  

With Donald Trump’s political star now ascendant, his past is being more carefully examined for clues to potential future behavior if he is elected president in 2016. That examination is turning up a seedy side of Trump’s success in building his empire: his determined, deliberate, and continued use of the Fifth Amendment’s eminent domain clause, along with the help of local authorities, to steal private property at substantial discounts for his own use.

The relevant language from the amendment is clear, or should be:

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Trickle of Companies Leaving Illinois Turning Into a Flood

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 14, 2015:  

On Thursday, Hoist Liftruck’s announcement that it was moving more than 500 manufacturing jobs to Indiana was just the latest in a long and almost fevered list of other companies seeking to escape Illinois’ outrageous workers compensation costs and high taxes.

On July 14 machine-maker DE-STA-CO said it was moving 100 jobs to Tennessee. The next day energy processor Bunge North America said it was shutting down its plant in Bradley, Illinois, and laying off 210 workers. The day after that General Mills pulled the plug

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Home Ownership Rate Lowest Since President LBJ

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 29, 2015:  

English: 904 S. 3rd, Mount Vernon, Washington....

According to the Census Bureau, home ownership in the United States has now dropped to the lowest level since 1967, and estimates are that the decline will continue to the lowest level ever recorded. The rate for the second quarter of 2015 was 63.4 percent, the lowest rate since Lyndon Johnson was president. The rate stands a good chance of reaching the all-time low, 63 percent, set in 1965 when the U.S. government began keeping track of such a statistic.

It wasn’t supposed to happen. In 1995 after the rate dipped to a breath-taking, eye-popping 64.7 percent from the previous 50-year average of 65.3 percent, according to the Census Bureau, the Clinton administration issued a call to arms! The government must do something!

When then-President Bill Clinton announced his “National Homeownership Strategy” in May 1995, he said,

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Lawsuit Filed in Homeschool Pepper Spray Incident

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 3, 2014:

Logo of the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Logo of the Home School Legal Defense Association.

In September 2011, a social services bureaucrat in Nodaway County, Missouri, responding to an anonymous complaint that the home belonging to Jason and Laura Hagan was “messy,” arrived at their front door to do an investigation into the complaint. Initially unaware that the  bureaucrat needed to provide them a search warrant beforehand, the Hagans let her in to inspect their home.

Following the visit, the Hagans, who homeschool their three children, asked the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) for some advice. The Hagans were advised that if anyone from social services showed up in the future, or anyone else for that matter, they should demand a

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CBO’s Funny Math

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 22, 2014:

National debt clock

National debt clock

The Congressional Budget Office’s August update to the federal budget and outlook for the next 10 years released last week was so filled with questionable assumptions as to make their conclusions completely unrealistic. As expected, the mainstream media focused only on the parts of the report that fed and supported their worldview. For instance, the CBO said that revenues were expected to increase by about 8% over last year to a world record $3 trillion, thanks to increases in individual income taxes, payroll taxes, and corporate income taxes.

This was understood by the White House and establishment economists to

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America’s Welfare State is Thriving

Margaret Thatcher

Cover of Margaret Thatcher

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 30, 2014:

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s famous dictum, “The only trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money” isn’t factually correct, nor is it complete. Lazy thinkers assume from this that eventually the welfare state will just fade away like a bad cold or a nightmare, and that everything will be okay in the morning.

Here is what Thatcher actually said during an interview in 1976:

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Self-Defense Shootings up, Crime down in Detroit

English: Montage of Detroit images on Commons....

English: Montage of Detroit images on Commons. Français : Montage d’images sur le Détroit communes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday morning, March 25, two young men trying to break into a home on Detroit’s west side aroused the homeowner who went outside to see what was going on. The confrontation led to a fight which led to the homeowner drawing his sidearm in self-defense and shooting them. Both attackers died at the scene. This brings to 10 the number of fatal self-defense shootings so far this year. This is ahead of the 25 justifiable homicides recorded in Detroit in all of 2012, the latest year for which data are available.

At the same time violent crime in Detroit continues to decline, just as the new police chief, James Craig said it already had back in January. Following the shooting, Craig said at a press conference:

 It does appear that more and more Detroiters are becoming empowered. More and more Detroiters are getting sick of the violence. I know of no other place where I’ve see this number of justifiable homicides.

People who are faced with a dangerous situation are taking matters into their own hands. We’re not advocating violence; we’re advocates of not being victims. We’re advocates of self-protection. We want people to be safe.

This should be a message to those who continue to perpetuate violence on Detroiters that enough is enough … Detroiters are fed up and they are taking action.

A 35-year veteran law enforcement officer, Craig started his career in Detroit as a beat cop, moved to Los Angeles, then to Portland, Maine, on to Cincinnati, and then back to Detroit as chief of police. Upon taking office last June he announced his intention to do something about Detroit’s spiraling crime rate: 

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States Beginning to Demand SWAT Team Transparency

SRA Dave Orth (L) and SRA Clarence Tolliver (R...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Examples of no-knock raids performed by SWAT teams on innocents across the country have even raised the consciousness of the London-based Economist magazine which declared in its most recent issue that “America’s police have become too militarized.” It opened with the story of the raid on the home of Sally Prince in Ankeny, Iowa, by a SWAT team fully helmeted and

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ARMs are Costing People their Homes

Subprime Crisis No Barrier to Affordable Housing

Subprime Crisis (Photo credit: woodleywonderworks)

Back in September, the Associated Press took a close look at U.S. census data and learned that the supposed economic recovery was leaving an awful lot of people behind. One segment is homeowners who bought the dream of owning a home using ARMs – adjustable rate mortgages – and who are now finding out how these sub-prime mortgages really work. They are working to

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Fed Transcripts from 2008 Reveal Experts to be Clueless and Confused

English: President Barack Obama confers with F...

President Barack Obama confers with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke following their meeting at the White House. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Followers of the Fed have carefully analyzed the 1,865 pages of transcripts it released in February of its eight regularly scheduled meetings and six emergency meetings in 2008 and have concluded that these experts were clueless and unaware of the opening economic abyss yawning before them. Even the New York Times was forced to admit, following its review of the documents, that

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Supreme Court Expands Police Power at the Expense of the Fourth Amendment

On Tuesday the Supreme Court ruled in Fernandez v. California that when a resident who objects to the search of his residence is removed through a lawful arrest, the remaining resident may give police consent to search without first demanding a warrant.

The back story is much more complicated than that official summary, and

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Home Ownership Rates Continue to Fall; New Plans to Reflate Underway

When the Census Bureau announced on Tuesday that the rate of homeownership in the US continued its nearly 9-year decline, pundits were quick to lay the blame on higher lending requirements, bankers reluctant to make loans, increasing interest rates and a weak economy with slow job growth. In addition, young people are living at home longer due to student loan debt and poor job prospects. As a result, according to the Census Bureau, rental rates are climbing as families needing a place to live have few other options.

Having fallen from the peak of 69 percent reached in 2004, current home ownership has dropped to 65 percent, back to where it was in 1995. Robert Schiller, economics professor at Yale, thinks the rate will continue to fall further.

Home prices are increasing not because of demand by new buyers but because of investors seeing the opportunities in buying distressed properties and turning them into rentals. In some places in the country one out of every two home purchases are paid for in cash.

But something else is afoot: fewer citizens are buying into the notion that home ownership makes economic sense and is equivalent to a savings plan that can be turned into income in later years. As Emily Badger noted at The Atlantic Cities, “We have traditionally considered homeownership to be a sign of the health of the economy. But some of these people who would have been homeowners 10 years ago … have concluded that they would rather rent [today]…”

Some have no doubt been so badly mauled financially in the recession that they have few options. Others have long memories and remember the pain and suffering they endured as a result of deliberate government policies instituted to make homeownership possible to millions of unqualified buyers.

One of those with long memories is Henry Cisneros, a key player in developing the “National Homeownership Strategy” while he was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Bill Clinton. Unanimously confirmed by the Senate, Cisneros took over at HUD in January, 1993 and by 1997 had boosted the US homeownership rate from 63.7 percent to 65.7 percent. Even after leaving office, his strategies continued blowing up the real estate bubble so that by the time Clinton left office in 2001 home ownership was at 67.5 percent on its way to peaking during the summer and fall of 2004.

In a remarkably candid and forthright article about Cisneros’ role in creating the real estate bubble, The New York Times told the story of a compassionate government bureaucrat with big dreams of providing home ownership to people who couldn’t afford them under current rules. So he changed the rules and invited bankers, realtors and homebuilders to participate in the party guaranteed by taxpayers. In 2008 as he contemplated the damage he had wrought while head of HUD, Cisneros claimed that his intentions were honorable, at least in the beginning, but that his plans to provide low-interest loans and much weaker underwriting requirements through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were hijacked by “unscrupulous participants – bankers, brokers, secondary market people. The country is paying for that, and families are hurt because we … did not draw line.” He expressed regret that his efforts had not only lured people into homes they couldn’t afford, but that his policies ultimately ejected them from those homes as a result. He said, “I’ve been waiting for someone to put all the blame on my doorstep.”

His strategy was to lower underwriting standards by allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to require less documentation and approve higher debt to income levels than normal. He reduced down payment requirements from 20 percent to 10 percent, and then to 5 percent, then down to 3 percent and ultimately to 0 percent. His strategy allowed these unqualified buyers to cover their closing costs with another loan, putting them into a home with truly nothing out of the own pockets. Lenders were happy with the new rules as the US taxpayer stood behind the loans bought by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Cisneros created a monster.

Once the ball got rolling, it was impossible to stop or even slow down. Said Cisneros:

You think you have a finely tuned instrument that you can use to say: Stop! We’re at 69 percent homeownership. We should go no further. There are people who should remain renters.

But you really are given a sledgehammer and an ax. They are blunt tools.

I’m not sure you can regulate when we’re talking about an entire nation of 300 million people and this behavior becomes viral.

Cisneros drank his own Kool-Aid. He joined with a major homebuilder to develop a housing project in San Antonio, Texas which made him wealthy but which turned sour during the collapse.

Those lessons are about to be learned again as there are new efforts to reflate the ownership bubble. Under the Dodd-Frank Act there’s something called the Qualified Mortgage Rule (QMR) which requires lenders to keep part of the loans they make in their own portfolios – they must have “skin in the game” to reduce the chances of another bubble. But more than 50 organizations tied to the real estate industry are advocating a softening of that rule, putting more government money into the market, with less risk to the lenders. One of those supporting such softening is Sarah Rosen Wartell, president of the Urban Institute, who sounds an awful lot like Cisneros:

I’m not suggesting indiscriminate access to home ownership, but there are many borrowers who are capable of demonstrating the capacity to pay…

[They include] those who had a job loss or foreclosure, in many cases through no fault of their own [and a result are] being shut out of a rising market.

Gary Thomas, the president of the National Association of Homebuilders, expressed his delight at the softening of the rules:

If what we’re heard about the [weakening of] the proposed QMR rule is true, the we are very pleased that the agencies are moving towards a broad definition that will benefit the American people by ensuring access to safe, affordable options for buying a home.

And then of course there’s the inevitable college professor who hasn’t learned from history, or from Cisneros. Christopher Mayer, professor of real estate at Columbia Business School, exulted:

Having a path that people can become a homeowner is an important path. And it’s really important for middle to lower-income folks who have a hard time saving…

At present efforts to reflate the real estate bubble through relaxing underwriting requirements and low-interest loans don’t appear to be working very well. But Washington has a mission where past experience and lessons and pain and hardship don’t matter. The Cisneros mentality remains alive and well in Foggy Bottom.

 

 

 

Slowing Economy Confirmed

The report from Automatic Data Processing (ADP) on Wednesday morning surprised economists once again by coming in substantially below their expectations. The 135,000 new private sector jobs created in May were way below the

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Georgia Town Requires Every Homeowner to Own a Gun

On Monday evening, the town council in Nelson, Georgia, located about 50 miles north of Atlanta, passed its Family Protection Ordinance requiring the head of every household to own a gun and the ammunition to feed it. It exempts felons and those with certain disabilities and it comes without penalties for noncompliance. It was passed to make a statement

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann