Saturday, August 21, 2010
La de da, la de da. Off the cliff the California legislature and governor go, with Illinois state government hurrying to catch up with them.
CHARLOTTE COUNTY - Residents in a retirement community here say they are being threatened with lien and foreclosure notices because of a legal battle with their homeowners association.
"There was a 93-year-old woman, and they told her, 'If you don't pay your dues, we're going to take your house away from you,'" said Conklin Houle, 73. "You can't do that to somebody who's lived in their house 30 or 35 years."
And the owner of that home with the brown lawn is likely in a heap of trouble with the HOA.
Friday, August 20, 2010
WASHINGTON -- Regulators on Friday shut down four California banks, a big community bank based in Chicago, and banks in Florida and Virginia. The closures boosted to 118 the number of U.S. bank failures this year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday took over the California banks: Butte Community Bank, based in Chico; Pacific State Bank, based in Stockton; Los Padres Bank, in Solvang; and Sonoma Valley Bank, in Sonoma.
The hangover from the 2003-07 bash continues....pass the Excedrin.
You do realize that Las Vegas is fated to become a ghost town, right? They can go ahead and spend billions of our money to build a bullet train line from Anaheim to Vegas because Harry Reid says so, but that whole part of the country is going to run out of water. It's just simple math. The ground water has been pumped down to levels that will take hundreds if not thousands of years to recharge. And there is the Colorado River, and you can read about that--Lake Mead hasn't been this low in 50 years. Why? Every year they take out of Lake Mead 1.6 million acre feet more water than flows into it. Vegas, Henderson, Phoenix, Mesa, and those other growing desert cities are artificial creations that depend on massive infusions of water from elsewhere, and there is no way the flow can be sustained. Try and tell that to a real estate developer or a local booster mayor, though. They won't hear it. And of course the hordes of retirees who flock there to lie around the pool and play golf on those massively watered courses have no idea what is going on.
Fortin said his group 'shares the concerns of FHFA about programs that create neo-feudal arrangements' with outside investors, but believes the agency needs to better distinguish between profit-motivated transfer fees and those that benefit public interest and nonprofit organizations."
Thanks to Fred Pilot for the link. CAI seems to want to protect HOAs power to assess transfer fees. Fred predicted they would take that position, by the way.
Blagojevich Jury Holdout Remaining Silent; Source Identifies Her As Jo Ann Chiakulas - cbs2chicago.com
And she is somebody who should never have been on that jury in the first place, because the US Attorney's office should have bounced her. I picked her as the holdout while the jury was still deliberating. Ask my son if you don't believe me.
The report suggests foreclosures could rise in the second half of the year and weaken the ailing housing market, analysts say."
Borrowers say the program is "a bureaucratic nightmare." Banks lose their paperwork and then claim the borrowers never turned it in.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
But now, with associations racked by record foreclosures and delinquent homeowner fees, some communities are balking at paying for unused cable service in vacant houses or service to homes where the owners long ago stopped paying their association fees."
Thanks to Beth for this instructive story. It is fascinating to hear industry advocates waxing eloquent about the supposed contract that the owners entered into with their fellow residents, thus indenturing themselves forever. Deals like, this, though, show what really happens. The developer writes whatever he wants, sells out, and leaves, and the residents are stuck with whatever situation he created for them. But when things like this happen...when it is the association that wants to break what looks like a bad deal...then watch the industry advocates switch sides and talk about the need to rewrite the deal to save the association in these hard times. As someone once said, where you stand depends on where you sit.
After neighbors raised a flap over early morning bird noises, a Laguna Niguel pet owner has a tough choice to make. Wei Lu will have 10 days to get rid of about 50 pigeons in his back yard or face a lawsuit after receiving a formal complaint from his homeowners' association. The homeowner says if he does not fight the complaint in court, he will be forced to kill the birds as the specially-bred racing pigeons are trained to return to his back yard.
I make no predictions as to whether deflation will occur. But I believe U.S. economic and demographic factors (such as Baby Boomers taking early Social Security retirement benefits) are lined up such to make deflation a clear and present danger.
I'll post developments and observations there from time to time. Please share your thoughts and comments on the blog.
One of the many looming financial crises in the United States is the horrendous budget shortfall faced by many states.
James Altucher, managing director at Formula Capital, floats an innovative solution to this problem.
Instead of raising taxes, cutting spending, or going even deeper in debt, Altucher says, states should sell off some assets.
Assets like roads, bridges, state parks, public transportation systems, and universities.
If New Jersey were to sell the New Jersey Turnpike, for example, it would immediately raise tens of billions of dollars, which would radically improve the state's financial health. And a private road operator might do a better job of running the turnpike than the state can.
For the past three decades, local governments privatized local government as mandatory membership HOAs to cut costs. Now financially strapped states can do the same thing by privatizing their infrastructure, including universities. Query: Will our esteemed professor McKenzie retain tenure if the community association industry decides to buy the University of Illinois?
Richly ironic tale of libertarian activists being shut down by the nanny state. Thanks to Mystery Reader for the link.
Good grief. It seems that he has over $386,000 left on the mortgage. Now, in Chicago a public official could take care of that fairly quickly...Thanks to Tom Skiba for the link.
I won't miss them.
Police and prosecutors take a different view. The FBI has listed them on the domestic terrorist list, saying their crime of choice is paper terrorism and attempting to disrupt the U.S. economy."
This could get ugly.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The flag has also had connections to the U.S. military. But in recent years, the Gadsden flag has been a fixture at Tea Party rallies, making some think of it as a political symbol for that party."
Thanks to the anonymous contributor who sent this along. Seems the Tea Party and the Gadsen flag aren't popular with the HOA crowd. Maybe it's that anti-authoritarian, pro-individual liberty message.
Members of the Elmhurst city council have asked the City Attorney to look into the creation of a 'disturbance and disorderly conduct' violation and to see if eye-rolling could somehow be shoehorned into its definition."
Proving once again that city councils can be just as stupid as homeowner association boards.
Sounds like things in Afghanistan are a lot like the US.
This is a notice of a proposed rule change. Fred Pilot sent it along, with a note that CAI will probably oppose it. I keep hearing about HOAs and condos that are levying these private transfer fees.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Parents and students taking out huge loans to go to expensive "prestigious" private colleges, take it from a university professor: think that over very, very carefully before doing it. Did you know that you can't discharge student loans in bankruptcy?
Banks to benefit most from Obama administration's effort to fight foreclosures - The Hill's On The Money
Well, my goodness. Who would have thought such a thing could happen?