Posts Tagged "foreclosure"

Slab City for a warmer winter
by NICK ROSEN on DECEMBER 18, 2011 - 13 Comments in COMMUNITY

Snowbirds welcome - bring your own 12-gauge

CBS Evening News has reignited interest in Slab City – the off-grid community near Los Angeles. It is celebrating its 20th anniversary and is growing steadily as a result of foreclosure victims looking for a place with few rules, where they can get on with life undisturbed.

The 2000 residents are gathered in the desert around concrete slabs placed there during WW2, living in tents, trailers, elderly mobile homes and other dwellings made from found materials. (more…)

What will I do when I lose my job?
by NICK ROSEN on NOVEMBER 22, 2011 - 6 Comments in WORK

Time to lose the suit

While news emerges that the top bosses in Western economies are earning FIFTY times more than they did in the eighties, in many US cities, the youth unemployment rate is reaching 50%.  The same is true in European cities, especially in Spain, Greece and Portugal. Italy will be next.

Its only the beginning.  (more…)

How to avoid foreclosure
by VEG-HEAD on OCTOBER 16, 2010 - 3 Comments in LAND

Stay away from lawyers, join a network

Many people who consider moving off the grid have their home under threat of foreclosure. They do not know how they will pay the utility bills, never mind the mortgage. They do not know which way to turn.

Here is a great way to strike back at the faceless, remorseless banks who own your mortgage:

The secret – they may not own your mortgage!

In the housing bubble, mortgages were packaged up and resold so many times that it may be impossible to prove which entity owns a specific mortgage. Sloppy paperwork by the banks is to blame and cutting corners through mass “robosignings” of documents rather than proper reviews. Roughly 5 million households are somewhere in the foreclosure process, according to industry estimates

Most who cannot afford their mortgage might think, “I can’t afford a lawyer either.” \well, tts OK, you don’t need one. (more…)

Foreclosed home? Here is a solution
by NICK ROSEN on JULY 8, 2010 - 7 Comments in EVENTS

Millions like this

The US workforce shrank by 652,000 in June 2010, one of the worst contractions ever. The number of foreclosures is still spiralling – especially in California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. People who have worked hard all their lives, have saved money, have avoided debt, are unable to find work even scrubbing toilets. So what do you do if your home is foreclosed, or if you cannot pay your rent? Here is some useful advice. But instead of fighting to remain a mortgage-slave, some people are choosing the option of living off the grid. It might be on some public land, or your own land, or in a car, or an RV.

Coping with the downturn
by VEG-HEAD on SEPTEMBER 27, 2008 - 0 Comments in URBAN

Belt-tightening has hardly started
Like thousands of other American families the Buxton family’s life is on hold – stacked on shelves and piled into plastic bins in a corrugated metal warehouse behind a fire station in an industrial part of Sacramento, Calif.

For the past four months, the offices of a social service agency have been the closest thing they’ve had to call home.

Over in Citrus Heights, Calif., the Thomas family started out just trying to cut out frivolous stuff — Beanie Babies and Pokemon cards, bottled water and soda — with the goal of making life simpler and less expensive. Then a $300 electricity bill earlier this year kicked basic conservation into high gear. (more…)

More go off-grid as economy tanks
by TECHSTAR on MAY 17, 2008 - 2 Comments in EVENTS, OFF-GRID 101

As world food and energy prices continue to increase, more than 8,000 American households are entering the foreclosure process every day.

Bank seizures have doubled in Nevada which emerged as the worst-hit state across the US, with one in every 146 households across the state filing for foreclosure last month.

CNN News yesterday followed our focus on people living in cars with a detailed report (see video):

67-year-old Barbara Harvey made a bare living processing mortgage loans. When she leaves work, she heads for a parking lot behind the historic Santa Barbara mission. That is where she sleeps at night in the back of her car with two golden retrievers.

It’s 10 pm and already there are a half dozen women who settle into this parking lot for the night. There is no running water here, there’s no bathroom facilities, but the women say at least they feel safe.

Barbara lost her full time job and now works part time at $8 an hour. And even though she also gets Social Security, she still cannot afford an apartment.

It’s a tough existence. People who live in their cars, like Barbara, have to constantly move them in search of parking. In California, it’s illegal to sleep in your vehicle. The city of Santa Barbara, together with New Beginnings came up with the safe parking program. They opened up 11 lots where people are allowed to sleep in their cars from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. This gated lot where Barbara sleeps is for women only.

Lynn Lague lives in her car with four cats. She’s 54 and use to be in the Army National Guard. Now she is on a waiting list for government housing, but the list is a year long.

�My daughter, especially, is very unhappy. Sometimes she’ll cry. She’ll call and say mom, I just can’t stand it that you are living in the car and she’ll be very upset. I say you know what? This is OK for right now because I’m safe, I’m healthy, the dogs are doing OK and I have a job and things will get better.

These parking lots are right in front of the public. We’re talking about a parking lot right near the beach, another parking lot, where Barbara lives, up at the mission, which is a major tourist attraction. But this is a very carefully monitored program, and so the participants are not allowed to camp outside of their car. They’re not allowed to cook outside of the car.

Basically, they can just sleep there from 7:00 p.m., but by 7:00 a.m., they have to leave, and that presents a quandary, because they basically have to roam around and look for another place to park. And in Barbara’s job, she is lucky because she is employed, she does have a job.

The daily foreclosure rate is the highest on record, with the total number of homeowners falling into arrears with mortgage payments up 65% compared with the same period the year before. More than two million home foreclosures are forecast for 2008. According to real estate data from RealtyTrac, new filings for home foreclosure in April hit 243,353, up 4 per cent on March.

Homeowners file for foreclosure when they have fallen severely behind with their mortgage payments and have received either default notices, or have been given details of a date when their home is to be auctioned, or have seen their house formally repossessed by their mortgage lender.

Averaged over the US as a whole, one household in every 519 had filed foreclosure documents and is on the verge of losing their home.

James Saccacio, chief executive of RealtyTrac, said: �The total number of US properties with foreclosure activity in April was the highest monthly total we�ve seen since we began issuing the report in January 2005.�

The new data adds weight to a prediction by Robert Shiller, co-founder of the S&P/Case-Shiller US house-price index and a Professor of Economics at Yale University, that house-price declines in America stand a good chance of doubling before any recovery begins.

Professor Shiller estimates that real estate values in America have fallen by about 15 per cent already and may decline by as much as 30 per cent � losses of a size not seen since the Great Depression.

At the same time, Wall Street had to contend with official April consumer price data that showed that, stripping out fuel, the cost of living rose by a modest 1.2 per cent over the last quarter. The statistics underline fears that the US is already well into a recession, with prices stagnating as consumer confidence and demand dry up.

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for High Frequency Economics, said: �The core was held down by a 1.9 per cent drop in lodging costs [a third straight drop as holiday spending slows], a 0.2 per cent fall in car prices [expect more as car sales tank] and a 0.1 per cent dip in recreation. The big story here is core, still 2.3 per cent year-on-year, but the three-month annualised is a mere 1.2 per cent. Recessions do that.�

I live in my car
by SUPERJOE on APRIL 23, 2008 - 35 Comments in MOBILE, OFF-GRID 101

Jassen Bowman explains why he decided (like many others) to live full-time in his car:

Jassen Bowman
Jassen: in-car hero

As I sat across the breakfast bar from this lovely young couple in their beautiful, meticulously ordered home, they told me they were finally going to be able to build their dream home in the country. And I was going to be part of that process for them, in my small way, by helping them sell there current home in the suburbs. As I filled in blanks spaces on the listing agreement, I casually asked them about their new home. (more…)

Return of the Grim Repo
by SIYAH on JANUARY 31, 2008 - 0 Comments in LAND, OFF-GRID 101
home foreclosure
Time for a fresh start

More than 2.2 MILLION foreclosure documents were sent out to US homeowners last year, forcing many to consider living off-grid, in cabins, RVs, on backlots or trailer parks. .

In a ground-breaking story Off-Grid interviewed one early victim of this trend about her inspirational journey through financial collapse to off-grid happiness(see “on the ropes and off the grid” below). While sad that she and her husband lost everything, it fills us with hope that through her financial downfall she discovered that what matters in this world is not material possessions but a sense of freedom and fulfillment. (more…)

On the ropes and off the grid
by MARESE on SEPTEMBER 16, 2004 - 8 Comments in LAND, OFF-GRID 101, PEOPLE

Writer Ladena Sipes did not plan to go off-grid. It just happened:

Ladena Sipes
Happiness on a backlot

We ended up broke and close to homeless for very ordinary reasons. Many people are only a few paychecks away from being homeless. Steve and I lived a very typical lifestyle until a few years ago. We had a big house with a big mortgage payment, a couple of new cars, credit card debt, etc. We lived beyond our income, charging, borrowing, refinancing, but always spending, spending, spending.

Now we live in a remote part of northeast Utah.

When we had money we purchased a 20 acre piece of recreation land and would come here to camp, fish, hike, etc. when we had time from our busy lives. (more…)

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