Small wonder that interest in off-grid living is at an all-time high.
Four million homeowners have already lost the roof over their heads; 3.3 million others are in or near foreclosure, and more than 11 million borrowers are underwater by $700 billion. Of course the market will recover at some point in the future….but when?
If you have a dead-end job and a mortgage on a property which is worth considerably less than you paid for it, the temptation to hand back the keys will be pretty immense. Unless you have kids in the middle of schooling, or an ailing parent to look after, it would seem to make a lot of sense to find some cheap land in a nice community of like-minded people, and forge yourself a new life. You can start the process by registering on LandBuddy, our free service. Even if you do have the above-mentioned family encumbrances, there are ways around that, new schools, bringing the old folks with etc.
Recently the banks were fined by the Obama administration for bad practices in their foreclosure procedures. That $26 billion is paltry compared with the scale of wrongdoing and ensuing damage, including wrecking lives of mortgage holders, supporting fraudsters like Madoff, and allowing the bonus-earning executives to continue their assault on the finances of ordinary folks.
The settlement between the five biggest mortgage lenders and the states’ attorneys general will do little to help out those struggling with their mortgages. The sum should have been more like $130 billion.
Proponents of the settlement deal tout that roughly 1 million homeowners who owe more on their homes than their homes are worth (about 9 percent of the total) are expected to have their mortgage balances lowered through principal reductions and another 750,000 would be able to refinance into loans with lower interest rates. But the banks will be able to pick and choose who gets this bail-out money. And of course they will give it to those who need it the least.
Principal reductions will also only apply to certain borrowers who have mortgages still held by the five major lenders: Bank of America (BAC,Fortune 500), CitiBank (C,Fortune 500), Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500), J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) and Ally Financial.
Borrowers who have a mortgage held by Fannie Mae (FNMA,Fortune 500) or Freddie Mac (FRE) — roughly half the market — are out of luck. Loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration are also ineligible.
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