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Economic News

So Many Heads in the Sand-Why Foreclosures Happen




How can you expect the problem to go away?

In the past I would often wonder why anyone would ever allow their home to go into foreclosure. I mean, there are options, you can sell your home if you have to, so then WHY would you ever get to the point of foreclosure? I couldn’t understand why they would stick their head in the sand and expect the problem to go away.

In the last few years my own experiences have led me down a path of enlightenment on the reasons that lead people to foreclosure and empathy has opened up the gates to understanding.

It is NOT because:

-the homeowners are deadbeats

    No one wants to lose their home.


In no particular order, here is what my experience has been:

Many times a failed marriage is the also the source of a failure to pay the mortgage. Very often the spouse left in the home is the caretaker of any children and may have been the last to suspect they would wind up in this situation. They will try everything they can to stay in place and make ends meet. They have already experienced the failure of their marriage and are resistant to admit publicly that they are failing to keep their home.

—Lost Job—
In this economy this has become more and more prevalent. Many people try to hang on in hopes that they will soon find a new position, but hope can’t float the bills and they cannot get caught up. No one wants to admit that they didn’t have enough savings to get by.

—Illness or Injury—
Prolonged illness or injury in the family causes a financial burden in both expenses and lost wages.

—Sub-prime Lending—
Some people made the bad decision to take a sub-prime loan that has adjusted upwards and made their payment unreasonably expensive for them.

—Home Values—
Many people who bought in the peak of the market and would sell now feel that they are stuck because their mortgage balance is higher than what their home value reflects.


Put yourself in their shoes, try to understand how scary and stressful it is to be in a situation where you will have to move and will probably lose your home.

    Here is the call to action:

Empathize. Be an arbiter of understanding, education and kindness to these people.

Reach out to your community and teach them that these situations are not only very common these days: they are often solvable. Show the people in your area that you aren’t only interested in selling the McMansions and “easy” properties…you are a professional working to help all homeowners.

Ikea DudeEducate yourself about the options for distressed homeowners and share your knowledge freely. Help others to understand that they may not have to suffer foreclosure.

Be there. Remember that this could be your friend, your family member…this could be YOU.

Help these people to bring their heads out of the sand and view the horizon in front of them.

Lesley offers 21 years experience in real estate, public speaking and training. Lesley has a degree in communications and was the recipient of an international award for coordinating media in real estate. In the course of her career Lesley has presented at international real estate conferences and state REALTOR associations, hosted a real estate television program, written articles for trade magazines and created marketing and PR plans for many individuals, companies and non-profits.

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  1. Debbie Kirkland

    July 30, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Another great article! Many Realtors now understand this because many of us have been very close to or are now in this situation as well due to the economy and decline in home sales and resulting income.
    Many a good person is experiencing foreclosures, or threats of foreclosure. Opening not just your eyes, but your hearts to support those with needs and using our knowledge to become problem solvers and negotiators, (sometimes with lenders). on behalf of homeowners is the only way we will recover. Great post!

  2. Melina Tomson

    July 31, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Many people are completely ashamed that bad things happened to them. The fact is that we are a very judgmental society from how Britney looked at the MTV awards to Obama wearing “mom jeans.” I think it is perfectly understandable for sellers in distress to think that they will be judged…and harshly at that.

    Feeling powerless to stop life’s circumstances as they come barreling your way is an overwhelming feeling.

  3. Matt

    August 11, 2009 at 5:02 am

    Which is why we all need to reach out to them in whatever way, shape, or form is possible. Not just to try and buy/sell their home, or what have you, but to at least show them there are possible options.

    Every case sure is unique, some are too far gone to be helped anymore (but in a way you also are helping them by giving them a time line heads up as to where they stand), and some will refuse, but the ones helped are worth it.

    This is only going to get a lot worse….before it gets better.

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Economic News

Is the real estate industry endorsing Carson’s nomination to HUD?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ben Carson’s initial appointment to HUD was controversial given his lack of experience in housing, but what is the pulse now?



NAR strongly backs Dr. Carson’s nomination

When President-Elect Donald Trump put forth Dr. Ben Carson’s name as the nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, NAR President William E. Brown said, “While we’ve made great strides in recent years, far more can be done to put the dream of homeownership in reach for more Americans.”

At the time of nomination, the National Association of Realtors (the largest trade organization in the nation) offered a positive tone regarding Dr. Carson and said the industry looks forward to working with him. But does that hold true today?

The confirmation hearings yesterday were far less controversial than one would expect, especially in light of how many initially reacted to his nomination. Given his lack of experience in housing, questions seemed to often center around protecting the LGBT community and veterans, both of which he pledged to support.

In fact, Dr. Carson said the Fair Housing Act is “one of the best pieces of legislation we’ve ever had in this country,” promising to issue a “world-class plan” for housing upon his confirmation…

>>>>>Click to continue reading…<<<<<


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Economic News

Job openings hit 14-year high, signaling economic improvement

The volume of job openings is improving, but not across all industries. The overall economy is improving, but not evenly across all career paths.



young executives

job openings

Job openings hit a high point

To understand the overall business climate, the U.S. Labor Department studies employment, today releasing data specific to job vacancies. According to the department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLT) for April, job openings rose to 5.38 million, the highest seen since December 2000, and a significant jump from March’s 5.11 million vacancies. Although a lagging indicator, it shows strength in the labor market.

The Labor Department reports that the number of hires in April fell to 5 million, which indicates a weak point in the strong report, and although the volume remains near recent highs, this indicates a talent gap and highlights the number of people who have left the labor market and given up on looking for a job.

Good news, bad news, depending on your profession

That said, another recent Department report notes that employers added 221,000 jobs in April and 280,000 in May, but the additions are not evenly spread across industries. Construction jobs rose in April, but dipped in professional and business services, hospitality, trade, and transportation utilities. In other words, white collar jobs are down, blue collar jobs are up, which is good or bad news depending on your profession.

Additionally, the volume of people quitting their jobs was 2.7 million in April compared to the seven-year high of 2.8 million in March. Economists follow this number as a metric for gauging employee confidence in finding their next job.

What’s next

If you’re in the market for a job, there are an increasing number of openings, so your chance of getting hired is improving, but there is a caveat – not all industries are enjoying improvement.

If you’re hiring talent, you’ll still get endless resumes, but there appears to be a growing talent gap for non-labor jobs, so you’re not alone in struggling to find the right candidate.

Economists suspect the jobs market will continue to improve as a whole, but this data does not pertain to every industry.


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Economic News

Gas prices are down, so are gas taxes about to go up?

Do low gas prices mean higher gas taxes are on the way? Budgeting for 2015 just got a bit more complicated, if some politicians have their way.



gas tax


Gas taxes and your bottom line

Many industries rely heavily on time in their vehicle, not just truck drivers and delivery trucks. Sales professionals hop in their vehicles throughout the day, as do many other types of professionals (service providers like plumbers, and so forth). For that reason, gas prices and taxes are a relevant line item that must be budgeted for 2015, but with politicians making the rounds to push for higher gas taxes, budgeting becomes more complicated.

Gas prices are down roughly 50 cents per gallon compared to a year ago, which some analysts say have contributed to more money in consumers’ pockets. Some believe that this will improve holiday sales, but others believe the timing is just right to increase federal taxes on gas. The current tax on gas is 18.40 cents per gallon, and on diesel are 24.40 cents per gallon.


Supporters and opponents are polar opposites

Supporters argue as follows: gas prices are low, so it won’t hurt to increase federal gas taxes, in fact, those funds must go toward improving our infrastructure, which in the long run, saves Americans money because smoother roads mean better gas mileage and less congestion.

Gas taxes have long been a polarizing concept, and despite lowered gas prices, the controversial nature of the taxes have not diminished.

While some are pushing for complete abolition of federal gas taxes, others, like former Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell (D) tell CNBC, “Say that cost the average driver $130 a year. They would get a return on that investment” in safer roads and increased quality of life, he added.

The Washington Post‘s Chris Mooney points out that federal gas taxes have been “stuck” at 18 cents for over 20 years, last raised when gas was barely a dollar a gallon and that the tax must increase not only to improve the infrastructure, but to “green” our behavior, and help our nation find tax reform compromise.

Is a gas tax politically plausible?

Mooney writes, “So, this is not an argument that a gas tax raise is politically plausible — any more than a economically efficient tax on carbon would be. It’s merely a suggestion that — ignoring politics — it might be a pretty good idea.”

Rendell noted, “The World Economic Forum, 10 years ago, rated us the best infrastructure in the world,” adding that we “need to do something for our infrastructure, not in a one or two year period, but over a decade.”

Others would note that this rating has not crumbled in just a few years, that despite many bridges and roads in need of repair, our infrastructure is still superior to even the most civilized nations.

Regardless of the reasons, most believe that Congress won’t touch this issue with a ten-foot pole, especially leading up to another Presidential campaign season starting next year.

“I think it’s too toxic and continues to be too toxic,” Steve LaTourette (the former Republican congressman best known for his close friendship with his fellow Ohioan, Speaker John Boehner) tells The Atlantic. “I see no political will to get this done.”

Whether the time is fortuitous or not, and regardless of the positive side effects, many point to a fear of voters’ retaliation against any politician siding with a gas hike, so this matter going any further than the proposal stage is unlikely.

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