In 2009, I batted .600 in predictions for 2010. And I thought that was fun. It’s one thing to make predictions; it’s another to look back and see how those predictions fared.
How did I do last year in predicting events of 2011? I was hoping to be maybe 1 out of 7, since most of my predictions last year were of the doom-n-gloom variety. Sadly, I think I’m 4.5 out of 7 for a .642 batting average. Hall of Fame (Infamy?), here I come.
We’ll review my take on the predictions for 2011 after the jump.
Ted Williams: .406 batting average in 1941. Me: .600 in 2009. Sorta...
Coming off of an awesome, Hall-of-Fame type of year in which I batted .600 in predictions (or, alternatively, a year in which I only got 6 out of 10 predictions even remotely close to right, and hence am a big #FAIL), I thought I would don the Nostradamus hat once again and make foolish predictions for 2011. I know I should make 10 predictions, but… y’know, I’m sort of stuck on that number Seven.
Here are seven predictions for 2011. Many are guaranteed to be wrong, or your money back! But as a bonus, each prediction comes with a music video for your entertainment.
[Warning: don’t read this is you’re feeling happy and optimistic, and you want to stay that way. I’m personally feeling happy and optimistic, but as I put this together, I can’t help but want to reach for strong drink for the industry as a whole. I know I tend towards bearishness, and some might suggest, alarmism, so… I’d suggest you go read some other 2011 predictions posts as well. Here are a few I’ve seen myself: Lani on Agent Genius, Greg Robertson on VendorAlley, and this whole series over at Inman.com.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that if you have a REO or short sale practice, you want to pay attention to some legal cases going on around the country:
Trouble is, MERS might lack legal standing to bring a foreclosure action. At least, that’s what the attorneys for the homeowners who are getting foreclosed are claiming.
Given that so many mortgages were packaged into securitization pools (RMBS), sliced and diced, with different investors taking a different piece of a few hundred thousand pooled mortgages… it really isn’t clear who actually owns the mortgage, and has the right to enforce its terms by foreclosure (or have its duly authorized agent/servicer do it).
I noted then that this seemingly esoteric legal issue is a thermonuclear landmine for the entire foreclosure and short sale industry, including real estate agents who represent buyers and lenders.
Well, Congress has been holding hearings on problems in the foreclosure industry. I haven’t seen too many media coverage of the hearings. This blogpost on Washington Post is one of the few I could find. I just spent valuable two hours of my life watching CSPAN video of the hearing on December 15, 2010, which is embedded above.
This topic is just too big, even for my lengthy posts. But if you have anything to do with foreclosures, REO’s, and short sales… I would suggest you spend some time looking at this issue.
From the dusty files of the excruciating minutiae of bankruptcy court proceedings (courtesy of the NY Times) comes this story:
But while banks may have booted a few robo-signers and tightened up some lax procedures, one question at the heart of the foreclosure mess refuses to go away: whether institutions trying to take back a property can prove they even have the right to foreclose at all.
Some in the industry believe that questions about this issue — known as “legal standing” — are trivial. They say it’s just a gambit by borrowers’ lawyers to throw sand in the foreclosure machine. Nine times out of 10, bankers say, the right institutions are foreclosing on the right borrowers.
Maybe so. But the United States Trustee Program, the unit of the Justice Department charged with overseeing the integrity of the nation’s bankruptcy courts, is taking a different view. The unit is stepping up its scrutiny of the veracity of banks’ claims against borrowers, and its approach is evident in two cases in federal bankruptcy court in Atlanta.
This, to put it mildly, could be a thermonuclear land mine. There’s no reason to panic yet, since no court has ruled on the standing issue, but the action by the U.S. Trustee hints at the possibility that this issue will become larger and larger, and likely require significant litigation to resolve. And looming in the background? MERS… which is not tech-speak for merde, but the entrance of the DOJ (the parent department of the U.S. Trustee) could result in a major merde-storm.