Unstructured Finance

The housing proposal that won’t die

By Jennifer Ablan
June 20, 2013

One of the biggest economic stories this year has been the recovery in U.S. home prices. But for the more than 11 million homeowners stuck with a mortgage that’s worth more than the value of their home, it has felt more like being Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day.

The retailization of the single family home rental play

March 4, 2013

By Matthew Goldstein

It started slowly but the push by Wall Street into the single family rental market is fast becoming a Main Street play as well.

Eminent domain or principal reductions, the bottom line is reducing mortgage debt

November 26, 2012

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

It’s been almost six months since we first reported on the plan by Mortgage Resolution Partners to find a community willing to use eminent domain to condemn and restructure underwater mortgages and pay a handsome fee to the private investment group for overseeing this process. The proposal has generated a lot interest, debate and heat, but so far  no community is yet willing to go down this road.

Some Hedge Funds Throwing in Keys as “Landlords”

October 18, 2012

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

All year the big money has been talking up one of the more intriguing trades to emerge from the housing crisis: buying up foreclosed homes in large scale and rent those out for several years and then unload them when the price is right. But questions about the so-called rent-to-own trade are being raised now that an early mover in the space, hedge fund giant Och-Ziff Capital, is looking to cash in its chips now and is abandoning the idea of operating foreclosed homes as rental properties for years to come.

FHFA is not on an REO speed wagon when it comes to full disclosure

September 13, 2012

By Matthew Goldstein

The FHFA continues to reveal as little as possible about its pilot project of selling foreclosed homes to private investors in bulk sales.

UF Weekend Reads

September 7, 2012

Two weeks of speechifying by the Dems and Reps has come to an end. Well not really–but the conventions are over. And for all the talk, there is one issue that got short-shrift–a solution to the nation’s still unfolding housing crisis.

Eminent Domain reader

July 15, 2012

Jenn Ablan and I have done a lot reporting on Mortgage Resolution Partners’ plan to get county governments and cities to use eminent domain to seize and restructure underwater mortgages. As we’ve reported, it’s an intriguing solution to the seemingly intractable problem of too much mortgage debt holding back the U.S. economy. But it’s also a controversial one that threatens to rewrite basic contractual rights and the whole notion of how we view mortgages in this country.

Libore? The real scandal is still CDOs

July 5, 2012

By Matthew Goldstein

There is an opaque financial market where pricing is determined by a cadre of Wall Street banks and private emails show that behind the scenes  many in the market don’t even believe in what they are doing.

Bank of Asbestos

September 11, 2011

By Matthew Goldstein

All too much of what we do in financial journalism is rush around to get the “scoop” on some big announcement by some corporate chieftain. Things like, the announcement of a new product, a management reshuffling or a bunch of firings. All important stuff and all stuff that could impact earnings and stock movements. But sometimes the big picture of what really is working for a company or is ailing it, gets lost in the scoop chase.