Case-Shiller Home Prices Declined -4.0% From a Year Ago in December 2011

The S&P Case Shiller home price index shows a -4.0% decline from a year ago over 20 metropolitan housing markets and a -3.9% decline for the top 10 housing markets from December 2010. Home prices are back to early 2003 levels and new index lows. S&P itself has woken up and realized home prices have not yet reached a bottom.

Case-Shiller Home Prices Decline -3.7% From a Year Ago in November 2011

The S&P Case Shiller home price index shows a -3.7% decline from a year ago over 20 metropolitan housing markets and a -3.6% decline for the top 10 housing markets from November 2010. Home prices are back to early 2003 levels. S&P on the continued falling home prices:

The More Things Change The More They Remain the Same

While we think something is going to be done about illegal foreclosures and robo-signing of documents, Reuters exposes it's still going on:

Reuters reviewed records of individual county clerk offices in five states -- Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and North and South Carolina -- with searchable online databases. Reuters also examined hundreds of documents from court case files, some obtained online and others provided by attorneys.

The searches found more than 1,000 mortgage assignments that for multiple reasons appear questionable: promissory notes missing required endorsements or bearing faulty ones; and "complaints" (the legal documents that launch foreclosure suits) that appear to contain multiple incorrect facts.

These are practices that the 14 banks and other loan servicers said had occurred only on a small scale and were halted more than six months ago.

Reuters doesn't go into a financial analysis, but while the settlement originally reported was $20 billion for robo-signing, the reality is the final deal isn't done. Bottom line, when fines are so weak they are about the cost of the toll token for traveling down the screwing over homeowners road, you can bet banks will continue to forge documents to foreclose. Robo-signing is illegal.

Bank of America's "Settlement" Will Cause More People to Lose Their Homes

An analysis of the Bank of America $8.5 billion settlement for derivatives backed by toxic, worthless mortgages, that were sold to investors means more people will get kicked out of their homes.

Tens of thousands of Bank of America’s most distressed borrowers could be evicted and lose their homes more quickly as a result of a proposed settlement between the bank, which is the country’s largest mortgage servicer, and investors in its troubled mortgage securities.

But guess who makes out? The investors of course:

While powerful investors stand to benefit from the $8.5 billion settlement over the bank’s bundling of shoddy mortgages as securities, the fallout for the nearly 275,000 borrowers who took out those loans depends greatly on how deep they are in the foreclosure process and whether they earn enough money to dig themselves out.

There seems to be a new standard where only 31% of one's gross monthly income can go to a mortgage payment. Imagine all of the self-employed who will be locked out of buying a home with that criteria.

The reason this will kick people out of their homes is because so many are in foreclosure already but the processing is that bogged down from these mortgaged backed derivative bundles and backlogs. Additionally, many will not qualify for a mortgage modification now, mainly the customers of Countrywide.