Stocks Up + Economy Recovering, But a New Real Estate Storm On The Radar
On the national front, news stories indicate that the stock market is steadily resurrecting itself, the first real positive sign that the economy may finally be on the mend. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal noted that banks especially were showing vast improvements, with J.P. Morgan Chase calculating a 55% surge in quarterly profits. While the news is encouraging, there is still hesitation rather than outright relief in the undertone of the stories. The reason: if the banks have not learned from their mistakes, the economy might be six feet under again and sooner than we think.
Book the Second: The Golden Thread
While numbers in South Florida still appear disheartening, a little golden thread appears to be tying up the drowning homeowners into a pretty little package called loan modifications. Although a recent article in The Sun-Sentinel quoted RealtyTrac stating that foreclosure filings in Broward had risen 38% in Broward from March 2009, the numbers seem to be decreasing slightly from previously months. The federal government attributes this to the success of new government workout programs.
Recent statements from the Treasury Department tout the success of the new government loan modification programs. Although the programs did not technically go into effect until April, some banks began using them “successfully” earlier. A recent press release by the Assistant Secretary of Financial Stability for the Treasury Department stated the new programs were on track to help 3 to 4 million homeowners by the end of 2012, with over 1.4 million homeowners already beginning the application process. While this appears to be a positive turn, everything will fall apart if that single golden thread snaps.