Timeshare Real Estate Not Directly Affected by Crisis of Subprime Lenders
Friday, December 21, 2007
If you happen to have ever been a victim-er, I mean customer, of Ameriquest Mortgage or AMC mortgage, you probably know that last week was significant. December 13 and 14 were the days that checks were mailed to several hundred thousand people who participated in the Ameriquest Multistate Settlement.
On the now sinking ship of many subprime lenders, Ameriquest was once at the helm. This past August, Ameriquest Mortgage went down for the last time and its holdings were acquired by Citi Residential Lending.
Facing allegations of predatory lending practices that include everything from outright lying to borrowers to tricking them into signing double sets of mortgage papers, Ameriquest had little choice but to agree to reimburse some of the money they had gained through their unethical practices. The official website for communicating details about the settlement to borrowers explains, “The Settlement resolved an investigation by the Attorneys General and/or banking and finance regulators of every state (except Virginia) and the District of Columbia into claims that Ameriquest and other affiliated companies had engaged in various unlawful mortgage lending practices from January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2005.”
Only a few short years ago, Ameriquest was riding the crest of the subprime mortgage wave, advertising heavily on television, writing big checks to support political campaigns, and sponsoring football bowl games, with a promise to potential borrowers that, “You are more than your credit rating.” You can read all 55 pages of the settlement agreement here, but the bottom line is that qualifying borrowers are receiving their share of the nearly $300 million in settlement monies.
Roughly 60 percent of the half million people eligible filed before the September deadline to participate in the settlement. Last week, when the checks were mailed to borrowers, the amounts paid per person were between approximately $100 and about $7000. In most cases, the checks average between $500 and $900 per person, an amount that will no doubt be welcome by anyone this time of year, but is little comfort to the people who lost their homes and/or thousands of dollars because of the company’s manipulative lending practices.
On MSN Money, Liz Pulliam Weston, winner of the 2007 Clarion Award for online journalism, has one of the best articles I have read dealing with the whole subprime mortgage issue, its causes, and how it affects every single American. I hope you will take a moment and read her article, “Let’s Fix This Sub Prime Mess”.
Because timeshare real estate is rarely financed through loans that are structured like those of home mortgages, the current crisis in subprime mortgages has not directly affected timeshare real estate and vacation ownership. But that’s certainly not to say that it hasn’t indirectly affected timeshare real estate. Let’s not lose sight of what is really behind the record number of mortgage defaults and pending foreclosures. An Associated Press article by Rachel Beck, titled, “ALL BUSINESS: What’s Behind Foreclosures” adds further insight to the situation by bringing up statistics from the largest mortgage lender in the US, Countywide Financial Corp. Nearly 60 percent of Countywide mortgage loan defaults in the first 10 months of this year resulted because the homeowner experienced a loss in income due to salary cutbacks. And another 20 percent of defaults are attributed to the borrower experiencing illness and subsequent loss of income or going through a divorce. In fact, only 2 percent of Countywide mortgage defaults are directly attributable to payment increases because of adjustable mortgage rates.
So the big picture here is that a combination of factors that include everything from escalating adjustable mortgage rates, to divorce, illness, a slow housing market, and a sluggish job market, have all collectively worked to leave a record number of families at foreclosure’s door.
While few if any timeshare condos are financed on an adjustable loan, the overall economic climate does contribute to the fact that inventories of available timeshare resale continue to grow. As people deal with the need to cut back their expenditures because of job loss, divorce, or a growing home mortgage payment, they are putting their vacation club memberships and timeshare condos on the timeshare real estate market. At the same time, there will always be new timeshare resale coming on the market, not because of hardships, but because people’s lives simply change. Children grow up and leave home, people relocate because of job promotions, and other life changes cause people to sell timeshare and move on to something else – which may even be new timeshare real estate.
If you need to sell timeshare, Sell My Timeshare NOW has solutions to make it easier. And if you are in the market to buy timeshare, then the smart place to start is by shopping timeshare resales. No matter what your current situation in our changing economic environment, Sell My Timeshare NOW has answers to help you.
Don’t miss this YouTube video where ABC’s Brian Ross investigates Ameriquest and one man, Roland Arnall, who remains untouched by all that has happened at Ameriquest.