The following is a collection of reader comments found on

Bringing back the ’80s
Imagine housing without a secondary market
"My thinking though is that we are headed to a mortgage lending style reminiscent more of 1980 than 1970. We had a fairly dynamic secondary market by then, though it will seem much more primitive than it really is.

"There are still folks around who remember how to do traditional mortgage lending and if we would allow them to take over the reins we could help restore order. We can start by ditching FICO and teaching our young people how to make credit decisions.

"Part of the problem is that much of our real estate community did not know that easy credit such as we’ve experienced for over 20 years is not normal. It was like mainlining a hard drug, and getting used to lives of financial responsibility might be hard but we can do it."
Diane Cipa

Blogger favors cold, hard truth over ‘rah-rah’ comments
Online Communities: Novelty or Necessity?
"I have found that quality conversation generated on my blog makes everyone who reads it smarter, including me. I have been in a declining bubble market for three years, and those consumers who have taken the time to comment are the ones who’ve helped me see the truth, keep my head on straight, and ultimately do better in a declining market for myself and my clients versus some of my colleagues who weren’t so in touch with reality as early as I was.

"I write for the consumer, and my comment quality is extremely high. Feel-good, rah-rah, the-sun-will-come-out-tomorrow comments are not a part of my world. I get the cold, hard, unfriendly truth from anonymous Internet users, but their wisdom is often spot-on. And if not, they fight it out amongst themselves until the truth emerges. And truth is what enables us to make smart decisions about what to do in a volatile market.

"Generating this level of interaction is not easy, but it’s well worth it."
Diane Cohn

Foreclosures can represent opportunity, risk
When prices are too good to be true
"While I think foreclosure presents a tremendous opportunity for professional Realtors and investors, I’ve also seen quite a few consumers get hurt trying to buy foreclosures themselves without the help of a professional.

"Besides the confusion that you noted, there are real risks. I’ve personally seen first-time foreclosure buyers suffer significant losses due to the lack of title insurance at foreclosure auctions, for example.

"Yet consumers crave information on foreclosures, and it is a need that Realtors have really failed to embrace, to date. We’d like to see that change, as we believe Realtors are far better positioned than any Web site to help consumers make real estate purchase decisions — foreclosure or not."
–Sean O’Toole

ActiveRain finds a revenue model
Localism reaches for broader user-generated content
"It will take some time to see Localism be all it is intended to be. As Jonathan (Washburn, ActiveRain CEO) said, it is weeding through the posts and taking out content not geared toward local neighborhoods. I’m personally glad they found a revenue model — it’s about time!"
Missy Caulk

Clarity, reform is needed in closing process
Study questions RESPA’s reliance on ‘sunshine’
"The naivety of believing any anticipated saving would be passed on to the consumer at any level is both mildly and sadly amusing. There are lots of changes RESPA needs, but special interests will insure that any benefits will be completely rhetorical.

"Buyers and sellers never see the HUD-1 until closing and rarely get final figures until very late the day before or the day of closing — often without enough time to obtain certified funds, let alone verify the accuracy. There is no reason buyers and sellers can’t receive a copy of the HUD-1 at least 48 hours prior to closing. Fees could be reviewed without the pressure of closing.

"In Illinois, the title insurance company is selected by the seller’s side. Buyers have no idea what the costs to them will be. Closer fees have gone up nearly 300 percent in the past five to six years. Title costs have gone up about twice a year. Fees for endorsements have escalated like amounts.

"Closing procedures vary greatly by state. It is unlikely any meaningful regulation can take place from the federal level. Closing procedures, services and fees can only be effectively regulated at the state level.

"At the federal level, regulation of lender fees and services could be effective, but the golden rule of ‘those with the gold make the rules’ will render any attempt at meaningful change to be rhetorical.

"No surprise that people manipulate the system and take advantage of consumers. Meaningful change to ‘ensure’ benefits to the consumer are easy if you get the politicians out of it and let a little common sense get involved."
–Jerry Hoffman

Daniel Rothamel, Inman News community manager, compiled the items in this report.


What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor.

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