The consensus among those who have called or written has been this: it's irresponsible for The Bee to be lulling people into a notion that foreclosures may have peaked. And irresponsible to suggest any hint that we are nearing bottom of this real estate cycle (which incidentally, the article did not declare).
Says one writer in an email:
"No doubt filings and foreclosures are declining but it's not a sign that the Bush Disaster has been mitigated. Your columnists, and editors, should be much more aware of the reason than we who must work for a living and do not have the luxury of reading news all day.
Foreclosures are declining because Countrywide, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and others declared a moratorium until Jan 1 and are trying to rewrite or transfer the toxic mortgages to one of the federal programs, or an insurer. Not because the market is improving.
A secon wave of foreclosures is beginning. While the first wave of toxic loans by the predatory brokers, lenders and assessors Pirate Association is beginning to taper off there are still 3 years of adjustable mortgages which may fail. Then there was the 2nd wave which hasn't yet peaked, homeowners who are being laid off, having their hours cut, or were previously on the brink of disaster, who are now defaulting due to a rapidly disintegrating economy.
You cannot talk America out of this disaster and raising false hopes of worried families is worse than the bad news we receive on a daily basis. The Bee loses credibility when people realize your articles are false."
Adds Ruben Ramos, a real estate broker who teaches real estate classes at Yuba College:
"I don't see it bottoming out. Instead of putting something out there for a lay person to hang their hat on maybe do some more research. You can quote me. I am 100 percent certain prices will fall for another year. That's for the Sacramento area and all of California."
And this from a caller in Elk Grove, who is having troubles dealing the lender and is already two months behind on payments:
I think the banks are waiting for what the bailout will mean to them and waiting to see what the new president will do. Or that it's sooooo bad with so many foreclosures in process that they simply cannot move fast enough on them.