The resurgence in real estate sales is being reported by some as indicative of a trend toward economic recovery, but wise investors are calling it quite another thing: A dead cat bounce.
What in Gul-darned, Stinkly Hell Is A Dead Cat Bounce?
The term is derived from the idea that even a dead cat will bounce if it falls from a great height; referring to a small, brief recovery after a particularly vicious downturn.
"Imagine taking a kitty and tossing it off a roof," says Alf A. Romeo, president of Capital Losses and Unrecoverable Fees and Interest, Inc., a firm specializing in, well..., capital losses and unrecoverable fees and interest. "It'll hit the ground, then bounce up again."
And just because, for a moment, that kitty-cat is headed skyward, it don't mean kitty survived the fall.
Who's Going To Pay For This Volvo XC90?
Dear Finance Company:
Please be advised that this office represent Ms. Brooke Trout per certain matters before the Court in the Burlington County, New Jersey Viciniage.
I am in receipt of your letters regarding the financing of Ms. Trout's 2008 Volvo XC90. Their contents are noted.
Enclosed herein please find copies of the following documents:
* 2008 Form 1040A, Tax Return of Brooke Trout, with appendices, showing gross earnings of $184,253.
* 2009 Form 1040A, Tax Return of Brooke Trout, with appendices, showing gross earnings of $24,225.
As evidenced therein, our client's income has decreased significantly from 2008 and 2009. Ms. Trout is a real estate agent, and enjoyed remarkable growth in her business. We can attribute this to the so-called "perfect storm" of the sub-prime lending boom, and steadily increasing home values throughout the early 21st century.
Unfortunately, once the sub-prime boom ended, mortgages became increasingly difficult to obtain, and home prices decreased. This explains both our client's drop in income, and her inability to continue to pay for the 2008 Volvo XC90 at issue herein.
Fortunately, Ms. Trout's income is likely to meet, if not exceed, her 2008 earnings.
The fact of the matter is, Real estate agents have a huge amount of residential properties at their disposal. Sellers who dug in their heels to wait out the valuation downturn are finding that this just not feasible. Short sales, or sales of properties for amounts less than the outstanding principal balance on a mortgage, have replaced foreclosure as the primary driver of residential real estate sales.
Fortunately for all involved, the market has turned around: While the FHA will not admit to it, we believe that, in practice, mortgage underwriting requirements have decreased. Further, mortgage companies fear public backlash and, indeed, even the Court's increased reluctance to approve foreclosure. This had led to a trend toward a double-digit increase in short sales.
More importantly, all of the real estate professionals, including real estate agents and brokers, mortgage officers, and, indeed, even real estate attorneys, are weary of waiting around for an economic turnaround. We are going to drive this industry In the last quarter of 2010.
We expect that Ms. Trout will be able to satisfy her debt per her Volvo XC90, within the next ninety (90) days.
Thank you for your attention to this matter,
Laura Norder, Esq.
Dewey, Cheatem and Howe, P.C.
How can it happen again? Haven't we learned our lesson?
Jane, you ignorant slut. How can it happen again? Because people in the housing game, and everyone who has ever suckled the teat of free money in the go-go 2000s, are sick and f--king tired of being broke.
And now they've sat back and waited for that initial cooling-off period, when everyone involved in the game was vilified as the sole reason the economy took a sh-t. Companies like Option One Mortgage, which was bringing in a cool billion a year for parent company H&R Block, have absolutely no value today, because the bad debt amount far exceeds any profits generated.
* The FHA will guarantee every mortgage it possible can.
* High-risk lenders, who will never use the term "Sub-prime" again, will make available more cash, because property values are at the low end, and will eventually rise.
* Homeowners will sell their homes for up to 15% less than what they owe on their mortgages, because they can't afford a foreclosure.
* And every news agency will rush to tell the world that the recession is over, the ecomnomy is back, and life in the USA is better than ever. "Our long national nightmare is over."
However: Its. Not. Real.
But, It looks real, right?
Yeah, sure. But it is just as real as the dead cat's ability to fly.