tv Your Bottom Line CNN January 28, 2012 6:30am-7:00am PST
coming up, christi. back to you. >> thank you so much. solutions to the housing crisis. what plans to the presidential candidates think are going to work? "the bottom line" starts now. and good morning, everyone. i'm christine romans. welcome to a special edition of "your bottom line" from jacksonville, already. the sunshine state is home to a collapsed housing market and the site of the hotly contested republican primary. >> just just three days from now. who is best positioned on the country? plus, are you better off than your parents from your job, your savings and your debt? we're going to talk to a few younger voters about what they think the future holds for their generation. but first, a florida primary just three days away. gop candidates have been raining money in florida and the super
pac supporting them make it a deluge. that's a met for, really, since almost half of floridans are under water on their home loans, that is. mark preston, john avalon i want to start first with this field. mitt romney, you say he defined himself, mark, in florida at the cnn debate. and he's turned the page. i want to listen real quickly to what he said that you think is a turning point. >> is he still the most ant anti-immigrant candidate? >> i think of the four of us, yes. >> go ahead, governor. >> that's simply inexcusable. senator mark arubio came to my defense and said that ad was inexcusable and inappropriate. mr. speaker, i'm not anti-immigrant. my father was born in mexico. my wife's father was born in
whales. the idea that i'm anti-immigrant was repulsive. >> was that the moment for him to take the upper hand again? >> the republican candidates have been distracted by issues such as immigration, legal immigration and mitt romney had taken heat from that. newt gingrich seemed to get an upper hand on him. what we saw this week was decisive. a lot of people thought newt gingrich would be the one who could be decisive and take on president obama. this last week, we saw that, in fact, president obama might have his hands full with mitt romney. >> here is the thing. about people go into a voting booth or go to the polls next week and in the general election, in this state, the jobs and the housing situations are two things. that is something is they can't divorce themselves from. what candidate wins on that? >> right now, everyone is in
attack mode. they're not necessarily as interested in proposing solutions. but the florida economic problem is profound. you have a situation where almost 200,000 homes were foreclosed on last year. you've got half the value has been cut on people's homes. unemployment went from 4% under jeb bush to nearly 12% in 2010 but now it's under the national average. the unemployment rates are half the national average. but now you don't know how you're going to get out if you borrowed against your home. that makes people angry and very unlikely to support -- >> and it goes even further than that. you have this issue in florida and other states, tourism has suffered as the economy has suffered. a lot of money from tourism has come up. also, you've got transition tanks taxes from real estate that helps fund education. if you've got kids in schools, all you know is you're worried about losing to the corn
counselor again because the stimulus money is running out. so where in the florida state budget? we know the governor wants to add more to education. i'm not hearing people talk about education in this republican race so far. is it because i'm not hearing it or are they not focusing on it? >> for people to talk about the nuts and bolts of education, it's not just politics when you're trying to reach out to your base, right? that's not something you'll hear from they candidates. >> i want to talk to you about signs of recovery. several economists have told me, the economy is better today. no matter what, the economy is moving in that direction. gdp last week, the housing sector. is the economy going to help or hurt this newly populist sounding president who is focusing on the things that the occupy people have been talking about, student loans, fairness? >> it's going to help, but it's -- unemployment drops to 8.3%, 8.4% wapitis still very high. but if there's a trendward down, that's going to help prep. >> that's right. and if you look at historic
parallels, reagan had very high unemployment, but the trend was moving in the right direction. the gdp growth was moving in the right direction. so it created a sense that maybe it was morning in america, the dark of night had passed. president obama can say that things were worse three years ago than they were today. he can fairly say that. when he came in, it was at a low point of the trough. so there's a -- >> is it a -- i mean, they're both going to take that, look at the same parts and tell two different stories. >> it's the question of how president obama makes the case, it could have been worse because it is getting better. what's interesting about the tact he's taking now, he's trying to fire up the base with its populist tack. it's a higher climb than a conservative appeal to go a conservative base. but what he's trying to do with that kansas speech and the state of the union is to say i'm the defender of the middle class. mitt romney is mr. 1%. the republican party won't be looking out for those folks who are under water. the middle class has been forgotten and squeezed for
decades. that's the core of this campaign. >> john, with mark, nice do you see guys. get some sleep, we have a big year coming up. thanks. up next, florida went to the forefront of the housing boom and now sits in the center of a housing crisis. plus, we'll tell you why you should be refinancing your mortgage right now. >> i'm in a time-out underneath my blanket just so i can get on e-trade. check my investment portfolio, research stocks... wait, why are you taking... oh, i see...solitary. just a man and his thoughts. and a smartphone... with an e-trade app. ♪ nobody knows... [ male announcer ] e-trade. investing unleashed. hey, i'm really glad we took this last minute trip me too. you booked our room right? not yet, thanks for reminding me. wait, what? fret not ma'lady. i have the hotels.com app so we can get a great deal even at the last minute.
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florida's real estate market was almost symbolic of a housing boom. when the bottom fell out of the housing market, florida fell first and hard. home values plummeted, florida closures rose. at the center of it all was people trying to with stand the crisis. >> real estate agents are busy these days. the bank owns this house and wants to get rid of it. >> in some cases, of course, the tenants are living on the property and completely unheir ware that it was in the foreclosure process. that conversation can be interesting. but for the most part, the properties are usually vacant. >> house after house, street after street, 47% of homes here are under water. and half of all sales are homes in distress. no one is commune, not even real
estate agents. >> many realtors have gone to the short sale process and the foreclosure process themselves. so this is not anything where it's just a specific niche in this community is having this problem. everybody is. right now, it's just tough. it's tough whether it's foreclosure on a $20,000 house or ads 400,000 house. >> listings on the market show how a tragedy for many is an opportunity for otherwise. homes for as low as $5,000. and investors are scooping up entire neighborhoods. >> jacksonville is a beautiful, vibrant city. and it is being attacked bay cancer from within, house by house. what we see in these neighborhoods, established neighborhoods and new neighborhoods, you start to see vacant houses, decaying lawns. you really lose a sense of community when your neighbors all of a sudden have gone. >> real estate professor sid
rosenburg says the average home price here is down $80 nest from the peak. >> the foreclosures started before the job loss. can you fix the housing market without fixing the jobs market? >> i think the job market is key. there's no question that if people don't have a job or even if people have a job and it's not really consistent predictable, they can't really feel good about going out and buying a house. >> tony kronenberg is fighting to keep his house. he has an nmba. he understands finance. but the dealoss of a job and th death of his wife came at the same time. >> acting on what have of the owner with authority to do so has the right to foreclose on your home. but they never tell you is who owns this loan. >> wells fargo agreed to a trial mortgage modification, reducing his payments in half, which he claims he's faithfully made.
but soon the bank declared him to be in default. >> i kept arguing with them and finally in frustration, i just gave up because i had heard if you don't make your mortgage payment, that's the only way you can get their attention. i can't tell you how frustrating it is. >> for now, he'll continue to fight to keep this home, hoping the bank doesn't take it away. >> his situation, we asked wells fargo about it and this is what they told us. they said, quote, we have made numerous efforts to work with mr. kronenburg to help him maintain home ownership and we will continue to try and help him find an option that will allow him to stay in his home. the bank goes on to say that if people work with them early, they have a better chance of keeping their home. chip parker is the foreclosure defense litigator you just saw on that piece. we invited him to come on the program and talk more about that. this is multiplied by hundreds if not thousands across the state and across the country, really. what i hear over and over again
is frustration from homeowners who don't really know how in the world to navigate this foreclosure process. and you talked to tony. he has an mba. he understands these documents. he cannot figure out how to make it work. is that isolated or symptomatic, systematic? >> it's definitely systematic. i saw it a few hours ago with a gentleman who had a va loan. the va guarantees those loans. citi mortgage is the lender who has absolutely refused to work with this gentleman, even though va guidelines mandated that before va will pay for a defaulted loan -- >> work it out early as far as let it go -- i don't understand why the banks wouldn't be working very, very hard to make sure this doesn't happen so they're getting paid for a loan, they don't have independent houses, guys knocking on the door to make sure someone is there. >> the explanation is very
simple, actually. the servicer, the citi mortgages, the wells fargos, those guys don't own these loans. they're owned by investors. the servicers merely act in a self- -- with their own self-interest in mind. a recent article came out written by the national law center, the national consumer law center that basically concluded that morning companies, mortgage servicers make more money foreclosing on a home than they do modify ago mortgage. anyways the problem. >> all right. i want to bring in a real estate professor at columbia university's school of business. he's in new york for us. welcome to the program. you've heard about what's happening in florida, around the rest of the country. how does florida compare with what's happening around the rest of the country and the frustration with the banks? is it misplaced frustration? is it because it's a whole new system? the whole skiecuritization problem, will we ever get out of
this if we don't fix the foreclosure thing? >> i think clearly securitization is the real problem. if you look at the data on the practices of privately securityized mortgages relative to loans opened by banks, the same banks that will service a portfolio and be more likely to close on behalf of the third party investor are more likely to modify or do a principal reduction when they themselves own the mortgage. so, you know, they're exactly right that that is part of the problem is the incentives built into securitization. but i wouldn't push that too far, right? you've got -- in florida with home prices down 50% and closer to 60% in some, you know, places, one in -- 22.5% of all borrowers are seriously delinquent or in some stage of foreclosure on their mortgages, this isn't only a problem of servicers, it is a broader economic and housing problem
that would be happening no matter who was servicing the loans. >> chris, let me ask you, the real estate professor here in florida, cuff a housing market recovery without a jobs recovery? and which comes first? >> well, i think, you know, there's a lot bit of the chicken and egg problem, but i would sort of take a built of the other side and i think it's the side consistent with the federal reserve's view on this, which is the housing market itself at this point is a significant drag on the economy. if we were looking at a normal recovery right now, we would have seen several percentage points of additional growth because of construction that would normally take months. and unlike some people, you know, in florida this is probable less true. nationally, this is not just uniformly we built way too much housing that we have to work through. there really is a significant problem with this sort of backlog of foreclosure. all the people who are sort of facing foreclosure, the variety majority of those homes, somebody is living in.
and so the issue is the instability of that ownership and the modification and that whole process that's pushing prices down, even as we're in a place where, you know, we are seeing some demographic growth. >> chris mayoher, thanks so muc. it's nice to see you. i think as we go through this campaign season, people say we'll be headed to the ballot box. no question, about housing. your bottom line when it comes to housing, we don't know when it will truly recovery, but the signs are technically there. record low mortgage rates, home prices down 30% on average from the peak. best affordability in some places in years. so the seeds are there. if you can afford to buy, this might be that moment. make sure your credit is in tip top shape. the higher your credit score, the better your loan will be. shop around to find the very best loans. try not just big banks, but local banks, as well. factor in the closing costs that go into buying a home.
if you're already a homeowner, refinance if you can as long as you have 20% equity in the home. you'll be able to get the very best terms possible. that's the bottom line. are you better off than your parents from your job, your savings and your debt? we're going to talk to a few younger voters about what they think the future holds for their generation. americans believe they should be in charge of their own future. how they'll live tomorrow. for more than 116 years, ameriprise financial has worked for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one. together for your future. ♪
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welcome back to this very special edition of "your bottom line." in jacksonville, the florida primary is just three weedays ahead, but before we look ahead, take a trip with me through history with a line that's become immortal in presidential politics. >> you might ask yourself, are u yo better off than you were four years ago? >> my next guest wasn't even born when he said that. are you better off than your parents? an exoh jen chal question. with me is jose and michelle and
matthew. welcome to all of you. first major and party affiliation. independent economics, right? >> yes. >> you registered as a republican in the primary. what's your major? >> political science. >> and matt? >> marketing. >> excellent. student loans? who's got student loans? >> i do. >> but you don't have student loans. lucky you. the question, are you better off today than your students? >> as an interracial college student, i think i a. i have one brother and two sisters and they're coming to college so i think we're better off. >> you think the american dream is alive for you. do you feel like it's a country that's going to give you opportunities for you and your sib lynx and you'll build something and your children will build something bigger there? >> if nothing else that we're going to college. >> education is the key, michelle. but it costs ever more to go to
college. the president this week at the university of michigan talking about how he wants to make it for colleges to have to keep raising tuition even as they, you know, have to borrow more money to go to school. how important to you is education for your key to the american dream? >> i believe it's really important. i'm going to be the first in my family to complete college, and i think that we have way more opportunity than our parents did, especially with the ever-growing technology sector and the new sectors that we weren't around 20, 30 years ago when our parents started. >> what if you have a bunch of student loans and you can't get a job for a year or two. >> make ends meet. keep the part-time job until you start your career path. i think obama's new plan to keep the student loans around, i think it's a great opportunity for a lot of people. >> now, you had to have student loans. >> correct. >> let me ask you this question. are you better off than your parents were? do you thing you and your generation are better off than
your parents' generation? >> it's hard to say. think one of the most important things is understanding where the economy is going. obviously the things that my parents were able to get their degrees and get their master's degree might not necessarily be the same thing i would want to get my master's degree degree in. >> you're going to get your master's degree. >> yes, yes. i will take a year off and then go back to grad school, at which point i will incur college debt. >> i want you to listen to the tone and also the question being asked across america, just this sort of angst about the direction of the country. listen. >> how many of you agree that america is largely on the wrong track? >> anyone who tells you that america is in decline or that our influence has waned doesn't know what they're talking about. >> so you see these two themes that are going to play out over the next year, that we can be great and this could be america's century or, you know, no, that we've squandered what
was a pretty impressive histor., which is right? >> when you see the facts, as long as the economy keeps growing, we're going to be better off than our parents. >> economics major. >> exactly. because the gp per capita is going to keep growing and that means in general we're going to be better off. the thing now is personally what everybody does to be ashl to do that, you know. so i think the future of the labor market is going to be very dynamic, much more dynamic than it was in the past. it's going to be up to every individual to do their best. >> i'm hearing personal spomt. when i'm talking to kids on this campus, it's all about you, what you can do. you get the degree, and then you have the student debt, and then you have to figure out how to make it work. is that how your generation thinks? >> i think we're trying to be more optimistic. you have to be aggressive in the job mankt you have to be aggressive while you're still in college. you have to keep on applying
yourself to every opportunity you possibly get. >> yeah. and think the discussion about personal responsibility is spot on. with all the debates going on, whether it's social security, medicare or access to education, our generation systemly can't count on the government or count on others to do things for us. that's fine, but we all need to recognize that. i think the sooner our generation can, the sooner we can do it. >> jose, michelle, matt, thanks so much. next, our promise to you, the campaign season and final thoughts from florida next on "your bottom line." nt to do. he wasn't focused on his future. but fortunately, somebody else was. at usaa we provide retirement planning for our military, veterans and their families. now more than ever, it's important to get financial advice from people who share your military values. for our free usaa retirement guide, call 877-242-usaa.
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hello and back to "your bottom line" at the university of florida in jacksonville, florida. regardless of what happens in florida, one thing's for sure. it's going to be a long drawn out campaign. you're going hear a lot of proposals, a lot of promises. and all of us here at "your bottom line" will be here to straighten it ou