Falling Oil Means Rising Foreclosures in These States

Plummeting oil prices are wreaking havoc on stock markets, and they're also causing problems for some housing markets.

CNN Money | January 14, 2016   Foreclosure filings on a national level dropped to a nine-year low in 2015, but some oil-producing states weren't so lucky, according to a new report from RealtyTrac.

Foreclosures increased in Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota last year as oil prices fell, and that can be a telling trend.

Those three states remained relatively unscathed from the 2008 housing bust, explained Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, which means the activity isn't due to a backlog of foreclosures left over from the crisis.

"Instead the rise in foreclosures in these states is actually a new wave of distress coming through that is mostly unrelated to the subprime loan housing crisis."

Lower oil prices have led to massive layoffs across the country, which can strain local economies with close ties to the energy sector. Read more here.

We've Learned Nothing From the Subprime Mortgage Meltdown. Here's Proof.

Los Angeles Times  |  Opinion  |  December 15, 2015     "The Big Short," which I saw over the weekend, is an entertaining movie. It's also deeply disturbing because one take-away is that we learned nothing from the stupidity and greed of the subprime mortgage meltdown.

Want proof? Look no further than a recent crackdown in the subprime sector by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The watchdog agency, which conservatives say is the embodiment of regulatory overreach, slapped Florida's Clarity Services Inc. and its owner, Tim Ranney, with an $8-million fine for illegally accessing the credit files of thousands of consumers nationwide.  Read more here.