Banks Outbidding Private Equity Funds at Foreclosures, Believing They Can Beat Them at the Pump and Dump Game
It’s conventional to deem local journalism to be dead, but Josh Salman at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune has written well-researched investigative story on bank bidding at foreclosures in his neck of the woods, Big lenders bidding to keep homes, that has national implications.
Here’s the overview:
Banking giants from Wells Fargo to Fannie Mae are routinely paying top dollar on the auction steps to hold onto their own distressed properties, outbidding cash offers and paying well above assessed value, according to a review of thousands of Southwest Florida auction purchases.
They are speculating that the properties will appreciate even more in the next couple of years.
The article does not indicate whether the “banking giants” like Wells Fargo are only bidding on properties where the bank owns the loan or serviced loan for private label (non-Fannie and Freddie investors). We’ll assume only the former. It’s ugly enough that way; if the banks are doubling down by deciding to buy homes that they were formerly only servicing (as in simply acting as an agent), this practice goes from typical bank lemming-like behavior to affirmatively deranged.