Thursday, February 10, 2011

On Tenants and Foreclosure

During the fourth quarter of 2010 my Tenants and Foreclosure blog was a little slow. My hits fell from an average of 120 a day to a bit under 100 a day. That's not a big reduction, particularly for a small, noncommercial, specialized blog, but I did wonder what was going on. Since most of my hits come from search engines, I checked my position on them. Still first through fourth.

And no, I don't do this to feed my ego. Well, yes I do, but also for research purposes. For instance, a year or so ago, I discovered that people who searched "tenants foreclosure California" would come across my blog on the first page of results, while people who searched "renters foreclosure California" had to go through four to eight pages to get to my blog. I added the word "renter" to help people get to me more easily.

I looked at my stats for the last year, and found that the first and third quarters were hot, the second and fourth not so much. Aside from a bit of fall-off over the holidays and summer vacation, I couldn't come up with any reason for this. It may be just chance. And in the fourth quarter a number of banks and loan servicers quit processing foreclosures to deal with their documentation problems. (Even in California, where judicial foreclosures are rare, documentation of ownership transfers is required for title insurance purposes.) Now that lenders have decided that their documents aren't really all that bad, we should unfortunately see tenants evicted from their homes when their landlords lose their buildings.

I'm always depressed when I look at the search terms, but nothing depresses me more than finding something like "rent control Sacramento" or "just cause eviction Sacramento", and realizing that a portion, perhaps a majority, of Sacramento tenants don't know that they have no protections other than those provided by state (and in foreclosure, federal) protections. Our local press covers the issue of tenants' rights so little that many tenants don't know that they don't have any.

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