News related to Mortgage and Foreclosure Fraud

2012

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 Date

Article  (Recent Additions) Author

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1/3/07 Taking action against predatory lending

Attorney General Swanson has good ideas to curb bad loans.

StarTribune.com During Tuesday's inauguration it was encouraging to hear Swanson say she will work against predatory mortgage lenders who "steal the American dream of home ownership from hardworking families."
12/25/06 The "Foreclosure Factories" Vise By Mara Der Hovanesian

BusinessWeekOnline

"I have audited loans where the consumer has made all payments on a timely basis, and yet the servicing company manufactured a default and, in some cases, completed a foreclosure," says Marie McDonnell
2006

White paper

“Dillon, Read & Co. Inc. and the Aristocracy of Stock Profits”

Catherine Austin Fitts

We cannot invest in the stocks and bonds of large corporations, banks and governments that are harming our food, water, environment and all living things and then expect these resources to be available when we need them.
12/21/06

Two Million Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

Consumeraffairs.com "In the subprime sector, the most vulnerable borrowers are sold the most dangerous loans," said Mike Calhoun, CRL president. "At $164 billion, the losses from foreclosures could pay for the college educations of four million kids. For families who lose their houses because their loans fail, savings and economic security will be way out of reach."
12/13/06

Mortgage-servicing Squaliforme takes yet another swing

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean

As with most cases that actually involve a lawsuit, EMC/Bear Stearns decided to try and spend Wright into oblivion, and when they ran up against attorneys willing to put up a fight, they had to keep spending and spending. Which means there is plenty to hide. Stealing people’s homes can be expensive business and is best done out of the light of day.
Something tells me it ain’t over.
12/12/06

Predatory Liability for Investment Banker

 

Appeals court lets Lehman judgment stand

PATRICK CROWLEY In a 60-page ruling, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco found that Lehman Brothers, one of Wall Street's largest and best known financial services companies, played a role in the fraud by First Alliance Corp., a defunct subprime lender from California.
12/1/06 UPDATE to the above story

Home lost, woman must rely on helpers

Hospital visit, two weeks in car follow foreclosure

By Jewell Cardwell Beacon Journal columnist ``Unfortunately, these exorbitant interest schemes bilk the elderly, causing them to lose their homes every day,'' Harbin said.
12/7/06 Process for Foreclosing on Mortgage Loans Reflecting MERS as Mortgagee

 Fannie Mae Guidelines

Effective immediately, MERS must not be named as a plaintiff in any judicial action filed to foreclose on a mortgage owned or securitized by Fannie Mae.
12/06

Losing Ground:

Foreclosures in the Subprime Market and 

Their Cost to Homeowners

Ellen Schloemer, Wei Li, Keith Ernst, and Kathleen Keest

Center for Responsible Lending

 

Our results show that despite low interest rates and a favorable economic environment during the past several years, the subprime market has experienced high foreclosure rates comparable to the worst foreclosure experience ever in the modern prime market.

11/6/06 Fed To Banks: Halt Bond Fraud Liz Moyer - Forbes.com  The Fed wants banks to stop fraud in the U.S government bond market before regulators have to step in.
11/1/06

Elderly woman falls victim to predatory lending

(duped by: Mortgage Lenders Network USA)  

Predatory lending is something many people are not aware of, creating the possibility that they could be the next victim.

Riggins: "Those police would not let me take a toothbrush. They would not let me go back in there to take anything."

Joy Benedict  WKYC.com

Mortgage Lenders Network USA  (mlnusa)

Corporate Headquarters
Middlesex Corporate Center
213 Court Street, 11th Floor
Middletown, CT 06457
1-800-360-1231 / 860-344-5700 local / 860-344-5707 President & CEO - Mitchell Heffernan
Executive Vice President - James Pedrick 

10/29/06 Mortgage fraud --the worst crime no one's heard of Carol Lloyd San Francisco Chronicle "now the proverbial vultures have come home to roost -- mortgage fraud is being busted left and right".
10/28/06 ANOTHER HOA FORECLOSURE, ANOTHER DEATH By George K. Staropoli She will, most likely, become a ward of the state, or just another homeless nobody because the HOA must survive at all costs, and the state supports this view through its anti-homeowner laws: no homestead protection, and the right to unconscionable foreclosure as excessive punishment.
10/27/06 RESELLING LOANS MULTIPLE TIMES MortgageDaily.com Edward Batayeh was indicted by a federal grand jury in Oakland on charges of masterminding a $13 million fraud that included reselling loans multiple times. (This is what the big players are also doing and one reason for your problem.)
10/22/06 Foreclosure: the buck stops where?  JENNIFER BJORHUS
Pioneer Press
"the homeowner writes Wells Fargo the monthly check and Wells Fargo will be the one calling if it's late even though it no longer owns the loan."
10/20/06 Giant Scam? Real Estate Dreams Dashed, Debts Mount ABC NEWS Mortgage fraud has become an "epidemic," according to an FBI report issued last year. According to the report, the value of total fraud ballooned from about $400 million in 2004 to more than $1 billion in 2005 -- and is on pace this year to go even higher.
10/17/02

Washington Mutual, 

the nation's no. 1 mortgage lender, calls itself a customer-friendly bank. 

Many customers beg to differ.  

Anne Kadet

SmartMoney.com 

How could this be? They had never missed a payment. They even had proof: canceled checks showing that Washington Mutual had received and cashed each of their payments before it was due.
10/17/06

Citigroup's Seoul office raided by prosecutors

New York Business.com Prosecutors have also launched an investigation into new allegations that KEB and Lone Star were involved in manipulating the stock price of KEB's credit card unit in 2003 ahead of the bank's merger with the unit.
10/12/06 Lending Support to Save Homes
Pioneer Press
He said he faxed three times the workout documents his loan servicer requested. Each time America's Servicing Co., a unit of Wells Fargo, lost them, he said.
10/11/06 Subprime Lenders Smacked By Investor 'Reality Check'  Mortgage Ledger staff These days, investors are returning virtually every pool of loans with an early default, compared with about 20% in the past.
10/9/06 Bear Buys Subprime Unit MortgageDaily.com Bear Stearns buys the subprime wholesale assets of a troubled mortgage banker, ECC Capital. Bear launched its own nonconforming wholesale unit, Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Bear Stearns Residential Mortgage Corp., during April 2005. Bear also owns and operates mortgage servicer EMC Mortgage Corp.
10/9/06 Group helps woman battle back from illness, debt, bad refinancing By REID FORGRAVE
REGISTER STAFF WRITER

Riggs found her husband's lifeless body on the garage floor, next to the exhaust pipe. 

In a suicide note, he'd mentioned the predatory loan.
"I think if we never got involved in all that , we'd still be together," she said.

10/2/06 Bad Blood Over Bad Loans 
Mortgage defaults are rising. Wall Street thinks banks should mop up the mess 
By Mara Der Hovanesian, with Dawn Kopecki in Washington BusinessWeek Original lenders are taking the biggest hits. In typical deals, banks agree to buy mortgages back from Wall Street in the case of a payment default within the first 90 days. Now some are writing big checks. H&R Block Inc. (HRB ), owner of Option One Mortgage Corp. (HRB ), reported a fiscal 2007 first-quarter loss of $219 million as it set aside cash for buybacks. Defaults forced NetBank Inc. (NTBR ) and Fremont General Corp. (FMT ) to buy back more loans as well. Fremont paid $238.4 million in the second quarter, up from $67.7 million a year earlier.
9/28/06

Foreclosure report seen as warning of a crisis

Myron Medcalf - Star Tribune St. Paul Council Research Center, cites predatory lending and subprime lending as the major culprits in luring consumers into home mortgages they ultimately can't afford to pay.
9/24/06

THESE HOMES WERE LOST

Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.
Author(s): Jennifer Bjorhus And Maryjo Sylwester
As the housing boom draws to a close, experts worry that the combination of rising interest rates and slowing home values will push thousands more Minnesotans out of their homes.
9/21/06 Record Number of Foreclosures on the Horizon David Andrew Taylor The number of homes normally for sale in the Mile High City is around 4k. Right now, there are about 33k homes for sale.

Isn't it ironic that mortgage starts with "mort"... the Latin word for death? 

Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection’s Supervisory Actions Taken for Compliance Violations

FDIC

Office of Audits

DSC identified and reported 9,534 significant compliance violations during 2005. Of the 1,945 financial institutions examined in 2005, 1,607 (83 percent) had been cited with compliance violations deemed significant by the FDIC. Also, 837 (43 percent) of the 1,945 financial institutions examined had repeat, significant violations, of which 708 (85 percent) institutions were rated “1” or “2.”
9/20/06 Fighting foreclosures

Legislators want to make public the names of those linked to loans

LISA HAMMERSLY MUNN
lmunn@charlotteobserver.com
N.C. Commissioner of Banks Joseph Smith told a special legislative committee on Tuesday that his office needs the names of mortgage brokers and other loan originators to investigate mortgage fraud and resulting home loan foreclosures.
9/19/06 Foreclosures Linked to Violent Crime Roger Weeder
First Coast News
Legal aid in researching the numbers found the highest murder levels are also the zip codes with the highest foreclosure rates.
9/11/06 Nightmare Mortgages
They promise the American Dream: A home of your own -- with ultra-low rates and payments anyone can afford. Now, the trap has sprung
BusinessWeekOnline There was plenty more going on behind the scenes they didn't know about, either: that their broker was paid more to sell option ARMs than other mortgages; that their lender is allowed to claim the full monthly payment as revenue on its books even when borrowers choose to pay much less; that the loan's interest rates and up-front fees might not have been set by their bank but rather by a hedge fund; and that they'll soon be confronted with the choice of coughing up higher payments or coughing up their home. The option ARM is "like the neutron bomb," says George McCarthy, a housing economist at New York's Ford Foundation. "It's going to kill all the people but leave the houses standing." 
9/7/06

Whitepaper

PREDATORY STRUCTURED FINANCE Christopher Peterson - an associate professor of law at the University of Florida.

"_these rules are by themselves inadequate because they excuse many of the most culpable parties from accountability". 

 This white paper is also known as SSRN-id929118[1]

9/2/06 Military Remain Targets of Unscrupulous Lenders & Insurers Melanie McIntire / Cleveland Legal News "These acts will not be tolerated and the ODI will ensure that all Ohio policyholders are made whole under the terms of the settlement agreement".  
 9/1/06 Fannie Mae lawsuit adds claims on Goldman, Lehman Reuters The amended shareholder derivative lawsuit claims the banks, as well as mortgage insurer Radian Group Inc. abetted Fannie Mae officers in fraud that will result in an estimated $11 billion restatement, according to a copy of the amended complaint.
8/25/06 Big profits oil the wheel of loan fraud Al Lewis
Denver Post
"Loan losses are offset by profits that are so outrageous that the banks don't care," Accetta said.

Accetta said that since the 1970s, the government and the lenders have made it easier to commit mortgage fraud. Today, the industry thrives on "No-Doc" loans - as in no documentation.

8/24/06 Big profits oil the wheel of loan fraud By Al Lewis
Denver Post Staff Columnist
DenverPost.com
"Presidents of various mortgage companies went to jail, mortgage brokers and credit analysts went to jail, lawyers and accountants - they all went to jail. The whole system was corrupt."
8/18/06 FORMER HSBC VICE PRESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY IN MASSIVE TELEMARKETING FRAUD SCHEME THAT TARGETED TENS OF THOUSANDS OF U.S. VICTIMS Department of Justice This charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the crime charged.
8/16/06 National City Faces Fines in Underwriting Dispute  mortgageledger.com National City Bank may have to buy back approximately $1 million in mortgage loans that fell below federal underwriting standards. The Cleveland-based lender also faces $148,000 in potential fines for the infractions.
8/11/06 Attack of the Real Estate Rip-Offs Tom Van Riper and Steve Perlis - Forbes.com The urge to cash in on rising home values has spawned a growing share of hucksters, schemers and rip-off artists.
7/17/06 KB Homes Audit Report

Joan S. Hobbs, 

Regional Inspector General for Audit, Region IX, 9DGA

The audit found indications that KB underwriters

inaccurately certified that they underwrote certain Federal Housing Administration loans. The objective of the audit was to follow up on this potential violation and determine the extent to which it occurred.

2006 The Mortgage Gravy Train Comes to a Halt

Paul.Muolo@SourceMedia.com.

For a while there it looked as though the good times would last forever.
7/17/06 Feds Launch Probe of Stock Loan Abuses Matthew Goldstein TheStreet.com Officials with Bear Stearns (BSC) , Goldman Sachs (GS) , Lehman Brothers (LEH) , Merrill Lynch (MER) and Morgan Stanley (MS) , all of which operate big stock lending desks, either declined to comment or said they were unaware of any criminal investigation.
7/11/06 Feds avert housing threat rooted in mortgage giants Marcy Gordon - AP Fannie Mae, the second-largest U.S. financial institution after Citigroup Inc. and the second-biggest borrower after the federal government, is restating its earnings back to 2001 — a correction expected to reach at least $11 billion.
6/28/06

Washington state steps up fight against mortgage fraud

Tom Kelly - Inman News The Department of Financial Institutions can use the Mortgage Lending Fraud Prosecution Account to reimburse county prosecutors for a variety of costs related to the investigation and prosecution of mortgage fraud cases.
6/27/06 Symphony of Greed, Intro Chapter

"Financial Terrorism and Super-Crime on Wall Street."

Bob O'Brien - Sanity Check What was needed was a one-stop-shop, where a guy with an average education could sit on a plane cross country, and by the time he landed, know enough to be dangerous
6/19/06

Turning a Blind Eye: 

Wall Street Finance of Predatory Lending

A whitepaper by:

 Kathleen C. Engel 

and

 Patricia A. McCoy

The subprime sector, which is designed for borrowers with blemished credit, has been dogged by predatory lending charges, many of which have been substantiated. As subprime securitization has grown, so have charges that securitization turns a blind eye to financing abusive loans. In this paper, we examine why secondary market discipline has failed to halt the securitization of predatory loans.

6/19/06 Foreclosures May Jump As ARMs Reset J.W. Elphinstone, AP Business Writer This year, more than $300 billion worth of hybrid ARMs will readjust for the first time. That number will jump to approximately $1 trillion in 2007, according to the MBA. Monthly payments will leap too, many beyond what homeowners can afford. (We saw this coming.)
6/18/06 Sketchy lending practices forcing many from their homes

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

 

Despite the threat of felony charges and six-figure fines, when it comes to protecting consumers, the Sunshine State's 4-year-old anti-predatory lending law is "very weak," sayss Joan Goldstein, executive vice president of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Responsible Lending, a national consumer watchdog group.
6/18/06 Shady mortgage lender pulls a bait-and-switch on closing costs By Robert J. Bruss
Inman News
That mortgage lender knew he could squeeze $4,000 out of somebody, perhaps the listing agent who would lose far more than $4,000 in commission if the sale fell apart.
6/18/06 Sketchy lending practices forcing many from their homes

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Deliberately misleading buyers about mortgage terms can be a third-degree felony, according to state statutes. Refinancing too many high-cost mortgages can lead to fines up to $500,000.
6/12/06 It Looks Like Fannie Had Some Help BusinessWeek Online Major players on the Street may be tied to the fiasco at the mortgage giant.
6/9/06 Above Average Foreclosures Forbes.com At the end of April there were 87,582 American homes in some phase of foreclosure. Though nationally the number is up just 2.6% from six months ago, in a few cities, foreclosure filings have jumped up by 26% and more.
6/6/06

“OFHEO’S REPORT OF THE 

SPECIAL EXAMINATION OF 

FANNIE MAE

Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight  
6/06 Housing Scam Enjoined from Further Operations      A permanent injunction was issued that shut down a Texas housing scam that allegedly defrauded primarily Hispanic consumers out of tens of thousands of dollars in the Dallas, Texas area.
5/27/06 More handcuffs for execs predicted

PROSECUTORS EMBOLDENED BY ENRON VERDICTS 


Associated Press
Newer cases of accounting fraud could bring a fresh set of company executives into prosecutors' sights, and a probe of at least 15 companies for the timing of stock option grants to their leaders is widening. This week's revelations concerning Fannie Mae -- regulators said the mortgage giant manipulated accounting so that senior executives could collect millions in bonuses -- were a reminder that there's more out there. ``Corporate corruption is not over,'' Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich
5/25/06 Victory for government in war on white-collar crime Ben White in New York

Financial TImes

It is criminal convictions that count. It is a widely held belief that the only thing that really deters corporate fraud is the sight of executives trotting off to jail in handcuffs.
5/18/06 Vendetta led to mortgage scheme,

agents say: Bellevue builder made more than $1 million selling homes of enemies

by Noel S. Brady
Journal Reporter
Mr. Hawkins, 66, never owned or had any right to sell the homes of a retired judge and a savings-and-loan executive, the complaint alleges, but he did so by fooling a bank into believing he held the titles to the homes in Seattle and Mercer Island.
5/9/06 More Errors Found in Fannie Mae Accounting Verizon Central Fannie Mae in March disclosed new accounting problems that had been uncovered in several areas, including certain loans, investment securities, houses acquired through foreclosures, interest on delinquent home loans, and reverse mortgages.
5/3/06 AMERIQUEST'S
AMBASSADOR OF DOOM
PAUL THARP / NY Times In the bloodbath yesterday, employees were assembled in their offices with security guards and fired en masse by a telephone recording from Ameriquest CEO Aseem Mital.
5/2/06

Ameriquest parent company to lay off 3,800 people


The Orange County Register
The company, which is among the nation’s biggest subprime mortgage lenders, will immediately close its 229 retail branch offices.
5/2/06

Bank of America assesses Wal-Mart plan

CEO sees some competitive threat from industrial-loan bank
Greg Morcroft, MarketWatch Generally speaking, many first-generation Hispanics "don't trust banks" and thus could turn to Wal-Mart for banking services since they may already shop at the retailing giant's stores, Lewis explained.
5/1/06

By Richard Locker

commercialappeal.com

"The issue is whether the Tennessee Bankers Association comes down on the side of the predators or the people."
5/1/06** How Many Foreclosures Will Hit the Market?

 

Adjustable-Rate Mortgages are the problem.

Charles Hugh Smith These adjustable-rate loans were concentrated in the hottest markets, such as California, where about 60% of all loans last year were interest-only or payment-option ARMs. That's the highest such rate in the country.

Of the 7.7 million households who took out ARMs over the past two years to buy or refinance, up to 1 million could lose their homes through foreclosure over the next five years because they won't be able to afford their mortgage payments, and their homes will be worth less than they owe.

5/1/06 Will HSBC Buy Ameriquest? householdwatch.com Ameriquest paid a $325 million fine and Household International paid a $484 million fine for predatory lending. HSBC did business with Household International before acquiring the company. HSBC does business with Ameriquest. Intelligent minds suggest all three turned a blind eye to ethics in business.
4/30/06 Mortgage fraud has state's full attention Tom Kelly
Herald Columnist
The fund was bolstered through the Legislature by reputable members of the mortgage industry who were upset with the number of mortgage fraud schemes in the state. Not only were more consumers getting fleeced, but the entire home-loan industry also was getting a collective black eye.
4/24/06 Mortgage Lenders: Who's Most At Risk

Mara Der Hovanesian

BusinessWeek Online

What's worse, instead of cutting back on the exotic mortgages they've leaned on throughout the boom, many lenders are charging ahead on such high-risk loans full tilt.

  Such lenders now have a 23% market share of new loans, vs. less than 5% in 1994.

4/15/06 Unscrupulous lenders should be reined in The Yomiuri Shimbun

Lawyers last year formed a nationwide group of people claiming to have been victimized by Aiful and filed a class action lawsuit against the firm. Aiful must take management responsibility for the illegal acts of its employees and quickly compile guidelines to prevent a recurrence of such practices.

4/13/06 Sheriff Green's Foreclosure Machine

with 2 related articles attached.

by Bruce Schimmel

Philadelphia

Poor people are losing their homes daily, in part, because a sheriff whose finances are out of control is spending millions of dollars that come from the pockets of thousands of destitute homeowners.
4/07/06  Mystery House in Ownership Fight Riya Bhattacharjee - berkeleydaily.org “They continued to take my payments and cash my checks for five months after my house was sold,” he said. “To not inform someone you sold their house and continue to accept and cash their mortgage payments is indisputably fraud.”
4/06 Aiful Corporation's Financial Corporate Bond Rating Aiful Corporation See the list of American Corporations involved.  
4/14/06 No. 1 lending firm in Japan punished CNN Money

Aiful Corp., the country's biggest consumer lending firm, was ordered on Friday to suspend business at all of its 1,700 outlets for three days as punishment for coercive loan collection methods.

 "We have hurt the industry's image badly."

4/13/06 Mortgage Rates at Highest in Nearly 4 Yrs.

JEANNINE AVERSA, 

AP Economics Writer

There are signs that rising mortgage rates are slowing the housing market, which registered record-high sales for five years in a row.

4/11/06

Bear Stearns Settles Litigation Tied To       Enron In Texas

nicolas.brulliard@dowjones.com The company said in a previous filing the complaints alleged violations of disclosure requirements as well as fraud. The suits sought damages in unspecified amounts.

4/5/06

Ameriquest AE Sentenced in $20 Million Fraud Scheme

http://originatortimes.com/ 

Their fraud was part of a larger scheme that involved nearly 300 fraudulent loans worth almost $20 million.

4/4/06

Major Federal Crackdown On Realty Fee Kickbacks Underway "In Every State."

Kenneth Harney

Get ready for a wave of RESPA crackdowns, and financial penalties that could make your head spin.

4/3/06**

Some homeowners struggle to keep up with adjustable rates

 

"60% to 70% of calls to our hotlines are issues related to ARM (adjustable-rate mortgage) loans,"

By Noelle Knox, USA TODAY

Contributing: Barbara Hansen

The number of borrowers in trouble will rise this year and peak in 2007 and 2008 as the largest number of mortgages reset to higher rates.

At the time of the loan, they tell you, 'Well, it may go up, but it's probably going to go down.' You want it to be so, so you believe it."

3/31/04

Illinois Sues Another Mortgage Foreclosure "Rescuer"

consumeraffairs.com

In general, mortgage "rescuers" arrive on the scene when homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments or are on the verge of losing their homes.

3/21/06

By Anna Adams
BBC One's Whistleblower

bbc.co.uk

Lying to customers, faked signatures, false passports and dodgy deals with developers. An undercover investigation reveals the secret world of estate agents' dirty tricks.
3/21/07 The Struggle to Stop Mortgage Servicing Abuse and Foreclosure Scams resurfaces in Texas Lawsuit

PRWeb

[h]undreds of thousands in trumped up charges of over $200,000 in alleged rent and legal fees allegedly incurred after another Texas judge refused to recognize EMC’s so-called agreement, and ordered the parties back to trial.
3/18/06 OCWEN Subject of Lawsuit Beasley Allen Law Firm Montgomery lawyer Rhon Jones said Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC in West Palm Beach, Fla., charged customers late fees when the payments were on time, and payments sometimes weren’t applied correctly.
3/15/06 Fraud Charges against Ocwen Federal Bank Beasley Allen Law Firm Multiple trials are set in several Alabama counties this year, beginning in April, against Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, formerly Ocwen Federal Bank FSBOcwen entered into an agreement with the Office of Thrift Supervision to cease charging these default notice fees to borrowers. Despite this agreement Ocwen has not gone through customers’ files and removed previous default notice charges from their accounts.

3/10/06

Bear Stearns Paid CEO Cayne $25.1M In '05, Up About 1.6%

JED HOROWITZ
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

Even in rough periods, Wall Street firms spend almost half their revenue on compensation for top executives, bankers and traders. Bear Stearns' total compensation expenses last year equaled 47.9% of its net revenue of $7.4 billion.

3/06 'Manufactured' foreclosures an emerging threat to consumers Jack Guttentag 

Mortgage Professor

To cure what McDonnell terms a "servicer-manufactured default," the borrower must pay the full amount necessary to bring the account current. "For consumers who do not have sufficient savings and who are living from paycheck to paycheck, the likelihood of an extended delinquency and ultimate foreclosure is very high ... servicing abuse in escrow accounts ... is the leading cause of premature and wrongful foreclosure."

3/5/06

Losing our Homes

Gloria Irwin/Beacon Journal

Legislation being considered by the Ohio House would redefine the roles of mortgage brokers and mortgage companies and require them to act in the best interest of consumers.  (Kind of late isn't it?)

 

Broken Promises:
Promissory Note Fraud

U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)

While promissory notes can be legitimate investments, those that are marketed broadly to individual investors often turn out to be scams. The SEC and state securities regulators across the nation have joined forces to combat the fraudulent sale of promissory notes to investors. But we can't stop every fraud.

3/2/06

More than 30 lenders limit county services

Kara Rowland
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

More than 30 mortgage lenders have limited or stopped loan activities because of a discriminatory lending law  preventing lenders from marketing "high-cost home loans with exorbitant and unnecessary fees". It also increases the maximum fine for discriminatory lending from $5,000 to $500,000.

3/1/06

How many ways can mortgage go wrong?

BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

Charlotte Observer

The foreclosure process is streamlined for speed, they said, so borrowers cannot save their home by showing evidence of lender misconduct.

2/28/06

Wells Fargo takes over Dominion mortgage services.

bizjournals.com

The Ohio Attorney General's Office has been compiling complaints against Dominion Homes, but declined to comment on whether or not it is investigating the company.

2/26/06

Sneak attacks on us now in homestretch

Sheryl Harris

Plain Dealer Columnist

State senators loudly applauded themselves for their predatory lending bill while quietly sneaking in language that would dramatically weaken the existing Consumer Sales Practices Act... Luckily, they got caught.

2/16/06

Mortgage Co.'s COO Gets Sentenced

     (5 years + $242 Million in restitution)

          Associated Press

Keep watching, there will be many more mortgage company executives to follow.   

2/15/06

Obama, Durbin propose federal mortgage reforms

David Jackson / Chicago Tribune

Mortgage fraud is "robbing thousands of Americans of their dream of homeownership and Congress needs to come to the table and do its part." 

2/13/06

EMC Mortgage parent Bear Stearns Receives Subpoenas In Illinois

kristina.henderson

@dowjones.com

The SEC's Chicago office also has notified Bear Stearns that it is conducting a formal investigation into Bear Stearns' municipal bond offering practices.

2/13/06

Desperate loan customers bring out sharks

One borrower lost about $100,000 in equity due to frequent refinancings and high fees, she said. The borrower's share of the settlement came to $800.

2/12/06

Officials: Some sub-prime lenders remain predatory

Los Angeles Times             Palm Beach Post

"But where Ameriquest will die down a little and maybe change their stripes, there'll be another company out there doing the same thing, and another, and another."

2/11/06

Ameriquest's Arnall Confirmation

Frank Phillips, Globe Staff  

''Ameriquest's abysmal track record of preying on people and threatening their most valuable assets, their homes, should not be rewarded." says Reilly

2/9/06

Home buyers' lawsuit clears hurdle in federal court.

David Pierce
Pocono Record Writer

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a lawsuit by seven Poconos home buyers alleging a racketeering conspiracy by Eagle Valley Homes, two appraisers and several lenders can move forward.

2/7/06

Predatory lending costs homeowners $65 million per year.

The Associated Press

Commission members are introducing legislation to try to stop predatory lending.

2/1/06

IRS `Concerned' About Bear Stearns, CDR Relationship:

Joe Mysak / Bloomberg.com

The scary thing about the trouble brewing in the municipal bond market is that it includes the top names in the industry.

1/29/06 Candidate raps Reilly
BRIAN BOYD , Standard-Times staff writer
Mr. Patrick also took Mr. Reilly to task on the state's $12.2 million settlement with Ameriquest Mortgage Co. regarding its lending practices. Mr. Reilly called Ameriquest "a very bad company engaged in despicable practices."

  1/06

Dirty Deeds: 3-part series

Alan Smith / foreclosures.com

Part 1 - Abuses and Fraudulent Practices in the Home 

            Equity Market

Part 2 - Predatory Lenders

Part 3 - Putting these Bandits Out of Business

1/31/06

Is an online loan for you?

Hear one Savannah woman's story 

JoAnn Merrigan

WSAV News 3

A Savannah woman says she's learning some of the pitfalls of getting an online loan.  Rosie Cook re-financed her home last fall and says she can prove she's been making  payments (to EMC Mortgage).  But two weeks ago, she received a certified letter containing a foreclosure notice.

1/31/06

More Mortgage Lenders Targeted

E. Scott Reckard and Mike Hudson, Special to the L.A. Times

"As long there's pressure to grow and the market's saturated, they'll (mortgage companies) do it whatever way they can," Keest said. 

"If they can't do it honestly, they'll do it dishonestly."

1/30/06

ESC program offers bridge for struggling homeowners

Roxana Ross

The Robesonian

It is hoped that a new program that kicked off last week will help homeowners like Williams make mortgage payments after losing their jobs.

1/27/06

Peter Angelos takes aim at predatory lenders

Laura Smitherman 

Baltimore Sun

"We have uncovered a serious problem in the state, and we intend to pursue this vigorously," Pica said. "Somebody has to do it. To protect people from being taken advantage of, that's basically the philosophy of this firm."

1/26/06

Ameriquest name bringing shame

Randy Galloway / Star Telegram

If the taxpayers bankroll a stadium, ballpark or arena for you, then the name of the place should reflect that.

1/24/06

Ameriquest Watch by Inner City Press

  Inner City Press

While many states’ attorneys general heaped praise on the settling company, there are reasons for consumers to be unsettled. With today’s settlements, these banks previous defenses of their practices must be inquired into, critics say.

1/24/06

$2.5m headed for N.H. in Ameriquest deal

Bob Sanders - NH.com

“Our view was that Ameriquest employees deceived consumers as part of high-pressure tactics to sell mortgage refinances,” Attorney General Ayotte said.

Jan/06

Ameriquest $325 Million Settlement News

various authors

A collection of reports on Ameriquest's wrongdoing.

1/23/06

Storm victims watch the clock; County set to enforce demolition deadline

Bill Fabian and Mark Young

Some of the more common  complaints include such things as the company (Litton Loan) outright failing to credit payments made to the proper accounts, wrongfully imposing late fees with no explanation, mishandling of escrow accounts, and forcing high-priced insurance on homeowners who already have insurance.

1/23/06

Lender would pay $12m in Mass.

Kimberly Blanton,        Boston Globe Staff  

''A pattern of consumer deception and fraud ends right here with this settlement," 

Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly said.

1/23/06

Ameriquest to Pay PA Consumers 8.7M

Nydia Han 

WPVI-TV Philadelphia

"We feel like they (Ameriquest) ruined our life. We feel like they've taken everything out from under us."

1/23/06

AMERIQUEST ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH STATES

corlando@ameriquest.com

For those victimized by Ameriquest, you may want to check with your doctor before reading this. 

1/22/06

Plaintiffs' Counsel Announces Ameriquest's Settlement With State Attorneys General Does Not Resolve Pending Private Actions

The law firms of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, and Roddy Klein & Ryan

"The size of the Attorney General settlement reflects the enormous scope of wrongdoing underlying Ameriquest's lending practices,"

1/20/06

The OCWEN Story: Part I Allegations of Fraud, Malice, Misrepresentation and Manipulation

Voice of the People

By: Ronald D Ellis

 

Other allegations have been made by former and current (OCWEN) employees including the intentional destruction of information, and document forgery.

1/25/06

The OCWEN Story:  Part II

Voice of the People

By: Ronald D Ellis

We want to be clear here, Ocwen is foreclosing on a homeowner that had never missed a payment, who had current insurance and had setup automatic payments so their could be no debate on Ocwen receiving them.

1/20/06

NY Supreme Ct. Denies Bear Stearns Petition

 

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

McKesson Corp. (MCK) on Friday said the New York Supreme Court turned downed Bear Stearns & Co.'s (BSC) bid to block McKesson's $960 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit arising from a 1999 financial restatement.

1/13/06

Foreclosures Rise

Blanche Evans

"These rising numbers to finish off the year may indicate that economic factors such as higher interest rates are making it harder for some homeowners to stay current on their mortgage payments."

1/5/06

ABN Amro Agrees to $41 Million Settlement

In an interview, Thomas M. Goldstein, chairman and chief executive of ABN Amro Mortgage Group, said that during a "very hot market" for purchases and refinancing, "a few employees . . . on the lower level" decided to "speed up" the loan-approval process by signing documents themselves instead of submitting them to an FHA-approved underwriter for a second review. "Many of them thought they weren't doing anything wrong," he said.

Washington Post Federal housing regulators yesterday announced a record $41 million settlement with ABN Amro Mortgage Group Inc. for falsifying documents on 28,000 mortgages to make government-secured loans more quickly.

Dozens of ABN employees signed the names of two loan-underwriting executives who were legally compelled to certify that each loan met federal standards, such as those requiring that borrowers had enough money to buy the house and had passed credit checks.

1/4/06

Deutsche Bank to Expand Islamic Dealings

 Ahmed Al-Matboli, IOL

Under Shari`ah, interest on bank accounts is haram (unlawful) because such interest is an increase of money made without effort or trade.

6/4/08 Ed McMahon's home faces foreclosure CNN There were nearly 650,000 foreclosure filings -- which include notices of default, auction sales and bank repossessions -- issued during the first quarter of 2008.

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