News related to Mortgage and Foreclosure Fraud

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December

2007

Researching Subprime Residential Loan Securitizations

Kevin Byers CPA Kevin sheds light on the process in a new outline that provides easy to understand definitions and provides resources for further study into the financial practice. 
12/31/07

Lender Lobbying Blitz
Abetted Mortgage Mess

Ameriquest Pressed For Changes in Laws;
A Battle in New Jersey

glenn.simpson

WSJ 

Ameriquest handed out more than $20 million in political donations and played a big role in persuading legislators in New Jersey and Georgia to relax tough new laws. Those victories, in turn, helped blunt efforts by other states to crack down on reckless lending, critics of the industry contend.
12/28/07 How One Family Fought Foreclosure

AMIR EFRATI - WSJ

"The funny thing is, some of the things he argued 10 years ago -- all of a sudden you see a federal court saying the same thing."
12/28/07 Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne sells US$15.4M of investment bank's stock

The Canadian Press

Bear Stearns has been at the heart of this year's liquidity crisis, which has pushed scores of mortgage lenders out of business, bled more than $100 billion from Wall Street's books, and coaxed the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut interest rates by a full percentage point.

Some people point to the collapse of two Bear Stearns hedge funds established to bet on risky mortgage debt as the trigger for the subprime crisis.

12/28/07 Georgia NAACP Files Mortgage Lawsuit

by:CYNTHIA POST, www.atlantadailyworld.com

"Predatory mortgage lending may be the worst form of consumer fraud because people often lose their homes," he said.
12/28/07 Open Thread- the Pros and Perils of Pro Se

Posted by Peter Lattman on WSJ

More and more people are going pro se
12/27/07
Strapped homeowners get advice
Moyer said last week that lawyers have an obligation to help homeowners facing foreclosure, and they should do so without charge.
12/26/07 Man Suspected of Lying on Application Could Get 20 Years in Prison

Originator Times

[t]he complaint alleges that the defendant made false statements in a loan application for the purpose of obtaining a loan to refinance the house.
12/26/07 Long Beach Mortgage Rep Faces Five Years in Prison
Wednesday, December 26, 2007 -

Originator Times

Hulbert, who was the manager of the Jacksonville branch of Nations Title Agency of Florida, acted as the closing agent for several transactions in which mortgage loans were fraudulently obtained.
12/25/07 Officials Falling Behind on Mortgage Fraud Cases

JOHN LELAND

The New York Times

The Mortgage Bankers Association called the losses "the tip of the iceberg" because they do not include mortgage brokers, who arrange better than half of new mortgages.
12/25/07 Ohio Leads The Fight To Stop Foreclosures

by Ron Scherer

�We have a responsibility to deal with this unfolding crisis and we are looking for ways to do that,� says Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) in an interview.
12/25/07 Federal court ruling stems foreclosure cases

Thomas Ott

Plain Dealer Reporter

The federal court averaged 100 new cases a month before judges recently started insisting that banks provide up front a document giving them authority to collect loans made by other lenders and held by investors. As of Friday, the number of new filings in December was two.
12/23/07

THE BEGINNINGS OF A MELTDOWN:

Part 1 - Traders saw a cash cow in 

              mortgage derivates

Part 2 - Fees were another cash cow 

By MARK PITTMAN
BLOOMBERG NEWS

A five-part series about the

subprime mortgage crisis.

12/23/07 Wall Street bosses asked to 'give back,' and other developments

Lew Sichelman

HeraldTribune.com

The five banks handed out a record $36 billion in bonuses during the 2006 holiday season, and the community groups expect another big round of rewards again this year. But the activists want some of that money to be directed to a fund that will provide immediate relief to owners in default and in danger of foreclosure.
12/22/07 Stuffing the Court's Christmas Stocking with Foreclosure Cases

The Topeka Capital Journal

A list of filings in a Kansas county district court.
12/22/07

Former Bear Stearns Bankers
Plead Guilty to Fraud

evan.perez@wsj.com

Two former Bear Stearns Cos. investment bankers pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud as part of a federal public-corruption investigation in Texas .
12/22/07 Bankers plead guilty to fraud, bribery in FBI probe

By Ramon Bracamontes and Tammy Fonce-Olivas / El Paso Times

Two investment bankers who were financial advisers to almost every government entity in El Paso pleaded guilty Friday to fraud and bribery charges, increasing to six the number of people who have been convicted in the ongoing public corruption investigation.
12/22/07 Mortgage Meltdown; the Lying, Crying and Fire Sale Buying Begins monica davis - infoZine Unbelievably, in thousands of cases, consumers have been foreclosed on without the bank or mortgage company haven proven that the debt is owed, without presentation of paperwork proving the existence of the debt, which is a violation of several federal laws.
12/21/07 Body Blows Will Keep Coming For Bear

Jacob Zamansky

FIN alternatives

The body blows will keep coming for Bear Stearns. Cioffi has quietly left the firm and Bear Stearns� board may even be discussing the departure of CEO Jimmy Cayne.
12/21/07 Wall Street Bonuses Spike 14 Percent

JOE BEL BRUNO, AP

 

This might have been one of Wall Street�s most dismal

years in a decade, but that hasn�t stopped bonus checks from rising an average of 14 percent. Four of the biggest U.S. investment banks - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley , Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bear Stearns Cos. - will pay out about $49.6 billion in compensation this year. Of that, bonuses are traditionally estimated to represent 60 percent, or almost $30 billion.

12/20/07 Bear Stearns fund manager quits amid probe

The Business

The manager of two Bear Stearns' hedge funds that collapsed after investing in sub-prime mortgages has left the bank as US prosecutors begin an investigation into his actions.
12/20/07

Morgan Stanley bailed out by Beijing after $9bn write-off

Morgan Stanley became the latest bank to announce a bailout from a foreign government. The writedowns, which took Morgan Stanley to a $3.56 billion fourth-quarter loss, were so severe that the bank was forced to agree a $5 billion cash injection from the Chinese Government to prop up its capital base.
12/20/07 Wall Street: crimes or misdemeanors?

By Anthony T. Accetta

Denver Post.com

There has been criminal conduct at every stage of the mortgage business, and there is ample proof that virtually every major investment bank in the mortgage securitization business initiated fraud, or through conscious avoidance or reckless disregard of facts known to them, enabled, aided and abetted fraud.

The so-called sub-prime mortgage crisis was predictable and predicted, preventable, but not prevented. Greed, arrogance, criminal conduct, negligence, and fraud threaten to go unpunished.

12/20/07
Rule would slow foreclosure rate

GKORTE@ENQUIRER.COM

"Why would we let somebody file a lawsuit to take someone's house unless they're the real party in interest?" Martin told his fellow Common Pleas Court judges Wednesday.   [We have been asking the same question - but nobody will answer.]
12/20/07 Barclays sues Bear Stearns over hedge fund collapses

Tim McLaughlin - Reuters

"Bear Stearns ... used the enhanced fund as a place to unload excessively risky or troubled assets that could not be sold to other investors at the prices paid by the enhanced fund,"
12/19/07

The Bear Flu: How It Spread

A novel financing scheme used by Bear Stearns' hedge funds became a template for subprime disaster

by David Henry and Matthew Goldstein

New evidence sheds light on how Bear Stearns' hedge funds�and their managers�became star players in the subprime bust, the biggest financial disaster in decades.

Other players adopted the Bear funds' tactics, collectively building a financing structure with many of the hallmarks of a pyramid scheme.

12/19/07

Mortgage-industry lawsuits

The finger of suspicion

In America and elsewhere trial lawyers, state prosecutors and regulators look for the crime in subprime

From The Economist

As busy as the lawyers are, they are only warming up. Scrutiny of the way banks account for tainted securities is just beginning, as is the task of poring through e-mails provided under subpoena. The ultimate cost of the mortgage crisis in terms of settlements, awards and legal fees can only be guessed at. But the consensus view is that payouts will climb well above the billions stemming from the internet bubble.
12/19/07 Economic 9/11

Gerald Celente, 

The Trends Journal

This talk about the sub-prime market. Yes, that�s a problem, but nothing compared to when the big firms start failing, when banks go bust, brokerages go out of business.
12/18/07

Mortgage Servicing Company Fraud

Nic

http://www.foreclosurefish.com 

Even more unfortunate is the fact that homeowners have little alternative when they become a victim of this scam.
12/18/07 Fed Shrugged as Subprime Crisis Spread

EDMUND L. ANDREWS

The New York Times

Until the boom in subprime mortgages turned into a national nightmare this summer, the few people who tried to warn federal banking officials might as well have been talking to themselves.
12/18/07 Request for comment on changes to Regulation Z to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive home mortgage lending and advertising practices

The Federal Reserve Board

Press Release

Nothing will change until the eliminate corrupt judges and lawyers. They are mortgage servicing fraud enablers.
12/17/07 Thousands of Washington's Ameriquest Victims to Receive Checks Next week

Washington Attorney General

December will be a bit more rewarding for 8,750 Washington residents. They�ll receive checks this month totaling nearly $9.9 million as part of a national settlement with former subprime lending giant Ameriquest.
12/16/07 Democrats may commit the real mortgage fraud

Steve Chapman

Chicago Tribune

It's true that if lenders have committed fraud with phony information about their loans, they deserve to be separated from their ill-gotten gains.
12/16/07 The Hidden and Emerging Battle between Investors and Servicers

Mortgage Press, 

by Andrew L. Liput

Another article that misses the point: "Servicers have NO interest in loss mitigation.  They only want to steal equity and homes".
12/15/07 The $4bn killing

By Stephen Foley

The Independent

The mortgage derivatives created by Goldman Sachs and others have been dubbed "toxic waste" by investors, who no longer want to buy them. Wall Street banks have suffered more than $50bn in losses as a result and have dramatically scaled back their activities, causing financial markets to freeze up.
12/13/07 The Subprime 'Crisis' -- Time for Government Intervention?

Opinion - Larry Elder

[a]ctions, however well-intended, that shield people from the consequences of their behavior lead to even more irresponsible behavior. Secretary Paulson recently said, "I have no interest in bailing out lenders or property speculators."
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.
12/12/07

Loan-Relief Legislation Advances

Deal in House Would Let Judges Revise Mortgages; Help Urged in Ohio Cases 

By DAMIAN PALETTA and AMIR EFRATI - Dow Jones The proposed dismissals are meant to encourage mortgage companies to renegotiate terms of the loans, to keep borrowers in their homes.
12/11/07 (Another Litton story)

Homeowners pay their mortgages, but face foreclosure   

(also see 12/3/07 story below)

tampabay news10

Barbara Smith says it's very scary to think of losing your home when all you want to do is make your payments.

Last week, Nadine Knowles lost her home to Litton Loan after proving she made all her payments. "I'm a homeowner that got screwed and that's OK in America, and that's OK with our courts," Knowles says.

12/11/07 Investment Landfill, Part 2 

by Paul Tustain

BullionVault

UNLESS YOU ARE well informed, you are going to pay for getting investment bankers and fund managers out of the very deep hole they have recently dumped us all in.
12/10/07 Did Authorities Miss a Chance To Ease Crunch?

By MICHAEL SICONOLFI

Wall Street Journal

High-profile enforcement cases could have sent a message to Bear Stearns and other Wall Street firms to attempt to more accurately price mortgage securities. Such a message could have helped blunt the impact of the current crisis, which has led to investor uncertainty over how firms price these mortgage-related instruments.
12/10/07 Bear Stearns' (EMC) Mortgage Unit Accused of Predatory Loan Servicing

epettersson@bloomberg.net .

EMC routinely and systematically mismanaged Hispanic and African Americans' mortgage loans by charging them unauthorized fees,'' four minority borrowers said in a complaint filed today in federal court in Connecticut. ``Many borrowers were trapped into a downward spiral ending in foreclosure."
12/9/07** MORTGAGE MELTDOWN
Interest rate 'freeze' - the real story is fraud

Bankers pay lip service to families while scurrying to avert suits, prison

Sean Olender

San Francisco Chronicle

But unfortunately, the "freeze" is just another fraud - and like the other bailout proposals, it has nothing to do with U.S. house prices, with "working families," keeping people in their homes or any of that nonsense.

The sole goal of the freeze is to prevent owners of mortgage-backed securities, many of them foreigners, from suing U.S. banks and forcing them to buy back worthless mortgage securities at face value - right now almost 10 times their market worth.
12/9/07 Loan bailout is not likely to help many homeowners

San Francisco Chronicle,  USA 
Kathleen Pender

The subprime rate freeze plan announced by the Bush administration last week was clearly designed to win votes. I just wonder whose.
12/8/07
Says banks must prove they hold mortgages
GKORTE@ENQUIRER.COM The ruling could have profound implications on how foreclosures are handled in Ohio. The local ruling comes as three federal court judges - in Cleveland, Dayton and Columbus - have issued similar opinions in foreclosure cases in the last month.
12/7/07

'Playing the Odds'

Lawyer Max Gardner Says Some Mortgage Servicers May Be Taking Homeowners for a Ride

VICKI MABREY and ELY BROWN - ABC News It's been a six-year battle for Mike Dillon, who is trying to save his home from a foreclosure the courts say should never have happened.

It began in 2001, when the company servicing Dillon's loan was sold. According to Dillon, he made a payment in 2001 to his servicer, but it had been sold to Fairbanks Capital, Dillon said. Fairbanks told him his payment was not received.

"The payment disappeared," said Dillon of Manchester, N.H. "The check never came back to me, and the first notification that I ever got from Fairbanks was a default notice saying that you owe us $2,000 plus. From there it was all downhill."

12/7/07

Banksters Gone Wild

Wall Street's Bad Boys and Their Washington Enablers

By PAM MARTENS

Counterpunch.org

Mainstream media has also been implanting the idea that it's all about homeowners and mortgage loans instead of banksters hiding bad debt.
12/7/07 Corruption, fraud bringing down US bank system: 

Foreclosure just the tip of the iceberg

by Monica Davis davis4000_2000 [at] yahoo.com )

Thousands of people across the country say they are being dunned for loans they paid off long ago. From student loans to home mortgages, and farm loans, scores of consumers say creditors came after them for loans that were paid off long ago.

A nasty case in point is the case of a black farm family whose farm was just auctioned, for alleged non-payment of a mortgage. The family says they paid off the loan 8 years ago and have paperwork to prove it, but, like the case of Harry Young of Owensboro, they were not allowed to rebut the bank�s claim.
12/7/07
Talk of gaming White House mortgage plan emerges
Experts worry borrowers may stop paying bills to qualify for reset freeze

By Alistair Barr, MarketWatch

"The message here is to get your FICO score down," Mark Adelson, a structured finance expert, said. "Don't pay some bills, but keep up with mortgage payments."
12/6/07 Subprime Mortgage Crisis in California and the Nation: Broader Changes Needed from Industry and Policymakers

Testimony of Paul Leonard
California Office Director
Center for Responsible Lending

Bold action is needed to avoid the potential economic and human consequences from the volume of foreclosures that has not been seen in this country since the Great Depression.
12/5/07 Wall Street firms subpoenaed:

Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns & Deutsche Bank

By John Spence, MarketWatch "People will lose their homes, and that could create a lifetime of debt problems," Cuomo said last month. "We do need new laws" to keep the subprime market liquid while protecting borrowers, he said
12/5/07 Bear Stearns Hedge Fund Losses Lead to Arbitration Claims, According to Law Firms Representing Investors -- BSC

PRIME NEWSWIRE

A four-law firm legal team, with nationally recognized securities law experience, has filed investor claims against two subsidiaries of Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. (NYSE:BSC) -- Bear Stearns & Co., Inc. and Bear Stearns Securities Corp. -- over the recent collapse of a Bear Stearns hedge fund.
12/4/07 The Mortgage Mafia is Feeding on the Homes and Hopes of Americans

By themelinda

The Daily Scare

The conspirators, in this case, are those in charge of our government and their friends in banking. Proof of this lies in the fact they are now suspending foreclosure on homes. This fraud runs from your neighborhood to the White House in a trail of broken hearts and dreams of ordinary Americans. If that were not bad enough, we have also been victimized by political doublespeak where phrases like 'home ownership' are better understood as slavery.
12/3/07 Woman makes payments, but faces foreclosure

Video Story

tampabay news10 

But it did no good when Knowles came to Pasco Court and showed the judge she had proof that she had made her payments and Litton Loan deducted them from her account. The judge issued an order that her home be sold on the courthouse steps.  
12/3/07 Examining the subprime-lending crisis

By David Olinger and Aldo Svaldi - The Denver Post

But before the subprime boom ended, an estimated $182 billion or more in profit was shared by brokers, lenders and investment banks
12/3/07 Mortgage Mess, Foreclosure Fraud and Impediments to Justice

by Barbara Ann Jackson

News Blaze

It is HIGHLY COMMON for a DEBT COLLECTOR attorney to file a foreclosure: (i) in the name of a DEFUNCT mortgage company; (ii) in the name of a mortgage company which is NO LONGER holder of the security interest (the promissory note); or (iii) file a foreclosure and AFFIX a 'ransom' amount (the collector's fee) far exceeding what the promissory note "Acceleration Clause" authorizes.
12/3/07 WHAT�S MISSING IN THE COVERAGE?

 newsdissector.com

Meanwhile we have yet to see a major investigation or any prosecution of the people who profited off the misery of homeowners who may be out in the streets.
12/3/07 Subprime Debacle Traps
Even Very Credit-Worthy

By RICK BROOKS and RUTH SIMON - WSJ

It turns out that plenty of people with seemingly good credit are also caught in the subprime trap.
12/3/07 The Loans are Subprime, Not the Borrowers

By Alan White

Public Citizen Consumer Law and Policy Blog

The rapid expansion to the point where $600 billion in subprime loans were made in 2006 has done many consumers (and lately, investors) more harm than good.
12/3/07 Subprime debacle traps even very credit-worthy

By Rick Brooks and Ruth Simon
The Wall Street Journal

One common assumption about the subprime mortgage crisis is that it revolves around borrowers with sketchy credit who couldn't have bought a home without paying punitively high interest rates. But it turns out that plenty of people with seemingly good credit are also caught in the subprime trap
12/3/07

U.S. Expands Scrutiny of Home Lenders

AMIR EFRATI - Dow Jones

, "we have a specific and grave concern that Countrywide" is trying to obtain money and property from debtors "under false pretenses." In one case he cited, Countrywide allegedly inflated the amount owed by the borrower by more than $7,000. He spoke of "the harm that's done to debtors who are in a financially disadvantaged position that cannot litigate and fight one of the world's largest financial corporations."
12/3/07
Subprime standards out 'soon,' Paulson says
Government, industry working on plan for troubled borrowers

By Robert Schroeder & Greg Robb, MarketWatch

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Monday he's confident that a plan to help borrowers of subprime mortgages will be agreed upon soon.
12/3/07 Deutsche Bank Fails to Foreclose on Mortgages Purchased in Structured Investment Vehicle 

Mother Nature is a hanging judge. How about the U.S. Federal courts?

Bill Bonner

The Daily Reckoning

What he wanted to know was: Where are the mortgage documents? It may be true that these people owe you money, he suggested, but we don�t take a man�s house away from him without a valid mortgage contract. Not in the sovereign state of Ohio anyway. 
12/3/07 Deutsche Bank Timeline

InnerCityPress.org

A chronology of events pertaining to Deutsche Bank
12/3/07 Homeowners in debt, seniors prime targets of riskiest loans  (Follow up to below.)

Seattle Times staff reporters

 

More than one in three borrowers in King County who got loans from the same lender that foreclosed on Taylor were 50 or older, and one in seven was 60 or older, according to a Seattle Times analysis of more than 4,000 loans by Ameriquest Mortgage. Not only that, nearly all of those borrowers already owned their houses.
12/2/07 The Credit Crisis is no longer just a subprime mortgage problem

Vikas Bajaj -Mynews.in

As home prices fall and banks tighten lending standards, people with good, or prime, credit histories are falling behind on their payments for home loans, auto loans and credit cards at a quickening pace.
12/2/07 Investigation reveals exploitation of vulnerable

Mike Fancher

The Seattle Times

The Fleecing of Frances Taylor," should move you to wonder about the exploitation of people when they are most vulnerable. How can a 96-year-old woman lose not just her home, but everything � $2 million and nearly all of her possessions?
12/1/07 Impending Destruction of the US Economy

 

American median family incomes have experienced no real increase during the 21st century.  Moreover, if the huge bonuses paid to CEOs for offshoring their corporations� production and to Wall Street for marketing subprime derivatives are removed from the income figures,
11/30/07** Law Blog Lexpionage: �Foreclosure Mills� Peter Lattman - WSJ LawBlog Judges are also fining firms for filing shoddy motions in bankruptcy court on behalf of creditors. In Houston, three judges have sanctioned or considered sanctions against Barrett Burke, a Texas size foreclosure firm. In June, Judge Wesley Steen imposed a $75,000 fine on Barrett Burke for filing computer-generated pleadings that were �grossly erroneous� and �gibberish.� The judge wrote that the firm has �become over reliant� on the software and its attorneys are �allowing their signatures to become affixed to pleadings that they have not adequately reviewed.�
11/30/07

Mortgage Modifications not Happening

By Alan White

Public Citizen Consumer Law and Policy Blog

Some of the other top servicers� reports showed no modifications, but that may be because the reporting of modifications is a relatively new feature and they are not tabulating them yet. Based on this limited sample, the ratio of loan modifications to foreclosures and sales is dismal. Investors are taking big losses on completed foreclosures, while apparently being unwilling to forego a little bit of interest to keep families in their homes.
11/30/07 Judges Tackle 'Foreclosure Mills'

AMIR EFRATI - Dow Jones

This month, a state judge in Cincinnati dismissed a foreclosure lawsuit brought by Wells Fargo Bank because the bank filed the suit before it had acquired the mortgage. In dismissing the case, the judge sent a warning letter to the bank's law firm, John D. Clunk Co. LPA, in Hudson, Ohio.  Judge Steven E. Martin wrote that it was "troubling" that the plaintiff "and its counsel filed the lawsuit with no basis whatsoever" and that firm must not do so again.
11/29/07

Foreclosures: Not So Fast

Court rulings may make it tougher for holders of mortgage-backed securities to take back the keys

by Michael Orey

BusinessWeek

David D. Dowd Jr., a federal judge in Akron who joined colleagues in trying to streamline the process for handling foreclosures when the housing bust hit: "I think they liked the procedure we set up--until we started asking nasty questions about whether they actually own the note."
11/29/07 Don't Bail Out Fannie and Freddie

By PETER J. WALLISON 

 Dow Jones

Under these circumstances their managements will, as the S&Ls did in their day, "gamble for resurrection," with the U.S. taxpayer ultimately on the hook if the risks don't pan out.
11/28/07 Foreclosure Charges by Lender Investigated (Countrywide)

By GRETCHEN MORGENSON

NYTimes

Questionable or nonitemized charges levied on imperiled borrowers by lenders and loan servicers are an industrywide problem, consumer advocates contend.
11/28/07

Another Judge Gets Tough With Bank on Foreclosures

Yves Smith

Naked Capitalism

In another case, Ms. Porter found that a lender had claimed that the borrower owed more than $1 million but that an examination of the loan history showed the true balance to be $60,000.
Read Tracy's comment also.
11/27/07 Judge Rules Against Deutsche Bank on Foreclosures, May Lead to Amnesty Posted by Dan Denning

The Daily Reckoning

We�ve been assuming the schemers and designers of CDOs were clever and crafty. But maybe they were idiots. Or maybe the unforeseen consequences of securitization and �risk disaggregation� are coming home to roost. Bankers can�t foreclose on bad mortgage loans because they can�t prove they actually own the loans.
11/27/07 Homeowners' big question: How low will prices go?

By Peter Y. Hong
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Now, foreclosures are rising as homeowners find they can't keep up with excessive monthly payments, and as speculators stop making payments on properties that have lost value. Experts believe the problem is likely to worsen as more adjustable mortgages set to higher rates next year.  "We will get back to a normal market when people buy a home to live in it, not invest in it," Leamer said.
11/26/07

The Mess that Boyko Made: Pot, Meet Kettle

by Paul Jackson / housingwire

Boyko may be dead-on in his ruling, but it�s more than a little late in arriving. All of which makes it interesting for people like me to read references in his Order to �the jurisdictional integrity of United States District Court,� especially when we�re talking about Cuyahoga County in Ohio, long a foreclosure hot spot. After all, Boyko has been on the federal bench in Ohio since 2005 � so this isn�t his first rodeo, not by a long shot, and you have to wonder what other �sloppy� foreclosures he allowed previously.
11/26/07

Where Countrywide Chief
Is Finding a Life Preserver
 

By JAMES R. HAGERTY
WSJ

Countrywide's stock has dropped more than 75% so far this year, and its bonds trade at junk levels.
11/24/07

Rising Rates to Worsen Subprime Mess

By RUTH SIMON -WSJ

Already, many subprime lenders, who focused on people with poor credit, have gone bust. Big banks and investors who made subprime loans or bought securities backed by them are reporting billions of dollars in losses.
11/23/07 Banks Gone Wild

"What were they smoking?"

By PAUL KRUGMAN

New York Times

The answer, of course, is that they were high on the usual drug � greed. And they were encouraged to make socially destructive decisions by a system of executive compensation that should have been reformed after the Enron and WorldCom scandals, but wasn�t.
11/23/07 Freddie Mac's execs, others, to answer mortgage problems in Court

Aussie Money Tips

Government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. home funding company, and Freddie Mac have been hit by mounting losses as home foreclosures continue to rise and the credit crisis drains the value of mortgages they own.
11/23/07 The Financial Tsunami: Sub-Prime Mortgage Debt is but the Tip of the Iceberg

Part 1: Deutsche Bank�s painful lesson

Global Research.ca

Judge Boyko ordered DB to prove they were the owners of the mortgages or notes and they could not. DB could only argue that the banks had foreclosed on such cases for years without challenge. The Judge then declared that the banks �seem to adopt the attitude that since they have been doing this for so long, unchallenged, this practice equates with legal compliance". Finally put to the test,� the Judge concluded, �their weak legal arguments compel the court to stop them at the gate.� Deutsche Bank has refused comment.
11/22/07 Freddie Mac Sued Over Mortgage Problems

Reuters

Freddie Mac, Chief Executive Richard Syron and some other executives did not adequately implement risk control measures to protect the company from acquiring billions of dollars worth of mortgages with poor underwriting standards.
11/21/07 US Mortgage Losses Could Be $300 Billion: OECD

Reuters

The Paris-based forum said the worst of the U.S. housing market downturn had not yet been seen and would continue to depress mortgage-related debt products and derivatives held by banks, hedge funds and insurance companies.
11/21/07 Garfield judge's aide admits subprime mortgage fraud

Judge identified as co-conspirator

BY TED SHERMAN

Star-Ledger Staff

In court yesterday before U.S. District Judge Jose Linares in Newark, Gebbia admitted preparing fake HUD-1 settlement forms. The phony papers, including fraudulent W-2 income statements, were used to qualify buyers for subprime loans that they could not afford to repay.
Whitepaper

Fall 2007

CRACKING THE DOOR TO STATE RECOVERY FROM FEDERAL THRIFTS

DANIEL M. ATTAWAY  
11/21/07 Paulson Sees More Home Loan Defaults in 2008

Reuters

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the number of potential U.S. home-loan defaults "will be significantly bigger" in 2008 than in 2007.
11/21/07 The Largest Lender and its Greatest Enemy, Sitting Side by Side

Posted by Moe  LoanWorkout.org 

Countrywide and its greatest enemy, NACA, sitting side by side, as the lender basically admits that the loans it sold are in deeper trouble than we thought, not to mention the act of modifying them in such a way, is a tacit admission that the loans were bad to begin with.
11/20/07 A Swarm of Swindlers

By BOB HERBERT

The New York Times

�I kept telling them no, because I didn�t think we could afford it. But they kept saying how it was to our advantage. So I finally said: �All right, let�s see what we can do.� �
11/20/07

Retired Postal Worker Could Lose the Home That 'Means Everything'

By VICKI MABREY and EILEEN MURPHY - ABC News "It means everything; it's a lifetime invested here," Jordan said. "And of course, if I go down, it's a nightmare. Where do you go from here? I'm a 79-year-old man."
11/20/07 What�s this Boyko / Deutsche Bank thing all about, anyway?

Callahan's Cleveland Diary

Deutsche Bank never held a mortgage on 4111 Archwood. And Deutsche Bank doesn�t really own 4111 Archwood now.
11/20/07 Listen to Panel on the Home Foreclosure Crisis

Public Citizen

Consumer Law & Policy Blog

The speakers include Jane Azia, Director of Consumer Protection, New York State Banking Department, Margaret Becker of the Predatory Lending and Foreclosure Prevention Project, Staten Island, New York Legal Services, Professor Ronald Mann of Columbia, and Tam Ormiston, Chief Deputy Attorney General of Iowa.  The moderator is James Tierney, Director of the State Attorney General Program & former Attorney General of Maine.
11/20/07 Bear Stearns sued over mortgage losses

Jonathan Stempel -Reuters

The lawsuit, filed late on Monday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, accuses Bear Stearns' Chairman and Chief Executive James Cayne and other officials of being "well aware of the impending crisis" in mortgages before credit markets deteriorated in July.
11/20/07 Freddie Mac Stuns Investors With Bigger Loss with "Drop Dead Freddie" video.

Reuters

Freddie Mac's dwindling capital will crimp its ability to play its role fostering home ownership in a market already hit by lender pullbacks.
11/20/07 WaMu's Disclosure: Not Enough For This Investor

Seeking Alpha

So what we have is a company making many disclosures, and yet holding something important back. One has to assume that what they've held back would reflect badly on the company.
11/19/07 Citigroup faces $15 billion write-off, cut to "sell": GS

Jonathan Stempel -Reuters

"(The) risk taking culture may be irreparably damaged.
11/17/07 Subprime mess is a crime story

Diane Francis, Financial Post 

Wall Streeters get tossed from jobs, write down fortunes and collect obscene severance. It's all business and usual. I hope intermediaries will be sued out of existence by the deep pockets they damaged and defrauded.
11/17/07 New Scams and New Losses

by Bob Chapman 

Your Financial Future

A new scam called foreclosure fraud, where loan holders and security trusts don't really own the loans they are foreclosing on, Straw Buyer scams, losses mount at investment houses, epidemic suicide rates among young veterans.
11/17/07  

Mortgage fraud cases yield tough sentences

 

  By MARY FLOOD
  Houston Chronicle

He said the sentences get so steep because the dollar amounts are so high. Even if it's $100,000 or $200,000 a house, if there are dozens or hundreds of houses, the stakes are enormous. Three people have been sentenced to 25 years in prison for mortgage fraud, and a fourth received a 40-year sentence.
11/17/07 Federal judge accuses mortgage lenders of hijacking foreclosure system for profits 

Criticism joins wave of dismissed cases

Cleveland Plain Dealer

A federal judge in Cleveland has accused the mortgage industry and its lawyers of hijacking the foreclosure system in the interest of profits and at the expense of homeowners and municipalities.
11/17/07 Judges are right to make lenders follow the rules before foreclosing on peoples' homes - an editorial

Cleveland Plain Dealer

These developments might call into question default judgments rendered against borrowers in earlier cases. How many of those cases should be reopened because the bankers lacked standing?
11/16/07 PBS Video on Credit Crisis That Wall Street Does Not Want You to See
$2 trillion in housing wealth going away forever

PBS NOW

NOW connects the dots to see the extent to which recklessness, corruption and greed created this subprime mess that now threatens to undermine our entire economy.
11/16/07

The Judicial Integrity of the United States Court is �Priceless� � 27 More Foreclosures Dismissed

By Aaron Krowne & Moe Bedard

As to the real ramification of the Ohio decision, aside from slowing the foreclosure trains, is that the fact that there were no �original� assignments rendering the sales of the mortgages to the trusts, in violation of the true sale obligations imposed by securities law. �
11/16/07 True Sale, False Securitizations

by Aaron Krowne and Moe Bedard

It would be very interesting to see where these nonperforming loans have been booked until now. This is an epidemic across the country.
11/16/07

Sprawl, Mortgage Fraud and Political Corruption

By ALAN FARAGO

Counterpunch.org

There is going to be no recovery for housing markets, or the scarred Florida landscape, until the issues raised by the Ohio court are resolved. In the meantime, foreign buyers of financial derivatives--a market totaling in the trillions of dollars--will be either reluctant participants or sit on the sidelines as this Ponzi scheme works itself out.
11/15/07

Federal Judge to Deutsche Bank: You Can't Foreclose Properties You Don't Own    
11/15/07 Who's to blame for the mortgage mess?

By Michael Brush 

MSN Money

 
11/15/07

Foreclosures Hit a Snag for Lenders 

By GRETCHEN MORGENSON

NYTimes

Lawyers for troubled homeowners are expected to seize upon the district judge�s opinion as a way to impede foreclosures across the country or force investors to settle with homeowners. And it may encourage judges in other courts to demand more documentation of ownership from lenders trying to foreclose.
11/14/07

Cleveland Federal Judge: Dismisses 32 Foreclosures For Lack Of Proof

The Daily Bellwether

Her ruling means the courts are going to give foreclosures increased scrutiny.
[UPDATE: 7:22 AM. 11/15/07 -- Here are the plaintiffs, along with the number of foreclosures that were tossed out of court. Deutsche Bank National Trust, 24; Wells Fargo Bank NA, 3; KMO Liquidation Properties Inc. , 2; LaSalle Bank Nat'l Assn, 1; HSBC Mortgage Services, 1, Speciality Mortages LLC, 1. ]
11/13/07 Many Lenders Pay Lip Service When it Comes to Loan Modifications, Even When They Caused the Borrowers Problems By: Nathan Fransen, Esq.

LoanWorkout.org

I am an attorney practicing in California, representing consumers against lenders.  I want to share a (Litton) story that is unfortunately all too common.

Deutsche Bank Foreclosures Tossed Out of Ohio Federal Court - "They Own Nothing!"  by Moe Bedard and 

Aaron Krowne

April Charney stated: "This opinion, once circulated and adopted by state and Federal courts across the country, will stop the progress of foreclosures, at first in judicial foreclosure states, across America, dead in their tracks".
11/13/07 Mortgage-fraud task force opens command center in Cleveland

Thomas Ott

Plain Dealer Reporter

Task force members will be from the Ohio attorney general's office, the state Commerce Department, U.S. attorney's office, FBI, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Postal Service, Department of Housing and Urban Development and local police departments.
11/12/07 Wall Street playing with more funny money

By Peter Eavis,

 Fortune senior writer

Investors have long been skeptical about the values that the banks themselves place on their level three assets, and that mistrust deepened after both Merrill and Citigroup (Charts, Fortune 500) recently revealed huge mortgage-related losses that were much bigger than outsiders had expected.
11/9/07 Banks blamed by borrowers in mortgage company mess Customers of a bankrupt Pennsylvania mortgage business on Friday accused some of the nation's largest banks of funding a Ponzi scheme and failing to perform adequate oversight.
11/8/07 The Bursting Real Estate Bubble Is A Fact Of Life

The Housing Bubble Blog

Posted By: Ben Jones

��In metro Atlanta, every month thousands of families are losing their homes to foreclosure. On the courthouse steps today, more than 6,000 homeowners were facing foreclosure,� says Brennan.�
11/8/07

The Long Fall

A Market Without Parachutes

By MIKE WHITNEY

America is finished, washed up, kaput. Foreign investors and central banks around the world have lost confidence in US markets and are headed for the exits. The dollar is sinking, the country is insolvent, and its leaders are barking mad. That's bad for business. Investors are voting with their feet. They've had enough. Capital is flowing to China and the Far East in a torrent. It's "sayonara" downtown Manhattan and "Hello" Tiananmen Square .
11/7/07

IT'S NOT MORTGAGE BROKERS THAT CAUSED THE MELTDOWN, IT IS THE "FINANCIAL WIZARDS OF WALL STREET" WHO ARE TO BLAME!

Steve

onecitizenspeaking.com

 Simply put, the financial engineers in Wall Street firms packaged both mortgage and corporate debt into separate pools, added a hedging strategy which was supposed to mitigate any undue risk, submitted the derivatives package to the ratings agencies who rated the entire package as being "investment grade," which in turn allowed the Wall Street boys and girls to sell their packages to investors such as hedge funds, pension funds, mutual funds and other financial institutions and allowing them to pocket their multi-million bonuses in real dollars. Not promised dollars based on the performance of their products, but real commission dollars based on what others paid for these toxic packages.
11/7/07 Predatory Servicing: The Problems and Remedies

Jack M. Guttentag

 The Mortgage Professor

The loan origination market is a minefield for borrowers, to be sure, but they do have choices. When the loan is closed and shifted to a servicing agent, however, the borrower's choices disappear.
11/7/07

New York 's Attorney General Calls
On Fannie, Freddie to Examine Loans

By JAMES R. HAGERTY and CHAD BRAY - WSJOnline

"Our expanding investigation into the mortgage industry has uncovered that Washington Mutual improperly pressured appraisers to provide inflated values that best served the lender's interest," Mr.Cuomo said.
11/12/07 Citi May Have a New Mess on Its ands

BusinessWeek

In all, there are roughly $100 billion worth of CDOs in which banks are on the line for much of the financing, according to JPMorgan Securities (JPM )�with Citi being the biggest player. "All of [this commercial paper] is probably back on someone's balance sheet," says Kedran Garrison Panageas, a JPMorgan CDO analyst. "My guess is there's going to be some train wreck here,"
11/6/07 Borrowers often hit by dubious fees

Interview with 

Katherine Porter 

University of Iowa associate professor Katherine Porter has found that many homeowners in foreclosure who file for bankruptcy protection still face fees from mortgage companies that often have no documented merit.
11/6/07 Borrowers Face Dubious Charges in Foreclosures

By GRETCHEN MORGENSON

NYTimes

Because there is little oversight of foreclosure practices and the fees that are charged, bankruptcy specialists fear that some consumers may be losing their homes unnecessarily or that mortgage servicers, who collect loan payments, are profiting from foreclosures.
11/6/07 Mortgage servicers raking in millions from homeowners in trouble Lita Epstein

BloggingStocks

You need to look at their profit margins to understand why they really have no incentive to help borrowers. 

A bankruptcy judge in Louisiana ruled that Wells Fargo overcharged a homeowner by $24,450.65 or 12% more than what the court said he actually owed.

11/6/07 THE GAME

dennis.berman@wsj.com

The subprime realm has thus become a vital portal onto Wall Street, helping us understand just how upside-down the place has become.
11/5/07

The week that was

November 5th, 2007

 Various Sources

A collection of articles on the Foreclosure crisis.
11/5/07 CFO Accused of $13 Million Fraud on the Run

Edward Batayeh, Executive Vice President and CFO of CHL Mortgage Group, was indicted by a federal grand jury.

OriginatorTimes

Executive Vice President and CFO was indicted on mortgage fraud and tax evasion charges and is now on the run from the FBI.  Last known whereabouts include applying for a job with one of the financial institutions he�s accused of defrauding.
11/3/07

Top US analyst hits back after death threats over Citigroup downgrade

 TtimesOnline

Meredith Whitney, the analyst who prompted a $369 billion (�177 billion) plunge in the value of US shares on Thursday by issuing a negative note on Citigroup, hit out at Wall Street�s culture of intimidation yesterday after receiving several death threats from investors in the bank.
11/3/07 Loan Servicers, the Lesser-Known Predators

By Jack Guttentag

The Mortgage Professor

Aside from a few well-publicized lawsuits, predatory servicing has attracted little attention. In many respects, though, it is more vicious and the adverse consequences more far-ranging.
11/3/07 Mortgage meltdown

Jennifer Wadsworth 

Tracy Press

Incidents of fraud that occurred more than a year or two ago are just now starting to crop up, said Sacramento FBI spokesman John Cauthen, who has dealt with mortgage fraud for more than a decade. He said there are more cases than ever, now that people "are wising up to what happened."
11/3/07 THE BEAR'S LAIR
Level 3 storm about to hit Wall Street

By Martin Hutchinson

Asia Times Online

Subprime mortgages, estimated to cause losses of $400-500 billion to the market as a whole.

If the value of conventional mortgages decline many securities related to them, currently classed as Level 1 or 2 assets, will become un-marketable and descend into Level 3.

11/2/07 WaMu Could Face Flood of Repurchases if First American Suit Succeeds

by Paul Jackson

Housing Wire

The lawsuit filed by Cuomo �raises an issue of considerable risk to Washington Mutual: that poorly performing securitized loans will be put back to WaMu from bondholders on the basis of fraudulent appraisals and WaMu would be forced to put bad loans back on its balance sheet,�
11/2/07
WaMu vulnerable on securitized mortgages?
Likely to set aside extra reserves if appraisals found fraudulent: analyst
By Alistair Barr, MarketWatch If Cuomo succeeds in proving eAppraiseIT's appraisals on WaMu home loans were fraudulent, that could create big problems for the Seattle-based lender.
11/2/07

Deals With Hedge Funds May Be Helping Merrill Lynch Delay Mortgage Losses

By SUSAN PULLIAM - WSJ

The SEC is looking into how the Wall Street firm has been valuing, or "marking," its mortgage securities and how it has disclosed its positions to investors, a person familiar with the probe said. Regulators are scrutinizing whether Merrill Lynch knew its mortgage-related problem was bigger than what it indicated to investors throughout the summer.
11/1/07

by Robert Berner and Brian Grow
 
Provided by BusinessWeek Online

Debts forgiven by bankruptcy courts are springing back to life to haunt consumers. Fueling these miniature horror stories is an unlikely market in which seemingly extinguished debts are avidly bought and sold by JPMorgan Chase, Bear Stearns and others.
11/1/07

Citigroup fears send Wall Street reeling

Stocks plunge in London and New York on speculation that Citigroup could cut dividends or sell assets to raise $30bn

"We believe Citigroup will need to raise over $30 billion in capital as a result of its tangible capital ratios falling to the lowest levels in decades.

The bank was also downgraded at Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley. The CIBC analyst said Citigroup will be forced to sell assets, raise capital or cut its dividend to shore up its capital ratios, over the near term.

11/1/07 Bear Stearns CEO's handling of crisis raises issues

Kate Kelly - Financial News Online US

During 10 critical days of this crisis -- one of the worst in the securities firm's 84-year history -- Bear Stearns' chief executive wasn't near his Wall Street office. James Cayne was playing in a bridge tournament in Nashville, Tenn., without a cellphone or an email device
11/1/07 Compensation drops at Credit Suisse amid 99% profits plunge Vivek Ahuja and Harry Wilson

Financial News Online US

Credit Suisse has followed rivals in reporting lower staff compensation at its investment bank after the unit�s pre-tax profits plunged 99% to just Sfr6m (�3.6m) in the third quarter as the Swiss group became the latest bank to announce hefty debt writedowns.
11/1/07 Cuomo Charges Crush WaMu

By Laurie Kulikowski
TheStreet.com Staff Reporter

First American "caved to pressure" from Seattle-based WaMu to use a list of appraisers who inflated the values of thousands of homes. Cuomo also alleges that executives at eAppraiseIT "knew their behavior was illegal, but intentionally broke the law to secure future business with WaMu,"
11/1/07

Foreclosures: Moving on up

Filings rise with more on the horizon as interest rates jump on a record number of adjustable mortgages.

By Keisha Lamothe, CNNMoney.com staff writer

"Given the number of loans due to reset through the middle of 2008, and the continuing weakness in home sales, we would expect foreclosure activity to remain high and even increase over the next year in many markets".
11/1/07 IRS Probes Hedge Funds, Buyout Firms for Possible Tax Abuses

By Alison Fitzgerald and 

Ryan J. Donmoyer

Bloomberg

The Internal Revenue Service has begun an inquiry into suspected tax abuses at hedge funds and private- equity firms after determining many firm partners don't file returns and may have improperly characterized transactions.
11/07 The Role of Securitizations on Mortgage Lending

by Richard J. Rosen, senior economist and economic advisor

White Paper from the Federal Reserve - (Chicago)
10/31/07 No Ombudsman in American Home Bankruptcy

CNN Money

Rush, who said she was promised one loan but given another that was completely different, is hoping to hold the existing loan owner liable in her lawsuit.

"Who is the owner of the note? Who got the fruits of the fraud?" she asked Sontchi. "The debtor's estate is basically protecting another party."

10/30/07 Merrill Lynch hit with shareholder lawsuit over subprime

NEW YORK (Reuters)

Merrill Lynch statements "were materially false due to their failure to inform the market of the ticking time bomb in the company's CDO portfolio due to the deteriorating subprime mortgage market," the complaint said.
2007

Wholesale Lender Email Reveals The Yield Spread Premium Lie!

Rob K. Blake

The Mortgage Insider

��borrowers are simply told that their loans will have a certain interest rate, and they never understand that the interest rate is higher than it needs to be.�
10/28/07 Countrywide Investigation Underscores New Reality in Mortgage Servicing

HousingWire

That will undoubtedly change the business model for many servicers, and it will be interesting to see how that affects the industry going forward.
10/28/07 There Are HUGE Losses That Have Not Been Disclosed The Housing Bubble [w]hile his firm works with and values brokers, loans touched by brokers historically go into default more often than retail loans. The reason may be fraud, he said.�

��The more hands that touch the file, the greater opportunity for fraud,�

10/28/07 Is Merrill the Tip of the Iceberg?

Economist.com

Until recently it was assumed that such well-protected paper could not lose its value. No longer. Worryingly, hundreds of banks, insurers and hedge funds around the world hold such securities. Fooled by false alchemy, they face a terrible reckoning.
10/28/07 Homeowners Facing Mortgage Foreclosures Denied Constitutional Right to Proper Notification

By Public Citizen

Her case is a stunning example of how predatory subprime lenders, a fast-track foreclosure process and a hands-off legal system can combine to wreak havoc on people's lives.
10/26/07 Lengthy standoff ends in Spring with man's suicide (Lender Assisted Suicide?)

LINDSAY WISE
houston Chronicle

James Hahn, a chemist, had told police he would not be taken from the home alive, said Capt. Bruce Williams, an HPD spokesman.
10/26/07 A (Subprime) Catastrophe Foretold

PAUL KRUGMAN

Spiegel Online International

But the greater tragedy is the one facing borrowers who were offered what they were told were good deals, only to find themselves in a debt trap.
10/26/07 Three Largest Debt-Rating Agencies Subpoenaed

Associated Press

The investigation is reviewing allegations that some companies rated an issuer�s debt against its wishes, then ordered the issuer to pay for the service or face a possible poor rating.          (Fraud is everywhere.)
10/26/07 Cisneros quits Countrywide board

David Hendricks
Express-News business writer
 

Cisneros has been feeling the heat as a Countrywide director.
10/26/07 For sale: 2 million empty homes

By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer

Countrywide Financial (Charts, Fortune 500), the nation's leading mortgage lender, to report a $1.2 billion net loss Friday that was far larger than forecasts.
10/26/07 U.S. Home Vacancies Rise to Record on Foreclosures

By Kathleen M. Howley

Bloomberg.com

A record 17.9 million U.S. homes stood empty in the third quarter as lenders took possession of a growing number of properties in foreclosure.
10/25/07 Reports Suggest Broader Losses From Mortgages

By VIKAS BAJAJ and EDMUND L. ANDREWS New York Times

Eric Dash contributed

That is far more than the roughly $240 billion cost, adjusted for inflation, of the Savings and Loan crisis of the early 1990s, according to estimates of the combined financial toll of that crisis on both the federal government and private sector. The loss in total real estate wealth is expected to range from $2 trillion to $4 trillion
10/25/07 Head of troubled Bank of America unit leaves

By IEVA M. AUGSTUMS
AP Business Writer

Hentemann had been in charge of  mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities and related trading. Such investments plummeted in value this summer during a global credit crunch that led to a spike in mortgage defaults and foreclosures, especially in subprime loans.
10/25/07

CDS IndexCo and Markit Announce Roll of the CMBX Indices

PR-inside.com

New AJ Tranche Added to Enhance Trading Opportunities 

10/24/07

Housing horror could hang around for years

By Scott Burns

MSN Money

What happened to houses in Texas back then may be the template for what happens across the country as the housing bubble pops today.

Many of the circumstances are similar.

10/23/07 CLEVELAND'S KUCINICH A BREATH OF FRESH AIR IN DEADLY DULL CONTEST

By John Hanchette

Niagara Falls Reporter

"Aren't these the same people who brought us Enron, NAFTA, offshoring, exorbitant credit card fees, oil dependency, pension collapses, and other 'smart decisions'? Indeed, isn't Bear Stearns itself butt-deep in the ongoing subprime mortgage disaster? Why should anyone listen to them?"

Bear Stearns, for instance, has already "summoned seven major candidates" from both parties,

Bear Stearns itself butt-deep in the ongoing subprime mortgage disaster? Why should anyone listen to them?"

10/23/07 Texas Real Estate Investor Sentenced to 11 years for Mortgage Fraud

Mortgage Fraud Blog

Cooks is also presently under indictment in the Northern District of Texas in United States v. Donald W. Hill et al., Case Number 3:07CR-289, and is presently in federal custody on those charges.
10/23/07 What Do Phone Sex & Mortgage Servicing Have in Common? Katie Porter - CreditSlips.org The hitch--that other number required them to pay $9.99 A MINUTE. Frustrated, the debtor's attorney went the formal route and filed a claims objection, which I've put below the jump.
10/23/07 Criticism rains down on mortgage industry

By Noelle Knox and Sue Kirchhoff, USA TODAY

A public outcry against the mortgage industry is growing louder. Lawmakers, regulators and consumer advocates say they are increasingly worried about the fallout from a record number of homes going into foreclosure.
10/23/07

US probe into Bear Stearns' China deal

By James Quinn, 

Wall Street Correspondent

The US Treasury is poised to examine Bear Stearns' $1bn cross-investment with Chinese investment bank Citic in the interests of national security.

The Treasury, through its Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), will work with several state departments � including Justice, Commerce, State and Defense � to investigate whether the deal raises cause for concern.

10/21/07 Who's to blame for foreclosure crisis?

Palm Beach Post Commentary

?That's because so many had something to gain from the mortgage bubble, says Bill Davis, president of Private Funding Specialists and past president of the Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers' Palm Beach County region � and many of those people went about their business winking and nodding. "It's everybody," he says. "The Federal Reserve participated, the big lenders played a part, the credit ratings agencies had a part, so did hedge funds and borrowers, appraisers."
10/21/07 Mortgage fraud victims deserve our help

Hank Shea / Pamela J. Abbate

Minn./St. Paul Star Tribune

The stories of mortgage fraud victims can bring tears to your eyes.
10/20/07 Prosecutor honored for mortgage fraud cases

mmorris@kcstar.com

The U.S. Justice Department has honored a Kansas City federal prosecutor for her work on large-scale mortgage fraud cases.
10/20/07 Vultures Are Circling Over Distressed Properties

By Kenneth R. Harney

The Nation's Housing

Grave dancers, vulture funds, turnaround specialists or the more euphemistic "opportunity investors." When hyperactive real estate markets lose their sizzle, or property owners no longer can afford to hang on to their houses, well-capitalized investors smell blood and move in.
10/20/07 Kanjorski introduces mortgage lending reform The bill also strengthens mortgage servicing requirements. It prohibits servicers from establishing forced-placement insurance on loans when servicers are already protected from catastrophic loss of a home. It requires servicers to promptly credit payments from borrowers and increases penalties for mortgage servicing violations.
10/19/07
Expensive homes are not immune from the foreclosure crisis

GKORTE@ENQUIRER.COM

Investors could be stuck with mortgages on houses they planned to fix up and sell.

"If you can't rent them or sell them, then you're in big trouble."

10/19/07 Bear Stearns in probe over funds: report

Reuters

Bear Stearns Cos (BSC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is being investigated by Massachusetts securities regulators over whether the bank improperly traded with two in-house hedge funds that collapsed last summer.
10/19/07 Azem Limani (Countrywide) sentenced in federal court for mortgage fraud scheme

Alaska Report

A manager of Countrywide Home Loans at the time and arranged for fraudulent loans to be issued to the nominees by falsifying their income, assets and other matters on the loan applications.
10/19/07 US audit watchdog finds faults with PwC audits

Rachelle Younglai

Reuters

The U.S. board that polices corporate auditors said on Friday it found a number of faults with Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP's [PWC.UL] audits, including a failure to adequately test mortgage servicing rights -- an area that is being closely watched during the subprime fallout.
10/19/07 Ameriquest throws borrower info in public trash cans

Michael King 11 Alive.com

Hundreds of confidential mortgage files found in a dumpster behind a DeKalb County apartment complex.
  Make builders, lenders fix the housing mess By Jim Jubak  Jubak's Journal [t]he odds of that borrower going into default go up with every passing month. With more than $350 billion of adjustable-rate mortgages due to reset at higher interest rates in the next 18 months, the problem is only getting bigger.
10/18/07 Sen. Schumer urges SEC expand Countrywide probe

Reuters

Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said on Thursday an investigation of Countrywide Financial Corp's (NYSE:CFC - News) chief executive should be expanded to include the company.
10/17/07

Foreclosure May Have Led To Homicide - Suicide

Indianapolis News

A Dubois Circuit Court judgment and decree of foreclosure on the couple's house was filed earlier this year and was recently placed on their front door.
10/17/07 MGIC Posts First Loss, Predicts No Profit Next Year

By Josh P. Hamilton

Bloomberg

MGIC Investment Corp., the largest U.S. mortgage insurer, posted its first quarterly loss in 16 years and said it won't be profitable in 2008 as foreclosures increase from record levels.
10/17/07 The Fed Held Secret Meetings with Major Banks to Avert Disaster FROM BLOG: Everyday Finance

More Fed Scam Meetings - Save the Banks & 

Screw the Public

10/16/07

It�s Time For The Banks To Face The Hangman

By Mike Whitney

That�s right; the Treasury Dept is directly involved in a scam that saves the banks while trying to �persuade� investors to �pour more money� into toxic mortgage-backed sludge.
10/16/07 Goldman's Litton deal seen closing in 60 days

Reuters

MGIC and Radian on Sept. 5 warned that their C-BASS stakes worth $1 billion in June, probably had no value.
10/16/07 Southern Calif. home sales plunge 30 pct in Sept By Jim Christie

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters)

Sales of houses and condominiums in the most populous Southern California counties fell 29.9 percent from the previous month and 48.5 percent from a year earlier,
10/15/07 AMERIQUEST UNDER FIRE  VIDEO

ABC News

VIDEO

Roland Arnall, one of the kingpins responsible for the Mortgage Meltdown, gains in wealth as his company is accused of deceiving homeowners
10/15/07 FRAUDULENT FORECLOSURES and

Impediments to Judicial Remedies

Posted by: Jim Grandone

In my absence, a debt collector attorney conducted a simulated auction of my residence on May 19, 2005 by use of non-existent mortgagor GE Capital Mortgage Services� identity. Although GE Capital Mortgage Services ceased to exist on October 25, 2002, documents were created to portray the successful auction bidder as defunct GE Capital, and the property deed was transferred out of my name and registered in the name of GE Capital.  Months, later, 3 days before Katrina hit New Orleans, my family and I were evicted by a different attorney on behalf of mortgage giant FREDDIE MAC. According to falsified documents, Freddie is recorded as having purchased my residence from GE Capital in July 2005. To the contrary, as shown on the Louisiana Secretary of State website, GE Capital Mortgage Services became DEFUNCT on October 25, 2002, when it merged into GE Mortgage Services, LLC. Therefore, it is impossible for Freddie Mac to have lawfully bought my house.
10/15/07 Bernanke has warning for Wall Street

CNN Money

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank's rate cut in September has shown signs of success, but cautioned that lenders and investors must bear responsibility for financial decisions that caused the subprime mortgage meltdown.
10/15/07 Wall Street Requiem

Bear Stearns Troubles

Jesse Eisinger

Portfolio.com

Wall Street is worried about another entity on the edge�one that has an astounding $29.90 of assets for every $1 of equity. It�s called Bear Stearns.
10/15/07 Banks Assured Investors

Before Big Market Losses

By Jed Horowitz 

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

Investors are now questioning why Merrill would dissemble if the truth was going to come out weeks later. Similar questions could be asked about Citigroup Inc. (C) and UBS AG (UBS), which each wrote off fixed-income assets of $1 billion or more months after sending out soothing words about their franchises. Bear Stearns Cos . (BSC), whose mortgage woes triggered the summer credit crisis, similarly offered assurances that its mortgage portfolios were solid.
10/15/07 Fundraiser's Legal Woes Dog Clinton Camp By JIM KUHNHENN,      Associated Press Writer Hsu pleaded no contest in 1992 to a felony charge stemming from what prosecutors said was a $1 million Ponzi scheme.
10/15/07 Stressed Out on Wall Street Steve Rosenbush BusinessWeek The losses at Citigroup (C) hit $5 billion, and at Bear Stearns (BSC) two highly leveraged funds imploded amid the financial carnage. But those losses, however large, can be written off.  In most cases, the investor or fund simply moves on.
10/14/07 Lenders can't shovel all the blame on borrowers

dean.calbreath@uniontrib.com

�(The mortgage lenders) knew the bad credit quality of the loans being originated, they took their profits, and now the ship sinks,� said Bob Simpson, president of Investors Mortgage Asset Recovery Co. in Irvine. �They will all walk away rich. And we are left with neighborhoods full of foreclosures.
10/11/07 Bear Stearns' Bad Bet

by Matthew Goldstein and David Henry

BusinessWeek

"We're going to make money on this," he promised his wealthy patrons in February. "We don't believe what the markets are saying."

He should have known otherwise. The hedge funds were built so they were virtually guaranteed to implode if market conditions turned south.

10/11/07

America for Sale: Foreigners Flock to U.S.

By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
ABC NEWS Business Unit

Americans often take our legal system including property rights "for granted," he said. But overseas investors find those safeguards appealing.
10/11/07

Texas Attorney General urges three Texas mortgage companies to lay off foreclosures

Attorney General Abbott

News Release

During today�s meeting, Attorney General Abbott urged Countrywide Mortgage, Houston-based Litton Loan Servicing and Dallas-based EMC Mortgage to implement several measures designed to preserve homeownership in Texas, improve consumer communication, and resolve complaints.
           (Years late and billions of dollars short)
10/11/07 Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns Suffer Losses as Ratings Agencies Are Grilled over Sub-prime's Shepherd Smith & Edwards

Stockbroker Fraud Blog

In the wake of the mortgage backed securities meltdown, Congress is investigating credit rating agencies over how and why ratings on such securities failed to reflect the danger. The SEC Chairman testified that the SEC is examining whether agencies including Moodys Investors Service and Standard & Poors were �unduly influenced� by issuers and underwriters that paid for the credit ratings.
10/11/07 The Early Stages Of The Cleanup

Posted by Ben Jones

The Housing Bubble

Countrywide Financial Corp., the largest U.S. mortgage company, said late payments at its servicing unit rose, foreclosures doubled and new loans fell 44 percent as housing sales slowed.
10/11/07 The United States of Subprime
Data Show Bad Loans Permeate the Nation;
Pain Could Last Years
RICK BROOKS and CONSTANCE MITCHELL FORD -WSJ
At the time, she says, she expected to refinance before her interest rate resets to 14% next year, which will raise her monthly payments to $8,000 from $3,700. But in the past year, she says, prices of comparable homes in her subdivision have fallen to $310,000, which means she would not qualify for a new $460,000 mortgage, unless home values go back up to that level, an unlikely scenario. She says she has stopped paying her mortgage and is trying to negotiate with her lender. "I'm going to lose my home anyway," she says, "so why pay?"
10/10/07 Help May Be on the Way to Victims of Mortgage Servicer Failure Stephen Otto, Attorney at Law Arkygirl writes: This whole issue is becoming more sickening by the minute....it is one scam on top of another scam on top of yet another scam. They are even scamming each other. The list of highly imaginative scams grows by the minute.
10/10/07

Morgenson Sheds Light on Subprime Mortgage Crisis 

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Pulitzer Prize-winning business columnist Gretchen Morgenson talks about the subprime mortgage crisis and its effects on the markets and on the economy.
10/10/07

Mortgage Default - The Questionable Worth of Federal Regulation

By Marion Edwyn Harrison
The National Ledger

[w]hether one limits the definition of �fraud� to legal fraud or mere massive misrepresentation. The point is that fraud reports involving mortgages have been on the rise since at least 1997 through 2005.
  Savings and Loan Crisis of the 80's

From Wikipedia,

 the free encyclopedia

Make no MISTAKE, it is related to mortgage servicing fraud and will be proven.
10/10/07 The Cayne Mutiny

Are Jimmy Cayne's days at Bear Stearns numbered?

by StockJockey

1440 Wall Street

Gasparino intimated that a revolt was building at Bear, with disillusioned employees looking to get rid of him once and for all.

[i]f the stock cracks $100 for any sustained period the knives might just come out..

10/9/07 Subprime crisis far from over: S&P

Saikat Chatterjee and Anurag Joshi

Reuters

"We underestimated the extent to which fraud was occurring in the industry," he said.

 [subprime losses could reach $150 billion]

10/8/07 Bank of America, JPMorgan face $3B hit

CNN Money

Combined loss would bring total writedowns from subprime-related securities to $20 billion, says the Financial Times.
10/7/07 What Is Happening Out There?

Posted by Dean

mortgages-now.blogspot

[I]ndividual attempts to resolve them are being buried by the sheer number of problems that are clogging the system.
10/5/07 Bear Stearns Loses $8 billion in Alternative Assets

by StockJockey

1440 Wall Street

Although Bear is trying to spin this positively, the loss of an $8 billion hedge fund strategy has got to hurt.
10/5/07 Wilbur Ross Is Winning Bidder for American Home Unit

Steven Church

Bloomberg

``It's a big business. It's not going to go away,'' Ross said in an interview Sept. 21 when he announced his bid. ``We just think it was implemented badly.''
10/4/07

Mortgage fraud on a massive scale

Diane Francis, Financial Post A combination of fraudsters, the Mafia and a lot of financial intermediaries on Wall Street have pulled off something bigger than Enron, the savings-and-loan mess and Lenny Rosenberg's 1983 apartment flip all combined.
10/4/07

Federal Prosecutors Launch
Probe of Bear Stearns Funds

PAUL DAVIES and KATE KELLY

Wall Street Journal

The U.S. attorney in Brooklyn has made a request to Bear Stearns for information related to the hedge funds, whose failure cost investors $1.6 billion.
10/4/07 Worrying About Mortgage Servicers' Fate Felix Salmon

Seeking Alpha

A simple mortgage renegotiation is not very lucrative, for a servicer; a fully-blown foreclosure, on the other hand, provides much more in the way of opportunities to profit.
10/4/07 Experts air foreclosure crisis solutions Jim Buchta, Star Tribune Experts said that the key to saving homeowners and communities is homeownership counseling.  (WRONG!)
10/4/07 Part Two: Excuse Me Mr. Bush, But You Owe Me $1200 (Huge Potential Irony)

Rick Pendergraft

HoweStreet.com

My former neighbor made a lot of money over the last five years by putting people into mortgages that they really couldn�t afford.  And he lived high on the hog for a while.  But now he is without a job and looking at huge debt payments each month.  I don�t know if they have money saved or not, but under President Bush�s mortgage bailout plan, this guy could be someone that actually gets help on his mortgage. 
10/3/07

Criminal probe is said to focus on collapsed lender 

(American Home Mortgage Investment Corp)

From Newsday

The investigation is looking into whether violations of federal criminal statutes may have occurred that resulted in the company's bankruptcy filing, the sources said. The statutes, they said, cover conspiracy, securities, mail and wire fraud, money laundering and other crimes.
9/30/07 Can these Mortgages be Saved

GRETCHEN MORGENSON

nytimes.com

�Countrywide is trying to say they are doing workouts, but they are doing them with as little financial sacrifice for the company and as little effort as they can,� said Senator Charles E. Schumer.

�They are trying to get away with doing a good job here when you can prove by digging even a half an inch deeper that they�re not.�

9/29/07 Alan Blinder: Who Caused the Mortgage Mess? Alan S. Blinder 

Economist's View

Something went badly wrong in the subprime mortgage market. In fact, several things did. And now quite a few homeowners, investors and financial institutions are feeling the pain. ...
9/28/07

Freddie Mac settles accounting-fraud charges

Home-loan giant to pay $50 million fine

AP An accounting scandal erupted at Freddie Mac in June 2003 when it disclosed that it had misstated earnings by some $5 billion _ mostly underreporting them _ for 2000-2002 to smooth quarterly volatility in earnings and meet Wall Street expectations.
9/28/07

Lender accused of fraud

Ex-convict used fake documents in mortgage scheme, U.S. says

Chicago Tribune staff reporter

Federal prosecutors have already indicted two attorneys featured in the 2005 Tribune series, and state lawmakers passed the so-called Mortgage Fraud Rescue Act.

The wire fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine

9/27/07 Prediction: 

Mortgage foreclosures will get worse

Ed Mason , Staff writer
Daily News of Newburyport

Patrick administration officials urged Beacon Hill lawmakers yesterday to crack down on mortgage fraud, as they forecast that the home loan foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts would worsen in the next year.

The governor's proposal includes criminalizing mortgage fraud, tightening qualifications for becoming a mortgage broker.
9/27/07
Freddie Mac, SEC settle accounting fraud charges 

Mortgage-buyer to pay $50 million fine; investors to get money back

Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch

The SEC's complaint says Freddie Mac misreported its net income in 2000, 2001 and 2002. In a press release, the SEC said the company improperly managed earnings beginning as early as 1998.

(1996-1998 is when most of the Mortgage Servicing Fraud began.)

9/27/07 Amazing Case of Loan and Mortgage Fraud

Jonathan Humbert

klas-tv.com 

This scheme shows the terrible power of shifty loan sharks and identity thieves. They will stop at nothing to fabricate documents and take advantage of Clark County's legal loopholes
9/27/07 Iowans affected by lender linked to John Edwards

While he worked for an equity company that dealt in mortgages, those lenders foreclosed on 107 homes in the state.

THOMAS BEAUMONT
DesMoinesRegister

Last month, it was reported that Norman Hsu, one of Sen. Hillary Clinton's top donors and money-raisers, was wanted on federal fraud charges. Last spring, Sen. Barack Obama faced questions about longtime backer Tony Rezko, a Chicago businessman indicted on extortion and fraud charges.
9/26/07

Coordinated efforts

Register of Deeds office recognized for record-keeping, fraud fighting

By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer

[The novel program addresses what Youngblood said is a growing � and extremely lucrative � crime. Using modern technology and old-fashioned criminal cunning, scammers steal people�s property by altering paperwork]
9/26/07 Contributors, hopes for �08, pull at Dodd

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, is facing a fight with corporate executives who have donated millions of dollars to his presidential campaign.

Dodd is under growing pressure from Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, as well as Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, to write strict legislation regulating mortgage lenders at a time when nearly 2 million Americans face foreclosure on their homes.
9/21/07 The Credit Crisis Could Be Just Beginning

By Jon D. Markman
Special to TheStreet.com

"Defaulting middle-class U.S. homeowners are blamed, but they are merely a pawn in the game," he says. "Those loans were invented so that hedge funds would have high-yield debt to buy."
9/21/07 Mortgage Fraud Worsening

2nd wave includes double loan selling

NEIL J. MORSE

In particular, "fraud in the form of 'double-sold mortgages', with authentic-looking closing documents, is allowing some individual loans to be sold multiple times," according to Gray, who noted that such duplicity "is made easier by the fact that investors don't talk to each other -- Fannie, Freddie, Countrywide, whoever. So long as payments are made, nobody's the wiser."
8/29/07 Home Buyers' Bias Suits Against Subprime Lenders Survive CATHERINE TOMASKO, ESQ., Andrews Publications Staff Writer The defendants moved for dismissal, saying the plaintiffs failed to state a claim.

Judge Dearie denied the motion. He said the complaints allege specific conduct that, if proven, may support an inference of intentional discrimination against black home buyers.

9/21/07 Mortgage Lenders Apparently Operating Through Loophole KCRA 3 News Despite a cease-and-desist order issued by the state, it appears two of the targets of our investigation are now operating through a loophole in the law that's allowing them to continue processing loans.
9/20/07 Bear Stearns Net Drops Most in Decade on Credit Rout By Yalman Onaran

Bloomberg

Bear Stearns, led by Chief Executive Officer James ``Jimmy'' Cayne, said revenue from fixed-income sales and trading slumped 88 percent amid ``extremely challenging'' market conditions. The failure of two Bear Stearns hedge funds, which bet on mortgage securities, saddled the firm with $200 million of losses. Investors spooked by the July meltdown fled high-risk, high-yield debt, freezing global credit markets.
9/20/07 Are we headed for an epic bear market? By Jon Markman MSN Money Rather than joining the crowd that blames the mess on American slobs who took on more mortgage debt than they could afford and have endangered the world by stiffing lenders, he points a finger at three parties: regulators who stood by as U.S. banks developed ingenious but dangerous ways of shifting trillions of dollars of credit risk off their balance sheets and into the hands of unsophisticated foreign investors; hedge and pension fund managers who gorged on high-yield debt instruments they didn't understand; and financial engineers who built towers of "securitized" debt with math models that were fundamentally flawed.
9/20/07 Why appraisal values exceed sale prices By Kenneth Harney

mercurynews.com 

If (the appraisal) comes in above the contract, that tells you something unusual is happening out there" - perhaps too much property has been sitting unsold for too long, and some sellers are suddenly feeling time pressures.
9/19/07 U.S. Banks Brace for Storm Surge as Dollar and Credit System Reel

 

The investment sharks who conjured up �structured finance� knew exactly what they were doing. They were in bed with the ratings agencies----off-loading trillions of dollars of garbage-bonds to pension funds, hedge funds, insurance companies and foreign financial giants. It�s a swindle of epic proportions and it never would have taken place in a sufficiently regulated market.
9/18/07 Mortgage Hot Potato: How Many Mouths Can One Home Loan Feed? The Guerilla Blog So the end of the line for a mortgage is not the balance sheet of some large bank � it is in a pool of other mortgages that have all been used, abused, bundled, and chopped up and then sold to Wall St. investors.
9/18/07

Caught in a Toxic Mortgage

By LES CHRISTIE, 

CNNMONEY.COM 

STAFF WRITER

It seems surprising that Kurt and Vicki Oliver could lose their home to a bank foreclosure. They had great credit, long-term employment and excellent assets and income.

They never knew what hit them until it was too late - the process was that confusing

"We thought we understood it," said Vicki, "but we only understood what they wanted us to understand."

9/17/07 Obama rolls out economic agenda

(includes Mortgage Fraud)

Posted by Scott Helman, Political Reporter Obama called for more disclosure and accountability in the housing market, including a federal definition of mortgage fraud, stiff penalties against lenders who "knowingly act in bad faith,"
9/17/07

Suits Under Mortgage Note Rather Than Foreclosure Of Mortgage

AttorneyJonathan Alper

More than half of my bankruptcy calls are from people facing foreclosure on their investment property and who fear a deficiency judgment. One person asked me today if it makes a difference whether a bank sues for foreclosure or whether the bank sues on the promissory note underlying the mortgage security. For general information, most lenders sue to foreclose mortgages in default because foreclosure gets the lender the title to the property. 
9/17/07 Cuyahoga County, Ohio  Is Still A Troubled Spot For Servicers By Phillip Barragate MortgageOrb This news is not good for Ohio, which has experienced a steady increase in foreclosure filings since 1994. This is particularly true with the subprime market.
9/17/07 �Do you think China�s gonna forget?�   Blown Mortgage His firm would turn around and sell millions and billions of dollars worth of AAA-rated CDOs that turned in to 10 cents on the dollar, almost overnight.  China, a huge buyer of our mortgage debt is holding paper that is worth no more than 10 cents on the dollar; and they hold a ton of it.

If you think lead-tainted toys are a big deal, how about being conned in to a bunch of bad subprime mortgage debt reformulated to look innocuous by the wizards (nay, snake oil salesmen) of Wall Street?   The housing market will never return because China will never forget how screwed they got in this whole deal. 

9/16/07 Financial shell games Satyajit Das / New Delhi 

Business Standard

Like the shell game, risk transfer in financial markets is a �short con,� quick and easy to pull off. In the current credit crunch, the shortcomings of the new money game are being exposed.
9/14/07

Texas Attorney General Abbott Charges Foreclosure Rescue Firm with Operating Unlawful Scam

All American Patriots the 408th District Court issued a temporary restraining order and froze assets belonging to three businessmen who organized the scheme.
9/12/07

Countrywide workers sue over retirement plan 

The mortgage lender's employees say the value of retirement accounts plummeted by millions as the company's stock fell.

CNN Money The lawsuit claims Countrywide employees lost millions of dollars in retirement savings. It seeks unspecified compensatory damages.
5/11/07 What Are Those Mortgage Servicers Doing? D�na Wilkinson,

Attorney at Law 

I don�t know if the allegations of this complaint are true, but if they are, it may answer a question asked by virtually all of my clients who have pending foreclosures: Why won�t the mortgage company work with me?
4/2/07 Why Foreclosure Numbers Matter Dowling Law Office The real question will then be what is the extent of the needed change, how great will the repercussions be and who will wind up holding the bag.
9/16/07 Let's point fingers at subprime's real villains dean.calbreath@uniontrib.com �The subprime mess was a bad investment decision from the very beginning and was brought about by having very low interest rates for a very long period of time,� Aleman said. �And the only way to go forward is to flush it out, take the loss and move forward, not bring it back.�
9/15/07 Tough words on mortgage fraud By John Rebchook, Rocky Mountain News "You're ratting each other out," Toll said. "I love it."
9/12/07

Mortgage Lender's Bankruptcy
May Threaten Thousands of Homeowners

By PEG BRICKLEY - WSJ

Thousands of homeowners face an "imminent risk" of losing their homes because of clashes between American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. and its former financial backers.
9/12/07 THE MORTGAGE CRISIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT ABUSE BUT CRIME Danny Schechter
Editor Mediachannel.org
Director IN DEBT WE TRUST
InDebtWeTrust.com
212 246-0202x3006
They are about sleaze merchants in suits, big time investors who routinely violate laws and expect their master of the universe status to guarantee they will never get caught. A recent survey on Wall Street found a majority of those quizzed believe something is only wrong once you get caught.
9/12/07 Stolen Property? By Jeremy Singer-Vine 

East Bay Express News

What he found frightened him. Roughly a dozen Web sites warned of the company's practices. Among the many grievances of fellow Fairbanks clients: The company charged them unwarranted late fees, demanded payments already made, and falsely stated customers' account balances. "I knew it was trouble,"
9/12/07 Too Little, Too Late DAN MCGRAW

FWWeekly.com 

He died penniless and angry at how just owning a home, which he had paid on every month for about 10 years, was causing him all these problems. In the end, he saw no way out.�
9/12/07 What if we could stop some foreclosure nightmares? 

We could, but it would take an Act of Congress!

Denise Richardson

American Chronicle.com

A practical and common sense measure such as a monthly statement can assist borrowers and lenders in detecting errors or fraud before it becomes a catastrophic problem. The longer problems go undetected, the longer it takes to untangle the mess when they�re discovered. Many borrowers have indicated that had they known there was a problem brewing, they could have rectified it and wouldn�t have lost their home.
9/11/07  Recession Time!

 The Housing Bubble Bursts the Economy

By Dean Baker
    t r u t h o u t | Perspective
The housing bubble created more than $7 trillion in housing wealth. Homeowners have used this bubble wealth to support a surge in consumption over the last five years, pushing the saving rate to near zero.

It was incredibly negligent for the Federal Reserve Board and the Bush administration to allow the housing bubble to grow unchecked, and especially to allow the sort of mass fraud perpetrated against moderate-income homebuyers in the subprime market. At this point, there is probably no way to avoid a recession. If those making economic policy show no better judgment going forward than they have in the recent past, it is likely to be a long and painful recession.

9/11/07

American Home Delays Servicing Sale as Creditors Look to Pull Mortgage Servicing Rights

by Paul Jackson - HousingWire
9/11/07 Mortgage Mess Unleashes Chain Of Lawsuits By Tomoeh Murakami Tse and Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writers
"We will look at those responsible for any potential fraud, by company management, auditors, lawyers, credit-rating agencies or others," said Walter Ricciardi, a deputy enforcement director at the SEC.
9/10/07 Local fraud busters lead mortgage fraud fight bdillard@bizpress.net 

Fort Worth Business Press

House Bill 716 is designed to more easily catch white collar criminals and put them behind bars where they belong,� Solomons said. �We must take the necessary steps, including strengthening criminal penalties, to protect consumers and legitimate lenders in the mortgage loan process from fraud.�
9/10/07

End of Boom For Housing
Hits Title Firms

Laim Pleven - WSJ

Problems confronting title insurers may offer fresh clues about economic stress points in the nation's housing market.

Title insurers issue policies that essentially guarantee a homebuyer is the rightful owner of a property.
9/7/07 Economists fear wave of evictions on way in US By Eoin Callan in Washington 

Financial Times - FT.com 

The response to this crisis outlined by the president places considerable faith in the ability of mortgage servicers to mitigate this blow by helping distressed borrowers to stay in their homes. (You are kidding right?)
9/6/07
Banks first in line for compensation
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
"That is one of the unfortunate facts of mortgage fraud," said Fred Alverson, spokesman for the U.S. attorneys office. "It leaves a scar that you cannot get rid of."
9/6/07 More Servicing Woes To Come Anthony Garritano

Mortgage Technology

 

 

9/6/07

Bear Stearns challenged by investors in collapsed schemes

 The Times Mr. Gotthoffer � who accused Bear Stearns of �Watergate-era stone-walling tactics� in its handling of the investors� request � said: �Something seems to have gone very, very wrong here. These investors want to know what, why, how and who was responsible. They want to ensure there is no cover-up and that all the facts are brought to the table.�
9/5/07 Legal Action Sought by State for Predatory Lending Practices FraudBlogger.com �Our legal action seeks money back to consumers and severe penalties for practices that undermine an entire industry, endangering not only consumers directly involved, but the economic welfare of the region.
9/4/07 Wall Street hides impact of subprime mortgage meltdown

By Cesar Uco wsws.org

Merrill is by no means the only firm resorting to accounting ploys to hide losses. ABAlert reports that �Citigroup has been making moves resembling Merrill�s. The same goes for Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley,� who are also hunting �for internal accounting maneuvers that can lessen the impact of the market dislocation.�
9/4/07 White House: New Steps To Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure http://www.realtown.com  HUD, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and others, are aggressively pursuing wrongdoers and predatory lenders to ensure they are punished. This will send the message that these practices will not be tolerated.
9/2/07

Can the Mortgage Crisis Swallow a Town? 

NELSON D. SCHWARTZ

NYTimes.com

�I don�t think we�ve hit bottom,� says Michael G. Ciaravino, the mayor of Maple Heights . �My fear is that foreclosure rates could go to double where they are today.�
***

SUMMER

whitepaper

DEFECTIVE REAL ESTATE DOCUMENTS:

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES?

John C. Murray This Article discusses recent case law regarding whether a recorded but defectively executed or acknowledged mortgage may be deemed valid, whether it imparts constructive notice to, and is entitled to priority over, subsequent judgment creditors and lienholders with validly executed and recorded documents, and particularly, whether a trustee in bankruptcy may avoid the defectively executed mortgage.
8/27/07 Mortgage Crisis Widens at Lenders, Banks

Rueters

"This is the only way to weather the storm: cut the work force, stop making loans they can't sell, and hope things get better."
8/26/07 Inside the Countrywide Lending Spree By GRETCHEN MORGENSON NYTimes One document, for instance, shows that until last September the computer system in the company�s subprime unit excluded borrowers� cash reserves, which had the effect of steering them away from lower-cost loans to those that were more expensive to homeowners and more profitable to Countrywide.
8/25/07 Mortgage Mess Hurts Main Street- Beyond The Associated Press "I want people to know they can fight," she said. "Don't be ashamed to cry out for help."
8/22/07*  Storming the Castle

Hallandale Beach and a Broward judge are trying to drive a man from his home

Bob Norman New Times The state's homestead exemption is so absolute that a Florida homestead is known in legal circles simply as "the sacred cow." Others call it "the castle." Added to the Florida Constitution in 1868, the exemption forbids the forced sale of our homes and exempts them from seizure in civil judgments. Here's what Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jefferson Browne had to say about the homestead exemption in the early 1900s:

"[Its] obvious purpose is to secure each family a home and means of livelihood, irrespective of financial misfortune, and beyond the reach of creditors; security of the State from the burden of pauperism, and the individual citizen from destitution."

Countless families have indeed been spared the "burden of pauperism" because of it.

8/22/07 Subprime Loans = Primetime for Vampire Lenders By Jim Hightower, Hightower Lowdown How "reputable" financial firms are using an arsenal of tricks to extract high payments from homeowners, drain their equity and steal their homes.
8/21/07 Top Swiss banker attacks US lending standards as 'unbelievable' Ambrose Evans-Pritchard and Yvette Essen - Telegraph.co.uk
Switzerland's top banker has warned of massive losses from the unfolding credit crisis, describing the collapse in US lending standards as "unbelievable".
8/20/07 Bear Stearns on the operating table Heidi Moore financialnews-us.com  If Bear Stearns is known outside its US home base, it is because the 83-year-old bank is now virtually synonymous with sub-prime troubles and associated with two disastrous hedge funds that left investors with nothing.
8/20/07 North Carolina Governor Easley Signs Bills To Protect Borrowers North Carolina Governor If a homeowner is unable to meet the mortgage payments, loan servicers are now required to give a detailed accounting of the sums claimed to be owed, and to protect the borrower�s interest during the foreclosure proceedings.
8/20/07 Did Big Lenders Cross The Line?

Lawsuits assert some firms doctored loan documents

Mara Der Hovanesian and Brian Grow 

BusinessWeek

[s]ome suits allege that lenders perpetrated the fraud on their own, even deploying teams of employees that resembled boiler-room operations.
8/19/07 Ninja Loans, Neutron Loans, Roach Motel Loans


Borrowers are Playing Chicken with Foreclosure - and Winning - Here's why:

posted by Steve The fourth reason is that some of these loans are so outrageous that the lender is subjected to counterclaims that are nontrivial. Each time one of these loans is foreclosed, there's another embarrassing tale of overreaching that potentially does great harm to the lender's reputation. Many of these loans are simply illegal, even under the junky laws that applied when the loans were written.
8/19/07 How Missed Signs Contributed to a Mortgage Meltdown

The New York Times.com

 

All of the old-timers knew that subprime mortgages were what we called neutron loans � they killed the people and left the houses,� said Louis S. Barnes, 58, a partner at Boulder West, a mortgage banking firm in Lafayette, Colo.

(Even though they knew, they still claim it is the borrower's fault)

8/18/07 Tangle of loan owners fuels foreclosure crisis Robert Gavin
The Boston Globe
Salt Lake Tribune
"It's perfect deniability,'' said Patricia McCoy, a University of Connecticut law professor who specializes in financial services. "When there's a problem, each person in line says, 'Don't talk to me, talk to the other person.' "
8/17/07 A rush to pull out cash

By E. Scott Reckard and Annette Haddad, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

Unsure about the future of home-loan giant Countrywide, bank customers line up to withdraw their money.
8/17/07 Panic on Wall Street

Andrew Leonard Salon.com

From New York to Hong Kong and everywhere in between, alarm bells are ringing. Central bankers are on 24/7 alert, ready to perform life support on catatonic markets. Stock traders are panicking -- the Dow's wild ride on Wednesday, down 350 points and then almost all the way back, is just the latest declaration of confusion and fear.
8/16/07 Fraud at Moody's, S&P and Fitch "Good for America" Says Ben Bernanke Written by Felix Minderbinder "Without the services of those three crooked outfits, we would never have been able to unload our mountain of trashy and worthless debt on idiot investors here and throughout the world," Bernanke stated candidly.
8/15/07 We're the home of Texas' highest foreclosure rate

The Fort Worth-Arlington area had the highest rate of home foreclosures in the state and among the highest in the nation during the first half of 2007.

(That is because TEXAS "houses" some of the biggest Fraudsters in the nation.}

8/14/07 Greenspan's Shameless Cash-Out to Deutsche Bank Is a Sub-Crime, Consumers Complain

Matthew R. Lee of Inner City Press:

Alan Greenspan as Federal Reserve chairman presided over merger approvals for Deutsche Bank in which detailed comments in opposition were filed, demonstrating Deutsche Bank's enabling of lenders like Delta Funding, which settled charges of predatory lending.
8/13/07 Mortgage Crisis Becomes a Criminal Affair Richard Martin

the task force has shifted from pursuing embezzlers and the like to prosecuting mortgage fraud and predatory lending tactics.

�Arrests are coming, promised Weld DA Ken Buck last week.

8/13/07 Lenders in Damage-Control Mode RICHARD NEWMAN
NewJersey.com
Customer satisfaction ratings. Scores based on 1,000-point scale. Total of 38 companies ranked. OCWEN is dead last.
8/12/07 Sub-prime loans 'bait' buyers CINDY WOJDYLA CAIN Staff Writer Veronica Spicer, an assistant attorney general in the consumer fraud division, said complaints against mortgage companies have increased significantly, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are many others who haven't called to report fraud.
8/6/07 Mortgage Maze May Increase Foreclosures GRETCHEN MORGENSON

NYTimes.com

But the servicer has not agreed. Deutsche Bank, the trustee of the security holding the loan, says it is unable to help because it is neither the servicer nor the lender.

AMC Mortgage Services says Ms. Brimmage must pay the full amount.

8/5/07

Subprime Mortgages Linked to Rise in Foreclosures

NY Times Her mortgage broker assured her that she would be able to refinance the mortgages � the smaller of which has an interest rate of 12.75 percent � within six months, cutting her monthly payments in half.

But her request to refinance was declined, she said, and she learned that the mortgages had been sold to another lender.
8/3/07

Mortgage fraud crisis

New law shows state is taking this problem facing homeowners seriously, says state Rep. KEN PAXTON
Dallas Morning News HB 716 is a strong start to help guarantee that Texans' pursuit of the American dream doesn't turn them into victims of crime.  The legislation also increases the statute of limitations to seven years, which will allow for more cases to be successfully prosecuted.
8/2/07 Paulson Hedge Fund Profits; Goldman Fund Falls 16% Jenny Strasburg and Katherine Burton The Paulson Credit Opportunities Fund gained 303 percent this year as of July 31, according to investors. Dallas-based Hayman Capital Partners Subprime Credit Strategies Fund has done even better, climbing 305 percent.
8/1/07 Is Countrywide the New Titanic? Posted by: in mortgage industry Is Angelo Mozilo this decade�s Kenneth Lay? Will the rapid unwinding of the secondary market mechanism leave them no option but to go belly-up?
7/31/07 Another Bear Stearns Hedge Fund Is in Trouble By Kate Kelly, Liam Pleven and James R. Hagerty Bear Stearns Cos., its reputation already dented after two of its hedge of its funds that had bet heavily on securities connected to risky home loans blew up in June, has prevented investors from taking their money from another fund that put roughly $900 million into mortgage investments.
7/31/07 Sorting Through the Subprime Slaughter Cramer's TheStreet.com [m]arket players can't trust any of the subprime-mortgage lending companies, Jim Cramer said on TheStreet.com TV's Wall Street Confidential.
7/30/07 There's no place like home By Reni Gertner Staff writer

Lawyers USA

A homeowner can raise claims ranging from fraud at the origination of the loan to failure of the loan servicer to help a struggling borrower modify a loan. In some of the latest cases, the claim is that the entity attempting to foreclose doesn't even own the loan.
7/29/07 Modify Loan with EMC

LoanWorkout.org

True experiences with EMC's MOD ("Manufacturers Of Default") Squad publicity stunt... Never trust a crook.
7/26/07

Congress hears about predatory loans in Cleveland

Greater Clevelanders testify about what happened to them
Sabrina Eaton
Plain Dealer Bureau

 

Barbara Anderson, one of Slavic Village's first black residents, told the committee her predatory-lending odyssey began in 1996, after her home was damaged by multiple arsons that she believes were racially motivated. When her insurance company dropped coverage after the first fires, she had to tap home equity for repairs.
7/26/07 Dow Suffers Year's Second-Worst Loss
By Ellis Mnyandu, AP
Wall Street suffered one of its worst losses of 2007 Thursday, leading a global stock market plunge as investors succumbed to months of worry about the mortgage and corporate lending markets.
7/26/07

Tucsonans awarded $1M in bungled loan

By Christie Smythe
arizona daily star
But the loan wasn't approved, and the couple didn't learn that until their previous lender, Bank of America, foreclosed on the house, and it was purchased at auction by an investor, according to the complaint.
7/25/07 FTC Testifies Before U.S. House Subcommittee on Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data and FTC Lending Enforcement Program Federal Trade Commission  
7/24/07 Casey targets predatory lending DEBORAH YAO
AP Business Writer
Foreclosures have been on the rise in Philadelphia and elsewhere, community leaders said, as the subprime mortgage debacle continues to unfold nationally.
Predatory lending is the path to foreclosure.
7/24/07 Defaults Crack Countrywide By Laurie Kulikowski
TheStreet.com Staff Reporter
Countrywide's comments suggest credit quality is deteriorating everywhere amid a U.S. housing slowdown, not just in the hard-hit subprime area.
7/21/07 Barclays in a Row With Bear Over Failed Hedge Fund Wall Street Journal Bear's funds got burned for betting too heavily on the market for subprime mortgages.
7/20/07 Crooks With Deep Pockets Douglas MacMillan BusinessWeek.com White-collar criminals have the resources to go into hiding rather than face jail time.
7/20/07 Bear Stearns to be sued over subprime funds Reuters Investors in Bear Stearns Cos. hedge funds that were virtually wiped out from large bets on risky mortgages are planning to sue the company as early as Monday.
7/19/07 Bear Stearns hedge funds wiped out

By Ben Bland, Online City Reporter

In what it described as "a difficult development for investors", the bank said "there is effectively no value left" for investors in its Enhanced Leverage Fund and "very little value left" for investors in its High-Grade Fund.
7/19/07

MGIC profit falls nearly 50% in second quarter

Mortgage insurer blames loan defaults, housing

By MICHELE DERUS
mderus@journalsentinel.com
Damage from a host of unwise and unsustainable loans near the end of the nation's 2001-'05 housing boom is proving worse than expected, Culver said.

MGIC is exploring ways to avert losses tied to property foreclosures by encouraging lenders to arrange new repayment plans or a quick, out-of-court home sale, he said.

7/18/07

Bear Stearns letter sent to investors last night

Telegraph.co.uk

Let us take this opportunity to reconfirm that the Bear Steams franchise is financially strong and committed to meeting your investment needs. 

(We are breaking laws and stealing as many homes as we can to make up for your our loss.)

7/17/07 Bear Stearns Says Hedge Fund Worthless

JOE BEL BRUNO-Forbes

Bear Stearns Cos. told clients Tuesday that a meltdown in the subprime mortgage market has made the assets from two of its flagship hedge funds almost worthless.
7/15/07 Taking on an industry  

"After a mortgage lender (FAIRBANKS CAPITAL) tried to foreclose on his home, Michael Dillon made it his mission to set the record straight on his own"

By LISA ARSENAULT
Monitor staff

But Dillon and his lawyer, former state Consumer Protection Bureau chief Walter Maroney, believe there is a bigger problem at play with the way subprime mortgages like Dillon's are handled by the national companies that package, sell and service them.
7/14/07 HOUSEWIFE SUES WELLS FARGO ON RICO, SHAMES ATTORNEY IN COURT

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations

By Jeff Sedgwick
Copyright 2007 voidjudgements.net
There have been numerous occasions where 2, 3, and even 4 debt collectors have had photo copies of the same debt and were all trying to collect on the same debt, at the same time. How many times does one owe on the same debt? If at all?
7/13/07 Subprime loans stoking litigation  Associated Press Billions of dollars are at stake, depending on how many of the mortgages made to borrowers with shaky credit default. Credit Suisse Group estimates losses to investors between $26 billion and $52 billion, while Deutsche Bank AG says losses could total $70 billion to $90 billion.
7/12/07 Family fights foreclosure
By Andrea Bulfinch/abulfin@cnc.com
GateHouse News Service
The confusion begins here, explained their lawyer, Jack O'Keefe, because in order to close on a home in the first place, as the seller did, there must be proof of insurance on the home. It is unknown whether GMAC actually gave them notice that a new policy was being purchased. As far as they knew, they had a policy and were paying for it. They claim that the notice of money owed to GMAC was the first they'd heard of a new policy.
7/11/07

Sue The Bastards!

What To Do About Mortgage Brokers And Lenders Who Don't Play Fair?
By Charu Gupta, Free Times.com 

Third In A Series

For every foreclosure plight Kramer and his firm, Housing Advocates Inc., took on, he learned that 20 others, with claims just as good, had lost their homes because of a predatory loan. There was no way to represent everyone in need. Kramer's law practice had only a handful of attorneys; resources were stretched thin.

The problem wasn't going away. Something needed to change.

7/10/07 "Foreclosures Turn Up Heat on Mers" Kate Berry - Source Media With mortgage foreclosures on the rise, Merscorp Inc., which operates an electronic loan registry used by thousands of companies, has found itself the target of an increasing number of lawsuits - several of which challenge its basic business model.    "There is no way for the public or a landowner to know who has an interest in their property,"
7/9/07 Mutually Assured Mayhem
Wall Street is on edge, scrambling to buck up Bear Stearns and avert a domino-effect debacle

BusinessWeek

It's white-knuckle time on Wall Street as firms try to prevent the subprime mess from spreading.
7/9/07 CDOs � Chernobyl Decay Obligations 

The problems at Bear Stearns are a reminder that meltdowns can take less than a year.

The Bear is letting the highly leveraged Bear Stearns High Grade Structured Credit Enhanced Leveraged Fund go pop. With shareholders� funds of $13bn, Bear Stearns was not going to put the family silver on the line to bail out a fund that bore its name.
7/9/07 Q1 Subprime Market Sees Big Drop, Shifts Another article listing the corporate criminals responsible for destroying innocent lives.
7/8/07 Foreclosures: Deutsche Bank uber alles, including Wells Fargo

Callahan�s Cleveland Diary

Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank now own over eight hundred of Cleveland�s one-family and two-family houses � about half of 1% of the city�s total � and they�re foreclosing on hundreds more each month.
7/6/07 Bear Stearns Funds' Failure
Opened the Door to Credit Crash
Executive Intelligence Review Major sectors of the world financial system were paralyzed by the failure, two weeks ago, of two Bear Stearns hedge funds, linked to the subprime mortgage and Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) market. The failure has caused the near-freezing up of the highly risky $2.6 trillion Collateralized Debt Obligations (CODs) market. By June 28, at least five planned bond or IPO issuances had been cancelled, and another billion-dollar hedge fund, Caliber Global Investments, had failed because of MBS losses
7/3/07

Investment Landfill: How Professionals Dump Their Toxic Waste on You

by Paul Tustain

BullionVault

Not sure what happened at Bear Stearns? The root cause might surprise you. You might also find your own investment funds at risk, after being used as a landfill for the same kind of toxic waste.
7/2/07 Just Say AAA Paul Krugman

New York Times

Yet the banks making the loans weren�t stupid: they passed the buck to other people. Subprime mortgages and other risky loans were securitized � that is, banks issued bonds backed by home loans, in effect handing off the risk to the bond buyers.
7/2/07 Mortgage swindler gets prison

By JOHN GITTELSOHN

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
"These types of frauds are serious and worthy of allocating resources to investigate because it hurts everyone involved and takes advantage of those seeking the American 'dream' of homeownership."
July/07 The Subprime Sinkhole - Toxic Debt

S e t h L u b ove a n d D a ni e l Ta u b

Bloomberg

Novastar employees would apply an "X-Acto knife and some tape" to borrowers� W-2 forms and paychecks to qualify them for loans. The same employee said that on other occasions, the company would temporarily deposit $5,000 in the bank account of a potential borrower to inflate his or her assets. Nova-Star would either take the money back or increase the loan fees, according
7/1/07 Lost Bearings 

It's going to get a lot hotter for Bear Stearns' CEO Jimmy Cayne this week.

By RODDY BOYD

NEW YORK POST

The longtime Wall Street executive will have to explain to Securities and Exchange Commission investigators how two of Bear Stearns' highly-leveraged mortgage-bond backed hedge funds appeared to ignore signs of the sub-prime mortgage sector's meltdown after promising investors it would keep a keen eye on what was going on
6/27/07 Subprime Lenders Keep Churning Out Bad Loans Center for Responsible Lending Truth is, subprime brokers and lenders continue to advertise and approve loans with abusive terms that are known to significantly increase the chances of foreclosure.
6/26/07 Billionaire In Palm Beach Sex Scandal

Former Bear Stearns exec's Unlawful Sexual Activity with a minor (4) counts, Lewd and Lascivious Molestation

thesmokinggun.com

Beginning in mid-March 2005, Epstein became the target of a sexual battery probe conducted by the Palm Beach Police Department, according to the affidavit, which alleges that Epstein, 53, paid a series of underage girls to engage in sexual activity with him. Frankly, there are too many dirty details in the affidavit to properly synopsize, but, if investigators are to be believed, Epstein has a thing for teenagers, vibrators, and assorted massage lotions.
6/26/07 General Assembly creates new residential mortgage fraud felony Associated Press The House unanimously agreed to minor changes made by the Senate in legislation sponsored by Rep. Dan Blue, D-Wake, that would make it t for someone to knowingly misrepresent or omit information about the mortgage lending process.
6/25/07 Charges expected in US stock lending probe-source Martha Graybow -Reuters Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York are preparing to file criminal charges against about a dozen people in the case
6/25/07 Bear's Big Loss Arouses SEC Interest Matthew Goldstein BusinessWeek.com Bear Stearns quickly moved to suspend investor redemptions, fearing the hedge fund would not able to liquidate enough bonds to satisfy the demands of investors or the other Wall Street banks that had lent the fund billions of dollars.
6/22/07 NovaStar to pay $5.1 million to settle class-action suit By PHUONG CAT LE
P-I REPORTER
"This case signals to the industry that they cannot treat import borrower disclosures as a nuisance to be avoided or minimized,"
6/22/07 Bank of America Report Sees Worse Mortgage Defaults Sebastian Boyd and Will Edwards

Bloomberg.com

Surging defaults on subprime loans have pushed at least 60 mortgage companies to close or sell operations and forced Bear Stearns Cos. to offer a $3.2 billion bailout for one of two money-losing hedge funds. New foreclosures set a record in the first quarter, with subprime borrowers leading the way.
6/21/07 Merrill Lynch Seizes $400 Million of Assets from a Bear Stearns Managed 'Subprime' Hedge Fund for Failing to Meet Margin Calls Shepherd Smith & Edwards  If the hedge fund is dissolved it would become the second blowup of hedge funds dealing in the high risk home loans, known as "subprime" mortgages. UBS AG shut down Dillon Read Capital Management after bad trades in subprime-mortgage loans led to a $124 million loss.
6/21/08 Due Process Violations by the State and Federal Judiciary Members

Americans, have continually contacted Congressman Conyers Officer regarding the status and investigations involving official corruption and violations of law

Taffy Rice - AHRC

Taffy's letter to:

U S Congress Judiciary Committee
Mr. Matthew Morgan - Staff Member
Washington , D C

Re: Due Process Violations by U S State & Federal Courts

6/20/07 La Quinta homeowners allege fraud
Investors say CENTEX committed securities violations
Michael Perrault
The Desert Sun
The homeowners are asking for a cancellation of their purchase agreements to recoup $20 million to $25 million.
6/20/07 Cuomo Expands Probe as Appraisers Attest to Pressure

By Sharon L. Crenson

Bloomberg

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is asking home appraisers to declare in writing that they were improperly pressured by mortgage brokers and lenders to inflate estimates and that such practices damaged the market's integrity.
6/19/07 Two Big Funds At Bear Stearns Face Shutdown  Kate Kelly, Serena Ng and David Reilly - WSJ Two big hedge funds at Bear Stearns Cos. were close to being shut down last night as a rescue plan developed over several days fell apart in a drama that could have wide-ranging consequences for Wall Street and investors.
6/19/07 BEAR STEARNS / EMC MORTGAGE CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE BEGINS TO UNFOLD variety of authors Links to more than 200 current articles related to Bear Stearns
6/19/07 Lawsuit targeting Ameriquest adds Arnall to its sights By E. Scott Reckard, Times Staff Writer Monday, Arnall's accountability was again front and center as attorneys for Ameriquest customers asked a judge to add him as a defendant in a private lawsuit.

In a request filed in federal court in Chicago, lawyers for the borrowers, who are seeking to combine 20 suits into one class action, contend that Arnall made decisions that resulted in abuses, blocked attempts to reform Ameriquest and drained it of its profit before virtually shutting it down as the sub-prime industry imploded.

Ameriquest and its affiliates "were the alter ego" of Arnall, the suit says. "Assets of the Ameriquest entities were transferred to Arnall with the actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud the plaintiffs in this action."
6/18/07 Are Foreclosures Only A Subprime Problem? By Peter G. Miller     Reality Trac Credit Suisse adds that when compared with loans originated in 2003 and 2004, delinquencies and foreclosure rates for recent Alt-A adjustable loans are "3 to 4 times" higher.
6/18/07 Bad Loans Pit Vranos Against Cayne as Hedge Funds Outbid Street Bradley Keoun (Bloomberg) Bear Stearns bought about $3.4 billion of scratch-and-dent mortgages last year, about 5 percent of the $69.2 billion of loans that the firm's EMC Mortgage Corp. acquired or made to borrowers. EMC is the firm's loan-servicing company, based in Lewisville, Texas, with about 2,000 employees.
6/18/07 Ills Deepen in Subprime-Bond Arena

More Downgrades Seen As Foreclosures Ripple

SERENA NG and KATE KELLY At Bear Stearns Cos., a group of hedge-fund managers at the Wall Street firm spent the weekend scrambling to line up new investors or lenders to keep afloat their fund.
6/18/07 Paper Chase Bernard Condon -Forbes.com You're in luck. Your mortgage lender has flipped, sliced and diced your loan--and now no one knows who holds it. 
6/14/07 Message to the Fed: Act Quickly to Stop Abusive Lending Center for Responsible Lending The Fed has the authority and responsibility to act.
For the past 13 years, the Board has largely ignored Congress's mandate making it responsible for issuing rules against abusive, unfair or deceptive mortgage lending practices.
6/14/07 Bear's Fund Is Facing Mortgage Losses KATE KELLY and SERENA NG 

The Wall Street Journal

Faced with losses on its investments, the fund, called High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund, together with a sister fund, is trying to sell about $4 billion in mortgage-backed bonds to raise cash.
6/13/07 FTC Chairman Testifies Before U.S. House Financial Services Committee on Law Enforcement Against Consumer Fraud and Deception in the Financial Services Industry Federal Trade Commission  
6/12/07 Bear Stearns' Subprime Bath  Matthew Goldstein BusinessWeek.com The situation is so bleak that Bear Stearns' asset management group is suspending redemptions at the onetime $642 million fund�meaning investors have no choice but to sit on their losses. And that's got some hopping mad.
6/12/07 Bear Stearns Fund Hurt by Subprime Loans KATE KELLY and SERENA NG Hard hit by turmoil in the market for risky mortgages, a big Bear Stearns Cos. hedge fund has fallen 23% from the start of the year through late April.
6/7/07 Who'd Ever Invest in Everquest? Martin de Sa'Pinto, Senior Financial Correspondent    All the evidence points to a clumsy attempt to muddy the waters with respect to the true value of the assets in the portfolios of two hedge funds in Bear's $29 billion asset management arm, as well as shifting some of these funds' unwanted assets elsewhere.
6/7/07 Out of townhouse, but not by choice By Larry Carson
Baltimore Sun reporter
"It's absolutely not his error," said Gerald M. Richman, an Ellicott City attorney who represents Atta Poku, so far without a fee. "He didn't do anything wrong. It's an outrage what happened to him, but it's a quirk of the system."
6/2/07 MD Court of Special Appeals revives borrower's breach of contract action over HUD

 

Issue: Can a borrower bring a breach of contract claim against his mortgage lender for not complying with HUD mortgage servicing requirements?

Holding: Yes; judgment vacated. If HUD regulations are incorporated into the deed of trust, the borrower may have a legitimate breach of contract claim notwithstanding the lack of a private right of action to enforce HUD regulations.

5/31/07 Lawyer eyes Ameriquest: Clients: Home loan paperwork faulty By Scott Van Voorhis
Boston Herald Business Reporter
A Rhode Island lawyer claims he has found a chink in the legal armor of subprime mortgage giant Ameriquest, one that could give hundreds of thousands of homeowners grounds to wriggle out of their loans.
5/30/07 Mortgages Bolstered Detroit's Middle Class -- Until Money Ran Out MARK WHITEHOUSE 

Wall Street Journal

Unscrupulous players had little reason to worry about whether or not people could afford the loans: The more contracts they could sign, the more money they stood to make.
5/30/07 Ameriquest Faces Lawsuit by Borrowers  NPR Chris Arnold talks to people who lost their homes after getting Ameriquest loans and to former employees who describe the hyper-aggressive sales practices.
5/30/07 Top Producing Originator Pleads Guilty In Massive Fraud Scam  originatortimes.com Maize faces a maximum possible sentence of 98 years in federal prison. In his plea agreement, Maize has agreed to pay $2.75 million in restitution prior to his sentencing, although he may be ordered to pay more at sentencing.
5/24/07

State agency seeks help as number of mortgage fraud cases rise

Misty Williams - Tribune.com "We're still trying to log all of the complaints that we've gotten," department spokesman Jack Hudock said. "They're all going to be investigated.
5/17/07

In the Sub-Prime of Life

Homeowners complain that Litton Loan is quicker to foreclose than it needs to be

Craig Malisow -Houston Press They accuse Litton of forcing them into foreclosure by assigning predatory fees. And those who talk to Murray often walk away with one question: If that's how Litton treats its employees, how does it treat debtors it doesn't even know?
5/17/07

State may sue investment banks

Dann wants to target subprime-loan enablers

Teresa Dixon Murray
Plain Dealer Reporter
The state's top lawyer, who took office in January, noted that many consumers haven't been able to sue mortgage lenders or anyone involved in their undesirable loans because they couldn't find a lawyer willing to take cases on contingency.
5/15/07

New law targets predatory lenders

JENNIFER BJORHUS
Pioneer Press
TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press
Anyone who helps commit mortgage fraud, defined as knowingly misrepresenting or omitting important information in the lending process, commits a felony punishable with up to two years in prison. Violators also must pay restitution to their victims.
5/15/07

The Subprime Lending Shakeout: A Litigation Perspective

Credit First Swiss Boston, DLJ, and Select Portfolio Servicing misled the agencies whose ratings determined the market price of the securitiies

Posted By Steve Jakubowski

For those purchasers of securitized subprime mortgage-backed securities left holding the bag, however, there is one prayer that may provide much needed relief ... and that's the "prayer for relief" that accompanies a complaint filed in the US district court.  As this 8-count complaint proves, there's no shortage of prayers for relief available to the disgruntled investor left holding the bag.
5/15/07

Ohio Attorney General Targets Wall Street for Lending

Jody Shenn -Bloomberg.com Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann, likening the subprime lending industry to armed robbers, said he wants to sue Wall Street firms because their bond sales enabled consumers to get mortgages they couldn't afford.

Ohio has already won the right through a lawsuit to review foreclosures by New Century Financial Corp.

5/14/07

Claims Against Goldman Sachs for Alleged Fannie Mae Fraud

Shepherd Smith & Edwards Fannie Mae repeatedly violated generally accepted accounting principles, issued false financial statements, and made other actionable public disclosures, thereby " 'engag[ing] in one of the largest financial frauds in U.S. corporate history.'"
5/12/07

Subprime lenders say FICO failed

By THOMAS LEE
The Minneapolis Star Tribune
[o]veraggressive lenders, hungry for profits, are more to blame for the increasing number of defaults among homeowners.
5/12/07

BofA appeals Dutch ruling on LaSalle

TOBY STERLING -BusinessWeek Bank of America Corp. filed an appeal to the Dutch Supreme Court on Tuesday over a ruling this month that froze the company's $21 billion purchase of LaSalle Bank from ABN Amro.
5/12/07

Americans Believe Mortgage Fraud Wrecked Real Estate Market 

Housing Predictor  Staff More than three out of four Americans believe mortgage fraud wrecked the booming real estate market.
5/11/07

Bear Stearns Funds Own 67 Percent Stake in Everquest

Jody Shenn - Bloomberg Many observers find it ``curious'' that a surge in subprime mortgage defaults hasn't resulted in a wave of disclosures of losses on CDO equity.
5/11/07

Bear Stearns' Subprime IPO

Matthew Goldstein The Everquest filing notes this possibility, saying: "Subprime mortgages have experienced increased default rates in recent periods. A deterioration in the assets collateralizing the asset-backed securities held by our CDOs could negatively affect the cash flows."
5/11/07

It's all coming out now

  Testimony of Ameriquest employee
5/7/07

Credit crunch will 'shred investment portfolios to ribbons'

By Ambrose Evans- Pritchard When creditors led by Merrill Lynch forced a fire-sale of assets, they inadvertently revealed that up to $2 trillion of debt linked to the crumbling US sub-prime and "Alt A" property market was falsely priced on books.
5/7/07

The Ugly Face of Foreclosure

Money.CNN.com   Les Christie
A number of interesting stories and posts.  
5/7/07

Pressure at Mortgage Firm Led To Mass Approval of Bad Loans

David Cho 

Washington Post Staff Writer

"The stress in that place was ungodly. It was like selling your soul," said Hardiman,  "There was instant notification to everyone as soon as you rejected a loan. And you dreaded doing it because you paid for it. Two guys would come with a bat, and they were all [ticked] off because you cut their deals."
5/1/07

Banking Runs on Margins and Interest, Not Trust

Igor Greenwald

SmartMoney.com

After paying out a $278 million settlement over its role in underwriting Enron bonds, it has now reserved $496 million to settle a criminal money-laundering probe by the U.S. Department of Justice. ABN Amro has already paid out $80 million in civil penalties over allegations that its lax procedures helped Iran and Libya circumvent U.S. sanctions, and routed billions in suspect transfers from Eastern Europe without too many questions asked.
5/2007 On Your Side: Mortgage Fraud? jeff.anderson@wrdw.com It's called mortgage servicing fraud. It's happening all over the country and it could cost you your home if you become a victim of it.
5/1/07

Merrill Lynch scraps Option One's $1.5 billion credit line

OCRegister.com Analyst Brett Hoselton of KeyBanc Capital Markets in Cleveland changed his recommendation on GM shares to ``hold'' from ``buy'' today because of the mortgage losses
4/07

Homeownership Suffers Under Subprime Lending

Center for Responsible Lending CRL�s specific responses to the critique of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
4/30/07

Homeowners aim at Wall St to combat subprime mortgage woes

Walden Siew - Reuters At issue is what economists call "moral hazard". If lenders receive a fee to originate mortgages, they may care more about quantity than the quality of the loans. And if lenders know they will be able to sell or securitize loans to investors, they may not worry about whether borrowers can pay their mortgages.
4/30/07 Massachusetts to seek delays on foreclosures

Reuters

In Massachusetts, where housing prices notched double-digit growth between 1995 and 2004, foreclosure filings surged 70 percent last year to a record 19,487 homeowners, as single-family home prices fell for the first time since 1993.
4/28/07

Buying Jobs or Buying Trouble?

Gov gives $3.5M credit for lender to come to Troy to create 350 jobs

Brian O'Connor - Detroit News Unmentioned in the state's announcement was the fact that a scant two weeks before, Massachusetts bank examiners charged that World Financial was routinely forging borrower's signatures on loan documents, using unlicensed brokers, creating phony records and hitting some borrowers with thousands of dollars in undisclosed fees.
4/25/07

MA Proposes Foreclosure Help Laws

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Drafting legislation to increase protections for consumers and provide penalties for mortgage fraud, including: criminalizing mortgage fraud; prohibiting abusive foreclosure rescue schemes; creating a mandatory pre-foreclosure filing notice; and establishing a central repository of foreclosure notices at the Division of Banks.
4/23/07

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION BEING CHARGED WITH NEGLIGENCE IN MORTGAGE INDUSTRY 

Alex S. Gabor �There is no depression in the real estate industry�, they say! Of course their paychecks and survival depend on there not being a depression and covering up the balloon they created out of thin air!
4/23/07

Bank of America to Acquire LaSalle Bank

IEVA M. AUGSTUMS
AP Business Writer
Bank of America Corp. said Monday it will purchase LaSalle Bank Corp. from ABN Amro North America Holding Co. for $21 billion in cash.
4/23/07

KPMG claims fraud at Fannie Mae

 Bloomberg News KPMG LLP sued former auditing client Fannie Mae, the biggest source of money for US home loans, for "fraudulent deception" that prevented KPMG from uncovering $6.3 billion in overstated earnings.
4/22/07 Worried homeowners share their high-interest stories Tracy Jan, Boston Globe Staff [t]heir monthly mortgage payment jumped from just under $800 in 2002 to $2,700 last fall because of previous refinancing to stave off a previous foreclosure, they said.

"We got to take on the fight to stop you from losing your home and to hold the people in the scheme out there accountable"

4/22/07

Appraisers Pressured to Inflate Values

Martin D. Cates & Associates
90 percent of the appraisers reported having been the victims of such forms of coercion as nonpayment of fees and outright threats and many reported having lost business when they opted not to go along with the plan.
4/20/07

THE MORTGAGE GRAVEYARD

Sam Garcia - MortgageDaily.com Failed, Struggling and Acquired Mortgage-Related Companies
4/19/07

Latest count of major US mortgage lenders that have croaked since late 2006:   60

The MORTGAGE LENDER Defrauded? Check out our legal help sign-up. Also: See the informational site that has crooked lenders sending in hate-mail; and an industry rogue's gallery as well.
4/18/07

Debate beginning on lenders� foreclosure role

Associated Press It is "mind-boggling" that in many states, people can lose their homes in foreclosure without any court hearing and that the foreclosure is done by a company with ties to the lender
4/17/07

Testimony

POSSIBLE RESPONSES TO RISING MORTGAGE FORECLOSURES SHEILA C. BAIR

FDIC Chairman

Most of these borrowers are having difficulty making the payments on these loans after the "reset" to higher payments � often an increase of thirty percent or more -- that occurs after the initial two or three years of loan payments. According to one study, the interest rates for an estimated 1.1 million subprime loans will reset in 2007 and an additional 882,000 subprime loans will reset in 2008.Fewer and fewer of these borrowers are able to refinance because of the slowing rate of housing appreciation, higher interest rates and the problems faced by subprime lenders.
4/17/07

Testimony

Subprime Mortgage Market Turmoil:

Written Testimony

of

Christopher L. Peterson

Associate Professor of Law

University of Florida

Examining the Role of Securitization �

A hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment

4/15/07

How New Century ran out of money

Some say it got caught in the perfect storm. Others say it ran into the rocks.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

 

Shareholder lawsuits, Delaware bankruptcy court filings and pending federal criminal and civil investigations will render the ultimate verdict on what went wrong and who is responsible.
4/11/07

More homeowners fail to avoid foreclosures via bankruptcy

Lingling Wei

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

the number of borrowers who are actually able to bring current their mortgage payments through bankruptcy is declining, and more filers are ultimately turning their homes over to the lenders. The finding means investors in high-yielding mortgage-backed securities should expect higher losses on the underlying collateral.
4/11/07 Mortgage Fraud Funding Jihad? By Patrick Poole
FrontPageMagazine.com
[w]hat concerns federal authorities is how regularly mortgage fraud is showing up in terrorism investigations.
4/11/07 Special Report: The Mortgage Mess John W. Schoen
MSNBC
What the broker didn't explain, Kerrie Russo says, is that this was a "negative amortization" loan - an expanding debt that buried the couple deeper in hock even as they thought they were paying down their mortgage balance.
4/10/07*

Mortgage woes could be 'tip of the iceberg'

Fraud, abusive lending crushes dreams for millions of home owners

 

John W. Schoen
Senior producer
msnbc.com
For some, the lesson learned is: �buyer beware.� But a series of interviews with subprime borrowers, mortgage lenders, appraisers, current and former regulators, and the inspector general of the Department of Housing and Urban Development paints a different picture � of a widespread pattern of questionable lending practices and outright fraud that has already sparked a wave of criminal and civil actions against various players in the $10 trillion market for residential mortgages.
4/9/07

The Loan Shark Lobby

GARRETT ORDOWER

The Nation

Congress now has a decision to make: Should those thousands of dollars be in their pockets, or in those of the millions losing their homes?
4/9/07

Workouts could soften impact of subprime lending woes

Part 1: The new housing vernacular

 Matt Carter
Inman News
With the collapse of the subprime lending market leading to tightened credit, many are wondering what happens to the millions of loans that are expected to default or more importantly, what happens to the homes and the people who bought them.
4/8/07 Lawyer links judge to scheme

He says Judge suggested records could be falsified.

In a deposition taken for a trial under way in Las Vegas, an attorney says District Judge Donald Mosley hatched a scheme to help his girlfriend avoid foreclosure on her home.
4/8/07 After five years, lawyer wants media out of court

For five years, Tawanna K. Crabb has been arguing about her mortgage payments in open court, where anyone interested in the foreclosure case could observe the proceedings.
4/8/07

Subprime fallout hits home

CAROLINA PROCTER Post-Tribune Civil rights groups visited Washington, D.C., and called for a six-month moratorium on foreclosures. The groups said a predicted wave of foreclosures stems from "reckless and unaffordable loans" for which investors bear some responsibility
4/6/07

An Ameriquest speechwriter's mea culpa

She penned executive addresses while the subprime mortgage company was sinking under its own questionable lending practices.

By Candice Reed Everybody else blames the lending practices that Orange-based Ameriquest has been repeatedly accused of: forging documents, hyping customers' credit-worthiness, "juicing" mortgages with hidden rates and fees and targeting the poor, the old, the disadvantaged. But it was I, a freelance writer from San Diego, who helped the company keep it going.
4/4/07

Subprime Lending Crisis: Millions of Families Face Losing Their Homes to Foreclosure

www.DemocracyNow.org   [a]nd now we're confronted now in this decade with this huge crisis, and it seems like many of these characters just reappear with new companies and new banks or new lending procedures, but the same kind of scams. What can be done on a more consistent level, to be able to protect people who do not necessarily know all of their rights in terms of lending, especially when it comes to homes?
4/4/07

Payment Woes Worsen On Riskiest Mortgages

By JAMES R. HAGERTY

Wall Street Journal Online

The rapid rise in overdue payments and defaults has forced dozens of lenders out of business or into bankruptcy protection in recent months and darkened the outlook for the U.S. housing market.
4/07

WATCHING YOU

A Univ. of Houston student becomes an unrelenting pain to the two companies WELLS FARGO and ORIX that sued and bankrupted his mom.

Craig Malisow

Houston Press

What he uncovered was a scheme perpetrated by ORIX executives to foreclose en masse, even on performing loans - at the expense of other bondholders - and collect money not only for the company but for themselves, via a secret partnership.
3/30/07

Subprime fallout hits

South Florida Business Journal  
"Now, the fraud is becoming evident. The big Wall Street firms could have stopped it in the bud. The Wall Street engine drove all the things that have been done."
3/30/07

Foreclosure Fraud: Predators Want Your Home

Al Sunshine - CBS4.com Now, Rayshaunda's case is under investigation by the North Miami police department. A judge has blocked her eviction after hearing her case.
3/29/07 The Subprime Servicing Scam: Beware

by George W. Mantor

REALTYTIMES

But what their mortgage service company did to them next is where our story really begins. This should be required reading for everyone with a mortgage.
3/29/07

Mortgage fraud: The great American scheme

By Lesley Mitchell
The Salt Lake Tribune
No one is sure why Utah has such a high rate of fraudulent activity. One suspicion is that unscrupulous lenders try to qualify too many heavily indebted Utah families for homes they cannot afford. Another is the makeup of Utah's trusting population, where many people place a great deal of trust in community, religious leaders and authority figures.
3/29/07

How Street Hit Lender

GREGORY ZUCKERMAN, Randall Smith 'Subprime' King New Century Was Down but Not Quite Out; Then, Banks Shut Cash Spigot
3/29/07

The Loan Shark Lobby

Garrett Ordower - The Nation But much of the damage has already been done, with millions of homeowners facing foreclosure at the hands of an industry allowed to run wild.
3/29/07

Where Subprime Delinquencies Are Getting Worse

Compiled by Pat Minczeski and Brett Taylor [o]ver the past few years, a large chunk of the subprime-loan market has shifted to higher-income metropolitan areas. In many of those wealthier areas, the delinquency rate has increased quickly.
3/28/07

United States Government Representatives Hear About Theft of Homes by Lawyers and Due Process Violations by America's Courts

By AHRC News Services They asked the congressmen to begin an investigation of Due Process violations and theft of Americans' homes by deception using America's courtrooms.

WRITE TO THEM TODAY!

3/28/07

Subprime Mortgage 

Kimberly Blanton
Boston Globe (Massachusetts)
Asked by the panel why she signed the loan, Frias explained  that the broker had told her, "if she changed her mind she would lose her down payment, a life savings of $12,000."
3/28/07

 

Corruption, American Style 

 

Michael S. Rozeff

LewRockwell.com 

Financial concerns include Greenwich Capital Markets, Bear Sterns, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, American International Group, Lehman Brothers, Prudential Financial, and Credit Suisse First Boston.

Why does the financial sector pay so much money to a candidate whose seat is so safe if not to receive favorable law-making in return?

3/28/07 Subprime Mortgage Collapse Eviscerates California Headquarters  

Daniel Taub (Bloomberg)

 

After the collapse of the savings and loans in the 1980s, executives from that industry started subprime and other mortgage lenders, said Melissa Richards, general counsel for the California Mortgage Bankers Association. Their time at savings and loans gave them experience dealing with investment banks, which ended up buying packages of loans from subprime lenders for mortgage-backed securities, she said.
3/27/07 Mortgage fallout targeted by state

By

Standard-Times
Secretary of State William F. Galvin yesterday called for the state Legislature to give the court system oversight over foreclosure cases in Massachusetts to protect thousands of homeowners who may have been victimized by predatory lenders. "Are we simply going to stand by while these homeowners lose their homes?�
1/12/06 States Battle Feds Over Predatory Lending Laws

Financial Interests Shower Money on a Corrupt Congress

Martin H. Bosworth
ConsumerAffairs.Com
"It would be a travesty if all [the states'] hard work was undone by a federal law that puts more homeowners at risk by eliminating state protections," CRL's executive vice-president Debbie Goldstein said.
3/19/07 Top five subprime lenders asked to testify: Dodd  John Poirier
Reuters
Dan Wilchins and Jonathan Stempel in New York
"At the very least, homeowners facing foreclosure deserve to know what factors contributed to their dire financial straits, and what steps are needed to fix this pressing problem," Dodd said.
3/19/07 States Tried to Stop Subprime Bubble- but the Feds Shut them Down By Nathan Newman  With millions of families facing these exploitive lending practices, the question is why the government didn't act to stop it? The answer is that the states did act-- but the federal government, backed by campaign contributions from predatory lenders, shut them down and helped create this mortgage crisis.
3/19/07 What We're Hearing

What exactly are criminal investigators looking at in regard to New Century Financial?

By Paul Muolo 

National Mortgage News

Another item being looked at is how much cash New Century said it had on its balance sheet. What New Century said it had -- and what it really had -- is a whole different matter.
3/18/07

Fight brews over home equity loans

Legislator seeks new consumer protections as lenders balk.


AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Lenders are at the Capitol to weaken the protections (for consumers) and deterrents to abusive lending practices put into place in 1997 - so they can keep their illegal money machine working.
3/18/07

Get The Facts On The Sub-Prime Mortgage Meltdown 

Terry Keenan - FOX News [t]he very same lawmakers who turned a blind's eye to years of lax lending in their own backyard (at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) now want to turn millions of Americans into victims of the housing boom they championed.
3/18/07 Banking regulators fell off tightrope By Craig Torres and Alison Vekshin
Bloomberg News

"There was tension between the responsibilities not to mess up some banks' businesses and the responsibility to consumers," said Edward Gramlich, a Fed governor from 1997 to 2005.  The result, he said, is that "we could have real carnage for low-income borrowers."
3/16/07 Ameriquest parent closes call centers, loan center Reuters ACC did not disclose how many people it was laying off. Its Argent wholesale mortgage lender, which is closing its White Plains, New York state-based processing center, employs more than 1,000, according to its web site.
3/14/07 $1,300...$2,000...there goes your mortgage By Ellen Florian Kratz, Fortune writer Now that the housing market has stalled, subprime borrowers are stuck with loans they really couldn't afford in the first place. Defaults and foreclosures are rising, and the industry is roiling as lenders face the consequences after years of handing out money irresponsibly.
3/13/07 B&C Servicers Face Day of Reckoning By Ted Cornwell

Mortgage Servicing News

With companies failing and Wall Street putting back loans or cutting off lines of credit, the servicing side of the business is likely to come under renewed scrutiny.
3/13/07 Accredited, New Century Lead Subprime Meltdown

Jonathan Stempel and Dan Wilchins / Reuters

Additional reporting by Lynn Adler in New York, Muralikumar Anantharaman in Boston, Jui Chakravorty in Detroit, and Svea Herbst-Bayliss and John Poirier in Washington

Trading in shares of New Century, the largest independent subprime lender, was suspended by the New York Stock Exchange prior to delisting, and the company received a grand jury subpoena in a federal criminal probe.

More than two dozen subprime lenders have quit the industry in the last year. Many analysts say New Century is on the brink of bankruptcy.

3/12/07

FBI Links Fraudulent Appraisers with Terrorism and Organized Crime

� There they were, side by side: 

terrorism and mortgage fraud".

By Terrie Petree

communicatormagazine.com 

FBI mortgage fraud investigations will focus on �large-scale frauds perpetrated by organized crime and industry insiders, including attorneys, brokers, appraisers, and realtors.� There it is again; like mortgage fraud and Osama Bin Laden sharing homepage space, the FBI puts crooked appraisers in the same category as organized crime on their Web site.
3/7/07 FBI, Lenders Warn Fraud is Illegal    The FBI FBI Mortgage Fraud investigations have focused on large-scale frauds perpetrated by organized crime and industry insiders, including attorneys, brokers, appraisers, and realtors
3/6/07 Governor made call on behalf of lender

Troubled Ameriquest sought infusion of cash

Frank Phillips, Globe Staff   In a statement to the Globe, Patrick said he made the Feb. 20 call to Citigroup not in his role as governor but after a personal request to him from a top official at ACC Capital Holdings, the firm that owns Ameriquest Mortgage, which has frequently been accused of predatory lending.
3/5/07  Subprime Mortgage Blues Nicholas von Hoffman - The Nation No banker in his right mind would make such a mortgage, but for the last few years the sane bankers have been hiding under their desks or have left for the grocery business.
3/07 Internet �Terrorism� � Target: Mortgage Servicing Alan Wolf - The Wolf Firm - USFN Member Information on how the power of the Internet is causing  worry for those operating on the criminal-side of the mortgage industry.
3/3/07

Whitepaper

Cleaning up a consumer lending mess    Christopher Peterson - an associate professor of law at the University of Florida. In the worst cases, businesses that sold ill-advised loans to investors were paid long ago, and now can declare bankruptcy, leaving investors with not only losses, but thousands of potential lawsuits filed by families who are learning their loans may have been illegal from the beginning.
3/2/07 Chicago Title fined $6 million Gazette News Service State and federal investigations showed individuals profited by falsifying loan documents and rapidly reselling properties.
3/2/07 Goldman, Merrill Almost `Junk,' Their Own Traders Say Shannon D. Harrington

Bloomberg.com

Hmmm, Bear Stearns too?  There is some justice in the world.  Albeit rough justice.  The type that comes around and bites you in the rear and takes off a hunk of skin.
3/1/07

Whitepaper

TURNING A BLIND EYE: WALL STREET

FINANCE OF PREDATORY LENDING

Kathleen C. Engel and Patricia A. McCoy

Recipient of the Best Professional Paper Award of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers, March 2007.

Numerous studies have discussed the negative externalities that securitization imposes on creditors. Scholars have paid scant attention, however, to harms caused by securitization to debtors whose loans are

securitized. This issue has erupted in the subprime home mortgage market, where charges of predatory lending, many of which have been substantiated, are mounting.

2/27/07 Mortgage Servicing for UberNerds    
2/27/07 Freddie Mac Bans Unaffordable Subprime Home Loans Center for Responsible Lending Freddie Mac announced it will no longer buy common types of subprime mortgages that have been pushing millions of homeowners into foreclosure.
2/26/07 What Dangers Lurk in Today's Financial World? Michael Panzner/SeekingAlpha Lewis Ranieri helped create selling bonds backed by millions of  home-loan payments and now he is worried about the proliferation of risky mortgages and convoluted ways of financing them. The problem is that in the past few years the business has changed so much that if the U.S. housing market takes another lurch downward, no one will know where all the bodies are buried.
2/25/07 Mortgage company shut down

Eagle First Mortgage caught in state's fraud crackdown

Catherine Reagor
The Arizona Republic
The Arizona Department of Financial Institutions pulled the license of the Eagle First Mortgage and its broker, David Sanchez, last week. Regulators described more than 100 illegal money transactions, loan activities and hiring practices.
  An illustrated guide to the coming real estate collapse
By Michael Hudson
 
2/23/07 On Your Side: Mortgage Fraud  Jeff Anderson WRDW.com  When she finally talked to a representative at Countrywide Mortgage, they told her company records indicated she had been late on every payment for eight years.  She says that was virtually impossible because the military paid her mortgage like clockwork. To her surprise, EMC Mortgage told her they never got the extra money.
2/23/07 Mtge Group: Let Market Forces, Not Regulations, Stem Delinquency By Benton Ives-Halperin,

 Dow Jones Newswires

Mortgage industry instructs regulators not to intervene in the fraud they created; let the industry take care of it, as they have years of experience in fraud and trickery to make it "appear" to go away. No harm done; everyone -but the defenseless homeowners- will be happy and richer.  
2/22/07 Lenders told foreclosure picture grim
emmet.pierce@uniontrib.com Mortgage fraud among the factors behind the recent surge in filings. Lenders were concerned with two key loan default issues: the prospect of litigation over the rising number of foreclosures and legislation that could make it harder to navigate through the foreclosure process.
2/20/07 Texas' chief justice calls for overhaul of state courts
AMERICAN-STATESMAN
"a privately litigated matter may well affect public rights. Its resolution may ultimately harm the public good or, because those decisions are secret, impede an innovation to a recurring problem, much to the detriment of Texas citizens."
2/20/07 Why This Market's Fairy Tale Can't Last Forever Michael Panzner When the unraveling is fully underway, there will be a flood of lurid headlines. Amid the avalanche of hearings, lawsuits, arrests, and trials, stories about violent strikes and protests will vie with news of plunging markets and businesses going belly up.  Every day, tales of foreclosures and broken lives will blanket the airwaves.
1/07

FINAL REPORT:

PREDATORY LENDING STUDY GROUP

For Minnesota's Attorney General

LORI SWANSON

State legislators, businesses (including community bankers involved in mortgage lending) and representatives of non-profit organizations County level data in the Twin Cities area confirm that the foreclosure problem is better described as an explosion than an increase.
9/24/03

Handcuffs And Smoking Guns: 

The Criminal Elements Of Wall Street

Andrew Beattie Investopedia In the case of accounting, the physical evidence is found in the numbers. Forensic accountants search for the elusive smoking gun in the company's financial statements. Even manipulators of numbers leave a palpable "fingerprint" behind when they change things.
2/14/07 Will Sub-Prime Loan Defaults Create Another Amaranth?

institutionalriskanalytics.com 

"Subprime loan buyers typically can force lenders to buy back the mortgages they sell if borrowers miss their first few payments, any type of fraud is discovered, or the loans otherwise fail to meet the guidelines laid out in a sales contract."
2/07 The Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter    
2/9/07 Judge Certifies Novastar Class Action

Stephen Taub - CFO.com

Filed in April 2004 on behalf of shareholders by Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, the class action reportedly claims the Kansas City, Missouri-based subprime lender Novastar concealed critical information, artificially raising the company's share price.
2/8/07 Wall St down on concerns over housing market By Alex BarkerFT.com The rise in defaults surprised investors and sparked selling of sub-prime mortgage lenders and homebuilders.
2/8/07 Lifting the Lid:

Securitization-ripe for results massaging?

By Tim McLaughlin

Reuters

A new study strongly suggests securitization financing could be more susceptible to accounting abuse than previously thought.
2/3/07 Prosecution rests in HomeGold fraud trial

By Page Ivey

The Associated Press

Sheppard is accused of defrauding 8,000 investors of about $275 million in connection with the 2003 failure of his company and its subsidiary Carolina Investors in one of the largest bankruptcies in S.C. history.
Feb 2008 Whitepaper How Resilient Are Mortgage Backed Securities to Collateralized Debt Obligation Market Disruptions?

JOSEPH R. MASON

JOSHUA ROSNER

They determine that even investment grade rated CDOs will experience significant losses if home prices depreciate, leading to broader imbalances in the U.S. economy that, if left unchecked, could lead to prolonged economic difficulties.
1/31/07 Firm ordered to end lending practices

Mortgage Lenders Network ordered to cease illegal activities
By DAVE COLLINS
The Associated Press
The state Department of Banking on Tuesday suspended the lending licenses of an embattled mortgage firm that is under investigation for failing to provide funding for customers whose mortgage loans had already closed.
1/27/07 Suit says lender blocked reforms By E. Scott Reckard, Times Staff Writer Lee said Arnall "repeatedly blocked" his efforts to implement reforms after allegations of deceptive and fraudulent lending practices at Ameriquest.
1/25/07 Investigators search mortgage company

Carnation Banc and Evergreen Investment Corp.

By Rick Armon and Jim Carney

Beacon Journal staff writers

 

Summit County Sheriff's Department Capt. Steve Barry said the search warrant was related to the ongoing investigation into Evergreen Investment Corp. because there is a professional relationship between the two companies.
1/23/07

Concerns over new law leads lender to drop R.I. loans

Option One Mortgage Corp., the state�s dominant lender to borrowers with credit problems, has stopped making mortgage loans in Rhode Island.

By Lynn Arditi
Journal Staff Writer
The law also prohibits lenders from extending �high-cost� home loans to borrowers without verifying the borrower�s income and ability to pay. The safeguards are aimed at protecting consumers with less-than-perfect credit from taking on mortgages they can�t afford and losing their houses to foreclosure.
1/19/07 AG Swanson wants criminal penalties for unscrupulous lenders

By BRIAN BAKST  

The Associated Press

Consumers would get more power to sue to recover losses, and a ban on loan prepayment penalties that was scrubbed from Minnesota�s books in 1996 would be reinstated.
1/18/07 Spike in foreclosures needs lawmaker action, group advises

BY JENNIFER BJORHUS

Pioneer Press

New Attorney General Lori Swanson announced a fat package of legislative changes aimed at cracking down on abusive mortgage lending.
1/4/07 Foreclosure's Filthy Aftermath Maya Roney
BusinessWeekOnline
"And it's scary to think that with rising foreclosures, these animals will be some of the hidden victims."
1/3/07 Taking action against predatory lending

Minnesota 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."
1/2007

Brokerage held liable in predatory mortgage loans

 

Consumer-Action.org When investors are held liable for the actions of the companies they fund and the mortgage loans they purchase on the secondary market, it can have a chilling effect on predatory lending practices. In an important recent case, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court decision that Lehman Brothers knowingly participated in fraudulent predatory loans being made to subprime borrowers.
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".
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
12/18/06 Cracks start to appear in credit pipe John Dizard Companies such as Ownit fail all the time, in every part of the business cycle, with few ripples beyond sad gatherings in the bar in the nearest mall. In this case, though, says Jay Diamond of Annaly Mortgage Management: �Ownit may have been the canary in the coal mine.�
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.
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.
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.

  '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."
  copyright MSFraud.org