News related to the Foreclosure Crisis

The biggest unpunished heist in human history

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9/30/12**

Woman says foreclosure team cleaned out wrong home.

For those homeowners who've been screwed over by wrongful lockouts by foreclosing lenders (and their confederates) and seek some possible guidance on how much their cases might be worth if they seek to sue, see links at bottom of post.

(1) For those homeowners who've been screwed over by wrongful lockouts by foreclosing lenders (and their confederates) and seek some possible guidance on how much their cases might be worth if they seek to sue, see:

 

Home Equity Theft Reporter The woman asked if she could get her items back from storage because they were supposed to be held for 30 days, but according to the police report she was told the items had been destroyed.

On the door of the home Friday was a hand written note that reads "This is private property. No trespassing. If you coming in here, you won't be leaving."
For examples of filed lawsuits involving illegal bank break-in, "trash-out" & lockout cases, see:

 

9/30/12

 

How to Erase a Debt That Isn’t There

Chase won’t help her modify her loan, Ms. Esposito said, but it is happy to help by forgiving a loan that has already been discharged and releasing a lien that is already gone.

“There is no chance that this group of institutions can help homeowners,” Mr. Crane said. “They should not be in charge of fixing problems they helped create.”

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Neil Crane is a lawyer in Hamden, Conn., who represented Ms. Esposito and her husband in their bankruptcy. He says four of his other clients have recently received letters from banks claiming to forgive discharged debt.

“I never thought in my wildest dreams that the banks would do this properly,” Mr. Crane said last week. “But I think it’s really wrong to be foreclosing on mortgages you don’t own and relinquishing debt you don’t own.”

9/30/12**

comment to above article

Blatant Violation of Mortgage Settlement Elicits Predictable Limp-Wristed Response From Mortgage Monitor

One of the ways banks can earn credits toward the remainder of the balance is by extinguishing first and second liens. But the banks look to be taking debts that were uncollectable, from a legal perspective, and claiming credit nevertheless. 

naked capitalism The most egregious version is the one fingered by Morgenson, that of debts that were already erased in bankruptcy. Morgenson has unearthed multiple instances where the banks have sent out cheery letters saying they are wiping out consumers’ debts, when those debts in fact are long gone. And to add injury to insult, these servicers are also reporting these phony extinguishments of debt to the IRS as if they were actual debt forgiveness, so the consumers will have an uphill battle proving that the banks have done them dirty by misreporting for fun and profit.
9/29/12

Scores of homeowners unsure how to get back title from trusts

For some, it was the last hope to keep their homes and so they listened to the pitch rather than their gut.

Palm Beach Post “This is going to be a huge mess for homeowners who transferred their properties,” said Boca Raton real estate attorney Marlyn Wiener. “Unless the trustees voluntarily transfer the properties back to the homeowners — execute and record a deed conveying the property — the homeowner is no longer the record title owner,” Wiener said.
Without title, the homeowner will find it difficult to do anything with the property, such as negotiate a loan modification, short sale, or refinance a loan, Wiener said.
9/28/12

  USEFUL LAW VIDEOS

MSFraud Forum Videos on: Voir Dire,  How to Offer Documentary Evidence, How to Admit Evidence for Trial, How to Make Objections and Laying Proper Foundation for Exhibits  
9/28/12

Long toxic, mortgages now seen boosting U.S. bank results

One of the few businesses working well for the biggest banks these days is the same one that got them in trouble just five years ago: mortgages.

The U.S. Federal Reserve plans to buy up to $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities each month for as long as it takes for unemployment to fall. 

Reuters Banks benefit from the fees they get from closing loans, but also from the fact that investors want more mortgages than lenders can easily make.
When a bank makes a new loan, it can quickly sell it off to investors at a relatively high price, analyst Dick Bove of Rochdale Securities said.

Banks are trying to make up for the reduced margins by making more loans
9/28/12

House approves federal whistleblower protections

Washington Post Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.): “It is a sad truth that many of these whistleblowers faced reprisal because they embarrassed those in power who were happy to waste taxpayer money or violate the law. By passing the Whistleblower Protection and Enhancement Act today, the House of Representatives sent a clear message to those who help us protect the American people and their hard-earned tax dollars: We stand beside you.”
9/28/12

Transactional Attorney Ethics

The responses to my post on Scott Brown's activities as a real estate attorney make me think that I need to tee up a broader issue: the role of attorneys in the financial crisis.

Prof. Adam Levitin

 Credit Slips

Comments were closed after Chris's comment
9/28/12

Foreclosure Crisis Year Six

We undoubtedly have years to go before the foreclosure crisis can be declared over.

Credit Slips There have been 4.5 million completed foreclosure sales since 2007 and there are still between 4 and 5 million mortgages delinquent or in foreclosure now. Defaulted mortgages are still considerably more than 10% of all mortgages, at least double the rate in normal times, and the foreclosure inventory is still at about quadruple the pre-crisis rate. 

9/28/12

Bankruptcy Alternatives: The Short Sale

Mortgage Law Network To the uneducated, these appear to be huge benefits. Well, I’m here to burst your bubble and educate you to reality. While it is true that a short sale is not a foreclosure, here are the realities:
9/28/12

The Next Subprime Crisis Is Here: Over $120 Billion In Federal Student Loans In Default

Zerohedge Whereas earlier today we presented one of the most exhaustive presentations on the state of the student debt bubble, one question that has always evaded greater scrutiny has been the very critical default rate for student borrowers: a number which few if any lenders and colleges openly disclose for fears the general public would comprehend not only the true extent of the student loan bubble, but that it has now burst.
9/28/12

Ex-IRS examiner charged with naming whistleblower

Reuters Lerner was charged with violating federal conflict of interest laws and improperly disclosing confidential IRS information. He could face up to 20 years in prison.

"Lerner's violations of basic conflict of interest laws were brazen and continued in the face of warnings," Bharara said.

9/28/12

Goldman Sachs settles SEC charges for almost $12M

Goldman Sachs agreed to pay a $3.75 million fine and about $8.2 million in restitution plus interest. The SEC said the $11.95 million Goldman is paying was the largest settlement amount it had ever won in a case involving "pay-to-play" violations.

Philly The Securities and Exchange Commission also charged former Goldman Sachs vice president Neil M.M. Morrison with trying to influence the awarding of state contracts through campaign work for former Massachusetts Treasurer Timothy Cahill.
9/28/12

Did Scott Brown Have Patient Zero of the Foreclosure Fraud/Robosigning Scandal, Lender Processing Services, as a Client?

naked capitalism Even if some of those banks have dropped LPS since then, were their records ever comprehensively fixed? And what about other LPS clients? Surely they’ve picked up more, as the tidal wave of foreclosures really grew after Lofton left LPS. Indeed, that foreclosure surge surely worsened the problems, since the time pressure on LPS employees can only have gotten worse.
9/28/12

Quelle Surprise! Mortgage Settlement Monitor Advocates Going Easy on Servicers Since We Don’t Dare Ask Them to Spend Money to Meet Their Contractual Obligations

"This is utter garbage. "

naked capitalism For Smith to contend that high servicing costs might be a problem, when it was undercharging for servicing that has wrecked records and led to widespread borrower abuses, isn’t just perverse, it’s 180 degrees wrong. The record of servicing is that the industry’s fee structures allow only for servicing portfolios with extremely low delinquency rates. Servicing a delinquent loan costs vastly more than a performing loans; the owners of high touch servicers that focus on distressed portfolios tell me their staffing levels are five times the level of ordinary servicers.

9/28/12

BofA to Pay $2.43 Billion in Merrill Settlement

Nasdaq The settlement represents the largest-ever amount paid to shareholders under a law designed to prohibit misleading statements in connection with a merger. It also marks the bank's latest effort to move on from two troubled acquisitions it made during the height of the financial crisis: Merrill and mortgage lender Countrywide Financial.

9/28/12

JP Morgan Loss Could Be $100 Billion, Next 'Shock' Event

The entire world has forgotten about or ignored what could be the upcoming "shock" that puts the global financial system in severe jeopardy. To make matters much, much worse - I don't think anyone even has a clue as to what is really happening. 

Seeking Alpha The JP Morgan trading blunder could result in a $100 billion loss, a contagion of its massive portfolio, and even the wipeout of its entire asset base. Even worse, these extremely risky and potentially-illegal actions on behalf of the CIO office and the "London Whale" could be the unexpected "shock" that breaks the market, derails the Fed's huge monetary stimulus, and sends us back into a global recession.
9/27/12

When Will the SEC Finally Go After the Auditors?

Several times in recent years the SEC's enforcement division has seemed to bend over backwards to avoid accusing anyone at a failed financial institution of committing accounting fraud

Bloomberg That's why it's so disappointing to look at the SEC's own highlights of the various lawsuits it has brought in connection with the financial crisis -- and to realize that not one of those lawsuits has been against an auditor. The government didn't just bail out the big banks back in 2008 and 2009. It bailed out their accounting firms, too. This can't be good for investors' confidence in the long run.

9/27/12

DRI national poll uncovers perceptions of flaws in U.S. civil justice system

DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar recently issued a report titled “The DRI National Poll on the Civil Justice System,” in which it found, on the basis of a random sample of 1,020 U.S. adults, that a significant percentage (41) of respondents indicated that they were not confident that the civil law system produces just and fair results.

Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP
Gary Long, Greg Fowler and Simon Castley
A vast majority of respondents (83 percent) indicated that “the side with the most money for lawyers usually wins.” About two-thirds said that they preferred juries over judges to decide disputes. Questions probing bias toward litigants revealed that 54 percent would favor an individual in litigation against a large corporation. Only 11 percent said that they would favor business, and 23 percent said they would be neutral. If the defendant were “a small business located in your community,” the preference for individual plaintiffs faded away, however, with 32 percent indicating they would favor the plaintiff.
9/27/12

Did Scott Brown Facilitate Predatory Loans?

Prof. Adam Levitin

Credit Slips

At the very least, it looks like Scott Brown was riding the mortgage bubble, serving as a cog in the machine. We know that Senator Brown was carrying water for Wall Street when (as his singular notable Senatorial accomplishment) he weakened the Volcker Rule that was aimed at preventing federally-insured banks from engaging in risky heads-I-win/tails-taxpayer-loses trades. Was undermining the Volcker Rule just a continuation of a career carrying water for the banks? 

9/27/12

Mortgage foreclosure: beware the automatic stay

Kline v. Deutsche Bank 

Pepper Hamilton LLP
Vicki R. Harding
As suggested by this case, bankruptcy courts take the automatic stay very seriously. A lender is well advised to take particular care not to violate the automatic stay. In addition, as indicated in this case, if there is an unintentional technical violation it may not be sufficient to simply stop doing whatever it was that violated the stay. A lender must also consider whether there is a further duty to remedy the violation.
9/27/12

The Rental Alternative to Foreclosure

FOR homeowners who have been buffeted about by the foreclosure process, the suggestion that they willingly hand their deed to the lender and rent the home instead may only add insult to injury.

NY Times Advocates for distressed borrowers say that even those who do qualify ought to be cautious. It may be more financially beneficial to ride out the lengthy foreclosure process living in their houses free and putting money aside, rather than working out a deal to pay rent, said Craig D. Robins, a bankruptcy and foreclosure defense lawyer working in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
9/27/12

U.S. SUPREME COURT RARITY

No lawyers, no problem, court to hear appeals

One was written in pencil and submitted by an inmate at a federal prison in Pennsylvania. The other was filed by a man with no telephone living on Guam.

AP Longtime Supreme Court practitioner Tom Goldstein called the granting of two such lawyerless cases at the same time ‘‘unheard of.’’ But both cases chosen by the justices will help resolve the ability of civilians to sue the government over claims of improper actions of federal and military employees on the job.
 

9/27/12

 

 

Banks Trying to Get Bill Through Congress Protecting MERS

The mortgages that were used for foreclosure are fatally defective and that leads to the conclusion that (1) the foreclosures can be overturned and 

(2) millions of dollars in damages might be payable to those homeowners who were foreclosed and evicted from homes they legally owned.

Living Lies So the question comes down to this: will Congress try to save MERS? (I.e., will they try to save the banks again with a legal bailout?). Will the effort even be constitutional since it deals with property required to be governed under States’ rights under the constitution or are we going to forget the Constitution and save the banks at all costs?

Link to the Bill is below...

Neil's Comment: It is no small wonder that the banks are scared. After all they created MERS and they control MERS and many of them own MERS. The Washington Supreme Court ruling leaves little doubt that MERS is a sham, leaving even less doubt that an industry is sprouting up for wrongful foreclosure in which trillions of dollars are at stake.

S.1834 - Residential Mortgage Market Privatization and Standardization Act of 2011

OpenCongress (b) MERS2- The Director shall establish, by rule, a Mortgage Electronic Registration System (in this section referred to as ‘MERS2’) based on the Mortgage Electronic Registration System in use on the date of enactment of this Act. MERS2 shall incorporate a single national database for all mortgage title transfers, to be maintained and operated by FHFA. The rules of the Director shall ensure that property title is transferred in accordance with all applicable provisions of law. All mortgage transfers shall take place according to national standards and shall be recorded in the MERS2 system.
9/27/12

Freddie Mac sold my family a former meth lab home and they're refusing to accept responsibility.

When my wife and I learned that we could afford a home, we thought it was too good to be true. It turned out that it was.

Change.org

Petition

Freddie Mac won't take any responsibility for misleading us about the safety of our home, and attorneys just tell us that we should've read the fine print. Tell that to my son. Simply walking away will not only negatively impact our credit, but would enable banks to continue this trend of severe negligence. 
9/27/12


Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Update: Checks to Victims, Servicing Standards, Ongoing Lawsuits

If this works and they get the target of 750,000 responses, then the payout will amount to $2,000 “sorry your home was stolen” checks. However, the challenge will come in actually finding these homeowners, who after all lost their home and experienced an upheaval in their lives.

David Dayen - FDL Big banks are also in court in Massachusetts, under a lawsuit that was allowed to continue despite the settlement.
Prosecutors during a hearing argued that lenders Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank and GMAC Mortgage, as well as MERS, should face state civil charges that they initiated foreclosures without actually holding the mortgages in question and that they corrupted land records by using MERS. Those charges were originally brought by state Attorney General Martha Coakley last December.
9/27/12

Use Of Eminent Domain To Condemn Underwater Mortgages: A Pro-Homeowner Viewpoint

The financial industry is alarmed by this proposal, claiming that the sky will fall if it is implemented. But this proposal is constitutional, beneficial and administratively feasible. Local governments should give it a try as they seek to stabilize their communities.

Home Equity Theft Reporter Eminent domain is an ancient prerogative of sovereign governments. Federal and state governments have limited that power by requiring that a government use eminent domain to achieve a public purpose and pay just compensation upon its exercise. See, e.g., Brown v. Legal Foundation of Washington, 538 U.S. 216, 231-32 (2003).

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken an expansive view of the "public purpose" requirement, holding that use of eminent domain to achieve as broad a purpose as economic development is a legitimate exercise of government power even when it involves taking land from one private party and giving it to another. Kelo v. City of New London

9/27/12

"Defendants decided they were above the r

 

ules of the market and above the law."

Former Credit Suisse exec faces extradition to US


A former Credit Suisse trader accused of inflating subprime mortgage-related bond prices faces extradition to the United States after being arrested in Britain, police said Thursday.

Each face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of at least $250,000.

MSN "While the residential housing market was in free fall, and shock waves were reverberating throughout the economy, these defendants decided they were above the rules of the market and above the law," said Preet Bharara, the Manhattan US attorney general.

The fraud allegedly took place between late 2007 and early 2008, as the collapsing US housing bubble sent millions of home mortgages into default and wiped off hundreds of billions of dollars in value from mortgage backed securities widely held by banks and other institutional investors.
9/26/12

Robert Jenkins: Puncturing bankers’ myths

Iam Fraser In this speech, Robert Jenkins blows apart the self-serving myths that ‘old guard’ bankers and their lobbyists have been peddling since the financial crisis ripped apart the global financial system in 2007-. He also explains that, unfortunately ‘captured’ regulators and politicians have swallowed the myths whole. The unsurprising consequence is that post-crisis financial regulatory reform is a mess that has little chance of ensuring the sustainability of the system going forward.
9/26/12

Florida attorney general files suit against land trusts, calling business unfair and deceptive


Hundreds of Florida homeowners have signed their deeds over to the trusts

Palm Beach Post The assets and operations of several South Florida land trust companies, related firms and their owners were frozen by the state attorney general’s office Tuesday in a complaint claiming they made promises to struggling homeowners they can’t fulfill.

9/26/12

Former FDIC head Sheila Bair: ‘Covering up for Citigroup’s problems’ drove much of the bailout

Sheila Bair, former chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), talks to “Viewpoint” host Eliot Spitzer about why the financial collapse happened and whether the government should have done more

ViewPoint Bair criticizes the way the bailout was handled by the Treasury Department. “A lot of this was being driven by covering up for Citigroup’s problems.” She goes on to say that the Treasury Department didn’t implement harsher restrictions when it came to the bailout — such as forcing banks to allow the government to restructure mortgages en masse — because “they were afraid that if they put too many conditions or restrictions, the healthy banks wouldn’t take [the bailout]. And they wanted to make it look like everybody was the same. … They wanted everybody to take it so Citi didn’t look like an outlier.”
9/26/12

Freddie Mac wins dismissal of shareholder lawsuit

A federal judge has again dismissed a lawsuit accusing Freddie Mac of misleading shareholders by understating its subprime mortgage exposure and overstating its capital strength ahead of the 2008 financial crisis.

Reuters Shareholders led by the Illinois-based Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund had accused Freddie Mac of hiding its risks after revealing a $2 billion quarterly loss on November 20, 2007.

 

9/26/12

Another fee whether you use it or not.

Will Your State Be Punished for Taking Foreclosures to Court?

The way it works is that YOU (not the state) will be charged increased mortgage fees when purchasing a home if you live somewhere that uses the judicial system to process its foreclosures.

Huff Post This proposed policy ignores the reality that servicers have monetary incentives to drag out foreclosure proceedings. To truly address the issue of prolonged foreclosures, the FHFA should focus on the way mortgages are serviced. DeMarco's proposal will do little to change the realities of the mortgage servicing sector.

There is no need to punish a state for the protections it has put in place to safeguard homeowners from wrongful foreclosures.

9/26/12

Foreclosure woes aren't going away

Times Herald Florida saw a 26 percent increase in foreclosure filings last month compared with August 2011, as banks now past the robosigning crisis have begun to file early stage foreclosure again.
9/26/12

Brown signs foreclosure-prevention legislation


The foreclosure-prevention bills aim to prevent another big real estate bust like the one that plunged California and the nation into a recession 5 years ago.

L.A. Times The governor on Tuesday signed into law SB 1474 by Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), giving the attorney general authority to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate and issue indictments for alleged financial crimes, including mortgage fraud.

The other measure allows state agencies and private citizens to sue financial institutions, under limited conditions, for economic compensation and additional civil damages of up to $50,000, if lenders willfully, intentionally or recklessly violate the law.

9/26/12

Sixth Circuit broadens scope of property interests for bona fide purchasers

A claimant with “a continuing security interest and lien” may qualify as a bona fide purchaser (BFP) for value under 21 U.S.C. § 853(n)(6)(B). 

Lexology The Government argued that expanding the BFP exception to cover “security interests in intangible deposit accounts . . . would render the relation-back doctrine . . . meaningless. 

The case is United States v. Huntington National Bank, 682 F.3d 429 (6th Cir. 2012).

9/26/12

KeyCorp, U.S. Bank web sites hit in the latest cyber attack against nation's largest banks

Last week, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citi were attacked. Wells Fargo was hit Tuesday.

Cleveland The incidents are believed to stem from a group called the "Cyber Fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam." The group is claiming the attacks are in retaliation for the anti-Islam video "Innocence of Muslims." The video is believed to have sparked violence around the world, including the deadly attack on Americans in Libya two weeks ago.
9/26/12

Freddie Mac Didn’t Set Out to 

Profit from Homeowners Trapped in High-Rate Mortgages

ProPublica But the inspector general left a key stone unturned: It did not independently evaluate the firewall within Freddie Mac designed to keep Freddie’s investment arm from profiting from insider information about the mortgage giant’s plans to tighten or loosen homeowners’ access to credit. Instead, the inspector general relied on the word of employees it interviewed and conducted no further investigation.
9/25/12

Rakoff delivers enormous gift to MBS bond insurers, noteholders

Rakoff not only offered a simple definition of a material adverse effect that should help everyone with MBS put-back claims but also wiped out several other potential Flagstar defenses to Assured's claims. 

Allison Frankel

Thomson Reuters

Rakoff is the third judge to offer an analysis of loss causation in the context of a bond insurer's put-back case -- and the third to reject MBS issuers' arguments that they're only liable for repurchasing deficient underlying mortgages when the breaches caused the loans to default.

Assured v. Flagstar SJ opinion

FORMER NORTH CASTLE REPUBLICAN CHAIRWOMAN
PLEADS GUILTY IN RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME

Over this time period the pair defrauded five victims including own Murphy’s father.

Westchester County District Attorney In addition to skimming money out of the Settle One Corporation bank account for her own personal benefit, Murphy also attempted to conceal her crimes by using money left in the Settle One bank account to make monthly mortgage payments on various unpaid mortgages and, in some cases, Murphy even stole one homeowner's new mortgage loan money and used it to pay off another homeowner's previously unpaid mortgage.

Big lenders are back in court to fight AG's foreclosure lawsuit

Boston Business Journal Seeking to have the remaining civil charges against them dismissed, five large national mortgage lenders and the Mortgage Electronic Registration System confronted state prosecutors in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston on Monday afternoon.
9/25/12

Realtor Sentenced for Fake Deeds on Foreclosed Homes

Fox 5 After recording the false deeds, the defendant would cut off Realtor lock boxes, break into the homes and have them re-keyed before renting them to victims, prosecutors said.
9/25/12

Creditors Plan To Snatch Assets From Bankruptcy Trustees

Creditors are starting to talk up how to snatch assets away from bankruptcy trustees who don’t even know they’re coming.

Mortgage Law Network The case that’s causing the excitement is the Ninth Circuit’s In re Blixseth where the circuit court concluded that a bankruptcy trustee lost an asset that was not even properly listed on the debtor’s schedule of assets. Normally, that’s not possible – a bankruptcy estate doesn’t lose something it owns but doesn’t know about.
9/25/12

California enacts new homeowner protection laws

Authorities will have more time and tools to investigate mortgage fraud under legislation Gov. Jerry Brown announced signing Tuesday.

SFGate The state attorney general's office will be able to convene a statewide grand jury to investigate financial crimes involving victims in multiple counties under SB1474.

"California has been the epicenter of the foreclosure and mortgage crisis," she said in a statement. She said the bills "will provide basic fairness and transparency for homeowners, and improve the mortgage process for everyone."

SIGN PETITION

9/25/12

HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE

other98 For the last 5 years, everyone in America has been asking the same question: “When are the Wall Street bankers responsible for crashing the global economy going to be prosecuted?” There have been zero indictments, and now the statute of limitations is running out. We want to know why AG Eric Schneiderman, the latest lawyer assigned to investigate the financial crisis, has yet to produce any indictments of major Wall Street fraud – even though the clock to prosecute megabank crimes is running out.
9/25/12

Sheila Bair Book Says Obama Foreclosure Prevention Program 'Cheated Borrowers'

The huge number of loans that needed to be reworked, combined with burdensome documentation requirements and a lackluster effort on the part of banks' mortgage servicing divisions, guaranteed the program was "doomed to failure," according to Bair.
"What's more, it cheated borrowers," she wrote."

Huff Post "HAMP was a program designed to look good in a press release, not to fix the housing market," Bair wrote. "Larry and Tim didn't seem to care about the political beating the president took on the hundreds of billions of dollars thrown at the big-bank bailouts and AIG bonuses, but when it came to home owners, it was a very different story. I don't think helping home owners was ever a priority for them."

9/25/12

If you were insulted by the $1,500-$2,000 so-called restitution, well that amount was hyper-inflated. 

If Mortgage Fraud caused you to lose your home, equity, job and cash to loan mods, you may get $840.

And they are calling it restitution?

SFGate About 432,600 Californians who lost their homes to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011 could receive at least $840 under the national mortgage settlement forged between the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers, federal regulators and 49 state attorneys general.

Any payment received may reduce payments that a borrower may be eligible to receive in any other foreclosure claim process or legal proceeding.

9/25/12

Romney Pals Could Soak Up Foreclosures in Housing Plan: Street Whispers


It may not do much to help renters and homeowners, however.

The Street Mitt Romney's plan for housing might be short on details and not very different from that of the Obama Administration, but at the very least, it suggests a continuation of policies that would keep investors on Wall Street pretty happy.

Any plan to help finance bulk acquisitions of government-owned foreclosed homes would be a big win for Wall Street.

9/25/12

Voting Can Be A Nightmare When You’re Dealing With Foreclosure

The Fair Elections Legal Network released a report “Lose Your Home, Keep Your Vote: How to Protect Voters Caught Up in Foreclosure” that highlights the confusion and difficulties victims of foreclosure may face when determining how to vote this November and draws attention to this voter crisis in the making.

care2 As detailed in the report, over one million households were affected by foreclosures during the first six months of 2012. During that period, new foreclosures filings were 2 percent higher than the previous six months. The second quarter of 2012 saw a spike in the number of new foreclosure filings with a nine percent increase over the first quarter and six percent increase from the second quarter of 2011. We talk about the foreclosure crisis as though it is over, something that has already happened. But it’s not. It’s still here.
9/25/12

Survey: North Texans less idealistic about homeownership

Housing Wire Once the staple of the American dream, North Texans who participated in the Texas Trust Credit Union survey say they no longer view buying a home as a source of pride or a chance to obtain a lifelong dream.

9/25/12

The Myths and Merits of MERS

Perspective from a pro-MERS viewpoint

Andrews Kurth In this section, we will address some of the more prevalent myths surrounding the MERS® System that have been perpetuated by various MERS’ critics and we will explain the facts and legal analysis that clarify and dispel such myths.
9/25/12

Romney Accomplishes the Impossible: His Housing Plan is Worse than Obama’s

DannLaw His policy simply ignores the issues of Criminal or Civil enforcement actions against Servicers and Foreclosure Mills who continue to commit fraud on a daily basis.
9/25/12

Cleveland's glut of vacant housing could take billions to eliminate at current pace

Question: Would Cleveland be in this situation if mortgage fraud and illegal foreclosures never came to town?

Cleveland The meeting drew together representatives of Midwestern cities, the U.S. Treasury and high-ranking policy makers in the Department of Housing and Urban Development among others to discuss using demolition to improve surrounding property values and stabilize neighborhoods, Brancatelli said. (Billions of dollars would  "improve" any neighborhood. MSF
9/25/12

Foreclosure Auction Investors Bellyache After Discovering 'Great Buys' Are Tainted With 'Poison Pills'

Home Equity Theft Reporter Some bidders who have purchased foreclosed houses at public auction are complaining about a "poison pill" embedded in the sale. If the auctioned house was foreclosed on by a homeowners association, some buyers end up paying for the house only to have it later foreclosed on by one or more banks.

9/24/12

ACCOUNTABLE

Megabanks Extend and Pretend They Won't Pay for Foreclosure Fouls

I think the big mortgage servicers, and their consultants, are in no hurry to start the reviews. They’d love it if these megabanks never have to pay borrowers a dime.

American Banker Regulators have been promising lump-sum payments "from $500 to, in the most egregious cases, $125,000 plus equity," for a while. But, as yet, there have been no payments to borrowers. The independent consultants, engaged by the large banks and paid directly by them, haven’t yet made any payment recommendations, according to Hubbard.

Who’s getting paid in the meantime? The independent consultants.

Sources estimate PwC’s total revenue for its four foreclosure review engagements will eventually exceed $1 billion– its largest consulting win ever.

It’s in consultants' best interests to extend the foreclosure review engagements as long as possible without coming up with an estimate for each servicer of its total liability to borrowers. 

9/24/12

Kelly Parker Foreclosure: Cancer Patient Mom Renews Fight To Save Graffiti-Covered Home

Parker bought her two bedroom ranch home on Detroit's west side in 2005, but got behind on payments after the rates on her mortgage doubled.

Huff Post Dibert thinks Parker actually paid taxes for the years Wayne County is trying to foreclose on her house.

A Bank of America spokeswoman said the bank doesn't have a lot of information about the loan because it was brought into their system from the previous servicer.

9/24/12

Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Forms Mailed

Attorney General George Jepsen said on Monday that payment claim forms are going out to thousands of Connecticut borrowers whose homes were lost to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011.

Hartford Guardian “This payment is intended as partial compensation for the illegal conduct of the mortgage servicers,” said Attorney General Jepsen, who helped to negotiate the settlement agreement. “Unfortunately it will not help everyone

, nor restore homes that were lost to foreclosure. But it represents help that otherwise would not have been available to borrowers, who can still pursue any legal claims they have against the servicers,” 

2006

White paper

The Place of Reliance in Fraud

Once an actor has made an intentionally false representation that has caused a
detriment to the victim, there seems to be a completed wrong. Why, then, is there a
need for proof of reliance?

JOHN C. P. GOLDBERG
Vanderbilt School of Law
Anthony J. Sebok
Brooklyn Law School
Benjamin C. Zipursky Fordham University School of Law

h/t Deadly Clear

Our aim in this Article is to identify the role that reliance plays within
fraud, giving particular attention to the question of whether there are reasons for requiring reliance independent of the typical tort requirement of causation. Our analysis will focus on the common law tort of fraud, but will also discuss other torts, as well as consumer fraud statutes and, very briefly, federal securities laws.
9/24/12


Failed Bank Executive Pleads Guilty in $1 Billion Mortgage Fraud Case

Once those loans had cleared his underwriters, he would forward the loan packages WITHOUT documentation to the bank for funding or sale to other banks.

The News Tribune The Tacoma lawyer said his client never saw the fraudulent paperwork Portmann created. It was her job, said the attorney, to sell those loans on the secondary market to other banks and financial institutions.

"She never saw their files," said Hershman. "She would get a list faxed to her with dozens of names of loan applicants."
9/24/12

The Fed’s US Land-Grab Hidden Within Purchase of Mortgage-Backed Securities

As of August 9th of this year, the banks are legally allowed to co-mingle customer segregated funds with their own if the financial institution is insolvent, under duress or in bankruptcy. In other words, the technocrats have made the theft that Jon Corzine committed a non-criminal offense.
The latest scheme of the banking cartels has been introduced as QE3, which is nothing more than a massive land-grab in the domestic US by the technocrats under the guise of purchasing the mortgage-backed securities through the Federal Reserve to alleviate the pressure the banks are feeling from the bait-and-switch they caused.

infowars Essentially, as the Fed buys the mortgage-backed securities, the central bankers now own all those properties which were bundled and securitized. The experts are still coming to terms with how many homes, small business, small farms and other lands were mixed-up into this Ponzi scheme. 

The actual total numbers of victimized Americans are continuing to rise and are currently unknown. However, it is clear that as this monster grows, it will be the Federal Reserve at the helm, making sure that more Americans are displaced and foreclosed on.

It is understood that quantitative easing incites “social anger and unrest.”

9/24/12

Fictitious Entities Can Be Denied Standing

Connecticut 

Law Tribune

Even long after an action has been commenced, a party can raise the failure to name a legal entity as plaintiff on a motion to dismiss. In both of these cases, several years of litigation had been conducted without anyone raising the issue of the plaintiffs’ standing. Nonetheless, the Appellate Court affirmed the dismissal of the cases by reasoning that the trial court never had jurisdiction over the
plaintiffs in the first instance.
9/20/12** Fed decision last week to buy $40 billion a month in mortgage paper is the ultimate plan to clear the market once and for all of fraudulent mortgages, mortgage backed securities and related derivatives. 

QE3 – Pay Attention If You Are in the Real Estate Market

I used to have a deputy who said that the FHA mortgage insurance funds were where mortgages went to die. That was, however, before the creation of MERS, derivatives and the explosion of mortgage fraud during the 1990′s which in combination with the “strong dollar policy” engineered what I have referred to as a financial coup d’etat.

Now, the $64,000 question for those whose house is underwater or whose mortgage is in default is whether or not you still owe on your mortgage. Certainly, you still do as a legal matter. If the bank has been paid off, arguably in some cases several times, why not you? 

Catherine Austin Fitts Thousands of mortgages on homes that do not exist or on homes that have more than one “first” mortgage are now going to the Fed to disappear. 

Then there is the fact that a great deal of the fraudulent paper has been purchased by pension funds. So the mark down would hit the retirement savings of the people who have now also lost their homes or equity in their homes.

Various court squabbles over the MERS system for registering mortgages are also nipping at the Fed and Treasury heels. It is hard to win a presidential election in 3100 counties when multiple federal agencies are in the local courts trying to foreclose on half the county while supporting arguments that a national registration system is free to violate local property laws with impunity.

Why should the sheriff respect your rights if you take the position that the county has no rights and local property laws are meaningless? 

9/23/12**

QE3 Another Fed Give Away to the Banks

And the banks use it to gamble, not lend.

The crisis is a bonanza for the banks.

The Real News Michael Hudson: Shoveling money to the banks was not meant to create jobs, it's a way to give banks even more speculative capital and prepare them for another meltdown.
9/23/12

It's a Feeding Frenzy!   Hey, the banks continue to get away with it.

Burglary? Investors seize houses, kick people out and steal, before they officially own them

“We’ve had a rash lately of what I would characterize as burglaries,” Mowle said. “We’ve had a couple cases lately where people have bought property at sale and immediately go to the house, lock people out and take their stuff.”... like banks do.

If the title transferred immediately, it might have to transfer multiple times and the chain of title would be messy, Mowle said.

Home Equity Theft Reporter Whoever buys a property at the foreclosure auction — an investor or the bank — has to wait eight business days before taking possession of the property. That period allows the bank to discover mistakes and lien holders an opportunity to buy the property even if it already has been sold to an investor.

Robin Cafasso, chief deputy district attorney, said not all cases like this will be civil. “We do not have a policy that all cases like this are civil,” Cafasso said. “On the contrary, we would urge law enforcement to investigate it as a burglary.” In most cases, she said this type of thing probably should be handled as a criminal matter.

9/23/12

Central Mtge. Co. v. McClelland

[b]ecause MERS was never the lawful holder of the notes described and identified in the consolidation agreement, the corrected assignment of mortgage is
a nullity, and MERS was without authority to assign the power to foreclose to the plaintiff.”

MSFraud Forum However, Ms. Swayze is not an employee of Quicken Loans, nor does she state that she was employed by Central Mortgage Company on the date of the alleged transfer. Additionally, she does not enumerate which records kept by Central Mortgage Company she reviewed to aver that Central Mortgage Company took physical possession of the mortgage and note.

9/23/12

Are the lessons of the housing crisis already being forgotten?

If there is another mortgage crisis, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (i.e. taxpayers) could lose even more than they did this time around, he added.

Globe & Mail Just four years after toxic U.S. mortgages brought the global financial system to its knees and triggered the deepest recession since the Great Depression, a U.S. housing regulator FHFA may be making it easier for banks to make bad loans without suffering losses.

It’s easier for banks to give you (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) bad loans with these new rules,” he said.

9/23/12

Banks Threaten Elderly Veterans With Foreclosure

"We have to shake off that cloak of shame and put on our war clothes and fight these gangsters."

truthout "Seniors have been set upon by these banks in a very, very vicious manner," asserted Archbishop Franzo King of the St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church, who said he was himself a senior and lost his home to foreclosure recently
9/23/12

Please send us a copy of your loan mod contracts.

Couple Claims Bank of America Would Only Modify Terms of Mortgage If They Kept Quiet About It

Warning! Don't be fooled by the term "Loan Modification". It is a "Bank-Mod Swindle". Banks are using this swindle because they know the real loan is unsecured, uncollectable and was probably destroyed. Plus the loan-mod bank probably doesn't own the home anyway. 

Home Equity Theft Reporter This is why banks don't want judges asking them to produce the original note. They don't have it in more than 9 out of 10 cases.
Read certified transcript page 27,28
So getting your signature on a modification CONTRACT, essentially creates a new note to cover-up the fraud in the original one. How much money did the loan-mod bank put up to become the new owner of the home? Nothing! To cover it all up, the offer comes with a hidden-in-fine-print gag-order so the public doesn't become aware of this ruse.      Thankfully, this couple seems to see it.
9/22/12

WaMu unit banker convicted of fraud

The maximum penalty for mail fraud affecting a financial institution is 30 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000, or twice the value of the gain or loss, whichever is greater.

Seattle Times Blanford paid a loan coordinator in cash and checks to falsify documents, provide false verification of borrowers’ employment or professional licensing status, and to turn a blind eye to fraudulent representations contained in loan applications and other documents submitted to Long Beach Mortgage, prosecutors said. His commissions were based on the number of loans the bank processed.
9/21/12

Romney’s Housing ‘White Paper’: No Plans For Foreclosure Prevention

SECURING THE AMERICAN DREAM AND THE FUTURE OF HOUSING POLICY

Think Progress

_____

The Romney-Ryan plan

Ummm. No plan 
???

9/21/12

Fast track loan modification event set for Oct. 5 and 6; Fannie Mae counselors to meet with homeowners

Homeowners with a Bank of America mortgage or Fannie Mae-backed mortgage can speak with loan officers empowered to modify mortgage terms

Rockland Since 2010, the program, called the CHI Fast TrackTM Loan Modification , has enabled nearly two hundred homeowners in default on their mortgage payments to achieve loan modifications that have allowed them to stay in their homes, with rates reduced to as little as two percent. The program is funded by New York State and "a private foundation". huh?

9/21/12

The government seems determined to screw taxpayers just a little more. 

Government Finds New Ways to Perpetuate the Bailouts of Fannie & Freddie

RedState Here’s the translation: the government is pretending that they are helping the taxpayers out by taking all of the profit generated by Freddie & Fannie, rather than continuing with the fixed 10% dividend that had been written into the tax bailout. Instead, they are guaranteeing that we won’t get paid back nearly as much from the bailouts as we could’ve been.
9/21/12

The HAMP

Foreclosure Stories: Puppet on a string

For the unscrupulous servicer whose only regard is bottom line profit, this “puppet on a string” treatment of homeowners seeking mortgage relief makes perfect sense –stretch the loan modification application process out as long as possible and make all the money possible by doing so.

This dirty little secret of the securitized mortgage loan collection process, explains full well why the average person coming into our office with a foreclosure complaint has been working in good faith with the servicer attempting to get a loan modification for years. 

Sandusky Register

Dan McGookey, Esq.

They have filled out innumerable financial packets; been rejected on the pretense that the packages were incomplete; told they had to begin the process all over again; been told they qualified for HAMP or other forms of mortgage relief, only to later be told there was a mistake, and they didn’t qualify; or, like the Steins, been put through numerous “trial plan” modifications, costing thousands of dollars, and subsequently denied any form of permanent relief. If you are a homeowner with a troubled mortgage, does this sound familiar? The scams used by mortgage servicers are endless, costing homeowners and loan investors billions of dollars a year.
9/21/12

Ex-Fannie Mae Chief Is Dismissed From Investors’ Suit

The investors’ lawyers had not proved that Mr. Raines knowingly misled shareholders about the company’s accounting and internal controls, a necessary hurdle for the case against him to continue.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

“There is not only no direct evidence that Raines intended to deceive Fannie Mae’s investors,” Mr. Leon ruled, “there is no evidence that he even knew his statements were false.” At best, the judge continued, evidence submitted by the shareholders showed that Mr. Raines “acted negligently in his role as the company’s chief executive and negligently in his representations about the company’s accounting and earnings management practices.”
9/21/12

Lehman Unit Liable for Failed CDOs Sold in Australia

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s Australian unit is liable for losses three towns incurred from buying failed securities, a judge ruled. The lawsuit’s sponsor said the case is the first of its kind to complete a trial.

BusinessWeek Yesterday’s ruling is seen as a step forward in the S&P litigation and may result in more lawsuits in Europe, John Walker, executive director of IMF (Australia) Ltd. (IMF) which paid for the lawsuits, told reporters in Sydney.

He said IMF has agreed to fund a claim against S&P in the Netherlands and is looking at lawsuits in Germany and France. 
9/21/12

Romney vows to make foreclosure prevention easier

Many banks have refused principal reduction, even shared appreciation ones, without taxpayers supplementing at least some of the write-downs. (The taxpayer always pays. MSF)

Housing Wire According to some bank or government initiatives proposed or already underway, servicers will reduce mortgage principal and share the value that appreciates afterward in order free up some of the 10.8 million underwater homeowners to either sell their home or refinance.

Servicers do not have the legal authority. Besides, servicers will not do anything that reduces its profits.

9/21/12

FHFA to States that Uphold the Rule of Law: Drop Dead

The two mortgage insurers (Fannie/Freddie) have refused to crack down on foreclosure mills despite overwhelming evidence of their failure to comply with long-established state law requirements. When the robosigning scandal broke, many judges in judicial foreclosure states started taking borrower challenges to servicer standing more seriously. 

naked capitalism New York’s courts instituted a requirement that lawyers submitting documents in foreclosures certify that they had taken reasonable steps to certify their accuracy. This might sound like a belt-and-suspenders requirement, but from a procedural standpoint, it made it easier for borrower’s counsel to seek sanctions if he thought the bank’s attorney was playing fast and loose. And indeed, as we’ve documented, foreclosures ground to a near halt after the certification requirement was instituted.

9/21/12

Woman facing foreclosure makes plea using rooftop sign

She has filled binders with her financial records.

KSBY "I wrote so many letters begging them," she said through tears. "It's been a nightmare."

"I kept giving them whatever they ask for. They ask for bank statements, current paycheck stubs," even her husband's obituary. "I feel like I've done everything they've asked me to do.
9/21/12

Mortgage Task Force Set To Take Action Over Financial Crisis

Schneiderman, a co-chair of the task force, would not say whether cases would be brought against individuals or financial institutions. He also would not comment on whether criminal charges would be filed.

But he said his office would take action and that he expected his federal counterparts on the task force to do so as well.

Huff Post "We'll see actions being taken sooner rather than later," said Schneiderman, speaking in an interview at his office in New York.

The Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group was formed in January, to probe the pooling and sale of risky mortgages in the runup to the 2008 financial crisis. Obama said he was creating the group to "hold accountable those who broke the law" and "help turn the page on an era of recklessness."

Schneiderman said he believes it is still necessary to go after the "bad actors" to restore confidence in the financial markets.

9/21/12

Yes, Really, Truly, No Joke, That Schneiderman Mortgage Task Force is Gonna Get Someone….Soon!

Schneiderman betrayed the public and made it possible for the banks to get a settlement that had state and federal prosecutors sign away their ability to use the best legal theories for pursuing mortgage abuses, that of chain of title issues.

naked capitalism Schneiderman statement:

It’s important to convey the sense that no one is above the law. There’s a set of rules to which all will be held accountable, including big players on Wall Street.

Notice the revealing word choice: “important to convey the sense”. Not “important to enforce the law.” This is (at most) about maintaining the appearance of being even-handed about enforcement.
9/21/12

FHFA Bullying States into Making Foreclosures Faster

I will fight to stop Fannie and Freddie from punishing Connecticut for protecting its citizens from unfair and abusive foreclosure practices. I am seeking immediate action to reverse this misguided, unacceptable decision."

-Sen. Richard Blumenthal

 

David Dayen - FDL Rep. Brad Miller correctly identifies this as bullying. And one lawmaker determined to fight this is Sen. Richard Blumenthal, from one of the affected states, Connecticut. His state has a mandatory mediation system in place that puts off foreclosures until the homeowner sits down with the borrower to try and reach a resolution. It’s been very successful. And FHFA wants to punish Connecticut for it.

Connecticut’s commonsense judicial safeguards protect homeowners from robosigners, fraudulent affidavits, and other big bank tactics that have violated the rights of too many families across the country.

Deny and Discover Strategy Working

Living Lies If you start with the premise that the original mortgage was defective for the primary reason that it was unfunded by the payee on the note, the party identified as “Lender” or the mortgagee or beneficiary, we are denying the transaction, denying the signature where possible (or pleading that the signature was procured by fraud), and thus denying that any “transfer” afterwards could not have conveyed any more than what the “originator” had, which is nothing.

9/20/12

Increasing Evidence that Securitizers Failed to Comply With REMIC May Bolster Arguments that Bond Trusts Lack Standing to Foreclose

The Federal Government and the IRS need to understand that they have not just the option but the obligation to challenge Wall Street’s bold disregard for Federal Tax Law by ignoring the REMIC requirements and seeking tax treatment as if they complied. An effort by Federal enforcers would bolster our efforts to help Ohio Judges understand that even a note that is properly transferred under the UCC simply cannot be held by entity with no legal right to hold it.

DannLaw Under Wells Fargo v. Jordan and other cases, Ohio courts require, under Article IV of the Ohio Constitution that there be a justiciable controversy before a Common Pleas Court can hear a case. If the Bond Trust filing suit cannot hold the asset under its own governing document, then there literally exists no dispute between the Bond Trust and the homeowner on whom they seek to foreclose, in the words of the constitution, no justiciable matter exists.

9/20/12

Wall Street Rolling Back Another Key Piece of Financial Reform

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

The details of this law are pretty hairy, but the basic idea is simple: provided a bank isn’t dumb enough to only provide advice, or to ask for separate compensation for advice, it doesn’t owe anyone any fiduciary responsibility. So they can keep screwing cities and towns as much as they’d like.
9/20/12

Sheila Bair and the bailout bank titans

As the financial system melted down in the fall of 2008, the Treasury Department gave the nation's biggest banks billions in new capital. Was it all necessary? No, says the former FDIC chief in her new book.

Sheila Bair Thain (Merrill Lynch), whose bank was desperate for capital, was worried about restrictions on executive compensation. I couldn't believe it. Where were the guy's priorities? 

Lewis said that BofA would participate and that he didn't think the group should be discussing compensation.

9/20/12

DECISION AND ORDER ON PHH CORPORATION’S PETITION TO MODIFY OR SET ASIDE CIVIL INVESTIGATIVE DEMAND

CFPB This matter arises from a Bureau investigation to determine whether the practice of ceding premiums from private mortgage insurance companies to captive reinsurance subsidiaries
of certain mortgage lenders has violated Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
(RESPA). See 12 U.S.C. § 2607.
9/20/12

Mortgage servicers dropped the ball, study says

Illinois posted the highest foreclosure rate throughout the nation in August for the first time since January 2005.

Chicago Tribune The study also found the federal government was quite limited in its ability to change servicer behavior by offering financial incentives, and that's a big drawback of any voluntary program. But the data also showed that private modifications negotiated outside of the program tended to become less aggressive and less effective. The authors conjecture that servicers might have put the more promising homeowners into HAMP intentionally to receive the incentive payments offered for successes..
9/20/12

Mortgage servicers face CFPB corrective action

Housing Wire "In the mortgage servicing industry, things have not moved smoothly over the past five to six years," Cordray told the committee. "It's a troubled area."
9/20/12

Give home foreclosures their day in court, says former speaker

The former speaker said he’s ready to look at slowing down home foreclosures in Georgia by bringing the courts into the process.

Atlanta Journal Four years into a massive housing crisis that has crippled the metro Atlanta economy, Richardson may be the first Republican legislative candidate to seriously raise the topic of giving beleaguered homeowners the right to take their cases to a judge. The discussion happens at about the 11:00 mark
9/20/12

Cordray downplays importance of safe harbor on Qualified Mortgage Rule

Housing Wire Mortgage industry lobbyists have been pressing the bureau since it overtook QM rulemaking responsibility from the Federal Reserve last year to install "clear, bright lines" and a legal safe harbor that protects lenders from future homeowner suits during foreclosure.
9/20/12

For Seniors, Foreclosure can Destroy the Golden Years

"I live one day at a time," she said, her voice wavering with emotion. "I never thought I would end up this way. I've lost everything."

Sacbee At the time, the lender agreed to lower monthly payments but did not reduce the loan. When her husband died in May 2009, the lender demanded she pay what was owed over the two years of reduced payments. She couldn't afford the sum then, and she can't afford it now. Meanwhile, the 32-year-old manufactured home the couple bought for $125,000 seven years ago is worth just over $40,000 - if she can even sell it. "I'm making myself sick over this," she said.
9/19/12

N.C. Woman With Stage 4 Cancer Fights Foreclosure

The original monthly payment was $840 for their home which cost $112,000. As of now, they owe $140,000 as Wells Fargo adds fees because they are behind.

abc News Because their community and medical treatment are in North Carolina, while their families live in Iowa and New Jersey, they expect to live in their truck somewhere nearby if they are left homeless.

Because Wells Fargo had declined that modification, Davis said the next time they applied for a loan modification, the monthly payment was raised to $873 a month.

9/19/12

NY announces first-in-nation pro bono mandate for lawyers

Reuters The regulation, first proposed by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman in May, requires law students to perform 50 hours of pro bono work between their first year of law school and the time they apply for a license.
9/19/12

Attorney John Long – State of Washington Foreclosure Better for Homeowners

Bain v. Metropolitan

Albice v. Premier Mortgage

Mandelman Matters Recently, there have been three significant developments in Washington, two from the State Supreme Court, and one having to do with the state’s mediation program. And all three fell in favor of homeowners, which is a refreshing change.
2008

Fannie Mae: 

DOCUMENT CUSTODIAN CERTIFICATION JOB AIDS

Fannie Mae FNMA document, which effectively shows how most FNMA loans failed certification for MBS. Of course, FNMA had the fox-and-hen-house syndrome with Countrywide, but still this document sheds a lot of light on how the notes were supposed to be indorsed--original signatures on intervening transfers, facsimile allowed for the last indorsement, but only with the related corporate resolution so authorizing.
9/19/12

Tax Moochers: Banks

ProPublica The tax code distortion makes the financial system and the economy more fragile, prone to bankruptcies and runs. Banks profit, and the economy teeters. 
9/19/12

TAX Fraud is Alive

Mirabile Dictu! Has Someone Noticed the IRS isn’t Enforcing Tax Laws in the Mortgage-Industrial Complex?

The reason this matters is that this situation belies on of the Administration’s pet claims, that its hands were tied as far as addressing the foreclosure mess was concerned because it had no leverage over servicers. As we’ll discuss, in fact the Administration has a nuclear weapon in its hands that it is simply refusing to use.

 

naked capitalism

 

The reason the Borden and Reiss piece is noteworthy is it’s the first time I’m aware of that experts have chosen to comment at length on the REMIC issue, suggest that there is likely a BIG problem here, and politely point out that the REMICs may have committed fraud, which would allow the statute of limitations to remain open indefinitely, giving the IRS plenty of time to investigate and litigate.

This is one of the ugly parts of the mortgage debacle which has not gotten the attention it deserves, the way in which lawyers, rather than acting in their traditional role of drawing bright lines and advising their clients to stay within them, became part of the problem.

Wall Street Rules Applied to REMIC Classification

Profs. Bradley T. Borden & David Reiss  “They take aggressive positions, and they figure that if enough of them take an aggressive position, and there’s billions of dollars at stake, then the IRS is kind of estopped from arguing with them because so much would blow up. And that is called the Wall Street Rule. That is literally the nickname for it.”

9/18/12

 

Addabbo Sponsors Forclosure Fraud Prevention Act Of 2012

In order to better protect New Yorkers facing the foreclosures of their homes, NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. co-sponsored a bill that is now before the Senate’s Rules Committee, which amends the penal law to prevent the fraudulent and widespread practice of “robo-signing” during the foreclosure process.

Long Island Exchange The bill would impose both misdemeanor and felony-level penalties on those who intentionally engage in such conduct and on “high managerial agents” of residential mortgage businesses who recklessly tolerate such fraudulent conduct by their employees and agents. It creates the crimes of residential mortgage foreclosure fraud in the first- and second degrees. The senator also stated that later this year, when the Legislature is called back into an expected special session by Governor Cuomo, he plans to introduce his own bill to enact a one-year moratorium on foreclosures in New York State.

9/18/12

How the Big Banks Are Trying to Destroy Our Justice System

Part I: Did Citigroup Defraud Billions from U.S. Ally Abu Dhabi?

Alternet The court has sealed much of the record , but a careful reading of public filings and other government documents shows a Wall Street justice system as systemically corrupted as the subprime products that imploded the U.S. housing market and financial system in 2008.

9/18/12

A Rare Look at Why the Government Won't Fight Wall Street

The great mystery story in American politics these days is why, over the course of two presidential administrations (one from each party), there’s been no serious federal criminal investigation of Wall Street during a period of what appears to be epic corruption.

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

It's the weird lack of concern that shines through, like Khuzami’s comment that he’s "not losing sleep" over judges reprimanding his soft-touch settlements with banks, or then Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Ray Lohier’s comment that the thing that most concerned him – this is the period of 2008-2009, the middle of a historic crimewave on Wall Street – was "cyber crime."

On the outside we can only deduce the mindset from actions and non-actions, but Connaughton’s actually seen it, and with the book you get to see it too. It’s scary and definitely worth a read.

9/18/12

Missouri AG Sells Out to LPS

Agreement Not to Prosecute DOCX and Lender Processing Services

Living Lies LPS has settled with Missouri for non-prosecution. The Missouri AG agreed to accept the assertion of LPS that it had no idea that all the criminal behavior was ever happening. They are soooooo sorry that they are paying $2 million to the state as a charitable contribution. Think I’m joking? read the article. This is an outrage and should be stopped and the AG should be kicked out of office. Neil
9/18/12**

Crony Capitalism, American Style

The banksters make the argument that actually prosecuting fraudsters would be bad for crony capitalism, which of course scares the bejeebers out of Washington. So Breuer’s office then makes nice with the banksters, and they all go back to doing what they’ve been doing—moving all wealth to the cronies in the top 1%.

Prof. Randal Wray

Economonitor

The Wall Street bank’s business model is fraud. In many of my blogs I’ve been focusing on US real estate because a) homes are where most of the wealth of the bottom 99% of the population is held; b) the real estate mess is like Shrek’s onion, with layer upon layer of fraud; c) the bursting of the real estate bubble is what set off the Global Financial Crisis; and d) real estate fraud is the main tool used by the 1% to move all wealth to the top.

9/18/12

The Fed Now Owns Your Foreclosed Property Under QE3 Purchases of Toxic Assets

Last week, Bernanke announced that the Fed would purchase $40 billion in toxic assets called mortgage-backed securities per month. While this scheme will devastate the US dollar’s value by the very act of printing more money, there is a secret bailout of certain financial institutions occurring under the radar.

OccupyCorporatism QE3 serves as a “regressive redistribution program” for the banksters who are enjoying a surge in their wealth under current economic conditions.

The Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) recently announced that “strategic defaulters”, i.e. those homeowners who have abandoned their mortgage because they could not continue to make the monthly payments will be jailed for this “crime”.

The FHFA are focusing their efforts on criminally persecuting all American citizens “who abuses the FHFA programs” by walking away from their foreclosure.

9/18/12

  Watchdog Wants More Oversight of the "fatally-flawed" GSE business model

American Banker The inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency has pushed the agency to take more oversight over Fannie and Freddie, upending Freddie's mortgage putback practices and drawing out details of a special servicing program.
9/18/12

New Jersey Housing Suffers as Defaults Exceed Nevada

They received a foreclosure notice in March 2010, which they challenged in court. In May 2011, the foreclosure action was withdrawn after the judge ordered a copy of the mortgage note, which wasn’t produced.

Bloomberg We thought we were even, but they kept putting on these bogus charges.”

The Bradys heard nothing about their foreclosure until the certified letter from GMAC arrived. It said their monthly mortgage payment would be $6,336, about three times their previous bill.
“That’s about $4,000 more a month than we’ve been putting aside.” 

9/18/12

Fannie Mae paid BofA premium to transfer soured loans: regulator

Fannie Mae agreed to pay Bank of America Corp about 20 percent more than it was contractually obligated to last year in order to transfer the servicing of troubled loans to another firm, a report by a watchdog found.

Reuters Some smart critics viewed the deal as a back-door bailout that allowed the second-largest U.S. bank to shed poor-performing mortgage loans - and get paid for it. 

Eventually, Fannie Mae agreed to pay a termination fee of $512 million to Bank of America, about $85 million more than it had to under its contract, according to the report. The bank had balked at a lower price and would have been allowed to delay the sale for up to three months as it sought another buyer.

9/18/12

Citi Execs Depart Bank After Mortgage-Fraud Settlement

Two Citigroup Inc. executives are departing after federal prosecutors named them earlier this year in a mortgage-insurance fraud case that resulted in a $158.3 million settlement and an admission of wrongdoing by the bank.

American Banker Both were among CitiMortgage executives named in a suit against Citigroup filed by the U.S. Justice Department earlier this year which claimed the bank saddled taxpayers with losses after falsely declaring defective home loans fit for a federal insurance program. The government alleged that some officials pressured other employees to change reports on faulty loans. Citigroup paid to settle the claims in February.
9/18/12

Billionaire Bill Gross Calls Market "A Ponzi Scheme"

(I thought everyone knew that.)

Money Morning Investors must adjust to the new world order to avoid being the loser in this zero-growth environment, Gross warned.

"It's a catastrophic pattern in the markets," Martenson said, "one we believe could soon hasten an economic collapse - a chain of events that could lead to massive inflation, the swift fall of the dollar, and a total halt to the way we currently live our lives."

9/17/12

Deutsche Zentral sues Goldman Sachs over $189 million in RMBS

Summons & Complaint

Law 360 DZ Bank asserts causes of action for common-law fraud, fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation, aiding and abetting fraud, declaratory judgment, and contract claims, including rescission, restitution, and mutual mistake. DZ Bank seeks compensatory damages, punitive damages, and rescission.
9/17/12

Homeowner's Defenses Not Waivable By Trustee: Judge

Home Equity Theft Reporter The court correctly found that this provision permits the trustee to avail himself of debtor’s defenses but does not authorize the trustee to deprive the debtor of those defenses.

9/17/12

Foreclosure-Mill Tiffany & Bosco, Can be Sued as Debt Collector

“This case has appropriate and serious repercussions to foreclosure mills. It is common for the substitute trustee (frequently Tiffany and Bosco) or the attorney to send out a Notice of Default and Notice of Sale PLUS a Debt Collection Letter. Now they might be liable for sending out false and misleading information.” 

Living Lies The repercussions and ripples from this decision are far-reaching. Can the trustee be operating as both the seller of the property AND as a debt collector. Either way, this decision says they can be sued for misrepresenting the truth and guiding the borrower into foreclosure — a practice sometimes refereed to as dual tracking, but in this case they had the borrower “opt-out” of Hamp under false pretenses so they could foreclose.

O'Quin v. Bank of America, Tiffany-Bosco

9/17/12

Judge stops foreclosure of Louisville woman's home after scam

She was about to lose her house because no one would listen to her claims that she was a victim. Then Legal Aid of East Tennessee stepped in and got a judge's attention.

WATE-TV At the Blount County Justice Center, a judge ruled in her favor after reading a 15-page motion asking that the foreclosure by PNC Mortgage be stopped.

"They cannot foreclose on me. They cannot harass me on the phone anymore," Joy Joines said.

9/17/12

EMC v. Toussaint

Complaint filed on Oct. 1, assignment executed on Oct. 2 = Court has a duty to DISMISS the action.  It is that simple

New York Supreme Court - Queens County

stopforeclosurefraud

This action was commenced by filing the Lis Pendens, Summons and Complaint with the Queens County Clerk on October 1, 2007. The assignment of the mortgage to plaintiff was executed on October 2, 2007 and recited that it was effective September 25, 2007.
9/17/12

Candler Family, Heirs To Coca-Cola Founder, Lose $37.5 Million To Foreclosure Crisis

Huff Post Not even the founding family of one of America’s most famous brands has been able to escape the effects of the foreclosure crisis.

9/17/12

Vacate the Substitution of Trustee

“The Bottom Line is that if the REMIC transactions were real, they would have been named on the note and mortgage. The fact that they never were named or disclosed demonstrates clearly that something else was going on besides funding mortgages with REMIC money from investors. 

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

Nobody would loan money without putting their name as payee on the note, their name as lender on the note and mortgage and their name as beneficiary. The Wall Street explanation that MERS and other obscurities were necessary to securitize the loans is in fact directly contrary to the fact that the loans were never securitized, that the mortgage bonds were bogus obligations from empty REMICs with no bank account and no active manager or trustee.” 

9/17/12

Insider Sniping and Turnover at Bank of America

CNBC The news that Bank of America had hired Gary Lynch, formerly the General Counsel of Morgan Stanley, to the new post of global chief legal officer is a clear demonstration that the bank continues to play games with its shareholders
9/16/12

Millions at stake in foreclosure battle

 

Record-Eagle "If we had foreclosed on a number of loans earlier on and (got) them off the books, that actually improves the appearance of the bank and probably helps your star rating," Zernow said. "But we're a community bank. Foreclosure is not part of our business model."
9/16/12

Welcome to Renter-Nation

Loan to Help Firm Buy Stolen Homes with unmarketable titles

The Waypoint deal underlines banks' confidence in the investment strategy and may serve as a precursor to another development in the market: Bankers said they have been hammering out details on how to create the first security backed by home-rental payments.

WSJ As they do in bonds backed by mortgages and other assets, banks would pool the rents of thousands of tenants living in the formerly foreclosed properties and sell to investors a promised return based on the income the homes produce.

The sale of such a bond would help foreclosed-home investors like Waypoint pay back their lenders while raising funds they can use to buy more houses.
9/16/12

Expert Testimony by NCLC Results in Homeowner Victory Against OCWEN.

Ocwen’s outrageous conduct was found to violate state common laws including breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fraud.

Tolliver v. U.S. Bank, Ocwen

Home Equity Theft Reporter Ocwen’s attempt to justify the charges with evidence of forbearance agreements was roundly rejected. The court found the debtor had been “bullied” into signing those agreements by repeated false representations that the debtor was in default and that foreclosure was imminent even though she had completely paid off the underlying loan.

9/16/12

Treasury marks the one millionth HAMP failure

One in three trails failed

The Treasury reports that one in three HAMP trails failed and permanent modifications are typically modified through another program, and nearly 16 percent of all trials end in foreclosure.

AGBeat On the flip side, the report notes that servicers were improving their performance under HAMP, and the Treasury disputed under two percent of all servicers’ decisions regarding HAMP in the second quarter, compared to an average of seven percent for some servicers like Ocwen Financial.

6/12/12

Study: Mortgage Deduction Gives Profits to Lenders

"It is a transference of wealth."

WSJ More than $10 billion a year in U.S. taxpayer subsidies meant to assist house buyers may instead be adding to the profits of lenders. 
9/16/12

Local DAs Allowing Debt Collectors to Use Their Letterhead, Split Fees from Shakedown

It’s one thing for the officialdom to sit back and allow financial services industry chicanery to go un or inadequately punished, quite another to get in bed with them to perpetrate a scam.

naked capitalism Consumer attorneys did succeed in getting one debt collector that engaged in this practice, American Corrective Counseling Services, to file for Chapter 11 in the face of class action suits. But its successor CorrectiveSolutions carries on with the same dubious practices and has “partnerships” with more than 140 district attorneys’ offices.
9/15/12

Dear Bankers: Thanks for Wrecking Our Lives ...

Begin Slide Show »

Some of the protesters there created a Web site for Americans who couldn’t join them in Lower Manhattan. Called Occupy the Boardroom, the site invited people across the country to write detailed letters to the executives and directors of banks. The site’s developers promised to deliver them as e-mail and in person.

NY Times

In May 2007, I became the first person in my immediate family to get a degree, at age 38. I graduated owing more than $100,000 in private student loans. Payments were more than $1,100 per month. My 74-year-old retired father is the cosigner for most of these loans, but in September 2008, my dad lost $70,000 of his pension with the banks’ collapse.

After just one year in the workforce, I was laid off due to cut-backs. For most of 2010, I wasn’t able to find steady employment. In January 2011, I ran out of deferment with my private student loans. The banks began chasing my father as the cosigner. They have wrecked his line of credit and called in his home equity loan on which he never missed any payments.

9/15/12**

The Lonely Redemption of Sandy Lewis, Wall Street Provocateur

And Wall Street, Washington, the press corps, everyone sits and stares like so many dumb cows.

NY Times

Mr. Lewis wants to flip over Wall Street’s paving stones and search for worms. He relies on his singular strength: he discerns patterns where most see random data. He forecast the financial meltdown of 2008 that vaporized Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. In 2006, he warned a Bear Stearns executive:

 “Bear is toast. Get out now!

9/15/12

A Condo Was Sold, Until It Wasn’t

HORROR stories abound across Foreclosure Nation. But once in a while, a new one comes along to remind us just how dysfunctional our mortgage market is.

April Charney said mortgage servicers lose fees when a short sale occurs. Handling defaulted loans is more lucrative than handling performing ones.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Why in the world would a bank ever finish one of these deals?” Ms. Charney asked. “When they renege, they get to keep servicing a defaulted loan.”

After receiving inquiries, Bank of America agreed on Friday to settle the matter. The bank satisfied the mortgage on the terms of the short sale and said it would pay Mr. Oliveira’s legal costs.

9/15/12

FORECLOSURE GONE WRONG: 

Ambushed Locksmith's Widow Files Wrongful Death Claim

WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM against Stanislaus County

Home Equity Theft Reporter Before they tried to carry out the April eviction, deputies were warned that the homeowner had weapons, the claim says, contradicting Sheriff Adam Christianson's statements since that the men walked into an ambush with no idea that danger lurked inside.

Also, locksmith Glendon Engert paused while disabling the lock on a metal security door when he heard something inside, but deputies directed him to keep drilling, the claim says.
9/15/12

ROBO-Prosecutors

The letters bear the seal and signature of the local district attorney’s office without the DA's review or determining if the charge is valid.  If it is found that the bank is at fault, do they go to prison?

In Prosecutors, Debt Collectors Find a Partner

The letters are sent by the thousands to people across the country who have written bad checks, threatening them with jail if they do not pay up.

NY Times They bear the seal and signature of the local district attorney’s office. But there is a catch: the letters are from debt-collection companies, which the prosecutors allow to use their letterhead. In return, the companies try to collect not only the unpaid check, but also high fees from debtors for a class on budgeting and financial responsibility, some of which goes back to the district attorneys’ offices.

The practice, which has spread to more than 300 district attorneys’ offices in recent years, shocked Angela Yartz when she was threatened with conviction over a $47.95 check.
9/14/12

Money-Laundering Inquiry Is Said to Aim at U.S. Banks

These officials say they are beginning one of the most aggressive crackdowns on money-laundering in decades, intended to send a signal to the nation’s biggest banks that weak compliance is unacceptable.

NY Times Federal and state authorities are investigating a handful of major American banks for failing to monitor cash transactions in and out of their branches, a lapse that may have enabled drug dealers and terrorists to launder tainted money, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

9/14/12

Over 1 Million Homeowners Bounced From HAMP Since Program Began

The August housing scorecard is out, and as Arthur Delaney notes it contains a dubious milestone. 

Over 1 million homeowners have now been kicked out of the HAMP program, either by being turned down for a permanent modification or going into a re-default on their modification once it became permanent. 

David Dayen -FDL And all 1 million of those borrowers end up in a worse financial situation than when they started out with the program, trapped by their servicer into bad scenarios.

The sadder part of this is that the Treasury Department routinely counts the 234,760 permanent modifications that were eventually canceled as “people helped” by the program. Sometimes they get really brazen and count those in the canceled trial mods as well. But if you asked a Treasury Department official with knowledge of HAMP today, they would tell you that over 1 million borrowers have received permanent modifications from the program.

9/14/12

10 to 20 Year Sentence For Michigan Foreclosure-Rescue Fraud Scam

"Foreclosure rescue scam artists (mainly banks) attack Michigan homeowners who are struggling financially and fighting to stay in their homes," said Schuette. "Anyone who exploits struggling homeowners through these scams will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."  (What about the BANKSTERS?)

Michigan AG - One count of Conducting Criminal Enterprises (Racketeering), a felony punishable by up to twenty years in prison;
- One count of False Pretenses - More than $20,000, a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison; and
- One count of False Pretenses - $1,000-$20,000, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or three times the value of money or property involved.
9/14/12

Consumer regulator barks; an industry shudders

The new federal agency charged with enforcing consumer finance laws is emerging as an ambitious sheriff, taking on companies for deceptive fees and marketing and unmoved by protests that its tactics go too far.

USA TODAY Some industries, such as mortgage insurers and for-profit schools, are pushing back. They say the consumer bureau is redefining laws, deeming as illegal practices that were long acceptable to other regulators.
In other industries, the bureau's subpoenas are spurring action. American Express, for example, is overhauling some marketing policies and setting aside money that it might be forced to refund to customers.

9/14/12

More news on the Bain case

Virtually any foreclosed homeowner in the state in the past 15 years who feels they have been harmed in some way could file a consumer fraud suit.

State court ruling deals blow to U.S. bank mortgage system

Chicago Tribune The Washington Supreme Court held that MERS' business practices had the "capacity to deceive" a substantial portion of the public because MERS claimed it was the beneficiary of the mortgage when it was not.

This finding means that in actions where a bank used MERS to foreclose, the consumer can sue it for fraud. If the foreclosure can be challenged, MERS' involvement would make repossession more complicated.

9/14/12

Former SIGTARP Neil Barofsky – The Last Honest Man in Washington

Mandelman Matters Neil and I talk about what he saw and how he tried to be a voice of truth in an effort to make things better for America’s middle class… at a time when that wasn’t going with the flow. Neil doesn’t “flow.”

9/14/12

Banks get their man. Now if we could just find someone to get the bank.

American Mortgage Field Services Owner pleads GUILTY to Fraud

Tampa Bay Business Journal AMFS inspected and preserved homes in various states of foreclosure. Overwhelmed, AMFS started [fabricating] inspection reports to keep up. Where did he get the idea to robo-sign his reports? Well, it seems the pen didn't fall far from the desk. See his client, Bank of America, is still robo-signing 20,000 documents per day with no jail. This guy copies Bank of America and is going away for up to 20 years.

9/14/12

Victims of Foreclosure Crimes Forced OUT of their HOMES.

Mortgage Settlement Money Misses Target

The "economic goal" was to keep people IN their homes - not OUT of them!

Brennan Center for Justice The Office of National Mortgage Oversight, created to monitor the $25 billion banks paid to settle fraud allegations by regulators, issued its first report. Of the 138,000 homeowners who allegedly received relief, more than half received aid toward closing short sales. Short sales, in which families sell homes at an economic loss, do not meet the settlement’s goal to help victimized families keep their homes.
9/14/12

Hopeless HAMP
The Story of the Jeffersons

In the world of securitized lending, it is profitable for banks to foreclose. The paltry sum offered to banks as an incentive to qualify distressed homeowners for HAMP, in the range of several hundred dollars, pales in
comparison to the thousands they stand to receive by putting homeowners into
foreclosure.

Dan McGookey, Esq. What makes the Jeffersons’ case particularly compelling is that they were actually told the truth in writing, that they did qualify for HAMP, before the bank foreclosed.
We are definitely going to use that little slip-up to our advantage. Cheat was in the process of dismissing the foreclosure case when the Jeffersons first approached us, so now we are going to aggressively go after the Bank for its legal violations. In the end, we
are extremely confident that Cheat will wish it had never messed with the Jeffersons, and treated them decently and fairly from the beginning.

9/14/12

Where did the $26 Billion Settlement Money go?

Looking at what's actually been accomplished in the last six months as a result of the settlement there's been very little follow-through from anyone who previously saw this as a victory.

More egregiously, the settlement money that was to be used to provide relief for homeowners is instead being used by some state officials to fill budget holes, top off coffer, and offset taxes.

Richard Zombeck

Huff Post

So, as it happens, it looks like the settlement wasn't such a great idea or the big first step everyone claimed it would be. The banks and servicers still get to do what they want; they get to do it how they want; and individual states get to use the money however they want as long as it's not to help struggling homeowners for whom the money was intended for in the first place.

Oddly enough, everyone who was so quick to applaud the settlement and take the opportunity to grandstand as a homeowner advocate six months ago, has become conspicuously quiet when it comes to follow through. An unfortunate recurring theme.

9/14/12

Wells Fargo To Foreclose On Dying Cancer Patient After Seeking 'Assistance' For Her

Battling cancer is difficult enough without your mortgage lender deciding to foreclose on your home just weeks after saying it was trying to help.

Huff Post After the media scrutiny, it seemed Wells Fargo, her lender, had relented on foreclosing on Davis, and the bank even wrote a letter to a local radio station indicating it was seeking "assistance" from nonprofit organizations for her.

But it appears Wells Fargo has had a change of heart: The bank now has set the foreclosure auction date for Davis's home for Dec. 19, less than a week before Christmas.

Mortgage cops taking tough stance


Office of Inspector General on the prowl for strategic defaulters - not the larger criminals stealing trillions, ruining the lives of millions, bankrupting entire counties, and much more.

Chicago Tribune If there is any indication that you falsified information on your new loan application, the OIG is "absolutely" going to refer you for criminal prosecution, Wolfe said. "We're not just going to demand repayment," he said. "We're going to lock (people) up."

And if you think the mortgage cops won't find you, think again. 

They work out of 11 field offices, soon to be 14, nationwide, and they're looking for you.
9/13/12

Life After Bankruptcy

NY Times Many of these filers mistakenly think that it will be many years before they can obtain a mortgage or refinance an existing home loan, if they ever can — perhaps because notice of a bankruptcy filing typically stays on a credit report for 7 to 10 years. In reality, they could become eligible in as little as one year, as long as they work diligently to improve their financial picture.
9/13/12

"Now it's one-stop shopping - and that's Fannie and Freddie," 

Special Report: Well-to-do get mortgage help from Uncle Sam

The result is that the government guaranteed 89 percent of U.S. mortgages taken out in the first half of 2012, up from 85 percent in 2011 and 30 percent in 2006, according to data compiled by Inside Mortgage Finance.

Reuters What followed was a gush of support into nearly every corner of the United States, in the form of loan guarantees from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and another major sponsor of home lending, a government agency called the Federal Housing Administration. And when mortgage defaults threatened to push Fannie and Freddie into insolvency, the government seized the two firms in 2008 and pumped in $190 billion (more taxpayer debt) as a way to prop up the housing market.
9/13/12

Another Bandit Bernanke Multi-Billion $$$ Bank Bailout Blunder

The theory of allowing foreclosures, evictions and deficiencies to continue along with the farce of TARP and HAMP plans has proven to be detrimental to the state of the economy and the mindset of Americans.

Deadly Clear The stock market surged today because the Federal Reserve announced it was going to take $40 Billion of our tax dollars per month “until further notice” and buy inflated, defective, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities indefinitely from the banksters.

This bizarre move is just another “protect the banks bailout” in a delusional state of mind that giving away more taxpayer money and diminishing the value of the dollar will some how correct the $600 TRILLION lost stolen in an unregulated securitization Ponzi scheme. The Greatest Financial Cover-up in history.

9/13/12

While the crimes continue...

Fed to spend $40B a month on bond purchases (TOXIC JUNK)

The Federal Reserve unleashed a series of bold and open-ended steps Thursday to stimulate the economy by making it cheaper for consumers and businesses to borrow (more debt and spend money they don't have. You have to borrow because the banks' RICO enterprise stole your wealth.)

AP The Fed said it will spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgage bonds for as long as it deems necessary to make home buying more affordable, while at the same time allowing the banking cartel to steal homes they don't own, borrowers' equity, fence stolen property, trashing consumer's credit and causing massive job loss.

If you want to stimulate the economy?  Give back the stolen homes, money and jobs. 

9/13/12

Decided

8/21/12

Loan Mod Case Reversed

BARROSO v. OCWEN LOAN SERVICING

We reverse the trial court’s order as to the breach of contract cause of action because it sufficiently alleged breach of the modification agreement.

California 

Court of Appeals

For the same reason, Barroso should be permitted to allege a cause of action for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing based on breach of the modification agreement. In addition, we conclude that Barroso should be allowed to amend the complaint to allege a cause of action for common law wrongful foreclosure based on the valid modification agreement.
9/13/12

Freddie Mac to recover billions extra from loan reviews: regulator

After making changes, government owned Freddie Mac will now collect more money back from banks, according to Thursday's report by the inspector general for the FHFA, which regulates Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Reuters Freddie Mac had reviewed loans that had become delinquent or had payment problems in only the first two years after they were made. This excluded loans that it had purchased or guaranteed during the housing boom years of 2005 to 2007, which were defaulting in high numbers, Thursday's report said.

The inspector general found, for example, that nearly 100,000 loans granted in 2006 were not reviewed because they did not meet Freddie Mac's criteria. "This practice limited Freddie Mac's potential recoveries from repurchase requests." 
9/12/12

When It Comes to the DoJ and Wall Street, Don't Call It "Justice"

Bankers earn hefty salaries and bonuses by committing crimes. Punishment is restricted to fines, which are paid by the bank and not the bankers -- giving them absolutely no reason not to do the same thing again.

Huff Post The racketeers even built a phony shell company and an electronic database MERS to expedite their fraud. 

There's the enormous area of investor fraud, in which these banks bundled and sold mortgages to investors -- including many pension plans and public institutions -- which they knew were likely to fail. In fact, the entire "liar's loan" industry was built around writing bad mortgages and then defrauding investors into buying them.

9/12/12

US Bank Gets Banged for Forcing Homeowner Into Foreclosure

The use of emotional distress damages is both a boon to lawyers who take on clients after foreclosure is complete and a real threat to the millions of wrongful foreclosures that have been processed.

Ragland v. U.S. Bank

Living Lies It is becoming less likely that Judges are ruling on a speculative presumption that the property would have ended up in foreclosure anyway. That presumption lies at the root of a lot of negative decisions where the argument by the homeowner was legally correct but denied and affirmed. The tide is changing.
9/12/12

South Florida homeowner has $570,100 mortgage forgiven by bank

A client of Wellington foreclosure defense attorney Malcom Harrison may have cringed when he saw the Bank of America envelope in his mailbox. Instead, he’s more than half-a-million dollars out of debt.

Kim Miller

Palm Beach Post

The company, as part of the $25 billion agreement with the state attorneys general, is cancelling $570,100 in second mortgage debt the homeowner owed.
“You are approved for a full principal forgiveness of your Home Equity Account,” the Sept. 8 letter says in bold print.
Although the homeowner’s foreclosure will continue on the first mortgage, the second account will be reported as paid and closed, according to the letter.
9/12/12

Judge rules in 43-year-old civil case that has crawled through the system

"I remember my father telling me that these guys were not treated right."

Cleveland Tricarichi began working on the case soon after she graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She took out a line of credit on her home to pay for some of the mounting expenses in the case. "I had no idea how long and arduous the process would be," she said. 
Report

9/12/12

 

THE COST OF THE CRISIS CAUSED BY WALL STREET = NO LESS THAN $12.8 TRILLION DOLLARS

Better Markets today released a Report detailing the enormous costs of the financial and economic crisis that began in 2007 and continues to this day. As detailed in the Report, the cost of that crisis is at least $12.8 trillion as measured conservatively by lost GDP. 

Cost Of The Crisis.pdf
Cost of the Crisis Fact Sheet.pdf

Better Markets The Report reviews the costs of the crisis, including the destruction of human capital from long-term unemployment, lost household wealth, foreclosures, government bailouts, emergency spending measures, and the other actions that were necessary to prevent a second Great Depression. In addition to monetary costs, the Report details many costs of the crisis that simply cannot be quantified, including the widespread human suffering that has resulted from the surge in poverty, homelessness, and hunger.

9/12/12

Chapter 8 “Foaming the Runway” – 

Neil Barofsky’s BAILOUT

TARP the program American homeowners thought Congress and President Obama had constructed for their rescue. Wrong.

Deadly Clear Chapter 8 – “Foaming the Runway” vindicates every homeowner and foreclosure defense attorney and we should all shove this book at the foreclosure judges and tell them to read it first and THEN we’ll discuss the modification abuses, emotional distress and damages! Right after we closely examine their Financial Disclosure statements.
9/11/12

Loan Mod Case Reversed

RAGLAND v. U.S. BANK

California 

Court of Appeals

Applying basic contract and tort law, we reverse the judgment in favor of
U.S. Bank on the causes of action for negligent misrepresentation, fraud, violation of  section 2924g(d), and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Ragland produced evidence creating triable issues of fact as to whether Downey Savings induced her to miss a loan payment, thereby wrongfully placing her loan in foreclosure, and whether she
suffered damages as a result.
9/11/12

WATCH OUT! The GMAC Bankruptcy Claims Bar Date is RAPIDLY APPROACHING!

Matt Weidner. Esq. IF YOU ARE A HOMEOWNER WITH A GMAC FORECLOSURE YOU NEED TO PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THE RAPIDLY APPROACHING GMAC CLAIMS BAR DATE.
Claims not filed by November 9 are forever lost!
9/11/12

Whistleblower in UBS tax case gets record $104 million

Reuters In a case that shook Swiss banking to its core, UBS in 2009 entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and paid $780 million in fines, penalties, interest and restitution to settle charges that it helped thousands of wealthy Americans hide billions of dollars in secret Swiss accounts.
9/11/12

Real estate lawyers face rising malpractice claims

A new survey that finds real estate lawyers are getting hit with malpractice claims at a rate greater than lawyers in any other practice area.

Working in a sector where people have lost scads of money makes attorneys considerably more exposed to lawsuits that claim dereliction of duty.

Cleveland

and 

Living Lies

The bankruptcy lawyer who fails to understand the problem of showing the home as an asset secured by a mortgage is going to find himself and his carrier sued for malpractice if and when it is determined that the home was not secured and the creditor named was the wrong one, playing right into the hands of the banks and servicers. - Neil Garfield
9/11/12

Deutsche Bank's Motion to Dismiss DENIED

Defendants have alleged that Plaintiff is not the original owner of the debt, the transfer in question is improper, and the filing of this foreclosure is fraudulent. 

Ann Holden According to case law, if these statements are proven, Plaintiffs could be found in violation of the named statutes. With Defendants' claims of fraud and invasion of privacy, they have sufficiently pled their claims according to the above standards.
9/11/12

What about the Tainted titles? 

Firms Flock to Foreclosure Auctions

WSJ At first, many investors hoped lenders would sell foreclosed houses in bulk. But most banks prefer to sell one house at a time, figuring that approach will fetch higher prices.
9/11/12

Mortgage Putback Threat Reduced for Lenders Under New Rules

The U.S. overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, seeking to reduce the threat that banks will have to buy back flawed mortgages from the two firms, laid out new rules designed to spur lending and ease the housing crunch.

Bloomberg The changes will apply to future loans, not those that are the subject of current bank complaints that the taxpayer-owned companies are being too aggressive in forcing them to buy back (garbage) loans made at the height of the housing bubble, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said today in a statement.
9/11/12

Buyers Willing to Forego Foreclosed Property Repairs

Mortgage Servicing News Demand for foreclosed properties is heating up in certain markets where the supply is shrinking at increased speed.
9/11/12

Foreclosure Fail: Study Pins Blame on Big Banks

ProPublica The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) paid subsidies to mortgage servicers on the theory that doing so would convince them to embrace modifications.

Instead, the servicers made off with the "money from nothing". MSF

9/10/12

California urges fed probe of eminent domain "threats"

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom says he wants the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate "threats" against local communities that are considering using eminent domain to seize and restructure poorly performing mortgages to benefit cash-strapped homeowners.

Reuters "I am most disturbed by threats leveled by the mortgage industry and some in the federal government who have coercively urged local governments to reject consideration" of eminent domain," he wrote in a letter that was also sent to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

NEWSOM LETTER TO DOJ

9/10/12

'Borrower Fatigue' Causes Homeowners to Ignore Real Offers

KLAS Real estate attorneys say many Nevadans are so used to hearing no from lending banks, they might miss out on a valid offer from a bank.

Charmagne Balean didn't like checking her mail for four years because it usually meant bad news from the bank. For four years, her family attempted to get their bank to agree to a loan modification.

Numbers obtained by the I-Team show that Chase is leading the way in numbers of home loans refinanced with Wells Fargo coming in next. However, those number also show banks are much more likely to help homeowners get out of their loan through a short sale.

9/10/12

The truth is coming out piece by piece. In this complaint a thorough examination revealed the loans were NOT pooled, bundled or put into any trust. That means the entire securitization chain is a scam, supporting a Ponzi scheme that should result in criminal prosecutions.

Empty Paper Bags: Loans Never Entered Pools

The secured part of the obligation was never perfected and is fatally defective so that it can never be perfected without a signature of the homeowner borrower.

The obligation remains, but there are no creditors who are making the claim because they could subject themselves to predatory lending claims, fraud and other charges resulting in treble damages. The note is a recital of a transaction that never existed. It recites a loan from the payee or lender when neither of them funded or even purchased the loan. 

Make the allegation and ask for the discovery. They will collapse.

HSH v. Barclays Consolidated Complaint

Ken McLeod

Living Lies

They traded on the loans pretending that they, the banks, were the owners, and they sold them multiple times. Then they foreclosed on the properties alleging they were authorized agents of the pools when the pools did not exists. No trust exists if it is unfunded. When they were done, they took the profits and put it into their own pockets, leaving both the investors high and dry and doing the same for homeowner borrowers.

From the complaint:

Plaintiffs have discovered that more than 99% of the mortgages in each of the three Securitizations were improperly or never assigned. In particular, many of these mortgages remain in the name of the loan’s originator or its nominee, and have never been assigned to the Trusts. While others were purportedly assigned to the Trusts, this was long after the securities were issued, contrary to the representations in the Offering Documents. Similarly, the promissory notes were not properly assigned in approximately 81.9% of the sampled loans.

9/10/12

FDIC SUES THE BIG BANKS FOR MASSIVE SECURITIES FRAUD!

The documentation of the biggest crime spree ever perpetrated on a nation continues to be rolled out….and it continues to be ignored by EVERYONE IN THIS ENTIRE NATION!

FDIC/Guaranty v. CW Securities et al

 

Matt Weidner. Esq.

April Charney

The FDIC, (that’s the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) just filed suit against the big banks alleging in very specific terms A MASSIVE SCHEME TO LIE, CHEAT, STEAL AND DEFRAUD. You’d think this kind of thing might warrant a story or two in the national press. 
I just read the allegations in the complaints: (and then ask yourself why no mainstream media will report on any of this):


  Register of Deeds Discusses Fraudulent Documents

"The average homeowner - they'd be indicted.
The five major banks - Nothing." - John O'Brien

CBS Atlanta "These banks acted as a criminal enterprise. They crossed state lines, they recorded fraudulent documents, they committed forgery and they committed mail fraud. They used the United States Postal Service to mail these documents to Registries of Deeds."
9/10/12

Pacifica Pays $12.3 Million in Structured Deal for Fannie Mae REO

Mortgage Servicing News Pacifica Companies, LLC, San Diego, Monday afternoon was declared the winning bidder on a Fannie Mae bulk REO portfolio, paying just $12.3 million for a package of 699 Florida properties valued at $81.5 million, or 15 cents on the dollar.

9/10/12

The American Home Mortgage Services Appeal, Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals Will Rule on Fundamental Agency


HOMEOWNERS’ OBJECTION TO TESTIMONY REGARDING THE ENDORSEMENT ON THE NOTE WAS PROPERLY PRESERVED FOR APPEAL

Matt Weidner. Esq. The “screenshot” does not prove that the endorsement existed prior to the filing of the lawsuit; consequently, the error is fatal.

Here, the record is clear that the trial judge clearly relied upon Ibarra’s hearsay testimony to establish that the endorsement on the note occurred prior to the inception of the action. [T. 170 at 16-22]. In fact, the trial judge explicitly stated that “[t]he Court will rely upon that testimony.

Initial Brief / Answer Brief / Reply Brief / Trial transcript

9/10/12

Criminal Prosecutions Not Happening from New Financial Fraud Task Force

David Dayen - FDL The first round of data from the settlement showed that most of the consumer relief came in the form of short sales, where the individual loses their house anyway.
9/10/12

Regulator Vows New Rules to Repair Mortgage Markets

Fannie and Freddie have forced banks to repurchase billions of mortgages that have defaulted over the past few years.

But what does that do to the obligation?

WSJ In a move aimed at making it easier for consumers to get mortgages, the federal regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said Monday the mortgage giants would address a big controversy of the housing bust: who gets stuck with bad loans.
9/10/12

HSBC sues Troutman Sanders for $74.9 mln in negligence case

Thomson Reuters In its 15-page lawsuit, filed Sept. 7 in New York State Supreme Court, HSBC claimed former Troutman Sanders lawyer Robert Chanis was negligent and breached a fiduciary duty to HSBC when he advised the bank on a $100 million securities-backed loan to Hassan Nemazee.
9/7/12

State Farm Faces Criminal Investigation Over Hurricane Claims

abc News State Farm Insurance, the nation's largest home insurer, faces a new criminal investigation in Texas related to how it handled potentially tens of thousands of hurricane claims there
9/10/12

Gwinnett man pleads guilty to stealing foreclosed home

In exchange for being allowed to participate in the first offenders program and likely avoiding the maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

ajc - LIKE THE BANKS, he illegally used the quit claim process to transfer the deed back into his own name.

- LIKE THE BANKS, he exploited loopholes in the legal property deeding system to gum up an already tedious process (the banks destroyed).

- LIKE THE BANKS, he tried to have a locksmith change the locks, while ordering a real estate agent to deactivate the security system in the home and remove the “for sale” signs.

9/10/12

 

McMahon calls for ethics investigation into Murphy's mortgage

"Congressman Murphy has accepted a prohibited gift and used his official position to secure himself personal and political financial benefit," the letter submitted by the McMahon campaign reads.

The Hill At issue is an increase in Murphy's mortgage from Webster Bank in Connecticut, at a low interest rate. The increase came just a year after Murphy faced foreclosure on his home due to missing a number of payments on his mortgage, then owned by another bank.

In the 1980s, McMahon and her husband failed to pay taxes for five years and ultimately filed for bankruptcy.

9/9/12**

The federal government must stop guaranteeing mortgage securities. 

Securitization Shouldn’t Be the Government’s Business

Before it does any more damage, the federal government needs to get out of the securitization business altogether.

Bloomberg The infatuation with securitization goes back 25 years. In 1987, Lowell Bryan, a McKinsey & Co. director, argued that securitized credit would transform banking fundamentals that hadn’t changed since medieval times.

Securitization was felled by the crisis it helped cause in 2008. And it shows few signs of recovery: The roughly $128 billion of total asset-backed securities issued last year was about a 10th of the $1.25 trillion issued in 2006, and more securities are now being retired than issued.
Unfortunately, officials in Washington seem bent on pumping securitization back up. 

9/9/12

Four Regional Banks Discuss Settlement Over Foreclosures

Bloomberg U.S. Bancorp, PNC, SunTrust Banks and HSBC have held talks with state and federal officials who investigated claims that loan servicers mishandled foreclosure documents.
9/9/12

Solutions, not excuses, needed in foreclosure mediation stalemate

Oregon Live The state changed attorneys general in between legislative approval of the law and its enactment. And a week after the mediation program began operations, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued a ruling that makes it more difficult for lenders to conduct non-judicial foreclosures. 
9/8/12

How to Find Weeds in a Mortgage Pool

John G. Moon, a lawyer at Miller & Wrubel who represents Mr. Priore’s firm, said: “Large institutions have been able to hide behind the expense of loan file review to evade responsibility for this very important national problem that we now have. Using years of data and cross-referencing it, Triaxx has figured out where the bad loans are.”

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

But an analysis of 10 similar sales around that time suggested that the property was actually worth about $279,000. If that was indeed the case, that $396,000 mortgage represented a 142 percent loan-to-value ratio.

Lenders and packagers of mortgage securities will undoubtedly fight the use of any technology like Triaxx’s to identify questionable loans. That battle will be interesting to watch. But investors should certainly welcome anything that brings transparency to this dysfunctional market.

9/8/12

Wells Fargo Mistakenly Cleans Out Retired Couple's Home Twice

The Tjosaases later learned Wells Fargo had hired another contractor who made the same mistake as the first.

abc News "The items are gone and are irreplaceable," she said. "We have to ask for monetary compensation for items that we lost. We will have to see how that plays out with Wells Fargo."

The Tjosaas home had actually never had a mortgage or lien on it because it was paid for in cash as it was being built about 50 years ago.

9/8/12

Woman Tries To Sell Home Only To Find Wells Fargo Foreclosed On It 

These days, the process of selling a home is hard enough. Now imagine selling one you thought you owned but did not.

Huff Post Unfortunately, mistaken foreclosures are common nowadays. Diaz says the foreclosure must have been a mistake because she has paperwork indicating she completed a loan modification with Wells Fargo in January, and has made her monthly payments in full since.

9/8/12

MERS FRAUD & WALL STREET BANKSTERS: You Probably Don't Own the House You Are Paying For

It is not just people in Foreclosure... It's EVERYBODY!

SGT Report

Protect America's Dream

In 2012, when we think Wall Street we think: MF Global theft, JPM criminality, Goldman naked shorting, DTTC failures to deliver, precious metals manipulation, fractional reserve banking, Comex games, HFT trading and endless derivatives. But don't forget about MERS and mortgage fraud - because according to Vermont Trotter, the National Director of 'Protect Americas Dream' it's all tied together in one giant Ponzi scheme. The worst part is, the bank you pay for your mortgage probably does not even hold the title to your home. It's a mess - and we are ALL victims.
9/7/12

2nd Circuit remakes MBS class action rules in Goldman ruling

Robbins Geller and Cohen Milstein both told me the 2nd Circuit decision is great news for MBS class action plaintiffs. 

 

Alison Frankel

Thomson Reuters

"We hope the certification rulings in the future will follow the scope of the 2nd Circuit's ruling," Toll said in an email. Robbins said there are still billions of dollars at stake in pending MBS class actions in which this ruling may apply. "Just in this case, the decision makes a difference of millions of dollars," Robbins said. He also noted that the 2nd Circuit's holding that MBS investors need not show an out of -pocket loss to establish damages will help individual plaintiffs in MBS cases.
9/7/12

JPMorgan Said to Face Escalating Senate Probe of CIO Loss

JPMorgan Chase's wrong-way bets on derivatives are the focus of an escalating investigation by a U.S. Senate panel led by Carl Levin

Bloomberg Levin’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is seeking testimony from those who worked in or helped lead JPMorgan’s chief investment office. The unit’s London staff lost at least $5.8 billion this year on the botched wagers, which were large enough to shift markets.
9/7/12

Business Insider Solicits, Then Refuses to Publish, Story on Suspicious Foreclosure-Related Death of Sunny Sheu

While Galison’s contention above about a media cover-up may sound a bit paranoid, he’s had repeated instances of initially interested media outlets pulling back from the story.

naked capitalism Indeed, a writer at Business Insider indicated that he found the notion presented by the piece, that there is an ongoing cover-up by the NYPD, and based on the information presented, he found that credible but his editors had doubts. Even so, Business Insider frequently publishes its own take on news and research; it could just as easily have picked up the story and posed the notion of a police cover-up as a plausible rather than proven.
9/7/12

Four Regional Banks Discuss Settlement Over Foreclosures

U.S. state attorneys general are pressing four banks to accept a legal settlement over botched foreclosures similar to a deal reached with larger competitors this year

BusinessWeek “The jury is still out on whether this gets fixed or whether the attorneys general will have to go after them,” Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, said in an interview.

U.S. Bancorp, PNC, SunTrust Banks and HSBC 

9/7/12

UBS sued by U.S. regulator over sale of mortgage-backed securities

A U.S. regulator has sued UBS, accusing the Swiss bank of violating federal and state laws through misrepresentations in the sale of mortgage-backed securities to two credit unions that later failed, according to a court filing.

The misrepresentations in the offering documents had caused US Central and WesCorp to believe the risk of loss was minimal, when in fact the risk was substantial, NCUA said.

Reuters The two unions, U.S. Central Federal Credit Union and Western Corporate Federal Credit Union (WesCorp), paid more than $1.1 billion for the securities in 2006 and 2007, according to a complaint filed by the regulator, National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

In the lawsuit filed in a Kansas court, NCUA said that at the time of purchase, U.S. Central and WesCorp "were not aware of the untrue statements or omissions of material facts" in the offering documents of the residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).
9/6/12

Court revives mortgage debt class-action vs Goldman 

A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit accusing Goldman Sachs Group Inc of misleading investors about the risks associated with mortgage securities offerings.

Reuters Thursday's decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York could subject banks to a wider array of claims by mortgage securities investors, by letting them sue over securities in which they did not specifically invest themselves.
9/6/12

Complaints Against Lenders

Issues with making payments was another top concern, accounting for 25 percent of complaints; another was applying for loans, with 8 percent weighing in.

NY Times Another report, released on July 31 by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America, also found issues with mortgage modifications, mortgage fraud and credit repair among the biggest consumer complaints. The group surveyed 37 state and local consumer protection agencies, which reported debt collection abuses and mortgage issues among the fastest-growing complaints.

9/6/12

Man Alleges Wells Fargo Mistakenly Foreclosed On, Destroyed His Vacation Home (VIDEO)

Not to worry, Wells Fargo has BAILOUT money. 

Huff Post

IRREPARABLE HARM

Another wrong address and another "We are sorry.", as Wells Fargo's hired thugs "take anything of value to sell later on." In other words, fencing stolen property.

One California couple may never be able to retire in peace, courtesy of Wells Fargo.

Subcontractors hired by the bank broke doors, smashed windows and stole valuables while foreclosing on the vacation home of Alvin Tjosaas -- a home he started building for his parents as a 14-year-old in 1961, according to a local ABC affiliate. Even more outrageous: Wells Fargo  meant to barge into a different home -- Tjosaas’ name wasn’t on the foreclosure notice, but the address of his home was.

9/6/12

"Courts know about the problem, and so does law enforcement; but no one has been held criminally responsible for what some call "the largest fraud ever perpetrated on Americans."

Homeowners, Advocates Want Bank Reps and Lawyers JAILED for Foreclosure Fraud

CBS Atlanta Banks and their lawyers used phony documents to force people out of their homes. The documents were created because banks lost the original documents, and they are now swindling homeowners, taxpayers, judges and the banks' government to help cover it up.

Servicer never intended to modify his mortgage because investors stand to gain if the loan defaults.

A CBS Atlanta investigation found Georgia officials aren't as willing to crack down on the fraud.

"It makes mafia's organized crime look like fifth-grade math," said Patrick Powell

9/6/12

Are banks sidestepping the foreclosure settlement?

Have banks found a nifty way to reduce the amount $25 billion they agreed to pay to settle the suit over their foreclosure practices?

STLToday The bulk of it, $30 million, went to short sales. But banks were doing short sales before the settlement. They've picked up the pace this year, but it's not clear if the settlement was part of the reason.
9/6/12

The Bailout: By The Actual Numbers

The final cost of the TARP, the Fannie, or the Freddie bailout isn't possible to know.

Although Treasury set aside more than $40 billion for its various initiatives, less than $5 billion has been spent so far, a testament to the limited reach of the programs. Since those are subsidies, none of that money will be repaid, and any spending ups TARP's tab

ProPublica Also notable among the failed investments is South Financial Group. The bank received a $347 million government investment in 2008 about a month after its former CEO, Mack Whittle, retired with a $18 million golden parachute

Taxpayers ultimately lost $200 million while the CEO kept his package.

9/6/12

Avoid These 6 Mortgage Relief Scams

Homeowners trying to avoid foreclosure are stressed and scared. They have become a prime target of con artists who prey on vulnerable people. 

Reuters Many mortgage scammers have been arrested, but plenty more are trying to take advantage of homeowners' financial woes. Here are some examples of common mortgage relief scams.
9/5/12

Top Bank Lawyer’s E-Mails Show Washington’s Inside Game

Bloomberg Nazareth’s e-mails to Schapiro and then-SEC General Counsel and Senior Policy Director David Becker, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Bloomberg News, demonstrate how lobbyists and lawyers draw on bonds they formed in government service to gain access for clients, and how they work to maintain those ties.

9/5/12**

What is surprising is the fresh evidence these cases are turning up of cockeyed mortgage practices, during both the boom and the bust. As these matters are adjudicated, perhaps we will finally learn whether these practices were intended or accidental.” — Gretchen Morgenson, NY Times

It's the Title Stupid

THAT is why the banks and servicers are in the business of foreclosure, not modification or settlement. They have no choice. They could owe back all that money they received. It isn’t the loss of $300,000 or some part thereof they are worried about, it is the liability of $12 million on that loan that they are avoiding.

It is highly probable that the title to potentially tens of millions of properties have clouds either because the foreclosure was wrongful or because the wrong party executed the satisfaction of mortgage or both.

Living Lies An accounting from the Master Servicer and Trustee would lead to the discovery of admissible evidence as to what the real creditor was owed after receipt of all payments, and who the current real creditor might be. After all, they looking for foreclosure and they are taking these properties by “credit bids” instead of paying cash at the auction. Only a creditor whose debt was secured by the mortgage or deed of trust can submit a credit bid.


The truth is that virtually all credit bids that have been submitted are invalid because they were not submitted by a secured creditor. And that leads to an even larger problem for the banks. Those “assets” they are holding on their balance sheet are not just fake, worth zero, they are also offset by a liability to those whose money was taken by the same investment banks that sold bogus mortgage bonds to the investors.

9/5/12

UPDATE: Huml v. Fannie, MERS, BofA, BONY

 
MOTION for SANCTIONS

Today, attorney Richard Roman, a passionate advocate and former judge filed his Motion for Sanctions. 

 

Richard Roman, Esq The motion states: “Evidently the defendants believe they are better suited and qualified than a judge (who incidentally has previous distinguished service as a federal magistrate) and jury, to make judicial determinations.” 
The banks have piled on upwards of 13 attorneys, perhaps praying the court will base its ruling, not in law, but in favor of the party with the most lawyers. It is worth noting that last month, three of Roman's former opposing counsels quit the Foreclosure-Mill, Brice-Vander.
See Video

9/5/12**

Homeownership: An American Fantasy

Earlier this summer we traveled to Chicago and California to get a sense of what the housing crisis looks like on the ground. What emerged was a bleak portrait of communities in crisis.

Huff Post For Americans emerging from the foreclosure crisis, the firm line that once separated the security of homeownership from the insecurity of homelessness was suddenly blurred. "Back in the 30s, they created public housing to catch people who could become homeless because of the foreclosure crisis. Today, we're in a similar time, people need a safety net but it doesn't exist anymore. 

9/5/12

What Happened to Obama's 2010 Task Force Conference in California?

Answer: NOTHING

Mr. Johnson told MSFraud that by the time the reporter set up the camera to interview him, he was surrounded by 5 FBI agents, 3 HUD officials and 2 U.S. Attorneys.

ABC Action News Johnson said after his lender went bankrupt, his mortgage payments were not accepted by a series of supposedly new lenders who then tried to foreclose on his home in a gated community.

The banks have created this Ponzi Scheme and now they are stealing these homes from under them.

9/5/12

Audit of NY Fed Reveals Technocrat’s Creation and Cover-Up of Global Financial Crash

According to Senator Bernie Sanders: “As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world. This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, "you’re on your own" individualism for everyone else.”

infowars The Deutsche Bank informant says that the cause for the bailout of the banks was a large sum of cash needed quickly to repay China who had purchased large quantities of mortgage-backed securities that went belly-up when the global scam was realized. When China realized that they had been duped into buying worthless securitized loans which would never be repaid, they demanded the actual property instead. The Chinese were prepared to send their “people” to American shores to seize property as allocated to them through the securitized loan contracts.

9/5/12

What ever happened to the RICO suits against MERS?

beforeitsnews It all goes back to MERS. It doesn’t so much track mortgage transfers as much as it pretends to track them. And the interested parties pretend that they have a handle on that transfer. This makes it easier to charge additional fees on a borrower, who has no idea who actually owns his or her loan. The entire thing is DELIBERATELY opaque. The less the borrower knows, the more they can get fleeced.

9/5/12

Embattled Virtual Mortgage Registry MERS Retains Top Lobbying Talent

MERS has retained several well-heeled lobbyists and invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying efforts since the start of the mortgage crisis and economic meltdown.

(Money obtained by illegally foreclosing in MERS' name and helping banks steal homes they do not own)

Article lists names of lobbyists who should be charged with aiding and abetting MERS' criminal enterprise.

OpenSecrets "Several state courts have rejected attempts by MERS to act on behalf of banks seeking to foreclose on delinquent mortgages," the Post reported last week. "And Congress is weighing legislation that would bar home loan giant Fannie Mae from buying any mortgage listed in MERS, potentially a death knell for the registry."

"In short, the mortgage industry considers MERS owner enough to foreclose on you, but not owner enough to be sued, or reasoned with, or even to provide basic customer service."

9/5/12

Ad Wars: The SEC Is Turning Hedge Funds Into the New Ginsu Knife

Another lesson from Mr. Paulson’s experience is that even if a fund manager is smart, people who put their money into them are dumb.

ProPublica At least hedge funds specialize in separating people from their money through excessive fees. Other types of offerings prefer to do so through less savory means. The opening of hedge fund advertising has garnered much of the attention, because of the tantalizing idea that we will all soon be able to invest with the best minds on the planet. But the S.E.C. is also lifting rules on other kinds of securities offerings from small companies. Many of these will require less disclosure and will be particularly ripe for fraud.

9/4/12

Cancellation of Void Instrument

Irrefutable presumptions are subject to challenge if they are procured by deceit or fraud in the inducement, or fraud in the execution.

Living Lies The interesting effect of the substitution of the mortgage bond for a loan receivable is that the mortgage bond is NOT signed by the homeowner and no payments of principal and interest are due to the investor except from the REMIC issuing entity that never received any enforceable documents from the homeowner.
7/13/12

BARCLAYS LITIGATION REVEALS SIGNIFICANT BASIS FOR DAMAGE CLAIMS BY FORECLOSED BORROWERS

The recent litigation involving Barclays and other banks concerning the fraudulent manipulation of the LIBOR index rate has opened up a number of avenues for borrower actions against “lenders” and servicers claiming monies owed on a Note subject to a floating LIBOR index. We expect a significant amount of litigation to be instituted against the “lenders” and servicers for claims sounding in fraud and/or unjust enrichment and/or breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing in addition to other causes of action.

Jeff Barnes, Esq. Barclays settled their claim in this action. What the Barclays suit has revealed is that the banks fraudulently manipulated the LIBOR index for purposes of misrepresenting the cost of the loan to the borrower so that the lenders could reap additional profits from the borrowers under false pretenses. What this means, in reality, is that any mortgage loan originated since at least the late 1990s which was based on a LIBOR index resulted in a deliberate overcharges to the borrower. We are in the process of preparing litigation against various banks for claims resulting from the fraudulent misrepresentation of the LIBOR index to borrowers.
9/4/12

Banks Face Suits as States Weigh Libor Losses

NY Times “We think this could be as big as the mortgage crisis settlement, that this could be a really high impact situation and that we should be aggressive on this,” Ms. Cowell said.
9/4/12**

Originators' Expansion Into Servicing

There is a movement toward retaining servicing rights benefits. It involves originators and the wider mortgage industry.

Mortgage Servicing News As the mortgage industry continues to rebuild, there is now a growing movement encouraging more originators—regardless of their size—to service the loans they originate. Traditionally, large lenders have been able to garner huge portfolios, and great profits, solely through originations.

However, government entities like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are urging originators to retain their mortgage servicing rights and service loans throughout their entire lifecycle.
9/4/12

Citigroup Settles HELOC ‘Suspension’ Lawsuit

Mortgage Servicing News Citigroup will let customers challenge the suspension of home equity loans and provide $120 apiece to some former borrowers whose credit lines were cut or reduced, under the settlement of a lawsuit challenging its second lien practices.
9/4/12

Mortgage Settlement Raises Ire Over Credit for Short Sales

Mortgage Servicing News A prominent consumer group is bothered that the top five mortgage servicers are stressing short sales under the $25 billion national mortgage settlement when the goal is to keep borrowers in their homes.
9/4/12

Decided

5/12

No Bona-fide Purchaser

Albice v. Premier Mortgage, Option One

This case involves interpretation of the deeds of trust act, chapter 61.24 RCW, and the statutory procedural requirements for non-judicially foreclosing on an owner’s interest.

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON This case also involves whether, under the facts here, the property owner waived the right to challenge the sale and whether the purchaser of the nonjudicial foreclosure sale statutorily qualifies as a bona fide purchaser (BFP).
The trial court ruled that despite procedural noncompliance, the purchaser was a BFP under the statute and quieted title in the purchaser. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that failure to comply with the statutory requirements was reason to set the sale aside and that factually, the purchaser did not qualify as a BFP. We affirm.
9/4/12

DC High Court: Foreclosure Trustee 'Could' Be Liable For Damages 

For Failure To Call Off Sale When Homeowner Has Prospective Buyer For Property

Home Equity Theft Reporter The District of Columbia Court of Appeals reviewing the Onyeoziri v. Spivok case determined that trustees under a deed of trust may be liable for interference with business relations if the trustees prevent the debtor from curing the default in a foreclosure proceeding.
9/4/12

Even After Foreclosure Sale, Borrowers Can Sue Over Allegedly Deceptive Loans, Court Rules.

As we all know, the real estate industry has been rife with shady loans over the past decade. If you were a borrower, and you lost your house to foreclosure, too bad. The way courts have often ruled, there's been little you could do about it. [Recently], however, the state Court of Appeals ruling set a new precedent.

Frizzell v. Murray

We reverse the trial court's summary judgment order because Frizzell did not waive her right to post-sale relief, and we do not reach Frizzell's other claims.

Home Equity Theft Reporter A Superior Court judge dismissed Frizzell's claims, saying she had waived her right to redress by failing to stop the foreclosure sale. And if her lawsuit's only goal was to invalidate the sale, she might well have. State law discourages such after-the-fact lawsuits, because they could destabilize foreclosure sales; people couldn't be sure that the home they bought at an auction was really theirs.

But the appeals court noted that Frizell's claims were broader. She sought damages under the Consumer Protection Act. And Frizzell hadn't compromised that by failing to keep her home off the market. Her case will now proceed in Superior Court.

Frizzell lacked the capacity to contract.

9/4/12

 

Mortgage Settlement Monitor Hires Firm that Has Worked on Countrywide Matters

Even with the settlement designed to favor banks, its monitor, Joseph Smith, looks to be failing to make sure even these weak terms are adhered to. It appears that Smith is either unable to interpret conflict of interest properly or is simply unwilling to implement the settlement’s clear requirements.

Michael Olenick Curiously, most commentators skipped over the part of the first report of The Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight that was highlighted at the front of the report, that of the selection of a consultant that will serve as their primary oversight firm, BDO. Yet the choice of this firm and the partner managing this engagement, Anthony M. Lendez, appear to be in violation of the conflict of interest provisions of the settlement.

According to his resume, Lendez worked for “outside counsel for Countrywide and its officers and directors related to various accounting issues, including allowances for loan losses, residual interests, mortgage servicing rights, and repurchase reserves” from 2008-2010.
9/3/12

In Ruined Apartments, a Symbol of Ireland’s Fall

Dublin Journal If Ireland’s rise was one of the most spectacular in Europe, its fall was one of the most precipitous, with a boom in the 1990s leading to a housing bubble in the 2000s that burst spectacularly when the banks fueling it threatened to collapse. In 2008, the government made an emergency decision to guarantee the banks’ debts, thus condemning the country to brutal austerity that has left it impoverished and weighed down by debt of its own.
9/3/12

The trial court denied the motion to dismiss for lack of prosecution after being told by EMC’s counsel that the case could not be re-filed because of the statute of limitations.

Spencer v. EMC Mortgage

But interest at that daily rate from November 1, 2007, through March 15, 2009, a period of only 501 days, is $12,595.14, not $110,112.08.

Florida 3rd District Court of Appeals Elizabeth Spencer appeals a final summary judgment of foreclosure entered against her in December 2010 based on defaults in payment which are alleged to have begun in July 1997, over thirteen years earlier. We reverse and remand the case with directions to enter a judgment dismissing the foreclosure case based on the lender’s failure to prosecute it, among other procedural and substantive deficiencies.
9/3/12

Gascue v. HSBC Bank

The only evidence that Bank is the owner and holder of the note is a sworn
affidavit. However, this affidavit was filed three years after the complaint
and does not establish when Bank became the holder of either the note or the mortgage, much less establish that Bank was the holder of said instruments at the time the complaint was filed. See id. (reversing the trial court in part because the supporting affidavit in that case did not establish the date on which the bank acquired possession of the note).

  Gascue v. HSBC Bank, 2012 Fla. App. LEXIS 14491 (Fla. 4th DCA August 29, 2012) reversed the denial of a motion to vacate summary judgment at a non-evidentiary hearing. The motion alleged that the defendant had retained counsel who did not appear at the hearing on the motion for summary judgment. In addition, defendant asserted a meritorious defense that the bank had no standing as it was not the holder of the note and mortgage at the time suit was filed.

Excusable Neglect

9/3/12

PROSECUTE THEM ALL!!!

RE: August 29, 2012 Public Hearing Held Pursuant to Chapter 194 of the Acts of 2012, An Act Preventing Unnecessary and Unlawful Foreclosures

This very Division issued an advisory letter to the banks in 1997,instructing the banks not to issue the toxic loans that fill the securitized pools however, without penalties if they did.

Bob Marley The problem here is that there are no consequences for the Banksters, and they operate with impunity and we, the people, feel as though we live in a lawless nation. That the laws are only applicable to the little guy, and not the affluent. Something is terribly wrong when the banks and their lawyers commit fraud every day related to foreclosures without repercussions.
Accordingly, here we are and you have the opportunity to create serious ramifications for the fraudsters.

9/3/12

Fraud Continues to Pervade Mortgage Industry, Helped Along By MERS

It all goes back to MERS. It doesn’t so much track mortgage transfers as much as it pretends to track them. And the interested parties pretend that they have a handle on that transfer. This makes it easier to charge additional fees on a borrower, who has no idea who actually owns his or her loan. The entire thing is DELIBERATELY opaque. The less the borrower knows, the more they can get fleeced.

David Dayen - FDL The second half of this is that using MERS resists accountability. Borrowers don’t know who they need to negotiate with for a modification. If fraud is discovered down the line, banks can finger-point at the other actors in the chain of ownership (trustee, servicer, note holder, etc.). So not only can the banks lard on fees, they can find a convenient excuse to avoid blame if they ever get revealed as frauds.

9/3/12

Miuse of Lift Stay Order Causes Chaos in State and Federal Courts

I have noticed on many occasions that the bankruptcy court judges are adding to the orders some language of finding that the movant is the owner of the loan. The court lacks jurisdiction to consider those issues and that is the reason why the act of lifting the stay is a ministerial act based upon a preliminary finding that the movant has some colorable right to proceed.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

So I often suggest that counsel for the debtor specifically request that if the 

Judge is inclined to grant the lift stay order, that the Judge also recite the fact that this order should not be construed as barring the defenses or claims of the debtor under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, res judicata or collateral estoppel, which is something for the state court to decide.

1. The debtor denies that the party seeking relief from stay is a creditor of the bankruptcy estate or an authorized representative of any creditor. 
2. Debtor also denies that a perfected lien exists in which this moving party or any other party can foreclose.
3. Debtor denies the default, since the sub-servicer and other parties continued to make payments to the creditor’s loan or bond receivable account after the alleged declaration of default and notice of sale. 

9/3/12

Despite need and funds, N.J.'s homeowner aid is little used

Philly Inquirer Struggling New Jersey homeowners, facing a quickening rate of foreclosures, are supposed to have a lifeline: the HomeKeeper program, run by the state and funded with $300 million from the federal bank bailout.

But 15 months after the program was launched, the state says only 10 percent of that money has been spent.
9/2/12

Schneiderman Investigating Bain Capital, Amid No News of Any Investigation on Mortgage Fraud Task Force

David Dayen - FDL Maybe all this falls under Schneiderman’s purview. But of course, so does fraud in the securitization market, and we haven’t heard a thing from that investigation. Schneiderman claimed in early August that a Romney administration would shut down the investigation, but it’s hard to notice whether or not it has been shut down already.

9/2/12**

Mortgage Mania: As Foreclosure looms, many homeowners unsure what to do

Her mortgage servicer has changed at least four times since the initial home loan, and in researching her documents for the modification, she thinks she may have stumbled onto proof of "robo-signing" by the banks involved. 

One attorney is defending local home- owners against foreclosure using an argument that could prove to be troublesome for mortgage banks in Oklahoma: that the practice of robo-signing or using proxy parties to file foreclosure action in Oklahoma courts means the bank has no legal standing. 

Tulsa World In essence, he's arguing that unless the bank filing for foreclosure has documented proof it holds a valid note with proper endorsements, it has no right to foreclose on a homeowner under Oklahoma law.

Under Oklahoma law, a "mortgagee" is clearly defined as the party who provides financing for the mortgage, he said. So under Oklahoma's laws, MERS may never have been a valid mortgagee - which could mean homeowners who challenge the validity of paperwork transfers involving MERS in their mortgage have a defense against foreclosure, Taylor said. 

State courts have yet to rule definitively on this question, he said. But homeowners and residents need to understand what's been going on for years in the mortgage banking industry and how it could potentially affect their property rights.

9/2/12 Ignoring the toxic title problem

Cleveland-area short sales rising as struggling homeowners seek alternative to foreclosure

How does the "short sale" address any of the problems brought forth by the "GSE Business Model", a model practiced by mortgage players who brought our Financial markets to it knees?

Cleveland MBIA Insurance says that 86% of all mortgages are fatally flawed. Is there a title insurance company in the world that could guarantee a run on such titles? Maybe that is why they are now inserting caveats to deny coverage in case of a challenge.

Buyer beware.........nothing has been fixed... same problems... incrementally increased with "short sales".
9/2/12

Paralyzed teen, family join protesters because of possible foreclosure

WBTV They family has lived in their house for 12 years in Charlotte, but got behind on the mortgage because of all of Sanchez's hospital bills.

They will have to pay $20,000 to their alleged lender by September 14th or they will lose their home.

9/2/12

A more in-depth report on

The Death of Sunny Sheu

The cover-up of the death of an anti-corruption whistleblower by numerous agencies and the mainstream media.

Will Galison and Milton Allimadi Sheu’s problem centered around his residential property, a simple two-story house, which he said had been wrongfully wrested from him by a mortgage company with the aide of Judge Joseph Golia from the State Supreme Court in Queens. Sheu claimed Golia was “corrupt” and had consistently ruled against him and in favor of the bank, to wrongfully ensure that he never recovered his property.

9/2/12

As Democratic Convention Nears, Demonstrators Take to the Streets of Charlotte

Protesters from scores of groups around the country filled the streets of Charlotte on Sunday afternoon to push their agenda, including a crackdown on foreclosures.

NY Times Pat McCoy, the director of Action NC, a group that focuses on poverty, called for more robust investigations into lending practices. He said the Department of Justice “until just recently had more people investigating whether Roger Clemens lied to Congress as a baseball pitcher about steroid use than they had investigating the entire U.S. financial system about mortgage fraud.”
9/1/12

Still No Justice for Mortgage Abuses

An investigation into the mortgage abuses that led to the financial crisis, promised by President Obama in (2009), has been slow to produce results.

NY Times The settlement left open the possibility of civil and criminal suits on mortgage securitizations and other practices that inflated the bubble. The aim is to produce deeper accountability and larger fines with which to provide even more mortgage relief, but no suits have yet been filed.
9/1/12

Bank of America slapped with $300k Sanction for violating Beaumont woman’s mortgage settlement

South East Texas Record “This action is especially contemptible because defendants waited until the agreed judgment became final and then notified plaintiff that, in spite of the promises made, defendants were foreclosing on her property."

9/1/12

A (so-called) break for those facing foreclosure

The rental agreement is for three years, after that, no guarantees.

CBS News Then her (alleged) lender Bank of America offered this -- a pilot program called "Mortgage to Lease." Rather than foreclosing, the bank takes back ownership, forgives the debt, and gives Knox a chance to rent. She loses her equity, but reduces her monthly payment from $1,250 to $712, and she gets to stay in the house.
9/1/12

You might think in weeks and months to come, that the home foreclosure crisis is over. Actually, it’s just going behind closed doors.

Foreclosures going behind closed doors

So, if you owe the bank $300,000 on a house that sells for $200,000, you still owe the bank $100,000.

News-Register In mid-September, most of the home foreclosure notices published in Oregon newspapers will disappear, leaving the impression that our housing crisis has eased.

Not so. In fact, people with serious financial problems now risk losing much more than their houses. Foreclosures will be moved to the courts, where borrowers can be held accountable for the entire deficiency instead of just turning over keys to the front door.

9/1/12

 

"Improper legal charges is rampant in foreclosures."

Mortgage Registry Muddles Foreclosures

The facts in Mr. Kline’s case seem to indicate another flaw with the MERS registry — that it may not even track mortgages effectively.

Many questions arise in this case. For starters, if the MERS registry is the accurate record it claims to be, why didn’t Wells Fargo or its lawyers see that it, not WMC, held the second lien when the Kline foreclosure began?

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

What is surprising is the fresh evidence these cases are turning up of cockeyed mortgage practices, during both the boom and the bust. As these matters are adjudicated, perhaps we will finally learn whether these practices were intended or accidental.

The case involved legal moves taken against a bank in 2007 that did not even have an interest in either of the two mortgage liens associated with the foreclosed property. Even though the bank should never have been dragged into the matter, it was — generating $775 in court costs and legal fees paid by the borrower, documents show. Only two years later, during the discovery process, did it emerge that the bank had no ownership in the underlying property.

9/1/12

Changes to take place in Maryland's foreclosure law

Three changes in Maryland’s law this fall should help neighborhoods that have been hurt by the housing foreclosure crisis.

• The borrower will be allowed to request mediation before a lender can file to foreclose on the loan, Murphy said.

Herald Mail At present, the mediation can come only after the filing of a foreclosure, she said. When the new law takes effect, “they can go to mediation much earlier,” she said.

And, she said, “there’s now a mediation checklist to make sure every process of short sale and (other options) have been considered by the lender.
9/1/12

San Bernardino Eminent Domain Fight Closely Watched By Other Struggling Communities

Governments usually use this power, known as eminent domain, to acquire private land for public purposes, such as roads or utility lines. 

Huff Post But this plan, proposed by a San Francisco-based venture fund Mortgage Resolution Partners, calls for government authorities to seize the mortgages of underwater borrowers, paying the investors that own them a fraction of what they are owed, using money borrowed from the fund. Homeowners could then refinance with a federal loan at a much lower rate, based on what their home is actually worth instead of what they owe.
9/1/12

Inquiry on Tax Strategy Adds to Scrutiny of Finance Firms

Some executives at the firms said they feared that Mr. Schneiderman, a first-term Democrat with ties to the Obama administration, was seeking to embarrass the industry because of Mr. Romney’s roots at Bain

NY Times Among the firms to receive subpoenas are Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company, TPG Capital, Sun Capital Partners, Apollo Global Management, Silver Lake Partners and Bain Capital, which was founded by Mitt Romney.

8/31/12

MERS issues in Washington State: The Bain Opinion

The Washington State Supreme Court issued an opinion certifying to the US District Court for the Western District of Washington in Bain v. Metropolitan Mortgage, etc. that under the current state of Washington law, unless MERS has an ownership interest in the underlying indebtedness, MERS is not a beneficiary within the terms of the Washington law (and does not have standing to participate in a non-judicial foreclosure). 

Stewart Title The Washington court specifically declined to rule on what the legal effect of acting as an “unlawful beneficiary” would be. This raises a number of underwriting issues for title insurers and their agents.

Participation by MERS in non-judicial foreclosures involves a number of potential fact patterns and results in these guidelines:

1. MERS executed a substitution of trustee or otherwise participated in the foreclosure process prior to the assignment of such interest as it may have had to the holder of the secured obligation, and the foreclosure has been completed within the past seven years that results in:

8/31/12

National Mortgage Servicing Settlement Progress Report: Little to Show (And Little Expected)

The main point that stands out is the figure about how many borrowers have been helped: 137,000. That's not a lot, even by HAMP's sad standard.

Prof. Adam Levitin Even if you add in refis and mods in progress, it's only 220,000 borrowers. To put that in perspective, we have 11.4 million underwater mortgages in the US. 

So we're looking at 1-2% of the underwater population getting help so far under the settlement. But even that is being too generous.

8/31/12

Fed Chairman Makes Case for New Steps to Spur Growth

NY Times Some of those analysts expect that group, the Federal Open Market Committee, to announce a new round of asset purchases, further expanding its holdings of Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities to reduce borrowing costs and spur investment. Others expect instead it will announce its intent to keep its benchmark interest rate near zero beyond its current forecast of late 2014.
8/31/12

Bank of America Lawyer Allegedly Assaults Others During Deposition

Includes legal documents

PRWeb Bank of America's attorney from Bryan Cave, is alleged to have assaulted Plaintiffs sister and 84 year old father before being physically "restrained and pinned to the conference table," until the lawyer calmed down.
8/31/12

Wall Street’s War Against the Cities: Why Bondholders Can’t – and Shouldn’t – be Paid

Unlike the U.S. federal government, most states and cities have constitutions that prevent them from running budget deficits. This means that when they cut property taxes, they either must borrow from the wealthy, or cut back employment and public services.

Michael Hudson The pace of Wall Street’s war against the 99% is quickening in preparation for the kill. Having demonized public employees for being scheduled to receive pensions on their lifetime employment service, bondholders are insisting on getting the money instead. It is the same austerity philosophy that has been forced on Greece and Spain – and the same that is prompting President Obama and Mitt Romney to urge scaling back Social Security and Medicare.

8/30/12

Why Modifications of Mortgages Won’t Solve Anything

Securitization is all pretense. Alan Greenspan said that with 100 PhD’s he couldn’t figure out what they were doing and he was wrong to give them a pass. He should have insisted on the real facts before allowing the continuation of the creation of fake money.

The last thing the banks and servicers — all of whom are really only intermediaries —- want is for borrowers and investors to get together and compare notes. If that happens the housing crisis will be over. But the party of the mega banks will also be over.

Living Lies They also received money in insurance, and credit default swaps. All told the average loan was sold an average of 15-20 times. So that $300,000 loan of yours was worth $5-$6 million as long as they declared the pool in default — even if your loan was paid up to date.

So they got all these trillions of dollars for loans that were in default and all the loans that were not in default. If they modify your loans in any large volume, all those trillions they received will be refundable to the insurers and counterparts to the credit default swaps and the bailouts. And the investors’ losses will be cut, thus exposing the fake losses declared by the Master Servicer. Money will flow in large waves back to pension funds and homeowners.

8/30/12

White paper

Policy Intervention in Debt Renegotiation: Evidence
from the Home Affordable Modification Program

The overall impact of the program will be substantially limited since it will induce renegotiations that will reach just one-third of its targeted 3 to 4 million indebted households. This shortfall is in large part due to low renegotiation intensity of a few large servicers that responded at half the rate than others. 

Sumit Agarwal, and Gene Amromin, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Itzhak Ben-David, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University; Souphala Chomsisengphet, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; Tomasz Piskorski, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University Amit Seru, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago and NBER

The muted response of these servicers cannot be accounted by differences in contract, borrower, or regional characteristics of mortgages across servicers. Instead, their low renegotiation activity — which is also observed before the program — reflects servicer specific factors that appear to be related to their preexisting organizational capabilities. Our findings reveal that the ability of government to quickly induce changes in behavior of large intermediaries through financial incentives is quite limited, underscoring significant barriers to the effectiveness of such polices.

8/30/12

Realtors seek details of 'secretive' REO bulk sales

FHFA, the federal regulator that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced last year that was considering bulk sales of properties to investors, with the goal of converting REO properties into rentals.

inmanNEWS California Realtors say Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's federal regulator is moving forward with bulk sales of real estate owned (REO) homes in "a highly secretive manner," without giving full consideration to the objections of California lawmakers or the program's potential negative economic impact on housing markets and cost to taxpayers.
8/29/12

Woman's home auctioned before her eyes

Schaefer-Ung’s lawyer, Jamie Ranney of Nantucket, filed a lawsuit in Land Court earlier in the day, arguing that U.S. Bank couldn’t prove it was the proper mortgagee.

Ranney said the promissory note he received was a photocopy which, he said, the line saying “pay to the order of” is blank.

Cape Cod Online According to a recent decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the lender trying to foreclose must hold both the mortgage and promissory note, which is proof of the debt.

“I don’t regard it as over at all,” she said.

Ranney said the winning bidders could attempt to evict Schaefer-Ung through Barnstable District Court after closing on the sale, but he highly doubted that would happen with an active lawsuit in Land Court. He told Schaefer-Ung’s supporters that other lawsuits related to the case would follow.

“It’s going to go on for a very, long time,” he said.

8/29/12

$8 billion in mortgage relief arriving in Florida mailboxes

That's a good start, Weidner said, but banks are still getting off easy for billions of dollars of foreclosure abuse. "The reductions going back to homeowners right now are just a fraction of the fraudulent insurance claims (banks) submitted," Weidner said. "It would be like if you robbed a bank and walked away with $10,000, and you gave $10 back."

Tampa Bay Times The offers are preapproved, but banks' requirements differ. Generally, homeowners must owe more on their mortgage than their property is worth, be at least a few months behind on their mortgage payments, and face a financial hardship or impending default.

After that point, bank representatives said, signing up could barely be simpler. Some re-financings are automatic, with lower interest rates appearing suddenly on homeowners' monthly statements. Some banks' loan modifications need only a signature to kick into action. At least one offer also comes with free postage.

8/29/12

Quelle Surprise! Banks Getting Credit for What They Would Have Done Anyhow in Mortgage Settlement

In fact, some of the things in the report are troubling. For instance, despite the claim, taken up by the media, that borrowers got “relief”, what we see instead is that they got overwhelmingly was short sales:

naked capitalism This outcome should not be seen as any sort of accomplishment. While a short sale is admittedly preferable to a foreclosure, but what most people think “relief” means is some sort of financial break that allows them to remain in, and hopefully keep, their home. And there is no reason to think that this level of short sales had much to do with the mortgage settlement. 

Wells Fargo says it has been making “enhanced financial 'relocation' assistance offers” that can be as much as $10,000 or $20,000 to certain borrowers who choose to go through with a short sale or transfer the title back to Wells via a deed-in-lieu.

In other words, YOUR LOSING YOUR HOME to a criminal enterprise that doesn't own it, plus they want you to transfer YOUR title into its name because it never had title to begin with. MSF

8/29/12

ResCap executive bonus plan rejected by judge

A federal bankruptcy judge on Tuesday rejected Residential Capital LLC's proposal to pay as much as $7 million of bonuses to 17 senior executives, saying the payout was primarily a reward for staying in their jobs.

Reuters ResCap's plan "is primarily retentive in nature," and "appears to attempt an end-run" around federal bankruptcy laws, Glenn concluded.

In a separate matter, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it is formally investigating ResCap for possible misconduct in loan originations and underwriting, and possible fraud in the sale of mortgage-backed securities.

8/29/12

Foreclosure-Mill Holland & Knight will pay $25 million to settle a suit over its ties to Ponzi schemer

The lawsuit against the law firm, filed three years ago, claimed Holland & Knight knew about -- but failed to report -- illegal activities at the Scoop Management hedge funds operated by Nadel 

Herald-Tribune The influential and politically connected law firm ignored, or missed, numerous signs that could have exposed Nadel's scheme and protected investors, according to the lawsuit.

"It's clear Holland & Knight disputed the allegations, but after proceeding with litigation for about three years, I think the handwriting was on the wall," he said.

This is significant because wrongful foreclosure cases can undeniably prove the foreclosure-mills knew about -- but failed to report -- illegal Foreclosure activities.)

8/29/12

How To Defend A Credit Card Lawsuit Even If You Owe the Money

Bankruptcy Law Network If you’re on the wrong end of a credit card lawsuit, you’re faced with the prospect of a judgment against you. If you’re smart, you’ve got powerful weapons you can use.

Rather than making an excuse for nonpayment, remember that a Complaint in a credit card lawsuit is nothing more than a list of allegations – not proof. Don’t fall into the trap of agreeing to something without proof.

8/29/12

Bank of America hasn't modified ANY mortgages so far under settlement

The bank so far has provided no relief through refinancings, according to the report. 

NBC News The agreement required Bank of America, which bought subprime lender Countrywide Financial in 2008, to provide the most consumer relief. But in a securities filing this month it said a significant number of modifications had not yet been completed "due to the time required to underwrite the modified loans."
8/29/12

After fixing up their home, Couple finds home isn't theirs

The inspector told them that the property's owner wanted them out of the house, and they had two weeks to vacate.

“We were like ‘what?' ” Railynn Spence said. “We said, ‘We're the owners. We bought it out of an FLC sale.

Home Equity Theft Reporter A cautionary tale for anyone seeking to buy a home cheap.

Frustrated, the Spences decided to pack their bags. The county mailed them a refund for their bid on Aug. 17, and the couple was busy this week moving into a temporary home provided by one of Benjamin's friends.

8/29/12

Can mortgage lenders hold your insurance money hostage?

Approximately one-third of the homeowners who responded to the group's post-disaster survey said their lender wanted some or all of their insurance money to be used to reduce their mortgage balance before releasing funds for rebuilding.

nasdaq A small number of homeowners who lost their homes last year to the wildfires in Bastrop, Texas , reported that their mortgage lenders made them pay down or pay off their mortgage balance with insurance money, instead of applying the funds towards rebuilding.

"We're continuing to monitor these complaints and are working with the Texas Attorney General's investigation."

8/29/12 Homeowner Makes $69K+ In Loan Payments, Then Finds Out Lawyer Who Handled Closing Never Recorded Deed, Mtge; 

Title Insurer To Victim: 'Take A Hike!'

Home Equity Theft Reporter Peoples Neighborhood Bank didn't tell her about the incomplete closing or remedy the situation. Yet the bank wanted her to continue to make payments, noting that she is still personally liable for the note. Frustrated, she stopped paying. The bank sent her a notice of intention to foreclose in May, even though it couldn't foreclose without a mortgage and without her being the owner.
8/28/12

Title company says court ruling could cloud home ownership for thousands

The state Court of Appeals ruled in Reese vs. Provident Funding last July that the Reese family of Cobb County were improperly foreclosed upon because the notice they got was improper.

ajc "...the Court of Appeals' decision will cause great uncertainty in Georgia foreclosures as to the validity of a foreclosure, particularly those foreclosures that have occurred since 2008..." said attorney William Brown in a brief filed to encourage the Georgia Supreme Court to review the ruling.
8/28/12 Libor vs Mortgage Scandals: Amount of Money Appears to be the Only Difference

Now Wall Street is creating entities that will buy up “distressed”properties — a product of their own wrongdoing, using the money of the same people who owned the homes that were foreclosed — i.e., their pension and 401k retirement money. So they used your own money to fund a bad loan to you that they knew they could foreclose, and in between the time they originated the loan documents and the time of foreclosure they engaged in trading on your mortgage even though they had no part in funding or purchasing the loan.

Living Lies My question to you is where is your outrage? When are you going to fight the bank control of Washington, the bank manipulation of judiciary by fabricating false, forged documentation that “looks right?” 

You can do it by voting against hose most closely tied to the Wall Street community, by fighting with the party claiming to be your mortgage lender/servicer, or both. 

If you don’t you are handing the Country over to the banks and leaving it to your children and grandchildren to suffer the consequences.

8/28/12

Complete article

OSCEOLA COUNTY, FLORIDA JUDGE DENIES SUMMARY JUDGMENT BASED ON RECENT FLORIDA CASE LAW

An Osceola County Florida Circuit Judge today denied a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Aurora Loan Servicing

Jeff Barnes, Esq. The denial was based on recent Florida decisional law which requires affidavits in support of summary judgment in foreclosure actions to have specific information from the affiant when the affidavit is based on a review of records, and where the “Allonge” was undated and there was no evidence of authority for the person who executed the Allonge to have done so on behalf of a bankrupt entity. Significantly, the signor, one “Amy Hawkins”, claimed to be a vice president of both National Bank of Arizona and National Bank of Nevada on the same document.

We have seen numerous cases where “Amy Hawkins” has claimed authority to sign on behalf of these two “banks”.
8/28/12 While many Americans are losing jobs, income, retirement and homes,

Earnings for Banks Are Up, Though Weakened by JPMorgan’s Loss

NY Times The American banking industry’s earnings rose 20.7 percent in the second quarter, as banks set aside less money to guard against losses and increased lending.

8/28/12

$3.5 Million Settlement in Mortgage Bias Case

“With the settlement we announce today, the hundreds of victims of lending discrimination committed by GFI will be made whole,” said Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, where GFI is based.

NY Times Nearly all of the settlement money to be paid by the company, GFI Mortgage Bankers, will go to 600 black and Hispanic borrowers who federal authorities said paid unfairly high rates from 2005 through 2009. The settlement also included a fine of $55,000, the maximum under the federal Fair Housing Act.

8/28/12

Banks have found a way to own homes they don't own, and [homeowners] are signing up to get swindled.  They get a principal, interest-rate reduction and the bank gets a fraud-free Title, Note and Mortgage.

Mortgage customers of 5 large banks get big offers to lower their payments

Plain Dealer The banks are offering customers no-strings-attached deals to drastically reduce their interest rates and, in some cases, slice tens of thousands from their principal. Customers don't have to apply, sign tons of paperwork or pay any closing costs or any fees.

Homeowners don't realize they legally own the home free and clear.  Signing these documents transfers ownership to the bank and the fraud goes away.

8/28/12

Couple face off with Bank of America over Mortgage Swindle

For nearly two years, the Bergquists say, they’ve been trying to win back control of their lives after Bank of America forced its own property insurance on them, confiscated mortgage payments to cover it, then refused to accept their monthly payments. 

Home Equity Theft Reporter Their attorney Jason A. Czekalski said: “These people did nothing wrong. They were making their payments, they were paying their insurance, they had proof of insurance.”

The Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau, said “The misapplication of payments is a common problem.” 

The Bergquists are seeking up to $635,000 from the bank, which includes a payoff of their mortgages, damages and attorneys fees. 

8/28/12

Occupy Hong Kong Holdouts Defy Order to Leave Despite Effort by HSBC

NY Times The Hong Kong government has been largely silent on Occupy Hong Kong and has given little public support to HSBC to act against the protesters.

8/28/12

HUML case adds El Paso County and Robo-signor Beverly Mitrisin

Motion to add Defendants

For the reasons cited the plaintiff respectfully asks this court for leave to add additional defendants, The County of EI Paso, Texas and Beverly Mitrisin. Plaintiff Huml complains of illegal and wrongful foreclosure practices, knowing and intentional use of "robosigned" (faulty affidavits) and the entire MERS scheme on the part of the defendants.

Richard Roman, Esq. Acting without a warrant or other valid court authorization, the constables detained, handcuffed and arrested Huml in violation of her civil rights. In the presence of witnesses the constables forcibly and illegally removed Huml and her elderly, ill mother from the residence in a clear, purposeful and blatant show of force.

EI Paso County cannot "sit on both sides of the fence" by turning a blind eye as illegal foreclosure practices wreak rampant havoc in EI Paso County, then file suit against the
same entities alleged to be the perpetrators of these practices
.

8/28/12**

Homeowners are paying on a debt/obligation they don't owe!

Homeowners already own their own home because of illegal contracts.

The following points summarize the fraud, followed by more in-depth explanations:

o The homeowner already owns his/her own home because the initial mortgage contract was induced by fraud.

o The homeowner may NOT be liable for payment of the signed mortgage under a suit of equity for a Note where fraud has been exercised against the Note.

OpEdNews o Foreclosing entities have lost the power of sale within the security instrument and the right to enforce the Note.

o Unwary homeowners were seduced into fraudulent mortgage contracts.

o Due to the complexity of the fraud, most of the judiciary has failed to understand and apply statutory law correctly.

o Contracts with homeowners containing fraud, especially those mortgage contracts written since 1999, are void as a matter of law AND the banks or any foreclosing entities do not have any equitable recourse.
8/27/12 Snippet to the Editor:

A Misstep on Foreclosures

NY Times If for no other reason than self-interest, we should support efforts to sustain property values rather than worsen the situation through foreclosures.

The administration’s reaction was quite different when it came to bailing out the banks.
8/27/12

Deutsche Bank Honcho Beat to a Pulp by LAPD

TMZ Although the LAPD claims officers beat and arrested Mulligan after he became violent and threatening ... prosecutors declined to file charges. Our sources say prosecutors believe the photos are "clear evidence of excessive force." Indeed, Mulligan already filed a $50 million claim against the City of L.A.

How to Afford Bankruptcy, Follow-up

Bankruptcy Law Network The Fifth Circuit, covering Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, has joined the First Circuit in ruling that there is no per se prohibition against fee-only Chapter 13 filings.
8/27/12

Wells Fargo fires Des Moines worker for laundromat incident 49 years ago

DesMoines Register The former farm boy speaks deliberately, can’t remember the last time he got a speeding ticket, and favors suspenders, horn-rimmed glasses and plaid shirts. But the 68-year-old Vietnam veteran is still too risky for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, which fired him on July 12 from his job as a customer service representative.

Egger’s crime? Putting a cardboard cutout of a dime in a washing machine in Carlisle on Feb. 2, 1963.
8/27/12

Homeowners Want Their Own Committee in ResCap Bankruptcy

Fox Business While the homeowners do have one representative on ResCap's official committee of unsecured creditors--a plaintiff in a Pennsylvania class-action lawsuit brought by the same lawyer asking for a committee--the group said it needs more say to protect its interests.
8/27/12

Protesters picket in S.F. over Nationstar's foreclosure practices

About two dozen protesters voiced their complaints over Nationstar Mortgage Holdings' foreclosure practices in San Francisco

BizJounals The two supervisors spoke against a backdrop of growing frustration over efforts at the federal level to address the foreclosure crisis. As a result, local leaders are grappling with problems created by foreclosures such as falling home values and eroding quality of life in their communities.

8/27/12

Mass. AG to discuss foreclosure prevention program

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is drawing attention to a Massachusetts initiative intended to help mortgage borrowers who face foreclosure.

BusinessWeek The HomeCorps program supports mortgage borrowers through modification initiatives, legal assistance and borrower recovery to prevent unnecessary home foreclosures in the state. It is funded by Massachusetts' share of a nationwide settlement involving the five largest mortgage servicers and their connection with unlawful foreclosures and loan servicing.
8/27/12

Foreclosures Burn Fair Haven; Maps Tell Tale

284 Exchange has been abandoned for some time, but the bank is delaying foreclosure, Lopez said. She said she’s seeing that more and more: banks wait longer to take title because they don’t want to take the responsibility that comes with it.

Hew Haven Independent he made two “heat maps” showing the intensity of foreclosures initiated and foreclosures completed. Then he made five zoom-able Google maps showing the locations of individual homes in foreclosure since 2008.

“I grew up around here,” Pena said. “It was never like this. This used to be the nicest place to live.”

8/27/12

New Real Estate Train Wreck Coming: Securitized Rentals

No matter how bad things get, it turns out they can always get worse. Wall Street is about to foist a new “innovation” on investors that even the ratings agencies won’t touch.

naked capitalism The other looming horror show is, if you think mortgage servicers were unresponsive, consider how bad rental securitization servicers are likely to be. Their incentives will be to delay in responding to tenant problems in the hope that the tenant will spend the time and money required. And God only knows what happens if they apply payments incorrectly, a not-infrequent problem.
8/26/12

Win the house back at the eviction on summary judgment

Timothy McCandless, Esq. The issue is: Does Plaintiff have a right as a stranger to the Note to foreclose on the Note and DOT that was not in its name and for which Plaintiff was not party to the Note or financing transaction nor a disclosed beneficiary by virtue of a recorded assignment.
8/26/12

Keeping this story alive.

The Death Of Sunny Sheu

Sunny was a homeowner who had his home stolen out from under him by reason of a forged power of attorney, and, in the battle to get it back, found himself murdered.

Home Equity Theft Reporter In his battle to get it back, and despite that the fact that the forgers were prosecuted, a bankster that had wrestled the property away through a wrongful foreclosure was never legally required to give it back until six months after his death, when Sheu's house was somehow mysteriously returned to his estate with the mortgage fully paid.
8/26/12

Foreclosure mediation angers bankers, pleases housing advocates

The mortgage industry is in an uproar over a proposal that would require banks to participate in professional mediation before foreclosing on St. Louis County homeowners.

DEMAND THEY PROVE OWNERSHIP!

STL Today Still, it remains unclear how many of St. Louis County's homeowners facing foreclosure might participate or benefit from the proposal. Under the proposed plan, homeowners facing foreclosure could opt for a mediator – with the bank paying the bill. A professional would try to work out a compromise – most often a payment reduction – to keep the borrower at home.

8/25/12

Virulent Worm (MERS) Destroys U.S. Housing Market

Over 70 million properties in the USA may have clouded titles. Americans may be forced to file a quiet title suit just to be able to convey clear title to their properties. 

WebOfDebt In one of the most explosive interviews to date, David Krieger, author of the new book Clouded Titles, blows the whistle on the business model and operations of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) Ellen Brown JD, a regular on The Kaiser Report, the founder and chair of the Public Banking Institute and the author of Web of Debt, pops in to discuss the legal ramifications of the erosion of the entire system and how everyone might be made whole.

8/25/12

Banking Fraud Special

Coast to Coast AM Four banking experts (Robert Mazur, Barry James Dyke, William K. Black and John Truman Wolfe) joined John B. Wells, in separate hours, and exposed the terrifying truth about how corrupt bankers and businessmen manipulate complex international financial systems to serve drug lords, politicians, tax cheats, and terrorists.

8/25/12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO CRIME, NO PUNISHMENT

When the Justice Department recently closed its criminal investigation of Goldman Sachs, it became all but certain that no major American banks or their top executives would ever face criminal charges for their role in the financial crisis.

NY Times But that characterization of the financial industry’s actions has always defied common sense — and all the more so now that a fuller picture is emerging of the range of banks’ reckless and lawless activities, including interest-rate rigging, money laundering, securities fraud and excessive speculation.

ATTORNEY FOR GOLDMAN SACHS CEO IS ERIC HOLDER'S 'BEST FRIEND'

The crony connections just keep on coming over at Eric Holder’s Department of Justice.

Last week, the Justice Department announced that it will not prosecute Goldman Sachs or any of its employees in a financial probe. 

h/t Matt Weidner, Esq. Could that be because the attorney for Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein was none other than Attorney General Eric Holder’s “best friend” and former personal attorney, Reid Weingarten?
Or because in 2008, Goldman Sachs employees donated $1,013,091 to Barack Obama?
Or because Goldman Sachs is the former client of Eric Holder’s and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer’s law firm, Covington & Burling?
The conflicts of interest and cronyism at Holder’s Department of Justice are so many that it took a 27-page report by the Government Accountability Institute to catalog them all.

REPORT:

Justice Inaction:
The Department of Justice’s Unprecedented Failure to Prosecute Big Finance

Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society.
- Federalist No. 51

Government 

Accountability 

Institute

Despite Attorney General Eric Holder’s heated rhetoric promising
to hold Wall Street accountable, an investigation into the Department of Justice’s handling of the 2008 financial crisis found that:
The Department of Justice has not
filed a single criminal charge against
any top executive of an elite financial institution.
8/24/12

Minnesota: Counties sue Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Pioneer Press The class-action suit, filed on behalf of all 87 Minnesota counties, is the latest in a string of similar lawsuits filed by other states against federal government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in recent weeks.
8/24/12

For RNC week: No more eviction notices

With the Republican National Convention coming and Tropical Storm Isaac right behind, who has time for evictions?

Tampa Bay Times Strapped for manpower, Hillsborough sheriff's deputies next week will temporarily stop serving notices of foreclosures and evictions.

For distressed residents in Tampa and across the county, that could mean an extra week of breathing room.
8/24/12

TRIAL TRANSCRIPT in

Wells Fargo and the Case of the Missing $100,000 In a Foreclosure Case

Matt Weidner, Esq. My clients are entitled to due process and notice of all proceedings. They did not get that due process. They did not get notice of proceedings. They did not get the notice of the final judgment of foreclosure.
8/24/12

Make Telemarketing & Robocall Madness Stop!!

There’s nothing more annoying than getting one of those automated robocalls where all you hear is a pre-recorded sales message from a telemarketer.

Click here for a few clever ways you can waste THEIR time.

This summer, the Federal Trade Commission offered several tips to consumers on what to do when you get these unwanted robocalls:

Consumer Warning Network Hang up the phone. Don’t press 1 to speak to a live operator and don’t press any other number to get your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably just lead to more robocalls.
Consider contacting your phone provider and asking them to block the number, and whether they charge for that service. Remember that telemarketers change Caller ID information easily and often, so it might not be worth paying a fee to block a number that will change.
Report your experience to the FTC online at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222.
8/24/12

 

 

GMAC Petition including impact letters from Borrowers

The key thing is, GMAC had better not lie about who owns my loans or whose calling the shots on the loans that impact my clients….I know where the bodies are buried and who the Wizard Behind the Curtain is!

Matt Weidner, Esq. Next, I remain frustrated that homeowners are not being treated fairly in GMAC cases…(no surprise….right?) I mean, after all, the laws in this country do not exist to provide any relief to the American taxpayer after all…do they?

Well, that’s what we’ll try to find the answer to (once again) with this GMAC bankruptcy filing, our Motion For Appointment of a Borrower’s Committee. My fervent hope is that we can ensure that the millions of borrowers all across this country will have a voice when the big boys are sitting around the table carving up what’s left of GMAC.

8/24/12

Assignment must exist in writing, even if the court says it doesn’t need recording

For the Trustee to issue a notice of sale and notice of default on behalf of the supposed beneficiary, means that the trustee is no longer accepting the responsibilities of the trustee to act with due diligence and good faith toward both the trustor and the beneficiary.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

Hence the substitution of trustee is an offer which has not and cannot be accepted. Any actions taken by the trustee in a notice of default or any other notice or collection letter is out of bounds. The only reason the banks do this is to hide behind yet another layer of people and entities so when the arrest warrants are issued, they can claim plausible deniability that the wrong procedure was being followed. This is poppycock.

8/24/12

HSBC officials ignored warning signs and failed to stop illegal behavior at many points between 2001 and 2010.

US said to INVESTIGATE MONEY LAUNDERING AT HSBC 

Prosecutors investigating the movement of money by global banks suspect HSBC of laundering money for Mexican drug cartels and moving cash for Saudi Arabian banks with ties to terrorists, according to federal authorities with direct knowledge of the investigations.

NY Times The federal and state prosecutors are also investigating whether HSBC flouted United States law by transferring money through its American subsidiary for sanctioned nations, including Iran, Sudan and North Korea.

The weight of the accusations could force HSBC, which has already set aside $700 million to cover the cost of potential fines, to pay at least $1 billion to settle the inquiry, said the authorities with knowledge of the investigation, which would make it the largest such settlement in history.

8/24/12

Attorney claims county officials did nothing while people faced Unfair Foreclosure

El Paso County officials were warned about a scheme that resulted in people being unfairly kicked out of their homes, but the county did nothing to stop it. 

WFTV Roman said they waited too long and now several of his clients have had their lives ruined. People have ended up paying the wrong bank and then faced eviction before they knew what was happening.

8/24/12

The Obama Administration, the 49 State Mortgage Settlement, and the Spin: 

A Study in Shamelessness

The simple fact is that all of these things have occurred and reoccurred because, as the criminologist and economist William K. Black has repeatedly pointed out, fraud was not an aberration at these firms, it was their core business strategy. With reams of evidence pointing to fraud and malfeasance strewn surrounding us, fending off serious prosecutions has required a non-trivial commitment of time, effort, and extensive 'political capital' on the part of the Obama Administration and its senior staff. Failing to act on this copious evidence took an exceptional act of will. But, they were up to the job.

Robert E. Prasch

Huff Post

Just consider the massive evidence of fraud -- besides the reams of paper and court documents, this includes the many witnesses who have spoken to the media, written testimonials or books, already testified in court on related matters, etc. -- that is strewn across the nation, from sea-to-shining-sea. Consider even this partial list of crimes to be investigated. Accounting fraud screams out for action under Sarbanes-Oxley; loan origination fraud (including, by 2006, almost universal appraisal fraud); the robo-signing, forgeries, and post-dating of documents that for years were routinely submitted to courts during legal proceedings; the myriad of tax avoidance scams and lost paperwork that were a core feature of the mortgage electronic registration systems; the deliberate misrepresentation in the "Warrants and Reps" attached to the packaging and sale of mortgage-backed securities and derivatives thereof; and on and on it goes.

8/24/12

Foreclosure-rental bonds come to market without ratings

The first so-called real estate owned (REO)-to-rental securitizations in the United States may go ahead without credit ratings, as agencies ponder how to assign grades to the new and potentially risky products.

Reuters In the planned deals, real estate and private equity investors would buy up blocks of foreclosed properties and rent them out to borrowers who have been displaced due to their unpaid mortgages who had their home stolen by criminals who didn't own them. The rental payment streams - and possibly the proceeds from an eventual sale of the properties - would provide payments to (co-conspirator) bond investors.
8/24/12

Hidden foreclosure rates expected to grow

"People seem to think we have been through the worst of the foreclosures. That is simply not true," said Donegan. 

WFTV-Orlando Residents seeing fewer foreclosure signs in their neighborhood may be fooled into thinking the problem is getting better, but WFTV found out the problem could be three times as bad. 

8/23/12

No Loan Receivable Account Exists

Everyone seems to be having trouble with winning these cases outright. Neil thinks he has discovered the problem.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

The borrower accepted an offer that was not backed by consideration nor the intent to provide it.
Hence there was no meeting of the minds in the first instance.
If you reverse the analysis and say that it was the borrower who made the offer it gets even worse. 99% of the real applications if they contained the true facts would never have been accepted by any investor or even a bank looking for subprime profits.
8/23/12

Housing will not recover until the criminals responsible for the crisis are in prison and the money and property are returned to its legal owners.  

A Slim Recovery for Housing

NY Times The economy will not recover until the housing market recovers, and the housing market will not recover until the broader economy recovers — a chicken-and-egg problem reflected, once again, in national housing figures.
8/23/12

Congressional staffers fight banks, City Hall over home seizures

"They would have taken my house."

Baltimore Sun It's a challenging task —some homeowners say impossible— but Facini wields a weapon most Marylanders do not.

When she contacts a bank, her caller I.D. says "U.S. Congress."

As part of a little-known effort, congressional staffers across the country have been calling banks relentlessly to bargain for help for homeowners. In response, some of the country's biggest financial entities, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America, have even set up special lines to field the congressional staffers' calls.

8/23/12**

Jennifer Britt, Detroiter, Considers Offer From Fannie Mae To Lease Foreclosed Home

The local nonprofit Southwest Solutions previously attempted to purchase the home on Britt's behalf for $10,000, a price they arrived at after appraising the home, but Fannie Mae did not accept their offer.

Another way to swindle more money from homeowners while Failing to address the non-existent Note problem.

  Fannie is not addressing the fraud, they are just extending it. MSF 

Huff Post Britt's near eviction led to a defense campaign that drew crowds to her Rosedale Park home for a vigil lasting several weeks. Her case also attracted the attention of U.S. Representative Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit) who personally interceded to work out a deal with Fannie Mae.

McGuire said she received the written offer last week, but has been hesitant to agree to the arrangement because it contains no guarantee that she can eventually own the house.

Also see photos at the bottom of the article.

8/23/12**

Do you still want a loan modification???

"BANKS ARE MORE DANGEROUS THAN EVER"

BANKS ARE 25% BIGGER THAN THEY WERE AT THE START OF THE CRISIS

Treasury told the banks if you convert this into a permanent mod, you will have to waive all the fees. But if you foreclose and pull the rug out from under the homeowner, you actually get to keep all those fees and cash them in during the foreclosure sale.

Democratic Underground

with Neil Barofsky

Modifications were a SCAM to strip more wealth from homeowners and taxpayers into the banks.

Banks make more money from foreclosing, especially when you realize the banks don't own the homes they are stealing.

Treasury allowed the banks to charge a penalty for each month that you made your payment ON TIME.

"Treasury is a fully captured agency."

The Treasury was behind this scam!

8/23/12

OUT OF THE MOUTH OF JPMORGAN CHASE:

SCHEDULE OF LOANS PURCHASED FROM WAMU DOES NOT EXIST; NO ASSIGNMENTS OF MORTGAGE, NO ALLONGES OR ANY EVIDENCE OF TRANSFERRING OWNERSHIP OF LOANS FROM WAMU TO CHASE

Jeff Barnes, Esq. No there is no assignments of mortgage. There’s no allonges. There’s no — in the thousands of loans that I have come into contact with that were a part of this purchase, I’ve never once seen an assignment of mortgage. There is simply not — they don’t exist. Or allonges or anything transferring ownership from WAMU to Chase, in other words. Specifically, endorsements and things like that.
8/23/12

Houston city controller seeks leniency for real estate felon

City Controller Ron Green, Houston's top elected money manager and self-described watchdog, is seeking leniency for a five-time convicted felon and contractor who masterminded an elaborate real estate and forgery scam.

Home Equity Theft Reporter Green is asking a judge for probation for his friend and former next-door neighbor Dwayne K. Jordon, a rogue developer who pleaded guilty to felony theft. According to indictments, Jordon pilfered 23 Houston properties from different owners and then duped unsuspecting buyers into purchasing homes built on stolen ground.
8/23/12

Judge In Bank of America Predatory Lending Case Asked To Recuse Himself Due To Conflict of Interest

Mr Merritt went on to point out that First American Title is a major Defendant in their case as well and that the Judge should have disclosed his pass relationship with them as well. Judge Stoelker then claimed that he did not know that they were a defendant. 

Yahoo! Mr. Merritt told Judge Stoelker that they were "saddened" to learn he had been "employed by this case's defendants, but you failed to disclose that to us." Mr. Merritt stated that they felt as if they had been violated in having this hidden from them. The record further shows that Mr. Merritt  and his wife "could not understand why you [the judge] were always siding with," the Defendants, however, "once we learned that you previously worked for them - it all made sense."

8/22/12

Judge dismisses Plymouth County mortgage recording lawsuit

A federal judge has dismissed a class-action lawsuit that claimed a national electronic mortgage registry company was enabling banks to avoid paying Iowa mortgage registration fees.

Sioux City Journal Raymond cited Iowa law that requires a document called an assignment of mortgage to be filed in the county recorder's office when a mortgage is sold. The MERS system enables banks to avoid that practice and the payment of accompanying filing fees, the lawsuit said.

Bennett ruled that none of the Iowa statues cited in the lawsuit imposes a requirement on the party assigning a mortgage or receiving an assignment to record the transaction.

8/22/12**

Matt Taibbi: If an individual on Wall Street was punished, banks would take note

Taibbi goes on to suggest that people who want to see Wall Street held accountable should try to vote for attorneys general who “have real guts” and are willing to take on the banks’ high-priced lawyers.

Eliot Spitzer

ViewPoint

“I’ve heard this over and over again from people who work on Wall Street: that the reason that these guys do what they do so brazenly is because they have absolutely no fear of punishment anymore,” Taibbi says. “Even if they do fine the companies, there’s been almost not a single instance of an individual suffering in any way for any of this stuff.”

8/22/12

Matt Taibbi, Eliot Spitzer Discuss Eric Holder's Failure

Matt Taibbi A good prosecutor should look down the barrel at a bunch of millionaire lawyers at Davis Polk or White and Case and feel turned on by the challenge of combat. Making a deal with any devil should burn him at the core, keep him awake at night.

But that's exactly who Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer haven't been, exactly who Bob Khuzami at the SEC hasn't been. Instead of being fighters, they've been dealmakers and plea-bargainers.
8/22/12

Judge considers use of mortgage settlement money

While critics say the money should be used to help mortgage borrowers, a lawyer for the state said Wednesday that Arizona is entitled to use $50 million of its share of a multistate foreclosure settlement paid by lenders to help balance the state budget because it's compensation for revenue lost due to the housing market collapse.

AP "Just sticking money in the general fund doesn't improve or make better the foreclosure crisis," he said. "You're just spending money on state government."

Hogan, an Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest attorney, said the only compensation the state can claim is for direct costs, such as the expense of investigating lenders' mortgage practices.

(The Investigation was already done.  The banks created the crisis.)

8/22/12

FDIC ($677.4 Billion) Charges Banks With Fraud, Illegal Underwriting Practices

The result of this lawsuit will have a profound impact on the housing market, the financial community and best of all, homeowners who have been using these allegations as defenses for years.

Living Lies It is apparent that the false premises upon which the bogus mortgage bonds were sold, combined with the complete avoidance of the supposed securitization scheme that was “in place,” has prompted this huge lawsuit. It is the tip of an iceberg where the administration is finally bringing the war to the door of the banks and will most likely lead to criminal charges as the cases progress.
8/22/12

Banks letting blight take over L.A. foreclosures -- and they're getting away with it

Daily News Two years after Los Angeles passed a law to fine scofflaw banks $1,000 a day for failing to fix them, not one cent has been collected,
8/22/12

Ethics Issues Arise For Houston Judge For Rulings Favorable To Convicted Felon Accused Of Pilfering 23 Properties, Hijacking Dead Granddad's Home

Home Equity Theft Reporter Elected Justice of the Peace Hilary Harmon Green repeatedly ordered the eviction of tenants and relatives on behalf of a five-time felon even though she and her husband, City Controller Ron Green, both had financial and personal ties to the home builder.
version

8/22/12

Real Remedies for the Foreclosure Crisis Exist: The Game-Changing Implications of Bain v. MERS   

Bain v. MERS: No Rights Without the Original Note

If MERS has no rights that it can assign, the parties are back to square one: the original holder of the promissory note must be found. The problem is that many of these mortgage companies are no longer in business; and even if they could be located, it is too late in most cases to assign the note to the trusts that are being tossed this hot potato.

Ellen Brown, JD

TruthOut

The court held that they could not have it both ways:
Simply put, if MERS does not hold the note, it is not a lawful beneficiary....

MERS suggests that, if we find a violation of the act, "MERS should be required to assign its interest in any deed of trust to the holder of the promissory note and have that assignment recorded in the land title records, before any non-judicial foreclosure could take place." But if MERS is not the beneficiary as contemplated by Washington law, it is unclear what rights, if any, it has to convey. Other courts have rejected similar suggestions.

 

8/22/12

Exclusive: Tracy Lawrence and the Foreclosure Suicide that America Ignored

The timing of her death was suspicious, to say the least. Immediately, before any investigation had been conducted, Las Vegas police officially “ruled out homicide” as her cause of death.

PDF version

Daily Banter Nevada’s case against LPS rested primarily on the testimony of a whistleblower, Tracy Lawrence, who worked in Lender Processing Services’ office in Las Vegas. Her testimony threatened to unravel tens of thousands of fraudulent foreclosures in the state of Nevada between the years 2005-2008, and the criminal activities of the entire mortgage servicing industry. 

On November 29, 2011—just two weeks after the Nevada attorney general announced the landmark criminal case—whistleblower Tracy Lawrence was supposed to appear before a judge for her sentencing. It should have been a routine appearance, but she didn’t show up. Her lawyer grew anxious, called police to check on Tracy Lawrence’s home, and that’s when they found her dead.

8/21/12

Lowell Attorney Arrested for Forgery

The attorney confessed to manufacturing the document and giving it to his client. 

NWA He said he cut and pasted the circuit clerk stamp and images of the a circuit court judge's signature onto the papers.

8/21/12

Foreclosure filings on the rise

The number of foreclosure filings is increasing and cases once dismissed for flawed paperwork are back. Now, notices will be hitting area mailboxes soon. 

NBC-2 He says foreclosure filings are almost double what they were last year. Now he's worried about a case backlog.

The bulk of the notices are re-filings - cases that had to be dismissed earlier because of flawed paperwork by the lenders.

"It gave a lot of people false hope that because there was paperwork mess up, if you will, that they had a chance to maybe save their home," said Green.
8/21/12

No to tax collection on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Michigan, Illinois and Ohio have won cases and can collect the real estate transfer taxes. But Nevada's Department of Taxation has chosen not to try to collect the tax from the federal government.

Las Vegas Review The state could collect more than $24.5 million in transfer taxes from the past three years if the state sued and won litigation over the issue, Marshall said. Either Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the banks that made the loans could be required to pay the taxes, she said.
8/21/12

America's new foreclosure capitals

Half are in FLORIDA

Forbes RealtyTrac helped us compile a list of the metropolitan statistical areas where a rebound in foreclosure activity could put a damper on home prices — again.

8/21/12

OUT OF THE MOUTH OF JPMORGAN CHASE:

SCHEDULE OF LOANS PURCHASED FROM WAMU DOES NOT EXIST

NO ASSIGNMENTS OF MORTGAGE, NO ALLONGES OR ANY EVIDENCE OF TRANSFERRING OWNERSHIP OF LOANS FROM WAMU TO CHASE

Confirming, under oath and in print what we already suspected: there is no schedule of mortgage loans evidencing what JPM allegedly “purchased” from the FDIC in connection with the failure of WaMu

Q: Have you ever in your duties of being a loan analyst — a loan operations specialist, have you ever seen an FDIC bill of sale or a receiver’s deed or an assignment of mortgage or an allonge?

Jeff Barnes, Esq. A: No there is no assignments of mortgage. There’s no allonges. There’s no — in the thousands of loans that I have come into contact with that were a part of this purchase, I’ve never once seen an assignment of mortgage. There is simply not — they don’t exist. Or allonges or anything transferring ownership from WAMU to Chase, in other words. Specifically, endorsements and things like that.

So, JPM allegedly “purchased” mortgage loans from the FDIC out of the WaMu failure, but there is no schedule of what loans were purchased, no assignments, no allonges, no endorsements, nothing that transferred ownership of the loans from WaMu to Chase. However, as we all know, JPM goes around the country touting that it is the “successor in interest to WaMu” (which it has admitted in Federal Court that it is not)

8/21/12**

Mass. lawsuit shows that banks haven’t changed Foreclosure Ways

Banks in Massachusetts have claimed the right to foreclose on homes they’re not entitled to seize. They’ve tried to excuse the act of selling properties they never legally owned. They’ve even fought the right of a foreclosed homeowner to challenge eviction on the grounds of an illegal foreclosure.

Earlier this year, five of the country’s biggest banks agreed to cough up $25 billion because they’d routinely fleeced their own customers and wreaked tremendous economic havoc along the way.

The banks are fighting hard to roll back a string of Supreme Judicial Court foreclosure decisions that demand that banks follow the law when seizing Massachusetts residents’ homes.

 

Boston Globe Banks are treating foreclosure laws as trifles that can be papered over after the fact, instead of codes that have to be followed and respected.

The SJC held that, since the state doesn’t require judges to sign off on foreclosures, and allows banks to police themselves while foreclosing, the burden is on banks to follow the law. This was enough to cloud the title to thousands of foreclosed properties in Massachusetts, and throw a panic into big banks across the country.

Banks have recorded 54,564 Massachusetts foreclosures over the past five years by seizing homes first, and lining up the rights to those properties second. Because they rushed through foreclosures, banks have had to turn to defending the indefensible in court. 

The banks have lost on all these points.

But banks keep marching into court, insisting that their own mortgage liens are sacred, while acting like any protections the law affords homeowners are meaningless. It’s the same script they’ve been reading from since the housing bubble blew up, and this year’s $25 billion hit hasn’t been enough to swear them off of it.

8/20/12

It's time to stop pretending that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are private companies.

Time to End the Fiction of 'Frannie'

WSJ The case for keeping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac off the government's books has gotten even weaker.

While the two companies have been in government conservatorship since September 2008, this makes them even more permanent wards of the state and turns the government's preferred stock into a permanent, perpetual kind of security.

8/20/12

Should Bankers Go to Jail?

The banks securitized nothing, stole from the investor-lenders, stole from the homeowners and stole from the taxpayers, and they continue to do so with apparent impunity.

Living Lies Madoff's $60 billion fraud, was an excellent foil for the banks who are raking in 3000 times that amount at $18 trillion. Yet they are perceived differently with the banks cloaked in the appearance of authenticity. Perhaps the sheer magnitude of these crimes is daunting and unthinkable, since it would point to the massive dysfunction in our financial sector, our society and our government.
8/20/12

Wall Street Leaderless in Rules Fight as Dimon Diminished

Wall Street, the global financial community reeling from public outrage and increased regulation, is proving incapable of finding a champion to replace sidelined JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon. Dimon, one of the industry's most forceful advocates, has lost stature as his bank juggles multiple investigations.

Yahoo! That means the industry is without an advocate to resist the most vigorous onslaught of regulations since Congress separated investment and commercial banking with the Glass- Steagall Act in 1933. It coincides with the lowest level of consumer confidence in U.S. banks since Gallup Inc. began polling on the question in 1979. The percentage of Americans saying they had a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence dropped to 21 percent in June from 41 percent in 2007 and more than 60 percent in 1980.
8/20/12

 

Mass. officials announce anti-foreclosure grants

More than $19 million in grants have been awarded to cities, towns and organizations across Massachusetts to assist communities and homeowners alleviate the impacts of the foreclosure crisis.

CBS News The HomeCorps program aims to ensure that all Massachusetts borrowers facing foreclosure receive an evaluation and assistance from a loan modification specialist. It's funded by the state's share of a nationwide settlement involving the five largest mortgage servicers and their connection with unlawful foreclosures and loan servicing.
8/19/12

Robo Redux

According to Judge Dear, in roughly 90 percent of credit card lawsuits (like foreclosures) the plaintiffs cannot even prove that a person owes the debt. Which is another way of saying that the courts are often being used as de facto debt-collection mills, allowing banks and others to seize money in violation of basic protections.

NY Times But as Jessica Silver-Greenberg reported recently in The Times, many of the suits rely on erroneous documents, faulty records and boilerplate testimony — a pattern that resembles in many respects the “robo signing” scandal of 2010, in which banks filed false court documents in foreclosure cases, depriving homeowners of due process that may have saved their homes.

But as the foreclosure robo-signing experience showed, big money can mean big abuses that will not end without stronger enforcement of existing law by state attorneys general as well as new laws and regulation at the state and federal levels.

7/29/12*

Reining in the 'banksters'
Like gangsters, the nation's 'banksters' should not be left to their own devices.

If you worked 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, and you lost a million dollars an hour every hour, it would take you almost three years to lose $5.8 billion. The JPMorgan guys were able to do it in a few months. 

L.A. Times Our society is one that produces both gangsters and "banksters." They tend to come from different neighborhoods, but we don't seem to be able to avoid producing either one. They are failures of our civilization. But having produced them, and knowing how much mayhem they can cause, it is inexcusably stupid to leave them unsupervised.

Why Robo-Signatures Are Illegal in California and Other Non-Judicial Foreclosure States

With all of the press robo-signing has gotten, it is a bit surprising that everyone is having such a hard time concluding whether these practices effect California foreclosures. My assistant even said to me today, “but the banks say that it doesn’t matter because California is non judicial.” Because the topic has not gotten the treatment it deserves, I will gladly do the job.

Mike Rooney Law In short, Robo Signers are illegal in California because good title cannot be based on fraud, robo signed non judicial foreclosure sales are void as a matter of law, the documents are not able to be recorded in California if they are not notarized, which we know was often not done properly, and finally, because they robo signed forgeries ARE intended for judicial proceedings, including evictions and bankruptcy relief from stay motions.

1. Good Title Cannot Be Based on Fraud (Even as to a 3d Party).
In the case of a fraudulent transaction California law is settled. The Court in Trout v. Trout, (1934), 220 Cal. 652 at 656 made as much plain:

8/19/12

When Wall Street Watchdogs Hunt Whistle-Blowers

Bloomberg Yet his distressing story shows -- on a personal level -- that for all the tough talk about better enforcement of financial wrongdoing, just how tightly government regulators are aligned with the big Wall Street banks they are supposed to keep an eye on.

8/19/12

  Kroft: Why have no banking executives been prosecuted?

Kroft remembers thinking, at the time, that heads would roll on Wall Street, most likely resulting in prosecutions and jail time for high-level banking executives.

As we all know, that never happened.

CBS News In the summer of 2007, Steve Kroft and his producer Frank Devine began reporting on something called "subprime lending." Little did they know, they'd be following that story through five years of global economic tumult.

"It was the scariest time in my lifetime," says Kroft. "I honestly thought we were headed for another Great Depression."

8/19/12

Cautious Moves on Foreclosures Haunting Obama

“They were bad at their jobs to start with, and they had just gone through this process where they fired lots of people,” said Michael S. Barr, a former assistant Treasury secretary.  “The only surprise was that they were even more screwed up than the high level of screwiness that we expected.

NY Times Some said they underestimated the complexity of helping millions of people. Some said they tried too hard at first to protect taxpayers from unnecessary losses. But they agreed that the most important problem was beyond their control: the mortgage industry was set up either to collect payments or to foreclose, and it was not ready to help people.

8/18/12

El Paso Counties Attack MERS Scheme

BLUME, FAULKNER Each of the Defendants has conducted and/or participated in the conduct of the MERS Enterprise's affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity in violation of RICO, 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c), by engaging in numerous acts of mail fraud and/or wire fraud.

8/18/12

Bain Decision Brings Us Back to Reality

THAT is exactly what the statutory scheme for recordation of title instruments is all about. 

Living Lies It creates certainty without all the steps above and it provides a free 

marketplace where people can trust that they are getting what they are buying. The same holds true for mortgages. So you want to pay off your mortgage now? Go to MERS and start at the top of this blog and work your way down again. That is why the decision in Washington is so important and why it is the only right decision to make.

The Bain Decision

MERS: No Agency with Undisclosed Rotating “Principals”

This does not mean the obligation vanishes. It just means that they can’t foreclose through non-judicial foreclosure and probably can’t foreclose even through judicial means unless they accompany it with a request that the court reconstruct the mortgage — in which case they would need to allege and prove that the disclosed parties were the sources of funds for the origination of the loans, which in most cases, they were not.

Agency requires a specific principal that is accountable for the acts of its agent. If MERS is an agent, its principals in the two cases before us remain unidentified. MERS attempts to sidestep this portion of traditional agency law by pointing to the language in the deeds of trust that describe MERS as “acting solely as a nominee for Lender and Lender’s successors and assigns.” But MERS offers no authority for the implicit proposition that the lender’s nomination of MERS as a nominee rises to an agency relationship with successor note-holders. MERS fails to identify the entities that control and are accountable for its actions. It has not established that it is an agent for a lawful principal.”  SIMPLE!
8/18/12

Deutsche Bank Among Four Said To Be In U.S. Laundering Probe

Deutsche Bank is among four European banks being investigated by U.S. regulators for alleged money-laundering violations.

Bloomberg Federal regulators, including the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Federal Reserve, the Justice Department and the New York District Attorney’s office are all involved in the probe of Deutsche Bank and three other European banks.

8/18/12

Click here to sign the petition to reinstate Glass-Steagall

Glass-Steagall aided in a six-decade rise of a more egalitarian financial system and a healthy middle class. 

Egalitarian: Affirming, promoting, or characterized by belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people.

Its 1999 repeal ushered in our current era of reckless and ruinous banking practices, which brought the USA to the brink of financial disaster in 2008.

Essentially nothing has changed since then, and the economy remains at great risk. The banking system must be brought back to serving the people and sustaining the economy rather than draining its lifeblood.

MoveOn.org Thomas Jefferson got it right when in 1802 he wrote, "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property — until their children wake up homeless in the continent their fathers conquered." 

His words were prescient indeed as we are in the midst of the greatest transfer of wealth to a scarce few individuals and banks, all of it being done within the boundaries of laws that the bankers themselves have either written or paid well to have written. 

Glass-Steagall prevented this egregious behavior and must be reinstated.

8/17/12

FHFA Seeking Treble Damages in Repurchase Cases

Many high-risk lenders have been squeezed out of the system already, but those who haven’t would surely be bankrupted by a successful treble-damages claim

David Dayen - FDL Fannie and Freddie are basically the only purchasers of mortgages on the secondary market left, so this is an excellent opportunity to establish the proposition that bad underwriting on loans will be met with serious consequences. And when we’re talking about lenders, at this point we’re talking about the arms of the big banks, who account for 2/3 of all the loans the GSEs purchase.

8/17/12

Force-Placed Insurance: A License to Steal

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it would accept comments until Oct. 9 and would issue the final rules in January.

NY Times He said he feared that the penalties, as written in the rules, would not be applied. “It’s very easy to hide that stuff,” he said. “They can make all the rules they want, but I don’t see how they can enforce these rules.”
8/17/12

Government wants in on the profits from the criminal enterprise known as "The Fatally-Flawed GSE Business Model"

 

Treasury Changes Fannie and Freddie Bailout Deal

NY Times The government is changing the terms of its bailout agreement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a way that will shrink the holdings of the two mortgage giants more quickly and will require payment to the government of all quarterly profits the companies earn.

Currently, Fannie and Freddie make dividend payments to the Treasury every quarter. That has forced them to borrow money from the government and use that money to repay the government in periods when they didn't turn a large enough profit to cover the dividend payments.

June 2012

Paper

DEFENDING Junk-Debt-Buyer Lawsuits

Peter A. Holland I sued you, you didn't file an answer, and you didn't come to court. What more do I need to prove?

-Remark made by a junk-debt attorney

8/16/12

Appeals Court Rules that "False Estimates" and "Fraudulently Low Bids" Are Basis for False Claims Act Liability

Holland & Knight In a decision issued earlier this month (Hooper v. Lockheed Martin) the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that "false estimates" or "fraudulently low bids" that are alleged to have induced the government to award a contract can be a basis for liability under the False Claims Act (“FCA”).
8/16/12

Former Morgan Stanley Advisor gets 9-month sentence for bribes

“A probationary sentence for an individual who engaged in the conduct that Peterson did would only reinforce the public’s sense that wealthy executives are essentially immune from prosecution,” DoJ officials said in their memorandum on sentencing.

Nicosia Business Review Mr Peterson pleaded guilty in April to charges that he bribed an unnamed Chinese official through a scheme involving stakes in Morgan Stanley-held apartment complexes and a shell company operated in conjunction with a Canadian lawyer.

Mr Peterson faced up to five years in prison for the scheme, which the DoJ said netted him and his co-conspirators nearly $7,000,000.00 million.
8/16/12

'Sharpie Parties' Fuel Rampage on Foreclosed US Homes

CNBC Five years into the U.S. foreclosure crisis, Sharpie parties are a new form of blight on the landscape of boarded-up homes, brown lawns and abandoned streets. They are also the latest iteration of collective home-trashing spurred by social media.
8/16/12

California Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Monitor: Servicers Dragging Their Feet

Katherine Porter, the monitor tasked with specific oversight for California’s foreclosure fraud settlement, says what most of us could have suspected: the servicers are dragging their feet on compliance.

David Dayen - FDL Among the complaints Porter, the California monitor, has received: servicers continue to start the foreclosure process while negotiating a short sale, a loophole in the standards.

I fully expect Porter, despite her relatively limited mandate, to take these issues seriously and move forward on whatever action that is within her power.

…in another sign that this settlement is having trouble six months after the announcement, Bloomberg reports that Bank of America continues to experience problems, by their own admission.

8/16/12

Washington Supreme Court's Ruling in 

KRISTIN BAIN

"Simply put, if MERS does not hold the note, it is not a lawful beneficiary." 

Washington State

Supreme Court

MERS is the aggressive, vexatious vine trying to consume the almighty centuries-old trees of property rights and due process – and the Supreme Court of the State of Washington just sprayed it with Weed-Killer.

Neil: In this case their point was that financial institutions could not avoid the state recording laws and systems and then use those same laws to foreclose.
The Court also leaves open the door for actions in damages against MERS and those who used MERS for wrongful foreclosures.

 

 

Washington Supreme Court Issues MERS Smackdown

The funniest bit of MERS’s argument was a dressed up “deadbeat borrower” pleading:

MERS argues, strenuously, that as a matter of public policy it should be allowed to act as the beneficiary of a deed of trust because “the Legislature certainly did not intend for home loans in the State of Washington to become unsecured, or to allow defaulting home loan borrowers to avoid non-judicial foreclosure, through manipulation of the defined terms in the [deed of trust] Act.”

naked capitalism The court was not moved and basically said it was the banks’ fault if they got themselves in the position of not being able to foreclose:

One difficulty is that it is not the plaintiffs that manipulated the terms of the act: it was whoever drafted the forms used in these cases.

Perhaps most interesting is that MERS has taken to settling cases where it gets wind the court might rule against it, deliberately skewing the record to create the impression that its procedures and legal structure enjoy more acceptance from courts than they actually do.

State's high court: Mortgage registry can't foreclose

The nation's largest electronic mortgage-tracking system, MERS, cannot foreclose on a homeowner in Washington state, the state's highest court ruled Thursday.

Seattle Times Observers said the opinion could have a broader impact on other court cases alleging wrongful foreclosures in Washington. The ruling also leaves the door open for those who were wrongfully foreclosed to claim damages under state consumer- protection law — but it doesn't mean those homeowners in default are off the hook from paying their loans.
8/16/12

Bay State judge rules emails are binding in real estate transactions

In a case that could chill electronic correspondence among parties of a real estate transaction, the Massachusetts Superior Court ruled that a series of emails between the buyer’s and seller’s attorneys created a binding agreement.

h/t HETR

Boston Business Journal

But Judge Douglas Wilkins ruled that electronic mail may satisfy the statute of frauds and in favor of the plaintiffs.

Still, whether the parties’ email exchange satisfied the statute of frauds in this case is not known in this case since the parties have settled their dispute and dismissed the case.

8/16/12

Title Insurer's Duty To Indemnify Foreclosing Bank's Loss Claim, Duty To Defend Against Borrower's Affirmative Defense Addressed In Minnesota Ruling

Associated Bank, N.A. v. Stewart Title

Home Equity Theft Reporter Associated Bank argued that its loss should be measured at the time the loan was initiated, not at the time the foreclosure action concluded.

Stewart Title, on the other hand, contended that Associated Bank did not recognize a loss until the foreclosure action resolved, at which time it was determined with finality that the mortgage would not be repaid. By then, the property had declined in value from $450,000 to $126,000.
8/15/12

HSBC, Credit Suisse Sacrifice Staff To Placate U.S., Lawyers Say

 “The banks are burning their own people to try and cut deals with the DoJ,” said Hornung. “This violation of personal privacy is unprecedented in the Swiss banking industry.”

The respect for the rule of law has declined in a way I simply thought unimaginable a few years ago.” 

Bloomberg THERE EATING THEIR OWN.

Swiss banks are turning over thousands of employee names to U.S. authorities as they seek leniency for their alleged role in helping American clients evade taxes, according to lawyers representing banking staff.

Swiss banks want to settle a U.S. tax-evasion probe after the DoJ indicted Wegelin & Co. on Feb. 2 for allegedly helping customers hide money from the Internal Revenue Service

8/15/12

The Accounting Trick Behind Thirty Years of Scandal

The scandals are all linked by their use of an esoteric accounting mechanism called a “special purpose entity,” or SPE. When used dishonestly, SPEs are nothing more than financial sleight of hand, the clever shifting around of assets to trick regulators and investors into seeing something that isn’t there.

Time Companies can use SPEs for legitimate purposes. For example, an oil company might want to finance an expensive and risky exploration project without putting the whole firm at risk of its failure. So they’ll set up an SPE with limited resources, put only those resources at risk in pursuance of the new project, and fully disclose the arrangement to potential investors. But as Bratton and Levitin’s paper shows, special purpose entities can be — and frequently are — recipes for disaster.

8/15/12

NEW FORM FOR REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS IN CALIFORNIA

Dan Hanecek In responding to an attorney request, I thought the end product, while not perfect, was worthy of sharing with our readers, especially the lawyers and paralegals. 
8/15/12

Freddie-Fannie Push Bank Bad Debt Cost To $84 Billion: Mortgages

Bloomberg Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are stepping up attempts to hunt down and sell back faulty mortgages bought from lenders during the U.S. housing bubble.
 

8/15/12

Homestead Exemption Fraud Costing County $1 Million A Year.

Homestead fraud is punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of $5,000, or both.

  Evidence shows Foreclosing banks have been taking Homestead Exemptions as corporations on property stolen through wrongful foreclosure.  MSF
8/15/12

Judge Tosses Case Against Fannie and Freddie

Judge Bates said that federal statutory provisions exempt Fannie and Freddie, as entities, from all taxation, meaning "neither its property nor its activities can be taxed."

Courthouse News Bates dismissed with prejudice, finding that Hager failed to identify false statements.
Massachusetts and 14 of its counties sued Fannie and Freddie under the False Claims Act in 2010, ex rel Hager and Ludel, alleging that the defendants falsely claimed to be government agencies, to duck property taxes. 
8/14/12

Thousands of Ohio Homeowners were Foreclosed on Improperly, lawsuit claims

Foreclosure-Mills are named as Defendants.

Cleveland The suit claims the firms committed fraud by preparing, executing and notarizing fraudulent court documents and other records and also violated the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act. When a mortgage is sold to another company, the seller must transfer all of the necessary documents within 90 days or else the buyer doesn't have legal standing to foreclose. The suit claims the defendants fabricated or forged documents to push foreclosures through.
8/14/12

Insight: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac clamping down on banks

Yahoo! Government-owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are stepping up efforts to find bad home loans that they can force mortgage lenders to buy back from them, providing an increasingly bigger headache to banks.
8/14/12

Wells Fargo Is A Little Sorry That It Sold Securities It Knew Nothing About

What are you selling?  I dunno.

Dealbreaker In his defense it seems that McMurtry had a very good excuse for not informing the customer of the risks of Golden Key, specifically that he didn’t know what those risks were, or what Golden Key was, or presumably where he was or how he got there or how many fingers the customer was holding up.

8/14/12

City of Brockton Moves Payroll Account from Bank of America

There is something that can be done, if they don’t move operating expenses from these criminal banks, they are colluding with criminals. Period.

Foreclosure Nation City Treasurer Martin Brophy said the 3,500-person payroll account will move to Eastern Bank this summer, after local officials reviewed proposals from five banks, including Bank of America.

The review is performed every three years to ensure Brockton gets the best bang for its buck, and, he said, in this case the switch means a savings of $20,000 to $30,000 a year in fees.

Bank of America offered no-fee accounts in 2009 but has since begun charging fees, Brophy said, adding, “The game changed.’’

8/14/12

The Most Important Lawsuit in The History of Our Nation (completely ignored by all press)

Time after time, Obama's lawyers defending the NDAA's section 1021 affirm our worst fears about its threat to our liberty.

Judge Forrest responded that if the provision had indeed been applied, the United States government would be in contempt of court.

Matt Weidner

GuardiamUK

I, like many in this fight, am now afraid of my government. We have good reason to be. Due to the NDAA, Chris Hedges, Kai Wargalla, the other plaintiffs and I are squarely in the crosshairs of a "war on terror" that has been an excuse to undermine liberties, trample the US constitution, destroy mechanisms of accountability and transparency, and cause irreparable harm to millions. 

8/14/12

British Bank in $340 Million Settlement for Laundering

Standard Chartered, the British bank, has agreed to pay New York’s top banking regulator $340 million to settle claims that it laundered hundreds of billions of dollars in tainted money for Iran and lied to regulators...

... agreed to pay $340 million to settle claims that it laundered hundreds of billions of dollars?

NY Times After frantic negotiations with Mr. Lawsky’s office, which threatened to revoke the bank’s state license at a hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Standard Chartered made a calculation to settle, in part, to resolve the public relations headache, according to people briefed on the matter.

The agreement ends a weeklong international drama that thrust the upstart regulator into the spotlight and pitted Mr. Lawsky against federal authorities who thought he was overstepping his bounds and British authorities who accused him of tarnishing the reputation of their banks.

8/14/12

It's like watching a Rerun of the American SubPrime scandal.

Australia’s Sub Prime Mortgage Scandal Grows

(includes transcript)

KATE THOMPSON, FORMER MORTGAGE BROKER: "I was probably earning about $5 million a year. It was great. It was wonderful. But it was all a lie."

Australia’s largest banks are being forced to forgive mortgage debts of borrowers granted loans based on falsified or fraudulent information supplied by mortgage brokers.

(In lawless America, where law enforcement has the backbone of a squid - they give money, equity and FREE houses to the people who create falsified and fraudulent information.)

Macro Business AU For now, Australia’s lenders appear reluctant to cooperate. With a Document Retention policy that would do the tobacco industry proud, lenders are refusing to provide low-doc borrowers with copies of their applications, while other lenders have told borrowers that such documents have been destroyed.

Now the Senate Inquiry into the post-GFC banking sector has revealed several instances of banks providing home loans to people who can’t afford them, and doctoring the paperwork so the loans looked okay. As well as allegations of widespread boosting in loan approvals.

Perhaps the most shocking of the revelations are instances where the banks have been enticing elderly Australians into Ponzi-like mortgages that they had no way of repaying.

8/14/12

Mortgage Servicing Rules Could Consolidate Market

“However, our fear is that either the servicer or its parent will find the current environment presents too much risk, with less opportunity to see returns on investment.”... *

really means:

 “However, our fear is that either the servicer or its parent will find the current environment presents too much risk for getting caught, with less opportunity to see the customary off-the-chart, ill-gotten gains from our criminal enterprises. ”

Mortgage Servicing News The CFPB proposal further expands the residential mortgage servicing requirements so far implemented under the consent orders and the settlement agreement between the nation’s five largest banks and state attorneys general.

Now the CFPB has extended the scope of the servicing rules to govern both banks and nonbanks of all sizes and types. In addition, it has indicated that it is considering additional standards yet to be disclosed.

8/13/12

Arizona homeowner: 'Bank stole my house'

An Arizona man is accusing his bank of stealing his house and he wants it back!

KPHO The homeowner was on the verge of foreclosure when he paid off all the money he owed, but the bank sold the house anyway.

"I came home one day and had a notice on my door that somebody else owned my property and I either had to get out immediately or rent it back from them."

Cenlar Bank had gone ahead with the trustee sale, March 23, even though Reed was now up to date on his mortgage and had paid all his interest and late fees.

8/13/12

Woman Gets Jail Time For Offering to Record a False Document

The prosecutors encourage the public that you will go to jail if you file false documents in the county records. If you work for a bank, you are "encouraged" to file thousands of false documents per day - and no jail.

Modesto Bee Land records in virtually every county in the country are stuffed with criminal evidence of false documents filed by the banks and their lawyers, but I guess prosecutors can't find it, so...

Prosecutors ask anyone who learns of a potential real estate fraud scheme to call the district attorney's office at (209) 525-5550 and ask for a complaint form. The form can be found on the district attorney's Web site at www.stanislaus-da.org.  (Please let MSfraud know what they say.)

8/13/12

 

Selective Prosecution in the Midst of the Largest Unpunished Crime in History

Causing a Financial and Foreclosure Crisis! = NO JAIL

 

versus

 

Cutting off Amish Woman’s hair = Possible LIFE IN PRISON!

NY Times When the story of the financial crisis is finally written, this may turn out to be the denouement of the government’s investigations of Wall Street for potential wrongdoing that contributed to the financial crisis in 2008.

The criminal investigation was prompted by a referral from the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, based on its 635-page report on the financial crisis that included details on Goldman’s transactions in mortgage-backed securities

Prosecutors are in a frenzy to prosecute before its key evidence grows back. Prosecutors don't have time to investigate financial crimes because they are too busy examining bad haircuts.

Cleveland
8/13/12

Peregrine CEO indicted for lying to regulators

"He lived for 18 and a half years a life of luxury on stolen money. I have no sympathy for him whatsoever."

Reuters "It just seems as though the people that own these firms feel that they're playing with monopoly money," said James Cordier, principal and founder of Liberty Trading Group, noting that MF Global CEO Jon Corzine has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

"This is people's hard-earned money that they invest. They're taking their chances in the market, but never in their wildest dreams do they think this could happen. Someone has to stop this."

8/13/12

Fraud in the Factum: The Core of the Securitization Myth

The players in this game were playing a shell game that resulted in repeated windfalls to the players while delivering multiple financial body blows to the only two parties in the transaction that counted: the lender and the borrower.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

As with all foreclosure litigation, the pleading and proof is tricky. If you deny that the document is true and that the signature on it is true, you are denying that you assented to its terms and that your signature was fraudulently induced. It is also highly probable if not definite that most of the so-called promissory notes were destroyed or “lost”, putting the burden on the the party who wishes to use a copy to tell the story of how it was lost or destroyed and proving that an actual financial transaction took place between the pretender lender and the borrower — a fact that cannot be proved without fabricated documents based upon perjury for its foundation.

8/13/12

Frustrated Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors to end Foreclosure study

The county Board of Supervisors, frustrated by state and federal rules that seem to prevent them from writing any significant legislation, is dropping efforts to regulate local foreclosures.

"You can't go look at county records and know who owns the mortgage anymore," Pirie said.

Mercury News "We got a couple of what I thought were good ideas, but ended up for a variety of reasons not panning out," Pirie said. "The biggest issue is this is a state-designed system. It's created in a way that it's designed not to allow counties to do anything."

Throughout the process, board members bemoaned state and federal regulations as insufficient to protect homeowners. Local governments across the county have grappled with similar issues.

8/13/12

Fraud in the Factum: The Core of the Securitization Myth

The basic fact pattern is that through dual tracking (see the last post), the players in this game were playing a shell game that resulted in repeated windfalls to the players while delivering multiple financial body blows to the only two parties in the transaction that counted: the lender and the borrower.

The perfectly “legal” obligation took place between the homeowner and the lender (Pension Fund) — but here is the rub: there are no documents to show that except for wire transfer instructions.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

The trick was simple: present a note that looks like a note and present a mortgage that looks like a mortgage even if they are not the originals, lift the signature of the homeowner from some other document and affix it to the the documents in question. 9 out of 10 times the homeowner will concede that those are the the documents presented him at closing, that the signature is his and so it goes through the loan, default etc.

By the time the illicit proffer of evidence is completed by opposing counsel (without a single stitch of evidence introduced into the record) the borrower is seen as admitting the loan, the note, the mortgage, the default etc. and thus trying to find some gimmick to get out of the perfectly “legal” obligation.

8/13/12

Three dead during shootout near Texas A&M as constable attempted to serve eviction notice

The three killed include a constable, a male civilian and the shooter.

Dallas News A county employee said the shooting began when Constable Brian Bachmann attempted to serve an eviction notice.

At least five people were taken to College Station Medical Center, though it’s unclear whether all were shot, The Eagle reports. Their conditions were unknown.

8/13/12

'County Refused To Give Me Same Break It Gave Others!' Says Tax-Foreclosed Homeowner In Effort To Reclaim Home With 'Equal Protection' Lawsuit

Home Equity Theft Reporter A Livonia man is filing suit against Livingston County to reclaim ownership of his property from foreclosure.

The lawsuit highlights a concession made for a home in Mount Morris — and claims that the same concession should have been be made for anyone whose property was seized for foreclosure auctions in 2011 and 2012.
8/13/12

Criminal Sanctions: How to Save Banks Without Rewarding Bankers

How to save the banks but not the bankers? This column argues that fines for criminal behaviour in banks are not enough – it may be time to start locking people up.

naked capitalism Recent revelations on traders’ behaviour in the Libor rigging case is worrisome not only as a sign of the rotten culture of financial operators, but also for the sense of total impunity prevailing among them.1 They suggest that bank CEOs and complacent supervisors have tolerated and encouraged rate rigging – or negligently lost control of banks’ operations, for years. But they also indicate that law enforcement has been extremely weak in the realm of banking and finance.

8/13/12

Judge: 90% of Credit Card Lawsuits Can’t Prove Borrower Owes Money

Hey, that's the same as Foreclosure lawsuits! 90% can't prove the debt without fabricating and forging papers.

See Tex. Sup. Ct. transcript page 27:

"So finding a document that says, "I am the owner and holder, and I hereby grant to the servicer the right to foreclose in my name" is an impossibility in 90 percent of the cases."

naked capitalism Lenders, the judges said, are churning out lawsuits without regard for accuracy, and improperly collecting debts from consumers. The concerns echo a recent abuse in the foreclosure system, a practice known as robo-signing in which banks produced similar documents for different homeowners and did not review them.

Apparently a hedge fund is backing a company that buys bad debts from credit card companies, debt they’ve already written off, shortly before the statue of limitations is about to expire, for pennies on the dollar. They then file suit. They don’t even plan to spend any money fighting, they just intent to win default judgments. So if you hire a lawyer and merely file an answer, you win. But a remarkably high percentage of people fail to do that.

8/13/12

Foreclosure Law Firm Sues Bankruptcy Attorney Who Questioned Its ‘Systematic Overbilling’

ABA Journal Grubea also said he was litigating the same issue in a bankruptcy case, expected further state-court litigation and asked those who had been involved in foreclosure cases handled by the Rosicki firm to contact him about a potential claim for money damages.
8/13/12

The One Housing Solution Left: Mass Mortgage Refinancing

MORE than four million Americans have lost their homes since the housing bubble began bursting six years ago. An additional 3.5 million homeowners are in the foreclosure process or are so delinquent on payments that they will be soon. With 13.5 million homeowners underwater — they owe more than their home is now worth — the odds are high that many millions more will lose their homes.

Joseph E. Stiglitz

NY Times

Homeowners would see lower mortgage payments and rebuild equity more quickly. Taxpayers would get their money back, with interest, and would gain further as a stronger economy lifted tax revenues. Banks and other mortgage investors would get potentially troubled loans off their books. Some banks won’t like losing the large amounts of interest income they are earning on their current mortgages, but if the refinancing market were working properly these loans would have been refinanced long ago.

Error ensnares woman in foreclosure lawsuit

Deloris Bell sold her house in 1995, so she was shocked when in March a bank filed for foreclosure on the house and named her in the lawsuit.

TBO "It's frustrating, too, because it's so simple; it's called a notice of dropping party. One piece of paper that says (Bell's) no longer a defendant in the case. It would be so easy to do, and it's a shame she can't get somebody to do that," Stopa said.
8/11/12

FDIC sues banks over mortgage securities

UPI Federal regulators sued 11 major banks for allegedly swindling Colonial Bank by selling the Alabama lender $388 million in mortgage-backed securities.

8/11/12

Bankruptcy, Modification, and Foreclosure

Bankruptcy Law Network In my Bankruptcy practice, I see people every day in the midst of a homeowner’s dilemma. Try to save the house, walk away, file bankruptcy, do a modification, or what? Most often, I spend time with them simply dispelling myths!
8/11/12

Nearly $7 million worth of homes to be torn down in Summit County

Beacon Journal Summit County cities, villages and townships will spend nearly $7 million demolishing blighted homes over the next 18 months, thanks to a combination of grant money from state Attorney General Mike De-Wine’s Moving Ohio Forward program, matching cash from local governments and delinquent tax collection money from the new county land bank.

8/11/12

Retirement Account Contributions Not Allowed While In Chapter 13, Appeals Court Rules

Bankruptcy Law Network A chapter 13 debtor cannot continue payroll deductions for a voluntary retirement account, such as a 401(k), during a chapter 13 case, according to a recent appeals court ruling. In re Parks, No. 11-60050 (9th Cir. BAP Aug. 6, 2012), also ruled that 401(k) loan repayments could, however, continue during a chapter 13 plan. 

8/11/12**

Bailout: Hanging Washington’s dirty laundry

Bailout is a jaw-dropping play-by-play of how the Treasury Department bungled the financial bailouts.

The bailout was first advertised as $700 billion, but Barofsky figures the total government commitment was $23,700,000,000,000.00 trillion

Tucson Citizen The Home Affordable Modification Program was never meant to help homeowners, he writes. It was created to help banks handle the wave of 10 million foreclosures by assuring they didn’t all hit at the same time. (Now you understand all the banks' bad excuses for the delays.)

Treasury did not halt bonuses to AIG executives, citing contractual obligations. But the same Treasury did nothing to uphold the contract rights of homeowners ruined by the modification program.

After two years of watching regulators up close, Barofsy says no law can confer the mettle appointed and elected regulators need to pass up lobbyists, campaign contributions and the lure of lucrative futures with Wall Street firms.

8/11/12

The Biggest Mortgage Fraud in History Exposed!

Alex Jones Show

with Dave Krieger

The fraud is widespread and millions of Americans have been affected. What is most frightening is that many of them don't even know it yet.
8/11/12

I See Dead Corporations and Dead Law Firms

CENTURION CAPITAL CORP. v. GUARINO

Judge: "This is another case which is slowly convincing me that I am the judge in the "Sixth Sense" part of the Civil Court where, like characters in that film who only see dead people, I am relegated to seeing cases with "dead corporations" represented by "dead law firms."

Alina Centurion Capital Corporation, its successors or assigns has until September 1, 2012 to establish that Centurion Capital Corporation had the legal standing to bring any of the 930 actions filed in Richmond County. If no such proof is provided by September 1, 2012, the clerk is directed to dismiss all 930 actions and vacate any judgments and restraining notices issued in their regard.
8/10/12

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Proposes Rules to Protect Mortgage Borrowers

The public will have 60 days, until October 9, 2012, to review and provide comments on the proposed rules. The CFPB will review and analyze the comments before issuing final rules in January 2013. (See Proposed Rules)

CFPB “Millions of homeowners are struggling to pay their mortgages, often through no fault of their own,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “These proposed rules would offer consumers basic protections and put the ‘service’ back into mortgage servicing. The goal is to prevent mortgage servicers from giving their customers unwelcome surprises and runarounds.”
8/10/12

Mortgage accord is not helping homeowners

A BANK CANNOT MODIFY OR REDUCE THE PRINCIPAL IF THE BANK CANNOT PROVE IT OWNS YOUR LOAN.

  Distressed homeowners in California are seeing a trickle of extra assistance six months after the historic $25 billion robosigning settlement with the Department of Justice was announced.
8/10/12

Chicago Communities Demand Eviction Moratorium

The country’s housing crisis has continued to acutely affect residents of Chicago, which a 2011 study concluded has the “highest number of foreclosed and idle homes of any American metropolis.” 

In These Times As I reported for the Occupied Chicago Tribune this March, Chicago also faced the second highest eviction rate in the country in 2011 and by March 2009, more than 100 Chicago-area homeowners were receiving a foreclosure notice every day.
8/10/12

Muscle Car Taken By Foreclosure Vendor Brings Arrests for Receiving STOLEN PROPERTY

Home Equity Theft Reporter Mr. Dahrooge, who immediately reported the car stolen, said his attempts to get information about the winterization crew from Bank of America were met with months of stonewalling, a characterization disputed by the bank.

Investigators said the two New Hampshire men arrested have criminal records, one of them extensive. They maintain the bank should be liable for the damage to the car.

8/10/12

Former Fannie execs denied dismissal of subprime fraud suit

Three former executives at Fannie Mae lost their bid to end a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit alleging investor fraud.

Housing Wire The executives claimed in the motion to dismiss that they were acting as members of an "independent establishment of the United States, or any lending agency which is wholly owned, directly or indirectly, by the United States," and were thus exempt from liability under securities law.
8/10/12

Obama Finds No Easy Way To Buoy U.S. Homeowners Deep Underwater

Anthony Brancatelli, a Cleveland city councilman who represents some of the neighborhoods wiped out by home seizures, said he worries about the many “ghost” owners who have simply given up and disappeared.

Bloomberg “Why would anyone consider it reasonable to stay in a house you’re going to be paying 30 years on, and maybe longer if the neighborhood deteriorates more, before you see any equity?”

The FHFA said it would only make financial sense to write down loans if the debt reductions convinced most borrowers who hadn’t made mortgage payments in more than a year to suddenly start paying again. The agency made it clear it considered that highly unlikely and suggested that the best solution was a “graceful exit” from homeownership for those borrowers.

8/10/12

Profits Over People – The Profitability of Foreclosure

With a securitized loan, the bank you are
dealing with is not your lender.

Dan McGookey, Esq. The bank you are dealing with is not only not your lender, not owning your loan, thus having nothing to lose in the foreclosure process, but actually has everything to gain. This is so because it has inserted itself in the loan transaction as an interloper; it has taken out insurance or other financial products which will provide an additional source of payment to it if your loan goes into foreclosure.

8/10/12

Miller v. Homecomings, GMAC, BONY

TEXAS JUDGE: "Defendants' final (and weakest) argument is that homeowners like plaintiffs "will not be prejudiced" if the chain of assignments from original lender to foreclosing entity were immune to debtor challenge. After all, the argument apparently goes, the Millers owe the money to somebody.

Stephen Wm. Smith
United States Magistrate Judge
In truth, the potential prejudice is both plain and severe - foreclosure by the wrong entity does not discharge the homeowner's debt, and leaves them vulnerable to another action on the same note by the true creditor. Banks are neither private attorneys general nor bounty hunters, armed with a roving commission to seek out defaulting homeowners and take away their homes in satisfaction of some other bank's deed of trust."
VOTE

8/10/12

Get Everyone You Know in Palm Beach County to Vote for Lisa Epstein for Clerk of the Court Next Tuesday

Yves: "Readers may know I don’t do political endorsements. I’m making an exception because I’ve worked with Lisa Epstein and am extremely impressed with her knowledge, energy, and tenacity."

naked capitalism Lisa has also been endorsed by Alan Grayson and Neil Barofsky.

This is likely to be a low turnout race, so rousing the locals you know can tip the balance! Please forward this message and push your friends and relatives to vote in a race where their participation can make a difference.

8/10/12

Homeowner advocate says she's 'cautiously optimistic' over Fla. foreclosure settlement funds

"When we heard about the settlement six months ago we hoped that it might be something that would help us, but the response from our state officials has been extremely disappointing," Faircloth said. "So far very little has been done to help homeowners with this newfound money."

The Republic She said after never missing a mortgage payment for 22 years her lender recently informed her that the value of her house had fallen below her loan amount.

"I can't fix my home, I can't repair it, I can't do anything, I can't sell it," Faircloth said. "Basically I did everything right and I feel as a citizen that I have been taken great advantage of."
8/10/12

CFPB Proposes New Mortgage Servicing Rules

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed new rules for the mortgage servicing industry, which include a requirement that servicers must make a decision on any mortgage relief applicant within 30 days, and must not begin foreclosure proceedings until completing that process.

David Dayen FDL Mortgage servicing, by design, can only make big profits with a bare-bones staff that doesn’t attend to the needs of the customer, and with the ability to rip off those customers with illegal fees and charges. Wells Fargo admitted in court that their servicing arm routinely pays off fees and interest before paying down principal in any payment given to them, which violates what is supposed to be the standard practice. And that’s just one example of systematic servicer abuse. As currently constructed, servicers cannot accomplish the goals laid out by CFPB.

8/9/12

JPMorgan Chase Libor Subpoenas Coming From Everybody In The World

The biggest U.S. bank revealed the extent of its involvement in the probe in a filing Thursday morning with the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying regulators in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Switzerland and more had asked it for information.

Huff Post JPMorgan also said it was the subject of a large and growing number of lawsuits coming out of the Libor mess. State and local governments, for example, are suing banks for keeping Libor too low, hurting the value of interest-rate swaps they bought to protect against rising rates.

JPMorgan -- which said it was cooperating with the investigations -- has also received requests for information about its involvement in setting Euribor and Tibor, the European and Japanese versions of Libor, respectively.

8/9/12

S.E.C. and Justice Dept. End Mortgage Investigations Into Goldman Sachs

Federal authorities ended two investigations into the actions of Goldman Sachs during the financial crisis, handing a quiet victory to the bank after years of public scrutiny.

NY Times But in a statement on Thursday, the Justice Department said it “ultimately concluded that the burden of proof to bring a criminal case could not be met based on the law and facts as they exist at this time.” The agency said it would pursue the case again if new evidence emerged.

The S.E.C.’s inquiry into Goldman involved a package of subprime mortgages in Fremont, Calif., that the bank sold to investors in 2006.

8/9/12

Coursen v. JPMorgan, et al

Plaintiff points out, Rooker-Feldman does not bar claims based upon allegations that a state-court judgment was obtained by extrinsic fraud.

Furthermore, Plaintiff’s civil RICO claim is not time-barred inasmuch as Plaintiff asserts that she was prevented
from discovering that she was the victim of fraud by Defendants’ concealment of the alleged fraud.

The Honorable RICHARD A. LAZZARA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff is able to overcome dismissal of her common law claims for civil conspiracy and abuse of process at this stage of the proceedings through
her factual allegations that Defendants acted unlawfully, and in agreement, with the intent to defraud her through the use of sham documents and fabricated evidence, and that their
actions caused her damages.

8/9/12

Neil Barofsky on 'Foaming the Landing' for Banks

On Making Sen$e this week we've been featuring outtakes from my interview with top TARP cop Neil Barofsky

PBS Countless homeowners suffered severe losses through the government's TARP program. Mr. Barofsky explains the program had no intention of helping victimized homeowners.  It was to provide a delay cushion for the banks.

8/9/12

Buyer Beware: Buying U.S. Foreclosures a Risky Business

Canada weathered the storm caused by Wall Street antics by simply not playing. Canadian banks saw inherent risks and moral hazards that they wanted no part in playing. While the rest of the world laughed at Canada’s stuffiness, the banks, and its depositors are just fine thank you, although their economy is taking a hit due to a decline in demand for exports.

Neil Garfield

Canadian Business Journal

Canadians are buying these properties in droves and unwittingly making themselves part of a corrupt marketplace in which they could lose their money, their title to property and their right to possession of that property because they bought it from someone who didn’t own it; or because they assumed that the old mortgage had been paid off and properly satisfied. This article explains why investors should exercise great care to preserve the value and existence of their investments.
8/9/12

BofA Can Pursue FDIC For Taylor Bean Fraud Losses, Judge Says

Bank of America, acting for noteholders who own “substantially all” of Ocala’s assets, is seeking to pursue recovery of monies from Colonial and Platinum Bank, which it alleges were stolen from Ocala, Funk said in today’s ruling.

Bloomberg Under U.S. law, it is entitled to sue the FDIC for denying its claims to the money, he said. Because Bank of America has shown that it is “the party that can best enforce the debtor’s rights” in the case, he was willing to remove a bankruptcy law obstacle to its pursuit of the money for noteholders, he said.

8/9/12

MERS v.  Khyber Holdings

Khyber Holdings sued MERS to quiet title and declare void a deed of trust allegedly held by MERS.

1st District Court of Appeals - Texas MERS appeals from a default judgment, which declared void a deed of trust. MERS argues that error is apparent on the face of the record. We reverse the judgment and remand the case for further proceedings.
8/9/12

Green Tree v. Woods

COA reverses Wood's summary judgment win.

1st District Court of Appeals - Texas We hold that the Woods’ claim of Green Tree’s lack of standing could not have been a basis to support the trial court’s grant of no-evidence summary judgment. We sustain Green Tree’s first issue.

8/8/12

Wells Fargo fired me because my daughter's terminal cancer cost too much: Father sues after bank 'cuts off health care'

Wells Fargo fired an employee over the cost of treating his daughter's terminal cancer with company health care coverage, according to a lawsuit filed last week.

GuardianUK Yovany Gonzalez, a former mortgage broker, was sacked by America’s fourth-largest bank in August 2010. His dismissal came three days before surgeons were set to operate on his daughter Mackenzie in a last-ditch bid to save her life. 
The lawsuit claims Mackenzie’s operation was cancelled because she was no longer covered by Wells Fargo’s employee health insurance. Mr Gonzalez’s daughter died in March 2011.
8/8/12

U.S. Foreclosure Filings Drop 10% As States Slow Process

Bloomberg Seizing properties from borrowers behind on their mortgage payments became harder as judicial decisions and recently enacted laws gave homeowners more ways to avoid foreclosure.

8/8/12

Attorney General Bondi’s Office Obtains $462,500 to Provide Legal Aid to Low-Income Individuals Facing Foreclosure

In the Matter of PROVEST's "sewer service"

ASSURANCE OF VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE

"without an admission that PROVEST violated the law... does accept this Assurance in termination of its
investigation in the above referenced matter."

Florida AG Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced that ProVest, LLC, one of Florida’s largest service processing firms, has agreed to pay $462,500 to the Florida Bar Foundation to continue the legal aid program that assists low-income individuals facing foreclosure. The settlement with ProVest resolves allegations regarding improper service of process in foreclosure cases filed in courts throughout Florida. Under this settlement, ProVest must follow certain business practices intended to ensure proper and lawful service of process in mortgage foreclosure cases filed in Florida. 
8/8/12

Jamie Dimon Blames You For The Lousy Economy

Huff Post The real reason the economy is doing poorly, according to Dimon, is because of our constant finger-pointing and asking of unhelpful questions, like: "Why aren't banks holding more capital?" and "Why aren't any of you bastards in jail?" and "Who took all of my money?"

8/8/12**

Foreclosure Settlement Fails To Force Mortgage Companies To Improve

It has come to this in a courtroom in New York City. A lawyer working for Bank of America wants to know whether the woman whose home it is trying to take through foreclosure might perhaps provide the documents the bank itself cannot locate.

Huff Post Five months have passed since she submitted an application to Bank of America seeking lowered mortgage payments. She is eager for a decision -– an approval, a denial or at least a negotiation.

She gets none of these things. Instead, in the course of a perplexing morning spent beneath the dim chandeliers of Courtroom 607, she absorbs a display of the chaos that still besets the nation's foreclosure proceedings, despite promises of improvement from major banks under a settlement with the Obama administration and state attorneys general.
8/8/12

Deed Recorded For Only 73 Minutes Before Being 'Erased' By Clerk Enough To Provide Constructive Notice

District Judge Clayton Roberts wrote that the panel recognized "the harshness of the result" because the Mayfields and BB&T are "innocent parties."

Home Equity Theft Reporter Roberts though noted courts have consistently ruled that Florida law says once a document is filed that serves as "constructive notice" to all parties although this is the first case of its kind involving electronic rather than paper public records.

Mayfield v. First City Bank of Florida

8/7/12

Barofsky v. Geithner and Administration Mouthpieces (Yglesias Edition)

naked capitalism The truth is that the administration – whether through principal reduction or otherwise – has never prioritized coming up with an effective approach to helping homeowners and reviving the housing market, even when it had a multi-hundred-billion-dollar TARP war chest at its disposal.

8/7/12

MERS CONTINUES TO COMMIT FRAUD THROUGH “ASSIGNMENTS” AS THE “NOMINEE” FOR NON-EXISTENT LENDERS

MERS repeatedly attempts to “assign” mortgage loans into securitized mortgage loan trusts years after the Closing Date of the Trust and without any authority to do so within the Trust documents.

Jeff Barnes, Esq. We thus suspect that more and more courts are going to be taking a closer look at MERS assignments, and that more and more courts will ultimately hold that the assignments are either a legal nullity, not based in fact or law, or are patently fraudulent. 

High time: MERS has been getting away with this for over 10 years with impunity to the detriment of literally millions of homeowners.

8/7/12

Corporate Fraud Cases Often Spare Individuals

NY Times “A lot of people on the street, they’re wondering how a company can commit serious violations of securities laws and yet no individuals seem to be involved and no individual responsibility was assessed,” said Senator Jack Reed

8/7/12

TARP Top Cop Neil Barofsky on Drug Lords and Mortgage Fraud

All the anti-fraud controls disappeared. 

PBS

News Hour

From the start, Barofsky has been acidly critical of the government's handling of the bailout money. His chief complaint: that the banks were bailed out - not the victims of predatory lending.
8/7/12**

A Legislative Model for Dismantling Debtors’ Prisons

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan launched an investigation earlier this year that found collection agencies in her state were using coercive tactics to force people to pay debts they couldn’t afford. Agencies filed lawsuits against debtors but did not serve them with notice of court dates. When defendants did not show up, the courts issued arrest warrants leading to jail time.

Brennan Center for Justice Illinois’ new Debtors’ Rights Act of 2012 ensures that debt collectors and lenders cannot send people facing consumer and civil debts to jail for payments they cannot afford. People across the country facing criminal justice debt need such protections, too.

This Act is a promising model for protecting low-income people from debtors’ prison in the criminal context as well.
8/7/12

Foreclosure protestors assemble outside Gov. Brown's home

News10 The protesters want the governor to order a three-year moratorium preventing banks from foreclosing on homes while mortgage-holders seek loan modifications.

8/7/12

Harder-Luck Foreclosures Grow As Funding For Help Wanes

Bloomberg Counselors repeatedly stress to clients that they shouldn’t pay for counseling, since HUD-approved services are free.
“We have seen a lot of people come in and they’ve paid other people $3,000, $4,000, $7,000,” said Raquel Avila, a foreclosure counselor at Home Preservation & Prevention CARES in Long Beach, California.

8/7/12

Where Are the Feds? NY Banking Superintendent: Standard Chartered a “Rogue Institution,” Made $250 Billion of Illegal Transfers With Iran

The New York Superintendent of Financial Services dropped a bombshell today, filing an order against Britain’s Standard Chartered Bank.

naked capitalism It charges the bank with having engaged in at least $250 billion of illegal transactions with Iranian banks, including its central bank, from 2001 to 2010, and of engaging in similar schemes with Libya, Myanmar and Sudan (those investigations are in progress). It threatens SCB with the loss of its New York banking license and termination of access to dollar clearing services. The latter alone is as huge deal.

 

8/6/12

San Bernardino Turns To Public For Foreclosure Answers, Considers Controversial Eminent Domain Plan

"We are open to any ideas that anyone has for how local government can address this crisis."

(To get paid, the banks will have to prove ownership - something they are unable to do.)

Huff Post Have a solution to the housing crisis? A California county that touched off a fierce debate over whether local governments should condemn underwater mortgages wants to see your plan -- in writing, please.

Under the proposal, the Mortgage Resolution Partners fund would front money to allow local governments to purchase underwater mortgages at market value in exchange for a fixed fee of $4,500 per loan. Homeowners could then refinance at the lower value, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars each month in mortgage payments -- while also injecting a shot of adrenaline into moribund local economies.

8/6/12

78-Year Old Texas Homeowner, Fighting Both Cancer and Eviction

Imagine being kicked out of your home while battling cancer.

Huff Post That's the scenario that Alicia Ramirez faced. After losing her husband to cancer and then being diagnosed with the disease herself, Ramirez fell behind on her loan repayments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which supplied her loan.
8/6/12**

POLITICAL AND LEGAL VIEWS ARE CHANGING

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

Lawsuits by County recorders are coming fast and furious and declaring that the title system is being corrupted. Judges are viewing the Banks’ position with far more skepticism than we saw even 6 months ago. Sanctions are being levied upon the Banks and their lawyers for misrepresenting facts about the ownership of the loan. And cities are being destroyed by the foreclosure and abandonment of the same house that was foreclosed — after the homeowner made a reasonable offer of payment.
8/6/12

Libor, Naked and Exposed

NY Times AMERICANS who save for the future, use credit cards or borrow money for tuition, cars and homes deserve assurance that the interest rates on their savings and loans are set in a reliable and honest way.
A

Major

8/6/12

Chase offers no doc refis, principal reduction

Is this the new scam to become owners of homes they do not currently own???

The new "unfunded" loan then gets sent through the Wall Street securitization free money machine. 

 

Housing Wire To provide relief more quickly under the settlement, Chase executives are addressing the borrower fatigue with a letter sent to borrowers notifying them that their loan was refinanced into a new mortgage with a lower interest rate. No documentation was needed. Chase owned the loan... or it does now.

All that is required in order for a principal reduction on their loan is a signature sent back with the included self-addressed stamped envelope the bank provides.

8/6/12

In the Financial Industry, a Less Scrupulous Class of Lawbreaker

All of this is detailed in the report, 335 pages long, issued a few weeks ago by Senator Carl Levin. It reads like a racketeering indictment of the Genovese crime family, replete with evidence that senior officials knew the contours of the game.

NY Times Now other banks are rolling on each other, eager to pay whatever hundreds of millions of dollars in fines are needed to get back to business as usual. UBS, on 52nd Street and Avenue of the Americas, has turned over e-mails and documents implicating Deutsche Bank (60 Wall Street), Royal Bank of Scotland (on East 40th Street) and HSBC.

8/6/12**

Emails Give Glimpse Into Deals That Fueled Financial Meltdown

As ProPublica has been detailing for two years, Wall Street banks and the hedge fund Magnetar worked together to build mortgage-backed deals that the hedge fund also bet against. The more than $40 billion of deals helped fuel the crash of 2008.

First Amended Complaint in Sanpaolo v. Magentar

"This action arises out of Defendants' fraudulent scheme to secretly stack the deck against unknowing investors..."

ProPublica Now, recently collected emails from bankers and a Magnetar executive involved in some of the deals appear to shed new light on how they did it.

Fiduciaries threatened with a loss of business if they didn't cooperate. Prime movers behind a billion-dollar deal suggesting they need to keep their actions hidden.

The suit was brought by Italian bank Intesa San Paolo, which lost $180 million on an investment linked to a mortgage bond deal put together by Magnetar and French bank Calyon. The deal was "built to fail," in the words of the complaint.

8/6/12

Very Bad Things Happen When We Depend on the Same People Who Caused the Foreclosure Crisis to Track Its Destruction


There is not a single federal agency that has tracked foreclosures comprehensively, a massive information gap that prevents the work of journalists, advocates and policymakers alike.

AlterNet In Chicago, for example, the city’s official vacant property count, which relies on the banks’ reporting, hovers just under 5,000. The Chicago Tribune estimates 18,000. Housing activists say there are well over 100,000

Foreclosures are happening en masse all over the country, and Chicago is not unique in having absolutely no comprehensive list of in-progress or completed foreclosure properties, hampering any attempts to rehabilitate vacant homes or aid people being hit by the crisis.

8/6/12

Borrower's TILA Rescission Suit Need Not Allege Ability To Repay Loan

Sanders v. Mountain America Federal Credit Union

Home Equity Theft Reporter In addition, because the issue may arise on remand, the appeals court also considered whether the consumers can satisfy their rescission obligations by tendering their home. For the reasons set forth in its ruling, the court concluded the tender of the home does not necessarily meet their tender obligations under TILA.

8/5/12**

Government Complicit in Libor Mess

Economic Populist Barofsky talks about the lack of action and notes the Banks' legal defense strategy will probably be based on the fact the federal government knew banks were manipulating the LIBOR and did nothing.

8/4/12

More on the Incompetence and Venality of the SEC

“I wanted to know why the bank’s C.E.O. wasn’t on trial,” said Mr. Brendler, who served as the jury’s foreman. “Citigroup’s behavior was appalling.”

And as Martens reminds us, the government seems only able to win cases by cheating, as it did (initially) in this one, and refuses to pursue cases that might show how deep the rot in our system goes. As a result, folks like Jon Corzine and Jamie Dimon have nothing to worry about.

nakedcapitalism Yet the SEC had thirty depositions in which witnesses said the squawk box information was not confidential. That meant their own depositions showed they had no case. They mentioned it only a few weeks before trial to the DoJ (at which point the prosecutors no doubt had their manhood on the line) and flagged it as being possible Brady material (meaning it might need to be presented to the defendants). The DoJ staff clearly had to know this material needed to be shared (this is Prosecution 101) and yet failed to do so. They continued to withhold this information when the case was appealed.
8/4/12

Elliot's Story: Fraudulent Foreclosure

After handling hundreds of foreclosure cases involving securitized loans, I can safely say that every single securitized loan transaction involves fraud of some sort. Sometimes I shudder to think how many millions of families have lost their homes through foreclosure, when they could have saved them by pointing out their bank’s fraud, if only they had been able to find and expose it.

Dan has more stories here

Dan McGookey, Esq. A cursory examination of Elliot’s foreclosure Complaint, with an alleged copy of his promissory note attached, showed an endorsement from the loan originator, BNK Mortgage Company to Bank of New Yorkshire, on April 19, 2012, only days prior to the filing of the Complaint, and almost ten years after it was required to be placed in the Trust. Obviously, the endorsement, which appears on a separate instrument called an “allonge”, is bogus for that reason alone.
8/4/12

Special Report: Attorney Generals’ Settlement Provides Huge Opportunities For Distressed Homeowners To Save Their Homes

Dan McGookey, Esq. The settlement could easily help millions of homeowners whose homes have not yet been sold, even those who may have a judgment against them, to save their homes. This is so since the settlement requires these banks to go back and review all foreclosures, even those which may be years old, to see if fraudulent documents were used.

8/4/12

Two years after Foreclosure Probe launched, investigation winds down

A February court decision barring the state from issuing subpoenas to the firms means any enforcement action is “up to the discretion of the Florida Bar,” Bondi press secretary John Lucas said.
The legal limbo has left homeowner advocates incensed and law firms befuddled.

Palm Beach Post With no closure and no one held accountable, there is no justice, anti-foreclosure activists say.
I’m incredulous at this point that two years later nothing has happened,” said foreclosure defense attorney Melva Rozier. “I didn’t think it would take so long. It seemed as though a lot of conduct and actions were pretty obvious on their face.

Despite hundreds of foreclosure-related complaints against attorneys, not a single Florida lawyer who represents banks in foreclosure cases has been disciplined for foreclosure fraud by the Florida Bar.

8/4/12

Why HAMP Is A Total Failure

Ultimately, Bob and Mary’s story illustrates a phenomenon which should be a national shame to our great country – all the well-meaning government programs designed to provide homeowners with mortgage relief are not worth the paper they’re written on -- so long as it is left to the banks to effectuate them.

Dan McGookey, Esq. This is true because, in the totally corrupt world of loan securitization, a world in which your bank does not own your loan and is in reality not your bank (i.e. your lender) at all, foreclosure pays. It is because of this painful reality that Bob and Mary had to needlessly
endure two years of their lives not knowing whether they were going to be able to keep their home.
8/4/12

Lost Paperwork Leads to Great Results for Homeowner

Dan McGookey, Esq. The bank never responded to that request for information. Instead, its attorneys admitted they didn’t have the documents necessary to proceed with the foreclosure, but promised to secure them from the bank. Rather than deliver the documents and information sought, however, the banks chose to offer the fantastic deal it did. All this happened within three short months. This case demonstrates once again a point I have made often in this column. STAND UP TO YOUR BANK!
8/3/12

JUDGE DENIES DEUTSCHE BANK’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT 

FINDING GENUINE ISSUES OF MATERIAL FACT AS TO WHETHER THE NOTE AND MORTGAGE WERE TRANSFERRED TO DEUTSCHE BANK BEFORE THE BANKRUPTCY OF THE ORIGINAL LENDER

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide These two decisions thus now support, in Hawai’i, (a) a homeowner’s challenge to a foreclosure based on defective assignments, and (b) that these defects give rise to genuine issues of material fact which preclude summary judgment. Today’s earlier post as to the Naranjo decision further supports such a borrower challenge as well.

8/3/12

Tampa-based foreclosure server settles with state

ProVest admits to no wrongdoing but will pay a total of $925,000

Palm Beach Post The office began a civil investigation of the company ProVest in the fall of 2010 following allegations of shoddy paperwork and incomplete service that may have left homeowners unaware that they were being foreclosed on.

8/3/12

U.S. Bank: Many Names, Many Creditors — the ultimate shell game

U.S. Bank, Trustee of What?

U.S. Bank shows up in many foreclosure cases and many cases that go into litigation. I believe they are allowing the use of their name for a fee and that they have little or nothing to do with most of the cases where their name is used.

Living Lies One case in Florida, U.S. Bank portrayed itself as the holder of the note. 

In the end the attorney who appeared for U.S. Bank admitted under questioning from the Judge that U.S. Bank was not the holder, was not a trustee, and that the attorney had no idea whether he actually represented U.S. Bank because he never had any contact with them.

8/3/12

Analyst Presents A Terrifying Vision: THE DECLINE OF THE WEST

Read his massive presentation for more on the troubles Western economies face—and how to fix them.

Business Insider Banking crises, failing educational standards, and rising unemployment are among the ills that Western economies face today, and many believe that we have not made significant progress to address these concerns.

8/3/12

HUD investigates SunTrust FHA loans

Atlanta's largest bank is under investigation by a federal agency over its practices in making mortgages that were guaranteed by the government.

ajc The housing boom continues to dog SunTrust. Investors such as Fannie Mae have demanded SunTrust buy back mortgages that didn't meet the their standards, costing the bank nearly $2 billion to date.

"It's like a hangover that stays with you from the party,"

8/3/12

 

California Passes Homeowners Bill of Rights

AB 278: Mortgages and deeds of trust: foreclosure.

SB 900: Mortgages and deeds of trust: foreclosure.

Foreclosure Industry News There three things I REALLY like about these bills: 1) the enforcement provision. We all know what happened under HAMP — it had no teeth. I’m pleased to see the legislation including a provision that gives homeowners some traction to get an injunction to stop a sale; (2) borrowers may be entitled to recover attorneys fees; and 3) filing multiple unrecorded documents may subject the banks to $7,500.00 per loan. Filing statutory complaints against these entities is also allowed in addition to any legal action you might take.
8/3/12

The Central Libor Question: Do We Want to Save Our Banks or Our Societies? 

The Libor affair is one in a series of things laid bare by the ongoing financial crisis that will inevitably, at one point or another, force us to confront the moral bankruptcy at the heart of our societies.

naked capitalism The underlying idea for Libor was always: “by the bankers, for the bankers”. And if anyone involved in setting up Libor back in 1985 now wishes to claim that they had no idea that allowing banks to make up the rates at which they borrowed out of thin air created scope for manipulation, that would insult everyone’s intelligence including yours and mine. 
8/3/12

U.S. housing policy: “Absolutely insane”

How far have we gone in fixing the mortgage crisis? We have no idea, because no one's counting foreclosures

Matt Stoller In the housing and foreclosure space, Levitin notes, there is no leadership: “No one wants the football.” That’s why the government doesn’t have adequate data on the characteristics of the foreclosure epidemic. You can’t manage what you can’t measure. So if you want to avoid managing a problem, just don’t measure it.
LIBOR

BofA Says Libor Probe Draws U.S. Subpoenas on Submissions

Bloomberg Regulators have queried at least a dozen banks worldwide about their roles in setting Libor, the most widely used benchmark for interest rates, affecting more than $360 trillion in financial products. U.S. prosecutors are preparing to file charges later this year against traders from banks involved in a bid-rigging scheme to manipulate Libor, a person with knowledge of the case has said.

8/3/12

For Homeowners

Nationwide Prosecutions Against Alleged Scammers

Prevent Loan Scams Across the country law enforcement and regulatory agencies have brought criminal, civil and/or administrative actions against numerous companies and individuals alleging involvement in loan modification scams and other foreclosure rescue schemes. 
8/3/12

VOTE

Lisa Epstein Sees Role For Clerk In Foreclosure Crisis

Town Crier Epstein said she chose to run for county clerk because one of that office’s main duties is safeguarding the integrity of the public records. “The financial services industry has filed what we know are tens of thousands of records in our own county that are forged, fraudulent or fabricated — a crime in Florida statute, and it affects our property rights,” she said.
Repost

1/10

SECURITIZATION IS ILLEGAL

Under US laws, securitization is illegal, primarily because its fraudulent and causes specific violations of RICO, usury, and antitrust laws.

MICHAEL NWOGUGU Securitization of many types of assets (loans, credit cards, auto receivables, intellectual property, etc.) has become more prevalent, particularly for financially distressed companies and companies with low or mid-tier credit ratings. This article focuses on securitization as it pertains to
asset-backed securities and mortgage-backed securities, and analyzes critical legal and
corporate governance issues.
8/2/12

Relief for Distressed Borrowers

In 2006 they fell behind on their mortgage, and their lender, Wells Fargo, agreed to modify their loan. However, that adjustment only compounded the Phillipses’ hardship, upping their payment by more than $200.

NY Times Now, she and her husband are finally getting the relief they believe is long overdue. In April Wells Fargo, prodded by the Phillipses’ lawyer at the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, agreed to reduce the principal due on their loan by $159,000. The reduction, along with a lower interest rate, cuts the Phillipses’ monthly payment by $1,500, and gives them what they wanted all along: the ability to stay in their home.
8/2/12

Simplifying Loan Documents

NY Times The CFPB, the federal agency created by Congress after the financial crisis, says mortgage documents should be written in simple, straightforward language, and so after months of researching and testing, it is proposing that lenders provide borrowers with two new forms. One will come at the start of the lending process, the other just before closing.
8/2/12

BofA in talks with Fannie Mae over Junk loans

The bank contends the loans soured due to economic conditions and other reasons rather than poor underwriting or lack of proper documentation, which are common causes for repurchase requests.

Reuters Other banks have said that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been asking them to buy back more loans, but the problem is most acute for Bank of America. That is because in 2008 it bought subprime lender Countrywide, which produced some of the most toxic loans during the housing bubble.

8/2/12

Missouri AG announces settlement of CRIMINAL proceedings against DOCX and Lender Processing Services (LPS)

Under the agreement, LPS will pay the state of Missouri $2 million.
The crime victims (who illegally lost their homes & equity) will get $0.

Missouri AG Specifically, LPS will pay $1.5 million into the Missouri state treasury and will pay $500,000 to the Merchandising Practices Revolving Fund of the Attorney General’s Office as reimbursement for the costs of the investigation.

When you follow the money, you see how fraud benefits the state treasuries - not the victims.

8/2/12

 

 

 

CALIFORNIA LAW FIRM SHUT DOWN IN CIVIL LAWSUIT BY CFPB FOR DEFRAUDING HOMEOWNERS SEEKING MORTGAGE HELP

See Headlines about mid page

FEDERAL JUDGE IN FLORIDA SENTENCES EX-TITLE COMPANY OWNER TO 18 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON

Mortgage Servicing News The new Consumer Financial Protection is now exercising its muscles on those deceiving consumers. It has shut down the offices of Los Angeles attorney Chance Edward Gordon by accusing him of defrauding homeowners seeking mortgage help. ________________________

On July 25, U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr. sentenced Cynthia Darlene Strickland to 18 months in federal prison following her guilty plea to a mortgage fraud scheme. As part of the sentence, the court ordered Strickland to pay restitution to victims in the amount of $531,356. The court also entered a judgment against Strickland for $178,625, which was the amount of money she received as a result of the scheme. 

8/2/12

The LIBOR scandal timeline

&

Banks Ripped Off The Government During Bailout

 

Huff Post During the 2008 Financial Crisis, the U.S. government lent money to cash strapped banks and AIG using Libor to determine interest, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told Congress on July 25, 2012. The artificially low rate saved the banks and AIG billions, while costing tax payers the same amount.
Timeless

In the 1930’s, 25 states enacted Moratoriums on Foreclosures. The Michigan Moratorium Act meant that anyone facing foreclosure got an automatic 5 year stay on the foreclosure, with a judge ordering a reasonable payment based on the homeowner’s ability to pay

These laws were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Home Building & Loan Building Association v Blaisdell

Supreme Court of the United States ... which held that the people’s right to survive during an economic emergency superseded the contract clause of the U.S. constitution. The moratoriums were not a result of the generosity of the legislatures or the courts, but were a direct result of the actions of workers and communities flooding the streets and preventing the foreclosures that were being carried out. The legislatures and courts essentially ratified the moratoriums that were won in the streets.
8/2/12

Did Capital One Target Deployed Soldiers for Foreclosure?

The Motley Fool Attorney General Eric Holder is spinning all this as a "fight for our service members, [using] every available tool, resource and authority to hold accountable those who engage in discriminatory practices targeting those who serve."

But if you look at the numbers, they actually tell a different tale.
8/2/12 NOW THIS IS JUST WRONG!

Homeowner's French Drain Installation To Ease Flooding Problem Leads To $589K In Invalid HOA Liens, Costing Her $50K+ In Legal Bills To Stop Foreclosure

“This is a cash cow for the lawyers and the management companies,” said Chris Zbodula, who served on the St. Ives HOA board before having his own dispute. “They’re making an absolute killing on this.”

Home Equity Theft Reporter Ms. Wilfong hired one attorney, then another, then a third. When her lawyer got documents from the HOA, she made a startling discovery. The HOA’s architecture review committee had approved the French drain. “I felt betrayed by the homeowners association,” she said.

In a ruling earlier this year, Judge Richard Boner waived all the fines and she got to keep her home. But she still had to pay for her attorneys.
8/2/12

Is Citi Engaging in Criminal Abuses of Active Duty Servicemen on Their Student Loans?

Despite the clear provisions of the law, mortgage services were found to be violating on a widespread basis, both by failing to reduce interest charges to 6% and on foreclosing on military personnel who were deployed. 6000 service members were plaintiffs in a suit against one bank, JP Morgan. JP Morgan settled pronto recognizing that this was a potential PR disaster in the making. 

nakedcapitalism The Department of Justice launched an investigation (violations of the SCRA are CRIMINAL). But of course, no one was prosecuted. The DoJ included a settlement of the SCRA in its mortgage settlement earlier this year. And as Dave Dayen (who has been all over this story) wrote a couple of weeks ago, it appears that this settlement isn’t producing much in the way of restitution to harmed servicemen. 

Well played, banks!

8/2/12

Germantown foreclosure battle the focus of 'Occupy Fannie Mae' protest 

News Works Longtime Germantown resident Rhonda Lancaster, who has been fighting to stay in her family home since a 2009 reverse mortgage led to an eviction notice in July, has joined with Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein to call her struggle a "national litmus test [for] changing the way business is done in America."
8/2/12

Afghan Finance Chief Under Scrutiny Over Bank Records

NY Times Omar Zakhilwal, Afghanistan’s finance minister, has come under scrutiny for bank records that suggest he accepted sizable payments from businesses and individuals and transferred money to Canada.
8/1/12

Ludicrous Times Op-Ed Forgets Entire Year of Wall Street History

But everybody knowing the truth and everybody doing something about it are two different things, as we’ll likely spend the next years, or even decades, finding out.

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stonr

How insane it is for Rattner to call TBTF banking "one of our most successful industries" when the business is now known all over the world to be so totally corrupt that nobody was even surprised when they found out that global interest rates were being manipulated. Or when basically the entire banking industry has been downgraded to near-junk status thanks to the widespread perception that their balance sheets are a travesty of phony accounting and unrealized losses.
8/1/12

Foreclosing on God's house: Sunrise church facing eviction

  Outside the church on Friday, Barnes spoke of overcoming the "powers of darkness" and persevering in the face of adversity.

"Christ said, 'I build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail,' " he said. "That's the bank. The bank is a gate of hell. We are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers of darkness and spirits of wickedness in high places.
8/1/12

Underwater homeowners face a tax time bomb


On Dec. 31, underwater homeowners could be hit with a huge tax bill, unless Congress moves to help them

David Dayen

Salon

The tax issue could significantly disrupt a still-fragile housing market and rob homeowners of the tools to pull themselves out of mortgage debt. It also represents a final indignity for homeowners who have been abused by the fraudulent mortgage practices of leading banks for years. Just when they think they get relief from their troubles, they get hit with a massive tax bill they cannot pay. “This has the effect of pulling people up with one hand, and hitting them in the face and knocking them over the cliff with the other,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who supports extending the law.
8/1/12**

Another Way Banks Abuse Homeowners and Distort Markets: Refusing to Take Title to Foreclosed Properties

State Rep. Dennis Murray of Sandusky is drafting a bill he hopes to introduce in the next two months that would require lenders or mortgage service companies to take foreclosed properties to sheriff sale within a certain time — or see their mortgage lien erased.

nakedcapitalism Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy Margaret Russo recently began ordering those granted a foreclosure decree in her courtroom to file the paperwork for a sheriff’s sale in about 30 days — or face being ordered to court for a contempt hearing.

“I think it’s a big problem,” Russo said. “It’s creating more abandoned homes with nobody responsible for taking care of them.”
8/1/12

UNBELIEVABLE!

Securitizing this loan over and over and covering up all the fraud must have made all this litigation worth it. Ya gotta read this one.

Rochester man loses foreclosure case against Wells Fargo

State Supreme Court Justice Elma Bellini ruled that Wells Fargo was indeed capable of bringing an eviction notice to Leonard Spears, of Ries Street. She also said that the notion that Spears was not personally served with papers was not relevant, citing previous court precedents.

Democrat and Chronicle Spears’ lawyers had based their arguments mainly on the fact that Wells Fargo was not legally able to serve an eviction notice to Spears because the bank did not own the home at the time, having sold the property to Freddie Mac.

“New York State law, as far as I understand, requires that the noteholder itself bring the action,” Stern said. “That’s quite a substantive element, isn’t it? To have the correct plaintiff? You don’t want somebody suing you that doesn’t have the right to sue you.”

8/1/12

STUNNING CRIMES OF THE BIG BANKS:
Worse than Your Wildest Imagination

The executives of the big banks invariably pretend that the hanky-panky was only committed by a couple of low-level rogue employees. But studies show that most of the fraud is committed by management.

Washingtons Blog - Committing massive and pervasive fraud both when they initiated mortgage loans and when they foreclosed on them;
- Pledging the same mortgage multiple times to different buyers. See this, this, this, this and this. This would be like selling your car, and collecting money from 10 different buyers for the same car;
- Cheating homeowners by gaming laws meant to protect people from unfair foreclosure.
7/31/12

JPMorgan Chase fails to end US mortgage modification lawsuit

* Homeowners claim bank misled them about modifications

* Excess fees, unnecessary foreclosures alleged

* Judge dubs some fee justifications "gibberish"

Memorandum and Order:  

JPMORGAN CHASE MORTGAGE MODIFICATION LITIGATION

Reuters U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns in Boston on Friday let homeowners pursue claims that the largest U.S. bank systematically failed to keep its end of the bargain after signing up borrowers hoping to modify their mortgages under the federal Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP.

Stearns also let stand claims that JPMorgan's Chase unit drove homeowners deeper into debt by prolonging the modification process through "gross ineptitude," sometimes adding fees to loans already in default and starting foreclosures while modifications were being negotiated.
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