News related to the Foreclosure Crisis

The biggest unpunished theft in human history

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12/31/12

Sarasota author suing biggest U.S. bank over foreclosure

The August Order Denying Defendants' Motions to Dismiss in:

 Coursen v. JPM et al

She expects to demonstrate "a conspiracy to divest people of their property using sham pleadings and fabricated evidence."

Sarasota Times Coursen's problems with Washington Mutual began in early 2006, when the bank started tacking on hundreds of dollars each month to her mortgage payments.

Asked to explain, bank representatives pledged to research the charges and get back to her. They didn't, but Coursen kept paying her mortgage.

12/31/12

FHA policies helped cause foreclosure crisis
Agency's aggressive efforts to push homeownership have backfired

Imagine that a federal agency wanted to hurt America's working-class families on purpose. How would it inflict maximum damage?

Baltimore Sun It might start by aggressively marketing homeownership to marginal borrowers. It would tell them that bad credit scores aren't a problem. It would push them into homes they can't afford, saddle them with loans that barely build equity and provide no incentives for fiscal discipline. And when many of these homes go underwater and into foreclosure, it would leave families in financial ruin.
12/31/12

Why the major global banks have become the enemy of the State and should be treated in the same way as Organized Crime or Financial Terrorists!

These banks perform no useful social purpose, and they deserve no sympathy or support. They exist only to facilitate an international cadre of global white collar criminals and drug traffickers. They have no interest in their retail customers who they routinely despise, how else can you explain the level of institutionalized fraud they have perpetrated against them and their interests;

Rowan's Blog ...they don't want to fund business, or underwrite social investment, you only have to consider the current minimalist level of funding being provided to businesses which are starved of investment capital to see the truth of this assertion, yet they expect the British tax-payer to bail them out when they are failing; they don't want to pay tax, consider their aggressive tax avoidance structures which they routinely seek to foist on the Revenue, they don't want to contribute in any way to the restructuring of the mess they have caused and in which they have dumped the British people, and frankly, we would hardly notice their passing if we took them down, one by one, and broke up their empires.
12/31/12

Booher's foreclosure prevention legislation signed by Gov. Snyder

"By helping homeowners keep their homes, we can have a positive impact of struggling families and our economy," the Senator said.  Too bad Washington still doesn't get it.

UpNorth Live "The impact of a foreclosure on the family and the entire community is devastating," said Booher. "The psychological and financial effect on families is long-lasting and profound."
 

12/31/12

As Foreclosure Crisis Drags On, So Does Flawed Government Response

As the sixth year of the foreclosure crisis comes to an end, the percentage of loans in foreclosure remains a staggering eight times higher than it was in 2005.

ProPublica We've also been keeping a close watch on whether the government is keeping its promises about compensating victims of the crisis.

The Independent Foreclosure Review — has been beset with questions about its fairness, transparency and integrity since it launched. At least partly due to those problems, many borrowers aren't even bothering to apply for compensation. As of November, only 315,000 borrowers have sent in forms requesting to be reviewed, according to the OCC's Hubbard, about seven (7%) percent of people eligible to apply.

12/31/12

 

Step right up folks - get your shiny pennies!

Foreclosure Review Scrapped On Eve Of Critical Watchdog Report, Congressman Says

Some of these mistakes pushed homeowners into foreclosure who otherwise could have afforded to keep their homes.

Huff Post Supposedly independent third-party reviewers looking over Bank of America loan files were given the "correct" answers in advance by the bank. These reviewers could override the answers, but they weren't starting from a blank slate.

Banks, if they did not find a "compensable error," did not have to pay anything, giving them a strong incentive to find no flaws with their own work.

"It was flawed from the start," Miller said of the review program. "There was an inherent conflict of interest by just about everyone involved."
12/31/12

Ohio Court of Appeals Reverses another foreclosure case pursuant to Schwartzwald

OneWest v. Yevtich

OHIO COURT OF APPEALS
6th DISTRICT
Since appellee did not obtain a justiciable interest in this suit until the mortgage was assigned to it in January 2010, it lacked standing to invoke the subject matter jurisdiction of the court when it filed its complaint in September 2009.
Appellants’ Civ.R. 12(B)(1) motion should have been granted. Accordingly, appellants’ sole assignment of error is well-taken.
12/31/12

JPMORGAN DID NOT ACQUIRE PLAINTIFFS’ MORTGAGE BY OPERATION OF LAW

KIM v JPMORGAN CHASE BANK

We hold that defects or irregularities in a foreclosure proceeding result in a foreclosure that is voidable, not void ab initio. Because the Court of Appeals erred by holding to the contrary, we reverse that portion of its decision. 

Stop Foreclosure

 Fraud

We leave to the trial court the determination of whether, under the facts presented, the foreclosure sale of plaintiffs’ property is voidable. In this regard, to set aside the foreclosure sale, plaintiffs must show that they were prejudiced by defendant’s failure to comply with MCL 600.3204. To demonstrate such prejudice, they must show that they would have been in a better position to preserve their interest in the property absent defendant’s
noncompliance with the statute.

Void Or Voidable Foreclosure?

Federal Appeals Court Reinstates Homeowner Challenge Involving Post-Sale Redemption Attempt Under Michigan State Law

Home Equity Theft Reporter Because the foreclosure by advertisement violated Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.3204(4)(f), he argues, it was void and the redemption period never began. We agree with Mitan's interpretation of the law.

Michigan Supreme Court Rules $3.75 Billion Of JPM Chase Held Mortgages Are Voidable 

Court Rules Unrecorded Mortgages Received Through The FDIC Receivership Of WaMu Are Voidable

MFI-Miami JPMorgan Chase is claiming they don’t need to show a recorded chain of ownership because they acquired the note through their acquisition of Washington Mutual’s assets after Washington Mutual was placed into FDIC receivership in 2008. 

The Court of Appeals disagreed and said that a claim of “by operation of law” could only be claimed by the FDIC and that a mortgage assignment from the FDIC to JPMorgan Chase still had to be properly recorded with the Register of Deeds.

12/30/12

All of the 14 banks are expected to sign on.

$10 B Settlement Expected on Past Abuses in Home Loans

Banking regulators are close to a $10 billion settlement with 14 banks that would end the government’s efforts to hold lenders responsible for foreclosure abuses like faulty paperwork and excessive fees that may have led to evictions.

NY Times Under the settlement, a significant amount of the money, $3.75 billion, would go to people who have already lost their homes, making it potentially more generous to former homeowners than a broad-reaching pact in February between state attorneys general and five large banks. That set aside $1.5 billion in cash relief for Americans.

Some within the agency had started to realize that a mandatory review of millions of bank loans was not yielding meaningful examples of the banks’ wrongfully evicting homeowners who were current on their payments or making partial payments, according to the people.

4/5/12

"Oh my gosh, there are thousands," Sirak said of the foreclosure victims. "They are following the rules and can't understand why this is blowing up in their face."

Fighting the bank's foreclosure Trap

"I kept getting told, 'you're current on your mortgage, so you're not a priority,'" Brooks said of the repeated response she got from Aurora.

   MUST WATCH VIDEO...  HOME LOANS FROM HELL

It should make your blood boil.

 

Sentinel-Tribune

h/t John Wright

Always one to pay bills on time, Brooks said she had no intention on missing a payment just so she could be bumped up on the mortgage refinancing priority list.
But after getting nowhere with Aurora, she paid her mortgage a week late in June of 2009. That was as delinquent as she could be.
"It made me too nervous," she said. 
That seemed to work, and her mortgage went from $1,448 down to $1,157 a month. It seemed that life would be a little easier for Brooks and her children.
But she was terribly wrong.
While she was paying her new mortgage amount to one department at Aurora, Brooks said another department was recording her as delinquent since she wasn't paying her previous mortgage amount. Within months, she got a foreclosure notice.
12/30/12

Banks Deeply Involved in FBI-Coordinated Suppression of “Terrorist” Occupy Wall Street

If you had any doubts of the veracity of former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson’s depiction of the financial crisis as a “quiet coup,” a pre-Christmas release of FBI documents should put them to rest.

naked capitalism The peculiar part of this overreaction is it says that banks and government officials see peaceful protests as a threat to their hold on power. It’s odd that they see their position as precarious, unless they have convinced themselves of their vulnerability as an excuse for clamping down even harder on the rest of us.
12/30/12

Veterans die awaiting pension benefits

"We went through our savings and our retirement money. And then, after he died, they said they made a mistake and sent a check for $79,000," his widow, Linda Conrad, said.

Home Equity Theft Reporter By the time the VA reversed itself, the family home was in foreclosure. Linda Conrad, who had quit her job as a paralegal to care for her husband during his last days, found her efforts to secure a new job thwarted by the recession.

Yet, in an interview, VA officials deemed John Conrad's saga a success, because the more experienced claims processors who handled Conrad's claim after his death had the authority to reinterpret the medical evidence.

12/29/12

Strangers quietly save the Wheelers from foreclosure

“It’s been incredible. It really restores your faith in humanity,” Cathy said.

phillyBurbs “Everyone has been wonderful,” she said.
Well, almost. Bank of America hassled them. The check they received for $5,000 was enough to cover four payments.
“They told me to send it and we will work with you on the other two payments,” Cathy said. “Great! I immediately got a check off to them. They said, great, gonna work with ya. Calls me a few days later, says we’re sending it back. They wanted all six payments, or nothing.”
12/29/12

Animals often forgotten as victims of foreclosure

Sun Sentinel Calder said she had worked out an agreement with an investor to buy her ranch in a short sale — submitting the paperwork to the lender, Chase, three times. But Chase did not get the completed paperwork in time to call off the foreclosure.

The property was foreclosed on in June 2011, and the ostriches were moved almost four months later to an undisclosed place. But Calder said they were not part of the mortgaged property that she was foreclosed on.

12/29/12

Hernandez Family Foreclosure Sparks Anti-Eviction Outrage

Foreclosures and the Police State

In what is fast becoming a symbol of the fight against fraudulent foreclosures, the Hernandez family built a barricade across the front of the property

CounterPunch Javier Hernandez purchased the property for his mother seven years ago. At the recommendation of the bank, he stopped making payments in order to receive a loan modification but was met with repeated rejections. His story is typical of those people, predominantly Black and Brown, who were sold subprime mortgages at the height of the housing boom.
12/28/12

Both Democrats And Republicans Need To Be Imprisoned

They have been at this crap for 30 years and it is still continuing today.

And it will continue until you, the citizen, demand that it stop.

Market Ticker This, incidentally, is a big part of why the CBO in 2000 projected that by 2010 there would be no national debt. At all. On the last day of 2000 total national debt (including Social Security and Medicare) stood at $5.66 trillion.

Today it is $16.338 trillion, or approximately three times as much.

That projection forward was an intentional lie, that is a fraud, promoted upon the public and bond buyers by the United States Congress and Executive and effectively forced upon the CBO through this fraudulent and outrageous practice.
12/28/12

Widows face foreclosure due to mortgage Catch-22

Two years after he died of cancer, Dorothy Jackson's late husband received a letter from the bank.

"Dear David A. Jackson Deceased," the letter said. It was from a Wells Fargo "home preservation specialist," offering advice if Mr. Jackson had a "change in circumstances."

"This problem and the web of paperwork causes so much stress that it can impact (widows') health, impact their well-being, to the point where they don't even know what to do. They're just frozen."

Tampa Bay Times Stymied by the Catch-22 and pestered by debt collectors six times a day, Jackson walked to her bookcase and relayed the bank's offer to her husband's urn.

"Honey, if you want to resurrect yourself to come out and refinance our home," she said, "you go for it."

Lawyers and legal-aid counselors call it a sad reality of the housing crisis: Widows refused loan help and forced into foreclosure in the years after their spouses' death.

12/28/12

People’s struggle against home foreclosures advances in NJ

The people’s struggle against foreclosures took a new turn before the New Jersey Court of Appeals here, Dec. 19.

In early December, Attorney Adam Deutsch spoke to the Coalition to Save Our Homes and suggested that one thing people can do is turn out and pack the courtroom when important foreclosure defense motions are presented.

FightBack!News The people’s forces felt a sense of unity and empowerment. We can fight the banks, we can fight foreclosure. We don’t have to settle for making the best of a bad situation. We can attack the bad situation itself. If there is no justice in the halls of justice we will bring our own standard of justice. We will depend on ourselves to build a broader, stronger, more united movement for people’s economic justice, and we will succeed.

"Courts far too often exhibit a double standard. Homeowners are excused for nothing and banks for anything."

12/28/12

Good Samaritans help Perris soldier in a foreclosure bind

A military man and his family who lost their home to foreclosure had a very difficult deadline. They were locked out the day after Christmas and given almost no time to get all of their possessions out of the house by Friday.

Inland Empire News It was a mad dash the moment the gate opened. The Gunn family had just 60 minutes to gather everything they own.

"My family is devastated and we don't know what tomorrow brings," said Tina Gunn.

The day after Christmas, Tina and Justin Gunn, an Army National Guard solider, and their children were locked out of their Perris home after losing it to foreclosure. They had lived there for the last 17 years.
12/28/12

Judge finds U.S. Bank in contempt in foreclosure case

“It’s unusual for a court to hold an institution in civil contempt,” said Elizabeth Boyle, an attorney with Gulfcoast Legal Services. “But it’s appropriate in this case because of the lawless actions of the bank.”

Herald-Tribune

and 

Matt Weidner, Esq.

“Fundamentally, they refused to respect the court,” Jansen’s attorney, Matt Weidner, said of U.S. Bank. “What this shows is willful negligence.”

Like many other foreclosure cases throughout the country, Jansen’s is a tale of paperwork mistakes.

US Bank's Response to Motion For Contempt

Jury Awards 1.26 Million for Debt Collector Abuse

Farrell & Seldin ignored numerous notices, red flags, and opportunities to correct the situation and pursued the plaintiff mercilessly

HWH-Law The verdict was $161,000 in actual damages under the FDCPA, NM UDAP, and NM tort law — all emotional distress, other than literally a few dollars for copying costs and the like — and $1.1 million in punitive damages for the NM tort for unreasonable debt collection.

10/19/12

The False Hope of Mortgage Modification

Now we have a new twist in the save your home rescue scam landscape. This time it’s the false hope of mortgage modification offered, not from fly-by-night operation, but by big bank mortgage lenders in their role as “mortgage servicers.”

HWH-Law What appears to have happened is that Bank of America, following its four billion dollar purchase of Countrywide Home Loans, turned its Countrywide mortgage lender’s into “Bank of America modification specialists.” The very same people who created the mortgage mess by making risky, poorly documented and in some case fraudulent loans are the same people who are now responsible for reviewing modifications for completeness and compliance with modification requirements.
12/28/12

FBI ignored deadly threat to Occupiers, plotted to attack protesters

NYPD cops became Wall Street's private army during the Occupy Wall Street campaign, even getting paid by the banks on the side

FBI considered Occupy movement potential threat, documents say

Press TV

 

 

 

 

CNN

In reality, the only violence at the hundreds of Occupy movement actions during late 2011 and early 2012 across the US, from New York to Boston to Los Angeles to Seattle, was perpetrated by heavily armed police. Occupy activists were the victims, not the perpetrators of this violence and criminal behavior. 
12/28/12

HUML v. Robosignor Beverly 

Mitrisin and Jack O'Boyle

Richard Roman, Esq. Scheduling Order and Order of Referral to Mediation in Robo-Signing case.
12/28/12

Pro se Appellant's Opening Brief

Bank of America v. Short

Christopher Short WCCRS4(c): No judgment shall be taken upon a negotiable instrument until the original instrument has been filed.

No original promissory note has been filed with the court in this case.

12/27/12

Will the real owner of this mortgage loan please “stand”: 

The necessary standing for Ohio foreclosure actions after Schwartzwald

For the title industry, the ramifications of the Schwartzwald decision are huge as well. Given that a lack of jurisdiction for lack of standing can make a judgment of foreclosure and sale void, a title agent will need to ensure that the lender selling a property at a foreclosure sale was actually the owner of the note and mortgage when the foreclosure action was commenced.

Frost Brown Todd LLC If the lender was not the actual owner of the note and mortgage at the commencement of the foreclosure sale, a title agent will likely take exception to that issue in any subsequent title insurance policy. Similarly, if there was a foreclosure action involving a property in the chain of title, a title agent will need to ensure that the prior lender who foreclosed on a mortgage and subsequently sold the property in the chain of title was the holder of the note and mortgage when the lender commenced the foreclosure action. If this is not the case, the title agent will likely take exception in any subsequently issued title policy for that issue as well.

12/27/12

Ohio Foreclosure Plaintiffs' Standing to Sue: A Conservative Approach

The Patterson decision, which suggests that the plaintiff will have standing to commence the foreclosure if the documentation attached as exhibits to the complaint establishes that the plaintiff is the holder of either the note or mortgage, is not binding in any other county

Weltman, Weinberg & Reis  Moreover, the decision is subject to reversal in the event the Ohio Supreme Court should hold in the future that the interpretation in Patterson was incorrect. In addition, the federal regulators are not bound by the Patterson decision either. There could be serious retroactive consequences if a foreclosure is processed and a sheriff's sale is completed in reliance on the Patterson decision if the law is subsequently established otherwise. Therefore, the only totally safe approach continues to be refraining from commencing a foreclosure until the documentation is available to be attached as exhibits to the complaint, as evidence that the plaintiff is the holder of both the note and the mortgage.
12/27/12

Obamacare, the Foreclosure

 Crisis and the Rule of Law

When the foreclosure crisis began, that penalization was sorely missing. Thankfully, we are now starting to see that push back from the judges and lawyers, who are saying:

“Wait a minute! Maybe the banks did overreach, and maybe they did take people’s homes away from them illegally. Maybe they even denied people their constitutional rights.”

Roy Oppenheim, Esq. Legislation that would prohibit “fraudclosure” is making its way down the pipeline in New York, and we are finally starting to see bankers being indicted for mortgage fraud.

We are starting to see that the legal system has recognized that it was played for a patsy by the banks.

So what does this have to do with Obamacare? Simple: The Supreme Court put the rule of law above all else, including politics and expediency.

The foreclosure courts are finally starting to do the same.

12/27/12

BOMBSHELL BANKRUPTCY ORDER! 

Must read for all foreclosure defendants

Order Confirming

Matt Weidner, Esq. The Loan was subsequently securitized. Through a subsequent series of assignments and endorsements of the Loan Documents, the Secured Lender now claims ownership of the subject Loan.

12/27/12

 

Who's On First?

Lacking consideration they have nonetheless fabricated, used, executed and recorded papers procured under false pretenses and they are taking the position in court that the borrower may not inquire as to the internal workings of the scheme that defrauded him and which the investors (Pension funds) corroborated with their lawsuits.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

The foreclosures are a grand scheme of cover-up for what was a simple PONZI scheme whose survival depended not upon borrower payments on legitimate loans but rather on the sale of more bogus mortgage bonds. There were no funded REMIC trusts, there were no active trustees, and the job of managing the flood of money fell to the Master Servicer who instructed the subservicer and all other parties what to do with their new found wealth.

Full Post

House Ethics Panel Finds No Loan Violations

The House Ethics Committee says it found no violations by House members whose mortgage loans went through the V.I.P. section of the former Countrywide Financial Corporation.

NY Times The committee said nearly all the allegations involved loans that were granted so long ago that they fell outside the panel’s jurisdiction, though....   there could have been disciplinary action if the loans had been more recent

The committee added that participation in the V.I.P. program did not necessarily mean borrowers received the best financial deal available. Countrywide was taken over by Bank of America in 2008.

12/27/12

Dallas County's Fourth Amended Petition in

Dallas County v. MERS

Dave Kreiger Defendants are members of the mortgage finance industry. Defendants have violated and continue to violate Texas statutory and common law by:

a. recording, causing to be recorded, or approving the recording of instruments which falsely state that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) has a lien upon or interest in real property which MERS does not have, with the intent to cause MERS to be indexed as a “Grantee” in the Statutory Grantor/Grantee Indexes maintained by Plaintiffs;

12/27/12

Day after Christmas, Eviction Hearings Fill Court Docket


Despite a moratorium by the big banks and mortgage lenders on evictions during the holidays, it was standing room only inside a third-floor courtroom at the Hennepin County Government Center the day after Christmas for a full docket of eviction hearings.

KSTP Among McGee's supporters were two lawmakers, state Rep. Karen Clark (DFL-Minneapolis) and Rep.-elect Mike Freiberg (DFL-Golden Valley), who pledged to introduce legislation and hold hearings on foreclosure reform in the new Legislative session.

On this day, McGee and her attorney won a two-week reprieve to try and convince Judge Harris that her foreclosure was improper.
12/26/12

Payback time: Florida homeowners foreclosing on banks

CNN Money So far, Solomon's firm has filed more than 1,100 liens against banks on behalf of homeowners and has pursued 131 foreclosures. In more than 90% of the cases, he said, the banks settle by paying the bills.

12/26/12

Foreclosure Standoff at Van Nuys Home May Soon End


Demonstrators have camped out at the home for more than 110 days, which has neighbors demanding that the sheriff or the bank take action.

NBC LA Bank of America said it tried to work with Hernandez since he stopped making payments in 2007, but the bank said he didn’t submit the paperwork in time. Hernandez’s attorney showed NBC4 stacks of papers from just the last few months showing an effort to start payments again, but the bank said it wasn’t enough to qualify for a loan modification.

Soledad Corona Gets Help From Occupy L.A. To Return To Her Foreclosed Home For The Holidays

A single mother facing foreclosure in the Los Angeles area is back in her home for the holidays, after she was evicted two weeks ago, thanks to an Occupy group that helped her force her way in.

Huff Post Soledad Corona claims the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department forcibly removed her from her home on Dec. 14 even after her loan provider, Bank of America, said it wouldn’t kick her out during the holidays, CBS LA reports. After breaking the lock Sunday night, Corona and about 20 members of Occupy L.A. are hunkering down inside the home with food, anti-bank signs and Christmas lights.
12/26/12

Administration Planning to Use Fannie and Freddie (taxpayers) to Provide More Stealth Stimulus

Industry officials say such a program would work only if banks were given immunity from having to buy back any loans they refinance that subsequently default, and that such a shield would boost the risk for the taxpayer-backed companies.

naked capitalism Huh? Given that the FHFA has filed putback lawsuits against bank originators that would result in $200 billion or so of damages if the agency prevailed, why in God’s name would anyone give banks a liability waiver? Oh, it’s obvious why they want one, but given their past abuses, it’s reckless to give them carte blanche.

Another reason not to like the plan is that a win for borrowers is a loss for mortgage investors.
12/24/12

Bad Judges

In jurisdictions across the country, complaints are heard about judges and
magistrates who are incompetent, self-indulgent, abusive, or corrupt.2 These bad judges terrorize courtrooms, impair the functioning of the legal system, and undermine public
confidence in the law. They should not be allowed in office.

Geoffrey P. Miller

h/t HETR

This paper addresses the problem of bad judges -- judges and magistrates who are incompetent, self-indulgent, abusive or corrupt. The paper identifies the principal categories of bad judging, outlines the policy tradeoff in selecting approaches to the problem, and analyzes the leading options. It then proposes a panel exclusion approach.
12/24/12

Judge Takes Aim at Another S.E.C. Settlement

The case involves violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by International Business Machines from 1999 to 2008 for payments made to foreign government officials. 

DealBook Judge Richard J. Leon of the Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., has held up the settlement for nearly two years because of his demands for greater disclosure to ensure the public’s interest is protected.
12/23/12

UBS Libor Manipulation Deserves the Death Penalty

There is no point in mincing words: UBS AG, the Swiss global bank, has been disgracing the banking profession for years and needs to be shut down.

Bloomberg An even more emphatic message needs to be sent to UBS by its prudential regulator in the U.S.: You are finished in this country. We are padlocking your Stamford, Connecticut, and Manhattan offices. You need to pack up and leave. Now.
12/23/12

Could A.I.G. Happen Again?

NY Times The truly vital issue is this: Could this happen again? Unfortunately, the troubling answer is yes.

12/23/12

The economy will not recover until the perpetrators of the frauds which caused our current economic crisis are held accountable, so that trust can be restored. 

The Lie that Prosecuting Bank Fraud Will Destabilize the Economy Is What Is REALLY Destroying the Economy

The Departments of Justice and Treasury are pretending that criminally prosecuting criminal banksters will destabilize the economy. The exact opposite is true. Failing to prosecute criminal fraud has been destabilizing the economy since at least 2007 … and will cause huge crashes in the future

Zero Hedge This was fraud, perpetrated in the first instance by the government on the population, and by the rich on the poor. *** The government that permits this to happen is complicit in a vast crime. Galbraith also says: There will have to be full-scale investigation and cleaning up of the residue of that, before you can have, I think, a return of confidence in the financial sector. And that’s a process which needs to get underway. Galbraith recently said that “at the root of the crisis we find the largest financial swindle in world history”, where “counterfeit” mortgages were “laundered” by the banks. 
12/23/12

Foreclosure standstill to be topic in new year 

The Oregon Legislature and Supreme Court have at least one definite topic on their agendas in the new year: finding a solution to the state’s foreclosure standstill.

Statesman-Journal The banking industry will ask lawmakers to ease notification requirements, which require lenders to alert not only homeowners, but also any other party with an interest in the house. It will also seek to clarify how homeowners must be notified -- by mail, for example, or personally served.

Homeowner advocates want to see a penalty added into the law for lenders who don’t respond to mediation requests.

12/23/12

Acquiring failed banks, squeezing borrowers: BB&T among lenders questioned by judges, commercial-loan customers

Davenport said Hamilton State Bank, told him he was in default on a performing loan because the loan documents included a former partner who had run into problems with a separate loan. Davenport said he’d bought out the partner years ago and hadn’t missed a loan payment in more than a decade.

Said Davenport: “I never saw it coming where when you were still willing to make your payments, they would still take your stuff.”

Charlotte Observer The judge ruled that BB&T “stood to profit by declaring a fraudulent default” and collecting reimbursement for losses from the FDIC. The bank also stood to gain, the judge said, by foreclosing on the property and holding onto it until a real estate turnaround occurred.

In his ruling, 13th Judicial Circuit Court judge William Levens wrote: “A bona fide default never occurred, and the resulting loan acceleration and lawsuit were improvidently initiated by (BB&T) for purposes of trying to maximize collection simultaneously from the FDIC.

12/22/12

Fake filings aim to stall valley foreclosures, prosecutors say

Homeowners might be using illegal means to keep their homes.

Modesto Bee Homeowner files phony documents like the banks do, which clouds the title and stalls the foreclosure, but the homeowner could face criminal charges. 
12/22/12

Foreclosure Stories

Lisa’s story serves as an example of this fraudulent practice, which is consistent with banks’ desire to foreclose because it is profitable to do so.

Dan McGookey, Esq. In almost every case we handle, we see the absolute cruel torture that the banks put desperate homeowners through to save their homes as they seek mortgage relief. One of the most dramatic examples of this phenomenon is seen in the story of Tim and Sandra Hake.

12/22/12**

Freddie Mac buys $62.5 billion in (Garbage) mortgages

So the $40 Billion per month was another lie.

Housing Wire The GSEs (Fannie/Freddie) have an open checkbook to buy and clean up the bank cartel's fraud and toxic, WORTHLESS garbage.  Now Judges will have to rule against the homeowner to protect the taxpayer's money.
12/22/12

Too Big To Jail

Hopefully one person in a position to make a difference, uninfected by the greed and power virus, will step forward and do the right thing.

Dan McGookey, Esq.  If that happens, the house of cards which the worlds’ biggest financial institutions built will come tumbling down. And then our leaders, sworn to serve and protect us, will end up right where they belong, in the jail cell right alongside the banksters they sold us out to.
12/22/12

Talk with the boss: Foreclosure problems different, but not easier

Lou Tisler sums up the mission of Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland with a simple but meaningful phrase: "Home matters."

Cleveland What we have seen is that there was a lot of enthusiasm in terms of "Oh, you have got to fix this issue" and making funding available for that. We've seen a decline in that kind of support to "This really shouldn't be a problem now." But it still is.

12/21/12

Complete post

If Bank of America (Chase, Wells, Citi) Does Not Own The Mortgage, They May Not Collect or Sue

The term “servicer” is a fabricated term, a Frankenstein legal term that has no legal meaning. It was made up by the banks and Wall Street cartels. For far too long, courts have let them get away with it. But our friend, the angel of foreclosure defense April Charney shares these nuggets with us:


If an entity does not own the account, or if it is not owed, the collector may not collect or sue.

Matt Weidner, Esq. E.g., Cox v. Hilco Receivables, L.L.C., 726 F.Supp.2d 659, 666 (N.D. Tex. 2010) (“Improperly identifying oneself as the owner of a debt is certainly a misrepresentation of that debt’s legal status”); Wallace v. Washington Mut. Bank, F.A., 683 F.3d 323 (6th Cir. 2012) (suing before ownership documents transferred); Bourff v. Rubin Lublin, LLC, 674 F.3d 1238, 1241 (11th Cir. 2012) (misidentification of BAC as creditor); Shoup v. McCurdy & Candler, LLC, 465 Fed. Appx. 882, 885 (11th Cir. 2012) (misidentification of MERS as creditor); Gearing v. Check Brokerage Corp., 233 F.3d 469, 472 -73 (7th Cir. 2000) (allegation in its state court complaint that it was “subrogated” to Ayerco’s rights gave a false impression as to the legal status); Grant-Hall v. Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC, 856 F.Supp.2d 929, 942 (N.D. Ill. 2012) (misrepresenting that CPS had the right to file suit); Manlapaz v. Unifund CCR Partners , 2009 WL 3015166 *5 (N.D. Ill. 2009) (suing on a debt it did not own); Matmanivong v. Unifund CCR Partners, 2009 WL 1181529 *5 (N.D. Ill. 2009) (same); Hepsen v. J.C. Christensen and Associates, Inc., 2009 WL 3064865 *5 (M.D. Fla. 2009) (false representation of creditor’s name); Braatz v. Leading Edge Recovery Solutions, LLC, 2011 WL 9528479 *1 (N.D. Ill. 2011) (identifying two companies might cause consumer to be concerned about the possibility she was being defrauded or that she might pay the incorrect creditor and continue to have outstanding debt).
12/21/12

Occupy LA sues over eviction

Occupy Los Angeles protesters filed a class-action lawsuit alleging the group's rights were violated in its November 2011 eviction.

UPI

The suit filed Thursday claims the Los Angeles Police Department used military tactics to forcibly remove hundreds of demonstrators from the 59-day encampment on the City Hall lawn, and the 300 resulting arrests were "unconstitutional and an unlawful violation of the plaintiffs' First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to assembly, association, freedom from unlawful seizure and liberty.

12/21/12

Ex-foreclosure king Brunner accused of hiding assets

  The action by the bank is the latest in a series of troubles facing Brunner, who built a real estate empire by buying and selling foreclosed properties throughout southeastern Wisconsin, but is now under investigation by the FBI and Milwaukee police. Brunner's businesses came crashing down last year under the weight of about $20 million in debt, including more than $2 million owed to First Business Bank
12/21/12

Barrett calls on state to help city with foreclosure crisis

JSOnline The dispute between the city's increasingly louder call for state help stems from a $25 billion settlement earlier this year.
12/20/12

Glenn Hubbard, Leading Academic and Mitt Romney Advisor, Took $1200 an Hour to Be Countrywide's Expert Witness

Anyway, when asked if he did consulting work for big banks, Hubbard refused to answer. And when asked if he just didn't remember who was writing checks to him when he wasn't overseeing the education of American youth, he fumed.

So how did Hubbard manage to analyze Countrywide and conclude that mass fraud in its underwriting procedures wasn't problematic? Easy: He didn't look at the underwriting! What Hubbard did is compare a bunch of bad loans to a bunch of bad loans.

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

"This isn't a deposition, sir," he hissed. "I was polite enough to give you time, foolishly I now see. Give it your best shot."

Again, there's just nothing like karma.

If your answer to a perfectly sensible question is going to be, "Screw you, this isn't a deposition," exactly how long do you think it'll be before you end up actually getting deposed? And forced to answer, under oath, just how much your opinions cost?

A couple of years, as it turns out.

Transcript: Glenn Hubbard's Deposition

12/20/12

Proposal Would Force Bank Loan Write-Downs

As a practical matter, it seems likely that any bank making a loan would almost immediately have to write down the value of the loan, even though nothing indicated that particular loan was likely to go bad, simply because experience would indicate that some percentage of similar loans do wind up defaulting.

NY Times The value would then be adjusted each quarter, based on changes in conditions. An improving economy might make defaults seem less likely and cause banks to write up the value of loans on their books, thus raising reported profits.

But the initial write-down could mean that banks with limited capital would be constrained from making as many loans as they otherwise would make.

12/20/12

Another Questionable Bank Settlement

The Department of Justice would like you to believe it has finally gotten tough with a too-big-to-fail bank.

NY Times It has also charged two former UBS traders with crimes that include conspiracy, wire fraud and violation of antitrust laws. The subsidiary will pay a $100 million fine, and the traders, if extradited and convicted, could go to jail. But the deal leaves UBS itself relatively unscathed.
12/20/12

Foreclosure funds slow to get to homeowners

USA Today A $7.6 billion federal program to help prevent foreclosures is still struggling to get money out to homeowners more than two years after the money went to states.

12/20/12

Today's OHIO REVERSAL

 Wells Fargo v. Burrows

OHIO COURT OF APPEALS
9th DISTRICT 
“Once a court has determined that a default on an obligation secured by a mortgage has occurred, it MUST then consider the equities of the situation in order to decide if foreclosure is appropriate.” Wells Fargo was required to demonstrate that it had standing to invoke the jurisdiction at the time the complaint was filed, and it failed to do so in the complaint and the documents attached thereto.
12/20/12

Why Nate Silver is Not Just Wrong, but Maliciously Wrong

Silver confuses cause and effect. We didn’t have a financial crisis because of a bad model or a few bad models. We had bad models because of a corrupt and criminally fraudulent financial system.

Data Scientist

Cathy O’Neil

Everyone involved in the mortgage industry made a killing. Who’s going to stop the music and tell people to worry about home values? Homeowners and taxpayers made money (on paper at least) in the short term but lost in the long term, but the bankers took home bonuses that they still have.

12/20/12

Six Month + Delinquent Mortgages Amount To More Than Half Of Bank of America's Market Cap

Zero Hedge By keeping tens of billions of mortgages off the market, Bank of America is hoping to limit the supply of houses in the market, creating an artificial shortage, in the process pushing up the prices of all other house higher, and only then to start dumping its pre-foreclosure inventory to a witless housing market.

 

How to testify and what you should say in bankruptcy court

Here is a guide to preparing effective testimony in your bankruptcy case.

Andy Miofsky

Bankruptcy Law Network

Occasionally you are called upon in court in support of an issue. All responses are submitted under penalty of perjury. You are required to tell the truth, so it is important to know what you are talking about. And there is no better way to testify than to be fully prepared.

12/19/12

Four Banks Found Guilty of Fraud

An Italian judge found four international banks guilty of fraud in a case involving the sale of derivatives to the city of Milan and ordered the confiscation of about $117 million.

AP Judge Oscar Magi on Wednesday convicted Deutsche Bank, UBS, JPMorgan and Depfa Bank, as well as nine current and former bankers. In Italy, institutions may be held responsible as well individuals. The individuals received suspended sentences of six months to eight months.

12/19/12

The Rocket-Docket is back

Miami-Dade court puts foreclosures on fast track 

STOP THE CRIMES AND YOU WILL STOP THE BACKLOG OF FORECLOSURES

Miami Herald Miami-Dade Circuit Court is aggressively setting foreclosure cases for trial as it tries to clear the backlog that ensued from the ‘robo-signing’ delays.  (I guess forgery is legal here)

“It’s a rocket docket,” said Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jon Gordon, a senior judge who is churning through about 50 trials a day.

Now read what concerned Florida's Rocket-Docket Judge Gordon in 2005:

From Page 83 of the transcript on the Corrected Order to Show Cause hearing that captures a detailed discussion about MERS and foreclosures - MERS v. Cabrera:
"It truly concerns me, however, that thousands and thousands -- thousands and thousands of mortgage foreclosure actions have been filed with these allegations. I am not certain what remedy, if any, these people would have were it to be determined that MERS was not ever the proper party notwithstanding that these folks [might] have been in default what their recourse, if any, would be. I'm not certain with the satisfaction of mortgages that have been filed on behalf of MERS how good those are and I am not certain how good title to property is that people bought at these foreclosure sales if it turns or becomes established that MERS was indeed not only not the right party but misrepresented by way of their pleadings and affidavits that they held something they didn't own, so I'm not certain of the consequences but it seems vast." - Judge Gordon

 

12/19/12

STILL DUAL-TRACKING 

Pair faces eviction while pursuing loan mod

A Tustin couple says their house was foreclosed last month and sold to an investor while the pair was in the process of seeking a loan modification – just one month after major U.S. banks were to stop the practice known as "dual tracking."

OC Register "I can't envision a more classic example of dual tracking," said the couple's lawyer, Ernest F. Ching Jr. "Ignoring the Robishaws' timely trial payments and good faith efforts to enter into an affordable loan modification, Wells Fargo foreclosed without notice."

They refinanced over and over and used the money to buy cars, make repairs and pay taxes, as well as remodel the house???

12/19/12

Andover Animal Rescue Sanctuary In Foreclosure

CBS Minnesota This week Soper learned she has until Sunday, Dec. 28, to get herself, two children and all of her animals out of the home she rents. The property is under foreclosure.
12/19/12

Battling foreclosure brings Lynn protesters together for holidays

In a press release regarding the moratorium a Fannie Mae official said the company is working to support families facing financial trouble but Abdel Souissa said, for him, that’s untrue.

ItemLive Souissa said he did everything Fannie Mae told him to do, he applied for loan modification, made the appropriate payments but they still foreclosed on his home.

“They have one objective in mind and no matter what you do they want to kick you out,” he said. “If you are applying for loan modification, be prepared.”
12/19/12 Having trouble going to sleep at night? Try counting foreclosures.  

For We Like Sheep... Foreclosure Defense

In November there were 29,612 foreclosure notices issued in Florida. That is a lot of sheep.

Rusty Collins

Rusty Law

Do not let your lender pull the wool over your eyes. Everyone should pay his mortgage, but a lot has happened in recent years. Lenders have made improper assignments of mortgage...and lied about them. We have seen the handwriting on the wall scrawled by robo-signers who move more in penmanship than verification. 
12/13/12

Former Countrywide And NCB Loan Officer Sentenced To Federal Prison For His Participation In Large-Scale Mortgage Fraud Scheme

According to court records, between 2005 and 2007, Leetzow served as a loan officer at Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. and National City Bank. In that capacity, he conspired with a number of others in a scheme that centered around the fraudulent acquisition and sale of residential properties in the Sarasota area. 

Florida

US Attorney

U.S. District Judge Virginia Covington today sentenced former loan officer Mark W. Leetzow (44, Sarasota) to one year and one day in federal prison for his role in a mortgage fraud conspiracy that victimized numerous mortgage lenders and FDIC-insured banks. As part of his sentence, Leetzow was also ordered to pay $3,339,590.28 in restitution and serve a 5-year term of supervised release upon the completion of his prison term.

Leetzow previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud, and to making false statements to federally insured banks for the purpose of influencing those banks in connection with mortgage loans.

12/19/12

For about two decades, the mortgage industry’s foreclosure scams have destroyed lives, stripped wealth; turned county land and court records into crime scenes, and decimated parts of Ohio. Ohio courts have surveyed the damage, and appear to be cleaning up the massive frauds upon its Honorable Courts.

Court reverses Freddie Mac v. Rufo

OHIO COURT OF APPEALS
11th DISTRICT
To the extent this court’s prior holdings in Cart, supra; Yeager, supra; Behrens, supra; and Shaffer, supra, are inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s holding in Schwartzwald that standing is jurisdictional,  we overrule our holdings.


Opinion also cites Pratts: "When the trial court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, its final judgment is VOID."

 

12/19/12

Fireworks in open court: Judge Out of Control During Foreclosure Trial 

The judge implied that he is not going to allow a homeowner to stay in their homes without paying their mortgage even if the bank screwed up. When I asked to read the appellate opinions into the record regarding the paragraph 22 defense, his response was basically that he did not care about the letter they sent and the fact that they filed a foreclosure action alone is good enough for him.

Fighting Florida Foreclosures In the thousands of cases I have handled, I do not recall ever asking a judge to disqualify themselves, but what is going on in Miami-Dade county before certain judges is a travesty of justice. I see homeowner after homeowner losing their homes every day without regard to due process of law. I even saw Judge Alan Schwartz force a case to trial when the homeowner had a Motion to Dismiss pending that had not been ruled on yet. So, the homeowner did not even get to file any affirmative defenses! 

Judges can be civilly and criminally liable too, if someone wants to pursue it.

Foreclosure Defense in Miami-Dade

Punishing homeowners for going to trial. Wow. Just … wow. That alone is nuts. Candidly, I told that story to a local judge (not a fellow defense attorney – a local JUDGE), and he couldn’t believe it. 

Mark Stopa, Esq. Wow, what a nightmare. As each trial started, the judge made an unsolicited “offer” to defense counsel of a 120-day sale date, advising the defendant that if he/she did not take the deal, the “offer” would be off the table after the trial. That was the judge’s routine procedure – without hearing any evidence, or knowing anything about the facts of the case, the judge was essentially telling the homeowner “you better consent to judgment and accept a sale date in 120 days or I’m going to rule against you and set an earlier sale date.”

Foreclosure Attorney violated rules by having others sign his name, court finds

Affidavits are the written equivalent of taking the stand to testify under oath and Maryland law does not allow for them to be signed by a proxy.

Baltimore Sun The decision against Dore is the latest stemming from a series of petitions by the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission against lawyers who, during the height of the foreclosure crisis, cut corners in thousands of foreclosure cases in order to manage overwhelming workloads. So far, one attorney has been reprimanded by the state's highest court for such behavior and several other cases are working their way through the legal system.

12/18/12

Banks Using Paid Spinners to Undermine Blogs and Other News Media

It is my premise that most of the mortgage liens during 2001-2-11 were not perfected which means they cannot be enforced.

It is my premise that the note, whether the original is presented as a signed original or not (they are very good at faking it) presents material variations from law, fact and the expectations of the actual lender. 

Industry underwriting rules were abandoned because there was no risk to the intermediaries in the false securitization chains by which they now claim a right to payment or a right to foreclose.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

The investor would not have advanced money for bogus mortgage bonds if they knew the real deal on the loans offered and the borrower would have been in a position to know the real terms as set forth in bond indenture instead of the partial truth exhibited in the note. The fundamental purpose of TILA — to give the consumer choice in the marketplace — was thus removed.

The document trail starts and compounds violations of basic law — that each transaction must be supported by consideration.

The real debt owed to the real creditor is not correctly stated in virtually any of the declaration of default, foreclosure or auction and in many cases might be zero resulting from the trillions of dollars made in “proprietary trading” conducted by the investment banks or their affiliates. These “trades” were sham trades by which investor money was used for “trading.”

12/18/12

Pushing to Expose Known Robo-Signor Beverly Mitrisin

Mrs. Huml and her attorney have filed complaints to report the use and filing of false documents to take Huml's home, even though Mrs. Huml claimed she never missed a payment.

Richard Roman, Esq. From Mrs. Huml's letter: "This action is not only unprofessional, but also not legal.  

Ms. Mitrisin's actions have displaced thousands of people to include the elderly and single moms."

Document includes Freddie's plan to evict during Christmas moratorium

12/18/12

We’ve Nationalized the Home Mortgage Market. Now What?

With little planning and paltry public discussion, the government has almost completely taken over the American home mortgage market. Banks and other for-profit financial services companies lend money to homeowners, but without the guarantees and other support the government provides, the housing market would barely be functioning now.

ProPublica Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-controlled housing giants, guaranteed 69 percent of new mortgages in the first nine months of the year, up from about 27 percent share in 2006, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. Meanwhile, the Federal Housing Authority and the Department of Veteran's Affairs currently back another 21 percent of mortgages, up from just 2.8 percent in 2006. Altogether, 9 of every 10 new mortgages are backed by the U.S. taxpayer, up from three in 10 in 2006.
12/18/12

Neil Barofsky Meets with Occupy Wall Street

One of his major themes was that the unwillingness to mete out meaningful punishments to miscreant banks means that the authorities are providing incentives to engage in criminal activity. It’s now more profitable to break rules than abide by them. Barofsky stressed that the current form of corruption was worse than having officials take bribes; at least you could catch people like that and when you did, their behavior was recognized as outside the pale.

naked capitalism By contrast, Barofsky stressed that the officialdom honestly believes things that most of us would regard as nonsensical, such as bank executives can be relied upon to behave responsibly, the SEC and Department of Justice have done a good job on the financial services front given their limited resources. Barofsky stressed didn’t see a way to break the dynamic. He believes a crisis is inevitable, given that we are now rewarding predatory, destructive behavior, and thinks that financial services industry critics and the public need to be ready to put forward a reform agenda when it occurs.

12/18/12

Lender won't let homeowner pay off mortgage of $2,200.

Diane Ham is done with Ocwen, her mortgage servicing company.

Her mortgage balance is $2,289 so she asked for a pay off and Ocwen sent her a statement for $8,507.56. "I was just overwhelmed," she said.

Home Equity Theft Reporter Attorney Tim Pribisco with the Oughton Law firm said most mortgage agreement have a provision for the lender to recover foreclosure fees if it has to retain an attorney, but there has to be a foreclosure. "If there's no foreclosure action started, what are the foreclosure fees?" asked Pribisco.
 

12/17/12

Deutsche chief blasted for call to complain over raid

Images of armed police cordoning off its twin-tower head office in Germany's financial capital were broadcast round the world on Wednesday, in a new public relations setback for a bank grappling with other legal headaches as well as major managerial and cultural change in the wake of the global banking crisis.

Reuters After some 500 tax inspectors, police and public prosecutors had descended on offices of Germany's biggest bank and homes of some of its staff, Fitschen telephoned Hesse premier Volker Bouffier, a member of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), to complain about the high-profile raid - even though the premier's office was not directly responsible for overseeing the action.

"Nobody in Germany is above the law. Mr. Fitschen is giving the impression that he hasn't understood this,"

12/17/12

Banks Seek a Shield in Mortgage Rules

As regulators complete new mortgage rules, banks are about to get a significant advantage: protection against homeowner lawsuits.

DealBook Even a more modest legal shield would still favor the banks, says Alys Cohen, a lawyer at the National Consumer Law Center. In legal terms, it “presumes” from the outset that the banks have met the qualified mortgage standards. Borrowers merely get the chance to “rebut” that presumption. “You are still putting the finger on the scale on the side of the lender,” she said. “The burden for the borrower is still huge.”

Where is Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy on Big Bank Crimes and Obama?

Last week’s big revelation on banking is that it is now official Department of Justice policy under Obama that big banks and their executives are above the law.

naked capitalism One key question is why it is that Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, a former prosecutor, is utterly unwilling to do any investigation or oversight into this critical policy question? Leahy runs the Judiciary Committee in the Senate, and it would be impossible to find a more obvious topic for that committee to address. It’s not that there isn’t interest in the Senate.
12/17/12

Attorney Bruce Levitt on Saving Homes from Foreclosure in New Jersey

Just over a month ago, the New Jersey Court of Appeal handed down a couple of decisions that are not favorable to homeowners fighting to stay in their homes… there’s been a state Supreme Court decision that hasn’t helped either

Mandelman Matters And with 200,000 homes at risk of foreclosure, the new decisions could not have come at a worse time.
It’s not hopeless, however, Bruce Levitt is still fighting in the Garden State’s courts, and on this Mandelman Matters Podcast he’ll tell you what’s working and what’s not… and how he thinks you are most likely to save your New Jersey home from foreclosure.
12/17/12

Foreclosure Rescue Operator Gets 40 Months For 13 Felonies In Connection With $120K Homeowner Ripoff

Home Equity Theft Reporter A woman was sentenced 4 years in prison for scamming over $120,000 from homeowners in foreclosure.
12/14/12

All Defendants Sentenced in More Than $20 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme Led by Former Dallas Cowboy 

FBI - Dallas Eugene Lockhart, Jr. was sentenced this week by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to 54 months in federal prison and ordered to pay approximately $2.4 million in restitution following his guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, stemming from his leadership role in a massive mortgage fraud scheme that he and others ran in the Dallas area from approximately 2002 to 2005.
12/17/12

Cheat Sheet: BofA Supplied Default Answers for ‘Independent’ Foreclosure Claims Reviewers

ProPublica Advocates for homeowners aren't convinced. "It's hard to imagine" that Promontory's reviewers weren't influenced by having the bank's answers right in front of them, said Alys Cohen of the National Consumer Law Center. "As a result it seems obvious that the earlier reviews should be re-reviewed."

12/17/12

Upholding Schwartzwald

NATIONSTAR was not a party to the contract

OHIO COURT OF APPEALS
6th DISTRICT 
Although not a party to the contract, Nationstar filed a foreclosure complaint against Appellants.

Nationstar v. Van Cott

Ohio COA Reverses Foreclosure Judgment based on Schwartzwald

Bank of America v. Kutchta

OHIO COURT OF APPEALS
9th DISTRICT 
IT WAS AN ABUSE OF DISCRETION FOR THE TRIAL COURT TO DENY APPELLANTS’ 60(B) MOTION TO VACATE WITHOUT HOLDING A HEARING.
We reverse and remand the case so that the trial court may apply Fed. Home Loan Mtge. Corp. v. Schwartzwald

Sandy Hook Shooter's Mother Collected Guns In Preparation For Economic Collapse

Business Insider “Last time we visited her in person, we talked about prepping – are you ready for what could happen down the line, when the economy collapses?
12/17/12

Mortgage Litigation Roundup: 

Five Signs That Plaintiffs Are Winning the RMBS War

Second Amended Verified Complaint in Bear Stearns v. EMC Mortgage

The Amended Complaint contains the detailed results of an extensive file review of the loans at issue, revealing that well over 80% of the loans in the Trust were found to materially breach reps and warranties, and laying out some of most egregious underwriting errors

This is the first bondholder suit of which I’m aware to include these charges, as the Amended Complaint notes that discovery obtained in other suits against EMC shows a pattern of denying investor repurchases while seeking compensation from third party originators for the very same defects. 

Subprime Shakeout While the mainstream media has seemed to tire a bit of this story over the last year, in part as a result of the lack of headline-grabbing criminal prosecutions or dramatic case resolutions, it is just now starting to return to the topic in a big way. 

We’re reaching a critical point of reckoning in the arc of post-crisis litigation – the inflection point at which banks can stall no longer and must either acknowledge the true cost of their and their affiliates’ irresponsible lending or risk trials and adverse judgments. Importantly, we are beginning to see clear victors emerge in the litigation battles that had been raging in board rooms and court rooms over the last four years. This, in turn has forced banks to launch flank attacks at some of their most ardent litigation counterparties.

What’s interesting about this filing, is that it’s direct evidence of a development that discovery obtained by the monolines in their more advanced litigation against the banks would embolden bondholders and provide them with a treasure trove of ammunition to use in their own lawsuits.

12/17/12

HSBC Too Big To Jail, Too Big To Nail

What’s troubling, and not the least bit ironic, is this is the same government that screams that homeowners who strategically default are creating a moral hazard.

Roy Oppenheim Oppenheim Law Wall Street has been given the road map to the land of Business As Usual. Just get as big as you want, do whatever you want, and have no fear of being caught. You will still be off-limits from criminal prosecution.
If corporations are in fact people, then you have to prosecute them like people.
12/17/12

The Facebook fraudster and the key to prosecuting the robosigners

In this case the feds have provided Eric Schneiderman the blueprint on how to prosecute the banks.

Roy Oppenheim Oppenheim Law So if one man's attempt to defraud another man out of partial ownership of one company (albeit one as big as Facebook) constitutes massive fraud, how would you define the banks' use of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents to bring foreclosure after foreclosure?
12/17/12

S.E.C. Says Asset Firm Manipulated Trades to Enrich Some Clients

Mr. Eichler’s scheme, the government said, allowed his accounts and those of favored clients to earn $4.1 million in illegal profits, while he saddled the hedge funds with trading losses of about $4.4 million.

NY Times In a civil action filed in Federal District Court in Los Angeles, the Securities and Exchange Commission said that Mr. Eichler had perpetrated a “cherry-picking” scheme, steering profitable trades into his personal accounts while allocating money-losing investments into hedge funds that he managed.

Aletheia was started in 1997 by Mr. Eichler, a former Bear Stearns executive.

12/16/12

Deutsche Bank Probes Claims of Deleted E-Mails in Tax Probe

Bloomberg After an initial raid in 2010, Deutsche Bank was asked to hand over information about 40 employees, Der Spiegel said. Deutsche Bank deleted 20,000 e-mails and handed over no e-mails relating to nine of the employees, the magazine said.

12/16/12

Closing Attorney Rip-Off left homeowners with double mortgages

For the formal charges, see U.S. v. Provost.

The New Jersey Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection was established to reimburse clients who have suffered a loss due to dishonest conduct of a member of the New Jersey Bar.

Home Equity Theft Reporter According to the Fund's website, for loss claims that are determined to be eligible for a reimbursement there currently is a limit of $400,000 per claimant for claims arising after January 1, 2007 and an aggregate maximum for claims against a single attorney of $1,500,000. 
For similar funds established to reimburse clients who have suffered a loss due to the dishonest conduct of attorneys in other states see:
Directory Of Lawyers' Funds For Client Protection (courtesy of the American Bar Association);
Check the USA Client Protection Funds Map;
12/15/12

Detroit law students move to Vacate Order granting Wrongful Evictions 

Home Equity Theft Reporter Shockingly, the Receiver obtained the order without providing the homeowners any opportunity to contest the motion. The Receiver failed to serve notice on the affected homeowners stating that their rights would be affected through the motion. The Receiver seeks to take the properties without filing a complaint, obtaining a summons, or even adding the homeowners as parties to the proceeding.

12/15/12

Do Our Nation’s Courts and Corrupt Governments Have a Moral Responsibility to Confirm Foreclosure and Banking Crimes?

The bank’s courtrooms (they are not the people’s courtrooms anymore) are littered with cases where fundamental facts verified as true were not at all true. Evidence of this is found in the ex parte substitutions of party plaintiff, the assignments of bid, the quit claim deeds which transfer the mortgage or property at issue from the party who verified under penalties of perjury that it owned and held the debt to a substituted third party. But has anyone ever been held accountable when there were genuine misstatements of fact at the inception of the lawsuit? Of course not…never.

Matt Weidner, Esq. But what is the much larger and universal deceit that permeates the fraudclosure are the statements which appear consistently in foreclosure complaints that, “Bank of America (Chase, Citi, Wells) Owns and Holds the Note and Mortgage”. What we all understand now…and it’s a revelation that’s becoming more and more clear with each passing day is that “The Banks”, (the servicers) do not own anything. The mortgage debt being foreclosed upon by The Banks, by and large, is owned by Fannie/Freddie and countless unknown and unidentified domestic and foreign trusts. Digging one step deeper down the rabbit hole, Fannie and Freddie are not the ultimate owners of the debt…they’ve sold that off to other domestic and foreign interests….those layers deep owners are the real landlords of this new Amerikan serfdom. And while we’re at it, Fannie and Freddie are lying to Congress and the American people about the exact amount of money they are sandbagging from the American people.
12/14/12

Counterfeiting conspirator gets 27 months  plus $4,600 in restitution

How many years will foreclosure-mill attorneys get for passing millions of dollars in counterfeit documents?

LubbockOnline Tomas Vasquez has also pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony — a crime that involves having knowledge that a felony was being committed and not reporting it to legal authorities. 

In sentencing Moreno, U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings also ordered him to participate with his co-defendants in paying $4,600 in restitution.

12/14/12

Deutsche Bank’s $12 Billion in Hidden Losses: Why Whistleblower Charges Have Merit and Why They Matter

For 3 employees in a bank, 2 of whom were pretty senior, to speak up about the same deal, something unusual was happening.

naked capitalism Even more astonishing is what the bank apparently did to hedge against this faulty hedge — yes, that’s right, this is yet another example of a hedge of a hedge gone wrong. From the Financial Times:

“A person close to Deutsche Bank says the bank hedged its exposure by betting that the S&P 500 stock index would drop.”
12/14/12

Zombie Homeowners!

Angelo Mozilo's Theory of the Financial Crisis

The Big Picture this morning posted the transcript of the deposition of Angelo Mozilo taken in connection with MBIA's lawsuit against Bank of America over loans Countrywide originated.

CNBC How has Mozilo managed to armor his conscience against the slings and arrows of reality? He's used a very self-serving narrative of the financial crisis. According to Mozilo, there was nothing wrong with the loans Countrywide made. Instead, something went wrong with the borrowers when home prices fell. Like in some kind of zombie movie, Americans somehow turned evil.

Ex-process server convicted of more counts in affidavit scheme

A jury convicted former process server Maurice Carroll on Friday of 17 forgery counts in a scheme to file false affidavits in Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas justice courts.

h/t HETR Carroll, 43, a former Las Vegas police officer, was previously convicted of 17 counts of filing false court documents and one count of obtaining money under false pretenses in the 2010 scheme.

"I think it's finally caught up with him," Chief Deputy District Attorney Mike Staudaher said afterward.

When is it going to "catch up" with the foreclosure-mill lawyers?

Macon County sues Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac over transfer taxes

Macon County also wants its suit to be certified as class-action to include all 102 counties in Illinois.

Fox Illinois Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not governmental bodies, Macon County officials argue, saying they “are, and have been, private, publicly traded corporations since approximately 1968.” A Michigan judge agreed earlier this year in a similar suit there, saying the entities are not exempt from the transfer taxes because they are excise taxes, not direct taxes.

12/14/12

Colorado Failing… Foreclosures By Wink, Nod or Text Message

You won’t believe how badly they FAILED in this state, to change an obviously corrupt law into something with a modicum of common sense. I had some fun with it, so it should be worth a few laughs… as it infuriates you until you’re ready to scream.

But clearly, the people of Colorado can’t give up.

Mandelman Matters This past year, Colorado’s legislature failed to pass HB-1156, a bill introduced by Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver), that would have stopped a practice that started six-years ago that allows lawyers representing banks seeking to foreclose to simply file a document stating that their client has the right to foreclose.
Known as the “statement of qualified holder,” it doesn’t require a lawyer to look at anything that shows the bank holds the original mortgage, but even more stunning is that it also provides lawyers with complete absolution from any wrongdoing or penalty should it later be found that the statement signed was wrong.
In light of the crimes we’ve seen committed by foreclosure mills over the last two years, this bill not passing in Colorado is pretty stunning.
12/14/12

Family’s foreclosure nightmare lasted for years

dallasnews He saw the confusion in his own paperwork when the loan principal doubled. “Instead of fixing the balance, they were so inundated, they rubber-stamped everything foreclosed,” he said. “We were in complete shock.”

The house was sold out from under them. 

Then, after four months of “terror,” Zetterlund was made aware of an email from a Bank of America attorney admitting that it was a wrongful foreclosure.

12/14/12

Quelle Surprise! OCC Confirms that Big Banks are Badly Managed, Lack Adequate Risk Management Controls

Get a load of the opening paragraphs of the American Banker story:
"Think corporate governance at the largest banks is weak? You’re right, but you probably have no idea just how right you are."

naked capitalism American Banker has an article up that is astonishing in that it tells us that the main regulator of national banks, the OCC, has confirmed one of our ongoing complaints: that the controls at the biggest banks are inexcusably weak. The OCC is the last place you’d expect to hear this from; historically it’s been a major enabler of banks playing fast and loose with the rules. And the implication is that bank execs should be wearing orange jumpsuits rather than getting multi-million pay packages.

12/13/12

Senator Merkley's letter to Eric Holder

Despite these clear and blatant violations, the Department of Justice refused to bring criminal charges against the bank, relevant employees, or senior management.

Matt Weidner, Esq. The Department appears to have firmly set the precedent that no bank, bank employee, or bank executive can be prosecuted even for serious criminal actions if that bank is a large, systemically important financial institution. This "too big to jail" approach to law enforcement, which deeply offends the public's sense of justice, effectively vitiates the law as written by Congress. 

Had Congress wished to declare that violations of money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, and a number of other illicit financial actions would only constitute civil violations, it could have done so. It did not.

"the Department is declaring that crime actually does pay."

Grassley: Justice Department’s Failure to Prosecute Criminal Behavior in HSBC Scandal is Inexcusable

This troubling lack of real enforcement will have consequences for the health of our economy and the safety and prosperity of the American people .

 

Senator Grassley Despite the fact that this is a "record"
settlement/ for a bank as gigantic as HSBC this is hardly even a slap on the wrist. It only amounts to between 9 and 11% of HBSCs profits last year alone," and is a bare fraction of the
sums left unmonitored . Additionally, the DPA states that "at least $881 million in drug proceeds" entered the U.S. financial system," but how much more remains undiscovered?

Did HSBC profit from the DPA because it actually made more than $1.92 billion by providing services to drug kingpins and terrorists? The American people may never know, because you have declined to prosecute.

Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

If you've ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you've ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or "drug paraphernalia" in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.
12/13/12

Meet the Robo-Witnesses: Foreclosure Defense Lawyer Tom Cox on New Practices in Foreclosure Fraud

Basically, we’ve moved from robo-signers to robo-witnesses, at least from Cox’ experience.

Servicers engage in a variety of dilatory tactics to basically prolong the situation and wait out homeowners with limited resources to fight in court. Here’s a perfect example in this video. A family in Maine signed up for four straight forbearance deals with their lender, only to find at the end that a $3,700 charge from a law firm had been tacked onto their loan account. “We ended up in court on this, and the lender stonewalled me on a document request for months,” Cox said. “Finally, the judge dismissed the case with prejudice.”

David Dayen - FDL Servicers and the law firms they hire to carry out this strategy feel like they don’t have to improve this part of their business, which would involve heavier capital expenses, because there are only so many people like Thomas Cox. “Fewer than 10% of all foreclosure victims have legal representation,” Cox said. “If they tie me up in court one time, that’s three other cases they can get away with.” So servicers accept the losses as part of the cost of doing business, while getting 90% of their foreclosure operations through smoothly. Under that standard, they don’t feel any pressure to operate legally, especially since the financial regulatory apparatus at the state and federal level has called off the dogs.

“It’s deeply frustrating,” Cox said about the continuing abuse of the court system. “I hope we can work to stop it.”

12/13/12

UBS Unit Is Said to Be Close to Guilty Plea in Rate-Rigging Scandal

DealBook Federal prosecutors are close to securing a guilty plea from a UBS subsidiary at the center of a global investigation into interest rate manipulation, the first big bank to agree to criminal charges in more than a decade.

12/13/12

Study projects years of foreclosures due to FHA's easy lending rules

Washington Examiner The FHA mortgage program is intended to help low and moderate income families, and first-time purchasers, to buy homes and build equity, but American Enterprise Institute Resident Fellow Edward J. Pinto said the federal agency is "engaging in practices resulting in a high proportion of low- and moderate-income families losing their homes."

12/13/12

Process Servers Say Foreclosure Crisis Puts Them in Greater Danger

Process server Michael Root says that he knows how angry foreclosure notices can make homeowners -- because one property owner almost killed him and members of his family.

AOL One process server who's observed an increase is William Greenberg, who's delivered foreclosure paperwork for 25 years. He reports being physically attacked by an angry homeowner this year -- in Florida, a state especially hard-hit by the housing downtown. The property owner, an attorney, knocked him to the ground, grabbed his neck and ripped off his server badge after he tried to present him with foreclosure documents, Greenberg said.
12/13/12

Judge: "If the trust does not give Wells Fargo the right to litigate….THEN THEY ARE OUT OF COURT"

THERE’S NO EVIDENCE THAT THE TRUST AUTHORIZED THIS FORECLOSURE!

And this is what really blows my mind…beginning at 2:26, just listen to what the good Judge says:
I hate to spin into the abyss…but Freemont Investment and Loan is not a legal entity is it?
And quite honestly, I’m not sure an entity with no legal existence can make any kind of assignment.

Matt Weidner, Esq. I cannot understand why the endorsement was on the back of the note when there was plenty of room on the front of the note.
The plaintiff in this case alleged, as officers of the court, “The conditions precedent have all been met”. 

Even in their complaint, they allege that MERS was a “nominee”, I think that’s a fiction….MERS had to make the assignment…if MERS is the Mortgagee….don’t they have to assign the note?

Oral Argument Worth watching

Zervas v. Wells Opinion

12/13/12

Che Brown Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud

Admits Using False Documents to Modify His Mortgage

U.S. Attorneys Office Che M. Brown, 44, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to a federal charge of bank fraud stemming from a scheme in which he submitted false documents to GMAC to win approval of a modification on a mortgage for his residence.
12/13/12

Too Big to Jail – Our Banking System’s Latest Disgrace

Nothing, however, was quite as it appeared. Sure, HSBC paid a record fine, but there was something vitally important missing from yesterday’s press conference: actual criminal charges for obvious criminal conduct.

Neil Barofsky Yesterday’s action now spikes the punch with a new toxin, confirmation that criminal penalties are off the table, leaving a worst-case scenario of a fine totaling far less than even a single quarter’s earnings. Given the potential profits of criminal behavior and the unlikelihood of personal consequences for the executives directing it, the message is clear: Crime pays. This will inevitably lead to more reckless risk-taking that will further undermine systemic stability and lead to an even greater financial meltdown down the road.
12/13/12

People are moving their money out of big banks

Credit Unions Grow in Popularity

NY Times We’d be remiss if we didn’t give a shout-out to the major banks for being annoying to consumers and forcing people to seek out other alternatives,” said Bob Dorsa, the president of the American Credit Union Mortgage Association
12/13/12

Oops? State demolishes recently purchased homes in Detroit, shocking new owners.

the Michigan Land Bank and Wayne County Treasurer’s Office knew homes were being auctioned off even though they were slated for demolition

Home Equity Theft Reporter What’s also disturbing about the demolition is the quality of houses that have been razed or are on the demo list. Many are large, gorgeous homes that only need a few repairs.

It’s unclear why the state would target homes that can be fixed up, rather razing houses that are a danger to the public.

12/13/12

Attorney General Marty Jackley Announces the Recipients of the National Mortgage Fraud Settlement Fund Distribution

SD Attorney General Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the Mortgage Fraud Settlement Task Force has completed its review of applications and has made a final determination as to how the approximately three million dollars in mortgage fraud settlement dollars obtained by the Attorney General’s Office will be distributed. 

12/13/12

MORTGAGE-BACKED TRUSTS USING MORTGAGE ASSIGNMENTS FROM DOCX, LLC

In tens of thousands of cases, these fraudulent documents were used by mortgage-backed trusts to show that the trust acquired a mortgage. The information on these assignments was false – the trusts did not acquire the
mortgages on the date set forth on these DocX Assignments.
Signatures were forged, notarizations were wrongly added to create an appearance of authenticity. Job titles were falsely claimed.

Lynn Szymoniak,, Esq. Investors were promised that these trusts would obtain valid mortgage assignments by the closing dates of the
trusts – but the DocX Assignments were prepared years later, often showing the trusts acquiring non-performing loans. Now that Brown has confessed, the trusts and
trustees need to explain their need for and use of these phony documents.

This is a partial list. Many more trusts will be identified that used fraudulent DocX documents. DocX was closed –
but the many other document mills that also falsified documents for mortgage-backed trusts and lenders have not yet been held accountable.

12/12/12

HSBC, too big to jail, is the new poster child for US two-tiered justice system


DOJ officials unblinkingly insist that the banking giant is too powerful and important to subject to the rule of law

Guardian UK The US is the world's largest prison state, imprisoning more of its citizens than any nation on earth, both in absolute numbers and proportionally. It imprisons people for longer periods of time, more mercilessly, and for more trivial transgressions than any nation in the west. 

But not everyone is subjected to that system of penal harshness. It all changes radically when the nation's most powerful actors are caught breaking the law. With few exceptions, they are gifted not merely with leniency, but full-scale immunity from criminal punishment.

12/12/12

How the Banks Played With Investor Money, Made Money and Claimed a Loss

The passages in this post reveal the exposure to both investors and borrowers as a result of this practice and how the investors ended up with unenforceable mortgages and notes, and the homeowners ended up with defective title, and the county recorders offices had their system of recording forever corrupted by the illicit practice under cover of hidden disclosures that enabled the banks to pull off the largest economic crime in human history.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

If you read the passages in this post carefully you can see how the banks took money from investors, made loans with part of the money, kept the rest, and then claimed losses causing insurance companies, credit default swap counterparties and the Federal government to bail out the banks when it was the investors and the borrowers who were the actual parties losing money.

There is a lot of material buried in that stack of print that supports the allegation that the lenders were pretenders and that the loan never made it into the pool. 

12/12/12

Court Seizes Assets of Greek Oligarch

An Athens court on Wednesday ordered the seizure of assets belonging to Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, a Greek oligarch whom the authorities have charged with fraud and embezzlement, and 29 of his former associates, the latest legal maneuver in a case that has underscored concerns over corruption and crony capitalism in Greece.

NY Times Prosecutors last March charged Mr. Lavrentiadis and his associates with fraud, embezzlement, forming a criminal gang, money laundering and breach of faith stemming from loans believed to have been issued by Proton Bank.  His name recently resurfaced as one of more than 2,000 Greeks appearing on the so-called Lagarde list of people said to have accounts in a Geneva branch of the bank HSBC.

 

12/12/12

AG SWANSON OBTAINS CONSENT JUDGMENT IN “ROBO-SIGNING” LAWSUIT AGAINST ONE OF COUNTRY’S LARGEST DEBT BUYERS 

This lawsuit was the first governmental action in the country against a debt buyer for filing “robo-signed” affidavits to support the debt buyer’s claims in individual lawsuits.

Minnesota Attorney General The lawsuit alleged that Midland Funding aggressively filed thousands of collections lawsuits against individuals in Minnesota courts, often supported by unreliable “robo-signed” affidavits generated at Midland’s St. Cloud, Minnesota offices. Several Midland employees admitted in sworn testimony to signing up to 400 affidavits per day, either without reading them, without personal knowledge of their contents, and/or without verifying the accuracy of the information contained in them. 
Full Post

12/12/12

Notice of Intent to Preserve Interest in California and Other states 

(also see comments to post) 

Submitted was a form reciting the legal description of the property and citing California Civil Code Title 5, Sections 880.340 and 800.350.
As in other documents that can be prepared for homeowners it is only as good as the willingness of the county recorder’s office to accept and record it. And it doesn’t do much good if the property has already been sold.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

 

As I have previously stated, ANY document that purports to grant, transfer or preserve title in the name of someone other than the mortgagee or Trustee on a deed of trust may be helpful procedurally. What I mean by that is that it could force the pretender lender into a judicial foreclosure and it might lay the groundwork for a lawsuit seeking to force the parties to answer the Qualified Written Request or Debt Validation Letter.

You still need to prove your case.

12/12/12

Study Shows a Pattern of Risky Loans by F.H.A.

The report’s loss estimates are somewhat surprising given that the loans it examined were made after the mortgage crisis became evident.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

A new and extensive analysis of 2.4 million loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration in recent years shows a pattern of risky lending that could generate $20 billion in losses and harm thousands of the nation’s most vulnerable borrowers. By ignoring risks in loans it insured in 2009 and 2010, the study concludes, the F.H.A. is imperiling both borrowers and taxpayers who stand behind the agency.
12/12/12

It’s on: Elizabeth Warren versus Wall Street

Washington Post Republicans have long derided Elizabeth Warren for describing herself as an intellectual godmother of Occupy Wall Street. Now the intellectual godmother of Occupy Wall Street will occupy the Senate committee that oversees it.
12/12/12

Understanding Dodd-Frank

Joy of Tax & Litigation Law Graphic illustration about the Dodd-Frank Act, including how big it is and who will be affected the most.

12/12/12

FORECLOSURE-MILL ADVERTISES...

"Cradle to Grave Foreclosure"

MSFraud may be a little more sensitive because we know about the many who lost their lives to stress-induced heart attacks, shootings and suicides, etc. caused by illegal foreclosures.

DSnews MSFraud can provide authorities with enough certifiable evidence to put Mr. O'Boyle and his arrogance in prison. But so far, the only prosecutors we found in Texas - resemble Pee Wee Herman.

12/12/12

More Foreclosures, More Bankruptcies?

Five million homes lost to foreclosure by next month in the current foreclosure crisis. Many bankruptcy cases have been filed to try to save homes, or, get out of mortgage debt still owed after the foreclosure process.

According to Dr. Housing Bubble, there are still another five million homes at risk of being foreclosed.

Filing bankruptcy does stop foreclosure.

Mortgage Law Network One of the foreclosure crisis consequences is the increased number of homes for sale, after being foreclosed.

More supply, price goes down. Price goes down, more homes underwater, cannot be sold or re-financed, get foreclosed, and the vicious spiral continues.

But the mortgage companies do not put all of their REO, Real Estate Owned, properties up for sale when they take title through the foreclosure process.
12/12/12

Sua Sponte Dismissal Of A Foreclosure Action Is Inappropriate Where Willfulness Is Not Shown And Discovery Is Outstanding

The trial court sua sponte dismissed the case because the appellant failed to prosecute the case to final disposition within the 60 days. The Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the order of dismissal and discussed the trial court’s use of a dismissal as a remedy and a sanction:

JDSupra It is uniformly held that dismissal is a drastic remedy which courts should employ only in extreme situations.” [citation omitted] In using dismissal as a sanction, a court must find that the party's conduct is “willful or contumacious,” and it must make such a finding in the written order. [citation omitted]… “As a general rule, ‘a court should not enter summary judgment when the opposing party has not yet completed discovery.’ ” [citation omitted] Id.

Anson Street v. Rosado

12/12/12

SWAT team trying to serve eviction notice at south Clovis home

Fresno Bee Fresno County law-enforcement officials called out a SWAT team today as an extra precaution as they try to serve an eviction notice at a barricaded, foreclosed home in south Clovis.
12/12/12

Professor: Not requiring court approval of foreclosures has aided AZ’s recovery

Indicting the criminals stealing homes will cause the entire country to recover.

AzCapitolTimes Not requiring mortgage lenders to take foreclosure cases to court is helping Arizona recover from the housing crisis faster than states that do, according to an Arizona State University researcher.

12/12/12

Family Victimized By Mortgage Scam Fights To Keep Home

An Omaha mother of five opened something that was hardly a holiday gift. It was an email from federal authorities confirming she's a victim of a mortgage scam. Now the family is fighting to keep their home.

The 1st American Law Center has been exposed by consumer advocates and busted by federal authorities. “It’s justice to know they won't be dong that to anyone else." But justice doesn't pay the mortgage.

WOWT The family paid 1st American Law Center of Oceanside, California $3,500 to negotiate a lower monthly rate with their lender and advised Melissa to stop mortgage payments until that was done. It was bad advice because the lender never agreed and is threatening foreclosure. “I just hope and pray they will let us slowly pay so we would be able to remain in this house.”

The victims of this loan scam are now getting threatening calls from their mortgage company. Still, they don't want their children to feel victimized as well so they promise gifts will be under the Christmas tree this year.

12/12/12

Quicken Loans ruling a win for consumers.

Recht awarded almost $600,000 in attorneys fees and litigation costs, then used that amount to help determine the amount of punitive damages owed to Lourie Brown.

Home Equity Theft Reporter “We… consider it to be a significant victory for the Browns and consumers throughout the State of West Virginia that the Supreme Court found that the attorneys fees that the Browns were awarded as a result of the tremendous amount of work done by their attorneys can be considered as part of the ratio when analyzing the appropriate amount of punitive damages to be awarded,” Bordas said.
12/12/12

From Bernie Madoff to Steven Cohen, Enabling Suspiciously High Returns

ProPublica  
12/12/12

Simelane: You can't end what never truly began

Simelane’s employment as NDPP was declared void ab initio by the Constitutional Court, and there is no contract to negotiate about and no right to any golden handshake flowing from a contract that does not exist. Any payment made to Mr Simelane would therefore be unlawful and tantamount to corruption.

Daily Maverick To hold otherwise would be legally wrong and would lead to absurd consequences.  

The point taken here with regards to unlawful foreclosure, is that any payment received by a bank that is not legally entitled to the money would be unlawful and tantamount to corruption. MSF

12/12/12

Bank Fraud: Underlings Arrested, Banks Too Big to Indict

In spite of all the billions paid in penalties for fraud committed, the economic loss that resulted was much larger, in the trillions according to Bloomberg. 

Global Economic Intersection With total losses including penalties, fines and settlements amounting perhaps $200 - $250 billion (see "Mortgage Mess Liabilities Sap Banks"), banks and banksters are getting away with fraud on a grand scale by paying pennies on the dollar of total damages and totally escaping criminal prosecution.
The question raised previously is how far down the list does (TBTI) too big to indict extend. The history described above indicates it goes down the top bank list at least to # 30 (Goldman Sachs). Shown below for reference is the top 40 list from relbanks.com:

12/11/12

The Servicers (Banks/Debt Collectors) DO NOT OWN THE NOTES….

They Are Merely Acting As Debt Collectors For Fannie/Freddie

The mortgage loan originator, seller, or servicer; any service bureau; or
any other party providing services in connection with servicing a mortgage
loan for, or delivering a mortgage loan to Fannie Mae, will have no right
to possession of these documents
and records except under the conditions
specified by Fannie Mae.

Matt Weidner, Esq. Now, when, “The Bank” comes into court asserting the right to throw a homeowner into the street, the real question is…..
WHO IS DIRECTING “THE BANK” TO DO SO…AND…IS THERE ANY PROOF OF THIS?
Well, I asked our courts to consider this, to provide some direction, but they declined to do so. Apparently such minor little details have no place in a court of law. After all, isn’t possession of the note enough? (Ignoring for a moment the fact that even if in possession, such possession is limited by the terms of the contract.) 

FANNIE MAE SERVICING GUIDELINES

12/11/12

Homeowners deserve a fair chance for foreclosure reviews

With the opportunity coming to a close for more than 4 million struggling homeowners to apply for free and independent reviews of the foreclosure actions against them, it’s time to push back the December 31 deadline.

The Hill So far, of the more than 4.4 million homeowners who are potentially eligible for no-cost, third-party reviews under the Independent Foreclosure Review program, only about 260,000 cases are being processed.

The program, which covers foreclosures initiated, pending or completed during 2009 or 2010 has helped less than 6 percent of all those who are potentially eligible, with the cut-off date set for the end of this year. 

12/11/12

Why isn’t this a front page story nationwide?

Even though this is no longer breaking news, it still belongs on the front page of every paper in the country and should be the lead story on every newscast. I’ll tell you why:

Whatever the banks thought about the robo-signing being “sloppy” before, once Lorraine Brown admitted that virtually every document coming out of DOCX/LPS was a forgery and that ALL documents coming out of DOCX/LPS were suspect, the banks that had court cases pending using DOCX/LPS documents had an obligation to either withdraw the documents and/or withdraw the lawsuits and other foreclosure proceedings.

Cynthia Kouril - FDL It is a crime (common law fraud) to knowingly use a false, perjured, forged, fraudulent document as “evidence” in court. The specific statute violated will vary from state to state, but it is impossible to conceive that there is a single state where this is legal. If I’m wrong about that, I’m sure someone from the fraud-allowing state will set me straight in the comments. This is certainly a violation of federal criminal law, for example 18 USC §§ 371, 1341, 1342, and 1343 and 39 USC§§ 1341 and 1342.

This also means that the 50 state settlement notwithstanding, the Department of Justice and every attorney general in the country have a brand new, slam dunk, open and shut case against every single bank that is still allowing a foreclosure case to go forward based on DOCX/LPS false evidence.

THAT, my friends, is front page news. And getting it to the front page is essential so that judges know they are being hoodwinked, and homeowners know they should be making Motions to Dismiss. DOJ clearly knows about the Lorraine Brown guilty plea since the 13th hour press release came out of Main Justice instead of from the Middle District of Florida press office.

12/11/12

Colorado family faces eviction after son was found shoplifting

abc15 A poor family in Grand Junction, Colo. faces eviction after a 13-year-old boy stole a pair of shoes from a department store.
Tanya Abbey says she and her three children face spending Christmas in a homeless shelter after her teen son was caught shoplifting a pair of shoes because his shoes were worn out and his feet were cold.
12/11/12

Fifth Third Bancorp Declares Eviction Suspension During Holidays

Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB ) said it will postpone eviction processing from Dec. 17 to Jan. 2 for bank-owned mortgages that have been foreclosed, continuing an effort by lenders in recent years to put a halt on evictions during the holiday season.

NASDAQ "We are suspending evictions through the start of the new year to help our customers who are experiencing financial hardships find relief this holiday season," said Steven Alonso, executive vice president and head of Fifth Third's Consumer Bank.

12/11/12

 

Go after the banks, lawyers and judges who are openly aiding and committing these same crimes! 

Consumer Financial Agency Closes in on Another Bogus Mortgage Relief Outfit

"We are taking on schemes that prey on consumers who are struggling to pay their mortgages or facing foreclosure," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a news release. "We are especially concerned with those who misrepresent government programs or websites to divert distressed homeowners from needed assistance."

Legal Times A Central District court in California  granted the CFPB's request for a temporary restraining order, writing that there was "good cause" to believe the defendants have violated the Dodd-Frank Act and Regulation O, formerly known as the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule, and that the CFPB is "likely to prevail on the merits of this action." The order includes the appointment of a temporary receiver and asset freeze.

Again. Go after the banks, lawyers and judges who are openly aiding and committing these same crimes! 

12/11/12

CFTC Issues Broader Interpretive Exclusion From Commodity Pool Regulation for Securitizations, and No-Action Advice “Grandfathering” Some Securitizations and Extending Temporary Registration Relief Until March 31, 2013

Bingham Although the exclusion is broad, the Division noted that it was not broad enough to include covered bonds, asset-backed commercial paper vehicles, collateralized debt obligations, collateralized loan obligations, insurance-related securities and synthetic securitizations, because at that time the Division was unable to conclude that all such entities (or a portion of their assets, operations or activities) would not properly be considered to be commodity pools.
12/11/12

All bank crimes forgiven with a fine.

HSBC Settles $1.9bn For Aiding Drug Lords, Terrorists And Rogue States

Huff Post "The scandal cost the bank's head of compliance David Bagley his job. But Green escaped largely unscathed despite having been in charge of the bank at the time the transgressions are said to have taken place," he wrote.
12/11/12

HSBC to Pay $1.9 Billion Fine for Money Laundering

It seems the Federal Government has finally woken up and is making a show of being serious about one type of bank misbehavior, that of money laundering. The striking element about the agreement with various Federal agencies and the Department of Justice is that nearly $1.3 billion of the $1.9 billion fine comes in the form of a deferred prosecution agreement.

naked capitalism The grounds for the criminal part appear to be money laundering for 

Iran. So why did HSBC get the book thrown at them when Standard Chartered was laundering the Iranian government’s biggest source of foreign exchange, its oil revenues, on behalf of the central bank, and Treasury and other Federal regulators, was a mere $330 million when New York State got $340 million? Admittedly, there is one difference: here, US regulators had already told the bank to shape up and it failed to do so.

12/11/12

Libor: Three Men Arrested In Connection With Rigging Interbank Lending Rate

The government department, which is responsible for investigating and prosecuting serious and complex fraud, launched an inquiry into the entire banking sector.

Huff Post It came after a number of traders at Barclays were found to have rigged Libor to boost profits and bonus rewards, while the bank was also accused of lowering submissions in a bid to alter the perception of the lender's finances.

The claims ultimately led to the resignation of Barclays boss Bob Diamond, sparked a criminal investigation and became the focal point of a bitter row in Westminster over ethics in the banking sector.

HSBC to Pay $1.92 Billion to Settle Charges of Money Laundering

DealBook But the threat of criminal prosecution acts as a powerful deterrent. If authorities signal such actions are remote for big banks, the threat could lose its sting.

12/10/12

Ohio TITLE AGENTS: Be Aware of Recent Ohio Case Law


Since lack of jurisdiction cannot be cured by the passage of time, defeated with a laches or bona fide purchaser defense and impervious to prospective application, we must now take the steps to except the result of the Schwartzwald case entirely.

General Title Blog For all Ohio refinance transactions and the issuance of an Ohio preliminary judicial report, please use the following exception language:
“The Policy does not insure, and the Company will not be liable for attorney’s fees and defense costs, against loss or damage by reason of an attempt to VOID and set aside the foreclosure judgment and subsequent sale, or a decree VOIDING and setting aside the foreclosure judgment and subsequent sale occurring prior to the Date of Policy by reason of lack of standing and jurisdiction.”
12/10/12

After Court Ruling, Legislation, Non-Judicial Foreclosures Stalled In Oregon

Oregon has seen has seen a slow, yet steady decline in its foreclosure rates. That is until last July, when non-judicial foreclosures in the state all but disappeared. Some loan servicers have begun taking debtors to court. But others seem to be taking a "wait-and-see" approach.

Daily Astorian For Clair Klock of Corbett, the timing couldn't have been much worse. He and his wife agreed to take out a loan on behalf of a family member. The plan was that the family member would eventually refinance. That was in 2006. When the recession hit, Klock and his wife, who are in their 60's and 70's, found themselves with a second mortgage on a house that was worth less than the amount of the loan. He's stopped making the payments. Now he just wants the servicer to foreclose, take the house and be done with it. But so far, that hasn't happened.
12/10/12

U.S. and U.K. Propose Plan to Deal With Bank Failures

NY TImes The plan, devised by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bank of England, would allow the regulators to fire executives, force shareholders to take losses and move a company’s operations into full private ownership without taxpayer support.
12/10/12

Is JPMorgan Chase Provoking A “Ruby Ridge” Standoff With Former Green Beret And His Disabled Son?

Chase instructed Trott & Trott to foreclose on the Reed’s home while telling Jeff Reed it was a mistake and he had nothing to worry about.

MFI-Miami In mid-January, 2011 after making their third modification payment, the Reeds received a letter from Chase indicating their modification had been denied with no explanation and a refund fund check totaling $1,445.97.
Jeff Reed immediately called Chase and was told not to worry it was only a technicality. What Chase didn’t tell Jeff Reed was that they had hired the law firm of Trott & Trott to begin foreclosure proceedings.
12/10/12

Fighting Foreclosure: Advocates Tell Homeowners To Stay Put

Austin said, "We called the bank right away. The bank would not talk to us."

OPB "We hear the same kinds of stories repeatedly, over and over - difficulty working with banks, difficulty figuring out who holds their mortgage."

If law enforcement arrives, We Are Oregon will send a text to hundreds of people who volunteered to show up in protest of evictions. 

12/10/12

Countrywide motion to seal borrower info Denied

Housing Wire As far as borrower occupational and employment information, the judge permitted the revelation of general employment information with certain information redacted to protect the borrower's identities. Borrower loan numbers will be permitted, but with truncated numbers so they are untraceable back to certain borrowers, the judge said.

12/10/12

Reverse Mortgages Pose Big Risks for Seniors, Warn Attorneys and U.S. Officials

When the McMahans applied for the reverse mortgage in 2005, Linda was under 62, so her name was not included on the reverse mortgage. When her husband died, Linda had no claim to her home of nearly two decades. She lost it.

abc News Prescott Cole, senior staff attorney for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, says seniors are a target because many have money saved, are often isolated and at times have "cognitive impairments" reducing their ability to make rational decisions.

"They're not being told about the downsides," Cole said. "When we hear about reverse mortgages, we're hearing the good things ... that these are loans that don't have to be paid back either until the senior dies or permanently moves out of the home ... they're told, nothing to worry about."

12/9/12

NYS Regulator Orders OCWEN To Hire Watchdog To Ensure Compliance With Its Mortgage Servicing Reform Promises

The action was taken after an examination by the Department found indications of Ocwen violating the agreement. The monitor will be in place for two years.

Home Equity Theft Reporter “It is not enough to have banks and mortgage servicers sign agreements promising to reform their businesses. The best unrealized reforms won’t protect homeowners. To protect homeowners facing the risk of losing their homes, we must ensure that the companies are actually living up to their promises,” Superintendent Lawsky said.

OCWEN's NEW CONSENT ORDER UNDER NEW YORK BANKING LAW§ 44

12/9/12

Foreclosure cases moving like mud


$4 million infusion of cash produces net gain of only 435 cases cleared statewide.

Kim Miller

Palm Beach Post

Judges say new foreclosure filings have nearly outpaced the number of cases they’ve been able to close as banks work on clearing defaulted loans on hold since the robo-signing freezes and pending the National Mortgage settlement, which was finalized in March.
12/9/12

Mortgage Crisis Presents a New Reckoning to Banks

The nation’s largest banks are facing a fresh torrent of lawsuits asserting that they sold shoddy mortgage securities that imploded during the financial crisis, potentially adding significantly to the tens of billions of dollars the banks have already paid to settle other cases should they lose all the litigation.

NY Times The banks are battling on three fronts: with prosecutors who accuse them of fraud, with regulators who claim that they duped investors into buying bad mortgage securities, and with investors seeking to force them to buy back the soured loans.

“We are at an all-time high for this mortgage litigation,” said Christopher J. Willis, a lawyer with Ballard Spahr, which handles securities and consumer litigation.
12/8/12

U.S. Foreclosure Rescues: Few Borrowers Overall Getting Principal Reductions

ecreditdaily Lenders have been reluctant to reduce principals, drawing criticism from homeowner advocates and forcing the Obama Administration to increase incentives to the mortgage servicers.

Sounds like the mortgage industry has found yet another way to increase profits. MSF

12/7/12

Las Vegas Approves Foreclosure Ordinance

Las Vegas Review Banks that own vacant, dilapidated properties in Las Vegas could face fines or jail time under a city ordinance approved Wednesday.

The City Council voted unanimously for an ordinance that requires banks to list empty, foreclosed properties on a registry and contains misdemeanor penalties for allowing a property to fall into disrepair.

12/7/12

California Court of Appeal's Disqualifies Judge from Largest Predatory Lending Case

"I have been attending these court hearings and as a private citizen I am appalled at the ease to which these judges are disregarding the laws of California and refusing to apply them to the Merritts as they do for lawyers." SPENCER GRAVES

PRWEB The Merritts will now be assigned another Judge; however, according to declarations of Mr. Merritt which are n file in this case, he is alleging that there seems to be a systemic practice by Judges to team up with one another and fail to equally apply the law due to his efforts to expose their errors in rulings and proceedings.

MERRITT v. MOZILO (Countrywide)

12/6/12

 

MICHIGAN COURT OVERRULES CITIMORTGAGE OBJECTIONS TO DISCOVERY

The case has a phantom assignment and questionable endorsement from original lender which went out of business and was found to have engaged in fraudulent mortgage activity.

Foreclosure Defense

Nationwide

CMI’s counsel took the position, unsupported by any Affidavit or other evidence, the now all too familiar “we have the Note, it has an endorsement in blank, thus we win and everything the homeowner asks for is irrelevant” tactic.

Permanent Cease and Desist Order Against Digital World Financial Inc

12/6/12

GMAC Bailout on the Brink


Judge Set to Rule on Case that Could Reverse Auto Bailout

Free Beacon

h/t Matt Weidner, Esq.

A New York federal judge may rule imminently on a case that could reverse the General Motors (GM) bailout and send the company back into bankruptcy.At issue is a backroom deal hatched by GM to fulfill the Obama administration’s demand for a quick bankruptcy, draining the automaker of nearly all of its cash on hand and leaving it in worse shape than it was when it collapsed in 2009. Kinda like a redefault.
12/6/12

Held Up Eviction Man Found Dead In Titusville Home

Brevard Times The home owner/representative had been cleaning the home on December 5th, 2012 until 10 p.m. and left the house unsecured. They returned this morning and found Hurley had gotten back into the house during the night and appeared deceased.

Hurley was found dead in bed by an apparent self-inflicted wound.

12/6/12

Khuzami Deathwatch:

SEC Ignores Tips About $12 Billion of Hidden Losses at Deutsche Bank

We didn’t anticipate that the story of Khuzami’s negligence would blow so big so quickly.

naked capitalism Today, it was reported that three separate whistleblowers charged that Deutsche Bank had mismarked up to $12 billion in exposures to make it look healthier in 2008 and 2009 than it was, yet the SEC had not acted on these allegations.
12/6/12

Independent Foreclosure Review: Event Saturday for foreclosed homeowners to have case reviewed

WPTV Participation in the review has been slow and so have payouts. So far, since the review started last November, no money has been awarded to homeowners. But no one's been denied money either. 

Despite no proof of a payout, the administrator of the review insists it's not a waste of time.  Sure sounds like it is.

11/19/12

People are Still Losing their Homes over Robo-signing Deal

BusinessWeek About half the payouts so far are being used to clear troubled mortgages but aren’t keeping people in their homes.
11/29/12

In ongoing foreclosure crisis, couple fights for their home

While IndyMac processed the Chuns' application for a loan modification, the company sold their home at a foreclosure auction. 

Austin-Post

h/t HETR

"The issue is they deserved to be treated honestly and to be told the truth," Murray said. 

"They weren't told the truth and they lost their house and they lost a lot of equity in their house as a result of that."

REPLAY

8/11/11

David Stockman: “We have a far worse fiscal situation…”

The downfall and total collapse of the American economy is precisely centered around UNREGULATED derivatives aka securities [fraud] Ponzi scheme that has been allowed to operate without oversight for too many years. 

Deadly Clear Wall Street used American mortgages (and you don’t have to be in foreclosure to be affected) as a basis and scammed investors. Many investors were the pension and retirement fund recipients, for example: government workers, unions and corporate retirement beneficiaries in America and around the world… Bilked to the tune of over $140 TRILLION! (Editor’s Note: Some economists believe the figure is likely higher than $600 TRILLION)
12/6/12

Franken-Closure

Attorney letter to CFPB and Senate Banking to take a serious review of dual signatures used to foreclose. "One signature appears to be a signature stamp; the other an original signature." 

Richard Roman, Esq. This practice, "Franken-closure", has torn the foreclosure document filing
process in EI Paso County into pieces, and then sought to reassemble or "reanimate" the process to result in a "valid" foreclosure.

Letter copied to Senate Banking Committee.

12/6/12

Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition targets Foreclosure-Mill

Examiner The Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition is participating in the nationwide action by holding a demonstration in front of the Castle-Stawiarski Law Firm (999 18th Street, Denver, CO 80202) at 12 p.m. on Thur. Dec. 6.

12/5/12

 

BOMBSHELL!~ BEWARE OF SERVICER RELEASE OF DEFICIENCY…..”Fannie Mae Owns the Notes And May Still Pursue A Deficiency”

In the attached transcript, read how the brilliant foreclosure defense attorney extracts out the stunning admissions from the Plaintiff’s Corporate Representative:

Matt Weidner, Esq. Right there in black and white, “The Bank” makes it very clear that they are not going to pursue any deficiency against the homeowner, in exchange for all their cooperation in resolving the short sale and litigation. The case is over, the homeowner has no more liability…..right?
Well, hold on there people…..
YOU MAY BE VERY, VERY WRONG…..YOU MAY STILL BE LIABLE ON THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE DEBT... BECAUSE THE DEBT IS OWNED BY FANNIE/FREDDIE!
12/5/12

MBS litigation 2.0: BofA sues trustee Wells Fargo over put-back demands

Alison Frankel Bank of America broke what I believe is new ground in mortgage-backed securities litigation. The bank brought a declaratory judgment suit against Wells Fargo, the trustee in a commercial MBS offering by BofA predecessor LaSalle Bank, requesting a judicial ruling that BofA is not required to comply with the trustee's put-back demand.
12/5/12*

LOST: Looking for the Canons of Judicial Ethics

Judicial misconduct is a touchy subject.

What else do you call it when judges violate their own canons and participate in unethical decisions that may create financial gains in their investment portfolios?

Deadly Clear In order to maintain full confidence, special dignity and integrity of the bench in the often subjective nature of the judicial decision-making process, judges have to abide by standards of conduct on a plane much higher than those for society as a whole in order to preserve ‘the integrity and independence of the judiciary. Judicial ethics, in short, have to remain pure.
12/5/12

California State Bar Leaves Homeowners to Fend for Themselves

In an unprecedented move that can only be described as stunning ignorance, the California State Bar recently released a legal opinion that will effectively deny legal representation to millions of homeowners faced with illegal foreclosure.

Richard Zombeck

Huff Post

The problem is, and this is where the complete ignorance of the Bar comes in, is that now the door is once again open for scumbags to take advantage of homeowners. Ethical attorneys won't risk disbarment by helping homeowners and the unethical ones will swoop in.
12/5/12

Using “the law” to Break the Law

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

Conservative Action Legal plunder occurs when government officials, who are charged with protecting our right to property, actually become the thieves who covet and convert our property to their own uses. In other words, they use the authority of the law to break the law.  This is EXACTLY what has and is happening!

“A lady asked Dr. Franklin Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy. A republic, replied the Doctor, if you can keep it.” Tell Congress to Uphold the Separate Powers of Government — Select here.

12/5/12

 

Our heartfelt Congratulations to Mr. Cox

For Fighting Foreclosures, a $100,000 Award

For his work, Mr. Cox is one of five people to be awarded a $100,000 Purpose Prize, given to those 60 and over who have created fresh solutions to old problems. The prize, now in its seventh year, has become a sort of MacArthur genius award for people who develop a second career as social service entrepreneurs.

2012 Purpose Prize: Thomas Cox (Maine Attorneys Saving Homes)

NY Times After 30 years of representing a bank, he retired and in 2008, during the Great Recession, he experienced a crisis of conscience and switched sides to work pro bono for people whose homes were being foreclosed on by banks.

In this case it took a banker to catch a banker. 

Mr. Cox very quickly realized that GMAC, the mortgage company he was suing in court to save Nicolle Bradbury’s $75,000 house, was mass-producing flawed paperwork to seize people’s homes illegally.

12/5/12

But will they go after banksters and lawyers?

Long sentence highlights efforts to prosecute mortgage fraud

Owings Mills man given 35-year sentence by Baltimore County judge

Con artist Rodney Getlan did not just take people's money — his actions caused them to lose their homes... JUST LIKE THE BANKS AND THEIR LAWYERS

Baltimore Sun "Rodney got what he deserved," said Lauri Hartz, who attended the court proceeding as one of nearly 50 known victims of Getlan's scheme to divert mortgage payments to his own accounts.

Prosecutors say the jail time accurately reflects the severity of Getlan's crime — and shows the ferocity with which mortgage scammers are being pursued. In the wake of the housing market collapse and fraud that helped spur the foreclosure crisis, state and federal prosecutors have taken on a growing caseload, with success.
12/4/12

Rhode Island Judge Has Stake in Pension Case Outcome

NY Times The case has raised questions and strong feelings about the overhaul in Rhode Island, a state so small that it seems as if nearly everybody has friends or family in the pension system. Could the judge see beyond the harsh effects on her own family?

Rigging the Financial System

NY Times What it does not signal — at least not yet — is that regulators, prosecutors and political leaders are using the investigation to hold banks and bankers truly accountable for the magnitude of the wrongdoing. 
12/4/12

Jamie Dimon on the Line

Comment by Sowege:

In the above article published in the November 2012 edition of Vanity Fair, writers William D. Cohan and Bethany McLean, stated that Jamie Dimon believes that his bank and he as CEO are a "force for good" in the world. When is foreclosing on thousands of decent Americans -- active duty military, veterans, widows, seniors, decent hardworking people -- considered a "force for good." 

Vanity Fair When is stringing people along by putting them in trial loan modifications with no intent of follow through a "force for good." Jamie Dimon and his minions have lied to the American people, our lawmakers, judges and juries across the land. Why? To steal our homes, destroy our lives and families, and wreak havoc on our communities. There is no justice or fairness with Jamie Dimon or Chase.

Jamie Dimon represents all that is evil in the banking industry. He is no force for good. He is an instrument for evil.

12/4/12

Appeal in Bank of America v. Demio ProSe

Bank of America files a foreclosure against a homeowner. The homeowner responds with a very simple, but very powerful defense….
I AM CURRENT ON MY MORTGAGE, I SHOULD NOT BE IN FORECLOSURE!

Matt Weidner, Esq.

A sitting judge reviewed the evidence submitted by both the big Goliath bank with all their attorneys and resources along with the clear and simple evidence submitted by the homeowner and rules…..
THIS HOMEOWNER WAS CURRENT ON HIS MORTGAGE WHEN YOU FILED FORECLOSURE…. 

CASE DISMISSED!

12/4/12

Sacramento Foreclosure Discounts: Gone!

if they bought a foreclosure or short sale property they would get a better deal than if they purchased a non-distressed house.

RocklinToday In the past buyers have come to expect  The disappearance of any significant discount for foreclosures (lender owned properties) and short sales is being caused by the low level of inventory of homes available for sale and the increasing demand from potential buyers.
12/3/12

Sheila Bair On Capital Account - MUST WATCH!

Market Watch The people who actually caused the problem were not held to account. We should see criminal cases and go after people's personal pocketbook.
12/3/12

Fannie, Freddie place evictions on hold for the holidays

The aid allows families to avoid eviction during that time, but doesn't mean the foreclosure process will be put on hold.

Reuters Fannie Mae said its eviction moratorium would apply to single-family homes and two- to four-unit properties from December 19 through January 2, 2013. Freddie Mac said it would offer the suspension from December 17 through January 2, 2013.
12/3/12

JPMorgan Gets Some Mass. Foreclosure Claims Dismissed

Fabricant dismissed claims related to the registering of real estate records.

Allegations that the banks violated state law by conducting invalid foreclosures can proceed, according to a decision by Justice Judith Fabricant of Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston dated Nov. 30.

BusinessWeek Invalid foreclosures resulting in properties with clouded titles may have caused harm to third-party purchasers “and the real estate market as a whole, and thereby to the public,” Fabricant wrote.

Coakley claimed the banks violated the state’s consumer protection law by initiating foreclosures on homes before holding the mortgage. Fabricant said that claim could move forward against the banks except Bank of America. The judge said the state didn’t identify “any instance” in which the bank conducted a foreclosure sale when it didn’t hold the mortgage, the judge said.

12/3/12

HousingWire Propaganda Not To Be Believed, Part 1: Re-Analyzing the Data

Abigail Field People defaulted because the loan mods weren’t steep enough to make them solvent. To get successful mods in the future, payment reduction needs to be enough for borrowers to be solvent again. That’s all.
12/3/12

Foreclosing on Bank may turn into a Movie

Bank of America tried to foreclose on Warren and Maureen Nyerges' Golden Gate Estates home in 2010. But their home had been fully paid for and didn't have a mortgage.

Home Equity Theft Reporter In summer 2011, Allen and the Nyergeses signed with a producer in Los Angeles and entered into a contract to make a movie. "The idea is being shopped around to movie houses but nothing has happened yet," Allen said.
12/2/12

EXPERT WITNESSES: Fraudulent Assignments of Mortgage are Void

Here we are again, the REMIC Has Failed! However, what if the loan was not actually in default? Well, 2 years later and after reviewing hundreds of Pooling and Servicing Agreements (“PSA”), the thought crossed our minds that maybe the loans were not actually shown to be in default because maybe Mr. TARP was paying off the tranches?

In the trust tranche detail excel spreadsheets we’ve examined – losses don’t start showing up until late 2010, if at all [Ed. note: some losses may have occurred earlier but those examined in our batch appeared to have been paid - by someone].

Deadly Clear The TARP bailout was due to an economic force majeure caused by Wall Street corruption that did not stem from homeowners failing to make payments. It was a much bigger Ponzi scheme than that, and we have to face the fact that these crooks were the King of CYA.

So, what’s it going to be for these banks – copping to falsifying Bloomberg Terminal and SEC records and fabricating statements provided to the investors’ management – who don’t want to know the ugly truth because they’d have to tell all the retirement and pension fund employees about the loss and the fraud?

Yup, that’s why investors aren’t screaming about the lack of proper assignments – at the homeowner’s expense… and this is where the rest of the moral hazard is hidden.

Are you getting the big picture, yet?

12/2/12

 

SF man says foreclosure stole his equity

Larry Faulks says his bank robbed him of over a quarter of a million dollars.


By selling Faulks' San Francisco house at a foreclosure auction, Wells Fargo wiped out all his equity, he said. Unlike most struggling homeowners, Faulks, 59, was not underwater on the home his family bought in 1962; it was worth considerably more than he owed on it.

SFGate "There is a huge gap in the armor that leaves (people with equity) fundamentally unprotected" in foreclosure, said Oakland real estate attorney Charles Hansen, a partner in Wendel Rosen Black & Dean.

"Home equity is highly illiquid," Hansen said. "The tragedy is, people may say, 'I have $300,000 equity in my home,' but if you cannot get at that equity and don't have the income to service your current debt, it doesn't do you any good. They end up squandering their equity trying to save their equity."

12/2/12

Bank backtracks after improper foreclosure

It was an eviction notice and offer to give her as much as $3,000 if she quietly moved out of the house she built with her husband in 1999. 

Just leave the keys, the letter from law firm Pendergast & Associates said.

After the foreclosure and eviction notices, Citi even sent a note requesting a mortgage payment from Long for the month of October, Mancini said.

ajc In the coming weeks, the state would wire CitiMortgage, the servicer for her loan, at least $13,000 to make Long’s mortgage current. But unbeknownst to the state or Long, Citi had already foreclosed, despite reaching an agreement with the program, known as Homesafe Georgia.

Long’s foreclosure shows just how little protection Georgia consumers really have. Even when they’ve been awarded state and federal assistance, homeowners can get caught by a foreclosure machine with little oversight or repercussions for errors.

12/1/12

In an F.H.A. Checkup, a Startling Number

DO we have another Fannie or Freddie on our hands — another mortgage giant headed for a rescue?

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before it, the Federal Housing Administration is suffering in a mortgage hell of its own making. F.H.A. officials say they won’t need taxpayers’ help, but we’ve heard that kind of line before.

The F.H.A. backs $1.1 trillion of American mortgages and, by the look of things, it’s in deep trouble.

12/1/12

California State Bar RECENT Decision to Cause More Harm to Homeowners in Foreclosure

You can hire one, you just can’t pay one? Seriously?

The recent decision by the state bar court now effectively prohibits the charging of fees by lawyers even AFTER services have been completed. Yes, you read that correctly.

Mandelman Matters The state bar says no, that’s not how they interpret the law. Why? I don’t know, but it seems that what we have here is something terribly corrupt and the state bar is doing the bidding of the senate banking committee and mortgage banking lobby who doesn’t want homeowners to be represented by legal counsel when trying to get their loan modified in order to save their home from foreclosure.
12/1/12

Mortgage Catch Pushes Widows Into Foreclosure

Surviving spouses are trapped without a clear way to preserve their home,” said Arabelle Malinis, a lawyer at Housing and Economic Rights Advocates in California

NY Times To stay in the home, the surviving spouse needs to take over the mortgage. But to do that, most banks require that the borrower assuming the mortgage be up-to-date on payments. Housing advocates say that their clients, especially if one spouse experienced a prolonged illness, often find they are already thousands of dollars behind.
12/1/12

The Mortgage Challenge

NY Times By favoring the voluntary cooperation of banks in reducing monthly payments for hard-pressed borrowers, they did more to shield the banks from losses than to help homeowners and stabilize the market.
Lock them up!

4/25/12*

Finding the Culprits of the Crisis

Derivatives expert Janet Tavakoli takes a hard look at what — and who — caused the financial crisis.

And we do want to call them crimes! They are crimes.

h/t Rob Harrington Many people are covering up for cronies who have a lot of money sloshing around. We threw money into the financial system with no accountability and thus made the problem worse. Our system has been completely infiltrated and bought off. Things aren’t changing because Big Money doesn’t want it to change.

12/1/12

Bank Of America Is Really Good At Losing Documents, Really Bad At Believing My Mother Is Dead

By Matt’s total, that brings the total to 6 lost documents, one Cease & Desist order, a misplaced (or fictionally named) branch manager, and 8 weeks that should have been spent mourning his loss rather than re-sending the same paperwork over and over.

Home Equity Theft Reporter

The first call ended after the associate we were speaking to told us that the only person they could talk to was the person who was listed on the mortgage: my mother.
Since she was deceased, that’s obviously not possible, so we explained “death” to the person we were speaking to. 

They said they had to talk to my mother, we decided it was hopeless, and gave up.

12/1/12

Home, squeezed home: Living in a 200-square-foot space

The plans faced a tepid reception but after the credit crisis of 2008, have exploded in popularity.

Daily Mail The 150 to 200 square feet living spaces in a transformed vacant lot behind a line of row houses, sell for between $20,000 to $50,000 a piece and are part of a national backlash to the conspicuous consumption of the McMansion era. 

12/1/12

Robo-Signing is still Alive

New York Mtge. Trust, Inc. v Dasdemir

Nathan Reese's assignment of the subject mortgage and note to NYMT, for MERS, as nominee for NYMC, in the instant foreclosure action is without legal authority.

Judge Arthur Schack Mr. Reese, on July 7, 2011, assigned the subject mortgage and note from MERS, as nominee for NYMC, to assignee NYMT, as Vice President of MERS. Then, 27 days later, on August 3, 2011, Mr. Reese executed the verification to the instant complaint, stating "I am the Vice President of the plaintiff [NYMT].

Therefore, plaintiff NYMT could not be the holder of the subject mortgage and note when the action commenced. Thus, plaintiff NYMT lacked standing to commence the instant foreclosure action.

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