News related to the Foreclosure Crisis

The biggest unpunished theft in human history

2012

2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1990's
January - March 2012  /  April -May 2012 / 

 Date

Article

Articles are added several times a day and listed by date

Author

Contributor

  Comment

7/31/12

JPMorgan Chase fails to end US mortgage modification lawsuit

* Homeowners claim bank misled them about modifications

* Excess fees, unnecessary foreclosures alleged

* Judge dubs some fee justifications "gibberish"

Memorandum and Order:  

JPMORGAN CHASE MORTGAGE MODIFICATION LITIGATION

Reuters U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns in Boston on Friday let homeowners pursue claims that the largest U.S. bank systematically failed to keep its end of the bargain after signing up borrowers hoping to modify their mortgages under the federal Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP.

Stearns also let stand claims that JPMorgan's Chase unit drove homeowners deeper into debt by prolonging the modification process through "gross ineptitude," sometimes adding fees to loans already in default and starting foreclosures while modifications were being negotiated.

7/31/12

Goldman to pay $26.6 M in mortgage debt class-action

Goldman Sachs Group Inc has agreed to pay $26.6 million to settle a lawsuit by investors who claimed they were misled into buying securities backed by risky loans from the now-defunct subprime mortgage lender New Century Financial Corp.

Thomson Reuters Investors led by the Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi claimed that Goldman's boilerplate disclosures for the $698 million GSAMP Trust 2006-S2 were false and misleading by failing to reveal how New Century had ignored its own underwriting standards and used inflated appraisals.
7/31/12

Regulator Rebuffs Obama on Plan to Ease Housing Debt

NY Times The independent federal agency that administers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said on Tuesday that it would not let the mortgage companies offer debt forgiveness to borrowers, again rejecting the entreaties of the Obama administration.

7/31/12

Mortgage modification letters in the mail are not all scams

(The alleged "owner" of your home cannot modify or reduce principal unless they can produce original documents proving they own it.  In MOST cases - they simply cannot. MSF)

Komo News Just make sure any offer you respond to is coming directly from your bank because other companies you've never heard of are on the hunt. Scammers and predatory businesses tailor their schemes to the headlines. To them, the Mortgage Servicing Settlement is one more opportunity to profit, at the homeowners expense.
7/31/12

Special Report for Oregon Homeowners

 – A MM Podcast With Portland Attorney Clarke Balcom

Everybody says the new law and recent decision are going to provide protections and in general make things better for Oregon’s homeowners at risk of foreclosure., and for the people of thee state as a whole. 
THEY’RE ALL WRONG.

Mandelman Matters The bill I’m talking about is SB 1552.  It prohibits dual tracking, which is when you’re applying for a loan modification and they sell your house out of the blue, right after they asked for your tax returns. It also created a mandatory mediation program that requires foreclosing parties to bring a full payment history, a true copy of the note and the chain of title, including all assignments, et al.

7/31/12

ALERT: TRUSTEES SELLING LIENS NOT PROPERTY AND PROPERTY WITHOUT TITLE

Living Lies Apparently the Banks and servicers decided a few months ago that they really don’t have a valid lien on anyone’s property. So the banks and servicers came up with a new bogus document that is no better than the forged, fabricated, bogus transfer documents designed to create the illusion of sale of the loan into the secondary market.

7/31/12

 

New rule allowing Georgia homeowners to halt foreclosures

A metro Atlanta consumer attorney said he has already been able to halt a dozen foreclosures using a new ruling from the Georgia Court of Appeals.

The Ruling: Reese v. Provident

Ruling could have impact on foreclosure suits

An appeals court ruling this week in favor of a Cobb County couple could leave mortgage companies liable for damages for not following state law in an unknown number of Georgia foreclosures.

Ates estimated that "90 to 95 percent" of residential foreclosures in Georgia from mid-2008 to 2011 could be susceptible to a challenge based on lack of disclosure.

wsbtv

Home Equity Theft Reporter

Atlanta Journal

Wells Fargo does not hold the note. It only services the loan. The note holder is not clearly stated. 

The Striplands paid forensic auditors who found the loan has been divided up into dozens of securities sold to investors. 

"Once these notes are chopped up and turned into bonds, securities, whatever; who really owns it?" asked their attorney, Bob Thompson. 

But the Georgia Court of Appeals ruling in a case involving a Cobb County family and servicers Provident Funding, LLC, ruled homeowners have "a right to know" to whom they actually owe the money, lest they be "misled or confused." 

7/30/12

KABOOM!

Fannie’s “Decoy Assignment” a NEW Foreclosure Defense 

 

Fannie Mae’s 1178-page servicing guidelines 

You’ll want it after you hear the podcast.

Fannie's guides say DO NOT FILE ASSIGNMENT.

READ related article below...

Mandelman Matters Tom has recently discovered a practice employed by the GSE’s Fannie and Freddie. It has to do with what we’re calling “The Decoy Assignment,” and it’s a matter of policy. He’s arguing it successfully in court. Stopping foreclosures.
It’s not an approach available to most, but it is one available to many. To find out whether it applies to your loan, you make sure it’s a Fannie or Freddie loan, and you check the recorded assignments from the originator of the loan to the servicer. But, I’ll let Tom explain it.
 

Also read: NIGHTMARE! Is Freddie Shredding Things Again?!

Querin Law If the Servicer is foreclosing on a property in the State of Oregon, the Servicer must destroy any unrecorded assignment to Freddie Mac no later than 10 days after the date the Servicer refers the foreclosure to its foreclosure attorney or trustee. If the Borrower subsequently reinstates his or her Mortgage, the Servicer does not need to prepare a new assignment to Freddie Mac. Refer to Section 22.14 for additional information on Freddie Mac’s requirements for assignments of the Security Instrument.” [Sec. 66.17 Freddie Mac Seller/Servicer Guide. ]
JULY

2012

Campaigning for Homes

Wiskerchen was quick to point out the difference between “advocacy” and “lobbying,” saying that even though the funds are classified as lobbying funds, that is not (by definition) what NAR is doing with the money.

Housing Wire In 2006, when the housing market was booming, NAR spent $6.63 million on lobbying. A year later, that doubled to $13.86 million. In 2008, the year of the financial crisis, the association spent $17.34 million, which rose $19.48 million in 2009 before dropping slightly in 2010 to $17.58 million. NAR’s lobbying expenditures hit record-breaking numbers in 2011 with $22.36 million
Press release

7/30/12

FTC Action Halts Dominican Mortgage Assistance Scam That Allegedly Defrauded Spanish-Speaking U.S. Homeowners of more than $2 Million

Court Issues Restraining Order against Telemarketers Who Falsely Claimed Affiliation with Federal Mortgage Assistance Programs

FTC In the end, the FTC alleged, few homeowners got any loan modification – or anything else of value from the defendants. And what they did receive, they could have gotten for themselves for free. 

The court order stops the illegal conduct and freezes the operation’s assets while the FTC moves forward with the case.

7/30/12

Lenders' mistakes cost homeowners on flood insurance

Thousands of homeowners in Minnesota and across the country are being pressured to buy flood insurance by their mortgage lenders, despite evidence showing that many of these homes are well outside danger zones.

Home Equity Theft Reporter In many cases, lenders are giving homeowners just 45 days to buy flood insurance or threatening to obtain it for them, often at exorbitant prices. Some homeowners have been told their premiums could run as high as $6,400 a year.

Authorities expect the problem to get worse. 

Often, lenders receive commissions for the new flood policies they impose on borrowers. Fees can amount to as much as 20 percent of the annual premium. In New York, officials are exploring whether to ban lenders from charging commissions on the forced placement of property insurance, calling such payments a "perverse incentive."

7/30/12

Bankers found to have rigged Libor rate could face jail

Bankers found to have rigged Libor could face jail after the Serious Fraud Office said it will look to bring criminal charges against those who attempted to manipulate Libor, a key global borrowing rate.

Telegraph UK The decision to pursue prosecutions comes just over three weeks after the SFO formally announced an investigation into Libor and in particular whether it was possible to launch criminal proceedings against individual banks and bankers found to have rigged borrowing rates.
7/30/12

Insurance company's fraud suit targets ResCap mortgages

Ally Financial Inc. is facing another fraud lawsuit over allegedly defective mortgages linked to its bankrupt ResCap unit

Complaint: John Hancock v. Ally, GMAC, ResCap

Star Tribune The 208-page complaint, filed Friday, doesn't allege a specific damage amount. It accuses the defendants of "wholesale and systematic abandonment of underwriting guidelines" in the rush to supply more loans to bundle and sell down the chain.

Because of bankruptcy protection, ResCap is not a defendant in the latest lawsuit. However, a group of 11 former executives at ResCap and its affiliates are named as individual defendants. They include Bruce J. Paradis, former president and CEO of GMAC RFC and David C. Walker, a director of ResCap affiliates including Homecomings Financial.

6/4/12

Lawyer and Former Pennsylvania Senator sentenced up to 10 years for forgery, ethics and campaign law violations: 

Judge said she committed the “ultimate lawyer’s transgression.”

Manning said that Orie’s sentence would have been lighter had she not violated her oath as an attorney “That I will use no falsehood,” Manning said as he was sentencing Orie.

allvoices “Were it only for the misuse of office staff and ethics violations therefrom a lesser penalty might be appropriate, however, you stand convicted of crimes that demean the sanctity of all we do as lawyers,” Manning added.
Manning said in strongly admonishing Orie’s use of the forged documents during her first trial “Forgery and tampering with evidence introduced by you in a judicial proceeding; there cannot be a more flagrant and disrespectful violation of that oath.” Manning added that Orie’s use of the forged documents is the “ultimate lawyer’s transgression - fraud on our system of justice."
7/30/12

Lack of Prosecution, Ignorance on the Bench Compounding the Corruption of Title

The banks and servicers simply step up to the plate and hit one out of the park every time they foreclose because they are getting property based on a non-existent loan in which they neither funded nor purchased the loan.

Living Lies The real transaction in which the pension fund loaned money to the borrower is completely undocumented, for the sole purpose of enabling the banks to claim ownership as the “Loan” went up the securitization and was sold a dozen times under the heading of securitization, assignment, allonge, endorsement, credit default swap, insurance etc. 

The proceeds, thus far, have gone solely to the banks and servicers and never to the investor who is owed the money.

White paper

7/30/12

More On Trouble With Land Titles Arising Out Of Wrongful Foreclosures

From our Law Articles page: Toward a More Equitable Balance: Homeowner and Purchaser Tensions in Non-Judicial Foreclosure States (5/12)

Home Equity Theft Reporter The foreclosing parties frequently do not possess the right to foreclose and the resulting sales may be unlawful.

These defective sales harm homeowners when they lose their homes to the wrong party.

Wrongful foreclosures affect another important group, the purchasers. If title to the property is flawed as a result,
purchasing parties potentially buy nothing and can transfer nothing.

As a result, clear title to real property acquired via foreclosure sales in the United States may be in jeopardy. In non-judicial foreclosure states where the doctrines of finality do not apply and state law may permit post-sale challenges, this uncertainty is most acute.

7/29/12

Fannie Mae’s Response to Foreclosure? Throw Americans Into The Street, Sell Homes to China

A few days ago, 275 foreclosure houses across metro Phoenix were purchased through a very quiet $34 million cash deal. But it's not clear yet who the buyer is.

Arizona Republic

headline h/t Matt Weidner

More research shows the buyer is an LLC created by Fannie Mae.

Fannie Mae declined to comment. But a source close to the deal said Fannie Mae is transferring the properties to an LLC that the winning buyer will invest in through a private placement deal.
7/28/12**

Corrupt Government Officials Should Be In Jail / Alongside Corrupt Banksters

Wall Street fraud caused the Great Depression and the current financial crisis. Top economists and financial experts agree that our economy will never recover unless Wall Street fraud is prosecuted.

The Big Picture Yet the government has more or less made it official policy not to prosecute fraud, and instead to do everything necessary to cover up for Wall Street. For example, the Obama administration is prosecuting fewer financial crimes than under Reagan or either Bush.

For example, we pointed out in 2010:

The government’s entire strategy now – as during the S&L crisis – is to cover up how bad things are.

But it is not only a matter of covering up fraud that has already happened. The government also created an environment which greatly encouraged fraud.

7/28/12

 

SUE YOUR FORECLOSURE-MILL ... (w/case law and def.)

The annotation on "Attorney's Liability to One Other Than Immediate Client, For Negligence in Connection With Legal Duties" 61 ALR 4th 615 lists four different bases for liability to others than the person retaining the lawyer

Darrell Kanka LOANS DESIGNED TO FAIL
It is now more than evident that subprime loans were designed to fail so that money could be made by all involved then finally on mortgage insurance as well as CDS's, credit default swaps, the property retained and sold once more into the scam. "Gee Mom .. all the kids were doing it" is hardly an excuse and I urge everyone whether still in your home and fighting or wrongfully/illegally foreclosed to read what is here and take action against those who have caused you harm. 

7/28/12

Changed by Wall Street, for Wall Street

It is interesting, if not surprising, that the dominant benchmark tied to A.R.M.’s was changed by Wall Street, for Wall Street. 

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Loans with unnaturally low teaser rates that expired relatively quickly were more responsible for borrower defaults and foreclosures.

With trillions of dollars hanging in the balance, integrity could not be more important.

7/27/12

TARP Was Even Worse Than You Think: “An Abysmal Failure,” Barofsky Says

Yahoo! Policies allowed the banks to really victimize homeowners; squeeze out their last savings out of these homeowners and then throw them on the foreclosure scrap heap.
7/27/12

Federal Judge Refuses to Narrow Mortgage Putback Claims, Paving Way for Lender Repurchase Liability

Today, I address the impact of Judge Crotty’s summary judgment decision in Syncora v. EMC Mortgage in finally bringing some clarity to mortgage putback litigation.

Subprime Shakeout This ruling should embolden investors who were sitting on the sidelines, unsure about the strength of their claims, to come forward and assert repurchases. However, as I will be discussing in later posts in this series, those who have not yet started down this path may have now lost out on their chance to do so. 

From the Order: Under Section 7 of the MLPA, Synacora need not prove that EMC's alleged warranty breaches cause HELOC loans to default in order to trigger EMC's repurchase obligations.

7/27/12

J.P. Morgan Chase to pay $27 million to settle lawsuit over military mortgages

Chase also pledged to forgive all mortgage debt for service members who were foreclosed on.

Washington Post J.P. Morgan Chase said Friday it will pay $27 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the bank of overcharging members of the military for their mortgages and prompted a federal investigation, a congressional hearing as well as public outrage.

7/27/12

Capital One Military Lawsuit Settled For $12 Million

Capital One also found that it foreclosed on the homes of four families of active-duty military members. Its fine includes compensation to those families.

Fox Business The problem arose when some Capital One staffers held up benefits to military members after they informed the bank they had been called to duty. The employees demanded to know the return date of the deployed soldiers, something neither the law nor Capital One's internal policies require.

7/26/12

Why is El Paso's County Attorney Resisting the Release of MERS Foreclosure Information

Richard Roman, Esq. El Paso County attorney claims some privileges against the release and is asking for the state AG's opinion. 

7/26/12

New laws help Oregonians facing foreclosure

Oregon now has some of the clearest, if not strongest, home foreclosure laws on the books to help struggling homeowners.

KGW AG Dubanevich explained, “If they're told they don't qualify for a loan modification unless they stop paying, that's probably wrong. These new rules clearly now delineate things that are forbidden in our state. You can’t do these things and if you do you're violating Oregon Law. “

7/26/12

“I Hope We See People In Handcuffs”: Neil Barofsky Weighs in on LIBOR Scandal

It was a "message to the banks 'if we commit fraud, we break the rules, don't worry, we're too big — they'll never bring the appropriate steps against us,'" Barofsky says in an interview with The Daily Ticker. "And that is why we've had scandal after scandal after scandal."

Yahoo! This was a "global conspiracy to fix one of the most important interest rates in the world," Barofsky continues. "[Geithner] heard this information and looked the other way. Geithner and other regulators should be held accountable, they should be fired across the board. If they knew about an ongoing fraud, and they didn't do anything about it, they don't deserve to have their jobs. I hope we see people in handcuffs."
7/25/12

Geithner on Financial Crimes: The Dog Ate My Homework

If I rob a federally insured bank and make off with $20,000, I'm facing years of federal prison time. If I defraud federal insurance programs, be they FHA or Medicaid, I'm also facing years of prison.

Prof. Levitin

Credit Slips

But if I rig the most widely used interest rate index in the world, a leading bank regulator doesn't think that the Department of Justice needs to be notified because they're not part of the regulatory working group focused on LIBOR. That was Timothy Geithner's explanation today as to why he didn't notify the DOJ when he learned of Barclay's LIBOR fraud. For real?
7/25/12

More than half of US metros post higher foreclosure activity

Atlanta also continues to plow through a foreclosure epidemic.

Housing Wire Markets with increasing foreclosure starts will likely see more distressed inventory for sale in the form of short sales and bank-owned properties (with TAINTED TITLES) in the second half of the year."
7/25/12

 

Mortgage Servicing… The Winds Have Shifted, the Pendulum is About to Swing

The fact of the matter is that beginning on January 1, 2013, foreclosing in California will be far more problematic for servicers than has been the case to-date.  California’s new laws provide for a private right of action and provision for attorneys’ fees in specific instances, in addition to several violations that come with significant statutory fines.

Mandelman Matters I said that if mortgage servicers continued to treat America’s homeowners in financial distress as a result of the economic downturn, as “irresponsible borrowers,” essentially forcing them through the collections and foreclosure machine with inadequate systems related to loss mitigation, ultimately the people would push back en masse. And that the further that pendulum was allowed to go in one direction, the hard the push back towards the other side would be.
Press release

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Judgment in National Multi-Million Dollar Mortgage Scam

Office of the California Attorney General Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced defendants who ran a national loan modification scam (like the banks are running) were ordered to pay more than $4 million in penalties and restitution, including $2 million to consumers who were falsely promised modifications of their mortgage loans.
7/24/12

Bayonne Tax Assessor's Office worker charged with forgery, document tampering

Jersey Journal The indictment charged Richard Pellegrini with unlawfully structuring more than 350 financial transactions totaling more than $3 million and spread among Pamrapo Savings Bank in Bayonne, Community Bank, Washington Mutual and North Fork Bank between May 2005 and September 2006.
7/24/12

TARP Funds For Housing Relief 90 Percent Unspent, Auditor Says

Bloomberg “Taxpayers that fund this program have an absolute right to know what the government’s expectations and goals are for using $7.6 billion in TARP funds,” the report said. “By refusing to set any goals for the programs, Treasury is subject to criticism that it is attempting to avoid accountability.”

7/24/12

How a $140 bill snowballed into foreclosure

“It was never brought to my attention until it was too late and we were served with papers saying we had to move out of our house,” said Vulpis.

NBC News For the investor who bought Vulpis' water bill, the settlement represents a payoff of more than 260 times the original bill.

Some states and local governments have moved to protect homeowners from the harshest outcomes.

White Paper

July 2012

Nightmare on Main Street:
Older Americans and
the Mortgage Market Crisis

Based on an analysis of nationwide loan-level data for the years 2007 through 2011, this study examines loan performance based on borrower age, loan type, and borrower demographics. The study shows that no age group, race, or ethnicity has been spared from the effects of declining home values and the financial difficulties caused by the Great Recession banking cartel.

ARP

Public Policy Institute

This study shows more than 1.5 million older Americans have lost their homes since 2007 and millions more remain at risk. The study also finds that the percentage of seriously delinquent loans increased from 1.1 percent in 2007 to 6.0 percent as of December 2011 for people age 50 and older, a more than fivefold increase. Older minorities are facing foreclosure rates that are almost double those faced by white borrowers of the same age.

To date, public policy programs designed to stem the progression of the foreclosure crisis have been inadequate, and programs that focus on the unique needs of older Americans are needed. 

7/24/12

Bad Times for Big Banks, But Good Ones for Their Lawyers

American Lawyer Lastly, a 335-report released last week by the U.S. Senate’s permanent subcommittee on investigations found that London-based HSBC Holdings had allowed suspicious funds from rogue regimes in Cuba, Iran, and North Korea to move through its accounts. (Sibling publication Corporate Counsel, which earlier this year noted the existence of a money laundering investigation at the bank, has the breakdown on the alleged compliance failures at HSBC.)
BOOK

7/24/12

Octopus: Read This Book to Understand Wall Street

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

It’s this experience in the deeply corrupt netherworld of endless, relentless insider trading that warped Israel’s mind to the point where he could become perhaps the biggest dupe in the history of con artistry.
7/24/12

Ohio Firm Launches New Attack on Fraud in the Foreclosure Process: New Class Action Lawsuit Seeks Damages for Those Wrongfully Foreclosed Using Fraudulent Documents in Ohio

The COMPLAINT

Dann Law The business practice of suing homeowners in foreclosure on behalf of alleged lenders who cannot prove they have standing to collect on the note or file the foreclosure, violates Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act (“OSPCA”). Our suit, filed yesterday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, seeks to stop the defendants from engaging in fraudulent foreclosures in Ohio, and seeks damages on behalf of the tens of thousands of Ohioans who have been foreclosed on by alleged lenders who lacked the standing to sue.

7/23/12

 

Examiner Editorial: Obama's TARP team helped banks, betrayed homeowners

From the beginning, Barofsky had major objections to HAMP's design. Among its worst aspects was a system of giving banks $1,500 bonus payments and servicers $1,000 bonus payments for each loan modification they processed. 

Washington 

Examiner

This system encouraged mortgage servicers to approve temporary "trial" loan modifications, even as they continued the foreclosure process against borrowers. Ultimately, after collecting the bonuses, they would deny permanent mortgage modifications. Thus, HAMP helped drive thousands of already-distressed families into foreclosure after giving them nothing but a few months of false hope, and possibly causing them to cough up more in mortgage payments than they would have in a foreclosure without government interference.

7/23/12

FLEECING THE FORECLOSED

KCTV5 Investigates: Missouri's foreclosure settlement money

Looking back now, Hernandez regrets trusting the bank, because for the next several months she says the bank kept losing her loan modification paperwork. More than once, Bank of America claimed she sent or faxed the documents to the wrong address or number.

"After about eight months, we were like, OK, this is dirty," she said.

Hernandez continued paying her mortgage, but her attorney Floyd Finch says that did not keep the bank from trying to foreclose on Hernandez's home. Not once, but twice.

KCTV5 "The second foreclosure I called up the bank's lawyer and said, 'you don't want to do this. 'We have a client here that's done everything right," said Finch. "She's made all the payments and we are clearly going to beat you in court."

Eventually lawyers for Bank of America dropped foreclosure proceedings, but not before the bank reported Hernandez as delinquent on her mortgage and caused her credit rating to drop almost three hundred points.

"It's destroyed," Hernandez said, referring to her credit score that once topped 700. "I think it's in the fours. I can't even get approved for a car loan."

7/23/12

A money 'black hole': rich hide at least $21 trillion in tax havens, study shows

NBC News Thanks to lax international tax rules the world’s super rich have siphoned at least $21 trillion -- more than 50 percent larger than the entire U.S. economy -- into secretive tax-free havens, according to a study by UK campaign group Tax Justice Network.
7/23/12

Homeowners Having Difficulty Collecting on Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

Remember that this is happening in the first year, when there are incentives for principal reductions in that time period that reduce the banks’ liabilities even more. Yet they’re still dragging their feet.

FDL There’s no actual effort to intervene on behalf of homeowners already ravaged by this crisis, now getting potentially screwed in trying to collect on the penalty for the abuse. And of course, the penalties themselves are part of the problem, as they are weak and easily gamed by the banks.
7/23/12

Foreclosure crisis needs solutions, but eminent domain proposal is just wrong

Matthew Davis

mLive

As the death grip of socialism tightens around America's throat, it has become unremarkable to watch the lengths to which governments will go in order to provide short-term solutions while ignoring the long-term, broader damage they do each time they try to fix something.

7/23/12

Banks, Global Elite Confirmed to Hold $32 Trillion in Offshore Accounts

In order to reach the monetary figure, which many are calling quite conservative, economist James Henry commissioned was by the Tax Justice Network — a group that seeks to bring tax evasion to light.

Natural Society As a result, around $280 billion is estimated to be lost in tax revenues. In other words, the multi-trillion dollar banks and elite families are avoiding any taxation while forcing United States citizens to foot the bill. Amazingly, the $32 trillion stashed away represents the overall GDP of the United States and Japan combined.

The findings are continuing to gain mainstream attention, and pinpoint just how far big banks and major corporations will go in ensuring that they do not have to pay a dime in taxes while at the same time calling for mass tax increases for the average citizen.

7/23/12**

WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?

Why We’re Screwed

Recall Robert Sherrill’s 1990 statement about the S&L crisis that “thievery is what unregulated capitalism is all about.

Prof. Randall Wray They took over the whole economy and the political system lock, stock, and barrel. They didn’t just blow up finance, they oversaw the swiftest transfer of wealth to the very top the world has ever seen. They screwed workers out of their jobs, they screwed homeowners out of their houses, they screwed retirees out of their pensions, and they screwed municipalities out of their revenues and assets.

7/22/12

Legal Abuse Syndrome and Foreclosure Fraud

 

Dr. Karin Huffer's book "Overcoming the Devastation of Legal Abuse Syndrome" should become required reading for judges and lawyers involved in foreclosure cases.

Mortgage Professional America

MPA

You may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome if:

- you are deeply disillusioned and feeling oppressed from your experience with our justice system;

- justice was not to be obtained at any price;

-you feel numb, disconnected, and vulnerable;

- you feel that the ‘system’ will defeat you at every turn and there is nothing you can do about it.

7/22/12

Banks Launder Money With Impunity

HSBC is a bank. They are also a money launderer.

Economic Populist Last week the Senate subcommittee on investigations, part of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, issued a report (pdf) and held a hearing, U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering, Drugs, and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History. Contained within is a laundry list, if we can use the pun, of HSBC evil doings and how they mechanically laundry money for drug cartels, terrorists and tax evaders.
This is over a decade past 9/11 and seemingly HSBC has been operating with impunity.

7/22/12

What To Do When Confronted With Foreclosure?

The odds are overwhelming in your favor that the part of the obligation that was intended to be secured with the collateral of the home was in fact never secured and therefore not subject to foreclosure.

(d) Wrongful foreclosure lawsuit for damages: This is favored by many lawyers especially for those who no longer want to live in the home. It is a lawsuit for money damages only and includes the possibility of punitive damages. Some awards have been in the millions of dollars.

Living Lies It is far better to DENY AND DISCOVER that to make allegations where the burden is on you to prove facts that are exclusively known by the other side.

This is particularly effective after a bankruptcy where one party gets the automatic stay lifted and another party forecloses. That is as close to open and shut as we get. The Judges\’s order usually includes a finding that the party who moves for relief from stay is the owner of the loan. So the second party to actually foreclose, without getting a court order lifting stay for them to foreclose is in deep doo-doo.

7/22/12

"The settlement will actually involve money flowing, once again, from taxpayers to the banks."

Has anyone had enough?

Bungled Bank Bailout Leaves Behind Righteous Anger

In the year since I stepped down as the special inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the sadly predictable consequences of the government’s disparate treatment of Wall Street and Main Street have only become worse. As the banks amass size and power, Main Street continues to get pummeled.

Bloomberg Treasury couldn’t even keep this modest commitment. Although Wells Fargo had improved its performance and was awarded all of its withheld incentive payments, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America continued to fail to meet the baseline standard. Nonetheless, in March 2012, as part of a broader settlement of the so-called robo-signing scandal, Treasury released all of the withheld payments, totaling more than $170 million. 

As a result, the government hasn’t held any servicer responsible for the widespread abuses of HAMP applicants, nor is it ever likely to do so.

In return for what was touted as a $25 billion payout, the banks received broad immunity from future civil cases arising out of their widespread use of forged, fraudulent or completely fabricated documents to foreclose on homeowners.

7/22/12

Second wave of foreclosures starts to rise in New Jersey

Foreclosure filings in Atlantic County were up 80 percent from the second quarter last year.

PressofAtlanticCity The long-expected second wave of foreclosures in states where courts delayed their processing appears to have begun in New Jersey and area counties.
7/22/12

A Week in the Life of Libor

The Justice Department is now expected to file criminal charges this year against at least one big bank in connection with the rate-rigging scandal, while building cases against other banks and their employees.

NY Times This is welcome news: prosecuting financial crimes is essential to restoring public trust in the banking system and in the willingness of the authorities to police it.
7/22/12

BANKS THAT ARE TOO BIG TO REGULATE SHOULD BE NATIONALIZED

NY Times The Barclays interest-rate scandal, HSBC’s openness to money laundering by Mexican drug traffickers, the epic blunders at JPMorgan Chase — at this point, four years after Wall Street wrecked the global economy, does anyone really believe we can regulate the big banks? 
7/22/12

Why All Must Demand A Stop To Financial Fraud

Market Ticker Unfortunately when it comes to crime without an "or else" there is no reason to abstain from committing crime, other than your personal moral scruples. And those seem to be in damn short supply these days among financial types and politicians. This is even more-true when one can take the cost of whatever crimes you commit and get caught executing, and force others to pay for them.
7/22/12

Is a Great Grey Exodus from America Starting?

Those who are approaching retirement age and have the time, energy, and financial headroom would do much better to get out of Dodge.

I no longer believe in capitalism or democracy as I once did; not the way they are being practiced now.

naked capitalism America ranks badly on pretty much every social indicator, which means that moving to what is nominally a third world county isn’t just a step up in terms of spending power but often in overall quality of life. Thus we are likely to see another sort of hollowing out take place: the lower income and wealthy elderly will remain here, while more in between who have the resources and energy will depart. 

7/21/12

Countrywide whistleblower reveals rampant mortgage fraud part of ‘everyday business’

“One process was to cut a signature off one document, paste it and make a photocopy so it looks like an original signature,” she continued. “A part and parcel of everyday business was to do anything it took to fund a loan.”

Raw Story “Typically when you’re looking for fraud you’ve got to really look because one of the primary components of a fraud is concealment,” Foster said. “These people weren’t concealing it. They were concealing it from corporate, but every person who walked into those branches every day was a participant.”
7/21/12

The Size of the Big Banks Is – Literally – Destroying the Rule of Law

Unless the big banks are broken up, financial fraud will grow exponentially like cancer, and the economy will be destroyed.

Washington Blog Indeed, the Obama administration has made it official policy not to prosecute fraud.

Top economists, on the other hand, completely contradict Geithner and the rest of the administration … saying that fraud caused the Great Depression and the current financial crisis, and that the economy will never recover until fraud is prosecuted.
7/21/12

Into the Bailout Buzz Saw

Nearly four years after Washington began its huge rescues of banks with taxpayer dollars, an important player in this, one of the great financial dramas of all time, is offering a damning account of how the Bush and Obama administrations handled the whole episode.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

“The incentives are to cheat, and cheating is profitable because there are no consequences.”

“The suspicions that the system is rigged in favor of the largest banks and their elites, so they play by their own set of rules to the disfavor of the taxpayers who funded their bailout, are true,” Mr. Barofsky said.

7/21/12

Nevada combating mortgage deception

The state attorney general’s office plans to expand the criminal prosecution of mortgage-fraud relates cases.

Last year, the task force helped indict two California residents, Gary Trafford and Gerri Sheppard, relating to their alleged roles in directing and supervising a robo-signing scheme between 2005 and 2008.

RGJ The attorney general’s office also has settled cases against Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America over their practices that contributed to Nevadans losing their homes.

“Loan origination fraud, the kind of fraud and misrepresentations that happen when you sign a loan, are down,” Butts said. “That’s probably partly because of low loan originations, but taking their place, as far as fraud, is distressed homeowner fraud.”
7/21/12**

Understanding Elite Fraud and the Mortgage Meltdown with William K. Black

If you know anything about the Savings & Loan crisis, then you know William K. Black. 

Mandelman Matters

Podcast

If you remember the “Keating Five,” then you know William K. Black. If you’ve watched anything on television about mortgage fraud or the fraud committed by financial institutions, then you’ve probably watched William K. Black. If you’ve committed fraud while working for a financial institution, then you may have previously threatened William K. Black.
7/21/12

Elderly Couple Include RICO Charges In Lawsuit Alleging They Were Duped Into Signing Over Their Home As Collateral For Loan

Marshall v. Bochner, et al.

Home Equity Theft Reporter The Marshalls, with "ages exceeding 74 years," claim that in 2005 DeArmas tricked them into signing over their home as collateral for the purchase of a movie theater in San Bernardino, which the couple intended to use as a church. After the property was purchased, mortgage payments fell into arrears and the Marshalls' home was entered into a foreclosure sale, the couple says.

7/20/12

Reverse mortgages risky, but seldom like this

Call it the estate-devouring, nightmare home loan you hope to never encounter:

Ken Harney

Arizona Daily Star

Sarah Havemeyer of Southampton, N.Y., has been fighting a California bank in court for two years over her late mother's reverse mortgage that dates to 1997. Although the bank, OneWest, has not yet provided a total of what it believes is owed on the reverse mortgage, according to Havemeyer, she estimates it could be in the neighborhood of $1.5 million to $1.6 million. By comparison, the amount that Havemeyer's mother actually received from the reverse mortgage between 1997 and her death in 2010 was just $272,911.51.
7/20/12

Ex-BofA Executive Indicted For Fraud In Bond Probe

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division recently convicted at trial several individuals in this investigation, which is ongoing.”

 

Bloomberg From 1998 until 2006, Murphy allegedly conspired with CDR Financial Products to increase the number of and profitability of investment agreements and municipal finance contracts that went to the bank, according to the indictment. Murphy won auctions for the investment contracts after other banks submitted intentionally losing bids, the government said.

7/20/12

The Modification Scam

Barofsky Book: Geithner Confirmed in 2009 That HAMP Was Designed for Banks to Spread Out Foreclosures

Barofsky shows how HAMP’s faulty design led to all sorts of problems like this, with trapped borrowers, extended trial payments, no-doc modifications, and eventually unnecessary foreclosures. 

FDL HAMP was not separate from the bailouts, it was part of them. It squeezed a few extra payments out of borrowers and then allowed banks to do with them whatever they wanted. It stretched out the foreclosure crisis, by design. In fact, by the end of this, HAMP may not help even the borrowers secure in permanent modifications. Not only are the modifications of inferior quality, and not only have they led to high re-default rates already, but most of the permanent modifications are not permanent at all. 
7/20/12

Useless government

Timothy Geithner's Treasury Department Ignored Warnings Of Mortgage Fraud

Huff Post TARP's former inspector general claims that he warned Timothy Geithner's Treasury Department repeatedly that the mortgage program, HAMP, was a disaster waiting to happen. Instead of listening, he says, Geithner plowed right ahead with it, to serve the banks.
7/20/12

Bank Of America's Future Depends On This

Either Bank of America will put overhanging issues behind it, or it will be overcome by them.

Seeking Alpha For those contemplating a forward valuation for Bank of America, an important question must be resolved first. The stock's valuation is at deep discount based on the price-to-book value metric used to appraise banks. At its current level, it reflects the conundrum of investors and a crossroads for the company.
7/20/12

U.S. banks haunted by mortgage demons that won't go away

Banks have fought some of these claims, but most lenders still expect to have to buy back many of the mortgages.

Reuters Lenders like Bank of America Corp and Wells Fargo & Co say they are facing mounting pressure to buy back bad mortgages they sold to investors, signaling that banks' home-loan headaches could continue for years.
7/19/12

Oregon Supreme Court will tackle MERS foreclosure issues

Oregon Supreme Court Order Accepting Certified Question 

OregonLive A day after a key ruling from a lower appeals court, the Oregon Supreme Court said it will resolve uncertainty surrounding the mortgage industry's controversial loan tracking system and its role in out-of-court foreclosures.
TRAGIC

7/19/12

Three Million Seniors at Risk of Losing Homes: AARP

The study details how severe the foreclosure crisis is -- and may yet become -- among older Americans.

The Street Borrowers with incomes ranging from $50,000 to $124,999 accounted for 53% of foreclosures of the 50+ population in 2011. Borrowers with incomes below $50,000 accounted for 32%, AARP reports.

7/19/12

Getting Lost in the Weeds: Following the Money Trail

The actual financial transaction did not take place the way you think it did. The documents would have us believe otherwise, but the money shows where the real deal was. I understand your concern but I am concerned that you might be missing the whole point and conveying incorrect information to others.

Living Lies Had that provision not been inserted, AIG, the federal government and counter parties in credit default swaps would have swarmed over the transactions and determined for themselves that the original note and mortgage were faked.

In order to get away with this, the investment banks needed to have a provision inserted in all of the resale agreements in which the loan was sold multiple times, that upon payment of the insurance or credit de

fault swap the payor waived their right to pursue the borrower on any of the loans (waiver of subrogation). 

7/19/12

Help for Struggling Borrowers

Remember, only the owner/holder can modify.  Otherwise, they are creating a new loan because the original loan was uncollectable.

NY Times Homeowners who are unemployed shouldn’t expect a loan modification, she said, but they can request that the bank “defer a portion of their payment while on unemployment without penalty.
7/19/12

Lender Admits Illegal Foreclosure

Then Rescinds Sale, Then Continues To Refuse Loan Modification Payments & Begins Foreclosure Process Again

"The bank admitted they had illegally foreclosed on my home," says the woman

Home Equity Theft Reporter One local woman says banks have tried to foreclose on her twice in one year, despite having a loan modification and making payments on time.

She still has the loan modification, they still won't take payments and they're foreclosing again."

7/19/12

Bank of America says foreclosure stalled because of missing paperwork at clerk's office 

SE Texas Record Bank of America has since discovered that the Power of Attorney, the Warranty Deed and the Deed of Trust can no longer be found in the real property records in Jefferson County, the suit states. 
7/18/12

Chicago picked for FHA foreclosure pilot

Chicago Tribune The loans' new investors must delay foreclosure proceedings for at least six months so the mortgage's new servicer can try to find an alternative to foreclosure, such as a loan modification or a short sale.
7/18/12

What Relief? Bank Of America Faces New Mortgage Claims Reaching $23 Billion

It seems that when Bank of America puts one mortgage-related problem behind it another pops up.    Ya, we know. :-D

Forbes Who exactly is asking the the bank to buy back soured mortgage securities? Bank of America puts them into two categories: government sponsored entities (GSEs like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) and private label investors (those can be big institutions like BlackRock that bought into mortgage pools).
7/18/12

CERRON (Pro Se) v. GMAC

Florida COA

Matt Weidner

On appeal, Cerron pro se argues that the circuit court erred in granting summary judgment when GMAC failed to refute his affirmative defenses. Based on our de novo review of the summary judgment, we agree.

7/18/12

Bank Contractors Break Into Occupied Homes, Terrify Residents, Lawsuits Say

Fersch fields about one complaint a week from homeowners who return home to discover new locks on their doors. "But for some reason when these contractors ride by residences and don't see anyone home, they just jump the gun and change the locks. They even lock pets inside."

Huff Post A review of court records by The Huffington Post turned up more than 50 homeowner lawsuits against banks and the two largest property management contractors in the U.S., Safeguard Properties and Lender Processing Services, stemming from break-ins of occupied homes. The allegations follow five years of generally woeful management of the foreclosure industry by all involved, as the inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is raising red flags about the lack of contractor oversight by the government-backed mortgage giants.

Affidavit Evidence: Heightened Scrutiny Due to Robo-Signing

American Bar Challenging Affidavits
To challenge an affidavit that does not meet these requirements, litigants with grounds to do so should file a motion to strike the affidavit in a timely fashion and be specific as to the portions of the affidavit that are being challenged. See, e.g., Jones v. Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp., 69 F.3d 712, 718 (4th Cir.1995) (holding that failure to file a motion to strike in a district court waived challenges to an affidavit on appeal); Perma Research & Dev. Co. v. The Singer Co., 410 F.2d 572, 579 (2nd Cir. 1969) (finding that a motion to strike an affidavit was much too general). See also, Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(h) (allowing an award of expenses, including attorney fees, incurred as a result of an affidavit or a declaration that is found to be in bad faith or solely for delay).

7/18/12

WHO DO YOU BLAME?

Facing Foreclosure After 50

Mr. Johnson became one of the one and a half million Americans over the age of 50 who lost their houses to foreclosure between 2007 and 2011. Of those, the highest foreclosure rate was for homeowners over 75.

NY Times Older Americans are losing their homes because of pension cuts, rising medical costs, shrinking stock portfolios and falling property values, according to Debra Whitman, AARP’s executive vice president for policy. They are also not saving enough money. Half of households whose head is between 65 and 74 have no money in retirement accounts, according to the Federal Reserve.
7/18/12

Ex-JPMorgan Banker Wright Pleads Guilty In Muni Bond Probe

Wright will pay $29,600 in victim restitution under the terms of his plea agreement with prosecutors. He faces as long as five years in prison when he’s sentenced.

Bloomberg Former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker Alexander Wright pleaded guilty to conspiring with a former UBS AG broker in 2002 to rig bids on a bond deal involving a New Jersey hospital.

I knew at the time that my actions were wrong and against the law,” Wright told Maas.

4/26/12

Americans are losing faith in the institutions that made this country great.

In Nothing We Trust

A year later, City Hall sent him salt for his wounds: a $300 citation for tall grass. “The city dinged me for tall weeds at my bank’s house.”  “You can’t trust anybody or anything anymore.”

National Journal They applied for a trial loan- modification through an Obama administration program, and when it was granted, their monthly bill fell to $473.87. But, like nearly a million others, the modification was canceled. After charging the lower rate for three months, their mortgage lender reinstated the higher fee and billed the family $1,878.88 in back payments.
7/18/12

Help for the Perplexed Home Buyer

This sounds like a minor improvement, but in fact it’s a significant step toward preventing another subprime disaster.

NY Times But there is reason to fear that consumers will not know their loan terms, even with the forms.

For one thing, the forms are long. The loan estimate, which consumers receive early in the application process, spans three pages and includes more than 100 disclosures about things like monthly payments and taxes. That’s a lot for consumers to take in.

7/18/12

7/18/12

Oregon Appellate Court Says:

MERS Does Not Meet Statutory Definition of “Beneficiary”

 

NIDAY v. GMAC, MERS

Court of Appeals

Oregon

Considering the statutory and historical context of the OTDA, we are persuaded, further, that the legislature understood the “person for whose benefit a trust deed is given” to refer to a particular person–namely, the person to whom the underlying, secured obligation is owed.

A beneficiary that uses MERS to avoid publicly recording assignments of a trust deed cannot avail itself of a nonjudicial foreclosure process that requires that very thing–publicly recorded assignments.
Reversed and remanded.

Oregon Court of Appeals rules against banks, MERS in foreclosure case

In a statement, MERS said it disagreed with the ruling and would appeal it to the Oregon Supreme Court.

OregonLive "MERS validity as beneficiary has been affirmed in 48 prior Oregon rulings, including 30 since this case was filed," MERS spokeswoman Janis Smith said in the statement.

But other judges have ruled against MERS. The state Supreme Court was asked earlier this year by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken in Portland to resolve the differing opinions. Stephen Armitage, a spokesman for the court, said he did not know when the justices would address the matter.

7/18/12

BofA mortgage repurchase dispute with Fannie Mae grows to $7.9 billion in loans

Bank of America executives said Fannie Mae will either have to file litigation or agree to a settlement to resolve the dispute over mortgage repurchase claims.

Housing Wire The bank and the government- sponsored enterprise disagree over $7.9 billion in mortgages Fannie claims BofA should buy back because of faulty origination practices, up from $3.7 billion at the end of last year. The bank said it should not have to buy back the loans because borrowers made at least 25 monthly payments on them.
7/18/12

BofA Profit Rebound Marred By $22.7 Billion In Mortgage Claims

At the same time, the bank said demands for buybacks from mortgage-bond investors and insurers surged more than $6 billion in three months to $22.7 billion.

Bloomberg “We don’t think this is done,” said Paul Miller, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets and a former Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia examiner with a hold rating on Bank of America. “Can they defend themselves and pay only a fraction of that,” Miller asked, or will claims “continue to come in and just overwhelm the company?”
7/18/12

While Eminent Domain Proposal Discussed, LA Tries to Make Foreclosure Cost-Prohibitive

David Dayen FDL Dean Baker has a generally positive story out about the proposal in San Bernardino County, California to use eminent domain to condemn, write down and return to the owner a lower-cost mortgage that is no longer underwater.
7/18/12

Title Insurer Sends Out Alert On Short Sale Racket Involving Use Of Phony Paperwork Simulating Authentic BofA Short Sale Approval Letters

Home Equity Theft Reporter  "In some cases, the defendants used short sale approval letters that had been entirely fabricated to carry out their schemes," the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles said in a statement. "As a result, homebuyers and investors purchased homes they thought had a clear title but were actually devalued and subject to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of liens."
7/17/12

JPMorgan disclosed possible misconduct to feds ahead of earnings

Reuters In a matter of days, the two-month-old criminal investigation into a $5.8 billion trading loss at JPMorgan Chase & Co. -- known as the "London Whale" blunder -- was transformed from dormant to potentially explosive.
7/17/12

The Lying Bankers Scandal as Bailout Theater

And now, four years later, there’s outrage? Heads had better roll off to jail, not just at the top of a lot of banks, but also from within our government.

We need to restore the rule of law.

Abigail Field Apparently the Fed decided that allowing criminal fraud was necessary to calm markets, even though the fraud did nothing to actually make the banks safer or sounder: Bailout Theater. And for that, the top guy at the NY Fed at the time, our current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, needs to be fired by President Obama and indicted if possible by Eric Holder. Not that I’m holding my breath on either point.
7/17/12

Investors to Sue Holland & Hart, Wells Fargo, Stewart Title Company

CNBC This week, the investors will file a complaint for damages and jury demand against Wells Fargo, Stewart Title Company and Holland & Hart LLP for a host of improprieties, including fraud, legal malpractice and breach of contract. The investors are seeking a judgment of more than $16 million for the recovery of the investment, plus attorneys' fees and lost profits.
7/17/12

Bank of America Settles Suit for $375 Million

NY Times Syncora said that it had been duped into insuring the mortgage-backed securities and that Countrywide had misrepresented the quality of the underlying mortgages.

7/17/12

Justice Dept: Wells Fargo to pay $175M to settle allegations of bias against blacks, Hispanics

“The department’s action makes clear that we will hold financial institutions accountable, including some of the nation’s largest, for lending discrimination,” Cole said.

Washington Post Wells Fargo also will pay $50 million in direct down payment assistance to borrowers in areas of the country where the Justice Department identified large number of discrimination victims.
7/17/12

Wells Fargo foreclosure event draws hundreds

About 460 registered out of the 40,000 invited.

NewsDay One homeowner, Chidley Vertus, walked away with a trial modification that forgives up to $315,000 from her mortgage loan, if she makes on-time payments for three years. Her loan balance had been $460,000, including arrears, according to the bank. Her Coram home's value has dropped precipitously since Vertus and her then-husband bought it in 2006, from $361,500 to $120,000, Vertus said.
7/17/12

Serious Flaws With Foreclosure Reviews?

Mortgage Servicing News That “basic information” gap makes it impossible to track the facts. “We’ll never know whether borrowers in communities hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis are being helped by this program,” Goldberg warns.

7/17/12

Predatory Speculators

How Does Someone Lose Their House Over A $474 Water Bill?

The NCLC report includes several stories of homeowners who lost their homes -- or had to endure legal and bureaucratic battles -- because of relatively small tax liens.

The Consumerist Those liens are often sold to companies that tack on substantial interest rates starting in the 18% range, and upwards of 50%. These lien buyers also charge huge fees to redeem the liens and avoid foreclosure. According to the NCLC, redemption penalties in Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Texas all exceed 20%.

State and local legislators are being called upon to revise these laws, making it more affordable for people to redeem their liens and less attractive to predatory speculators.

WHAT A

July 2012

REPORT

The Other Foreclosure Crisis:
Property Tax Lien Sales

Property tax collection procedures should
encourage repayment rather than property loss, and they should not provide an opportunity for speculators to gain huge profits off homeowners in distress.

These bidding procedures mean that homeowners who are unable to redeem their property can lose not only a homestead that may have been in the family for years but also thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity. 

NATIONAL
CONSUMER
LAW
C E N T E R
This equity may represent their sole savings and security for retirement. Homeowners most at risk are those who have fallen into default because they are incapable of handling their financial affairs, such as individuals suffering from Alzheimers, dementia, or other cognitive disorders. An 81-year-old Rhode Island homeowner was evicted two weeks before Christmas from the home she had lived in for more than 40 years because she had fallen behind on a $474 sewer bill. A corporation bought her house at a tax sale for $836.39 and then resold it for $85,000. MORAL DECAY

7/17/12

Foreclosure Related Suicide on the Rise

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline lists warning signs of suicide and hosts a suicide prevention hotline, 1-800-273-TALK, to help those in distress. 

Huff Post The loss of a home can be devastating to a family, and the emotional toll can add to their financial stress. The resulting depression can leave them feeling hopeless. Research concludes that there is a link between foreclosure rates and mental and physical health problems, as well as suicide attempts. Research showed that there were 39% more suicide attempts for homeowners facing foreclosure than those who are not.

7/17/12

WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THESE HOMES INVOLVED FRAUD?  WHAT IS BEING DONE ABOUT THE ILLEGAL EVICTIONS?

Los Angeles sues US Bancorp, calls bank a slumlord

* LA says bank let hundreds of homes slide into disrepair

* Lawsuit seeks hundreds of millions of dollars

* US Bancorp plans to bring servicers into lawsuit

* Bank say servicers responsible for upkeep

LA Times Monday's civil lawsuit alleges that US Bank NA has taken title to more than 1,500 foreclosed residential properties in the city in its role as trustee for various mortgage-backed securities trusts.

Los Angeles said that at least since July 2008, US Bank has "disregarded virtually every one of its legal duties and responsibilities as owner, resulting in the creation and maintenance of an alarming number of vacant nuisance properties and substandard occupied housing units."

It said the bank has ignored repeated demands that it comply with the law, causing hundreds of homes to become uninhabitable or "public nuisances," and resulting in illegal evictions of hundreds of tenants from the second most-populous U.S. city.

Los Angeles said it is seeking a civil fine of $2,500 a day for each violation by what it called "one of the largest slumlords in the city."
7/17/12

Three Charged in Duping 81 year-old that led to Foreclosure

Chudzinski later her lost her home to foreclosure, and months later passed away, before charges where brought against the suspects. 

Home Equity Theft Reporter "People need to be accountable for these crimes, they are absolutely egregious, they're despicable, and we really need to send a message, we need to be vigilant in protecting our senior population," said Goldberg.

If convicted, While could be sentenced to up to 21 years in jail, Stucco 15 years and Thomas 3 years.
7/17/12

Homeowner Permitted To Recover Home from Adverse Possession

Home Equity Theft Reporter A judge in Arapahoe County gave a Littleton family permission to move back in to their home after squatters took possession and lived there for eight months.

7/16/12

Mortgage Meltdown: Reverse Mortgages

"Wells Fargo gave us $80,000 for the house and they said we could both live here until we died, which I believed."

But she says Wells Fargo didn't keep their word.

Darcy: Do you feel as though this is a bait and switch?
Linda: Oh absolutely!

KTNV "It's a real, real tragedy," says Attorney Matthew Callister, who's filed multiple lawsuits over reverse mortgage loans like Linda's. "Typically, and from what I've seen here, the cost of that loan is horrific. There's not just lots and lots of hidden fees and costs built into the loan..." There's also lots he says banks don't tell borrowers.

"And when my husband died, everything changed. They wouldn't call me or anything, didn't get any response."

What she did get were foreclosure notices

7/16/12

 

Register of Deeds Guilford County Strikes One For Protection of Land Records

Defendants filed thousands of mortgage documents with the Guilford County Register of Deeds containing: (1) flagrantly forged signatures, (2) illegal notarizations, and (3) perjured and other false statements of fact.

GUILFORD COUNTY RESPONSE AND MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS’ MOTIONS TO DISMISS

Findsen Law Defendants may attempt to disagree with this assertion, but in considering a motion to dismiss, the Court must take all allegations as true. Mangum v. Raleigh Bd. of Adjustment, 362 N.C. 640, 644, 669 S.E.2d 279, 283 (2008).

Defendants committed these acts through two practices: First, Defendants hired people to forge bank officers’ signatures in an assembly line fashion, disregarding all laws and regulations concerning the execution of documents and affidavits and the conduct of notaries public.
7/16/12

Study links child abuse to home foreclosures

“It’s well known that economic stress has been linked to an increase in child physical abuse."

MSNBC “As the foreclosure crisis is projected to continue in the near future, these results highlight the need to better understand the stress that housing insecurity places on families and communities so that we can better support them during difficult times,” Wood said.
7/16/12

FLORIDA JUDGE DENIES SUNTRUST’S MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER WHICH SOUGHT TO BLOCK DEPOSITION OF SUNTRUST ENDORSEMENT SIGNER DEBORAH ELLIS Jeff Barnes, Esq. The Court ruled that the issues surrounding the endorsement are directly relevant to the standing defense asserted by the homeowner, and that the circumstances surrounding the endorsement are a proper subject of inquiry for the deposition of the “endorser” Deborah Ellis. Recent case law from the Florida 4th District Court of Appeal reversed summary judgments where there was no evidence offered by the foreclosing “bank” that the endorsement on the Note was present at the time that the Complaint was filed.
7/16/12

In foreclosure auctions, bidder beware

A real estate attorney in St. Petersburg  has heard plenty of stories of amateur investors in the Bay Area making the same mistake.

My Fox Tampa Dalhberg didn't realize is he did not buy an $8,000 mortgage foreclosure from a bank, but rather a foreclosure brought on by the homeowners association. So when he took possession of the title, he learned the property had a first mortgage of $184,000. The debt was left by the previous owner.

7/16/12

MERS Accused Of Secretly Selling Consumer Info 

A putative class of consumers hit a Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. unit with a suit Friday in Georgia alleging the company, which creates consumer reports and maintains files on 63 million people, secretly collects and sells confidential information on residential mortgage applicants. 

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia The putative class action alleges that the information collected by Merscorp Holdings Inc. is included in the consumer reports it sells, which contain confidential identifying information such as Social Security numbers and dates of birth. 

The suit alleges that Merscorp uploads mortgage application information to the Merscorp database when mortgages are applied for with a member of national fraud prevention database Fraud Alert, regardless of whether the applications are approved and without informing consumers. 
7/16/12

 

Some cities solve foreclosures by seizing them

In the foreclosure-battered stretches of the Inland Empire, local government officials desperate for change are weighing a controversial but inventive way to fix troubled mortgages: Condemn them.

My Desert The goal is to keep homeowners saddled by large mortgage payments from losing their homes — which are now valued at a fraction of what they were once worth.

“We just have too much pain and misery in this county to call off a public discussion like this,” county spokesman David Wert said.

7/16/12

HSBC Exposed U.S. Financial System to Money Laundering, Drug, Terrorist Financing Risks

“In an age of international terrorism, drug violence in our streets and on our borders, and organized crime, stopping illicit money flows that support those atrocities is a national security imperative,” said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., subcommittee Chairman.

The Permanent Subcommittee On Investigations “HSBC used its U.S. bank as a gateway into the U.S. financial system for some HSBC affiliates around the world to provide U.S. dollar services to clients while playing fast and loose with U.S. banking rules. Due to poor AML controls, HSBC exposed the United States to Mexican drug money, suspicious travelers cheques, bearer share corporations, and rogue jurisdictions. The bank’s federal bank regulator, the OCC, tolerated HSBC’s weak AML system for years. If an international bank won’t police its own affiliates to stop illicit money, the regulatory agencies should consider whether to revoke the charter of the U.S. bank being used to aid and abet that illicit money.”

7/16/12

Surveys Give Big Investors an Early View From Analysts

What analysts tell investors about the companies they follow — and when — is central to the concept of a level playing field on Wall Street. When disseminated, analyst downgrades and upgrades can make a stock sink or soar. 

NY Times They are supposed to be among Wall Street’s most closely guarded secrets: changes in research analysts’ views, up or down, of a company’s prospects. But some of the nation’s biggest brokerage firms appear to be giving a handful of top hedge funds an early peek at these sentiments — allowing them to trade on the information before other investors get the word.
7/15/12

Sisters feel victimized by CitiMortgage 

Because they think they were victims of dual tracking, they plan to apply for compensatory damages through the attorney general's relief fund because Citigroup was one of the banks that agreed to the settlement.

Tulsa World both women say they feel victimized by Wood's mortgage service company, CitiMortgage. They say they were told to stop making payments in 2010 on the Sand Springs home, where Wood previously lived for decades, to qualify for a payment modification program. 

CitiMortgage refused to give them a timely response about whether they qualified for the program and began foreclosure proceedings in early 2011 without their knowledge, the sisters say.
7/15/12

Deutsche Bank gets prosecution witness status in rate probe

Reuters They said Deutsche Bank has applied to cooperate with authorities in their investigation under the leniency programs of the European Union and in Switzerland, but that it did not mean the bank was admitting any guilt.
7/12/12

Taking Current Underwater Loans v. Defaulted Ones

Bailing out the banks without holding them accountable–and our continuing failure to hold them accountable–has created a moral hazard in our financial system that this globally destabilizing. And the policy makers who created that moral hazard are sweating whether the plumber down the street defaults to get his mortgage restructured?

Abigail Field The moral hazard claim is ‘if you take defaulted mortgages, you reward people for defaulting and inspire other people, now current, to default.’

Before taking on the claim, let me preface by saying that I find it incredibly offensive for policy makers to worry about the moral hazard involved in letting homeowners shift some of their losses to creditors by strategically defaulting, when some of those creditors are the bailed-out banks who continue to display the reckless behavior engendered by bailing them out–can you say ‘whale’ Jamie D?

7/15/12

A Manayunk foreclosure by Bank of America shows mortgage program's flaws

Philly Fiorilli's saga — backed up by a thick file of documents and call logs — is a story of a mortgage accommodation dangled and apparently snatched away for flimsy reasons, such as a phone payment that came in 35 cents short, and another payment that came in two weeks early. That's no misprint: early, not late.

7/15/12

Hopefully it won't take this long for homeowners to get their "stolen" homes back.

Man recovers car 42 years after theft

STLToday Robert Russell told the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department that he had never given up searching for the 1967 Austin Healy after it was stolen from his Philadelphia home in 1970.

After working with Philadelphia police to resolve vehicle identification issues, the department told Russell he could pick up his car.

7/15/12

California County Weighs Drastic Plan to Aid Homeowners

NY Times “Sooner or later,” said the Mayor of Fontana, who has seen the value of her own home cut in half,all these people who are upside down on their homes are just going to leave the keys out on the door and say forget it. This was supposed to be the promised land, and now we have people waiting in some kind of hellish purgatory. The people who were so eager to give us money before now won’t even talk to us.”
7/14/12

Ruling could have impact on foreclosure suits

The number of cases where the ruling might be applicable was not immediately clear, but could be in the tens of thousands.

AJC The issue involves the many lenders who sell their loans to other parties such as investment trusts, but serve as stand-ins handling the paperwork in the foreclosure process and act as if they still own the loans.

Reese v. Provident Funding

7/14/12

"Trade-Off": A Study In Global Systemic Collapse

Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge

And now a little something for everyone who consistently has a nagging feeling that at any second the world is one short flap of a butterfly's wings away from complete systemic disintegration: according to David Korowicz of FEASTA, and his most recent paper:

'Trade-Off: Financial System Supply-Chain Cross-Contagion: a study in global systemic collapse." that just may be the case.

7/14/12

Appeals court rejects bid to sue under lending act

At this point, Gale said, "I still don't know who owns my loan. I'm just sort of in never-never land."

GALE v. FIRST FRANKLIN LOAN SERVICES

The 9th Circuit ruling sent back to the trial court the question of whether Gale had faced an improper foreclosure under state law.

Las Vegas Review Under its intricate interpretation of the act, the court excused First Franklin because it was the original lender and kept the servicing rights even though the loan was later resold.

Changes mandated by the Dodd-Frank banking overhaul law enacted in 2010 will require all servicers to disclose a loan's ownership to a borrower. But it does not go into effect until January so the court did not apply it to Gale's case.

7/14/12

Ohio Files Motion To Lead JPMorgan ‘Whale’ Fraud Suit

Bloomberg Ohio pension funds lost more than $27.5 million due to the alleged fraud, DeWine’s office said today in a statement. Spokesman Dan Tierney, speaking in a telephone interview, said the state is seeking lead plaintiff status in the case because of “the size of the losses.”
7/14/12

Here Comes the Catch in Home Equity Loans

“Home equity borrowers face three potential issues,” the report concluded.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

They include risk from rising interest rates — most of these loans have adjustable rates — and payment shock as borrowers realize they have to pay down principal. Refinancing difficulties are also a problem, it said, “because collateral values have declined significantly since these loans were originated.”
7/14/12

"The game was rigged when you brought the people into it."

Bank of America, Countrywide Whistleblower Kept 3-Year Secret

Would you be able to keep a secret for four years that was so big it would make the five large U.S. banks pay up about $25 billion in a legal settlement?

abc News Lagow witnessed his company making bad loans on homes with low collateral. During that heyday of housing lending, executives encouraged appraisers to boost home values for sales.

Shayne Stevenson, one of his attorneys, said Lagow deserves the payment he received after all those years of waiting for legal process at professional and personal risk.

7/14/12

U.S. Is Building Criminal Cases in Rate-Fixing

NY Times The prospect of criminal cases is expected to rattle the banking world and provide a new impetus for financial institutions to settle with the authorities. The Justice Department investigation comes on top of private investor lawsuits and a sweeping regulatory inquiry led by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Collectively, the civil and criminal actions could cost the banking industry tens of billions of dollars.
7/14/12

This Is How To Kill JPM's CIO Operation

Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge

While JPM may or may not have succeeded in burying its deeply humiliating CIO fiasco at the expense of two things: i) a loss of up to 25% in recurring net income and ii) Jamie Dimon proudly throwing numerous of his key traders under the regulatory bus as scapegoats because it took the firm until July 12 to realize that its entire CDS book was criminally mismarked.
7/13/12

Woman sues Bank of America for wrongful foreclosure

SE Texas Record "However, and much to her shock and chagrin, plaintiff found out that defendants never actually intended to modify her note, misrepresented facts to her that led her to rely on their statements, only to receive notice from defendants that her house was going to be foreclosed on July 3, 2012."

7/13/12

Report: Ingham County officials stop 'wrongful' foreclosure on homeowner for a second time

This is the second time Ingham County officials have intervened to save the home from what they say is a wrongful foreclosure.

According to Ingham County Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel Jr., whose office funds a lawyer to help residents fight wrongful foreclosure, the homeowner received a loan modification from the bank holding the mortgage in 2010.

mLIVE But CITI subsequently refused to accept the payments and instead sold the home at auction.

Hertel's office intervened, and the sale of the home was set aside.

But the bank wouldn't accept the modified payments even after the judge's ruling.

"They would not give her an amount or address to send the payment in," Hertel said. "They posted on her door last month saying they were going to foreclose and sell her house at auction."

7/13/12

Tim Geithner’s Libor: Where Was the Barking Dog?

When all this stuff was going down, Mr. Geithner was the head of the New York Federal Reserve, and from that position of Wall Street oversight responsibility, the New York Times tells us today, he was privy to reports and rumors of bid rigging to affect the Libor rates. So what did he know and what did he do?

FDL The thing that has apparently shocked so many people in the last few weeks since the story broke on Barclays’ bid rigging settlement with US and UK regulators is that no one seems to have warned the victims that the entire structure for setting interest rates on consumer loans, mortgages, municipal bonds, insurance swaps and everything else in the economy — literally trillions of dollars in transactions — was rigged. It’s 2012, and they (the victims) just found out, so now there are hundreds of entities lining up to sue the worlds largest banksters for one the largest frauds in history.
7/13/12

CFTC Head Gary Gensler On Libor Scandal: 'We're All Losers'

Huff Post The effects could prove to be mixed, according to CNNMoney, with some consumers possibly in a position to take advantage of lower interest payments, and others facing the unpleasant scenario of earning less in their pensions or mutual funds. But Gensler, who's been outspoken in the past about banks and regulators not looking out for the little guy, suggested to Foroohar that the real problem with the Libor scandal is that it erodes public trust in a financial system already regarded with suspicion.
7/13/12

Buying U.S. Foreclosures: A Risky Business

Living Lies Canadians and other foreign investors are joining with U.S. investors in buying distressed residential real estate in the U.S. Practically by definition they have no idea about the risks they are taking. They are taking the “knowledge” from 15 years ago and applying it to a market that does not even remotely resemble the old market.
7/13/12

Wasendorf admitted forging bank documents for 20 years.

Huff Post Wasendorf has confessed, in a signed statement, that he duped the regulator for two decades. The FBI arrested him on Friday and accused him of stealing more than $100 million from clients using little more than a rented P.O. Box, Photoshop software and inkjet printers.
7/13/12

New York Fed's Libor Documents Reveal Cozy Relationship Between Regulators, Banks

Huff Post The New York Federal Reserve on Friday released documents showing it knew banks were manipulating a key interest rate more than four years ago.

The Fed became fully aware that banks were lying about their borrowing costs when setting Libor, and chose to take no action against them.

7/13/12

RealtyTrac, CoreLogic Confirm Housing Bear Thesis: 85-90% of REO Being Held Off Market, Meaning “Tight” Inventories Are Bogus

The solution seems to be to zombify the housing market rather than make servicers change their ways.

naked capitalism “If they let the dam essentially break. It could be a catastrophic disaster for the U.S. economy,” he said, predicting that some major banks would fail and home prices would nosedive by 20 percent.

That doomsday scenario has many industry professionals supporting lenders’ tactics of holding onto most of their REOs. Otherwise, they would be “causing the floor to fall out from underneath the entire market,” Faranda said. He added that banks don’t have the manpower to push the paperwork required to put all their foreclosures on the market.
7/13/12

What Regulators Knew About Rate Rigging

That sounds to us as though neither Barclays nor presumably the other banks were told to stop the false reporting.

NY Times As the Barclays rate-rigging scandal threatens to engulf other big banks, politicians in Washington and London are asking whether regulators allowed years of manipulation of benchmark interest rates that are tied to trillions of dollars of loans and other transactions worldwide. The answer is hiding in plain sight.
7/13/12

JPMorgan Fears Traders Obscured Losses in First Quarter

NY Times JPMorgan Chase disclosed on Friday that losses on its botched credit bet could climb to more than $7 billion and that the bank’s traders may have intentionally tried to obscure the full extent of the red ink on the disastrous trades.

7/13/12

MERS settles with Delaware AG, will conduct audit

MERS agreed not to foreclose in its name for the next five years in Delaware. Biden's office said it was drafting legislation to make this PERMANENT.

Delaware v. MERS Settlement

Housing Wire "As a result of this settlement the homeowner database is now required, for the first time, to identify investors who own the mortgages," a spokesman for Biden said in a statement clarifying the requirements of the database. "Because of Attorney General Biden’s efforts, MERS is now legally obligated to institute these reforms that will help homeowners by increasing accuracy and transparency, and will be held accountable if it does not follow through on its obligations under our Agreement."

7/13/12

Delaware AG Settlement Secures MERS Audit Reports, But Little Else

 "MERS' inaccurate and unreliable records raised serious questions about who owns what in America. The steps MERS will now take will help answer those questions," Biden said.

American Banker The only new requirement for Merscorp will be the semi-annual reports to Delaware's Justice Department, which under the terms of the settlement, will be confidential and prohibited from public disclosure.

... confidential and prohibited from public disclosure.

... confidential and prohibited from public disclosure.

7/12/12

United States v. Wells Fargo


Lending Discrimination Case

On July 12, 2012, the United States filed a complaint and proposed consent order in United States v. Wells Fargo Bank, NA (D.D.C.). 

Department of Justice The complaint alleges that Wells Fargo engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers in its mortgage lending from 2004 through 2009. The complaint alleges that Wells Fargo discriminated by steering approximately 4,000 African-American and Hispanic wholesale borrowers, as well as additional retail borrowers, into subprime mortgages when non-Hispanic white borrowers with similar credit profiles received prime loans. All the borrowers who were allegedly discriminated against were qualified for Wells Fargo mortgage loans according to Well Fargo's own underwriting criteria.
7/12/12

Former bank CEO, vice presidents indicted in Va.

AP The indictment says that many of the bank's loans were funded and administered without regard to industry standards or the bank's own internal controls. By 2008, the volume of the bank's troubled loans and foreclosures soared, according to the indictment.

7/12/12

BofA shareholders may pursue lawsuit over MERS, mortgages

 

The judge dismissed a variety of claims against current and former Bank of America executives and directors, including current Chief Executive Brian Moynihan and his predecessor, Kenneth Lewis, and dozens of underwriters.

Reuters TARP REPAYMENT

Shareholders alleged they had been misled into buying Bank of America stock in 2009 and 2010, including stock sold to repay $45 billion of federal bailout money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

They claimed Bank of America knew it could not raise enough capital - and escape TARP restrictions on executive pay - had the bank revealed it might have to repurchase billions of dollars of securities backed by risky loans, including from Countrywide.

Shareholders also said the bank knew that recordkeeping in Merscorp Inc's private Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems registry was so poor that it would not be able to legally foreclose on thousands of delinquent mortgages.

7/12/12

Wells Fargo Will Settle Mortgage Bias Charges

The deal covers the subprime bubble years of 2004 to 2009.

Minority borrowers who had been steered into costly subprime loans would receive an average of $15,000, while the victims who had been charged more costly fees would receive $1,000 to $3,500.

NY Times Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, has agreed to pay at least $175 million to settle accusations that its independent brokers discriminated against black and Hispanic borrowers during the housing boom, the Justice Department announced on Thursday. If approved by a federal judge, it would be the second-largest residential fair-lending settlement in the department’s history.

7/12/12

DELAY Is the Name of the Game

Investors own the note but even they don’t quite understand how they own the note — a fact complicated by the fact that the “aggregator” was a fiction and the money came from a Superfund escrow account in which ALL the money from ALL the investors was commingled and the moment of funding of each loan was a different moment in the SuperFund account because money was coming and going and so were investors.

Living Lies This is what enabled the banks to (a) sell something they didn’t own (they called it selling forward, but it wasn’t selling forward, it was fraud) (b) sell it over and over again, by calling the “exotic instrument” something else, changing a few pieces of information about the loan data and presto!, Bear Stearns had “leveraged” the loan 42 times.
Translation: BEAR STEARNS sold something they didn’t have 42 times. And the risk of loss was that if someone in the chain of sales ever demanded delivery, they needed to go out and buy the loans which they figured was a sure thing because in all probability the loans were not worth the paper they were written on and in the open market, they could be purchased for pennies while Bear Stearns et al was selling the loans 42 times over at 100 cents on the dollar.
7/12/12

“Neil Garfield” From The “Livinglies Blog”

Piggybank Blog Four-part interview with Neil discusses what is going on in the foreclosure arena and what needs to be done. 

7/12/12

MERS wins two favorable rulings, court sanctions foreclosure attorney

 

Tadehara v. Ace Securities, Ocwen, HSBC, MERS (unpublished)

Housing Wire In another case, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a wrongful foreclosure complaint filed against MERS and other parties. In Tadehara v. Ace Securities Corp., the court held that Utah laws do not prevent the beneficiary of a deed of trust or its assigns from possessing the power to foreclose on secured property on behalf of the lender or the lender's assignees.

The Trillion dollar question is was the property secured or unsecured.

7/12/12

Malden mayor, others protest threatened foreclosure of longtime resident

“I just want my house back," Rogers said. "I’m willing to pay, to do whatever I have to do to stay in my house, but Fannie Mae doesn’t want to do anything with me. They don't want to negotiate at all."

Boston “Gary Rogers’ foreclosure never should have happened," said CL/VU organizer Dominic DeSiata. "[Fannie Mae] should have worked with him on a loan modification, but instead they opt for this route and try to push him out of his house."

DeSiata said the city spent $3 million maintaining foreclosed homes last year.

“These houses are not selling fast. They’re sitting empty, and in the meantime this is costing municipalities tons of money in upkeep.”

7/12/12

Defects in chain of title must be raised prior to foreclosure

Thomas v. Nadel

Filed June 25, 2012

 

Ballard Spahr LLP In the recent decision in Bates v. Cohn, this Court reiterated that a borrower
challenging a foreclosure action must ordinarily assert known and ripe defenses to the conduct of the foreclosure sale in advance of the sale. After the sale, the borrower is
ordinarily limited to raising procedural irregularities in the conduct of the sale, although the Court left open the possibility that a borrower could assert a post-sale exception that the deed
of trust was itself the product of fraud.
7/12/12

U.S. home foreclosure filings rise

In the first six months of the year, homes in some stage of the foreclosure process — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — topped one million, RealtyTrac said.

One in 126 homes in the country had at least one foreclosure filing

The Raw Story “The increases in foreclosure starts in the first half of the year will likely translate into more short sales and bank repossessions in the second half of the year and into next year,” said Brandon Moore, chief executive of RealtyTrac.
7/12/12

Foreclosures are on the rise again in Las Vegas

The overall slowdown in bank takeovers is believed to be responsible for a smaller inventory of homes for sale and a resulting rise in price.

Vegas Inc For Las Vegas, the figures released Wednesday showed a reversal in pattern. Before inching back up last month, Las Vegas moved from No. 1 on the foreclosure list in January to No. 7 in April to No. 15 in May.

Notices of default, which are the first step in the foreclosure process, jumped in the Las Vegas area from 1,097 in May to 1,352 in June.
7/12/12

Libor Investigation Extended to US Mortgages, but What About TALF Loans?

naked capitalism it is not yet clear whether US mortgage borrowers were affected, since the priorities of the manipulators in the case of Barclays was improving the price of their derivatives positions, and then in the crisis, lowering their Libor posting to help look healthier than they were.
7/11/12

City Bankruptcy Could Raise Hurdles for Mortgage Seizure Plan

American Banker San Bernardino County, which is considering a plan to use eminent domain to restructure underwater mortgages, is still planning to host its first meeting to discuss mortgage modification proposals on Friday, spokesman David Wert said on Wednesday. The proposal has raised the ire of investors in private-label mortgage-backed securities, who could face significant losses if the loans are seized.
7/11/12

How Countrywide Used its VIP Loan Program To Influence Washington Policymakers

Money laundering, drug cartels and Congressional reports... If you want to know why so many Congressional leaders left their seats – it apparently wasn’t just because their districts got changed – it appears it got too hot and they couldn’t survive the heat that’s coming down...

U.S. House of Representatives
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Darrell Issa, Chairman
Between January 1996 and June 2008, Countrywide’s VIP loan unit made
hundreds of loans to current and former Members of Congress, congressional staff, high-ranking government officials, and executives and employees of Fannie Mae, including Chairmen James “Jim” Johnson, Franklin Raines, and Daniel Mudd. VIPs who worked
at Fannie Mae enjoyed expedited loan processing and pricing discounts. Countrywide also waived company guidelines for Fannie Mae’s senior executives to a greater extent
than it did for “regular” VIPs.
NY Trust Law

6/15/11

Bank of America targeted in new probe by New York Attorney General

Nearly all the agreements that govern securitized mortgages (Pooling and Servicing Agreements) are governed by the laws of New York state. The agreement has a section specifically stipulates that the trust agreement “shall be governed by and controlled in accordance with the laws of the State of New York…”

When these securitized loans are passed around and sold to different entities, every transaction has to be recorded in the appropriate County Clerk’s office in the county where the property is located. The note also has to be endorsed without recourse from the seller the buyer.

The Alternative News Source In the securtization process there is the Originator (bank); Sponsor (a shell company) the Seller (another shell company); Master Servicer; Depositor and then the Trustee. The note should be endorsed from Originator to Sponsor to Seller to Master Servicer then to Depositor sequentially, who finally endorses it to the Trustee. In other words a note that is an asset of the trust should have an “unbroken”chain of endorsements from the Sponsor to the Trustee sequentially.

Article II Section 2.01 of every PSA says: Section 2.01 (c)(i)(A) requires that the Depositor deliver the original Mortgage Note endorsed by manual or facsimile signature in blank in the following form:
7/11/12

The LIBOR Scandal Explained in One Simple Infographic

Daily Finance This nifty infographic from Accounting Degree.net gives non-finance folk an idea of the scope of the scandal. 
7/11/12

BofA shareholders may pursue lawsuit over MERS, mortgages

Reuters A federal judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit accusing Bank of America Corp of misleading shareholders about its exposure to risky mortgage  securities and its dependence on an electronic mortgage registry known as MERS.
7/11/12

 

California foreclosure overhaul signed into law

SB900, a recently passed Homeowner Bill of Rights law, will not provide these rights and protections to owners until it takes effect on Jan 1, 2013. 

To protect home owners until then, we are calling on the Governor to issue a temporary Foreclosure Moratorium.

Office of the Attorney General At a boisterous signing ceremony in downtown Los Angeles, Brown said that the measures were an important step for an economy still suffering the fallout of the subprime mortgage crisis and housing bust.

The new laws also ban so-called robo-signing — the improper or faulty processing of foreclosure documents — and would allow state agencies and private citizens to sue financial institutions, under limited conditions, for economic compensation and for additional civil damages of up to $50,000 if lenders willfully, intentionally or recklessly violate the law. No lawsuit could go forward if the bank or servicer first fixes the problem with documentation or procedures, according to the bills.

Governor Jerry Brown Signs Landmark Foreclosure Legislation into Law

This law ends the “dual track” process, where banks foreclose on homeowners while they are negotiating for a loan modification with their bank, and the pernicious practice of “robosigning”. 

California Reinvestment Coalition In addition, homeowners will no longer have to speak to a different person at the bank every time they call and resubmit the same mountain of paperwork to different people at the same institution. If a bank cannot follow these simple procedural rules, California homeowners will be able to enforce their rights by taking the bank to court. This will encourage servicers to follow the law, and when they do not, it will allow victimized homeowners to get their homes back where possible, or get some financial relief.

“This legislation should serve as a national model for other states looking to enforce the Settlement and protect homeowners.”

7/11/12

Finding help for wronged borrowers in foreclosure process

Philly If you were targeted for foreclosure during 2009 or 2010 and suspect something went wrong, time is running out on an independent review ordered last year by federal banking regulators that could bring you up to $125,000, or even more, in compensation. But free help is available if you're baffled by the process.
7/11/12

Occupy LA Homeowner Advocates Call for Moratorium as Governor Brown Signs Homeowners Bill of Rights

Democratic Underground The bill, however, does not take effect until the beginning of the year and servicers aren’t obligated to consider applications for loan modifications or appeals submitted before Jan 1, 2013. Occupy Fights Foreclosures, a subcommittee of Occupy LA, calls for an immediate moratorium on foreclosures to protect the thousands of families facing foreclosures right now. 
7/11/12

The Mortgage Condemnation Plan: Fleecing Municipalities as Well as Investors 

naked capitalism One of the big problems with this plan, which seems to have been overlooked so far, is that any municipality who goes down this path is likely to be the designated bagholder. Mind you, that isn’t based just on the general tendency of municipalities to be easy prey for clever bankers, but also based on the few, but nevertheless troubling, operational details that have been made public.
7/10/12

Governor signs homeowner foreclosure limit

Homeowners who default on refinanced mortgages won't be liable for debts that exceed the market value of their lost properties.

L.A. Times Late Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law legislation to close a legal loophole that could make defaulting borrowers responsible for paying back money they took out of previously more valuable homes when they refinanced their loans.

The lingering debt, said the author of the bill, Sen. Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) adds a second punishment to people who already have lost their biggest possession.

7/10/12

Weidner: Notes Are Not Negotiable Instruments

Living Lies Matt Weidner appears to have mastered the truth about securitization and how to apply it in foreclosure defense cases. The article below is really for lawyers, paralegals and very sophisticated pro se litigants. His point about being careful about how you present this is very well taken. This is for lawyers to do and lawyers should read this and get with the program.
7/10/12

The Spreading Scourge of Corporate Corruption

The misconduct of the financial industry no longer surprises most Americans. Only about one in five has much trust in banks.

NY Times The world’s leading banks manipulating one of the most important interest rates in contemporary finance is clearly egregious. But is that worse than packaging billions of dollars worth of dubious mortgages into a bond and having it stamped with a Triple-A rating to sell to some dupe down the road while betting against it? Or how about forging documents on an industrial scale to foreclose fraudulently on countless homeowners?
7/10/12

CORRUPTION OF TITLE CHAINS IS PANDEMIC

The real story is that title chains have been irretrievably corrupted — which means that title cannot be established by using the documents alone.

Either way they are going to have a problem that can’t be fixed. They can’t prove up the documents because the documents are contrary to the path of monetary transactions and recite facts that are untrue —- in addition to the fact that the documents themselves were fabricated, forged, robo-signed and fraudulently presented. 

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

This is why I say that regardless of how hard anyone tries to do the wrong thing, the only right way to correct these problems is to negate the foreclosures that have already been concluded, stop the ones that are being conducted in the same way as the old way, and make them prove up their right to foreclose. 

The absence of a mortgage or deed of trust naming that actual creditor will void the mortgage and negate the credit bid at the auction.

Most Judges are going to take the position that they could be fooled once when the foreclosure originally went through on the premise of valid documents and an actual financial transaction attached to THOSE documents, but that they won’t be fooled a a second time. They will demand proof. And proof according to the normal rules of evidence is completely lacking because the entire securitization chain was a lie from one end to the other.

7/10/12

Getting Your Chapter 13 Discharged

If you own a home and were using the Chapter 13 to “strip” the second deed of trust or mortgage, then you want to make sure that everything is done to eliminate that debt and the lien on your property.

Bankruptcy Law Network The “discharge” is the legal determination that all of your unsecured debts that remain after the plan are gone. The collection company or bill collector can no longer bother you or seek payment for those debts.
7/10/12

The other foreclosure crisis: Losing a home for $400 in back taxes

CNN Outdated state laws that allow local governments to sell tax liens on delinquent properties to investors in order to more quickly collect on overdue property taxes is sparking a second "foreclosure crisis," a report from the National Consumer Law Center said Tuesday

7/10/12

Ohio lawsuit accuses Freddie Mac of fraud

Studies have shown that MERS destroyed the chain of title in America, and other studies reveal that illegal robosigning is still in play, and that foreclosure fraud has occurred in the majority of loans.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae began paying transfer taxes in 2009 (even though they claim they are exempt?), so the lawsuit is only seeking transfer taxes due from 2002 through 2008.

Summit County v. Freddie Complaint

AGBeat Last year, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS) became the subject of lawsuits from counties across the nation as District Attorneys allege the company never owned the loans they were facilitating foreclosures for, and in most cases, judges agree, and their authority to facilitate has been denied in several counties. Dallas County alleges the mortgage-tracking system violates Texas laws and shorted the county anywhere from $58 million to over $100 million in uncollected filing fees due to the MERS system, dating back to 1997.

7/10/12

Florida tops the nation in force-placed insurance

Florida led the country in its share of force-placed insurance premiums the past three years, including 35 percent, or $1.2 billion, in 2011 — more than three times the amount sold in the next-largest state, California.

"Some of these charges are so outrageous that they push people into default and foreclosure."

Sun Sentinel Lord Toussaint said he's being charged a whopping $90,000 a year for coverage that used to cost $5,600 for his home in Coral Gables.

Jeff Golant, an attorney representing borrowers in about 20 lawsuits over force-placed coverage, including Sultan's, said even when companies provide notice, it doesn't give them the right "to rip people off."

 

7/10/12

O.C. man sentenced in foreclosure scam

An Anaheim Hills man was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison Monday for his role in a mortgage fraud conspiracy and for evading taxes.

OC Register Most of the time homeowners and their families were evicted without the knowledge they had no title to the property, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Sheth said.
Gale and Hall were charged with wire fraud; Gale has pleaded guilty, Hall's case is still pending, Sheth said.
7/10/12

NY Fed Knew About Libor Issues For Years

Huff Post The role of the Fed is likely to raise questions about whether it and other authorities took enough action to address concerns they had about the way Libor rates were set, or whether their struggle to keep the banking system afloat through the financial crisis meant the issue took a backseat.
7/10/12

PFGBest, Brokerage Firm, Missing Over $200 Million In Customer Funds As Founder Attempts Suicide

"What this means is no customers are able to trade except to liquidate positions. Until further notice, PFGBEST is not authorized to release any funds," the note said.

Huff Post The National Futures Association (NFA), an industry group that also plays a regulatory role, said it had issued an emergency order to effectively freeze PFGBest's operations after finding that a U.S. bank account the broker said contained $225 million in customer funds actually held only $5 million.

"Some employees had begun packing up shortly after the announcements. "Pretty much everybody around here said we're doomed."

7/10/12

Quarter Of Wall Street Executives See Wrongdoing As Key To Success: Survey

Huff Post Sixteen percent of respondents said they would commit insider trading if they could get away with it, according to Labaton Sucharow. And 30 percent said their compensation plans created pressure to compromise ethical standards or violate the law.

GUILFORD COUNTY RESPONSE AND MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS’ MOTIONS TO DISMISS

The lawsuit concerns the filing of thousands of false, forged, or fabricated mortgage-related documents in the Guilford County Registry of Deeds.

4closurefraud Guilford County has alleged and demonstrated that each and every Defendant has filed a robo-signed
document.

 

For more information and Exhibits, click HERE and look under General Information.

7/9/12

JPMorgan Chase Employee Allegedly Steals $100,000 From Man With Alzheimer's

The Complaint

Huff Post Here's a new one: A JPMorgan Chase employee has been accused of taking advantage of a man suffering from Alzheimer's by pulling $100,000 from his bank account, according to a new lawsuit.
7/9/12

Housing’s Last Chance?

Astonishingly, in San Bernardino County, every second home is underwater.

When you first hear this idea, it sounds a little crazy. Eminent domain to take a mortgage? But the more closely you look at it, the more sense it starts to make. It would be a way to break the logjam that keeps mortgages in mortgage-backed bonds — securitizations — from being modified. It could prevent foreclosures. And it could finally stabilize housing prices.

Joe Nocera

NY Times

The people who wound up owning the mortgages — investors — were diffuse, often with conflicting interests, while the mortgages were managed by servicers or trustees who didn’t actually own them. And the securitization contracts never anticipated that people might need to modify. So it has been nearly impossible to modify mortgages stuck in securitizations.

We’re four years into a housing crisis. Nothing has yet worked to stem the terrible tide of foreclosures. It’s time to give eminent domain a try.

7/9/12

Closer to a bailout? FHA's mortgage delinquencies soar

Housing experts have been warning for years that many FHA-insured loans are not sustainable, especially in these troubled times

CNN And taxpayers could ultimately be on the hook for FHA's growing number of troubled mortgages. The agency's finances are already on shaky ground, and additional losses from loans going sour could prompt the need for a federal bailout, experts said.
7/9/12

Bad lawyering?

Maryland High Court: Gap In Mortgage Note's Chain Of Title Does Not Necessarily Constitute Fraud That Infects Deed Of Trust

Thomas v. Nadel

Home Equity Theft Reporter Last week, the Court of Appeals of Maryland rejected a borrower in foreclosure's argument that gaps in a promissory note's chain of title amounts to fraud that infects a deed of trust. The Court's holding makes it easier for creditors who hold notes that are not completely traceable to the original lender, to foreclose.
7/8/12

Mission Statement

I believe that the five million plus Foreclosures should be reversed. I believe the homes lost should be restored to the rightful owner. And I believe that if there is a windfall that comes out of all this it should fall to the homeowner and not the banks.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

It is my hope that lawyers from across the land will perceive the profound injustices that are perpetrated upon the American public every day by banks and servicers who did not make or purchase a loan with the borrowers they are attacking, corrupting our markets and government records forever. I pray lawyers will be motivated to see the merits of challenging the pretender lenders, the need to do justice, the need to restore confidence in our justice system, and the opportunity to earn significant income from this endeavor.+
7/8/12

The Lying Bankers and Their Government Enablers

How did the bankers manage rig the interest rate? Easy. They lied.

Abigail Field The Lying Bankers scandal also offers the clearest opportunity to send bankers to jail. Opportunities, of course, are not outcomes. No one should be sanguine that even this exquisitely clear showcase of banker illegality will necessarily produce meaningful law enforcement.
7/8/12

Title Insurers Red-Flag Homes with Quiet Title Suits In Ownership History

Home Equity Theft Reporter “What we have, ironically, is a quiet title action, which is supposed to clean up title issues, having the potential to cloud the title and create more issues.”
7/8/12

Roubini Warns a Crisis in 2013 Would Be Worse Than 2008

naked capitalism New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini discusses "greedy" bankers, the euro-zone crisis and risks facing the global economy in 2013.

7/7/12

The LIBOR scandal
THE ROTTEN HEART OF FINANCE
A scandal over key interest rates is about to go global

The LIBOR affair
Banksters
How Britain’s rate-fixing scandal might spread—and what to do about it

Economist As many as 20 big banks have been named in various investigations or lawsuits alleging that LIBOR was rigged. The scandal also corrodes further what little remains of public trust in banks and those who run them.

The attempts to rig LIBOR (the London inter-bank offered rate), a benchmark interest rate, not only betray a culture of casual dishonesty; they set the stage for lawsuits and more regulation right the way round the globe. This could well be global finance’s “tobacco moment”.

7/7/12

The Wall Street Scandal of all Scandals

Sit down and hold on to your chair.

Just when you thought Wall Street couldn’t sink any lower – when its myriad abuses of public trust have already spread a miasma of cynicism over the entire economic system, giving birth to Tea Partiers and Occupiers and all manner of conspiracy theories;...

ROBERT B. REICH ... when its excesses have already wrought havoc with the lives of millions of Americans, causing taxpayers to shell out billions (of which only a portion has been repaid) even as its top executives are back to making more money than ever; when its vast political power (via campaign contributions) has already eviscerated much of the Dodd-Frank law that was supposed to rein it in, including the so-called “Volker Rule that was sold as a milder version of the old Glass-Steagall Act that used to separate investment from commercial banking – yes, just when you thought the Street had hit bottom, an even deeper level of public-be-damned greed and corruption is revealed. 
7/7/12

Barclays Case Opens a Window on Wall Street

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Barclays is just one member of the cozy club that sets the Libor, which is supposed to be based on the average rate at which large banks can borrow money overnight. It’s not based on actual transactions, however — and that leaves room for mischief.

7/7/12**

LBO AMERICA with Catherine Austin Fitts,

Under President George Herbert Walker Bush, she was Assistant Secretary of Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner at HUD, where she basically ran the Federal Housing Administration or FHA.

Mandelman Matters

Podcast

If you have never heard what Catherine has to say about our current crisis… well, you’d be insane not to take advantage of this opportunity. Because as she’ll explain, it wasn’t an accident, it’s been in the cards, as they say for so long I’m not even going to tell you how long except to say that it has something to do with Iran-Contra.
And she’ll explain what the War on Drugs has to do with mortgages too.

7/6/12

Uh Oh... Is The Securitization Fraud Teetering?

 

Motion to Dismiss: Note Non-Negotiable

Appellant's Brief

 

Market Ticker

 

Matt Weidner, Esq.

The import of this decision, assuming it stands, is significant. It means that the "defenses" to all the fraudclosure crap may just evaporate, as once you force recognition of all of those formalities if they didn't happen then the guy standing in front of the judge asking to steal your house fails, as he's not the right person to be making the request -- that is, he's a thief instead of a forecloser!
7/6/12

Botched transfer leads to Foreclosure Nightmare

Bank of America forecloses on another home it did not own. 

ajc Bank of America has since tried to rescind its April 2010 foreclosure. But hitting the reset button can't undo uprooting her kids or replace family photos, jewelry and kids' honor roll certificates. after looting the families personal belongings.

Botched foreclosures: Lenders not the only problem

Lender Processing Services

Smith's attorney said a number of his clients who have gone through foreclosure have had their property illegally seized from the premises because lenders failed to follow the law.
7/6/12

GAO Finds Foreclosure “Request a Review” Materials Too Complicated for a Lot of Borrowers

The GAO, which was asked to look into this matter, came down on the servicers for their failure to develop jargon-free, readable materials. Their excuse was that they felt pressured by deadlines and couldn’t take the time to test the letters in focus groups. The GAO was not impressed with that, and referred to Federal “plain language” guidelines that stress the importance of avoiding jargon and writing to the level of the audience, which in the US means at the eight grade level or lower.

naked capitalism Now of course, one should never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence. But let’s face it, servicers have every reason to throw a spanner in the works of these reviews, since more successfully completed review forms not only means more work and expense for them, but it also can lead to more payouts and more proof that they were incompetent at best, predatory at worst. And there is ample evidence they’ve been using every trick at their disposal to do so.

So while it’s useful to have the GAO expose how the review process is certain to be missing a lot of people who ought to be included, that assumes they’d actually get a fair hearing. Perhaps they are being done a service by not having their hopes raised and then dashed.

7/6/12

Beyond Barclays: Laying out the Libor Investigations

ProPublica If you’re just catching up to this, here’s some background on the scandal, and how we’ll likely see government action on other banks besides Barclays.
7/5/12

Yep, sounds like EMC Mortgage

 

Bank Killed Minister, Evicted Wife, Family Says in Foreclosure Horror

JP Morgan Chase/EMC killed a retired minister by giving him a stress-induced heart attack, seized the home days later and wrongfully evicted his widow - all because they accepted the bank's offer and followed its advice, the man's wife of 57 years claims in Dallas County Court.

Motivated by financial gain, defendants swiftly foreclosed on and/or seized the Engel home, wrongfully evicting Wanda Engel, only days after their actions had caused Harry Engel's death." 

Courthouse News Harry Engel, of Grand Prairie, died in July 2010. His widow and his adult children sued the bank, EMC Mortgage and LPS Field Services on a host of charges, including wrongful death, wrongful foreclosure, trespass, gross negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The family also sued Chase alone for fraud, fraudulent inducement and deceptive trade.

Also see: Foreclosures can make you sick, report says 

As Dianne Huntsberry was losing her home last year, the result of a financing scam, she also wound up in the hospital - twice - for what seemed like heart problems.

Stress of foreclosure can make homeowners ill

7/5/12

 

Countrywide Used Loan Discounts To Buy Congress, Fannie Mae Execs, Other Government Officials: Report

Bank of America and Countrywide:   Worst Deal Ever

Huff Post The report, obtained by The Associated Press, said that the discounts – from January 1996 to June 2008, were not only aimed at gaining influence for the company but to help mortgage giant Fannie Mae. Countrywide's business depended largely on Fannie, which at the time was trying to fend off more government regulation but eventually had to come under government control.
7/5/12

Sheriff task force to investigate criminal mortgage fraud in county

Carroll County's sheriff is rounding up a posse to investigate criminal mortgage fraud. Volunteers will be needed.

Conway Daily Sun This is an election year and two other candidates will be vying for Conley's office in November. Republican candidate Domenic Richardi said whether or not he would continue Conley's program depends on what exactly Conley does. Richardi indicated that a lot of the work could be done in house as opposed to with a group of volunteers.
7/5/12

Area foreclosures almost doubled

North Jersey "It’s one thing that expands, and expands, and expands" said Schaer, adding it begins as an economic problem, and often balloons into an emotional problem, and causes strains on a family.

7/5/12

Proof Of Common Law Fraud Not Needed To Maintain Suit Under "Catch-All" Section Of PA State Consumer Protection Law In Loan Servicer Jerk-Around Case

Trunzo v. Citi Mortgage

Home Equity Theft Reporter In a purported class action lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania filed by two homeowners against a pair of mortgage servicers and a law firm/debt collector alleging conduct that is apparently now the standard for the servicing industry (jerk-arounds, conflicting communications, allegedly erroneous charges, etc.), a district judge recently granted the defendants' motion to dismiss several counts made against them, but allowed other counts to survive, thereby allowing the lawsuit to proceed.
 

7/5/12

 

Sixth Circuit issues “final chapter” on electronic registration system’s role as foreclosing mortgagee in Michigan

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a Michigan Supreme Court ruling that permits the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) to foreclose mortgages – particularly nonjudicial foreclosures in states that permit them – even if it does not hold the underlying promissory note at the time of foreclosure.

Lexology On July 3, 2012, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in on this issue and, unsurprisingly, followed the Michigan Supreme Court’s Saurman decision permitting MERS to foreclose on a mortgage notwithstanding that MERS did not hold the underlying promissory note at the time of the foreclosure. In Hargrow v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Case No. 11-1806, 2012 WL 2552805 (6th Cir. July 3, 2012), the Sixth Circuit was called upon by the plaintiffs/home mortgagors to determine whether a foreclosure by advertisement proceeding under MCL 600.3201 commenced by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. was avoidable under Michigan law because, at the time of the commencement of the foreclosure proceedings and the subsequent sheriff’s sale, Wells Fargo did not hold the underlying note.
7/5/12

California cities consider seizing mortgages 

WSJ California's San Bernardino County and two of its largest cities, Ontario and Fontana, want to put eminent domain to a highly unorthodox use to keep people in their homes
The municipalities, about 45 minutes east of Los Angeles, would acquire underwater mortgages from investors and cut the loan principal to match the current property value. Then, they would resell the reduced mortgages to new investors. 
7/5/12

Wall Street Bank Investors In Dark On Libor Liability

“This is potentially the mother lode in terms of potential damages,” he said.

Bloomberg While it’s not possible to predict a specific loss amount, damages could be in the tens or hundreds of billions of dollars if the lenders are found liable, Shinder said.
“Everyone in the industry knows if you knock down a few basis points here and there billions of dollars shift between counterparties,” Shinder said. Adjusting Libor up or down affects the interest rates on scores of financial instruments. “This is price-fixing,” he said.
7/4/12

Germany: Man Facing Eviction Kills 4 People and Himself

NY Times The hostage taker, a 53-year-old man, was facing eviction from the apartment he shared with his 55-year-old girlfriend after she lost it in a foreclosure auction in April, the police said. The man took his own life after killing his girlfriend, a bailiff, a locksmith and the new owner of the apartment.
7/4/12

Home inspector to plead guilty in fraud case

As the real estate market plunged in Florida, a Brooksville company that inspected foreclosed homes had trouble keeping up with the work.

 

TBO So the company started fabricating reports for follow-up inspections, using re-dated photographs taken at the first visit.

Company owner Dean Counce, 42, of Spring Hill, has agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge of wire fraud, which carries up to 20 years in prison

7/4/12

LIBOR Banking Scandal Deepens; Barclays Releases Damning Email, Implicates British Government

This Libor-manipulation story grows crazier with each passing minute. We have officially disappeared now down the rabbit-hole of the international financial oligarchy.

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

In the email, Diamond essentially tells the other two execs that he has been given permission by Tucker – encouraged, actually – to rig Libor rates downward. What’s even worse is that Diamond’s email suggests that Tucker was only following orders, i.e. that Tucker had received phone calls from "a number of senior figures within Whitehall" – that is, the British government – expressing concern about Barclays' high Libor rates. Tucker in this version of events was acting as a middleman for the British government, telling Diamond to fake his borrowing rates in order to preserve the appearance of financial stability, for the good of Queen and country as it were.
7/3/12

How the Fannie and Freddie Could, But Won’t Cut the Housing Gordian Knot

naked capitalism The reason we seem unable to get off this destructive path is servicers are paid to foreclose, and not to modify, hence they have set themselves up pretty much only to foreclose. And even with bribes like HAMP 2.0 (and increasingly, threats, like pending legislation in California and other states that puts more teeth in the requirement that a servicer negotiate with a stressed borrower), servicers really can’t be bothered.

7/3/12

‘The mob learned from Wall Street’: Eliot Spitzer on the ‘cartel-style corruption’ behind Libor scam

Viewpoint “Viewpoint” host Eliot Spitzer, Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone contributing editor, and Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets, analyze the Libor interest rate–rigging scandal engulfing the banking industry
7/3/12

Big Foreclosure Compensation, But Only for the Right Wrongs

Can you put a price on the damage caused by a wrongful foreclosure? Banking regulators have. And it’s $125,000. Or $60,000. Or $15,000. Or… it’s unclear.

ProPublica Such reasoning “turns the idea of remediation on its head,” said Diane Thompson of the National Consumer Law Center. “Borrowers who lose their homes wrongfully for any reason suffer the same amount of financial injury and harm, whether or not they could or would bring a separate lawsuit to challenge that wrongful foreclosure.”

It also sends the wrong message to mortgage servicers, Thompson said, to have such a mild penalty for failing to consider a homeowner for a modification at all when there’s such a significant payment associated with trial modification errors. “This essentially rewards servicers for having failed to process loan mods.”
7/3/12 This story is just BIZARRE all the way to the end.

Woman Nearly Loses Home Over Unpaid Tax Bill That Wasn't Hers

Though Intown dropped their suit, James hasn't dropper hers: She's suing Dan West, the owner of Intown Ventures, for trespassing and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

AOL Rita James (pictured above) bought her Atlanta home nearly 50 years ago, and she paid off her mortgage in 1994. So she was flabbergasted when, in 2007, a company called Intown Ventures brought a lawsuit against her claiming that she owed them five years of back rent for living in her own house -- because Intown was actually the owner.

It was when she landed in court that she learned of a now-18-year-long saga during which her home was auctioned to satisfy the debt on an unpaid tax bill that wasn't even hers. And she didn't even know any of this had happened.
7/3/12

BOOM! Class Action For Alleged Fair Debt Collection Act Violations in The Context of Foreclosure Proceedings….

It’s time to dust off the statute books and start looking at Fair Debt Collection Practices violations….
So much of what the Dark Side is doing in the context of foreclosure and property preservation and inspections is just flat out thuggish and illegal debt collecting.

Bonnici v. U.S. Bank, Bank of America

 

 

Matt Weidner, Esq.

Entire post: We’re now in a very interesting and dangerous times. The banks are frustrated because the traditional legal methods…you know our system of laws and the rules that govern a stable and civilized nation, are not working for them.
And so they are taking their attempts outside of the courtroom and outside accepted, traditional, legal methods……
WILL ANYONE DO ANYTHING TO STOP THIS?
George Gingo, Esq.

7/3/12

 

Implications of statute of limitations rulings in mortgage-backed securities cases

The Second Circuit concluded that, under Merck, the 1934 Act’s statute of limitations does not begin to run until a plaintiff could plead sufficient facts to survive a motion to dismiss: A “fact is not deemed ‘discovered’ until a reasonably diligent plaintiff would have sufficient information about that fact to adequately plead it in a complaint.”

Lexology The 1934 Act’s two-year limitations period was traditionally measured by the “inquiry notice” standard, but Merck rejected it, holding that the limitations period does not begin to run until “a reasonably diligent plaintiff would have discovered ‘the facts constituting the violation,’ including scienter—irrespective of whether the actual plaintiff undertook a reasonably diligent investigation.” Id. at 1798. “Inquiry notice” does not trigger the statute of limitations, the Court held, because even a diligent investigation may not feasibly lead to “facts constituting the violation.” Id. at 1788. The Supreme Court thus confirmed that the proper focus is not on when the investigation should have begun, but rather must be on when a reasonable investigation would have borne sufficient fruit.
7/3/12

Court rejects certification of class of borrowers whose properties were subject to foreclosure

Lexology GMAC Mortgage LLC defeated a motion to certify a class of home-mortgage borrowers who alleged that foreclosures performed on their properties were void due to defects in the chain of title to the foreclosing institution. The plaintiffs relied on a decision of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, U.S. Bank N.A. v. Ibanez, 941 N.E.2d 40 (Mass. 2011), which invalidated two foreclosure sales on the ground that the institutions on whose behalf the foreclosure proceedings were brought could not demonstrate that they held the mortgage at the time of the sale.
7/3/12

Following Barclays’ Scandal, Stiglitz says ‘Send Bankers to Jail’


WITHOUT THREAT OF PROSECUTION, SAYS NOBEL ECONOMIST, EXPECT LITTLE TO CHANGE

Common Dreams Nobel Prize winner and former World Bank economist Joseph Stiglitz has called recent revelations that Barclays and other large banks colluded to defraud their costumers by artificially leveraging international interest rates a “textbook illustration” of how banks use privileged information and lax oversight to reap rewards for themselves while savaging the wider societies in which they operate.

7/3/12

Banks Cause Renters to Face Same Problems as Homeowners

Despite having a receipt for her rent payment, Cynthia McNutt says she was facing being homeless.

KJRH It literally sent her into a panic, she said.

"I ran down to my doctors office and got an prescription, ran and got it filled and took my pill," said Cynthia. "Then came back here and sat down for a minute, and I'm like this has got to stop." 

She then contacted her bank, which showed the $460 check had cleared by Trident Group, the company that owns Stonecrest Apartments. 

With bank records and her receipt for her rent payment in hand she thought the mistake would be quickly fixed. 

But that didn't happen.

7/3/12

JP Morgan Treated Its Retail Investors as Stuffees, Accused of Lying in Marketing Materials

It appears that, to the extent Jamie Dimon’s “fortress balance sheet” claims are valid, some of strength results from taking liberties with customers in ways that even other big financial firms shun.

naked capitalism They also said that JP Morgan’s strategy was clearly to run out the clock as long as possible and to make the fight expensive for Blavatnik. And remember, he’s not just one of the biggest wealth management clients in the world, he’s also an active buyer and seller of companies. So if someone at this level will be abused by JP Morgan, who is safe? 
7/3/12

Rigged Rates Rigged Markets

To date, the Justice Department has not distinguished itself in prosecuting major banks or their executives for conduct leading up to and during the financial crisis. But with Barclays now cooperating, the “Libor scandal” is another chance for government prosecutors to unmask and punish financial wrongdoing.

NY Times The Justice Department has left open the possibility of prosecuting officers or employees of Barclays. But it has agreed not to prosecute the bank itself, in part because Barclays was the first to cooperate in the investigation and has agreed to keep cooperating. Such an agreement makes sense only if that cooperation will allow prosecutors to nail other banks that have been involved in setting the rates, including potential cases against Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and HSBC, and people who work there.
7/3/12

Northeast Cobb Man Fights Foreclosure

EastCobbPatch A Northeast Cobb man who feels he has been unjustly foreclosed upon by his bank has begun a 24 hour, seven day a week occupation protest to save his home.
7/2/12

NH Sheriff Forms Task Force to Investigate Criminal Mortgage Fraud

The events that bring us here today are complex, ambiguous, and veiled in secrecy. It is probative that there is embedded criminal fraud - we need to shine the light on everything.
In closing, people have an absolute right to be protected in their homes, and their homes to be protected.

Video of Press Release

CARROLL COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, OSSIPEE, NH The indicators that the title to your property may be subjected to fraud, include the following:
• the property was purchased or financed/refinanced after January 1997
• the property was purchased or financed/refinanced after January 1997 and the mortgage servicing (who you direct payments to) has changed
• inaccurate inquiries from financial institutions relative to your mortgage
• the bottom of page 1 on your mortgage has the following statement, "New Hampshire Mortgage - single family - Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac UNIFORM INSTRUMENT MERS Modified Form 303001/01
7/2/12

Massive Furor in UK Over Libor Manipulation; 

Where’s the Outrage Here?

naked capitalism The fact that someone who seemed to have such a lock on power as Rupert Murdoch could be cut down is no doubt a bracing message to the British press, that they have influence that for the most part they have failed to exercise effectively. So, ironically, a country where banking is a much larger percentage of GDP than the US may be the one where banking misconduct is finally unearthed and at least some of the perps suffer. And that would show our own officials’ failure to act to be the disgrace that it is.

7/2/12

Quelle Surprise! 

State Legislatures Aren’t Buying Bogus Mortgage Settlement

States are disgusted with the way that banks have ignored their long-established real estate laws. Many are passing new legislation to put more teeth into existing requirements to offer modifications to borrowers that could be salvaged and comply with foreclosure procedures.

Procedures around real estate are deliberate because any error of this magnitude has devastating consequences. But this new provision means that 1%, or over 33,000 erroneous foreclosures since 2008 would be perfectly OK as far as the authorities are concerned.

naked capitalism The beef of the states is that banks are failing to negotiate in good faith with borrowers, and thus breaking the law there and with their reliance on bogus documentation in foreclosures. The banks, amazingly, continue to insist that more foreclosures are good for the market. Since when is increasing supply (homes for sale out of foreclosure) likely to yield an increase in prices?

Most plainly, the bankers can tell 2.5 million people:

“Hey, you didn’t make your payment this month, your check’s short and we’re putting it in the no man’s land of a “suspense account” triggering delinquency and fees, even though you really did pay in full and have the canceled check to prove it. And guess what? No one but you cares; law enforcement won’t even consider dinging us for it.

I’m struggling with the same level of disbelief I had when I first learned that banks were systematically committing forgery.

7/2/12

California lawmakers pass historic Foreclosure Protections

News Observer After years of housing and mortgage market distress during which lenders seized nearly a million California houses, legislators on Monday sent a pair of Assembly and Senate bills to the governor designed to help financially distressed borrowers stay in their homes.
7/2/12

THE MORTGAGE MONSTER
Family fights to keep their home

This week, we look at the efforts of their attorney to fight Fannie Mae to get their house back. (SPS was the servicer)

Jenkinson said at a point, anyway, it appears it is impossible to negotiate their position because there is no one to negotiate with.

 

Northern Express Jenkinson’s novel argument could have big implications if his case prevails.

He said there are thousands upon thousands of foreclosures that have happened in a way similar to the Bocardos’ case. Those foreclosures could be thrown into doubt if he wins this case, he said.

And yet, despite the huge stakes, all he and the Bocardos say they really want is to settle. They want Fannie Mae to help work out a loan modification or a new mortgage for them, as complicated a process as that might be, so they can remain in their house.

Jenkinson said he thought after the May 7 ruling that the other side would be open to negotiations, but he soon learned he was wrong.
7/2/12

Buying a Foreclosure - Buying Trouble

Living Lies First and foremost the cost of buying a home that has been foreclosed or has a “securitized loan” in it’s chain of title greatly increases that either they or their loved ones are going to end up in a title dispute that can only be resolved in court.
So the admonition here is that before you consider that cute house with the low real estate taxes and no income taxes, figure in the cost of an attorney who can negotiate a REAL title policy rather than the junk paper they are giving out. 

7/2/12

In nasty surprise, two Sarasota tenants face eviction

Herald Tribune Two renters in Sarasota's Park View condo complex have gotten a rude surprise over the past few weeks.

They discovered their landlord -- Michael Kell of Canton, Ohio -- does not have firm title to the units he has been renting them since September.
7/2/12

Whistleblowers Win $46.5 Million in Foreclosure Settlement

Getting served with foreclosure papers made Lynn rich.

Szymoniak's case was only partially resolved by the foreclosure settlement, and she could be in line for an even larger payout when all is said and done.

CNN Money "I recognize that mine's a very, very happy ending," she said. "I know there are plenty of people who have tried as hard as I have and won't see these kinds of results."

The FHA is a self-funded government agency that offers insurance on qualifying mortgages to encourage home ownership. In the event of a default on an FHA-insured mortgage, the FHA pays out a claim to the lender.

7/1/12

Oh, New Century…What a wicked web you weave…

Senator Ted Kaufman warned that the COP investigation found evidence that he stated as the worse case scenario, “considerably grimmer” where “robo-signers served to conceal the fact the banks cannot prove that they own the mortgage loans that they claim to own.”

Deadly Clear Advice to the Courts: Does it have to be said again? The U.S. Senate spent the time and money to investigate these matters and give you enough information to do the right thing. Acknowledge the fraud, wrong doings and/or obvious errors. The pension funds are gone – protect the American homeowner, make good law for the future and write a best seller.
7/1/12

New York Passes The Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act of 2012

The bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein (D-Brooklyn) who said, “The best way to prevent wrongful foreclosures is with accountability

The Bill

Examiner Moving forward, fraud will no longer be tolerated in New York. This bill sends that message loud and clear: if you break the law to take someone’s home, you will go to jail.”

AG Schneiderman said ‘To take away people’s homes under fraudulent circumstances is a crime deserving of jail time.

Excerpt: The abuses committed in recent years by mortgage servicers in mortgage foreclosure proceedings are well documented. Multiple employees of the major servicers have admitted in sworn testimony that they perpetrated
systematic fraud on the courts in foreclosure proceedings by
"robo-signing" affidavits -- i.e., attesting to personal knowledge
about mortgages and properties despite having no such knowledge.
These abuses occurred in hundreds of thousands of proceedings nationwide.

7/1/12

BofA Wins Big In Court, May Have Finally Contained Countrywide-Related Lawsuits

Since the Judge overseeing the settlement is the same Judge that heard this case, it appears increasingly likely that no Countrywide MBS investor will be able to sue Bank of America and the settlement that BAC agreed to last year will be accepted. 

Seeking Alpha There are of course other issues and lawsuits. The MBIA lawsuit in particular still has the potential to throw a wrench on getting past litigation risk. BAC however has reserved for that one and continues to build its equity cushion as more time passes before the case is settled.
6/30/12

Florida Foreclosures Increase Dramatically

This increased push to foreclose, especially by trustees of residential mortgage-backed trusts, may be the single most important development in the American economy in 2012.

LYNN E. SZYMONIAK, ESQ., HOUSING JUSTICE FOUNDATION There was a dramatic increase in the number of new foreclosures in Florida in June, 2012. In some cases, new filings reached an all time high. Bank of New York Mellon filed more new foreclosures in Hillsborough County (the Tampa area) in June 2012 than in June of any of the preceding four years. In almost every county and for each of the banks studied, there was an increase in new filings in June, 2012 not just when compared with June, 2011. In some cases, the new filings were the highest in five years.

6/30/12

 

Banking scandal: how document trail reveals global scam

It's not a comfortable weekend for the men heading some of the world's biggest banks. Barclays has already been hit by a £290m fine for rigging interest rates but that could be dwarfed by a series of global lawsuits which could cost banks billions

Related: Vince Cable calls for criminal investigation into Barclays bankers
Business secretary backs demand for police inquiry into bank fined £290m for role in manipulating City interest rates

The Guardian UK In a 28-page statement of facts relating to last week's revelation that Barclays had been fined a total of £290m, the US Department of Justice discloses how a network of traders working on both sides of the Atlantic conspired to influence both the Libor and Euribor interest rates – the rates at which banks lend to each other. It was, in effect, a worldwide conspiracy against the free functioning of the market.

The business secretary said the public would not understand why people were jailed for petty theft while bankers were getting off, "having perpetrated what looks like conspiracy".

And he said he agreed with Lord Blair, the former Metropolitan police commissioner, who said there appeared to be evidence that Barclays employees were engaged in conspiracy to defraud.

6/30/12

He Felled a Giant, but He Can’t Collect

Mr. Winston won a wrongful-dismissal and retaliation case against Countrywide in February 2011, but is still waiting to receive his $3.8 million award. Bank of America is fighting back and has appealed the jury verdict twice.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Mr. Mathews also contends that Mr. Mozilo, in a rare courtroom appearance, misrepresented his views of Mr. Winston. First, Mr. Mozilo testified that he did not know Mr. Winston, even though testimony and documents showed that he had attended presentations with him, personally given Mr. Winston a pair of Countrywide cuff links and told another employee that Mr. Winston’s leadership programs were “exactly what Countrywide needs.”

6/29/12

A new nightmare on Wall Street? 

U.S. banks face criminal probe into global interest rate-fixing scheme as Barclays blows the whistle on America's financial giants

HOW BARCLAYS TRADERS CONSPIRED TO FIX THE MARKETS

Daily Mail UK

Some of America's top banks are set to be dragged into a major criminal investigation of a global interest rate-fixing scandal about to engulf some of Wall Street's biggest institutions.

The worldwide probe centers on claims traders at Barclays colluded with rival banks to keep interest rates at levels to their benefit.

6/29/12

SUNTRUST BANK – You’d evict a 76 year-old woman who lived in home for 44 years over $41?

She’s been trying to get her loan modified for 4 years.

 

Mandelman Matters Your negotiator, Mary Bates, has been a terrific liar throughout the whole process.

She said the investor wouldn’t modify the loan.

We asked who the investor might be and she said US Bank was the investor… then Citi Bank was the investor… then Bank of America was the investor, and now she claims it’s a “private investor.”

6/29/12

U.S. Supreme Court allows Cleveland homeowner to sue TITLE INSURER

Cleaveland The U.S. Supreme Court has decided that Cleveland homeowner Denise P. Edwards can take her title insurer to court over business practices that she deemed an illegal kickback scheme.
6/29/12

Ex-Wall Street Trader,
Dies In Courtroom After Conviction

Police are now investigating whether the man, Michael Marin, purposefully killed himself. Shortly after the jury read its verdict and sentenced him to 16 years in prison, Marin appeared to place something in his mouth several times and drink from a bottle he brought with him into the courtroom. Minutes later, he suffered from a seizure and died

Huff Post Tragically, if Marin’s death was indeed a suicide, he wouldn’t be the first to end his life in the face of financial woes. 

Norman Rousseau shot and killed himself in May in the midst of a battle with Wells Fargo to stay in his home. In Ohio, a man shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself one day after authorities ordered him to leave his home.

6/29/12

Bank of America's $40 Billion Mistake

"It is the worst deal in the history of American finance," said Tony Plath, a banking and finance professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. "Hands down."

WSJ Bank of America Corp. thought it had a bargain four years ago when it paid $2.5 billion for tottering mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. But the ill-fated decision has already cost the Charlotte, N.C., lender more than $40 billion in real-estate losses, legal expenses and settlements with state and federal agencies, according to people close to the bank.
6/29/12**

Fed Economists Side Firmly With Bank Criminality Over the Rule of Law 

No state law in this country disallows legal foreclosures. If the banks cannot substantiate ownership of the property, why is the finger pointed at the state laws that force that substantiation, and not the banks themselves? Nobody told them to lose ownership of mortgages, prompting them to falsify documents in an attempt to foreclose.

naked capitalism Funny how there is nary a mention of the reasons banks have for wanting to draw out foreclosures: more servicing and late fees, deferral of recognition of losses on second liens. Nor is there any mention of how, in Las Vegas, I have been told by informed insiders that there are entire blocks in affluent areas where pretty much no one has paid their mortgage in over two years as of late 2010 with nary a foreclosure notice sent. Read that date: a lot of big ticket properties were being kept in limbo before the new law was passed.

6/28/12

MERS’ Owners Offer Bogus Title Certification

Taken straight out of the pages of the con man’s playbook, the banks and servicers have come up with another fabricated piece of paper to waive in front of ignorant judges to prove that the chain of title “is what it is.”

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

This is what the banks, service companies and title companies who own MERS are suddenly coming up with and it is advertised that this special certificate and title insurance policy can be procured at the beginning or in the middle of a foreclosure. No such insurance product ever existed before and none will exist for very long now, but it might be enough to convince judges and demoralize homeowner and their attorneys to get another few hundred thousand foreclosures through the system.

6/28/12

Foreclosure catches homeowner by surprise

Penny says a loan modification fell through due to lost paperwork. 

Other programs didn't work either, she says. 

Everhome Mortgage is involved.

KJRH "Four days later we had an offer, in the meantime, our mortgage company had started foreclosure proceedings." 

Penny says it hired a "property preservation" company, which entered the house to change locks. 

And she says that company went through their personal belongings. 

Penny doesn't understand why since they had been approved for a short sale to avoid foreclosure.
6/28/12

Speeding Up Refinances

NY Times Borrowers looking to accelerate the process are finding some relief from brokerages and community banks that are not servicing HARP loans.
6/28/12

FTC Nails Mortgage Mod Fraud Perps

MORAL:
Loan modifications where fees are collected in advance do not legally exist. Forensic audits in this attorney’s opinion are worthless and that is borne out by this case and others like it.

Mortgage Servicing News Also see:
SHORT SALES IN CALIFORNIA SEND REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON INVOLVED TO JAIL

MORAL

Making profits on short sales by doing a double escrow type transaction, not disclosing the higher bid, charging buyers' fees not disclosed, will cause criminal charges to be filed and then you will need legal counsel.

6/28/12

Massive Cyber Attack in USA, Europe and Latin America Siphons $2.5 Billion From Banks

The Daily Sheeple A report from cyber security firm McAfee indicates that a large scale, widespread attack is taking place on the financial system with some 60 banks affected so far. According to the report, a virus installed on banks' computers has allowed approximately $2.5 billion to be stolen from large corporate accounts. The theft is ongoing as international law enforcement agencies are working to identify the hackers.

Could this latest cyber attack be used by governments to blame the financial crisis on hackers? Moreover, will global governance use this latest threat as a pretext to lock down the internet?
6/28/12**

Wells Fargo Gets Picked Up On Radar

For quite some time Wells Fargo managed to stay below the media's radar and let the other guys like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, for example, bear the brunt of consumer and activist outrage. 

Richard Zombeck

Huff Post

Lately, it seems, they've had to prove that they're equally nasty and contemptible as the others. Foreclosing on priests and temples; closing bank accounts without apparent reason; promoting and profiting from private prisons; and ripping off towns, states and counties with bid rigging that skimmed money slated for schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.
6/28/12

No Immunity

TX Appeals Court Nixes County Tax Collector's Attempt To Back Charge Homeowners For 5 Years Of R/E Assessments After Being Left Off Appraisal Records

For the court ruling, see Brennan v. City of Willow Park

Home Equity Theft Reporter The problem, the court said, was that the city taxing units were not listed in the appraisal records, and state law does not allow the addition of taxing units mistakenly left off of appraisal records. The court also rejected the contention that the cities and county had government immunity from such lawsuits. Suits can be brought by private parties against government officials who allegedly act without legal authority, the court said.
6/28/12

Anyone surprised?

JPMorgan Trading Loss May Reach $9 Billion

CNBC Nonetheless, the sharply higher loss totals will feed a debate over how strictly large financial institutions should be regulated and whether some of the behemoth banks are capitalizing on their status as too big to fail to make risky trades.
6/27/12**

FORECLOSURE: WHO IS THE WIZARD BEHIND THE CURTAIN? 

Matt Weidner, Esq. Things you need to know and discover to find out what entity has the capacity to sue.
6/27/12

Ron Paul’s Federal Reserve audit approved by House committee

One of Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) lifelong policy goals is on the brink of becoming a reality.

In a nearly unanimous voice vote on Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee approved a bill that would require the U.S. Federal Reserve to conduct a first-ever complete audit of its books and divulge details about its monetary policy discussions. The bill is expected to be taken up by the full House of Representatives sometime next month.

The Raw Story Paul, a longtime critic of the Fed and fiat currencies in general, had previously supported an audit that became part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. That audit required the Fed to disclose its lending practices during the 2008 financial crisis, revealing that the bank doled out more than $16 trillion in loans and assets swaps to financial institutions all over the world in an effort to stabilize global markets and keep credit flowing.

Paul, however, felt that the audit which ultimate cleared the U.S. Senate was a stripped down version of what he believes is needed, and most of his colleagues now agree

6/27/12

Bank of America sanctioned in Fannett woman's mortgage case

Bank of America, though, did not hold up its end of the deals, her attorney, Wyatt Snider said, and started foreclosure proceedings against her home. The company also allowed the information to go on her credit report.

  The video

Beaumont Enterprise After three lawsuits against Bank of America to stop the foreclosure, Judge Bob Wortham of the 58th District Court ordered the company to pay Crutchfield $300,000.
The company must pay within 30 days or the amount doubles.
Also, if the company does not fix Crutchfield's credit within 90 days, the company must pay an additional $300,000.

Firm named in Nevada robosigning cases countersues Masto

The foreclosure processor sued by Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto in last year’s robosigning cases has now retaliated, suing Masto and alleging due process violations.

VegasInc ‘’By illegally deputizing (law firm) Cohen Milstein and permitting them to stand in her shoes and exercise the state’s sovereign power, not only for the state’s purposes, but also for Cohen Milstein’s own private benefit and ends, the attorney general has violated plaintiff’s constitutional rights and Nevada law,’’ the suit says.

6/27/12

 

California Homeowner Bill of Rights takes key step to passage

“This bill is the result of a long and difficult process in which we received input from all interested parties; including homeowners and the banks and found that foreclosures benefit no one,” 

The California Homeowner Bill of Rights extends Attorney General Harris’ response to the state’s foreclosure and mortgage crisis. Attorney General Harris created a Mortgage Fraud Strike Force in March, 2011 to investigate and prosecute misconduct related to mortgages and foreclosures.

Lake County News “The mortgage and foreclosure abuse in California ends here,” said Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), co-chair of the Joint Conference Committee. “This committee has passed historic legislation that codifies the protections eligible homeowners deserve, while helping to stabilize the foreclosure crisis that has thwarted California’s economic recovery. 

The Legislature has studied, listened and engaged Californians and industry to find a solution that is fair and effective to mitigate this crisis.

6/27/12

This Week in Financial Not-Crime

What would it take to get the candy-ass prosecutors in the Department of Justice to indict banksters? We already knew that securities fraud wasn’t sufficient, but that got reinforced today with news that a hedge fund operator got off with civil case for taking money from the fund to pay his taxes and for manipulating the price of stocks and bonds. Phillip Falcone is facing a civil suit instead of leg shackles.

FDL Also today we learn that manipulating LIBOR isn’t a crime. Barclays Bank paid $450 million to settle charges that it deliberately manipulated the bench-mark interest rate used to establish how much people pay on $350 billion worth of credit cards, student loans and mortgages. It’s also good news for other banksters who haven’t even been sued, like HSBC, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and other firms that are being looked at by regulators around the world.
6/27/12

 

How to fix the housing crisis

The foreclosure numbers for May are out, and the picture for New York is grim. Foreclosure filings are up almost 50 percent compared to May of 2011.

The economic cost of foreclosures is staggering. On average, each foreclosure carries around $245,000 in direct and indirect costs.

But it's not just a matter of numbers. People are uprooted, children are pulled out of school, jobs are lost and lives are destroyed.

NY Attorney General

Eric Schneiderman

We are also taking legislative action to address this crisis. Last week, I introduced a bill that would make it a crime to knowingly file false documents in a foreclosure proceeding, or to recklessly tolerate such fraud as a supervisor. The threat of jail time will be a strong deterrent against fraud by mortgage services.

The housing crisis didn't start overnight, and it won't end overnight either. But together with our partners in the Legislature, legal services and housing communities, and the federal government, we will hold those responsible for the mortgage meltdown accountable and unleash the truth about what happened so we can ensure that it never happens again.

MUST SEE

***

"This is the most disgusting, callous, brutal, and unjust treatment of a WWII veteran by the "justice" system we have ever heard of."

WWII Vet Warren (Renn) Bodeker Needs Your Help. Being Forced Out of Home and Forced to Exhume Wife's Body. 

Warren C. Bodeker is an 89 year old World War II Army Airborne combat veteran and war hero, living in Montana, who is being thrown off of his own land and thrown out of his own house, by the Montana Federal Bankruptcy Trustee, Christy Brandon, with the approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Montana. 

Oath Keepers And to make matters worse, Warren's wife Lorna just died of cancer this past year, and is buried there on their land, right next to the house. Warren had planned to live there till he died and then be buried right next to his wife, there on their property at 11 Freedom Lane, in the town of Plains, Montana, but now, not only is he being forced off his land, he is being forced to exhume his wife's body and take her with him.

If you are short on time, start at 16:16.

6/27/12

4-Year Sentence for Ohio State Trooper

Columbus Dispatch Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas W. Squires said Richardson’s prison sentence sends a message that illegal actions “by anyone who wears a badge will not be tolerated.”

6/27/12

Getting Your Evidence

Evidence is the "stuff" you need to prove your case.


But, how do you find it?


That's the fun part!

Jurisdictionary Those who haven't yet learned how to find evidence go to court with the idea they "already have all the evidence they need". I hear this over and over again. People think because they have a copy of a document or photograph or audio recording that they're sure to win. Then, when they get to trial (when it's too late to do any more discovery) they "discover" all the stuff they thought was "evidence" is inadmissible at trial!
6/26/12

FORCE-PLACED INSURANCE

Bank of America Sued Over Force-Placed Insurance Costs

Force-placed insurance, which mortgage companies can purchase for homeowners when their policies lapse, is a “financial windfall” for Bank of America, according to a complaint.

Bloomberg The New York regulator said there are “serious concerns” that premiums for the insurance have been “artificially inflated.” The inquiry was also looking into relationships among the insurers, banks, mortgage servicers and insurance agents and brokers.

The premium payments for the force-placed policy were added to Gallagher’s monthly mortgage payment, which contributed to his home going into foreclosure, according to the suit.

6/26/12

BOOM! CAN AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, A STRANGER TO A FORECLOSURE TRIAL FILE AN APPEAL?

Matt Weidner, Esq The first thing the entire world needs to understand is that there are two (count ‘em) TWO versions of American Home Mortgage Servicing….
The first American Home Mortgage Servicing is a Maryland corporation. That corporation was the subject of a bankruptcy proceeding. When American Home Mortgage Maryland filed bankruptcy, that American Home died
6/26/12

Despite Defendant's Answer & Counterclaim, Judge OKs Foreclosure Judgment In Only Six Weeks Against Boca Temple, Religious School

Home Equity Theft Reporter Six weeks is incredibly fast for a court system that often takes years to decide a contested foreclosure. It only usually happens that fast if it is an uncontested case, but Chabad filed an answer and counterclaim.

6/26/12

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan Payments Can be Lowered if Your Income Decreases

Peter Orville, Esq. Another factor that could prevent you from lowering your payments is the “liquidation test”, also called the “best interest of creditors test”.
6/26/12 PRACTICE LAW, LOSE YOUR LICENSE: WHAT SB 94 MEANS TO YOUR PRACTICE  Alice M. Graham Unfortunately, not all of the attorneys were helpful. Some saw amidst all the fear and confusion an opportunity to make a buck without doing a thing. The press began to report bogus loan modification firms, some of which including attorneys, that were taking fees from the unsuspecting public and then essentially doing nothing. The State Bar investigated. Licenses were forfeited.
To put a stop to those who were taking advantage of vulnerable homeowners, the California legislature enacted Senate Bill No 94, which was passed as an emergency measure and became effective October 11, 2009.

6/26/12

U.S. Must Turn Gun on Wall Street

The increasing number of foreclosures on a daily basis has raised questions about the reality of the American Dream

PressTV For the longest time the bankers and the corporations that run the US government would go around the world beating people down and in exchange for the silence and the complicity of the people in their crimes around the world; they would offer a higher standard of living to the people in the United States. 

But now we are seeing that high standard of living, that so-called American dream, is no longer in existence
6/26/12

Wallace v. WAMU, Lerner Samson law firm

We hold that the complaint states a valid claim and reverse the dismissal of the case.

Andrew Engle, Esq. The single issue before us is whether the filing of foreclosure action by the law firm claiming ownership of the mortgage by its client Washington Mutual constitutes a “false, deceptive or misleading representation” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when the bank has not received a transfer of the ownership documents. 
6/26/12

Quantified Effect of Violent Crime on Housing Values

Mortgage Servicing News “The Economic Benefits of Reducing Violent Crime,” conclusively shows that “measures aimed at reducing crime have significant economic benefits to homeowners,” said co-author of the study Kevin Hassett, who is director of economic policy studies and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
6/26/12

Foreclosures are climbing rapidly when they should be slowing

Boston Globe They should be slowing, given that the country’s biggest banks just spent more than a year hammering out a far-reaching settlement that committed $25 billion toward anti-foreclosure efforts. Instead, the perverse logic of the foreclosure crisis dictates that banks ring in the national foreclosure settlement by accelerating the pace at which they seize people’s homes.
6/26/12

Mortgage Fraud Summits Arm Distressed Homeowners with Information to Protect Them from Scams

“We are continuing to work with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to investigate and bring to justice the persons who are taking advantage of the housing crisis in Nevada to defraud financial institutions, distressed homeowners and homebuyers,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada Daniel G. Bogden.

Department of Justice The Department of Justice has remained vigilant in seeking and prosecuting mortgage fraud, resulting in a 92 percent increase in mortgage fraud prosecutions across the nation since fiscal year 2009. In fiscal years 2010 and 2011, alone, the department indicted more than 2,100 individuals for mortgage-fraud related crimes.

But no banksters.

6/25/12

Mortgage Rescue Business Owner Sentenced To 90 Months For Fraud

“Mr. Shmuckler is a cunning criminal who took advantage of distressed homeowners in desperate need of help,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Today’s sentence should send a clear warning to other fraudsters of the heavy price they will pay for preying on vulnerable people looking for help to save their homes.”

Department of Justice “Mr. Schmuckler portrayed himself as a successful attorney and mortgage advisor who was able to rescue mortgages and provide relief to homeowners, but in reality he was a fraud,” said Assistance Director in Charge McJunkin. “The public should be wary of such individuals who offer a service or product that seems too good to be true. It probably is.”
6/25/12

Suspense Is Over in Madoff Case

Joe Nocera

NY Times

You can’t blame the judges for making these rulings. They are doing what the law plainly tells them to do. But it does make you wonder who the law is supposed to serve: huge institutions that can hide behind legal niceties, or victims of fraud.

Sadly, these days, the answer seems obvious.
6/25/12

FHFA Wants Money Transferred from Local Government to Bondholders

The GSEs claim that when a loan defaults, the property is automatically transferred to the servicer, so that the servicer can foreclose in its own name (and Fannie and Freddie's names never appear, which would be bad for P.R.).

Prof. Adam Levitin It's not clear how this automatic transfer actually works--I don't know of any legal mechanism that blesses it, but maybe it can be brought into the scope of UCC Article 9 (other than in South Carolina). Irrespective, in title theory states, the transfer might constitute a transfer of real estate, and thus be subject to taxation, even if the GSEs don't record a deed. If I'm right on this, there could be a lot more tax liability for the GSEs coming out of foreclosures.

6/25/12

FORECLOSED
Couple didn’t know they’d lost their house until it was gone

Northern Express Pablo and Guadalupe Bocardo have had some rotten luck in the past couple of years.

They wanted to modify the mortgage on their Elk Rapids home and they wound up working with a woman who has since become notorious as a swindler.

Their mortgage servicer, SPS. foreclosed on them.

Their home was sold to Fannie Mae in a sheriff’s sale and eviction proceedings were started against them before they even knew something was wrong.
6/25/12 

Stopping foreclosures in North Minneapolis: For NCRC and JCA, It's all about making connections

Daily Planet This may be one reason stopping foreclosures is not easy. The banks do not communicate with homeowners in distress because they don’t need to do so, said McDonell. They repeatedly lose paperwork. Bank employees assigned to individual cases will suddenly be unavailable – reassigned or resigned. “The banks want people to give up. This is one of the many reasons they want to make the modification process as difficult and anxiety producing as possible, “ Snyder said.

6/25/12

Protesters Flood The State Capitol Steps Demanding A Halt Foreclosures

Yahoo! News Protesters rallied at the state capitol Monday in Sacramento in an effort to keep banks from foreclosing on homes. They claimed the foreclosures are destroying neighborhoods.

6/25/12

The Banks’ Huge Eaton Loss: Showing the Note Owner

The seminal Eaton v. Fannie Mae decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is not a huge banking industry win going forward.

The really big deal is that the Court has taken the “show me the note” defense and made it “show me the note owner.”

 Abigail Field “Show me the note owner” is really hard to do in an era of mass securitization fail. Securitization fail means the trust doesn’t own the loans. And if the trust doesn’t own the loans, then the servicer isn’t the agent of the note owner and can’t foreclose non-judicially.

By requiring the non-judicially foreclosing servicer to have authority from the note owner to foreclose, the Court is strengthening foreclosure defense in Massachusetts.

6/25/12

Court Blasts Bank of America for Reneging on 
Homeowner's Mortgage Makeover

Sylvia got an offer from her bank. She accepted, but the bank tried to take it back, claiming an error. They went to court -- and she won.

AOL "We confess some puzzlement at why a mortgage company would continue foreclosure proceedings against a debtor who, unlike many, is actually paying her mortgage," the appellate judges wrote.
6/25/12

Housing Market Depressed By Unending Foreclosure Machine

FDL This is at the heart of the credit clog: broken private securitization markets, Fannie and Freddie’s competing agendas, a continued wariness to bargain with servicers in good faith given their conduct, and millions and millions of homeowners having their lives destroyed by the foreclosure machine. And we’re supposed to expect a bounce-back for the housing market?
6/25/12

Mortgage refi boost may be short-lived

Housing Wire Wells Fargo announced it would not finance the refis through correspondent channels, and other lenders such as Chase followed suit once they realized they would be flooded with business.

For Wells, the effective date for the policy was June 19. This, analysts said, forced many correspondent lenders to rush and lock-in their loans forming a spike while their windows were still open.
6/25/12

Bank Stocks Reinfected With Mortgage Putback Worries

The Street Four years on, banks are still seeing increases in mortgage putback demands that are again pressuring shares following the recent Moody's debt downgrade.
6/24/12**

Exclusive Interview: Joseph Stiglitz Sees Terrifying Future for America If We Don't Reverse Inequality


What will life look like down the road if we don't reverse economic inequality? We must see through the myths of capitalism and build a mass movement if we are to save ourselves.

The data that recently came out from the Fed indicated that we've wiped out 20 years of increases and wealth for the middle American.

AlterNet There's a persistent myth that America is still the "land of opportunity." Why is that myth so prevalent, even in the face of so much evidence to the contrary?

You cannot do well at the top of the pyramid unless the base of the pyramid is strong. And the other one is that the 99 percent realize that they've been sold a bill of goods. And they realize that some of these ideas that we've been talking about -- trickle-down economics that destroy the interests of the poor, the middle class -- are just wrong. They come to realize that the United States is not the land of opportunity, that the United States has higher level of inequality of any of the other advanced industrial countries. As they come to realize this, then maybe they'll wake up and say, why is that?

6/24/12

Supreme Court to America: "Tough luck. Corporations rule. Go home."

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections. As a result, our democracy is being sold to the highest bidder.

Elections Are 

For Us

The evidence of corruption is mounting every day, but the Supreme Court just said, in effect, "tough luck, go home, corporations rule." They refused even to hear our arguments.

So there’s really no way around it:

We must amend the U.S. Constitution to overrule the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision and make it clear that corporations do not have constitutional rights as if they were people.

Sign on now:
6/24/12

Foreclosure, Deficiency Judgments and the Perils of Anti-Deficiency Statutes

Forbes Here is the question: If the lender forecloses on the property, can the bank then sue you for the deficiency and obtain a deficiency judgment?

The answer is: It depends.
6/24/12

Foreclosures leave empty eyesores

After falling for more than a year, the number of foreclosures nationwide shot up in recent months. In May, 145 foreclosures were filed in the Lancaster  Courthouse — the second highest monthly total in more than a decade.

Banks nationwide have resumed dealing with distressed properties after a mortgage-abuse settlement was finalized.

Lancaster Online Dealing with them can be time-consuming. It can be difficult for officials to determine who actually owns a parcel. Municipalities can send work crews to cut long grass and ultimately place liens against a property.

Meanwhile, neighbors fume.

"There's no law that says the banks have to get rid of the properties they took from the people," said Joyce Bohn

6/24/12

Bank Threatens Arrest As Family Tries To Renegotiate Mortgage

The Uptake The family’s home in Minneapolis is now in the possession of lender Freddie Mac, which evicted the family and dozens of Occupy Homes protesters who were trying to protect it. The Cruz family says an electronic payment to PNC had a “glitch” which triggered a late fee the family could not afford which then triggered the foreclosure and eviction.
6/24/12

Occupy vs Eviction: Reform, and Dispossession

Across the United States police force people out of their homes as banks foreclose on home-owners. In response to the foreclosure attack, Occupy Homes has arisen.

Infoshop News Occupy Homes has taken action in many cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland, Minneapolis, and Atlanta. Many of these actions have included violation of eviction orders, resisting police eviction efforts, moving people back in to homes emptied by police, and putting pressure on banks to negotiate. Right now there is a network of Occupy Homes groupings coming together around the country.
6/22/12

Those Mortgages Blamed for Housing Crisis? They're Back

The so-called "liar loan" mortgages often associated with the toxic subprime loans of the boom years are tiptoeing their way back into the housing market.

AOL But just because the government isn't willing to guarantee jumbo loans, doesn't mean they're necessarily subpar. In Rancho's case, most borrowers must make a 30 percent down payment and have a credit score of at least 740, a two-year history of self-employment, a 12-month reserve and a business license or letter from a certified public accountant, HousingWire reported.

6/22/12

The Documents Fannie and Freddie Never Received

 

Documents That Must Be Received by Counsel/Trustee Within 2 Business Days of Referral.

 

Living Lies

 

StopForeclosure

Fraud

This would mean that the loan never made it into any pool. That would mean that all of the deals made by the dealers (investment banks) based on the existence of that loan would fall apart leaving them with an enormous liability since they had sold the same deal dozens of times. And that is the sole reason why the bailout, insurance, credit default swaps, guarantees and other credit enhancements were so large. The banks used their ability to control the people with their hands on the levers of power within our government to pay for the malfeasance of the banks that have wrecked our economy and our society.
6/22/12

Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High, Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low

Our current system and philosophy is creating a country of a few million overlords and 300+ million serfs.
That's not what has made America a great country. It's also not what most people think America is supposed to be about.

Business Insider Companies are making more per dollar of sales than they ever have before. (And some people are still saying that companies are suffering from "too much regulation" and "too many taxes.")

Fewer Americans are working than at any time in the past three decades. One reason corporations are so profitable is that they don't employ as many Americans as they used to.

6/22/12

FINANCIAL REMEDIATION FRAMEWORK
FOR USE IN THE INDEPENDENT FORECLOSURE REVIEW

The OCC and FRB have developed a financial remediation framework (the Framework) that provides examples of situations where compensation or other remediation is required for financial injury due to servicer errors, misrepresentations, or other deficiencies.

OCC In April 2011, federal banking regulators issued enforcement orders against 14 large mortgage servicers for deficient mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices. The orders required those servicers to retain independent consultants to conduct a comprehensive review of foreclosures that were in process or completed in 2009 or 2010 (the Independent Foreclosure Review) to identify financial injury to borrowers that resulted from errors, misrepresentations, and other deficiencies in the foreclosure process. The Independent Foreclosure Review also requires those servicers to provide compensation or other remediation for identified financial injury.
6/22/12

 

FHFA sues Illinois to end real estate transfer taxes

The Federal Housing Finance Agency filed a lawsuit against the state of Illinois and several counties to shield Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from real estate transfer taxes.

Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Complaint

Housing Wire The Illinois Department of Revenue and six clerk of courts in counties around the state will impose the taxes on real estate transferred to and from the government-sponsored enterprises. These include charges for foreclosed properties the GSEs both repossess and resell.

But Fannie and Freddie should be exempt from the taxes because of their conservatorship agreements entered into in 2008, the FHFA claimed in the suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
6/22/12

Payment For Banks' Foreclosure Errors Could Be As Little As $500

The OCC announced this week the agency has chosen the borrowers who will receive payments through the IFR.

Huff Post According to Bloomberg, these borrowers will receive between $500 and $125,000 each, plus equity, with the biggest payouts intended for homeowners who lost a house to foreclosure when their mortgage wasn't actually in default...

This is an admission that the foreclosure was illegal, and therefore, the homeowner should be returned to their home - free and clear - plus compensatory and punitive damages.

6/22/12

 

Top Massachusetts Court Limits Foreclosure Relief in Eaton Case


The highest court in Massachusetts ruled that lenders must have proper paperwork to conduct foreclosures but said its decision applies only to future property seizures, averting a potential flood of problems for banks trying to take possession of homes.

OPINION in Eaton v. Fannie Mae

Reuters The highest court in Massachusetts ruled that lenders must have proper paperwork to conduct foreclosures but said its decision applies only to future property seizures, averting a potential flood of problems for banks trying to take possession of homes.
The Massachusetts court did grant relief to Eaton, saying the new rule should apply to her because she had brought the case, and that she may renew her efforts to keep her home.

Eaton v. Fannie Mae Analysis

The SJC held that in Massachusetts a foreclosing party must have both the mortgage and the note or be acting on behalf of a party with the note.

Critically, however, the SJC restricted the ruling to a prospective application. That means that past foreclosures cannot be reopened because of this case, so the financial services industry just dodged billions in liability for wrongful foreclosures and evictions, and the title insurance industry did as well.

There are some dangerous dicta in the case, however. First, footnote 28 notes that the foreclosing party can establish that it is the note holder or acting on its behalf by filing an affidavit to that effect with the registry of deeds. I fear that is an invitation to a repetition of affidavit fraud. We're going to see lots of affidavits filed claiming ownership of notes even when that ownership cannot in fact be proven. 

Prof. Adam Levitin

Credit Slips

In the immediate term, I'd score the case as a major victory for the financial services industry, which avoided liability for its failure to comply with state law foreclosure requirements. Going forward, however, things are more complicated.

Post-Eaton it is clear that in Massachusetts if one wants to foreclose one must have both the note and mortgage. That seems to tee up the chain of title issue about the note as the next stop on the SJC litigation train. Lenders were previously able to avoid chain of title questions because they would foreclose without the note. Now they've got to show that they are the note holder or acting on the note holder's behalf. Merely proving agency is insufficient; a servicer must show that it is agent for the note holder, so there will be a question of whether the securitization trust has title.

The EATON

Decision

6/22/12

 

Breaking: SJC Rules For Lenders and MERS In Eaton v. Fannie Mae Case

Massachusetts

Real Estate Blog

Although the Court adopted some of the Eaton side’s arguments, I believe that lenders and MERS ultimately came out as the winners, as initial reports indicate. The Court basically gave lenders a pass on prior defective foreclosures and created new “rules of the road” for foreclosures going forward. There will definitely be more litigation after this case to sort out what foreclosing lenders and servicers need to prove in order to foreclose.

Averting The Apocalypse: Foreclosing Lenders Avoid Disaster and Given More Options To Foreclose In Eaton v. Fannie Mae Case

The SJC held that lenders must establish they hold both the promissory note (indebtedness) and mortgage (a major problem for securitized or MERS mortgages where the note and mortgage are split between securitized trust and servicer). 

 

Massachusetts

Real Estate Blog

However, responding to pleas from the real estate bar, the Court declined to apply the new rule retroactively, thereby averting the Apocalyptic scenario where thousands of foreclosure titles would have been called into question. Even better, the Court outlined new sensible procedures, including filing a statutory affidavit, to ensure that foreclosures are compliant going forward. The ruling clearly favors lenders and the foreclosure industry, and will clear the way for foreclosures to accelerate and run their course in Massachusetts and other states.

6/22/12

 

The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia

How America's biggest banks took part in a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy - until they were caught on tape

The bid rigging was so incredibly common the defendants simply forgot to be ashamed of it.

You find yourself thinking, America's biggest banks ripped off the entire country, virtually every day, for more than a decade!

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

The banks achieved this gigantic rip-off by secretly colluding to rig the public bids on municipal bonds, a business worth $3.7 trillion. By conspiring to lower the interest rates that towns earn on these investments, the banks systematically stole from schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes – from "virtually every state, district and territory in the United States," according to one settlement. And they did it so cleverly that the victims never even knew they were being ­cheated. No thumbs were broken, and nobody ended up in a landfill in New Jersey, but money disappeared, lots and lots of it, and its manner of disappearance had a familiar name: organized crime.

The end result of this (at least) decade-long conspiracy was that towns and cities systematically lost, while banks and brokers won big.

6/22/12

NY State Assembly Passes Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act

For many middle-class New Yorkers, their life savings is their home. To take away people’s homes under fraudulent circumstances is a crime deserving of jail time,” Schneiderman said.

The New York State Assembly passed a bill that protects homeowners from fraudulent business practices like robo-signing from taking place during the foreclosure process.

NY AG Schneiderman proposed the Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act of 2012 that would impose new criminal penalties against managers of residential mortgage businesses who knowingly permit fraudulent activities to happen at their company by employees and agents.

Mortgage Servicing News The bill makes it a Class A misdemeanor for an employee or agent of a residential mortgage business to deliberately file false documents in a pending residential foreclosure action. This action is punishable with a one-year jail sentence and a $1,000 fine.

Additionally, a Class E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison, would occur if employees engage in multiple acts of robo-signing. Also, any manager of a residential mortgage business who “recklessly tolerates” such behavior from being conducted by their employees and agents can also face four years in jail.
6/21/12

Bank Of America Withholding Critical Information Regarding Stolen 1973 Dodge Challenger

This is far from the first time Bank of America has dropped the ball on a foreclosure. In 2010, the bank wrongfully repossessed the home of Angela Iannelli, a Pittsburgh woman whose mortgage was fully up to date. According to an ABC story at the time, the bank caused damage to her house, and went so far as to take "Luke," her pet parrot.

Huff Post Dahrooge's mother, April, died in April of 2011. Soon after, Bank of America hired a contractor to secure her house, which had been in foreclosure proceedings.

Somewhere in the process, writes The Telegram, Dahrooge's painstakingly -restored 1973 Dodge Challenger -- a muscle car that typifies the strength of one man behind the wheel -- disappeared from his mother's garage.

6/21/12**

How To Tell The Judge “NO” and MAYBE Not Have Him/Her Get Ticked Off

The other questions is “Is that your signature on the note? Is that your signature on the mortgage (or Deed of Trust)?” And your answer could be “I don’t know which documents have my actual signature or which ones have been Photo-shopped. Therefore I deny and demand they prove that this was my signature on that document. I do know that if they procured my signature on any document it was by trickery, deceit and fraud.” If they want to plead and prove otherwise, let them. But all you are going to see is paper. You will never see a financial transaction between me and them or any of their affiliates or predecessors because no such transaction ever took place.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

The question is something like “Did you take a loan?” And the answer could be “Judge I have taken lots of loans, but I never took any money from these people or any of the their predecessors. I deny the loan, I deny the debt, I deny the default. I deny the note, I deny the mortgage. I deny their right to collection or enforcement of the note or mortgage because I never did any business with them.” If they want to plead and prove otherwise, let them. [This of course ONLY applies to loans that are subject to claims of securitization, which we all know now were routinely ignored by the investment banker just as the assignments into the non-existent pools were routinely ignored, just as the attempt to get a foreclosure judge to rule that an investor without knowing anything about these proceedings is about to get stuck with a bad loan in which there is no value, improperly originated, and never properly assigned or delivered years after the 90 day cutoff period expired.]
6/21/12

  Pacenti's rant: Closed Courtrooms

DBR Court reporters are increasingly being barred from hearings and depositions. But John Pacenti says a reporter's right to cover hearings and proceedings is crucial to the public interest.

6/21/12**

Wells Fargo: Lying, Cheating, Paranoid, Vicious

Wells Fargo is in a class by itself when it comes to treating the rule of law and human beings badly. Lying, cheating, paranoid and vicious are the first words that come to my mind in free association with Wells; read and see if you agree.

Abigail Field The debtor’s attorney, Linda Tirelli, pointed out to the judge that the assignment appears to be evidence of a felony, because it was obviously false and submitted for recording in the land records as if it were true. So Tirelli asked the judge to reject Wells’s request for the freedom to foreclose. She’s also asked the Judge to punish Wells for its fraud.

6/21/12

Bank of America Settlement on Customer Overbilling Proves Bank Crime Pays

$2.8 M fine for overbilling $32.2M

naked capitalism Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch wealth-management unit was fined $2.8 million by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for overbilling customers by $32.2 million over an eight-year period.

6/21/12

COMPENSATION

FINANCIAL REMEDIATION FRAMEWORK
FOR USE IN THE INDEPENDENT FORECLOSURE REVIEW

Includes Chart

OCC The OCC and FRB have developed a financial remediation framework (the Framework) that provides examples of situations where compensation or other remediation is required for financial injury due to servicer errors, misrepresentations, or other deficiencies.
The independent consultants will use the Framework to recommend remediation for financial injury identified during the Independent Foreclosure Review. The servicers will prepare remediation plans based on the independent consultants’ recommendations. The federal banking regulators must approve each servicer’s remediation plan.
6/21/12

UAW - United Auto Workers : River Days protest targets Flagstar Bank, imminent eviction of Rosedale Park family

Flagstar recently confessed to mortgage fraud and has not paid back the taxpayer bailout of $267 million it was gifted in 2009. 

Flagstar claims they are no longer responsible for the eviction now that Fannie Mae holds the mortgage. This is a blatant evasion of the bank's responsibility for the mortgage it initiated in 1999 and held through the sheriff's foreclosure auction. 

4-Traders Jennifer Britt of Detroit's Rosedale Park is like thousands of homeowners pushed to foreclosure by economic disaster and personal loss. After the death of her husband and the loss of her job, Britt exhausted her life savings and paid Flagstar more than $45,000 to keep her home. Flagstar not only refused to modify the mortgage, it raised her monthly payments and then foreclosed. 

Britt is working again and can afford reasonable monthly payments, but Flagstar has sold the mortgage to Fannie Mae, with taxpayers footing the bill. Eviction is imminent.

6/21/12

Anti-Foreclosure Movement Gains Steam With National Day of Action for Minneapolis Family

David Cruz told In These Times that, when his family was unable to afford the penalties that accumulated after PNC's system failed to process a payment in June 2010, the holder of the mortgage on their Minneapolis home began trying to evict them. “They were expecting that they could just get us to leave,” he said of a notice they received in February, which he claims told them they had 48 hours to vacate the property and made no mention of the family's right to contest the foreclosure in court. “We didn't know at first that we could defend out home. But now we do, and we're saying, 'enough is enough.'”

 

See previous coverage below:

 

InTheseTimes After fighting their family's foreclosure for nearly two years and facing down five eviction attempts in the past month, siblings Alejandra and David Cruz are travelling cross-country in the hopes of meeting face-to-face with the bank officials they say are wrongfully foreclosing on them. As they arrive today at the Pittsburgh headquarters of PNC, the mortgage servicer for their home, solidarity demonstrations are being held in 19 cities, targeting PNC branches across the country and demarcating a new level of coordination in the fight against foreclosures and evictions.

The family has joined up with Occupy Homes Minnesota, a group that has of late achieved a string of successes by working house-by-house to organize press conferences, rallies and eviction defenses with families in foreclosure.

A month-long eviction defense at the Cruz family's home, where demonstrators locked themselves to concrete barrels to avoid being removed from the property, resulted in the arrests of more than 20 of their supporters (and, according to a letter from the Minneapolis police to the city's mayor, criticizing the use of "public resources to defend big banks,” cost taxpayers $42,429).

6/21/12

Foreclosure attorney facing loss of law license

The state bar said it's recommending the disbarment of Michael T. Pines after he refused to participate in the agency's disciplinary proceedings against him. A state bar judge said she would have recommended disbarment even had Pines tried to defend himself.

AP Pines has been arrested several times after accompanying clients to their foreclosed homes, sometimes with a locksmith. He has appeared on numerous television programs claiming to a social advocate and maintains that the vast majority of foreclosures are illegal.
6/21/12

Police efforts at now-foreclosed Cruz family home cost taxpayers $42,429

Today, a letter from MPD chief Tim Dolan to Mayor RT Rybak revealed that the cost of on-duty work at the 4044 Cedar Ave. S. home was $42,429. Occupy activists have criticized the city for using "public resources to defend big banks."

City Pages Activists allege that the now Freddie Mac-owned home was foreclosed after a computer glitch resulted in a mortgage payment submitted by the Cruz family not being processed. After the home was foreclosed, activists occupied the property and refused to leave. Freddie Mac called upon Minneapolis police to evict trespassers and secure the home by boarding up windows, and after two failed attempts the MPD was able to successfully evict activists during an afternoon raid on May 29.

But the city seemed lukewarm about doing Freddie Mac's bidding. After the May 29 eviction raid, officials released a statement saying "Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal reached out to Freddie Mac to say that the City is not in the foreclosure business." Freddie Mac stationed security guards outside the home after the MPD cleared out protesters, the Star Tribune reports.
6/21/12**

ALARMING REPORT: Foreclosures Skyrocket

A report published last Thursday by foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac revealed that foreclosure activity in the state of Illinois jumped 29 percent between April and May and was up 54 percent from a year ago.

Banks started the foreclosure process against nearly 9 million US homes between January 2007 and last month; of those, they have repossessed nearly 4.5 million.
Contradicting the many claims made by major media outlets and the Obama administration that the country is slowly recovering from the housing crisis, RealtyTrac noted that the jump in new foreclosure filings could mark the beginning of another wave of foreclosure activity, which would depress home values and the housing market.

wsws The sudden increase in home foreclosures and bank repossessions STEALING is in no way accidental or unforeseen. It is in fact the result of a deliberate policy pursued by the Obama administration on behalf of the financial elite. In the fall of 2010, a scandal erupted when it emerged that many of the major banks were relying on forged and incomplete documents in order to foreclose upon homes. As the AP noted, “Foreclosure activity, as measured by the number of homes receiving foreclosure-related notices, slowed sharply last year as banks grappled with allegations that they had been processing foreclosures without verifying documents.”
However, in February of this year, the Obama administration orchestrated a settlement between state governments and the big banks that “has since cleared the way for banks to move against homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments.”

6/21/12

U.S. Banks To Pay $125,000 To Many Hurt In Foreclosures

U.S. banks will pay as much as $125,000 plus equity to individual customers most harmed by mishandled foreclosures in 2009 and 2010 ONLY, according to a remediation plan released by bank regulators.

Bloomberg Besides lump-sum payments, loan servicers who improperly handled foreclosures may have to rescind them, modify loans or correct credit reports, according to industry guidance issued today by the OCC and the Federal Reserve.

(What about the homes that were stolen yesterday or today?)

The guidance says a person whose house was foreclosed on when the mortgage wasn’t officially in default should be given $125,000 if the foreclosure can’t be rescinded. That borrower would also be entitled to any positive difference between what was owed on the mortgage and what the house was worth at the time of the error.

6/21/12

Moody’s Cuts Credit Ratings of 15 Big Banks

After putting banks on watch four months ago, Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday slashed the credit ratings of 15 large financial firms, in a move that could do lasting damage to their bottom lines and unsettle the markets.

NY Times Two United States banks that were hit hard in the financial crisis emerged with the lowest ratings. Citigroup and Bank of America are now rated only two notches above junk.
6/21/12

Securitization Fail-Litigation Update

The wheels of litigation move slowly, but there are a couple of recent securitization fail litigation decisions that are worthy of note. First, in the Congress case, a wrongful foreclosure action in Alabama (see my previous blogging on it here), the Alabama appellate court reversed and remanded, a victory for the homeowner. 

Prof. Adam Levitin The Illinois court got hung up on a question of whether a conveyance to a trust in contravention of the trust documents is void or voidable. This is a twist I haven't seen before. The Illinois court was uncertain about the answer (it doesn't help that it was dealing with century old cases that weren't necessarily careful about their phrasing), and decided against the defendants because they had the burden of proof in the appeal. All in all, however, this case goes a long way to legitimating the securitization fail argument. 
6/21/12

Taking Liberties: Murky foreclosure process kicks Colorado woman out of home

Childears who heads the Colorado Mortgage Bankers Assoc. predicts homes will sit on the market much longer while title searches are conducted and certified. 

“The process works exactly the way it should right now,”  he said. 

Fox News Hoffman disagrees.

“I think that people's property rights are fundamental to investing in a home,” said Hoffman, who claims the extra cost to lenders is “miniscule.”
You have a right to know if the person who wants you out of your home, actually owns your home. 

It’s that simple

6/20/12

Florida Case Reviews Unethical Practices in the Foreclosure Process

Thousands of foreclosure cases involving falsified documents could be reopened, if the court rules in favor of the homeowner.

Price Law Firm The Florida state Supreme Court is set to review a foreclosure case dealing with unethical mortgage industry practices.
The question the court will answer is whether a mortgage lender who files a forged claim may later re-file a legitimate claim if their fraudulent actions are discovered.

6/20/12**

‘No Place Like Home: Foreclosures in America’ by Bruce Gilden

"THIS IS A TRAGEDY."

"Each place I went to I got angrier and angrier."

"We may be stupid, but they're guilty." - Foreclosure victim

Some people do take advantage of the mortgage crisis as a scam, he says, but mostly it’s the bankers who he sees benefitting. 

Time This just showed me how people in our country get used and abused,” he says. He cites one woman he met in Las Vegas, who earned $40,000 a year and received a $360,000 mortgage; “I mean, you must be kidding me,” he says. He admits that it’s not smart to take such an offer, but in a scenario where banks can get rid of bad mortgages rather than suffering from them, he sees incentive for those in power to convince individuals to take loans they can’t handle.

6/20/12

Foreclosure: Get Help Before It's Too Late

HispanicBusiness A free workshop to help prevent foreclosures takes place Friday at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College located at 600 N. 21st St. in Superior, Wisconsin.
6/20/12

Foreclosure: Initiative 84 passes latest hurdle with Supreme Court's okay

WestWord Initiative 84's primary purpose is to reverse 2006 legislation that altered the legal standards for processing foreclosures. With the shift in 2006, it became legal for lawyers to sign a statement indicating that the financial entities they represent have the ability to foreclose on a property. Initiative 84 seeks to require documentation of ownership before any proceedings begin.
6/20/12

Collier detectives investigating foreclosure rental fraud

Wink News Collier County detectives say Leiva acted as a middle-man to link tenants to foreclosed properties. He's accused of breaking into abandoned homes and listing himself as the landlord.
6/20/12

Hernando County suing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Hernando v. Fannie/Freddie

Tampa Bay Online The argument is nothing new to Fannie and Freddie. Oakland County, Mich., sued for the same thing. In March, a federal judge ruled on behalf of the county and said Fannie and Freddie are not exempt and must pay the taxes they owe.

6/20/12

Mortgage fraud bill passes out of Assembly committee

“Scammers continue to prey on vulnerable Californians who simply want to stay in their homes,” Harris said. “This legislation will create a more cohesive legal process to prosecute those who prey on Californians across county lines.”

Mountain Democrat Senate Bill 1474 (Senator Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley) would allow the attorney general to convene a special grand jury to investigate and indict the perpetrators of financial crimes involving victims in more than one county, as well as crimes conducted by a single defendant or multiple defendants who worked together. The bill passed unanimously with bipartisan support.
6/20/12**

Why The Senate Won't Touch Jamie Dimon: JPM Derivatives Prop Up U.S. Debt

Dimon sat on the board of the New York Federal Reserve when it lent $55 billion to JPMorgan in 2008 to buy Bear Stearns for pennies on the dollar. Dimon then owned nearly three million shares of JPM stock and options, in clear violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 208, which makes that sort of conflict of interest a felony.

 

Ellen Brown

Is there no alternative but to succumb to the Mafia-like Wall Street protection racket of a covert derivatives trade in interest rate swaps? As Willie and Kirby observe, that scheme itself must ultimately fail, and may have failed already. They point to evidence that the JPM losses are not just $3 billion but $30 billion or more, and that JPM is actually bankrupt.
6/19/12

O’Brien: ‘Time to Collect’ Unpaid Transfer Taxes from Fannie, Freddie

In March, O’Brien asked the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) to reverse a policy that allowed Fannie and Freddie to claim exemptions from the transfer taxes that sellers of real estate in the commonwealth are required to pay.

Marshfield Real Estate Fannie and Freddie are private corporations that are traded on the New York Stock Exchange. These entities have even told Congress that Congress has no control over their salaries or any right to invoke the freedom of information laws as it relates to them,” O’Brien continued. “Other counties like New Castle County, Delaware, have also ruled that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will no longer be exempt from the transfer taxes on homes that they are selling and are now collecting the tax from them. It’s time Massachusetts does the exact same thing. 

6/19/12

Bexar files suit over fees on loans

Attorney Tom Rhodes, part of a team of attorneys hired to represent Bexar County in the lawsuit, said MERSdestroys the integrity of the recordation system” because it's impossible to tell who owns a mortgage loan as it is sold and resold on the secondary market.

My SA Officials estimate that the county has missed out on as much as $30 million in filing fees on hundreds of thousands of property transactions since the 1990s, when the mortgage industry created MERS as a way to track mortgage loan ownership and servicing.
6/19/12**

IRS Resists Whistle-Blowers Despite Wide U.S. Tax Gap

This article argues that the IRS whistleblower program has become “the place where allegations of tax avoidance go to die.

Bloomberg Two former employees of an advisory firm filed a whistleblower complaint with the IRS, alleging that the firm had been helping clients to evade taxes, costing the US government as much as $712.5 million. The IRS has rejected the claim without talking to the whistleblowers, and despite some IRS agents requesting a grand jury.
6/19/12

Fraud, Extrinsic Fraud, Intrinsic Fraud, Fraud upon the Court, and Bill of Review in Texas

“Fraud affects fatally even the most solemn judgments and decrees”. Diehl v U.S. 438 F. 2d 705, cert, denied 92 S. Ct. 67, 404 U.S. 830, 30 L. Ed. 2d 59 (C.A.5 (Tex.) 1971)).

Rico and Fraud Upon the Court  “A judgment procured through fraud is not void, unless fraud goes to the court’s jurisdiction, but is voidable”. Hollis v Hollis , 226 S.W. 2d 129. dismissed (Tex. Civ. App. – Amarillo 1949).
 “Fraud is defined as trickery or deceit, intentional misrepresentation, concealment, or nondisclosure, for the purpose of inducing another in reliance upon it to part with some valuable thing belonging to him, or a false representation of a matter of fact by words or conduct or by concealment of what should have been disclosed that deceives or is intended to deceive another so that he shall act upon it to his legal injury,” (emphasis added). In re E.P. , 185 S.W. 3d 908 (Tex. App. – Austin 2006)
6/19/12

THE GMAC BANKRUPTCY- ACT IMMEDIATELY TO PRESERVE YOUR RIGHTS!

Claimants that have lawsuits pending have standing to participate in this motion. Further homeowners who believe that they have claims, including illegal foreclosure, but do not have a lawsuit pending may still qualify.

Matt Weidner, Esq. All homeowners who believe they have claims against one of the entities listed on EXHIBIT “A” qualify to participate in the motion to appoint a committee. There is no cost to any participant and if the committee motion is granted the debtor in this case, Residential Capital and subsidiaries will pay for the committee expenses pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 503(b)(4).
6/19/12

Federal Judge Makes it Easier for Monolines to win Big Damages in JP Morgan RMBS Putback Suits

The monolines suing JP Morgan for RMBS putbacks got a BIG win today in Federal court. 

Teri Buhl Judge Crotty showed he wasn’t buying the banks fancy legal arguments about needing to show a loan already blew up before you get your money back because you issued reps and warranties that weren’t actually true. This means New York lawyers at Patterson Belknap, under managing partner Philip Forlenza, are going to be really busy filing more monoline suits against JP Morgan now that their test case, Syncora v. EMC Mortgage (owned by Bear Stearns now JPM), blew through this huge legal hurdle.
6/19/12

Fannie And Freddie FAIL On Oversight of Foreclosure Contractors, Housing Agency Report Says

Huff Post In short, Fannie and Freddie weren't watching the contractors, and the FHFA wasn't watching Fannie and Freddie, the inspector general says. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two fallen mortgage giants, have soaked up $187.5 billion in taxpayer aid since they were bailed out in 2008. The FHFA is the "conservator" of the mortgage whales, and has the legal power to dictate policy at the once-public companies.
6/19/12**

LILLY WASHINGTON FIGHTS BANK OF AMERICA FOR ILLEGAL EVICTION; TRASHING HER SON’S PURPLE HEART

Here’s what happened to Lilly when she came back from Germany (her son, thankfully, emerged from his coma). She found a ‘FOR SALE’ sign in the yard and a new lock on the front door. Her house had been completely emptied; the furniture acquired over years, the Purple Heart her son had earned when he was shot during an earlier tour in Iraq: all gone. Bank of America had illegally and fraudulently sold her house to Fannie Mae only days after she’d left the country. And, they’d thrown all of her belongings in the city dump.

Home Defenders League So like David confronting impossible odds, she stood up and fought. She moved back in, fought the eviction in court, and replaced her furniture with donations from her church. When the Sheriff’s deputies came in January 2012 to evict her, Lilly won a stay of eviction. Then in April she found a judge who finally recognized that she had been robbed by Wall Street bankers and let her legally possess her home again.

The fight has cost her, though. Fighting the Sheriff’s deputies gave her a slipped disk. The stress caused her a heart attack. She’s gone to the hospital six times and is facing yet another surgery. She’s on disability. But she’s outraged that the banks can break the law, steal her house, throw away everything she’s ever owned, ruin her health without facing any consequences whatsoever

She’s headed back to court to force Bank of America and Fannie Mae to give her title to the house free and clear and make them pay damages.

6/19/12

Bankers Using Foreclosure Judges to Force Investors into Bad Deals

“Foreclosure judges don’t realize that they are entering orders and judgments on cases that are not in front of them or in which they have any jurisdiction. Foreclosure Judges are forcing bad loans down the throat of investors when the investor signed an agreement (PSA and prospectus) excluding that from happening. The problem is that most lawyers and pro se litigants don’t know enough to make that argument. The investor bought exclusively “good” loans. Foreclosure judges are shoving bad loans down their throats without notice or an opportunity to be heard. This is a classic case of necessary and indispensable parties being ignored.”

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

The layers of the onion are endless. But this one is a showstopper. When I started blogging in October 2007 I thought the issue of necessary and indispensable parties John Does 1-1000 and Jane Roes 1-100 were important enough that it would slow if not stop foreclosures. The Does are the pension funds and other investors who thought that they were buying mortgage bonds and the Roes were the dozens of intermediaries in the securitization chain.
Of course we know that the Does never got their bond in most cases, and even if they did they received it issued from a “REMIC” vehicle that wasn’t a REMIC and which did not have any money or bonds before, during or after the transaction. 
6/19/12 Huh?

FHFA Seeks To Limit Buybacks Afflicting BofA To PNC: Mortgages

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, plans to help banks avoid being forced to buy back mortgages as it becomes concerned that lenders are tightening standards even for the most creditworthy home buyers.

Bloomberg The FHA has increased efforts to reach legal settlements with lenders including Citigroup Inc.’s (C) mortgage unit and Deutsche Bank AG, alleging that the banks fraudulently claimed that mortgages submitted for FHA insurance met the agency’s underwriting standards. The agency’s inspector general has been probing the extent of fraudulent activity and has subpoenaed records of insured loans from lenders.

Banks usually end up paying about half of the unpaid principal balance when a putback demand is successful, according to the companies.

6/19/12

Bank of America Jumps; Will Government Limit Buyback Exposure?

The Federal Housing Finance Authority thinks that this exposure may be dissuading banks from lending, given that they could be on the hook for those loans later on even if Fannie and Freddie buys or guarantees them

Barrons Among the many swords hanging over Bank of America’s head is the company’s mortgage buyback exposure. Fannie Mae  and Freddie Mac have been demanding that the bank and its peers buy back bad mortgages. BAC announced in May that it will repurchase $330 million in bad home loans from Freddie Mac, but the total bill for the bank and other lenders could be much higher. Fannie and Freddie are asking for lenders to buy back $15.3 billion in total loans, according to their first quarter statements
6/19/12

Banking CEO Returns to Capitol Hill to Detail JPMorgan Chase Losses

C-SPAN JPMorgan Chase’s President and CEO Jamie Dimon is back on Capitol Hill to answer lawmakers' questions concerning the bank’s May announcement of more than $2 billion in trading losses.
6/19/12

JPMorgan’s Connections to the House Finance Committee

ProPublica As we charted last week, JPMorgan happens to have plenty of connections to the Senate committee. The House committee where Dimon is appearing today has its own ties to the bank. Congressmen and staff from the committee have gone to JPMorgan and its lobbying firms. Members have also gotten hefty campaign contributions from the bank's PACs and employees.
Case to watch

6/18/12

Woman Forcibly Removed from Home But Fights Eviction

Claims Wrongful Foreclosure Through Fraudulent Documents

Huml claims she made all her payments, but Citibank began applying her payments to an escrow account and then started returning her payments to manufacture Huml into default so it could take her home.

KTSM Bea Huml's attorney Richard Roman arrived in time to tell the constables there was a temporary restraining order against the bank in place. The constables said they would only verify this if he accompanied them to the court house.

"It appears they're not honoring the judge's order. The county attorney is challenging his authority (Federal Judge) to issue a restraining order," said Roman. Huml TRO

Huml says the county of El Paso is taking orders from the bank through fraudulent paperwork.

6/18/12

Attorney in $15 Million Mortgage Fraud Case Jailed for Bankruptcy Fraud

Mortgage Daily Real estate lawyer Victoria Sprouse pleaded not guilty to eight charges relating to bankruptcy fraud Friday morning, and was ordered to stay in jail until her trial by the judge, who described the charges as "breathtaking acts of deception by a trained lawyer."
6/18/12

Dimon Faces ‘Harsher And Crazier’ House Crowd In Second Round

Jamie Dimon won’t get off as easy at his second congressional hearing this month when he tries to explain how JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) lost at least $2 billion on trades that he has said “violated common sense.”

Bloomberg “He won’t get lawmakers apologizing for asking him questions like in the Senate,” said Paul Miller, a former examiner.

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee will be a tougher audience for Dimon when he testifies today after members of the Senate Banking Committee spent much of their June 13 hearing complimenting the chief executive officer or asking his advice on financial law, banking analysts said

6/18/12

Confession of Error

Baniel v. Aurora

Florida 5th District Court of Appeals Aurora confesses error and requests that the Final Judgment be reversed and
this case remanded to the trial court so that Appellee may properly address the
affirmative defenses filed by Appellant and refile an appropriate Motion for Summary Judgment. Accordingly, we reverse and remand this case to the trial court for further proceedings.
6/18/12

Lehman creditors end demand for Geithner testimony

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc creditors have ended litigation to force U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to testify over an $8.6 billion dispute with JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Reuters The creditors said they have no additional questions for Geithner and agreed to voluntarily drop the case, court filings show. They had sought in February to compel Geithner's testimony under subpoena.
6/18/12

Funds secured in National Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement being put to work to help Delaware homeowners

The Governor says putting the money to work for Delawareans will help keep people in their homes. 

WGMD “The recovery of the housing market is the best way to keep the economy moving forward, but it won’t happen without help for homeowners facing foreclosure,” Biden said. “A foreclosure not only ruins the financial life of the borrower, but also causes neighboring home values to plummet, and leaves communities with vacant properties that are magnets for crime. We’re putting the funds my office secured to work helping Delawareans avoid foreclosure, strengthening our housing market and revitalizing our economy.”
6/18/12

Court appoints examiner in Rescap bankruptcy

In a bankruptcy, an examiner investigates allegations such as dishonesty, fraud, incompetence and mismanagement.

Reuters Nationstar's initial offer, worked out during months of pre-bankruptcy negotiations, was $2.4 billion for the mortgage servicing assets. On Monday, it cut its proposed break-up fee - which must be paid if it is beat out by another buyer - to $24 million from $72 million and tossed out its plans for expense reimbursement of up to $10 million.
6/18/12

Millions for foreclosure prevention unspent in RI

Boston Globe Only about one-third of the more than $79 million available from a federal foreclosure prevention program in Rhode Island has been committed to help struggling homeowners.

6/18/12

  

Big Banks Could Rake In Up To $12 Billion Because Of HARP 2.0

A government program meant to help struggling homeowners will at minimum help some struggling banks.

The Banks have been having a problem proving to the courts that a valid debt exists, so here is their chance to scam the people into creating a brand new debt - and cover-up and side-step the fraud, fabricated documents and fraud upon the courts.

Huff Post The government last year announced an expanded version of HARP, known as HARP 2.0, which was meant to allow underwater borrowers that were current on their payments to refinance their mortgages at market rates. Instead, the program has allowed big banks to charge steep fees and above-market interest rates, all while refinancing mortgages they already handle.

There are videos below the article.

6/18/12

Homeowners harmed by unfair foreclosures could seek outside review

Borrowers are eligible if the property in foreclosure was their primary residence and their loan was serviced by one of the companies affected by the enforcement action, according to the Boston Fed.

SouthCoast

Today

The mortgage servicers are: America's Servicing Co., Aurora Loan Services, BAC Home Loans Servicing, Bank of America, Beneficial, Chase, Citibank, CitiFinancial, CitiMortgage, Countrywide, EMC Mortgage, Everbank/Everhome Mortgage Co., Financial Freedom, GMAC Mortgage, HFC, HSBC, IndyMac Mortgage Services, MetLife Bank, National City Mortgage, PNC Mortgage, Sovereign Bank, SunTrust Mortgage, U.S. Bank, Wachovia Mortgage, Washington Mutual (WaMu), Wells Fargo; and Wilshire Credit Corp.

May-June 2012

Defending Junk-Debt-Buyer Lawsuits

Peter A. Holland Junk debt buyer lawsuits have overwhelmed the courts all across the United States. These lawsuits wreak havoc on consumers and their families. Often overlooked is the fact that judgments against consumers which are based on junk debt are part of a zero sum game, where every bogus judgment deprives a legitimate creditor of the chance to get paid from scarce resources.
6/17/12

Underwater owners try to beat the bank


Post Exclusive: Homeowners seeking lifeline

Palm Beach Post “They are preying on the disorganization of the banks themselves and their inability to be organized enough to respond to the complaints in order to avoid a default,” said Ice, a foreclosure defense attorney. “It takes advantage of the sheer magnitude of foreclosure cases.”
6/17/12

Slobbering Senators Woo Dimon While They Gut Dodd-Frank

Instead of pushing him to explain why, two years after the signing of the Dodd-Frank law, he encouraged his bankers and traders to take risks that shouldn’t be taken with his depositors’ money, we got this from Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina:

Bloomberg We can hardly sit in judgment of your losing $2 billion. We lose twice that every day here in Washington. And plan to continue to do that every day. It’s comforting to know that even with a $2 billion loss in a trade … your company still, I think, had a $19 billion profit. During that same period, we lost over $1 trillion.” He concluded: “So the intent today is really not to sit in judgment but to maybe understand better what happened.”
Good Lord, can this really be happening?
6/17/12

The Federal Government, Throwing Families Into The Street To Make Billionaires Out of Millionaires

Matt Weidner, Esq. “The largest transfer of wealth from the public to private sector is about to begin. The federal government will be bulk-selling the massive portfolio of foreclosed homes now owned by HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to private investors — vulture funds.”

6/17/12

Post Exclusive: Homeowners seeking lifeline

Underwater owners try to beat the bank

BEHIND THE STORY
Alerted by a Realtor that agents were getting commissions for referring clients to a new land trust company, Palm Beach Post business reporter Kimberly Miller started researching the firm and its pitch to homeowners eager to reduce their mortgages.

Kimberly Miller

Palm Beach Post

Then attorneys started calling Miller with concerns about their clients signing deeds over to the trust. When Miller pulled up official county records, she learned dozens of Palm Beach County deeds had been signed over to the Fidelity Land Trust. But homeowners seemed confused as to exactly what they had signed up for. A review of hundreds of pages of court documents and state records revealed multiple layers of corporations and an evolving legal strategy that one judge is questioning. 
6/17/12

Homeowner Aid Boosts Big Banks

A government program that helps struggling homeowners take advantage of low interest rates to cut monthly mortgage payments is providing an unexpected revenue boost to large banks

WSJ Banks that collect those payments, known as mortgage servicers, could get as much as $12 billion in revenue this year refinancing mortgages under the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP.

6/16/12

Rajat Gupta Convicted Of Insider Trading By U.S. Jury

Bloomberg The verdict “sends a very strong message to corporate America and to Wall Street that those who engage in insider trading, irrespective of their station in life, can expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami said in a statement. “We appreciate the tremendous work of the federal prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan in successfully prosecuting this case.”
6/16/12

$40mm Foreclosure Dismissed with Prejudice

It lacks standing because there was no proper assignment to it.

The case is Hoti v. GE

The Honorable Yvonne Lewis It is noted that GECMC never provided any original document regarding the note and the allonge supporting their allegation that they were in fact the owner or assignee of the mortgage and the note at the commencement of the action.
6/16/12**

Does the Judge in Your Foreclosure Case Own Stock in the Bank Foreclosing on You?

What would you do if you found out that the judge presiding over your foreclosure owned stock in the bank foreclosing on you? 

Deadly Clear Owning $25,000 to $50,000 worth of stock in the Bank of Hawaii that could dry up or significantly reduce overnight [like Enron] would also have a negative impact. You think it’d be easy to see the conflict and reasonable to assume an appearance of impropriety, right?
6/15/12

California judge charged with elder theft.

Home Equity Theft Reporter An Alameda County judge has been charged with elder theft for allegedly stealing at least $1.6 million from his 97-year-old neighbor. Paul Seeman was arrested and charged Thursday with one count of elder theft and 11 counts of perjury. He was being held on $525,000 bail.
6/15/12

Rancho Financial brings back stated-income mortgages

The Rancho product is only for the affluent homeowner.  But how do you know if you don't check their tax returns and pay stubs and rely only on alleged or falsified bank statements?  

Housing Wire Borrowers’ bank statements are examined, but not their tax returns or pay stubs. And while stated-income loans have borne their share of blame for the destruction of the nation's housing economy, unlike earlier lending programs that offered stated-income mortgages to high-risk borrowers, the Rancho product is only for the affluent homeowner.
6/15/12

Senators Grovel, Embarrass Themselves at Dimon Hearing

That most of them had absolutely no conception of even the basics of the derivatives market was obvious. But what was even more amazing was that several of them had serious trouble even reading aloud the questions their more learned staffers prepared for them. Many seemed to be reading their own questions for the first time.

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

It would be one thing if this had been a bunch of hick congressmen from the plains asking a panel of MIT professors about, say, ozone depletion, or the potential dangers of nuclear fallout. But these were members of the Senate Banking Committee, asking Dimon questions as though he were an alien from another world: 
6/15/12**

Should we just put an * by our Foreclosure Era?

Baseball had the “Steroid Era,” and the law has its “Foreclosure Era.” The two phenomenons are so similar, but the latter has shaken our confidence in our system of justice.

Chip Parker

Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney

In one sentence, the author suggests that the intentional act of fraud is a “fixable error.” Imagine if JPMorgan got caught shoplifting a book from Barnes & Noble. Apparently, the Bank could “fix the error” by putting the book back on the shelf. No harm, no foul, right?

In the end, the American People and The Truth have suffered permanent injury at the hands of the people who were sworn to protect us: lawyers, judges and politicians.

6/15/12

Ex-Taylor Bean Official Gets 5-Year Prison Term

Bloomberg “As CFO, Mr. de Armas could have -- and should have -- put a stop to the massive fraud at TBW the moment he discovered it,” MacBride said in an e-mailed statement. “Instead, he and others lied for years on end to investors, banks, regulators and auditors and caused more than $2.4 billion in losses to major financial institutions.”

6/15/12

Ex-loan officer claims Wells Fargo targeted black communities for shoddy loans

Her scathing affidavit detailing “the stagecoach to hell” at Wells Fargo is a key part of the groundbreaking lawsuit filed by the city of Baltimore against her former employer. The case spawned copycats across the nation, and federal regulators launched investigations mirroring its allegations.

Washington Post Yet she has placed herself back inside the machine. Her new business focuses on homeowners navigating complicated loan modifications and examines mortgage documents for fraud. She has used an obscure clause in the federal financial regulatory overhaul to help her clients win thousands of dollars from their mortgage companies.

Declaration of Elizabeth Jacobson

6/15/12**

Another Schneiderman Con: Proposes Likely-to-go-Nowhere Foreclosure Fraud Legislation

naked capitalism The New York courts were swift to act when the robosigning scandal broke. A mere month later, it imposed a certification requirement which had the effect of lowering the bar for sanctioning attorneys for failing to take “reasonable” steps to verify the accuracy of documents submitted to the court. This has a chilling effect. Foreclosure filings plummeted. This was a de facto admission that the banks were not able, by legal means, to establish in court that they had the right to foreclose.

6/14/12

Federal Reserve Board Members Gave Their Own Banks $4 Trillion in Bailouts

Jamie Dimon Is Not Alone (Senator Bernie Sanders) (pdf)
All Gov Following the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve provided more than $4 trillion in near zero-interest loans and other help to banks and businesses whose executives also served as directors for the national bank.
6/14/12

Residential Capital Files Bankruptcy: Part 1 of 2

Mortgage Crisis Watch While taxpayers currently own only approximately 25% of G.M. after the $17.2 billion bailout, they still own 74% of Ally.

The bankruptcy filing resulted from the failure of Residential Capital (ResCap) to pay a $20 million installment of debt which became due and payable in mid-April, and the prospect of having to pay approximately $300 million in debt payments coming due through June, 2012. ResCap had continued to absorb enormous losses from bad loans, and continues to face demands to buy back mortgage loans it sold to investors.

Residential Capital Files Bankruptcy: Part 2 of 2

6/14/12

Foreclosures up for first time in 27 months

Reuters "The banks are getting to a place where they consider their foreclosure processing issues resolved, so they're confident enough to go ahead and push through more foreclosures," Blomquist said.
6/14/12

State reveals plan to hand out mortgage settlement funds

Rapid City Journal South Dakota will spend the $2.9 million it received in a nationwide mortgage settlement on foreclosure-related programs while other states divert massive amounts to plug budget holes or attract businesses.
6/14/12

A.G. Schuette and Treasurer Dillon Announce $294.9 Million National Settlement With Bear Stearns And Deloitte & Touche

Michigan AG The State of Michigan acted as the court-appointed lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, and argued that Bear Stearns and their auditor Deloitte & Touche misled the state's pension fund and other investors about risky exposure to the U.S. housing market and subsequent write-downs to its assets, which led to a collapse of the company and its stock. 
6/14/12

Barofsky Slams Dimon/Washington: “Still a Cover Up”

Despite the greatest economic crisis since The Great Depression, yesterday’s hearing provides clear cut evidence that little has really changed in the Wall Street-Washington relationship that brought our country to its knees.

Sense on Cents Barofksy pulls no punches. With prompts such as, “all those years of campaign contributions…”, “this shows the level of the capture…”, and ” still a cover up…”, take the 9 minutes to absorb Barofsky’s crushing critique of yesterday’s Washington charade.
6/14/12

NY High Court Overturns 2 Lower Court Rulings, OKs Brooklyn Loft Renter's 9-Year Stiffing Of Landlord Over Failure To Bring Premises Up To Code

Home Equity Theft Reporter The state’s highest court ruled [...] that a Brooklyn loft tenant who has not paid rent since 2003 could not be evicted because the landlord had not brought the building up to residential standards.
6/14/12

The Top 5 RMBS Cases to Watch this Summer: No. 2 – In re the Application of Bank of New York Mellon

Subprime Shakeout It’s no secret that BNYM’s proposed $8.5 billion settlement with BofA and Countrywide over breaches of reps and warranties (a.k.a. mortgage put-backs) is one of the most important and influential pieces of ongoing RMBS litigation. The approval of this settlement could put the bulk of BofA’s legacy mortgage issues behind it while creating a framework for other RMBS originators, issuers and trustees to settle their outstanding mortgage liabilities.

6/14/12

 

Woman Says Bank is Wrongfully Taking Her Home
She got a phone call from Citi Mortgage saying her account was delinquent. She proved she made payments and then realized the bank had been applying her payments to an account she never authorized. And now she would owe $2300 a month to catch up.

UPDATE: Attorney Richard Roman filed CRIMINAL charges and obtained a TRO.  The constables tried to evict them anyway.  They have all gone down to the courthouse for an emergency hearing.

KTSM

El Paso

So she went to the county clerk's office and found something strange. Many of the eviction notices in El Paso are signed by the same name Beverly Mitrisin.

"Had different signatures and I noticed that people were witnesses of signatures, the notary republic were from out of state so I don't know and so I don't know who this Beverly Mitricin is," said Huml.

And that signature could be putting Huml and her 95 year old mother on the street.

"The documents are fraudulent. The documents are illegal. Those documents are being used to foreclose on people to evict people and to take their houses,” said Richard Roman, Bea Huml's attorney.
6/14/12

Schneiderman Introduces Legislation to Protect New Yorkers From Foreclosure Fraud

WBNG The Attorney General’s legislation, the Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act of 2012, will define “residential mortgage foreclosure fraud,” and impose tough new criminal penalties that include jail time for those who intentionally engage in such conduct, including managers of residential mortgage businesses who knowingly tolerate fraudulent foreclosure practices committed by their employees and agents.
6/13/12

Wells Fargo Retaliates by Shutting Down Website Bank Account

It is believed that the actions were taken in retaliation for a recent series of articles by ML-Implode blogger Martin Andelman which pulled no punches in criticizing Wells Fargo over its foreclosure practices — in particular the tragic and horrific case of Norm Rousseau who was driven to suicide after Wells Fargo lost a mortgage payment and mistakenly foreclosed on the family’s home, despite a lengthy back-and-forth process which gave the bank ample opportunity to correct the mistake.

ML-Implode The prior week, ML-Implode affiliate REST Report Matters (http://www.restreportmatters.com/), inspired and promoted by Andelman to give homeowners at risk of foreclosure access to the same loan analysis tools the banks have, also had its account shuttered by Wells Fargo. It appears the bank first followed Andelman’s references to REST Report Matters, targeted that company, then connected REST Report Matters back to ML-Implode’s business account (via affiliate transactions) and marked that account for “summary execution” as well.

Martin Andelman has no ongoing financial relationship with REST Report Matters, which means Wells’ shuttering of their accounts amounts to tortious interference with a legitimate, independent business.
6/13/12

Fine Print: The Real Story on the “$25 Billion” Multistate Settlement

Living Lies So in plain language, the banks are taking money from their left pocket and putting int heir right pocket and saying it was a deal. This sounds a lot like the fake claims of securitization and assignment of debt on housing, student loans, credit cards, auto loans etc. In the end, no money will move except a tiny percentage because since the banks are simply paying themselves out of their own money how bad can the accounting be for them?
6/13/12

FTC Action Halts Alleged "Forensic Audit" Scam that Targeted Consumers in Danger of Losing Their Homes

Federal Trade Commission At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court has halted an operation that allegedly preyed on financially vulnerable homeowners, convincing them to pay $1,995 or more by holding out bogus promises that they could help them avoid foreclosure and renegotiate their mortgages.
6/13/12

Wells Fargo Takes Revenge on Blog for Posting How Bank’s Improper Foreclosure Led to a Suicide

It appears Wells Fargo is not happy about bad press about how it has blood on its hands and is not above taking petty revenge

naked capitalism The fact that the Rousseaus had a receipt should settle the matter. The payment was submitted on time. Nevertheless, they enter loan modification hell, rather than simply having the error corrected. And although all modification stories are awful, this one was worse than usual even before its awful denouement. 

6/13/12

Sanders Releases Explosive Bailout List

On the eve of Senate testimony by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Sanders (I-Vt.) released the detailed findings on Dimon and other Fed board members whose banks and businesses benefited from Fed actions.

The Report

Reader Supported

News

More than $4 trillion in near zero-interest Federal Reserve loans and other financial assistance went to the banks and businesses of at least 18 current and former Federal Reserve regional bank directors in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse, according to Government Accountability Office records made public for the first time today by Sen. Bernie Sanders.
6/13/12

New Consumer Financial Protection Bureau faces growing pains

The agency says the numbers don't reflect that many consumers get non-monetary help — such as foreclosure alternatives, ending debt-collection calls, and correcting submissions to a credit bureau — after complaining.

USA Today Complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) obtained by USA TODAY under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal a system in which consumers are still mostly at the mercy of their banks in resolving problems.
6/13/12

Incoming Regulator Promises No More Coddling of Banks 

ProPublica The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is so lenient on the banks it is supposed to regulate that it could be mistaken for a division of the United States Chamber of Commerce. Does its new head, Thomas J. Curry, have any hope of giving it a backbone?
6/13/12

Charting the Cozy Connections between JP Morgan and the Senate Banking Committee

But through campaign contributions and well-connected staff, JP Morgan appears to have already taken its own accounting of the Banking committee. Here’s a picture of connections between the company and the committee:

ProPublica It’s not clear what the committee will do beyond the hearings. Numerous federal agencies are investigating JP Morgan’s losses, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission
6/13/12

The 5 myths of the great financial meltdown

CNN Money It's hard to believe, but it's been five years and a day since the U.S. financial system's problems surfaced, and we're still not even remotely close to being able to feel good about the economy.

6/13/12

A BREAKDOWN IN RISK MANAGEMENT: WHAT WENT WRONG AT JPMORGAN CHASE?

COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS The hearing on “A Breakdown in Risk Management: What Went Wrong at JPMorgan Chase?” The witness will be Mr. James Dimon, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
REPOST

6/13/12

Abacus Bank Indicted for Mortgage Fraud; More Prosecutions to Come?

Last week Manhattan DA Cy Vance filed charges against Abacus Bank and 19 former employees for committing mortgage fraud. Does this mean more prosecutions of other banks for crimes committed prior to the housing crisis?

Bloomberg Probably not, according to Bill Black, former regulator and current professor at University of Missouri-Kansas City. Bill tells Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia that there is a profound lack of resources in state and federal government to investigate and prosecute banks and employees for mortgage fraud despite substantial evidence of criminal activity. Bill also claims that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has discouraged regulators and prosecutors from pursuing large banks for malfeasance and fraud
6/13/12

The Top 5 RMBS Cases to Watch this Summer: No. 3 – ABN Ampro Bank v. Dinallo (Article 78)

Subprime Shakeout The last-minute shenanigans that took place in ABN Ampro Bank v. Dinallo and were worthy of a prime time television courtroom drama. Namely, with only a few days to go before the parties were to present what has variously been called a “quasi-trial” or a “glorified oral argument” on BofA and Societe Generale’s challenge to MBIA’s restructuring, the parties held an impromptu call with the Judge to argue over the scope of the proceeding and whether there should be a “trial” at all. On the call, Judge Barbara Kapnick reiterated that there would be some kind of trial, that she would hear from live witnesses on any questions of fact she deemed relevant, and then ultimately hung up on the parties when they overstayed their welcome.
6/13/12

Occupy the SEC's Comment Letter on the Volcker Rule

Occupy the SEC submitted a 325 page letter to the SEC, FDIC, the Federal Reserve and the OCC, to comment on the notice of proposed rulemaking for the Volcker Rule. In our comment letter, we answered 244 out of 395 questions asked by the Agencies. 

OccupyTheSec The Agencies involved in the Volcker rulemaking process have an historic opportunity to redress many of the economic wrongs of the past, and create a future that privileges the interests of the many rather than the few. We ask that the Agencies vigorously implement the considerable responsibilities that have been discharged to them by Congress, remain faithful to the statute’s intent and consider the comments contained in this letter.
6/13/12

Tax Foreclosure Buyer Hit w/ 2nd Suit Alleging Failure To Properly Inform Former Owner Of Redemption Rights On Homes It Bought For Pennies On The Dollar

Home Equity Theft Reporter A second lawsuit alleges a real estate holding company owned by a Charleston attorney failed to conduct due diligence in notifying the former owner of property it bought at a tax sale of her ability to get it back.
6/12/12

Distressed Properties and Environmental Liability: To Foreclose or Not to Foreclose, That is the Question

JDSupra Taking a property in foreclosure may result in the lender bearing substantial costs of cleanup and regulatory compliance just to sell in a market where property values may still be depressed. If the lender does not foreclose, then it loses its investment in the loan. 

6/12/12

Tips to avoid being victim of mortgage loan fraud scam

Bakersfield Now The California Association of Realtors, the Bakersfield Association of Realtors and the Kern County District Attorney's Office teamed up on Tuesday to launch a joint foreclosure fraud task force. They said the Bakersfield area has the fourth-highest mortgage fraud risk of any real estate market in the United States.
6/12/12

First American Title sues over improper title search that led to bad refinance 

A title company claims another company caused it to grant insurance to a couple who did not really own the home they had attempted to refinance.

Home Equity Theft Reporter Nations Title represented to American Equity that the Doaks owned a fee simple interest in the property, thereby clearing the way for a refinance. However, had Nations Title performed proper research it would have learned that the Doaks hold only a life estate interest in the property. In other words, the Doaks owned the property only until they died, the suit states.
6/12/12

More on the Supposedly Out of Control JP Morgan Chief Investment Office and the “Fortress Balance Sheet”

naked capitalism Whocouddanode? As more and more tidbits leak out about the activities of the JP Morgan Chief Investment Office, it increasingly appears to be a unit that was inadequately supervised. While that revelation is a dent to the reputation of self-styled ubermensch and alleged control freak Jamie Dimon, if he takes a few lumps in the press and otherwise can carry on as before, what difference will it make to him and the industry? Lloyd Blankfein took at least as much heat over a longer period, and he’s still firmly in place.

6/12/12

AG’s Office hosting foreclosure prevention workshops with mortgage lenders later this month

WGMD The first workshop will be held at William Penn High School in New Castle from 3 to 8 pm on June 25. Representatives from Bank of America, Chase, Citi, GMAC, HSBC, Ocwen and Wells Fargo will attend the workshop.

On June 26, another workshop will be held from 2 to 8 pm at the Milford Public Library on Southeast Front Street. The same mortgage lenders, except for Chase and HSBC, will also attend that workshop.

6/12/12

VIDEO: Mandelman Interviews Utah Attorney Walter T. Keane

Mandelman Matters Walter Keane is a very experienced real estate attorney practicing in Salt Lake City, Utah. He became somewhat famous last year when he filed for quiet title on behalf of four homeowners… and won all four times. Of course, since then the Appeals Court has closed that door in Utah, but Walter is already talking about other avenues that I haven’t heard elsewhere.
6/12/12

Arizona Supreme Court Ends the Argument – No Note Needed to Foreclose

Hogan v. Washington Mutual Bank

Mandelman Matters The decision by the Arizona Supreme Court does not allow a lender to foreclose without having a right to enforce the note, and the Court noted that the trustee owes the borrower a fiduciary duty, for which it may be held liable should it conduct a trustee’s sale when the borrower is not in default.

6/12/12

How Wall Street Hustles America’s Cities and States Out of Billions

Tom Ferguson What has driven cities and towns to the brink is not demands from their workforce but the collapse of national income and the ensuing fall in tax collections. Or, in other words, the Great Recession itself, for which Wall Street and the financial sector are principally to blame. But many powerful interests have jumped at the opportunity to use the crisis to eviscerate what’s left of the welfare state, roll back unionization to pre-New Deal levels, and keep cutting taxes on the wealthy. The litany of horror stories that now fills the media is ideal for their purposes.
6/12/12

Sex and Drugs: No, Obama Won’t Prosecute the Fat Cats

Abigail Field Even now, four years later, Davis’s information is still valuable. I mean, who cares if any statutes of limitations have run? Surely those that were using prostitutes then are using them now; surely a little shoe leather would turn up fresh dirt, once cops were pointed at the right people. The Feds just have to want to prosecute the big boys. So far, they clearly don’t.
Repeat

1/12/12**

Quiet title action erases mortgage

Title Search There are a few reasons why a quiet title action may be more successful than other foreclosure defense strategies. In the first place, the venue may favor borrowers. In foreclosure court the judge sees hundreds of cases where the borrower is genuinely in default, and almost all cases result in decision against the property owner. This becomes a conditioned response where the presumption is that the lender is correct. A quiet title action generally is argued in civil court, where case outcomes are as much likely to go in favor of plaintiff or defendant.
6/12/12

PNC Financial sees higher demand for mortgage buyback

Investors have been pressing U.S. banks to buy back now-soured home loans made during the housing boom.

Reuters PNC Financial Services Group said it is experiencing a higher demand for mortgage repurchases from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, sending the bank's shares down more than 4 percent.
6/12/12

The Top 5 RMBS Cases to Watch this Summer: No. 4 – Retirement Board v. Bank of New York Mellon

Subprime Shakeout This case seeks to blaze an entirely new pathway to recovery – suing mortgage backed securities Trustees for failing to live up to their contractual and statutory duties to investors. A win here for investors in this case could mean significant trustee liability and/or negotiating leverage to force trustees to act as fiduciaries for bondholders going forward.

6/11/12

Rebutting the Presumptions That the Original Note and Transfers Had Any Legal Effect

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

Every document relied upon by the pretender lenders was a lie. It described transactions that never occurred. Thus every foreclosure based upon such documents was also a lie.
6/11/12

RESPA QWR technicalities

MSFraud Forum Chapter 27 u.s.c. 2605(e) Duty of loan servicer to respond to borrower inquiries
(2) Action with respect to inquiry

Not later than 60 days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) after the receipt from any borrower of any qualified written request under paragraph (1) and, if applicable, before taking any action with respect to the inquiry of the borrower, the servicer shall—
6/11/12

Investors tout 'condemnation' for housing fix

MSNBC San Francisco-based Mortgage Resolution Partners, in a presentation reviewed by Reuters, says condemning so-called underwater mortgages and taking them out of the hands of private lenders and bondholders is "the only practical way to modify mortgages on a large enough scale to solve the housing crisis."

6/11/12

North Dakota Considers Eliminating Property Tax

 

“When,” Ms. Beehler asked, “did we come to believe that government should get rich and we should get poor?”

  I would like to be able to know that my home, no matter what happens to my income or my life, is not going to be taken away from me because I can’t pay a tax,” said Susan Beehler, one in a group of North Dakotans who have pressed for an amendment to the state’s Constitution to end the property tax. They argue that the tax is unpredictable, inconsistent, counter to the concept of property ownership and needless in a state that, thanks in part to wildly successful oil drilling, finds itself in the rare circumstance of carrying budget reserves.
6/11/12

 

 

 

 

Your Wealth Was STOLEN

Where did it go? To the banksters, who took your wealth and used it to cover their fraudulent credit creation.

And who made this possible? Your government, who you continue to support and demand..... commit yet more fraud (just "against someone else please!")

 

But remember folks, "Nobody committed any crimes", according to all three of the major Presidential Candidates.

Karl Denninger

Market Ticker

That "equity" was never real. It was a phantom created by the banksters out of whole cloth -- an out-and-out pyramid scheme and a fraud. The FBI warned of it years before the bubble burst and the appraisers sent a petition to Congress in the early part of the 2000s warning of it too. George W. Bush actually sued states to prevent them from putting a stop to it and Obama has refused to bring a single indictment related to it. Your Congress, Democrat and Republicans alike, have not only refused to demand investigations and prosecutions but have handed over trillions of dollars of deficit spending to explicitly cover over the fraud that would have otherwise sunk these institutions and then on top of it made balance sheet lies legal.

6/11/12

How Servicers Lie to Mortgage Investors About Losses

A post last week reviewed a botched foreclosure for a mortgage loan in Ace Securities Home Equity Loan Trust 2007-HE4 dismissed with prejudice, meaning that the foreclosure cannot be refilled; a total loss for investors. Next, we reviewed why the trust has not yet recorded the loss despite the six month old verdict.

Michael Olenick US taxpayers would have received more benefit by burning dollar bills in the Capitol’s furnace to heat the building than we received from bailing out Fannie, Freddie, Deutsche Bank, Ocwen, and the various other smaller leaches attached to the udder of public funds. We could and should have allowed the “free market” they worship to work its magic, sending them to their doom years ago. That would have left investors in a world-o-hurt but, in hindsight, that’s where they’re ending up anyway with no money left to fix the fallout. It is long past time public policy makers did something substantive to rein in these charlatans.
6/11/12

California Homeowners Still in Need of Mortgage Relief Despite Recent Attorney General Settlement

Now, read this one...

Bank of America is laying off 675 workers in two Fort Lauderdale offices where employees modify mortgages.

PR Web Despite the recent settlement with the States’ Attorneys General, UFAN Legal Group, PC (“UFAN”) continues to see significant interest in litigation against Bank of America and the other major banks participating in the settlement. Despite the settlement, many California homeowners continue to remain without relief.
6/11/12

The Top 5 RMBS Cases to Watch this Summer: No. 5 – Syncora v. EMC Mortgage 

Hizzoner is none too pleased with EMC’s interpretation of its contractual responsibilities or conduct thus far in living up to those responsibilities.

Subprime Shakeout I’ve discussed at length how important the definition of materiality/loss causation will be to the ease of proof in put-back litigation. No single issue would cause a bigger swing in the pendulum of losses from investors to banks than a ruling that put-backs do not require a showing that the identified breach of reps and warranties actually caused the loan to go into default.

6/11/12

Forced-Placed Insurance Terms Force Homeowners' Wallets

Lawyers & Settlements The Post Standard of New York reported May 20, 2012 that US Senator Chuck Schumer has identified a trend amongst lenders and financial institutions to require of homeowners the purchase of more costly flood insurance based on the full replacement cost of the home, rather than the outstanding value of the loan.

The issue can have a significant impact on a homeowner.
6/11/12

Big Banks Peddle Major Mortgage Rights

Between settlements regarding fraudulent foreclosures and new banking rules, the big boys in the banking industry are having a hard time figuring out what is profitable and what isn't.

Daily Finance One of the departments that banks lately find they would rather do without is mortgage servicing. Once a lucrative side business for mortgage originators, the activity has become more of a drain than a gain for the biggest of banks.

6/11/12

Vico v. Countrywide 

Santa Barbara County Superior Court

This tentative ruling seems to be the direction in which the California courts are heading. Any arguments regarding MERS, securitization, and 2932 are losing arguments

Alina Virani The only thing that the CA courts are interested in is whether the debt is valid. I understand that Calvo (2932 argument) is in the California Supreme Court. Hopefully, they rule in line with their previous case law in Bank of Italy. 
6/10/12

Another Bank Bailout

Oh, wow — another bank bailout, this time in Spain. Who could have predicted that?

Paul Krugman

NY Times

The answer, of course, is everybody. In fact, the whole story is starting to feel like a comedy routine: yet again the economy slides, unemployment soars, banks get into trouble, governments rush to the rescue — but somehow it’s only the banks that get rescued, not the unemployed.
6/10/12

Isn't this nice?

Banks Look to Burnish Their Images by Backing Green Technology Firms

Call it the greening of Wall Street.

NY Times Facing bad publicity on practically every front, the big banks are highlighting what has quietly become a hot growth area in recent years — backing projects and companies in sectors like renewable energy, emissions reduction and reduced-carbon transportation.

In addition, the bank is promising to make specific reductions in its own consumption of energy, paper and water.  (We know about promises.)

INSANE

6/9/12

Lynn Szymoniak's Bank Can't Tell Her How Much She Owes On Her Mortgage

NONE OF THEM CAN!  BECAUSE THEY DON'T OWN THE HOMES THEY ARE STEALING! 

When are the other courts going to wise up and wake up?

"The payoff figure from February when I was a 'deadbeat' who had no money, until May when I was a 'whistleblower' who had a lot of money, increased by $250k," Szymoniak said.

The Hearing Transcript courtesy of attorney Matt Weidner.

Huff Post The settlement check left Szymoniak with enough money to pay off her own mortgage. But lawyers for the banks seeking to foreclose on Szymoniak, American Home Mortgage Servicing and Deutsche Bank, couldn't tell her what she owed on the loan.

"For two months I've been trying to get a payoff figure on my loan," Szymoniak told an audience Friday at this year's Netroots Nation conference in Providence, R.I. "I could not get a figure from either the mortgage servicer or the attorneys for the bank. Last week ... I actually had to go into court and file a pleading to order a payoff figure. The judge was incensed and said they had seven days to get me a payoff figure. On the seventh day, they filed and asked for a five-day extension."
6/9/12

The First Bank Has Been Criminally Indicted for Mortgage Fraud

I realize that this is a teeny tiny bank so you may be asking yourself, “What’s the big deal?” Let me explain:

FDL

  Press release video

By bringing this case, the Manhattan DA’s Office (actually New York County DA’s Office) is demonstrating that all that nonsense that POTUS and Geithner have been spouting about “sloppy paperwork” and non criminal lack of best practices is a lie. It also shows up the Preet Bharara excuse that intent is too hard to prove.
6/9/12

Lost the Vote? Deny the Money

At a time when the economy is still reeling from the downturn, House Republicans released a spending bill that would severely cut the budget of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which would keep it from regulating potentially toxic swaps and other derivatives.

NY Times It refused to give the Securities and Exchange Commission the extra money it needs to carry out the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.

And the bill would cripple the Internal Revenue Service, limiting its ability to detect tax avoidance, particularly by businesses and the wealthy
6/9/12

How Banks Could Return the Favor

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

The bad news for taxpayers is that such easy refis are out of the question for many governments and agencies short on cash. And that’s because these borrowers have been trapped by Wall Street.

Behind all of this is — you guessed it — derivatives.
6/9/12

Seeing the Bankers Control Our Government, Citigroup Edition

Abigail Field Perhaps a more immediate concern for the companies may be getting regulatory approval for the deal. The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 prevents commercial banks from owning brokerage firms and insurance units, but the companies said they are taking a chance because they expect those laws to change in the near future.
6/9/12

The Biology of Bubble and Crash

NY Times WHAT happens to your body when you take risks? What happens to it when you make or lose money? Economics rarely asks these questions. 
6/9/12

COURT WATCHER JAILED FOR 30 DAYS FOR REMAINING SILENT

While sitting quietly observing a friend's property rights case, Judge Karen Kahlil demanded he stand and disclose his name. Other witnesses were shocked when the judge ordered him arrested for refusing to disclose his name.

LiveLeaks Prior to his Friday arrest, the Novi man has several criminal complaints, judicial misconduct, malfeasance of office and deprivation of rights charges filed against Judge Kahlil and it is suspected that she was using her authority in retaliation for his legal action against her.
6/9/12

HAMP 2 is HERE – Some say it’s the best HAMP yet, and they’re probably right about that.

Mandelman Matters The fact is that we are going to lose more homes to foreclosure in the next three years than we lost in the last six. Unemployment will rise… Europe will most assuredly fall. And for America’s working and middle class… there is nothing ahead but a prolonged ride down.

6/9/12

LOAN MODIFICATION SCAM- MAN SENTENCED FOR DEFRAUDING HUNDREDS OF VICTIMS

(Zero arrests for Banks defrauding millions of victims.)

Scams aren't always easy to spot – but it helps if you know the warning signs to look for and you can find more information at http://www.loanscamalert.org/default.aspx

Examiner Every day, loan modification scams steal peoples money and their homes.

You can fight back and put a stop to this crime. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a loan modification scam, make a call and report the scam artists to the authorities.

Call the Homeowner’s Hope Hotline:
1-888-995-HOPE (4673)
Assistance is available in 20 languages upon request.

6/8/12**

 

Alabama Appeals Court Reverses Decision on Chain of Title Case, Ruling Hinges on Question of Bogus Allonges

It’s difficult to know when the breakdown occurred, but it appears that well before 2004-2005, many subprime originators quit bothering with the nerdy task of endorsing notes and completing assignments as the PSAs required; they seemed to take the position they could do that right before foreclosure. Indeed, that’s kosher if the note has not been securitized, but as indicated above, it is a no-go with a New York trust. There is no legal way to remedy the problem after the fact.

Ruling in: Congress v. U.S. Bank

naked capitalism We’d flagged this case as important because to our knowledge, it was the first to argue what we call the New York trust theory, namely, that the election to use New York law in the overwhelming majority of mortgage securitizations meant that the parties to the securitization could operate only as stipulated in the pooling and servicing agreement that created that particular deal. Over 100 years of precedents in New York have produced well settled case law that deems actions outside what the trustee is specifically authorized to do as “void acts” having no legal force. The rigidity of New York trust has serious implications for mortgage securitizations.
6/8/12

 

Foreclosure Fraud: The Most Dangerous Panel in the World

They’ve scheduled DDay’s Netroots Nation foreclosure fraud panel–with Lynn Szymoniak, Malcom Chu, and Neil Barofsky–in a room with no streaming, and President Obama is holding a press conference to conflict with it. Which suggests this is the most dangerous panel in the world.

So I’m gonna liveblog it.

Netroots Nation Despite the fact that we’ve been in a foreclosure crisis for more than four years, precious little attention has been paid to how banks have used faked documents to steal homes from American borrowers. This panel will break down just how the banks have defrauded homeowners, local governments and the state judicial system, and why meager settlements or more promises for loan modifications are completely inadequate to hold the guilty parties responsible for the crime. This panel brings together foreclosure fraud experts, along with the people actually working on the front lines to stop illegal evictions and bring forward justice. We will also take a look at citizen-led efforts to protect people’s homes and hold banks accountable—and how you can join those efforts.

6/8/12

WHOA Wells Fargo – Hawaii Halts Those Horses!

Walter, ya had to see these documents in the file and connect the dots when you made your affidavit – unless of course you were robo-signing, what in the world were you thinking?! You’d risk your license for a lousy bank?

Deadly Clear Walter is either slick as a snake oil salesman or dumb as a stump… or they just think the judges are. In any case, it’s about time these fabricating enablers were called before the courts and the bar on ethics. You are invited to take the Poll at the end of the post.

6/8/12

Wells Fargo and Assurant gouged me — and others — Florida homeowner says

A South Florida homeowner is suing, saying he and many others have been gouged by lenders working in cahoots with insurance companies to enact force-placed policies.

Miami Herald Kunzelmann’s suit says Wells Fargo received the same 11 percent commission from Assurant for every other force-placed policy the insurance company issued to the bank’s note holders. Wells Fargo has since stopped accepting those commissions, said bank spokesman Tom Goyda — but not before the bank collected $177 million in “pure profit” from Assurant on such transactions, the suit alleges.
6/8/12

Escobedo Family Fighting to Stay in their Home

They were supposed to be evicted from their home yesterday. Turns out the bank, Wells Fargo, is giving them a 30 day extension. But for what reason, is unknown because the Escobedos say they have been trying to make payments on their mortgage.

KTSM

El Paso

"That is a false statement. I have not been in contact with anybody from Wells Fargo. So we're gonna continue fighting this case," said Roman.

The Escobedos say they're living a nightmare.

"We're not psychologically well because we're afraid what's gonna happen," said Elena Escobedo.
6/8/12

U.S. Agency to Sell Off Loans to Stem Foreclosures

NY Times In a move intended to prevent foreclosure for thousands of homeowners and shed some seriously delinquent home loans, the Federal Housing Administration will sell off distressed mortgages in bulk, the housing secretary said Friday.
6/8/12**

MBS and Foreclosures Expose Our Degraded Legal Profession

We lawyers shrug off the ubiquitous jokes because once wronged, people want us. But in the socially crucial contexts of mortgages, foreclosures and securities, lawyers have become a new kind of joke, one that should shame us all.

As Michael Olenick exposes here, servicer misconduct (including servicers’ foreclosure counsels’ misconduct), has made things much worse. Indeed, catastrophic costs will soon be realized. If the legal profession in this area were still a profession, Olenick’s case study shouldn’t be possible.

Abigail Field By now many are realizing that the bankers lied materially and often about the mortgage loans they packaged into securities and sold to suckers like pension funds and Fannie & Freddie. But stop and think about that–where were the lawyers?

Underwriters’ counsel and issuers’ counsel should never have let those deals go through. Heck, in-house counsel shouldn’t have signed off. And yet the deals were done.
6/7/12

The Advantages of Preapproval

NY Times Buyers who want an advantage in the bidding process will need more than a mortgage prequalification. They will need a preapproval.

6/7/12

Judge Rakoff denies Motion to Dismiss OCCUPY WS's claims against the officers who arrested them

In sum, for the reasons stated above, the Court denies defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' claims against the officers who arrested them, but grants the motion to dismiss plaintiffs' Monell claims against the City, Mayor Bloomberg, and Commissioner Kelly. The Clerk of the Court is hereby ordered to close items number 7 and 14 on the docket of this case.

The Honorable JED S. RAKOFF, U.S.D.J. "What a huge debt this nation owes to its "troublemakers." From Thomas Paine to Martin Luther King, Jr., they have forced us to focus on problems we would prefer to downplay or ignore. Yet it is often only with hindsight that we can distinguish those troublemakers who brought us to our senses from those who were simply... troublemakers. Prudence, and respect for the constitutional rights to free speech and free association, therefore dictate that the legal system cut all non-violent protesters a fair amount of slack."

-Jed S. Rakoff U.S.D.J.

6/7/12

Rebuild the Dream Members to Launch “Hope for Homeowners”

The Paramus Post Campaign in 13 States. Underwater Homeowners to Demand Mortgage Relief. Rebuild the Dream is launching a new national campaign to help millions of struggling families keep their homes. Throughout June, “Hope for Homeowners” will spearhead a coalition of underwater homeowners and partner organizations in on the ground actions and petition deliveries to senators in 13 key states -- NV, FL, ME, MA, OH, AZ, GA, MO, NC, PA, TN, VA, and WI -- in support of 3 bills currently before the U.S. Senate.

6/7/12

Mortgage investors call robo-signing settlement a '401(k) tax'

A panel of mortgage bond investors complained to a House subcommittee Thursday about having to bear some of the burden in a $25 billion settlement with servicers over foreclosure abuses in which they had no role.

HousingWire For every dollar a servicer writes down on loans it holds on its own portfolio, it gets a full dollar of credit toward the $10 billion figure.

"We believe that all principals were well-intentioned in designing a plan for relief, but unfortunately, uninvolved pension plans, 401(k) funds and mutual funds were made a party to the settlement and forced to shoulder some of the burden for the bad acts of others,"

6/7/12

ResCap expects more bidders for assets-CEO

Reuters ResCap has agreed to sell its mortgage origination and servicing business to Nationstar Mortgage LLC (NSM.N) and a portfolio of loans to Ally for total proceeds of about $4 billion.

6/7/12

Loan scams target U.S. soldiers

Business Insider According to a 2003 National Consumer Law Center report, fraudsters pushing bogus loan-modification offers prey on military personnel for several reasons:

Soldiers get paid by the government and are in no danger of being laid off. This is a golden ticket for scammers looking for targets with ready sources of cash.
6/6/12**

How Banks and Their Lawyers Win at the Expense of Investors and Homeowners

The focus of news stories on mortgage abuses often focus on the immediate victims, the borrowers, but that’s far from a complete tally of the losers. And they also typically fail to look hard enough at the winners and the way they are able, again and again, to burn everyone but themselves.

Michael Olenick Our latest case study is a modest, non-descript one-story house in Seminole, Florida. Its owners, Suzanne and Luis Guerrero, did not set out to take a two-way trip through hell to win a free house as their prize for being tortured, but that is how their foreclosure case turned out. And as a result of bad conduct by local and the big ticket national law firm brought in to fight the Guerreros, the investors in Ace Securities Home Equity Loan Trust 2007-HE4 — even though they don’t know it, at least until now — get to pay the greatly magnified bill. Ocwen Loan Servicing, the most culpable party in this fiasco, also managed to emerge unscathed.
6/6/12

Bankruptcy Of Ally (GMAC) Mortgage Raises Questions About Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

Jere Beasley Report Ally Bank, the nation’s fifth-largest mortgage servicer formerly known as GMAC Mortgage, has recently put its mortgage subsidiary, Residential Capital, into bankruptcy. As you may recall, Ally is still majority-owned by the US government. This latest move by Ally is part of a continuing effort to escape its mortgage liabilities. But this move begs the question: how does it affect the foreclosure fraud settlement to which Ally is a signatory?

6/6/12

Officers shoot homeowner being evicted from foreclosed house

Police say officers were trying to serve an eviction notice when they shot the homeowner at a house.

KMOV According to police, the ordeal started back in March when Fannie Mae started foreclosing on the home.
6/6/12

Iowa Couple's Legitimate Move To Score 'Free House' Through Homestead Exemption Claim May Be Sunk After Feds Bring Charges For Alleged Mortgage Fraud

For the Iowa appeals court ruling that allowed the homeowners to score a 'free house' in the first place, see Citimortgage, Inc. v. Danielson

Home Equity Theft Reporter An Ankeny couple were engaged in bank fraud when they exploited an 1888 loophole in mortgage law to obtain a free house, part of a scheme that also involved a Des Moines police officer and his wife.

For more, including the 26-page federal indictment, see Updated: Mortgage fraud indictment includes DMPD officer, couple who received a free home last year.

6/6/12

Recent Federal Case Creates Uncertainty In Arkansas Foreclosures

Home Equity Theft Reporter A May 11 ruling from U.S. District Court Judge J. Leon Holmes is expected to unplug a bottleneck of foreclosure filings that began in the fall of 2011 when a bankruptcy court ruling essentially halted the sale of foreclosed homes.
6/6/12

Foreclosure Settlement: How To Get Compensated

Huff Post If you're a victim of banking abuses during the foreclosure crisis, the government says it'll make sure you receive compensation from your bank. It's a simple idea. But for victims, determining who's eligible, how to apply, and when you might get a check in the mail isn't simple at all.

So we built a list of Frequently Asked Questions.
6/6/12

Bank sues Stradley Ronon for Taylor Bean losses

Thomson Reuters The lawsuit, filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, blames Stradley Ronon for losses incurred by Sovereign after Taylor Bean filed for Chapter 11 in 2009. Because of the alleged errors, Sovereign said Bean's creditors' committee objected to a claim by the bank, causing it to recover less than it otherwise would have.
6/6/12

Guiding You Through the Govt’s Foreclosure Compensation Maze

If you're a victim of banking abuses during the foreclosure crisis, the government says it'll make sure you receive compensation from your bank. It's a simple idea. But for victims, determining who's eligible, how to apply, and when you might get a check in the mail isn't simple at all.

ProPublica Even with this simplified process, it will take months before people can expect to see the check in the mail. The best guess now is in the first three months of 2013.

And the check, critics contend, will be small. Exactly how much each homeowner will get depends on how many people claim they were harmed. Officials in charge of the settlement have estimated that 750,000 people will respond, and since $1.5 billion has been set aside, that means each victim would receive about $2,000. If only 500,000 people responded, the payments would jump to $3,000. If a million responded, the payments would drop to $1,500.
6/6/12

$10 Million Mortgage Settlement Reached

Informer Last week Attorney General Doug Gansler announced the allocation of funds. County officials have determined that the funds will be directed to areas of the county hardest hit by foreclosures.
6/6/12

Jaffer v. Chase Home Finance

Discrepancies in affidavits used in support of motion for summary judgment. 

Alina

Florida Court of Appeals

Chase filed a motion to cancel foreclosure sale, attaching a letter
stating that “[i]t has come to the attention of Chase . . . that in some
cases employees in Chase’s mortgage foreclosure operations may have signed affidavits about loan documents on the basis of file reviews done by other personnel – without the signer personally having reviewed those loan files.”

Due to the possibility that Chase’s affidavits were signed by improper
personnel, we remand this case and direct the trial court to limit its
considerations to whether the affidavits filed in this case were based on the personal knowledge of the affiants.

6/6/12

Another Homeowner Falls Victim To Illegal Foreclosure Lockout; Chase, LPS Yet To Explain Why They Changed Locks On Wrong Premises

Home Equity Theft Reporter "I discover there is this sticker here saying that the locks were changed at the request of my mortgage company, I couldn't figure out why, I am current on my mortgage."

Delaney spent 5 hours on the phone with LPS Field Services which changed the locks at the request of Chase Financial. But Chase is not his mortgage company.
6/5/12**

Quelle Surprise! Treasury Inspector Audit Report Whitewashes OCC Fail on Foreclosure Fraud

Now to the specific failings of the Treasury Inspector General report. It’s sufficiently abstract that it’s difficult to point to concrete objections, save to the reliance on a badly outdated supervision manual, from 1998. This doesn’t merely mean that the OCC’s review practices did not reflect the existence of MERS; it means, more importantly, that it failed to incorporate the ugly revelations of Fairbanks, a servicer that acquired portfolios of with lots of distressed borrowers. It entered into a consent decree with the FTC because it engaged in predatory servicing to boost profits. But the OCC has simply never taken predatory servicing seriously.

Moreover, the OCC clearly has an anti-consumer bias, and the Treasury IG fails to challenge it:

naked capitalism This is all a limited review of the servicers’ internal records, with no external validation. This process is inherently incapable of capturing numerous abuses flagged in the media and in this and other blogs, including document forgeries (production of allonges to cover for the failure to convey notes correctly), loss or deliberate late application of payments; the application of “junk fees” and impermissible fee pyramiding; notes held at the originator rather than the trust (notice the failure to audit trustees), lack of cross checking of servicer claims re servicing with borrower experiences. The HAMP fiascoes alone, with repeated servicer false claims of document losses, should lead to serious skepticism about servicer claims about the integrity of their internal processes.
6/5/12

Fannie Mae Names Its Top Lawyer as Chief

Timothy J. Mayopoulos, who was ousted in a shake-up at Bank of America at the height of the financial crisis, will be its next chief executive.

NY Times “We have the tools we need to assist homeowners with troubled mortgages. I don’t believe we need principal forgiveness as a tool. We are already effective with the tools we have.”

The rescue of Fannie and Freddie has not yielded a profit for taxpayers. The Treasury has poured $116 billion into Fannie since 2008, of which $23 billion has been paid back in the form of dividends. Freddie Mac has received about $72 billion, of which $18 billion has been returned.

6/5/12

Preventing Foreclosures Requires Fundamental Change in State Law

There are more than 100 foreclosure filings each month in the county. What has the Board of Supervisors done to address this, and do you have any further plans to do so?

Good Times What our nation has witnessed since the collapse of the housing bubble is a deeply flawed and easily manipulated system that has allowed banks to foreclose on homeowners who could have been rescued by the right kind of modification, or who should not have legally been foreclosed upon at all. Moreover, one can only speculate on just how many of those foreclosures were initiated in the shadows of sloppy recordkeeping, cut corners, and the massive “robo-signing’’ of forged or un-reviewed foreclosure documents. How could the system have gone unchecked for so long and failed so miserably? A number of factors are to blame.

6/5/12

Attention Hawaii Homeowners with Bank of America and Ocwen Loans… Let Me Help

As Reverend Bob Nakata said to me last year when I met with him on Oahu at the State Capitol:


There is no dignity in the foreclosure process, and that is wrong.

Mandelman Matters Okay, if you’re a homeowner in Hawaii with a Bank of America or Ocwen mortgage, and you’re trying to keep your home through a loan modification, or get out from under your loan through a short sale, I’m ready to help you make the best decision for you… and then get it done. 
Oh, and be assured… it won’t cost you a dime… or even a nickel or penny. 
6/5/12

Supreme Court OKs 'Un-Split' Bogus Loan Fees Under RESPA; Opens Door For Expected Fee-Clipping Barrage Of Real Estate Closing 'Junk' Charges

Opinion: Freeman v. Quicken Loans

Home Equity Theft Reporter The ruling also represents a stinging defeat for the Obama administration’s departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development — both of which had argued that charging unearned fees is illegal — and may be a shot across the bow of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has inherited the task of policing mortgage and settlement abuses from HUD.
6/5/12

How to Avoid Foreclosure Before It's Too Late

Forbes First, make sure that the lender is actually forgiving the full amount of the mortgage deficiency. If the contract seems at all unclear, consider hiring a real estate attorney to review it. Legal fees are a bargain compared to discovering that you still owe the mortgage company money because you didn’t understand the contract.
6/5/12

 

Are Bankruptcy Attorneys Steering Towards Chapter 13 Cases for Higher Fees?

It seems that quite a few creditors do not understand their obligations under the FDCPA and particularly under state law. 

Adrian Lapas, Eastern North Carolina Bankruptcy Attorney Under the FDCPA and under most state debt collection statutes, the consumer can request that communication from a creditor stop. But it should be remembered that the FDCPA does not apply to creditors collecting their own debts. So unless a state has a debt collection statute similar to the FDCPA in in effect, Bad Bank Card Services can ignore most requirements under the FDCPA with impunity because they are collecting their own debt. The FDCPA simply does not apply.
6/5/12

Lawyer Kluger Gets 12 Years, Bauer 9 For Insider Trades

“This crime was deliberate,” Hayden said. “It was done out of greed. Mr. Bauer is the greediest of all in terms of the amount that he made.”
Both Kluger and Bauer pleaded guilty to securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and obstruction of justice. They might have faced as long as 20 years in prison on all but the conspiracy to commit securities fraud count, which carried a five-year term.

Bloomberg In his plea, Kluger said the scheme started in 1994, when he first worked as an associate for New York-based Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. Kluger at first passed tips only on those deals on which he worked.
As the scheme developed, Kluger stole information about deals on which he didn’t work that he learned about by searching the firm’s computers.
The crimes continued when Kluger worked from 1998 to 2001 at Skadden Arps, another New York-based firm, and when he worked from 2001 to 2002 at Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP, Kluger admitted. The scheme began again in December 2005 and ran until March 2011, when Kluger worked in the Washington office of Wilson Sonsini.
Press Release

6/4/12

Corporate Whistle Blower Center Urges US Senator Charles Grassley To Hold Senate Hearings On IRS Incompetence When It Comes To Their Very Broken Whistleblower Program

Senator Grassley said, "I'm hearing frustration from tax fraud whistleblowers, and my worst fears are coming true. The lack of progress is demoralizing whistleblowers, and they might stop coming forward. That would be a bad outcome for the taxpayers." 

Digital Journal In its current form the IRS's Whistleblower Program is a joke, poorly run, and because there can be enormous risks for the whistleblower, only a fool would want anything to do with the IRS.

"We are perhaps the best branded whistleblower advocate in the nation on mortgage lending, mortgage loan servicing."

"There needs to be a major overhaul at the US IRS, the deadwood needs to go, and the days of looking the other way, not abiding by federal laws, or failing to properly represent the US taxpayers must come to an end, and Yes-we need US Senate Hearings on this mess."

6/4/12

ALLONGES, ASSIGNMENTS AND ENDORSEMENTS: THE REAL DEAL

Like all contracts it must be supported by consideration. An assignment without consideration is probably void, almost certainly voidable and at the very least requires the proponent of this instrument as evidence to be admitted into the record to meet the burden of proof as to foundation.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

The typical assignment offered in foreclosure litigation states that “for value received” the assignor, being the owner of the note described, hereby assigns, transfers and conveys all right, title and interest to the assignee. The problem is obvious — there was no value received if the loan was not funded by the assignee or was being purchased by the assignee at the time of the alleged transfer. A demand for records of the assignor and assignee would show how the parties actually treated the transaction from an accounting point of view.
6/4/12

How Bank of America Execs Hid Losses—In Their Own Words

As the New York Times detailed this morning, a brief in a new lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan recounts sworn testimony and internal emails in which execs admitted to giving bad information to shareholders and that they had worried about the legal ramifications of doing so.

ProPublica According to the filing, Bank of America's then-CEO Kenneth Lewis admitted in a deposition that what he told shareholders about the financials of the merger was no longer accurate on the day they approved it.

We've pulled out the most revealing parts of the suit, which tell the story of how the deal went down.
6/4/12

Where Are the Foreclosure Deal Millions Going in Your State?

ProPublica See interactive map for a breakdown of each state's share. This graphic will be updated periodically as more states announce their allocations. 
6/4/12

Prosecutor's summary chart may include acts and events outside the indictment, without running afoul of Rule 404(b)

Fox Rothschild LLP By charging a conspiracy or other broad scheme, such as mail or wire fraud, the government secures for itself an important evidentiary advantage: it can offer in evidence a string of acts or events not mentioned anywhere in the Indictment’s paragraphs or overt acts, limited as a practical matter only by the court’s impatience at the length of the government’s case.
6/4/12

Michigan High Court To Decide Impact Of Failure To Record Mortgage On Subsequent Foreclosure Sale

One-page Order

Home Equity Theft Reporter The Court said it would review if the foreclosure procedures in the case were "flawed," and whether the foreclosure, itself, is voidable [Editor's Note: or, according to the one page order, void ab initio].

Persons or groups interested in the determination of the issues presented in this case may move the Court for permission to file briefs amicus curiae.

6/3/12

Merrill Losses Were Withheld Before Bank of America Deal

What Bank of America’s top executives, including its chief executive then, Kenneth D. Lewis, knew about Merrill’s vast mortgage losses and when they knew it emerged in court documents filed Sunday evening in a shareholder lawsuit being heard in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

The disclosure, coming to light in private litigation, is likely to reignite concerns that federal regulators and prosecutors have not worked hard enough to hold key executives accountable for their actions during the financial crisis.

Related: Ignoring the Real Money in the Bank of America Lawsuits (May 4, 2012)

6/3/12

AURORA WITHDRAWS FORECLOSURE-RELATED LAWSUIT AFTER HOMEOWNER COUNTERCLAIMS BASED ON MERS AND DEFECTIVE SECURITIZATION

Aurora has non-suited (withdrawn) its suit against a Virginia homeowner after the homeowner counterclaimed against Aurora based on Aurora's position as a Servicer, the MERS nature of the loan, and the defective securitization of the loan. We argued, on behalf of the homeowner, that, as a mere servicer of the loan and not a party to the loan contract, Aurora had no interest in the underlying property. When it came time for Aurora to answer the homeowner's position, Aurora simply withdrew the lawsuit.

 

BRYLLAW LITIGATION On a related note, homeowners really have a way of stopping improper foreclosures in Virginia. The key is to be proactive and to sue your nominal "lender" before the foreclosure process is even started. (In most cases, the foreclosure process is started by a foreclosure mill recording a document appointing a substitute trustee with respect to your property in the county land records.)

If the substitution of trustee has already been recorded, then you actually may have further, additional claims based on that document. If your loan was securitized, you are really in a no-weaker position than before the substitution of trustee was recorded.

Lastly, if your loan is less than 3 years old, you may be able to rescind (cancel) the loan contract based on TILA and then, if necessary, enforce that rescission in court. Alternatively, you may be able to rescind your loan based on fraud (such as appraisal fraud) for up to 5 years (and in some cases at any time) after your loan was originated.

Keep up the good fight, everybody!
6/3/12

JPMorgan Was Warned About Lax Risk Controls

A small group of shareholder advocates delivered an urgent message to top executives at JPMorgan Chase more than a year ago: the bank’s risk controls needed to be improved.

Bloomberg Critics maintain that having successfully navigated the financial crisis in 2008, JPMorgan’s risk officers became complacent about the danger posed by the chief investment office’s increasingly aggressive bets. In addition, while the office was profitable throughout the financial crisis, the chief risk officer was focused on problems elsewhere, including the bank’s money-losing mortgage business.
6/3/12

To Help Fix Housing, Disclose Mortgage Addresses

Imagine going into a community bank and getting a mortgage but not telling the lender exactly where the house you want to buy is. You give the lending officer the zip code, and a few other clues about the home, but you walk out of the bank without having given your name or a street address.


Sounds like a scam, right?

Bloomberg Well, that’s how most mortgages are financed in the U.S. Investors in private, residential mortgaged-backed securities (or RMBS) are prevented by law from knowing the address for the mortgages they purchase. Naturally, a bank wouldn’t want to lend a few hundred thousand without knowing this information. We argue in a recent study by Reason Foundation that mortgage investors should be allowed the same privilege. It’s an important part of getting the housing market on a path toward recovery.
6/1/12

N.H. state and federal courts see a big increase in the number of suits challenging foreclosures

A Swanzey woman claims a mortgage originator deliberately lied about her income in order to push through a refinancing, and then the bank pressured her husband -- suffering from dementia -- to sign on to the mortgage to make it easier to foreclose on the property.

For 20 years, the banks have been using these and other Frauds & Swindles to Steal Homes when they "knew" they were violating criminal statutes. It has been five years since the start of the foreclosure crisis, and this report confirms law enforcement, despite an incredible amount of probative evidence, has done nothing but allow the mortgage industry to continue its crime spree.

New Hampshire Business Review A Wolfeboro borrower claims that he wanted to pay off the note in full, but couldn't get a straight accounting from the bank. Indeed, the bank even cited the wrong date, book and page number and parties when recording the mortgage assignment.

Another borrower claims he was told by a bank to stop paying the mortgage on his Jackson home in order to qualify for a modification program, and then he was given the runaround when he tried to get on the program, and then the bank filed for foreclosure, telling him it was too late to be eligible.
6/1/12

Chinatown bankers ‘cook’ loan books too

The DA touted the bust as the first time a bank has been indicted in a case brought by Manhattan prosecutors since then-DA Robert Morgenthau won a fraud and money-laundering indictment against BCCI in 1991.

Washington Post The alleged scheme began unraveling in December 2009, when a potential borrower walked into Chinatown’s Fifth Precinct station house to claim that Abacus had stolen her deposit of several thousand dollars, said Adam Kaufmann, chief of the DA’s investigation division.
6/1/12

THE MORTGAGE FRAUD FRAUD

Perhaps you remember Charlie Engle. I wrote about him not long after he entered a minimum-security facility in Beaver, W.Va., 16 months ago. He’s the poor guy who went to jail for lying on a liar loan during the housing bubble.

Unable to unearth any wrongdoing on his tax returns, the I.R.S. discovered he had taken out several subprime mortgages that didn’t require income verification. His income on one of them was wildly inflated. They don’t call them liar loans for nothing.

Joe Nocera

NY Times

Charlie has always insisted that he never filled out the loan document — his mortgage broker did it, and he was actually a victim of mortgage fraud.

It seemed incredible to me that with all the fraud that took place during the housing bubble, the Justice Department was focusing not on the banks that had issued the fraudulent loans, but rather on those who had taken out the loans, which invariably went sour when housing prices fell.

But what is also true, and which is every bit as corrosive to our belief in the rule of law, is that the Justice Department has instead taken after the smallest of small fry — and then trumpeted those prosecutions as proof of how tough it is on mortgage fraud. It is a shameful way for the government to act.

6/1/12

Fourteen Defendants Plead Guilty for Their Roles in Scheme to Fraudulently Control Home Owners Associations in Las Vegas

According to court documents, the fraud scheme operated from approximately August 2003 through February 2009 with various co-conspirators joining that scheme at different times. 

DOJ 

Press Release

The defendants admitted that they were each given cash or things of value for their assistance in purchasing the properties, obtaining HOA membership status, rigging elections, or using their position to manipulate the HOA’s business to enrich the co-conspirators at the expense of the HOA and the legitimate homeowners.

The maximum prison sentence for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud is 30 years. 

6/1/12

Watchdog finds OCC left robo-signing in the dark

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 'Dunce Patrol' missed signs of the robo-signing scandal because its examiners underestimated the risk and lacked enough guidance to find it.

Inspector General report

SAFETY AND SOUNDNESS: OCC’s Supervision of National Bank’s Foreclosure Practices

Agency examiners told the IG they relied on internal audits done by the banks themselves, which never focused on how foreclosures were processed.

HousingWire

According to a Department of Housing and Urban Development Inspector General report, Bank of America improperly signed up to 20,000 foreclosure affidavits per day without required notarizations.

... AND NOBODY IS IN JAIL? 

Instead, the OCC was looking at loss mitigation techniques and modifications processes. Its consumer warning procedures and examiner handbook were never updated to catch the problems.

MAY WE SHUT DOWN THE OCC NOW?

 

Bank oversight office failed to spot foreclosure fraud, Treasury inspector general says

The American people paid for a complete and competent audit. 

Will the American people demand another audit? A do-over? A Recall?  forfeiture of assets.  

Washington Post Revelations about the rampant use of “robosigned” documents, backdated loan assignments and other flawed and fraudulent foreclosure practices at the nation’s biggest banks triggered a national uproar in the autumn of 2010.  

Despite being the "focus" of a NATIONAL UPROAR... the OCC still missed it?

6/1/12

Families caught in foreclosure crisis unite in national campaign

This weekend it will hold more than 20 rallies, phone banks and house parties to recruit supporters in a three-day membership drive. It is planning to tap into some of the 15.7 million American homeowners suffering from foreclosure or whose houses are "underwater" and thus worth far less than their mortgages.

PressTV It seeks to vet politicians on their attitudes towards a policy of resetting mortgages at current market levels, arguing such a move would keep families in their homes and provide a stimulus to the economy. "This country needs this. It is not just about helping struggling homeowners, it is about fixing our country," said Amy Schur, head of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, which is one of 18 different groups that have backed the HDL.
6/1/12

Supreme Court Case Pitting Lenders Against Homeowners Bound to Have Huge Impact

PRWeb We have been seeing lenders file documents we believe are fraudulent for years,” Lynd said. “When we get close to holding them accountable, they often dismiss the case. A favorable decision for Mr. Pino, the homeowner, will help consumers and law enforcement hold banks accountable.
January - March 2012  /  April -May 2012 / 

copyright MSFraud.org