News related to the Foreclosure Crisis

The biggest unpunished theft in human history

2012

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Case to Watch

11/30/12

Congressional Oversight Panel, “Banks cannot prove they own the loans.”

Like most of the mortgage loan documents-to-trust manipulation, Holden’s assignment is 5 years too late.   The REMIC has failed. Hopefully, Judge Cosgrove will mount the stallion of integrity and ride through Akron alerting the good folks of Summit County that Governments can no longer tolerate the use of misrepresentation, opaque, and confusing language in drafting, maintaining and executing financial instruments.

Living Lies Holden‘s Motion to dismiss cites the November 16, 2010 Congressional Oversight Panel’s (COP) report titled “Examining the Consequences of Mortgage Irregularities for Financial Stability and Foreclosure Mitigation” as well as the PSA and New York trust law.
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.
11/30/12

PolitiFact: A foreclosure ‘cliff’ could be looming

ajc A “foreclosure tax” that would take effect in 2013 could mean a high tax bill for those facing foreclosure and millions of families who modified their mortgage or had a short sale through their lender.
11/30/12

Repackaging garbage

Credit Suisse Said to Sell Home-Loan Bonds in $330 Million Deal

Bloomberg The originators of the loans included Caliber Funding LLC, Quicken Loans Inc. and PHH Mortgage Corp., according to a separate S&P report about the contractual promises they made about debt quality.
11/30/12

Lack of a “Foreclosure Wave” Determined By Banks

Here’s a pretty jerky victory lap clearly planted by the mortgage lending industry, with the boastful title “Foreclosure Wave Averted as Doomsayers Defied.” Let’s hear this out for a second.

To give the appearance homes are occupied, they paint dry lawns green.

David Dayen - FDL Prof. Levitin writes:

Moreover, the banks’ plan for several years has been to slowly recognize losses against earnings. If all defaults had been foreclosed at once, the banking system would look a lot less solvent. The game plan has always been to run the clock. Hence all the “kick the can down the road” mods. As a result, what we’re likely to see is not a foreclosure tsunami, but rather an extended foreclosure high-tide.
11/29/12

AG covered up conflict of interest in robo-signing case, says brief

Violation could lead to dismissal of indictments against mortgage title officers

Trafford's SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF GARY TRAFFORD'S
WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND MOTION TO DISMISS

NV-AG's ADDITIONAL REPLY BRIEF IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND IN SUPPORT OF RETURN TO DEFENDANTS' WRITS OF HABEAS CORPUS

Nevada Journal Ten months after the NOD was filed for the lead prosecutor's home, Attorney General Cortez Masto revealed in an online report that the lead prosecutor had been removed due to a conflict of interest concerning his "personal foreclosure crisis." …However, the AG's office never disclosed this conflict to the Court, Trafford or his counsel. Instead, research by the defendants' counsel turned up the lead prosecutor's personal foreclosure documents and exposed the apparent connection between the lead prosecutor's conflict and Trafford's prosecution.

11/29/12

Never Missed a Payment, but Bank Error May Lead to Foreclosure

Her bank records show her mortgage payments have been deposited by Wells Fargo. Despite efforts to clear up the bank's mistake and paying nearly $12,000 in attorney fees, her home is now in judicial foreclosure.

abc News The bank could not discuss the matter with her because her home was in foreclosure.

"Both I and, more so, her family have been very concerned for her health."  "She's been really emotionally affected by this with a lot of crying and a lot of anguish. It's really interrupted her joy in life at this point, as you can imagine."

"I have my life and I want to live my life."

11/29/12

In ongoing foreclosure crisis, couple fights for their home

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

Austin-Post

h/t HETR

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

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

11/29/12

Where Are the Foreclosures?

Bloomberg has a story Foreclosure Wave Averted as Doomsayers Defied. I think it's a great example of defining deviancy downward. There's no question that we haven't seen a foreclosure tsunami in the wake of the federal-state servicing fraud settlement. But there was little reason to expect one and let's not lose sight of the big picture--foreclosure levels are still incredibly high. 

Prof. Adam Levitin Viewed as a whole, there hasn't been any real change in total foreclosure or short sale activity since the end of 2010. Foreclosure starts have been coming down, but they're still perhaps 4x what they usually are. So yes, we haven't had a an increase in foreclosures, but the situation already was a disaster. This is hardly success. So no storm surge, but extended high tide.
11/29/12

Process servers, locksmiths wary during evictions

McClatchy A Sacramento process server who frequently gives eviction notices to homeowners and tenants said: "If they have a gun, they're going to shoot straight through the door." Abegglen is one of the many behind-the-scenes employees who come into contact with people losing their homes.
11/29/12

River Falls home of 3 slain girls in foreclosure

Star Tribune The River Falls, Wis., house where three sisters were slain in July is in the process of foreclosure as the property's owner -- their father -- sits in jail charged with their deaths.
11/29/12

Calif. Animal Control Officer Killed in Eviction

An unarmed animal control officer was shot and killed in Sacramento County on Wednesday while trying to retrieve pets from a home whose owner was evicted the previous day.

AP The officer had gone to the home to rescue dogs and cats authorities thought had been left behind, a day after Joseph Francis Corey was served an eviction notice and a sheriff's deputy changed the locks.

The officer and a bank employee knocked on the door when Corey fired a shotgun through the door, striking the officer in the torso. 
11/29/12

WV High Court Says Quicken Loan Terms "Unconscionable"

Directs Lower Court To Reconsider Screwed Over Homeowners' $2.8M Damages Award

Quicken Loans, Inc. v. Brown

Home Equity Theft Reporter Trial Judge Arthur M. Recht found that Quicken “committed fraud and violated various provisions of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act(1)… regarding unconscionability … unfair and deceptive acts … and regarding illegal balloon notes.”

The Court agreed with Recht – “[W]e hold that attorneys fees and costs awarded under West Virginia Code §46A-5-104 (1994) of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act shall be included in the compensatory to punitive damages ratio in cases where punitive damages are available.”

11/29/12

Texas Law Firm, Murray LLP, Agrees to End its Controversial Services to WV Families Who Lost Homes Through Wrongful Foreclosures

Complaint filed against Murray LLP

Home Equity Theft Reporter Murray, through its website, www.bringaclaim.com, sought to charge consumers a fee of 20% to assist them in processing a claim for benefits they were already guaranteed to receive under the National Mortgage Settlement. 

Agreed Final Order

11/29/12

White paper

Defending Foreclosure Actions

This article doesn't really provide us with anything we didn't already know other than the confirmations provided below and on the right.

Many homeowners are overwhelmed by the foreclosure process and anticipated costs and often opt to vacate the premises without offering any defense. 

Professor Marcia Johnson, Thurgood Marshall School
of Law, Texas Southern University.

 and Luckett Anthony Johnson,

 University of Texas School of Law

The American justice system rests on the premise that no person will be deprived of their liberty or property without due process. Procedural due process requires that a person have notice of the charges against them as well as a reasonable opportunity to defend against them. Reasonable opportunity is circumvented when the defendant is effectively without the means to defend. 

This is especially offensive to our notions of justice when the defendant has legitimate bases for defense but is effectively denied the opportunity to urge such defenses because of finances. 

 

11/28/12

JPMORGAN CHASE ON THE RAMPAGE WITH ATTACKS ON DEFENSES TO FORECLOSURE AFTER BEING CONFRONTED WITH SWORN DEPOSITION OF LAWRENCE NARDI AND ADMISSIONS IN FEDERAL CASE WHERE JPM IS BEING SUED BY DEUTSCHE BANK Foreclosure Defense Nantionwide It is no secret that pursuant to the sworn deposition testimony of Lawrence Nardi, who was previously employed by Washington Mutual and thereafter by JP Morgan Chase, which sworn deposition testimony is under oath and subject to the penalties of perjury, that there was NEVER a mortgage loan schedule as to any mortgage loans “purchased” by JPM from the FDIC pursuant to the Purchase and Asset Agreement (PAA) between the FDIC and JPM dated September 25, 2008, which was the day that WaMu failed.

JPM is thus either lying to the United States Federal Court, or is lying to all other courts in the U.S. Our opinion, in view of the Nardi deposition and the filing/judicial admission in the DB case, is that JPM is lying to numerous courts around the country as to being the “successor in interest” to WaMu and claiming it has the right to foreclose. This is one of the largest judicial frauds ever committed, which is being done on a national scale.

11/28/12

How Wall Street "Privatized" Money Creation
Shadow Banking

Regulators are worried about the explosive growth of shadow banking, and they should be. Shadow banks were at the heart of the last financial crisis and they’ll be at the heart of the next financial crisis as well.

counterpunch The banks are creating “near money” or what Marx called “fictitious capital” without sufficient resources, without supervision, and without any regard for the damage they may inflict on the real economy when their ponzi-scam blows up. What matters is profits, everything else is secondary.
11/28/12**

The Use of Injunctions in Combatting the Consequences of Mortgage Fraud and Predatory Lending

At the heart of this crisis is mortgage fraud.

The mortgage fraud problem is much more far-reaching than just being a major cause of the 2008 crisis, which cost the economy an estimated $100 billion in losses by the end of 2009. The Government Accountability Office predicts that “elevated levels of default and foreclosure will persist” due in large part to declining home prices.

Kenneth Eade, Esq. The economic bubble that caused the real estate crisis can be attributed to the mortgage banking industry which operated a fraudulent and systemic lending scheme that allowed unwarranted speculation in home prices. This speculation created “phantom equity” where the perceived value of the home, fueled by unsustainable mortgages, far outpaced the home’s true value. When the bubble burst, that phantom equity instantly evaporated leaving the homeowner with a home worth less than was owed. This negative equity, coupled with substantially increased mortgage payments forced homeowners into foreclosure.
11/28/12

Parsippany mortgage lender sues Bank of America for $10 million

NJ American Financial Resource has filed a federal lawsuit against Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP and Bank of America seeking more than $10 million in damages over alleged breach of contract, negligence and fraud. 
11/28/12

Push Is on to Extend Tax Forgiveness on Foreclosures, Short Sales

Part of a distressed sale—a foreclosure or a short sale—or a loan modification entails the mortgage lender forgiving some or all of a homeowner’s debt.

Formerly, tax laws counted that forgiven amount as taxable income.

Chicago Mag But in 2007, President George W. Bush signed legislation that temporarily exempted forgiven mortgage debt from taxable income. That law expires December 31—unless Congress acts to extend it.

Without an extension, “you’re going to be taxed on a gain when you didn’t really gain anything,” says Brian Bernardoni, the senior director of government and public policy at the Chicago Association of Realtors. “Folks who have already gotten wiped out will have to pay for that privilege.

11/27/12

Arizona court weighs in on State's Looting of Settlement Funds

An appellate court panel is considering a court case involving Arizona's use of $50 million from a multistate foreclosure settlement to help balance the state budget.

Home Equity Theft Reporter Critics of the Legislature's decision to put $50 million into the general state budget wanted all of the money to be used for programs and services for borrowers and troubled homeowners.

The judge said the Legislature decides how to spend the state's money. Housing advocates contend that the attorney general could decide how the money is used.

Columbine Survivor Turns to Occupy LA for Foreclosure Help

NBC Los Angeles Castaldo fought for his life 13 years ago in Colorado and will spend the rest of his life in a wheel chair. Now, he is fighting to keep his condominium in Southern California. Like millions of Americans, he is about to lose his home to foreclosure.

December 2012

Negotiating the American Dream: A Critical Look at the Role of Negotiability in the Foreclosure Crisis

This article explores the historical underpinnings of negotiability and whether the evidentiary shortcut that negotiability appears to offer as a means of proving a plaintiff’s standing to sue can or should be applied in the context of the foreclosure cases facing the courts today. 

Foreclosure defense attorney

Thomas Ice, Esq.

It is all the more extraordinary that, just as the nation begins to awaken to “robo-signing” and other such pervasive and methodical abuses of the court systems, judges should find themselves slavishly compelled to apply a body of law shaped (and then abandoned) by the very authors of such scandals: the financial institutions. 

The “holder in due course” doctrine is said to be, not only the primary feature of negotiable instrument law, but “the most important principle in the whole law of bills and notes.

Needless to say, the assertion that a thief can obtain or pass title to stolen property flies in the face of common law.

It also offends the commonsense of the average citizen to say that a court of law has no choice but to employ its constitutionally granted powers on behalf of those with no legitimate right to the note so that they may profit from what must surely be a crime.

11/27/12

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan Apparently Can't Remember Anything

The just-released Moynihan deposition in MBIA v. Bank of America, Countrywide, and a Buttload of Other Shameless Mortgage Fraudsters will go down as one of the great Nixonian-stonewalling efforts ever, and one of the more entertaining reads of the year.

Moynihan even doubles back on his "we'll pay for the things Countrywide did" quote.

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

After 2007-8, when all of those mortgage-backed securities started blowing up, suddenly all of those insurance companies started having to pay out billions in claims. Ambac went bankrupt and MBIA was downgraded from AAA to near-junk status. The entire monoline industry was shattered.

The entire time, the Bank of America CEO presents himself as a Being There-esque cipher who was placed in charge of a Too-Big-To-Fail global banking giant by some kind of historical accident beyond his control, and appears to know little to nothing at all about the business he is running.

11/27/12

Things that Should be Added to Affidavits and Expert Opinion Letters, Reports, and Declarations

Also as a caveat this field is evolving every time the banks move the goal posts. But for now, I think the wording below, if properly defended by someone who is coached well as an expert witness, will get traction more often than not at the preliminary stages of motion practice. 

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

We could find no evidence supplied by the “lender” that shows that a payment or value of any kind was transferred to anyone in connection with the funding or purchase of the subject loan."

The significance is again that the amount demanded might be far in excess of the actual debt due to the real creditors, thus nullifying the effect of collection procedures, notices and other actions undertaken by the putative “lender” who, as aforesaid, is not a creditor. The effect of this practice is to collect more than once on the same debt, obligation, note and or mortgage.

Good opinion

11/26/12

Families Facing Foreclosure: Attorney  explains the Gilbert decision requiring banks to file correct and complete complaints

Shouldn’t the banks be forced to have all their ducks in a row before foreclosing? The Illinois Court of Appeals for the Second District thinks so. 

Chicago Now In Illinois, A plaintiff does not have standing to commence an action in mortgage foreclosure if it does not have all loan documentation at the time of filing the complaint. Khwaja said,

 “What has often been the case in probably 80% of the cases I have seen is that the Plaintiff in fact did not have the requisite documents at the time of filing.

Deutsche Bank v. Gilbert

11/26/12

letter

Response to FHFA “State-Level Guarantee Fee Pricing”

Brennan Center for Justice and National Consumer Law Center The FHFA has indicated that the g-fee proposal is intended to penalize these states, with the goal of pressuring the states to “adjust their laws and requirements sufficiently to move their
foreclosure timelines and costs more in line with the national average.”3 The FHFA proposal also serves as a shot across the bow aimed at states who are considering improving their foreclosure prevention laws.
11/26/12

Supreme Court to Review Statute of Limitations in Civil Penalty Case

Ropes & Gray LLP Under the discovery rule, a claim of fraud does not accrue for purposes of the statute of limitations until the federal agency discovered or, in the exercise of due diligence, should have discovered the facts constituting the fraud. Certain other federal appeals courts that have ruled on this question have reached a different result, thereby prompting the grant of certiorari by the Supreme Court. A decision in this case is expected by June 2013. A copy of the Second Circuit’s opinion can be found here.
11/26/12

Acceptance of late payments = loan modification?

Fox Rothschild LLP The Appellate Division then determined that the fact that late payments were accepted did not modify the loan documents or constitute a waiver of any of the bank's rights.
11/26/12

9 Greedy CEOs Trying to Shred the Safety Net While Pigging Out on Corporate Welfare

A gang of brazen CEOs has joined forces to promote economically disastrous and socially irresponsible austerity policies.

AlterNet Many of those same CEOs were bailed out by the American taxpayer after a Wall Street-driven financial crash. Instead of a thank-you, they are showing their appreciation in the form of a coordinated effort to rob Americans of hard-earned retirements, decent medical care and relief for the poorest.
11/26/12

Schuette Files Criminal Charges Against Former DocX President for Role in Fraudulent Robo-Signing

Michigan Attorney General "Shortcuts like robo-signing are just one piece of the mortgage foreclosure crisis," said Schuette. "Our investigation remains ongoing, and we will bring to justice every lawbreaker we find."
11/26/12

Foreclosure Defense Attorney Requests Congressional Inquiry Into Robo-Signing 

Richard Roman, Esq. The mortgage finance industry appears to have been the breeding ground
for many of the ill-conceived banking practices such as robosigning.

Accordingly, we ask that a congressional inquiry be convened on behalf of these individuals (and many others).

11/26/12

White paper

Paper: Foreclosure Laws Indebted to History, Not Economics

Ms. Ghent said it’s not clear from her research whether one approach, either judicial or nonjudicial, has reduced the number of foreclosures. She did find, however, that nonjudicial states had more foreclosures prior to the Great Depression.

WSJ Ms. Ghent says that a quick resolution of a foreclosure situation is generally a better outcome for the economy. Longer foreclosure timelines haven’t been shown to lead to better borrower outcomes, but they do lead to more property deterioration. “For the states that have a rapid foreclosure process, the pain is pretty much over at this point,” said Ms. Ghent.

America's Mortgage Laws in Historical Perspective

11/26/12

Schapiro, Head of S.E.C., Announces Departure

The agency was faulted for its lax oversight of brokerage firms like Lehman Brothers, which failed in 2008 and contributed to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. 

DealBook The move, which follows a bruising four-year tenure, was widely telegraphed. Ms. Schapiro, 57, has confided in staff members for more than a year that she was exhausted and hoped to leave after the November elections.

11/26/12

CASE COMPILATION OF STANDING ISSUES WHERE TRUSTS WERE NOT ABLE TO FORECLOSE EXPEDITIOUSLY

Lynn Szymoniak, Lisa Epstein For anyone on this list who is working on standing issues, and for anyone who wants to know how mortgage trusts are harmed by the missing loan documents (despite the rants of the American Securitization Forum), here is the latest case compilation by Lynn Szymoniak and Lisa Epstein – real warriors.
11/26/12

Program expands to help people facing foreclosure

WSAU A successful foreclosure prevention program that started in Milwaukee is expanding statewide. It’s the Metro Milwaukee Foreclosure Mediation Program.
11/25/12

Signs of hope for some who are facing foreclosure

Telegram “It is allowing us to stay in our home, which is huge,” said Mrs. Barrett, who has three children. “My oldest was having anxiety issues, because we didn’t know where we were going to live.

11/24/12

Big Banks Use the Shadow Banking System to Commit Massive Accounting Fraud

Washington Blog As Max Keiser explains, massive fraud has continuously taken place over many years … as banks shift their liabilities into the shadow banking system during audit time – with the help of accounting firms and the government – and then bring them back onto the books as soon as the auditor leaves.

11/24/12

Banks under fire for prices, terms of forced insurance

Advocates say lenders often get a cut of ‘excessive’ premiums banks choose to replace lapsed homeowners policies.

Palm Beach Post The “force placed” homeowners insurance imposed by her mortgage company after a policy lapsed was more than four times as expensive as prior coverage. 

(Servicers have been caught intentionally cancel current existing policies with a force-placed policy that provides illegal kickbacks. MSF)

11/24/12

Foreclosures are no longer a last resort, and a growing percentage of Americans think it’s ok to strategically default

NWITimes “While foreclosure used to be hidden, and something that carried a stigma, it’s now a relatively common event,” he says. “Almost everyone knows someone who’s been foreclosed on or been in foreclosure.”
11/24/12

Mortgage Relief Tax Exemption Set To Expire, Threatening Struggling Homeowners

Beginning on Jan. 1, people who lose their home to foreclosure will be required to pay federal taxes on any unpaid mortgage the bank can't recoup through an auction. The same will be true for homeowners whose loan principal is reduced by a mortgage modification, with the wiped-out loan being treated as taxable income.

Huff Post This is yet another part of the scam and another way to stick it to the victims. Banks sell homes they don't own, and because the original Note was destroyed, they sell the garbage to the GSEs (Fannie/Freddie) for pennies on the dollar... because the taxpayer always pays the bill and the bonuses.

Banks are reducing the loan principal on grossly over-inflated values that provided the air to help inflate the housing bubble. Instead of making arrests for appraisal fraud, the poor sucker homeowner is stuck with this bill too. Judges and politicians don't see this? MSF 

11/24/12

National Mortgage Settlement: An Admission By The Banks?

It could be the shot heard “round the financial world” in that hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars of damages could be sought by homeowners wrongfully dispossessed of their homes.

Dan McGookey, Esq. Letters notifying victimized homeowners of their right to submit claims for damages against the settlement fund may prove to be their undoing in that they come scintillatingly close to an admission of illegal conduct by the participating servicers. 
3/12/12

Poll: Foreclosure abuse persists

"This survey provides yet more evidence that banks wrongfully foreclose on tens of thousands of homeowners every year," says Diane Thompson, National Consumer Law Center attorney. "Until rigorous national mortgage servicing standards that are enforceable by homeowners are put in place by the federal government, banks will continue to seize homes illegally and routinely."

BankRate The responding lawyers say thousands of homeowners have been improperly foreclosed upon, either while awaiting a loan modification or due to improper fees or payment processing.

In the past year, more than 90 percent of those surveyed say they've represented a homeowner placed in foreclosure while awaiting a loan mod. Of those, 85 percent were representing homeowners awaiting a HAMP loan mod, while 66 percent were representing homeowners with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan.
11/24/12

Surprise Pre-Thanksgiving Foreclosure Boot Despite Loan Mod Review

"Honestly, I don't feel like I'm living in Miami or the USA. I feel like I'm in Germany with Hitler people," she said.

Home Equity Theft Reporter Armas showed Local 10's Baron James documents that list a deadline date of December 31, 2012, to finalize the latest in a series of mortgage modification reviews so that she could try to keep her home. 
11/23/12

Their Problem With Elizabeth Warren

Ms. Warren knows what makes banks work and what makes them fail. She would join the banking committee as the fight intensifies over the Volcker Rule, a provision of Dodd-Frank she has supported that, if done right, would curb speculation by banks.

NY Times She pledged to “hold the big guys accountable.” Now, some bankers, their lobbyists and their Republican allies on the Senate banking committee reportedly would like nothing better than to keep Ms. Warren off the powerful bank panel — where she could do the most harm to the status quo, and the most good for the country.
11/23/12

Gee, What Took You So Long? (REMICs w/o Notes)

And until We The People demand through political process that this crap stop and if necessary form a new political party to do so, trampling the existing parties who refuse, you will continue to get screwed and both you and your children will be serially robbed and financially abused by these latter-day robber barons.

Because REMICs did not file the correct returns and may have committed fraud, the statute of limitations for earlier years will remain open indefinitely, giving the IRS adequate time to pursue REMIC litigation after it obtains the information it needs.

Karl Denninger

Market Ticker

And of course if there are no notes that are transferred this explains many things.

Like robosigned documents.

Like "lost document" affidavits (it explains notes being intentionally lost, since they can't be transferred to their correct place late, as the time window has long expired to meet legal requirements.)

Like allonges that magically appear on a document years later (and which are barred under the UCC because otherwise fraud becomes trivial to commit.)
11/23/12*

What have you done to report the Foreclosure Crimes you witnessed?

Meet the Man Who Has Been Battling Romney and Bain’s Bankruptcy Fraud for 12 Years

For the past eleven-and-a-half years, one American with unwavering faith in the judicial system has taken on a modern day giant without respite based on a belief that justice is due diligence and that in America, right overcomes might. 

In the course of his duties to maximize returns with minimum expense for the eToys bankruptcy estate, Haas discovered hidden overseas assets, unaccounted for inventory, and that most likely the company was not broke and should not be in bankruptcy.

As an officer of the court, and 18 USC § 4 – Misprision of felony, Mr. Haas, having knowledge of the commission of a felony had a duty, as soon as possible, to make known the same to some judge or other person in civil authority and if he failed to do so, he risked being fined or imprisoned not more than three years, or both. Haas fulfilled his legal duty and reported the malfeasance to the proper authorities.

Politicususa Shortly after reporting the crimes, in August 2001, George W. Bush appointed another Bain Capital lawyer as U.S. Attorney and he refused to investigate or prosecute the crimes throughout his tenure; despite the U.S. and former Bain attorney’s malfeasance, Haas continued fighting for eToys shareholders and to bring the criminals to justice.

It is noteworthy that Bain Capital’s attorney’s attempted to buy him off and further his professional career if he would just relent and allow the miscarriage of justice to go unimpeded, but he stayed true to his belief that justice is due diligence.

The eToys case is still ongoing and Laser Haas is still fighting for eToys shareholders without recompense out of his sense of duty to fulfill his role as an eToys executive, and his strong sense of justice. When this author first interviewed him, Haas said going up against the likes of Willard Romney, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs was like an “amoeba fighting a giant,” and yet he has persevered without rest for well over a decade. His resolve to see justice prevail, and not monetary gain, have been the motivating force behind his years’ long fight against a powerful adversary.

(Laser goes to court in December. MSF)

11/23/12 Ignoring property and title law,

Investors rush in to rent out foreclosures

You make one mistake in those properties, and you’ll be toast," Sharga said.

Bend Bulletin “If it’s going to be a company that is watching out for the community, yes," Cervantes said. “If it’s going to be a company that is watching out for themselves, no."

11/22/12

Putting thieves in charge of relief:

More Questions on Mortgage Relief

Short sales make sense for some borrowers — and they bring in more money for banks than foreclosure sales

But the main purpose of the settlement was to keep people in their homes. 

NY Times So far, the monitor has been collecting complaints from consumers and analysis from housing experts, which indicate that the new standards are not being followed. Banks are accused of many of the same abuses that predated the settlement, such as providing wrong and conflicting information and dual tracking, in which banks proceed with a loan modification and a foreclosure at the same time.

What’s needed now is enforcement of the new rules as a first step toward adopting them as a national standard.

11/22/12

Opportunity Missed in U.S. Bailout?

He believes the U.S. government made a costly mistake by focusing on bankers and not homeowners.

What is more puzzling is why the United States mustered the will to rescue its beleaguered bankers but not its underwater homeowners. 

NY Times Mr. Sufi thinks it is probably too late to jump-start the U.S. economy by helping its less well-off homeowners. But he believes the United States’ missed opportunity holds an important lesson for Europe. The U.S. mistake, in Mr. Sufi’s view, was to give political priority and financial support to credit-holders — the banks — while ignoring the distress of debt-holders. He thinks Europe is repeating that error.
11/22/12

Mary Miller vs. Neil Barofsky for the S.E.C.

Considering Mr. Barofsky as a potential nominee makes the case for Ms. Miller look very weak.

NY Times Mr. Barofsky is the most important obstacle, because as soon as you think about him you see an instantly plausible chairman for the S.E.C. The former special inspector general for the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, he is an experienced prosecutor who understands complex financial fraud. For example, he brought Refco Inc. executives and their legal advisers to justice in the mid-2000s (Refco was a commodities giant where top people engaged in accounting fraud). And he’s tough — he took on Colombian drug traffickers early in his career.
11/22/12

Bank files to evict woman who was paying mortgage on home she didn't own

In this case, the attorney was now-disbarred Richard Hallock, working for Ohio Bar Title Insurance Co., who failed to file the deed and absconded with some of the closing money. The bank blames Ms. Layo for "choosing Mr. Hallock to represent her," although Mr. Dakey concedes that Mr. Hallock was also working for the bank.

The Times-Tribune Unable to reach a settlement with a woman who made three years of mortgage payments on a property she didn't own, Peoples Neighborhood Bank is filing formal eviction notices against Shelia M. Layo.

Due to the failure of an attorney to file a deed, Ms. Layo for more than three years made regular mortgage payments to the bank on a home that remained deeded to the seller. When she found out by accident while trying to refinance with another bank, she stopped making payment on the home on until the bank remedied the situation and sued.

11/22/12

Another Illegal Lockout on Wrong House; Fannie thinks it's Funny

A Phoenix man is outraged that he found himself locked out of this own condo. Kevin Hunter has a free and clear mortgage on his unit, since he paid cash.

Home Equity Theft Reporter For Kevin and other homeowners who've been screwed over by wrongful lockouts by foreclosing lenders (and their confederates) and seek some possible guidance on how much their cases might be worth if they seek to sue, see HETR's list of cases below his post such as this one:

Nevada High Court OKs $1M+ Damage Award To Homeowner Due To Mortgage Company Misidentification Of Home In Foreclosure 

11/22/12

Yes, Virginia, the IRS Does Not Treat the Connected Like the Rest of Us (REMIC Edition)

I’ve since been told by other lawyers that they have also brought up the issue of REMIC violations with the IRS and have been told that the IRS has no intention of pursuing it.

naked capitalism It has been clear for over two years that the IRS won’t touch this issue with a ten foot pole. Even though the violations look clear cut from a tax perspective, the liability would fall on the investors, who would then sue the sponsors and originators to kingdom come. It would put on full view what the Administration has been working overtime to hide, that of the massive legal abuses at the heart of the mortgage crisis. So while the outcome is predictable, articles by shills like Fleischer are an insult to the intelligence of the long-victimized public.
11/21/12

Libor Scandal Update: More Evidence from Mid-1990s

Sense on Cents I maintain that the Libor manipulation scandal is the single greatest financial fraud in our history. Wall Street firms would clearly like to ring fence this scandal to a handful of rogue traders going back only 5 years or so. In the process, senior managers and those even higher up in a whole host of banks can be protected. Classic Mob-style tactics of creating the wall of protection. Not so fast.
11/21/12

Plea Agreement in United States v. Lorraine Brown

The issue was raised to us today that "there would be no need for DocX unless there was a HUGE problem to begin with."

This may be another layer of the onion that reveals there is more to this story. 

The embarrassing part is that it has taken law enforcement 20 years to get its first indictment.

Plea courtesy of

Matt Weidner, Esq.

DocX was created in the 1990s. This glaringly suggests that forged signatures and document fabrication were part of the initial blueprints drafted by the criminal enterprise that ultimately caused the financial/foreclosure crisis.

It was in the 1990s when servicers were first caught manufacturing "performing" loans into default by manipulating timely payments and account records, and running those and other fabricated documents and records into our courts to steal homes.

11/21/12

My Most Devastating and Disturbing Appellate Loss….

Florida’s 2nd DCA Rejects Entirely The AHMSI v. Hassell Appeal…..(totally disgusted)

In record time, Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeals rejected all of those arguments and granted (once again) carte blanch for the banks and their debt collectors to do whatever they like in furtherance of their schemes.

Matt Weidner, Esq. This opinion is a perpetuation of all that is wrong in this country.
There is no law. There is only The Banks. There is only Them.
After hundreds of pages of well written briefs, case law, a trial, clear bad conduct…. nothing else matters……
We should all be terribly, terribly ashamed of what we have allowed to happen in this country. And even more, shame on our court system for turning their backs on the foundations of a justice system that was supposed to stand for something more…

11/21/12

Bank of America sued over mortgage-backed securities

Bank of America Corp.was sued by CIFG Assurance North America Inc. for fraud and breach of contract over insurance policies tied to residential mortgage-backed securities.

The policies relate to two structured transactions arranged by Bank of America and backed by 22 mortgage-backed securities, according to court filings.

nj “Bank of America had these securities in its inventory because it had been unable to sell them when it served as underwriter on the original RMBS offerings,” CIFG said in the lawsuit. “Bank of America knew of the poor quality of the mortgage loans, and knew the original unsold RMBS were a ticking time bomb on the bank’s books.”

The bank, unable to sell the securities in pieces, then “hatched a new plan of financial engineering,” repackaged the bonds, and induced New York-based CIFG to provide more than $150 million in insurance to make them marketable to investors, the insurer said in the suit.
11/21/12

Compilation of Unsealed Documents: MBIA v Countrywide Home Loans Motion For Summary Judgment On Breach of Insurance Agreements

INK Compilation of 34,189 Pages Of Unsealed Or Otherwise Newly Released Documents. 
THESE ARE HUGE FILES CONVERTED INTO SEARCHABLE FORM AND COMPILED INTO A FIVE DOCUMENTS. THE FILINGS RANGE FROM NOV 19-23 AND ARE PROVIDED BELOW. HAPPY READING!
11/21/12**

Justice in America: Systematic Document Forgery and Fabrication Yields One Criminal Plea Bargain

After the robosiging scandal broke, banks kept claiming it was mere paperwork “errors” or “sloppiness” when in fact what they were doing was quite deliberately vitiating procedures that go back to the 1677 Statute of Frauds to make sure that documents are signed by legitimate parties. The notion that you can have someone removed from your organization who is paid a mere $15 an hour merrily sign on your behalf is a travesty. None of these managers would ever delegate authority like that over their checkbook, yet they were doing that cavalierly with the single most important asset of most families.

naked capitalism In case you have any doubts, this tells you that this case does not signal a change in Team Obama’s posture towards the banks. There is not a single mention of harm to homeowners, save through erosion of public confidence. There’s no mention of actual harm, like wrongful foreclosures (can’t admit that happens) or title risk to buyers of foreclosed properties.

Several things are striking about this deal. First is that it appears that the Missouri suit against Brown goaded the Feds to join. It’s hardly unheard of for state regulators to embarrass their Federal counterparts into action, and the DoJ probably could not afford to sit out a successful prosecution on its beat, particularly after all the noise the Obama Administration has made about its new, improved anti mortgage fraud efforts. But that makes the second item more striking: how the “statement of facts” presents Brown as deceiving Lender Processing Services about her illegal actions. Brown is thus a rogue executive whose misdeeds presumably don’t have bigger implications for LPS or the industry.

11/21/12 Anti-Foreclosure leader came home to find home broken into and locks changed

Illegal Lockout, Once More

My 10 year old and I, immediately obtained access back in to our home, but I would appreciate any support I can get from any one.

Homeowner

Delia Aguilar

ABG Field Services, along with the Contra Costa County Sheriffs, and locked my doors after having been delivered a Notice of Stay of Proceedings with an ORDER/JUDGMENT filed by The United States of America, (The People – US), against BANK OF AMERICA Corp, and all other Criminals and signed by a Federal Judge in the United States District Bankruptcy Court in Washington, D. C. 
11/20/12

New York Sues Credit Suisse Over Mortgages

The lawsuit, which seeks damages, restitution and other relief, is the latest action by a working group created by President Obama to pursue wrongdoing that led to the 2008 financial crisis.

NY Times The lawsuit claims that Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-largest bank after UBS, misrepresented the quality of loans underlying residential mortgage-backed securities it sponsored and underwrote in 2006 and 2007, costing investors $11.2 billion.
11/20/12

Guilty Pleas in Foreclosure Fraud Cases

If citizens had filed these types of documents with a bank in an attempt to get a loan, the banks would have filed criminal cases against them,” Mr. Koster said. “The mortgage servicing industry has to be held to the same standard that the banks hold the rest of us to.”

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Foreclosure abuses, like the routine filing of apparent forgeries with the nation’s courts, gained widespread notoriety in 2010. Ms. Brown admitted to directing DocX employees, beginning in 2005, to sign other peoples’ names on crucial mortgage documents. Many of the documents, like assignments of mortgages and affidavits claiming that a borrower’s i.o.u. had been lost, were used by banks and their representatives to foreclose on homeowners.

11/20/12

Feds charge Florida ‘robo-signer’ boss in connection with forged signatures on foreclosure documents

The founder of DocX, a Florida-based mortgage servicing firm pled guilty Tuesday to a federal criminal charge stemming from complaints she directed employees to forge signatures on foreclosure-related documents.

Forged signatures were falsely notarized to “provide an additional layer of sham authenticity.”

FBI Release

 

Kim Miller

Palm Beach Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plea courtesy of Matt Weidner,, Esq.

This finally confirms what foreclosure defense lawyers have argued for the last several years — that this is pervasive fraud that must be exposed,” said Szymoniak, who was featured on the news show “60 Minutes” in 2011 after uncovering robo-signing practices at DocX.

Homeowners lost their life savings in court cases where fraudulent documents were presented by the banks.”

Whether the acknowledgment of the fraudulent documents will have an impact on foreclosure cases is unclear.
St. Petersburg foreclosure defense attorney Matt Weidner said he plans to bring the issue up in his cases, but doesn’t think it will make a difference.
“Normally, you’d ask for a do-over if something like this happened, but because our courts are so afraid to hold the banking system accountable, it will have no effect,” he said.

Robo-signor Complaint:

HUML Files Suit Against Robo-Signor

Richard Roman, Esq. The vast majority of these fraudulent ("robo-signed") documents result in an illegal foreclosure and eviction ("FED") of homeowners and, particularly, this Plaintiff. Thus, Plaintiff seeks a judicial declaratory
determination that since the documents created and used by the defendant
Beverly Mitrisin in her capacity as a "Substitute Trustee" are invalid and illegal, the foreclosures that resulted thereafter should be invalidated.
11/20/12

Holden's Motion for Summary Judgment

Deutsche Bank v. Holden

Hopefully the case will start focusing on the severe damages the Holden's have suffered as a result of Deutsche Bank's unconscionable criminal conduct and attempted theft of property.

Grace Doberdruk, Esq. The significance of this case is Deutsche Bank [always knew] it does not own this home, never owned this home, and now their corporate representative is admitting it.  

But Deutsche pressed on and easily spent more in legal fees than this property is worth.  This is another case to prove it is not about the home - it is about the astronomical intangible and fabricated value the home represents to the Wall Street criminal enterprise. 

11/20/12

Banks Attempting to Fight MERS Decision With Public Relations

They want to be fear in the hearts of realtors and sellers alike who will no doubt be recruited to join in lobbying efforts to change the law in Oregon to allow MERS in the chain of title. People who live in Oregon should be VERY vigilant to see that such a provision doesn’t get tacked onto to some innocuous bill that has nothing to do with MERS, foreclosures, mortgages or even real property.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

They attempt to cure this fatal defect with signed affidavits and other documents fabricated only when there is litigation executed by unauthorized people, robosignors, surrogate signors without corporate resolutions that the bank would require from borrowers but don’t want applied to themselves. The robo-signed, fabricated or fraudulent documents become part of the record but on close reading say nothing, which means that under case law in all the states the filings would be considered “wild” which means that it is out of the chain of title.
11/20/12

Wells Fargo Foreclosure Ruled NULL & VOID

Homeowner was not in Default

StopForeclosureFraud Plaintiffs‟ have alleged facts in their Complaint concerning the absence of default which, if true, would entitle them to the relief sought. Accordingly, Defendants‟ Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) is Denied.

11/20/12

Former Attorney General Dann’s Law License Suspended

Marc Dann deserves credit as one of Ohio's foremost foreclosure fighters.

Court News Ohio "Having considered, Dann’s conduct, the applicable aggravating and mitigating factors, and the sanctions imposed for comparable misconduct, we find that the board properly weighed the aggravating and mitigating factors present in this case. Therefore, we overrule Dann’s objections, concur with the findings of the board, and agree that a six-month actual license suspension is the appropriate sanction for Dann’s misconduct.”

Mortgage Settlement Monitor “Progress” Report Gooses Numbers to Hide Lack of Real Relief to Homeowners

So this sorry settlement is playing out as predicted: relief for only a small number of borrowers, and then mainly better off ones, with the banks getting a huge “get out of liability” card on the cheap. 

naked capitalism We can see with this report that more effort has gone into creative accounting to make the results look better than they really are. Smith’s first progress report gave prominent play to this chart, which was troubling. Despite the claim, taken up by the media, that borrowers got “relief”, what it showed instead is that they got overwhelmingly was short sales:
11/20/12

Special Report: How gaming Libor became business as usual

She said tethering the futures contract to Libor "might provide an opportunity for manipulation" of the interest rate. A "bank might be tempted to adjust its bids and offers ... to benefit its own positions."

Reuters Ease of trading and the sheer size of the market prompted hedge funds, corporate treasuries and pension funds to start piling in. And increasingly, investors looking to manage risk were joined by speculators seeking solely to profit from interest-rate movements. "Everybody could now trade" the rate bets, said Stan Jonas, an interest-rate trading veteran in New York. "They established this casino."
11/20/12

Big Banks vs. Elizabeth Warren: It's On (Again!)

The fight between the financial industry and Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren heats up again over her possible nomination to the Senate banking committee.

Mother Jones She has not yet moved into her Senate office. But the banking industry is already taking aim at her, scurrying to curb her future clout on Capitol Hill.

Lobbyists and trade groups for Wall Street and other major banking players are pressuring lawmakers to deny Warren a seat on the powerful Senate banking committee.
11/20/12

Case Against New York Fed in A.I.G. Rescue Is Rejected

NY Times Starr accused the New York Fed of engineering a “backdoor” bailout for Wall Street banks, including the Goldman Sachs Group, at the expense of A.I.G. shareholders by forcing the insurer to unwind its bets on mortgage debt through hundreds of billions of dollars of credit default swaps.

JPMorgan Bought Itself a Boatload of Trouble With Bear Stearns

Packaging toxic mortgage backed securities and internally calling them disparaging names while failing to share that view with investors is becoming very old news on Wall Street. 

What is shocking news, even to veterans on Wall Street, is that Bear Stearns is alleged, by both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, to have engaged in an extensive multi-year, pre-meditated plan to steal tens of millions of dollars that belonged to trusts set up for investors.

Wall Street on Parade Let’s put this in context: at the time this alleged crime took place, Bear Stearns was the fifth largest investment bank on Wall Street; it had assets of $395 billion; it was trusted by the SEC to act as a fiduciary over billions of dollars of client funds. And it was wantonly stealing money from investors’ trust accounts? And now JPMorgan owns this firm and its former employees? 

As bad as all this sounds, the details are even worse: according to the SEC and the New York State Attorney General’s lawsuit, the firm’s lawyers were fully aware this theft was taking place.  (of course they knew)

If the U.S. justice system has reached the point where grand larceny on Wall Street is to be treated as a minor offense; is to be settled out of court without naming the participants, potentially leaving them still employed on Wall Street; potentially leaving them still giving legal advice to Wall Street – the next collapse cannot be far off, because no one, on or off Wall Street, will trust this system.

 

11/19/12

 

JPMorgan Has 3-Year Litigation Expense of $16.1 Billion (Enough to Buy 80,500 Families a Home for $200,000)

Is JPMorgan actually a cartel of lawyers in drag as a bank? 

SEC v. JPM, EMC Mortgage, Bear Stearns

Wall Street on Parade How many times have we heard the now enshrined gospel that JPMorgan escaped the 2008 crisis unscathed. Reading the mountain of lawsuits now filed against the firm, it’s clear why: JPMorgan’s role in the housing collapse has been significantly shielded from public view – until recently. 
11/19/12

Ex-Mayor Admits To Mortgage Crisis Corruption

Washington Post The former mayor of a financially distressed Rhode Island city admitted to federal corruption charges Monday after prosecutors said he and and a crony schemed to reap profits from city coffers by skipping competitive bids and surreptitiously boarding up foreclosed homes.
11/19/12

People are Still Losing their Homes over Robo-signing Deal

BusinessWeek About half the payouts so far are being used to clear troubled mortgages but aren’t keeping people in their homes.
11/19/12

Cops say RI man killed himself after foreclosure

Boston Globe Police say a constable attempting to serve the foreclosure papers heard the shots after 58-year-old Richard Dodd locked the door and refused to allow anyone in.

Firefighters later found Dodd’s body inside the home.

11/19/12

CASE COMPILATION OF STANDING ISSUES WHERE TRUSTS WERE NOT ABLE TO FORECLOSE EXPEDITIOUSLY

In the cases listed herein, the trust was not able to foreclose expeditiously because of loan documentation issues:

Lynn Szymoniak

Lisa Epstein

4closureFraud

For anyone on this list who is working on standing issues, and for anyone who wants to know how mortgage trusts are harmed by the missing loan documents (despite the rants of the American Securitization Forum), here is the latest case compilation by Lynn Szymoniak and Lisa Epstein – real warriors.

11/19/12

Banks Keep Winning, But Borrowers Are Picking Up the Pace

So why would any bank or any reasonable person intentionally destroy the original documents that constituted by definition the origination of the loan collateralize by a supposedly perfected lien?

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

So better to say that you destroyed it under the premise that the digitized copy would suffice or lost it because of the complexity of the securitization process than to admit that you never had it to begin with. If you admit it, you go to jail and you are ordered to pay restitution, your assets seized and marshaled to return as much money as possible to the victims of the PONZI scam.

8/14/12

BANKRUPTCY “STRONG ARM” POWERS: 

BYE BYE MORTGAGE

This case illustrates that formalities can really matter. There is certainly room to litigate various issues, including how to value the grant of the mortgage lien, but no lender will want to find itself in this position in the first place.

Rhiel v. Central Mortgage

BK-RE Insights Based on a defective notarization, the lien of a mortgage was avoided, and the bankruptcy court left open the possibility that the value of the lien could be recovered from the mortgagee in the future. 

In a world of seriously underwater mortgages, this presents an opportunity for the trustee or debtor to recover more than they would be able to get from selling the property, and leaves the mortgagee coping with the fact that it may be required to pay the estate more than it will be able to recover itself.

11/19/12

A Step Back for Derivatives Regulation

The exemption invites disruption, in that traders may be able to escape regulation by structuring various derivatives deals to fall under the exemption. 

NY Times The Treasury has pointed out that such manipulation would be illegal, but what would stop it when regulatory enforcement resources are already stretched? It is much more likely that the exemption will create another regulatory challenge without providing the resources to address it.
11/19/12

Judge Poised to Approve ResCap Loan Sale to Berkshire

A judge on Monday said he plans to approve Residential Capital LLC's sale of a loan portfolio to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the undercard in ResCap's two-pronged transaction that should fetch $4.5 billion for the mortgage servicer's creditors.

Judge Approves $3 Billion Sale of ResCap Mortgages to Ocwen, Walter

4-traders The main event, a $3 billion sale of ResCap's mortgage-servicing platform to Ocwen Financial Corp. and Walter Investment Management Corp. has been attacked by a divergent collection of parties, from the U.S. government to a grass-roots group representing individual mortgage holders to ResCap's government-controlled parent, Ally Financial Inc. Many are concerned that Ocwen's purchase doesn't force the company to honor ResCap's obligations to protect homeowners with mortgage problems. ResCap settled or pushed back to later dates some of the objections.
11/19/12

Banks say they have given $521M in mortgage relief in Washington

Puget Sound Biz-Journal Banks say they have provided $521.3 million in mortgage relief to struggling home mortgage borrowers in Washington, according to a report released Monday that tracks the banks’ progress in meeting their obligations under a federal mortgage-fraud settlement.
11/19/12

Colo. homeowners included in nationwide mortgage settlement

koaa The independent monitor for the National Mortgage Settlement today issued a nationwide report outlining the consumer relief activities of the five banks that are parties to the settlement. Since March 1, 2012, the banks disclosed that they have extended more than $26.1 billion in mortgage relief to more than 310,000 homeowners or roughly $84,385 per homeowner. 
11/19/12

Refinance mortgage: “strong arm” powers meet equitable subrogation

The court found that under Maryland law constructive notice would prevent a purchaser from being a bona fide purchaser so that the Chase lien was not avoidable by the purchaser.

Green v. HSBC

Pepper Hamilton LLP
Vicki R. Harding
The plaintiff also contended that the lis pendens arose during the preference period and therefore itself was avoidable, with the result that it could not provide constructive notice. However, the court disagreed because the issue was the standing of a bona fide purchaser at the beginning of the bankruptcy case. As of that time, all parties had constructive notice of Chase’s claim as a result of the court filing. A potential avoidance of the lis pendens “could not have the effect of retroactively erasing that notice – the proverbial bell cannot be unrung.”

Application of equitable subrogation can be very difficult to predict, and oftentimes a mortgagee seeking equitable subrogation does not prevail. Certainly a lender would be better served if the issue did not come up in the first place. Assuring that a mortgage or deed of trust is timely recorded is critical.

11/19/12

NJ Appeals Court: Excessive Delay In Raising 'Standing' Issue In State Court Proceeding Fatal To Foreclosure Defense

Deutsche Bank v. Russo

Home Equity Theft Reporter

_______

New Jersey Appeals Court

A New Jersey appeals court ruled Wednesday that a homeowner couldn't use standing arguments to disrupt a foreclosure decision after excessive delay, adding that a foreclosure judgment won by a party that lacked standing isn't necessarily “void” under the meaning of a key court rule.

An assignment acknowledging Deutsche Bank as the legal possessor of the note and mortgage was not signed and recorded until June 17, 2008, seven months after the complaint was filed.

11/19/12

Tell President Obama: Appoint an S.E.C. chair who will hold Wall Street accountable.

credoaction M.I.T. economist and New York Times economic blogger Simon Johnson recommends three people: former TARP Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky; former Senator Ted Kaufman; and the leader of the pro-reform group Better Markets, Dennis Kelleher. To Johnson's list we'd add the former head of the F.D.I.C., Sheila Bair.
11/19/12

Short Sales Continue to Dominate Consumer Relief in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

Overall, Smith looks on the bright side and reports “continued progress” on the settlement. I see half of the relief going to short sales, and half of the principal reductions paid by someone other than the banks.

David Dayen - FDL In addition, Joseph Smith writes, “I also am seeing an increasing number of reports concerning successor servicers or sub-servicers that are taking over the account administration from one of the Servicers.” This is a classic bait-and-switch for mortgage servicers, selling off the servicing rights right before completing a modification.
11/19/12

Parking Basel: A Case Study of How Banks Stymie Regulatory Reform

Richard Smith Result: five years after Basel II’s official adoption in the US, it’s still parked. Evidently Basel III will line up alongside, soon enough. Let’s see how it goes with Dodd-Frank next, shall we?

11/18/12

Wall Street Kept Winning on Mortgages Upending Homeowners

If Thomas F. Marano takes a late lunch, he makes more money in a single morning than Black does all year. Marano once led the team at Bear Stearns Cos. that bought Black’s mortgage in 2005 and thousands of other subprime loans to sell to investors.

In March 2008, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) bought Bear Stearns in a deal brokered by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Soon after, Marano joined ResCap. 

In 2009, his first full year at the helm, he was paid $5.6 million while ResCap lost $7.3 billion.

Bloomberg BayRock Mortgage Corp., a now-defunct Alpharetta, Georgia- based mortgage wholesaler, bought the loan from Gibbs’ company, according to BayRock’s founder and CEO, William M. Medley Jr. In turn, Bayrock sold it to a Bear Stearns subsidiary, EMC Mortgage Corp., Medley said.

‘Stratospheric Compensation’

Marano’s team at Bear Stearns put Black’s mortgage into a security called BSABS 2005-HE8, according to a person with direct knowledge of the transaction who asked not to be named because of pending litigation. Bear Stearns sold the security to Hamburg-based HSH Nordbank AG, according to court documents. In a legal complaint, HSH Nordbank says it lost “a minimum of $42 million” on that security and others from Bear Stearns.

EMC never foreclosed. The house is still in Black’s name. According to public records, she owes $1,529.35 in city and county taxes for 2011 and 2012 and $615.06 for city workers to board up the house and mow the grass after a neighbor complained of snakes.

11/18/12

Hey Fannie and Freddie, Pay Us Back!

The trouble now is that the debt owed by Fannie and Freddie, both of which have been in government conservatorship since 2008, is being ignored.

NY Times Consider the elephant in the room: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac owe American taxpayers nearly $140 billion — and there seems to be no plan on any front to pay it back.

Even more remarkable than their $140 billion public debt (the money lent to the agencies minus dividends paid) — equivalent to the stock market capitalizations of the Starbucks Corporation, the Kellogg Company and the McDonald’s Corporation combined — is that there seems to be no active plan to make taxpayers whole again. This, in short, has become the forgotten bailout.

11/18/12

If FHA’s losses are due to bad economy, why is Fannie blaming borrowers in lawsuit against Bank of America?

“Because of the number of foreclosures, they’ve (FHA) indicated they will have to come to the American people and ask for money. These are just a wave of foreclosures which we obviously are not over. It’s basically a function of a bad economy.”

Mandelman Matters Our government has been using the FHA’s ability to guarantee loans as the replacement for the sub-prime lenders that went bankrupt starting in 2007.

The VAST MAJORITY of people didn’t’ buy homes they knew they couldn’t afford. No one does that on purpose. Certainly not regular working class people… they all know how much money they don’t have each month… and the last thing they want to do is lose their homes to foreclosures because they can’t make the payments.

Couple sues Bank of America over ‘illegal’ lockout

McKee v. Bank of America

***Post has a few links to damages in other illegal lockout cases

Home Equity Theft Reporter Crews allegedly ripped out their new kitchen cabinets and took all of their personal belongings still inside the house -- among them family antiques, sensitive personal information, tax returns and baby pictures of their daughter.

The McKees have since sold the home, but claim Bank of America still has their belongings. The suit claims the bank had no right to enter their home or send remission crews.
11/18/12

Local evictions dropping, but Las Vegas still leads nation

A big part of the decline is Assembly Bill 284, Nevada's robo-signing law, Toomin said. The law requires lenders to provide affidavits of "personal knowledge" of who owns the mortgage note before they can start the foreclosure process.

Banks have retrenched in their efforts to oust delinquent homeowners. Since the law took effect in October 2011, notice of default filings have decreased by about 70 percent in Clark County, according to online listing service ForeclosureRadar.com.

Las Vegas Review But notice of default filings are rising again. ForeclosureRadar reported 1,731 notices of default filed in Clark County in October, up 93 percent from a year ago. Notices of trustee sale, which serve as the homeowner's final notice before sale, remain depressed at 1,017, down 70 percent from a year ago.

"That law's a big pain and does more damage than good," Toomin said. "If they (banks) can't come up with the original loan documents and can't do a foreclosure, people get to live in the house rent-free until the court sorts this out."  (The homeowner is not the party breaking the law and foreclosing on property the bank does not own. MSF)

11/17/12

 

Another Fumble by the S.E.C. on Fraud

The S.E.C. dropped charges of securities fraud against an investment manager, a sign that its campaign to hold someone accountable for the mortgage losses at the heart of the financial crisis is in shambles.

The failure to go after high-ranking officials at the big banks responsible for the mortgage crisis has been a recurring issue for the government in its pursuit of individual fraud cases.

NY Times Friday, in a rare public about-face, the S.E.C. asked Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum of Federal District Court in New York to dismiss the charges against Mr. Steffelin with prejudice, meaning the case can’t be refiled.

Now, if Mr. Steffelin is going to emerge as a “poster child” for anything, it will be as a victim of regulatory overreach.

“It’s very unusual and unusually embarrassing for the S.E.C.,” said John C. Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School and an expert in securities law.

JPMorgan Chase was the giant bank responsible for the exotic mortgage security known as a CDO.

11/17/12

The Next Round of Derivatives Regulation

In the weeks ahead, federal regulators will finalize rules that, done right, will bring long-overdue transparency and oversight to the multitrillion-dollar derivatives market. 

NY Times The big banks that control derivatives trading, however, are lobbying to dilute the rules.  To grasp what is at stake, recall that the $182 billion taxpayer bailout of American International Group during the financial crisis was essentially a bailout of the global financial system, undertaken to make good on derivatives bets gone spectacularly wrong
11/16/12

Mortgage Mess Was Preventable and is Correctable

The only thing that can save us from another recession is to put money in the hands of those who will spend it. What if the money is restitution for losses attributed to outright fraud, and not a gift?

The banks cornered the market on money and real property using lies, deceit and forgery, fabrication, surrogate signing and pure intimidation. 

The facts are in on that, and so we know that the origination of the loans, the assignments, the allonges, endorsements were all a sham.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

And so we also know that the robust foreclosure scheme has corrupted titles all over the nation

The only place where it is not being used is in the biggest case of economic crime in human history.

The banks diverted the money, stole it, gambled with it and where they won they kept it and where they lost they got it from the Federal government or pitched the loss over the fence to the investors who advanced the all the money.

If we don’t hold the bankers responsible for their malfeasance, why wouldn’t they do it again at the first opportunity. By this point in the savings and loan scandal of the 1980′s more than 800 people were serving prison terms. Why not now?

11/16/12

Allen Stanford receiver sues Greenberg Traurig, Hunton & Williams

Greenberg Traurig also works in the foreclosure business.

Thomson Reuters A representative for the victims of Allen Stanford's estimated $7 billion Ponzi scheme is suing two law firms he says helped the now-convicted swindler perpetrate his fraud.
11/16/12

Foreclosure mess awaits states hit by Superstorm Sandy

CNN Money Before Superstorm Sandy, some of the hardest-hit areas in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were experiencing a huge spike in foreclosures. But now that a moratorium on foreclosure activity in these disaster areas has been put in place, the foreclosure problems are about to get worse.
11/16/12

After 5 Years of Hiding, a Banker Reappears

“I’d like to reach a few souls who are trying to get a second Mercedes and a bigger boat,” he said. “I went to the utmost level of excess and it didn’t work.”

NY Times The inflated stock prices made Mr. Homm’s hedge funds appear to be more valuable than they actually were, a practice known as portfolio pumping, the S.E.C. said. The commission’s suit also accused Mr. Homm of selling stocks to his funds at inflated prices via a broker in which he had a stake, generating millions in profit for himself. When Mr. Homm disappeared in 2007, his fund and its investors were left holding $440 million to $530 million in shares that had little or no market value, the S.E.C. said.

JPMorgan, Credit Suisse paying $417 million in SEC case

Plain Dealer JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse have agreed to pay a combined $417 million to settle federal civil charges of deceiving investors through sales of risky mortgage bonds ahead of the 2008 financial crisis.
11/16/12

HUD: the FHA does not require a bailout from the Treasury

AGBeat As reports roll in that the FHA's reserve funds are depleted, analysts say a bailout is coming, while HUD and FHA says that it simply is not so.
11/16/12

Taxpayers Face Rescue of F.H.A.

Everyone open up your wallets again. The fatally-flawed GSE Business Model needs more money.

NY Times The GSE Business Model, with its government taxpayer guarantee, is hopelessly conflicted and fatally-flawed, but they continue to use it because it allows many bad actors to steal from it.  When it fails, the government forces the taxpayer to pay up and the taxpayer has no say.  It is free money and they don't even have to ask - they just take it.
11/16/12

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau extends effective date for new mortgage disclosures

CFPB The CFPB announced that it will give industry extra time to provide certain new disclosures required under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in order to allow a more seamless integration with other mortgage disclosures that have been proposed by the Bureau. 

11/15/12

Oregon County authorizes lawsuit against MERS to recover recording fees

OregonLive Emotional testimony from people who recently lost houses through bank foreclosures punctuated a meeting Thursday, during which Multnomah County's commissioners voted to proceed with a lawsuit against MERS, a mortgage giant linked to countless foreclosures nationally. 

11/15/12**

The Lemon Problem With Mortgage-Backed Securities

BofA v. MBIA and the Future of Private Label Securitization

There's a fascinating and absolutely cut-throat fight going on between BofA and MBIA. 

It seems that BofA's basic strategy is to drag things out to force a settlement. But this isn't just any delay strategy to increase the costs of litigation. BofA seems determined to wait out MBIA's liquidity and threatens MBIA with collapse unless it settles. There are two parts to this strategy.

Prof Adam Levitin MBIA claims that it was duped into insuring the MBS: it alleges material misrepresentations about the quality of the loans it was insuring. 

The insurance policies are irrevocable and MBIA is not trying to rescind coverage. 

Instead, MBIA is suing Countrywide (BofA) for rescissory damages, meaning MBIA is looking for payment from BofA to put it in a position as if the policies had never been written.

Essentially this means shifting the credit risk to BofA. 

11/15/12

As the Crisis Is Revisited, Lawyers Win

Lawyers are cleaning up. The only people who don’t seem to be doing very well are those who are most deserving: the victims of the crisis.

NY Times The battle being fought on the most fronts is between Bank of America — the bank that made the critical mistake of acquiring Countrywide, once the country’s largest mortgage lender — and MBIA, the troubled monoline insurer that now warns it may not be able to keep paying claims on structured finance securities unless the bank pays it billions for the sins of Countrywide.

11/15/12

 

Yes, Banks Are Paying “Penalties” in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement... With Other People’s Money

This became more clear in Bank of America’s side deal, where they would reduce their penalty through modifying loans they don’t own:

David Dayen - FDL This one offers a bit of vindication. I cannot tell you how much grief I got from “official sources” over the clear reality that banks would be able to pay off their penalties in the foreclosure fraud settlement with investor money. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan flat-out said it, and then had to backtrack and obfuscate. But it was clearly set up by the terms of the settlement. Banks would get credit under the settlement for modifying loans in private label mortgage backed securities, which means the investors take the hit.
10/09/12

Wells Fargo Managed To Sell Bad Mortgages to The Government Without Sending Embarrassing Obscenity-Filled Emails About It

Dealbook The government claims that WFC submitted somewhere between 6,000 and 50,000 bad loans, while specifically describing a dozen or so in the complaint, presumably cherry-picked for maximum offensiveness. Let’s look at one:

11/15/12

KCTV5 Investigates: 

Issues with REVERSE MORTGAGES

The enjoyment faded in the spring of 2007, when the couple's adjustable rate mortgage kicked in and pushed their monthly loan payment to an unmanageable amount.

That foreclosure notice, sent by Bank of America, nearly caused a second death in the family. After reading it, Rebecca Simpson suffered a heart attack. 

Home Equity Theft Reporter Brown wrote a letter, from her mother's hospital room in Kansas City, MO, asking the court to halt the foreclosure. Her only answer came during a visit to check on the Leavenworth home.

Instead of the clean, beautiful house she was expecting to see, Brown said she confronted by filth, cracked toilets, missing heirlooms and bright orange stickers that read "Winterize, do not use." The stickers served as evidence that Bank of America had already sent a third-party company into the now bank-owned house.
11/15/12

Quelle Surprise! HUD and Obama Whoppers About Mortgage Settlement, FHA Finances, Housing Market Remedies Coming Home to Roost

naked capitalism The banks are getting a 45% credit for modifying mortgages they don’t own. They will do that all day in preference to modifying their own mortgages, except in those cases where they would have modified them anyhow.

11/15/12*

 

The following is an unedited homeowner comment Yves posted to her blog. We thought it and her response summed it up nicely.
____________________/

I was humbled by this comment yesterday on Bill Black’s post on our fundraiser:
2little2late says:
November 14, 2012 at 9:54 pm

I just emptied my entire Paypal account in Yves direction, all $2.01 goes to aid in her upkeep.

In foreclosure, my wife and I left the house she designed (architect) and I (contractor) built. We’re in federal court pro se against the monster B of A that Yves has written about many a time. Tough go, but you have to stand up to this bullshit. Billion to one odds, but it has to be done.

These financial institutional cancers are like nothing ever before seen on this planet. They keep growing like the blob of sci-fi lore…they’re destroying the countryside like Rodan, leaving millions homeless while millions of homes lie abandoned by these same banks, who’ve stripped America naked. Societal parasites, and few anywhere else talk about it.

The bottom line is….what can be said of a society that parks millions upon millions of empty houses over here, while tossing millions upon millions of evicted citizens over there? Could any civilization be happy with that outcome? Isn’t that embarrassing at the least? Seriously inhumane at the worst? Who ordained this shit?

Thank you Yves, from the bottom of my heart. I love you dearly. When I can send more I will. Your primers on securitization and foreclosure fraud have aided me more than you’ll ever know.
naked capitalism

The Best Endorsement We’ve Gotten

Yves response:

Many people in America have taken huge losses as a result of the financial crisis. And some of the greatest damage isn’t just to their savings, but to their mental health: the unwarranted self-recrimination, the sense of isolation and powerlessness.

2little2late knows he will probably lose against Bank of America. But he isn’t just entering into this struggle with the primary objective of winning, he’s doing it to inflict costs on them by making them go to court, to establish a record, and most important, as a personal statement, to stand up for his dignity.

Many of us here are looking to find ways to take our power back, to demand justice and decency from an increasingly predatory financial system and its collaborators among the elites. Many of these battles will not result in victory. But the most important thing is not to give up on bringing the miscreants to heel. The failure to reform the financial system means new crises are inevitable, but if the banks succeed in reducing the public to sullen resignation, their success will be complete.

2little2late wants a different debate, a different society, and a different culture. And when you give, this is the sort of person you are helping, in joining and reinforcing his demand for justice and acountability. And helping people like him ultimately helps all of us.

11/14/12

Federal judge favors Wells Fargo over cancer patient illegally evicted

Yesterday, a federal judge has decided to rule in favor of Wells Fargo and the OCSD even though he had previously led Niko to believe, through three statements on court records, that she had a right to stay in her home.

examiner I'm in my bed and I see them storming my property, [so] I crawl to my wheelchair. They break down my door. I'm sitting there in my wheel chair. I'm about 100 pounds of shriveled-up cancer and a threat to no one. Sergeant Bob Sima puts a gun to my face, finger on the trigger, no safety and walks around me. There's no reason, except for to threaten my life, for an intimidation factor, to put a gun to my head.
11/14/12

Ban on Dual-Tracking causes Foreclosure cancellations to surge in Golden State

L.A. Times “This is another example of where changes in foreclosure trends are driven by government intervention, and not necessarily economic recovery. While the impacts are still unclear, the elimination of dual tracking may avoid some unnecessary foreclosures, but will lengthen the foreclosure process and delay ultimate recovery. Expect further impacts to foreclosure trends in the months ahead.”

11/14/12

 

Local woman wants to shut down Wells Fargo

A local woman is taking on a monster megabank by filing a foreclosure of her own.

Wells Fargo tried to take her home. A judge ruled she could keep it and Wells Fargo owes her for the trouble, but the bank still hasn't paid up.

Action News Jax Wells Fargo said she was six months behind on her mortgage. But she fought the foreclosure, and eventually the case was dismissed. The judge also ruled Wells Fargo should pay Sharp. She and the bank settled on nearly 20 thousand dollars for attorney's fees. Eight months later she still hasn't seen that money.

So, to try and get it, Sharp and her attorney turned the tables on Wells Fargo. "We filed a foreclosure notice to get our client the money she's owed," said attorney Tom Pycraft.
11/14/12

Study: After foreclosure, families take a decade or more to buy another house

The Atlantic William Hedberg and John Krainer at the San Francisco Fed have a new paper attempting to quantify that damage, and it’s bleak. Even among foreclosed upon lenders who had good credit before default, a majority didn’t return to the mortgage market within 40 quarters (or 10 years):

11/14/12

Freddie Mac is Back

Freddie Mac has filed with Ohio's Supreme Court, a Motion to Reconsider the Schwartzwald decision.

Freddie wants the unanimous decision based on century-old Ohio law to start with the next case - not this one.

  If the Court did intend to hold that a plaintiffs failure to have standing deprives a common pleas court of subject matter jurisdiction, then the Opinion changed the law of Ohio,
and threw into question judgments rendered in literally hundreds of thousands of foreclosure actions (and potentially every judgment ever rendered in this state). If a plaintiff s lack of standing deprives a common pleas court of subject matter jurisdiction, then Freddie Mac respectfully suggests that the Opinion be limited to prospective application only.
11/14/12

You Fight With Bank Of America Over Bad Mortgages, Bank Of America Fights Back

DealBook They did that with Fannie Mae, refusing to sell it any new mortgages just because Fannie thinks BofA should be buying back some of the old mortgages it mmmmaybe fraudulently sold Fannie. And they’re doing it with MBIA, suing the bejesus out of them just because MBIA is suing the bejesus out of BofA over mortgage fraud.

11/13/12

Audit due this week could show FHA need for bailout funds

 The U.S. Federal Housing Administration, weighed down by losses on souring loans, will release a report on its finances this week that could point up the possibility it may require taxpayer aid for the first time in its 78-year history.

Chicago Tribune FHA-backed loans made from 2005 to 2008 have eaten away at its cash reserves. The agency has struggled to manage the growing glut of delinquencies on home fraudulent mortgages it insured during the housing crisis, and some analysts say profits on loans guaranteed over the past three years may not be enough to make up for those losses.
11/13/12

Bank of America Offers to Buy MBIA Bonds to Block Amendment

Bloomberg Bank of America’s bid follows a move by MBIA last week to persuade bondholders to change the terms governing almost $900 million in bonds, which would prevent a regulatory seizure of its MBIA Insurance Corp. unit from dragging the parent into bankruptcy. That would leave policyholders including Bank of America holding guarantees from an insurer that can’t make good on claims.
11/13/12

Bank of New York Mellon Unit Settles Madoff Lawsuits

NY Times “Ivy Asset Management violated its fundamental responsibility as an investment adviser by putting its own pecuniary interests ahead of the interests of its clients,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “Ivy deliberately concealed negative facts it uncovered in its due diligence of Madoff in order to keep earning millions of dollars in fees. As a result, its clients suffered massive and avoidable losses.”
11/13/12

Occupy Wall St. Offshoot Aims to Erase People’s Debts

NY Times “Basically what we’re going to do is exactly the same as what a regular debt buyer would do, with one big difference,” said Thomas Gokey, an artist and teacher. “Rather than collect the debt, we’re just going to abolish it.”
10/31/12*

No Conspiracy Theory -- A Small Group of Companies Have Enormous Power Over the World

Financial Fraud and the ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card’

The major banks of the world have been caught in conspiracies of ripping off small towns and cities across the United States, which allowed banks like JPMorgan Chase, GE Capital, UBS, Bank of America, Lehman Brothers, Wachovia, Bear Stearns, and others, to steal billions of dollars from schools, hospitals, libraries, and nursing homes from “virtually every state, district and territory in the United States,” according to a court settlement on the issue.

Andrew Gavin Marshall The theft was done through the manipulation of the public bidding process, something that the Mafia has become experts in with regards to garbage and construction industry contracts. In short, the banking system actually functions like a Mafia cartel system, not to mention, taking money from the Mafia and cartels themselves.

 Banks like JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs engaged in bribery, fraud, and conspiracies which resulted in the bankruptcy of counties all across the United States.[22] Still, they continue to be ‘respected’ by the political class which refuses to punish them for their criminal activity, and instead, rewards them with bailouts and follows their instructions for policy.

11/13/12

The Truth About TILA

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

There have been so many questions and misconceptions about TILA that I thought it would be a good thing to summarize some aspects of it, how it is used in forensic examination and the limitations of TILA. Note that the absence of a prohibition in TILA or the apparent expiration of TILA does not block common law actions based upon the same facts and some states have more liberal statutes of limitations. 
11/13/12

South Gate Resident Continues to Fight Eviction, Faces Up to Year in Jail

“How can they say she has not made any payments since 2008, when she has tried to make them, and the banks won't take her money?” said Kuhns to Patch in October. “She has been trying to make payments.”

In April, Casas Wilson was arrested while allegedly attempting to make a payment to Tim Sloan, the Chief Financial Officer of Wells Fargo, during a protest outside of his house in San Marino.

The Patch According to an ACCE press release, on the 26th of November, Casas Wilson will be facing trial in the Los Angeles County Superior Court for charges related to her vigil in San Marino .

She faces a maximum penalty of a year In jail and $2000 in fines.

I’ve been trying to get Wells Fargo to accept my money for three years – I went to Tim Sloan’s house because all I want is to stay in my home and keep making my payments,” said Casas Wilson
11/13/12

Quiet Title Action over Assignments May Have Legs

Because two of the quiet-title theories do not rely on the failure of the foreclosing party to produce the note, see Compl. ¶ 57(f), (g), we conclude that the district court erred in its wholesale dismissal of the quiet-title claim pursuant to Jackson.

Home Equity Theft Reporter Under these two theories, assignments from MERS to Aurora of legal title to the mortgages either were unrecorded or executed by individuals lacking the legal authority to do so.

The resulting defect in the chain of title of the mortgages, according to Homeowners, deprives Aurora of the authority to foreclose on their properties.

Murphy v. Aurora

11/13/12

TODAY, NOVEMBER 13, 11:00 AM est. - VERY IMPORTANT LIVE VIDEO- ORAL ARGUMENTS BEFORE FLORIDA’S SECOND DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS!


Watch Oral Argument in Tampa

Matt Weidner From attorney Matt Weidner: 

A DEFENDANT IN FORECLOSURE HAS NO RIGHT TO KNOW WHO IS FORECLOSING ON HIM. 

THAT’S THE CURRENT STATE OF THE LAW... 

BUT I WANT TO CHANGE THAT.

Matt's Post with links to briefs

11/13/12

President Barack Obama’s win also a win for the SEC and the CFTC

Legal scholars and attorneys predict that President Obama’s re-election will allow the SEC and the CFTC to continue their aggressive enforcement campaigns of 2011.

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP The SEC and the CFTC are now likely to continue to pursue strong enforcement against financial firms and high-profile fraud. 2011 saw the SEC and the CFTC bring a record number of cases and win large penalties: over $2.8 billion and $585 million, respectively. That trend is predicted to continue in the second term of the Obama administration.

11/12/12

Unpaid Water Bills Leading to Foreclosed Homes

Not all cities sell unpaid debts to private companies. In Houston if you don't pay your water bill, the city will shut your water off and try to get you help. Officials there would never give someone the potential right to take your home away if you don't pay.

abc News The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) says thousands of homeowners all over the U.S. are threatened with foreclosure every year because of unpaid utility bills.

"Someone could actually lose their home for the failure to pay a $200 or $300 water bill or sewer bill," said John Rao, an attorney with the NCLC.

11/12/12

Hurricane Sandy Shows Folly of $150 Million Spy Center for Wall Street

But none of the thousands of spy cameras positioned around the city that feed into this center foresaw the storm surge that put as much as 40 feet of corrosive salt water in the basements of commercial buildings in Lower Manhattan, crippling thousands of businesses along with the lives of area residents. 

Wall Street Parade Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly created the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center with no public hearings and no meaningful public oversight and now refuse to honor the law of New York State, the Freedom of Information Law which requires readily available documents to be turned over to the public within five business days.

11/12/12

Schadenfreude Alert – Banks Paying Extortionate Fees for Foreclosure Reviews 

Every time it appears that the OCC foreclosure reviews have hit bottom they sink further into the morass. Our latest example comes from a petition GMAC/ResCap filed as part of their bankruptcy. This example shows how banks are spending simply staggering, implausible amounts of money on foreclosure “reviews”, and how keen they are to enrich anyone other than wronged borrowers.

Michael Olenick Giving them the benefit of the doubt, that every loan was reviewed during the 90-days, that comes to an obscene $10,331.64/loan. In contrast, Fannie and Freddie pay $1,250 in legal fees for an entire judicial foreclosure, beginning to end.

Several fee schedules are included, with varying roles and amounts, though it’s clear that everybody is well paid. Associates bill $235/hr., Senior Associates bill $300/hr., Managers bill $370/hr., Senior Managers bill $470/hr., Managing Directors are paid $610/hr., and Partners bill at $630/hr. To compare and contrast salary.com reports the 90th percentile pay for Family Practice Physician’s is $225,931, which comes to $868.97/day. So it’s less expensive to have a doctor spend a whole day figuring out what ails a person than it is to have a PwC partner spend 90 minutes reviewing what’s wrong with foreclosure files.

11/12/12

Management theory was hijacked in the 80s. We're still suffering the fallout

The great crash of 2008 stripped away any remaining doubt: the economic progress of the last 30 years was a mirage

Guardian UK The irony is that we know what makes companies prosper in the long term. They manage themselves as whole systems, look after their people, use targets and incentives with extreme caution, keep pay differentials narrow (we really are in this together) and treat profits as the score rather than the game. And it's a given that in the long term companies can't thrive unless they have society's interests at heart along with their own.
11/11/12

Spain Declares 2-Year Moratorium on Evictions Following Suicides; Policy Will Blow Up Spectacularly

Mish's Global Economics The problem with an eviction moratorium should be obvious. People will have no incentive to pay their mortgages for the next two years. Many people will take that option and it will further stress the Spanish banking sector already deep in trouble.
11/11/12

Detroit struggles continue to stop foreclosures, evictions

Tens of thousands of foreclosures have occurred in Detroit over the last five years. As a result, communities have been ruined, tax revenues drained, and 25 percent of the population has been forced out of the city during the last census period.

Workers World The Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs calls for a federal executive order to halt home seizures and evictions by the banks and government entities such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which now own or control most mortgages in the U.S. This demand is rejected by the ruling class and its political surrogates who view the banks as sacrosanct.
11/10/12

A New Senator, Known Nationally and Sometimes Feared

She got there by campaigning against the big banks and lobbyists, the millionaires and billionaires who, she said, rigged the system against the middle class.

NY Times “Wall Street C.E.O.’s — the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs — still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors and acting like we should thank them,” Ms. Warren declared in her prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention.
11/10/12**

Court ruling could have broad impact on foreclosures

But the result of this decision is that people who lost their homes in a foreclosure case the original complaint did not have the proper ownership documents could re-open those cases, Engel said.

Schwartzwald Decision

Dayton Daily News

Home Equity Theft Reporter

 

But Smith said that there may be some “bona fide purchaser protections” that would help innocent parties who purchased those properties in good faith.____________________

Nemo Dat Trumps Bona-Fide Purchaser

There can be no bona fide purchaser if the seller did not own it.

“The principle of nemo dat quod non habet – that you can't give what you don't have – is the bedrock principle on which all commercial law is built. See , e.g., JOHN F, DOLAN ET AL., CORE CONCEPTS OF COMMERCIAL LAW: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE: CASES AND MATERIALS 2 (Thompson West, 2004) ("The First Rule of Conveyancing-Nemo Dat")

11/10/12

Wells Fargo Whistleblower Claims Foreclosure Retaliation

“I was denied [a loan modification] five days after the president of Wells Fargo testified before Congress that he had read my affidavit,” Jacobson says. “I contend they singled me out by returning the payments.”

Home Equity Theft Reporter Armed with knowledge of sloppy foreclosure practices, Jacobson says she plans to fight her former employer on every front. “I want the foreclosure to be dismissed, then I want to go after Wells Fargo under the civil rights laws,” she says. “The Department of Justice used my affidavit to settle that big lawsuit . . . [then] they left me out to dry.”

11/10/12

Multnomah County gears up to sue MERS

In an action that has implications for tens of thousands of area homeowners, Multnomah County is taking on a mortgage-industry giant in hopes of recouping potentially millions of dollars in recording fees the county says have been avoided illegally.

"The system is broken," she said. "This is one way to start repairing it." 

OregonLive "What MERS does is take the property recording system we have in Multnomah County and make it worthless," said Jeff Cogen, commission chairman. "Anyone who buys, sells or owns a home in this county is affected." 

"Maintaining these records is core to the county's mission," Cogen said. "We believe the banks, acting through MERS, have corrupted our public records and deprived the county of money it is entitled to." 

If the county prevails and wins damages, Cogen said, he and other board members would use the proceeds to help county homeowners who have "suffered at the hands of MERS" through non-judicial foreclosures.

11/9/12

FDIC seeks damages from three former IndyMac executives

Trial begins on a civil lawsuit that accuses them of negligence in approving loans that developers and home builders never repaid.

L.A. Times The civil lawsuit seeks damages from three former IndyMac executives, accusing them of negligence in approving 23 loans that developers and home builders never repaid, costing the bank almost $170 million.

The executives approved ill-advised loans because they earned bonuses for beefing up lending to developers and builders, said Patrick J. Richard, a lawyer representing the FDIC.
11/9/12

Another nappy-headed decision

Arabia V. BAC — More Leverage For Calif. Loan Servicers

Home Equity Theft Reporter In a recent decision, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District held, in the absence of any clear statutory authority, that the beneficiary of a deed of trust may contract its right to judicially foreclose to its loan servicer, which may then validly pursue a judicial foreclosure. In doing so, the Court of Appeal failed to adequately consider the important practical implications of its ruling.
11/9/12

Banks should fear ominous new rulings in Fannie/Freddie MBS cases

Alison Frankel Zero dollars? I think not. In fact, I'm prepared to say that based on two rulings this week by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote of Manhattan in the Federal Housing Finance Agency's securities fraud litigation against MBS issuers and underwriters, JPMorgan has exceedingly low odds of getting out of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conservator's case -- which involves claims on $33 billion in JPMorgan, Bear and Washington Mutual MBS -- without a settlement.
11/9/12

Occupy gets into the debt market


A new project to buy up and forgive thousands of dollars worth of debt is, at the very least, pretty clever

Salon The banks’ behavior here, as Hern points out, was telling: They have no reason to care what happens to a house once they’ve sold the mortgage, but they did care when it came to the American Homeowner Preservation project. “The best explanation for their stubbornness is that they fear that organizations like American Homeowner Preservation are creating a sort of moral hazard by reducing the penalties for defaulting on mortgages.”

11/9/12

 

It's everywhere: Fraudulent loans, fraudulent securitizations, fraudulent foreclosures, fraudulent evictions, fraudulent fraud reviews of fraudulent loans, foreclosures, evictions and now...

Rebecca Mairone, Bank of America Exec Who Allegedly Enabled Fraud, Now Head Of JPMorgan Chase Foreclosure Review

An executive who the Justice Department says facilitated a scheme to defraud Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is now spearheading JPMorgan Chase's role in the government's program to compensate victims of the big banks' abusive foreclosure practices.

ProPublica In a lawsuit filed last month in federal court in New York, Justice Department attorneys allege that Countrywide, which was bought by Bank of America in 2008, perpetrated a two-year scam to foist shoddy home loans on Fannie and Freddie. Neither Mairone nor any other individuals are named as defendants in the civil suit, and no criminal charges have been filed against her or anyone else in connection with the alleged misconduct. But Mairone is one of two bank officials cited in the suit as having repeatedly ignored warnings about the "Hustle," as the alleged scheme was called inside the company, and she prohibited employees from circulating some of those warnings outside their division.

The biggest banks often botched loan modifications and regularly subjected customers to errors and abuses, some resulting in mistaken foreclosures. The big banks in general did a poor job, but analyses have shown that Bank of America performed the worst of all. Homeowners had less of a chance of getting a modification from Bank of America than any other major mortgage servicer, studies show.

11/8/12

Spanish Woman Commits Suicide As Foreclosure Agents Walk Into Her Apartment

The suicide of Egaña has been like the straw that broke the camel’s back. 

Forbes A social repudiation of banks’ foreclosure practices has made its way to Madrid, where the Administration of Mariano Rajoy is working on a plan to give subprime debtors some relief. According to El Pais, Rajoy is looking to put into place a two year foreclosure moratorium for subprime debtors.
11/8/12

Woman convicted of loan scam that conned Ventura County homeowners.

There were eight victims, and most lost their homes to foreclosures as a result of the scheme.

Home Equity Theft Reporter Carlson faces more than 11 years behind bars and was convicted of 14 felonies that included foreclosure consulting fraud, grand theft, filing a forged instrument and money laundering.

"One victim in particular worked in the strawberry fields in Oxnard, picked strawberries and saved for years and years," Kardum said. "She saved thousands of dollars, bought a home and was actually current in her mortgage payment when she met these defendants, the criminals."

11/8/12

JPMorgan Reaches Agreement to Settle SEC Mortgage Probes

Bloomberg The agreement in principle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission covers two investigations related to mortgage-backed bonds handled by JPMorgan and Bear Stearns Cos., which the bank acquired in 2008
11/8/12

Lawmakers allocate money for state's foreclosure victims

Lawmakers approved $6 million for counseling and legal services for mortgage foreclosure victims but refused to approve a new financial fraud unit within the Attorney General's Office.

Union Leader If lawmakers would use part of the funds to hire rabid criminal prosecutors to go after the lawless judges and lawyers, people wouldn't need legal services to defend illegal foreclosures. And counseling is needed only after people with certifiable evidence showing state jail felonies occurred, go Fruit Loops -- because they can't get law enforcement to stop it.

A COUNTY RECORDER'S OFFICE SHOULD NOT BE A CRIME SCENE

HOFJ We are in unprecedented times of foreclosure - most of it unlawful in one way or another.

Blazing a bold trail in the fight against unlawful foreclosure are those elected officials who've taken seriously their oath of office.

11/8/12

Group seeks foreclosure moratorium

Religious leaders have joined a group that wants the city to put a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.

Portland Business Journal “As people of faith and leaders in our communities, we call on the mayor and city commissioners to stop spending public money on policies and practices that make bank profits more important than keeping families in their homes,” Prescod said.
11/8/12

Secret Documents Show Weak Oversight of Key Foreclosure Program

The documents mainly concern how servicers were breaking HAMP’s rules, he noted, and “a screw-up is not a trade secret.”

ProPublica There are reasons to question that statement. Two months earlier, a MHA-C audit had found a number of problems at the servicer, including that it had miscalculated homeowner income in more than 80 percent of audited cases.

The documents were hard to obtain. They came as a result of two Freedom of Information Act requests by ProPublica. Initially, the Treasury Department, which administers HAMP, refused to release any documents at all. It was only after ProPublica appealed the denial that Treasury agreed to release some documents, although with large portions blacked out.

11/7/12

Law enforcement figures focus on Inland Empire consumer protection, homeowner fraud

Many of the homeowners lost their homes and life savings

authorities said.

If law enforcement would use their resources to indict the lawyers and judges aiding the banks' Foreclosure Crimes, these other bottom-feeder crimes would disappear. 

RedlandsDailyFacts "This fraud is like a cancer eating away at the law-abiding citizens of the Inland Empire," said Datig. "We are not just working as individuals to end this devastating criminal act, but as an entire community to bring justice to the criminals."

State legislation to relieve overcrowding in the state prison system is a direct threat to law-abiding citizens.  So they are released and find new ways to commit fraud on unsuspecting citizens, he said.

11/7/12

Experts to Examine the Effects and Lessons of the Mortgage Foreclosure Crisis

With almost 9 million homes lost to foreclosure since 2007, the mortgage foreclosure crisis has devastated the economy and the American dream.

Arkansas School of Law The Arkansas Law Review will host a symposium of experts on mortgage and foreclosure law to examine the effects and lessons learned from the mortgage foreclosure crisis. The all-day symposium will begin at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, in the E.J. Ball Courtroom of the University of Arkansas School of Law. The event is free and open to the public and will also offer five hours of continuing legal education credit to practitioners. The symposium will be live streamed at the William H. Bowen School of Law in Little Rock.
11/7/12

SPECIAL REPORT: The DTCC’s $36.5 TRILLION Flood Fraud

 

News Walls Andy Hoffman of Miles Franklin and Bix Weir from Road to Roota join me to discuss the latest breaking Wall Street Fraud: The DTCC’s claim that a large amount of their $36.5 Trillion in securities holdings at 55 Water Street in NYC have been “damaged” by flooding from Hurricane Sandy. How convenient.
11/7/12

U.S. Objects to Ocwen Buy of ResCap Loan

For more than a decade, Ocwen has been a major player in the "theft by deception" scheme designed to take property and wealth from innocent homeowners.

NasDaq The U.S. is worried Ocwen Financial Corp. won't abide by a home-lending industry overhaul that was "designed to protect homeowners from future occurrences of mortgage-related abuse and fraud" when it takes over Residential Capital LLC's servicing platform as part of a $3 billion deal.
2003

First Union Natl. Bank v Tecklenburg

A mortgage lender may be estopped from asserting rights under a mortgage to prevent a fraud or injustice to the person against whom enforcement is sought, who in justifiable reliance upon the lender's words or conduct has been misled to his detriment.

New York Appellate Division, Second Department By securing a mortgage loan from Champion after the plaintiff mistakenly informed him that the mortgage it held had been satisfied, the appellant demonstrated that he underwent a detrimental change in his position in justifiable reliance upon the plaintiff's misrepresentations. 

Specifically, he would now be required to make payments on two mortgages. Accordingly, the complaint, insofar as asserted against the appellant, should have been dismissed with prejudice

11/6/12

Wells Fargo Wachovia Unit Faces Probe Over Mortgage Practices

Everyone already knows Wells Fargo failed to comply with applicable laws, regulations and documentation requirements relating to mortgage originations and securitizations, including those at Wachovia... so...

Reuters ... The bank also said the government is investigating whether Wells Fargo complied with applicable laws, regulations and documentation requirements relating to mortgage originations and securitizations, including those at Wachovia.

Mortgages packaged into securities for investors during the housing boom still haunt big banks years later. Banks have been accused of failing to ensure the quality of the loans and for misrepresenting their risk to investors.
11/6/12

Occupy Our Homes Battles Foreclosures

Eleven of the completed campaigns resulted in either a loan modification, a short sale or a delayed foreclosure for the homeowners, he added.

The Street The shift in her mindset is an example of what many point to as Occupy Our Homes' greatest contribution: The movement has helped chip away at the stigma attached to foreclosure and has spurred distressed homeowners and their neighbors to fight back.
11/6/12

Ex-Swiss Banker Admits Aid to U.S. Tax Evaders

Mr. Bagios was sentenced by Judge Kenneth Marra to time already served, including 37 days in prison and nearly 19 months under house arrest in Miami.

NY Times In a sign that Swiss banks may come under further pressure, the judge cited the former banker’s “substantial” assistance in a broad federal investigation by the Justice Department of Swiss and Swiss-style banks.

He was a senior banker at Credit Suisse when he was arrested in New York in January 2011. He was later charged with helping 150 Americans hide as much as $500 million during his time at UBS.

11/6/12

Can You Cancel or Annul Your Bankruptcy Filing?

Bankruptcy Law Network The short answer to this question is “no,” you cannot cancel your bankruptcy filing and somehow undo the process. You may be able to dismiss your case, or your case may be dismissed by the court, but a dismissal is not the same thing as undoing the process. 
11/6/12

Broward couple wins appeal after house is foreclosed

A foreclosure sale isn’t necessarily the end for some homeowners, as one Broward County couple has found.

The third party that bought the home in foreclosure likely will have to surrender it after getting a refund from the lender.

 

Sun-Sentinel

 

Home Equity Theft Reporter

The appeals court also ruled that the Vidals could continue to seek damages and have the mortgage canceled on the grounds that the lender, Liquidation Properties Inc., allegedly violated the federal Truth in Lending Act, Ruiz said.
Ruiz said both rulings could be precedent-setting and have the potential to affect thousands of other foreclosures in Florida. 
This is a victory for homeowners in a huge way,” he said.
11/6/12

SWAT team brought in to evict homeowner

9news As for Sahara Donahue, she's currently staying with friends. She told the protestors she stayed in her home for the last two years, even though it was under foreclosure, because she was trying to fight the process in court.
11/6/12

Portland couple refuses to leave home despite eviction order

Fox12 Oregon Since the housing crisis hit in 2008, Debbie says her husband was diagnosed with cancer and she had to undergo back surgery. They lost one of their incomes, and then she got cancer as well.

While they were going through a loan modification, Debbie Austin says the bank unjustly started the foreclosure process.
11/6/12

"People have already suffered one disaster, they don’t need two.

Storm-Washing: The New Bank Ploy to Milk Foreclosure Relief PR In Storm-Wrecked Areas

Ever since Superstorm Sandy, we’ve seen the phenomenon of storm-washing from our finance sector. That’s when banks decide to capitalize on the storm and generate some good PR by offering extended relief to homeowners in the storm’s path.

David Dayen - FDL What I find striking is that storm-washing has extended from the GSEs and major servicers to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan has also mandated a 90-day foreclosure moratorium in the area affected by Sandy. Donovan specifically said on a conference call yesterday: “People have already suffered one disaster, they don’t need two.” So one disaster, i.e. being thrown out of your home with illegal documents that no more prove ownership of the property than a Burger King receipt, is OK, as long as the weather stays nice. I see.
11/6/12

HSBC money laundering scandal: a brief overview

HSBC is cutting jobs and scrambling as the courts nail down the final amount they will be fined for money laundering, which will likely surpass $1.5 billion.

AGBeat The pending investigation has negatively affected HSBC’s corporate brand as a number of staff members have left since the start of the investigation and its third quarter profits have fallen by more than 50 percent.
11/5/12

Federal Housing and Finance Agency v. JPMorgan Chase

This is one of sixteen actions currently before this Court in which the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA” or
“the Agency”), as conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (together, the “Government Sponsored Enterprises” or “GSEs”), alleges misconduct on the part of the nation's largest financial institutions in connection with the offer and sale
of mortgage-backed securities purchased by the GSEs in the
period between 2005 and 2007

US District Court 

SD New York

Cote specifically addressed the adequacy of Fannie and Freddie's evidence that the bank knowingly misrepresented underwriting standards on the loans underlying various mortgage-backed notes issued by JPMorgan, Bear and Washington Mutual. Cote pointed to the FHFA complaint's 60-page discussion of deficient underwriting and said they were sufficient to permit the case to proceed. But she also said that the FHFA doesn't have to show underwriting flaws marred each of the mortgage-backed offerings, just that "there was a systematic failure by the defendants in their packaging and sale of RMBS." (MBS geeks should note that in explaining this point, Cote refers to the 2nd Circuit's recent ruling on standing in MBS class actions, which has already hurt JPMorgan in another case.)

VICTORY IN COLORADO:

JUDGE DENIES APPLICATION OF JP MORGAN CHASE FOR ORDER AUTHORIZING SALE, FINDING THAT ALLONGES WERE LEGALLY INSUFFICIENT TO QUALIFY AS ENDORSEMENTS UNDER COLORADO LAW

Jeff Barnes, Esq The ruling is also significant as it held that when a homeowner challenges the authority of a party to foreclose in a Rule 120 proceeding that the court must consider that defense in the Rule 120 hearing, citing the Goodwin decision from the Supreme Court of Colorado.

11/5/12

National Mortgage Settlement Act is gamed by banks, states

At closing, a national lender places a $100,000 fraudulent second mortgage on a home that now has negative equity. The home goes into foreclosure. The national lender has an unsecured note, so it releases the homeowner from the $100,000 mortgage, forgives the uncollectible debt and claims a credit $100,000 as “relief” to the homeowner.

Kevin F. Jursinski, Esq. However, keep in mind that the $100,000 second mortgage was a fraudulent or uncollectible mortgage and the homeowner receives no reimbursement but the national lender takes a $100,000 credit toward the penalty it was supposed to pay out.

Unless these second mortgages were collectible, the national lenders just received more than $32 million in credit for canceling uncollectible notes.

11/5/12

Sweet Justice: Turning The Bank’s Fraud Against It

The Mortgage Settlement payment offered Lara was her bank’s way of apologizing to her for using illegal means to gain foreclosure. This mea culpa by the bank could turn out to be a huge break for Lara. 

Dan McGookey, Esq. Since the foreclosure is still pending, it presents a clear opportunity for her to go back to the court and ask it to set aside the old judgment. The argument is almost irrefutable in its logic – the recompense offered Lara is the next best thing to an out-and-out admission of wrongdoing by the bank in her foreclosure case. Given this admission, what is the court to do when asked to prevent the bank from benefiting from its own wrongdoing?
11/5/12

ResCap Buyer Must Honor Mortgage Settlement, U.S. Says

Bloomberg Bankrupt Residential Capital LLC should be barred from selling its mortgage servicing unit to Ocwen Financial Corp. (OCN) unless Ocwen agrees to honor ResCap’s portion of a $25 billion legal settlement with the U.S. and 49 states, government lawyers said in court papers.
11/5/12

Cuyahoga County drops property values for 60 percent of homeowners who ask

Cleveland Nearly 60 percent of taxpayers who argued to reduce their new property values during Cuyahoga County's informal-review process got their wishes granted.
More than 25,000 homeowners filed complaints between July and September as part of a six-year, state-mandated property reappraisal. 
11/4/12

Moron Follows Bank's Criminal Playbook But Keeps Landing in Jail 

He is forgetting the most important requirement to be able to steal with no possibility of jail time.

Home Equity Theft Reporter

Bankster Crime Checklist:

- Advertise

- Get homeowner to sign bogus contract.

- Forge document

- Steal money from homeowner

- Operate without a license

- Sell home you do not own

- Be a bank ???

11/4/12

Anger over foreclosure threatens new owner

Now he and his family are too terrified to move in.

Columbus Dispatch A man pulled up in a black pickup truck, hopped out and told him that he was the rightful homeowner and that Salek’s purchase was a “fraud.”

“He said he used to live here,” Kane recalled. “He started talking about how people get shot for moving into other people’s homes.”
11/3/12

County Recorders vs. the MERS Machine

Becker says MERS has made a mess of the files she was elected to safeguard for Montgomery’s citizens, and that the corporation has deprived her community of much-needed revenue.

Bloomberg The bottom line: Land offices around the country are trying to recoup millions of dollars in fees they say they were shorted during the housing boom.

Looting is a criminal offense.

Back From the Vomitorium: The Looting of the Mortgage Settlement Agreement

States are looting the Mortgage Settlement Fund, and the odds are good that you or someone you know is getting robbed -- for the second time.

Banks steal homes and equity; get caught, pay a fine to the homeowner, but the state runs off with the money.

Huff Post It's time we reject this sort of short-term thinking and get serious about long-term solutions. That means punishing those who treat American homeowners' finances like a piggy bank to be raided at will. It is totally indefensible that any governor would feel justified in plugging an "unpluggable" budget hole with funds that could be dedicated to assuring 2008 never happens again.

If you've been hurt by your mortgage servicer, this is your money and your future.

11/2/12

Ohio Foreclosure Victims: Reopen your Foreclosure case!

Ohio Foreclosure victims - REOPEN your foreclosure case and get it vacated!!!

Dan McGookey, esq. "every court order based on a defective complaint is void ab initio (from the beginning). Thus it would seem there could be tens, if not hundreds of thousands of void foreclosure judgments in the State of Ohio. This would be true even in those cases where the subject property was sold, and the case concluded years ago."

11/2/12

Motion to Vacate Filed within Hours of Ohio Supreme Court Decision

This case to watch now is Washington Mutual v. Betty Wallace.

The Ohio Supreme Court determined that a conflict exists and the WAMU case is held for the decision in Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. v. Duane Schwartzwald et al.; briefing is stayed.

Mills & Mills As a result, the Court's August 26, 2010 entry granting Plaintiffs motion for summary judgment and issuing a decree of foreclosure should be void ab initio (as opposed to voidable).
Accordingly, based upon the foregoing, Defendant respectfully requests that the August 26,2010
entry be vacated and this matter otherwise dismissed.

AMERICAN BANKS ARE ON A MASSIVE CRIME SPREE.

OBAMA AND ROMNEY HOPE YOU WON’T NOTICE

FOUR MAJOR CRIMES AGAINST AMERICA. MILLIONS OF VICTIMS. ZERO EXECUTIVES JAILED.

Houston Press

4closureFraud

"My biggest mistake in life was that I committed my crimes in the 1980s," he says. "If I committed them today, I wouldn't even get house arrest."

"If there are no consequences," asks Sam Antar, "what incentive do I have to not be a criminal?"

11/2/12

A.G. Schneiderman Sues JPMorgan For Fraudulent Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Issued By Bear Stearns

Lawsuit Charges Bear Stearns Misrepresented Quality Of Loans, Deceived Investors & Contributed To Mortgage Crisis

Bear Stearns RMBS Trusts Incurred Billions In Losses

New York Attorney General Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a Martin Act lawsuit against J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (formerly known as Bear Stearns & Co. Inc.), JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., and EMC Mortgage LLC (formerly known as EMC Mortgage Corporation) for making fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions to promote the sale of residential mortgage­-backed securities (RMBS) to investors.

11/2/12

Foreclosure Review Pays Consultant $4 for Each $1 to Homeowners

If banks were in control, the argument goes, they would prefer to offer potentially wronged borrowers as much as $10,000 each and only review the files of those who declined. Financially, that would be more beneficial than paying $12,500 per-customer for reviews, plus borrower compensation.

American Banker Bank of America's reviewers themselves expressed varying views the process. One contract worker said he believes it's a charade. Another was ambivalent. A third, a senior reviewer, called it a good-faith effort to rectify wrongs. The three employees did agree that there is widespread belief among ground-level reviewers that Bank of America made egregious errors during foreclosures proceedings.

11/2/12

(PricewaterhouseCoopers is the outfit conducting the mortgage settlement reviews to calculate how much money the homeowners should receive.)

The Complaint in:

FDIC Hits Colonial Bank Auditors With $1B Negligence Suit

All the time that Taylor Bean & Whitaker was carrying out an increasingly brazen and costly fraud against Colonial, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Crowe Horwath LLP never realized that many hundreds of millions of dollars of Bank assets did not exist, had been sold to others, or were worthless.

Law360

StopForeclosureFraud

Rather, as demonstrated more fully below, PwC repeatedly issued unqualified opinions that Colonial’s financial statements were fairly stated and effective internal controls were in place, while Crowe consistently overlooked serious internal control issues and failed to evaluate properly controls for the financing programs used by TBW. Missing huge holes in Colonial’s balance sheet and serious gaps in internal control, PwC and Crowe continued to perform auditing services for Colonial without ever detecting the TBW fraud. Had they performed their auditing work in accordance with applicable professional standards, they would have learned of the TBW fraud in time to prevent additional losses suffered by Colonial at the hands of TBW.

11/1/12

Ohio Supreme Court Rules on Lender Foreclosure Actions

It is unclear what effect this decision will have on prior judgments, although it is very possible that borrowers will try to use Schwartzwald as a basis to vacate existing judgments where the lender-creditor obtained its interest through an assignment.

Frantz Wald LLP Freddie Mac argued that any lack of interest in the note and mortgage could be cured before judgment under Civil Rule 17(A), which states that no action should be dismissed until a reasonable time has been allowed for “ratification of commencement of the action by, or joinder or substitution of, the real party in interest.” The Court rejected this argument, holding that a trial court “cannot substitute a real party in interest for another party if no party with standing has invoked jurisdiction in the first instance.

11/1/12

 

Schwartzwald Case means that Foreclosed Homeowners Should Take A Second Look Legal Issues Related to Their Foreclosure.

If you have been sued for foreclosure over the past several years and even if the matter has been resolved by way of a loan modification or a cash for keys settlement, you should consult a lawyer about whether or not you have claims against the companies involved in suing you. 

DannLaw In Federal Home Mortgage Corporation v. Schwartzwald the Court unanimously agreed with the position that our firm has been strongly advocating for the past 4 years that only someone who actually holds a homeowner’s note and mortgage may use the courts of Ohio to foreclose on their homes.

In the Schwartwald Decision, the Ohio Supreme Court has said definitively that courts that granted Judgments in such circumstances were without jurisdiction to do so, and that courts that our currently deciding cases must dismiss those where the lender did not possess the note and mortgage prior to filing their foreclosure complaint.

This seems obvious. But apparently not to the loan servicers and their foreclosure mill co-conspirators who gleefully sued thousands of Ohioans on behalf of entities that had no right the use the courts of Ohio.

11/1/12

Texas judge dismisses homeowner’s case against MERS

MERS has been the target of many lawsuits from counties claiming unpaid fees, but a homeowner recently tried their hand at suing and has failed, thus far.

Huml is considering filing an appeal with the fifth court.

Tara Steele

AGBeat

Economist Barry Ritholtz said, “The politics of this are quite fascinating: The bankers may own the corrupt US Congress, and they may have intimidated or bought off many of the more cowardly State Attorneys General, but there simply are too many counties and District Attorneys representing local interests throughout the country to all be bought off. Buying/intimidating/controlling all of the local country District Attorneys may be like herding cats — nearly impossible. I am going to stand by my original prediction: The early litigants may get something, but the latter lawsuits will likely result in bankrupting MERS.”
11/1/12

Trick Questions From the Judge

If you have a hearing on a motion to quash, motion to dismiss, motion for summary judgment or any other hearing in which it has not been specifically noticed as an evidential hearing at which witnesses and exhibits will be proffered as evidence, then you should challenge the Judge if he asks you a factual question.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

The appropriate answer is something like this (Check with local counsel): “Judge, this hearing was noticed as a hearing on the motion filed by XXXX, and relates to oral argument regarding the legal sufficiency of YYYY. I am reluctant to answer your question because it turns the hearing, over my strenuous objection, into an evidential hearing, for which I have had no notice, no opportunity to prepare and no opportunity to gather witnesses. Your question further presumes a fact that is not in evidence which is whether or not I ever had any financial transactions with these people or their predecessors — a fact that I have denied.”
11/1/12

CFPB issues new warnings for financial institutions in its denial of another petition to modify or set aside a civil investigative demand

By now you may have heard that the CFPB has now twice denied petitions to modify or set aside a civil investigative demand (CID). No surprises here, and the CFPB has yet to modify or set aside such a CID. 

Lexology As reported by our CFPB-Lawblog in September, the CFPB earlier denied a petition by PHH Corporation (PHH). Now CFPB Director Cordray has again refused to modify or set aside a petition from Next Generation Debt Settlement, Inc. In this most recent denial, Cordray now includes some meaningful warnings for financial services providers regarding the CID process.
11/1/12

Attorney Tom Corea Got Evicted, So Naturally He Tore the Place Up 

UnFair Park Corea called after receiving the eviction notice and politely asked for time to move out. But Corea, already facing criminal charges and a slew of civil lawsuits for allegedly screwing clients out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, was not about to let this latest indignity to go unavenged. 

MAJOR

11/1/12

 

Foreclosure Reviews: Exorbitant for Banks, Gold Mines for Consultants

Obscured in the feuding is an issue potentially even more troubling than the questions about the consultants' independence: the cost of running the reviews has spiraled out of all proportion to their potential benefits.

Kick-backs perhaps?

American Banker Bankruptcy filings by ResCap, the former GMAC mortgage servicer slated to be acquired by Ocwen, state that the company will pay consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers $12,500 to review each of 20,000 loans for a total cost of a quarter-billion dollars. Yet ResCap expects to pay only $35 million to $60 million to harmed homeowners.

Homeowner gets $860.00 - $2,000.00 as compensation for the intentional destruction of your life, stolen equity, theft of your home, and multiple civil and criminal wrongs committed against you;
PricewaterhouseCoopers get $12,500.00 to review your single file.

11/1/12**

Foreclosure Scam Update: It Just Gets Worse

I later found out from court documents that the winning bid that paid well over the current market price for this home & effectively excluded all local buyers was non other than Freddie Mac, the government-owned (read taxpayer-funded ) mortgage broker.

The town house then remained empty for months and I foolishly lost interest in the story. However, a recent follow up investigation reveals that the property was finally put out for sale with a local real estate agent who sold it in July 2011 for the fair market price of $160,000. That's almost $40,000 less than the figure paid at auction by one government subsidized organization to another government bailed out bank -- all done with taxpayer's money!

OpEd Now think about it -- really think about it! All over the nation in hundreds of courthouses, there are thousands, maybe even millions of foreclosed homes that have been sold, or will be sold, by corrupt financial institutions to incompetent government backed mortgage brokers - all funded by the US taxpayer!

Here we have the ultimate scam! The crooked banks get back all their losses and even make a profit; Freddie Mac makes money on the fees it charges; working Americans are bid out of buying affordable homes at foreclosure auctions but they still have to borrow money from those same banks when the properties are sold in the open market; and its all done with our taxpayer $'s!

Wake up America! You are being raped by the very people you are about to vote for!
11/1/12

Boca Raton couple tormented by foreclosure that won’t go away

One West declined to comment for this story. And it’s unclear how Nationstar got involved. It did buy Colorado -based Aurora Loan Services in July, but how Aurora got the Strassburger debt is also unclear. (The story makes it very clear; it is called FRAUD. IndyMac and every company named above have been found to be involved in this "theft by deception scheme")

Pam Beach Post Then, six months after the foreclosure auction, they got a letter congratulating them on their successful loan modification. The bank vacated the foreclosure sale. “You should be happy, we just gave you back your house,” Deborah remembers the bank’s attorney saying. 

“We weren’t getting the house back, we were getting slapped with huge back payments that there’s no way we could pay,” said Deborah, a career nurse.

11/1/12

The Servicers, The Banks, The Debt Collectors DO NOT OWN THE NOTES THEY ARE  FORECLOSING…  

THEY ARE NOT “Holders” Under the Uniform Commercial Code!

Fannie holder status

Matt Weidner, Esq. The debt collectors in most cases do not own the notes they are foreclosing on. But that does not stop them from going into courtrooms all across this country and committing perjury, fraud and engaging in improper legal tactics in pursuit of their activities to throw Amerikans into the street.
11/1/12

Wells Fargo challenges feds' mortgage-fraud lawsuit

The U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan sued Wells Fargo on Oct. 9 seeking damages and penalties for more than 10 years of alleged misconduct. 

Marin IJ The bank said it is seeking an order barring the government from pursuing certain claims included in the new lawsuit. Wells Fargo said it is also seeking other relief to "compensate Wells Fargo for the injuries suffered as a result of the repetitive litigation" from the new U.S. lawsuit.
11/1/12

State Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway under FBI investigation 

The probe comes as a result of a 7 Action News investigation into a dizzying property shuffle Hathaway made prior to her bank granting a short sale.

Home Equity Theft Reporter "It just sounds like, listen I’m going to park these assets in your name for a while, there’ll be deeds recorded, you’ll own them for all intents and purposes but our deal is, because you’re my child…when the trouble passes, you’re going to transfer the property back to me," he said.
10/31/12

Who Killed Lucia and Leo Krim?

The bloody warning had not been lost on CNBC, which immediately after the slaying of Lucia and Leo removed the article from their website. 

Dissident Voice On 10/25/2012 two corporate financial media bastions, MarketWatch (an affiliate of the Wall Street Journal) and CNBC, presented their readers with a bombshell. In a too-good-to-be-true lawsuit, the top echelons of the USA’s banking and civilian government had been sued for “racketeering and money laundering.”

10/31/12

Few Housing Solutions Offered in Presidential Race

That's because housing is generally not a winning issue, especially with the bulk of the damage confined to a few Sun Belt states, including California and Arizona, which are not in play in this election.

Analysts think the silence is telling. "They don't have any ideas they could sell in Washington," Brown said.

ABC Levin, who retired from his job as a real estate attorney at age 49, is not the sort to pine for big government programs. But he is steadily losing the rental properties he owns, and watching friends and neighbors lose their own nest eggs and homes.

"I'm a hard-core Republican, but this is wrong," said Levin, 69. "How many families have suffered because of these banks?"

10/31/12

Blazing the Trail

These are unprecedented times, so it should come as no surprise that, in the history of jurisprudence, our court system has never before been confronted with some of the legal issues with which we now deal on a daily basis. As a result, to defend homeowners the right way, we have no choice but to argue things we may have never argued before – to present arguments to judges they may have never heard before, for which there is no case law.

 

Post includes 14 Orders where Mark won the arguments.

To help everyone (including judges unfamiliar with the argument) realize this argument has worked, and can work in the future. Everyone in foreclosure-world should be aware of these arguments.

Mark Stopa, Esq I’ve made that same argument many times before Florida judges, often before judges who had never heard it before.

Sometimes, quite candidly, it’s not easy. A few times, the judge seemed to think I was nuts, at least at first, when I told the court that I wanted summary judgment for my client. Typically, however, once I get into the argument, and explain why my client should prevail, that initial skepticism is replaced with intrigue at the argument. Often, in fact, these judges have agreed with my position, entering orders granting summary judgment and dismissing the case.

Invariably, do you know what happens when I go back before that same judge a second time? Or a third time? It’s easier. The judge is familiar with the argument. The judge understands the legal issues and knows how they apply. I’m no longer the crazy lawyer asking for a client who hasn’t paid his/her mortgage to prevail, but the lawyer making sound, legitimate arguments that are perfectly consistent with the law.
10/31/12

Barclays Discloses FCPA Probe Putting it in U.S.'s Crosshairs AGAIN

  Four months after settling for $160 million with the Justice Department over interest rate manipulation, the London multinational banking and financial announced to the London Stock Exchange that it was under investigation for potential foreign bribery by both the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company said it was fully cooperating with the investigations, which concerned third-party relationships.

10/31/12

Foreclosed homes, abandoned properties remain citywide (Bank Created) problem

Just over four years ago, before the foreclosure crisis began to take hold, inspectors for the city's Department of Neighborhood Services didn't have to spend a lot of time inspecting abandoned or vacant homes.

That's all changed.

Milwaukee Journal The thieves are relentless. City workers know now that boarding up a first floor of a home isn't enough. Thieves find a way to the second floor to break in and strip the place bare of copper and other valuable infrastructure. Even the aluminum siding is taken.

The city has used sturdier boarding to keep vandals and thieves out. But still they come, looking for anything worth salvaging and reselling.

"Once the scavengers hit, fundamentally it seals the fate of that building," Dahlberg said. "At some point in time, that is a demolition candidate."

10/31/12

DISTURBING...

Legal win means little after Foreclosure

What distinguishes the Gin family is that they sued - and won. A San Mateo Superior Court jury last month found that OneWest acted fraudulently. Legal experts said it may be the first instance of a California jury finding that a bank committed wrongful foreclosure by dual tracking.

However, the jury awarded the Gins just $13,500, which didn't even cover their legal expenses. To get the house back, they'd have to pony up the full amount they owe on the mortgage, which they can't do.

SFGate "Wait a minute, I thought this was America," he said. "If someone defrauds you, you go to court and the wrongdoer should make the other side whole. The jury found there was fraud and (OneWest) wrongfully foreclosed on the property, but they said 'That's OK because (OneWest's) lawyer indicated it was upside down.' If that's the case, it means it's OK for banks to foreclose on anybody who's upside down."
His attorney, Steven Finley of San Francisco's Hennefer, Finley & Wood, explained the reasoning. The jury "found that the foreclosure was wrongful and fraudulent, but because the property was underwater, (the Gins) received no damages," he said. "Under wrongful foreclosure actions, you only get lost equity."

The homeowners in this case are considering a second lawsuit to try to get their home back.

10/31/12

10/31/12

It's UNANIMOUS! 

Commonsense prevails!

OHIO SUPREME COURT SETTLES FORECLOSURE CONFLICT 

Receiving an assignment of a promissory note and mortgage
from the real party in interest subsequent to the filing of an action but prior to the entry of judgment does not cure a lack of standing to file a foreclosure action.

Andrew Engle Federal Home Loan commenced this foreclosure action before it
obtained an assignment of the promissory note and mortgage securing the Schwartzwalds’ loan. The Schwartzwalds maintained that Federal Home Loan lacked standing to sue. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Federal Home Loan and entered a decree of foreclosure. The appellate court
affirmed, holding that Federal Home Loan had remedied its lack of standing when it obtained an assignment from the real party in interest.

Ohio Supreme Court Rules for Homeowners in Foreclosure Case

The ruling may allow a limited number of people who lost their homes to return to court and ask that the foreclosure ruling against them be set aside, Engel said.

Cleveland The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled that a third-party mortgage company cannot foreclose on a property that it did not have a connection to at the time of the initial complaint.
"The lack of standing at the commencement of a foreclosure action requires dismissal of the complaint," the court wrote.

Supreme Court ruling hailed as safeguard for homeowners

The ruling will stop the practice of some foreclosures being granted despite lenders never producing important documentation, said one lawyer who specializes in such cases.

Columbus Dispatch (If Ohio courts had just followed common law and commonsense for the last 20 years, or Ohio judge Christopher Boyko's 2007 opinion, Ohio would not have become the epicenter of property theft that sacrificed thousands of its own residents in favor of the banks' criminal enterprise. MSF)

Ohio S. Ct: Standing is jurisdictional at the beginning of the foreclosure

Once you prove the assignment is materially defective YOU (following Stopa’s strategy) should move for summary judgment in favor of the homeowner or file a renewed motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction because the document upon which they rely is fabricated, forged, robo-signed and false.

Neil Garfield If they want to come back in and go for it again, they could conceivably use the new assignment and pass the threshold for the jurisdictional requirement of standing. BUT that doesn’t mean you should admit or accept the assignment as having any validity. This is where an inquiry into the assignment, why it wasn’t done before and whether any money was paid for the assignment. If there was no money exchanging hands (which in 99% of cases is true) then even the new foreclosure fails the financial injury test.

Ohio Supreme Court Reverses Schwartzwald

In the Ohio Supreme Court's decision today, I believe that there is a much stronger argument to be made that the lack of standing creates a jurisdictional flaw that results in a VOID judgment.

Bruce Broyles, Esq. While the issue was not expressly addressed, I believe the language of the opinion allows motions to vacate void judgments based upon the lack of standing.

A void judgment can be challenged at any time. The issue can be raised at any point in the proceedings. The issue cannot be waived. 

10/31/12

Fannie and Freddie Offer Breaks to Homeowners in Path of Superstorm Sandy, After Pushing to Foreclose Faster on Same Areas

David Dayen - FDL Well, now we know what it will take to put a stop to the foreclosure crisis – a massive storm affecting the entire Eastern seaboard. For homes in that area at risk of foreclosure, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer a small bit of mortgage relief:
10/31/12

Fannie, Freddie Sued in Florida Over Transfer Taxes

Harbey Ruvin v. Fannie/Freddie

Bloomberg

 

Complaint - 4closurefraud

Miami-Dade claims that tax exemptions for federal agencies don’t apply to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because, while federally chartered, “they are private corporations and not government entities,” according to the lawsuit.
10/30/12

How Fannie Enriches Private Equity Investors at Taxpayer and Homeowner Expense

Pacifica’s cost of capital – the interest Fannie charges – appears to be zero, which is very bad for Fannie. Accountants might even argue that the management fee plus rental income constitutes a negative interest rate, paying Pacifica to accept free capital.

Michael Olenick Federal law mandates that the FHFA force the agencies to minimize losses while promoting affordable housing. Somehow enabling a couple to own their own home in five years, for the price of rent – while recovering more overall money for Fannie – doesn’t meet the goal. However, enriching investors on the other side of the country does.

Before we rant and rave that FHFA Director Ed DeMarco’s gotta’ go let’s remember that it’s Evil Overlord Geithner who enabled and even encouraged this type of nonsense, using DeMarco to deflect attention.
10/30/12

Foreclosures closing in on McHenry County baby boomers

“It was just upsetting to think that people who owned a home for 20, 25 years were losing it and did lose it,” Dolan said.

Northwest Herald “If you can think about how hard it might be for you to move at your age, think about someone who has been in a home for 20 or 25 years, is 70 years old and has to think about packing up and moving.

(They have no idea they are all victims of a theft by deception scheme. MSF)

10/30/12

Partnership to complete foreclosure on Las Vegas Hilton

Las Vegas Review On Wednesday, a partnership between Goldman Sachs Mortgage Co. LLC and the New York-based real estate investment firm Gramercy Capital Corp. will complete the foreclosure on the 2,950-room off Strip property.
10/30/12

Landmark Mortgage Servicing Settlement Funds Not Going to Housing Intentions

The Report

reverse mortgage daily Funds resulting from a settlement totaling more than $25 billion were intended to go in part to prevent foreclosures, stabilize communities and prevent and prosecute financial fraud

Instead, the vast majority of funds are going to states’ general funds. 

10/30/12

US housing: After the gold rush

Critics say authorities are pursuing petty crooks but going easy on Wall Street when it comes to mortgage fraud

FT Prosecutors at the DoJ say they have tried to bring criminal cases against big US banks for their role in the housing bubble but proving criminal intent has been difficult. Huh? Are you kidding????
10/29/12

Whistleblower Awarded $38 Million From IRS For Outing Tax Dodge At Major Company

Huff Post It is unknown how much money the IRS collected in additional taxes. But the agency could have collected up to $250 million, based on the law determining how much a whistleblower can collect for information, which ranges between 15 and 30 percent of the tax recovery.
10/29/12

Foreclosure victims buying homes again

The banks wouldn't steal from us twice would they?  They have been doing just that since at least 2000.

Contra Costa Times The borrowers are "people who waited three years, have a job and qualify," Godfrey said. "They have their credit, have a job and things are looking better. They may not be perfect ... but that's part of the way to move forward. Clearly there is some thawing in that area."
 

10/29/12

Pre-existing Evictions - Community Activists Try to Stop Banks From Foreclosing on Cancer Victims

Wells Fargo and US Bank have chosen to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month by trying to evict breast cancer survivors from their homes.

Huff Post You can help by:

Signing this petition to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf and US Bank CEO Richard Davis to stop sickness evictions and commit to no more illness foreclosures.
- Adding your name to the more than 13,000 people who have already signed this other petition on behalf of Ana Casas Wilson.
- Emailing your friends and posting this on your Facebook page to encourage others to join the campaign to help Ana and others like her save their homes from unfair evictions.
10/29/12

HSBC v. PUCCINI

ORDERED that this motion by defendant Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee for Fremont Home Loan Series 2006-3 (Deutsche Bank) for summary judgment on its first counterclaim against plaintiff, declaring that Deutsche Bank is the lawful owner and holder of a valid first mortgage against the subject premises,...

Supreme Court, Suffolk County ... declaring that the credit line mortgage was paid in full and is discharged and satisfied of record, and declaring that plaintiff and all persons claiming by, through and under it be forever barred from all claims to an estate or interest in the subject premises, and granting defendant Deutsche Bank summary judgment dismissing the complaint as against it and cancelling the notice of pendency filed by plaintiff is DENIED.
10/29/12

Deutsche Bank v. Cuesta

ORDERED, that this unopposed motion  by the plaintiff for, inter alia, an order: ...

Supreme Court, Suffolk County ...(1) pursuant to CPLR 3212 awarding summary judgment in its favor against the defendant, Martha L. Cuesta, and striking her answer and affirmative defenses; (2) pursuant to RPAPL 5 1321 appointing a referee to (a) compute amounts due under the subject mortgage; and (b) examine and report whether the subject premises should be sold in one parcel or multiple parcels; and (3) amending the caption, is DENIED without prejudice. 
10/29/12

White Paper Asserts Sham Transactions

As stated on these pages many times, you don’t need a statute in order to have a cause of action or even to arrest and prosecute a crime. The author agrees: “Until this practice is legislated into criminal activity, it remains a crime under the Common Law.”

 

 

 

Deed of Trust Commentary

 

 

 

Living Lies

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Robert Marshall. Research Desk.
Producers Management Trust

I would suggest that the article be attached to every expert declaration, report and analysis. For the lawyers, I strongly urge you to consider challenging and denying that the money paid by your client went to the right people (the creditor(s), and that the money used to fund the loan created a common law obligation that was undocumented —- because the documents that were used contained three major defects: (1) they identified a party that neither loaned nor purchased the loan on the note and mortgage and (2) they provided for terms of repayment that differed from the mortgage bond pledged to the investor-lenders in the REMICs (Trusts) and (3) the use of proceeds of receipts and payments directly conflict between the note, the mortgage bond and the actual pattern of conduct employed in diverting (i.e., stealing) money from the money stream to the detriment of both the investor-lenders and the homeowner borrowers.
10/29/12

Foreclosures: So easy, even a Cable Company it trying it

The homeowners of the Palm Cay community said Cablevision has threatened them with liens and foreclosure.

Home Equity Theft Reporter When the community, for ages 55-plus, was built back in the 1980s, cable was considered one of the amenities -- homeowners had to pay for it.

But the service has changed hands over the years. The Gaze's said the old rules no longer apply and they haven't paid their bill in years, so they took the case to court with dozens of their neighbors in tow.

10/28/12

The Banks Devise a New Deal for Homeowners: Token Relief for Liability Waivers

The failings of the 49-state foreclosure fraud settlement have by now become so obvious that even traditional media cannot ignore it.

David Dayen - FDL I guarantee you’re going to see the banks try this with respect to their other settlements. They will give principal relief or a cash offer in exchange for a liability waiver. And that private right of action that was allegedly preserved in the settlements (a dubious claim anyway, considering the expense of mounting a suit of that type) will melt away again.

10/28/12

Deutsche Bank takes another home in dubious Queens Foreclosure case

Queens Foreclosure Attorney Brian McCaffrey said “this case could have been fought and won on its merits” and “it’s a shame that Deutsche Bank was allowed to coast through the process without ever having to prove to the Court that they actually had standing to foreclose”

DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST v. CLEMENT 

Examiner In this case the Mortgage Loan was never owned by the Trust at all. Instead just prior to starting the foreclosure action an assignment of mortgage was filed in the office of the Queens County Clerk, more than five years after the Trust closed.

It is painfully obvious to anyone who looks that Deutsche Bank did not own the loan, yet Deutsche Bank was able to violate the laws of New York and IRS Code with abandon and take a home away from the homeowner without ever having to prove that they had the right to do so. Surprisingly, all of this was done under the watchful eyes of the Courts of New York State.
10/28/12

Why Does the SEC Protect Banks’ Dirty Secrets?

“I’m outraged, quite frankly,” Bowen told me. “I had been told that once the investigations were concluded that my material would be available to the public via FOIA. 

Bloomberg And to hear now that the SEC has made the decision that no, it cannot be available, I know nothing about the legal side of this, but quite frankly, I’m totally outraged.”

Last week, I filed my own FOIA request for Bowen’s documents and testimony. On Oct. 22, I received an acknowledgement letter from the agency. My tracking number is 13-00937-FOIA. Trust me, I’ll let you know if the SEC gives me anything more than it gave Ivry. But I won’t be counting on it.

10/28/12

Ocwen Sale: ResCap’s Servicing Employees Fear Outsourcing

Mortgage Servicing News When Ocwen’s winning bid of ResCap was unveiled, there was palatable fear among ResCap’s servicing employees that their jobs might be at stake because Ocwen is well known for housing most of its servicing employees overseas – in India and Ecuador.
10/27/12

The Perils of Feeding a Bloated Industry

THEY say the wheels of justice grind slowly, but should it really have taken more than five years for the Justice Department to discover that Countrywide Financial, the mortgage mania’s top creator of risky loans, dumped a load of that junk on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

STUDY: The Growth of Modern Finance

NY Times Still, if the Justice Department’s lawsuit keeps taxpayers focused on the high societal costs that financial institutions like Countrywide have inflicted, that is all to the good. This is especially true given the immensity of the financial services industry and the power it continues to wield.

It is worth remembering that the credit crisis and ensuing economic downturn followed a spectacular expansion in the financial business, compared with other industries. Assessing the nature of that growth and whether it has benefited society is the subject of powerful new research. 

10/26/12

Widow Scammed Out Of $5,000 Nearly Lost Home

Cecelia turned to a refinancing program that promised to reduce her mortgage payments. “It's all set up to look like it’s government, but it's not.”

h/t HETR She didn't realize she had been misled until after paying monthly fees totaling $5,000 to Financial Services Center. “I gave this company my mortgage money and they never sent it in to the mortgage company, so now I'm in danger of losing my home.”

The Better Business Bureau gives Financial Services Center of Corona, California an “F” rating with 66 complaints, a lot like Cecelia's.

10/26/12

The Oddest Revelation From the Bank of America Fraud Suit

There is something very weird about the civil complaint the Justice Department filed this week against Bank of America for allegedly defrauding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Curiously, the suit is seeking damages for acts that Countrywide Financial Corp. committed before Fannie and Freddie were seized by the government -- back when U.S. officials were adamant that Fannie and Freddie didn’t have any implicit government guarantee. 

Bloomberg Fannie and Freddie were placed into government conservatorship in September 2008. Until then, the government’s position was that Fannie and Freddie were for-profit, private-sector, shareholder-owned corporations -– and most definitely not part of the government.
During testimony before Congress in 2003, then-Treasury Secretary John Snow explicitly denied there was any implicit government guarantee of Fannie or Freddie: “We do not believe there is any government guarantee, and we go out of our way to say there is not a government guarantee,” he said. “We need to be on guard against this perception. It is a perception. It is not, in our view, a reality.”
10/26/12

California Regulator Hammers Underwriter Peddling Force-Placed Insurance With 30.5% Rate Reduction; Homeowner Savings Estimated At $42.7M

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones [] announced a 30.5 percent rate reduction, for "lender-placed" (also called force-placed) homeowner insurance coverage offered by American Security Insurance Company (an Assurant Inc.-owned company).

Home Equity Theft Reporter Force-placed insurance has been the subject of national scrutiny and there have been investigatory hearings regarding this insurance in the states of New York and Florida, as well as at the annual meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

In March, Commissioner Jones contacted the state's largest "lender-placed coverage" insurers to express his concerns about apparent excessive rates. He directed insurers to submit new rate filings with the California Department of Insurance (CDI) to determine if rates could be reduced.

10/26/12

Neil Barofsky on the Need to Tackle Banking Reform

Between President Obama’s ineffectual proposals and Mitt Romney’s loving embrace, bankers have little to fear from either administration, and that leaves the rest of America on perilously thin economic ice.

Bill Moyers  Neil Barofsky, who held the thankless job of special inspector general in charge of policing TARP, the bailout’s Troubled Asset and Relief Plan, joins Bill to discuss the critical yet unmet need to tackle banking reform and avoid another financial meltdown.
10/26/12

Wells Fargo sends refunds to some FHA mortgage customers

The bank says the customers paid unnecessary fees for their loans. If customers cash the checks, they can't later sue Wells Fargo.

Although the federal government has not pursued criminal prosecutions of bankers at the heart of the mortgage operations that collapsed in 2007, it has stepped up civil lawsuits against the largest originators and securitizers of home loans during the boom.

L.A. Times Pomona resident Eric Murrillo -Angelo received a $6,676.89 check last month in a letter saying he "may have qualified for a conventional conforming mortgage" instead of the FHA loan he got in March 2010.

Analysts said the letters sent to potentially 10,000 Wells Fargo borrowers were a way for the bank to sidestep further litigation over "steering" customers into unfavorable loans — allegations that the government has made about certain Wells Fargo operations in the past.

10/26/12

Madoff Has Met His Match:

Mortgage Fraud Crime of the Century

Forbes Why is mortgage fraud such a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the world of scamdom? Because it combined easy money, greed and securitizing that avarice all over the world. It was based on the myth that home prices don’t decline and quick profits could be had by nearly anyone. 
10/26/12

Wells Fargo Thumbs its Nose at Judge and Evicts Anyway


On the morning of October 10, Orange County deputies broke down Niko Black's door despite a court order taped to it forbidding them to do so, put a gun in her face and crumpled up the court order. They then carried her out of the home in her wheel chair and left her on the sidewalk while they locked up her home. The deputies locked her medication and medical equipment in the house as well, denying her access to it.

Richard Zombeck

Huff Post

"Wells Fargo filed a motion about an inch thick all the reasons why they should be allowed to evict me," Black told the OC Weekly. "The federal judge denied them and stated very clearly they are not to. The bank illegally acquired an unlawful detainer, an eviction, without due process. They did it with fraudulent paperwork."

According to witnesses, Jason R. Burris, an attorney for Wells Fargo, with a full eleven months of experience, ordered deputies to ignore the federal order and forcibly remove Black from the home. They also broke windows and smashed a security camera placed over the front door.

10/25/12

Major Banks, Governmental Officials and Their Comrade Capitalists Targets of Spire Law Group, LLP's

Racketeering and Money Laundering Lawsuit Seeking Return of $43 Trillion 

to the United States Treasury

Spire intro letter to inquiries

Spire Law Group Spire Law Group, LLP's national home owners' lawsuit, pending in the venue where the "Banksters" control their $43 trillion racketeering scheme (New York) – known as the largest money laundering and racketeering lawsuit in United States History and identifying $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) of laundered money by the "Banksters" and their U.S. racketeering partners and joint venturers – now pinpoints the identities of the key racketeering partners of the "Banksters" located in the highest offices of government and acting for their own self-interests.
10/25/12

Who Really Benefits From Interest Deductions

NY Times Within that privileged category, the people who tend to derive the greatest dollar benefit from the mortgage interest deduction are households earning $100,000 to $500,000 a year.

BofA employees could face charges in US fraud case - prosecutor

United States ex rel v. Bank of America

Reuters "Potentially, the government may amend its complaint to include individuals, present or former employees of Bank of America," Assistant U.S. Attorney Pierre Armand told U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff.

10/25/12

Why Freddie Mac Resisted Refis

Freddie Mac, the "TAXPAYER" -owned mortgage giant, made it harder for millions of American "TAXPAYERS" to refinance their high-interest-rate mortgages for fear it would cut into company profits, present and former Freddie Mac officials disclosed in recent interviews.

ProPublica A more aggressive refi program by both Freddie and its sister company Fannie Mae would have helped an additional nine million homeowners to refinance, saving them nearly $75 billion in interest payments to date, Columbia University housing economist Mr. Mayer estimates. In addition, it would have prevented hundreds of thousands of delinquencies and foreclosures, he says.

The huge profits from the portfolios inflated executives' pay packages and began to overshadow the public mission of helping homeowners, critics say.

10/24/12

Judge advances suit over botched mortgage modifications


Ruling allows plaintiff to seek class-action status and could help homeowners who believe their lenders mishandled applications for government loan modification programs

Chicago Tribune Woodrow acknowledged that such cases are complex. 

If it becomes a class-action complaint, the litigation will have to determine the potential class of claimants. It also will have to resolve how much a time delay constitutes breach of contract and how damages would be calculated.

10/24/12

The Worst Debt Collector in the World?

After garnishing exempt disability payments from a 100% disabled Army veteran's wife, a debt collector told the vet he was "living off social security while the rest of us honest Americans work our a-- off. Too bad; you should have died," the veteran claims in court.

  Michael Collier and his wife, Kim, sued Gurstel Chargo, P.A., a Minnesota-based third-party debt collector, in Federal Court. Collier suffered spine and head injuries in the Army and was declared 100 percent disabled. He and his wife, a college student, receive disability payments, which are exempt from execution, according to his complaint.

10/24/12

The Revolving Door Spins, the “Consumer” Bureau’s Mortgage Servicing Rules Stink

Abigail Field How come the rules are so bad, given mortgage servicers’ rampant fraud, predatory servicing and gross incompetence, all of which has been well documented by law enforcement (albeit not effectively prosecuted)?
10/24/12

FIRST FORECLOSURE TOWN HALL KICKS OFF IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA


To address the crisis, C.J. Holmes, the founder of Home Owners for Justice, has come up with a novel plan to help bring the community together so they can take matters into their own hands - through foreclosure town halls. 

Occupy.com “I'm angry and disgusted at the ruthlessness of the banks, mortgage companies and gangs of complicit politicians and bureaucrats,” says Holmes, an independent real estate broker based in Santa Rosa. “At the same time, I'm shaken to the core by the predicaments of people caught in this giant swindle. I deal with them daily, and they're in shock!”

“In spite of the off-and-on nature of public interest and the media’s short attention span, we still have a trillion-dollar, super-grand-larceny going on, right in our faces, and people need to know that we the people, as an organized group, can jam a monkey wrench into the machinery that's doing this to us. We don't have to take this.”

10/24/12

Another Way Student Loans Are Like Mortgages: Subpar Servicing

Sometimes, the parallels are exact. 

Both have IDENTICAL business models.

ProPublica And when the loans are packaged and sold to investors, it's even harder to know who has the authority to make decisions about repayment options, discharges, or other issues that arise: "Borrowers report that sometimes servicers cannot even answer who owns a loan," noted an agency factsheet. Homeowners have faced similar trouble.
 

 

 

10/24/12

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Sues Bank of America for $1 Billion for Mortgage Fraud

"The fraudulent conduct alleged in today's complaint was spectacularly brazen in scope," Bharara said in a statement. He said the suit was partly to recover money that Fannie and Freddie lost from defaulted loans.

United States ex rel v. Bank of America

Daily Finance

 

 

 

 

Complaint StopForeclosureFraud

Countrywide sold the loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which (the taxpayers) were left to pay for the loans when they defaulted, according to the lawsuit. Fannie and Freddie were effectively nationalized in 2008.

This suit is nothing more than the Banks stealing billions from homeowners; receiving trillions more in taxpayer Bailout money, trillions more from the intangible binary-number accounting, and the Government taking its cut. Trillions of dollars being juggled between thieves and the willfully-blind and complicit government. MSF

U.S. sues Bank of America over "Hustle" mortgage fraud

 

Justice Department Press Release

Reuters According to a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, Countrywide in 2007 invented and Bank of America continued a scheme known as the "Hustle" to speed up processing of residential home loans.

Operating under the motto "Loans Move Forward, Never Backward," mortgage executives tried to eliminate "toll gates" designed to ensure that loans were sound and not tainted by fraud, the government said.

Bill Black Talks About the Case

wbai This complaint says Bank of America and Countrywide committed an entire business practice of fraud. 

"It is criminal," said Black

10/24/12

Rajat Gupta Gets 2 Years in Prison

Rajat ran the consulting firm McKinsey & Company and served as a major adviser to the philanthropic efforts of Bill Gates and Bill Clinton, is the most prominent figure to face prison in the government’s sweeping crackdown on insider trading.

NY Times ’’He is a good man,’’ Judge Jed S. Rakoff said of Mr. Gupta on Wednesday. “But the history of this country and the history of the world is full of examples of good men who did bad things.

“The proof of some of these tips was not only overwhelming, it was disgusting,” Judge Rakoff said on Wednesday. “A terrible breach of trust.”

10/24/12

Consumers Fend off Debt-Collectors by Challenging the Evidence

Judge Wettick said: "For a lot of companies now, if someone shows up and contests it, it may not be worth their while to pursue it."

Home Equity Theft Reporter The company withdrew the suit after Judge Nealon in May demanded copies of the original credit-card agreement, its terms and conditions, and the assignment or sale of Mr. Kahanic's account to Velocity.

"The judge asked us to produce a document that no longer exists," James Mastriani, Velocity's president, said of the demand for the original agreement.
10/24/12

New Jersey State Court Rejects Borrower Late Appeal Challenging Foreclosure

The Court's ruling shows a general apprehension to allow borrowers to sit on their rights during foreclosure proceedings, and should serve as a reminder that courts may hold borrowers accountable for their inaction during foreclosure proceedings.

Home Equity Theft Reporter  The Court noted that unlike in Mitchell, where the "defendant actively engaged in the litigation" and challenged the bank's standing to file the foreclosure complaint "long before the end of the litigation," here, the borrower "did not raise the standing issue or contest the foreclosure in any way, until two years after default judgment was entered and three and one half years after the complaint was filed."

Deutsche Bank National Trust Americas v. Angeles

10/23/12

Bank Settles Over Loans in Nevada

Ms. Masto’s office concluded that the bank had essentially created joint ventures with Countrywide and Option One and that its financing enabled those lenders to make reckless loans that were unlikely to be repaid.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

The settlement between the Royal Bank of Scotland and Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada’s attorney general, relates to conduct at Greenwich Capital, the R.B.S. unit that bundled mortgages into securities and sold them to investors. Nevada found that R.B.S. worked closely with Countrywide Financial and Option One, two of the most aggressive lenders during the boom.
10/23/12

Why the Fed Should Buy Munis — Not Mortgages

NY Times Experts disagree on whether these purchases will stimulate employment and promote recovery, or trigger an inflationary spiral and saddle the Fed with substantial losses if interest rates spike before the Fed can unwind its position.

10/23/12

Can a Broken Chain Lead to Cancellation of Instrument: NO!

Which brings us to the second break in the chain. “for value received” is so commonplace, nobody reads it or pays any attention to it. But the fact is that the payee on the note never loaned the money nor purchased the loan. So in discovery, when I say follow the money, I mean follow the actual transactions in which the other side can prove money ex changed hands. 

Living Lies It didn’t. Nobody paid for anything because the whole scheme was funded by investor-lenders ignorant of how their money was actually being used.

But by creating paperwork that carries with it the assumption or presumption that the assignee of course paid the assignor, the banks and servicers have so far accumulated title to more than 6 million homes most of which with a credit bid from a party who neither funded nor purchased the loan and who therefore could not be a creditor and who was not permitted under statute to submit a credit bid. This break in the chain of title is more akin to civil theft but it qualifies as a break.

10/23/12

Admit and Lose: Another Unnecessary Loss for Borrower

MILANI v. US BANK

In Georgia, “[t]he tort of fraud has five elements: a false representation by a defendant, scienter, intention to induce the plaintiff to act or refrain from acting, justifiable reliance by the plaintiff, and damage to the plaintiff.”

Living lies After dealing with those admissions, the court basically concluded that the other errors, fabrications and even forgeries of the banks and servicers were not particularly important. What was the harm. The borrower’s right to due process doesn’t mean that he can admit the debt, admit the default, admit the collateral, admit the note and then say he should nonetheless win.
10/23/12

WATCH : Neil Barofsky's Disappointment With Vikram Pandit and President Obama

A must-watch for anyone interested in going behind the headlines and talking points at the intersection of government, banking and the economy.

Bill Moyers In a conversation only available on the web, Barofsky shares with me his expert perspective on last week's resignation of Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, and his deep disappointment in President Obama for protecting -- instead of reining in -- the big banks. 
10/23/12

Study: the effect of homeownership on children

Homeownership has been threatened in America in recent years, with staggering foreclosure rates, which has many wondering what role homeownership actually plays in a child's life.

Measuring the Benefits of Homeownership: Effects on Children Redux

AG Beat Over the years, various independent researchers have concluded that homeownership has a more positive impact on children than does renting.

The researchers found that homeownership is associated with lower high school dropout rates by 2.6 percent, and the teen birth rate nationally is 5.0 percent lower.

We find that children of homeowners have better outcomes than children of renters

10/23/12

Short sale hardship letters should be short and sweet

AG Beat Seller hardships range from job loss to job transfer, and homeowners nationwide are short selling, but the process is daunting for all involved, so this is one way to make it slightly less so.

Fair housing group adds to its BofA discrimination complaint

The National Fair Housing Alliance filed the accusations with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Tuesday. They come on top of similar accusations against Bank of America filed by the NFHA last month

Reuters A nonprofit group has accused Bank of America Corp of maintaining foreclosed homes in white neighborhoods in the U.S. Midwest much better than those it owns in nearby black and Latino neighborhoods, and of marketing the homes in white neighborhoods more effectively.
10/23/12

DeMarco Shrinks Fannie-Freddie Without Help From Congress

Bloomberg The unassuming career economist is looking beyond the current housing crisis, which shows signs of easing with home prices finally on the rise. Instead, DeMarco is working toward a day when the government no longer backs most U.S. home loans.
10/23/12

US Bank is Not a Bona-Fide Purchaser

StopForeclosure

Fraud

For the reasons noted above, US Bank is not a bona fide mortgagee without notice.
Therefore we affirm the trial court in denying the US Bank’s motion to reconsider and affirm the
grant of summary judgment in favor of Ruthie Lee Ellis.
10/23/12

Legacy of subprime mortgage woes evident in South Gate

Casas Wilson could not be reached for comment. Her doctor said in a letter on her behalf Monday that she is mostly bed-bound and undergoing chemotherapy for terminal breast cancer. External stress, such as having to move, could lead to a premature death, the doctor said.

L.A. Times Three of the refis were variable-rate loans from companies controlled by the late Holmby Hills billionaire Roland Arnall. Arnall was the founder of Ameriquest Mortgage, which paid $325 million to state attorneys general in 2006 to settle claims it deceived borrowers, falsified loan documents and pressured appraisers to overstate home values.

Among the Wilsons' other subprime refinancings were adjustable-rate loans from subsidiaries of Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros., the Wall Street firms whose subprime-related meltdowns were major triggers for their own collapses as well.

10/22/12

Judge says:

Recorder of Deeds can pursue litigation against MERS

Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds v. MERS

 

MSNBC

Tim Bryant

The court’s ruling, while not discussing the merits of the case, essentially states that Pennsylvania does have a law requiring that mortgage assignments be recorded with the recorder of deeds office and that the recorder of deeds has the right to bring legal action when he or she does not believe an entity is complying with the law.
10/22/12

As Upper Manhattan Buildings Go into Foreclosure, Officials Try to Influence Sale

Vantage was one of the first to pay exorbitant prices for buildings believing they could push out low income tenants and replace them with higher paying ones. In 2010, the company agreed to pay $1 million to settle claims of harassment against tenants.

WNYC City council members and housing officials joined tenants and their advocates Monday outside an apartment building on 190th Street to protest the asking price for the foreclosed property. They claim the sale price is too high and will only result in another round of defaults.
10/22/12

Will Foreclosure Abuses Ever End?

Dual tracking must be prohibited, and if foreclosure is unavoidable, servicers must provide borrowers with verification of their legal right to foreclose before starting the process.

NY Times The problem is that as delinquencies surged in the housing bust, mortgage servicers proved themselves incompetent — or worse, deceptive and abusive — in doing the job. The result has been potentially millions of wrongful foreclosures, in which troubled borrowers have not been given a fair shot at modifying their loans and keeping their homes.

October 2012

THE DEBT SETTLEMENT TRAP:


THE #1 THREAT FACING
DEEPLY INDEBTED AMERICANS

National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys America’s most deeply indebted consumers are now falling victim to a major new threat: so-called “debt settlement” schemes that promise to make clients “debt free” in a relatively short period of time. Unfortunately, most consumers who pursue debt settlement services find themselves facing not relief but even steeper financial losses.
10/22/12

Project S.H.A.M.E.: Recovered History: How Wall Street-Funded Self Help Propaganda Greased the Real Estate Bubble 

Its main message was simple: If you take out a mortgage to buy a home, you will always make money. There is no way you can lose—no matter when you buy, how much you pay or what type of loan you get. And the kicker is: both the book and finance expert who wrote it were bankrolled by Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Lambert Strether It’s a good example of the massive propaganda effort financed by Wall Street that was designed to funnel as many people as possible into the mortgage meat grinder. The book was packed with blatant lies that seem so obvious and even comic in retrospect. The book was not put out by some shady fly by night operation, but by a supposedly credible financial expert who had the backing of the most well-known and respected banks, TV networks and newspapers.

But the whole thing was a fraud, shamelessly boosted by some of the biggest names in news media—none of whom have been held accountable for their role in defrauding millions of Americans.

10/22/12

Foreclosures: The Scam Continues

I offered to meet a courier within a hundred miles from my home just to prove to me they have it and their answer was that they were not required by law to show me the note, even if I asked for it. I have every right to see my bank note with my signature on it, especially in these circumstances, so I sent them another email request to see my note and was denied yet again. This sort of dodging behavior was leading me to believe that Bank of America didn’t have possession of my note and therefore may not have any legal possession of my home.

NewsJunkie Whistle blower complaints have been filed over Bank Of America stating that “The bank and its agents routinely pretended to have lost homeowners’ documents, failed to credit payments during trial modifications and intentionally misled homeowners about their eligibility for the program”. Many Americans were being denied for the very same reason I was denied. Also, in 2009, Bank of America was caught bullying eligible homeowners of HAMP into their own private and more expensive modification programs, which is a violation of the terms for HAMP.

You are not the criminal here, the bank is.

10/22/12

Barney Frank cries foul in government's lawsuit against JPMorgan

Thomson-Reuters Democratic Congressman Barney Frank defended the nation's largest bank on Monday, saying in a statement that the government was wrong to go after JPMorgan Chase & Co for the alleged misdeeds of Bear Stearns.

Who are they supposed to go after?

10/22/12

KEL partners' title insurer halts business.

Home Equity Theft Reporter  "If a single agency is able to create enough fraud to bring down an entire company, you've obviously got a huge internal problem," said Cliff Shepard, a veteran real estate lawyer. "It tells you there weren't adequate controls in place to red-flag this kind of thing in your audits; otherwise, they wouldn't be in this mess."
10/21/12

Unrecorded Contracts For Deed Continue To Leave Poor, Unsophisticated Property Owners (& Their Heirs) In Texas Colonias Vulnerable

Developers and investors are quickly repossessing land from buyers with foreclosure rates that far surpass national rates.

Home Equity Theft Reporter As many as 1 in 5 families who recently bought land on which to build their homes may have bought using an unrecorded “contract for deed”— one that does not confer formal title to their properties, according to a major report on the titling practices in Texas colonias and other informal settlements released [] by researchers at The University of Texas School of Law and Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.

10/21/12

The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Win

Jeff Connaughton has just authored a major insider account revealing and explaining the failure of the politicians and regulators to hold the banksters who drove the financial crisis accountable and to remove the most obvious risks of future crises. 

Jeff Connaughton We have scores of prosecutors and investigators who are willing and able to take on the most elite white-collar frauds and corrupt officials. They routinely take on the best criminal defense lawyers in the world with unlimited budgets – and generally win. Biden, Kaufman, and Connaughton know these people on a first name basis, which makes Connaughton’s book an essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the financial crisis and why our response to the Great Recession has been a national disgrace.
REPLAY

10/20/10

Private Equity Firms Linked to Foreclosure Mills

NY Times The lawsuit on behalf of homeowners claims that Great Hill Partners, a private equity firm, has benefited from what the lawsuit calls an illegal fee-splitting arrangement between Prommis Solutions and several of the busiest foreclosure law firms it controls. Great Hills is the biggest stakeholder in Prommis, a company that acts as a middleman between mortgage servicers and law firms.
10/20/12

Citi’s Torch Has Passed. Now Find a Knife.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

“These managers are currently exploiting taxpayers as a means to an end,” Mr. Kane said in an interview last week. “They feel entitled to do this and they don’t see any ethical issues in it. The taxpayer is the sucker in a poker game, and they see no reason to teach them anything about playing cards.”
10/19/12

Former Officers of American Mortgage Specialists Inc. Plead Guilty in North Dakota to Conspiracy in $27 Million Fraud Against Bnc National Bank

Scott N. Powers, the CEO of AMS, and David E. McMaster, an AMS vice president, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland in the District of North Dakota to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud affecting a financial institution. 

Powers and McMaster face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

Department of Justice “At the height of the financial crisis, Scott Powers, David McMaster and their alleged co-conspirators enacted a scheme to systematically defraud BNC Bank,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “When their mortgage lending company became unsustainable, they turned to fraud. By deliberately misleading BNC about its assets and activities, Powers and McMaster threatened the viability of BNC and put its employees and customers at risk. Today’s guilty pleas demonstrate our commitment to holding individuals accountable for illegal conduct contributing to the housing crisis.”
10/19/12**

  Bill Moyers: Plutocracy Rising

Too much regulation is what is killing the economy.  Huh?

Bill Moyers Journalists Matt Taibbi and Chrystia Freeland discuss how far America’s super-rich will go to keep the One Percent in charge.

At no time in modern history has the top 100th percent owned more of our wealth and paid so low a tax rate.

10/19/12

Fighting Off Foreclosure: One Woman's Three-Year Ordeal

Daily Finance Things could have turned out very differently for the woman, her kids, Dee and her family, and the entire community. And they almost did when Dee nearly lost her home.

Mortgage Settlement: Half Of Money Siphoned Off By Cash-Hungry States

Includes Chart

Huff Post A report released Thursday by Enterprise Community Partners, a housing nonprofit, offers the clearest indication yet that the state attorneys general -- and by extension, struggling homeowners -- are losing the fight against those with sticky fingers.
10/18/12

 

Why it is Essential that Criminal Bankers are Prosecuted

I strongly believe that a few selected prosecutions and convictions would send such a shock-wave through the ranks of the hitherto spoiled and arrogant financial practitioners so that they will quickly lose the mistaken perception that they are a ‘protected species’.

Rowan Bosworth-Davies Overall the statistics bear out the theory that financial practitioners believe they have little to fear in the actions of regulators, because whatever the outcome, the penalties do not lead to social or commercial exclusion from the financial sector. Fines have no impact on the individuals in the banks, instead, their impact is only felt by the shareholders.

“Another reason frequently given for the lenient sentencing of most white-collar criminals was that the shame and social disgrace attendant on criminal conviction were punishment enough for middle-class persons. Exclusion from polite society was viewed as a more serious penalty than imprisonment … For white collar criminals, prison was seen as ancillary to their personal sense of shame and loss of social status”

10/18/12

Letting CRIMINALS decide the penalties of their Crimes.

Doubts About Independent Foreclosure Review Spread

There is growing evidence some banks are playing a major role in identifying the victims of their own abuses, raising the question of whether the review is compromised by conflicts of interest.

ProPublica The maximum cash compensation a homeowner can receive through the review is $125,000. 

No money has been awarded yet.

However, the secrecy of the program makes it impossible to know for sure how it's actually being conducted.

After being pushed by Congress and borrower advocates, bank regulators publicly posted the contracts between each bank and the consultant each hired last year to provide the "independent" review of foreclosure cases. It's these contracts that show that the banks planned to perform much of the work themselves.

10/18/12

Atlanta-area counties sue HSBC bank for predatory lending

wsbtv "It is the first instance in Georgia of the local governments, on behalf of the people, saying, 'We are all victims of the mortgage foreclosure crisis.'" 
10/18/12

Westwood-Based Mortgage Company Targeted in Fraud Scheme Crackdown

The company's top two managers are facing federal charges related to a foreclosure rescue scam.

Century City Patch The Westwood-based mortgage brokerage "allegedly operated as an equity-skimming operation that took possession of distressed homeowner’s equity under fraudulent pretenses and also defrauded mortgage lenders," according to the DOJ.
10/18/12

Where is the Loan Receivable? Invitation to Investors Who Bought Mortgage Bonds

INVESTORS READ CAREFULLY
IF YOU BOUGHT MORTGAGE BONDS DURING THE MELTDOWN

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

This problem could have been alleviated if the investment bankers had simply placed the name of the REMIC on the note and mortgage but they had other ideas about trading with and on claims of ownership of the note, hence MERS and other intermediaries were introduced so that ownership would be obscured, thus creating unenforceable notes and mortgages as several investor suits have stated.
10/18/12

 

Queens foreclosure attorney beats back US Bank and obtains dismissal

Defendant seeks an order: (1) dismissing the complaint or, in the alternative; (2) dismissing the complaint and imposing sanctions for fraud; (3) tolling the interest on the promissory note and mortgage; (4) awarding costs and fees; (5) canceling the notice of pendency and assignment of mortgage.

U.S. Bank v. Combs

Examiner Queens foreclosure attorney Brian McCaffrey, Esq. represented the borrower and filed the motion to dismiss the action due to the banks faulty paperwork, questionable assignments and participation in the MERS system.

Mr. McCaffrey said that “lenders need to know that the old days of being able to take away someone’s home without proper evidence are quickly falling by the wayside” and “in this case the bank presented late date assignments drafted just prior to the commencement of the foreclosure action” a “red flag.’
There are tons of ways of tripping the Banks in their pursuit of free houses through “foreclosure.” One of those ways is through challenging the rejection of the borrower’s proposal for modification. When it comes to U.S. Bank virtually nothing they say is true. When a bank says it fulfilled its obligation under HAMP to “consider” the proposal, most of the time it is a lie because the banks do not want a modification because each modification creates a brand new liability for them if they sold the loan multiple times.

When it comes to U.S. Bank virtually nothing they say is true. When a bank says it fulfilled its obligation under HAMP to “consider” the proposal, most of the time it is a lie because the banks do not want a modification because each modification creates a brand new liability for them if they sold the loan multiple times.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

The trick is to submit your proposal with an expert appraiser’s opinion that the proposal exceeds FMV of the property and hugely exceeds the proceeds from a foreclosure of the property which will only hurt property values again in neighborhood where the bank has other mortgages. 

Thus the allegation can be made that either they did not review the proposal or they did not apply reasonable standards for consideration of the modification.

What lawyers are doing is filing the motion and then demanding discovery about the ” consideration” process. 

Asking for what methods were used and who used them. Those cases settle often within hours of the Judge entering the order requiring the bank to respond.

10/18/12

The JPMorgan London Whale: Now It's Criminal?

 

Seeking Alpha Just six months ago they were riding high. Indeed, they were Masters of the Universe, dominating an obscure credit derivatives market. The JP Morgan execs were making money for the firm hand over fist and racking up eight-figure bonuses for themselves.

Now, due to pesky emails and taped calls, they may be facing jail time for hiding losses from investors. How inconvenient the securities laws turned out to be.

10/18/12

Bank of America repeatedly breached settlement

Woman's battle with Bank of America could go to a jury

Crutchfield v. Bank of America

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

h/t HETR

Ninth Court of Appeals justices on Thursday released an opinion saying the 58th District Court "abused its discretion" when Judge Bob Wortham sanctioned Bank of America on June 27, ordering the company to pay Trudie Crutchfield $300,000 in a breach of contract settlement.

The trial court imposed a pretrial sanction for breach of an agreement. Relators are entitled to have the case decided on the merits of the claim under the applicable rules of procedure. We therefore conditionally grant mandamus relief.

10/18/12

Did the IRS Cause the Financial Crisis?

As the dust from the financial crisis begins to settle, we learn that the lack of IRS enforcement of the mortgage-backed securities industry bears blame for the financial crisis. 

And it is obvious that better practices, as required by tax law and enforced through IRS audit, would have prevented or mitigated those losses.

Huff Post Things we are learning about lending and bundling practices reveal that the IRS was noticeably absent from this industry or grossly incompetent in its audit procedures. The IRS's apparent failure to audit the industry during the years preceding the financial crisis opened the door for banks and lenders to skirt the law. We know now that the financial crisis that imploded in 2008 could have been prevented if the IRS had been more active policing REMICs and their organizers.

The IRS's failure in this area is puzzling.

10/18/12

States Shift Foreclosure-Suit Funds

HUD urges state officials not to divert the settlement funds from housing.

 

WSJ When states received $2.5 billion from big banks in a mortgage foreclosure settlement earlier this year, the expectation was that most of it would be used to aid distressed homeowners. But so far, less than half of the money has been designated for that cause -with most of it going into the pockets of state officials.

10/17/12

Florida Wrongful Foreclosure:

Victims get $2k

Banks  get  $200k

Editor’s Note: For those who have given, up, moved on and don’t want to fight about it, the $2,000 check they are about to receive is like found money. But it is a surrender to greed, bullying and criminal behavior

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

The banks are giving the paltry sum of $2,000 in exchange for an average loan of $200,000 which they neither funded nor purchased, but which they sold multiple times, 1000 cents on the dollar.
As I understand it, you can take the $2,000 and also sue for wrongful foreclosure, but you can be sure that despite that, most people will not sue and those who do are going to be met with the argument that we already settled that.

South Florida foreclosure settlement: Thousands to get about $2K after losing homes to foreclosure

"They should have been given more money," Oppenheim said. "Those were criminal acts."

But the settlement makes no distinction and gives the same amount, regardless of the circumstances of how people were foreclosed on, Oppenheim said.

WPTV Other foreclosure victims have been given much more money, he added. Another unrelated foreclosure settlement, for example, gave $25,000 to each soldier who was foreclosed on while fighting overseas, Oppenheim said.

Real estate analyst Jack McCabe agreed that the estimated $2,000 settlement doesn't fully resolve the pain of foreclosure. "It's like pocket change," he said. Some homeowners, for example, lost tens of thousands of dollars in home equity when they were foreclosed on, McCabe said.
10/17/12

South Florida Foreclosures Rising Sharply 36%

There is nothing under Florida law or the law in any state that allows for imposition of an equitable mortgage with terms that are determined by the Court. Thus the obligation, while owed is not subject to a mortgage and thus not capable of being foreclosed.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

If you represent a client, be careful what you admit and don’t refer to the note as evidence of the loan because in most cases it probably is not evidence at all but rather an executory contract in which the loan was NOT funded by the originator (the payee on the note and mortgage).
You should be directing the attention of the court to the obligation, not the note. You will remember, lawyers, from first year law school, that the note is not the the obligation. It is supposed to be evidence of the obligation. And the mortgage is the tail of the dragon that can only be a perfected lien capable of foreclosure if it refers to a valid note.
10/17/12

The Trillion Dollar Mistake That Triggered the Economic Meltdown

Mandelman Matters Almost overnight, insurers and pension plans had no choice but to dump downgraded bonds, ultimately driving down prices on $800 billion in subprime mortgages and $1 trillion of collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”). Institutional Risk Analytics said that CDO investors alone could “lose as much as $250 billion.”

10/17/12

Direct or Indirect, Mortgages Are Flawed

Too many problems remain: we have failed to deal with exaggerated appraisals underlying the stinky mortgages and the refinancing deals. We have failed to deal with the losses to the banks resulting from bundling and the creation of "nothing-backed" securities. 

April Charney, Esq.

 

The banks continue to use false appraisals and "stated income" applications in the refinance process without requisite due diligence or compliance with traditional underwriting limitations. And we don't yet know the effect of a bogus refinancing will be, when the bank doing the refinancing doesn't own the loan or even have authority to refinance it.

Testimony

10/17/12

Stabilizing the Foreclosure Crisis by Providing Legal Services

Written Testimony of
Mark Ladov and Meghna Philip
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law to the
Task Force to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services in New York
Since 2009, the Brennan Center has been documenting the national crisis in foreclosure legal representation.19 Over the past few years, we have gathered data from court systems across the country and found that
overwhelmingly, homeowners in foreclosure face complex legal proceedings without an attorney
at their side. To ensure that these homeowners have a fair shot at justice – and every possible opportunity to avoid foreclosure – dedicated state funding for foreclosure assistance is critical.
10/17/12

Federal suit targets Utah lawyers in alleged mortgage scam

Loan modifications » Couple claims they paid thousands but that no legal work was performed.

Salt Lake Tribune

h/t/ HETR

The Osborns ended up losing their home even after paying CC Brown Law $8,000 to $9,000, Bogart said. They filed their lawsuit in August seeking not less than $400,000, plus other costs and punitive damages.
10/17/12

BofA Says Putback Losses May Be $6 Billion Above Reserve

Bloomberg The firm has already booked more than $40 billion in costs tied to Countrywide, whose lax lending standards helped fuel the housing bubble.
10/17/12

Criminal Slander Of Title Among Charges

As you read this, Banks are actively committing this crime across the country.
If convicted, this woman faces 11 years, six months imprisonment and $30,000 in fines for slandering the title to ONE HOUSE!

Home Equity Theft Reporter Wisconsin States 943.60 Criminal slander of title.

(1) Any person who submits for filing, entering or recording any lien, claim of lien, lis pendens, writ of attachment, financing statement or any other instrument relating to a security interest in or title to real or personal property, and who knows or should have known that the contents or any part of the contents of the instrument are false, a sham or frivolous, is guilty of a Class H felony.
10/16/12

U.S. Treasury Wants to Sell Non-performing Mortgage Loans

The Treasury was offering $0.63 on the dollar, but DeMarco wasn't buying. 

Daily Finance Treasury is working with the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) "to explore better ways to manage the resolution and disposition of the GSE's [government sponsored entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) book of non-performing loans."
10/16/12

Eliot Spitzer's Secret Weapon Should Offer Hope To Investors

The regulators' secret weapon is New York's Martin Act, which was first used by Eliot Spitzer going after Wall Street for the fraudulent analyst reports which served largely to hype tech stocks, inflating a bubble whose bursting cost investors dearly in year 2000.

Seeking Alpha   The Martin Act, unlike any other securities law in the country, does not require the prosecutors to prove "intent" but simply that fraudulent conduct took place. This should be a slam-dunk case against many of the major banks who pumped out bogus mortgage-backed securities, reaped huge profits, and left investors holding the bag.

Homeowner puzzled after lender changes locks to her home

First Coast News "My house is not in foreclosure," said Verma.

Verma tried to get answers from the winterizing company LPS, and her lender but said no one has explained what happened, and why.
10/16/12**

Mortgage Industrial Complex Continues Its Push Against Rule of Law

We now have a property court usage: perpetrating a massive, well documented fraud then complaining that court bottlenecks – which exist solely because of fraud perpetrated by bank lawyers – cause expensive delays.

Michael Olenick Due solely to gross abuses of process by foreclosure lawyers, California – a state that all but outlawed foreclosure "defense" lawyers – has passed legislation to ensure foreclosure lawyers follow the law. The California Homeowner Bill of Rights, which is effectively a pro-borrower escalation in the bank-led war against the rule of law, is causing the parasites to fume:

“Saying just follow the law and you won’t have a problem is complete and utter non-sense [sic],” reads a quote from Bob Jackson, president and attorney of Irvine, CA Jackson & Associates.

10/16/12

Dirty Tricks Playbook from the Foreclosure Mills

Here is an example of one of the procedural dirty tricks that these firms play and they say they “made a mistake” and apologize when they are caught, but it a threat to a hearing that you have already won.

Living Lies Despite the ruling denying the Motion for Summary Judgment the banks “mistakenly send the package to the Judge as though they had won. The Judge signs everything put in front of him and then it is up to us to undo the mess. By doing that we must make a motion to void the judgment and perhaps move for sanctions, but the trick is that they then come in and re argue the motion for summary judgment.

10/16/12

Oklahoma first to get national mortgage settlement payouts

Why is Oklahoma the first state that illegal foreclosure victims will see compensation? And why are they getting 20 times more than residents of any other state?

AG Beat

Homeowners deserve more than an “I’m sorry” and a few hundred bucks

“These families endured horrendous conduct, lost their homes in many cases and deserve more than an ‘I’m sorry’ and a few hundred dollars,” Pruitt said. “It is very exciting to be able to provide these Oklahoma families some meaningful relief for the harm caused, and a chance at a fresh start.”

10/16/12

Foreclosure Rescue Racket Requiring Homeowners To Sign Over Deeds Into Trust Ends In Guilty Pleas For Pair

Home Equity Theft Reporter Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced the plea [] of Franklin David Marquez and Sisy Aragon. Franklin David Marquez pled to one felony count of violating Civil Code section 2945.4, commonly known as Loan Modification Fraud/Foreclosure Assistance Fraud.
10/16/12

CFPB: Private student loans share problems plaguing mortgage service industry

It is the same fatally-flawed business model as the mortgage fiasco.

  Thousands of consumers have complained to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about loan servicing and loan modification problems. Gripes include mistakes by servicers in applying payments, trouble fixing errors, an overabundance of paper work and the inability to find anyone at the servicer to help.

Another mortgage mess story?

No, this is about private student loans — although the regulator notes that both industries share similar problems
10/15/12

Book

CATO Airs New Book on Big Bank Operations

Money News He provided early warning, which was unwelcome in some quarters, about the vulnerability of the business model of the GSEs and the likelihood they would one day fail and cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. 

10/15/12

Credit Bids and Claims for Overage or Wrongful Foreclosure by Borrowers

INTERESTING NUCLEAR OPTION: “A credit bid submitted by anyone, whether authorized or not, might well be an admission (or at least a question of fact allowing the homeowner to go forward in discovery) that the amount owed was far less than the amount demanded in the Notice of Default and demands for collection. 

Living Lies The point is not just that the foreclosure could be overturned or that an overage was created for the benefit of the borrower (because the creditor is only entitled to the amount owed). This issue could lead to the holy grail of discovery requiring the forecloser and other players in the securitization chain to produce the transactions that paid off part or all of the amount due the investor and therefore part or all of the amount due from the borrower.”
10/15/12

Feds have more than 1,900 investigations open into alleged stimulus wrongdoing

With little notice, inspectors generals across federal agencies are piecing together criminal and civil cases into stimulus money that was misspent, wasted or defrauded.

Washington Guardian The government’s chief spending watchdogs have already secured nearly 600 convictions and judgments against people and companies accused of misusing stimulus funds and have a whopping 1,900 investigations currently open into possible wrongdoing, officials say.
10/15/12**

SA Banks Must Pay Out Big Time

Up to a trillion rand could be refunded to South African customers by the banks. This is precisely the kind of cash injection that will help bring our country out of debt slavery and into a new age of prosperity.

Amended Particulars Of Claim

New Economic Rights Allicance Millions of South Africans who have loans or credit could see their monthly repayments reduced substantially. And tens of thousands of people who have had judgments against them over the past two decades may be eligible for compensation. Garnishee orders should be slashed and small businesses struggling with overdrafts should be released from the shackles of debt slavery.

In simple terms – it is very possible that your credit card, home loan, personal loan, vehicle loan or any form of credit you may have, has been settled in full by a third party, called a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). Because your loan has been settled in full (ie. the bank has been paid out for your loan), the bank cannot bring your case to court. Under these circumstances, the collections process undertaken by banks, and any judgments taken by the bank as a result, would be unlawful.
10/15/12

 

Bankruptcy is the Ultimate Protection from Florida’s Corrupt Foreclosure System

Who runs Florida’s Foreclosure Courts? Why the banks do, of course. Just ask judges, prosecutors and the Florida Bar.

Bankruptcy Law Network Retired senior judges regularly bend the rules for banks and their often inept lawyers prosecuting foreclosures, and they have been turning a blind eye to the bankster fraud in their courtrooms for years. For years, these retired judges have been paid for results – reducing the number of open foreclosure cases specifically – and they have been too willing to ignore the rule of law to make sure they “hit their numbers.”

10/15/12

PERHAPS SLOW AND STEADY DOES WIN THE RACE: THE UNFORESEEN CONSEQUENCES OF MERS

Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal Despite the efficiencies of an online mortgage-recording system, the nation’s recent housing bubble burst and resulting foreclosure actions have exposed MERS’ fatal flaw. In particular, Bank of New York v. Silverberg, a New York case of first impression, declared MERS’ inability to assign a mortgage where it is “listed in the underlying mortgage instruments as a nominee and mortgagee for the purpose of recording, but was never the actual holder or assignee of the underlying notes.”
10/15/12

US Woman Takes on Banks Over Libor

A pensioner whose home was repossessed is taking on some of the world’s leading banks in the first known class-action lawsuit claiming that alleged Libor manipulation made mortgage repayments for thousands of Americans more expensive than they should have been.

CNBC Until now plaintiffs have been investors and municipalities, not homeowners.

The plaintiffs held so-called Libor Plus adjustable-rate mortgages. There are at least 900,000 outstanding US home loans indexed to Libor that were originated from 2005 to 2009, with an unpaid principal balance of $275 billion.

10/15/12

Banks Bungle Foreclosure Deals

There are still millions of foreclosed homes on the market and much of the time these properties are left to deteriorate to the point drawing down adjacent property values. 

NuWire Investors Many homeowners have tried to step in to buy the homes from banks only to find there are encumbrances on the property that banks are not willing to negotiate, like liens that add to the cost of the home or other physical problems. This means the properties continue to sit vacant rather than being rehabbed by willing buyers, or opening the door up for cash-rich investors who have no concern for what’s best for the community.
10/15/12

So Where is Schneiderman? Computerized Robosigning Has Made Its Debut

It’s also worth noting that Green Tree is the sort of small potatoes operator that Schneiderman’s Potemkin mortgage task force could pursue with impunity, since it won’t rattle any of the powers that be. 

naked capitalism In case you had any doubts about the wisdom of state-level actions, the discovery of a new type of abuse, computerized robosigning, should put them to rest. One of the servicers that was not party to either settlement is apparently so confident that no one will go after them that it is engaging in what looks to be a new level of systematized foreclosure fraud.

10/15/12

Obama Administration Accused of Lying about Mortgage Fraud Crackdown Data

Of the eight cases DOJ called recent, two were filed before Oct. 1, 2011, including the case of Chicago attorney Norton Helton, who was sentenced on January 18, 2012, to 15 years in prison for his involvement in 102 fraudulent mortgage bailout transactions. The case against Helton was filed in October 2006.

AllGov When U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced at an October 9 press conference that a year-long crackdown on mortgage fraud had resulted in “285 federal criminal indictments and information against 530 defendants for allegedly victimizing more than 73,000 American homeowners—and inflicting losses in excess of $1 billion” he padded the numbers by including cases initiated before the initiative began.
10/15/12

A.C.L.U. to Sue Morgan Stanley Over Mortgage Loans

“Morgan Stanley actively encouraged lending tactics that increased the levels of risk associated with individual loans.”

The subprime loans cited in the suit were made from 2004 to 2007. New Century, one of the country’s most prolific subprime lenders, went bankrupt in March 2007.

NY Times In the lawsuit, the A.C.L.U. claims that Morgan Stanley is culpable for predatory loans made through the New Century Financial Corporation because the investment bank lent billions of dollars to New Century, a now-defunct subprime lender, and pressured it to make troublesome loans to African-American borrowers who could not afford them.
10/14/12

Foreclosure forum gives guidance to homeowners

Free professional advocates are available to assist worried and distressed homeowners facing foreclosure.

”People in foreclosure wake up worried every day,” said Elizabeth Hulse of the New Jersey Public Defender’s Office of Dispute Settlement. “They do not know how to save their homes or how to ask for help. We want these homeowners to know that they are not alone, and that there are free resources that are available to them if they just reach out for them.” 

nj One of the most important lessons stressed during the presentation on Thursday evening, Oct. 11th at the Rahway Public Library was that it is never too early to seek help — and never too late. While the presenters noted the best results are achieved when you seek help early, especially before you miss your first mortgage payment, free resources are available on the state and county level throughout the entire process. 
The educational forum, “Foreclosure: Moving From Fear To Positive Action,” was designed to provide guidance to property owners fearing or facing foreclosure issues, and to help tenants in properties with foreclosure issues.
10/14/12

The Speculators Win a Round

When the bets pay off, the result is lush bank profits. When they crater, as they did during the financial crisis, the result is bailouts. Either way, Wall Street wins and everyone else loses.

NY Times The groups took aim at the C.F.T.C.’s attempt to impose “position limits,” or caps, on the number of derivative contracts a trader can hold on commodities like oil, food and metals. The Dodd-Frank law called for caps because without them, excess speculation drives up the prices of gas, food and other everyday products and services.
10/14/12

Home Owners File Class Action Suit Versus Banks Over Libor

Homeowners claim that Libor manipulation made mortgage repayments more expensive than they should have been

NY Times The suit alleges that traders at banks in Europe and North America, including Barclays, Bank of America and UBS, were incentivized to manipulate the London interbank offered rate to a higher rate on certain dates on which adjustable mortgage interest rates were reset.

This resulted in homeowners paying more between 2000 and 2009. 

10/14/12

REVERSE MORTGAGES:     A Risky Lifeline for Seniors Is Costing Some Their Homes

Joan Serioux-Forde, 72, thought that she couldn’t feel more devastated after her husband, Christopher, died last year. Then, roughly a month after the funeral, she received a letter from Generation Mortgage, a reverse mortgage lender, informing her that unless she paid $293,000, she would lose her home in San Bernardino, Calif. Ms. Forde said she was never informed that if she wasn’t on the reverse mortgage deed, she would have virtually no right to stay in her home unless she bought it outright. “It’s a nightmare,” she said. Generation Mortgage declined to comment.

NY Times Some lenders are aggressively pitching loans to seniors who cannot afford the fees associated with them, not to mention the property taxes and maintenance. Others are wooing seniors with promises that the loans are free money that can be used to finance long-coveted cruises, without clearly explaining the risks. Some widows are facing eviction after they say they were pressured to keep their name off the deed without being told that they could be left facing foreclosure after their husbands died.

The very loans that are supposed to help seniors stay in their homes are in many cases pushing them out.

10/13/12

Manipulated America: One Theory of How They Control US

Jonathan Turley One myth that I’ve recently written about is the “American Dream” that all of us have an equal chance of fulfilling all our aspirations based on our innate abilities and hard work alone. One meme that has been developed from this is that our Elite 1% are entrepreneurial heroes, who are the only “job creators” worth mentioning. The truth is that most of the 1% inherited their wealth
10/13/12

Questions From a Bailout Eyewitness

As described by Ms. Bair, the events of the fall of 2008 showed that many financial regulators were desperate to make anyone but those who created the crisis pay for its devastation.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Astonishingly, the guarantee would cover all bank depositors and even protect unsecured claims against institutions. In short, the F.D.I.C. was being asked to back “everybody against everything in the $13 trillion banking system,” Ms. Bair writes.

Dumbfounded, she told the men she had to discuss the plan with the F.D.I.C. board. Over a few days, they came up with a better, less costly plan.

If she had gone along, Ms. Bair said in an interview last week, “everyone who held bank debt would have immediately gotten a windfall profit.”
10/12/12

Not Your Grandma's Eminent Domain -- This Time, It Could Be Used to KEEP Grandma in Her House

Historically, eminent domain has been used to force people out of their homes, but what if we could use eminent domain to keep families in their homes?

Richard Alarcon

Los Angeles City Councilmember

By using this process, called "eminent domain" creatively, we can actually help keep people in their houses.

While there are some policies and programs seeking to rewrite Wall Street's rules in an effort to prevent this crisis from happening again, we are still in need of creative solutions for stopping the ongoing crisis as soon as possible. That's why I recently proposed that the City of Los Angeles take a look at the idea to use eminent domain to prevent foreclosures, which is already being considered in San Bernardino and other cities across California.
10/12/12

China evictions increase, leading to more unrest

"Millions of people" have been evicted "without appropriate legal protection and safeguards," and often with violence, Amnesty said.

USA Today China says it has worked hard to overhaul its judicial system in ways that better protect human rights, but one of the country's most widespread abuses is increasing and is a leading cause of unrest.
The forced eviction of residents from their homes and farmland has quickened over the past three years, human rights group Amnesty International said in a report issued Thursday.
10/12/12

Wells Fargo mortgage bonanza leads to questions of what's next

The rock-bottom interest rates helping fuel a surge of mortgage making and refinancing are also squeezing the bank's profit margin. The question on everyone's mind is what the lender will do when the mortgage rodeo leaves town.

Menafn Lenders have been getting a big hand from government policies aimed at strengthening the economy by boosting mortgage lending. They will get an additional boost from the Federal Reserve's decision last month to buy more of the worthless mortgage-backed securities the banks created at a pace of 40 billion per month.

10/12/12

JPMorgan Chase Reports Record Profits, But Homeowners Say They Are Left Out In The Cold

What is less clear is whether JPMorgan Chase has turned the corner in its dealings with struggling homeowners. Under a $25 billion legal deal struck earlier this year with state and federal authorities, JPMorgan Chase and four other large banks promised to overhaul mortgage "servicing" practices, following widespread reports that the bank had botched the management of thousands of home loans, leading in many instances to unnecessary foreclosures. The deadline for compliance was Oct. 3.

Huff Post In order to keep the payments low, the bank shifted a huge chunk of principal and interest, totaling $160,000, to the end of the term of the loan.

The modification offer also failed to correct a mistaken $15,000 overcharge for a home insurance policy that Braude said he'd complained about from the very beginning. Had the bank corrected that mistake at the outset, he wouldn't have even needed a modification, he said. Additionally, the modification would have tacked $38,000 in "foreclosure and bankruptcy costs" onto his loan that should never have been incurred,

10/12/12

Beware of Dual-Tracking

Loan servicers have started to use the National Mortgage Settlement (“NMS”) aka the “robo signer settlement”, as a means to sharpen their skills at debt collection by perfecting a technique known as “dual tracking”. 

Dan McGookey, Esq. The Settlement, which was meant to both punish the nation’s five largest servicers for their wrongful conduct in using fraudulent documents in prosecuting foreclosures, and to provide redress for those victimized by such conduct, has now been turned into an opportunity to resume their illegal activities to wrongfully dispossess millions of families from their homes.

REPLAY

Max Gardner's Dirty Dozen Rules for Ownership of the Mortgage Note

Max Gardner, Esq. Unbroken Chain of Transfers and Assignments, Endorsement and Transfer of the Original Note, Assignments Strictly Regulated by State Property Law, Holder in Due Course Doctrine,  The A to D Invalid Negotiation of the Note, Affidavits, The After-Acquired Property Doctrine, Lost or Destroyed Notes, etc.
10/12/12

Scrutiny for Home Appraisers as the Market Struggles

NY Times Appraisals are generally ordered by banks so they can verify the value of collateral before granting a mortgage. Before the housing crash, when home values seemed only to rise, appraisals were almost an afterthought. But now, with banks far more cautious about lending, a low appraisal can torpedo a deal.

10/12/12

Deny and Discover: Delaying Tactic or Going for WINNING

From what I have seen and heard from dozens of lawyers attending other seminars regarding foreclosure defense, there is only one point of view that is being presented: the best you can do is to delay the proceedings and put off the “inevitable.” This is absurd.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

As one lawyer said to a Judge who was clearly about to rubber stamp another foreclosure “Judge if you gave me a loan would you want YOUR name on the note and mortgage... or someone else’s?
These people in the claimed securitization chain didn’t do the right thing with the origination documents and assignments because they were dumping false, forged, fake paper all over unenforceable loan documents. If you are annoyed Judge, don’t shoot the messenger. The borrower did not create the documents at closing and in fact didn’t even understand them. And the summaries required under Federal law were intentionally misleading.
10/11/12

Uncle Sam Whacks Credit Report Sellers

Two people and their three companies paid Equifax for credit reports on millions of delinquent consumers, then sold the lists to bad actors in the "debt relief" business, the United States says in Federal Court.

People may not obtain consumer reports without a "permissible purpose," under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Courthouse News

h/t/ HETR

The California attorney general filed a criminal complaint in May 2010 accusing Mason Capital of taking at least $2.3 million in a "fraudulent loan modification operation," the complaint states. California accused Mason Capital of charging more than 1,500 homeowner up-front fees of $1,000 to $5,000 to get loan modifications, but "As alleged in the criminal complaint, in almost every case, no loan modification was completed as promised."
The defendants also sold prescreened lists to Nova Key LLC, which had been served with a cease-and-desist order from the state of Maryland, after taking $1.2 million in up-front fees in that state, Uncle Sam says.

10/11/12

How to Save Yourself From the Foreclosure Fraud Epidemic

The Street There's really no reason to fall victim to foreclosure scams. With a decent amount of due diligence, spotting a fraud situation should be a no-brainer -- and a no-win situation for potential fraud artists looking to separate you from your money.
10/11/12

Banks See Home Loans as Gateway to Big Gains

 

NY Times The banks benefit because they act as middlemen in the mortgage machine. Instead of holding on to new mortgages that earn interest over a number of years, banks sell nearly all of them to investors after packaging them into bonds. The federal government, through entities like Fannie Mae, attaches a guarantee of repayment on the loans, making the bonds even more attractive to the investors.
10/11/12

Alternatives to Bankruptcy: Litigation–Why Would I Want To Get Sued?

Another way that you can deal with your debts is to let your creditors sue you. Hunh? Why on earth would anyone want to get sued? A legitimate question and my answer is not one given lightly nor does it apply in all situations.

Bankruptcy Law Network If a debtor owed an alleged credit card account balance of $5,000.00, the bad debt buyer may purchase the account for 3 cents on the dollar or $150.00. The documentation that the debt buyer receives from the original creditor on the account is usually bare-boned; that is, name, address, and other rudimentary information. The debt buyer will then sue you and try to collect the full amount of the alleged debt. 
10/11/12*

The Foreclosure Crisis – We Won’t Be Able to Fix It, Until We Understand It

Mandelman Matters By understanding the truth of what happened and why at these two pivotal moments in time, everything else will fall into place, for it was these two moments that set the course for a global economic downturn that, if history is any sort of guide, is quite likely to impact our society for the next 40 years… unless we do something to change that fate.
10/11/12

ALMOND v. BAYVIEW

REVERSED: Summary judgment was premature because discovery was
ongoing.

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL
OF FLORIDA
SECOND DISTRICT
Almond has shown a good faith basis for questioning this point, and we
conclude that the circuit court erred by granting summary judgment when the facts of the case had not been sufficiently developed.

10/11/12

Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Likened to a Ponzi Scheme

One of Behringer Harvard's real estate investment trusts operates like a Ponzi scheme, while its directors drain millions from it in fees, an investor claims in a federal class action.

Securities Law Review Hohenstein claims it operates as a Ponzi scheme because it pays distributions with offering proceeds, not operating cash flow.
"This flies in the face of BH REIT's stated investment objective of preserving its shareholders capital contributions," the complaint states. "What's worse is that although BH REIT is illiquid, defendants have made it even harder for the company's shareholders to exit their investment by misrepresenting its true value and amending the company's charter to make it more difficult for third parties making a tender offer for BH REIT shares."

10/11/12

Is BofA’s Foreclosure Review Really Independent? You Be the Judge

The maximum cash compensation a homeowner can receive through the foreclosure review is $125,000. Regulators set different amounts for the various errors and abuses homeowners endured, and those distinctions can result in widely differing payments — for instance $15,000 instead of $125,000 for homeowners who suffered very similar abuses.

ProPublica ProPublica provided the internal Bank of America documents to Sen. Robert Menendez, who chaired a congressional hearing overseeing the foreclosure reviews. He said, "Congress was led to believe that the consultants would be analyzing homeowner foreclosures completely independently of the Wall Street banks, but these memos raise serious questions as to whether that's true. If banks are trying to skew the results in their favor, regulators should stop that immediately."
10/11/12

Case survives Motion to Dismiss for Slander of Title / Wrongful Foreclosure, etc.

BARRIONUEVO v. CHASE BANK

The required elements for Slander of Title are "(1) a publication, (2) without privilege or justification, (3) falsity, and (4) direct pecuniary loss."

 

United States District Court, N.D. California Accordingly, to the extent Defendants' Motion to Dismiss reaches Plaintiffs' action for slander of title, Plaintiffs have met their burden to plead sufficient "factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."

This Court finds that the Plaintiffs have sufficiently stated a claim for wrongful foreclosure. Regardless of whether § 2932.5 applies, under California law a party may not foreclose without the legal power to do so. Plaintiff alleges that the wrong parties issued the Notice of Default.

10/11/12

Computerized Robo-Signing: Is Green Tree Servicing Taking Robo-Fraud to a Whole New Level?

An investigator in the northwest uncovered a scam – so big, that authorities claim it needs multi-state attention. 

It appears the signatures are in the computer – no dummies needed to sign – just fill in the blanks and push the buttons.

Deadly Clear It appears Green Tree Servicing has been flying under the radar and was hardly noticed until a recordation research team began uncovering similarly signed documents – yup, the old robo-signed Assignment of Mortgage trickery again… but this time new and improved via computer, maybe for speed and precision, ya think?

10/15/12

Barofsky: Wells Fargo Is `Too Big to Jail'

Bloomberg Neil Barofsky, former special inspector for the U.S. Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program, and Bloomberg Television contributing editor, talks about the lawsuit against Wells Fargo. 

10/10/12

A Foreclosure Battle to Quash Exposure and Criminal Conduct

The worst kept secret in the mortgage industry is that these, and countless other defendants, cannot afford to have the true extent of their crimes and scourge exposed. Whether or not any of the perpetrators of these illegal documents will be placed in handcuffs and prosecuted remains to be seen.

Richard Roman, Esq.

and former judge

Now, regarding the Plaintiffs 'rent-free lifestyle", let one thing be clear. Plaintiffs life-style has no bearing on the ongoing, wholesale criminal enterprise of the mortgage foreclosure industry as they exponentially perpetuate the tsunami of illegal foreclosures across the country - and become enormously wealthy while they do it. Discussion of the Plaintiff's "rent-free lifestyle" is simply a poorly contrived attempt to divert attention from the problem.
10/10/12

GMAC Bankruptcy Amicus Brief on Appointment of A Borrower’s Committee–MUST READ

Amicus Brief in GMAC Bankruptcy 

  For those that do not understand all of the complex issues surrounding the GMAC bankruptcy, I urge you to read carefully the brief that was submitted by Paula Rush to the federal bankruptcy court.
10/10/12

Wall Street’s Forgotten Victims Have Some Advice

The end of cash bonuses, the ramping up of financial regulation, the shrinking of the Goldman Sachs analyst pool, Chelsea Clinton’s confessing that she quit her Wall Street job to find meaning in life: Wherever you turn, you find signs that an era in which a lot of children were paid to keep quiet is grinding to an end.

Bloomberg These are hard times for Wall Street kids. It might never again pay you what you need to be paid to do the job. Down the road, if this bonus drought is more than just a temporary blip, you might need to consider quitting. Breaking up with your dad isn’t as hard as it seems. You can’t just do it yourself but your mom can -- and it isn’t like she doesn’t also have a lot of needs that suddenly aren’t being met. Encourage her to get to know some private-equity guys. 
10/10/12

Playing hot potato, with houses

The property is owned by Dallas-based Harbour Portfolio VII, LP, according to records in the office of the Cuyahoga County auditor.
"I fear there is skullduggery afoot," I tell Brancatelli, and dial the number.

It also notes that Building and Housing has prepared 22 criminal charges against Fannie Mae for not obtaining certificates of disclosure on properties before they were transferred. An additional 38 charges are in the works.

Cleveland What sets 3868 apart is the prior owner: Fannie Mae, that government-sanctioned lender of last resort, is back in the business of selling foreclosed zombie properties to predatory carpetbaggers.

Harbour Portfolio bought the property for $4,304 last February from Fannie Mae, according to the Auditor's Office.
Fannie Mae did not disclose that the property had been condemned. Not that Harbour Portfolio would care, he adds. "They'll find some buyer who'll put lipstick on the pig and rent it out."

10/10/12

New brief: Morgan Stanley, rating agencies conspired on 2007 SIV

Briefs included in article

Alison Frankel A few months ago, plaintiffs’ lawyers  created quite a stir when they filed thousands of pages of deposition transcripts and other juicy discovery that included never-before-seen internal communications between Morgan Stanley and the rating agencies. 
10/10/12

At NY trial, Assured says Flagstar must pay for shoddy mortgages

Thomson Reuters The case, filed last year, is one of the first to go to trial over claims tied to the bundling of mortgages that were sold to investors. The collapse of these securities when the housing market cooled has been blamed in part for the financial crisis.
10/9/12

Woman sues mortgage company for not paying property taxes

The suit claims that JNRC never paid her property taxes and failed to give her a detailed accounting of what happened to her monthly payments, including money that was supposed to be used to pay the property taxes.

Post-Tribune Nunez’s attorney Adam Sedia said federal law dictates that banks and financing companies have to share information with their customers about their mortgages.

“It’s all about openness,” Sedia said. “The financing entity has to let you know what you’ve paid, where it’s gone and how much you owe.”

She is asking for treble or punitive damages and attorney fees.
10/9/12

Americans can only hope.

Brazilian Corruption Case Raises Hopes for Judicial System

NY Times Brazilians have been riveted by the televised spectacle at the nation’s high court, in which justices are sparring over what is arguably Brazil’s largest corruption scandal. When the dust settles and sentences are announced, prominent politicians and bankers may actually go to jail.

10/9/12

Money waiting for foreclosed homeowners

Sorry we stole your home, equity, personal belongings, credit, ruined your life and even drove some to suicide.  Now we are being "paid" to send you a tiny check to memorialize the success of our criminal enterprise.  

Dayton Daily News The payments will not make anyone rich or help them get back their house, DeWine said.
This is a little compensation. It’s certainly better than not getting it,” he said. “We encourage people to apply, but it’s not going to make them whole.”
Eligible foreclosed borrowers will receive a minimum $840.

10/9/12

DISTRESSED HOMEOWNERS INITIATIVE

Foreclosure are reported to hit the market again soon in large numbers.

Distressed Homeowner Fraud and Mortgage Fraud may be reported to:

FBI 1-800-CALL FBI

HUD 1-800-347-3735 

FTC 1-877-FTC HELP

Seymour Herald Fraudulent deed transfers occur when a subject convinces a homeowner to transfer their deed, with a promise to protect the home from foreclosure, allowing the scammer to re-sell the property or secure a second mortgage, without the homeowner’s knowledge.

Homeowners who educate themselves about these schemes and the warning signs will be better prepared to avoid victimization.

Warning Signs:

8/16/12

WHO IS MERS?  THE TELLTALE TRADEMARK OF MERS®

It’s the “name game” extraordinaire. There were 3 Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc

MERS is not a “holder” under the plain language of the statute,” says the Supreme Court of the State of Washington

Deadly Clear There were three (3) Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.(s) created = (I), (II), (III).

Shortly after the name change, MERSCORP, Inc. created yet another Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (III) (per Hultman) which is the “Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.” (strawman) in the mortgage contracts (not MERSCORP, Inc.; and, the “MERS” reference in the mortgages is just an acronym – not the registered trademark MERS®).

10/9/12

Judge pleased with RI foreclosure mediation

In her special master's report, Sherman called the mortgage crisis a "Gordian knot" and said that debt forgiveness needs to be part of the solution.

Translation:  The bank has no case... "Can we at least scam the borrower into paying something?"

CBS News Hundreds of homeowners in the state have sued, saying their mortgage foreclosure proceedings were fraudulent or flawed. McConnell last year ordered a stay of the cases and in January appointed Sherman to bring the parties together to try to reach settlements that would keep people in their homes.

10/9/12

U.S. Files Civil Mortgage Fraud Suit Against Wells Fargo

The suit undermines San Francisco-based Wells Fargo’s reputation as a lender that avoided some of the industry’s worst underwriting practices and threatens to compound the bank’s costs as the government completes probes of the housing bubble’s collapse.

Bloomberg The government seeks damages and civil penalties under the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 for alleged misconduct spanning more than a decade related to the bank’s participation in a Federal Housing Administration program.
10/9/12

While judges & lawyers continue aiding banks to commit much more devastating crimes...

FTC Cracks Down On Phony Mortgage Relief Schemes

FTC “With many homeowners still struggling to hold onto their homes, the FTC takes a hard line against con artists who are seeking their next victim,” said Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.
10/9/12

Must be close to Election Time huh?

Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force Members Reveal Results of Distressed Homeowner Initiative

Department of Justice “The success of the Distressed Homeowner Initiative, and the developments we announce today, underscore our determination to pursue these and other financial fraud criminals around the country.” 

BUT IT FAILS TO ATTACK THE "SOURCE" OF THE FRAUD!

10/9/12

Distressed Homeowner Initiative
Don’t Let Mortgage Fraud Happen to You

We’ve also noticed a disturbing trend among these cases—an increasing number of lawyers playing primary or secondary roles in the fraud.

FBI In 2010, the FTC issued a rule that prohibited companies that offer loan modification or other types of mortgage assistance services from asking for fees in advance (some states have similar regulations), but with an exemption in some instances for lawyers performing legal work.

10/9/12

MERS secures favorable appellate judgment in split-the-note case

MetLife v. Hansen

Housing Wire The homeowners argued that the note and the mortgage were split, making it impossible for MetLife to have the power to foreclose. But the panel of Kansas Court of Appeals judges disagreed, finding that MERS had an agency relationship with all of the lender's successors, essentially making the splitting of the note and mortgage a non-issue.
August 2012

white paper

How Forum-Shopping Determines Substance in Judicial Debt Collection

In a recent report, the Federal Trade Commission declared "the system for resolving disputes about consumer debt is broken" largely due to alleged abuses by the debt collection industry.

University of Notre Dame Law School

h/t HETR

This study takes that allegation a step further and looks beyond the small claims courts of Marion County to examine the forum shopping practices of collection attorneys throughout Indiana. The evidence suggests that collection firms do forum shop between courts in individual judicial districts.
10/9/12

Canadian bank goes after homes to collect credit card debts

The company’s tactic – which consumer advocates say is designed to intimidate debtors – has sparked outrage.

Home Equity Theft Reporter In a significant escalation by debt collectors who pursue consumers for payment, a major Canadian bank has threatened to foreclose on the homes of hundreds of Californians unless they pay back old credit card debts.
10/9/12

Republicans Demand Investigation as bank forgives Rep's $93G debt

Israel defended the bank bailout of his mortgage, citing a marital breakup and a depressed housing market.

The Labate aide also said the loan forgiveness “raises the suspicion of a private deal being made between a bank who received a bailout and a congressman who voted for that bailout.

NY Post “I don’t understand how he [Israel] is eligible for this program when numerous other homeowners are struggling and are not being given this same opportunity,” said Grace Slezak, owner of Destiny International Realty.

“In my professional opinion,” the 26-year real-estate vet said, “I don’t see how he would qualify for this; it appears highly irregular.”

Israel defended the bank bailout of his mortgage, citing a marital breakup and a depressed housing market.
10/8/12

Forced insurance policies cripple Minnesota homeowners

Lenders slap struggling homeowners with sky-high insurance rates.

Like thousands of other Minnesotans, Keeney's financial problems involve force-placed insurance, a little-known form of coverage generating billions of dollars in profits for insurers and banks -- but getting little scrutiny from state regulators.

Lenders don't like to talk about the business.

h/t Home Equity Theft Reporter

Star tribune

Mortgage lenders typically receive a commission from carriers when they push their clients into force-placed coverage. Those commissions and other payments are big business for banks. For example, JP Morgan Chase -- one of the nation's biggest mortgage lenders -- disclosed in May that it earned $663 million in the past five years by charging commissions of up to 20 percent on each policy and splitting profits with its insurer.

"These [banks] are making more money by keeping things in foreclosure rather than trying to fix things," said Kristin Siegesmund, head of the consumer unit at Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance.

10/8/12

The World's Largest Money-Laundering Machine: The Federal Reserve

Since the Fed can create unlimited money, why not pay off every mortgage in the land? That's only $9.7 trillion, and if the Fed wanted to unleash an orgy of spending, that would certainly do it. Trillions in losses would be filled with "free money," since the Fed would pay the full value of all mortgages.

Tyler Durdin

Zero Hedge

Here's how it works. We know Fannie Mae is absorbing losses of 50% to 65% on its foreclosed properties (Nearly half of Fannie Mae REO unable to reach market, via U. Doran), and we also know that 31% of all homeowners with mortgages are "underwater," owing more than their house is worth (Housing, Diminishing Returns and Opportunity Cost).

We also know the Federal Reserve bought $1.1 trillion in MBS (mortgage-backed securities) in 2009-10, and the Fed has announced its intention to buy $40 billion more MBS a month until the housing bubble re-inflates or Doomsday, whichever comes first.
10/8/12

Report Takes Former SEC Inspector General to Task for Allegedly Inappropriate Friendships

LegalTimes According to a Reuters account based on the report, investigators said that Kotz should have excused himself from the investigation about Ponzi scheme financier R. Allen Stanford because Kotz was friends with a female attorney who represented the victims. It also details that Kotz should also have excused himself from the SEC's re-organization because he used "flirtatious" communication with an employee working on the project.
October 2012

The Fight Over the Use of Eminent Domain to Seize Underwater Mortgages: Recent Updates

DechertOnPoint It is too soon to predict the fate of the calls for seizing underwater mortgages through eminent domain, but due to the national scope of residential mortgage securitization and policy, the actions of any one program will have ripple effects on all mortgage borrowers and lenders throughout the country. The only thing that seems likely at this point is that litigation will ensue regardless of which side initially prevails.

10/8/12

OCWEN & Miller’s Foreclosure Mill Could Derail Brown’s Campaign For Register of Deeds

OCWEN Files Fraudulent Docs In 2 Michigan Counties

Signature does not match signature filed with the Secretary of State 

MFI-Miami If she does get elected Clerk/Register of Deeds and forged documents are discovered to have been filed in Oakland County by her brother’s firm will she report it to the Oakland County Prosecutor, the Michigan Attorney General or the U.S. Prosecutor’s Office? As a member of the Michigan Bar (P47891) she is also duty bound to also report it to the Michigan Bar but would she? This is a serious question and she has less than 30 days to answer it.
10/8/12

Massachusetts foreclosure -prevention law may help Springfield

MassLive A state foreclosure prevention law that takes effect next month is expected to help keep defaulting homeowners in their homes, provided they can still offer their lenders more value than the home would sell for after a foreclosure.
10/8/12

Occupy Members Join Police in Bid to Save Home

Nearly a year after Occupy Atlanta members clashed with police in riot gear in an Atlanta park, they're now drawing support from officers in their efforts to help a longtime detective avoid losing her home to foreclosure by U.S. Bank.

  Demonstrators say they'll join active and retired Atlanta police officers Monday at the Fayetteville home of retired Atlanta police Detective Jaqueline Barber. Group members say Barber was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer, after buying the home about 20 miles south of Atlanta. She now faces eviction.
10/8/12

Smoke & Mirrors in Foreclosure

Foreclosure defense not only looks at the legal aspect of your loan, it also gives you a chance to seek a resolution (like mortgage modification or short sale) while you request that the lender to go beyond the smoke and mirrors and check the actual documentation.

Florida Times Problems in documents during the boom years of real estate have led to document doctoring during the bust for some loans. That makes foreclosure cases worth examining. Even if you owe money and you know you owe money, you may have a legitimate complaint with the way your mortgage was handled, or the proper party owed. 

10/7/12

 

Investors’ Billion-Dollar Fraud Fighter

A few days after securing the largest shareholder recovery arising from the financial crisis — $2.43 billion from Bank of America — the plaintiffs’ lawyer Max W. Berger was not taking a victory lap.

“It makes me sad that in all of these scandals, no matter how good a job we do of getting results and inflicting pain, the government doesn’t seem to follow suit, and nobody learns, and it’s business as usual,” he said in an interview.

NY Times “This case will now serve as Exhibit A for corporate directors tempted to withhold information from shareholders,” Mr. Berger said. “The message isn’t complicated: Just tell the truth.”

“The securities class-action bar has come under relentless assault over the years,” said J. Robert Brown Jr., a corporate law professor at the University of Denver. “Yet these suits, especially the ones tied to the financial crisis, actually have had real value in the capital markets because companies need to know that there is a heavy price to pay for their misconduct.”

10/7/12

JPMorgan Feigns Injury From Lawsuit Pinprick

Bloomberg For JPMorgan to complain about Schneiderman’s suit, even though this was one of the risks it agreed to take in the March 2008 merger agreement with Bear Stearns, is beyond ridiculous; it’s simply spin.

10/6/12

Dissolve the SEC

The SEC paid a $5 million fine to NYSE for allowing certain customers prices before other customers. I was baffled that the fine is so low- access like that allows the customers to make outrageous profits, and it seems like the resulting fine should be more along the lines of those profits, since kickbacks are probably in terms of percentages of take. The lawyer fees from this case on both sides is much higher than $5 million

  Look, I don’t care what it’s for: if the SEC finds you guilty of fraud, it should threaten to put you out of business. Otherwise why should they waste their time doing it?

On the one hand, I’m outraged that these fraudulent practices are being so lightly punished. Indeed it’s worse than no punishment at all to get such a light punishment, because it establishes precedent. Now exchanges know how much it costs to let certain traders get better access to data than others, and as long as they charge sufficiently, they’ll be sure to make profit on it.
10/5/12

Eminent Domain is Still on the Table: Banks Outraged!

The more people look at it, Eminent Domain looks like a good option that is fair and reasonable and smokes out the REAL creditor. 

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

This would expose the players in the securitization chain to civil and tax liability that they have not reported to the investors nor to the borrower. The actual amount left on the debt might lower than the fair market value of the property — but creditors are only allowed to get paid once for each debt, not multiple times the way they did in the securitization scam.

10/5/12

Foreclosure mills in the clear; Florida closes cases with no findings

Palm Beach Post Palm Beach County homeowner advocate Lisa Epstein, whose grassroots effort helped uncover the robo-signing issue, said she has little faith anyone will be held accountable for foreclosure malpractice.
“As we’ve all seen, foreclosure mills have nothing to fear from the Florida Bar."  “In the end, government and law enforcement on all levels has implemented a policy to bail out the banks while the people, the rule of law, the authenticity of the nation’s property records, and the integrity of our judiciary go to hell.

Foreclosure fiasco has Portland woman furious

Four months after Bank of America admitted making mistakes in threatening to foreclose on a Portland woman’s home, the bank is back at it again.

KGW “From what I can see, it looks like they're in violation of this term of the agreement, yes,” Whang said to Unit 8. “Here you have an erroneous situation where she actually did make the payment, but a false statement went to the credit reporting bureaus.

10/5/12

Judge tosses foreclosure suit by 'living dead' bank IndyMac

Something scary has been haunting a homeowner facing foreclosure in Brooklyn -- a "living dead" bank that a judge compared to Dracula.

INDYMAC v. Meisels 

Dismissed with prejudice

Then you get this INDYMAC v. Thompson case from the day before.  Same Court - different judge.

This one states:  Contrary to the Supreme Court's determination, an original mortgagee can continue an action even though it assigned its interest in the mortgage and note to another entity during the pendency of an action, unless the court directs a substitution of parties pursuant to CPLR 1018. Accordingly, the Supreme Court erred in, sua sponte, directing dismissal of the complaint based on the plaintiff's alleged assignment of the subject mortgage and note to another entity during the pendency of this action. 

Thomson Reuters The judge, a frequent critic of mortgage servicing abuses, also chastised the law firm that brought the foreclosure action, Fein, Such & Crane.

The firm faces possible sanctions from Schack for "engaging in frivolous conduct" by bringing the case on behalf of the defunct bank, the decision said.

The judge also faulted the "numerous defects" in how the mortgage and note were assigned to IndyMac by MERS, the privately held electronic mortgage registry set up by the banks.

10/5/12

Ex-cop in foreclosure trashing released from jail with ankle bracelet

Husband and wife were found guilty in May on one felony count each of stealing tens of thousands of dollars in fixtures when they moved out of their foreclosed home in 2010.

Press-Enterprise A former San Diego police officer convicted, along with his wife, of trashing his foreclosed French Valley home was let out of jail after serving less than a month of his 270-day sentence behind bars.

He was transferred from jail to the supervised electronic monitoring program. There are no credits under the program, he said, so Acosta will have to serve the entire 218 days.

10/5/12

Canadian bank goes after homes to collect credit card debts

Bay Citizen In a significant escalation by debt collectors who pursue consumers for payment, a major Canadian bank has threatened to foreclose on the homes of hundreds of Californians unless they pay back old credit card debts.

10/5/12

Credit Suisse Faces Probe, Lawsuit over US Mortgage-Backed Securities

Credit Suisse is under investigation by US federal and state regulators and is being sued by three credit unions in relation to the underwriting and sales of certain derivatives that are largely to blame for the onset of the credit crisis in August 2007.

ibtimes NCUA says in a statement that US Central Federal Credit Union, Western Corporate Federal Credit Union and Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union paid more than $715m for mortgage backed securities (MBS) and were led to believe that there was little chance that they would lose all their money.

10/4/12

Chris Whalen On JPM And Fraudclosure (IMPORTANT!)

I have long maintained (since this crap became public in 2007 and 2008) that the 900lb Gorilla in the room was going to come about when someone managed to bring the following argument before a Judge in a foreclosure action:

See post

 

  The intent here is quite simple -- not only is there a judicial interest in guaranteeing that the person who is standing before the judge is really the assignee of the note (or his lawful agent) and there is only one of them out there (who is the one standing before the bar) in addition you can only collect on a loss via lawsuit or other payment once!
Chris is onto this but this rabbit hole goes a lot further than many people think it does.
If -- and this is a big if -- we can get just one honest judge to hear these arguments and force that accounting to take place in his courtroom then the game is up.
10/4/12

57,000 completed foreclosures in U.S. in August

AG Beat Includes a chart for judicial and non-judicial foreclosure states.
10/4/12

The High Price of ‘Forced’ Insurance

State and federal regulators have begun to question whether mortgage servicers have been too quick to slap these high-priced policies into place, possibly because of financial incentives. At hearings held this spring by the New York State Department of Financial Services, a representative for American Home Mortgage Servicing acknowledged that a company affiliate receives 15 percent commissions from QBE First, a major provider of lender-placed insurance, for policies placed on its loans.

NY Times Because the premiums for lender-placed policies are 2 to 10 times as expensive as standard homeowner policies, these policies impose a considerable burden on already distressed homeowners, said Alexis Iwanisziw, a research and policy analyst for New York’s Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project. In some cases, the cost more or less ensures foreclosure for a household on the brink; it can also hurt a borrower’s chances for a loan modification.

The new rules would require the servicer to continue advancing the money to keep the homeowner’s policy in effect rather than letting it lapse, so the forced-place insurance would never even come up,” said Andrew Pizor, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.

10/4/12

Fixing the Libor Rates – By Far the Greatest Financial Scandal Yet

Golem XIV UK Barclays has ‘agreed’ to pay a fine of 290 million pounds for its role in fixing the LIBOR. RBS, now 82% owned by the British public has also been negotiating how much is feels like paying the British public for being caught red handed. We now have a state-owned body negotiating with a state authority about how much it feels like paying for breaking the law. Try negotiating your legally-declared tax bill with the Revenue office and see how far you get…
10/4/12

Interactive map

Eye-opening visualization of the viral spread of foreclosures

AG Beat In an interactive map The Atlantic is calling “stunning,” the WNYC radio station pulled together years of Realtytrac data in an interactive visual to show the widespread foreclosure epidemic.
10/3/12

5th Circuit denies attorney Scruggs appeal on Misprison of Felony conviction

We post this Misprison of Felony case because it can apply to whoever has knowledge of the crimes related to  illegal foreclosures. 

5th Circuit Court of Appeals

Mississippi

The statutory language is:
Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony
cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
10/3/12

NY AG Suit Will Serve as a Template

Bloomberg “This is a workable template for future actions against issuers of residential mortgage-backed securities that defrauded investors and cost millions of Americans their homes,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

10/3/12

Homeowners, advocates want bank reps JAILED for foreclosure fraud

Homeowners and anti-foreclosure advocates are calling for bank officials and foreclosure attorneys to be criminally investigated and jailed for using fraudulent documents to force families from their homes. 

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

CBS Despite settling claims of foreclosure fraud with the U.S. Justice Department and 49 states, no bank official has been held criminally responsible for the submitted false documents in untold thousands of foreclosure proceedings. 

Powell said he became a victim of massive foreclosure fraud when he attempted to modify the loan on his Forsyth County home. He said the bank told him not to make his mortgage payments while it worked out the loan modification, then lost his 60-page modification application six times. 

"When I called in to ask who the negotiator was and why I hadn't heard from him they're like, 'what modification? What package? We don't have any paperwork on you,'" Powell recalled.
10/3/12

OneWest Bank Mortgage Fraud Case in Washington, DC Pasadena, California

OneWest Bank is facing a jury trial on October 8th, 2012 in the District of Columbia on allegation that it 
attempted to foreclose on Ross Yerger, a primary mortgage-holder, who was paying his mortgage. Ross Yerger is a Special Agent of the United States Secret Service.

RipoffReport In September of 2010, OneWest received a mortgage payment via its own electronic funds transfer system. When the money wasn’t reflected in the homeowner’s account, he called OneWest to fix the problem. Several weeks later, OneWest issued a check back to the homeowner along with a letter saying that it was rejecting the prior funds transfer—not because there was anything wrong with the homeowner’s payment, but because OneWest had held on to the money so long that it unilaterally applied late fees and penalties and, as a result, the payment didn’t reflect the entire amount due. Instead of accepting the payment and erasing the fees, the bank declared the payment as “partial” and rejected it. At that time, OneWest hired a law firm to begin the process of foreclosing on the property.

10/3/12

FORECLOSUREGATE

Chris Whalen On JPM And Fraudclosure (IMPORTANT!)

What is really interesting is that the legal complaint filed by Schneiderman talks about sloppy procedures for loan selection, but still does not get to the real fun, namely multiple pledges of loans for different RMBS. And you can be sure that Schneiderman does not really want to go that far because it might force him to ask the same question about the other, far larger issuers of RMBS.

Remember, the whole point of the Robo-signing settlement is not consumer protection, but rather fraud. The key question: Who’s got the note? If you don’t have to deliver the note into an RMBS trust, then the door is wide open for securities fraud.

the 900lb Gorilla in the room was going to come about when someone managed to bring the following argument before a Judge in a foreclosure action:

 

Karl Denninger

Market Ticker

Your Honor, defendant moves that the plaintiff be required to show a full and complete accounting of all activity of the subject claimed note, including but not limited to:

Where the actual funds came from to fund the loan he entered into, and whether they ever actually existed or were fabricated out of thin air.

The chain of custody of the note he signed, including the consideration paid for its negotiation each time it was negotiated, and that it was pledged and negotiated exactly once into one trust, and that this occurred in a lawful manner on or prior to the closing date of said trust.

All financial events at a line-item level of detail, identifying each payee and payor along with each event from the date of origination to the averred default being sued under, including not only payments made and alleged payments missed along with penalties and interest but also any and all swaps collected upon or other transactions that acted as insurance or in any other way mitigated the plaintiff's or any other party at interest's damages.
10/3/12

Schneiderman's JPMorgan Lawsuit Lets Every Single Banker Off The Hook

Huff Post The lack of any named individuals undercuts Schneiderman's claim that the suit is a major step toward holding Wall Street accountable for the mortgage-bond monkey business that led to the financial crisis. It sends an awful message to Wall Street: Break whatever you want, your shareholders (and the taxpayers) will pick up the tab.

10/3/12

Bank of America Preparing For Something? 150,000 second liens are released.

This should put all 150,000 homeowners on notice that BofA has some doubts about whether they can prove up a foreclosure using any means or the names of any parties.

Living Lies 150,000 people are receiving letters now telling them that their second tier mortgages are “eliminated.” Whether BOA has the authority to do this depends upon whether they are the creditor in those loans. They may be the creditor in some of them but I suspect that the loans cannot be proven in any chain of title, chain of documents or chain of money transfers.
10/3/12

Successor JP Morgan Chase is Sued Over Billions in Fraudulent Mortgage-Backed Securities Sold by Bear Stearns

The Stockmarketloss.com group of Hermann, Cahn & Schneider LLP is investigating potential individual and group claims concerning mortgage-backed securities sold by Bear Stearns and/or EMC Mortgage

StockMarketLoss JPMorgan Chase & Co., America’s largest bank, was sued by the State of New York over allegations that Bear Stearns – a broker-dealer the bank took over in 2008 – defrauded investors out of tens of billions of dollars. Bear Stearns allegedly mislead investors about the quality of the mortgage debt that formed the basis for its mortgage-backed securities.

“Defendants systematically failed to fully evaluate the loans, largely ignored the defects that their limited review did uncover, and kept investors in the dark about both the inadequacy of their review procedures and the defects in the underlying loans.

10/3/12

N.Y. Mortgage Probe Said to Get Extension to Sue 12 Firms

New York Attorney General is looking into the mortgage securities practices of at least a dozen financial institutions that have agreed to suspend a deadline for him to bring fraud claims.

Bloomberg The tolling agreements, reached this year, stop the clock on the six-year statute of limitations and ensure Schneiderman can bring civil fraud claims against banks for conduct going as far back as 2006.

Schneiderman said: “We’re looking at tens of billions of dollars, not just by one institution, but by quite a few.”

10/3/12**

Homeowners Have Standing To Challenge Faulty Mortgage Assignments From One Bankster To Another, But Only Where Defects Render Conveyance Absolutely Void, Not Merely Voidable

Miller v. Homecomings Financial 

Home Equity Theft Reporter In sum, a standing issue is lurking here, but only as to the defendants, not the plaintiffs. The court concludes that under Texas law homeowners have legal standing to challenge the validity or effectiveness of any assignment or chain of assignments under which a party claims the right to foreclose on their property.

Accordingly, plaintiffs have properly stated claims for declaratory and injunctive relief based on wrongful foreclosure, trespass to try title and quiet title.
10/3/12**

WILLFUL BLINDNESS perhaps?

One issue that didn't come up during the debate is Scott Brown's ties to the mortgage industry and what role he may have played in the mortgage meltdown.

Elizabeth Warren: 2 | Scott Brown: Duh

Brown was doing work for Fidelity National when it still owned LPS.

The simple question is: If Scott Brown is going to question Elizabeth Warren's character based on whether or not she checked a box on a job application 20 years ago, doesn't it stand to reason that his character be questioned for helping mortgage companies railroad homeowners into toxic and exploding mortgages?

Richard Zombeck

Huff Post

So if Brown knew what Fidelity National was up to and how it could potentially adversely affect homeowners, did he have an ethical responsibility to notify his clients? And does that speak equally to his character in the same way he relentlessly questions Warren?

Adam Levitin, Professor of Law at Georgetown Law first asked the question last week:

How many predatory loans did Scott Brown facilitate? How many of the loans where he handled the closing resulted in foreclosure? What would he say to those families that lost their homes to predatory loans?

10/3/12

Bankruptcy And The Future Of The Economic Unit

Bankruptcy Law Network  In this case, the Court went to a higher level of analysis to determine that the filing spouse and non-filing spouse created an economic unit, and therefore, the entire amount of the non-filing spouse’s income should be included in means test. While I believe that the case was correctly decided, it did get me thinking about other ways the economic unit theory could be applied.
10/3/12

Joseph Stiglitz: 'The American Dream Has Become A Myth'

Rising from rags to riches isn't the American dream, it's an American fairytale, according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.

"The American dream has become a myth," Stiglitz, an economics professor at Columbia University, told the German news magazine Der Spiegel in an interview published Tuesday. "The belief in the American dream is not supported by the data."

Huff Post Stiglitz told Der Spiegel that in spite of anecdotes about poor people becoming rich, overall "the life chances of a young U.S. citizen are more dependent on the income and education of his parents than in any other advanced industrial country for which there is data."

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, for his part, said last year that "70 percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want the welfare state."

10/3/12

Foreclosure Compensation Programs Update

The link above shows you an example of what these letters look like - this example is from a homeowner in Florida. Your letter would have the seal of your own state's attorney general.

ProPublica To claim a payment under the settlement, you simply have to check a box indicating you qualify. See our FAQ for all the details, including what you should do if you think you qualify but never receive a letter.

The deadline to submit a claim for the Independent Foreclosure Review has been extended to Dec. 31, 2012. See all of our info about that program here.
10/2/12

REMIC Status Under Fire: HUGE LOSSES FROM TAX LIABILITIES

 

Living Lies The author’s state “This calamity is compounded by the fact that those professional advisers should have known that the REMICs they created were flawed from the start. If these losses are realized, those professionals will face suits for damages so large that they could put them out of business.” We are talking about bankers, insurers, lawyers, accounting firms and all the other players that were engaged in the make-believe game of securitization.

10/2/12

REPORT

After Mortgage Settlement, Banks Continued Abusive Practice, California Monitor Says

The five big banks that agreed to reform foreclosure practices have continued to "dual-track" homeowners.

Prof. Porter's Report: Waiting for Change: Dual Tracking and Home Foreclosure

Huff Post This is a practice that mortgage companies should have stopped long ago, she said. "Consumers shouldn't need a law professor as their ally."

Porter said her team has intervened with mortgage companies to stop dozens of wrongful foreclosures. 

The banks have until Wednesday to implement hundreds of "servicing" reforms mandated by the settlement, or face penalties of up to $1 million per occurrence. (Who gets the $1 mil.?)

10/2/12

The Mortgage Settlement's Big Day

 Today, October 2, is the last day for the nation's five largest mortgage companies to implement the servicing reforms in the National Mortgage Settlement.

The report gives some data on dual tracking to bring visibility to this issue. After the jump, I report some bad news and good news on how the Settlement implementation reforms are going. 

Prof. Porter

Credit Slips

The California Monitor Program received 224 complaints about dual tracking since the Settlement was announced. The bad news is this clearly understates the degree of the problem. Most families do not file a complaint, and even among the 1,482 total complaints received, some may focus on confusing communication from their banks, meaning my staff doesn't realize dual tracking is occurring well into its work to help the family. The good news is the trend line is sharply downward in September. As the chart shows, dual tracking complaints were half as frequent last month. (but it's still higher than April)
10/2/12

Eric Schneiderman Will Have to Do Better Than This

A Pricewaterhouse spokeswoman said the accounting firm performed no audit work for Bear Stearns and that the complaint is wrong.

Bloomberg It would surprise nobody to learn that Bear Stearns committed fraud before its near-collapse in 2008. But this suit doesn’t seem to be about accountability. If it were, it would have named some individuals as defendants. You can’t have a fraud without fraudsters.
10/2/12

 

People of New York v. JPM, EMC Mortgage

Mr. Schneiderman Presents His Case

Another contrast is that mortgage fraud cases, to date, have tended to settle quickly. In this case, JPMorgan has said it would contest the allegations. That creates the potential to unearth more evidence of wrongdoing, increasing the possibility that the case could be used as a template for further cases.

NY Times It also holds out the possibility of criminal charges, assuming that fact-finding in the civil case leads to evidence of crimes. The Schneiderman case does not name any individuals, and the time for pursuing criminal charges under state law is running short. But federal prosecutors have greater leeway to pursue such charges.

So where are the feds? If systemic fraud is alleged under New York law, why aren’t there parallel federal charges, civil and criminal, for violations of banking, tax and securities laws? Clearly, unless there is a pathway to criminal prosecution even a successful civil suit is likely to leave the impression that justice has not been done.
10/2/12

People of New York v. JPM, EMC Mortgage

In JPMorgan Suit, a Lack of New News

NY Times The decision to pursue civil charges under New York’s Martin Act means that the state’s attorney general will not have to prove fraudulent intent, only that the firm was negligent in making any false or misleading disclosures. While easier to prove, that also indicates that the evidence to prove fraud was not strong enough to bring more serious charges.
10/2/12

18,000 People Just Told Eric Schneiderman “No Bank Is Too Big To Jail”

The Other 98% “It’s time to indict Wall Street for mortgage fraud or resign from the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force – the statutes of limitations are running out on some of the worst crimes from the financial crisis, and we need you to take action on the biggest banks and worst offenders now, or step down in protest as you tell us why not.”
10/2/12

25-year prison term for foreclosure-rescue scammer as banks continue their scam unabated

For the victims, the 25-year prison term given Monday to Anthony J. DeMarco 3d for massive mortgage fraud was almost meaningless next to their losses.

At DeMarco's sentencing hearing in federal court in Philadelphia, each attributed the death of a parent to the devastation their families felt after losing their houses to DeMarco's scam, which was sold to victims as a foreclosure-rescue program.

Philly "She gave up the will to live when this came to light," Cheesman said of her mother.

Oesterle said his father collapsed from a heart attack shortly after hearing from a state banking investigator that he had fallen victim to fraud and had lost the equity in his home.

Michael recalled having to explain to his mother, who was in the hospital, that she had no home to go back to.

These are the same outcomes of the crimes committed by the banks.

10/2/12

Obama gets up-close view of Nevada's foreclosure crisis

Sometimes all President Barack Obama has to do is look out the window to get a firsthand look at the country’s economic woes. and the all-consuming damage caused by the banks and Wall Street.

RGJ Many houses here are empty, victims of Nevada’s foreclosure crisis, and others are worth far less than their purchase price.

Farther down the road, a golf course is abandoned — one of two shuttered in the neighborhood. A sparkling shopping center off the main drag has no shops to fill its storefronts.

10/2/12

Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group Members Announce First Legal Action

People of New York v. JPM, EMC Mortgage

Department of Justice

Press release

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has filed a Martin Act lawsuit against J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (formerly known as Bear Stearns & Co. Inc.), JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A., and EMC Mortgage. 

The RMBS Working Group was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. But this is a civil suit.

10/2/12

JPMorgan Unit Is Sued Over Mortgage Securities Pools

The complaint contends that Bear Stearns and its lending unit, EMC Mortgage, defrauded investors who purchased mortgage securities packaged by the companies from 2005 through 2007.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

The allegations in the suit against Bear and EMC are not new. The task force complaint closely echoes legal arguments made in recent years by numerous private litigants trying to recover losses in mortgage securities. Most of these cases continue to inch their way through the courts.

People of New York v. JPM, EMC Mortgage

JPMorgan Unit Sued Over Alleged Mortgage Fraud

"We follow the facts and the law wherever they lead, and if we uncover evidence of fraud or other illegal conduct, we pursue that conduct aggressively," Tony West, the acting associate attorney general, said today at a news conference at Main Justice.

LegalTimes "This complaint goes to the heart of the misconduct that created that bubble and crash," Schneiderman said. He said his office had been working on the suit since the spring of 2011. He promised today that "there are more cases to come."

He said his office had been working on the suit since the spring of 2011. He promised today that "there are more cases to come."

Bear Stearns accused of fraud but skeptics question target and timing

Eric Schneiderman brings case against investment bank, now part of JP Morgan, over mortgages sold between 2005 and 2007

the guardian UK "This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans," Obama said.

Late on Monday, Schneiderman announced his first case would be against Bear Stearns, once one of Wall Street's biggest players.


US government sues JPMorgan over Bear Stearns ‘fraud’

The case against JPMorgan might be the first of several. Lawyers say regulators may be using the case to raise more aid for distressed homeowners.

The Week - UK Many believe the timing of the suit is politically motivated, coming a little over a month before the election. Obama has little support on Wall Street so there is greater electoral benefit in appearing tough on banks and white collar crime than hoping for support from the financial services industries.

Mortgage Task Force Targets JPMorgan / EMC Mortgage

Gerald H. Silk, a lawyer at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, welcomed the lawsuit. “The government’s action represents a complete validation of the cases brought by investors,” Mr. Silk said.

NY Times The federal task force formed to investigate mortgage fraud has sued Bear Stearns and its lending unit, EMC Mortgage, the first case brought by the federal group, The New York Times reports. The civil lawsuit, according to The Times, cites “a broad pattern of misconduct in the packaging and sale of mortgage securities during the housing boom.

People of New York v. JPM, EMC Mortgage

10/1/12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supreme Court gives

Banks foreclosure win

The Nevada Supreme Court has sided with banks by validating MERS, a key cog in the foreclosure enforcement machinery that has sparked legal disputes all over the country.

Edelstein v. BONY

Las Vegas Review In a 26-page ruling delivered Thursday, all seven justices agreed that hundreds of thousands of home mortgages in the state involving the Mortgage Electronic Registration System Inc. could be put into foreclosure after technical adjustments.

In Nevada, attorney Jacob Hafter said, who argued the case for homeowner David Edelstein, "the court has cleared a path to begin foreclosing in a mass effort."

Nevada Supreme Court Creates Conflict: Approves MERS

Reciting that the deed of trust was conveyed obviously meant something to the Court. They were presuming that however it was done, the note was “properly” transferred and delivered when in fact the note was invalid and any transfer of it was both a nullity and the form of the transfer was the opposite of that intended by the pooling and servicing agreement. 

Living Lies If you were “buying” a note, would you want it endorsed in blank when the end user (creditor) was already known or would you condition acceptance upon proper assignment to you, recordable or recorded of a performing loan. The answer is obvious. The question is why did the parties intentionally violate the terms of the PSA and good judgment? The answer is that they were “borrowing” the loan to trade on it, get insurance payable to the intermediaries and otherwise steal the identity and ownership of the loan along with any proceeds from hedge products that were specifically described in the PSA but used to line the pockets of the bankers instead o the creditor.
10/1/12

JPMorgan/EMC Mortgage sued by New York over mortgage securities

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase & Co for fraud over faulty mortgage-backed securities packaged and sold by the former Bear Stearns.

Reuters The lawsuit alleged a "systematic abandonment of underwriting guidelines" in the selling of home loans that went into securities peddled by Bear Stearns.

People of New York v. JPM, EMC Mortgage

 

10/1/12

Schneiderman Suit Against JP Morgan/Bear/EMC Mortgage: A Rehash of Other Lawsuits, Likely to Produce Meager Settlement

What makes this particularly galling, as MBS Guy points out, is the previous attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, was on this trail in 2008 and granted immunity to Clayton and conducted his own investigation. Cuomo chose to do nothing in the end. Schneiderman chose only to dust it off when it was politically useful and what value it has is largely dissipated.

naked capitalism We were told by Administration loyalists that the fact that the statute of limitations for Federal securities law violations, which is five years (it’s a bit more complicated but that’s a not bad generalization) was not a big problem since the Feds had lots of other causes of action with 10 year statute of limitations, such as mail fraud and wire fraud.
10/1/12

Palm Beach County ruling: Foreclosure law firm wrong to charge for paperwork served to 'unknowns'

“I’m still stunned as to why the attorney general’s office just gave up,” Silber said. “Their approach was all wrong. They could have looked at the firm as a debt collector.”

h/t HETR Circuit Judge Lucy Chernow Brown said in a ruling last week there is no legal basis or justification for issuing a summons made out to an unknown party, and that attempts to collect payment on those summonses violates the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act and Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
10/1/12

Campaign for Liberty - Audit the Fed

Please Sign the petition

Campaign for Liberty With Congress spending TRILLIONS of taxpayer dollars and the Federal Reserve literally creating money out of thin air, it's never been more important you and I force Congress to Audit the Fed. 

That's why it is vital you sign this petition to your Senators and Representative DEMANDING they support the Audit the Fed bill.
10/1/12

Whistle-Blower Lawyers Throw Support Behind Obama

NY Times As the Obama administration has cracked down on corporate fraud, lawyers representing whistle-blowers have reaped multimillion-dollar rewards. Now, as they seek to sustain these historic payouts, they are serving as generous donors to the president’s re-election campaign.
10/1/12

Mortgage Fraud state Criminal statutes and resources

NCSL The legislation tracked under this category relates to creating a specific crime and penalties for mortgage fraud.

10/1/12

Bank of America to lay off 30,000

Why Settle For An American Zombie Bank?

  This type of behavior is endemic to the banking sector in 2012. This is the reason why they can report profits knowing full well that it is all based on manipulation of the accounting rules. A company that earns $3.1 billion in a quarter does not excise 30,000 jobs unless their actual business, i.e. traditional fee-based banking and lending was in trouble. 
10/1/12

Cyber Attacks on 6 Banks Frustrate Customers

NY Times Six major American banks were hit in a wave of computer attacks last week, by a group claiming Middle Eastern ties, that caused Internet blackouts and delays in online banking.
10/1/12

Loan Modifications Cancelled En Masse - 

Foreclosures Ramping UP!

CJ Holmes

Homeowners for Justice

HAMP has officially cancelled 1 million loan mods, as foreclosure filings are beginning to surge once again with the economy heading into the fourth quarter of 2012.

Government controlled entities like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD, as well as many of the nation's largest banks are scrambling to dispose of REO inventories as quickly as possible.

January - March 2012  /  April -May 2012  June - July 2012  / August-September 2012 / October-November 2012

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