Daily News  related to the Foreclosure Crisis

The biggest unpunished heist in human history - Max Keiser

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1/31/14

Detroit Sues to Cancel Some Costly Contracts

Detroit filed suit on Friday to invalidate some complex transactions it used to finance its pensions, contending they were illegal from the very beginning.

The city argues that deals with special entities set up in 2005 and 2006, which raised $1.4 billion, were aimed only at circumventing a ceiling on the amount of debt it could take on.

DealBook In a stunning turnaround, Detroit is also seeking to cancel some costly long-term contracts that were part of the deal, leaving two large banks, Bank of America and UBS, empty-handed just weeks after offering to pay them $165 million to get out of them. If a judge agrees, Detroit could be freed from having to honor the contracts, known as interest-rate swaps, which require it to pay tens of millions of dollars a year to the two banks.

1/31/14

Third prominent banker found dead in six days

More: Russell Investments Chief Economist Dueker Found Dead

Housing Wire Normally HousingWire wouldn’t cover deaths in the industry, but what’s strange is that Dueker is the third prominent banker found dead since Sunday.

On Sunday, William Broeksmit, 58, former senior manager for Deutsche Bank, was found hanging in his home, also an apparent suicide.

On Tuesday, Gabriel Magee, 39, vice president at JPMorgan Chase & Co’s  London headquarters, apparently jumped to his death from a building

1/31/14

Nevada AG sanctioned in lender fraud civil lawsuit

A Nevada judge has ordered the state to pay legal costs that could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars to Lender Processing Services, a mortgage-services company that state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto accused of consumer fraud and engaging in an illegal “robosigning” scheme.

Washington Times Masto accused the two of filing hundreds of mortgage documents without proper certification and signatures.

Defense attorneys in that case noted that Masto’s lead prosecutor was facing a foreclosure himself at the time, and a key witness - a notary public who claimed to have witnessed thousands of robosigning improprieties - (allegedly) committed suicide in 2011.

1/31/14

Unconscionable and Negligent Conduct in Loan Modification Practices

Remember that the common allegation of the "lenders" is that they are "holders" --- not that they are holders in due course which would require them to show that they paid value for the note and that they have the right to enforce it and collect because the money is actually owed to them. 

Living Lies The "holders" are subject to claims detailed in the Steinberger decision without reference to TILA, RESPA or any of the other claims that the courts are resisting. As holders they are subject to all claims and defenses of the borrower. And remember as well that it is a mistake to assume that the mortgage or deed of trust is governed by Article 3 of the UCC. Security instruments are only governed by Article 9 and they must be purchased for value for a party to be able to enforce them.

1/31/14

Attention Florida Consumers And Voters… Kindly Leave Your Homes NOW…  (otherwise Police will come to throw you out)

The nation’s banking class engage in a crime spree that is unprecedented in the history of mankind. I don’t think the Romans or Phoenicians were nearly as bold in their efforts to steal, rob, pillage.

Weidner Law The nation’s banks, robbed, stole, engaged and fraud and a wide range of crimes and schemes against not just the individual citizens and consumers, but against the entirety of state and federal government. 

The end product of this madness will be more families (remember, the ones that were supposed to be “helped” by the settlement) thrown into the street. But who cares about them after all. The other consequence will be a faltering real estate market being flooded with homes, which will be in very bad conditions, after the families who have been abused at the hands of their own government.

1/30/14

 

Bank of America could face higher penalties in ‘Hustle’ suit

Charlotte Observer The U.S. government is seeking higher penalties against Bank of America, three months after a jury found its Countrywide unit guilty of knowingly selling bad home loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The government, which initially sought $864 million in the so-called “Hustle” case, in a court filing Wednesday requested the Charlotte-based bank be fined $2.1 billion. The larger amount is the gross revenue the bank made from the sale of the loans, according to the government’s calculations.

1/30/14

Investor Demand for Foreclosed Properties on the Decline

"Investor demand and sales of foreclosed properties are dropping quickly," said Dr. David Stiff, principal economist for CoreLogic Case-Shiller.

National Mortgage Professional "This is especially true in states that were caught up early in the bubble and have non-judicial foreclosure proceedings, such as California and Arizona. In these states, inventories of bank-owned properties are close to being cleared. Non-investor demand, although increasing, will not replace demand from investors."

1/30/14

U.S. Banks Start to Ease Limits on Lending

At the same time, the easing carries risks, including a return to the type of lax underwriting standards that sowed the seeds of the crisis

WSJ The comptroller's report said it would still classify most banks' standards as "good or satisfactory" but did strike a cautionary tone. "The more [banks] loan, just naturally there is going to be more risk. It's a matter of how well they can control that risk," said Bob Piepergerdes, the OCC's director for retail credit risk. The OCC has already prodded banks to stop easing up standards on so-called leveraged loans, made to companies with high levels of debt, prompting big banks to step away from some deals.

1/30/14

Jamie Dimon's Raise Proves U.S. Regulatory Strategy is a Joke

If you make a big show of punishing someone, and when you're done they still don't think they have a behavior problem, you probably picked the wrong punishment. Every parent on earth knows this implicitly – but does the Obama White House finally get it, too, now, after Jamie Dimon's raise?

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

Apparently Eric Holder and Barack Obama still haven't caught on. They decided last year to make a big show of punishing JP Morgan Chase as a symbol of bank corruption, then forgot to punish the actual people who oversaw the bank's misdeeds. This is a little like trying to rein in a class bully by halving his school's budget. It doesn't work. Crimes are committed by people, and justice has to target people, too. Or else the whole thing is a joke, as we found out last week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIG WIN!

AZ "FELONY" recording statute is applicable to Robo-signers

Arizona court of appeals trashed lenders and robosigners today. Took the court 20 months to do it right! 

STEINBERGER v. THE HONORABLE MICHAEL R. MCVEY, ONE WEST, QUALITY, INDYMAC, DEUTSCHE BANK

AZ Court of Appeals Under A.R.S. § 39-161,

A person who acknowledges, certifies, notarizes, procures or offers to be filed, registered or recorded in a public office in this state an instrument he knows to be false or forged, which, if genuine, could be filed, registered or recorded under any law of this state or the United States, or in compliance with established procedure is guilty of a class 6 felony. As used in this section “instrument” includes a written instrument as defined in section 13-2001.

Arizona Appeals Court Reverses Direction: Dismissal of Borrower’s Claims Reversed

"This decision needs to be analyzed carefully. I have only just received it. In the coming days I will provide additional analysis." -Neil

Living Lies Unconscionability: Procedural and Substantive: Unfair surprise and fairness, respectively, are the main elements. This opinion raises the possibility of bringing claims that might have been barred by the TILA Statute of Limitations. Pleading requirements are strict. But if you read the decision you can tell that there is room for borrowers to oppose enforcement of contracts that produced sticker shock and other unfair surprises.
Quiet title: This Court concluded that you can’t quiet title based upon the weakness of someone else’s claim. You must allege your right to title and that the parties served have no claim.

INCREDIBLE DECISION FROM ARIZONA COURT OF APPEALS:

 HOMEOWNER PERMITTED TO DEFEND FORECLOSURE BASED ON CLAIM OF PAYMENT AGAINST LOAN BY THIRD PARTY SOURCES

perhaps the most significant portion of the holding is toward the end, where the Court permitted the claim for payment/discharge of a debt on the homeowner’s allegation that OneWest had been paid all or at least 80% of the amounts claimed due under the loan due to an FDIC Shared Loss Agreement which was attached to the Complaint.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide The Court found that the allegations in the Complaint that the loan contained terms which were unusual, one-sided, oppressive, and not explained to the borrower properly constituted claims for procedural and substantive unconscionability. The Court also held that a claim of negligence per se was permissible where the homeowner alleged that the substitution of trustee was recorded knowing that that the person who signed it did so without authority, and that the MERS Assignments were made to entities which were known not to exist at the time of the assignments.

Bravo to the Arizona Court of Appeals for taking the time and effort to debunk so many “bank attorney myths” in foreclosure cases.

Federal judge slashes jury award against Equifax

A woman who won nearly $19 million in a lawsuit against Equifax over credit report mistakes saw the jury award cut to less than $2 million by a federal judge in Portland.

Olympian Courts have generally been moving toward punitive damages within a single-digit ratio of what was awarded in compensatory damages. Brown's order noted that her reduction to $1.62 million still represented "the highest single-digit ratio accepted within constitutional limits" at 9-to-1.

"The court concludes Equifax engaged in reprehensible conduct that caused real harm to Miller,"

US Wants BofA To Pay $2.1B Penalty For Bad Loans

Federal prosecutors want a judge to order Bank of America to pay $2.1 billion in penalties for knowingly selling bad home loans, more than double the amount the government had sought in the case.

WFMY

Greensboro

U.S. attorney Preet Bharara made the request for the penalty - the maximum allowed - in documents filed with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Bank of America spokesman Lawrence Grayson said the government is seeking too much money and has conceded that the losses from the loans were less than $864 million. Haha.

1/30/14

Study Finds More Than 70 Percent of Lenders Send Client Info Unsecurely

National Mortgage Professionals HALOCK investigated 63 U.S. mortgage lenders and found that more than 45 (70 percent) permitted applicants to send personal and financial information over unencrypted e-mail as e-mail attachments. This information includes tax documents and W-2's. Eight out of the 11 top U.S. lenders were found to allow for the same unsecure practices as smaller lenders. Additionally, nearly 70 percent of the surveyed lenders encourage faxing sensitive data, which may reduce risks of breach, but are still not as secure as encryption.
1/30/14

Libyan Investment Fund Files Suit Against Goldman

DealBook Libya’s sovereign investment fund has filed a suit against Goldman Sachs in London’s High Court, alleging that the bank made over $1 billion in derivatives trades that became worthless in value but left Goldman with profits of $350 million!

1/30/14

THE GIG IS UP

CFPB Alleges Mortgage Insurer Operated 15-Year-Long Kickback Scheme

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has begun proceedings against PHH Corporation for its involvement in a 15-year-long mortgage insurance kickback scheme that collected hundreds of millions of dollars from homeowners.

The kickback scheme began as early as 1995 and continued until at least 2009.

Will the fine give AT A MINIMUM hundreds of millions of dollars BACK to homeowners?

Consumerist The New Jersey-based corporation and its affiliates are accused of:
q Creating a system where it received as much as 40 percent of the premiums that consumers paid to mortgage insurers, collecting hundreds of millions of dollars in kickbacks;
q charging more money for loans to consumers who did not buy mortgage insurance from one of its kickback partners. In general, they charged these consumers additional percentage points on their loans;
q pressuring mortgage insurers to “purchase” its reinsurance with the understanding or agreement that the insurers would then receive borrower referrals from PHH. PHH continued to steer business to its mortgage insurance partners even when it knew the prices its partners charged were higher than competitors’ prices.

Enough Is Enough: Fraud-ridden Banks Are Not L.A.’s Only Option

“Epic in scale, unprecedented in world history.” That is how William K. Black, professor of law and economics and former bank fraud investigator, describes the frauds in which JPMorgan Chase has now been implicated. They involve more than a dozen felonies, including multiple forms of mortgage fraud.

Web of Debt

Ellen Brown, JD

So why, asks Chicago Alderwoman Leslie Hairston, are we still doing business with them? She plans to introduce a city council ordinance deleting JPM from the city’s list of designated municipal depositories. As quoted in the January 14th Chicago Sun-Times:
The bank has violated the city code by making admissions of dishonesty and deceit in the way they dealt with their investors in the mortgage securities and Bernie Madoff Ponzi scandals. . . . We use this code against city contractors and all the small companies, why wouldn’t we use this against one of the largest banks in the world?

1/29/14

Modification scam

Homeowners name Bank of America in lawsuit

They are accusing Bank of America of unilaterally rescinding a mortgage agreement between the parties in violation of West Virginia Code.

West Virginia Record The Jones modified their mortgage with Bank of America and in 2012 they worked with West Virginia’s attorney general and had an existing foreclosure canceled.

The Jones fully complied with the modification. Their mortgage was purportedly modified, but in 2013 Bank of America tried to cancel the modification, and sign a new settlement and release agreement whereby they would release any legal claims against Bank of America.

1/29/14

Know the Law, the Rules of Evidence and Procedure, the Facts and Don’t Give Up!

This particular judge’s courtroom has been a known slaughterhouse for the defense. I was told by an excellent foreclosure defense attorney, who lost three recent trials with this Judge, that this may have been that Judge’s first defense ruling. Hopefully, we’ve helped this judge see the light and come around to many more defense rulings in the future!

Evan Rosen. Esq. Once again, the lesson rebranded in my psyche – stay focused, stay calm and keep pushing! Keep making simple, concise evidentiary and procedural objections, demonstrating that you know exactly what you are doing, and keep handing the judge cases on key points. What I cannot accurately recount above, without the transcript, is all the evidentiary and procedural objections that I raised throughout this trial. It depends on the Plaintiff and the witness and moreover, the questions asked, but in this trial I had so much to which I needed to object. I was standing up to object so much to make objections that about half way through the trial, I just stopped sitting back down and stayed standing. By diligently and consistently pressing, only with good faith, legally sound objections and argument, eventually, the cumulative effect paid off. This is certainly not the first time we have won a case after most of the trial has gone horribly wrong. Hopefully, it won’t be the last.
1/29/14

 

Watchdog says Bank of America, JPMorgan have most mortgage complaints under TARP

A report Wednesday by a federal watchdog singles out Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase as receiving the most complaints from struggling homeowners participating in housing programs created under the financial-system bailout.

Charlotte Observer The report underscores complaints about big-bank mortgage servicing that have continued even after a national legal settlement attempted to put them to an end.

Bank of America and JPMorgan were among five mortgage servicers included in the $25 billion national legal settlement announced in 2012.

The settlement required banks to comply with a slate of more than 300 rules governing everything from how banks should reach out to delinquent borrowers to how many days a borrower has to submit a refinance application. They were intended to give homeowners more ability to work with their bank and avoid foreclosure.
REPORT

SIGTARP's QUARTERLY REPORT TO CONGRESS

Special Inspector General for SIGTARP From a law enforcement perspective, the financial crisis involved criminal fraud that predated the crisis but continued undetected, the criminal fraud born out of the crisis.  The financial crisis claims that relate to the rescue program TARP are referred to as "rescue fraud".

Congress created SIGTARP specifically to investigate those who criminally abuse or commit fraud related to Americans' unprecedented TARP investment in our financial system.

Challenges to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s ability to foreclose by advertisement under the United States constitution

Lexology Over the past several months, one of the newer arguments challenging foreclosure by borrowers is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government actors, and therefore, they may not foreclose by advertisement because doing so violates borrowers’ due process rights under the Fifth Amendment.

1/29/14

MODIFICATION REVERSAL

The Rush to Foreclosure: Wells Fargo Loses the Argument on Trial Modifications

This decision, like others coming out of Federal and State courts shows a growing anger and mistrust of the banks and their attorneys that most borrowers would say is long overdue.

"The issue we must decide is whether a bank was contractually required to offer the plaintiffs a permanent mortgage modification after they complied with the requirements of a trial period plan.  The district court held the bank was not, and we reverse."

Repost from August 2013:

CORVELLO v. WELLS FARGO

Living Lies After receiving the trial payments and assuring the borrowers that they were safe in their home, the bank then forecloses. Many homeowners, unaware that they in fact probably have a binding contract with the bank on the modification, walk away.

Of course the game of the Banks has been, all along, that they want as many of the mortgage loans in foreclosure, because that is the only way out of potential liability for refunds and buybacks of loans that have now been “assigned” to REMIC trusts, most of which were never funded and thus lacked the capacity to originate or acquire any loans. The servicers are rushing to foreclosure sale because that is an opportunity for them to claim the proceeds of liquidation of the property to get back “servicer advances” paid while they claimed the homeowner was in default (but the creditors (investors) were being paid on time in the right amount — i.e., NO DEFAULT).
The investors are suing the broker dealers (investment banks) for fraud, mismanagement of funds, documents and title. The investors affirmatively allege that the loan documents are unenforceable.

1/28/14

Big Win For Homeowners – California Supreme Court Depublishes Aspiras v. Wells Fargo

The story begins in February 2013, when the California Court of Appeals (the First District), issued a groundbreaking decision in Jolley v. Chase, which found that mortgage servicers could be held liable for negligence if they mishandled the loan modification process and caused foreseeable harm to affected homeowners. 

Bergman & Gutierrez  This ruling was a significant win for homeowners who had long sought to hold mortgage servicing companies accountable for fraudulent, unfair, and deceptive conduct when reviewing people for and negotiating loan modifications. The ruling was also a watershed moment for homeowners since most of the case law prior to this ruling found that banks could never be held liable for negligence in the loan modification context—no matter how egregious their conduct.

Help make History in the 9th Circuit!

On February 14, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear oral arguments in what may be the most significant mortgage foreclosure case since the California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District, decided Glaski v Bank of America last summer.

McDonnell Analytics The case is Richard Geddes, et al v. HSBC Bank USA, NA, et al., Court of Appeals Docket #: 12-16550, and involves an appeal from a judgment granting the defendants' motion to dismiss by a judge in the United States District Court, District of Arizona on June 1, 2012, Case No.: 2:12-cv-00667-FJM.

The Geddes, who were wrongfully foreclosed upon and evicted from their home, need your help to cover their attorney's modest fees and costs to present their case at oral arguments.

Tenants say they are being evicted by deceased property manager

This 'serious legal problem' is waved off when banks do it.

News12 Kane In Your Corner found a much bigger issue with the eviction notices sent to Screen and hundreds of other tenants. The “landlord verification forms” are supposedly signed and dated by a former manager who died months before

Brian Freeman, a Jersey City attorney who specializes in housing law, says this is such a serious legal problem that any eviction bearing that signature “would have to be dismissed on its face immediately.

 

A Whistle-Blower From the Banking Industry

Erika Brown is a whistle-blower. She revealed Bank of America’s orders that its employees lie to homeowners to encourage foreclosures rather than loan modifications that could help the borrowers keep their homes.

Prof. Bill Black

Real News

If President Obama invited Erika Brown to be his guest at the State of the Union, he would signal an end to the administration’s hostility toward whistle-blowers. The president should use his address to praise her courage and to encourage others to follow her lead -- and he should create a new website and phone bank so that whistle-blowers can come forward with evidence of fraud. He should announce that he has directed the attorney general to make prosecutions of elite frauds a much higher priority, and that he will submit an emergency supplemental budget bill to fully fund the financial regulatory agencies and hire 1,000 new white-collar-crime specialists at the F.B.I.
1/13/14

EXCLUSIVE-FBI suspects front running of Fannie, Freddie in swaps market

The former high-level employee at the U.S. bank estimated the front running had resulted in profits of $50 million to $100 million for the bank.

Chicago Tribune Using what Federal Bureau of Investigation agents described as "unsophisticated tradecraft," such as hand signals and special telephone ring tones, some traders are conspiring to rig
rates on large orders submitted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or front running them in the interest rate swaps market, the document says.
1/28/14

Quelle Surprise! Bond Investors Notice that Servicers Let Houses Fall Apart

Industry hands assume that a home that has been in foreclosure for three years is a close to 100% loss.

naked capitalism Notice that it’s the “lengthy foreclosure process” that is the cause of trouble, when in fact servicers delay foreclosures when they already have more foreclosed homes than they can offload (lawyers in Florida, for instance, report that judges all over the state complain that banks repeatedly postpone foreclosures). Oh, and someone in a home keeps it secure and maintains it to at least an adequate standard, while vacant homes are subject to being stripped and get in all sorts of other types of disrepair.

1/28/14

What You Should Know When You’ve Inherited a Property with a Reverse Mortgage

Chicago Tribune During the economic crisis, many homeowners opted to take out reverse mortgages, which allows homeowners to borrow against their home’s equity while still maintaining ownership of the home.

But what happens to a home that has a reverse mortgage when the owner passes away? 

Class action win against foreclosure king Stern

More than 1,000 Florida borrowers will share in a $831,110 class action award for being billed unlawful foreclosure related fees by the Law Offices of David J. Stern

Fraud for stealing a home = $831.00

Hewitt v. David Stern Law Firm

Palm Beach Post Chernow Brown said in a September 2012 ruling in the case of Rory Hewitt vs. the Law Offices of David J. Stern that 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 the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Further, the court finds that the defendants, who are a law firm and its managing partner, have knowledge of the law and have knowledge that they are attempting to collect a debt that is not legitimate,” the order says.
1/27/14

Foreclosure is a lie, predicated on a fraud, wrapped in a mystery, sanctioned by our courts

This is manifest in so many ways, but at the apex is the fact that courts are entirely comfortable allowing shadow agents to come into court and sue….without regard to proving up the actual right to do so.

Weidner Law The very worst part of the entire system is that the entire system is a series of lies built up and fabricated upon one another. The worst part about all the pieces, as they are put together is that the entirety of our nation’s court system has abdicated their responsibility to enforce and uphold vast bodies of laws that existed to protect consumers from the kind of gross abuses that are systematically visited upon the whole of our populations even now.

1/27/14

Court holds GSEs tax exempt.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND v. FANNIE/FREDDIE

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS 
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
The courts also concluded that Congress, in providing the tax exemptions to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, acted within its Commerce Clause power. 

We agree with the district courts, as explained herein, and affirm.

1/27/14

Congressmen Call for Hearings on Risks of Rental Securtizations

Some of these new landlords are already developing less than savory reputation. That should be no surprise, since PE firms in their traditional business play a numbers game, levering up and squeezing companies for more cashflow, leading to job losses and too often, bankruptcies.

naked capitalism It’s not just that the math of portfolio returns allow for some failures; more important, as Josh Kosman documented in The Buyout of America, private equity fund managers pull so many fees out of their portfolio companies that they make money even when a business collapses. So there’s every reason to suspect them of structuring similar “heads I win, tails you lose” deals in the single family rental business.

Bank can’t compel arbitration in consumer suit, California court rules

In Martin v. Wells Fargo , Wells Fargo had failed to meet its evidentiary burden, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston denied the motion to compel arbitration, finding that the bank failed to sufficiently establish that Martin actually saw or received the notice.

Lexology Providing a valuable lesson to financial institutions hoping to rely upon arbitration provisions, a California federal court held that a bank failed to establish that a customer was provided with adequate notice of the agreement and denied a motion to compel arbitration.

Why it matters: Martin arguably places some practical limits on what has been a string of court decisions enforcing arbitration provisions.

The Fraud Exception to the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine: How It Almost Wasn’t (and Probably Shouldn’t Be)

A few courts—most especially the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit8—have determined that Rooker-Feldman does not prevent the lower federal courts from reviewing state-court judgments that were allegedly procured through fraud. In other words, when a “state-court loser” complains that the winner owes his triumph not to sound legal principles—or even unsound ones—but to fraud, then the loser is not really complaining of an injury caused by a state-court judgment, but of an injury caused by the winner’s chicanery.

Steven N. Baker  There is no need for the lower federal courts to anguish over a losing state-court litigant’s plight when that litigant has been the victim of the winner’s fraud. The states are well equipped, through their rules, statutory codes, and case law, to deal with these situations. If, as plaintiffs’ allege, they truly have been defrauded in the state courts, those very state courts have the greatest motivation and ability to root out and correct the fraud. All the lower federal courts accomplish by putting aside Rooker-Feldman to exercise jurisdiction in these cases is to undermine the state-court system that is the backbone of this nation’s judiciary. We should, therefore, have little compunction in putting forever to rest In re Sun Valley Foods Co.’s misguided and mistaken creation: the fraud exception to the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.

Washington State Bills attempt to make Illegal Foreclosure a FELONY

HOUSE BILL 2656

HOUSE BILL 2657

HOUSE BILL 2658

HOUSE BILL 2659

h/t Gene

and Stop

Foreclosure 

Fraud

2658: (b) A declaration by the beneficiary made under the penalty of perjury stating that the beneficiary is the actual holder of the promissory note or other obligation secured by the deed of trust shall be sufficient proof as required under this subsection. A violation of
this subsection (7)(b) is a class C felony.
c

Misplaced Arrogance

It never ceases to amaze me …

The total arrogance of the banks, MERSCORP and their minions.

The lender simply makes an alleged agreement to have the servicers do their dirty work so the Lender (not necessarily of record, thanks to MERS) can distance itself from any potential liability. 

Dave Kreiger The minions of the servicers, which include attorneys AND real estate agents and brokers, then attempt the use of any means necessary to either cajole the homeowner from their property or in the alternative, use whatever paperwork is necessary (valid or not; fraudulently manufactured or not) to influence the court to get the sheriff to put the homeowner to the curb. I’m saddened by the foreclosure-related shootings of minions (including process servers, who are bitching like hell because they don’t like being accosted or shot at for just “doing their jobs”); thinking that it has come to this to resolve foreclosure disputes because judges turn a blind eye to real justice in favor of the banks (who can do no wrong).

1/26/14

Richard Roman: Use mortgage settlement money for victims

Taking money from innocent homeowners victimized by the subprime mortgage crisis to pay for indigent defense is not justice.

Richard Roman, Esq. "This money should go where it's needed most — to underwater homeowners victimized by Wall Street's subprime crisis," said Working Families Party National Director Dan Cantor.

The Council of Judges has been asked to reconsider their vote to raise attorney fees. Attorneys should be fairly compensated for their indigent defense work. However, money secured from mortgage litigation should go where it's needed most — to innocent homeowners victimized by the subprime mortgage crisis, not towards funding indigent defense.

1/26/14

HSBC Bank on Verge of Collapse: Second Major Banking Crash Imminent

Information Clearing House Concerns about an imminent bank crash were further fuelled today at news that HSBC are restricting the amount of cash that customers can withdraw from their own bank accounts. Customers were told that without proof of the intended use of their own money, HSBC would refuse to release it. This, and other worrying signs point to a possible financial crash in the near future.

Exclusive: Bank of America's trading practices have been probed, filing shows

Reuters The U.S. Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have both held investigations into whether Bank of America engaged in improper trading by doing its own futures trades ahead of executing large orders for clients

1/26/14

Protecting Tenants Against 
Foreclosure Act of 2009

The Act provides protections for 
bona fide tenants of residential real property at foreclosure following the date of its enactment until its sunset at the end of 2014.

Nativi v. Deutsche Bank

California Court of Appeals The appeal raises difficult questions regarding the proper interpretation of the PTFA and the potential liability of an immediate successor in interest in foreclosed residential real property for breach of the implied covenant of quiet 
enjoyment and wrongful eviction under California law.

We conclude that the trial court's analysis was mistaken and respondents were not entitled to summary judgment. Accordingly, the judgment will be reversed. 

1/26/14

Banks again pitching home equity loans

Home Equity Line of Credit or HELOC

Then there is this...

Charlotte Observer Consumer advocates caution borrowers that failure to repay could result in the loss of their home, which is used as collateral. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have enough monthly income for the additional payments, they say.

Moody’s Warns Regional Banks to Prep for HELOC “Payment Shock”

Reverse Mortgage Daily Payment shock can happen when HELOC loans start resetting after the initial 10-year interest-only period, at which point borrowers must begin making both interest and principal payments. 

Foreclosure Settlement Means Checks For Some Floridians

Was your home and equity stolen?  Here; have $1400 bucks for allowing us to take it all without a single criminal charge being filed.

Miami CBS local Some Floridians who lost their homes to foreclosure will receive a check as part of a national settlement with five major banks.
Payments of $1,480 would be paid next week to more than 1,700 Floridians. A total of $2.5 million will be distributed.

Why Is Obama So Corrupt?

Though these prosecutions should have been at record-setting highs in the wake of the biggest orgy of financial crimes in this nation's history, which was the period leading up to the 2008 GWB-era collapse, they were instead at record-setting lows now, under Obama.

There were certainly numerous prosecutable crimes, but no White House interest in pursuing them.

OpEd News All of "the audits conclude that the banks effectively cheated taxpayers by presenting the Federal Housing Administration with false claims: They filed for federal reimbursement on foreclosed homes ... using defective and faulty documents." Obama's "Justice" Department refused even to prosecute, much less to pursue, any of these mega-crooks, who had cheated the U.S. Government -- ultimately U.S. taxpayers.

"The top states for known or suspected mortgage fraud activity during 2010 were California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Texas, Georgia, Maryland, and New Jersey; reflecting the same demographic market affected by mortgage fraud in 2009." However, the FBI is only an investigative arm of the U.S. Government, not actually a prosecutorial agency. Only the Executive is that: the President, via his chosen U.S. Attorney General, who refuses to prosecute banksters.

1/25/14

Why the US Cannot Be Saved

In 2008, the banksters, led by Hank Paulson, helped themselves to our nation’s money and our economy went into free fall. And what did we do to stop the greatest bank robbery in world history? We did nothing!!!

  Subsequently, we are a defeated nation. With the growing foreign troop presence and the rise of America’s version of the East German Stasi (aka the DHS), we are also an occupied nation. Americans have lost the war and most are unaware that anything has even happened. Hillary Clinton is selling off the assets of this country to the Chinese. The EPA is stealing a million acres of land at a time. Your retirements, IRA’s and bank account will soon be gone. And what will most of America do, change the channel and open another beer.
1/25/14

 

 

 

The Tale of a House, and an Entire Market

In January 2008, her loan servicer gave her a loan modification that actually increased her payments to more than $4,500.

Virtually every financial entity she dealt with ultimately faced investigations and lawsuits related to predatory lending, foreclosure robo-signing, misleading investors or other abuses

NY Times Wanting out, Ms. Johnson hired a man named Barry Edmonds to negotiate a short sale with her lender. She began making her mortgage payments to an account he controlled. After more than two years, in May 2010, he instructed her to move out temporarily so he could ready the house for sale, she said, and she left behind furniture, photo albums and a new Jenn-Air oven. When she returned a couple of months later to pick up some belongings, she saw notices that the house was being repossessed. The locks had been changed. Shortly after that, Mr. Edmonds, and some $100,000 of her money, disappeared.

Class Claims Nationstar Ravaged Them

Note: Nationstar took over the servicing rights from banks because Nationstar is not a party to the national mortgage settlement and can carry on the fraud without the restrictions of the settlement.

Courthouse News The Johnstons claim that "Nationstar has refused to honor the terms of the Modification Agreements. Rather than fulfill its contractual obligation, Nationstar has made numerous homeowners reapply for loan modifications featuring lesser terms than those within their valid Modification Agreements with BOA, held payments in suspension, improperly assessed unwarranted fees, and in some circumstances, initiated foreclosure proceedings.

Homeowner takes case away from incompetent attorney and Wins Reversal.

Robinson v. Bank of America

Plaintiff also alleged that defendants have a pattern and practice of inducing homeowners like her into entering into modification agreements “with the intent of ‘grabbing’ as much cash as possible and then foreclosing on borrowers, like Plaintiff” even though they are current or not otherwise in default.

California

COURT OF APPEALS 

She also alleged that defendants intended to foreclose on her the entire time and manufactured a reason to do so (that the February 2011 payment was not made with certified funds). Both these allegations are based on the premise that foreclosure was wrongful because plaintiff was not in default
We have concluded that plaintiff has adequately alleged a basis for relief on the theory that she was not in default at the time of the foreclosure based on the documents cognizable on review of the demurrer. The trial court erred in sustaining the demurrer to this theory of plaintiff’s claim for violations of Business and Professions Code.

Foreclosure crisis getting worse in Florida

The foreclosure crisis is not over; it’s not even close to being over. It’s getting worse. Issue saturation has led to apathy among leaders, the media and the populace. But the due process rights of homeowners continue to be further marginalized on a daily basis across our state.  Florida homeowners are now worse off than ever before. Banks continue their culture of mortgage fraud, and foreclosure litigation has become the legal “wild west.”

Charles R. Gallagher III, Esq. For example, on a single day more than 90 foreclosure trials were set to occur before one trial judge. But general magistrates have now become empowered to take the homes of Floridians, despite the fact they were not summoned by any electorate.

In yet another judicial circuit, court staff unilaterally communicates with the bank’s counsel, prompting them on what to file in order to advance the case along.

In yet another circuit, homeowners are being denied routine depositions and discovery.

1/24/14

Family Spat That Led to Eviction Supports Suit

U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab refused to dismiss any part of the complaint last week for failure to state a claim.

Courthouse News Camilla Evans had resided and rented a property in Emsworth, Pa., for 50 years when the local fire marshal gave her 24 hours to vacate the premises, according to the complaint.
The eviction allegedly sprang from a family dispute over the distribution of an estate.

 

 

 

 

Another Document Fail: 

U.S. Bank v. De Los Rios

This anticipatory language confirms that delivery of the mortgage note had not occurred as of the date the PSA was executed. Moreover, the language indicates that the trustee or custodian, upon such delivery, was to ascertain whether the notes relating to the mortgages identified in Exhibit B to the PSA had actually been received. 

  No one with knowledge of these facts has stated that the note and mortgage which are the subject of the instant action were actually received and listed in Exhibit B.  

Notably, Exhibit B to the PSA is not included in the papers submitted herein. 
Further, the alleged indorsement is on a separate page from the note. There is no explanation as to why the indorsement was not placed on the actual note. The plaintiff does not indicate that a copy of 
the purported indorsement was actually affixed to the subject note so as to become an allonge. 

Moreover, the allonge does not contain any identifying information to relate it to the subject note as it simply contains a stamp on an otherwise blank sheet of paper.

Bailout Architect Runs For California Governor; World Laughs

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

If you don't remember Kashkari's name, you might be excused – he was actually better known, in his 15 minutes of fame five years ago, as "The 35 year-old dingbat from Goldman someone put in charge of handing out $700 billion bailout dollars."

Dividing the Bank Settlement

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has deservedly lost Round 1 of the unnecessary fight he picked recently with the New York State attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, over the distribution of proceeds from a bank settlement. To persist in his pique could hurt all New Yorkers.

NYT Editorial This time around, however, Mr. Cuomo, who is seeking to balance the state budget while also cutting taxes, wanted all $613 million to flow into the state treasury. To that end, his staff members suggested that Mr. Schneiderman was on dubious legal ground to take control of the settlement proceeds and that the money could become, in the words of one official, “a pretty big slush fund.” 

Mr. Schneiderman has fought for and won new resources for hard-pressed homeowners. Mr. Cuomo should reward that effort, and stick to his pledge, by using the state’s share for housing aid above and beyond what otherwise would have been spent.

Full post

Officer of failed Ga. bank pleads guilty to fraud

A Savannah man has become the seventh former officer of a failed Georgia bank to plead guilty to federal charges in what prosecutors called an illegal cover up of bad loans that cost $90 million in deposit insurance.

Ledger Authorities said 37-year-old Alan Robert Fleming pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of bank fraud in U.S. District Court in Savannah. Four other former officers of the First National Bank of Savannah pleaded to related charges last week. The bank's former president, Heys McMath III, and one of its vice presidents entered guilty pleas last fall.

Prosecutors charged the seven bankers a year ago, saying they tried to hide millions of dollars in non-performing loans from regulators and the bank's board of directors. First National Bank was shut down in June 2010.

 

Mortgage buyer’s thin paper trail sufficient to avoid summary judgment in borrowers’ favor?

Disastrous results can befall a financial institution that buys a mortgage loan but does not obtain or keep adequate documentation related to the purchase. Yet over the past several years, many mortgages have exchanged hands with little-to-no supporting documentation.

FANNIE MAE, NATIONSTAR v. CONOVER

Lexology As recent cases have shown, deficient documentation has often caused headaches for financial institutions when they try to foreclose. Borrowers seeking to avoid foreclosure have sometimes found success because the financial institution did not have the original note or sufficient documents to prove the note was transferred to it.

While the financial institution apparently lacked documentation reflecting the transfer of the promissory note, it was able to avoid summary judgment based on a recorded document it executed stating that it was the holder of the deed of trust (the mortgage). In this one case, the appellate court’s decision indicates that mortgage purchasers may be able to enforce mortgage loans even if they do not have documentation of the transfer of the promissory note???

Foreclosure Is Financial Terrorism, Is it also Treason? (Just Who Are We Giving Homes Of Americans to After All?)

Someone or something behind the scenes is telling Bank of America to act, because, in the vast majority of cases, Bank of America (and this goes for virtually all “The Banks”) do not own the mortgages that they are foreclosing on. I have repeatedly used the phrase,

THE WIZARD BEHIND THE CURTAIN TELLS BANKS TO FORECLOSE ON AMERICANS, THE WIZARD OWNS THE MORTGAGES

Weidner Law But here’s the thing….

There’s not just a Wizard Behind The Curtain, There’s an Overlord Behind The Wizard

Fannie and Freddie of course do not own the interests in the notes and mortgages unencumbered….parties that sit behind The Wizard own those interests….but don’t take my analysis standing alone….read what Fannie directly:

The mortgages that back a Fannie Mae MBS are held in a trust on behalf of Fannie Mae MBS investors and are not Fannie Mae assets.

Basics of Fannie Mae Single-Family MBS

Banker Says Letting Banks Fail Is Essential to Rebuilding Public Trust

DealBook “People have to be convinced there may be banks that fail. If they fail, they have to be taken out of the system,” Mr. Rohner said. “That is an integral part of rebuilding trust.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/24/14

Fined Billions, JPMorgan Chase Will Give Dimon a Raise

_____________

Dimon Does Davos, and His Board Gives Him a Raise

Would an honest bank run by an honest board “fear” “alienat[ing]” a CEO who had led the bank into such a crime spree? 

The DOJ is a shambles when it comes to elite white-collar crime.

What would it take for the “vocal minority” to make a motion to fire Dimon for cause and claw back his past compensation? Why didn’t they resign in protest when the majority decided to reward Dimon with a raise?

Holder knows that if he wants to “appear tough” the way to do it is to prosecute criminally and civilly elite JPM, Bear, WaMu, Bank of America, Citicorp, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, etc. officers and directors.

DealBook

_____

Prof. Bill Black

JPM has been battered by its officers and directors, who have disgraced their offices – and became wealthy by doing so by presiding over the world’s most epic financial crime spree.

The greater JPM’s frauds under Dimon’s leadership and the larger the settlements, the greater Dimon’s value as a negotiator in getting the government to settle cheap, and the more money that JPM should pay Dimon for helping it keep a big chunk of the fraud proceeds from the crime spree. Dimon and the board’s real rage is that the government disputes their demand that JPM should keep all of the fraud proceeds from Bear and WaMu’s even more intense crime sprees. DealBook quotes Dimon as claiming that it is “unfair” that the government is seeking recovery from JPM of Bear and WaMu’s fraud proceeds.

During the S&L debacle, we put officers and directors in prison. We bankrupted officers and directors through civil suits and enforcement actions that removed their fraud proceeds and fined them.

1/23/14

$30 tax mistake draws fine of $15K

U-T San Diego In a sane world, which this one obviously isn’t, doesn’t it make sense to impose a 10 percent penalty on the unpaid portion, in which case Lerach would have been on the hook for $3?

“It just blows my mind that this could happen to anyone in this county,” said Dave Roberts, a supervisor familiar with the bizarre chain of events concerning his constituent.
1/23/14

Longer foreclosures squeeze investor profit

Fitch: Loss severities rise for first time in years.

Only "Illegal" foreclosures take long.

Housing Wire Judicial foreclosure states were a particular problem spot with respect to longer timelines last quarter, even as timelines in non-judicial states start to level off," said Fitch director Sean Nelson. "Longer liquidation timelines result in higher loss severities due to greater carry costs and higher potential for property deterioration."

1/23/14

Deutsche Bank victory may have far-reaching consequences

The decision — reached in Ace Securities Corp. v. DB Structured Products Inc. — may ultimately limit new suits by investors who allege that their claims do not accrue — and that therefore the statute of limitations does not begin to run — until the claim is discovered or the seller of the loan refuses to repurchase it or provide indemnification.

Lexology A unit of Deutsche Bank recently won dismissal of a suit brought by mortgage bond investors after a New York state appeals court determined the claims for loan repurchase and indemnity were subject to a six-year statute of limitations that began to run when the loans were originally contributed to the securitization trust.

IT HAS ALREADY BEEN PROVEN THE (actual) LOANS NEVER MADE IT INTO THE TRUST!

Progress on Predatory Lending

NY Times Rules issued in November to protect unsuspecting borrowers are helping to keep vulnerable Americans from being ambushed by debt.

Landlord forged judge's signature on bogus eviction notice

Lohud Now the landlord faces felony counts of first-degree identity theft and second-degree forgery, while the mortgage industry, its employees and lawyers get away with knowingly forging thousands of felonious documents every day in court and government records. 

FULL post

1/23/14

 

 

SECRET DOCUMENT: The Foreclosure Mills are Still Fabricating Documents in Foreclosure Cases 

A foreclosure mill gets an instruction to foreclose on a family…but who gives the foreclosure mill that instruction?

WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT DISCLOSE THAT THE FORECLOSURE IS BEING DONE ON BEHALF OF MERS, FANNIE MAE OR FREDDIE MAC.

Because after all…what would the American people think if they knew who the kingpins are?

(Untitled) SECRET FORECLOSURE DOCUMENT

Weidner Law And after we’ve sent you documents over years swearing and affirming under penalties of perjury that this foreclosure is being pursued on behalf of one party…

TRANSFER THE PROPERTY TO AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PARTY AFTER FORECLOSURE!

And even though we deny that HUD/FHA regulations apply to this loan
YOU MUST COMPLY WITH HUD REGULATIONS!

The most disturbing thing about all this is that courts all across this country are busy transferring properties to entities that have absolutely no idea what entity is actually taking title to the property. I’m sure that’s perfectly permissible… I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with that.

Lawsuit claims law firms charged unnecessary fees to those facing foreclosure

The office of Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is also investigating the foreclosure law firms. His office is trying to find out if the Aronowitz Law firm , as well as the Castle Law Group, which normally compete for business, conspired to raise the foreclosure posting fees.

KDVR Donna’s Attorney, Jordan Factor, wants a judge to approve class action lawsuit against the foreclosure law firms to get consumer their money back for what he calls bogus inflated fees.
“When all the competitors get together and decide to set a price at an artificially high level, the consumer is badly damaged and we have laws against that,” said Factor. He told FOX31 Denver that he wants others to contact his office to see if they can take legal action against those foreclosure law firms.

Foreclosure Settlement Still Failing 700,000 Families One Year Later

One year after federal bank regulators pledged that a nearly $10 billion legal settlement would quickly deliver cash to foreclosure abuse victims, hundreds of thousands of people are still checking their mailboxes each day, only to find them empty.

Huff Post As of January, about 732,000 settlement checks had not been cashed, according to data shared with The Huffington Post by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency -- a number that exceeds the entire population of Baltimore. The total value of this unclaimed heap of money: $600 million.

Untold thousands of people have complained in recent years that they were subjected to a nightmare experience of lost paperwork, misapplied fees and Kafkaesque phone calls with clueless customer service representatives as they strived to avoid foreclosures they say were preventable. These claims are backed up by a swelling number of academic studies and insider accounts of misconduct and abuse.

The Most CORRUPT state(s) in America

1. Florida; 2. New York; 3. Texas. Surprised?  

Washington Post Other big losers in the Center for Public Integrity study included South Carolina, Maine, Michigan, South Dakota, Wyoming — and, yes, Virginia. All seven states earned F grades.
1/22/14

Mortgage Lenders Need to Show ROI Based on Their Loan Quality

Mortgage Servicing News Revenues are declining as expenses are increasing because of the new burden placed on lenders by the qualified mortgage rules, president and CEO Brian Fitzpatrick said. He is on a crusade to improve loan quality.

1/22/14

Mortgage Lawyer Puts Government Settlements on Her ‘Radar’

WSJ Kathy Patrick, who won a $8.5 billion mortgage settlement for BlackRock, Pacific Investment Management, and other investors from Bank of America. says she is concerned that government settlements with firms accused of foreclosure violations are leaving investors on the hook for much of the financial penalties. 

Ohio Court of Appeals Stomps on PNC's Undated, Unrecorded, Uncertified Documents 

In their first assignment of error, the Wests argue that the court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of PNC because it did not establish that it was the real party in interest. We agree.

PNC v. WEST

 

OHIO COURT OF APPEALS 
NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT 
Along with the note, the Wests also signed a mortgage granting a security interest in the property to National City Bank. On that same day, National City Bank executed an assignment of the mortgage to National City Mortgage Co. This assignment was never recorded. Approximately five months later, in November 2001, National City Mortgage Co. assigned the mortgage and the note to Freddie Mac. This assignment was also never recorded

Additionally, PNC attached uncertified photocopies of documents to establish National City Bank had merged into PNC.

Criminals tossing around worthless, toxic time-bombs.

Wells Fargo Sells Rights on $39 Billion Mortgages to Ocwen

Bloomberg Wells Fargo joins Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. in a retreat from the almost $10 trillion mortgage-servicing market as new regulations make it more costly to hold the assets. Firms such as Ocwen, Walter Investment Management Corp. and Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. have been among the most active of the non-bank firms buying the rights.

Mortgage Lenders Network and Wells Fargo Battled over Servicer Advances

It is this undisclosed yield spread premium that produces the pool from which I believe the servicer advances are actually being paid. Intense investigation and discovery will probably reveal the actual agreements that show exactly that. In the meanwhile I encourage attorneys to look carefully at the issue of “servicer advances” as a means to defeat the foreclosure in its entirety.

Living Lies As usual, the best decisions come from cases where the parties involved in “securitization” are fighting with each other. When a borrower brings up the same issues, the court is inclined to disregard the borrower’s defense as merely an attempt to get out of a legitimate debt. In the Case of Mortgage Lenders versus Wells Fargo (395 B.K. 871 (2008)), it is apparent that servicer advances are a central issue. For one thing, it demonstrates the incentive of servicers to foreclose even though the foreclosure will result in a greater loss to the investor then if a workout or modification had been used to save the loan.

1/22/14

Tourre Seeks Leniency in S.E.C. Case

NY Times In a court filing on Tuesday, Mr. Tourre’s lawyers attacked the Securities and Exchange Commission’s pursuit of more than $1 million in penalties, calling it “unwarranted and unjust” and “unreasonably severe.” Mr. Tourre’s lawyers are proposing something far smaller: a maximum penalty of $65,000.
1/21/14

Full post

An exciting new Strategy for Plaintiff Foreclosure Mills… 

Just Stop Mailing to Defendant’s Attorney And Move To Trial Without Me

Weidner Law I’ve been defending a homeowner since 2008. I start looking at the docket and realize: "WOW, THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF DOCUMENTS THAT I DON’T HAVE!" A deeper examination reveals the reason why:
THE PLAINTIFF FORECLOSURE MILL JUST DECIDED TO DROP ME OFF THE CASE ENTIRELY AND MOVE TO TRIAL.
Just when I think I’ve seen everything

Wall Street Regulators Still “Funded at a Level to Fail”

In 2011, the government’s Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission issued an exhaustive report on the roots of the 2008 crash. It concluded that lax regulation and the inadequate enforcement of existing regulations lay at the heart of the meltdown.

Bill Moyers “What both agencies are trying to do is get a better understanding of high-speed computer trading and how it is affecting markets, and yet they are not getting anywhere near the ability to do that,” Mr Kelleher says. “When you cut the reserve fund at the SEC by 50 per cent, and on top of that you underfund them overall, you really are putting them in an impossible position.
1/21/14

Prosecutors Balk, Bankers Walk

One of the most disturbing realities of the 2008 financial crisis is that no Wall Street executives have been held accountable. After searching more than five years for the reason some people have gotten away with the financial equivalent of murder, I think I have finally figured it out: It’s the revolving door, stupid.

Bloomberg The promise of the corporate honeypot for departing government officials has been a reality at least since 1968, when Treasury Secretary Henry Fowler became a Goldman Sachs partner. Unless, and until, the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street is bolted shut, I think it’s safe to say the American people will continue to be ill-served by those empowered with the hallowed role of prosecuting wrongdoing.

1/21/14

The Damage From the Housing Bubble: How Much Did the Greenspan-Rubin Gang Cost Us?

Center for Economic and Policy Research  If we just take the dollar losses through 2013 we get $7.6 trillion, in 2013 dollars. This is just economic losses, it does not include any effort to quantify the pain that workers or their families have suffered from being unemployed or losing their homes. This comes to roughly $25,000 for every person in the country. Alternatively, it is 190 times as much as the Republicans hoped to save from their cuts to food stamps over the next decade.

1/21/14

Mortgage holder sued for couples’ low credit score

A couple is suing their home mortgage holder for allegedly not providing their credit history to all credit agencies, resulting in an artificially low score.

(Perhaps Ocwen has no authority.)

Louisiana Record The plaintiffs claim the mortgage on the property was sold by First Federal Savings Bank of New Orleans to Litton Services and then Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC for collection and servicing. The Scheuermans allege they have continued to pay the mortgage on the home, but Ocwen has failed to submit information concerning their payments to the three main credit rating agencies.

Vatican Monsignor Arrested for Money Laundering

AP A Vatican monsignor already on trial for allegedly plotting to smuggle 20 million euros ($26 million) from Switzerland to Italy was arrested Tuesday in a separate case for allegedly using his Vatican bank accounts to launder money.

There Are 85 People Who Are As Wealthy As Half The WORLD

Last Thursday, the World Economic Forum stated in a risk assessment that income disparity was one of the "Ten Global Risks of Highest Concern in 2014."

Huff Post This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a significant threat to inclusive political and economic systems. Instead of moving forward together, people are increasingly separated by economic and political power, inevitably heightening social tensions and increasing the risk of societal breakdown.

Montana Supreme Court's Dissenting Judge Gets It

The beneficiary of a deed of trust must be “the entity to whom the secured 
obligation flows.” That entity is the lender, not an electronic registry 
such as MERS
. MERS was not a valid beneficiary and had no interest in the Deed of Trust. The chain of assignments leading from MERS to Wells Fargo was empty. Wells Fargo has no stake in the outcome of this case, and therefore lacks 
standing.
Further, because Wells Fargo has no interest, its interest certainly cannot have priority over that of RVNB.

RUBY VALLEY NATIONAL BANK v. WELLS FARGO

Supreme Court of Montana The Court declines to address the status of MERS as the purported beneficiary of the Deed of Trust later assigned to Wells Fargo.  The parties have not challenged the validity of the beneficiary designation. Questions of standing, however, must be addressed even if not raised by a litigant. 
Standing is a jurisdictional requirement. A court does not have the power to resolve a case brought by a party with no personal stake in the outcome. Wells Fargo’s stake in the outcome of this case is directly traceable to the original 
designation of MERS as the beneficiary of the Deed of Trust. Wells Fargo “stepped into [MERS’] shoes,” assuming those rights, and only those rights, previously held by MERS. 

1/21/14

The Cost of the Financial Crisis Is Still Being Tallied

Last year, the Government Accountability Office estimated that the price tag could range from a few trillion dollars to over $10 trillion.

NY Times At a bare minimum the crisis cost nearly $20,000 for each American. Adding in broader impacts on workers’ well-being and the government’s finances — an admittedly speculative exercise — raises the price tag to as much as $180,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States. With this kind of money we could pay back the federal debt a couple of times over, or pay for a top-notch college education for everyone.

1/21/14

What About All Those Cases Where Foreclosure Was Dismissed?

The number of cases where foreclosure had been simply dismissed without further action has increased exponentially. The homeowner is normally afraid to take any proactive stance for fear of awakening the giant who will then respond by filing another foreclosure.

Living Lies Some of these cases are as much as 10 years old which goes beyond the statute of limitations in virtually all jurisdictions. As a caveat, let me add that there are states in which the statute of limitations is “ongoing” which means that the entire action is not barred by the statute of limitations; instead, in states where this doctrine is applicable, each new payment due gives rise to a new Period where the statute of limitations begins to run.

Foreclosed-on Veteran Sues Bank Over ‘Dual Tracking

Chase used HAMP to engage in a practice called “dual tracking,” according to McDivitt’s lawsuit. That’s when a bank works with a customer who is behind on a mortgage while going forward with foreclosure proceedings on the same home.

SCV News Dual-tracking was outlawed in California under a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in July 2012.
After receiving approval and making payments on the HAMP loan, he was told by Chase to send information and that his second loan would be modified.
The lawsuit alleges at that point, the McDivitt reached out to JP Morgan Chase to let them know about the situation. However, 11 days later, his home was foreclosed upon, according to the McDivitt’ attorney.

Cuomo and Attorney General Agree on Division of JPMorgan Funds that are supposed to go to the illegal foreclosure victims.

The two men have not reached an agreement on who will allocate the remaining $450 million... (but we bet the victims will get nothing.)

NY Times Mr. Schneiderman announced on Monday how he and the governor would split $163 million of the funds, with half being distributed by Mr. Schneiderman’s office to programs that prevent avoidable foreclosure or help prevent future financial fraud, and the rest going to the state’s general fund to be spent on housing-related programs as well. 

8/19/12

Why Robo-Signatures Are Illegal in California and Other Non-Judicial Foreclosure States

With all of the press robo-signing has gotten, it is a bit surprising that everyone is having such a hard time concluding whether these practices effect California foreclosures. My assistant even said to me today, “but the banks say that it doesn’t matter because California is non judicial.” Because the topic has not gotten the treatment it deserves, I will gladly do the job.

Mike Rooney Law In short, Robo Signers are illegal in California because good title cannot be based on fraud, robo signed non judicial foreclosure sales are VOID as a matter of law, the documents are not able to be recorded in California if they are not notarized, which we know was often not done properly, and finally, because they robo signed forgeries ARE intended for judicial proceedings, including evictions and bankruptcy relief from stay motions.

1. Good Title Cannot Be Based on Fraud (Even as to a 3d Party).
In the case of a fraudulent transaction California law is settled. The Court in Trout v. Trout, (1934), 220 Cal. 652 at 656 made as much plain:

1/20/14

Banks Embrace Interest-Only Home Loans to Wealthy Borrowers

Very few nontraditional mortgages that contributed to the financial crisis are still on the market, and lenders have even greater incentive to avoid them now that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new rules defining safe mortgages is in effect.

US Finance Post While the Qualified Mortgage standard went into effect over a week ago, one type of loan it excludes — interest only mortgages — will remain common for wealthy borrowers purchasing expensive homes.

Bank of America recently announced more than one-third of its fourth-quarter mortgages were jumbo mortgages, up from 23% in the first quarter. Bank of America and other major lenders have said these borrowers can afford traditional loans but want to maximize their available cash. Some take the loans for the tax deduction on the first $1 million per year in mortgage interest payments.

1/20/14

OBSERVATIONS ON THE KUCHTA FORECLOSURE CASE

I attended the Ohio Supreme Court oral argument in Kuchta, and found some of the arguments and comments disturbing. 

Andrew Engle, Esq. I’ve never understood why some want to equate standing with subject matter jurisdiction. Although they are strongly related, they are not synonymous.

To suggest that a common pleas court can exercise subject matter jurisdiction even though it lacks the constitutional jurisdiction to do so, is just plain silly.

c

1/19/14

Deutsche Says It Lost $1.62 Billion  

(Well, not really.  How much money and property did Deutsche steal during that same period?)

NY Times The loss was likely to compound the problems that have dogged the German bank over the past year, especially a lengthening list of lawsuits and regulatory matters, and to redouble pressure on its co-chief executives, Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen, to prove that their turnaround plan is on track.

1/19/14

 

JP Morgan’s Frauds are Epic, Unprecedented in World History-William Black

Professor Black says, “CEO Jamie Dimon has presided over the largest financial crime spree in world history. . . .  more in the range of 15 major felonies that either the United States investigators have found, state investigators have found or foreign governments have found. JP Morgan’s frauds are epic in scale, unprecedented in world history. . . in these $23 billion we’re talking about, these are frauds that made Jamie Dimon and other senior officers incredibly wealthy by creating fictional income that led to very real bonuses.” 

USAWatchdog According to Professor Black, the entire financial system is headed for an even bigger collapse. As a major warning sign, Professor Black points to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s complaint about no money for regulation in the recent budget deal. Professor Black says, “Jack Lew is the anti-canary in the coal mine because Lew has been gutting regulation for virtually all of his professional life. . . . Lew is saying, my God we’ve gone so far we’re going to cause the collapse of the system. . . . You know when Jack Lew keels over, you know that carbon monoxide has already killed everybody reasonable.” Professor Black goes on to say, “The system is ungovernable . . . It has already largely imploded.” 

1/19/14

A housing relief program with policies that 'throw people into the grinder'


One of the biggest housing relief programs under the Obama administration has failed desperate homeowners in huge ways.

They filed motions against their bank, but they had another nemesis too: the Kamels were in court battling the very government relief agency that they had turned to in hopes it would save them from their mortgage troubles.

David Dayen The Kamels, like others, have discovered the darker flip side of the mortgage crisis: some of the housing relief agencies funded by billions in taxpayer dollars to ease the millions of foreclosures in the US have fallen behind on the task, proving themselves no match for the persistence and legal power of banks intent on collecting fees and racking up foreclosures. In the Kamels' case, they turned to the Florida Hardest-Hit Fund, one of the biggest housing relief programs in the nation. During the course of a year, they fell through the cracks of the system: they have alleged in court that Hardest Hit did not intervene enough with their bank and that they received dubious legal advice from housing counselors.

1/19/14

How Bank of America and Others Schemed to Exploit You

Bank of America paid restitution for its part in a "nationwide scheme, including bid rigging and other anti-competitive conduct that defrauded state agencies, municipalities, school districts and nonprofits in their purchase of municipal bond derivatives." And in 2012, Bank of America joined four others to resolve allegations that they routinely submitted fraudulent documents in court- administered foreclosure proceedings in the wake of the financial crisis.

Daily Finance Virtually every case heard by the NAF was decided in favor of the bank and its brethren, who, not coincidentally, also financed the mediator's highly profitable operations. 

While few people would deny that appearing to rig an arbitration forum like this violates deep-seated notions of fair play and substantial justice, what makes this case even worse is that it's merely one in a vast series of systematic business practices employed by the nation's largest lenders over the years to unjustly tilt the financial system in their favor.

1/18/14

For the Love of Money

We are letting money addiction drive too much of our society.

IN my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million — and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough. I was 30 years old, had no children to raise, no debts to pay, no philanthropic goal in mind. I wanted more money for exactly the same reason an alcoholic needs another drink: I was addicted.

"I don’t like who you’ve become", my girlfriend had said years earlier. She was right then, and she was still right. Only now, I didn’t like who I’d become either.

NY Times Wealth addicts are, more than anybody, specifically responsible for the ever widening rift that is tearing apart our once great country. Wealth addicts are responsible for the vast and toxic disparity between the rich and the poor and the annihilation of the middle class.

Not only was I not helping to fix any problems in the world, but I was profiting from them. During the market crash in 2008, I’d made a ton of money by shorting the derivatives of risky companies. As the world crumbled, I profited. I’d seen the crash coming, but instead of trying to help the people it would hurt the most — people who didn’t have a million dollars in the bank — I’d made money off it. 

1/17/14

Judge in $8.5 bln BofA case is promoted, likely to rule soon

Reuters Bank of America had agreed in June 2011 to the $8.5 billion settlement to resolve claims over roughly $174 billion of mortgage-backed securities issued by the former Countrywide.

1/17/14

Citi and HSBC drawn deeper into forex probe

FT Two banks were dragged deeper into the evolving scandal over possible foreign exchange market manipulation when it emerged on Friday that HSBC has suspended two of its traders and two Citi employees were on leave amid internal inquiries. Before Friday more than a dozen traders had been fired or suspended in connection with the investigation.
1/17/14

Chicago Alderwoman Proposes City Stop Doing Business With JPMorgan Chase After It Admits to Illegal Actions

“The bank has violated the city code by making admissions of dishonesty and deceit in the way they dealt with their investors in the mortgage securities and Bernie Madoff Ponzi scandals. We use this code against city contractors and all the small companies, why wouldn’t we use this against one of the largest banks in the world,” she said.

TruthOut But Hairston needs to list the full sweep of JP Morgan Chase's recent fines, often in exchange for being criminally investigated and prosecuted. It you kited a check, you'd have to show up in court, but Chase shows that if you are going to engage in illegal financial behavior, make it big, very big as in being capable of crashing the US economy.
It is highly unlikely that Mayor Rahm "1%" Emanuel would support an ordinance that would penalize his banking pals, but it's encouraging to see some grassroots efforts to hold Wall Street accountable -- given that the US Department of Justice won't

1/17/14

New York’s Schneiderman Expands Financial Crimes Unit

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman formed a new unit focused on fighting financial wrongdoing.

Bloomberg ‘Illicit’ Activities:
The new bureau will focus on fighting complex financial crimes in banks and financial institutions, as well as securities and investment fraud, money laundering, mortgage fraud, investment schemes and insurance fraud. It will probe “illicit financial activities” and track the flow of suspicious funds to identify trends and help investigators

BofA Won’t Face Damages Claim Over Merrill in N.Y. Suit

The lawsuit also seeks an injunction barring individuals from the securities industry and from serving on public boards.

Bloomberg The state has accused Bank of America of misleading shareholders about losses at Merrill Lynch to win approval of the $18.5 billion deal and then manipulating the federal government into contributing bailout funds from the Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program to complete it.

Rhode Island Supreme Court Affirms Validity of MERS Assignment

In Rutter v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., the borrower-appellants challenged the foreclosure sale of their mortgaged property arguing, in part, that the MERS assignment was invalid.

MERS The Court acknowledged its recent holding in the Mruk v MERS case that Rhode Island homeowners have standing to challenge assignments of mortgages on their homes as void to the extent necessary to contest the foreclosing entity’s authority to foreclose. But, just like in the Mruk case, the Court determined that the MERS assignment was valid. The Court stated that the mortgage signed by the borrowers “directly listed MERS and its assignees as having the statutory power of sale, therefore permitting MERS to assign the Mortgage and permitting the assignee to foreclose,” and agreed with the ruling of the trial justice that the assignment was valid and the foreclosure was proper.

“The ruling by the Court affirms that MERS, as mortgagee, is the holder of legal title to the mortgage and does have the authority to make assignments and courts will continue to find the MERS assignments valid,” 

CFPB Fines Missouri Mortgage Banker in Kickback Case

Mortgage Servicing News The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Fidelity Mortgage $81,000 in fines for paying referral fees to a Missouri bank.
1/15/14

Large Banks Lose Share of Mortgage Business to Smaller Lenders

US Finance Post Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase, the two largest mortgage lenders in the U.S., are feeling the sting from smaller firms as mortgage originations drop at the fastest rate in three years. While large banks still dominate the mortgage market, their dominance is waning with smaller lender.

1/15/14

Cities should have done this long ago.

Los Angeles to consider cutting ties to JP Morgan

"We need to review the impacts that the repeated investigations, lawsuits and settlements involving JP Morgan have on our investments and holdings," the motion concluded.

Bloomberg A Los Angeles councilman proposed Wednesday that the nation's second-largest city consider ending tens of millions of dollars of financial ties with troubled JP Morgan Chase & Co.

It said a city retirement system holds over $100 million in JP Morgan stock and investments, and the city has a line of credit with the bank. The motion also suggests disqualifying the bank from doing further business with City Hall.

1/15/14

Detroit woman whose eviction at 101 made headlines dies

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development foreclosed on it in fall 2011. Hollis was left outside in a wheelchair, her belongings thrown into a trash container in the street.

USA Today Albom bought the home from HUD for $100. S.A.Y. Detroit spent nearly $30,000 on supplies and construction equipment rental and furnishings.

Volunteers built a new wheelchair ramp outside and made several other improvements. The refurbished house was unveiled to Hollis in April 2012.

"It's so wonderful to be home again," she said, touring the home in her wheelc

hair. "The house looks so beautiful, and I thank the Lord. God is good."

1/15/14

Citi sells Fannie Mae MSRs ... to Fannie Mae

In 2013, the issue of possible fee padding involving compensatory fees came to the forefront, leading to a number of investigations at leading banks.

Housing Wire Fannie Mae has purchased mortgage servicing rights on about 64,000 of its own loans from Citigroup, as the nation's 3rd largest lender looks to shed future liabilities tied to its servicing practices.

The unusual transaction was announced late Wednesday. The sale includes the majority of the delinquent loans serviced by CitiMortgage for Fannie Mae.
1/15/14

Citigroup Should Face Military Loan Claims, Borrowers Say

Citigroup should face claims that a unit overcharged military personnel on home loans rather than be allowed to use a $25 billion national foreclosure accord to settle with the service-members.

Bloomberg Officials of the bank’s CitiMortgage unit failed to apply the proper mortgage amortization rate to loans of active-duty members of the U.S. military and now seek to get soldiers and sailors to settle their suits as part of the five-bank foreclosure deal.

Wray is seeking to have his claims separated from the foreclosure settlement and heard in a federal court, alleging that the national accord doesn’t provide enough compensation.

1/14/14

FBI Suspects Front-Running of Fannie, Freddie Swap Orders

Wall Street traders may be manipulating a key derivatives market and front running Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, hurting the US-owned mortgage giants in the process.

Reuters Using what Federal Bureau of Investigation agents described as "unsophisticated tradecraft," such as hand signals and special telephone ring tones, some traders are conspiring to rig rates on large orders submitted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or front running them in the interest rate swaps market, the document says.

The FBI said in the bulletin that the information came from a former high-level employee at a U.S. bank and an employee at a Canadian Bank, plus interviews with other bank workers conducted in 2012 and 2013. The former high-level employee at the U.S. bank estimated the front running had resulted in profits of $50 million to $100 million for the bank, the FBI said.
1/15/14

After Crisis, Iceland Holds a Tight Grip on Its Banks

DealBook Iceland is a living experiment in what can happen when a country forces its financial firms to go under, rather than bailing them out like America did.

Small-time scheme busted: 

Attorney faces 108 years in prison.

They are charged with 288 felony counts including perjury, filing false court records and preparing false evidence.

GO AFTER FORECLOSURE-MILL ATTORNEYS!!!  The evidence is everywhere!

CVBT CA AG. Harris said: “The conduct of the attorneys in this scheme is even more offensive because they violated their ethical duty to be honest to the courts.”

FELONY COMPLAINT

The accused and their attorneys allegedly provided factually impossible and knowingly fraudulent evidence and statements in court under penalty of perjury in order to obtain at least 23 residential properties.

House in Foreclosure: Mom kills her two teens, self in murder-suicide

Their home was in foreclosure, and the kids and their mother were to move out in February.

NY Daily The family home had actually once belonged to Jennifer Berman's mother and had been in foreclosure since 2010.
Neighbors recalled Jennifer Berman as a normal, loving mother — until recently. 
“A couple of days ago, she was different. You could see it in her face, there was something missing, something disturbed in her mind. The conversation, the language, the eyes … something was missing.”

1/15/14

What is the Value of Consumer Time in Getting the Run Around With Servicers?

One thing to be careful about is the unlawful practice of law by the Servicer. They are advising homeowners in an indirect way to stop making payments in order to “qualify” for consideration of a modification. This is a way to trick homeowners into default and foreclosure based upon the correct assumption that most homeowners will not escrow the payments that were withheld and will get deeper and deeper into default.

Living Lies If you were to file suit based upon the value of your time it might break ground for thousands of other people. The fact is your time DOES have a value. If you were tricked into spending time that was futile because of internal policies and goals of the banks (just to wear you out), I think most lawyers would agree that under existing law, there is a valid cause of action, despite the obvious reluctance of the courts to allow it. It would probably need to be carefully worded to avoid pitfalls that would cause your lawsuit to be dismissed.

There are often state programs that were federally funded that could be of assistance but nobody talks about them. Right here in Florida we have a distressed homeowners fund that hardly anyone has touched. in Arizona the same thing has happened — $300 million and hardly any homeowners have applied for relief. And I might add that the servicers are subject to regulation, and compliance with the OCC consent judgments, that might be the basis for equitable or legal relief.

Deutsche Bank Suspends Traders Amid Foreign Exchange Investigations

into potential manipulation of the $5-trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.

DealBook The suspensions are the latest development in a series of inquiries that have again raised questions about the global banking industry. More than a dozen traders at some of the world’s largest banks have been placed on leave amid questions about whether they colluded to fix benchmark currency rates.

A Requirement for Every Foreclosure Judge

When you are watching the movie and realize that this is not pure fiction – you think, “no way” these guys are allowed to do this while homeowners are being thrown out in the street?!

Deadly Clear This is what every judge in America is contributing to as they allow foreclosures on the victims of these corrupt and depraved creatures. Every single foreclosure that a judge grants provides the income to allow this criminal and decadent behavior to continue. Do you want to clean up Wall Street? Then stop feeding it.

1/14/14

FBI Suspects Front-Running of Fannie, Freddie Swap Orders

Wall Street traders may be manipulating a key derivatives market and front running Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, hurting the US-owned mortgage giants in the process.

Reuters Using what Federal Bureau of Investigation agents described as "unsophisticated tradecraft," such as hand signals and special telephone ring tones, some traders are conspiring to rig rates on large orders submitted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or front running them in the interest rate swaps market, the document says.

The FBI said in the bulletin that the information came from a former high-level employee at a U.S. bank and an employee at a Canadian Bank, plus interviews with other bank workers conducted in 2012 and 2013. The former high-level employee at the U.S. bank estimated the front running had resulted in profits of $50 million to $100 million for the bank, the FBI said.
1/14/14

Even With Mortgages Slowdown, J.P. Morgan’s Mortgage Unit Increases Profits

WSJ So how was J.P. Morgan able to generate such a big profits in its mortgage business?  By releasing reserves of more than $1 billion set aside for so-called loan losses in this division. The bank cited “favorable delinquency trends,” in a release.
1/14/14

More than 600 underwater mortgages on the Jersey Shore to be refinanced by non-profit

Newsworks Instead of bidding on mortgage portfolios at auction as it has previously, NJCC went directly to the FHA seeking to acquire troubled mortgages. To do so, it paid the agency a premium of about $6 million over the likely auction price, he said.

Dissenting Opinion Correctly Interprets Schwartzwald

Why do so many judges get it wrong?

SRMOF Trust v. Lewis

OHIO COURT OF APPEALS
TWELFTH APPELLATE DISTRICT
Given that a note and mortgage are inseparable and that a party who merely holds the mortgage suffers no injury, I do not believe the Supreme Court intended to imply that possession of the mortgage alone is sufficient to establish standing.

1/14/14

SEMINAR: Evidence, Expert Reports and Testimony

Details on the seminar will be announced shortly. It will be in South Florida.  

Maybe Neil will LiveStream the seminar so all of us can benefit.

Living Lies It is a two-day workshop on evidence, burden of proof and what really persuades a judge and how to use the information to gain an advantage and control the narrative in court proceedings. Of course I am going to present some suggestions on pleadings and motions — especially a motion for summary judgment filed by the homeowner (an idea promoted first by Mark Stopa, Esq.). But my main emphasis is going to be the use and presentation of facts and opinions from analysts and experts.
1/14/14

JPMorgan Continues to Tally Up Its Legal Headaches

More headaches are coming. :-)

DealBook JPMorgan braced for its legal issues in the third quarter, when it set aside about $9.3 billion for legal payouts, leading to a loss for the three-month period. That legal tab was even larger than the bank’s $7.3 billion compensation expense for the quarter.  
1/14/14

JPMorgan 4Q profit falls 7 percent on legal costs

AP JPMorgan Chase said Tuesday that its profits fell 7 percent in the fourth quarter, hampered by more legal woes and a decline in the bank's investment banking business.

US Bank ASSIGNMENT FAIL: The allonges are undated and contain inaccurate information.

U.S. Bank v. Cooper

Ohio  9th District Court of Appeals Further, “[a] party should not file a Civ.R. 60(B) motion for relief from judgment in order to have the void judgment vacated or set aside, since Civ.R. 60(B) motions apply only to
judgments that are voidable rather than void.” “This is because the power to vacate a void judgment does not arise from Civ.R. 60(B), but rather, from an inherent power possessed by the courts in this state.” “Therefore, a common law motion to vacate a void judgment need not meet the standards applicable to a Civ.R. 60(B) motion.”

1/13/14

New York’s Mortgage Bank Hunter May Not Be Able to Direct His Spoils

The nation’s mortgage banks, whose lies and maledictions resulted in tens of thousands of Americans’ losing their homes, had agreed to fork over $136 million to settle some claims.

NY Times The AG wants to explore writing down thousands of troubled mortgages. “People can’t sell their homes because they are underwater on their mortgage, they can’t move to take a new job,” Mr. Schneiderman said in an interview. “The goal,” he noted, “is to do something transformational.”

Ah, but Governor Cuomo has his own transformational ideas. His staff has strongly hinted that the $613 million should get funneled into the state treasury, to help pay for a thick menu of election year tax cuts, $2 billion in all.
1/13/14

Mortgage Settlements May Not Be Smooth Sailing for Banks

Litigation risk reserves are likely to increase, affecting bank earnings because of an expected $50 billion in legal settlements to come.

Mortgage Servicing News Like most analysts Frischling anticipates “a number of big banks” will report lower earnings and revenue due to losses from legal settlements and higher reserves needed to comply with these settlements and pending litigation. The recent $13 billion settlement between JPMorgan and the government is just one of the examples.

If until now banks have been able to manage earnings mainly by “taking cost-cutting measures,” returns to this strategy are diminishing.

1/13/14

Learn the Top Strategy to Stop Foreclosure in Ohio

DannLaw There are many potential ways to stop foreclosure, and each case is quite different, depending on the unique nature of your mortgage and the actions of your bank. Nevertheless, there are a number of steps you can take to give yourself the best chance against your lender in a foreclosure action.

1/14/14

JPMorgan and Madoff Were Facilitating Nesting Dolls-Style Frauds Within Frauds

Wall Street on Parade According to the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), the Justice Department prosecutors who settled the case against JPMorgan Chase used the investigative material from Picard to bring their charges and settle the case. Those court filings show layers upon layers of frauds within the Ponzi scheme.

1/14/14

Foreclosures: Can the United States Learn from Canada 

Are Canadians Headed Toward a Similar Fate?

M.Travers 

MSFraud

With countless victims of illegal home foreclosures in the United States and many more fearing that they may also become a victim of mortgage servicing fraud, many have been questioning why our neighbors to the north in Canada do not seem to be experiencing similar problems.

Victim of Debt Collector Harassment Sees Credit Score Smeared

The problem with Johnson’s bill, according to the CBC, is that Johnson didn’t owe $5,400. In fact, he never even owned a Rogers wireless device. 

Lawyers & Settlements It’s one thing to incur debt collector harassment for a debt that you duly owe and for whatever reason have been unable to fully pay. Even here, there are fundamental rights a consumer has against aggressive bill collectors. However, when a consumer is harassed for a debt that isn’t even owed, the angst and frustration is magnified.
1/13/14

JPMorgan Chase: A Grossly Out Of Control And Hopelessly Corrupt Organization

If you have been pursued by JPMorgan Chase or any debt collector…you really need to read this lawsuit.

State of Mississippi v. JPMorgan Chase

Weidner Law Chase’s misconduct in collections litigation also severely undermined the reliability and fairness of the legal system in Mississippi and the integrity of the Mississippi courts.

As a result, Chase knowingly and willfully made false and misleading demands for debt, filed complaints in collections litigation that were unverified and lacked evidence, and sold debt for collection that was unreliable and undocumented.

Pennsylvania Couple Had Their Fill of Force-Placed Insurance

The case is Dobish v. M&T Bank Corp. et al. (No. 1:13-cv-01098-RJA), filed on November 5, 2013, in US District Court for the Western District of New York.

More force-placed insurance news

Lawyers & Settlements The plaintiffs did not agree their home was in a flood-prone area and backed up their claim with documentation from the City of Wilkes-Barre, where the plaintiffs live. According to Business Wire, the evidence obtained from the city clearly demonstrated the Dobish home did not sit in a flood-prone or SFHA area.

That wasn’t good enough for the bank, according to the report. M&T, it is reported, ignored the evidence and issued Force-Place insurance on the home without the homeowner’s consent.

Homes are foreclosed and sold without any default on the books of the creditor.

Rocket Dockets Undermine Faith In Judicial System

The very people who should be an army of revolt in the Courts are so intimidated by their opposition and what they see happening in the courts that they give up their largest investment, their lifestyle, their neighborhood because they are demoralized by a rigged legal system.

Living Lies The banks are continuing to pay hundreds of billions of dollars to protect TRILLIONS of dollars in ill-gotten gains.

Citizens who find themselves in the court system are fast losing faith that it is a rubber stamping system if they are accused of anything, and an obstacle to justice if they are seeking compensation for damages sustained as a result of breach of duty or obligation. My main observation is that in the civil dockets, equal protection is intentionally thrown out the window.

With Fate of Safe Deposit Boxes Unknown, CitiBank Customers Fret After Blaze

NY Times A bank is a place to safeguard family heirlooms and vital documents from the unpredictable turns of life: theft, fire, flood. But over the weekend, a Citibank branch in Upper Manhattan burned for more than a day, leaving the building a burned-out husk and the fate of the bank’s 300 safe deposit boxes unknown.

1/13/14

“Banks Are Still Getting Away With a Lot”

Yves Smith

naked capitalism

In this interview, I neglected to include chain of title, the pretty much pervasive failure to transfer the mortgage rights as stipulated in securitization agreements to the trusts used to hold them. That actually was the most stunning thing I came across as more and more information came out after the the dust had settled. But it didn’t play directly into the meltdown, so I neglected to include it.
c

1/12/14

What’s on their Minds: Some Post Schwartzwald Foreclosure Standing Stuff. Bank of America v. Kuchta.

Legally Speaking Justice O’Donnell was very vocal during Bank of America’s argument, raising over half of the questions given to the Bank’s counsel. Justice O’Donnell took issue with the notion that the Bank had a right to file a claim and did not see why the case should be distinguished from Schwartzwald. In addition, both Justice Pfeifer and Justice O’Neill asked questions about whether the Bank’s complaint constituted fraud or misrepresentation.
Manual

1/11/14

Supervision and Examination Manual – Version 2.0

CFPB Our manual, originally released in October 2011, describes how the CFPB supervises and examines these providers and gives our examiners direction on how to determine if companies are complying with consumer financial protection law.

1/11/14

The Debt and the Lien: Two Completely Different Problems

The only real effect the bankruptcy has  is the mortgage bank can’t get any more from the debtor after the bankruptcy than the security. Thus, don’t pay the mortgage and the bank can foreclose on the house.

Bankruptcy Law Network In Bankruptcy, a discharge will terminate the obligation to pay the debt. But it doesn’t remove the lien! So, although the borrower may no longer have the responsibility to pay the debt, if he wants to keep the security he will have to pay. The bankruptcy actually discharges the debt, but the house remains with the lien or mortgage attached. So, the owner can’t sell the house without paying off the bank.

1/10/14

Heart Attacks, Depression and Suicide: The Toxic Fallout From the Foreclosure Epidemic and a Prevention Strategy That Just Might Work

What can a focus on health teach us about Richmond's foreclosure crisis? What is the impact on the health of families and neighborhoods?

Most of what we know about the health consequences of foreclosure comes from very recent studies. What the researchers are finding is troubling. A study in Alameda County, including the nearby city of Oakland, shows profound adverse health consequences of foreclosure, "wreaking havoc not only on isolated families, but also on whole neighborhoods."

A Report on the Impact of Foreclosures

IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN FORECLOSURE AND HEALTH?

Huff Post A similar pattern emerges from all of these studies, showing those foreclosed upon suffering an increase in both mental and physical illness not seen in their neighbors.

Anxiety, depression, suicide attempts, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and hypertension all increase significantly in those foreclosed upon. Those facing foreclosure are more likely to be hospitalized or to visit the emergency room for mental health problems (including suicide attempts), hypertension, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. All age groups, including children and the elderly, are affected. 

The research paints a grim picture. Foreclosures threaten individuals and families with serious mental and physical illness. Entire neighborhoods are negatively impacted, as foreclosures lead to the breakdown of the social cohesion so essential to personal and communal health. To make matters worse, the neighborhoods facing the foreclosure tsunami are the very same ones already suffering the greatest health and economic challenges.

1/10/14

Elizabeth Warren's Going To Call Out JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon On TV Tonight

JPM can handle the lawsuits in stride, but Warren cannot.

Bloomberg TV

Business Insider Just this week, after JP Morgan's settlement, she teamed up with Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) to introduce a new bill called the Truth In Settlements Act.

Basically, it would require the Justice Department and other agencies handling settlements against corporations to be transparent about their negotiations, and make agreements easy to find online (you can watch a video of her speech on the floor of the house).

"MERS is not the beneficiary"

 

SECOND SET OF ISSUES OF STATEWIDE IMPORTANCE COMING UP IN OREGON COURT OF APPEALS

These issues, like those as to MERS in the Niday case, are those of “first impression” in Oregon, meaning that there is currently no Oregon appellate-level law on the issues, and thus the decision will be one of statewide importance.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide Mr. Barnes prevailed at both the Court of Appeals level and in the Supreme Court of Oregon in the Niday v. MERS litigation that MERS is not the beneficiary under the OTDA, with the Supreme Court imposing proof requirements on MERS as to any claim of any alleged “agency” relationship with anyone.

Mr. Barnes prevailed in Pilgeram v. Greenpoint, on the very same issue in the Supreme Court of Montana, which also likewise declared that MERS is not the “beneficiary” under Montana’s Small Tract Financing Act (Montana’s non-judicial foreclosure statute), and also imposed proof of agency requirements on MERS as well. That case is now the law of the land in Montana.

 

 

 

Wall Street Predicts $50 Billion Bill to Settle U.S. Mortgage Suits

If the settlements materialize, they could yield, according to the analysis, $15 billion in relief for consumers — a mixture of cash payments and other assistance, like reductions in the size of homeowners’ loan payments.

DealBook A payment of $50 billion, made up of a string of separate deals, would amount to roughly half the total annual profit of large American banks in 2012. 

The $50 billion figure does not include JPMorgan’s $13 billion payout, which means the ultimate industry tab could exceed $60 billion, according to the analysis.

   NO JUSTICE FOR THE HOMEOWNERS FROM THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT

After I made my presentation to the Mortgage Fraud Task Force in 2010, Tony West turned to me and said: "Mr. Johnson that is why we are here to hear stories like yours, because we know that the Central Valley of California is the epicenter of mortgage fraud."

(The banks swindled Mr. Johnson out of more than $1 million in property.)

Gene Johnson Benjamin Wagner stated: "We are looking into Mr. Johnson's case." Well it's finally time to really look into our case and millions of others that have had their homes stolen from them. They asked me to send them all our documents and we did.  We never heard from them again. 

Well now the Ponzi scheme expose is finally starting to happen and the Glaski case is a prime example.

The $50 billion should go to the homeowners that have been scammed and illegally thrown out in the street.

Did Big Banks Continue To Misprice Mortgage Securities After The Downturn?

Forbes This investigation suggests that the banks’ misconduct may not have been confined to the years before the downturn. The legal mess from mortgage-backed securities could haunt the banks for much longer if the investigation brings up any evidence against them. This will certainly not help investor sentiment, which has been largely fueled in recent years by the belief that the banks are only dealing with “legacy” mortgage issues.

Why Bankers Have Gotten a Pass

According to Judge Rakoff, evidence of fraud without prosecution of fraud indicates prosecutorial weaknesses.

By adhering to the settlement terms, the bank will avoid criminal indictment on two felony violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. No individuals were named or charged.

NY Times And that is the problem. Until relatively recently, it was rare for corporations to face criminal charges without the simultaneous prosecution of managers or executives. That changed over the past three decades, as prosecutors shifted their focus away from individuals and toward corporations, as if fault resides not in executives, but in corporate culture.

That shift, in Judge Rakoff’s view, largely explains the lack of banker prosecutions from the financial crisis.

1/9/14

The Foreclosure Process in America: Courts Transferring Ownership of America To Foreign Countries 

What we do know is that years ago China stopped buying unsecured Treasury note obligations, and converted their “investment” into the enterprise known as USA into purchasing interests in Fannie/Freddie obligations. They converted from unsecured investment to secured investments in the Dirt called ‘Murica.

Weidner Law Even after all these years I’m still flabbergasted that people in positions of power at the local and state levels don’t stop to consider what this means. It baffles me how judges at the trial level are perfectly content to enter judgments to nominal plaintiffs knowing full-well that the Plaintiff has no interest in the actual property. If pressed by good foreclosure defense, especially through discovery, most plaintiffs will admit…

"WE HAVE NO INTEREST IN THE PROPERTY…BUT WE REFUSE TO DISCLOSE WHO REALLY OWNS THIS PROPERTY"
Full post

1/9/14

 

 

Foreclosures: David Stern loses law license

The Florida Supreme Court this week disbarred David J. Stern, the Broward County lawyer who once operated the state's largest foreclosure-mill.

In a complaint filed last year, the Florida Bar alleged that Stern failed to supervise employees accused of improperly processing thousands of foreclosures for lenders. The so-called robo-signing scandal caused some banks to temporarily halt foreclosure filings in late 2010 amid concerns that homeowners were losing their rights to due process.

(What about Stern's victims?)

Sun-Sentinel The state high court approved the report of a legal referee, who recommended that Stern be disbarred. It is effective Feb. 6. 

He also was ordered to pay $49,125.02 in costs to the Bar. Big deal. Stern made millions running what derisively became known as a "foreclosure mill." He shut down his Plantation office after the robo-signing controversy surfaced.

Thomas Ice, a Royal Palm Beach foreclosure defense lawyer, helped expose the robo-signing scandal. He testified for the Bar at a hearing in the Stern case. "This closes a chapter in the foreclosure crisis and on some of the most abusive practices of these foreclosure mills," Ice said.

Stern: But The Real Questions Remain Completely Avoided and Unanswered Weidner Law As usual with news these days (and with the treatment of elites generally)…….the biggest and most important issues go completely ignored while the press and general public are left to focus on meaningless distractions.  

The real issue, still left completely untouched by all involved comes back to the important issues that were presented before the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in a series of filings:

Marc Dann argues foreclosure case before Ohio Supreme Court

The case, Bank of America v. Kuchta, could have implications in thousands of foreclosure cases.

Vindy Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger added, “We’ve seen this happen in the criminal side. Do you want us to go to the same situation, saying that if a person doesn’t have standing to sue and anything a court does after that is void and subject to collateral attack at anytime?

(Yes!  That is what the law says.)

1/9/14

Banks Helps Tardy Mortgage Borrowers Find New Jobs

Banks in the US are giving distressed homeowners a hand, helping them land new jobs instead of kicking them out on the street.

The Financial Brand In 2012, Fifth Third Bank started offering an innovative reemployment training program designed to help keep delinquent mortgage borrowers in their homes. The program, developed by NextJob, a career counseling service based in Oregon, teaches people how to develop and execute a detailed job search plan. Participants receive up to 16 weeks of one-on-one counseling with a career coach — paid for by the bank — who teaches them skills like resume-writing, interview techniques, how to use online resources like LinkedIn, and how to find “hidden jobs” that are available but never advertised.
1/9/14

Funds With $100 Billion May Be Too Big to Fail, FSB Says

Bloomberg Hedge funds with trading activities exceeding a set value of $400 billion to $600 billion would also be assessed by national authorities to gauge whether they need extra rules because their collapse could spark a crisis, the Financial Stability Board said.
1/9/14

Big Six U.S. Banks’ 2013 Profit Thwarted by Legal Costs

Bloomberg Combined profit at the six largest U.S. banks jumped last year to the highest level since 2006, even as the firms allocated more than $18 billion to deal with claims they broke laws or cheated investors.
1/9/14

1 in 5 Homeowners Drowning

9.3 million U.S. residential properties are underwater.

Housing Wire There are still millions of homeowners who are in such a deep equity hole that it will take years for them to regain their equity," Blomquist added. "The longer these homeowners remain in a negative equity position without relief in the form of a principal loan balance reduction, the more likely that foreclosure will become the path of least resistance for them."

1/9/14

Bankruptcy Lawyers: Admission of secured debt is deadly!

Living Lies Naming a party as the creditor and checking the right boxes showing they are secured basically ends the discussion on the motion to lift stay and restricts your options to either filing an adversary lawsuit attached to the administrative bankruptcy petition or filing an action in state court which is where you will be if you don’t follow this same simple direction.

1/8/14

The Government Guide to Screwing Homeowners

The expiration of federal mortgage-debt forgiveness at the end of last year means that struggling homeowners now owe unbearable amounts in taxes. 

The American Prospect Even homeowners entitled to compensation for past abuse by the mortgage-lending industry would be subject to unfavorable tax treatment. This will lead to more economically debilitating foreclosures and weaken the housing market. Despite bipartisan support for an extension, it's anybody's guess whether Congress will get around to helping out struggling homeowners.

Regulators probe post-crisis RMBS pricing

Discover potential issues from 2009-2011 time frame

The Wall Street Journal has uncovered a new potential leg of the crisis.

Housing Wire

WSJ

The paper says regulators are investigating several big banks to discover if traders may have exploited ‘murky pricing’ on RMBS from the time period stretching from 2009 to 2011.

The focus is on whether the goal was to buy or sell investments at artificially depressed or inflated prices, the paper said.

1/8/14

How Fiat Money Works

Chris Mayer 

New Economic Perspectives

The government creates dollars. It doesn’t even have to print them. The vast majority of spending is simply done by adding electronic dollars to bank accounts. Therefore, the U.S. government can’t go bankrupt. It pays all its bills in U.S. dollars, of which it is the sole issuer.

This sounds really obvious, but it is amazing how many people — even very smart people — forget this simple fact. 

Borrowers Hit Social-Media Hurdles

Regulators Have Concerns About Lenders' Use of Facebook, Other Sites

WSJ More lending companies are mining Facebook, Twitter  and other social-media data to help determine a borrower's creditworthiness or identity, a trend that is raising concerns among consumer groups and regulators.

1/8/14

PNC BANK: NEGOTIATE WITH THE SOLEBO'S

Occupy Our Homes The Solebo family desperately fought to stay in their home, contacted the bank hundreds of times and sent in the same documents over and over again with no progress. At the last minute, they won a commitment from PNC not to carry out the eviction, only to have the Will County Sheriffs show up at their home the next morning and threw them out. 
1/8/14

The invincible JP Morgan

Reuters The latest $2 billion fine, however, which also comes with a deferred prosecution agreement, is entirely on JP Morgan’s shoulders — and still, as Peter Eavis reports, it’s being “taken in stride” by the giant bank. It really seems that CNBC is right, and that profits really do cleanse all sins. How is it that a $450 million fine sufficed to defenestrate the CEO of Barclays, but that Jamie Dimon, overseeing some $20 billion of fines plus a deferred prosecution agreement just in the space of one year, seems to be made of teflon?

1/8/14

What's $20 Billion to a Banking Giant?

It is a figure that most of the nation’s banks could not withstand if they had to pay it. But since the financial crisis, JPMorgan has become so large and profitable that it has been able to weather the government’s legal blitz, which has touched many parts of the bank’s sprawling operations.

Yet JPMorgan’s shares are up 28 percent over the last 12 months. Wall Street analysts estimate that it will earn as much as $23 billion in profit this year, more than any other lender. And JPMorgan’s investment bankers, who on average earned $217,000 in 2012, can look forward to another lush payday as bonus season approaches.

DealBook JPMorgan failed — and failed miserably,” Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan said.

As much as such words might sting at first, the bank’s shareholders and clients show every sign of remaining loyal. JPMorgan’s financial success highlights a deep quandary that regulators have to grapple with as they press the largest banks to clean up their acts. The government’s penalties may seem large on paper — JPMorgan’s mortgage settlement with the Justice Department last year cost it a record $13 billion — but the largest banks seem capable of earning their way out of serious legal trouble.

The London whale incident showed that some employees at large banks may still try to maximize their compensation at the expense of the firm. “There is too much of an incentive for an individual to cut corners.

1/8/14

The Meaning for Businesses in Delaware’s Judicial Nomination

Chancellor Strine stands as one of the nation’s leading corporate law jurists.

His biggest job in the corporate arena will now be as cheerleader for Delaware, encouraging businesses to incorporate there.

DealBook The Delaware Supreme Court’s decisions have had a business-friendly bent, and that will probably not change if Leo E. Strine Jr., the head of Delaware’s Chancery Court, is confirmed as chief judge of the State Supreme Court.

He also came down quite hard when he thought he saw bad conduct, as when he chastised Goldman Sachs in the Kinder Morgan case. 

1/8/14

Televised Oral Argument in Bank of America v. Kuchta

Insight into what concerns this court.

Ohio Supreme Court May a Foreclosure Defendant Who Does Not Appeal a Trial Court’s Decision Later Argue in a Motion That the Other Party Did Not Have the Right to Sue? 

ISSUE: In a foreclosure action in which the defendant does not appeal the trial court’s judgment, may the defendant later raise the issue that the other party lacked standing in a motion for relief from judgment?

1/8/14

No Warrant, No Problem: How the Government Can Get Your Digital Data

The government isn't allowed to wiretap American citizens without a warrant from a judge. But there are plenty of legal ways for law enforcement, from the local sheriff to the FBI to the Internal Revenue Service, to snoop on the digital trails you create every day.

ProPublica Authorities can often obtain your emails and texts by going to Google or AT&T with a simple subpoena that doesn’t require showing probable cause of a crime. And recent revelations about classified National Security Agency surveillance programs show that the government is regularly sweeping up data on Americans’ telephone calls and has the capability to access emails, files, online chats and other data — all under secret oversight by a special federal court.

1/8/14

Foreclosures by Homeowners’ Associations Rising as Their Financial Condition Worsens

Foreclosures by bank servicers has produced an adverse feedback loop: homes in foreclosure sit vacant, often for lengthy periods, and they don’t pay fees to the HOA. That produces shortfalls in the HOA’s revenues versus their needs. Thus when a homeowner now goes into arrears, the HOA has less ability to cut them slack and work out a payment or catch-up plan.

naked capitalism Because these associations are private and not required to report information, it’s impossible to know how often they are foreclosing or facing serious financial shortfalls. The Reuters account feature anecdotes of how some of these organizations, often run by inexperienced volunteers, have engaged in fine-collection strategies that look an awful lot like cops going on a traffic-ticket binge to help fill a local budget gap. That’s producing more and more calls for restraints on the HOAs’ powers
1/8/14

Wells Fargo Creates SWAT Team to Keep Loans In-House

Bloomberg Wells Fargo, the largest U.S. home lender, has assigned about 400 underwriters to originate mortgages for the bank to hold, with as many as 40 percent of those loans likely to fall outside government guidelines taking effect this week.

The bank is training the group as a way to increase lending without losing control of quality.

Expert: JPMorgan's Teflon man, Jamie Dimon, should be prosecuted if bank misbehaves again

To really clean up the banking system, regulators need to act tough, force settlements that get enough attention and boards and shareholders need to get more aggressive for change at the top.

NY Daily News The optics, to the average person on the street, are very bad. The average person can rob a 7-11 and be put away in jail for a $100 crime. But someone at JPMorgan can be culpable in turning a blind eye to a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme and get away with it without serving time.
If we’re going to avoid the next financial crisis, we need to incentivize bankers to behave in an honorable way.

1/8/14

Wall Street Banks Face New Probe Over Mortgage Bond Mispricing

The banks under federal scanner include Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland Group and UBS.

International Business Times Federal investigators are probing a number of banks for cheating clients in the years following the financial crisis by deliberately mispricing mortgage bonds.

It "is the first known wide-ranging examination of mortgage-bond sales" by banks in the years of financial crisis. 

CFPB Wants Borrowers to Know Their Rights

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is providing borrowers with sample letters they can send to servicers to fix an error or request needed information.

Mortgage Servicing News It is part of the bureau’s effort to ensure consumers are aware of their rights under the new servicing rules that go into effect Jan. 10 and know how to exercise those rights to prevent foreclosures.

“They are exactly what good community banks and credit unions have been doing for many, many years. They amount to little more than taking the time to work directly with customers to address their circumstances. In short, our rule means simply that mortgage servicers must now do their jobs,” he says.

1/7/14

RBS Pays $600 Million for Manipulating Interest Rates … But Big Banks Are Manipulating EVERY Market to the Tune of Trillions of Dollars

Interest Rates Are Manipulated

Washington's Blog To put the Libor interest rate scandal in perspective:

The big banks have conspired for years to rig interest rates … upon which $800 trillion in assets are pegged.  This was the largest insider trading scandal ever … and the largest financial scam in world history.

Whistleblower Complaint Leads to $320M Settlement

“When companies like TBW and Home America commit fraud, everyone suffers,” Friddle says. “It’s tempting to bury your head in the sand and pretend that you don’t see what’s happening, but if you don’t speak up, everyone is harmed. The effects of this kind of fraud will be felt throughout our economy for years to come.

National Mortgage News Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage and Home America Mortgage will pay more than $320 million to resolve allegations that they falsified loan applications, created false documentation, and misrepresented qualifications of applicants in order to secure federally funded insurance for home loans that ultimately defaulted.

These statutes allow governments to recover three times the amount they were defrauded, in addition to civil penalties of $5,500 to $11,000 per false claim. Successful whistleblowers can receive between 15% and 30% of the government’s recovery.

1/7/14

Calif. Judge Dismisses Wells Fargo, FNMA Reverse Mortgage Lawsuit

A proposed class action representing heirs of reverse mortgage borrowers was dismissed by a California judge on Friday without leaving the plaintiff an opportunity to appeal

Reverse Mortgage Daily According to the allegations and AARP, Wells Fargo told him that he would have to pay off the full mortgage balance, then acting on Fannie Mae, the owner of the mortgage, proceeded to foreclose on the home. Finding no one willing to buy it for the same market price that Mr. Chandler was Fannie Mae began efforts to evict him from the property.
1/7/14

JPMorgan's Madoff Settlement Could Prove Elizabeth Warren Right

You could call this a case of "too big to manage," one of anti-Wall Street crusader Senator Elizabeth Warren's (D-MA) favorite catchphrases.

Back in November, she used it to talk about reinstating Glass-Steagall, the regulation that once split commercial and investment banks.

Business Insider "The new Glass-Steagall Act would attack both 'too big' and 'to fail,'" Warren said..."It would reduce failures of the big banks by making banking boring, protecting deposits, and providing stability to the system even in bad times. And it would reduce 'too big' by dismantling the behemoths, so that big banks would still be big—but not too big to fail or, for that matter, too big to manage, too big to regulate, too big for trial, or too big for jail."
1/7/14

Mortgage forgiveness tax break needs to be restored — immediately

There’s a tax break for struggling homeowners that Congress shouldn’t have let expire just before the new year. If not extended, some people selling their homes could get big tax bills.

As the housing crisis drove people into foreclosure, many borrowers were not aware that forgiven debt, including on mortgages, is considered income.

Washington Post In 2007, Congress passed the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act to help people who were down on their luck financially because of the loss of their homes. The concern was well placed. If people couldn’t afford to keep their homes, getting a large tax bill just seemed cruel.

The tax break was supposed to end in 2009. But it was extended twice through Dec. 31 because many people still needed help. It was a decent thing to do.

1/7/14

JP Morgan Pulled $275 Million Of Its Own Money From Madoff Feeder Funds Months Before His Arrest

JP Morgan must pay for its negligence in allowing Bernie Madoff to launder his ill gotten gains through the bank for decades.

Business Insider What is clear from Bharara's description of the bank's relationship with Madoff, is that JP Morgan was aware of the Ponzi scheme before Madoff's arrest.

"JPMC connected the dots when it mattered to its own profit," said Bharara, "but wasn’t so diligent..." when it came to its obligations to report illegal activity.

JPMorgan Chase To Pay $1.7 Billion To Madoff Victims

NPR The bank will be criminally charged with two violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and will admit to the violations. But under the agreement, the bank will receive a deferred prosecution.

Meeting of the minds

Doss & Assocs. v. First Am. Title  

Georgia Court of Appeals Because genuine issues of material fact remain as to whether there was a
meeting of the minds with regard to an escrow agreement
, the trial court erred by granting summary judgment in favor of Doss on Stillwater’s claim for breach of the escrow agreement.
1/7/14

A post-closing date transfer to a trust renders the assignment Void.

Glaski Gives Foreclosure Litigants Hope

Can it really be that now, after nearly five years of beating on this and judges always finding the slimmest of reasons to deny obvious justice, the truth is finally bubbling to the surface? 

George Mantor It will be interesting to see what sort of unprecedented lengths the bankstas will go to in order to preserve and further The Great American Foreclosure Fraud. For now, at least in California, Glaski is the closest we have come to seeing part of the establishment reject outright fraud, not just on the borrower, but ultimately upon the real investors who bought slices of nothingness for billions of dollars.

1/6/14

Affidavit and Standing Fail

Bank of America v. Lam

For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff's motion for summary judgment of foreclosure and sale against defendants Lam, Wong and Ting is denied, as is the plaintiffs initial request for a declaration that defendant Wong is in default. 

Accordingly, 1 find that plaintiff failed to demonstrate its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, because it did not establish that the Note was physically delivered to Bank of America prior to the commencement of the action. 

Supreme Court, New York County In addition to the lack of any detail, the affiant, Laresea Jett, does not purport to 
have any personal knowledge of the delivery of the Note to Bank of America. Nor does she attach or describe any of Wells Fargo's books and records upon which she relies. "Where an officer's knowledge has been obtained either from unnamed. and unsworn employees or unidentified and unproduced work records, the affidavit lacks any probative value.

What makes matters worse is that Ms. Jett admits that her affidavit is 
based, in part, on the unverified complaint drafted by the Baum firm.

1/6/14

 

Robo-Zombies Attack! Robo-Signing Just Won’t Die

Another great depo of a Robo Verifier who knows pretty much nothing about a foreclosure case…

No matter the amount and severity of lawsuits, settlements, and bad publicity, it appears, at least in this case, that the act of signing without proper authority or knowledge as to that which one is signing, continues.

Full Deposition of Victoria Scott

Rosen Law The deposition of Victoria Scott took place on November 20, 2013, during which time Evan questioned Ms. Scott about her knowledge of the truth and accuracy of the facts in the Complaint, which she allegedly verified. During the deposition, Ms. Scott could not verify the facts alleged in paragraphs 2, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11 and 14, as well as in the “wherefore” clause of the Complaint, despite the fact that she signed the verification under penalty of perjury. 

According to the admission of the Plaintiff’s deponent, the verification found in the Complaint is a sham and should be stricken pursuant to FLA. R. CIV. P. 1.150.

1/6/14

U.S. probe examines Credit Suisse mortgage standards panel

U.S. prosecutors are examining a new set of Credit Suisse Group AG documents, including internal emails, that may show whether a bank committee charged with overseeing the quality of home loans ignored red flags to the detriment of mortgage investors.

Reuters Its job was to make sure that bad loans were not included in securities that the bank sold to investors.

The emails, which have not been previously reported, could play a key role in any action that prosecutors may decide to bring against Credit Suisse for its mortgage activities before the housing bust.

The emails show Credit Suisse employees complained that poor quality loans were being allowed to go through because some members of the committee were focusing chiefly on the need to generate a large volume of loans, rather than trying to improve underwriting practices.

1/6/14

A Foreclosure Bank Attorney Comes Up to Me and says “What’s Happening To Courts In This Foreclosure Mess Is Madness And It Disgusts Me

To hear those on the other side of these arguments recognize just how bad this has become is both alarming and cause for deep concern.

Weidner Law While waiting for a trial today I spent some good time talking to a good foreclosure attorney on the bank side. He’s the kind of guy that admits to homeowner foreclosure attorneys, “we’ve got these certain problems with this case, this document is missing, here are the problems with my witness.” That’s exactly what good lawyers do. They don’t play games, the don’t cheat and they follow the rules.

1/6/14

Bank of America Investors Continue To Pay For Mortgage Sins, Investors Should Know Something Now

Among the leading four U.S. lenders, Bank of America has paid a lot for mortgage fiasco settlements. The company has also recovered a lot from the financial crisis of 2008. However, it still pays very little to investors.

Basics Media Bank of America Corp continues to lose billions of dollars in settlements to bad mortgage it sold to investors. The company hopes to get all its legal troubles behind in about next 18 months. In order to completely deal with the legal challenges, the bank expects to incur about $9 billion in settlements. The question that investors have been asking is what these losses mean to their financial position in the stock. 

1/6/14

Crime with no time.

JPMorgan Settles With Federal Authorities in Madoff Case

Before Bernard L. Madoff stole billions of dollars from his clients, and before he received a 150-year prison sentence for those crimes, JPMorgan Chase had a chance to warn federal authorities about his Ponzi scheme but never did.

DealBook The criminal element of the case involved a so-called deferred- prosecution agreement with that office, an action that essentially suspends for two years an indictment as long as JPMorgan admits its actions and overhauls its controls against money laundering. Deferred-prosecution agreements, while not as forceful as leveling an indictment or demanding a guilty plea, had been rarely used against a giant American bank and were typically employed only when misconduct was extreme.
1/6/14

JPMorgan Would Prefer You Not See This Shameful Rectangle

The total tab for JPMorgan Chase's constant legal trouble is now up to more than $31 billion -- a figure so exorbitant and cruel that the bank's stock price just hit a record high.

Huff Post But don't feel too bad for JPMorgan: Stock-price gains completely erased that $13 billion settlement in a matter of days. And though legal costs led to a loss in the third quarter, JPMorgan made $13 billion in total profits in the two quarters prior to that. $32 billion is just the cost of doing business for the bank. Scroll over the chart for details on the cost of JPMorgan's wrongdoing:
1/6/14

Two Very Different Views on New FHFA Director Mel Watt

Two conflicting views of Watt and about the course he may be planning to follow in running the agency that serves as both regulator and conservator of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the GSEs) are presented in two articles, each published last week.

Mortgage News Daily The unsigned editorial calls Watt "A radical social activist with one of the most liberal voting records in Congress," taking particular care to mention he is the former head of the Congressional Black Caucus and that he "has a soft spot for borrowers who can't afford a house." It claims that he "was one of the affordable-housing zealots on the Hill who helped push Fannie and Freddie into the risky subprime market.

Will Watt merely continue where DeMarco left off; reducing loan limits and raising fees or will he freeze all steps to bring back private capital, further entrenching the government's large role in the industry?

1/6/14

Watt at FHFA Seen as Enigma in Fannie-Freddie Market: Mortgages

The incoming head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency sent reporters an e-mail from his personal account telling them he would indefinitely put on hold planned increases in the fees the two companies charge for insuring mortgage securities.

Bloomberg With the three-sentence message, Watt signaled a break from his FHFA predecessor Edward J. DeMarco and hinted at how he’ll shape the direction of the two firms that account for about 60 percent of new U.S. mortgages. Set to be sworn in today by President Barack Obama, Watt already is seen by consumer advocates as a potential champion for helping homeowners and by bond managers as a possible threat to the value of their investments. 

1/6/14

Federal Bankruptcy Judge Explains Wells Fargo Servicer Advances

If you really want to understand the complexity of repayments to the creditor, this is one case that deserves your full attention.

Mortgage Lenders v. Wells Fargo

I would add that if the argument from opposing counsel is that the servicer advances are secured by the mortgage because of language that includes the word “advances” then they are admitting at this point that the entire structure of the loan as presented to the homeowner borrower was a lie. Under the federal truth in lending act such disclosure was entirely necessary to complete the transaction.

Living Lies If the servicer was merely making a loan to the trust beneficiaries there would be little doubt that the advances were recoverable. They can argue that the advances are recoverable in substance from the borrower, but that is only AFTER the foreclosure Judgment and AFTER the sale and AFTER the liquidation of the property after the auction sale.

It will also be inevitably argued that this gives the homeowner borrower a free ride. Of course we all know that there is no free ride in this. The homeowner has usually made a substantial down payment and has made monthly payments for years. The homeowner had spent a lot of money on furnishing and completing the house. There is no free ride. But the best argument against the “free ride” allegation is that this is asserted by the party with unclean hands (and often intentionally withheld information from the court or even committed perjury).

c

1/5/14

Bank of America, financial cockroach

Anne Tompkins, one of many U.S. Attorneys involved in the ensuing litigation against BOA said BOA’s “reckless and fraudulent origination and securitization practices in the lead-up to the financial crisis caused significant losses to investors.

Washington Times Settling claims or paying them after verdicts were rendered has become BOA’s standard operating procedure in these protracted legal matters. 
Following the 2008 crisis, BOA took $25 billion from the government as “bailout” money, agreeing to modify (re-write with more affordable terms) residential mortgage loans for qualified homeowners. Unfortunately, BOA thereafter did not act honorably, to say the least. Litigation ensued and former BOA employees reported that the bank lied to borrowers and falsified its performance when reporting to the government the number of loans that had been modified.
1/5/14

JPMorgan Nears a $2 Billion Deal in a Case Tied to Madoff

Under the terms of the deals, the bank will pay more than $1 billion to the prosecutors in Manhattan and the remainder to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and a unit of the Treasury Department investigating broader breakdowns in the bank’s safeguards against money-laundering.

DealBook JPMorgan’s Madoff settlements, the people briefed on the case said, would also involve a so-called deferred prosecution agreement, a criminal action that would essentially suspend an indictment as long as JPMorgan acknowledged the facts of the government’s case and changed its behavior. The agreement, nearly unheard-of for a giant American bank and typically employed only when misconduct is extreme, underscores the magnitude of the case against JPMorgan.
1/5/14

 

The Bubble Is Back

In November, housing starts were up 23 percent, and there was cheering all around. But the crowd would quiet down if it realized that another housing bubble had begun to grow.

Today, after the financial crisis, the recession and the slow recovery, the bubble is beginning to grow again. Between 2011 and the third quarter of 2013, housing prices grew by 5.83 percent, again exceeding the increase in rental costs, which was 2 percent.

Peter Wallison Housing bubbles are measured by comparing current prices to a reliable index of housing prices. Fortunately, we have one. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics index shows a steady rise of about 3 percent a year over this 30-year period. This is as it should be; other things being equal, rentals should track the inflation rate. Home prices should do the same. If prices rise much above the rental rate, families theoretically would begin to rent, not buy.

Housing bubbles, then, become visible — and can legitimately be called bubbles — when housing prices diverge significantly from rents.

In 1997, housing prices began to diverge substantially from rental costs. 

Deutsche Bank, U.S. shareholders settle lawsuit over mortgages

 

Deutsche Bank Settles Mortgage Lawsuit

Deutsche Bank AG (DB) has reached a lawsuit settlement with U.S.-based shareholders. The German bank was accused of hiding information about its capacity to handle risks related to mortgages before the 2008 financial crisis.

 

Reuters

 

_________

 

Value Walk

The settlement came after a U.S. District Judge quashed a plea to let the lawsuit progress as a class action lawsuit. A class action lawsuit is advantageous to plaintiffs as it reduces litigation costs and puts them in a position to obtain substantial recoveries.

The plaintiffs – which included Building Trades United Pension Trust Fund of Elm Grove, Wisconsin, and two other mutual funds – accused Deutsche Bank of misrepresenting its risk management capacities and the underwriting standards related to mortgages. Additionally, they charged the Frankfurt-based bank of being deliberately slow to take right-downs. Further, they alleged that as a result of all these discrepancies, the company’s share price fell almost 87% from May 2007 to Jan 2009.

Bank of America employs 20 full-time social media spies, watches anarchists and occupy protesters

Privacy SOS Washington state public records request has unearthed an email chain which includes a message from a Vice President of Global Corporate Security for Bank of America, describing efforts to combat economic justice organizing. The official explains that the powerful financial institution employs a staff of 20 full-time social media spies, and references public-private surveillance efforts directed at activists who aim to hold banks accountable for social crises like the foreclosure disaster.

1/4/14

 

Full post:

Should a Homeowner in Foreclosure Accept a Deed In Lieu or Short Sale With Waiver of Deficiency? 

(NO WAY! Mortgage Debt Relief Forgiveness Act)

For many years, and for tens of thousands of consumers who were in foreclosure all across Florida, the easy resolution of the foreclosure case presented by the banks has been…

TAKE A DEED IN LIEU OF FORECLOSURE OR A SHORT SALE…WALK AWAY SCOTT FREE!

Florida’s courts have not yet understood the impact this would have if consumers stopped falling for the siren song of the waiver and started deciding to take every case to trial…but that’s exactly what should be happening.

Weidner Law For some folks it was an ok deal. No more home, but no more liability associated with owning that home. Well all that changed effective January 1, 2014 when the Mortgage Debt Relief Forgiveness Act expired. After January 1, if a consumer took one of these deals, they are going to get hammered by federal income taxes when the federal government issues a 1099(c). The tax hit is going to come as a total and unimaginable surprise. How would you like to have walked away from your home only to find out the IRS wants to hammer you for $200,000 in additional income? Well, that’s going to happen. It’s going to happen to a whole lot of people.

So what’s the alternative? You’ve got to fight, fight, fight your foreclosure. With this new tax time bomb, for the vast majority of people a Final Judgment of Foreclosure and a foreclosure sale is going to be far more beneficial in the long run than a waiver of deficiency and a short sale.

Oral Argument Preview: Some Post Schwartzwald Foreclosure Standing Stuff. Bank of America v. Kuchta

The Kuchtas argue that no one has a vested right or interest in a judgment that is void so there can be no public policy consideration that affords finality to an interest that does not exist.

Legally Speaking Ohio On January 8, 2014, the Supreme Court of Ohio will hear oral argument in the case of Bank of American, N.A. v. George M. Kuchta, et al., 2013-0304. At issue in this case is whether defendants can bring a lack of standing challenge in a post-judgment motion without having appealed the judgment. This case comes to the Supreme Court of Ohio by way of certified question.

Unique, Successful, Peer-Run Drop-In Center for Homeless Youth Goes Homeless

AlterNet It was the Homeless Youth Alliance’s last day in the drop-in center on Haight Street. After 12 years of opening its doors to the 5,000 homeless youth seeking a few hours of daily refuge from their lives on the streets, the nonprofit group is being evicted from the building, which is slated to become a restaurant or retail space following renovations.
1/3/14

Citigroup Paid $250 Million in Mortgage Settlement Case

Citigroup Inc. paid $250 million to the Fannie and Freddie to settle a lawsuit about soured mortgage securities.

U.S. Finance Post Citigroup is now trying to regain the amount spent in the settlement, adding new customers while trying to increase interest income from loans. It is also following a strategy many lenders are shying away from: investing heavily in commodity items.
1/3/14

The New Servicing Era: Single Point of Contact

Servicers were ill-equipped to handle the influx of delinquent borrowers that sought answers and guidance to avoid foreclosure.  (Illegally foreclosing was part of the plan all along.)

Mortgage Servicing News A servicer has the option of assigning a single agent or team to satisfy the SPOC requirement. However, major problems associated with SPOC range from lengthy loss mitigation telephone calls, to call prioritization and audit reporting. SPOCs will provide homeowners with stability, open lines of communication and answers during delinquency, but how can servicers adjust to the new rule and effectively achieve the success it was meant to bring?
1/3/14

JPMorgan Settles Pittsburgh Bank Suit Probing U.S. Deal

JPMorgan Chase agreed to settle a Pittsburgh lender’s lawsuit after a judge ordered the New York-based bank to turn over the government’s draft complaint at the center of its $13 billion deal with regulators.

Bloomberg Lawyers for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh said yesterday in Pennsylvania state court that they had reached an agreement, without disclosing terms of the deal. The Pittsburgh FHLB sued JPMorgan and credit-ratings companies in 2009 over losses on $1.8 billion in mortgage backed securities it bought in 2006 and 2007.

1/3/14

D.C. foreclosure law is too weak to protect homeowners

In tinkering with the measure, the council avoided the basic issue: The District needs a strong foreclosure law that protects consumers.

In the District, there is no mandatory judicial review of foreclosures. The burden is on the homeowner to file a lawsuit. But a homeowner who can’t make mortgage payments probably can’t afford a lawyer, either.

Washington Post Although the law has slowed down, if not all but stopped, foreclosures in the District, lenders still aren’t being paid and homeowners are getting more and more behind on their mortgages. As a result, lenders are now trying to circumvent the mediation requirements by asking the court to permit a foreclosure. About 100 such cases are pending in the D.C. Superior Court. In one case, the D.C. government in a “friend of the court” brief wrote that the lender “is not seeking a true judicial foreclosure, and essentially is asking the Court to sanction a foreclosure using procedures that are available only in non-judicial foreclosures. The Court should therefore invoke the statutory protections applicable to non-judicial foreclosures, including foreclosure mediation, in deference to the expressed public policy of the District of Columbia.”
1/3/14

Countrywide Securities Settles With Massachusetts on Sub-Prime Securitization Claims

In addition to the payment provided to PRIM, the state pension fund can expect to receive another $7 million by early 2014 as a result of the AG’s recent settlement with JPMorgan announced last month.

National Mortgage Professional As a result of an investigation by the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, the state's pension fund will receive $11.3 million as part of a settlement with Countrywide Securities Corporation (CSC). This case is part of the AG’s industry-wide review of residential mortgage securitization practices in Massachusetts.

AG Coakley’s settlement with CSC includes a total payment of $17.3 million, including the $11.3 million to compensate government investors with the Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (PRIM), as well an additional $6 million paid to the Commonwealth.

1/3/14

The Great Chase/WAMU $300 Billion Caper?

Our focus for today is what does Chase do with payments on loans that are still WAMU loans. I theorize that one likely possibility is that Chase keeps the money because there is nobody claiming a right to receive the payments now that the WAMU Bank has ceased to exist.

That would give them an income of around $20 Billion+ per year on loans that WAMU funded and Chase never bought. But that is the tip of the iceberg.

Living Lies So if they sold the WAMU portfolio loans as successor Servicer for WAMU loans, the proceeds of sale went to Chase and Chase then created numerous such transactions wherein they “sold” the mortgages they didn’t own.
The sale proceeds are completely controlled by Chase. They no doubt did sell most of the loans by now and many of them were probably “assigned” to new REMIC trusts. Thus Chase, based upon estimates from those close to the WAMU estate and the Chase WAMU merger, generated more than $300 Billion in sales of loans it never owned or paid for, plus principal and interest payments received on those loans, probably totaling around $400 Billion between the merger and now. No wonder they are so eager to pay fines measured in the tens of billions, when they illegally obtained loans worth in the hundreds of Billions of dollars.

1/3/14

Housing recovery sparks pickup in home seizures

This may be the last New Year's that Courtney Scott, 65, a retired nurse, gets to celebrate in her modest suburban Atlanta home.

Two days before Christmas, as her quest for an affordable mortgage entered its fifth year, Bank of America sent her another foreclosure notice—her fourth.

CNBC In many of the longest-running foreclosures, the paper trail was scrambled amid the housing frenzy and original documents weren't properly executed. Other cases remain gridlocked by multiple mortgages, unpaid tax bills or an unclear chain of ownership. Tangled in legal limbo for years, they are among the thorniest to resolve.

"The easier ones tend to get done sooner," said Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic. "It gets harder and harder to fix the remaining foreclosures."

 

MERS v. Ditto


MERS filed suit against Purchaser to invalidate his purchase of property because it had not received notice of the sale even though it was listed as a beneficiary or nominee on the deed of trust. 

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF TENNESSEE
AT KNOXVILLE
Purchaser claimed that MERS was not entitled to notice because MERS did not have an interest in the property. Purchaser also alleged that MERS failed to properly commence its lawsuit because it did not remit the proper funds pursuant to Tennessee Code. The trial court refused to set aside the tax sale, holding that the applicable notice requirements were met and that Purchaser was the holder of legal title to the property. MERS appeals. We affirm the decision of the trial court.

1/2/14

Paying for Foreclosure Delays

The long foreclosure timelines in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut may translate into slightly higher borrowing costs for consumers in those states.

This is a SCAM to again rip-off the consumer. If you ask an attorney, they will tell you "LEGAL" foreclosures don't take long at all.  The costs and delays come from covering up all the bank crimes and the willful blindness of judges trying to protect their own interests.

NY Times Still, the singling out of states that take a long time to process foreclosures through their judicial systems does represent a shift in regulatory thinking. “It’s effectively a recognition that the cost to lend in a market that has long judicial foreclosure timelines needs to be accounted for,” said Mark Fleming, the chief economist for CoreLogic, a real estate data service. “If it takes two years to get through a foreclosure, time is money.”

Naked capitalism said: "Yowza, what a misleading title. In New York, it’s “paying for being in a state where the courts require foreclosing attorneys certify the validity of documents.” In other words, borrowers in other states get only a very modest rate break (worth less than $6 a month on a typical mortgage) in return for the servicer having the the right to screw you over."

1/2/13

13 Families Say They Were Scammed in Vegas

All the families say they were contacted by people claiming to work for Real Estate Development, who offered help with foreclosures, short sales and/or real estate investments.

Courthouse News "The Subject Wire literally took 10 years' worth of plaintiffs' life savings; plaintiff's bank account had 6 cents left in it after the wire transfer," the complaint states.
Gutierrez claims that when he "requested proof that the purchase monies were being held in escrow as represented, defendants refused to provide that information."
He claims the defendants never put his money in any sort of segregated account or escrow, and when he complained that they had defrauded him, "defendants threatened plaintiff's physical and familial safety and security."

FORECLOSING PARTY'S NAME MATTERS.

BAC v. BLYTHE

BAC has not established that it is the current holder of the note and mortgage that are the subject of this action, hence, BAC does not have standing to file suit. Appellant’s single assignment of error is sustained and, under Schwartzwald, the judgment of the trial court is reversed. The complaint is hereby dismissed without prejudice.

COLUMBIANA COUNTY , OHIO
IN THE COURT OF APPEALS 
SEVENTH DISTRICT

As we have recently noted, “[a] corporate name is a very precise term” and for this reason even “minor variations in the spelling and punctuation of a corporate name” can have dispositive legal significance. CitiMortgage v. Foster, 2012-Ohio ¶12. Appellee, BAC Home Loan Servicing, LP is not Bank of America, N.A. The two are demonstrably separate corporate entities; one is a limited partnership, and the other is a national association; that is, a federally regulated bank. Appellee’s claim that it has holder status by virtue of the merger of two corporate entities other than itself is meritless. 
1/2/14

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2013"

Judicial Watch As Judicial Watch demonstrated in our recent survey, conducted in partnership with Breitbart.com, the American people are very concerned about a federal government that is completely out of control. I'm afraid a review of Washington's worst offenders won't allay these concerns.

1/2/14

With the New Year, New Consumer Protections on Mortgages

New rules for consumers seeking home loans are arriving in the new year. And if you already have a mortgage, new borrower protections take effect for you, too.

NY Times Beginning Jan. 10, lenders must take steps to make sure you, as a borrower, can afford to repay the loan you are seeking, based on your income, debts and credit history. That may sound like common sense, but during the housing crisis many borrowers ended up with loans — sometimes called “no-documentation” loans — that they couldn’t afford. Often, borrowers took out adjustable rate loans with payments that were affordable to them at an initially low “teaser” interest rate, but that became unaffordable once the interest rate increased.

1/2/14

Keeping it in the news.

Federal judge asks: Why haven’t any top executives been prosecuted for financial crisis?

As the five-year statute of limitations nears for crimes that led to the Great Recession, a federal judge wants to know why no high-level executives have been prosecuted.

The Raw Story “The stated opinion of those government entities asked to examine the financial crisis overall is not that no fraud was committed. Quite the contrary,” Rakoff writes in the New York Review of Books. “For example, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, in its final report, uses variants of the word ‘fraud’ no fewer than 157 times in describing what led to the crisis, concluding that there was a ‘systemic breakdown,’ not just in accountability, but also in ethical behavior.”
1/2/14

The Rich Country Trap

NY Times Think about what we have seen since 2003. In the United States and Europe, the financial system proved able to destabilize the real economy. Risks were created and mismanaged on a grand scale. The largest banks were quickly and repeatedly among those in the most trouble.

These powerful companies and their well-connected employees will continue to work hard in 2014 to increase the willingness of the government to provide huge amounts of downside protection to their sector, essentially at no charge.

Full post

1/2/14

 

Many Indiana cities are facing urban blight due to home foreclosures.

Proposed Legislation Targets Foreclosures, Urban Blight

Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, wants Indiana to tap into federal money to curb the number of abandoned, foreclosed homes.

A state senator plans to introduce legislation that could prevent more Hoosier homes from going into foreclosure and ending up abandoned and blighted.

Indiana Public Media Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, says vacant or abandoned housing continues to be a big problem in cities like Gary, South Bend, Muncie, Evansville, Indianapolis and others.

Merritt says the state has already distributed $23 million to local communities to tear down blighted homes. He’s promoting the “Hardest Hit Fund,” a $221 million pot of federal money set aside to either help financially-stressed homeowners avoid foreclosure and aid communities in tearing down blighted properties.

Merritt says Indiana lawmakers are also seeking permission from the federal government to use upwards of $100 million for communities to tear down abandoned properties.
1/1/14

Dan Edstrom Cites Failure to Actually Close Escrow

Dan points out that there is considerable support to attacking the escrow to prove that the originator is not the lender. 

If escrow never closed you have failure of delivery of an instrument. The conclusive presumption of delivery avails an alleged note holder nothing if escrow did not close. 

Living Lies This underscores the scheme of theft by the Wall Street Banks. First they divert the money from investors from a trust into their own pocketed. Then they divert the documents that were supposed to protect the the investor to naked nominees that are controlled by the Banks, not the REMIC trust. Now they want to add insult to injury and throw the homeowner out of his home because “THE Loan” is in default, when the the only loan is the one that arose by operation of law between the investor lenders and the homeowner borrower and NOT the loan described in the note and mortgage. The escrow closing says otherwise.
1/1/14

83-year-old Alstead woman awaits court eviction ruling

Shelley Crosby – with no legal training but plenty of passion – stood before the justices of New Hampshire’s highest court arguing why her 83-year-old mother should not be evicted from the modest Alstead trailer she has called home for nearly 30 years.

Concord Monitor Berger’s ordeal began in August 2011, when she received notice that the board was going to increase her rent from $400 to $900. Crosby became her mother’s advocate and negotiated the rent to $575. Berger had to sign a lease for the first time – a lease the board opted not to renew a year later. They sent an eviction notice instead, effective September 2012.
1/1/14

Why Aren’t Big Bankers in Jail?

What some in the media appear or pretend not to see is that the outrage is not just that the Justice Department, in the Times' words, "stopped short of indicting HSBC," but that this occurred in a country in which a homeless man got life in prison for serving as middleman in a $10 marijuana sale.

Fair "Issuing a mortgage that is known to be based on false information and then selling it in the secondary market is fraud and punishable by time in jail," economist Dean Baker (Beat the Press, 9/13/13) noted, citing the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. "Packaging loans into mortgage backed securities that an investment bank has good reason to believe are based on false information is also fraud and punishable by time in jail."
 

A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses

The ACLU reports on 3,278 people—a majority of them black, many poor, many struggling with mental illness or drug problems—who can expect to die in prison for crimes like carrying drugs for an abusive boyfriend, stealing a $159 jacket or possessing a crack pipe.

ACLU Hershel Miles Jr. was sentenced to 
LWOP
under Mississippi’s habitual 
offender law for forgery and petit 
larceny. Miles attempted to cash a 
check bearing the signature of the 
deceased husband of a woman whose 
house had been burglarized several 
days earlier. Miles was not accused of 
the burglary, during which $250 
worth of items, including a VCR and 
video game console, were taken. See case study p. 105

1/2014

white paper

REMIC Tax Enforcement as Financial-Market Regulator

This Article takes issue with the 
IRS’s inaction and presents both the legal and policy grounds for enforcing tax law by challenging the REMIC classification of at least the worst types of RMBS pools. 

Professors 

Bradley T. Borden & David J. Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

The Article urges the IRS to take action, recognizing that its failure to police these arrangements prior to the Financial Crisis is partly to blame for the economic meltdown in 2008. The IRS’s continued failure to police RMBS arrangements provides latitude to industry participants, which facilitates future economic catastrophes. Even without the IRS taking action, private parties can rely upon the blueprint set forth in the Article to bring qui tam or whistleblower claims to accomplish the purposes of the REMIC rules and obtain the beneficial results that would occur if the IRS enforced the REMIC rules. 

AN OVERVIEW OF THE U.S. HOUSING CRISIS IN 2013

•  Foreclosures Hit the Five Million Mark
• 6.4 Million Homeowners Underwater
• 180,000+ Homes Owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
• American Home Ownership Falls to 18-Year Low
• 44% of Settlement Funds Kept From Homeowners by States
• Wall Street Turns Foreclosures into Rentals into Investments
• No Solutions for Decimated County Land Records

THFJ NO CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS FROM THE MORTGAGE TASK FORCE

The 2012 and 2013 settlements did not provide immunity from criminal prosecution for the settling servicers and banks or their officers or employees. JP Morgan Chase reportedly specifically sought a non-prosecution agreement. In 2013, there were no criminal prosecutions of major lenders, securitizers or document producers that came from the Mortgage Task Force, formed in early 2012. The biggest parties to the biggest economic crisis continued to be “Untouchables.”
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