| Fraudsters & Co.
|How they STEAL
occurs post loan origination when mortgage servicers use false statements and book-keeping entries, fabricated assignments, forged signatures and utter counterfeit intangible Notes to take a homeowner's property and equity.
Articles Updated 113023
The U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crisis Warning Bell Didn’t Ring Before the Repo Crisis of 2019 or This Year’s Bank Runs
The Office of Financial Research (OFR) is a unit of the U.S. Treasury Department. OFR was created as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010 to keep the Financial Stability Oversight Council (F-SOC) informed about emerging threats that have the potential to spread contagion throughout the U.S. financial system — as occurred in 2008 in the worst financial crash since the Great Depression.
Articles Updated 112623
Foreclosure Whirlwind: Report Unveils A Tale Of Contrasts
The latest snapshot of the U.S. real estate landscape reveals a nuanced pattern of foreclosure filings. Real estate data firm ATTOM's October U.S. Foreclosure Market Report shows a 6% decline from September, suggesting a respite; the report also underscores a 6% increase compared to the same period a year ago. The dynamics reflect a delicate balance with signs of improvement slightly tempered by persistent challenges, creating an environment where homeowners, lenders and policymakers must navigate a complex intersection of economic forces. The report found there were 34,472 foreclosure filings encompassing a range of stress indicators, including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.
Articles Updated 111923
'Zombie mortgages' could be attached to a property, even if they were charged off years ago
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Zombie mortgages: are they as terrifying as they sound? They could be. Last month, Eyewitness News shared the story of Carson resident Adaina Brown. Her dream home is turning into a nightmare. "It kind of just broke my heart," she said last month. "I told my husband, 'I can't take another thing.'" When she and her husband bought the house in 2007, they needed a first and second mortgage. She said after property values plummeted, one of her lenders eventually charged off the second loan. She received a letter stating she was not responsible for the debt. "'This debt has been charged off. You are no longer liable for this debt,'" Brown said as she recalled what was indicated in the letter. But that's where it gets tricky. Even if you are not responsible personally, a lien can still remain against the property. Another loan company now has that debt and says there is still an amount due of more than $139,000. "The company that now owns that debt, whether it's a debt collector or a new loan company, is coming back after it because housing prices have risen and they're hoping to collect on that," explained Ali Hashemian, the President of Kinetic Financial. After ABC7's report, the new loan company, Specialized Loan Servicing, or SLS, sent Eyewitness News at statement, saying in part "... There is a mortgage lien on the property that is intact and enforceable. A lien remains in place on the property in question until the debt is resolved through payment in full, an agreed settlement, or foreclosure." It's like a horror story. ByKinetic Financial President Ali Hashemian Financial experts worry there are thousands of these so-called "zombie mortgages" handled by many different companies, and homeowners might not be aware of the consequences.
Articles Updated 111223
Thousands of veterans face foreclosure and it's not their fault. The VA could help
Becky Queen remembers opening the letter with the foreclosure notice. "My heart dropped," she said, "and my hands were shaking." Queen lives on a small farm in rural Oklahoma with her husband, Ray, and their two young kids. Ray is a U.S. Army veteran who was wounded in Iraq. Since the 1940s, the federal government has helped veterans like him buy homes through its VA loan program, run by the Department of Veterans Affairs. But now the VA has put this family on the brink of losing their house. "I didn't do anything wrong," says Ray Queen. "The only thing I did was trust a company that I'm supposed to trust with my mortgage."
Articles Updated 110523
What's Worrying New York's Banking Regulators? Plenty, Including CRE Loans
New York’s top financial regulator — Adrienne Harris, director of the state’s Department of Financial Services — has been vocal about a number of issues, including cryptocurrency regulation and better and faster bank oversight. And the state of CRE loans. Harris stated in a recent Bloomberg TV interview that the “banking system is very stable” after the actions federal regulators took in March, closing several banks like Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic Bank in California and Signature Bank in New York. But then she added that “there’s still lots of issues looming,” like risks from interest high interest rates, attending unrealized losses, and exposure to commercial real estate loans. “So, the regional banking crisis, I think, is over,” Harris added. “The banks are stabilized, but certainly we’re mindful of other risks in the system.”
Articles Updated 102923
Fines Levied: Oregon reaches $2.3B settlement with ACI
The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) joined 43 other state financial agencies in reaching a settlement with ACI Payments Inc. (ACI), for erroneously initiating electronic transactions totaling $2.3 billion from the accounts of 480,000 mortgage-holders nationwide. By the numbers State regulators levied $10 million in fines through a multistate enforcement action. In Oregon, there were over 13,000 erroneous ACH entries affecting nearly 5,000 accounts. The dollar value of transaction in Oregon alone was over $23 million. Additionally, 50 state attorneys general, including the Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, levied an additional $10 million in fines to ACI, in coordination with state regulators.
Articles Updated 102223
JPMorgan Chase Paid $1.085 Billion in Legal Expenses in Last Six Months; It’s Still Battling Hundreds of Charges and Legal Proceedings on Three Continents
At some point, federal regulators, the Senate Banking Committee and the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice are going to reach the same conclusion that Wall Street On Parade reached quite some time ago: JPMorgan Chase is a criminal enterprise in drag as a federally-insured bank.
Articles Updated 101523
U.S. Foreclosure Activity Shows Continued Rise In Third Quarter, Approaching Levels Seen Before Pandemic
IRVINE, Calif. – Oct. 12, 2023 — ATTOM, a leading curator of land, property, and real estate data, released its Q3 2023 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows there were a total of 124,539 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — up 28 percent from the previous quarter and 34 percent from a year ago.
The report also shows there were a total of 37,679 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in September 2023, up 11 percent from the previous month and up 18 percent from September 2022.
Articles Updated 100823
Viewpoint: Consumers Deserve a Mortgage Bill of Rights
Lawmakers must strengthen protections to ease costs and counter harmful practices
Digging out from the 2008 housing crisis has not been easy. Americans were harmed by predatory mortgage lending practices, a collapse in home prices and a steep drop in the national homeownership rate. Since then, the U.S. housing market has experienced a slow but steady recovery.
Census data shows the national homeownership rate was 65.9% as of second-quarter 2023, up a full 3 percentage points since 2016. But challenges remain. The National Association of Realtors found that the gap in the homeownership rate between Blacks and whites is the biggest in a decade. And a report this past June from the National Association of Homebuilders showed that while wage gains boosted affordability at the start of this year, the trade group’s first-quarter 2023 affordability index was still significantly lower than one year earlier.
When 30-year mortgage rates were in the 3% range, it was easier to overlook mortgage practices that harmed consumers. But now that interest rates have skyrocketed, protecting people from glitches in consumer protections should be more of a priority than ever.
This past summer, the Community Home Lenders of America released its Consumer Mortgage Bill of Rights. This document identifies specific areas where consumer protections need to be strengthened. Mortgage professionals should advocate for these positions to ensure a fair and thriving mortgage market.
Articles Updated 093023
Analysis of CFPB Complaints by State: Helping Consumers in New Hampshire
On October 3, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) v. Community Financial Services Association of America regarding the constitutionality of the agency’s independent funding structure. CFPB critics have long sought to limit the agency’s congressionally given autonomy and, by extension, its capacity to promote a fairer financial marketplace for all consumers. The Supreme Court’s decision in the case, which will come down next spring, could significantly harm consumers and spread uncertainty in the financial markets.
Since opening its doors 12 years ago, the CFPB has been a formidable advocate for everyday Americans, holding financial institutions accountable for predatory practices and returning $17.5 billion to wronged customers across the 50 states, including in New Hampshire.
Articles Updated 092423
Meet the Banking Cartel that Is Planting the Seeds for the Next Banking Panic and Bailout
On July 27, the Federal Reserve, FDIC and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency released a proposal to require higher capital levels at banks with $100 billion or more in assets – those that demonstrated quite clearly this past spring that they could spread systemic contagion throughout the U.S. banking system. Community banks will not be impacted at all by the new proposals according to the regulators.
The three federal bank regulators provided a very generous public comment period of 120 days on the proposal. (Submit your own comment here.) The large banks had to only begin transitioning to the new rules on July 1, 2025, with full compliance not due for an absurd five years – on July 1, 2028.
On September 12, the banking cartel made their anger known in a 7-page letter that assaulted the proposal from every conceivable angle and demanded that the three federal agencies turn over all “evidence and analyses the agencies relied on” in making the proposal.
Articles Updated 091723
CFPB Director Rohit Chopra Addresses Mortgage Post-Crisis Reforms and Importance of Consumer Protection Regulations
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra recently addressed The Mortgage Collaborative National Conference recounting the Congressional response to the mortgage industry crisis that began in 2008 that resulted in the creation of the CFPB. Mr. Chopra emphasized that challenges to the validity and authority of the CFPB could hurt the stability of the U.S. housing market and broader consumer protections.
Mr. Chopra’s remarks began with a brief history of the 2008 mortgage market crash, and how the actions of IndyMac Bank resulted in one of the largest ever bank failures managed by the FDIC. In response, Congress shook up the federal financial regulators by shutting down the Office of Thrift Supervision and stripping authorities from a number of banking regulators, transferring these authorities to the CFPB.
Articles Updated 091023
Loan Servicing Software Market Trends Report 2023-2030 | 108 Pages Report
[108 Pages Report] "Loan Servicing Software Market" Market Size, Share and Industry Trends Analysis Report By Applications (Auto Lending, Title Lending, Mortgage),Types (Cloud-based, On-premise), By Regional Outlook and Forecast, 2023-2030. The report presents the research and analysis provided within the Loan Servicing Software Market Research is meant to benefit stakeholders, vendors, and other participants in the industry. The Loan Servicing Software market is expected to grow annually by magnificent (CAGR 2023 - 2030).
Articles Updated 090323
Attorney General Bonta Announces Settlement with Mortgage Servicer over Failure to Properly Process Military Reservists’ Mortgage Deferment Requests
OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced a settlement with The Money Source, Inc. (TMS), resolving allegations that the company failed to properly process, and timely grant, mortgage deferment requests made by California military reservists called to active duty. Under the California Military and Veterans Code, including the California Military Families Financial Relief Act (CMFFRA), reservists called to active duty can defer payments on certain financial obligations — including their mortgage, credit cards, property taxes, car loans, utility bills, and student loans — if they submit a written request and a copy of their military orders to the lender or other appropriate entity. Last year, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) received a credible complaint alleging that TMS mishandled a reservist’s mortgage deferment request. Subsequently, DOJ launched an investigation into TMS’s processes for handling mortgage deferment requests. As part of today’s settlement, TMS will pay $58,000 in penalties, fully reimburse the affected reservists, and be subject to injunctive terms.
Articles Updated 082723
ICE, Black Knight announce FTC agreement that clears way for $11.7 billion buyout
Intercontinental Exchange Inc. and Black Knight Inc. announced an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission late Aug. 25 that clears the way for ICE to complete its $11.7 billion buyout of Jacksonville-based Black Knight. The companies expect to close the deal Sept. 5, which is 16 months after announcing a merger agreement. The deal has been held up by FTC antitrust concerns that the merged company would control too much of the U.S. mortgage technology market. Black Knight dominates the market for processing home loans, with nearly two-thirds of all first mortgage loans in the U.S. processed through its system. Atlanta-based ICE is mainly known as the operator of the New York Stock Exchange but it also has a large mortgage technology subsidiary.
Articles Updated 082023
Oregon Bankruptcy Court Decides a Post-Foreclosure, but Post-Petition Eviction of a Borrower Violates the Automatic Stay
On August 4, 2023, the bankruptcy court for the District of Oregon determined that proposed actions by a lender to enforce a pre-bankruptcy petition foreclosure judgment and evict a borrower—after the borrower filed for bankruptcy—were in violation of the automatic stay. The court, however, did allow the lender the ability to pursue sanctions, criminal charges, and civil claims against the borrower for refusing to relinquish possession of the property after the bankruptcy filing (In re Natache D. Rinegard-Guirma, Case No. 22-31651-dwh13 (Bankr. D. Or. 2023)). This decision serves as a reminder of the broad protections of the automatic stay, while providing some avenues for relief for lenders far down the foreclosure and eviction process.
Articles Updated 081323
CFPB Report Details UDAAP Violations Uncovered During Recent Supervisory Examinations
On July 26, 2023, the CFPB released its Summer 2023 Supervisory Highlights, which focuses on alleged unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts or practices (UDAAP) violations found in recent supervisory examinations. The report also detailed violations caused by insufficient technology controls.
Mortgage Servicing. Servicers violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)/ Regulation X by failing to evaluate complete loss mitigation applications and provide written notices of any loss mitigation options to borrowers within 30 days of receipt. Servicers also engaged in unfair or deceptive acts or practices by delaying processing of borrower requests to enroll in loss mitigation options, and by informing borrowers that the servicers would evaluate loss mitigation applications within 30 days but then move forward with foreclosure without reviewing the applications. Finally servicers violated RESPA/ Regulation X by: 1) not maintaining adequate procedures to ensure continuity of contact with delinquent borrowers; 2) not providing required information, including in cases where required language was included in English-language notices but not in Spanish-language versions; 3) not crediting payments sent to prior servicer after a transfer of servicing; and, 4) failing to maintain adequate policies and procedures to ensure that necessary information is transferred to the new servicer after a servicing transfer.
Articles Updated 080623
State urged to comply with Supreme Court ruling
BOSTON — The state’s Land Court is being asked to take steps to stop the practice of “equity theft” from homeowners who fall behind on their property taxes, in response to a recent Supreme Court ruling. In a letter to Chief Justice of the Land Court Gordon Piper, Holliston-based attorney Christopher M. Perry asks the court to take immediate “remedial action” to bring the state into compliance with the high court’s ruling in a Minnesota tax foreclosure case. He said the high court’s ruling made it clear that home “equity theft” is unconstitutional.
Articles Updated 073023
Home foreclosures rising with California, Florida in the lead
- Most foreclosures seen in California, Florida, Texas, New York and Illinois
- Eviction moratoriums expired, returning rates to pre-pandemic levels
- Average 30-year mortgage loan rate nearly 7% after latest Fed rate hike
The housing market is being impacted as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates for the eleventh time since March 2022, causing a spike in foreclosures. Eviction moratoriums protected families during the pandemic, but now, eviction rates in major U.S. cities are rising, returning to or surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Data from ATTOM Data Solutions reveals a rise in home foreclosures, impacting top five states from January-June 2023:
Articles Updated 072323
JPMorgan Chase Has Bled $230.6 Billion in Deposits Since Q1 2022, With Declines in 5 of the Last 6 Quarters
The data in the chart above comes directly from what the biggest bank in the United States, JPMorgan Chase, reported on its 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the quarter ending March 31, 2023. Despite all those mainstream media headlines and news stories about the biggest banks in the U.S. being the deposit beneficiaries of the banking panic earlier this year, the cold, hard facts on the ground are the following: at the end of the first quarter of this year, JPMorgan Chase had seen deposit outflows in four out of the past five quarters. Mainstream media conveniently forgot to mention that.
The only quarter in which JPMorgan Chase saw an inflow of deposits was the first quarter of this year, when three banks blew up: Silvergate Bank, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. That increase was a mere pittance compared to the huge outflows of deposits it had already suffered in 2022.
Now we are getting an even clearer picture of the downward trend in deposits at JPMorgan Chase thanks to the 8-K filing that the bank made with the SEC on July 14. Had it not been for that sweetheart deal that the FDIC cooked up with JPMorgan Chase in the second quarter of this year, allowing it to buy the good stuff it wanted from the failed First Republic Bank, while regulators ate the bulk of the bad stuff, JPMorgan Chase would have had another decline in deposits in the second quarter.
Articles Updated 071623
Only a tenth of mortgages have an interest rate above 6% — that’s a big problem for the U.S. housing market
Mortgage rates are inches away from 7% — but less than a tenth of U.S. homeowners have a home loan at that rate.
In fact, only 9% of all existing mortgages in the U.S. were taken out with a rate of above 6%, according to data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and analyzed by Torsten Slok, chief economist of Apollo Global Management.
Around a quarter of all mortgages — 23% — have a rate of less than 3%, Slok added, and 38% homeowners have a mortgage rate of between 3% and 4%.
In other words, the vast majority of U.S. homeowners have low mortgage rates.
Today’s home buyer vs. pandemic-era buyer
Articles Updated 070923
New York Courts Split on the Constitutionality of the Foreclosure Abuse Prevention Act
In the six months since New York’s governor signed the Foreclosure Abuse Prevention Act, L. 2022, ch. 821 (eff. Dec. 30, 2022) (FAPA), a split has emerged about whether the law applies retroactively.
FAPA strictly cabins the time limits for commencing mortgage foreclosures by amending five New York procedural rules (CPLR 203; CPLR 205; CPLR 213; CPLR 3217; RPAPL 1301) and the state’s General Obligations Law (GOL 17-105). The intent of the act, according to its sponsor, was to overturn certain precedent interpreting those rules and laws. Most significantly, FAPA invalidates the holding of Freedom Mortgage v. Engel, 37 N.Y.3d 1 (Feb. 18, 2021). In that case, New York’s highest court concluded that a mortgage holder may revoke a prior election to accelerate an installment debt (acceleration is generally a precursor to foreclosure), thereby preserving the option to accelerate again in the future. By undoing Engel, and other precedent too, FAPA takes away this and similar options from foreclosing plaintiffs.
Recent court decisions applying FAPA have varied as to whether or not the act’s effects may, constitutionally, be retroactive.
Articles Updated 063023
Tragic Death of JPMorgan Board Member Adds to the Bank’s String of Unusual Deaths
On Sunday, James S. Crown died in an unusual single-car accident, reportedly on a motorsport racetrack at a “member-owned country club” in Aspen, Colorado. The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office said in a statement that “The official cause of death is pending autopsy, although multiple blunt force trauma is evident.” The Sheriff’s Office indicated that the earliest new information would be made available to the public is next week.
In August of last year, Wall Street On Parade made a referral to the U.S. Department of Justice involving James S. Crown, who was a long-term member of the Board of Directors of JPMorgan Chase and two predecessor banks, Bank One Corporation (previously Banc One) and First Chicago Corporation. Following mergers between the banks, Crown seamlessly went from First Chicago (1991 to 1996) to Bank One (1996–2004) to JPMorgan Chase (2004 to the present) – a stunning tenure of 32 years for a Board Member dubbed an “Independent Director.”
Wall Street On Parade’s referral to the Justice Department concerned financial dealings between Crown and JPMorgan Chase that were not disclosed in public filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission or to shareholders. We reported at the time:
For more than a decade, JPMorgan Chase has been asserting in its proxy statement that its entire Board of Directors, other than Jamie Dimon, its Chairman and CEO, consists of independent directors. In its most recent proxy statement for 2022, JPMorgan Chase asserts that “The Board, having reviewed the relevant relationships between the Firm and each director, determined, in accordance with the NYSE’s listing standards and the Firm’s independence standards, that each non-management director…had only immaterial relationships with JPMorgan Chase and accordingly is independent”…
But JPMorgan Chase has failed to disclose the granular details of a string of financial dealings it has had with companies tied to its Board member James S. Crown, Chairman and CEO of Henry Crown and Company, a private company owned by Crown and his siblings that invest in a sprawling array of businesses…
Articles Updated 062523
Home Flipping Activity Remains High Across Nation As Investor Profits Show Signs of Improving in First Quarter of 2023
IRVINE, Calif. – June 22, 2023 — ATTOM, a leading curator of land, property, and real estate data, today released its first-quarter 2023 U.S. Home Flipping Report showing that 72,960 single-family homes and condominiums in the United States were flipped in the first quarter. Those transactions represented 9 percent of all sales.
The latest portion was down from 9.4 percent of all home sales in the nation during the first quarter of 2022. But it was still up from 8 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, hitting the second-highest level this century.
The report also revealed that while flipping activity rose, mixed trends emerged for raw profits and profit margins. Profits and investment returns both increased slightly from the fourth quarter of 2022 to the first quarter of this year. But both also remained near low points over the past decade, reflecting ongoing financial struggles for home flippers.
The quarterly gain in the typical profit margin, of 22 percent, represented a modest reversal of fortune for investors following three years of nearly continuous declines that began well before a slowdown in the broader U.S. housing market last year.
Articles Updated 061823
The CFPB intends to identify ways to simplify and streamline the existing mortgage servicing rules
Borrowing to buy a home is one of the biggest financial decisions a family will make. Mortgage servicers are the companies responsible for processing payments and managing mortgage accounts, and they play a critical role in assisting homeowners with repayment. Borrowers don’t choose these companies – servicers are chosen by the lender or investor that owns the mortgage.
In the mid-2000s, predatory mortgage practices spread throughout the country. Many large financial institutions with mortgage servicing operations experienced serious breakdowns. This resulted in a crisis where 10 million homes ended up in foreclosure between 2006 and 2014.
The foreclosure crisis was an important catalyst for the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Congress required the CFPB to implement new rules to make the mortgage market work better. These new rules first took effect in 2014. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw how these rules worked when unemployment spiked. The CFPB observed that there were places where the rules could be revised to reduce unnecessary complexity.
Articles Updated 061123
In search of the perfect foreclosure victim
Readers take issue with portrayal of Brooklyn homeowner battling lender
Home foreclosure stories, like eviction stories, trigger two very different reactions.
One is sympathy for the homeowner, who is enduring a traumatic, life-changing event that could have been avoided. Inevitably some observers call the lenders cruel, the courts uncaring and the politicians corrupt.
The other reaction is from those who consider foreclosures essential for a functioning housing market (foreclosure makes mortgages possible) and focus on the homeowner’s role. They look for evidence that the borrower made irresponsible decisions and should deal with the consequences.
Which brings us to a Gothamist story Wednesday about New York’s courts pushing foreclosure cases along without assessing — as state law requires — whether the homeowner can afford a lawyer or should be given free representation.
It’s obviously important for the court system which declined Gothamist’s request for comment to follow the law. Advocacy groups and a Brooklyn homeowner have sued to ensure that it does, the article reported. But readers were more interested in why the homeowner, Carl Fanfair, stands to lose the Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone he bought in 1999 for $200,000. Gothamist reported that Fanfair, 47, fell more than $80,000 behind on his mortgage after losing his appliance-repair job in the pandemic and taking time to care for his wife and her elderly mother. Fanfair, a Yoruba priest, told Gothamist the court referee at his settlement conference never considered his need for a lawyer, and his lender, Reliance First Capital, sent no information about a loan modification. “There’s no personal type of interaction,” he told the reporter. “You’re just a number.”
Articles Updated 060423
Disgraced Silvergate Bank Hints It May Not Be Able to Cover All of Its Deposits; Fed Slaps It with a Cease and Desist Consent Order
Last week, on Tuesday, May 23, the Federal Reserve and California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (the state banking regulator) hit the collapsed federally-insured bank, Silvergate Bank, and its parent, Silvergate Capital Corporation, with an enforcement action called a “Cease and Desist Consent Order.” The action was not announced to the public until yesterday.
A Consent Order is meant to function along the lines of a legal settlement, with the bank agreeing to the detailed terms of the Consent Order and waiving its right to judicial review. The individual signing the Consent Order on behalf of the bank was its controversial CEO, Alan Lane, who had allowed his federally-insured bank to get in bed with Sam Bankman-Fried’s house of frauds, including the FTX crypto exchange and Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund, Alameda Research. Lane also had allowed his deposit base to become heavily involved with other crypto-related companies.
Articles Updated 052823
US mortgage giants were placed on credit watch. Here’s what that means for home buyers
The credit ratings of US mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were put on watch for possible downgrade by Fitch Ratings late Thursday. A downgrade is not expected to happen, as a deal to resolve the debt ceiling standoff continues to be worked out in Washington, but even the warning is having an impact on mortgage rates.
The warning came because the ratings for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are linked to the sovereign rating of the United States. The watch is a result of the ratings agency warning on Wednesday that America’s credit rating could be downgraded if the debt limit showdown was not resolved soon.
Negotiations on the debt limit continue in the House of Representatives between mediators from the Biden administration and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, May 24, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The latest on the debt ceiling impasse
Fannie and Freddie, which guarantee roughly 70% of the country’s mortgages, do not directly issue mortgages to borrowers, but instead buy mortgages from lenders and repackage them for investors. They are each a government-sponsored enterprise, or GSE, chartered by Congress.
The aim of Freddie and Fannie is to provide liquidity into the mortgage market and enable a reliable flow of affordable funds to mortgage lenders. This ultimately allows more homeowners to borrow at more affordable rates. The enterprises buy loans from lenders, pools them and sells them as securities to investors. Because they are backed by the government, these securities are viewed as less risky than other investments and considered to be as creditworthy as the US government. But this flow of funds could be disrupted if the United States defaults on its debt, Fitch warned.
Articles Updated 052123
Fake Foreclosures Using the Fannie Mae Name
The central issue is not whether the homeowner owes a “servicer” any money. The central issue is whether the homeowner owes a creditor money.
Wall Street securities firms (Investment Banks) have many tricks by which they make fictitious claims appear to come alive. It is like those movies in which animated characters join the “Real-Life” figures. We accept this because we are there to be entertained, and we do not concern ourselves that neither animated characters nor the “real-life” characters are, in fact, real. They are imaginary, and we watch them to be entertained. And to be entertained, we must accept the story and characters as true.
Securitization and foreclosure are the same. The animated characters are those “mortgage-backed securities,” and the “real-life” characters are either fictional names of nonexistent entities or fictional use of names of business entities that technically exist but have no business interests in creating to a claim to collect money from anyone.
But in this case, the ticket price is always in six or seven figures. The homeowner may eventually lose the house to a non-creditor party, or the investors will lose their money by buying certificates that convey no interest in any loans. But this does not stop Wall Street intermediaries and sham conduits from being named by ignorant lawyers as being the parties on whose behalf a foreclosure is initiated.
One of the favorite tools used to force the sale of homesteads strictly for profit and not to pay off any debt is invoking the name “FANNIE MAE.”
Articles Updated 051423
A Holder is not a Holder in Due Course
The second requirement is usually completely ignored by the homeowner, the lawyers, and the judge. But it is still there. The possessor of the note, once that is established and confirmed by competent evidence, must allege and prove that it is authorized to enforce the note. By legal definition accepted in all jurisdictions, a holder is not a holder in due course even if they satisfy the two aforesaid requirements
Articles Updated 050723
We just want to stay in our home’: Springfield residents protest decision to foreclose a woman’s house
SPRINGFIELD, MA. (WGGB/WSHM) - A rally tonight in Springfield to keep one local woman’s house from being foreclosed. Dozens of Springfield residents came out to show their support for a local woman who’s fighting to stay in her house on Wednesday night. “We just want to stay in our home,” said Barbara Williams. Barbara Williams has lived in her Springfield house for more than a decade. After losing her job in 2016, Williams said Fannie Mae started the foreclosure process. “I purchased my house in good faith,” said Williams. “I lost my job and I fell behind in my payments. Now I have regained my income, I have remarried. I raised my children here and I had one child left at home when my house was foreclosed on.” Wednesday night, friends, neighbors, and community leaders gathered at her house protesting the efforts to take back Williams’ home. The rally was organized by the Springfield No One Leaves organization, which fights to keep locals in their home following foreclosures. “We’re always there to help,” said Sue Gamelli, one of the organizers. “We are not a service organization, what we teach you to do is to fight for yourself.”
Articles Updated 043023
CFPB Issues Guidance to Protect Homeowners from Illegal Collection Tactics on Zombie Mortgages
The CFPB release says “It is illegal for debt collectors to sue or threaten to sue to collect debts past the statute of limitations.”
The more subtle message is that Wall Street needs to stop making claims and threats on claims that either never existed or don’t exist anymore. And that is not just about the statute of imtiations. I would go further and say that anyone who uses that approach as a business model belongs in prison.
Consumers don’t know how legal debts are created, managed, serviced, or extinguished. They typically rely entirely on the statements, correspondence, and notes sent to them — even if those notices come on unsigned paper under the letterhead of business names with which they have never done business.
So the CFPB is catching up with an aspect of this and a fine nuance regarding the legal right to make claims or threaten action to collect an alleged debt. This time it is about Zombie mortgages. The success of the business plan depends entirely on convincing the consumer that his/her transaction was a loan, that an obligation was created, and that the instructions in the letter, statement or notice are authentic communications from a legally recognized creditor. In other words, the business plan requires lying to the consumer and convincing them to pay money when none is due, or there is no right to demand the money.
Articles Updated 042323
Black Knight's First Look: Mortgage Delinquencies Hit Record Low in March, While Prepayments Rose on Easing Rates and Seasonal Tailwinds
- The national delinquency rate dropped 53 basis points (-15%) in March, falling below 3% for the first time on record, ending the month at just 2.92%
- While delinquency rates almost always fall in March – as borrowers utilize tax refunds and other seasonal revenues to pay down past-due debt – the drop marked the second largest decline in the past 17 years
- Factoring in March's decline, the total number of past-due mortgages (including active foreclosures) has fallen to its lowest level in nearly 23 years, dating all the way back to April 2000
- Serious delinquencies (90+ days past due) showed marked improvement, falling by 51K to their lowest level since March 2020, with volumes shrinking in every state
- Likewise, every state saw overall delinquencies fall in March, with improvements ranging from 11.9% in Washington to 21.5% in Vermont
- Both foreclosure starts (+9.0%) and sales (+4.6%) rose in the month but still remain well below pre-pandemic volumes at the national level
- Active foreclosure inventory held steady, but remains 31K (12%) below March 2020 levels
- The prepayment rate (SMM) rose to 0.50% (+44% month over month) driven, as anticipated, by seasonal tailwinds in sale-related prepayments and an increased demand for refis due to falling rates
Articles Updated 041623
How to use the statutory definitions of the word “servicer”
Hat tip to summer chic. I might add a hat tip to some State and Federal agencies that are waking up and trimming the edges around the false claims implied to support the remedy of foreclosure. Things are changing — and before the banks manage to use their influence in state and federal legislatures, homeowners would be doing themselves and everyone else a favor if they went on the attack now.
Getting down in the weeds is what wins. For about 2 decades or longer, lawyers have been claiming to represent companies that are implied to be creditors and companies that are implied to be servicers. In truth, the lawyer does not represent either one, and neither of those companies has ever touched a single penny of the payments tendered by homeowners.
The word “servicer” has been used to define any company that claims to be a servicer and who satisfies one of several elements. One element is that it claimed to have physical possession of the implied loan file, including the promissory note. Although untrue, this has always been implied and largely unchallenged by homeowners, thus forcing the court to rule in favor of the lawyer implying the existence of a claim.
The second condition is always argued but never true. That is, the company implied to be processing payments from the homeowner has in fact been doing so. Therefore its records of such are admissible as business records, and those business records are easily admitted into evidence against the homeowner as an exception to the hearsay rule. Until 2022, this was a somewhat gray area.
But in 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Board changed all of that. It said that any company that was in fact, receiving and processing payments from homeowners was a servicer. This made sense since the record of payments could only come from transactions between the company receiving the payments and the homeowner who tendered such payments.
But companies like CoreLogic et al (FINTECH) continue to argue that they are NOT servicers because they do not own or hold the implied underlying obligation or any documents pertaining to the transaction with the homeowner. Most homeowners and lawyers back off simply because they don’t know the next step. Here it is —-
Servicing means receiving any scheduled periodic payments from a borrower pursuant to the terms of any federally related mortgage loan, including amounts for escrow accounts under section 10 of RESPA (12 U.S.C. 2609), and making the payments to the owner of the loan or other third parties of principal and interest and such other payments with respect to the amounts received from the borrower as may be required pursuant to the terms of the mortgage servicing loan documents or servicing contract. In the case of a home equity conversion mortgage or reverse mortgage as referenced in this section, servicing includes making payments to the borrower. 12 USC 1024.2
Articles Updated 040923
Ocwen is seen as potential trouble!
Ocwen Related Matters
During the year ended December 31, 2022, Ocwen was our largest customer, accounting for 41% of our total revenue. Additionally, 6% of our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2022 was earned on the loan portfolios serviced by Ocwen, when a party other than Ocwen or the MSR owner selected Altisource as the service provider.
Ocwen has disclosed that it is subject to a number of ongoing federal and state regulatory examinations, consent orders, inquiries, subpoenas, civil investigative demands, requests for information and other actions and is subject to pending and threatened legal proceedings, some of which include claims against Ocwen for substantial monetary damages. Previous regulatory actions against Ocwen have subjected Ocwen to independent oversight of its operations and placed certain restrictions on its ability to acquire servicing rights. Existing or future similar matters could result in adverse regulatory or other actions against Ocwen. In addition to the above, Ocwen may become subject to future adverse regulatory or other actions.
Articles Updated 033123
Friends and Foreclosure Fighters!
I have been blessed with what feels like kind of a sacred charge. I cannot accomplish this without as many people’s help as possible. (we need you to at least call in on Tuesday, 4/4/23 at 9am.)
This could be a milestone in the anti-foreclosure fight against what we now know is 160 years of predatory and prejudiced lending (one historic researcher holds that this is the primary reason for the continuing racial divide in wealth in the United States). The key Massachusetts courts, the Housing Courts, where the fight to end, reverse and redress predatory lending violations have begun a new practice of stripping not only the property rights and equal protection rights, but, in fact, First Amendment rights from those who fight illegal foreclosures and evictions.
I will be the first to address this fundamental stripping of First Amendment rights in oral argument. The universe has placed that hearing on, of all days, the 55th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. I had already planned to rely on his incisive and elegant formulation of the necessity of access to persuading others (freedom of speech).
What we need is an unprecedented magnitude of witnesses to this hearing. It is scheduled for Tuesday, 4/4/23 at 9AM ET. You can call in and listen to the proceeding: as the case is being heard in Session II, the phone number is 877-730-2624; passcode is 2530102#. Further, if you will contact me, please, and let me know if you can be there, there are further (and maybe better) ways to access the hearing. Please recruit friends and family – this matters.
Please, this is a potential watershed moment for this movement to make it clear that even if these illegal, immoral, and, in fact, criminal practices have been overwhelmingly ignored by our courts, it does not mean that we will put up with this injustice any longer.
In peace and power, love, Grace Ross MAAPL.org 617-291-5591
Articles Updated 032623
Florida cities ramped up foreclosures to hurt speculators. Instead they helped them
In 2015, then-St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman championed a plan to crack down on the city’s so-called “zombie properties” by aggressively foreclosing on them. The city would target poorly maintained properties that had racked up big fines and code enforcement liens with the hope that new ownership would lead to community redevelopment. City leaders believed the plan was the first of its kind in the state and signed a contract with a local private attorney named Matt Weidner to bring the city’s cases to court. Weidner had been a donor to Kriseman, a Democrat who was elected in 2013 after previously serving in the Florida House of Representatives. But Weidner brushed aside any concerns about impropriety.
“This is not a plum deal, which is going on forever or one that involves much money at all,” he said at the time. Weidner’s predictions, however, haven’t come to pass. Eight years later, he continues to bring foreclosure cases on behalf of St. Petersburg. To date, he’s been paid nearly $1.5 million by the city for his work.
And he’s signed contracts with eight other jurisdictions across Florida to do similar work since then, bringing in an additional $1.4 million in fees and expenses. Weidner has sold cities on the idea that they can transform code enforcement rules that used to be intended to achieve compliance into money-makers, by aggressively collecting money cities were owed from fines — or, in the alternative, taking the homes of owners who can’t pay.
The lawsuits have undoubtedly brought about improvements to many of the properties targeted, either through new, more active ownership or by forcing existing owners to improve their practices. But a Miami Herald investigation based on a review of thousands of pages of court records from more than 775 lawsuits and interviews with numerous property owners targeted by Weidner and his client-cities shows that they have also caused harm.
Articles Updated 031923
Mass. property tax foreclosure laws harmful, inequitable.
Last year, Deborah Foss was forced to live in her car during the coldest months of the year after New Bedford officials placed a tax lien on her home and sold it to a private company called Tallage for $9,626 — the total amount she owed, including interest. The tax lien gave the investor authority under Massachusetts law to take her home, sell it for $241,600 and keep all the profits. Deborah lost her home and her value in it over a debt that was worth just a fraction of the value of her home.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. From 2014 through 2021, Massachusetts homeowners subjected to tax foreclosure lost 82% of their home equity on average — $172,000 per home. Massachusetts is one of 12 states, plus the District of Columbia, regularly using these abusive and unconstitutional “tax and take” seizures. A recent study by my firm, Pacific Legal Foundation, details how these predatory home equity theft laws work, and the windfall government and private investors have taken at the expense of people like Deborah.
Articles Updated 031223
How Bullshit Becomes Law: Circular logic in the courtroom snags homeowners almost every time.
If you don’t know the rules, you can’t win the game. And remember, to the foreclosure mills and faux servicers and faux trustees, this is all a game for which we pay every day as owners, taxpayers and consumers.
One of the interesting things about this is how much they get away with by NOT saying something. The affiant says something got mailed, but he doesn’t say that it was mailed by his employer, and therefore, he could not be relying upon ‘business records.”
But he MUST be relying on business records if the testimony for affidavit is to be accepted under the rules (laws) of evidence. Bank of N.Y. v. Morga, 2017 N.Y. Slip Op. 27107 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2017). So is he testifying about something he knows or suspects, or just reading from a piece of paper, the origin of which is a complete mystery to him? The inquiry leads to victory. Silence leads to defeat.
In addition, this underscores the problem with the way people and lawyers contest these false claims. By failing to contest the issues that rely on implied facts, homeowners admit them and make real (for legal purposes) that which is unreal. The goal is to stop the foreclosure — not put the opposition in prison.
This is why the QWR, DVL, and Complaint to the CFPB are so very important before filing anything in a legal proceeding.
Articles Updated 030523
Bank of America fights claims of discriminatory foreclosures
Homeowners in Hawaii and Florida accuse the bank of scheming to foreclose on their properties, but the bank says they haven't offered clear evidence it had anything to do with the foreclosures.
HONOLULU (CN) — Bank of America defended itself Friday at a motion to dismiss hearing on claims the bank deliberately foreclosed on mortgage loans as part of an extensive conspiracy to maximize profits at the expense of people of color in Hawaii and Florida.
The eight lead plaintiffs in the class action, a majority of whom are people of color, say they have been or are currently being foreclosed on, some for nearly two decades. They first leveled racketeering and Fair Housing Act claims against Bank of America and The Bank of New York Mellon in a July 2022 complaint. Although a majority of the plaintiffs’ foreclosure actions occurred in Hawaii, the suit also includes several plaintiffs who went through foreclosures in Florida. Three of the five Hawaii plaintiffs are of Native Hawaiian descent and the three Florida plaintiffs are women of color.
Articles Updated 022623
How to look and see the documents in mortgage and foreclosure cases
Here is my updated report to a client redacted as to particular facts and dates. I offer it as a model for how I look at these cases and how you can look at documents and arrive at conclusions that differ from what the documents say has occurred.
Keep in mind that all documents are hearsay and are not admissible as evidence without foundation testimony from a human being. That human being must have personal knowledge. The courts unfortunately have allowed testimony of “familiarity” instead of actual knowledge. That seemingly innocuous ruling has facilitated the greatest economic crime in human history.
Articles Updated 021923
Talking to a prospective lawyer when neither you nor he or she knows anything about securitization by Wall Street players, double-entry bookkeeping or accounting
Law students are taught only two forms of securitization: (1) divide an asset to sell to multiple investors or (2) divide ownership of the whole asset into multiple shares between investors. They are never taught anything about the dozens of other forms of securitization, most of which form the foundation of current practices. The main applicable form of securitization as it relates to transactions with homeowners neither splits the “asset” (i.e., the unpaid loan account on the ledger of a creditor), nor divides ownership of the entire “asset” into shares for multiple investors. This one fact accounts for nearly all the confusion on the part of lawyers and judges.
Articles Updated 021223
How Foreclosure Mills Win by Misusing “Judicial Notice”
Judicial Notice is a rule of evidence in which the court receives a written request to accept a document into evidence as proof of the truth of the matter asserted.
In Foreclosures, the truth of the matter asserted is that there is an unpaid loan account, and the named plaintiff or beneficiary has the right to administer, collect and enforce it. If that is alleged in a form that is allowed by law, and proven in the manner allowed by law, the foreclosure will be granted. I might add, that it should be granted to the extent that there is still an unpaid balance due to the named Plaintiff or beneficiary. But in nearly all foreclosure cases, this is NOT the true fact scenario.
There are circumstances where the trial court either MUST accept a document as evidence or in which the court can accept the document as evidence as to its existence. But unless there is an objection, the court will also presume that what is contained in the document is also true.
Articles Updated 020523
What are MSRs and why are they valued at $20 Billion?
MSRs are an abbrevation for a false label: Mortgage Servicing Rights. These rights are claimed by companies who perform no servicing functions and receive no paymetns from homeowners nor do they make any distributions to creditors. They are in it for the foreclosure, not the accounting and administration.
Articles Updated 012923
The tangled web to deceive
- The cancer that keeps eating away at the foundation of our economy is the current culture on Wall Street. It involves fake accounts, fake documents, and nonexistent transactions.
- It involves lawyers who are protected by litigation immunity and who promote false claims on behalf of claimants that have not hired them or even know they exist. We have seen such nonsense multiple times in history. It always ends the same —- with a crash. And apparently, the 2008 crash wasn’t enough because they are still doing it.
- With a hit tip to summer chic, here is an edited version of what she recently wrote to me.
- Lone Star reincarnated Countrywide into Caliber and BlackRock – into PennyMac
- There are at least 10-12 companies preying on each of us at any given time.
- Elle correctly said – investment banks are not involved in extortion from homeowners – directly. This is probably why Wells is “leaving housing market”
- They act via numerous intermediaries- hedge funds and fintech who in turn act via fake servicers and fake lenders.
- That is what Wall Street does – they establish the Scheme to sell securities.
- Then they destroy all documents about their transactions – after it was imaged and stored in Foley’s database ; and declare it “defaulted”
- Each prior transaction is stored in this database as defaulted.
- As many times as the property was sold, refinanced or modified , each time it creates a new string of securities- and this new transaction is named as “defaulted” right away and assigned to so-called “debt buyers” who of course did not buy anything and do not own anyone’s debt.
- The largest “debt buyer” is BlackRock, who merely is given access to Black Knight’s database and permission to steal as much as they can from homeowners under cover up of “servicers” who merely rent their names for correspondence and “billing statements “
- Hedge funds also don’t have access to money flow since it’s all done via BL, Fiserv and Exela.
- Each hedge fund has its own cohort of smaller fintech companies who receive passwords and instructions from main Fintech such as Bkack Knight and Fiserv.
- The players get paid by Wall Street banks after money is transferred offshore.
- All details should be investigated by DOJ who of course knows about it.
Articles Updated 012223
Don’t get lost in the weeds!
Anyone who watches the Madoff Ponzi documentaries knows that people deluded themselves out of greed. The basis of the Madoff scheme was a huge pile of documentation that was all fake. The “business” was taking money from investors and investing it. Madoff never made a single transction.
There was no such business. This is what happened and what is still happening with “loans” that are originated by investment banks though multiple layers of intermediaries. There is no loan business. There is only the business of selling securities. And in doing that, there is no balance due.
Millions of homeowners and thousands of lawyers have become lost in the weeds as they overlook the most obvious question: did this transction ever produce an unpaid obligation from the homeowner? Was that obligation ever purchased and sold in a transction between any assignor and assignee or endorser and endorsee?
The answer is simply NO! So why do homeowners and their lawyers inisist on paying it?
Articles Updated 011523
Wells Fargo suffered 50% profit loss during the fourth quarter
Following Wells Fargo's $3 billion penalty over a financial scandal, the bank reported a 50% loss in profit for the fourth quarter. News of the profit drop affected Wells Fargo's remarket stock, which fell by 4% Friday morning. The bank's quarterly earnings report indicated a 67-cent per-share profit for Dec. 31, which is significantly behind the $1.38 per share from the same period last year.
Articles Updated 010823
Then Again: After the Revolution, debt crisis triggered extreme unrest
Waging and winning a war with Britain had run the new nation heavily into debt. Worse yet, Britain seemed to take the whole business of losing rather poorly, and continued the conflict by inflicting economic pain on its former colonies. The British cut off American access to important markets in the West Indies, which would have helped the new country pay off its debts.
People felt the separation from Britain keenly when they tried to settle their own debts. When the British left, so did easy access to British coinage, which is what creditors demanded for repayment. They weren’t interested in bartering for goods or accepting paper money issued by the various state governments, because those notes were worth just a fraction of their face value. Therefore, many people faced debts they had no way of repaying.
Actually, courts ruled they still had one way to pay: Judges regularly intervened and foreclosed on debtors’ property.
From the creditors’ perspective, what was not to like about this arrangement? They got their money back. The people losing their farms, however, understandably felt differently.
In 1786, outrage over the debt crisis triggered some of the most extreme civil unrest the United States has seen. It also sparked uprisings in Vermont, which wasn’t actually part of the United States yet — it wouldn’t become a state for five more years.
A debtor and a tax collector scuffle outside the courthouse in Springfield, Massachusetts. Indebtedness — and the foreclosures that sometimes followed — became a major issue in the years immediately following the American Revolution. The issue spurred a popular revolt in Massachusetts known as Shays’ Rebellion, as well as a series of physical clashes at Vermont courthouses and verbal clashes in the state Legislature. Wikimedia Commons
Articles Updated 123122
Comparing this housing market recession to 2008
As we close out 2022, it’s time to reflect on a historic year for the housing market, which was even crazier than the COVID-19 year of 2020. There are similarities and significant differences between the housing recession we’ve seen this year versus 2008, and looking at specific factors in both timeframes gives us an idea of what to expect in 2023.
Articles Updated 122522
Massachusetts law about mortgage foreclosure
MGL c.244 Foreclosure and redemption of mortgages
MGL c.260, § 33 Limitation of actions: obsolete mortgages
- MGL c.260, § 34, Extension of mortgage
- MGL c.260, § 35, Mortgage defined (When a mortgage can’t be foreclosed)
Bank of NY v. Bailey, 460 Mass. 327 (2011)
"[T]he Housing Court has jurisdiction to decide the validity of a challenge to a title, raised by a former homeowner as a defense to a summary process eviction action by a party acquiring the property pursuant to a foreclosure sale."
HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v. Morris, et al., 490 Mass. 322 (2022)
A borrower can assert a Predatory Home Loan Practices Act (PHLPA) counterclaim in a summary process action brought by a mortgage assignee to obtain possession following a nonjudicial foreclosure. Includes discussion of the claims that can be brought under PHLPA.
HSBC Bank USA, N.A., Trustee v. Matt, 464 Mass. 193 (2013)
An oft-cited case in the Land Court concerning the limited scope and nature of a Servicemembers case in the larger context of a foreclosure.
James B. Nutter & Co. v. Murphy, 478 Mass. 664 (2018)
A reverse mortgage did not contain the formal language of "statutory power of sale," but only said that the company could “invoke the power of sale and other remedies permitted by applicable law." The SJC held that, given that this was a reverse mortgage, and not a traditional mortgage, "where the lender cannot hold the borrower personally liable for the debt, and where the lender’s only recourse on default is to obtain repayment through a foreclosure sale," "the only reasonable and practical interpretation of the mortgage was that it incorporated the statutory power of sale."
Lenders Commercial Finance LLC v. Pestilli, et al, Southeast Housing Court (Feb. 3, 2017)
A bank that purchased a home at foreclosure could not evict the former owners with just a 30-day notice to quit. "The Court finds that there is no evidence in this action that there was ever any agreement between the parties for the defendant to pay any rent to the plaintiff, or for any definite rental period. Accordingly, the court finds that G.L. c. 186, s.12 requires that the plaintiff terminate the defendant's tenancy at will by service of a 90 Day Notice to Quit for possession."
Property Acquisition Group v. Ivester, 95 Mass. App. Ct. 170 (2019)
Before conducting a foreclosure sale, the mortgagee must use reasonable diligence to determine the fair market value of the property.
US Bank National Association v. Ibanez, 458 Mass. 637 (2011)
Upholds the ruling in in U.S. Bank National Association v. Ibanez, 17 LCR 679, Land Court MISC 08-384283 (October 14, 2009), regarding the requirement that mortgage holders must be accurately identified in a foreclosure proceeding. "We agree with the judge that the plaintiffs, who were not the original mortgagees, failed to make the required showing that they were the holders of the mortgages at the time of foreclosure. As a result, they did not demonstrate that the foreclosure sales were valid to convey title to the subject properties, and their requests for a declaration of clear title were properly denied."
Articles Updated 121822
Sen. James Sanders’ foreclosure-relief bill could help his own home in foreclosure
A Queens state senator whose home has been in foreclosure for more than a decade could see relief from his creditors if legislation he proposed is signed by Gov. Hochul. Sen. James Sanders’ Foreclosure Process Abuse Prevention Act has already been passed by both chambers of the state legislature in Albany. The bill aims to “thwart and eliminate abusive and unlawful litigation tactics” used by banks. The measure would institute a six-year statute of limitations for which lenders can initiate legal action in foreclosure suits, preventing banks from indefinitely bringing foreclosure lawsuits against borrowers. “If the banks cannot present a fair case within six years, and that seems to be quite the length of time, then they should be dismissed,” Sanders told AM New York, while urging Gov. Hochul to swiftly sign the legislation.
Articles Updated 121122
In unusual move, registrar of deeds seeks to intervene in foreclosure
SALEM — For more than a decade, South Essex Registrar of Deeds John O’Brien has waged a campaign against what he argues is widespread fraud in the transfer of mortgages.
O’Brien has called out practices like “robo-signing” of transfers and the creation of what amounts to a private land registry that allows banks and investment funds to buy and sell mortgages without any public record of the transfer.
Meanwhile, in Beverly, community activist and former mayoral candidate Esther Ngotho was fighting her own battle to hold onto the Bridge Street home she purchased in 2004.
The purchase was financed with a $470,000, adjustable rate mortgage from what was then known as Option One. (Ngotho also obtained a $58,000 second mortgage from the city of Beverly, which required her to rent out one of the two apartments at an affordable rent for 15 years).
By the fall of 2006, just two years after she purchased the property, the payments had shot up, and Ngotho, like many other homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages at the time, fell behind. Option One sent her a notice of default that November.
“There is no question she was set up for failure by the lenders and others involved in this scheme,” O’Brien told reporters during a press conference Wednesday.
O’Brien was joined by Grace Ross of the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending.
Ross also believes that Ngotho was “bamboozled” into a mortgage that the original lender knew she could not afford — and that it was part of a pattern of lenders preying on people of color, immigrants and women — like Ngotho, who fled Kenya with her daughter in 2001. Ross said Ngotho’s case is one of systemic “wealth-stripping.”
O’Brien contends that the documents submitted by Wells Fargo Bank on behalf of a trust that now owns the mortgage are “clearly fraudulent” and that he is “not going to allow Ngotho to be played by the lenders, the banks or by anyone who comes into the registry to file fraudulent documents.”
Articles Updated 120422
Analyzing Q3’s Most At-Risk Housing Markets
ATTOM has issued a Special Housing Risk Report spotlighting county-level housing markets around the nation that are more or less vulnerable to declines, based on home affordability, foreclosures, and other measures in Q3 of 2022.
ATTOM’s report shows that New Jersey, Illinois, Delaware, and inland California continued to have the highest concentrations of the most-at-risk markets in the country, with the biggest clusters in the New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia areas. Southern and Midwestern states remaining less exposed.
Articles Updated 112722
Anti-Eviction Workshop with MAAPL & Guest, Alton King
We are seeing a huge uptick in planned evictions of people from their homes since the end of the eviction/foreclosure moratoriums and as we near the holidays. Come and hear Grace Ross, head of the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL), speak about how we can join together and fight back against evictions across the country. MAAPL has been successful at stopping 56/63 of the planned evictions in Massachusetts that have come to their attention in the past 9 months, including one which made national news recently, the case of Alton King. He had bees come to his rescue and stall an eviction in progress of his home last month! We will also hear from Occupy activists who participated in 2011 eviction blockades. Special guest Alton King will give us an update on his case and what he views as a war on the vulnerable by predatory institutions that is being waged in our nation's courts. To find out more, please go to https://apropertyownersnetwork.org/maapl-leading-fight or MAAPL.info . Zoom link to the Wed. Nov 30th event: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84618079973
Articles Updated 112022
Press Release: Alton King Returns Home
On Friday, November 18, 2022, Alton King, a Black senior with a disability who had been wrongfully evicted from his Longmeadow, MA home, returned to his house for the first time in over a month. King said in a statement released to the media by the Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL), “I am excited to be back home. I am very satisfied that the Longmeadow Police have understood that I am not evicted physically from the home right now and report to me that they will be looking for the parties who claim that they have some rights to go back to the courts.” King’s case is currently under reconsideration by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. MAAPL has been working with other organizations to convince the SJC to reverse its decision in the original case. More details about the SJC’s original decision, and MAAPL’s response to the decision, are available here on the MAAPL website.
Articles Updated 111322
Just because you see a picture of a duck doesn’t mean it can poop on your patio
Someone once asked me if “securitization” was actually a hologram. My answer was that it is a hologram of an empty paper bag. He ran with that and made millions defending homeowners. All he did was demand corroboration of the facts that the lawyer for the foreclosure mill wanted the court to presume from the apparent facial validity of the documents.
The apparent facial validity is the picture. It isn’t true, but it looks good — like a nice picture of a duck taken with a high-end camera.
So let’s take an example, which I lifted from a recent upload from Scott Staffne. As usual, it is an appeal that challenges the notion that someone who does not own the underlying obligation would be allowed to ask for property to be forcibly sold and the occupants dispossessed.
The answer, of course, as any law professor will tell you is that there are specific provisions in the law to prevent that from happening. But the courts are doing it anyway, and the appellate courts keep dodging the issue as though something terrible would happen if they allowed the premise of the modern foreclosure to be challenged, as is required to be allowed under the U.S. Constitution.
Articles Updated 110622
Racial Differences in Economic Security: Housing
This is the third installment in a series of blog posts on racial inequality produced by the Office of Economic Policy. The other posts can be found at these links: 1. Racial Inequality in the United States 2. Racial Differences in Economic Security: The Racial Wealth Gap In this blog post we discuss the stark differences in homeownership and housing wealth across racial and ethnic groups in the United States, which are key contributors to the persistence of the racial wealth gap and drive differences in economic security across groups.
Articles Updated 103022
Attorney Gary Dubin Does it Again In Hawaii: Persistence Pays
Gary Dubin is one of the few lawyers with more life and legal experience than I have. While I have won most of my trial cases, Dubin has been consistently winning both trial and appellate cases, especially concerning false claims of foreclosure. Here is another one that displays his talent for narrowing the legal issues to something that a homeowner can actually win. see CAAP-18-0000326sdo I’m unsure if he entirely agrees with my description of why the actors in foreclosure scams resorted to fake documents and unsupported claims. And truth be told, he probably does not care. He is merely following the tradition — when defending, question everything, admit nothing and make the claimant prove their case. Once he has prevented the opposition from proving their case, his job is over. The homeowner wins.
Eviction Not Final Outcome of 16 Year Predatory Discriminatory Loan
Articles Updated 102322
On Thursday, October 20, 2022, the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) released a statement to the media regarding the wrongful eviction case of Alton King, a Black senior with a disability.
King has an open case in the Massachusetts Appeals Court. MAAPL has also been working with other organizations to convince the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts to reverse its decision in King’s original case. More details about the SJC’s original decision, and MAAPL’s response to the decision, are available here on the MAAPL website.For recent Western MA media coverage of this case, see this news item. Download the complete Press Release ( PDF )
For Immediate Release: October 20, 2022 Contact: Grace Ross 617-291-5591
EVICTION NOT FINAL OUTCOME OF 16 YEAR PREDATORY DISCRIMINATORY LOAN
Longmeadow, MA, October 12, 2022, the eviction started at 9am but the Execution to Evict Alton King expired at 11:59pm.Yet, on Thursday, October 13th, the Hampden County Sheriff deputies were found still on King’s property, with moving trucks; and continuing a move-out while they no longer had an authorizing Order to Evict. King, meanwhile, received a Bankruptcy Stay on Thursday, October 13, 2022 around 8:35 a.m.
Being evicted, even though the eviction case came about exemplifying the absolutely most predatory type of loan, not legal under any mortgage law; King’s loan epitomizes practices repeatedly prohibited by State and Federal law and Federal and State case-law since they began 160 years ago.
Unbeknownst to King, the underwriting of his property by the lender only offered him a bifurcated loan almost $400,000 more than the property was worth, trapping him in an unaffordable loan that ballooned in a couple of years, to over three times the monthly payment he was originally told.
But what he only found out after they claimed to have foreclosed on the prohibited loan, was that it was a double-book entry loan, where he was being sent bills for a lower interest rate than the bank was actually using, to build up how much he would owe over time; so that after 30 years of paying, he would actually owe more (that he had not been assessed monthly in his billing) principal than he had when he first got the loan.
Alton King, as an African American senior with a disability, was illegally induced into an unsustainable and prohibited loan.
King’s monthly payment mushroomed from $3200/month to $13,400/month. The mortgage was based on a 150% over inflated appraisal; when the $410,000 addition was placed on the home the appraised value dropped $250,000. The bank refused to give a conventional loan as promised.
Former Attorney General Harshbarger fixed this predatory lending problem 30 years ago with regulations and a criminal law; when that failed the Predatory Home Loan Practices Act (PHLPA) was enacted in 2004, but the courts have refused to enforce all of these.
Fast-forward through: unsuccessful attempts to get a loan modification, three years of court cases post a purported non-judicial foreclosure (because no court oversees the foreclosure by sale process in Massachusetts). Finally, the judges he was in front of waited-out King’s various legal rights to a Stay, by denying him the documents necessary to exercise his rights to appeal a renewed order to evict.
As King himself reports:
“The judiciary, from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court down to through all the courts have thus far largely ignored enforcement of those protections. Falsified documents are routinely accepted by the courts from bank attorneys, who seemed to have No Fear of repercussions, to validate the wrongful foreclosures.
Justice requires accountability for those who violate their positions of trust. The recent MA SJC decision in the HSBC Bank, as Trustee v. Morris case (July 2022) has made it clear that predatory loans are not going to be tolerated. Not only is there extensive evidence now of the bifurcated history of mortgage lending in this country and the clear history of discrimination, but I documented the equal rights violations in the Housing Court proceeding, itself, at minimum, as to age and disability.
As a senior Black man with a disability, I know from personal experience of 16 years of mortgaging and then foreclosure and not that Courts what our laws hold, that the experience of unequal treatment that is not timely rectified is also recognized as an irredeemable loss. Such treatment left unremedied not only leaves an indelible mark but lack of protection signals that the victim, such as me, is not even held as worthy of the protections guaranteed in our state and federal constitutions: “even a successful suit will not vindicate entirely King’s right to be free from discriminatory treatment.
Our Constitutions’ guarantee of equal protection cannot conscience denial of a stay of eviction and provision of all his full rights.
Millions of Americans, a disproportionate number of them being Black, minorities, elderly, Indigent, and disabled, are being targeted. The predatory institutions act with impunity, especially knowing that there is tremendous profit and almost no risk in taking advantage of Black people, minorities, elderly, indigent, and disabled.”
As of today, King has exercised his rights to a Stay under bankruptcy. The Hampden County Sheriff’s office sits in a legally untenable position of withholding King’s own personal possessions from him by locking him out of the house and yet not allowing him access to possessions in the house, including legal documents that he has a right to.
King has an open case in the Massachusetts Appeals Court; he has a right to reverse the eviction judgment under the Morris decision that has been not even properly reviewed, and therefore he has a right to have heard. And he is exercising all of his options to enforce his rights at this time.
As King says: “I call on the world, right now, to stand on the right side of justice and recognize that it is only a matter of time now, that the wealthiest institutions are going to have to face justice regarding decades of knowing discriminatory lending (race, age, disability, and for other homeowners, such for instance as Rorie Susan Woods, herself, victim of sexist lending), all of which has been outlawed for some 50 years.”
Articles Updated 101622
Home buyers turn to riskier loans as interest rates soar
WASHINGTON — Home buyers feeling financially squeezed by higher interest rates are increasingly being steered by real estate agents and mortgage brokers to potentially riskier types of mortgages, similar to those seen ahead of the 2008 financial crisis, causing concern among some consumer advocates and industry analysts.
Articles Updated 100922
Some Americans fear zero-down mortgages are a trap that will lead to another crisis like 2008
A mortgage that doesn't require a down payment, closing costs, or a minimum credit score might seem too good to be true. After Bank of America announced its new zero-down mortgage offering last month, people took to social media to voice concerns that it would lead to another housing crash like the one in 2008. "The premise is helping out marginalized communities but, like, come on, dude. Literally stop and read — it's the same trend as the 2008 crash," the TikTok user Inkwater said in a September video.
Articles Updated 093022
Your Rights When Paying Your Mortgage
Dealing with your mortgage can feel confusing and frustrating. But you have rights when it comes to making your payments and how your servicer manages your account. Learn your rights concerning how your loan servicer manages your mortgage loan account.
Articles Updated 091822
The Importance of Citizen Activism
Today on TAP: Foreclosure activist-turned-journalist Lisa Epstein’s work leads to another victory over a predatory company. When I wrote my book Chain of Title in 2016, one of the main subjects was Lisa Epstein, an oncology nurse who fell victim to foreclosure fraud during the collapse of the housing bubble. She fought back in her case, grew obsessed with the shocking machinations of the big banks, quit her nursing job, and became an activist, helping other foreclosure victims and using a blog to detail the extent of foreclosure fraud. In 2010, she was instrumental in helping shut down the entire foreclosure system temporarily.
Articles Updated 091822
Foreclosures are up 187% from a year prior. But it doesn’t mean what you might think.
Foreclosure starts — which is when the first public foreclosure notice happens — have reached pre-pandemic levels nationwide, with lenders starting the foreclosure process on 23,952 US properties in August 2022, up 12% from the month prior and up 187% from a year ago according to data from ATTOM, a real estate data company. (You can find the lowest mortgage rates you may get here.) But why are foreclosure rates so much higher right now than they were a year ago?
Articles Updated 091122
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge on soaring cost of buying and renting homes
Home prices in the U.S. have risen around 20% year-over-year, making homeownership unaffordable for millions of Americans. A historic housing shortage is causing rental rates to spike, too, and experts say it's unlikely prices will drop significantly any time soon. Marcia Fudge, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, joins Geoff Bennett to discuss.
Articles Updated 090422
When Legal Fictions Simply Go Too Far
I have been saying for years that the continuation of current securitization practices will result in another crash similar to 2008, although perhaps not quite severe. A key indicator is the number of pretender lenders that file for bankruptcy. It is spiking as you can see from the article contained in the link below.
Articles Updated 082822
How Nonprofits Use a Legal Loophole to Flip California Homes — for a Profit
Dale Riggins was 7 years old when, in 1968, his father began building the small Richmond apartment complex where Riggins now lives. Every day during the 10-month construction, he went to the site after school, dragging tools and two-by-fours on the sloped lot set against a small hill where the building began to rise. “I have touched everything in this building. I have painted every corner, put in every window,” Riggins said of the triplex he inherited. “This building was my parents’ life, and it became my life.”
Articles Updated 082122
Wells Fargo Pulls The Plug On Mortgage Lending. The Bank Blames The Economy For The Move
There is no other way to put it, Wells Fargo plans to severely shrink its vast mortgage empire. Employees say Wells Fargo even plans to exit the mortgage entirely. The bank once churned out one of every three home loans in the US. This in turn made the bank the most valuable in the nation. The bank plans to halt correspondent mortgage lending.
Articles Updated 081422
Here is why the Judge doesn’t answer your questions in court
I think the biggest mistake that trial lawyers and pro se litigants make is that they think their questions, especially those supported by forensic reviews, are sufficient to rebut the case. When the judges rule agasint the homeowner and for the foreclosure mill many people and lawyers think that the judge had a choice in doing that. That is mostly untrue because of the admissions made by the homeowner over a long period of time in communicating with the opposition and what they filed in court. Questions are not evidence, even if they are well-founded and should be answered. An unanswered question at trial requires a finding that no rebuttal exists. Questions about documents and the truth of the matters asserted in those documents need only be answered must only be answered in discovery or in a QWR (RESPA) or DVL (FDCPA).
Articles Updated 080722
Florida HAF Awards More Than $277 Million to State's Most Vulnerable Homeowners and Prevents Active
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida continues to lead the nation in its effective administration of the Florida Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF), awarding more than $277 million in total relief to more than 9,900 homeowners, with more than $31 million awarded this week alone, to some of Florida’s most vulnerable homeowners. Through the effective administration of its HAF program, Florida has been able to stop active foreclosures for approved homeowners, keeping Florida families in their homes.
Articles Updated 073122
Wall Street Megabanks’ Multi-Billion Dollar Blunders Suggest Money Controls as Good as George Bailey’s Uncle Billy
What do you get when you mix federally-insured banks with Wall Street trading casinos? You get the potential for catastrophic risks for the U.S. taxpayer and astronomical riches for the CEOs of the banks and the hedge fund titans they serve. Why is this Faustian bargain tolerated by Washington lawmakers – especially after the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression in 2008? Because the Wall Street fat cats throw a lot of money into the political campaigns of members of Congress, ensuring that no matter how many times these Frankenbanks make outrageous blunders involving billions of dollars, Congress will conduct a superficial investigation and move on.
Articles Updated 072422
Foreclosure activity approaches pre-pandemic levels
There were 164,581 foreclosure filings in the first six months of 2022, according to ATTOM’s midyear 2022 U.S. foreclosure market report. That’s up 153 percent year-over-year, but down 1 percent from the same period two years ago. “Foreclosure activity across the United States continued its slow, steady climb back to pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2022,” ATTOM Executive Vice President of Market Intelligence Rick Sharga said in a release. “While overall foreclosure activity is still running significantly below historic averages, the dramatic increase in foreclosure starts suggests that we may be back to normal levels by sometime in early 2023.”
Articles Updated 071722
Act Quickly to Avoid Foreclosure
Experts say that a 2008-style housing crash is unlikely to happen now, if only because lending standards are much tighter than they were prior to the Great Recession. Still, foreclosures are starting to tick upward.
ATTOM, a property data firm, said that in May, there were fewer than 31,000 houses nationwide with foreclosure filings – that is, houses with default notices, houses scheduled for the auction block or ones already repossessed by lenders. That’s up a scant 1 percent from April – but it’s 185 percent more than in May last year.
Articles Updated 071022
Lenders Have Until September 5th To Comply With New FHA Guidelines Ignoring COVID-Era Employment Lapses
New FHA guidelines loosen the requirements to qualify for a loan if they lost work during the pandemic. Beginning September 5th, lenders are to ignore job gaps during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced new flexibility for lenders when qualifying borrowers for an FHA loan. FHA says the program is aimed at applicants who had employment gaps or a loss because of COVID-19.
Articles Updated 063022
Foundation Objections and Notices to Produce at Trial
The assertion, allegation, or argument that the case even involves a trust or trustee requires a legal foundation. The legal foundation consists of a witness who is competent to testify about the jurisdiction in which the alleged trust was organized and is currently existing — or who can testify competently and credibly about the authenticity of the document that created the trust.
That document is a “Trust Agreement” although it could theoretically go by some other name. That is not likely because most lawyers who draft documents do so in the hope and belief that the document will be accepted, end to end, as what it purports to be. Any label other than “Trust Agreement” would diminish the authenticity of the document as having recited or memorialized the creation of the trust entity. Naming it anything other than “Trust Agreement” would raise questions rather than answer them.
Articles Updated 062622
Black Knight Inc. has released a “first look” the latest iteration of its Mortgage Monitor Report for May 2022, which looks at delinquency and foreclosure rates across the U.S. According to Black Knight, the national delinquency rate fell to 2.75% in May, continuing a downward trend that has materialized over the last few months. The delinquency rate was 2.80% in April, and 2.84% in March. The 2.75% rate also marks a record low for delinquencies.
Articles Updated 061922
After a couple of new government-sponsored enterprise-backed mortgage servicing rights deals went up for bid following the federal officials’ latest interest rate hike, some in the market opined on how MSR buyers and sellers may change their strategies going forward.
Articles Updated 061222
Foreclosure Alert! It has been well over a decade since America’s foreclosure disaster. The primary cause was that too many Americans with poor credit were given variable-rate mortgages. Mortgage interest rates rose and many lost their jobs. As a result, they could not make monthly mortgage payments. Banks also faced defaults. Consequently, banks eventually owned tens of thousands of homes they could not manage. The foreclosure crisis caused entire neighborhoods to have vacant homes where people were pressured out by lenders. Unfortunately, the foreclosure problem has returned. The ATTOM property analysis states foreclosure filings hit a post-pandemic high in the first quarter of 2022. Foreclosures were at 78,271 for the first quarter of 2022. This is also a 39% from the previous quarter. In addition, it is also a 132% from the same period last year.
Articles Updated 060522
The number of borrowers who are three or more payments past due on their mortgage is up 55% over pre-pandemic levels, according to new data from mortgage technology and data provider Black Knight. While there were approximately 400,000 serious delinquencies remaining before the pandemic, today there are roughly 640,000, the data shows. And while that sounds very concerning, pros say it’s not what it seems. Indeed, while the Black Knight data indicates the number of serious delinquencies has grown since before the pandemic, that particular figure doesn’t paint a complete picture of what’s happening in the broader housing market, explains Jacob Channel, senior economic analyst at
Articles Updated 052822
Batter up! When a player steps up to home plate to take a pitch it doesn’t matter that he tends to hit a lot of home runs. No run or point is tallied in the absence of actually hitting the ball over the fence. And if he swings and three pitches and misses, it doesn’t matter that he could have hit the ball or that dust got in his eye. Each miss is a strike and three strikes mean he is out of the lineup until the rotation puts him back at home plate.
I am coming back to the original strategy and tactics I advocated in 2006. But I would be more pointed about it by asking voir dire questions directed at the judge. It is not a common procedure but it ought to be.
The question is whether the judge has already made up his/her mind that the transaction was a loan and that there is an unpaid loan account owned by the named claimant — or if the court is open to the possibility that the attributes of a loan transaction were dropped and the payment to or on behalf of the homeowner might have only been part of a payment due to the homeowner for participating in a securitization transaction.
Articles Updated 052222
Yesterday the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing to consider President Biden’s nominations for two Commissioners at the Securities and Exchange Commission (Jaime E. Lizárraga and Mark Toshiro Uyeda) as well as Michael Barr to be Vice Chairman for Supervision at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. (For the skinny on Barr’s fitness to supervise megabanks on Wall Street, see our hold-your-nose report here and David Dayen’s eyepopping report here.)
Articles Updated 051522
Homeowners in New York who are knee-deep in foreclosure litigation may soon get a break, as a piece of legislation making its way to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk could discharge a swath of foreclosure cases pending in state and appellate courts. If Hochul signs the bill as-is, the statute of limitations for a lender to start a foreclosure action will be reverted to six years, as was the case prior to the Court of Appeals’ 2021 decision in Freedom Mortgage Corporation vs. Engel.
Articles Updated 050822
May 8, 2022 - WASHINGTON - The Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development Marcia L. Fudge, Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough, Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Treasury Janet L. Yellen are calling on servicers of federally backed mortgages to make every effort to ensure no individual or family unduly experiences unnecessary hardship or foreclosure while assistance is available under the Homeowner Assistance Fund. The pandemic’s economic and public health impacts put millions of homeowners at risk of losing their homes. For this reason, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan established HAF to provide close to $10 billion in financial support to help families weather these challenges and remain in their homes. We are strongly urging all servicers of federally backed mortgages to pause foreclosure proceedings when they are notified by a HAF program administrator of a pending HAF application to avoid unnecessary harm to vulnerable homeowners.
Articles Updated 043022
We thank you for reading our Top 10 and listening to our CFPB Bites of the Month webinars over the past two years. In this month's article, we share some of our top "bites" for the prior month covered during the April 20 webinar. So, what happened at the CFPB in the past month?
Articles Updated 042422
The author of this post will try to keep things simple without passing judgment. There is no doubt here that we are collectively living in troubled times. The rash of foreclosures continues now that the eviction moratoriums have been lifted for the most part. Those who did not undertake a loan modification or request a forbearance (that was actually granted) are probably feeling the sting of communication by the mortgage loan servicers in their mailing out of late notices on unpaid and delinquent mortgage loans. According to the terms of the mortgage or deed of trust (depending on which “state” you’re in), there is a specific section on Default. Understand that it’s the mortgage loan servicer’s obligation to collect the mortgage loan debt and route payments to the “lender”, no matter WHO that lender might be. The problem with defaults, loan modifications and the like is that so many of the loans out there today are securitized through the MERS® System. Since the MERS® System was taken over by the same company that owns the New York Stock Exchange, the information coming out of this entity is scarce to non-existent. Generally, if you miss a payment, the servicer is going to notify you by certified mail. You may have to sign for the letter. The biggest mistake that homeowners make is ignoring these letters, when in fact, this could be the very start of a long, drawn-out process where you can obtain a lot of useful and vital information that your attorney could use in a foreclosure defense posture, without having to pay gobs in legal fees. What is a QWR? That process is called a Qualified Written Request (QWR) under RESPA (the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) § 6. You can easily research this section of the law and discover that RESPA allows you to send a QWR to the servicer’s bona fide QWR address and ask the servicer to send you specific information, which is discussed below.
Articles Updated 041722
Hi Everyone, Grace Ross here. I’m honored that the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending is celebrating my 60th birthday with a $60,000 fund raiser for the amazing work to bring justice to… everyone, really, in the US, given our country’s historically high rate of foreclosures.
Ever since I was a kid, my birthday candle wish was always about everyone having a home. That seemed just a reasonable and necessary thing — every human being should have a safe place to rest their head. Giving now will help reach that dream.
So, here I am today — working with MAAPL’s amazing, diverse leadership. If we succeed in this fight for justice, we’ll accomplish something never done before in US history: return vast stolen wealth and land. This foreclosure crisis — the worst since the one that fed the American Revolution— was started by the lenders. For the first time in history, after the Civil Rights Movement’s fights winning and ending the use of law to deny people of color the ability to own their home. Redlining and what was known as reverse redlining were outlawed. (This was where the few people of color who could get mortgages were given mortgages that were what is now called “doomed to foreclose”) And, for the first time, women got out from under needing their husband’s credit for a mortgage.
Those streams of folks came into being able to get a mortgage under the law to own their home only to find themselves targeted by the same reverse redlining practices. Those practices were sufficiently successful by the end of the 1990s that the lending industry started applying them to white folks – primarily working class white men – as well.
Foreclosure has affected every walk of life. We can now prove bank practices are not only civilly illegal, but usually criminally too. After 13 years of fighting, MAAPL is poised to turn this tide. How? With enough organizing and legal staff to blow away the prejudiced lie that people ”bought too much house” — most mortgages were targeted refinances, loans guaranteed to lose the home.
Join our online Celebration & Virtual Fundraiser with music, stories of hope and hard earned wins, plus the plan to bring the wealth home. #Black/Brown Wealth Matters
How? With your help. MAAPL needs $60,000 to hire organizing staff. Will you donate to make history with us?
Our movement also is looking for $360,000 in investment money for my birthday —a whole different way to contribute— for huge, multi-party, legal cases. Be in touch with me, Grace and I can connect you with this transformative and handsome investment opportunity.
And thanks for the honor, everyone.
Articles Updated 041022
U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that most complaints against servicer are barred because of 2014 consent order The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s attempt to revive a mortgage servicing misconduct lawsuit against Ocwen Financial Corp. is in choppy waters.
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The Morrises are now up at the Mass. SJC: to be HEARD, this MONDAY, 040422 at about 10:30am (time is not exact).
Articles Updated 040322
Summary: Mortgage Foreclosure-- This is a challenge to an eviction action after a mortgage foreclosure claiming that the underlying loan was predatory.
This is our first chance to show the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that it needs to stand up for the people of Massachusetts, especially the people of color and communities with a higher percentage of people of color who were targeted for the illegal, predatory, and, in fact, “prohibited” discriminatory loans that the industry across the board has rampantly engaged in.
We have all been horrified by what the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did to Alton King and said was ok to be done to everybody similarly situated. That is, anybody who is “post foreclosure” and needs fees waived to be able to fight for their rights in our courts can be denied. (Although we are fighting that in the lower courts and getting there… )
We have an opportunity to show the SJC that we are watching and that they need to do the right thing. Please put THIS Monday on your calendar.
We are still checking if observers can be in the Courtroom itself BUT that would be the most impressive. If you can’t make it OR we find out we can’t witness in person PLS plan to watch - we will figure out a way to let the court know how many people are watching!
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They need to know how many people are watching and how many people are going to be paying attention to whether they choose the people of Massachusetts over the mega-banks or not and whether they start the process of reparations and healing that we have a Constitutional right to.
Much love, Grace
Articles Updated 032722
So do I owe the money or not?
I think that the best answer you can give is no, there is not any money owed. You can only “go there” (money owed) if you describe the transaction as a loan. But every loan has some basic common sense characteristics or attributes:
There is no other reason or intent to give the consumer any money.
The transaction is legal — i.e., it complies with all federal and state laws, rules, and regulations governing lending and servicing.
The transaction creates a loan account reflected on the general ledger of the lender as an asset receivable.
The lender has an actual risk of loss if scheduled payments are not received.
The lender has funded the transaction by using its own assets or its own credit, wherein the lender is liable for repayment of the funds loaned to the lender.
The lender owns the loan account receivable when the transaction cycle is complete.
The lender’s business plan is to earn a profit through repayment of the loan together with interest and other fees or, as is frequently asserted, the profit is earned through the sale of the loan.
If the loan originated with the intent to sell it in the secondary market, the intent is to receive payment in exchange for a conveyance of the underlying obligation.
Articles Updated 032022
The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in four years. Thus, marking an end to the easy money that gave rise to the hottest mortgage market in American history. The Federal Open Market Committee was predicted to raise the federal funds rate by 25 basis points. The FOMC designed the move to slow the pace of inflation by increasing the cost of mortgage borrowing. Inflation hit 7.9% for the year that ended in February. It is unknown if it slows the frenetic pace of a housing market with historically low supply.
Articles Updated 031322
The Florida 3rd DCA has kicked a Miami Judge Beatrice Butchko off a foreclosure case. They also made the unusual move of barring her from considering an order to show cause. The proposed show cause order alleges Bank of New York Mellon and others associated with the case committed perjury. The appeals court said the case began as a straightforward mortgage foreclosure. However, it transformed into an ever-escalating battle that no longer resembles its original form.
Articles Updated 030622
No default (no loss) means no claim. No claim means no remedy. Intrepid souls are wandering into the weeds trying to find out what it means that PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (PMIT) is referred to as an approved issuer of “securities.” The short answer is that none of it is true. PMIT does not own nor has it paid for any aspect of any debt, note or mortgage. What it issues as “Securities” is completely irrelevant to the instruments signed by the homeowner.
Articles Updated 022722
The reason for the article on vindication is due to recent events occurring within a court case in the State of Kansas in the U.S. District Court, Wichita Division, where the Osceola County Forensic Examination was cited, under protest, with a motion to strike made by attorneys for the Bank of New York Mellon, which was denied by the Court. This means the Osceola County Forensic Examination sticks as evidence in the case. Needless to say, the lawyers for BONY Mellon were not happy. The Amended Complaint is shown below:
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF KANSAS CARLOS E. MORAL and ) JULIE K. MORAL, ) ) Plaintiffs, ) ) v. ) Case No. 6:21-cv-01070-HLT-TJJ
) PHH MORTGAGE CORPORATION; ) OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC; ) BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON ) TRUST COMPANY, NATIONAL ) ASSOCIATION; and INDECOMM ) HOLDINGS, INC. d/b/a INDECOMM ) GLOBAL SERVICES, ) ) Defendants. ) ) FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
Articles Updated 022022
There are apparently stock-picking analysts across Wall Street pumping out buy recommendations on stocks to the public who have never cast their eyes on those chilling derivative charts published quarterly by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. If the analysts had cast their eyes on those charts, the last thing they would be recommending right now are megabank stocks. We’re talking specifically about JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, which, together, control approximately 90 percent of the hundreds of trillions of dollars (notional/face amount) in derivatives held by all 4,900 banks and bank holding companies in the U.S. We’re also talking about the foreign banks that are significant derivative counterparties to these and other banks — such as Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Nomura and Barclays.
Articles Updated 021322
In foreclosure cases, don’t forget that the bank must not only prove a loan default and legal standing to foreclose, but must also prove the amounts due and owing to be entitled to a judgment of foreclosure. Keep in mind that if you are going to challenge the amounts due and owing, you should be specific and attack specific amounts the bank is claiming.
Articles Updated 020622
Evidenced RICO/COLLUSION VIOLATIONS involving the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General (MA AGO) and Boston law firm - NELSON MULLINS RILEY & SCARBOROUGH, LLP. The Boston firm previously served as retained legal counsel to Bank Defendants - WELLS FARGO, US BANK and CITIGROUP in the ongoing $42B Federal lawsuit - HARIHAR v US BANK et al (Docket No. 15-cv-11880, US District Court, Boston, MA).
MAAPL Call-In NOW! Friday, January 28th (and leave messages on weekend if needed)
Require Judicial Foreclosure Fact Sheet 073121
2021 Moratorium Fact Sheet 073121
- 2021 RETPA Fact Sheet073121
MAAPL Call-In NOW! Friday, January 28th (and leave messages on weekend if needed)
Reverse Foreclosures’ Injuries &
Tell the Judiciary Committee report out Anti-foreclosure bills! Your voice gets results! Call your state Representative & Senator.
Also call Judiciary Committee Co-Chairs Senator Jamie Eldridge (617-722-1120) and Representative Michael Day (617-722-2396)
Ask them to favorably report out of their committee:
- · S/952/H1717: Moratorium on Non-Judicial Foreclosure
- · S1065/H1615: Foreclosure Review Division
- · H1807: Real Estate Title Protection Act
Make focused & important calls today* to get our bills reported out favorably.
Here’s what you do:
If you don’t know who your representative or senator is, go to WhereDoIVoteMa.com. Type in your address. It will tell you whom your state Senate and Representatives are and their phone numbers.
For each of the 4 calls, what do I say? Leave the message below (Legislator’s offices may be empty but staff check phones regularly):
“Hello, my name is . I live in name of your town.
Please favorably report out each of these bills:
S/952/H1717: A Moratorium on Non-Judicial Foreclosure. Non-judicial foreclosure of residential property leads to civil and criminal violations. We need a moratorium on it and require pre-foreclosure mediation instead. Lynn had a 97% success rate resolving the city’s foreclosures via mediation.
S1065/H1615: Foreclosure Review Division. This court is needed to fix the rampant illegalities non-judicial foreclosure produces. Few judges k now this area of law well. They must be located in a special court division where homeowners can go for justice.
H1807: Real Estate Title Protection Act: homeowners must rely solely on documents recorded in the Registries of Deeds for accurate information. It requires the real party in interest be named as mortgagee, creates filing deadlines, modernizes fines in related criminal statutes and requires monthly mortgage statements to inform homeowners for the first time not only the mortgage servicer, but mortgagee and note-owner.
Please, as my Legislator/Judiciary Chair, will you get these three bills reported out favorably?
- Once in every two-year session of our state Legislature, the laws that we are proposing (“Bills”) must get reported out of the committees that they were assigned to by a certain deadline or they are essentially dead for the 2-year session. That deadline is the middle of next week.
When you have finished calling the 2 co-chairs and your Representative and Senator, e-mail Grace Ross, MAAPL coordinator. Tell her who your Legislators are and that you asked them get RETPA reported favorably out of the Judiciary Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
Articles Updated 013022
MAAPL Call-In NOW! Friday, January 28th (and leave messages on weekend if needed)
Articles Updated 012322
JPMorgan’s Board Made Jamie Dimon a Billionaire as the Bank Rigged Markets, Laundered Money, and Admitted to Five Felony Counts
Yesterday’s headline making the rounds was that JPMorgan Chase’s Board had given its Chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, a pay raise to $34.5 million for 2021 that was 10 percent more than 2020.
Articles Updated 011622
SCHENECTADY — The pandemic-era moratorium on mortgage foreclosures has expired, prompting Schenectady housing and neighborhood organization BCNI to sound the alert about grants of up to $50,000 available for struggling homeowners.
Articles Updated 010922
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has reversed and remanded a RESPA-related case back to the District Court for the Western District of New York in a case involving Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC’s (NOTE: Ocwen has been purchased by PHH Mortgage of New Jersey.) alleged failure to record the homeowner’s mortgage instruments and its actions in losing key mortgage documents. The district court found for Ocwen in its summary judgment motion, stating that the Plaintiff’s asserted “errors” did not fall within Regulation X’s “catch-all provision”. The appellate court disagreed and reversed the lower court’s decision and sent the case back for further proceedings as directed by the appellate court. This case involved an alleged defaulted loan and a subsequent loan modification. The homeowner, Kim Naimoli, sued Ocwen because Ocwen denied her loan modification because of its own failure to record the mortgage documents. Takeways? Of note here is that Ocwen failed to record the mortgage. What lien right does it have it the mortgage document isn’t publicly recorded? There is no specific notice to the world, is there?
Articles Updated 123121
After passing the bar, I then successfully argued one of the most high-profile cases involving mortgage foreclosure in America, [U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n v.Ibanez, 458 Mass. 637 (Mass. SJC 2011)]. The oral argument before the Massachusetts Supreme Court can be seen here [Note, that I am the second attorney to speak for the Appellees on behalf of the LaRace family]. 1 I have continued to defend the LaRace family after the “Ibanez” decision. The financial industry is a “terminator” that does will stop advancing until it takes a house at foreclosure. The LaRace home is roughly valued at $140,000.00. During the subsequent ten (10) years and three subsequent lawsuits I have represented the LaRace family in, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and its “mortgage servicer” has spent many multiples of that figure, while I have never taken any fee, which includes the representation before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in “Ibanez”. Please see my website blog post here, for pleadings, transcripts, and the like from the ongoing LaRace litigation. Note, that arguing these cases is not for the faint of heart. The financial industry is also a formidable opponent with very deep pockets.
Articles Updated 122621
In the years since 2008's Great Recession, lending companies that aren’t regulated by the state government, from Quicken Loans to PennyMac, have come to dominate Colorado's mortgage market. That lack of scrutiny is about to change. Starting Jan. 1, Colorado's government will finally begin oversight of mortgage providers that operated outside of Colorado banking regulations. “In Colorado, we’re actually one of the last states to take action to give our state government the authority to oversee these non-bank mortgage servicers,” said Attorney General Phil Weiser. “Most states already have these regulatory oversight in place … And we’ve now addressed that failing.”
Articles Updated 121921
Lancaster court to offer consumer debt resolution program in January
A new program to resolve credit card debt cases will begin Jan. 1 in Lancaster County Court. All cases that previously would have involved litigation will instead go into an alternative resolution program. The idea behind the credit card collection diversion program is to bring debtors and creditors together to work out their problems. The program is similar to the residential mortgage foreclosure diversion program created earlier this year; court officials wanted to get that in place first. That program started in August and had handled 72 cases as of Friday. That relatively low number reflects foreclosure moratoriums associated with pandemic, and the numbers will likely increase in the first quarter of 2022, according to program administrator Katherine Hecker. She noted that in 2019 there were 524 foreclosure cases here.
Articles Updated 121221
Florida is dangerously close to losing its independent, impartial and fair judiciary | Opinion
High-rolling groups, both in Florida and from out of state, seem call the shots in the state’s local and statewide elections, pumping millions of dollars into campaigns and candidates they believe will have their backs when it comes time to legislate. The result is smooth sailing for these big-money groups, while regular Floridians barely get a life jacket to stay afloat.
Articles Updated 120521
For the basics on understanding foreclsoure, visit: https://www.usa.gov/foreclosure The Making Home Affordable (MHA) program provides help, including free counselors for advice and assistance with keeping you in your home or getting out safely. Visit the MHA website https://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/pages/default.aspx to learn what options you have and what you need to prepare. MHA has a hotline you can call anytime: 1-888-995-HOPE (tel:18889954673) or TTY 1-877-304-9709.
Articles Updated 112821
(“SPS”), a servicing agent for residential mortgage loans, unlawful and deceptive acts, practices and misconduct in connection with the ownership and servicing of residential mortgage loans, including, but not limited to the following:
(i) making representations that late fees will be charged, and charging late fees, after the loan has been accelerated which is prohibited by the standard form mortgage agreement and the laws of the State of New York and other states, including, but not limited to, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont and California;
(ii) charging excessive and unreasonable inspection fees despite occupancy, which is in violation of the standard form mortgage agreement and Fannie Mae industry guidelines and regulations;
(iii) violating RESPA, 12 U.S.C. § 2605(e) by failing to timely and adequately respond to homeowner’s Qualified Written Requests concerning improper late fees and failing to take corrective action.
Articles Updated 112121
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than four million homeowners—credit union members among them—needed mortgage assistance. While many have recovered, there is still a need to support homeowners as they come out of forbearance. Helping homeowners depends on exceptional member care and communication. It also means considering what other support can be offered and what process changes can be made to deliver optimal outcomes.
Articles Updated 111421
The CFPB, OCC, FDIC, NCUA, and state financial regulators issued a statement this week ending the temporary supervisory and enforcement flexibility provided to mortgage servicers due to the COVID-19 pandemic by the agencies.
Articles Updated 110721
Back in 2006 on TV, I said something like this: “Given the size and scope of this illegal enterprise, there probably are not enough available assets in the world to purchase and hide from public scrutiny. The banks will inevitably expand into fields in which they have no interest, just like lending. The only way they can hide their illicit gains is by laundering them through the purchase, sale, and trading of assets, some of which will be just as fictitious as the alleged loans they are allegedly creating.”
Articles Updated 103121
The purpose of this terminology and sentence structure is to create names, not entities. These are bankruptcy remote, liaiblity remote, reality remote names without any legal person or entity appearing in the chain. And let me be clear — yes I do think that anyone who has entered into a transaction in which a mortgage and note were signed has good reason to contest to existence of any debt, since it is not claimed as owned by anyone. Such ownership is ALWAYS erroneously and deceptively implied. The banks are highly exposed on this issue and they know it. Their only strategy that works is deep pockets for the long haul, deception and intimidation.
Articles Updated 102421
“Bank of New York Mellon as trustee for the certificate holders” is an exercise in deceit and fraud. Lawyers for homeowners should pay more attention to filing a motion to dismiss or a motion for more definite statement as to the identification of the claimant. It is simply human to try to skip to the main issue. But it is not wise if what you are skipping is in fact the main issue.
Articles Updated 101721
It takes a plan to exit mortgage forbearance. Learn about your options, get expert help, and find the right option for you.
Plan your exit from mortgage forbearance:
Watch a video about your repayment options
Learn about your repayment options
Learn about how options vary by agency
Articles Updated 101021
On Wednesday, October 13, Legal League 100 presents its webinar, "Investors Perspective on the Restart of Foreclosures" at 1:00 p.m. CDT. In an industry that is changing constantly, how can one prepare for the constant flux in incoming business? Volume is sure to be on the rise, but are you prepared? In addition to juggling staffing and operational issues, are you ready to tackle the new servicing rules that require a solid understanding of the law?
Articles Updated 100321
As America struggles to shake the curse of COVID-19, millions of homeowners impacted by the pandemic continue to face numerous challenges, including determining what to do when mortgage forbearance ends. In this update, we’ll outline the available options and offer sound advice on how–and how not–to proceed.
Articles Updated 092621
Multifamily property owners who are struggling to make mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic now will have access to forbearance programs indefinitely in the case of loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced today. Forbearance options for multifamily mortgages backed by the GSEs were set to expire on Sept. 30, but the FHFA has extended until needed.
Articles Updated 091921
The Biden administration is close to announcing the nomination of a key regulator with broad powers to change the $11 trillion mortgage market and reshape the American dream of homeownership, sources tell NPR.
Articles Updated 091221
On Friday, September 17, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies will present a webinar titled “The State of the Nation’s Housing” from 11:15-12:15 p.m. CDT. In this presentation, Daniel McCue, a Senior Research Associate at the Center, will discuss “The State of the Nation’s Housing 2021,” a report authored by the Center analyzing trends in the market over the past year.
Articles Updated 090621
The big problem in legal practice is acceptance of the idea that the servicer is the servicer. The practice guide is simple: test that proposition before you do anything else. This is the same strategy as what the litigator should do with the REMIC Trust, the REMIC Trustee and others.
Articles Updated 082921
The debate over inflation is getting more intense. At the end of July, yearly price increases reached 5.4%, fueling a new round of debate between inflation doves and inflation hawks. Doves suggest price hikes are a temporary blip that will recede once the production bottlenecks caused by the pandemic resolve. Hawks think a plummeting dollar is here to stay, pointing to the massive increase in the money supply since 2020. We’re in the middle of the hottest economic controversy since the battle over the causes of the 2008 financial crisis.
Articles Updated 082221
THE VALUE OF THE LAND RECORDS Many homeowners who really understand what’s in the county land records (previously discussed in other articles on this blog) “get” the fact that checking these records often is like checking your credit history often by ordering credit reports and looking to see what’s posted there in the trade line items. This author has put together a book on the subject (The Credit Restoration Primer), which goes into detail about how to request and analyze the information contained within your credit report,
Articles Updated 081521
Zillow is doing a $450 million bond deal to get the money it needs. Opendoor went public via a Chamath Palihapitiya-backed SPAC deal to scale as quickly as it can. Even Rocket Homes is getting into the action. The race is on among tech firms to gobble up U.S. housing stock and dominate the increasingly competitive high-tech house-flipping market, otherwise known as the fast-growing “iBuyer” industry.
Articles Updated 080621
Rep. Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, has issued two letters to federal agencies and banking regulators urging them to strengthen foreclosure and mortgage servicing protections for borrowers to provide greater oversight to prevent unnecessary foreclosures during the pandemic.
Articles Updated 073121
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) are extending the moratorium on single-family real estate-owned (REO) evictions until Thursday, September 30, 2021. The REO eviction moratorium applies to properties that have been acquired by a GSE through foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions.
Articles Updated 072521
WASHINGTON (SBG) — With just over a week until federal moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures are scheduled to expire, President Joe Biden’s administration is racing to put resources in place to ensure low-income families do not lose their homes, but housing policy experts say the government’s efforts might not go far enough.
Articles Updated 071821
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a series of proposed amendments to the federal servicing regulations designed to assist mortgage borrowers impacted by the pandemic and to prevent a wave of “avoidable foreclosures.”1 The proposed amendments to Regulation X, issued in April 2021, required, among other things, additional intervention and communications regarding loss mitigation options, provided servicers with the ability to issue loan modifications upon the receipt of incomplete applications in certain instances, and prohibited the initiation of most foreclosure proceedings before January 2022.
Articles Updated 071121
Follow real estate developer/investor, Douglas Boggs', own "David and Goliath" story, where he acted as his own attorney against Wells Fargo Bank for fraud. Doug clearly exposes the depth of fraud in the foreclosure system, failures of the justice system, corruption of Wall Street and the illegalities of the Securitization of notes by Wall Street.
Articles Updated 070421
Broward Circuit Judge Andrea Gundersen, who runs the court’s foreclosure docket, often rules for banks and against homeowners even when the banks use sketchy documents, a consumer watchdog charges in a recent report. Released in May, the report got scant attention until Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Beatrice Butchko took the dramatic step of holding Bank of America, the Bank of New York Mellon and their lawyer in contempt for failing to answer questions about possible fraud in a foreclosure case.
Articles Updated 062721
A new ruling from Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal could mean that the losing party—on any side of a foreclosure case—could be held accountable for attorney fees.
Articles Updated 062021
Even as the nation rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic, more than 2 million homeowners are behind on their mortgages and risk being forced out of their homes in a matter of weeks, a new Harvard University housing report warns.
Articles Updated 061321
Score a move forward for Miami-Dade foreclosure defense lawyer Bruce Jacobs. An Ackerman foreclosure mill attorney and his clients are in hot water with Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Beatrice Butchko
Articles Updated 060121
Eviction or foreclosure is a top concern of households identified as ALICE—an acronym for asset limited, income constrained, employed—during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey conducted by the Rappahannock United Way.
Articles Updated 053021
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, hasn't forgotten the Great Recession. In the first half of 2007, Brown recalls, there were more foreclosures in his hometown than anywhere else in the country. It was a period that led to the Global Financial Crisis: Millions of Americans lost their homes, while banks and other corporate sectors were rescued by billions of dollars in bailouts.
Articles Updated 052321
The only thing we got wrong was that in many cases the originated transaction was not a loan and investors were never purchasing homeowner transactions. They were purchasing unsecured IOUs issued by investment banks who were operating under the name of a fictitious trust that was created solely for receiving bare naked title to documents, while expressly excluding any right, title or interest to any debt, note or mortgage.
Articles Updated 051621
The nation’s consumer watchdog agency says more borrowers are behind on their mortgages than at any time since the Great Recession. And the situation is even worse for Black and Hispanic borrowers, who are twice as likely to be delinquent or in a forbearance program as white borrowers.
Articles Updated 050921
Mortgage servicers took their sweet time last spring advising customers affected by the pandemic about their right to hit the pause button on making payments with no documentation required, and no penalty charged to get back on track. Now that most of those borrowers are preparing to resume making payments, mortgage servicers are again facing criticism for not being straight with their customers about their options.
Articles Updated 050221
This month the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) doubled-down on its earlier warning that the end of 2021 could see widespread foreclosures as COVID-19-related protections expire, by issuing guidance to mortgage servicers, and a notice of proposed rulemaking, regarding actions mortgage servicers can take to deal with the onslaught.
Articles Updated 042521
Millions are still at risk of losing their homes as a result of the economic crisis fueled by the pandemic. More than 10 million U.S. homeowners are behind on their mortgage payments and are experiencing "housing insecurity," according to census data. If you're in that group and your debt is piling up, the White House set aside $10 billion in the recent COVID relief package to help Americans pay their housing costs.
Articles Updated 041821
The CFPB recently issued a proposed rule and requested public comment on proposed amendments to Regulation X intended to assist borrowers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The proposed amendments would establish a pre-foreclosure review period to provide an opportunity for borrowers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic to be evaluated for loss mitigation before a servicer files for foreclosure.
Articles Updated 041121
While forbearance numbers have declined somewhat in recent weeks, around three million homeowners are still behind on their mortgages. As foreclosure moratoriums are set to expire later this year, the housing market is now facing the risk of a shock from millions of homeowners going from forbearance straight into foreclosure. To prevent such a shock to the system, the CFPB has released a proposed set of rule changes for servicers and borrowers to prevent the end of forbearance turning into a catastrophe for the whole mortgage industry
Articles Updated 040421
The year 2020 was a tumultuous one given the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for the mortgage lending and servicing industry. In response to sudden stay-at-home orders and a sharp drop in employment rates, federal and state policymakers moved quickly to offer financial relief to consumers and borrowers. While facing their own pandemic-induced operational hardships, mortgage lenders and servicers swiftly adjusted their business plans to adopt mortgage forbearance requirements and react to foreclosure moratoriums provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Balancing new regulatory requirements and a significant uptick in consumer demands kept lenders and servicers on their toes.
Articles Updated 032821
Select Portfolio Servicing is busted jerking around people of color. This isn’t the first time. I’ve written about this multiple times. However, this time it was WFTV Reporter Todd Ulrich in Orlando who busted them. Ulrich also received the run around from SPS. As a result, he reached out to me for assistance.
Articles Updated 032121
Real Progressives and the creators of “The Con” present a new series, “The New Untouchables:? The Pecora Files,” meticulously detailing the rampant financial fraud that has been poisoning our economy for the last century, and?what is to be done?about it.? “The Con” took a simple but revolutionary approach to explaining the epidemic of elite fraud driving the great financial crisis of 2007-2008. The New Untouchables presents the heroes, one at a time, who sought to prevent it and hold the elite predators accountable. New episodes every Sunday 8pm ET / 5pm PT View the trailer, then scroll down to binge the latest episodes!
Articles Updated 031421
Washington, March 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Small Business Administration announced extended deferment periods for all disaster loans, including the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, until 2022. All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2020, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 24-months from the date of the note.
Articles Updated 030721
A lot has changed since we posted our last update. A new president is in the White House, mortgage forbearance programs and foreclosure moratoriums have been extended by the federal government, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package is working its way through Congress, millions of Americans have been vaccinated against the coronavirus and the entire U.S. population may be inoculated by early summer. For the first time in a very long time, there is light at the end of the COVID tunnel. Unfortunately, that light could become an oncoming train for homeowners who make unwise or incorrect decisions when forbearance and foreclosure relief programs sunset in the months ahead.
Articles Updated 022821
The Justice Department said Saturday it will appeal a judge’s ruling that found the federal government’s eviction moratorium was unconstitutional.
Articles Updated 022121
This is tricky. I have often had complaints dismissed because I didn’t make it over the threshold requirements for surviving a motion that attacks the elements of fraud. So in answer to many questions posed to me, the main reasons why fraud allegations are ignored or dismissed are as follows:
Articles Updated 021421
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, filmmaker Eric Vaughan was approached by his friend and colleague, Patrick Lovell, one of nearly 10 million Americans who lost their home in the crisis, with a simple question: how did this happen? Thus began their nearly 10 year journey of making THE CON, a five-part documentary series and in-depth investigation into the origins and aftermath of “the largest criminal conspiracy in American history.”
Articles Updated 020721
On April 19, 2013, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published “Operating standards for scheduled foreclosure sales.” This was about 5 years after public recognition of the mortgage meltdown, and 1 year after the infamous 50-state settlement.
Articles Updated 013121
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released the Federal Property Manager’s 21-page Foreclosure Prevention, Refinance Report for October 2020. The full document details the entire month, but here are some highlights.
Articles Updated 012421
As Massachusetts experiments with expanded monetary and legal assistance to prevent evictions during the pandemic, the Biden administration is making eviction policy a central part of his early executive actions to address what he described as an "almost unprecedented housing affordability crisis."
Articles Updated 011721
Elizabeth Warren tells MarketWatch: ‘For several years, the Trump administration has undermined the CFPB, tossing out important consumer protections and refusing to enforce the law, often at the expense of Black and brown Americans and low-income communities…’
Articles Updated 011021
The March 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) contains a number of provisions that help borrowers with federally backed mortgage loans. Among these are forbearance protections for borrowers with single-family loans and multifamily loans. However, only one of the forbearance provisions has a clearly defined period when the rights are available. As detailed below, the various federal agencies are taking a piecemeal approach to forbearances, resulting in differing deadlines for different types of federally backed mortgages and lots of confusion for the servicers who have to implement the forbearance programs.
Articles Updated 122720
Jo Marie Hernandez doesn’t know how she and her 4-year-old daughter will survive after her unemployment aid lapsed this weekend. Hernandez, who lives in Olean, New York, is on the brink of losing her home in days after she lost her job as a customer service associate at a gas station in the spring. Enduring prolonged unemployment, she's struggled to make ends meet and has nothing left in savings to keep her afloat. ”
Articles Updated 122020
The government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) completed 539,451 foreclosure prevention actions during the third quarter of this year, according to new data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).”
Articles Updated 121320
In the latest episode of DS5’s Inside the Industry, we’re speaking with Elizabeth Squires, Director of Client Account Management at Safeguard Properties. She discusses the impact COVID-19 has had on the property preservation sector and foreclosure volumes. Squires also speaks about what challenges 2021 may bring. "Our issues in volume are subject to drastic changes, based on many external factors," Squires says about foreclosures next year.”
Articles Updated 120620
On November 24 the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) fined JPMorgan Chase $250 million for wrongdoing that was apparently too deplorable to be spoken out loud to the public. The specific details were cloaked in this phrase: “failure to maintain adequate internal controls and internal audit over its fiduciary business.”
Articles Updated 112920
Millions of Americans are in danger of losing their homes when federal and local limits on evictions expire at the end of the year, a growing body of research shows.
Articles Updated 112220
Recently the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals held that a mortgagee’s notice of acceleration failed to strictly comply with the mortgage’s notice provisions when it informed the borrower only that she “may” have right to assert defenses against foreclosure, rather than apprising her that she had an affirmative right to bring an action against the mortgagee. This case serves as a cautionary tale for lenders and mortgage servicers who are considering foreclosure.
Articles Updated 111520
MFI-Miami has created the New York COVID-19 Foreclosure Defense Hotline. Is a mortgage servicer threatening you with foreclosure in New York during the current coronavirus pandemic? We can help. Call us at 888.737.6344. The coronavirus pandemic has put America is in a crisis. MFI-Miami is doing our part to help during these perilous times. Unfortunately, mortgage servicers don’t share our sentiment.
Articles Updated 110820
This just in or at least just brought to my attention. It is full frontal assault on the rule of law and the banks are trying to jam it through as a rule change to allow illegal foreclosures.
Articles Updated 110120
The time at which a § 1983 claim accrues “is a question of federal law,” “conforming in general to common-law tort principles,” and is presumptively–but not always–“when the plaintiff has ‘a complete and present cause of action.'” Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 388 (2007); Manuel v. Joliet, U.S. Sup. Ct. No. 14-9496 (2017). — As cited in McDonough v. Smith, U.S. Sup. Ct. No. 18-485 (2019) This post is circumspect as to the discussion of the items postulated within the land record audit and forensics investigation conducted by the author and his team of researchers in Williamson County, Texas (2012-2013) and Osceola County, Florida (2013-2014), respectively.
Articles Updated 102520
Although the housing market is booming, high unemployment means millions of Americans are struggling to make mortgage payments. More than 2.3 million homeowners remain 90 or more days past due on their mortgages, but not in foreclosure, according to Black Knight, a mortgage analytics company. Foreclosure and eviction protections under the CARES Act have provided some relief for homeowners with distressed finances. But once forbearance protections run out, the biggest fear is there will be a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.
Articles Updated 101820
A recently issued opinion by the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District tells a cautionary tale regarding a lender’s failure to name a junior lienholder in its initial judicial foreclosure action. In Cathleen Robin v. Al Crowell, — Cal.Rptr.3d —-, 2020 WL 5951506, plaintiffs sued defendant, a junior lienholder, for quiet title, having failed to name him in the initial judicial foreclosure action. Defendant raised the statute of limitations defense, but the trial court found in favor of plaintiffs. The court of appeal reversed, holding that the 60-year statute of limitations which the trial court applied only applied to a nonjudicial trustee’s sale, and the trial court could not exercise the trustee’s power of sale after the expiration of the statute of limitations on a judicial action to foreclose.
Articles Updated 101120
BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Tenants and homeowners at risk of eviction and foreclosure held a rally on the Boston Common Sunday afternoon to press state lawmakers to take action to prevent what they describe as a looming statewide eviction crisis. The rally called for the passage of a comprehensive eviction prevention measure intended to help stabilize renters, homeowners, and small landlords for a year as Massachusetts weathers the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The event is part of a series of actions across the commonwealth in support of the Guaranteed Housing Stability bill leading up to the expiration Massachusetts’ eviction and foreclosure moratorium, which is set to end on Oct. 17.
Articles Updated 100420
CHICAGO -- You may be one of about 3.5 million Americans already in a forbearance on your mortgage, but what if you need an extension? Or what if you want to start paying again?
Articles Updated 092720
The lack of trust in America’s justice system … Anyone who has kept a pulse on the tide of foreclosures that swept through America between 2009 and 2015 can easily understand where the mindset the author is about to describe is coming from. Sadly, if you’ve ever been to a “rocket docket” in Miami-Dade County, Florida, you know exactly WHY folks have little faith in the justice system.
Articles Updated 092020
WASHINGTON—About one million homeowners have fallen through the safety net Congress set up early in the coronavirus pandemic to protect borrowers from losing their homes, according to industry data, potentially leaving them vulnerable to foreclosure and eviction. Homeowners with federally guaranteed mortgages can skip monthly payments for up to a year without penalty and make them up later.
Articles Updated 091320
I write primarily wearing my criminology and law “hats.” I study elite white-collar crime and corruption and I fought both pathologies as a (real) financial regulator. I helped train regulators and anti-corruption officials in Iceland, Ecuador, India, and Asia, so I also have substantial international experience. “Lawfare” is a word few Americans understand, but people in each of the other countries I mentioned have bitter experience with the pathology.
Articles Updated 090620
After a decade of accumulating evidence involving “loans” originated and securitized by Washington Mutual Bank (WMB), the following points are now supported and can be proven with evidence:
- The mortgages, deeds, and notes were never sold and transferred. Rather, there was the intent to have securitized the debts per the certificates without any documentation perfecting any interests in the alleged underlying assets.
- No schedule of loans exists, or has ever been produced, identifying any specific WMB loan having been acquired by JPMorgan Chase via the Purchase & Assumption Agreement (PAA).
- The FDIC now has its own databases identifying what WMB loans, if any, were in fact acquired and sold through the Receivership and the PAA. These databases have yet to provide any records for any WMB loan, or any responsive documents to show the servicing rights of any WMB loan having been sold to Chase.
- The FDIC deemed all securitized loans sold by WMB prior to the Receivership as “isolated assets” outside of its reach. As such, the FDIC could not sell that which it never owned or acquired.
- WMB admitted and disclosed as a business practice that no assignments would be prepared or recorded, and no endorsements would be placed upon the notes it was purporting to sell. This was deemed an “Unsafe & Unsound” business practice.
- As outlined below, WMB admitted that is was going to “commingle collections on the mortgage loans with its own funds and may use the commingled funds for its own benefit.” (Per the FFIEC, this appears to be a tacit admission of “Mortgage Servicing Fraud.”)
Articles Updated 083020
Over the last 12 years, Maine attorney, Thomas Cox has changed how foreclosures happen… or don’t, in the state of Maine. He’s definitely one of the superstars from the last housing meltdown and he’s still representing consumers today. When it comes to problems with mortgages, Tom is as good as one gets.
Articles Updated 082320
A housing market bolstered by low interest rates, government support and strong demand has stayed afloat despite expectations, even with the economy under siege from the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, real estate owners entered the COVID-19 outbreak better prepared than during the 2008 global financial crisis,
Articles Updated 081620
President Donald Trump is “ready to send” more coronavirus stimulus money. But it remains unclear if that is enough to move stalled Congressional negotiations forward so that Americans can see more money in their pockets.
Articles Updated 080920
At his Bedminster, N.J., golf resort on Saturday, President Trump signed four executive actions to provide economic relief amid the coronavirus pandemic. The actions amount to a stopgap measure, after failing to secure an agreement with Congress. The three memorandums and one executive order call for extending some enhanced unemployment benefits, taking steps to stop evictions, continuing the suspension of student loan repayments and deferring payroll taxes.
Articles Updated 080220
With millions of Americans hoping for further stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment benefits, talks to secure a bipartisan agreement on further relief have been branded productive but are not near an agreement.
Articles Updated 072620
Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic advisor, said Sunday that the next round of coronavirus relief will include additional $1,200 checks to Americans as well as an extension of the federal eviction moratorium.
Articles Updated 071920
An eviction and foreclosure crisis is looming Expect the economic situation to decay tremendously between now and fall 2020
Articles Updated 071220
MASS ALLIANCE AGAINST PREDATORY LENDING/BRING OUR WEALTH HOME started this petition to Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court/Mass SJC Rescind its decision denying court access to Alton King and all homeowners who were illegally foreclosed and made indigent.
Articles Updated 070520
In recent years homeowners fighting foreclosure have sought to utilize G.L. c. 183, Section 5B to file Affidavits "to clarify the state of title". G.L. c. 183, Section 5B states as follows:
Articles Updated 062820
Tuck professor Brian Melzer looks at the similarities and differences between the 2008 World Financial Crisis and the economic shock of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Articles Updated 062120
In New Jersey cities, many thousands of families will soon be homeless, once the governor lifts his moratorium on evictions during the pandemic. Some are already being evicted, illegally. Yet even a decent landlord is in an impossible situation without federal help. And Mitch McConnell is standing in the way.
Articles Updated 061420
After months of living with the coronavirus pandemic, American citizens are well aware of the toll it has taken on the economy: broken supply chains, record unemployment, failing small businesses. All of these factors are serious and could mire the United States in a deep, prolonged recession. But there’s another threat to the economy, too. It lurks on the balance sheets of the big banks
Articles Updated 060320
The following are summaries of actions certain states have taken in response to the Covid-19 crisis to limit home foreclosures. The list may not be complete, as state and local governments continue to adopt new emergency measures at a fast pace.
Articles Updated 052420
Like every other bank on earth, Goldman Sachs had to settle allegations that it helped create the last global financial crisis by wrapping up the mortgage equivalent of literal excrement in gold and getting them proclaimed triple-A before selling them on to investors.
Articles Updated 051720
Securities that contain loans for properties like hotels and office buildings have inflated profits, the whistleblower claims. As the pandemic hammers the economy, that could increase the chances of another mortgage collapse.
Articles Updated 051020
The economy is in free fall but Wall Street is thriving, and stocks of big private equity firms are soaring dramatically higher. That tells you who investors think is the real beneficiary of the federal government’s massive rescue efforts.
Articles Updated 050320
Opinion: Avoid a housing crisis in the wake of COVID-19 Prohibiting foreclosure and eviction actions temporarily is merely a stop-gap that does nothing to protect families in preserving their housing into the future. These federal and state laws have fallen short of fixing the potentially irreversible consequences of missing mortgage and rent payments. The federal government should adopt a Mortgage and Rent Payment Protection Program (“MRPPP”) where consumers can quickly apply for an unsecured loan for up to three times their monthly mortgage payment amount or three times their monthly rent payment amount. The loan would be interest free and paid back over 60-72 months.
Articles Updated 042620
Most out-of-work homeowners frightened by the thought of suspending their mortgage payments can rest easy. Regardless of what their mortgage servicer tells them, the 70% of borrowers with federally backed loans won’t be on the hook to repay those missed payments all at once at the end.
Articles Updated 041920
Massachusetts lawmakers have sent to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker a bill they say would provide a safety net for renters, homeowners, and small businesses grappling with the economic fallout of the coronavirus state or emergency. The legislation approved Friday prohibits all non-essential evictions and foreclosures and provides mortgage borrowers with forbearance options and protects tenants from late fees.
Huge Congratulations to everyone! Friends, In a historic piece of legislation signed yesterday by the Governor, we now have a blanket Moratorium on all foreclosures and evictions throughout the commonwealth, -except where the occupant has committed a criminal act that endangered others. This appears to be for 120 days or 45 days after the governor declares the crisis over. Please check the homepage for Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending - MAAPL.info, for an analysis of the bill; hopefully by the end of tonight. Not only if you made phone calls and talked to our legislators on this round of the fight - - getting a Moratorium on evictions and foreclosures; but if you were part of our effort when we filed legislation for a Moratorium on foreclosures over a year ago, and then we provided the argument and the evidence to the legislators: this was a key building block in getting this to be part of this bill. In fact, think back to every time that you stepped through the shame and: …. you told your story to somebody else, especially if you told that story to an elected official or someone else in a position of power. ….every time that you backed somebody and that story got into the newspaper or on Facebook. ….every time you stood up for each other in court. ….and all of the efforts that led finally to the filing and hearing of the Adjartey & Hilton cases at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in December of 2018. This Moratorium belongs to each and every one of you, because each of these efforts - which created a context.. So that now, when our society was forced for very unfortunate reasons, to have-to face that a home is indeed as precious as our Constitution reads as it does; and through each of these efforts, we have enough educated Massachusetts legislators to do the right thing! Thank you!~ Some specifics from the new law: The eviction cases are stopped in Court, but also, constables are specifically not allowed to serve eviction orders! The foreclosures, both judicial and non-judicial, including explicit steps, like advertising of an auction sale, have been stopped! Yet, we know, the bank's agents' break every other law. BE ON THE LOOKOUT AND TELL US IMMEDIATELY! I am looking forward to hearing from each and every one of of you, about how you want to try to work on your case; and how you will pay it forward at this time. Lori Cairns Organizer, WAFT (Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team)
Articles Updated 041220
BOSTON —Gov. Charlie Baker hopes lawmakers can resolve differences and send him a viable bill pausing all eviction and foreclosure proceedings statewide by next week, he said Saturday while touting aid that will flow to undocumented immigrants who are ineligible for unemployment benefits.
REPOST EVERYWHERE Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending www.maapl.info MAAPL: 3 Calls NOW!: Monday, April 6th Massachusetts Senate must Correct AND Pass Emergency Moratorium on Foreclosures & Evictions Bill Your voice gets results! Call your state Senator. Ask them to get critical changes into the Foreclosure & Eviction Moratorium bill! When the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed its own bill late last week— it deleted crucial enforcement language; misrepresented whom you pay the mortgage to.... and allowed too broad exemptions from eviction stoppage. We all know just how "creative" the Financial Industry gets to take our homes away. Don’t leave them any loopholes. Ask your Senator to make critical changes and vote to protect our homes now! Here’s what you do: If you don’t know who your senator is, go to WhereDoIVotema.com. Type in your address. It will tell you whom your elected officials are and their phone numbers. What do I say? [Leave a message if no one answers the phone]: “Hello, my name is . I live in name of your town. Please make critical changes to the Foreclosure & Eviction Moratorium legislation and then pass it as quick as possible! Your Senate bill must: • Include Enforcement of Stoppage of Foreclosures and Evictions; • Correct too Broad exemptions and Process for Collecting on a Note; • Stop every step of the state’s non-judicial foreclosure process; • Provide for Notification of Authorities at each of those steps. For details, see the email correspondence the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending sent you. Please, as my Senator, will you protect our homes during this COVID-19 emergency? Thank you.” Please also Call: • the Senate President’s Office, President Spilka, (617) 722-1640 • The Senate Ways & Means Committee Chair, Senator Rodrigues (617) 722-1114 When you have finished the call, e-mail Grace Ross, MAAPL coordinator. Tell her who your senator is and that you asked them to get crucial foreclosure protections in the Senate Moratorium bill: email@example.com A coalition of local and state-wide organizations working together to reverse the foreclosure crisis. MAAPL.INFO MAAPL – The Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending A coalition of local and state-wide organizations working together to reverse the foreclosure crisis.
Articles Updated 040520
Max Gardner is one of America’s great bankruptcy attorneys. For years, he’s been running a “bankruptcy boot camp” for his fellow attorneys, in his wooded redoubt in the hills of North Carolina. Normally the event has a few dozen lawyers. He did his first webinar boot camp about a week ago: 776 attorneys signed up. “I really fear something worse than the Great Depression,” Gardner told me. “Every system is going to be overwhelmed.”
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I’ve been involved in politics and government for over 40 years and I can say definitively that I have not seen legislation that offers as much direct and immediate relief to distressed consumers, borrowers, small business owners and tenants as the Covid-19 stimulus package, known as the CARES Act that Congress passed on Friday, March 27. You can read an analysis of the bill here. You can read the legislation in its entirety here. While I’m generally pleased with the CARES Act, I do have two concerns:
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Information regarding Foreclosure Stays or Prohibitions What is True: Today the Federal Government announced that no foreclosures will proceed in the next 60 days on loans that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or that are owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. While that covers a lot of loans most people don’t know the name of the owner or insurer of their loan, they only know the name of the company that collects the payments or servicer of their loan.
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Foreclosures are based on illusion. If the debt is subject to claims of securitization there is no bank — by definition. That’s not an opinion. It is a fact. As soon as you allow use of that word “Bank” you are adding to the illusion that you owe money to a bank. You don’t. Refer instead to “the claimant” or, if you must, to “the trust”.
Articles Updated 030520
It’s true that most foreclosures are scams designed to obtain revenue instead of paying off a debt. But it is also true that there are many who pray upon the desperation of distressed homeowners who frankly are so emotionally overwrought that they are not thinking straight.
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Why is everyone using your name in foreclosures? A client who is pursuing an action against Bank of New York Mellon is properly refusing to admit or acknowledge that a trust exists and even if it does whether the trust has ever owned the debt — because without the debt a conveyance of an interest in the mortgage or deed of trust is void ab initio.
Articles Updated 021920
A group of 14 homeowners filed a class-action suit in Massachusetts Superior Court Friday against a Roxbury based non-profit, alleging that they are the victims of predatory lending practices while facing foreclosure or financial hardship. The lawsuit, financed by the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) was hand delivered to the offices of BlueHub Capital — formerly Boston Community Capital — and several of the homeowners allegedly victimized by its practices. Bruce Marks, NACA's founder and CEO, represents the homeowners who joined the lawsuit, and turned to BlueHub Capitol for assistance.
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During his testimony to the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell let it slip out, for the first time, that the Federal Reserve has had a 10-year game plan to deal with the financial crisis.
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CFPB Director Provides Update on Protection Practices In the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) semiannual report to Congress, CFPB Director Kathleen Kranginger outlined the Bureau’s focus and advancements. According to Kraninger, she is focusing on two areas: “encouraging saving and unleashing innovation wherever appropriate and possible,” with the focus on giving power to consumers when choosing financial products.
Wells Fargo Borrowers Win Cert. In Foreclosure Suit
Wells Fargo Borrowers Win Cert. In Foreclosure Suit Case Link
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A California federal judge has certified a nationwide class of Wells Fargo mortgage borrowers who say the bank breached its contract by denying them home loan modifications, while excluding proposed subclasses of borrowers bringing consumer protection, wrongful foreclosure and emotional distress claims.
In partially granting the certification bid Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup approved a class definition that encompasses Wells Fargo mortgage borrowers who qualified for a home loan modification between 2010 and 2018 but were not offered it due to a software glitch and whose homes were later foreclosed upon."
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After the Great Recession, hundreds of thousands of families lost their homes — but those houses and apartments didn’t disappear into thin air. Journalist Aaron Glantz studied what happened after the crash for his book: "Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out of Their Homes and Demolished the American Dream."
Articles Updated 011420
Hidden far away from public view and mainstream media is an enormous fight over who should suffer what loss over the labyrinth of defaults in the “mortgage bonds” also known as “mortgage backed certificates.” Within this fight it is clear that current law is simply nonexistent and ineffectual in achieving a legal or just result. It is the investors and borrowers who are consistently left out in the cold.
Articles Updated 010520
After months of intensive lobbying by lawmakers and attorneys, Governor Andrew Cuomo late last month signed a bill (A.5619/S.5160) into law will protect defendants in foreclosure court from a legal loop-hole in regards to raising the defense of “standing.”
Ongoing Series on the Federal Reserve’s
2019 Bailout of Wall Street
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(Latest articles appear first.) New York Fed Plans to Throw $2.93 Trillion at Wall Street’s Trading Houses Over Next Month as New York Times Remains Silent...
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In an interview, ex-FDIC chief Sheila Bair says weakening the post-crisis rules is wrongheaded and that a Monte Paschi-type event could happen again.
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The Federal Reserve’s ongoing efforts to shore up the short-term “repo” lending markets have begun to rattle some market experts. The New York Federal Reserve has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to keep credit flowing through short term money markets since mid-September when a shortage of liquidity caused a spike in overnight borrowing rates. But as the Fed’s interventions have entered a third month, concerns about the market’s dependence on its daily doses of liquidity have grown.
Articles Updated 112819
TYNGSBORO — With just a week before the Stonehedge Hotel and Spa is set to go up for foreclosure auction, the hotel’s owner is taking the mortgage lender, Lowell Five Bank, to court. Boston East Tyngsboro Holdings, LLC, the hotel’s parent corporation, filed a motion in Middlesex County Superior Court on Wednesday asking for a preliminary injunction to prevent the auction from going forward. The company also filed a civil complaint against the bank seeking damages and injunctive relief related to “breach of contract, unjust enrichment, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, tortious interference with contract” and violations of consumer-protection laws under Massachusetts General Laws 93A.
Articles Updated 112019
A recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit offers some vindication for mortgage companies still facing “repurchase” demands made by the banks to which they sold residential mortgages in the years leading up to the financial crisis
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WAYNE – A U.S. Army Iraq War Veteran is suing Carrington Mortgage over allegations it refused to offer him mortgage loan assistance and filed for foreclosure on his East Lynn farm where he and his son live after his estranged wife emptied their bank account.
Travis Blankenship filed a complaint in Wayne Circuit Court against Carrington Mortgage Services LLC alleging illegal debt collection, misrepresentations in debt collection, unconscionable conduct in debt collection and breach of contract.
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Citing “capitalism” as a defense no assassin would be set free because he killed for money. Nobody in their right mind would accept a defense of capitalism for someone who robbed, poisoned, shot, stabbed, or stole from a person or company if the defense was “I did it for the money.” That’s not capitalism. It’s robbery, assault, murder or theft.
Articles Updated 102819
The bottom line is that Ocwen really serves only one primary purpose: to be a front for investment banks that are still taking everyone to the cleaners. It is effectively owned and operated by the investment banks.
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Just assume that everything is a fiction and none of it is real. Then set out to create the inference against the use of key legal presumptions necessary for the foreclosure mill to establish a prima facie case. Those presumptions lead to conclusions that are contrary to facts in the real world.
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Yesterday, at a speaking event in Denver at the National Association of Business Economists, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that a larger, long-term bailout of Wall Street is coming.
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And this is why we’ve been telling you to look more closely at assignments of mortgage and deeds of trust. It appears the Maine Supremes decided Beal Bank wasn’t entitled to an Assignment of Mortgage by a defunct lender, New Century Mortgage Corporation.
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It’s not surprising that the mainstream media has ignored the on-going repercussions of the foreclosure crisis; that apocalyptic displacement of millions of homeowners following the 2008 meltdown. It’s not surprising that there seems to be no acknowledgement among the current stable of Democratic Presidential hopefuls — with the notable exception of Bernie Sanders — that justice delayed is justice denied.
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This is perfect example of what I have been talking about. The article raises legal points that are entirely correct. But it begs the question — who actually owned the debt by virtue of having paid money for it?
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has all but wiped out Certified Forensic Loan Auditors in California in the filing of a Complaint for Permanent and Injunctive Relief.
Articles Updated 090419
Foreclosures caused by a burst housing bubble have many long-term consequences for the housing market. Researchers have an unusual suggestion for how government officials can counteract the bad effects of a housing bubble. A new working paper authored by researchers at Boston University and Stanford University investigates the ways in which foreclosures exacerbate a housing bust and reduce prices for non-distressed homes. The researchers also investigated foreclosure mitigation approaches and proposed a novel way through which government officials could stem the onset of future housing downturns.
Articles Updated 083119
On June 25, 2019, we tried a foreclosure case in circuit court on behalf of a Hillsborough County homeowner. The bench trial resulted in the Court granting our motion for an involuntary dismissal of the foreclosure action.
Articles Updated 082419
As we all continue to fight what we know are wrongful foreclosures we struggle with how to reveal that to a judge in a way that is so compelling that even the most bank biased judge will feel so uncomfortable with the proof that he or she is compelled to rule for the homeowner.
Articles Updated 081719
Hat Tip Bill Paatalo You are right, Bill. You can’t make this stuff up. But somehow judges still don’t want to believe it. How can you be attorney in fact for a nonexistent entity? law-firm-finally-admits-the-absence-of-any-mortgagee.
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Faced with a notice of foreclosure sale from a company claiming to be the trustee on a deed of trust, homeowners in judicial states.
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After talks with well-connected lawyers for Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland, senior Justice Department officials in Washington last year told career prosecutors who’d been investigating the banks’ misdeeds to settle for less than they wanted.
Articles Updated 072619
Philadelphia was hit hard by the Great Recession of 2008. According to a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia experienced the second-largest decline in homeownership of the nation’s 30 largest cities
Articles Updated 071319
It’s Time to Make Your Voice Heard!!!
Testify in Support of MAAPL’s Anti-Foreclosure Bills
Tuesday, July 16?th
Massachusetts State House, Room A1
Beacon Hill, Boston
Articles Updated 070419
No further words needed… She finally succumbed to the big “C” but never relented in her struggle with Bank of America. Susan’s fighting spirit — and her grace — will be her legacy; something Bank of America will never take away from her.
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A 10-minute closing may sound like it’s great for the borrower, but one expert questions if the consumer would really benefit from faster closings.
Articles Updated 061919
City of Miami officials have partnered with one of Miami’s most outspoken foreclosure defense litigators to establish a novel method of adding affordable housing to the city.
Articles Updated 061119
Another case showing shifting attitudes toward illegal foreclosures. At the trial level there have been many such decisions, some with an expanded finding of fact showing that the foreclosure was a sham.
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THE CLAIM FOR HOMEOWNER ROYALTIES It is like any hedge contract. The buyer of the hedge contract is the investment bank, sometimes working through sham conduits.
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CFPB accused BSI of improperly handling mortgage servicing transfers.
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WASHINGTON — Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson appeared to be unaware of a basic housing term during a hearing Tuesday, confusing "real estate owned," or REO, with an Oreo cookie.
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References to sales of loans and servicing rights are usually merely false assertions to distract homeowners and lawyers from looking at what is really happened. By accepting the premise that the loan was sold you are accepting that the loan was (a) real and (b) owned by the party who was designated to appear as a “Seller.”
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If a handful of Republicans in the Senate have their way, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will not exist for much longer, as for at least the third time in the last few years, Republicans are trying to kill the CFPB.
Articles Updated 050119
MERS owner, Intercontinental Exchange, is buying Simplifile for $335 million ICE is the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange and is also a provider of data and listings services, and the company bought MERS last year. And now, ICE is buying Simplifile, which operates one of the largest networks connecting the agents and jurisdictions that underpin residential mortgage records.
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Many debt collectors are engaged in foreclosure. And under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors are required to stop collecting when a consumer sends a request for verification or validation of the debt.
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Attacks on technical deficiencies of assignments of mortgage is a great place to start, but it is not the finish line.
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Judge David Miller's wrote that the specific application of the Florida Fair Foreclosure Act—a 2013 law created in response to the housing crisis— to a case before him was at odds with the Florida Constitution.
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When I last left Sherry?—?a very unhappy California homeowner?—?she had just been arrested in Washington DC; literally, while trying to block the entrance to the vaunted white shoe law firm.
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The issues plaguing Wells Fargo and other banks bring to the fore the Glass-Steagall Act, which does not rest in peace. Its lessons surface and rise continuously; they are hard to ignore.
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A Man Holds a Sign During a Protest On Wall Street Against the United States Government's Rescue Plan For Failing Financial Institutions in New York, 2008.
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Referring to the default as real, but with an explanation of how it is subject to rationalization or argument, completely undermines your argument that they have no right to be in court, to collect, to issue notices or initiate foreclosure.
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For ten years, Gary Dubin in Hawaii has been practicing law defending homeowners from foreclosure. He has preached his own version of how to combat foreclosure fraud. And he has practiced what he preached. I find his work enlightening and refreshing. So when I read his Proposed Mortgage Integrity Act (MIA) I decided to republish it in its entirety.
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Watch out for the discrepancy between enforcement of a note and enforcement of an encumbrance. Enforcement of the note requires proof that the claimant is the owner of the debt, or has been authorized by the owner of the debt to enforce the note. Enforcement of the mortgage requires that the claimant be the owner of the debt.
Articles Updated 021819
The answer is complicated. On its face and on its own the answer is obvious: since MERS never has any ownership of the debt or the note, it cannot transfer either one.
Articles Updated 021219
To protect Main Street Americans — consumers, investors, homeowners, students, soldiers, retirees and the elderly — from predatory financial behavior and financial instability that can lead to devastating financial crashes like 2008, the Dodd-Frank law created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
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This is an educational overview as to what has taken place in the American legal forums in the last two decades and my take on what it all means:
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I read a lot. I came across this article today published in 2016. Nobody has paid attention to it but as far as I can tell on first skim, the author has both coined the name “rogue REMIC” and described it well enough to come to a conclusion, to wit: everything about them is a scam and no legal standing exists with respect to them. I would only add that the author is incorrectly assuming that any securitization took place or if it was, as Adam Levitin coined the phrase, “Securitization Fail.”
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Without a contract in writing executed with the formalities required for transfer of interests in real property, it is highly probable that any instrument executed on behalf of MERS means nothing.
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CLEVELAND, OHIO, UNITED STATES, January 7, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ -- DannLaw attorneys today filed suit against Wells Fargo on behalf of two borrowers who lost their homes after the bank refused to grant mortgage loan modifications for which they qualified.
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BlueHub Capital, the nonprofit organization I am honored to lead, has developed a proven strategy to help families devastated by foreclosures. We brought our program to Maryland to help hardworking families and communities still recovering from the housing crisis. BlueHub SUN negotiates with mortgage issuers to acquire properties before evictions occur.
Articles Updated 122018
Today’s show is about a Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanza miracle all wrapped up into one. After 10 years of fighting banks about fraudulent evidence, we finally broke through. JP Morgan Chase got caught using fake evidence at trial. We just settled with an agreement to strike the mortgage and settle the unclean hands allegations for a confidential amount. Grab some popcorn and listen in to this very special holiday miracle show.
Articles Updated 121218
Wells Fargo says a computer glitch is partly to blame for an New York (CNN Business)Foreclosures can be extremely painful events. Imagine finding out years later that it was all a big mistake. That's exactly what happened to Jeff and Eva Reiner. The couple turned to Wells Fargo (WFC), their mortgage servicer, for help making their payments after Eva, the family's breadwinner, was laid off by Verizon (VZ) in 2010.
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Wells Fargo says a computer glitch is partly to blame for an error affecting an estimated 545 customers who lost their homes. The giant bank filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month, revealing it incorrectly denied 870 loan modification requests. About 60 percent of those homeowners went into foreclosure. Legislators, housing advocates, regulators and most importantly, the people who lost their homes – people like Jose Aguilar – are asking how this happened.
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Ultimately all debts, notes and mortgages (or deeds of trust) are about money. They are not about property. The property is incidental to the deal and ONLY comes about if there is a dispute in which there is a claim that you didn’t pay money that is owed to the owner of the mortgage deed or the beneficial owner of a deed of trust.
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First as the recipient of our commitment to “Pay it Forward”, the information, love, commitment to justice and resources necessary for you to fight for your home and increasingly, our members are winning!
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The bottom line is that the loans themselves were fatally defective in terms of the loan documents. The money was delivered but not by the named “lender” nor anyone in privity with the named lender.
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ON THE CAMPAIGN trail, Donald Trump frequently pledged to “dismantle” the Dodd-Frank financial reforms passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. On Wednesday, with the Federal Reserve’s release of a proposal to roll back capital and liquidity requirements, he caught his big whale.
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After five years of work, nearly 6.5 million US court cases are now available to access for free online.
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As promised, I bring you the latest relevant case from the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the Big Easy. But wait … it wasn’t a “big easy” for the borrower, whose case I worked on long ago (in doing a chain of title assessment for) and whose assignments of deed of trust I use in my chain of title workshops to show “document manufacturing gone wrong”.
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In an eye-opening piece by 60 Minutes this week, Scott Pelley managed to actually interview robo-signers who had forged documents that allowed banks to foreclose on thousands of homes illegally. As we have discussed over the past few years, these document mills re-created the necessary documents that banks were too lazy to keep track of in the heyday of the housing bubble.
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Susan Richardson, a Bank of America foreclosure victim, certainly hopes so. With bated breath she’s following a drama currently playing out in a California bankruptcy court.
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A new federally funded program is now accepting applications for mortgage assistance payments in Florida. The Florida Hardest-Hit program pays an applicant’s mortgage for up to six months to help them to focus on finding a job. There is a maximum, however, of $12,000. Also, the program will pay out up to $6,000 to bring loans current. If this seems meager, it is.
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Today, September 25, 2018, twenty-one self-represented defendants fighting against the illegal foreclosure of their homes completed the filing and service of a petition to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, critical to the due process and appeal rights of the Inhabitants of Massachusetts under the state Constitution.
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"The recommendations set forth by this committee will further improve on efforts to resolve housing disputes in a fair and equitable manner that benefits homeowners, lenders and communities throughout New Jersey," said the chairman
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The Recovery Threw the Middle-Class Dream Under a Benz Once a year or so, the economist Diane Swonk ventures into the basement of her 1891 Victorian house outside Chicago.
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The American Nightmare TEN YEARS AGO, THE ECONOMY WAS IMPLODING. In late 2017, we asked readers to tell us their foreclosure stories. More than 50 people responded. Over and over, they used the same word. Nightmare.
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Wells Fargo executives know that everyone hates them. In the last two years, the bank has launched three separate marketing campaigns hoping to clean up its public image, only to see each effort thwarted by fresh, catastrophic scandals.
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Let the blowback begin. A New York homeowner last week fought back against the denial of a mortgage modification by Wells Fargo — using as a cudgel in the bitter spat the bank’s admission just weeks earlier that a computer glitch wrongly denied hundreds of customers home loan help.
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PLAINTIFF ENGAGED IN UNCLEAN HANDS TRYING TO PROVE STANDING TO FORECLOSE Unclean Hands Re: the Purported Mortgage Loan Schedule for the Trust.
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THERE’S A HOT new trend in Donald Trump’s Washington: the “Mulvaney discount.” After pausing enforcement work when Acting Director Mick Mulvaney took over.
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ON THURSDAY, THE Senate Banking Committee heard from Kathy Kraninger, an official at the Office of Management and Budget with no background in financial regulation or consumer protection.
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Most people really don’t completely understand our premise when we investigate, research, examine and analyze a case or case documents. We have several premises with which we start and check to to see if they apply. While the answer is short the work behind it is long and complicated.
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My confidence has never been higher that the handling of money after a foreclosure sale will reveal the fraudulent nature of most “foreclosures” initiated not on behalf of the owner of the debt but in spite of the the owner(s) of the debt.
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This Firm "cut its teeth" in its pro bono representation of the LaRace family before the Land Court, and in the National precedent setting case, U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n v. Ibanez 458 Mass. 637 (Mass SJC 2011). Indeed, the case has became to be known nationally as simply "Ibanez", or "the Ibanez case", or in Massachusetts as "the Ibanez problem." [relating to title to real property].
Articles Updated 061818
President Trump has yet to formally name Kathy Kraninger as his choice to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but her nomination is already in trouble — and that may be just fine with the White House.
Articles Updated 061218
Wells Fargo isn’t the only bank where heavy sales pressure led employees to open fake accounts. A federal review triggered by
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On Wednesday, Federal bank regulators proposed to allow Wall Street more freedom to make riskier bets with federally-insured bank deposits – such as the money in your checking and savings accounts.
Articles Updated 052918
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has entered a new decision explaining the requirements for a valid foreclosure. In the case of Eaton v. Fannie Mae,
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In summary, the plaintiff must be the holder of the note and mortgage with the right of enforcement of both instruments in order to bring a meritorious foreclosure action in Ohio.1 What is the statute of limitations for a foreclosure action in Ohio? Ohio law has two distinct statutes of limitation for enforcing notes and mortgages. The Ohio Supreme Court in Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust Co. v. Holden ruled that an action to collect on a note is separate and distinct from an action to foreclose on a mortgage.
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KELI N. JOHNSON and THOMAS E. JOHNSON, Appellants, v. DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY AMERICAS, as Trustee RALI 2007-QS1, Appellee. Case No. 2D16-4262.
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Deutsche Bank said they were happy to settle with the Federal Reserve. Why is Deutsche Bank happy to settle?
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For years I have been saying and writing about the fact that the apparent servicer actually does nothing. Ocwen’s source of data capture and maintenance has been
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to the Trump administration's top consumer protection official late Thursday asking him whether he is doing the bidding of the industries he is supposed to be policing.
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The interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney, told a group of over 1,000 bankers and lobbyists that they should give more money in campaign contributions if they want to weaken the power of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
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This case shows that juries are still angry about the 2008 meltdown and that the entire burden was shifted to homeowners and taxpayers — who “bailed out” financial institutions that had no losses.
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Reuters reports fine would cover mortgage lending and auto insurance issues. Could Wells Fargo be facing a record fine from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?
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On Wednesday, MERSCORP and eOriginal announced the launch of a new solution both companies say will enable originators to accelerate digital mortgage adoption.
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| American Veteran’s 12 year battle with bank ends with Appellate Court reversing the lower court and dismissing foreclosure as barred by the statute of limitations.
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EUGENE, Ore. - The Ulino couple has been facing an interesting situation for four years now. In 2014 they began receiving letters and phone calls from United Security Financial claiming they owed them money in mortgage payments, but the couple claimed they'd never done business with the bank.
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The Washington State Legislature is one vote away from making changes to Bill 2057 that would be detrimental to homeowners.
Articles Updated 031218
Wronged Homeowners to Submit Video Proof of Criminal Fraud by Mega-Banks to Worcester District Attorney.
Articles Updated 030718
I was rummaging through some recent cases when I found a case involving HSBC Bank USA, NA who was acting as a Trustee for a REMIC, which got me thinking.
Articles Updated 030218
The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced this week that the Federal Housing Administration is extending the foreclosure moratorium for Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands..
Articles Updated 022718
The city of Sacramento has filed a federal lawsuit against Wells Fargo alleging the banking giant steers African American and Latino borrowers into high-risk and high-cost mortgages.
Articles Updated 022218
On January 14, the California Supreme Court issued its opinion in Riverisland Cold Storage v. Fresno-Madera Production Credit Assn., which takes away a lender defense to borrower fraud claims and will therefore have a significant impact on all California lenders.
Articles Updated 021718
The House of Representatives last night approved a bill that could bring big changes to the mortgage industry, including making it easier for loan originators to move from a traditional bank to a nonbank.
Articles Updated 021218
Back in May 2017, President Donald Trump’s 2018 federal budget proposal put the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in its crosshairs, recommending slashing the bureau’s budget to almost nothing as a method to rein in the seemingly negative impact of the CFPB on consumers.
Articles Updated 020718
A bankruptcy judge who slammed Bank of America Corp. for its treatment of a California couple over a foreclosure declined a request to tear up the scathing opinion, saying it was important “to name and to shame” the company in order to shed light on practices that affect consumers.
Your voice gets results! Call your State Representative and Senator, and ask them to Report MAAPL’s Bills Out of Committee before February 7th!Why? After the 7th, any bill still in committee goes nowhere!.
Articles Updated 020218
The way the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau enforces fair lending laws could be about to significantly change after CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney reportedly stripped the bureau’s Office of Fair Lending of its enforcement powers.
Articles Updated 012918
Too bad there is no bureau to protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau....
When a judge looks carefully at the record, the bank loses. The use of Deutsch’s name in the style of the case still shows that Judges are considering the Plaintiff to be the named “Trustee” instead of the named (or named, which is frequently the case) Trust. In fact the Trustee has nothing to do with foreclosures. In this case the Judge wrote the following:
Your voice gets results! Call both your Representative & Senator at the State House. Ask them to support MAAPL’s Resolution Trust Fund & Mediation Alternative to Foreclosure bills: H3676 & S500/H550.
“One who comes into equity must come with clean hands else all relief will be denied him regardless of merit of his claim and is not essential that act be a crime; it is enough that it be condemned by honest and reasonable men” Roberts v Roberts, 84 So.2d 717 (Fla. 1956)
It sounds almost biblical; a pronouncement from up high and a warning that those who crave riches must do so by ethical means: so-called “clean hands.”
Reaches settlement with CIT Bank, additional settlement on restated financials
It’s been a year of settlements for Ocwen Financial. For example, earlier this year, Ocwen reached a $223 million settlement with the California Department of Business Oversight, ridding itself of the restrictions that hampered its mortgage business in California for more than two years....
On Tuesday, September 26th, five of MAAPL’s bills will have a hearing before the Judiciary committee of the MA legislature. Please come to the State House and support these bills!
The following bills will be heard:
Foreclosure Review Division of Superior Court (S903/H3059) Sponsors: Sen. McGee & Rep. Gonzalez Face Sheet on this Bill ( PDF ) This Bill establishes a statewide, specialized division of Superior Court to adjudicate all aspects of foreclosure-related cases, instead of the several courts that now have jurisdiction over one or another aspect of such cases. The Foreclosure Review Division will be empowered to clear title to foreclosed properties, both for those foreclosed and for third-party purchasers, and will provide online and other assistance to pro se litigants. It will free up regular court dockets and promote judicial economy.
Clarifying Municipal Authority (S884/H1115) Sponsors: Sen. Lesser, Sen. Chandler, Sen. McGee and Rep. Tosado Fact Sheet on this Bill ( PDF ) The bill clarifies that municipalities can continue to exercise their health and safety powers in service of their residents even in the context of this foreclosure crisis. Worcester successfully ran a groundbreaking cash bond program for over 5 years and Lynn showed that pre-foreclosure mediation can result in mutually agreed upon affordable loan modifications leading to avoidance of foreclosure in 97% of cases.
Preventing Unnecessary Vacancies (S841/H956) Sponsors: Sen. Eldridge and Rep. Sanchez Fact Sheet on this Bill ( PDF ) This Bill requires a commercial purchaser of a foreclosed home to rent it to the “foreclosed” homeowner until the property is sold to a new owner-occupant. The former owners become tenants paying the HUD fair market rent for their units. Post-foreclosure tenants can be evicted only for just cause.
Real Estate Title Protection Act (H3500) Sponsors: Rep. Moran and Rep. Mark Fact Sheet on this Bill ( PDF ) This Bill protects real estate titles; its provisions ensure, for instance, that the mortgagor (borrower) can always tell who owns the mortgage, and require the Mortgage Note to be returned to the mortgagor, marked “Paid in Full,” upon payoff. It requires Registries of Deeds to record each mortgage in the names of the real parties in interest, that is, the mortgagor and lender. It institutes deadlines for recording assignments of mortgage and foreclosure deeds. Protecting marketable title will bolster business creation by facilitating entrepreneurs’ mortgages on their own homes; these historically have provided up to 70% of the credit for new U.S. businesses.
Judicial Foreclosure (S763/H2349) Sponsors: Sen. Brady and Rep. Smizik Fact Sheet on this Bill ( PDF ) This Bill requires foreclosure of 1-4 family homes to be conducted through a court action. A party wishing to foreclose must provide the legal documentation to prove to a judge that it is the mortgage-holder before it forecloses. With our present non-judicial foreclosures, the burden is on a wronged homeowner to get a judge to order the foreclosing party to produce this evidence. Judicial Foreclosure will prevent foreclosures by those with no authority to foreclose, and prevent clouds on title presently created during non-judicial foreclosures.
Mortgage Servicer’s Widespread Errors, Shortcuts, and Runarounds Cost Borrowers Money, Homes
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today sued one of the country’s largest nonbank mortgage loan servicers, Ocwen Financial Corporation, and its subsidiaries for failing borrowers at every stage of the mortgage servicing process...
SO CLOSE! MAAPL is so close! We are within $2,630 of our $7,400* goal to complete the lawsuit preparations, challenge and stop the Homeowner Rights stripping law aka S2015. Please contribute to the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending. MAAPL needed to break this powerful constitutional lawsuit into two pieces. The first, small lawsuit seeks to extend the deadline for homeowners to record to preserve their rights. This piece was successfully filed (see links to coverage at www.MAAPL.info). But Massachusetts Chapter 141 of the Laws of 2015 —S2015 itself— is completely unconstitutional! To challenge it and file that more fundamental suit in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, MAAPL must now raise the rest of the $7,400 to cover its separate filing fee and pay the lawyer who did the majority of the (fabulous) writing. We’re so close! We’re so excited! When foreclosed homeowners find out they can fight back, it is life-changing! The stories I’ve heard at our outreach clinics have been horrifying: one couple was pressured into a cash for keys deal when their brother had just been found dead in the house while trying to help them pack up! But we’ve also received profound thanks: seen people cry on someone’s shoulder in appreciation and then watched them walk out of the clinics with heads high, empowered to fight back. Affidavits filed at the registry have stopped sales of 3 homes already and one saved their court case which they won! We must challenge S2015 in Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Will you donate $50 or what you are able to MAAPL now? Go to www.MAAPL.info, look on home page, right hand column for our protected, PayPal donation site for our protected, PayPal donation site. Love, Grace *Special thanks to all of you who have contributed already!!! And special shout out to the Green-Rainbow Party for their additional solicitation! MAAPL – The Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending A coalition of local and state-wide organizations working together to reverse the foreclosure crisis. MAAPL.INFO
In the days leading up to the February 23, 2017 filing deadline to retain your 20 year right to challenge your foreclosure in court,
MAAPL is scheduling a series of Anti-Foreclosure Legal Clinics in key towns and cities across Massachusetts to help homeowners file their affidavits at their local Registry of Deeds.
What if thousands joined the fight and reversed the tide on the banks? Your getting the word out right now could make this a reality.
Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending is in a massive push to reach the 77,000 who have been foreclosed (no doubt illegally) in Massachusetts.
1. That most foreclosures have been illegal and people can now fight and win.
2. They have 20 years after the foreclosure happened to rejoin the fight and get justice.
3. They have go to try to get to a clinic or get in touch with MAAPL right now.
The next deadline for protecting their rights is February 23, 2017. www.maapl.info links to the clinics that have been scheduled across the state.
Those fighting foreclosure can also call in any Sunday night,
RIGHT NOW, we need you to be the arms and voices to reach folks who are alone, feeling isolated and ashamed.
Normally notification would be the responsibility of our Attorney General, but she hasn’t done it.
NOW we need you to make it a reality. These are the last of the clinics in Massachusetts!!!
- Monday, Feb. 20th, 4-8pm: New Bedford, MA Anti-Foreclosure Clinic
- Tuesday, Feb. 21st, 6:30-9pm: Franklin County Anti-Foreclosure Clinic
- Wednesday, Feb. 22nd, 1:00-5:00 pm Roxbury, MA Anti-Foreclosure Clinic
Tennessee courts are no longer blindly accepting the “we have the Note, therefore we win” position consistently taken by the “banks” and servicers.
Wells Fargo Bank has been ordered to pay a Dallas woman more than $8 million by a state judge who concluded the bank defrauded her in serving as a trustee for a trust established when she was orphaned at age 7. On June 30, Tobolowsky ruled in favor of Militello’s claims that she had been cheated out of her funds. That amount includes more than $1.5 million in losses, $1 million for mental anguish, and $3.5 million in exemplary — or punitive — damages. The total also includes various amounts for interest, costs and nearly $500,000 in attorneys’ fees.
The CFPB alleged the bank illegally relied on robo-signing — signing mass quantities of documents without verifying the data in those accounts — and provided inaccurate information to third-party debt collectors when it sold the accounts. The bureau also said that Chase filed misleading lawsuits using inaccurate information to obtain debt collection judgments — on accounts that were paid off, discharged in bankruptcy, or otherwise were uncollectable.
Imagine how outrageous it would be if some Wall Street sharpies went to court to argue that they didn’t benefit enough from the bailouts and that taxpayers should pay them tens of billions of dollars more. In fact, they did. And, according to legal observers, they just might prevail.
"While the bank claims that these were communications with its agent, it has produced nothing to show that coaxing witnesses to commit perjury was part of its agency agreement with Ocwen, Ice wrote in a May 28 response to Sokolof's motion; It's just trying to get even with us for letting the world know what they're doing. You can't protect future fraud on the court by way of attorney-client privilege."
UPDATE: Glaski and the WAMU Trust
I note for the Court's benefit that a transfer to the Trust on June 11, 2009 is a legal impossibility for a number of reasons. I cannot conclude that this particular mortgage loan was ever owned by any of the parties. It is my opinion that this Trust does not own this mortgage loan. (This is why the banks do not want us questioning the trusts.)
Mains lost in the trial court and the appellate court affirmed.
Though defendants’ November 15, 2012, motion seeking vacatur of the summary judgment was not filed within 30 days of that judgment, defendants’ challenge was not untimely. The final judgment in a mortgage foreclosure action is the order confirming the sale and ordering the distribution of proceeds. EMC Mortgage Corp. v. Kemp
Foreclosure Auction Bid-Rigging or Fraud
The mortgage industry in America is saturated in fraud from appraisals to the sale of foreclosed properties, especially properties seized though illegal foreclosure. In some cases, it appears local sheriffs, judges, foreclosure-mills and title companies are willfully participating in and profiting from the illegal activities surrounding these rigged auctions.
(This link takes you to our Daily News page where we have linked to the referenced cases from 2012/2013 demonstrating the complete securitization fail. Anyone who is arguing secuitization, should file these cases with the Court.)
The true ownership of millions of mortgages issued during the housing bubble was fatally corrupted, and now it's impossible to prove who actually legally controls those mortgages.
Foreclosure defense attorney Thomas Ice said he's uncovered a script that was provided to Ocwen witnesses to crush homeowner defenses and allegations of robo-witnesses by financial services sector employees who have no first-hand knowledge of mortgage details.
No Statute of Limitations on VOID Deed
Under our prior case law it is well-settled that a forged deed is void ab initio, meaning a legal nullity at its inception. As such, any encumbrance upon real property based on a forged deed is null and void. Therefore, the statute of limitations set forth in CPLR 213 (8) does not foreclose plaintiff's claim against defendant. As the Appellate Division affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff's claims as time-barred, we now reverse.
REFERENCED: ["(o)f course, there is no statute of limitations in respect to the challenge of a forged deed, which is void ab initio"]; The high court of West Virginia, for example, has observed that "there is no statute of limitations regarding void deeds"; "while the high court of Idaho held that " [b]ecause [a] lease agreement was void ab initio, it could be challenged at any time"
All 700 employees let go.
Law firm of Butler and Hosch, P.A closes its doors overnight with a memo to employees on 5/14. Their website says that the firm provides “cradle to grave” service in all aspects of real estate and mortgage serving law (eviction, foreclosures, litigation, loss mitigation, REO, Title) since 1972 all under one roof.
Award and recognition: LPS Attorney Performance “Best in State” award for foreclosure and bankruptcy.
Additional information sent to MSFraud: A quote from an employee on Glass door: Pros “None to speak of at this point…Can list a whole laundry list of cons, nothing more to say… the company had gone under Cons “Everything about [firm] is a con…. (posted 5/14) Posted 5/13 Pros There is a lot of dating within the company pool; Cons “Disfunction junction. Ethics not a thing at [firm] “The problems with management are exacerbated by the problems with the off shore employees. Manilla employees speak almost zero English. Just enough to merge a pleading and fill in some blanks. There is no quality control and only one native English speaker in the entire Manilla office. And then management is “shocked” when client systems are updated incorrectly or pleadings are filled with blatant errors.”
DAVID J. STERN
Florida law provides that a judgment can be opened or vacated if it was obtained by fraud, or if it is void, and also has a “crime/fraud” exception to the attorney/client privilege which does not protect communications between a party and its attorney if those communications were made in furtherance of the perpetration of or for the purpose of committing a crime or fraud even if the crime or fraud is not consummated.
An Old Remedy Has New Teeth
That cheaters should not be allowed to prosper has long been central to the moral fabric of our society and one of the underpinnings of our legal system.
Dismissal with prejudice has long been available as the ultimate civil sanction against litigation misconduct, but is often bypassed
The defendant waived the defense of lack of standing.
(This reversal does not validate the VOID assignment.)
The earlier decision in
their Foreclosure Specialist didn't know anything about anything.
Lend America did not deliver the subject note to MERS. The subject mortgage did not give MERS the authority to assign the subject note.
In September 2010, Residential Credit Solutions began rejecting Hammer's monthly payments and refused to acknowledge the existence of the loan modification. RCS then proceeded to prosecute two separate foreclosure actions against Hammer, despite the fact that Hammer, still to this day, has tendered all of her monthly payments as required under the loan modification agreement. The first foreclosure case was dismissed in favor of Hammer and against RCS in 2011.
government says in suit.
The U.S. government alleges Quicken Loans knowingly violated mortgage underwriting practices just to close bad loans insured by FHA -- a practice it says has cost taxpayers millions of dollars and hurt neighborhoods when the houses went into foreclosure.
name-calling, inflated payments, lies
The Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau allege Green Tree has spent the years since the financial crisis terrorizing homeowners.
Green Tree abused homeowners who are behind on their mortgages by swearing at them, calling them names, mocking their illnesses and threatening them with prison will pay out more than $60 million.
Moved to Seize Widow’s Home.
But didn’t tell her the loan was insured.
When her husband passed away in 2003, Select Portfolio and Bank of America did not arrange a payoff of the $100,000 policy and continued to charge his widow an insurance premium every month along with her mortgage payment.
How many don't know their home was insured?
"It truly concerns me, however, that thousands and thousands -- thousands and thousands of mortgage foreclosure actions have been filed with these allegations. I am not certain what remedy, if any, these people would have were it to be determined that MERS was not ever the proper party notwithstanding that these folks [might] have been in default what their recourse, if any, would be. I'm not certain with the satisfaction of mortgages that have been filed on behalf of MERS how good those are and I am not certain how good title to property is that people bought at these foreclosure sales if it turns or becomes established that MERS was indeed not only not the right party but misrepresented by way of their pleadings and affidavits that they held something they didn't own, so I'm not certain of the consequences but it seems vast."
- The Honorable Judge Jon Gordon - September 2005 (Emphasis added)