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Mortgage Servicing Fraud
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.
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Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals re: Summary Judgment Reversed for Appraisal Fraud


JDSupra A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 23 reversed an award of summary judgment to a mortgage lender, a mortgage brokerage firm and its principals after finding that an appraisal that inflated the value of a man's home as part of the formation of an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan was the proximate cause of his alleged financial injury.

On appeal, Wallace argues that the district court erred in concluding he did not sufficiently demonstrate that the allegedly fraudulent appraisal proximately caused his financial injuries. We agree. 


More Courts Reject Eleventh-Hour Attempts To Avoid Foreclosure Based On An Alleged Lack Of Standing

Real Estate Law Community There is now a clear trend against allowing defendants to stay silent in the face of a foreclosure lawsuit only to appear at the last minute, usually on the eve of a sheriff's sale, and seek to vacate final judgment based on an alleged lack of standing to foreclose. Two recent Appellate Division cases continue to bring this point home.

Couple say BB&T violated consumer credit act

WV Record The plaintiffs claim they retained counsel to represent their interest in connection with consumer indebtedness and informed BB&T of their representation and provided it with their counsel’s contact information.

BB&T continued to attempt to communicate with the plaintiffs after being informed of their representation, according to the suit.

Fannie Mae Evicts Family in Foreclosure, Then Installs Armed Guards

Typical cost for private security indicates that Fannie Mae is spending $480-$600 a day, or $15,000 a month on 24-hour armed guards. Since the Austins' January eviction, Fannie Mae has spent nearly $50,000 of essentially public money to keep one home empty.

truthout Of all the banks foreclosing on homes, Fannie Mae is in the best position to simply stop foreclosing and work with homeowners to renegotiate their mortgages. There is a national effort through the Home Defenders Network for Fannie Mae to immediately reinstate the Austins into their home, work with the family to return them to their home permanently, and replicate that model with families all around the country. Fannie Mae could be setting a national example of getting families back in their homes with minimal harm; instead they are preying on working people and acting like the big wholly private banks. In the end, foreclosure and eviction are bigger than one family. It is time to put a moratorium on evictions, while the Attorney General investigates the big banks for fraud and irregularity.

Another MERS county recording-fee suit dismissed

Housing Wire The recording-fee issue has been a contentious one for MERS. And while dismissals have leaned in MERS' favor in several cases, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania green lighted a county recorder's class-action lawsuit on behalf of all Pennsylvania county recorders against MERS last year.


Bank Of America Asks Judge to Throw Out U.S. Lawsuit Over Countrywide Mortgages

Fox Business The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan last October, includes claims under the 1989 Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), a law enacted following the savings-and-loan crisis, and the False Claims Act, which allows the U.S. to seek triple damages in cases where the federal government is found to have been defrauded.

US Homeownership Rate Drops To 1995 Levels

Tyler Durden It is this "everyone else" that is once again being forced out of housing due to both the ramping bubble in housing prices making housing affordable primarily to those who buy with the intention of flipping, and due to the lack of available credit to those who actually need it (see sad state of commercial bank loans in the US).

Paulson Leads Hedge-Fund Lobby Push to Privatize Fannie

Hedge funds including Paulson & Co. Inc. are pushing Congress to abandon plans to liquidate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as investors buy up preferred stock that has long been considered [[worthless]], according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

Bloomberg Treasury holds $188.5 billion in senior preferred shares in the two companies, representing the amount of aid they have drawn from taxpayers to stay afloat. The companies have sent back $65.2 billion in dividends, which count as a return on the government’s investment and not as a repayment.



DEFICIENCY JUDGMENTS – Is your Court a Collection Agency for Crooks? Class Action Filed in Hawaii.

The COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF was brought on an emergency basis on behalf of every past, present and future borrower and guarantor of every residential and commercial mortgage loan on real property situated in the State of Hawaii who has been, is being, or will be subject to a determination and/or enforcement of a foreclosure monetary deficiency judgment in this District and in Hawaii State Courts.

Searchable Complaint in: Agbannaoag v.  Circuit Judges of the First, Second, Third, and Fifth Circuits of the State of Hawaii

Deadlly Clear It’s not bad enough to lose your home to the banksters that fraudulently inflated your appraisal, filed fraudulent robo-signed fabricated documents in your state recordation offices and in court, rigged your LIBOR interest rate, lied, cheated and stole your home getting away with everything; but then they turn around and sell your home to themselves for half price and then sell it again for less than you owe to someone else. Lord (and DeMarco) only know, why they won’t sell it back to you for the lower price. But they don’t.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, you’ve lost your life’s savings, all the equity you thought you were accumulating for retirement and the kids’ college, you’ve lost your job because the banksters crashed the economy – in essence your whole world has been turned upside down and destroyed – then the bastards file a deficiency judgment against you for the fictitious difference between what they gave the property away for and what your owed.

Mortgage re-defaults increasing at an 'alarming rate'

Modifications INCREASE payment amounts instead of DECREASING them!

ConsumerAffairs “We had our mortgage through Litton,” she writes. “We began calling, requesting a loan modification for our mortgage. We were told to fax various types of information -- tax returns, pay stubs, etc. This was faxed a minimum for four times and every time we were advised the forms were never received. We placed call, after call, after call only to be put off and told that 'Diane' who was handling our case would call us back. This continued for months which resulted in the foreclosure of our home.”



Apparently, as the controlling legal system was (and still is) – it appears legally the banks cannot make the change into securitization without explicit consent of an electronic record, eRegistry or eTransfer. How did we lose track or allow the mortgage process to get carried away without oversight or controls? Actually, the banks patented nearly every single move they made – even the behavioral aspects of dealing with the customers, judges, politicians, etc. as if to legitimize their scheme. Had anyone realized this 7 years ago we might have nipped the fraudclosure before it devastated the entire economy. It appears those in the securitization industry and legislatures that knew the real purpose looked the other way and intentionally concealed the truth.


NO. 1 – MERS in the mortgages is NOT the “MERS® System” and it’s not MERSCORP, INC. Certainly, it’s time that declaratory actions are taken to determine just who is who and who is what. 

This is a lot to digest – but you need to know and understand this information in order to plead your case correctly before the courts.
MERSCORP, INC. executives claimed that “MERS” was created to avoid the cost of recordation at the state levels while they transferred their securitized documents about… but, it appears, that too was a misrepresentation possibly in order to avoid charges of “Fraud in the Factum.”


Safeguard Properties Internal Documents Reveal Rampant Complaints Of Thefts, Break-Ins

For those homeowners who've been screwed over by wrongful lockouts by foreclosing lenders (and their confederates) and seek some possible guidance on how much their cases might be worth if they seek to sue, click here

Huff Post


Home Equity Theft Reporter

People with legal title to their property called to complain that Safeguard contractors had broken into their homes and carted off family heirlooms, valuable artwork and weapons, he recalled. People living next door to foreclosed properties complained that Safeguard mixed up the addresses and locked them out of their own homes.


Borrowers: Foreclosure checks a raw deal

San Diego County borrowers are starting to receive cash payments from major banks for alleged mortgage abuses. Recipients are gladly depositing the checks, but many are dissatisfied with the amounts, which cannot be disputed.

“I got a $400 check without any real explanation than just, ‘This is the final payment,’ ” said Carmel Valley resident

UT San Diego The lack of transparency of how those payments were decided isn’t just a concern among borrowers receiving the checks. They’re also a concern for some DC lawmakers, who have been unsuccessful in extracting settlement details from regulators.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Maryland, has introduced a bill that would appoint an independent third party to oversee the payment process and get answers.

“Regulators refuse to provide even the most basic information about the extent of the abuses that were uncovered,” said Cummings in a statement.



NBC Bay Area


Thousands of Bay Area homeowners are fighting in court to save their homes from a foreclosure system rife with mistakes, mismanagement and even fraud, a joint investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting and NBC Bay Area has found. 


Faster foreclosures bill clears House in 87-26 vote

Miami Herald The third attempt at foreclosure reform in three years, HB 87 creates new options for expedited foreclosures and tightens up filing standards for banks. A companion bill in the Senate stalled in the committee process.

Opponents claimed HB 87 would harm homeowners and favor banks, who have been accused of engaging in questionable foreclosure practices.

Warning: Property Foreclosures Ahead

Small companies face balloon payments on their mortgages—and no way to raise the money

The problem is simple: Banks typically re-evaluate commercial mortgages every five to 10 years. At that point, they can renew the loans, or ask business owners to pay them off.

WSJ These days, lenders are a lot less willing to extend loans that don't seem like good bets—and it's tough for businesses to look creditworthy after years of slumped sales and exhausted savings. "So many small businesses have lost their reserves during the recession," says Brent Case, president of Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic International Inc., in Charleston, S.C. "They don't have that chunk of cash that banks want as a buffer."

That leaves many small-business owners scrambling to find a lender that will cover their loan—or facing the loss of their property through foreclosure.

Ohio foreclosures continue to climb

WVXU Across Ohio the numbers don't look good. According to in March thousands of properties were repossessed by banks, a 27% increase from a year ago. "That increase was the seventh straight month in Ohio, that we've seen a year over year increase in those bank repossessions, so the numbers are actually going the opposite way in Ohio," said RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist.


While Wronged Homeowners Got $300 Apiece in Foreclosure Settlement, Consultants Who Helped Protect Banks Got $2 Billion

The obscene greed-and-arrogance stories emanating from Wall Street are piling up so fast, it's getting hard to keep up. This one is from last week, but I missed it – it's about the foreclosure/robo-signing settlement that was concluded earlier this year.

The upshot of this story is that in advance of that notorious settlement, the government ordered banks to hire "independent" consultants to examine their loan files to see just exactly how corrupt they were.

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

Now it comes out that not only were these consultants not so independent, not only did they very likely skew the numbers seriously in favor of the banks, and not only were these few consultants paid over $2 billion (over 20 percent of the entire settlement amount) while the average homeowner only received $300 in the deal – in addition to all of that, it appears that federal regulators will not turn over the evidence of impropriety they discovered during these reviews to homeowners who may want to sue the banks.

In other words, the government not only ordered the banks to hire consultants who may have gamed the foreclosure settlement in favor of the banks, but the regulators themselves are hiding the information from the public in order to shield the banks from further lawsuits.


OCC Misses Another Conflict of Interest: Foreclosure Review Outreach/Payment Processor Rust Consulting Owned By Residential Real Estate Player Apollo, Being Sold to VC Arm of Citigroup

It appears that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Fed dropped the ball yet again on vetting firms involved in the Orwellianly-named Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) for conflicts of interest. Michael Olenick’s expose on Allonhill, one of the “independent consultants” hired by Wells Fargo, led to Allonhill’s role being curtailed considerably.

As readers may recall, when the IFR got rolling, the servicers were supposed to make borrowers aware of their right to a review. Some Congressmen felt the efforts were inadequate and asked the GAO to take a look. The GAO did not like what it found.

naked capitalism Rust was the firm that servicers engaged to handle the initial mailings to borrowers eligible for a review. The assumption of the authorities appears to have been that Rust was merely doing such low level stuff that it didn’t need to be checked; when I called the OCC to ask if the firm had been screened for conflicts of interest, the PR staffer who returned my call reacted as if the question was off-base (he said he’d get back to me with an answer the following day and never did).

But as both unhappy Congressmen and even more unhappy homeowners have found, Rust is playing a substantive review in the IFR, and one that has not stood up well to close scrutiny. Now it is bad enough that its independence is already subject to question, in that, like the “independent” consultants, it was hired by and paid for by the servicers. But it is even more troubling that its owners have deep ties and involvement in the residential real estate business, and Rust’s parent is being sold to the venture capital arm of Citigroup, which is also subject to the IFR.


Worcester fees for foreclosed properties backfire on borrowers

The Vacant and Foreclosing Property Ordinance requires a bank or other company that files a foreclosure petition on any property in Worcester to notify the city and deposit $5,000 for each foreclosure petition in a special account controlled by the city treasurer.

But there’s just one problem.

Telegram Banks and other financial institutions increasingly are lumping the $5,000 cost of the property registration bond into what the borrower owes, making it less likely that struggling homeowners can catch up on their payments and end the foreclosure process before losing their homes.

“You can’t get them to take these fees off. That’s what the city has to realize,” Ms. Evans said. “Even if the city says the bank doesn’t owe the money any more, it’s still on your loan.”


Con Artist Duped 88-Year Old Woman Into Giving Him POA, 

Then Used It To Score Reverse Mortgage On Victim's Free & Clear Home; Suspect Pocketed $51K, Leaves Premises In Foreclosure

Home Equity Theft Reporter "It was paid off in the 70's." Jackie is trying to help her aunt save her home from foreclosure after a con artist stole it right out from under her.

"This is despicable. She has been here all of her life," Agnes' niece Jackie said.

City officials have halted plans to evict Agnes. But the possibility of her being forced out of her home is still a reality as courts, banks, and law enforcement try to reconcile all of the issues. 



Trying to Slam the Bailout Door

THERE’S a lot to like, if you’re a taxpayer, in the new bipartisan bill from two concerned senators hoping to end the peril of big bank bailouts. But if you’re a large and powerful financial institution that’s too big to fail, you won’t like this bill one bit.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

The legislation, called the Terminating Bailouts for Taxpayer Fairness Act, emerged last Wednesday; its co-sponsors are Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, and David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican. It is a smart, simple and tough piece of work that would protect taxpayers from costly rescues in the future.

This means that the bill will come under fierce attack from the big banks that almost wrecked our economy and stand to lose the most if it becomes law.



Loans Borrowed Against Pensions Squeeze Retirees

To retirees, the offers can sound like the answer to every money worry: convert tomorrow’s pension checks into today’s hard cash.

NY Times But these offers, known as pension advances, are having devastating financial consequences for a growing number of older Americans, threatening their retirement savings and plunging them further into debt. The advances, federal and state authorities say, are not advances at all, but carefully disguised loans that require borrowers to sign over all or part of their monthly pension checks. They carry interest rates that are often many times higher than those on credit cards.

The effective interest rates ranged from 27 percent to 106 percent!




Of course, BONY responded with a Motion for Summary Judgment and Plaintiff Amina responded with a well written and detailed Opposition to Defendants’ Summary Judgment. It even included an excellent “gotcha” on the Defendant BONY’s attorney, Jeffrey H.K. Sia, that appears to “out” ol’ Jeffrey for a slick legal trick. Way to go Pro Se…just another reason to file “Verified” Complaints:

Deadly Clear As you read the Opposition you begin to realize the tricks and hazards opposing counsels will throw in the path of Pro Ses. They do this to attorneys too – and some are just not bright enough to catch the fast balls. Even when you realize you have to read and respond to every little twist, you can still be out maneuvered.

This was a real victory for Pro Se and mandatory reading for each and every homeowner facing foreclosure and especially for those thinking about going in Pro Se.

Amina v. Bank of New York, et al

Pro se

Cabanilla v. Wells Fargo

Instructional on pleading Emotional Distress

The portion of the judgment sustaining defendant’s demurrer to the first cause of action for wrongful foreclosure is reversed. The portion of the judgment sustaining defendant’s demurrer to the second cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress is affirmed.


Error Claims Cast Doubt on Bank of America Foreclosures in Bay Area

In July, to stave off foreclosure, he bought a $27,777.85 cashier’s check and mailed it to Bank of America. 

A bank representative acknowledged receiving the check two days later, Thomas said. But the payment went missing later that week and was not applied to his mortgage. Bank of America foreclosed on his home and sold it at auction. He moved out April 13. 

“I was forced into this,” he said as he cleared the furniture from his home. “I had no other choice.”

NBC Bay Area Thomas is one of thousands of Bay Area homeowners fighting in court to save their homes from a foreclosure system rife with mistakes, mismanagement and even fraud, a joint investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting and NBC Bay Area has found.

Despite recent settlements with state and federal regulators and a new California law that tightens rules for the mortgage industry, banks and their subsidiaries continue to file invalid documents and foreclose on properties to which they appear to have no legal right, an analysis of thousands of pages of property records and wrongful foreclosure lawsuits shows.

At the center of much of this is Bank of America, which plays the largest role of any bank in Bay Area foreclosures

Michigan Court of Appeals Holds that Foreclosure is Void

Because Mortgagee Commenced the Foreclosure Before It Obtained an Interest in the Indebtedness

RefinBlog In Davenport v. HSBC Bank USA, 739 N.W.2d 383 (Mich. Ct. App. 2007), the Court of Appeals held that the foreclosure was void ab initio because Assignee Defendant did not have an interest in the indebtedness secured by the mortgage when it commenced the foreclosure proceedings.

The CFPB issues Civil Penalty Fund rule

Rule lays out conditions and transparent process for compensating victims

An overview of the Civil Penalty Fund

Civil Penalty Fund Rule

CFPB The rule being issued today describes the conditions under which the Bureau may make payments to victims and establishes a timetable and procedures for allocating funds for payments to victims. Under the rule, money in the Civil Penalty Fund will be used to provide compensation to victims of violations for which civil penalties have been imposed. The amount of compensation that the Bureau may provide will depend on compensation victims may have received from other sources as well as the circumstances of each case.

$1.3 million boost for foreclosure counseling

SacBee Why not spend the $1.3 million on prosecuting the criminals stealing homes for the banks???  Illegal foreclosures would stop and homeowners wouldn't need a counselor to tell them how their homes are being stolen by a criminal enterprise.


Idaho SC sides with mortgage registry in wrongful foreclosure case

EDWARDS v. MERS, Quality Loan

And then there is this amicus argument:

City of Providence v. Lehman, Aurora claiming (MERS cannot be mortgagee

Legal Newsline “This is an action filed by the plaintiff to stop the nonjudicial foreclosure sale of her residence. She had the burden of proving a legal ground to do so,” Eismann wrote.

“If Plaintiff contends that ownership of the note and deed of trust had been severed, that documents may have been improperly signed, or that the notarization process was fraudulent, she should have put into the record admissible evidence supporting such assertions. She did not.

“In her argument, she simply recites the allegations in her amended complaint, but allegations in a pleading are not sufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact.”



Court rules that MERS meets definition of beneficiary

The panel ruled, “having MERS the named beneficiary as nominee for the lender conforms to the requirements of a deed of trust under Idaho law.” As such, MERS possessed the authority under Idaho law to appoint and direct the successor trustee to conduct the non-judicial foreclosure proceeding.

AG Beat The judges quoted directly from the subject MERS ("authored") deed of trust in this case in which MERS is identified as beneficiary “as a nominee for Lender and Lender’s successors and assigns” and found that a nominee is a form of an agent and that an agent has authority to act on behalf of its principal.

The Justices also noted that “[d]esignating MERS as the beneficiary in its representative capacity as nominee of Lehman Brothers and its successors and assigns was legally no different from designating Lehman Brothers and its successors and assigns as the beneficiary.”

Five years later, woman gets her stolen house back

She said she called the police, the District Attorney's Office, the state attorney general, the FBI and several legal groups for help.

"I wanted help from the city, and no one helped me," she said.

Home Equity Theft Reporter "I had to go through hell for 5 1/2 years to get my house back," she said. "Those are the steps I had to take to get to where I am today. [But] how many people don't know what to do?"

"It took so many years out of my life, and at what cost, when it could have been done simpler," Isabella said in a recent interview, surrounded by years' worth of court filings, tears streaming down her cheeks. "My full-time job was this."


U.S. seizes on ruling to boost Wells Fargo mortgage fraud case

Department of Justice alerts judge to favorable ruling

*Ruling endorses key weapon in mortgage fraud cases

Reuters The government's cases against Wells Fargo and BNY Mellon and a third lawsuit against Bank of America Corp rely in part on the Financial Institutional Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA).

The law addressed fraud during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, in which hundreds of U.S. thrifts failed and prompted a multibillion dollar government bailout.

In recent years, U.S. authorities have turned to the law to pursue cases arising from the latest financial crisis because it carries a low burden of proof while providing broad investigative powers and a long statute of limitations.


Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever

The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There's no price the big banks can't fix

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

Now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.



Are the banks actually paying any of the settlement fees? The banks duped investors and homeowners and got the opportunity to pay their way out of the crime. Deception upon deception by the bankster pirates and their fraudclosure crew members! These were not small crimes either. We’re talking about fraud, forgery, wrongful foreclosures, modification fraud – dual tracking, foreclosing on the military (criminal felony)…

Deadly Clear While bank pirates pretended to give the required relief to the homeowner, they gave themselves a trim with credit bids creating their own for principal reductions in non-judicial states but not passing it along to the homeowners. Homeowners who could have made payments if the inflated and fictitious values had been remedied never had a chance at keeping their home. What the homeowners received were deficiency judgments from foreclosures and short sales, added costs and fees, while tossing the homeowners and their families out into the streets instead of actually trying to keep folks in their homes.

It was all about dumping paper off their balance sheets just as they forced families into short sales with new buyers. By day, the banksters gave principal reductions to homeowners not in default which appeared to the general public to be good. However, this was a dark deception because the banks knew that the homeowner that received the principal reduction was not in default yet the bank got credit toward the settlement that was supposed to benefit the foreclosure victims. The banks also gained a new contract for the principal reduction with the homeowner enabling the bank to destroy the defective paperwork before there was an issue… and still no one knows who owns the notes.



Judgment reversed and vacated for lack of jurisdiction, as are all judgments,
orders and decrees issued by the trial court after the April 20, 2010
voluntary dismissal.

The Ohio Supreme Court has held that, "[t]he plain import of Civ.R. 41(A)(1) is that once a plaintiff voluntarily dismisses all claims against a defendant, the court is divested of jurisdiction over those claims. 'It is axiomatic that such dismissal deprives the trial court of
jurisdiction over the matter dismissed. After its voluntary dismissal, an action is treated as if it had never been commenced.'


'Zombie' mortgages/titles: Foreclosure horror stories

Judge Pianka says the three most important steps to avoid or address a zombie/toxic title situation are:

WKYC If you are in foreclosure or bankruptcy and believe that you will lose your house, do not leave until the County Sheriff tells you to.
Consult an attorney: If you cannot afford an attorney, go to a Legal Aid Brief Advice Clinic (or call 216-687-1900 or 888-817-3777)
Legal Aid Brief Advice Clinics "A first-come, first-served free advice clinic for low-income individuals with civil legal issues. Please bring all relevant paperwork with you."

Treasury Chief Warns of New World If US Defaults on Any Bills

Money News Once the United States reaches its debt limit, the government faces the prospect of defaulting on financial obligations, and potentially its debt, which could shake up markets and damage the economy.

Bankster Accused In State Court Of Squeezing WV Homeowner For Illegal Fees 

Uses Notice Of Removal In Forum-Shopping Maneuver In Effort To Have Case Heard By Potentially Friendlier Federal Judge

Home Equity Theft Reporter U.S. Bank National Association repeatedly misrepresented amounts due on John and Esther Stitt’s account and assessed a variety of illegal fees to the account, according to the suit.

The Stitts claim the defendant also refused to credit payments on the account by either returning payments or placing the payments in suspense and, rather than provide the Stitts with any assistance, the defendant ultimately chose to pursue foreclosure, in violation of their mortgage contract.

Random Bankruptcy Audits Stopped

“Due to budgetary constraints, the USTP has indefinitely suspended its designation of cases subject to audit.” Source: U.S. Trustee notice.

Bankruptcy Law Network The auditors looked for “material misstatements” in consumer debtors’ bankruptcy schedules by comparing the documents to tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs and divorce decrees. The protocol for the audits and the definition of “material misstatement” was kept secret from debtors and their attorneys.

Debtors were perplexed by the so-called “material misstatements” found by the auditors. Often, their attorneys said the reports were erroneous, the misstatements were not misstatements at all. The auditors lacked understanding of bankruptcy and were abusive to debtors, their attorneys claimed.

Bank “Zombie Title” Rises, Hurting Communities and Borrowers, as OCC and Fed Sit Pat 

Adding insult to injury, the banks rarely inform the former homeowner of this cynical move. Not only does often find out years later that he’s on the hook for property taxes and in some cases, fines from the local government, but the servicer has made such a mess of title that the owner can’t get rid of the property, unless he takes a quiet title action, which typically can’t commence until five years after the foreclosure was abandoned.

naked capitalism So what are the servicers doing? Although we can’t prove it, is is almost certain that they are stealing cash from refinancings to reimburse themselves for these advances. This is not permitted under the pooling & servicing agreement, but since banks steal from homeowners and investors any way they can (the whistleblowers at Bank of America, PNC, and a new one at Wells Fargo all report endemic fee abuses, which ultimately come from investors), why should we expect anything different? 



In recent years, my law firm has handled dozens of securitized trust foreclosure defense cases and one defense of an SEC civil prosecution against broker-sellers of such MBS shares. The fraud throughout the secondary mortgage market has been pervasive:

Mortgage Audits Online 1. Promissory notes intended for securitized trusts based on my experience were either intentionally never deposited into the securitized trust in the first place on purpose with full knowledge by everyone involved or were deposited in the trusts only as copies.

2. Based on the testimony of whistleblowers and forthright bank executives, lenders intentionally destroyed most of their original notes and instead before doing so digitized them, supposedly for convenience — which of course destroyed their status as negotiable instruments, leaving only copies somewhere, and often not with the Trustee.

Advanced Standing Issues in Securitized Mortgage

As a matter of law in all 50 jurisdictions, an entity cannot take a better interest in real estate than the entity had that granted it. If a person does not have good title, he or she cannot pass good title. This law is not something invented here in the United States within the last few hundred years. This is “ancient law” dating back to
Rome. This is why every real estate transaction in the country is (or should be) insured with title insurance to the owner by a fee policy and to the lender by a lender’s (or mortgage) policy.

Charles H. Wallshein In RMBS transactions, not only do lenders and upstream transferees of interests in real estate have to conform
to the “wet ink” requirements of the recording statutes, they also have to conform to the terms contained in the
PSAs that govern the transfer of documents into and out of the trusts. An attack upon the transfer of loan documents based on ultra vires acts of the trust will render those transfers unlawful and void as a matter of law. The result seems potentially catastrophic to secured lenders,
and it very well may be. Entities that took title to interests in real estate could possibly lose their status or their position as bona fide purchasers.

Three Rules For Defeating the Bank's Motion For Summary Judgment in Foreclosure Cases

SHUSTER & SABEN, LLC As a civil litigation firm that successfully handled well over one thousand summary judgment hearings in general civil and insurance cases, I wanted to explain for other foreclosure lawyers and for homeowners some important pointers for successfully defending a lender’s motion for summary judgment in a foreclosure case.


Wheeler v. Codilis and Associates

Daniel A. Edelman

Stop Foreclosure Fraud

The class consists of (a) all natural persons with Illinois addresses (b) who were sent an initial demand letter by defendant (c) which listed the servicer as the “creditor,” (d) when the creditor was FHLMC (e) and the letter was sent on or after a date one year prior to the filing of this action, and on or before a date 20 days after the filing of this action.

Banks Halting Foreclosures to Avoid Upkeep

subscription The result: Hundreds of thousands of homes are being withheld from the market, raising questions about whether the recent run-up in housing prices is artificial.

Foreclosure activity plunges in California with new laws in effect'

“Default notices fell off a cliff in January, then edged up.”

Once lenders adjust to the new regulations, the numbers could pick up again, Walsh noted.

L.A. Times Default notices remained more prevalent in California’s cheaper neighborhoods, according to DataQuick. And most of the loans going into default were between 2005 and 2007 (but the IFR focused on 2009-2010).

The number of homes taken back by lenders through the foreclosure process also fell dramatically last quarter. The total number of trustees deeds filed on homes fell 35.7% from the previous quarter and 55.1% from the first quarter of 2012.


Wells Fargo foreclosure fighters: They’re baaaack!

A group of activists focused on organizing against Bay Area foreclosures will return to Wells Fargo’s San Francisco headquarters today for a protest timed to coincide with the banking giant’s shareholders’ meeting – even though the meeting was moved to Salt Lake City, Utah this year. 

SFBG “It turns out the loan to provide for my son’s future was designed to ruin my own,” Adolf wrote in an online statement. “It was predatory, calculated to strip my equity and set me up for failure. When I tried to work with Wells to fix the loan, they offered a modification so small it didn’t make any difference. Then they started trying to take my house. The stress hastened my blindness and continues to aggravate my health problems.”


Camara v. Suntrust

Bryl Law This is an example of a winning challenge to a pretender lender's proof of claim filed in an attempt to proceed with a bogus foreclosure and defeated by Debtor's attorney.

Failure to record deed for sale of Land Bank property results in second sale -- and dispute among Burton neighbors


mLive Simpson paid the Land Bank $100 for an unimproved, 55-foot by 120-foot piece of land that butts up against his rear property line off South Term Street in 2003. 
Then, in 2004, the Land Bank sold it to someone else.

Neither Simpson nor the Land Bank recorded the deed when the money changed hands -- and because of that, the sale was never officially completed.


Wells Fargo v. Bohatkas

Very interesting case. Wells Fargo filed foreclosure action and attached a note payable to Option One. The Bohatkas filed a motion to dismiss asserting that the Wells Fargo lacked standing as the note was payable to a different entity. At the hearing on the motion to dismiss, Wells Fargo produced an allonge. Counsel for the Bohatkas urged the trial court to examine the original note and mortgage and determine whether the allonge had ever been "affixed" to the note. The trial court determined that nothing had ever been "affixed" to the note and dismissed the complaint with prejudice. The trial court stated:

Alina This is my ruling; Motion to Dismiss granted. Nothing was attached. There is no endorsement. There is no allonge, and there cannot be any allonge affixed before filing, so dismissal is with prejudice. I also suspect that this document [the allonge] was created to defeat the defendants’ motion. I want to preserve the originals by a separate order ... please draft a separate order that the original documents will remain in the court file and will not be removed without my authorization by anyone. I reserve the right to send them to the attorney general for investigation of this activity by plaintiff and its counsel

Wells Fargo appealed. The 1st DCA affirms the dismissal, however, it opines that the dismissal should be without prejudice because Wells Fargo produced evidence at the hearing from which it could amend the complaint. 

The 1st DCA goes into a lengthy discussion on allonges and the fact that case law in Florida is lacking on the subject. 


Bank of New York Mellon v. Thompson

This case discusses subject-matter jurisdiction and VOID judgments.

HELD: (1) Where a copy of both the mortgage and note were attached to the
complaint to foreclose mortgage, the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction over the action; and (2) Where defendants failed to raise the affirmative defense of lack of standing in a timely manner before the trial court, the issue was forfeited on appeal.

Whether a court has subject matter jurisdiction is an issue that cannot be forfeited and may be raised at any time. Belleville Toyota, 199 Ill. 2d at 333-34. The lack of jurisdiction must appear on the face of the record. Muslim Community Center v. Village
of Morton Grove, 392 Ill. App. 3d 355, 358 (2009). In contrast, the doctrine of standing " 'is designed to preclude persons who have no
interest in a controversy from bringing suit' and 'assures that issues are raised only by those parties with a real interest in the outcome of the controversy.' " Nationwide Advantage Mortgage Co. v. Ortiz, 2012 IL App (1st) 112755, ¶ 24 (quoting Glisson v. City of Marion, 188 Ill. 2d 211, 221 (1999)). The defendant has the burden to plead and prove a lack of standing because it is an affirmative defense. Id. Although a defendant cannot forfeit the question of subject matter jurisdiction, he can forfeit the issue of standing if he failed to raise it before the trial court in a timely manner. Id.



Lucky few Floridians get $125,000 from foreclosure settlement, most to get $300

Oppenheim Law “The concern that some compensation will go to borrowers who did not suffer harm as a result of servicer errors is understandable, but it overlooks the fact that each of these borrowers was part of a process that was far more deficient than any of us should be willing to accept,” said Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry during a Women in Housing and Finance meeting in February.

Nova Southeastern University law professor Robert Jarvis agrees, noting that many borrowers were put into predatory loans that banks should have known were unaffordable.

Still, he said the Independent Foreclosure Review and the current settlement are “the worst possible” processes to compensate borrowers.


FRAUD vitiates all, but you must plead it properly.

Sixth Circuit Upholds Dismissal Of Suit To Set Aside Foreclosure Sale

Since the six-month redemption period had expired, under Michigan law, plaintiff was required to meet a heightened standard by making a "'clear showing of fraud, or irregularly' . . . 'related to the foreclosure procedure itself.'"

Conlin v. MERS

Home Equity Theft Reporter Michigan courts have held that once the statutory redemption period lapses, they can only entertain the setting aside of a foreclosure sale where the mortgagor has made "a clear showing of fraud, or irregularity." Schulthies, 167 N.W.2d at 785; see also Sweet Air Inv., Inc. v. Kenney, 739 N.W.2d 656, 659 (Mich. Ct. App. 2007) ("The Michigan Supreme Court has held that it would require a strong case of fraud or irregularity, or some peculiar exigency, to warrant setting a foreclosure sale aside." (internal quotation marks omitted))



If this does not spark outrage among the public, nothing will

How do the Fed and the OCC come off arguing that documentation relating to what both the Fed and the OCC have publicly admitted show “widespread violations of federal and state law” by mortgage servicers rise to the level of a “trade secret”? Are the Fed and the OCC really advocating that documents created by mortgage servicing companies which are part of a design to commit legal wrongs on homeowners are “trade secrets” which warrant protection from disclosure

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide Several matters are evident. 

First, mortgage servicing companies are not “banks”. Thus, if this is the position the Fed and the OCC are taking, then the Fed and the OCC are admitting that the “banks” which use the servicing companies (and “supervised” them) were aware of the widespread violations of federal and state law, yet are teaming up with the offending banks to perpetuate their fraudulent conduct.

Second, trade secrets are a form of intellectual property, and any claim for preclusion from disclosure of alleged “trade secrets” has to be ruled upon by a Judge in any litigation if this barrier to discovery is raised. A trade secret is something which an industry has chosen to keep secret for purposes of protecting a "legitimate" business interest, such as unfair competition. The standard for establishing a trade secret (in a country based on free-market capitalism) is very high.



We have had to deal with attorneys for foreclosing “banks” who, in the last 3 weeks and in different states, told courts through Motions, Affidavits, and argument that a Note is “endorsed in blank” when in fact the Note contains no endorsement of any kind, with there only being the presence of a separate paper styled “Allonge” or “Allonge to Note” or “Endorsement Allonge”, which is undated and has no independent evidence of authenticity.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide These attorneys are thus lying to the courts, as are the persons who sign affidavits who claim that the foreclosing party has “the Note endorsed in blank” when in fact there is no such endorsement. This false testimony constitutes perjury, but few Judges seem to think that this matters when the bank’s attorney cries “but Judge, they have not paid the mortgage in years”.  

We are thus making records and taking appeals where there are decisions rendered based on these false representations and perjured testimony.


Fighting foreclosures

Recent court rulings may help clarify foreclosure practices by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Ingham County Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel Jr. hopes that recent court rulings will help stem the tide of what he says are illegal foreclosures in the county.

Both Court Rulings


City Pulse Hertel says Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac like to switch back and forth between being a private company and a government agency to best suit its needs.
“When they go to court to defend an eviction, they say they are a private company,” he said. “But when they come to my office to file foreclosure documents, they say they are part of the federal government and don’t have to pay transfer taxes. They’ve got to pick a side.

Banks Passing Bad Checks?

What happens when the banks deliberately use fraudulent foreclosure practices to take away homeowners’ homes? A slap-on-the-wrist settlement amounting to less than half- days’ profits. What happens when homeowners innocently fail to comply with some obscure provision of their mortgage? They and their families lose their most important investment, their home, and the safety and security it provides. Ever get the feeling that life’s unfair?

McGookey Law The fact that a few homeowners have reported that their bank reimbursement checks under the IFR wouldn’t clear; “is another embarrassment for federal banking regulators already faulted for prematurely halting. (foreclosure reviews) and not securing more money for affected homeowners”, according to the Wall Street Journal. Indeed, when comparing the $3.6 billion to be paid as damages for their misconduct with the trillions of dollars stolen from everyday Americans by the Wall Street Banks, we have another example of our government choosing to the banks over people, when it comes to decisive matters.


Fight over foreclosure traps couple

The details of their battle with Chase are too numerous and complex for this space. They involve a dispute over escrow payments — Chase said the couple didn’t make them; the couple says they were up to date and that Chase wouldn’t allow the payments to be included in the modification — as well as a dispute over how the amount in arrears was calculated.

Columbus Dispatch Yet this much seems clear from court records: After being foreclosed upon by Chase in the spring of 2009, the Hauglands were able and willing to make their loan payments. In fact, for a year they made payments, thinking again that their problems were behind them. Then, in the spring of 2010, Chase foreclosed again.

For three more years, the case has lingered as the Hauglands have sought to resolve the debt.


Severna Park delegate faces foreclosure suits

A Severna Park delegate who has bought and sold foreclosed homes for a living now faces two foreclosure suits himself.

Before becoming a delegate, The Capital revealed problems McConkey had failed to mention on the campaign trail.

CapitalGazette He was given probation before judgment on a 1992 battery charge, but explained that the case was a dispute between a landlord and a tenant that got out of hand.
McConkey was voluntarily disbarred as an attorney in 1995 for misappropriation of funds, but said he never had any clients other than himself and gave up his career because he was broke and depressed over a bad business deal.
In 2005, McConkey was sued by a Crofton man who alleged McConkey scammed him and his wife out of their house. The case was settled in 2006 when McConkey agreed to sell the house, pay off the mortgage and pay the man and his wife $12,516 each.

Applicability of Deceptive Trade Practices Statutes and Remedies for Violations of Deceptive Trade Practices Statutes

eNotes Federal legislation and statutes in every state prohibit employment of unfair or deceptive trade practices and UNFAIR COMPETITION in business. The Federal Trade Commission regulates federal laws designed to prohibit a series of specific practices prohibited in interstate commerce. Several states have established CONSUMER PROTECTION offices as part of the state attorney general offices.

Richard I. Fine - Whistleblower Jailed Over 1 Year by Corrupt Judges in California

Narrated by Ed Asner

One of the most unbelievable stories of judicial corruption in American history, which is still not widely known and which represents the tip of the iceberg on judicial misconduct, conflict of interest, and the bribes-for-conviction schemes that are rocking the nation. 


Silent Crime Against Homeowners: Mortgage Fraud

A crime wave will steal billions from unsuspecting homeowners this year - maybe some of it from YOU!

Mortgage fraud is on the rise. However, these silently-perpetrated crimes are preventable. The fraudsters can be caught and stopped. You and your home can be protected. Will mortgage fraud take more homes, or will this be the year homeowners win?

Realty Times The problem is not a lack of Fraud Prevention Information for homeowners and the professionals who serve them, nor a lack of support for victims of mortgage fraud:

The problem lies in engaging the attention of homeowners before they act against their own best interest.
The problem lies in delivering support to victims of mortgage fraud before they give up, lose their homes, and silently fade away.
The problem is encouraging homeowners and those who suspect fraud to get in touch with law enforcement before fraudsters go after their next victims.


The Banks have failed to show any genuine issue of fact material to this chronology or the validity of Home Owners’ initial assignment.


Matt Weidner, Esq. The Banks claim their interest in the property through another entity, First National Bank of Chicago. But by the time First National obtained its assignment of the note, from the
receiver of Home Owners Federal Savings and Loan Association,
Home Owners had already assigned the note to another party, Knutson Mortgage Corporation, which subsequently assigned the note to ASIP. It follows that, at the time the Home Owners receiver purported to assign the note to First National, Home Owners no longer had any interest in the note to assign–and that First National, in turn, had no interest to assign to the Banks.


Jeffrey Sachs Calls Out Wall Street Criminality and Pathological Greed

One of the things that Matt Stoller has stressed that the possibility of reform is remote until breaks within the elites take place.

naked capitalism If you look at the campaign contributions, which I happened to do yesterday for another purpose, the financial markets are the number one campaign contributors in the U.S. system now. We have a corrupt politics to the core, I’m afraid to say...  ...The corruption is, as far as I can see, everywhere. But what it’s led to is this sense of impunity that is really stunning, and you feel it on the individual level right now, and it’s very, very unhealthy.

I have waited for four years, five years now, to see one figure on Wall Street speak in a moral language, and I’ve not seen it once. And that is shocking to me.


More Problems for a Mortgage Deal

A troubled and delayed federal effort to hold big banks accountable for illegal foreclosure practices got off to a poor start this month when some borrowers were unable to cash checks sent to them as part of a $9.3 billion settlement.

NY Times The millions of borrowers covered by this deal have waited years for help. Many of them have already lost their home in a foreclosure. In some cases, banks repossessed homes even when borrowers were making the payments they owed, had complied with the conditions of loan modifications, or were awaiting decisions on requests for modifications. Regulators should ensure that those who qualify for and need assistance can get it.


What is money – and where did it’s real value go?

“We are fighting in the defense of our homes, our families, and posterity. We have petitioned, and our petitions have been scorned. We have entreated, and our entreaties have been disregarded. We have begged, and they have mocked when our calamity came.

We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them!” William Jennings Bryan (1896).

Deadly Clear Are your pension funds gone and you just don’t know it yet? Where should your hard earn investment funds really be? Do those mutual funds, 401ks, stocks and bonds really have any value – or are they manufactured and destroyed like the paper dollar at the whim of the Federal Reserve and other banking interests? Will the next bank collapse eliminate your pension, savings and entire net worth as it did in Cyprus? 

Do you have any control over your financial future?


A.I.G. Wins a Battle in a Mortgage Fraud Lawsuit

Reuters American International Group Inc  won a legal victory over where a mortgage fraud lawsuit it brought against Bank of America Corp should be heard, a two-year-old case that has largely been on hold because of the dispute over venue.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday agreed with AIG that the case belongs in state court, not federal court as Bank of America preferred.

Grants provide $9M for California foreclosure assistance

Grants from national mortgage settlement provide $9M to help Californians facing foreclosure

AP Programs that provide free legal assistance and foreclosure- intervention services will benefit. Clinics teaching homeowners about financial matters and how to avoid fraud also will receive money.
Organizations receiving the grants include those primarily serving minorities, immigrants, farm workers, the disabled, elderly, veterans and rural areas.

Zombie foreclosure statistics scary

Q: Why haven't the banks followed through with the foreclosures?

A: There are a couple of reasons. It's a side effect of the increasingly lengthy foreclosure process. It just takes longer for banks to foreclose these days, in general.

Chicago Tribune Secondly, there are situations where the banks intentionally decide it's not in their financial interest to follow through with the foreclosure, even after they've started the process, because of the holding costs. That's a big factor, and in lots of cities now you have them cracking down on the banks and imposing fines if the banks' homes aren't maintained properly.


More Foreclosure Review Fiasco: Paying Agent Rust Consulting Sends Letters to Different Addresses Than on Borrower Letters, Refuses to Make Corrections

Hedge fund manager and famed short seller David Einhorn is right: no matter how bad you think it is, it’s worse.

naked capitalism In our post yesterday on botched IFR settlement, we mentioned how a law firm that was not even in the mortgage or foreclosure business got a settlement check for a woman it never heard of, and was then given a 30-minute run-around by Rust when it asked what it should do. That elicited reader comments of similar horror stories.


Senator Jeff Merkley Says Federal Reserve and OCC Agreed to “Fictitious Accounting”: 

$6 Billion of Bank Foreclosure Settlement Could Amount to Just $12 Million

Wall Street on Parade The past week has delivered revelation after revelation suggesting that the foreclosure frauds perpetrated against the American homeowner by the too-big-to-fail (or prosecute) banks, have been deviously matched with a corrupted settlement that has members of Senate hearings shaking their heads in astonishment. Yesterday brought the latest example of Federal bank regulators serving as lapdogs of their charges.


Banks Throw $20 Billion at Securitized Debt Market to Avoid Markdowns

The underlying theme is that there is tremendous pressure to make good on the mortgage bonds that never actually existed issued by REMIC trusts that were never actually funded who made claims on loans that never actually existed. All that is why I say you should argue away from the presumption and keep the burden of persuasion or burden of proof on the party who has exclusive access to the actual proof of payment and proof of loss.

If you research the law in your state you will find that the prima facie case required from the would-be forecloser depends factually upon whether they are an injured party.

Living Lies The banks are still claiming assets on their balance sheet that are either without value of any kind or something close to zero. If I was wrong about this, the banks would be flooding all the courts with proof of payment (canceled check, wire transfer receipt etc) and the contest with borrowers would be over.
Instead they argue for the presumption that attaches to the “holder” and mislead the court into thinking that possession is the same as being the holder. It isn’t. The holder is someone who acquired the instrument “for value.” By denying the holder status and contesting whether there was any consideration for the endorsement or assignment of the loan, you are putting them in position to force them to come clean and show that there was NO consideration, NO money paid, and hence they are not holders in any sense of the word.



The Fed’s Foreclosure-Relief Fail

One woman’s nightmarish odyssey through the system that was supposed to help get her back on her feet.

Like far too many Americans, Debbie Marler of South Point, Ohio has her own foreclosure horror story. It involves one house, seven fraudulent mortgage assignments, three foreclosures, as many states, and five years. It ruined her career prospects, threatened her retirement security, and turned her life into what she calls “a living nightmare.”

David Dayen This week, Debbie walked to her mailbox and found what the federal government considers appropriate compensation for this odyssey of suffering at the hands of JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank.

A check for $800.

“I was speechless, just a complete shock,” Debbie said. “That doesn’t even pay for the damn U-Haul from when I moved out of the house in the first place.”

(What is sickening, is there are now years of countless stories like this one and every attempt to help just routed more money from the homeowners and government -- to the banks. Very embarrassing and sad. MSF)


Regulatory Rockstar
Elizabeth Warren is using her Senate seat to grill those who let the big banks off the hook

New Republic "If you had believed that the banks had broken the law in 90 percent of cases, would you have settled for more money?" Warren asked Daniel Ashton, a top lawyer at the Federal Reserve. "Doesn't it matter how many homeowners were victims of illegal activities by their bank?"
4/18/13 Complete article

Report: Foreclosures Cost City of Newark $56 Million

Foreclosures in Newark cost taxpayers $56 million over the last four years, according to a report by the activist group New Jersey Communities United.

WNYC The price tag combines the loss of home values on the tax rolls, and the cost of city services like safety inspections, trash removal, and police calls on homes that are sitting abandoned, the report found. 

The group presented its report – Newark Homewrecker – during a Newark City Council hearing today, along with homeowners and more than a dozen community groups who asked council members Ronald C. Rice and Darrin S. Sharif to find creative ways to avoid more foreclosures. 

Foreclosure-abuse settlement checks bounce

Some borrowers who received compensation for possible foreclosure abuses were told to take a hike this week when they tried to cash the checks. 

Just when it seemed the mortgage mess might be tailing off, it was the latest debacle for a program whose flaws have raised fresh doubts about the competence of America's big banks and their federal regulators in Washington.

Scott Reckhard

L.A. Times

The consultants were evaluating foreclosures that took place in 2009 and 2010, when the banks were overwhelmed by a flood of delinquencies and it was common for lenders to take legal shortcuts such as "robo-signing" to deal with them. 

But the analysis proved too difficult for the auditors to handle in a timely fashion. When it turned out that the process was generating billions of dollars for the consultants -- but not a dime to any borrower -- the regulators decided to have Rust distribute funds using formulas designed to calculate the likelihood that borrowers were wronged. 

The bounced checks this week were among those sent to the first 1.4 million of the 4.2 million borrowers due to receive them.

California sues Standard & Poor’s for $4 billion

AG Beat The state is seeking $4 billion in damages from S&P, as the funds are believed to have been invested based on decisions derived solely from the agency’s ratings and recommendations. Agency ratings are received under the expectation that they are objective and unbiased; however several years later, many other organizations have also received blame for recommending and extending mortgage-backed securities that applicants couldn’t plausibly afford.

JP Morgan Probed in Monte Paschi Fraud Inquiry

CNBC The seizure order was aimed at preventing Monte dei Paschi from giving more cash to Nomura as collateral for the 2009 "Alexandria" trade, a huge bet on Italian government debt made more costly by an interest rate swap that forces the Siena bank to take losses when rates are lower than expected.

Banks Revive Risky Loans and Mortgages

NY Times The alchemists of Wall Street are at it again.

The banks that created risky amalgams of mortgages and loans during the boom — the kind that went so wrong during the bust — are busily reviving the same types of investments that many thought were gone for good.

Fla. Bar files foreclosure attorney complaint against David J. Stern

Washington Examiner The complaint said Stern failed to properly supervise his staff and that led to allegations of misconduct, including missed hearings, improperly filed court documents and hundreds of attorneys handling thousands of foreclosure cases.


Independent Foreclosure Review Fiasco: OCC and Fed Decided Not to Find Harm

The last few days have had more and more ugly revelations emerge about the botched OCC and Fed Independent Foreclosure Review settlement, with some particularly important ones coming out of the  hearings in Robert Menendez’s Senate Banking subcommittee today. 

First was the embarrassing confirmation of complaints all over the web that paying agent Rust Consulting did not have sufficient funds in its account to cover the first batch of settlement checks sent out Friday. And this isn’t the first time that Rust has sent out checks that bounced in a settlement. And in some jurisdictions, passing bum checks is a crime. What gives?

naked capitalism Now this might not be so aggravating if the amount paid were remotely adequate and weren’t doled out in an arbitrary manner. But as numerous critics indicated, this outcome was baked in from the get go. The OCC and Fed settled blindly, eager to shut down the reviews as more and more damaging leaks filtered out. And their objectives were the same as the banks, which was to find only the bare minimum amount of harm necessary to make the reviews seem credible. Problem was that any credible amount would have turned out to be more than the banks could stomach.
The OCC negotiated a settlement number that was arbitrary. The Fed (speaking on behalf of both agencies) effectively admitted that last week, that they had negotiated the outcome with no idea what the actual damage to borrowers was.

The foreclosure crisis' other toll: Emotional stress

Uncertainty about the fate of their home translates to continuing mental anguish for many owners.

MSN Homeownership is a big part of the American dream, says Duckworth, and distress over foreclosure can be particularly hard-hitting for Americans, promoting what he calls "a sense of feeling trapped for some people who are underwater on their homes." He added that the "loss of one's dream home has great potential to generate shame and humiliation, which raises risks of depression, substance abuse and bad outcomes."


Courts Tripping Over Themselves Ignoring the Obvious

At the risk of lecturing judges on the law allow me to point out that the transfer of an apparently “negotiable instrument” is not a transaction that can be interpreted or enforced under the Uniform Commercial Code unless it is accompanied by payment or exchange of value, which is to say that there must be money involved.

Living Lies A loan that was originated without any money from the payee under the note or the secured party under the mortgage is not to be interpreted by reference to the Uniform Commercial Code because of the lack of consideration.
That leaves the pooling and servicing agreement. Employing and servicing agreement specifies the precise manner in which loans can be transferred into the asset pool and one of the things that is not allowed is an endorsement in blank.

Wells Fargo Asks Judge to Dismiss U.S. Mortgage Loans Suit

Bloomberg The U.S. suit alleges more than a decade of misconduct by Wells Fargo in connection with a Federal Housing Administration program. Wells Fargo argued that the government’s suit, which was filed in October, should be dismissed because it fails to adequately allege facts that would allow the case to go forward.

Foreclosure papers must be in order, Minnesota Supreme Court rules

Minnesota’s Supreme Court has tightened the screws a bit on home foreclosures.

Ruiz v. 1st Fidelity Loan Servicing

"Absent strict compliance with this requirement, a foreclosure by advertisement is void."

StarTribune In a ruling out Wednesday, the state’s highest court decided unanimously that a foreclosing party must strictly comply with a state law requiring all the different banks and parties that have held a mortgage be clearly documented and filed before a foreclosure-by-advertisement can be initiated.

The case involved Doris Ruiz, a woman whose south Minneapolis duplex was foreclosed on by 1st Fidelity Loan Servicing. The court voided her foreclosure because 1st Fidelity filed its paperwork on the same day that it began advertising for a sheriff’s foreclosure auction on her home.


Bank-Induced Default: The Next Wave of Foreclosure Defense

“The bank told me to default to be eligible for a loan modification, but when I stopped making payments, the bank refused to give me a modification.”

I have always believed this is a defense to foreclosure.

How many cases can this impact? As I see it, thousands. Maybe tens of thousands. In my experience, there are untold thousands of homeowners who were induced to default under promises of a loan modification, and all such homeowners can use this argument to not only contest foreclosure, but to ask that they be returned to the position they were in at the moment the homeowner stopped making payments. That means not only that the bank can’t foreclose, but that all late charges, default interest, and attorneys’ fees are eliminated, and the homeowner can resume making normal, monthly mortgage payments.

Stopa Law firm When a bank leads a homeowner to believe acceleration/foreclosure won’t occur after a default in payments – as it does when it tells a homeowner to default in order to get a loan modification – then it should not be able to foreclose. The Meloy case is particularly eye-opening. There, the Fourth District affirmed a summary judgment for the homeowners where the bank led the homeowners to believe a foreclosure would not occur after the default. Yes, a summary judgment for the homeowners … foreclosure case over, homeowners win, just like that.

That, however, begs the question. Even if a homeowner is able to “win” with this defense, what does that “win” mean? The bank can’t foreclose in that lawsuit, that seems clear. But what happens with the mortgage?

Branch Banking & Trust v. Kraz


Faster foreclosures bill heads to House floor

Tampa Bay Times “The bill appears to diminish the rights of homeowners and consumers, while attempting to streamline the process,” said Rep. Cynthia Stafford, D-Miami. “I don’t see how this bill protects homeowners who have been victims of fraud and other unscrupulous activities.”

Land grab

Is Miami's Dade County Government Taking Private Property?

Jose Fenandez

Carmel Caffiero 

An officer from Miami Dade County came to my property to take pictures, telling me that my property is in foreclosure. For all of those who don't know my story, the corrupted Miami Dade county government empowered by the corrupted 11th judicial court (controlled by Harvey Ruvin agent of the UN) started a war against my family in 2005 to take one of my properties. 

Bank of America CEO, ex-CEO must face mortgage disclosures lawsuit


Also see :  BofA CEO, ex-CEO must face mortgage disclosures lawsuit

Chicago Tribune



U.S. District judge William Pauley said the new allegations in an amended lawsuit "plausibly establish fraudulent conduct and a culpable state of mind as to all executive defendants" for allegedly concealing the buyback potential when certifying the bank's financials.

He also said Moynihan could be liable for statements that were inconsistent with a May 13, 2010, letter sent on his behalf to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission regarding the bank's securitization practices.


If You Get A Check from Rust Consultants Related to the Foreclosure Review You Should Review Your Own Situation With A Lawyer


DannLaw Whether you are still in your home or not you should consider consulting a lawyer in your state who is experienced in consumer, banking and foreclosure issues to determine whether or not you may still have a civil claim against the bank, or even whether the fraud in your case was so egregious that a court might be persuaded to unwind the foreclosure all together.

80-Year Old Widow Scores Court Win Over Notorious Bankster In 3-Year Struggle To Save Home Of 46 Years

Purported Missed Mortgage Payments Were Actually Sloppy Wells Fargo's Bookkeeping Screw-Ups; Victim's Lawyer Vows More Litigation

A judge ruled Wednesday that Wells Fargo failed to prove she was actually behind in her payments, which Delores Dingman, 80, attributes to the bank's simple "accounting errors." 

ABC News

h/t Home Equity Theft Reporter

Her bank records show her mortgage payments have been deposited by Wells Fargo. Despite efforts to clear up the mistake and paying more than $12,000 in attorney fees, her home went into judicial foreclosure.

She had been employed by the local Kmart since it opened 40 years ago but stopped working when the store closed last year. She continued to pay her monthly mortgage amount of more than $2,300 while paying her attorney, Terry McLaughlin, to help her clear up the mistake.


Foreclosure Settlement Checks "BOUNCE" In Latest Setback For Troubled Program

Huff Post On Tuesday, some of the first people to receive payouts under the $9.2 billion deal between federal regulators and the mortgage industry called into a government hotline to report that their bank would not cash their check, the Federal Reserve announced in a press release.

All Cities Should Follow Lynn on Foreclosure Law

It took Lynn City Councilors to do something that the federal and state government have been unable to do.

John O'Brien

Essex South Register of Deeds

Banks will have to bring with them the original note and accompanying documents including the original loan application proving their ownership which in most cases, they do not have, and they know it.


UPDATE 3-BofA's Countrywide in record $500 mln mortgage settlement

Reuters The amount of legal fees to be awarded is unclear. They totaled $53.6 million, or 17 percent of the settlement amount, in the Merrill settlement approved by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan, court papers show.

They totaled $24.5 million, or nearly 20 percent, of a $125 million settlement by Wells Fargo & Co, now the largest U.S. mortgage lender

Why BofA ponied up $500 mln in biggest-yet MBS class deal

Alison Frankel Cohen Milstein still has four more active MBS class actions pending in New York federal court, and the BofA settlement shows that defendants believe there's significant exposure. Maybe MBS class litigation will turn out to have been a decent investment before it's over.


The borrowers argue that the note’s blank endorsement was undated and the bank’s evidence was insufficient to establish that it held the note and was entitled to enforce the note at the
time it filed suit.
We agree with the borrowers’ argument as to standing and reverse.

Date posted: Sept. 10, 2006 ;  

Last revised: February 5, 2013



Predatory Structured Finance

Predatory lending is a real, pervasive, and destructive problem as demonstrated by record settlements, jury awards, media exposes, and a large body of empirical scholarship. Currently the national debate over predatory mortgage lending is shifting to the controversial question of who should bear liability for predatory lending practices. In today's subprime mortgage market, originators and brokers quickly assign home loans through a complex and opaque series of transactions involving as many as a dozen different strategically organized companies. Loans are typically transferred into large pools, and then income from those loans is structured to appeal to different types of investors. 

This process, usually referred to as securitization, can lower the cost of funds for lenders, allowing them to offer better prices. But, it can also capitalize fly-by-night companies that specialize in fraud, deceptive practices, abusive collections, and other predatory behavior.

2006 version

Professor Chris Peterson This article makes three intellectual contributions to this national debate: First, it argues that the current notion of predatory lending has been cast too narrowly. Some of the businesses that sponsor securitization of residential mortgage loans are aware of and capable of preventing mortgage predation.

"While growing calls for assignee liability reform are a positive
development in the law, they must not be seen as a replacement for
maturation in the common law of imputed liability. Holding investors
in mortgage-backed securities liable for predatory lending is a second
best solution to holding predatory financiers themselves directly liable.
The brand of aggressive state-capped assignee liability statutes are
necessary because they allow consumers to offset their defenses in
collection and foreclosure lawsuits. However, the justice system cannot
realistically force investors—who are often mere gulls of the
professional financiers—to bear the full weight of punitive damage
awards necessary to deter predatory lending. For this, the legal system
must turn to predators themselves and their predatory abettors, coconspirators, and co-venturers in the secondary market. State attorneys
general, courts, and arbitrators must look past the front line predators to
the structured financiers that with winks and nods facilitate this
predation. For their part, well-meaning Wall Street financiers must begin to invest in new technology, training, and personnel to
scrupulously guard their deals from impropriety."


For those who complain that the courts are jammed up with foreclosure lawsuits, this case is instructive as to why that is happening.

Winning Cases Against the Mega Banks

This particular case is so obvious as to whether or not money was actually paid and received that it is difficult to comprehend how it could possibly have stretched out to three years.
The only way I can think of is that the judge had a preconception of the relationship of the parties and assumed that the debt was real and was in default instead of forcing Wells Fargo to immediately prove lack of payment and their status as the real creditor. 

Living Lies It was quite clear that the homeowner had made all of her payments. It was quite clear that Wells Fargo had not applied the payments properly. And after three years of litigation, during which most people would have folded, judgment was entered in favor of the borrower and against Wells Fargo.

No big surprise except for the persistence of the homeowner in fighting off a big bad bank despite dwindling resources and a gaggle of people who were treating her as a leper because she was a deadbeat who didn’t pay her bills and was trying to get out of a legitimate debt.

The bottleneck in the court systems across the country is not caused by volume. It is caused by bias. Judges assume that a big-name bank with 150 year old reputation on the line would never make a claim they couldn’t back up. If judges would stop making that assumption and require the backup at the beginning of the litigation the bottleneck would vanish.


Homeowner Facing Foreclosure Gets 3 Months For Lying To Score Loan Modification

Home Equity Theft Reporter From September 2009 through September 2010, Brown schemed to defraud GMAC by submitting documents that made it appear that he had received $35,000 in income that he, in fact, had never received. 

U.S. Regulator to Fault JPMorgan Over Madoff Accounts

Reuters The OCC will fault JPMorgan for treating Madoff and his related entities as low-risk customers, and find that the bank failed to heed red flags, such as funds being shuffled between accounts without clear business purpose. As a result, "suspicious" transactions weren't reported to authorities.


Here’s How the Foreclosure Reviews Could Have Been Done Much Faster and Cheaper

naked capitalism When the usual suspects are being investigated for fraud it may not make sense to rely upon the same people, using the same practices, and the same business processes to investigate the fraud. I’m not surprised that they only found only negligible fraud, nor that they were massively overpaid to do so; overcharge and under deliver seems to be the rallying cry of high finance. But when regulators claim, with a straight face, that they had no other alternative we’ve reached a new low in honesty or, more accurately, the lack thereof.

Homeowner Facing Foreclosure Faces Felony Charges For Allegedly Forging Ex-Hubby's Signature On Loan Modification Paperwork

Still no forgery indictments of bank employees or lawyers.

Home Equity Theft Reporter The former husband thought Cramier-Oncza was going to lose the home to foreclosure, police said, then became curious when she continued to live there. When he checked into the situation, the former husband found loan documents were signed with his name but not his signature and contacted police.



The Court can not turn a blind eye to the alteration of documents

Bank of N.Y. v Waters

Conclusory statements that Plaintiff became owner of the note prior to the
[*4]commencement of the action alone are insufficient. Plaintiff has not submitted a statement from anyone with knowledge that the note was in fact physically delivered to Plaintiff or when it was delivered. Nor was there submitted any books or records of the
Plaintiff indicating that the note was negotiated or physically delivered to the Plaintiff or when it was negotiated or delivered.

Supreme Court, Kings County NY Most disturbingly, Plaintiff presents the Court with two different versions of the note, one of which was altered and is not a true copy. Plaintiff does not even attempt to offer an explanation for why an altered document was submitted to the Court.
Additionally, in this case, the purported assignment presented indicates that the mortgage was assigned to a different entity.
The Court can not turn a blind eye to the alteration of documents submitted or documents which on their face indicate another entity may own the mortgage, simply because the application is on default.
WHEREFORE, the ex parte application for an order of reference is denied.

CEO Pay and You

aflcio In the past few decades, CEO pay has skyrocketed while the average worker’s pay has stagnated despite increases in productivity. Multinational corporations park their profits overseas and shirk their responsibilities as taxpayers. The middle class is dwindling and more and more working people are living hand-to-mouth. Learn more about the pervasive inequality in the United States and spread the word.
4/15/13 MY STORY

When a House Is Just a House, and Family Means Home

My parents told me, “Be good, work hard and you’ll have more than we do.”

For years now, I’ve realized it was a lie.

NY Times I did those things and face the possibility (likelihood, even) that I’ll lose it all.

I know there are many people like me out there, still struggling after the country’s economic collapse, trying to reconcile what could have been with what is.

Is it Legal to Record the Bank’s Phone Call or Conversation?

Here are some tips from a private investigator on the legality of recording telephone conversations. 

Deadly Clear Lender and servicer modification abuse, dual tracking and deceptive business practices have caused undue emotional stress on homeowners. The Courts usually demand a precise record in order to establish a claim against the banks and their pals. Foreclosure is a dirty business and you need to have the right tools and knowledge to make your points.


The Fed messed with the wrong senator

If foreclosure victims get justice, trace it back to a bad decision to stonewall Elizabeth Warren last week

Despite OCC and the Fed’s best efforts to protect banks from harm, they’ve actually exposed them like never before. 

David Dayen We have provided multitudes of evidence about fake documents, forged documents, illegal foreclosures, foreclosures on military members while they served overseas, foreclosures on homes with no mortgages, breaking and entering into the wrong homes, suicides by foreclosure victims, and above all, the complete lack of accountability for these crimes and abuses.

Federal Judge Tosses Suit Against Banks That Forced Homeowners To Buy Insurance

Complete Choice Insurance The country’s five largest banks scored a victory in a proposed class action that claimed the banks force homeowners to buy overpriced homeowner insurance if they allowed their old policies to expire.


There’s an adage that says “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.” That is absolutely applicable to defendants in foreclosure courts whose cases are sound based on the rules of law - but who fall victim to the prejudicial belief in society and our courts that the lenders must be right because if borrowers simply would pay their bills they wouldn’t be in foreclosure.

Foreclosure cases slow road is a good example of "Justice Denied"

There’s another aspect to this “justice delayed” wrong. By the time many of the cases make their way to the appellate courts, the homeowners often have decided their lives must move on. Sometimes they agree to a settlement with their lenders. Other times, they walk away. No matter whether they win the battle of the courts, the delay often causes them to lose the war for their homes.

Korte & Wortman A Feb. 13th story in the Daily Business Review says that foreclosure cases have been pushed through the court system like a clog through a drain, and many now await rulings in the appellate courts, often because of decisions that ignore the rule of law.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey is quoted as saying “If they (defendants) believe that an injustice has been done, they can appeal.”
Bob Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University, explains why that is an unacceptable answer.
“…suddenly you don’t have a system of rules,” Jarvis said. “And judges are just ruling based on their guts. That is not what our legal system is based on.”
“There is a process that is to be followed, and if banks can’t meet what the rules require, then that bank should be told ‘tough luck,’” Jarvis said.

In 2010, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey Wiped Out a Mortgage.



How the Sequester Will Take Its Toll on Access to Justice

In the weeks leading up to the 50th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright most of the public attention over the constitutional right to counsel focused, naturally enough, upon criminal cases. After all, nowhere is this Sixth Amendment due process right more important than in cases where a person’s life or liberty are on the line. And, sadly enough, never has the gulf been wider than it is today between the needs of indigent defendants and the ability of America’s justice systems to accommodate them.

Brennan Center for Justice March 18th — the Gideon anniversary date — has come and gone and the truth is that the vast majority of poor Americans, who are of course law-abiding citizens, suffer terribly from a lack of counsel not because they are indicted or prosecuted but because they cannot afford attorneys to help them in basic civil cases — like divorce proceedings, foreclosure actions, and consumer cases. Here, too, there is a crisis, exacerbated by current financial conditions and tightening state budgets, that is in some ways worse than the one symbolized by Gideon, for the Supreme Court has never recognized a constitutional right to counsel in these types of cases.


Foreclosure Review Hearings Show It’s Time to Burn Down the OCC

No matter which theory you subscribe to, it paints a picture of an agency that is hopelessly bad at its job, which raises the question of why it should continue to exist.

We also have the absurdity of the OCC saying it was in charge even though the banks engaged and paid for the consultants.

naked capitalism The admissions that caught my eye were that the OCC had expected the reviews to take 120 days and two of the consultants had said they’d expect them to cost between $5 and $8 million. If you take 14 servicers and $2 billion previously reported, the average is $143 million. Oh, and better yet, good child Deloitte got permission before the hearing from its clients to say how much it got: $190 million from US Bank, $175 million from Citigroup, and $60 million from Suntrust. That will pressure Promontory to come clean. I’m waiting with baited breath.

Independent Foreclosure Review Scandal: Magnitude of Mortgage Servicing Failure

Credit Slips A remarkable tabulation of the more than 3 million homeowners found to have been victims of mortgage servicing errors or fraud was released last week by the Fed and other bank regulators.

Senators Warren, Corker reach across the aisle on GSE reform

"It has been nearly five years since the financial crisis, and it is past time to reform Fannie and Freddie. That means removing the obstacles and starting a bipartisan effort to take on housing finance reform this Congress," said Sen. Warren.

Housing Wire Four Senators are crossing party lines to propose a GSE reform bill that would prevent the government from using guarantee-fee hikes at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to cover other spending initiatives.

The proposed legislation also would prohibit the sale of GSE-preferred shares owned by the Treasury without congressional approval and the completion of GSE reform first.

Commercial Law in the Legal Academy

Prof. Adam Levitin My sense is that the decline of academic commercial law is partially responsible for some of the astounding confusion regarding what is required to foreclose and the interplay between UCC Article 3, Article 9, real estate recordation, and MERS (an ersatz UCC Article 8 attempt). Commercial law classes used to be standard law school courses. They're not any more at many schools, not least to the supply of academics working in the area, and that may be having real consequences for our legal system. 


Seventeen of the nation’s “too big to fail” banks also apparently think they are “too big to lose in court.”

Banks open Pandora’s box by taking on federal judge

The key words in the petition are “denial of basic due process,” truly an ironic twist given that banks have done nothing but deny homeowners their “basic due process” by shoving foreclosures through the courts via rocket dockets.


Oppenheim Law The very construct of a 15-minute trial is a joke and a violation of due process, yet that is exactly what is happening in our judiciary as homeowners are whisked through the process and tossed to the curb.

During a recent court hearing, a visiting judge unfamiliar with the rocket docket process referred to the proceedings as a “kangaroo court.” His comment rings strikingly close to what these banks’ attorneys are suggesting.

Now that the banks have opened this Pandora’s box with their writ of mandamus, those in the business of defending foreclosure victims no doubt will do whatever is in their power to keep that lid from slamming shut.

Force Placed Insurance Used As Excuse to Foreclose

Demanding the payment and declaring a default based upon a false declaration of insurance failure or a false declaration of the cost of force-placed insurance could invalidate the note of default, the foreclosure, the sale and the eviction.
Sound crazy? 

Force placed insurance settlement achieved in New York

Living Lies



Top Insurance News Daily

That is because it is crazy, but nonetheless quite true. It has led to numerous civil prosecutions in various states where “lenders” have agreed to to reinstate loans improperly declared in default and in which the “lenders” paid tens of millions of dollars in fines and refunds. The bottom line is that they will do anything to get homes into foreclosure or to use the failure to pay insurance as a reason for declining a modification.

  Banks begin paying victims of foreclosure abuse

80% of victims will get less than $1,000 and no specific explanation on what the bank did wrong.

CBS News Banks and mortgage companies have begun sending checks as part of a settlement with the government to compensate borrowers harmed by practices including excessive foreclosure fees and forged documents. 



When judges begin ordering the accounting and financial books and records of the alleged owner of a borrower’s note to be produced, not servicing records, at trial or attached to affidavits of indebtedness, you will begin to see a tidal wave of settlements, modifications, note sales, and new borrowing options presented to homeowners.

If not, judgment cannot not be entered in that the servicing records may support the amount of payments missed, but it cannot support the actual “loss” and deficiency incurred, if any, to the foreclosing party or alleged note owner.




Nye Lavalle

Servicers and corrupt foreclosure law firms should not get a free house. The automated and robotic foreclosure processes that have been engineered over the last two-decades must be re-engineered to stop the frauds and abuses that have permeated our legal system.

Far too many major banks and servicers are getting a free pass to unjustly take away a borrower’s property and getting a free house in the process.

The blame for this crisis lies squarely on the heels of the mortgage industry and its lawyers. These frauds were systemic and endemic, not isolated mistakes and errors. As you will see in this paper, the CEOs and boards of major banks and mortgage companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were fully aware of the frauds, but chose to turn a willful blind-eye to the abuse and its ultimate consequences.

The simple fact is this. If the industry once more ignores the warnings and does not fix their fatally flawed affiant and witness process, their next settlement may be far greater than their combined $35 billion settlement for robo-signing and foreclosure fraud.


District Court of Oregon Holds that Assignment is Proper

Stewart v. MERS

The court granted MERS’ motion to dismiss and found that U.S. Bank was a real party in interest because the assignment from MERS to U.S. Bank was proper under Oregon law.

Refinblog The Oregon Trust Deed Act does not require presentment of the Note or any other proof of “real party in interest” or “standing,” other than the Deed of Trust. Assignment and appointment of a successor trustee must be recorded in the real property records, and in this case the statutory requirements were met because assignment and appointment of a successor trustee were recorded.

Criminal Penalties for Public Corruption/Violations of State Ethics Laws


National Conference of State Legislatures

This table is intended to provide general information and does not necessarily address all aspects of this topic. Because the facts of each situation may vary, this information may need to be supplemented by consulting legal advisors. 
Some states specify that violations of the state's ethics law are also violations of criminal law and impose penalties accordingly. Other states have statutes, in addition to or in place of ethics laws, which are in the state's penal or criminal codes and cover similar behaviors.


Former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair: 'Too Big to Fail' May Be Over

CNBC It still would be a very challenging task. and I want to say at the out front, I very much support the current regulatory efforts to increase capital requirements, the Volcker rule. I think we need all of that. but I do, yes, think that if a large financial institution fails now, that the FDIC has the tools and a viable strategy for dealing with them.


Assured Guar. Corp. v EMC Mtge., LLC

Widespread Fraud

Assured alleges that Bear Stearns and EMC deliberately and knowingly made false statements to Assured to induce its participation in the Transaction, concealed their own knowledge that the loans contained in the Saco Trust were defective, and that the operative documents contain false warranties.

Bear Stearns purportedly acquired loans it knew were defective and sold them at a profit into securitizations before they could default. Bear Stearns purportedly knew that its underwriting due diligence was deficient, did not engage in quality control of its favored loan providers, and did not have protocols to identify and repurchase breaching loans from the trusts.

Supreme Court, New York County Tide of Defaults

At some point in late 2007, the loans in the Saco Trust [*3]began defaulting at alarming rates. Assured re-underwrote approximately 900 of the HELOCs in the trust and alleges that EMC breached the Loan Warranties with respect to an astounding 88.5% of the loan pool. The majority of the loans in the pool have since defaulted or are seriously delinquent.

Around this time, Bear Stearns itself began aggressively shorting financial guaranty insurers including Assured, and the banks with large exposure to the securities they insured. Nonetheless, it was unable to curb its own exposure to risky mortgages, and in March 2008, Bear Stearns collapsed and was acquired by JP Morgan, with Bear Stearns thereafter merging into and with JP Morgan.


The True Difference Between 7s And 13s

Chapter 13 bankruptcies do a lot more than 7s. They, too, can eliminate unsecured, non-priority debt, but they can also reduce some types of secured debt. Or change the repayment terms or the interest rate.

Bankruptcy Law Network The purpose of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is distinctly different from a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. 7s are usually the right answer for debtors who just need a “fresh start” since all unsecured, non-priority debt is eliminated. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, however, does very little to affect obligations on secured debts that is be kept, like a home.


What to Do if You are Served with a Collection Lawsuit

Litigation starts the clock running on a judicial process that can result in a judgment against you. In most jurisdictions a judgment means that every asset you own can be at risk. Liquid assets such as bank accounts and cash equivalent assets are at the most risk.

Bankruptcy Law Network Once a suit is filed, it is too late to do much in the way of asset protection and if a judgment is rendered, the plaintiff has the right to demand from you specific information about what assets you own and where they are. This demand for information is part of the post judgment discovery process and you do not have the option to ignore these requests for information. If you do ignore discovery requests you can be sanctioned by the court and even imprisoned if you remain in contempt of the court’s order.

Conlin v. MERS

The Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's complaint seeking to set aside a Michigan foreclosure on the grounds of an alleged defective mortgage assignment from MERS to U.S. Bank. 

Michigan Court of Appeals A party must clearly show fraud or irregularity in the foreclosure process AND prejudice from failing to comply with the statutory foreclosure process. The Court of Appeals held that Conlin's allegations of a "robo-signed" assignment and MERS lack of capacity to assign the mortgage did not demonstrate any prejudice to him.


its summary judgment motion was not supported as provided in Civ.R. 56(E), when no documentation referenced in those portions of the affidavit were attached to or served with the affidavit to show default of payment and payment history.

We reverse and remand the grant of summary judgment in a foreclosure action because plaintiff-appellee, Third Federal Savings & Loan Association of Cleveland failed to attach certain documents in its affidavit in support of its motion for
summary judgment.

Consultants’ role in foreclosure deal under fire

In light of the faulty review, the OCC is asking Congress to expand its authority to sanction independent consulting firms that engage in wrongdoing.

Washington Post “People want to know that their regulators are watching out for the American public, not the banks,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told regulators at the Senate banking committee hearing. “Without transparency, [we] cannot have any confidence in your oversight or that markets are functioning correctly.”


1 in 3 Foreclosures Have Bank Errors to Blame

(It is actually 3 in 3)

AOL A shocking number of U.S. homeowners who had foreclosure proceedings brought against them by the biggest mortgage companies during the housing bust nearly lost their homes because of a potential banking error.  Nearly a third of foreclosed borrowers, or 1.2 million, in 2009 and 2010 were fighting off foreclosure even though they never defaulted on their loans or were otherwise in good standing under bank-approved plans.


  Elizabeth Warren On Illegal Foreclosures

"You now have evidence in your files of illegal activity." "So you have made a decision to protect the banks, but not a decision to tell the families who were illegally foreclosed against?" "You now know individual cases were the banks violated the law and you are not going to tell the homeowner?" Response: "We haven't made a decision what to tell the homeowner."

Senate hearing Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat and longtime consumer advocate who is quickly developing a reputation as perhaps the Senate's most effective cross-examiner. Following a series of probing questions that would not have been out of place in a court room, Warren excoriated the regulators for not immediately turning over case records of borrowers who may be considering private legal action against their bank.

Fed Leaks Are a Reminder the Game Is Rigged, Says Najarian

Breakout What in the name of Gordon Gekko happened and who gained or lost from the leak? In the attached video Jon Najarian, co-founder of OptionMONSTER, says he has reason to believe the pre-released information found its way to the trading pits almost immediately.


At Least 50% JPM Mortgages Have Errors

The real reason why the foreclosure reviews were terminated was not because of the expense, complexity or time it was taking to do them. The real reason was that the people close to the reviews were finding “error rates” that were 10 to 20 times the rate claimed by the banks.

Living Lies That is a euphemistic way of saying the foreclosures should never happened in at least 50% of the foreclosures that did happen. And now they are saying you can have $1,000 on average for your trouble instead of getting your house back or enough money to replace it.

When you base your policy on a lie, then more lies must be told to prop up the original lie. And eventually, as we have repeatedly seen throughout history, the house of cards collapses — again and again. What we need is a mechanism to evaluate all foreclosures — past, present and future — and if the foreclosures are or would be wrongful, then they shouldn’t be done and the victims should be compensated.


Federal Reserve Officials Leave For Wall Street With Privileged Info

In response, the bank provided 513 pages of mostly blacked-out paper and cited policy to justify withholding the information. "[T]he Committee has a long-standing policy of routinely releasing full transcripts on a five-year schedule. Each year's transcripts will be made public in their entirety according to that schedule," the bank offered by way of explanation.

Huff Post One of the few things not redacted in the Fed's FOIA response is the list of officials who attended each confidential meeting. Many of those people have since left the central bank and gone to work in the financial industry, taking with them privileged information about the Fed's thinking that is still closed to the public. 

Clients deeply value the kind of insight a former Fed insider can bring -- a value Citi didn't overlook in its announcement of Sheets' hiring, which featured this quote: "With over 18 years of experience with the Federal Reserve, Nathan's appointment underscores Citi's commitment to bring the highest quality insights to our clients."

El Camino v. Huntington Bank

Ruling discusses Aiding & Abetting and Actual vs. Constructive Knowledge.

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals “[f]or harm resulting to a third person from the tortious conduct of another, one is subject to liability if he . . . (b) knows that the other’s conduct constitutes a breach of duty and gives substantial assistance or encouragement to the other so to conduct himself . . . .” (1979). Proof of an aiding and abetting claim therefore requires (1) knowledge
of wrongful conduct by the aider/abettor; and (2) substantial assistance of the wrongful conduct by the aider/abettor.

Use this as an exhibit in your lawsuit


Warren/Cummings Letter to Bernanke and OCC

Given the circumstances of this case—in which your offices have identified systemic and widespread violations of federal law, including wrongful foreclosures, excessive fees, and fraudulent affidavits filed in court—access by Members of Congress to additional information about these violations is not only warranted, but imperative. 

Congress of the United States Before this Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) process was completed, however, and before a single borrower had received remediation, you finalized settlement agreements in February 2013 terminating the review process with 11 of these servicers.
We have requested information about the process used to conduct this review and the extent to which violations of law were found. We made 14 specific requests in our letter to you in January, and to date you have provided only one full response, three partial or minimal responses, and no responses to nine of the requests.  You have provided little specific information on what the review actually found, such as the number of improper foreclosures, the amount and number of instances of inflated fees, or the extent of abusive practices by each mortgage servicer.


Fraud, forged deed and punitive damages

California Superior Court Los Angeles


How can it be that California law has never recognized forgery as a cause of action? Probably because of the civil element in foreclosure. We will never get much accomplished in civil court. It must be prosecuted as a crime to forge an assignment of a negotiable instrument. A serious crime. 


Fed Argues that Mortgage Abuses are Trade Secrets, Meaning Institutionalized Fraud

This fact is one of the things lawyers have been eager to establish, namely that bank management knew full well that all these servicing tricks were happening, and sought to protect them as important sources of profit. Way to go, Fed!

naked capitalism The Fed has also just admitted it thinks it is more important to protect bank knowledge of how to break the law than expose the information. So the Fed has also made explicit that it wants to preserve banks’ ability to rip off people. So the Fed’s official policy is bank profits trump the law. Not that we didn’t know that, but it has now been stated in a bald-faced manner.

Trinsey v Pagliaro

Also watch 3 Videos on some of the most important things about law.

United States District Court E. D. Pennsylvania "Statements of counsel in brief or in argument are not facts before the court and are therefore insufficient for a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment."

Outlawed, Illegal, Restricted, yet...


Includes charts

Deadly Clear Emerging Issue: “Complete Loan Modification Application”: Dual track and other protections kick in for borrowers when they are deemed to have submitted a complete loan modification application. But what does this mean, and how is this communicated to a borrower?



The bank failed to refute the homeowners’ affirmative defense of
lack of notice of acceleration thirty days prior to the filing of the Complaint as required by the mortgage.

The letter attached to the
Complaint was dated only six days prior to the filing of the Complaint.
While the bank argues that section 15 of the mortgage provides that
notice is deemed to have been given when mailed by first class mail, the
bank failed to prove that any notice was sent by first class mail. For
these reasons, we reverse and remand for further proceedings.

Banking’s Crocodile Tears

The story is told of a young heir whose family fell on times hard times and he could no longer afford to keep his polo ponies. He still had a big house and enough trust fund income to make a paid career optional, but it was hard to look his polo-playing friends in the face. The shame was almost unbearable.

DealBook Actually, even a 97 percent rule — the disgraced keep only 3 percent of ill-gotten gains — might be no more than a start in cases such as Mr. Crosby’s. To be really persuasive, corporate miscreants would give it all back, and then dedicate their remaining years to lowly paid public service.

Housing administration might need $943 million bailout, White House says

It would be the first bailout of the government’s mortgage insurer in its nearly 80-year history.

Washington Post The cash-strapped Federal Housing Administration will probably require a $943 million taxpayer bailout to cover expected losses on loans it insured as the U.S. housing bubble was deflating, the Obama administration said Wednesday.

The White House estimated that the FHA has about $30 billion on hand but said its cash reserves would probably be swamped by souring loans.


OCC Releases Embarrassing List of Foreclosure Review Payouts on Eve of Senate Hearings

As much as people who were watching the shutdown of the foreclosure reviews expected the payouts to be grotesquely low, seeing the actual numbers is….revolting.

The numbers here beggar belief. They are seriously trying to claim only 8 people who submitted letters were foreclosed on who had made all their payments on time? 

with charts

naked capitalism I’m going to check with my Tampa Bay whistleblowers on this one, and I am highly confident that my seven sources (out of 900 temps employed at that site) saw more examples than that. An even more obvious howler is claiming that only 239 people weren’t converted to permanent mods after completing three payments under a trial mod. The temps reported that borrowers were kept languishing seven, ten, even as long as 18 months in a trial mod while the bank kept receiving but pretending it hadn’t gotten their required documentation (the temps also reported seeing images of the documents that had been faxed in yet were claimed to have gone missing).

Foreclosure Review Report Shows That the OCC Continues to Bury Wall Street’s Bodies

The Nation From the homeowner who died fighting a foreclosure based on a typo to the family evicted at gunpoint at 3am, there is no shortage of heartbreaking stories of improper evictions. But while victims of wrongful foreclosures are frequently too small to find justice, the banks perpetuating the crimes against them remain far too big to be held accountable. 

For Most Homeowners, Gov’t Foreclosure Deal Brings A Few Hundred Bucks

It’s also hard to understand some of the differences in payments. In some instances, homeowners who ultimately lost their home are compensated the same as those who did not. In other cases, they reap far more.

ProPublica People who suffered servicer neglect clearly are not getting compensation for the harm they suffered.”

Regulators say the first checks will be sent to borrowers at the end of this week, and that almost all payments will have been sent out by the end of April.

Meanwhile, homeowners, let us know what you get in the mail and whether you think you’re in the right category.


Bank of America to Pay Military Members For Improper Foreclosures

rsn Reuters reports: Each of 316 service members will receive at least $116,785, plus compensation and with interest, for any home equity lost. 

"Our men and women in the military should not have to worry about a bank foreclosing on their home while they bravely serve our country," Eric Halperin, Special Counsel for Fair Lending in the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.

Winner Takes All: The Super-priority Status of Derivatives

Cyprus-style confiscation of depositor funds has been called the “new normal.” 

Shock waves went around the world when the IMF, the EU, and the ECB not only approved but mandated the confiscation of depositor funds to “bail in” two bankrupt banks in Cyprus. A “bail in” is a quantum leap beyond a “bail out.

Ellen Brown

Web of Debt

Bail-in policies are appearing in multiple countries directing failing TBTF banks to convert the funds of “unsecured creditors” into capital; and those creditors, it turns out, include ordinary depositors. Even “secured” creditors, including state and local governments, may be at risk. Derivatives have “super-priority” status in bankruptcy, and Dodd Frank precludes further taxpayer bailouts. In a big derivatives bust, there may be no collateral left for the creditors who are next in line. 


Foreclosure settlement: a nationwide crime scene

All In with  Chris Hayes Banks are foreclosing on military members, on people who had been approved for a loan modification, and even on people who were never behind in their payments--all part of an astounding settlement that shortchanged millions of homeowners and left hundreds of thousands wrongfully ejected from their homes

Former Governor Elliot Spitzer; Alexis Goldstein, former Vice President at Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank, now an Occupy Wall Street activist ; and Faith Bautista, who was the victim of wrongful home foreclosure in 2009, join Chris Hayes and paint a stark picture of what happened, who is responsible and why there isn't more justice from the government.


Force Placed Insurance Used As Excuse to Foreclose

Living Lies Forced placed insurance is a mechanism by which the banks can force people into foreclosure based on collusive action between the insurer and the bank. If that happens then they have unilaterally changed the APR and breached the contract. Demanding the payment and declaring a default based upon a false declaration of insurance, failure or a false declaration of the cost of force-placed insurance could invalidate the notice of default, the foreclosure, the sale and the eviction.


Foreclosure Review Finds Potentially Widespread Errors

Nearly a third of all foreclosed borrowers who faced proceedings brought by the biggest U.S. mortgage companies during the height of the housing crisis came to the brink of losing their homes due to potential bank errors or under now-banned practices, regulators have revealed.

Shahien Nasiripour Close to 1.2 million borrowers, or about 30 percent of the more than 3.9 million households whose properties were foreclosed on by 11 leading financial institutions in 2009 and 2010, had to battle potentially wrongful efforts to seize their homes despite not having defaulted on their loans, being protected under a host of federal laws, or having been in good standing under bank-approved plans to either restructure their mortgages or temporarily delay required payments.

Sponsor puts hold on mortgage foreclosure overhaul

Sen. Jack Latvala on Monday withdrew the bill (SB 1666) as 10 minutes remained in the Senate Judiciary committee meeting on Monday. The Clearwater Republican later said the bill has pending amendments and needs at least a half-hour of discussion. It could be heard next week.

WFLX Among other things, the bill makes banks prove in more detail that they own a mortgage or explain why they can't prove ownership. It also creates a process for others besides mortgage-holders to ask the court to speed up foreclosure cases.

Opponents of the bill have said a faster process will trample on the rights of homeowners already being hounded by banks and their attorneys.

US banks to send checks to 4.2M who lost homes to wrongful foreclosure

The nation's largest banks will begin sending payments this week to millions of Americans who may have been wrongfully foreclosed on during the housing crisis.

AP Consumer advocates have criticized the deal, saying the regulators settled for too low a price by letting banks avoid full responsibility for wrongful foreclosures.

Borrowers can call Rust Consulting, the paying agent, at 1-888-952-9105 to update their contact information or verify that they are covered by the settlement.


Petition to Audit the Land Records

Sign the Petition

Huff Post Land records across the country have been polluted, diluted, laundered and rendered useless by MERS (the Mortgage Electronic Registration System), and has posted a petition demanding answers from the White House. 

Start at 3:50

Foreclosure Fiasco? Lost Promissory Notes and the Mortgage Electronic Registration System

Prof. Chris Peterson 1 CLE credit hour |
This presentation will discuss the state of the foreclosure crisis and analyze the legal issues and concerns behind the banks efforts to foreclose.


News from the Front: Wall Street Takes Your Homes, Your Deposits, and Your Social Security (Updated)

MERS Helps Wall Street Steal Your Home

The financial sector created MERS to destroy property records so that it would be easier to steal homes.

Prof. Randal Wray In truth, since they screwed up all the property records, even the banksters have no idea who owes who what. So they just start foreclosing on everything. Don’t owe a mortgage? Who cares, they foreclose anyway. You cannot prove you’ve got a right to the house you live in, since they shredded all the documents and “forgot” to tell MERS you paid off the note. No more “note burning parties” since they burned the notes as soon as they got them.

It will take decades to sort out the mess that MERS has made of property records. Meanwhile, don’t believe ‘em. They have no proof they’ve got a right to take your home from you.


Madoff Calls Big Investors ‘Complicit’ in Jailhouse Interview

A recent jailhouse interview conducted by the Financial Times with Ponzi mastermind Bernard Madoff could shed light on one of the enduring mysteries of his multibillion-dollar scheme. Who else was involved?

ProPublica After the 1987 market crash, he says, he found himself locked into investment positions that his four stalwarts refused to close out. In order to keep the business going, they referred other investors to him. Madoff says that by 1992 it had become a Ponzi scheme and his big clients knew.

"They were complicit, all of them," Madoff says.

New Ill. foreclosure rules to be broadly applied starting May 1

Chicago Tribune The Illinois Supreme Court announced Monday that new mortgage foreclosure rules will take effect May 1, and borrower outreach requirements will apply to all cases that have not received judgments, regardless of when they were filed.


Assault on Wall Street – The Movie…the dream…COMING SOON!

Deadly Clear As a row of professional and personal dominoes falls, Jim is confronted by the realization that, after being abused and exploited by financial institutions for far too long, he has only one choice: to strike back. Sounds all too familiar?

What are zombie titles?

Zombie titles occur after a homeowner defaults, but when a lender never follows through with the foreclosure.

Oppenheim Law The start of zombie title issues became pronounced during the mortgage crisis. Roy Oppenheim, co-founder and partner of Oppenheim Law, said banks took shortcuts for underwriting, appraising, and securitizing.

“It was a crazy time,” he said. “They were securitizing loans faster than they were originating them.



A Volusia County, Florida Circuit Judge has this morning denied a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by US Bank as the claimed trustee of a securitized mortgage loan trust which closed in 2005. Counsel for US Bank argued that the “note was endorsed in blank”, which was a falsity as there is no endorsement on the Note at all, and the “Allonge” filed by the Plaintiff after the suit was filed was on a separate sheet of paper and was undated, un-notarized, un-witnessed, and was signed by “Lydian Data Services” of Boca Raton, Florida (a company which was acquired by another company in 2009) with no evidence of authority for Lydian to sign anything for anyone.

Jeff Barnes, Esq. A Volusia County, Florida Circuit Judge has this morning denied a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by US Bank as the claimed trustee of a securitized mortgage loan trust which closed in 2005. Counsel for US Bank argued that the “note was endorsed in blank”, which was a falsity as there is no endorsement on the Note at all, and the “Allonge” filed by the Plaintiff after the suit was filed was on a separate sheet of paper and was undated, un-notarized, un-witnessed, and was signed by “Lydian Data Services” of Boca Raton, Florida (a company which was acquired by another company in 2009) with no evidence of authority for Lydian to sign anything for anyone.

Mr. Barnes was the only attorney to appear personally in court for the entire calendar of hearings; there were six attorneys for the “banks” on the phone


Overwhelmed Servicers Seek Compliance Refuge in Technology

Mortgage Servicing News In just the past couple of years, servicers have had to scramble to keep up with the overflow of documents that need to be recorded in the nation’s more than 3,600 recording districts, each with its own set of rules, regulations, fees and penalties for noncompliance.


ACLU Reporter Exposes Debtor Prisons in Ohio

Beyond the questions of legality, debtors’ prison practices make no financial sense since courts routinely spend more to jail defendants than they would recover in fines.

“Not only are these courts violating the law, they are actually losing money doing it,” said ACLU Director 


h/t Home Equity Theft Reporter

“Supreme Court precedent and Ohio law make clear that local courts and jails should not function as debtors’ prisons,” said Carl Takei, Staff Attorney at the ACLU National Prison Project. “Yet many mayors’ courts and some municipal courts jail people without making any attempt whatsoever to determine whether they can afford to pay their fines.”

ACLU REPORT: The Outskirts of Hope



GAO Report on Foreclosure Reviews Misses How Regulators Conspired with Banks Against Homeowners

The GAO never considered that these goals are in conflict. If the reviews had indeed exposed the full extent of the rot in servicing, it would have undermined, not increased confidence in the mortgage market. It is obvious that the OCC either believed the bank PR that borrowers were deadbeats and complaints, for the most part, were simply the creation of clever foreclosure defense lawyers, or they had an inkling that there were serious failings, and so Potemkin reviews were necessary to shield the banks from liability. If they could claim to have made a meaningful investigation and found little amiss, that would undermine borrowers’ efforts to get a hearing in courts and to press for tougher curbs on servicers.

nakedcapitalism Now you probably missed the “gotcha” in that section” “borrowers who were not in default”. Shouldn’t that include borrowers who had gotten modifications and were complying with the terms of the mod, yet were foreclosed upon? There are tons of cases like that, where payments were misapplied or where the bank simply started refusing to accept payment even though a mod had been executed. There are also instances of banks refusing payments from borrowers who were current and proceeding to foreclosure (I’ve just heard of a new case like that and I may be writing it up). Yet at Bank of America, Promontory deemed borrower who were having their checks returned by the bank not to be making payments! So with this sort of Catch 22 going on (presumably “if you were foreclosed on, you must have been in default”) you can rest assured that “borrowers who were not in default and were foreclosed upon” will be as scarce as unicorns.


4 Million wrongfully foreclosed

Victims of improper foreclosure may be eligible for payout under new settlement with PNC, U.S. Bank, Chase and others

Cleveland "If you take the figures that the OCC was using as benchmarks for reasonable compensation, homeowners who suffered wrongful foreclosure should be getting $125,000, plus lost equity," she said. "This settlement guarantees that most eligible homeowners will not get anything like full compensation for the banks' wrongdoing."

About 4 million people who were wrongly foreclosed on could receive payouts as part of a national settlement announced Monday.

But the amounts are just a sliver of what they should be getting, consumer advocates say.


The Rise of “Debtors’ Prisons” in the US

Two years ago, the Wall Street Journal reported—after interviewing twenty judges across the country—that the number of borrowers who were threatened with arrest in their courtrooms had “surged since the financial crisis began.” 

Jonathan Turley The Wall Street Journal added that some borrowers who were jailed had “no idea before being locked up that they were sued to collect an outstanding debt” because of “sloppy, incomplete or even false documentation.” Diamond said it was becoming more and more common for debtors to serve time in jail. She added that some debtors are even required to pay for their time spent in jail—which, she said, exacerbates their dire financial situations.

Get Prepared For Economic Catastrophe: You Are Being Sacrificed To Save The Too Big To Fail Banks

BeforeItsNews Millions of families lost their homes and became homeless, while the criminals in the mortgage and banking industries paid themselves outrageous bonuses. So, while too many Americans have forgotten this sordid history, others somehow think that the EU crisis is an isolated event that they don't need to worry about.


HIDDEN SECRETS: Countrywide, Bank of America & The US Patent Office 

Daily Kos Yes, the TBTF Wall Street Banks and other entities like Countrywide applied for and acquired Patent Numbers. Countrywide and Nations Bank assigned their patents to Bank of America according to public records found at the US Patent website.

I think the Patent records leave a trail.


Foreclosures still can cost taxpayers

reporternews “People often don’t realize that they may have to pay additional income tax when the bank forecloses on their home,” Ricketts said. “The difference between what they owe on their mortgage and what the bank sells the home for after foreclosure — if lower — may trigger ‘forgiveness of indebtedness’ income to the unlucky homeowner.”

Homeowners in foreclosure can, however, avoid the additional tax “if they are insolvent,” Ricketts said, “but if not, the tax costs can be high.”


Video still works

Huff Post

Crime, suicide, grand theft, civil rights, RICO, lawlessness
How bad is it? This video will tell you.


The 11th Circuit Court in Georgia Holds that Homeowners’ Claim of Wrongful Foreclosure Must be Dismissed Because there Has Not Been an Actual Foreclosure Sale on the Property Yet

Jenkins v. McCalla Raymer, LLC

REFinBlog Appellants’ also claimed that the non-judicial foreclosure proceedings were improperly commenced because certain defendants did not have the power to initiate the foreclosure proceedings—the security deeds were not properly assigned to the foreclosing parties. The court noted, however, that although there were no Georgia cases with law directly on point, other non-judicial foreclosure states have held that a homeowner cannot seek damages in a wrongful foreclosure action unless there has been an actual foreclosure sale.


Foreclosure Bid Rigging at Its Worst: Tiffany and Bosco Reportedly Worst Offender

HOWEVER, I do not recall, ever, an auction where the sale amount was MORE than the declared amount of the original note (that number is in the sales list). And I believe I know why.

Living Lies The Arizona excess funds statute says there are excess funds, only, when the sale amount is HIGHER than the declared value of the original note on the Notice of Trustee Sale. Therefore, whatever made up amount is on the Trustee Notice controls whether or not there are excess funds.
So, to avoid having excess funds, all a lender has to be is gerrymander the note about, enter whatever credit bid they want, and certainly low enough to encourage a sale, and voila, not a dime back to homeowners, even if they have received payment on the note from credit default swaps, etc.

Lawmakers want banks to get proactive on foreclosures

Buffalo BizJournal The companion portion of Kennedy’s bill would also require financial institutions, during the foreclosure process, maintain the property and not leave it derelict. If the home is abandoned because of the foreclosure process, the new law would require financial institutions to cover all the costs associated with the property’s upkeep.

West Virginia Suit Against MERS Allowed to Proceed in State Court

Bryllaw The Court has reviewed Plaintiff's Motion to Remand. After careful consideration of the complaint and the written submissions of the parties, the Court finds that this action should be remanded to the Wyoming County Circuit Court.

Prudential hits Bank of America with $2 billion racketeering suit

Reuters Prudential Insurance alleges in a New Jersey federal court lawsuit that Bank of America and Merrill Lynch engaged in racketeering as part of a scheme to defraud and mislead it on sales of $2 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities.


The PR of Modifications: Banks Want Foreclosure Not Reinstatement of Loan

The result we see from bank policies and conduct is that people go into a declared “default” on a false loan because the bank representative who has no money in the game told them that the only way they can apply for relief is by being behind in their payments at least 90 days. Translation: We are advising you to breach your loan documents and go into debt on past due payments such that you won’t be able to reinstate.

Living Lies Offers of modifications are excuses to drag more money out of borrowers, give them a “trial run” and then deny the modification.

People go into trial modifications on a false loan with a bank or entity with no authority to offer it during which they deplete their savings and retirement, go totally broke from paying the “offer of trial modification” thinking they are saving their home.

The objective is to wear people down financially, emotionally and physically. 


Judge approves BofA $2.43 billion settlement over Merrill

Reuters Bank of America Corp on Friday won a federal judge's approval for a $2.43 billion settlement with investors who said the lender hid crucial information when it bought Merrill Lynch & Co.

Shareholders including the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio and the Teachers Retirement System of Texas said Merrill's mounting losses and bonus plans should have been disclosed before investors voted on the merger in December 2008.


HSBC v. Gashi

At the first settlement conference on August 20, 2012, the homeowner believed that American Servicing Company (ASC) took over as the servicer of the loan in place of
Greenpoint. However, plaintiff's local counsel stated that Wells Fargo was the servicer.

Stop Foreclosure Fraud By letter dated August 22, 2012, plaintiff's counsel advised the homeowner that the servicer was in fact ACS. However, at the last conference, plaintiff's local counsel again stated that the servicer for loan was Wells Fargo.
In addition to this confusion, prior to the next conference, plaintiff's counsel advised the homeowner that the modification application packet was complete. However, at the next
conference on November 19, 2012, local counsel advised the homeowner that the packet was not complete.


U.S. Bank v. Bressler

U.S. Bank Admits MERS Does NOT Have Authority to Assign Note

No Evidence of Delivery of Note

In the December 7, 2011 Decision, the court found the assignment of a mortgage without the note was defective, as the transfer of the mortgage without the debt (Note) is a nullity. Citimortgage, Inc. v Stosel

Also see: Merscorp Lacks Right to Transfer Mortgages, Judge Says

Stop Foreclosure Fraud



Of note, at oral argument of this motion to reargue, plaintiff admitted that MERS did not have authority to assign the Note when it assigned the mortgage in 2008 and admitted that the assignment of the mortgage cannot effectuate the assignment of the note.


U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert E. Grossman in Central Islip, New York, in a decision he said he knew would have a “significant impact,” wrote that the membership rules of the company’s Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS, don’t make it an agent of the banks that own the mortgages. “MERS’s theory that it can act as a ‘common agent’ for undisclosed principals is not supported by the law,”

Free eBook



Launching Our First (Free) Ebook on the OCC/Fed Foreclosure Review Fiasco

As a result of many reader requests, we’ve turned our series based on testimony from whistleblowers at Bank of America and PNC on the whitewash more formally known as the Independent Foreclosure Reviews into an ebook, which we are releasing today. 

Whistleblowers Reveal How Bank of America Defrauded Homeowners and Paid for a Cover Up— All With the Help of “Regulators”

naked capitalism This was the very same OCC mandated process, billed as a way to provide wronged mortgage borrowers with the opportunity to get a measure of justice, that instead turned into a costly and embarrassing fiasco. But it still worked out well for the banks. The amount they paid, even with a mind-boggling $2 billion of fees to consultants and another $3.6 billion in cash payments to borrowers, is far less than they would have shelled out if the process had been designed to conduct the investigations fairly and give meaningful awards.




Oklahoma Attorney General The Attorney General’s Office has received dozens of calls from residents confused about the settlement and the postcards they received from “Rust Consulting,” believing the cards were part of a scam. 

The settlement is a legitimate agreement between the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and 14 mortgage servicers. It is not related to the federal mortgage settlement by the Justice Department or Oklahoma’s mortgage settlement announced last year. 


Force placed insurance settlement achieved in New York

Lawsky also pointed out that the settlement that has now been reached will implement some considerable reforms that will cease that type of practice at Assurant, while offering homeowners who were victims of this practice with some restitution.

Insurance News Report The coverage is purchased by mortgage lenders on behalf of homeowners that have let their policies lapse. 

That is NOT true.  

Evidence confirms servicers canceled homeowner's current and active policies and added their own to extract illegal profits. (MSF)


Pro Se



None of the other documents were authenticated. Unauthenticated documents cannot be used in support of a motion for summary judgment.

The indorsement in blank did not establish that the Bank had the right to enforce the note when it filed suit, because the indorsement was undated.

Moreover, the Bank’s standing also was not established by its act of filing of the original note. Although the filing of the original blank-indorsed note showed the Bank’s possession of (and thus right to enforce) it at the
time of filing the note, that filing occurred more than a year after the Bank filed suit. As for the Purchase and Assumption Agreement, that Agreement was not authenticated for
purposes of summary judgment. Finally, the affidavit of amounts due and owing did state that the Bank “holds the Note.” However, like the filing of the original note, the affidavit did not establish that the Bank held the note at the time it filed suit because the affidavit was dated more than two years later.


Chasm Between Words and Deeds IX:
Bank Violations Hurt Hardest Hit Communities

This report reveals that homeowners continue to face a plethora of servicing problems-- many of which were supposed to be fixed by the NMS.

California Reinvestment Coalition In addition, the survey reveals that bank practices continue to disproportionately affect disadvantaged and hard-hit communities including limited English proficient (LEP) borrowers, widows, and people with disabilities.

Dual track problems persist. Even though it is now outlawed in the state of California, banks are failing to stop the foreclosure process while borrowers are negotiating in good faith for a loan modification.
• Over 60% of counselors reported that Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo still dual track “sometimes,” “often,” or “always,” even though this practice should have ended months ago under the NMS.

Service Members to Receive $39 Million for Violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

Each service member will receive a minimum of $116,785, plus compensation for any equity lost with interest. 

Department of Justice The Justice Department announced today that under its 2011 settlements with BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, a subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation, and Saxon Mortgage Servicing Inc., a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, 316 service members whose homes were unlawfully foreclosed upon between 2006 and 2010 are due to receive over $39 million in monetary relief for alleged violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

Previous Owner Revisits Home Lost To Foreclosure

NPR Bank foreclosures often force people out of their homes. Some houses re-sell, and new people move in. Five years ago, NPR's Emily Harris bought a house that sold in foreclosure. An evening ring at her doorbell led her to meet the person who had lived there before.

Faux Foreclosure Cleanup Was Really Theft

Athens Patch

h/t HETR

When the resident confronted them, they told him they were from the mortgage company and were there to clean the house out because it was going into foreclosure. The man said he checked with his mortgage company and was told no one should be cleaning out the house.

21 Statistics About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America That Everyone Should Know

The Economic Collapse If the economy is getting better, then why does poverty in America continue to grow so rapidly? Yes, the stock market has been hitting all-time highs recently, but also the number of Americans living in poverty has now reached a level not seen since the 1960s.


Mass pressure forces judge to stay eviction of disabled homeowner

Judge Shapero overruled the objections of the attorney for Fannie Mae, who listed all the “proper” legal steps taken by her client to put Jones out of his home. The judge agreed that the law was clear, but, under mass pressure, stated that “the law isn’t everything.” He ordered the 30-day adjournment until the court could appoint an attorney to assist Jones on a pro bono basis.

Workers World Jones and his supporters ask people to bombard both Wells Fargo and Fannie Mae with calls and emails demanding that they stop the eviction and negotiate with S. Baxter Jones so that he can keep his home. Call Wells Fargo Bank at 800-853-8516 and Fannie Mae at 312-368-6200 in reference to Loan # 025-301-6042, address 8789 Rexford Road, Jackson, Michigan 49201.

Go to for more information and to watch a powerful video of S. Baxter Jones discussing his situation.


The CFPB takes action against mortgage insurers to end kickbacks to lenders


Four Companies to Pay $15.4 Million in Penalties


h/t HETR

“Illegal kickbacks distort markets and can inflate the financial burden of homeownership for consumers,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “We believe these mortgage insurance companies funneled millions of dollars to mortgage lenders for well over a decade. The orders announced today put an end to these types of arrangements and require these insurers to pay more than $15 million in penalties for violating the law.”

Have We Reached A Tipping Point In The Financial System?

“March and April 2013 may go down in history as the tipping point for the western financial system.

Daily Sheeple “When it was announced [in Cyprus] that both large and small depositors were to have a percentage of their deposits seized, it was not the amount that horrified the world but the discovery that you do not own your own bank deposits… Most investors worldwide are of the belief that when you deposit your money in a bank, it simply has safe-keeping of that money. The realization that you have lent the bank your money and are an “Unsecured Creditor” of the bank is an unpleasant revelation.”


Where did all the money go? Secret Files Expose Offshore’s Global Impact

For the past 15 months, journalists from over 40 countries have worked together to shed light on this issue.

And here’s some of what they found.

Emily Menkes The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has just released the first stories from a global collaborative project into the world of offshore money. The Tax Justice Network, an advocacy group claims that a third of the world’s wealth is tied up in the secret area of offshore.


This is an easy case, like personal injury only less paperwork, for lawyers to take on contingency and make a ton of money for themselves and their clients. With standard contingency if the bidder is forced to make a payment in the amount of the bid, then your fee in the above example would be over $100,000.

Banks Could Owe TRILLIONS on Fake Rigged Credit Bids

there is a much simpler aspect to this that can be pled in the alternative when one is attacking the foreclosure sale. Remember that in most states alternative pleading is allowed and even encouraged. So your alternative pleading in this case would be that the foreclosure was wrongful OR, if it wasn’t wrongful then the borrower is entitled to money. How? Why?

Living Lies If the Judge won’t let you come in through the front door, you find another door or point of entry. In this case, the strategy I am proposing puts the issue right on the table and could even be limited to this one cause of action. It would be breach of contract and perhaps a second count for breach of statutory duty, nullification of instrument (the deed in foreclosure). What you are looking for is damages.
The allegations supporting the cause of action for damages would be that the creditor never alleged pr proved the amount they lost or misrepresented the amount they lost. We are talking money here, not notes, mortgages, assignments and indorsements. Money is the key to the evil that was perpetrated and money is what will bring the perpetrators into a perp walk even if the government is reluctant to do so.

The note proves the DEBT not the LOSS.

GOA Report


GAO Report on Independent Foreclosure Reviews Exposes OCC, Fed’s Plan to Deliberately Minimize Evidence of Borrower Harm

Lessons Learned Could Enhance Continuing Reviews and Activities under Amended Consent Orders (that have already been violated)

David Dayen The regulators were definitely part of the story here, and once you get through the government audit-ese, you can begin to see the picture of how they conspired to ensure the reviews would offer little to no value, and indeed attempt to exonerate the banks. The ensuing calamity only shows how the scheme worked too well, burying any evidence of borrower harm among an avalanche of deliberately cracked design.


Fiduciary Duty to Cheat? Stock Market Super-Star Jim Chanos Reveals the Perverse New Mindset of Financial Fraudsters

American business has always had cheaters and crooks, but today they are escaping prosecution and are incentivized to cheat more.

AlterNet Jim Chanos is one of America’s best-known short-sellers, famed for his early detection of Enron’s fraudulent practices. In deciding which companies to short (short-sellers make their money when the price of a stock or security goes down), Chanos acts as a kind of financial detective, scrutinizing companies for signs of overvaluation and shady practices that fool outsiders into thinking that they are prospering when they may be on shaky financial footing. Chanos teaches a class at Yale on the history of financial fraud, instructing students in how to look for signs of cheating and criminal activity.

GAO Foreclosure Report Finds Bank Regulators Failed To Provide 'Key Oversight

Huff Post "The report confirms that the Independent Foreclosure Review process was poorly designed and executed," Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said in a statement Wednesday evening. The "report confirms what I had long suspected -– that the OCC’s oversight of the supposedly independent consultants hired by the servicers was severely deficient. The report should serve as a wake-up call.”


Blame Abounds Over a Flawed Foreclosure Review

DealBook Adding to the scrutiny, the Senate Banking Committee plans to hold a hearing next week to examine the foreclosure review and other recent missteps at consulting firms like Promontory Financial and Deloitte & Touche. Senator Sherrod Brown, the Ohio Democrat leading the inquiry, is expected to broadly question the quality and independence of consulting firms that are paid billions of dollars by the same banks they are expected to police.


The Blaze The Obama administration is pushing banks to extend home loans to people with weaker credit, an initiative that the White House says will help fuel the recovery but critics say will lead to the type of conditions that caused the financial crash of 2008.


The key word in this story is "non-binding," but here's the cool thing: the amendment passed unanimously. By a vote of 99-0, the entire Senate agreed, at least in principle, that the banks should not be getting that extra $83 billion a year.

The Growing Sentiment on the Hill For Ending 'Too Big To Fail'

On the Hill, the revival of the Brown-Kaufman amendment through the Brown-Vitter efforts was just one sign of a change in the weather.

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

A January PBS Frontline special on Wall Street and the lack of prosecutions of major banks apparently infuriated members on both sides of the aisle. Particularly infuriating, apparently, were remarks by Lanny Breuer about the government being reluctant to prosecute for fear of upsetting the economy. Days after the program aired, Sherrod Brown and Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley sent a letter to Eric Holder demanding an explanation.

That set the stage for the non-binding resolutions in March, which in turn is followed by this Sanders bill, which is floating around in the Senate atmosphere alongside the Brown-Vitter concept.


Payday Loans by any other Name: Still Not a Rose!

Payday loans can be dangerous forms of credit. Interest rates are astronomically high (according to an FDIC advisory, between 300 and 1000 percent when calculated annually).

Bankruptcy Law Network

Those kinds of interest rates can’t be legal?

They sure can be. States regulate these kinds of businesses and create safe harbors exempting payday lenders from state usury laws–or just never have usury laws to begin with like in South Carolina where I practice. Oh, and they have some pretty good lobbyists, too, in case you hadn’t figured that out.


Ocwen Closes Deal for Genworth's Reverse-Mortgage Unit

Ocwen has been aggressively building its mortgage lending and servicing operations through deals.

American Banker Last October it agreed to buy the mortgage servicer Homeward Residential Holdings from WL Ross & Co. for $750 million. That same month Ocwen and its partner Walter Investment Management won a bidding war for Residential Capital Corp., agreeing to pay $3 billion for the mortgage servicing unit of ResCap, a bankrupt unit of Ally Financial.




Matt Weidner, Esq. And what if you learned that because these workers were violating state law, were unlicensed, and did not have any permits, you the homeowner, faced a $500 per day fine? Doesn’t that sound INSANE? Well, take a look at these before and after pictures. In the first picture you see a perfectly fine home…right? Walls intact? Floors clean…a little bit of work being done? Well, that’s the way my client’s home looked when they left it.

California Counselors Claim Banks Violate Settlement, State Bill  Anyone surprised?

California’s housing counselors find the nation’s largest banks already are failing to comply with the national mortgage settlement and the state’s Homeowners Bill of Rights.

Mortgage Servicing News Over 70% of the 84 counselors and lawyers who participated in the survey said banks in their opinion are “never,” “rarely” or only “sometimes” complying with the much-talked-about single point of contact response to foreclosure prevention and mortgage loan workout management.



To Clean Up Foreclosure Mess, Banks Rely On Little-Known Industry Plagued By Fraud, Abuse

Adam Reynolds, a Naples, Fla., contractor who ran a field services company called REO Proz until it folded last year, said he was routinely dispatched by banks or larger field services companies to drill out locks to see whether properties were vacant, only to find that tenants still lived there and had never missed a payment.

“Countless times," he said, he received orders to clean out properties that had personal photos on the shelves and fresh food in the refrigerator.

"I've even had an order sending me to a property that was never owned by any bank," he said.

Huff Post An investigation by The Huffington Post featuring interviews with more than two dozen independent bank contractors and a review of more than 100 lawsuits reveals that the industry, which experts estimate booked more than $2 billion in revenue last year, is plagued by allegations of misconduct and abuse.

According lawsuits and police reports drawn from communities nationwide, contractors have emptied lived-in homes of all possessions, including jewelry, heirlooms, and -- in at least one instance -- the family cat. They have allegedly dumped trash illegally rather than paying for disposal, and have been accused of painting over potentially hazardous mold instead of removing it. They have allegedly forged paperwork, and used doctored photographs to bill banks and the federal government for services never performed.


Bankers’ Court Wins Could Come Back to Haunt Them

Banks and their lawyers have found a surprisingly effective way to stymie financial reform: Kill new rules in the courts. It’s a strategy that may cripple regulators, undermine the legitimacy of the judicial system and ultimately come back to haunt the banks.

Bloomberg Litigators working for the financial industry have been scoring some important victories, using the courts to block rules required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Notably, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down a Securities and Exchange Commission rule that would have given shareholders more say in the selection of corporate directors, on the grounds that the regulation lacked adequate cost-benefit analysis. A lower court struck down a Commodity Futures Trading Commission rule imposing position limits on traders because of supposedly ambiguous wording.


Matt Weidner, Esq. The banks are pulling a scam over our courts, our judges, our legislature and on every single taxpayer in this state!

If Florida’s judges, Constitutional officers as they are, became aware that in a significant percentage of the cases that pass their benches, the banks were ripping off the State of Florida? Would the judges have a duty to not allow the foreclosures to continue?

Bank of America Will Pay Credit Unions $165 Million in a Settlement

Bank of America Corp agreed to pay $165 million to settle charges by the U.S. credit union regulator involving sales of mortgage-backed securities to corporate credit unions that led them to fail.

Reuters The settlement adds to a growing list of mortgage-related legal troubles Bank of America has been able to put behind it, after sustaining more than $40 billion in losses from its home loan business since the financial crisis.
Most of those losses stemmed from its 2008 purchase of Countrywide Financial, once the largest U.S. subprime mortgage lender.

Struggling homeowners stiffed by Florida Legislature

Bradenton Herald Florida's Legislature is once again planning to violate the public trust by raiding the trust fund established to create more affordable housing, diverting $200 million to such priorities as teacher pay raises and health care. At the same time, lawmakers plan to spend $200 million from the state's share of a national mortgage settlement over bank foreclosure and mortgage abuses on things other than aid to struggling homeowners -- its intended purpose.

MBIA Wins Ruling on Loan Buybacks in Bank of America Suit

Bloomberg “Plaintiff is entitled to a finding that the loan need not be in default to trigger defendants’ obligation to repurchase it,” the court said. “There is simply nothing in the contractual language which limits defendants’ repurchase obligations in such a manner.”


Nitty-gritty "Details" & Organizing

Bearer Paper or Order Paper?

HOFJ The past is all about the "words" and the future is all about "organizing."

Joe Esquival and Charles Wallshein are guests on today's show.

Related case law:

Hoss v. Habacher (Tex 1979)


One man's fight against foreclosures in Carpentersville

'I can't let this town become Detroit'

CNN Money "It really was neglected," said Roeser. "I went to the town, the county; I went to Habitat for Humanity; I told them that we needed to do something about this neighborhood. I couldn't get help from anybody."

So Roeser proceeded to buy 69 of the foreclosed condos in the complex himself. Most of the homes he's bought at auction for less than $30,000, then fixed up. Today, he rents out a renovated 800-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment for $675 a month, about $200 below market value.


U.S. Bank Tagged For Allegedly Screwing Over Homeowner With Unauthorized, Illegal Fees Clipped When Servicing Mortgage

Home Equity Theft Reporter The Stitts claim the defendant also refused to credit payments on the account by either returning payments or placing the payments in suspense. Rather than provide the Stitts with any assistance, the defendant ultimately chose to pursue foreclosure, in violation of their mortgage contract, according to the suit.

Judge Won’t Approve Huge Settlement

The Rakoff revolt is spreading.
Stein joined other judges in recent years to question the fairness of large legal settlements in the financial industry.

According to court papers, the shareholder settlement also resolved claims against several former top Citigroup officials, including Chief Executive Charles Prince and senior adviser Robert Rubin. Stein asked whether this was proper.

Reuters "Does the absence of any payments from the individual defendants render the settlement unfair to class members who still hold the Citigroup stock they purchased during the class period?" he asked both sides to address.

Stein also asked for more information, including how much a reasonable client would pay to justify fees for lead counsel and other lawyers equal to 16.5 percent of the settlement amount, or about $97.4 million, plus $2.8 million for expenses.

Promontory Decides to Reinvest Part of its $1 Billion of Ill Gotten Gains from Botched Foreclosure Reviews By Buying Hiring Former SEC Chief Shapiro

naked capitalism We now seem to be on a downspiral of cultivated hatred of government leading to budget cuts which lead to deteriorating service, which justify dim views and produce more cuts and more service degradation. Of course, the flip side is many people also want their government, that is, whatever bennies they receive personally, and push for cuts elsewhere. Things will get worse before they get better, and the odds are high they will just get worse.

The mattress safe – the latest way to bank with confidence

The fact is, thousands of banks are about to fail and the FDIC’s deposit insurance fund is showing a deficit. Besides, banks pay almost no interest right now, so apart from the convenience of a small checking account balance, what’s the point in keeping your money in the banking system? There isn’t one.”

Deadly Clear Santos claims that by putting the safes at the end of the mattress, customers snooze just as comfortably as on a normal bed. He also admits that, as a bank, a mattress has certain disadvantages. It does not hand out credit cards or overdrafts and it will not lend you money. But in credit-crunched Spain, your high-street bank probably will not lend you anything anyway.


Fed Lies On The Record To Protect Bank Of America, Pulls Testimony

In late 2010, in a superficially stunning move, Bank of America was sued by, among many others, the New York Fed over the biggest bogeyman for the bank’s balance sheet – its legacy portfolio of super toxic Countrywide mortgages it inherited in the worst M&A deal of all time (its purchase of CFC) and the inheritance of woefully inadequate mortgage issuance standards which ever since then (recall our prediction on this issue) has cost the bank billions in litigation payments and reserves.

Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge

Obviously, the Fed had no concerns about collecting the money it itself creates, and it certainly doesn’t care about legality and criminal financial impropriety, so why was it among the list of plaintiffs?

The Fed has done everything in its power to mitigate potential losses to BofA as a result of Agent Orange selling hundreds of billions in biohazardous mortgages to anyone and anything with a pulse. It has gotten so bad that the Fed was last week caught lying under testimony, forcing the Fed to take back testimony in a parallel lawsuit between AIG and BofA, which has also involved the New York Fed, as a indirect guardian of BAC's cash hoard.


Stockton, CA CalPERS – The Next Cyprus-like Haircut?

Deadly Clear The insurers have more than $300 million of exposure to the city’s debt and have said that Stockton’s decision to keep making payments to its largest creditor, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), showed lack of good faith during the initial stages of the city’s bankruptcy plan


Wells Fargo’s “Reprehensible” Foreclosure Abuses Prove Incompetence and Collusion of OCC

This story is back in the news thanks to an appeals court smackdown of Wells, which has engaged in a long-standing war of attrition with one of the plaintiffs, a Michael Jones. The reason for the appeal was that the bank was fighting the judge’s imposition of punitive damages of $3.1 million for Wells’ “reprehensible” conduct.

Jones v. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo was on notice that its actions were impermissible and could incur significant penalties and assessing
punitive damages at ten times the amount of compensatory damages is within the constitutional limits.

naked capitalism Two bankruptcy cases in Louisiana that have revealed systematic, persistent foreclosure abuses by Wells Fargo have gotten enough media attention that it is inconceivable that banking regulators don’t know about them. The lack of any intervention, or even so much as a throat-clearing by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is yet another proof of how the regulator apparently sees its role as fronting for banks rather than enforcing rules.

Almost every disallowed fee was imposed while the Stewarts were making regular monthly payments on their home…

Wells Fargo’s audit had turned up accounting errors in nearly every loan file it reviewed.


“Banks force-placed insurance practices under microscope”

If you haven’t heard about force-placed insurance before, there’s a pretty good chance you will be hearing a lot about it soon.

Oppenheim Law Though the practice has been around for several years, it’s only recently been making headlines in numerous national publications as regulators have finally decided it was high time to crack down on what only can be called self-dealing and fraudulent activities.

Pay for Boards at Banks Soars Amid Cutbacks

Too much pay may end up giving boards an incentive to not rock the boat.

NY Times Some Wall Street insiders also question the need to pay bank directors more than their counterparts at other big corporations, arguing that the increased regulation has actually limited bank boards’ ability to perform important tasks, like raising capital and issuing dividends. Even when it comes to paying senior executives, boards have less leeway because regulators have pressured boards to bring down executive pay.

State-Wrecked: The Corruption of Capitalism in America

The Dow Jones and Standard & Poor’s 500 indexes reached record highs on Thursday, having completely erased the losses since the stock market’s last peak, in 2007. But instead of cheering, we should be very afraid.

NY Times Real median family income growth has dropped 8 percent, and the number of full-time middle class jobs, 6 percent. The real net worth of the “bottom” 90 percent has dropped by one-fourth. The number of food stamp and disability aid recipients has more than doubled, to 59 million, about one in five Americans.


The Dark Side of Credit Reporting

I have personally consulted with hundreds of people who have been unfairly treated by their bank on their securitized loan only to be further victimized by the bank when it reports the homeowner’s failure to comply with the bank’s shifting demands as a default on the loan.

A very common example of this phenomenon is when the bank (actually the loan servicer) recommends to the homeowner reaching out for mortgage relief to stop making payments so that she may be considered for a mortgage modification.

Dan McGookey, Esq. In the end it turns out that the promise of a modification was illusory, and the homeowner winds up in foreclosure on account of her alleged “default”. A close cousin of this fraudulent tactic is where the bank offers a so-called “Trial Plan Payment”, requiring the homeowner, like a school child who needs to be punished for not completing her homework, to make three or four “trial” payments in order to obtain absolution in the form of a loan modification for her misbehavior. After making the required payments, the bank oftentimes goes back on its word, and denies the homeowner permanent relief, and puts her into foreclosure. (And this is not a crime?)

Quick foreclosure is not a solution

I am an attorney and represent homeowners who are also going through the same horror. Why am I telling you? Because I fear the passage in the Legislature of HB 87 and SB 1666.

What is shocking to me is that legislators do not understand why we have the largest nationwide consumer settlement ever against the five largest banks. What happened to me is exactly why Attorney General Pam Bondi received $8.4 million for Florida out of the settlement, but homeowners are still left to defend against the (same) fraud and abuse in their individual cases.

Danielle Kelley, Esq. The bank has built its case against the homeowner years before the homeowner ever gets a day in court. Moreover, many homeowners are told to contact the bank’s attorneys instead of getting their own.

I’ve seen people sitting in a courtroom about to lose their home, and the only attorney they are talking to is the bank’s attorney.

At the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee hearing on the bill, I was physically ill listening to legislators talk about homeowners “getting on with their lives” and fresh starts, as if I should just walk away from my home. It is not about “fresh starts,” it is about those who are continuing to live through this nightmare. It is not about cases and statistics, it is about homes. I left the hearing without testifying, since I knew my story would fall on deaf ears.


Ex-Freddie execs lose bid to toss SEC lawsuit


COMPLAINT: SEC v. Syron, Cook, Bisenius 

Reuters In the Freddie Mac case, Syron and the other defendants also argued they were exempt from liability under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 since Freddie, as a government-sponsored corporation, was an independent U.S. establishment.

Sullivan rejected that argument, saying "had Congress in 1970 or at any time since then wished to designate Freddie Mac as an independent establishment, it would have done so."


Florida Federal Judge hammers Foreclosure Defense Lawyer for TILA Sham

In early March 2013 a West Palm Beach USDC judge dismissed a sham TILA lawsuit filed by a bozo foreclosure defense attorney (“Loan Lawyers”) to delay foreclosure. 

 Guillaume v. Federal National Mortgage Association


Bob Hurt The plaintiffs, defendants in a state foreclosure action they could not win, asked the servicer for loan information, and when the servicer responded partially, the plaintiffs sued in federal court for a TILA violation. The judge dismissed the case with prejudice and mooted all other motions, claiming the plaintiff had 2 years to solicit the information, and ask the lender attorney who held the note, etc, but instead filed the sham lawsuit just for the fine and fees.

Even federal judges have sublime common sense that many foreclosure defense attorneys lack. How much did the Loan Lawyer bozos charge their desperate clients for this wasted action? The clients should sue Loan Lawyers for malpractice, in my humble opinion


Judge Rejects Much of Libor Lawsuit Against Banks

Reuters In the ruling on Friday, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of United States District Court in Manhattan, while acknowledging that her decision “might be unexpected,” granted the banks’ motion to dismiss federal antitrust claims and partly dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims of commodities manipulation. She also dismissed racketeering and state-law claims.

Merrill Sued for $309 Million by Trust Over Mortgages

"For example, iformation supplied by the trustee reveals that over 180 mortgage loans were delinquent as of the applicable cut-off date and/or the date of the closing of the certificates to the public.

Bloomberg The trust also accused Merrill Lynch and H&R Block Inc. (HRB)’s Sand Canyon unit of breaching similar representations and warranties made about other mortgage loans. Sand Canyon, formerly known as Option One Mortgage Corp., stopped originating mortgage loans in December 2007, sold its servicing assets to American Home Mortgage Servicing, and discontinued remaining operations in April 2008.


Solari Report: The BLACK BUDGET

Catherine Austin Fitts Catherine: "If you want to understand how things got as sort of wacky as they've gotten, you really want to dip into and try and understand what the Black Budget is."

Judges Brainwashed and Compromised by Corporately Sponsored Seminars and FREE Trips?

Every day attorneys and homeowners are asking – “What’s wrong with these judges?! They are ignoring the Rule of Law. It’s as if they are on the take…” Well, now you know… And who better but corporate America at brainwashing – they even patent it!

Deadly Clear Since the 1990s, critics have complained that many of the privately funded conferences serve state and federal judges a steady dose of free-market, anti-regulation lectures that could influence judges’ rulings from the bench.

Those concerns quieted in 2007, when the Judicial Conference of the United States, a group of senior circuit judges who oversee the U.S. Courts, implemented a policy requiring judges and seminar hosts to disclose information about the conferences.



h/t Alina


The Bank does not dispute its burden of proof on this point; it merely argues that by failing to raise this issue in its pleading, Appellants lost their right to complain of the defect. However, this burden remained with the bank.


It Can Happen Here: The Bank Confiscation Scheme for US and UK Depositors

The National Government [is] pushing a Cyprus-style solution to bank failure in New Zealand which will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts . . . .

If our IOUs are converted to bank stock, they will no longer be subject to insurance protection but will be “at risk” and vulnerable to being wiped out, just as the Lehman Brothers shareholders were in 2008.

Global Research Although few depositors realize it, legally the bank owns the depositor’s funds as soon as they are put in the bank. Our money becomes the bank’s, and we become unsecured creditors holding IOUs or promises to pay.  But until now the bank has been obligated to pay the money back on demand in the form of cash. Under the FDIC-BOE plan, our IOUs will be converted into “bank equity.” The bank will get the money and we will get stock in the bank. With any luck we may be able to sell the stock to someone else, but when and at what price? Most people keep a deposit account so they can have ready cash to pay the bills.

Banks Reworking Loans Means Fewer Foreclosures

The nation’s biggest lenders seem to have finally reached the conclusion that keeping people in their homes under revamped payment plans is financially preferable to the often costly and time-consuming foreclosure process.
The obvious question is, ‘what took them so long?’

Fox Business Foreclosures have fallen to their lowest levels since the start of the 2008 financial crisis and a primary reason is that banks are now favoring loan modifications over the more traditional response of tossing delinquent borrowers from their homes.

There was no precedent for reworking home loans. It just wasn’t done.
The banks had to figure out a process for loan modifications on the fly, as millions of Americans sought to rework loans they could no longer afford.


Iceland Indicts Bankers Over Financial Crisis

While America gives its Criminal Bankers Lots of Money

Several news outlets reported that Iceland's special prosecutor, hired in 2009 to investigate suspicious activities at several major banks, indicted fifteen bankers — including two chief executives — earlier this month over illegal activity tied to the meltdown of the country's banking system in the fall of 2008. The bankers are accused of stock-price manipulation and securities fraud.

American Banker "These are quite big cases by any measurement, they're my biggest cases so far," Olafur Thor Hauksson, the prosecutor, adding that the charged could face up to six years in prison if convicted.

"Irresponsible actions at many of our biggest banks wreaked similar havoc across our own banking system and economy," wrote John Grgurich on the Motley Fool website. "So why hasn't the U.S. seen any of its bank CEOs, let alone any of its politicians, go on trial for similar charges?"


Capital flight has become a serious threat to the Cypriot economy

By Bix Weir

Deadly Clear

ALERT: The Cyprus Population is Now Fully Employed! 

Yes. The entire Cyprus population as of today will be fully employed for the foreseeable future. Their jobs…


Washington law firm sues bank regulator over foreclosure reviews

In a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C., the law firm Williams & Connolly revisited the original reviews.

Thomson Reuters It is seeking documents explaining how the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency defined "independent" in its requirements for mortgage servicers to hire "independent consultants" to conduct the reviews.

The law firm declined to identify the client on behalf of which it filed the complaint.

It is possible that a consulting firm that lost out on the review contracts is behind the suit.

Foreclosed 'Zombie' Homes Exceed 300,000 Properties: Study

Reuters revealed the plight of people who walked away from their homes not realizing that their names remained on the deed and that they were financially liable for taxes and other bills related to the abandoned property.

In some cases, homeowners vacated after receiving a notice from the bank of a planned foreclosure sale, only to find out later the bank never followed through.

Reuters Unsuspecting homeowners have had their wages garnished, their credit destroyed and their tax refunds seized. They've opened their mail to find bills for back taxes, graffiti-scrubbing services, demolition crews, trash removal, gutter repair, exterior cleaning and lawn clipping.

In some cities, people with zombie titles can be sentenced to probation, with the threat of jail if they don't bring their houses into compliance.



Foreclosure Defense Nationwide This decision is in line with prior decisions of both the State and Federal courts in Hawaii which have questioned MERS assignments made by MERS “as nominee” of a bankrupt lender and in the absence of any proof that the transfer was authorized by the bankruptcy court having jurisdiction over the estate of the bankrupt lender. Hawaii has been in the forefront of the decisions on this issue.


Extraordinary filing shows banks are on the ropes in FHFA cases

There's a cloud of desperation over most petitions for a writ of mandamus. These are, by definition, extraordinary filings, asserting that trial judges have committed such egregious abuses of discretion that their appellate overseers must immediately step in and undo the damage. Mandamus petitions are a last resort. 

Alison Frankel It's very hard, in other words, to read the banks' mandamus petition as anything but a signal of deep fear about their exposure to claims involving more than $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities, in cases that they themselves describe as "perhaps the largest collection of securities litigation ever filed in the United States." The banks and their counsel, the elite of the securities defense bar, obviously believe that the slim chance of relief from the 2nd Circuit outweighs the risk of the filing. If they win mandamus, that will have been brilliant strategy (and I'll eat my words). In the far more likely scenario, though, they'll lose on mandamus and face trial dates beginning in January 2014, when Cote is scheduled to hear FHFA's claims against UBS.

Their mandamus filing, meanwhile, has told the other side, along with the 2nd Circuit, that Cote's rulings have eviscerated the banks' defenses. 


Mortgages Still Top Consumer Woe


Consumer Response Annual Report The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its annual consumer complaint database snapshot Thursday, describing the financial woes that consumers have been reporting to the young government agency. In total, the CFPB received about 91,000 complaints in 2012, and half of those complaints were mortgage-related.

This case presents a particularly difficult issue of first impression: may a debt buyer, suing as the alleged assignee of a claimed consumer debt, be countersued for violating GBL §349 based on allegations that it commenced the lawsuit without any evidence that could prove the claim?

Midland Funding, LLC v Giraldo

Nassau District Court, First District If it commences such an action without having such readily available proof, and if it turns out that such proof is not readily available, the debt buyer may end up not only losing the case, but may also be found liable for substantial compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney's fees to the extent allowed by law. 

So Ordered: 


Banks Seek to Overturn Judge’s Ruling in Critical Mortgage Case

The move is the latest effort by big banks to put the mortgage mess — and the related legal headaches — behind them.


Case includes many of the predatory lenders.

NY Times In 2011, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, accused the banks of duping the housing giants into buying $200 billion of mortgage securities that ultimately imploded during the financial crisis. On Wall Street, the lawsuit is considered a critical litmus test for how successful the banks will be in stanching their losses from the mortgage litigation.

The banks have been aggressively trying to thwart the lawsuit. In November, Judge Cote denied requests by the banks to toss out the lawsuit altogether.

Fannie/Freddie to Homeowners:

Do Nothing and Help Will Arrive

I encourage Fannie/Freddie homeowners in trouble on their mortgages to open their mail from their banks, even if they would be reluctant to chase a traditional, paperwork-laden modification. Mixed in with those credit card offers from the same bank that is sending you foreclosure notices might be a real opportunity to save your home.

Prof Katie Porter Federal Housing Finance Agency, the conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has launched a new loan modification program. The program is a major departure from HAMP and HARP (thankfully!). It puts mortgage servicers in charge of delivering relief, instead of requiring homeowners to run down, chase, and exhaust themselves contacting their mortgage company. 

The basic details available so far are that the program will start this July 1 and end August 2015. It will be open to Fannie/Freddie homeowners who are 90 days or more delinquent on their mortgages. Homeowners will not have to submit proof of financial hardship or undergo extensive underwriting to be qualified for modifications.



The foreclosure world has been the subject of some genuinely strange events lately.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide We were advised that a judge granted summary judgment in a case where the homeowner never had a mortgage loan with the foreclosing bank and the prior mortgage was never assigned or transferred to the foreclosing bank. Another case has come to us where the homeowner simply asked the bank to change the payment due date on the mortgage, having never been late or requested any type of modification to the loan. The bank told the homeowner that they had to be 3 months behind to change the payment date, and then declared a “default” and foreclosed.

Free help available for homeowners facing foreclosure

Please alert Michigan homeowners, family, friends and neighbors facing foreclosure that they can learn how to get support at Step Forward Michigan.

Mlive The federally funded Step Forward Michigan initiative can offer up to $30,000 in targeted assistance to residents and families who’ve been hit hardest by the economic downturn to stay in their homes.

More Than 100 Watchdog Groups Demand Full Fair-Lending Compliance and Disclosure in National Mortgage Settlement

Brennan Center for Justice On Wednesday, March 27th, a coalition made up of 109 civic groups sent a letter to Mortgage Settlement Monitor Joe Smith and the Executive Monitoring Committee highlighting concerns with the slow pace of change on the ground for hardest-hit communities and the need for greater oversight.

Homeowners and advocates around the nation have grown frustrated by the banks’ failure to disclose information about consumer relief under the National Mortgage Settlement as communities continue to see persistent servicing violations and struggle to get affordable mortgage modifications with principal reduction.

OC foreclosure specialist indicted over kickbacks

CBS8 Federal prosecutors say a former Orange County foreclosure specialist for Fannie Mae has been named in a grand jury indictment saying he took kickbacks from a real estate broker in exchange for granting him properties to sell.


FHFA Announces New Streamlined Modification Initiative

Borrowers and Servicers to Benefit From Simplified Program  (why should the servicer benefit from anything more than a prison cell?)

FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer a new, simplified loan modification initiative to minimize losses and to help troubled borrowers avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. Beginning July 1, servicers will be required to offer eligible borrowers who are at least 90 days delinquent on their mortgage an easy way to lower their monthly payments and modify their mortgage without requiring financial or hardship documentation.

OCC Withholds FOIA Requested Documents

4closureFraud This action challenges the OCC’s failure to disclose documents responsive to Plaintiff’s June 25, 2012 FOIA request to the agency. Plaintiff asks the Court to order immediate disclosure of the requested records.

JPMorgan Chase Faces Full-Court Press of Federal Investigations

DealBook Nearly a year after reporting a multibillion-dollar trading loss, JPMorgan is facing a criminal inquiry over whether it lied to investors and regulators about the risky wagers, a case that could accelerate when the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other authorities interview top JPMorgan executives in coming weeks.

Fort Collins, CO agency will administer statewide foreclosure-prevention program

Guidelines call for a maximum of $50,000 in assistance is available in the form of a loan to reduce the principal balance of a homeowner's first mortgage, enabling a loan modification for those in imminent threat of foreclosure. 

Reporter Herald Colorado Housing and Assistance Corp. is administering a Reinstatement Program designed to provide a maximum of $10,000 in assistance to borrowers who have fallen behind on their first mortgage. 

For more information about the program, contact the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline at 1-877-601- 4673 or go HERE




Nelson wants probe into Florida's foreclosure aid program

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is calling for an investigation into how Florida administered $1 billion in federal money meant for struggling homeowners

Sun Sentinel He cited a recent report in The Tampa Bay Times that said state housing officials have doled out some of the taxpayer money to felons and fraudsters.

Only 18 percent of Floridians who applied for the program have received any help, the lowest percentage of the 18 states using $7.6 billion in federal funds to aid homeowners caught up in the housing bust, The Times reported.

More than two years after the Florida Housing Finance Corp. announced the program, “only about 16 percent of the money available to Floridians has actually reached mortgage-troubled homeowners,” Nelson wrote.

Should You Worry About Zombie Foreclosures?

Fox Business You are not responsible for unpaid property taxes or property insurance. The lender or new owner will have to pay the property taxes. You can also keep track of the foreclosure process directly with the lender. Until the property is sold, your name will appear in the lender's computer system. 
Finally, when you do confirm the sale of the property, you can go to the county recorder's office in which the property is located. The recorder's office will have record of the property transfer.


A Mortgage Practice Gets a Closer Look by Regulators

Several regulators, including the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and state attorneys general, have expressed concerns about “excessive rates and costs passed onto borrowers, as well as commissions and other compensation paid to servicers by carriers,” the federal agency said.

NY Times “Our investigation found that insurers and banks built a network of troubling relationships and payoffs that helped drive premiums sky-high,” said Benjamin M. Lawsky, New York’s top financial regulator. “Those improper practices created significant conflicts of interest and saddled homeowners, taxpayers and investors with millions of dollars in unfair and unnecessary costs.”

The housing finance authority said that premiums for force-placed insurance were generally double or more the cost of insurance bought directly by a homeowner. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are affected, the agency said, when a bank or servicer pays the higher premiums and later, unable to recapture the cost from the homeowner, passes the expense along to the companies.

March 2013

MERS Authority “as nominee”: Show Me the Nomination !

Tim A. Bryant The term “nominee”, as used in the MERS mortgage, is an indefinite reference. It is not defined in the mortgage. No document is ever recorded in due course to which sets forth such “nomination” terms. “.. Importantly, the MERS and the lender... purposely chose to use the
specific legal term “nominee,” and not “agent” or “power-of-attorney.” MERS also chose not to define the term “nominee.”,” Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) v. Johnston

Florida Deal Artfully Sidesteps Challenge of Valuing Bad Assets

Mortgage Servicing News Two Florida banks have found a way around squabbling over the value of troubled credits: let the seller keep them.

March 2013


MERS model has come to be seen by unscrupulous players within the industry as an ideal medium in which to launder material defects in the chain of title and conceal further violations of state and
federal law.

Rockwell P. Ludden, Esq. No Massachusetts law supports the proposition that ownership of a mortgage passes legally from one
person to another during the securitization process merely because they have all decided to use the same agent. The point is elementary, and whenever it continues to escape the judicial eye there is cause for concern. It is here that we meet the bedrock of sober fact into which the idea that MERS in its representative role somehow does away with the need for an unbroken chain of assignments has sailed head-on and must eventually come to ruin.
3/26/13 Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction… potentially lethal. — Warren Buffet

World Derivatives Market Estimated As Big As $1.2 Quadrillion Notional, as Banks Fight Efforts to Rein It In


While a general definition of a derivative in this context could be — “A financial product derived from another financial product” (for example, a futures contract tied to a stock index) — in practice, the term applies to a whole world of financial products that are written on a one-off basis between two entities called “counterparties,” as opposed to products that are traded on a broad, well-regulated market.

naked capitalism Again, House bill HR 992, one of the seven mentioned at the beginning of this piece, is the one that makes you, the taxpayer, even more on the hook for banker-losses than you were after the Dodd-Frank reform. For the banks, the high-priced lobbyists, and their paid, moderately-priced politicians, this is a Win-Win.

But for you, it’s a second trip to Bailout Village. As for the nation … well, I think there’s rebellion in the air if this happens twice. In this case, the hubris of our enemies is not our friend. Not our friend at all.

Quoting Congressman Grayson again:

The road to hell is paved with these bills.


Banks Face Setback as FHFA Bans Force-Placed Commissions

Over the last two years, state insurance regulators and consumer groups have alleged that banks and insurers have colluded to inflate the price of the insurance. Insurers have allegedly shared profits via multi-million dollar lump sum payments to banks that steer business their way, generous reinsurance arrangements and commissions paid to insurance agencies which employ no insurance agents.

American Banker What led to the FHFA's latest move is unknown, though its decision will certainly dampen the ire from consumer advocates that followed its decision to kill the Fannie Mae insurance plan two months ago.

Maxine Waters, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, sent the FHFA a letter shortly after its decision became public demanding an explanation. The FHFA's inspector general also began a review of the decision, according to people who were contacted by the office.

But some observers doubt that external criticism is behind the FHFA's decision to take speedy action on force-placed insurance.












Foreclosure is THEFT in most cases


When Banksters Don’t Like the Law, Their Hired Hands in the Legislature Change It

As I’ve been writing for years, . You see, in their hurry to package mortgages into securities, the banksters virtually never followed the law. They were supposed to follow property law that requires documentation of property sales and as well documents sales of mortgages. Apparently they never did that. Most of the documents were destroyed–a business practice recommended by the banksters’ Frankenstein monster, MERS. Almost all property records in the USA are now suspect.

Prof. Randall Wray At first the homeowners and their lawyers as well as judges had no idea–the banks swiftly foreclosed–illegally taking homes away from rightful owners and selling them. As the information about bankster fraud came into the light, homeowners started fighting back, and in a few cases the judges started siding with them.

That threw a monkeywrench into the illegal foreclosures. It slowed things down, giving homeowners a chance to keep their homes. There was more pressure on banksters to try to find ways to work out some debt relief–as that was less costly than contentious foreclosures.

Banksters hate that, though. They want to steal the homes, cheaply and swiftly.

So what is a bankster going to do? Turn to the hired hands in the legislatures, of course. They bought the politicians, so now it is time to change the law after-the-fact. Legalize the fraudulent foreclosures.

This has always been the danger. We know that Washington will not investigate, let alone prosecute, bankster fraud. That meant the only chance for homeowners was to fight it out in the court system. But what if “elected” politicians change the law to retroactively legalize theft? Then there’s no remedy.


U.S. Cracks Down on 'Forced' Insurance

A U.S. housing regulator is cracking down on a little-known practice that has hit millions of struggling borrowers with high-price homeowners' insurance policies arranged by banks that benefit from the costly coverage.

WSJ Some banks have stopped receiving commissions as scrutiny increased over the past couple of years. Still, many share in the estimated $2.6 billion in annual premiums through bank-owned reinsurance companies.
New York regulators last year found nearly 15% of the premiums from force-placed policies flow back to the banks. Banks' commissions on the force-placed policies frequently top more than 10% of the homeowners' annual premiums of about $2,000, according to regulators.


Money-laundering firm should get no welcome in Maryland

HSBC may be 'too big to jail,' but it doesn't deserve to be chartered here

Mr. Gansler and Maryland alone can't resolve the problem of "too big to jail." Even if Maryland de-charters HSBC, it could recharter elsewhere. That other state, however, would suffer opprobrium for countenancing admitted money laundering operations.

Baltimore Sun In the case of HSBC, the public need not rely entirely on federal officials to do the right thing. Maryland officials can play an important role. Maryland law equips the state attorney general with a powerful tool to advance justice. According to the Maryland statute on corporations and associations, the attorney general "may institute a civil proceeding in the courts to forfeit the charter of any Maryland corporation and to revoke the authority of any foreign corporation to do business in this State," in cases where the corporation's activities serve to "aid, or abet the violation of criminal laws relating to ... illegal drug distribution."

Sheriff Rebukes Illegal Cook County Eviction Notices

Sheriff Tom Dart says CHIProperties has been issuing "highly illegal" notices to a number of Cook County residents.

Patch Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart directed a Chicago-based property management company to immediately cease and desist from providing tenants in Cook County, who reside in properties that are the subject of foreclosure proceedings, with illegal notices that contain threats and misleading, inaccurate information.

NY Court Reinstates Foreclosure, Chides Judge Schack For `Robosigning' Sanctions

A New York appeals court reversed a Brooklyn judge’s 2011 decision throwing out a foreclosure and ordering $15,000 in sanctions against lender HSBC, saying the judge had abused his discretion by consulting the Internet and newspapers for evidence of “robosigning.”

Forbes "First, the appeals court noted, Schack had no power to use lack of standing as a reason for dismissing the foreclosure since the borrower had waived that argument by failing to show up in court. The judge also abused his discretion by holding a hearing on sanctions."

A homeowner cannot waive what the bank never had in the first place. 

HSBC v. Taher

Warren, Cummings Demand Better Answers Regarding Independent Foreclosure Reviews

d. the amount of remediation paid out to borrowers as part of the Independent Foreclosure Review.

Answer: The OCC and Fed have indicated that no remediation has been paid out.

Elizabeth Warren

Elijah Cummings

For our 14 specific requests, your response letter provided two partial responses and only one full response.  The table below details specifically what we requested, the information you provided in your March 22nd letter and the information yet to be provided.

By your account, the Federal Reserve and the OCC have overseen the expenditure of $2 billion on the Independent Foreclosure Review process - nearly $20,000 per file reviewed.  That is a staggering amount.  It is nearly five times the average payout that will go to homeowners as part of the settlement.


Has a “Double Whammy” made you a prisoner of your predatory loan?

Dan McGookey, Esq. The good news for consumers looking to refinance their 6% plus interest rate on their home? Mortgage rates are at historic lows. The bad news? Chances are you’re not going to get a loan. This is so due to a combination of factors. The first is that, with that high of an interest rate, in all likelihood you refinanced during the heyday of loan securitization 2000-2008, and thus have a highly predatory, securitized loan. 


Foreclosure Reversals In Northern Ohio Appeals Court Gain Steam After Recent State Supreme Court Ruling

Self Help Ventures Fund v. Jones

Home Equity Theft Reporter


Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District

“Further, the Court held that a mortgage holder cannot rely on events occurring after the complaint is filed to establish standing,” 11th District Judge Cynthia Westcott Rice stated. “Thus, the plaintiff cannot rely on Civ.R. 17(A) to cure its lack of standing by obtaining an interest in the subject of the litigation after the action is filed and substituting itself as the real party of interest.



My personal belief, is that is was created to avoid, not recording costs, but UCC Article 9. If you sell the right to receive payment, the mortgage vests in that party. Under UCC, the investors have the security interest, no matter who claims to hold the mortgage (title is irrelevant). It would be impossible to enforce any mortgage. This would also expose the investors to tax consequences. 

MERS, Show me the Nomination

They used the DTC / Cede & Co. model, used for securities. What they forgot, is that notes (Art. 3) and mortgages (Art. 9) are not Article 8 securities, nor are they Article 7 documents of title (as MERS would like you to think). The use of MERS prevents the Lender from being secured, as it's security interest never attaches or perfects. MERS cannot be secured under Article 9, because they have not given value. 

Tim Bryant MERS claims the "legal fallacy" that they somehow hold "legal title", and the Lender holds "equitable title". The borrower holds "equitable title". Legal title is full legal ownership. MERS either owns it, or they don't. There is no such animal as a "nominee" in a security instrument, unless the note was also novated to them by the Lender. If you notice, the MERS mortgage never states, "in consideration for". There is also no way they can be "bankruptcy remote" (separate) by holding collateral in their own name, with the right to enforce it as an implied assignee of the note.

The other fallacy is that banks can somehow "d/b/a as Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc." (and "as nominee" for itself). No bank has ever filed such an amendment to their Foreign Corporation Certificates.

Calling for Bank Sanctions

HOFJ Congress admits they made a mistake;
Bernanke admits they can't keep track of the money;
Judges and Attorneys are calling for bank sanctions! 


NYS Scores $14M Settlement From Underwriter Associated With Force Placed Insurance Racket

"The force-placed insurance industry has for too long been plagued by an intricate web of relationships between insurers and banks that pushed distressed families over the foreclosure cliff," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said.

Home Equity Theft Reporter The state Department of Financial Services said that these forced policies can be two to 10 times more expensive than ordinary, voluntary homeowner's insurance, even though they offer less coverage. Voluntary homeowner's insurance pays out an average 63 cents in claims for every dollar collected in premiums. According to the department, one of Assurant's subsidiaries paid out as little as 17.3 cents on the dollar in 2008. The settlement requires the company to charge rates that more closely resemble voluntary homeowner's insurance.


Deutsche Bank Could Pay $390 Million Over Claims It Violated U.S. Sanctions On Iran: Report

The U.S. government is cracking down on foreign banks it accuses of undermining its effort to throttle Iran's economy.

Reuters Several sources familiar with the investigation told Reuters on Thursday that German markets watchdog Bafin is set to rebuke Deutsche Bank over how it supervised its contribution to the setting of the lending rates.


Is the mortgage industry organized crime?

Foreclosure defense attorneys are becoming increasingly frustrated by the dismal foreclosure statistics and are seeking help from our nation’s criminal prosecutors to investigate the possibility of bringing “foreclosure mills” and banks to justice under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Every day, thousands of foreclosures are being illegally filed by foreclosure mills, with the full knowledge that their clients (the plaintiffs) do not have the legal standing to file the case.

Bankruptcy Law Network In almost every single foreclosure case filed in Florida, for example, the plaintiff (usually a mortgage-backed securitized trust) alleges that it owns and hold the note, but that the note was “lost.” This is an absolute lie. The plaintiff, who is almost never the originating lender, never accepted physical delivery of the note. Under the Uniform Commercial Code, the plaintiff is therefore not the owner and holder of the note. Besides, how can they lose something they never had?

Did the lawyers that sign these complaints miss this lecture in law school? Certainly not. They just do not think they will ever be held accountable for defrauding the court. 


I got the foreclosure papers and the modification papers at the same time,” Reid said. “Which one is right?

One year after mortgage settlement, frustrations linger for troubled borrowers

Advocates and lawyers tell of borrowers having to juggle legal notices, loan modification applications and a search for a new place to live at the same time.

“They think their loan is going to be modified. They’re told not to worry about the pending foreclosure action,” said Mal Maynard of the Wilmington-based Financial Protection Law Center. “At the last possible minute, they learn that they will not get a modification and are thrown off the cliff into foreclosure."

Charlotte Observer The architects of the deal with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and three other major banks said the agreement would give troubled borrowers “ every opportunity” to modify their loans before facing foreclosure.

But the rules spelled out in the settlement give banks the latitude in many cases to move toward a foreclosure sale even as they work with borrowers trying to save their homes.

Banks can send foreclosure notices and schedule court hearings and eviction dates – all while a homeowner is filing paperwork for a loan modification.


Always sticking it to the taxpayers

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and The Same Old Song

Taxpayers are paying the pensions of 3 executives who were ousted from their companies amid accounting scandals.

Questions have taken place mostly behind closed doors in Washington. The rest of us Americans, who guarantee the mortgage market, have not been given much of a say.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

According to documents reviewed by The New York Times, $25.3 million in pension payments went to 1,785 former Fannie executives last year; an additional $12.7 million went to 871 former Freddie officials.

The documents show that taxpayers spent $11 million last year on medical costs for 1,392 Fannie and Freddie retirees. And from September 2008 through 2012, taxpayers also spent $114 million for legal bills racked up by former executives and directors testifying in lawsuits relating to the accounting scandals or financial crisis inquiries.


Former Lincoln County judge facing foreclosure

A former Lincoln County judge and his wife are facing foreclosure on their home, an office building and a plot of land they own in Lincoln County.

KOCO The state Attorney General's office, the Department of Agriculture and Oklahoma Highway Patrol executed a search warrant on Key's law office on Thursday. The Attorney General's office said the search warrant is currently sealed and their investigation is ongoing.


 A Safe and a Shotgun or Publicly-owned Banks? The Battle of Cyprus

Most people would be surprised to learn that they are legally considered “creditors” of their banks rather than customers who have trusted the bank with their money for safekeeping, but that seems to be the case.

Ellen Brown

Web of Debt

The large institutional banks not only could fail; they are likely to fail. When the derivative scheme collapses and the US government refuses a bailout, JPMorgan could be giving its depositors’ accounts sizeable “haircuts” along guidelines established by the BIS and Reserve Bank of New Zealand.


If there is no transaction for value, then the note was not negotiated under the terms of the UCC.

What to Do When the “Original” Note is Proffered

There are two issues when the other side presents original documents. First is that they say these are originals and they do not accompany it with an affidavit from someone with actual personal knowledge of the transactions or the high bar for business records exceptions to hearsay.

Living Lies My experience is that 50-50, the documents are original or fabricated by use of Photoshop and a laser printer or dot matrix printer. So what you need to do is to go down to the clerk’s office and see what they filed. It would not be unusual for them to file a copy saying it was the original. Second, on that same point, the original can be examined. When the signatures are heavy, there should be indentations on the back. Also a notary stamp tends to bleed through the paper to the back.


White paper

A Report on the Foreclosure Crisis  

California in Crisis: How Wells Fargo’s Foreclosure Pipeline is Damaging Local Communities

This report shows the tremendous damage that will befall California’s communities if Wells Fargo continues to foreclose on so many families.  

Popular Democracy The continuing housing crisis remains a key cause of this widespread misery. Nearly two million California homeowners are underwater, owing more on their mortgage than their home is worth. This tremendous mortgage debt is severely crippling the State’s economy by holding back consumer spending and preventing a robust recovery.


Bankruptcy Ruling Allows Homeowners to Keep their Home

Timothy McCandless, Esq. In a recent earth-shattering decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which includes Georgia and Florida, the Circuit Court ruled on May 11, 2012 that it is possible for a Chapter 7 Debtor to strip off a second mortgage on their home pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code. Prior to this decision, a Debtor was only allowed to strip off a second mortgage in a Chapter 13 filing.


White paper

Mortgage Foreclosure Meltdown: Flawed Affidavits, Improper Securitization and Breaks in the Title Chain

Brad Axelrod, 

Matt Weidner

These materials summarize several prominent decisions by bankruptcy courts faced with deciding whether to grant relief to purported lenders, servicers and/or their agents in bankruptcy cases.

Cold Feet: Bank Walks Away from 9 Yr Old Foreclosure 

Dan McGookey, Esq We will never know for sure, but a good guess is that it didn’t want its evidence exposed to the scrutiny a trial would bring. Keep in mind, that chances are that like Stephanie’s, your mortgage is in a trust bundled with thousands of other loans, and the bank may not want to risk putting all its loans into play should it lose one case.


Foreclosure legislation invites bank fraud

New legislation — House Bill 87 and Senate Bill 1666 — which backers say will clear the backlog of foreclosure cases in Florida actually will create more problems by putting speed ahead of justice.

The backlog is blamed on homeowners allegedly dragging their feet. In reality, banks have been the cause because of federal directives to pursue loss-mitigation alternatives or by voluntarily slowing down the process to explore settlement options in the interests of both parties and the market.

Miami Herald However long it takes to conclude a foreclosure in Florida, given the unprecedented magnitude of the fraud, forgery and abuses to which banks have admitted, we should exempt this category of civil court cases from “time to complete” requirements.

We should not make public policy decisions based on unverified, incorrect and misleading information, particularly when the data are provided by the same industry that admitted wrongdoing.


Law firm says it has proof of illegal foreclosure system

Ticktin said, "It's massive, it's criminal, it's wrong and it's proven with what lawyers call a mountain of evidence." 

WPTV Within a tower of foreclosure depositions shown at the Ticktin Law Group’s Deerfield Beach office, senior legal counsel Peter Ticktin says the group has discovered the groundwork of an illegal home foreclosure system


Lawyers debate Brockton’s foreclosure strategy

A Boston lawyer hired to fight the city’s idea of seizing mortgages to prevent foreclosures told a working group studying the idea to expect a battle.

Enterprise News The group heard from several lawyers on Thursday debating the legality of the city using its authority to take the mortgage note of a resident in need of refinancing and transfer it to a lender interested in helping the resident refinance the loan, preventing a potential foreclosure.


(Updated) House Ag committee Dems vote to deregulate derivatives

UPDATE: The Dems voting with the bank and against the taxpayers on HR 992 (described below) are:

America Blog You’ll notice that the whole vote, as reported, was 31-14. The six Dems could have voted No and the motion would still have passed. This means, their votes weren’t needed. Speaking for myself alone, I can only see this as a request for campaign funds from bank lobbyists on the part of these Dems. Even if this is a sincerely held position (putting taxpayers on the hook for bank casino losses), this public declaration as a very bank-friendly act.

Homeowner takes bank to trial to avoid foreclosure over mortgage he didn’t sign

Jaen says it is not his real signature on the deed and he was out of the country at the time it was signed in Miami-Dade.

Florida Business Journal Jaen wants the court to invalidate the deed to Remy Development and dismiss the bank’s attempt to foreclosure on the property. If he succeeds, it could be a big problem for Great Eastern Bank, the smallest bank in Miami-Dade, with $45.8 million in assets.


St. Pete renews bank contract, despite foreclosure concerns

The city will continue to bank with Bank of America for at least one more year, but the banking giant could lose the city's business in 2014 because of concerns over how it handles foreclosures.

TBO Complaints about Bank of America include dual tracking, when a bank forecloses on a property even after a customer requests a loan modification. Customers are also frustrated that they frequently have to deal with multiple people when they call the bank, rather than dealing with a single point of contact.
White paper

(7 pages)

March 2013

Cleaning Up the Financial Crisis of 2008: Prosecutorial Discretion or Prosecutorial Abdication?

Despite all the wrongdoing that caused the financial crisis, prosecutors have been slow to bring charges against individuals who originated bad loans, pooled bad mortgages, and sold bad MBS.


Bradley T. Borden & David J. Reiss

Unfortunately, the lack of individual prosecutions signals to participants of the financial industry that wrongdoing not only will go unpunished but will likely even be rewarded financially. 
Without criminal liability, we risk a repeat of the type of conduct that brought us to the edge of financial ruin.

Quicken Loans Acquires Ally Bank MSRs

Quicken Loans has reached an agreement with Ally Bank to acquire its remaining mortgage servicing rights portfolio.

Mortgage Servicing News The $34 billion servicing pool is made up of performing Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae-backed mortgages that currently have higher-than-market interest rates that are expected to be refinanced post-closing.

Federal bankruptcy judge slaps Bank of America Corp. with a $220,000 sanction

The judge ruled March 5 that Bank of America had 30 days in which to pay the fine — or the couple's mortgage debt, which totals about $223,000, will be "deemed fully satisfied."

Orlando Sentinel U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Karen Jennemann sanctioned the giant bank earlier this month after it failed to appear at a series of hearings but continued trying to collect unauthorized mortgage payments from the homeowners, according to a court filing.


Freddie Mac Unaware Of Homeowner Complaints, Inspector General Concludes

For more than five years, many homeowners who complained about mortgage industry foreclosure abuses have wondered whether anyone with a financial stake in keeping them in their home was paying attention. On Thursday, with the release of a new report from a federal watchdog, they got their answer: No.

Hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homeowners have filed legal complaints, or complained to bank regulators, that their mortgage company presented roadblocks preventing them from enrolling in a government-sponsored program that lowers home payments and helps prevent foreclosure.

Huff Post The report, by the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, says banks and other companies that manage more than 10 million home loans for Freddie Mac "largely failed" to alert the mortgage giant to the most serious category of homeowner complaints, despite a requirement they do so. These "escalated complaints" often include the most serious allegations of misconduct, including improper fees, misapplied mortgage payments and a frustrating cycle of lost paperwork and unreturned calls. In some instances, the mismanagement has led to a wrongful foreclosure.

"The results are shocking on a number of different levels," said Steve Linick, the FHFA inspector general, in an interview with The Huffington Post. "It is surprising that servicers were not reporting in such large numbers, that Freddie was not on top of this, and that [the FHFA] did not catch it in its exam."

Weapons Of Mass Destruction Return To Wall Street

Ladies and gentlemen, whether you like it or not, the synthetic collateralized debt obligation (CDO) is making a comeback, Bloomberg reports. The numbers are small so far, and the bets being made with them appear to be sober. But that's always how these things start out.

These have absolutely no economic value, aside from enriching the bankers that sell them and maybe giving investors a way to make an extra buck.

Huff Post What on earth is a synthetic CDO, you likely ask? It is a side bet on a bunch of side bets on somebody else's debt. First you take a bunch of corporate bonds. Then you write insurance protection on those bonds, in the form of derivatives called credit default swaps. And then you jam a bunch of those credit default swaps together into a toxic meatball called a synthetic CDO, on which you can also bet as much money as you like, assuming you have any money, considering you are the kind of doofus who bets money on toxic meatballs.


Deception & Bank Patent Fraud

HOFJ Hear the Facts that the planning and deception of the foreclosure crisis began years ago! 


Predatory Lending has long been illegal. 

Deterring Predatory Lending

New rules that go into effect at JPMorgan in May will limit the overdraft fees charged to the customer in cases in which the lender tries to collect a payment multiple times.

  JPMorgan Chase has instituted new policies intended to shield customers from predatory lenders who can charge [500 percent interest or more] and who drain the borrower’s bank account through automatic withdrawals.

New York is one of 15 states that have banned predatory, high-interest loans, which have been shown to drive low-income borrowers into bankruptcy or default. Even so, offshore lenders are increasingly evading these laws by offering the loans over the Internet, then automatically withdrawing payments from the borrower’s account — sometimes without permission.



EXTORTION Ocwen-Style and  Breach of Settlement Agreement Wells Fargo-Style

This case is scheduled for a jury trial on April 9, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. in Charlottesville, VA, at which time Plaintiff will have the opportunity to testify in regards to any damages she may be entitled to in this matter.

The case is Yarney v. Ocwen

U.S. District Judge

Norman Moon

Despite the fact that Plaintiff no longer owned the deed or owed any debt to Wells Fargo, Ocwen continued to send Plaintiff monthly bills for another year!

Each of the bills listed figures under the headings “Current Amount Due” ($1604) all the way up to $299,068.34.

"due to the actions of its servicer, Plaintiff is entitled to summary judgment that Wells Fargo breached the March 18, 2011 contract agreement.  For the following reasons, I grant Plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment."


Bernanke Admits His Childhood Home Is In Foreclosure And A Relative Is Unemployed

Asked by a reporter when was the last time he had spoken to someone who was unemployed, Bernanke responded “pretty recently, I have a relative [who lost his job].” The Chairman went further, reminding those in the conference room he had grown up in a small town in South Carolina, and that the house where he was raised was just foreclosed on.

Forbes In its rate setting statement, the FOMC announced it will continue to purchase $85 billion-per month in Treasuries and residential mortgage-backed securities until the labor market “has improved substantially,” while interest rates will be kept in the zero-range “as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6-1/2 percent, inflation between one and two years ahead is projected to be no more than a half percentage point above the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal.” 


Wall Street Deregulation Advances As Top Democrat Warns That Vote Could 'Haunt' Congress

A House Committee approved six new bills to deregulate Wall Street derivatives on Wednesday, advancing legislation that would expand taxpayer support for derivatives and create broad new trading loopholes allowing banks to shirk risk management standards created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank bill.

Huff Post On Wednesday, the House committee approved a bill that would eliminate that safeguard and allow banks to deal derivatives from their taxpayer-backed unit. 

Banks like the provision because it allows them to earn higher profits from their derivatives sales, since credit rating agencies issue higher ratings to derivatives sold with taxpayer support.


BREAKING NEWS: JPMorgan brings first post-boom private-label RMBS

They are at it again. The big question is: will everybody fall for this again?

A notable weakness in the deal compared to other RMBS transactions is the representation and warranties and enforcement framework, both credit ratings agencies noted.


Housing Wire

"While the agency acknowledges the financial strength of the counterparties providing the reps and warranties, the agency believes their value/protection is significantly diluted by (a) qualifying and conditional language that substantially reduces lender loan breach liability and (b) the inclusion of sunsets for a number of provisions including fraud," Fitch explained.

Another concern is high geographic concentration. The pool's primary risk is in California, where more than 50% of the properties are located

Lawsuit over reduced hearings of eviction cases due to courtroom closures denied

"This is not a ruling on the merits of our claim at all," Dudovitz said. "(Hatter) just said we have to go somewhere else with it, and that's what we're going to do. "

Daily Bulletin Without ruling on the merits of the case, a federal judge late Monday threw out a lawsuit by legal services and community organizations to block the Los Angeles Superior Court from drastically reducing the number of local courtrooms hearing eviction cases.

How to abolish the GSEs right away? Liquidate their businesses

Housing Wire Two industry veterans — former FDIC chairman William Isaac and Richard Kovacevich, a former chair for Wells Fargo — composed an article for American Banker, arguing it’s time to just liquidate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, eliminating any type of government backstop in mortgage finance.



SENATE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, HOUSING & INSURANCE CMTE. SHB 1435  Clarifying agency relationships in reconveyances of deeds of trust.
ESHB 1325  Concerning banks, trust companies, savings banks, and savings associations, and making technical amendments to the laws governing the department of financial institutions.

More Iceland bank top executives indicted over market rigging

Guardian-UK Court documents are expected to allege a conspiracy by Kaupthing chairman Sigurdur Einarsson and other executives.

The criminal case is the largest in a series of fraud prosecutions that have been brought to court in Iceland in recent years, and may be one of the largest alleged market manipulation conspiracies ever seen in Europe.


Hedge funds are fueling foreclosure inflation

“The media has focused attention on institutional investors using cash to invest in single-family residential properties to rent, but relative to the overall market, the scale of their purchases is still very small,” Khater said.

UPI Though hedge fund purchases on a national level have had minimal impact, in the nation’s hottest foreclosure markets hedge funds, or institutional investors, are contributing to double digit foreclosure price increases and dramatic declines in REO inventories.

Credit Suisse Sued by DZ Bank Over Mortgage Securities

Bloomberg Yesterday’s filing accuses Zurich-based Credit Suisse of making “material misrepresentations and omissions” about the underwriting standards used to issue the mortgages that were pooled into the securities, the transfer of the loans to trusts and their legal rights to receive payments on the loans.

OCC's Magical Mystery Foreclosure Review


Huff Post So now it's a too bad, tough luck situation for homeowners. They'll have to take whatever compensation the banks think they deserve regardless how screwed up their foreclosures might have been. In short, according to Wyatt, the banks have become the foxes guarding this foreclosure hen house.

The current agreement doesn't require homeowners to sign a waiver promising not pursue further litigation. Sounds good, but that presumes that the same deep legal pockets sported by the foreclosure industry are worn by the already harassed, foreclosed and beaten down homeowners.

Goldman mortgage appeal rejected by U.S. Supreme Court

Profit NDTV Goldman Sachs Group Inc suffered a defeat on Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a decision forcing it to defend against claims it misled investors about mortgage securities that lost value during the 2008 financial crisis.

Lesson of JPMorgan’s Whale Trade: Nothing Was Learned

What we now know about the incident is that, as the cliché has it, the cover-up was worse than the crime.

ProPublica Details of JPMorgan Chase's multibillion-dollar trading loss — brought to light by a riveting and devastating report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations — demonstrate what a sham that is. Bankers aren't acting cautious and chastened. Risk managers aren't in the ascendance on Wall Street. Regulators remain their duped and docile selves.


Homeowners: Real Estate Site Lists False Foreclosures

h/t Home Equity Theft Reporter For a homeowner who says she has never missed a mortgage payment, the word "foreclosure” listed next to her Sycamore home shocked Kristin Miller.


Foreclosure Case: False Imprisonment Claim Sticks

Marshall v. JPMorgan, LPS, Fidelity Field Services, Sheriffs

Under Indiana law, false imprisonment is defined as either “the unlawful restraint upon one’s freedom of movement or the deprivation of one’s liberty without consent.” 

Judge Moody


It is possible, however, for someone who contacts the police to report a crime to be held liable for false imprisonment if the statement the person made to the police was
motivated by an ill will or the person knowingly gave false information to police.

Veneman v. Jones, 20 N.E. 644, 646 (Ind. 1889); see also Williams v. Tharp, 914 N.E.2d 756,


Citigroup to Pay $730 Million in Bond-Lawsuit Settlement

The deal would resolve a lawsuit by investors who bought Citigroup bonds and preferred stock from May 2006 through November 2008

Bloomberg Citigroup is among the Wall Street firms still dealing with the fallout from the crisis, when the bank almost collapsed amid losses tied to subprime mortgages and took a $45 billion bailout. The company has repaid the rescue. Last year, the firm agreed to pay $590 million to settle a lawsuit brought by stock investors who said they’d been misled.
At the time they were selling these securities, in reality Citigroup was effectively insolvent.

When You Weren’t Looking, Democrat Bank Stooges Launch Bills to Permit Bailouts, Deregulate Derivatives

naked capitalism Americans for Financial Reform has written a series of layperson friendly letters opposing each of these bills. The first is to pretty much eliminate Section 716 of Dodd Frank, which would force banks like Bank of America and JP Morgan to take their derivatives operations out of taxpayer backstopped subsidiaries and house them in separately-financed operations. This is the germane section discussing the House bill (its Senate evil twin is S. 474):


Eric Holder Makes it Official: Crime Is The Economic Model

It’s official. The nation’s top cop, Attorney General Eric Holder, has clearly articulated the administration’s policy on crime at the biggest banks: it will not be prosecuted. Indeed, as we’ve long expected, the criminals in top management will not be investigated, they will not be indicted, they will not be prosecuted, and they will not be punished.


Prof. Randal Wray If you want to lie, cheat, and steal, the safest place to be is at an institution like Citi, BofA, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, or Goldman. There’s no downside to criminal behavior if you can work your way to the top of any of these “systemically dangerous institutions” (SDIs as Bill Black calls them). Their business model is based on crime, and since crime is rewarded within these institutions and ignored by our top cop, the worst criminals will naturally rise to the highest positions in these SDIs. The incentives are aligned to continue promulgating the biggest criminal conspiracies the world has ever seen as these institutions not only enrich top management, but serve as bankers to international terrorists and drug lords.

No prison time - No reason to stop...

HSBC Faces Fresh Allegations Of Facilitating Money Laundering In Argentina

"We hope to recover what is due and see the courts apply an appropriate penalty," he said.

Reuters Argentina's tax agency said on Monday it has uncovered 392 million pesos ($77 million) in fraudulent transactions by HSBC Holdings Plc and said it has asked the judicial system to probe the European bank for alleged tax evasion and money laundering.

HSBC, Europe's largest bank, was fined $1.9 billion last year for similar irregularities in Mexico and the United States.


American Winter - Preview


American Winter website

American Winter Film Premiering on HBO on March 18, 2013, AMERICAN WINTER is a powerful and timely documentary that follows the stories of eight families struggling to survive in the aftermath of the Great Recession, and reveals the impact of rising economic inequality, cuts to social services, and the fracturing of the American Dream.


Community Members Move Disabled Senior Back Into Home After Eviction By Force

AFSC Atlanta It was only after the foreclosure that Mildred realized her loan was part of a securitized trust overseen by US Bank. As was the case in most foreclosures filed in 2009, the documents used to take her home were fraudulent and robo-signed. For years she
fought to have the foreclosure rescinded, going back and forth between Bank of America and US Bank, who both refused to claim responsibility.


Report on County Clerks and Qui Tam Suits Against MERS

Dustin Zaks, Esq. Abstract: 
Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) has faced unceasing controversy from litigators and scholars for its role in foreclosures, its effect on public records transparency, and its role in the housing bubble. While scholarly accounts have described the challenges MERS has faced in foreclosure and bankruptcy courts, this essay seeks to examine the most recent burgeoning challenge to MERS' manner of business: county clerk and qui tam lawsuits.

Springfield City Council upholds anti-foreclosure ordinances by refusing settlement with banks

MassLive The City Council voted Monday to uphold two anti-foreclosure ordinances approved in 2011 rather than accept a negotiated settlement of a lawsuit filed by a group of banks who claimed they should not have to post a $10,000 bond on vacant, foreclosed properties. 

Foreclosure Processor Prommis Holdings Files Chapter 11

Bloomberg The company helps mortgage servicers and law firms with foreclosure proceedings in 19 states and provides bankruptcy and loss-mitigation services throughout the U.S.

The Senate’s Muckraker

Every time Levin’s subcommittee holds a hearing, it should shame Attorney General Eric “Too Big to Jail” Holder Jr.

NY Times Toward the end of my interview with Levin, he let slip a tantalizing tidbit. Sometime in the next few months, the permanent subcommittee plans to call the Internal Revenue Service to task for allowing the political super PACs to be classified as tax-exempt 501(c)(4)s. “Tax-exempt 501(c)(4)s are not supposed to be engaged in politics,” he said. “It is against the law to do so.” Then he added, with a certain undeniable relish, “We’re going to go after them.”

Oh, boy!

The ins and outs of foreclosure fraud

Earlier this year, the Register of Deeds launched a series of investigations into alleged foreclosure frauds in Ingham County that took place over the past decade. 

By breaking down the complexity of loan documents, mortgage payments and the stress of losing a home during these town-hall meetings, Hertel is arming residents with the knowledge they need to fight for their property.

City Pulse Imagine coming home to find your locks have been changed and your belongings now line the shelves of local thrift stores. Or that you and your family are being evicted from your home, even though you’ve paid your mortgage and kept an open line of communication with your bank.

These are horror stories that Ingham County Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel Jr. hears on a daily basis. Helping Ingham County residents keep their homes has become his top priority.


Follow the Money Trail: It’s the blueprint for your case

Only after the bankers received bailouts and insurance did they push the losses onto investors who were forced to accept non-performing loans long after the 90 day window allowed under the REMIC statutes.
The problem I hear all too often from clients of practitioners is that the lawyer accepts the production of the note as absolute proof of the debt. Not so. If you will remember your first year in law school an enforceable contract must have offer, acceptance and consideration and it must not violate public policy. So a contract to kill someone is not enforceable.
Debt arises only if some transaction in which real money or value is exchanged. Without that, no amount of paperwork can make it real.  

Living Lies Actual evidence from the ground shows that the money from investors was skimmed by Wall Street to the tune of around $2.6 trillion, which served as the baseline for a PONZI scheme in which Wall Street bankers claimed ownership of debt in which they were neither creditor nor lender in any sense of the word. While it is difficult to actually pin down the amount stolen from the fake securitization chain (in addition to the tier 2 yield spread premium) that brought down investors and borrowers alike, it is obvious that many of these banks also used invested money from managed funds as gambling money that paid off handsomely as they received 100 cents on the dollar on losses suffered by others.

Despite Jury's Award Of $0, Booted WV Homeowner Walks Away With Civil Penalties + Attorney Fees Anyway In Connection With Foreclosing Lender's Unlawful Debt Collection Practices

Home Equity Theft Reporter The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's civil penalties order and award of attorney fees, holding that the circuit court did not commit error with regard to either the civil penalties order or the attorney fees order.

Vanderbuilt v. Cole

Show Me the Original Note and I Will Show You the Money

Is this just some new and creative gimmick that has been sold to the desperate homeowners and to a few lawyers who have attended “progressive” seminars or is there really something to it? I submit that there is really something to it.

Precedential case In Re: Taylor

Max Garner, Esq. The source of the “Show Me the Original Note” arguments arises out of bankruptcy and foreclosure cases where the mortgage servicer failed to attach a copy of the duly negotiated original note to the Proof of Claim, the Motion for Relief from Stay, or the foreclosure complaint. In a growing number of these cases, bankruptcy judges have characterized these practices as gross recklessness, extraordinary incompetence, systemic abuse, providing evidence of more concern about increasing the time line completion rates of the local law firms than about the accuracy of the documents and papers filed with the courts.

White House Urged to Fire a Housing Regulator

NY Times Under its current leader, Edward J. DeMarco, the F.H.F.A., which oversees the bailed-out mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has refused to put in place a White House proposal to reduce the principal on so-called underwater mortgages — a move that might prevent foreclosures and thus save the mortgage giants money, but also might expose taxpayers to additional losses.

Official: foreclosure workload tripled
Foreclosure mediation program in high demand

WPRI The Providence Journal reports  that Merrill Sherman, a former Bank RI president and CEO, reports that most cases involve employed borrowers who want to stay in their homes and who could afford to remain if their loans were modified.

Jaw-Dropping Crimes of the Big Banks

Actually, a huge portion of the banks’ profits comes from taxpayer bailouts. For example, 77% of JP Morgan’s net income comes from taxpayer subsidies.

The big banks are looting, killing the economy … and waging war on the people of the world.


Washington Blog - Cheating homeowners by gaming laws meant to protect people from unfair foreclosure.

- Committing massive and pervasive fraud both when they initiated mortgage loans and when they foreclosed on them.

- Pledging the same mortgage multiple times to different buyers.  This would be like selling your car, and collecting money from 10 different buyers for the same car.


5-Year Anniversary: The Epic Collapse of Bear Stearns

In the articles on the right, we take a look back at some of the specifics of Bear and its failure, as well as a look forward to the legacy that it's left and what we can learn from it.

Motley Fool How it happened: John Maxfield lays out the timeline of Bear's downfall.
The architect: Many blame former Bear CEO Jimmy Cayne for Bear's fate. Amanda Alix takes a closer look at the embattled financier.
Lessons learned: There's a lot that we can take away from what happened to Bear. Matt Koppenheffer details five potential lessons.
And then there was today: Matt Koppenheffer considers whether we could see a repeat of Bear Stearns today.


JPMorgan’s Follies, for All to See

The financial system, thanks to dissembling traders and bumbling regulators, is at greater risk than you know.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Remember that this is a report examining JPMorgan Chase, the bank that enjoys the best reputation among its peers. One can only wonder: if JPMorgan Chase traders think nothing of misrepresenting the value of their trades to minimize losses, what are the financial world’s lesser players up to?

House From Hell: Buyers' Nightmare Homes.

"The results came back at nearly 80 times our state's lowest level of contamination."

Home Equity Theft Reporter Turns out the little starter had a secret past. It was once used as a meth den, and all the dangerous chemicals had seeped into the floors and ceiling.

Big Banks Have Criminally Conspired Since 2005 to Rig $800 Trillion Dollar Market

We actually understated the impact of the Libor scandal.

The largest interest rate derivatives sellers include Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Goldman and JP Morgan … many of which are being exposed for manipulating Libor.

They have been manipulating Libor on virtually a daily basis since 2005.

They are still part of the group of banks which sets Libor every day, and none have been criminally prosecuted.

Washington Blog Specifically, according to the CIA’s World Factbook, the global economy – as measured by the world’s gross domestic product – is less trillion.

In contrast, over $800 trillion dollars worth of investments are pegged to the Libor rate. In other words, a market more than 10 times the size of the entire real world economy is effected by Libor.

As the Wall Street Journal reports today:

More than $800 trillion in securities and loans are linked to the Libor, including $350 trillion in swaps and $10 trillion in loans.

(Click here if you don't have a subscription to the Journal).


Disabled San Francisco Resident, Says She Was Foreclosed On But Never Missed A Payment

What if your home was foreclosed on even if you never missed a payment?  "We never paid late," Wong insisted to the assembled media. "We always paid on time."

Huff Post Wong received notice from the bank that it was no longer accepting her electronic payments.  A few days later, she received notice that the bank had begun foreclosure proceedings.

The next summer, PNC, which had reportedly increased Wong's monthly mortgage payment from $1,000 to $1,800, attempted to sell the home at auction.

Right to Lawyer Can Be Empty Promise for Poor

The result is that even at a time when many law school graduates are without work, many Americans are without lawyers.

NY Times Fifty years ago, on March 18, 1963, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Gideon v. Wainwright that those accused of a crime have a constitutional right to a lawyer whether or not they can afford one. But as legal officials observe the anniversary of what is widely considered one of the most significant judicial declarations of equality under law, many say that the promise inherent in the Gideon ruling remains unfulfilled because so many legal needs still go unmet.


20-years later, and the mortgage industry is still operating the same criminal theft of property scam.

Homeowners say they've made their mortgage payments, but the company is foreclosing anyway.

Target 11 investigates mortgage company with ‘F’ rating (OCWEN)

A local man is facing a mortgage mess. He paid cold hard cash for his house, but the lending company is still foreclosing. 

WPXI I did some digging and discovered hundreds of similar complaints against Ocwen Loan Servicing. Last fall, the Better Business Bureau issued a warning about the company. 

"Are they having problems where they're making payments and their payments are not being credited?" I asked. "Yes, that's a frequent complaint I've received," said Eric Lechtizin, an attorney with Berter & Montague in Philadelphia.

Foreclosure Protesters Disrupt Wells Fargo CEO Speech

A group of about 50 to 60 protesters interrupted a speech by Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf on Thursday at a banking conference, taking over the stage with chants and complaints about home foreclosures.

Mortgage Servicing News Stumpf was about 25 minutes into a speech about the state of the banking industry and increased regulation when a woman walked onto stage and held out her hand, which Stumpf shook. The woman then grabbed a microphone, raised her voice and told the audience "Wells Fargo is taking my house tomorrow."

Wells Fargo CEO's Keynote Address Interrupted by Angry Homeowners

Occupy America

Crooks & Liars 

UPDATE: Betty Badro's foreclosure was notified after the action that today that her foreclosure has been postponed indefinitely.



Notice provisions can be cured - non-existent transactions cannot be cured. 

Wake Up Georgia: Courts Are Opening the Door on Wrongful Foreclosure

For years Georgia has been considered by most attorneys to be a “red” state that, along with states like Tennessee showed no mercy on borrowers because of the prejudgment that the foreclosure mess was the fault of borrowers. For years they have ignored the now obvious truth that the defective mortgages and wrongful foreclosures do make a difference.

Living Lies Now, reflecting inquiries from Courts below who are studying the the issue instead of issuing orders based upon a knee-jerk response, the State has taken a decided turn toward the application of law over presumption and bias. There is even reason to believe that the door is open a crack for past wrongful foreclosures, as the Courts grapple with the fact that thousands of foreclosures were forced through the system by strangers to the transaction and thousands of wrongful foreclosure suits have been dismissed because of the assumption by judges that no bank would lie directly to the court.


Bank of America, Others Start New Securitization Trade Group

Mortgage Servicing News Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley are among more than 20 companies forming a trade organization after some members defected this month from the existing American Securitization Forum.


SAC Settles Insider Trading Cases for $614 Million

“The historic monetary sanctions against CR Intrinsic and its affiliates are sharp warning that the S.E.C. will hold hedge fund advisory firms and their funds accountable when employees break the law to benefit the firm.”

DealBook Two affiliates of SAC Capital, the giant hedge fund, settled insider trading charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission for $614 million on Friday, in what the agency was the biggest ever settlement for such cases.



Former JP Morgan Executive Deflects Blame for Billion Dollar Mistake

PBS Ina Drew, the former J.P. Morgan Chase executive who resigned after that bank made a billion dollar trading error, faced a Senate hearing Friday, where she testified she had been a diligent manager but had been lied to by subordinates. Ray Suarez talks with Bloomberg News' Dawn Kopecki who attended the hearing.


Jamie Dimon Email Directly Ties JPMorgan CEO To $6.2 Billion Fiasco

Huff Post That email -- released late Thursday as part of a 300-page Senate report probing how and why Dimon’s bank managed to lose $6.2 billion on derivatives trading -- now appears to tie the chief executive directly to the disastrous decision-making at issue.


It is a very big deal when a firm is compelled to disclose a material weakness in internal controls. That’s the worst level of internal control failure a going concern can report. In JP Morgan’s case its more damning since Dimon, as recently as May 10, 2012, certified that all was well with internal controls as of the end of 1Q2012.

Senate “Whale” Report Reveals JP Morgan as a Lying, Scheming Rogue Trader (Quelle Surprise!)



The failings described in the report are even worse than we imagined. For instance, Michael Crimmins, in a post, Why Hasn’t Jamie Dimon Been Fired by His Board Yet? wrote last July:

naked capitalism The first stunner, that JP Morgan was restating the first quarter financials, should have caused a deafening ringing of alarm bells. For a company of JP Morgan’s stature to be compelled to restate prior period financials is a very clear signal of bigger problems with their overall financial reporting. In isolation we would normally expect to see a massive selloff with an event of that seriousness. Analysts and reporters may have missed the significance since it was dropped into a footnote and overshadowed by the other disclosures. …

But the real cause for alarm is the reason for the restatement. JPM was forced to disclose that it relied on its traders to provide honest and accurate valuations for its financial statement disclosures. That’s like putting the foxes in charge of not just the henhouse, but the entire farm. Much to its chagrin that was a costly choice. Note that was not a mistake, but a conscious choice….



Title insurance cases against Stewart Title

Escrow Agent: title insurer acting as sub-escrow agent may be liable to owner of escrow funds but only if owner alleges that title insurer breached the written closing instructions or was aware of fraud that gave rise to a duty to disclose 

Carlton Fields PA Recoupment: seller who fails to disclose existence of prior mortgage lien may be liable for fraudulent misrepresentation to title insurer despite seller’s allegations that title insurer should have known seller was lying in his affidavit and that title insurer should have picked up the prior lien in its search of the public records.


REWIND TO 1993 and 2008



Identity Theft, Mers and Other Issues


Phyllis K. Slesinger
Senior Director


Living Lies

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac joined together with the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA) through MBA's Inter-Agency Technology Task Force (IAT) to explore whether
or not paper mortgage assignments could be eliminated for new loans. The premise behind the idea is to replace the transfer of paper with an electronic exchange of information using a standardized electronic format (electronic data interchange or EDI).


At the heart of the entire mortgage meltdown is identity theft by the banks and investment banks. They take your identity, merge it with the identities of thousands of other people and sell it to investors under false pretenses leaving you holding the bag not knowing who to pay or if you still owe anything after the insurance, bailouts and cross collateralization.)


Out of Control – New Report Exposes JPMorgan Chase as Mostly a Criminal Enterprise

The sheer litany of illegal activities just overwhelms you.

GrahamFisher Report: JPMorgan Chase Out of Control

Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing Friday

David Dayen As you read the report, it’s hard to see the bank as anything but a criminal racket just days away from imploding, were it not propped up by implicit bailout guarantees and light-touch regulators. Rosner paints a picture of a corporation saddled with pervasive internal control problems, which end up costing shareholders, and which “could materially impact profitability in the future.” He calculates that since 2009, JPM has paid out $8.5 billion in settlements for its outlaw activity.

Thirteen arrested in anti-foreclosure protest at Wells Fargo

Daily Planet Thirteen people were peacefully arrested at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage on 26th Street Feb. 27 demanding turnover of vacant homes to community control and fair banking practices.

Court foreclosures surge in Oregon

Court foreclosures climbed 67 percent from January to February in Oregon counties tracked by Gorilla Capital, a prominent buyer of distressed real estate.

Statesman Filings for court foreclosures, also known as judicial foreclosures, rose from 766 in January to 1,282 in February in 24 counties followed by Gorilla Capital.

ACCE Protests Wells Fargo

Banks need to face the fact that homeowners are not going to idly sit back and allow banks to steal homes to cover-up two decades of Fraud committed by the banks, while their neighborhoods and country continue to be destroyed by Bankster Greed, Corruption and Theft and the stolen properties are sold to foreign investors.

ACCE Action Homeowner Betty Badro confronts Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf at Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Carlsbad, CA. Wells Fargo foreclosures are costing homeowners and communities $3.3 billion in California. More at .

Foxborough rallies around couple facing eviction

For months it has looked like John Hazeldine was going to lose the small red bungalow at 27 Spring St. that has been the hub of his world for all of his 62 years.

Boston Globe What stands out in the Hazeldines’ case is how members of the Foxborough community have come together for one of their own. A disabled veteran who doesn’t know the family, for example, sent a check for $4,000 and a letter urging the town to step up in a former longtime employee’s time of need.

On a second stay of eviction, the Hazeldines had until March 15 to qualify for financing to buy back the house assessed at $200,000 and purchased at auction at a discounted price of $85,000 by Direct Federal Credit Union of Needham. 

Lawsuit filed against L.A. County courts over changes for eviction cases

LA Times In the 21-page filing, the organizations said the reduction in the number of courthouses hearing such cases from 26 to five throughout the county will create difficulties for low-income tenants and people with disabilities fighting eviction.

Banks Bow to New York on Clawbacks

Three more top banks, including Citigroup Inc., will broaden their clawback policies to cover more executives, increase disclosures or add potential triggers.

WSJ The sixth-largest U.S. bank will disclose how much it recouped from errant workers, so long as the event that triggered the collection has been publicly disclosed in regulatory filings, a spokesman for Mr. Liu said. It is believed to be the first company to agree to disclose clawback dollar amounts.

Glass-Steagall: Too Big To Escape From

Wall Street and their British masters know that as long as people think the fight is over merely size, and not the function of banking and credit, the people remain enslaved to the oligarch's money system. Glass-Steagall, however, is the required step towards restoring the American system of credit for production and progress, and that the empire knows can defeat it.

Larouche Pac Restoring the constitutional principle of Glass-Steagall, which empowers the government to protect society from the evil of speculation, is becoming so pervasive in Washington, D.C., as well as saner parts of the country, thanks in large part to LaRouche PAC's mobilization, that Wall Street has stepped up its campaign to divert the rage against it into a debate over the straw-man of "Too Big To Fail.

EVICTION: Fire kills 1 at NY home of alleged tax scofflaw

An image from a News12 helicopter showed writing on the house's roof. The words "We won't submit..." appeared in large block letters. 

SFGate A rural Long Island resident who was due in court Wednesday on an eviction notice related to his alleged failure to pay at least $277,000 in property taxes, instead dealt with a house fire that sent him to the hospital and killed a woman believed to be his wife.

Column: Ruling upends foreclosure procedures in Oregon

Radical changes are happening to the foreclosure landscape in Oregon.

Niday v. GMAC (only real creditor can foreclose)

Portland Business Journal The court concluded that MERS loans cannot be nonjudicially foreclosed where the assignments of the mortgages are not in the property’s recorded chain of title.
This ruling has major policy implications.

The Oregon Supreme Court has taken the case on review, with a decision expected between now and next year. Lenders, borrowers and Oregon courts are already feeling the effects.


Vallejo ordinance hopes to combat foreclosure problems

abc Local Vallejo city leaders took a major step Tuesday to combat the blight and crime that has come hand-in-hand with the foreclosure crisis -- an ordinance aimed squarely at the banks.

Vacant foreclosed homes have been the source of an explosion of crime-related problems in Vallejo, which doesn't have the money or manpower to control it. But now the city has a way to make the property owners accountable.

Notary Complaint Workshop

HOFJ How to get the information, how to file a complaint against the Notary's Bond, and how to use it to postpone a foreclosure auction!



Former Secretary of Treasury joins LPS board of directors

Housing Wire John Snow will serve on the Risk and Compliance Committee of Lender Processing Services’ board of directors.

Currently, Snow is president of JWS Associates LLC, a consulting firm. 


Servicers Monitor Regulators Who Are Watching Them

Mortgage Servicing News, sat down with industry insiders Ed Fay, CEO of Fay Servicing, John Vella, COO of Equator and formerly with EMC Mortgage, and Loren Morris, general counsel and chief compliance officer of Retreat Capital Management, to hear, among other things, about their reaction to these rules.

Mortgage Servicing News Mortgage servicing market insiders are monitoring regulators with the same attention the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, the Department of Treasury and other federal and state legislators are monitoring mortgage banks in general and mortgage servicers in particular. The impact of this dynamic is significant and ongoing.

Sen. Soto, Democrats, file foreclosure crackdown bills

Some lawmakers are pushing for reforms to the foreclosure law, hoping to help homeowners keep their properties.

The Buzz Some Democrats in the Florida Legislature pushed for new changes to laws governing Florida’s hundreds of thousands distressed properties. They say the changes are necessary to protect homeowners from banks who have engaged in fraud.

white paper

California in Crisis:
How Wells Fargo’s Foreclosure Pipeline is damaging Local Communities

Every month, more homes fall into the foreclosure pipeline, compounding this disaster.

The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment The continuing housing crisis remains a key cause of this widespread misery. Nearly two million California homeowners are underwater, owing more on their mortgage than their home is worth. This tremendous mortgage debt is severely crippling the State’s economy by holding back consumer
spending and preventing a robust recovery.
And the mortgage debt is devastating the lives of too many Californians.


Walls Continue to Close in On Banks in Courts Once Hostile to Borrower Defenses

McDonald v OneWest

This case should be read more than once

Living Lies The party seeking foreclosure not only failed in its current effort to do so, but was ordered to pay $25,000 within 7 days for forcing the homeowner’s attorney to fight tooth and nail for items that were or should have been at their fingertips, they had no reason to withhold, and should have been anxious to supply if the foreclosure was real.

IRS Denials of Tax-Exempt Status to Mortgage Foreclosure Assistance Providers Offer Lessons for Housing Counseling Agencies

JPSupra The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is preparing an industry-wide review of tax-exempt organizations that are engaged in mortgage foreclosure assistance, including housing counseling agencies (the “compliance project”). In fact, the IRS has already begun scrutinizing closely any such organizations that have applied for exempt status recognition in recent months.

Bank Forges Note, Middlesex NJ Foreclosure Case Dismissed

More than four years after the mortgage foreclosure crises began, it is assumed that acts of fraud on behalf of the banks has stopped. This assumption keeps being proved wrong. Round Point Mortgage Servicing LLC was caught at trial attempting to foreclose using a fraudulent promissory note. 

Denbeaux & Denbeaux “It is fairly common to find assignments of mortgage and other documents executed by non-employees of the bank who have no authority to act on behalf of the foreclosing entity. Unfortunately it depends on what county you are in and what judge you are before, as to whether or not the bank will get away with it. In my time representing homeowners this is the first time I’ve seen such an egregious fraud. 

Which Aspect of the FDIC’s Litigation Failures is the Most Embarrassing and Damaging

The article’s summary statement captures the theme nicely. “Since the mortgage meltdown, the FDIC has opted to settle cases while helping banks avoid bad press, rather than trumpeting punitive actions as a deterrent to others.”

Prof. William K. Black Other settlements reveal that the FDIC is allowing even the controlling officers of the most notorious fraudulent lenders to walk away wealthy.

The McAlister and Wohl settlements are disgraces. The FDIC’s senior and legal leadership has proven itself unfit and should resign.

That disgrace provides the transition to the third aspect of the FDIC’s embarrassment revealed by the article.


FDIC Hides “Scores” of Bank Settlements Since 2007

The FDIC has been doing banks a big favor by agreeing not to publish the fact that they’d engaged in sufficiently wayward behavior for the agency to threaten regulatory action and negotiate a settlement.

naked capitalism Three years ago, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. collected $54 million from Deutsche Bank in a settlement over unsound loans that contributed to a spectacular California bank failure.

The deal might have made big headlines, given that the bad loans contributed to the largest payout in FDIC history, $13 billion. But the government cut a deal with the bank’s lawyers to keep it quiet: a “no press release” clause that required the FDIC never to mention the deal “except in response to a specific inquiry.”


In major policy shift, scores of FDIC settlements go unannounced

Since the mortgage meltdown, the FDIC has opted to settle cases while helping banks avoid bad press, rather than trumpeting punitive actions as a deterrent to others.

LA Times Since 2007, 471 U.S. banks have failed, nearly depleting the FDIC deposit-insurance fund with $92.5 billion in losses. Rather than sue, the agency has typically preferred to settle for a fraction of the losses while helping the banks avoid bad press.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, The Times obtained more than 1,600 pages of FDIC settlements, made from 2007 through this year with former bank insiders and others accused of wrongdoing. The agreements constitute a catalog of fraud and negligence: reckless loans to homeowners and builders; falsified documents; inflated appraisals; lender refusals to buy back bad loans.

Nationstar Suit Questions Servicer's Authority to Sell Mortgage Notes

A justice for New York’s Supreme Court has ordered Nationstar to stop the auction of some of its mortgage notes through

“It appears from the prices posted on the website that the bulk auction sales, not surprisingly, resulted in sales of the loans at significant discounts,” the filing reads. “Plainly, Nationstar’s dumping of Trust assets in bulk at fire sale prices through a two-day internet auction is not an act taken “in the best interests of the Certificate holders.”

DSNews “There are two parts to the allegations made under the lawsuit. First, that the lawsuit alleges that note sale is not an option available to the servicer, and second, that the sale is harmful to the interests of the investors in the trust relative to other alternatives,” Barclays said. “While it is clear that a violation on the second part would seem to go against the duties of a servicer, it is less clear whether the sale is an option available to the servicer or not.

While it’s easy to blame Detroit’s financial troubles on deadbeat homeowners, the more appropriate parties to blame may well be the deadbeat banks.

How Deadbeat Banks Pushed Detroit To The Brink

In a foreclosure, the property reverts back to the bank, which then becomes responsible for all maintenance and upkeep, as well as any fees. Some banks simply ignore these responsibilities and refuse to pay taxes or keep the vacant property in good order. The more clever banks stick evicted homeowners with the bill.

Documents in:

 KIRP LLC v. Nationstar

David Dayen

National Memo

Rather than demonizing “deadbeat” homeowners, however, we should examine who actually evades responsibility for paying taxes on those properties. Detroit has been ravaged by an unending foreclosure crisis. Predatory loans trapped borrowers into monthly mortgage rates they couldn’t pay, with lenders particularly targeting lower-income minority areas like Detroit. Many of those homeowners are gone now, evicted from their properties. It is a pattern that has sunk property values, making the high property tax rates in Detroit even more unsustainable. But it also has turned banks into the real deadbeats, depriving the city of revenue.

Boomerang buyers return to market after foreclosure

CNN If defaulters show that extenuating circumstances caused the foreclosure -- such as a health issue that prevented them from working, a layoff, a divorce or other one-time event -- the wait may be reduced to three years.


Last rites in foreclosure fight? Minnesota Senate Dems block hearing on Homeowners' Bill of Rights

TC Daily Planet This is not the way Minnesota housing rights activists thought it would turn out when Democrats regained control of the the State Legislature: Hopes for passing a Homeowners’ Bill of Rights to protect Minnesotans from needlessly losing their homes to foreclosure all but died Friday.

Attorney General Presentation of Recontrust Document Violations

HOFJ Our presentation to the Attorney General regarding Recontrust Company NA violations and patterns of violation discovered on their foreclosure documents for 18 homes. We hope this presentation gets into the hands of all our elected officials, and the Attorneys General of every state in the Union. 



Most borrowers, even through counsel, compounded the problem by admitting all required elements of a judicial foreclosure as they emerged from the starting gate making it even easier for the Judge to place the burden of persuasion on the borrower

In general, a careful examination of any loan now subject to a claim of securitization will reveal a fun house series of smoke and mirrors.

Living Lies Factually, you need to subpoena the trust officer or manager in charge of REMIC trusts including the subject REMIC for the subject loan. They should bring proof of filing with the IRS and/or any state in which they are doing business as trustee for the REMIC and proof that the money from investors was deposited into an account bearing the name of the alleged Trustee for the benefit of the named trust that is claiming ownership of the loan. Your goal here is to establish that the money was not deposited into any account held or controlled by the trustee and that withdrawals for funding or purchasing loans came from somewhere else. But that only gets you half way home.

Tax Overpayment Possible in Sheriff Foreclosure Sales

A late change in the rate used to value foreclosed homes could have caused some to overpay in taxes.

NBC-Philly If you bought a foreclosed home at a sheriff’s sale in Philadelphia last year, you may have paid too much in taxes -- and don't expect anyone to tell you about it.

Many Claims Unfiled in Robo-Signing Foreclosure Settlement

More than 15,000 eligible claims were not filed, meaning some residents may have missed out on money which legally was theirs.

Indiana Public Media Indiana residents who were foreclosed upon between January 2008 and December 2011 due to robo-signing will receive a share of $31.4 million awarded to the state. About 37,000 claim packets were sent to eligible Indiana residents whose homes were wrongfully foreclosed, giving them the opportunity to take their share of the $31.4 million dollars, but only about 21,000 packets were returned.

Did MERS Shoot Itself in the Foot?

Don’t you think for one minute that the court systems across America aren’t going to get tired of dealing with MERS business model? 

Clouded Titles They will at some point, as the dockets start loading up en masse as more and more homeowners come out of the woodwork “with pitchforks” and sue MERS into oblivion. Do you really think there are enough attorneys to defend millions of lawsuits


Lawmakers Demand Docs Over ‘Too Big To Jail’ Banks

There has been a surge of concern in recent months from a range of lawmakers and former regulators that not enough has been done in the wake of the financial crisis to address whether some large banks remain “too big to fail.”


WSJ Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, and Patrick McHenry (R., N.C.), who chairs a key subcommittee, wrote in a letter Friday to “express our deep concern” about recent comments from the administration about prosecuting large financial firms. The letter, addressed to Mr. Holder and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, asks the administration to turn over all documents tied to officials assessing the potential economic impact of bringing criminal or civil proceedings against a bank.

As homeowners struggle, attempts grow to help them avoid foreclosure “The Homekeeper program is great, but it only helps a homeowner get current on their loan,” said Staci Berger, who heads the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey. “It doesn’t do anything to restructure the loan for someone who is underemployed or has been out of work for a while. There’s no way for them to stay in the home unless loan modification is part of the solution.”

Corralling Mobsters, if Not Many Big Banks

Ms. White’s recent work as a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, where she represented JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and other companies, has come under scrutiny. Her record as a federal prosecutor of financial crime has received less attention.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

A review of her years in the Southern District also turned up several intriguing cases that Ms. White and her colleagues did not pursue or turned away. All three of these matters involved large and prestigious financial companies headquartered in the United States.

Federal Judge Cautiously Finds Against Bank On Foreclosure Advertisement

STUBBS v. BANK OF AMERICA, BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, and Federal National Mortgage Association,

Hugh Wood, Esq. For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Defendants’ motion to dismiss the amended complaint [Doc. 9]. The Court DISMISSES Plaintiff’s fraud claim and his claim based on BAC’s failure to register to do business in Georgia. The motion to dismiss is DENIED as to Plaintiff’s wrongful foreclosure claim.

What Can You Do To Keep Possession Of The Property After Losing In An Unlawful Detainer Trial?

Kenny Tan, Esq. There are ways. But you have to act FAST! I mean really FAST.

Whether you're a tenant or an owner whose home has just been foreclosed by the lender, if you've been representing yourself and are not aware of your options, there are two laws you may avail yourself of to keep possession - Code of Civil Procedure 1176 and 1179. 


The Note is in Default. Really? Prove it!

What is relevant is whether or not the ‘purported loan’ is in default. In almost all cases the ‘loan’ is not in default and has been paid in full by some entity (bailout money, TARP, insurance, etc.).

John Stuart The law is very clear concerning what must happen with a Note in the case of a foreclosure; the Note must be returned to the Borrower and/or canceled by the court. But this NEVER happens, why? Two reasons: 1.) because the tangible (real) Note was destroyed shortly after it was signed, and 2.) because those that paid off the ‘digital version’ of the Note are not going to release it since they paid for it.

The really disgusting part about all of this is the judges know everything above is 100% correct, true and factual. That should scare everyone.

Yes, the judges are in on it.


Nye Lavalle Indeed, it appears as though many loans and other mortgage-related assets have been double and even triple-pledged to various constituencies

BOA Answer to Freddie Objection in Re: Taylor Bean 

Freddie Objection to BOA in RE Taylor Bean 


Justice Delayed is Justice Denied: The Case Against Big Banks

Elizabeth Warren asked a pointed question of senior treasury department officials regarding why no enforcement action had ever been taken against a large financial institution. ”Can you identify when you last took (one of) the Wall Street banks to trial?” she asked the regulators. None could.

Bankruptcy Law Network I would just like to know why the individuals with the big banks standing behind them or paying them, aren’t being charged. Where’s the Justice for those most affected by HSBC’s corporate decisions and JPMorgan’s corporate decisions? Justice delayed is justice denied….and it’s time to call the big banks accountable.


Wrong Plaintiff? Wrong Defendant? Beware a Motion for Sanctions

The lawyer who ignores these basic principles risks both a motion for sanctions and the possibility of a disciplinary complaint.

The New York Professional Responsibility Report Every lawyer who initiates an action should be careful to confirm that he has the right defendant, and,
also, that his client has “standing” to sue this defendant. In an action to recover for personal injuries, for
example, he should avoid naming anyone as a defendant until he has reasonable proof that the putative
defendant caused or contributed to the accident, or was responsible for preventing it.

Banks Still Gumming Up Fla. Foreclosure Cases

Hispanic Business Banks are the biggest barriers to speeding the foreclosure process in Florida because they let cases linger in the courts and continue to present flawed documents, the state courts administrator told a Senate subcommittee this week.

No answers after foreclosure crew empties wrong building

The workers who were supposed to clear out his neighbor’s foreclosed house instead cleaned out Mike Moors’ barn, making off with his wife’s wedding dress, their love letters, his boat, his backhoe, the works.

Stateman Safeguard Properties, the Ohio company that hired the crew to prepare the house next door for foreclosure in December, acknowledges the error and says an insurance company is verifying Moors’ claim and will soon have information for him. But not yet.

Frustrated, Mike Moors said he spent the next few weeks calling and sending registered letters to county officials, the lender CitiMortgage and Safeguard Properties. He finally filed a claim in February.

Safeguard isn’t providing any details about Moors’ belongings. 
“She also told me it’s not necessary to get the media involved. She said, ‘I promise I will do the right thing,’” Mike Moors said.


City of Providence RI amicus brief

Bucci v. Lehman, MERS, Aurora

The instant appeal is, at its essence , a private dispute concerning whether the Mortgage
Electronic Registration System ("MERS") can foreclose pursuant to the Rhode Island Statutory
Power of Sale.

MERS carelessly uses the words mortgagee and nominee interchangeably to benefit from both while being held responsible for neither.

City of Providence Notwithstanding this smokescreen, any power that MERS has in the mortgagor/mortgagee relationship is as a nominee of the mortgagee and not as the mortgagee itself. This
distinction is crucial because the mortgagee is the party that can act without authorization on a mortgage note to foreclose or modify. the terms of the agreement, whereas the nominee of the mortgagee must be authorized by the mortgagee to act. Thus, calling MERS a mortgagee is a critical mistake because it is, by its own admission, a nominee or an agent of the mortgagee that needs permission from the mortgagee to act.



Appeals court agrees deal unfair to plaintiffs in Erie County robo-signing case.

A federal appeals court has reversed a lower court’s approval of a class-action lawsuit settlement that dealt with robo-signed [debt collection lawsuit] filings.

Vassalle v. Midland Funding

Toledo Blade


The court wrote that the “disparity in relief is so great that we conclude the district court abused its discretion in finding that the settlement was fair, reasonable, and adequate.

The settlement also provided a one-year injunction that required Midland of San Diego, to change its policies. The appellate court argued that Midland would be free to resume its “predatory practices” after that year, should it choose to do so.


Wells Fargo foreclosure protesters found not guilty

Philadelphia Sun “This verdict shows that the people of this country stand on the side of justice and not the reckless profit-driven motives of big banks,” said defendant and Occupy Sandy organizer. “I hope this decision will give the United States government the courage to start taking these banks—the real criminals—to trial and to hold them accountable to the people, instead of letting them hide behind back-room settlements.”

Lawyers Across Florida Join Forces to Tackle Increasing Tide of Foreclosures

Legal Aid and legal services organizations have established hotlines statewide dedicated to providing information and free legal assistance to eligible homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes.

Naples News Attorneys and advocates are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4p.m. to provide assistance. 

Residents in Collier County can call 239.775.4024 or visit the Legal Aid office at 4125 Tamiami Trail East, for further information.


How luxury-home owners dodge foreclosure

Owners of high-end properties who fall into arrears have more options

Market Watch For lenders, it’s worth the extra effort to avert foreclosure on luxury properties. They incur substantial expenses holding these homes, including paying property taxes, maintenance costs and, often, homeowners’ fees. The homes are also more difficult to sell, since fewer buyers can afford to purchase them. And when lenders eventually unload them, it’s often at a loss. “Lenders have more of an incentive to work out payment plans for these borrowers than with the ones [whose homes] may move quickly,”



Even American Banker is Savaging the OCC’s Mortgage Settlement

Well, what about criminal referrals? Somehow that phrase does not seem to be in Powell’s vocabulary. He virtually disavowed that the Fed has any regulatory authority (“we do monetary policy, that crime stuff is over there”). And he knows full well that once a bank is indicted, what happens to the license of that entity (if it is a major one) is an afterthought. So the Fed’s answer was bald-facedly clear.

naked capitalism The real excuse was that the reviews were becoming embarrassing, and secondarily, costly. Our sources indicated that ProPublica had gotten Bank of America, Promontory and the OCC in a tizzy by reporting the truth, that the reviews were not independent, and they were scrambling to change procedures. At PNC, the team was told that all its work prior to October would be thrown out due to lack of independence. On top of that, both at PNC and Bank of America, the reviewers were told relatively late to start validating third party charges (most important, find invoices supporting attorneys’ fees). Many did not exist, and this is after the temps were also often finding implausibly and impermissibly high attorneys’ fees). So exposing systematic servicer fee-gouging was something to be avoided.

Banks dawdle in foreclosure court

Banks are the biggest barriers to speeding the foreclosure process in Florida because they let cases linger in the courts and continue to present flawed documents, the state courts administrator told a Senate subcommittee this week.

Palm Beach Post Today is the first deadline in an administrative order issued last month requiring lenders and mortgage servicers to submit paperwork on aging Palm Beach County cases before potentially facing a court-forced trial date.


Treasury and Fed Officials Prevaricate Before Elizabeth Warren About Whether They Will Ever Get Tough With Banks

If you knew the history on this beat, the responses by the Treasury and Fed officials were dishonest and infuriating.


naked capitalism It thus appears that the regulators are afraid of or unwilling to flex their muscles. Can’t jeopardize our future revolving door payout, now can we? If that is indeed the real impediment, it only strengthens the case for cutting the banks down to size.

Now to the video. Watch how no one there is responsible for anything Warren is interested in discussing!


Wells Fargo Typo Victim Dies in Court

The bank billed Larry Delassus $13,361 owed by his neighbor, then foreclosed

LA Weekly In a series of painfully tragic events, Wells Fargo relied on its typographical error to double Delassus' mortgage — from $1,237.69 to $2,429.13 — as its way of recouping the $13,361.90 in taxes Delassus didn't owe. 

Delassus and his attorney did not discover until May 2010 that a mis-entered number had dragged Delassus into this spiral. As court documents obtained by L.A. Weekly show, after admitting its error, Wells Fargo foreclosed on Delassus anyway and sold his condo.


Outrage: Some Banks Are Too Big to Prosecute

Attorney General Eric Holder admits that the biggest banks are not just too big too fail, but above the law.

AlterNet Holder’s outrageous admission means that bankers operate – and know they operate – above the law. That renders all the argument about regulations and legal limits risible. Bankers spend tens of millions lobbying to weaken regulations and starve regulators of authority and resources. But when the action gets hot, the bubble starts to build, the music keeps playing, they can trample the laws, mislead the regulators and defraud their customers, bolstered by the confidence that the laws will not apply to them.

Nationstar Sued for Selling Loans Rather Than Servicing

The mortgage servicer that collects payments on more than $300 billion of debt, was accused in a lawsuit of harming investors by auctioning home loans backing securities.

Bloomberg Nationstar’s loan liquidations are a “blatant abdication” of the company’s responsibilities as servicer, mortgage-bond investor KIRP LLC said in a complaint filed today in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

3 On Your Side: Mortgage Foreclosure Experts

Judi MoBilio doesn’t think the state is doing enough to protect vulnerable homeowners. She says, “I think they’ve completely dropped the ball.”

CBS Local In March 2011, Mortgage Foreclosure Experts was one of 11 unlicensed companies that the New Jersey Attorney General targeted for providing illegal modification services. The State fined the companies and sought $125,000 in restitution. But now, two years later, only three of those companies have ever paid up, and only a measly $4,000 was given back to customers. Mortgage Foreclosure Experts wasn’t among those three companies, and has never forked over a cent.


Curious and Shocking Failure to Follow the Law: BofA, Chase and OneWest

BofA never merged with BAC Home Loans and the entity created to merge with Countrywide was Red Oak Merger Corp. which like the REMIC trusts was completely ignored. Neither Countrywide, Red Oak, BAC nor Bank of America ever paid one cent to acquire the loan balances. Hence the paperwork showing “for value received” is a lie.

Living Lies Based upon current information and direct interviews with participants I have come to three broad conclusions:
1. Bank of America never acquired any loans from Countrywide.
2. Chase never acquired any loans from Washington Mutual
3. OneWest never acquired the Indy Mac loans but instead entered into a loss sharing arrangement wherein the FDIC would absorb 80% of the loss and OneWest would receive the proceeds from foreclosure.

Robo-Signing Scandal: Hundreds More Military Members Were Victims

JPMorgan, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley already noted or settled charges that they improperly handled foreclosures for military members, but now it seems that the admitted missteps in dealing with these transactions were only a small number compared to what was actually happening. "It's absolutely devastating to be 7,000 miles from your home fighting for this country and get a message that your family is being evicted," Col. John S. Odom Jr., a retired Air Force lawyer who represents military members in foreclosure cases, told the newspaper. "We have been sounding the alarms that the banks are illegally evicting the very men and women who are out there fighting for this country. This is a devastating confirmation of that."

Senator Wyden letter to Holder to investigate LPS

Not only is the thought of a bank making it harder for struggling homeowners to reinstate their loans appalling, under the False Claims Act, charging for fees already being paid by a government-backed entity such as Fannie Mae is illegal.

Oregon Senator Wyden LPS's argument that it is only charging servicers for legal services appears to be particularly
suspect given that LPS is not a law firm. Rather, LPS subcontracts its legal services to a select
group of law firms. These "network firms" reportedly all have agreed with LPS that, in
exchange for a steady stream of foreclosure business from the nation's largest default processing
finn, the law finn must pay for the default servicing that LPS offers servicers "free-of-charge."


Elizabeth Warren: Banks Get Wrist Slaps While Drug Dealers Get Jail

Sen. Elizabeth Warren unloaded on bank regulators Thursday about the fact that British bank HSBC is still doing business in the U.S., with no criminal charges filed against it, despite confessing to what one regulator called "egregious" money laundering violations.

Huff Post "They did it over and over and over again across a period of years. And they were caught doing it, warned not to do it and kept right on doing it, and evidently making profits doing it," Warren said of HSBC. "How many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords and how many economic sanctions do you have to violate before someone will consider shutting down a financial institution like this?"

Springfield, MA considers amending foreclosure ordinances to resolve federal court appeal by banks

Community activists hailed the new ordinances as a national model for addressing the foreclosure crisis. 

MassLive As a result of mediation in recent months, the city is considering allowing banks to be exempt from having to post a $10,000 bond on each foreclosed, vacant property in Springfield, as required by the new law, if the banks can meet certain conditions. 

Do Big Banks Have a `Get Out of Jail Free' Card?

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's statement yesterday -- that some banks are too big to prosecute -- may have been a Kinsley gaffe: the kind of misstatement that accidentally reveals the truth. 

Bloomberg Justice already knows what to do: It recently secured a guilty plea from the Japanese subsidiary of UBS AG over allegations that the bank rigged interest rates. A Royal Bank of Scotland Plc subsidiary also pleaded guilty to settle similar criminal charges. We need more prosecutions like those.
Justice lawyers could also do a better job of targeting the individuals involved in interest-rate rigging or other financial misdeeds. Sending top-ranked bankers to jail would be a more powerful deterrent than indicting a faceless corporation

Economic Fairness blasts bankers over foreclosure reforms

It caught our attention this week when Economic Fairness Oregon sent out a scathing email accusing the Oregon Bankers Association of trying to stall an effort to expand foreclosure protection.

BizJournal This week it submitted 50 pages of amendments to Senate Bill 558, the bill that would expand mediation to judicial foreclosures.
Economic Fairness Executive Director Angela Martin said the amendments amount to "smoke and mirrors" designed to confuse lawmakers and stall legislative debate.
"Their game has always been to confuse the heck out of people."

Delaware lawmakers attempt to extend foreclosure lifeline

58% of homeowners in foreclosure have participated in mediation conferences. Of those homeowners, 80% managed to reach either a non-foreclosure resolution or remained in discussion with banks, 

Housing Wire "Losing a home to foreclosure can be devastating, and borrowers deserve the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their lender and explore all available alternatives," Biden noted in a statement. "Our strengthened mediation program has proven to be effective in helping homeowners avoid foreclosure, and it should be extended for four more years."

INFOGRAPHIC: The Government Housing Policy-Driven Fall of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

Committee on Financial Services Many of the interest groups that directly benefit from large subsidizations in the housing market continue to state that Fannie and Freddie fell victim to the bad private market participants. This suggestion is completely false. It was government housing policy, coupled with loose money from the Federal Reserve, that caused the housing bubble and those are the areas where we must focus reform.

("Unlawful") Foreclosure timelines now measured in years

Lawful foreclosures are still quick.

Inman News But the difference between judicial and nonjudicial states is decreasing due to recently enacted "judicial-like" legislation in some nonjudicial states, the report said. In Nevada, legislation has resulted in a jump from a 27-month timeline in June 2012 to 57 months at the end of January, and in Massachusetts, the average timeline has risen from 75 to 171 months since last January, the report said.

States probing top U.S. banks over debt collection

Reuters The largest U.S. banks face a multi-state investigation into whether they helped debt collectors pursue faulty judgments against credit card customers, according to people familiar with the matter.

At issue is whether weak record-keeping by banks or a failure to pass accurate information to collection agencies harmed consumers.


Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley acts against two companies for alleged foreclosure scams

The state this week also sued Pinnacle Financial Consulting LLC, based in Lawrence, and its owner Robert Burton in Suffolk Superior Court for alleged taking advantage of a largely minority and non English speaking population of desperate homeowners.

Boston Globe In court documents filed in Suffolk Superior Court, iMod president and law firm partner Kendra Stephenson agreed to stop collecting money in advance of offering foreclosure-related assistance to borrowers. Stephenson will also return $4,500 to three homeowners and pay $15,500 to the state, according to court filings.


Actual Knowledge Of Defective Mortgage & Bona Fide Purchaser Status

Bank of Am., N.A. v. Corzin

More On Defectively Acknowledged Instruments

Home Equity Theft Reporter Is it possible for a "purchaser" of real estate to have actual knowledge of a land document that is defectively acknowledged and recorded in the office of the local land record registry and still be treated as a bona fide purchaser?

A 2010 federal district court ruling in northern Ohio concluded, based on a state appeals court case, that yes, it appears it is possible in some cases - at least in Ohio.


Whistleblower: Wells Fargo Fabricated and Altered Mortgage Documents on a Mass Basis

If robo-signors and foreclosure-mill lawyers had been jailed when Ameriquest was caught in 2005, we would no longer have stories like this: 

Wells Fargo beefed up in the wake of the state attorney general/Federal mortgage settlement of early 2012, 

...evidently seeing it as a green light for more aggressive and systematic document fixing.

naked capitalism Wells Fargo’s own actions say the reverse. It has been doctoring documents in house for over fifteen months for borrowers who are targeted for foreclosure. It was having this sort of work done outside the bank for an unknown period of time prior to that.

A contractor who worked at a Wells Fargo facility in Minnesota reports that the bank engaged in systematic, large scale alteration of mortgage notes and fabrication of related documents in preparation for foreclosure. The procedures the bank used are questionable for a large portion of the mortgages.

Foreclosure Workshop Today: Owner's Statement of Suspicious Documents

HOFJ This is the way Owners and those already foreclosed upon can present the fraud on their recorded documents to local and state officials and the Media! Let's get started and swamp them with Statements!

EMC Mortgage Fails to Prove Standing

EMC Mortgage v. Atkinson

Mr. Atkinson asserts in his sole assignment of error that the trial court erred in denying his Civ.R. 60(B) motion to vacate the agreed judgment decree. We agree that Mr.
Atkinson is entitled to relief from judgment.

U.S. 6th Circuit: Mortgage Foreclosure is debt collection under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Real Estate Blog A majority of courts have held that foreclosure is not “debt collection” and therefore lawyers, lenders, and servicers are exempt from the FDCPA, and presumably the state statutes as well.
Then came the Glazer decision.


With Legal Reserves Low, Bank of America Faces a Big Lawsuit


Propublica Bank of America continues to face gargantuan payouts to clean up legal disputes from the bubble years. Now a lawsuit suggests that the bank’s mortgage portfolio could cost it tens of billions more than it had planned. In one big case, if things go wrong, Bank of America may be required to make good on many more billions worth of bad mortgages from Countrywide Financial


OCC Bungled Foreclosure Settlement from Start to Finish

Either the Comptroller's Office did a lousy job negotiating that part of the settlement or it just hasn't explained it very well. The New York Times and the Journal have sunk their teeth into this story and report that the credit the servicers will get for foreclosure prevention will greatly exceed their actual costs.

American Banker Unless the Comptroller's Office comes up with more answers fast, this snafu may consume the agency. And that would be bad for bankers.

What the industry and the regulators need most right now is trust. They need the public to believe that they are making sound decisions and doing the right thing.

This foreclosure settlement demonstrates a failure on both fronts.

Executive At Scandal-Ridden Italian Bank Commits Suicide

Business Insider Monte dei Paschi – the world's oldest bank and one of Italy's biggest – had engaged in shady derivatives deals with Deutsche Bank to cover up hundreds of millions of euros in losses, then employed some creative accounting to hide the trades from shareholders and the public.


The Government Has It Bass-Ackwards: Failing To Prosecute Criminal Fraud by the Big Banks Is Killing – NOT Saving – the Economy

It is beyond dispute that bank fraud was one of the main causes of the Great Depression.

This was fraud, perpetrated in the first instance by the government on the population, and by the rich on the poor.

The government that permits this to happen is complicit in a vast crime.

Galbraith also says:

There will have to be full-scale investigation and cleaning up of the residue of that, before you can have, I think, a return of confidence in the financial sector. And that’s a process which needs to get underway.

Galbraith recently said that “at the root of the crisis we find the largest financial swindle in world history”, where “counterfeit” mortgages were “laundered” by the banks.

naked capitalism As he has repeatedly noted, the economy will not recover until the perpetrators of the frauds which caused our current economic crisis are held accountable, so that trust can be restored. See this, this and this.

No wonder Galbraith has said economists should move into the background, and “criminologists to the forefront.”

The bottom line is that the government has it exactly backwards. By failing to prosecute criminal fraud, the government is destabilizing the economy … and ensuring future crashes.

Postscript: Unfortunately, the government made it official policy not to prosecute fraud, even though criminal fraud is the main business model adopted by the giant banks.

Indeed, the government has done everything it can to cover up fraud, and has been actively encouraging criminal fraud and attacking those trying to blow the whistle.


Direct Deposit Requirement may Create Problems for Debt Laden Social Security Beneficiaries

Protected Social Security funds that are co-mingled with other monies will likely lose their protected status and could be seized by creditors.

Bankruptcy Law Network Social Security recipients can protect themselves by asking their bank to create a sub-account that holds only SSA issued funds. No money other than SSA funds should ever be deposited into this account. This is especially necessary if the recipient has civil judgment creditors looking for a source of funds to levy against.



Like the loan mod offers of the past, this is a non-offer. It is solely a mechanism designed by BOA to take someone’s home without even having to institute a foreclosure and obviously without having to deal with a foreclosure challenge, and in a further obvious effort to reduce what must be a tremendous debt owed by BOA to Fannie Mae.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide BOA must think that the American public is dumb enough to fall for this scam, and is brazen enough to even offer it. Wow! You can VOLUNTARILY surrender your home to the government and pay them for the privilege of doing so, and the alleged “bank” will not have to pay for a foreclosure or deal with a foreclosure challenge! And this is for the alleged “benefit” of the homeowner!


When can foreclosing lenders be accused of acting in bad faith?

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Schultz

Porzio Bromberg & Newman PC In a recent decision, the Chancery Division denied a lender’s motion to strike a borrower’s contesting answer in a foreclosure lawsuit, holding that the borrower had adequately pled a claim that the lender acted in bad faith. While this decision is unique based on the facts of the underlying dispute, it does, by contrast, serve as a reminder that lenders generally cannot be held to have acted in bad faith when they simply attempt to enforce the terms of loan documents as written.

Palm Beach County launches “Rocket Docket

Oh sure, they’re not calling it a rocket docket this time because the first time the issue was raised a few years ago there was a big stink from the ACLU and others about the constitutionality of cramming court cases through the system without due process.

The administrative order that was signed last week by Palm Beach County Chief Judge Peter Blanc

Roy Oppenheim, Esq. There’s also more good news for those who are represented by counsel. If they are able to successfully question the integrity of the bank’s foreclosure documents and witnesses, they will be able to get out from under their foreclosure faster and possibly even remain in their homes. That’s because banks simply won’t have the time to prepare and prove their case.

On the other hand what about the guy who can’t afford an attorney? They make up about 95 percent of foreclosure victims. Are they not entitled to due process? Without counsel, they will be blasted right through the docket and out of their homes.


CFPB issues final rules on loan originator compensation, as required by Dodd-Frank

Lexology The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau”) published final rules (with official interpretations) in the Federal Register to amend its Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) to implement requirements and restrictions concerning loan originator compensation and related matters. These rules were issued to implement changes required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Act”).

The final rules contain the following main provisions:

  Financial Pathways Offers Free Help To Avoid Foreclosure

digtriad Financial Pathways of the Piedmont is one of 47 that will share $13 million of settlement funds to help home buyers and owners.



With the economy in its present Federal-Reserve-orchestrated-condition, your eventual default on the promissory note and mortgage against your property is assured.
Prepare now, for that inevitable day. The following is one possible course of action against the criminal banks:

The Federal Reserve Has Set You Up: Set Them Up – Right Back — UCC Explained in detail

Once the case is dismissed, file a Quiet Title Action pursuant to the fact that the NOTE-Mortgage has been satisfied, and that there is no holder in evidence, that the NOTE-Mortgage were acquired by the banksters by false representation and fraud.

Living Lies Your ability to zero in on the issue of the bankster’s standing to make a claim in foreclosure from the beginning, will immediately panic the foreclosure complainant. The lawyers who wrote and filed the complaint for the banksters are also subject to sanctions under Rule 11 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, for filing a case where their client cannot establish themselves as “the real party in interest,” and having the right to enforce the instrument. No valid cause of action. Such complaint, without valid cause of action is frivolous. Ask for sanctions against the BAR-fly lawyers and their law firm.


Delaware AG, state law makers support foreclosure mediation extension

Newsworks Delaware is still in a foreclosure crisis. For that reason Attorney General Beau Biden and state legislators announced plans to extend the state’s mandatory foreclosure mediation program for another four years.


IBM Lender Services n/k/a Seterus: Stupidest Strategic Move Since AOL-Time Warner Merger

HAL, which IBM is still trying to build, lost his mind, somebody within IBM’s strategic planning group seems to have done the same and decided to ramp up “IBM Lender Services,” a foreclosure fraud-factory.

Somebody in corporate communications must have recognized that putting almost $70 billion at risk to run a document sewage plant seemed like a bad bet, so in 2011 they changed the name to “Seterus.” 

Michael Olenick It seems like at the end of every bubble there’s an obligatory insane strategic move by a major corporation; moving a business with $107 billion in revenue into fraudulent foreclosure processing is arguably worse than the infamous AOL-Time Warner acquisition.

For the sake of simplicity, and because they deserve to be mocked for this wildly irresponsible move, I’ll continue to use their own original name — the name stamped on countless fraudulent court records IBM Lender Services.


Foreclosure's high toll on Minnesota

In addition, the costs to taxpayers and lost tax revenue associated with foreclosure during that four-year period cost local governments in Hennepin County nearly $525 million.

Those numbers for a single county help explain why last year's $26 billion settlement between the nation's five largest mortgage companies and 49 state attorneys general was decried as inadequate.

The Wall Street Wrecking Ball

Star TRibune The report notes that foreclosure levels in 2013 remain three times higher than they were before 2008. That's why the coalition led by Minnesotans for A Fair Economy, Jewish Community Action and ISAIAH has renewed its push for state action to help homeowners avoid foreclosure when they fall behind on their mortgages. The bill's centerpiece: A requirement of face-to-face mediation between homeowners and lenders before foreclosures can proceed.

Fannie-Freddie in Venture to Securitize Home Loans

Since they were seized by the government in the bailout, the companies have drawn nearly $190 billion from the Treasury to stay afloat.

NY Times By creating a new securitization company, the Federal Housing Finance Agency intends to pave the way for a single securitization platform, forcing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to abandon their current separate systems. Mr. DeMarco said the goal was to build a single infrastructure to support the mortgage credit business.

Foreclosure wave not done yet: Fifth Third has $580 million to come

Business Courier The worst of the foreclosure wave might be past, but the wave hasn’t finished crashing yet. Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank’s home loans that were in the foreclosure process rose by nearly $4 million during the fourth quarter to top $579 million at year-end, according to filings with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Fallout from 'Untouchables' Documentary: Another Wall Street Whistleblower Gets Reamed

Two very interesting and upsetting footnotes to that groundbreaking documentary have emerged in the last weeks.

There are people out there still willing to argue that the government somehow "forced the banks to lend" to unworthy applicants. In reality, it was unscrupulous companies like Countrywide that were cranking out loans en masse, knowing that these loans would be unloaded down the line, first to banks and then to sucker investors like pension funds and foreign trade unions, almost as soon as they were created.

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

Just weeks after the PBS documentary aired, the Court of Appeals in the state of California suddenly took an interest in Winston's case. Normally, a court of appeals can only overturn a jury verdict in a case like this if there is a legal error. It's not supposed to relitigate the factual evidence.

Yet this is exactly what happened.

Eric Holder is appearing before the Judiciary Committee this Wednesday, and it will be interesting to see how he handles questioning from Senator Grassley. It may get ugly before the answers actually come out, but it seems that someone is finally determined to get some real information.


Banks’ Suit Against MBIA Over Restructuring Is Dismissed

Bank spokesmen said in separate statements: “We continue to believe that MBIA wrongfully transferred $5 billion from its structured finance subsidiary, to the harm of its policyholders, which we intend to prove in the separate fraudulent conveyance litigation that is under way.”

NY Times Justice Barbara R. Kapnick of New York State Supreme Court said Eric R. Dinallo, the state insurance superintendent at the time, was not “arbitrary and capricious” in authorizing a split of MBIA’s municipal bond business from a structured finance unit that had suffered big losses from guaranteeing debt backed by risky mortgages.

Fannie, Freddie to hand securitization business to new firm

Reuters DeMarco said the goal was to build a single infrastructure to support the mortgage credit business that could be privatized, merged into the government or function as a utility. The two companies would have to abandon their separate systems.

Executive Pay Crackdown; Review of Foreclosure Reviews Continues

The global crackdown on executive pay continues. Swiss voters backed a plan over the weekend that places severe limits on how companies pay their executives and directors.

American Banker These limits give shareholders (including pension funds holding shares) a binding say on executive compensation, prohibit bonuses from being awarded to executives joining or leaving the firm and require "annual re-elections for directors." Firms that violate these rules could face heavy fines equal to six years in salary or face a prison sentence of up to three years.


A Home Foreclosure Settlement Gets Watered Down

There’s new evidence that a $9.3 billion settlement to help homeowners is less beneficial than it might seem.

After trumpeting the deal, the OCC late last week released copies of the new agreements with 13 banks.

BusinessWeek Buried in the details (Article IV of the PDF documents linked at the bottom of the press release, to be exact) are a few ways the settlement waters down the amount of help banks must extend to borrowers. When you hear about a $9.3 billion settlement, you might logically think that $9.3 billion in aid will be given to borrowers. But that’s not the case. Instead of giving banks credit only for the amount by which they cut a mortgage, it gives banks credit for the full value of the unpaid principal balance on the loan. 

California Court Holds That Borrowers May Enjoin A Foreclosure If A Lender Fails To Meet Servicing Guidelines

The loan here was insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Thus, the foreclosure was subject to servicing regulations of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). These regulations required the lender to conduct a face-to-face interview prior to initiating foreclosure.

PFEIFER v. Countrywide

More: Pending Foreclosure May Be Stopped If This Loan is FHA


The borrowers alleged this never happened. The Court held that even though the HUD regulations did not create a private right of action, failure to follow the regulations could nevertheless support an injunction based on a common law claim of wrongful foreclosure. Because the borrowers were seeking to halt the foreclosure before it concluded, rather than unwind or set aside a foreclosure that had already occurred, the Court held that the borrowers need not tender the loan proceeds to obtain the injunction.


Congressmen Criticizing OCC Mortgage Settlement, While More Misrepresentations and Cover-ups Emerge

Last week, the Wall Street Journal publicized that the OCC cooked the books in its incredible claim that only 4.2% of the files examined in the recently shuttered foreclosure reviews showed harm.

naked capitalism  It looked like a case of lying with statistics, in that the Journal noticed that they had cited a higher error rate at the time of the settlement (6.5%), and then added a bunch of JP Morgan completed reviews to the sample. And why was that helpful? It looks like JP Morgan didn’t finish its review of all those drecky Bear Stearns loans, so only the prettier JP Morgan-originated ones got counted. How convenient.


Feds To Judge: Figuring Out Restitution For 1000s Of Screwed-Over Homeowners In Tax Sale Bid-Rigging Racket Too Expensive 

Bathon, who served as treasurer from 1998 until his 2009 resignation, faces between 33 and 41 months in prison. He will also lose his entire public pension as a result of his conviction.

Home Equity Theft Reporter The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois filed a motion Monday regarding restitution, seeking an order from the federal court that it is impracticable to determine the losses of individual victims of the property tax sales scheme “given the complex issues of fact related to the large number of victims.”



77% of JP Morgan’s Net Income Comes from Government Subsidies

JPMorgan’s share of the subsidy is $14 billion a year, or about 77 percent of its net income for the past four quarters. In other words, U.S. taxpayers helped foot the bill for the multibillion-dollar trading loss that is the focus of today’s hearing. They’ve also provided more direct support: Dimon noted in a recent conference call that the Home Affordable Refinancing Program, which allows banks to generate income by modifying government-guaranteed mortgages.

Washington Blog JPMorgan receives a government subsidy worth about $14 billion a year, according to research published by the International Monetary Fund and our own analysis of bank balance sheets. The money helps the bank pay big salaries and bonuses. More important, it distorts markets, fueling crises such as the recent subprime-lending disaster and the sovereign-debt debacle that is now threatening to destroy the euro and sink the global economy.


Banks wrongfully foreclosed on 700 military members

A review of foreclosure cases also turns up 20 homeowners who lost their home despite never missing a payment.

The banks had long maintained that, although they had relied on faulty documents to push through foreclosures, they rarely forced people out of their homes by mistake. The discovery that over 700 active duty military members — protected by federal law — nonetheless faced foreclosure serves as star riposte to such claims.

DealBook In 2011, JPMorgan settled claims that it inappropriately foreclosed on 18 military service members and overcharged 6,000. Bank of America and Morgan Stanley also struck a pact with the Justice Department to settle claims they foreclosed on 178 military members between 2006 and 2009. Sergeant Hurley has since reached a settlement with Deutsche Bank in his case.

But the problems are more extensive than the wave of cases indicated.

Bleeding the Borrower Dry

The loan model that lures them in is based on deception.

NY Times Customers are told, for example, that they can borrow small amounts, perhaps a few hundred dollars, which they are supposed to repay in full within a short period, typically two weeks. The promotional material does not let on that the loans, which carry annual interest rates of 500 percent or more, are structured in a way that inevitably turns a short-term obligation into long-term debt.

Americans – Like Nazi Germans – Don’t Notice that All of Our Rights Are Slipping Away

Washington Blog The German citizens were boiling frogs … the water heating up so gradually that they didn’t realize they had to jump out of the pot to safety.

Because the exact same thing is happening to Americans (fear of terror makes people stupid no matter what country they live in), let’s remember exactly what we’ve lost in recent years …

Why the Independent Foreclosure Reviews Were Doomed to Fail

What the OCC and Fed gave consumers was a jury-rigged, improvised kangaroo system. The avoidance of formal legal process is a hallmark of how bank regulators operate--no prosecutions, just consent decrees, informal supervisory feedback, etc. This is nothing new--the law firm Kaye Scholer got the short end of this stick in 1992 when OTS froze its assets for representing Charles Keating. That got a settlement real fast. 

Prof. Adam Levitin it was a process that was nominally supposed to provide a remedy for various legal harms, but it was not a legal process. Instead, it was an entirely ginned-up review procedure that lacked any legitimacy: the OCC and Fed were negotiating with the banks over consumers' rights. The gap between regular legal process and the "independent" foreclosure review process is where the problems lie. I have no idea if the outcomes would have been different from IFR if consumers were to actually prosecute their claims in court, but I do know this--their procedural rights would be have been clear and legitimately established and they would get a reasonably fair shake as a result. 

Lords of Disorder: Billions for Wall Street, Sacrifice for Everyone Else

We’re collecting nothing from the big banks in return for our generosity. Instead we’re demanding sacrifice from the elderly, the disabled, the poor, the young, the middle class – pretty much everybody, in fact, who isn’t “too big to fail.”

As we detailed in 2011, the TARP program didn’t “make money,” either. Banks received a free and easy trillion-plus dollars from our public institution, on terms that amounted to a gift worth tens of billions, and possibly hundreds of billions.

truthout That means that all of those banks’ CEOs who preen and strut before the cameras and lecture Washington on its profligacy, would not only have lost their jobs and fortunes in 2008 because of their incompetence – they would probably lose their jobs again today.
Tell that to Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, or Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, both of whom have told us it’s imperative that we cut social programs for the elderly and disabled to “save our economy.” The elderly and disabled have paid for those programs – just as they paid to rescue Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein, and just as they implicitly continue to pay for that rescue today.


Foreclosure reversed for 92-year-old woman

Jeanette Ogle, a 92-year-old widow with a reverse mortgage on her house, got a huge birthday surprise recently: She did not lose her home at a scheduled foreclosure auction that had drawn scrutiny from federal and state agencies and consumer advocates.

Harford Courrant Because of obscure federal rules that critics say have snared unwitting elderly homeowners across the country, Ogle's home in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., had been set for foreclosure on Feb. 27, her birthday. But after interventions on her behalf by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, AARP and the Arizona attorney general's office, the auction was canceled.


Promises, Promises at the New York Fed

Late on Thursday, a copy of the actual agreement came to light. It was filed by Bank of America in a California court that is hearing the matter of who owns those fraud claims — A.I.G. or the New York Fed. The agreement was also filed by the New York Fed in a related lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, where the New York Fed asked that the court keep the agreement under seal.

A reading of the document makes it clear why.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

The money changed hands to settle a narrow dispute involving cash flows on several mortgage securities held by an investment vehicle, known as Maiden Lane II. That vehicle was created by the New York Fed as part of the rescue of A.I.G., which had held the Countrywide securities. The previously confidential agreement released Bank of America from all litigation claims on the securities held by Maiden Lane II.

But in exchange for that $43 million, the New York Fed did something else for Bank of America. It agreed to testify on behalf of the bank in its legal battle against A.I.G. over fraud claims.


State high court rules big foreclosure trustee broke consumer law

The state Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against a major player in the foreclosure industry, Quality Loan Service, saying it could not act merely as an agent for lenders.

Qualityhas demonstrated little understanding or regard for Washington law,” wrote Justice Tom Chambers.


more below...

Seattle Times In 2008, the nonprofit group Puget Sound Guardians sued Washington Mutual and Quality Loan for allegedly violating the consumer-protection law after the trustee sold Dorothy Halstien’s home at a foreclosure auction for a dollar more than the $83,087 the disabled senior owed, stripping her of more than $150,000 in equity.

Foreclosure trustees are not simply agents for the lender, the court wrote.

“The power to sell another person’s property, often the family home itself, is a tremendous power to vest in anyone’s hands,” Chambers wrote. The law “requires that trustee to be evenhanded to both sides and to strictly follow the law.”

Originally published 3/5/10;   modified 2/28/13 

Company must pay estate in wrongful auction

A King County judge on Friday ordered Quality Loan Service, one of the West Coast's major players in the foreclosure industry to pay more than $230,000 to the estate of a disabled senior citizen whose Whidbey Island home was wrongfully auctioned off after she fell behind on payments.

At a foreclosure auction on Feb. 29, 2008, Quality Loan Service Corp. of Washington sold Dorothy Halstien's home for about $83,000 — even though her court-appointed guardian notified the company 11 days earlier of a signed contract to sell the house for $235,000 by mid-March.

Seattle Times Legal experts say it appears to be one of the first home-foreclosure cases to reach a jury verdict in Washington.

In court, Quality Loan Service said it didn't have the discretion to postpone the auction and that only the lender, Washington Mutual, could grant a delay.

At the auction, an investor bought Halstien's house for $1 over Quality's opening bid and flipped the property six months later for $235,000, getting the equity that Halstien, a retired factory worker, had built up over decades.


Title insurance cases involving Stewart Title

Escrow Agent: title insurer acting as sub-escrow agent may be liable to owner of escrow funds but only if owner alleges that title insurer breached the written closing instructions or was aware of fraud that gave rise to a duty to disclose 

Carlton Fields PA Recoupment: seller who fails to disclose existence of prior mortgage lien may be liable for fraudulent misrepresentation to title insurer despite seller’s allegations that title insurer should have known seller was lying in his affidavit and that title insurer should have picked up the prior lien in its search of the public records.


Lawsuit Filed Against MERS

MERS used to record servicing rights and ownership interests in mortgage loans on registration, enabling banks to buy and sell loans without recording transfers with counties. 

Though MERS saved mortgage lenders’ money, yet it was a flaw for counties and homeowners. Counties were deprived of the revenue from transaction fees. Moreover, erroneous property records became an issue for homeowners.

Zacks Equity Research The counties alleged MERS of deceiving millions of dollars in mortgage-related fees. Additionally, MERS, which provides database for mortgage servicers, has been accused of sloppy record keeping, concealing identities of the holders of mortgage debt from borrowers and evading fees.

Therefore, the counties received a court approval for suing MERS as a class. They demand recording of every mortgage and assignment in the state in the county where the core property is located along with reimbursement.

Italian Lender Sues Deutsche Bank and Nomura

NY Times The Italian bank filed two separate lawsuits at the civil court in Florence a day after receiving €4.1 billion, or $5.3 billion, in government funds as part of a bailout. 

L.A. County court changes for eviction cases to begin March 18

LA Times The number of courts hearing eviction cases, will be reduced from 26 to five throughout the county. Some people will have to travel up to 32 miles to litigate their cases, officials said.


Judge revives multi-billion dollar MBS dispute against banks 

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court's dismissal of a major residential mortgage-backed securities lawsuit filed against U.S. investment banks.

The defendants include Novastar Mortgage, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Wachovia Capital — now Wells Fargo, Greenwich Capital Markets and Deutsche Bank Securities

"a disproportionately high number of the mortgages in a security defaulted, that rating agencies downgraded the security’s
ratings after changing their methodologies to account for lax underwriting, and that prior
employees of the relevant underwriter had attested to systematic disregard of underwriting

NJ Carpenters v. Novastar, Duetsche et al

Housing Wire The reversal revives a dispute between the defendants and investors who claim they were sold $7.75 billion in MBS during six separate offerings in 2006 and 2007. The underlying loans were originated by NovaStar and sold off by the investment banks. The deals ended up costing MBS investors money later on due to an uptick in borrower delinquencies, foreclosures, repossessions and bankruptcies.

Though a lower court dismissed the complaint, the Second Circuit revived it holding that the parties stated "a plausible claim that the offering documents for the security misstated the applicable underwriting standards ... violating the Securities Act of 1933."

Jury Finds Occupy Wall Street Protester Innocent After Video Contradicts Police Testimony

Village Voice The Democracy Now video also flipped the police version of events on its head. Far from showing Premo tackling a police officer, it shows cops tackling him as he attempted to get back on his feet.

Defects in Execution

Another Lender's Lien Sunk by Notary

Trustee Successfully Voids Mortgage

McClatchey v. GMAC Mortgage

Home Equity Theft Reporter [In re] Lacy is one more in a long list of cases where an Ohio mortgage was attacked based on defects in execution. Although the Ohio statute requires only “substantial compliance” with the statutory execution requirements, mortgages are sometimes avoided based on seemingly trivial technical defects.



Servicers Committed Loan Error Rates of Either 4.2% or 97.2%, Take Your Pick

I guess if you pick and choose what loans to review, I suppose you can get yourself to 0.6%.

If you want to actually gauge the level of servicer abuse, you might go back to one of the only legitimate examinations from a reviewer not paid by banks: the one released as part of the AG settlement by the HUD Inspector General. That review included this infamous statistic, from the aforementioned “super-servicer” JPMorgan Chase:

David Dayen For Chase, we also reviewed 36 affidavits for foreclosures in judicial States to determine whether the amounts of borrowers’ indebtedness were supported. Chase was unable to provide documentation to support the amounts of borrowers’ indebtedness listed on the affidavits for all except four. When we reviewed the four affidavits, three were inaccurate. Specifically, the amounts of the borrowers’ late charges and accumulated interest did not reconcile with the information in Chase’s mortgage servicing system.

So depending on who you believe, either OCC or the HUD IG, servicers either generated error rates of 4.2% or 97.2%. You know, somewhere in there.

Michigan to Appoint Emergency Fiscal Manager for Detroit

NY Times “There is probably no city that is more financially challenged in the entire United States. If you look at the quality of services for citizens it’s ranked among the worst. So we went from the top to the bottom over the last 50 or 60 years,” 


Oklahoma AG offers Homeowners & Attorneys up to $5,000.00 for Legal Services

Families & Attorneys Encouraged to Apply

Oklahoma Attorney General “We signed a separate Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement so we could craft solutions that were best for our state,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt said.

The voucher application must be completed by homeowners and their attorneys of choice and submitted to the AG’s Public Protection Unit for approval. Once approved, the attorneys will provide the services needed and submit the invoices to the AG’s Office for payment once the work is complete. 

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