Daily News related to the Foreclosure Crisis

The biggest unpunished heist in human history - Max Keiser


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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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A mortuary of 7,000,000 foreclosures and counting

What is telling about this chart is that we have never had a sustained period of actually losing home owner households since, well this last crisis. Why? Take a look at the graveyard of 7,000,000 foreclosures. 

Zero Hedge The Fed has turned the housing market into a speculative vehicle and with this volume of investor buying, you should proceed with the caution of buying a stock. This is another critical point here in regards to perceived risk. You have people staying miles away from stocks (which are up 170+ percent since 2009) yet are more than willing to stuff their entire $100,000 or $200,000 down payment into a highly priced piece of property that just went up by double-digits courtesy of investor fever. Yet they feel this is safer! 

Deutsche Bank Says Landlord Ruling May Flood Courts

“We believe this evidence raises triable issues of material fact whether the bank,” through the employee’s conduct, helped prevent the Nativis from getting back into the home and should have done something to help them, the judges ruled, reversing a trial-court judge who sided with the bank. Nativi is seeking damages for losing her home and possessions.

Bloomberg Deutsche Bank, along with bankers’ groups in California and Nevada, told the California Supreme Court the ruling may jeopardize the economic recovery as lenders and investors weigh the risks of buying properties that house unwanted tenants, are subject to leases, or are vulnerable to lawsuits brought by renters evicted by paid middlemen.


It’s Good – no – Great to be the CEO Running a Huge Criminal Bank

Every day brings multiple new scandals. At least they used to be scandals. Now they’re simply news items strained of ethical content by business journalists who see no evil, hear no evil, and speak not about evil. 

Prof. Bill Black The feckless DOJ (again) did not require any officer who committed the felony of aiding and abetting tax fraud to resign or to repay the bonuses he “earned” through his crimes. But not to worry, the banks – not the bankers – may have to pay fines as the cost of doing their felonious business. The feckless regulators did not even require Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to disclose to shareholders their participation in the program.


Florida Courts Taking An Advocacy Role Tossing Around Foreclosures

What’s happening in this state is so bad that even those who are deeply involved in the nightmare of judicial foreclosure policy have probably lost sight of just far astray our courts have gone.

Nothing to memorialize the evidence upon which the largest transfer of private property in the modern history of this state just POOF more of Florida’s land transferred to a foreign trust.

Weidner Law Perjury among foreclosure plaintiff witnesses has become the common, the accepted practice. Witnesses over and over again testifying to matters that they cannot possibly have any factual basis to make. Your honor, you know this witness cannot possibly have any foundation for her testimony, under oath, that the records she is testifying about, were kept in the manner in which she is now testifying, but none of them will ever be held accountable.

No one has any idea who the literal land upon which this state is built is being transferred to. No one has any idea who provided the evidence that supports (or does not support) the Final Judgment of Foreclosure granting interest in hundreds of thousands of acres of land and transferring billions of dollars in property….was it a witness from Seterus? Ocwen? Citi? Wells? Who knows, there’s no record, just a talking head standing up and rattling off by rote the lowest standards of legal foundation that exist and then POOF! JUDGMENT FOR PLAINTIFF.

Discussion: Why Are Big Companies Rarely Ever Punished?

ProPublica Why is the Justice Department failing to tackle the most basic questions in cases of wrongdoing? What would it take to beef up their capacity for prosecution? And if we do so, are these companies and people really above the law?


Top State Judge Tightens Rules on Debt Collection

NY Times New York State’s chief judge announced on Wednesday that he would institute new court rules and protocols that would make it more difficult for debt collection companies to win default judgments and would offer more protection to debtors.

In a speech in Albany, the chief judge, Jonathan Lippman, said the more than 130,000 debt collection lawsuits filed each year in the state were rife with problems that undermine the due-process rights of debtors, the majority of whom lack legal representation.


National Honesty Day? America’s Book of Lies

The bottom line: Until we address wrongful foreclosures, the housing market, which has always led the economy, will continue to sputter, flatline or crash again. Transferring wealth from the middle class to the banks is a recipe for disaster whether it is legal or illegal. In this case it plainly illegal in most cases.

Living Lies The main point is that we know they are doing the wrong thing in foreclosing on property they don’t own using “balances” the borrower doesn’t owe; we know they effectively stole the money from the investors who thought they were buying mortgage bonds, we know they effectively stole the title protection and documents that should have been executed in favor of the real source of funds, we know they received multiple payments from third parties and we know they are getting twin benefits from foreclosures that (a) should not be legally allowed and (b) only compound the damages to investors and homeowners.


Why Only One Top Banker Went to Jail for the Financial Crisis

During the worst of the financial crisis, according to prosecutors, Serageldin had approved the concealment of hundreds of millions in losses in Credit Suisse’s mortgage-backed securities portfolio.

DealBook Serageldin’s conduct was, in the judge’s words, “a small piece of an overall evil climate within the bank and with many other banks.” Nevertheless, after a brief pause, he eased down his gavel and sentenced Serageldin, an Egyptian-born trader who grew up in the barren pinelands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, to 30 months in jail. 


GAO and Wall Street Journal Whitewash Huge Criminal Bank Frauds

And did I mention that there was an U.S. amnesty program for wealthy U.S. tax cheats who used Swiss banks to commit their felonies?

Prof. Bill Black Oh, and the feckless DOJ (again) did not require any officer who committed the felony of aiding and abetting tax fraud to resign or to repay the bonuses he “earned” through his crimes. But not to worry, the banks – not the bankers – may have to pay fines as the cost of doing their felonious business. The feckless regulators did not even require Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to disclose to shareholders their participation in the program.


Candidate Trott's foreclosure work follows him

Trott, CEO of Trott & Trott that specializes in foreclosures, had already been hit politically by processing the foreclosure of a 101-year-old Detroiter. Fanning the flames is a new report that opponents say show the breadth of Trott’s foreclosure work.

Detroit News Democrats and incumbent U.S. Rep Kerry Bentivolio, R-Milford, have hammered Trott on his firm’s sizable work on foreclosures at a time when Metro Detroit was hard hit by the housing crisis.

“When David Trott looks in the mirror he would rather see a congressman than a foreclosure attorney,” Bentivolio spokesman Matt Chisholm said.

The foreclosure profits Trott has committed to his campaign cannot heal the human wreckage he has left in the wake of his pursuit for the almighty dollar.

Former Westmoreland clerk charged with altering mortgage records to hide pending 


“Greiner stated she was embarrassed that the lawsuit was filed and was concerned that one or more of her co-workers would find out about it,” investigators said. Her husband, John K. Greiner, who is a former county assistant district attorney.

TribLive Authorities became aware the records had been altered after Nationstar Mortgage filed a lawsuit to foreclose in May 2013 in the prothonotary's office, according to court papers.

Greiner will be arraigned on Thursday on charges of criminal use of a communication facility, unlawful use of a computer, computer trespass, tampering with records, tampering with public records and obstruction of law.


Special Alert: Supreme Court To Hear TILA Rescission Case

Buckley Sandler LLP  On April 28, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., No. 13-684, an appeal of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit’s September 2013 holding that a borrower seeking to rescind a loan transaction under TILA must file suit within three years of consummating the loan, and that written notice within the three-year rescission period is insufficient to preserve a borrower’s right of rescission.



Waters: Regulators used “nonsensical system” to setup mortgage settlement fund

Waters is "troubled" by GAO report on foreclosure process

Housing Wire Waters said that she is “troubled by the GAO report” because it “shows that just as the Department of Justice deliberately overstated its investigation and prosecution of mortgage fraud cases, regulators claimed $6 billion dollars of settlement payments that never truly occurred.

“Given the 4.4 million borrowers that may have been adversely affected, I urge him to reconsider this request.”

Bank of America Pleads “We’re Idiots, not Crooks!”

Nah, you're all crooks.

FDL Last month Bank of America’s CEO Brian T. Moynihan announced shareholders would receive their first dividend increase since the financial crisis of 2007-2008. But uh-oh, a $30 billion dollar accounting error has them scrambling for a fix.

Bank of America finds a mistake: $4 billion less capital

Yahoo The mistake, which had gone undetected for several years, led the bank to report recently that it had $4 billion more capital than it actually had. After Bank of America reported its error to the Federal Reserve, the regulator required the bank to suspend a share buyback and a planned increase in its quarterly dividend.


BofA Pays $111 Million to Mortgage Investors for Servicing Error

Bank of New York Mellon trustee notice to investors.

Bloomberg The agreement, which is pending a court appeal by other investors, settled claims that Bank of America’s Countrywide unit mishandled servicing and failed to repurchase mortgages that never matched their promised quality. The deal offered cash payments and a shift in protocols for managing troubled mortgages, including by moving them to specialist firms and establishing more specific guidelines.


Scrutiny of Ocwen Continues; Be Careful With Branch Manager Comp

Overloading the borrower with "CYA" closing documents is a big concern of lenders and regulators alike.

Mortgage News Daily "A wise attorney, when asked if the client should read all of the closing documents said, 'If you make all of your payments on time there is nothing in the documents that can hurt you. If you don't make your payments on time, there is nothing in the documents that can help you'." Well said.

Mortgage servicing foreclosure review faults subpar regulation

Cash payouts and foreclosure prevention fund based on "incomplete information"

Housing Wire When it came to the $6 billion set aside for foreclosure prevention actions, the GAO found that the Fed and OCC did not define specific objectives for what was to be done with the money. Instead, the regulators negotiated with the servicers and identified broad objectives, including “that actions be meaningful and that borrowers be kept in their homes.


First Horizon to pay $110 mln to settle U.S. agency's mortgage claims

Reuters First Horizon National Corp will pay $110 million to resolve claims it misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into buying mortgage-backed securities that later went sour.

First Horizon CEO Bryan Jordan said in a statement that the settlement was "another big step forward" in the Memphis, Tennessee-based bank's efforts to unwind from its former mortgage businesses.


Judge tells Statesville families facing foreclosure they must go

After months of delays, a judge decided more than a dozen families in Statesville will lose their homes to foreclosure due to an unpaid construction loan that was issued before they ever moved in.

WSOC The Zanottis and 17 other families received a letter last summer saying they'd have to pay more than $4 million or face foreclosure. 

The debt was from an unpaid construction loan nearly 10 years ago. 

Last year, the plaintiff argued it had a provision in the loan documents saying any piece of property that was sold from Fox Den would require its release. Attorneys for the plaintiff said none of the homes was properly released. 


2 Giant Banks, Seen as Immune, Become Targets

Federal prosecutors are nearing criminal charges against some of the world’s biggest banks, a development that could produce the first guilty plea from a major bank in more than two decades.

DealBook In doing so, prosecutors are confronting the popular belief that Wall Street institutions have grown so important to the economy that they cannot be charged. A lack of criminal prosecutions of banks and their leaders fueled a public outcry over the perception that Wall Street giants are “too big to jail.”

Springfield No One Leaves: foreclosures still damaging Springfield neighborhoods

MassLive The foreclosure was put off because the name on the paperwork, U.S. National Bank National Trust Co., didn't mach the people Perkins thought owned her mortgage: Wells Fargo. the auction was rescheduled for next month.


Wells Fargo moves annual meeting to Texas, but protesters follow

At the 2012 shareholder meeting, protests of Wells' foreclosure practices nearly paralyzed downtown San Francisco, where the bank is based. Inside a meeting hall, Stumpf called off the gathering after just 45 minutes without a formal question-and-answer session.

The bank moved last year's meeting to Salt Lake City, where it was again disrupted by protesters with complaints that Wells Fargo was doing too little to modify troubled loans.

LA Times Zamora, who is fighting an aggressive cancer, said she stayed on her estranged husband's insurance policy until Wells Fargo insisted she divorce him in order to be considered for a loan modification.

She said she spent $4,500 to get a divorce decree while losing the insurance coverage. Later on, she said, she filed for bankruptcy protection at a cost of $3,500 after a bank executive told her that it was a necessary step to get her loan terms eased.

“I did all this and still they deny me," she said in a phone interview Monday from Texas. The foreclosure auction for her home is scheduled for May 20.


Bank Of America Mortgage Mess Foreclosure Fraud


Nobody in America is able to STOP THIS and put people in JAIL?

Woman Loses Her $280,000 Home For Owing $6

The homeowner owed $6.30 in interest on school district taxes. That was enough, a Pennsylvania court has ruled, for her to lose her house over.

Think Progress The NCLC points out that this problem is all too frequent. A Baltimore woman, for example, lost her home over a $362 unpaid water bill because she couldn’t pay the $3,600 of interest on it. In another case, a Rhode Island woman got kicked out of her house two weeks before Christmas because of a $474 sewer bill.

The situation may seem crazy to her, but the court disagrees. 


20 years and this simple scam still works.

Real people missing at big mortgage firm

By then, he was in trouble with Nationstar. He was sending in his check every month, but Nationstar was not accepting the checks because they were not the correct amount.

St Louis Dispatch Finally, Nationstar threatened foreclosure. Shortly thereafter, I visited Kruchmar. He has voluminous files. He showed me returned checks, threatening letters and a news story about a class-action lawsuit against Nationstar for “intentional and systematic failure to provide permanent loan modifications to borrowers who signed Permanent Modification Agreements under the Home Affordable Modification Program.


Creditor’s commencement of the foreclosure action is declared void.

Stop Foreclosure Fraud After due deliberation and consideration, and on the record before the Court, that part of the motion seeking to declare the foreclosure action void ab initio is granted and, that part of the motion seeking damages against the creditor, Prime Properties USA 2011, LLC is denied. 


Debt Collection Harassment:
8 Things You Can Do To Protect Yourself

Weidner Law Of course they ignore your telling them to stop calling. Then the calls turn from a bother into outright harassment. At this point, the debt collector crosses the line and sometimes violates the law. If debt collectors are hounding you, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself.


Foreclosure Fraud Whistleblower Says Government Is ‘Leaving Money On The Table’

Government prosecutors who relied on a Florida whistleblower’s evidence to win foreclosure fraud settlements with major banks two years ago are declining to help her pursue identical claims against a second set of large financial institutions.

Think Progress The much-touted $25 billion settlement that absorbed Szymoniak’s initial lawsuits ultimately failed to stop the industry from continuing to violate homeowners’ rights. The failures were so persistent and widespread that the government ended up going back and rewriting the terms of the deal last fall. The settlement ended up helping far fewer people than it was supposed to and did nothing to stop the flood of faulty documents in foreclosure cases that continues to this day.

Off-topic, but too bizarre to miss.

Indiana Supreme Court Declares An Officer’s Testimony Is More Reliable Than Video Evidence

Free Thought Videotape evidence can be overruled by the testimony and after-the-fact interpretation of a police officer, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled last week. In a 6 to 1 decision, justices overruled the state Court of Appeals which reviewed dashcam footage of Joanna S. Robinson driving her Chrysler PT Cruiser at around 1am on October 15, 2011 in Elkhart County and found no evidence of a crime.


Fannie and Freddie on Steroids 

Hardly a reform, Johnson-Crapo expands government intervention in the mortgage industry. 

Not only would the government’s role in subsidizing and micromanaging housing not be reduced, in many ways it would be substantially increased.

National Review Further, the legislation would create an explicit taxpayer guarantee of the government-sponsored enterprises’ $5.6 trillion in debt, and housing “trust funds” would be created anew within Feddie Mic. These trust funds, a brainchild of former representative Barney Frank (D., Mass.), are potential slush funds for politically motivated “housing advocates” such as the now-defunct ACORN.

G.A.O. Report Sees Deeper Bank Flaws in Foreclosures

The decision to cut short the review left regulators with limited information about actual harm to borrowers when they negotiated a $10 billion settlement as part of agreements with 15 banks

Dealbook A new government report suggests that errors made by banks and their agents during foreclosures might have been significantly higher than was previously believed when regulators halted a national review of the banks’ mortgage servicing operations.

“I’m concerned with these findings by G.A.O., which also show that the settlement was reached without adequate investigation into the harms committed by the servicers,” said Representative Maxine Waters


ANALYST: Bank Of America Just Completed The Wall Street 'Trifecta Of Misery'

Business Insider In this most recent incident, Bank of America announced that it miscalculated, and doesn't actually have as much capital as it previously reported. The Fed responded to that by asking the bank to change its plans to return money to shareholders and boost its stock price through a buy back, punishing the company and its stockholders.


Settlement Agreement

FHFA v. Ally, Barclays

Debits and credits between two thieves all for the demise of the taxpayers who are footing the cost.

The GSE Business Model in all its glory!

WHEREAS, in consideration of the releases, limitations, and other terms and conditions provided for in this Agreement, the Barclays Corporate Defendants have determined that they are
prepared to pay $280 million in settlement of all claims asserted in the Actions against the Barclays Defendants and relating to the Covered Securities identified in Exhibit A, and FHFA has determined it is prepared to accept such amounts in exchange for such settlements, releases, limitations, and terms and conditions.

What is going on in the Ohio Supreme Court?

This post calls attention to everyone (especially Ohio lawyers) the fact that the Ohio Supreme Court is contemplating monkey-business when there is already monkey-business in the federal court (Judge Cote). 

Legally Speaking Ohio The big banks are claiming the GSEs and the FHFA knew all about their malfeasance and did nothing about it.

Could this whole thing be about a scheme bilking the Taxpayers with the culprits all pointing the fingers at one another?

BAC Home Loan Servicing v. Mitchell

For the following reasons, we hold that a party’s waiver of personal jurisdiction is prospective only and does not serve to validate retroactively orders entered by the circuit court without personal jurisdiction. Accordingly, we reverse the appellate court’s judgment and remand to the circuit court for further proceedings. 

Illinois Official Reports 

Supreme Court 
Where a debtor’s first appearance in a defaulted mortgage proceeding was post-trial, with a motion to vacate based on defects in the substituted service which had been attempted, the debtor had made a waiver, but it was prospective only and did not retroactively validate earlier orders entered without personal jurisdiction, which should be vacated.

Foreclose On Wells Fargo: National Days of Action

On April 28th and 29th, home defenders, students, community groups, and families around the country will take peaceful action tell Wells Fargo these predatory practices have to stop.

Home Defenders League If you want to tell Wells Fargo bankers in person to end their abusive practices you can find an action using this page. Just enter your zip code to find one near you. You can start one of your own, if you don't find one near you.

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf: Stop all foreclosures and evictions and provide real relief that will keep families in their homes and restore the wealth your bank has stolen from our communities.

Anonymous businessmen save Granville couple from foreclosure

The men reached out to BB&T to negotiate a deal to bring the mortgage up to date after seeing a WRAL Investigates story on the couple last month.

WRAL "The Mortgage Law Group gave them six months of stories about, 'Don't worry about your mortgage. We got you covered. We got your back. Don't make your payments, just pay us,'" said Ann Saccoccio of the DuRant Law Firm, who worked to help the Williamses keep their home. "They were able to rob this couple of their home and their trust."

U.S. justices agree to hear homeowner case against bank

Briefs in Jesinowski v. Countrywide

Reuters Whether a borrower exercises his right to rescind a transaction in satisfaction of the requirements of the Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1635, by “notifying the creditor” in writing within three years of the consummation of the transaction, as the Third, Fourth, and Eleventh Circuits have held, or must instead file a lawsuit within three years of the consummation of the transaction, as the First, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits have held.


Doing the Math of a Bank of America Settlement

Dealbook The government’s litigators have already reached several multibillion-dollar mortgage settlements with big banks. But these deals have many moving parts and can be hard to evaluate.


Suspicious Deaths of Bankers Are Now Classified as “Trade Secrets” by Federal Regulator

Beginning late last year, a rash of suspicious deaths start to occur among current and former bank employees.

Pam Martens

Wall Street on Parade

Both JPMorgan and Citigroup also own massive amounts of bank-owned life insurance (BOLI), a controversial practice that pays the corporation when a current or former employee dies. (In the case of former employees, the banks conduct regular “death sweeps” of public records using former employees’ Social Security numbers to learn if a former employee has died and then submits a request for payment of the death benefit to the insurance company.) 

We ask their Federal regulator for the details of this life insurance under a Freedom of Information Act request and we’re told the information constitutes “trade secrets.

3 More Former Barclays Employees Face Charges in Libor Inquiry

DealBook Regulators in Britain said on Monday that they had begun criminal proceedings against three additional former Barclays employees suspected in the manipulation of a global benchmark interest rate.


What you need to know

Independent Foreclosure Review

There were no costs associated with being included in the review; the review was a free program. Borrowers should beware of anyone requiring payments for assistance in connection with the Independent Foreclosure Review or any other foreclosure assistance program.

*These companies are participating in the Payment Agreement.

Federal Reserve America's Servicing Company* Countrywide* National City Mortgage*
Aurora Loan Services* EMC Mortgage Corporation* PNC Mortgage*
BAC Home Loans Servicing* EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company* Sovereign Bank*
Bank of America* Financial Freedom (OneWest) SunTrust Mortgage*
Beneficial* GMAC Mortgage* U.S. Bank* Chase* HFC* Wachovia Mortgage* Citibank* HSBC* Washington Mutual (WaMu)*
CitiFinancial* IndyMac Mortgage Services (OneWest) Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.* CitiMortgage* MetLife Bank* Wilshire Credit Corporation*

Mortgage Whistleblower Stands Alone as U.S. Won’t Join Lawsuit

“This is a case the government should take a stand on,” Reuben Guttman, one of Szymoniak’s lawyers, said in an interview. “It is curious as to why the government is not vigorously pursuing this along with us. They are leaving money on the table.”

Bloomberg If the Justice Department decides to join the suit, it shares the work and brings the government’s resources to the case. On her own, Szymoniak is at a greater disadvantage, given the resources available to the banks.

The government is missing an opportunity here to hold banks responsible for engaging in conduct so egregious and pervasive it is passed off as a mere statistic,” Guttman said. “It makes no sense to us.”

Banks seek U.S. appeals court intervention in FHFA lawsuits

Reuters Fifteen major banks sued by the Federal Housing Finance Agency over risky housing debt urged a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday to intervene, citing "gravely prejudicial" rulings by the trial judge coordinating the litigation.
Elizabeth Warren A Fighting Chance

From Outside or Inside, the Deck Looks Stacked

“The game is rigged and the American people know that. They get it right down to their toes.”

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

“I came to the United States Senate late in life,” she said. “I didn’t shape my life around how I could run for office and how I could have the maximum number of donors or allies. I came as a continuation of the consumer work I had done for 25 years. That work was the outsider’s work.”


Woman who won $6 Million against US Bank receives one-year prison sentence for impersonation

Bozeman Daily During the legal negotiations, McCulley brought a gun to a mediation meeting with bank attorneys and was arrested and charged with felony assault. She was convicted of a lesser misdemeanor charge after a jury trial.

Around the same time, it was found that an email was sent from McCulley's account to a person connected with the bank, which threatened the man and his family, according to court documents.

Docket, Documents and Amicus briefs in:

Sims v. Carrington Mortgage


Brief of Appellant 

Texas Supreme Court This case lays bare a form of predatory lending that arose following the 2008 mortgage crisis. Carrington and other lenders clothed as "modifications" transactions that increased the principal 
balance of home equity loans and thereby extended new credit. The lenders contended after being sued that adding new principal to an existing home equity note is not an "extension of credit" that triggers the requirements of Tex. Const. art. XVI, § 50(a)(6) because the documents say "modification."


From the MSFraud archives: a 1987 Texas Appeal.


For these reasons, we affirm the judgment of the trial court: (1) granting the Smiths' request for permanent injunction against foreclosure by the Bank; (2) removing the deed of trust as a cloud upon title; and (3) providing that the Bank take nothing upon its counterclaim for breach of contract.


Fifth District Court of Appeals at Dallas The Bank's status as a bona fide purchaser is immaterial, however, in the face of a forged instrument. A void instrument passes no title, and the fact that the grantee-mortgagee is an innocent purchaser makes no difference.

Because the deed is void, the Bank is not protected by its status as a bona fide purchaser.

Clear and unmistakable proof that either the grantor did not appear before the notary or that the notary practiced some fraud or imposition upon the grantor is necessary to overcome the validity of a certificate of acknowledgment. 


Lenders Put a Postcrisis Twist on the Adjustable-Rate Mortgage

National Mortgage News ARM volume typically picks up when fixed rates rise, because the starting rates on adjustable loans are lower. This time around, however, borrowers may be more skittish about taking an adjustable loan. Many pundits have identified this class of loans as a cause of the mortgage crisis and are telling consumers to stay away from them.


Fraudulent mortgage modifier sent to prison for $4 million scam

Two co-defendants, Christopher Godfrey and Dennis Fischer, were convicted and sentenced on February 20 to seven years in federal prison. A third co-defendant, Vernell Burris, pleaded guilty and was sentenced on February 25 to serve one year and one day in jail as well.

Housing Wire The HOPE customers had no advantage in the application process, and, in fact, most of their applications were denied. Through these misrepresentations, HOPE was able to persuade thousands of homeowners to pay more than $4 million in fees.

“Kelly was a chief telemarketer at ‘HOPE’ and was on the frontline defrauding struggling homeowners out of their homes, making false promises, and taking what precious, little savings they had left,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP.



“Independent” Foreclosure Review Error Rate Vastly Higher Than Previously Admitted

At this point, it seems hard to add insult to injury, given the terrible track record of the OCC Independent Foreclosure Reviews. But it’s nevertheless been done.

naked capatalism Why is this coming to light only now? This suppression of information is yet another proof of how deeply pretty much all of Washington DC is in bed with the banks. Only now when foreclosure abuses are considered old news does the public begin to get an inkling of how much the official story was close to a complete fabrication. Of course, the people who went through the Independent Foreclosure Review process knew full well what a charade it was. But they were never taken seriously. Those with no money (and if you’ve lost your home, you are sure to be under financial duress) have little clout to begin with. Losing your home is stigmatized, which discourages victims from telling their stories and sets those brave enough to do so up for abuse (the banks have done a great job of playing up the “deadbeat borrower” meme, whether it fits or not).


Wells Fargo Didn’t Disclose Modification (and worse)         So The Judge Granted Foreclosure Defense to HOMEOWNER!

The motion [for involuntary dismissal] is with merit. It will be granted.

Weidner Law Wow. The Banks really are out of control in this country. They operate generally in a world where no rules apply to them. Most Americans now thoroughly understand that banks and large corporations pick and choose what rules they will follow….knowing full well that hardly any government enforcement agency will hold them accountable.

Well not this time. You see, a good and very experienced judge heard a full foreclosure trial and at the end he said:


Ex-Finance Chief at Bank of America to Pay $7.5 Million in Settlement

Failed to disclose more than $9 billion of projected losses at Merrill Lynch to Bank of America shareholders before a vote on the acquisition.

DealBook The New York State attorney general announced Friday that the office had reached a $7.5 million settlement with Joe L. Price, the former chief financial officer for Bank of America, over allegations that the bank’s management withheld material information related to its 2008 merger with Merrill Lynch.

Nationstar case Dismissed for Failure to Prosecute

Nationstar v. O'Leary

Richard Roman, Esq. O'Leary had solid proof that Nationstar misplaced a payment, which triggered the all too common delinquency domino effect. 

O'Leary announced ready for trial, but the judge dismissed for want of prosecution. 


Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) questions why regulators shut down review of lenders

The top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is questioning whether federal regulators cheated struggling homeowners out of compensation by scrapping an independent review of foreclosure files at big banks.

Washington Post edlyell COMMENT: I am so angry with the fraud committed by banks, and Congress being what I see as criminally complicit, that after 40 years teaching business, from a pro business viewpoint, I want to just nationalize all of the big banks. Take away their money, fire their executives with no golden parachutes and start running banks to help regular people. There also should be a way to arrest and lock up hundreds of those bank leaders for the fraud they committed. We should also fine them billions and give it to the homeowners that were defrauded and duped. If Congress is unwilling to go in this direction then we may need a bottom up constitutional amendment to replace them all. This is a tough conclusion for me because I was elected to statewide office, helped run political campaigns, and worked for both R and D Governors and legislators, as well as some US Senators part time.

What’s on their Minds: Some Post Schwartzwald Foreclosure Standing Stuff

In these cases, when either an Ohio court lacks jurisdiction or a movant lacks standing, the judgment is void ab initio.

Legally Speaking Ohio The floodgates wouldn’t open to bad cases if judges understood negotiation, indorsements and allonges . . . and reviewed promissory notes in accordance with the UCC as codified by the ORC, and in a light most favorable to the non-moving party. This is the only way to preserve constitutional standing doctrines and judicial economy, while also ensuring that home owners will not have their property stolen by banks and lawyers who are committing criminal fraud by endeavoring to foreclose on notes that they knowingly have no legal rights in. This is an epidemic in Ohio that starts – and needs to end – with the education (and/or restraint) of trial court judges.


Justice Dept. Seeks Mortgage Deal With Bank of America

The Justice Department is now aiming for a deal with Bank of America.

DealBook In a move that raised the stakes for the government’s crackdown on banks that sold the troubled mortgage investments during the financial crisis, the Justice Department made Bank of America an opening settlement offer of roughly $20 billion several weeks ago, according to people briefed on the matter.


Meet Wall Street's Secret Weapon

The only question was whether to give the banks everything they asked for, or whether to give them even more.

Slate There are more than 2,000 lobbyists for financial firms and trade groups, and many are spreading money around Washington, enlisting like-minded members of Congress to write letters, propose legislation, hold hearings, and threaten agency budgets as they pressure regulators to ease up on banks.


CFPB analyst cites 'profound' mortgage servicer community impact

Housing Wire Thompson explained that the transfer of mortgage servicer rights must uphold any and all mortgage obligations made to homeowners by the lender or previous servicer, especially when distressed.

Assessing higher fees or dropping a modification, for example, won't be tolerated by the CFPB, Thompson said.

"No foreclosure sale can go through unless all other options are exhausted," reminded Thompson.


Piles of Dead Bankers and an Exodus from MERS

I believe that resignations from MERS legal department are a significant indicator that the fraud might be about to bust wide open. 

George Mantor MERS is the smoking gun.  Why did we ever need a bank- owned, unapproved, alternative title registry when there isn’t a single shred of evidence anywhere that there was anything wrong with the citizen- owned, reliable and transparent system already in place?

Ohio Supreme Court stays Koch v. Freddie pending decision in Kuchta v. Bank of America

Docket Sheet and documents in Koch

Ohio Supreme Court Upon consideration of the jurisdictional memoranda filed in this case, the court
accepts the appeal on Proposition of Law No. II.
It is ordered by the court, sua sponte, that this cause is held for the decision in
Supreme Court Case No. 2013-0304, Bank of America, NA. v. Kuchta et al., and the briefing schedule is stayed.


Exclusive: NY Judge in Largest Bankruptcy Case in History Receives IRS & SEC Whistleblower Filing

Creditor and Whistleblower evidence alleges securities fraud, income tax fraud and income tax evasion. Further investigation is necessary to protect millions of homeowners.



In an exclusive interview with this journalist, when asked what he saw taking place behind the scenes of the mortgage crisis, Morse said: 

I see this RICO fraud enterprise with MERS in the center as being a well-masked, legally controlled and potentially a judicially  assisted resource, land and asset grab from the American people. Just look at the publically disclosed evidence."

NJ Man Pleads Guilty in $2 Million Short Sale Scam

The conspiracy count to which Coutinho pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

“The fraudulent mortgage scheme that Coutinho and his co-conspirators committed is precisely the sort of fraud that helped lead to the nation’s financial crisis in 2008. (No, the banks' fraudulent mortgage scheme is what caused the crisis, but none of them are going to prison. MSF)

National Mortgage Professional Coutinho was a loan officer at a northern New Jersey mortgage brokerage company. From March 2008 through June 2012, Coutinho and his co-defendants conspired with each other and others to release liens on encumbered properties via fraudulently arranged short sale transactions. This allowed Coutinho and his co-defendants to profit from new fraudulent mortgage loans obtained on the properties from other mortgage lenders. To complete the short sale transactions, Coutinho and his codefendants submitted materially false closing and other documents to mortgage lenders. They submitted fraudulent mortgage loan applications to lenders, which included TARP banks, to obtain new loans on properties in and around Elizabeth, N.J.

Bridging the Gap Between Custodial Reports and County Records

Find out if the current beneficiary is clear or not.

An Assignment Verification Report, or AVR for short, is quite simply a true account of what is recorded at the county that identifies the current owner of a lien filed on a property.

Nationwide Title Clearing Any inaccuracies found are listed on the report. The AVR is the perfect bridge between what is in servicers/custodial reports and what is actually on record at the county. Broken assignment chains expose you to risk. You need reliable reports that identify if there is a gap in the assignment chain at the county and just as importantly, verification that the information within the body of the assignments on record effectively transfer the beneficial rights of the servicer or investor or not.


Massive new fraud cover-up: How banks are pillaging homes while the government watches

When financial crimes go unpunished, the root problem of fraud never gets fixed -- and these are the consequences

All of these examples, from actual court cases resolved over the last two months, rendered rare judgments in favor of homeowners over banks and mortgage lenders. But despite the fact that the nation’s courtrooms remain active crime scenes, with backdated, forged and fabricated documents still sloshing around them, state and federal regulators have not filed new charges of misconduct against Bank of New York, Deutsche Bank, U.S. Bank or any other mortgage industry participant, since the round of national settlements over foreclosure fraud effectively closed the issue.



Many focus on how the failure to prosecute financial crimes, by Attorney General Eric Holder and colleagues, create a lack of deterrent for the perpetrators, who will surely sin again. 

There’s something else that happens when these crimes go unpunished; the root problem, the legacy of fraud, never gets fixed. In this instance, the underlying ownership on potentially millions of loans has been permanently confused, and the resulting disarray will cause chaos for decades into the future, harming homeowners, investors and the broader economy. Holder’s corrupt bargain, to let Wall Street walk, comes at the cost of permanent damage to the largest market in the world, the U.S. residential housing market.

If you’re a mortgage servicer, and you don’t possess the recorded mortgage, you probably aren’t able to foreclose on that loan without fabricating the document.



Federal Prosecutor to Help Lead Justice Dept.’s Criminal Division

DealBook The Justice Department’s criminal division, which oversees some of the biggest investigations into Wall Street and corporate crime, is adding to its ranks.

Marshall L. Miller, a longtime federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, was named to the criminal division’s No. 2 spot. As principal deputy and chief of staff to the criminal division’s leader, Mr. Miller will help oversee a broad caseload and about 600 prosecutors.


Family’s foreclosure fight could bring changes in law

In the City of Buffalo, you can lose your home – as the Rabatoys did – over garbage user fees, which in most cases, are only a few hundred dollars.

Al Vaughters


The court battle is taking place as city officials are also crafting a reform measure that would prevent homeowners from losing their homes over a few hundred dollars in back taxes, or user fees, and as in the Rabatoys’ case, because they didn’t know the house was on the auction block.

What’s that fishy smell? The Fed’s corrupt policies

Opinion: Central bank costs savers more than $100 billion a year



Our financial system is so corrupt you might say that "a fish rots from the Fed".

How else can one describe a regime that punishes savers and rewards borrowers and speculators for years on end? Our central bank is essentially taking billions of dollars a year from average Americans, who are still struggling to get by in a bombed-out economy, and it is giving it — yes, giving it — to the very banks that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis in the first place.


Deutsche claims the proof (Note) was in the pudding, but it was ONLY a copy. 

Deutsche Bank v. Huber

"In the instant case, although Appellant presented the original note to a witness at trial, Appellant only moved a copy of the note into evidence. Contrary to Appellant’s arguments, we find this case distinguishable from our decision in Clarke, because here, no record evidence exists to show that Appellant surrendered the original note to the court before the final judgment was issued, nor did Appellant offer a satisfactory explanation as to its failure to do so. See Clarke, 87 So. 3d at 59-61.

Appellant maintains that it surrendered the note in a “package” to the clerk following the trial and requests this court to make the “logical and equitable” presumption that the original note was in the “package” surrendered to the court. However, this court does not make “logical and equitable” leaps of faith, as it cannot (and should not) make any such determination unsupported by the record before it. Appellant further contends that the trial court’s decision should be reversed because “the proof was in the pudding.” This may be true as, for all we know, the original promissory note was in that pudding. 

Nonetheless, it was not admitted into evidence at trial (although a copy of the note was moved into the record) and there is no indication that the original note has been previously filed with the court or the court clerk. Contra Clarke, 87 So. 3d at 59. As such, we affirm the final judgment granting involuntary dismissal."


Full post

MERS Can’t Kill Pa. Deed Recorders’ Class Action

Law360 A Pennsylvania federal judge on Monday upheld the constitutionality of a statute requiring the registration of deeds, in a ruling that keeps alive a class action brought by Pennsylvania counties alleging that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. violated the law.

U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner ruled in favor of the counties’ deed recorders, rejecting MERS’ claims that the state law that obligates it to record all mortgage assignments with county deed offices and to pay the attendant recording fees was too vague. 


JPMorgan Chase Mortgage Modification Class Action Settlement

Top Class Actions Are you eligible?

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit that alleged the company failed to offer timely and proper permanent loan modifications after they completed trial period plans under certain programs.

(Proposed) Order of Final Approval of Class Action Settlement in EMC Mortgage

Nicholls v. EMC Mortgage

- Preliminary Approval Order
- Notice of Amended Settlement Agreement and Request for Preliminary Approval

  The Court certifies a Class for settlement purposes under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a) and 23(b)(3), consisting of all borrowers with loans secured by properties in Massachusetts who were assessed two or more late fees by EMC anytime on or after December 1, 2005 through March 31, 2011 (the "Class Period") and who are identified on the Class List. 


'The Whole Market' for Mortgage Servicing Rights Frozen? Not Quite

National Mortgage News The overall market remains robust, though trading of seriously delinquent portfolios has slowed, brokers of mortgage servicing rights say. Buyers and sellers of such assets cannot agree on pricing because probes by regulators could result in increased liability, demands for more settlements or even more class-action lawsuits from borrowers.


FDIC Urges Ga. Justices to Say Bank Directors can be Personally Liable

FDIC asks justices to find that bank directors can be held personally liable for financial negligence

Daily Report The Supreme Court of Georgia is considering whether a Georgia law protects the corporate officers and former executives of a Buckhead bank that failed under their watch from personal liability for the bank's losses even if they neglected their corporate duties.

Johnson-Crapo Bill: Flawed Resolution to an Interminable Situation

National Mortgage News Taxpayers on the Hook: Who will pay if there is another catastrophic meltdown like the one in 2008? The federal government, i.e., taxpayers. Watch the private firms run for the hills if big trouble starts. Lykken: "The private sector gets the profits and the government is ultimately the backstop."


Wells Fargo can't keep alleged bogus foreclosure manual out of court

U.S. judge allows discovery on Tirelli's smoking gun

Terelli said. “If Wells Fargo is in fact fabricating documents and involves the foreclosure attorneys in the process, the ramifications on the attorneys involved can be severe and in my opinion, if its in furtherance of fraud, none of the communications would be subject to attorney/client privilege.”


Housing Wire “(Wells Fargo) can no longer deny having procedures for endorsing notes or provide witnesses who lack knowledge about the procedures, which is what they have consistently done in the past,” Tirelli said. “The procedure manual is raising a lot of eyebrows and rightfully so. I attended the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys convention April 11-13 … during which I spoke with many consumer attorneys from across the country who have run into the same problem of witnesses being provided by Wells Fargo who simply lack knowledge of the process or deny there is a process for obtaining endorsements on notes and creating assignments or affidavits of lost note.”

Separately, Tirelli is filing a motion to re-open discovery post-trial in a separate bankruptcy case -- Cynthia Franklin vs. Wells Fargo -- as that went to trial days before Tirelli discovered the Wells Fargo manual.


Investors Paid Nearly a Quarter of Big Banks' Mortgage Settlement

When the $25 billion national mortgage settlement was struck in early 2012, regulators bragged that the top five mortgage servicers would be held responsible for their conduct, particularly the "robo-signing" of foreclosure documents.

Kate Berry But it turns out that mortgage bondholders paid for nearly one-quarter of the $20 billion in relief provided in the settlement, or $5 billion at a minimum. (The banks paid $5 billion in cash penalties.) These investors have long complained to regulators that the settlement was poorly structured because large bank servicers got credit for principal reductions and loan modifications they did not pay for themselves.

Investors say they ended up paying for the servicers' misdeeds, which is essentially unfair.

"It's a travesty that we knew was coming," says Vincent Fiorillo, a global sales manager at DoubleLine Capital 



N.Y.'s Lawsky Targets 'Self-Dealing' by Ocwen, Realty Affiliates

Lawsky, the superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, says he is concerned that Hubzu charges inflated fees "through conflicted business relationships" at the expense of mortgage investors and strapped homeowners.

National Mortgage News Altisource says that is not true, though it recently changed its fee structure in February and now charges a homebuyer's "premium" instead of taking a cut of real estate agent commissions.

"These higher fees, of course, ultimately get passed on to the investors and struggling borrowers," Lawsky wrote in the letter to Ocwen.

Last month, Lawsky created havoc in the mortgage servicing industry when Ocwen put an indefinite hold on a $2.7 billion purchase of a mortgage servicing portfolio from Wells Fargo

Foreclosed Homeowner Beats Bank of America; Judge Voids Sale of Man’s Home

Because he was still current on his mortgage, he was told he had to “miss a payment” before he could qualify for refinancing. Like so many other debtors before him, Bradburn did so, but the conundrum of bank-induced consequences was such a “convoluted case in the minefield of mortgage foreclosure litigation,” wrote Bowden, that even the legally trained judge’s mind struggled with the muddle of facts.

American Free Press Immediately after the missed payment, the BOA snake constricted around its prey. Bradburn was denied refinancing. A dispute arose over how much money he continued to owe on the house—not uncommon in the quicksand of additional interest and penalties inflicted on delinquent homeowners, even when their delinquency was caused by a bank’s demand. And in the midst of Bradburn’s continuing efforts to seek assistance from the predatory lending institution, BOA foreclosed extrajudicially on his home and sold it out from under him. So much for helpful customer service.

Michigan Man Sentenced to Two Years for Defrauding JPMorgan Chase

Bachi was sentenced to two years in prison and two years of supervised release for defrauding a bank in connection with 10 mortgage loans

(JPMorgan et al have defrauded 100's of 1,000s, yet law enforcement refuses to criminally investigate. MSF)


National Mortgage Professional In 2007, he acquired distressed residential properties in the city of Detroit and placed them in the names of straw sellers. Bachi then caused the appraisals of the properties to be inflated and sold the properties to straw buyers. The sales to the straw buyers were funded by mortgage loans made by Washington Mutual Bank (later acquired by JPMorgan Chase Bank) based on loan applications that inflated the incomes and assets of the straw buyers and misrepresented the source of the down payments. The loans went into default, and the houses were foreclosed on.


Ocwen Freezes Future Mortgage Servicing Deals

Ocwen Financial Corp. is putting mortgage servicing deals on hold in the wake of recent regulatory scrutiny from the state of New York.

Reverse Mortgage Daily Ocwen isn’t the only one under the microscope: The New York DFS superintendent Benjamin Lawsky is probing other mortgage servicers as well, including Nationstar, which owns reverse mortgage originator Greenlight Financial.


Thoughts on an Easter Sunday

Our general lack of service or even interest in the process of how things are being done are the reasons that we are losing control of everything to a handful of rich and powerful elite.

George Mantor America is a country in decline; not for lack of resources and not because of the people who live here but because of atrocious leadership, horrible decisions and massive, pernicious, deeply embedded fraud.

America is a fabulously wealthy nation whose prosperity is being choked-off by a few parasites who make no contribution to the GDP, pay no taxes and buy elections.

Is Your Supply Chain Strategy a Game of "Whack-a-Mole" ?

Does Bank of America Still Owe Taxpayers Billions of Dollars?

By all accounts, Bank of America is playing the most expensive game of legal Whac-a-Mole in history.

Motley Fool Hours after announcing a $950 million settlement on Wednesday, rumors started circulating about a pair of multibillion-dollar agreements coming down the pike. If true, they would add to an extensive list of misdeeds that Bank of America has been forced to atone for since the financial crisis -- click here to see a comprehensive list of the bank's legal woes.



The poster child for the foreclosure crisis has been a middle-income suburban family. But low-income urban renters also saw their buildings over-mortgaged at the height of the crisis, and now faceless hedge funds and nameless investors are replacing their desperate landlords — sometimes with disastrous consequences.

Aljezzera Six years after the foreclosure crisis helped tank the world’s economy, investors are snatching up “distressed” properties — those that are in foreclosure or facing foreclosure — and seeking to turn a profit on them. Advocates for affordable housing worry that this profit comes at the expense of tenants.

“These companies need to get certain returns on their investments, and when they’re investing in rent-stabilized housing, the only way to get the returns needed is through predatory tactics: reduced services, manipulating rent laws, forcing long-term tenants out to raise rents, etcetera,” said Elise Goldin, a tenant organizer with UHAB.



Wells Fargo foreclosure manual on trial

Wells Fargo is in a federal judge’s hot seat.

America’s largest mortgage servicer just lost the battle to keep its controversial Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Foreclosure Attorney Procedure Manual out of federal court in New York.

New York Post Judge Allan Gropper admitted the manual into the bankruptcy case of a local homeowner in foreclosure, and he approved a request by his lawyer to be allowed to dig deeper.

Now Wells Fargo must produce a witness with knowledge of the manual who can answer lawyer Linda Tirelli’s questions under oath.

The lender certainly did not take a cooperative position initially relating to the manual, [and has been] taking some positions it has not been able to sustain,” said Gropper.


Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Epidemic Highlighted In New Report

The Lawyers' Committee and its coalition partners in the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network (LMSPN) have been tracking the foreclosure rescue fraud crisis since March 2010. As of early 2014, the national Loan Modification Scam Database, managed by the Lawyers’ Committee, has compiled over 40,000 complaints with total reported losses of over $90 million to homeowners.

Report: The Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network

National Mortgage Professional “Homeowners facing difficult financial circumstances are desperate to find help to keep their homes are vulnerable to high-pressure sales pitches and false guarantees of success made by individuals and companies posing as loan modification specialists,” said Yolanda McGill, manager of the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network for the Lawyers’ Committee. “African-American and Latino homeowners, already victimized by targeted predatory lending, have been victimized by scams at disproportionate rates compared to their percentage of the population. Senior homeowners also are victimized at high rates and their average loss is higher than other groups. The Lawyers’ Committee and our federal, state and community partners continue to fight back and put these scammers out of business, including through litigation.”


More homeowners no longer need to be in foreclosure, and they may not even know it

An increasingly larger share of homes in the foreclosure process have positive equity.
This baffling tidbit from RealtyTrac turns on its head the most common reason behind foreclosures in recent years. When the housing market soured and home prices plunged, many people ended up “underwater” – meaning they owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth and therefore could not refinance or sell their properties if they faced financial difficulties.

Washington Post “It could be that when they first entered into foreclosure they may not have had equity in the home,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “But in the past year, as home prices have risen dramatically, some have regained their equity even though they're still in the foreclosure process. We're hearing from real estate agents that this is what’s happened to a lot of these people.”
Some folks may not even know it, in part because they’ve moved out and aren't keeping tabs on the home or its value anymore. A high percentage of all homes in foreclosure are vacant, but RealtyTrac has not cross-referenced to see how many of the vacant ones have positive equity.




I-Team: Warning about home loans

The No. 1 complaint with the Illinois Attorney's General Office last year was about problems with lenders.

"It blows me away," Guy Schingoethe said. He's frustrated with his lender Ocwen. He said the home loan company failed to pay his Cook County property taxes out of his escrow account. His loan was originally with Chase, but sold to Ocwen.

abc  "In Illinois it is unlawful, it's unlawful for a servicer or a lender to not, to forget or not pay the property taxes from an escrow account," Manuel Flores, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, said.

Flores, acting secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, says Schingoethe is not the only customer complaining about Ocwen.

The Central Florida Better Business Bureau gives it an "F" rating and there's a recent national settlement order between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Ocwen Financial Corporation. It alleges misconduct, unauthorized fees, deception and wrongful foreclosures. Twenty-five thousand Illinois residents will now get mortgage relief or cash payments from Ocwen.


Action 9: Home sold by bank after it was paid off

WFTV What makes Ramprashad's story so unbelievable is she doesn't owe a dime on her mortgage. Documents show she paid the total amount owed, $44,000, by electronic wire to her lender, Bank of America.


Ocwen’s Erbey: Lawsky hold has frozen all MSR deals

In February, Benjamin Lawsky, director of the DFS, sent a letter to Ocwen’s general counsel Timothy Hayes charging that Ocwen is potentially harming borrowers and pushing homeowners “unduly into foreclosure.” 

Housing Wire “Until we resolve – this relates to Ocwen – until we resolve New York State we’re not acquiring any new (MSR) portfolios at all. As a matter of fact the entire market – nothing is being put out for bid right now,” Erbey said. “The whole market has stopped until that gets resolved.”

The company also completed first acquisition of Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) whole loans through the GNMA early buy-out program. 


How Miami-Dade And Palm Beach Are Trying To Dispose Of Foreclosure Cases

Administrative orders issued by foreclosure judges in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties are tipping the scales of justice in favor of banks, a leading homeowner attorney claims.

DBR Since homeowners file the vast majority of motions, it is their action that triggers orders that throw out their defenses. And all lenders have to do is sit back and let the courts rule for them.

"It's interesting how quickly (JPMorgan) came to the defense of the administrative order. I think that speaks volumes to how lopsided its application is against homeowners," said Thomas Ice of Ice Legal in Royal Palm Beach.


Repost from April 15th.


Montana Court Upholds 

$6 Million Judgment 

against US Bank


Findings of Fact


18th District

h/t Mary McCulley

This action came for trial before a jury on February 3 through 7, 2014, the Honorable John C. Brown presiding.

The jury rendered its verdict and found that Defendant: US Bank committed fraud and constructive fraud against Plaintiff Mary McCulley and that the fraud and constructive fraud injured and caused damage to Ms. McCulley. The jury also rendered its verdict that found US Bank liable for punitive damages.


It is thus no wonder why the banks fight requests for jury trials with such vigor. They know that if regular people see the kind of fraudulent conduct which the banks engage in that there will be serious consequences.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide The facts of this case are beyond shocking. The 22-page opinion sets out how US Bank intentionally lied to the Court and the homeowner about the underlying transaction and the existence of documents, withheld documents, made the homeowner sign three versions of the loan application while lying to the homeowner that she would receive a specific loan, switching the loan at the last minute, and then foreclosing in order to make a profit of over $350,000.00. 

The Court also found that the homeowner went from a healthy and athletic individual to one who was severely depressed and attempted a near-successful suicide because of the actions of US Bank.


Third McKinney man sentenced in foreclosure rescue scheme

Man was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone. Williams was also ordered to pay $1.4 million in restitution. 

McKinney Courier Gazette Once a homeowner detained AIS, the defendants fraudulently used the customer’s personal identification information to prepare and send false military orders to banks to claim relief from foreclosure under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. 
AIS would then lease out the home and collect rental payments for AIS’ benefit. The scheme involved nearly 40 homes throughout North Texas 


Quelle Surprise! Ginnie Mae Says Bank of America Has Lots of Servicing Documents Missing; MERS Also in Hot Water

naked capitalism It’s going to be intriguing to see if Ginnie Mae winds up going where no financial services regulator has been willing to go before, namely, to get to the bottom of how severe the “bad records” problem is at the major mortgage servicers.

MERS, seems to be suffering a slow and well deserved decline, and perhaps demise, due its inability to meet the terms of a 2011 settlement agreement and contend with ongoing litigation.

Ginnie Mae To Big Banks: Show Us Your Mortgages. But Can They?

What will Ginnie Mae learn and what will it mean for the likes of Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America? Only time will tell, but the news could be ugly all around.

Abigail Fields Problematic documents -- including missing documents, altered-for-litigation documents and contradictory documents -- have proved to be so widespread that law enforcers entered multi-billion dollar settlements with the banks and their document-providing contractor, Black Knight InfoServ LLC (nee Lender Processing Services) in an attempt to address the issues. Not that the settlements resolved all issues.

Ginnie Mae, is trying to assess the magnitude of the problem of missing documents. Ginnie now plans to send letters this month to about 10 of the largest mortgage servicers – including B of A, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo – that take part in a special program to expedite servicing transfers."


Fall 2014

The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

(oligarchy: 1. a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.)

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens 

 The Telegraph

h/t Weidner Law

Researchers concluded that US government policies rarely align with the the preferences of the majority of Americans, but do favour special interests and lobbying oragnisations: "When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it."



Legal Team Exodus at MERS Said to Prompt Review

MERS chief legal officer, its national litigation coordinator, its corporate counsel and its chief internal auditor -- have now departed, the people briefed said. They exited before MERS has been cleared from its settlement obligations, and the federal overseers have been scrutinizing their absence, the people said.

Perhaps a criminal investigation is lurking.

Bloomberg U.S. investigators later accused the banks, mortgage brokers and MERS of failing to properly track loan  ownership in many cases, and permitting “robo-signing” of documents that threw the legality of some transactions into doubt.

He said that he knows of no mortgages that have been invalidated because of MERS’ involvement. The company still operates in every U.S. county, he said, “meeting a need that no one else does.

Even if the company survives its legal challenges, the government could someday pull the rug out from under it.

AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF in Wells Fargo v. Erobobo

The PSA mandates that notes and mortgages must be transferred to the trust no later than the trust's closing date. And EPTL §7-2.4 specifically prohibits such as transfer as being an ultra vires act that is void ab initio.

Robert Garrasi Finally (and as a way to clear the Second Department trial court dockets of
fraudulent RMBS foreclosure actions), this Court should require foreclosing trustees to produce a certified and unredacted copy of their trust's Federal REMIC annual tax return, Form 1066, along with the opinion of tax counsel that no actions by the trustee for the subject tax year were in violation of the REMIC tax statutes and regs. 


Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

"We get calls daily from people who, like the Hansons, they went to apply for a new loan for a new property and the lender pulls up this credit report and says, ‘Hey, you still own this property’," Hachey said.

  The bottom line here is that a foreclosure isn't over until a judge says it is. Homeowners shouldn't abandoned homes until they are sure they no longer own them, Hachey said.

In this case, Hanson admits he made mistakes but still wonders why the bank never notified him the foreclosure stalled.

"I still cannot understand what the end game is for the bank to have it drag on for years and years and years," Hanson said. "It makes no sense to me."


A Settlement on Soured Mortgages May Raise Questions on What Is Enough

DealBook One of the unsettled questions from the financial crisis is whether the big banks have paid enough to cover the mortgage abuses they committed before the market collapsed.

A settlement announced on Wednesday that involves Bank of America indicates that, in some cases, the banks could have been made to pay more than they have.

Bank of America's mortgage crisis costs become a recurring problem

Reuters Bank of America's mortgage pain is lasting longer than expected, leading some investors to wonder if the massive expenses being incurred have become a recurring cost of doing business instead of being dismissed as one-time items.


PIMCO Joins Chorus Against Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Wind-Down Plan

Newly-appointed PIMCO CEO describes the legislation proposed by Johnson-Crapo as a ‘significant oversight’

ValueWalk In an essay published over the weekend in Barron’s, Douglas Hodge indicated that PIMCO has no “appetite for MBS that don’t have Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Association and Freddie Mac / Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp guarantees, as the protections offered to investors in non-GSE backed MBS, known as ‘private label’ securities proved to have no teeth.”


MERS gets pinched, Fannie Mae squeals

Fannie Mae requires lenders to modify the standard security instruments to
name MERS as the nominee for the mortgagee. 

Fannie Mae As a result of recent judicial decisions regarding MERS and its role as the nominee for the mortgagee, Fannie Mae is requiring the use of a Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. Rider (MERS Rider) (Form 3158) to modify the standard security instruments in the states of Montana, Oregon and Washington. The MERS Rider must be used in these three states for newly originated mortgage loans that will be registered with MERS. Consequently, post-closing assignments into MERS are prohibited in these states.  



Redlining: Banks Still Restricting Home Loans In “Non-White” Areas

The UPTAKE “What the report shows very clearly is that big banks like Wells Fargo are redlining communities of color,” said Anthony Newby, executive director of NOC. “The report shows that redlining is alive and well, and in some ways it’s worse than it’s ever been.”

BofA Posts Loss on $6 Billion of Costs Tied to Mortgages

Bloomberg Legal settlements are “just another issue that is being filed away and you hopefully don’t have to worry about anymore,” 


Full post

FGIC, BofA settle litigation over mortgage-backed securities

Bond insurer Financial Guarantee Insurance Co said it had reached an agreement with Bank of America Corp to settle litigation related to nine second-lien residential mortgage-backed securitizations FGIC had insured.

Chicago Tribune FGIC said it received $584 million in cash and that all outstanding litigation between the company and Bank of America had now been resolved.

The No.2 U.S. bank, which reported a first-quarter loss on Wednesday due to a $6 billion litigation charge, said that seven of the nine securitizations had already been settled.

Bank of America said it expected to close the two remaining settlements within 45 days, subject to investor approvals.


US watchdog warns about big banks' use of government-affiliated loans

US News A U.S. government watchdog on Wednesday warned that big banks have dramatically boosted their borrowing from a federal housing finance program, a move that could pose risks to the government-sponsored system if a big borrower defaulted.


Alleged mortgage fraud scheme may include 500+ Hawaii victims

OCP believes more than 500 Hawaii homeowners may have claims against their New York-based attorneys and urges victims to file claims for reimbursement.

Violations of Hawaii’s Mortgage Rescue Fraud Prevention Act and the laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive trade practices subject offending parties to fines ranging from $500 to $10,000 per violation per day.

KRON Hundreds of homeowners facing foreclosure in Hawaii were likely misled by a loan modification program operated by the Homeowner Legal Assistance Association, a Florida corporation, for approximately 17 months in 2009 and 2010, according to an investigation conducted by the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Office of Consumer Protection.

Anyone who believes they may have been the victim of a mortgage rescue scam and have not filed a complaint with the State of Hawaii’s Office of Consumer Protection may contact the Consumer Resource Center at (808) 587-4272 or go online to the OCP website for more information about filing a complaint.

Matt Taibbi: 'Hands Down' Bush Was Tougher On Corporate America Than Obama 

Fast-forward again to the next big crisis, and how many people have we got—have we actually put in jail? Zero.

Democracy Now And this was a crisis that was much huger in scope than the S&L crisis or the accounting crisis. I mean, it wiped out 40 percent of the world’s wealth, and nobody went to jail, so that we’re now in a place where we don’t even recognize the importance of keeping up appearances when it comes to making things look equal.

NY financial services regulator deepens probe into Credit Suisse

FT Mr Lawsky’s investigation is focusing on whether Credit Suisse bankers helped New York-based clients evade paying taxes to the state. It is also looking into whether the bank misled regulators during examinations of the private bank.





Ginnie Mae Nixes Bank of America Mortgage Servicing Transfer

Ginnie Mae has halted the transfer of mortgage servicing rights from Bank of America to a nonbank servicer because the bank is missing documents such as recorded mortgages and title policies on the underlying home loans.

And yet the courts allow Bank of America to steal homes without them?

Mortgage Servicing News The president of Ginnie Mae, says he has held up the transfer of servicing rights by B of A "for an extended period" because the bank is not complying with agency's guidelines that require all mortgage documents be delivered to custodians in a timely manner.

"Issues are coming up now because documents are missing," Tozer said Tuesday. "It's a new phenomenon with the major banks getting out of the servicing business. We don't want to transfer the risk to a new servicer."

It is unclear how widespread the problem of missing documents is in the transfers of mortgage servicing. (It is widespread. MSF)


Montana Court Upholds 

$6 Million Judgment 

against US Bank


Findings of Fact


18th District

h/t Mary McCulley

This action came for trial before a jury on February 3 through 7, 2014, the Honorable John C. Brown presiding.

The jury rendered its verdict and found that Defendant: US Bank committed fraud and constructive fraud against Plaintiff Mary McCulley and that the fraud and constructive fraud injured and caused damage to Ms. McCulley. The jury also rendered its verdict that found US Bank liable for punitive damages.


It is thus no wonder why the banks fight requests for jury trials with such vigor. They know that if regular people see the kind of fraudulent conduct which the banks engage in that there will be serious consequences.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide The facts of this case are beyond shocking. The 22-page opinion sets out how US Bank intentionally lied to the Court and the homeowner about the underlying transaction and the existence of documents, withheld documents, made the homeowner sign three versions of the loan application while lying to the homeowner that she would receive a specific loan, switching the loan at the last minute, and then foreclosing in order to make a profit of over $350,000.00. 

The Court also found that the homeowner went from a healthy and athletic individual to one who was severely depressed and attempted a near-successful suicide because of the actions of US Bank.


Throop couple wins battle in foreclosure fight

A Throop couple won an important legal round over Caliber Home Loans in a property foreclosure dispute.

Lackawanna County Judge Terrence Nealon recently rejected Caliber Home Loans Inc.'s argument that facts in the case are undisputed and ordered the company's foreclosure action against Timothy and Brandy Tanana to continue.

the times-tribune The Tananas argue their mortgage payments were not credited, incorrectly tabulated or rejected. They allege the company "has taken intentional actions to force the default by rejecting payments and miscalculating payments that have been made."

The Tananas argue they have tried to make arrangements through the litigation to resume payments, but the company will not accept any money. Notices from the mortgage holder also gave them no idea how to make the account current at the time the litigation was initiated, they argue.

The couple's admission of default but their unsuccessful attempts to continue to pay the loan is a reasonable defense, Judge Nealon found.

Canton foreclosure 'con artist' lands in prison

A Canton man convicted of bilking money from an investor and homeowners facing foreclosure has been sentenced to prison for 61⁄3-20 years in prison.

Hometown Life Authorities say Hieb also scammed money from foreclosure victims by claiming he could help save their homes.

“He was a con artist who bilked people out of thousands of dollars,” Canton police Lt. Dave Schreiner has said. “He took advantage of people at a low point in their lives.”


Reprimand sought for Maine attorney in foreclosure cases tied to ‘robo-signing

A grievance panel has recommended that one of the three lawyers linked to so-called "robo-signing" of mortgage foreclosures be disciplined.

The action put forth by the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar is in response to a 2010 revelation that led to a national mortgage-foreclosure scandal involving robo-signing, according to the Portland Press Herald. 

Portland Press Herald Peck, Mancini and Saksen were accused of not doing enough to inform Maine courts in more than 100 foreclosure cases of the possible implications of that information – that people faced losing their homes based on documents with potentially inaccurate statements or debt figures.

The panel recommended that attorney Paul Peck of Portland law firm Drummond & Drummond have a written reprimand placed in his record. Peck failed to take "immediate and effective action," the panel said, after he learned that a GMAC Mortgage employee was signing thousands of legal documents to foreclose on people's homes without first checking to assure the documents were accurate and without having the papers authenticated.



We have said that the banksters trade mortgage loans like baseball cards. No one seems to know, from one day to the next, who owns the loan. More disturbing is that it now seems that different banks are claiming ownership of the same loan.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide Who is lying? What we suspect is that BOTH U.S. Bank and Bank of America have made claims for payment from the trust, credit default swap policies, and/or other insurance policies on the same “defaulted” loan, in however many tranches the loan was (allegedly) assigned to. Note that the designation of the trust was in “long form” on one letter and “short form” on another. This is probably so that the claims come in under a different reference and so both are paid.

Another scam so that now different banks can get paid on the same loan?


Mortgage Payment Isn't Late, So Why Do Banks Keep Calling?

Greg Wolff doesn't need a calendar to know it's right after the first of the month: the phone calls from his mortgage company start coming, sometimes twice a day.

Courant Calls from banks and mortgage servicers aren't just for borrowers who have fallen behind anymore. Banks and servicers are keeping closer tabs on home loan payment patterns in the aftermath of the mortgage crisis. That means more calls to borrowers during the 10-to-15 day grace period written into many mortgage contracts that comes before a late charge is imposed.

Wells Fargo Securities Lending Lawsuit Ends in Settlement

Bloomberg Wells Fargo settled a lawsuit over claims it mismanaged institutional investors’ collateral received as part of its securities lending program, lawyers for both sides told a judge as a trial was close to starting.

What is the state of ‘deficiency judgments’ in the State of Florida?

Oppenheim Law The Florida legislature last year passed a law that shortens the amount of time that a bank can pursue a deficiency judgement against you after a foreclosure and maybe a short sale. Let’s take a look at the time barred to see where you stand and what your rights are. 


Banks Move to Overturn Galope LIBOR Case

Original Unpublished Opinion

Galope/Appellant's winning brief


Lenore Albert, Esq Homeowners need to understand that the FDIC deciding to sue on the interest rate swaps re: LIBOR is BAD news for the homeowner.
This is my legal theory in Galope being twisted in favor of the investor. This will help Barclays on their petition for rehearing as to standing, I believe that is what the banks are thinking at least. I believe that the timing by the FDIC and the petition for rehearing are not coincidental. Unfortunately the homeowners are getting confused in their groups - thinking this is somehow a win for them against the banks, when in fact, this is another step the banking industry is trying to take in order to take rights away from the homeowner. - Lenore

Galope coincides with:

The Global Banking Game Is Rigged, and the FDIC Is Suing

Taxpayers are paying billions of dollars for a swindle pulled off by the world’s biggest banks, using a form of derivative called interest-rate swaps; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has now joined a chorus of litigants suing over it.

Ellen Brown, JD It is not just that local governments, universities and pension funds made a bad bet on these swaps. The game itself was rigged, as explained below. The FDIC is now suing in civil court for damages and punitive damages, a lead that other injured local governments and agencies would be well-advised to follow. But they need to hurry, because time on the statute of limitations is running out.

Interest rate swaps are now a $426 trillion business. That’s trillion with a “t” – about seven times the gross domestic product of all the countries in the world combined. 


The Death of Mortgage Lending

Housing Wire The significant withdrawal of players such as Nationstar and Bank of America from retail lending, and the collapse of the mortgage wholesale and correspondent markets, is just the start of a more generalized retreat of capital from residential mortgage lending that has its origins long before 2010, before Dodd-Frank passed and the CFPB was created.


CBO Report Estimates 2014 Deficit at Half a Trillion Dollars: Why The Real Deficit Number is Actually Higher

The Foundry Just a few hours from tax day, it is especially important that Congress and taxpayers understand that the GSEs pose a real and costly risk for the budget and how their current off-budget status distorts federal reporting on spending and the deficit. Treasury’s cash-flow method currently employed to account for GSE operations keeps trillions in potential taxpayer liabilities off the books.


Phony Fannie-Freddie Reform Empowers the Left

Not only would the government’s role in subsidizing and micromanaging housing not be reduced, in some ways it would substantially be increased.

The media often describe this plan as “ending” Fannie and Freddie.

Politicians and government feed off the GSE business model while the taxpayers pay for the GSE crimes.

NewsMax And yes, it does “end” them in the sense that there will no longer be entities named Fannie and Freddie. But most of their functions would simply be transferred to a new giant government entity called the Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation

The legislation would create, for the first time, an explicit taxpayer guarantee of the GSEs’ $5.6 trillion in debt. The “affordable housing trust fund,” a slush fund for “housing advocacy” groups such as ACORN with political agendas until it was closed due to Fannie and Freddie’s financial woes, would be reopened and parked in the new FMIC.

FEDS SEIZE FAMILY’S RANCH-Property owners fight government ‘land grab’!!!

Freedom Fighters Kit and Sherry Laney are one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of ranching families who are being squeezed off their land throughout the West. This case has the potential to erect a barrier to further expansion of federal land takeovers in the West or to erase the last hope of retaining ranching as a part of Western culture in the United States.


Real property crimes target distressed homes, homeowners

Idaho Bus. Journal How are property owners victimized? Owners might have their property stolen from them, suffer damage to their credit, find title to their home impaired and incur large legal fees in attempts to undo the damage. The elderly and those who are delinquent on their mortgage payments are the most susceptible to mortgage fraud, but anyone can find themselves a victim. The following are several examples of fraud schemes that are used to divest homeowners of their property or steal home equity.


"It really is a simple matter. Is that too 
much to ask when people are losing their homes?" - Judge Rubin 

Dissent: ” The time has come to 
insist upon regularity in foreclosure proceedings. I therefore believe we have reached the  time to make clear a homeowner’s right to challenge a foreclosure based on the foreclosing party’s absence of authority to foreclose.

h/t Stop Foreclosure Fraud

Court of Appeals

I do not suggest that respondents 
intended to mislead the trial court by omitting the fact that Chase had sold appellants’ promissory note in 2007, four years before Chase bought the house in foreclosure

The reason I point out the omission is to highlight the difficulty of learning from tangled paper trails “who, what, where, when, and how” in mortgage cases involving lender documents that are sometimes – take your pick:  incomplete, lost, inaccurate, post-dated, altered, robosigned, or created after the fact.


Insiders Tell All: Both the Stock Market and the SEC Are Rigged

The explanation for the SEC’s inaction, many traders feel, is that the SEC itself is rigged against Main Street in favor of big Wall Street firms. That view comes from the SEC’s own insiders.

Pam Martens

Washington on Parade

Since 2006, four attorneys at the Securities and Exchange Commission have put their reputations and family interests on the line by blowing the whistle on corrupt cronyism that is now so ingrained at the Nation’s regulator of stock exchanges and securities markets that it’s become part of the SEC’s business model.


Understanding the True Facts Behind the Fraudclosure Epidemic

Banks didn’t lose the paperwork; it was destroyed so they could issue multiple digital copies.
Those copies were used to convince investors that there really were loans in the pools.

George Mantor The trustees for the pools never received the documentation because it was destroyed.
The perpetrators who knew the loans would fail, insured them for multiple times their value with credit default swaps.
The foreclosures were planned before the loans were originated and that is why MERS was created. MERS, in and of itself, is evidence of advanced planning.



Eric Holder: The Big Bank’s Bodyguard

American Free Press Worse, Holder’s DoJ is blocking a subpoena by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Treasury Inspector General for files from a JPMorgan internal investigation of 90 employees who interacted with Madoff’s firm. The documents most likely would have been surrendered if they exonerated the bank. But the plutocrats obstruct justice, claiming “attorney-client privilege,” while Holder’s office protects them, despite a well-founded belief by three investigative teams that JPMorgan may be covering up crime or fraud


Reiss on BoA-FHFA Settlement

It’s only a matter of time before the remaining big bank defendants settle lawsuits filed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency over billions in non-agency mortgage-backed securities sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the years leading up to the housing crisis, predicts a legal expert.

REFinBlog The bank defendants have repeatedly tried and failed to dismiss the FHFA suits on procedural grounds, including a claim that the cases were no longer timely.

In October, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from the banks, prompting the expectation in legal circles that few, if any, of the remaining cases will ever go to trial.

I don’t think that if you are a [big bank] defendant, that you see a particularly favorable judiciary,” said Reiss. “You see that the government is able to reach deals with companies in front of you and I think you’re thinking about settling.”


Underwater Borrowers Receiving Help from California Program Soars

Mortgage Servicing News Keep Your Home California officials announced that homeowners with 140% or greater loan-to-value ratios meet the financial hardship criterion for the Principal Reduction Program. Changes in the program made it easier for homeowners to apply; 70% of the applications for the Principal Reduction Program since its inception in February 2011 were received in 2013


Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Vexed by Low Demand for Mortgages

The mortgage industry has turned honest,  hard-working property owners into crime victims - and now the banks are a little miffed that so many are starting to figure it out.

Bloomberg The mortgage industry has made it clear: The American Dream of home ownership will never be anything more than a dream - even if you pay your house off in full. The Courts will  continue to allow banks to use fraud and even state jail felonies to steal it. Sometimes, judges benefit from the bank's crimes. 

Arguably, there are more than 60 million tainted titles in this country. Many of those contain additional fabricated and forged documents to make it appear the title is clear.


Distressed homeowners seeking mortgage relief could get stuck with a big tax bill

Washington Post Struggling homeowners (not banks) across the country could face significant new tax bills if they receive mortgage relief from their banks, a prospect that threatens to slow the housing recovery and put further strain on distressed borrowers.


Why Won't Washington Take on Wall Street's Biggest Crimes?

The Justice Department has successfully convicted dozens of bankers for insider trading. But the big banks did something much worse and got away with it.

The Atlantic SAC broke the law by implicitly encouraging its employees to commit insider trading and not doing anything to prevent them from committing insider trading. 

This is essentially what the big banks did, only for "insider trading," substitute: buying loans they knew to be fraudulently underwritten; packaging loans that they knew did not comply with the description of the loans in the placement memorandum; lying to buy-side clients about the contents of the securities they were selling them; or selling Fannie and Freddie loans that they knew did not meet the criteria they claimed. (It was all due to the GSE Guarantee.)


TV series LEVERAGE – Exposes Mortgage Securitization Ponzi

The rich and powerful, they take what they want. We steal it back for you. Sometimes bad guys make the best good guys. We provide… “leverage” – Nathan Ford

"Merced Financial Services is taking a 100 houses a day. That's a 100 families out on the street a day. They're either too afraid or too broke to fight this thing."

Deadly Clear In terms simple enough for even a circuit court judge to understand, Nathan Ford explains the mortgage-backed securitization scheme. When the wife of a missing mortgage banking executive said, “Alan said they were seizing properties they didn’t even own and signing foreclosure forms without even reading them…” Ford replied, “Oh yeah, robo-signing… yeah, that’s what they call it. What they do is they sign a thousand foreclosures and they bet that the homeowners don’t have the money to fight the case. Now the courts, they’ll stop it if your husband had proof…”


Fannie Mae stops working with two Colorado law firms

Fannie Mae is not going to send its foreclosure business to two specific law firms in Colorado, effective immediately.

Hosing Wire Both the Castle and Aronowitz law firms regularly ranked as the two largest law firms managing foreclosures in Colorado. Discrepancies have since led Colorado's state legislature to push forward with new legislation designed to refund overpayments to distressed homeowners. The bill, HB 14-1130, is called the "Foreclosure Cure Remit Unpaid Fees to Borrower Act


Deutsche Bank wins dismissal of FHFA case

Deutsche Bank AG has won dismissal of a lawsuit seeking to have it cover government-sponsored Freddie Mac's losses on defective mortgage securities purchased from a more than $1.4 billion trust.

Chicago Tribune The dismissal came after a New York appeals court ruling in December that the clock on the statute of limitations began to run when the transaction was executed in 2006.

FHFA began the lawsuit in 2012, just within the six years, but the agency did not have standing to sue.

HSBC Bank USA, National Association, the trustee overseeing the securities, was the party allowed to bring the claims, but it did not join the case until January 2013, which was too late, the judge said.


BofA FIRREA Case in North Carolina Should Proceed, U.S. Says

A magistrate judge, who on March 27 recommended that the case be dismissed without giving the government the option to fix any defects, ignored legal standards for bringing a lawsuit and relied on incorrect factual findings, the Justice Department said today in a court filing.

Bloomberg “The magistrate judge takes the unprecedented and erroneous step of deciding as a matter of law that defendants’ misstatements and omissions were not, and could not be, material to two independent federal agencies, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Housing Finance Board,” the Justice Department said.

The same magistrate judge, whose recommendations are subject to review by a district judge, recommended on March 31 that an SEC lawsuit against Bank of America over the same alleged misstatements should proceed.


Attorney general says new law will improve residential foreclosure process in Maine

Bangor Daily “The data we collected shows that the housing crisis is still rippling through Maine,” she said. “Maine courts saw 4,756 foreclosure filings in 2013, up from 4,339 the year before. Our state has still not recovered from the recession. Maine families and communities continue to suffer.

“Many people in Maine are still struggling to make ends meet,” Mills said. “My work in this area reinforces that we need a legal framework that works efficiently but is responsive to the individual needs and interests of homeowners.”

FORECLOSURE: The ‘other shoe’ has dropped

PE A foreclosure inferno that raged across the Inland region and other hot spots in the U.S. is considered by industry experts be effectively contained, but new data shows banks have begun to turn their attention back to properties that have been in limbo.


Arkansas Supreme Court Accepts Certified Question

The certifying court requests that we answer a question of law that may be  determinative of a cause now pending in the certifying court, and it appears to the certifying court that there is no controlling precedent in the decisions of the Arkansas Supreme Court. 

Supreme Court of Arkansas Whether the Federal National Mortgage Association satisfies the Statutory Foreclosure Act's authorized-to-do-business requirement, Ark. Code Ann. $ 18-50-1 17, under 12
U.S.C. S 1716 et seq., or other federal laws, or must the Federal National Mortgage Association satisfy Ark. Code Ann. $ 18-50-1 17 by obtaining a certificate of authority in Arkansas prior to statutorily foreclosing on property in Arkansas?




Do you know that one of my clients DIED as a DIRECT result of a wrongful foreclosure? Although a judge halted the sale, the banks went ahead and had the sheriff take my client who was on oxygen - off of the oxygen hooked up in her home and throw her out in the street. Only a psychopath could do that to another human being. Is your company being run by psychopaths or are your hiring psychopaths to write up the case summaries in this area of law?

Lenore L. Albert, Esq. I have sent two emails to Lexis Nexis without response. Your publications on Lexis Nexis of consumer cases concerning wrongful foreclosure are misleading and downright deceitful. You have failed to properly train and supervise your employees to ensure as the "Official" reporter for California, that you are giving an unbiased case summary, correct key/head notes, and core terms. However, you have instituted a pattern and practice of yellow flagging all opinions that came out in favor of the consumer. To my HORROR and SHOCK, you have even went so far to proclaim the BANK a winner in a Ninth Circuit win for the homeowner.

I expect you to answer all of my questions fully and accurately and to correct this immediately or else I am going to sue you.

NY Judge Upholds Fraud Claims Against Wells Fargo, Fortis in $1.5 Billion Subprime Mortgage-Backed Securities Case

LBBW Luxemburg S.A. v. Wells Fargo Securities

PRNewswire "This was a significant ruling in a massive fraud case where the sellers greedily squeezed money from investors despite knowing the underlying securities were riskier than represented and not even worth the price."

LBBW's attorneys argue the alleged fraud was masked by the beginning of the economic crisis in 2007, and was discovered in April 2011 only after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission instigated administrative proceedings related to a $5.5 million investment made by the Zuni tribe's employee pension fund.

Facing New Rules, Banks Take Foreclosures to Court

Bloomberg Going through the judicial process now protects lenders,” said Thomas Lawler, a housing consultant and former chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Even though it takes longer, all sorts of eyes starting with the judge’s will reduce the likelihood of mistakes and potential liability under new foreclosure laws.”

In other words, the judge's are aiding in the concealment of felonies.

Controversy Surrounds Florida’s 5-Year Foreclosure Statute of Limitations

Important update on Florida foreclosure laws that homeowners need to know. 

Do you know when the statute actually starts? This is tricky as banks are re-foreclosing on already foreclosed homes.

Roy Oppenheim, Esq. When does the 5-year statute of limitations law actually kick in? How is it measured? Do you know the difference between an ‘intent to accelerate’ vs. a ‘notice to accelerate’?

Don’t let them try to take your home away a second time. The timing and the difference between losing your home and keeping your home is critical. Watch Roy’s explanation.

White Paper

The Fannie and Freddie Bailouts Through the Corporate Lens

Adam B. Badawi 
Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law

Anthony J. Casey 
University of Chicago Law School
In August of 2012, the Department of Treasury redirected the profits of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac away from common shareholders and into the Treasury. Those shareholders have filed multiple lawsuits challenging this action. The complaints allege, among other claims, that the decision to wipe out equity violated the principles of corporate law. In this Essay — prepared for a symposium on the Future of Fannie and Freddie — we analyze that argument.

Opinion demonstrates the Bait & Switch of Dual-Tracking

DiRienzo v. OneWest Bank

The trial court issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting defendants from foreclosing on plaintiff’s residence during the pending action. We affirm.



DiRienzo's modification request was not acted on because she was current on her loan payments. 

DiRienzo stopped making further payments on her loan in April 2010, based on the statements of the vice president.

DiRienzo’s action did not have the desired effect. Her FICO credit score
dropped from 735 to 682 as a result of her delinquency on the loan. She was eventually told her modification would not be considered due to her credit score. In 2011, Deutsche Bank initiated foreclosure.

Out of the Black Hole
Regulatory Reform of 
The Over-the-Counter Derivatives Market

Roosevelt Institute A litany of factors, including lending and financial abuses, led to the subprime 
meltdown and resulting deep recession. But chief among them was the opaque 
and unregulated over-the-counter (“OTC”) derivatives (often referred to as “swaps”) market, which was estimated to have a notional value of $596 trillion at the time of the crisis


Body found in Garner home under eviction order

ABC When the deputy entered the home, a loud noise like a gunshot was heard.

Police said when a SWAT team entered the home, a man's body was found with a single gunshot wound to the head.


The life of the American consumer.

$800 Million Penalty for Bank of America Credit Card Practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said that Bank of America “illegally charged” its customers for credit monitoring and credit reporting services that were not received.

DealBook Bank of America's telemarketers were telling customers that the first 30 days were free when, it fact, customers were charged.

The bank was ordered to refund more than a million customers who purchased these add-on products for their credit cards.

The bank must also pay a $20 million fine to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and $25 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The agency said Bank or America engaged in these billing practices from 2000 to 2011, affecting 1.9 million customers.

White paper


West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals A punitive damage award was reviewed for excessiveness based upon the following standard: “Courts must not set aside jury verdicts as excessive unless they are monstrous, enormous, at first blush beyond all measure, unreasonable, outrageous and manifestly show jury passion, impartiality, prejudice or 
corruption.”7 Garnes expressly held that “[t]hese guidelines provide insufficient review by the trial court of punitive damages awards.”


Mortgage Complaints Grow

Forward Times When CFPB analyzed consumers’ mortgage concerns, loan modification, collections and foreclosures accounted for nearly 60 percent of those received. Other mortgage complaints included loan servicing, payments, escrow accounts, mortgage brokers and origination.


Lawsuit accuses OneWest of defrauding U.S. mortgage program

Reuters A lawsuit has been unsealed accusing OneWest Bank FSB, a lender once known as IndyMac Bancorp Inc, of causing the U.S. government to improperly pay out $206 million under a federal program to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Liechtenstein Banker Shot Dead in Reported Investment Feud

Bloomberg A Liechtenstein banker was shot dead after a feud involving an investment fund, and police said they believe the alleged killer later committed suicide.

Cost of alleged bank wrongdoing exceeds bad-loan provisions

FT The cost of alleged misconduct at banks has in recent years overtaken the provisions to cover bad loans in what is described as an “extraordinary change” by Sir Win Bischoff, the former Lloyds Banking Group chairman.


All the Presidents’ Bankers: Nomi Prins on the Secret History of Washington-Wall Street Collusion


"Either we break the alliances, or they will break us."

Democracy Now Corporate profits and stock prices have mostly recovered and, in many cases, surpassed their levels from before the financial crisis. On Wall Street, bonuses are now the highest they’ve been since before the 2008 crash. Just last year, payouts increased 15 percent to $26.7 billion. That’s enough money to more than double the pay of every minimum-wage worker in the country. That’s because, for most Americans, the recovery has been elusive. Inequality is now at its highest point since 1928, and the wages for lower-income Americans are stagnant.


Training set for mediators, aimed at trimming Alabama foreclosures

Birmingham Bus. Journal One Alabama organization is using grant funding from the National Mortgage Settlement for mediator training to reduce foreclosures throughout the state.
The Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution Inc. will hold a two-day foreclosure mediation and mortgage modification training program this week for lawyer and non-lawyer mediators.

Your Homework Assignment: Sue the Federal Government

Of course, all this real-world experience might irritate a few prosecutors. But the students were not seeking jobs at the Justice Department to begin with. Ha-ha

DealBook The students, along with professors and a university librarian, are tackling the contentious world of white-collar crime, challenging federal prosecutors to unseal settlements with big banks and corporations. In a matter of months, the classroom litigators at the law school’s First Amendment clinic filed their first lawsuit against the Justice Department and won the release of a secret settlement deal.


For more than 20 years, Ocwen has been stealing homes using this same procedure used by other mortgage industry criminals.

Mortgage hassles lead to threatened foreclosure

Ocwen 'misapplied' 4 monthly payments, sought $7,098.75 in unidentified 'fees and expenses'

The massive mortgage company took over the servicing of her home loan from IndyMac Bank in November. Things have never been the same.

Chicago Tribune Martens' February statement showed the account was up to date, and everything seemed fine through early March. Martens said she paid her March statement six days before it was due.

On March 14, she received a certified letter from Ocwen stating she was in default on her loan. The letter showed a past due balance of $9,184.53, claiming she had missed her January and February payments. It included $7,098.75 in unidentified "fees and expenses." It demanded payment in full by April 5.

"Failure to bring your account current may result in our election to exercise our right to foreclose on your property," the letter said.


Uncivil Attorneys Aren't Being Professional

Judges and bar associations are cracking down on such misbehavior to protect the profession

Daily Report In the last few years, bar associations and supreme courts have made clear that the aspirational goals of integrity, professionalism and civility in the legal profession are worth more than occasional lip service as part of continuing legal education programs.

Matt Taibbi writes about the courts

Judges Blind To Justice

Cases rarely go to trial: Innocent 99 percenters admit guilt, and guilty financial crime syndicates shell out millions for the privilege of admitting nothing.

Pilant's Business Ethics Blog Day after day, megabanks win the legal authority to repossess the car or house or bank account of this or that alleged debtor on the basis of her failure to show up in court to answer a summons she never received, because in lieu of actually delivering that summons, the megabank paid some bucket shop four dollars to produce a signed affidavit swearing one of its employees had physically delivered it, while in fact depositing it and thousands like it in a dumpster, a technique known in the business as “sewer service.”

Repeat from 2010:

Invasion of the Home Snatchers

How foreclosure courts are helping big banks screw over homeowners

Their stated mission isn't to decide right and wrong, but to clear cases and blast human beings out of their homes with ultimate velocity.

Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone The rocket docket wasn't created to investigate any of that. It exists to launder the crime and bury the evidence by speeding thousands of fraudulent and predatory loans to the ends of their life cycles, so that the houses attached to them can be sold again with clean paperwork. The judges, in fact, openly admit that their primary mission is not justice but speed. 

Think of the Bernie Madoff scam, only replicated tens of thousands of times over, infecting every corner of the financial universe. The underlying crime is so pervasive, we simply can't admit to it — and so we are working feverishly to rubber-stamp the problem away, in sordid little backrooms in cities like Jacksonville, behind doors that shouldn't be, but often are, closed.


SEC Goldman Lawyer Says Agency Too Timid on Wall Street Misdeeds

A trial attorney from the Securities and Exchange Commission said his bosses were too “tentative and fearful” to bring many Wall Street leaders to heel after the 2008 credit crisis, echoing the regulator’s outside critics.

Kidney said his superiors were more focused on getting high-paying jobs after their government service than on bringing difficult cases. The agency’s penalties, Kidney said, have become “at most a tollbooth on the bankster turnpike.”

Bloomberg James Kidney, who joined the SEC in 1986 and retired this month, offered the critique in a speech at his goodbye party. His remarks hit home with many in the crowd of SEC lawyers and alumni thanks to a part of his resume not publicly known: He had campaigned internally to bring charges against more executives in the agency’s 2010 case against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS:US)

The SEC has become “an agency that polices the broken windows on the street level and rarely goes to the penthouse floors,” Kidney said, according to a copy of his remarks obtained by Bloomberg News. “On the rare occasions when enforcement does go to the penthouse, good manners are paramount. Tough enforcement, risky enforcement, is subject to extensive negotiation and weakening.


Senators slow Gov. Rick Scott's attack on notaries

Gladden said someone else must have gotten access to his instrument to forge his name and stamp on a lease that made it appear a squatter was living in the house legally.

Tampa Bay Times

h/t Weidner Law

Scott's assistant general counsel, Thomas "Bo" Winokur, told senators that the governor's office has a "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to violations by notaries, who must certify the legitimacy of legal documents such as mortgages and leases and the signatures on them.

Until Monday, senators didn't realize they have the duty to reinstate or remove a notary suspended by the governor, and that's where things really got interesting.


Citi to settle legacy securities claims, incur $100 million charge

Citigroup Inc said it would pay $1.12 billion in cash to settle legacy securities and other claims and incur a related charge of $100 million in the first quarter.

WTAQ The bank reached the agreement with 18 institutional investors and said the settlement had resolved a significant issue left over from the financial crisis.

Citi has offered the settlement to the 68 Citi-sponsored mortgage securitization trusts that participated in the $59.4 billion residential mortgage-backed securities.

The rise and fall of Allonhill: A DBJ Special Report

A Denver judge finds that a company whose founder talked often of "integrity" and "credibility" engaged in fraud.

In his ruling, Bronfin found that Aurora “proved the elements of fraud by a preponderance of the evidence.” 

Allonhill’s website, which has been taken down, formerly said the company was created “to bring credibility back to the mortgage industry with transparency and independence.”

Denver Bus. Journal Allonhill had been hired in September 2011 by Aurora Bank — which was under government scrutiny for its mortgage and foreclosure processes — to analyze Aurora’s mortgage loans under the federal Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) program.

The allegation was that Allonhill, which was awarded contracts with Aurora and Wells Fargo to review loans under the IFR program, had previously analyzed some of those loans under contracts with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
In other words, Allonhill might have been reviewing and looking for issues with its own previous work.


Two advocacy groups enter the battle over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Washington Examiner The fate of the bailed-out mortgage businesses Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac likely won't be resolved for years, but at least two new advocacy groups are staking out positions in the looming battle over U.S. housing finance.


Supreme Sellout---The End of the Noble Experiment

George Mantor If the fabricated, forged, robo-signed, falsely notarized, assignment says that the note was assigned to that foreclosing party, there can be no challenge to the foreclosure.
If that doesn’t take your breath away, you must be in a coma. That is the state of your property rights when forgeries are accepted for recording. Anyone can take your home if they know how to do it, and the bankstas invented this system.

Mortgage Resets Are Beginning, and Things Could Get Ugly

Motley Fool Things could get rough for the big banks again very soon, as defaults start to add up. As far as they've come from the dark days of the financial crisis, the legacy of banking's pre-crisis lending spree never really seems to fade away.



Foreclosures on Nonexistent Mortgages

There were several scenarios under which property and homeowners were made vulnerable to foreclosure even if they had no mortgage on their property. A recent story about an elderly couple coming “home” to find their door padlocked, possessions removed and then the devastating news that their home had been sold at foreclosure auction is an example of the extreme risk of this system to ALL homeowners, whether they have or had a mortgage or not. This particular couple had paid off their mortgage 15 years ago. The bank who foreclosed on the nonexistent mortgage and the recovery company that invaded their home said it was a mistake. Their will be a confidential settlement where once again the veil of secrecy will be raised.

That type of “mistake” was a once in a million possibility before Wall Street directly entered the mortgage loan business. So why have we read so many stories about foreclosures where there was no mortgage, or was no default, or where the mortgage loan was with someone other than the party who foreclosed?

Living Lies The answer lies in how these properties enter the system. When a bank sells its portfolio of loans into the system of aggregation of loans, they might accidentally or intentionally include loans for which they had already received full payment. Maybe they issued a satisfaction maybe they didn’t. It might also include loans where life insurance or PMI paid off the loan.

The LPS roulette wheel in Jacksonville is the hub where it is decided WHO will be the foreclosing party and for HOW MUCH they will claim is owed, without any allowance for the multiple sales, proceeds of insurance, FDIC loss sharing, actual ownership of the loans or anything else. Despite numerous studies by those in charge of property records and academic studies, the beat goes on, foreclosing by entities who are “strangers to the transaction” (San Francisco study), on documents that were intentionally destroyed (Catherine Ann Porter study at University of Iowa), against homeowners who had no idea what was going on, using the money of investors who had no idea what was going on, and all based upon a triple tiered documentary system where the contractual meeting of the minds could never occur.

Mortgage Lenders Sell Cash-Cow Servicing Rights to Survive

National Mortgage News After slogging through several quarters of high expenses and shrinking profits, some lenders are now selling mortgage servicing rights to raise cash to cover payroll and expenses, 


If the New York Stock Exchange is a “High-Frequency Brothel” then the SEC is its Pimp

Pam Martens

Wall Street on Parade

Trubman went on to compare the two best known stock exchanges in the U.S. to houses of ill repute, writing: “What is clearly unfair and unethical — and, frankly, ought to be outlawed — is how the exchanges have essentially taken on the role of running a high-priced, high-frequency brothel…”


Judge Permits Homestead Exemption to Shield Assets


Objection to a Claim of Homestead 
Exemption, and Why it Was Filed

Home Equity Theft Reporter A Buffalo woman who used a divorce settlement to buy a condominium from her son-in-law— then filed bankruptcy allegedly to avoid paying her divorce lawyer—can use a homestead exemption to shield her assets, a Buffalo bankruptcy judge has held in a case of first impression.

The ruling potentially puts law firms on different, and less stable, footing than other creditors.


Former Bank CEO Killed His Wife And Daughter Before Committing Suicide, Police Say

  A suicide note was also found inside the home, the report said.

The police said they will not comment on the time of death, the manner of death, or the contents of the suicide note, the report said. 
Update above

Ex-ABN AMRO Banker Schmittmann, Wife, Daughter Found Dead at Home

Bloomberg “The bodies of a father and mother and their 22 year old daughter were found at the property” in the town of Laren, 32 kilometers (20 miles) southeast of Amsterdam, Dutch police said in a statement on their website.  


Mortgage crisis pickets hit Midtown

Wells Fargo told The Post it has provided modifications to nearly 27,000 borrowers in New York since early 2009. 

But here, Wells Fargo's CEO claims "we have completed more than 904,000 home loan modifications."

New York Post Four generations of her family call the house home. But after years of delay on a modification, she now owes nearly double what the house is worth.

Attorneys for Common Law — which trains homeowners to represent themselves in foreclosure court — have singled out Wells Fargo for its treatment of minority borrowers in New York. Common Law, staged a “foreclosure resisters” vigil in front of Wells Fargo’s Manhattan headquarters at 150 E. 42nd St. on Thursday night. Donning blue “foreclosure resisters” T-shirts, roughly thirty homeowners lent human voices to the city’s lingering foreclosure crisis.


Credit Suisse Is Said to Be Facing Double-Barreled Inquiries

The biggest danger to Credit Suisse, suspected of sheltering billions of dollars for American clients who evaded taxes, comes from federal prosecutors.

DealBook While the Justice Department has considered a so-called deferred-prosecution agreement that would suspend any indictment in exchange for a large cash penalty and other concessions, it is also pushing for a guilty plea from a Credit Suisse subsidiary, people briefed on the case said, a punishment that banks generally avoid in all but the gravest cases. The cash penalty, the people said, is expected to exceed the $780 million that Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, paid to resolve a similar case in 2009.



Banks did the same thing, so why weren't they shut down? 

A.G. Schneiderman Shuts Down Rochester-Area Used Car Dealership For Defrauding Consumers

NY AG Office An investigation by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Office found that Frontier Autohaus did not have clear titles to many of the cars it sold, and, in some cases, no title at all. Consumers who took out loans to buy cars from Frontier Autohaus discovered weeks later that the cars had liens against them because Frontier Autohaus had failed to pay off loan balances and titles were not transferred to consumers. As a result, consumers were at risk of having their vehicles repossessed by lenders who held liens that Frontier had failed to pay off.

P is for PONZI

Part P in The Insiders Economic Dictionary.

Panic: The abrupt culminating stage of the business cycle, in which inflated asset prices collapse in price as financial securities and properties are sold to pay off debts.

Michael Hudson Less and less property is owned free and clear these days. Debt foreclosure historically has been the major lever to pry private property away from the community, at first by usury charged to personal debtors, and most recently by privatization of the public domain as creditors oblige indebted governments to accept IMF conditionalities. Military conquest has been the second major lever to privatize property.


How the Case Against BofA's Ken Lewis Fizzled

In this seminal financial crisis investigation, regulators put on a master class in how to take a strong case and render it weak.

Investopedia The regulatory cloud has lifted for Kenneth D. Lewis. Last week, the former head of Bank of America received a modest penalty, paid for by his former employer, and a temporary ban from an industry he is no longer a part of.

Bank of America's in-house and out-house lawyers decided that the numbers would have to be disclosed in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, according to the complaint. Then, they consulted with Joe Price, the bank's chief financial officer, and decided to reverse their decision.




If you really want to revive SAVE the economy… Either the Congressional legislature or the courts are going to have to confiscate the bank patents.

Deadly Clear Those on the cutting edge of foreclosure defense realize that the “new” securitization system was completely patented from the cradle to the grave in the USPTO… as if to make it appear legal. From the very inception of securitization starting with the Fannie Mae 1003 loan application software to the Wells Fargo targeted sales system… to foreclosure, REO and beyond …each and every step has been developed by some sharp IT guy and likely the idea and eventual purpose, patent and use was created from an idea by the higher-ups.


Feds Lack Options to Help HELOC Borrowers as Resets Loom

National Mortgage News The Treasury Department will have few options to help homeowners if a coming wave of resets on home equity lines of credit leaves borrowers struggling to pay their monthly bills.

PRIA: eRecording Key to Industry Compliance

This will make it easier to commit fraud and forgery.

Mortgage Professional The mortgage industry faces a liability that threatens both the accuracy of our public record and our ability to comply with new federal regulations, according to Myron Finley, chief legal officer for Nationwide Title Clearing and co-chair of the Business Processes and Procedures Committee for the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA).

Servicer Advances: More Smoke and Mirrors

The significance of servicer advances has not escaped Judges and lawyers.

Living Lies If the payment has been made and continues to be made, how can anyone declare a default on the part of the creditor? They can’t. And if the payment has been made, then the notice of default, the end of month statements, the notice of acceleration and the amount demanded in foreclosure are all wrong by definition. The tricky part is that the banks are once again lying to everyone about this.


1 in 3 homes is unaffordable and a bubble is forming

Zillow study shows drastic housing affordability gap.

Housing Wire More than half the homes currently on the market in seven major American metros are currently unaffordable for local residents, and one-third of homes for sale are unaffordable by historic standards.


New York's Lawsky Catches Mortgage Servicers by Surprise

On a June morning in 2012, New York bank examiners paid surprise visits to the offices of Ocwen Financial Corp., the biggest non-bank mortgage servicer.

Bloomberg That break with tradition -- examiners typically set up appointments in advance of inspections -- was ordered by Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services. A year earlier, Lawsky had approved Ocwen’s purchase of Litton Loan Services on the condition that the new owner fix Litton’s mishandling of foreclosures. Now Lawsky’s examiners in Houston, Texas, and West Palm Beach, Florida, were checking to see if Ocwen had kept its promise.

The examiners “started seeing things immediately,” Lawsky said in an interview. “The company had not lived up to the agreement.


Don't Let Mortgage Servicer Give You Runaround

Homeowners struggle to resolve problems with the companies that collect their mortgage payments every month, despite new regulations to protect consumers.

Fox Business But homeowners who know their rights tend to get their lenders' attention. They get their mortgage problems resolved quicker -- even if that takes filing a complaint.

"Within 30 days of talking to them, there should be some kind of resolution (or response) to the problem," Walzak says. "If there isn't, they have violated federal law and you should report that to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau."


Former Bank CEO Accused of Selling Toxic Mortgage Loans


National Mortgage Professional According to the indictment, in 2009, Metaxas fraudulently caused Gateway to execute a sham “round trip” transaction in which the bank self-funded a down payment to make it appear that Gateway had sold toxic, non-performing mortgage loans. This morning, the defendant surrendered to federal agents in California and was arraigned at the federal courthouse in San Francisco.


I Won My Eviction Appeal Against BAC!

BACHLS v. Springer

Foreclosure Industry News



I appeared for the initial hearing to contest the service of process, and was told to shut up twice. I wish I had a transcript of this hearing, because it was a circus, with the deck totally stacked against me, the Defendant. It seems like the eviction courts in Arizona operate on the premise that you’re a piece of sh*t if you get sued for eviction. This needs to change! What bothered me even more is that I was correct on the law, and the court ignored me.


"If a defendant has not been properly served, and the defect in service has not been waived, any resulting judgment is void and must be vacated on request." 

Why only 75%?

Americans Say 75 Percent of Politicians Are Corrupted, 70 Percent Use Political Power to Hurt Enemies

Reason Asked, which is a “more serious” problem — “special interest groups spending private money on campaigns to elect the politicians they favor” or “elected officials enacting policies and spending taxpayer money that benefit the special interests they favor” — 63 percent of Americans said officials enacting policies and spending taxpayer money for special interests was a more serious problem.

Tips and Tricks to Analyzing Your Foreclosure Documents for Robosigning and Fraud

Hub Pages It is now widely known that banks do not have clear ownership rights to property in this country, due to problems of their own making. Basically, no one knows who owns what with regards to property in this country. There would be no need to commit fraud and perjury by submitting false documents to the court if the banks would have followed the rules regarding property law, which have been around for hundreds of years.


Foreclosure sale VOIDED 4 years later

FDIC v. Duerksen

Court of Appeals of Oklahoma Here, it is clear from the face of the order confirming sale that Appellant's due process rights were violated.
Thus, the order confirming sale is void on its face and the trial court was without jurisdiction to enter such order. The trial court's judgment is REVERSED AND this matter is REMANDED for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Silverberg Court observed: "the law must not yield to expediency at the convenience of lending institutions."

HSBC v. Valentin

Much to quote in this one.

Arthur Schack

Kings County, NY

Plaintiff HSBC lacks standing because MERS lacked authority to assign the subject mortgage and note. No evidence has been presented that MERS physically possessed the subject note.

MERS was listed in the underlying
mortgage instruments as a nominee and mortgage for the purpose of recording, but was never the actual holder or assignee of the underlying notes.''



Chris Wyatt Over the past several months, I have been attempting to assist a number of Select Portfolio Servicing homeowners’ who are, among other things, enduring a never ending cycle of frustration and confusion concerning the servicing practices of Select Portfolio Servicing. Based on my review, Select Portfolio Servicing has, among other things, failed to appropriately and timely apply payments, assessed unwarranted fees, failed to timely respond to loan modification requests, or wrongfully denied a loan modification requests.


A New Look at Big-Bank Subsidies

The question now under investigation by the Government Accountability Office and others is the extent to which companies, most notably the largest global banks, are still likely to receive special protection the next time investor sentiment turns sharply negative.

Economix Such implicit (and free) downside insurance would amount to a particularly pernicious form of subsidy from the government and is likely to encourage excessive risk-taking and danger to the entire financial system. If the G.A.O. finds there are still big subsidies for too-big-to-fail banks, this will attract attention from both Republicans and Democrats — and will greatly strengthen the case for higher capital requirements (as laid out by Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig) and other policy changes.


10 Special Interest Tax Breaks That Cost You Plenty:

In short, you get to keep on subsidizing companies that harm you. 

Abigail Fields When companies “pay” huge amounts of money to settle claims that they broke the law, don’t believe the hype: the bill may be a lot less than advertised.

That’s because we taxpayers may be picking up part of the tab.

How? The tax code allows companies to deduct some or all of the payments as ordinary business expenses, so long as the payments are restitution, compensation or ‘remedial’ penalties.


How the Case Against Bank of America CEO Fizzled

In this seminal financial crisis investigation, regulators put on a master class in how to take a strong case and render it weak.

ProPublica It is a crime to knowingly deceive shareholders about the financial condition of your company. Top officers of Bank of America knew about giant, surprising Merrill losses but did not disclose them promptly or precisely to the board or shareholders. They took steps to cut out people who advocated disclosing the information. That sure seems like a lot of smoke.

They Were Coming for Her House

Two Days Before Eviction, Phyllis Walsh Killed Herself and Left a Note About the "Foreclosure Vultures"

The Stranger

h/t Weidner Law

Evictions of homeowners like Walsh are dispatched with quickness and totality. Can policymakers muster the same urgency to protect citizens?

"I honestly believe that the majority of the council is concerned," Licata says. "The question is what they feel comfortable doing about it." 

Charles Keating, Crime Figure in the 1980s Savings and Loan Crisis, Dies at 90

Keating who went to prison and came to symbolize the $150 billion savings-and-loan crisis a generation ago after fleecing thousands of depositors with regulatory help from a group of United States senators known as the Keating Five.

NY Times Mr. Keating hired Alan Greenspan, soon to be chairman of the Federal Reserve, who compiled a report saying Lincoln’s depositors faced “no foreseeable risk” and praising a “seasoned and expert” management

Convicted of fraud, racketeering and conspiracy in state and federal trials, Mr. Keating went to prison for four and a half years. Both verdicts were overturned on appeals in 1996. California dropped its case, and on the eve of a federal retrial in 1999, Mr. Keating, who always insisted he had done nothing wrong, pleaded guilty to four counts of wire and bankruptcy fraud and was sentenced to time already served.



Homes are thus being foreclosed on at the trial rate of 12 or more homes per hour on “trial days”.

Meanwhile, the “banks” and servicers have let the cases sit for years, do not respond to discovery, and then try to ask for summary judgment when a trial order is issued. Of course, THEY get a hearing.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide Another phenomenon that has been occurring recently is that the attorney for the bank or servicer is being replaced with another law Firm as soon as the trial order is issued. The problem this causes is that when a request is made to the “new” law Firm as to outstanding discovery which is overdue or to schedule the deposition of the bank/servicer’s representative, the response is “we will get back to you.” Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t; meanwhile, the trial date comes closer and closer.

We understand the frustration of the Supreme Court, but it is not the fault of the homeowners, who should not be treated like cattle to the slaughter and should be afforded the rights of all other civil litigants. Meanwhile, the daily disparate treatment continues…..


Lenders Settle with HUD on Reverse Mortgage Allegations

Reverse Mortgage Daily Investigators with the Department of Housing and Urban Development recently entered into settlements with various lenders who they alleged allowed borrowers to obtain multiple reverse mortgages on more than one property.

Denial-of-Service Attack Likely Culprit in Ellie Mae Outage

Mortgage Servicing News Loan closings delayed by the attack have forced lenders to pay for rate lock extensions and hedging losses, while home closings funded by purchase mortgages have also been delayed.


Bank of America Should Face SEC Mortgage Suit, Judge Says

Bloomberg Bank of America Corp. should face U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claims over $855 million in mortgage-backed securities, said a judge who last week nudged the lender toward victory in a Justice Department suit over the same instruments by advising that it be thrown out.

CFPB awash in mortgage complaints

Nearly 5,000 a month in 2013 alone

Housing Wire “Consumer complaints have become central to the work of this agency. They enable us to listen to, and amplify, the concerns of any American who wants to be heard,” said CFPB director Richard Cordray. “They are also our compass. They make a difference by informing our work and helping us identify and prioritize problems for potential action.”

Senate Moving to Extend Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act

Senate Finance Committee chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., included such a two-year extension in his tax bill unveiled Tuesday.

Mortgage Servicing News "Congress' failure to extend mortgage debt forgiveness last year has created a situation where the federal government is now spending money on programs to prevent foreclosures, while threatening to tax the very homeowners they are trying to help," according to a letter signed by 23 industry and other interest groups.



Florida Standard Jury Instructions as a Guide for Bench Trials

SC12-1931 Opinion
416.3 CONTRACT FORMATION — ESSENTIAL FACTUAL ELEMENTS (Claimant) claims that the parties entered into a contract. To prove that a contract was created, (claimant) must prove all of the following:
1. The essential contract terms were clear enough that the parties could understand what each was required to do;

Living Lies 2. The parties agreed to give each other something of value. [A promise to do something or not to do something may have value]; and
3. The parties agreed to the essential terms of the contract. When you examine whether the parties agreed to the essential terms of the contract, ask yourself if, under the circumstances, a reasonable person would conclude, from the words and conduct of each party, that there was an agreement. The making of a contract depends only on what the parties said or did. You may not consider the parties’ thoughts or unspoken intentions.
Note: If neither offer nor acceptance is contested, then element #3 should not be given. If (Claimant) did not prove all of the above, then a contract was not created.


Keeping it in the news.

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

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

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

The Rich Country Trap

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

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

Full post



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

Proposed Legislation Targets Foreclosures, Urban Blight

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Edstrom Cites Failure to Actually Close Escrow

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

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

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

83-year-old Alstead woman awaits court eviction ruling

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

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

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