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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Articles are added several times a day 




Veteran Wages a New Fight: For His Home

For a decade now, mortgage and foreclosure scammers have crawled like locusts over the black homeowner belt of southeast Queens. Their collective goal was to persuade unwary homeowners to unlock the equity wrapped inside their homes.

These con men stole deeds and took cash. In Queens and the other boroughs, district attorneys did little to stop them.

NY Times During the financial crisis, Bank of America devoured Countrywide. Both banks should wear a perpetual shroud of shame. Listen to Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, two years ago when he filed a lawsuit:

“Countrywide and Bank of America systematically removed every check in favor of its own balance. They cast aside underwriters, eliminated quality controls, incentivized unqualified personnel to cut corners.”

Mr. Theodore was one such corner.

Two Project New Life properties in foreclosure

A local nonprofit that was given federal funds to fix up and sell an inner-city house has allegedly defaulted on its mortgages and a lawsuit over the matter could cost it and a church their home.

Journal Times Plans were being made for a jury trial in the case as early as November, according to online court records.

Those plans and other movements in the case were put on hold Thursday, when, according to online court records, an order was entered by Racine County Circuit Court Judge Gerald Ptacek staying the matter until the foreclosure lawsuit is resolved.


How the Banks Literally “Made” Money Out of Nothing

Since the paperwork went into the equivalent of a food processor, the banks were able to change various data points on each loan, and create sales and disguised sales over and over again on the same loan, the same loan pool, the same mortgage bonds, the same tranche, or the same hedges. Now they even the the technology to deliver what appears to be an “original” note to as many people as they want. Indeed we have seen court cases where both foreclosing parties tendered the “original” note to the court as part of the foreclosure process, as is required in Florida.

Living Lies The reason the records custodian of the Bank or servicer doesn’t come into court or at least certify the “business records” as an exception to hearsay as permitted under Florida statutes and the laws of other states, is that no records custodian is going to risk perjury. The records custodian knows the documents were faked, never delivered, and not in the possession of the foreclosing party. So they get a professional witness who testifies he or she is “familiar with the record keeping” at one servicer, but upon voir dire and cross examination they know nothing in their personal knowledge and are therefore only giving voice to what is contained on the reports he brought to trial — classic hearsay to be excluded from evidence every time.



Profiteering on Banker Deaths: Regulator Says Public Has No Right to Details

A man with a long history of keeping big bank secrets safe from the public’s prying eyes has denied the appeal filed by Wall Street On Parade to obtain specifics about the worker deaths upon which JPMorgan Chase pockets the life insurance money each year.

The man who denied Wall Street On Parade’s appeal is Daniel P. Stipano, who told us by letter on June 20, 2014 that he had 450 pages of responsive material but it was not going to be released to us or the public. (See OCC Response to Appeal from Wall Street On Parade Re JPMorgan Banker Death Bets.)

Pam Martens

Wall Street on Parade

Stipano is the man who played an outsized hand in the scandalous structure of the “Independent Foreclosure Review,” where the major Wall Street banks who had illegally foreclosed on families were allowed to hire their favorite, deeply conflicted consultants to review the foreclosure files for wrongdoing, set the terms of the consulting contracts and pay out $2 billion to the consultants before homeowners had received a dime — and a year had been wasted on bogus reviews.

The end result of that hubris, as Senator Elizabeth Warren revealed last year, was that the actual banks engaged in the illegal foreclosure activities, not the so-called Independent Foreclosure Review consultants, were allowed by the OCC to tally up and classify their own wrongdoing.


They want to make assignments unnecessary!

Legalizing Mortgage Theft? ULC’s Paper to Electronic Home Foreclosure Procedures Act

“If the HFPA proposal becomes law, it will make the theft of real estate in America as easy as pushing a button,” Marie McDonnell of McDonnell Analytics, a forensic mortgage analyst and certified fraud examiner, said.

Marinka Peshman Does it look like some powerful group might be trying to replace the scandal ridden MERS et al with another electronic mortgage registry, perhaps with something called the Uniform Electronic Mortgage Transactions Registry—to wipe clean the problems and illegal foreclosures that occurred at MERS?

Assignment of Mortgage Unnecessary

But still there is more for homeowners to be concerned with. According to HFPA’s Section 402: Assignment of Mortgage Unnecessary (p. 31-32):

“A person entitled to foreclose a mortgage pursuant to Section 401 does not have to obtain or record an assignment of mortgage from the initial holder of the obligation.


Ocwen Mortgage sending claims forms to 26,000 Floridians

The settlement set aside for payments to Ocwen borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2012.

Palm Beach Post People who have questions can call 866-783-5382 for assistance in either English or Spanish. Claimants can file their claims electronically at the website below or submit claims to the address below:
National Ocwen Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 1917
Fairbault, MN 55021-7172


Trial Continuances in Foreclosure-World

I recently had a trial which, in my view, exposed everything that is wrong with foreclosure-world. It was a six year old foreclosure case, filed in 2008. Trial had been set twice by the Court and continued once at the Plaintiff’s request. Here we were, at trial the second time, and Plaintiff was verbally requesting another continuance. Plaintiff had no written motion, see Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.460, and, frankly, had no good reason whatsoever for a continuance.

Stopa Law You read the Transcript of the hearing and you tell me. Did the Plaintiff have a good reason for a continuance? I sure didn’t think so, and, if I’m being honest, I felt like I thoroughly destroyed the bank’s argument for a continuance. At trial, the bank argued that a Pooling and Servicing Agreement was off by one number, and that was the reason they needed a continuance. I was shocked, as the PSA had not been produced in discovery, identified as an exhibit, or in any way mentioned as part of Plaintiff’s case. For me, this was a totally irrelevant document, yet Plaintiff was using an irrelevant error as a pretense for a continuance to which it was not entitled. That document was not even relevant, and Plaintiff (as the party seeking the continuance) was not even explaining how it was relevant!


Elderly Shelby Township woman fights quick foreclosure

A judge ruled Friday that an 85-year-old woman can pay rent and stay in her condominium while a legal battle continues over her attempted ouster through the under-the-radar foreclosure process, while her attorney, Michael Balian, tries to reverse what he called unjust and “morally repugnant” maneuvers.


Daily Tribune Heidenfelder paid $60,000 for the unit 28 years ago. Its market value now is estimated at $100,000.

Confer this spring sought to start trying to evict her before Balian gained a termporary restraining order in May.

Kimble said he was encouraged by the judge’s statement from the bench that the court not only decides legal issues, but “is a court of equity.”

Meanwhile, Balain said the dispute is affecting his client, saying she is “frail.”

“This is all she thinks about,” he said. “It consumes her.”


Thomas family meets with leaders in Washington about foreclosure

They still don't have their home back, but the Thomas family is encouraged now that two government officials in Washington, D.C. are looking into the alleged fraudulent foreclosure of their Hendersonville home.

Christy Thomas said Meadows was most interested in Fannie Mae's involvement in the family's saga, especially after she detailed some of the conversations she'd had with Fannie Mae representatives.

Blue Ridge Now Christy Thomas had filed complaints of fraud with both Bank of America and Fannie Mae, since she learned that while Bank of America was the servicer of her mortgage, Fannie Mae was the holder of the loan.

Just before she left for Washington, she received a phone call from a Fannie Mae representative inquiring about her complaint with the company. When Christy Thomas indicated she was meeting with the elected officials, she recalled the representative telling her, “If you go this route, then you more than likely will not get your home back.”

“(Meadows) said he would get involved with that right away,” Christy Thomas said. “He doesn't want anyone to feel that they can't go to a government official.”


Homeowner Reacts To Shindler Ruling

Nearly four years after a flood destroyed homes in Shindler, a Sioux Falls Judge ruled that the state of South Dakota is fully responsible because they didn't install proper drainage, causing the flood.

  He says he's satisfied and relieved by the decision from the judge, but it doesn't bring back his home or his belongings.

“The circuit Court Judge presiding over this case, after hearing the facts, made the only possible decision that would be based on facts and laws, and I see no other decision that she could have made,” Long said.


Miami Gardens sues big banks for predatory lending 

Miami Gardens officials say that four banks targeted minority neighborhoods for high-risk loans, despite the danger of harm to the neighborhoods.

Miami Herald Miami Gardens is suing four major banks for predatory mortgage lending targeted at minorities, which the city believes led to a reduction in property taxes, additional spending on foreclosed homes and a decrease in property values due to the multiple foreclosures.

The city is asking that the court rule that the banks — JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Bank of America — violated the Fair Housing Act, award the city unspecified damages, and enter a permanent injunction against the banks and their employees to prevent the alleged violations and discriminatory behavior.

In Home Loans, Subprime Fades as a Dirty Word

Despite the notoriety that subprime loans gained as a prime cause of the financial crisis, they are re-emerging, supposedly under much more careful control, as one answer to the tight lending standards that have shut out millions of would-be homeowners.

NY Times She had gone through a foreclosure after losing her job, and he was finishing his M.B.A. and had not yet found his current position. But they had managed to put together a down payment of more than $550,000, or three-quarters of the asking price for a four-bedroom house in Los Gatos, and thought they would find a bank willing to lend the rest. They didn’t.

Did elderly Naples couple lose home over 10 cents?

On June 3, the Duplers paid the amount they thought they owed -- $6980.24, the amount stated on the final judgment.

But the check was 10 cents short.

JRN “That was my fault; I added it up wrong,” admitted Sally Dupler. 

On June 9th, The Duplers’ home was sold in a foreclosure sale. 

“Ten cents short and then when she goes to pay it, they're like, no, you owe $3,000 more than that, without any explanation of what the charges are,” said the Duplers’ attorney Todd Allen.

Feds Consider Lawsuits on Alleged Forced Insurance Kickbacks

Claims Journal The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is responsible for guarding Fannie and Freddie’s finances, told its inspector general’s office that it will consider filing the lawsuits and will make a formal decision over the next year.


Implications From Supreme Court Ruling May Erase Cordray Appointment

“Today, the Supreme Court emphatically rejected President Obama’s brazen efforts to circumvent the Constitution, bypass the people’s elected representatives, and govern above the law,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in a statement Thursday. “The Court has reaffirmed the Senate’s vital advice-and-consent role as a check on executive abuses.”

National Mortgage Professional “President Obama appointed Richard Cordray to head the CFPB at the same time and in the exact same manner as these unconstitutional NLRB appointees," said House Financial Services Committee Chairman and close friend of the banks, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX). "Clearly and unquestionably, President Obama exceeded his authority when he appointed Director Cordray, just as he exceeded his authority when he made these NLRB appointments. This unanimous judgment from the highest court in the land reaffirms and validates our committee’s decision not to hear testimony from Director Cordray on the CFPB’s semi-annual report until he was validly and legally serving in his position. By the time the Senate confirmed Mr. Cordray in July 2013, he had served as Director for 18 months without legal authority. This fact calls into question the legality of the official actions he took during this time period and may represent a legal risk for the CFPB.”


MBS Issue Lands Former Credit Suisse Manager Behind Bars

Judge Nathan also sentenced Higgs, a citizen of the United Kingdom, to no supervised release. HIGGS also was ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $900,000, a $50,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment.

National Mortgage Professional Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that David Higgs, a former managing director in the Investment Banking Division of Credit Suisse Group, was sentenced to time served in connection with a scheme to hide more than $100 million in losses in a mortgage-backed securities (MBS) trading book at Credit Suisse. On February 1, 2012, HIGGS pled guilty, pursuant to a cooperation agreement, to the offense of conspiracy to falsify the books and records of the bank.


Investors Who Bought Foreclosed Homes in Bulk Look to Sell

Each stolen property comes with an unmarketable title tainted with fraud and forgery.

DealBook A year ago, buying foreclosed homes to rent out was the sure-thing trade for investment firms backed by money from private equity companies, hedge funds and pension systems. But with the supply of cheap foreclosed homes dwindling, some early investors are looking to cash out a bit by flipping homes with tainted titles to competitors.


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

The government isn't allowed to wiretap American citizens without a warrant from a judge.

ProPublica But there are plenty of legal ways for law enforcement, from the local sheriff to the FBI to the Internal Revenue Service, to snoop on the digital trails you create every day. Authorities can often obtain your emails and texts by going to Google or AT&T with a court order that doesn't require showing probable cause of a crime. These powers are entirely separate from the National Security Agency's collection of Americans' phone records en masse, which the House of Representatives voted to end last month.


Here Are the 43,634 Properties in Detroit That Were on the Brink of Foreclosure This Year

NYT This mosaic, created with images from Google Maps Street View, shows one of the many enormous challenges facing Detroit as it tries to climb out of debt. As of January, the owners of these properties collectively owed the county more than $328 million in unpaid taxes and fees. Since then, some have paid their debts, entered in payment plans or qualified for assistance. But 26,038 properties, shown with a yellow triangle, remain in jeopardy, and many are headed for public auction.





“The Court is concerned, as a result, that OneWest does not hold the Endorsed Note. But, perhaps more significantly, the Court is concerned that OneWest has determined that business expediency and cost containment are more important than complete candor with the courts."

THJF This article discusses 42 cases with suddenly appearing (often called “ta-da”) endorsements. In each case, a bank-trustee tried to foreclose on behalf of a mortgage-backed trust. Most of these cases began with the filing of an unendorsed note that was described in the bank’s pleadings as a true and correct copy of the original note. Several of the Florida cases began with a Lost Note claim, alleging that the bank at one point had the note in its custody and control, but somehow lost the note. Later in the litigation, these lost notes were invariably and inexplicably found.
In a few cases, the judges expressed their disbelief and frustration with the documents presented by the banks and the claims made. These cases are the exception, however, not the norm. Very few cases address the issue of whether the endorsements or found notes were illegally fabricated or forged.


Relevance: The Bank has no right to be in court without the securitization documents and records

Courts and lawyers are continually ignoring the obvious.

By zeroing in on the NOTE, they are ignoring the documents that allow the person in possession of the note to be in court. That results in elimination of critical elements of a prima facie case in which the Defendant borrower lacks the superior knowledge and resources of the Plaintiff and its co-venturers that would show the truth about his loan ownership and balance.

Living Lies Without the Assignment and Assumption Agreement, the Prospectus and the Pooling And Servicing Agreement, the trust does not exist, the servicer has no powers, the trustee has no powers, and there is no right of representation or agency between any of those parties as it relates to either the lender investors or the homeowner borrowers. 

Virtually all loans initiated, originated or acquired between 1990 to the present are subject to claims of securitization, which is the first reason why the securitization documents are relevant and must be introduced as evidence along with proof of compliance with those documents because they are almost all governed by New York State law governing common law trusts. Any act not permitted by the trust instrument (Pooling and Servicing Agreement) is void, which means for purposes of the case narrative, the act or event never occurred.


Two Maine Courts are done with banks too. Dismissed w/prejudice.

Borrowers Have “Been Through Hell”

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued an opinion that makes you question the sanity of the servicing industry and the efficacy of the rule of law.


Case also involves Chase and SPS

Professor Reiss The Sawyer's received a loan modification, which was later raised to a level above the predelinquency level; the servicers (which changed from time to time) then demanded various documents which were provided numerous times over the course of four court-ordered mediations; the servicers made numerous promises about modifications that they did not keep; the dysfunction goes on and on.

If banks and mortgage servicers intend to do business in Maine and use our courts to foreclose on delinquent borrowers, they must respect and follow our rules and procedures, including M.R. Civ. P. 93(j). Failure to do so may, as here, expose a litigant to significant sanctions, including the prospect of dismissal with prejudice.

Whistleblower Michael Winston (Countrywide/BOA) jury decision to be honored. 

The case and decision has been illegally thrown out by appellate judge.

Change.org The Court is leaning on me. Interestingly, no such efforts were made by the Court to collect my substantial financial award or court costs from BAC/CFC during the 26 months after my successful verdicts and judgments and before appellate reversal deemed to be unconstitutional and unlawful by a growing number of prominent attorneys. The damages were NEVER given to me. Not a penny! It is almost like they had planned to reverse judgment and verdict from the outset.

I am in possession of original evidence and court record. If an unbiased panel reviewed the actual evidence, they would affirm original verdicts and judgments against BAC/CFC. I believe I actually possess enough evidence for an unbiased Court to pursue criminal charges. These courts should have. I would like to call for just this action.

Rakoff revisited: how he changed SEC settlement policies

IFLR The US district court judge lost his battle against the SEC’s settlement policy, but he may have won the war. Here, a former SEC commissioner explains why.

Fla. veteran faces foreclosure for fighting homeowners’ assoc. ban on U.S. flag

Washington Times A 73-year-old military veteran living in Jacksonville, Fla., has been fined $8,000 by his homeowners association because he won’t remove a small American flag from his front-yard flower pot.


Is eminent domain coming to New York City?

Council members push to aid city’s underwater borrowers

Housing Wire In a study released Wednesday by the four council members, the New York Communities for Change and the Mutual Housing Association of New York, they report that there are more than 60,000 homeowners “in crisis” in the city. Those 60,000 underwater mortgages make up nearly 12% of the total mortgages in NYC.

New York AG slaps Barclays with securities fraud suit

Reuters The lawsuit alleges that in order to increase business in its dark pool, Barclays has favored high-frequency traders and has actively sought to attract them by giving them systematic advantages over other investors trading in the pool.

"Barclays grew its dark pool by telling investors they were diving into safe waters," said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. "According to the lawsuit, Barclays' dark pool was full of predators - there at Barclays' invitation." 

Former Ocwen mortgage borrowers to begin receiving claim forms

Augusta Free Press Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that claim forms are going out this week to approximately 3,770 Virginia borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2012 and who may be eligible for payment under the $2.1 billion Ocwen national mortgage foreclosure settlement.
Eligible borrowers include those who had mortgages serviced by Ocwen Financial Corporation, and two companies previously purchased by Ocwen, Litton Loan Servicing LP, and Homeward Residential Holdings LLC.



Wells Fargo Smacked Down Over Bad Faith Arguments in Foreclosure Case

Consider what Wells Fargo did here. It made a simply ridiculous argument before the judge, and then tried another (that the bank didn’t have to obey South Carolina consumer protection laws) when the judge made his skepticism clear. This may simply be reflex on behalf of the bank’s attorneys, that if they keep throwing enough motions at borrowers, some won’t have the acumen to beat them back, and others will be overwhelmed by the cost of fighting a war of attrition. The judge appears to understand full well what is going on and isn’t cutting Wells any slack.

naked capitalism

Case from

April Charney

I mentioned this case to a colleague who has been contesting mortgage and foreclosure abuses since 2010. He said he thought it was a sign of a continuing shift in attitude among judges. Even though there is still a large cohort of judges who will rubber stamp bank foreclosures, there is another contingent that thought the mortgage settlements would end or at least reduce bank bad conduct and sloppy paper trails. The fact that all the pre-settlement foreclosure abuses are continuing just as before is leading some judges to take a much less forgiving stance with banks. But while an important step in the right direction, it must seem like cold comfort to wronged borrowers who have to fight tooth and nail for justice.

Harlin v. Wells Fargo

It has taken years, but some judges are starting to realize that "billions in fines - for trillions in crimes" will never break the habits of the crime-addict. What is needed are real criminal prosecutors. Our thanks to S. Carolina Federal Judge Joseph Anderson.




Wivell v. Wells Fargo

Even if we were to ignore the Wivells’ failure to comply with Rule 9(b), their
reliance on Wells Fargo’s alleged oral representations was unreasonable in light of the deed of trust’s no-oral modifications clause. 

“[A] plaintiff seeking damages in a wrongful foreclosure action must plead and prove that when the foreclosure proceeding was begun, there was no default on its part that would give rise to a right to foreclose.”

Missouri Court of Appeals
For the Eighth Circuit

A Wells Fargo representative explained that a loan moratorium, distinct from a loan modification, was possible in the event of a default. The Wivells called back in March 2009 regarding the moratorium program and were informed that they must be ninety days past due to obtain a moratorium. A Wells Fargo
representative instructed them to stop making payments
, and the Wivells followed this advice. After missing payments, the Wivells called Wells Fargo again. A representative now explained that a moratorium program did not exist and suggested that the Wivells should seek a loan modification instead.  

They asked whether this latest modification request “would stop all foreclosure processes and were informed by Wells Fargo that it would.” 

But Wells Fargo FORECLOSED!

Backing Banks Over Borrowers, California Judges Often Big Stakeholders in Same Banks

Why do the banks keep winning in court against borrowers alleging wrongful foreclosure, fraud and other abuses? Many borrowers and their lawyers say there's a judicial bias favoring the banks over homeowners, and that this bias is revealed by the economic position of the judges themselves. Most California judges are wealthy, and many of them hold significant investments in financial corporations and bonds, oftentimes even in the very same banks and mortgage lenders that have been sued by thousands of Californians over alleged fraud, deception and wrongful foreclosure.

Plaintiffs' attorneys see a broad pattern in California in which the judiciary has routinely sided with the banks, even when the law could be interpreted to prevent or reverse a foreclosure.

TruthOut Sue your bank in California over a wrongful foreclosure, and the best you're likely to get - if you have ironclad evidence that it broke the law - is a loan modification. That is, a "win" for the borrower usually means the bank keeps another customer and collects interest payments that are thousands of basis points above the level at which the bank is able to borrow from the Fed. 

Very often, however, homeowner lawsuits against the banks end in dismissal. In the parlance of the courts, the defendant's demurrer is sustained. Judges in California's superior courts often rule in favor of the banks, and the few lawsuits that filter up to the appeals courts and Supreme Court don't fare any better.

"They don't want to be the judge that allows 40 million mortgages to go back to the borrowers," said Patricia Rodriguez, a lawyer who has filed homeowner lawsuits against banks and mortgage servicers in multiple California superior courts. "They don't want to possibly set a precedent." A single ruling against Bank of America that reverses a foreclosure sale because the bank didn't follow the letter of the law, for example, could spill over into thousands of other cases and potentially impact the profitability of the entire banking and loan servicing industry in Calfiornia, said Rodriguez.

California Appellate Court Judges’ Ownership of Stocks and Bonds of Financial Companies




How do judges reach conclusions in complex cases where the law is often open to interpretation, or where the laws are still changing in response to the times? Are judges influenced by cultural currents? Do politics sway their decisions? What role does their material interest play in shaping their rulings and legal reasoning?


Obama’s Latest Betrayal in Favor of the Big Banks: TISA

TISA is designed to replicate, indeed, optimize the criminogenic environment that made fraudulent financial CEOs wealthy by “looting” “their” banks.

Professor  Bill Black Astonishingly, the mainstream media has taken no notice of this release. Black’s discussion is accessible to lay readers, and I hope you’ll circulate it in the interest of raising awareness of how the Administration intends to sell out the US to banks, Big Pharma, and other multinationals.

The three “de’s” – deregulation, desupervision, and de facto decriminalization – has been critical to the three modern U.S. financial crises. The combination is intensely criminogenic and produces the fraud epidemics that drive our crises.


Bank of America's Affidavit Templates Fail

Bank of America v. Loya

Bank of America uses a template for affidavits submitted in illegal foreclosure proceedings by various law firms around the country.


In this case, the court describes why both affidavits failed, writing: 

"A question remains, however, as to whether either Ms. Bradley or Ms. Littlejohn had the knowledge necessary to make the foregoing statements. 
We must conclude that Bank of America failed to establish that it was the holder of his note at the time that it filed suit against him. As such, Bank of America was not entitled to summary judgment."


FHFA Should Sue Banks Over Force-Placed Insurance, Watchdog Says

The prospect of yet more lawsuits and settlements is weighing heavily on banks this summer.

Kate Berry Fannie and Freddie suffered $158 million in "financial harm" in 2012 alone from reimbursing servicers for "excessively priced" force-placed insurance, according to a report set for release Wednesday by FHFA's inspector general. 

The 24-page report by the inspector general recommends that the FHFA assess whether to sue insurers and banks to recover damages.


Treasury Secretary testifies on GSEs, nonbank MSRs and TBTF

Hensarling: Americans are fearful of their government

It was a raucous and heated session at the House Financial Services Committee Tuesday morning as Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew made his annual report on the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

Housing Wire “The American people, regrettably but understandably, are becoming increasingly cynical and fearful of their government. There is a growing resentment of one set of rules for Washington and another set of rules for everyone else,” Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said. “Mr. Secretary, I trust you agree the American people deserve better. It is past time for openness and transparency from this Administration about what you told this committee 13 months ago is your ‘highest priority.’”


Neil Barofsky, Old Foe of Bank Bailouts, a Monitor for Credit Suisse

DealBook New York state’s financial regulator is close to picking Mr. Barofsky as the corporate monitor for Credit Suisse, after the bank’s guilty plea to helping American clients evade taxes. Credit Suisse, the first bank of its size and significance to strike a plea deal with federal prosecutors in more than two decades, agreed to hire a monitor as part of a related settlement with the New York regulator, the Department of Financial Services.

Family battles foreclosure, takes fight to Washington

In May 2005, Countrywide tried foreclosing on the house, saying the Thomases had missed a payment, when in fact the payment had been made, the couple said.

“We had to get a letter from the bank president to show payment. We had to send it three different times.” 

BlueRidge Now For the past decade, Christy Thomas has kept meticulous records of phone calls made, voicemails left, letters and emails sent, mortgage payments and taxes filed — all regarding her family's efforts to pay a mortgage that seems to have been mishandled somewhere between Bank of America's purchase of Countrywide Home Loans, and the family's eviction from their home of 17 years.


Wells Fargo settles lawsuit with ex-employee

Florida Today Dyer's lawsuit, filed last June, charged that Wells Fargo, her employer for 18 years, shorted mortgage brokers like her on commissions when they wrote loans for government-sponsored refinancing programs. The settlement, she said, was "the best way to right a wrong."

The Coverup Is Usually Worse Than the Crime

Forbes The real problem here is that the IRS can’t make this story go away, and that starts smelling like a coverup. I know tax professionals who are now starting to think the worst and who are having trouble getting behind the IRS. And I am one of them.


Suit says banks owe as much as $500 million for false FHA claims

Banks and mortgage servicers that made phony Federal Housing Administration insurance claims to the feds could owe as much as $500 million in penalties and damages — for New York State alone.

“Essentially HUD is paying for documents to defraud itself, is our claim,” Szymoniak told The Post.

(How soon will they be in prison?)

New York Post That’s the bombshell allegation by Lynn Szymoniak — the forensic document expert who blew the lid off the robosigning scandal in 2010 — and her legal team in a federal lawsuit alleging violations of the False Claims Act.
The defendants are Deutsche Bank, Bank of NY Mellon, US Bank and HSBC, plus American Home Mortgage Servicing, Saxon, Lender Processing Services and DocX

Szymoniak’s attorney Reuben Guttman of Grant & Eisenhofer. “Here banks en masse used phony documents to procure insurance money from the federal government, and should be penalized heavily.”


Here's an idea to keep homeowners above water

But while the net worth was collapsing for lower middle-class homeowners, the mortgage holder could have been just fine. The $200,000 house had declined in value to $160,000, the amount of the mortgage. The homeowner is wiped out, but the mortgage holder had yet to take a nickel in losses.

Given that the economic crisis began with middle-class families with a mortgage problem, if anyone got a break it should have been them.

Star Tribune So if the American homeowner was under that much pressure, and if that led directly to a national economic slowdown, then doesn’t it make sense that the homeowner should have gotten some assistance?

Yes, they wrote, but it didn’t really work out that way.

One purpose of the financial system is to spread risk, they wrote. The current mortgage market concentrates all the risk on the homeowner.

Mian and Sufi called their idea the shared-responsibility mortgage. In effect, it makes the lender and homeowner partners.


Finally! Big Investors Declare War on Big Banks

At long last, big investors are invoking their right to not be ripped off

David Dayen For years, close observers of the financial crisis wondered why mortgage bond investors never stood up for themselves and demanded sufficient restitution from the banks who swindled them. Investors purchased trillions in mortgage-backed securities that the sellers knew were fraudulent, yet they never made a full-throttle effort to get their money back.


What will Ocwen do with its big pile of cash?

Ocwen to potentially venture outside of mortgage servicing

Housing Wire Ocwen has often mentioned it would consider expanding its business outside of distressed mortgage servicing and into businesses where it believes it can sustain a ‘sustainable competitive advantage.’”

“We believe the company is close to announcing it will be expanding into another area beyond mortgage servicing, such as title insurance or other consumer servicing. 

HUD Decision Abandons Relief for Non-Borrowing Surviving Spouses

On June 4, HUD came up with a decision that says HUD has “no legal authority” to save 80-year-old Mrs. Joseph and 76-year-old Mr. Bennett from foreclosure and displacement.

National Mortgage Professional A recent ruling by HUD basically washes the Department's hands of the issue surrounding the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program, and two seniors who had their dead spouses' reverse mortgage erroneously insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). After the deaths of their spouses, Robert Bennett of Maryland and Leila Joseph of New York found themselves facing foreclosures and displacement from their homes because they were non-borrowing spouses. They sued HUD in Federal District Court in the District of Columbia for failing to protect them as required by HECM law. They won and the Court asked HUD to come up with relief for them.
Full Article


FHFA Reaches $99.5 Million Settlement With RBS Securities Over MBS

This is the 15th settlem​​ent related to the 18 PLS lawsuits FHFA filed in 2011. FHFA remains committed to satisfactory resolution of the remaining actions.

National Mortgage Professional The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as conservator of Freddie Mac, announced a settlement for $99.5 million with RBS Securities Inc. (RBS). The settlement resolves claims against RBS in FHFA v. Ally Financial Inc. in the Southern District of New York, alleging violations of federal and state securities laws in connection with private-label mortgage-backed securities purchased by Freddie Mac during 2005-2007. A separate lawsuit involving RBS is not affected by this settlement, FHFA v. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.​


The evidence is unrebutted that the plaintiff is not owed any money

Weidner Law The Court finds that the plaintiff has failed to meet their burden to establish
they’re entitled to foreclosure and, accordingly, final judgment is entered in favor of the defendant.

Foreclosure Prevented: Chattanooga Mom Charting New Path For Her Family

We told Mrs. Moore about a program called Keep My Tennessee Home, which uses federal dollars to help people who are behind in their mortgages.

News 9 Tonight, we can tell you how we helped this mom with a special needs child, to stay, where the child is most comfortable.

"That my house wasn't taken, it's a miracle," says Mrs. Moore. "From December through the first part of May, I was told there was absolutely nothing that anybody could do for me.. they told me I needed to sell my house."


Judge lets DoJ proceed with fraud case against Bank of America

Reuters The Department of Justice's lawsuit accuses Bank of America of civil fraud in the sale of mortgage securities that soured during the global financial crisis.

"The court need not reach far outside the complaint or be an expert in economics to take notice that it was the trading of toxic RMBS between financial institutions that nearly brought down the banking system in 2008," Cogburn wrote in an order.

Exclusive: BofA asks Holder to meet with its CEO

Reuters Representatives of Bank of America Corp have asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to meet with Moynihan, its chief executive officer, in an attempt to resolve differences over a possible multibillion-dollar settlement involving shoddy mortgage securities sold by the second-largest U.S. bank and its units


Another Appeals Court Approves 2nd Mortgage Stripping in Chapter 20 Cases

This case presents a single issue — whether a debtor can “strip off” a wholly unsecured junior mortgage in a Chapter 20 case.

Bankruptcy Law Network The U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, ruled that in a chapter 13 case filed within four years of a previous chapter 7 case (a so-called “chapter 20″), the chapter 13 plan could strip a completely unsecured junior mortgage. Wells Fargo Bank v. Scantling, No. 13-10558 (11th Cir. June 18, 2014). In such chapter 13 plans, the junior mortgage is eliminated and never has to be paid back.



Foreclosure Defense Nationwide The court apparently saw through the unethical and prejudicial actions of BB&T’s counsel and granted the homeowner’s Rule 60 Motion, vacating the infirm Order.

BB&T’s conduct in these two cases is reprehensible and beyond atrocious: lying to homeowners in Tennessee so BB&T could try to steal valuable resort property, and trying to take advantage of a BB&T-manufactured misleading court filing situation in Delaware. The moral: Beware BB&T!

Sua Sponte Remand


District Court 

District of Columbia

Plaintiff also alleges that the defendants have twice attempted to foreclose on her property. First, she claims that in February 2013 the defendants “provided multiple false certifications . . . and claims to the D.C. Banking and Insurance Department and removed Plaintiff’s name from her Deed.”


Homestead exemption case


United States Court 
First Circuit Court of Appeals
Because Traverse's bank failed to record the mortgage with the appropriate registry, the bankruptcy trustee contends that his power to avoid and preserve the mortgage justifies him in selling Traverse's home as property of the bankruptcy estate. The bankruptcy judge and Bankruptcy Appellate Panel accepted the trustee's view. We reverse.

More suits over worthless garbage

BlackRock, Pimco sue over billions in mortgage securities losses

Reuters Institutional investors including BlackRock Inc and Allianz SE's Pimco on Wednesday sued six of the largest bond trustees, accusing them of failing to properly oversee more than $2 trillion in mortgage-backed securities issued in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

The lawsuits, filed in New York state court, claim the trustees breached their duties to investors by failing to force lenders and sponsors of the securities to repurchase defective loans, the suits claim.


Unendorsed Notes Used by Bank of New York in Foreclosures

There is a very clear picture of what was supposed to happen whenever a trust wanted to foreclose on a loan in the trust: the servicer was to file a form, and the trustee was to deliver the endorsed note to the servicer to use in the foreclosure. This is what actually happened: in nearly 80% of the cases, Bank of New York used unendorsed notes, and an unsupported allegation that it had the right to foreclose for mortgage-backed trusts.

A study by The Housing Justice Foundation To Determine How Often the Bank filed an ENDORSED NOTE (endorsed either 
in blank or to a trust or trustee) In Support of Its Motion. 

In 79% of the Cases, the Bank of New York Filed an Unendorsed Note. 




Maybe You Shouldn’t Pay Off Your Mortgage Before Retirement

Fox “The biggest thing from an analytical perspective is taking a look at what the mortgage is costing you after taxes,” says Jay Messing, senior director of planning at Wells Fargo Private Bank. “If you are able to earn a higher after-tax return on your investments than the mortgage is costing after taxes, then economically, you should keep the mortgage.”

Unconscionability defense 


The unconscionability defense has been the subject of three relevant California Supreme Court cases. Each of these cases upholds unconscionability as a viable defense to an arbitration provision. 

Frank Sabia and eight other persons filed a class action complaint against 
mortgage foreclosure consultant The Home Defender Center and several other persons and entities allegedly affiliated with Home Defender for fraud, breach of contract, and other statutory and common law claims, alleging that they were duped into signing their agreements and lost the money they paid for services that were never rendered.


What Does a Winning Foreclosure Appeal Look Like?

One homeowner’s fact pattern, however, grabbed my attention. This homeowner proved at trial that the original promissory note was sitting in a court file in a totally different lawsuit – filed by a totally different plaintiff – at the time suit was filed against her. As a result, it seemed clear to me the bank lacked standing at the inception of the case, so I took the appeal and filed this Initial Brief

Stopa Law The bank responded with an Answer Brief that surprised me (though after so many years of doing this, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised). The bank didn’t even try to counter my argument that it was not the “holder” when it filed suit, but how could it? The note was in a different court file with a different plaintiff. Rather, the bank argued it had standing via an Assignment of Mortgage. As I explained in this Reply Brief, however, that assignment could not convey standing because the assignor had already assigned the Note and Mortgage to a totally different entity two years prior, and the assignment only transferred the Mortgage, not the Note.


How America became uncompetitive and unequal

Since the early 1980s, executives and financiers have consolidated control over dozens of industries across the U.S. economy. From cable companies and hospitals to airlines, grocery stores and meatpackers, where once many small and mid-size businesses competed, today we see a few giants dominate. They use their power to raise prices, drive down wages and foreclose opportunity. Wealth is transferred from consumers, workers and entrepreneurs to affluent executives and shareholders.

Washington Post Take the $2.5 trillion health-care industry, where rising costs are fueled in good part by consolidation. A frenzy of mergers starting in the 1990s has meant that most Americans today live in areas where there is little competition among hospitals. 

Studies show that after merging, hospitals routinely raise prices. As detailed in Time last year, many hospitals now mark up services from a routine blood test to chemotherapy by as much as several hundred percent. In health care alone, market power redistributes hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth upward annually.

HUD OIG Touts Investigative, Auditing Successes

Mortgage Daily The Department of Housing and Urban Developments Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG) has submitted its semi-annual report of its activities to Congress. The mandated report covers the period October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.

Inspector General David A Montoya said his agency conducted 44 audits over the six month period. These audits resulted in $34 million in collections and more than $1.1 billion in funds "put to better use." It also questioned costs of more than $125 million.


Why Is the PSA Relevant?

Many judges in foreclosure actions continue to rule that the securitization documents are irrelevant. This would be a correct ruling in the event that there were no securitization documents. Otherwise, the securitization documents are relevant!

Living Lies It is argued by the banks and accepted by many judges that mere possession of the Note is sufficient to enforce it and in the amount demanded by the servicer. This is wrong. 

The amount demanded by the servicer does not take into account the actual payments received by the actual creditor. Accordingly the computation of interest and principal is incorrect. This can only be shown by reference to the securitization documents, including the assignment and assumption agreement, the pooling and servicing agreement, the prospectus and supplements to the PSA and Prospectus.

Big banks must clean up their mess

Hannah Senft, Candy Savannah and Ron Taylor have been neighbors for more than 20 years in Georgetown South, a community of 800 townhomes in Manassas, Virginia. It’s a diverse, working-class suburban neighborhood about 30 miles from the White House.

And it’s being decimated.

The Hill Federal homeowner relief programs have done far too little, far too late. And government settlements with financial institutions over their illegal lending practices and mortgage foreclosure abuses have not solved the problem for homeowners.

Community advocates, along with some members of Congress, are demanding that banks and mortgage investors significantly expand principal reduction (on worthless loans with no owner) to keep more families in their homes and stabilize housing markets.


Oh no, not again!

You could be looking at another loan modification

If you are one of the millions of once-desperate homeowners who have had their loans reworked by a mortgage company to avoid foreclosure, it’s time to start facing the possibility of having to do it all over again - by the same people who couldn't do it before and had no legal authority to do it because the loans are <VOID>.

Charlotte Observer “Permanent” interest rate reductions under the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) were anything but permanent. Whether participants realize it or not, rate reductions last for only five years. 

HAMP works like this: Lenders are required to take sequential steps – called a “waterfall”??? – to cut borrowers’ monthly payments to 31 percent of their gross monthly incomes. After five years, the rate resets upward by up to 1 percent a year until it reaches its cap, which is the market rate that was in effect when the worthless loan was modified, while wages and employment tanked.  


SunTrust to Pay Nearly $1B Over Foreclosures, Mortgage Practices

Several federal agencies and 49 state attorneys general struck a $968 million settlement Tuesday with SunTrust Mortgage over charges that it violated laws governing foreclosures as well as mortgage origination and servicing.

The settlement resolves civil claims arising after multiple investigations revealed that SunTrust allegedly robo-signed mortgage documents and illegally foreclosed on consumers.

Mortgage Servicing News The DOJ, who couldn't put handcuffs on a chain-link fence get $418 million? The government, who shoveled trillions of dollars away from the 99% and gave it to its criminal friends who created a global crisis get $10 million for its fraud and conspiracy against the American public? The VICTIM who made all this possible; who had it proven that their house was taken ILLEGALLY (grand theft, forgery, fraud, armed robbery, wire/mail fraud, etc.), and their life ruined by this overwhelming amount of criminal activity get $833.00. The number of prosecutions for these confessed crimes? ZERO!


Citigroup’s Dark Pools: Here’s Why the Public Doesn’t Trust Wall Street

A recent record search by Wall Street On Parade suggests that Citigroup may be operating one of Wall Street’s largest collections of dark pools, trading stocks 24/7 around the globe in de facto unregulated stock exchanges which it operates under a dizzying array of different names.

Citigroup routed 92.23 percent of its customers’ orders in New York Stock Exchange Euronext traded stocks – to itself.

Pam Martens

Wall Street on Parade

In 2008, the sprawling global bank, Citigroup, created under the controversial repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, blew itself up with toxic debt hidden in the dark in the Cayman Islands in an exotic framework called Structured Investment Vehicles or SIVs. The unwilling taxpayer was forced into servitude to bail out this hubris that had occurred at the hands of captured regulators, infusing $45 billion in equity, over $300 billion in asset guarantees, and $2.5 trillion in below-market loans.

At the time of its implosion, Citigroup had over 2,000 subsidiaries, affiliates or joint ventures, many of which operated in the dark in foreign locales.


S.E.C. Investigating Carrington’s Mortgage Deal With New Century

DealBook On the eve of the financial crisis, the hedge fund manager Bruce M. Rose did a surprising deal that took his firm into the business of collecting mortgage payments from people with tainted credit.

Now, seven years later, securities regulators are scrutinizing the deal, looking in particular at how part of it was financed.


Fourth case reopened after Center uncovers judicial conflict of interest

New panel of judges reaches same conclusion in Maryland foreclosure case

Center for Public Integrity Mountaga and Michelle Johnson Bah, the couple fighting to keep their Bowie, Maryland, home, didn’t get the decision they wanted when a new panel of judges reopened the case. On June 10, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals once again dismissed the couple’s claims accusing Wells Fargo of predatory lending.

Bowie couple loses latest appeal on foreclosure ruling

Public Center for Integrity found judge in first ruling owned stock in bank.

Capital Gazette The Washington-based center identified Keenan's conflict during a months-long “juris imprudence” investigation, which found 26 examples since 2010 where federal appellate judges ruled on cases in which they had a financial conflict. By law, judges cannot own stock in companies that come before them.

Case abandoned

Citimortgage's motion for a judgment of foreclosure and sale is denied.


Plaintiff, which acknowledged that all defaulting defendants were given notice pursuant to CPLR §3215(g)(1) as more than one year had elapsed since the default, failed to offer any explanation for its failure to promptly move for judgment of foreclosure and sale upon receipt of the referee's report or within a reasonable time thereafter.

Supreme Court, Suffolk County, NY It is well established that in order to meet its burden of proof on a motion, a party may not rely on proof submitted for the first time in a reply affidavit. Even if the Court were to consider the untimely arguments of plaintiff's counsel set forth in the reply and affirmation in opposition dated December 7, 2011, they fail to establish good cause for plaintiff's belated motion. Notably, the Court's records do not reflect that a foreclosure settlement conference was ever held or requested in this matter prior to submission of the instant motion; accordingly, the enactment of CPLR §3408 did not delay or impede proceedings in this matter, as implied by counsel's affirmation.

In light of the foregoing, the Court grants defendant's cross-motion to dismiss the complaint as abandoned in accordance with CPLR §3215(c). Plaintiff's motion for a judgment of foreclosure and sale is denied.


Merrill Lynch Must Face $1 Billion Mortgage Suit, Court Says

Merrill in 2006 bought more than 6,000 mortgages with an original principal balance of more than $1.1 billion from a third-party loan originator, ResMAE Mortgage Corp., and turned them into tradeable securities that were sold to investors, according to the complaint.

Bloomberg An appellate court in Manhattan today unanimously upheld a September 2013 ruling by Justice Melvin Schweitzer denying a motion to dismiss the suit, saying only that it reached the decision for different reasons as “extrinsic evidence” had to be used to determine the meaning of an “ambiguous” contract provision. Schweitzer said Merrill had guaranteed the obligations of ResMAE under a transfer agreement.

ResMAE filed for bankruptcy in February 2007 and the trusts subsequently pursued claims against it through LaSalle Bank, demanding that it buy back loans on which borrowers had missed their first or second payments or provide other compensation, according to the complaint.


Repeated Foreclosures on an On-Time Borrower Demonstrate Failure to Fix Servicing and Fallacy of “Save Banks at All Costs” Policy

The media keeps finding reminders that servicing is broken. Even after California passed a Homeowner Bill of Rights that barred dual tracking (continuing with a foreclosure while negotiating a modification with a borrower), the California monitor, Katie Porter, found that the practice continued.

Repeated, erroneous foreclosure efforts against a single borrower illustrate how nothing has been remedied. This sorry example is so chock-full of mistakes and missing records that our summary gives an incomplete picture of the magnitude of errors and how many times the official story changed.

naked capitalism The homeowner received letter from Wachovia Bank in late 2008 saying he was in arrears by over $4900 and the bank intended to foreclose. Nine days later, the bank sent a past due notice demanding $2300. This was troubling since Bentrim had made his payments in full, on time. When he got his payment history, through RESPA, he found both payments that had not been applied and incorrect application to principal and interest.

Wachovia initiated a foreclosure in 2009. The case was eventually dismissed in 2010, since Wells Fargo, which acquired Wachovia, failed to produce an expert witness to substantiate that the bank’s principal and interest calculations were accurate.

Nevertheless, Wachovia and then Wells Fargo continued to charge interest on the loan at a penalty rate of 27.34%, resulting in over $25,000 of additional charges.

Less than a week after having its foreclosure case dismissed, Wells sent a letter urging Bentrim “act now to save your home” by taking loan modification (presumably to pick up the extra interest), and sent another letter urging him to take a modification six weeks later. Around this time, Wells Fargo also force placed a $250,000 insurance policy on Bentrim’s house.*


Why Are Trusts Alleging Holder Status and Not Holder in Due Course?


This corroborates the allegation that the Trust was unfunded, and therefore the Trust could not have originated or acquired the loan.

How can a state judge in Florida or any other state order or enter judgment that forces a bad loan on investors who specifically called for a cutoff of any new loans in the pool years before the foreclosure? If the loan was already declared in default, how can the trust beneficiaries be forced to accept a bad loan?

Living Lies The fact that they are not alleging that they are the holder in due course raises some interesting questions. First, it is an admission that they did not pay for the loan for value in good faith and without notice of borrower’s defenses.
This in turn leads us to the PSA where you can see for yourself that only good loans properly underwritten can be included in the trust based upon the procedures for transfer and payment that are set forth or implied in the trust instrument (the PSA). Remember that the ONLY reason the party is appearing in court as the foreclosing entity is by virtue of the Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA). Their ONLY authority, as a “holder with rights to enforce” derives from the trust instrument (PSA). So any argument that the PSA is irrelevant is nonsense — it should be an exhibit in court or else the foreclosure should be dismissed.

Bank Of America Unprepared To Pay Billions, Outlook Dark For Shareholders

This will penalize the bank for shady mortgages before the financial crisis. (Hardly)

Seeking Alpha It's estimated that around $5 billion will likely be spent on helping consumers who suffered from these toxic mortgages. This plan includes aiding homeowners to decrease their principal, cutting down on the level of monthly payments, and providing necessary assistance in other problematic aspects of the loan agreement. (What about the corrupted titles and VOID judgments?)


Ocwen to Pay $3.7 Million to Settle Massachusetts Claims

Ocwen agreed to pay $3.7 million to end a Massachusetts lawsuit claiming it didn’t give homeowners required notices and illegally foreclosed on properties.


Bloomberg Litton Home Servicing LP, a company acquired by Ocwen, also violated state laws by starting home-foreclosure proceedings without holding the underlying mortgages.

“Massachusetts homeowners faced unnecessary challenges due to these companies’ failure to provide proper notices and by initiating illegal foreclosures,” Coakley said. “This agreement provides for direct relief for affected borrowers and requires that Ocwen undertake efforts to repair problem titles in the Commonwealth.”


Bailout Economics: Predators Still Fattening on Prey

Almost six years after the financial crisis, JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Bank of America face potential fines of around $12 billion each for their role in mortgage malfeasance. In the context of the damage done and the bailout money poured into banks; the fines are miniscule and won't even cover reparations in one or two blighted areas.

With men of Geithner's ilk having their back and the potential of huge financial rewards, many rational men of weak character assessed the risks and rewards of fraud and chose to enrich themselves, since the chances of being held accountable were slim. It turns out they were correct.

Janet Tavakoli Mortgage modification programs, including HAMP, were abysmal failures. At the time mortgage servicers were selling loans for 3-6 cents on the dollar and they were happy to dump them: 

If loans couldn't be sold to a sucker, banks and their servicers walked away. Mortgage securitization complicated matters, and often homes are left vacant and not foreclosed upon. Looters strip vacant properties of pipes, fixtures, and anything of salvage value. The loans within the securitizations are worthless.

Why do banks and trustees pretend the loans have value? If banks and lenders foreclosed, it would be revealed that the taxes, cost to maintain the property before resale, and the legal costs relative to the value of the property meant that they had negative equity.


Whistleblowers Invited to Testify on CFPB "Discrimination and Retaliation"

Mortgage Daily News Today the subcommittee voted to subpoenas two more whistleblowers who have come forward asking to testify about alleged discrimination and retaliation. According to FSC's press release, CFPB Examiner Ali Naraghi and former Bureau employee Kevin Williams asked to be subpoenaed "in order to protect their interests and guard against further retaliation by the Bureau."


Do you have what it takes to investigate for the CFPB?

Bureau opens job with some nice benefits

Housing Wire The CFPB announced a new job opening for an investigator, which would pay from $98,000-$149,036.

But the perks don’t stop at the salary. Additionally, the job includes ten paid holidays, up to 26 days of vacation and 13 days of sick leave each year, accruing to a total of 49 days. 




Hey, where is my “satisfaction of a residential mortgage”?

Fannie Mae Mortgage Class Action Lawsuit Revived by Appeals Court

A class action lawsuit alleging that Fannie Mae failed to file loan documents appropriately was reinstated by an Ohio appeals court last week. The court’s order sends the Fannie Mae class action lawsuit back to the trial court.

Radatz v. Fannie Mae

Top Class Actions Lead plaintiff Rebekah Radatz alleged in her 2003 class action lawsuit that Fannie Mae failed to properly file documentation related to the payoff of her mortgage, known as “satisfaction of a residential mortgage,” within 90 days after Radatz had finished paying off her home loan. A “satisfaction of a residential mortgage” is a document that creditors are required to present to borrowers to show they have paid off a mortgage.

As discovery during the original Fannie Mae class action lawsuit progressed, it was revealed that Fannie Mae had not properly filed the same satisfaction of mortgage documentation for as many as 100,000 other homeowners.


The coming 'tsunami of debt' and financial crisis in America

Forces that caused the world economy to collapse, including income inequality and debt, are again in action, and could drag corporations down in their wake.

The Guardian The US Congressional Budget Office is projecting a continued economic recovery. So why look down the road – say, to 2017 – and worry? 

Here's why: because the debt held by American households is rising ominously. And unless our economic policies change, that debt balloon, powered by radical income inequality, is going to become the next bust.

Miami sues JPMorgan, claims mortgage discrimination

Dispatch The city of Miami has sued JPMorgan Chase & Co, accusing the bank of predatory mortgage lending in minority neighborhoods that allegedly caused a wave of foreclosures during the last decade’s housing crisis. 

“Full Faith and Credit” clause 

What does it mean to “fully and fairly litigate” personal jurisdiction? 

This constitutional provision requires states to generally honor other state’s judgments.

Gregory Foreman An exception to this general principle is that judgments against non-residents do not have to be honored if there was not personal jurisdiction over the defendant from the court that issued the judgment. The Durfee decision, however, requires a defendant’s home state to honor a foreign judgment if jurisdiction was “fully and fairly litigated and finally decided in the court which rendered the original judgment.” 


As the Foreclosure Crisis Ebbs, Cleveland Picks Up the Pieces

Bill Moyers Journal producer Peter Meryash and correspondent Rick Karr went to Cleveland to investigate the growing housing crisis. They visited Slavic Village, a community that they called “ground zero,” where over 1,000 foreclosed homes stood vacant and decaying — the casualties of predatory, subprime mortgages.

Bill Moyers & Co. In the run-up to the crisis, many retired Slavic Village residents were living on fixed incomes. They already had a mortgage on their home, or had already paid one off. But they needed money for upkeep. So, to make repairs, they remortgaged — but the mortgages they took out were not the kind they were familiar with. These were a new, subprime, predatory breed, the likes of which spread across America like kudzu in the early and mid-2000s.

Community activist Barbara Anderson believes the greed that motivated the mortgage lenders will never really go away. “It will come back as a redesigned animal. We can see it right now in payday lending, car title loans, in some aspects of reverse mortgages. 


High Court: Plaintiffs Can't Base Offer of Judgment Claims Solely on Contingency Agreements

Daily Report The offer of judgment statute says that a party who rejects a settlement offer, then doesn't do much better when the case is decided in court, may have to pay the other side's fees from the date of the rejection of the offer through the entry of judgment in the case.

A Development That Should Have Wall Street Terrified

Wall Street lost a close friend this week.

Business Insider The defeat of Eric Cantor, to primary opponent Dave Brat, meant that one of Wall Street's most reliable allies within the GOP was gone. And not just gone, but replaced by a candidate who specifically made being anti-Wall Street part of his campaign.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Ruled Exempt From Transfer Tax

Court rules Fannie, Freddie not exempt from Mich. transfer taxes 2012

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Exempt From Michigan Transfer Tax 2013


We will post the opinion soon.

Bloomberg Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are exempt from paying taxes on property transfers, a Washington appeals court ruled in the latest defeat for local governments that further weakens a bid to press their case at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The plaintiffs’ strategy of improving their chances of having a case reach the Supreme Court by winning at least one such ruling and creating a split among appeals panels has failed so far.


Breaking The Code: Oklahoma Judges And Misconduct

Judges are charged with making some of life's most important decisions. That's why we hold them to such high standards. But what recourse do Oklahomans have when they violate those standards? In the past it's been very difficult to hold Oklahoma judges accountable, but changes are on the horizon.

News on 6 While Thompson may be the worst, he's not the only Oklahoma judge accused of doing something dishonorable.

w District Judge Jesse Harris made headlines when he was accused of exposing himself to two women in a motel parking lot. Felony charges were later reduced to a misdemeanor.
w In 2005 Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Steve Lile brought shame to one of the state's highest courts after a sex scandal.
w Right now District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure is charged with 36 felonies for pocketing thousands of DHS dollars to care for adopted twins who actually lived with someone else.

White Paper






Clarence B. 


There was an honest attempt, by citizens to inform and educate Georgia's lawmakers on the social and economic impact of fraud committed upon landowners in every county in the State of Georgia. These citizens disclosed to lawmakers the tremendous loss of tax revenue, and filing fees created by the Mortgage Electronic Registrations Services, Inc. (MERS). They also discovered that the overwhelming legislative support of the banking community (at the expense of Georgia's homeowners), and the failure of regulatory bodies to prosecute unlawful practices have lead to some rather stunning findings.


Pension Funds, Dancing a Two-Step With Ratings Firms

Pension fund investors lost billions of dollars trusting the rosy credit ratings stamped on troubled mortgage securities before the 2008 crisis. In its aftermath, they have spent years and many dollars suing Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, the main purveyors of those dubious grades.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

There’s a mystifying disconnect in some of these disputes. On one hand, pension funds or state officials are telling the courts that Moody’s and S.&P. were negligent and their ratings marred by flawed methods and conflicts of interest. On the other hand, when the professionals who manage state funds buy bonds or mortgage securities, their investment policies require them to rely on the assessments of — you guessed it — the very same ratings agencies.

The Phoenix Light cases

Goldman Wins Dismissal of $450 Million Mortgage-Bond Suit

State Supreme Court Justice Charles Ramos dismissed the claims against Goldman Sachs today, saying the investors only reviewed data presented in offering documents for the securities and never asked to review files for the underlying loans.


Bloomberg “The true nature of the risk being assumed could, admittedly, have been ascertained from reviewing these loan files and plaintiffs never asked for them,” Ramos wrote.

Goldman Sachs was among financial firms including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase sued over more than $1.8 billion in mortgage-backed securities in 2012 by Phoenix Light SF Ltd., a company based in Dublin that inherited claims from six legal entities “that collapsed or nearly collapsed,” according to court filings.


A Second Chance to Help Families Save Their Homes

It’s a familiar story. Regulator sues mortgage firms, demanding that they stop abusing homeowners facing foreclosure. This time, however, it’s different. The defendants in this case are not banks. Instead, they are the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

DealBook The filing alleges that the defendants are unlawfully blocking the sale of homes to altruistic entities like Boston Community Capital. This nonprofit organization buys homes in foreclosure for fair market value and sells them back to the former owners with a more affordable fixed-rate mortgage.

The attorney general’s action is timely, given what appears to be a deepening local housing crisis. Foreclosures in Massachusetts are up 58 percent from one year ago.


Tables are turned for foreclosure-mill law firm

Connolly, Geaney, Ablitt & Willard facing eviction, in financial disarray

A foreclosure-mill firm that profited for years by helping banks foreclose on Massachusetts homeowners is learning what it feels like to be on the receiving end of the boot.

Lawyers Weekly Now the well-known foreclosure firm is facing eviction following several tumultuous months that saw forensic accountants investigating its books and the firm bouncing checks, failing to pay employee insurance premiums, and laying off the majority of its lawyers, paralegals and other staff en masse. Meanwhile, a Florida whistleblower lawsuit against the firm is scheduled to go to trial later this year.

Firm’s CFO had checkered past
Robert F. Feige was chief financial officer at Connolly, Geaney, Ablitt & Willard despite voluminous amounts of public information going back decades that, if seen, might have raised red flags, including a tangled web of intrigue, fraud and self-dealing, of giving a sham promissory note, fraud and plundering.

Full Post


Citigroup Said to Face $10 Billion Request in U.S. Talks

The U.S. Justice Department has asked Citigroup Inc. (C) for more than $10 billion to settle a probe into the lender’s sale of mortgage-backed bonds before the 2008 financial crisis,

Bloomberg Prosecutors broke off talks with Citigroup on June 9 and are preparing to sue the New York-based bank after it offered less than $4 billion to resolve the matter. The Justice Department could file a lawsuit as early as next week, according to the person, who also said the bank’s offer included about $1 billion in cash and the rest in consumer relief. (Ha.)


US Using JPMorgan Penalty To Quicken Cases Against Other Banks

Investing U.S. Attorney's offices that have been among the most active in probing banks over the toxic loans they bundled into mortgage securities and sold to investors have received funds to hire new civil prosecutors.


12 Numbers About The Global Financial Ponzi Scheme That Should Be Burned Into Your Brain

 Economic Collapse The numbers that you are about to see are likely to shock you. They prove that the global financial Ponzi scheme is far more extensive than most people would ever dare to imagine. As you will see the total amount of debt in the world is now more than three times greater than global GDP. In other words, you could take every single good and service produced on the entire planet this year, next year and the year after that and it still would not be enough to pay off all the debt.


Old Wells Fargo settlement can't shield it from new mortgage-crisis case, court rules

Biz Journal The bank said that its participation in the 2012 settlement, which included $26 billion from several banks, protected it from liability. But the court ruled that the settlement preserved the government's right to sue over federal insurance of residential mortgage loans.


9th Circuit remands MDL dismissal of MERS claims for robosigning


Arizona Court of Appeals Great news out of the 9th circuit. The 9th circuit remanded the Multi-District Litigation/Judge Teilborg dismissals concerning the formation of MERS and the filing of fraudulent and robosigned documents. The appeal in Stauffer assisted this decision.

9th Circuit (Federal) Allows Quiet Title and Damages for Wrongful Filing of False Documents

The more basic issue us whether the homeowner can sue for quiet title and damages for slander of his title by the use and filing of patently false documentation in Court, in the County records etc. The answer is a resounding YES and will be sustained should the banks try to move this up the ladder to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Living Lies You must plead facts for nullification, cancellation of the instrument on the grounds that it is void before you can get to your cause of action on quiet title and damages for slander of the homeowner’s title. My conclusion is that they may be and perhaps should be in the same lawsuit. This decision makes clear the damage wrought by use of the MERS system. It is strong persuasive authority in other jurisdictions and now the law for all courts within the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction.

Horrible opinion

Keshtgar v. US Bank

For some hopefuls, Glaski v. Bank of America holds out the tantalizing prospect of a preemptive action to challenge a foreclosure. It does not. The yearning for a holding does not create one.



"The note and deed of trust at issue here were transferred to the REMIC more than six years after its closing date.

California's comprehensive nonjudicial foreclosure "scheme" does not provide for a preemptive action to challenge the authority of the party initiating foreclosure.

We also disagree with Glaski's determination that a borrower has standing to challenge an assignment."


Prima facie Case for HOLDER vs Holder in Due Course

If there is any difference between HDC and HOLDER with rights to enforce, it is that the holder, by its own allegations admits that it did not purchase the note and mortgage for value, in good faith, and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. This means that the borrower’s defenses against the original stated lender may be asserted against that lender and any alleged successors to the note, which is the title document (and evidence of) the note.

Living Lies Accordingly we offer the clear requirements of law — that the burden of proof for a HOLDER alleging rights to enforce include the proof of the actual loan by competent best evidence, with proper foundation and not with hearsay evidence adduced from a made for litigation report that lacks any semblance of authenticity.
Make them prove the loan, make them prove through their witness that the loan was not in violation of public policy and public laws, THAT IS THEIR PRIMA FACIE CASE. THEN they can assert a position of an injured party entitled to redress.


Former NFL Player Irving Fryar Offered Plea Deal In Mortgage Fraud Case

Second-degree conspiracy and theft by deception.

MortgageOrb According to a report in the Burlington County (NJ) Times, the pair has until Aug. 4 to decide whether they want to accept the plea deal, which would have Fryar serve five years in state prison. In addition, both Fryar and his mother would have to pay full restitution and serve probation in connection with the alleged mortgage scheme.

The pair faces up to 10 years in prison and $150,000 in fines if the case goes to court and they are convicted.

Wounded veteran gets mortgage-free foreclosed home

Fox Atlanta Brown received a Purple Heart for his combat wounds in Afghanistan in 2009. He needs full-time care that is given by his mother who will live with him and his daughter, 1, at the new home.


CFPB Not Backing Down on Third Party RESPA Violations

Reverse Mortgage Daily Under the consent order, real estate brokerage JRHBW Realty, Inc. — doing business as RealtySouth and TitleSouth, LLC — was alleged to have failed to provide adequate affiliated business arrangement (AfBA) disclosures to consumers who were purchasing real estate. The CFPB says the firm concealed information from consumers and promoted its own interests by referring consumers to its family of services.


Exclusive - U.S. using JPMorgan penalty to speed cases against other banks

U.S. Attorney's offices that have been among the most active in probing banks over the toxic loans they bundled into mortgage securities and sold to investors have received funds to hire new civil prosecutors.

Reuters "There is a widespread recognition that the banks have not yet been held fully accountable for their origination practices and the harm that did to borrowers, investors and the American economy in general," said Don Hawthorne, a partner with Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider in New York who has represented clients in mortgage-backed securities litigation. 


Bid to Show No Bank Is Above the Law Sows Fresh Doubt

Bloomberg Federal officials have ratcheted up efforts in recent weeks to debunk the notion that some banks are too big to jail. Their get-tough policy runs the risk, however, of reinforcing the very notion it set out to debunk.

Not surprisingly, the market has shrugged at the bank’s guilty plea. The day after it was announced, Credit Suisse’s shares rose the most in six months, gaining as much as 3% in Zurich trading.


Judge considers dismissing U.S. fraud case against Bank of America

Reuters "DOJ may not have the evidence to try this as a fraud case," Cogburn said.

Cogburn also told assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Ryan that the government needed to provide more substantial information to support its case.

Timeline: Bank of America and the Financial Crisis

DealBook Bank of America, including Countrywide, issued about $640 billion in mortgage-backed securities before the financial crisis.

Who Does Wall Street Own In Washington?

Grotesque bribery from Wall Street isn't just about Republicans. This is a list of the dozen most corrupted designated point persons for Wall Street in the House (since 1990): 

Down with Tyranny

John Boehner (R-OH)- $9,797,914 

Eric Cantor (R-VA)- $8,492,465 

Spencer Bachus (R-AL)- $6,257,494 

Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)- $5,540,181 

Charlie Rangel (D-NY)- $5,376,743

Ed Royce (R-CA)- $5,006,718 

Pat Tiberi (R-OH)- $4,702,881 

Steny Hoyer (D-MD)- $4,612,825 

Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)- $4,574,624 • Joe Crowley (D-NY)- $4,526,330 

Pete Sessions (R-TX)- $4,505,220

Paul Ryan (R-WI)- $4,056,918 


How 37 Banks Became 4 In Just 2 Decades, All In One Astonishing Chart

Exposing Truth If you were wondering how banks got “too big to fail,” here’s a good place to start. This chart shows us how, over the last couple of decades, 37 banks have became just 4 mega-banks. These same 4 mega-banks have, thus far, been immune to the consequences of any and all of their terrible decisions that places the entire world economy in jeopardy.

$80,000 Attorneys Fee Award to Homeowner in Foreclosure Case

Deposition: HSBC does not own any notes (bottom of page 18)

THJF After being forced to admit in deposition that HSBC Does Not Hold Any Notes”, HSBC will pay $80,000 in attorneys fees for a foreclosure case brought against Charles Hall and defended by attorney Mark Cullen in Palm Beach County, FL. 


Panel: Judge Erred in Blocking Student Who Wanted to Video Court Proceedings

A Walton County trial judge erred in denying a law student's request to videorecord criminal proceedings last year, a state Court of Appeals panel has ruled.

Daily Report Ott said the videotaping would not promote public access because anyone can view the proceedings in person, and it would take too much time to determine whether any participant in the proceedings objected.

The student said Ott is one of several Georgia judges who denied his request to tape criminal proceedings as part of a personal project on the experience of indigent criminal defendants.

White paper

Subprime Scriveners

ABSTRACT: Although mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”) and other financial products that nearly caused the collapse of the global financial system could not have been issued without attorneys, the legal profession’s role in the financial crisis has received relatively little scrutiny. 

The article addresses an important aspect of an important subject – which professionals could and should be held responsible for the rampant misrepresentation found throughout the MBS industry in the early 2000s

Markovic argues that lawyers can and should be held responsible for the misrepresentations found in MBS offering documents. 

Law Professor Milan Markovic This Article focuses on lawyers’ preparation of MBS offering documents that misrepresented the lending practices of mortgage loan originators. While attorneys may not have known that many MBS would become toxic, they lacked incentives to inquire into the shoddy lending practices of prominent originators such as Washington Mutual Bank (“WaMu”) when they and their clients were reaping considerable profits from MBS offerings. 

The subprime era illustrates that attorneys are unreliable gatekeepers of the financial markets because they will not necessarily acquire sufficient information to assess the legality of the transactions they are facilitating. The Article concludes by proposing that the Securities and Exchange Commission impose heightened investigative duties on attorneys who work on public offerings of securities.


Judge sentenced to 50 months in prison

With Monday’s sentence, Thornsbury became the third former Mingo County official sent to federal prison in the federal corruption probe.

Former Mingo clerk claims former judge slandered, harassed her

Thornsbury, who served as judge 16 years, pleaded guilty in federal court last year to conspiring to deprive the constitutional rights of a man he sentenced on drug charges and resigned. 

West Virginia Record During Monday’s hearing, Johnston compared Thornsbury’s abuses of office to actions that happen in third world countries.

Thornsbury did face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. He was fined $6,000.

Harper was a deputy in the Mingo County Circuit Clerk’s office and a clerk to the Mingo County Magistrate Court. She also is Thornsbury’s niece.

Harper says that in August 2011, she was summoned to Crum’s office and “was threatened with criminal prosecution if she did not leave her job” in the Magistrate Clerk’s Office and take a job with Crum, who later became Mingo County Sheriff. He was shot and killed in a Williamson parking lot last year.


Beware of Homeowner Rescue Schemes If They Ask for Deed

Living Lies There are two things you need to watch out for. One is a large upfront retainer from an attorney or a nonattorney promising various results that could never be guaranteed; the goals of such a retainer must be set forth in the retainer agreement, if you are hiring an attorney. If you are hiring a company that is not a law firm, they are probably not entitled to any retainer at all.

Larry Summers Just Contradicted Tim Geithner On Obama's Foreclosure Mess

Huff Post Summers explained in the Financial Times that while he wished that President Barack Obama's economic team had done more on housing, political considerations made it impractical. That account contradicts the line the administration gave to reporters and the public between 2009 and 2011 -- that boosting the broader economy was the best way to cure the housing market, not the other way around. M


Well-Connected Nonprofit at Heart of Mass. AG's Suit Against GSEs

The suit raises fresh questions about well-meaning but potentially flawed attempts to aid distressed borrowers.

National Mortgage News Fannie and Freddie won't comply with a state law intended to help nonprofits such as Boston Community Capital buy foreclosed homes and resell them to the homeowners who defaulted, Coakley alleges. The law says a mortgage creditor may not refuse to sell a home to a nonprofit simply because that nonprofit intends to sell the property back to the borrower.


Bank of America Mortgage Settlement Is Said to Be Deadlocked

Bank of America wants to earmark a large chunk of the money for various forms of assistance to consumers rather than paying it in the form of a cash penalty... (BECAUSE writing down principal or interest-rate on loans they do not own costs nothing. Hence, no cash payment to investor or homeowner victims. Bank wins and keeps money. MSF)

DealBook The lawsuit would accuse the bank of selling mortgage investments that led to billions of dollars in losses.

The talks stalled on Monday after the bank’s latest offer — more than $12 billion to resolve state and federal investigations into its sale of mortgage investments that later imploded — fell far short of prosecutors’ demands.

The Justice Department, which had imposed a Monday evening deadline for the bank to deliver its near-final offer, has sought a settlement worth roughly $17 billion, which would be the largest payout by any bank to date.


Wells Fargo Loses Bid to Block FHA Mortgage-Fraud Suit

Bloomberg Wells Fargo failed to convince a federal appeals court that a multibank mortgage settlement in 2012 barred the government from suing over home lending practices it claims led to hundreds of millions of dollars in federal insurance payouts.

The national mortgage settlement outlines rights the government retained to pursue further action against Wells Fargo and the bank’s “effort to escape those contractual limitations fails,”

Mom, daughters allegedly used foreclosure notice to steal homeowner's property

WFTV Investigators said the trio was able to steal everything from an unsuspecting man's condominium after seeing his foreclosure letter.

Statement of Donald Bisenius 
Executive Vice President
– Single Family Credit Guarantee Business Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac expects servicers of our loans to treat borrowers fairly, with respect, and in full compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and Freddie Mac policies. No homeowner with a mortgage owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac should ever worry 
about losing his or her home to an unnecessary or wrongful foreclosure

Freddie Mac "We don’t originate loans, and we don’t service loans. Rather, Freddie Mac provides guidelines for the origination and servicing of our loans, and contracts with sellers and servicers to carry out these operations. Institutions conducting these activities with respect to Freddie Mac loans represent and warrant to us that they are following our contractual requirements. Failure to fulfill these obligations creates a liability for either the originator or the servicer, including the possibility that they will be required to repurchase the loan.


Lawyers Are Now The Driving Force Behind Mortgage Scams

From the very first day she was allowed to speak with clients at her new law firm job, Michele Stephens wondered if she was doing something unethical. By the time she quit, nearly a year later, she no longer had any doubt about it. “I was told to lie again and again,” she said.

Huff Post The schemes exploit the needs of untold thousands of people who have tried to refinance their mortgage under a government-sponsored program like the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), only to be met with endless and costly frustrations -- including issues like lost paperwork and overcharges that in some cases have led to wrongful foreclosures. A recent report by the California Reinvestment Coalition found that banks continue to make foreclosure-related mistakes, despite many pledges of reform.

The Peril of Whistleblowing on Wall St.

“Whistleblowing is not for the faint-hearted—and especially not on Wall Street.” So begins William D. Cohan’s latest piece for the Financial Times magazine, which profiles three men who spoke out against their employers and paid for it.

ProPublica Financial awards and protections of anonymity for whistleblowers—which detractors have labeled “hush money”—are a step forward, Cohan says, but the step back is that the public never knows what was uncovered or what bank was at fault: “Is this just, you know—again—a very clever tactic to keep these institutions from really getting the accountability that they need?”


We didn't know...

It's not criminal forgery or document fabrication - it's Document Retrieval

Also see: Citigroup Settles Fraud Cases Tied to Texas Mortgage Assigner

From Orion Document Fabricators Sales pitch: Today, Orion provides much relief and security to lenders and servicers, cost-efficiently handling document services by delivering advanced technology along with a dedication to customer service. Orion offers a complete line of mortgage assignment, lien release and document retrieval services all expertly managed in one place.

Orion VP Robo-Signs for 7 Companies







The public is not entitled to truth or facts or justice when it comes to Wall Street.

The Untold Story of Why Judge Jed Rakoff Took on the SEC’s Shady Deal With Citigroup

Last week, three Federal appellate judges with lifetime appointments, meaning they will be receiving salary and benefits for as long as they choose on the taxpayer’s dime and then a nice, fat, secure pension also courtesy of the taxpayer, ruled that the very same public that makes their own existence so cushy is not entitled to truth or facts or justice when it comes to Wall Street. Truth, facts, justice are quaint relics of a bygone American past. Today, when it comes to Wall Street, Federal judges are simply there to rubber stamp the settlements of captured regulators and then quickly re-ink the stamp for the next shady settlement.


Pam Martens

Wall Street on Parade

To fully grasp what happened last week you will first need to purge your mind of everything you think you know about Federal District Court Judge, Jed Rakoff, rejecting a smelly deal fashioned between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup and getting slapped down by an impartial appeals court for doing so. Other than the fact that Rakoff did reject the deal, you’ve likely been misled on all other facets of the matter.

For starters in the SEC v Citigroup case, Rakoff was not a lone voice in the wilderness calling out the SEC for sweetheart pacts with Wall Street that didn’t pass the smell test. Not only did 20 securities law experts around the country file amicus briefs arriving at the same conclusion as Rakoff in the matter (more on that shortly) but more than a year before Rakoff rejected the SEC v Citigroup settlement, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle on August 16, 2010 in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. rejected another SEC v Citigroup settlement deal that had the stench of cronyism all over it – and still does to this day.


Comprehending the Plight of the Homeless

The letter

Stopa Law Do you know what it’s like to be homeless? Do judges? Do Plaintiffs’ attorneys? Does anyone involved in foreclosure-world know what it’s like (other than the homeowners themselves)? To fear being thrown on the street? I’ll admit it – I don’t. Oh, I counsel those in that situation, and I try to empathize with their plight. But do I *really* know what that feels like? No. That was clear to me as I watched those men, lying on the ground, dirty, hungry, and homeless.

Florida Statute- 559.715 Written Notice of Assignment of Mortgage in Foreclosure- A Consumer Has RIGHTS!

Weidner Law 15 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 365b

Consumer law — Assignment of debt — Where debtor’s affidavit stating that she did not receive written notice of any assignment of debt was unrebutted, condition precedent to assignee’s action to collect debt was not met.

Bank of America Corp’s Heaping Pile of Garbage

Motley Fool It's no secret that Bank of America has a financial landfill in Countrywide. Now stashed quietly in a unit labeled Consumer Real Estate Services, this unit has been an absolute disaster for Bank of America.


Court probes Wells’ foreclosure steps again

Now a federal judge wants the nation’s largest mortgage servicer to shed further light on the procedures described in the Mortgage Foreclosure Attorney Procedure Manual, and how it may have been used in the case of Westchester resident Cynthia Carssow-Franklin.

New York Post In an extraordinary move, Judge Robert Drain reopened discovery in the case, which had already gone to trial.

Judge Drain also ordered the bank to provide documents relating to the involvement of a note endorsement team, and any agents or employees endorsing notes by Wells Fargo with respect to Carssow-Franklin’s note.
“How this was actually processed is front and center in this case,” said Judge Drain. 


City attorney takes aim at big banks

Much of what Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer alleges in his lawsuits against four big banks for their mortgage and foreclosure practices isn't debatable.


L.A. Times It's not news that lenders imposed abusive foreclosure practices and terms that cost borrowers their homes and blighted their neighborhoods. 

After the collapse, Feuer alleges in the JPMorgan lawsuit, the bank shortchanged borrowers of resources to avoid foreclosures, including by "declining to offer refinancings or loan modifications to minority customers on fair terms."



We have been dealing lately with a flood of “substitution” related claims: where the foreclosing party is suddenly requesting that another party be “substituted” as the “new” foreclosing party which new party has allegedly inherited the interest in a mortgage loan through nothing more then an unverified, undocumented assertion of the attorney for the party seeking to foreclose.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide Three recent cases from three different states demonstrate the numerous problems with these claimed “substitutions.”

The bottom line of all of this is that requests to substitute the foreclosing party should never be taken lightly, and strict proof, by admissible evidence, must be demanded as to any claimed transfer. Never take as gospel or otherwise a naked assertion by a foreclosing party’s attorney that the claimed substitution is “simple”.

He Demolished His House - Delivered the Remains in Front of the Bank 

"That's how we should all deal with the banksters."

HAF The land that the house was built on was not included in the mortgage so the family decided to destroy the house and give it to its new owner. The remains of the building were loaded on a big truck and moved to the central district office of the bank.


Schneiderman’s Legislation To Rid New York State Of Zombie Properties Gain Statewide Support

NY AG The legislation would provide critical support to communities that have been plagued by vacant and abandoned properties. Among other measures, the bill would make lenders and banks responsible for delinquent properties soon after they are abandoned – not at the end of a lengthy foreclosure – and require lenders to pay for their upkeep. In their letter, the mayors detailed the scope of the problem and its effect on communities, property values, and public safety. 

 S&P and ABN Amro suffer Australian legal defeat

Two financial institutions have lost an Australian court appeal against a decision that they "deceived" investors prior to the 2008 financial crisis.

BBC The councils sued after being assured by Local Government Financial Services, an investment manager which sold the so-called "Rembrandt" notes arranged by ABN Amro in late 2006, that they had a less than 1% chance of defaulting.

Within six months, the councils lost A$16m ($14.9m, £8.9m), or 90% of the funds they had invested.


Summers: Helping Homeowners Would Have Hurt Banks

People long suspected that the White House economic team’s policy response foregrounded the idea of protecting the banks at all costs, with homeowners a secondary concern at best. Summers just said it out loud.

David Dayen The objections are that relieving homeowner debt would put losses on banks, chill future lending and hurt banks’ capital positions. This is precisely what Mian and Sufi attack in the book! First off, they argue that it makes no sense to want to spur lending into a deeply indebted economy. They also add that “The idea that financial firms should never take losses is indefensible.” Their entire point is that the losses from the housing bubble collapse were poorly distributed through the system, heaped on those who lost the most in net worth and had the highest marginal propensity to spend. 



Ocwen's mea culpa

Over the years, Ocwen’s practice caused thousands of dollars to be added onto the Rose’s loan balance. Of course, Ocwen was totally unresponsive to the Rose’s complaints about this, failing to give them a legitimate explanation as to how or why they owed the deficiency it was claiming.

McGookey Law Although on its face this would appear to be a fantastic end result for the Rose’s, Ocwen’s proposal in fact represents small recompense to them. The trauma of living every day for the past several years not knowing whether they would be able to continue to live in their home is something no amount of mortgage relief can fully compensate them for. It remains to be seen whether the Rose’s will accept Ocwen’s offer. But whether they do or they don’t doesn’t change what seems to be obvious: that when caught in the act of misconduct, Ocwen extended an olive branch as its form of asking for forgiveness for its transgressions, an olive branch which would not have been extended but for the fact that Ocwen did get caught. 



Sure, I own real property, but they put a cloud on my title and tried to steal my home. Sure, I fought back and won but they put me through more than four years of unbearable stress.

Most people don’t know how to fight back. Never forget that 96% of all foreclosures go uncontested. Four percent put up a fight and most of them lose because of fabricated, forged, robosigned and falsely notarized documents. Dirty deeds.

No Dirty Deeds George Mantor Seriously, when all you have to do to steal homes and land is file what everyone acknowledges is a fabricated, forged, robosigned, falsely notarized document with the county recorder and law enforcement is willing to put you out on the street, shoot your dog, and shoot you to enforce fraud, what the hell is left of our freedom?

It felt like I was introducing the topic of family incest at Thanksgiving dinner. Nobody wanted to talk about it. Now I understand why. Assignments of deeds of trust are all evidence of a massive crime in progress. You could get convictions with no more evidence necessary than the four corners of the document but they are all in on it. They just turn their backs or have us arrested.

Motion for TRO to stop eviction is GRANTED

The Court describes five factors used to determine whether the temporary
restraining order should issue.

Minnesota Title Examiner Petitioner's Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order is GRANTED, effective immediately. The Sheriff SHALL NOT remove persons from the property under the authority of the Writ of Execution until further Order of this Court.


Fannie and Freddie Don’t Own Your Loan

Living Lies In short Fannie and Freddie are nominees or conduits with no real interest in the loans EVER. The fact that they are almost ALWAYS guarantors in situations where the loan was processed by them (there are many instances in which Fannie and Freddie closing forms are used but the loan was never sent to Freddie or Fannie),


Foreclosure lawyer appeals reprimand tied to ‘robo-signing’ cases

Peck argued in his appeal that he would not have been able to file such motions without approval from the client

You don't need "client" approval to file an 18 U.S.C. 4 Misprision of Felony report:  "Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Bangor Daily The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar had determined that Drummond & Drummond lawyer Paul Peck, who led the firm’s foreclosure division, did not “ take immediate and effective action” to stop foreclosure proceedings in 2010 that were based on faulty affidavits.

Peck became aware of his client’s wrongfully signed documents sometime in June 2010 but did not take the appropriate action as head of the firm’s foreclosure practice to make the problem known to judges deciding foreclosure cases that relied on falsely signed affidavits.


Bank of America said to be negotiating at least $12 billion fine to settle probes of home loans

What about the innocent people whose homes were stolen? Nobody mentions them.

Washington Post Bank of America Corp., in talks to resolve probes into its handling of mortgages ahead of the financial crisis, would provide at least $5 billion in relief to consumers as part of a proposed settlement. The portion used for relief would help homeowners reduce principal debts, cut monthly payments and pay for blight removal in struggling neighborhoods.


Walter Gains Share in Ocwen-Nationstar Rivalry

The fight to gain servicing rights to millions of clouded-titles.

Bloomberg “The huge shift in servicing from banks to non-banks has created a landscape that’s rapidly changing,” said Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of research firm Federal Financial Analytics Inc. in Washington. “No one can know who the winners and the losers will be until the dust settles.”


Cracking Down on Illegal Mortgage Referrals

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took over enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement and Practices Act — known as Respa — from the Department of Housing and Urban Development in July 2011. Since then, the bureau has racked up 11 Respa settlements and lawsuits

“The focus seems to be, let’s go hammer the companies, but there is very little restitution for consumers."

NY Times In RealtySouth’s case, the firm’s printed purchase contracts explicitly directed buyers to its affiliate, TitleSouth, and buried the required disclosures in text about the benefits of its own services.

All penalties collected by the bureau for violations of consumer-protection laws go into a civil penalty fund, which had a balance of $65 million as of December. While millions have been paid out from the fund as compensation to consumers, a bureau spokesman acknowledged that these payouts were not related to Respa violations.


Glaski attorney uses Glaski to reject bank arguments.

Tentative ruling to overrule the demurrer to the complaint, in its entirety.

BURT v. Bank of New York Mellon

“Tender is not required where the foreclosure sale is void, rather than voidable, such as when a plaintiff proves that the entity lacked the authority to foreclose on the property."


California Court Plaintiffs have alleged that defendants have no authority to collect payments on the note or foreclose on the property because of the improper assignment. Therefore, plaintiffs do not have to allege that they paid the note in order to allege a quiet title claim against defendants.

Plaintiffs have adequately alleged violations of Civil Code section 2923.6 by proceeding with the foreclosure while the loan modification application was pending, as well as falsely claiming that they were entitled to collect on the note when allegedly the assignment of the note and deed of trust was invalid. Thus, plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged predicate violations of other laws to support their UCL claim. In addition, plaintiffs have alleged that they are in danger of losing their home due to 
defendants’ unfair business practices. 



Face to Face Counseling is REQUIRED

I won a trial today because the bank couldn’t prove it complied with the face-to-face counseling requirements in 24 CFR 203.604. I’ve gotten numerous foreclosure lawsuits dismissed on this argument, and it’s past time I share the argument on this blog.

Stopa Law Firm 24 CFR 203.604 requires the lender provide face-to-face counseling before accelerating and before filing suit. In my experience, the face-to-face counseling required by this regulation almost never happens. It’s supposed to, but it doesn’t. (I know, it’s shocking that banks don’t do what they’re supposed to do.) As a result, this gives homeowners with an FHA mortgage an excellent defense in a foreclosure case, i.e. the lender did not comply with a condition precedent to suit – the face-to-face counseling requirements of 24 CFR 203.604.


Why the Deck is Stacked Against Homeowners

Instead of putting the money in REMIC TRUSTS they kept the money, funded some mortgages and kept the rest. They covered up the theft by what they referred to as proprietary trading.

Living Lies The proprietary trading is based upon fictitious sales of loans in transactions that never took place. The origination or purchase of the loan took place when investor money was used to fund the loan. The brokers diverted title to the note and mortgage to their own controlled entity and then sold the low quality crap to entities purporting to represent the investors — I.e., the REMIC TRUSTS. But the REMIC TRUSTS HAD NEVER BEEN FUNDED. So no such transaction could ever have occurred.


SIFMA’s Compliance and Legal Society Annual Seminar
Prepared Remarks of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

In my view, after Arthur Andersen, the pendulum has swung too far and needs to swing back a bit. And so you can expect that before too long a significant financial institution will be charged with a felony or be made to plead guilty to a felony, where the conduct warrants it.

U.S. Attorney

Preet Bharara

Of course, it is critical to prosecute individuals who have committed crimes. That is the bread and butter of what prosecutors do; that is what we do every day we come to work. And it is our main mission. But individual liability is not the whole of our mission. It should not be one or the other; prosecute individuals or institutions.

To effectively deter criminal conduct and to do justice, we need to do both. Individuals must be held accountable for criminal conduct, but sometimes blameworthy institutions need to be held accountable too.


Bank's Affidavit Fails Assignment Maze 

Reynolds v. Deutsche Bank

GreenPoint, Counrywide, Bank of America, BACHLS, MERS, Deutsche, Stewart Lender Services, Ms. Fazio

Ohio COA 9th District Although Ms. Fazio identified herself as an assistant vice president of Bank of
and averred that she had familiarity with the “type of records” at issue in this case “[a]s part of [her] job responsibilities,” she never explained what her job responsibilities actually

Thus, Ms. Fazio, whose knowledge came strictly from her review of those records, could not have had personal knowledge of when, if ever, Deutsche Bank came into possession of the note.


Once-Declared Dead Banker Takes Plea Deal in Fraud

"He should be in jail probably for the rest of his life," said Wendy Cross, an Atlanta food truck owner who invested $380,000 with Price and lost it all. "He's left me with nothing."

Daily Report It appears the strange case against Aubrey Lee Price will come to an end Thursday, after prosecutors said they had reached a plea deal over allegations he misspent, embezzled and lost at least $21 million belonging to investors and the Montgomery Bank & Trust.


Appeals Court Overturns Decision to Reject S.E.C.-Citigroup Settlement

A federal appeals court on Wednesday overturned a judge’s decision to reject a federal settlement deal with Citigroup, undercutting the judge’s concerns that the bank got off with little more than a slap on the wrist.

DealBook Unlike most judges who rubber stamp such settlements, Judge Rakoff rejected what he saw as a sweetheart deal for Citigroup, which the S.E.C. accused of duping investors into buying a complex $1 billion mortgage bond deal during the waning days of the housing boom. The bank agreed to pay $285 million to settle the civil fraud case.

Judge Rakoff called the fine “pocket change” for the bank. He also took aim at the S.E.C.’s decision to allow Citigroup to settle the case without admitting wrongdoing, saying the parties deprived the public “of ever knowing the truth in a matter of obvious public importance.”

Overruled, Judge Still Left a Mark on S.E.C. Agenda

Jed S. Rakoff is a maverick jurist who picked a three-year fight to make the Securities and Exchange Commission tougher on a Wall Street bank.

DealBook While Judge Rakoff of Federal District Court in Manhattan lost that fight on Wednesday, he had already secured a victory of sorts, having set in motion a series of events that swayed public opinion and influenced the S.E.C.’s broader enforcement agenda.

His standoff with the S.E.C. inspired other judges to question a handful of securities cases. 


Appeals Court Ruling in S.E.C. Case Will Curb Judicial Power Over Settlements

This decision gives the regulator much discretion to settle cases in ways it sees fit - while curtailing the power of judges to “search for the truth.” 

DealBook The appeals court ruling means that judicial second-guessing has been rejected in favor of letting the government determine what’s best when it comes to settling with companies or individuals accused of wrongdoing. (We tried that -- it failed!) The appeals court, in effect, told judges reviewing settlements by the S.E.C. to stand down from reviewing the terms of the agreement, writing: “Trials are primarily about the truth. Consent decrees are primarily about pragmatism.”


Half of Americans can’t afford their house

As the housing market slowly recovers, a majority of homeowners and renters are finding it hard to meet rising rents and mortgage payments, new research finds.

Market Watch Home prices have increased 20% over the past two years while wages have barely gone up.

The monthly mortgage payment on a median-priced home requires more than 30% of the monthly median household income — long considered the maximum for rent/mortgage repayments. Housing costs above that threshold are “unaffordable by historic standards.

Exclusive: Ocwen Financial to stop gagging homeowners in mortgage deals

Ocwen, which collects payments on home loans, was among a number of companies that required borrowers in litigation sign non-disparagement clauses as a condition of getting their mortgages modified.

Reuters "In discussions with our Department, Ocwen has agreed to no longer seek gag rules as part of settlement agreements or loan modifications with borrowers," Lawsky, the superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, said.  "Additionally, the company has stated it will not enforce gag rule provisions in existing agreements."

Lawsky said his office would review the issue at other financial institutions.

Florida Judge Tells Attorney 'I'll Beat Your Ass,' Allegedly Does Just That

(WARNING: Vulgar language)

Huff Post A war of words between a judge and attorney in Florida ended after the judge allegedly punched the attorney in the head.

"You know, if I had a rock, I would throw it at you right now," Murphy shoots back. "Stop pissing me off!"


Foreclosures Tossed Out of Ohio Federal Court – “They Own Nothing!

Judge Christopher A. Boyko of the Eastern Ohio United States District Court, seven years ago on October 31, 2007 dismissed 14 Deutsche Bank-filed foreclosures in a ruling based on lack of standing for not owning/holding the mortgage loan at the time the lawsuits were filed.

In Re: Foreclosures

LoanSafe While the decision is great for homeowners in distress (due to providing a new escape hatch out of foreclosure), it also represents a serious roadblock. If the toxic mortgage fiasco is to be cleaned up, there must be a simple means of identifying what banks own and what they do not own. This judgment is an example of the enormous task ahead in sorting out the mortgage mess. 

“This opinion, once circulated and adopted by State and Federal Courts across the country, will stop the progress of foreclosures, at first in judicial foreclosure states, across America, dead in their tracks,” said April Charney.


Send In the Clowns

Since time memorial, man has been motivated by an easy buck and short skirts. The recent frenzy of mortgage lenders to repeat the mistakes of history may be upon us again, as some lenders are experiencing 'greed creep' all over again.

Huff Post Wells Fargo Bank must apparently think lawsuits are good for your health, since they digest them like multi-vitamins. 

With refinancing drying up for the lending industry over the past year, as a result of interest rates rising in addition to a partially exhausted market, lenders are viewing the home purchase market as a way to supplement their core business, which is the business of inexhaustible lending.

After Charges of Running a Price Fixing Cartel on Nasdaq in the 90s, Wall Street Banks Are Now Trading Their Own Stocks in Darkness

Pam Martens Yesterday we learned that the very same Wall Street firms charged with price fixing in the 90s have somehow conned their regulators into allowing them to own their own dark pools – effectively unregulated stock exchanges – and make markets in the stock of their very own Wall Street bank.


Audit finds Los Angeles foreclosure registry 'never operated effectively'

KPCC The registry was created in 2010 under then-mayor Antonio Villaraigosa with the aim of reducing blight in L.A. neighborhoods as a result of the foreclosure crisis. But by then it was too late, according to the audit. The worst of the foreclosure crisis had passed, and the registry never achieved its goals. 

Statute of Limitations – The Litmus Test for the Integrity of the System

Stopa Law Firm The way the statute of limitations operates, in my view, is (or, well, should be) abundantly clear in the mortgage foreclosure context. When a bank accelerates the balance due under the Note/Mortgage, that starts the clock on the running of the statute of limitations (five years in Florida – see Fla. Stat. 95.11(2)(c)). If five years pass after that acceleration, and the bank has not filed a lawsuit, the statute of limitations bars foreclosure on that mortgage.


FHFA Sets Sights on More Lender-Placed Insurance Reform

National Mortgage News An FHFA spokeswoman had no immediate comment at deadline on what it specifically will focus on, but odds are it will shift the balance between consumer and business interests back toward consumers.

"Director Watt when he was sworn in said that one of his areas of great interest is consumer protection, so I would expect he is going to take a look at this area and probably do more of that.


Robo-Signing Still Making Headlines As Wells Fargo Settles Another Lawsuit

National Law Review The fact that lawsuits such as this continue to exist nearly a decade after the beginning of the mortgage crisis underscores the scope and depth of that crisis, and reminds us of the many varieties of legal disputes that arose as a result. For loan originators targeted by major banks for supposed “breaches” that allegedly require “repurchase” or indemnification, this is also yet another reason to remember to take nothing in the plaintiff’s allegations at face value without scrutinizing those allegations thoroughly.

Judges Helping Banks Steal 


In requiring One West Bank to prove ownership of the loan documents to establish its standing to foreclose, we 
conclude the trial court departed from the essential requirements of law by imposing a condition that is not required
resulting in irreparable harm.

One West Bank argues that the trial court's finding it lacked standing to 
foreclose because it failed to establish ownership of the loan documents is contrary to controlling case law. We agree. (????)

The State Of Marketable Title

Although, for the most part, unmarketability of title can best be defined by a list of fact-specific state law holdings, there are certain obvious defects which most will agree render title unmarketable.

First American Title A forgery in the chain, for example, would make the title unmarketable because the last owner of record is not the true owner if a predecessor’s signature was forged on a deed of conveyance.

Similarly, where there is an unexplained break in the chain, there is a question as to who has the better title: the owner of record prior to the break or the current record owner.

Federal government not complying with Massachusetts foreclosure law, Attorney General Martha Coakley alleges in suit


MassLive The AG alleges Fannie/Freddie and federal regulators violated the state’s 2012 foreclosure prevention law, asserting that their "refusal to engage in foreclosure buyback programs is unfairly and illegally causing Massachusetts families to lose their homes."


Massachusetts AG Sues FHFA On Buyback Restrictions

The banks say they don’t want to allow homeowners to regain ownership or possession of the property they lost in foreclosure because this would lead to an avalanche of strategic defaults. As the attorney general of Massachusetts has stated, there is absolutely no evidence that this could occur.

Living Lies This policy is particularly egregious because of the other policies in the industry which prevent modification based upon economic reality and actually result in a much higher loss to the investors who advanced the money for the loan. There is no reason for the existence of these policies other than the fact that the intermediaries are making more money doing foreclosures than they would ever make by modifying the loans. Of course there is the other issue which is that parties doing the foreclosures probably have no right to initiate any collection or foreclosure because they have no money in the deal nor any right to represent the investors directly.


40% of Modified Mortgages with Pending Resets Are Underwater

Mortgage Servicing News "We have seen a continual reduction in the number of underwater borrowers at the national level for some time now, but modified loans show a different picture." 

"Given that the data has shown quite clearly that equity—or the lack thereof—is one of the primary drivers of mortgage defaults, these resets may indeed pose an increased risk in the years ahead." 


Former Gov. John Waihee launches new Homeowner SuperPAC

It is the homeowners’ time in American history to organize.

The Super PAC will be promoting our unique Homeowners Bill of Rights and Wrongs and provide:

1. a new simplified and flexible, mandatory, five-page maximum, borrower-friendly form of mortgage, abolishing foreclosures in favor of conversion options protecting possession and equity;

Deadly Clear 2. A new mandatory state recording system, requiring proof of ownership of mortgage loans, or otherwise their escheat to the state to do with them as the people of each state decide;

3. The mandatory recording of copies of all promissory notes to end the rampant fraud in the present system and the threat to valid titles, and all of the usual phony chain of title disputes; and

4. The formation of a specialized mortgage court in each recorder’s jurisdiction staffed by knowledgeable judges to decide mortgage loan challenges.


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.”
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