Tag: Foreclosures

Fighting Foreclosure Fraud State by State

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The two of the lady state attorney generals took the stage on the talk shows discussing their actions to protect their constituents from the thousands of illegal foreclosures that are crushing their states economies. Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley joined Dylan Ratigan for a lively chat about her lawsuit against five major banks and MERS. Later, AG Kamala Harris explained to Lawrence O’Donnell on “The Last Word” her reasons for breaking from the not-50 State Agreement being brokered by the Obama administration.

The ladies are really on a roll. Just this week it was announced that Ms. Harris has teamed up with Nevada’s State Attorney General, Catherine Cortez Masto, to look into a wide array of abuses, including mishandled documents, shoddy loan servicing, and the questionable ways in which mortgages were bundled and sold to investors. Like New York’s AG Eric Schneiderman and AG Beau Biden of Delaware, the ladies see strength in numbers.

States take charge of “fraudclosure” crackdown

Battling Big Banks on Foreclosure Crisis

This is the hard work protecting consumers that the Obama administration refuses to do.  

5,000 Illegal Foreclosures On Military Families: Up Dated

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

US lenders review military foreclosures

By Shahien Nasiripour in New York

Ten leading US lenders may have unlawfully foreclosed on the mortgages of nearly 5,000 active-duty members of the US military in recent years, according to data released by a federal regulator.

JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America this year reached legal settlements in which they agreed to pay damages to nearly 200 service members who claimed that their homes had been improperly seized.

Data released last week by the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates national banks, shows that 10 lenders – including BofA, but not JPMorgan, which was not part of the study – are reviewing nearly 5,000 foreclosures of homes belonging to service members and their families to see if they complied with the law.

Dishonorably Discharged, with Pat Garofalo

Pat Garofalo reported this at Think Progress:

Back in April, JPMorgan Chase, which was not one of the 10 banks that the OCC examined, agreed to a $56 million settlement over allegations that it had overcharged members of the military on their mortgages. Chase Bank has even auctioned off the home of a military member the very day that he returned from Iraq. Two other mortgage servicers agreed in May to settle charges of improperly foreclosing on servicemembers.

Even without the banks illegally foreclosing, military members have been hard hit by the foreclosure crisis. Last year alone, 20,000 members of the military faced foreclosure, a 32 percent increase over 2008. The newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is tasked with ensuring that military members are treated fairly by financial services companies – a job that is obviously necessary – but Republicans in Congress have, so far, refused to confirm a director for the agency, leaving it unable to fulfill all of its responsibilities.

Up Date: New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into military foreclosures under a NY State consumer protection law, the Martin Act, that gives him broad powers to investigate fraud.

Also, Congress is getting on the bandwagon, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, will be requesting hearings. From David Dayen at FDL:

It looks like even Congress is getting involved, or at least a few of them, because systematic illegal foreclosures on everyday people can be ignored, but systematic foreclosures on members of the military cannot. Jack Reed, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, will request a hearing on the matter. Brad Miller, who has actually been great on this issue and who sees it as a lever to open up a host of inquiries on foreclosure fraud, had a great statement yesterday:

   It is hard to see this as anything except a flagrant disregard for a law that has been on the books continuously since the First World War. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is very clear: if you’re in harm’s way in our nation’s military, you can devote your whole energy to our nation’s service without worrying what’s happening in a courthouse back home. And if you have a claim against someone in our military, you can wait until they get home and can defend themselves.

   The SCRA is not some obscure legal technicality that might just have escaped the attention of mortgage servicers. Those servicers are all affiliates of the biggest banks, but they’re huge and specialized. Servicing mortgages is all they do, and they really don’t have that many laws to keep up with. They have got to have known what the law required, and consciously decided that they could just ignore it, the same way they apparently decided it was okay to file false affidavits in legal proceedings.

   The continued failure to pursue criminal charges in the face of flagrant violations of the criminal law is destroying Americans’ faith in their government and democracy. In a democracy, no one is too big to prosecute.

Schneiderman is doing the job that we would expect Eric Holder to be doing. Just where is Mr. Holder? We know where the president is, campaigning.

Nevada AG Indicts Title Company Officers

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cotez Masto has filed a 606 count criminal indictment against two title company employees for for supervising the filing of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents in a robo-signing scheme. This is the statement from Masto’s office (pdf):

   The Office of the Nevada Attorney General announced today that the Clark County grand jury has returned a 606 count indictment against two title officers, Gary Trafford and Gerri Sheppard, who directed and supervised a robo-signing scheme which resulted in the filing of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents with the Clark County Recorder’s Office between 2005 and 2008.

   According to the indictment, defendant Gary Trafford, a California resident, is charged with 102 counts of offering false instruments for recording (category C felony); false certification on certain instruments (category D felony); and notarization of the signature of a person not in the presence of a notary public (a gross misdemeanor). The indictment charges d efendant Gerri Sheppard, also a California resident, with 100 counts of offering false instruments for recording (category C felony); false certification on certain instruments (category D felony); and notarization of the signature of a person not in the presence of a notary public (a gross misdemeanor).

   “The grand jury found probable cause that there was a robo-signing scheme which resulted in the filing of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents with the Clark County Recorder’s Office between 2005 and 2008,”said Chief Deputy Attorney General John Kelleher.

   The indictment alleges that both defendants directed the fraudulent notarization and filing of documents which were used to initiate foreclosure on local homeowners.

   The State alleges that these documents, referred to as Notices of Default, or “NODs”, were prepared locally. The State alleges that the defendants directed employees under their supervision, to forge their names on foreclosure documents, then notarize the signatures they just forged, thereby fraudulently attesting that the defendants actually signed the documents, which was untrue and in violation of State law. The defendants then allegedly directed the employees under their supervision to file the fraudulent documents with the Clark County Recorder’s office, to be used to start foreclosures on homes throughout the County.

   The indictment alleges that these crimes were done in secret in order to avoid detection. The fraudulent NODs were allegedly forged locally to allow them to be filed at the Clark County Recorder’s office on the same day they were prepared.

Although the two Lender Processing Services employees, Gary Trafford and Gerri Sheppard, are deemed to be little fish there is speculation the Ms. Masto is using this as a hook to an go after the whales. Yves Smith at naked capitalism:

   That strongly suggests that Masto is, as we suggested earlier, using these indictments as a wedge to go after much broader abuses in the servicing industry. LPS’s biggest business is its Default Services Group, which both managed the operations of foreclosure mills (people with knowledge of LPS charge that the firm even kicks out certain standard form documents for foreclosure mill attorneys to file) and also often acted as the arms and legs of servicers in other arenas (for instance, managing, or more accurately, mismanaging property seized in foreclosure).

   LPS has always taken the position that anything it did was at the direction of and with the full knowledge of the servicers. If Masto is shrewd, her objective will be to audit LPSs’ software, since that will demonstrate pattern and practice, and it will be impossible for servicers to deny that processes embodied in ongoing, routinized activities were unknown to them.

David Dayen at FDL agrees that this may well be the first step in getting the higher ups who made, and are still, making a fortune on foreclosures:

LPS hasn’t been indicted, but you can see where this is going. We know enough now to know that this casual forgery and document fraud was official policy for the company. Indictments of Trafford and Sheppard will almost certainly not end there. Everyone who worked for LPS in Nevada will be culpable. [..]

The fact that they are LPS employees also suggests this is just a first step. This could be a way to get at the software that LPS uses to create documents, which would prove pattern and practice. LPS was central to the entire robo-signing scheme across foreclosure mill law firms and mortgage servicers. And they consistently maintain that they worked at the direction of the servicers and with their full knowledge. So that ropes in the servicers as well.

This is a very important indictment, and it shows how methodical Masto has been about going after widespread industry abuse. It’s only just beginning, but bravo for her.

As has been reported, despite the meager attempts at an agreement to settle this and exonerate the banks of any wrong doing by several other Attorney Generals, the robo-signing continues:

   Reuters reviewed records of individual county clerk offices in five states — Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and North and South Carolina — with searchable online databases. Reuters also examined hundreds of documents from court case files, some obtained online and others provided by attorneys.

   The searches found more than 1,000 mortgage assignments that for multiple reasons appear questionable: promissory notes missing required endorsements or bearing faulty ones; and “complaints” (the legal documents that launch foreclosure suits) that appear to contain multiple incorrect facts.

   These are practices that the 14 banks and other loan servicers said had occurred only on a small scale and were halted more than six months ago. [..]

   Reuters reviewed records of individual county clerk offices in five states — Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and North and South Carolina — with searchable online databases. Reuters also examined hundreds of documents from court case files, some obtained online and others provided by attorneys.

   The searches found more than 1,000 mortgage assignments that for multiple reasons appear questionable: promissory notes missing required endorsements or bearing faulty ones; and “complaints” (the legal documents that launch foreclosure suits) that appear to contain multiple incorrect facts.

   These are practices that the 14 banks and other loan servicers said had occurred only on a small scale and were halted more than six months ago.

Meanwhile, as Yves Smith pointed out this Summer, the bankers continue to lie to congress that they have stopped the practice:

We’ve heard numerous bank executives swear piously before Congressional hearings that those “paperwork problems” that led major servicers to halt or slow foreclosures on a widespread basis last year were “mistakes”. That was already a really big lies, since “mistake” means the practice was not deliberate and was presumably isolated, when in fact robosigning was a widespread, institutionalized practice.

14 major servicers then swore in consent orders earlier this year that they’d stop doing all that bad stuff. But with compliance weak (the banks get to hire the overseers!), they appear to have decided they don’t need to change their ways all that much. Indeed, the record of consent orders is underwhelming; for instance, both Nevada and Arizona are suing Countrywide for violations of past agreements.

Meanwhile the Obama Justice Department continues to try to sweep this massive fraud under the rug.

Yes, bravo, Ms. Masto.

Nevada Robosigning Indicment 11-16-11

Another Attorney General Exits Multi-State Mortgage Fraud Talks

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Last Friday California Attorney General, Kamala Harris, notified Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and U.S. Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli that she would no longer be participating in the multi-state talks to settle the mortgage and foreclosure fraud by the nation’s largest banks.

“Last week, I went to Washington, D.C., in hopes of moving our discussions forward,” Harris wrote. “But it became clear to me that California was being asked for a broader release of claims than we can accept and to excuse conduct that has not been adequately investigated.”

“[T]his not the deal California homeowners have been waiting for,” Harris adds one line later.

AG Harris joins the list of state attorney generals who have balked at letting the banks pay a mere $20 billion to settle their liability in the housing crisis they created without any real criminal investigations. In her letter (pdf), she states her plans:

   I intend to continue to investigate the mortgage practices that I believe have contributed to the growing housing crisis in my state. Months ago, I began California’s independent work in this respect by establishing a Mortgage Fraud Strike Force, and I have given the Strike Force attorneys a broad mandate to investigate all stages of the mortgage lending process, from origination to servicing and foreclosures to securitization of loans into investments in the secondary market. I am committed to doing as thorough an investigation as is needed – and to taking the time that is necessary – to set the stage for achieving appropriate accountability for misconduct.

   I will also push for additional legislation and regulations that enhance transparency and eliminate incentives to disregard borrower’s rights in foreclosure. Many of these reforms have been identified in the multistate talks, and I hope that in good faith the banks will adopt these reforms immediately.

While David Dayen doesn’t think that the legislation have a chance. he does say that public pressure has had a huge impact in pushing Harris to make this decision. It could also impact on her career, since she was rumored to be a possible replacement for US AG Eric Holder. Pushing hard against the Obama administration’s support of this agreement could take her out of consideration.

Dayen concludes, and I agree, that:

As for Tom Miller, his dream of getting the banks off the hook for their crimes is dead and buried. Without California and New York, you’re not going to be able to have a settlement that means anything. He’s probably looking for a way out right now.

The investigations have to be followed through. But this is a victory so far for accountability and against the whitewashes that have characterized the nation’s response to systemic fraud in an increasing and troubling fashion over the past several years.

Considering the success that Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto had in a settlement with Morgan Stanley over mortgage practices that essentially garnered about $57,000 for some 600 to 700 Nevada homeowners, AG Harris’ withdrawal from the negotiations is a wise choice for Californians.

Another Attorney General Joins Foreclosure Fraud Investigation

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

There have been a couple of new developments in the foreclosure fraud investigation that was initiated by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The coalition of state AG’s who want a real criminal investigation and oppose the 50 state settlement proposal of Iowa AG Tom Miller has grown by one with Kentucky’s AG Jack Conway adding name. From David Dayen at FireDogLake:

The latest AG to stand with Schneiderman and against the attempts to whitewash the fraud of the big banks is Kentucky AG Jack Conway. He is up for re-election this year, and is known nationally by virtue of his unsuccessful challenge to Rand Paul for Senate in 2010. Conway, in conjunction with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, sent an email to supporters aligning himself with Schneiderman.

   The same Wall Street banks whose irresponsible actions led to our nation’s economic collapse are now pressuring all 50 states to give them legal immunity. The banks want to block any criminal or civil accountability for actions that have yet to be investigated.

   Attorneys General from Delaware, Minnesota, Nevada and New York have been fighting back. Today, I want to make a clear statement in support of Wall Street accountability and against immunity for banks – and I ask you to join me on this statement:

   “Today’s economic crisis was caused by Wall Street acting improperly. Every American has paid the price – with families losing their homes, investors losing their money, and many Americans losing their jobs. There should be absolutely no criminal or civil immunity given to banks for activity that has not yet been investigated.”

Several things are important here. Kentucky didn’t really have a big housing bubble – Conway is supporting this on principle, rather than in service to a wide swath of dispossessed and struggling borrowers who are victims of fraud. Second, he writes this in the context of an election which has tightened up minimally. So he obviously finds this to be a winning issue on the campaign trail. Third, it would be tempting to just ignore a proposed settlement that isn’t going to happen. Conway sees political advantage in stamping on this process, which is already flailing.

In another development in Nevada, an attorney has filed criminal charges against Wells Fargo accusing the bank of forging loan documents:

In court papers filed this month in Clark County District Court, attorney Dave Crosby alleged bank employees committed forgery and fraud in making a $350,000 loan to a father of four who was unemployed at the time.

“They forged signatures, they backdated documents,” Crosby said. “We’ve got them cold.”

Crosby said the bank has presented two deeds of trust for the same property. One bears the signature of Olivia A. Todd, who on Jan. 27, 2010, was identified as an assistant secretary with MERS, Inc., a mortgage servicer from the Phoenix area and a co-defendant in the lawsuit.

But on Feb. 16, 2010, Todd’s signature appears on a second deed of trust, where she is identified as the firm’s president. Both assignments were notarized as authentic, Crosby said in court papers.

Crosby made his allegations in a request to have a judge review three failed mediations between him and his clients, Ryan and Mical Henderson of Las Vegas, and lawyers with Wells Fargo, formerly Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

Buried deep in the story was this interesting note:

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is expected to file criminal charges against bank and title company employees, as well as notary publics, over allegations of robo signing.

The paltry deal of $20 billion by AG Miller that would let the banks off the hook for most civil and criminal liability seems hardly adequate when you really examine the scope of the fraud nation wide.  

Real Estate Tsunami

When you look out at the bay and notice all the water has been drained its usually a sign there is a large wave coming.

Last week BofA, one of the many TBTF, increased their NOD’s (Notice of Default) filings by 33% m-2-m. After several months since the robo-signing scandal the banks appear now poised to start moving on many of these non-performing assets. Some of which have not had a mortgage payment made in one to over two years.

No Liability For Banks

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

It is becoming quite apparent the New York State Attorney General Eric Scheiderman was right about the 50 state AG negotiations to settle the mortgage backed securities fraud. It will shield the banks from liability despite denial by Iowa Ag Tom Miller and others that it would not:

“The negotiation committee, working on behalf of all 50 states, does not have any intention of constraining the office of the New York attorney general in any way, has not tried to do so and could not do so,” Miller said. “Schneiderman was removed from the executive committee because he has, over the last several months, undermined our efforts to reach an agreement.”

In a Financial Times article on Labor Day by Shahien Nasiripour puts an end to that myth:

The talks aim to settle allegations that banks including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial seized the homes of delinquent borrowers and broke state laws by employing so-called “robosigners”, workers who signed off on foreclosure documents en masse without reviewing the paperwork.

State prosecutors have proposed effectively releasing the companies from legal liability for allegedly wrongful securitisation practices, according to five people with direct knowledge of the discussions.

Some state officials have expressed concern that they have offered the banks far too broad a release from liability. . . . . .

The worry over the states’ counterproposal stems from its treatment of loan documents. The term sheet proposes to release the banks from legal liability over how mortgage documents were maintained, prepared and transferred, people familiar with the matter said.

Though the counteroffer attempts to release the banks from liability with respect to home repossessions, and explicitly states that the release does not include securitisation claims, the language is broad enough in that it could prevent state officials from bringing securitisation claims in the future should they sign up to the agreement.

At the heart of securitisation claims, which involve missteps in how home mortgages were bundled into bonds, are allegations that the banks did not properly maintain and transfer documents from one step in the complicated chain to the next.

If banks are released from liability regarding documentation practices, some industry officials believe they would be able to evade state lawsuits directed at how they bundled the loans into securities.

Robert Sheer observed This proposed a settlement for a pittance of $20 billion is chump change compared what the banks reaped in “direct cash subsidies, virtually zero-interest loans, and the Fed took $2 trillion in bad paper off their hands while the banks exacerbated the banking crisis they had created through additional shady practices.

Matt Taibbi noted, too, that the banks are getting off the hook for really odious offenses:

   The idea behind this federally-guided “settlement” is to concentrate and centralize all the legal exposure accrued by this generation of grotesque banker corruption in one place, put one single price tag on it that everyone can live with, and then stuff the details into a titanium canister before shooting it into deep space.

   This is all about protecting the banks from future enforcement actions on both the civil and criminal sides. The plan is to provide year-after-year, repeat-offending banks like Bank of America with cost certainty… and will also get to know for sure that there are no more criminal investigations in the pipeline.

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To give you an indication of how absurdly small a number even $20 billion is relative to the sums of money the banks made unloading worthless crap subprime assets on foreigners, pension funds and other unsuspecting suckers around the world, consider this: in 2008 alone, the state pension fund of Florida, all by itself, lost more than three times that amount ($62 billion) thanks in significant part to investments in these deadly MBS.

The White House and AG Miller are doing everything in their power to discredit Schneiderman and block further investigations that could lead to recovering more than 20 pieces of silver.

Holding The Banks Acountable

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

President Obama’s jettisoning the EPA regulations dominated the Friday news dump. What was buried in the usual media hullabaloo was this:

FHFA Sues 17 Firms to Recover Losses toFannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Apparently the FHFA has found something that this White House hasn’t, the courage to hold the banks accountable for the losses from the sale of mortgage backed securities (MBS) to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The suit surpasses the $20 billion settlement that the 50 state AG settlement is reportedly attempting to extract from the banks for a liability release over ALL issues in foreclosure fraud.

The lawsuits cover $105 billion worth of securities, and FHFA wants returns on some portion of the losses taken on the securities, which they attribute to illegal actions by the banks when they sold the MBS (specifically, misrepresentations about the underlying loans). Earlier reports said that the losses for Fannie and Freddie on private-label MBS came to around $30 billion, so that’s probably around what they will ask for. The LA Times story puts it at $41 billion in losses. Whatever the number, this is more than the 50 state AG settlement is reportedly attempting to extract from the banks for a liability release over ALL issues in foreclosure fraud. And this is just a representations and warrants case.

This may derail the 50 state AG attempts at an agreement that absolves banks from any liability:

The biggest banks are already negotiating with the attorneys general of all 50 states to address mortgage abuses. They are looking for a comprehensive settlement that will protect them from future litigation and limit their potential mortgage litigation losses.

“This new litigation could disrupt the AG settlement,” said Anthony Sanders, finance professor at George Mason University and a former mortgage bond strategist.

Banks may be more reluctant to agree to a settlement if they know litigation from other government players could still wallop their capital, he said.

As David Dayen so astutely observes:

. . . . FHFA is just a canary in the coalmine for the losses and the liability that these banks are holding because of their actions in mortgage origination, securitization, and servicing. You cannot have a banking sector with this many liabilities and expect a robust, well-functioning economy. This action is necessary for the rule of law as well as for the health of the nation.

(emphasis mine)

Even better would be some of the people involved being held responsible and sent to prison.

On The Wrong Side Of The Rule Of Law

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Once again the President who campaign on the restoration of the rule of law falls on the wrong side. The New York Times writer, Gretchen Morgensen, revealed in an article that the Obama Justice Department and Housing and Urban Development were putting pressure on New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to drop his investigation into the banking industries foreclosure fraud that led to the economic housing crisis:

Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, has come under increasing pressure from the Obama administration to drop his opposition to a wide-ranging state settlement with banks over dubious foreclosure practices, according to people briefed on discussions about the deal.

In recent weeks, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and high-level Justice Department officials have been waging an intensifying campaign to try to persuade the attorney general to support the settlement, said the people briefed on the talks.

Mr. Schneiderman and top prosecutors in some other states have objected to the proposed settlement with major banks, saying it would restrict their ability to investigate and prosecute wrongdoing in a variety of areas, including the bundling of loans in mortgage securities.

But Mr. Donovan and others in the administration have been contacting not only Mr. Schneiderman but his allies, including consumer groups and advocates for borrowers, seeking help to secure the attorney general’s participation in the deal, these people said. One recipient described the calls from Mr. Donovan, but asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation.

In other words, this is going to take too long and we have an election to finance. Please, do not piss off the banksters, they’re the only ones with money.

Obama administration doesn’t want to help the homeowners or prosecute those who committed this fraud, as David Dayen so bluntly states, they want to “white wash the fraud”:

The White House must think that if they can get Schneiderman, the AG with the most leverage over the talks by virtue of New York’s important position with respect to mortgage securitization, to bend, they can roll the rest as well. The WSJ article says that federal officials have a Labor Day target date for a settlement, and that they’ll continue “outreach” to all AGs. I bet they will.

The banks want at least 40 states signing off on this settlement before they agree to it. I can think of at least 10 AGs right now who wouldn’t agree to the broadest terms. Democrats Madigan, Schneiderman, Delaware’s Beau Biden (the VP’s son, who has joined Schneiderman on his intervention into the Bank of America settlement with investors over mortgage backed securities), Massachusetts’ Martha Coakley and Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto are on the record against a broad liability release in one way or another, and others like Washington’s Rob McKenna (R), Colorado’s John Suthers (R), California’s Kamala Harris, and even Utah’s Mark Shurtleff (R) and Michigan’s Bill Schuette (R) have active investigations or lawsuits on this issue. That’s an incomplete list off the top of my head. And if you add Republican anti-government types who don’t want to see any monetary penalty at all, you might not get to 25 in favor.

Of course this has earned a couple of people the dubious honor of not being named “wankers” but two of the worst people by Dayen and our man of few words, Atrios.

From Dayen the honor goes to Kathryn S. Wylde, board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York:

   The lawsuit angered Bank of New York Mellon, and as Mr. Schneiderman was leaving the memorial service last week for Hugh Carey, the former New York governor who died Aug. 7, an attendee said Mr. Schneiderman became embroiled in a contentious conversation with Kathryn S. Wylde, a member of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York who represents the public. Ms. Wylde, who has criticized Mr. Schneiderman for bringing the lawsuit, is also chief executive of the Partnership for New York City. The New York Fed has supported the proposed $8.5 billion settlement {…}

   Characterizing her conversation with Mr. Schneiderman that day as “not unpleasant,” Ms. Wylde said in an interview on Thursday that she had told the attorney general “it is of concern to the industry that instead of trying to facilitate resolving these issues, you seem to be throwing a wrench into it. Wall Street is our Main Street – love ’em or hate ’em. They are important and we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to support them unless they are doing something indefensible.”

And from Atrios, his honor goes to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan for this gem:

In recent weeks, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and high-level Justice Department officials have been waging an intensifying campaign to try to persuade the attorney general to support the settlement, said the people briefed on the talks. … In an interview on Friday, Mr. Donovan defended his discussions with the attorney general, saying they were motivated by a desire to speed up help for troubled homeowners. But he said he had not spoken to bank officials or their representatives about trying to persuade Mr. Schneiderman to get on board with the deal.

Remember HAMP? Right. They just want to help.

What to do, what to do!

Amidst the problems of attempts by the Fiduciary (the government) to “STEAL” our Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid Trust Funds and our efforts to thwart theirs, there are so many behind the scene efforts, the same for which is owed $2.6 trillion by our Treasury.

I have been and am in a banking situation, which was a “carryover” from many years ago, from which I am gradually trying to extricate myself for reasons we should all know and, frankly, do! I had been wanting to do some changes for quite some time, but I needed to do some “shopping” around, not to say that there is a vast difference here or there, but, just, maybe, a little more concern.

In the meantime, this month has brought notifications (“warnings” concerning any brokerage accounts) that the “Bank” has chosen another clearing house, one which is within its own “family.”  And unless or until you remove such accounts (as you may wish), from their entity before July 29, 2011, thereafter, on August 5, 2011, you will be charged $75.00, for removal of any and each such account to any entity outside their brokerage.  What?  Do you get it?  In other words, the Bank will charge its customers, after August 5, 2011, for, first of all, a decision it made to transfer your “assets” over to their “decision” should you not withdraw your funds on or before July 29, 2011.

Now, that’s not enough?  No, today, I receive notification that I must accept/reject a new Banking Resolution by Sept. 15, 2011.  

Quote that information here!

First, now, I have to look up that banking resolution, but not only that, I now need to find out what are the current charges vis a vis the Bank’s ultimatim.

Strikes me a form of enforcement!

By now, I think the message is quite clear!  The least fortunate of us, despite our hard work, earnest beliefs, love of our fellow human beings, have become prey to our “elitist” predators, who would sooner be rid of us, unless they can use us, i.e., take note of our corporations in the Asian countries, China, for example, child labor, no OSHA laws, no benefits, $0.50 an hour?  All of this while, first of all, being an American corporation(s), and paying NO taxes to the country in which they were incorporated — and it goes on and on!

This needs much work!

 

Housing – Da Dip

If you only listen to the talking heads you may find it surprising that the housing correction is still ongoing. Quite simply put, with all the efforts of the US government, the Federal Reserve, and various agencies the best they have accomplished is to delay the decline. Now that all the capital is spent, all the programs finished, the decline ensues. The only thing left in the bag is MOPE (Management of Perspective Economics).

What is MOPE? In a nutshell its a pathetic attempt to ‘talk’ people into an action. The theory goes that if you say its sunny outside, and its a torrential downpour, yet everyone leaves the house without an umbrella then the concept works.

For housing the concept is the same. Is everyone telling you that its sunny and “now is a great time to buy” and the justification they use is “look how much prices have come down” as evidence? The first thing I always ask these people is “Can you tell me when when would be a bad time to buy?”. In hindsight they will all mention a few years ago … but when the mania was at hand they were the very same touting the “housing never goes down in price” mantra.

What is left is wishful thinking and its pretty pathetic.

D.R. Horton’s no prescription real cialis Donald Horton:

follow “Market conditions in the homebuilding industry are still challenging, with high foreclosures, significant existing home inventory, high unemployment, tight mortgage lending standards and weak consumer confidence. However, housing affordability remains near record highs, interest rates are favorable and new home inventory is still very low,” Horton said. “We continue to focus on providing affordable homes for the first-time buyer while having product available for move-up buyers, further adjusting our cost structure relative to our current sales pace.”

watch Translation: We’re still in the dumps, but we’re lowering prices, so come on and buy.

miglior sito per comprare viagra generico a Parma Pulte’s Richard Dugas: “Over the near term, we expect the industry will continue to face low levels of demand and that overall operating conditions will remain highly competitive.” how to get generic cialis super active online Dugas then said he expects a return to profitability in the “back half of the year.”

go here Translation: Still bad, but it has to get better, right?

http://caseyanthony.com/?search=vardenafil-10-vs-20-mg Meritage‘s Steven Hilton:

“The market has obviously softened since the federal home buyer tax credit expired in April last year, as reflected in total U.S. home sales as well as our own sales and closings. As a result, http://cmcpediatrics.com/?search=buy-viagra we have offered larger incentives in some of our communities, resulting in lower margins that offset the improvements we are achieving in our new higher-margin communities… go the spring selling season for the last few months is off to a tepid start, and we have not produced sales at the pace we would have hoped this far into the 2011 selling season. We believe the housing market in general is still bouncing along the bottom, with pockets of strength in certain of our markets.”

http://docudharma.com/?search=cheap-20mg-levitra-professional Translation: We’re lowering prices, throwing in upgrades, and it’s not really working.

News that serious delinquencies are on the decline suggesting that those left standing in their homes will remain. Kyle Lundstedt of LPS Applied Analytics aka Dr. Doom reports that mortgage delinquencies, down more than 11 percent month-over month, are at the lowest level since 2008.

The MSM Notices Foreclosure Fraud

Cross Posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The CBS News program, “60 Minutes” aired a Mortgage paperwork mess: the next housing shock? segment on foreclosure fraud which, as most economists agree, is the biggest threat to the US economy. Scott Pelley looks for the answer and a at the possible solutions to the question of “who owns your mortgage”:

It’s bizarre but, it turns out, Wall Street cut corners when it created those mortgage-backed investments that triggered the financial collapse. Now that banks want to evict people, they’re unwinding these exotic investments to find, that often, the legal documents behind the mortgages aren’t there. Caught in a jam of their own making, some companies appear to be resorting to forgery and phony paperwork to throw people – down on their luck – out of their homes.

Sheila Bair, Chairperson of the FDIC, says she will call for a clean-up super fund

   Banks so poorly handled documentation on millions of mortgages that many today cannot prove that they own the homes they want to foreclose on. The resulting rash of lawsuits from people seeking to save their homes has one of the government’s top banking regulators worried that the torrent of litigation will delay the real estate market’s recovery.

   Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chair Sheila Bair tells Scott Pelley banks should be forced to contribute billions to a clean-up fund that will help stressed homeowners stay in their homes and stave off lawsuits – there are 30,000 already – that threaten the economic rebound […]

   Like last year, banks are expected to foreclose on a million mortgages this year, a scenario that could generate more lawsuits over mismanaged paperwork. “I think that this litigation could easily get out of control,” says Bair. “…We’re already feeling like we’re falling behind it,” She thinks a large clean-up pool funded by the banks that would pay homeowners to accept a bank’s ownership claim without a lawsuit is necessary. “I would assume it would be billions [that the fund would need],” Bair tells Pelley.

But as, David Dayen points out, this “super fund” would not stop any claims in state courts on behalf of homeowners, federal regulators don’t have the authority to do that.

And the more banks resist it, the more liable they will become. In an important case this week, a judge in Alabama dismissed a foreclosure because the bank failed to comply with the pooling and servicing agreement for transferring mortgages to the trust. This would be a stunning ruling if applied broadly, though whether or not it will stand as precedent across other states remains to be seen; it’s far too early in the process to determine that. But we know that banks simply did not convey mortgages to trusts properly as a general rule. Foreclosure fraud can be seen as a coverup for that original sin. And if state courts are starting to make rulings based on that sin, banks will be stuck and unable to pursue foreclosures on tens of millions of loans.

The ruling in favor of the borrower endorses an argument we have made since last year on this blog, that the pooling and servicing agreement stipulated a specific set of transfers be undertaken to convey the borrower note (the IOU) to the securitization trust within a specified time frame. New York trust law was chosen to govern the trusts precisely because it is unforgiving; any act not specifically stipulated by the governing documents is deemed to be a “void act” and has no legal force. So if a the parties to a securitization failed to convey a note to the trust within the stipulated timetable, retroactive fixes don’t work. In this case, the note had been endorsed by the originator, Encore, but not by the later parties in the securitization chain as required in the pooling and servicing agreement.

Yves Smith at naked capitalism, has a problem with what Bair said:

One aspect that is distressing is that per her remarks in this clip, Sheila Bair does not appear to understand or worse, understands but is not willing to admit the seriousness of the chain of title issues. Often, the banks botched the transfer process in such a fundamental manner that retroactive fixes are not possible. This isn’t a matter of “if the banks spend enough time, they can prove the trust they are acting for owns the note” as Bair contends. It’s that in many cases the note didn’t get to the trust as stipulated, and the trust doesn’t have the ability under New York law, which governs virtually all of these trusts, to accept it now. A party earlier in the securitization chain is typically the owner, but no one wants that party to foreclose, since it would confirm the failure to handle the assignment of the note properly.

I’m not so sure that this Congress would be amenable to another multi-billion dollar bail out but this is a better proposal that the one that would strip homeowners of their right to due process.

(all emphasis is mine)

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