Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Request for Congressional Foreclosure Panel to Examine Foreclosure Lawyers

Request for 
Congressional Foreclosure Panel
to Examine Foreclosure Lawyers
By Andy Kroll

"Although increasing numbers of courts are continuing to reject improper and fraudulent foreclosures, the Congressional Foreclosure Panel examination of mortgage services and foreclosure practices did not include foreclosure lawyers.

Lawyers are officers of the court; knowledge of applicable laws and civil procedure is not required from mortgage lenders. In states that require judicial foreclosures, lawyers are the ones who file lawsuits to seize and sell property; and lawyers are responsible for filing and recording foreclosure property deeds.

An investigation could prove helpful to sorting out whether improper and illegal foreclosure proceedings are linked to any self-dealing conduct disadvantaging lenders, investors, homeowners, and city governments. . .”

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Florida AG Unveils Foreclosure Mills Probe
— By Andy Kroll| Tue Aug. 10, 2010 9:16 AM PDT

The Florida Attorney General's office announced today new investigations into three of the state's biggest law firms handling foreclosure cases, otherwise known as "foreclosure mills"—including the law firm run by multimillionaire David J. Stern, the subject of a Mother Jones investigation last week. The probes, led by the AG's Economic Crimes Division, are examining whether "improper documentation may have been created and filed with Florida courts to speed up foreclosure processes, potentially without the knowledge or consent of the homeowners involved," according to a press release. The other two firms targeted by the AG are the Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson and Shapiro & Fishman, who, together with Stern's firm, handle a vast number of the foreclosure cases now clogging Florida's courts system.

As I reported last week, foreclosure mills like Stern's are well-greased, assembly line-like operations that try to squeeze profits from every step of the foreclosure process, from the filing of the legal complaint (in states where foreclosures are a judicial matter) to litigating the foreclosure to the selling of repossessed homes—or as they say in the industry, from "cradle to grave." As a result, the mills' economic interest arguably runs to counter to the well-being of your average homeowner. Stern himself admitted so much, in an investor presentation earlier this year: "When people say, 'Oh, my god, the economy is bad,' I'm like, 'Oh, my god, it's great.' I hate to hear people are losing homes, and credit isn't available, and people's credit is such that they can't [refinance]. But if you are in our niche, it's what we want to do, and it's what we want to see."

Of the Stern law firm, I further reported:

Over the past decade and a half, Stern has built up one of the industry's most powerful operations—a global machine with offices in Florida, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines—squeezing profits from every step in the foreclosure process. Among his loyal clients, who've sent him hundreds of thousands of cases, are some of the nation's biggest (and, thanks to American taxpayers, most handsomely bailed out) banks—including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citigroup. "A lot of these mills are doing the same kinds of things," says Linda Fisher, a professor and mortgage-fraud expert at Seton Hall University's law school. But, she added, "I've heard some pretty bad stories about Stern from people in Florida."

Stern's firm and Stern himself have, over the years, faced an array of damaging lawsuits. They include blithely foreclosing on homeowners who'd never defaulted (pdf), gouging homeowners who were trying to get out of default (pdf), and even sexual harassment (pdf). I began my story, titled "Fannie and Freddie's Foreclosure Barons," with an anecdote about a foreclosure defense employee, Ariane Ice, who'd discovered a number of backdated documents. Stern's firm, she realized, had used the documents to foreclose on Florida homeowners. And these weren't minor documents, either: They were "assignments of mortgage," a crucial piece of evidence showing who owns the mortgage and thus has the legal right to foreclose on it. From reading the AG's press release, it looks like they've clued into that assignment funny business:

Because many mortgages have been bought and sold by different institutions multiple times, key paperwork involved in the process to obtain foreclosure judgments is often missing. On numerous occasions, allegedly fabricated documents have been presented to the courts in foreclosure actions to obtain final judgments against homeowners. Thousands of final judgments of foreclosure against Florida homeowners may have been the result of the allegedly improper actions of the law firms under investigation.

The AG's office is also investigating foreclosure mills' use of offshore affiliates to pump out legal filings. Again, this sounds like Stern's firm, which maintains an offshore operation described in an SEC filing as "a scalable, low-cost operation in Manila, Philippines that provides data entry and document preparation support." In other words, a paper mill on the other side of the world that churns out legal documents.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, November 20, 2010




SUBMITTED by Brian Davies
Submitted on 2010/11/19 at 11:03 am

Twice bitten? Second Crestone resident claims fraud
By Jefferson Dodge

Another Crestone resident, Wooddora Eisenhauer, says that she, like her neighbor Bruce McDonald, has been victimized by banks’ predatory foreclosure practices.

Eisenhauer, who was in the real estate business for more than 16 years as a broker and owner, says she has seen firsthand how corrupt the foreclosure business is. Beginning at the end of 2006, she says, she had a growing number of second-home owners grappling with whether they should foreclose or declare bankruptcy, and the rise of foreclosures forced her to shutter her own real estate business at the end of 2009.

“I’m one of the ones that lost the game,” she says. “The mortgage and banking industry is so corrupt, and has specifically, strategically and systematically been put into place by laws that keep the individual from having any control over the powers that be.”

Eisenhauer, who has had two of her own personal properties foreclosed on and is in the middle of her third, says the system is rigged.

“The legalities of them being able to foreclose are totally tainted,” she says.

“The courts look at banks as being those who render the truth and get the benefit of the doubt.”

The first of her foreclosures was done appropriately by a small, local bank, Eisenhauer says.

But her second property was foreclosed on by a big national bank, which “supposedly” had bought it from Countrywide, she says. “Any time a note changes from one bank to another, I’m going to be suspicious.”

The third and current foreclosure involves her primary residence, a 650-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bath home that Wells Fargo is attempting to foreclose on after buying the loan from Washington Mutual, Eisenhauer says. At her March 1 Rule 120 hearing, the administrative procedure held to determine whether a house can be foreclosed on and sold, she claims that Wells Fargo “showed up with a forged document.”

She and her attorney, Erich Schwiesow of the law firm Lester, Sigmond, Rooney and Schwiesow in Alamosa, argue that the first page of the promissory note clearly did not match the rest of the document, in part because it didn’t have the same fax stamp. In addition, they claim, the initials and signature on the document do not match Eisenhauer’s handwriting.

“It was clear it was manufactured,” Schwiesow says, adding that a local judge agreed and denied authorizing the sale of the property. Wells Fargo initially filed a motion asking the judge to reconsider the decision, but dropped that motion this week.

“I will do everything humanly possible to stop this foreclosure process on my primary home,” Eisenhauer says.
Like Bruce McDonald, Eisenhauer argues that banks have a financial incentive to foreclose.
“They make more money foreclosing,” she says.

“They don’t give a shit. They pile on penalties and fees, sell it at a discount to Fannie May for $10, and they go to the FDIC and get [80 percent] for what their claimed losses are. I’m saying, by God, give that to me. I’m livid. I’m mad as hell, and I’m not taking it anymore.”

Eisenhauer, 70, claims that the whole mortgage/ foreclosure system was put into place over time, creatively, to undermine the majority of the public.

“If we haven’t felt like slaves already, we are going to find out what true slavery is,” she says. “Don’t ask what your government can do for you, ask what you can do to stop your government from doing this to you. … The banks have been operating as if none of the rules apply to them.”

Eisenhauer says that despite the unsettled status of her foreclosure, Wells Fargo sent people to her home to change her locks and mow her lawn, even though she doesn’t have a lawn.

“The bank doesn’t own the property yet,” she points out. “Something is desperately wrong about this.”
Tom Goyda, vice president for communications for Wells Fargo, acknowledged that the bank has agreed to file supplemental affidavits for about 55,000 foreclosure cases nationally in which “appropriate procedures weren’t followed.” But he told Boulder Weekly that all of those cases are in 23 “judicial” states, not Colorado (which, as a “nonjudicial” state, has the administrative Rule 120 hearing to approve foreclosures).

Goyda also acknowledges that, in the case of Eisenhauer’s property, Wells Fargo did send an inspector to “maintain and secure” the property, as it does with all of its properties where payments are more than 60 days past due, but when the inspector learned that the residence was still occupied, he and the bank backed off.
He denied claims that such efforts are a tactic intended to intimidate a homeowner into abandoning the property and any efforts to challenge the foreclosure, as has been alleged by some (see, a site that claims the foreclosure rate in Colorado is double the national average).

Goyda says banks like Wells Fargo must step in to maintain and secure properties to ensure that vacated homes aren’t vandalized or left in disarray, devaluing its property value and those of adjacent homes.

“Nobody in the neighborhood wants vacant property with an overgrown lawn, or people breaking in and taking copper, or whatever they might do,” Goyda told Boulder Weekly.

He says he is not aware of the details surrounding Eisenhauer’s claims of forged documents, and knows of no cases in Colorado where Wells Fargo did not follow procedures.

When asked about the sister case in Crestone, the Bruce McDonald lawsuit (see story above), Eisenhauer attorney Schwiesow says similar illegal foreclosures are probably going on all over the state.

“It’s just that Bruce McDonald is not rolling over for them,” he says.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The pressure is on! Mortgage Loan Servicers finally face increased awareness of their widespread fraud -- and I am amazed at their public plans to continue to commit fraud! The affidavits submitted are null and void. You cannot correct void documents. This is additional fraud upon the Court. If they would have had the correct documents they would have submitted them in the first place. This additional time just allows DOCX or Lender Processing Services (or similar) to create documents that will work.

N.C. AG questions 
Wells Fargo 
Letter asks why N.C. isn't among states where bank's methods are being reviewed.

By Rick Rothacker
Posted: Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010

The N.C. Attorney General's Office sent a letter Friday to Wells Fargo & Co. expressing concerns about its foreclosure practices after the San Francisco bank said it's resubmitting affidavits in 23 other states.

When allegations surfaced this fall about banks' mishandling of foreclosure paperwork, Wells repeatedly said it found no problems with its processes. But on Oct. 27, the bank said it planned to resubmit 55,000 affidavits after identifying "instances" where processes did not "strictly adhere" to procedures.

The bank said it's filing supplemental documents in 23 states, including South Carolina, where judges sign off on foreclosures. North Carolina - a "quasi-judicial" state where clerks of court review affidavits in foreclosure cases - is not among those states.

"If you maintain confidence in your proceedings, I question why you would believe it necessary to re-file affidavits," Adam Hartzell, senior deputy attorney general for consumer protection, wrote in the letter.

"If Wells Fargo intends to take such measures in other states, I do not understand why Wells Fargo would not also take similar action in North Carolina," he added.

The use of unverified affidavits could be considered a fraud upon the court, he wrote. In particular, he said, Wells could be asserting that it attempted to modify loans for struggling borrowers without having a valid basis for those assertions.

Bank of America and other lenders have halted foreclosure sales as they review their procedures. Wells has not.

"This further heightens the concerns of the state of North Carolina," Hartzell wrote.

Attorneys general in North Carolina and 49 other states are investigating foreclosure practices at Wells and other major lenders. As part of any possible settlement, officials have said they are likely to seek improvements in banks' loan-modification programs.

In the letter, Hartzell asks Wells to provide North Carolina with updated information on how it submits foreclosure information in legal proceedings in the state. He also asks for the "specific nature" of the bank's "good faith efforts" to provide loan modification programs to borrowers before foreclosure.

Wells Fargo bought Charlotte-based Wachovia Corp. in 2008. Wells did not comment on the letter.

Thursday, November 18, 2010



Neil Garfield | November 15, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Categories: CDO, CORRUPTION, Eviction, GTC | Honor, Investor, Mortgage, bubble, currency, foreclosure, securities fraud | URL:

Submitted by Ann
Legal twist forces foreclosure redos
Creates second chance for former owners

Zepheniah Taylor lost his Dorchester three-decker to foreclosure two times in 17 months. Now the 59-year-old grandfather has returned home to stay. The scenario, once implausible, is becoming more common in the crazed and fast-changing world of foreclosure
Foreclosures spread outside Boston
Hundreds — and possibly thousands — of Massachusetts homeowners are facing back-to-back foreclosures as lenders realize there were problems with property titles the first time around. Those lenders, often unable to obtain title insurance, are opting to start from scratch with what is being called a “re-foreclosure.’’

The prospect of going through a foreclosure all over again may seem nightmarish for homeowners, but in a growing number of cases the do-overs are creating opportunities for them to repossess their homes.

Such was the case with Taylor, who decided to fight the second foreclosure. The tactic paid off: He won the right to repurchase the home at current market value.

“I’m starting over fresh,’’ said the father of eight and grandfather of nine. “It feels good. It is a new chance.’’

Not all tenants enjoy such an outcome, however, and those who receive notice of a re-foreclosure often are confused.

“They are weirded out,’’ said Zoe Cronin, a staff attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services, which provides legal representation to low-income people. Cronin said she knows of about a dozen recent re-foreclosures. “I’ve met former owners [who are] saying, ‘What is this? I got a letter saying I own my house again,’ ’’ she said.

The recent burst in re-foreclosures can be traced to a 2009 Massachusetts Land Court ruling that called into question the validity of a home’s ownership in cases where foreclosure paperwork was incomplete or inaccurate.

The finding is now being reviewed by the state Supreme Judicial Court. Its decision could determine whether tens of thousands of homes with foreclosures in their backgrounds have valid titles.

At issue is who technically owns a property on the day it is seized by a lender. It’s often difficult to know for sure because during the housing boom millions of mortgages were bundled into bonds and sold to investors. That process, repeated over and over, created a twisted paper trail. As the number of foreclosures increased dramatically across the nation, the morass worsened.

Many lenders believed they could still proceed with a foreclosure and later sort out the legal mess by proving they held the mortgage. That premise was rejected by the Land Court.

While it is unclear how many property takings have been done over, Elizabeth J. Barton, chairwoman of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Foreclosure Legislation Task Force, estimated the number could total in the thousands, based on action taken by lenders that was prompted by last year’s Land Court decision.

She said lenders are primarily targeting properties for which they have been denied title insurance because the original foreclosure did not comply with the court’s ruling.

Page 2 of 3 —

“Title insurance companies hesitate to extend protection to a loan that violates the ruling,’’ said Barton, title counsel at Connecticut Attorneys Title Insurance Co., which has offices throughout New England. “A lot of lenders have had to re-forecloseThe problem of cloudy title histories also is providing a boost to an increasing number of homeowners who are going to court to force lenders to prove they have a legal right to seize their properties.

Typically, homeowners argue against foreclosures by citing what they believe to be lenders’ shoddy paperwork and fraudulent documents. Concerns about such practices recently prompted 50 US attorneys general to spearhead an investigation into foreclosure practices, while some major lenders — including the nation’s largest, Bank of America Corp. — temporarily halted foreclosures to scrutinize their own practices.

Housing advocates argue that even if homeowners have not paid their mortgages — which is almost always the case by the time a foreclosure is underway — lenders must still be able to prove they have a right to a property before taking it.

The growing skepticism about foreclosure practices is helping more homeowners win their legal challenges, housing attorneys say. And lenders, hesitant to bring more questionable business practices to light, are more frequently retreating from court battles over foreclosed homes, making settlements with homeowners a more attractive option.

“Banks are less and less anxious to go forward in front of a jury,’’ said Maureen McDonagh, a director at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, a Jamaica Plain-based organization that provides legal help to low-income people. “People don’t trust the industry.’’

Taylor’s foreclosure story began like millions of others nationwide. He and his daughter, Suzette, refinanced their mortgage in 2004 with a subprime loan, the kind of toxic debt that pushed the US economy into a tailspin in 2008. They borrowed $325,000 from Ameriquest Mortgage Co., at a two-year fixed rate of 6.99 percent. Taylor lived on the first floor with four of his children and two grandchildren; Suzette lived on the second floor, with her three children.

When the mortgage reset in 2006, monthly payments rose to more than $3,000, from $2,160. That was too much for Taylor, who worked as a handyman at a local nonprofit and Suzette, a restaurant cashier. They tried to renegotiate the loan and even attempted to sell the property as a way out. Neither tactic worked, and in March 2008 the foreclosure went through.

Or so they thought. The tangled foreclosure process came to work in the Taylors’ favor.

Public records at the Registry of Deeds show that Wells Fargo, not Ameriquest, actually foreclosed on the home. That’s because the mortgage had been bundled into an asset-backed security and sold by Ameriquest, which did not file paperwork indicating the transfer to Wells Fargo until two months after the foreclosure..

Wells Fargo said it could not comment on the Taylors’ situation because it only served as the trustee to the loan. The bank referred questions about the dual foreclosures to the company that serviced the loan, HomEq Servicing, which was sold earlier this year, leaving no one to respond to questions about particulars of the case.

Wells Fargo said it could not comment on the Taylors’ situation because it only served as the trustee to the loan. The bank referred questions about the dual foreclosures to the company that serviced the loan, HomEq Servicing, which was sold earlier this year, leaving no one to respond to questions about particulars of the case.

In June 2009 — more than a year after the foreclosure — the Taylors received a letter from Wells Fargo saying they were being foreclosed upon again. Just as before, their attempts to work out a deal with the lender went nowhere.

The Taylors decided it was finally time to go. Zepheniah moved to an apartment with three of his sons; his adult daughters found separate apartments with their young children.

But the story did not end there.

Soon after the family left the three-decker, community activists from City Life/Vida Urbana knocked on the door. It was part of a canvassing effort by the Jamaica Plain housing group to urge residents to remain in foreclosed homes and fight eviction.

They found a tenant upstairs and left a message for the Taylors — come home now.

Zepheniah Taylor heeded their call and returned several months after leaving. He challenged the eviction in Boston Housing Court with the help of attorneys from Greater Boston Legal Services, claiming Wells Fargo made additional errors in the second foreclosure and still could not prove it had clear title to the home.

Judge Jeffrey M. Winik postponed the Taylors’ eviction to allow the case to go to Land Court. But Wells Fargo instead sold the house to a nonprofit lender, Boston Community Capital, for $188,000. The nonprofit resold it to Taylor and another adult daughter, Tisa, for $233,900 — about $91,000 less than the 2004 mortgage.

Taylor lives on the first floor with three sons — ages 9, 19, and 22. He rents out the second floor and is renovating the third.

Housing advocates say the Taylors prevailed mostly because they were tenacious.

“The problem is that so many of the homeowners already moved out and didn’t know the foreclosures were unlawful,’’ said Nadine Cohen, managing attorney for the consumer rights unit at Greater Boston Legal Services. “Those are the people who have really been harmed in all of this.’’

Jenifer B. McKim can be reached at

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Nov 17, 5:36 PM EST

House sustains Obama veto on mortgage bill

Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a largely token vote, the House on Wednesday declined to override President Barack Obama's veto of legislation that could have facilitated the processing of home foreclosure documents.

Obama, in rejecting the bill, said it could worsen problems related to recent revelations that some mortgage lenders have been evicting homeowners using fraudulent or flawed methods to expedite foreclosures.

"The president took the responsible course in refusing to sign the bill, so we can give it a fresh examination in light of these concerns," House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., said.

The House vote was 235-185 against overriding the veto. A veto override requires a two-thirds majority.

The legislation was meant to improve interstate commerce by requiring that notarized documents be recognized in any state or federal court. It would have allowed notarized documents to be processed electronically.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., argued that his legislation had no connection to the recent foreclosure problems. "This legislation expressly requires that lawful notarizations be recognized in other states and in no way validates improper notarizations."

"Let's be a little more careful here," responded Conyers. "A million people are losing their homes."

The White House, in explaining the president's veto a month ago, said the legislation could have "unintended consequences on consumer protections." Consumer advocates argued that it could make it difficult for homeowners to challenge foreclosure documents prepared in other states.

Among the problems that have emerged as lenders try to quickly process the flood of foreclosures caused by the mortgage crisis have been cases of not having a notary public in the room to certify that a signature is valid or having employees sign documents without reading them.

Obama has vetoed only two bills during his presidency. The other addressed a technicality on a defense spending bill. Both were "pocket vetoes," where the president fails to sign a bill within 10 days while Congress is not in session.


The bill is H.R. 3808



© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

MUST READ: Homeowner Activists: We Told You So by Richard Zombeck with Huffington Post


Over the past few weeks many of us with skin in the game have watched as the media finally started covering the foreclosure fiasco. Some homeowner activists saw it as the beginning of a long string of investigative reporting. The rest of us knew that it was only a matter of time before the next fluffy squirrel ran through the media's backyard, in the form of another one of the Palin's dancing or fishing, and they gave a tail wagging chase forgetting all about the half eaten homeowner carcass that looked so good five minutes before.

Some of us have stayed conspicuously quiet while more popular and salaried "professionals" took the reins, covering and uncovering banks and servicers behaving badly. In some cases it's proved to be a painful exercise in self-restraint to not get out the soapbox and megaphone and shout, "We told you so," or at the very least littering the articles with self-affirming comments.

18 months ago, I had dinner with several staff members of the House Finance Committee. When I told them about all this they gave me the deer in headlights look. I remember approaching the mainstream media then who acted like I was nothing more than a Che Guevara wannabe. I had associates in the mid-west doing short sales and modifications who couldn't figure out why they were getting nowhere with their files for 9-12 months, they finally came to me out of desperation. Within 3 weeks, I had the servicer begging to give the homeowner a modification because I was able to prove they lacked legal standing to foreclose and could face a fraud lawsuit.
Steve Dibert - MFI-Miami

Mike Dillon has been working to bring attention to MERS, robo-signers, and the blatant fraud in the foreclosure mill process for nearly seven years.

"I still had to get used to being looked at like a guy standing out in a cornfield describing how the lights came down out of the sky and stole my cow. As devastating as this level of fraud has been, it was nice to finally get that confirmation that I really wasn't crazy," Dillon said in a recent interview, referring to the rash of articles and testimonies proving his claims.  Dillon was recently featured on WMUR in New Hampshire discussing the basic case of legal standing a bank needs in order to foreclose and how many of them simply don't have that legal standing.

In January I argued that HAMP (the administrations failed modification program) was nothing more than a way for banks and servicers to suck more money out of strapped homeowner under the guise of hope.
In truth, a disturbingly large percentage are denied permanent modifications and given no reason why they are denied. These people will most likely face foreclosure, ruined credit, and shame, despite their best efforts and their proven ability to afford and pay the new mortgage. Bank of America for example, in what I can only assume is their "friends and family plan", permanently modified 98 mortgages of the 156, 864 trial modifications they started.  [Richard, I want to be sick.  Why is this little fact not all over the headlines?)

Many of the trial modifications have been extended unreasonably beyond the requisite three month period. The banks attribute the delay to questionable claims of lost paperwork and a lack of effort on the part of homeowners. Some homeowners have been stuck in a modification limbo for five or six months only to be denied a permanent modification after making the required payments.

"Taibbi is among those who will be saying I told you so," Robin Young of "Here and Now" said while plugging her interview with Matt Taibbi on Tuesday's NPR "Morning Edition".  Taibbi, whose main focus for the past couple of years has been Wall Street, recently turned his attention to the mortgage and foreclosure mess in his recent Rolling Stone piece "Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners" he manages to lay out, in one spectacular article, what the rest of us have been writing about for the past several years and have been emailing reporters and government officials about relentlessly.

Their stated mission isn't to decide right and wrong, but to clear cases and blast human beings out of their homes with ultimate velocity. They certainly have no incentive to penetrate the profound criminal mysteries of the great American mortgage bubble of the 2000s, perhaps the most complex Ponzi scheme in human history -- an epic mountain range of corporate fraud in which Wall Street megabanks conspired first to collect huge numbers of subprime mortgages, then to unload them on unsuspecting third parties like pensions, trade unions and insurance companies (and, ultimately, you and me, as taxpayers) in the guise of AAA-rated investments. Selling lead as gold, shit as Chanel No. 5, was the essence of the booming international fraud scheme that created most all of these now-failing home mortgages.

The rocket docket wasn't created to investigate any of that. It exists to launder the crime and bury the evidence by speeding thousands of fraudulent and predatory loans to the ends of their life cycles, so that the houses attached to them can be sold again with clean paperwork. The judges, in fact, openly admit that their primary mission is not justice but speed. One Jacksonville judge, the Honorable A.C. Soud, even told a local newspaper that his goal is to resolve 25 cases per hour. Given the way the system is rigged, that means His Honor could well be throwing one ass on the street every 2.4 minutes.

Matt Taibbi: Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners | Rolling Stone Politics (
The exposure in the mainstream will hopefully help shed some light on the situation and draw attention to the fact that this was more than just deadbeat homeowners. It's certainly more than a handful of crazy bloggers with skin in the game can accomplish.

That's not to say that the press has been completely remiss in covering the mortgage and foreclosure mess. Arthur Delaney and Shahien Nasiripour of HuffPost; Gretchen Morgenson, The New York Times; Felix Salmon, Reuters; Denise Richardson, and Sun Sentinel, and Bob Sullivan, MSNBC to name a few have all been vigilant and relentless in their coverage since the economic implode.
William Black, former Senior Regulator during the S&L debacle has also been writing several posts in HuffPost about the mortgage fraud and about Bank of America's possible insolvency.  Bill Black And L. Randall Wray Demand Bank Of America Finally Open It Books...

This is something Steve Dibert of MFI-Miami wrote about back in July, in "Is Bank of America Hiding an Insolvency Problem From The Public?"

Black has also made a much needed argument for homeowners and has argued vehemently against the tired argument on the part of banks, servicers, and sanctimonious, self-righteous blog commenters who blame homeowners.

"It is even more absurd to believe that honest lenders, finding themselves the victims of an epidemic of mortgage fraud by these clever working class Americans, responded by (1) massively expanding the number of liar's loans they made, (2) spreading them to subprime borrowers with severe credit defects, (3) made defaults on the loans, and the loss upon default, far greater by layering risk and inflating appraisals, and (4) slashed their allowances for losses (ALLL) to trivial levels to ensure that the inevitable fraud losses would cause catastrophic losses."

Lenders Put the Lies in Liar's Loans, Part 2
While Black's measured and reserved snarkiness and sarcasm shows empathy to homeowners being targeted for having caused the meltdown, Taibbi takes it to a level only he can and nicely sums up the way we've all been feeling for years.

The way the banks tell it, it doesn't matter if they defrauded homeowners and investors and taxpayers alike to get these loans. All that matters is that a bunch of deadbeats aren't paying their fucking bills. "If you didn't pay your mortgage, you shouldn't be in your house -- period," is how Walter Todd, portfolio manager at Greenwood Capital Associates, puts it. "People are getting upset about something that's just procedural."

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, is even more succinct in dismissing the struggling homeowners that he and the other megabanks scammed before tossing out into the street. "We're not evicting people who deserve to stay in their house," Dimon says.

There are two things wrong with this argument. (Well, more than two, actually, but let's just stick to the two big ones.)

The first reason is: It simply isn't true. Many people who are being foreclosed on have actually paid their bills and followed all the instructions laid down by their banks. In some cases, a homeowner contacts the bank to say that he's having trouble paying his bill, and the bank offers him loan modification. But the bank tells him that in order to qualify for modification, he must first be delinquent on his mortgage. "They actually tell people to stop paying their bills for three months," says Parker.

During his interview on "Here and Now" Taibbi drove that point home and was adamant in clarifying, "A lot of the [homeowners] I ran into in Florida actually were current on their payments," referring to the accusations that people deserved to be foreclosed on and that the paperwork - accurate or not was irrelevant.

It is however, bittersweet to see stories popping up two, sometimes three years later, confirming and corroborating what we've been saying all along. While it's nice to be right and certainly satisfying to have high rollers like Taibbi and Black finally agree with us and confirm our theories and speculations, who wants to be right about this?

What's most disturbing in all of this is most of us came to our conclusions by asking one simple question ... "What could possibly go wrong?"

Follow Richard Zombeck on Twitter:

Enhanced by Zemanta


If you would like to receive information on how you might avoid the foreclosure of your home, please e-mail me your name, address, and phone number. Someone from our office will be in touch right away to assist you. With Warm Regards, Kelly L. Hansen, HOMEOWNERS HELPING HOMEOWNERS,
Be happy, healthy and prosperous, but most of all, be blessed.
Kelly L. Hansen's photo.

Kelly L. Hansen

Jurisdictionary® just click on the link
Make Sure Your Attorney Is Working For You!
Kelly L. Hansen
33605 W. 88th Street
De Soto, KS 66018
913-269-0399 Phone
888-881-2349 Fax