Congressional Hearing | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

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Testimony of Simon Johnson, the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)

Testimony of Simon Johnson, the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)


Simon Johnson
Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

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Congressional Oversight Panel to Hold Hearing with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Congressional Oversight Panel to Hold Hearing with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2010

Thomas Seay
Thomas_Seay@cop.senate.gov
202-224-9979

On Thursday, December 16, the Congressional Oversight Panel will hold a hearing with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in room 538 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Congress created the Congressional Oversight Panel to oversee the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which was originally authorized to spend $700 billion in taxpayer dollars.

WHO: Members of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel

WHAT: Hearing with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

WHEN: Thursday, December 16, 2010; 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Room 538, Dirksen Senate Office Building

The hearing is open to press and public and will be webcast on the Panel’s website at cop.senate.gov. Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for webcast hearings, should contact the Panel’s staff at 202-224-9925 at least two business days in advance of the hearing date.

The Congressional Oversight Panel was created to oversee the expenditure of the Troubled Asset Relief Program funds authorized by Congress in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and to provide recommendations on regulatory reform. The Panel members are former Senator Ted Kaufman; J. Mark McWatters; Richard H. Neiman, Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York; Damon Silvers, Policy Director and Special Counsel for the AFL-CIO;and Kenneth Troske, William B. Sturgill Professor of Economics at the University of Kentucky.

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ONEWEST FORECLOSES, OFFERS A MOD 6 MONTHS AFTER THE AUCTION!

ONEWEST FORECLOSES, OFFERS A MOD 6 MONTHS AFTER THE AUCTION!


Bank evicts, then offers Boca Raton couple a loan mod

By Kimberly Miller Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 10:34 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010
Posted: 10:27 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010

In hours of congressional hearings last week, the nation’s banks were repeatedly condemned for dual-track loan modification systems that give hope to homeowners seeking lower monthly payments while at the same time foreclosing on their properties behind their backs.

“Unacceptable deficiencies,” is how the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency put it. Failed oversight, ineffective practices and insufficient staffing were criticisms added by other top regulators and legislators.

Boca Raton resident James Strass­burger could have told lawmakers all that. He just wishes they were listening this year when One West Bank sold his home at foreclosure auction during negotiations for a loan modification.

Strassburger, 56, and his wife, Deborah, 58, who lived in their home for 19 years, were ordered out in May, holding two yard sales so they could squeeze into a rented apartment.

But the real kick in the gut came in August, six months after the auction, when they got a letter congratulating them for earning a trial loan modification. It was followed by a note alerting them to a hearing­ that would essentially give them their home back. Their mortgage payment was due Sept. 1, the letter reminded.

“This all could have been avoided. We could have been living our lives,” said James Strass­burger, a former business owner whose flooring jobs dropped off when the economy fell. “It’s not a good feeling. I don’t like seeing my wife cry.”

One West Bank said it was looking into the Strass­burgers’ case, but did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Washington lawmakers began paying earnest attention to the nation’s foreclosure nightmare this fall as banks pulled back on their home repossessions after acknowledging assembly line-like processing systems had potentially illegal shortcomings.

Hastily prepared court documents, as well as the dual-track foreclosure and loan modification process, were discussed Wednesday in a hearing of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and Thursday in the House Judiciary Committee.

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U.S. Homeowners Drop Out of Foreclosure Program Amid Record Defaults

U.S. Homeowners Drop Out of Foreclosure Program Amid Record Defaults


By Lorraine Woellert and Clea Benson – Nov 18, 2010 7:26 PM ET

U.S. homeowners are dropping out of the Obama administration’s foreclosure prevention program at a faster rate than they are joining it, according to figures released today by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Borrowers aided by the Home Affordable Modification Program grew to nearly 520,000 in October, up 23,750 from a month earlier, the Treasury said in its monthly report. The increase was less than five percent. A total of 36,300 borrowers have dropped out of the plan for failing to make their payments, an increase of 24 percent from a month earlier.

At a congressional hearing earlier in the day, lawmakers said HAMP, which pays lenders to modify loans and reduce monthly payments for struggling borrowers, isn’t doing enough to help homeowners falling behind on their mortgages amid high unemployment and depressed real estate values.

“It’s safe to say that HAMP isn’t meeting its goal of preventing foreclosures,” Representative Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, said at a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing after the Treasury provided a preview of the report.

The Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development issue monthly progress reports on HAMP, a $50 billion program authorized by Congress in 2009. The program was targeted to reach more than 3 million homeowners by paying mortgage servicers $1,000 to rewrite loan terms and $1,000 annually as long as the borrower participates, up to three years.

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CitiMortgage Reviewing 14,000 Affidavits: TESTIMONY OF HAROLD LEWIS

CitiMortgage Reviewing 14,000 Affidavits: TESTIMONY OF HAROLD LEWIS


Testimony of Harold Lewis
Managing Director, CitiMortgage
Before the Committee on Financial Services
Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity
November 18, 2010

Excerpt:

As an additional quality control measure, Citi is currently reviewing approximately 10,000 affidavits that were executed in pending judicial foreclosures initiated prior to February 2010 to assure that these affidavits are substantively correct and properly executed. Citi expects that affidavits executed prior to the fall of 2009 will need to be re-filed.

Separately, Citi is also reviewing approximately 4,000 pending foreclosure affidavits in judicial states that were executed at our Dallas processing center and may not have been signed in the presence of a notary, to assure that these affidavits are substantively correct and properly executed. Citi expects that it will re-file these affidavits.

Lastly, as previously announced, Citi stopped referring new matters to the Florida law firm David Stern in September of 2010 and has since withdrawn all pending matters from that firm. As an added precaution and quality-control measure, Citi is transferring approximately 8,500 pending foreclosure files from the Stern law firm to new counsel. New affidavits for these cases will be prepared and re-filed by new counsel under Citi’s current procedures.

Continue reading…

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Testimony of Katherine M. Porter Before the Congressional Oversight Panel

Testimony of Katherine M. Porter Before the Congressional Oversight Panel


Please visit her website at MortgageStudy.org

The Mortgage Study is an empirical study of homeowners in financial distress. The co-principal investigators, Tara Twomey and Katherine Porter, began the project in 2004 to explore the intersection of homeownership and bankruptcy. With funding from the Endowment for Education of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, they constructed a sample of over 1700 chapter bankruptcy cases, coding over 100 data points for each case on each homeowner’s mortgage obligations. The first paper to use Mortgage Study data, Misbehavior and Mistake in Bankruptcy Mortgage Claims, was published in the Texas Law Review in 2008 and was featured in a front-page story in the New York Times. Porter and Twomey are frequent speakers on mortgage issues and continue to release new research using the Mortgage Study data.

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