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Tag Archive | "Housing Crisis"

Woman Sold Wrong Foreclosed Home

Woman Sold Wrong Foreclosed Home


HuffPO-

The foreclosure crisis just resulted in a very expensive mix-up for one Mississippi resident.

Terry Jordan was sold the wrong foreclosed home by her realtor and wasn’t informed until after she had spent thousands of dollars on renovations, WREG 3 reports. Her realtor then admitted she had actually been sold the house a few feet away, one half the size and full of mold.

Mississippi is far from one of the more dense foreclosure landscapes in the country. Only one in 4034 properties received a foreclosure filing in March, according to RealtyTrac. Yet the realty company told WREG 3 that they had been given the wrong information by the bank in charge of the foreclosed home anyway. Jordan planned to sell the home at a profit.

[HUFFINGTON POST]

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Bad Mortgage Case Draws Consumer Financial Protection Bureau To Homeowner’s Side

Bad Mortgage Case Draws Consumer Financial Protection Bureau To Homeowner’s Side


HuffPO-

How many hoops do homeowners have to jump through to shake off a bad mortgage?

This question is at the heart of a growing area of law as judges across the country try to determine whether borrowers who took out loans at the height of the subprime bubble, under shady terms that they weren’t told about, can cancel their mortgage and walk away debt-free.

Under the federal Truth in Lending Act, homebuyers who aren’t properly informed of the terms of their mortgage have up to three years to cancel or “rescind” the loan. What’s unclear now is whether borrowers, to ensure the debt is canceled, also have to file a lawsuit within that three-year window against whoever owns the loan.

On Tuesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau weighed in, filing a friend of the court brief in a

[HUFFINGTON POST]

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Ben Hallman: Home Loans Can Walk, Your Mortgage Nightmare Explained

Ben Hallman: Home Loans Can Walk, Your Mortgage Nightmare Explained


HuffPO-

We may question the need for 17 brands of dishwashing detergent, but giving consumers choices is an excellent check against many types of harmful behavior of companies that make and sell products.

Sell pet food that kills cats and dogs, manufacture a pickup truck with an exploding gas tank, or even try to spin off your popular DVD-by-mail business, and customers will flee.

“This is the classic market response,” said Katherine Porter, a consumer law professor at the University of California. “Consumers vote with their feet.”

But when it comes to buying a home, these market forces are largely neutralized. That’s because debt also has feet. These days home loans, especially loans in default or otherwise in distress, get traded around more often than a mid-career relief pitcher. The lender that makes the loan may sell it to an investor, like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or another bank. Sometimes the original lender gets bought out by another bank and the loan is transferred.

For homeowners who remain current on their payments and can avoid financial distress, it rarely matters who owns or services their home loan. But when times get tough, that changes.

[HUFFINGTON POST]

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Treasury Investigates Freddie Mac Investment

Treasury Investigates Freddie Mac Investment


Do you think this has anything to do with this? :) How Henry Paulson Tipped Off Hedge Funds of Fannie Mae Rescue

Could he also be tied to this?


Yahoo-

The Treasury Department is investigating a report that Freddie Mac, the mortgage giant, bet against homeowners’ ability to refinance their loans even as it was making it more difficult for them to do so, Jay Carney, a White House spokesman, said on Monday.

The report came just as the Obama administration had been escalating its efforts to push Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ease conditions for homeowners, including those who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

Last Friday, the Treasury announced that it would offer increased incentives to lenders to forgive portions of homeowner debt, saying pointedly that for the first time the incentives would be offered on loans held by Fannie and Freddie.

[YAHOO]

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Freddie Mac Bets Against American Homeowners

Freddie Mac Bets Against American Homeowners


ProPublica & NPR-

Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-owned mortgage giant, has placed multibillion-dollar bets that pay off if homeowners stay trapped in expensive mortgages with interest rates well above current rates.

Freddie began increasing these bets dramatically in late 2010, the same time that the company was making it harder for homeowners to get out of such high-interest mortgages.

No evidence has emerged that these decisions were coordinated. The company is a key gatekeeper for home loans but says its traders are “walled off” from the officials who have restricted homeowners from taking advantage of historically low interest rates by imposing higher fees and new rules.

[PROPUBICA]

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Foreclosure Lawyer Could Lose Her Home Because Of Alleged Bank Error

Foreclosure Lawyer Could Lose Her Home Because Of Alleged Bank Error


You know it’s going to end badly when these joker of banks screw with the wrong person!

HuffPO-

Christine Jackson’s three-bedroom wood-frame home in Indianapolis is in danger of foreclosure. It’s not because she can’t afford her mortgage, but because of a bank error, she said.

Jackson is one among thousands of homeowners from all walks of life who have complained that the major banks that service their mortgages have made frequent errors in calculating their loans. These errors include slapping unnecessary inspection fees onto accounts, misapplying payments in violation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines and “force-placing” expensive insurance onto homes that are already insured.

Jackson knows all this all too well because she is a lawyer who represents homeowners trying to stave off foreclosure. Often, those clients have claimed that their bank or mortgage servicer made a mistake in tabulating the cost of their loan, triggering a wrongful default. Jackson, 54, a former fraud investigator for the Internal Revenue Service, now understands firsthand the frustration that her clients face.

[HUFFINGTONPOST]

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The 11 Most Bizarre Foreclosure Stories Of 2011

The 11 Most Bizarre Foreclosure Stories Of 2011


HuffPO-

The housing collapse and subsequent foreclosure crisis has claimed the homes of millions of Americans. But that tragedy may only be matched by the absurdity of some of its tales.

As of February, lenders had foreclosed on 2.7 million homes out of the 42.2 million mortgages borrowers took out between 2004 and 2008, according to a recent report by the Center for Responsible Lending. Though many of the foreclosures have been routine, the sheer volume has resulted in some glaring errors and bizarre evictions.

One Florida couple was threatened with foreclosure for making a payment too early. In Texas, a man faced foreclosure on a home that was destroyed by Hurricane Ike years ago, while in Massachusetts, Bank of America threatened to seize a home if it didn’t receive an outstanding mortgage payment worth $0.00.

But there is some indication that these ridiculous stories are indicative of a systematic pattern of wrongdoing on the part of the lenders. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a lawsuit, earlier this week, against five of the biggest mortgage lenders, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citbank and Ally Financial Inc., alleging the lenders used fraudulent paper work to foreclose on “hundreds if not thousands” of Massachusetts homes, BusinessWeek reports.

[HUFFINGTONPOST]

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Robo-Signing Continues On Key Land Records In North Carolina

Robo-Signing Continues On Key Land Records In North Carolina


HuffPO-

When banks were caught improperly signing off on foreclosure documents last fall, consumer advocates and property rights experts hoped the public outcry would force the companies to change their foreclosure processing systems to ensure that meaningful document reviews were conducted and wrongful foreclosures were prevented.

But in at least one county in North Carolina, banks have responded by exploiting a filing loophole that has allowed them to continue signing off on key documents en masse, according to a local official.

Come back and check these two links below…

MERS Signing Agreements /Corporate Resolutions Signed Using Stamps

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ARE MERS’ SIGNATURES ON DOCUMENTS REAL or SCANNED DUPLICATES?

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U.S. Home Prices Face 3-Year Drop as Inventory Surge Looms

U.S. Home Prices Face 3-Year Drop as Inventory Surge Looms


I have the perfect solution…Why not give the current homeowner a “short sale” price modification and call it a happy ending to all? Buyers are too wise nowadays.

Besides most future homeowners will have a defective title or will have an F in the past!

Here’s an example why it makes sense to work with the current owner:

LPS using their MN address purchased my home at auction for 75% discount put it on the market for about 80% and made a few grand from the highest contract that was accepted. It benefited no one!

Now if they use my solution not only will the investors save on the fees they payout to the foreclosure mills but also on the late fees the homeowner accrues…see isn’t this economic sense for everyone?

By John Gittelsohn and Kathleen M. Howley – Sep 15, 2010 12:14 PM ET

The slide in U.S. home prices may have another three years to go as sellers add as many as 12 million more properties to the market.

Shadow inventory — the supply of homes in default or foreclosure that may be offered for sale — is preventing prices from bottoming after a 28 percent plunge from 2006, according to analysts from Moody’s Analytics Inc., Fannie Mae, Morgan Stanley and Barclays Plc. Those properties are in addition to houses that are vacant or that may soon be put on the market by owners.

“Whether it’s the sidelined, shadow or current inventory, the issue is there’s more supply than demand,” said Oliver Chang, a U.S. housing strategist with Morgan Stanley in San Francisco. “Once you reach a bottom, it will take three or four years for prices to begin to rise 1 or 2 percent a year.”

Rising supply threatens to undermine government efforts to boost the housing market as homebuyers wait for better deals. Further price declines are necessary for a sustainable rebound as a stimulus-driven recovery falters, said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist of Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc., a New York economic forecasting firm.

Sales of new and existing homes fell to the lowest levels on record in July as a federal tax credit for buyers expired and U.S. unemployment remained near a 26-year high. The median price of a previously owned home in the month was $182,600, about the level it was in 2003, the National Association of Realtors said.

Fannie Mae Forecast

Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. mortgage finance company, today lowered its forecast for home sales this year, projecting a 7 percent decline from 2009. A drop in demand after the April 30 tax credit expiration “suggests weakening home prices” in the third quarter, according to the report.

There were 4 million homes listed with brokers for sale as of July. It would take a record 12.5 months for those properties to be sold at that month’s sales pace, according to the Chicago- based Realtors group.

“The best thing that could happen is for prices to get to a level that clears the market,” said Shapiro, who predicts prices may fall another 10 percent to 15 percent. “Right now, buyers know it hasn’t hit bottom, so they’re sitting on the sidelines.”

About 2 million houses will be seized by lenders by the end of next year, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He estimates prices will drop 5 percent by 2013.

‘Lost Decade’

After reaching bottom, prices will gain at the historic annual pace of 3 percent, requiring more than 10 years to return to their peak, he said.

“A long if not lost decade,” Zandi said.

Continue reading….BLOOMBERG

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Posted in bloomberg, chain in title, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, mbs, mortgage, repossession, rmbs, shadow foreclosuresComments (1)

Treasury Makes Shocking Admission: Program for Struggling Homeowners Just a Ploy to Enrich Big Banks

Treasury Makes Shocking Admission: Program for Struggling Homeowners Just a Ploy to Enrich Big Banks


The Treasury Dept.’s mortgage relief program isn’t just failing, it’s actively funneling money from homeowners to bankers, and Treasury likes it that way.

August 25, 2010 |AlterNet / By Zach Carter

The Treasury Department’s plan to help struggling homeowners has been failing miserably for months. The program is poorly designed, has been poorly implemented and only a tiny percentage of borrowers eligible for help have actually received any meaningful assistance. The initiative lowers monthly payments for borrowers, but fails to reduce their overall debt burden, often increasing that burden, funneling money to banks that borrowers could have saved by simply renting a different home. But according to recent startling admissions from top Treasury officials, the mortgage plan was actually not really about helping borrowers at all. Instead, it was simply one element of a broader effort to pump money into big banks and shield them from losses on bad loans. That’s right: Treasury openly admitted that its only serious program purporting to help ordinary citizens was actually a cynical move to help Wall Street megabanks.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has long made it clear his financial repair plan was based on allowing large banks to “earn” their way back to health. By creating conditions where banks could make easy profits, Getithner and top officials at the Federal Reserve hoped to limit the amount of money taxpayers would have to directly inject into the banks. This was never the best strategy for fixing the financial sector, but it wasn’t outright predation, either. But now the Treasury Department is making explicit that it was—and remains—willing to let those so-called “earnings” come directly at the expense of people hit hardest by the recession: struggling borrowers trying to stay in their homes.

This account comes secondhand from a cadre of bloggers who were invited to speak on “deep background” with a handful of Treasury officials—meaning that bloggers would get to speak frankly with top-level folks, but not quote them directly, or attribute views to specific people. But the accounts are all generally distressing, particularly this one from economics whiz Steve Waldman:

The program was successful in the sense that it kept the patient alive until it had begun to heal. And the patient of this metaphor was not a struggling homeowner, but the financial system, a.k.a. the banks. Policymakers openly judged HAMP to be a qualified success because it helped banks muddle through what might have been a fatal shock. I believe these policymakers conflate, in full sincerity, incumbent financial institutions with “the system,” “the economy,” and “ordinary Americans.”

Mike Konczal confirms Waldman’s observation, and Felix Salmon also says the program has done little more than delay foreclosures, as does Shahien Nasiripour.

Here’s how Geithner’s Home Affordability Modification Program (HAMP) works, or rather, doesn’t work. Troubled borrowers can apply to their banks for relief on monthly mortgage payments. Banks who agree to participate in HAMP also agree to do a bunch of things to reduce the monthly payments for borrowers, from lowering interest rates to extending the term of the loan. This is good for the bank, because they get to keep accepting payments from borrowers without taking a big loss on the loan.

But the deal is not so good for homeowners. Banks don’t actually have to reduce how much borrowers actually owe them—only how much they have to pay out every month. For borrowers who owe tens of thousands of dollars more than their home is worth, the deal just means that they’ll be pissing away their money to the bank more slowly than they were before. If a homeowner spends $3,000 a month on her mortgage, HAMP might help her get that payment down to $2,500. But if she still owes $50,000 more than her house is worth, the plan hasn’t actually helped her. Even if the borrower gets through HAMP’s three-month trial period, the plan has done nothing but convince her to funnel another $7,500 to a bank that doesn’t deserve it.

Most borrowers go into the program expecting real relief. After the trial period, most realize that it doesn’t actually help them, and end up walking away from the mortgage anyway. These borrowers would have been much better off simply finding a new place to rent without going through the HAMP rigamarole. This example is a good case, one where the bank doesn’t jack up the borrower’s long-term debt burden in exchange for lowering monthly payments

But the benefit to banks goes much deeper. On any given mortgage, it’s almost always in a bank’s best interest to cut a deal with borrowers. Losses from foreclosure are very high, and if a bank agrees to reduce a borrower’s debt burden, it will take an upfront hit, but one much lower than what it would ultimately take from foreclosure.

That logic changes dramatically when millions of loans are defaulting at once. Under those circumstances, bank balance sheets are so fragile they literally cannot afford to absorb lots of losses all at once. But if those foreclosures unravel slowly, over time, the bank can still stay afloat, even if it has to bear greater costs further down the line. As former Deutsche Bank executive Raj Date told me all the way back in July 2009:

If management is only seeking to maximize value for their existing shareholders, it’s possible that maybe they’re doing the right thing. If you’re able to let things bleed out slowly over time but still generate some earnings, if it bleeds slow enough, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, because you never have to issue more stock and dilute your shareholders. You could make an argument from the point of view of any bank management team that not taking a day-one hit is actually a smart idea.

Date, it should be emphasized, does not condone this strategy. He now heads the Cambridge Winter Center for Financial Institutions Policy, and is a staunch advocate of financial reform.

If, say, Wells Fargo had taken a $20 billion hit on its mortgage book in February 2009, it very well could have failed. But losing a few billion dollars here and there over the course of three or four years means that Wells Fargo can stay in business and keep paying out bonuses, even if it ultimately sees losses of $25 or $30 billion on its bad loans.

So HAMP is doing a great job if all you care about is the solvency of Wall Street banks. But if borrowers know from the get-go they’re not going to get a decent deal, they have no incentive to keep paying their mortgage. Instead of tapping out their savings and hitting up relatives for help with monthly payments, borrowers could have saved their money, walked away from the mortgage and found more sensible rental housing. The administration’s plan has effectively helped funnel more money to Wall Street at the expense of homeowners. And now the Treasury Department is going around and telling bloggers this is actually a positive feature of the program, since it meant that big banks didn’t go out of business.

There were always other options for dealing with the banks and preventing foreclosures. Putting big, faltering banks into receivership—also known as “nationalization”—has been a powerful policy tool used by every administration from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan. When the government takes over a bank, it forces it to take those big losses upfront, wiping out shareholders in the process. Investors lose a lot of money (and they should, since they made a lousy investment), but the bank is cleaned up quickly and can start lending again. No silly games with borrowers, and no funky accounting gimmicks.

Most of the blame for the refusal to nationalize failing Wall Street titans lies with the Bush administration, although Obama had the opportunity to make a move early in his tenure, and Obama’s Treasury Secretary, Geithner, was a major bailout decision-maker on the Bush team as president of the New York Fed.

But Bush cannot be blamed for the HAMP nightmare, and plenty of other options were available for coping with foreclosure when Obama took office. One of the best solutions was just endorsed by the Cleveland Federal Reserve, in the face of prolonged and fervent opposition from the bank lobby. Unlike every other form of consumer debt, mortgages are immune from renegotiation in bankruptcy. If you file for bankruptcy, a judge literally cannot reduce how much you owe on your mortgage. The only way out of the debt is foreclosure, giving banks tremendous power in negotiations with borrowers.

This exemption is arbitrary and unfair, but the bank lobby contends it keeps mortgage rates lower. It’s just not true, as a new paper by Cleveland Fed economists Thomas J. Fitzpatrick IV and James B. Thomson makes clear. Family farms were exempted from bankruptcy until 1986, and bankers bloviated about the same imminent risk of unaffordable farm loans when Congress considered ending that status to prevent farm foreclosures.

When Congress did repeal the exemption, farm loans didn’t get any more expensive, and bankruptcy filings didn’t even increase very much. Instead, a flood of farmers entered into negotiations with banks to have their debt burden reduced. Banks took losses, but foreclosures were avoided. Society was better off, even if bank investors had to take a hit.

But instead, Treasury is actively encouraging troubled homeowners to subsidize giant banks. What’s worse, as Mike Konczal notes, they’re hoping to expand the program significantly.

There is a flip-side to the current HAMP nightmare, one that borrowers faced with mortgage problems should attend to closely and discuss with financial planners. In many cases, banks don’t actually want to foreclose quickly, because doing so entails taking losses right away, and most of them would rather drag those losses out over time. The accounting rules are so loose that banks can actually book phantom “income” on monthly payments that borrowers do not actually make. Some borrowers have been able to benefit from this situation by simply refusing to pay their mortgages. Since banks often want to delay repossessing the house in order to benefit from tricky accounting, borrowers can live rent-free in their homes for a year or more before the bank finally has to lower the hatchet. Of course, you won’t hear Treasury encouraging people to stop paying their mortgages. If too many people just stop paying, then banks are out a lot of money fast, sparking big, quick losses for banks — the exact situation HAMP is trying to avoid.

Borrowers who choose not to pay their mortgages don’t even have to feel guilty about it. Refusing to pay is actually modestly good for the economy, since instead of wasting their money on bank payments, borrowers have more cash to spend at other businesses, creating demand and encouraging job growth. By contrast, top-level Treasury officials who have enriched bankers on the backs of troubled borrowers should be looking for other lines of work.

Zach Carter is AlterNet’s economics editor. He is a fellow at Campaign for America’s Future, writes a weekly blog on the economy for the Media Consortium and is a frequent contributor to The Nation magazine.

Source: AlterNet

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Posted in coercion, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, federal reserve board, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, geithner, hamp, insider, investigation, trade secretsComments (0)

Potentially ‘Thousands’ Of Homeowners Improperly Denied Obama Mortgage Modifications, Administration Admits

Potentially ‘Thousands’ Of Homeowners Improperly Denied Obama Mortgage Modifications, Administration Admits


Lets not act surprise…by now we all know ANYTHING the US GOVERNMENT touches turns to ___________!

Because these lying banksters get away with ________________! We should foreclose on their _____________and kick them to the curb! Get your stress out and fill in the blank!

WE are not fools and we do not believe one thing they say!

shahien@huffingtonpost.com | HuffPost Reporting
First Posted: 06-29-10 06:22 PM   |   Updated: 06-29-10 06:22 PM



Potentially “thousands” of troubled homeowners were denied opportunities to lower their monthly mortgage payments under the Obama administration’s signature foreclosure-prevention plan due to servicer errors and inadequate oversight by the Treasury Department, a government audit has found.

Mortgage servicers failed to comply with basic guidelines, used different criteria to evaluate borrowers, recorded error rates up to six times their established thresholds, and couldn’t provide evidence that potentially eligible homeowners had been solicited for the administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program, also known as HAMP.

The errors are partly due to Treasury’s failure to issue specific guidelines for servicers to follow, and the administration’s lack of quality-control standards. Because servicers aren’t required to adhere to the same set of standards, there’s a risk that firms aren’t identifying practices “that may lead to inequitable treatment of borrowers or harm taxpayers through greater potential for fraud or waste,” according to a Thursday report by the Government Accountability Office.

But even if servicers were fraudulently modifying loans or improperly denying modifications to distressed homeowners, Treasury “has yet to establish specific consequences or penalties for noncompliance,” the GAO notes. The department has yet to fine any servicers for noncompliance, according to the report.

Already, “Treasury specifically allows some differences in how servicers evaluate borrowers… that could result in inconsistent outcomes for borrowers,” the report found.

The end result could be the “inequitable treatment” of struggling homeowners who were looking to an administration for help during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. HAMP is the centerpiece of the administration’s $75 billion effort to stem the rising tide of foreclosures.

“I find it saddening and frustrating that none of these problems, which we among other people identified to Treasury over a year ago, have been meaningfully addressed,” said Diane E. Thompson, a lawyer with the National Consumer Law Center. “And as a result, we lost a major opportunity to stem the foreclosure crisis.”

Continue reading….here

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