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MA SJC Agrees To Hear Crucial Foreclosure Standing Case In HSBC Bank v. Matt

MA SJC Agrees To Hear Crucial Foreclosure Standing Case In HSBC Bank v. Matt


Thank You Attorney Glenn Russell for doggedly pursuing these Gangster Banksters…

Via: Rich Vetstein

Court May Decide Lenders’ Standing In All Foreclosure Cases Involving Securitized Mortgages

With all the hoopla yesterday surrounding Attorney General Martha Coakley’s monumental lawsuit against the big banks over foreclosure practices, the Supreme Judicial Court on November 29, 2011 quietly agreed to hear an appeal over whether a lender holding a securitized mortgage has standing to even begin a foreclosure action in the Land Court under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act–one of the first steps in the Massachusetts foreclosure process.

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
THE TRIAL COURT
LAND COURT DEPARTMENT

HSBC BANK USA, N.A., as trustee of Ace
Securities Corp., Home Equity Loan Trust, Series
2005-HE4,
Plaintiff,

v.

JODI MATT,
Defendant

[ipaper docId=74575072 access_key=key-1pc86ivrmcshxa3n5gih height=600 width=600 /]

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Ranking Members Cummings, Smith, and Andrews Lead Members in Calling on Housing Regulators to Help Servicemembers Avoid Foreclosure

Ranking Members Cummings, Smith, and Andrews Lead Members in Calling on Housing Regulators to Help Servicemembers Avoid Foreclosure


Washington, D.C. — Today Representatives Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the Committee on Armed Services, and Robert Andrews, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, joined nine Members in writing to federal housing regulators requesting a comprehensive review of the challenges facing servicemembers who are forced to relocate for work and risk losing their homes.

“Men and women in uniform, who make unyielding sacrifices to protect our nation, are not immune to the worst economic downturn in nearly a century,” the Members wrote.  “We urge you to protect their homes by adjusting current home foreclosure prevention programs and pressing mortgage servicers to address the unique challenges of military homeowners.”

The Members sent letters to Departments of Treasury and Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, after hearing concerns from servicemembers about the difficulties they face when receiving Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, and attempting to qualify for home foreclosure prevention programs. Servicemembers and their families are often unable to sell their homes quickly at prices that will enable them to pay off their mortgages, and they cannot generate enough rental income to cover their mortgage payments or retain their homes until housing prices return to normal values.

The Ranking Members have led congressional efforts to help servicemembers and their families stay in their homes.

In July, Members led a forum with Senator Jay Rockefeller to examine illegal foreclosures against servicemembers and their families. Holly Petraeus, the director of the Office of Servicemember Affairs at CFPB, appeared alongside servicemembers and other experts to begin developing recommendations to help servicemembers with housing issues.

Below is the letter.

September 27, 2011

The Honorable Timothy Geithner                       The Honorable Shaun Donovan
Secretary of Treasury                                              Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Department of the Treasury                        U.S. Department of Housing
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.                     and Urban Development
Washington, D.C. 20220                                        451 7th Street, S.W.
                                                                                         Washington, D.C. 20410

Edward DeMarco                                                     The Honorable Mary L. Schapiro.
Acting Director                                                        Chairman
Federal Housing Finance Agency                    Securities and Exchange Commission
1700 G Street, N.W., 4th Floor                         100 F. Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20552                                      Washington, D.C. 20549

Dear Secretary Geithner, Secretary Donovan, Chairman Schapiro and Director DeMarco:

We write to urge you to take action to protect military families who have been particularly hard hit by the ongoing foreclosure crisis.  Men and women in uniform, who make unyielding sacrifices to protect our nation, are not immune to the worst economic downturn in nearly a century.  We urge you to protect their homes by adjusting current home foreclosure prevention programs and pressing mortgage servicers to address the unique challenges of military homeowners.

We hear repeatedly from servicemembers and their families about challenges they face with Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders.  These servicemembers are typically current on their mortgages, but they are forced to move because the military requires them to do so.   Like so many other Americans, servicemembers and their families are often unable to sell their homes quickly at prices that will enable them to pay off their mortgages, and they cannot generate enough rental income to cover their mortgage payments or retain their homes until housing prices return to normal values.  Many of these families are also forced to make ends meet with lower housing allowances at their next duty stations, and they sometimes lose the incomes of non-military spouses as they try to find new employment.

Military servicemembers with PCS orders often do not qualify for mortgage modifications because they are not delinquent on their mortgages or because their homes are no longer their primary residences.  If they opt for delinquency, foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure, short sale, or bankruptcy, their credit could be negatively affected and their security clearances could be suspended, rendering them unable to perform their assignments.  For example, the Treasury Department’s Home Affordable Modification Program requires homeowners to be in imminent default and covers only primary residences.  In addition, many home foreclosure prevention initiatives offered directly by mortgage servicers have similar requirements.  As a result, some servicemembers are opting to move alone to their new duty stations without their families.  This is particularly disheartening for servicemembers who have just returned from overseas deployments.

United States servicemembers should not have to choose between saving their homes and continuing to serve their country.  To address these concerns, we ask that you review these problems comprehensively and develop specific initiatives to address the unique needs of military servicemembers.  We would appreciate a response to this request by October 7, 2011, describing the joint efforts you are undertaking.  Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Elijah E. Cummings                                                   ……………Adam Smith   
Ranking Member                                                      …………… Ranking Member
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform       Committee on Armed Services

Rob Andrews                                                            Edolphus Towns
Member of Congress                                             Member of Congress

Eleanor Holmes Norton                                       John F. Tierney
Member of Congress                                             Member of Congress

William Lacy Clay                                                     Stephen F. Lynch
Member of Congress                                                 Member of Congress

Danny K. Davis                                                        Bruce Braley
Member of Congress                                            Member of Congress
Jackie Speier                                                           Peter Welch
Member of Congress                                            Member of Congress

cc:    Holly Petraeus
    Office of Servicemember Affairs
    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

[source: http://democrats.oversight.house.gov]

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FIGHTING ON THE HOME FRONT: THE GROWING PROBLEM OF ILLEGAL FORECLOSURES AGAINST U.S. SERVICEMEMBERS

FIGHTING ON THE HOME FRONT: THE GROWING PROBLEM OF ILLEGAL FORECLOSURES AGAINST U.S. SERVICEMEMBERS


FIGHTING ON THE HOME FRONT: THE GROWING PROBLEM OF ILLEGAL FORECLOSURES AGAINST U.S. SERVICEMEMBERS

Democratic Staff Report Prepared for:

Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV
Chairman Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

United States Senate Representative Elijah E. Cummings
Ranking Member Committee on Oversight and Government Reform United States House of Representatives

July 12, 2011

[ipaper docId=60066591 access_key=key-2k30zn87wpfb9gdulc80 height=600 width=600 /]

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Justice Department Settles with Bank of America and Saxon Mortgage for Illegally Foreclosing on Servicemembers

Justice Department Settles with Bank of America and Saxon Mortgage for Illegally Foreclosing on Servicemembers


Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Justice Department Settles with Bank of America and Saxon Mortgage for Illegally Foreclosing on Servicemembers

Settlement Includes a Minimum of $22 Million in Relief for Victims

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced settlements with two lenders under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to resolve allegations that the lenders wrongfully foreclosed upon active duty servicemembers without first obtaining court orders, in violation of the SCRA. Combined, the settlements provide more than $22 million in monetary relief for the victims.

Under the first settlement , BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, formerly known as Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP, a subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation, will pay $20 million to resolve a lawsuit alleging that Countrywide foreclosed on approximately 160 servicemembers between January 2006 and May 2009 without court orders.   In addition to the $20 million, Countrywide agreed to pay any servicemember wrongfully foreclosed in the period from June 2009 through 2010.  The complaint alleges that Countrywide did not consistently check the military status of borrowers on whom it foreclosed through at least May 31, 2009. The complaint was filed in the Central District of California, where Countrywide is headquartered.

Under the second settlement, Saxon Mortgage Services Inc., a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, will pay $2.35 million to resolve a lawsuit alleging that Saxon foreclosed on approximately 17 servicemembers between January 2006 and June 2009 without court orders. In addition to the $2.35 million, Saxon agreed to pay any servicemember wrongfully foreclosed in the period from July 2009 through 2010.   The complaint alleges that Saxon failed to consistently or accurately check the military status of borrowers on whom it foreclosed through at least June 30, 2009.   The complaint was filed in the Northern District of Texas, where Saxon is headquartered.

“The men and women who serve our nation in the armed forces deserve, at the very least, to know that they will not have their homes taken from them wrongfully while they are bravely putting their lives on the line on behalf of their country,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. “The Civil Rights Division is committed to aggressively enforcing those laws that protect the rights of servicemembers. All lenders have an obligation to do their part to work with servicemembers while these brave men and women focus on keeping us safe.   The Justice Department also thanks the Department of Defense for its critical assistance in identifying servicemembers whose rights were violated”

“Countrywide Home Loans failed to protect and respect the rights of our servicemembers, failed to comply with clearly mandated procedures and foreclosed against homeowners who are valiantly serving our nation,” said André Birotte Jr, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.   “Military families lost their homes when Countrywide violated the law, causing undue stress to wartime personnel who have been protected from such actions since the Civil War.”

“With the numerous sacrifices our servicemembers make while they are serving our country, the last thing they need to worry about is whether or not their families will be forced from their homes,” said James T. Jacks, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. “These lenders’ callous disregard for the SCRA, a law which was designed to insulate these patriots from unlawful foreclosures and other civil and financial obligations while they are on active duty, is deplorable and I applaud the Department’s Civil Rights Division’s efforts in identifying and seeking remedies for these wronged service members.”

Of the approximately 160 servicemembers upon whom Countrywide foreclosed without obtaining court orders, Countrywide allegedly foreclosed in many instances where it knew, or should have known, about their military status.   The victims include individuals who have served honorably in Iraq and Afghanistan.   The Department of Justice initiated its SCRA investigation of Countrywide in response to a referral by the U.S. Marine Corps regarding an active duty servicemember who was facing foreclosure by Countrywide.

Under the consent decree, Countrywide will establish a settlement fund of $20 million to compensate the servicemembers upon whom Countrywide foreclosed between January 1, 2006, and May 31, 2009.   In addition to this settlement fund, Countrywide has agreed to compensate any additional SCRA-eligible individuals on whom Countrywide foreclosed without court orders between June 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010.   The consent decree also requires numerous corrective measures, including SCRA training for Countrywide employees and agents, developing modified SCRA policies and procedures and referring future SCRA complaints to the Justice Department.   Countrywide will also repair any negative credit report entries related to the allegedly wrongful foreclosures and will not pursue any remaining amounts owed under the mortgages. Countrywide now will check the Defense Manpower Data Center’s website and its own files prior to conducting any foreclosure, and will not foreclose in violation of the SCRA if the borrower is in military service or is otherwise protected by the SCRA.

Of the approximately 18 servicemembers upon whom Saxon foreclosed without obtaining court orders, Saxon allegedly foreclosed on at least 10 servicemembers when Saxon knew or should have known about their military status.   The servicemembers Saxon foreclosed on include men and women who have served honorably in Iraq, some of whom were severely injured in the line of duty or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.   The Department of Justice initiated its SCRA investigation in response to an inquiry from Sergeant James Hurley, who resolved his claims against Saxon earlier this year in a confidential settlement.

Under the consent decree, Saxon will establish a settlement fund of $2.35 million to compensate the servicemembers upon whom Saxon allegedly wrongfully foreclosed between 2006 and 2009.   In addition to this settlement fund, Saxon also has agreed to compensate any additional SCRA-eligible servicemembers on whom Saxon foreclosed without court orders between July 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010.   The consent decree also requires numerous corrective measures, including SCRA training for Saxon employees and agents, developing modified SCRA policies and procedures, and referring future SCRA complaints to the Justice Department.   Saxon will also repair any negative credit report entries related to the wrongful foreclosures and will not pursue any remaining amounts owing under the mortgages. Saxon now will check the Defense Manpower Data Center’s website and its own files prior to conducting any foreclosure, and will not foreclose in violation of the SCRA if the borrower is in military service or is otherwise protected by the SCRA.

The division’s SCRA investigations have resulted in litigation or settlements enforcing SCRA’s provisions for termination of residential lease agreements, protection against enforcement of storage liens on towed vehicles without court orders, reduction of interest rates to six percent on credit obligations, and a prohibition against paying pre-payment penalties on mortgage loans when a servicemember must move for military service.

President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.   The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources.   The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.   For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov .

Servicemembers and their dependents who believe that their SCRA rights have been violated should contact the nearest Armed Forces Legal Assistance Program office.   Please consult the military legal assistance office locator at http://legalassistance.law.af.mil and click on the Legal Services Locator.   Additional information about the Justice Department’s enforcement of the SCRA and the other laws protecting servicemembers is available at www.servicemembers.gov.   Servicemembers who believe they may have been victims, can contact the banks directly at 1-800-896-7743, mailbox 6 for Countrywide or 1-800-896-7743, mailbox 995 for Saxon.

11-683 Civil Rights Division

[Source: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/May/11-crt-683.html]

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Rule of Law: Banker Criminality Demands Prosecution – Barry Ritholtz

Rule of Law: Banker Criminality Demands Prosecution – Barry Ritholtz


The Big Picture-

This is not a glamorous approach to law enforcement, It is a slow laborious grind. As I presented to the National Association of Attorneys General, there are 10 major areas of bank and mortgage fraud:

1. MERS
2. Mortgage Pools (Warranties & Reps)
3. Bad Securitization (Quality)
4. “Misplaced” Mortgage Notes
5. Force-Placed Insurance
6. Illegal “Pyramid” Servicing Fees
7. Document Fraud for Sale
8. False Affidavits, Perjury (Robo-Signing)
9. Foreclosure Mills, Process servers exasperate problem
10. Active Servicemen losing homes while on tour of duty

Of this list, five issues are prosecution-ready, where individual states have jurisdiction. These include: 1) Force-Placed Insurance; 2) Illegal “Pyramid” Servicing Fees; 3) Fraud Documents for Sale; 4) False Affidavits, Perjury (Robo-Signing) and 5) Foreclosure Mills, Process servers.

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I’M SORRY | Dimon’s Annual Meeting Brings Mortgage Apology

I’M SORRY | Dimon’s Annual Meeting Brings Mortgage Apology


NOT…

“We are doing everything we can to keep people in their homes that should stay in their homes.”

BLOOMBERG-

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)’s chairman and chief executive officer, said he was sorry for foreclosure mistakes as hundreds of protesters at the annual meeting demanded he do more to help homeowners and small businesses recover from the financial crisis.


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Court delays foreclosure action to Milwaukee ex-marine for six months

Court delays foreclosure action to Milwaukee ex-marine for six months


Talk about stress! Read all about Keon Williams here, then catch up on the latest developments.

JSOnline-

A six-month reprieve has been issued to Keon Williams, the north side man whose home was sold at a sheriff’s sale in January even though he is current on the only mortgage he knew he had.

The agreement filed in court Monday between Williams and attorneys for Harris Bank prevents the bank from concluding its purchase and evicting Williams from the N. 44th St. home until Nov. 12.

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Locks changed on disputed home of ex-marine in Milwaukee

Locks changed on disputed home of ex-marine in Milwaukee


There is a new development to Paying on time, yet facing eviction: an ex-Marine caught in the mortgage meltdown…

From JSOnline

Keon Williams’ fight to keep his house has taken another strange twist: The Milwaukee man arrived home Monday night to find that the locks had been changed on one of his doors on orders from Harris Bank, even though a court order says he can stay in the house for now.

“They admitted they had sent somebody to change the locks,” Williams’ lawyer, Geoffrey Gnadt, said after an emergency court hearing Tuesday. “They did apologize profusely – but there are costs.”


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Paying on time, yet facing eviction: an ex-Marine caught in the mortgage meltdown

Paying on time, yet facing eviction: an ex-Marine caught in the mortgage meltdown


Same Scenarios…Over and Over and Over again!

JSOnline-

Keon Williams is on the verge of being thrown out of his house – a startling turn of events, considering that for nearly three years since refinancing in 2008, he faithfully paid his monthly mortgage and his property taxes.

“I did everything I was supposed to do, but I’m being evicted,” says Williams, 38, sitting in his neat but sparsely furnished dining room on N. 44th St. “I never would have imagined something like this could happen.”


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US House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Hearing Today: Alleged Violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

US House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Hearing Today: Alleged Violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)


VIOLATIONS OF MILITARY MORTGAGE/FORECLOSURE PROTECTIONS

Alleged Violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

February 9, 2011

Alleged Violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

Opening Statements

Witness Testimonies

PANEL 1

PANEL 2

  • Stephanie B. Mudick, Executive Vice President, Office of Consumer Practices, JPMorgan Chase & Co., New York, NY

PANEL 3

  • Colonel Shawn Shumake (USA), Director, Office of Legal Policy, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Hollister K. Petraeus, Team Lead, Office of Servicemember Affairs, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Implementation Team, U.S. Department of the Treasury

PANEL 4

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GARY DUBIN LAW OFFICES FORECLOSURE DEFENSE HAWAII and CALIFORNIA
Kenneth Eric Trent, www.ForeclosureDestroyer.com

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