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Are the Bank Foreclosure “Moratoriums” More PR than Real?

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Bank of America announced a foreclosure halt in all 50 states; JP Morgan and GMAC have stopped in 23 judicial foreclosure states.

Or have they? Florida is a judicial foreclosure state, and local reports suggest the banks are still moving forward with foreclosures. Note the inconsistencies between the statements of the bank employees versus the action on the ground. From the Fort Myers News Press:.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., along with some smaller lenders, have announced that they were holding off on court-based foreclosures…

But in Lee County, court records show both of those banks have continued to get court judgments allowing the sale of mortgages on foreclosed houses at public auction.

That’s despite statements from both banks that they stopped doing that about two weeks ago.

April Charney, a Jacksonville-area legal aid attorney who’s an expert on foreclosure issues, said she’s hearing similar reports from around the country.
She scoffed at the banks’ protests that they didn’t intend for the judgments to be issued.

“It’s a farce,” she said. “We’re all being played.”

JP Morgan spokesman Tom Kelly said Tuesday he didn’t know the bank’s attorneys were continuing to get judgments allowing them to go forward with auctions.

Twelve judgments have been issued in Lee for JPMorgan since Oct. 2, the latest on Tuesday, according to court records.

“We reached out to our local foreclosure counsel and asked them to ask the courts not to enter judgments,” Kelly said. “I don’t know what happened there.”

JP Morgan always intended to continue filing new foreclosure lawsuits, as it has been doing, he said.

Bank of America spokesman Rick Simon said in an e-mail Monday night that “the bank continues to process foreclosures on delinquent accounts, but will not take the process to the point of judgment or sale.”

However, county court records show judgments have continued for the bank, the latest being issued Tuesday.

Simon said in an e-mail Tuesday afternoon that contributing factors “include that the judgment might not have been a loan we serviced, but one we were the trustee or owner for. Also, there are several reasons beyond our control that the Court might have gone ahead and entered the order.”…

Simon said in an e-mail that after the bank’s Oct. 1 announcement of the freeze, it continued with auctions that resulted from judgments before Oct. 1.

On Friday, Oct. 8, the bank expanded its ban to include all states and delayed future auctions, he said.

No public auctions were held Monday or Tuesday in Lee County.

Now in fairness, this failure to halt the foreclosure factory could be a function of the difficulty of reining in foreclosure mills. But how could they NOT know? The freezes are a major news story and have electrified the mortgage industry. So the idea that these mortgages slipped through the cracks sounds a tad convenient.

This account contrasts with the push by the Obama administration and banks against a “national foreclosure moratorium.” And I have to say, formulating it that way plays into the hands of the banks. There is no reason to freeze foreclosures of mortgages made by institutions where the original lender still holds the mortgage. Even at the peak of the subprime mania, 75% of those loans were securitized, which implies 25% weren’t. The problems exist in securitized mortgages and probably also certain vintages (say 2004 onward). Even though the mortgage market is rife with problems, it’s important to focus on the relevant (and still very large) subset.

But back to the main thread. Given the Administration’s and banking industry’s continued alignment, the insistence that a mortgage halt would be just awful is pretty dubious. This situation is just awful, and any remedy is likely to be as pleasant as major surgery.

The Executive increasingly looks to be hectoring the banks rather than applying effective pressure, and that is likely a feature, not a bug. As we’ve noted repeatedly, the officialdom sees its interests as aligned with those of financiers, and at best believes the bank party line that demanding that they behave will wreck the economy.

This limp wristed response isn’t surprising; in the meeting the Treasury held with bloggers in August, Geithner claimed the Administration had little influence over the banks. That’s patently false; I mentioned the considerable leverage the Treasury has over the banks (all it has to do is threaten to enforce the IRS REMIC rules on securitizations. There are literally thousands of examples that one can find in court filings of banks having assigned mortgages to securitizations for th purpose of foreclosing. That is a violation of IRS rules, both because the asset was transferred way too long after the creation of the trust, and because trusts can accept only qualified assets, meaning sound ones. Dud loans aren’t permitted. This type of violation is likely an “impermissible act” which means any income to the trust would be taxed at a 100% rate. Since the proceeds of these sales are used, among other things, to pay fees to servicers and repay advances of principal and interest, enforcing the regs would have more than a little impact on servicers. This isn’t the only cudgel the Treasury could employ; it simply illustrates that the Treasury has ample tools but no will).

The Washington Post reports that regulators are getting more insistent, but they really appear not to have a grip:

Federal regulators sought Wednesday to prevent the growing furor over improper foreclosures from escalating, pressing mortgage lenders to replace flawed and fraudulent court documents while insisting that foreclosures continue apace.

Yves here. Huh? “Replace flawed and fraudulent documents” and press forward? This is nuts. Why do you think servicers and foreclosure mills provided bogus documents in the first place? Because they had made such a botch of things that that was the least bad approach, from their perspective. You don’t make up documents if you have the real ones, and if you don’t have the real ones, you are really stuck. So the idea that the banks can somehow magically find documentation they clearly DON’T have and get back to life as usual is a complete non-starter.

And the regulators appear also to assume that the courts will tolerate banks showing up with different documentation. If the bank discovers it has filed a case in the name of the wrong party, it will probably have to refile the case. And some judges will not accept new affidavits, since it’s an admission the earlier submissions were improper, which is a sanctionable offense.

And notice now that courts are starting to push back. Again form the WaPo:

Some consumer advocates and lawmakers said the policy was soft on banks and industry insiders and may have little effect, because many lenders are already taking such steps. In addition, the handling of individual court cases is the province not of federal officials but of judges at the state level.

Judges handling foreclosure cases in the Maryland suburbs said Wednesday that they have begun to take concrete steps to cope with alarming problems now apparent in legal documents.

In Prince George’s County, which has the Washington area’s highest foreclosure rate, the circuit court has ordered a special review of cases in which lawyers have acknowledged they did not sign the documents as they had earlier claimed. The circuit court is scheduled later this fall to slowly begin reviewing some of the 14,500 foreclosure cases pending in the county. A judge in Montgomery County said the court is putting about 400 foreclosure sales on hold while waiting for lawyers to explain why they had not actually signed the legal paperwork in those cases as they had initially said.

The officialdom needs to come to grips with this mess, rather than hope it will somehow go away if the banks clean up their act a tad. Now it may be that Team Obama hopes to diffuse the situation until the elections, then go full bore into what will no doubt be bank favorable remedies. But we don’t see any quick fixes here, and the Administration’s efforts to minimize problems this deep seated are likely to blow up on it in short order.

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75 comments

  1. kevin de bruxelles

    As this crisis grows I would imagine that the Bank’s strategy to deal with it will evolve as well.

    Right now they are in the rather boring stage of a direct attrition mode of damage limitation by framing the problems as technicalities as well as demonizing their opponents in court as deadbeat slackers. For smallish-to-midsized problems this strategy would normally suffice for them to get their way.

    But as the crisis escalates; so will the bankers response. Instead of fruitlessly trying to hold back the tide, they will very soon instead suddenly start blowing the dikes and letting the flood waters wash everywhere by letting the crisis assume huge proportions. They will, depending on your point of view, either start letting the truth come out or exaggerate the impact of the crisis. That’s because in order to come out of this intact, the banks will need a nuclear solution from the Federal government. And you can only get a nuclear solution if you convince everyone that they are facing a nuclear threat.

    And they could even go a step further. Back when Nixon came to power he employed what has become known as the “Madman strategy” against the North Vietnamese. He instructed his aids to get word out that Nixon was crazy and would use anything, including nuclear weapons, to end the war. They hoped this would get the Communists to the negotiating tables in Paris begging for peace on whatever terms Nixon offered them. We actually see shades of this same Madman strategy with the Fed’s QE2 threats to blow up the global currency structures if they don’t get their way.

    The banks could do the same thing with the Fauxclosure crisis by threatening to shut down all real estate sales, etc, if a nuclear bill that saves them at the expense of many others (including many other elite institutions) is not passed by the US Federal Government.

    Ho Chi Minh called Nixon’s madman bluff and ended up winning big (making up for the huge mistakes he made at the end of the previous war with France). The jury is still out on whether the rest of the world will fall for the Fed’s attempt at “rational irrationality”. But I have little doubt that when the big banks start threatening again to “bring this sucker down” that both parties in Washington will find a way to use the Commerce Clause to bring this all to an ending that saves TBTF.

    1. Externality

      The Washington Post is already comparing the foreclosure situation to the 2008 financial crisis. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/13/AR2010101307597.html?hpid=topnews

      These articles are foreshadowing the next bailout. As Professor Krugman wrote earlier this year:

      “And then, when the next financial crisis arrives — well, it will play just like 2008. President Palin or whoever will find themselves staring into the abyss — and conclude that they have to bail out the financial sector anyway.

      In a crisis, the financial system will be bailed out. That’s just a fact of life. So what we have to do is regulate the system to reduce the chances of crisis and the taxpayer costs when the bailout occurs.”

      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/hijacking-too-big-to-fail/

      Professor Mark Thoma’s site, Economist’s View, also has an interesting article on this subject. http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2010/10/the-worlds-financial-system-has-become-unstable.html

    2. Externality

      (continued)

      What the bankers are doing is extortion: “give us more money to lose or your economy gets destroyed.” In 2008, the government made it clear that they did not have the stomach to risk a much deeper, but shorter, downturn to hold the bankers accountable. That bailout, as well as related programs, such TLGP, which guaranteed bank bonds through 2012, made it financially and cognitively harder for the politicians avoid future bailouts. (Consider how hard it is for people to walk away from a losing investment.) Once then-Senator Obama voted for TARP, he became beholden to the bankers whether he knew it or not.

      The bankers have every incentive to allow or create more “crises” so that the government will shift more of the banks’ losses on to the public. The media campaign justifying past bailouts (e.g., TARP), and warning of the risk of discouraging future bailouts, is intended to prepare the American people for this fact.

      There are two historical precedents that may apply here: Barbary pirates and the Cold War. In both cases, the other side’s demands for endless concessions were stopped by showing the other side that they had something to lose and that American people were willing to sacrifice to make sure that they did lose. Unless modern Americans are willing to sacrifice to show that the bankers can lose everything, the endless bailouts will continue.

      If early 19th Century Americans had, instead of deciding “millions for defense, not one cent for tribute,” continued to pay the Barbary pirates protection money and allowed them to abduct our citizens as White slaves, we would still be sacrificing to bailout the pirates and their business model. Every time they needed more money, they would create another “piracy crisis.”

      During the Cold War, both sides understood that a major attack on either superpower on the other would quickly result in the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) of both sides. As long as both sides knew that the other could and would destroy them, the US and USSR avoided large-scale direct conflict, preferring wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and the USSR crushing popular uprisings in Hungary, East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.

      Here, the bankers need to be made to understand that, if they credibly threaten the American economy, we would let them completely fail no matter the cost. TARP showed that we were not willing to do this. Just as the elites in the USSR did not want to preside over a nuclear wasteland, the bankers do not want to preside over banks and shadow banks that are completely bankrupt and holding debts that no one will enforce. Unless and until the bankers are made to understand that the US government is willing to take the bankers down with us, these bailouts will continue.

      1. DownSouth

        Externality,

        It appears the American people are fully cognizant of what needs to be done, and are willing to make the personal sacrifices necessary to get it done.

        Back in 2008 there was an overwhelming majority, probably 80% or more, who were opposed to TARP. Opposition to the bailout came from all parts of the political spectrum, from the left to the right. And yet it was passed anyway.

        How long can policy makers continue to operate in defiance of the American people? Will they really be able to bailout the banks again?

        Hannah Arendt postulates that when governments lose legitimacy, they substitute violence for power. Power, unlike violence, derives from the consent of the people. “Politically speaking, the point is that loss of power becomes a temptation to substitute violence for power—-in 1968 during the Democratic convention in Chicago we could watch this process on television,” Arendt writes.

        I wonder where we are now in comparison to 1968.

    3. ohmyheck

      Then maybe it is time for We the People to call their bluff.

      Tens of millions of mortgagees globally might agree. This one is, literally, hitting home.

  2. bmeisen

    Love Dimon’s quote in today’s NYT –

    “Mr. Dimon tried to play down the possible impact, but acknowledged that the problems could spiral. “If you’re talking about three or four weeks, it will be a blip in the housing market,” he said. “If it went on for a long period of time, it will have a lot of consequences, most of which will be adverse on everybody.”

    It went on for a long period and we all going to pay for it if Dimon et al get their way again.

    1. DownSouth

      Monseigneur had one truly noble idea of general public business, which was, to let everything go on in its own way; of particular public business, Monseigneur had the other truly noble idea that it must all go his way—-tend to his own power and pocket. Of his pleasures, general and particular, Monseigneur had the other truly idea, that the world was made for them. The text of his order (altered from the original by only a pronoun, which is not much) ran: “The earth and the fullness thereof are mine,” saith Monseigneur.

      Yet, Monseigneur had slowly found that vulgar embarrassments crept into his affairs, both private and public; and he had, as to both classes of affairs, allied himself per force with a Farmer-General…

      A sumptuous man was the Former-General. Thirty horses stood in his stables, twenty-four male domestics sat in his halls, six body-women waited on his wife. As one who pretended to do nothing but plunder and forage where he could, the Farmer-General…was at least the greatest reality among the personages who attended at the hotel of Monseigneur that day.

      For, the rooms, though a beautiful scene to look at, and adorned with every device of decoration that the taste and skill of the time could achieve, were, in truth, not a sound business; considered with any reference to the scarecrows in the rags and nightcaps elsewhere (and not so far off, either, but that the watching towers of Notre Dame, almost equidistant from the two extremes, could see them both), they would have been an exceedingly uncomfortable business—-if that could have been anybody’s business, at the house of Monseigneur.
      –Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

      1. Doug Terpstra

        “The Archbishop knew that most of the priests of Peru were scoundrels. It required all his delicate Epicurean education to prevent his doing something about it; he had to repeat over to himself his favourite notions: that the injustice and unhappiness in the world is a constant; that the theory of progress is a delusion; that the poor never having known happiness, are insensible to misfortune. Like all the rich he could not bring himself to believe that the poor (look at their houses, look at their clothes) could really suffer. Like all the cultivated he believed that only the widely-read could be said to ‘know’ that they were unhappy. On one occasion the iniquities in his see having been called to his notice, he almost did something about it. He had just heard that it was becoming a rule in Peru for priests to exact two measures of meal for a fairly good absolution, and five measures, for a really effective one. He roared with indignation; he roared to his secretary and bidding him bring up his writing materials, announced that he was going to dictate an overwhelming message to his shepherds. But there was no ink left in the inkwell; there was no ink left in the next room; there was no ink to be found in the whole palace. This state of things in his household so upset the good man that he fell ill of the combined rages and learned to guard himself against indignations.”

        —Thornton Wilder, “The Bridge at San Luis Rey”

        1. bmeisen

          Charles Dickens and Thornton Wilder aren’t able to capture the decadence of what is going on here. They sketch the moral high ground for a new middle class that would like to see itself as innocent, virtuous and hard-working. They’re liberals. The Marquis de Sade gets closer to what is appropriate today. His descriptions in Justine of the clergy and nobility could be used for today’s bankers and politicians.

  3. rjs

    yves, your first line appears dyslexic:

    “GMAC announced a foreclosure halt in all 50 states; JP Morgan and Bank of America have stopped in 23 judicial foreclosure states.”

    isnt it BofA who halted in all 50 states, and the others in 23?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Hah, that is a very polite formulation! Yes, the sentence is wrong, I am falling into my too often bad pattern of writing too quickly and not rechecking sufficiently before posting.

      Have made the correction, thanks! That is an embarrassing miscue I really did not see.

  4. Neil D

    Ms Smith writes… “Now it may be that Team Obama hopes to diffuse the situation until the elections, then go full bore into what will no doubt be bank favorable remedies.”

    Then admits there are no “quick fixes”. Nice rhetorical flourish. If the American people weren’t so irredeemably corrupt, we wouldn’t need any fixes at all. But, alas, the American people are as corrupt as the average gangster. We made the bankers who they are with our greed and arrogance. Dr. Frankenstein, meet your monster.

    1. Skippy

      “We made the bankers who they are with our greed and arrogance. Dr. Frankenstein, meet your monster”

      Neil…what did the specimen jar specify on it, that we used…was it…Abby Normal…

      Lot of WE’s…Mr. In De Nei[a]l but, yes Im sure the poor, middle class etc created this monster, our stupidity was the very lightning bolt that gave them life…Banksters.

      Skippy…history shows…us / we how the poor always screw up and create banksters every time things are going well…shez…

    2. Kevin de Bruxelles

      One alluring element of surrender is that it always contains a morsel of truth within it.

      For example, who would have said he was factually incorrect if instead of stating: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” Churchill had simply said, “well actually it was with our own greed and arrogance that we brought this attack upon ourselves by imposing such harsh terms on the Germans after WW1. Furthermore, it was only by means of our eternal corruptness that made us agree to “peace in our time” that allowed the German threat to grow as it did. So today I call upon all those brave fighter pilots to immediately stand down for we were wrong and deserve the pummelling we are receiving because it is WE who have created this monster.”

      1. vlade

        I see where you are comming from, but there’s a very very major difference. Churchill was “warmongering” since early/mid 30s, so he had a right to say what he did – be it about BoB, or “we will fight on the beaches… “. It was what he ALWAYS said, and more importantly, it was what he always DID.

        But, ultimately – and very unfortunately – Neil D is right. We always have a government we deserve.
        I never understood the fascination with Obama US seemed to have, for there were no acts of his that would spoke really well of him – and words are cheap, even, maybe especially, ones as well crafted and delivered as his.

        Acta non verba.

        1. kevin de bruxelles

          I see I wasn’t clear on who would be England and who would be Germany in the current struggle. To me it is “we the people” who are England and it is the bankers who are Germany. And in this analogy surely Obama and the rest of the government would be Oswald Mosley! I was inviting Neil to take the side of the people and understand that the lack of moral purity on one side is never a reason to surrender to another — even less pure — moral entity.

          I agree just as England “deserved” the Germany they had to fight, we “deserve” the bankers and government we are currently facing. But again that is not a reason to surrender.

          In fact it has been clear to me for years that the system of real estate in the US was insane and unsustainable. Here in Belgium there are high requirements for down payments, a 12% tax on the price of the home, and it take the notaries three months to get the paper work in line. I know many American ex-pats here who used to bitch about this system but I always argued that despite the problems it was much better than the alternative. So I agree with Neil that fundamental reforms, that many will find painful, are necessary to defend ourselves from the vultures on Wall Street.

          I agree on your comments about Obama. I think much of the appeal was an attempt to hide away the profound racial issues that still permeate American life (although certainly getting better in some aspects). I’m even more dumbfounded about why so many intelligent people here in Europe love him as well. He is loved so much here that I was recently joking around with people that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee was going to give him a second term this year for the Peace Prize!

          1. DownSouth

            When one thinks of all the people who support or have supported fascism, one stands amazed at their diversity…. But the clue is really very simple. They are all people with something to lose, or people who long for a hierarchical society and dread the prospect of a world of free and equal human beings. Behind all the ballyhoo that is talked about “godless” Russia and the “materialism” of the working class lies the simple intention of those with money or privileges to cling to them. Ditto, though it contains a partial truth, with all the talk about the worthlessness of social reconstruction not accompanied by a “change of heart.” The pious ones, from the Pope to the yogis of California, are great on the “change of heart,” much more reassuring from their point of view than a change in the economic system. Petain attributes the fall of France to the common people’s “love of pleasure.” One sees this in its right perspective if one stops to wonder how much pleasure the ordinary French peasant’s or workingman’s life would contain compared with Petain’s own. The damned impertinence of these politicians, priests, literary men, and what-not who lecture the working-class socialist for his “materialism”! All that the working man demands is what these others would consider the indispensable minimum without which human life cannot be lived at all. Enough to eat, freedom from haunting terror of unemployment, the knowledge that your children will get a fair chance, a bath once a day, clean linen reasonably often, a roof that doesn’t leak, and short enough working hours to leave you with a little energy when the day is done. Not one of those who preach against “materialism” would consider life livable without these things…. The question is very simple. Shall people…be allowed to live the decent, fully human life which is now technically achievable, or shan’t they? Shall the common man be pushed back into the mud, or shall he not?
            –George Orwell, “Looking Back on the Spanish War”

          2. Neil D

            Thank you, Kevin, for your comments. I will gladly take the side of the poor and weak in this fight if they demonstrate a willingness to learn from their mistakes. So far, all I hear is denial. Despite the protests of skippy and down south, I think we have a government that is very responsive to the people. The people wanted a middle class lifestyle, low taxes, and little regulation of private business. 10′s of millions voted for the GOP over the last 40 years knowing full well that the result would be to get government out of the way. Now that their precious businessmen and women have shown their true colors, they plead ignorance. I simply reject the notion that we were all ignorant. These business people are your friends, family, neighbors, and – yes – co-workers!

            Our middle class lifestyle was based on debt. We shopped at Wal-Mart while our jobs were shipped to low wage developing countries. We demonized unions as lazy when they dared try to hold on to a middle class lifestyle based on real wages. We gave ourselves over to unrestrained materialism and consumption well beyond our needs or our ability to pay for it. These are OUR crimes. We gave away our financial futures for an extra bathroom and a deck and told ourselves and each other we were making smart financial decisions.

            Are all Americans slaves to marketers? Have you no common sense left?

          3. Externality

            @Neil D

            Your omit the facts that the courts, Hollywood, the news media, and party intellectuals from both parties propagandized and continue to propagandize Americans who questioned any of the things you mentioned.

            People who question outsourcing have, for decades, been vilified as isolationist, simplistic, racist, and unwilling to adapt to a changing world. Former Clintonista Robert Reich recently conflated opposition to outsourcing with racism. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/why-democrats-should-not-_b_757418.html

            Similarly, the idea that one should honor contracts has been derided as outdated morality by the elites for over a century. Jurists Benjamin Cardozo and Richard Posner repeatedly argued and held that a contract can and should be broken when one of the parties would benefit by its breach. Damages were limited by myriad doctrines and could not be imposed simply due to the breach.

            Companies that found creative ways to avoid pension obligations were lauded by the financial press and protected by the courts. The elderly who depended on their pensions were called greedy old White people by the press.

            Now that Americans are adopting the same values as our supposed betters, they are accused of immorality. If businesses have no obligation to anyone but their shareholders, why do people have an obligation to anyone but themselves?

          4. Doug Terpstra

            “We shopped at Wal-Mart while our jobs were shipped to low wage developing countries. We demonized unions as lazy when they dared try to hold on to a middle class lifestyle based on real wages … These are OUR crimes.”

            Speak for yourself, Neil, not the powerless lumpen middle-class. You continue to target the victims, even those who are unwitting participants in self-destruction. The blame goes to those who orchestrated this and were in positions to stop it: Greenspan, Rubin, Geithner, Bernanke, Paulson, Dimon, Cassano, Clinton, etc., and yes Obama.

    3. DownSouth

      Neil D said: “But, alas, the American people are as corrupt as the average gangster.”

      Everyone believes in his heart that the law can be, ought to be, and, on the whole, will be impartially administered. The totalitarian idea that there is no such thing as law, there is only power, has never taken root. Even the intelligentsia have only accepted it in theory.

      An illusion can become a half-truth, a mask can alter the expression of a face. The familiar arguments to the effect that democracy is “just the same as” or “just as bad as” totalitarianism never take account of this fact. All such arguments boil down to saying that half a loaf is the same as no bread. In England such concepts as justice, liberty, and objective truth are still believed. They may be illusions, but they are very powerful illusions. The belief in them influences conduct, national life is different because of them. In proof of which, look about you. Where are the rubber truncheons, where is the castor oil? The sword is still in the scabbard, and while it stays there corruption cannot go beyond a certain point. The English electoral system, for instance, is an all but open fraud. In a dozen obvious ways it is gerrymandered in the interest of the monied class. But until some deep change has occurred in the public mind, it cannot become completely corrupt. You do not arrive at the polling booth to find men with revolvers telling you which way to vote, nor are the votes miscounted, nor is there any direct bribery. Even hypocrisy is a powerful safeguard. The hanging judge, that evil old man in scarlet robes and horsehair wig, whom nothing short of dynamite will ever teach what century he is living in, but who will at any rate interpret the law according to the books and will in no circumstances take a money bribe, is one of the symbolic figures of England. He is a symbol of the strange mixture of reality and illusion, democracy and privilege, humbug and decency, the subtle network of compromises, by which the nation keeps itself in its familiar shape.
      –George Orwell, “England Your England”

    4. F. Beard

      . We made the bankers who they are with our greed and arrogance. Dr. Frankenstein, meet your monster. Neil D

      Got a mouse in your pocket? The government backed counterfeiting cartel is entirely to blame. Even house flippers can be excused since the banks have precluded honest interest rates on savings.

      You can blame the population all you want but it is those with real power that are to blame.

      1. Neil D

        Wow – I hope you are being sarcastic. The house flippers are public enemy #2 right behind the bankers.

  5. attempter

    Surprise, surprise, right?

    JP Morgan always intended to continue filing new foreclosure lawsuits, as it has been doing, he said.

    Bank of America spokesman Rick Simon said in an e-mail Monday night that “the bank continues to process foreclosures on delinquent accounts, but will not take the process to the point of judgment or sale.”

    They, just like the administration, sure are sloppy about even trying to pretend. This is exacly the kind of ticky-tack lie Hitler warned his fellow criminals against. He’d say, “Announce you’re suspending ALL foreclosures, NO exceptions, then go ahead as usual. Whenever the lie is exposed in detail, call it a mistake.”

    But they always start with what sounds like a big announcement and then start adding endless caveats. They just can’t help themselves with their “read the fine print” mentality. But it’s Political Lying 101 that the Big Lie has no fine print. It’s just one big lie.

    It seems to me people are more willing to believe in mistakes and bad apples among those in power who claim a clear virtue, than in someone who always broadcasts what a shyster he is by nature.

    They sure are relying upon, not their ability to lie, but the servile lassitude of the populace, the way they keep gratuitously adding insult to injury.

    1. Skippy

      LOL…polemic political rag posing as giver of the truth ha ha, see comments lol, are they trying to encourage a ground swell and call it their own.

      Skippy…mate there is no right/left wing or centrists, there is the *Cartel*, all the cackle you hear on the Hill is nothing more than chooks squabbling over ideological musings whilst their masters attend too their leisure.

      1. Jason Rines

        For such an insightful commentator, I wonder if Skippy is bi-polar.

        Jason… I created a dual personality to deal with the bifucation of the world into two classes. One to deal with reality and the other to deal with Skippy.

        1. Skippy

          Jason would you care to parse my critique or indulge in unqualified psychoanalytical sledging match. BTW nice knee jerk there, it speaks volumes to me, reinforces my prior statments.

          Hay I forgot see:

          “By using RagingDebate.com, you agree to be bound by this Agreement, whether you are a “Visitor” browsing the RagingDebate.com website or you are a “User” meaning you have registered as a member of the RagingDebate.com service with the specific consent to existing RagingDebate.com functionality.”

          Skippy here…nice clause you got there, do you…do sub prime loans too[?] also with this bound thingy, I don’t swing that way mate, what you do in your personal life is none of my biz. Oh one more suggestion Jason try putting that clause under your header, bit more honest, like making America more honest aka taking it back for the little people / normal Americans, you know your target audience.

          Any who…tell the folks at :

          http://mediaheights.com/

          they have a mighty fine corporate profile, you know the “our core competency has been growing revenue on behalf of clients by leveraging our 90 million house hold consumer data base for powerful marketing channels and target audience research”

          Skippy here…so how is the old cash till doin ya, yeah hard to save the good old USA and make a buck these day ain’t it. Leveraging 60 million American house holds..eh…watch out I smell an M&A opportunity, an as GM ?CEO your worries are over.

          PS. like I said the link is marketing rubbish targeting angry pissed off folks just to make a buck…no fix them.

    1. Eclaire

      I rather admired your creative use of the word. As in, “Don’t need no wonkin’ education!” or “Can you believe that wonking commentor?” Followed by “Wonk you!” Or “Wonk if you love Jesus.”

      My apologies to all for being so unserious. But sometimes you just have to laugh so you don’t end up crying.

  6. Teri Sherwood

    Good Morning,
    I was reading your post about the moritorium being a PR stunt…I live in Ohio and just went through some county records and BAC,Chase and GMAC are still filing new Foreclosures and still conducting foreclosure sales in Hamilton county Ohio. New filings as recently as 10-12 and sales as recently as 10/7. Just wanted to catch some more Banks in their LIES!

    1. kj

      I also live in Ohio and I have been prompted to do the same thing. Here in Summit County (Akron), new foreclosure cases are still being filed. I looked yesterday. About 130 new foreclosure cases filed since 10/1, including the following:

      BAC 20
      BANK OF AMERICA 5
      Chase Home Finance 11
      GMAC 1
      JPMorgan Chase 3
      PNC 2

      Note that the county clerk’s website is about a week behind in getting filings available, so the number represents really only the first week of the month.

      Also, see this link for a similar look at Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), showing similar activity belying the notion of a moratorium: http://www.callahansclevelanddiary.com/?p=1418

      kj

      PS: This is a very educational site for me, so thanks.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Since the Reagan administration (okay earlier), LIES, above a certain level in polite company, are called “perception management”.

  7. played like a fiddle

    Black: Paulson “Waited” to Allow Goldman Subprime Holdings Unwind Before Crash
    These accusations come from William Black, the former senior thrift regulator, now law professor. Black states that Paulson “knew that if he acted the way he should, that would have burst the bubble. Then Goldman Sachs would have been left with a very substantial loss, and that would have been the end of bonuses at Goldman Sachs.”
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/10/paulson-waited-to-allow-gs-unwind/

  8. MichaelC

    I think todays version of HoChiMin’s bluff re the banksters is the where’s the note movement.

    http://action.seiu.org/page/speakout/wheresthenote

    In the last few days I’ve run into people discussing this at the PO, on line at the supermarket, even at a public health clinic (no joke). Even my 80 yr old mom and her pals have signed on.

    You may be right that a nuclear solution will be tried, but if this goes viral before the mid terms, the nuclear solution won’t be doable post election (I’m praying).
    If nothing else its a civil and righteous vehicle for individuals to vent their rage and complicate the servicers lives for a few months at least.

    Demand your note today.

  9. i on the ball patriot

    Yves said; “There is no reason to freeze foreclosures of mortgages made by institutions where the original lender still holds the mortgage. Even at the peak of the subprime mania, 75% of those loans were securitized, which implies 25% weren’t. The problems exist in securitized mortgages and probably also certain vintages (say 2004 onward). Even though the mortgage market is rife with problems, it’s important to focus on the relevant (and still very large) subset.”

    Au contraire — this fraud is SO SIGNIFICANT that it has POISONED the ENTIRE housing market skewing prices well beyond reasonable recent norms. It is crushing competitors across the country and in effect dictating prices. Worse, it has pitted the Neil Ds of the world, the indirectly screwed, against those who have been directly screwed and threatens to destroy civility and respect in the under classes.

    The FTC and the Justice Department, if it had the WILL, could easily step in and clean up this mess with existing anti trust laws and law amended by congress if necessary.

    But Obama is no FDR, and is instead, a limp wristed, limp dick, pussy, sell out president!

    Worse, the country is totally hijacked now and the ‘rule of law’ stands as a rich man’s scam.

    You are all being intentionally screwed. The time wasting, energy dissipating underclass conflict you engage in with each other is planned. Focus instead on the rich man. Kill the Geico lizard! Regain control of your totally hijacked government. Election boycotts are in order.

    Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

      1. Skippy

        Since antiquity one of the strongest demisives was to turn your back on authority or betters…it robs them of their psychological advantage…forcing them to the negotiating table. First they might try force but, that is risky, as it might strengthen the commons resolve, further deminishing their position at the negotioating table, if its still there.

        1. i on the ball patriot

          Skippy, the beauty of election boycotts — if they are of significant size so as to really threaten legitimacy — IS the reaction, because the reaction WILL strengthen the commons.

          Another benefit is that when a small percentage size of the population that is proactively boycotting becomes vocal enough, and gets enough media traction, they can claim all of those passive non voters as part of their boycott block. That is a significant number as approximately half do not vote now. With a very noisy boycott block it would be hard to spin the no shows as simply due to apathy.

          The message that voters are the problem is a strong one and a thought provoking one, made more so each day as the electoral corruption is further revealed and the field of back biting, uncivil, and disrespectful soap opera candidates becomes less and less credible.

          Baloney sandwiches soon to become a staple, keep working on the mustard.

          Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

      2. RF

        Consider the possibility that the so-called “foreclosure procedure” mess actually goes as deep as Yves & other suggest . If so then, basically, the system of property title in this country has been comprehensively trashed.

        An obvious consequence of this is the nobody with a functioning brain cell left should consider for even a picosec. the possibility of buying a foreclosed property. Even title insurance probably isn’t strong enough protection since the TI companys’ loss reserves will have been predicated on a “normal” level of title problems and disputes and this level no longer applies (remember the monolines ?). (*)

        So … instead of an election boycott lets boycott foreclosure sales.

        “I won’t ever buy any US property that has been bought out of forecosure at any point in the last XXX years”

        and require that the vendor of any property sign a document attesting that their property satisfies this condition.

        XXX should be well before the MERS farce took hold.

        (*) If the magnitude of the problem really is anywhere near the worst case estimates then government is the only entity with the deep pockets and, more importantly, the longevity to backstop the system while the title failures work their way through. Sadly this would represent yet another back-door bailout of the banksters but it does seem the only way … maybe we could arrange a levy on the banks as a fraction of their RMBS, CMBS, CDO creation (LOL).

        1. i on the ball patriot

          You fail to see the scope of the problem. It is not wise to buy ANY property given the uncertainty in a RIGGED and POISONED market. Worse, the government is rigged and POISONED.

          Go back and reread my comments.

          Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

      3. i on the ball patriot

        hermanas — I think it is the most effective symbol, it allows for the broadest participation.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  10. Crazy Horse

    Dear Huffington Post,

    Mortgage Fraud:

    The mainstream press and Huffington Post as well, either have their head buried under a pillow or are purposely not pursuing the full story.

    This situation is not about sloppy procedures that threaten to delay ongoing foreclosures. It is about the fundamentals of property ownership, the very foundation of the capitalist system. In its rush to turn mortgages into phony securities that could be peddled to marks around the world, the bankster cabal ignored the basic requirements that two centuries of property law have evolved to protect owners of property. They committed massive fraud. Millions, if not most of the transfers of real property that took place since 2005 have inconsistencies in the chain of ownership. A homeowner who has fully performed on a loan issued in that time frame is just as likely to have a corrupted title as the neighbor house that happens to be in bank foreclosure, and will encounter the same problems when they try to sell their property.

    As a wholly owned agent for the banksters, Obama has no choice but to try to pretend that the problem is an insignificant oil slick rather than an open gusher. If it were merely a matter of screwing delinquent homeowners, a little post-election deal making would put it to rest, and of course no individual homeowner can hope to buy as much justice as the Bank of America or Wells Fargo.

    Unfortunately for the hopes of those trying to sweep this train wreck under the rug, the USA not only has the most unequal distribution of wealth of any western country, but it also has the highest population of lawyers. And they smell blood. Retroactively changing the laws to change the way ownership of property is transferred not only goes against their concepts of the rule of law, but it threatens their livelihood. Among the billionaire investors in hedge funds who were sold worthless securities now shown to be based upon fraudulent and incomplete mortgage documents, there is no lack of money to support a fight to recover their losses from the Too-Big-To-Fail banking system. Our Boy President and his favorite son Little Timmy have demonstrated that they intend to support these same banks and their executive bonuses with every penny of the taxpayers’ money for the next millennium, so there is no limit to the amount of litigation that can transpire.

    Looks like that housing recovery might have to wait a while—perhaps for a Lost Decade or two.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Exceptional clarity here. Worth repeating: “As a wholly owned agent for the banksters, Obama has no choice but to try to pretend that the problem is an insignificant oil slick rather than an open gusher.”

    2. Fractal

      Being that IAAL myself, I also like “the USA not only has the most unequal distribution of wealth of any western country, but it also has the highest population of lawyers. And they smell blood. Retroactively changing the laws to change the way ownership of property is transferred not only goes against their concepts of the rule of law, but it threatens their livelihood.”

      I would add such retroactive changes violate the fundamental rights guaranteed in our constitution, including the equal protection & due process rights of the fifth and fourteenth amendments. State courts which conspire with the bank mobsters to deprive homeowners of those rights are acting under color of state law to violate those constitutional rights, violations which are actionable under the civil rights statutes. Most of the case I have seen so far invoke jurisdiction under the RICO criminal statute and/or Bankruptcy Code and Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.

      I can’t wait to see some civil rights cases. I suspect the 50 states’ Attorneys’ General realize their states may be liable for enabling these violations of constitutional & civil rights if they don’t clean up their foreclosure courts. Which might be their fundamental reason for opening the 50-state investigation.

  11. Andrew not the Saint

    Instead of

    “Replace flawed and fraudulent documents”

    read

    “This time around spend a lot more money and do a proper job in fabricating the documents instead of completely amateurish crap churned out by hair-stylist sign-shops”

  12. Paul Tioxon

    This is a gargantuan period of financial and now economic discontinuity. Once again, this event is too large to be measured by the news media. This site and its contributors have to start, and I believe Yves is leading this, viewing what is going on as the global political economy restructuring. It is simply not that the cold war ended and the USSR became Russia and smaller nations. Our entire economy was predicated upon military expenditures to continue at WWII levels to avoid collapse. If you want to analyze this unfolding event, the closes comparison is the pact with the military to be the leading point of employment, economic pump priming agent, buyer of all manner of items from industrial sectors from steel, mining and and extraction, to finished clothing and foodstuffs. The ongoing draft and compulsory military service forced millions into national service, socializing them and in some cases training them, so when they got out, the could work in the expanding economy. The banking system is a wreck. It does not work. The structural reforms necessary may or may not happen. But what everyone appears to worry about on NC is the corrupt pact with the devil to let the system live. But to give what in return? If they can offer to do something as useful as the military has, to maintain and improve the social order, then a deal can be struck that the population can get behind. The people will have hope that they can live and not have fend for their lives in a violent quasi feudal state. If not, the deal that is struck, without commensurate social benefits will only continue as long as the social unrest can be managed. That is a very uncertain bet to make.

  13. TC

    Don’t know if you saw this, but representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) had an interesting interview on CNBC yesterday (10/13) in which she was throwing around charges of fraud among mortgage originators and was calling for a national moratorium on foreclosures.

  14. Francois T

    As this crisis unfold, some supposedly very knowledgeable people are writing stuff that makes me doubt they’re really as good as people think they are.

    Take this post for Calculated Risk from 10/13/2010 (yesterday) where it is difficult to understand why he’s trying to make it look like it’s not that big of deal; or maybe he wanted to show that he is the undisputed master of the understatement.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2010/10/understanding-lost-note-affidavits-lnas.html

    First, “Foreclosure-Gate” is primarily about “robo-signers”. These are individuals who signed affidavits stating that they had “personal knowledge” of the facts in the case when in fact they did not.

    Care to provide a bit of coverage about the legal implications? How about some background? Did they decide to do that on their own, for the hell of it? Or were they ordered to do so? And by whom? Is this behavior limited in scope or are we talking about a widespread practice?

    As JPM admitted this morning: “We’ve identified issues relating to the mortgage foreclosure affidavits and those include signers not having personally reviewed the underlying loan files but instead having relied upon the work of others.”

    There are also situations of questionable notarization of the affidavits.

    Same comment as above; a bit of elaboration would help.

    Questions reporters might consider asking is what constitutes “personal knowledge” and why can’t the affiant sign with “information and belief”. Also what are the typical remedies for a false affidavit? But I digress …

    Digress? This whole affair is basically a real estate law nightmare become reality and considerations of remedies for false affidavit is a digression? Who knew?

    Unfortunately I’ve seen a number of articles conflating the “robo-signer” scandal with MERS issues and LNAs (Lost Note Affidavits). How many servicers have put a moratorium on foreclosures for these issues? None. But I do hope they are reviewing the entire process.

    Fortunately, for those trying to understand LNAs, we have an excellent description of the process from my former co-blogger and mortgage banker Tanta written in early 2008

    Upon which, an excellent description of the process by Tanta follows; cool beans! But this description predate this whole mess and does not (and could not) take into account the extent of the problem as it is in 2010.

    No wonder few people have a grasp on how bad this problem really is.

  15. Fractal

    ““We’re talking about loans that are almost certain to be foreclosed on,” Rick Sharga, senior vice president of Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac, said in an interview. “The delays are only providing a stay of execution.” ”

    Liar. Tool.

    ” “Banks treat their customers with contempt, but if someone can’t pay the mortgage, the lender gets the collateral,” Mark Goldman, a real estate professor at San Diego State University, said in a telephone interview. “At the end of the day, this is a procedural situation, and banks will revise their procedures.” ”

    Wrong, you dipshit. The holder of the note gets the collateral, and none of these mobster banks hold the notes. They don’t even know who does hold the notes.

    quotes from Bloomberg News:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2010-10-14/u-s-home-seizures-climb-to-record-as-banks-review-foreclosure-practices.html

  16. Pixy Dust

    “You don’t make up documents if you have the real ones,”

    Bingo.

    The level and broad expanse of perjury is mind numbing. Entire financial industries flaunt genuine contempt for courts and law itself. And still no accountability. Just extend and pretend – with the federal government feigning chastisement with a pep talk to the criminal cartels to be honest and produce legitimate documentation. Has the federal government completely abandoned its’ investigatory and law enforcement obligations? Or has it become too costly and daunting to even bother?

    1. DownSouth

      “Has the federal government completely abandoned its’ investigatory and law enforcement obligations? Or has it become too costly and daunting to even bother?”

      Hardly, that is if you’re not Goldman Sachs or BP.

      For instance, here’s a story about two women who have been sentened to double life sentences, each, for a crime in which no one was hurt and only $11 was stolen.

  17. Pixy Dust

    I’m still not clear what crime they committed. But it cost someone $11 and no one was hurt. Sounds pretty sick on the surface.

    Yet criminal bankers get off with a finger wagging and lectured to provide legitimate documents in court.

    What farce our system of laws is becoming.

    1. Fractal

      For more on the extent of the farce, try to find Dylan Ratigan’s leadoff interview today with Matt Weidner, attorney named Mr. Pines, and a homeowner abused by one of the mobster banks using a foreclosure mill.

      I don’t use Adobe Flash, so I’m not sure which videos you can choose from, but this should be the home page for Dylan Ratigan’s show:

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31510813/

    2. DownSouth

      And remember Martha Stewart?

      She was accused of selling nearly four thousand shares of stock on an insider tip.

      But perhaps it was the cover-up more than the sale that landed her in hot water:

      Stewart refused to testify but maintained her innocence throughout the proceedings, despite witness testimony as well as evidence of doctored documents suggesting foul play.

      So yes, tampering and falsifying documents is a serious offence, unless you happen to be a bankster, in which case you can produce them out of thin air by the thousands with no worry of prosecution whatsoever.

  18. Steve Edwards

    This is getting interesting:

    I found this page on Facebook that is calling for a national moratorium on mortgage payments. Haha this group is calling for a mortgage payment freeze as a way to stand up to the banks. Their calling it a de facto homeowner union for everyone to band together to stop paying a way to gain leverage with banks.

    thoughts? what if this goes viral?

    here is the link:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mortgage-Payment-Freeze/159046070785400

    1. attempter

      In posts and comments here I’ve been calling for everyone, not just the deeply underwater, to stop paying AND stay in the house. (As I’m no kind of “owner” myself, that would not benefit me directly.) But judging by the lack of response even from those who often agree with me, I figured maybe that’s still “too radical” for the moment.

      I’m glad to hear there are some others with the same idea. it’s definitely a possible avenue for breaking the finance tyranny, and would be an excellent first step in Land Reform.

    2. attempter

      Although I’m not sure what “freeze” or “gaining leverage” is supposed to mean. We don’t need to negotiate with the banksters. We need to smash them.

  19. English_Language_Police

    “This limp wristed response isn’t surprising”

    Yves, “limp-wristed” is slang for gay. Are you saying that the executive is queer, or that queers support the banks?

  20. Frederick Frankensteen

    Fannie Mae uses Samuel I White to ‘take ‘em back’ . I wonder if Fannie has employed any alleged “robo signers”? The FHFA has issued some lame guidelines but says “full speed ahead” on the foreclosures, the designed to fail loans underwritten during the bubble era.

  21. propertius

    Yves,

    I don’t have any particularly astute comments to offer on the foreclosure mess – I just wanted to say that you have done a great public service by continuing to expose it in all its sordid glory.

    Thanks!

  22. bondinvestor

    Irrespective of the broader question of “fraud” – either in the signing of affidavits pertaining to the foreclosure process or in the underlying securitization process itself – i think that most of the blogosphere is missing an important point here:

    david axelrod went on national TV sunday and essentially dismissed the idea that the administration wants anything to do with a foreclosure moratorium.

    now, we all may have our conspiracy theories as to why the admin did this. i want to do a little public service and help shed some light on what i think is going on.

    in a nutshell, the admin has made a political calculation that it’s better to go ahead and delay with the foreclosure overhang *now* than it is to drag it out over the next 2+ years.

    why do i think this? simple. numerous lobbyists have told me that in recent months the message the WH has been getting from various economic agencies (Treasury, the Fed and the NEC) are that if the housing situation is not stabilized, obama’s re-election chances in 2012 will be mortally wounded. this foreclosure issue only makes the matter worse for the WH. here’s why.

    if we have a de facto foreclosure moratorium, existing home sales in the US next year will be lucky to break 3m. new sales will be lucky to come in above 500k. in the meantime, the DQ inventory will keep building, pushing the “shadow inventory” up over 8m. furthermore, if anyone hasn’t noticed, the global monetary tightening cycle has begun in AUS and CAN. China will be next, then India, etc. it’s only a matter of time before the cost of capital on a *global* basis begins to rise. when that happens, US interest rates are likely to rise, since the *marginal* buyers of UST are non-US investors who will see their other fixed income investment alternatives become more attractive.

    so you tell me what happens when interest rates start rising at the same time that months inventory in the US housing market hits 50 (8m shadow units / 3.5m sales run rate). the answer is that national home prices drop another 15-20% back to late 90′s / early 2000 levels.

    and the drop will be in full swing right in the middle of the 2012 election.

    i would expect this issue to die after the november election. the admin isn’t going to pursue this line of questioning, the DOJ isn’t going to investigate, congress will pass no law on the issue, and the admin will try to pressure state AG’s to drop the lawsuits.

    it’s all going to be swept under the rug in an attempt to maximize obama’s slim chance at winning a second term.

    to realize the magnitude of the challenge facing obama, take a look at the electoral math and ask yourself how many of the traditional Republican states are likely to once again move obama’s way. there is no way he wins NV, IN, OH, VA, NC, CO if the republicans field a credible moderate with broad appeal. that was 73 EV last time, and probably more next time. FL (27 EV) then becomes the swing state.

    hence, the admin’s sense of urgency on getting the foreclosure machine moving again. if they aggressively move the REO, perhaps the headlines in FL in 2012 will be about a recovering housing market – not a market still mired in REO, with declining prices, etc.

    1. Glen

      An interesting theory, but the whole extend and pretend economic recovery seems to be running out of steam. Obama is being killed much less by the home owners market and home values and much more by the unemployment numbers and a slow downward economic spiral. If one is to assume that part of the economic recovery was driven by strategic defaulters having more to spend on everything else after they dumped the mortgage payments, then the actual impact of a foreclosure moratorium is debatable at best.

      Obama’s ability to kick the economic can down the road for two years and improve his re-election chances is looking dubious at best. He could just as well improve his re-election chances by letting the states lead the foreclosure/mortgage fraud investigation, let the TBTF banks blow up, and blame all the resulting chaos on corrupt Wall St banksters.

  23. Jackrabbit

    There is clearly a regulatory failure here also.

    Trust in the financial system is eroded when banks play fast and loose with the rules. From the strictest legal rules to common decency.

    In that regard, much of the problem goes back to the almighty, untouchable Fed, whose lite-touch regulation before the 2008 crisis and ”regulatory forbearance’ after (as means of allowing banks to rebuild their balance sheets) have given Banks a free hand to screw their customers without consequence.

    I’m expecting a Fed statement any day now that will basically say to the banks: “we got your back.”

    1. Jackrabbit

      Maybe that will come tomorrow:

      8:15 AM ET: Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will speak at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Conference “Monetary Policy Objectives and Tools in a Low-Inflation Environment” (as noted by Calculated Risk)

      QE2 *IS* the magic wand. With QE2 inflating prices (and banks possibly holding inventory off the market) home prices will “stabilize” at what ever level the Fed/Banks wish. Homeowners will stop walking away and investors will have less incentive to invalidate Mortgage Trusts. At the same time, QE2 provides a stimulus (hurray! though it is small in comparison to the inflation effects).

      QE2 comes at a price but it just the ticket for the political and financial mess that the Banks have created.

  24. OregonChris

    The Peterson article explains it the best. The mortgage industry created MERS in an attempt to circumvent the state recording statutes and filing fees to save money and facilitate trading. They attempted to circumvent the law through a convoluted, two-faced and fraudulent corporate structure. Now we will find out if they will finally pay, or if the American people will be made to pay again. But this time we may pay by overturning well established common law principles in order to prevent economic pain for everyone. If the foundations of our law are for sale, what isn’t?

    “Courts that come to understand this situation will be in a bitter predicament. On the one hand, if they employ a “tough love” policy invalidating liens because they do not specify a mortgagee, they will throw the mortgage market into further turmoil. On the other hand, if the courts write opinions allowing MERS to act as a ubiquitous national proxy mortgagee, they will write into the American common law fundamental legal mischief that will plague generations to come.”

  25. Jay Hollenkamp

    Some are. Some aren’t. If you’d like the data, My company, Legalprise, Inc. has a database of foreclosures and related docket entries. GMAC has not stopped. In fact, their filings dramatically spiked for the two days before and after the moratorium was first reported. JP Morgan, on the other hand, has stopped new filings. My company can pull the numbers on other banks if you’d like.

    Feel free to email me if you’d like to discuss.

  26. leslie

    SUBJECT: GOLDMAN SACHS LOAN EMBEZZLEMENT SCHEME
    In May 2005 we deposited and invested $200,000 in Real Property, where we recently found out that $118,800 was embezzled out of our property from Mortgage Lenders and Trust Brokerage Companies, namely Goldman Sachs through an escrow Transaction. The $118,800 in funds was paid to these embezzlers from the Investors unbeknownst that the securitization happened by encumbering our property and making up a fraudulent fake Promissory Note and Deed of Trust.

    See the link for further information: https://fdaaccount.box.net/shared/a1pjz9sz5c

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