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Paul Jackson Claims It’s All About the Money

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By Richard Smith, a recovering capital markets IT specialist

Housing Wire’s Paul Jackson has another post up continuing his row with Yves over securitization chain of title issues. It presents itself as a rebuttal of her previous post, about an Alabama trial court decision that Jackson deems to be a significant defeat, but which Yves and more recently Adam Levitin have argued is both insignificant and not very relevant.

Normally I’d leave the two of them to slug it out. However, Jackson’s weekend submission, in which he says he is “going to address her latest talking points” piqued my interest. Rather than addressing any of the substance of the post itself, he mounts a bizarre attack on the motives of the attorneys behind the Alabama case, based on a pretty peculiar interpretation of one of Yves’ comments to the post. The comment:

Are you kidding? Each side spent over $250K on this case. Trials where you are making real legal arguments, as opposed to presenting papers for a judge to approve, are costly. And Alabama billing rates are a lot lower than in other states. For borrower’s counsel, since the borrower has no money, the “spent” is what their time was worth plus hard dollar expenses (experts witnesses and so on). They are out the real out of pocket real costs.

The banks’ lawyer gets paid, so yes, this is an epic fail for the bank. I’ve mentioned this in other posts. The more borrowers fight cases, the more loss severities are gonna rise. Investors already are losing 70% on the average foreclosure and housing prices are projected to fall further in most states this year. If on top of that they start having more cases with 300% losses on foreclosure, investors might wake up and finally do something a lot more serious to pressure servicers.

Sooo…bank attorneys run up a tab fighting a foreclosure in a pretty obscure courthouse, that results in a 300% loss to investors, when all the borrower’s attorney wanted was the house back and a loan modification. The big numbers are the result of the bank attorney’s posture, and of eleventh hour moves that many judges would have rejected: introducing an allonge on the eve of the trial. This was clearly a bad economic result for the borrowers’ attorney! It was not hard to see that the trial had become a war of escalation, with the bank’s attorney in an ideal position to up the ante. The post makes clear that unlike the bank’s lawyers, borrower’s counsel was “out”, in hard dollar terms, vastly less than the total, which would have to include the opportunity cost of unpaid for billing time.

For Jackson this somehow becomes the basis for a statement of his worldview: that everyone is greedy, ergo these attorneys must be too! In his own words:

Morality and the accompanying emotions to that noble love of justice are simply a varnish for the fires of greed. In other words, everything is about the money, and if you can find a viable angle to make more of it than someone else. And I mean everything.

Taking guidance from this exceedingly dubious, indeed self-refuting claim (if it’s all about the money, we can’t trust Jackson either, can we?) is quite foolish. In fact Jackson doesn’t really believe it either: elsewhere in his oeuvre, we find a bizarre exception to his rule:

Believe it or not, mortgage servicing is a noble industry. Or, at least, it’s supposed to be. Even in managing borrower defaults and repossessing property, there is something noble to the work, underneath it all — and it comes from following the law, enforcing contracts, ensuring that our nation’s system of property rights maintains its integrity for all Americans.

Though it could be that he’s just slapping a spot of varnish, on some fires of greed, for the money; I do hope that varnish isn’t flammable, Mr Jackson, or you may decide you are underpaid.

At any rate, armed only with his distractingly inept imagery and his defective moral compass, Jackson sets out on a fishing trip, in his latest, and gets hopelessly lost almost immediately:

Yves tries to suggest that in writing about the Congress case I was claiming “Mission Accomplished,” attempting to associate me with an infamous Dubya moment during the far-from-over war in Iraq. Nothing could be further from the truth.

If you have the attention span of a gnat, you might take this at face value. On the other hand, the very next sentence says this:

Yves spends a fair amount of time suggesting that the effect of the Congress case elsewhere will be muted, if it has any effect all. In attempting to minimize the relevance of this case, however, what she misses is an important reality: that the defense here saw fit to mount one in the first place.

So make your mind up, Mr Jackson: is the case widely relevant or not?

Or was the choice of court and case, perchance, simply something of a goof by some attorneys looking to develop a theory that might have more lucrative applications? That’s one sensible conclusion you could draw, and a basic step in puzzling that out, that does not even occur to Jackson, is doing some minimal research and actually looking up the plaintiff’s lawyers. And the idea that deep pockets types would go to of all places Alabama, not exactly known for cutting edge jurisprudence or friendliness to consumers, and hire two no-name attorneys to represent a black borrower, is beyond belief. If you are Jackson, though, you skip the homework, or the sanity check, and go for the ASF paranoia:

In many ways, the plight of the distressed borrower is a convenient lever to pull if — for example— you’re a buyside Wall Street firm that decided to load up with cheap nonagency mortgage-backed securities in the wake of the market’s collapse, betting on a mechanism that could open the door to damage claims and settlements worth more than the securities themselves. Or maybe a mortgage insurer looking for novel ways to repudiate claims en masse.

I’m not at all suggesting that’s what went on here…

I have a suggestion straight back at Mr Jackson: if you want to not suggest something, the best way is simply not to make the suggestion. Otherwise, it looks as if you’re trying to have it both ways.  Keeping the accusation vague is a smart move, admittedly, if you happen to be a bit clueless and not very brave. Bill Gross for one has made the trade that Jackson mentions, but does Jackson actually mean Bill Gross? He doesn’t say. Perhaps he doesn’t want Bill Gross on his case.

Yves by contrast doesn’t care a bit, roundly dissing Mr Gross’s self interested utterances. Ultimately, Jackson is too vague to be interesting here: it’s just a smear. As for the mortgage insurer theory: there’s no evidence for that either; just Tom Adam’s prior employment history and his occasional contributions at this blog. Mortgage insurers can make claims directly, on the very same theory that Naked Capitalism and the Congressional Oversight Panel have discussed. They have no reason to test a theory on a case in a largely irrelevant jurisdiction. And there are business reasons that the monolines are going the putback case route rather than this one. Remember that most of the MBS exposure (excluding CDOs) that monolines have is via HELOCs or second liens. That may put them in a position similar to that of the big banks: unwilling to take action on the first lien mortgages for fear of write downs on the second liens.

Yes, Bill Gross and MBIA and others are out there. And if they want to work the legals to make some money, or claw some back, they, or others like them, will. It’s really hard to see why the output of “Naked Capitalism” would so heavily in their ruminations as to be worth paying for (if that is what Jackson’s insinuating: he doesn’t seem to be able to bring himself to spell it out).

All of this stuff of Jackson’s is irrelevant and pretty much content-free;  but still, it’s an interesting glimpse of sell-side anxieties.

So what really matters about this case? Three things: the unfortunate Erica Congress, who has had her hopes dashed twice over now, once when she couldn’t pay her mortgage and a second time when she was turfed out of her house; and two blithe but pernicious affirmations by the judge: first, that an allonge doesn’t have to be affixed to the note, which just opens up the floodgates for document fabrication, and second that “digital signatures” are valid endorsements to the note.

Unfortunately, neither Jackson nor the judge seem to grasp the difference between a digital signature, “a mathematical scheme for demonstrating the authenticity of a digital message or document”, as Wikipedia has it, and a digitally reproduced signature, a simulacrum that can be knocked up in minutes by any sad sack in a servicer that can use Photoshop, Word, and a laser printer, and doesn’t authenticate anything at all, least of all a transfer of title. Using 21st century technology to recreate a state of screwed-up title that hasn’t existed in anglophone countries since the mid-17th century is nothing to crow about, Mr Jackson. As a citizen of the US, it ought to make your blood run cold. It’s not just about the money.

At any rate, the more this stuff is talked about, the more lawyers (in less frivolous jurisdictions) will furrow their brows about the damage being done to the integrity of basic property transfers. So we will keep the pot boiling.

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18 comments

  1. vlade

    If the digital copy of an ink signature is deemed a valid signature, I’d go and start gathering all the annual reports of all publicly traded companies.

    I’m sure I’d come with some interesting “signed” contracts…

  2. Daniel Pennell

    The digital signature thing got me as well.

    I just knew that some ignorant person was going to confuse a true digital signature and a digitized signature. One offers a modicum of security the other is the gateway to fraud on a massive scale.

    I find this often when dealing with people about technology and systems. You try to explain to people why MERS is so messed up just from a technical and technical management POV and they do not get it. To this day I find it amazing how many people just trust technology to be right when the systems and tools are created by people with the same ability to make mistakes as anybody else.

    Apart from that Jackson is a jackass with an agenda that includes the status quo.

    The problem of course is that our mortgage system and indeed our financial system is the worst case of spaghetti code I have ever seen. It is functioning way past its end of lifecycle and needs to be retired and replaced.

  3. DownSouth

    Paul Jackson said:

    Morality and the accompanying emotions to that noble love of justice are simply a varnish for the fires of greed. In other words, everything is about the money, and if you can find a viable angle to make more of it than someone else. And I mean everything.

    Jackson’s claim finds its underpinnings in two philosophical and intellectual traditions: 1) Neoclassical economics, and 2) New Atheism.

    Neoclassical economics, “a utilitarian-based version of radical individualism,” as Amitai Etzion puts it in The Moral Dimension, has “labored long and hard to show that practically all behavior is driven by pleasure and self-interest.” “The neoclassical paradigm,” as Etzioni thoroughly documents in his book, “attempts to show not merely that there is an element of pleasure (or self-interest) in all seemingly altruistic behavior, but that self-interest can explain it all.” According to the neoclassical paradigm, there is no place for “self-sacrifice, as well as to service to others and to the community.”

    In Great Britain, the economist most celebrated for proselytizing the neoclassical economic dogma, according to Adam Curtis in his documentary The Trap, was James Buchanan. Buchanan can be seen espousing his theories in the second part of The Trap, which can be viewed here, between minutes 7:00 and 11:30.

    New Atheism is neoclassical economics’ identical twin, but in the field of biology. It also “attempts to show not merely that there is an element of pleasure (or self-interest) in all seemingly altruistic behavior, but that self-interest can explain it all.” In Great Britain, the evolutionary biologist most celebrated for proselytizing New Atheism is Richard Dawkins. Adam Curtis features him in The Trap, but a much fuller statement of Dawkins’ theory “that individual self-interest explains everything” can be found in a lecture Dawkins gave at the “Beyond Belief” conference sponsored by The Science Network. The lecture can be viewed here beginning at minute 40:00 and continues through about minute 59:00. The part where Dawkins talks about the evolution of morality begins at minute 46:00.

    History has not been kind to the mandarins of self-interest. As Curtis shows in The Trap, when their theories have been implemented the result has been disaster across the board—-economically, socially and politically.

    Science has not been kind to New Atheism either. Neuroscientists like VS Ramachandran and Paul Zak have demonstrated, using new technology that can monitor brain activity (lectures explaining their findings can be found here and here), that empathy and compassion are almost universal human traits, experienced by everyone except sociopaths and psychopaths, and are felt towards those who are totally unrelated to us, who live on the other side of the world and are physically unlike us in every imaginable way.

    The New Atheists, however, are unfazed by these new scientific findings. As can be seen in Dawkins’ lecture I linked above, they have been forced to acknowledge, as Dawkins puts it, “the wrenching compassion we feel.” But then Dawkins launches into the most bizarre contortions to “provide a good account of why our ancestors were equipped in their brain with a rule of thumb that we should be good to everyone you meet.” His explanations—-kinship, reciprocation, reputation and handicap principle—-all worked, in the ancient setting, to enhance individual self-interest and individual fitness (as opposed to fitness and interests of the community). Benevolence or the “good Samaritan” impulse, according to Dawkins, in the modern environment “no longer serves us today.” Empathy, compassion and benevolence, in today’s world, are “misfirings” or “mistakes” that no longer enhance our individual self-interest or survival chances.

    So to sum up, due to advances in neuroscience it is no longer possible for the New Atheists to argue that empathy, compassion and benevolence do not exist. So what they argue now is that these feelings, although they once served mankind, have now become “mistakes” or “misfirings,” a relic of an ancient past that in the current environment are destructive and counterproductive.

    1. Joe Rebholz

      Dawkins’ theory “that individual self-interest explains everything”

      It is ironic that Dawkins is stuck in his biological, genetic trap. He invented memes as units of cultural information analogous to genes although he hasn’t followed up on his own idea. Susan Blackmore, Daniel C. Dennett, and others have. There are multiple evolutions. Among them are biological, genetic evolution and cultural, memetic evolution. We don’t need any complicated, roundabout, limited biological, genetic explanations for human altruism, empathy, sense of justice, etc. These result from cultural, memetic evolution. Poor Dawkins can’t get himself out of the memetic trap of thinking everything must be explainable in terms of biological, genetic evolution. THe sociobiologists have the same problem.

      Cultural, memetic evolution makes it quite clear that the individual cannot be privledged over the community. Individual and community are inseparable in both theory and practice. An individual without the memes of some human culture having been dumped into him or her is not human.

      Dawkins, in the lecture you referred to, has no idea where the “shifting moral zeitgeist” he talks about comes from. It comes from our recently speeded up cultural evolution, our speeded up worldwide information flows via radio, telephone, TV, and Internet.

      1. DownSouth

        I agree with what you say about the existence and great upside potential of cultural evolution, but that concept is hardly attributable to Daniel Dennett. Quite the opposite, Dennett is a died in the wool New Atheist. He is yet one more evangelist of what David Sloan Wilson calls “a stealth fundamentalist religion.” Dennett is antithesis of the scientist and bona fide atheist that he claims to be.

        The antidote to Dawkins, Dennett and the other New Atheists is to be found in atheists like David Sloan Wilson, whose condemnation of Dennett’s stealth fundamentalist religion can be seen in this lecture, and Jonathan Haidt, whose equally critical take on the New Atheism can be seen in this lecture.

        Another hard-hitting critique of Dennett and the other New Atheists can be found in this article by Jonathan Haidt:

        Don’t dismiss religion on the basis of a superficial reading of the Bible and the newspaper. Might religious communities offer us insights into human flourishing? Can they teach us lessons that would improve wellbeing even in a primarily contractualist society.

        You can’t use the New Atheists as your guide to these lessons. The new atheists conduct biased reviews of the literature and conclude that there is no good evidence on any benefits except the health benefits of religion. Here is Daniel Dennett in Breaking the Spell on whether religion brings out the best in people:

        “Perhaps a survey would show that as a group atheists and agnostics are more respectful of the law, more sensitive to the needs of others, or more ethical than religious people. Certainly no reliable survey has yet been done that shows otherwise. It might be that the best that can be said for religion is that it helps some people achieve the level of citizenship and morality typically found in brights. If you find that conjecture offensive, you need to adjust your perspective. (Breaking the Spell, p. 55.)
        I have italicized [bolded] the two sections that show ordinary moral thinking rather than scientific thinking. The first is Dennett’s claim not just that there is no evidence, but that there is certainly no evidence, when in fact surveys have shown for decades that religious practice is a strong predictor of charitable giving. Arthur Brooks recently analyzed these data (in Who Really Cares) and concluded that the enormous generosity of religious believers is not just recycled to religious charities.

        Religious believers give more money than secular folk to secular charities, and to their neighbors. They give more of their time, too, and of their blood. Even if you excuse secular liberals from charity because they vote for government welfare programs, it is awfully hard to explain why secular liberals give so little blood. The bottom line, Brooks concludes, is that all forms of giving go together, and all are greatly increased by religious participation and slightly increased by conservative ideology (after controlling for religiosity).

        These data are complex and perhaps they can be spun the other way, but at the moment it appears that Dennett is wrong in his reading of the literature. Atheists may have many other virtues, but on one of the least controversial and most objective measures of moral behavior—giving time, money, and blood to help strangers in need—religious people appear to be morally superior to secular folk.

        My conclusion is not that secular liberal societies should be made more religious and conservative in a utilitarian bid to increase happiness, charity, longevity, and social capital. Too many valuable rights would be at risk, too many people would be excluded, and societies are so complex that it’s impossible to do such social engineering and get only what you bargained for. My point is just that every longstanding ideology and way of life contains some wisdom, some insights into ways of suppressing selfishness, enhancing cooperation, and ultimately enhancing human flourishing.

        But because of the four principles of moral psychology it is extremely difficult for people, even scientists, to find that wisdom once hostilities erupt. A militant form of atheism that claims the backing of science and encourages “brights” to take up arms may perhaps advance atheism. But it may also backfire, polluting the scientific study of religion with moralistic dogma and damaging the prestige of science in the process.

        1. Nathanael

          I have to correct you on something. There is no evidence that religious views are related to increased *ACTUAL* charitable giving.

          The catch is that most churches are officially charities, and so are a vast number of essentially religious propaganda operations. Nobody has ever attempted to separate this sort of phony charitable contribution from genuine charitable contributions.

          1. Nathanael

            Same problem with the time studies.

            As for “giving blood”, perhaps illnesses which make it unwise to give blood are also prone to make people stop believing in religion — geez, I can name several people I know off the top of my head who this happened to.

          2. DownSouth

            Nathanael,

            That’s not much of a defense of Dennett. You throw out some assertions, but offer no evidence to back them up. I might add that this is typical of the rehetorical strategies used by adherents of fundamentalist religions, including the stealth ones like New Atheism. This is quite the opposite of what Haidt does, and in fact Haidt already debunks your assertions (in bolded part of following quote):

            [S]urveys have shown for decades that religious practice is a strong predictor of charitable giving. Arthur Brooks recently analyzed these data (in Who Really Cares) and concluded that the enormous generosity of religious believers is not just recycled to religious charities.

            Religious believers give more money than secular folk to secular charities, and to their neighbors. They give more of their time, too, and of their blood. Even if you excuse secular liberals from charity because they vote for government welfare programs, it is awfully hard to explain why secular liberals give so little blood. The bottom line, Brooks concludes, is that all forms of giving go together, and all are greatly increased by religious participation and slightly increased by conservative ideology (after controlling for religiosity).

  4. leapfrog

    “Believe it or not, mortgage servicing is a noble industry.”

    I can’t decide whether I want to smirk & roll my eyes, laugh hysterically or vomit.

  5. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Wow, I almost feel like standing on my chair and hollering, “Thank you!!” at my computer screen after reading this:

    Unfortunately, neither Jackson nor the judge seem to grasp the difference between a digital signature, “a mathematical scheme for demonstrating the authenticity of a digital message or document”, as Wikipedia has it, and a digitally reproduced signature, a simulacrum that can be knocked up in minutes by any sad sack in a servicer that can use Photoshop, Word, and a laser printer, and doesn’t authenticate anything at all, least of all a transfer of title. Using 21st century technology to recreate a state of screwed-up title that hasn’t existed in anglophone countries since the mid-17th century is nothing to crow about, Mr Jackson. As a citizen of the US, it ought to make your blood run cold. It’s not just about the money.

    At any rate, the more this stuff is talked about, the more lawyers (in less frivolous jurisdictions) will furrow their brows about the damage being done to the integrity of basic property transfers. So we will keep the pot boiling.

    Without even having to know the intimate details of the case in question, I’d like to simply comment on the digital-digitized part of the post.

    A few thoughts:
    1. The largest portion of most Americans’ paychecks go to mortgage or rent, so if you were a white collar criminal, that’s the part of the economy you’d want to target.

    2. I’m reading Michael Hudson’s “The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America–and Spawned a Global Crisis”, in which he relates that Ameriquest employees referred to the collection of scissors, glue, photocopiers, and related accoutrements for forging homeowner signatures onto mortgage documents as ‘the Art Department’ (!).

    3. Hudson’s opening scenario in his book describes a man in a highrise in LA holding two documents up against a skyscraper window, the better to forge a homeowner signature onto a mortgage document (presumably to get a better monthly bonus, or meet a sales quota).

    4. Both items #2 and #3 are very low-cost, could be done in under 5 minutes, and even if these were perpetrated on only 5% of the mortgages in the US, they would have wreaked economic havoc.

    5, Part of the ‘giant sucking sount’ leading to Wall Street was the frenzy to purchase mortgages, basically launder them through ratings agency mathematical rituals that were fundamentally economic voodoo, and then ‘securitize them’, thereby making even larger profits.

    6. To recap: the fraud chain that I have seen laid out at NC, as well as other reading that I have done, goes something like this:
    (a) begin by forging mortgage documents, then sell them to a ‘securitizer’

    (b) ‘securitizer’ needs to cover his/her butt by laundering these forged mortgages through a ratings agency

    (c) ratings agency doesn’t do their homework, goes through an extravagant math-involved ritual that has no bearing on actual reality and occurs hundreds (or thousands) of miles from the actual property involved, giving the ratings agencies ‘plausible deniability’, which then allows them to tell themselves they are absolved from any problems that may occur from putting a AAA rating onto the fraudulent mortgage

    (d) securitizer, having had the fraudulent mortgage sanctified by the mathy-like rituals at the ratings agency, now takes the note and chops it up into a hundred, or a thousand pieces and sends it to their quants, who function basically about the same way that a Chop Shop operates on stolen cars: chop up the pieces, send each where you’ll make the most money on this or that ‘securitized’ CDO.

    (e) everyone involved in that chain makes money, but the farther up that bogus chain of bullshit you go, the more money you make

    (f) fraud — in the form of digitized documents created with either Photoshop, or a photocopier and scissors, or even the sunny window of a skyscraper and two pieces of paper — is rampant. There are no checks for verification, or what we might in an earlier period of human history call ‘reality’.

    The original, forged and then photocopied so that it is DIGITIZED signature now screws the homeowner, who may — or may not! — know what has been done with their forged, and now digitized, signature.

    Their DIGITAL signature is a different thing, and can take a variety of forms. (I’ve heard passwords and username combos referred to as ‘digital’ signatures, and I’ve also heard ISP and trackbacks referred to as DIGITAL signatures).

    For all the reading that I’ve done, and all the finance-related blogposts that I have read, I have never encountered anyone to really start discussing and defining “DIGITAL”, and how it relates to “DIGITIZED”.

    I would argue that as soon as a signature on a mortgage document is scanned by a photocopier, it has been ‘digitized’. That doesn’t make it ‘digital’ until and unless it is manipulated via its pixels, but maybe that’s just my own unique distinction.

    I think that intellectual property attys have to be clear about the differences between ‘digital’ and ‘digitized’.

    This poor sap of a judge obviously conflated the two, which means that basically he screwed a whole lot of people by making a really dumb decision. However, it was the job of the plaintiff’s attorneys to make absolutely clear to that judge what this key distinction is, and WHY IT MATTERS.

    IT is so emphatically NOT about ‘money’ that I personally don’t think that I could stand to read Paul Jackson, who is missing some fundamental distinctions that are absolutely critical. If he can’t distinguish between ‘digital’ and ‘digitized’, I won’t make any time to read him.

    Part of what it’s ‘about’ is the nature of reality, and part of what it’s ‘about’ is the difference between a static image (digitized, but mathematically inert, a ‘single object’ in computerese) — as opposed to an image that can be manipulated using software tools (digital), by means of mathematical equations and other forms of tweaking.

    This comment is way, wayyyyy too long, but I feel that the ‘digital’ vs ‘digitized’ issue needs so much more clarity, focus, and light that if it is possible to leave a blog comment beseeching that this topic be revisited, elucidated, and more extensively covered, well then… that’s what I’d beseech that you find time to do.

    I honestly believe that people are missing this key, fundamental piece of the puzzle — and it is core to why MERS is complete bullshit, and why it is one huge fraud operation.

    This is sooooo ‘not about money’ that Paul Jackson’s cluelessness makes my head spin.

    Richard Smith, thank you, thank you, thank you!

    1. DownSouth

      We might want to add celebrity scientists to the list.

      When I think of celebrity economists like James Buchanan or Milton Friedman, or celebrity biologists like Richard Dawkins, and their “science,” I am reminded of the racial “science” that was the rage in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries throughout the West. An excellent review called “German science and black racism—roots of the Nazi Holocaust” can be found here.

      The paradox is that racial “science” was the theory of group selection taken to an extreme. The science of Buchanan, Friedman and Dawkins, on the contrary, is the theory of individual selection taken to an extreme. We are now in the process relearing that economic, biological, social and political theories based on either extreme are immensely dangerous.

  6. izziets

    “Believe it or not, mortgage servicing is a noble industry. Or, at least, it’s supposed to be. Even in managing borrower defaults and repossessing property, there is something noble to the work, underneath it all — and it comes from following the law, enforcing contracts, ensuring that our nation’s system of property rights maintains its integrity for all Americans.”

    What could possibly illustrate the mortgage servicing industry’s nobility better than the stacks of paper bearing the words “Affidavit” or “Assignment” at the top, sitting on a table and being signed by persons neither reading their contents nor checking their accuracy, said stacks to be later signed (sometimes in another part of the country) by a person bearing a stamp marked “Notary”, who neither takes the oath of, nor watches the maker of the supposed affidavit or assignment sign the document, and who then stamps the document completing the illusion that something of substance has transpired?

    What could be more noble than submitting that piece of paper that has no more meaning than a piece of paper with an ink splatter on it, to a court of law with the intention of asking a judge to remove a family from their home on the basis of the supposed facts set forth therein?

    What could be more noble than doing this tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of times?

    What could be more noble than setting up a system called the Mortgage Electronic Registry System, Inc., and usurping our nation’s centuries old public recording system charged with insuring the openess of real property ownership records, and thus rendering the ownership of real property opaque, inaccurate, and impossible to determine?

    What could be more noble than defrauding the county clerks out of filing fees, the IRS out of tax revenue, and last but not least the investors of your faultily created Mortgage Backed Securities of investment returns by failing to actually take the necessary legal steps to transfer the Notes and Mortgages into the Trusts issuing the supposedly mortgage backed securities?

    What could be more noble than taking the bottom tranches of the MBS certificates and converting lead into gold by means of pooling said bottom tranches and slapping a triple AAA rating upon them?

    What could be more noble than scaring a whole generation of prospective homeowners off from buying their first home for fear of becoming one of the many horror stories read about daily in which homeowners are forced into foreclosure by unscrupulous and criminal (at worst), and inept and inaccurate (at best) servicer “errors”?

    Yeah, servicing is a noble endeavor alright.

  7. Fog Horn Leg Horn

    The illustrious Judy Faber, one of the rubber stamps on the allonge, has testified in her deposition that, “we only produce an allonge when the foreclosure attorney requests one.” If that ain’t fabricated evidence, I’ll lay an egg! As I understand it, judge didn’t have time for all that……….

    What will you do if they come for your house………tomorrow?

  8. Bill Wolf

    On the one hand, Paul Jackson seems to want to be the sole industry apologist, coming to the rescue when the industry is attacked, including coming to the rescue of his largest advertisers when they actually deserve to be attacked (and tried). Jackson’s living is dependent on being a de facto lobbyist. When he says it’s all about the money, that is surely an autobiographical statement on his part.

    On the other hand, in reading his commentary Jackson seems desperate to be cool, being known as a rebel, being seen as different by bitch-slapping the industry every now and then. Just to show that he’s fair-handed and neutral. Instead, as Richard pointed out in so many words, Jackson just comes across as bipolar. His latest column is his “Sheening” moment.

    Just watch, Jackson’s next commentary will bitch-slap the servicers. He is so predictable it’s laughable.

    Jackson is definitely not the most important voice on these issues, but he has certainly become the loudest. Richard and Yves, thank you for challenging the village idiot. But I wonder if you are giving him more attention than he deserves.

  9. Chris

    I know what you mean. Between the banks and the govt. they’ve got our short lives cut out quite messy for us. Have you seen the silvers dead cat bounce lately. JPM is headed to the bad place as well. These are only the beginning of sorrows sir.

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