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OCC Foreclosure Reviewer: “Independent” Reviews Were Controlled by Banks, Which Suppressed Any Findings of Harm to Foreclosed Homeowners

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You simply must read this post if you care at all about the rule of law or can stand to see the gory mechanisms by which “regulation” has now become a fig leaf for criminal corporate conduct.

Reader Luxtexente submitted this comment yesterday, describing his experience as a Claim Reviewer for one of the 14 servicers, in theory working under the direction of Promontory Group and the OCC. He makes clear, contrary to other banks, which hired very junior people who had little understanding of real estate law and foreclosure procedures (see Adam Levitin and Abigail Field for examples) or foreclosure review firms who held themselves out as experts but have yawning gaps in their knowledge, that he and many of the other reviewers he worked with were very well qualified to screen servicer records. He describes how these reviews were systematically gutted.

Remember, the review firms were supposed to be independent, selected according to criteria set by the OCC and paid for by the banks, but supposedly not accountable to them. We had dismissed that idea early on as ridiculous. From a May 2011 post:

Let’s see…who chose these reviewers? The banks. Who is paying their bills? The banks. Who is a potential future client if all goes smoothly? The banks. And Walsh seriously expects us to believe the reviewers are independent, even before we get to the rampant conflicts?

But as Luxtexente tells us, it was much worse than that. It wasn’t simply that the consulting firms airbrushed out unflattering findings so as not to ruffle their current and hoped-for future meal tickets. The banks were actively involved in overseeing the project and the results were shameless rejection of any and every possible basis for borrowers getting recompense. He provides numerous examples of unquestionably abusive conduct, such as foreclosing on homeowners in non-judicial states without advertising the notice of sale as required by law, or failing to send a notice of acceleration. Enough of the reviewers understood state law requirements that they would find many, often over a dozen, violations on a single file. So how did the bank and the OCC conspire to solve this problem? They redefined the review process so as to omit matters of law. I am not making this up.

This is what corruption looks like at the operational level. I suggest you read this piece closely; it’s chock full of damning tidbits. For instance, Luxtexente gives us one reason why the cost of this process got to be so high: he and his colleagues were being paid early on to do nothing.

From Luxtexente:

It is a first time one of a kind project. In theory those of us who joined were actually going to make a major financial debacle right again. We were going to examine 1.8 million mortgage foreclosures for technical error, misrepresentations, fraud, and failure to comply with Federal and state foreclosure laws or procedures.

Many of us are older and have been in the mortgage business in one way or another for 20 plus years. We came from every walk of the industry including Foreclosure Law Firms. So we should all have been skeptical, but the way we were selected for the job set aside our skepticism, we were hopeful that we might fix, at least for some people, this horrendous mortgage debacle all of us saw unfold for almost a decade.

I often refused to sign off on loans because of the complete lack of sense they made. I constantly warned superiors of the tremendous risk we ran by accepting Appraisals on properties that accelerated at 25, 30, and 50% annually or even semi-annually.

My wife ran a small mortgage business and she refused to sell the option payment arms, and the interest only 1.25% teaser rates that produced negative amortization. She would not and did not sell the ever increasing products that lacked any of the traditional restraints on credit risk, ability to pay and property review. She only sold the standard fixed rate and term products and warned hundreds of clients and potential clients of the dangers of what they were trying to do. Most would not listen. Some did. We slept at night when the debacle came crashing down.

However, this 25 billion dollar settlement with the banks seemed like a way to help fix the mess the Government, Banks, Realtors, and Appraisers got us into. Yes, some of it was just plain ignorance and greed on the part of consumers, but it was also sold as the American Dream, the chance of a life time to get ahead, to make a better life for our children, to achieve financial freedom, educate our children at schools we couldn’t even consider before this. It was a sold as a chance to move up to better, bigger, safer neighborhoods. It was sold as the chance of a lifetime. Many of us in the industry knew better, we tried to warn clients, bosses, banks, lenders, but who listens to the peons in the chairs drawing a paycheck.

This 25 billion dollar settlement seemed like the chance to help make it right. The head hunters called us by the hundreds and thousands. It was going to be a program where people with our skills in underwriting, processing, title work, insurance, bankruptcy, foreclosure law, and credit counseling could help right this sinking Titanic. We were told we can make a difference and help make things right for millions of people, and it paid well.

I was with the second wave of “recruits”. I was impressed. In a training class of 70 people at the bank I was to work with most of us were underwriters and processors with a smattering of actual Bar registered lawyers. The amount of mortgage and foreclosure knowledge was tremendous. From what I could see and hear, it seemed we could fix this debacle pretty quick. Across the country and with the 14 major banks and lenders involved there would be thousands of us, all with years of experience and a determination to make this right. Our instructors were from the banks and lenders.

I didn’t like that idea. I had originally thought that I would be instructed on procedures and goals by a third party entity called Promontory and or the government agency OCC. That did not happen. However, the training was interesting, and seemed straight forward, review the file, find the problems, and report them so they could be fixed. The goal, make wronged borrowers whole again as nearly as possible or so we thought.

After the training we arrived on the “floor” to begin a more in-depth training. We learned at that point that there was nothing ready for us to work on, but this nothing paid well, we could wait. Things did progress though, and our review procedures began to develop. We began in January, by April there were 500 of us at the location I was in and it was projected to reach 750 by June. Forty of us were actually reviewing files.

This is where we began to see the sham of the project. By the time I began reviewing files there were on 57000 files to review. The trigger for a review was that a borrower had to file a written complaint with the OCC. The problem with getting people to write a complaint was that all the advertising was direct mail to their homes and only to people that had been foreclosed on between January 2009 and December 2010. At a meeting involving the entire staff across the country (by phone) the question was asked “why just direct mail”, the answer, “TV, Radio and Print Media would attract too many of the wrong people and the banks and lenders didn’t want that.” When it was mentioned that it was two to three years after the borrower had been evicted we were told that “they should have put in a forwarding address with us”. I was dumbfounded, how could they expect people who lost everything to the bank to keep updating their addresses with the bank? It made no sense. But we kept plugging away at our task knowing now the battle was going to be tougher than we thought.

There was another issue. We were supposedly independent contractors, but we worked directly under bank and lenders authority and supervision. Any findings we made were quality controlled by the bank. Any findings we made came directly under the scrutiny of the bank. Any arguments over our findings, and whether they should be changed or not could and often did result in termination from the program without cause or warning and we had no recourse because we were contractors.

Other issues began to come up. Many of the tests and procedures we used to test a particular loan for harm to the borrower were State Specific in regard to the foreclosure laws of that State. As we began to delve into the files we found sometimes a dozen or more violations of the foreclosure laws with a specific file. The situation was becoming heated as Claim Reviewers (as we were called) began finding more and more issues of law, not to mention, incompetence, and immorality and poor judgment. Often times it was just a lack of communications between departments within the bank that caused the problem. None the less, there were tensions building between Claim Reviewers and bank managers as the list of harm on borrowers grew. However, the bank and the OCC did find a solution. Take the questions out of the tests we were doing that asked about issues of law. So one test that had 2200 investigative questions (there are about a dozen tests for a file review) now became about 550 questions. Issues of law were removed. At another of our group meetings we were told that if a borrower did not specifically cite the law or statute that was violated in their complaint that we were not to address a violation of law found in the file as it was now irrelevant to the issues at hand. When the questions was asked “how is a borrower going to know if a specific law or statute was violated since they are not trained in the law” the answer was that we only address what the borrower specifically complained about. The problem was that usually a borrower only had a feeling they got shafted somehow, but did not specifically know how. The complaint form also didn’t mention to the borrower that they had to be specific about issues of law. The form only asked generic questions about what happened. Now it was very evident that we were there as window dressing and not the compassionate heroes we thought we were.

Those were only the general issues that were causing friction. The sham was becoming more and more evident in the details. Some of the details involve foreclosure timelines, missing documents, misapplied funds, multiple modifications and similar programs at one time, it was amazing.

For example, in one case I reviewed the borrower paid approximately 25K to reinstate his mortgage. Then he began to make his mortgage payments as agreed. Each time he made a payment the payment was sent back stating he had to be current for the bank to accept a payment. He made three payments and each time the response was the same. Each time he wrote and called stating he had sent in the $25K to reinstate the loan and had the canceled check to prove it. After several months the bank realized that they had put the 25K in the wrong account. At that time that notified him that they were crediting his account, but because of the delay in receiving the reinstatement funds into the proper account he owed them more interest on the monies, late fees for the payments that had been returned and not credited and he was again in default for failing to continue making his payment. The bank foreclosed when he refused to pay additional interest and late fees for the banks error. I was told that I shouldn’t show that as harm because he did quit making his payments. I refused to do that.

There was another instance when there was no evidence that the bank had properly published the notice of sale in the newspaper as required by law. The argument the bank made when it was listed as harm to the borrower was “here is the foreclosure sale deed, obviously we followed proper procedure, and you should change your answer as to harm.”

Often there is no evidence of a borrower being sent a proper notice of intent to accelerate the mortgage. When these issues are noted in a file we are told to ignore them and transfer those files to a “special team” set up to handle that kind of situation. You choose whatever meaning you like for that scenario.

As far as modifications and forbearance go, I saw multiple cases in which a borrower would be given a forbearance agreement. It would be signed and properly executed and before the borrower could make the first payment the borrower would be offered a trial modification. Before that payment was due the borrower would be offered a permanent modification, but because there was already a forbearance and a trial modification offered and in place the borrower would be told that he/she must cancel the other offers in writing. Once that was done the modification offered would be denied for lack of performance on the other programs offered and then further assistance would be denied because of the borrower turning down assistance on the other programs. Then the argument was that we shouldn’t say the borrower was harmed financially because he turned down the help offered.

Time after time scenarios would go something like this. The borrower would call in and ask for help with a modification. Usually they called or were referred to the collections department. The bank employee would tell the borrower that in order to receive help they must bring the mortgage current. The borrower would send the money in, usually to the bank collection agent who gave the information and then the modification department would deny the borrower assistance because the mortgage was current and they had to be behind to receive assistance. Of course the bank argued that there was no harm because the borrower obviously could make the payment.

More often than not a borrower would be foreclosed on even though the bank had said they could apply for a modification if they would send in the financial paperwork required. The borrower would do this, 2, 3,4,5,6 or more times and the bank would “loose” the paperwork time and time again, until the house was finally foreclosed on. The borrowers would call, write, and call immediately after faxing the paperwork, be told it was received only to be denied later because they failed to send in any paperwork. The banks argument was that there was no harm to the borrower because they didn’t send in the paperwork, even though more often than not with a little searching the paperwork would be found in the system somewhere.

Often the paperwork would be sent in and not reviewed for four, five or six months and then the borrower would be sent a letter requesting they send it again because everything the bank had was too old to use. Many times this was done even after the home was already sold at foreclosure. The argument by the bank was no harm was done because they did not send the paperwork again.

The bottom line, agree or be fired. When the independent contractors who are there to independently judge the situation are ruled and judged by the very people that are responsible for the debacle in the first place is ludicrous. So many times I was told to not argue because I could be let go without notice or cause, it was difficult to hold my tongue. Most people would change the results and simply make notes in the system about being ordered by management to make the changes. But the banks and lenders control the notes. Others left the position. I actually thought there was hope when the OCC took the decision about financial harm to the borrower away from the banks and lenders and gave it to Promontory. It was called the H test. But that was short lived when we were told the banks and lenders were being allowed to form review teams to determine if Promontory made the right decision about financial harm. That was decided by the OCC. The joke is on the American people. Actually, the American people are being made the punch line.

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106 comments

  1. Mary Bess

    Thanks, Luxtexente, for this post. Let’s hope it gets the attention it deserves. Perhaps it will inspire others with first hand knowledge to share their experiences.

    1. Alice

      I am so happy to see this front pages on N.C. I have read so many court cases but this post really was an excellent treastise from the inside. I really wish more people would speak out and perhaps they have, we just haven’t found them yet. This is information that the public needs to know and though it may be over the heads of many that have yet to go through this, those that have will find they are not alone.

  2. diane

    I wonder how many of the contractors were hired through temp firms; temp firms which had (still have) millions of potential hires with years of experience (given the age [too much experience!] discrimination which is so rampant) to send out who’ve lost jobs in recent years? Those people would then be put in the frightening position of becoming ‘unemployable’ (and further, walking away with no references for their diligent and honorable hard work) by the only firms providing any work if they attempted to blow the whistle on the temp firm’s client. To make matters worse, I’m sure those who were fired, or resigned in dispute, were immediately escorted out the door to ensure that no vindicating hardcopy evidence went with them, which is standard behavior in large firms.

    In times of such mass corruption it becomes extremely difficult for experienced honest people to find work once unemployed. I sure hope Luxtexente is not having similar problems in attaining work, especially after doing such a wonderful service in revealing what went on.

    Those in power at the entities which ‘run’ and ‘regulate’ this country’s economy and determine actions towards meaningful, livable wage job creation appear to be predominately devoid of any moral compass.

    1. DANNYBOY

      After working on the street, I was let in on the secret was kept from me for years. My brother-in-law [name and position need to be kept a secret...I know, secrets-on-top-of-secrets...but now you get what it's like in in that environment] when he said the following:

      “DANNYBOY, you’re the most dangerous guy in your bank, because you’re the honest guy”. Suddenly everything made sense to me; the way people acted, which meetings I attended, and on and on.

      So diane, your comment isn’t just good intuition, but confirmed by the top of ‘the heap’.

      1. diane

        Yup, tis true and gut rending, Danny boy. I witnessed a CPA hired as one of many previously hired contractors (who were either fired, or quit in fear or despair) escorted out the door by surprise as soon as the surrounding employees (definitely potential sympathizers and witnesses in that particular scenario) left for lunch for refusing to verbally give the okey dokey to what was a stunning tangle of off balance sheet accounts which a member of the Big Four had previously given the okey dokey to at year’s end. Speaking of which, how the Big Four have come out of this Quite Transparent Mass Corruption relatively unscathed, is stunning to behold. And certainly the Thoroughly Rethug ‘Principled’ AICPA and the oh so many gutted (or overseen by the Big Four) State Boards of Accountancy won’t be holding them to task anytime soon.

        1. diane

          One of the as yet unfocused on realities in Cali, one of the largest economies in the world, is that DemRat Politicians have held the power for years in certain major Metro Areas (many females reps at that, despite a huge discrimination against females in Cali Metro Areas) of massive financial corruption; while pure Rethug at heart CFOs and CEOs keep them in office. Rove must have some envy for Cali’s magical formulas.

          1. diane

            Yes Charles, it does, I should have nailed and clarified that by spelling it fully.

            It really disturbs that so many ‘left wing’ US citizens seem to think the state is loaded with Dem politicians “doing the right thing,” and that “techie wunderkinds” are all do no evil folk, …. when they are the most rabid Ayn Randians one would never want to be caught in the crossfire of without plenty of back-up.

          2. diane

            Yup, California, “USA” ™, … where the citizens of all of the other states are never even acknowledged to be part of the “United” equation … and how could they be, … when The STATE never even acknowledges its own honest citizens and legally, deliberately imported “illegals” as worthy of a life without daily fear of homelessness?

  3. Conscience of a Conservative

    Not sure what to say here. Of course by the bank hiring the company performing the foreclosure review may be biased. Probably the company was selected in advance on the hoped for perceived bias, but are not auditors also hired by the company being audited? The problem is that the government outsourced its verification method to make sure a flawed settlement as being honored.

      1. ROBERT TATGE

        3/28/2012
        Robert L. Tatge
        13100 Skyline Drive
        P.O. Box 363
        Spicer, MN. 56288
        Fifth Third Bank
        Kevin T. Kabat, President & CEO Fax 513-358-3493 Madisonville Operations Center
        MD1MOC2N
        Cincinnati, OH. 45263
        Dear President Mr. Kabat:

        RE: Mortgage Loan: 404876203 Three situations occurred during the Foreclosure process that I believe were important, illegal and unfairly place on me, therefore to consider this Foreclosure invalid.
        * Forced Placed Hazard Insurances, $500.00 per month. * Mortgage Broker manipulation of appraisal, loan application, and my credit. * Conflicting and imbeciles’ amount stated on the Foreclosure Notices.
        Gentlemen, I’m writing this letter to explain to you some of the discrepancy during the Foreclosure process that I had to go through. There are three that really brought the Foreclosure to a head. The one that actually broke my back was the Forced Placed Hazard Insurances, $500.00 more a month when I was living on pay-check to pay-check. The additional charge forced me to cash in stock and part of my 401K retirement plan, paying the extra taxes that went along with the process. After paying many months with the addition charges, I started to lose ground. Until recently I knew, I had insurance since the original mortgage with Country-wide Home Loans, and it was required for the loan with Fifth Third Bank. Just lately, I was with my Lawyer, we called, Pioneer Heritage Insurance, PO Box 716, Spicer, MN. 56288, phone# (320) 796-2169. Gentlemen, they stated I had continued and uninterrupted insurance on the property and they fax over the proof: Exhibit” A”. The reason this was wrong, was that I had insurance and Fifth Third Bank paid for it out of my Escrow every year since origination of the Home Loan Mortgage, Fifth Third Bank approved for me.
        My original home mortgage loan made by FIFTH THIRD BANK was signed by me, Robert L. Tatge (a single person) on January 4, 2008 for $310,000.00 @ 6.375% for 30years on a refinanced loan made prior with COUNTRY-WIDE HOME LOANS back on JUNE 12, 2002, for $178,817.91 @ 7% for 30 years.
        The second problem that throws up a red flag is the mortgage broker that put the loan application together for our approvals. I’m not sure of his name, and you probably could help me out with that. He said, He could improve my credit, and I could take cash out, that was very cheap money, because of the high equity I had in my home. This was highly suspicious, not taking into consideration my age or ability to pay the extra money back. Now that I look back, he found and new ways to derive benefit by manipulation. My home was built year 1975: (The TRUTH 1900). Appraisal manipulation, to my understanding this broker wasn’t satisfied with the first appraisal from: Forsythe Appraisals, LLC, 54 28th avenue North, St. Cloud, MN. 56303 Phone 320-259-8958 He asked the appraiser to treat the property like it was on Lake Minnetonka, so the second time it came in at $420,000. It satisfied the loan guidelines. Then he sent me two checks, one he asked if I would destroy, I did, the other I cashed:
        Exhibit “B,” (He said, he had other companies,) that’s why the check was drawn on: MJC ENTERPRISES LLC, 5115 EXCELSIOR BLVD., SUITE 422, SAINT LOUIS PARK, MN 55416
        This was unfair because my property tax statements for years 2007 through 2009 stated: MARKET VALUE ESTIMATED $324,700 IN 2007/2008 which is $95,300 less than appraisal. The second property tax statement for years 2008/2009 which is $92,000 less than appraisal.
        I ask for a modification JUNE, 2009 and was denied because of insufficient income; I keep up my requests and hired a lawyer, Avi Liss, Liss Law, LLC., Hereford Street, Boston, MA, 02115 (W) phone 617-778-0363 Finely brought me a modification on August 1, 2009 (lawyer said it was the Best he could do!) Loan Amount $327,410.93 @ 5.375% for 40 years, graduated principal by $17,410, lowered interest by 1%, making the pay off difference before the modification the principal was $310,000,00 interest $386,238.81 = $696,238.81… New Modified Mortgage 40 years, principal $327,410.93, interest $489,836.12 = $817,247,247.05… The difference of $121,008.24 it was Unaffordable, I signed it at the Lawyers suggestion. Beginning with the payment due 08/01/2009 monthly Including escrow were $2,135.51 Knowing this modification wasn’t something I could afford , I asked for HELP, A FORBEARENCE PLAN was offered: Exhibit “C,”: The “Forbearance Plan” offered: The due dates were set-up all wrong.
        The third misrepresentation and final stress, on all FORECLOSURE NOTICE’S sent out by the Lawyers representing Fifth third BANK: Usset, Weingarden & Liebo, PLLP, 4500 PARK GLEN RD, #300, MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55416, PHONE 952-925-6888, Knowingly this is information sent to the lawyers from Fifth Third Bank, mislead the mortgagee.
        Exhibit “D,” Multiple & Conflicting Dollars amounts in Default on “Foreclosure notice” making it impossible for Mortgagee to understand what they meant and get help if needed.
        #1: March 9, 2009 $12,880.19
        #2: March 9, 2009 $15,276.19
        Exhibit “E:” Multiple & Conflicting Dollars amounts in Default on “Foreclosure notice” making it impossible for Mortgagee to understand what they meant and get help if needed.
        #1: March 22, 2011 Fifth Third Bank said I owed $2,365.80 to reinstate mortgage.
        #2: March 22, 2011 Fifth Third Bank said I owed $3,874.40 to reinstate mortgage.
        #3: March 22, 2011 Fifth Third Bank said I owed $35,100.90 to reinstate mortgage.
        .
        I had a 3 Hernia Operation on August 5, 2011 @ the VA Hospital in Minneapolis, MN.
        I had to stay in the hospital because I was on a Vac healing machine that restricted my staying in the hospital and their rules. Outside contact was difficult. I still have a home health nurse that comes to my home every Wednesday until Mid-April. Fifth Third Bank knew of my operation and still proceeded with the foreclosure by having the sheriff’s Sale on Nov 16, 2011.
        The information the broker collected was suspicious, wrong, and different, I realize now. Forced Hazard Insurance should been follow-up at enforcement. And I just do not understand the lesser amounts to reinstate the mortgage, it was confusing on the Foreclosure Notices and made it impossible to redeem, also difficult to sell.
        Discussion: When my dream home was foreclosed on, my heart was broken. I try my best with circumstances beyond my control. I hope you would look into this matter. I still care for this home. I’m writing because the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recommends that I should attempt to resolve my complaint with FIFTH THIRD BANK first.
        Without prejudice

        Mr. Robert L. Tatge March 27, 2012
        E-MAIL: robtat@peoplepc.com
        Cc: Usset, Weingarden &Liebo, PLLP, Attn; Amy Van Zummeren @ FAX: 952-925-5879
        Cc: Independent Foreclosure Review (occ), (Letter) PO BOX 2587, Fairbault, MN 55021-9981
        Attn: Paul-Allen Bixler, Regulatory Support Specialist Office of the President: Fax 513-358-3493

        Cc: Office of Minnesota Attorney General, Lori Swanson, Honorable: Bill Gosiger, File: 439011, FAX 651.282.2155
        Cc: Jerome A. Ritter Attorney at Law, FAX: 651-222-1263

  4. Leviathan

    I commend Luxtextente for compiling this report and you, Yves, for sharing it with us. Eyewitness accounts such as these confirm the informed public’s suspicions and prevent us going mad in the face of manufactured and regurgitated lies reported in the MSM.

    It was always optimistic to believe any good could come from these settlements. In the absence of any comprehensive and public trials of the financial criminals who did this to us, we were told no one could figure out who did what to whom and so a large check had been drawn and would be disbursed by our wise officials however they saw fit. And they called in macaroni, I mean justice.

    Then, step two, having made a hash of the effort to find the culprits, we were told that at least the victims could be identified and compensated. But if you actually traced back their stories, wouldn’t you eventually be able to find out who and what were to blame for the criminal fraud? And if so, wouldn’t you then have to prosecute, despite the large bribe, er, settlement they paid our elected colluders? So how was that going to work?

    Answer: it wasn’t. And so the brilliant solution was a second check.

    Now, it should be remembered that these settlements never covered all of the victims of this crime wave anyway. It has all been haphazard as hell. And now we will see a fiasco in which someone who perhaps took out a no-doc no money loan and maybe took out thousands before squatting and walking away–in short, a petty thief–will get the same recompense as someone who paid for years, got sick or lost their job, and got railroaded by their lender out of their home. Justice? Not even close.

    I compared it the other day to a city police department in the midst of a crime wave declaring that it was too hard to investigate real crime and punish real criminals. So to save time and money they would just mail a small check to everyone living in the area in which the crimes took place.

    They don’t even try anymore. That’s what is so galling.

  5. Middle Seaman

    This post and the daily posts in NC tell a story of unbelievable corruption at the very least in our financial system. Financially, is it too much to say that the US is a failed state? This particular post resembles corruption in a Hollywood movie or countries such as Pakistan.

    We know that politically our federal system is also subject to needs and desires of the people and companies that finance the political campaigns and not to the will of the people. Again, we have a failed system.

    We also know that health care serves not the sick but the health care insurer, FDA supports the drug companies, etc.

    If a return to a functioning democracy is feasible, how many decades will it take?

  6. jake chase

    Those who are horrified (or even surprised) by all this simply do not understand that America is not governed by law but by public relations, advertising, and a culture of looting and swindling. This is the logical penultimate phase of financial capitalism, in which perpetual war serves as the last prop of a depraved and ruinous ‘sauve qui peut’ system. Interestingly, Marx and Engels foresaw all this at the end of the Nineteenth Century. I recommend The Civil War in France to those looking for clarification.

    1. diptherio

      What is surprising (to me, bumpkin that I am) is that there are enough soulless assholes out there who are willing to oversee these shams, willing to screw-over millions of people, for the sake of a greasy buck. A sign of the moral degradation of our society, perhaps; the effect of generations of economists insisting that if we’re all greedy little pricks we will, somehow, unknowingly, end up doing God’s work.

      Eventually, it seems, we will have to revert to the old ways if we want to see any justice.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montana_Vigilantes

      1. jake chase

        Yes, there is an invisible hand, but it is giving you (and most everyone else) the finger.

      2. EL

        I have had the same thoughts–how is it that so many Americans are willing to hurt/cheat other Americans?–In foreclosure court,the foreclosure mill attorneys lie, cheat and steal– they will do anything necessary to steal someone’s house–I know from another insider that they “make up” the assignments that will steal a house–they will make up any kind of document needed to foreclose–

    2. Mark P.

      “Don’t make me laugh. I’m living in America, and in America you’re on your own. America’s not a country. It’s just a business. Now fuckin’ pay me.”

      -Jackie Cogan

      1. Barbara Jean

        I have been very low in spirit this morning with all the problems of my behind in payments, when I read your remarks, YOU GOT IT!

  7. Eric Patton

    Yes, his post is interesting and fascinating. However, we have a private-enterprise market economy. What do you expect under capitalism? The banks are behaving rationally within the defining logic of the system.

  8. JCC

    Another interesting background takeaway regarding this excellent article is that these descriptions of how our Banks and Government operate abound across credible sites such as this one.

    In the meantime we also get to listen to newspapers like the NYT and WashPost whine and wring their hands about loss of readership.

    We also know their management is not lame, or illiterate, or unable to afford wide pipe connection to the Internet.

    Conclusions are obvious. If these media outlets would die the economic death they so richly deserve we would all be far better off. Or, possibly, they might consider getting off their lazy butts and get back to work as the watchdogs the U.S. so desperately needs.

  9. Fraud Guy- Also

    Upon first reading, I thought: “Well, these are anonymous claims, so they need to be taken with a bit of a grain of salt.” Then, on further thought, it occurred to me that, as far as I am aware, pretty much all of the allegations of abusive/illegal mortgage origination, securitization, and foreclosure stand unrefuted.

    Whenever the MSM has awoken from its slumber to look into any of these matters, they have ultimately produced a story acknowledging the abuses, but then have immediately gone back to sleep. No follow-up, no campaign. Similarly, the occasional prosecutor shows up with a whistle blower in hand and announces a settlement with one or more banks for organized illegal acts, but again, no real follow-up from law enforcement other than cashing the settlement check.

    Then you have Luxtextente’s story, which is entirely consistent with all these other stories. Given all that I cited above, which the story jibes with completely, I see no reason not to give his story credence. This is particularly true since it is such a mystery how the various shallow press inquiries and law enforcement activities have found the mortgage space to be a cesspool.

    1. dolleymadison

      Yep. I live in the belly of the beast – Charlotte-and our once-great paper The Charlotte Observer kisses the Banks nether regions like its their job. They have special “blogs” that are nothing but recycled press releases fawning over Moynihan et al. I forward NC articles and other info constantly and the only result is the occasional wire story about someone losing their house – appearing to be sympathetic yet always featuring a semi-literate homeowner who never paid their mortgage. They will only cover it from a “down on their luck” lens with the unspoken subtext of “but they deserved it.” NEVER a story of how the Banks are stealing our future. They didn’t even cover Jeff Thigpen’s suit against MERS. Infuriating.

      1. Old Soul

        Jeff Thigpin’s lawsuit against MERS is a ground-breaking action. Being from the local area, can you please tell me the outcome of the motions to dismiss the action which were scheduled to be heard, I believe, last fall. We are in a complete news blackout up here in the Northern Midwest. I can find little information on-line because it was filed in state court and, unlike federal courts, there is no electronic docket availble.

  10. Bravo

    The spineless OCC wants out of this mess just as badly as the banks at this point. The review process has been badly bungled by the OCC. But up until early November, the review was effectively controlled by the banks, at which point enough public clamor regarding the lack of independence of the reviews, played right into the hand of the banks. The OCC surely didn’t want responsibility for producing an independent/competent review, which would require them to start the review process all over again and devote substantial resources to managing it. And the banks surely didn’t want their incompetence, negligence, and conflicts of interest in the servicing process to be disclosed any further to the public. Better for the OCC to “save face” with a settlement that would feign a get tough approach, yet shelter the banks from the unimaginable prospective liability that a truly independent and competent review would yield abused middle class consumers? And what better time to sweep it all under the rug when the fiscal cliff coverage is nonstop and the wise are on holiday? Consumer advocate groups and those friendly to same in New York and Washington need to unite in their outrage and demand a credible alternative to the OCC managed review process.

    If you’ve been exposed to the process, you’d appreciate that the problem wasn’t with the ability of the reviewers to perform a competent review, the problem was with the design of the reviews (bank designed), an unwillingness to adequately assess impermissible fees and defined fee limitations in different states, and an unwillingness by senior management at the helm of the independent review firms to do anything other than come up with answers that their servicer clients would be pleased with.

    When the OCC announced in November that they were taking a new direction on the project and were now going to be designing the review process themselves, there was a false hope for those like Luxtexente and many others like him who had only sought to perform a fair and objective review for a fair wage. Instead, the OCC went into the back room with their cronies to cut a deal and sell out the the public…….again.

    Since this saga has clearly established that the American people cannot rely on a regulatory body such as the OCC to represent the interests of the public, an alternative is needed. To get us out of this mess, why not have the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appoint a special investigative unit to conduct truly independent foreclosure reviews on behalf of those who have been abused. Put Sheila Bair, Neil Barofsky, Elizabeth Warren, Bill Black, and our esteemed blogger, Yves Smith as effective board members on the unit. Let that unit hire truly independent firms to manage the review process the way it should have been managed in the first place? Ask that the reviewed consumers donate 20% of their ultimate recovery to the CFPB to help defray the cost of the reviews. Encourage criminal referrals from the results of the reviews to the Department of Justice. There has to be an alternative to an OCC managed review to give the public any sense that there is any real intent on the part of its government to give abused consumers a fair shake in the fallout from this on-going Wall Street greed-driven national disaster.

    1. Old Soul

      Your last paragraph is an excellent solution. We might need a citizens’ review panel, however, because the CFPB is inexplicably located in the Federal Reserve. Certain states allow for Citizens Grand Jury process and Wisconsin allows a citizen to go over the district attorney’s head and right to a judge to establish probable cause and compel the DA to prosecute.

  11. George

    What a complete farce. Clearly we can rely upon our government do it right or to even put forth a good faith effort to help those that were wronged. They only use it a means to extract funds to put into their debt ridden general revenue funds anyways.

    And the banks….they are too interested in short term profits to realize they permanently pisses off a large sect of the population. To use a popular yet appropriate phase…”we will not forget”.

    I will not place my interest in yet another government entity to watch my back on this issue (sorry Bravo, my experience with the consumer rights division of the Illinois attorney generals office leads me to believe they don’t have the time for the little guy…doubt a larger federal entity will be any different). Really….what is point?

    Nope, they only thing the banks understand is legal means. Class action suits are also typically just a means in which lawyers win. As an alternative, I would suggest regional, small class action suits. Instead of one large 100 billion suit, I think 50 +/- 4 billion dollar suits (one for each state) would more likely produce some real compensation for the litigants and remain manageable for the Plaintiffs. Who cares if it is un-manageable for the banks. Screw em’. Bankruptcy via 50 cuts….

    1. Jackrabbit

      In Ireland, there’s an organization (founded in 2012, I think) that is helping people fight the banks themselves. They seem to hope that thousands of individual actions will be so cumbersome to deal with that the Banks will settle on terms favorable the borrower.

      Sorry I don’t have time to find a link (I might’ve seen it here on NC, but I think there was a Youtube video).

      1. Susan the other

        Yes, I noticed that too. I’d been waiting to read about Irish reaction because, being part Irish, I was pretty sure they wouldn’t take this shit lying down. Of course, as expected, the MSM has ignored most of the story and simply created all the news that’s fit to print.

    2. Old Soul

      I like this thinking. I thought of suits in every federal district court (@90 districts + 90 more bankruptcy courts for adversary proceedings) and every county (@3,300 of every state, brought simultaneously on a specific date with the 20 days (most states and federal rule) requirement for the answers (which would be, in the system’s arrogance, motions to dismiss) to be filed. Approximately 3500 cases all filed and served simultaneously with one representative Plaintiff in each case. I am willing to collaborate on such a effort, starting with MERS, because their frauds are public record and an easy factual basis.

    1. Luxtexente

      Thank you for your kind words. All I have said is true and there is much, much more. A lot of people I know would come forward if there was some protection against the machine for them. There are a lot of truly good people that came to this task with a great desire to right this wrong. One Attorney I worked closely with even came from Indiana to Florida to be apart of this. He didn’t last long because he say the legal abuses that had taken place and said so, loudly many times. One day he just didn’t come back. This is so deep and so sinister. There are an awful lot of people who came to do the right thing, and left with huge disappointment and broken hearts at the shameless abuse of the Banks and Lenders of their fellow human beings.

      1. Luxtexente

        It is informative because it is true. I was there, I argued, I was in the fight. There is so much more that I can tell you and there are many others just like me that want to tell the story, but other than a few like you, who is listening?

        1. Barbara Jean

          I am listening and learning, anyone interested in the civil suit? Any of you who got hired and left , REPLY

  12. LifelongLib

    Re the government, I think my “nuts in a vise” theory still has some merit. The banking system is on the verge of collapse, leaving the world on the verge of a second (or is it third?) Great Depression. Governments know this and are terrified of doing anything that might tip things over.

      1. LifelongLib

        As someone else here said once, the consequences of doing that under our current economic setup would be 70% unemployment and people eating tree bark because there literally would be no money available. Now, if the government provided basic banking services (along with things like health care and a minimum income) hmmm….

        1. Mark P.

          ‘Now, if the government provided basic banking services (along with things like health care and a minimum income) hmmm….’

          If the government provided those things, then the pols in Washington wouldn’t get enriched by the banking industry and the medical-industrial complex. So none of things are going to happen, are they?

          It’s a kleptocracy. It’s about the looting

  13. harry

    The American people are deadbeats and deadbeats always complain about their lot. Everyone knows, you get what you pay for. You dont hear the guys who paid for this government complain do you?

  14. Jackrabbit

    Perhaps this is a good time for a review.

    ===

    It’s pretty clear that the Obama Administration and the Banks have broad agreement on the following:

    1. We’re all to blame
    This is fundamental and has implications beyond the simple fact of (virtually) no accountability.

    The fact that Banks as regulated institutions have an obligation to be responsible lenders is ignored. In fact, sub-prime investors relied, in part, on the fact that Banks were involved.

    2. No one gets a “free house”
    Even if the bank/mortgage company failed in many ways (failed to follow laws – including know our customer and anti-predatory lending laws, failed to uphold lending standards, failed to keep adequate documentation, etc.) the borrower will not get to keep a house they can not afford.

    In practical terms, this means the banks can CONTINUE to fail because they will not be held accountable for virtually any wrong-doing when the borrower can not afford the payments. This seems to be the principle that allows HAMP abuses.

    3. The health of the Banks is paramount
    Bank reputations and balance sheets are protected by PR (see #1) and backdoor bailouts.

    Neil Barofsky has already informed us that when the Obama Administration ‘helps homeowners’ it is only to “foam the runway for the banks.” Now it seems clear that when government ‘gets tough’ their chief aim is to minimize cost to the Banks.

    ======

    Under the above-described ‘regime’:

    Bank/Mortgage Executives
    Get to keep virtually* all compensation, even when generated by blatent failure to perform the duties expected of a Bank. No claw-backs.

    * Countrywide’s Mozillo and few others have paid a fine but the total is a drop in the bucket.

    Investors and Shareholders
    Have little cause for action.

    Investors MAY, have a cause for action if they can show a failure to place notes in a NY Trust. (Yves: whats the status on that?) But many Institutional Investors are reluctant to take action that puts them in conflict with the big banks.

    Citizen Action / Reform
    People who can’t pay their mortgages don’t appear to be a group that political representatives have much interest in. Those that have been ‘shafted’ are easily sidelined as losers/malcontents/socialists/etc.

    And most ordinary people who have not lost a home either don’t know much, don’t give a sh*t (even if you raise the larger issues of economy-wide losses and public policy implications), or support government policy because they hate hate hate the notion that someone might get a ‘free house’.

    Reforms have mostly constituted putting lipstick on a pig. Washington recognized that they had to do something so they made a good show of it.

    The Economy
    Has continued to suffer as Banks work thru the mortgage mess that they created. Extraordinary government support to banks, the economy, and the unemployed has lessened the blow and minimized discontent (some see the totality of these measures – QE, extended unemployment and food stamps, etc. – as ‘bribes’ and ‘pay-offs’ because their need stems from a big fraud).

    The repercussions of the mal-investment of the boom years, the costs of government rescue of the financial system, and distrust fostered by Bank irresponsibility and government incompetence will be with us for many years to come.

    ======

    Conclusion
    Yves has cited Bank of England’s Haldane’s number for the overall worldwide cost of the mess at $47 Trillion. That’s the cost WE bear because a few hundred officials and executives did not act responsibly. These people, along with a few thousand of their friends and associates, made billions (only).

    We face a similar challenge with Climate Change. A few who have a big financial interest are ‘OK’ with others absorbing an outsized cost.

    =====

    Yves and others has spilt much digital ink describing the whole mess. Here is (yet another) good description of why we’re NOT all to blame:

    Predatory Lending: A Decade of Warnings

    1. Mark P.

      This is an accurate assessment as far as it goes. But in fact the situation is far worse.

      What with the funds fed by Bernanke to the banks via QE to keep them from crashing and various other administration efforts to paper over the cratering of the FIRE sector — for instance, feeding large lots of REO properties to private equity funds that then turn them into rentals so that rents are at an all-time high — 93 percent of the income gains from the Potemkin “recovery” of the national economy in 2010 has been fed to the top 1 percent of Americans.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-02/top-1-got-93-of-income-growth-as-rich-poor-gap-widened.html

      These people are, in many cases, the same people responsible for what is, in truth, the largest white-collar crime in history.

      They get you on the way up and the way down, in other words. That’s how they planned it ahead of time. That’s what a kleptocracy does, after all.

    2. Old Soul

      The houses have already been paid for through securitization, bailouts, mortgage insurance and credit default swaps. The foreclosing entity should not get a free house on forged paperwork.

  15. Westcoastliberal

    Thanks for the post and insight into this farce. It’s time for torches and pitchforks. It’s obvious the government and the mafia have merged.

  16. Susan the other

    Thanks for reposting Luxtextente. It made me sick yesterday and it made me sick today. This just emphasizes Michael Hudson’s call to nullify all debts incurred prior to 2008 – but subsequent facts might well indicate that even debts incurred after 2008 could be included for nullification, as those creditors are “banking” on controlling a totally corrupted and unregulated system, to this very day. And thanking Obama all the way back to their banks.

  17. JUDY BROWN

    I am one of the home owners that had my home foreclosed on due to faulty documents and BOA did not follow the FHA regulations when it came to foreclosing. I sent my paperwork in last Nov and have been watching the news and blogs to see what is happening. In Sept I took BOA to bankruptcy court for violating my injunction order. Shorty before the court issued an order against them, the lawyers for BOA wanted to pay me $2000 for the keys to my home and to sign a settlement or release stating I would not file any future claims against BOA. I refused to do this. The best way to fight their wrong doing is to contact the Senate Banking Comm and tell your senator what they are doing wrong. The OCC went before the comm because of all the concerns that were being brought up. This is the only way we (the little guy) is going to have our voice heard.

    1. Mark P.

      You’re dreaming. Nothing is going to happen and you have no voice anyplace else but on Internet sites like this one — for what that’s worth.

  18. Michael

    I work in one of the foreclosure review sites. The bank is not directing us at the claim reviewer level at all. We are finding harm and escalating it to the next test. It’s not a perfect project, however I see it as a necessary project, and I know some people will be assisted. Some will get their homes back and some will receive some money. Everyone who deserves something probably won’t get what is coming to them, but we are going to help many of those who deserve it.

    1. diane

      Honestly, putting your words through a sieve seems (to me) to compare to a police department detaining a number of verified murderers and giving most of them (with the exception of those few they dislike for unrelated personal reasons) the key to escape the cell, while pretending they didn’t see a thing.

      1. diane

        I mean …really, .. a Home … the shelter over the head…. represents the safe spot of one’s entire life – for themselves and those they love – … to speak of it (while that speaker feels quite safe in their own ‘home’) like it is nothing of importance … while that other human and their loved ones … are under threat of losing it, …. is despicable.

        1. DolleyMadison

          Amen, Diane. The cavalier attitude displayed by Michael, and indeed most people, is heartbreaking….I can recall hearing a fellow “Compliance Officer” say that the rule of law did not matter, that it was a mere technicality. “If you don’t pay you don’t deserve a house.” When I pointed out most of the cases involved manufactured defaults and homes the bank did not even own, she replied “If you are too stupid to know you are being cheated then you deserve to be FC on.”

          I have heard regulators express the same disdain for homeowners as well. It is very disheartening.

          1. Alice

            “I can recall hearing a fellow “Compliance Officer” say that the rule of law did not matter, that it was a mere technicality. “If you don’t pay you don’t deserve a house.”

            This it the attitude that just really upsets me to the very core. I can’t in my wildest imagination believe that 65 million homeowners who have Mers on their documents delibertly set out to commit fraud on the faux banking system. Mers has destroyed everything good about home ownership. The fact that their are ignorant people spouting the lie that everyone deserves to loose their homes in ludicrous. The facts are clear. This was a plan and the people that committed these crimes knew exactly what they were doing.

            The interesting thing to me is that not only screwed the homeowners, they screwed the investors…now the investors should have known better. The money managers should be held accountable, that is their job, handling billions of dollars of other peoples money. I would certainly think they might check to see if the alledged loans made it to the trusts. What were they doing….aren’t they the experts. Guess the perks were just too good and someone needed a new car, yacht, or any other of the sordid things they spend their zillions on.

            The people that got into these fraudulent loans did so because the so called lender said they qualified. I have had thrown in my face a few times and having been out of the business for a few years I just had to shake my head and say I just didn’t know anymore what guidelines the lenders followed. They certainly didn’t follow the guidelines I followed for my 25 year career in the business, The lender said they qualified and that was that. The sad part is there are still those that sign any fraudulent paperwork the ‘servicer’ sends them and tell me with a straight face they are not in foreclosure even tho the public record clearly states it to be so.

            I guess my point is that I believe the homeownes are the victims. I don’t believe anyone is getting a free house. Those so-called loans were paid off many times over. The majority of people getting into these homes in the last year had every intention of making payments on the largest investment in their life and the fact that they are being made out as thieves and connivers really angers me. Yes, 65 million theives and connivers, wow, just wow.

        2. diane

          oh thank you “Dolley,” how is it that the concept of a loving core of safety and benevolence is so supposedly lost amongst such “well educated” movers and shakers who love to spout off “well being”?

      1. Alice

        I agree, the company man isn’t about helping anyone getting to the bottom to this fraud. A few hundered dollars to someone who has lost their dream..I think not.

    2. Old Soul

      COVER UP PHASE II
      Are you real? Don’t you know that the review process was canceled on the deadline for the submission of the complaints in exchange for another false settlement (bribe) to the OCC of 10 billion dollars? No one is going to get anything from filing their OCC complaints.
      COVER UP PHASE I
      $840.00 is being paid to homeowners illegally foreclosed from the fake 25 billion dollar National Mortgage Settlement.

      1. Barbara Jean

        National Mortgage Settlement got a deadline to, Janaury 18, 2013 – but when you go to their online services you need a claim number that your bank/servicer should have given you. by the way have you listen to their voice message – long, and it refers the caller to IFR guys who “scrapped” the program. Who is out there for us to trust the BANKS.

  19. David Petraitis

    start irony
    You can trust the government to help the citizens out… it is enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution:

    “Congress shall make no law … abridging … the right … to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    end irony

    Seems to me that the government has redone this to mean that it will “disrespect and disregard the right of citizens to petition the government for redress if and when the members of one of the capitalist gangs in control of the government decide it is inconvenient.”

  20. Jack Parsons

    A note to all whistleblowers: archive names, dates, file numbers. With modern personal electronics it is possible to surreptiously record this stuff on the job. Talk to lawyers and find the record-keeping practices most convincing to courts. Don’t complain, keep a low profile. Don’t tell anyone until you’re out of the biz. If you want to have an effect, you have to attack from the outside not the inside. And you have to plan ahead.

  21. james

    I am part of the foreclosure review process. My previous work background & experience has nothing to do with mortgages, and not even with the banking industry. I was given a couple hours of training and then made qualified to do this Independent Foreclosure Review.

    I am looking forward to the end of the independent foreclosure review.

    1. Barbara Jean

      Hi, James: as the hired help to review apps, were all of you hired help in one room? who is in charged of receiving on line apps at thge final hours.

  22. Barbara Jean

    So now that the American people were again made fools of, what now, where do we go from here. The Independent Foreclosure Review is “Scrapped” – according to Luxtexente, it would not have given the American people fair review, anyway; I greatly thank him for his courage to come forward.
    Who is out there to help us, please write in.

  23. Michael

    Dolley Madison states I have a cavalier attitude. Dolley doesn’t know me and is wrong. I took this review seriously, looking to help those foreclosed upon. The project was shut down and now some will get something, and the banks get off the hook for less than they would have if the work was allowed to be completed.

    Next time you make a claim about, or against someone Dolley, make sure you have some information about them.

    1. Barbara Jean

      OK, I understand Dolly, and agree; now when the independent foreclosure review got “scrapped” at the final hour of alot of people who was trying to get their application filed – got left out. Here’s the question did any of the hired help got win of the “scrapping ” of the program and when;& how many people who filed got help?

      1. Djayna Brown

        I can’t answer how will they compensate because as of yesterday we were all terminated from all 14 banks with no notice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Chris

      Michael, I have a question for you since you say you were in this for the purpose of helping those who were harmed. How are the banks/reviewers deciding on who will be compensated?

      I got a modification in 2010, however Chase told me I either had to accept the offer or get ready to move out. Due to my health I really could not move in such a short period of time and without a lot of help. The modification Chase gave me put me in a underwater situation. I now owe basically 25 to 30 thousand dollars more than the value of my home. I feel like they set me up for failure and that to me was not what the modification process was suppose to do. I did fill out and send back all of the paper work for the independent review process by the first deadline and I have yet to here any thing as they have kept entending the deadline.

    3. Djayna Brown

      What I can say is that you can get with an real estate attorney and seek your own claim and problem wind up being compensated a lot more. But you have to opt out of the suit.

  24. Djayna Brown

    Well, I worked as a Independent Forecloure File Reviewer myself and the things I found were just ridiculous and like stated earlier we were trained to review by state specific. I was told in training class that I need to go work for Promotory, because the the way we were trained to researched I disagreed based on my knowldege of the law and having the law infront of me however I was also told I need to put on my Wells Fargo Hat which means they way the think and operate. So, the settlement agreement that has been reached is the easy way out actually they would have to pay more than $10 BILLION that’s a cover up!!!

    1. Salvatore

      From what I found online borrowers may get $250 dollars as a settlement. I don’t care about that small amount. What I need is my account closed and settled to rebuild my credit and life. The unlawful acts and mishandling and withholding of pertinant documents is what I need resolved. This is going on for three years.

  25. Djayna Brown

    I can’t answer how will they compensate because as of yesterday we were all terminated from all 14 banks with no notice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Chris

      This doesn’t surprise me at all. It is obvious to me that this is all a big cover up at the expense of the people who have been victimized by the foreclosures and again by the Independent Reviews.

      My house was set to be sold on the court house steps within days of when I got my modification. My mother had just had a stroke and I was killing myself trying to take care of her as well as trying to save my home. I got a modification but would end up having to pay 25 to 30 thousand more than my home is even worth, but really felt like I had no other choice. I am disabled and they knew it and I feel like they took advantage of me and what they knew about me.

      I know I could have refused the offer but at the time I really felt like I didn’t have any other choice. I was told I didn’t qualify for any of the government programs yet my mortgage is a government backed mortgage (Ginnie Mae). They had me so confused and I feel sure they knew that I felt like I was between a rock and a hard spot.

      The idea of a Independent Review gave me some hope of getting this all fixed. Again the Government and Banks come out smelling like a rose and the victims are again being victimized.

      I barely get by with what Chase has done to me and will never be able to do any improvements to my home. And I can’t afford to hire a Attorney to fight this battle so I’m screwed again by the Banks and the Government. Again this all doesn’t surprise me. I guess I’ve come to expect it as this seems to be the way the world is going.

    2. Chris

      Just thought of something. Unemloyment claims for all of the Independent Review people let go. Not sure if this is possible since you were contract employees, but I know that people who work temp work for H and R Block and places like that file for unemployment when the work is over. What a mess they will have on there hands if in fact all of the Reviewers file for unemployment.

  26. Dan C

    It appears that everyone is becoming aware of the scraping of the IFR by the OCC. Go to the OCC web site and you can read the letter that explains why the IFR wasn’t working and it is all a bunch of BS. The new deal is to have a “Pay Agent” who will begin contacting all borrowers who qualified in the foreclosure time frame established by the OCC, by late March. Now we all know that the TBTF Banks don’t do anything intentionally that might benefit the homeowner but that is the spin that is being applied by the bucket loads by the OCC. Criminal conspiracy to cover up the depth of the violations found by these independent reviewers and the OCC is in it up to their collective necks. Don’t let the clock run out on your private right of action for the civil and criminal acts of the Banks. I have been telling people for years now that this is at the root of all these failed programs, while the Banks and the Government keep you chasing the carrot on the stick the clock has been ticking away and there are hundreds of thousands of us out there who no longer have a right to sue becasue the statutes of limitations have expired and the Courts are not going to toll those statutes just because you had faith in the programs being shoved at you one after the other. RUN, don’t walk to your nearest Court House and get whatever they have on pro se filings or find an attorney, whatever it takes and get your case filed.
    I have been in communication with AG Harris in California trying to get her to shut down Bank of America’s Fraud center running out of Countrywide’s old digs in southern Cali, I even went so far as to send to her office at least a dozen copies of fraudulent Assignments of Deeds of Trust being produced in her own back yard and I haven’t heard a word and I know she received the material because I sent a backup set to her appointee to oversee California’s share of the 49 state settlement and that person responded. Forget it folks, we are all alone on the coliseum floor, except for the lions, there does not appear to be one good Man, or Women left standing in our defense. I am truly saddened by what we as a nation have become and what that means for my children and my three grandchildren, this is not what I wanted to leave behind.
    I beat the bastards but it took almost the last 7 years of my life and I have paid a price for it all, so now I do what I can when I can for those still fighting.
    Good luck to us all.

    TheGrey

    1. Salvatore

      I appreciate the truth in your comment and agree we have to do something, but many of us that lost everything are not in a position to get a lawyer. Where are the class actions suits to correct these accounts? This has to be a joint effort. Individuals that have been left at the curb need assistance. I have all my paperwork ready and my case is easy to see the disclosure and legal issues.

  27. Melissa

    I find these comments encouraging. I don’t believe for a second that this fight is over. We’re just beginning to face the fact that fraud has grown like a cancer in our government and corporations. The diagnosis is clear; now we must begin the battle to find the cure. We must start by revamping our government and that can only be done by getting rid of most of our elected officials.

  28. ann

    I went through 17 months with BofA over one late payment because my would be affordable health care went up to 1000 a month. I put 500,000 down all my equity and have 17 hours of tapes being promised a modify and making up the payment. they put me into forclosure in 09 with no notice nothing. I had the media ready to relese this on the news and the SRVP of Countrywide bofa Michael J Gross Met me at my attorneys office. the attorney said this guy doesnt make housecalls. REGARDLESS 2 years later I get a letter of default when they tried to call the note early last week 2 years early. I should have had recission under tila and respa but my jackrod attorney didnt know this. I Qualify for the indepen. forclosure money but neither they or the OCC knows if or when or how much that will be. HOW THE F does our GOVT get away with this? they are run by the federal reserve ie the big five ie the banks.

  29. Salvatore

    I am grateful this article is here, but this doesn’t help my cause as I was involved with this and the case is still unresolved. The bank has not taken responsibility to resolve the issues and all the paperwork was impeccibly clear to the legal issues, mishandled and undisclosed paperwork.

    My question is what do we do now? No money for a lawyer. Credit still wrecked. I was a nearly perfect credit 827 consumer. I did take the proper action to sell the house when personal circumstances changed. Now what?

    Where is the class action law suit to get this made right and set our records straight? Let me know. All my perfect paperwork is still ready to be reviewed.

  30. Christine

    I have been fighting with WAMU/Chase for three years now. I filed a complaint with the OCC in March of 2011, and two years later they state, “While we sympathize with you for the inconvenience caused to you by the bank’s actions, please undersatnd the banks have the contractual right to recover the funds thay have loaned to their customers…We cannot intercede in a private party situation regarding the interpretation or enforcement of a contract.” The OCC dragged this out for two years and all the issues I have addressed was outlined in the Independent Foreclosure Review. I am worse off now than I was in 2009, before the first Trial Plan I was approved for with WAMU, but was never converted into a modification. Chase denied it and on top, denied me four more modifications, based on wrong information. And the OCC states thats not under their jurisdiction. Now I know too what side the OCC is really on. I followed all the rules and I still lose!

    1. Salvatore

      Hi Christine, My case too is with WAMU/Chase and going on since ’09. I too started with the case with the OCC and got the same response as you. I wrote back again with the illegal documentation from my closing and the OCC sent it to upper supervisor staff. Then the foreclosure review started and did not here from the OCC. I am now considering contacting them again. My case is clearly documented wrongdoing, but I am concerned now that government and banks do not really care about resolving these cases. Florida has 10 years to chase you after a short sale. What gets me is that people get paid to do absolutely nothing and lie. I really hope this creates an even bigger crisis in real estate. I look forward to an even greater economic fall, then we will all be on the same playing field.

  31. Salvatore

    I have read many of the comments here and see many have been involved in transactions that included illegal acts and mishandling/manipulation of paperwork. Obviously, many of us have legimate cases that are unresolved. What is the answer? Personally, I have decided to completely disconnect from the bank and collection company. I do not talk with automatons. There is nothing left to discuss. There is no more paperwork to review. It is all out on the table and still unresolved. I am to the point no action is right action. I also do not believe one more cent needs to be spend to a lawyer unless they work pro bono, or to “shore up” a loan that is damaging the consumer. Let it all fall and let’s find another way to do business that is a win win for all concerned.

  32. Michael

    Reading this article was so discouraging. Politics, greed, lies, and perpetuation of those lies by MSM. Can we please have an Occupy America that demands accountability TODAY!

    I fell behind on my house payment in 2008 after graduating college and having trouble finding work. In all fairness, Wells Fargo did a great job of working with me for over 12 months. They allowed me to not make payments for almost 12 months and in the end said I could recapitalize the amount into my loan with a loan modification.

    As it stated in the article. I sent in everything they requested, the same as I had to do for the above mentioned payment program. I called in immediately after sending it and they confirmed that it was received. “Please give us about a week to process your loan modification.” 10 days later I called back. “Yes, we have your paperwork but the person assigned to you file hasn’t processed the modification yet.” At this point I had about 15 days before my loan would officially be termed in default and the foreclosure process would begin. I called in everyday from that day forward (recorded every call) and about 2 days prior to my home going into foreclosure I was told, “I just found you file on ****’s desk. He is no longer working in this department and that is why its wasn’t getting processed.” Great. Now they will take care of this today right? NO! 5 days and a foreclosure notice later, they tell me that because the home went into foreclosure status, I am no longer eligible for the loan modification. My only option is to pay everything that is past due (including the amount that was supposed to capitalized) and bring the loan current. I completely lost it and demanded to talk with someone who could fix this today. I played the recorded conversation to the representative over the phone in which they told me they were at fault for neglecting to pass my file on when someone left the department. Thankfully they agreed to allow me to do the loan modification but still billed me for the legal/administrative costs associated with the foreclosure process. Add to that, they are reporting on my credit report that I had a foreclosure and wouldn’t just simply fix it. I was told I had to file the paperwork for the “Independent” foreclosure review. That was in April of 2012. I’ve received two letters letting me know that my loan is being reviewed and it will likely be several months before anything is determined. In the meantime, this foreclosure is showing on background checks for jobs, and credit checks for refinancing (which excludes me from qualifying for today’s lower rates).

    My story is definitely much better than many others. I at least didn’t lose my house. America, it’s seriously time to rise up and demand accountability from our “representatives”.

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