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Homeowner Activists Vindicated!! Stop Foreclosures

Homeowner Activists Vindicated!! Stop Foreclosures

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Published by 83jjmack
this speaks for itself
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Published by: 83jjmack on Oct 04, 2010
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 By Richard Zombeck Posted Huffington Post Oct. 4, 2010There's a huge buzz out there among homeowner activists who are feeling vindicated for the hardwork they've done over the past couple of years and in many cases even longer. The recent newsinundating the headlines of blatant fraud on the part of lenders and servicers has offered proof thattheir actions and fight have not been in vain.Many of the people who've been battling foreclosure, loan servicers, banks, and legal firms bent ontaking homes have done so at considerable cost to their sanity, reputation, and finances. They've been lambasted by the other side and by their neighbors, called leeches, welfare freaks, and losers.They've been accused of having bought beyond their means and blamed for being the cause of thefinancial crisis, when the majority of homeowners have been victimized and scammed. In extremecases some have been labeled whack job conspiracy theorists and alarmists by the media andelected officials.Mike Dillon of New Hampshire has been fighting an illegal foreclosure againstFairbanks CapitolCorporation/Select Portfolio Servicing for nine years."I didn't buy more house than I could afford. I had my evidence. I had a court order from a judge.Despite this, I still had to get used to being looked at like a guy standing out in a cornfielddescribing how the lights came down out of the sky and stole my cow. As devastating as this levelof fraud has been, it was nice to finally get that confirmation that I really wasn't crazy," Dillon saidreferring to the rash of articles and testimonies proving his claims.For some the obvious just has a way of slapping you in the face.As Martin Andelman, founder of Mandelman Matters said to me in a conversation that I'll never  forget: "Do you know why poor people don't buy houses they can't afford? Because they don'twant to move refrigerators! And don't tell me that one idiotic story about a 14-year-old kid who bought a McMansion with the money from his paper route. Do they really expect us to believe thateight million people got up one morning and became irresponsible?"It made perfect sense and needs no explanation. Andelman was referring to what can only bedescribed as propaganda on the part of the banks to blame homeowners for the mortgage crisis.Apparently, listening to some of the rhetoric from Fox News, the banks, and members of the GOPover the past couple of years that's exactly what happened. Greedy homeowners went out in drovesand scooped up McMansions they knew they couldn't afford by duping seemingly innocent bankers and naive mortgage brokers who were just trying to do the right thing and help thesecrooked homeowners achieve a little piece of the American dream. Meanwhile, again according to
those same "experts", the liberal big government was strong arming the banks to make it happen.Maybe that's why we saw record deregulation during Bush's two terms.Sorry, not quite. As it happens the banks have in fact been fraudulently foreclosing onhomeowners for a while now and in the last couple of weeks I've been inundated with emails, phone calls, and links to stories recounting how Bank of America, GMAC , and JPMorgan Chase have stalled foreclosures as a result of allegations that each "robo signer" was signing off on closeto 10,000 documents a month without ever knowing what the paperwork contained. Relatedarticles have appeared about banksknowingly selling subpar mortgages to investors,ignoring  proof that loans were unsafe, anddeliberately destroying documents. Those of us who have been following the meltdown saw it coming, experienced it, and have pleaded with legislators to listen. We have been waiting for the day to come when the media wouldfinally pick up on it. The evidence has been there all along in the hundreds of stories submitted byhomeowners atwww.shamethebanks.org and other sites detailing how they've been abused by the lending industry. Also prevalent in many of these stories is the lack of action by elected officialsand the media when these stories have been brought to their attention. Homeowners who havereached out for help to their Congressional offices have received little more than a boilerplate letter in response. After numerous letters, emails, and phone calls explaining our situation, my wife and Ireceived a voice mail from Rep. John Tierney's office saying, "I didn't realize you required or expected some kind of action."Those of us who have been able to reach out to people higher in the chain of command have nothad any more luck at being heard.In April, shortly after having foundedshamethebanks.org,I went to D.C. and had the opportunity to speak with Treasury officials. I implored them to take a closer look at how banks and servicerswere gaming the system.I confronted Diana Farrell, Deputy Director of the National EconomicCouncil, and asked her why Treasury wasn't looking more closely at the allegations of servicer andlender fraud and misuse of the HAMP program. She skirted the issue and responded that, "we'lltake that under advisement."Homeowner advocate and loan fraud investigator Steve Dibert of MFI-Miamihad a similar experience when he met with government staffers in the aftermath of the mortgage meltdown:18 months ago, I had dinner with several staff members of the House Finance Committee. When Itold them about all this they gave me the deer in headlights look. I remember approaching themainstream media then who acted like I was nothing more than a Che Guevara wannabe.I had associates in the mid-west doing short sales and modifications who couldn't figure out whythey were getting nowhere with their files for 9-12 months, they finally came to me out of desperation. Within 3 weeks, I had the servicer begging to give the homeowner a modification because I was able to prove they lacked legal standing to foreclose and could face a fraud lawsuit.GMAC, Chase, and Bank of America have all made self-aggrandizing announcements that they arestalling foreclosures until they get to the bottom of this. Of course they're only stalling the process
in 23 states - the ones with judicial foreclosure laws that require lenders to show proof of legalstanding in court. Those states are: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, NorthDakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin.One would guess that in the other 27, non-judicial foreclosure states, it will be business as usualand since there's no real oversight of how the banks do business, why bother? As much as theseguys would like us to believe that they're doing the right thing, they're actually doing the bareminimum to avoid prosecution and continuing to take homes in over 50 percent of the countrydespite overwhelming evidence that they broke the law in every state. Simply because no one iswatching."The general level of sloppiness is pervasive around the industry," said Diane Thompson, counselat the National Consumer Law Center.Two other big banks have been quick to distance themselves from the accusations. Wells Fargoand Citi have both announced that they are clean and that they, unlike the others, have followednecessary guidelines.Vickee Adams, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo & Co., said Wells' "policies, procedures and practices satisfy us that the affidavits we sign are accurate."Mark Rodgers, a spokesman for Citigroup Inc., said the bank "reviews document handling processes in our foreclosure group on an ongoing basis, and we have strong training to ensure thatappropriate employees are fully aware of the proper procedures."We'll just have to assume this wasn't the same training that led toa $75 million fine by the SEC acouple of months ago for misleading investors by failing to disclose $40 billion in risky mortgageassets and eventually sent Citi to the brink of failure.As luck would have it, two days after Citi and Well Fargo made those claims, Abigail Field of Daily Finance, wrote a piece outlining that in fact Citi and Wells Fargo have been involved in thesame practices."For example, in one case I reviewed, Herman John Kennerty of Wells Fargo gave a depositiondescribing the department he oversees for Wells Fargo. It's a department dedicated to simplysigning documents. Kennerty testified that he signs 50 to 150 documents a day, verifying only thedate on each," she writes. So much for top notch training.Read the rest of the story at DailyFinance.After two years of failed modification programs, foreclosure prevention strategies, some membersof congress are starting to take notice. In Florida, a state that's been ravaged by foreclosure andforeclosure mill law firms that have made millions illegally foreclosing on properties,  Representative Alan Grayson posted this videoon his web site. In it he explains, in depth, how the foreclosure crisis works, complete with four real-world examples: a man who was foreclosed onwhen he didn't have a mortgage and paid cash for the home; a home where two servicers claimedownership of the title; a couple foreclosed on over a contested $75 late fee; and a story that sounds

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