WEEKEND EDITION, FEBRUARY 4 – FEBRUARY 8, 2013

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
ACADEMIA ADVERSARIES ADVOCATES BLOGOSPHERE LEGAL LEGISLATE OP-ED HOMEOWNERS NEWS ForeclosureGate.org Is A Public Service Homeowner Coalition and Cooperative, Created To Exchange News And Information And To Advance Justice For American Homeowners

Senate’s Elizabeth Warren Seeks Regulator Documents on Foreclosure Accord U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Elijah Cummings have asked banking regulators to produce documents to show what was behind this month’s settlements with 13 mortgage servicers for faulty foreclosures. “It is critical that the OCC and the Federal Reserve disclose additional information about the scope of the harms found to establish confidence in the sufficiency and integrity of the settlement,” the two Democratic lawmakers wrote in a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry dated today….

TARP Watchdog Says Treasury 'Concrete' Plan for Ally's Exit

Lacks

Fort Lauderdale foreclosure permanently disbarred

attorney

In a report, a taxpayer watchdog agency accused Treasury of lacking a “concrete” plan to help Ally pay back taxpayers and move toward financial stability. “Four years after its first Government bailout, Ally still owes taxpayers $14.6 billion and Treasury has no concrete exit plan that balances repayment to taxpayers with Ally’s financial stability,” the Office of the Special Inspector General for Troubled Asset Relief Program) stated in the report….

Fort Lauderdale attorney William Timothy O’Toole was permanently disbarred recently as part of the Florida Bar and Florida Supreme Court’s attorney discipline actions. In 2011, the Bar said it had received 20 complaints about O’Toole. In a petition for emergency suspension at the time, O’Toole was accused of allowing nonlawyers to improperly solicit clients on his behalf for loan modifications and foreclosure defense on a nationwide basis, despite the fact he can only practice law in Florida….

Ingham County official: Big banks must be held accountable for foreclosure crisis Settling claims related to the sub-prime mortgage crisis will cost some of the nation's largest banks more than $18 billion under the terms of two agreements announced today, but that's not enough to make up for the damage the banks caused to communities and homeowners, a local official said….

One Thing Explains Why Home Prices Are Rising In Some Cities And Falling In Others "Broadly, states with a non-judicial process witnessed a sharper decline in home prices at the beginning of the downturn, but are currently enjoying price appreciation," said Meyer recently to Business Insider. "This is due to a more efficient disposition of delinquent supply, leaving lean inventory in many markets….

Fitch warns home prices overvalued Despite national home prices increasing by more than 2%, the largest gain since before the market peak, Fitch Ratings believes national prices are 10% overvalued. However, during correction, home prices will likely drop by no more than 2% from today due to inflation. Fitch reports technical factors behind the appreciation will eventually mute growth in the future, much to the opposition of current market predictions….

In foreclosure limbo, Middleburg woman hopes to settle nagging four-year loan issue Some homeowners who should have been allowed to stay in their homes could receive a few hundred dollars with $125,000 being the high end depending on the mortgage error. Kiefer says her battle to get a loan modification with Bank of America is going nowhere….

At present it is a leap of faith to even buy a plot of empty land The questions that remain in the context of doing what is best for the country remain unresolved: 1. Knowing that the title chain is corrupted in all 50 states and that the amount of chaos ranges all the way up to 80%, what are the remedial steps required to boost confidence in the title registries around the country? At present it is a leap of faith to even buy a plot of empty land. 2. Knowing now that the investors put up the money and borrowers put down payments on homes and refinancing, how will the victims of Wall Street chicanery be compensated by a appointment of a receiver? Restitution is a fundamental bedrock for fraudulent deals.

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WEEKEND EDITION, FEBRUARY 4 – FEBRUARY 8, 2013

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2013
ACADEMIA ADVERSARIES ADVOCATES BLOGOSPHERE LEGAL LEGISLATE OP-ED HOMEOWNERS NEWS ForeclosureGate.org Is A Public Service Homeowner Coalition and Cooperative, Created To Exchange News And Information And To Advance Justice For American Homeowners

Congress Begins Investigation of Botched Foreclosure Review Cover-Up Settlement The more people look at the abruptly-arranged settlement of the OCC/Fed foreclosure reviews, the more they realize something does not smell right. Elijah Cummings and Elizabeth Warren have started an investigation of the settlement: Some people in a position to know believe that this inquiry was prompted in part by our series, as well as the work done by ProPublica and the Huffington Post. The language of the letter requesting documentation leaves me a bit concerned about whether people in power truly recognize what went on and what is going on within these banks….

Foreclosure Process Housing Market

Hammers

Florida's

Mortgage banking double-cross leaves some homeowners out in the cold Homeowner Caylin Crawford had been paying the mortgage on her St. Paul home on time since she bought it in the spring of 2009. Then, in January 2011, she had a snowboarding accident. Told that she would be unable to work for the next three months, she called US Bank, her mortgage servicer, to see if they could make adjustments until she was back on her feet….

A decade ago, speculators in Florida were pumping up a huge housing bubble. "You couldn't go wrong," Tampa real estate attorney Charlie Hounchell says. In that overheated period from 2001 to 2006, "you could buy a house and make $100,000 a year later by selling it," he says.

Foreclosure payments may start in spring Eligible borrowers, including homeowners in the foreclosure process during 2009 or 2010, will not be required to prove wrongdoing with their mortgage or take any further action, Barbara Hagenbaugh, a spokeswoman for the Federal Reserve, said Tuesday. Eligible homeowners will receive payment even if they did not previously apply for a foreclosure review. Under the settlement agreement, which ended a nationwide foreclosure review program, the banks will pay as much as $3.3 billion directly to 3.8 million affected borrowers….

Michigan program to help homeowners avoid foreclosure for unpaid taxes The program would pay for applicable households that owe up to $30,000. It is being administered by the Michigan Housing Department Authority under the name "A Step Forward Michigan Loan Rescue Program." Funding comes from the federal "Hardest Hit" foreclosure relief program, which allotted Michigan $498 million in 2010 to prevent mortgage foreclosure. The program is being expanded to include payment of back taxes and will go into effect Jan. 15….

Foreclosure ranking for Omaha metro is a head scratcher In a span of just weeks, the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area has found itself on the Top 10 lists of two national companies that track the housing market. One list, by Trulia, put the Omaha area among the top healthiest markets going into 2013. On Wednesday, a less desirable ranking by RealtyTrac placed the Omaha area among metros with high percentage increases in foreclosure activity in 2012 from the year before….

Short sales in California surpass sales of foreclosed homes When housing prices first went off the cliff, most mortgage lenders refused to cut deals with homeowners, choosing instead to repossess homes on a grand scale. Five years and billions of dollars in losses later, many banks can't cut those deals fast enough, writing off large chunks of mortgage debt and even paying homeowners to move out. In recent months, short sales — in which banks allow homeowners to sell for less than they owe…

Rep. Cummings, Sen. Warren Launch Joint Investigation of Settlement Ending Independent Foreclosure Review Process Washington, D.C. (Jan. 31, 2013) -- Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (DMD), as the top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry seeking documents relating to their recent settlement with mortgage servicers that ended the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) process….

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WEEKEND EDITION, FEBRUARY 4 – FEBRUARY 8, 2013

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2013
ACADEMIA ADVERSARIES ADVOCATES BLOGOSPHERE LEGAL LEGISLATE OP-ED HOMEOWNERS NEWS ForeclosureGate.org Is A Public Service Homeowner Coalition and Cooperative, Created To Exchange News And Information And To Advance Justice For American Homeowners

Doubt Is Cast on Firms Hired to Help Banks Federal authorities are scrutinizing private consultants hired to clean up financial misdeeds like money laundering and foreclosure abuses, taking aim at an industry that is paid billions of dollars by the same banks it is expected to police.The consultants operate with scant supervision and produce mixed results, according to government documents and interviews with prosecutors and regulators. In one case, the consulting firms enabled the wrongdoing. The deficiencies, officials say, can leave consumers vulnerable and allow tainted money to flow through the financial system….

OCC Senior Leadership Surprise Overhaul

Gets

Another

Anti-Foreclosure Rally Results in Delayed Court Date Labor and tenant organizers gathered in front of the Suffolk County Housing Court Thursday morning to support the family of Dorchester resident Ramon Suero in an anti-foreclosure rally. City Life/Vida Urbana and UNITE HERE Local 26 held the rally and press conference to announce their support of Suero and his family in the fight to keep their home. Their condo unit at 26 Elder Street in Dorchester is worth $80,000 dollars….

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency unexpectedly announced Wednesday that Michael Brosnan, the senior deputy comptroller of large banks, was leaving his post to become examiner-in-charge of Zions Bank. The move is both unusual and effectively a demotion, though Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry suggested it was a change sought by Brosnan himself….

Florida Rep. Introduces Bill to Expedite Foreclosure Process A bill with similar goals was introduced in the state about a year ago and met with opposition from state residents. In February, dozens of residents protested the previous law at the state capitol. Under the newly proposed law, in order to pursue foreclosure, a mortgage lender must confirm they have all the necessary paperwork giving them the right to foreclose….

Clouds Seen in Regulators’ Crystal Ball for Banks Five years ago, the financial regulators of the United States — and more broadly the world — didn’t see the storm coming. Would they if a new one were brewing now? The answer to that is far from clear. The regulators have more information now, and they have applied the tools they have to measure risk with more vigor. But a new assessment from a little-known agency created…

Foreclosure Settlement: What Is Behind The Curtain at the Great and Powerful Oz? The connection is pretty simple — and disturbing. Virtually all buy-back demands come about because a big bank claims to have suffered a “loss” related to the loan, and says that the “loss” came about because of breached representations and warranties made by the correspondent lender at the time the loan was sold. That theory about why the “loss” occurred is pretty dubious to begin with….

Nearly one-third of U.S. homeowners have no mortgage While millions of Americans have suffered the angst of lost homes, equity and pride, nearly a third of the nation's homeowners have no mortgage at all, according to an estimate released Thursday by real estate website Zillow. The freeand-clear class includes, predictably, retirees who have chipped away at their debts for decades, but also a surprisingly high percentage of young people and those who live in relatively affordable regions….

Reverse mortgage rule threatens widow with foreclosure; AARP files challenge The Department of Housing and Urban Development has a birthday gift for widow Jeanette Ogle — a gift that should cause any senior to think twice before signing up for a government-insured reverse mortgage. Later this month, on Ogle’s 92nd birthday, her home in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., is scheduled for foreclosure — and it’s not because she did something wrong. Instead, she is expected to lose her house because only her late husband’s name was included on the reverse mortgage documents prepared by a loan broker in 2007….

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WEEKEND EDITION, FEBRUARY 4 – FEBRUARY 8, 2013

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013
ACADEMIA ADVERSARIES ADVOCATES BLOGOSPHERE LEGAL LEGISLATE OP-ED HOMEOWNERS NEWS ForeclosureGate.org Is A Public Service Homeowner Coalition and Cooperative, Created To Exchange News And Information And To Advance Justice For American Homeowners

CA Class Action Complaint Against Foreclosure Mills Regarding FDCPA 19. Assignments of the Deed of Trust were recorded which purportedly assigned the deeds of trust from the original named “lender” to third parties. These assignments were invalid, and created fraudulently and/or forged. 20. The amounts claimed to be in default were incorrect and/or includes chargesnot permitted under the loan documents. 21 The Notice of Default (“NOD”) states, inter alia: “NOTE(S) FOR THE ORIGINAL [Trust Deed] …are presently held by the undersigned….” This was false. The foreclosing parties did not hold the notes....

Wonder Warren To help settle a probe into illegal mortgage practices, servicers were ordered to review all foreclosures between 2009 and 2010. The senator from Massachusetts thinks the public has a right to know what they found. Since the start of the new Congress, liberal Democrats have anxiously awaited senior Senator from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren’s initial moves. Celebrity entrants into the Senate—from….

LPS received tax break, while Florida AG Bondi investigated it for foreclosure fraud While attorney general Pam Bondi was investigating Lender Processing Services for foreclosure abuses, the state of Florida was preparing a sweet tax break deal for the Jacksonville-based company. Last week, Bondi announced a national settlement with LPS, and the company agreed to pay $120 million to settle allegations that it operated as a so-called….

New mortgage rules give small banks a chance There may come a time next year when heading to a community bank or a credit union for a mortgage may be more attractive than approaching a large bank. The government’s new mortgage rules, released Thursday, included a key standard — consumers can’t get a “qualified” mortgage if they have debts exceeding 43 percent of their income. But the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed an exemption for small creditors, which could….

Ten Questions on the New Mortgage Rules What is a qualified mortgage? Congress amended federal lending laws in 2010 to give greater legal rights to borrowers who get mortgages they can’t afford. The new law, part of the Dodd-Frank financial-regulation overhaul, said if banks made a qualified mortgage—one that meets certain easy-to-identify criteria—regulators and courts would presume that lenders had reason to assume a borrower could repay. When do the new rules take effect? In one year….

Alert Neighbor Helps Cops Bust Foreclosure Copper Robbery Police said both men were taken into custody -Montes-Ortiz struggling and resisting arrest along the way. Three backpacks were found on the basement floor and contained "numerous burglary tools within them," according to a police report, including pliers, flashlights, copper cutters, vice grips, a crow bar, hacksaw, knives and a drill. Police also spotted a pile of cut copper fittings from the house next to the backpack.

San Francisco city pensions are urged to dump Wells Fargo The San Francisco Employees' Retirement System was urged Wednesday to divest the city's pensions of Wells Fargo shares over the bank's foreclosure practices. About a dozen people, including current and retired city employees along with Occupy protesters, spoke during the public comment portion of a regularly scheduled board meeting in which they also asked that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee not re-appoint Brenda Wright, Wells Fargo's….

Sixth Circuit Holds that Mortgage Foreclosure and Foreclosure Lawyers are Subject to the FDCPA The Sixth Circuit’s ruling is significant because, among other things, the prospect of FDCPA liability may discourage law firms from engaging in mortgage foreclosure activity, requiring banks and other mortgage servicers to move some of these collection activities in-house. The potential consequences of the Sixth Circuit decision may be particularly acute when considered in conjunction with a recent decision in the Ninth Circuit, which makes clear that lawyers and other principals of firms operating as debt collectors for banks might be held personally liable under the FDCPA for the actions of their firms. Cruz v. Int'l Collection Corp., 673 F.3d 991 (9th Cir. 2012)….

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WEEKEND EDITION, FEBRUARY 4 – FEBRUARY 8, 2013

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2013
ACADEMIA ADVERSARIES ADVOCATES BLOGOSPHERE LEGAL LEGISLATE OP-ED HOMEOWNERS NEWS ForeclosureGate.org Is A Public Service Homeowner Coalition and Cooperative, Created To Exchange News And Information And To Advance Justice For American Homeowners

Bank of America Foreclosure Reviews: How the Cover-Up Happened (Part IVB) ….and she would call in religiously, even though they would tell her, “You know, it’s going to take 30 days, you don’t have to call back” – she would still call back, and kept calling back. And there would be notes that she’d call back and hear, “It’s still in the review, it’s still in review, it’s in underwriting for review,” you know, all this stuff. And then finally it comes to this – it came to, I think it was December 17th, if I remember right. She had called in and she’s asking what’s the status of her modification, and they go, and the person says, “Ma’am, you can’t get a modification, it’s an REO property.” [Real Estate Owned, which means the bank has already foreclosed on it]….

What’s Up With Fannie Mae List Prices? If you’ve been looking for houses the past 6-8 months you’ve noticed there isn’t much inventory and prices are going up. Well, Fannie Mae is onto this and has been trying to prop up the market even more. Go ahead and search the Fannie Mae listings. Search Here Now run a search on closed and even active comparables around it. Anything look funny? Yeah, Fannie Mae is adding anywhere from 20-30% of market value to their listings….

Northern California Real Estate Investor Agrees to Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging at Public Foreclosure Auctions A Northern California real estate investor has agreed to plead guilty for his role in conspiracies to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, the Department of Justice announced. Chung is the 27th individual to plead guilty or agree to plead guilty as a result of the department’s ongoing antitrust investigations into bid rigging and fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in…. Banks Benefit From Deducting Settlements On Taxes THE numbers seem eye-popping. So many billions here for supposed mortgage abuses, so many billions there for questionable foreclosures. But there’s more than meets the eye to the big legal settlements you’ve been reading about involving some of the nation’s biggest banks. Actually, there’s less than meets the eye. The dollar signs are big, but they aren’t…

Response to Settlement

the

Federal

Foreclosure

The settlement offers a pittance to affected homeowners who lost their homes in 2009 and 2010, but does nothing to stop the banks to profit from continuing to fraudulently foreclose on families. They're stealing our homes, receiving a slap on the wrist from the federal government, and then continuing to systematically ravage our neighborhoods one home at a time….

At L.A. mayoral forum, top candidates say housing is a priority At a time when many Angelenos are grappling with foreclosures and rising rental costs have far outpaced growth in their incomes, the three top Los Angeles mayoral candidates promised Friday to make housing policy a central focus for their administrations. And City Controller Wendy Greuel argued that her experience as a former federal housing administrator, as well as an aide to former Mayor Tom Bradley on housing and homelessness issues, would help her to expand L.A.’s share of housing funding to reach a broader spectrum of city residents….

Hackers, Bank Records, and Going Paperless The traditional allocation of losses at a bank was first loss bank, second loss government, but never losses to insured depositors. To wit, if Willie Sutton robs a bank, the money lost is the bank's, not that of any particular depositor. If bank fails, then the FDIC steps in pays out the insured depositors. It does so on the basis of the bank's books and records. The phenomenon of hacking strikes me as changing this loss allocation paradigm: the hacker might steal from individual customers' accounts, not from the bank vault. If the hacking can be identified, then the traditional loss allocation kicks in….

Holder Cites ‘Egregious’ Conduct by McGraw-Hill, S&P A U.S. Justice Department lawsuit against McGraw-Hill Cos. (MHP) and its Standard & Poor’s unit seeks to punish conduct central to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Attorney General Eric Holder said. The “egregious” conduct “goes to the very heart of the recent financial crisis,” Holder said today at a news conference in Washington. The complaint “is an important step forward in our ongoing efforts to investigate and punish the conduct that is believed to have contributed to the worst economic crisis in recent history.”

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