Are Good Foreclosure Defense Attorneys an Endangered Species?

Rebroadcast of THE FORECLOSURE HOUR 12/27/15 National Radio Show

knowledgeA year ago The Foreclosure Hour explained why homeowners nationwide were having such great difficulty finding a knowledgeable foreclosure defense attorney and suggested ways of remedying the problem.

Yet, if anything, as those presently facing foreclosure well know, rather than becoming easier, it is actually even more difficult anywhere to find knowledgeable foreclosure defense counsel. Continue reading

Break up the Big Banks and Hold Wall Street Accountable for Their Risky Investments

We must create a banking system that works for every American—not just Wall Street CEOs—and enact and strengthen reforms that will protect our economy from another massive collapse. Tulsi is a cosponsor of legislation such as the Return to Prudent Banking Act (H.R.381) and the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act (H.R.3711) to help protect Americans from big banks’ roll of the financial dice. To help ensure the financial stability of our nation, Tulsi is continuing to fight against dangerous behavior on Wall Street where investors take big risks on the backs of American taxpayers. She has urged criminal investigations of Wall Street executives who take money from American taxpayers, such as what recently happened with Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest “too big to fail” bank.

“I will always fight against the schemes of Wall Street to make risky investments on the backs of American taxpayers.” -Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Mnuchin Lied About His Bank’s History of Robo-Signing Foreclosure Documents

Boy, is that slick…so, who did they hire outside of the company to create the forgeries…or was this the work of the GSEs? “We didn’t do it inside our company, your honor… forgot to mention “It was farmed out.”

Justice League

TREASURY SECRETARY NOMINEE Steven Mnuchin lied in his written responses to the Senate Finance Committee, claiming that “OneWest Bank did not ‘robo-sign’ documents,” when ample evidence proves that they did.

Mnuchin ran OneWest Bank from 2009 to 2015 in a manner so ruthless to mortgage holders that he has been dubbed the “Foreclosure King” by his critics.

The robo-signing scandal involved mortgage companies having their employees falsely sign hundreds of affidavits per week attesting that they had reviewed and verified all the business records associated with a foreclosure — when in fact they never read through the material and just blindly signed off. Those records, in many cases, were prepared improperly, but the foreclosures went ahead anyway because of the fraudulent affidavits.

“Did OneWest ‘robo-sign’ documents relating to foreclosures and evictions?” Sen. Bob Casey, D-Penn., asked Mnuchin as a “question for the record”.

Mnuchin replied that “OneWest Bank did not…

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Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff


ej-fraudNot a moment too soon, Princeton University Press has just released Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff by historian & Duke University Vice Provost Ed Balleisen. (Some readers might be familiar with his earlier book on bankruptcy in Antibellum America).

As I learned when reviewing an earlier draft, Fraud is meticulously researched and completely fascinating, with plenty of careful attention to law and regulatory structures. The book’s other virtues are well encapsulated by Kirkus:

Balleisen casts a gimlet eye on the passing parade of hucksters and charlatans, peppering a narrative long on theory with juicy asides that build toward a comprehensive catalog of ‘Old Swindles in New Jargon’. . . . Ranging among the disciplines of history, economics, and psychology, Balleisen constructs a sturdy narrative of the many ways in which we have fallen prey to the swindler, and continue to do so, as well as of how American society and its institutions have tried to build protections against the con. But these protections eventually run up against accusations of violating ‘longstanding principles of due process,’ since the bigger the con, the more lawyers arrayed behind it.Kirkus Continue reading

Day 1 for President Trump: HUD suspends FHA mortgage insurance premium cut

Cutting mortgage insurance was Obama’s gift to the banks and insurance companies. Let’s face it, banks don’t make loans designed for 30 year ownership. The securitization process is designed to churn and burn. Until that is eliminated and/or Glass Steagall is reinstated insurance programs need to stay in place to protect taxpayers. We, the People bail out the defaults if there is no insurance in place and unfortunately the statistics in low income housing programs have the highest defaults. Think about it.

Justice League

And yes, the FHA insurance will go up and will hurt low income and middle class homeowners…

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it suspended the reduction of Mortgage Insurance Premiums, effective immediately.

HUD sent out an announcement just an hour after President Trump was sworn in on Friday, stating that the cuts have been suspended indefinitely.

The letter, found here, stated that the FHA will issue a subsequent Mortgagee Letter at a later date should this policy change.

“FHA is committed to ensuring its mortgage insurance programs remains viable and effective in the long term for all parties involved, especially our taxpayers,” the letter stated. “As such, more analysis and research are deemed necessary to assess future adjustments while also considering potential market conditions in an ever-changing global economy that could impact our efforts.”

Right before leaving office, the Obama administration cut FHA mortgage insurance premiums, marking the…

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David Dayen via The Intercept: Treasury Pick Steve Mnuchin Denies It, But Victims Describe His Bank as a Foreclosure Machine

Had homeowners all been treated equal, missed payments, interest, fees and costs forgiven, home reappraised in 2009 and principal difference deducted from the original loan, give homeowners 2% loans over 27 years amortized over 40 years – more people would have stayed in their homes.

Livinglies's Weblog

Treasury Secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin kicked off his confirmation hearing Thursday with a defiant opening statement, mostly defending his record as CEO of OneWest Bank. He cast himself as a tireless savior for homeowners after scooping up failed lender IndyMac. “It has been said that I ran a ‘foreclosure machine,’” he said. “I ran a loan modification machine.”

But in stark contrast to his fuzzy statistics about attempted loan modifications, the victims of OneWest’s foreclosure practices have been real and ubiquitous.

A TV advertising campaign that’s been running in Nevada, Arizona, and Iowa features Lisa Fraser, a widow who says OneWest “lied to us and took our home” of 25 years, right after her husband’s funeral.

And on Wednesday, four women appeared at a congressional forum organized by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, relaying their stories of abuse at the hands of OneWest. Democrats had hoped to present the…

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Cuomo will make foreclosure reform a priority — finally

Wonder if Tom Selick is keeping up with any of this? Somebody ought to clue him in, yeah?

Justice League

Gov. Cuomo and state lawmakers are finally making reverse-mortgage foreclosure reform a priority this year — following continuing coverage of a crisis by The Post.

Last week, the governor announced plans to provide reverse-mortgage holders the right to a mandatory foreclosure settlement conference with their lender, overseen by the court, just as traditional mortgage borrowers have, and to update regulations to prevent reverse-mortgage foreclosures.

Read on.

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Congresswoman Maxine Waters is the first in Congress to address David Dayen’s Mnuchin story. Says it disqualifies him

Congresswoman Waters should know that Wilbur Ross isn’t any better. It appears Mr. Ross may have donated more to political PACs and campaigns because it
appears he is not on the Dem “objection radar” – and certainly should be.

Hopefully, President-Elect Trump has read Chain of Title along with the Republicans in Congress – and it’s not just the Dems who have educated themselves about this Wall Street fraud crisis; albeit they did nothing in 8 years but devise a poorly executed HAMP scam that merely foamed the runway for the banks. Failure to prosecute the banks and stop the fraudulent foreclosure actions signals to most of us that Congress and the Administration were in many ways complicit in the unregulated securitization and derivatives debacle that scammed over 140 million Americans and countries around the world.

Think you are safe just because you haven’t missed a mortgage payment? Think again. If you bought a home or refinanced after 2000 just look to see if there is Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) in your mortgage document. Then look for an Assignment filed in your Recorder’s office. If you’ve never missed a payment there will not likely be an Assignment because your collateral is still being rehypothecated (in limbo) until you default. And your original lender may have already disappeared. Is your title clouded? Do yourself a favor and find out specifically where your mortgage and note are sitting. Don’t confuse the “servicer” (like Ocwen) with the owner of your collateral. That would be foolish. You’ll find, that even though you’ve never missed a payment on your property it is likely (at the moment) a clean title is questionable. So Yes, if you have a mortgage you are likely one of over 140 million folks who have and are being scammed. If you haven’t yet read David Dayen’s Chain of Title maybe 2017 is time to start.

BTW – even if MERS isn’t in your mortgage doesn’t mean your collateral (loans and personal data) weren’t securitized. It’s likely your original lender is defunct and that ought to be a red flag…remember the “servicer” who you send your payments to is not likely the mortgagee (or investor) of your loan.

Justice League

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The Atlantic: Mnuchin’s Bank Was Reprimanded by the Same Department He May Lead

Wonder how much of the $380 million Mnuchin donated to US Sen. Chuck Schumer for starting the rumor that took down IndyMac Bank so Mnuchin and His pals (including George Soros) could buy it?

Livinglies's Weblog

Documents show that state prosecutors and Treasury Department regulators believed Steve Mnuchin’s bank was mishandling foreclosures at the height of the financial crisis.

Alexia Fernández Campbell

In 2011, at the peak of the housing crisis, regulators for the Treasury Department ordered Steve Mnuchin and directors at OneWest Bank in California to fix the bank’s questionable handling of home loans. In a consent order filed that year by the department’s Office of Thrift Supervision, regulators accused the bank of using “unsafe or unsound” methods for dealing with mortgage loans and foreclosures in 2009 and 2010. They found that bank employees and third-party providers lied in foreclosure paperwork filed in state and federal courts about information related to the ownership of many home loans, money due on the loans, and the fees chargeable to the borrower. They also accused employees of filing court documents with signatures that were not notarized…

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Mnuchin Declines Reply to Sen. Brown’s Letter Before Panel Review

Justice League

  • Mnuchin won’t circumvent Senate process with reply letter
  • His Treasury chief nomination is subject to Senate approval

Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin has declined to answer questions from a Democratic senator about his views on financial regulations, sanctions and his time as head of a bank accused of unfair foreclosure practices.

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the top Democrat on the banking committee, sent a letter on Dec. 21 asking Mnuchin to detail his position by Jan. 6 on issues that are under the committee’s purview, including fair lending laws and foreclosure-prevention programs. Mnuchin doesn’t plan to respond to the senator in writing, though several weeks ago he requested a meeting with Brown, who hasn’t yet accepted, according to Mnuchin’s spokeswoman Tara Bradshaw.

“Mnuchin will work with Senator Brown within the protocol of the finance committee — and will not be providing written answers in advance of a deadline yet…

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