Saturday, April 30, 2011

Arizona Representative Drops Chain of Title Notification Provision After Apparent Bribe by Servicer « naked capitalism

More unbelievable BS from the banks and the politicians.  Funny how the AZ rep gets a loan mod that is a 56% principal reduction after two previous failed requests for loan modification.  The coincidence is that the Az Rep was set to initiate a bill that was very unfavorable to the banks.  It looks a little like bribery.

From Naked Capitalism

"When Rep. Seel was asked what had happened to prevent him from showing up on time to propose the amendment, he explained that he had decided not to propose it because he was told there was no chance of it being adopted… something about it not being “germane,” whatever that means.

One thing though… from what Darrell explained to me, Carl Seel must have been in a very good mood the day of his unexpected tardiness, because even though he had been previously turned down twice for his own loan modification, two days before he showed up too late to propose the amendment, Ocwen granted him a PRINCIPAL REDUCTION that reduced his mortgage to $88,000 from roughly $190,000… that’s a reduction of approximately 56% give or take a few points one way or the other.

Now that is lucky, was all I could think to say. Really lucky, considering it was Ocwen, a servicer I’ve been told is among the most difficult when it comes to modifying loans. In fact, it’s almost like being the single-ticket-lottery-winner-three-days-in-a-row kind of lucky, wouldn’t you say?

So, how did Darrell know about the fortuitous timing of Mr. Seel’s generous principal reduction?

It’s quite simple really… Seel hired him to help him with his loan.

You see, according to Darrell Blomberg, Rep. Seel had asked him to conduct an audit of Seel’s trustee sale in an effort to postpone his own home’s sale, which had been scheduled after his servicer denied his loan modification application for the second time. And Darrell had forwarded the results of his examination to Ocwen in a letter outlining several discrepancies in an attempt to delay the sale date.

As a result of that close involvement, Darrell says he personally saw the paperwork indicating both the trustee sale was being cancelled and that the significant principal reduction was being granted as part of Seel’s loan modification. He even went over it with Seel, telling him he hadn’t seen many… if any… like this one.

If you are in Arizona, demand an ethics investigation. This isn’t even subtle. And it won’t be hard to find plenty of industry insiders like Blomberg who will attest that the Ocwen mod isn’t just irregular, it’s unheard of. "

Arizona Representative Drops Chain of Title Notification Provision After Apparent Bribe by Servicer « naked capitalism

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Booger Rule of Antitrust in the Debit Card Fight « naked capitalism

Although we were big fans of the HuffPo piece yesterday on the DC war over debit card regulation, Adam Levitin was a bit less happy since the article focused on the politics and was thin on why the card fees were burdensome to merchants.

Although a few readers tried arguing the bank position and did not get a terribly enthusiastic reception, Levitin explains the real problem: the actions of the Visa/MasterCard duopoly are pretty clear antitrust violations, but as he pointed out via e-mail, the US pretty much does not do antitrust any more. The Chicago school of economics indoctrination of judges via an orchestrated “law and economics” movement (see ECONNED for an overview) has resulted in judges not seeing competitive problems anywhere. The Department of Justice has lost a slew of recent antitrust cases at the Supreme Court, so they’ve lost the appetite to pursue them.
read the full story below at Naked Capitalism

The Booger Rule of Antitrust in the Debit Card Fight « naked capitalism Buy A Scanner Today

How the Failure to Manage Foreclosed Homes Kills « naked capitalism

How the Failure to Manage Foreclosed Homes Kills « naked capitalism

How the Failure to Manage Foreclosed Homes Kills « naked capitalism

How the Failure to Manage Foreclosed Homes Kills « naked capitalism

Sunday, April 17, 2011

County Recorder tells truth about MERS

More Shots Across MERS’s Bow « naked capitalism

From the Times Herald

and from Naked Capitalism

Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds Nancy Becker is urging registers of deeds across state and the country to withdraw public money from any banks affiliated with the Mortgage Electronic Registry System (MERS), which she claims is undermining the practice of accurate land recording.

(In recent years, mortgages have been assigned and reassigned multiple times, and when a bank or other entity doesn’t properly report these transfers, it makes it very difficult for homeowners to determine who holds their mortgages.)
“It clouds the chain of title, and it’s prohibiting (officials) from recording revenues they should be recording,” Becker said.

Since 2004, she estimates the county has lost $15 million in fees from 139,798 mortgages recorded via the electronic recording system that fails to reflect assignments. Becker said she fields calls about once a month from a homeowner seeking help finding proof a mortgage has been satisfied, so the person can sell their house.

“The problem is finding out where or with what firm a mortgage is assigned….It’s just sloppy, sloppy work,” she said.

The electronic system is referred to in many county mortgage documents this way: “MERS is a separate corporation that is acting as sole nominee for Lender and Lender’s successors and assigns. MERS is the mortgagee (lender) under this security instrument.”

“What I’d like to get out to new homebuyers is that, if they’re going to settlement and they see their bank slash MERS, to be cautious,” she said.

Since discovering the descrepancies, Becker has pulled the county funds out of Wells Fargo and transferred the money into Univest National Bank and Trust Company, a smaller local bank based in Souderton. The bank had been approached by MERS but decided not to partner with the cyber registry.

“They’re just a really good conservative bank,” the Recorder of Deeds said.

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naked capitalism

from naked capitalism

Admittedly, this act of rebellion against MERS, the electronic mortgage registry by a Pennsylvania county is comparatively minor, but nevertheless illustrates the efforts various local bodies are taking to assert their authority against a system imposed without regard to state and local real estate laws.

Montgomery County estimates that it has lost $15 million in recording fees due to MERS, which its Recorder of Deeds, Nancy Becker, says has also made a mess of title records. She is working to get the county to cease doing business with banks that make use of MERS, and has launched an effort to get other counties in the state to follow suit.

It is about time that someone is standing up and saying something about how much of  crime MERS was against counties and property holders.  MERS has been a complete end run around the real estate and title laws of each stateand now one has ever questions why the banks were allowed to not have to pay recording fees and why Banks were allowed to be their own recorder and just say it is in new hands  because of MERS.  I can't believe it is has taken this long for counties to realize they got screwed!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Stiglitz Tells Us the Redistribution Fairy is Dead, but She Still Lives in Economists’ Fantasies « naked capitalism

Stiglitz Tells Us the Redistribution Fairy is Dead, but She Still Lives in Economists’ Fantasies « naked capitalism

Vanity Fair has published a short article by Joseph Stiglitz on how the top 1% aren’t merely taking way more than their fair share, but how they are increasingly organizing the world to make that into a self-perpetuating system. After debunking the idea that the new economic order is a function of merit, as opposed to socialism for the rich and rent extraction, he turns to its destructive features, including:

perhaps most important, a modern economy requires “collective action”—it needs government to invest in infrastructure, education, and technology. The United States and the world have benefited greatly from government-sponsored research that led to the Internet, to advances in public health, and so on. But America has long suffered from an under-investment in infrastructure (look at the condition of our highways and bridges, our railroads and airports), in basic research, and in education at all levels. Further cutbacks in these areas lie ahead…..

The more divided a society becomes in terms of wealth, the more reluctant the wealthy become to spend money on common needs. The rich don’t need to rely on government for parks or education or medical care or personal security—they can buy all these things for themselves. In the process, they become more distant from ordinary people, losing whatever empathy they may once have had. They also worry about strong government—one that could use its powers to adjust the balance, take some of their wealth, and invest it for the common good. The top 1 percent may complain about the kind of government we have in America, but in truth they like it just fine: too gridlocked to re-distribute, too divided to do anything but lower taxes…

Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent.

Read the full story at Naked Capitalism Here