Thursday, December 29, 2011
The Home Equity Theft Reporter Cases & Articles: Utah Federal Court Rulings On Unqualified BofA Foreclosure Trustee In Conflict
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Protesters Worldwide Demand An End to Crony Capitalism
People All Over the World Are Rising Up Against Crony Capitalism
The Boston Tea Party in 1773 was largely a protest against crony capitalism.
Remember, it’s not just Western governments which fall prey to crony capitalism. (For example, Egypt’s Mubarak family raked in between U.S. $40 and $70 billion dollars through cronyism.) Indeed, people all over the world are starting to demand an end to crony corruption.
As Reuters global editor at large Chrystia Freeland noted yesterday, the global protests are really protests against crony capitalism:
Across the globe, this was a year when people took to the streets, often overthrowing their leaders in the process. That was true in the Arab world, in Russia, in India, in Western Europe, in the United States and even in China.
The unifying complaint is crony capitalism. That’s a broad term, to be sure, and its bloody Libyan manifestation bears little resemblance to complaints about the Troubled Asset Relief Programin the United States or allegations of corrupt auctions for telecommunications licenses in India. But the notion that the rules of the economic game are rigged to benefit the elites at the expense of the middle class has had remarkable resonance this year around the world and across the political spectrum. Could the failure of the experts to anticipate this anger be connected to the fact that the analysts are usually part of the 1 percent, or at least the 10 percent, at the top?
As for crony capitalism, this slogan of the street is both a challenge for the state and an opportunity. For some regimes, of course, crony capitalism, with a side order of repression, is the only dish on the menu. For them, the trends of 2011 do not bode well.
But most of today’s troubled market democracies don’t need a revolution to sweep away their cronies. What they do need is a new version of capitalism, designed for the 21st century. That is what the world’s protesters, in their different ways, are all asking for. Here’s hoping that 2012 provides some politicians with some answers.
Note: Don’t get confused by the word “capitalism” in the phrase “crony capitalism”. Crony capitalism is not at all free market capitalism. Instead, it is actually the same thing as fascism, communist style socialism, kleptocracy, oligarchy or banana republic style corruption.
Bill Black: What if the SEC investigated Banks the way it is investigating Mutual Funds? « naked capitalism
The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday (12/27/11) entitled “SEC Ups Its Game to Identify Rogue Firms.” “Rogue” is an interesting word with a range of definitions. When it is used as an adjective its meaning is: “a playfully mischievous person; scamp.” The trivialization of the most destructive elite frauds is one of the most common forms of what criminologists call “neutralization” of the moral content of wrong doing. Neutralization increases crime.The actual story makes it clear that the criminals that the SEC was identifying were not “rogues.” They were the CEOs of seemingly legitimate firms. The SEC is identifying “accounting control frauds” – the frauds that cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined. The SEC is not identifying a few rotten apples, but roughly 100 hedge funds likely to have engaged in accounting fraud. The WSJ describes the SEC’s identification system:read the full article by following the link below.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The Home Equity Theft Reporter Cases & Articles: Utah AG Files Criminal Theft, Racketeering, Communications Fraud Charges Against Owner Of Loan Modification Ripoff Shop
Interesting story about the continued bank friendly government programs that are really just ways to help the bank image and for politicians to look as though they are doing something. The reality is that the banks and servicers are screwing homeowners and over charging while not applying funds to payments to make people fall further behind. THE BANKS STOP APPLYING FUND TO MORTGAGE IF YOU FALL BEHIND SO THEY CAN SEND YOU NOTICES SAYING YOU ARE FARTHER BEHIND THAN YOU ARE AS THEY HOLD FUNDS IN SUSPENSE EVEN IF IT IS A FULL MONTHS PAYMENT. THEN THEY WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY FUNDS AT THEIR BANKS AND EXPECT IT TO BE SENT OVER NIGHT TO THEIR SERVICE CENTER. CASH IS NOT ACCEPTED AT BANK LOCATIONS.
IS THAT HOW TO HELP HOMEOWNERS OR TO IMPROVE THE SYSTEM. NO IT IS JUST A SCAM TO MAKE MORE MONEY FOR BANKS AND FOR POLITICIANS TO SIT ON THEIR ASS DOING NOTHING.
Given that the
Office of Bank BoosterismOffice of the Comptroller of the Currency is the clear first among the highly competitive ranks of bank-friendly regulators, the fact that the OCC launched a program for borrowers to obtain restitution for financial harm suffered due to foreclosures seemed more than a bit sus.
Gretchen Morgenson does an admirable job of exposing the multiple shortcomings of this OCC program. She quotes Alys Cohen of the National Consumer Law Center, who nails it: “Not only will it not help people, it could easily harm them.”
This is yet another Obama Administration “pretend we are helping ordinary citizens when we are in fact helping the banks” scheme. The most damning tidbit comes late in the article, that borrowers may (I’d assume will) be asked to sign releases that are far broader than the matters under examination. In other words, to get whatever relief the OCC provides, borrowers may unwittingly give up rights worth far more:
For example, participants in line to get remuneration may be asked to give up their rights to defend themselves if they get into financial trouble again.Morgenson’s account depicts several shortcomings. The banks hire “independent” auditors of their practices, and Morgenson identifies two that look compromised (including one flagged by Michael Olenick on this site). And why, pray tell, isn’t the OCC conducting these reviews? Similarly, the review covers only 2009 and 2010, when many subprime borrowers hit the wall earlier. It’s pretty clear that this process, like the bogus Foreclosure Task Force (which reviewed 2800 loan files and did no validation of the data in those files) is designed to give servicers a clean bill of health, with only some problems that will be deemed to be minor and on their way to being remedied.
“This process is not meant to fix the original lending practices, so people need to hang on to their right to challenge the original loan later,” she [Cohen] said.
What is more than a little frustrating is that this regulatory-initiative-as-coverup is SO predictable, yet so few journalists treat these programs with the skepticism and derision they deserve. We can only hope that one of the perverse benefits of the protracted housing recession will be that media and public complacency erodes.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
MORE ON FRAUDULENT PRACTICES OF NEW CENTURY: MERS ASSIGNMENTS CANNOT BE EFFECTIVE AS NEW CENTURY REPUDIATED ITS CONTRACT WITH MERS AS PART OF ITS BANKRUPTCY
You can see that quite possibly we are seeing the uncovering of evidence that may get the country to open its eyes to how extensive the fraud and abuse have been by the banks. It would be nice to have banks held accountable after screwing the entire country for years and for screwing so may hard working Americans out of their retirement. They massive fraud and abuse has been seen as acceptable by the government crooks and the banksters who work in tandem to fleece the hard working people of our country. All of the propaganda efforts by the government to pretend they are doing something is absurd and has been more wasted tax dollars taken by the banks to line their own pockets.
You can see the arrogance factor still in play as Chase CEO brags of how deep their pockets are to fight to allow the banks to continue to commit fraud. This has been the trump card in the past for the TBTF banks. They have always had the deepest pockets and could intimidate anyone in order to keep them from filing fraud charges against them.
The world is finally starting to wake up to the massive, pervasive, nationwide fraud which has been engaged in with impunity by MERS, Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, US Bank, and their servicers and “trustees” in their never-ending quest to reap massive profits at the expense of homeowners and damn the consequences. It is no longer homeowners who are seeking relief. Attorneys General are also taking action: the Attorney General of Massachusetts has sued several of the “banksters” for fraudulent mortgage practices; the Attorney General of Delaware has sued MERS for fraudulent practices both in foreclosure and its attempt to avoid recording fees; and yesterday, the Attorneys General of California and Nevada formed a joint task force to pursue foreclosure fraud. It is no longer a situation of simply foreclosure defense: the new wave is grounded in affirmative claims against the banks and their agents for their outright fraudulent conduct all over the United States.
The good news is that the CEO of one of them, that being JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, has publicly announced that JPM has plenty of reserves to defend the lawsuits against it. On behalf of the Attorneys General and private litigants who are going after JPM for its nationalized pattern of fraudulent conduct, we thank you, Jamie, for affirming that JPM is a still a collectible entity.
MORE ON FRAUDULENT PRACTICES OF NEW CENTURY: MERS ASSIGNMENTS CANNOT BE EFFECTIVE AS NEW CENTURY REPUDIATED ITS CONTRACT WITH MERS AS PART OF ITS BANKRUPTCY
Quelle Surprise! Banks Lied About Bailout Funds and Got $13 Billion in Profit from Them « naked capitalism
Sunday, December 4, 2011
People are missing the point of all of the protests and all of the complaints by home owners who have been done wrong by the banks. It is funny that people have become so righteous and are willing to actually let banks work as an enterprise that is criminal from top to bottom. Most people seem to think they are not affected by the bank issues if they are not missing a payment on their home. There is so much more at stake than people realize and the right to proper ownership may be on the verge of disappearing.
From the Wall Street Journal:
GMAC Mortgage, the mortgage lender of Ally Financial Inc., is exiting the vast majority of its lending in Massachusetts a day after the state sued it over its foreclosure practices.Get a load of the sanctimoniousness. Since when do the interests of investors trump the rule of law? In fact, the logic is backwards, since investors are not well protected in a regime where laws are not respected. Does anyone want to invest in, say, Somalia?
The nation’s fifth-largest mortgage originator said it “has taken this action because recent developments have led mortgage lending in Massachusetts to no longer be viable,” ratcheting up the high-stakes mortgage fight there….
GMAC Mortgage will stop purchasing loans from correspondent lenders and wholesale brokers, which makes up the majority of the company’s business. The lender said it was “disappointed” but that “it has an obligation to manage risks and deploy capital in an appropriate manner and in a way that protects the investment of the U.S. taxpayer.”
Reader MBS Guy notes by e-mail:
Ally will stop lending in the state. Now litigation costs are too high in Massachusetts, according to Ally Bank, which is 74% owned by the US Treasury.And get a load of this part by an industry mouthpiece:
This is a bit funny, since the lawsuit involves issues with loans which were originated and, generally foreclosed, in the past. Ally has said that they have fixed all of their robo-signing issues, so it shouldn’t be a problem for newly originated loans.
Given its ownership structure, is this a pissy message to Massachusetts from Ally itself, or from its majority shareholder for tanking the AG Task Force?
“It also sends a signal to Massachusetts and other states that if you make it difficult for lenders to act they will take their business elsewhere,” Mr. [Guy] Cecala of Inside Mortgage Finance said of GMAC’s decision. “There is no law you have to operate in all 50 states.”
Friday, December 2, 2011
Here is the original article from Naked Capitalism and written by Yves Smith: It is a great read as is the chatter to follow from other readers.
Nevada notary Tracy Lawrence, who was due to be sentenced today to up to a year in jail for a single count of misdemeanor fraud, went missing from her sentencing hearing today and was found dead. Per the Associated Press (hat tip reader Scott):
Las Vegas police say it could be weeks before investigators know how 43-year-old Tracy Lawrence died.Her body was found about 11:30 a.m. Monday at her Las Vegas apartment.
Police Sgt. Matt Sanford says there’s no apparent sign of foul play, and coroner toxicology tests could take up to eight weeks.
Lawrence would have faced up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine earlier Monday for her guilty plea Nov. 17 to one criminal charge of notarizing the signature of a person not in her presence.
KSNV-TV reports ( http://bit.ly/vWSDtv) that Lawrence admitted notarizing tens of thousands of fraudulent documents as part of a wider foreclosure fraud scheme.
Reader Peter W fills in the blank (pun intended) that Lawrence’s document chicanery involved the staff of Lender Processing Services. The version of the story posted at The Fly on the Wall has as its final sentence:
Lawrence had earlier admitted to notarizing “tens of thousands of fraudulent documents” as part of a wider foreclosure fraud scheme involving employees of Lender Processing Services (LPS).As sad as this is for Lawrence’s friend and family, the more the foot soliders of foreclosure abuses start to face real costs, meaning jail time, the harder it will become to perpetrate these sorts of frauds. That is the way the law is supposed to work, after all.
Update: Holy moley, the initial press reports omitted the key fact: it was Lawrence who turned Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto on to two mid level LPS employees who face up to 30 years in jail each if found guilty. From MSNBC:
Lawrence came forward earlier this month and blew the whistle on the operation, in which title officers Gary Trafford, 49, of Irvine, Calif., and Geraldine Sheppard, 62, of Santa Ana, Calif. — who worked for a Florida processing company used by most major banks to process repossessions — allegedly forged signatures on tens of thousands of default notices from 2005 to 2008.Our post on this case, which includes the indictment, is here.
Trafford and Sheppard were charged two weeks ago with 606 counts of offering false instruments for recording, false certification on certain instruments and notarization of the signature of a person not in the presence of a notary public. You can read a .pdf version of their indictment here.
Needless to say, this puts a very different complexion on things..
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