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Mortgage Fraud Latest News
New York Times: Pulte-Centex Continues Preapproval Scams
Wednesday, 09 February 2011

Preapproved: Well, It Sounded Good
Her local bank approved her for a mortgage. But then a Pulte Homes saleswoman told her that she would get a $4,000 credit toward closing costs if she took out a loan with the homebuilder’s banking unit instead. Ms. Calderone, 38, agreed. She deposited $20,000 in earnest money and set aside $80,000 more for a down payment on the $347,000 house. Her closing date, documents show, was scheduled for late summer, about six months later. Then her troubles began. Although she had been “preapproved” by Pulte, the company ultimately denied her the loan. Then, contending that Ms. Calderone had defaulted on the purchase agreement by failing to close on time, Pulte kept her $20,000 deposit. The house went back on the market.

C-SPAN - Where are Wall Street Prosecutions!
Wednesday, 09 February 2011

"Where Are The Wall Street Prosecutions!" - Gretchen Morgenson Agrees With Spitzer & Angry C-SPAN Callers
Gretchen Morgenson has covered the financial crisis better and more extensively than just about anybody in the print media.   Cohan is the author of House of Cards about the collapse of Bear Stearns. 
In this clip, Morgenson, Cohan and Spitzer are asking the same question:  Where are the prosecutions for crimes connected to the financial crisis?  Geithner and Bernanke also take a beating for failures of regulation and oversight during the build-up.  Spitzer calls it "The Peter Principle on steroids."  Great discussion -- they sound like they've been reading the Daily Bail.

New Book on Housing Meltdown and Financial Crisis
Saturday, 05 February 2011

Bad News: New Book Probes Role of Press in Financial Crisis
Given that some economists still debate the root causes of the Great Depression, little wonder that a multitude of competing stories still vies for affirmation as explanation for the financial crisis of 2008... As several chapters in Bad News make clear, a good deal of excellent work in the years before the crisis could have limited the pain had warnings been heeded--not least, work by my former Times colleagues Gretchen Morgenson and David Leonhardt, who sounded the alarm early on that home prices were getting well of whack with American incomes, setting up a fall. The trouble was that a louder chorus repeatedly drowned out this probing reporting about the magnitude of the real estate bubble--a steady celebration of permanently rising home price, the fantasy that propelled a construction binge, a mortgage bonanza and no end of wealth that got created along the way. That chorus abetted and enabled the capture of the regulators who are supposed to be able to tune out such noise while dispassionately scrutinizing the numbers.

Times Gretchen Morgenson Comic Relief
Tuesday, 01 February 2011

A Bank Crisis Whodunit, With Laughs and Tears
Finally, if it’s comic relief you’re after, turn to Page 105 for an interview with Angelo R. Mozilo, former chief executive of Countrywide Financial, a lender that profited by roping unsuspecting borrowers into poisonous loans.   Mr. Mozilo, the commission said, described his company as having “prevented social unrest” by providing loans to 25 million borrowers, many of them members of minority groups. Never mind that throngs of these loans have resulted in foreclosures and evictions. “Countrywide was one of the greatest companies in the history of this country,” Mr. Mozilo maintained, “and probably made more difference to society, to the integrity of our society, than any company in the history of America.” You cannot make this stuff up.  Related Article - See You Tube Quantitative Easing Explained

Huffington Post: Exploration of the bank bailouts
Sunday, 30 January 2011

Furry Creatures Explain Bank Bailouts: 'The Screwing Of The American People' (VIDEO)
In the new video, from Omid Malekan, one character asks why the banks were bailed out, and the other responds "Because they said the banks were too big to fail, and if they failed, there would be too many foreclosures, and no new mortgages." The video goes on to point out that after the bailouts, banks didn't stop foreclosures, or issue new mortgages. But one executive at Bank of America did pay bill on his $70,000 desk.

NBC News exclusive: JPMorgan Chase also improperly foreclosed on homes
Wednesday, 19 January 2011

No. 2 bank overcharged troops on mortgages
One of the nation's biggest banks — JP Morgan Chase — admits it has overcharged several thousand military families for their mortgages, including families of troops fighting in Afghanistan. The bank also tells NBC News that it improperly foreclosed on more than a dozen military families. The dispute apparently caused the bank to review its handling of all mortgages involving active-duty military personnel. Under a law known as the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), active-duty troops generally get their mortgage interest rates lowered to 6 percent and are protected from foreclosure. Chase now appears to have repeatedly violated that law, which is designed to protect troops and their families from financial stress while they’re in harm's way.

NBC Report: Chase Admits it Overcharged Military Families
Tuesday, 18 January 2011

JPMorgan Chase Wrongly Forecloses On Military Families
JPMorgan Chase has admitted to overcharging military families on their mortgages, and illegally foreclosing on 14 families, NBC News reports.  NBC's report  focuses on one military family's five-year battle with the mortgage giant, who overcharged them by as much as $900 a month. While Marine Captain Jonathan Rowles was away on active duty, his wife Julia got calls demanding $15,000 they didn't owe. "It's been a nightmare, it's been my living nightmare," Julia Rowles told NBC News.

Huffington Post Special: Anatomy of Mortgage Fraud Part I - III
Saturday, 15 January 2011

Anatomy of Mortgage Fraud, Part I: MERS's Smoking Gun
In two recent pieces I harped on the problems at MERS, the Mortgage Electronic Registration System. ("Support Representative Kaptur's Bill: Time To Shut Down Mers And To Restore The Rule Of Law" and "Shut Down MERS"). Briefly, MERS purportedly offers an alternative to paperwork, maintaining an electronic record of mortgages that are usually packaged into mortgage backed securities (MBSs). When mortgages go delinquent, MERS helps mortgage servicers foreclose on homes. 
Part II:
The Mother of All Frauds,  Part III: MERS'S Role in Facilitating the Mother of All Frauds

The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One
Thursday, 16 December 2010

William K. Black talks to Bill Moyers
Bill Moyers interviewed William K. Black, the former Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention, on Sunday. Black, author of "The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One," now teaches Economics and Law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He was a key whistle blower during the savings and loans crisis and has a lot to say about the current economic environment.

View Video Interview or You Tube

Friday, 03 December 2010

BEGINING OF THE END - 2002 Home Buyers' Down Payments Are Now Paid by Some Builders
It wasn't Nehemiah's money, though. It was a home builder's. After Nehemiah made a down-payment gift to Ms. English, the builder gave Nehemiah a gift of the same amount. In effect, the builder itself was paying the down payment. That sort of thing didn't used to happen, for a good reason: Buyers who have none of their own money in a house -- nor even any money from a close relative -- were considered default risks. Lenders weren't interested in making such loans. And the Federal Housing Administration, a mortgage guarantor that often deals with first-time buyers, in most cases wasn't interested in guaranteeing the loans.

Huffington Post: Princeton Study Fuels Foreclosure Debate
Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Segregation: The Invisible Elephant in the Foreclosure Debate
The foreclosure mess just will not go away. Neither will incomplete if not misleading explanations for the crisis, or partial if not ineffective policy proposals. More than 10 million families will lose their homes to foreclosure before the housing market "clears" according to Credit Suisse. Meanwhile, as with the subprime and predatory lending bubbles that led directly to the present crisis, fingers are pointed in several directions as all parties to the debate try to shift blame to their favorite individual and institutional targets. Lost in this discussion is how continuing racial segregation has fueled these developments.  Read More on Study: Princeton study finds racial dimensions to foreclosure crisis See: Summary

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