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ABC Special Report
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Mortgage Fraud News
Princeton Study: Foreclosures and Racism
Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Princeton study: Institutional racism played role in foreclosure crisis
African-Americans were more likely to be offered subprime loans over whites who had similar financial backgrounds, according to a new study that looks at institutional racism in the nation's housing crisis.“While policy makers understand that the housing crisis affected minorities much more than others, they are quick to attribute this outcome to the personal failures of those losing their homes — poor credit and weaker economic position,” noted Douglas Massey, the study's other author and a professor at Woodrow Wilson. “In fact, something more profound was taking place; institutional racism played a big part in this crisis.”  Read More on Study: Princeton study finds racial dimensions to foreclosure crisis See: Summary

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Foreclosure Congressional Hearings
Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Congressional hearing on foreclosures: When did feds learn of problems?
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), who is likely to be tapped as the next chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, grilled federal regulators about when they learned of the "robo-signing" and other issues related to foreclosures.  Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R -Tex.) also criticized the regulators, calling it frustrating to have "the people we put in charge" come before Congress again as they did during the financial crisis and say, "We didn't know."   "The American people have a greater expectation that you know it before it happens than reacting after it happens," Neugebauer said.

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NYT Gretchen Morganson: Mr. Shepherdson saw the housing crisis coming
Saturday, 06 November 2010

He Saw Trouble Coming. Now He Sees It Going
Ian Shepherdson chief United States economist at High Frequency Economics. As a reader of economic tea leaves over the last five turbulent years, Mr. Shepherdson has a darn good record. For instance, unlike the throng of economists who failed to see the housing crisis coming, Mr. Shepherdson warned his clients in fall 2005 that real estate would crash and a recession
would ensue...One problem for economists and investors, he said, is that our current economic cycle does not have the typical recession-recovery characteristics or timeline. Those who thought it would be similar to recent recessions were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole; there was nothing normal or routine about the events we have just lived through.

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Newsweek: More Trama of protecting homeowners from fraud
Friday, 29 October 2010

Should Obama Halt Foreclosures?
As the American economic malaise moves into its third year, the plague of home foreclosures continues to spread. It’s hardly news that people are still losing their houses, unable to keep up with payments because of job losses or bad decisions on loans that should never have been made. What is alarming, though, is that another wave of foreclosures is headed toward America’s suburbs, threatening further injury to the housing market. In the next three years, there are likely to be 3 million more homes seized, according to RealtyTrac, a real-estate-research firm. That would be as many as were seized from 2008 through today, a period that included the worst of the recession. In September alone there were more than 100,000 foreclosures, the most since RealtyTrac began following the numbers in 2005.

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FOX 4 Outstanding Investigative Report - AG Goes Soft on Prosecution
Tuesday, 26 October 2010

AG Reaches Agreed Judgment with Mortgage Rescue Company
Already outraged homeowners are now furious with the Texas Attorney General’s office for going easy on two brothers FOX 4 found running a mortgage rescue company. They were supposed to be helping struggling homeowners but the brothers were accused of helping themselves instead. The two faced enormous penalties but that’s not what happened when it was all said and done... FOX 4 wondered how the restitution would be divided and how the Attorney General decided on $25,000.00. We also wanted to know why $90,000.00 of the $110,000.00 penalty was abated. Since no one from the Attorney General’s office would sit down with us and answer our questions on camera, we caught up with assistant attorney general, Andrew Leonie in Dallas. Leonie worked on the Bailey brothers’ case. He just happened to be speaking at a summit on combating loan scams. The media was invited.

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Bank of America denys102,000 foreclosures affected
Monday, 18 October 2010

WSJ: B of A to resubmit foreclosure docs by Oct 25
San Fransico - (MarketWatch) -- Bank of America Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!bac/quotes/nls/bac (BAC 12.30, -0.03, -0.24%) said it plans to have new paperwork submitted to courts to resume foreclosures in 23 states by Oct. 25, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday in its online edition, citing a bank spokesman. Some 102,000 foreclosure actions are affected, according to the Journal. So far, the bank has found no instances of finding documentation where a foreclosure should not have gone through, the Journal reported
Read more...  Read Comments...

 
Texas AG joins 49 States to learn extent of “robo-signing” used to sign foreclosure documents
Monday, 18 October 2010

Texas Joins Mortgage Foreclosure MultiState Group
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today joined the Mortgage Foreclosure Multistate Group, a coalition of 49 attorneys general, state-level mortgage regulators and bank oversight agencies that will jointly review improper foreclosure processing procedures...thousands of documents were reportedly signed electronically, the states will review whether the signer actually confirmed the facts contained in their affidavits. The workgroup will also review whether foreclosure paperwork was signed outside of the presence of a notary public, contrary to state law. Both judicial and non-judicial foreclosures will be subject to the workgroup’s review.

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NY Times Gretchen Morgenson: Angelo Mozello brash and imperious chief executive
Sunday, 17 October 2010

How Countrywide Covered the Cracks
ON June 27, 2006, Countrywide Financial, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, was about to close its books on a record-breaking six-month run. The housing market was on fire and Countrywide’s earnings were soaring. Despite all the euphoria inside the company, some executives noticed that Angelo R. Mozilo
, the company’s brash and imperious chief executive, seemed subdued... Another Countrywide product that concerned Mr. Mozilo was its so-called 80/20 loan, named for the fact that the combination allowed a borrower to receive money covering 100 percent of a home’s purchase price. Mr. Mozilo had become worried about these loans in the first quarter of 2006, when HSBC Bank, a buyer of Countrywide’s 80-20 loans, began forcing the lender to repurchase some that HSBC contended were defective. “In all my years in the business, I have never seen a more toxic product,” he wrote to Mr. Sambol in an April 17, 2006, e-mail cited by the S.E.C. “With real estate values coming down ... the product will become increasingly worse.”

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$73 Million Man: Countrywides' Angelo Mozilo Risky Mortgage Underwriter
Saturday, 16 October 2010

Angelo Mozilo, other former Countrywide execs settle fraud charges
Angelo R. Mozilo, who as head of home-loan giant Countrywide was at the center of the housing boom and bust, agreed Friday to pay a record fine as part of a $73-million settlement of a government fraud lawsuit over the lender's near-collapse.  "Mozilo's record penalty is the fitting outcome for a corporate executive who deliberately disregarded his duties to investors by concealing what he saw from inside the executive suite — a looming disaster in which Countrywide was buckling under the weight of increasing risky mortgage underwriting, mounting defaults and delinquencies, and a deteriorating business model," said Robert Khuzami, the SEC enforcement chief. All of the $73-million settlement will go to former Countrywide shareholders, including $25 million that Bank of America has agreed to pay as part of a $600-million settlement with investors.

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Countrywide's Mozilo - Poster Boy of Subprime Mortgage Meltdown
Saturday, 16 October 2010

Countrywide's Mozilo to pay $67.5 million settlement
The whopping fine was announced at a court hearing before U.S. District Judge John Walter in Los Angeles. "Mozilo's record penalty is the fitting outcome for a corporate executive who deliberately disregarded his duties to investors by concealing what he saw from inside the executive suite," Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, said in a statement. What Mozilo kept to himself, said Khuzami, was "a looming disaster in which Countrywide was buckling under the weight of increasing risky mortgage underwriting, mounting defaults and delinquencies, and a deteriorating business model."...The SEC accused only Mozilo of insider trading, alleging that he sold millions of dollars worth of Countrywide stock after he knew the company was doomed.

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Countrywide Exc's Pay $67.5 Million in Mortgage Scandal
Friday, 15 October 2010

Countrywide’s Mozilo settles SEC charges
According to court filings, Mozilo agreed to repay $45 million in profits, and $22.5 million in civil penalties, stemming from charges filed against him by the SEC last year. The SEC alleged that Mozilo and former Countrywide executives David Sambol and Eric Sieracki misled shareholders about the quality of loans on the company’s books. In addition, Mozilo was charged with selling company shares based on inside knowledge of the company’s troubles.

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