Foreclosures are being apposed by the courts

Foreclosures are being apposed by the courts

Postby Ross » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:01 pm

WASHINGTON -- Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is suing five of the nation's biggest banks for deceptive foreclosure and mortgage modification practices, her office announced Thursday. Coakley's suit signals her formal departure from ongoing settlement negotiations between those banks, the Obama administration and a coalition of other state AGs over faulty foreclosure procedures.

"The single most important thing we can do to return to a healthy economy is to address this foreclosure crisis," Coakley said in a statement Thursday. "Our suit alleges that the banks have charted a destructive path by cutting corners and rushing to foreclose on homeowners without following the rule of law. Our action today seeks real accountability for the banks illegal behavior and real relief for homeowners."

The lawsuit, filed against Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Ally Financial and the Mortgage Electronic Registration System in Suffolk Superior Court, targets banks' using fraudulent paperwork in the foreclosure process, foreclosing without actually holding the mortgage, corrupting the local land recording system and failing to uphold promises of loan modifications.

Until now, Coakley had participated in settlement negotiations led by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and the Obama administration. The talks kicked off last fall when it came to light banks were using phony documents and forged signatures -- a process dubbed "robo-signing" -- to foreclose on thousands of borrowers.


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden became outspoken critics of the talks this summer, insisting Miller sought too narrow a settlement that would release the banks from liability for too much wrongdoing. Miller's focus has been robo-signing and mistreatment of struggling homeowners seeking modifications, but not potential fraud in the way loans were given to borrowers or sold to investors, or in the way banks use MERS to shuffle mortgage documents. The settlement would not encompass the 50 percent of all home mortgages owned by government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to sources close to the talks.

The deal sought by Miller would force the five banks to reform the way they service mortgages and to fork over $25 billion worth of help for homeowners, mostly in the form of principal reductions and modifications. Some who already lost their homes would be eligible for small restitution payments.

Coakley said in a Thursday conference call with reporters that Miller could still reach an agreement, "but it's taken too long and the signals we have received are that we won't get relief that we seek."

In a Thursday statement, Miller said Coakley had told him of her decision. "She also indicated that she'll evaluate the joint state-federal settlement we're negotiating, which we hope to reach soon," Miller said. "Attorney General Coakley indicates that she is open to joining our settlement effort if the terms adequately address the needs of the people of Massachusetts. We're optimistic that we'll settle on terms that will be in the interests of Massachusetts."

Danny Kanner, a spokesman for Schneiderman, praised Coakley in a statement. "Attorney General Schneiderman is encouraged by Attorney General Coakley's action today, and looks forward to their continued work to hold those responsible for the mortgage crisis accountable and provide meaningful relief to struggling homeowners."

Attorneys general in California and Nevada have also distanced themselves from the settlement talks in recent months. In August sources said Coakley was among the AGs pushing for tougher treatment of the banks.

"The lawsuit follows more than a year of negotiations with the banks over a 50-state settlement focused around the issues of fraudulent documents, including 'robo-signing,'" Coakley's office said in its release. "AG Coakley had made clear that she would not sign on to an agreement with the banks if it included broad liability release regarding MERS and other issues or if she did not believe the banks had come to the table with an offer in the best interest of Massachusetts."
Ross
 
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Re: Foreclosures are being apposed by the courts

Postby Ross » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:20 am

Winning the battle against Foreclosures. One step closer to winning the war waged against Concentrated Wealth, the Criminal, Treasonous banking system they have created to do the dirty work of their Greedy Corporations that are considered to have human rights, while human rights are lost to the 99%.
A Response to the Foreclosure Crisis

Current responses to the foreclosure crisis are inadequate. While $75 billion has been allocated to the federal Home Affordable Modification Program, banks are not participating. Oregon has been hit hard. We’ve received over $200 million in federal aid to help, again with limited results. A chief obstacle is that too few loan servicers are participating--even though avoiding foreclosure is nearly always in the financial interest of the behind-the-scenes investors holding the mortgages.

Banks are often willing to sell troubled mortgages to investors at 15-30% below the current value of an underwater home, which itself is usually well below the face value of the mortgage. It costs banks a lot of money to foreclose. We can save a lot of pain and financial loss for thousands of families, and hold banks relatively harmless, by creating a public-private investment fund to bridge the gap between the public interest and the financial interest of the banks.

Oregon and several other states have brought a lawsuit against lenders for their role in creating the housing crisis. Oregon’s share of the settlement money from this suit may approach $50 million. We should dedicate a meaningful portion of these funds to a market-savvy foreclosure relief effort by seeding an investment fund to acquire troubled mortgages from lenders at a steep discount. We should work to augment this seed funding with federal and state resources currently targeted to foreclosure relief, and by seeking private investment in the fund.

Acquiring the mortgages at a discount will allow for principal and interest reductions, making it easier for people to stay in their homes. Those who cannot maintain the modified payments should be able to stay in their homes as renters, and given time to repurchase their home if they can. Participation would be voluntary. Homeowners who do agree to participate will remain personally responsible for their debts, and they would need to agree to share future appreciation in their home with the fund as recompense for assistance.

Administration of the program should be contracted out to for-profit and non-profit private sector entities on a competitive and efficient basis. Complete transparency and clear guidelines should be in place from the onset and throughout the life of the program.

The underlying economics work. A key problem now is the unwillingness or inability of too many banks to respond to the huge need one troubled mortgage at a time. Also missing is the right partnership, representing the public interest and working effectively to resolve the crisis. By building this partnership we can help hundreds of families and the community as a whole.
Ross
 
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Re: Foreclosures are being apposed by the courts

Postby Ross » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:00 am

Mass. property records official: Can't tell who owns mortgages

NBCís Lisa Myers interviews John O'Brien, Register of Deeds in Southern Essex County, Massachusetts, who claims 'robo-signed' bank documents have compromised property records and the legal ownership of homeowners' mortgages.

http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/45526910
Ross
 
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Re: Foreclosures are being apposed by the courts

Postby Ross » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:06 am

Big bank CEOs know that they’re in trouble.

Thousands of people are moving their money out of big banks and into credit unions and community banks. Occupy movements from coast to coast are keeping up their efforts to highlight Wall Streets’ crimes and stop them from damaging our communities.

Now, big banks are planning to pull a fast one on Americans when it comes time to award themselves huge bonuses this year.

Big bank CEOs know they can’t get away with huge cash bonuses while the 99% of us struggle to find work and put food on the table this holiday season. And, they definitely don’t want add fuel to our fire by handsomely rewarding themselves while unemployment, foreclosures, and the revenue crisis continue. So, instead of taking a huge cash bonus, big bank executives are planning to award themselves bonuses mostly made up of huge stock options that would balloon to tens of millions of dollars once executives can figure out a way to inflate their stock values again.1

But we’re not falling for it.

In the coming weeks, we will be delivering an open letter to big bank executives and telling them to refuse a big bonus this year and instead put the money back into communities that need it most. Will you sign the open letter to big bank CEOs?

We know that our cold hard cash is sitting in bank reserves, leftover from the bailout we knew about, and from the bailout we didn’t know about. That’s right. If Americans weren’t outraged enough about the $700 billion of taxpayer money doled out to big banks during TARP, it was reported last week that the Federal Reserve secretly gave the big banks $7.7 trillion dollars (eleven times the public TARP bailout) which big banks then flipped into a $13 billion dollars in profit. Further, all of that information was withheld from Congress for two years.2

Sign the open letter to big bank CEOs Jamie Dimon, Brian Moynihan, and John Stumpf - tell them to refuse a big bonus this year and instead put that money into communities that need it most.

http://www.newbottomline.com/say_no_to_ ... source=bac

Thank you for taking action,
Ian, Tracy, Ilana, and The New Bottom Line team
Ross
 
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Re: Foreclosures are being apposed by the courts

Postby Ross » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:39 pm

Following tactics by Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in Seattle, Portland and Oakland, protesters across the country are staging “Occupy Homes” actions nationally to try to stop foreclosures. http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/ ... 354111.php
Ross
 
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