Pilant's Business Ethics

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Tag: mortgage (Page 1 of 3)

Who will make them pay? (via Livinglies's Weblog)

Let’s saddle up! The Wall Street Banks absorb every kind of benefit from being in this nation including taxpayer dollars. Yet, when it comes to taking any responsibility as citizens, they are notably absent. Is there a kind of vicious hypocrisy in absorbing benefits but paying none of the costs?

Let’s make these people know that we know they have failed to act in accord with basic patriotism.

James Pilant

My thanks to Livinglies’s Weblog.

Who will make them pay? You will. Yesterday, in six cities across Illinois, people stood together and demanded Wall Street banks like JPMorgan Chase pay their fair share to end the revenue crisis, create jobs, and stop illegal foreclosures. In New York City, thousands marched on Wall Street demanding that Millionaires and Big Banks pay their fair share. In North Carolina, community leaders made sure the shareholders of Bank of America faced up to … Read More

via Livinglies’s Weblog

MCOA rules that MERS lacks standing to foreclose by advertisement (via Great Lakes Law Blog)

I’ve been a consistent critic of MERS, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems. I consider incredible that the mortgage industry could set up this monstrosity which was in violation of state laws across the nation without trying to get some legislation from somebody somewhere to at least give it some iota of legality. Instead they just adopted it with an ethical sense very similar to listing your five grey tabby cats as children on your income tax. As far as I’m concerned, MERS is a semi-sorta legal device used to evade paying state registration fees and avoiding the basic work of transferring title by paper and all this so that these mortgages could be used as chips in global speculation.

This is an excellent brief discussion of MERS and the court system in Michigan.

James Pilant

In my introduction to MERS post, I indicated that a lot of litigation revolved around whether the Michigan Electronic Registration System (MERS) has standing as a party.  On April 21, 2011, the Michigan Court of Appeals decided that it did not in Residential Funding Co v Saurman.  The court said that MERS is not a party with an interest in the mortgage and cannot foreclose by advertisement.  MERS, as mortgagee, only holds an interest in the prope … Read More

via Great Lakes Law Blog

Fraudulent Threats – By Foreclosure Lawyers (via byebyebanksters)

Isn’t this nice!? Enclose legal appearing documents indicating that a case has been filed to encourage you to pay up.

This is disgusting.

What makes it worse is that the state bar association decided it was an “honest” mistake. I often defend lawyers while teaching my classes. I point out that without attorneys, enforceable contracts would not be possible, that the weak and helpless would have no recourse. And here to make my job easier is a bar association with the all the moral fervor of card cheat giving the strong implication that the bar is an organized band of thieves.

Just great.

James Pilant

Fraudulent Threats – By Foreclosure Lawyers The Tampa Tribune has a fascinating yet sickening story about a lawyer for BB&T who sent a Florida homeowner a demand letter requiring payment of the balance of her mortgage within 30 days.  Threatening letters like this are common; where this one is so different is that the lawyer attached it to a document that looks like an official court filing in a pending foreclosure lawsuit … only it’s not.Take a look …At first blush, this looks like a … Read More

via byebyebanksters

What’s MERS? We’ll ALL soon know their importance (via News Unwrapped)

I’ve written about MERS several times, most recently  MERS And Ownership and A Thirty Dollar Fee?

I’m astonished that any lawyer would have encouraged a mortgage bank into this kind of deal, but it was one of those free money things. Any bank using the MERS system paid no property transfer fees like everyone else. So, it was worth millions of dollars to use that system even though it had never been authorized by law in any state.

This is big news. If property cannot be transferred using the MERS system, hundreds of thousands of mortgage foreclosures were done outside the law and hundreds of thousands of pending foreclosures will not be possible.

(This web site, News Unrapped, is brand new and I would like my readers to take a good look at it and consider subscribing. jp)

James Pilant

What's MERS? We'll ALL soon know their importance BREAKING FINANCIAL NEWS >>> This is very big happenings for the entire financial system, including but not limited to banks and investment bankers , real estate owners and investors, stock owners (and all associated with that industry), as well as all of us who exist and are subject to market movement. For sure, there will be lots and lots of spin on t … Read More

via News Unwrapped

Bank of America Sued Over Countrywide Mortgage Related Investments

I’m surprised this hasn’t already happened. When you buy securities you expect that they be “secure.” These are not supposed to be the equivalent of penny stocks. Countrywide packaged securities that it knew were risky and packaged securities that it knew had serious ownership issues.

This is hard legal question. What is the first warranty guarantee that a seller gives automatically (implied)? Answer, that they own the product they are selling. That is the first thing you are supposed to do. And Countrywide sold a product that it knew it didn’t have a clear title to.

Is this going to be hard lawsuit to win? If it can be proved that Countrywide knew that its title to these properties was not secure, Bank of America which now owns Countrywide is going to be pay out more. I have heard estimates of up to 40 billion dollars in possible paybacks over these bad securities.

From CBS Money Watch

A lawsuit alleges Countrywide Financial Corp. and two of its former executives misled institutional investors who were stuck with huge losses from mortgage-related investments that they say were portrayed as low-risk.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in New York State Supreme Court by investors who bought hundreds of millions of dollars in Countrywide’s mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007, before the housing market went bust. The list of a dozen plaintiffs includes New York Life Insurance Co., TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Co. and Dexia Holdings Inc.

The complaint names Countrywide, various subsidiaries that issued the securities, two former company executives including ex-CEO Anthony Mozilo, and Bank of America, which bought Countrywide in 2008.

The big guns are out on this one. Read a little more –

The plaintiffs allege they wanted conservative investments that Countrywide portrayed as being backed by low-risk mortgages written according to strict underwriting criteria.

Materials that Countrywide subsidiaries circulated to potential investors indicated all the mortgage-backed securities had been assigned investment-grade ratings, and most had top-rung “AAA” ratings, according to the lawsuit.

But as of last month, more than 31 percent of the mortgage loans underlying those securities were over 30 days delinquent, in foreclosure, bankruptcy or repossession, the lawsuit says. The securities “are no longer marketable at or near the prices the plaintiffs paid for them,” leaving them with “significant losses,” the complaint says.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for alleged securities fraud.

These investments were marketed as conservative (solidly secure), given a triple AAA rating (higher than any paper you ever wrote could get) and are now sinking in value daily.

The American mortgage crisis just keeps rockin’ on.

James Pilant

Banks Suffer Major Setback: The Use of MERS – electronic property transfers – is not valid for mortgage foreclosures

When foreclosing on mortgages the banks have been skipping the rule of law. They have not followed the rules for the transfer of property preferring to pretend that their electronic records, MERS, are a viable substitute. I never believed the courts would go along with that and the Massachusetts court did not. Here’s the story from that excellent blog, Rortybomb.

From RortybombBig Week in Foreclosure News

The biggest news is the decision in Massachusetts’ “Ibanez case”, where the Massachusetts Supreme Court voided the seizures of two homes by Wells Fargo and US Bank based on their inability to show that they owned the mortgages at the time of foreclosure. Tracy Alloway walks you through the case, David Dayen has more including the PDF of the decision, and analysis from Yves Smith and Felix Salmon.

From the opinion: “Where, as here, mortgage loans are pooled together in a trust and converted into mortgage-backed securities, the underlying promissory notes serve as financial instruments generating a potential income stream for investors, but the mortgages securing these notes are still legal title to someone’s home or farm and must be treated as such.”

They ruled through Massachusetts law instead of New York law, so no answers on looming New York trust law. Bank stocks are down. This is likely to have major implications down the road. We’ll have more on this opinion later.

I do not believe the ruling will stand. Congress will ride to the rescue of the banks legalizing their reckless disregard for state law and afflicting the suffering homeowners with even more pain. Congress will enact it. Obama will sign it. He will then explain it as a major legislative victory. Everything he does merits a press release and a couple of morning show appearances demonstrating his successful legislative record.

I wish there was someone somewhere who was as concerned with the rights and privileges of the American middle class and less concerned with the welfare of the banks.

James Pilant

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Banks Suffer Major Setback

When foreclosing on mortgages the banks have been skipping the rule of law. They have not followed the rules for the transfer of property preferring to pretend that their electronic records are a viable substitute. I never believed the courts would go along with that and the Massachusetts court did not. Here’s the story from that excellent blog, Rortybomb.

From RortybombBig Week in Foreclosure News

The biggest news is the decision in Massachusetts’ “Ibanez case”, where the Massachusetts Supreme Court voided the seizures of two homes by Wells Fargo and US Bank based on their inability to show that they owned the mortgages at the time of foreclosure. Tracy Alloway walks you through the case, David Dayen has more including the PDF of the decision, and analysis from Yves Smith and Felix Salmon.

From the opinion: “Where, as here, mortgage loans are pooled together in a trust and converted into mortgage-backed securities, the underlying promissory notes serve as financial instruments generating a potential income stream for investors, but the mortgages securing these notes are still legal title to someone’s home or farm and must be treated as such.”

They ruled through Massachusetts law instead of New York law, so no answers on looming New York trust law. Bank stocks are down. This is likely to have major implications down the road. We’ll have more on this opinion later.

I do not believe the ruling will stand. Congress will ride to the rescue of the banks legalizing their reckless disregard for state law and afflicting the suffering homeowners with even more pain. Congress will enact it. Obama will sign it. He will then explain it as a major legislative victory. Everything he does merits a press release and a couple of morning show appearances demonstrating his successful legislative record.

I wish there was someone somewhere who was as concerned with the rights and privileges of the American middle class and less concerned with the welfare of the banks.

James Pilant

Who Owns Your Mortgage? Or Anybody’s For That Matter!

Dan Edstrom is a specialist. He performs securitization audits.

He decided to use his specialized training to discover who owned his mortgage.

The chart below is the result.

Do you know who owns your mortgage? Could you figure it out like he has?

From the article

The following flow chart reverse engineers the mortgage on the Ekstrom family residence. It took Dan over one year to take it this far and it clearly demonstrates what happens when there are too many lawyers being manufactured.

You can click on it and it gets bigger.

Do I need to point out to you that with what has been happening with mortgages over the last five years, it might be unwise to allow banks to have someone sign off that they understand the account?

James Pilant

Texas Attorney General Calls For Foreclosure Freeze

Alain Sherter Calls It Like It Is!

If you read my blog much, you know that Alain Sherter is one of my favorite writers. Well, he’s hitting one out of the ballpark this time. This is from his article on BNET. It’s called “Foreclosures: Did Wall Street Banks Conspire to Rob Homeowners?” Read! –

Are the financial firms alleged to have fraudulently repossessed people people’s homes more like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight or the mob? That question underlies the spreading foreclosure scandal, and how it is answered could affect any ensuing legal or legislative remedies to resolve the crisis.

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray is unequivocal in his assessment. In suing GMAC Mortgage and corporate parent Ally Financial in order to to block it from proceeding with any foreclosures in the state, he characterized the company as preying on vulnerable homeowners “through fraudulent and unfair and deceptive practices.”

Now take a look at the previous article – “Foreclosures: Help for Homeowners Means Hurt for Banks.”

The foreclosure crisis is morphing into a full-blown political crisis — and it’s about time. In Washington, lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to investigate whether financial institutions have broken the law in dealing with borrowers at risk of losing their homes. At the local level, legal officials are pressing lenders to cease foreclosures. …

Several things are happening here. First, the foreclosure epidemic, until recently mostly a subplot in the national economic drama, is now front-page news. Revelations that some of the nation’s biggest financial firms, including JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Ally Financial, have “robo-signed” people’s homes away have seen to that. With midterms elections only weeks away, Congress has no choice but to sit up and take notice, if only to cover their backs.

Second, more and more homeowners face eviction. One in seven people with a mortgage is past due or in foreclosure, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, a consumer advocacy group. That’s up from one in eight in 2009 and one in 11 the previous year.

You should follow the links and read the whole articles. Better yet, check every few days to keep up with crisis, you can’t do any better that Sherter’s reporting.

James Pilant

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