Financial Crisis

Where’s The Note? Shock and Awe for Big Banks


Link

Michael Collins

The Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) is ground zero for the current crisis. The very entity that was to bypass state and county laws and regulations and assume universal ownership apparently has a very limited or nonexistent basis in law.

Big banks have stopped foreclosures in 23 states due to legal challenges to their ownership of mortgage notes. On Wednesday, JP Morgan upped their total to 41 states in which foreclosure operations had ceased.

Why the halt in foreclosures? It seems that the banks have ignored long established state property and title procedures and may not actually own the title to the homes subject to foreclosure (and others subject to the same procedures).

Calculated Risk quoted a JP Morgan spokesman saying,

“We’ve identified issues relating to the mortgage foreclosure affidavits and those include signers not having personally reviewed the underlying loan files but instead having relied upon the work of others. … And there are circumstances where affidavits have not been properly notarized” Oct. 13.

Failing to “personally review” loan documents means that asserting that the review took place was perjury. This happened for countless mortgages. Failing to properly notarize mortgage signatures violates state property law. It could also be seen as negligence by investors in the mortgages, as well.

ForclosureGate – Shock and Awe

Those who saw the foreclosure and eviction movement around the country as inevitable may be in awe at this development. Citizens may be able to keep their homes longer, avoid eviction, and regroup financially. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) was prophetic at the start of 2009 when she outlined what turned into a stunningly successful legal strategy.


Rep. Marcy Kaptur “Make Them Prove They Own Your Loan!” — January 2009
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What’s Behind the Foreclosure Crisis

By Numerian posted by Michael Collins

“MERS acts as nominee in the county land records for the lender and servicer. Any loan registered on the MERS® System is inoculated against future assignments because MERS remains the nominal mortgagee no matter how many times servicing is traded. MERS as original mortgagee (MOM) is approved by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, FHA and VA, California and Utah Housing Finance Agencies, as well as all of the major Wall Street rating agencies.” About theMortgage Electronic Registration System, MERS

The foreclosure scandal surrounding the US financial industry is being portrayed by the banks as a technical problem which requires that some documentation errors be fixed. The White House has rejected the calls of many in the Congress for a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures on the grounds that there are quite a lot of them that are legitimate and should be processed. Government officials say it is going to take just a little bit of time to sort out these from the flawed foreclosures.
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ForclosureGate and Real Estate Armageddon

Michael Collins

I wrote the story below in response to an outrageous trick Congress just tried to play on the public.   As many of you know, the Senate passed HR 3808 The Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010 unanimously on September 27.   The bill was a carefully crafted, stealth “silver bullet” for the big banks to deal with their increasing legal problems with foreclosures.   President Obama exercised a “pocket veto,” which means he let it die after Congress adjourned. (Image)

While my story  focused on the process and contempt shown to citizens by Congress in that process, I became aware of a much broader issue.   We may well  be on the verge of a real estate value meltdown as a result of very bad behavior, illegal in many cases, by the big banks combined with the legitimate push back of mortgage holders.

If banks can’t foreclose and people can do a strategic default and walk away (0r live free in their residence), what will happen to real estate values?

The larger question emerged in reviewing bank bad behavior.

If there are fundamental flaws in many, maybe most mortgage, flaws of a serious legal nature, what if a strategic default movement spreads beyond just those facing foreclosure?  That’s where Armageddon comes in
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H.R. 3808 Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010

The Library of Congress    THOMAS

Bill Summary & Status
111th Congress (2009 – 2010)
H.R.3808
Major Congressional Actions


H.R. 3808  Title: Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010
Sponsor: Rep Aderholt, Robert B. [AL-4] (introduced 10/14/2009)      Cosponsors (3)
Latest Major Action: 9/30/2010 Presented to President (who killed the bill)

MAJOR ACTIONS

10/14/2009 Introduced in House
4/27/2010 Passed/agreed to in House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote.
9/27/2010 Senate Committee on the Judiciary discharged by Unanimous Consent.
9/27/2010 Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.
9/27/2010 Cleared for White House.
9/30/2010 Presented to President. (President Obama refuses to sign the bill  It dies…for now.)

From: govtrack.us  a civic project to track Congress

H.R.3808

One Hundred Eleventh Congress

of the

United States of America

AT THE SECOND SESSION

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,

the fifth day of January, two thousand and ten

An Act

To require any Federal or State court to recognize any notarization made by a notary public licensed by a State other than the State where the court is located when such notarization occurs in or affects interstate commerce.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010’.

SEC. 2. RECOGNITION OF NOTARIZATIONS IN FEDERAL COURTS.

Each Federal court shall recognize any lawful notarization made by a notary public licensed or commissioned under the laws of a State other than the State where the Federal court is located if–

(1) such notarization occurs in or affects interstate commerce; and

(2)(A) a seal of office, as symbol of the notary public’s authority, is used in the notarization; or

(B) in the case of an electronic record, the seal information is securely attached to, or logically associated with, the electronic record so as to render the record tamper-resistant.

SEC. 3. RECOGNITION OF NOTARIZATIONS IN STATE COURTS.

Each court that operates under the jurisdiction of a State shall recognize any lawful notarization made by a notary public licensed or commissioned under the laws of a State other than the State where the court is located if–

(1) such notarization occurs in or affects interstate commerce; and

(2)(A) a seal of office, as symbol of the notary public’s authority, is used in the notarization; or

(B) in the case of an electronic record, the seal information is securely attached to, or logically associated with, the electronic record so as to render the record tamper-resistant.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:

(1) ELECTRONIC RECORD- The term ‘electronic record’ has the meaning given that term in section 106 of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (15 U.S.C. 7006).

(2) LOGICALLY ASSOCIATED WITH- Seal information is ‘logically associated with’ an electronic record if the seal information is securely bound to the electronic record in such a manner as to make it impracticable to falsify or alter, without detection, either the record or the seal information.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Vice President of the United States and

President of the Senate.

Triumph of the Money Party!!! Warren’s role downgraded, reports to Geithner

Michael Collins

The White House snatched back one of the few bones it’s thrown to the people outraged at the looting of the United States Treasury by failed financial concerns – the big banks and Wall Street.   The promised appointment Elizabeth Warren as head of the new agency to protect consumers from the financial services industry has been seriously downgraded.   Instead of running the Consumer Finance Protection Agency, Warren’s role has been diminished to that of special assistant to the president and adviser to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

“President Obama, sidestepping a possibly heated confirmation battle, will appoint Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren as a special advisor to the Treasury Department to launch the government’s powerful new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to two Democratic officials familiar with the decision.”  LA Times, Sept 15

An interim appointment would have given the no-nonsense Warren the full authority to structure consumer bureau in the interests of the people. A special adviser role is defined in a New York Times article as follows:

“Ms. Warren will be named an assistant to the president, a designation that is held by senior White House staff members, including Rahm Emanuel, the chief of staff.

“She will also be a special adviser to the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, and report jointly to both men.” September 15

The title of the Times article says it all: Warren to Unofficially Lead Consumer Agency.
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The Checking Account Scam – How Wells Fargo Gouged Its Customers

By Numerian posted by Michael Collins

We’ve often talked here about the bank practice of extracting equity from customer accounts. Now comes a 90 page ruling from Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California against Wells Fargo Bank, showing in detail exactly how the bank engaged in “gouging and profiteering” when it managed customer checking accounts. Nor is this one of those polite judicial rulings where the judge waits to the end to conclude whether or nor the defendant engaged in bad behavior. Judge Alsup is biting and nasty throughout his ruling, barely able to hold his disgust at what he concluded was a deliberate attempt by Wells Fargo to profit off a system that trapped customers into overdraft hell.

How the System Was Rigged to Create Overdrafts

Prior to 2000, Wells Fargo did its best to minimize overdrafts in customer accounts. Its computers processed all credits to the account first, followed by ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases, followed by checks and then Automated Clearing House transactions (the ACH is used by banks to process debits such as PayPal charges or monthly mortgage or rental payments where the customer has agreed to an automatic debit). In every step, Wells Fargo used low to high sequencing; the smallest debits would go first and the largest would go last. This entire process mimicked the way the consumer managed their account using a traditional checking account balance, which ranks all transactions in chronological order. When an overdraft occurred on the bank’s records, the consumer would have known had they been keeping their checkbook balance up to date.
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Why do elected leaders hate the citizens? Nihilists at the helm

The graph to the right is from the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities. It shows the relative contribution of various factors to the deficit. It’s not a full exposition, but take it for what it’s worth. If we stopped the wars, restored the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest citizens, and ended TARP, we would make a huge contribution to reducing the current deficit.

So why hasn’t that happened? Congress and the White House would rather kill people overseas, reward Wall Street failures, and coddle the wealthiest citizens than reducethe deficit.

The solutions aren’t that hard. Will they take action? Of course not.

Why do those in charge hate the citizens of this country? It’s a fair assumption to say that they do hate us when they avoid obvious and direct solutions to a major problem. Instead, they’ve put together a stacked entitlement commission to tombstone Social Security. By their actions, their program is clear. “The middle class is being systematically wiped out” by the current leaders.

They ALL know this. Most of them do absolutely nothing.

All but a very few should be fired in 2010, without regard to party. If the next crew does the same, fire them too. (more…)

The world as crack house

Michael Collins

Crack house: “A place “where people make, deal and smoke crack cocaine. This could be a house, an apartment, or a shack to name a few…” Urban Dictionary


The G-20 and big oil treat the earth as though it were a crack house. They set up shop, trash the premises, without regard to the surroundings — all for the purpose of creating and selling a substance that people simply can’t do without.

In fact, these oligarchs are far worse than crack dealers. Users can get off of crack. They can do the hard work of getting clean and do just fine. The oligarch crack daddies made sure that once we were hooked on oil, there was no way out. We either get well every day or we’ll collapse as a society. You’d think there would be a law against it?   (Images 1 & 2) (more…)

Chris Dodd’s wife and derivatives trading – “all in the family”

Michael Collins

It’s all in the family! Senator Chris Dodd writes a financial reform bill but forgets to regulate derivatives, “financial weapons of mass destruction.” Then we find out that his wife works for the owners of two exchanges that will very likely benefit from Dodd’s “reform” legislation.

They make the rules. They take the money, all of it, and leave us with debt. And they tell us it’s all legal.

Here’s the story.
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