Return regurally for the latest articles and featured reprints from some of the most authoratative sources in the foreclosure defense and banking industry.
New York Lawmakers Criticize Schneiderman’s Removal From Foreclosure Panel
By David McLaughlin and Margaret Cronin Fisk - Aug 30, 2011 10:43 AM ET
New York lawmakers sent a letter to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller saying they were “troubled” by the removal of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman from an executive committee of state officials negotiating a nationwide foreclosure settlement with U.S. banks.
“Raising legitimate concerns about elements of the proposed settlement is a responsibility of every member of the executive committee and should never be the basis for silencing a viewpoint,” 21 members of the New York congressional delegation said in an Aug. 25 letter. “Your removal of Attorney General Schneiderman sets a dangerous precedent for other attorneys general who, out of fear of what might happen, may choose silence over voicing valid concerns.”
Bank Of America Faces New Probe: New York Attorney General Launches Investigation Into Mortgage Securitization
By Shahien Nasiripour
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has targeted Bank of America, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, in a new probe that questions the validity of potentially thousands of mortgage securities and their associated foreclosures, two people familiar with the matter said.
The investigation, which began quietly in recent weeks, is part of a larger inquiry that is scrutinizing whether mortgage companies and Wall Street firms took the necessary steps under New York state law when creating mortgage-backed securities, these people said, who requested anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the probe.
California creating mortgage fraud task force
By Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times May 23, 2011
The team of 17 lawyers and eight special agents from the state Department of Justice will pursue corporate fraud, scams and fraudulent lending practices, Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris says.
California Atty. Gen. Kamala, saying that years of unscrupulous lending still haunts the state, is creating a 25-person task force to target mortgage fraud of any size — from small operations that preyed on troubled borrowers to corporations that sold risky loans as safe investments.
Suspected Forged Mortgage Documents Found
Reporter: Rachel Thomas
We're learning more about a statewide investigation into suspected forged mortgage documents. In the last few days, more than 100 of those documents have been discovered in Mid-Michigan and the investigation continues. One homeowner victimized speaks out.
The Bristle family is one of hundreds of thousands in Michigan whose financial set-backs made it impossible to meet their home payments. Even their last chance, mortgage modification payment escalated far above what they can afford, and they had to decline it.
Bankrupt Bay Area homeowners shed second mortgages
By Pete Carey
Stung by the crash of the housing market, some struggling homeowners are using a little known but increasingly popular provision of the bankruptcy code to eliminate second mortgages and avoid foreclosure.
Statistics are hard to come by, but bankruptcy lawyers say the provision has been used effectively on hundreds, if not thousands, of cases in the Bay Area during the past two years.
"It's a big thing in our valley," said James "Ike" Shulman, a San Jose bankruptcy lawyer. "But it's not widely known."
Investigating Fraudulent Foreclosures
Buying a home is the biggest purchase most people make in their lifetime. It takes a lot of paperwork to get one and it takes a lot of paperwork, with a lot of signatures, to lose one.
Three weeks ago Ingham County's Register of Deeds, Curtis Hertel, saw a 60 Minutes report about a company in Georgia that was paid by banks and other lenders to illegally sign documents used to transfer ownership of loans and foreclose on homes.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller - Campaign Contributions Rise When Foreclosure Investigation Begins
by Kevin McNellis, April 20, 2011
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller's campaign war chest got a dramatic boost after he announced his leadership of the 50-state attorneys general investigation into foreclosure irregularities. Out-of-state law firms and donors from the finance, insurance, and real estate sector gave $261,445-which is 88 times more than they had given him over the previous decade.
Last fall, The New York Times reported that the nation’s largest banks were improperly—and potentially illegally—rushing foreclosure proceedings with faulty or incomplete paperwork, which caused the banks to temporarily declare a moratorium on pending foreclosures and prompted the state attorneys general to launch an investigation into their foreclosure practices. The first tangible evidence of that effort—led by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller since last October—was leaked to the press in March.
Conflict in state law at center of foreclosure case appeal
by Paola Iuspa-Abbott
Sandra Castillo-Rivera is fighting the foreclosure on her Doral townhouse, but first she's got to figure out who has the right to take her on.
Castillo-Rivera obtained a $220,000 mortgage loan in 2006 from WMC Mortgage, but Deutsche Bank, is foreclosing on her home on behalf of investors in a pool of securitized mortgages.
Florida foreclosure cases slow dramatically in court system — but it's only temporary
By Peter Franceschina, Sun Sentinel
The number of foreclosure cases introduced and cleared in Florida courts fell sharply in the last three months of 2010, with banks pulling back from vigorously pursuing thousands of cases as reports of problems with legal paperwork mounted, new state figures show.
UTAH QUIET TITLE ACTION SUCCESSFUL
How accurate are property records? By Tom Harvey
The Salt Lake Tribune Published: January 16, 2011
Keane has filed lawsuit that resulted in homeowners getting title to their property even if they owed someone money because of flaws introduced into the nation's property recording system by an entity created by the Mortgage Bankers Association. A Utah court case in which the owner of a Draper townhouse got clear title to the property, even though he still owed $132,000 on it, raises new legal and financial questions about a property-records database created by mortgage bankers. The award of a title free of liens means that whoever owns the promissory note on the Draper property — likely a group of faraway investors — no longer has the right to foreclose to collect on a delinquent loan. Indeed, the townhouse owner has sold the property and kept the money. Those who own the promissory note probably don’t even know what occurred.
Wells Fargo, US Bancorp Lose Key Foreclosure Ruling
Friday, 7 Jan 2011 | 1:55 PM ET
In a ruling that may affect foreclosures nationwide, Massachusetts' highest court voided the seizure of two homes by Wells Fargo and US Bancorp after the banks failed to show they held the mortgages at the time they foreclosed.
Bank shares fell, dragging down the broader U.S. stock market, after the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts on Friday issued its decision, which upheld a lower court ruling.
The decision is among the earliest to address the validity of foreclosures conducted without full documentation. That issue last year prompted an uproar that led lenders such as Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Ally Financial to temporarily stop seizing homes.
Allstate sues BofA, Mozilo over Countrywide losses
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Allstate Corp has sued Bank of America Corp and 18 other defendants over alleged losses on more than $700 million of mortgage securities it bought from Countrywide Financial Corp.
The largest publicly-traded U.S. home and auto insurer alleged it suffered "significant losses" after Countrywide misled it into believing the securities were safe, and that the quality of residential home loans backing them was high.