Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oh my, its fruit cake weather

Fall is the best time of year. Not just MY favorite but the best (when its not raining.)

Its not tortuously hot, or miserably cold. The days are dark which gives you an excuse to hibernate, one of my favorite past times by the way. The colors are beautiful, and for some reason fall elicits the most memories from me, the colors, the crisp air. The smells.

I love fall. In my next life I want it to be fall, a lot.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The Office of the Comptroller, is as corrupt as the banks.

My official complaint (made in the fall of 2010) was answered this week(IN THE FALL OF 2011.) I accused Bank of America of denying my Hamp Modification without justification, of reporting me to the credit Bureaus when they weren't supposed to, of charging me late fees when they weren't supposed to, OF lying about missing paperwork and more.

The OCC sends me a letter with copies of letters that BofA sent to them stating that they did not report me to the credit Bureaus (they did and I have proof,) of not charging me late fees (they did and I have proof,) of denying my Hamp because the property is NOT owner occupied,(it is,) of denying me because I did not send in paperwork, I did, (and I have proof.)

They then said, the case is resolved and it is closed.

Which 3rd world country do we live in? Oh yeah, 3rd world America.

Not only do they have the audacity to send copies of letters stating that they are denying the Hamp because I don't live in the house (I never got this letter, BTW,) the letter is ADDRESSED TO THE HOUSE! They make no attempt to disguise their corruption, and the OCC makes no attempt to reveal it.

Yes I am occupying the house, if you have read any of my posts you know this has been a sore point for me since they started this nonsense, the day before Thanksgiving last year.

I sent the OCC a certified letter explaining that BofA is perjuring themself FURTHER by saying these things, AND YES I HAVE PROOF.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dennis Blackmon: Georgia Judge Mocks U.S. Bank Over Denied Mortgage Modification

Dennis Blackmon: Georgia Judge Mocks U.S. Bank Over Denied Mortgage Modification

Georgia Judge Dennis Blackmon is fed up with bailed-out banks refusing to help strapped homeowners.

"Sometimes, only the courts of law stand to protect the taxpayer. Somewhere, someone has to stand up," Blackmon wrote in a five-page Nov. 2 order in Carroll County Superior Court. "Well, sometimes is now, and the place is the Great State of Georgia. The defendant's motion to dismiss is hereby denied."

Blackmon's order shot down U.S. Bank's request to throw out a complaint from Georgia homeowner Otis Wayne Phillips, who had tried to get a mortgage modification from the bank. Phillips could not be reached for this story.

The order lays the case out like this: Phillips is in danger of foreclosure. U.S. Bank is among the "poorly run organizations" that recently received massive bailouts from the federal government and agreed to participate in the Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program. When Phillips applied for a modification, the bank denied his request "without numbers, figures, or explanation, reasoning, comparison to guidelines, or anything."

HAMP guidelines require banks to consider homeowners for modifications if they are at risk of falling behind on their payments because of a financial hardship and if their monthly mortgage expenses take up more than 31 percent of their income.

"This court cannot imagine why U.S. Bank will not make known to Mr. Phillips, a taxpayer, how his numbers put him outside the federal guidelines to receive a loan modification," Blackmon continued. "Taking $20 billion of taxpayer money was no problem for U.S. Bank. A cynical judge might believe that this entire motion to dismiss is a desperate attempt to avoid a discovery period, where U.S. Bank would have to tell Mr. Phillips how his financial situation did not qualify him for a modification."

If Phillips didn't qualify, Blackmon wrote -- with apologies to folksinger Arlo Guthrie -- why didn't the bank say so with "mathematic equations, pie charts, and bar graphs, all on 8 by 10 glossy photo paper, with circles and arrows and paragraphs on the back explaining each winning number"?

"Maybe U.S. Bank no longer has any of the $20 billion left, and so their lack of written explanation might be attributed to some kind of ink reduction program to save money," Blackmon continued. "Clearly, U.S. Bank cannot take the money, contract with our government to provide a service to the taxpayer, violate that agreement, and then say no one on earth can sue them for it. That is not the law in Georgia."

Consumer attorneys started circulating the order via email on Monday.

"It just demonstrates the frustration of the courts to the arguments being advanced by mortgage servicers over and over and over again," North Carolina attorney Max Gardner told HuffPost. "I think you could see the frustration on all four corners of that order."

Since its launch in 2009, the Home Affordable Modification program has been plagued by complaints of lost documents and miscommunication from banks' mortgage servicing divisions. Fewer homeowners have received permanent modifications than have been booted from the program. Banks can use an opaque "Net Present Value" test to deny a homeowner if a modification would be less profitable than a foreclosure.

Homeowners have brought a wave of still-ongoing lawsuits against banks for mortgage servicing abuses, and a coalition of state attorneys general is currently negotiating with the biggest banks for a settlement that would reform the mortgage servicing industry and provide some relief to homeowners. That settlement, if it ever happens, would not preclude borrowers from filing their own claims, though Gardner suggested banks would use it as leverage in court.

Blackmon's order says Georgia law allows claims for breach of a duty of good faith and fair dealing, and that there are two contracts at issue: the bank's agreement to participate in HAMP and its loan with Phillips. The case is on its way to a jury trial. "While difficult to define, jurors know good faith and fair dealing when they see it, and jurors can spot the absence of same."

Spokesman Tom Joyce said U.S. Bank would immediately pursue an appeal.

"The court's order contains a number of factual and legal errors," Joyce said. "On the broader topic, foreclosure is always the last option for borrowers and the bank. That's why we've worked with thousands of borrowers across the country on modifying their mortgages to help them manage their payments and stay in their homes."

This story has been updated to include comment from U.S. Bank.

Click HERE to download a PDF of Blackmon's order.

Arthur Delaney is the author of "A People's History of the Great Recession," HuffPost's first e-book.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


To Fix Housing, See the Data
Published: November 4, 2011

The idea of helping struggling homeowners by writing down some principal on their mortgages — as opposed to reducing the interest or reconfiguring the terms to lower the monthly payments — is much in the air right now. Banks loathe the idea of principal reduction; they fear that people who are current on their mortgages will start defaulting just to get their principal reduced. They also don’t want the hit to their balance sheets.

But the states’ attorneys general who sued over the robo-signing scandal have made principal reduction the central plank of the settlement they are close to completing. The settlement will force the big banks to begin a sustained program of principal reduction, and will heavily penalize banks that don’t comply. From what I hear, the goal of the states is to prove to the banks that principal reduction will not cause the sky to fall — and is, ultimately, less damaging to bank profits than foreclosures.

Housing activists love principal reduction because they tend to see it as a just solution to an unjust situation — it’s a way of making the banks pay a real price for their sins during the subprime madness while allowing people to keep their homes. Conservatives, on the other hand, hate principal reduction. They believe that borrowers who made poor decisions by taking out mortgages they could never afford have to take responsibility for those decisions. If that means foreclosure, so be it.

Enter Laurie Goodman. One of the country’s foremost authorities on mortgage-backed securities, she is also one of the most data-driven people I’ve ever met; at breakfast, she was constantly pointing me to one chart or another that backed up her claims. “She’s not into politics,” says my friend, and her client, Daniel Alpert of Westwood Capital. “She is using data to tell us the truth.”

Her truth begins with a shocking calculation: of the 55 million mortgages in America, more than 10 million are reasonably likely to default. That is a staggering number — and it is, in large part, because so many homes are worth so much less than the mortgage the homeowners are holding. That is, they’re underwater.

Her second calculation is that the supply of housing is going to drastically outstrip demand for the foreseeable future; she estimates that the glut of unneeded homes could get as high as 6.2 million over the next six years. The primary reason for this, she says, is that household formation has been very low in recent years, presumably because of the grim economy. (Young adults are living with their parents instead of moving into their own homes, etc.) What’s more, nearly 20 percent of current homeowners no longer qualify for a mortgage, as lending standards have tightened.

The implication is almost too awful to contemplate. As Goodman put it in testimony she recently gave before Congress, the supply/demand imbalance means that housing prices “are likely to decline further. This may recreate the housing death spiral — as lower housing prices mean more borrowers become underwater.” Which makes them more likely to default, which lowers prices further, and on and on.

The only way to stop the death spiral is through principal reduction. The reason is simple: “The data show that principal modifications work better” than other kinds of modifications, she says. Interest rate reductions can lower monthly payments, but the home remains just as underwater as it was before the modification. And the extent to which a home is underwater is the single best indicator of whether the homeowner will default. The only way to change the imbalance between the size of the mortgage and the value of the home is to reduce principal.

Will widespread principal reduction cause homeowners to purposely default on their mortgages? Goodman has some ideas about how to reduce that likelihood, but she is also realistic: “A borrower will make a decision to default if it is in his or her best interest.”

One wishes that the country could make economic decisions that are in its best interest, decisions that use Laurie Goodman’s data-driven approach instead of being motivated by ideology. Goodman’s case for principal reduction is powerful precisely because it is not about just or unjust, or who’s to blame and who’s at fault.

It is about cold, hard economics. Three years after the bursting of the subprime bubble, principal reduction isn’t just a nice-sounding way to help homeowners. It is our only hope of finally ending the housing crisis.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Autumn

A funny thing happened since September 17, 2011. I have lost my focus on the HAMP SCAM. Oh sure, it will show its ugly face again when the long awaited foreclosure notice shows up in the mail, or worse yet, when the Sheriff comes.......but my guess is it will just be another hit in the Hamp Scam process. I will fall, I will get up.

For now HAMP SCAM, is just a thing, a thing that happened to me a long time ago. Some thing, I barely remember.

I want it to be in the past, but I must play each and every had of this game of Scam. Its not time to fold yet, not yet BofA... we have a few more rounds to go.

Good night all.