And it all begins. Home prices are already falling in my area.
By David Dayen
Treasury secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin lied in his written responses to the Senate Finance Committee, claiming that “OneWest Bank did not ‘robo-sign’ documents,” when ample evidence proves that they did.
Mnuchin ran OneWest Bank from 2009 to 2015 in a manner so ruthless to mortgage holders that he has been dubbed the “Foreclosure King” by his critics.
The robo-signing scandal involved mortgage companies having their employees falsely sign hundreds of affidavits per week attesting that they had reviewed and verified all the business records associated with a foreclosure — when in fact they never read through the material and just blindly signed off. Those records, in many cases, were prepared improperly, but the foreclosures went ahead anyway because of the fraudulent affidavits.
“Did OneWest ‘robo-sign’ documents relating to foreclosures and evictions?” Sen. Bob Casey, D-Penn., asked Mnuchin as a “question…
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Fine related to 2011’s industry-wide foreclosure settlement
In 2011, Lender Processing Services was part of a massive settlement with the government over industry-wide foreclosure misconduct that occurred after the housing crash.
That settlement stemmed from document missteps in the third-party foreclosure process at some very large banks and mortgage servicers in the aftermath of the subprime crisis.
The settlement also included names like Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup.
While those names stuck around, LPS eventually disappeared. LPS’ former parent, Fidelity National Financial, bought up the company and merged it with another subsidiary, ServiceLink Holdings, and formed Black Knight Financial Services.
On Tuesday, the ghost of LPS came back to haunt ServiceLink and Black Knight, as the Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp
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I’ve been saying for months now the market is slowing and there are signs of another recession in the real estate marketplace. Today, I got additional confirmation of my fears.
If we are to survive another 10+ years of pain many experienced, you need to know some cold hard facts and what impact they have on your future. For many years in SW Florida, I’ve been known as the “truth teller”. I even have a sign in my office saying “speak the truth but ride a fast horse”, as a reminder truth isn’t very popular but it is essential to your life.
There are more foreclosures coming. The banks first huge wave of foreclosures was what one could call “the laydowns”, the ones who wouldn’t, couldn’t or had no means to fight back. When even that proved to be problematic because the banks own recording system had so many flaws, no one really possessed the “authentic paperwork” to allow them to foreclose. What did they do, they fabricated, a very nice word for FORGED, documents and found low lying underlings willing to participate signing these documents representatives of the lender. The problem was, they didn’t work for that lender and were exposed as “Robo Signers”. After the lenders were outed for this behaviour a cottage industry was born of document preparation companies who then took over a lot of the nasty work from the lenders themselves. It appears more than not, these foreclosures were carried through even though the lender had no legal standing to do so!
We’ve learned the judicial system appears to be rigged like most other things in our country and courts early on, slammed dunked all foreclosures in favor of the banks/lenders, after all they’re our trusted source, right? Wrong! If anyone still thinks the banks have your best interest at heart, you need to think again. My best advice on this matter is to put your money in a not for profit credit union NOT in a bank. They have all the advantages and they run the credit union for your benefit, not those of the stockholders.
This knowledge unveiled even more disturbing information like:
- Most mortgages originated after 2001 are likely “dirty”, meaning they have a clouded title. A clouded title is problematic because it’s “unclear” who has interest in the home. A clear or quiet title is what we all want!
- Even though title companies do a title search on each transaction, it’s not enough. The very nature of fraud is that it’s usually not easily visible. Unless you’re educated on what to look for on the actual documents themselves, i.e. did the person who signed your papers as the lender actually work for that lender at the time? Was that lender even still in business at the time of the transfer? Was the Notary who verified and witnessed the identification of the signer really a Notary at the time? Unbelievable but very real and true concerns.
- Banks/Lenders very rarely and most no longer at all service their own loans. Service means collect the payments, allocate the payments to the proper account, maintain your escrow for insurance and taxes and provide tax statements. These new companies make very little money for the servicing of your loan but surprise, the make a killing if they can “trick” you into foreclosing and it’s not that hard!
- Everyone who has purchased a foreclosure has not only the potential but great odds of having a title issue at some point. One story of a couple who purchased a foreclosure for $220,000, invested $60,000 in repairs and remodeling, had a knock on their door almost 2 years later advising them the visitor was legally the true owner of their home.
- Reverse mortgages are next on the foreclosure train, those are primarily held by seniors, our most vulnerable.
- Most borrower’s can’t get the information …. who owns my loan.
What does all this mean? This is not your Grandfather’s or even your Father’s Banker/Lender, these are the new pretender lenders of our day. This is showing itself to be THE biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American taxpayer in the history of our country. Sadly, no one is coming to bail us out!
I’ve been trying to absorb everything I can about this subject for the last couple of years but I’m older and not everything sticks, especially if I only read it once. I can’t quote accurate statistics or give you the percentages but I can point you to those who can. I feel it is my job, although it’s not a very popular one these days, to educate the public about these hidden elements so you can be better armed and do your own due diligence. At the very least, we should all know who owns our loans!
This is a link to the source from whom I’ve learned the most, Neil Garfield!
More later! Jo
I’ve been making my living in the Real Estate business in SW Florida since 1988. I began by working for developers but in 2000, after seeing the lack of service typically delivered by local agencies and with the help of my Broker husband, I hung my own shingle. Life was great for several years, although late in 2003 my life started to fall apart. Plagued with back problems since a high school auto accident, in 2004 I had major back surgery. Wonderfully successful but recovery took a long, long time. My parents who were in Texas were now sick, needing lots of care. My life became a series of trips back and forth, for the first time my work became my second focus. Over the next 6 years, I would lose, one each year, my Mother, Father, Mother in Law and Father in Law, everyone who had always loved me no matter what! I fell into a clinical depression, so many aspects of my life falling apart, my family,my retirement and financial security. A panic attack one night was the final blow when my spouse proved I didn’t have unconditional love from him either.
It is in that light, I’m about to get the education of my life, on a part of real estate I’d never known nor even heard of. I’m not sure if it was there all along and I simply never encountered it but I had literally never heard of a foreclosure in Lee County, in what was then 20 years of experience. This education has taken me, as it has most others I’ve read about and apparently it’s a right of passage, a road we all must travel to finally force ourselves to believe banks, enabled by the courts, have committed such vile and egregious crimes. It truly is physically and mentally disturbing at every core of our beings. But even worse, when you learn that most Judges and our entire judicial system have allowed law to be bullied and broken, all at the cost of millions and millions of human beings and their respective lives. Their children, their work, their social structures forever affected by the shame and sorrow of losing a home and becoming a homeless family. When we’ve finally done the homework, we find like-minded citizens and victims, who have at least begun the descent into what they call the worm hole, where each new depth is exactly that. A new depth of evil, deceitful, bankers/lenders with no compulsion to stay within the law and do whatever is necessary to increase that bottom line. Who could enjoy making money off the likes of this?
A side effect of this knowledge is thankfully finally finding other voices and stories like your own, where you feel safe to open up and tell the world how mad you are and we must fix it.