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Mortgage Servicing Fraud
occurs post loan origination when mortgage servicers use false statements and book-keeping entries, fabricated assignments, forged signatures and utter counterfeit intangible Notes to take a homeowner's property and equity.
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06/06/24

Top 10 U.S. Housing Markets Least At-Risk of Declines in Q1 2024 Attom

Top 10 U.S. Housing Markets Least At-Risk of Declines in Q1 2024
According to ATTOM’s newly released Q1 2024 Special Housing Risk Report, California, New Jersey, and Illinois once again had the highest concentrations of the most at-risk markets in the country, with significant clusters in the New York City and Chicago areas, as well as inland California. Conversely, less vulnerable markets were predominantly spread across the South and Midwest.
The analysis also noted that the first-quarter patterns, based on gaps in home affordability, underwater mortgages, foreclosures, and unemployment, revealed that California, New Jersey, and Illinois accounted for 34 of the 50 U.S. counties most exposed to potential declines. As in previous years, these concentrations dominated the list of metropolitan areas more at risk of downturns.

06/06/24

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Is Making Enemies in All the Right Places Wall Street On Parade

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Is Making Enemies in All the Right Places
Fresh off a big win at the U.S. Supreme Court on May 16, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is wasting no time in its heady pursuit of financial bad actors preying on the little guy. On Monday, the federal agency announced it was creating a public registry to help law enforcement, investors and the public check the history of repeat offenders in finance. The CFPB already offers consumers who have been victimized by a financial firm the ability to file a public complaint with the CFPB. The agency then quickly demands a written response from the alleged wrongdoer. Repeat offenders dislike the fact that these complaints go into a permanent database at the CFPB, which can be mined by the public, reporters, attorneys and prosecutors looking for patterns of fraud. (For how Wall Street On Parade put that complaint database to good use, read our report: The Apple Credit Card Provided through Goldman Sachs Has Created a Living Hell According to Consumer Complaints.)

06/03/24

Consumer watchdog creates corporate ‘repeat offender’ registry The Hill

Consumer watchdog creates corporate ‘repeat offender’ registry
The federal government’s top consumer watchdog is establishing a registry to track companies and people who repeatedly break consumer protection laws, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Monday.

06/04/24

Freddie (and Fannie) and the Coming Nightmare on Main Street National Review

Freddie (and Fannie) and the Coming Nightmare on Main Street
Government-sponsored mortgage companies are growing larger and riskier in service of social policy. During the financial crisis, the federal government bailed out several financial institutions. But two in particular, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage giants, stood out. Taxpayers shelled out $191 billion to support them — combined, this was the largest bailout in American history — and for the past decade and a half the two institutions have been under government control. Americans who thought the government would rein in Fannie and Freddie after their failures were sorely mistaken. The companies have only gotten larger. The Biden administration in particular has tried to make Fannie and Freddie bigger, and the result ...

06/02/24

$517,000,000,000 in Unrealized Losses Hit US Banking System, FDIC Says 63 Lenders on ‘Problem List’ Daily HODL

$517,000,000,000 in Unrealized Losses Hit US Banking System, FDIC Says 63 Lenders on ‘Problem List’
A US banking regulator says $384 million will soon be handed to victims of an online bank’s illegal practices. Unrealized losses in the US banking system are once again on the rise, according to new numbers from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In its Quarterly Banking Profile report, the FDIC says banks are now saddled with more than half a trillion dollars in paper losses on their balance sheets, due largely to exposure to the residential real estate market.

05/30/24

Academic Study Provides Hard Numbers to the Sick, Revolving Door Culture at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Citigroup Wall Street On Parade

Academic Study Provides Hard Numbers to the Sick, Revolving Door Culture at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Citigroup
On January 18, 2019 the Cambridge University Press published a stunning research paper from the Journal of Institutional Economics. The paper provides the hard numbers to support the thesis that federal banking and securities regulators have arrived at a deep understanding and acceptance that the more connections they acquire while working in government and the more prominent their position becomes – the fatter their future paycheck will be once they make the leap to a megabank on Wall Street.

05/30/24

These Two Commercial Foreclosures Speak Volumes About How Bad The Market Is Yahoo Finance

These Two Commercial Foreclosures Speak Volumes About How Bad The Market Is
Two recent transactions involving failed class-A office properties in two different markets speak volumes about the depth of the commercial sector‘s crisis. Fort Worth's Burnett Plaza has dominated the city's skyline as its tallest building since 1983. In San Jose, the property at 3100 North First Street was similar to one of the city's premier commercial destinations. Both properties became distressed assets that sold for pennies on the dollar.

05/29/24

CFPB Releases Report Highlighting Junk Fees in Mortgage Servicing National Law Review

CFPB Releases Report Highlighting Junk Fees in Mortgage Servicing
On April 24, 2024, the CFPB unveiled its latest edition of Supervisory Highlights, shedding light on its ongoing battle against what it deems as “junk fees” imposed by mortgage servicers. The report highlights the CFPB’s ongoing concerns regarding the assessment of what it deems as “exploitative illegal fees” by mortgage servicers. Examiners from the agency identify various instances where mortgage servicers continue to levy such fees, ranging from unnecessary property inspection charges to improper late fees.

05/29/24

Hundreds of Thousands of Americans May See Mortgage Payments Double Newsweek

Hundreds of Thousands of Americans May See Mortgage Payments Double
Homeowners who secured cheaper, short-term mortgage rates could face higher monthly payments, in some cases almost doubling, this year as the term of their home loans comes to an end at a time when borrowing costs are elevated. Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, tend to offer relatively cheaper rates, but for shorter terms that could be between three to 10 years. After that, the borrower may be forced to pay market rates for a new loan, compared to the fixed rate that homebuyers typically get for a 30-year mortgage. In the current market, there are 1.7 million homes that were bought using ARMs secured since 2019, according to Bloomberg. Some of these loans may see their term mature this year, which could result in monthly payments going up.

05/29/24

Massachusetts AG Campbell discusses state's housing crisis Turnto10

Massachusetts AG Campbell discusses state's housing crisis
(WJAR) — The Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell and other state leaders toured a manufactured housing community in Taunton Wednesday morning. Campbell highlighted how her office is addressing the housing crisis in the Bay State. There are hundreds of homes like these tucked in the Oak Hill Housing Community in Taunton.

05/24/24

Wells Fargo offers $24K to family to move out of foreclosed home. They declined. MassLive

Wells Fargo offers $24K to family to move out of foreclosed home. They declined.
PALMER — A bank foreclosing on a town family now is offering them $24,000 in a moveout payment, but the longtime residents don’t want it, instead saying they just want their home — and can pay for it. The Kalogeras family of Palmer is expected to vacate their home by July 1 after a judge ruled in favor of their foreclosure. Two years ago, a Housing Court judge ordered the family to pay $1,000 each month in use and occupancy fees to the bank, according to court documents.

05/24/24

Riley Keough Appreciates Fast Legal Action in Foreclosure Threat: 'Anything to Protect Graceland' (Exclusive Source) People

Riley Keough Appreciates Fast Legal Action in Foreclosure Threat: 'Anything to Protect Graceland' (Exclusive Source)
A source tells PEOPLE Riley Keough is "appreciative of the swift legal actions" behind halting the attempted foreclosure sale of Elvis Presley's Graceland estate The Daisy Jones & the Six star previously filed a lawsuit claiming Naussany Investments & Private Lending LLC's attempt to sell the property was "fraudulent" Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti recently announced that he would "[look] into" the mysterious company's attempt to sell Graceland
"Graceland is one of the most iconic landmarks in the State of Tennessee, and the Presley family have generously shared it with the world since Elvis’s passing," Skrmetti wrote in a press release on Thursday. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer??, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. "Elvis made Memphis the center of the music universe, and Graceland stands as a monument to his legacy and a fond remembrance for his family," he continued. "My office has fought fraud against homeowners for decades, and there is no home in Tennessee more beloved than Graceland." "I have asked my lawyers to look into this matter, determine the full extent of any misconduct that may have occurred, and identify what we can do to protect both Elvis Presley’s heirs and anyone else who may be similarly threatened," Skrmetti added.

05/23/24

Thousands Of U.S. Homes Foreclosed In April As Market Shows Mixed Recovery Signs Yahoo Finance

Thousands Of U.S. Homes Foreclosed In April As Market Shows Mixed Recovery Signs
Thousands Of U.S. Homes Foreclosed In April As Market Shows Mixed Recovery Signs April saw a surge in home foreclosures, with thousands of properties repossessed nationwide. Last month saw an 8% increase in repossessions from the previous month, totaling over 2,900, despite a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure filings. States like Illinois, Pennsylvania, and California led with the highest numbers of completed foreclosures, highlighting regional disparities in economic recovery and housing stability. According to foreclosure data tracked by ATTOM, Illinois led the states with 244 completed foreclosures, followed by Pennsylvania with 241 and California with 233. The numbers, albeit lower than the previous year, represent a rise over the prior month, suggesting that certain areas are still grappling with the economic aftershocks of recent years.

05/23/24

Why Zombie second mortgages are threatening thousands of Americans' homes NPR

Why Zombie second mortgages are threatening thousands of Americans' homes
A new NPR investigation finds thousands of homeowners face foreclosure over so-called zombie second mortgages. The loans come back to life after they get bought up by debt collectors.

05/23/24

Attorney General looking into attempted foreclosure of Elvis Presley’s Graceland home CNN

Attorney General looking into attempted foreclosure of Elvis Presley’s Graceland home
Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is looking into the attempted foreclosure auction of Elvis Presley’s iconic Memphis home, known as Graceland, by an alleged private investment company. On Wednesday, Naussany Investments and Private Lending LLC dropped its foreclosure efforts against Graceland. Danielle Riley Keough, Presley’s granddaughter and heir, filed a lawsuit earlier this month to halt the foreclosure sale claiming Naussany Investment’s paperwork was bogus and an attempt to defraud the family.

05/23/24

It looks like Graceland won't be auctioned off. But how did the possibility ever occur? Commercial Appeal

It looks like Graceland won't be auctioned off. But how did the possibility ever occur?
Amid the ongoing foreclosure debacle of the Graceland estate, Shelby County Register of Deeds said that they do not have a deed of trust on file for the property. A representative from the Shelby County Register of Deeds said that this was extremely uncommon and that a typical document filed during foreclosure proceedings like an assignment of substitute trustee or substitute trustee's deed were not on file in the office either. Wednesday morning, a Memphis judge ruled that a foreclosure auction of Elvis Presley’s iconic Graceland estate cannot proceed. Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins issued the ruling in Shelby County Chancery Court in Memphis. Representatives from the company behind the sale did not appear in court. Shortly after the hearing, The Daily Memphian reported that "someone claiming to represent the company," said in an email statement Naussany Investments and Private Lending would be dropping their case.

05/22/24

SEC Charges Intercontinental Exchange and Nine Affiliates Including the New York Stock Exchange with Failing to Inform the Commission of a Cyber Intrusion SEC.gov

SEC Charges Intercontinental Exchange and Nine Affiliates Including the New York Stock Exchange with Failing to Inform the Commission of a Cyber Intrusion
Washington D.C., May 22, 2024 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that The Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE) agreed to pay a $10 million penalty to settle charges that it caused the failure of nine wholly-owned subsidiaries, including the New York Stock Exchange, to timely inform the SEC of a cyber intrusion as required by Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity (Regulation SCI).

05/22/24

Graceland foreclosure sale halted as Presley estate’s lawsuit moves forward AP News

Graceland foreclosure sale halted as Presley estate’s lawsuit moves forward
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A judge on Wednesday said Elvis Presley’s estate could be successful in arguing that a company’s attempt to auction Graceland is fraudulent as he halted a foreclosure sale of the beloved Memphis tourist attraction. Later Wednesday, a statement from someone who appeared to be a representative of the company said it would drop its claim, which the Presley estate has argued is based on fake documents. Online court records did not immediately show any legal filings suggesting the claim had been dropped.

05/20/24

Graceland is headed for foreclosure as Elvis Presley's granddaughter fights sale and alleges fraud CBS

Graceland is headed for foreclosure as Elvis Presley's granddaughter fights sale and alleges fraud
Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion, a popular tourist attraction and the singer's final resting place, is at the center of a court fight as it appears to be headed for a foreclosure auction later this week. But Elvis' granddaughter, actor Riley Keough, is fighting back with a lawsuit that alleges fraud.

05/20/24

The Curious Money Trail Behind the Supreme Court/Clarence Thomas Decision to Rescue a Federal Agency that Wall Street Hates Wall Street On Parade

The Curious Money Trail Behind the Supreme Court/Clarence Thomas Decision to Rescue a Federal Agency that Wall Street Hates
Last Thursday, in a stunning 7-2 win for the little guys and gals in America, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau et al v Community Financial Services Association of America, Ltd., et al. Making the decision all the more stunning, it was written by Clarence Thomas, the sitting justice who has been under withering attack in the press for selling out to special interests. (There is speculation that the Thomas name is on the decision to quiet the media uproar against him.) The two dissenting votes came from Justices Samuel Alito (target of a ProPublica investigation in 2023) and Neil Gorsuch, around whom conflicts of interest controversy is also swirling.

05/19/24

Housing experts revise mortgage rate forecasts for remainder of 2024 Yahoo Finance

Housing experts revise mortgage rate forecasts for remainder of 2024
At the beginning of the year, housing experts and homebuyers looked forward to better buying conditions — interest rates were poised to drop, a shift expected to free up inventory and cool surging home prices. That outlook has mostly changed. Nearly halfway through 2024, the highly anticipated interest rate cuts have yet to happen, home prices are still growing, and affordability remains a challenge. "We all expected that at this point in the year, we would see stronger home sales activity, and interest rates [would be] down," Jessica Lautz, deputy chief economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), told Yahoo Finance. "[Rates] moved back up into the 7% range, and that does put a damper on home sales activity, and it changes who can purchase a home."

05/19/24

The Supreme Court ruled to protect the CFPB. Here's why it matters for your money NPR

The Supreme Court ruled to protect the CFPB. Here's why it matters for your money
NPR's Tamara Keith speaks with Rohit Chopra, the director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, about a Supreme Court decision that validated how the bureau is funded.

05/18/24

$384,000,000 To Be Handed To 191,000 Victims of Banking Giant’s Illegal Practices: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Daily HODL

$384,000,000 To Be Handed To 191,000 Victims of Banking Giant’s Illegal Practices: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
A US banking regulator says $384 million will soon be handed to victims of an online bank’s illegal practices. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says 191,000 people will receive the windfall of cash, which will be given to former customers of Texas-based Think Finance. The agency filed a lawsuit against the lender in 2017, accusing the company of tricking customers into repaying loans they did not owe. The firm’s loans in 17 states were considered illegal, void and uncollectable. Now, the CFPB says it’s beginning to distribute $384 million from its victims relief fund to support people who got caught in the scam.

05/16/24

The U.S. Government's Involvement In "Foreclosure Genocide" Revealed by William Paatalo Scott Stafne

The U.S. Government's Involvement In "Foreclosure Genocide" Revealed by William Paatalo
Late last year, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington, a proof of claim was filed on behalf of an alleged “secured creditor” named “U.S. Bank Trust, as Trustee of LB-Igloo Series IV Trust.” Subsequently, this alleged creditor filed the following proposed order, which surprisingly, was paid for by the “U.S. Treasury” as revealed in the docket.

05/14/24

CFPB v. Think Finance, LLC CFPB

CFPB v. Think Finance, LLC
We are the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal government agency that enforces laws that protect consumers. In 2017, the CFPB sued Think Finance, LLC and six subsidiaries (collectively, the “Think Finance Entities”). For years, the Think Finance Entities managed three lenders: Mobiloans, Great Plains Lending, and Plain Green Lending. The Bureau’s lawsuit alleged that these businesses deceived people and broke licensing and lending requirements. As a result, their loans in 17 states are considered illegal, void, and uncollectable, according to the Bureau’s lawsuit. The Bureau’s lawsuit also stated that the Think Finance Entities helped two debt collection companies illegally collect loans.

05/13/24

Delinquencies on Office Property Loans at Banks Are at 8 Percent While Office Loans the Banks Sold to Investors Show 31 Percent in Trouble Wall Street On Parade

Delinquencies on Office Property Loans at Banks Are at 8 Percent While Office Loans the Banks Sold to Investors Show 31 Percent in Trouble
On Friday, the Federal Reserve released its semiannual Supervision and Regulation Report on banks. Commercial real estate loans at banks – particularly on office properties – continued to rank high on the Fed’s list of concerns. The Fed included the chart above showing that delinquency rates on office property loans held by the banks had skyrocketed from just over 1 percent at the end of 2022 to over 8 percent as of December 31, 2023. (The red text and arrow have been added by Wall Street On Parade.)

05/10/24

U.S. regulators call for new fund to prevent mortgage servicers from going under Morningstar

U.S. regulators call for new fund to prevent mortgage servicers from going under
'Vulnerabilities of nonbank mortgage companies can amplify shocks in the mortgage market and undermine financial stability,' Treasury Secretary Yellen says U.S. regulators are calling on Congress to introduce a new industry-financed fund to support mortgage-loan servicers as they weather a drought in demand due to high mortgage rates. The multiagency?? Financial Stability Oversight Council, which is chaired by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, released a new report on Friday that highlights the risks associated with nonbank mortgage-loan servicers making strong gains in market share. The FSOC was created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis by the Dodd-Frank Act, to identify and monitor risks to the U.S. economy. Nonbank mortgage lenders originated around two-thirds of mortgages in the U.S. in 2022, the report stated, and owned the servicing rights on 54% of mortgage balances. These companies have increased their market share from a low in 2008, when they only originated 39% of mortgages and owned the servicing rights to just 4% of mortgage balances, the report noted. These outstanding mortgages are guaranteed by government enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as government agency Ginnie Mae.

05/10/24

US Treasury’s Yellen says Congress should act on nonbank mortgage sector WMBD

US Treasury’s Yellen says Congress should act on nonbank mortgage sector
(Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Friday called for Congress to give regulators more power to oversee the growing nonbank mortgage industry, which she said presented unique risks to financial stability. Yellen spoke during a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a regulatory body she chairs and which was created after the 2007-2009 financial crisis. It is tasked with managing risks to the financial system. The council, whose members head other top financial regulators, voted unanimously to approve publishing a report and related recommendations on the issue.

05/10/24

State Banking Representative Superintendent Adrienne A. Harris Statement on FSOC Nonbank Mortgage Servicing Report DFS NY

State Banking Representative Superintendent Adrienne A. Harris Statement on FSOC Nonbank Mortgage Servicing Report
First, I would like to acknowledge the work of the FSOC Secretariat, Federal Reserve, and Ginnie Mae staff who led the drafting of the report. I am proud to be here today representing the CSBS and my fellow state financial regulators. Having the state perspective here today is critical because states are the primary prudential regulators of nonbank mortgage companies. This market has changed considerably since the 2008 financial crisis. In 2008, nonbank mortgage companies had servicing rights on four percent of mortgages. Fourteen years later, in 2022, that had increased over 13 times to 54 percent of the market. Along with that period of enormous growth, market participants have experienced a rapidly changing credit environment and market conditions.

05/10/24

MBA Statement on FSOC’s Report on Mortgage Servicing MBA

MBA Statement on FSOC’s Report on Mortgage Servicing
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 10, 2024) — MBA’s President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, released the following statement regarding the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) report released today on nonbank mortgage servicing: “MBA agrees with the report’s analysis of the critically important role independent mortgage banks (IMBs) play in the mortgage market: lending to, and servicing loans for, a majority of first-time and low- and moderate-income homebuyers.

05/10/24

Zombie 2nd mortgages are coming back to life NPR

Zombie 2nd mortgages are coming back to life
Karen MacDonough of Quincy, Mass., was enjoying her tea one morning in the dining room when she sees something odd outside of her window: A group of people gathering on her lawn. A man with a clipboard tells her that her home no longer belongs to her. It didn't matter that she'd been paying her mortgage for 17 years, and was current on it. She was a nurse with a good job and had raised her kids here. But this was a foreclosure sale, and she was going to lose her house.

05/07/24

JPMorgan Chase and Its Regulators Are Hiding Dark Trading Secrets at the Largest and Riskiest U.S. Bank Wall Street On Parade

JPMorgan Chase and Its Regulators Are Hiding Dark Trading Secrets at the Largest and Riskiest U.S. Bank
Last Wednesday, JPMorgan Chase, the publicly-traded parent of the largest federally-insured bank in the United States as well as a five-count felon, revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that on top of the $348 million it paid out in March to two of its banking regulators for sketchy trading violations involving “billions” of trades on 30 global trading venues, it “expects to enter into a resolution with a third U.S. regulator that will require the Firm to, among other things, pay a civil penalty of $100 million….” (See “Trading Venues Investigations” on page 168 of the SEC filing at this link.) JPMorgan Chase did not name this third regulator but Bloomberg News reported that it is the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

05/07/24

Update: Fannie Mae Guidelines Raise Concerns, Could Bar ACV Coverage for Homes Insurance Journal

Update: Fannie Mae Guidelines Raise Concerns, Could Bar ACV Coverage for Homes
An updated guideline from Fannie Mae, if it stands, could throw a wrench into the property-casualty insurance industry’s move toward actual cash value for more homeowners and condo coverage.
A Fannie Mae spokesperson said the government-backed mortgage corporation, which supports a large share of the U.S. mortgage market, has clarified a long-standing guideline that requires that insurance polices provide replacement value coverage for most homes with mortgages.

05/06/24

How America's Pent-up Housing Demand Will Be Unleashed Newsweek

How America's Pent-up Housing Demand Will Be Unleashed
cooling down of the U.S. labor market could encourage the Federal Reserve to finally lower interest rates, National Association of Realtors' Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told Newsweek. This, in turn, could lower mortgage rates and unleash the pent-up demand from aspiring homebuyers.

05/02/24

Your Mortgage Servicer Is Changing: Why This Matters and What to Do Newsweek

Your Mortgage Servicer Is Changing: Why This Matters and What to Do
When you take out a home loan, you expect that mortgage to be with you long term. Most mortgages come with a term of at least a decade, and a 30-year term is common. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in a long-term relationship with your mortgage servicer. You don’t get to change your mortgage servicer—the company you send your mortgage payments to—unless you refinance with a new lender. But the servicer could sell your loan to a different company. At that point, you’ll need to figure out how to work with the new company to get your payments in on time. This can be a headache for borrowers, but when you know what to expect, it gets a little easier.

05/02/24

Wall Street’s Megabanks Have Trillions of Dollars Off-Balance Sheet, in a Replay of Accounting Hubris that Led to the 2008 Wall Street Collapse Wall Street On Parade

Wall Street’s Megabanks Have Trillions of Dollars Off-Balance Sheet, in a Replay of Accounting Hubris that Led to the 2008 Wall Street Collapse
When the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission released their final forensic report on the causes of the 2008 financial collapse on Wall Street – the worst collapse since the 1929-1932 collapse – it pointed to hidden leverage in off-balance sheet entities at the megabanks on Wall Street as a key driver of the crisis. It wrote:

05/01/24

Inside Zillow’s failed housing market bet: 30,000-plus homes acquired, 5,000 sold to Wall Street landlords Fast Company

Inside Zillow’s failed housing market bet: 30,000-plus homes acquired, 5,000 sold to Wall Street landlords
On October 12, 2021, in a sprawling desert community just 7 miles southwest of the Las Vegas Strip, Zillow closed a sale on a four-bedroom home at 7456 Grizzly Giant St. Just five days later, Zillow paused its iBuyer program, and on November 2, 2021, it shuttered the program altogether. Not long afterward, sources told me that Zillow was selling many of the homes from its books to institutional homebuyers. However, the final figures hadn’t been reported. To find out how many of these homes Zillow sold to large corporate landlords, ResiClub reached out to SFR Analytics, a residential real estate analytics firm.

04/25/24

CFPB takes action to stop illegal junk fees in mortgage servicing Yahoo Finance

CFPB takes action to stop illegal junk fees in mortgage servicing
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is ramping up its efforts to combat junk fees charged by mortgage servicers, as well as other illegal practices. CFPB examinations have found servicers charging illegal junk fees. Examples include prohibited property inspection fees. It has evidence of mortgage providers sending deceptive notices to homeowners. There is also evidence of violation of loss mitigation rules that help struggling borrowers stay in their homes. In response to the CFPB's findings, financial institutions refunded junk fees to borrowers and stopped their illegal practices.

04/24/24

Supervisory Highlights, Issue 33 (Spring 2024) CFPB

Supervisory Highlights, Issue 33 (Spring 2024)
This is the 33rd edition of Supervisory Highlights. The findings in this report cover select examinations regarding mortgage servicing, that were completed from April 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023. FULL REPORT Read the full report

04/24/24

CFPB Takes Action to Stop Illegal Junk Fees in Mortgage Servicing CFPB

CFPB Takes Action to Stop Illegal Junk Fees in Mortgage Servicing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today published an edition of Supervisory Highlights describing the agency’s actions to combat junk fees charged by mortgage servicers, as well as other illegal practices. CFPB examinations found servicers charging illegal junk fees, such as prohibited property inspection fees; sending deceptive notices to homeowners; and violating loss mitigation rules that help struggling borrowers stay in their homes. In response to the CFPB’s findings, financial institutions refunded junk fees to borrowers and stopped their illegal practices.

04/24/24

CFPB shares update on combating mortgage servicer ‘junk fees’ Scottsman Guide

CFPB shares update on combating mortgage servicer ‘junk fees’
A new report published by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) shared some of the agency’s recent findings on the mortgage servicing market, including some revelations from its ongoing scrutiny of “junk fees” charged by banks and other lenders. Per its “Supervisory Highlights, Mortgage Servicing Edition” report, the CFPB noted that its examiners continue to find mortgage servicers assessing what it called “exploitative illegal fees,” including improper late fees and unnecessary property inspection fees.

04/19/24

Top 10 States with the Highest Number of Commercial Foreclosure in March 2024 Attom Data

Top 10 States with the Highest Number of Commercial Foreclosure in March 2024
According to ATTOM’s newly released U.S. Commercial Foreclosure Report, there is a persistent uptrend in commercial foreclosures over the years, starting from a minimum of 141 in May 2020 and reaching 625 in March 2024. This signifies a consistent rise over the entire period.

04/18/24

The Professor Who Wrote the Seminal Book on Wall Street Megabanks Calls Today’s Financial System “Dangerously Unstable” Wall Street On Parade

The Professor Who Wrote the Seminal Book on Wall Street Megabanks Calls Today’s Financial System “Dangerously Unstable”
George Washington University Law Professor, Arthur Wilmarth, has done it again. After authoring the seminal book on the insidious evolution and enormous dangers still posed by the Wall Street megabanks (Taming the Megabanks: Why We Need a New Glass-Steagall Act) Wilmarth is now out with a new, gripping paper. In the paper’s abstract, Wilmarth explains how the risks posed by the Wall Street megabanks in 2008 have become exponentially more dangerous today. He writes:

04/16/24

Fannie Mae’s New Mortgage-Scoring System Aims to Lift MBS Demand Yahoo Finance

Fannie Mae’s New Mortgage-Scoring System Aims to Lift MBS Demand
Fannie Mae is selling agency mortgage backed securities designed to appeal to socially minded investors, as the mortgage giant looks to draw more buyers into the market to help fill a void left by the Federal Reserve stopping purchases.

04/14/24

Taking on the housing crisis in Massachusetts could include foreclosure prevention program Cambridge Day

Taking on the housing crisis in Massachusetts could include foreclosure prevention program
We need more affordable housing. This is something I hear over and over as state representative throughout my district of Somerville and Medford. When speaking with a group of high school students from my district recently, I asked about their top priority – it was housing. Is this a typical concern for teenagers? This is where we are today.
Families also need protections now. I am also working to include a policy I filed to create a Massachusetts foreclosure prevention program that would require lenders to engage in conferences with homeowners to review all available prevention options well before an impending foreclosure. Losing a home to foreclosure is devastating for a family, especially when alternatives might have been available but were not explored. This would provide protections for homeowners and go a long way to stopping unnecessary foreclosures.
A crisis of this magnitude requires a number of bold policy ideas. The housing crisis also requires us to work together as communities to support people in need of housing. I look forward to working with constituents to continue to take on the housing crisis in Somerville, Medford and throughout Massachusetts. Christine Barber is state representative for the 34th Middlesex District, which includes Somerville and Medford.

04/12/24

Foreclosures are rising, but it’s not yet alarming Yahoo Finance

Foreclosures are rising, but it’s not yet alarming
The real estate market is experiencing a slight rise in foreclosure activity following an extended period of moratoria that paused any foreclosures during the pandemic. The uptick in foreclosures could signal homeowner distress due to recent difficult economic circumstances but also account for foreclosures that were in the pipeline prior to the pandemic.

04/12/24

‘Zombie second mortgages’ behind Connecticut’s spike in foreclosures in March, expert says Journal Enquirer Ct Insider

‘Zombie second mortgages’ behind Connecticut’s spike in foreclosures in March, expert says
Connecticut saw the second-highest foreclosure rate in the country last month, according to an ATTOM report released this week. ATTOM — a California-based company that curates land, property, and real estate data — released a report showing that Connecticut trailed only Illinois in foreclosure rates. Sarah Porris, a West Hartford-based foreclosure defense attorney, opined that so-called "zombie second mortgages" are a main driver in the foreclosure spike.

04/11/24

VA to offer new loan assistance program for eligible veterans and families to avoid foreclosure KRDO

VA to offer new loan assistance program for eligible veterans and families to avoid foreclosure
COLORADO, USA (KRDO) - Starting next month, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will begin to offer its new Veteran's Affairs Servicing Purchase Program (VASP) to help tens of thousands of veterans avoid foreclosure on their homes. Starting May 31, the VA expects their VASP to be able to assist upwards of 40,000 eligible veterans, active-duty service members, as well as surviving spouses with VA-guaranteed home loans who may be experiencing drastic financial hardship.

04/11/24

The Black Swan Rears Its Head: The Fed Has Negative Capital Using GAAP Accounting Wall Street On Parade

The Black Swan Rears Its Head: The Fed Has Negative Capital Using GAAP Accounting
The Fed’s unprecedented experiments with years of ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy) and QE (Quantitative Easing), where it bought up trillions of dollars of low-yielding U.S. Treasuries and agency Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) and quietly parked them on its balance sheet, are now posing a threat to the Fed’s flexibility in conducting monetary policy. (Since 2008, the Fed’s concept of conducting monetary policy has come to enshrine serial Wall Street mega bank bailouts as a regular part of its monetary policy. Large and growing cash losses at the Fed may seriously crimp such future bailouts.)

04/10/24

U.S. Foreclosure Activity Increases Quarterly in Q1 2024 Attom Data

U.S. Foreclosure Activity Increases Quarterly in Q1 2024
IRVINE, Calif. — April 11, 2024 — ATTOM, a leading curator of land, property, and real estate data, today released its Q1 2024 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows a total of 95,349 U.S. properties with a foreclosure filing during the first quarter of 2024, up 3 percent from the previous quarter but down less than 1 percent from a year ago.
The report also shows a total of 32,878 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in March 2024, down less than 1 percent from the previous month and down 10 percent from a year ago.
“Q1 2024’s foreclosure data reveals a market in transition, with slight increases in filings and starts, alongside a notable decrease in REO properties,” explains Rob Barber, CEO at ATTOM. “While foreclosures remain relatively stable, we’re closely monitoring these trends. Homeowners continue to hold significant equity, contributing to a persistently hot housing market.”
Foreclosure starts increase nationwide A total of 67,657 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in Q1 2024, up 2 percent from the previous quarter and up 4 percent from a year ago.
States that had 100 or more foreclosures starts in Q1 2024 and saw the greatest quarterly increase included, New Hampshire (up 43 percent); Illinois (up 26 percent); Florida (up 22 percent); Rhode Island (up 21 percent); and Nevada (up 16 percent).

04/05/24

Housing Market 2024: 5 States With the Highest Foreclosure Rates Yahoo Finance

Housing Market 2024: 5 States With the Highest Foreclosure Rates
Foreclosure rates are on the rise. As of February, there were nearly 33,000 properties in foreclosure, an 8% increase from the year prior, according to a new report from ATTOM.

04/01/24

Jamie Dimon Huddles in Private with Biden Bigwigs as His Bank Faces More Crime Charges Wall Street On Parade

Jamie Dimon Huddles in Private with Biden Bigwigs as His Bank Faces More Crime Charges
Remember that time in 2016 when Attorney General Loretta Lynch decided she would take a private meeting with Bill Clinton on her plane as it was parked on the tarmac in Phoenix – while his wife, Hillary Clinton, was under federal investigation for using an unsafe private email server at her New York home to receive classified government emails when she was Secretary of State?
What President Biden’s Vice President, Kamala Harris, and his Chief of Staff, Jeff Zients, did in mid-March was equally scandalous. Harris had a “one-on-one lunch at the White House” with Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of the most crime-riddled bank in the United States, JPMorgan Chase. Zients also separately met with Dimon. That reporting comes courtesy of reporters Joshua Franklin and James Politi of the Financial Times (paywall). It has not been disputed by the Biden administration. Dimon’s private meetings in Was

03/27/24

Billionaire Larry Fink of BlackRock, Which Grabbed Fed Bailouts in 2020-2021, Lectures Struggling Seniors on Making More Sacrifices Wall Street On Parade

Billionaire Larry Fink of BlackRock, Which Grabbed Fed Bailouts in 2020-2021, Lectures Struggling Seniors on Making More Sacrifices
Yesterday, billionaire Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of the giant investment manager BlackRock, released his annual letter to shareholders. In it, Fink revives the same ole trope that billionaires Kenneth Langone and Stanley Druckenmiller were taking on a road show in 2013. Back then the billionaire propaganda was called: “Generational Theft: How Entitlement Spending is Stealing Opportunity from America’s Youth.”
Every time there is talk of raising taxes on the super-rich, some of whom pay less in taxes than plumbers and teachers through a tricked-up tax dodge known as “carried interest,” the billionaires launch a concerted effort to scapegoat struggling seniors living on an average monthly Social Security retirement benefit of $1772.51.
The inability of younger Americans to save enough for retirement couldn’t possibly have anything to do with Wall Street gobbling up two-thirds of lifetime retirement savings in fees, as Frontline documented back in 2013. The late John Bogle explained in the program that if a person works for 50 years and receives the typical long-term return of 7 percent on their 401(k) plan and Wall Street’s fees are 2 percent, almost two-thirds of their retirement account will go to Wall Street. Wall Street On Parade checked the math and documented it for our readers.

03/23/24

or How My Blood Pressure Went Through The Roof Glenn Russell

or How My Blood Pressure Went Through The Roof
What I do can in no way compare to the stress that an emergency room doctor experiences, however, that does not lessen the fact that I deal with a very different kind of stress on a daily basis.
Part of the reason for this is that I take each foreclosure case that I defend PERSONALLY, that is as if it were my own residence.
Many law firms sought to take on these cases back circa 2008-2016, and did little more than shuffle the chairs around on the deck of the titanic, with the ship ultimately sinking to the bottom of the ocean.
Indeed, it is true, that the odds of successfully defending these cases is not very high, but this also depends upon the specific objective of the client, and/or their individual definition of the term “success” under their specific circumstances and objectives.

03/26/24

FHFA assisted nearly 44,000 troubled homeowners in Q4 2023 Housing Wire

FHFA assisted nearly 44,000 troubled homeowners in Q4 2023
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 43,903 foreclosure prevention actions in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to a new report published by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

03/26/24

Foreclosure Prevention and Finance Report FHFA

Foreclosure Prevention and Finance Report
Foreclosure Prevention and Finance Report Fourth Quarter 2023

03/22/24

ICE: Mortgage Delinquencies Fell in February as Loan Performance Remained Strong Mortgage Orb

ICE: Mortgage Delinquencies Fell in February as Loan Performance Remained Strong
The U.S. mortgage delinquency rate fell to 3.34% in February, a decrease of 1.29% compared with January and down 3.24% compared with February 2023, according to ICE Mortgage Technology’s First Look report. While the number of borrowers one payment behind rose modestly by 10,000, those 60 days late as well as those 90 or more days past due both fell to their lowest levels in three months. Overall, the report paints a picture of ongoing strong loan performance. About 1.782 million residential properties were delinquent (30 days or more past due but not in foreclosure) in February, a decrease of about 21,000 compared with the previous month and down about 29,000 compared with a year ago.

03/19/24

Alarming Increase In South Carolina Foreclosures Fits News

Alarming Increase In South Carolina Foreclosures
South Carolina had the highest foreclosure rate in America last month, according to ATTOM – one of the nation’s leading sources of land, property and real estate data. The Palmetto State also showed the highest annual increase in foreclosure rates – an alarming uptick of 51 percent which ran “counter to the national trend.” Of interest? Neighboring North Carolina and Georgia showed 52 percent and 34 percent reductions in their annual foreclosure rates last month, ranking No. 1 and No. 3 in the nation, respectively. Things were already looking grim for the Palmetto State on this front. In 2023, South Carolina had the nation’s sixth-worst foreclosure rate – clocking in at 0.38 percent. Its capital city of Columbia also had the nation’s fourth-worst foreclosure rate among municipalities – registering at 0.55 percent. According to ATTOM’s data, there was one foreclosure for every 4,279 housing units nationwide last month. In South Carolina, however, that number climbed to one for every 2,248 housing units. In Columbia, there was one filing for every 1,478 housing units. South Carolina’s capital city had the worst foreclosure rate last month of any metropolitan statistical area in America, according to ATTOM. Spartanburg and Florence ranked third- and fifth-worst, respectively.

03/19/24

During Spring Bank Panic of 2023, Liquidity Advances from FHLBs Topped Those of Q4 2008, when Wall Street Was in Collapse Wall Street On Parade

During Spring Bank Panic of 2023, Liquidity Advances from FHLBs Topped Those of Q4 2008, when Wall Street Was in Collapse
According to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and using a graph from the St. Louis Fed above, the liquidity crisis among banks in the spring of last year was far more dramatic than has been acknowledged by banking regulators.
According to the data, during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression (at the end of the fourth quarter of 2008 when Wall Street was in a state of collapse), banks had borrowed a total of $790 billion in advances from Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBs). But during the bank panic in the spring of last year, those FHLB advances topped the Q4 2008 number, registering $804 billion as of March 31, 2023.

03/13/24

Wall Street Mega Banks Have Drawn a Law-Free Zone Around Themselves – The Media Is Complicit Wall Street On Parade

Wall Street Mega Banks Have Drawn a Law-Free Zone Around Themselves – The Media Is Complicit
From revoking the American people’s right to a jury trial in matters involving Wall Street; to brazenly thumbing their nose at anti-trust law; to trading the stock of their own bank in the darkness of their own dark pools; to forming their own stock exchange; to committing serial felonies without being criminally prosecuted or having their bank charters revoked – Wall Street mega banks have drawn a law-free zone around themselves and are more dangerous today than they have ever been in U.S. history.

03/11/24

U.S. Foreclosure Activity Continues to See an Annual Increase Attom Data

U.S. Foreclosure Activity Continues to See an Annual Increase
ATTOM, a leading curator of land, property, and real estate data, today released its February 2024 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows there were a total of 32,938 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions – down 1 percent from last month but up 8 percent from a year ago. “The annual uptick in U.S. foreclosure activity hints at shifting dynamics within the housing market,” said Rob Barber, CEO at ATTOM. “These trends could signify evolving financial landscapes for homeowners, prompting adjustments in market strategies and lending practices. We continue to closely monitor these trends to comprehend their complete effect on foreclosure activity.” Foreclosure completion numbers decrease annually in 28 states Lenders repossessed 3,397 U.S. properties through completed foreclosures (REOs) in February 2024, down 14 percent from last month and 11 percent from a year ago.

03/11/24

FDIC Data Contradicts Fed Chair Powell: Shows Real Estate Problems Have Skyrocketed at Largest U.S. Banks, Not the Smaller Regionals Wall Street On Parade

FDIC Data Contradicts Fed Chair Powell: Shows Real Estate Problems Have Skyrocketed at Largest U.S. Banks, Not the Smaller Regionals
On Sunday, February 4, the CBS program 60 Minutes aired a taped interview with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The actual interview had occurred three days earlier and was conducted by 60 Minutes interviewer Scott Pelley. Two noteworthy things happened in connection with that interview: First, CBS did not indicate above the transcript of the interview that Powell’s comments had been materially shortened in the program that aired on TV; secondly, Powell calls the real estate problem at the largest banks “manageable” while shifting the more serious real estate loan problem to “smaller and regional banks.”

03/11/24

Hello All Glenn Russell

Hello All
In the course of my occupation as a foreclosure defense attorney, I have truly become to understand the true meaning of being a “counselor” During the past decade and one-half, I have experienced some truly heartbreaking and tragic circumstances related to foreclosure.
Going back to the “Great Recession”. circa 2008 - 2018, I witnessed many unfortunate situations play out, which I know is but a microcosm of the entire universe of devastating events related to foreclosure that play out daily.
The casual observer is usually ready to quip that, “hey the deadbeat isn’t paying the mortgage, so what is the issue?”.
The “issue” is that the financial industry is making trillions off the backs of individuals that probably never should have been approved fopr a loan. The reason these folks were “approved” is due to the “wonderful” concept of “mortgage securitization”.
That is after the mortgage loan is “originated”, the original “lender” sells the right to the payment from the underlying mortgage note out to the “secondary mortgage market.

03/09/24

Another Challenging Week Glenn Russell

Another Challenging Week
However, probably the most excruciating part of the week was the case I argued before the United States District Court for The District of Massachusetts, before the Honorable Judge Young, William G. (“Judge Young”).
Judge Young is actually quite famous as the Judge that heard the infamous New Bedford Masachusetts “Big Dan’s” rape trial involving a horrific incident in 1983. This later became the subject of the 1988 movie “The Accused” starring Jodie Foster.
Those not familiar with the subject of foreclosure, or having only superficial exposure to mortgage foreclosure view the subject superficially as merely a loan that is not being paid, and therefore the “deabeat” must be “kicked to the curb”.
However, in the brave new world of “mortgage securitization”, most times the original lender that the borrower took the loan out from, very quickly (usually within 3 months) “sold” the “loan” into the secondary mortgage market.
A detailed description of the “securitization processs” would be well beyond the limited writing space available here. However, that said, the process involves myultiple transfers (sales) of “the right to payment” from the (Note [“loan”]).
The reason for this is the “securitization” is set up to be “bankruptcy remote”. That is the process wanted to insure the “institutional investors” [end user] purchasers that the stream of payments from the underlying notes would not be affected should one of the links in the chain go bankrupt.
However, the “geniuses” who set up the “securitization paradigm” failed to truly grasp the concept that there are mainly two different types of “mortgage theory” jurisdictions in the United States. These two types of jurisdictions are known as “Lien Theory”, and “Title Theory”. There is also an “Intermediary Theory”, in which 11 States use a “blending” of Lien and Title Theory, see the breakdown here.
A very brief explanation describing these theories is that in a “Title Theory” mortgage jurisdiction when you undertake a mortgage, you actually deed/convey the [defeasible fee] title to your property to the “lender” [to secure the Note], but retain the “right of redemption”, which is that if you pay off the Note, the title to the Property is then conveyed back to you. However, in a “Lien Theory State”, the borrower retains their title, and the lender possesses a lien that can be enforced upon default.

03/07/24

Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s Treasury Secretary/Foreclosure Kingpin, Joins with Hedge Fund Guys to Grab a Teetering, Federally-Insured Bank for $2 a Share Wall Street On Parade

Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s Treasury Secretary/Foreclosure Kingpin, Joins with Hedge Fund Guys to Grab a Teetering, Federally-Insured Bank for $2 a Share
Former Trump Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has teamed up with his pals from his days as a foreclosure kingpin at OneWest and assorted hedge funds/private equity guys, to pull a coup d’etat at the teetering New York Community Bancorp (NYCB), parent of Flagstar Bank.

03/07/24

Senator Elizabeth Warren Calls Fed Chair Powell “Weak-Kneed”; Says He Is “Driving Efforts Inside the Fed” to Gut Higher Capital Requirements Wall Street On Parade

Senator Elizabeth Warren Calls Fed Chair Powell “Weak-Kneed”; Says He Is “Driving Efforts Inside the Fed” to Gut Higher Capital Requirements
Engaged Americans are watching in real time a replay of how Wall Street mega banks in 2008 created the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression, then used their campaign money and lobbying clout to intimidate Congress and the Obama administration into passing the pathetically watered down financial “reform” legislation known as Dodd-Frank in 2010. The Fed has been bailing out the mega banks’ excesses and casino style of banking ever since. The same dynamic is playing out today with the proposal by three federal banking regulators (the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve) to strengthen the capital requirements on the 37 largest banks in the U.S. – less than one percent of all banks in the U.S. For important background on the capital proposal, see our reports below:

03/06/24

Wall Street Mega Banks Have Created a Circular Firing Squad with Credit Derivatives and Capital Relief Trades – with the Fed’s Blessing Wall Street On Parade

Wall Street Mega Banks Have Created a Circular Firing Squad with Credit Derivatives and Capital Relief Trades – with the Fed’s Blessing
On June 11, 2015, the Office of Financial Research (OFR) released a sobering report on how banks were reducing their requirements to hold adequate capital against potential losses by engaging in non-transparent “capital relief trades” with potentially questionable counterparties. The OFR researchers summarized the problem as follows: “Capital relief transactions may have benefits to banks. But, even if real risk transfer is involved, these transactions can pose financial stability concerns by increasing interconnectedness, transforming credit risk into counterparty risk, and obscuring capital adequacy to investors and counterparties. And while bank supervisors have extensive data about banks, they may have less information about the nonbanks who are selling credit risk to those banks and ultimately bearing the risk of loss.”

03/02/24

What Is a Mortgage Servicer, and How Do You Avoid a Shady One? NY Times

What Is a Mortgage Servicer, and How Do You Avoid a Shady One?
Your mortgage lender can sell the servicing of your loan to a different company. You can’t stop that, but you can protect yourself.
Q: Here at Ask Real Estate, we recently received a reader’s question about poor treatment by mortgage servicers. Many first-time home buyers don’t realize that the lender that approves their mortgage could turn around and sell the servicing rights to a company they’ve never heard of. Now the homeowner might have to deal with a mortgage servicer that has bad customer service, charges late fees when it shouldn’t, or makes needless demands on borrowers. How can you protect yourself from having to do business with a bad mortgage servicer?
A: A mortgage lender is a company that loans you money, but it isn’t necessarily the one that manages your loan. That’s a mortgage servicer, and unfortunately, you cannot choose your servicer. They’re responsible for sending statements, accepting payments and managing escrow accounts. They also charges various fees, many of which they keep, and can initiate foreclosure. Loan servicing can always be sold.
“There is no incentive for good customer service,” said Sarah B. Mancini, co-director of advocacy at the National Consumer Law Center.

03/01/24

Mortgage Delinquencies Edged Up Slightly in December But Remain at Historical Lows Mortggage Orb

Mortgage Delinquencies Edged Up Slightly in December But Remain at Historical Lows
The national mortgage delinquency rate increased to 3.1% in December, an increase of 0.2 percentage points compared with November and an increase of 0.1 percentage points compared with December 2022, according to CoreLogic’s Loan Performance Insights Report. Seventeen states posted annual overall mortgage delinquency increases, led by Louisiana (up by 0.4 percentage points) and Hawaii (up by 0.3 percentage points). The U.S. foreclosure rate remained at 0.3% for the 22nd consecutive month.

02/22/24

These Charts Reveal Why the Fed Is Frightened about Capital Levels at the Wall Street Mega Banks Wall Street On Parade

These Charts Reveal Why the Fed Is Frightened about Capital Levels at the Wall Street Mega Banks
According to Federal Reserve data dating back to July 3, 1985 – a span of close to 39 years – there has not been a time when the largest 25 banks were bleeding deposits on the scale that has been happening for the past 22 months. There has also never been a time comparable to the last 22 months when the largest 25 banks were bleeding deposits while the smaller banks were growing deposits. (See the chart above.) To get our minds around today’s situation, we made another chart using Federal Reserve data dating back to 1998 – the year before the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed. It shows that the ratio of deposits of the 25 largest banks to the smaller banks stood at 3 times in 1998 and has shrunk to its lowest level of 2.03 times as of February 7 of this year.

02/22/24

U.S. Commercial Foreclosures Increase in January 2024 Attom

U.S. Commercial Foreclosures Increase in January 2024
IRVINE, Calif. — February 22, 2024 — ATTOM, a leading curator of land, property, and real estate data, today released a special report on U.S. Commercial Foreclosures. The report reveals a significant climb in commercial foreclosures over the years, from a low of 141 in May 2020 to the current figure of 635 in January 2024. This represents a steady increase throughout the period.

02/17/24

Thousands of vets fell victim to a bait-and-switch...by the VA? Lawmakers want a fix NPR

Thousands of vets fell victim to a bait-and-switch...by the VA? Lawmakers want a fix
Lawmakers summoned the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs' loan program, John Bell, to Capitol Hill this week and asked him to explain how the VA is going to fix a debacle that's left many vets in danger of losing their homes. His answer: They don't know yet. "We are looking for a solution to be able to help 40,000 borrowers stave off foreclosure," Bell told them. The VA has been scrambling since an NPR investigation revealed that it pulled the plug on a key program while thousands of vets were still in the middle of it – effectively turning a well-meaning pandemic aid effort into a bait-and-switch trap for homeowners. At issue is what's called a COVID mortgage forbearance. Set up by Congress after the pandemic hit to help people who lost income, it gave homeowners with federally backed loans a sanctioned way to skip mortgage payments. The missed payments would get moved to the back of the loan term so when homeowners got back on their feet they could just resume their normal payments. But in October 2022, the VA abruptly ended a crucial part of its forbearance program, stranding tens of thousands of vets who were told they now needed to come up with all the missed payments at once.

02/15/24

2023 Year in Review: Mortgage Origination and Servicing Goodwin Law

2023 Year in Review: Mortgage Origination and Servicing
Looking Ahead to 2024 Enforcement efforts are expected to increase in 2024 and will likely reflect anticipated industry growth (e.g., total mortgage origination volume is expected to increase to $1.95 trillion in 2024 from the $1.64 trillion expected in 2023). The CFPB will likely focus its efforts on RESPA violations, force-placed insurance, and time-barred loans.
Key Trends From 2023

02/13/24

Five Wall Street Banks Hold $223 Trillion in Derivatives — 83 Percent of All Derivatives at 4,600 Banks Wall Street On Parade

Five Wall Street Banks Hold $223 Trillion in Derivatives — 83 Percent of All Derivatives at 4,600 Banks
According to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), derivatives played a major role in the financial crash of 2007 to 2010 in the United States, the worst financial crisis in the U.S. since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The FCIC wrote in its final report: “…the existence of millions of derivatives contracts of all types between systemically important financial institutions — unseen and unknown in this unregulated market — added to uncertainty and escalated panic….”
Americans believed that the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010 would fulfill its promise of reining in concentrated risks like derivatives. It did not. (See our report from 2015: President Has His Facts Seriously Wrong on Financial Reform.)

02/08/24

CFPB Secures $12 Million From Ringleaders of Foreclosure Relief Scam CFPB

CFPB Secures $12 Million From Ringleaders of Foreclosure Relief Scam
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today announced that it resolved an appeal in a long-running enforcement suit against a foreclosure relief scam operation for $12 million in consumer redress and penalties. Consumer First Legal Group, LLC and four attorneys, Thomas G. Macey, Jeffrey J. Aleman, Jason Searns, and Harold E. Stafford, charged millions of dollars in illegal advance fees to financially-distressed homeowners for legal representation the defendants promised but did not provide.

02/08/24

S&P 500 Sets a Record on Wednesday as Banks Continue Tanking Wall Street On Parade

S&P 500 Sets a Record on Wednesday as Banks Continue Tanking
The S&P 500 closed at a record of 4995.06 yesterday while banks – big, medium, and small – continued to see their share prices hammered. And while the media is focusing the public’s attention on the share price collapse of New York Community Bancorp, which as of yesterday’s closing price is down 56 percent year-to-date and had its credit rating downgraded to junk by Moody’s on Tuesday evening, numerous other banks are trading at their lowest levels in two years.

02/07/24

NYCB Downgraded to Junk; Shocking Charts for Citigroup, Barclays and Deutsche Bank Wall Street On Parade

NYCB Downgraded to Junk; Shocking Charts for Citigroup, Barclays and Deutsche Bank
New York Community Bancorp (NYCB) closed out 2023 with a share price of $10.23. At the closing bell yesterday, its share price was $4.20 – a year-to-date decline of 59 percent. More pain is expected today as the credit rating agency, Moody’s, cut the regional bank’s credit rating two notches to junk after the market closed yesterday.

02/07/24

Here Come the HELOCs: Mortgage Balances, Delinquencies, and Foreclosures Wolfstreet

Here Come the HELOCs: Mortgage Balances, Delinquencies, and Foreclosures
Mortgage balances outstanding ticked up by 0.9% in Q4 from Q3, to a record of $12.3 trillion. Year-over-year, the increase was only 2.8%, according to data from the New York Fed’s Household Debt and Credit Report. This small increase in mortgage balances is the result of a strange mix: Purchases of existing homes have plunged by one-third, and mortgage origination volume has collapsed, with existing home prices still sky high; but new house sales have held up, as prices have dropped 17%. And homeowners with these infamous 3% mortgages are not selling, and they’re not buying, and so they’re not paying off their 3% mortgages, and they’re not getting bigger new mortgages.

02/01/24

Lawmakers move to help veterans at risk of losing their homes NPR

Lawmakers move to help veterans at risk of losing their homes
The chairmen of the U.S. Senate's Banking and Veterans Affairs committees introduced a bill Thursday to help veterans at risk of losing their homes because of a COVID-assistance program that the VA ended abruptly in 2022. The bill, which they call the "Veterans Housing Stability Act," would let the Department of Veterans Affairs restart the program, which thousands of veterans used to skip mortgage payments when they faced pandemic-related financial problems. "Our veterans earned their home loan guarantee benefit, and they deserve a viable option to get back on track with payments and keep their homes," said Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat and chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee. He sponsored the bill along with Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat who heads the Banking Committee.

02/01/24

Lawmakers move to help veterans at risk of losing their homes NPR

Lawmakers move to help veterans at risk of losing their homes
The chairmen of the U.S. Senate's Banking and Veterans Affairs committees introduced a bill Thursday to help veterans at risk of losing their homes because of a COVID-assistance program that the VA ended abruptly in 2022. The bill, which they call the "Veterans Housing Stability Act," would let the Department of Veterans Affairs restart the program, which thousands of veterans used to skip mortgage payments when they faced pandemic-related financial problems. "Our veterans earned their home loan guarantee benefit, and they deserve a viable option to get back on track with payments and keep their homes," said Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat and chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee. He sponsored the bill along with Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat who heads the Banking Committee.

02/01/24

Victim of ‘foreclosure rescue scam’ wins $2.75M judgment Mass Lawyers Weekly

Victim of ‘foreclosure rescue scam’ wins $2.75M judgment
Christopher St. Louis seized a lifeline he thought would save his home in Dorchester. Instead, he lost nearly everything he owned. But a $2.75 million judgment entered last month in Suffolk Superior Court will go a long way toward making things right for the former homeowner now forced to live in a Boston apartment. On. Jan. 22, Judge Peter B. Krupp entered final judgment in St. Louis’ lawsuit against Stoughton real estate agents Mitra Ghobadi and Richard Fitzgerald. A jury found Ghobadi liable for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and civil conspiracy. Fitzgerald — who’s Ghobadi’s husband — was found liable for fraud and conspiracy. St. Louis was awarded $1 million in damages against Ghobadi and $500,000 against Fitzgerald. Krupp’s final judgment tacked on an additional $1,249,048 in prejudgment interest and $290 in costs. Nicole M. BluefortSt. Louis has Lynn attorney Nicole M. Bluefort to thank.

01/25/24

The Battle Over Capital at the Mega Banks Must Expand to Breaking Them Up Wall Street On Parade

The Battle Over Capital at the Mega Banks Must Expand to Breaking Them Up
Last Thursday, 12 Democrats in the U.S. Senate sent a deeply insightful letter on a subject most Americans have never discussed around their kitchen table: adequate capital levels at the Wall Street mega banks that came close to bringing down the U.S. financial system in 2008. Before that financial crisis was over – the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s – millions of hardworking Americans had lost their jobs and millions more had their homes taken in foreclosure.
If the U.S. is going to avoid a replay of that crisis, Americans are going to have to start having these critical conversations about the structure of Wall Street mega banks around the kitchen table. Americans are going to have to start engaging in the battle to shape the future of American democracy and more equitable wealth distribution, which requires dramatic reform of the mega banks on Wall Street.

01/25/24

Snapshot: Mortgage Delinquencies Rise, Foreclosures Fall DS News

Snapshot: Mortgage Delinquencies Rise, Foreclosures Fall
The calendar year 2023 ended on a Sunday, which played a part in affecting payment processing, meaning the national delinquency rate hit 3.57%, up 19 basis points from November. This information comes to us through the ICE Mortgage Technology’s First Look at mortgage performance for the month, a month-end mortgage performance statistics report derived from its loan-level database representing the majority of the national mortgage market. According to ICE, delinquencies were up moderately across the board, as inflows and rolls to later stages of delinquency rose, while cures from both early- and late-stage delinquency improved. Serious delinquencies (90+ days past due) rose to 475K, but were still 19% (-108K) below where they were they ended December 2022

01/23/24

Naming Names: Professor Exposes the Banking Cartel that Has Hijacked U.S. Democracy Wall Street On Parade

Naming Names: Professor Exposes the Banking Cartel that Has Hijacked U.S. Democracy
Gerald Epstein is Professor of Economics and a Founding Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. A book he has spent the past decade researching and writing comes out today from the University of California Press: Busting the Bankers’ Club: Finance for the Rest of Us.
Anticipation of this book’s release has caused some sweaty brows in the halls of Congress, on Wall Street, at Big Law, and in the economics community. That’s because Epstein is naming names – the names of the people who have sold out American democracy and the public interest by becoming sycophants for, or actual members of, the Bankers’ Club.

01/19/24

Maine high court ruling corrects foreclosure loophole; critics say it weakens homeowner protections Portland Press Herald

Maine high court ruling corrects foreclosure loophole; critics say it weakens homeowner protections
Previously, if a lender made a mistake when sending a default letter to a borrower, the mortgage was deemed unenforceable, leaving the borrower with a free house.
Maine’s highest court last week turned the state’s foreclosure law upside-down with a decision it says corrects a “draconian” rule that likens courts to casinos by handing out free houses. But foreclosure defense attorneys say the ruling weakens one of the few protections in place for homeowners facing foreclosure and threatens the standing of other precedent-setting cases.

01/19/24

Amid Collapsed Demand for Existing Homes, Prices Drop Further, Supply Highest for any December since 2018, New Listings Come out of the Woodwork Wolf Street

Amid Collapsed Demand for Existing Homes, Prices Drop Further, Supply Highest for any December since 2018, New Listings Come out of the Woodwork
Housing market is frozen, people have gone on buyers’ strike, sellers are hoping that this too shall pass. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. The median price of existing single-family houses, condos, and co-ops in the US whose sales closed in December dropped to $382,600, down by 7.5% from the peak in June 2022, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) today. This puts 2023 on record as the first year since the Housing Bust when the seasonal high in June was below the seasonal high (and all-time high) a year earlier. Given the price surge in the spring 2023, the median price was 4.4% higher than in December a year ago. In another unusual development, prices have dropped every month since June – it’s unusual because seasonally, before the pandemic, there were upticks and flat spots in October through December periods, the little hooks in the chart (circled). There were no such upticks or flat spots in 2022 and 2023, prices fell right through that October-December period (historic data via YCharts):

01/18/24

Zillow Just Released Its Housing Predictions for 2024—and It Changes Everything House Beautiful

Zillow Just Released Its Housing Predictions for 2024—and It Changes Everything
The new year and fresh beginnings go together like a rustic farmhouse and shiplap. (Sure, they can exist on their own, but do they ever really?) If you want to bring that "new year, new you" sentiment to your real-estate portfolio, Zillow thinks you should pack your bags and relocate to Buffalo, New York. The platform just released its list of 10 hottest housing markets for 2024, and the company sidestepped popular metropolises like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago for smaller, less buzzy cities.

01/17/24

Everything that’s Dangerous about U.S. Banks Today in One Highly Readable Book Wall Street On Parade

Everything that’s Dangerous about U.S. Banks Today in One Highly Readable Book
Anat Admati, Professor of Finance and Economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and German economist Martin Hellwig, have performed a public service to all Americans with their newly released, updated and expanded book The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It. It puts the interlocking web of corruption that is mistakenly referred to as the U.S. banking system into a pristinely documented and highly readable book.

01/17/24

Massachusetts sees "staggering" drop in home sales CBS News

Massachusetts sees "staggering" drop in home sales
BOSTON - Home sales were way down in Massachusetts in 2023, according to numbers shared by real estate data provider The Warren Group on Tuesday. There were 40,828 single-family home sales in the state last year, down from 52,639 in 2022. That's a 22.4% drop and the lowest number of sales since 2011.

01/16/24

Predatory lending addressed at Springfield press conference Mass Live

Predatory lending addressed at Springfield press conference
Predatory Lending practices Grace Ross, Coordinator at Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending, speaks during a press conference at ARISE offices in Springfield called to discuss predatory mortgage lending practices. In the backround is Alton King of Longmeadow whose home was foreclosed. (Don Treeger / The Republican)
Gary Yard of West Springfield speaks during a press conference at ARISE offices in Springfield called to discuss predatory mortgage lending practices. Grace Ross, Coordinator at Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending is on the right and in the backround is Alton King of Longmeadow whose home was also foreclosed (Don Treeger / The Republican) 1/16/2024

01/16/24

Americans Are Losing Their Homes Newsweek

Americans Are Losing Their Homes
Foreclosures ticked up last year in what experts said was a housing market correction after years of volatility following the outbreak of COVID-19, according to the real estate data analysis firm ATTOM. Foreclosure filings last year, including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, jumped 10 percent compared to 2022 and were up 136 percent from 2021. But they were down nearly 30 percent compared to 2019, the year before COVID disrupted the housing market.

01/16/24

Ginnie Mae Planning New Reverse MBS DS News

Ginnie Mae Planning New Reverse MBS
Ginnie Mae has announced that it is exploring the development of a new securitization product as part of its effort to enhance and expand its existing Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) mortgage-backed securities (HMBS) program. In light of continued liquidity constraints in the reverse mortgage sector, Ginnie Mae is exploring the viability of a new securitization product that would accept HECM loans with balances above 98% of FHA’s Maximum Claim Amount (MCA). This new product will not change the requirements for the existing HMBS program, where HECM loans with balances at or above 98% MCA are required to be bought out of HMBS.

01/16/24

Group asking state’s highest court to end predatory lending practices Western Mass News

Group asking state’s highest court to end predatory lending practices
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - An effort to end predatory lending practices is calling on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to step in. It was an emotional morning Tuesday for members of the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending. Their initiative is to stop the historic rate of foreclosures across the commonwealth and demand the state’s Supreme Judicial Court to outlaw discriminatory practices of lenders and financial institutions. Coordinator Grace Ross told Western Mass News that this a crisis that has been happening for a very long time.

01/09/24

Out Today: A Deep Dive into the Dark Side of Banking and Its Handmaiden, Central Banks Wall Street On Parade

Out Today: A Deep Dive into the Dark Side of Banking and Its Handmaiden, Central Banks
Last September, speaking at a conference sponsored by the nonprofit watchdog, Better Markets, to examine if “too big to fail” banks had materially changed in the fifteen years since the 2008 financial collapse, Anat Admati, Professor of Finance and Economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business, offered her assessment of the U.S. banking system: “Corruption has become the system.” Today, Admati’s celebrated 2013 book, The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It, co-authored with German economist Martin Hellwig, is being released in an expanded new edition. It is a must read for every American who is bold enough to remove their media tinted, rose-colored glasses and take a hard look at how the U.S. banking system got into the mess it’s in today.

01/07/24

U.S. Money Supply Hasn't Done This Since the Great Depression, and It Usually Signals a Big Move to Come in Stocks The Motley Fool

U.S. Money Supply Hasn't Done This Since the Great Depression, and It Usually Signals a Big Move to Come in Stocks
KEY POINTS Sizable dips in M2 money supply have occurred only five times in 154 years. The prior four instances were accompanied by deflationary recessions and a steep rise in unemployment. On top of M2 declining, banks are notably tightening their lending standards. Investor perspective changes everything on Wall Street. Motley Fool Issues Rare “All In” Buy Alert For the first time in nine decades, M2 money supply is meaningfully declining. Over multiple decades, Wall Street is a surefire wealth creator. When compared to the annualized returns of housing, gold, oil, and even bonds, the stock market easily has these asset classes beat over long periods. But things get a bit dicey when the lens is narrowed and investors examine the performance of the broader market over a couple of years or a few months. Since this decade began, the ageless Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.07%), benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC 0.18%), and growth-driven Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 0.09%) have alternated between bear and bull markets in successive years. This volatility has investors wondering what's next for the stock market.

01/04/24

Bill Dudley, Former Kingpin of Darkness at the New York Fed, Now Urges Transparency at the Fed Wall Street On Parade

Bill Dudley, Former Kingpin of Darkness at the New York Fed, Now Urges Transparency at the Fed
William (Bill) Dudley served as President of the New York Fed from 2009 to 2018. (He was previously an executive at Goldman Sachs.) During Dudley’s tenure at the New York Fed, it secretly oversaw the largest and darkest bailout of Wall Street mega banks in global banking history. A Bloomberg News reporter, the late Mark Pittman, battled in court for years to get the details of those bailouts released to the public. Today, the former kingpin of darkness at the New York Fed, Bill Dudley, had the audacity to pen an opinion column for Bloomberg News, urging – wait for it – more transparency at the Fed.

01/02/24

Federal Agency Study Contradicts Fed Chair: Finds Banking System Is Ripe for Another Crisis and Remains “Fragile and Uncertain” Wall Street On Parade

Federal Agency Study Contradicts Fed Chair: Finds Banking System Is Ripe for Another Crisis and Remains “Fragile and Uncertain”
Following the second, third and fourth largest bank failures in U.S. history in the spring of last year, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell gave his semiannual monetary policy report to the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee in June. During both appearances, Powell stated the same thing: “The U.S. banking system is sound and resilient.” But according to a report last week from the federal agency whose mandate is to keep federal regulators apprised of the true condition of the U.S. banking system, it is actually ripe for another crisis and its condition is “fragile and uncertain.”

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