Unsealed court-settlement documents reveal banks stole $trillions’ worth of houses


Wow!  Is this the way Banks do business with Homeowners here in the United States?  I’m learning more and more about the mortgage banks and the different illegal activities they engage in.

Ed Reidhead

 

Unsealed court-settlement documents reveal banks stole $trillions’ worth of houses

Cory Doctorow at 8:46 am Mon, Aug 12, 2013
 
Back in 2012, the major US banks settled a federal mortgage-fraud lawsuit for $95,000,000. The suit was filed by Lynn Szymoniak, a white-collar fraud specialist, whose own house had been fraudulently foreclosed-upon. 

When the feds settled with the banks, the evidence detailing the scope of their fraud was sealed, but as of last week, those docs are unsealed, and Szymoniak is shouting them from the hills. The banks precipitated the subprime crash by “securitizing” mortgages — turning mortgages into bonds that could be sold to people looking for investment income — and the securitization process involved transferring title for homes several times over. This title-transfer has a formal legal procedure, and in the absence of that procedure, no sale had taken place. See where this is going?
The banks screwed up the title transfers. A lot. They sold bonds backed by houses they didn’t own. When it came time to foreclose on those homes, they realized that they didn’t actually own them, and so they committed felony after felony, forging the necessary documentation. They stole houses, by the neighborhood-load, and got away with it. The $1B settlement sounded like a big deal, back when the evidence was sealed. Now that Szymoniak’s gotten it into the public eye, it’s clear that $1B was a tiny slap on the wrist: the banks stole trillions of dollars’ worth of houses from you and people like you, paid less than one percent in fines, and got to keep the homes.
Now that it’s unsealed, Szymoniak, as the named plaintiff, can go forward and prove the case. Along with her legal team (which includes the law firm of Grant & Eisenhoffer, which has recovered more money under the False Claims Act than any firm in the country), Szymoniak can pursue discovery and go to trial against the rest of the named defendants, including HSBC, the Bank of New York Mellon, Deutsche Bank and US Bank.
The expenses of the case, previously borne by the government, now are borne by Szymoniak and her team, but the percentages of recovery funds are also higher. “I’m really glad I was part of collecting this money for the government, and I’m looking forward to going through discovery and collecting the rest of it,” Szymoniak told Salon.
It’s good that the case remains active, because the $95 million settlement was a pittance compared to the enormity of the crime. By the end of 2009, private mortgage-backed securities trusts held one-third of all residential mortgages in the U.S. That means that tens of millions of home mortgages worth trillions of dollars have no legitimate underlying owner that can establish the right to foreclose.

This hasn’t stopped banks from foreclosing anyway with false documents, and they are often successful, a testament to the breakdown of law in the judicial system. But to this day, the resulting chaos in disentangling ownership harms homeowners trying to sell these properties, as well as those trying to purchase them. And it renders some properties impossible to sell.

To this day, banks foreclose on borrowers using fraudulent mortgage assignments, a legacy of failing to prosecute this conduct and instead letting banks pay a fine to settle it. This disappoints Szymoniak, who told Salon the owner of these loans is now essentially “whoever lies the most convincingly and whoever gets the benefit of doubt from the judge.” Szymoniak used her share of the settlement to start the Housing Justice Foundation, a non-profit that attempts to raise awareness of the continuing corruption of the nation’s courts and land title system.

SOURCE: BoingBoing

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US govt sues Bank of America for defrauding investors prior to housing crash


US govt sues Bank of America for defrauding investors prior to housing crash

Hello Everyone!

Well, when the Bank of America is sued by both the US Security Exchange Commission (SEC) and Justice Department…  Please share any feelings you have about a pillar of Wall Street and US Banking being sued for “defrauding investors by massively underestimating the quality of mortgage-backed securities prior to the 2008 housing market crash and US recession.”

Enjoy,  Ed Reidhead

US govt sues Bank of America for defrauding investors prior to housing crash

The US government has filed two lawsuits against Bank of America accusing the company of defrauding investors by massively underestimating the quality of mortgage-backed securities prior to the 2008 housing market crash and US recession.

The US Security Exchange Commission (SEC) and Justice Department each filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday, accusing Bank of America of knowingly minimizing the risk associated with $850 million worth of securities backed by residential mortgages.

I applaud Attorney General Holder for taking this important step toward holding Bank of America accountable for packaging and selling toxic loans to investors and brokers, a key cause of the housing collapse that crashed our economy and still plagues communities to this day,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneidermann said in a statement.

US President Barack Obama has promised to hold Wall Street accountable for corruption and malfeasance which took place during the housing boom. Attorney General Eric Holder said the lawsuit is “the latest step forward in the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts to hold accountable those who engage in fraudulent or irresponsible conduct.”

Bank of America said it was expecting the lawsuit in a corporate filing last week, according to The New York Times.

The Justice Department lawsuit claims an “unprecedented portion” of the mortgages originated with brokers unaffiliated with the bank. Then-CEO Ken Lewis, the suit says, referred to the so-called wholesale loans as “toxic waste.”

Prosecutors say that while Bank of America assembled securities in 2008, employees were pressured to process as many mortgage evaluations as possible in order to maximize profits. More than 40 per cent of the mortgages did not meet the underwriting qualifications and were summarily ignored.

According to the lawsuit, one employee said her job was to “basically validate the loans” instead of reviewing them to find any potential flaws. Upon raising the issue with her superiors, she was told to “keep her opinions to herself,” prosecutors said.

The two suits accuse Bank of America – which has over 260,000 employees across the world – of lying to investors and failing to disclose essential information. A Justice Department statement declared that a “material number” of mortgages “failed to materially adhere to Bank of America’s underwriting standards.”

Bank of America stock shares fell by one per cent after the news broke, but have increased by 97 per cent over the past year. In a statement released Tuesday, the company denied the transactions were tainted in any way.

These were prime mortgages sold to sophisticated investors who had ample access to the underlying data, and we will demonstrate that,” the statement said.

The loans in this pool performed better than loans with similar characteristics originated and securitized at the same time by other financial institutions. We are not responsible for the housing market collapse that caused mortgage loans to default at unprecedented rates and these securities to lose value as a result.”

Foreclosed Homeowners Got $300, Bank’s Consultants Got $2 Billion By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone


This blog post on Jean’s blog lays out some of the systematic fraud in the Banking Industry. It is very interesting how the regulators of the Banking Industry here in the US appear to be in collaboration with the Banks they regulate. I have a feeling that this is one of the most inportant topics of our time and these activities could have their own blog. Perhaps, coming soon to a browser near you…
Ed

2012: What's the 'real' truth?

Senator Elizabeth Warren has been fighting to hold Wall Street accountable. (photo: Andrew Harrer/Getty)
Senator Elizabeth Warren has been fighting to hold Wall Street accountable. (photo: Andrew Harrer/Getty)

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Source: Reader Supported News

29 April 13

he obscene greed-and-arrogance stories emanating from Wall Street are piling up so fast, it’s getting hard to keep up. This one is from last week, but I missed it – it’s about theforeclosure/robo-signing settlement that was concluded earlier this year.

The upshot of this story is that in advance of that notorious settlement, the government ordered banks to hire “independent” consultants to examine their loan files to see just exactly how corrupt they were.

Now it comes out that not only were these consultants not so independent, not only did they very likely skew the numbers seriously in favor of the banks, and not only were these few consultants paid over $2 billion (over 20 percent of the entire settlement amount) while the average homeowner only received $300…

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What Lies In Your Debt?® It PAYS To Know!


What Lies In Your Debt?

 

This information is to present options to people that are faced with debt.  Enjoy,  Ed

 

Drowning In Credit Card Debt….               Relax!

Well you can stress out trying to find a way to make the minimum payments every month or you can get them to pay you. The facts are simple; you will never pay off credit card debt while making minimum payments!

 

www.whatliesinyourmortgage.com/

Most people out there offer what is normally called a “Mortgage Audit”.  Most of these types of audits are just a waste of money and time with most allowing you to pick a few TILA or RESPA violations that will put a few thousand dollars in your pocket (if you actually prosecute) but do nothing for you in the way of defending your property from the banksters.  At best there is not much you can do with one of these types’ audits to stop or slow down your foreclosure.

The differences between a Securitization Audit versus a Mortgage Audit are vastly different….

Unlike a Mortgage Audit which seeks to find TILA and RESPA violations, a Securitization Audit looks through filings that are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and filed into the public record. It’s meant to follow the chain of title and it makes sure that the transfers as required by the PSA (Pooling and Servicing Agreement) were done and if not, then the plaintiff might have no right to foreclose.

By auditing these filings we can find whether the security was dissolved, the closing dates of the trust, and if the assets to the distributed to the certificate holders and the Trustee no longer has any authority to pursue foreclosure.  All of this can help you win your case.

If you have an alphabet soup plaintiff such as U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION AS TRUSEE FOR MARM 2006-O-A2 then without a doubt your mortgage has been securitized.

If that is the case then you more than likely have a great chance that your mortgage was bifurcated (separated) from your note. This will cause your mortgage to be an “unsecured mortgage”, meaning the lien on your home will no longer be secured by you’re the mortgage and your mortgage now becomes an unsecured debt such as a credit card would be.

A securitization audit will find the chain of title to the trust and whether the Trustee still has any authority to foreclose.

Will I benefit if I have already been foreclosed?

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