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What It's Like to Fail.

Twenty-five years ago, David Raether was a successful comedy writer -- a member of the writing staff of Roseanne. Five years ago, he was homeless. This is his story.
posted by workingdankoch on Nov 18, 2013 - 92 comments

A housing liberation movement is brewing in Chicago

The idea is simple: Tens of thousands — possibly hundreds of thousands — of vacant, bank-owned homes are a large part of what is making the poorest neighborhoods of Chicago into semi-forsaken tracts ridden with crime and blight. So why not use them to house the homeless? [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Jun 1, 2013 - 59 comments

The Weeklies

“My husband and I, our parents wanted better for us than what they had,” Bonnie says. “And it’s gone backwards.” [more inside]
posted by threeants on Apr 28, 2013 - 92 comments

"I couldn't afford for Carpentersville to become Detroit"

Tom Roeser was unhappy about the decline of his town, Carpentersville, IL. So he decided to do something about it. Roeser bought some foreclosed properties, renovated them, and then rented them out for below market value.
posted by reenum on Apr 2, 2013 - 56 comments

Houses from beyond the grave.

The latest foreclosure horror: the zombie title
The Kellers are caught up in a little-known horror of the U.S. housing bust: the zombie title. Six years in, thousands of homeowners are finding themselves legally liable for houses they didn't know they still owned after banks decided it wasn't worth their while to complete foreclosures on them. With impunity, banks have been walking away from foreclosures much the way some homeowners walked away from their mortgages when the housing market first crashed.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 11, 2013 - 36 comments

Faster, Stronger, Deeper in Debt

Our proud Olympians and their broke families
posted by Renoroc on Aug 8, 2012 - 52 comments

Suit against banks

Massachusetts AG Sues 5 Biggest Banks The first suit by a state attorney general to address the robosigning allegations of last fall, the suit may signal the failure of the talks among the 50 state attorney's general, federal regulators, and the big banks. (Previously). The most interesting aspects of the suit may be its allegations about mortgage modifications, however, which are new. (Attorney General's full complaint here.) [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Dec 1, 2011 - 94 comments

My job is to watch dreams die

My job is to watch dreams die.
posted by simonw on Sep 4, 2011 - 54 comments

Too big to fail...too big to sue?

TARP is winding down...bring on the lawsuits. Within the next week, the US government is set to sue a dozen banks for billions in losses caused by those banks' misrepresenting the risks of mortgage-backed securities. This is in addition to numerous State Attorneys General suing the banks for failing to reach an agreement in foreclosure abuses. Insurance giant AIG will also be suing BofA to recoup losses over the mortgage bonds. BofA had also agreed to a settlement of $8.5 billion to cover losses from soured mortgage debt issued through Countrywide. Deutsche Bank is suing WaMu. Goldman Sachs already settled with the SEC for $500 million for their fraud and have been sued by othersseeking to recover losses. [more inside]
posted by darkstar on Sep 1, 2011 - 56 comments

Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law

After researching Texas's unusually generous adverse possession laws, Kenneth Robinson filed a $16 Affadavit of Adverse Possession and moved into a home in Flower Mound, TX worth an estimated $300,000. [more inside]
posted by KathrynT on Jul 22, 2011 - 130 comments

Sweet, sweet payback

Homeowners foreclose on Bank of America. (Not an Onion story.) A Florida couple watches as their lawyer and sheriff's deputies foreclose on a Bank of America branch that had refused to pay the couple damages for wrongfully seizing their home.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Jun 3, 2011 - 59 comments

Iowa loophole voids mortgage

Matt and Jamie Danielson, with the aid of their bankruptcy attorney, were able to use a little known loophole in the Iowa law to void their mortgage and own their house outright after making just one payment. However, further investigation has uncovered some unsavory events in the couple's past.
posted by reenum on Apr 21, 2011 - 60 comments

Not the insurance you're looking for

Bank of America has allegedly engaged in mortgage fraud, according to an Anonymous website. The first batch of leaked emails appear to show that bank employees were trying to hide documents from regulators. The emails are put into context on the website Seeking Alpha which explains that they refer to the use of force-placed insurance to increase mortgage servicers' profits through kickbacks from insurers - a practice which has just been forbidden under a settlement imposed by the US' states attorneys general. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Mar 15, 2011 - 93 comments

They're Getting Away With It

Remember that whole thing last fall where the banks got caught lying in court while trying to foreclose? And the attorneys general of all 50 states got all pissy? Well, on the quiet, ever since then….in some states it seems like the banks have quietly stopped foreclosing. Even though they said this was all sorted out back in October. In state courts across the land, legal troubles for the banks are mounting --- most especially, with regards to the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, or MERS, which maybe kinda sorta hopelessly FUBARs 400 years worth of property law. But not to fear --- the nation’s largest banks are about two months from making this all go away: The state AGs and every federal regulator have almost come up with some sort of settlement plan with the banks. Details leaked today in American Banker (pdf of whole proposal; cliff notes version). Does the settlement have its heart in the right place? Or is it a useless slap on the wrist? [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Mar 9, 2011 - 25 comments

Multiply this by HOW MANY mortgages out there?

Dan Ekstrom is a guy who is in the right place at the right time. His profession? He performs securitization audits (Reverse Engineering and Failure Analysis) for a company called DTC-Systems. The typical audit includes numerous diagrams... The following flow chart reverse engineers the mortgage on the Ekstrom family residence. It took Dan over one year to take it this far and it clearly demonstrates what happens when there are too many lawyers being manufactured.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Nov 16, 2010 - 46 comments

Matt Taibbi strikes again

Matt Taibbi strikes again. Having gone after the investment banking industry, incidentally attaching a description to Goldman Sachs in ways their PR machine is still trying to peel off, his latest article in Rolling Stone illuminates the pervasive fraud at the heart of the foreclosure scandal. [more inside]
posted by pharm on Nov 12, 2010 - 105 comments

The first thing that needs to happen is...

"The first thing that needs to happen, I think, is to get these people out of their homes," a man wearing a bespoke blue-striped shirt, a Hermés tie patterned with elephants and Ferragamo loafers said recently. But, maybe Wall Street doesn't understand why foreclosure fraud is so dangerous to property rights? And, the Obama administration doesn't understand why HAMP has been a portrait in failure for homeowners (in eight parts I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII.)
posted by ennui.bz on Oct 15, 2010 - 107 comments

Dear Homeowners Of America, if you can't walk after reading this, it's because you've been well and truly...

Somebody fed the hydra a hand grenade. The “robo-signer” scandal began September 20th when news broke that GMAC/Ally was suspending foreclosures in 23 states due to flawed affidavits submitted in foreclosure proceedings there. Since then, JP Morgan Chase, and Bank of America, and now possibly Littleton Loan Servicing (a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs) have admitted similar problems. With yesterday’s announcement by Bank of America that it will be suspending foreclosures in all 50 states (not just the ones where foreclosures go before a judge) all signs point to the fact that mere false affidavits are no longer the issue; other, more serious problems are now being uncovered, e.g. forged assignments and failure to serve papers. Up to 40 state’s attorney’s general are poised to announce a joint investigation. What does all this mean? Well…uh…can you actually prove you own your house? And can your bank? And can the investment bank who’s been collecting the payments from the bond they made out of your mortgage? If you can’t, you’re going to have a hell of a time selling it.* And so will all the banks.* Did I mention that bank-owned (REO/forclosures) sales are 25 percent of the housing market? [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Oct 9, 2010 - 146 comments

Our new robo-signing overlords...

From his cubicle inside a sprawling beige stucco building, Stephan works as the leader of the document execution team for GMAC Mortgage. He has signed off on as many as 10,000 foreclosures in a month, according to court documents. That's barely a minute per case... [more inside]
posted by ghharr on Sep 25, 2010 - 96 comments

Stripping Down the House

Before they foreclose on your house why don't you get back at the bastards by stripping the place. There are consequences. "Lawyers who represent people facing foreclosure advise them that whatever's nailed down generally stays with the house."
posted by Xurando on Sep 12, 2010 - 138 comments

After the revolution, life goes on... and so do the bugs.

The Exterminator’s Want-Ad, a short story by Bruce Sterling, is a twisted first-person missive by a former K-Street lobbyist making his way in a post-collapse socialist regime of sharing. It's part of the Shareable Futures series of short stories and speculative essays at Shareable.net. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 24, 2010 - 41 comments

Tanks for the memories...

His bank was threatening forclosure on his $350,000 home, so one Iowa man takes the next logical step: he bulldozes it to a pile of rubble. [embedded local news video]
posted by zardoz on Feb 20, 2010 - 99 comments

C-c-c-cowowold up in Detroit.

Ice House Detroit is an architectural installation and social change project wherein photographer Gregory Holm and architect Matthew Radune have spent weeks spraying water on an empty Detroit home. [more inside]
posted by nevercalm on Feb 2, 2010 - 8 comments

Housing Crisis: 1 in 33 Face Foreclosure Within 2 Years

Will States Respond to the Foreclosure Crisis? Their headline is that 1 in 33 homeowners are projected to face foreclosure in the next two years. But I found the stat that neighboring homes will lose $356 billion in value a rather staggering number to swallow for those not facing the threat of foreclosure.
posted by jacobw on Apr 17, 2008 - 65 comments

The You Generation

Is foreclosure right for you? Walking, a click away.
posted by wallstreet1929 on Jan 29, 2008 - 32 comments

Foreclosure Radar

Foreclosure Radar. This is the fastest growth market in real estate, and we can help you capitalize on it. We go far beyond simple foreclosure listings: we track every single foreclosure auction in the state, every day.
posted by chunking express on Aug 14, 2007 - 32 comments

A world of Casey Serins

What's the link between:
1) the quickly-growing number of American homeowners becoming unable to pay their mortgages after their ARM's reset (a trend nicknamed "ARMageddon" -- applicable in the UK too), which is translating into soaring foreclosure rates, and in turn forcing at least 60 US semi-shady mortgage brokers to go belly-up in the past year (i.e. the "subprime meltdown"), and...
2) the recent implosion and impending financial bailout -- which may become the biggest since the Long Term Capital Management fiasco of 1998 -- of two Bear Stearns hedge funds which dealt in mortgage securities? [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl on Jul 11, 2007 - 123 comments

"IamFacingForeclosure.com is over. It will never return."

Casey Serin (discussed on MeFi here), the world's most hated blogger according to CNET, has taken down his "I Am Facing Foreclosure" blog. Why? Speculation abounds among his fans and foes alike. Did the law catch up to him? Was it a result of a crayon-penned contract with his wife? The "real estate bubble's" poster boy has inspired others to create a Caseypedia, to write copious blog entries of their own, and even to host "talkcasts" that function a little like memorial services in the emptiness that follows the sure (?) demise of Serin's own Foreclosure Fridays call-in, chat-in sessions. There's even one tonight!
posted by houseofdanie on Jun 1, 2007 - 49 comments

Saved by the T-Shirt?

Screech Powers from the 1989-1993 teen comedy series "Saved by the Bell," is hoping to sell enough T-shirts with his photo on them to try to raise $250,000 so he doesn't lose his gray two-story house under a foreclosure order.
posted by Guerilla on Jun 17, 2006 - 53 comments

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