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
“My husband and I, our parents wanted better for us than what they had,” Bonnie says. “And it’s gone backwards
.” [more inside]
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.
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]
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]
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 others
seeking to recover losses. [more inside]
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]
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.
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
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]
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]
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.
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]
"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
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."
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
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]
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]
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.
right for you? Walking, a click away.
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.
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"
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]
(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
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.