Short Sales Increase As Debt Relief Tax Time Bomb Nears

By: Thursday December 6, 2012 9:15 am

I’ve had more than a few assurances that Congress would get its act together and pass an extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, so that underwater homeowners who get some debt relief won’t have a big tax bill staring them in the face to make their financial situation even worse. But if that’s [...]

Justice: Wells Fargo Still Liable for FHA Abuse, Despite Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

By: Monday December 3, 2012 11:37 am

Late last week, the Justice Department issued a filing that attempts to reinforce the release limitations set by the foreclosure fraud settlement, stopping Wells Fargo from reimagining the deal as a broader release of liability on various mortgage claims. However, a judge will have to make the final decision. The US sued Wells Fargo in [...]

Financial Services Roundtable Joins Up With Homeowner Group to Urge Extension of Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Tax Relief

By: Thursday November 29, 2012 12:18 pm

It’s not often that the homeowner advocates at the Center for Responsible Lending and the bank lobbyists at the Financial Services Roundtable agree on anything. But they’re teaming up on urging Congress to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which would continue the foreclosure crisis-era policy of forgiving payment of taxes on debt forgiveness [...]

On Economy, Justice, Obama Housing Plan Fell Well Short

By: Monday November 26, 2012 9:15 am

Over the holiday, Zachary Goldfarb released a fairly remarkable article recounting a meeting between the President and top economists: One year and one month before President Obama won reelection, he invited seven of the world’s top economists to a private meeting in the Oval Office to hear their advice on what do to fix the [...]

Short Sales Continue to Dominate Consumer Relief in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

By: Monday November 19, 2012 7:12 am

The second report from the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight has arrived, and it shows a continuation of one trend, tempered by the first batch of consumer relief in the form of actual principal reductions.

Yes, Banks Are Paying “Penalties” in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement With Other People’s Money

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 8:30 am

This one offers a bit of vindication. I cannot tell you how much grief I got from “official sources” over the clear reality that banks would be able to pay off their penalties in the foreclosure fraud settlement with investor money. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan flat-out said it, and then had to backtrack and obfuscate. [...]

BP, Justice Department Close to Settlement in Deepwater Horizon Case; BP to Plead Guilty of Criminal Misconduct

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 6:18 am

Well, I think we’ve figured out how an elite corporation can receive criminal charges in 21st-century America. All you have to do is spill 205.8 million gallons of oil into a US waterway. Then, you’re just going to have to cop a criminal misconduct plea, as long as the Justice Department gives you immunity from [...]

Wells Fargo Argues Government Trying to Sue Them for Conduct Covered in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

By: Thursday November 1, 2012 2:47 pm

Put this one in the “what you reap is what you sow” file. A few weeks ago, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York sued Wells Fargo for collecting insurance on FHA loans that were improperly underwritten. This mirrored several other cases out of SDNY, and charged that Wells Fargo gained the [...]

The Banks Devise a New Deal for Homeowners: Token Relief for Liability Waivers

By: Sunday October 28, 2012 2:58 pm

The failings of the 49-state foreclosure fraud settlement have by now become so obvious that even traditional media cannot ignore it. When half of the $2.5 billion earmarked as a hard-dollar penalty to states for aid and relief for struggling homeowners just gets sucked up into filling state budget holes, you can hardly make any [...]

Obama Gets a HAMP Question… On The Daily Show

By: Friday October 19, 2012 6:25 am

President Obama appeared on the Daily Show last night, and Jon Stewart confronted him with the “H” word. It’s not one that comes up much in Obama’s presence; I can’t remember the last time, in fact. But last night, he had to answer for HAMP. It came in a follow-up, actually, which shows the level [...]

Half of Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Hard Dollars Diverted Away From Housing Programs By States

By: Thursday October 18, 2012 9:15 am

We’ve been following this issue of states using the hard dollars in the foreclosure fraud settlement – which is only about $2.5 billion, 10% of the total amount – as free money they can use to fill their budget gaps, rather than the notional goal of the settlement, to help homeowners. Some state leaders have [...]

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