Christie Faces HUD Investigation As Second Mayor Claims Retaliation For Non-Endorsement

By: Tuesday January 14, 2014 5:44 am

Advertisements that were supposed to help promote tourism in New Jersey in the wake of devastation by Hurricane Sandy instead seemed to promote Governor Chris Christie’s re-election campaign and now the feds are investigating. The investigation stems from a letter sent to the Department of Housing and Urban Development by New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone [...]

Storm-Washing: The New Bank Ploy to Milk Foreclosure Relief PR In Storm-Wrecked Areas

By: Tuesday November 6, 2012 6:25 am

Ever since Superstorm Sandy, we’ve seen the phenomenon of storm-washing from our finance sector. That’s when banks decide to capitalize on the storm and generate some good PR by offering extended reliefto homeowners in the storm’s path. Banks are offering extended relief to homeowners in areas affected by superstorm Sandy in the form of loan [...]

Sham Foreclosure Reviews Major Cash Cows for Foreclosure Reviewers

By: Saturday November 3, 2012 9:26 am

Jeff Horwitz and Kate Berry have an excellent two-part series in American Banker on these “independent” foreclosure reviews. For background, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency put together these consent orders with 14 banks last year, separate from the foreclosure fraud settlement, and put together this review process. In theory, independent reviewers would [...]

We Don’t Know How Many Foreclosures Have Happened, Cont’d

By: Tuesday August 7, 2012 8:55 am

Picking up on some of Matt Stoller’s work, Sam Jewler and Chris Herwig at Alternet take a look at the inadequacy of foreclosure data. Just to reiterate, we have no idea how many foreclosures have occurred, where they occurred, and how many remain in delinquency. We have a rough sketch of that, but no comprehensive [...]

We Don’t Know How Many Foreclosures Have Happened

By: Friday August 3, 2012 11:36 am

Matt Stoller has a superlative article today in Salon picking up on a central frustration of everyone trying to decipher housing policy. The truth is that the data is truly terrible. We have a vague idea of the number of mortgages and foreclosures, and we can identify trends. But in reality, there is no central, [...]

Treasury Confirms That HAMP Being Used for Settlement Relief

By: Monday June 11, 2012 9:25 am

I will attempt to recap my foreclosure fraud panel at Netroots Nation at some point. I know Lisa Derrick took video on her phone of the event, but apparently there’s been a hitch in getting that uploaded. Just as soon as we cross that hurdle, we’ll bring it to you. Until then, there is the [...]

Romney Reveals Agenda Items to High-Dollar Donors

By: Monday April 16, 2012 6:53 am

If you want to know Mitt Romney’s real plans for a hypothetical Presidency, you either have to give him lots of money, or be lucky enough to stand on the street near the backyard where he talks to people who give him lots of money. The incompetence of allowing the press to listen in on [...]

Fair Housing Alliance Accuses Wells Fargo of Causing Blight in Minority Neighborhoods

By: Wednesday April 11, 2012 11:37 am

We’ve heard stories for the past couple weeks about how banks are more keen to maintain properties in more affluent areas than in minority neighborhoods. Now, one fair housing group is trying to do something about that. The National Fair Housing Alliance filed a federal housing discrimination complaint against Wells Fargo to get the bank [...]

HUD Secretary Donovan Faces Questions on C-SPAN

By: Sunday April 8, 2012 10:46 am

I read a rough transcript of this C-SPAN interview with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, and there isn’t a whole lot there that’s all that different from the PR pronouncements he’s made in the past. So this won’t be extensive. I just have a few comments: • Donovan continues to push for principal reductions at the [...]

NYT Picks Up on Weaknesses of Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

By: Wednesday March 28, 2012 6:17 am

On March 13, I read the foreclosure fraud settlement documents and noticed that the banks would be eligible to get credit for their penalty for performing routine actions, like waiving deficiency judgments, bulldozing or donating homes. These are the sorts of things banks do all the time, and yet they could comprise up to one-quarter [...]

Robo-Signing, Servicer Abuse Ongoing at Time of HUD IG Report

By: Wednesday March 14, 2012 11:38 am

Whatever you think about the foreclosure fraud settlement, its ostensible purpose would be to stop the things that it releases from liability. That’s the exchange: you (banks) pay a penalty and stop the misconduct, and we (government) won’t sue you for the misconduct. You don’t have to like that exchange, but that’s how it’s supposed [...]

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