Glenn Hubbard’s Hilarious Deposition on Behalf of Countrywide

By: Friday December 21, 2012 7:45 am

General business has kept me from reading the deposition Matt Taibbi writes about here, but it sounds amazing. Anyone who’s seen the movie Inside Job will recall the stupendously angering scene in which (Mitt Romney advisor Glenn) Hubbard pissily snaps at his interviewer for asking about his outside relationships with financial services industry [...] “This [...]

The Pileup Behind the Fiscal Slope, and the Consequences of Inaction

By: Friday December 21, 2012 7:03 am

Say what you will about the 2010 deal to extend the Bush tax cuts, which helped to set up what we’re seeing this month. But there was definitely a virtue in getting it done by early December, allowing for a productive lame duck session that repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, passed the New START arms [...]

The Mortgage Scam Against Widows, and Why No Mortgage Lender Should Ever Get Legal Immunity

By: Wednesday December 19, 2012 9:15 am

Dealbook had an item yesterday about the qualified mortgage rule and the bid by mortgage lenders to acquire a “safe harbor,” essentially a shield against consumer lawsuits, in the process. I’ve already gone over this topic and continue to oppose giving banks a safe harbor of any kind on the merits. But just to shift [...]

Yes, We’re Still in the Middle of a Foreclosure Crisis

By: Thursday December 13, 2012 3:26 pm

The Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight released some interesting data on the first-lien and second-lien portfolios of the five services sanctioned in the foreclosure fraud settlement. Calculated Risk reproduces the data here. Despite the heavy investment in a narrative of the foreclosure crisis being over and the housing recovery underway, these loan portfolios show substantial [...]

FHA’s Passivity Could Lead to Big Loan Losses

By: Thursday December 13, 2012 10:05 am

Gretchen Morgenson has an interesting story today about risky lending at the FHA AFTER the housing collapse. The story here is that, after the bubble popped, it became harder and harder to secure a loan. The FHA stepped in to insure a lot of what loans were made over that time, and as a result [...]

House Democrats Call for Principal Reduction, but Tax Time Bomb Would Make That Damaging for Borrowers

By: Wednesday December 12, 2012 10:00 am

Here’s a case of just not understanding what’s going on. Yesterday, Elijah Cummings and 18 House Democrats wrote a letter to the President and lead Congressional negotiators on the fiscal slope, urging them to include “provisions that will provide assistance to homeowners who are currently underwater on their mortgages” in the final deal. This sounds [...]

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 [...]

White House Makes Aggressive Opening Bid in Fiscal Slope Negotiations

By: Thursday November 29, 2012 3:54 pm

In the context of doing a deficit reduction deal at all, this is an extremely strong bid that Tim Geithner delivered to John Boehner today. Now we know why Boehner whined and cried all afternoon. Let’s walk through it. House Republicans said on Thursday that Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner presented the House speaker, John [...]

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 [...]

Here We Go Again: As Home Prices Rise, So Do Home Equity Lines of Credit

By: Tuesday November 27, 2012 10:44 am

Well, doesn’t this seem like a great idea: home equity lines of credit have staged a big comeback. After six years of declines, lending for so-called Helocs will rise 30 percent to $79.6 billion in 2012, the highest level since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, according to the economics research unit of [...]

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