Tax Exemption for Mortgage Debt Relief Still Not Extended, Future Hopes Dim

By: Tuesday November 27, 2012 6:23 am

The not-all-that-possible reduction or elimination of the mortgage interest deduction has set the hair of many a journalist on fire. Many of them have homes and benefit from that deduction, after all. And they cannot escape the fact that, if Republicans tell them that deductions have to be targeted instead of rates – which is [...]

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 [...]

Formal Criminal Charge Filed in Florida Against Lorraine Brown, President of Notorious Foreclosure Document Processor DocX UPDATE: Plea Deal

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 10:55 am

The US Attorney in the Middle District of Florida, Robert O’Neill, has submitted an information, basically a criminal charge without the use of a grand jury for the indictment, of Lorraine Brown, the founder of DocX, for the fraudulent production of mortgage assignments, notarizations, and other documents used to foreclose on borrowers (h/t 4closure fraud). [...]

CFPB Looks Into Deceptive Mortgage Advertising

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 6:18 am

With the dismaying foreclosure fraud settlement in the rear view mirror and happy days here again for the housing market (at least that’s what the analysts tell me), you’d be surprised to know that lenders continue to work their hardest to rip off their customers. Two regulators have opened an investigation into their deceptive marketing [...]

Bernanke Wants Looser Lending Standards In Bubble Reinflation Effort

By: Friday November 16, 2012 6:15 am

I don’t know why I felt so insulted by Ben Bernanke’s housing speech yesterday, but it really stuck with me. Probably because he managed to give an entire speech on housing – one that at points implicitly blamed homeowners for their predicaments – without mentioning the word “fraud.” Or saying “I’m sorry.” It was very [...]

Hedge Fund Blackstone Buying $100 Million in Foreclosed Homes Every Week

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 9:15 am

Speaking of housing, we’re supposed to forget about the fact that the banks committed the largest consumer fraud in history and then paid the meager penalties for it with other people’s money, because we’re in a housing “recovery” now. Let’s forget the past, and look forward, and check out this housing boom, ay? It’s tiring [...]

Administration Housing Policy in a Second Term

By: Friday November 9, 2012 1:22 pm

Of all the thumbsuckers about the second-term Obama agenda I’ve read, the ones that reflect the least contact with reality concern Administration housing policy. It’s beyond clear that the first-term policy framework sought to protect banks and allocate losses from the collapse of the housing bubble elsewhere. That was the point behind HAMP, designed to [...]

Household Formation Starts to Climb

By: Thursday November 8, 2012 1:03 pm

Hurricane Sandy, and now the nor’easter storm that’s blown through the Northeast, has obviously caused a lot of devastation from an economic standpoint. That extends to the housing market. The 90-day moratorium on foreclosures will dry up a lot of inventory for speculators. And it’s already cutting into the mortgage application index. “Last week’s storm [...]

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 [...]

Break Up the Banks for a Faster Economy

By: Saturday October 27, 2012 9:39 am

This week, ex-banker Charles Morris, who was featured in the documentary Inside Job, brings us compelling evidence that countries with a large financial sector create lesser economic growth than countries that have restrained that sector. While a well-functioning financial system is key to growth, there’s a balance that needs to be struck, Morris writes: Once [...]

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