Stories from the Dysfunctional Mortgage Market

By: Monday September 17, 2012 8:29 am

I think today is the day for really horrible stories of market dysfunction amid ignorance or outright collusion by the authorities. This does not end with debt collectors on bad checks. It leads back to the mortgage market, where we’ve seen the most horror stories over the last several years. Most market analysts focus on [...]

Principal Reduction Tax Time Bomb Generates More Discussion

By: Tuesday September 11, 2012 10:21 am

About a month ago, I wrote in Salon about a potential time-bomb embedded in the efforts to increase debt relief for mortgages, the expiration of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. Finally, some mainstream sources have gotten around to reporting on this, in basically the same way and with even many of the same principals [...]

Media Falling for Short Sale Scam in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

By: Thursday August 30, 2012 9:09 am

A couple other outlets have picked up on my research of the first report from the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, showing that banks have, to this point, paid off practically all of their “punishment” through short sales that they were already pursuing. Yves Smith provides additional context to this point, looking back at the [...]

The Short Sale Scam: Most Going to Non-Recourse States that Bar Deficiency Judgments

By: Wednesday August 29, 2012 11:11 am

The more I look at this foreclosure fraud settlement report, and the reliance on short sales for the allegedly positive results, the angrier I get. Let’s first understand what the numbers refer to when the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight lists $8.67 billion in short sales. That number does not refer to the sale price [...]

First Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Report Shows Preponderance of Mortgage Relief from Already-Popular Short Sales

By: Wednesday August 29, 2012 8:40 am

The Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight has released their initial assessment of the foreclosure fraud settlement. And what they’re finding is that banks are “paying off” their portion of the settlement by engaging in short sales with their borrowers. Which is something they were already doing in greater numbers prior to the settlement. The report [...]

Short Sales Would Be Subject to Taxation, Too, If Congress Doesn’t Act

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 1:52 pm

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced new short sale guidelines that would go into effect November 1. These guidelines are designed to eliminate red tape and encourage short sales as a way for underwater borrowers to get out of their home without going through the foreclosure process. In [...]

California Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Monitor: Servicers Dragging Their Feet

By: Thursday August 16, 2012 1:47 pm

Katherine Porter, the monitor tasked with specific oversight for California’s foreclosure fraud settlement, says what most of us could have suspected: the servicers are dragging their feet on compliance. The California monitor of the $25 billion national mortgage servicing settlement received roughly 1,100 complaints in the last month from borrowers reporting a slow uptake to [...]

New-Home Sales Slide Downward

By: Wednesday July 25, 2012 11:34 am

Bill McBride can spin this all he wants, with a very vague promise about after-the-fact revisions, but the facts are that June home sales fell, days after an existing-home sale measure fell as well. Sales of new single-family houses in June 2012 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 350,000 … This is 8.4 [...]

Camo-Washing Extends to Housing Regulators

By: Thursday June 21, 2012 9:38 am

I’ve coined the phrase “camo-washing” to describe the persistent dynamic where banks bend over backwards to recognize and compensate for mistakes made in the mortgage and foreclosure process relating to military families, while everyone else gets to twist in the wind. Practically every big bank has made good in wildly extreme ways to violations of [...]

Looming Expiration of Tax Exemption for Mortgage Relief Haunts Foreclosure Mitigation Efforts

By: Wednesday April 18, 2012 12:57 pm

This story about FHFA trying to boost short sales was sent my way: The regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Tuesday announced a new policy that aims to speed up the process mortgage servicers apply when dealing with distressed loans backed by the two U.S. government-run companies. The Federal Housing Finance Agency said [...]

49-State Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Will Be Finalized Thursday

By: Wednesday February 8, 2012 8:15 pm

Forty-nine states, every one but Oklahoma, as well as federal regulators will participate in a foreclosure fraud settlement that will release the five biggest banks (Wells Fargo, Citi, Ally/GMAC, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America) and their mortgage servicing units from liability for robo-signing and other forms of servicer abuse, in exchange for $25 billion [...]

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