WAPO – Activists, Lawyers got it right on the foreclosure mess

Friday, October 22, 2010

Don’t blame the lawyers. The crisis over faulty or fraudulent paperwork in mortgage foreclosures — which is either a big deal or a humongous deal, depending on which experts you believe — is the fault of arrogant, greedy lenders who played fast and loose with the basic property rights of homeowners.

Banks and other lenders, it seems, made statements in courts of law that turned out not to be true. Because judges have such an underdeveloped sense of humor when it comes to prevarication, this mess may be with us for a while.

The mortgage industry would love to blame the whole thing on predatory, opportunistic lawyers who are seizing on mere technicalities to forestall untold numbers of foreclosures that should legitimately proceed. The bankers are right when they complain that the delays are gumming up the housing market, as potential buyers for soon-to-be-foreclosed properties are forced to bide their time until all the questions about documentation and proper title are answered.

But it’s the bankers’ fault that there are so many instances of foreclosure documentation with legal loopholes big enough to drive a moving van through. During the years of the real estate boom, lenders cut corners with paperwork to make as many loans — and sell them to other lenders, which often sliced and diced them into securities that were then sold to investors — as quickly as possible. This haste and inattention to detail, now coming to light, are partly responsible for the current crisis.

Laws vary from state to state, but all accept the principle that borrowers who fail to meet the contractual obligation to pay their mortgages can be subject to foreclosure and eviction. The process is devastating for families and for neighborhoods. In many cases, I believe, all parties would be better off if some way could be found to avoid foreclosure — modifying the terms of the loan, say, by lowering the interest rate or even reducing the principal to reflect the fall in housing prices. I recognize, however, that there are many other cases in which foreclosure is the preferable option or perhaps the only option.

But it’s also necessary that the mortgage holder have the legal right to foreclose. Anyone who has ever bought a house is familiar with the inches-thick stack of documents that have to be signed, sealed, initialed and notarized. It turns out that financial institutions often didn’t dot every “i” or cross every “t” — meaning that in some cases, it may not be clear that the nominal mortgage holder has the clear and undisputed right to take possession of the property.

These may be technicalities, but there’s nothing mere about them. For one thing, if borrowers are expected to play by the rules, lenders should be expected to do the same. For another, there can’t be a functioning real estate market without the ability to establish clear title. Lawyers probing this aspect of the foreclosure crisis are doing the system a favor.

Looks like they don’t like the style of the WSJ…

Check out the rest here…




Tips anyone?

I sure could use some…

13 Responses to “WAPO – Activists, Lawyers got it right on the foreclosure mess”
  1. izraul says:

    Lawyers have a rule of ethics. Something clearly missing these days.

  2. izraul says:

    You must be kidding, right? None of this is happening without the lawyers and both sides are making a fortune, win or lose. Chase employes over 500 unethical weasel dirtbags who obviously ignore the basic rules of contract law. Lying, thieving, rotten bottomfeeders. And with 7+ years of outright blatant fraud homeowners still cant manage to find 1 descent layer to bring the legal wrath down on them let alone save our homes. lol amazing!

  3. MS J says:

    Mr. Robinson, that’s where you’re wrong!!!! We should be blaming the lawyers as well because they were hired knowing that these homes were being illegally and unlawfully foreclosed on. It’s all about GREED for money that these lawyers are after, I know because I’m going through it right now. The lawyers forged, submitted botched and fraudulent documents to the courts and county oiffices with intent of the frivoulous filing not being discovered. Lawyers that are now being investigated aren’t being investigated for no reason. Look at David J. Stern in Flordia and Steven J. Baum in New York. They are very much to blame as well, these underhanded lowlife devils….

    • J Glenn Lowe says:

      Hello MS. If you are in CA or NV we may be able to help you. http://glenn.hersid.com/
      Die Banker Die – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGFZ1Jj3ui8

      • MS J says:

        @ J Glenn Lowe……I’m in New York and I already went further than anyone would have normally to prove the blatant fraud I found in our documents. I did my own investigation and couldn’t believe what I’ve discovered and submitted a “Order to Show Cause” w/TRO” to Supreme Court and it was granted. Now people are asking me for my help as well. But thank you anyway. I was told that I need to become a PI…….. I have to give no one but GOD the glory and praise for answering prayers…….

      • J Glenn Lowe says:

        MS – Good job!!! it is obviously the only thing that anyone can do since the courts and the laws are ignoring real law anyway. Self empowerment with real information is the way to solve this problem. The lawyers can’t help. The judges are incapable of reading what they sign, politicians… well we all know what good a politician is…and Bankers? Well let’s just say we could all live in a Utopia if they weren’t rigging the system for themselves for the last couple of thousand years. J Glenn Lowe

      • MS J says:

        @ J Glenn Lowe…You got that right SELF EMPOWERMENT…..The lawyer I had wasn’t doing anything but taking my money. He should of been the one investingating my case not I. He did nothing but made court appearances, write letters and laughed and talked with the adversaries. And once I made the discovery of fraud I called him and there was dead SILENCE!!!!!!!! That confirmed my suspicion that he is in collusion with these pricks. He had the nerve to tell me to bring what I found to his office but I refused. He really took me for a fool….NOT because he was taken for one when he didn’t get paid. Trust me I’m so well prepared…..You can’t trust any of them.

      • J Glenn Lowe says:

        I think we are coming to a point in our kindergarten like society where we realize that the authorities and so called licensed monkey brained professionals are the root of all of our problems. When we realize that we are the authority, we will not need anyone, or any laws, or any outside authority to realize that all we have to is discuss, reveal, contemplate, and take action like we care about one another to solve most of these simple problems that a so called civilized society could do before breakfast. I believe that we are entering a time in our growth that we will be forced to learn from what we have become, and then by acknowledging it, we will then be able to move forward and create a system that works. An Empire in Decline is the birthplace for a better way to do things.

  4. Paul L. Bishop says:

    Please review a 60 minutes segment ” World of Trouble” hosted by Scott Pelley 2/15/2009 where i was featured complaining about these very issues. I am currently in litigation with World/Wachovia/Wells Fargo over my termination as a whistleblower. If interested check the circumstances surrounding a Broker Zak Khan, and his interaction with law enforcement in the Bay Area – and their subsequent actions. His loans were processed by World Savings, it is worth investigating. Wells just reported 3rd. quarter numbers ( see seeking Alpha for related stories) and indicated they would be writing off a little less than $40 BILLION of bad pick a pay & ARM loans ??? How could that be when World / Wachovia didn’t offer anyloans to subprime borrowers, according to them ???

    • Anna hernandez says:

      I agree with you to a certain extent, however Attorney’s know they law and it would seem that given the information being exposed lately, they were in full agreement and willing to violate these laws in order to gain all the compensation the banks were offering them.

      I dont’ think there is anyone innocent in this “deal”. Every licensed Mortgage Broker (which I am) knows that you do NOT forge signatures, falsify documents, prepare fraudulent documents and back date them, notarize documents without being present (I’m not sure how you would do this without having some out of body experience).

      The Banks new when they were granting mortgages during the boom that the borrowers were not going to be able to repay them. They didn’t care then because they knew they couldn’t write mortgages fast enough to sell time and time again on the securityes exchange. They disregarded there own guildines, insisted on hiring their own appraisors (which as a licensed realtor I can attest that the minute that happened, appraisals increased dramatically). So they controlled the entire process and in turn created a market that really did not exist with prices inflated deliberately in order to increase their profits on each of these notes on the securities exchange. How can anyone believe that the lenders were cockholded by the borrowers? PLEASE!!! The averabe borrower might buy 3 to 5 homes in a lifetime and knows generally very little about mortgages except where to sign. On a purchase agreement, they are not given sufficient time to read the mountains of paperwork they are signing and MUST rely on the integrity, knowledge and disclosure of the mortgage broker, lender, title agent and realtor. Obviously many of the necessary disclosures were not made. I know this from personal experience. The Lenders were doing ok in Foreclosures without documents until some smart borrower said no, if I have to adhere to the law, then so do you. I assisted a friend locally by doing a forensic audit on their mortgage. This was a BoA loan, which violated RESPA, TIL, HUD, GFE, and on and on. Ironically, when she appeared in court armed, and said NO, you will so produce the note…BoA requested an Extension. We are 3.5 years later and the last appearance again they requested an extension. Why? Becuase they know they cannot foreclose, they cannot produce the documents necessary and in fact they sold the paper so they do NOT own the mortgage and have no legal right to foreclose.

      Why is it when it comes to banks and lenders en ‘mass committing fraud, we call it a “technicality”. I suggest any individual try to foreclose on anyone with fraudulent documents and see where that gets you. Straight to jail, do not pass go, do not collet $200.

      This isn’t a slight technicality. The lenders knew EXACTLY what they were doing, as did the Attorney’s and the Notaries. If they didn’t they should be disbarred for incompetence at least.

      Ok…no more Rant. I’m just getting sick of everyone crying “poor banks”! They got the bailouts, tax dollars from the very people they are now throwing out of their homes. This isn’t one or two instances, this is MILLLIONS.

      If an Attorney claims he didnt’ know he was breaking the law, then he should go back to law school. Ignorance when you are a professional, licensed to practice any profession, is not a defense. You are REQUIRED to know! They are all guilty! Every single one of them and they should all be stripped of their freedoms and thrown in prison for perpetrating the a crime in the largest scale on the American People and literally being grossly instrumental in destroying an already shakey economy.

  5. MERS holds no interest in any mortgage or note… so why are they issuing discharge of mortgages (en masse?)
    In this instance MERS discharges the mortgage but does not appear anywhere on the complaint. Indymac states they are the “only” known party of interest. YOU DON’T SAY!!!

    [scribd id=39056847 key=key-iybdkd7lg63bipjmqm8 mode=list]

  6. J Glenn Lowe says:

    Great article Mr. Robinson – we should definitely blame the Banksters and even the judges who have been approving fraudulent foreclosure documents for years – This is my tribute to them – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGFZ1Jj3ui8

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