Dylan Ratigan | America Fights Back Against Foreclosure

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>>> if these were free-standing small businesses, they would go under, and the next guy that got hired to do it would say i’m not doing that for a dollar. it costs $5. and that would be painful, but we’d have a process where the market would provide $5 of service, i would think. we’re not getting there. we’re not going to get there naturally.

>> well, some testimony about the incompetence in the mortgage industry from a congressional hearing in maryland. that just part of what we need to address this country’s ongoing fraoreclosure and housing mess which is at the center of our decline in revenue collections and dysfunction in our economy. state attorneys general meeting in washington to talk about their fight to try to fix the nation’s dysfunctional housing system, floating a plan that would impose some new requirements on banks, but includes no financial or criminal penalties for past violations or any major reforms for what happens now. that plan not good enough for understandable reasons for many homeowners. protesters hitting d.c. monday to demand actual real solutions, including principal write-downs and mandatory loan modifications for banks who lent money they never had, were bailed out to collect their bonuses, and left the american homeowner on the hook. we’re breaking this debt down now with a man who helped organize some of those protests, george gayle, executive director of the national people’s action and dana milbank with “the washington post,” who himself is having problems with his mortgage and wrote a column about it recently. dana, fill us in.

>> well, i don’t want to complain too much for my own sake because i wasn’t in danger of foreclosure, but i had a whole battery of problems — the escrow account got all messed up. they didn’t make the payment to the homeowners insurance. they paid twice on the taxes. they gave me checks i wasn’t owed and fees and interest rates i wasn’t supposed to get. the point, though, is i talk to a lot of consumer advocates and said, look, this is happening hundreds of thousands of times, if not millions of times, and in many cases, it is driving people into foreclosure who would not otherwise be there. that, in turn, is driving down the economy further and making the housing market and the broader economy a struggle all the much further. the problem now seems to be not so much in the origination of these loans, but in the servicing of these loans. these guys have no incentive to get it right. they’re just trying to get maximum fees from people out there. in my case it was annoying. in many other people’s cases, it’s devastating.

>> yeah. george, the mortgage servicing industry, which is basically the four big banks– wells fargo, citi, b of a and jpmorgan, set up a business to collect payments and process paperwork in a bull market for housing. they are not staffed, they are not equipped, they are not designed to be a major customer service organization working with modifications and all the rest of it. how do you solve a problem where you have a massive demand for customer service when the people that would provide that service have no incentive to invest or step up for the very service that’s needed?

>> we need somebody to step in and actually make them do it. and three years into the crisis, i think homeowners are just shocked that nobody from the administration on down has really went toe to toe with the big banks and said you have to modify loans, you have to reduce principal, and if bankers broke the law in the process, they need to go to jail. so, yesterday, we had hundreds of homeowners pay an uninvited visit to the national association of attorney generals, to their convention, which was in d.c., and really demand. we’ve seen the document. we’ve seen their 27-page proposal, which is really an opening bid with the banks in it. it’s too weak. it would not modify mortgages or send bankers who broke laws to jail.

>> dana, put on your political analysis hat. we had this conversation 50 ways on this show, but do you have any insight why proposals like george is mentioning never even get brought up by democratic or republican leadership?

>> well, i’m afraid the answer is somewhat cynical, and of course, the banking industry is extremely well plugged in here in washington, and it is a matter of bipartisan failure. you had the obama treasury department not enforcing its own foreclosure laws. the foreclosure mitigation law became as a result a disaster as the mortgage servicers just basically ignored it. and now the republican answer isn’t to fix the program and crack down on these guys, it’s to toss out the entire program. there is potentially one solution. that is, if this new consumer financial products protection bureau actually gets in here and starts cracking down on these mortgage servicers. that’s not how it’s going to work out if the house republicans get their way. and in fact, we’re going to start hearing about this in hearings starting next week.

>> if you were to look at what you think is most achievable, george, obviously, you’re an activist and you’re organizing around this issue, which i compliment and encourage. where do you think you could have the most impact and how can people help you have the most impact right now?

>> i really think this attorney general settlement and investigation is the big opportunity. it’s the best shot we’ve had in the last three years to really deliver justice to the american homeowner. so, what folks can do is plug in through a website called crimeshouldntpay.com. and homeowners across the country are organizing together to make sure the ags side with the american people, protect the bottom line of the american people, and stop protecting the bottom line of the american banks. the ags got an opportunity to be heroes here. they could be the first elected officials to really step up on behalf of the american people, and now we’ve got to make them do it.

>> but let’s be honest, what we’re seeing in the preliminary part of this ag settlement doesn’t reflect what you’ve just described.

>> no. i think the opportunity is there. do i think they’re leading at that level? no. so, we’ve got to up the pressure, put more pressure both on the ags and directly on the banks and force them to the table to negotiate in a real way. but i agree totally, the settlement does not go far enough. we’ve got to keep pushing. it’s particularly frightening because it’s an opening bid. as an opening bid, know the banks and the lobbyists and the power they have, they’ll continue to weaken that bid. we need to get the ags back to the table to come up with a stronger proposal before they go into negotiations with the banks.

>> got it. listen, thank you so much, george and dana. and thank you, dana, for highlighting your own story as an indication of somebody who is economically stable and well off and well connected being run around like a chicken in a maze, as everybody is through this banking system, reminding us of what that really means for people who are significant economic challenges and do not have the access to power that somebody like you does. crimeshouldntpay dot-org or dot-com?



7 Responses to “Dylan Ratigan | America Fights Back Against Foreclosure”
  1. l vent says:

    They want us to feel helpless and defeated so we walk. Whatever it takes, we can’t let the unholy alliance win.

  2. Pamela says:

    Most of the people who are buying foreclosed homes are unaware of the fact that most of them are getting title exceptions which means they are not getting a clear title,they just don’t know enough about what they are doing and you can just tell they are being led down the proverbial path that a vast majority of us have already been taken down.So nothing changes,everything remains the same.

  3. marilyn lane says:

    why aren’t the Attorney Generals using Forfeiture laws against the likes of Wm. P Foley, CEO of Fidelity National Title, former chairman of LPS DOCX etc, the racketeering Bank Officers, the Judges that are corrupt, and the attorneys that are corrupt.

    All the laws you are now writing are the laws they refused to follow in the past. Forfeiture is the only thing that will make them change their ways.

    Now is the time to turn this nation around. How can you let the Foleys, the Bank Officiers, those corrupt judges and corrupt attorneys con you.? You are suppose to be smarter than those crooks.

  4. don st clair says:

    Although it is profitable, but may not be in the long run for the opportunists, It would be smart if people would stop buying forclosed homes.

    These opportunists believe they are safe because they have title insurance…can’t wait till all that hits the fan at the same time.

    Maybe we could set up a system (bartering?) outside the banking range to produce homes.

    • l vent says:

      We all have title insurance too. The fraud is too rampant, everything is too corrupted, There are no real protections from anything. The banks are walking into courtrooms across America with phony, fraudulent, forged and robosigned documents, they are even forging deeds now I hear. America is heading for Anarchy. The criminals and their partners are slowly turning America into a jungle. When laws only protect the criminals then there is NO RULE OF LAW. Then there will be Anarchy.

  5. l vent says:

    Unless the Obama Administration addresses Foreclosuregate, things will continue to escalate. Obama is walking in Herbert Hoover’s shoes. The people will soon be throwing garbage at him. Chris Whalen spoke spot on about this in his interview with Bloomberg in his” Foreclosuregate is a Cancer”, video. This is clearly careening towards a Nationwide Tax Revolt. If the Obama administration does not want to begin to face Fraudclouregate head on, he will not get another term to try and fix this. A country cannot survive under a business model of fraud. The Ponzi Scheme is a giant house of cards and it will collapse sooner or later. The people are sick and tired of paying for all of the CORRUPTION.



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