Scot Paltrow | Focus: Mortgage-Lending Meltdown – The watchdogs that didn’t bark

Focus: Mortgage-Lending Meltdown – The watchdogs that didn’t bark

Four years after the banking system nearly collapsed from reckless mortgage lending, federal prosecutors have stayed on the sidelines, even as judges around the country are pointing fingers at possible wrongdoing.

The federal government, as has been widely noted, has pressed few criminal cases against major lenders or senior executives for the events that led to the meltdown of 2007. Finding hard evidence has proved difficult, the Justice Department has said.

The government also hasn’t brought any prosecutions for dubious foreclosure practices deployed since 2007 by big banks and other mortgage-servicing companies.

But this part of the financial system, an examination shows, is filled with potential leads:

  • Foreclosure-related case files in just one New York federal bankruptcy court, for example, hold at least a dozen mortgage documents known as promissory notes bearing evidence of recently forged signatures and illegal alterations, according to a judge’s rulings and records reviewed by Reuters. Similarly altered notes have appeared in courts around the country.
  • Banks in the past two years have foreclosed on the houses of thousands of active-duty U.S. soldiers who are legally eligible to have foreclosures halted. Refusing to grant foreclosure stays is a misdemeanor under federal law.
  • The U.S. Treasury confirmed in November that it is conducting a civil investigation of 4,500 such foreclosures. Attorneys representing service members estimate banks have foreclosed on up to 30,000 military personnel in potential violation of the law.
  • In Alabama, a federal bankruptcy judge ruled in December that Wells Fargo & Co. had filed at least 630 sworn affidavits containing false “facts,” including claims that homeowners were in arrears for amounts not yet due.
  • Wells Fargo “took the law into its own hands” and disregarded laws banning perjury, Judge Margaret A. Mahoney declared.
  • And in thousands of cases, documents required to transfer ownership of mortgages have been falsified. Lacking originals needed to foreclose, mortgage servicers drew up new ones, falsely signed by their own staff as employees of the original lenders — many of which no longer exist.

But the mortgage-foreclosure mess has yet to yield any federal prosecution against the big banks that are the major servicers of home loans.

Be sure to check out the rest of this one here…


3 Responses to “Scot Paltrow | Focus: Mortgage-Lending Meltdown – The watchdogs that didn’t bark”
  1. lvent says:

    Fraud is hard to prove…! Yeah right!! If any one of us did anything like this we would have been locked up a long time ago! Wonder what would happen if I sold my home for cash and kept the money? The recorders office told me over a year ago that my home is paid for…..there has not been a lien recorded in 18 years yet I am fighting fraudclosure!

  2. Lonnie Johnson says:

    This is softball media, meaning that this is not investigative journalism. First off, this the negligent (for a journalist) to assume that ‘watchdogs’ aren’t completely captured by the elements that they are supposed to regulate.
    This, my friends, is the greatest lie the media is responsible for. But any regular reader of this site has a pretty good idea of how deep the corruption goes. Secondly, the reference to the “civil investigation” is referring to the OCC’s widely ridiculed program. The only “press” that should be taken seriously, is the “press” that investigates how the foxes and watching the henhouse. The Treasury Department works for Banksters, which is why you are getting ejected from your home.

  3. Pamela Edwards says:

    This whole mess started longer than 4 years ago.It started to my knowledge at least 15 years ago and guess what the dogs didn’t bark back then either.Low life scum bags and that has not changed.Guess the question that begs to be asked here is:Who let the dogs out?

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