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Secret Docs Show Foreclosure Watchdog Doesn’t Bark or Bite

Documents obtained by ProPublica suggest the government coddled mortgage servicers in its flagship foreclosure prevention program despite frequent and serious errors.

Government documents show that GMAC, the country's fifth largest mortgage servicer, had seriously mishandled many loan modifications yet did not suffer a penalty. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters file photo)

Why has the administration’s flagship foreclosure prevention program been so ineffective in helping struggling homeowners get loan modifications and stay in their homes? One reason: The government’s supervision of the program has apparently ranged from nonexistent to weak.

Documents obtained by ProPublica—government audit reports of GMAC, the country’s fifth-largest mortgage servicer—provide the first detailed look at the program’s oversight. They show that the company operated with almost no oversight for the program’s first eight months. When auditors did finally conduct a major review more than a year into the program, they found that GMAC had seriously mishandled many loan modifications—miscalculating homeowner income in more than 80 percent of audited cases, for example. Yet, GMAC suffered no penalty. GMAC itself said it hasn’t reversed a single foreclosure as a result of a government audit.

The documents also reveal that government auditors signed off on GMAC loan-modification denials that appear to violate the program’s own rules, calling into question the rigor and competence of the reviews.

Some of the auditors’ mistakes are “appalling,” said Diane Thompson of the National Consumer Law Center, an advocacy group. “It suggests the government isn’t taking the auditing process seriously.”

In a written response to ProPublica's questions, a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, which runs the program, denied there were serious flaws in its oversight system, calling it “effective and unprecedented in many ways.”

The audits of GMAC, though revealing, give only a limited view into the program, because the Treasury has refused to release the documents for other servicers. For more than a year, through a Freedom of Information Act request, ProPublica has sought the audits of 10 of the largest program participants. The Treasury provided only GMAC’s audits, because the company consented to their release. ProPublica continues to seek all of the reports.

Abuses of the foreclosure process, in which banks and mortgage servicers cut corners or even created false documents to move troubled borrowers out of their homes, have been extensively documented, along with failures by government to regulate the industry. But the lapses revealed in the documents obtained by ProPublica stand out because they occurred within the government’s main effort to prevent foreclosures, the Home Affordable Modification Program.

Oversight shrouded in secrecy

For HAMP’s first two years, the government offered very little public detail about its oversight efforts. It was virtually impossible for the public—or even Congress—to know how well the banks and mortgage servicers were complying with the government’s effort to prevent struggling homeowners from losing their homes. Those years were crucial, because that’s when servicers evaluated the vast majority of homeowners eligible for a modification—about 3 million.

The documents obtained by ProPublica show auditors finding serious problems at a major servicer during that time. Instead of publicly revealing the findings, Treasury chose to privately request that GMAC fix the problems.

“For two years, they’ve known how abysmal servicers were performing, and decided to do nothing,” said Neil Barofsky, the former special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, better known as TARP or the bank bailout, which provided the money for HAMP.

“It demonstrates that if you have a set of rules for which compliance is completely voluntary and no meaningful consequences for those who violate them, having all the audits and reviews in the world are not going to make a bit of difference,” he continued. “It’s why the program has been a colossal failure.”

Treasury continued to release few details about its audits until June, when it began publishing quarterly reports based on the audits’ results. The public report showed what Treasury called “substantial” problems at four of the 10 largest servicers—Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Ocwen—and Treasury for the first time withheld taxpayer subsidies from three of them.

Mortgage servicers that signed up for the program agreed to follow strict guidelines on how to evaluate struggling homeowners seeking reduced mortgage payments. In exchange, the servicers would receive taxpayer subsidies. But as we’ve reported extensively, the largest servicers haven’t abided by the guidelines. Homeowners have often been foreclosed on in the midst of reviews for a modification or denied because of the servicer’s error. For many homeowners, navigating what was supposed to have been a simple, straightforward program has proven a maddening ordeal.

HAMP has fallen dramatically short of the administration’s initial goal to help 3 million to 4 million homeowners. So far, fewer than 800,000 homeowners have received loan modifications through HAMP, or fewer than one in four of those who applied.

As part of the $700 billion bailout program, HAMP was launched in early 2009 with a $50 billion budget to encourage loan modifications by paying subsidies to servicers, investors and homeowners. But only about $1.6 billion has gone out so far.

GMAC said it agreed to release its audits under the program because the company “believes in honoring the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act process” and “elected to be transparent on our work with the [modification] program,” spokeswoman Gina Proia said.

GMAC's parent company has changed its name to Ally Financial, but its mortgage division is still called GMAC. The government owns a majority stake in Ally because it rescued the company with TARP funds, but both the company and the Treasury said that didn’t factor into the company’s decision to allow the documents to be released.

ProPublica contacted all nine servicers that objected to the reports’ release. All either declined to comment on why they wanted the audits kept secret or defended keeping them out of the public domain by saying the reports contained confidential information. Collectively, these companies have so far been paid more than $471 million—dubbed “servicer incentive payments”—through the program. They are eligible for hundreds of millions more. The country’s four largest banks—Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup—are also the largest servicers of mortgage loans.

In its written response, Treasury’s spokeswoman said it agreed to withhold the records in part because they could undermine “frank communications between mortgage servicers and compliance examiners” and hurt the program’s effectiveness. The department declined to provide either redacted versions or an index of the documents.

Early reviews “useless” and flawed

Since the program’s beginning, homeowner advocates have wondered where HAMP’s watchdog was and why it was having so little effect. That watchdog is Freddie Mac, tapped by Treasury in February 2009 and working under a contract worth $116 million and rising. The Freddie Mac unit, now staffed with 121 employees and employing about 150 more through contractors, is supposed to regularly audit servicers in the program to make sure they are following the rules. Treasury is ultimately responsible for deciding whether to punish a servicer but relies on auditors’ findings to make that decision.

It took several months for the unit to even get off the ground. In August 2009, Treasury rejected Freddie Mac’s first reviews of servicers as inadequate because they were “inconsistent and incomplete” and its staff was “unqualified,” according to a report by the TARP’s special inspector general. Freddie Mac promised to improve. That process took several more months.

As a result, for the program’s crucial first eight months, there was effectively no watchdog. Nationwide, servicers filed to pursue foreclosure on about 2 million loans during that time.

Treasury disputed the idea that there was no watchdog for those months, saying that auditors had performed “readiness reviews” of servicers as early as May 2009, one month after the program was begun. The documents obtained by ProPublica, however, show that Freddie Mac’s auditing unit, called Making Home Affordable—Compliance (MHA-C), didn’t issue its first report for GMAC until early December 2009.

That audit was a modest effort that involved collecting a sample of 323 loans handled by GMAC and determining whether they’d been properly reviewed for the program. Because of the delays in starting the reviews, the report was based on a sample of loans that was five months old. Such delays continued into 2010. Another Freddie Mac review, completed at the end of March 2010, was based on GMAC loans selected in October of the previous year.

The delays make those reviews “largely useless to homeowners,” said Thompson of the National Consumer Law Center. If a homeowner lost a house to foreclosure in July, it wouldn’t help to have an auditor notice that several months later, she explained.

The December 2009 audit noted that GMAC might have already foreclosed on loans that auditors had flagged as potentially mishandled, but didn’t order remedial steps. It only requested that GMAC not take “further action.”

GMAC said it had never reversed a foreclosure action as a result of a HAMP audit. ProPublica put the same question to the other nine servicers that objected to the audits’ release. American Home Mortgage Servicing, the only other servicer that answered the question, said it also had never reversed a foreclosure action due to a HAMP audit.

American Home handles about 384,000 loans, putting it among the 10 largest servicers in the program.

A Treasury spokeswoman said that auditors have reviewed more than 50,000 loan files, but did not directly answer whether a servicer had ever reversed a foreclosure action because of a HAMP audit. Where auditors have found problems, she wrote, the department has “required servicers to take steps to tighten controls” and “re-evaluate any borrowers who may have been potentially impacted.”

In early 2010, around the same time that the auditing unit was issuing its first reports, auditors complained that servicers’ lack of responsiveness to their requests was hampering their efforts. Getting the right documents from servicers was "a cumbersome process," the head of Freddie Mac’s audit team, Paul Heran, said in February 2010 at a mortgage industry conference. It seemed, he added, that servicers often relegated responding to the auditors to low-level staff who didn’t understand the requests. Another manager in the unit, Vic O’Laughlen, said servicers tended to respond with “at best 50 percent of what we’re expecting to see.”

However uncooperative the banks and mortgage services may have been, Freddie Mac’s auditing reports contain errors that call into question their reliability.

Every few months, the auditors examine a sample of the servicer’s loans that have been denied a HAMP modification to check whether the denials were legitimate. In each GMAC report reviewed by ProPublica, auditors found that the servicer had, with very few exceptions, given the homeowner fair and appropriate consideration. But among the justifications listed in the audits are some that violate the program’s rules or simply don’t make sense.

For instance, the December 2009 review said that 35 of the 247 loans that auditors reviewed were denied because the homeowner was “less than 60 days delinquent.” In the report, auditors said that was the right decision in all but one case. But being less than 60 days delinquent is never on its own a legitimate reason for a servicer to deny a modification, according to the program rules. Homeowners are eligible for a modification even if they’re current on their loans, as long as they can show they’re in imminent danger of defaulting.

Another example: Auditors agreed that GMAC had correctly denied a homeowner because of a failure to sign a trial modification offer by Dec. 31, 2012, HAMP’s end date. That makes no sense, because the review took place in 2009. Treasury’s spokeswoman said this was a typo and that the homeowner was denied for a completely different reason.

There are several other examples in later reports of auditors signing off on denial reasons that have no apparent basis in the program’s rules. For instance, auditors cited “grandfathered foreclosure” as a legitimate reason for some denials. The spokeswoman said such loans had been in the foreclosure process before GMAC signed up for the program, but the program rules explicitly stated at the time that such loans were eligible.

When ProPublica asked GMAC if it had denied homeowners loan modifications for these reasons, the company said it couldn’t comment because auditors, not GMAC, had generated those descriptions of why homeowners had been denied. In some cases, Proia said, the descriptions were simply wrong: GMAC had never denied homeowners simply because they weren’t 60 days delinquent.

But Treasury defended the questionable denials, and in so doing raised even more questions. For instance, the spokeswoman said HAMP “does not specifically require servicers to evaluate loans that are less than 60 days delinquent.” But Treasury’s official guidance to servicers said such borrowers “must be screened.”

“It makes you wonder if the Treasury even knows the rules for their own program,” said the National Consumer Law Center’s Thompson.

A congressionally appointed panel, among others, has pointed to a fundamental flaw in the way the oversight was carried out: Auditors have had no direct contact with homeowners. The program has been dogged by servicers’ inadequate document systems. Borrowers have long reported faxing and mailing the same documents over and over, because servicers kept losing them. Servicers have denied about a quarter of all modification applications due to an alleged lack of documentation. Because HAMP’s auditors do not contact borrowers, the auditors have no way of determining whether a denial for inadequate documentation was correct.

In response to this criticism from the Congressional Oversight Panel for the TARP in December 2010, Treasury said auditors did not contact homeowners to avoid giving them added stress. The panel rejected that reason, saying that contacting borrowers was “critical to assessing the accuracy of a servicer’s determination.”

Instead of talking with borrowers, auditors conduct on-site reviews of mortgage servicing companies, Treasury’s spokeswoman said in her written response to ProPublica. Treasury believes that focusing “on servicer processes and internal controls is the most effective deployment of our compliance efforts,” she wrote.

Detailed audit shows serious problems

It wasn’t until July 2010—16 months after HAMP was launched—that the unit performed its first major audit of GMAC. The review included a visit to GMAC’s offices and a detailed review of a sample of loans.

The report enumerated various rules violations, including in GMAC's evaluation of homeowners for modifications. GMAC’s practice was to begin the foreclosure process too quickly: The program required the servicer to give the homeowner 30 days to respond to a trial modification offer, but GMAC’s procedure was to wait only 20.

GMAC’s Proia said no homeowners were “negatively impacted by this issue.”

Auditors also found that GMAC was regularly miscalculating homeowners' income. In a review of 25 loan files of homeowners who had received modifications, the auditors said 21 involved a miscalculation of income. Since income is a key factor in whether a homeowner qualifies for a modification, the high error rate raises obvious questions about whether GMAC was accurately evaluating homeowners’ applications.

Asked about the frequent income miscalculations, GMAC’s Proia said the “issue was identified in the early stages of the program,” that calculating the borrower’s income is a “complicated process” and that GMAC has improved since the mid-2010 review—an assertion backed up by recent audit results published by the Treasury.

The July 2010 review also found that GMAC had been aware of certain problems such as “incorrect income and expense calculations” but had not fixed them. Proia said the company does its best to fix problems when it becomes aware of them.

Penalties: late and weak

Typical of the Treasury’s oversight of the program, GMAC was never penalized for any of the rules violations. For the first two years of the program, Treasury officials publicly threatened servicers with possible penalties but instead followed a cooperative approach. When auditors found problems, servicers were asked to fix them.

The documents illustrate as much. In response to the auditors’ findings, GMAC was required to develop an “action plan.” GMAC refused to provide the action plan to ProPublica and recommended seeking it and similar documents by filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the Treasury.

Treasury has sent mixed messages about its ability to penalize banks over the course of the program, threatening “monetary penalties and sanctions” in late 2009 and then saying it lacked the power to enforce such penalties. Treasury finally departed from its cooperative approach in June, when it withheld incentive payments from three of the top 10 servicers. (GMAC was not among them.) The companies would not receive the public subsidies for completing modifications until they made certain changes. The companies were cited for some of the same problems for which auditors had criticized GMAC, such as regularly miscalculating borrowers' income. JPMorgan Chase, for instance, had erred in estimating income in about a third of the homeowner loan files reviewed.

The punishment hasn’t had much sting. Incentive payments were restored for one of the three companies when Treasury’s most recent report declared it’d improved. Chase and Bank of America, the country’s largest servicer, would continue to have their incentives withheld, Treasury said.

But while those incentives have slowed, they have not stopped, according to Treasury’s monthly TARP reports. Since June, when Treasury first announced it would withhold incentives, Bank of America has received $2.5 million in taxpayer incentives. While that’s a steep reduction from the roughly $7.5 million it had been receiving monthly, the bank is supposed to get nothing. Chase received $404,000 during that same time.

Treasury responded that it has programs to encourage modifications on both first and second mortgages, and that the payments Bank of America and Chase received were related to second mortgages. “Current system limitations” meant the Treasury couldn’t withhold these payments, according to the Treasury spokeswoman. Treasury is working to fix the problem, she said.

Correction (10/5): An earlier version of this story mistakenly stated that the Treasury has restored HAMP incentive payments for two of the three companies that had previously had their payments withheld. In fact, only one company had its payments restored. We regret the error.

Of course, it could very well be that this program isn’t lacking any oversight and is failing because that’s what it’s supposed to do.

After all, right here is where we saw the article that the government was seriously considering handing the foreclosed homes over to developers to rent back to us.  Which approach is more likely to result in hefty campaign contributions?

Barry Schmittou

Oct. 4, 2011, 11:52 a.m.

Here’s proof that Obama and Bush’s watchdogs only bite and destroy citizens !!

Bullet points of Non Prosecution Agreements given by Obama and Bush :

(a) ProPublica wrote these quotes :

“Workers fought long battles for medical care, including such things as prosthetic devices and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The Labor Department seldom took action to enforce the law. One official called the system a “fiasco.”

“Labor officials can recommend cases for prosecution to the Justice Department–but have only done so once in the past two decades, according to Labor officials.”

(end of ProPublica quotes)

(b) Wachovia Bank laundered $378 billion for Mexican drug cartels that are responsible for 35,000 murders. No one was prosecuted by Obama !! Wachovia was fined 110 million which is only one third of one percent of the money they laundered !!

(Wachovia gave Obama and other candidates $1.3 million in contributions in 2008. Wells Fargo bought Wachovia and they also gave huge contributions during this time period)

Here’s a bullet point list of part of the Non prosecution agreements given by Obama and Bush. You can see links to the actual Non Prosecution Agreements later by pasting obamadrugmurdersconnection.blogspot.com

I have not had time to add Goldman Sachs and others yet.

(1) Bank of America, American Express Bank International and Western Union also laundered drug money and no one was prosecuted.

(2) AIG received a Non Prosecution agreement for rigging huge bids to increase sales of Workers Comp;

(3) AIG received a Second Non Prosecution agreement for Aiding & Abetting Securities Fraud;

(4) AIG and Prudential received a Non Prosecution agreement for accounting frauds;

(5) Prudential was also fined $600 Million in Securities Fraud Fines

(6) Prudential, Unum Insurance, and MetLife also committed similar bid rigging violations regarding health care plans and have received multiple Non Prosecution agreements from multiple government agencies;

(7) Metlife still endangers patients lives by ignoring life threatening medical conditions when patients file claims on the policies that MetLife committed frauds to sell;

(8) JP Morgan received a non prosecution agreement for bid rigging in 32 States !!

(9) Wachovia Bank laundered $378 billion of Mexican drug money, no one was prosecuted !!

Businesses in America know they can commit crimes and even kill many citizens and they face almost no chance of prosecution!!

(10) You can paste the following later to see 32 Non Prosecution agreements in 2010. If you scroll down to page three and look in the second column you’ll see how many of the crimes are health care or financial fraud and kickbacks !!

gibsondunn.com/publications/Documents/2010Year-EndUpdate-CorporateDeferredProsecutionAndNon-ProsecutionAgreements.pdf

(11) AIG endangers injured war Zone Contractors lives. CNA endangers injured American Workers and injured War Zone contractors !!

(12) During the time AIG rigged bids to increase sales o Workers Comp policies WFAA - TV in Dallas wrote :

“a remarkable number of Texans committed suicide because they could no longer endure the pain caused by their injuries and they had been repeatedly turned down for worker’s comp care.”

(13) Additionally according to ProPublica.org :

“Drugmaker Eli Lilly pleaded guilty to illegally marketing its blockbuster antipsychotic Zyprexa for elderly patients. Lilly paid $1.4 billion in criminal penalties”

(No one was prosecuted)

“A doctor named as a co-defendant in one suit - for allegedly taking kickbacks to prescribe the drug extensively at nursing homes - never was pursued.”

“Alpharma paid $42.5 million to settle fraud allegations that it paid kickbacks to doctors to prescribe its painkiller Kadian.”
“At least 15 drug and medical-device companies have paid $6.5 billion since 2008 to settle accusations of marketing fraud or kickbacks.”

No one was prosecuted.

“None of the more than 75 doctors named as participants were sanctioned, despite allegations of fraud or of conduct that put patients at risk, a review by ProPublica found.”

(end of ProPublica quotes)

why isn’t there a “linkeIn share button??

@ bane:
because FB like/share requires someone to tweak the FB api
and then update the site.  You’re reading a true journalism site
and not a corporate churnalism propaganda site…they can’t afford to pay a site monkey to have FB functionality for folks hooked on FB.

If you want those features added, please click on “donate” and pony up some funding.

As I have stated in the past, HAMP was a shadow plan from the very beginning.  No teeth, no appetite for enforcement.  For working class Americans and for the poor, it’s every man, woman and child on their own, but for AIG, Bank of America, complicit foreign banks, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, we have trillions of dollars in aid!

Big Banks will NEVER be held accountable, as they are the biggest political contributors!  You can write about it, point out facts, and nothing will be done because only the poor man has to play by the rules.  I waited over a year for a modification, and the payment is just as much as it was with all the late fees, interest, etc.  And I’m under water to boot!  Am I gonna get any relief??  Hell No!  Because Chase does as Chase chooses.

My son has been attempting to get a loan modification from Chase for the last 2 years and they keep losing his documents.  He has faxed the same paperwork several times.

Joseph Zernik, Human Rights Alert (NGO)

Oct. 4, 2011, 12:27 p.m.

The whole “foreclosure crisis” is based on large scale fraud in the state and US courts, to benefit large financial institutions and attorneys, and deprive the people of their lawful property.

The dress up “watchdog” does not bark, because it was never meant to…

It is just one more part of the charade of US justice system.
_______

Joseph Zernik, PhD
Human Rights Alert (NGO)
_______
Locations of visitors to this page
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http://www.examiner.com/x-38742-LA-Business-Headlines-Examiner
_____________________________
WHAT DID THE EXPERT SAY ABOUT THE CURRENT FINANCIAL CRISIS?
* Foreclosure fraud: The homeowner nightmares continue
CNN (April 7, 2011)
* About 3 million homes have been repossessed since the housing boom ended in 2006… That number could balloon to about 6 million by 2013
Bloomberg (January 2011)
* “...a system in which only the little people have to obey the law, while the rich, and bankers especially, can cheat and defraud without consequences.”
http://www.scribd.com/doc/50753639/
Prof Paul Krugman, MIT (2011)
_____________________________
WHAT DID THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA?
* “...judges tried and sentenced a staggering number of people for crimes they did not commit.”
Prof David Burcham, Dean, Loyola Law School, LA (2001)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/29043589/
* “This is conduct associated with the most repressive dictators and police states… and judges must share responsibility when innocent people are convicted.”   
Prof Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, Irvine Law School (2001)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/27433920/
* “Innocent people remain in prison”
* “...the LA Superior Court and the DA office, the two other parts of the justice system that the Blue Panel Report recommends must be investigated relative to the integrity of the system, have not produced any response that we know of…”
LAPD Blue Ribbon Review Panel Report (2006)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/24902306/
_____________________________
WHAT DID THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN CALIFORNIA?
* “...corruption of the courts and the legal profession and discrimination by law enforcement in California.”
United Nations Human Rights Council Staff Report (2010)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/38566837/
_____________________________
WHAT DID THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE STATE COURTS IN THE UNITED STATES?
* “On July 26, 2010, Laurence Tribe, Senior Counsel for the United States Department of Justice, Access to Justice Initiative, delivered an important speech to the Conference of Chief Justices, challenging them to halt the disintegration of our state justice systems before they become indistinguishable from courts of third world nations.”
Prof Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law School (2010), per National Defender Leadership Institute (2010)
http://www.nlada.net/library/article/national_dojspeechto chiefjustice07-26-2010_gideonalert
_____________________________
WHAT DID THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES?
* “More than 100 law professors have signed on to a letter released today that proposes congressional hearings and legislation aimed at fashioning “mandatory and enforceable” ethics rules for Supreme Court justices for the first time. The effort, coordinated by the liberal Alliance for Justice, was triggered by “recent media reports,” the letter said, apparently referring to stories of meetings and other potential conflicts of interest involving Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas among others.”
More than 100 law professors, as reported by the Blog of the Legal Times (February 2011)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/49586436/
_____________________________
WHAT DID CHIEF JUDGE OF THE US COURT OF APPEALS, 5TH CIRCUIT, SAY ABOUT THE US JUSTICE SYSTEM?
* “The American legal system has been corrupted almost beyond recognition…”
Chief Judge, US Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, Edith Jones, speaking before the Federalist Society of Harvard Law School (February 2003)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/50137887/
_____________________________
WHAT DID THE CHAIR OF THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE SAY ABOUT THE US JUSTICE SYSTEM?
* In a speech in Georgetown University, Senator Leahy, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee called for a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” on the US Department of Justice.
Transcript of Senator Leahy speech (2009)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/38472251/

_____

@Paul Kiel-Big time kudos for all of your articles addressing this matter. Through these past 19 months they’ve represented a form of respite for me and in many ways has helped me keep a semblance of sanity.
@Geme Calman-Well stated. I will take your advice. ProPublica is a non-profit and they have done an excellent job of reporting on many other issues as well.

This is no shock at all and is a well known fact for anyone who has been in this industry for any length of time.  It is a shame it has taken this long for the media to be able to prove it.  It is very apparent in the flagrant disregard the banks show for the guidelines and the guidelines allowance of lender discrepancy for certain items that no real assistance was going to be granted - at least not to the magnitude of which it was intended.  Homeowners who are struggling are mishandled at every turn and given misinformation more times than not.  I can only assume it is not purposeful but rather lack of education on the employees of the banks.  At least I hope so.
I have been assisting homeowners obtain loan mods for the last 3 years and it is a disgrace how badly they are treated.  The system is completely broken and has been from the onset.
It is ridiculous to assume that a person who does not have extended knowledge of the mortgage industry will be able to obtain a modification, especially when the people tasked with assisting them know even less.
This is a huge problem and it is not going away anytime soon.  The worst part is that if properly handled a modification is a very viable tool for many people to keep their homes.
Best of luck to anyone trying to get one done!

Barry Schmittou

Oct. 4, 2011, 1:13 p.m.

@ Will and John,

Thank you for your knowledge and thoughts. I believe John wrote about the term “inconclusive by design” and this seems similar.

I believe the U.S. Government, laws and constitution have been overthrown. I would not keep posting so much but I really love all living beings and Democracy.

I hope and pray the citizens of the U.S. can somehow peacefully restore Democracy and use our resources to help living beings instead of the stealing and destoying like the current U.S. and Globalist/Elite world leaders are doing.

I would guess the Non Prosecution Agreements I listed above are about one to five percent of all those given when combined with the crimes ignored.

I know many intelligent people do not agree with my belief that the corruption is so intricate, complex, widespread, and global this must be the wickedness in high places mentioned in Ephesians 6:12.

In college algebra I missed one test question the entire semester; I can easily see patterns that occur in life; I used to think corruption and greed were random until the identical intricate crime pattern became global and it is obvious that wealthy businesses can openly commit identical mass crimes and murder while knowing they will never be prosecuted.

I respect those who don’t agree it’s Biblical. I greatly appreciate the fact that many commenters on ProPublica and the writers of the articles understand we are facing tremendous problems.

I believe the problems are so huge they will never be stopped unless a large media source steps up and leads the cause, or a large peaceful media source is created.

ProPublica’s and others articles are helpful, but in my opinion our world needs much more action to stop the overwhelming patterns of injustice.

Since my surgeries typing disturbs my vision but I will continue seeking justice because I recently read the Bible said we should, and I will also continue to pray a lot because I believe God is our best hope and only lasting hope.

Thanks again to the commenters who show their awareness of the ingrained corruption, and that includes Will and John’s comments above.

There is something we can do - we can either participate or support Occupy Wall Street - and Chase (paid no Taxes) is opening banks everywhere. Let’s show up and hand out flyers detailing these and other abuses. We need to “vote with our feet” and leave ALL of the “too big to fail” banks. The time has come for us to stand up and speak out publicly.

Barry Schmittou

Oct. 4, 2011, 1:21 p.m.

Thanks also to the other commenters who posted their knowledge of the ingrained corruption (It takes me so long to type there were great comments posted while I composed my last comment)

Thanks to Paul and ProPublica for helping many maintain “a semblance of sanity” as mentioned by Roy.

Should it surprise anyone that government programs just are not working!?  Should it surprise anyone that the contractors hired are not doing their job, for which they are being paid millions of big bucks?!  Should it surprise anyone that no one is being prosecuted for criminal activity?!  Doesn’t surprise me a bit.  White collar crime goes largely unprosecuted in this country, except during election time.  I supported Obama and will do so again, but I am disappointed in many of his stances, including this one.  The consumer is getting screwed and the Justice Department is standing by and watching it happen.  The banks and othe financial companies are laughing all the way to the bank, the bank, by the way, that was bailed out by the US Government.
I am not an anti-government zealot, quite to the contrary.  I believe that most government programs are well intentioned, just not managed well, and not within the intent of the law.  If McCain were our President, it would be even worse, as the Republicans would be more in bed with the financial industry.

Finally more reality about this program. I tried for 2 years to get a modification from Chase in the HAMP program, same story as everyone, missing paperwork, calls, denials, and when they promised me that within 30 days I would receive an answer they transferred my loan to another company. I have often thought that some powerful entity (our government or ?)  was complicit with all that was going on in these attempts to get loan modifications and this article just solidifies my belief. Thank you! I love this paper!

Tom O - I completely agree with you.  The program (HAMP) in and to itself is actually a very good one which, as I mentioned, would have provided a lot of relief if properly executed.  It is the lack of oversight and overall apathy the banks have shown that have caused the failure.  When I started doing mods I was very idealistic - I would report the banks and their failures to the different hot lines etc but quickly realized even those outlets were under educated and didn’t really have any pull what so ever.  It is a sad day when I have to educate the governing body on their own guidelines.  It was very disheartening.  I have since dedicated myself to assisting homeowner in getting mods by using the loopholes available but not widely know.  Read the fine print - most people give too much information the bank doesn’t need and if not requesting and end up getting themselves disqualified from the programs.
I believe this error is done w/ good intent.  Most people believe telling all the information will help them get what they need but it reality they shoot themselves in the foot.
The level of misinformation regarding modifications, lack of education by the banks and the non-profit agency’s tasked with handling this is a major contributing factor to the overall failure of the modification effort.  Mods are nothing new, they have been around for a very long time - look at any gse guidelines pertaining to them and you will see.  The problem is education or lack thereof.

It is unbelievable that knowing everything expressed here,  American business and banks think they are being over regulated.  It is as if the inmates of a maximum security prison were complaining about the guards and the bars, and people in the community were seriously considering the inmates to be the victims, not the citizens who were the real victims of their crimes.  I sometimes wonder if there is any hope for democracy when so many citizens and voters can be so easily duped.

One of the first and most disappointing things about the Obama Administration has been an apparent lack of ability to follow through and carry out any of the grandiose plans that got approved by Congress. This is a clear case of either incompetence or negligence and someone should be fired over this lack of professional conduct. It is particularly upsetting that the administration ignores complaints and fails to respond to media coverage that has been non-stop for some time. There should be some support for judicial recompense for the victims of these programs. The best advice I can come up with is: FIRE SOME PEOPLE NOW.

Thanks to ProPublica for this fine investigative journalism… and to all the intelligent and thoughtful commenters. 

As one of the millions who are unemployed and desperately scrambling to save my home, sparing an extra dollar or two to donate is difficult, but I’m determined to scrape up something.

Barry Schmittou

Oct. 4, 2011, 1:37 p.m.

@ Kim,

JP Morgan Chase received a non prosecution agreement for bid rigging in 32 States and another one for mortgage deals as seen in the DOJ and SEC quotes below.

Please help me get this evidence to the Occupy Wall Street movement and anyone else who can help. I am hopeful that Congress and the White House will be occupied by humans with a good conscience soon.

Here’s a quote from the U.S. Department of Justice :

“From 2001 to 2006, certain then-employees of JPM at its municipal derivatives desk (which was closed by the Company in 2008) and/or predecessor desks entered into unlawful agreements to manipulate the bidding process and rig bids on certain relevant municipal contracts, and made payments and engaged in other activities in connection with those agreements, in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, and certain sections of Title 18 of the United States Code”

The full agreement can be seen by pasting justice.gov/atr/public/press_releases/2011/272815a.pdf

AND JP Morgan received another agreement from the SEC. Here are quotes from ProPublica :

“The $154 million settlement the Securities and Exchange Commission wrested from JPMorgan Chase involved only one of more than two dozen mortgage securities deals that the hedge fund Magnetar helped create. As we detailed last year [1], many banks in the waning days of the boom created collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, with the help of Magnetar, which also bet against many of the same investments.”

The full article can be seen by pasting propublica.org/article/after-sec-settlement-with-jpmorgan-will-other-banks-be-forced-to-pay-up-too

I believe it’s important to note that almost $3 million dollars was given to President Obama and other political candidates by managers and employees of JP Morgan and JP Morgan Chase in 2008. I’ m sure Bush has received huge contributions too.

You can see more evidence at obamadrugmurdersconnection.blogspot.com

Kim, my secondary email address is seen at the end of treasonevidence.blogspot.com

THE SERVICERS HAVE NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER IN LOAN MODIFICATIONS.

THEY PRETEND TO HELP YOU—-JUST SO THEY CAN EXTRACT AS MUCH MONEY AS POSSIBLE FROM YOU BEFORE THEY FORECLOSE AND GET IT OFF THEIR “BOOKS”.

YOU ARE NOT A HUMAN BEING TO BANKS AND SERVICERS—-YOU ARE A NUMBER.

THEY ARE DOING THIS BECAUSE IT IS UNSECURED DEBT—-LIKE A CREDIT CARD…NO REAL MORTGAGES IN SUBPRIME…ONLY PAYMENTS FROM BORROWERS WERE SECURITIZED…

“MORTGAGE-BACKED SECURITIES” WERE NEVER “MORTGAGE”-BACKED…ONLY RECEIVABLES WERE SECURITIZED…GIANT COVER-UP.  TRUSTS ARE AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN EMPTY.

COLLECTION RIGHTS SOLD OVER AND OVER. THIS IS WHY THEY HAVE HAD TO FABRICATE FRAUDULENT DOCUMENTS AND “ROB-SIGN”—-BECAUSE THERE ARE NO “REAL” SECURED MORTGAGES…ALL A GIANT LIE…

DEMAND THEY SEND YOU PROOF OF LEDGER SHOWING HOW YOUR PAYMENTS ARE GOING TO AN ACTUAL, VERIFIABLE (NOT FRAUDULENT) SECURED CREDITOR WITH A “REAL” MORTGAGE…


THE BIG BANKS ARE FAILING BECAUSE OF THIS FRAUD.

WAKE UP PEOPLE.


PAUL KIEL—-DIG DEEPER—-

Oh, and if you truly care what happens to your children’s future—-please sign the petition for an amendment to get money out of politics—-which caused all this crap in the first place:

getmoneyout.com

VERY important—-thank you…(and tell a friend!)

Does anyone have any insight in to the new program “Hardest Hit” I know not all states qualify but IL does and I am in IL.  I provided all the same paperwork I did to HAMP, Bank of America except it was all up to date . The program looks promising but so did HAMP! Except this is done through your state, your Governor and your Attorney Generals and IL happened to have a really proactive Attorney General. All I can do now id pray and hold on nut for those that are not aware look it up.  It is HARDEST HIT!!!

HAMP would help if their were people who actually enforce it. I’ve been trying to deal with Bank of America for over two years. I’ve been denied because my investor does not particpate in HAMP, yet on Freddie Mac website they promote HAMP. Too many inexperience people working at the Big Banks will eventually lead to their down fall. No loans no income! I guess the 30,000 or 40,000 to loss their jobs didn’t understand basic finance that money today is better than money tomorrow

Having met with the leadership at Treasury in Oct 2010 to offer a plan for escalation of denied modification to be reviewed by an independent third party, I can verify the conclusions made in this article. With regard to Treasury not fully understanding how their program works - correct; Freddie not having qualified people to do the audits - correct; the very basics of not knowing how to calculate income by the servicer - correct.

Things where looking up on April 13, 2011 with the Consent Order by OCC, OTS, FDIC and the Fed. We where finally going to have a review of all foreclosure from 2009 and 2010 by an independent third party.  In April 2011 we submitted our plan, similar to the one we submitted to Treasury 6 months earlier, to OCC for and Independent third party review as required by Article VII of the Consent Order. Here we are Oct 2011 and the requirements of Article VII have still not been met or enforced by OCC.

There are solutions; professional manpower and technology to get this right. To properly review all foreclosure docs, review all declined HAMP modification application and determine “injury” when errors where made by the servicer.  This is all mandated in the Consent Order - the question is does the government want to do it right - I am not sure.  If they did they would be calling on the right people to do the job which as of now they are not. Oh, by the way we can not count on the House or Senate - bin there - done that.

I made my own bumper sticker for “getmoneyout.com” why don’t you?

YES, we are the VICTIMS OF GMAC ,which did perform on our request for LOAN MODIFICATIONS and then FORECLOSE ON US and we had to file for CHAPTER 13 .
They[GMAC ] has ruined our CREDIT AND HAVE PUT US THROUGH LOT OF MENTAL ANGUISH .
GMAC SHOULD BE PENALIZED , FOR WHAT THEY MADE US GO THROUGH.

Can any one from from the concerned DEPARTMENTS/ORGANIZATIONS LOOK INTO OUR CASE, PLEASE.


Jay
HOME OWNER
9839 Westminster Dr.
Humble,Tx. 77338
GMAC ACCOUNT # 7434013157
[WWW.gmacmortgage.com
customer care inquiries 1 800 766 4622 ] If they pick up ???

Regarding HAMP; if it looks likes a fraud, smells like a fraud, performs like a fraud it’s probably a FRAUD!

- Voluntary compliance

- Little or no oversight

- Lack of transparency;  NPV (qualification) formula that you cannot see
.
- With absolutely no mention of it on the HAMP web site, a program that nevertheless mandates that you be disqualified for a modification if you have substantial equity in your home (even though statistics from the Home Owners Loan Corporation of the 1930’s confirm that those with equity are the least likely to re-default).

- Invalid pre-qualifications process on HAMP site, luring ineligible homeowners into the loan modification trap while “dual-pathing” them to foreclosure.  (Falsely pre-qualifies homeowners with equity)
 
HAMP IS A FRAUD.

Need further confirmation of the Administration’s intent?  Consider that they brought in,as chief of staff, the former head of lobbying for JPMorgan Chase! Chase is perhaps the worst offender in the loan modification fiasco… competing only with Bank of America.

I wrote the treasury department two weeks ago regarding BOFAS criminal activity regarding posting my mortgage payments 4 weeks after I was making them (thus charging me exhorbitant late fees and then threatening to accelerate my loan into foreclosure). I didn’t even bother explaining the ridiculousness of the 3 modification attempts I tried—just the inexplicable activity of messing around with the payment dates for a three month period of time. I get a call back from a member of HAMP. I explained to them that I didn’t think they would be of help in the matter I was delaing with. They insisted that they would assign me a caseworker nonetheless to look into why I was never aforded a mod. Two weeks later another service member from HAMP called (not the caseworker) to explain that they contacted the bank and that the bank told them I was 64000 dollar in arrears and that they (HAMP) couldn’t help me. LOL!!!! I am, according to BOFA, 2000 dollars in arrears b/c of the trumped up late fees—not 64000.00. Hamp informed me that the case was closed b/c “they talked to the bank”. Not only did I know that they wouldn’t be able to help me, but when they insisted on doing so, they angered me even further by coming up with an assanine response!!

@Steve-All of your statements are 100% correct. We did try to get through to House and Senate. Everything that you feared has come to the front. Your company could have helped hundreds of thousands. Powers to be didn’t want to help. Look at all the people cheated out of their homes as a result of misrepresentations alone. I hope you are still plugging away with your mission, as we needed you then as much as now.
@JS-The “dual tracking” and exclusion of those with equity was probably the most hurtful next to foreclosing outright. All studies have always supported the facts you present. Such a shame. All goes back to greed. I’ve read just today that former Countrywide execs have formed Penny Mac to buy foreclosed properties for pennies on the dollar. When will the madness end?
@AdriAnne-I believe you are referring to program of EHLP (Emergency Home Loan Program) which will pay some of your mortgage for up to 2 years with a 50,000.00 limit. Not all will be helped as a “lottery” will be held and only a certain amount will be helped (sure pray one of them will be you and your daughter). They extended timeline to get paperwork in a 2nd time and you have to be at least 60 days in arrears I believe. Please get in touch with your local NeighborWorks organization or Legal Aid. And God bless dear woman.

Michele Zimmerman

Oct. 4, 2011, 7:41 p.m.

This does not surprise me.When will regulators have the power ($$) to enforce the regs, instead of this ham?

I’m sorry for all of us, but we aren’t going to be helped by the feds because we no longer have a govt that represents the general public.  Unfortunately things will have to get worse before they get better.  There are still too many people who believe in the lie that it is one political side or the other that is the problem.  In reality, both parties are just sides of the same counterfeit coin.  When enough people realize that the political drama is just purposeful theater and that our future has been stolen from us by corporate interest and Big Money, the worm will begin to turn.

Erick & Mikel

Oct. 4, 2011, 9:18 p.m.

My fiance and I are victims of GMAC. We had just spent $2300 painting our house when someone came to our house and started sawing off our locks.

Who the hell would spend that much money if they thought they had defaulted on their loan?  We had not missed or been late on a payment.  7 years we had our house.  We really couldn’t fight it because they sold the house without our knowledge.  This was all because of, what GMAC claimed, a clerical error.

After spending $5000.00 in legal fees, we moved into an apartment that is costing us twice as much as our mortgage.

Losing a home is something no one can relate to unless it’s happened to you. 

It wont change either of us.  We stil support the president. This has been going on for a long time.  The banks own everyone.

Thank you ProPublica for this informative article.  I am living this nightmare with AHMSI. They are evil and play mind games, one minute you feel like they understand the next you are being called a liar.  It is truly a mess out there, so many hardworking people, families and children being impacted by this. Big Banks are doing nothing but preying on the American dreams of innocent people.

There has to be a way to stop this abuse!

Just FYI. BofA is beginning a pilot program with Remax agents in CA.  If you are trying to do a short sale in CA and you are not a Remax agent, the file will not upload to Equator.  The NAR needs to jump in here with all the PAC money they get from us and stop this action.  OH is also a hardest hit area. You need to submit paperwork to the bank and through a non profits website.  As of July 25th 2011, a foreclosure cannot proceed (on a GSE or non GSE loan) while a modification is under review.  This is why you need to get a non profit involved as it is recognized by the lender.  If you work through the lender only, some will use delay tatics, while proceeding with the foreclosure.  Also in the State of OH you can request mediation with the Ohio Supreme Court, this may apply in other states as well.  Now I know, I am going to get stink by anyone one here that works a for profit loan mod. company.  If they have attornies, they do not seem to face the same issues as Realtors do.  I also am not shy about following up with Legal Aid.  This is just my experiences with foreclosures over the past 10 years.  I am always open to hearing others success’.

If your buyer has the availability to buy the note, this is another option.  REICLUB.com has a lot of great information on it covering several topics.  If your in Cincinnati, ignore this last sentence, lololol.

You can also contact the insurer on the loan and tell them that you believe it is insurance fraud if a lender is not acting upon an offer that is within 15% of current appraised value.

I am in total shock by the amount of people who say they will still support Obama.  Has no one done their homework?  It is critical that you see who is causing all this mess, besides the bankers and Chase and the OBVIOUS guilty parties.  While U-Tube is still operating, start typing.  Look for the history of this whole mess, and for those that are in any way a part of “World Order”.  Or New World Order.  It is all over the place, and Obama and Romney are quite pro World Order, hence, “spread the wealth”.  Spend two days just researching, then say you could possible support Obama again.  I was once happy he had been elected.  I was wrong.  Study the U.N. and World Order.

While I respect that each of us has the right to support whomever we choose, I find it incredible that some still avow a belief in Obama and trust his sincerity.  This is just one facet of his failure.  And speaking of agreements not to prosecute - that is Eric Holder/DOJ’s stock in trade, not just in these financial matters but, for example, the decision not to prosecute the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation.  Interesting information has come to light that Obama met with and marched with some of the highest ranking members of the NBP during his campaign for presidency.  I wonder if they might have contributed to his campaign, but of course that’s all perfectly okay even though it screams conflict of interest.

This entire fiasco has accomplished one thing for me.  It has helped me to realize/accept that I can no longer expect the government to act in anyone’s best interest who is not a major campaign contributor nor can I expect them to act in a moral, ethical way and least of all exhibit common sense.

Obama is destroying this country and I am frustrated by those who continue to give him a free pass, the same one given him by the media since his first appearance on the national scene. 

Logic would dictate that Obama had to have friends in high places and friends with big bankrolls for such a relative unknown to become president.  Whoever funded him was very shrewd, they knew that by selecting a black person (yes I realize his is also a white person) who would be able to capitalize on this country’s determination to make every effort to make amends for past grievances, i.e. slavery in the form of white man’s guilt.  I will be the first to say I feel no guilt whatsoever, my ancestor’s were still in Europe during the time of the civil war and even if they had been here, they were very poor people struggling to make it, to raise 14 children on a remote little farm in Kansas and had no means or desire to enslave anyone.

At any rate, having chosen wisely this black man who had a get out of jail free card for every wrongdoing he has been caught doing (and for which the media covers such as no white person has every experienced or should experience) the automatic answer/response: the person making the allegation is a RACIST.  End of discussion.

Obama has trampled the Constitution in so many ways I will not list them because those who choose not to see will not, after all that has happened, be swayed by my pathetic words.

I got a modification, finally, but I suffered blood sweat and tears and years of frustration and aggravation to get it and I am still owing twice what my house would now sell for.    The neighborhood has gone seriously downhill and I no longer feel safe in my home so I’m not sure that I am better off for it.  My home was broken into last summer, invaded, even while I was on my back patio at the time and did come inside while the whole invasion was underway and consider myself lucky to have not paid a higher price than I did.  Homes in the neighborhood are frequently broken into.  The one to my right has been broken into twice during the past 4 years.  My credit is destroyed and therefore I cannot qualify for any security system I can afford.  Since my credit is so bad I must buy, upfront, the equipment which I haven’t the means to do.  So here I am, in the home I fought so hard to keep, where I mostly try to hide from the world out there.

I still consider walking away, just locking the front door and leaving hoping to find some little small town where I can have at last some peace and serenity in my life.  These past years are not how I would choose to spend my later years in life.

I am tired mentally, discouraged and disappointed.  And I am sad that the country my father served in the Navy would be no doubt such a huge disappointment for him if he were alive to see it.  He was a patriotic but humble man.  I can only imagine what he would say now and frankly I’m glad I do not have to know.

There is no more 4th of July/Independence celebration in my home.  That is a hollow empty day that merely emphasizes how far we have fallen.  How low we can go is anyone’s guess but we are well on the way there even now.

Interesting, while I was composing my recent entry I see that someone else has voiced the same sentiments as I have as far as Obama is concerned.  Sometimes I wonder if I am not just turning into a bitter and not very nice person with my views of him and the world in general but I see, at least in this case, I am not alone so perhaps I am just being realistic.  I have always been an honest person and have held everyone to high standards but I have expected those same high standards of myself.  It is a bit of comfort to know that perhaps I’m not as wretched a person as I sometimes feel because there are others out there with views and questions very similar to mine.

Actually, for a minute when I was reading the comment above mine, for just a moment I wondered if I haven’t gone round the bend and become one of those multiple character disordered people as the words could have come from my own mouth/hand.  But no, I think I am still sane at least for now.

One final thought for now, you know there are still many out there who view people like me, like us, who have sought modifications, as deadbeats who bought homes too grand for our budget and now seek to get an easy way out.

They have no idea of what they are talking about.  I had my home paid for at one time and then foolishly borrowed for a home equity loan, those people who judge me and us do not know the truth.  They are willing to give Obama and the greedy barons of Wall Street the benefit of the doubt but they draw the line at you and me.

Maybe Treasury’s “effective and unprecedented in many ways.” explains it?  They have an unprecedented ability to redefine effective to mean anything they want it to?

Anne in K.C…The equity loans that the banks and all the ‘criminals’ involved were freely handing out were but one more trick to get the rest of Americans money.  It was intended to be sure that not one person survived this ‘theft’, or ‘rape’ on Americans.  It was a total “God-Deal”, as my husband and I call it..(miracle), that we did not happen to buy into it.  Let me offer this thought:  I have researched the “taking down” of the Glass-Steagall act, which safeguarded Americans from this demise.  It is recorded that in 1933, upon the Act being initiated, it has been fought against since then.  By bankers, and by the   “most Elite” handful, the famous ‘Hatfields’ and ‘McCoys’—the Rockerfellers and the Morgans.  Actually, by one of the two.  the Glass-Steagall Act has systematically been removed, one tiny piece at a time, until it was ready to be removed entirely.  It had to be a tiny piece at a time.  It would have never been allowed, if any group had just said…repeal the Glass-Steagall bill.  I have it traced back to 1980 so far, but pieces may have been removed prior:  I am not that far yet.  My statement:  this whole thing, if one thinks about it, has been a slow, steady, systematic intentional financial destruction of the people of the United States.  I recall, around 2000, people’s 401K’s took a hit.  Then again, later.  Then, once all the cards had been stacked, there was first a grand motion to offer new mortgages with variable interest rates, ballooning payment options, down payment assisted, interest only, etc… ( offer low interest equity loans, up to 125% of home value!!)..., after which, once enough people had ‘bought in’, Bernanke raised interest in 2005, or so, which threw everyone over the cliff and began the rest of the whole thing.  Please look to see all that are involved in the New World Order:  research it hard, and then see those that are not.  Support those who are not, be sure you are registered correctly.  Vote early if possible, then offer rides to anyone that needs them.

Oh, I forgot…just before all this, they passed new laws to make it harder to file bankrupcy.  Do not suggest to me that this was not set up.  And, if it is true that it was, I’ll say it again…if it is true that it was set-up, why?  It isn’t just ...GMAC… look deeper.  Why?  Why was this done?  What was the purpose to break not only Millions and millions of Americans, but also, to Be Sure…I’ll say again…Be Sure..that the downfall reached other nations, because these ‘re-bundled’ loans were sold to investers world wide.  Why?  Start looking for your answers, but at the same time, be ready for what comes next.  Anyone or any entity that can cause this deep and this massive of a demise can’t be done.  I do not think it is over.  Just my feelings, because I need to answer the ..Why?  To get a lot of money?  Not a good enough reason.  Then, I hear laws are being passed that make it illegal to sell neighbors vegetables, or even…(I am hearing) more..
I would suggest to everyone to begin growing your own today.  Not tomorrow.  It takes a period of time to learn ‘how to’, if one hasn’t grown before.  It takes learning to learn to can and smoke your own food.  I think a two year supply would maybe , just maybe be enough.  Hopefully.

Not sure if this will post, Anne in K.C., as we are still so broke I cannot contirbute to anything but my food bill…but if it does, may I suggest..get a puppy, about 7 wks old, with at least some German Shepherd blood, and train him/her.  Our mixed mutt, about 60 #, won’t let any one on our land, much less in the house until we tell him it’s O.K.

Thanks Paul.  Great article!

The banksters were hoping that this little foreclosure mess would just go away as they continued to beat the crap out of homeowners and have an opportunity continue to beat them when they’re down by attempting to collect on deficiency judgments.

When the Treasury “report card” was published, it was apparent that the statistics reflected those 60+ in default. Where were the numbers for those who were facing imminent default - 30+ days late? No where. That’s why the servicers used that excuse to tell homeowners to stop making payments or no help would be coming.

This is the biggest scam in the history of the US. This is not a problem specific to homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgage, it is a problem for every homeowner in America.

Right after MHA was introduced, popular bloggers met with Treasury officials in an informal meeting. They were told that HAMP was nothing more than a prop for the struggling banks. Anyone who read the Fannie Mae guidelines and the Treasury Directives knew that there was no way this program would work.

This audit should be public record. Where’s the transparency?

Keep up the good work Paul.

I read this and I am appalled, my mother lost her house and had to declare bankruptcy because GMAC screwed her around on getting a loan modification. She was widowed nearly 5 years ago with heavy medical debt after my father died, she was working at nearly 70 years old and getting her SS check, and GMAC kept giving her the run around. Mom finally got a lawyer after over a year of this nonsense and being laid off while she was laid up due to surgery, her attorney told her just walk away, the property is not worth it, the bank will do nothing and now your income has diminished. And by the way she was 70 years old then.

It is unfair, and just not right that these banks get American tax payer money and they can do what they want. They don’t’ follow any regulations and receive little or no penalties while the taxpayers are losing their homes. Why is this allowed?

If Freddie Mac needs help over seeing this process then why don’t they hire people? Believe it or not, I am sure they could find some quality people who would gladly work for them who will understand the process and help get it under control. JUST ASK.

Just an FYI. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are beginning (as of about 4 months ago) to pursue those who are foreclosed on for a deficiency judgment.  This truly adds insult to injury when the lender is unco-operative when a borrower tries everything to pursue a modification.  This forces a person into a chapter 7 in many cases.  I also had a situation where a HELOC would not negotiate on forgiving the deficiency, since it hits your credit as a credit card debt instead of a mortgage.  Now you need to watch out for “SMART METERS”  If this organization has not investigated them from your energy company, they should.  It should be criminal to install them.  I also believe (for those in a judicial state) that it is the common pleas court that should make sure chain of title has not been inturpted and they should force a modification when the financials show its possible.  Currently it is the bankruptcy trustee.  Well why should a person have to file a bk to get a possible modification?

I urge everyone on tis comment board to check out yesterdays housingwire article regardiing Rick Perry.  I also urge everyone to really look at Ron Paul as a candidate to run against Pres. O.  Read up on Smart Meters by the energy companies.  Our freedom and privacy are being ripped from us and we dont even know it.  Just FYI, I am the same Karen that posted at 11pm yesterday.

To the person requesting info on the Hardest Hit Fund in IL - here is the link.  It is very similar to applying for a modification and the funds are limited so be sure to do it quickly.

http://www.ihda.org/ViewPage.aspx?PageID=402

Best of luck

Great article, Paul & thank you for continuing to report so well on this issue.  I’ve been battling with Chase since jan. 2009 & am STILL in modification limbo.  They’ve decided to deny me (in writing this time) any type of modification because I “failed to submit the necessary documents.”  SERIOUSLY?????  I’ve sent them the SAME docs AT LEAST 8x so I’d LOVE to know where those are???  I have receipts AND emails from Chase employees confirming receipt of these docs, though.

Nice try, Chase.

Maureen, try contacting the Executive Office at chase and requesting to open a case.  The # is 877-496-9033.  I use this line a great deal for my clients and always have great results.  Best of luck to you.

It is ridiculous to focus your angst on one person or one party as the devil!  For those who wish to rant about Obama, fine!  He is just another shill for corporate interest, but don’t forget those in the Clinton administration, both Bush admins, and now Boehner, Cantor and Paul Ryan.  No one person in DC is responsible!  Countless numbers of pols have lied, got themselves elected and then acted as protectors and agents of corporate interest and entrenched wealth.  Singling out Obama is just buying into the political carnival show and only serves those who are the real culprits.

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Foreclosure Crisis

Foreclosure Crisis: Banks and Government Fail Homeowners

Banks and the government have fallen short in helping homeowners in danger of foreclosure.

The Story So Far

Systemic failures at the country’s banks and mortgage servicers have exacerbated the most severe foreclosure crisis since the Great Depression, and government efforts to limit the damage have fallen short. ProPublica created an unrivaled database of homeowners who have faced foreclosure, opened a Facebook page to encourage homeowners to share their stories, wrote profiles of some of them, and incorporated their experiences into our reporting. We also provided a comprehensive rundown of the numbers behind the crisis.

More »

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