Journalism in the Public Interest

Foreclosure Fail: Study Pins Blame on Big Banks

A study by government and academic researchers finds that approximately 800,000 homeowners missed out on mortgage modifications because of big banks’ poor performance.

A study by government and academic researchers finds that approximately 800,000 homeowners missed out on mortgage modifications because of big banks' poor performance. (David Zalubowski/AP Photo)

Over the past several years, we've reported extensively on the big banks' foreclosure failings. As a result of banks' disorganization and understaffing — particularly at the peak of the crisis in 2009 and 2010 — homeowners were often forced to run a gauntlet of confusion, delays, and errors when seeking a mortgage modification.

But while evidence of these problems was pervasive, it was always hard to quantify the damage. Just how many more people could have qualified under the administration's mortgage modification program if the banks had done a better job? In other words, how many people have been pushed toward foreclosure unnecessarily?

A thorough study released last week provides one number, and it's a big one: about 800,000 homeowners.

The study's authors — from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the government's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Ohio State University, Columbia Business School, and the University of Chicago — arrived at this conclusion by analyzing a vast data set available to the OCC. They wanted to measure the impact of HAMP, the government's main foreclosure prevention program.

What they found was that certain banks were far better at modifying loans than others. The reasons for the difference, they established, were pretty predictable: The banks that were better at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure had staff who were both more numerous and better trained.

Unfortunately for homeowners, most mortgages are handled by banks that haven't been properly staffed and thus have modified far fewer loans. If these worse-performing banks had simply modified loans at the same pace as their better performing peers, then HAMP would have produced about 800,000 more modifications. Instead of about 1.2 million modifications by the end of this year, HAMP would have resulted in about 2 million.

That's still well short of the 3-4 million modifications President Obama promised when he announced the program back in early 2009. But it's a big difference, and a reasonable, basic benchmark against which to compare the program's failings.

The report does not identify these poor performing banks, but it's not hard to ID them. A “few large servicers [have offered] modifications at half the rate of others,” the authors say. The largest mortgage servicers are Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citi.

Bank of America in particular (the largest of all the servicers when HAMP launched) has been far slower to modify loans than even the other large servicers, as other analyses we've cited have shown.

Rick Simon, a spokesman for Bank of America, said the banks' “home retention results are significant and in line with our industry peers to date.”

The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) paid subsidies to mortgage servicers on the theory that doing so would convince them to embrace modifications. The authors say that voluntary approach apparently didn't have much effect with the biggest servicers. They weren't very good at modifying loans before HAMP was launched and weren't much better after it launched.

The authors wrote that while they can't be sure why these banks underperformed, they “may not have responded to the program since doing so would involve changing their business focus from processing and channeling payments to actively renegotiating loans. In addition, this may have involved significantly altering their organizational capabilities, such as building appropriate infrastructure and hiring and training servicing staff.”

That echoes on our reporting on how ill-suited the big banks were when it came to modifying loans. The result inside the banks has sometimes been chaos. As one Bank of America employee complained, "The whole documentation collection thing has got to be purposely not funded. Like, I can't get a fax. I work for a huge bank that has tons of money, and you're telling me that I can't get a fax?"

Since HAMP's oversight has been lax — the Treasury Department, which runs the program, has responded indulgently to mortgage servicers breaking HAMP's rules — banks haven't had to worry much about their low modification rates. (You can see this explained with a song. It's also a big part of our book on the foreclosure crisis.)

A Treasury spokeswoman, responding to the new report, said HAMP had resulted in “one of the most comprehensive compliance reviews of mortgage servicing operations in the country. Servicers in the Making Home Affordable Program are subject to an unprecedented level of compliance oversight.”

The report did have some positive findings concerning HAMP. As we've reported, modifications in the program have been more generous to homeowners than modifications done outside HAMP. The authors also found that the program did boost the number of modifications — i.e. it caused modifications that likely would not have happened if not for the program.

The authors also say that HAMP might have induced more modifications if the program had not required such extensive screening of homeowners seeking a modification. From the program's launch, the administration emphasized that the program wouldn't help the wrong sort of “irresponsible” homeowner. That emphasis led to requirements that homeowners send in lots of paperwork to prove their income, which in turn further taxed the big servicers' inadequate systems.

Despite the recent stabilization in home prices and a drop in the rate of homeowners falling behind on their payments, HAMP's limited impact remains a very relevant issue. Even in the sixth year of the foreclosure crisis, the country remains saddled with an extraordinarily high number of loans in foreclosure — about 2 million. That backlog hasn't improved much in the last couple years, meaning it's still hard to forecast when the foreclosure rate will return to a normal level.

I wonder if the OCC took into account in its definition of “unnecessarily” that it got an injunction preventing the fifty state Attorneys General from investigating the shady lending practices that led to the bubble and collapse in the first place.  It shouldn’t take a genius to see that, if the law had been applied to lending, fewer people would have been in houses they couldn’t afford, and many of them faced foreclosure for it.

But, I guess, in this game, it’s better to blame the banks and then NOT TELL US which ones are doing a bad job.  After all, that would lead to informed consumers making decisions, and it’s obvious that nobody wants that…

Ya think?  The only people who ever questioned this were those who practice patriarchal violence and exploitation on poor people.  That is the Republikan line.  Those damn poor people keep effing over the rest of us again and again.  I wish they’d quit practicing class warfare on us just because we are rich.  You know, buying houses they cannot afford.  That hurts the rest of us who are willing to stomp on the face of everyone else to make it to the top of the hill in politics, korporate Amerika and Wall Street.

Wall Street and Big Banks caused the financial crisis.

Studies have shown that most people in danger of losing their homes did not “buy more home than they could afford”“.

Many people could afford their homes and lived in it for years before the crisis hit.  They lost their jobs when the economy tanked.

Many millions of other homeowners were victims of Wall Street
“churning refinance loans"on the same properties over and over and over.

Wall Street and Hedge Funds owned the mortgage companies.
Wall Street created the too good to be true loans.

Wall Street firms and their mortgage subsidiaries
ran television, radio and newspaper ads and used high pressure
tactics to take fixed income salaried and other fixed income households out of fixed rate loans and into high commission, high fees exotic instrument home loans with huge caps and many with prepayment penalties and balloon payments.

It was predatory lending.
Wall Street Executives who created these programs and conditions
should be in prison.
A Wall Street wag joked that if you put a few of these high
level bank and Wall Street executives on Rikers Island Prison NY
then this kind of unbridled greed and corruption would stop fast.

Why shouldn’t lies be all that’s needed or nothing at all? People will only believe what plays into their own arrogance or preferences. The overwhelming #‘s of foreclosures were not people who did not qualify for loans or bought houses they couldn’t afford - but people preferred to believe that because it allowed them to feel smug, not panic and blame each other instead of banks and government. Government like everyone else in the U.S. cares only for wealth or its illusion - only “bad” people are poor and deserve what they get. The real truth is that foreclosures decimated the middle class - primarily people who qualified for their home loans and bought houses they could afford - and owned those homes a decade or more - until the economic collapse caused by greed cost them the jobs that paid for the homes.

It’s easier to differentiate ourselves from “others” if we prefer to throw logic out the window rather than face hard reality. But don’t always believe what you “hear” because it’s usually not true.

I was one of the few who got a modification through one of those major banks—but it was so difficult and there were so many deliberate changes, challenges, delays, and dithering that I came to believe that the banks were deliberately not just making these difficult, but trying to make the current administration look bad. In my two year battle, there were many times when, while tearing my hair out, I cursed the administration for offering a program at all when it was impossible to get a modification.  I got mine only because I kept detailed notes of who I talked to, when I talked to them, what they said, and what I did.  I went through a Congressman and a Senator and someone from the bank’s “President’s Office” still was unyielding and borderline abusive. It was finally my second Senator who made the difference, and only then because I had such clear and uncontrovertible documentation—and, I think, because he was on the banking committe.  I did not set out for a modification—the bank SUGGESTED it—but fortunately when another department in the bank said I had to be three months behind, I didn’t fall for it. I never missed a payment, but had I not had details and not fought as hard as I did, who knows what would have happened? And I’m not lazy—I became disabled, yet was still paying my bills, when the bank suggested this.  I now firmly believe that some banks were using us, the ones in the most difficulty, as a way to disenchant Americans with the current administration.  I still think I might write an article about this, but it is still painful (I sometimes felt I was being verbally abused by one of the representatives, and their were clear tricks the bank used) and I still need the modification.  This wasn’t as benign as simple understaffing or overbureacrtization; there was more to it than that.  I am convinced.

Maurice R. Clark

Sep. 11, 2012, 3:05 p.m.

Prioritizing one problem while minimizing the vast majority risks minimizing at least two effects: “What can go wrong, will” and “The rule of unintended consequences”.

Every attempt to rectify the impossible is like pushing on a balloon. or putting your hand in contaminated water. The balloon expands elsewhere, the contaminated water rises, and another area is inundated and sickened.

The only solution (impossible except in theory) is to declare the game null and void, and go back to the beginning.

What is the impact on pool purchasers whose retirement accounts are suffering (fatal perhaps) with worthless holdings?

What of life insurance companies reliant on purchases at higher rates to meet actuarial assumptions when those rates drop, or go away entirely?

What about the impact on municipalities who invested funds and, by extension, their taxpayers who face higher taxes to meet revenue shortfalls, particularly in a weak real estate and business tax world?

How much does the economy and employment suffer as a result of business and government cutbacks resulting from misplaced comfort with AAA bonds?

And so on, and on, and on——?

Please forgive my skepticism, but paraphrasing President Roosevelt- “We have much more to fear than fear itself”. The only economic impact of attempted resolution has, so far, left the world drowning in shallower water!

If you factor in climate similarities, crop failures, and factors beyond control of the Fed (ie- the Eurozone), then the Kondratieff Long Wave Theory, and the Great Depression begin to look eerily repetitive.

Maurice R. Clark

Sep. 11, 2012, 3:18 p.m.

Prioritizing one problem while minimizing the vast majority risks at least two effects: “What can go wrong, will” and “The rule of unintended consequences”.

Every attempt to rectify the impossible is like pushing on a balloon. or putting your hand in contaminated water. The balloon expands elsewhere, the contaminated water rises, and another area is inundated and sickened.

The only solution (impossible except in theory) is to declare the game null and void, and go back to the beginning.

What is the impact on pool purchasers whose retirement accounts are suffering (fatal perhaps) with worthless holdings?

What of life insurance companies reliant on purchases at higher rates to meet actuarial assumptions when those rates drop, or go away entirely?

What about the impact on municipalities who invested funds and, by extension, their taxpayers who face higher taxes to meet revenue shortfalls, particularly in a weak real estate and business tax world?

How much does the economy and employment suffer as a result of business and government cutbacks resulting from misplaced comfort with AAA bonds?

And so on, and on, and on——?

Please forgive my skepticism, but paraphrasing President Roosevelt- “We have much more to fear than fear itself”. The only economic impact of attempted resolution has, so far, left the world drowning in shallower water!

If you factor in climate similarities, crop failures, and factors beyond control of the Fed (ie- the Eurozone), then the Kondratieff Long Wave Theory, and the Great Depression begin to look eerily repetitive.

After 6 COMPLETE applications (90 pages) (when we clearly qualified the first time), intervention by HAMP/HOPE Program Officers, and me having a stroke, we finally got a modification.  Truth was, the bank really did not want to help us and used every excuse in the book, from lost docs, to denying for unauthorized reasons, to out and out lying.  Took 2.5 years+, and I did, indeed, have a stroke because of their (Chase) game playing.  Had HOPE/HAMP not called me and told me to try one more time, and intervened, I would have given/did give up, but with a large amount of intervention on their part, we finally accomplished the impossible.

Here are story/video clips that run on September 5th on CBS Atlanta including comments from MA South Essex County Register of Deeds John O’Brien and homeowners which are fighting wrongful foreclosures:

CBS Atlanta this evening: Homeowners, advocates want bank reps jailed for foreclosure fraud!

- O’Brien found many different robosigners penned the same name.

“I can’t look people in the eye and tell them who owns their mortgage because their mortgage has been sold so many times,” O’Brien said.

Not honesty or truth but money-oriented root of these problems is inside the groupy brains of a few guys in our territorial highest courts.

We have already started here, first, educating the global folks about how to recognize those ‘unseen ones with hedgehog-qualities’ that abuse power and those -blind by the negativity of human greed and do thievery-things in the protection safety of laws, especially the privacy laws in our Supreme Courts -that serve only the interests of too greedy North-American corporations.

When do you suppose the government will get tired of being duped by the big banks?—TARP—in exchange for HAMP no compliance no profits for the banks. 49 State settlement the Banks decided to offer their value in terms of Short Sales LOL!—Their doing the homeowners a big favor! There is generally no savings to the homeowner foreclosure or short sale its a wash. The securitization is a big Ponzi Scheme no-one wants to investigate.—Time to wake up

Maureen Meyer

Sep. 11, 2012, 9:07 p.m.

“Fundamentally, though, the program was cursed by a lack of commitment by Treasury to use the program to help homeowners as opposed to another way of bailing out the banks. When Secretary Geithner told a group of us in 2009 when he was pressed on how this program [was] ever going to help homeowners, he portrayed what the program was really about. He said that the program was going to “foam the runaway” for the banks. He mentioned that the banks could handle a certain number of millions of foreclosures over certain periods of time and that this would help. In essence what we took that comment [to mean] was this was going to help extend out the foreclosure crisis for the benefit of the banks. They wouldn’t be hit with all of that at the same time.”

My bank Wells Fargo modified mine in HAMP in a record 90 days. The reason banks failed at HAMP was not because they were unable too but because they were unwilling too. They looked very closely at each case and only those cases where there was statistically a chance that they would not go back into foreclosure or shortsale they would refinance. Additionally, they evaluated the investor’s return contrary to the requirements of the HAMP program and only those that made the investor whole did they grant HAMP status. I found it funny that the Banks, including WF, so conveniently lost paperwork or came-up with excuses not to grant HAMP status when the Homeowner met all the requirements because in my case they didn’t faulter once in the process.

John - the current administration is tired of being duped by the Big Bank’s which is why we have the OCC and AG Settlements, Dodd - Frank and an aggressive new Consumer Finance Protection Bureau; which Republicans say they will dismantle - and Banks are running to Romney. Did you hear the CEO of JP / Chase? He is tired of all this reporting and being told his bank can’t gamble with depositor money - he had a great pitch as to how they would lose up to 1/4 Billion per year under these hand tying requirements and the next week they reported a Billion dollar loss on this exact gambling - which figure continued top grow and is now in the multi-billions. His new response ‘I thought America was a Free F’ing Country’. Hopefully Not Any More.

Bill: Your post gives me hope. Let’s hope the current administration is the next administration. How anyone could contemplate voting for a repeat fiasco via the GOP makes absolutely no sense.

I was lucky enough to be able to bail both of my kids out of their underwater mortgages by gifting them and their spouses the maximum at the end of last year and beginning of this year for the purpose of refinancing. (my retirement savings have shrunk considerably). Due to great credit ratings and considerable previous equity down payments, the non-profit credit union bank they went with then cooperated by inflating their currently trashed home values by padding the “improvements” values in the new loans - just enough to bring them to “market value”. They both ended up with the now VERY low rates, went from 25 to 15 year loans, and are paying less per month than previously. So, no more evil Bank of America, and they’re now safe with a solid non-profit with a knowledgeable staff which isn’t out to gouge their customers.

We FINALLY received a loan modification after several failed attempts. Simply stated, the banks were not willing to work with homeowners. We were successful because we were persistent and did NOT take “no” for an answer. I am CERTAIN that there are millions of qualified homeowners who became displaced from their homes simply because of corporate GREED. It saddens me to know of the lives disrupted, the dreams deferred and the countless children affected by this housing TRAGEDY—especially in “the land of the free, the home of the brave.”. Tears for the new America’s homeless population!

Bill, you live in a world that only exists in your mind.  This administration is beholden to corruption and corporatism.  They are negotiating the fascist TPP in secrecy, they signed a private, for-profit corporate healthcare bill which is enforced by the state, and they rigged markets even further by passing a 3000 page Dodd Frank bill with enough loopholes that you would need a million people at the SEC to enforce it.  A bill that simply gave Wall Street a greater stranglehold on rigging markets.  The bill it replaced, that lasted for 80 years was 20-odd pages. 

Obama, a politician, led the settlement of criminal scams for Wall Street.  Think about that.  A politician inserting himself into due process and the rule of law.  Why did he do that?  To ensure his crony donors on Wall Street didn’t go to prison because the state’s attorney generals, who were threatening to expose the fraud his administration’s attorney general, Eric Holder, refused to prosecute.

Get your head out of your rear end.  Both parties don’t care about you.  4 million less people have a job today than when Obama took office.  They have simply dropped off the unemployment insurance screen.  Obama has done nothing except sign more of these corrupt trade agreements than either Clinton or Bush.

Robert Strupp

Sep. 12, 2012, 7:03 a.m.

I would like to know the demographics of the borrowers who received HAMP mods vs the 800,000 that did not.

Fact: Everyone’s thinking boiled down to one idea, residential real estate never goes down in value, never! Guess what?

Fact: Adults, both borrowers and lenders agreed to contracts. Disclosures were numerous and everybody wanted the check at closing time. Bankers did not hold guns to anyones head. Both sides of the transaction were greedy! Both deserve to lose.

Fact: Politicians used the Community Reinvestment Act to force banks to loan to people who had never paid anyone back in their lives. Clinton’s administration told bankers desiring to expand, or open new branches, their CRA numbers would determine approval, not sound banking practices. This politically motivated thinking started the whole securitization process.

Fact: The federal government, through Fannie and Freedie, created the money to feed this monster.

Fact: The Commodities Futures Act was modified, under Clinton, to allow banks to take on significantly more risk.

Fact: The bond rating agencies that gave these insane AAA ratings to pools of mortgages were designated worthy to do so by the Federal Government, not the financial markets.

Fact: Nobody complained when housing prices were going up, no one!

Fact: The Federal Reserve kept interest rates too low for too long; throughout history, whenever this happened, asset bubbles appeared-generally in real estate.

Fact: A contract holder has no obligation to modify anything.

Fact: Want to be mad? Get angry with the millions of your fellow Americans who quit paying their mortgages, yet continued for years to live in their houses. Millions of employed people live rent free, square that with greed.

Fact: The recovery may well continue to crawl along; keeping rates low to prop up housing, which the free market has moved on from because supply and demand determines everything, is the real enemy. Put the effort into parts of the economy that can get folks back to work.

Fact: As Reagan said, the best aid program is a job!

Banks were forced to lend?  HAHAHA.  Riiiiiight.  I can tell that Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, Dick Fuldm Stan O’Neal and the other Wall Street thugs who were minting hundreds of millions of dollars personally by processing liar loans felt forced into predatory, complex agreements with people of limited means and almost no legal resources.  They were victimized and exploited.  They lost everything in the process. 

Some of the stuff people believe really shows how far the human mind can go in deluding itself to reality.

Lawyers, the first thing they want to do is call in a lawyer because someone,‘has limited means and no legal resources.’ Next, they complain that we exploit victims of these same descriptions by not making them loans, oh wait, that was the Community Reinvestment Act.

Ever read one of those loans with all the disclosures? There were plenty of large type warnings as to what borrowers were agreeing to do.

Liars loans? Fannie and Freedie,  government(a body seeking power through votes), bought these no doc loans knowing full well what they were purchasing, thus allowing the fuel for the fire.

Wall Street just gives people what they demand, everyone was demanding these credits. All are fallible. Could you hear the cry and hue during the run up if we had said, no wait a minute, these may not work no more loans?

Speaking of liars, Freddie and Fannie were a conduit for Wall Street corruption.  They were used by Wall Street to loot society aka fascism.  Freddie and Fannie bought Wall Street’s toxic products and that allowed Wall Street to then replenish their looting because they had a place to keep dumping the corruption they were creating.

Just another Ayn Rand proletariat ideological fundamentalist dumbass.

Agreeing with Jamie

Sep. 12, 2012, 10:16 a.m.

I agree with Jamie’s comments.  Nobody made anyone look for a house, take out a loan, or buy a house.  Each one had a HUD closing statement, an estimated one, and a loan work up before signing off on the loan.  The people who took them agreed to pay. 

No one made them take a no interest or large balloon payment loan, nor pushed them to speculate.  That someone couldn’t pay after losing a job is a risk common to all of us.  If assistance is an issue on poor defaulting people then pay for my house, too, since I’m self employed and I’ve paid mine off with the money I earned. 

While I may sympathize, no one stepped up to pay my employees, pay me or cover my expenses when business tanked in the last 5 years.  No one compensated all of the car dealers Obama unnecessarily insisted on terminating for their lost investment which in turn cost solid jobs when they closed and deprived us all of part of our competitiveness.

I find it ludicrous that so called ‘modification’ is even part of the lexicon.  The facts also show ‘modified’ loans still later go into default and that ‘modification’ and government interference has kept people in homes without paying now for years.  How would you like someone squatting in your property for years, paying no expenses, fixing nothing, wearing it out while your investment declines in value?

The only real question is “did you make your loan payments on time.”  If not, then you really haven’t paid for the house and in this country you don’t get to keep what you didn’t pay to have in the first place—at least until now it was that way.  It’s not really ‘yours’ until you pay it off. 

That we have messed with this for so long has kept the bathtub from emptying and prolonged the non-technical recession we still have, including fueling unemployment.

If you think housing causes recessions, you are clueless.  Housing is a consumption item.  It consumes capital.  Housing cannot cause a recession.  Period.  And, that you and every other Ludwig von Mises bonehead believes allowing the shit to hit the fan by standing back and watching the system collapse will cure our economy shows your ignorance.  That’s fine.  You have a right to be stupid in this country.  But, I have a right to not be forced to participate in your stupidity. 

We are not a consumer-led economy.  Total trade in the U.S. economy is 5x consumer spending.  It is when this dynamic is broken that we have a recession or worse.  Letting the housing market collapse even further in some delusional belief that it will cure a “non-technical” recession, wtf ever that nonsense means, is just about the most idiotic thing I have heard since the political conventions. 

Watch and learn.  The Grim Reaper is here to take your money for being stupid.

It isn’t really a matter of incompetence.  These big banks don’t want to modify the loans, producing (or not producing) just the results they want.

As somebody who was railroaded by a Big Bank for not accepting their “Escrow” Impound BS, I can say that the folks who were not getting modifications weren’t the only ones getting screwed over by the banks.  I didn’t qualify nor need mortgage modifications but I had to spend 10s of thousands of dollars defending my home from foreclosure and I was never once late on a payment nor delinquent in my taxes and insurance.  The Bank said I was so they tried to double my mortgage payment. When we refused their shotgun negotiation and even after trying every possible avenue to discuss it with them, they foreclosed on us, even after hiring an attorney to work things out with them.  A Federal Lawsuit later, we now have our home and a new big red line that the bank can’t cross anymore.  It almost ended my marriage as well and those scars will remain for years.  Right now we are refinancing to permanently get away from these retarded banks who have been allowed to run amok by Congress and the Obama administration.

Those banks mentioned in the article have the highest derivatives outstanding and need the cash flow just to say there are solvent,but know thisally they truiny to slow down there demise cause they can’‘t pay off those toxic derivatives any time soon.Yrs, JP Morgan has billions in ASSETS BUT TRILLIONS IN BAD DERIVATIVES THE OTHER MENTIONED BANKS ARE IN THE SAME BOAT.


Those banks mentioned in the article have the highest derivatives outstanding and need the cash flow just to say there are solvent,but know this all they trying to slow down there demise. cause they can’‘t pay off those toxic derivatives any time soon.Yrs, J P. Morgan has billions in ASSETS BUT TRILLIONS IN BAD DERIVATIVES THE OTHER MENTIONED BANKS ARE IN THE SAME BOAT.

resending more clearly read

clarence swinney

Sep. 12, 2012, 1:40 p.m.

Burdened with record debt
Wages not keeping up with costs
OWNED by Top 10%—who own 73% Net Wealth—83% Financial Wealth-Take 50% Individual Income
We must get Spending down but just as important get Revenues up to eliminate deficits and start paying down Debt.
It will take real Leadership to do it. Obama cannot do it with a Republican House or Filibustering
Obama American Jobs Program was killed by Republicans for no other reason than not let Obama have any success.  It was a disgrace. When will these people start Putting People First.

We must go back taxing wealth. We did it 1945-1980 to pay off WWII Debt. We can do it again
to pay off Reagan + Bush II created Debt.

The goal must be fair and more economically just and equitable for all the people.
It will never get done as long as Wealth controls our Congress

Agreeing with Grim Reaper:  Where exactly do you and the like-minded get your “facts” Jamie? You have absolutely no idea what you’re spouting because only those privileged few on the inside know exactly how the foreclosure crisis was structured, who profitted from it and why it was allowed to continue for years without charges or arrests.

But I can almost bet you don’t know a foreclosed homeowner on a personal basis - how can I guess that - by everything you posted - a string of half-truths picked up from news sources but poorly understood becaise nothing you cited is even close to what actually occurred -  especially the part about homeowner behavior.

I can only assume the bit regarding homebuyers getting loans when they “never paid anybody back in their life” is something was included for extra insult value - exactly which financing vehicles financed such bad-credit loans? Definitely not VA or FHA because those agencies require credit qualifiers just as stringent as conventional loan financing -so no VA or FHA for someone with a track record of NOT paying their bills - ever.

Since you threw in a reference to “Neighborhood Reinvestment Act” legislation I’m guessing you’re assuming a racist factor would help legitimize the whole bucket of bs - no questioning that “fact” right? Well excuse me but I’m “urban”, like millions of other “urbanites” also pay my bills on time, have good credit and qualified for my home loan based on my credit score, work history and payment record - just like non-urbanites. Believe it or not I haven’t squatted in my home for years without making payments because the whole paying bills thing is so “foreign” to people like me - even while busily bringing down a country’s housing industry and all.

The “facts” you spout are nothing but the rhetoric of an idle mind - regurgitated nonsense without substance or value.

These people that perpetuate this endless horseshit that Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein have been victimized are shining examples of the endless violence perpetuated by patriarchal societies.  That includes endless violence against women, poor, gays, people of different religions, different race, etc.  Tutt, they are racist.  But that doesn’t go far enough.  They exploit and prey upon anyone they can victimize.  They supported the rule of law that protected indentured servitude, slavery, exploitation of “coolie” Asian labor after the defeat of slavery, they locked up Japanese Americans during WWII, they support the exploitation of poor immigrants today, etc. 

Anyone who believes a bank with a legion of high-priced predatory attorneys, contracts that not even their CEOs can read, an army of lobbyists to manipulate the rule of law and hundreds of billions of dollars in assets were taken advantage of by poor people is seriously disturbed.  And there is a fundamentally covert form of hatred and violence that goes with these lies. 

Don’t worry.  I’m here now.  I’m here to fix the injustices and endless violence and victimization of decent people.  And, I’m not leaving until I right the wrongs.  I am going to end the madness.  Of course, in my own nonviolent, nonpatriarchal way.

Warm regards,

The Grim Reaper.

By the way, for any of those patriarchal violent types who are paranoid of someone coming to get them for their sins, and, therefore, have taken a Hitler pledge to report their neighbors to Homeland Security for their freedom of speech against a corrupt system, my last comment was tongue in cheek.  To be taken as a joke.  The system is finished.  All we need to do is sit back and watch the fireworks. 

Still as Grim as before.


So far BoA has put me through TWO loan modifications(denied the HAMP but wont tell me why, BoA in house mods) since 2009 and I have done everything they ask and they are still foreclosing on me because they say I did not turn in the correct papers, the same papers every month for the last 4 years, they keep loosing them even when they are faxed to them though their bank and personally delivered, claiming they did not receive the payments that were direct deposits for the mods( but seem to find them when I can prove it). I didnt buy to much, been in the house for over 7 years, lost a company and multiple jobs but still am able to come up with enough to jump though their RIDICULOUS hoops, just waiting to go to court to see who the judge sides with, and I think we all know the outcome to this.

Didn’t it all start when you didn’t make your payment, or as it is adroitly called, “missed a payment?”

No, actually it started when I lost my company and saw the writing on the wall that things were going down hill fast(2009) they wouldn’t refi me because I lost my income and told me at the height of the bubble my house wasn’t worth the double their web site said it was, didn’t miss a payment until 2011. BoA is a joke, the manager that is assigned to my case out right said she has over 300 cases and how was she supposed to keep track of mine?

How many of those that seeking assistance under the “Administrations” home affordability program had second and even third mortgaged out on their homes. And of those, how many had a new car or recently completed vacation, or new TV, tatoo, etc…

Not Important

Sep. 13, 2012, 1:29 p.m.

so, when home values were bubbling up, did the bank come back asking for yourprofits? Did they force people into cash-out refiancnces? as the “homeowner”, did you keep 6 months reserve in case of emergency? If you qualified for a Mod, could you still afform the payments for the next 30 years? ALSO A LITTLE SECRET TO PEOPLE WHO KEEP LOOSING THEIR OWN DOCS :) - ASK YOUR BANK FOR THEIR EXECUTIVE COMPLAINT OFFICE!!!! If you dont find them - go to the BBB! stop typing on sites like this and find your docs!

john doe.704-386-5687. that’s the office of the CEO and Prisident of have to get away from what i call ” the army of idiots” in customer service. there are many violations bofa is guilty of in your story.i can quote you chapter and section if you can e-mail me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). 1st- if you are deemed eligible and are denied they must send you a denial letter indicating the specific reason/reasons for can dispute the denial but 1st you need to know why.2- servicers are required to maintain adequate staff with proper training and facilities and technology.simply having an in-house mod does not disqualify you for HAMP.even if you had a HAMP and defaulted you may be eligible for HAMP Tier2. Not knowing you situation i can’t tell if you are qualified for HAMP or not. If you want you can e-mail may also be eligible for the department of justice principal reduction alternative modification that came out in april of this year in conjunction with the $ 25 Billion global mortgage settlement.

To clarify on thing I did not miss any of the mod payments I was and able to pay them, they stopped them after the first one went 6 months the second 3 months both times they threatened foreclosure and I went back to paying the normal mortgage, then couldn’t pay it, they have continued the foreclosure process, if the mods would have gone through I wouldn’t be here. And no they will not supply anything in writing throughout most of this process, the BBB and OCC can do nothing. at this point in time I don’t qualify for any program and do not have any money left to fight the GIANT BoA, multiple attorneys have told me its only a matter of time, you cant fight them, they will take your house. I know people will keep bashing on people like me but look around and you two will see normal responsible people are loosing their houses thanks to this recession, and if you don’t know anyone, good for you….thanks Michael for the #.

You frickin' dufuses

Sep. 13, 2012, 8:08 p.m.

Don’t you get it?!  YOU DIDN’T PAY THE MONEY YOU BORROWED!  The world doesn’t owe you anything.  You bought the house with borrowed money, you took out the loan and it doesn’t matter why!  It inly matters that you didn’t pay.  That your business failed or you lost your job or the banks gamed the system is irrelevant to you as an individual.  You bought and took out a loan because YOU wanted it.  You could have said ‘no’ or planned for catastrophic conditions, but decided to take that risk. That means you have to move out and live elsewhere.  It isn’t-your-property, and never was until you finished paying for it.  Don’t like that?  Go to Cuba then, and see how that is so much better, or Venezuela (where they think like Grim and John) or Russia.

this is to ,you frickin’ dufuses,i f the struggling homeowner,requests assistance, how do you justify the $ 800,000,000,000.00 paid to the banks? by us, you fricking’ dufuss,riddle me that before you justify predatory lending and trash those who have been harmed. OOPS , perhaps you , in your wisdom have forgotten that we, as American tax payers already paid the banks $ 800,000,000,000.00 for their incompentence. I suspect that you work in the industry and are therefore bias. Also, you very well may be guilty of predatory lending yourself and therefore, rather than attempting to deflect criminal activity, you should probably crawl under a rock and hope you don’t get caught. having said that, you also are free to e-mail me.

to john doe, you are welcome. keep the faith.

to john doe, perhaps you do have options. the banks LIE !!!

I see ‘frickin dufus’ is a self-description.  The point, dumbass, is that fraud was committed by Wall Street.  And, that fraud destroyed untold numbers of lives.  It was never prosecuted. 

Apparently, you and your Wall Street cronies live in Cuba.  Because fraud and corruption was rewarded.  And the looters damaged our entire economy and the lives of millions.  Just like in Cuba and the Soviet Union (which you incorrectly labeled as Russia - now a democracy.  Albeit a corrupt one like ours.)

If Big Banks have a hard time handling money then maybe they should not be handling money.

Oh Michael… I’m afraid it goes way beyond the 800billion mark. The Fed loaned out up towards 13 Trillion in near 0 percent interest laons to those banks. e.i. they did not need a bailout. They have made billions in free money off of free money that we the people now get to pay for in the way of inflation.

And they still wont help out to those in need.

hey lord, in neil barofsky’s book the ” Bailout ” he pegs the maximum exposure at about $ 23 Trillion !!!! good book.

@ Grim Reaper: Believe it or not - you’re not alone in the “tongue in cheek” outrage - the majority of this country is sooo tired of being exploited - from the banks to the gas station to the grocery store to the cell phone and cable companies - we are now considered just “revenue generating units” - not people and “they” are out to get us because the entire game is rigged against average hardworking people - urban and suburban. At Democratic Convention last week even Elizabeth Warren spelled it out so even a kindergardener could understand - wake up people please. But what stands in the middle - unfortunately - are the many who mindlessly drink the Kool-aid and believe they know the flavor - but don’t and the sad part is ithey’re not bad people at all - just brainwashed by a system says it’s “intelligent” to cut off your nose to spite your face - because it’s what separates you from “them”. Some people are willing to do whatever it takes to believe they’re rowing a “different” boat than “those people” - screaming “socialist” without any understanding of what that means to a contemporary life that requires it in the face of reality - and that without some enforced form - call it whatever you will - we as a nation - including those mindlessly foaming at the mouth in defiance - would be destitute with no protection whatsoever from the greed-consumed predators responsible for contaminating our food, poisoning our air and water, foreclosing our homes with fraudulent schemes - and forcing us to pay as much as they can squeeze from us for the privilege of a slow agonizing destruction.

Sad because Main Street is in the fight of its very life - call it the Civil Rights Movement of the Millenia - to stop the arrogant lawlessness of Wall Street from turning Main Street into a 3rd world level country. I just hope it’s not too late. Anyone willing to remove their blinders can see that wages have been stagnant for years and years, jobs pay even less than they did 12-13 years ago, and corporate America expects us to live in this country on the same wages as the people in countries our jobs were outsourced to - very little pay, absolutely no say and no benefits - which is why those countries’ economies are emerging and the U.S. is still on the brink of collapse. How can anyone not see what is really happening? Congress seems to have little power to enforce its own laws - and exactly what year did the federal Consumer Protection Agency go away? It’s almost impossible to regulate greed because for decades Congress has been in bed with it - people mindlessly continue to elect the same grinning, outright lying, perfectly coiffed wealthy “Romney’s” without question. Exactly why should it be necessary to “humanize” someone running for the most powerful position in government? People that refuse to reveal their tax returns definitely do so because they have alot to hide - and millions are cheering andl willing to put this country back into the same hands that orchestrated - and refused to be held accountable for - an economic collapse second only to the Depression. Many millions still unemployed yet Congress refused to even lift a finger to cooperate because destroying “Him” is more important than running the country or serving the people who elected them and pay their big salaries and perks. Big banks and wealthy corporations now literally ignore federal law and do whatever they choose to with little or no consequences. It’s also clear now why there was no attempt to prosecute the banks and people responsible for collapsing the economy - because doing so would expose collusion at the highest levels of government and cause panic in the country. The last thing Americans need to do is turn against each other and believe the outright lies spread to cover it up. However, big lawsuits by the foreign investors and financial institutions many of the sham derivatives were sold to is a glaring indication that fraud and conspiracy was committed by banks, bond rating agencies, real estate appraisers, insurance companies and politicians - not by homeowners with poor credit buying a “house they couldn’t afford”. Has anyone even noticed the scarcity of reporting of the housing crisis -  a foreclosure crisis proportional to that of the Great Depression - yet most major reporting is being done by private bloggers and investigative journalists. Wow - forged documents, robo-signing and a MERS system that openly and fraudulently bypassed state and federal contract and housing statutes - all that dirt the sole responsibility of “irresponsible borrowers” who didn’t even qualify for a mortgage in the first place? 

The last thing we should do is allow ourselves to be divided again as a nation - or suspect our neighbors of dishonesty because this boat is sinking and it’s time to start rowing in the same direction.

God bless America

I have a question. Bank of America acquired Countrywide’s entire mortgage loan portfolio. Countrywide (not Bank of America) is supposed to have written the most egregious loans to the most unqualified borrowers. Now if Bank of America purchased a portfolio of the most unqualified loans then wouldn’t these loans be the most difficult to rework?

Why would so many homeowners need to renegotiate mortgages if banks had followed time-honored underwriting principles of 20% down and annual payments accounting for no more than a third of annual income. Who lowered those standards? Government officials lowered those requirements. Government officials conducted this study that found banks at fault and not themselves either. Academics by definition work for the government. They found the banks and not the government guilty as well. I wonder if bankers would write a report that found government workers and academics at fault.

It’s getting so you can’t trust hardly anyone to carry out a vigorous and strict pursuit of the truth because so many groups helped abandon the traditions that kept us all safe in our homes.

Government officials who wrote the laws, academics that advised those government officials, bankers that wrote the loans they knew weren’t sound by traditional standards and individuals who acted irresponsibly by buying more home than they could afford are all at fault and articles like these do the entire nation a disservice by trying to transfer blame from one group to another to protect themselves.

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.

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