Journalism in the Public Interest

Government Vows to Curb Banks’ Foreclosure Practices, But Enforcement Still a Question Mark

Hosts of federal agencies and regulators, along with the 50 state attorneys general, are hard at work on laying out new rules for banks and mortgage servicers. But attempts to reform this process have failed before. Will banks abusing the system be held accountable?

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, left, speaks as North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, right, listens at a news conference at the National Association of Attorneys General spring meeting on March 7, 2011, in Washington. The attorneys general, along with several federal agencies, sent the largest mortgage servicers a proposal last week related to the servicers' foreclosure abuses last week. (Luis M. Alvarez/AP Photo)

Hosts of federal agencies and regulators, along with the 50 state attorneys general, are hard at work on laying out new rules for banks and mortgage servicers. Those rules will likely require servicers to transform their approach to handling homeowners facing foreclosure.

But this wouldn't be the first time the government tried to lay down the law. The administration's mortgage modification program has a 170-page handbook of servicer guidelines. What's been missing is enforcement. Servicers have broken the rules without fear of any penalties.

Will things be different this time?

The answer to that so far is...maybe. On two different tracks, government officials are developing rules that, they say, will have clear penalties attached. But crucial details remain unclear, including when these reforms will go into effect.

There have been lots of headlines lately about one of the two tracks, the negotiations to settle claims related to the largest servicers' foreclosure abuses. The state attorneys general, together with a number of federal agencies, sent the servicers a proposal last week. The document was obtained and posted by American Banker.

The terms would require the servicers to review each struggling homeowner for a modification and provide one when doing so would bring a higher return to investors. But they go much further than that. Over 27 pages, the terms describe how a servicer should behave -- just about the opposite of how they have behaved over the past couple years. It would be a different world for the homeowner seeking a modification.

In the world we live in, if you're a customer of one of the biggest servicers, you call in to a 1-800 number and are connected with a poorly trained employee who knows nothing about your file, can't tell you why you haven't yet received an answer after months of waiting, but then says you should fax your documents (again) to another 1-800 number, where they will likely be lost.

In the world imagined by these proposed terms, you're never in the dark. You submitted your documents through the online portal provided by the servicer, and you can track your modification application's progress there the whole time. The servicer responds to all your submissions and queries within a strict time frame -- certainly no longer than a month. And if you do choose to call your servicer, you just ring up your specially designated contact, a well-trained employee who has handled your case from the beginning.

But this mortgage mod paradise would happen only if the terms were enforced. And there are a number of question marks. The proposed settlement says that servicers breaking the rules would face "monetary penalties," but it doesn't say what they are. And while enforcement would ultimately be in the hands of both the attorneys general and the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the proposal essentially leaves the details of how violations would be handled for a later date.

One detail that's been under discussion but that doesn't actually appear in the draft settlement is language making it clear that homeowners could go to court to stop a foreclosure if the servicer violated the agreement. One ongoing issue with the administration's Home Affordable Modification Program is that this right isn't apparent. The program is based on contracts between servicers and the Treasury Department, but homeowners aren't explicitly included, creating an additional legal hurdle for homeowners who go to court to address a violation of the program's rules. "Some level of accountability from private individuals often changes corporate behavior," Alys Cohen, of the National Consumer Law Center.

Another open question is when the settlement will happen -- and when the changes will actually go into effect. The proposed terms are just the first move by the government -- and there are already plenty of signs that servicers see a lot they don't like. Speaking earlier this week, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said he hoped to come to an agreement within two months. The settlement also relies on the CFPB, which was formed by last year's financial reform bill and is still in its ramp-up stage. It won't gain many of its authorities until July.

Even after an agreement is struck, some requirements likely won't kick in immediately, said sources familiar with the discussions. Given the sweeping changes envisioned by the proposal, servicers might be given as long as a year to meet some of the terms.

Meanwhile, while these negotiations are occurring, federal regulators are pursuing servicer reforms on a separate, but related, track. They're considering issuing new regulations that would affect all servicers, not just the largest, and are likely to incorporate aspects of the final terms of the settlement agreement. Draft outlines produced by the two big banking regulators, the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, show many similarities to the proposed settlement terms. Regulators have an unambiguous authority to financially penalize banks when they break federal rules.

A person involved in the rulemaking process said the regulators hoped to produce their proposed rules by the middle of this coming summer and have them in place by the end of the year. Along with banking regulators, the CFPB and a number of federal agencies are also involved.

With the new federal rules in place, homeowners would have a much better shot at getting fair treatment from their servicer, said Kathleen Keest of the Center for Responsible Lending. (The Sandler Foundation is a major funder of both the Center and ProPublica, which operate independently of each other.)

Currently, if a servicer is threatening to wrongfully foreclose on a homeowner, the homeowner's options to stop it are limited. First, it's often not clear where to go to complain. For the biggest banks, the homeowner can file a complaint with their regulator, the OCC, but dozens of homeowners have told ProPublica that hasn't been effective. The OCC has often been criticized for going easy on the banks. The Treasury Department has also set up a help hotline for homeowners, but since the program is voluntary and servicers face no penalties, its authority is decidedly limited.

Once new servicing regulations are actually in place, said Keest, homeowners would be able to complain to the CFPB or their own state's attorney general about servicer abuses. (One of the CFPB's central purposes is to be a center for consumer complaints.) Both would have the authority to enforce the new federal rules. Instead of the bank-"coddling" OCC, she said, "You're going to a regulator whose job is to protect the consumers and not the banks, and where the states can act as a back-up."

That's the idea, at least. It all depends on the possible settlement and future new federal regulations.

That mod paradise sounds great. Unfortunately it will come too late for many and with the timeline still at least 14 months out for servicers to fall in line there isn’t much hope for those of us facing hardships now.

I had to hold out for an entire year before my application for modification would even be accepted because of FHA requirements on my loan type.  After that I was in limbo for another 11 months due to constantly changing laws and regulations.  With more agencies getting involved and the states stepping in the amount of muck being stirred up will only make more hoops for the homeowner to jump through. 

Will the foreclosure timeline be revised to allow for all of this to go into effect? I seriously doubt it.  The very minute your in default, make no mistake about it, you are in violation of the terms of a legally binding contract.  The repurcussions will begin.

Until we can renegotiate the terms of our loans and refinance them on agreeable terms we will only be pulling a veil over a contract that many homeowners are in no position to honor. 

Modification is a scam, only when the new terms negate the old ones can we truly be on a path to mortgage recovery.

What we need is more loans from Consumer-Employee-owned banks.  Cooperatives.  Savings and Loans.  Cut out the for-profit world.  Greed and housing should not mix.

Careful what you wish for Thomas. The Community Bankers Association live by a different set of rules than the Too Big To Fail mega-banks and they have just as much pull.

If you don’t believe me than you should look in to all of the exemptions that they lobbied for and had changed in the Dodd-Frank Bill.  Shocking how many things they thought would be disasterous to their way of life.  That even goes for Credit Unions if I remember correctly but my reference material is at home not with me at work.

This is a good summation of the current situation but I wonder - now what? How do these dozens of parties ever move forward? I thought the AGs were valuable because they were not rolled by Timmy G., and because they had their own respective state laws and regs they could enforce.
Is that true? Would this framework over-ride state law? The Nevada AG did not look like she was kidding when she discussed the situation in that state. I doubt she will sit still for a year since she appears to believe Nevada law is being flouted.
Paul, how about tossing us a timeline?
And thanks for this excellent work, propublica. Remarkable. Love it.

Can we just call what is going on between bankers and the Federal agencies that are supposed to regulate them what it really is? Corruption and fraud.

As long as there is a revolving employment door between government and banks, an entire class of people will be able to set rules that allow them to remain above the law. Billions of dollars will continue to be stolen from working people with little or no recourse.

New laws sound nice, but when they are not enforced, they only cause more problems for hapless homeowners. The states apparently are the only real recourse.

Starry - if I may; the AG’s say they are hoping for an agreement in two months. Paul writes that he was informed that some servicers are asking for one year.

Historically when HAMP issued new directives they (servicers) asked for at least 6 months so that brings us to 8 months. However there are two important factors here - maybe Paul has but I have not seen anything written that the servicers will even agree to any settlement. I think the way the industry puts it is “they are cooperating with the investigation”. The proposal for fines by sources is reported to be $20b and some attorneys for the industry have made comments that they have a problem with admitting guilt of wrong doing.  This would open them up to all kind of law suits down the road.

As you mention they also need 50 AG’s to sign on which will be a challenge in itself.

And in Florida even after they know the house has Chinese Dry wall and the original owner lost everything and walked away, they then sell it at auction to an innocent buyer who can not check prior to purchase. It is one thing to buy at auction accepting problems that can be fixed but a home hat can harm your health and have no vaule after purcahse is just wrong. The seller would need to disclose the info but the bank & goverment does not even though they have this info??? When does all this maddness end from our goverment????
But the free house to the poor are fixed at no cost to them but again the honest working calss will pay…

This is what is currently going on in Lee County(Cape Coral) Florida. I was actually told to try & trespass to look inside by a Coutny worker..

Barry Schmittou

March 11, 2011, 6:24 p.m.

Obama excels in talking about laws he knows will never be enforced.

For five examples of how corporations are allowed to destroy the lives of very sick and injured Americans please go to

There you will see quotes from numerous U.S. Judges’ who have written that insurance companies (who make huge contributions to Obama) pay doctors’ who ignore Multiple Sclerosis, brain lesions, a foot a new mother broke in five places, cancer, cardiac conditions, and much more.


March 11, 2011, 6:58 p.m.

The 27 page document has some good things whoever, The entire document is a rehash of what servicers had a legal mandate to do right up front.  Accurately apply payments.  Respond to inquiries.  Operate in good faith.  Use a NPV test for HAMP (was in the HAMP program originally.)  Document the assignment chain before foreclosing.

There’s exactly one substantive change, in that HAMP did not prohibit “dual-track” (that is, foreclosure while attempting modification.) and that is GOOD

Essentially every other item in this 27 pages is something that Servicers already had a legal duty to do, either as a fiduciary to the investor or just through the ordinary covenant of operating in good faith (You know, the original standards that all businesses are held to that aren’t actually racketeering outfits and gangsters?  Yes, that.)
There’s no prosecution for all the bad affidavits, despite them being acts of perjury.
Some of this is truly laughable
You make the payments, you’re required to be converted.  Of course the banks are doing that in a whole lot of cases.  Why not?  Well they get to lard on more fees.  But that too is against the rules – so why do we need to restate what’s already required? HAMP ALREADY REQUIRES THIS!
This is also a joke:
Servicers Should Review Borrowers Total DTI”
What’s the ratio?  Notice how it’s missing?  28/36 was the standard for 50 years.  It’s the right standard.  That’s a 36% back end ratio and it results in sustainable payments. Exceed it materially and things go to hell – fast.  “Consider” tells me nothing.
” A material of this agreement constitutes and unfair and deceptive trade practice and a breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing”
Puff-piece bilge.  All of the practices “prohibited” in this document are already a breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and subject to prosecution on that basis.
Virtually all of the “shall nots” in this document are already against the law and many of them are already subject to criminal penalty, such as perjury.
Many quotes from

Just wondering…If the loans involved in the"fraudulent mortgage meltdown” are indeed fraudulent, and (according to the law), fraud negates contracts…and loan “mods” are simply putting “a veil” over a contract…where do we go from here?


March 11, 2011, 10:07 p.m.

Karen, Exactly, that is the correct question, from were I’m siting, no one seems to know, Where do we go from here? Well unless there is some accountability and people goes to Jail for Fraud and the biggest Ponzy Scheme ever perpetrated in the history of the US, who knows.

Quote “One man with courage,is a majority”, Andrew Jackson,
and Demosthenes adds “No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his freinds or his gods”.  Your advantage starts with a MAN, Michael Moore who wrote “Stupid White Men.” HE PULLS NO PUNCHES and states:tenure in office was not approved by a legitimate ellectoral vote. If that be the case and if there is a JUDICIAL system in America, The Bush term in office was illegal, the vote was rigged. If that be the case, whatever damage was done by him and HIS during and after, is for his,their account and a full investigation should be conducted with urgency. The problems presently besetting the American people could well be traced to that source.

This is like calling the fire dept after the barn has already burned down, and then asking them to water the cold ashes.  But then that is what govt of, by and for the corporation does.  HAMP was devoid of teeth in the first place, and it was meant to be.  I recall the BBC comedy series “Yes, Minister”.  The running joke thru the series was that any time a scandal broke out, or in response to public outrage, the govt. would announce that a committee was being convened to investigate.  It was a joke!  And everyone knew it.  Here in America, we get toothless giveaways to the corporate/financial sectors disguised and sold as aids to the general public.  That’s the joke.  How come you aren’t laughing?

Going back to Karen and Acmod - as the Attorneys General were meeting in Washington, a group of approx 600 demonstrators chanted outside the doors of the building.  The group then moved to a Bank of America branch causing a close down.  From there they went to the office of the Speaker of the House Boehner.  I briefly looked at the group on-line and thought I’d watch it later during the evening news.

I tuned in to NBC. and CBS evening news, then to PBS Newshour.  It was not in the news that they or the next, or the next at all.

We definitely have the best politicians and even the best news media money can buy!

Every evening news has either or both: Chase, Wells Fargo, B of A, City as their sponsors.  We the people…. What happened?


March 12, 2011, 4:53 p.m.

Unhappy Texan, was this today? and How did you found out about it ?

Or was it this?


Acmod - yes, what I saw was a video in makewallstreetpay’s portal.  According to this article of propublica, the AGs met on the seventh.  So that was probably the day when I saw it.  And even though there were only 600 people or thereabouts, it was a protest by a good number of citizens that was ignored by the mainstream news media.  Amazing.

Wake up America, the gane is rigged. Its the same ‘ole, same ole. The people at risk (Banksters) come up with a plan that on face appears to hurt them however as time goes on it will show that it was a connived plan to make it easier for those same criminals to steal more from the middleclass.

The only wau that this can be stopped or controlled is when the court system starts cancelling mortgages and costing the bankster criminals serious money otherwise, why would they stop?

Its about the money, its always about the money, it has always been about the money. In the last 80 years only one president has rationalized this properly. Roosevelt didn’t give the depression banksters a chance, he just closed the banks and let the chips fall where they may. That’s why he was elected 4 times.

It took 70 years for the criminal banksters to get rid of Glass-Steigel, Roosevelt’s baby.

There is no one on the horizon or in office that even understands this issue or wants to understand it, its not profitable for them individually and their friends.

Because Roosevelt surpised most people with his moves to protect the citizens, criminals didn’t have time to infiltrate the system for their benefit such as they have successfully done this time around.

This current situation is in fact worse than the Great Depression. It will take several decades to be put it into its proper place in history.


March 13, 2011, 2:50 p.m.

Tubee, It will take several decades and many changes like bringing back the Glass-Steigel, to be put it into its proper place in history.


March 13, 2011, 4:13 p.m.

I’m disappointed that ProPublica would print such a shallow gloss-over of what this crisis stems from and how little anyone in our government is doing to stem it, much less repair any of the damage done to homeowners and investors taken for a rid by the TBTF banks and their facilitators, inside and outside government.  I strongly recommend that Mr. Kiel start reading archived pieces at Zero Hedge and Naked Capitalism on this subject.  They’ve done the research for him, complete with links to the actual court cases and other documentation, so he won’t have to worry about being misled by some “angry bloggers”.  He’ll also be treated to a disheartening, but clear view, courtesy Gretchen Morgenson’s article in the NY Times and Yves Smith’s followup on Naked Capitalism, of Iowa AG Miller’s despicable coverup in the guise of ‘getting tough’.  How does he, or any of the 49 AGs who’ve backed his obvious play for directorship of the CFPC, manage to be “negotiating”, IN SECRET, with the banks and servicers without having interviewed a single witness or received a single piece of the documentation he requested several weeks ago (a pittance compared to what he needed to request).  How can he be negotiating without having audited a single servicer or read a single court record of testimony about robo-signing and the uncontrovertible illegality of a large proportion of the servicer initiated foreclosures?  Where were you, Paul?  Asleep, it appears.


March 13, 2011, 5:37 p.m.

Why don’t we sent the following information to the 50 AG’s

Anonymous To Release Documents Proving Bank Of America Committed Fraud This Monday



March 13, 2011, 7:06 p.m.

More on the 50 AG’s


March 13, 2011, 9:19 p.m.

Excellent choices, acmo, though I doubt that even the AGs in CA and NY are going to be able to get Tom Miller out of his lead position and steer the group toward a REAL investigation (the kind where witnesses and documents are actually subpoenaed).  I think they’ll all run scared from an oligarchy-funded opponent in their next election cycle.

Acmod-Once again you provide excellent info. and sites. Thanks! watercarrier4diogenes-Gotta love the name. You are correct…all along they have been looking for someone to take the place of Elizabeth Warren, which would be a travesty. IMO she has more testicular fortitude than all the AG’s put together. On a lighter side, as we sometimes need to take a break and actually enjoy life at times, especially in light of the events that have transpired these last few days. I had the pleasure of taking a WW2 veteran fishing today (91 yr. old). Enjoy life as much as possible, you never know when the experience will end! GOD bless all!

Veronica Raphael

March 14, 2011, 8:29 a.m.

In 2009 more modification were offered.  In 2010 some modifications were offered.  In 2011, the modifications that did not happen in 2009 and 2010 are now taking the homes because they owe so much arrears.  Dah, why do you think that?  I don’t know anyone that would or could save every dime towards the arrears.  Some money but not most of it.  Homeowners with equity, forget about it.  They will rarely get a loan modification because the profit on this type of loan is what they are looking for.  The tax payers paved the way for the banks to get back on track so they would lend money and correct the economy.  Now pave the way for the homeowner/tax payer.  Then all the regulators, legislators and you and I can accomplish our goal which should be to sustain neighborhoods, businesses and the
American dream which has faded.

Whose money went to a ‘bank’ bail out?
Who authorised this “gift”?
What restraints were applied?
Whoever authorised this is guilty.
When is the guilty party to repay this bail out?
Do you have a Law to turn to?
Do you have any idea of where your taxes go to?
Are you ever likely to have a simple accounting?
Do you have an Auditor General?
Who audits the auditor general.?


March 14, 2011, 9:34 p.m.

Making sense, excerpts from Dylan Ratigan:
“I’ve been glued to my TV and computer all weekend watching the horrors unfold in Japan. I don’t know very much about the Japanese budgetary situation, how much the clean-up is going to cost, But I know that no one in Japan right now is worrying about the Japanese budget deficit, or whether there is any waste in the emergency services departments of local or national governments, or whether the emergency shelters holding millions of people could be provided any cheaper. At times like this, people are desperately hoping that someone can save their friends, family, and make sure that supplies move to people who need them.

And in all the footage of people being saved, I HAVEN"T SEEN ANY MEGA BANK rescue anyone. I saw help from a lot of volunteers, firemen, rescue workers, doctors, nurses, etc. BUT NOT ONE BANK. And that was true during snowstorms in North Dakota, the floods in New Orleans, and the earthquake in Haiti. Oddly, though the banks are sucking up enormous amounts of our budgetary resources, they don’t own rescue helicopters, they don’t track earthquakes, they don’t study tsunamis, and they don’t deal with radiation poisoning.

According to Simon Johnson, roughly 40% of the increase in privately held government debt over the past few years is due to the financial crisis CAUSED BY THESE MEGA-BANKS. Yet, the Federal budget debate is centered on slashing spending on things that we actually need, things that, when a crisis happens, saves our lives.

Instead of taking back the money spent on these bailouts, they instead (gov) are instead trying to slash funds for the agency that warned our West Coast of the tsunami. How many millions of dollars did NOAA save by giving us due warning and letting us protect property? We’ll never know, just as the Japanese can’t know how many hundreds of thousands survived due to a strong infrastructure and well-funded preparations.

I don’t mean to pick on the Republican leaders, though actually, yes, I do. Just cutting government programs sounds good, until your friend or family member is hanging on a rooftop somewhere praying for a rescue, a rescue that would have had to have been planned and pre-funded years before since helicopters can’t actually be wished into existence upon demand. But let’s be clear, the dynamic that is starving our government of revenue is one that the Democrats created from 2008-2010, when they ALLOWED AND ENCOURAGED THE BIG BANKS to feed on the government trough. This bipartisan corrupt racket, where Democrats HELP BANKS LOOT and REPUBLICANS GIVE THE BILL TO THE REST OF US, needs to end.

What we are seeing, on our TV screens, is that dedicating resources to a government that works is the single best investment that we can make. And the idea that one single dollar more than necessary is going to the BANKSTERS, IS A GIANT FRAUD IN AND OF ITSELF.

Even though they think they deserve their millions in bonuses, no mega-bank does anything even remotely as noble as the people who study and prepare for the catastrophic events befalling our globe right now. If we saw something in, say, New York City, like a pandemic or a natural disaster akin to what is going on in Japan,  these executives would wish that they had sucked up fewer of society’s resources. Of course by then it’ll be too late, and the best they’ll be able to do is re-purpose some of their luxury helicopters to save their own hides.

As the debate in DC continues, remember what the Democrats and Republicans are agreeing to, in the form of spending cuts for us WHILE BANKS CONTINUE TO GORGE ON TAXPAYER SUBSIDIES AND OUTRIGHT FRAUD. Their collusion isn’t solving any of the actual problems in this country. It is, however, making sure that if or when we need our government, if or when any of us are ever in the situation in which Japanese citizens find themselves, it won’t be there.

And that’s the BIGGEST FRAUD OF ALL.”

Truth to Power,



Yep, acmod, Dylan Ratigan speaks the truth.

Banksters don’t even know what the word “noble” means.

To be noble would be a total conflict of interest with what they believe to be their purpose in life…to take, and take, and take some more.

Unfortunately, the government is the enabler to their money addictions.

Things won’t change if nothing changes.

WOW, only a few more months for the government to mete out justice for thieving banks. Only another million home will be stolen in that length of time by Chase, Deutsche, Bank of America and others.

The wheels of the bus go round and round - but really go nowhere.

David Fullerton

March 15, 2011, 4:52 p.m.

Yeah, even if you work very hard (like I have), you can finally get an Approved Loan Modification, but the terms are worse than you would think.  They won’t let you do a HAMP mod, but they do in-house.  Then, the terms will lower your interest rate slightly and then it increases after five years.

Also, get this:  here’s why they are delaying you.  They are planning to still charge you the interest between the date of application for HAMP, denial of HAMP, and final date of approval (if any of all of us suckers get there) with a much larger balance than if you would have paid the loan as originally agreed.  Mine jumps up $5000, and I don’t even know why. 

I spent hours using Time-of-Money software, comparing multiple statements, etc.  And, yes, I even have an MBA, and I was struggling to get the same numbers that they came up with.  They don’t explain how the calculation of your new loan balance (yeah, $5k or more higher when I had paid $9k since I applied to HAMP).

Beats me how companies can get away with this nonsense.


March 15, 2011, 6:20 p.m.

David Fullerton, Simple they have a license to steal

David Fullerton

March 15, 2011, 6:46 p.m.

Honestly, I would have never believed this nonsense if it would not have happened to me.  I would have compared people’s trials & tribulations with this screwy-ass banks to people seeing Bigfoot in the forest.  Seriously, I would not have believed the banks lose your paperwork, put you on with the most ignorant of bank reps, call you 5 times a day throughout the month just to tell you that you are late, have people from foreign countries that can’t even speak English call you (I don’t mean a foreign language speaker:  THAT’S FINE, but someone who can barely speak English:  NO JOKE), etc.  I would have thought you people were lying to me, because I never experienced that from one of the big banks.

Yet, now, I have experienced it from GMAC and Chase Home Finance.  They really don’t want to help you get modified.  They want to waste your time and help push you into foreclosure where they can get your house for nothing.

Again, I would not have believed it until I experienced it, documented every call, tracked every fax, wrote every government representative imaginable, etc.

I hope they are so highly fined that the bank execs are digging in their asses looking for pennies as they beg to buy bubble-gum.  Basically, what they’re doing to us on a daily basis.


March 15, 2011, 7:43 p.m.

More on steeling…

I just had a thought—-what if the reason everyone has to send their loan mod paperwork over and over is because the servicers can make more money if they re-submit over and over for the same person…since they get paid for each “person” they “pretend” to be helping…and that’s why they never have just one “file” for one person…wow—-talk about fraud!!!! 

I wouldn’t put ANYTHING past them…


March 15, 2011, 9:29 p.m.

Is this where we are hiding in every state if something serious is not done to save the homeowners and states? Nevada’s Boom Ends In Record Number Of Empty Homes:

They are a swelling number of abandoned houses in Nevada. There were 167,564 empty houses in the state last year, according to newly released U.S. Census data, more than double the number in 2000. The number of vacant homes represents about one out of every 6 houses across Nevada.
The figures are another striking example of how the housing crisis has pummeled Nevada, casting a new light on the severely weakened market after years of boom.
One result is an increase in code violations. In Clark County, home to Las Vegas, such complaints nearly doubled from 2008 to 2009 and the median price of resale homes dropped to $110,000 in January.
Neighbors call to complain of abandoned houses, it has been a deep plunge for Nevada. Once a leader in job creation and construction, the state had the highest foreclosure rate in the country in January. Delinquent mortgages,
Almost 20 percent of Nevadans relocated to new residences within the state in 2008 alone, the highest mobility rate in the nation
Short sales and foreclosures have slashed homes prices, ravaged neighborhoods and fueled unemployment in the construction sector,
More short sales and foreclosures are projected to further depreciate homes values across Nevada in 2011.(yes, you depreciate even more)  Census data to be released starting in June was expected to highlight the state’s robust renters’ market.
The values of the homes keep going down (how low is the housing going to go?) and the ability to pay your mortgage is just not there, and the banks are not really helping, their modification programs are a mirage.
The value of a $240,000 North Las Vegas home is worth $80,000.

After trying and trying to get a mod form the banks and not getting anywhere, People are being done with it and abandoning their properties


March 19, 2011, 11:06 p.m.

This is for the 50 AG’s Link:;=&partnerclipid;=

Thanks, acmod!  Great clip!

Guess that’s what I have to look forward to after I diligently

make my trial mod payments…I guess they are literally lying in wait for

for me so they can “pounce” when I’m done with

the “3 month trial dangling carrot”......disgusting, utterly disgusting.

David Fullerton

March 20, 2011, 1:11 p.m.

I just can’t believe that this “MONKEY BUSINESS” is allowed in America.  Any other business that tried to cheat their customers like this would have lawsuits in such great quantities that it would make your head swim.  But, here, the big banks are protected and not feeling the pain yet of their malfeasance.  But, they will.  I am working on a lawsuit for $20m against Chase for what they are doing.  Remember, any time a business works in bad faith against a customer (which they are doing), there are cases where most of these claims start at $10 million.  So, two loans with Chase equals $20 million for a lawsuit.


March 20, 2011, 2:05 p.m.

Karen, That is why you have to act before it happens, every time you send a payment (trial) send the proof of payment with a letter stating that you are very well aware of these practices perpetrated by the banks and that you wont permit them to make you a victim of these kind of practices, send copies (every single payment time) to OCC, TD, Congressman in your district,  HAMP escalation team, make sure the bank knows you sending copies of letters and payment to them by writing on the letters CC, It may also be good idea to send the copy of your trial agreement with payment and letter too


March 20, 2011, 2:08 p.m.

David Fullerton, go for it don’t forget to add extortion to your case : )


March 20, 2011, 2:11 p.m.

More.. for the 50 AG’s


March 20, 2011, 5:52 p.m.

Start watching after the 2 minute mark:


March 22, 2011, 8:27 p.m.

“The major investment banks didn’t do the right thing, and they haven’t made up for it yet,” said Talcott Franklin, who has written two books on securitization. “They blew up this country and yet now they’re making more money than ever. Explain that to me.”



March 23, 2011, 8:26 p.m.


Thank you for your excellent coverage, Mr. Kiel.  In particular, thank you for bringing up a commonly omitted, but very important facet of the settlement—whether homeowners will be left at the mercy of regulatory agencies prone to industry capture, or whether they will be able to enforce the settlement themselves with a private right of action.


March 29, 2011, 6:34 p.m.

Its today Please call:

For those still in pursuit of the elusive modification, I would advise you contact your particular state Attorney General. I just had a very informative 45 minute conversation with an attorney in my state’s AG office. Give them the particulars of your situation with your servicer, as they have contact info (not available to the public) from the banks. They cannot give legal advice…but will contact your servicer on your behalf to help expedite. Good luck to all and GOD bless.


March 30, 2011, 8:44 p.m.

The house voted yesterday to kill the HAMP it passed
But Why HAMP really bombed??
Obviously, it’s inconceivable that HAMP could have flopped because the feds:
Allowed loan servicers, the party with the strongest incentive to foreclose, to decide whether to reduce people’s mortgage payment
Failed to monitor the program, even when modifications actually increased how much people owed
Rejected calls to adopt meaningful goals and benchmarks for evaluating HAMP’s performance
Permitted servicers to foreclose on homeowners who were supposedly under review for modification
Let banks and servicers turn modifications into a profit-center by gouging homeowners with high fees, often pushing them into default
Ignored evidence of gross negligence and misconduct by servicers
Refused to sanction servicers that flagrantly broke the government’s own modification rules

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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