Journalism in the Public Interest

Better Late Than Never? Gov’t Finally Penalizes Major Banks for Mortgage Mod Failures

After two years of arguing that it had little power to punish banks for breaking the rules of its mortgage modification program, the administration has decided it’s finally time to crack down. But the punishment won’t do much damage to banks that count their profits in the billions.


Photo by Dan Nguyen/ProPublica

The Obama administration’s mortgage modification program is more than two years old. From the beginning, it’s been apparent that the participating banks and mortgage servicers were breaking the program’s rules. The administration has long argued it has little power to do anything about it. But now, after millions of homeowners have been rejected, the government has decided it’s finally time to crack down.

On Thursday, the Treasury Department announced it would be withholding government subsidies to the country’s three largest mortgage servicers, which are also among the U.S.’s largest banks: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase. The banks won’t be getting more money until they show “substantial improvement.”

“It’s important that the Treasury is acknowledging servicer noncompliance,” said Alys Cohen of the National Consumer Law Center, “but that’s been a problem for two years.” The action, while “better than nothing,” underscored the fact that many homeowners had been hurt during that time, she said.

Earlier this year, we reported extensively on Treasury’s lax oversight of the program, including its reluctance to penalize banks. Treasury gave us a variety of reasons for that reluctance: that the government’s power was actually quite limited, for example, or that if Treasury did penalize the banks, their performance would get even worse or they’d drop out of the program.

From almost the beginning of the program in 2009, Treasury has been sending mixed messages about its ability to penalize banks. In late 2009, Treasury warned in a press release that banks could face “monetary penalties and sanctions” for not abiding by the program’s guidelines. But a spokesperson later told us that Treasury didn’t have the power “to assess punitive fines or penalties.”

Asked today during a conference with journalists what took so long, Treasury official Tim Massad essentially framed the decision to withhold subsidies as not such a big deal. It was merely “a next step” in Treasury’s ongoing efforts to get banks to fairly evaluate homeowners’ applications for modifications, he said. As we reported earlier this year, Treasury’s oversight so far has mostly involved working with banks to get the problems fixed, and using carrots rather than sticks.

Massad also said Treasury hadn’t taken this step earlier because it only has the power to withhold incentive payments that are slated for completed modifications. Withholding incentives wouldn’t have made sense back in 2009, he argued, since so few modifications had been completed then. Treasury was making few payments at all to the banks.

It’s a confusing argument to make. There was a spike in permanent modifications in early 2010, leading to a jump in payments to the banks. Together, the three banks have collectively received $252 million in taxpayer incentives. None of those funds will be affected. Instead the government will be withholding payments going forward, which so far this year amount to a collective rate of about $19 million per month.

For banks the size of Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase, which together reported $13.6 billion in profits in just the first quarter of this year, that’s not much of a penalty. Moreover, Massad said the payments would resume if the banks made the necessary corrections to their operations.

Treasury said there were problems in how the servicers communicated with homeowners and evaluated their modification applications. One measure, which gauges how accurately the bank calculated the income of homeowners in modifications, found that the three banks typically made errors about a quarter of the time.

Two of the banks pushed back against the findings. Wells Fargo said it was “formally disputing” Treasury’s assessment and argued that the government relied on outdated data that didn’t adequately reflect the improvements the bank had made in the past year. In particular, a Wells spokesperson said the bank’s internal reviews found that it was doing a better job of hewing to the program’s guidelines in calculating homeowners’ income.

A Chase spokesman said the bank disagreed with the assessment, but he stopped short of saying the bank would be disputing it. “We have made significant improvements since the modifications that Treasury reviewed and continue to work hard to keep improving our processes and controls.”

Bank of America’s spokesman said, “We acknowledge improvements must be made in key areas, particularly those affecting the customer experience” but said the bank had made “great progress.”

In addition to the subsidies to banks and mortgage servicers for providing modifications, the program also gives homeowners payments of up to $5,000 toward their mortgage. So far, about $206 million total has been paid out. Those payments won’t be affected by Treasury’s actions against the banks.

Richard Isacoff

June 10, 2011, 9:42 a.m.

Taking away subsidies does not seem like a punishment. It just means no carrots. Unfortunately whips are needed - sticks aren’t strong enough a deterrent. 2 clients- made trial payments to JPMorgan Chase/Chase Mortgage for 14 months-get letters -“Never Mind-You don’t qualify. Oh, and ps- we are foreclosing”. Why are there no penalties?
Richard Isacoff, Esq
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It’s way past time for the rest of us to take on the banks.  We’re all hurt by their shennanigans.  Builders can’t build, their subs are out of work, their suppliers have laid off people, folks who want to buy a home can’t because the banks won’t loan without proof that their ancestors came over on the Mayflower, and when loans aren’t made sellers can’t sell and therefore can’t trade up which means, of course, that there’s no demand which means builders can’t build ....  The foreclosure mess is part of the problem but not all.  Everyone with a stake, and like I said it’s all of us except the bankers, need to take a stand and make Obama and Boehner and Reed and McConnell and Pelosi sit down and figure out how to fix this mess.

More nonsense.  The govt is passing along billions to the banks in arcane backdoor transactions that would make a pirate’s CPA blush.  This threat to withhold 19 million a month from three national banks is just a sham to make people think Treasury is doing something.  Treasury and the Fed know what the banks are doing and why.  If they really wanted to do something they would.  The rest is all a smokescreen.

Hmm, lets see. Basel 11 says “mark to market”, Banks cannot sell their REOs because of clouded titles. We have a client that her Bloomberg report proves the certificate holders were PAID OFF. What a mess. BUT, the greedy pretender lender still hires a scavanger lawyer to foreclose and set a sale date. Looks like the pigs have stayed at the trough so long that the only thing we (the public) is their fat greedy butts.

We are going to win this one, hands down. We finally caught them with their hands in the cookie jar and the incompetency of the lawyers further adds to this “melodrama”.

Chase’s idea of a “modification & helping homeowners” is to do the following:  delay, delay, delay; promise what they WON’T (not CAN’T) deliver, place people their very own in-house “forbearance plan” for 3 months (which is really MUCH longer), NOT credit those payments to the accounts but say they did, THEN say, “all HUD will allow us to offer is our very own Chase CHAMP.  We don’t do government programs because we here at Chase do our own thing.  Have a nice day.”  THEN, more delays, more lost/misplaced docs, etc. etc. etc.  It’s like Groundhog Day - Chase style.

Maureen is right on the money….Chase promised what they won’t deliver and then let the ax fall. I never even got a shot at anything named CHAMP, all I got was a foreclosure and eviction into homelessness.


June 10, 2011, 4:58 p.m.

This is a Joke, so this means that the Fraud banksters reward will be withheld, what about punishment for all of the Ponzi Scheme massive fraud ?
What about the Contracts fraud, Pretender lender fraud, Lender fraud, Ratings agency fraud, Origination fraud, Fraudulent inducements, Second Bankster fraud, MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) fraud, Securities fraud, Goldman SUCKS!, Lehman Bros. and many more selling bad loans to their investors, New pin numbers to hide the origination fraud, Speculating on that fraud and making 100 Trillion dollars on the same fraud on WALL STREET with such Mortgage Derivatives as CDO’S (collateralized debt obligations ) when Banks knew would fail, MBS (Mortgage Back Securities) fraud, AIG Fraud knowingly insuring bad, trap, and liar loans, Credit Default Swaps Insurances fraud,, Intentionally creating a massive housing bubble with fraud while they knew would cause a financial crisis, Forgeries of legal Docs, Where Are The Notes? Where are the Original Notes? (Destruction of Notes) Fraudulent Affidavits (also to fraudclosure), No Proof of ownership by the pretender Lender, Non Judicial Foreclosures, Destroyed credits, Bank owned abandon properties,No due process in courts on foreclosures, Flouting of the property rights and constitutional rights of we the people to steal homes Banksters don’t Own,  Giant BONUSES for the crooks at Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank, Freddie, Fannie and the CEO’S who robed the people, Hyper-Inflated Property Taxes, Short Sale fraud (watch video link), Loss of pensions, Loss of 401 K’S, Loss of Commercial Property Investments, Hyper-Inflation, Deflation.The T.A.L.F (Term Asset-Backed Securities Loans). The BAILOUTS, The lies: you were denied for help by the bank, we want you to sell your home that we DON’T OWN so we can sell it and make thousand of dollars even that we don’t have the Mortgage Note, Banksters strong arming the American people for delinquencies they don’t owe. Force Insurance Violations,  Deed In Lieu Fraud, Cross Collateralization Fraud, Scrivener’s errors fraud (person who writes out deeds, copyist, professions, a notary), Robo-signing Fraud, (the automatic generation of document which turn out to be ruled illegal.), FRAUDCLOSURES, The Bail Outs that stills continues through the back door Fed

This is an insulting gesture. High crime was and still is being committed, and the wealth of the average citizen was gutted.
we people should rally.
hundreds of people should be going to jail.

End the Fed.

William M. LeRoy

June 10, 2011, 5:44 p.m.

Here is where you got this WRONG. 1) When HAMP was created the program required NO Financials from the folks applying. (Just like the “sub-prime” no doc loans that everyone in this Administration and both Houses have been screaming about)”. Pretty stupid yet predictable eh? 2) Simply applying for a HAMP Loan Mod., operates as a foreclosure on your credit report. So work this: The Federal government in all their wisdom, creates a program with the same fundamental flaws as the devil they are screaming about and condemns all the less sophisticated homeowners who rush to apply to a world of delays (no documentation) and massive credit history damage which effectively prevents folks that could and might have purchased another home out of the declining housing market from buying a home for a long time (given the tightened credit requirements). Simply Brilliant. But what would you expect from the current leaders?  Fools leading fools .

Dick Brandlon

June 10, 2011, 6:32 p.m.

We’re ending our relationship with B of A as soon as our contract for our safe deposit box expires. As a couple with limnited means, we are very aware of the powerlessness of people against the financial monoliths like B of A that have systematically put profit above any conceivable good they might do for the country, the people in it or the principles for which it stands.
It’s B of A and others like it that make the best case for socialism.

The title of this article is “better late than never”...NOTHING HAS CHANGED…

Once again, Propublica and people, please WAKE UP and FOCUS
on what I am telling you:

First, go to:  livinglies(dot)wordpress(dot)com

(sorry, they don’t allow links here, obviously you just put a period where I wrote the word “dot”.)

Read articles and comments on that blog’s upper right corner…I know it’s a lot of info, but trust me…you need to learn the truth about what is happening…no one will tell you on the news, because the banks and the government don’t want the truth out there because of the chaos that they believe will ensue.

This is the truth:  A “loan modification” is simply a payment plan on “default debt”.  NOT a REAL LOAN. THERE ARE NO REAL LOANS.
I know you think I’m crazy, but it’s the truth…think about it everyone…the absolute chaos that you are seeing with regards to the mortgage industry—-regarding paperwork, documents, calling people back, getting or not getting faxes, fraudulent foreclosures, fraudulent titles on properties, and on and on…If you talk to someone at a bank for answers, YOU DO NOT GET THE TRUTH. Most of them don’t even know the whole truth.

Wall Street and the Banks created NEW RULES for themselves when deregulation took effect—-which they pushed for with lots of money, and the promise of lots more money…
They created a “fake mortgage” industry—-no one has a “real loan”, and they are covering it up…It’s all unsecured debt, that has been either sold and resold for collection rights, or effectively “paid off” by insurance…believe it or not.  Your original loan docs are fraudulent—-you signed on the dotted line and they put your “false note” into the “securitization machine”—-my loan NEVER when to a “bogus trust”—-it’s all a lie—-a shell game which made a few people very, very, rich…and none of them are in jail…and some of them work in the government.

I guarantee if you stop paying what you think is a “mortgage”, the banks CANNOT PROVE they OWN anything…they LACK STANDING to foreclose…that’s why people have been staying in their houses for 3 years without paying anyone—-BECAUSE THEY ARE FIGHTING BACK!!!  They are saying “Prove that you own a “loan”...or my “note’...yes, there may be a debt, but it’s not a “mortgage”, and it’s FRAUDULENT…in many, many ways…

My servicer IndyMac sent me a bogus “substitution of trustee”, saying Deutsche Bank owns my “loan”...well, guess what “Deutsche Bank doesn’t OWN ANY LOANS”...  That is a direct quote from John Gallagher, a spokesman for Deutsche.  And the “securitized trust” that my loan is supposedly in is EMPTY.

Welcome to the mortgage industry of the 21st Century…a giant PONZI scheme followed by an even bigger COVER_UP.

The MEGABANKS will be failing very soon—-stock up on food and water, people, and get out the lawn chairs, ‘cause the spectacle is coming…HANGED.


We’re going through this through National City.  They started us on a program (the “three-month” thing, which lasted for 9 months).  Then they said we didn’t qualify, even though we had been paying for nine months.  They then told us we hadn’t paid anything for six months!  I have stopped paying since August, and have used debt counselors, and such for five cycles of trying to reapply for the program. I can only think that they get paid for having people reapply.  My home is worth about what I paid for it nearly ten years ago.  A WARNING:  I went to a very good ($$$$) real estate attorney and found if you have a second on your home, they will detach it from your loan, and sell it to another party.  They will sit on them for two or three years at a default rate of 33% without telling you anything.  Then, when you’re re-established, will come after you at double what you owed on it.  Bankruptcy is the only alternative to end the debt after foreclosure. You just saved several hundred dollars!

Why do we make heros out of frauds like Jaime Dimon of Chase? Why does anyone fall for the idea they are virtuous people?

They got paid by our wise and benevolent governments (the Bush/Cheny/Rumsfeld and the Obama/ Chase/Lehmon-Sacks)
for their disingenuous assistance, When that is exhausted and they want to cash themselves out more they turn the screws and either drag their loot away or look for more suckers.

Approved by BofA for Hardship mod. Submitted all docs. Made 13 trial payments over the initial 3. Received Fedex letter of Approval for Permanent MHA mod instructing me to watch for Permanent Package, sign it and return it promptly. It never came. Called and was asked by BofA employee if my “dog could have chewed it up”. Finally received a call congratulating me on approval for permanent mod. Said it was a better deal. It was 65 percent of my total gross income. I signed it under duress becasue I was told govt program did not exist any more or I could decline it. Now they can report a mod but still get my home. I have documented every call and lie but BofA acknowledges nothing other than saying “you signed it” No accountability whatsoever. I am a senior with limited income and a single parent of a handicapped child. Soon to be in the street.

The Solution: Eliminate Too Big To Fail and break up the oligopoly that controls the industry.

The people need to punish these corrupt institutions by moving to local banks and credit unions.  Unfortunately ‘foreign investment’, touted as the beneficent path to democracy, has been transformed into a mechanism of economic (global) terrorism.


June 11, 2011, 10:57 a.m.

Mr. William M. LeRoy, Your comment states that the when HAMP was created the program required NO Financials from the folks applying is not true, Check List of docs for the HAMP: Application (4 pages), 4056 T form, Dood Frank Form, 2009 & 2010 Tax returns, Pay stubs (1month), proof of source of other income if any, Bank statements (2 months) Mortgage Statements (All including other properties if any) rental agreements, Home owners Insurance, Property taxes, HOA Statement (recent), Income, Expenses, Assets worksheet, Utility Bills, Hardship Letter, and if you self employed or there is a co-borrower they ask for even more and other docs.

Chase, BOA, WFB are a complete joke.  In evaluation of these companies they are simply too big to function properly. Also they need to evaluate all HAMP modifications that were closed, you will find reckless errors of folks with no hardships getting HAMP loans at 2 percent, that’s a problem nobody has taken into consideration that currently exist.  The whole program is a mess.

There is only one thing that is going to make the CEO’s COO’s and CFO’s of BoA, WF and JPMC look up from counting their bonuses, and that is the sound of handcuff ratchets.

There is little that I as a private citizen can do to protest what has been done for the greedy “Too Big to Fail’s” and their disgraceful behavior except wage one small battle.  I’ve cancelled my checking account with Chase and gone with a local credit union where I earn 1 1/2% interest, and I no longer use my Bank of America Credit card.


That is all any of us can do without honest help from those we elected to serve the public.  The only way beat a game that is so heavily rigged against you is to not play.  It is happening all over the country.  People are cutting up their credit cards, closing accounts with soulless banks and learning to live with less.  The only other thing we can do is be tolerant and supportive of all who are in the same situation.


June 11, 2011, 7:01 p.m.

Okay, so let me be sure I understand this:

In order to provide incentive for several of the largest mortgage loan servicers to grant more mortgage loan modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program, the Obama administration is “punishing” Wells Fargo, B of A and Chase by taking away the already meager financial rewards the program offers these banks.

If you needed any more proof that your government never meant for HAMP to do a darn thing to help homeowners, there it is.

Here we have a voluntary program administered by two institutions that own or guarantee a majority of the mortgages in the U.S and implemented by the very same banks whose greed created the housing crisis. The program consists of a bunch of guidelines the banks routinely completely ignore. There is no independent oversight, no objective appeals process and no transparency.

The only “incentive” for banks to do anything other than just keep their foreclosure factories pumping out fake paperwork and throwing “deadbeats” out of their homes are so-called rewards of $1,000 for each loan that they permanently modify and another $1,000 if that modification is successful over time.

Who is not surprised that companies that measure their profits in the billions of dollars have absolutely no interest in these financial “incentives.” Wells Fargo alone reported first-quarter 2011 profits of $3.8 billion. And that 48-percent annual increase didn’t come from $1,000 HAMP modifications.

The banks have behaved so badly when it comes to modifications, they have told so many lies and played so many ridiculous “delay and deny” games with so many people, and all Treasury and the administration can come up with is this completely pointless slap on the wrist?

It seems to me what they’re really doing is giving these banks an easy out, as if they needed more reasons not to help homeowners. I think this quote from a consumer advocacy lawyer is spot on:

Alys Cohen, a staff attorney with the National Consumer Law Center, said the actions were “too little too late.”

“It is not even clear that the incentives payments are something that these banks want enough to change their behavior,” she said. “It certainly hasn’t caused the servicers to comply with the rules to begin with.”
wellsfargomortgagemodscam (.) com

Let’s get together on and spread the message of a Million Man March to Washington on these Banks and Mortgages. If we all stand together, they’ll have to listen….....

They have been giving m the run around since Feburary, lieing and saying they have never received items sent, saying the sent letters out that never showed up, and every time I send one thing they always say they need something else. Been nothing but one big joke and I hope they get everything coming to them. KARMA.

Why is anyone still doing business with any of these banks, for that matter, any bank who received TARP funds?  Customers are the reason they still exist…the federal government can only give so much assistance.  Do some research and find out who you think is truly worthy of receiving your hard-earned money!

we need stronger crack down on ba nk of america and chase,we also need govrement to ghange the laws,to force banks to prove they own the loan in their attempts to steal people homes.stop bank fraud in our court sytem and get rid of any judge that helps banks to steal people homes with out hard evidence that they own the original mortgage and promissory notes


June 12, 2011, 3:13 p.m.

One question not being asked is:

Why are we even giving these banks subsidies?

Here we go again:


They don’t want to modify, (‘cause they know it’s not a “real loan”), and all the BS they put you through is all CALCULATED. ALL OF IT.

They get as much money as they can out of you (trial plan), and then either fraudcloser or deny.  If you DO get a permanent mod, IT IS MORE FRAUD…because they have NO CLEAR TITLE.

It is only modification of DEFAULT DEBT.


They don’t want you to figure that out…but we are….I am fighting them tooth and nail.

If your “fake” loan was supposedly put into a securitized “trust”, it is FRAUD.

From frauddigest (.) com :
“The trusts sold a list of “loans” (actually reaffirmation of COLLECTION RIGHTS), they INTENDED to “acquire”.

Get it? SELL, and THEN ORIGINATE!!! (but, not REAL origination, because NOT REAL LOANS.)

NOT your grandma’s (ie. before deregulation), type of loan—-NOT properly recorded, NOT legal “proof of ownership”, NOT clear title, on and on…and on.

So, just as the mortgage-backed securities ponzi schemes are fraudulent—-so are all the “fake” mortgages.

They HAD to come up with something to cover their tracks so they could get away with the total RAPE of the economy…and roll around in their bonuses…

I’m NOT leaving my house, you bastards. (not you guys, I’m talking about the banks, of course).

You must file:

Lis Pendens (pendency of action).

Temporary restraining order.

Bankruptcy (it’s unsecured debt—because they have no REAL proof of a REAL loan.

send Cease and Desist papers.

send Dispute of Debt papers.

Look at your paperwork and documents very carefully—-they have NO STANDING TO FORECLOSE BECAUSE THEY DON’T REALLY OWN ANY HOUSES.

STUDY THIS SITE:  livinglies (.) wordpress (.) com PLEASE.

Lastly, read this comment excerpt below: (this is what they do after they STEAL your home):

“...a part of the story that has received no attention and very little emphasis is that the villain, Deutsche Bank, “purchased” the property with a credit bid. You already know how this one played out: DB is the pseudo-”Trustee,” and “sells” the property to itself as “buyer.” Except that no hard money actually changes hands. To put it in layman’s terms, this is a paper shuffle, designed to facilitate property theft. A Trustee is (in theory) an independent fiduciary, one with responsibilities to both the trustor and the beneficiary in equal measure. The Trustee’s responsibility is to obtain the best possible deal for both parties in the event of liquidation of the asset entrusted. Except with Deutsche Bank, it never seems to work out that way. Instead, Deutsche Bank just enriches itself. I call it theft. You call it self-enrichment. The Court calls it “foreclosure.” Just lovely.”

Wake up people—-we ALL have to educate ourselves to this FRAUD and THEFT—-‘CAUSE THEY ‘AINT PUTTIN’ IT ON THE 6 O’CLOCK NEWS!!!  (The stations would lose too much advertising revenue…isn’t that wonderful?)

Oh, and PLEASE watch the Academy Award-winning documentary “Inside Job”—-it will make you mad enough to fight these ***holes!!!

If you think I’m kidding, just GOOGLE:  Sarah Palin Foreclosure Fraud


Did anyone see 60 mins when whistle blowers admitted they signed off on foreclosure documents to the tune of 4000 to 5000 signature a day for $10.00 an hrs under a false name of Linda Green in a building that no longer exist after they were investigated by 60 mins,  If I lose my home by my own fault okay but to lose it to theft is another reason.  I have wanted a long time just for the Government just to see how shady they are.

We have all known that modifications were not going to work and when I read the plans in July, 2007 and again in 2009, it was a real joke.  Nothing was mandatory because “as I now understand it”, the government can’t do certain things to the banks, penalties and fees.

Well, what we need is that million man march to Washington with a plan in hand that will stop the foreclosures, allow non performing loans to become peforming once again, which will immediately reduce the inventory of homes and just the word out there that no more foreclosures are coming down the pike will do huge things for the sale of the inventory and this economy.  It will be a start.  Best yet, is the taxpayer does not fund one cent of the money for this new assistance program which is not a modification program, none of that BS is required and will do some good with respect to cutting the banks legal fees for damages, etc. they have bestowed on the people by not following the rule of law.  There will always be lawsuits, but we can cure a lot of the legal issues with the right kind of plan and satisfaction of the debt and the illegal actions performed by the banks.

All of the banks will put in an aggregate amount of money to the fund which will produce monthly payment assistance as we move to reduce the inventory through normal sales and investors and by halting immediately the pending foreclosures where possible.

Not everyone will save their home, but millions will and that is what will start the ball rolling.  I know this plan will work but yet, no one has called for a discussion about it and believe it or not, if presented properly will bring the banks on board so they can get back to doing responsible and prudent lending, and cutting their losses.  No more modifications will be required until final disposition of the homeowner who will have no less than 3 years to resolve his issue and during which time appreciation of proprety values will be on the rise.

I went through the 80’s and the 90’s.  We can get this done.

I’d like to offer an issue that has not been raised here, but has certainly been voiced around the world.

I am a California college professor, divorced, in my mid 30s, politically active, astute, well-read (all of it—cartoons to The Economist to the UK Independent to InterPress International), and unafraid. I am also a one-time (but successful) stock broker.  I am a financing/banking autodidact, despite my love of art and language. I want to offer a bird’s eye, macroview of things to add context, especially as a young woman with a bankrobbed, bankrobbing mortgage in perhaps the most deliberately economically hijaked state (commodity) in the country and the world. 

We must connect the dots quickly and with vigilance.  The good news is that what we see or choose not to see is not clever, original, nor hardly difficult to understand.  No need to understand credit default swaps or market derivatives.  Simply refer back to your childhood and focus on any game that required both strategy and luck, yet typically those who won were those who were ruthless, manipulative, competitive, really believing the alleged glory and goodness of winning, of hierarchy, of capitalism. Because the others really believed that there could only be winners and losers, that there could only be competition and hierarchy.  Because there really IS only SO much water for SO many people, only SO much land for SO many people, etc. etc. 

But you don’t hear this lament when referring to prisons, special education programs (really used to warehouse poor, children of color), carefully designed ghettos near cesspools and landfills, carefully designed urban public schools near the ghettos that offer no property tax value because the residents are renters whose landlords live at least one full city or county away.

The games we played then; play now:  Monopoly. Chess, sure.  War, the card game.  Duck, duck, goose.  Red rover, red rover.  Poker.  Gin.  Spades.  Hearts.

So, in this country particularly, we have acculturated to the paradigm of competition, capitalism, ruthlessness, self-aggrandizement and we insidiously have articulated these concepts or values or ideals as “Objective,” “Morally right,” “Inevitable,” “Just,” “Equitable.”  And so on.

As with any childhood game, the adult game is the same. 

The stock “market” is a market of what for whom?  Yes.  We are the market.  We are for sale.  We buy ourselves.  Eat ourselves.  There is nothing scientific or necessarily complex about the market. 

But, in order for it to work— “work” refers to generating money for the powerful, invisible, minority elite—we have to believe that it does work.

If I can convince 100 people today to believe that 1 US dollar is worth 100 pennies, then very likely they and I will convince another group of the same “fact.”  And so on.  But, how does anyone know if that 1 US dollar was really worth 100 pennies at the time of investment?  How could that have been proven?

Extrapolating from this, we can easily see that our entire financial, economic, social, cultural, etc. system is a ponzi scheme—an empty, soulless, cynical, destructive, demonic, childish ploy to savage, demoralize, divide, isolate, and bankrupt the majority in service of the infinite greed of a minority elite.

Yes, this particular heist is unique in that it is viral—all sectors are affected—housing, education, jobs, military, medicine—and it is global—so, now if my 1 US dollar is worth only 80 pennies but a hospital group in Peru invested in its 100 penny value, expecting it to rise, then we see where the pain will come.  And if the Peruvian hospital has investors from Chile and Argentina, both of whom likely used or invested in US dollars, then we see how this pain spreads quickly. The despotic, gluttonous, egodelusional men and women who orchestrate these meltdowns, profiting more and more with each disaster more severe, are certainly to be held accountable.  They have destroyed and will continue to destroy millions and millions of lives.  Their accountability is beyond physical punishment.  This is a crime of the spirit, of the integrity of human existence.  It is, as all other thefts, murders, wars, unsustainable, and will necessarily die its own self-inflicted death.

But, for me, and hopefully for all of us, the real monster is us, all, the world. 

We allowed ourselves to believe in the lie of the American nightmare.  We allowed ourselves to colonize, murder, enslave, rape, beat, ridicule, silence, destroy, erase, steal, mimic, imitate, pervert, stunt, dismantle, dehumanize, and abandon entire peoples in this country for the ill-gotten, undeserved, bloodsoaked, tax free, labor-free (for the elites), stolen, pillaged profits

(continued from earlier, thank you)

stolen, pillaged profits of those like our current despots:  men and women who believe in Plato’s “required” separation of soul from spirit in order to build the great Republic.

As long as we here and anywhere on the planet and the multiverse continue to separate ourselves from each other, the earth, the multiverse, the implicate and explicate orders, all that is One and all that is harmonious, then we will continue to suffer and destroy.

As we learned in our logic and science courses:  When many answers are plausible, typically the simplest answer is correct.

And that which is simple tends to always make people uncomfortable.

Think about it:  Is homelessness REALLY necessary?  How many boarded up, empty, hollow storefronts, houses, warehouses, spaces have you seen today? 

If we do not change the very foundation of our values—the very way we think of existence, of living, of ourselves—then this particular heist will be another blockbuster movie made with outsourced everything in another country where we—those who survive or dare—will watch it as guest workers, dodging the immigration patrollers, worrying about our American accents, and this word we used to know:


I have a question….when we refinanced our home through one company, we later got a letter stating that our loan had been “sold” to ASC (America’s Servicing Company) and that payments were to be made directly to them.  I would like to know who actually OWNS my home and where I can get proof that it is actually owned by someone.  I know that when we applied to ASC for a loan modification, we dealt, at times, with Wells Fargo.  We were told by ASC that Wells Fargo actually owned our home and that ASC was merely the servicing company.  Although we DID get a modification after over a year of faxing, refaxing, refaxing again, phone call after phone call, etc.  ASC sent us a letter stating that they were “refinancing” our current balance at a lower interest rate (4.85% in lieu of 6.25%), which dropped our payment by about $730/month.  We only signed a single sheet of paper agreeing to this, which I find to be a bit disconcerting considering the mountains of paperwork we signed when we first refinanced our home.  Does anyone know if this type of “permanent” modification is okay and isn’t going to come back and bite us in the butt later on and what we can do to find out who actually OWNS our original loan and home???  Thanks for any help someone can give me on this.

after reading your comment you should know that if your loan is FHA (you mentioned hud) then your options are very limited under the order of priority for fha loss mit and that you wouldn’t even be eligible for a CHAMP mod.  They are not being truthful with you.  If you are fha, you should contact HUD immediately and ask to speak to someone.  They can open a case file and review what is being doing on your lenders end.  Good luck!

Thanks, Rachel!!  I’ve been in that endless loop 3x before, too.  It is FHA, however, NO ONE really owns it - yeah, I know - huh??  Chase promises the world, delays endlessly, falsifies documents, blames the investor (supposedly Chase is the investor of my FHA loan - not possible because it was Ginnie - in the beginning), add income that doesn’t exist, etc.  I requested the calculations & they refused to send them to me.  The forensic audit revealed quite a bit (done by Steve Dibert - MFI Miami - I highly recommend him) so I retained an attorney (Glenn Russell - I’m in MA).  Chase even went so far as to try to force me to sign documents with false information included in them & “we’ll fix those errors later. MMMMkay???”  No.

So, thank you for the advice - it’s a never ending circle of BS.  With a REAL modification, I’d be fine (I’m a school teacher of 19 years - stable).  They NEVER applied my forbearance payments (6 months worth) either.  UGH.  Gotta love the Demon!!!

You are so welcome.  We help a lot of people in your situation w/ FHA and unfortunately, it is a really complex situation.  They can add to your income if you fall w/i certain ratio’s etc.  As for the payments you made, they are most likely being held in a suspense account w/ the lenders late fees, etc being taken out.  If you have an attorney they should be working to resolve this quickly bc another great feature of FHA is that if you are 12 months or more behind you automatically become ineligible for FHA HAMP which is your best shot to be able to lower your payment (situation vary).  Best of luck to you.

Rachel -
How can income that doesn’t exist be added to someone’s monthly gross, especially WITHOUT that person’s knowledge?  My income is fully documented - there isn’t any “miscellaneous additional income.”  That’s wrong and no wonder why the whole modification process is such a mess.

FHA/HUD has honestly been very little help - all they keep doing is telling me to “contact the servicer.”  Then, the endless cycle begins again.  It’s been going on since Jan. 2009 & that’s why I’ve retained an attorney.  I’ve even sent payments to Chase - they either send them back or who knows what because they’re aren’t cashed.  It’s ridiculous.  I’m sure HUD tries to help any way they can, but I haven’t had any luck in working with them.  Thank you again, though!  I’m still fighting & will win this battle.

Larry Kurnarsky

June 13, 2011, 1:06 p.m.

Many major banks have been forging signatures to ‘prove’ that they actually own the papers on the homes they have been moving to foreclose on. That after We The People bailed them out. They decided to forge signatures because they had very good reason to believe that the US government would avert its eyes. There is plenty of history to demonstrate that this was a good bet. But the last time I heard forging signatures on legal documents that are worth sometimes millions of dollars each is a felony. Since when does the government of this supposed democracy get to ignore major criminal behavior? Sine this democracy was displaced by an Oligarchical dictatorship of plutocratic corporate CEOs. That is what is in balance here. My bet is that with the banks themselves. Not a lot of negative consequences will come down on their majesties. I hope I am dead wrong but if I am not, can we lowly citizens take note and accept the truth? Then can we do something Egyptian-like about our situation and stop waiting for a Big Daddy President to be our salvation? Can we all grow up?

AND, not for nothing, but the “Chase spokesperson” lied through his (Thomas Kelley who’s usually “declining to comment” - I’d be willing to bet that’s who this is) teeth in stating Chase has made improvements.  They most certainly have NOT done so.  How about a detailed list of these so-called “improvements?”

James B Storer

June 13, 2011, 3:19 p.m.

“AH,”  ah, your post is wonderful.  One sentence in your comment strikes a particularly sympathetic chord with me:  “I want to offer a bird’s eye view, macro view of things to add context,…”  I wish comment anecdotally upon “context.”
  I was incapable of sustained logical thinking and physically weakened by cancer and many bouts of chemo.  Last winter I was through with chemo (temporarily at least) and was pleased that Propublica was doing well.  After reading Propublica reports I go to the comments.  Most of the postings are informative and by educated folks.  They add nicely to the scope of the Propublica report.  I did not intend to submit comments, but I soon caved, and since February or so I have submitted many times.  (I am retired and have time.)  I always enjoyed writing, but I wondered why I seem compelled to do this, on subjects I often know nothing about.
  The answer is “context” or, more accurately, lack thereof.  Your words capitalism, ruthlessness, and self-aggrandizement are, indeed, accepted synonyms for “morality.”  Our “god” is greed and we envy and worship those who are most greedy and unconscionable.  This is the context in which we are encouraged to converse and write.  A complete world breakdown is in the offing.  If you (not you AH) do not believe this, do a comprehensive check, politically, corporate, and physical on water and water rights worldwide.  Water is beginning to be in the same corrupted category as petroleum.  The difference is that we can live without petroleum, but not without accessible water.
  A complete revolution must take place if we are to escape the looming shackles of slavery.  Armed uprising would be immoral, unethical and, in this situation, surely an effort in futility.  We must speak and converse and act in terms of true morality, and the golden rule.  (No, I am not a rabid preacher.  I have no respect for the bible nor faith in a life in the hereafter.).  Let us broaden the context in which we live on earth, including love.
Skartishu, Granby MO.

Dear James—thank you so very much for your thoughtful words.  They mean very much to me.  We are kindred.  It means much to me that you take this time to write. 

And, yes.  The “new” old markets are water, air, land, and our very own bodies. 

But our very own bodies and minds are also our best defense and protection. 

If you get a chance to, read Chela Sandoval’s “Methodology of the Oppressed.”  It is philosophical, with lovely dense words here and there, and lofty intellectual principles, but still accessible, and very hopeful. 

Here’s a portion of the last paragraph in the last sequence:

With the transnationalization of capitalism, when elected officials are no longer leaders of singular nation-states but nexuses for multinational interests, it also becomes possible for citizen-subjects to become activists for a new decolonizing global terrain, a psychic terrain that can unite them with similarly positioned citizens-subjects within and across national borders into new, post-Western-empire alliances.

-Chela Sandoval, “The Methodology of the Oppressed”

The quotes below are from this site:  bahai(.)org

“The fundamentals of the whole economic condition are divine in nature and are associated with the world of the heart and spirit…”
“The disease which afflicts the body politic is lack of love and absence of altruism…”
“...the base of life is this mutual aid and helpfulness, and the cause of destruction and non-existence would be the interruption of this mutual assistance. The more the world aspires to civilization the more this important matter of cooperation becomes manifest.”

Basically the OPPOSITE of what we have now…

For the TRUTH about the mortgage madness, go to:


The truth is FINALLY coming out…

God bless us…

John Ray Smith

June 14, 2011, 8:10 a.m.

Lotta strange things happened since Dr. Pieczenik showed up on Alex Jones’s show. Those strange things: Federal Reserve held the first press conference since founded in 1913 and exposing that Deutsche Bank was the greatest beneficiary of bailouts. It follows lawsuit against Deutsche Bank which is controled by Warburg family cofounders of Federal Reserve. Obama canceled bombing campain of Libya in Serbian style. Even ole McCain shutted down. We have 2 things with banks: Credit cards and Tim Geithna stepped up against 3 big banx. And finally Mr president is pushin’ Israel to pre 1967 lines.
Lux like it is not bussiness as ussual anymo’.

I must have missed something here, could someone help me with this.  Who went to jail?

Still Seething

June 16, 2011, 9 a.m.

To Joseph James who commented on June 11th: Not sure if this link will show, but you can go to for who to contact on a federal level for help with this. You are a poster child for the victimized, and B of A WILL NOT want your story to go public.


from livinglies(.)wordpress(.)com :

“So here is the current situation: Many if not not a majority of people who have passing knowledge of the housing crisis and the attendant credit crisis which has brought our economy to a crawl, assume that the mortgages were valid; they assume that somehow, as if my magic, the obligations, notes and mortgages are owned by pools that never received any documents of transfer, delivery, assignments or evidence of recording the instruments in the title records; they assume that the documents of transfer exist in recordable form when they don’t exist at all. They assume that the problem is fixable and just a paperwork mess when in fact there was NO DEAL, NO VALID NOTE and NO VALID MORTGAGE.
Investors advanced money on the premise that the mortgages already existed when they advanced the money. They were wrong. The investors assumed that the transfer documents existed. They were wrong. And they assumed that the law which requires the transfers be properly made and documented within 90 days would be followed. They were wrong. And most importantly, they assumed that they were buying valid performing loans when in fact the notes and mortgages describe a transaction that never took place and the real transaction went undocumented. Instead, the only documents for transfer are those involving loans that have been declared in default but which are not in default because the servicers are continuing to make payments to cover up the fraud at the inception of the false securitization scheme.
Thus the only thing the pools have are some documentation that was not and could not be accepted. The transfers are contrary to the two basic restrictions that one would expect in any such pooling arrangements: that the mortgages were valid and properly transferred and that they were transferred in a timely manner. By transferring improperly documented and non-performing loans into the pools the investors were screwed. And still the logical extension of that fact has not been made; if the investors were screwed and the their deal was improperly documented and obtained by false pretense, then it follows that the same holds true for the only other real party in interest — the homeowner.
As long as we continue this myth the economy will drag along the ground, while the people who have capital and wealth — homeowners who do NOT have a mortgage encumbrance, but think they do, or who have been (illegally), evicted from their homes when they still owned those homes — are prevented from spending, capitalizing new businesses, and all the other good things that would stimulate the economy and turn the markets around — all of them — in a 180 degree turn from bad to good.”

Check your paperwork very carefully, people…all is not as it seems…

Somebody check this out please.!!!!  If the land your house sits on is paid for and the dwelling is on the mortgage..  Example would be I own the land free & clear.  I decide to build a house on my land.  I get a loan from the bank to build the house.  Now I can’t afford my payment and the bank wants to foreclose…  OK, how do they get to their colladeral (the dwelling) if it’s land-locked by the land the house sits upon.??  Is this a legitamate loophole for the consumer.??

colleen browne

June 17, 2011, 6:20 p.m.

“Unless you become more watchful… will in the end find that the most important powers of Government have been given or bartered away and the control over your dearest interests has passed into the hands of these corporations.”  Andrew Jackson, in the midst of the war with Nicolas Biddle over the Bank of the United States. 

A voice of wisdom from our past.

Did anyone see 60 mins when whistle blowers came forth and admitted to singing of on 4000 or more documents a day for $10.00 an hrs no experience necessary in a bogus name LINDA GREEN!  The building was set up on or documentation signings and since 60 mins they have closed the building down. Last I check identity theft earned jail time!!!!

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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