Journalism in the Public Interest

The Government’s Incredible Shrinking Mortgage Mod Program

The U.S. government’s effort to help struggling homeowners from defaulting on their mortgages is approaching a standstill, and the number of homeowners in ongoing mortgage modifications could start shrinking.


A homeowner sits with a Bank of America negotiator as she tries to restructure her mortgage loan at the Palm Beach Convention Center on Aug. 27, 2010. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

2:29 p.m.: This post has been updated.

The U.S. government's effort to help struggling homeowners is approaching a standstill, and the number of homeowners in ongoing mortgage modifications could start shrinking in several months if current trends continue, according to a ProPublica analysis of Treasury Department data.

A year and a half into the program, the number of homeowners defaulting on their modified loans has been fast approaching the number of new modifications. In September, for example, banks modified almost 28,000 loans, but nearly 10,000 homeowners fell out of the program because they defaulted on their modified payments. Taken together, the programs' growth has slowed by almost a quarter each month since May.

The administration launched its foreclosure-relief effort last spring, looking to help 3 to 4 million homeowners by modifying their mortgages to have affordable monthly payments. Only 467,000 homeowners are in modifications that are still ongoing.

Alan White, a law professor at Valparaiso University, said the problem isn't the rate at which homeowners are redefaulting, which is low compared to other modifications, but rather the shrinking number of new modifications given out by banks. "We need to be modifying 10 times as many a month," he told us.

Across the country, over 5 million mortgages are more than 60 days overdue or in foreclosure, according to Lender Processing Services.

Banks have had a poor record of modifying mortgages under the government program. (Check out our graphical breakdown of each bank's performance.) Homeowners report Kafka-esque experiences of lost paperwork, miscommunication and dashed hopes in trying to get help preventing foreclosures. We've recently chronicled homeowner experiences in a series of profiles and a questionnaire. Investors who own mortgages are dismayed as well. The Treasury Department has yet to penalize a single mortgage servicer since the program launched last spring.

Source: Making Home Affordable monthly reports

"You start with a program that's not well designed and a lack of will to enforce the program, and this is what you're getting," says White.

The pipeline for permanent modifications also continues to dwindle. There are now fewer than 175,000 active trial modifications, down from almost 260,000 in July. Nearly half of the active trials are at least six months old.

We contacted Treasury to ask about the slowing of the program, and they haven’t responded yet. We'll update this post when we hear back.

Two mortgage servicers, Bank of America and Aurora, have seen their numbers of active permanent modifications decrease in the past month. Bank of America's dropped by about a thousand modifications, and Aurora's fell by over 2,500 modifications.

In a press release, Bank of America said that the drop came from a combination of defaulted modifications, servicing transfers and repaid mortgages. Only 428 mortgages have been repaid to the more than 100 mortgage servicers participating in the federal program. Aurora did not respond to ProPublica's request to comment.

Update: Treasury said it is working to reach as many eligible homeowners as it can and has expanded alternative options for borrowers that do not qualify for the modification program.

Most distressed homeowners need legal help, not these distracting, frustrating mortgage loan mod programs.  But there’s next to no legal help available to people who’ve been squeezed so hard they have no choice but to try and defend themselves.  Very few can.

Marsha harris

Oct. 27, 2010, 3:28 p.m.

I called Wachovia , yesterday to see if my husband and I could qualify for a modification and was told that we didnt meet the requirements. The fact that we had had mortgages and refis with the company for 16 years, had never been late or ever missed a payment meant nothing. So much for loyalty.

Keep a log of names, dates, what was discussed, employee numbers, call center they work out of (many) and document this at the beginning of the call.  This way if they decide to put you on hold forever (happened a lot to me), drop my call back into the que (happened often), or hung up on me, I called right back and spoke to a supervisor, ratting them out.  Many times the supervisor will do what you wanted to have done in the first place. 

The key is PERSISTENCE and if you get somebody rude, which most of them tend to be, don’t waste your energy and get all upset.  Politely say you have to take another call or somebody’s at your front door, hang up, and call back and keep trying until you get someone who actually acts like a professional.  Good luck.

To Marsha—the same thing happened with us with Citigroup.  If you’re not behind, they’re going to blow you off.  Did you speak with somebody in the Loss Mitigation Dept?  It’s very important to speak to a supervisor in this department, NOT customer service or collections!  A lot of times when Loss Mitigation is busy, their calls will rollover to COLLECTIONS and they’ll CLAIM they’re in Loss Mitigation when they’re really not.  Call again, and keep calling until you get somebody who will listen.  If you can prove a FINANCIAL HARDSHIP—loss of income, having to take money out of your IRA, etc., you should qualify. I’m convinced this is their MO—tell people they don’t qualify and I’m guessing the majority go away and never try again, which is exactly what they want.  DEMAND to speak with a SUPERVISOR.  Be forewarned, many of them were just as rude and ignorant as the first rep I spoke with.  Keep moving up the chain of command.  Ask for the Loss Mitigation Dept’s HEAD’s secretary.  Hang up, and call back and ask for that person’s secretary.  They’ll try and “gatekeep” you (not transfer you), but be persistent and tell them that you were told to speak with her and if they don’t transfer you, send a certified letter to that person and cc: the PRESIDENT of your bank re: your abysmal experience in trying to get help.  You have to learn how to complain effectively to get results.  That’s the key.  I used to work as a secretary for a bank president.  Trust me, if you get the sympathy of the secretary and it comes from the top down, it’s amazing how the attitudes change and they will help you.  Good luck!  DON"T GIVE UP!  PERSISTENCE IS KEY!!!

It’s hard to know what to believe with this program.  I hate to deal in conspiracy theories, but don’t you wonder whether the banks are simply dragging their feet to make Obama look bad?  On the other hand, don’t you also find it interesting that Obama’s Treasury Secretary Geithner is so thick with the bankers that he calls them several times a day?  Does it then surprise you that “the Treasury Department has yet to penalize a single mortgage servicer since the program launched last spring?”

I was denied a modification but requested the numbers they used to deny me, and found they had amde a huge “mathematical error” by counting the annual amounts of my tax and insurance payments (about $900 each) as though they were monthly obligatoins (instead of about $75 each).. I contacted my US congressman, who wrote Aurora to ask why they would not consider my appeal.  At first they wrote a letter back to the congressman saying I had not appealed in time (I had to appeal within 30 days but it took them 35 days to get me the numbers I requested). Then I wrote another letter and, with my congressman’s help, Treasury ordered Aurora to grant me the modification and to backdate it to the date when it should have been approved. When they gave me the numbers for the new note, they overcharged me by $3-4,000. We’re still working on negotiations and I hope to sign the modification within the next month. I URGE EVERYONE TO CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN FOR HELP WITH YOUR MODIFICATIONS.  I believe mortgage companies frequently make “mistakes” when they calculate a borrower’s eligibility, but most people don’t ever request the numbers so they can find the mistake. If the mortgage companies were ever audited, this could be discovered, but this would take an act of Congress.

The fact that the Loss Mitigation is the same collection unit, where do you start? They tell you we are working on it, but everyone are reading from the same script. I know folks filed chapter 7 because of a reduction in income, and just need a temporary fix, but the long wait caused them to file and wipe out their HELOC, now they are worring what next with the property despite still paying on the first trust. But the brite side in these cases, sad as it is, the homes are under water, and all will loose in the end.

Getting ready to submit I think my 7th package.  I was denied.  Wrote to the treasury department, got a call back, confirmed numbers Chase used were not correct, then told to resubmit my entire package.  This is partly due to the fact I have new income.  But when I asked the Hamp Solution Dept. if the numbers worked.  I was told.  “I don’t know we don’t have the same software here”  So my question is why did you call me…....and say you could help?
Without the lenders being held accountable for starting this mess, they are never going to take responsibility for fixing it!

Reduction in income is not enough to determine if a borrower qualifies for a modification- the key is whether the bank will get more $$ by foreclosing right now or by reducing the mortgage monthly payment. If the house is not “upside down”, it doesn’t matter whether the borrower is. If the house is upside down (that is, the amount owed on the mortgage is more than the house’s current appraisal/fair market value) then the bank stands to lose money if they foreclose. So, in this situation, the bank will reduce the monthly payment since they face a loss no matter what they do. This is the reason why people who have equity in their home are the ones who stand to lose everything if they lost their income.

chase has run us around for months and months untill we were loosing our minds with all the collection calls. even though we were in the process of a mod. we thought we were applying to hamp prog. NO it wasnt. they tricked us into signing a new loan instead. they screwed up the figures and then told us if we didnt sign this contract we couldnt get a mod. so we signed and then what? well we still cant pay our mortage payment because its only 40.00 less than the original loan payment. and our mortage amout went up 20 k on the principal . oh, but they lowered our interest rate to 5%. and now we are told we should feel lucky we even have a mod. chase isnt in the habbit of giving money away. nice people huh? who does the president think this program is helping anyway? not the american people…. not us. no one who has a mortgage with chase at least.

I just cannot understand how people don’t see a problem with this process. One or two may be irresponsible but millions?????? Not any of these people I see do not want a free ride. Why can’t WE get help from the government like the BIG BANKS??? I saw one office in Simi Valley CA for Bank of America whose office is as big as two football fields with 10,000.00 new employees to do just Loan Mods!! Really do you think anyone can hire and train 10,000.00 employees to work on something as precious as Our identities. our homes our lives?? Majority know nothing about banking finance or otherwise. They are given a manual put behind a desk and given a daily quotas and in the employees defense THEY want a job to help make their mortgage payment as they help us lose ours.

As someone who worked for one the largest servicers out there, I here everyones frustration.  Let me offer some insight into the loan mod process.  First, if you have been “pre-approved for HAMP trial payments, do not make the trial payments.  Make sure that you continue to make your regular monthly payments during the loan mod process because you have not been “approved”.  If you make the trial payments and don’t get approved for the mod, then you will be responsible for the payment that you didnt make and the difference in your regular payment which will put in another bind because they will want the money all at once.  Second, when you are filling out your financial worksheet, unless you dont have sufficient enough income, your income and expenses should balance out.  What I mean is that if you make 3000 and your expenses total 4500, the banks look at it as if you cannot afford your home even if your loan is modified because of the difference in income/expenses.  Make sure that you balance your expenses with your income..income-3000 expense 2800..dont overestimate your expenses thinking that you if you are in serious debt they are more likely to help.  That is further from the truth!  To the people who have been banking with the same institution, the does not mean that you automatically will be approved for a loan mod.  The mortgage industry and your relationship with the bank, unfortunately does not factor into the decision of getting a loan mod so take your personal feelings out of it. People who have been making their payments feel like they should be granted loan mods because they have been making the payments and distressed homeowners should not be helped is preposterous.  I understand that you are making the payments but dont you think that if most homeowners could make the payment they would?  I used to hear people say every day, that I have never experienced this before and I am having a hard time making my payments.  I truly understand everyones frustration with the process because the process is screwed up but just make sure you followup and document who you spoke with and what they told you.  Last thing, collection, loss mitigation there really is no difference and all have access to same info!

I am a Housing Counselor with a non-profit agency in New Jersey.  Please be aware that there are companies out there that are trying to capitalize on people’s misfortunes.  I had a client call me this morning and state that he received a phone call from a gentleman who said the “government is screwing people over” and that he could help him get a loan modification if he paid his company $2000.  This is ludicrous.  There is no charge for foreclosure/delinquency counseling.  Any reputable HUD approved housing counseling agency will not charge a fee for this counseling.  To locate a HUD certified counselor, you can go and search “housing counselor.”

Mary- Excellent point made! How horrible that there are such people who would take advantage of someone who is already in such a dire predicament. Why not just put a gun to their head and demand all they have left…end result will most likely be the same. Shameful!!!!

Antoine- Thank you for the input. If only more people with “inside” knowledge would take the time to help. Along the same lines as your info…homeowners should also be aware of the credit implications. An informative article-…type in the search box…Caution:That Loan Modification Can Hurt Your Credit.

AdriAnne- I can tell you have a good heart as you look at the other side of the coin according to people working in banks who want to keep their job. In my experience I feel they at least could be a little more helpful. At the least be a little less condescending. I hope you are getting help…Michael is a good man, he will not lead you wrong. My radar went up when you relayed “counselors” came to your property. Please know that there are as many people out there looking to cash in on this for their own gain, as there are those who truly want to help…if not more. Good Luck and GOD Bless All!

Did the Treasury do anything as wild as explaining just how they are “working to reach as many eligible homeowners as it can and has expanded alternative options for borrowers that do not qualify for the modification program” ?

...cause frankly, I don’t believe them!

JS- I have been trying to get a mod for over 7 months now…BoA more or less has not even started to consider my request according to their ACTIONS. You know…same old lip service.

But, I did receive a call from a gentleman 2 days ago who purported to be from the Treasury Dept.(although the caller ID said Fannie Mae) and he took some info and gave me a phone # and ext. to call, along with his name. He said that they would be getting back to me in a few weeks, so I guess maybe they are starting to get a little more proactive. At least in my case…but I’ve been writing and calling everyone but my deceased relatives. GOD Bless All!

Kim Martorana

Oct. 29, 2010, 2:39 p.m.

You are all correct, I am an attorney that specializes in foreclosure defense and loan modification. If you look at the numbers, none of the banks are really doing a great job in approving loan modifications.

They all stretch the process out as long as possible and hope that the homeowner will get frustrated and give up. The key is to be persistent and keep detailed records of who you speak to and when.  Also any time you send something to the mortgage company, send it by registered mail so you have a receipt.

Kim-Great points! I have been a burr under my servicer’s saddle for many months now. Back in June I called in to ask why my payment had not posted (as it was due the next day…and I had sent in by mail as usual 10 days before due date). I was told it had been received that Mon. (called on Fri.) and it was to be posted that day. Upon requesting status of my loan mod I was also informed that I was “deed in lieu”, even though I have never been late or missed a payment. I now either pay over phone (but they charge a fee of $20) directly from checking…or risk certified mail. If I stay with certified mail route…how would I still be able to prove that I had indeed sent payment. BoA is looking to take me down. Any suggestions on how one could totally cover their rear in this scenario? Latest mortgage statement had seperate letter explaining their prices for “extras” when servicing your loan. But like I’ve said before…Give them enough rope…

Roy- When I mentioned that counselors came to my home they provided me with documentation from BOA but at that time I was not even 30 days behind. They were assigned by BOA under the name CredAbility. That is where it was mentioned that I have a nice home,nice suburb, nice neighborhood.and BOA would be less likely to help me because my home would be easier to sell. Bank of America has all of the hardship information on their website. When the counselor was in my home she proceed to make a call to BOA but there was no answer, she told me to keep trying after she left which I did.I finally got 1 of my phone calls answered by someone with an accent deep enough for us to have a total communication breakdown he explained he would have someone call me Mon because they were not in the office on Sat. If I wanted to make a payment it would be a phone convenience amt of $11.00. and then click. No call on Mon. I didn’t fall behind until July but was told by BOA I have to pay my late fees first.

AdriAnne- What I was refering to as far as your visitors was that they were most likely not there for YOUR benefit.
Once again I urge you to contact your AG and call your local Legal Aide Society (some branches have lawyers who will take your case free of charge, due to government grants).
Please at least contact Michael…he is an honest man with a good heart…and will be able to advise you of the best thing to do now according to your immediate situation.
Stay positive and pray. But be sure to be proactive and stay on top of things. Unfortunately, please do not rely entirely on BoA…they will delay you for as long as possible, especially now that you are behind and at their mercy.
Remember that there are always options…but you must act to enable a positive outcome.
You can contact me via my e-mail if you wish…but Michael is alot more knowledgeable about HAMP and all other options.
As always good luck and GOD Bless you and your family.

Roy-Thank you so much!! Yes I have been getting inundated with Realtor s,Law firms etc…  I am hounded all time I don’t sleep etc… The mailbox is now my enemy. Phone calls are stressing me out. They are relentless and never seem to give up even when told I am not interested. I only want to keep my home for myself and my only child. Which I have owned for 12 or more years. Here is my email address .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Hopefully none of the mortgage vultures are on here looking for a carcass to pick at.  I simply cannot handle it. This is ruining my life. PS I did e-mail Michael I never turn down any angel requests on a lighter note!!!


Oct. 29, 2010, 11:50 p.m.

After ready this article an many others on pro-publica i got ot one conclusion only Banksters need to be a essentially and substantially more REGULATED, Let me just tell you in 3 phrases what i believe this country needs to do with these Bnaksters, REGULATE THEM, REGULATE THEM , REGULATE THEM ,
Yes REGULATE every single transaction, Foreclosure,  DCO’s,  Derivable s, Credit Cards, Bail out ‘s etc REGULATION is the key, if the Banksters are regulated they can not extract and suck the money from this country and the middle class as they have been doing it for so long REGULATION ! REGULATION ! INTENSE REGULATION !
And finally,  Break up the Banksters yes that is right Break them in to pieces so none of them are worth more that a Billions and this way they will never ever be TO BIG TO FAIL ever again

Mr.Takaphan Jaruhungsin

Oct. 31, 2010, 5:38 a.m.

I comment as follows.
1. If any owner. In default of payment. (Longer than scheduled payments. Several months).
  Should be referred to mediation by the data, find the reason why.
2. How government should fix. To restructure. Provide better relief (for the period.
Relief for debt restructuring. Payment reduced to less than ever before. (If it is possible to help each other.)
3. The Bank recommended customers “can be divided into the neighboring room. Or friends can make rent.
Together will be additional revenue to reimburse the Bank. (The share of the burden. Finances).
4. If you do not reconcile Be dutiful Or regulations that a bank or lawyer.
5. If you can not send the full rate set by the Bank.
Should provide long-term lease. (Rate of pay less than the normal rate set slightly).
Relax in the built-in. (To maintain viability in the.)

Best wishes

Mr.Takaphan Jaruhungsin
30 October 2010

Mr.Takaphan Jaruhungsin

Oct. 31, 2010, 5:45 a.m.

Dear Sir
I comment as follows.
1. (Supposedly) if the bank seized the house and then to 100 homes sold.
2. Should contact the businesses on the east. Or in the United States.
And commitment between the bank and the auction. (Submission of bidding, should be implemented in the business.
In the form of long-term lease, should be divided into units or per household.
To fix a bug about profit. From this auction. , It was a burden to carry on.
The never-ending For buyers who bear the burden of the sales price of home buyers from bidding.)
** Should inform the rental rate for each unit. Note that the federal government. (The federal government authorized.
Will not suffer. With residents. In a normal rental price.

Best wishes
Mr.Takaphan Jaruhungsin
30 October 2010

My only concern is taht once I did get my MODIFICATION and went through the trial now mt mortage has been taking over by BOA and my payment went back up.Now WHAT! do I make the hign payment and not pay my electric,water,gas and by food.The hold process is depressing I don’t beleive in THE AMERICAN DREAM OF OWNING A HOME i more depressed then anything .The TARP Panel which included Kenneth Truske ,Ted Kaufman and Mr McWatter to name a few.Had a hearing that was on C-SPAN3 the panel discussed their concern about the program and how the Banks where really dragging there feet. The goal is of the TARP is to help keep home owner ,excuse me I MEAN people who owe the BANK in their homes so the Bank can make money and to stabilize the market.The problem is that the Bank got their bailout before the AMERICAN people got any help

Kim Martorana

Nov. 1, 2010, 11:37 a.m.

Roy-If you send in your payments via certified mail, then you have a record of that the mail was received. Your canceled check is the verification that the funds were cashed. If there is a delay in cashing your chec, you can show that the funds were in fact received in time and not late.

cassandra, you stopped communicating.feel free to get back in touch if you would like.
kim, you are correct about paper trailing the payment. good advice

Kim and all - bank branches have been told to stay away from loan mod clients with problems, but they can’t refuse a payment.  Before, during and even after my “trial” approval and “permanent” rejection, I ALWAYS made my payments (still do) at the drive-up window and get a receipt.  No questions asked, UNDENIABLE PROOF!!  Besides, branches are banks and they are audited (to make sure no employees are stealing or executives misusing the money)

Yes Michael i did stop communicating with you,i truely dread going through the process of someone going through my person paper again and to send them to you someone whom I don’t know who you represent,you could work for the Banks and be someone tryong to get ahead of the game.I’M COOL.I got my modification on my own and now i’ll do mr best to make th ehigh payment because i work hard to obtain a home for my self,my daughters and my grandson.Amd i refuse to show my Family a defeated Spirit(Although I DO FEEL LIKE GIVING UP,But I beleive in my heart that i the government will rescue those how fight SO IM IN IT TO WIN IT

Kim-Thank you…problem is BoA’s nearest and only “branch” is in Kona, which is a 45 minute drive 1-way…plus they have already said they mainly seel mortgages and will not accept payments. My worries is even sending Certified Mail…they can say no payment sent…I mean they are losing docs left and right. It’s not right that I should have to pay to have them take funds directly from my account. I am not in a mod at present and have never been late or missed a payment. I want to do all I can on my end to be sure it stays that way. Simply put, after all they have put me through just to get an answer….I don’t trust them any farther than I can throw ‘em.

After a year of the ‘three month trial’ period, and jumping through a million hoops of fire, losing sleep and living on stomach medicine, I was greanted a permanent home loan re-modification.  After adding over $41,000.00 to my principal for interest and ‘other services’ (which I have yet to be told what those services were and how much they actually were), my loan payment was about $200 less per month.  I’m sorry to sound ungrateful, but I could skip a grocery run and clip a few more coupons and make up that small difference. 
So now my principal is close to $50K higher, and my monthly payments are only $200 lower than the amount I couldn’t afford originally!  It was almost a total waste of my time!  Now, two years later, I’m still in negotiations with BOA.  I’ve been calling since June of 2010 to see if we can do something more with this modification, just to make it worthwhile.  My reason for applying was that I broke my back, became disabled and lost my substantial income.  My house is now going into forclosure because I’ve been making my trial payment amount every month (as per the advise from my BOA ‘expert, who btw has not returned my calls since June).  My payments are covering my mortgage payment and some of my taxes, but BOA is now threatening me with ‘acceleration’ which means forclosure.  They suck, I’m stressed, and I hate this whole thing.  I need a lawyer.  Any one have any good suggestions as to where I might find one on Long Island?  UGH!

Nissim Sasson

Nov. 2, 2010, 2:17 a.m.

Deidre, Yes I know one that specializes Real State Litigation the name is look for it in the internet, Ask for Matthew Misczak
(CEO Chairman of the Board) give them my name,  talk to him see if you feel comfortable
Hope it helps in your particular case

We don’t need modifications to bogus debts created through accounting fraud.
They can’t negotiate because they have no right to negotiate:

BANKS GOT PAID, many times over (insurance, TARP etc).

The only creditor is the future tax-base of our children.

Stop negotiating with financial terrorists.

Check this out - fast:

Hey cassandra ,i understand completly and appreciate your prudence.i hope things work out.
deidre, it sounds to me that if your payment only went down $ 200 it was probably an internal bank mod.and not a hamp mod. if that is the case and you were denied a hamp mod you can request the results ( reason for denial ) of your hamp application.perhaps mistakes were made. it happens all the time


Nov. 2, 2010, 2:12 p.m.

Deidre, if you payment went down only t$200 it could be that is your payment that you qualify for at 31% Gross Income Vs Mortgage payment Incl Taxes and Insurance

cheryl hadden

Nov. 2, 2010, 2:30 p.m.

But the TRUE information is out there.
You have to fight back, learn what you really need to do. YOUR MORTGAGE IS ALREADY PAID OFF!

Posted on November 1, 2010 by Neil Garfield


I love Elizabeth Warren, but we don’t need modifications, we need justice and restitution!

Here are the reasons we all need to start suing the lenders and all their cronies.
They are bold, coldhearted criminals, that make Al Capone look like purse snatcher.
We need to focus on the crimes committed because even President Obama believes that this is merely a bad case of deadbeat borrowers and if enough people can get a modification everything will be just peachy.


To embezzle means to take another’s money and property through abuse of an official job or position of trust. Embezzlement can take many forms. An accountant might use sophisticated methods to falsify records and skim profits. A bank teller might walk home with an extra $20 from his or her drawer. Both of these actions constitute embezzlement.

The crime of making false statements is not specific to white collar criminals, but this crime is broad enough to encompass activities that might not be unlawful if not for associated false statements. To convict someone of false statements requires proof of a statement made willfully and knowingly that contains a false material fact or conceals a material fact.

Fraud is intentionally lying in order to induce someone into relying upon the lie to part with something of value. Like embezzlement, fraud can be either complex or simple. The federal government has three general anti-fraud statutes for mail fraud, bank fraud, and wire fraud. Mail fraud has two elements: (1) a scheme devised or intending to defraud or for obtaining property or money by fraudulent means, and (2) using the mails in furtherance of that fraudulent scheme. The “scheme to defraud” element of mail fraud is deliberately broad. It encompasses a wide variety of criminal activity, including credit card fraud, securities fraud, medical drug fraud, and frauds based on political malfeasance. Because the mail fraud statute uses such broad language and because it is relatively easy to prove, mail fraud is one of the most common charges brought by federal prosecutors. Charges of mail fraud frequently are made even in cases in which more specific crimes have been charged.

The federal wire fraud statute is similar to the mail fraud statute, but requires an interstate or foreign transmittal of a communication by wire, radio, or television. The federal bank fraud statute criminalizes the conduct of any party who “knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice to defraud a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises.”

Obstruction of justice is interference in one of the three branches of government. Obstruction of justice can take many forms, including assaulting a process server, improperly influencing a juror, stealing or altering a record of process, and obstructing a criminal investigation by officers of a financial institution. Picketing, parading, or using sound amplification devices in front of a courthouse, building or residence occupied by a judge, juror, witness, or court officer may be prosecuted as obstruction of justice.

Federal perjury laws penalize anyone who willfully or knowingly makes false statements under oath. The sworn statements may be written or oral and need not be made in court; a person may perjure himself or herself in deposition or written testimony. A related law against subornation of perjury makes it illegal for anyone to procure another person to commit perjury.

Often, a person charged with other white collar crimes is accused of committing a tax crime also. Failing to file a tax return or filing a false tax return is a crime, as is interfering with the administration of the internal revenue laws. Specific laws prohibit obstruction, extortion, or bribery with regard to a tax official.
Defenses and Punishment

In some criminal trials, the prosecutor proves all the elements of a crime but the person accused is not punished because he or she has a valid defense.
In the area of white collar crime, the same defenses are available to defendants as those available in crimes generally… A common defense by businesses is that a particular businessperson was acting alone, without the authority of the company behind him or her. Businesses further argue that once it was discovered that an officer or employee was acting unlawfully, the business acted immediately to resolve the situation.

Nissim Sasson

Nov. 10, 2010, 1:54 a.m.

here it is how shrinking this is… is a FRAUD !

The last time i posted here i was angry,but since them i over my angry and ready to fight.Since my mortage has been turned over to BOA from First Franklin, AFTER WE WENT THROUGH OUR 3 MONTH TRIAL PERIOD.when i call BOA i get the run around from this and that operator given me different numebr to call.So I decide that 2day I will compile all my document (tax,recent paystub,hardship letter, copy of receipt fof trial paymnetand estimate of household bill) so that BOA will have all the current docu instead of teh tell me they are waiting for FF to update there system .TOO ALL OUT THERE KEEP ME AND MY FAMILY IN PRAY.I’M IN IT TO WIN.THANK FOR ALL THE SUPPORT THAT I HAVE RECIEVE FROM ALL.If anyone has a better advice by feel free to e-mail @ .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Kim Martorana

Nov. 10, 2010, 4:04 p.m.

Deirdre O, I am an experienced Foreclosure Defense attorney and can give you FREE information. Just call me and I can at least give you some basic information.


Nov. 10, 2010, 7:14 p.m.

I can also give you free advise and be happy to help : ) helping each other and united we are more powerful

88-827-1660 (Toll Free)
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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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