Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Foreclosure Fraud and Stuffing (not the kind you put in a turkey)

A couple of interesting articles crossed my screen today.

Thanks to the commentators on Zero Hedge, I was alerted to this article on Foreclosure Stuffing by banks, designed to keep excess inventory off the market, forcing up prices (so the theory goes), which helps explain why I'm still here, 40 months after mortgage default and 31 months after being served with foreclosure papers.

Also, a fairly dense article (with court papers) on a foreclosure case in US District Court in Massachusetts which may end up being yet another precedent-setter (against the banks and in favor of defrauded homeowners).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fed Offers Independent Review of Foreclosures. Really?

Well, it's been a while since I posted here, but had a momentary flash of brilliance just moments ago.

Since I have over 100 bookmarks to various articles and websites that offer information on the mortgage crisis in America and many which relate directly to my individual situation, I thought it might be a good idea to post them here as links, creating a kind of repository for the extensive research I've done as administrator of the estate.

This ida stemmed from a letter I received yesterday from my "friends" at the Federal Reserve (you may have heard of them), promising an independent review of my foreclosure.

Uhhhh, let's see... the Fed is a consortium of banks, or, rather, the Fed is owned by member banks, among them Bank of America, the servicer of the estate's mortgage. So, before requesting an independent review from these folks, I decided to do a little searching, and I found the following article, which spells out just how independent these reviews really are.

Basically, BofA does the review, so it's like borrowing money from a loan shark, falling behind on payments and then having the loan shark tell you he's going to review your loan. There's a very good possibility that you'll still end up with broken knuckles or a busted kneecap. Pretty much applies to bankers, too, as they are relatively the same as gangsters, just that they parade around in thousand-dollar suits.

Here's the link:

Is BofA’s Foreclosure Review Really Independent? (via Credit.com)

Late last year, the country’s bank regulators launched a massive program to evaluate millions of foreclosure cases and compensate homeowners who fell victim to the banks’ flawed or illegal practices. Regulators dubbed it the “Independent Foreclosure Review” to emphasize that the banks would…

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bank of America Alone in a Bad Spot; Depressing Housing Facts

Just updating here on the mortgage miasma in America. The bank which foreclosed upon the house in which I currently reside - Bank of America - is featured in a swell article at thestreet.com: Bank of America Stands Alone in Mortgage Mess.

Is it uncool or bad karma to root against the bank that is foreclosing upon one? Probably not. For one thing, banks have been screwing over people for hundreds of years. Maybe the proper karmatic solution is for people to screw over banks for a few hundred years, to kind of even things up.

Second, banks are inanimate, superfluous entities, somewhat apocryphal in that they, being corporations for the most part, are regarded somewhat the same, by the legal system, as people, even though they can't vote and never die. Maybe it's time for some changes in the overarching rules by which we live and are "governed."

I am cheered whenever I hear something bad happening to Bank of America. After all, they're the ones who claim to own this property. Funny thing, neither of us has paid a lick in taxes the past 21 months. Tax payments are likely to be a leverage device, but the banks, in their intimate wisdom, either fail to understand that concept or are just too stupid and cheap to pay taxes on any property.

When it's all said and done, one can only stand in awe of and marvel at the magnificent stupidity of the global banking cartel, but mostly of the American version of it, which has proven beyond doubt to be without answers to the mess they created all by themselves.

So, yeah, the heck with Bank of America. More like Bank of Screw-merica.

The other internet piece is a slideshow over at Business Insider, hauntingly titled 27 Depressing Facts About The Housing Crash That Never Seems To End. It speaks for itself.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Passing Through the Foreclosure Threshold

On March 28, 2011, I opened a bottle of wine in celebration of one year in foreclosure.

Certainly, some people out there may call me a freeloader, or say I'm gaming the system, but, as far as I can ascertain, I've done nothing that any sane person would not do. I've lived in the house that is part of my deceased father's estate, paid the usual bills, kept the property well-maintained and actually made some improvements.

All this time, I've been waiting for the bank to move off square one. They have not. Bank of America (PKA Countrywide) has made no motions or asked the curt for summary judgement, so I'm not about to rock the boat. I answered the foreclosure filing as administrator of the estate, and that's the last I heard from the bank or their attorneys.

I'm assuming that they either have concluded that they have no standing in the suit (correct), can't produce the original note, or have other reasons not to proceed.

In just a few words, Bank of America is screwed beyond belief, not only in my case, but in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of other residential mortgages that were improperly sold, assigned, securitized or foreclosed upon.

I have no pity on the banks. They cheated and now should be held to scrutiny and suffer the fate of most criminals - which they are, plain and simple - jail time, fines and compensation for damages, of which there are many. In fact, I've looked into negligence issues concerning my own plight and am reasonably sure that I will have a claim against the bank, even if it is only that their delay in prosecuting their foreclosure action has caused me and my fellow beneficiaries in the estate financial harm.

A couple of interesting links for those who are interested:

First, the case of an Alabama foreclosure halted by a judge - thrown out - because the bank (in this case, our dear friends at Bank of America, again, along with EMC and the defunct Bear Stearns) because the securitization simply never happened.

Then, there's the 127-page report filed by the Congressional Oversight Panel which looked into robo-signing and other mortgage-related issues in November, 2010.

As for me, I'll check the mail later today and, if nothing from the court or the bank is in my box, I'll just murmur what I usually do: "another day in paradise."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tears and Anger

I haven't posted here in well over a year, and probably should have, as a lot has gone on in the past 12 months.

Yesterday, in fact, was the 1 year anniversary of receiving our notice of foreclosure. The bank has done nothing since, and I'm still living here.

But the real reason I came here today was because of this song, Glenn Miller's I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo.

It's a classic, one my parents enjoyed in the post-war era. Hearing it makes me cry, because it recalls a better time for our country, a time of innocence, a time when the media and government didn't want to control every last bit of our lives. A time when America was truly free. A time I so sorely miss.

Maybe there's no going back to those days, though I'd like to think there was. The song, and others from that era by Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, Harry James and others bring back so many emotions.

Thoughts of a better time, days long past, also angers me, makes me wonder what the world would be like without the lying politicians which plague us, the bankers, the Lloyd Blankfiens, the Vikram Pandits and the Jamie Dimons of the world, who got bailed out, took down billions in bonuses and still want to rape the homeowners of America with their flimsy, fault-ridden foreclosures.

I hate the banks. We need to rid ourselves of these parasites and the politicians who protect them. Some day Bank of America will come knocking on my door, I know it, wanting their money, or my home. Before that day comes, I must be prepared. It's not exactly easy to get by these days, but when they do come calling, I want to have my anger restrained and some paperwork for them, like the fraudulent mortgage papers by which they swindled my father out of all his equity.

I swear never to give up this house without a fight, and maybe a huge one. I've been waiting for these sick bastards to make a move, but so far they've done nothing. I only need a little more time, maybe a few more months, and then I'll have a lawyer and the paperwork in order to put them in a place they'd rather not go - like federal court, facing fraud charges.

So far, time has been on my side, but only because the bankers are so royally screwed by their own deceit. For now, enjoy the Glenn Miller Orchestra and think of what you'd like our country to represent.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Where I Stand, Almost 7 Months In

Strangely enough, just as I was setting up to launch this blog, I got a call from my loan servicer, the third such call, asking for my father, who died on july 16, 2009. Since late July, I have been living in the house, as I am the only heir with any interest in keeping it and the administrator of my father's estate.

Even though there's a mortgage of roughly $82,000 on it and the appraisal ordered by my attorney came up at $81.500, the house is quite livable for me, a single white guy, and I've been keeping up the routine maintenance though mortgage and tax payments, to this point, have not been made. Currently, the mortgage is 7 months in arrears.

A little bit of background is necessary to understand how and why I came to be living in this house and why I have decided to not pay the mortgage. The taxes are another item altogether.

Right off the bat, readers should understand that if there was a reasonable mortgage on the house, or, if the two other heirs with equal rights as mine had any interest in keeping the house and making the mortgage payments, that arrangement would have been made. However, since that never was the case, and the mortgage, taxes, insurance and utility bills were far too much for me to bear on my own, I decided, on advice of the estate attorney, to reside in the house, or, as he put it, "protect the asset."

When my father died at age 84, his financial affairs were not in the best condition. Somehow, he had amassed a great deal of debt over the past few years, especially after my mother passed away in 2006 and her Social Security payments stopped. In 2007, my father rolled all of his secured (he did have a home equity line of credit, or LOC) and unsecured debt into a first mortgage on the home.

While doing that cut down his payments somewhat, it still left him with quite a large monthly mortgage bill for his circumstances, as he received only SS payments and a smaller monthly check from the state retirement system. Dad also liked to "play the market" and the losses he incurred over the "lost decade" of 2000-2009 were significant. So much so, that when he passed away, he left mostly debt behind (managed to run one credit card up to $23,000), but there were some stocks (bought on margin) and the house, which, as I have pointed out, was almost 100% financed, leaving no equity.

I had been very close to my father; he was my best friend, and when I found his cold, lifeless body on the floor of his bedroom on the morning of July 16, 2009, I had an epiphany moment, knowing that my life was about to undergo radical change. That my father had been not in the best of health for many years prepared me for what was to come to a degree, but I can truly say now that I was never prepared completely for the aftermath of his death and the continuance of my life.

Having been his closest confidant and also his gardener, butler, sometimes driver, and general handyman for the better part of the last six to eight years, dealing with the various chores involved with the upkeep of a 1600-square foot home were a tax on my time, though they were chores from which I never shrank and which I generally took on with an air of duty. My parents, especially my father, had been very good to all three children, including me. Taking some time out from my schedule seemed a small price in comparison for the years of support and love they bestowed upon me. I had no idea just how much time I had been devoting to his care and upkeep of the home, but I knew he wanted me to keep the house upon his passage and I set out to do that.

I had originally planned to write this blog as a kind of diary from day one, but my circumstances were so uncertain - especially in the early days - that I never quite found the time to do it. Now, with snow on the ground and a fresh perspective, I am ready to post regularly of my experiences, with hope that others can learn from them. I will try to post on a regular basis, a few times a week, because what I've learned and am learning as the process unfolds may be quite an unusual story.

That's about it for background, for now. Suffice it to say that I am living in the house I grew up in, a source of contentment and pleasure for me, and, so far, it hasn't cost me anything more than paying utility bills and insurance, some of that covered by the estate.

I should add that my father's legacy will be preserved to a degree, if only by the fact that I am occupying the house and not allowing it to deteriorate further. There are quite a few repairs that would be compulsory if the house were to be sold, and I - and the estate - have neither the money to pay for them nor the expertise to do them alone. The things he left behind, his personal affects, have been sorted and maintained and I know that he would want me to do the things I am doing.

As for that call from the mortgage servicer earlier, well, I waited on hold for the requisite three minutes and hung up. I know that this house is not among their priorities and that this particular mortgage servicer has an enormous backlog of delinquent accounts, pre-foreclosures and foreclosures, probably more than any other financial institution in the country. That should give you, the reader, a very good idea of who they are and maybe a little bit of insight into why I'm in no particular hurry to engage them.

I'm waiting for them to do what they have to do. I submitted the required forms back in August of 2009. The ball is in their court.