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August 2011 Article Archive

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Housing Market Fix: Speed Up Foreclosures?
foxreno.com | Aug 31, 2011
If the Obama administration really wants to save the housing market, it should speed up the foreclosure process -- not prolong the inevitable, experts say.
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No Floor Yet for Plunging Housing Market
investmentnews.com | Aug 31, 2011
Residential real estate prices in the U.S. decreased in the year ended in June at a slower pace than in the prior month, a sign the market may be stabilizing -- if only slightly.
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Are the State AG Mortgage Settlement Talks Falling Apart?
bankinvestmentconsultant.com | Aug 30, 2011
A rare public rebuke of a rogue attorney general by his colleagues has highlighted the dysfunction among the state AGs and raised doubts about their ability to strike a settlement deal with the largest mortgage servicers.
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A Look at Housingwire's Stories
housingwire.com | Aug 30, 2011
There's been talk of a new federal program to help boost the number of mortgage refinancings and some analysts weighed in.
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Its lawyers have helped stabilize Freddie Mac since the onset of the mortgage crisis, but can they hold on?
law.com | Aug 29, 2011
The atmosphere in the legal department at Freddie Mac is as bipolar as a double-A battery. On the negative end are federal probes, allegations of fraud, revolving-door leadership, and Republicans in Congress who are threatening to kill the secondary mortgage giant. Some in-house lawyers are even afraid to tell new acquaintances where they work. Deputy general counsel Ken Peters remembers vacationing with his wife in Ireland in 2008 and meeting another couple from Virginia. When Peters mentioned his employer, the woman shot back, "Well, thank you for the recession."
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BofA $8.5 bln Settlement May go to Federal Court
reuters.com | Aug 29, 2011
Investors objecting to Bank of America Corp's (BAC.N) $8.5 billion settlement of claims over losses on mortgage-backed securities are seeking to send their dispute to federal court, potentially delaying a resolution of one of the beleaguered bank's largest legal liabilities.
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Homeowners Due Cash After Foreclosures
chicago.cbslocal.com | Aug 26, 2011
Cook County officials are looking for nearly 2,000 former property owners who are due money after a foreclosure.
Read More.

Foreclosure Crisis Comes Alive in Silicon Valley Courtroom
mercurynews.com | Aug 26, 2011
The face of Silicon Valley's hard times is growing wearier and more haggard. You see it quite literally in the ornate courtroom on the second floor of Santa Clara County's historic downtown courthouse. Sucker-punched citizens straggle in three days a week for hearings to decide whether or not they will be thrown out of the homes they can no longer pay for. They sit in hard wooden seats, their faces a study in emotion: smiles of resignation, furrowed brows, smirks, grimaces. Occasionally someone will stifle a laugh. Nervous laughter? Gallows humor? Who knows?
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Foreclosures Made Up 31 Pct. Of Home Sales in 2Q
nytimes.com | Aug 25, 2011
Foreclosures made up roughly one-third of all home sales this spring. While that's a smaller share of sales from the previous quarter, it's six times the percentage of foreclosures in a healthy housing market.
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States' Foreclosure Talks With Big Mortgage Servicers Stall
latimes.com | Aug 23, 2011
An effort by state attorneys general to take big mortgage servicers to task over faulty foreclosure practices has stalled as financial institutions demand broad legal immunity from other mortgage-related probes.
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Why the Bank-Settlement Talks are Likely to Drag on Indefinitely
blogs.reuters.com | Aug 23, 2011
Today brings dueling stories in the NYT and the WSJ on the status of the bank foreclosure-settlement talks. At issue is the question of whether the banks should be given immunity with respect to lawsuits surrounding their securitization shenanigans.
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More Americans at Foreclosure Risk in Second Quarter
ktvn.com | Aug 23, 2011
The number of Americans at risk of losing their homes is up. The Mortgage Bankers Association says 8.44% of homeowners missed at least one mortgage payment in the April-June quarter.
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Homeowner says Bank of America Foreclosure Notice Doesn't Add Up
nj.com | Aug 23, 2011
As a real estate agent, Mark Conca has watched homeowners struggle to make their mortgage payments. He’s seen a lot of short sales and foreclosures in recent years, and he’s even assisted homeowners looking for mortgage modifications.
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Number Of Troubled Mortgages On Rise Again
wxii12.com | Aug 22, 2011
In another hit to the beleaguered housing market, a report out Monday found that the number of delinquent mortgage borrowers -- those who have missed at least one payment -- rose during the second quarter.
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Climate Improves But Housing Still A Mess
kcci.com | Aug 22, 2011
An ominous cloud is hanging over the housing market: Millions of distressed properties could be put up for sale at any moment, potentially adding to the glut of unsold homes that are already on the market and depressing home prices even further.
Read More.

The Case Against Rating Agencies
counterpunch.org | Aug 19, 2011
In today’s looming confrontation the ratings agencies are playing the political role of “enforcer” as the gatekeepers to credit, to put pressure on Iceland, Greece and even the United States to pursue creditor-oriented policies that lead inevitably to financial crises. These crises in turn force debtor governments to sell off their assets under distress conditions. In pursuing this guard-dog service to the world’s bankers, the ratings agencies are escalating a political strategy they have long been refined over a generation in the corrupt arena of local U.S. politics.
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BoNY, Schneiderman Feud Over Mortgage-Bond Pact
nypost.com | Aug 18, 2011
Bank of New York Mellon asked a judge to reject a bid by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to intervene in a proposed $8.5 billion mortgage-bond settlement involving Bank of America.
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The Four Do's and Dont's of Defaulting
foxnews.com | Aug 18, 2011
Millions of homeowners reach the point where they feel they have exhausted every last option. They can no longer make payments on their mortgage, their credit is in tatters, their patience and pride has been worn down by banks that refuse to work with them on a load modification or short sale strategies that will leave them financially vulnerable.
Read More.

BNY Mellon, Madoff, Agility, Apple, TCW, Brocade, News Corp. in Court News
bloomberg.com | Aug 18, 2011
Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BK), targeted by New York for allegedly violating state law while representing mortgage-bond investors, was accused by Knights of Columbus of damaging its investment in mortgage securities.
Read More.

1-CIFG Sues Goldman, M&T Over Mortgage Bonds
reuters.com | Aug 17, 2011
Bond insurer CIFG Assurance North America [CADEGA.UL] has sued Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N) and M&T Bank Corp (MTB.N) in New York state court, claiming they fraudulently convinced CIFG to insure $275 million in mortgage-backed securities.
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Effort to Require Judge to Sign Off on Foreclosures in Michigan
wilx.com | Aug 17, 2011
Michigan is a state that allows foreclosure by advertisement, which means "banks can post citizens' names in the newspaper, and post a notice on their door and then go ahead with the foreclosure," according to Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel, Jr.
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Iowa AG Looks to Foreclosure Deal Within 2 Months
reuters.com | Aug 17, 2011
The Iowa attorney general, who is leading the 50-state probe into mortgage foreclosure problems, said on Monday that he hopes to have a settlement with the nation's biggest banks in the next two months.
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Nevada Joins States Balking at Bank Releases in Foreclosure Practices Deal
bloomberg.com | Aug 16, 2011
A possible settlement of a 50-state probe of foreclosure practices drew more state scrutiny as Nevada’s attorney general joined three other states in voicing concern about a deal that protects banks from continuing mortgage investigations.
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Quelle Surprise! New York Fed Director Shills For Bank of New York, Argues Against Rule of Law
economonitor.com | Aug 15, 2011
Given the Federal Reserve’s abysmal regulatory record in the runup to the crisis (even the uber bank friendly Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was more aggressive in going after subprime abuses, for instance), it should be no surprise that some of its directors are utterly lacking in propriety and common sense when it comes to defending the rights of banks to profit at the expense of customers and society at large.
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AIG to Sue BofA Over Mortgage-Backed Securities
American International Group (A.I.G.) is planning to sue Bank of America over hundreds of mortgage-backed securities, adding to the surge of investors seeking compensation for the troubled mortgages that led to the financial crisis.
Read More.

Fannie Mae Pushing Foreclosures
pubcit.typepad.com | Aug 15, 2011
Fannie Mae has systematically refused mortgage servicer requests to postpone foreclosures for viable modifications, according to an investigation by The Detroit Free Press.
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Home Foreclosures Up 10 Percent in Austin Area
bizjournals.com | Aug 12, 2011
A total of 901 homes in the Austin area entered the foreclosure process in July. That’s about 10 percent more than the same period last year, according to data released Thursday from RealtyTrac Inc.
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Mortgage Payment Habits Improve in 2nd Quarter, but Improvements are Coming at a Slow Pace
canadianbusiness.com | Aug 12, 2011
The housing and job markets are still weak, but homeowners are slowly gaining strength.
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Foreclosures Fall For 10th Straight Month
click2houston.com | Aug 11, 2011
Foreclosure filings dropped once again in July, hitting their lowest level since November 2007, as processing delays and foreclosure prevention measures enabled a larger number of delinquent borrowers to remain in their homes.
Read More.

Reed Says Obama Administration Supports his Foreclosure Plan
thehill.com | Aug 11, 2011
The Obama administration is examining ways to revive the sluggish housing market by selling off certain repossessed properties, a move Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) says backs his plan to turn vacant, foreclosed homes into rental units.
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White House Seeks Ways to Stem Glut of Foreclosures
businessweek.com | Aug 10, 2011
The Obama administration, aiming to boost a housing market showing little sign of recovery from the 2008 credit crisis, is seeking ideas for renting, selling or disposing of foreclosed homes controlled by the government.
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Uncle Sam, Landlord, Looking for Help
blogs.abcnews.com | Aug 10, 2011
Uncle Sam is landlord for at least 90 thousand homes that owners lost to foreclosure, and tens of thousands more in the pipeline as families are evicted and properties are appraised.
Read More.

Freddie Mac Seriously Delinquent Loans and REO by Selected States
calculatedriskblog.com | Aug 9, 2011
Yesterday I posted a graph for REO inventory through Q2. (REO: Real Estate Owned by lenders). And on Sunday, I noted that REO is only a part of the problem. A bigger part of the problem is the large number of seriously delinquent and in-foreclosure loans.
Read More.

Wells Fargo Modifies 696,000 Mortgages
bizjournals.com | Aug 9, 2011
Wells Fargo & Co said it has 696,085 active or completed mortgage modifications in its loan-servicing portfolio since 2009.
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AIG Says It Will Sue BofA on $10 Billion in Mortgage Losses
sfgate.com | Aug 8, 2011
American International Group Inc., the bailed-out insurer, sued Bank of America Corp. over $10 billion in losses on mortgage-bond investments. The bank dropped 14 percent in New York trading.
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The Myth of the Middle Class Mortgage Deduction
reason.com | Aug 8, 2011
Conventional wisdom has it that without the ability to deduct mortgage interest from federal taxes, homeownership rates and housing prices would tumble. Worse, middle class families would be relegated a fate worse than foreclosure: renting. Two decades ago, these dire predictions may have had some relationship to reality. But in recent years, the middle class has seen its share of the mortgage interest deduction (MID) steadily erode, undermining the political case for retaining the subsidy.
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Bank of America Death Watch Update: Lawsuit in Washington, Elevated GSE Claims
firedoglake.com | Aug 8, 2011
It’s not just Eric Schneiderman. Bank of America faces a new lawsuit from the state of Washington, whose Attorney General, Rob McKenna, is a Republican.
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Short Sales Become Bank Foreclosure Shortcut
thestreet.com | Aug 5, 2011
Banks dealing with lengthy, complicated and frequently messy foreclosures are starting to see "short sales" as a quicker and cheaper way of getting bad loans off their books.
Read More.

LPS: Foreclosure Starts Increased in June
calculatedriskblog.com | Aug 5, 2011
The June Mortgage Monitor report released by Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE: LPS) shows that, while still down 16.4 percent from the start of the year, foreclosure starts increased by more than 10 percent in June 2011. Delinquencies were also up, but incrementally, showing a 2.4 percent increase over May. As of the end of June, 4.1 million loans were either 90+ days delinquent or in foreclosure, representing a 12.8 percent increase since June 2010.
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In Seeking Waiver, BofA Admits They Violated Numerous Laws
firedoglake.com | Aug 4, 2011
The foreclosure fraud settlement has been predicted as coming in “a matter of weeks” for I think about 5 months now. I don’t see it coming at all, so it’s not entirely smart to jump on every rumor of a deal or a settlement. But Shahien Nasiripour’s story about a side deal with Bank of America has a lot of implications.
Read More.

Persistent Mortgage-Servicing Problems Continue to Evade Reform
nationaljournal.com | Aug 4, 2011
It seems like such a simple problem to solve: Why can’t homeowners on the brink of foreclosure get a straight answer from their lender about whether they can work out a plan to keep their house?
Read More.

Warriors Have to Fight to Keep Their Homes
theadvertiser.com | Aug 3, 2011
Charles "Chip" Pickett, who grew up in Morgan City and graduated from Comeaux High, found himself back in an Apache Longbow attack helicopter in Iraq two years ago at age 47.
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Bank of America Said to Seek Separate Foreclosure Deal
news.businessweek.com | Aug 3, 2011
Bank of America Corp. has held settlement negotiations with some states over home foreclosures separately from talks with a larger group of state and federal officials, two people familiar with the matter said.
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Foreclosures in New York City near 2,000. Are banks keeping up the buildings?
csmonitor.com | Aug 2, 2011
City officials could have acted to prevent the fire deaths of a boy and his parents in an illegally subdivided home that fell into disrepair in the foreclosure crisis, state Sen. Jeffrey Klein said Monday, while the mayor's office disputed the claim.
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Bank-owned Bronx Buildings 'Ticking time bombs'; Wells Fargo and Deutsche Ignore Building Codes
nydailynews.com | Aug 2, 2011
Bronx foreclosures have racked up hundreds of building code violations of the type that led to a deadly fire on Prospect Ave., according to new report released on Monday.
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Affluent Buyers Reviving Market for Miami Homes
nytimes.com | Aug 1, 2011
South Florida is the default capital of the country. Here in Miami-Dade County, one out of five households with mortgages is in foreclosure. Nearby Broward and Palm Beach counties are not far behind. Nearly 200,000 South Florida families are stuck in the mire of default.
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Low-Income Residents Need Legal Services, Too
miamiherald.com | Aug 1, 2011
Last year, Charles, an 80-year-old retired music teacher living on a fixed income, faced foreclosure of his home of more than 50 years. Victor, an Operation Enduring Freedom Army veteran who was injured in an Afghanistan combat zone, was denied Social Security disability benefits even though the Army found him to be 80 percent disabled as a result of his injuries. Pauline, a single mother of three, was denied unemployment compensation benefits after she lost her job of 10 years. Matthew, a disabled child with special needs, was failing in school.
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