Are you in debt? You are a bad person. Politicians in both parties despise you and would prefer that you be crushed under the weight of your debt.
|By: masaccio Sunday May 5, 2013 10:00 am|
|By: Mike Konczal Saturday May 4, 2013 1:59 pm|
Robert Kuttner’s Debtors’ Prison ties together many of the individual fights progressives are battling over into a general argument for why our economy is broken 5 years after the Great Recession began. There are those fighting both Republicans and some Democrats on topics ranging from austerity to foreclosure relief and financial sector accountability, while there are fellow activists in Europe fighting against the European Central Bank’s policy of tight money and anti-democratic takeovers of local policy.
|By: David Dayen Friday November 30, 2012 8:03 am|
A federal judge has blessed the Hostess liquidation, after labor and management failed to reach agreement on an equitable solution. This isn’t surprising at all; management was basically set up to liquidate the company and strip the assets. Twinkies and Ding Dongs will survive; the company has solicited several offers for the brands. It’s just the 18,500 employees who will be out of luck; even if some of them get retained after the fire sale, getting absorbed into a new company almost certainly means that they will not all get their jobs back.
Meanwhile the executives will get a BONUS for all this.
|By: David Dayen Monday November 19, 2012 1:55 pm|
A US bankruptcy judge has prevented the liquidation of Hostess Brands for the moment, suggesting a mediation process between the company and its Bakers Union. Both sides have agreed to the mediation.
Hostess went to Judge Robert Drain to, get this, receive permission to pay out executive bonuses to top officials in the company, even while they seek the pull the company into a liquidation that would eliminate the jobs of at least 18,500 workers.
|By: David Dayen Sunday September 30, 2012 12:55 pm|
Though I’m not sure anyone pays attention to them anymore, the President delivered his weekly address this weekend, and it was all about how Congress has to help “responsible” homeowners (because the irresponsible ones deserve nothing, after all they fleeced those responsible banks to get the loan). In the address, President Obama contrasted his approach with a Congress that won’t expand refinancing for underwater borrowers, by saying that his Administration “teamed up with state attorneys general to investigate the terrible way many homeowners were treated, and secured a settlement from the nation’s biggest banks – banks that were bailed out with taxpayer dollars – to help families stay in their homes.”
So what about that? We know from early reports that the bulk of the consumer relief in the first three months of the foreclosure fraud settlement went to short sales, which involve families forced into SELLING their homes, not staying in them. The bulk of these short sales, which amount to a bank waiving the right to seek money from a homeowner who sells a home for less than they owe on their mortgage, occurred in states whose laws bar banks from going after those homeowners anyway.
|By: David Dayen Thursday August 2, 2012 6:45 am|
The letter from Bank of America Home Loans got right to the point. “We are pleased to inform you that we have approved your Home Equity Account for participation in a principal forgiveness program offered as a result of the Department of Justice and State Attorneys General global settlement with major mortgage servicers.” In the letter, which I obtained from an anti-foreclosure activist, Bank of America offered the homeowner full forgiveness of their entire home equity loan balance of over $177,000. But then Paragraph 5 came with an ominous warning: “Please be aware that we are required to report the amount of your cancelled principal debt to the Internal Revenue Service.”
|By: David Dayen Friday July 20, 2012 3:50 pm|
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has delivered a report to the Senate Banking Committee on the rise of the private student loan industry. This industry took a hit after 2010, when the Affordable Care Act included a provision that ended the practice of private banks administering student loans guaranteed by the government, and just had the government issue the loans themselves. Private student debt origination grew from $5 billion in 2001 to $20 billion in 2008, but after the 2010 law, the market contracted to under $6 billion. The recession and tightening credit standards also had something to do with that.
But those loans from 2001 to 2008 are still out there, for the most part, particularly from the 2005-2007 period. And just like in the housing bubble, this period was characterized by reduced underwriting standards and a kind of “subprime” market.
|By: David Dayen Monday June 25, 2012 10:00 am|
First there was the Tom Hamburger story in WaPo showing that Bain specialized in investing in companies that shipped away American jobs. Then, the New York Times explained how the relative health of the companies in which it invested didn’t matter to their bottom line. Now the Boston Globe has a story on Mitt’s dealings with the firm headed by junk bond specialist (and convict) Michael Milken.
|By: David Dayen Monday May 21, 2012 9:40 am|
When Ally Financial’s mortgage unit Residential Capital filed for bankruptcy last week, I had an inkling it would spell trouble for the foreclosure fraud settlement the parent company signed with state and federal regulators. How would individuals get loan modifications in the midst of a bankruptcy proceeding? Now it looks like they won’t.
|By: David Dayen Monday May 14, 2012 2:10 pm|
Ally Bank, formerly known as GMAC Mortgage, the nation’s fifth-largest mortgage servicer, put its mortgage subsidiary Residential Capital into bankruptcy. This is part of a continuing effort on the part of Ally, which is still majority-owned by the US government, to escape its mortgage liabilities. But what does it mean for the foreclosure fraud settlement, to which Ally is a signatory?