Future of Mortgage Finance Debated While Present Thrown into Chaos

By: Monday February 14, 2011 2:21 pm

The usual political wrangling has accompanied the Treasury Department’s white paper on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But this is yet another issue happening in a vacuum, divorced from actual circumstances. If you want to talk about reform of the secondary mortgage market, fine. But it’s almost impossible to do so without recognizing the total breakdown in that market and what that has done to housing as a whole.

I submit a few things for the record. First, you have foreclosure mills filing fraudulent documents to cover for the fact that they lost or otherwise bungled mortgage assignments for millions of loans when they securitized them over the past decade. These are the same private actors who would be responsible for the entire securitization market under a plan that phases out Fannie and Freddie.

The broken securitization market is the original driver in this persistent fraud from foreclosure mills and servicers. And the mechanism used by the private market to facilitate their securitizations, namely MERS, was not legal in any way. Yet they continued to use it in violation of state property law.


Want to Sue the Banksters? Ask WhereIsTheNote

By: Wednesday November 3, 2010 5:45 pm

Remember WhereIsTheNote?

In the face of mounting evidence that the banks foreclosing on homes did not comply with legal requirements during securitization of mortgages and therefore don’t have legal standing to foreclose, the SEIU and some community organizations teamed together last month to create an online tool that anyone can use to ask their mortgage servicer where their note is. By helping homeowners proactively check whether their bank has the right paperwork, it gives them more power in the event of a foreclosure.

The site launched just over three weeks ago. 200,000 people have visited the website; around 15,000 have used the tool to ask their bank for their note (I’ll have a more exact number shortly).

The Five Stages of Grief, MOTU Edition

By: Saturday October 16, 2010 9:00 am

Watching the MOTUs as their financial services universe shakes and shudders around them reminds me of the five stages of death and dying. There’s lots of denial and anger coming out of the MOTUs, and hints of bargaining, but little sign of depression and acceptance. But it’ll come . . .

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