Wells Fargo Home Loans Head Still Thinks He Has Credibility on Housing Policy

By: Friday August 3, 2012 5:00 pm

This “I always win, even when I lose” mentality is endemic to the financial industry at this point, and Wells Fargo is no different. Their implicit guarantee in the form of too big to fail ensures that they will forever privatize the profits and socialize the losses. And we’re supposed to listen to their executives about wise and responsible housing policy?

CFPB Goes After Loan Modification Fraudsters

By: Thursday August 2, 2012 6:00 am

Adding to its enforcement actions, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken a California company to court over a loan modification fraud scheme. This is low level, low-hanging fruit, ideal for CFPB enforcement. But we need Treasury and others to go after the big banks and their servicers.

Plurality of Complaints to CFPB Are About Mortgages

By: Tuesday July 31, 2012 7:55 am

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a hotline for complaints, as well as a process to lodge complaints at their website. They have begun to release those complaint reports, and here’s a giant surprise: the plurality of the complaints are on mortgage issues.

FHFA Analysis Shows Principal Reductions as an Even Better Deal for Taxpayers

By: Tuesday July 31, 2012 7:25 am

FHFA leader Ed DeMarco has indefinitely put on hold the question of whether he will allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to offer principal reductions to delinquent underwater borrowers. He’s actually said nothing about it publicly since April. But Nick Timiraos leaks out the details of a new study that shows the benefits of principal reductions are greater than FHFA first surmised.

HARP Refi Numbers Not as Strong as Advertised

By: Tuesday July 17, 2012 11:40 am

The Federal Housing Finance Agency engaged in a little back-patting yesterday for improved HARP figures, which they say are a direct result of their changes to the system to allow for more underwater borrowers to take advantage of low refinancing rates. The truth is a little murkier.

The Great Housing Swindle: Shadow REO Artificially Boosting Prices

By: Monday July 16, 2012 9:40 am

With more claims the housing market has hit bottom, there are growing indications that this is all based on a convenient fiction around artificially reduced supply. A little-noticed item at AOL Real Estate, based on the same industry data banks and analysts use to tout a recovery, introduce us to the scam in “shadow REO” — inventory deliberately held off the market to hide loses and artificially jack up prices.

GAO Faults OCC on Foreclosure Reviews

By: Friday July 6, 2012 11:27 am

In general, borrowers get something in the mail that looks like a scam letter. It doesn’t specify what they could receive from this government review of their foreclosure. Even the most savvy borrower – if they can be found, since they probably don’t live in the same house that they did before the foreclosure – would be hard-pressed to read it and respond. That’s especially true because this community has been inundated with scams and grifts, and they are at least attuned to that possibility.

Confirmed: HARP 2.0 Ripping Off Underwater Borrowers

By: Monday June 18, 2012 1:00 pm

The Wall Street Journal gets around to noticing that the latest version of HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, has been manipulated by the leading mortgage servicers to trap their borrowers. And they add a bit of a twist. Because servicers set the fees from closings on refinances, this trapping of their borrowers also happens to be quite lucrative.

MERS Expert Chris Peterson Tapped for CFPB

By: Thursday May 10, 2012 7:34 am

It’s rare that I’ll put forward an optimistic post about a mid-level federal agency hire. But that’s what I’m about to do. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just hired the man who knows more about MERS – and their deficiencies – than perhaps anyone in the country. University of Utah Law Professor Christopher Peterson will join the bureau.

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