I’ve been amused by the consistent pushback from HUD’s Shaun Donovan, who has made himself into a leading figure just by his ubiquitousness, as it relates to the foreclosure fraud settlement. Donovan has been the point person to rebut criticism of the settlement, and he is back again today in CNN.
|By: David Dayen Friday February 24, 2012 12:45 pm|
|By: David Dayen Thursday February 23, 2012 6:54 am|
There’s nobody who hates navel-gazing more than I, so I will try to dispense with this quickly. Glenn Thrush thinks I’m wrong to attribute the same perspective on Eric Schneiderman to Tom Miller, who dissed him on the record, and Shaun Donovan.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday February 22, 2012 1:30 pm|
The Administration continued to push back on one particular story from Shahien Nasiripour by devoting an entire blog post about whether bank servicers can count the incentives from HAMP modifications toward the “credits” in the foreclosure fraud settlement. But Shahien’s story didn’t make that claim (thought the title hinted), and we’re still without actual terms to see how it all works.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday February 22, 2012 9:45 am|
Whether you believe in Eric Schneiderman’s ability to deliver a legitimate investigation on mortgage securitization fraud or not, you have to admit that the united front on opposition to a settlement on foreclosure fraud collapsed the moment that he agreed to helm that federal investigatory task force. Now Iowa AG Tom Miller is publicly denigrating Schneiderman’s role in setting the terms, claiming he didn’t do much.
|By: David Dayen Monday February 20, 2012 11:00 am|
The state and federal regulators may complain that criticism of the bank settlement without actual terms are distortion, and that they have a very difficult job to figure out the terms for 49 states and multiple federal agencies, and they’re just working out the complexities. Well, they should have thought of that when they announced a settlement to great fanfare. Terms matter, and without them, the settlement is no more than a theory.
|By: David Dayen Saturday February 11, 2012 1:12 pm|
Because there’s no actual term sheet for the foreclosure fraud deal it’s virtually impossible to assess it, and every group who released a press statement calling it “a drop in the bucket” or a “down payment” or a “first step” should withdraw before the facts are known. But we should be talking about how the settlement will interact with the existing Administration policies around housing.
|By: David Dayen Thursday February 9, 2012 5:30 am|
This settlement arises from multiple abuses found in the servicing of loans and the foreclosure process over the past several years. At the height of the housing bubble, banks sliced and diced mortgages and traded them with little regard for the rules following land recording or securitization to such a sloppy extent that they lost track of the true owner on potentially millions of homes.
To cover up for this massive failure, banks and their servicing units have been found to have routinely forged, back-dated and fabricated documents at county recorder offices and state courts across the country. Furthermore, they employed “robo-signers,” who signed hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of documents and affidavits without any knowledge of the underlying mortgages. In addition, investigations uncovered massive servicing abuses, including illegal fees charged to borrowers, putting borrowers into foreclosure at the same time as they were working out loan modifications, failing to honor previous settlements where promises were made on modifications, and countless other errors that maximized servicer profits and gouged homeowners.
There are also cases of wrongful foreclosures where homeowners have been turned out of their homes without just cause, and servicer-driven foreclosures, where servicers illegally added late fees and applied payments inaccurately, pushing the homeowner into foreclosure. This is but a smattering of the examples of foreclosure fraud and servicer abuse found in a series of interlocking investigations, court depositions, reviews of documents in registers of deeds offices, and homeowner testimonials.
|By: David Dayen Monday February 6, 2012 10:40 am|
Cal. AG Kamala Harris wants to do investigations on origination fraud, on borrowers not learning the true terms of their deals until after signing. But the 2008 Countrywide deal extinguished many of those claims, and on others, the statute of limitations has run out. So by calling the settlement term sheet “inadequate,” Harris was playing for a bigger deal, perhaps a way to access longer federal jurisdictions on origination claims, more of a share of the financial benefit, or something.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday February 6, 2012 8:50 am|
As reported here at Firedoglake three days ago, Occupy Pittsburgh, which has been occupying land owned by a bank known as BNY Mellon for over a hundred days, is to be evicted by the bank after noon today. The eviction comes after a judge issued a decision siding with the “bank’s claim of immediate and irreparable harm” if the occupation remained on the property. We will cover this live.
|By: David Dayen Monday February 6, 2012 7:45 am|
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan sought to clarify comments to reporters made over the weekend about expectations of “substantial” principal reduction payments from the foreclosure fraud settlement made out of loans owned by private-label investors in mortgage-backed securities, not the banks themselves. In fact, Donovan told FDL News, the “large majority” of principal reduction would instead come from the banks’ own books. But the details and sequencing matter.