Dateline NBC ran a story last night in which it:
- [G]ets to the bottom of how bad loans and greed wrecked the U.S. economy in this hour-long investigation. Hear from Countrywide insiders and whistleblowers who have never spoken publicly before.
For the story, see ‘If you had a pulse, we give you a loan’ (Inside the fiasco that led to the mortgage mess and Countrywide’s collapse) (read story) (watch video).
Go here for Dateline NBC home page.
From the Office of the California Attorney General:
- California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. [Thursday] warned that scam artists have “sunk to a new low” and have used the forged letterhead of major lenders to con worried Californians into paying thousands of dollars for non-existent loan modification services.
- “Scam artists have sunk to a new low and are using the forged letterhead of lenders to con worried Californians into handing over their hard-earned money,” Attorney General Brown said. “Californians should be deeply skeptical of anyone who demands money up front and makes extravagant promises that they can save their home.”
- [Thursday]’s warning comes on the heels of the arrest Wednesday of Anna Santos, 22, of North Hills – a key player in a loan modification scam using forged letterhead – on charges of money-laundering, conspiracy, and four-counts of grand theft. Ms. Santos joined with members of the defunct First Gov loan modification ring in a separate criminal enterprise with a disturbing twist. They used forged mail and envelopes that appeared to be from victims’ lenders.
- Ms. Santos obtained a fictitious business permit through the City of Los Angeles for “Payment Processing Department.” She opened several bank accounts and two post office boxes under that name. She and other members of the ring mailed flyers that appeared to be from victims’ lenders or a government entity. The flyer used a large, bold header that read “Final Notice” and advised homeowners that they qualified for a special program to save their home from foreclosure.
For more, see Brown Warns Homeowners that Scam Artists are Using Forged Letterhead of Lenders to Con Californians.
In Miami, Florida, The New York Times reports:
- [O]n Feb. 11, a circuit court judge in Miami-Dade County in Florida set aside a judgment against Ana L. Fernandez, a borrower whose home had been foreclosed and repurchased on Jan. 21 by Chevy Chase Bank, the institution claiming to hold the note. But the bank had been unable to produce evidence that the original lender had assigned the note, which was in the amount of $225,000, to Chevy Chase.
- With the sale set aside, Ms. Fernandez remains in the home. “We believe this loan was never assigned,” said Ray Garcia, the lawyer in Miami who represented the borrower. Now, he said, it is up to whoever can produce the underlying note to litigate the case. The statute of limitations on such a matter runs for five years, he said.(1)
- Mr. Garcia has another case in which a borrower tried to sell his home but could not because the note underlying a $60,000 second mortgage cannot be found. The statute of limitations on the matter will expire in October, he said, and if the note holder has not come forward by then, the borrower will be free of his obligation on the second mortgage.
For the story, see Fair Game: Guess What Got Lost in the Loan Pool?
Go here for the court order setting aside the foreclosure judgment.
For posts that reference the failure of mortgage lenders and their attorneys to file the proper paperwork when bringing foreclosure actions, Go Here, Go Here, Go Here, Go Here, Go Here, and Go Here.
(1) Sec. 95.11(2)(c), 95.281(1)(a), Florida Statutes.
Fannie Mae announces:
- Fannie Mae [Friday] announced it is extending the suspension of all eviction proceedings through March 31, 2009 as the company implements the Home Affordable Refinance and Home Affordable Modification initiatives as part of the Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable program.
- The company has also issued special foreclosure sale requirements in response to the Making Home Affordable program. A foreclosure sale may not occur on any Fannie Mae loan until the loan servicer verifies that the borrower is ineligible for a Home Affordable Modification and all other foreclosure prevention alternatives have been exhausted.
Source: Fannie Mae Extends Eviction Suspension Through March 31.
In McLean, Virginia, Freddie Mac announced this week:
March 4 press release:
- Freddie Mac […] announced it is suspending foreclosure sales on mortgages eligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program announced […] as part of the Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable plan. […] Specifically, Freddie Mac will instruct its servicers not to complete a foreclosure sale on a mortgage eligible for the Home Affordable Modification program unless they completed their effort to contact the borrower and either the borrower did not respond or lacked the capacity or willingness to participate in the Home Affordable Modification program or any other Freddie Mac workout program.
March 6 press release:
- Freddie Mac […] announced the official launch of its new REO Rental Initiative giving qualified tenants and former owners the option to lease their recently foreclosed properties on a month-to-month basis. The REO Rental Initiative will be managed by HomeSteps®, Freddie Mac’s national real estate unit, and implemented through several national property management firms.
- Freddie Mac also announced it will continue to suspend all eviction actions until April 1, 2009 to ensure there is ample time for current occupants to learn about the options available to them under the new initiative.
Go here for the entire March 4 press release: Freddie Mac Stops Foreclosure Sales on Loans Eligible for New Obama Home Affordable Modification Program.
Go here for the entire March 6 press release: Freddie Mac Officially Launches REO Rental Initiative for Tenants Owner-Occupants After Foreclosure (Freddie Mac Continues Suspension of Evictions Through April 1, 2009).