I see in Baltimore all these middle-class homeowners that were able to keep their homes in hard times and I am shouting----financial analysts are warning to get rid of houses as this coming economic crash will bring a depression so you may be next! Gentrification will go up the income scale!
I spoke last time about how Obama and neo-liberals played this entire crisis like a playbook written by Wall Street. We saw how these main street bailouts were deliberately written so that only the affluent homeowners would access help and the FHA, a vital agency with a long service to families was targeted to be shut out. Neo-liberals are working just as hard as republicans to end all War on Poverty and New Deal programs and fair housing goes!!!! So, the middle-class holding on to jobs and their homes now had better buckle-up because financial analysts are calling for people owning homes to get rid of them as the next, more powerful economic collapse comes soon......
THIS IS OBAMA'S LEGACY AND ALL OF MARYLAND'S DEMOCRATS ARE NEO-LIBERALS AND ALL EQUALLY RESPONSIBLE.
SHAME AND DISGRACE FOR MARYLAND NEO-LIBERALS WATCHING SILENTLY AS THIS UNFOLDED.
What could we do, they say? When 50 states attorney general shout out in 2005 that the mortgage industry is systemically criminal--------
YOU SHOUT OUT TO MARYLAND CITIZENS NOT TO GET INVOLVED IN THESE LOANS. THEN, YOU SHOUT OUT OVER AND OVER THAT JUSTICE HAS NOT OCCURRED!
That is what a democrat would do!
Below you see the housing program that Obama and neo-liberals pretended was the bailout of main street and help in curbing foreclosures. It was a ruse of course as they fumbled the roll-out long enough for most people that could have gotten help went under trying to get it! Mind you....some people were helped. The percentage I see over and again is 10% of foreclosures were saved.
I sit and watch the same banks and mortgage corporations that created the massive subprime mortgage fraud now connected with HARP, earning more money from fees attached to yet another mortgage refinance. From Quickens Loans to Wells Fargo and Bank of America.....they are earning billions on HARP.
HARP Program Requirements In order to participate in HARP you need to meet the following requirements:
- Your mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
- You must be current on your mortgage, and cannot have made a payment more than 30 days late in the past year.
- You must have negative home equity (you owe more on your mortgage than your home is worth), but your mortgage cannot exceed 125% of the value of your home.
- Refinancing must help the affordability or stability of your mortgage.
- You must have the ability to continue making payments
- Mortgage owned or guaranteed by the FHA, VA, or USDA are not eligible for HARP.
- Your property must be 1-4 units.
- Your property must also be your primary residence. 2nd homes are not eligible for refinancing under HARP.
As you see, HARP deliberately excludes FHA and the other government mortgages from this 'stimulus' and these loans are for those needing the help the most. See why tens of millions of people went into foreclosure? They were the ones most affected by the massive frauds and simple Rule of Law would have kept those homes with those families.
The reason Obama and neo-liberals in Congress chose Freddie and Fannie for this stimulus is that these loans were private mortgages and they wanted bank mortgages to be stabilized with the higher end prices and they are trying to end FHA and low-income homeownership. Neo-liberals work with republicans to end all War on Poverty and New Deal programs!
Obama and neo-liberals called these homeowners 'responsible' because they were able to weather years of recession.
Remember, they wanted everyone out of property ownership and into rentals because Pottersville landlords can keep people poor with high rents and control where they live! Neo-liberals are socially engineering this return to Medieval society with the serfs outside the castle gates....into what is suburbia. What about equal housing and access? THE BILL OF RIGHTS GOES WITH TPP YOU KNOW! In Maryland, the ACLU is actually helping with this even as it is unconstitutional.
The FHA was a successful program for decades causing very little cost for taxpayers. So, the only reason to get rid of it is that it took away profit for banks wanting the mortgage business.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchase mortgages from financial institutions, providing a way for those financial institutions to have more cash to continue to lend money for additional mortgages. Congress enacted a statutory mission for these GSEs to bring "liquidity, stability and affordability to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets."
FHA mortgages were created by the United States government to give borrowers with low credit scores and down payments who could not qualify for a Freddie Mac mortgage the opportunity to buy a home.
When Obama chose to suspend Rule of Law and allow all this mortgage fraud go without justice it was the old, women, and children who were hit the hardest. Seniors taking home equity loans thinking they would be able to address them over time did not know massive corporate fraud was being allowed to go unabated. These were the 'irresponsible' homeowners Obama and neo-liberals allowed to be taken under.
Now, Wall Street wanted all real estate back into the hands of the banks so if you watch TV you are familiar with the REVERSE MORTGAGE DEALS THAT HAND HOMES TO THE BANKS AFTER SENIORS DIE. This is handy for families with seniors struggling to survive, but it was yet another device to move homeownership away from average people as these families who would normally have inherited these homes now had no inheritance. Meanwhile, the estate taxes are being eliminated slowly but surely for the wealthy.
THE FIRST THING A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY DOES IS PROTECT THE OLD AND YOUNG....NOT NEO-LIBERALS!
THIS WAS MASSIVE FRAUD AND THE ECONOMY WAS DAMAGED BY THIS FRAUD. ALL OF THE AID BY CONGRESS SHOULD HAVE COME TO MAIN STREET. RULE OF LAW DEMANDS IT SO------WHEN GOVERNMENT SUSPENDS RULE OF LAW THEY SUSPEND STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS!
Senior Citizens Worst Hit By Foreclosures in America
Filed Under Repo Homes
It is the senior citizens that have been worst hit by the foreclosure crisis in America. About 28% of those boiling in the foreclosure cauldron are aged above 50. A recent study by AARP has questioned the validity of the hitherto popular surmise that the seniors have escaped the crisis because of they had built up sufficient equity on their houses.
The research done by AARP show that 684,000 persons aged 50 are in foreclosure during the last six months of 2007. Those who were above 50 comprised of 28% of all those who were in the foreclosure soup. Of these 684,000 senior borrowers, 50,000 were in foreclosures and lost their houses.
At the close of 2007 the rate among senior citizens of America who were in foreclosure was 0.24%. This was half of those who were aged less than 50 and have less equity than their elders.
Susan Reinhard of Public Policy Institute said that the seniors of America are dependent on their houses both as a shelter and an asset when retirement knocks. She said, “Losing a home jeopardizes long-term financial security with limited time to recover.”
The report also highlights the effects of the sub-prime mortgage crisis on those who were aged 50 and above. This group was 17 times more likely to be caught by foreclosure than those with prime mortgages. The states with high repo home rates among the seniors are California, Nevada, Colorado and Michigan.
Older Americans had made use of the equity on their houses for making repairs to their property and financing the higher education of their children. But seniors with fixed income are facing problems making mortgage payments. The sluggish economy with inflation is making the going even tougher for those with advancing age. Fall in the real estate market has affected all age groups.
Daniel Alpert of Westwood Capital that both young and old who had siphoned off the equity on their houses are now rocking on the same boat of foreclosure Many seniors like the juniors contracted teaser loans thanks to the aggressive peddling of the same by agents. The mortgage forms were also difficult to comprehend. The call of the hour is simplified mortgages. So it was a question of sales talk and trust that were misused for disastrous consequences for all – the lender, the borrower and the community together with the hapless individual whether young or old.
Below you see an article from Fall 2011 talking about how very few on main street were able to access HARP from the time it rolled out with the bank bailout. This was supposedly main street's bailout but between the long-term unemployment creating the environment of missed payments and the banks constantly 'losing paperwork' that basically caused most people applying to fail to be considered.
ALL OF THIS WAS DELIBERATE AS THIS ENTIRE MORTGAGE FRAUD WAS ABOUT GETTING MAIN STREET OUT OF THEIR HOMES SO THE GOAL WAS TO GET AS MANY HOMEOWNERS AS POSSIBLE INTO FORECLOSURE.
Here in Maryland advocates for people heading to foreclosure shouted even into 2012 that the money intended to augment people heading to foreclosure from the $25 billion mortgage fraud settlement was not getting to people. So, just think, people who we all know were struggling from the economic downturn were left from 2009-2012 mostly unable to get the help they needed with this HARP policy.
Flash forward to 2013 and we see Obama shouting that those funds set aside for HARP be used. By now, most people of average means have lost their homes to foreclosure.
The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP): What you need to know
By Hayley Tsukayama, Published: October 24, 2011
On Monday, the federal government announced that it would revise the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), implementing changes that The Washington Post’s Zachary A. Goldfarb reported would “allow many more struggling borrowers to refinance their mortgages at today’s ultra-low rates, reducing monthly payments for some homeowners and potentially providing a modest boost to the economy.”
The HARP program, which was rolled out in 2009, is designed to help. Those who are “underwater” on their homes and owe more than the homes are worth. So far, The Post reported, it has reached less than one-tenth of the 5 million borrowers it was designed to help. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to know about the changes.
Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Edward J. DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, talks about the regulator's mortgage relief program that will expand to allow homeowners to refinance regardless of how much their houses have dropped in value.
Flashback: Last year, some mortgage lenders and government officials took action after discovering that many mortgage documents were mishandled.
What was announced? The enhancements will allow some homeowners who are not currently eligible to refinance to do so under HARP. The changes cut fees for borrowers who want to refinance into short-term mortgages and some other borrowers. They also eliminate a cap that prevented “underwater” borrowers who owe more than 125 percent of what their property is worth from accessing the program.
Am I eligible? To be eligible, you must have a mortgage owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, sold to those agencies on or before May 31, 2009. The current loan-to-value ratio on the mortgage must be greater than 80 percent. Having a mortgage that was previously refinanced under the program disqualifies you from the program. Borrowers cannot not have missed any mortgage payments in the past six months and cannot have had more than one missed payment in the past 12 months.
How do I take advantage of HARP? According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the first step borrowers should take is to see whether their mortgages are owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. If so, borrowers should contact lenders that offer HARP refinances.
When do the changes go into effect? The FHFA is expected to publish final changes in November. According to a fact sheet on the program, the timing will vary by lender.
I speak quite often about the targeted families in urban centers because of what is happening in Baltimore. The black middle-class was hit hardest as their wealth was often tied to these urban areas hit with mortgage fraud and as we know the US Justice Department has failed to give any justice to people of color in these urban centers. City Hall is not only allowing the subprime loan fraud go without justice......I have spoken about how City Hall is actually preying on these citizens with home seizures from faulty utility bills or small amounts of back taxes.
THIS IS NOT A DONE DEAL AS ALL OF THIS HAS YET TO SEE JUSTICE AND RULE OF LAW WILL HAVE LOW-INCOME HOUSING FOR VICTIMS OF FRAUD IN THE CITY CENTER!
The Great Eviction: Black America and the Toll of the Foreclosure Crisis From predatory loans to evictions at gunpoint, neighborhoods are hosting bitter conflicts between activists and market forces—By Laura Gottesdiener
| Thu Aug. 1, 2013 1:04 PM
We cautiously ascend the staircase, the pitch black of the boarded-up house pierced only by my companion's tiny circle of light. At the top of the landing, the flashlight beam dances in a corner as Quafin, who offered only her first name, points out the furnace. She is giddy; this house—unlike most of the other bank-owned buildings on the block—isn't completely uninhabitable.
It had been vacated, sealed, and winterized in June 2010, according to a notice on the wall posted by BAC Field Services Corporation, a division of Bank of America. It warned: "entry by unauthorized persons is strictly prohibited." But Bank of America has clearly forgotten about the house and its requirement to provide the "maintenance and security" that would ensure the property could soon be reoccupied. The basement door is ajar, the plumbing has been torn out of the walls, and the carpet is stained with water. The last family to live here bought the home for $175,000 in 2002; eight years later, the bank claimed an improbable $286,100 in past-due balances and repossessed it.
It's May 2012 and we're in Woodlawn, a largely African American neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. The crew Quafin is a part of dubbed themselves the HIT Squad, short for Housing Identification and Target. Their goal is to map blighted, bank-owned homes with overdue property taxes and neighbors angry enough about the destruction of their neighborhood to consider supporting a plan to repossess on the repossessors.
"Anything I can do," one woman tells the group after being briefed on its plan to rehab bank-owned homes and move in families without houses. She points across the street to a sagging, boarded-up place adorned with a worn banner—"Grandma's House Child Care: Register Now!"—and a disconnected number. There are 20 banked-owned homes like it in a five-block radius. Records showed that at least five of them were years past due on their property taxes.
Where exterior walls once were, some houses sport charred holes from fires lit by people trying to stay warm. In 2011, two Chicago firefighters died trying to extinguish such a fire at a vacant foreclosed building. Now, houses across the South Side are pockmarked with red Xs, indicating places the fire department believes to be structurally unsound. In other states--Wisconsin, Minnesota, and New York, to name recent examples—foreclosed houses have taken to exploding after bank contractors forgot to turn off the gas.
Most of the occupied homes in the neighborhood we're visiting display small signs: "Don't shoot," they read in lettering superimposed on a child's face, "I want to grow up." On the bank-owned houses, such signs have been replaced by heavy-duty steel window guards. ("We work with all types of servicers, receivers, property management, and bank asset managers, enabling you to quickly and easily secure your building so you can move on," boasts Door and Window Guard Systems, a leading company in the burgeoning "building security industry.")
The dangerous houses are the ones left unsecured, littered with trash and empty Cobra vodka bottles. We approach one that reeks of rancid tuna fish and attempt to push open the basement door, held closed only by a flimsy wire. The next-door neighbor, returning home, asks: "Did you know they killed someone in that backyard just this morning?"
The Equivalent of the Population of Michigan Foreclosed
Since 2007, the foreclosure crisis has displaced at least 10 million people from more than four million homes across the country. Families have been evicted from colonials and bungalows, A-frames and two-family brownstones, trailers and ranches, apartment buildings and the prefabricated cookie-cutters that sprang up after World War II. The displaced are young and old, rich and poor, and of every race, ethnicity, and religion. They add up to approximately the entire population of Michigan.
However, African American neighborhoods were targeted more aggressively than others for the sort of predatory loans that led to mass evictions after the economic meltdown of 2007-2008. At the height of the rapacious lending boom, nearly 50% of all loans given to African American families were deemed "subprime." The New York Times described these contracts as "a financial time-bomb."
Over the last year and a half, I traveled through many of these neighborhoods, reporting on the grassroots movements of resistance to foreclosure and displacement that have been springing up in the wake of the explosion. These community efforts have proven creative, inspiring, and often effective—but in too many cities and towns, the landscape that forms the backdrop to such a movement of hope is one of almost overwhelming destruction. Lots filled with "Cheap Bank-Owned!" trailers line highways. Cities hire contractors dubbed "Blackwater Bailiffs" to keep pace with the dizzying eviction rate.
In recent years, the foreclosure crisis has been turning many African American communities into conflict zones, torn between a market hell-bent on commodifying life itself and communities organizing to protect their neighborhoods. The more I ventured into such areas, the more I came to realize that the clash of values going on isn't just theoretical or metaphorical.
"Internal displacement causes conflict," explained J.R. Fleming, the chairman of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign. "And there's no other country in the world that would force so much internal displacement and pretend that it's something else."
Evictions at Gunpoint
It was three in the morning when at least a dozen police cruisers pulled up to the single-story, green-shuttered house in the African American Atlanta suburb where Christine Frazer and her family lived. The precise number of sheriffs and deputies who arrived is disputed; the local radio station reported 25, while Frazer recalled seeing between 40 and 50.
A locksmith drilled off the home's locks and dozens of officers burst into the house with flashlights and handguns.
"Who's in the house?" they shouted. Aside from Frazer, a widow with a vocal devotion to the Man Above, there were three other residents: her 85-year-old mother, her adult daughter, and her four-year-old grandson. Things began to happen fast. Animal control rounded up the pets. Officers told the women to get dressed. Could she take a shower? Frazer asked. Imagine there's a fire in your house, the officer replied.
"They came to my home like I was a drug dealer," she told reporters later. Over the next seven hours, the officers hauled out the entire contents of her home and cordoned off the street to prevent friends from helping her retrieve her things.
"I have no idea where some of my jewelry is, stuff I bought when I was 30 years old," said Frazer. "I am sixty-three. They just threw everything everywhere, helter-skelter on the front lawn in the dark."
The eviction-turned-raid sparked controversy across Atlanta when it occurred in the spring of 2012, in part because Frazer had a motion pending in federal court that should have stayed the eviction, and in part because she was an active participant of Occupy Homes Atlanta. But this type of militarized reaction is often the outcome when communities—especially those of color—organize to resist eviction.
When Nicole Shelton attempted to move back into her repossessed home in a picket-fence subdivision in North Carolina, the Raleigh police department sent in more than a dozen police officers and an eight-person SWAT team. Officers were equipped with M5 submachine guns. A helicopter roared overhead. In Boston, one organizer with the community group City Life/Vida Urbana remembers the police acting so aggressively at an eviction blockade in a Haitian neighborhood that the grandmother of the family had a heart attack right in the driveway.
And sometimes it doesn't require resistance at all. On the South Side of Chicago, explained Toussaint Losier, a community organizer completing his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, "They bust in the door, and it's at the point of a gun that you get evicted."
Exiles in America
There have been widespread foreclosures—and some organized resistance—in predominately white communities, too. Kevin Kirkman, captain of the civil division of the Lee County sheriff's office, explained, "I get so many [eviction] papers in here, it's unbelievable."
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More than 75% of the residents in North Carolina's Lee County are whites. But Kirkman still sees the ripple effects of mass foreclosure here. "You're talking about a mudslide where a lot of things are affected. You're talking about taxes, about retail sales if people move, about food services, about gasoline. You see what I'm talking about? When you lose a family in the community? Some people leave the community. I have seen people leave the state of North Carolina."
He added, "I'm going be honest with you, my feeling is that I would not do these evictions."
I wanted to end with this main stream shout out that the subprime mortgage loan fraud is recognized by all and the amount of these frauds are in the trillions of dollars and as of now we have gotten maybe a trillion in subprime loan settlement and most of that has been sent right back to banks as developers......WE ALL KNOW THIS!
Op-Ed Columnist The Mortgage Fraud Fraud
By JOE NOCERA Published: June 1, 2012
Charlie’s ordeal isn’t over yet, of course. When he leaves prison on June 20, Charlie, 49, will move temporarily to a halfway house, after which he will be on probation for another five years. And unless he can get the verdict overturned, he will have to spend the rest of his life with a felony on his record.
Perhaps you remember Charlie Engle. I wrote about him not long after he entered a minimum-security facility in Beaver, W.Va., 16 months ago. He’s the poor guy who went to jail for lying on a liar loan during the housing bubble.
There were two things about Charlie’s prosecution that really bothered me. First, he’d clearly been targeted by an agent of the Internal Revenue Service who seemed offended that Charlie was an ultramarathoner without a steady day job. The I.R.S. conducted “Dumpster dives” into his garbage and put a wire on a female undercover agent hoping to find some dirt on him. Unable to unearth any wrongdoing on his tax returns, the I.R.S. discovered he had taken out several subprime mortgages that didn’t require income verification. His income on one of them was wildly inflated. They don’t call them liar loans for nothing.
Charlie has always insisted that he never filled out the loan document — his mortgage broker did it, and he was actually a victim of mortgage fraud. (The broker later pleaded guilty to another mortgage fraud.) Indeed, according to a recent court filing by Charlie’s lawyer, the government failed to turn over exculpatory evidence that could have helped Charlie prove his innocence. For whatever inexplicable reason, prosecutors really wanted to nail Charlie Engle. And they did.
Second, though, it seemed incredible to me that with all the fraud that took place during the housing bubble, the Justice Department was focusing not on the banks that had issued the fraudulent loans, but rather on those who had taken out the loans, which invariably went sour when housing prices fell.
As I would later learn, Charlie Engle was no aberration. The current meme — argued most recently by Charles Ferguson, in his new book “Predator Nation” — is that not a single top executive at any of the firms that nearly brought down the financial system has spent so much as a day in jail. And that is true enough.
But what is also true, and which is every bit as corrosive to our belief in the rule of law, is that the Justice Department has instead taken after the smallest of small fry — and then trumpeted those prosecutions as proof of how tough it is on mortgage fraud. It is a shameful way for the government to act.
“These people thought they were pursuing the American dream,” says Mark Pennington, a lawyer in Des Moines who regularly defends home buyers being prosecuted by the local United States attorney. “Right here in Des Moines,” he said, “there was a big subprime outfit, Wells Fargo Financial. No one there has been prosecuted. They are only going after people who lost their homes after the bubble burst. It’s a scandal.”
The Justice Department has had a tough run recently. Last week, Eric Schneiderman, the New York attorney general — who was recently given a role by President Obama to investigate the mortgage-backed securities issued during the bubble — complained publicly that he wasn’t getting the resources he needed from the Justice Department. And, of course, on Thursday, a federal judge declared a mistrial on five charges of campaign finance fraud and conspiracy in the trial of the former presidential candidate John Edwards.
In the Edwards case, the Justice Department spent tens of millions of dollars, and trotted out novel legal theories, to prosecute a man who was essentially trying to keep people from discovering that he had had a mistress and an out-of-wedlock child. Salacious though it was, the case has zero public import. Yet this same Justice Department isn’t willing to use similar resources — and perhaps even trot out some novel legal theories — to go after the pervasive corporate wrongdoing that gave us the financial crisis and the Great Recession. (I should note that the Justice Department claims that it “will not hesitate” to prosecute any “institution where there is evidence of a crime.”)
Think back to the last time the federal government went after corporate crooks. It was after the Internet bubble. Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay of Enron were prosecuted and found guilty. Bernard Ebbers, the former chief executive of WorldCom, went to jail. Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco was prosecuted and given a lengthy prison sentence. Now recall which Justice Department prosecuted those men.
Amazing, isn’t it? George W. Bush has turned out to be tougher on corporate crooks than Barack Obama.