Promoting Housing Recovery Part 3: Proposed Solutions For The Housing Market


This is the final part of a three-part, two-post series.  Click here to read parts I and II, which focus on recognizing the fundamental economic problems, and fixing the underlying economic issues (such as unemployment)

Part Three – Proposed Solutions For The Housing Market

Home Prices

Home prices in many parts of the country are still inflated. People cannot afford the homes and cannot refinance to lower payments, so the homes go into default and are foreclosed up. Other homes remain on the market, vacant because there are no qualified buyers for the property at that price. This is a problem that can take care of itself over time, if the government gets out of the way.

Currently the government, in cooperation with banks, is doing everything to support home prices instead of letting them drop. Doing so prevents homeowner strategic defaults, and others going into defaults. It also lessens the losses to lenders and investors. In the words of Zig Zigler, this is “stinkin thinkin”.

Maintaining home prices artificially high will not stabilize the market. It is mistakenly thought this is the same as supporting home values. But inflating a price does not increase value, by definition. It just delivers an advantage to the first ones in at the expense of those coming later (think of the first and second homebuyer tax credits, which created two discernible “bumps” in home prices and sales in 2009 and 2010, both of which reversed).

We must allow home prices to drop to a more reasonable level that people can afford. Doing so will stimulate the market because it brings more people into the market. Lower home prices mean more have an ability to purchase. More purchases mean more price stability over a period of time.

To accomplish a reduction in home prices several steps need to be taken.

Interest Rates

The first thing to be done is that the fed must cease its negative interest rate policy. Let interest rates rise to a level that the market supports. Quit subsidizing homeowner payments on adjustable rate mortgages by the lower interest rates.

Allowing interest rates to return to market levels would initially make homeownership more difficult and would result in people qualifying for lower loan amounts. However, this is not a bad thing because it eventually forces home prices down and all will balance out in the end. Historically, as interest rates decrease, home prices increase, and when rates increase, home prices drop. So it is time to let the market dictate where interest rates should be.

Furthermore, by allowing interest rates to increase, it makes lending money more attractive. Profit over risk levels return, and lenders are more willing to lend. This creates greater demand, and would assist in stabilizing the market.

Fannie & Freddie

We have to eliminate the Federal guarantee on Fannie and Freddie loans. The guarantee of F&F loans only serves to artificially depress interest rates. It does nothing to promote housing stability. Elimination of the guarantees would force rates up, leading to lower home values, and more affordability in the long run.

It is seriously worth considering privatizing Fannie and Freddie. Make them exist on their own without government intervention. Make them concerned about risk levels and liquidity requirements. Doing so will make them responsive to the profit motive, tighten lending standards, and lessen risk. It will over time also ensure no more government bailouts.

Allow competition for Fannie and Freddie. Currently, they have no competition and have not had competition since the early 1990s. Competition will force discipline on F&F, and will ultimately prove more productive for housing.

The new Qualified Residential Mortgage rules must not be allowed to occur as they stand. If the rules are allowed to go forward, it will only ensure that Fannie and Freddie remain the dominant force in housing. Make mortgage lending a level playing field for all. Do not favor F&F with advantages that others would not have like governmental guarantees. We must create effective competition to counter the distorting effects of F&F.

Government Programs like HAMP

When government attempts to slow or stop foreclosures, it only offers the homeowner false hopes that the home can be saved. The actions will extend the time that a homeowner remains in a home not making payments, and also extend the length of time that the housing crisis will be with us. Nothing else will generally be accomplished, except for further losses incurred by the lender or investor.

When modifications are advanced to people who have no ability to repay those modifications, when the interest rates adjust in five years, all that has happened is that the problem has been pushed off into the future, to be dealt with later. This is what government programs like HAMP achieve.

If the government wants to play a role in solving the housing crisis, it must take a role that will be realistic, and will lead to restoration of a viable housing market. That role must be in a support role, creating an economic environment which leads to housing recovery. It must not be an activist and interventionist role that only seeks to control outcomes that are not realistic.

Portfolio Lenders

Usually, the portfolio lender is a bank or other similar institution that is subject to government regulations, including liquidity requirements. Because of liquidity issues and capital, it is not possible for many banks to lend, or in sufficient numbers to have a meaningful effect upon housing recovery at this time. Additionally, the number of non-performing loans that lenders hold restricts having the funds to lend do to loan loss reserve issues. Until such is addressed, portfolio lending is severely restricted.

To solve the problem of non-performing loans, and to raise capital to address liquidity requirements, a “good bank – bad bank scenario” scenario must be undertaken. Individual mortgage loans need to be evaluated to determine the default risk of any one loan. Depending upon the risk level, the loan will be identified and placed into a separate category. Once all loans have been evaluated, a true value can be established for selling the loans to a “purchase investor”. At the same time, the “bank investor” is included to determine what capital infusion will be needed to support the lender when the loans are sold. An agreement is reached whereby the loans are sold and the new capital is brought into the lender, to keep the lender afloat and also strengthen the remaining loan portfolio.

The homeowner will receive significant benefit with this program. The “purchase investor” should have bought the loans for between 25 and 40 cents on the dollar. They can then negotiate with the homeowner, offering them significant principal reductions and lowered payments, while still having loans with positive equity. Default risk will have been greatly reduced, and all parties will have experienced a “win-win” scenario.

However, portfolio lending is still dependent upon having qualified borrowers. To that end, previous outlined steps must be taken to create a legitimate pool of worthy borrowers to reestablish lending.

MERS

Anyone who has followed the foreclosure crisis, the name MERS is well known. MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registrations System) represents the name of a computerized system used to track mortgage loans after origination and initial recording. MERS has been the subject of untold articles and conspiracy theories and blamed for the foreclosure process. It is believed by many that the operation of MERS is completely unlawful.

To restart securitization efforts, a MERS-like entity is going to be required. (MERS has been irrevocably damaged and will have to be replaced by a similar system with full transparency. Before anyone gets upset, I will explain why such an entity is required.)

Securitization of loans is a time consuming process, especially related to the tracking and recording of loans. When a loan is securitized, from the Cut-Off date of the trust to the Closing Date of the trust when loans must be placed into the trust, is 30 days. During this 30 day period of time, a loan would need to be assigned and recorded at least twice and usually three times. To accomplish this, each loan would need assignments executed, checks cut to the recorder’s office, and the documents delivered to the recorder’s office for recording.

Most recorder’s offices are not automated for electronic filing with less than 25% of the over 3200 counties doing electronic filing. The other offices must be done manually. This poses an issue in that a trust can have from several hundred to over 8000 loans placed into it. It is physically impossible to execute the work necessary in the 30 day time period to allow for securitization as MERS detractors would desire. So, an alternative methodology must be found.

“MERS 2.0″ is the solution. The new MERS must be developed with full transparency. It must be designed to absolutely conform with agency laws in all 50 states. MERS “Certifying Officers” must be named through corporate resolutions, with all supporting documentation available for review. There can be no question of a Certifying Officer’s authority to act.

Clear lines of authority must be established. The duties of MERS must be well spelled out and in accordance with local, state, and Federal statutes. Recording issues must be addressed and formalized procedures developed. Through these and other measures, MERS 2.0 can be an effective methodology for resolving the recording issues related to securitization products. This would alleviate many of the concerns and legal issues for securitization of loans, bringing greater confidence back into the system.

Securitization & Investors

Securitization of loans through sources other than Fannie and Freddie represented 25% of all mortgage loans done through the Housing Boom. This source of funding no longer exists, even though government bonds are at interest rates below 1%, and at times, some bonds pay negative interest. One would think that this would motivate Wall Street to begin securitization efforts again. However, that is not the case.

At this time, there is a complete lack of confidence in securitized loan products. The reasons are complex, but boil down to one simple fact: there is no ability to determine the quality of any one or all loans combined in a securitization offering, nor are the ratings given to the tranches of reliable quality for the same reasons. Until this can be overcome, there can be no hope of restarting securitization of loans. However, hope is on the way.

Many different companies are involved in bringing to market products and techniques that will address loan level issues. Some products involve verification of appraisals, others involve income and employment verification. More products are being developed as well. (LFI Analytics has its own specific product to address issues of individual loan quality.)

What needs to be done is for those companies developing the products to come together and to develop a comprehensive plan to address all concerns of investors for securitized products. What I propose is that we work together to incorporate our products into a “Master Product”, while retaining our individuality. This “Master Product” would be incorporated into each Securitization offered, so that Rating Agencies could accurately evaluate each loan and each tranche for quality. Then, the “Master Product” would be presented to Investors along with the Ratings Agency evaluation for their inspection and determination of whether to buy the securitized product. Doing so would bring confidence back into the market for securitized products.

There will also need to be a complete review of the types of loans that are to be securitized, and the requirements for each offering. Disclosures of the loan products must be clear, with loan level characteristics identified for disclosure. The Agreements need to be reworked to address issues related to litigation, loan modifications, and default issues. Access to loan documentation for potential lender repurchase demands must be clarified and procedures established for any purchase demand to occur.

There must be clarification of the securitization procedures. A securitized product must meet all requirements under state and Federal law, and IRS considerations. There must be clear guidance provided on how to meet the requirements, and what is acceptable, and what is not acceptable. Such guidance should seek to eliminate any questions about the lawfulness of securitization.

Finally, servicing procedures for securitization must be reviewed, clarified, and strengthened. There can no longer be any question as to the authority of the servicer to act, so clear lines of authority must be established and agency and power of attorney considerations be clearly written into the agreements.

Borrower Quality

Time and again, I have referenced having quality borrowers who have the ability to buy homes and qualify for loans. I have outlined steps that can be taken to establish such pools of buyers and borrowers by resolving debt issues, credit issues, and home overvaluation issues. But that is not enough.

Having examined thousands of loan documents, LFI Analytics has discovered that not only current underwriting processes are deficient in many areas still, but the new proposed Qualified Written Mortgage processes suffer from such deficiencies as well. This can lead to people being approved for loans who will have a high risk of default. Others will be declined for loans because they don’t meet the underwriting guidelines, but in reality they have a significantly lower risk of default.

Default Risk analysis must be a part of the solution for borrower quality. Individual default risk must be determined on each loan, in addition to normal underwriting processes, so as to deny those that represent high default risk, and approve those that have low default risk.

This is a category of borrower that portfolio lenders and securitization entities will have an advantage over the traditional F&F loan. Identifying and targeting such borrowers will provide a successful business model, as long as the true default risk is determined. That is where the LFI Analytics programs are oriented.

Summary

In this series of articles, I have attempted to identify stresses existing now and those existing in the future, and how the stresses will affect any housing recovery. I have also attempted to identify possible solutions for many of the stresses.

The recovery of the housing market will not be accomplished in the near future, as so many media and other types represent. The issues are far too complex and interdependent on each other for quick and easy remedy.

To accurately view what is needed for the housing recovery, one must take a macro view of not just housing, but also the economic and demographic concerns, as I have done here. Short and long term strategies must be developed for foreclosure relief, based upon the limiting conditions of lenders, borrowers, and investor agreements.

Lending recovery must be based upon the economic realities of the lenders, and the investors who buy the loans. Furthermore, accurate methods of loan evaluation and securitization ratings must be incorporated into any strategy so as to bring back investor confidence.

Are steps being taken towards resolving the housing crisis and beginning the housing recovery? In the government sector, the answer is really “no”. Short term “solutions” are offered in the form of different programs, but the programs are ineffective for most people. Even then, the “solutions” only treat the symptom, and not the illness. Government is simply not capable of taking the actions necessary to resolve the crisis, either from incompetence or from fear of voter reprisal.

In the private sector, baby steps are being taken by individual companies to resolve various issues. These companies are refining their products to meet the needs of all parties, and slowly bringing them to market.

What is needed now is for the private sector to come together and begin to offer “packages of products” to meet the needs of securitizing entities. The “packages” should be tailored to solve all the issues, so that all evaluation materials are complete and concise, and not just a handful of different reports from different vendors. This is the “far-sighted” view of what needs to be done.

If all parties cannot come together and present a unified and legitimate approach to solving the housing crisis, then we will see a “lost decade” (or two) like Japan has suffered. Housing is just far too important of an economic factor for the US economy. Housing has led the way to recovery in past recessions, but it not only lags now, it drags the economy down. Until housing can recover, it shall serve to be a drag on the economy.

I hope that I have sparked interest in what has been written and shall lead to a spirited discussion on how to recover. I do ask that any discussion focus on how to restore housing. Recriminations and blame for what has happened in the past serves no purpose to resolution of the problems facing us now, and in the future.

It is now time to move past the anger and the desire for revenge, and to move forward with “can-do” solutions.

Government Officials Weigh New Refi Program, Carrie Bay, DSNEWS.com


Word on the street is that the Obama administration is sizing up a new program to shore up and stimulate the housing market by providing millions of homeowners with new, lower interest, lower payment mortgage loans.  According to multiple media outlets, the initiative would allow borrowers with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Macto refinance at today’s near record-low interest rates, close to the 4 percent mark, even if they are in negative equity or have bad marks on their credit.

The plan, first reported by the New York Times, may not be seen as a win-win by everyone. The Times says it could face stiff opposition from the GSEs’ regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as well as private investors who hold bonds made up of loans backed by the two mortgage giants.

The paper says refinancing could save homeowners $85 billion a year. It would also reach some homeowners who are struggling with underwater mortgages, which can disqualify a borrower from a traditional refinance, and those who fail to meet all the credit criteria for a refinance as a result of tough times brought on by the economic downturn.

Administration officials have not confirmed that a new refi program is in the works, but have said they are weighing several proposals to provide support to the still-ailing housing market and reach a greater number of distressed homeowners.

According to information sourced by Bloomberg, Fannie and Freddie guarantee nearly $2.4 trillion in mortgages that carry interest rates above the 4 percent threshold.

The details that have been reported on the make-up of the refi proposal mirror recommendations put forth by two Columbia business professors, Chris Mayer and R. Glenn Hubbard.

They’ve outlined the same type of policy-driven refi boom in a whitepaper that calls for Fannie- and Freddie-owned mortgages to be refinanced with an interest rate of around 4 percent.

They say not only would it provide mortgage relief to some 30 million homeowners – to the tune of an average reduction in monthly payments of $350 — but it would yield about $118 billion in extra cash being pumped into the economy.

Other ideas for housing stimulus are also being considered. One involving a public-private collaboration to get distressed properties off the market and turn them into rental homes has progressed to the point that officials issued a formal notice earlier this month requesting recommendations from private investors, industry stakeholders, and community organizations on how best to manage the disposition of government-owned REOs.

Treasury is also reviewing a proposal from American Home Mortgage Servicing that would provide for a short sale of mortgage notes from mortgage-backed securities (MBS) trusts to new investors as a means of facilitating principal reduction modifications.

There’s speculation that President Obama will make a big housing-related announcement in the weeks ahead as part of a larger economic plan.

Obama Considers Foreclosure Ban, by Carrie Bay, Dsnews.com


Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...

Image via Wikipedia

President Obama and his administration are floating an idea to prohibit lenders from foreclosing on a home unless the borrower has been considered for the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

The proposal would require servicers to initiate contact with all borrowers who are 60 or more days behind on their mortgage payments and offer them access to the federal modification program. Only after the homeowner has been screened under the HAMP guidelines and it is determined that the loan cannot be saved, could foreclosure proceedings commence. The proposal would also halt any foreclosures already in process once a borrower has been accepted into the trial phase of the program.

The proposal was reviewed by lenders last week on a White House conference call and “prohibits referral to foreclosure until borrower is evaluated and found ineligible for HAMPor reasonable contact efforts have failed,” Bloomberg Newsreported, citing a Treasury Department document outlining the plan.

Some lenders have been voluntarily suspending foreclosure proceedings while they evaluate a homeowner’s eligibility for HAMP, but under the program’s current guidelines there is no requirement to do so, and a number of homeowner advocacy groups have submitted complaints to the administration that even borrowers who are making their trial payments are being hit with foreclosure litigation.

A Treasury spokesperson confirmed that a foreclosure ban is under consideration, but stressed that it is one of many ideas on the table and has not been approved yet.

Laurie Goodman, a senior managing director at the Amherst Securities Group who has been highly critical of the government’s modification program, told the New York Times that even if the proposal came to pass, it would.

not be “a major change. We think there is a large public relations element to this,” she said.

As the Times noted, the government could use some favorable public relations for its modification program. Lawmakers have begun to openly express their disappointment with the program. On Thursday, members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said matter-of-factly in a report, that by every practical measure, “HAMP has failed.”

Reps. Darrell Issa (R-California) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) called the program a misuse of taxpayer money, theWashington Post said. The program has been allocated $75 billion to pay incentives to servicers, investors, and borrowers for loan restructurings, but the paper says that so far only $15 million has been spent.

As of the end of January, 116,297 troubled mortgages had been permanently modified under HAMP. About 830,000 more were in the trial phase of the program. The administration’s goal is to help three to four million borrowers save their homes through the program by the end of 2012.

News of a draft document by the Treasury outlining additional changes to HAMP also circulated this week. Besides the proposed ban on foreclosures until after aHAMP review, the administration is also considering implementing a mandatory 30-day appeal period for borrowers that are denied a federal modification. Servicers would not be allowed to proceed with a foreclosure sale during this time.

The proposal would also require servicers to prove that they have made multiple attempts to contact delinquent borrowers both by phone and via written notices, and would require them to consider HAMP applications from homeowners that have already filed for bankruptcy.

Lenders have expressed concern that the proposed requirements would prolong foreclosure delays beyond the current 12 month timeline that it typically takes to resolve the loans that don’t qualify for a modification.

Earlier this month at the American Securitization Forum’s annual meeting, Seth Wheeler, a senior advisor at the Treasury Department, told mortgage bond investors and lenders that the administration is also considering revising HAMP’s net present value (NPV) model in order to incorporate more principal writedowns into the equation. The NPV test is applied to determine if the mortgage owner can recoup more money by restructuring the loan or by foreclosing.

Let’s Use Fannie And Freddie To Bail Ourselves Out By Refinancing Everyone’s Mortgage — Says Glenn Hubbard, by Daniel Gross, Yahoo!


Glenn Hubbard, Harvard-trained economist, former Bush administration official, dean of the Columbia Business School, is a mild-mannered, buttoned-down guy. But his proposal to bolster the housing market and provide some stimulus to America’s long-suffering homeowners is a bit radical.

In a recent New York Times op-ed article, Hubbard and Columbia Business senior vice dean Chris Mayer urged a simple solution: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled housing giants, should just refinance homowners at today’s low interest rates.

Hubbard joined Aaron and me to discuss this proposal, as well as other prescriptions he lays out for reforming America’s housing finance

system in his new book, Seeds of Destruction: Why the Path to Economic Ruin Runs Through Washington, and How to Reclaim American Prosperity, co-authored with Peter Navarro.

Hubbard noted that the government and the Federal Reserve have already made significant efforts to shore up housing. “The Fed’s purchase of mortgage-backed securities really helped the housing market a lot,” by helping to narrow the spread between Treasuries and mortgages, Hubbard said. But falling house prices have made it difficult for people with under water mortgages to take advantage of lower rates. “Even with low interest rates, it’s hard to see a lot of refinancings because loan to value ratios are high,” he says.

A Sensible, Low-Cost Solution

His suggestion is that Fannie and Freddie could simply refinance existing mortgages at lower rates, at no additional cost to taxpayers. With Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under U.S. conservatorship, the taxpayers already guarantee most mortgages through them. Hubbard believes this refi boom would ultimately save taxpayers money, since borrowers would be more likely to stay current on new mortgages with lower interest rates.

“More to the point for stimulus, this would be the equivalent of a $50 billion to $60 billion per year long-term tax cut for middle-income families, with no cost to the Treasury,” he says. “It seems pretty sensible.”

A bonus: this plan wouldn’t require passing legislation through a gridlocked Congress.

Of course, there are obstacles. Even at today’s much lower volumes, the home-lending system is having difficulty processing mortgage documents efficiently. Many critics are calling for Fannie and Freddie to reduce their scope of activities, not to increase them. And then there’s the question of moral hazard: Wouldn’t this just be another example of taxpayers bailing out borrowers who made what turned out to be poor decisions?

Not so much, says Hubbard. Many of the borrowers who now have loan-to-value (LTV) ratios that preclude them from refinancing are in the situation not because they borrowed so much to buy a home, but because the property supporting the mortgage has declined in value by 30 percent. “The whole thrust is to keep people in their homes and provide a tax cut that they would have gotten if their LTVs weren’t so high,” said Hubbard.

More Housing Solutions

In Seeds of Destruction, Hubbard and co-author Peter Navarro offer some other provocative thoughts on how to reform housing finance and avoid another debacle. Among the suggestions:

  • Both homeowners and lenders should be required to have some “skin in the game” on mortgages.
  • Prohibitions or restrictions on funky lending practices such as interest-only and adjustable-rate products, especially if they’re going to be securitized.
  • Greater disclosure on the information that goes into creating credit ratings for mortgage-backed products.

Perhaps most controversially, Hubbard calls for a rethinking of the home mortgage deduction, which allows homeowners to deduct interest on loans up to $1 million from their taxable income. The home mortgage deduction is an inefficient and expensive means of subsidizing housing and benefits higher-income Americans disproportionately.

“I’m not saying repeal it this afternoon, but we should take a hard look at our subsidies for housing and ask if they really make sense,” he tells Aaron and me in the accompanying clip.

If there’s a need to subsidize homeownership for lower and middle-income Americans, policy should focus subsdies on those sectors, Hubbard says. “But the very expensive subsidy system we have now really helped get us in trouble.”

GMAC Halts Evictions Related to Foreclosures in 23 States When News of Forged and Robo-Signed Documents Comes Out, by Mandelman


I’m sorry, but is GMAC… no, wait… Ally Financial… I keep forgetting they’re my “ally” now… run by a 40 Mule Team of morons?  Don’t answer that, it was clearly rhetorical.

Okay, so here’s the story… some attorneys representing homeowners in foreclosure noticed that GAMC was saying things that weren’t true, which is sometimes referred to as “lying,” and then in a deposition it came out that a middle manager at GMAC was actually signing 10,000 foreclosures a month without reading the paperwork like he was supposed to… or, one might consider… like any normal human being would do given they had a job signing 10,000 of anything each month.  I mean… what the… can you even imagine?

Well, here’s your job.  We’ll need you to sit here and sign your name roughly 10,000 times a month.  So, if there are 21.67 work days per month, which there are, according to Amswers.com, then that would mean signing your name about 462 times per day, or 58 per hour, assuming one were to work eight hours a day without breaks of any kind.  That’s one per minute, and it assumes there’s some sort of catheter involved.

No problem you say.  Except how will I be able to read what I’m signing? “Oh, no need for that, silly rabbit,” your boss says… “kicks are for trids.”  What in the world was going on here, pray tell?  Why, it’s time to play “Fraudulent Foreclosure Mill,” of course.  It’s the game where laws don’t matter and all the houses go back to the bank no matter what!  I’m not sure, but it sounds like something that might have been developed by Saddam Hussein, no?  Or, maybe Vikram Pandit and Jamie Dimon, I suppose.

NPR reported: “The company recently halted evictions in dozens of states, after news of the robo-signer came to light.”

Oh come on… I HATE it when people treat me like I’m six.  Is this “news” to GMAC, or any of the other banksters?  That’s what I’m to believe?  Really?  Well I don’t usually say what I’m about to say but this is my blog and I don’t work for anyone but me, so… GMAC… F#@k you.

I worked in corporate America for some 20 years, and quite a few of those years I even worked for banksters, including JPMorgan, and there’s absolutely NO CHANCE whatsoever that this is “news” to anyone there.  I absolutely guarantee you that there are secretaries at GMAC that know about this practice… they’ve been having meetings about it for years.  There are enough CYA memos floating about at GMAC that if you stacked them on top of each other they’d be taller than Shaquille O’Neal standing on Lord Blankcheck’s throat in a pair of 4” stilettos while on the roof of a Yukon, an image that I’d go pay-per-view to see, I don’t know about you.

No, it’s not “news,” although I guess I have to be happy that the lamebrain media has finally caught on that something might be amiss in Foreclosure Land.  And it’s about damn time.  As I recently said to a producer at American Public Television: “Thanks for coming, media people, you’re a little late, but come on in, there’s still plenty of food.”

No, even though NPR, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and just about every news site, publication and blog on the planet reported on the story, it’s not “news,” except that perhaps because it’s us the taxpayers that actually own most of GMAC, it is.  Yep, it’s “us” that are paying that robo-signer to sign his name a gazillion times a month, thus creating fraudulent documents that are then used by lawyers with fewer ethics than pond scum to throw “US” our of our homes illegally.

We, the taxpayers, have given GMAC $17.2 billion in TARP funds, none of which have been repaid, by the way.  And I love the way the media reports that the “Treasury invested” in GMAC.  The U.S. Treasury doesn’t have any money, folks.  That’s U.S. citizen paid or borrowed tax payer money they’re “investing”.  And if we the tax payers are going to invest in companies, why do we have to invest in all the shitty ones?  (I apologize for my language in this article, but it’s just not a good day for me to play nice.)

NPR also reported that:

“The case — which could allow thousands of homeowners to challenge their evictions — has triggered other reports this week of sloppy foreclosure practices.”

Now I happen to like NPR, I’ve been listening to them on the radio for years.  But, “sloppy foreclosure practices?”  “SLOPPY?”  “SLOPPY?”  What the hell, have we all forgotten how to use the English?

Fraudulent, forged, bogus, fake, illegal, spurious, sham, false, phony, suppositious, illicit, unlawful, criminal, immoral, sinful, vicious, evil, iniquitous, peccant, wicked, wrong, vile, in violation of the law… damn it, don’t make me go find my thesaurus.

It reminds me of when that Senator was molesting that 16 year-old boy… the White House page, by at the very least, sending him repulsive, repugnant emails, and Newt Gingrich referred to them as “naughty emails”.  I mean… OH MY GOD!  “Naughty,” Newt?

Even the venerable Financial Times chimed in a couple of days ago saying:

“An official at JPMorganChase said in a deposition earlier this year that she signed off on thousands of foreclosures without verifying the details.”

Wow, really?  Who could have possibly known about that?  Oh wait… ME, among God-only-knows-how-many-others.  Here’s my story on the JPMorganChase robo-signer from LAST JUNE 4th, 2010.  Yepsiree… they call me “Scoop Mandelman,” yes they do… Oh, please.

And the Washington Post had their two cents to add:

“And an employee of a Georgia document processing company falsely claimed to work for dozens of different lenders while signing off on tens of thousands of foreclosure documents over the course of several years.”

Here’s what GMAC… oh, that’s right they’re my “ally,” had to say:

“Ally says that its review of the GMAC Finance issue has ‘revealed no evidence of any factual misstatements or inaccuracies’ in the documents that weren’t properly reviewed. And the company says it has fixed its process for reviewing foreclosure documents.”

Pardon me?  Did you just… I mean, what the… I can’t believe I just heard you say… what the… somebody oughta give you such a…  And what about the other 27 states?  Are they all fine and dandy?  People have lost homes here… God damn it…

Alright… STOP.

Look, there’s more to this story and you can bet your boots that I’m going to write about it all weekend… in great detail.  I’m going to tell you WHY they’re having to forge documents in order to foreclose on homes all over the country.  And you’re going to hate this even more than the forgeries themselves.

(Attorney Max Gardner and attorney April Charney, of Jacksonville Legal Aid, are the country’s leading experts on this and related injustices, and they’ve been gracious enough to give me enough information to write a book covering this topic on a scale of Gone With the Wind, the Next Ten Years.  I’m going to run my next piece by them before I post, but it’ll be up this weekend if it kills me.  Don’t miss it.)

But not right now, because right now I’m going to head down to my local watering hole to toss back a couple of pints.  Then I’m going to ask a friend of mine to back over me with his car to make the pain go away.

Oh, and what follows is GMAC’s “CONFIDENTIAL” memorandum… they labeled it “privileged & confidential,” but anyone want to guess how much I care about that?  Read it and weep… I know I did.

Mandelman out.

Urgent: GMAC Preferred Agents

Privileged & Confidential 9/17/10

Attorney/Client Privilege

Dear GMAC Preferred Agents:

GMAC Mortgage has determined that it may need to take corrective action in connection with some foreclosures in the following states:

Connecticut
Florida
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Nebraska
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
South Dakota
Vermont
Wisconsin

As a result of the above, effective immediately and until further notice, please take the following actions only in the states identified above:

Evictions:

Do not proceed with evictions, cash for keys transactions, or lockouts. All files should be placed on hold, regardless of occupant type.

REO Closings:

Do not proceed with REO sale closings. GMAC Mortgage will communicate instructions to the assigned agent regarding the management of the properties in Pending status. If the contract has already been executed by both parties, the Asset Manager will request an

amendment to extend the closing date by 30 days or as otherwise designated by the Asset Manager. Please provide appropriate notice to the REO purchaser that, pursuant to Section

1 of the GMAC Mortgage Addendum to Standard Purchase Contract, GMAC Mortgage is exercising its sole discretion to extend the Expiration Date of the Agreement by 30 days at this time. If the REO purchaser wishes to cancel the contract, GMAC Mortgage will terminate the Agreement and return the earnest money deposit.

You will receive further instructions regarding the status and handling of these assets from your asset manager. There could be asset level exceptions and you will receive direct communication from GMAC on the handling of those exceptions. Please send any questions or concerns regarding these matters to your asset manager.

Please ensure your staff is aware of these requirements immediately.

GMAC Mortgage

GMAC Mortgage LLC 2711 N. Haskell Ave, Suite 900, Dallas, TX 75204

http://mandelman.ml-implode.com/