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U.S. Mortgage-Fraud Totally Out Of Control

Articles & Blogs - US Commentary

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Four years after the (first) U.S. housing-bubble burst, the epidemic of U.S. mortgage-fraud continues to intensify. With respect to the U.S. “regulators” who are supposed to prevent such crime, as we all know, those so-called regulators are thoroughly corrupt, and hopelessly brain-dead. Certainly a “Consumer Protection” department within the U.S. financial sector would help to eliminate such fraud – which is why the even more brain-dead Republican Party has vowed to “kill” this entity if negligent U.S. voters are foolish enough to give it control over Congress in the upcoming election.

A flurry of news items demonstrates that this epidemic has gotten so out of control that Wall Street banks are literally acting like there are no laws, at all. Shortly after a preliminary report that Ally Financial (the “mortgage unit” of GMAC) had suspended foreclosures in 23 U.S. states due to defective/fraudulent foreclosure procedures, two other news items emerged on this fraud-factory.

First there was the report that Ally had been previously sanctioned in 2006 for exactly the same defective/fraudulent mortgage procedures. It doesn’t take a suspicious mind to conclude that Ally never stopped those fraudulent practices. This conclusion is reinforced by another news item from the same day: that Ally had secretly warned Freddie Mac weeks earlier of its fraudulent/defective practices.

Specifically, Ally (and other U.S. fraud –factories like JP Morgan) have been foreclosing on properties without determining if they even hold legal title to these properties. There is a simpler term for this practice: Wall Street banks are using the foreclosure process to steal homes which don’t belong to them.

Also published on the same day was a report that Bank of America was trying to steal homes that didn’t belong to it, either. One anecdote reported that BoA tried to foreclose on a Florida property which did not have any mortgage (i.e. title was held free-and-clear by the homeowner).

Another anecdote announced that BoA had done the same thing to a Texas homeowner who also held clear title. BoA even had the power cut-off to this property (while the homeowner was away), and when the homeowner returned to his home, he was greeted by the stench of 70 pounds of fish rotting in his freezer.

A third anecdote stated that BoA had attempted to foreclose on a Pennsylvania home – even though the homeowner was completely up-to-date on payments. To bully the homeowner further, BoA not only shut-off all her utilities, but also stole her pet parrot. There was no information as to whether BoA had requested “ransom” for the parrot…

One day later, an article in the Miami Herald provided some aggregate data, for those interested in “the big picture”. U.S. mortgage-fraud resulted in more than $1 trillion in losses just between 2005 and 2007. To put that gigantic number into perspective, it exceeds the GDP of most of the world’s nations. Given that reported cases of U.S. mortgage-fraud are still increasing every year, obviously the losses on U.S. mortgage-fraud since 2007 would have greatly exceeded that previous (astronomical) number.

What was the response of the U.S. government to this unprecedented, white-collar crime-wave? The Bush regime got rid of most of the law enforcement officials who are supposed to investigate such crimes.

The result of this Republican favor for its Wall Street masters? There have been only 40% as many convictions of this white-collar fraud as during Wall Street’s last crime-wave in the 1980’s and 1990’s – despite the fact that this crime-wave is (much) more than ten times larger. In other words, a white-collar criminal committing mortgage-fraud today is less than 5% as likely to be imprisoned for his crimes compared to 15-20 years earlier.

A U.S. risk-mitigation firm which “does extensive mortgage fraud research” concluded that 70% of U.S. homes currently in foreclosure involve (at least) one act of fraud. Put another way, 70% of the Americans who are losing their homes have been cheated out of them in one way or another. Even the Mafia can’t boast of an “efficiency rating” like that.

What makes this tragedy even more despicable is that every U.S. jurisdiction has “statutes of limitation” which provide a very narrow “window” in which to prosecute these crimes. Florida, like many other U.S. states, has a limitation-period of just three years. With more than 500,000 foreclosures clogging the court system of just that one state, the back-log of files is obviously more than three years long – meaning that by the time an investigator first looks at an act of mortgage-fraud, it’s usually already too late to prosecute the criminal banker(s) involved.

Essentially, the banksters can engage in virtually any sort of criminal behavior short of murder, in order to steal the homes of Americans, with little chance of ever being prosecuted. Thankfully, these banksters can’t order “hits” on these homeowners, because there is no “limitation period” on the crime of murder. Meanwhile, all the Republicans can talk about in their election platform is the need to protect the bankers from the “interference of government”.

Generally speaking, I consider both halves of the U.S. “two-party dictatorship” as being equally corrupt and contemptuous toward the American people. However, in one area there is actually a difference between the two parties: the Democrats want to reduce mortgage-fraud, while the Republicans have vowed to do everything in their power to assist U.S. bankers in stealing the homes of Americans.

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samix
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written by samix, September 29, 2010
Hey,

Mind conditioning is what I call this article, robbers should just take a cue from these guys and condition their victims to just hand over their stuff to them, after all its just a default... ouch!

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/default-is-in-our-stars/?src=twt&twt=NytimesKrugman
dlmaniac
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written by dlmaniac, September 29, 2010
I think mathnerd has a pretty good point. Is FDIC really a good idea? Government on one hand tells the savers that their money is guaranteed b/c they watch out for them and then on the other they pass insane regulation like Community Reinvestment Act that demands banks to make risky loans to people who may not afford their mortgage and thus put savers at risk. The end result is a disaster as we have seen since Fall 2008.

Were there no FDIC we would not simply deposit our money in a bank and walk away thinking it's safe. We'd ask "Hey what do you bankers do with these deposits? Why should I trust you? Why is it better to put my money in your bank than stashing it inside my mattress?" If I don't get satisfactory answers I'd walk away really stashing the money inside my mattress instead. That kinda prudence would be a natural form of discipline imposed on these bankers who would then know better not to go too crazy with savers' money or they'd risk a bank-run and collapse.

See bank-run is not really that bad a thing. It keeps these bankers in check. Removing such factor and putting in some incompetent regulators instead actually make the risk grow that much bigger than would otherwise, and collapse the whole system when the mega-risk blows up.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, September 28, 2010
Mathnerd, I certainly understand your point. However, in our ERA of 10:1 leverage on bank balance-sheets (and much higher for the banksters), "deposit guarantees" are a permanent fixture of our societies - as without them these gamblers-masquerading-as-bankers would have managed to frighten their depositors into a "run" on these banks' reserves on countless occasions.

Eliminating such guarantees, while they might have a beneficial effect, aren't the answer. Essentially, you're trying to use them as a device to prevent the "too big to fail" issue from coming up. That would be a cop-out for our so-called regulators.

For many decades, our governments have ALREADY HAD legislative mandates to PREVENT oligopolies/monopolies from coming into existence. They have TOTALLY FAILED to perform that duty.

Nothing can save us from these parasitic corporate behemoths, if governments continue to be traitorous shills for large corporations. In fact, ending deposit guarantees would almost certainly lead to MUCH, MUCH more concentration in the U.S. financial sector - as Wall Street uses the $TRILLIONS it blackmailed from the U.S. government to cannibalize EVEN MORE of the small fish.
mathnerd
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written by mathnerd, September 28, 2010
This is why I think the FDIC should be disbanded.

I'm Canadian, so I'm not familiar with the precise mandate of the FDIC. But if you removed the institution guaranteeing depositors' money, those depositors would tend to move to the banks that are more careful with their money. An organization analogous to the BBB would spring up to inform banking customers (assuming it could stay neutral).

For this to work, though, you'd have to have a lot of banks and no bank that holds a lot of the market share. Ofcourse I'm familiar with some of them - GS, BS, JPM, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - but I don't know big they are.

For contrast, Canada has 5 major banks (BMO, CIBC, TD, RBC, and Scotiabank) that combine for something like 95 - 98 % of the total financial market. Since those 5 cater to similar clients and are close enough to the same size (RBC is at most twice as large as Scotiabank by total assets) you can treat the Canadian banking industry as an oligopoly (in that case a government institution like the CDIC may well be beneficial).

Do you guys think getting rid of the FDIC would help the situation?
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, September 28, 2010
What drives me crazy about these "one-eyed", gold-bubble morons is that you NEVER heard any of them saying that all the "we buy gold" vultures descending on the market was a "contrarian buy signal". However, the moment more players appear on the "sell" side, we get this "sell signal" nonsense.

For some STRANGE reason, the "logic" these "analysts" employ always ONLY works in ONE direction in the gold market.

Naturally, the bubble-bleating is only going to get louder and louder. Just imagine how loud it will be when we get to the point where gold represents 2% of the average portfolio, instead of only around 1% like today..
samix
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written by samix, September 28, 2010
Hey Jeff,

On a lighter note, some comic relief from wsg blogs

Some comic relief from WSG blogs...

http://blogs.wsj.com/marketbeat/2010/09/28/gold-vending-machines-why-we-think-its-a-sell-signal

Look how shamelessly he admits that it is possible that some people reading the blog may have stopped midway buying gold before it rallied to where it is today, but but, its a bubble, you are safe in our hands!

Regards.
Fischer
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written by asfhgwt3, September 28, 2010
Yes, probably fraud fatigue. Most informed folks already know that the banksters are criminals. I say it to people every day.... I agree that we have a two-party dictatorship, but if the D.C. Dems really are trying to reduce mortgage fraud, my guess is that it's only because that serves their true motive-- i.e., appearing to be consumer advocates so as to garner votes.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, September 28, 2010
It's really a shame that more readers aren't interested in the content here. Perhaps it's "fraud fatigue" from hearing about the crimes of U.S. bankers day after day?

Certainly Americans do NOT have the luxury of simply "tuning out" this bad news - especially when U.S. bankers become MORE CRIMINAL by the day.

Worse still, it appears the U.S. government is now DIRECTLY INTERFERING in the court process - to get foreclosures "rubber-stamped" for their bankster masters.

Readers MUST look at this post on our bulletin board: http://www.bullionbullscanada....=1641#1641

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