MERS

Foreclosure Mess Settlement Proposal Is No Fix at All

State attorneys general and federal regulators are rushing to settle the robo-signing foreclosure mess created by the banks and get the real estate market back on its feet. But their proposals don't fully address the one of the fundamental problems of the crisis: Who really owns all those homes?

False Deeds in Md.: More Foreclosure Fraud Emerges

As if we needed more proof of the outlaw actions of banks and their agents, The Baltimore Sun reports that 1,000 or more Maryland deeds are likely forgeries created by a foreclosure mill. If the accusation is true, the false deeds will create a nightmare for the innocent people who bought the homes.

The Mortgage Mess Settlement Proposal: Off to an Awful Start

A partial settlement plan has been constructed by a group of state attorneys general and federal regulators. In theory, it addresses banks' flawed mortgage servicing, modification and foreclosure practices. In reality, it just lets the banks off the hook.

HSBC's Foreclosure 'Moratorium' Has Big Holes in it

HSBC announced late last month that it had put all of its U.S. foreclosures on hold to review their documents -- back in December. So why are its lawyers still pushing cases ahead? HSBC also says it doesn't robo-sign. So why does its annual report mention foreclosure document problems that sound so much like those caused by robo-signing?

Why Countrywide's Fraudster-in-Chief Isn't Going to Prison

Angelo Mozilo, the former head of Countrywide Financial, isn't going to jail. In fact, he won't even face a trial. Wondering how the most convictable CEO among the titans who brought down the financial system is getting off so easy? The answer lies in the revolving door between Wall Street and its "regulators."

Another Way Banks Make Everyone Pay: The MERS Mess

The Mortgage Electronic Registration System was created by banks to save themselves a boatload in fees by keeping mortgage transfers off the books of local governments. Now, a New York judge says the whole system violates state law, and banks holding MERS mortgages there can't foreclose. So where will this chaotic mess go from here?

Big Banks to New Jersey: Stop Bugging Us About Foreclosures

When New Jersey tightened its foreclosure rules in response to the false document crisis, it ordered the six largest servicers to explain why they should be allowed to continue foreclosing on homes. Their response: 'Trust us, everything's fine now.' If you think there's irony in that assertion, read on ...

Judge Rejects Wells Fargo Foreclosure Documents Again

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Martin Glenn denied Wells Fargo's request for permission to foreclose on Tandala Mims's house in the Bronx for a second time on Thursday because he still wasn't satisfied that Wells -- as opposed to some other bank -- had the right to do so.

Foreclosure Fiasco: Who Owns This Mortgage?

Most people raising the issue of false mortgage documents are homeowners facing foreclosure. And in general, the banks' responses are that the paperwork issues are mere technicalities -- nothing to be concerned about. Then you find a case like that of like Wells Fargo's attempt to foreclose on Tandala Mims of New York.

The Database That's Clouding Millions of Titles

The mortgage industry has created a system meant to simplify the handling of loan documents. Instead, it's legally shaky, makes tracking mortgage-note ownership extremely hard and may be throw into doubt who actually controls the title of properties throughout the country.

The New Bank Stress Tests Show Just How Serious the Mortgage Mess Is

This week, the Congressional Oversight Panel recommended that the nation's big banks be stress tested again, because if problems with mortgage-backed securities are widespread, the consequences could be dire. Now, the Fed has agreed to run those tests, which it wouldn't do if it wasn't worried.

Inside a Florida Robo-Signing Document Assembly Line

Depositions by three employees of Nationwide Title Clearing describe a factory-like process that's awful to look at. But Nationwide defends the system as being benign as sausage-making -- and that it's standard industry practice. Still, much of it defies common sense, at least.

The Consequences of the Foreclosure Crisis

Even as the impact of the ongoing foreclosure crisis slowly unfolds, it's not too early to tote up a list of 10 potentially important developments that have already happened. None bodes well for the U.S. housing market, banks or economy.

Did Lawyers Commit Fraud in the Foreclosure Fiasco?

The so-called robo-signers at banks who signed thousands of foreclosure-related documents without reading them were lying under oath. But even worse were the robo-signing lawyers and their colleagues: They absolutely knew they were committing frauds that could get them disbarred.

Foreclosure Mess Puts Freeze on Housing Market

A massive loss of confidence in the foundations of property rights and rule of law has occurred. And this loss is having a devastating impact on the housing market, effectively locking up all those foreclosed homes that need to be sold. How can the economy heal while this goes on?