foreclosure fraud

Mortgage Relief Scams Still Going Strong

More than five years have passed since the mortgage bubble began to pop, and scammers taking advantage of homeowners still abound. In fact, the criminals and their techniques have become increasingly sophisticated.

Bank of America Earnings Shrink Due to Mortgage Settlements

Bank of America says its fourth-quarter earnings shrank as it cleaned up old problems from its mortgage unit, settling one case with Fannie Mae and another with the government. But the modestly positive results still beat the expectations of analysts.

10 Top Banks Agree to Pay $8.5 Billion for Foreclosure Abuses

Ten major banks and mortgage companies have agreed to pay $8.5 billion to settle complaints that they wrongfully foreclosed on homeowners. Under the settlement, people who were wrongfully foreclosed on could receive from a few hundred dollars up to $125,000.

Payments for Bad Foreclosures Are No Undeserved Windfall

Since the housing crash, millions of Americans have lost their homes, many of them victims of improper foreclosures. Now, those unfairly evicted homeowners can get cash payments in compensation. But don't be concerned that they're getting more than they deserve.

The 5 Bank Stocks Facing the Biggest Legal Risks

Aftershocks from the financial crisis are still hitting U.S. banks: They're getting sued over everything from bonds stuffed with fraudulent home loans to improper foreclosures to credit card fees. Here are the five banks with the most to lose from those lawsuits.

States, Feds to Announce Mortgage Settlement

U.S. states have reached a $25 billion deal with the nation's biggest mortgage lenders over foreclosure abuses that occurred after the housing bubble burst. Federal and state officials announced the deal Thursday. It is the biggest settlement involving a single industry since a 1998 multistate tobacco deal.

$25B Nationwide Mortgage Deal Goes to States

The nation's five largest mortgage lenders have agreed to overhaul their industry after deceptive foreclosure practices drove homeowners out of their homes, government officials said Monday. A draft settlement between the banks and U.S. states has been sent to state officials for review.

Don't Ask, Just Cram: Let Judges Modify Mortgages Again

Regulators want the nation's big banks to reduce what borrowers owe on underwater mortgages, but they're still focused on solutions that rely on banks to voluntarily do the right thing. But we've already seen that won't work, and history shows what will -- giving bankruptcy judges back the right to cram down mortgages.

Why You Should Double-Check the Math on Your Mortgage

Attention homeowners with mortgages, whether you're current or in default: Double-check your mortgage bank's math. As recent court testimony explains, there's a real chance that the bank is wrong about how much you owe them, particularly if you're behind on your payments.

Why Is the Fed Letting Big Banks Boost Dividends?

The Fed's decision to allow big banks to pay sharply higher dividends makes no sense, and not just because the results of the so-called "stress tests" are secret. Based on facts that are public knowledge, the banks are actually insolvent, and in danger of sinking much further.

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?

Decoding the GOP Argument Against Punishing Banks

Almost as soon as regulators proposed a settlement for the mortgage mess that would require banks to obey the law, the banks' Republican allies began trying to weaken it through obfuscation and confusion. Read on for some plain English translations of their arguments against the settlement.

Citigroup: The Most-Shorted Stock in America

Citigroup is the most-shorted stock on any major U.S. exchange. Its position at the top of the pack is due to the bank's stock price and ongoing concern about its balance sheets and mortgage foreclosure practices.

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.

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?

Will Florida Finally Punish Banks and Lawyers for Foreclosure Document Fraud?

Foreclosures nationwide have exposed a swamp of fraudulent documents, but in many parts of Florida, courts have been letting banks ignore the law with impunity. Now, moves by Florida's Supreme Court and its state bar association may finally start cleaning up the fraud there by holding banks -- and lawyers -- accountable.

Why the Supreme Court Should Review Hawaii's Foreclosures

Among the state systems governing foreclosure, Hawaii has a particularly fraud-riddled, draconian process. Suzanne Bonds was unbelievably exploited by the state's foreclosure process in 2004, but Hawaii's courts refused to help. Now, her attorneys have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.

Court Gives Hope to Homeowners Lied to by Banks

A California appeals court has ruled that U.S. Bank conned Claudia Aceves out of her home by tricking her into giving up her bankruptcy protections. Now she can sue the bank for damages and fraud, and conceivably, so could other homeowners in similar situations.

Lawyers' Carelessness Was Key to the Mortgage Mess

As multiple lawsuits and SEC actions progress in relation to the nation's mortgage mess, it's becoming clear that the misbehaviors of the lawyers involved at all stages were not isolated incidents: The misconduct was systemic, and it's time to start holding those lawyers accountable.

Foreclosure Mess Drives Notaries to Take the Fifth

Yet another problem has begun surfacing in the documents banks have been using to foreclose on homes: false notarizations. Notaries have been attesting legally to signatures they didn't witness, sometimes by people who didn't actually sign, and it's adding to the tangled mess of ownership confusion.

Q&A With a Defender of Florida's 'Rocket Docket' Foreclosures

Lee County, Florida has become infamous for speeding foreclosure cases through its courts. The super-charged system -- or "rocket docket" -- can dispense with a foreclosure case in minutes, sometimes mere seconds. DailyFinance spoke with the Lee County Clerk who says the "rocket docket" was his idea.

The Mortgage Mess: Blame Banks, Not Homeowners

After an exhaustive examination, DailyFinance's legal reporter comes to a clear verdict: Banks are responsible for 90% of the problem, homeowners 10%. Banks have done three things to create the massive glut of foreclosures choking America's legal systems and laying waste to its real estate markets.