mortgage defaults

Why Paperwork Matters: Consider This Mortgage Mess

A U.S. bankruptcy court judge in New York wants officials from HSBC and Litton Loan Servicing to appear in her courtroom next month -- to explain their failure to provide adequate documentation concerning how HSBC wound up claiming to hold a mortgage that's involved in a bankruptcy case.

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.

Borrowing Trouble at Microlender Prosper.com

Peer-to-peer lending site Prosper.com has stopped letting high-risk borrowers use its site because too many of them failed to repay their loans. The site's problem, says columnist and one-time lender Alex Salkever, is that Prosper got in the way of letting a social bond form between microborrower and microlender.

Allstate Sues Bank of America Over Toxic Securities

Allstate is suing Bank of America and its Countrywide Financial division over Countrywide's sale of $700 million in mortgage-backed securities to the insurance giant, alleging that Countrywide knew in advance that the assets would drop in value because of a high percentage of defaults.

The Foreclosure Mess: Florida Judges Can Do Better

Many judges in several states are emerging as defenders of due process and the rule of law when confronted with the banks' rampant disregard for the law in pursuing foreclosures with false paperwork. Alas, that's not so true in Florida, where a foreclosure can be heard in seconds.

Why New York Foreclosures Are Grinding to a Halt

On Oct. 20, the state's chief judge ended robo-signing by requiring a special affirmation from the banks' attorneys. The now must swear that they know the banks' documents are true because they checked the paperwork. The result: nearly empty courtrooms statewide.

A Winning Streak Goes Bust: Ghost Towns of Las Vegas [VIDEO]

Las Vegas has always been a place of dreams, promising that pennies could turn into fortunes, cities could rise from the desert, and property values could rise eternally. But you can also lose your shirt there, and the real estate crash has hit Sin City harder than anyplace else in the country.

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.

Six Reasons Why Goldman Is Wrong on a Banking Recovery

On Thursday night, venture capitalist and DailyFinance columnist Peter Cohan went on CNBC's "The Kudlow Report" to debate whether the banking industry is at the start of a period of recovery, as Goldman Sachs claimed this week. Here's why he argued that Goldman was dead wrong.

Mortgage Delinquencies Fall in the Third Quarter

A smaller percentage of mortgage holders were delinquent on their payments in the third quarter than in the second quarter, although the percentage of delinquencies remains up from the same period last year.

The Foreclosure Mess Is Potentially Devastating

The Congressional Oversight Panel created in the wake of TARP to oversee and monitor the Treasury Department has issued a devastatingly clear report about the mortgage mess and its legal implications, which are ugly.

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.

Little Sympathy for 'Besieged' Mortgage Bankers

In a compassionate Bloomberg profile of Barbara Desoer, the president of Bank of America's home loan unit, both the headline and the article call her "beseiged." But here's who's really beseiged: All those homeowners who are getting a raw deal from the banks.

Mortgage Lenders May Meet With Foreclosure Task Force Today

A government task force investigating the foreclosure crisis may meet with mortgage lenders as soon as today, Bloomberg News reported. Attorneys general in all 50 states are investigating claims that lenders used flawed paperwork to foreclose on hundreds of thousands of homes.

What's the New York State of Mind for Foreclosures Now?

Now that N.Y. Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman has considerably tightened the state's foreclosure rules, his effort to eliminate robo-signing has greatly raised the stakes for the banks' attorneys. But what will the practical impacts be?

Wells Fargo Earnings Buck the Banking Trend

Wells Fargo reported net income rose 3% to a record $3.34 billion in the third quarter, thanks to its merger with Wachovia, the bank said. Also, improving credit conditions managed to offset a 7% fall in revenue.

How Much Will Foreclosures Hurt Big Banks?

The current mortgage crisis could hurt bank earnings in several ways, not all of them directly related to the foreclosure problem. One big risk is "putbacks," the faulty loans banks could be forced to repurchase. JPMorgan puts that cost at up to $120 billion.

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.

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?

Attorneys General May Launch Foreclosure Investigation

Attorneys general in dozens of states plan to launch a joint probe into charges that banks used bogus paperwork to evict borrowers from their homes. The investigation will go after charges that lenders including GMAC, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) forged documents and faked social security numbers in order to foreclose on homes, The New York Post said.

Robo-Signing: California Dems Call for Federal Probe

The state's entire House Democratic delegation has asked the Justice Department, the Fed and Controller of the Currency to investigate the widespread -- and growing -- problem of banks presenting faulty documents in foreclosure cases.

Robo-Signing: Looks Like Citi and Wells Fargo Do It, Too

Several big banks have admitted that their employees routinely sign scads of foreclosure documents without verifying their information. Wells Fargo and CitiMortgage have denied engaging in similar practices. Yet new evidence shows they do.

Flawed Incentives Were the Rot Behind the Mortgage Crisis

The mortgage-backed securities meltdown whose effects still haunt our economy sprang from a simple cause: The rules of the game gave big incentives to every player involved to ignore the problems and keep collecting their fees. And despite financial reform, those rules haven't changed much.