robo-signing scandal

As Foreclosures Rise, Consumer Spending Will Fall

Foreclosure activity picked up by 4% in June, and economic problems which include unemployment and falling homes prices will drive it relentlessly higher. That's bad news for homeowners, but the ripple effect from foreclosures goes beyond their immediate problems, and it will get much worse.

What's Really Wrong With Letting Banks Pay Big Dividends

The Federal Reserve is finally admitting that not all the big banks are healthy: Bank of America won't get to pay increased dividends. But none of those financial giants should be allowed to, and a logical look at the reasons they say they want to dole out the cash makes it totally clear why.

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?

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?

When Banks Outsource Foreclosures, Nothing Good Happens

A Louisiana bankruptcy case involving a single foreclosure best illustrates the problems with the banks' outsourcing their mortgage default work to firms like LPS. The result of this money-saving maneuver by banks winds up costing everyone else dearly.

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.

N.J. Appeals Court Blocks Foreclosure Over Bad Docs

A New Jersey court has invalidated a foreclosure by insisting on a basic concept of due process -- that the bank must authenticate the documents it uses to make its case. But in the case of Wells Fargo v. Sandra A. Ford, there are more issues than just who owns the mortgage. She has fraud claims that go back to the very beginning.

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.

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.

Why a New York Judge Is Throwing Out Foreclosure Cases

On Oct. 20, New York courts ordered attorneys for foreclosing banks to swear they'd personally confirmed that their documents are true and accurate. But a Brooklyn judge has taken things a step further. Since the banks aren't complying, he has started throwing out foreclosure cases.

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 ...

The Big, Continuing Stories That Could Derail 2011

Major news stories ebb and flow, rising to the headlines and then slipping out of the spotlight. But even as they fade from attention, keep an eye on this handful of long-term issues with the potential to disrupt the U.S. economy and global recovery.

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.

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 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.

Where the Foreclosure Mess Is Even More Perilous

In California, Texas and 25 other states, the robo-signing scandal and foreclosure debacle are even more dangerous because the lender doesn't have to go to court to foreclose. Except in rare instances, lenders can use fraudulent paperwork with impunity in those states.

Forget Managing Modifications. BofA Doesn't Have the Staff for Banking

A lack of staff in the face of overwhelming volume is the excuse banks give for turning to robo-signers to speed foreclosures, and for their inability to manage the the mortgage modification process. Now, a class action against BofA raises questions about its core business as well.