In this article:
Housing Mortgage and Forclosure
Wide scale fraud against America's homeowners committed by America's five largest banks from 2007-2010 is a matter of public record. The 25 billion dollar settlement between the five largest banks and 49 states attorney generals pretty much provides incontrovertible proof that the banks were engaged in widespread fraud.
This February 2012 report from the San Francisco Assessor-Recorder's office called "Foreclosure in California: A Crisis of Compliance" describes in detail specifically what the banks were caught doing. Read More
If you have time to read the report "Foreclosure in California: A Crisis of Compliance", you'll see that while the California Homeowner Bill of Rights Signed into law last July was a huge step forward, the law is only as good as the people who enforce it, and there are some pretty shady characters involved that must be replaced and perhaps imprisoned before this crisis can be truly ended. Read More
For example check out this story about the LA county Assessor. Read More
Furthermore while the Republicans under George Bush started attacking Fannie Mae as early as April 2001, insisting that they revalue their portfolio and reduce their ratio of lending to holdings, they were actually attacking the mortgage institution with by far the highest standards of underwriting. In the mortgage business Fannie Mae loans are called "conventional loans" because they require things like at least 10% down payment, mortgage insurance and a lower debt to income ratio than all other mortgage types. But the Bush administration focused on Fannie Mae while ignoring the growing number of non-conventional mortgages such as "interest only" loans that Fannie Mae did not allow.
Back in 2004 Fannie Mae was not actually a government run or supported institution. It was created by the congress but entirely backed by private investors. It wasn't until 2007 that the Bush administration forced Fannie Mae to accept government receivership.
If you read the article I've linked and get down to the paragraph that says "They are publicly held" what they mean is their stock is traded on the New Your stock exchange unlike privately held companies such as Trader Joes which does not offer stock. It does not mean they are a publicly held institution like the post office which does not offer stock on the stock exchange.
It was much easier for the Republicans to torpedo the Post Office, since that actually is a government run institution. They did it by sabotaging the pension plan in order to bolster their case that pensions everywhere were "untenable". Read More Read More
Pension reform was the Republican goal all along and it's the reason they created the financial crisis in the first place.
You may remember the mention of Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) as a big issue when George Bush told us that financial systems world wide would collapse if we didn't bail out the banks. The reason MBSs were so important is that most pension funds were very heavily invested in MBS. When the Bush administration forced Fannie Mae to re-valuate their holdings they forced pension funds everywhere to go find new sources of MBSs that were at that time highly rated as very safe investments. The goal of the worlds richest 1% was to put more and more pension funds at risk, causing the crisis in pensions we see today. Read More
One aspect of Mortgage Backed Securities that has proven very destructive to homeowner rights in the foreclosure crisis is that over the years collusion between the banks and county recorders across America have allowed the banks to save billions of dollars in title filing fees and put every homeowners chain-of-title at risk through the use of MERS, the Mortgage Electronic Registry System which allows the your deed of trust to be shared and traded among countless investors, and makes it impossible for homeowners to know who actually hold the deed of trust on their property at any one time.
Because no one knows who actually holds the deed of trust, homeowners are unable to deal directly with the people they need to negotiate with in order to resolve issue on their loan.
Because "trust" companies are no longer to required to record every change in ownership (and pay the fees) as is required by law, county recorders today have far less information about who actually owns each parcel of land in America than the banks do. Bank of America owns Landsafe title which is America's largest title company. While government information on title is held by individual county recorders in thousands of separate counties each with a separate, generally incompatible, mostly paper based system, Landsafe Title holds information on every title it encounters in a single nationwide database. Landsafe can look up historical documents on a property by address, lot number, owners name and other data. Your county recorder cannot.
You can also check out my comments on Ventura County Star.
See Third Party Salience in California 2012 Top Two Vote Getter Politics, by Al Dirrim (March 2012).
See Campaign finance reform poses some serious hurdles for third party candidates., by Al Dirrim (May 2012).