An Update on the Foreclosure Mill

Grinding the middle class one family at a time, the foreclosure wheel keeps turning. Did you know Treasury blocked aid to homeowners facing foreclosure?

19 states which are recipients of the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF)—a portion of TARP money set aside to help homeowners in states struggling with the highest unemployment rates and steepest declines in the housing market.

Some of those states, including Ohio, let Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner know as far back as this past spring that they wanted to use some of those funds to assist legal aid groups that help individual homeowners. Seems like a reasonable request—unlike the absurdity of handing over trillions of dollars to robo-signing, foreclosure-mad banks, no questions asked.

Treasury solicited the opinion of an outside law firm, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. Never mind that the firm's clients include BB&T Corporation and payday lender CNG Financial Corp. The firm said, in essence—sorry, no can do on the legal aid. Not permitted under the TARP.

Huh? Hold on a sec—is this the same TARP that granted the Treasury Secretary all those "extraordinary powers" to protect people's home values, preserve home ownership, promote economic growth, etc.?

Senator Sherrod Brown held a hearing and said Mortgage Servicers Akin to Predatory Lenders:

The predatory practices of the mortgage servicing industry are remarkably similar to the predatory practices that led to the subprime crisis.

The biggest mortgage servicers have poorly maintained, lost, or forged documentation. They ignored the interests of homeowners in exchange for outsized profits.

Each day Ohioans are failed by the modification process. Last month, my state had the eighth most foreclosures in the nation – and the most of any state represented on this Committee.

Ohioans interested in merely attempting to modify mortgages often end up owing more principal on their loans or having their credit scores lowered.

Instead of trying to stay in their homes, they are saddled with back payments, penalties, and late fees.

It seems the GAO found 14,000 and 34,000 families in Ohio were unnecessarily forced out of their homes.

This by way of The Big Picture, comes a Time video of Cleveland. A judge had to order banks to take care of properties due to blight:



While all of this is going on, one of the foreclosure robo signers is trying to sue a defense attorney for slander.

Meanwhile Bank of America is resuming foreclosures while stories come out about BoA foreclosing on homes they don't own. In this Russian roulette wheel of home investment, foreclosured homes were 25% of all Q3 2010 sales. 1 in 389 housing units received a foreclosure notice in October 2010.

By way of Naked Capitalism, Representative Marcy Kaptur has introduced a new bill, H.R. 6460. Kaptur is trying to stop these poker chip mortgage foreclosure games via Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems. MERS is the private organization that is a focal point of foreclosure gate.