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December 15, 2014

IS THIS THE AMERICA WE WANT?

Last week, the week of December 12th, while most Americans were getting ready for the Christmas holidays, Congress was in session.   While parents stood in line at Toys R Us, buying their children toys from their wish list, congress voted in their last congressional bill of the year essentially freeing the banks, once again, from any significant regulation.  In essence, they completely undermined the Dodd-Frank Regulation.  In addition, if WallStreet fails in this latest gamble, we will bail them out once again with our tax dollars. (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/12/crominbus-passes-but-no-one-wins.html) Our Congress has essentially given over our rights to corporate rule while we decorated our Christmas trees with garlands and candy canes…and our children dream of what Santa will be bringing them….well, some of us did, anyway.

Thousands of Americans have already lost their homes without due process of law.  They have been out-financed and out-maneuvered without ever truly knowing how to fight back.  Families didn’t see it coming.  They were removed from their homes with no concern for where they would go from there, or what time of year it was or how cold the weather was outside.  All of this is happening in spite of the litany of lawsuits and studies outlining the fact that mortgage fraud has been the result of insider investors and market manipulations. (http://wearenotdeadbeats.com/1973.html)

Many of the Congressional members who voted have already been voted out of office, and this vote was their last flip of the finger to their constituency….unless their constituency consisted of only corporations. 

The American families have been sold out once again.   So many of us stand in pride as we salute our flag and remember our well-taught rich history of being the guardians of justice.  Have we now become the purveyors of the oligarchy?  Have we become the very thing our ancestors sought to flee? 

 Make no mistake, there are serious laws that have been broken with regarding to our property rights.  Yet in spite of these laws and in spite of the plethora of documented wrong-doing homeowners are still being victimized.

The Wrongful Foreclosure Review which reviewed foreclosures from 2009-2010 found extensive violations and paid out millions in penalties to wronged borrowers. (http://www.thenation.com/article/173749/foreclosure-review-report-shows-occ-continues-bury-wall-streets-bodies)  Yet when asked by Senators if they would outline the lender wrong-doing to the borrowers who were wronged, the review board was tactically evasive. 

     “Sen. Warren: All right. Now, if a family wants to bring a lawsuit, you’re both lawyers, would it be helpful, if you’re going against one of these big banks, would it be helpful for these families to have the information about their case that’s in your files. Mr. Ashton?

     Mr. Ashton, Fed:
It would be helpful, obviously, to have information related to the injury, yes it would.

     Sen. Warren:
Okay. So, do you plan to give the families this information? That is, those families that have been victims of illegal foreclosures, will you be giving them the information that’s in your possession about how the banks illegally foreclosed against them? Mr. Ashton?

     Mr. Ashton, Fed: I think that’s a decision that we’re still considering. We haven’t made a final decision yet.

     Sen. Warren: So you have made a decision to protect the banks, but not a decision to tell the families who were illegally foreclosed against?”  

(http://www.correntewire.com/full_transcript_of_41113_senate_independent_foreclosure_review_hearing)

Is this the America we want? 

Is this the America we have raised our children to be proud to defend?  

Many families have not yet been touched by the specter of mortgage fraud and would still prefer to believe the propaganda of the ‘deadbeat’ homebuyer than review the multitude of evidence that tells us otherwise.  They feel protected not to probe further, but by turning a blind eye the WallStreet Lenders continue to run amok with no regulations and no oversight, and with the recent passage of this recent bill allowing a provision rolling back Dodd-Frank that would allow major banks to carry out certain risky derivatives trades through funds insured by the FDIC.  

Understand this….WallStreet HAS TO CHEAT to win.  Our Congress knows this, and they still passed this bill allowing further deregulation.

The FCIC (Financial Crisis Inquiry Committee) issues it’s final review to Congress in February 2011.  It is available here: http://fcic.law.stanford.edu/ The report cites the growth of derivatives as one of the factors leading to the financial crisis, yet congress has once again loosened regulations on these problem derivatives setting us up once again for a major crash.

“While visions of sugar plums dance in their heads.”   

Homelessness is higher than it has ever been in our country as investment firms buy up foreclosed homes for their investors by the thousands.  The same firms that helped to bring us the financial crisis our now packaging and selling the product of their previous fraud as investments to foreign and domestic investors, once again, unsuspecting of the corruption in the products they are buying.   Adam J. Levintin from Georgetown University, gave written testimony before the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, on November 18, 2010.  In that report he stated the following:  

           “The servicing problems stem from servicers’ failed business model. Servicers are primarily in the transaction processing business and are failing miserably at trying to adapt themselves to the loan modification business. Servicers’ business model also encourages them to cut costs wherever possible, even if this involves cutting corners on legal requirements, and to lard on junk fees and in-sourced expenses at inflated prices.

            The financial incentives of mortgage servicers also encourage them to foreclose, rather than modify loans in many cases, even when modification would maximize the net present value of the loan for investors.   The chain of title problems are highly technical, but they pose a potential systemic risk to the US economy. If mortgages were not properly transferred in the securitization process, then mortgage-backed securities would in fact not be backed by any mortgages whatsoever.

            The chain of title concerns stem from transactions that make assumptions about the resolution of unsettled law. If those legal issues are resolved differently, then there would be a failure of the transfer of mortgages into securitization trusts, which would cloud title to nearly every property in the United States and would create contract rescission/putback liabilities in the trillions of dollars, greatly exceeding the capital of the US’s major financial institutions.   These problems are very serious. At best they present problems of fraud on the court, clouded title to properties coming out of foreclosure, and delay in foreclosures that will increase the shadow housing inventory and drive down home prices. At worst, they represent a systemic risk that would bring the US financial system back to the dark days of the fall of 2008.  

             Congress would do well to ensure that federal regulators are undertaking a thorough investigation of foreclosure problems and to consider the possibilities for a global settlement of foreclosure problems, loan modifications, and the housing debt overhang on consumers and financial institutions that stagnate the economy and pose potential systemic risk.”  

His report is available here: (http://financialservices.house.gov/media/file/hearings/111/levitin111810.pdf

While our congressional leaders ignore their own commissioned reports and our oversite regulators turn a blind eye to the fraud, thousands, if not millions, of American families suffer the consequences, yet corporations have seen their best profits ever.  

Invitation Homes is an investment firm that owns over 45,000 rental homes throughout the nation.  They buy up blocks of foreclosed homes, sometimes 1400 at a time and rent them out.  Invitation homes is the brainchild of Blackstone Funding.  Blackstone Funding, a foreign investment firm, is also the major backer of PennyMac.  For those who do not know, PennyMac is a corporation opened up by the same executives that helped crash our economy via Countrywide.

(http://www.newsweek.com/child-homelessness-us-reaches-historic-high-report-says-285052

 While many of us were walking the malls, or perusing our local stores in search of the perfect ‘white elephant’ gift, many children have no where to lay their head this year, let alone put up their Christmas tree.  While executives who helped to crash our economy plan their next new dice roll of our American Tax dollars, congress was aiding them by voting to slash regulations for WallStreet bankers, they also decided to cut funding to help prevent homelessness by $300 million.  This is what happens when there are NO PROSECUTIONS….they just do it again.  Oh….and they gave corporations permission to cut pension funds….I wonder if that means the corporations will cut executive pay and bonuses, also.  Nah, I kind of doubt that.

(http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/12/10/3601742/cromnibus-lowlights/)  

The bill cuts $300 million from Pell Grants for low-income college students and gives it to student loan debt collectors.   

The bill also opens up the prospect of unlimited campaign contributions by private individuals and corporations.

From President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:  “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”  

We were taught to memorize President Lincoln’s speech in the 3rd grade.  I helped my grandson memorize this speech just recently.  I cried.  This is not the America I see before me now.  

Is this new America the America we want?

I cannot help but wonder how the Nazi’s began to remove the Jewish people and their supporters from their homes.  What pretense did they use when it began?  What lie did their neighbors tell themselves as they saw their neighbors removed and relocated to the projects?    It won’t happen to me? 

 The people who removed these people from their homes were their neighbors, their friends.  The people who put human beings to death had calloused themselves to their evil deeds, they justified it as “following orders” ignoring the suffering and human plight. 

But that could not happen to us, right?  So what do the sheriff’s tell them selves when they remove victimized families from their homes?  How does a man say he was just “doing his job” when he chokes a man to death?  How do the lawyers justify it to themselves as they utter false documentation into the court?  What do the Judges tell themselves when they silence the cries for justice and deny due process?  And what do our Congressional leaders tell themselves when they vote to allow the continued plunder of our land and our people?   I’m not a Jew?  I’m not in a Union?  I’m not a rebel?  I am not Black? I am not Hispanic?  I am not Gay?  I’m not a deadbeat? 

It won’t happen to me? 

As long as I have secured a future for me and my family it doesn’t matter?

       First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.          
       Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist.          
       Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.          
       Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Written by Martin Niemoller, a protestant pastor, during the Holocaust.

Here in Los Angeles we have the Museum of Tolerance, dedicated to educate and enlighten mankind to understand that to avoid the harm caused by the holocaust it is crucial that we make this world a better place.  The Museum is dedicated to the education of mankind in the hopes that we will learn from history so as not to repeat it.  Yet from where I sit…I see history about to repeat itself, only this time the United States will be the villain.  

When did our Congress cease to represent the people? 

Will we allow it? 

We have to take a stand and say NEVER AGAIN.  Never again!  

Please call your congressional leaders and let them know they need to represent ALL the people!  No more corporate bailouts, and no more lack of regulations for the TBTF Lenders.

 http://www.house.gov/ 

 http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

December 6, 2014

We're Ba....ack...

For any of you who missed us....we were down and out for a couple of months, but we're back now with a new more relative website name.  Elainegalindo.com is now WeAreNotDeadbeats.com!!

So for all of you out there fighting the fight for your reputation of not being the 'deadbeat' in this fraudulent WallStreet free-for-all, we are your source of information.

Look on the right of this page, choose the chapter on Mortgage Fraud News Today and get our list of settlements and research outlining the fact that the homeowners were not to blame for this fiasco.  Let me repeat that for the Foreclosure attorneys, and Servicers and their pretender lenders who peek in here:  THE HOMEOWNERS WERE NOT TO BLAME FOR THIS FIASCO!!

Anyone interested can read the story of our 8 year dilemma here:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/58434390/We-Are-Not-Deadbeats

August 28, 2014

LET THE PROSECUTIONS BEGIN!

               (BUT WHERE SHOULD WE START?)

Who could forget the author of the subprime meltdown, labeled one of the 25 executives most responsible for the Financial Crisis?[1]  Who could forget that tan?

[1]http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1877351_1877350_1877339,00.html

It seems that Angelo Mozilo is re-emerging as a person of interest with regard to mortgage fraud.  Could it be that the masses are looking for a sacrifice?  After the latest Bank of America settlement of almost 17 billion dollars over admitted mortgage fraud, people are demanding some serious prosecutions.   

Let’s face it, as sacrifices go, Angelo (hereafter, Angie-baby) Mozilo is a good candidate.  He is over 70 years old, has had a good life, is worth millions (if not billions) of dollars and has already, more than likely, invested a good deal of it in off-shore accounts or in family trusts.

Let’s not forget that his sons are making a good living cashing in on the foreclosure crisis.  Mark Mozilo runs a company called CalCap Advisors, a real estate advisor firm who buys and sells distressed and foreclosed mortgages to investors.[1]

[1] http://www.calcapadvisors.com/principals.htm

From the Bloomberg report of August 21, 2014 “The last-ditch effort comes three years after the Justice Department abandoned a criminal probe of Mozilo. In 2012, public anger over the lack of prosecutions stemming from the financial crisis spurred the Obama administration to create a team devoted to investigating fraud in mortgage-backed securities. The group has wrestled at least $20 billion from Wall Street banks using a law with a relatively low threshold for suing and a long period to bring cases.”[4]

[4] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-20/countrywide-s-mozilo-said-to-face-u-s-suit-over-loans.html

How many homeowners have made the trek down to their local sheriff’s department to report the fraud only to be turned away with the currently immortalized phrase:  “That is a civil matter.”   For those of us on the homeowner front we have come to realize the rule of law does not apply for us.  The fury of the American people has been simmering for quite sometime…and in Los Angeles, at least, Law Enforcement feels that the time is ripe for a prosecution.

And not a prosecution of the homeowners this time...but let's prosecute the real villains, those who knowingly committed or covered-up the fraud.

Relying on the same anti-fraud law, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act, the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles is preparing to sue Mozilo and as many as 10 other former Countrywide employees, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The case may be helped along by an imminent U.S. settlement with Bank of America Corp., which acquired Countrywide in 2008.  That resolution may come as soon as today with Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America expected to pay as much as $17 billion and to acknowledge improper mortgage practices at Countrywide.(see footnote 4)

Wait….did they say “anti-fraud”?  Anti-fraud?  You mean like the FRAUD homeowners have been screaming about for over 7-years now?  The same fraud that our legal and regulation departments have told us is just a “civil-matter?”  After all, if there is fraud, doesn’t it stand to reason that someone has been defrauded?  After all, with the litany of lawsuits and settlements going after mortgage, foreclosure and modification fraud,[1] wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that just a few homeowners, foreclosure victims and modification victims have been defrauded?  

[1] http://elainegalindo.com/1973.html

…..But, I digress, we were talking about Angie-baby and possible charges for his role in the subprime meltdown…over 7-years later.  The public at large wants to see some judicial equity to this subprime melt-down and Angie-baby would make a good sacrificial lamb.  As I mentioned previously, he is over 75 years old and no longer crucial to the business…but can someone explain this to me?[1]

[1]http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=3724033

Executive Profile Angelo R. Mozilo
Chief Executive Officer,
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Age 75 --
Background Mr. Angelo R. Mozilo serves as Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. Mozilo serves as a Treasurer of National Italian American Foundation. Mr. Mozilo co-founded Countrywide Financial Corp. in 1969 and served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He served as an Executive Chairman of Countrywide Financial Corp. since March 1999. Mr. Mozilo served as the President of Countrywide Financial Corp. since March 2000 and Executive Vice President since March 1969. He served as the President of Mortgage Bankers Association of America from 1991 to 1992. Mr. Mozilo serves as Chairman of the Board of Countrywide Capital Markets, LLC. He served as Chairman of Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., until July 2008 and also served as its Vice Chairman. He served as an Executive Director of Countrywide Financial Corp., since 1969. He served as a Director of The Home Depot, Inc. from February 3, 2006 to May 24, 2007 and also served as its Member of IT Advisory Council until May 24, 2007. He served as Director of Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. until July 2008. He serves as Trustee of Gonzaga University. He serves as Director of Mortgage Bankers Association of America and Harvard Kennedy School Joint Center for Housing Studies and National Housing Endowment, Homes for Working Families; and the Horatio Alger Society. He serves as a Trustee of Fordham. He serves as Director of National Italian American Foundation. Mr. Mozilo received awards by National Association of Home Builders' Hall of Fame, Boy Scouts of America James E. West Fellowship Award, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which is held by all living U.S. President, Albert Schweitzer Award for his work with the youth of America, National Italian American Foundation's Special Achievement Award for Humanitarian Service, Lifetime Achievement Award from American Banker in 2006 and Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Award. In March 2005, Barron's listed he as one of the 30 most respected Chief Executive Officers in the world. Mr. Mozilo received a Bachelor of Science degree from Fordham University and holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Pepperdine University.

Please follow the footnote reference…I am not making this stuff up…Angie-baby is listed as the CEO of the SEC and this is on the Businessweek site.  I’ve mentioned this for a couple of years now and I have yet to have someone confirm or deny.  Yes, I looked this up again today…it is written as CURRENT!   No man is an island and Angelo Mozilo did not run a multi-billion dollar company by himself.  He had a little help, like his 2nd in command, Stanford Kurland, who was the CFO at Countrywide until fall of 2006.  It was Stanford Kurland who was cc’d on all those intercompany e-mails that have been the subject of so much controversy over the past few years.[1]  

[1]  http://piggybankblog.com/2012/02/28/angelo-mozilo-countrywide-emails-reveal-executives-knew-what-was-happening/ 

Angelo Mozilo 2005 Email:  “In a discussion with both Stan and Dave it came to my attention that the majority of pay options being originated by us, both wholesale and retail, are based upon stated income.  There is also some evidence that the information that the borrower is providing us relative to their income does not match up with IRS records.”

Angelo Mozilo 2005 Email: 
“Since we know or can reliably predict what’s going to happen in the next couple of years it is imperative that we address the issue now.”
[1]

[1] http://www.scribd.com/doc/82947585/Never-Seen-Before-Mozilo-E-Mails-Posted-by-Piggybankblog-com

Let’s see….those e-mails are dated in 2005.  Sounds to me, like they might have been aware that there was a problem, I wonder if the risk was disclosed to their customers…or their investors? 

 How is it that Stanford Kurland walked away with almost clean hands?  In a NY Times article dated March 2009, Kurland is quoted as admitting he had a hand in implementing the subprime loans: 


“Mr. Kurland acknowledges pushing Countrywide into the type of higher-risk loans that have since, in large numbers, gone into default. But he said that he always insisted that the loans go only to borrowers who could afford to repay them. He also said that Countrywide’s riskiest lending took place after he left the company, in late 2006, after what he said was an internal conflict with Mr. Mozilo and other executives, whom he blames for loosening loan standards.”[1]

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/04/business/04penny.html?pagewanted=all

Stan, himself,  is probably wondering how he managed to walk away unscathed.  In PennyMac’s SEC Prospectus filing Sanford Kurland is listed as one of the company risks:

Publicity and media attention concerning litigation and investigations involving Countrywide and certain of its former officers could have an adverse impact on PennyMac and us.  

There are several lawsuits pending against Countrywide and certain of its former officers. Countrywide's former chief executive officer and two other former executives (none of whom is affiliated with PennyMac or us) have been charged in a civil suit by the SEC with securities fraud; Countrywide's former chief executive officer has also been charged by the SEC with insider trading.  

Certain of the officers of PennyMac who are former employees of Countrywide, including Stanford L. Kurland, our chairman and chief executive officer, who was chief operating officer of Countrywide until September 2006, have been named as defendants in lawsuits in which Countrywide and other employees and former employees of Countrywide are defendants. Neither we nor PennyMac nor any of our officers in their capacity as officers of PennyMac or us are party to, nor do any such parties expect to become party in such capacities to, any current or future litigation relating to Countrywide.

However, we cannot assure you that existing or future, if any, investigations or litigation will not generate publicity or media attention or adversely impact us or PCM's and PLS's ability to conduct their respective businesses.[1]

[1] http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1464423/000104746909007059/a2193874z424b4.htm

Does Stan have some kind of unusual protection that is undisclosed?  Perhaps a strong leader in Washington, like Tim Geithner?[1]  Perhaps this is why we see the blatant abuse of the revolving door policy in Washington, DC and in our states.  Here in California the former Commissioner of the Department of Corporations, Preston DuFauchard is now a trustee of PennyMac[2]….can anyone spell ‘conflict of interest’?   Seriously, they are STILL doing it (fraud) and they KNOW that they are still doing it!  In PennyMac’s February SEC filing they included the following disclosures:

[1] http://elainegalindo.com/1952.html

[2]http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/officerProfile?symbol=PMT&officerId=2314797

On page 22: We may be subject to liability for potential violations of predatory lending laws, which could adversely impact our results of operations, financial condition and business. 

 Moreover, a number of states, including California, Massachusetts and Washington, have revised their foreclosure laws to require the suspension of a foreclosure action until all of the loss mitigation options are exhausted. New state laws are also addressing "robo-signing" concerns by creating new requirements to validate the evidence of the right to foreclose and the accuracy of the foreclosure documents. We believe that additional states will adopt similar requirements. (Page 107)

So as millions of Americans are pushed into foreclosure, some even into homelessness due to the foreclosure crisis, the titans of this crisis continue to rake in the big money profiting from their former fraud.  Is there any wonder that the American people are looking for prosecutions?   

Yes, as one of those facing a future foreclosure I stand in awe as I watch the wheels of injustice turning.  Not just in my own family’s situation, but with hundreds of families around the country.  Last May when we marched on the streets of Washington, DC demanding justice and asking to see Eric Holder, I heard heart-wrenching stories of fraudulent foreclosures.  Some homeowners had never missed a payment, some had been removed from their homes by SWAT teams.  Others had lost their jobs for a few months and just needed an opportunity to get back on track…yet they are marched out onto the streets heartlessly as the creators of this massive fraudulent crime spree are awarded millions of dollars in salaries and stock options.  

Will the prosecution of Angie-baby be enough?  I doubt it.  I doubt it will even make a dent in the fraud master’s lineup.  One man cannot run a corporation the size of Countrywide by himself….and let’s face it…there are so many more, like Wells Fargo and CitiMortgage, and it has taken the cooperation of more than one man to bring our nation to it’s knees….

July 9, 2013

The recent news about modification rigging has come as no surprise to those of us locked into this game.

Lost paperwork?  Transferred loans?  Duel-tracking?  Not honoring the National Mortgage Settlement?  Doesn't even raise an eyebrow for those of us who have lived it.

In fact, we wonder how it can really be a surprise to anyone!  Believe me...and you can say you heard it here for the 100th time....we ain't finished yet!

Yet in the midst of this turmoil, I have heard from individuals I both admire and respect that there is a new and improved modification.  Since I respect these people, I want to believe.

I want to believe.

Yet how many times do we need to have the rug yanked out from under us to figure out that we cannot trust the same people who brought us the fraud in the 1st place?

There are even testimonials from the beneficiaries of these "new and improved" modifications...and God Bless them.  I am happy, as well you should be that these families have saved their homes.  Yet I have also noticed that there has been a smattering of testimonials all along of a few select individuals getting modifications.  After all, a few need to slip through the cracks to show "compliance."

But what about the rest of us?  What about those of us who have been jerked around for the past few years?

Home Buyers can’t seem to get any relief from the TBTF banks.   

As noted in the recent affidavits from Bank of America employees:  

EXHIBIT 2:  “Employees were rewarded by meeting a quota of placing a specific number of accounts into foreclosure, including accounts in which the borrower fulfilled a HAMP Trial Period Plan. For example, a Collector who placed ten or more accounts into foreclosure in a given month received a $500 bonus. Bank of America also gave employees gift cards to retail stores like Target or Bed Bath and Beyond as rewards for placing accounts into foreclosure.”

  From an article written in RSN (http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/320-80/18168-new-bofa-whistleblower-reveals-more-homeowner-abuse) more homeowner abuse is revealed:

   “In the most damning charge, the insider noted that, "It may mean that any modification currently in process with BAC (Bank of America) will not be recognized and the borrower will proceed into foreclosure." This is almost certainly true, and it's a very common practice. Servicers who purchase servicing rights are not obligated to follow through on prior agreements with homeowners on loan modifications that have not yet been made permanent. So the homeowner, who thought they were well on their way to saving their home, instead has to start all over with a new servicer.”  

These ‘whistleblowers’ have come forth with what homebuyers have long known to be true.  Our experiences weigh out their words…the lenders have not been dealing with us fairly.

From Whistle blower affidavit EXHIBIT 6:

"During my time at Bank of America, I saw records regarding hundreds of homeowners that Bank of America treated dishonestly. These homeowners were eligible for loan modifications under HAMP, sent back all the required documents and made all their required payments under a trial plan.  Bank of America nevertheless damaged their credit ratings by reporting them delinquent, tacked on additional charges to their loans, increased the amounts it considered as being owed, and often referred these homeowners to foreclosure."

How many times do the lenders have to fool us for us to get the message that they are not willing to work with us?  Should we allow these businesses to continue under the status quo when they have proven time and time again that we do not matter as customers and they have ceased to treat us as their customers; we have become nothing more to them than non-performing stocks?  

Let’s move our money to the smaller banks and credit unions that will value our business!  

We are tired of having the ball moved every time we get a little hope that this time the lenders really mean it.

As the recent whistleblowers affidavits have demonstrated, these lenders only view us as chattel and not as customers and certainly not as hard-working families.

How much has their abuse cost our families and our society?  It is time to get serious about moving our money….or do we believe that they really, really mean it this time, when they tell us they are trying to work with homebuyers?

In my office, I have a box of mailers promising to save my home even if I am in foreclosure.  Yet if we go onto a government website they warn us against using these "modification experts". 

Last year, a woman who receives $100 every time she tries to get help for a homebuyer promised me that she could stop our sale with a single phone call.  I tried to tell her our lender was not willing to work with us, she assured me she was different.  She wasn't.

In January of this year, I sat in on a UD hearing for a single mom who had her home foreclosed upon even though she had mailed in her signed modification paperwork along with her modification payment.  She had thought her home had been saved and was sure that the writ of possession she found on her property was a mistake that crossed in the mail.

She was forced to go out and hire a lawyer to protect her home.  At the hearing I witnessed the judge told the attorney's for the lender (B of A) that they needed to wait until this woman had her hearing in court the following month.

I listened to the B of A attorney's arrogance as they informed the client's attorney that they could remove the client's belongings and drop them any where she would like.  They were even willing to have them delivered to the attorney's office.

In spite of the court order, this single mother's house was "trashed-out" that day while she was away from home, not even leaving her a change of clothing for work the following day.

Yes...she has a lawyer and a lawsuit pending, but how does she cope with day to day life until then?  Seeing the inhumanity and lawlessness of these corporate lenders creates a unique kind of stress and depression it is difficult to explain.

All that to say -- I know my cynicism is leaking through -- and for those who think that another phone call to their lender or outside mediator will fix their loan, by all means, make the call and share your results...but for the millions of us who have traveled this road....a few time....let's just say we're a bit skeptical

May 10, 2013

  WELLS FARGO – SHOW ME THE COMMITTMENT!
             By S. Hernandez – 5/8/2013  
QUOTE FROM A WELLS FARGO REPRESENTATIVE REGARDING THE PROTEST ACTION OF MAY 1ST:

“We understand they have a right to protest and we also hope that they understand that our customers have a right to come into our branch to do business.  We are hoping that they respect the right of our customers to come in and do that.  Wells Fargo is committed to keeping borrowers in their homes.  We work toward that end with borrowers every day, since 2009 we’ve been able to save numerous amount of borrowers, in fact we have written 841,000 modifications.  And we have provided 6.3 billion dollars to lower principle amounts, that’s with a “B”, billion dollars of principle forgiveness.”


Words adapted from the movie:  My Fair Lady – “Show me” by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe  

SHOW ME!  

Words! Words! Words!
I'm so sick of words!
I get words all day through;
First from them, now from you! Is that all you blighters can do?
Don't talk of mods, reductions in price;
If you do right, Show me!
Tell me no dreams Filled with more lies. Lowered principle price,
Show me!
Here we are together, in the middle of this blight!
You behind the line! Telling us lies!
Everyone who’s been in a liar loan will tell you that
This is no time for a chat!
Haven't your lips Longed for the truth?
Don't say how much, Show me!
Show me!
Don't talk of all the good you have done.
Make me no undying vow.
Show me NOW!  

Like the song says – show us.  Words are easy and we have had many years of words.  Words are easy to say and statistics are easy to make up.  90% of the population knows that!  (see what I mean?).

So where is that 6.3 billion dollars committed to lower principles?  Someone ought to tell Eric Schneiderman, because he is planning on going after Wells Fargo and Bank of America for violations of the 25 billion dollar national mortgage settlement deal.[1]  

Perhaps Wells Fargo’s representative was referring to the 175 million paid out for predatory lending allegations.[2]  Or maybe the principle reductions he was referring to have something to do with the bias lawsuit Wells Fargo settled for $425,000,000, in Memphis and surrounding Shelby Country, TN.[3]





[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2013/05/06/25-billion-later-bank-of-america-wells-fargo-still-face-mortgage-trouble-from-ny-ag/
 [2] http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/home-front/2012/07/13/in-financial-tragedy-wells-fargo-to-pay-175m-over-predatory-lending-allegations
[3] http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/30/news/companies/wells-fargo-memphis/index.htm

In a recent article, Whistleblower:  Wells Fargo fabricated mortgage documents on a mass basis, It is cited that:   

“Over the last two and a half years, Wells Fargo, like most of the major mortgage servicers, claimed that it had a “rigorous system” to insure that mortgage documents were accurate and complete. The reason this mattered was that there was significant evidence to the contrary. Foreclosure defense attorneys found repeatedly that, for securitized mortgages, the servicer or foreclosure mill attorney would present documents to the court that failed to show the borrower’s note (a promissory note) had been transferred properly to the trust. This mattered not only on a borrower level, but indicated that originators of the mortgage securitizations hadn’t bothered transferring the notes properly to the trusts that were to hold them. This raised the ugly specter of what was called “securitization fail,” that investors had been sold securities that they had been told were mortgage backed when they might in practice not be.”


Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/03/whistleblower-wells-fargo-fabricated-mortgage-documents-on-a-mass-basis.html#6jG8bmxXS2lCm8KF.99

These fabricated documents were not fabricated so that Wells Fargo could write modifications, these documents were fabricated so that Wells Fargo could foreclosure on the homes of families.   

Wells Fargo was singled out because the bank is "responsible for handling more delinquent loans than any other servicer."[5]


[5] http://www.scpr.org/blogs/economy/2013/03/13/12908/housing-advocates-accuse-well-fargo-damaging-commu/

If Larry Delassus heart hadn’t stopped while sitting in a court room fighting for the home that Wells Fargo had foreclosed upon, we could have asked him about how willing Wells Fargo was to work with borrowers.   “Delassus and his attorney did not discover until May 2010 that a mis-entered number had dragged Delassus into this spiral. As court documents obtained by L.A. Weekly show, after admitting its error, Wells Fargo foreclosed on Delassus anyway and sold his condo.[6]

 
[6] http://www.laweekly.com/2013-03-07/news/wells-fargo-typo-victim-dead-larry-delassus/

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Wells Fargo was #2 of the most complained about lenders.  Bank of America still first, (because they took over Countrywide (Who can do what no one else can) Home loans) holding place at #1.[7]


[7] http://www.investinganswers.com/investment-ideas/real-estate-investing/5-most-complained-about-mortgage-companies

Ask Harolyn Rhue, a disabled woman who has lived in her home for over 9-years about how hard Wells Fargo is working to keep her in her home.  She had $175,000 in equity.  Wells Fargo put her through the duo tracking modification scam and brought her out the other side to foreclosure.  While she is still currently in her home, and the Independent Foreclosure Review Committee has sent her a check for $2000 for wrongful foreclosure, Wells Fargo still refuses to do anything that will help her stay in her home.  Where is the principle forgiveness for Ms. Rhue?  Where is the “every effort to help her stay in her home?”

Can we forget about the Rosseau’s?  A couple who paid their mortgage with a cashier’s check that was lost by Wells Fargo Bank.  Wells Fargo foreclosed, the couple offered to pay the penalties and charges (even though it was not their error).  Wells Fargo foreclosed anyway.  The husband committed suicide.  The suicide is technically not Wells Fargo’s fault…but the foreclosure leading up to it…is.[8]


[8] http://mandelman.ml-implode.com/2012/05/husbands-suicide-yesterday-wells-fargo-to-evict-wife-tomorrow-anyway/

Then later, we have the eviction of a terminally ill woman, Niko Black, who, on the morning of October 10th, had her door kicked open by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at the request of Wells Fargo in spite of a Federal Court Order forbidding such action.   

Ms. Black had to drag herself to her wheel chair and the sheriff’s wheeled her out onto the sidewalk, not even allowing her to go back in and get her much needed medication.   

Fraudulent paperwork was used to foreclose on her home.  She did not even have a mortgage with Wells Fargo!

Then there is Richard Castaldo, a young man who fought for his life 13 years ago at Columbine High School.  Occupy Fight Foreclosure reached out to the CEO of Wells Fargo to negotiate a way to save Richard’s home.  The office of the CEO told them that they would try to work something out, the next day they sold Richard’s condo to an investor.

Wait…let’s do just one more…from May of last year – Patricia Martin, a 73 year old widow, remember her, Wells Fargo?  You foreclosed on her home of 43 years because of a late charge of $104.23.  Wells Fargo spent well over $50,000 booting her out of her home, when she wasn’t even late on her payment and didn’t even ask for a modification.[9] 


[9] http://mandelman.ml-implode.com/2012/05/doer-update-patricia-martin-v-wells-fargo-court-grants-injunction-injustice-on-trial-ahead/ New paragraph

Now what was it the Wells Fargo representative said again, “Wells Fargo is committed to keeping borrowers in their homes.”   So, we’re thinking, Wells Fargo has another opportunity to give life to their words, and work with Harolyn Rhue.  Harolyn Rhue, a handicap woman who has been taken advantage of due to an injury to her brain several years ago. She believed she was signing for a 30-year fixed rate, but was given a teaser rate instead.  Nevertheless, she did her best to make payments on time, until she sought out a modification.  On the advice of Wells Fargo, she withheld payment while she awaited her modification.  (Does this story sound familiar yet?)  

NACA has already worked out a program that would keep Harolyn Rhue in her home, but Wells Fargo refuses to budge.  So our question is…Is Wells Fargo really  committed to keeping borrowers in their home?  

Then……“Don't talk of all the good you have done.               
Make us no undying vow.

                        SHOW US NOW!”  

April 18, 2013

FORECLOSURES AND PTSD
Written by S. Hernandez
3/2013

I got a phone call today from the electric company.  Our bill was past due.  There’s no excuse, really, I have money in the account and I knew the bill was due.  All I have to do is pick myself up, go to the office and write the check…or pay it online!  How hard can that be?  Instead, I found myself running around last minute trying to get the payment in before they shut us off.  

I called a fellow homebuyer who lives in Florida last week to talk about what we’re going through.   I told him about my struggle paying bills and doing ordinary things and he laughed.  “I haven’t even opened my mail in months.  I put them in shoe boxes and stack them in the corner.”

Another fraudclosure fighter in Massachusetts, an immigrant from Bosnia, a friend of John O’Brien who is the Registrar of Deeds in Massachusetts, talks about crying for days as she hears the horror stories from around the nation.  She has set out to help homebuyers in their struggle to save their homes.  She has witnessed firsthand the brutality in other parts of the world and she immigrated here, to the United States where she believed there was “freedom”.  Now she is talking about the parallels of what she had gone through in Bosnia.  

In Oakland, California, a man who has lost everything – is still hanging onto his home.  He is a pro-active blogger about mortgage fraud.  Once a professional business owner he now wanders his house between blogs.  He hasn’t cut his hair or shaved in days.  He wears his robe and hides out in the house.  He is a respected businessman.  His business, employees, and income are all gone now as he stands at the forefront of invisible battle lines helping other homebuyers who felt like they were alone.  

A disabled woman who made her modified payments on time for 3-years, was informed that she did not qualify for the modification the bank gave her.  They are foreclosing and she hides when anyone knocks on her door.

Families have been forced from their homes illegally and the law has not been there to defend them.  In fact, the law has either turned its head or permitted the abuse.  Leaving families feeling distraught and abandoned.  They are abandoned by the very law-enforcement that they though would protect them.  

In the midst of our economic crash, all around us, others are oblivious to the intensity of the battle.  
We are the troops on the front lines of the foreclosure tsunami, and many of us have been carrying this burden for years.  Now burdened and weary, many suffer from a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as we try to pull our lives back together.  

From the Mayo Clinic Website, the systems of PSTD are listed as follows:

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms are generally grouped into three types: intrusive memories, avoidance and numbing, and increased anxiety or emotional arousal (hyperarousal).

Symptoms of intrusive memories may include: Flashbacks, or reliving the traumatic event for minutes or even days at a time
Upsetting dreams about the traumatic event
Symptoms of avoidance and emotional numbing may include:
Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
Feeling emotionally numb
Avoiding activities you once enjoyed
Hopelessness about the future
Memory problemsTrouble concentrating
Difficulty maintaining close relationships
Symptoms of anxiety and increased emotional arousal may include:
Irritability or anger
Overwhelming guilt or shame
Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much
Trouble sleeping
Being easily startled or frightened
Hearing or seeing things that aren't there[1]

[1] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/DS00246/DSECTION=symptoms

The first time our home was scheduled for auction, investors and realtors would stop outside on the street and view our home.  Often, they would do a slow drive-by.  We began to recognize the signs and then we became a little paranoid.  My husband will go outside and confront them if they take too long lingering.  “We’re in a lawsuit,” he’ll say, “you won’t be getting this house.”  

Yesterday, my grandson’s piano teacher came to the door.  My husband opened the door as if in a rage.  Fortunately, he stopped himself before he said something he’d regret later.  You see, he thought it was a realtor offering to sell our home in a short sale.  

In August 2011, in an article in the Wall Street Journal, S. Mitra Kalita tied health problems directly to foreclosures.[1]

[1] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576538293771870006.html

  A quote from the article:  “The threat of losing your home is stressful enough to make you ill, it stands to reason. Now two economists have measured just how unhealthy the foreclosure crisis has been in some of the hardest-hit areas of the U.S.  

New research by Janet Currie of Princeton University and Erdal Tekin of Georgia State University shows a direct correlation between foreclosure rates and the health of residents in Arizona, California, Florida and New Jersey. The economists concluded in a paper published this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research that an increase of 100 foreclosures corresponded to a 7.2% rise in emergency room visits and hospitalizations for hypertension, and an 8.1% increase for diabetes, among people aged 20 to 49.”

The emotions that emerge in the lives of the foreclosure victims are simply due to losing their home.  There is something much deeper tied into the stress…it is the injustice that accompanies the loss.  As they watch their homes slowly stolen from them, they struggle to stop the damage to no avail.  In addition they must also deal with the image of being labeled a “deadbeat” while they watch the ones who created the economic crash prospering and increasing their wealth and accolades.  

Foreclosure victims often avoid the mail because they do not know how to deal with the problems arising from their foreclosure.  They become numb and despondent.  They are aware of their helplessness in the situation and for the first time they become aware that no help is forthcoming.  Many simply give up in despair.  Some use avoidance techniques, such as drinking, drugs, overeating, playing video games or staring at the television for hours on end.  

Foreclosure victims often have trouble sleeping, they have nightmares when they do sleep.    They begin to separate from family and friends because they cannot explain what they are going through and they fear the judgments that come with foreclosure.  Their work suffers because they cannot focus.  They avoid family functions and going out with friends.  

In an article by Alison Linn, titled:  Foreclosure ripple effect; 8:3 million children in jeopardy[1], she stated:  

Julia B. Isaacs, a senior fellow with the Urban Institute and the author of the report, said a foreclosure can hurt children in several ways.

When a school-age kid has to move unexpectedly, it often means that they must switch schools mid-year. Isaacs said other research has shown that kids who switch schools have lower levels of math and reading achievement, even after controlling for other factors such as poverty. Such moves also are associated with higher rates of kids dropping out of high school, and such a big upheaval can be difficult socially for children.

The parents’ financial stress also can impact the kids. Isaacs said research dating all the way back to the Great Depression showed that when parents are under great financial stress they might be less supportive parents. That, in turn, can lead to social and behavior problems. “This affects how parents interact with each other and how they interact with their children,” she said.   More significantly, it affects a child’s views on justice and their trust in authority or law-enforcement figures.  It creates despondency in the system of government that would allow this to happen and that creates disrespect for all authority.

[1] http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economywatch/foreclosure-ripple-effect-8-3-million-children-jeopardy-724178

For adults, the irritability and anger comes from the frustration of helplessness in a corrupt system.  It comes from seeking help on every level only to be ignored, knowing that the laws are being broken and skewed for the sake of the lenders who allowed and sometimes created this mess, then blamed the victims. 

Suicides have increased and have been linked directly to the economic crisis and foreclosures.   It is in this state of stress and anxiety that the homebuyers who choose to reach out find strength and encouragement from others in their same situation.  They find strength in knowing that they are not alone and that there is someone who will listen.   

In 2009, Senator Marcy Kaptur encourage homebuyers, “Do not leave your homes!”  Still the fraudulent foreclosures continue as the news is inundated with articles on the crime, while the victims of these crimes continue to loose their homes.  

That is why organizations such as Occupy, and its sub-committee, Occupy Fight Foreclosures (OFF) came into existence.  Homeowners struggling to find help banded together and compared notes.  The existence of OFF is a direct result of corruption and lack of action by our leaders.  OFF seeks to bring to the forefront the truth about the fraud perpetuated on the homebuyers and give them the strength and knowledge to fight back.  OFF is comprised of people researching the laws together, sharing information, and contacting our legislatures as a group, giving them a greater visibility.  

If you are in foreclosure, don’t let the depression overtake you.  Use that energy to learn how to help others and stand up against the fraud.  Find an organization near you that is fighting back and participate.   

You are not alone and you are not a deadbeat.

March 12, 2013

                                                    IN THE ABSENCE OF LAW


       In 1933 Germany the Nazi party ‘temporarily’ suspended civil liberties.  The first ones they put in the concentration camps were the communists.  By 1935 the Jews were denied basic human rights, such as housing.  They were taken from their homes and moved to smaller ‘designated housing’ known as ghettos.  This was just the beginning of the atrocities perpetrated on a nation.  The rest is well-documented history. 

       A quote from George Santayana:  “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

       Today in the United States of America, there have been almost 4 million foreclosures since 2008.  That is over 4 million families that have been forced to start over again.  The majority of families affected are minorities and young families buying for the first time.  Foreclosures are not a new phenomenon and have been with us as long as there has been lenders to lend, but not since the banking fraud that brought on the great depression in the 1930’s has there been such a massive assault on the American dream.[1]  

       In February 2013, Bank of America sent movers into the home of Lucinda Excis*[2], a single mother living in Lincoln Heights, while she was at work and removed all of her furnishings.  They did this in spite of a court order forbidding them to do so until her case was heard before the court.  Lucinda called the police when her daughter called her.  The bank representative showed the writ of possession to the police officer and the police did nothing to stop the move.  Lucinda, who was at work could not present her legal paperwork to the police, and they would not call the court to verify.  So Lucinda came home to a house that had been “trashed-out”, all her goods and furnishing gone.  She did not have a change of clothes, her medications, toiletries…nothing. 

[1] http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/10/fraud-caused-great-depression-and-this.html
[2] * names changed to protect their privacy

      The emotional toll cannot be documented in print.  The helplessness that goes hand in hand with the fact that even the police and the courts will not help.  The sense of abandonment that she felt knowing that the government she had been taught to believe was, “of the people, by the people and for the people” had deserted her in her hour of need.  She did not have a change of clothing to wear to work the following day.  

       Lucinda is not an isolated case.  All over the nation families are losing their homes to fraudulent foreclosures.  Families are losing their homes as their neighbors watch on apathetically; relieved it is not happening to them.  Many have bought into the Wall Street propaganda of the “deadbeat” homebuyer, in spite of the multitude of evidence to the contrary.

      Following is a list of just some of the settlements with the large Wall Street banks that support the accusations of wrongdoing:  

10/6/2008 – $8.68 billion dollar settlement with Countrywide for the State of California
[1]

8/3/2010 - $600 million dollar settlement with Countrywide Financial with the New York City Pension Funds[2]

10/15/2010 - $67.5 million settlement with the SEC[3]

2/2/2011 – Former Countrywide executives make a $6.5 million settlement with California[4]

6/29/2011 – B of A settles with 22 institutional investors for 14 billion. 7/20/2011 – Countrywide settles a class action suit for charging excessive fees to more than 450,000 borrowers.[5]

12/21/2011 – Countrywide settles bias suit for $335 million dollars for discrimination[6] 2/2012 – 48 state national settlement with 5 major Wall-Street lenders for 25 billion dollars.[7]  

Most recently, in January 2013, there was a settlement of 8.5 billion dollars to resolve the government expense of a wrongful foreclosure review.[8]

[1] State of California – Press Release
[2] GMI Blog – settlement with NY City Pensions Fund
[3] Christian Science Monitor – Mozillo settles..
[4] California settles with Countrywide execs.
[5] Countrywide to distribute settlement to clients.  (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/21/business/countrywide-to-pay-borrowers-108-million-in-settlement.html)
[6] Countrywide will settle bias suit. (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/12/21/144083080/bofas-countrywide-will-pay-335-million-in-lending-discrimination-case)
[7] http://www.atg.wa.gov/nationalmortgagesettlement.aspx#.UTIeUo5XuyE
[8] http://www.995hope.org/2013/01/independent-foreclosure-review-settlement-3-3-billion-earmarked-for-consumers/

       In spite of these settlements, families such as Lucinda Exxis are being wrongfully evicted from their homes.  

       When a family is “trashed-out” from their home, the banks and investors have no obligation to respect the fragility of the family furnishings or to follow-up on what happens to the furnishing of the homebuyer.  They hire a company to move the goods and often the families valuables are missing when they are finally able to locate where the goods were taken.  There is no insurance, no law, no recourse against this kind of theft, and there has been documentation of homes being wrongfully trashed![1]


[1] http://www.kcci.com/news/central-iowa/Woman-says-foreclosure-team-cleaned-out-wrong-home/-/9357080/16779946/-/13pyy59z/-/index.html

          In Nazi Germany, Jews were removed from their homes and put into ghetto housing.  They were removed from their homes by soldiers who had once been their neighbors, their acquaintances, people who they had worked with or gone to school with.  A Nazi soldier was not allowed to question the morality of his orders lest he become another one of the victims of the Nazi regime.

          In the wake of history, we can see the shame and destruction of the Nazi regime and the massive damage it left in it’s wake, but today we have created a new victim – new homebuyers – and those not affected by the foreclosures turn a blind eye to the massive fraud that is allowed to continue unabated.  Former Nazi soldiers have given testimonies of the atrocities that occurred under their watch, some felt helpless as they recognized the wrong that they were required to carryout, others felt entitled and superior to those who they ruled over and justified their actions.  Many former Nazi leaders were executed for their crimes.  But did we learn from that history? 

       Those making money from the former fraud refuse to acknowledge the wrong and have victimized those entrapped by the lure of owning a home as “deadbeats” who got in over their heads.  A statement that is not objective in it’s nature as it corrals all foreclosure into one category and total disregards the underwriting and fiduciary responsibilities of the lenders and their legal teams.

        The Wall Street lenders were bailed-out by the United States Government over the economic collapse, as a condition of the bail-out lenders were required to modify the loans to the borrowers.  Congress was upset by the bailout and required that the government hire a Special Inspector General to regulate the TARP funds (SIGTARP).  Neil Barofsky was their man for the job.  In his recent book, “Bailout”, Neil Barofsky outlines his experience as the head of the SIGTARP program:  

“A light bulb went on for me.  Elizabeth (Warren) had been challenging Geithner on how the program was going to help homeowners, and he had responded by citing how it would help the banks.  Geithner apparently looked at HAMP as an aid to the banks, keeping the full flush of foreclosures from hitting the financial system all at the same time.  Though they could handle up to “10 million foreclosures” over time, any more than that, or if the foreclosures were too concentrated, and the losses that the banks might suffer on their first and second mortgages could push them into insolvency, requiring yet another round of TARP bailouts.  So HAMP would “foam the runway” by stretching out the foreclosures, giving banks more time to absorb losses while the other parts of the bailout juiced bank profits that could then fill the capital holes created by housing losses.”[1]

[1] quote from the book “Bailout” by Neil Barofsky

       Most recently, in Februrary 2013, a recent study confirmed that control fraud was endemic among our most elite financial institutions: Asset Quality Misrepresentation by Financial Intermediaries: Evidence from RMBS Market. Tomasz Piskorski, Amit Seru & James Witkin (February 2013) ("PSW 2013").[1]  

       In a quote from the article, the authors stated:   “About one out of every ten loans has one of these misrepresentations. These misrepresentations are not likely to be an artifact of matching error between datasets that contain actual characteristics and those that are reported to investors. At least part of this misrepresentation likely occurs within the boundaries of the financial industry (i.e., not by borrowers).”  

       So in the midst of this great wave of evidence of fraud on the part of the financial institutes, families like Lucinda Exxis, and mine, are being illegally removed from their homes, and the law continues to look the other way, as the evidence suggests, because financial institutes have the money and expertise to hire a lethargy of lawyers to bury the fraud.

[1] http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2215422

      During the crux of this devastation I cannot help but wonder how history will view this crisis years from now.  Will we repeat the austerity that has destroyed civilizations in the past, such as the Nazi regime, or will we rise to the occasion once again as the greatest nation on earth?  

      Recently, Nationstar Lending, inherited a foreclosed note from the bankrupt company of Aurora Loans.  The borrower on the note was a 94-year old woman who had lived in her home for over 40 years.  Hilda Vinalas was facing eviction from her home and facing a court date to have her removed.  

     Hilda’s story was featured on a news report by CBS news in September 2012.[1]  In February of 2013, the CEO of Nationstar contacted Hilda’s representative and called off the eviction.  “We will not remove her from her home,” he stated and in a 3-way conversation with his attorneys he called off the legal action.  

     The actions of Nationstar Lending and similar actions where the lenders are willing to work with integrity with the homebuyers could turn this crisis around.  However, as we observe the actions of the ones who created this crisis, it is doubtful that they will accept their culpability in this crisis without any major prosecution.

[1] http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/09/01/93-year-old-woman-faces-foreclosure-on-west-hollywood-home/

November 19, 2012


I am reading the book "Coming to the Table," because of my own family history.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/comingtothetable/?fref=ts

I have also written a book "Beyond Passing," (see notation below).  For this reason I wanted to read the story of the families of former slave holders coming together with the families of former slaves and trying to bring healing.

In the book, Coming to the Table, there is a reference to an incident in Marion where an unarmed young man was killed.  He was shot at close range by a Marion Country police office for trying to protect his 82-year old grandfather and mother from being beaten.

An excerpt from the story on Wikipedia:

On the night of February 18, 1965, around 500 people left Zion United Methodist Church in Marion and attempted a peaceful walk to the Perry County Jail about a half a block away where young Civil Rights worker James Orange was being held. 

Twenty-six-year-old Jimmie Lee Jackson, his mother Viola Jackson, and his 82-year-old grandfather, Cager Lee, ran into Mack's Café behind the church, pursued by Alabama State Troopers. Police clubbed Cager Lee to the floor in the kitchen. The police continued to beat the cowering octogenarian Lee, and when his daughter Viola attempted to pull the police off, she was also beaten. When Jimmie Lee attempted to protect his mother, one trooper threw him against a cigarette machine. A second trooper shot Jimmie Lee twice in the abdomen.

Jimmie Lee Jackson died at Good Samaritan Hospital in Selma, on February 26, 1965. After his death, Sister Michael Anne, an administrator at Good Samaritan, said there were powder burns on Mr. Jackson's abdomen, indicating that he was shot at very close range.

This incident provided the primary catalyst for SCLC leader James Bevel to initiate and organize the first Selma to Montgomery march that occurred a few days later, and became known as “Bloody Sunday”, 7 March 1965.{2}

So what is the significance of that incident today?   There are several things that struck me in this story as it relates to what I see going on today.

Quoted from the book "Coming to the Table,":

Selma's black community mobilized around this event and called on civil rights leaders to lead a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge from Selma to the capitol building in Montgomery to demand the right to vote.

A few days later, six hundred people gathered to march.  On that first morning the county Sheriff ordered all white males in the entire country over the age of 21 to present themselves at the courthouse to  deputized.  When the marchers walked over the bridge, they were greeted on the other side by a wall of state troopers, who beat the peaceful marchers unmercifully.

It took three attempts for the marchers to finally reach Montgomery.  8000 people set off across the bridge it took five days to walk fifty miles.  At night, then camped at farms along the highway owned by black farmers.

One of the authors of the book, an African-American woman, Sharon Morgan, relayed her feelings regarding the events of injustice in the South during the civil rights era.

"At some of these places, I get so totally pissed off.  It's unfathomable.  It took a judge ten days to rule that peaceful protesters shouldn't be attacked by police?!!  Eighty-year-old people being beaten?  A man killed for protecting his grandfather?  And, after all that, I am amazed at how apathetic black people can be about voting.  What the hell is that?!"

In a recent incident in Spain, the police took on a new position.  And I wondered what would happen if we did learn from history.  I wondered what would happen if we did take a stand against injustice. 

I wondered if we could do this here!

Taken from an article at ZeroHedge [3]

Yesterday, in what is an appetizer to the great 2013 convergence trade (that, between the now thoroughly dead Greek and the Spanish economy, which is rapidly getting there, of course), several thousand Spanish policemen took the streets of Madrid protesting the latest round of austerity, which included frozen pensions and the elimination of the Christmas bonus (they will have many more opportunities to protest not only the loss of any future upside, but the eventual cut of existing wages and entitlements). As RT reports, protesters blew whistles, shouted slogans, and carried anti-austerity banners as they marched through the city centre to the interior ministry. But perhaps the most telling message read on one of the slogans, was the following: "Citizens! Forgive us for not arresting those truly responsible for this crisis: bankers and politicians."

And there you have the entire current clusterfuck summarized in one simple sentence: because as long as those responsible for the ongoing economic collapse, which will inevitably end in war as many have observed, Kyle Bass most recently, are not only not arrested but preserve their positions of power, any and all change will merely be cosmetic and any real change will only affect the bank accounts of the global middle class which are slowly but surely drained to zero.

George Santayana (1905) Reason in Common Sense, volume 1 of The Life of Reason,[1}

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmie_Lee_Jackson {2}

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-18/protesting-spanish-cops-forgive-us-not-arresting-those-truly-responsible-crisis-bank [3]

October 31, 2012



WE ARE NOT DEADBEATS (cont...)

 Saturday, October 27, 2012, was a great day.

It was a welcome reprieve from the battle.  I remembered, for a moment, who I used to be.  

I was helping Celeste try on the costume we had made.  We were in the bedroom pulling her costume over the two pillows we were using for the stuffing.  It didn’t look right.  She looked more like a giant bunch of grapes that had lost 200 pounds and the excess flab was hanging around her stomach.  

“That’s not going to work,” I laughed.   

She rolled her eyes, “I look like a giant fat grape!  I could move the pillows to the side, let’s see if that works.”  

Celeste had the idea for this costume while she was planning costumes for her kids.  Vic was planning a costume party for her own birthday this year, which is near Halloween and she called her sister, Celeste, and suggested that they combine the party with Celeste’s daughter, Belinda’s birthday, which was 5 days earlier.   “I know Vic and her friends, they’ll all dress as something ‘sassy’ and I can’t even imagine what I’ll wear.” 

I looked at my beautiful daughter, who, at almost 40 years of age, still turned heads when she entered a room.  After having three children she was heavier than she used to be, and like most women, her mind exaggerated her flaws.  

“I need something different,” she stated flatly.  

Belinda, who was ten, was going as Catwoman.  Dwayne, who was six wanted to be Pikachu.

“I need something to ‘show off my lumps’” Celeste said as she switched to a cartoon voice.  “My lovely lady lumps!”  

Belinda laughed.  “Yeah, mom,” she said, “go as Lumpy Space Princess!”   

And so an idea was born…Celeste would go as Lumpy Space Princess (LPS) from the cartoon, Adventure Time.   Lumpy Space Princess (LPS) from the cartoon Adventure Time, was an unexpected costume.  But Celeste had pulled it off and she made it work with the low voice and the song about her “lovely lady lumps.”  

So I made the costume and we tried to fill it out with pillows.  We tied the pillows around her waist, the first time, but it didn't work too well, so she suggested we move the pillows to the side.  We tried scooting them over, but that didn’t work either.  I burst out in peels of laughter, “Now you look like Quasimodo!” I laughed.

For the 1st time in a long, long time, I laughed until I cried.  Tears were flowing down my cheeks and we both could barely stand.   

Elise walked in on us and took one look at her mother and fell on the floor in laughter.  “You look like a fat grape, Mom!” she gasped out between peels of laughter.

We laughed, as tears fell from my eyes.  My granddaughter rolled on the floor holding her belly as she giggled.  My daughter stood there in the costume we made, laughing out loud just watching us. 

We adjusted the pillows again, “You can ‘house’ them here on the sides where the biggest lumps are.” I said.  It worked… she looked like LSP, but she was hot in that costume and I didn’t think she’d make it through the night.  

“I’m already sweating!” she complained, and we laughed again.  

“You can drop the pillow’s later” I said, “the felt will hold it’s shape without them”  

“I might have to do that later, but it’s more effective like this.”   She was the hit of the small dinner party.  The kids ran around in their costumes chasing one another through the house.  All the kids and parents immediately knew that Celeste was the Lumpy Space Princess. 

My other grandson announced it as soon as he saw her!  “LSP!  Oh my gosh!  Your LSP!  That’s cool.”  He showed her the stuffed toy LSP that he had in the house.  

Later, that same night, Celeste started groaning as if in pain, using her LSP raspy voice, she mimicked, “Oh, the pain, the pain, my lumps are hurting!” then she dropped the stuffed LSP toy out from between her legs, “Oh, how’d that happen?” she laughed and we all laughed with her.  

“Mini me!” my other daughter, Vic, yelled between gulps of laughter.  

It was a great night.  I had forgotten what it was like to be normal.   The following day slammed reality back in my face.  We are a long way from being normal.  We left normal behind six years ago.  

Now we are crime fighters in a losing battle against corruption.  We cannot sleep at night and we don't know if we will still be here tomorrow.

Even as I write this I battle the knots in my stomach...and I wonder how it could get this bad.

October 22, 2012

Today is a numb day. 

Just shakin' my head in disbelief.  Whoever thought this would happen?  Whoever would have imagined it?

Our own government, we who go into other countries and demand human rights, we who fought facism in World War II, we who declare sanctions when human rights are abused.  We are doing this in our own country with our own people.

October 21, 2012

FOR THE SAKE OF TEN.....

Genesis 18:32
Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

Revelation 6:
3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword. 5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

From the very first day we realized we had gotten a bad loan we thought that the law would come to our rescue.  We thought the lender would work with us, because we were good customers.  We never imagined that this lawlessness, this perversion of the rule of law would be allowed to continue without repercussion.

Every time another lawsuit was settled because of lender fraud, I expected relief to come to the homebuyers.  Every time someone printed some proof of the fraud I thought there would be restitution for those who were victimized by it.

Now, five years later, I see the lies continue and I see the compromise of our judicial system and legislative branch in favor of the corporations which are gaining in their stronghold on this once great nation.

So I pray....

I pray a version of the prayer of Abraham.

"Lord, if there are just 10 legislatures, 10 leaders, who will take a stand for what is right, who  will not bow their knee to corporate corruption...will you save our nation for the sake of ten?"

FROM NEIL BAROFSKY'S BOOK:  BAILOUT

I now realize, though, that Treasury's dismissal of our warnings has produced a valuable byproduct, the widespread anger that may contain the only hope for meaningful reform of our system.  I know realize the American people SHOULD lose faith in their government.  The SHOULD deplore the captured politicians and regulators who took their taxpayer dollars and distributed them to the banks without insisting that they be accountable for how the bailout money was spent.  They SHOULD be revolted by a financial system that rewards failure and prtexts the fortunes of those who drove the system to the point of collapse and will undoubtedly DO SO AGAIN.  They SHOULD be enraged by the broken promises to Main Street and the unending protection of Wall Street.

Because only with this appropriate and justified rage can we sow the seeds for the types of reform that will one day break our system free from the corrupting grasp of the megabanks.  It is my own anger that compelled me to write this book, and I hope that in some small way it can help put us on that path.

Okay...I'm going to count him as "one".

SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN

Housing
We need a housing policy that helps people stay in their homes, prevents foreclosures, and helps those with underwater mortgages. Elizabeth’s “all of the above” approach includes: principal write-downs, refinancing options for homes that are underwater, cash for keys, and short sales.

While Scott Brown was an attorney for one of the most fraudulent mortgage companies in the country, Elizabeth Warren was becoming the most effective advocate against Wall Street consumer abuse in the country.

I want to count her as two...

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/28/1137575/-Dumb-Idea-Put-the-Guys-Who-Caused-the-Problem-in-Charge

REP. MARCY KAPTUR

After an $850 billion bailout for Wall Street and another $25 billion for the auto industry, struggling homeowners still await large-scale government assistance. The Obama administration says it’s working out the details of its plan to stem foreclosures. In the absence of government action so far, some are taking action on the local level. In Michigan, Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans announced Monday he won’t enforce sales of foreclosed homes. And in Ohio, Rep. Marcy Kaptur is encouraging homeowners facing foreclosures to stay in their homes. Meanwhile, the government-backed mortgage giant Fannie Mae has agreed to restructure mortgages after a campaign led by one of its biggest critics, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America.

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/2/3/rep_marcy_kaptur_d_oh_urges

Okay...I'm counting her as a "potential" three...Still waiting to see if she will vote for reform to help main street and hold wall street accountable.

Can anyone name 7 more?

Anyone?

October 20, 2012


http://truth-out.org/news/item/12175-atlanta-police-occupy-activists-team-up-to-defend-detectives-home

If only more of our police would realize that the real criminals are the banksters that have lost all contact with their own humanity! 

The lenders could work this out if they wanted to, they could save thousands of families and still maintain their profits, in fact, they could have saved millions in legal fees, but instead they choose to foreclose on their neighbors and those less fortunate...simply because they haven't been brought to task for their fraud.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

Truthout combats corporatization by bringing you trustworthy news: click here to join the effort and meet our goal of 750 donations by the end of this week.

Occupy Atlanta. (Photo: T. Lynne Pixley / The New York Times)
Atlanta police officers have formed an unlikely alliance with Occupy activists to save a former police detective and her four grandchildren from eviction.

Last November, riot police arrested 20 Occupy Atlanta activists during a clash at a park. Now, former and current Atlanta police officers are teaming up with Occupy Our Homes activists camped out at the home of retired police detective Jacqueline Barber, a former officer and cancer patient who is facing eviction after falling behind on medical and mortgage payments.

On Monday night, several police officers attended a meeting with activists at Barber's home south of Atlanta, and 20 or 30 former and current officers have spent time at the 24-hour Occupy camp there, according to activist Shabnam Bashiri. Occupy Our Homes activists hope support from local police could prevent an eviction.

Barber and several activists are committed to civil disobedience to defend the home, Bashiri said. An eviction could lead to an awkward clash between Barber, her former co-workers and law enforcement officers who carry out evictions.

Homer: Goodnight, you princes of Maine. You kings of New England. You warriors of a new era.  You purveyors of truth.  Goodnight to those entrusted to our new generation, may you teach them compassion as you stand against the onslaught of apathy.

October 19, 2012

HOW DEEP DOES THE RABBIT HOLE GO....


This must be what it was like to be Alice.....


(Artwork by Biz - distressed homebuyer)

Today I woke up with a knot in my stomach....again.

I wonder if I am still in the United States of America or if somehow I woke up several years ago in a parallel universe....Bizarro World.

What I didn't know when we signed on the dotted line for our mortgage, that along with our new home we would be given the red pill.  I don't remember volunteering for that.  I think I liked my blissful ignorance.

We don't deserve what is happening to us...and it makes me realize that no one deserves to be treated like this.  Especially by the ones who created the mess in the first place.  They should be apologizing to the American people...instead they are denigrating us, humiliating us and mocking us and their fraud continues. 

This family did not deserve what happened to them:
http://http://mandelman.ml-implode.com/2012/05/husbands-suicide-yesterday-wells-fargo-to-evict-wife-tomorrow-anyway/

Here is a link to ten other heartbreaking stories....stories that should never have happened if the rule of law applied equally to the homebuyers as it does to the lenders:
http://www.care2.com/causes/10-heartbreaking-foreclosure-stories.html

Quote adapted from the movie,The Terminator:
Listen, and understand.
That corporation's are out there.They can't be bargained with.
They can't be reasoned with.They don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear.
And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead*

*(The Terminator by Eviscerator @ Deviant Art)

Finally, here is an excerpt from our homebuyer story:

On July 28th , 2007, Countrywide sent us their “final” ruling on our request to waive the prepayment penalty. They would NOT release us from the 3-year prepayment penalty,regardless of the fact they had the notarized 1-year prepayment addendum in their file.

You can find the complete story here:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/58434390/We-Are-Not-Deadbeats

I keep hoping I wake up in the United States of America I learned about in the history books...You know the one that is supposed to be "of the people, by the people and for the people", but each day I seem to wake up again...in Bizarro World.

There are some who will tell you it was always an illusion.  I don't know if that's true, that is not how I remember it...but I will follow this to its conclusion and let you know....

Read my site about PennyMac attacks, and....

Stay tuned....

10/5/2012 - PennyMac is moving forward patterning itself after its Parent company....Countrywide.

Countrywide: It's baaack
By Stephen Gandel, senior editor     October 2, 2012: 6:00 AM ET


Wall Street and consumer advocates, surprisingly, roll out the welcome mat.

PennyMac CEO Stanford Kurland, who spent most of career at Countrywide, is recreating his old firm.
FORTUNE --The Federal Reserve's recent decision to buy mortgage bonds until the economy recovers has made home lending more attractive than it has been in years. The spread between what it costs to fund a mortgage loan and what borrowers actually pay is nearly three times as large as usual. So it's perhaps no surprise that one of the first firms to rush into this profit-filled fun house is headed by the former executives of the most notorious subprime lender of the era that led to the financial crisis.
Last month, PennyMac (PMT), a finance company run almost entirely by alumni of Countrywide Financial, opened its first retail branch. The company expects to hire as many as 100 employees for the office, which is in Pasadena, California, including loan officers and underwriters.
To head the office, PennyMac has tapped Stephen Brandt, who, according to a Congressional report released in July, ran Countrywide's "Friends of Angelo" program. The report found that Brandt's former unit handed out hundreds of sweetheart loans to members of Congress, their staffs and other government employees. One of the main thrusts of the division, according to the report, which was nicknamed after Countrywide's former CEO, Angelo Mozilo, was to soften anti-predatory lending laws.
MORE: Card companies keep low rates for themselves
"There's free money on the table and you don't have to work that hard to get it, especially if you are the former executives of Countrywide," says Michael Widner, an analyst who covers PennyMac at brokerage firm Stifel Nicolaus. "You've done this before."
PennyMac has been around for a couple of years. But when it was started in 2008 by a dozen former executives of Countrywide, including Stanford Kurland, who was Countrywide's No. 2 executive before leaving in 2006, PennyMac's stated business plan was to buy up delinquent mortgage loans on the cheap, offer modifications and make some money in the process.
In the past year, though, PennyMac has morphed into something that more resembles Countrywide. In recent investor presentations, Kurland and other PennyMac executives have talked up the company's unit that finances new mortgage loans made by outside brokers and small banks. The unit was launched a year ago, and now accounts for about a third of the company's profits.
PennyMac has been more tight-lipped about its direct lending operation, which is still relatively small. A number of analysts who follow the company were unaware of it. PennyMac spokesman Kevin Chamberlain, and Countrywide alumni, says PennyMac's retail operation is focused on refinancing delinquent borrowers whose mortgages have been acquired by PennyMac into affordable loans. He says the Pasadena office is not for walk-ins. Chamberlain says the firm has no plans to make subprime loans.
MORE: The housing pick up won't produce much economic growth
What's more, Chamberlain says direct lending is not a part of PennyMac's investor presentations because the division is part of the company's private operations, not its publicly traded company. On Brandt, Chamberlain says the executive oversaw 700 to 800 employees at Countrywide, including "one to three employees whose partial responsibility was to take loans for the VIP unit."
PennyMac, though, doesn't seem to be hiding its lending operations from potential customers. The company is using direct mail to solicit customers. The company's website advertises new home loans with rates as low as 3.5%, and has an 800-number to call. The person who answers says he works for PennyMac.
PennyMac's odd corporate structure has worried some Wall Street analysts. PennyMac runs a public mortgage REIT, but not all of the company's business and profits go to the REIT. For instance, PennyMac's mortgage REIT is not approved to sell loans to Ginnie Mae, which is the government entity that backs FHA loans. So when PennyMac finances those loans - $1.6 billion in July and August alone - the public REIT passes them along to a private division of the company, which is owned and operated by PennyMac's executives and its two outside investors, asset manager Blackrock and private equity firm Highfields Capital. The REIT makes a small fee, just 0.03%, on those deals and the private entity pockets the rest, which is the bulk of the profits.
"Kurland definitely has aspirations to grow the company into something that is substantial and in the end will probably look something like Countrywide," says Widner, who rates PennyMac a hold. "But with the stock what you are getting is a subdivision of the company."
MORE: Young workers earn $10,000 less than in 2005
To meet those aspirations, Kurland has recruited many of the same executives who helped him build Countrywide into a mortgage behemoth. Of the 313 PennyMac executives who are listed on professional networking site LinkedIn, 75 had spent some time at Countrywide. Along with Kurland, PennyMac's chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief credit officer all hail from Countrywide, as do the firm's head of marketing, head of consumer lending and head of human resources.
So far it appears to be working. PennyMac has funded over $9 billion in mortgages this year, up from less than $1 billion in 2011. Executives say they hope to be on pace to finance $30 billion in mortgage loans next year. That would make the PennyMac the 12th largest mortgage lender in the country, according to trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance. Still, that would be a fraction of what Countrywide was, which at its height financed about $500 billion in home loans a year, and regularly ranked as the nation's largest mortgage lender.
A recent analysis by the Wall Street Journal found that Countrywide has cost Bank of America, which acquired the giant mortgage lender in 2008, nearly $40 billion in additional costs since the deal was completed, much of it due to subprime and other high-risk loans that Countrywide made at the height of the housing bubble that have since gone bad.
In December, Bank of America agreed to pay $335 million to settle charges that Countrywide loan officers regularly charged minority borrowers higher rates and fees than those paid by similar white borrowers. In the past year, a number of former Countrywide employees have come forward to say they tried to warn regulators about abusive or lax lending practices at the firm but were either silenced by their superiors, or fired.
None of the executives at PennyMac are directly linked to any of the alleged wrongdoing at Countrywide. Unlike Mozilo and other high-ranking Countrywide executives, Kurland was not charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Kurland has been sued by former shareholders of Countrywide, but PennyMac spokesman Chamberlain says Kurland left Countrywide before much of the practices alleged in the suits occurred.
Either way, PennyMac's current investors don't seem to be bothered by Kurland and his team's past, or by the company's complicated structure. Shares of the REIT have risen nearly 50% in the past year. It doesn't hurt that PennyMac has a 9.3% dividend yield at a time when investment income is hard to come by.
More surprising is the reaction PennyMac gets from consumer advocates. John Taylor, who heads the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and has been a frequent critic of subprime lenders, welcomes the firm. He says mortgage rates have stayed frustratingly high, and that there is a huge number of borrowers who are still having trouble refinancing. Taylor thinks PennyMac and firms like it could help.
"These are not the type of people I want to have over my house for dinner," says Taylor. "But competition is good."

TO FRAUD OR NOT TO FRAUD...that is the question   (8/6/2012)

     Does anyone remember Crazy Eddie of the 80's fame?  He had an electronic shop in downtown Los Angeles.  I remember him because I walked passed his shop often on my was to visit other vendors.

     I often wondered how he did such a boom business.  It was an ordinary shop like so many other electronic shops in Los Angeles. 

Click below to see one of his crazy commercials to see if it jogs your memory
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc-Mhynh_pg

     Recently, I saw Crazy Eddie, Sam Antar in a news special regarding corporate fraud.  You can see it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Egfiqr8TcK8

     It explained a lot.  Now I know why Crazy Eddie did so well among the dozens of electronic shops in downtown Los Angeles.  Now we know how these companies end up making so much money...they have no motivation to stop and prison does not scare them.

Crazy Eddie will tell you how fraud works, if you are interested.  Just click on his website below.  He will tell you what he did that got him prison time. 

http://www.whitecollarfraud.com/947660.html

As I see what is happening in our country today, I think of a line from the movie The Green Mile:

John Coffey: "He kill them wi' their love. Wi' their love fo' each other. That's how it is, every day, all over the world."

Only it's our hope that they are killing us with now.  We keep hoping things will get better.  We hope we are wrong about how evil it is getting.  We hope that it won't effect us and things will get back to normal soon....whatever that is.





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4O-QvjQjU8




  On Tuesday, July 17th, a group from Occupy Fight Foreclosures in Los Angeles met to attend the meeting of the County Board of Supervisors in hopes of addressing our hopes of getting a moratorium on foreclosures until the Homeowners Bill of Rights goes into effect.  

         Within the group were less than a handful of homebuyers who wanted their grievances heard.

         The meeting started with a clown, yes, I mean a literal clown, who dressed up to accuse the Board of Supervisors of being ineffective.  He was an angry man who rambled through his 3-minutes jumping from one subject to another and redirecting back to his perceived ineptness of the Supervisors.

There were several agendas discussed at the meeting and those of us who wanted to address issues not on the regular agenda had to wait until the end, where customarily we would be given 3-minutes to address our concerns.  However, on Tuesday, July 17th, the committee made a motion to reduce our time to one-minute each.

         A group of over 50 people were there to request that the money appropriated for building new prisons, instead be used for programs to help educate youth and get them into positive programs prior to becoming inmates in the prison facilities.

         At long last, it was time for one from our group to go forward and address her grievances.  Her name was Maricella, she had five children and a 92 year old grandmother living with her.  Her home was being foreclosed upon and she was asking for help.  She was asking for an opportunity to save her home.

          She did not speak English well, so she had an interpreter there to interpret her remarks.  She wanted to save her home, she wanted a modification, no one was listening to her and she needed help.

         The interpreter translated with an inflection in his tone that revealed his opinion that he thought this woman was less than worthy.  It was somewhere within that moment and the ones that followed that I felt the imposition of hopelessness and distress that has been inflected on the homebuyers in our country.

      Maricella was dressed humbly in jeans and a t-shirt, she brought her five children with her.  It was not difficult to decipher the opinion of the panel sitting with the board and they glanced impatiently around.

         Gloria Molina, supervisor for the 1st district spoke to the woman impatiently, in Spanish, “Who told you to come here?” she demanded.

         “I am with the Occupy movement,” Maricella looked back for support.

         I was sitting next to Carlos Marroquin who is heading up the Occupy Fight Foreclosure action committee in Los Angeles.  He is a hard working man with a genuine compassion for people.  He has lost his own home to foreclosure and is determined to help others save theirs.  He leaned over and whispered to me what was being said.  “Gloria Molina is not being very nice to this woman,” he said in hushed tones, “She is talking down to her.”

         For the past 5 years I have seen the injustice of the propaganda perpetuated by Wall Street,  “The homebuyers got in over their heads, they got greedy”.  Then this myth is further exacerbated by the damage it causes.  A woman, a mother, a hard-worker, who believed that the lender was helping her to purchase a home, not setting her up to fail, begins to bend under the burden, she is offered a modification, and she sees hope only to be lured into foreclosure by the lenders that are still profiting from their fraud and because of their past reputations of trust and compliance.  The lenders are still able to convince an uninformed public that the homebuyer is responsible for this mess.

         This propaganda might even work when someone like Maricella, who cannot communicate in their language, stands before the Country Supervisors, struggling for the words to express her outrage and discouragement…but after Maricella came others, dressed in suits and ties, dressed like business personnel, asking for a moratorium on foreclosures, outlining the fraud by the lenders.  Some had homes in distress, others did not, but all asked for a moratorium and were well-informed in their brief redress.  

         As we began to leave the auditorium of the Board meeting, a liaison for Gloria Molina came down the aisle and asked to speak to us.  She told us Gloria wanted to set up a meeting with Maricella to see what she could do to help her.  She sent her down to the Department of Consumer Affairs to make an appointment for counseling.

         Too many homebuyers are suffering in silence, like Maricella, they are afraid they will not be heard, and alone, they may not be, but if we stand together, we can make a difference, we can change the conversation from “deadbeat homebuyers” to “Wall Street fraud”.  We can change the course of history, or we can sit idly back until the thief comes to our door in the form of more lost equity in our homes or lost pension earnings as the lenders who are guilty of the fraud continue to grow richer.


At sixteen, Elaine was presented with the idea that there might be more to her identity then she had been raised to believe. Beyond Passing is the exploration of that idea and its significance in her life, and the lives of her family. Told from the prospective of three generations, Beyond Passing deals with the emotional impact that the discovery had on her family and the proceeding generations.

This book appeals to the secrets that all families keep hidden in their closets. It appeals to those who wish for a better understanding of the rationale behind racial and ethnic differences and the pain that stereotyping leaves in its wake.

With its central topic relevant to today’s times, Beyond Passing is a call to cherish one’s racial heritage and embrace the blending pot that has become the American theme. This book is available in trade paperback, trade hardback, and eBook formats. For more information, interested parties may log on to www.Xlibris.com.

About the Author Elaine Galindo, a Los Angeles native, was a clothing designer for many years working for Lily’s Fashions, which carried the brand of Lily’s Fashions and Elaine Galindo Designs. She retired shortly after the unexpected death of her mother in 2006.  

Elaine Galindo is the eldest of four children.  Raised in the suburbs of Southern California by a family who prided themselves in a rich history dating back to the Mayflower and the first settlers in America.  She discovered, in her late adolescence that there was a side of her family history that she had known nothing about.  

After the death of her mother, and armed with a secret that needed telling, she set out to tell the story that touches so many lives in the world today.  “Our character is not defined by the heritage we have received, but rather by the legacy we leave behind.”

Elaine now lives with her husband in Southern California, near the area where she grew up.   Together they have three grown children.

Beyond Passing * by Elaine Galindo

Available at:  Amazon.com
 Barnes and Noble.com
Xlibris.com

 
   
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