No authoritative estimate of total foreclosures

I put enough into these figures as I do in the “real” unemployment numbers. While they try to count numbers, I count lives.

WASHINGTON – March 23, 2010 – How many foreclosed homes are really out there? No one can say for sure, but the number seems to be somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million.

To date, no one has been able to track the total number of properties owned by banks, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and mortgage investors. Here are a few approximations:

• Barclays Capital uses foreclosure data from mortgage securities to estimate that there are slightly more than 600,000 homes in the process of foreclosure.

• RealtyTrac, which examines public records, estimates the number is closer to 700,000.

• Independent housing economist Tom Lawler combines data from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and securitization trusts to conclude that there are actually about 500,000.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, James R. Hagerty (03/19/2010)

How about puting the many faces and families into this equation instead of trying to put emphasis on numbers! Try numbers on Illegal foreclosure, evicted shattered lives MAYBE?

MERS Affidavit: Exactly who and what they are.

From: b.daviesmd6605




The Client Assistance program is called the Attorney Consumer Assistance Program (ACAP). ACAP is the department that handles client complaints and even can resolve some problems before a complaint is filed. Call the ACAP Hotline – 866/352-0707.

If any of you have any other states please feel free to link to comments and note the STATE. 

Frivilous Pleading Letter (Florida) to Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A.

I really enjoy MR. BARNES work!


July 23, 2008

William Jeff Barnes, Esq. 1515 North Federal Highway
Atrium Building, Suite 300
Member of Florida and Colorado Bars Boca Raton, Florida 33432
Certified Mediator (Florida, Minnesota)
Certified Arbitrator (Florida) telephone: (561) 864-1067
telefax: (702) 804-8137
Ruth Barnes: International/Multilingual
Certified Mediator (Florida, Minnesota) e-mail:
Certified Arbitrator (Florida)

July 2, 2008

(954) 233-8333
Maria M. Solomon, Esq.
Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A.
801 South University Drive, Suite 500
Plantation, Florida 33324

Re: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Defendant (Key West, Florida): FORMAL STATUTORY


Dear Ms. Solomon:
This letter is being provided to you, the Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A., and your client Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (Plaintiff in the Action identified herein) as formal notice, pursuant to the matters herein and Fla.Stat. sec. 57.105, of this Firm’s client Defendant demand that you immediately and forthwith dismiss, with prejudice, that certain civil action styled Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Defendant et al., 16th Judicial Circuit Court Case No. 2007-CA-1120-K (Key West, Florida, hereafter referred to as the “Action”); to provide clear title to the real property the subject of the Action; for refund of all monies paid by Defendant incident to the alleged “loan” the subject of the Action; and for payment of attorneys’ fees and costs which are awardable under various Federal and state statutes violated by your filing of the Action. This letter is also being sent as formal notice of Defendant’s Motion for Sanctions (copy attached hereto) which will be filed and set for hearing unless, pursuant to Fla.Stat. sec. 57.105(4), within twenty-one (21) days of today, Defendant’s demands as set forth herein are not complied with in writing confirmed by fax receipt, by this Firm, of the July 2, 2008 57.105 demand and notice to Maria Solomon, Esq. re: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Defendant et al., page 2 of 3

necessary documents to legally effect the demands made herein. The facts supporting this demand and the attached Motion are as follows, which are admissions by you, as an agent of the Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A., in the Complaint which you filed:

(a) On or about August 22, 2007, you, as an agent and attorney of the Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A., caused a civil action for foreclosure and to “enforce loan documents” to be filed in the 16th Judicial Circuit in and for Monroe County, Florida, which has been assigned case number 2007-CA-1120-K;

(b) In paragraph “5.” of Count I of the Complaint, you affirmatively represent to the Court that “The Plaintiff owns and holds the Note and Mortgage”;

(c) In paragraph “4″ of Count I, you affirmatively represent to the Court that the mortgage was “subsequently” assigned to the Plaintiff “by virtue of an assignment to be recorded” (that being some time in the future);

(d) In paragraph “20″ of Count II, you affirmatively represent to the Court that “The Plaintiff is not presently in possession of the Note and Mortgage” and “the Plaintiff cannot reasonably obtain possession of the Note and Mortgage because THEIR whereabouts cannot be determined (original emphasis):

(e) In paragraph “22″ of Count II, you affirmatively represent to the Court that “The Plaintiff will agree to the entry of a Final Judgment of Foreclosure wherein it will be required to indemnify and hold harmless the Defendant(s) [sic] Defendant, from any loss they [sic] may occur by reason of a claim by another person to enforce the lost Note and Mortgage.”;

(f) The Action thus inconsistently but affirmatively alleges, in Count I, that “Plaintiff owns and holds the Note and Mortgage” when in fact the admissions in Count II demonstrate, by the allegations of paragraphs “20″ and “22″ of the Complaint, that the Plaintiff DOES NOT and CANNOT legally establish possession or ownership of the Note or the Mortgage and that same is/are in the possession of an unknown party or parties;

(g) A copy of the Note is not even attached to the Complaint (only an alleged “ledger of loan”);

(h) By virtue of the admissions of the Plaintiff in paragraphs “20″, “21″, and “22″ of the Complaint, the Plaintiff has actual knowledge that it never, at any time material, had possession of either the mortgage or the note as same were sold, assigned, or transferred as part of the single-transaction securitization process which resulted in the subject mortgage and/or note being sold as

July 2, 2008 57.105 demand and notice to Maria Solomon, Esq. re: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Defendant et al., page 3 of 3

parceled obligations and becoming part of one or more tranches within a special investment vehicle;

(i) that the Plaintiff cannot establish that the subject note or mortgage is owned or controlled by the Plaintiff “indenture trustee” for unnamed holders of a series of asset-backed bonds (a copy of which are not even attached to the Complaint);

(j) As a direct and proximate result of the transaction referred to in paragraph “h” above, the Plaintiff does not and cannot establish legal standing to even institute a foreclosure action;

(k) As such, the allegation by the Plaintiff in paragraph “5″ of the Complaint constitutes matters which are completely devoid of factual or legal support and are thus “frivilous” within the meaning of Fla.Stat. sec. 57.105;

(l) As the primary and threshold issue of legal standing to institute the Action cannot be satisfied (which was known to you, the Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A., and the Plaintiff at the time that the Action was instituted), the Action is a patently frivilous claim within the meaning of Fla.Stat. sec 57.105 and the filing and prosecution thereof constitutes a fraud upon the Court.

Your client and your Firm are thus charged with actual notice of the filing of an frivilous claim, as you, your client, and the Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A. knew or should have known that the Action was both not supported by the material (and record) facts necessary to establish the claim for foreclosure and would not (and could not) be supported by the application of then-existing law to the material (and record) facts.

As such, this Firm has been directed to file and set for hearing, after the expiration of twenty-one (21) days from today (that being Thursday, July 24, 2008), the attached Motion for Sanctions and to seek attorneys’ fees from both your client and your Firm if the demands set forth herein for immediate dismissal of the Action with Prejudice, providing of clear title to the property the subject of the action, refund of all monies paid by Defendant in connection with the original “loan” the subject of the Action, and payment of all attorneys’ fees and costs associated with this demand are not complied with in writing by the close of business (5:00 p.m.) Wednesday, July 23, 2008.


Jeff Barnes, Esq.

attachment (enclosed with mailed original)
copy to: Defendant (w/attachment)


Florida County To Add Online Bidding: Open to FRAUD?

Buyers better watch what they buy and the risk with Foreclosed homes like ours!  BID RIGGING from the comfort of your home?

Florida County To Add Online Bidding
Florida’s Broward County, home to Fort Lauderdale, which has the state’s third-highest foreclosure rate, is taking an innovative step to make selling foreclosed properties faster and easier.

Broward plans to introduce an online system where bidders can make offers on properties from anywhere in the world. The online system is expected to market as many as 1,000 homes a week, double the number sold at courthouse auctions, says Broward Clerk of Courts Howard C. Forman.

Participants must put down a deposit equal to 5 percent of the estimated high bid for each property they hope to buy. When all participants have entered their best bid on a property, the system will evaluate them and declare the highest bidder the winner.

Officials say the online auctions will speed up the process, allow staff to do other things, and potentially save thousands of dollars every month.

Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel 903/22/2010)

New York Fed Warehousing Junk Loans On Its Books: Examiner’s Report

Ryan Grim
| HuffPost Reporting                                                                                                                 First Posted: 03-22-10 01:12 PM   |   Updated: 03-22-10 04:34 PM

As Lehman Brothers careened toward bankruptcy in 2008, the New York Federal Reserve Bank came to its rescue, For once, Grayson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke are in agreement, to a point. A New York Fed spokesman directed HuffPost to congressional testimony Bernanke delivered last month. “While the emergency credit and liquidity facilities were important tools for implementing monetary policy during the crisis, we understand that the unusual nature of those facilities creates a special obligation to assure the Congress and the public of the integrity of their operation,” Bernanke said. “Accordingly, we would welcome a review by the GAO of the Federal Reserve’s management of all facilities created under emergency authorities.”

Just how far that review would go is the subject of debate in the Senate.

The Valukas report found clear evidence that the New York Fed knew that Lehman was sending it garbage that it had no intention to market. In other words, the baskets of assets were created for the specific purpose of selling to the Fed for far more than they were worth.

Lehman knew it too: “No intention to market” was scrawled on one of the internal presentations about the assets. A separate bank, Citigroup, later characterized the assets as “bottom of the barrel” and “junk” when Lehman tried to push them their way, according to the report.

If Lehman hadn’t gone bankrupt anyway, the public would have no knowledge of this backdoor bailout. “It’s just fortuitous that we found out about this through a bankruptcy proceeding and a trustee that was willing to allow and pay for some digging,” said Grayson. “Do we really just have to hope for the best, that whenever the Fed does something wrong, we might someday find out about it?”

Geithner himself was aware that there was a gap between what Lehman claimed the assets were worth and what they were really worth. “The challenge for the Government, and for troubled firms like Lehman, was to reduce risk exposure, and the act of reducing risk by selling assets could result in ‘collateral damage’ by demonstrating weakness and exposing air’ in the marks,” Geithner said, according to the report.

The assets, called “Freedom CLOs”, were sold to the Fed’s “Primary Dealer Credit Facility,” according to the report.

Lehman immediately recognized the value of what the Fed had set up. A day after the PDCF was announced, an internal Lehman analysis suggested that “the new ‘Primary Dealer Credit Facility’ is a LOT bigger deal than it is being played to be.” The facility could be a used as “as a warehouse for all types of collateral, we should have plenty of flexibility to structure and rethink CLO/CDO structures.”

It was a get-out-of-debt scheme and could “serve as a ‘warehouse’ for short term securities [b]acked by corporate loans [and] “MAY BE THE ‘EXIT STRATEGY’ FUNDING SOURCE WE NEED TO GET NEW COMPETITION IN THE CORPORATE LOAN MARKET,” according to the Lehman analysis.

But not one that Lehman felt like discussing with the public. “Given that the press has not focused (yet) on the Fed window in relation to the [Freedom] CLO, I’d suggest deleting the reference in the summary below,” CEO Dick Fuld wrote in an April 4, 2008 email uncovered by the report. “Press will be in attendance at the shareholder meeting and my concern is that volunteering this information would result in a story.”

Fuld has declared himself vindicated by the report.

The Fed won’t say how much more toxic “garbage” is in the Fed’s “warehouse” and that also concerns Grayson.

“The Fed’s balance sheet is a cartoon version of what’s actually inside,” said Grayson.
“We only get to basically do autopsies on the carcasses of the Fed’s failures, but what we don’t find out is when they show favoritism to companies that do not end up in bankruptcy.”

The Treasury didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Below is the relevant section of the report:

(c) In Addition to a Liquidity Backstop, Lehman Viewed the PDCF as an Outlet for Its Illiquid Positions
The PDCF not only provided Lehman with a ready response to those who speculated it would go the way of Bear Stearns, but also a potential vehicle to finance its illiquid corporate and real estate loans. A day after the PDCF became operational, Lehman personnel commented: “I think the new ‘Primary Dealer Credit Facility’ is a LOT bigger deal than it is being played to be . . . .” They mused that if Lehman could use the PDCF “as a warehouse for all types of collateral, we should have plenty of flexibility to structure and rethink CLO/CDO structures . . . .” Additionally, by viewing the PDCF as “available to serve as a ‘warehouse’ for short term securities [b]acked by corporate loans,” the facility “MAY BE THE ‘EXIT STRATEGY’ FUNDING SOURCE WE NEED TO GET NEW COMPETITION IN THE CORPORATE LOAN MARKET.”

Lehman did indeed create securitizations for the PDCF with a view toward treating the new facility as a “warehouse” for its illiquid leveraged loans. In March 2008, Lehman packaged 66 corporate loans to create the “Freedom CLO.” The transaction consisted of two tranches: a $2.26 billion senior note, priced at par, rated single A, and designed to be PDCF eligible, and an unrated $570 million equity tranche. The loans that Freedom “repackaged” included high‐yield leveraged loans, which Lehman had difficulty moving off its books, and included unsecured loans to Countrywide Financial Corp.

Lehman did not intend to market its Freedom CLO, or other similar securitizations, to investors. Rather, Lehman created the CLOs exclusively to pledge to the PDCF. An internal presentation documenting the securitization process for Freedom and similar CLOs named “Spruce” and “Thalia,” noted that the “[r]epackage[d] portfolio of HY [high yield leveraged loans]” constituting the securitizations, “are not meant to be marketed.”

Handwriting from an unknown source underlines this sentence and notes at the margin: “No intention to market.”

Lehman may have also managed its disclosures to ensure that the public did not become aware that the CLOs were not created to be sold on the open market, but rather were intended solely to be pledged to the PDCF. An April 4, 2008 email containing edits to talking points concerning the Freedom CLO to be delivered by Fuld stated:

“Given that the press has not focused (yet) on the Fed window in relation to the [Freedom] CLO, I’d suggest deleting the reference in the summary below. Press will be in attendance at the shareholder meeting and my concern is that volunteering this information would result in a story.”

It is unclear, based solely on the e‐mail, why a reference linking the FRBNY’s liquidity facility to the Freedom CLO was deleted. One explanation could be that Lehman did not want the public to learn that it had securitized illiquid loans exclusively to be pledged to the PDCF. Another reason may have been to hide the fact that Lehman needed to access the PDCF in the first place, given that accessing the securities dealers’ lender of last resort could have negative signaling implications.

The FRBNY was aware that Lehman viewed the PDCF not only as a liquidity backstop for financing quality assets, but also as a means to finance its illiquid assets. Describing a March 20, 2008 meeting between the FRBNY and Lehman’s senior management, FRBNY examiner Jan Voigts wrote that Lehman “intended to use the PDCF as both a backstop, and business opportunity.” With respect to the Freedom securitization in particular, Voigts wrote that Lehman saw the PDCF

as an opportunity to move illiquid assets into a securitization that would be PDCF eligible. They [Lehman] also noted they intended to create 2 or 3 additional PDCF eligible securitizations. We avoided comment on the securitization but noted the firm’s intention to use the PDCF as an opportunity to finance assets they could not finance elsewhere.

Thus, the FRBNY was aware that Lehman viewed the PDCF as an opportunity to finance its repackaged illiquid corporate loans. The Examiner’s investigation has not determined whether the FRBNY also understood that these Freedom-style securitizations were never intended for sale on the broader market.

In response to a question from FRBNY analyst Patricia Mosser on whether Voigts knew “if they [Lehman] intend to pledge to triparty or PDCF,”5359 Voigts replied that the Freedom CLO was “created with the PDCF in mind.”

According to internal Lehman documents, Lehman did in fact pledge the Freedom CLO to the PDCF. On three dates, March 24, 25 and 26, 2008, Lehman pledged the Freedom CLO to the FRBNY on an overnight basis, and received $2.13 billion for each transfer.5361 FRBNY discussions concerning the CLO’s underlying assets, however, took place on or around April 9, 20085362 — more than a week after the FRBNY began accepting the CLO.


UPDATE: Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge has been all over this scandal.

Get HuffPost Business On Twitter, Facebook, and Google Buzz! Know something we don’t? E-mail us at huffpostbiz@gmail.comsopping up junk loans that the investment bank couldn’t sell in the market, according to a report from court-appointed examiner Anton R. Valukas.

The Perks of Being a Goldman Kid: PAY RAISES

Investment Banking

The Perks of Being a Goldman Kid

March 22, 2010, 6:18 am

<!– — Updated: 3:02 pm –>

Perks Watch

Working for Goldman Sachs remains a well-paid family affair.

Last month, the blogosphere was atwitter with reports that Jonathan Blankfein, the son of Goldman chief executive Lloyd C. Blankfein, would be joining the firm when he graduates from Harvard this spring and that older son, Alex, was working at the company in a “capacity that isn’t clear.”

Gawker said that its item was based on a tipster, but the preliminary proxy that Goldman filed on Friday afternoon seems to confirm the tip.

Under the section “Certain Relationships and Other Transactions,” the filing notes that “a child” of Mr. Blankfein — the filing does not give any other details, including the child’s name or a role at the company — was a nonexecutive employee last year who made $155,000.

According to the filing, two other Goldman executives, general counsel Esta E. Stecher and chief financial officer David A. Viniar, also have children who work at Goldman, though as with Mr. Blankfein, the filing did not give the children’s names or their roles at the company.

But the filing did note that Ms. Stecher’s son made $200,000 last year and that Mr. Viniar’s stepdaughter made $225,000 last year. That’s a substantial increase from 2008, when the two children made $124,000 and $150,000, respectively, according to Goldman’s 2009 proxy.

Michelle Leder

Go to Goldman Sachs Filing with the S.E.C. »