Foreclosures Are Rising: CNBC

Published: Tuesday, 6 Apr 2010 | 1:37 PM ET
By: Diana Olick
CNBC Real Estate Reporter

Foreclosed Home
Repres
Foreclosed Home

The new foreclosure wave is here.

Yes, banks are ramping up loan modifications and ramping up short sales and ramping up deeds in lieu of foreclosure, but the plain fact is that as the systems are oiled, the loans are moving through faster, and the pig in the python is showing its face.

We won’t get the numbers until next week, but sources tell me they will likely be a new monthly record.

Tens of thousands of loans have been hitting the “notice of trustee sale” bin, and that means they are coming to foreclosure.

The actual foreclosure numbers have been down recently because of all the modification efforts, but as we see more loans not qualifying for modifications and more loans defaulting on modifications, the foreclosure numbers rise.

And this is just the beginning.

All the uniform policies and practices that the government has put in place, whether on modifications or short sales, will quicken the process. Foreclosures, which can now take 2 years plus to complete, will happen in less than a year, start to finish.

Clearly the Administration knew of the impending rise in foreclosures, as it revamped its modification, refinance and short sale programs last month, increasing incentives all around and pushing for principal write down. The big question of course is how will the new wave affect home prices, especially in the hardest hit markets.

I pushed Fannie Mae’s chief economist Doug Duncan on this in an interview today on the mortgage giant’s new National Housing Survey. He cited the over 5 million mortgages out there that are seriously delinquent, and said that while the 30-day delinquencies seem to have peaked, “certainly some of the foreclosure backlogs are working their way through the system at this point.” He also said home prices will dip again before hitting bottom later this year.

Yesterday we saw a big bump in the Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index, but my sources tell me that was largely driven by contracts on short sales, which have a far lower rate of closing than regular sale contracts. Estimates are that only about 35 percent of short sale contracts go to closing versus 80 percent of conventional sale contracts.

The home buyer tax credit deadline is 24 days away, and that is pushing some of the numbers up, but not as much as some had hoped.

Credit Suisse’s Dan Oppenheim noted an uptick in buyer traffic in March thanks to the credit, but his survey of real estate agents found, “buyers remain hesitant due to employment concerns. Most of the demand occurred at the low-end of the market.”

SEC Proposes Rules to Increase Investor Protections in Asset-Backed Securities

 Wouldn’t it be “nice” if someone gave a da** about all of us who have had our entire life’s work destroyed?
The primary reason they’re catering to the investors is so many are foreign who won’t think twice about filing lawsuits!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2010-54

Video: Open Meeting
Play video of SEC Chairman Schapiro discussing ABS
Chairman Schapiro Discusses ABS:
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Washington, D.C., April 7, 2010 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today proposed rules that would revise the disclosure, reporting and offering process for asset-backed securities (ABS) to better protect investors in the securitization market.

The proposed rules are intended to provide investors with more detailed and current information about ABS and more time to make their investment decisions. The proposed rules also seek to better align the interests of issuers and investors by creating a retention or “skin in the game” requirement for certain public offerings of ABS.

“The rules we are proposing stem from lessons learned during the financial crisis,” said SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro. “These rules if adopted would revise the regulatory regime for asset-backed securities in order to better protect investors.”

Asset-backed securities are created by buying and bundling loans — such as residential mortgage loans, commercial loans or student loans — and creating securities backed by those assets, which are then sold to investors. Often, a bundle of loans is divided into separate securities with different levels of risk and returns. Payments on the loans are distributed to the holders of the lower-risk, lower-interest securities first, and then to the holders of the higher-risk securities.

Most public offerings of ABS are conducted through expedited SEC procedures known as “shelf offerings.” ABS offerings also are sold as private placements which are exempt from SEC registration. ABS private placements are typically sold to large institutional investors known as qualified purchasers (QIBs).

Public comments on the proposed rules should be received by the Commission within 90 days after its publication in the Federal Register.

# # #

FACT SHEET

Overview:

During the financial crisis, ABS holders suffered significant losses and the securitization market has been relatively dormant ever since. The crisis revealed that many investors were not fully aware of the risk in the underlying mortgages within the pools of securitized assets and over-relied on credit ratings assigned by rating agencies, which, in many cases, turned out to be wrong.

The proposed rules seek to address the problems highlighted by the crisis and to head off the next one, by giving investors the tools they need to accurately assess risk and by better aligning the interests of the issuer with those of the investor.

The Proposed Rules:

Specifically, the Commission’s proposals would:

Require the Filing of Tagged Computer-Readable, Standardized Loan-Level Information

Under the current ABS rules, information about the loans in an ABS pool is required only at the pool level. The SEC will consider whether to propose new disclosure rules that would require ABS issuers to provide specific data for each loan in the asset pool both at the time of securitization and on an ongoing basis.

The loan-level data would cover items such as the terms and underwriting of the loan, credit information about the borrower, and/or characteristics of the property securing the loan. To make the required information comparable among issuers of the same asset class and more useable to investors, the rules require that the data be provided according to proposed standards and in a format tagged in eXtensible Markup Language (XML) so that it may be processed by computer. This would enable investors to synthesize large amounts of data about the underlying assets.

Examples of the types of information that would be provided for each loan in the pool include:

  • A number identifying each loan so that the loan and its performance can be tracked throughout the life of the security.
  • Disclosure of whether or not the loan was made without following the stated loan underwriting standards.
  • Disclosure of the extent to which the obligor’s income was verified (e.g. did the lender look at W-2 forms and tax returns?).
  • Detailed information about the steps being taken by the servicer to limit losses on loans that are not being paid in full.

The proposal requiring loan-level information would apply to ABS issuers that offer securities backed by residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, automobile loans and leases, equipment loans and leases, student loans, floorplan financings, corporate debt, and ABS backed by other ABS.

ABS that are backed by credit card receivables may have millions of accounts in the pool, so those offerings would be exempt from loan-level information requirements. However, proposed new rules would require issuers to disclose more granular information regarding the underlying credit card accounts in tagged, computer-readable and standardized groupings. Under the proposed rules, issuers of ABS backed by credit cards would present statistical data about accounts with similar characteristics grouped by credit score range, age of account, payment status, and geographic location.

Require the Filing of a Computer Program That Gives Effect to the Waterfall

The SEC will consider a proposal requiring, along with the filing of a prospectus for an ABS transaction, the filing of a computer program that demonstrates the effect of the “waterfall.” As noted above, the waterfall dictates how borrowers’ loan payments are distributed to investors in the ABS, how losses or lack of payment on those loans is divided among the investors and when administrative expenses such as servicing those loans are paid to service providers. Currently, a narrative description of the waterfall must be disclosed to investors in the prospectus. The computer program of the waterfall would allow the user to input the loan level data that would also be required to be provided, as described above, giving investors and the markets better tools to analyze an ABS offering.

Provide Investors with More Time to Consider Transaction-Specific Information

The SEC will consider whether to impose time limits before a sponsor of the ABS can conduct the first sale in a shelf offering. Under current rules, issuers may sell ABS almost immediately, without providing investors a minimum amount of time to review the disclosure in the offering materials.

The SEC will consider whether to propose requiring that issuers, for each off-the-shelf takedown or offering, file a preliminary prospectus at least five business days before the first sale in the offering. This would give investors time to consider transaction-specific information, including the loan level data described above, before an investment decision needs to be made.

Repeal the Investment Grade Ratings Criterion for ABS Shelf-Eligibility

Under existing rules, an ABS offering is not eligible for an expedited offering unless the securities are rated investment-grade by a credit rating agency. The SEC will consider whether to propose new ABS “shelf” eligibility criteria to enhance the type of securities that are being offered and the accountability of participants in that securitization chain.

The proposals would require, as a condition for shelf-eligibility, that:

The chief executive officer of the ABS issuer certify that the assets have characteristics that provide a reasonable basis to believe that they will produce cash flows as described in the prospectus.

The ABS sponsor hold five percent of each class of asset-backed securities and not hedge those holdings.

The ABS issuer provide a mechanism whereby the investors will be able to confirm that the assets comply with the issuer’s representations and warranties, such as representations and warranties that the loans in the ABS pool were underwritten in a manner consistent with the lenders’ underwriting standards.

The ABS issuer agrees to file Exchange Act reports with the Commission on an ongoing basis (rather than stop reporting with the Commission in the first year, which the Exchange Act currently permits many ABS issuers to do).

While ratings would continue to be allowed for ABS offerings, the proposed rules would eliminate the ratings requirement from the SEC’s expedited shelf-eligibility test. Additionally, the added information and time provided under the proposals should allow investors to perform their own analyses and rely less on ratings.

Increase Transparency in the Private Structured Finance Market

The SEC will also consider whether to propose disclosure requirements that would increase transparency in the exempt private structured finance market where some types of asset-backed securities, such as collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), are sold. Under these proposals, where an SEC safe harbor (e.g., Rule 144A or Regulation D) is relied upon for the unregistered sale of securities, the issuer must provide investors, upon request, at the time of the offering and on an ongoing basis, the same information that would be required if the offering were registered with the SEC or if the issuer were required to report with the SEC under the Exchange Act.

The SEC also will consider a proposal to require that an ABS issuer file a public notice of the initial placement of securities to be sold under Securities Act Rule 144A. This notice would require information about those ABS offerings and would be publicly filed with the SEC in its EDGAR database. Form D, the notice of an offering made in reliance on Regulation D, also would be revised to collect information on structured finance products.

Make Other Revisions to the Regulation of ABS

The SEC also will consider whether to propose other revisions regarding ABS. Among other things, the SEC will consider whether to propose to:

  • Standardize certain static pool disclosure.
  • Amend the Regulation AB definition of an “asset-backed security” to better ensure that investors have sufficient information about the securities.
  • Require additional information regarding originators and sponsors, such as information for certain identified originators and the sponsor relating to the amount of the originator’s or sponsor’s publicly securitized assets that, in the last three years, has been the subject of a demand to repurchase or replace.
  • Lower the threshold change in the material pool characteristics that triggers the filing of a Form 8-K (pursuant to Item 6.05) from five percent to one percent.
  • Specify, in addition to the loan-level proposed requirements, the disclosure that must be provided on an aggregate basis relating to the type and amount of assets that do not meet the underwriting criteria that is described in the prospectus.

 http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2010/2010-54.htm

Class Action Certification Granted In Illinois for FDCPA Violations: Codilis & Associates

I have a feeling this is going to be the case in one fashion or another against the Foreclosure Mills all over the US! I am going to start a new post for each Class Action related to a Mill. Keep checking back!

April 7, 2010 by christine

A reader from Illinois sent me this information. If you’re being foreclosed upon in Illinois by Codilis & Associates, you might want to pay close attention. This is from Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, P.C.’s website.

Shea v. Codilis

99 C 0057

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4131

March 27, 2000, Decided

DISPOSITION: [*1] Plaintiff’s motion for class certification GRANTED.

COUNSEL: For plaintiff: Daniel A. Edelman, Cathleen M Combs, James O. Latturner, Marianne J. Lee, EDELMAN, COMBS & LATTURNER, Chicago, Illinois.

For defendant: Thomas McGarry, John M. Foley, Matthew R. Henderson, HINSHAW & CULBERTSON, Chicago, Illinois.

JUDGES: David H. Coar.

OPINION BY: David H. Coar

OPINION: Plaintiffs, James and Nancy Shea, received a form letter from Defendants Codilis & Associates, P.C. notifying them that the accelerated balance of their note and mortgage was due. Plaintiffs allege that the letter violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (”FDCPA”) because it does not state the “amount of the debt” as required by 15 U.S.C. @ 1692g. Plaintiffs move to certify a class of individuals who were mailed the same collection form letter from Codilis & Associates, P.C. (that is, providing a dollar figure for the principal balance, but omitting such figures for other types of charges owed) on or after January 7, 1998, in connection with attempts to collect a residential mortgage loan on property located at the same address to which the letter was sent, if the letter was not returned by the Postal Service. [*2]

Plaintiffs seek class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) and 23(b)(3). Defendants do not oppose certification. To establish a class action, rule 23(a) requires that (1) the class be so numerous so as to render joinder of all members impracticable; (2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class; (3) the claims or defenses of the representative class are typical of those of the class; and (4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interest of the class. In addition, rule 23(b)(3) states that common issues of law or fact must predominate over individual issues, and the class action must be the superior method of adjudicating the controversy.

Rule 23 requirements have been satisfied in this case. Defendants are one of the largest mortgage foreclosure firms in the Chicago area, filing more than 1,000 cases annually. Considering Defendants’ use of a standardized form letter, it is reasonable to infer that there will be a large number of class members. The claims of the class center on Defendants’ alleged violation of 15 U.S.C. @ 1692g by use of these collection form letters. Moreover, Plaintiffs’ claims [*3] are based on the same factual issues and legal theories as those of applicable to the class members. The Court is also convinced that Plaintiffs, who retained counsel experienced in brining class action suits and collection abuse claims, will adequately protect the interest of the class.

Furthermore, each proposed class member received the same form letter from Defendants, and the predominant question in this case is whether the language of the form letter violates 15 U.S.C. @ 1692g. A class action is also the superior method of resolving this controversy. Because small claims are at stake, it is improbable that many of the class members would initiate litigation individually. In addition, potential class members may not be aware of the violation of their rights under the FDCPA.

Therefore, Plaintiff’s motion for class certification is GRANTED. The certified class includes:

a. All persons who were mailed a form collection letter from Codilis & Associates, P.C. in the form represented by Exhibit A of Plaintiffs’ complaint, i.e. with a statement that a principal balance is $ “x,” plus other items which are not given a dollar amount;

b. On or after January 7, 1998 (one [*4] year prior to the filing of this action);

c. In connection with attempts to collect a residential mortgage loan on property located at the same address to which the letter is sent; and

d. Which letters were not returned by the Postal Service.

Christine here: If you have questions about joining in this lawsuit, you should call the law firm, which should be available from the link to their site above.

DISCLAIMER:

****CHRISTINE SPRINGER IS NOT A LICENSED ATTORNEY. THIS BLOG IS COMPRISED OF HER OPINIONS, OBSERVATIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY BEFORE RELYING ON OR TAKING ANY ACTION BASED ON THE INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG.****

Source: ForeclosureIndustry.com

Chase Sued: Allegedly Told Homeowner To Stop Payments, Then Foreclosed: The Huffington Post

Arthur Delaney Arthur Delaney Tue Apr 6, 7:09 pm ET

JPMorgan Chase told a California couple to quit making mortgage payments in order to qualify for a loan modification but then foreclosed on their Sacramento home, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.

Faiz and Khadija Jahani called Chase in December 2008 because they were having trouble making their mortgage payments. According to the suit, they were told that they wouldn’t qualify for a modification without being delinquent and that they should stop making payments for three months.

At the beginning of June, the Jahanis claim that they were told they qualified for a modification that reduced their monthly payments. Three weeks later, they received a letter telling them the bank intended to foreclose. This confusing back-and-forth continued for months, with Chase repeatedly asking them to resend paperwork, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California/Sacramento Division, which was first reported by Courthouse News.

The couple is demanding damages of $150,000 for breach of contract, fraud, predatory lending and violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

In October, a real-estate investor knocked on the Jahanis’ door and asked them about buying the house, telling the couple that it was a bank-owned property. When the Jahanis called Chase to find out what was going on, they claim they were reassured that the bank had not foreclosed on the house.

“They kept getting conflicting information,” said lawyer Piotr Reysner. He added that, as far as he can tell from public records, the bank did in fact foreclose on the property. “Unfortunately, they face a situation right now where they could easily get a three-day notice to quit the house.”

Chase did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reysner, a bankruptcy attorney, said he did not know whether the Jahanis had been pursuing their modification via the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program, which started in spring 2009 and gives banks incentives to modify mortgages for hard-luck homeowners. Banks are not allowed to foreclose on borrowers eligible for the program, but they are allowed to move forward with the foreclosure process during a trial modification, a source of much confusion for borrowers everywhere.

“The fact that a servicer is telling a homeowner that they’re taking care of the matter and, while they’re negotiating, the house moves into foreclosure is a completely common scenario in today’s foreclosure world,” said Ira Rheingold, director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

In March, HuffPost reported on Indiana law student Melissa Stuart, who had been making monthly payments under HAMP, only to be told when the trial period ended that she was delinquent. Stuart ultimately won a permanent modification.

HuffPost readers: Weird bank problem? Tell us about it — email arthur@huffingtonpost.com.

UPDATE 6:05 PM: Several readers and commenters have written to say they’re having the same kind of problem. And Melissa Huelsman, a Seattle attorney whose practice focuses on predatory lending and wrongful foreclosure, wrote HuffPost to say clients of hers went through the same process as the Jahanis and were ultimately evicted. She wrote:

I’m just getting ready to file suit against Chase for this same thing, except my clients were actually making their trial loan mod payments up until the month before Chase foreclosed. They went to make the December payment but got a knock on the door from a realtor before they could do so. They spent a couple of weeks trying to get someone at Chase to fix the problem, except that Chase kept telling them that the property had not been foreclosed. Turns out Chase was wrong and the house was sold to a third party. They were just evicted a couple weeks ago and we’re getting ready to file.

Related blogs: Janet Murguía: Obama Steps Up on Foreclosures, Next Step is to Make Sure Families Reap the Benefits, Jonathan B. Mintz: The Top 10 Financial Products and Services that Must Be Regulated in 2010

Read More: Chase Bank, Hamp, JPMorgan Chase, Mortgage, Mortgage Modification

Follow HuffingtonPost on Twitter

Mortgage Assignment Fraud – Law Offices of David Stern Commits Fraud on The Court – Case Dismissed WITH Prejudice

TAKE NOTICE!

Via 4Closurefraud:

U.S. Bank National Assoc., as Trustee v. Ernest E. Harpster Sl-2007-CA-6684-ES

Via Matt Weidners Blog

Well well well…

Looks like an Assignment of Mortgage was FRAUDULENTLY created by David Sterns office and signed by Cheryl Samons. Who woulda thunk…

“By now the fact that foreclosure mills, pretender lenders and their document mills across the country are perpetrating widespread and systemic fraud on the courts is not news.  Well sure major questions remain unanswered such as what will be the ultimate price of all this fraud…as reported previously much of this fraud will go unpunished because much of the evidence is apparently being sent back to the law firms that commit the fraud. (In violation of court rules)  But so much is sliding by these days.

We all must do everything we can to bring fraud to the court’s attention and to preserve the evidence when it is found.  Attached here is the brilliant work of a Foreclosure Fraud Fighter, Ralph Fisher of Tampa, Florida who shows us what the courts are willing to do when a good attorney makes AND PROVES a case of fraud…..Case dismissed WITH PREJUDICE”.

From the order

The hearing time was set for March 1, 2010 at 3 p.m.  for a 20-minute hearing but the Plaintiff  failed to appear.

after sounding the halls and after awaiting telephonic communication from  the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff  still failed  to appear. An assistant for Plaintiff  s counsel called at about 3:44 p.m.  to  find out the outcome of  the hearing.

Motion to Compel, the court finds  that the Plaintiff  has failed  to produce answers to  the Interrogatories for a period of  26 months

The Defendant’s Motion in  Limine/Motion to  Strike was based on an allegation that the Assignment of Mortgage was created after the  filing of  this action, but the document date and notarial date were purposely backdated by  the Plaintiff to a date prior the filing of  this foreclosure action.

The Assignment, as an  instrument of  fraud  in  this Court intentionally perpetrated upon this court by the Plaintiff, was made to appear as though it was created and notorized on December 5, 2007. However, that purported creation/notarization date was facially  impossiblethe stamp on the notary was dated May 19,2012. Since Notary commissions only last four years in Florida (see F  .S.  Section 117.01  (l  )), the notary stamp used on this instrument did not even exist until approximately five months after the purported date on the Assignment.

The court specifically finds  that the purported Assignment did not exist at the time of  filing of this action;  that the purported Assignment was subsequently created and the execution date and notarial date were fraudulently backdated, in a purposeful, intentional effort to mislead the Defendant and this Court. The Court rejects the Assignment and finds  that is not entitled to introduction in evidence for any purpose. The Court finds  that the Plaintiff does not have standing to bring its action.

IT IS THEREFORE. ORDERED AND ADJUDGED THAT:

The Motion to Compel is granted. As a sanction for egregious failure to comply with discovery Rules the Plaintiff  shall be prohibited from presenting the alleged Promissory Note to  this Court.

The Plaintiff  shall be prohibited from introducing into evidence the alleged Promissory Note.

The Plaintiff’s recording and filing regarding the fraudulent Assignment of Mortgage is  stricken, and the Plaintiff  is prohibited from entering the Assignment of Mortgage into evidence.

The Motion for Rehearing of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss is granted and the Motion to Dismiss is granted. The Plaintiff’s complaint is dismissed with prejudice, based on the fraud intentionally perpetrated upon the Court by the Plaintiff.

Moral to the story… ALL assignments are FRAUDULENT.

CHALLENGE EVERYTHING!