The Anatomy of the Mortgage Securitization Crisis

Abstract:

The current crisis in the mortgage securitization industry highlights significant failures in our models of how markets work and our political will, organizational capability, and ideological desire to intervene in markets. This paper shows that one of the main sources of failure has been the lack of a coherent understanding of how these markets came into existence, how tactics and strategies of the principal firms in these markets have evolved over time, and how we ended up with the economic collapse of the main firms. It seeks to provide some insight into these processes by compiling both historical and quantitative data on the emergence and spread of these tactics across the largest investment banks and their principal competitors from the mortgage origination industry. It ends by offering some policy proscriptions based on the analysis.

SOURCE:

The Anatomy of the Mortgage Securitization Crisis.

Advertisements

GFE: New paperwork meant to protect buyers creates new headaches

Lets not act surprised. New headache to some that have to actually work and explain the package in detail. Ah those days of zooooming by… sign here, initial here are long gone.

That YSP is just a fee we can add to your mortgage…”We can roll it into the mortgage so you don’t need to bring any $$ to the table”. 

WASHINGTON – April 26, 2010 – As the real estate industry makes the transition to a revised Good Faith Estimate (GFE) launched by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) earlier this year, feedback from lenders and consumers suggests that the new process may be confusing and impractical.

Closings have been dragged out as brokers and title insurers strive to understand the longer, more detailed document and explain it to home buyers; and some lenders have been forced to create their own forms in an effort to explain what is reflected in the GFE.

The GFE changes are well-intentioned, aiming to provide new transparency on costs to buyers, who have long complained of hidden fees; better allow comparison shopping between lenders; prevent kickbacks and referral fees; and make lenders more accountable for mistakes or misrepresentations.

But, says Pava Leyrer of Heritage National Mortgage in Grandville, Mich., “borrowers are looking at this form and saying, ‘This doesn’t make any sense for us, why can’t we have something that’s more simple?'”

Among the areas causing confusion are previously itemized costs that are now are lumped together; the inclusion of some seller-paid costs, like title insurance fees, that inflate the estimate by thousands over what the borrower would actually pay at settlement; and the absence of a total monthly payment estimate on the GFE, which borrowers must now calculate on their own by referring to other documents.

Source: Boston Globe (04/23/10) Sainz, Adrian

© Copyright 2010 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Fannie Offers Spur to Avoid Foreclosure: WSJ

SFF posted how DJSP is going to begin to run the “Deed In Lieu” for an undisclosed servicer. Is this the opening door to fend off the millions of foreclosure fraud that are being presented in many courts?? Is this they’re way of “taking care of business” prior to any foreclosure? Go here to see Law offices of David J. Stern as a retained attorney for Fannie Mae. NOTE: almost all Mills are on this list.

By NICK TIMIRAOS

Fannie Mae will make it easier for some struggling homeowners to buy houses in the future if they avoid foreclosure in the present.

Under rules released this month that will take effect in July, some troubled borrowers who give up their homes by voluntarily transferring ownership through a “deed in lieu of foreclosure” or by completing a short sale, where a home is sold for less than the amount owed, will be eligible in two years to apply for a new mortgage backed by Fannie.

Currently, borrowers who complete a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure must wait four years before they can take out a loan that Fannie is willing to purchase.

[FANNIE]The new policies from Fannie, a government-backed mortgage-finance company that together with Freddie Mac backs about half of the U.S. mortgage market, don’t relax waiting periods for borrowers who go through foreclosure.

In 2008, Fannie lengthened that waiting period to five years from four.

To quality for the reduced waiting period, most borrowers will need to make a down payment of at least 20%, although borrowers with extenuating circumstances, such as a job loss, will be required to put down just 10%.

Even if waiting periods are shortened, many borrowers may be unlikely to repair their credit that quickly in order to get a loan in the first place. Foreclosures and short sales generally have the same effect on a borrower’s credit score and can stay on a credit report for up to seven years.

The new rules are designed to make foreclosure alternatives more attractive to borrowers at a time when the Obama administration is ramping up its effort to encourage banks to consider alternatives such as short sales. That program sets pre-approved terms for short sales and offers financial incentives to borrowers and lenders to complete such sales.

Freddie Mac requires borrowers to wait five years after a foreclosure and four years after a short sale or deed-in-lieu.

Those periods can fall to three years for a foreclosure or two years for a short sale when borrowers show extenuating circumstances.

Officials at the Federal Housing Administration, the government mortgage insurer, say they are considering changes to their rules, which require borrowers with a foreclosure to wait at least three years before becoming eligible for an FHA-backed loan.

“We are beginning to think about post-recession, how you address borrowers who became unemployed through no fault of their own … and now deserve the right to re-enter the housing-finance system,” said FHA Commissioner David Stevens. DinSFLA: DOUBLE DUH! Beginning to think?? A little too late.

But some worry that policies enabling defaulted borrowers to more quickly resume homeownership could encourage more people to default.

“We don’t want to say that there’s a ‘get out of jail’ card during recessions to walk away from your house,” Mr. Stevens said. DinSFLA: Exactly who is getting the “GET OUT OF JAIL CARD”??

In December, the FHA unveiled rules for borrowers who completed a short sale.

Those who have missed payments prior to completing a short sale or who didn’t face a hardship and simply took advantage of declining market conditions to buy a new home must wait three years.

Fla. judge reverses GMAC loan: New York Post

Special Thanks to: RICHARD WILNER NYPOST

Fla. judge reverses GMAC loan

By RICHARD WILNER

Last Updated: 4:23 AM, April 25, 2010

Posted: 12:14 AM, April 25, 2010

GMAC Mortgage got slammed by a Florida judge this month — and that may be good news for some of the 1,234 New York homeowners hit with a foreclosure action by GMAC since the beginning of 2008.

In that case, Judge Anthony Rondolino voided a GMAC foreclosure win after he found out legal papers filed by the company with the court to steamroll its way over homeowner Debbie Visicaro were faulty. They were filed by an employee of GMAC’s law firm who had no personal knowledge of the faulty mortgage’s position.

In short, they were based entirely on hearsay.

Lawyers familiar with foreclosure actions filed by law firm mills, as was done in this case, say such instances aren’t rare.

Visicaro, like most of the New York homeowners, at first decided to fight the foreclosure action without a lawyer. She didn’t know that the law firm employee was guessing in his court papers. But Visicaro finally hired a lawyer, Michael Alex Wasylik, who pointed out the flimsy evidence to the judge who then admitted he made a mistake when he first awarded GMAC a quickie legal win.

When the GMAC lawyer couldn’t explain away the bad evidence — and could only manage a Ralph Kramden-like hamina-hamina-hamina — the judge barked: “You’re going to have to speak up. I know that when you’re getting pummeled, it’s hard to talk loudly.”

“You know what I’d really like to see?” Rondolino said. “I’d like to see in one of these cases where a defense lawyer cross-examines, takes a deposition of these people, and we can see whether they ought be charged with perjury for all these affidavits.”

The 720 homeowners still fighting active cases — of the 1,234 filed in New York over the last 28 months — should start asking questions about the affidavits submitted in their cases, lawyers said. Maybe the legal papers in their case are built on legal ground as firm as that in the Visicaro case.

Lenders Unload Mortgages to Collection Agencies

What we were discussing this morning…

dcbreidenbach, on April 26, 2010 at 9:51 am Said:in a prior posting it was stated that defense attys press people to be concerned about deficiency judgements unnecessarily. This advice may be practical for some homeowners but is extremely dangerous for borrowers generally. The current practice of most collectors is to press foreclosure on the mortgage–ignoring the note. This is an inverted approach that enables the collection agency to acquire the property and proceeds of its disposition without ever demonstrating who holds the note, or possession of the note. The collector obtains the home today, settling the mortgage, but is fully capable of selling the note deficiency balance collection rights to an even worse collection agency. The collectors are legally able to lay in the weeds for as much as 5-10 years depending on state laws and the facts of the case. When the homeowner is “back on his feet” with a good job, restored credit and other assets accumulated, the collector shows up with the old note and deficiency judgment and makes the claim plus interest accrued in the meantime. Just when the homeowner thought it was over-he/she is drawn back into the horror. another opportunity for them exists; they know you owe a deficiency amount-they record it and wait for you to die ——-then they come after your estate for proceeds of your life insurance and pension payouts that you thought were to help your family! Be wary of advice that says “dont worry-be happy” ; these people feed on deception, its a way of life to them. Beware disinformation—find attornies if you have deficiencies–force the collectors to warrant that the deficiency is waived. And get a warranty from an employee of one of the big name banks at the minimum that you will not be pursued. Trust them not.
Given any opportunity to screw you they will!

Lenders Unload Mortgages to Collection Agencies

19 April 2010 @ 05:11 pm EDT

Lenders are selling second mortgages and home-equity lines in default to collection agencies that have the right to collect this money potentially for decades.

“It’s a big business, and investors are coming out of the woodwork,” says Sylvia Alayon, a vice president for Consumer Mortgage Audit Center, which analyzes mortgage documents for lenders, advocacy groups, and attorneys.

Real estate professionals will be doing their short-sale clients a big favor if they urge them to get professional advice before they sign agreements, Alayon says.

A new government short-sale program, which takes effect Monday, aims to prevent banks from reselling this debt. Sellers covered under the program will receive notice that secondary lien holders have received part of the proceeds of the sale “in exchange for release and full satisfaction of their liens.”

 Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

Related Story:

FORENSIC AUDIT (FMI) & Securitization

FORENSIC MORTGAGE AUDITS AS TOOLS TO SAVE FORECLOSURE HOMES

Why Your Lawyer May Threaten You With a Deficiency Judgment After Foreclosure

Spitzer & Black: Questions from the Goldman Scandal

Spitzer & Black: Questions from the Goldman Scandal

Monday, 04/26/2010 – 6:37 am by Eliot Spitzer and William Black 

money-question-150Spitzer and Black argue that the Goldman revelations underscore the need for serious financial reform.

For those who have spent years investigating fraud, it was no surprise to hear that Goldman Sachs, the (self-described) jewel of Wall Street, is the latest firm to emerge from the financial crisis with tarnished reputation. According to a lawsuit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Goldman misrepresented to its customers the quality of the toxic assets underlying a complex financial derivative known as a “synthetic collateralized debt obligation (CDO).”

As you may now have heard, the story involves a pair of Paulsons. As CEO of Goldman, Hank Paulson oversaw the buying of large amounts of CDOs backed by largely fraudulent “liar’s loans.” When he became U.S. Treasury Secretary, he went on to launch a successful war against securities and banking regulation. Hank Paulson’s successors at Goldman saw the writing on the wall and began to “short” CDOs. They realized that they had an unusual, brief window of opportunity to unload their losers on their customers. Being the very model of a modern investment banking firm, they thought that blowing up their customers would be fine sport.

John Paulson (unrelated), who controls a large hedge fund, also wanted to short CDOs and he, too, recognized that there was a narrow window for doing so. The reason there was a profit opportunity was that the “market” for toxic mortgages only appeared to be a functioning market. It was, in reality, a massive bubble in which ratings and “market” prices were grotesquely inflated. The inflated prices were continuing only because the huge players knew that the prices and races were fictional and were covering it up through the financial equivalent of “don’t ask; don’t tell.” According to the SEC complaint:

In January 2007, a Paulson employee explained the company’s view, saying that “rating agencies, CDO managers and underwriters have all the incentives to keep the game going, while ‘real money’ investors have neither the analytical tools nor the institutional framework to take action.”

We know from Bankruptcy Examiner Valukas’ report on Lehman that the Federal Reserve knew that the “market” prices were delusional and refused to require entities like Lehman to recognize their losses on “liar’s loans” for fear that it would expose the cover up of the losses. Valukas reports that Geithner explained to him when interviewed (p. 1502) that:

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.

Goldman and John Paulson worked together. One of the key things to understand about shorting is that it is extremely valuable if other major players short similar targets at the same time. By helping Paulson take advantage of Goldman’s customers (the ones that lacked “the analytical tools” to avoid being hosed), Goldman not only earned a substantial fee, but also aided its overall strategy of shorting the toxic paper.

Goldman created a deal in which John Paulson played a major role in selecting the toxic paper that would underlie the investment. He picked assets “most likely to fail – quickly” and studies show that he was particularly good at picking the losers. At this juncture, there is some dispute as to whether ACA was complicit with John Paulson and Goldman in picking losers (ACA initially invested in the synthetic CDO, but then transferred the risk of loss to German and English taxpayers).

What isn’t in dispute is that Goldman, ACA, and Paulson all failed to disclose to purchasers of the synthetic CDO that it was designed to be most likely to fail. The representation was the opposite: that the assets were picked by an independent entity with their interests at heart (ACA). Goldman claims it’s a victim because while it intended to sell its entire position in the synthetic CDO to its customers, it was unable to sell a chunk. One feels the firm’s pain. Goldman tried to blow up its customers to the tune of over $1 billion, but were unable to sell them the last $90 million in exposure.

The Goldman scandal raises several important questions: Did John Paulson and ACA know that Goldman was making these false disclosures to the CDO purchasers? Did they “aid and abet” what the SEC alleges was Goldman’s fraud? Why have there been no criminal charges? Why did the SEC only name a relatively low-level Goldman officer in its complaint? Where are the prosecutors?

In a December New York Times op ed, we, along with Frank Partnoy, asked for the public disclosure of AIG emails and key documents so that we can investigate the deceptive practices exposed by the Goldman case. Goldman used AIG to provide the CDS on most of these synthetic CDO deals (though not the particular one that is the subject of the SEC complaint), and Hank Paulson used tax payer money to secretly bail out Goldman when AIG’s deceptive practices drove it to failure.

The SEC’s Goldman fraud complaint points to fundamental problem in the financial sector that has been at the root of the financial crisis — one that still exists today. The market is not transparent. It has been fraudulently manipulated to enrich managers. Investors lack clear information to make decisions about what they are buying. A continuing absence of real consumer protections makes people like those trying to obtain mortgages before the crash understand that they were, in many cases, being ripped off. According to internal Goldman Sachs e-mails, the company vice president, 31-year old Fabrice Tourre, did not really understand the complex deals he was making. And yet we note that many of these Goldman-style deals were “insured” by AIG. Without transparency, regulators cannot properly see all these kinds of deals in the aggregate. So they can neither stop the fraud nor prevent catastrophic results.

We applaud the SEC lawsuit, but it will not solve the problem. Unless our financial system is reformed to put adequate protections and checks and balances in place, we can expect this kind of fraud to continue. Financial executives will continue to take risks they do not understand. Those who control the flow of capital will continue to churn out profits with socially disastrous consequences.

Related Stories:

Taibbi: Will Goldman Sachs Prove Greed Is God?

Jon Stewart on Goldman Sachs (Red Hot Energy and Gold – Global…, 4/20/10)

ISO Universities To Share Thoughts

Stop Foreclosure Fraud would like to hear from you and post your thesis, articles, views related to our subject matters. Please contact us at StopForeclosureFraud@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Here are excellent samples: 

HARVARD LAW AND ECONOMIC ISSUES IN SUBPRIME LITIGATION 2008

Michael Lewis’s ‘The Big Short’? Read the Harvard Thesis Instead! “The Story of the CDO Market Meltdown: An Empirical Analysis.”