Tapped Out: When Water Bills Force Foreclosure

Some may recall the post I did about DISTURBING BEHAVIOR in FLORIDA: The $67K Water Lien! Revoked Homestead!

I guess this isn’t that rare. Take a look what a $3,000 unpaid water bill can do if you DO NOT HAVE ANY MORTGAGE.

One raw day in early February, Vicki Valentine stood by helplessly as real estate investors snatched her West Baltimore home over what began with an unpaid city water bill of $362. Valentine lost the property after the city sold her debt to investors through a contentious and byzantine legal process called a tax sale. This little-known type of foreclosure can enrich investors as growing numbers of property owners struggle to pay their bills.

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INDYMAC FEDERAL BANK 1270 NORTHLAND DR STE 200 MENDOTA HEIGHTS MN

Someone did something very, very naughty!

This involves

MY PROPERTY!

Fidelity National Takeover Talks Fail: WSJ

MAY 17, 2010, 10:55 P.M. ET

BY PETER LATTMAN: The Wall Street Journal

The pending takeover of Fidelity National Information Services Inc. collapsed late Monday, with a Blackstone Group-led consortium dropping its plan to acquire the financial-data processor, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Fidelity National’s board had asked for a “substantial increase” above the $32-per-share bid the private-equity firms had proposed, said a person familiar with the deal talks. The two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on price, this person said, and the investor group backed out of the deal.

Late Monday, Fidelity National shares dropped nearly 10% in after-hours trading, to roughly $26 each. (Fidelity National is unrelated to

Continue reading HERE

RELATED STORY: Reports say buyout firms looking to acquire Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS)

Class Warfare: Hundreds Protest Outside Bankers’ Houses In DC

Perhaps an early “Wake Up” call next time…

First Posted: 05-16-10 08:00 PM | Updated: 05-17-10 05:46 PM

Arthur Delaney
arthur@huffingtonpost.com | HuffPost Reporting

Huge raucous crowds converged outside bank employees’ houses on Sunday afternoon to demand banks stop lobbying against Wall Street reform.

“Bank of America: bad for America!” shouted community leaders outside the house of Bank of America deputy general counsel Gregory Baer.

The Chicago-based grassroots organization National People’s Action, in coordination with the SEIU, bused more than 700 workers from 20 states to Baer’s neighborhood, one of the wealthiest corners of Washington. The action kicks off several days of protests targeting K Street for lobbyists’ role in financial reform.

Baer himself went unnoticed until a neighbor outed him. The mob booed loudly as he walked into his house. “I don’t have time for you,” he said, according to Trenda Kennedy of Springfield, Ill. who used a bullhorn to tell the crowd about her trouble getting a mortgage modification from Baer’s bank.

Kennedy told HuffPost she’d been making reduced monthly payments thanks to a trial modification via the Home Affordable Modification Program. She said that when the bank turned her down for a permanent mod, she was told she still owed all the money she’d been paying during the trial. She said she’s been notified of several sheriff’s sale dates but has somehow managed to keep her home.

“Every time I’m inches away from losing my house, by some miracle it’s been pushed off,” said Kennedy, who is a member of Illinois People’s Action.

Passersby and dogwalkers smiled at the sight of people gathered all over Baer’s lawn and blocking the road. Baer’s neighbor from across the street won little sympathy when he angrily yelled at protesters for waking up his two-year-old daughter. Kennedy was one of several people who used a bullhorn to tell personal bank horror stories.

Baer, formerly a senior official at the Treasury department, is a lawyer for the bank’s regulator and public policy legal group. Bank of America declined to comment.

“Bank of America came to the homes of everyday Americans when you spread predatory loans in neighborhoods across, the country, when you financed payday-lending storefronts, when your reckless behavior sent the economy to the brink of disaster, and when your bank-owned properties littered neighborhoods from coast to coast,” said a letter the group asked Baer to deliver to CEO Brian Moynihan. “You’ve created a historic mess and have been unreceptive to very polite, very formal and very consistent requests to fix the problems you helped create.”

The group also protested outside the house of Peter Scher, a lobbyist for JPMorgan Chase. Nobody answered the door.

UPDATE 5/17/10: Bank of America says Baer didn’t say “I don’t have time for you.”

“He did not make that comment to the crowd,” said a spokeswoman in an email. “Actually, Mr. Baer was away from his home and he returned home after his teenage son called him. Mr. Baer did say as he was walking up to his home that he needed to get inside his home to be with his son who was frightened and upset over what was going on outside.”

The bank also disputes the groups’ characterization of its lobbying and its efforts to help the economic recovery. “Bank of America supports financial regulatory reform, and has noted this publicly many times. We are committed to supporting and stimulating the economic recovery in our communities,” the spokeswoman wrote. “We are also vigorously modifying home loans and credit card balances for consumer and business customers in addition to eliminating debit card overdraft fees — steps that are necessary to help customers overcome financial challenges and succeed in this economy. Please visit [this page] for more information.”

Assignee Liability in the Secondary Mortgage Market

“Rather, the ASF’s concern is the ad hoc body of federal and state law that currently subjects innocent secondary market assignees to liability.”

Interesting point:

Shifting the burden for predatory practices from cheated subprime borrowers to passive investors and other subprime borrowers simply shifts the burden of predatory practices among innocent parties

Irony!

The primary market actors directly responsible for harmful predatory practices already are subject to extensive, if sometimes ineffective, government regulation.
Position Paper
of the
American Securitization Forum
June 2007
snip…………………………………………
It is important to remember that, although the holder-in-due-course doctrine constitutes an important protection for innocent assignees, it does not afford an absolute protection to all assignees. In order to benefit from holder-in-due-course status, an assignee must take the loan in good faith and cannot have actual or implied knowledge of a variety of loan defects, including that the loan was originated through fraudulent means. Courts will also deny holder-in-due-course status to an assignee that has such a close connection with the originator that the originator effectively is an agent of the assignee35 or where knowledge of the originator’s wrongdoing can be imputed to the assignee on some other basis, such as joint-venture or aiding-and-abetting theories.36 In addition, assignees that engage in wrongful conduct themselves in connection with mortgage loans are subject to potentially serious liability under a variety of federal and state legislation.37

The ASF does not contest the scope of liability under these laws for secondary market assignees that are culpable. Rather, the ASF’s concern is the ad hoc body of federal and state law that currently subjects innocent secondary market assignees to liability. This body of law lacks coherence and is often internally inconsistent, in part because the perception that assignees must be held responsible for the sins of loan originators becomes more politically salient during periods of turmoil in the housing market. At such times, there is a tendency for lawmakers to turn to the secondary market as the deep pockets available to compensate for the failure of regulatory authorities to effectively oversee and punish those loan originators that engage in illegal conduct.