Posted by Larry Doyle on May 1st, 2014 10:22 AM |
I sing the praises of former banking regulator Bill Black in my book, In Bed with Wall Street, for many reasons.
Black stands up, speaks out, and tells it like it is while all too many in our nation’s capital and regulatory offices prostrate themselves in service and homage to powerful financial elites. Major props to Black for bringing attention today to another in a long line of betrayals of American homeowners.
The WSJ and other periodicals recently made passing reference to an egregious travesty within the bank settlements of foreclosure abuse. Props to Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture for providing the forum for Black to expose real fraud in the system and the accompanying degradation of the rule of law in the process. Let’s navigate as Black provides the transparency that is truly the great disinfectant to a system that smells: (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on January 27th, 2014 8:28 AM |
I wish I had the silver bullet to address and fix the rampant abusive practices that have transpired within the mortgage servicing entities of many of our large banks and elsewhere.
That said, the ongoing problematic issues within mortgage servicing practices remain prevalent. How do I know? I hear from people entangled in this mess on an ongoing basis.
In my opinion, these issues go right to the core of what I believe is the problem with the structure of our banking industry in America today. That problem centers on the fact that we have a few banks (e.g., JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo) that dominate the market, especially within the mortgage realm.
As many longtime readers of my blog are aware, this economic structure known as an oligopoly allows, if not promotes, the following abusive type practices: (more…)
Judge Rakoff: Why Have No High Level Executives Been Prosecuted In Connection With The Financial Crisis?
Posted by Larry Doyle on November 14th, 2013 11:15 AM |
It is not often that I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing two Sense on Cents instant classics in the course of just a few days but today I am excited to bring you another absolute MUST READ.
None other than Judge Jed Rakoff, who has heard many of the major financial suits brought over the course of the last few years, spoke the other day to the New York City Bar Association regarding the question so many in our nation still ask, “Why have no high level executives been prosecuted in connection with the financial crisis?”
In what might have been a fabulous foreword to my upcoming book, Rakoff skillfully delivers what I believe is an incredibly excoriating indictment of those within the Department of Justice,the SEC, and elsewhere. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on April 12th, 2013 8:06 AM |
Not that we needed any further evidence that the inmates on Wall Street are running the asylum in Washington or that our nation is seriously eroding from within, but recent testimony regarding the settlement of the mortgage foreclosure debacle provides it.
You recall the shenanigans within this foreclosure fiasco where the banks often employed individuals for $10/hour to robo-sign documents and illegally foreclose on people’s homes, don’t you? I defined this specific practice and much of what it encompassed as part and parcel of an enterprise that could only be described as racketeering. Well, there’s more. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on October 13th, 2010 12:32 PM |
What is really going on in regard to the moratorium on mortgage foreclosures? A lot. Not all of it would qualify as the best of “sense on cents.” My thoughts include the following:
1. Can we now declare the HAMP (Making Home Affordable) program to be totally futile? How is it that everybody on Wall Street and in Washington is now promoting that the economy will be harmed if we forestall the mortgage foreclosure process? What the hell have the wizards in Washington been doing via HAMP and through Freddie and Fannie for the last 18 months? The simple fact is our policy makers have done everything in their power to inhibit the markets from working. Now, all of a sudden, they become proponents of free market principles? Were we born yesterday? Not here at Sense on Cents.
I have continually harangued our Washington politicos for not allowing the housing market to clear, and highlighted how forestalling that process would only prolong our economic pain. We’re feeling that pain now and will be for the foreseeable future.
2. Where are we going with this moratorium? (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on August 17th, 2010 12:12 PM |
With the Conference on The Future of Housing Finance being held in Washington today, do we really expect the government to propose anything that may help support or fix our system of housing finance? I am not optimistic and I am an optimist by nature. I am a big believer in unleashing the power and strength of entrepreneurial minds to address our problems. Why haven’t these minds developed solutions? Do you think that these minds are stifled by the overwhelming presence of Uncle Sam? I do. Back to housing and entrepreneurial spirits.
I love when Sense on Cents can provide fertile ground for the free and open exchange of ideas, opinions, thoughts, and analysis on critically important issues of the day. I am deeply grateful when people not only comment here at Sense on Cents but I encourage people to provide written commentary. I can not promise that I will run every commentary that is submitted but I will seriously review and consider running those that I believe are deserving of greater exposure. I appreciate your allowing me to make those judgments. Plus ….it is my blog.
I have always maintained that jobs and housing are the two great linchpins upon which our economy rests. The government has thrown hundreds of billions of dollars at our housing crisis with no meaningful success….all reports aside. What can be done to solve the foreclosure crisis weighing on our housing market, our economy, and ultimately our nation? (more…)
Posted by senseoncents on February 26th, 2010 10:57 AM |
Great minds think alike. On the heels of my initial morning commentary regarding my belief that housing will remain under pressure, my friends at 12th Street Capital shared a recently released report from Moody’s on the residential mortgage market.
What does Moody’s see? A foreclosure bubble. Ouch!!
HAMP, Moratoriums, and Court Delays Expand Foreclosure Bubble: >>>>> (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on October 13th, 2009 2:40 PM |
Despite hundreds of billions of dollars in support of Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Association, and mortgage modifications, our housing market continues to be swamped with an ever increasing wave of foreclosures. The shadow supply of homes overhanging the market is estimated to be in the realm of 15 month’s worth. Last week, I wrote that Washington needed to address this issue in my post “Washington Needs a New Housing Model.”
Thanks to our friends at 12th Street Capital, we learn today that Treasury will release a new plan next week to stem the wave of foreclosures. How might this work? Let’s navigate a release which came from the Mortgage Banker’s Association convention currently ongoing in San Diego. Housing Wire reports, Treasury to Announce New Program to Avoid Foreclosure:
The United States Department of the Treasury is launching, with an official announcement expected next week, a new program to help ailing borrowers escape foreclosure.
The Chief of the Homeowner Preservation Office at the Treasury, Laurie Maggiano, released information on the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) while speaking at the MBA’s 96th Annual Convention going on in San Diego. The official launch is expected in the next week or so.
HAFA already holds the support of Fannie, according to a VP at the agency, Eric Schuppenhauer, who believes the new program allows borrowers in imminent default to “make a graceful exit” from their home. HAFA will keep the stigma associated with foreclosure away from the borrowers, he added, and help keep communities intact.
Maggiano adds that HAFA will offer financial incentives to both servicers and borrowers, and associated secondary investors, in order to facilitate a short sale or deed in lieu of the property.
Borrowers will need to be Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)-eligible and Maggiano released some stats for the crowd’s consumption. 2,484,783 homeowners have requested information on HAMP. 757,955 HAMP plans were offered. 487,081 trials are underway.
Other additional  incentives to the short sale industry are nearly developed. The IRS will soon offer a 4506EZ form that will enable servicers to pre-fill out the information so that it only requires a borrower’s signature. It also will include softer language so as not put potential participants off.
For those unaware, a “short sale” entails a home being sold for less than the balance of the mortgage. The homeowner is not held responsible or liable for making up the difference between the proceeds generated by the sale and the mortgage balance. That difference is eaten by whomever ‘owns’ or is holding the mortgage. The owner or holder could be the originator if that entity never sold the mortgage. The owner or holder could be a trust on behalf of investors if the loan had been securitized.
What is the motivation to promote short sales rather than allowing the foreclosure process to run its course? Short sales may be short in terms of proceeds although they are not necessarily short in terms of time. That said, short sales typically do expedite the sale of a home. Short sales have typically occurred at a 10-20% discount to the market. Why? The homes have not been prepared for sale, meaning ‘dressed up.’
The monetary incentive provided to mortgage servicers to promote short sales will likely have a similar impact as the monetary incentive provided to modify mortgages. What has that impact been? Not much.
While many of Uncle Sam’s programs have been designed to buy time and allow the market and economy to recover, that approach has proven not to work so far in housing. Will this short sale program work to support housing? I doubt it.
I think what this program will look to achieve is to actually lessen the negative stigma associated with the term foreclosure. If Uncle Sam can say foreclosures are declining, he can then wave the flag as making progress on housing. What he will be doing, however, is merely ‘redefining’ foreclosure or in other words, ‘putting perfume on a pig.’
This program theoretically will negatively impact bank capital as banks will be forced to take a loss sooner rather than later on those mortgages they hold which are involved in short sales.
Aside from that development, real integrity in this process would include:
>> Add short sales to foreclosures as a more robust measure of housing supply stemming from delinquent mortgages.
>> Assess home prices along with rental rates to measure overall cost of housing.