Category Archives: Legal

Unclear Regulations Leave Industry in a Funk

A week and a half ago, while working out early one morning, I heard a segment on both CNBC and Bloomberg TV where Tom Donohue, president of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, was telling the audience that the Chamber was focused on creating jobs in the United States. In the segment with each network, he mentioned the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that was enacted in July 2010 and the… Continue reading

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Mortgage Market Faces New Wave of Regulation

After a long lull in regulation, it is clear that the housing and housing finance crisis has spawned a new wave of regulation directed toward different aspects of the housing finance world, including real estate appraisal.

The year 2010 saw an active swell in regulation, starting with the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), passed on July 21, 2010. Embedded in its many… Continue reading

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Treasury Sec. Geithner Refuses Release of Bailout Money to Pay Homeowners’ Legal Fees

Timothy Geithner is not sending some of the bank bailout money at his disposal to homeowners who need help paying legal fees. Many of these homeowners are working with their banks to modify loans but their legal fees have piled up making it impossible for them to catch up with their mortgage payments. According to a General Accounting Office study, even homeowners who are being wrongfully foreclosed due to a… Continue reading

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Fannie and Freddie announce a holiday foreclosure freeze

Between December 20 and January 3, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will not evict any homeowners who are in the process of foreclosure.

“If the property is occupied, our foreclosure attorneys will suspend the eviction to provide a greater measure of certainty to families during the holidays,” Freddie Mac’s Anthony Renzi announced. He is executive vice president of single family portfolio management.

Wells Fargo and Bank of America also announced… Continue reading

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Breaking News: Fed Reserve Reveals Details of $3.3 Trillion Made in Secret Emergency Loans

Today, the Federal Reserve revealed details about $3.3 trillion secret emergency loans made during the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Americans will learn who the secret borrowers were, how much they borrowed and what collateral they had.

The newly released documents show the famous borrowers included Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Foreign banks including Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank also snagged huge loans.

The… Continue reading

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Realtors Use Ancient Squatter Laws to Sell Foreclosed Homes to Low-Income Families

Squatter law dates back to Renaissance England. The common law states that if land or a home has been abandoned and untended, a citizen can take possession of the property if he or his designates live on it, improve it and pay taxes on it for a set period of time. All 50 U.S. states have similar laws still on the books, some dating back to the Civil War, according… Continue reading

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Treasury Sec Met with Jon Stewart—You Too Can Search Tim Geithner’s Schedule

Some online tools are too fun to ignore even if you can’t think of a single pragmatic use for them. ProPublica discovered that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner had an off-the-record meeting with Daily Show host and Zeitgeist-molding comedian Jon Stewart. ProPublica has created a tool that lets you search Geithner’s schedule so you can see whom he met with months ago and who is sitting in the lobby.… Continue reading

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Will Midterm Elections Stop AGs’ 50-State Foreclosure Investigation?

While TV commentators obsessed over midterm Senate races in the Nevada and Delaware—plus witches, college prank kidnappings and tea parties–attorneys general in several states were running for office, too. And some of the AGs who were most committed to the foreclosure fraud investigation lost their races and have only a couple more months left to conclude projects.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who helped coordinate the national investigation, issued… Continue reading

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Bank of America Resumes Foreclosures, Florida AG Finds Bling Bribes in Foreclosure Mill

Bank of America announced it would lift its foreclosure freeze in 23 states. The bank will resubmit documents with new signatures in states that require judicial authorization to begin seizing homes. The bank will delay about 30,000 foreclosures while it reviews the paperwork to ensure it is in order.

Meanwhile, the Florida Attorney General released an investigative report saying that one Tampa Bay-area foreclosure mill rewarded its employees with free jewelry… Continue reading

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The Real Estate Market Was Cold Enough before the Foreclosure Freeze

As if the real estate market wasn’t facing enough pitfalls, the process of flushing the foreclosures through the system has created a new challenge–a legal one. All 50 states’ attorneys general are suing or requesting servicers to stop foreclosing because of their practices. This behavior has damaging implications on the recovery of the real estate and mortgage industry.

Falling home prices and record defaults caused enormous problems within the foreclosure… Continue reading

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