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Check out this really depressing map (this link takes you to the full-sized image).

foreclosure map

The text introducing the map: "Leading Democrats, such as Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) whose state was hit hard by the real estate downturn, have called on lenders to halt foreclosures. But the Obama administration says a nationwide delay could devastate the fragile real estate market in places like Florida."

Looking at Florida on that map, I'd say the devastation has already been wrought.

Meanwhile, Bank of America continues in its position as the most likely lender to fraudulently foreclose on borrowers. Here's the latest egregious story, from a few days ago.

In one of the more bizarre foreclosure cases, Bank of America is threatening to throw a West Hartford family out of their home even though the couple never missed a mortgage payment.

The largest bank in the United States earlier this month notified Shock Baitch and his wife Lisa (Friedman) Baitch that foreclosure action will start today – Christmas eve – unless the couple agrees to put their home up for a forced sale.

Why?

Because another unit of Bank of America erroneously reported to credit agencies that the family was seeking a loan modification, ruining their credit rating and as the result putting their mortgage into default.

All this is happening even though the bank – after admitting it erred and sent a letter of apology in September – handed this case to a special unit at Bank of America that is charged with dealing with severe customer issues. It promised  to notify the credit reporting agencies that the couple were not deadbeats, but were good credit risks.

“I have never seen a case like this,” said Manchester attorney Wendell Davis, whose office handles many foreclosures.

Before taking the case, Davis said he thoroughly checked Baitch’s records and found that all his and his wife’s allegations were accurate.

“They have never even been late on a mortgage payment,” said Davis this morning in an interview....

Baitch’s story began about a year ago when he and his wife wanted to refinance their home in order to pay for improvements and to consolidate their debts. Baitch is a firefighter.

They spoke to a BofA loan specialist and asked for the cheapest refinance option. The loan specialist tentatively put them into the “Making Home Affordable program,” which unbeknownst to the couple would signal to the credit world that they were in financial straits.

When the couple received a package of papers to sign, they decided to go with a conventional mortgage because they did not want to have to add escrow costs and home insurance to their mortgage payments, not because they were aware of the ramifications on the loan program.

But it was too late. Shortly after that, in April, Baitch’s wife (whose name is on the mortgage) received a letter from BofA telling her that the credit limit on one of her credit cards was reduced to $18,800 from $30,000. The two weren’t worried because they had plenty of credit available on other credit cards. Baitch said he just figured that the bank was tightening everyone’s credit.

It was only after his wife started receiving notifications from other creditors that several of her other accounts were being closed that the couple discovered what had happened.

Because of BoA's fraudulent reports to credit bureaus, the couple's credit has been ruined. Supposedly BoA is working on restoring the credit limits on their BoA accounts, but that doesn't fix their credit rating. That's a hassle for the couple, but the true nightmare is the foreclosure letter the couple received just before Christmas, a foreclosure proceeding that no one at BoA has been able to justify. Baitch describes the long trail of customer relations calls he's made, culminating at the top.

“I then spoke to Debbie Lambert from the Office of the CEO and President. Debbie advised me that, in fact, my account is still “under review” and has a “work out negotiator” assigned to the case. She could not explain why the letter of foreclosure was issued, but, did confirm that our status is that we are still in the loan modification process. A process we NEVER agreed to or ever entered and were PROMISED that it would be corrected!”

“So, in summary, BOA is threatening to proceed with foreclosure on a house that was NEVER late or in risk of default. No one at BOA can find where this letter came from, but admits, that somewhere in there system, some department at BOA thinks we are to be foreclosed on. This is just proof that BOA is far too large to be of any benefit to themselves or the consumer.”

Reading this story, and looking at that map of the extent of the crisis, might be enough to make the Geithner and Obama reconsider forcing a national halt on foreclosures. Letting the banksters steal it all isn't a policy solution.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:30 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Given that the Making Homes Affordable (30+ / 0-)

    program is supposed to be accessible to borrowers who are NOT in default but who want to refinance to a lower rate with a low level of equity, the idea that it has such an impact on credit is scary - many people in that situation would not know this would be the effect.

    The other part of that program does help people in serious trouble, but half of that program is for people who are not in trouble, but want to avoid trouble in the future by lowering their payments.

    •  I'm scared too now. I didn't do the MHA loan, but (18+ / 0-)

      I was sent MHA paperwork by my pushy lender, but I did not fill it out.  I have excellent credit, and I believe my lender sent me the paperwork and has been phoning me frequently because they think they can profit from a refi.

      I suppose I need to check my credit report now, to make sure there wasn't a similar mistake with my credit rating.

      In any case, mere participation in the "Making Homes Affordable" program should not cause anyone's credit rating to tank.  That's just wrong.

      B of A is evil.

      A Wall Street "bonus" should not be more than what my house is currently worth.

      by bushondrugs on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:02:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As a sad former contributor to Obama (4+ / 0-)

      "Reading this story, and looking at that map of the extent of the crisis, might be enough to make the Geithner and Obama reconsider forcing a national halt on foreclosures. Letting the banksters steal it all isn't a policy solution."

      The fact that we continue to read such stories only reinforces my sense that the Obama administration itself has become so morally bankrupt that it continues to sustain its current policies because it is only the captive campaign contributions they can expect to receive are likely to come from the likes of BofA and other shell-like banks that stand to benefit from continuing the current policies.

      Lets face it, the American political system has so thoroughly degenerated that the only "policy solutions on the table", whether they be from republican or democrats, are the one that institutionalized bribery can afford to maintain.

      •  Heres the irony (0+ / 0-)

        and clear evidence that neither Obama or his "economic" team understand the real economy.

        Halting foreclosures would Boost the economy and the real estate market. It would help the real economy, the real estate market, and everyone else. It would only cut back on profits of the megabanks and wall street and that only  short term. Long term it would help them. This is TARP and Stimulus redux. We could have repaired the economy overnight with a national work program that would cost $350 billion. But it wouldnt have fed wall street our taxes. We could have repaired the real estate market by requiring refinancing of all defaulted mortgages from ARMS to fixed rate and even taken over some of t hem.. but that wouldnt have fed wall street.

        It becomes clearer by the day wall street has a well behaved puppet in DC.

        Voters will choose a person who fights a losing battle for his principles over one who fights winning battles against them every time.

        by cdreid on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 02:33:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  halting foreclosures would not boost (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fladem

          the real estate market, and it's amazing to me anyone would believe that. 95% of those houses will be foreclosed. Delaying the foreclosures and the short term pain associated with them will only drag out the crisis by keeping home prices suppressed for far longer.

          Halting foreclosures would only help the real estate market if the foreclosures were permanently cancelled. Short of that, you are just prolonging the pain, and the length of time this crisis goes on is the key factor in sucking prime borrowers and those who have weathered the storm so far down into the same pit as everyone else because depressed prices prevent people from selling when they need to sell.

          We need more loan modifications, absolutely, more foreclosure prevention, but most houses already in foreclosure are well past the point where even modification would help. Many of these people simply have no money left. Unless we are going to give away free houses - hey, I have no problem with that but it ain't gonna happen - these processes must move forward, and the sooner that can happen within the framework of proper paperwork, the better.

          This isn't as black and white as some like to portray it.

          •  If you want to collapse the housing markets (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Inspector Javert

            halting foreclosures is the way to do it.

            I live in Florida.  I will for some time, because I can't move. Halting foreclosures would make sure I stay here for years.

            The anger here is on the verge of exploding.  I know people who have stayed in their house for over a year without paying a dime.  

            Times are tough, I get that.  But the answer cannot be to let people stay in their homes for years while the rest of us pay our mortgages.    

            The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

            by fladem on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 08:11:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  in my townhouse complex (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fladem

              the forclosures moved through in a wave, in chronological order of when the houses were purchased. You can actually map it out over time and see it wash through from north to south, building by building in the order of construction.

              But now we're starting to see foreclosures again in the first buildings. It looks to me as if the wave is starting again, due to the massively depressed property values of foreclosures all around us preventing people from selling.

              •  I don't think people (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                decembersue, Inspector Javert

                outside of this State have a clue how bad it is here.  You would have to be an idiot to try and sell any r/e here.  I have no idea what my house is worth.  None.  And I sure wouldn't buy anything here either.

                These foreclosures need to happen.  They need to be legal, and the courts should fry any lawyer who presents forged documents in court (I am an attorney).

                You can always tell a house where the owner has stopped making payments.  The yard and the house go to hell quickly.

                There are several on my street.

                The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

                by fladem on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 08:32:09 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  and I'm in MN (0+ / 0-)

                  FL is about a hundred times worse, so I can only imagine. I also have no idea what mine is really worth except it's a hell of a lot less than Zillow says it is.

                  If you hang in long enough, your equity will meet your property value and you'll be at least able to sell again, but I'm thinking that will be about 3 years for me, minimum (if the foreclosures continue to be processed) and depending on your situation I'd bet it'll be longer in FL. I plan to hang on for at least 5 more years, maybe longer, so that I have real equity when I sell. Whether I buy again or go back to renting is the question at that point.

                  On the upside, the hope is the new owners of these properties that are buying right now will be in a much more affordable position as residents or landlords, creating the opportunitiy for stability in the future.

                •  I'm in Fla too (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fladem

                  and that map is dire.

                  Scott will only turn it darker.

                  In my neighbor's case, their lawn was always garbage, even before their first(yes first) foreclosure, they are in #2 now, moved out quickly one weekend, then came back 6 weeks later figuring they could play out the string and hope a "lease" from the sister who took over their mortgage could protect them.

                  "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -- George Bernard Shaw

                  by Inspector Javert on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 11:15:50 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  the thing is (0+ / 0-)

                  after foreclosure the upkeep performed by the banks is Zero none nada zip.  If you think its bad now - it can get a whole lot worse.  There have been cases of the bank obtaining a judgment and then not bothering to take title, unbeknownst to the hapless homeowner.  Then the homeowner gets slapped with a big bill from the city for cleanup or demolition.  Better to let the homes be occupied until there is enough demand to allow the homes to be sold instead of sitting vacant.

                  Scientific Materialism debunked here

                  by wilderness voice on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 01:10:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I think (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Inspector Javert

                a year ago people were hoping that r/e would recover, and they were trying to hold on.  Now I think people are just giving up, because their mortgage is so far above what the property is worth.  This is particularly true in the exurbs here in Tampa.  Given the backlog on foreclosures, I think people figure they will just stop paying and wait for the Banks to catch up with them.  

                The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

                by fladem on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 08:42:20 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  A few months ago I remember reading about a judge (14+ / 0-)

    in New York that made sure the banks seeking foreclosure dotted every "i" and crossed every "t", unlike so many that just sign off on the foreclosures.

    Even more disturbing is that in this particular case there is unlikely to be anyone that is held responsible for causing this mess. It would be interesting to see what, if any, remedies are available to the Baitches. I could certainly see a case for negligence, but if BofA repairs the credit rating and ceases the foreclosure, since the Baitches are being made whole it would make it difficult for them to receive any monetary relief. That is quite disappointing because then BofA isn't being held accountable for the damage it wrought to the innocent homeowners.

    Congress shall make no law...

    by Mets102 on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:39:32 PM PST

    •  How much time have they put into restoring (12+ / 0-)

      their credit?

      Time = money.

      The threat of losing one's home.

      Right there is an equation for damages.

      IANAL, but I'm sure a jury trial would be the LAST thing that BofA would want.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      -Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:43:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, pain and suffering (7+ / 0-)

        ulcers and lack of sex and loss of fingernails due to worrying.

        Repubs - the people in power are not secretly plotting against you. They don't need to. They already beat you in public. (Bill Maher)

        by Sychotic1 on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:44:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I certainly agree that a jury trial... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cdreid, devtob, arlene, sfbob, bushondrugs

        is the last thing that BofA would want. However, the actual value placed on the time and money in terms of restoring the credit rating would not be nearly as significant compared to the amount of potential recovery if BofA fails to cure. If BofA does cure, I would imagine that a final judgment (and a judge can reduce or even throw out a jury verdict) would be at most $10,000, if not less.

        I understand the emotional aspect, and I certainly agree with it, however from a legal perspective if BofA cures the problems (restores credit rating and ends foreclosure process) then that's effectively that. A jury would most likely give the Baitches a nice recovery, however it would have to make it to the jury and then the jury verdict would have to be upheld. The former I could definitely see. The latter depends upon the size of the jury verdict; the larger the verdict, the more likely it is that the judge will reduce the size of the judgment or even outright overturn it.

        Congress shall make no law...

        by Mets102 on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:47:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  A court date only scares BoA... (7+ / 0-)

        ...if they are unable to set up multiple and numerous motions and delays that would stretch out an eventual verdict beyond the few months it ought to take.

        The Baitchs would likely be forced to accept a settlement that would be far less than ideal or just as BoA's Legal Beagles made it clear that a reasonable payday might come only after many years of process manipulation.

        "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

        by Egalitare on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:12:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What I'd do if I were them... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mets102

          I'd agree to a settlement if it included restoring my credit, reversing any adverse actions that had taken place as well as guarantee to defend them against any future actions that may result from this unwarranted blot on their credit history. And enough cash for pain and suffering to allow them to pay their mortgage off.

  •  This is really scary (15+ / 0-)

    because due to another diary here a few days ago about a successful HAMP modification, and another person here in town who was also successful, I called BofA last week to start the process.  

    Now I won't be able to sleep at night.  They said it would be 30-45 days before they decide if I qualify and they send any application papers.  What to do now? I never saw that my credit would be ruined by this.  Like in your story, we always always always pay on time.  

  •  We need to get that fellow Mr. Potter (6+ / 0-)

    to look into this.  He did such a great job in Bedford Falls, they renamed it Pottersville!

    Umm, that's PRESIDENT Obama and SENATOR Franken, mr. o'reilly.

    by filby on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:40:50 PM PST

    •  Much rather (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      filby

      live in Bedford Falls, and bank at the Bailey Savings & Loan.  Heck, George Bailey, even kept Lulu out of trouble and honest.  We need more George Baileys in the world.  George Bailey even changed his name to Mr. Smith and went to Washington.

      Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Herman.

      by zaka1 on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:18:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Violet. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zaka1

        George rescued Violet from a fate worse than death.

        This is so hideous, I can't believe more isn't being done about it. People are being ruined and who is standing up for them? No one, apparently.

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/11/13/12248/728 Shop dKos!

        by Debby on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 10:33:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Debby

          right, Violet, thank you for the correction.  I thought I had that wrong after I posted.

          I agree, it is like the people are getting a double/triple whammy, first the inflated price of the house, then the deflated value of the home, and high unemployment after Wall Street and the housing market made big profits off the people and then dumped them.  

          No one was protecting the people when the housing market became like a casino, and someone in Washington dropped the ball because red flags were going up for a lot of people and Washington did nothing and is still doing nothing (or the least possible).  It has been a win win for the banks, and not just in the U.S., but in Europe as well.  They have whole ghost towns in Ireland and other places.  The world was the bank's play ground with no rules at all.  I'm really shocked at the level of corruption and lack of ethics by business, this would have never happened without a level of corruption that has gotten to "Lord of The Rings," Gollum level.  

          Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Herman.

          by zaka1 on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 11:08:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's the thing (0+ / 0-)

            It's like the banksters can be irresponsible with their money (our money!) but then we're supposed to bail them out. But if people, individuals get in trouble, they're screwed and should have been more responsible. It's a ridiculous double standard. I heard an NPR story a few weeks ago about Ireland and the analyst said Ireland had done everything by the book but their investors behaved badly and so they were up a creek. And we're still enabling them. It really has to stop.

            http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/11/13/12248/728 Shop dKos!

            by Debby on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 07:58:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Class Action, anyone? Adam B? Opinions? /nt (2+ / 0-)

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    -Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:41:05 PM PST

  •  None of this is a shock. (25+ / 0-)

    I worked at Washington Mutual before it went under and was taken over.  WAMU was a Washington State based bank and known in the Pacific Northwest, until it branched out all over the U.S. only to succumb under the mired mortgage mess.

    I know people who would call the bank wanting to speak to the President (at that time) Kerry Killinger, because they were pissed, livid.  One person had the sheriff knocking on his door to evict him and he had never been late for ONE PAYMENT, but WAMU could not get the paperwork straight at all.

    Many were getting foreclosure notices and was never late a day.  Many were shocked to be moved to WAMU for their payments from other institutions.  Once coming to WAMU their nightmares began.  What is going on at BoA is not a shock, it has been going on for a very long time.

    This is still going on and the Obama Administration needs to call for a hault on foreclosures in this country.  We have witness this administration bending over BACKWARDS for these greedy ass banks but have done very little to individuals on Main Street.

    This is just outrageous, but money talks and the we, the people don't matter.  Corporations run this country, we don't.

    •  Earth to WH--FL's r/e market is already in tank (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cdreid, Jimdotz, laker

      How a foreclosure moratorium could make it any worse is utterly beyond me.  How F'ing stupid ARE these people?  Are they conceding FL in advance?

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:30:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A moratorium down here (0+ / 0-)

        would just about make the state explode.

        I know people who have been in their house for over a year without paying a dime.  If you want to make the Tea Party a majority party in Florida, support a moratorium.

        Frankly your comment makes no sense.  People are furious that they are paying their mortgages, others aren't, and they can't sell their house. The backlog of foreclosures in this state is over a year.

        The courts need to do their job.  If there is fraud, then it should be prosecuted.  But if there isn't the houses need to be foreclosed.

        I want to move out of this state.  But I can't because I can't sell my house.  Who knows what r/e in Florida is worth?  A moratorium extends just freezes the situtation.  But the current situation is maddening.

        The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

        by fladem on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 08:27:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Foreclosures drive prices down for everyone (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wilderness voice

          If you can get a bargain in foreclosure, why pay a higher price to an occupant trying to sell his/her house?  A vicious cycle is then created in which prices decline, putting more homeowners under water, leading to more foreclosures, leading to further price declines...ad infinitum.

          Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

          by RFK Lives on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 08:57:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Precisely (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cdreid, magnetics

      Letting the banks steal it all is not just A policy solution, it is THE policy solution.  The only thing the banks won't be allowed to steal is the loot set aside for other oligarchs.

      Obama works for the oligarchs, and he's very good at it.  He will be easily re-elected on a Republican platform of cutting taxes and social security in 2012.  

      Meanwhile Democrats in Congress will get the blame when the health care plan fails because the money was given away as tax cuts.  They will lose lots more seats.

      Fortunately the whole thing is profoundly unstable and will come crashing down in a few more years.  

      Learn Mandarin.

    •  I think that this is the message that (0+ / 0-)

      liberals and baggers can get around...

      Corporations run this country, we don't.

      "I have ferrets with fins" - African Cichlids. And (3 - nope....) 2 pooties too! Ren (crossed the Rainbow Bridge 10/19/10), Stimpy (16 yrs) and Rocky (4 yrs)

      by mrsgoo on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 09:01:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My wife worked at BOA in the 90's in Florida (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice

      and she noticed the shift.  Banks use to train their people in the mortgage process.  Later in her career, she saw employees really become sales people.  These new people had no idea how to do the paperwork for a mortgage, and the bank no longer trained its employees.  After all, everything was computerized, and training was expensive.

      I remember her making sure we had all of our mortage paperwork when we bought our house, because she didn't trust the bank.

      This was in 2000.  She told me then that this was all going to blow up if the r/e market ever tanked.  BOA hadn't invested in its people, and it was going to pay for it at some point.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 08:47:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  i'm pulling all $ out of BoA (17+ / 0-)
    i've stayed in there simply for convenience sake with so many bills on autopay there but i have no excuses anymore... i need to get out of BoA... there will probably be a run anyway after wikileaks report comes out...

    Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction - Yes on 19

    by gnostradamus on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:45:05 PM PST

  •  The most shocking part (12+ / 0-)

    is that I wasn't even a little bit shocked or surprised...my shock-o-meter brokeded.

    Repubs - the people in power are not secretly plotting against you. They don't need to. They already beat you in public. (Bill Maher)

    by Sychotic1 on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:46:52 PM PST

  •  What's even more depressing (16+ / 0-)

    is that no one in the federal government appears prepared to stand up to these leaches. All 50 states have filed suit against the banksters, and yet all the feds can do is hand down a $135 million "fine" to Bank of America and $67.5 million "fine" to Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide and say, "HEY, LOOK, WE CAUGHT THE BAD GUYS!"

    Small problem: Bank of America is a $2.2 TRILLION bank, and Angelo Mozilo's net worth is $600 million at the young and chipper age of 71, meaning he can just go off into retirement with OUR retirement funds! You tell me what's wrong with this country.

    I want these bastards punished YESTERDAY with more than just a slap on the wrist. But it's yet another case of our obscene two tiered justice system that I firmly believed only punished Bernie Madoff because his victims happened to be other rich people.

    I have a "Run Sarah Run" bumper sticker. It's on my front bumper.

    by The Truth Shall Set Ye Free on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:46:56 PM PST

  •  That little white box in the heart of Ohio. (0+ / 0-)

    Is that Summit county. It's not quite rectangular. Yet, I think that's the area Shown.

    A minor musing that doesn't add any new amount to resolving this mess. Then, again, with the brain trust from Goldman Sacks in charge of policy, the anti-fix forces are in charge.

    "They pour syrup on shit and tell us it's hotcakes." Meteor Blades

    by JugOPunch on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:49:42 PM PST

  •  At a BofA branch last week (13+ / 0-)
    to close out an IRA account (that I'd opened at another bank, which BofA acquired) I was directed to a supposed "expert" in such transactions.  When I explained to this "expert" what needed to be done, they still had to call someone at BofA's internal offices to find out what to do.  So much for expertise, and that was for a minor transaction.

       That such egregious errors are being made by incompetent employees on the loan side of B/A is not surprising.  Meanwhile, competent people can't find jobs to save their lives.  

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:49:54 PM PST

    •  I had a similar experience (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice

      except they sent me to a different branch about 18 miles away - where I had to pay $17 for 2 hours parking (that's how long it took) - to meet with the "expert"

      So in some ways, you didn't have it so bad.

    •  See above (0+ / 0-)

      BOA doesn't train their people.

      This is a deliberate strategy to keep employee costs low.

      It is why my wife left a decade ago from BOA.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 08:56:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's organize a giant "run" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rainmanjr

    on BofA. After all, they are about to go under as they are selling off all their assets. Any takers?

    I have a "Run Sarah Run" bumper sticker. It's on my front bumper.

    by The Truth Shall Set Ye Free on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:50:54 PM PST

  •  oy (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, blueyedace2, zaka1, cai, freesia

    stories like that scare the heck out of me. Not only because it is horrific for the homeowners, but unstable practices like that really screw with the security of the economy.

    and it really doesn't need more boat rocking. i wonder why we are still afloat (sort of) at this point, and when the false bottom is going to drop out...

    Great minds do not think alike.

    by Krush on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:51:04 PM PST

  •  Ya know what's really going on? (11+ / 0-)

    We've replaced our housing bubble with a foreclosure bubble.  The banks want the houses - they'll sit on them for as long as it takes for them to be profitable again.

    The question is, if no one can afford to by a house at what point does it become profitable?  

    When you punch enough holes through steerage, the first-class cabins sink with the rest of the ship.

    by Roddy McCorley on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 07:55:05 PM PST

  •  Obama Veto (6+ / 0-)

    This congress passed a bill that would have worsened mortgage foreclosures potentially...President Obama vetoed it....I made a video about it..I'm a Democrat trying to run for US Senate against a corporate Democrat.
    Go to Obama Veto in YouTube and also check out my Thom Hartmann rebuttal today...Thom is out of control sometimes and doesn't always tell the truth..not a good quality when you have millions listening.
    http://www.youtube.com/... href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu3kMV5JUWk">Thom Hartmann Rebuttal

    •  I remember the mortgage bill very well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, Jimdotz

      it was passed with unanimous consent.  Was genuinely surprised Mr. Obama didn't sign the damn thing.  Guess it's still too early for that.

    •  He is wrong on some things, (0+ / 0-)

      drives me crazy. I live in Portland and I remember once he was going on about PGE and I think he had gotten it mixed up with PG&E and was way off on how they operated. And he wouldn't back down, and I had to turn it off because he was so wrong. I knew from personal knowledge he was basically making stuff up.

      "Those who can make you believe in absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

      by dancerat on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 10:05:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Front Page is Dead to Me. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    The lesson of that history is that you must not despair, that if you are right, and you persist, things will change. -Howard Zinn

    by blueyedace2 on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:03:13 PM PST

  •  Let me explain Boehner country. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo

    See the Boehner tan in Cincinnati? It's runs all the was to LaTourettes' 14th district. That white box is true blue labor with a Capital D democratic. Cleveland steelworkers to the north of Akron, are changelings. I never know how they will vote and the blacks fight obstacles.

    "They pour syrup on shit and tell us it's hotcakes." Meteor Blades

    by JugOPunch on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:07:03 PM PST

  •  Yup yup (5+ / 0-)

    The largest bank in the United States earlier this month notified Shock Baitch and his wife Lisa (Friedman) Baitch that foreclosure action will start today – Christmas eve – unless the couple agrees to put their home up for a forced sale.

    I started renting from a lady who wanted to move a couple of hours north for her job (she said) in June of 2009.  Made rent payments to her on time, etc.  No worries.  On Christmas Eve there was a foreclosure notice on the door.  Yes, great timing.  According to the paperwork she hadn't made a payment since August 2009.  I contacted her and she confessed she was letting the house go.  So in this case it was a valid foreclosure but I was really shocked that people were out posting notices on Christmas Eve.  It just seemed a little draconian.  Couldn't wait a few days?

    I'd rather die than give you control ~ Trent Reznor

    by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:07:38 PM PST

    •  That sounds like deliberate fraud to me; (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yoduuuh do or do not, mrsgoo

      or at least it should be.

      Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
      The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

      by shpilk on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:55:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  what is fraud? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yoduuuh do or do not, cai

        Her collecting rent and not paying the mortgage?  Unfortunately it was not.  Not only that, I continued paying her up until the month that the bank officially seized the home, which was April 2010.  Otherwise she could have evicted me and report me for not paying/breaking the lease.

        Once the bank took the house I worked with them and signed a new lease to rent for less money.  

        I'd rather die than give you control ~ Trent Reznor

        by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:58:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  HAMP is a damned lie --- (8+ / 0-)

    Chase did much the same thing to me but Congressman Pete Stark's office got involved and straightened it out after about two months. Although I never missed or was late on a payment in full, I applied under HAMP for a modification and my payments to Chase started going missing in the bank's system. I lost a line of credit because of it that I've never gotten back.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:08:20 PM PST

  •  Now I know why Bill Maher (10+ / 0-)

    talks about Skank of America. And Shitty Bank.

    Resident Palin - she may very well take up residency in the White House in 2012, but it's too painful to use the "P" word combined with her name

    by lotac on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:10:15 PM PST

  •  I really find it quite depressing that a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    virginislandsguy, Roadbed Guy

    frontpager would seriously suggest "forcing a national halt on foreclosures" at this time.

    Joan, are you seriously suggesting that every single bank and credit union in the U.S. should be punished for the egregious misdeeds of the greedy and corrupt?

    Do you even realize that it might just be fatal for some of the smaller banks and credit unions if they could not at least partially recoup their losses via foreclosures?

    "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

    by Lawrence on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:10:37 PM PST

    •  Why is it depressing? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden

      A temporary halt?  If a temporary halt on foreclosures is fatal for any bank that bank already has problems.

      I don't see anything being done about this, but I would be happy with SOME action being taken.  If anything it might make the banks take notice and start evaluating the processes that are causing this problem.

      But I think we all know this administration is unlikely to do anything that could be seen as giving the banks a slap on the wrist.

      I'd rather die than give you control ~ Trent Reznor

      by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:29:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So you think it's fine for a small bank (3+ / 0-)

        that has problems to go under?  Does that apply to all the small banks who are in trouble because of the highly speculative investments of the big banks?

        You do realize that people lose jobs when small banks go under... and that people often also lose their homes when they lose their jobs?

        I could possibly see a temporary national halt of foreclosures on primary residences making sense, though.

        "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

        by Lawrence on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:35:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawrence

          I definitely do not want any small business/community bank to go under.  They are important allies (in my opinion) in helping get us out of this mess.

          But something has to be done or this will likely get worse.  Perhaps they could do a temporary halt in the areas that are being hardest hit with the fraudulent foreclosures.  

          I'd rather die than give you control ~ Trent Reznor

          by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:45:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a pretty complex issue, tbh. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rainmanjr, wilderness voice

            Foreclosure laws are mostly governed by the states, so state governments could do alot in the states that are hard hit.  

            I could definitely see a temporary halt on primary residence foreclosures making sense.  And if fraudulent foreclosures are proven, then there should be lawsuits and high damages awarded to those who got screwed plus large fines levied against those who perpetrated the crimes.

            "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

            by Lawrence on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 09:02:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lawrence, rainmanjr

              It is a very complex issue, and part of the reason for that is banks have made the situation complex by bundling and reselling mortgages.  They don't want it to be easy for the consumer.  

              There are just so many levels of dysfunction in big banks.  I honestly don't see a simple solution to any of this mess.  

              I'd rather die than give you control ~ Trent Reznor

              by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 09:24:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  The devil is in the details (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lawrence, rainmanjr

              if you halt primary residence foreclosures. What if the homeowner has done multiple refis and taken substantial cash out? What if the homeowner has lost other speculative or flipper houses, why should they get to save their primary residence? What if the income figures on their mortgage app was wildly inflated, an app they signed under penalty of law, do you halt that foreclosure?

              One size does not fit all, all foreclosure candidates are not all victims.

              One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble ... Murray Head

              by virginislandsguy on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 10:19:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good questions (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                virginislandsguy

                But I actually do think that every person that lives in the home that they bought should be allowed to stay there even if they are having trouble making the full payments(as long as it is not some mansion).

                Banks should be forced to lower rates on primary residence mortgages, imo.

                If the mortgage app was fraudulent, that's another matter, of course.

                "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

                by Lawrence on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 05:20:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Let me add that I think that creating a greater (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rainmanjr

      time limit on how fast banks can foreclose on people's primary homes might make sense.

      And tightening up regulations definitely seems to be necessary.

      But calling for all foreclosures be halted nationally, including speculative real estate investments and commercial real estate, just makes absolutely no sense.

      "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

      by Lawrence on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:30:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that is a good option (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, cai, AspenFern

        It just seems so unreal that people can be in the middle of the modification process and the same damn bank will continue with foreclosure.  I know two people who had this happen to them.

        So not only do we have banks erroneously foreclosiing on people who are paying their mortgagte, but they are also taking homes away from people who are trying to stay in their home by working out an arrangment.  It's ridiculous, reckless, and unethical.  Foreclosures are bad for communities for so many reasons.  The banks don't care though.

        I'd rather die than give you control ~ Trent Reznor

        by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:55:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think youve made it very clear (0+ / 0-)

        your interests are in protecting banks, and perhaps secondarily the people working in them over the customers theyve screwed.

        Voters will choose a person who fights a losing battle for his principles over one who fights winning battles against them every time.

        by cdreid on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 02:47:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right.... (0+ / 0-)

          ... and if I take it to the same level of misrepresentation that you just did, I would say:

          I guess your interest is in protecting real estate speculators and commercial real estate investors over all the people that got screwed by them.

          That statement would be false, just as your statement was false.

          I have no love at all for the big banks, specifically for those that have been and still are screwing people over...

          Please tell me how the following statement of mine

          I could definitely see a temporary halt on primary residence foreclosures making sense.  And if fraudulent foreclosures are proven, then there should be lawsuits and high damages awarded to those who got screwed plus large fines levied against those who perpetrated the crimes

          allowed you to come to the conclusion that you did?

          "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

          by Lawrence on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 05:12:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Up to your original quote (0+ / 0-)

            you called the poster out for daring to propose a national  moratorium on foreclosures. And your only noted concern was with banks who werent healthy.

            Re your later comments anyone with a mind knows no such moratorium would include every loan across the board.

            But lets address your main objection simply and clearly:

            a: if a bank is not competant it should shut down. For some reason if i open another business and it eventually collapses its my problem. But if you have an mba and family money to open a bank you want MY money to bail it out. And you dont want it regulated even though the bank makes its profits from using money backed by my taxes to loan. If a business is weak it should fail. Unlike humans they dont have souls or feelings. That includes BOA/CITI and all the rest including the  "tiny mom and pop" worth only a few tens of millions....

            b: The regulators do NOT regulate the banks. Even if they wanted to banking regs have been gutted. And no individual can sue a bank effectively unless they have millions at stake. No lawyer is going to sue a bank on contingency over a $100k house when they MIGHT be able  to recover 10 or 20k max and take 3 to 6k in fees after spending a few years and thousands of their own money on the case.

            To make it more concise: Fuck the banks. It is nauseating that americans have even bought into this "feel bad for the poor multimillion dollar business.. oh and fuck those poor people they should work harder" bull.

            Voters will choose a person who fights a losing battle for his principles over one who fights winning battles against them every time.

            by cdreid on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 06:02:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You do realize that during the height of the (0+ / 0-)

              real estate bubble up to 50% of the houses sold were speculative housing buys, right?

              Since we seem to be arguing about different things here, I'll try and clarify something:

              When a fp diarist calls for a "national halt on foreclosures", then there's no way for me to interpret that as anything else but a call for a halt to all foreclosures.

              If the diarist wanted to call for a national halt to primary residence foreclosures of mid-level and low price housing, it would be one thing, but a call for a halt to all foreclosure just makes no sense, period.

              There's plenty of blame to go around in the financial crisis.  From Big Banks to complicit Government to "get rich-without-any effort real estate speculators"... all kinds of people played a role.  And house prices were severely overpriced in many parts of the U.S., making it very hard for low income and middle class Americans to afford a decent house.  

              And if we're going to put a national moratorium on foreclosures, how about we put a national moratorium on kicking out renters who are in danger of falling behind on their rent, as well?

              And no, I'm not willing to say "Fuck community banks and credit unions" - alot of them are in trouble because of the general economic malaise and not necessarily because of mismanagement.  And yeah, community banks are very, very important to their local communities and their local economies.

              "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

              by Lawrence on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 08:20:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  There already are plenty of regulations (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cdreid, arlene

        the problem is enforcement - there is essentially none.

    •  Maybe you dont understand econ 101?? (0+ / 0-)

      When a bank forecloses on a mortgage it doesnt suddenly have bags full of cash into the vault. What it has now, instead of a contract that IS actually worth money is title to a property valued at Far less than the loan was in the case of the "high risk" arms that bank fraudulently sold its customers. And yes.. selling anyone an Arm is flat out thievery.

      So your solution, like obamas, is to kick millions of americans out of their homes so the banks can sit on the paper for millions of homes only to sell them off in trickles at a lower price. Thus further killing the construction and real estate markets. Whereas if you stop foreclosures it puts strong upward pressure on housing prices, helps the market recover, keeps millions in their homes, makes the properties the banks eventually do foreclose on much more valuable and helps the overall economy.

      What is so hard to understand about that

      Voters will choose a person who fights a losing battle for his principles over one who fights winning battles against them every time.

      by cdreid on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 02:46:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Japan in the 1990s pretty much debunked (0+ / 0-)

        this when they were reluctant to deal with all their bad loans:

        Whereas if you stop foreclosures it puts strong upward pressure on housing prices, helps the market recover,

        OTOH, if the banks can't sort through the mess they made in an equitable manner, perhaps foreclosures need to be halted simply for punitive reasons . . . .

        •  Japans economic system (0+ / 0-)

          is nothing like ours, Though we are increasingly becoming as fascist as they are. They truely practice "government-megabusiness cooperation" aka fascism.

          This reminds me a lot of the "Left/Right" academic bullshit that crashed both the european and american economies through the 70's and 80's. You have one group of "intelectual" morons in europe saying shove money into the economy and full steam ahead. You have another group shouting 'supply side!!" in america and britain. Neither group having the intellects of a frog or the scientific training of a chimpanzee. Meanwhile they managed to crash very strong economies throughout the west. Now we're practicing even stronger unscientific idiocy in a rocketcar race to oblivion. There was a time when our plutocrats at least pretended to be smarter than monkeys.

          Voters will choose a person who fights a losing battle for his principles over one who fights winning battles against them every time.

          by cdreid on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 06:09:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But freezing an untenable situation into place (0+ / 0-)

            in it's entirety is hardly a solution either.

            Clearly, some type of compromise is needed - which I suspect will not take place - if for no other reason to weed out/punish the speculators who drove the bubble formation in the first place.  

            •  You arent freezing anything (0+ / 0-)

              There was NO problem with bad loans. NONE.

              The problem was with americas largest financial companies fraudulently selling bovine crap as caviar. That simple. When the caviar buyers found out they bought shit the economy crashed. Which put tens of millions out of work. Who were the customer base of americas business. Which put even more businesses in the toilet. Which put even more people out of work.

              Economies are Organisms, not machines. What the banks are doing is cutting off the fertilizer supply to the farms that feed them because the value of the farms dropped.. because the banks committed fraud.. so the banks (after demanding we give them a bunch of money) are foreclosing on all the farms that buy its fertilizer.....

              Voters will choose a person who fights a losing battle for his principles over one who fights winning battles against them every time.

              by cdreid on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 06:34:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  What, no problem with bad loans? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lawrence, arlene

                What are you talking about??  There was freakin' huge problem with bad loans

                Put somewhat simplistically, the financial crisis was like a three legged stool (where each leg is/was required for a functional entity):

                1. The Banks offered fraudelent/unverified mortgages to gullible, over-extended, or just plain unscrupulous customers.
                1. The gullible, over-extended, or just plain unscrupulous customers availed themselves of this opportunity.  Big time
                1. The bond rating agencies endorsed the crap coming out of steps 1 and 2 with AAA ratings . . .

                Without all three things happening, it is very unlikely if not completely impossible that that mid-00's bubble would have grown to the size it did before popping and bringing down the world's economy

                •  Um no (0+ / 0-)

                  youre repeating the media line.

                  The loans were done knowingly, and with strong congressional approval and backing in both parties. They werent a secret. And there wasnt some huge torrent of defaults.

                  But there WAS a huge wave of anger as  it came out that the big banks fraudulently sold those loans as Low risk, grade a loans. And that they had been resold over and over. Had been rated as prime loans by the corrupt ratings agencies.

                  It wasnt "evil poor people" ripping off the sainltly best and brightest. It was as usual the "best and brightest" openly and flagrantly committing massive, global fraud.

                  Voters will choose a person who fights a losing battle for his principles over one who fights winning battles against them every time.

                  by cdreid on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 09:45:32 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  RE foreclosures (0+ / 0-)

          Imagine you are the ONLY bank in america. You write a million home loans a year. In 2008 the economy crashed hard. Now on paper you hold 5 million loans where the principle is worth less than the loan is written for.  And as the economy is crashed and unemployment is 15-20% in real terms a lot of those loans are "going bad". So here's your choice.

          A: forclose. You now have lots of empty homes worth far far less than you have them listed as on your books. Which matters because thats how you get money from the fed to make more loans and make a profit. You also have less revenue as.. well all those people you foreclose on arent sending you ANY money now. Which means even lower assets and less you can borrow from the fed. Which is ok because you dont want to loan any money on houses because their value is still dropping. Ironically because there are so many out there to buy. So your business is shrinking. And because you wont loan money on real estate the economy is shrinking. Which... mans fewer customers to buy all those houses you own and wont loan money on.

          b: dont foreclose and offer good faith loan extensions to your customers who have a good faith payment record. IE you offer to refinance and tack 6 months of payments onto the backend of their home loans (with interest of course). Youve now in real terms increased the value of all these properties to their original value. Youve rescued the vast majority of these loans from foreclosure. Youve increased, not decreased your business and assets. Youve propped up the housing market because the supply isnt overwhelming demand thus saving jobs and businesses and strengthening the economy.

          (A) is all about protecting the thieves at the top who cleaned up on the scams that destroyed the economy. It is about protecting plutocrats at the expensve of your nation, the economy and in the long run even the banking industry and its investors.

          (B) is about protecting the bank longterm, strenghtening the economy and helping your customers.

          Only in a nation completely obsessed with Avarice would a: even be a consideration.

          Voters will choose a person who fights a losing battle for his principles over one who fights winning battles against them every time.

          by cdreid on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 06:28:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  good point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence

      Be selective - there should be a foreclosure halt applied to any bank that has the propensity to make wrongful foreclosures such as this one.  there should also be a large fine for any attempted wrongful foreclosure

      Scientific Materialism debunked here

      by wilderness voice on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 01:30:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wilderness voice

        There should be a very large fine.

        I think a really big problem on a global level right now is that the fines levied against corporations for criminal activity or regulations violations are usually smaller than the gains that they made from committing said activity.  Which makes it more profitable for them to break the laws instead of adhering to them.

        I'm pretty sure that heftier fines would make alot of bad actors desist from breaking rules and regulations.

        "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

        by Lawrence on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 11:18:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Meanwhile in Florida... (5+ / 0-)

    Looking at Florida on that map, I'd say the devastation has already been wrought.

    But that doesn't mean they can't wreak more.
    Gov.-elect Rick ("I am not an HCA fraudster") Scott has floated the idea of merging the departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation. To make Florida more "business-friendly".

    Not only Scott but the entire political structure of Florida has bought into re-inflating the real estate bubble to turn Florida's economy around. That's Plan A.
    Plan B: see Plan A.

    •  And with foreclosures being governed by (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandy on Signal, rflowers, yella dawg, cai

      state law, Florida might just be in alot more pain with Rick Scott in charge.

      "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

      by Lawrence on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:43:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Scott will be worse than BofA (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, A Runner

        Down here on vakay and read some of his crazy plans:
        Those drawing unemployment for 13 weeks or longer  will have to do community service. So if you are a parent and lost your job, in order to get your benefits, you must pay for child care and do community service in order to receive $275 a week max.  

        Also, wants to shut down libraries, museums, etc..
        Things are going to get even tougher for Floridian families.  

        I have a scheme for stopping war. It's this: no nation is allowed to enter a war till they have paid for the last one. - Will Rogers

        by Sandy on Signal on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 05:57:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps we are ignoring "the body in the library" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo

    Every heinous murder is revealed by the corpse. This map shows us the murder victim: the Blue States. Why would it be the Blue States - California, Ohio, Illinois, NY, NJ, New England - that are suffering the most foreclosure rates?

    Free Republic will take this map and say it is evidence that the Democrats that reside in these states are deadbeats.

    I wonder if it is evidence of a GOP decision to use the power of its commercial banking connections to systematically undermine and destroy the value of housing in Blue states and thus punish and destroy them as potential anti-GOP power bases.

    I live in one of those Blue states. We were pressured constantly, through mailing,s phone calls, television and newspaper ads, to treat our home "like a piggy bank" and refinance. "Get the new car you need! Remodel your home - rates have never been more favorable! Take that dream vacation - and pay no interest for a year! Refinance - and cut your mortgage payment in half!"

    We were heavily pressured by firms like Ameriquest - as well as other (now defunct) "mortgage brokers. Because we were savvy enough to understand the dangers of ARMS, we chose to refrain. (Boy, those offers sounded so tempting though, that often we wondered if we were being foolish to resist.) We had started a business and felt a bit insecure as to the upward trajectory of our income.

    Thousands of our fellow New Jerseyans felt safe enough to take advantage of these luscious offers, however. Their incomes seemed secure, and the housing market was doing nothing but shooting ever higher. Now their cold, unlit homes sit vacant, the grass growing uncut in the front yards.

    Perhaps I see the fell hand of Plutocracy and its servant political party, the henchmen of the GOP, everywhere - mcuh as 1950s Americans saw Communists behibd every tree.

    But nothing, nothing, that I have suspected these guys of conniving at this past decade has ever turned out to beyond them, except for nuking Baghdad back in April 2003. (I still think they would have done it if Saddam hadn't fled.)

    So I wouldn't be surprised if this horrific map was the result of very specific and planned policies.

    Democracy *means* Anti-Plutocracy. Democrats, be true to your Self and win!

    by Louise on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:38:58 PM PST

    •  If you look a little more closely (0+ / 0-)

      You'll note the map correcsponds very closely with a population map of the US. Florida is a special case because of the type of economy, its Huge permanent underclass, and the reality that a large segment of florida real estate either belongs to retirees or are second/vacation homes for people who when the economy tanked would have protected their primary home first.

      Voters will choose a person who fights a losing battle for his principles over one who fights winning battles against them every time.

      by cdreid on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 02:50:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The map looks more like areas with (0+ / 0-)

      high property values (in general).  

      Really, is a mortgage fraudster more likely to target somebody with a home worth $70,000 or $700,000?

  •  i fucking hate banks. i really do. (7+ / 0-)

    i am so glad i use a local credit union.

    Happy holidays to you.

    by bluefaction on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:45:50 PM PST

  •  I'm about to enter the whirlpool: (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cdreid, tmo, jayden, cai, mrsgoo, A Runner

    my house is under water, it's worth about 50% of the outstanding 1st and 2nd mortgages on it [fixed 30, fixed 15] and I am more than concerned that these bastards will try to screw me. It's no palatial mansion. It's a simple split, poorly made, single bath, no garage. Foundation 46 by 22. About 1400 sq ft for four adults.

    Perhaps walking away from the mortgage is the answer, as the primary is held by those fuckers, BofA. Let them have this sinkhole.

    I've been paying my bills on time, but I've had my overtime cut back at work. I'm looking at a 25% reduction in pay, at least. It's going to destroy us financially, but compared to the horrors are going through, I feel fortunate.

    Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
    The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

    by shpilk on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 08:52:04 PM PST

    •  typo (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden, mrsgoo

      "but compared to the horrors others are going through, I feel fortunate."

      We're going to be OK, I guess.

      Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
      The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

      by shpilk on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 09:01:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I know this may seem like sarcasm (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, mrsgoo

      Given the nature of this diary, but do you qualify for a modification?

      I'd rather die than give you control ~ Trent Reznor

      by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 09:04:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Probably. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmo, cai, mrsgoo

        Paid my bills on time, never late, never delinquent, have a good credit rating.

        We don't buy fancy cars, take vacations, buy plasma TVs. Our cars are all more than 10 years old, and all three cost less than $3,000. It's medical bills that have been eating away at what should have been more than a comfortable income.

        Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
        The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

        by shpilk on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 09:06:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  With all the problems (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cdreid, shpilk, AspenFern

          at BoA it seems like a risky move to even let them know you are interested in a modification, however it also seems like it depends on your region.  

          Obviously, the other option is ride it out, eventually pay your house off and take the huge hit in value.  

          Both options kind of suck.  I'm sorry.  I hope whatever your solution things are as painless as possible.

          I'd rather die than give you control ~ Trent Reznor

          by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 09:40:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  you're not alone (6+ / 0-)

      I do a fair number of pro bono analyses for distressed homeowners.  

      What's the spread on your TOTAL cost of ownership (including any federal tax breaks, assuming those aren't eliminated) vs cost of renting? Factor 3% annual rental increase.  Graph them out and see when the lines cross.

      Talk to an attorney about a BK then talk to a CPA about tax implications.

      Quit payments, save your money, short sale the house and line up a rental.

      If you can, line up a rental NOW before your credit is screwed. This may not be feasible, but if you have enough cash for reserve to show to a landlord  you can get any rental.  

      It's unlikely ANY American home will go up in value for nearly 10 years. Each 1% rise in interest = 10% decline in buying power. When China stops buying our 10 year T bills US will have to raise interest rates. Each time you think it can't get worse, rates will rise and value of home will drop. It will likely be more, much more, than 15 before your home will be worth it's previous high value.  The only way it will be  "worth more" is if inflation takes off. But that's a fool's bet because interest rates will rise in step.

      The advice above is nearly identical for what I would do if you were Donald Trump holding a bunch of underperforming casinos.

      I'm not that far underwater but I'm running sam analysis on my own situation and I'm going to make a decision in next 3 months.  Think like  you're running a business and take the "morality" out of the equation. Banks don't care about morality.

  •  Do those folks have any legal right to sue? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, jayden, yella dawg

    If so they should take BofA for every penny they can possibly get.

    Thank goodness I've never had an account with them and if I have anything to say about the matter, I never will.

  •  Obama & Timmy are like Neroes fiddling when (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cdreid

    Rome was burning. My attempt at limerick :

    For God's sake,
    even Dubya fired Rummy
    after the walloping.
    Why can't Obama fire Timmy
    after the shellacking?

  •  Why does foreclosure map look like "Votes D" map? (0+ / 0-)

    With the exception of the really intense color in Florida, a swing state, the foreclosure map looks a whole lot like a "Votes Democratic in Presidential Elections" map.

    Why?

    The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

    by Positronicus on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 10:10:33 PM PST

  •  Bank of America is not the only offender. Chase (4+ / 0-)

    has foreclosed on a couple in California who were in a loan modification that Chase offered them. This couple was making their payments on time and out of the blue Chase offered them a loan mod.  Thinking it would be nice to have some extra money, the couple applied, were accepted and continued their habit of making monthly mortgage payments on time in accordance with the loan modification agreement.

    Then they received a letter from Chase asking for the portion of the loan that had been modified, in a lump sum.  When they could not meet the deadline in the demand letter, Chase began and completed foreclosure procedures, but have been thwarted in their eviction process because the couple refuses to leave.  I was looking for the link, but I can't seem to find it right now.  I'll continue to look.  The organization helping them is ACCE.

    I support the President.

    by Blogvirgin on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 10:34:02 PM PST

  •  We tried playing nice with the banksters. (0+ / 0-)
    Now it's time for war but Merikan voters have taken away our guns.

    "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

    by rainmanjr on Mon Dec 27, 2010 at 10:49:31 PM PST

  •  BofA sucks (0+ / 0-)
    Ever since they were bought out and left San Francisco they've been getting closer to Satan.  

    Really just a machine for extracting maximum money from middle class people now.

  •  The Approach Is Wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jimdotz

    This is another example of the Obama Administration getting the policy wrong. (Where have I heard that before?) If we wanted to solve this problem the government would be buying up houses and taking them off the market.

    We should have a policy that says any homeowner can offer his or her (or their) house to the federal government and the government will buy it at market value and pay off the parties that invested (including the homeowner) according to the shares they put into it if the homeowner loses their job or is in danger of defaulting on payments.

    Consider it a form of bankruptcy. If the homeowner determines for whatever reason that they cannot make payments then the home would be sold to the government at market value. The proceeds would be divided in proportion to what the parties put into the purchase of the home. For example, if the homeowner put up 20% and the bank put up 80%, then the homeowner would get 20% of the sale price and whoever held the note (or notes) on the house would get the other 80%.

    How does this help?

    It helps the economy by putting a floor under prices. This allows the construction industry and the remodeling industry to start working. That's a very big deal for the economy. In a typical year there are 1 million new home starts and about 1 million major remodeling jobs. We've been running at about half that. This is a huge problem for the economy and one reason the unemployment rate has stayed low.

    It helps the home owners by freeing them up to sell and by allowing them to avoid foreclosures and bankruptcies. This is particularly helpful considering how many of them are being forced into foreclosure by losing their jobs.

    It helps the banks by establishing a floor value for their holdings and shoring up the market, which is the basis of trillions of dollars in bank assets. It makes the derivatives problem (to the extent it's based on mortgage values) go away because the banks can value their holdings. If they need additional cash from the government to keep them from going under, we will know exactly how much.

    The homes would be held until the prices went up substantially and could be (slowly) sold back onto the market (at a profit to the taxpayers, BTW). Or, they would be given a green retrofit and sold at a premium price in those cases where that made sense.

    Of course, no one will do this because no one in Washington cares the slightest about the people in the country. They are entirely focused on how to protect Wall Street bonuses. Call it "craven politics", if you will.

    But if we really wanted to fix the problem, we'd fix it at the source instead of trying repeatedly to patch it or paint it over.

  •   We're not getting the whole story. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal

    I'm not ready to unconditionally back this story. Something doesn't ad up.

    Read my lips, no tax extension for the rich.

    by buckshot face on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 05:20:00 AM PST

  •  Florida, The Marx Brothers, and epicenters. (0+ / 0-)

    Some economists attribute the 1929 crash to a massive collapse (read: bubble burst) of real estate values in Florida, that also led to massive foreclosure numbers.

    The real estate collapse in Florida was so widely known, that Groucho Marx was able to include a couple of jokes about it in the 1929 film "The Cocoanuts":

    Groucho: "Three years ago I came to Florida without a nickel in my pocket. Now I’ve got a nickel in my pocket."

    And more pointedly:

    Groucho: "You can have any kind of a home you want. You can even get stucco. Oh, how you can get stucco."

  •  So glad I refinanced (0+ / 0-)

    and have all my savings, checkings and CDs at my university credit union.

    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -- George Bernard Shaw

    by Inspector Javert on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 11:25:29 AM PST

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