The Simplest Things

As I read more and more about the foreclosure mess, the most amazing thing (to me, at least), is how the banksters, in their greed, managed to screw up even the most basic of things:

At JPMorgan Chase & Company, they were derided as “Burger King kids” — walk-in hires who were so inexperienced they barely knew what a mortgage was.

At Citigroup and GMAC, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on home foreclosures was outsourced to frazzled workers who sometimes tossed the paperwork into the garbage.

And at Litton Loan Servicing, an arm of Goldman Sachs, employees processed foreclosure documents so quickly that they barely had time to see what they were signing.

“I don’t know the ins and outs of the loan,” a Litton employee said in a deposition last year. “I’m not a loan officer.”

As the furor grows over lenders’ efforts to sidestep legal rules in their zeal to reclaim homes from delinquent borrowers, these and other banks insist that they have been overwhelmed by the housing collapse.

But interviews with bank employees, executives and federal regulators suggest that this mess was years in the making and came as little surprise to industry insiders and government officials. The issue gained new urgency on Wednesday, when all 50 state attorneys general announced that they would investigate foreclosure practices. That news came on the same day that JPMorgan Chase acknowledged that it had not used the nation’s largest electronic mortgage tracking system, MERS, since 2008.

That system has been faulted for losing documents and other sloppy practices.

Meticulous paperwork, a sense of security, and the confidence they are professionals is why people go to banks. This is the most basic service they screwed up. Not processing loan documents accurately or carefully is akin to a mechanic pouring motor oil in the wiper fluid receptacle or a professional cook not being able to make a roux.

They’ve literally fucked up everything they have touched.

106 replies
  1. 1
    r€nato says:

    Remember, these people are indispensable. If they were to go Galt, the entire economy would shudder to a stop.

  2. 2
    Lavocat says:

    Which is more palatable?:

    1) 50 state AGs fucking with The Big Money Boyz or

    2) 1 US president manning up and initiating an across-the-board moratorium on this fiasco?

    Yeah, I thought so.

    D’Oh!!!!!

  3. 3
    wilfred says:

    All the more reason why a moratorium is just a non-sensical idea. Oh, and as for that self-imposed moratorium:

    LOS ANGELES – Lenders seized more U.S. homes this summer than in any three-month stretch since the housing market began to bust in 2006. But many of the foreclosures may be challenged in court later because of allegations that banks evicted people without reading the documents.A total of 288,345 properties were lost to foreclosure in the July-September quarter, according to data released Thursday by RealtyTrac Inc., a foreclosure listing service. That’s up from nearly 270,000 in the second quarter, the previous high point in the firm’s records dating back to 2005.

    It’s common sense actions like this that give me hope.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/201…..sure_rates

  4. 4
    Michael D. says:

    or a professional cook not being able to make a roux

    Getting gayer by the minute here.

  5. 5
    JGabriel says:

    And at Litton Loan Servicing, an arm of Goldman Sachs, employees processed foreclosure documents so quickly that they barely had time to see what they were signing.
    __
    “I don’t know the ins and outs of the loan,” a Litton employee said in a deposition last year. “I’m not a loan officer.”

    Somewhere out there are people who got fired for pointing out that the mortgage paperwork was incomplete or unreliable, and refusing to sign off on questionable loans.

    And those people are laughing their asses off right now.

    Assuming they still have a home to laugh in.

    .

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Lavocat: @wilfred:

    What is the statutory authority for the President declaring a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures?

  7. 7
    General Stuck says:

    With a pair of gangsters in the WH for 8 years, who needed paperwork smaperwork?

  8. 8
    WyldPirate says:

    John Cole sez:

    Meticulous paperwork, a sense of security, and the confidence they are professionals is why people go to banks. This is the most basic service they screwed up. Not processing loan documents accurately or carefully is akin to a mechanic pouring motor oil in the wiper fluid receptacle or a professional cook not being able to make a roux.

    For fucks sake, John, don’t you know how hard the Best and the Brightest of the banksters have to work to spend their multi-million dollar salaries and bonuses?

    It’s unfair to expect them to work on their actual business. They have a full-time job trying to figure out what to do with all of their money.

  9. 9
    Steve says:

    This sounds oddly familiar. At the peak of the dot-com bubble, it was common for brokerage firms to hire new college graduates, waiters, people off the street. The next day they’d be on the phone trying to convince your grandma to invest her money in a tech stock.

    The question is why liberals have such a problem with job creation and social mobility!

  10. 10
    El Cid says:

    It’s sure too bad that that Massey Energy kept screwing up all those mines and regulating their safety in West Virginia. Will they ever learn?

  11. 11
    bkny says:

    osama, et al, marvel at the banksters’ success and only wish he’d gone into finance …

  12. 12
    joe from Lowell says:

    Get a loan from a local bank or credit union.

    Get your loan from a bank that you can drive to, and walk in, and go up to a teller, and break a $20.

  13. 13
    cleek says:

    thank FDR for FDIC.

  14. 14
    gorillagogo says:

    The more I learn the more I get the feeling this was by design. If you hire kids right out of school or outsource your paperwork to frazzled workers, you’re pretty much assured to get a lot fewer questions asked than if a bunch of experienced professionals were doing the same work.

  15. 15
    Perry Como says:

    Bonuses for everyone! It’s good to know our Galtian overlords just got $144 billion for their genius. Free market bitches!

  16. 16
    Michael D. says:

    @joe from Lowell: In Georgia, most of those banks have been seized and closed.

  17. 17
    Xenos says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Some people just like the drama of the Pres yelling at people more than state regulators doing their job. And non-lawyers often have no idea how federalism works.

  18. 18
    daveNYC says:

    They’ve literally fucked up everything they have touched.

    Everything except their bonuses, so as far as they’re concerned there’s no problem.

  19. 19
    WyldPirate says:

    @Lavocat:

    2) 1 US president manning up and initiating an across-the-board moratorium on this fiasco?

    But goddamitt, lavocat, doncha know that Obama can’t hold his classmates and peers accountable? Much less his donors?

    Now if these dudes were black–like Shirley Sherrod or that energy guy that he shit-canned on flimsy evidence to stave off the hordes of criticism of reverse racism–he would be all over that.

    But prosecuting the assholes responsible for the biggest theft in human history—meh, who has time for that?

  20. 20
    NobodySpecial says:

    Meticulous paperwork, a sense of security, and the confidence they are professionals is why people go to banks.

    Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, bankers were remembered as fairly quiet, boring sorts who were highly conservative about anything to do with money, and who had a job that was certainly nothing a get rich quick type would do for a living.

  21. 21
    Todd says:

    I recall reading that Bush short changed the FBI in investigating fraudulent mortgages. However, I can’t cite anything and google isn’t helping me out. If any one else can, I’d appreciate it.

    However, the FBI knew about the mortgage fraud was going on for awhile. Naked Capitalism, back in March, pointed out a 2004 headline from CNN: FBI warns of mortgage fraud ‘epidemic’: Seeks to head off ‘next S&L crisis’

  22. 22
    Steve says:

    Meticulous paperwork, a sense of security, and the confidence they are professionals is why people go to banks.

    I don’t know about your bank, but the spokespeople for my bank are Regis and Kelly.

  23. 23
    BR says:

    @WyldPirate:

    As hard as it is for me to say I agree with you, having been an Obot for years now, I think I might agree with you.

    Teh sad.

  24. 24
    JimF says:

    Which is why I belong to a Credit Union.

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Xenos: I know. I just like to make that point once in a while. Should the feds get involved in this? Probably, it is too big and widespread to be handled locally. Given that, it becomes a technical question of what to do AND a political question of how to get something useful out of the broken system.

  26. 26
    PeakVT says:

    It would be nice to have a banking system that was good at allocating capital.

  27. 27
    PaulW says:

    And now we get to the crux of the whole economic mess: the people who were – and still are – in charge of this whole fiasco are obviously not smart. They are merely ruthless and greedy and they have enough friends in high places to let them get away with it.

    It would be nice to form an honest third party out of all the Americans who got screwed over by these financial jackals and their political pets, but sad to say none of us have the money to start one. :( Go figure.

  28. 28
    WyldPirate says:

    @Xenos:

    Some people just like the drama of the Pres yelling at people more than state regulators doing their job. And non-lawyers often have no idea how federalism works.

    That’s not the point, Xenos.

    The point is that the assholes are going to skate, just like the Bush criminals did.

    And I know what people are going to say–“but, to prosecute these Galtian superheros and the Bush criminals would bring government to a screeching halt?

    Well guess, what? It’s almost been done now by the Rethugs. And you ain’t seen nothing yet. The House will be 24/7 hearings gearing up for impeachment charges by the end of next year. And that’s after they shut down the government.

  29. 29
    Perry Como says:

    @Todd: It’s worse than that. When things were really heating up in the housing market, the Bush administration used the OCC to block state AGs from going after predatory lenders. Woo! Free market! Woo!

  30. 30
    beergoggles says:

    the most amazing thing (to me, at least), is how the banksters, in their greed, managed had an incentive to screw up even the most basic of things

    fixed..

  31. 31
    PaulW says:

    And that’s after they shut down the government.

    Hurm. If they do shut down the government, will that allow Obama the authority to shut down Wall Street and the banks since there won’t be any regulators assuring those financial institutions will continue their inept handlings of something simple like mortgage paperwork?

  32. 32
    TJ says:

    I kind of suspect that if the Russian mob had been behind a scam of this magnitude instead of Wall St. fat cats we’d have seen a national moratorium a long time ago, and damn the authority.

  33. 33
    Suck It Up! says:

    @BR:

    you and pirate boy are out of your minds. you two are going to sit there and tell me Obama targets blacks and innocent people on purpose? Yeah, go out and tell that story and let me know what happens.

  34. 34
    wilfred says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Ok, but where then is the moral and ethical proscription about publicly asking for one? Especially in light of the increasing number of probably fraudulent foreclosures, as the article I linked to suggests

    This isn’t about Obama, it’s about the death of the American political economy and what should replace it.

  35. 35
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Michael D.:

    In Georgia, most of those banks have been seized and closed.

    …and the Big Boys aren’t exactly shoveling money out the door. It seems to me that the “small, local” banks in the south and west tried to get big and rich by going long on real estate development, and got killed when the housing market withered.

    We’re very lucky in my part of the country. There are a ton of solid little community banks that don’t imagine themselves as the next BoA.

  36. 36
    cat48 says:

    OT Great Chamber of Comm is on repeating GG’s attack on Gibbs yesterday about 527s. Also, Chamber won’t release their donors because liberals might attack the poor corporations and banksters! Really rich.

  37. 37
    joe from Lowell says:

    @WyldPirate:

    The point is that the assholes are going to skate, just like the Bush criminals did.

    No, they’re not. We are going to see heads roll over this document fraud.

  38. 38
    WyldPirate says:

    @BR:

    It’s cool, BR. i was an Obot once as well. I still want him to do well, but he sure as shit is making it hard to root for him.

    He pissed me off in that first televised Town hall with all of the on-line questions that were submitted. Questions about legalization of weed were the most asked.

    What did Obama, do? He laughed it off. The very biggest reason that black men are in prison–for drug offenses that have made not a single dent in the supply in the 40 years of the “War on Drugs”.

    Now where would his black ass be today had he gotten busted in the wrong place with a dime bag of herb or a little blow? I’m not sure, but it sure as shit wouldn’t be in the White House.

    This gets to my point–he said that we’re going to do things smarter and better and get rid of programs that don’t work.
    Well goddammit, their is no more obvious failure than the War on Drugs and it direct costs are north of 60 billion a year.

    I knew when he laughed it off that he wasn’t serious and was all about political expediency; that his “hope and Change” hocus was a bunch of horseshit.

    He proves me more right every day.

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @joe from Lowell: I agree. There appears to be straight up, old fashioned fraud going on here. This is the kind of thing that attorneys general and district attorneys prosecute all the time. It’s just on a larger scale.

  40. 40
    WyldPirate says:

    @joe from Lowell: @Suck It Up!:

    News came out the other day that he was all over the Sherrod thing to pitch her out b4 the nutjobs at FauxNews start squealing.

    I’ll find links…

  41. 41
    Kristine says:

    @joe from Lowell: Yup. My mortgage is with a local bank that services all their loans themselves and never sells them. If there’s an issue, I drop by or pick up the phone.

  42. 42
    Joshua says:

    Part of the problem too is that I can’t even do shit about avoiding business with these crooks. If I want a mortgage, I can easily say “fuck Citi, fuck JP Morgan Chase” and go somewhere else. But chances are my mortgage will be sold off before the ink is dry to Citi or JP Morgan Chase so I have to send them money for the next 30 years.

    And if they lose my title on the basement floor, oh well, tough shit – McMegan will tell me I was stupid for doing business with them, and since this a free market they will be punished for their mistakes.

  43. 43
    Steve says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Should the feds get involved in this? Probably, it is too big and widespread to be handled locally.

    I think the joint investigation is the way to go. The people who have the expertise to investigate this sort of thing are mostly at the state level, and they also have a better understanding of the state-specific requirements that apply in individual cases. The Feds rarely get involved in this sort of issue and so their attorneys and investigators are mostly trained to investigate federal issues like securities fraud, money laundering, etc.

    Obama’s declaration of support for the state AGs is good enough for me. If they need more resources, the feds can give them some money or loan them some spare attorneys from the DOJ. I also wonder if this is being investigated at the Congressional level.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @wilfred: As far as Obama advocating a moratoriumor asking Congress to give him the authority, I am not sure that it is a great idea. I don’t want to rehash the pros and cons, people have filled numerous threads on the topic. I simply am skeptical of the efficacy of a blanket moratorium.

  45. 45
    WyldPirate says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    Here you go, Suck it up!. Suck. On. This.
    E-mails: White House wanted Sherrod out:

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 (UPI) — E-mails show the White House was involved in Shirley Sherrod’s ouster from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after a conservative Web site attacked her.

    The e-mails were obtained by the Washington bureau of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune under the Freedom of Information Act.

    E-mails show White House officials believed Sherrod’s speedy departure would keep the story from getting “traction.””

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Edit Note: Sorry all of the quote isn’t in blockquote form. The proper tag is in the right place but it’s not showing up on-screen

  46. 46
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    There appears to be straight up, old fashioned fraud going on here

    Not only that, but the little fish are singing like birds. Like little, bird-like fish, so to speak.

    This is just getting started.

  47. 47
    Bullsmith says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Whose heads though? Robo signers, for sure, maybe a few middle-managers. But is anyone with a significant bonus going to jail for this? There is no recent precedent to support such an expectation.

  48. 48
    Steve says:

    @WyldPirate: You’re relying on the Moonies? The evidence doesn’t support their headline.

  49. 49
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Kristine: My bank doesn’t make stupid, predatory loans, because it has a boatload of outstanding mortgages in my neighborhood, and it wouldn’t make sense for them to have the neighborhood full of lost homes.

  50. 50
    joe from Lowell says:

    @WyldPirate: Uh, your link doesn’t show any Obama involvement at all.

    We already knew, as in, since August, that the political staff jumped the gun.

    Much like yourself, they seem a bit too eager.

  51. 51
    Carol says:

    Makes me more and more thankful that I deal with a Community Bank that believed in a conversion project a long time ago. Where I live was never a residence before this, so there’s no old mortgage to deal with. I also deal with a Credit Union.

    I sleep well at night, and so do my neighbors.

    If it’s too big to fail, it’s too big to exist.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve: Federal involvement in coordination and provision of resources sounds good to me. You are right that the variation of legal requirements from state to state makes it a better proposition for the states as prime movers.

  53. 53
    BR says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    Not at all. It’s that the media does. And the administration ends up going along with bullshit media narratives. Not that I blame them – they’d waste a lot of time if they didn’t. But the media are sheep – if Gibbs was as adversarial as Fleisher he might actually get the media to fall in line, sadly.

  54. 54
    wilfred says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Fair enough.

  55. 55
    BR says:

    @WyldPirate:

    Hmm. So I don’t think I’ve been quite as disappointed in him as you have. He never took such a position on the war on drugs during the campaign, so I didn’t expect him to actually eliminate it. I know he should, and he probably knows he should. But remember Biden was the guy who pushed for a lot of the serious drug law enforcement stuff in congress, so it’s not like there’s even unanimity in the white house on that issue.

  56. 56
    Xenos says:

    @Steve: The main federal issue here relates to the securitization of the mortgage backed securities. If those are fraudulent in some way then the FBI might have jurisdiction. I would not want the FDIC or the SEC involved with the state AGs because they operate mostly in terms of civil enforcement. Great for quick disposition of cases, and for making banks disgorge profits, but likely to disrupt a criminal investigation.

  57. 57
    fouro says:

    And we’re surprised how? While it’s fun for some to rag on government and bang the gong for the magic privatization it’s useful to recall that most embezzlements, and 6 of 7 consumer frauds (according to the better business bureau), go unreported. Why? Because businesspeople worry they’ll look incompetent and damage their rep and consumers don’t want to explain how they got suckered. Greed, stupidity and narcicissm are laws of people-nature.

  58. 58
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Steve: I’m thinking of something along the lines of the joint task forces used for drug trafficking and terrorism.

  59. 59
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    All you really need to say about banks has been said by Mojo Nixon:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGP-wfzJ0Ks

  60. 60
    chopper says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    shut up, that’s why.

    one of the perks of the presidency is the ability to grind an entire part of the economy consisting of contracts written and enforced according to state law to a halt with the stroke of a pen. it’s called ‘federalism’, look it up.

  61. 61
    wilfred says:

    @chopper:

    This is why he can’t say anything, right? There’s some sort of law prohibiting the President from speaking out against bank fraud and commiserating with people foreclosed upon illegally.

    Got it.

  62. 62
    RSA says:

    If analogous practices like these were in place in a restaurant, half the customers would be in the emergency room with food poisoning, and the health department would have shut the place down. It’s only people’s houses, money, and future financial security we’re talking about, though, so the banksters get a pass.

  63. 63
    joe from Lowell says:

    commiserating.

    What I really want from a president is commiseration, because that’s what really matters.

    Get a fucking teddy bear. The guy has a real job.

  64. 64
    chopper says:

    @wilfred:

    yes, by agreeing that the president has no statutory authority to end all foreclosures and grind the entire housing market to a halt with the stroke of a pen, i’m de facto arguing that he doesn’t have the right to talk about the situation. your ability to completely miss the point is incredible.

  65. 65
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @wilfred: What about this?

  66. 66
    wilfred says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    So did FDR.

  67. 67
    chopper says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    but…dictatorial powers! come on, man, wouldn’t you want some of that?

  68. 68
    wilfred says:

    @chopper:

    It was snark, you fucking git.

  69. 69
    WyldPirate says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    We already knew, as in, since August, that the political staff jumped the gun.
    Much like yourself, they seem a bit too eager.

    So Obama isn’t responsible for anything that happens in his own administration? In his own political shop right in the West Wing?

    that’s nice to know.

    So much for responsibility and the “buck stops here”.

    It does explain you Obots have turned into the same sort of idiot apologists Bush had.

    You can now go clamp your lips back around your souvenir Obama cock, Joe from Lowell.

  70. 70
    chopper says:

    @wilfred:

    yeah, whatever you say, histrio.

  71. 71
    joe from Lowell says:

    Commiserating.

    It’s the Democratic version of “someone you can have a beer with” – similar, but with extra emo.

    “Mr. President, Mr. President, will you validate my feelings?”

    “Bitch, I won’t even validate your parking. Somebody taze this guy.”

  72. 72
    les says:

    @Todd:

    Bush didn’t just shortchange the FBI, his admin actively prevented state AG’s from enforcing mortgage fraud laws, or even looking into this cluster fuck.

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WyldPirate: Yes, we all know that at one level “a commander is responsible for everything that happens, or fails to happen, under his command,” but we also should know that not every decision is made by the top guy. Obama took shit for the Sherrod firing, deservedly so, but do you think he was actually involved in the decision? If you were a WH staffer, would you have taken something like that into the Oval Office? I doubt it.

  74. 74
    joe from Lowell says:

    So Obama isn’t responsible for anything that happens in his own administration? In his own political shop right in the West Wing?

    Such a wonderful word, “responsible.” It can mean so many different things, you can just throw it out there to cover up any gaping holes in logic. Sort of like internet duct tape.

    Go back to what you wrote:

    But goddamitt, lavocat, doncha know that Obama can’t hold his classmates and peers accountable? Much less his donors?
    Now if these dudes were black—like Shirley Sherrod or that energy guy that he shit-canned on flimsy evidence to stave off the hordes of criticism of reverse racism—he would be all over that.

    You made an assertion about Barack Obama, and his actions, and his motivations. Now, you’re hiding behind the vagueness of the term “responsible.”

    You can now go clamp your lips back around your souvenir Obama cock, Joe from Lowell.

    What IS it with the gay-sex imagery from the firebaggers? They just can’t stop themselves.

  75. 75
    wilfred says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Spoof. Lame, too.

  76. 76
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Obama took shit for the Sherrod firing, deservedly so, but do you think he was actually involved in the decision?

    Watch him crawfish and walk it back now, but this is what he wrote the first time:

    But goddamitt, lavocat, doncha know that Obama can’t hold his classmates and peers accountable? Much less his donors?
    Now if these dudes were black—like Shirley Sherrod or that energy guy that he shit-canned on flimsy evidence to stave off the hordes of criticism of reverse racism—he would be all over that.

    Really, he wasn’t accusing Obama himself of doing anything. He was making a point about ultimate responsibility in a chain of command.

    And also, something about oral sex with a black guy.

  77. 77
    BR says:

    @WyldPirate:

    Whoa, was I wrong to agree with you. I think you’ve gone off the deep end…

  78. 78
    Steve says:

    @WyldPirate: Still haven’t seen any evidence to go beyond the fact that after Vilsack ordered the firing and it was carried out, some folks in the White House gave him an attaboy. The headline you quoted from the Moonies, much to everyone’s surprise, seems to be a misstatement of the facts.

  79. 79
    Rick Taylor says:

    It is capitalists who will destroy capitalism.

  80. 80
    Rick Taylor says:

    I laughed at David Brooks for saying this, but I miss the bankers from Mary Poppins.

  81. 81
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Obama took shit for the Sherrod firing, deservedly so, but do you think he was actually involved in the decision?

    Watch him crawfish and walk it back now, but this is what he wrote the first time:

    But goddamitt, lavocat, doncha know that Obama can’t hold his classmates and peers accountable? Much less his donors?
    Now if these dudes were black—like Shirley Sherrod or that energy guy that he shit-canned on flimsy evidence to stave off the hordes of criticism of reverse racism—he would be all over that.

    Really, he wasn’t accusing Obama himself of doing anything. He was making a point about ultimate responsibility in a chain of command.

  82. 82
    les says:

    @wilfred:

    No, fool, this is why he can’t single-handedly impose a foreclosure moratorium across the nation, as demanded by the other fools in the thread.

    As to where the feds will/should get active in the mess, this is pretty interesting; potential securities fraud by the assholes who should get whacked in this deal.
    Keep in mind on the foreclosure–yeah the idiots messed up the paper in their haste to sell, slice, dice and securitize. But these are still loans with borrowers not making payments, and forcing them to clean up the paper won’t change anything in the long term. Gee, too bad about that rethug bankruptcy bill, and courts not being able to cram down reasonable loan terms.

  83. 83
    chopper says:

    @les:

    indeed. the federal government’s jurisdiction here is mostly with regards to the securities made from the crappy mortgages. if there’s reasonable suspicion that the banks burned through this paperwork in order to pump these mortgages into the securitization machine (which i, for one, think is blatantly there) then the SEC should be opening an investigation. obama’s administration better do this once the state AG investigations have brought forth some real evidence of wrongdoing.

    but the quality of the mortgage paperwork with respect to foreclosure is a state issue. it’s a contract written and enforced under state law.

  84. 84
    El Cruzado says:

    Man I’m glad I just refinanced with my local Credit Union (where The Company people put their money, must be a safe place for it to be) and out of BofA. They service it and Fannie Mae owns it. End of the story.

    Adding: BofA can’t even get the servicing right. They screwed me earlier in the year and it took months of screaming phone calls to avoid making it appear in my record as if I had gone late in my payments despite having religiously paid every last cent (and a little more) of my mortgage payments. Even without the low interest rates these days I probably would have gotten away from them as soon as I could.

  85. 85
    bago says:

    “I don’t know the ins and outs of the loan,” a Litton employee said in a deposition last year. “I’m not a loan officer.”

    Wow, that’s something. During the height of the madness I knew several Loan Officers, including a drug dealer who had just gotten released from prison. Of course he probably knew a thing or two about capitalism.

  86. 86
    Martin says:

    Yeah, I’m at the point that the big banks should just be burned down. There’s no redeeming them.

    This isn’t like WWII where we had a labor shortage and had to cut corners sometimes. We’ve got 10% unemployment, and the banks are turning billions in profits. There is absolutely, positively no excuse for why this should have happened. NONE. This is running a business 101 level shit, and they ALL failed it.

    This economy isn’t recovering because of Republicans. It’s not recovering because the people that run our corporations are almost universally incompetent.

  87. 87
    batgirl says:

    @Todd:

    Back in 2007, then P-I reporters Paul Shukovsky and Daniel Lathrop documented how the FBI dramatically cut its number of white-collar crime investigations, including mortgage fraud, after shifting about 2,400 agents from traditional crime-fighting squads to counterterrorism units in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

    Shukovsky subsequently reported last October that the Bush administration was rejecting FBI pleas for more agents to investigate mortgage fraud and in January that FBI agents new about a widespread and growing mortgage fraud problem as early as 2002, but did not act definitively to stop it because transfers to counterterrorism prevented them from understanding how lenders were packaging bad mortgages into bad securities, spreading the impact further out into the wider economy.

    From: “Congress moves to step up mortgage fraud investigations.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer [Seattle, WA] 6 May 2009. InfoTrac Newspapers. Web. 14 Oct. 2010.

    Both retired FBI officials asserted that the Bush administration was thoroughly briefed on the mortgage fraud crisis and its potential to cascade out of control with devastating financial consequences, but made the decision not to give back to the FBI the agents it needed to address the problem. After the terrorist attacks of 2001, about 2,400 agents were reassigned to counterterrorism duties.

    This mass reassignment was first chronicled by the P-I in a series of investigative reports in 2007 and 2008. That administration policy, the P-I reported, resulted in a dramatic plunge in FBI criminal investigations and referrals for prosecution. And recent data from Syracuse University researchers show that the problem has worsened.

    From: Shukovsky, Paul. “FBI SAW MORTGAGE FRAUD EARLY AGENTS SAY THEY LACKED RESOURCES TO PURSUE IT.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer [Seattle, WA] 28 Jan. 2009: A1. InfoTrac Newspapers. Web. 14 Oct. 2010

    The Senate on Wednesday moved to boost the number of FBI agents investigating mortgage fraud and Internet predators, rebuffing a request by President Bush to pay for no new special agents in the bureau’s crime-fighting squads.

    From: Dlouhy, Jennifer A. “SENATE TO BOLSTER FBI CRIME-FIGHTING TEAMS AGAINST BUSH’S WISHES.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer [Seattle, WA] 19 June 2008: B1. InfoTrac Newspapers. Web. 14 Oct. 2010.

    Do you live in Seattle by chance? All the links I’m finding come from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

    ETA: complete block quote fail.

  88. 88
    Martin says:

    @batgirl: Guess what?

    Ronald Reagan wasn’t conservative enough for the Kochs, so they essentially bought David’s way onto the Libertarian ticket in order to get around spending limits since David could spend as much as he wanted on his own candidacy.
    __
    Their platform that year?
    “The Libertarian Party platform called for the abolition of the F.B.I. and the C.I.A., as well as of federal regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Energy. The Party wanted to end Social Security, minimum-wage laws, gun control, and all personal and corporate income taxes; it proposed the legalization of prostitution, recreational drugs, and suicide. Government should be reduced to only one function: the protection of individual rights. William F. Buckley, Jr., a more traditional conservative, called the movement “Anarcho-Totalitarianism.””

    Guess who is getting maximum benefit from the Citizens United Not Timid case? Yeah, the Koch brothers. They’ll probably push for the elimination of the FBI through their candidates as well.

  89. 89

    I remember the days when bankers were generally thought of as stodgy conservative types who were risk adverse with the money entrusted to them, that required down payments on houses, meticulous paperwork, and honored their contracts, because nobody wanted to run their bank into the ground or kick off another depression.

    Seriously, can someone tell me (or point me to a link that explains) what the hell happened to the industry?

  90. 90
    PaulW says:

    My only problem with the revelations of this foreclosure paperwork mess is that after two years of investigating the Wall Street firms and banks that f-cked us over in 2007-08, few if any of them ever faced criminal charges for THOSE crimes. How can we have any guarantee that the feds are seriously pursuing these new sets of criminal misdeeds?

  91. 91
    lol says:

    @WyldPirate:

    Why does the NAACP get a free pass?

    They were the ones that held the event and even they were calling for her resignation.

    I think you have a very selective memory for the timeline of events.

  92. 92
    PaulW says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    I remember the days when bankers were generally thought of as stodgy conservative types who were risk adverse with the money entrusted to them, that required down payments on houses, meticulous paperwork, and honored their contracts, because nobody wanted to run their bank into the ground or kick off another depression.
    Seriously, can someone tell me (or point me to a link that explains) what the hell happened to the industry?

    Deregulation thanks to Phil Gramm.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.....Act#Repeal

    By removing a lot of the firewalls and regulations between banks and investment firms, those institutions went frakking hog-wild pursuing every risky high-payoff investment scheme they could figure out. Combined with the steady erosion of government regulatory oversight via understaffing and budget cutting, there was no one minding the store as the kids binged on diet coke and pop rocks.

    Anything to make money. Always the dollars. The image of the banks being so conservative and stodgy was because the banking rules that were created in response to the Great Depression forced them to be conservative and stodgy. And once those rules went away…

  93. 93
    Martin says:

    @Comrade Dread: Simple, thanks to changes in regulation, they went from being smallish, regional entities to large profit driven corporations.

    The profit drive has killed more than a few corporations out there. Expanding your market and increasing revenues takes hard work, but if you can get there by laying off employees and cutting corners on customer service, maintenance, and basic administrative functions, that’s MUCH easier. And given the inertia in large corporations, by the time all of that blows up the executives are out with their golden parachutes.

    The idea of growing your business by hiring people is almost laughed at once you get above a certain size. You want to radically expand the number of mortgages and refinances you need to process per year? Don’t hire people, just find ways to streamline the process. Outsource the task. Get a contractor who you can shift the blame to. It’s more profitable that way.

    Dumbfucks.

  94. 94
    Remember November says:

    America was the altar boy for Blankfein’s “God’s work”.

  95. 95
    Steve says:

    @Comrade Dread: The reason is that you are imagining what commercial bankers are like.

    Investment bankers are Wall Street types and are cut from an entirely different cloth.

    There was once a law that prohibited commercial bankers and investment bankers from working under the same roof. You might have heard of it. It was the Glass-Steagall Act and it was the law of the land from 1933 until 1999.

    Now you know why the character of the banking industry seems to have changed. It’s actually not a big mystery.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve: In addition, I-banks used to be partnerships where the bankers theremselves had real skin in the game. If they bet big and lost, they lost. It instilled caution.

  97. 97
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It would be nice if I proofread before posting.

  98. 98
    Jon H says:

    Remember when we couldn’t shitcan the bankers’ sacred bonuses because of the ‘sanctity of contracts’?

    I guess that only goes for bankers’ alleged employment contracts.

  99. 99
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    Seriously, can someone tell me (or point me to a link that explains) what the hell happened to the industry?

    A large chunk of it stopped being run by bankers, and was instead by run by Wall Street traders and wanna bes across the country.

    Oh, and also, this was allowed to happen because the regulations forbidding the Wall Street guys from running banks were repealed. Just in case nobody mentioned that yet.

    Banks that are actually run by bankers are just fine.

  100. 100
    Joshua says:

    @Jon H: Yea, we actually learned that pretty damn fast, because I think the right wing was blasting unions for not “renegotiating” with companies a few weeks later, and going on about how companies had to start breaking unions.

    The only contracts that matter in 2010 America are the ones made between rich people.

  101. 101
    PurpleGirl says:

    @JimF: While I agree that credit unions are good, but they don’t always work out. The one credit union I can join (an alumni perk, sort of) works through Chase…. and they have limits on how many checks I could write and how often I could use the ATM and some other stuff I don’t remember now. And I don’t think I could use any Chase branch, I think I’d have to go to one near the school. Not really helpful at all.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WyldPirate:

    I do love how you pretend that Shirley Sherrod never got a personal apology from the president because it would mess up your narrative, wouldn’t it?

    I’m waiting for Angry Black Lady to come along and rip you a new asshole for the whole “Obama hates black people” claim. Why not just call him an Oreo and be done with it?

  103. 103
    ruemara says:

    @lol:

    I’m thinking that maybe the anger isn’t really about Sherrod or Jones.

  104. 104
    Binzinerator says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    No, they’re not. We are going to see heads roll over this document fraud.

    If we do see heads roll they will be the ones from the Lynndie Englands of the banking world.

  105. 105
    Glen Tomkins says:

    The biggest and baddest Banana Republic of all times

    The strongest reasons to believe that the current financial crisis has yet to hit bottom, and that by far, is precisely that it has revealed how far we have recently gone in neglecting the basics of conducting orderly, fair markets.

    You can recover from a mere downturn in the business cycle readily enough. They call it a “cycle” precisely because what goes down must come up.

    But the reputation for probity, reliability and diligence in handling other people’s money, once lost, is not so easily regained.

    Our markets in general, and the NYSE in particular, did so well in the past century because they were seen as bastions of fair and scrupulous dealings in a world in which so many countries could not make the same claim, countries dominated by cronies and good old boy networks.

    Well, it’s a new century. And if we see it inaugurated with continuing revelations of just how asleep the market regulators have been, and just how much the banksters failed to police themselves, then you can’t expect in this new century the same market success as the century we are leaving.

    Send your spare capital to the Congo, or to Haiti. They may be banana republics rife with the corruption of crony capitalism, but at least they aren’t the biggest and baddest banana republics anymore. The US today has all the corruption and lax business practice of Haiti, but adds to that the military might of the world’s sole hyperpower. You may lose your shirt in Haiti, but at least they can’t invade your country if you then complain about being cheated.

  106. 106
    Bill Arnold says:

    Barry Ritholtz has a good sober detailed rant on this. (And other postings in the last few days as well).

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