MIT Sloan: Was there ever a subprime crisis?

January 9, 2017

Fascinating read from MIT Sloan, challenging a central assumption of the housing crisis:

While all types of people participated in the crisis, borrowers defaulting on bigger mortgages were responsible for a greater dollar amount in defaults. The researchers found that the top quintile of borrowers by income were responsible for 13 percent of delinquent mortgage debt in 2003.

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A Rejection Of Politics As Usual

November 25, 2016

From Reuben Guttman for Law360:

Good trial lawyers know not to drink their own Kool-Aid. They view a case not just from their own vantage point but from the vantage point of their opponent. And at the end of a case they explore what was important to the jurors who rendered a verdict.

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The Foreclosure Vote

November 25, 2016

From Tom Adams for

The first map is from RealtyTrac, and indicates the states with the largest foreclosure inventory in 2012. The second is a map of the key battleground states. In 2008 and 2012, Obama won these states.

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NYT: How Letting Bankers Off the Hook May Have Tipped the Election

November 25, 2016

From Gretchen Morgenson at The New York Times:

There are many facets to the populist, anti-establishment anger that swept Donald J. Trump into the White House in Tuesday’s election. A crucial element fueling the rage, in my view, was this: Not one high-ranking executive at a major financial firm was held to account for the crisis of 2008.

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The Disaster of American Loan Servicing

August 28, 2016

From David Dayen at Salon:

It shouldn’t be terribly difficult to accept a monthly loan payment from a homeowner or a student borrower, and to manage day-to-day operations on the loan. This is the job function of a servicer, a company that handles loans on behalf of the ultimate owner, funneling payments through the system and deciding how to manage defaults.

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Inside the FBI’s Investigation into DocX

May 31, 2016

Lynn Szymoniak’s Freedom of Information Act request has helped generate a compelling article by David Dayen for Vice regarding the FBI’s investigation into the DocX document mill, and the limited prosecution that followed.

Six years ago, FBI agents in Jacksonville, Florida, wrote a memo to their bosses in Washington, DC, that could have unraveled the largest consumer fraud in American history.

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‘Chain of Title’ Review in the New York Times

May 14, 2016

David Dayen’s Chain of Title, which chronicles the fight against foreclosure fraud through the eyes of three South Florida activists: Lisa Epstein, Michael Redman, and Lynn Szymoniak. The book is available for purchase on Amazon and though other retailers. Here’s Frank Portnoy’s assessment from The New York Times:

On Sept.

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Guttman: A broken system and a challenge for legal scholars

May 13, 2016

Reuban Guttman, one of the lead lawyers for Lynn Szymoniak’s mortgage-fraud whistle-blower case, offers the following assessment of the current state of the American legal system, in The Global Legal Post:

“The United States’ legal system is broken and there is plenty of blame to go around.”

Now there is a blunt statement that should cause our neighbours across the globe to wonder why America’s minions travel to all corners of the earth extolling the virtues of the American rule of law.

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Wells Fargo Ordered Employees to Conceal Lost Mortgage Documents

May 7, 2016

From Reuters:

A former employee accused Wells Fargo & Co of instructing workers at a call center to refrain from telling customers about lost deeds or other missing documents, and of firing the worker who called the policy unethical, according to a lawsuit made public this week.

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Good News for Acceleration Issues

May 1, 2016

Is there a paragraph 22/acceleration issue in your foreclosure case?  Here is the latest good news from Florida’s 4th DCA: Miller v. The Bank of New York Mellon. [Read More]