'Zombie' homes haunt Florida neighborhoods

By Alison Fitzgerald and Jared Bennett

Neighborhoods devastated by thousands of abandoned homes as banks fail to follow through on foreclosures.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Birmingham":

"… Wells Fargo for alleged predatory lending that led to abandoned homes, but Birmingham, Alabama’s lawsuit failed, according to Kathleen Engel, a law professor …"

"… nstitutions have not had to internalize the harm they caused in Cleveland, Birmingham and other municipalities.” The Justice Department has recognized the pr …"

Homeowners steamrolled as Florida courts clear foreclosure backlog

By Alison Fitzgerald

Why are Florida's courts rushing to clear more than 700 foreclosure cases per day?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau":

"… aid she and many other lawyers have reported such incidents to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau but the agency declined to comment. What’s lost in the technicalities i …"

Subprime lending execs back in business five years after crash

By Daniel Wagner

Executives from all of the top 25 subprime lending firms are working in the mortgage business five years later.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bear Stearns":

"… to return is Thomas Marano, who led the mortgage finance division at Bear Stearns and was on the board of its subsidiary, EMC Mortgage. He then took ov …"

Bear Stearns mortgage executives have plum jobs on Wall Street

By Lauren Kyger and Alison Fitzgerald

Executives from the mortgage finance division that helped sink Bear Stearns have similar jobs at major Wall Street banks.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wells Fargo":

"… re entirely unacceptable to me." ResCap, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup settled for $25 billion with the Justice Departme …"

Yellen as Fed chair would be tougher on banks

By Alison Fitzgerald

Janet Yellen, President Obama’s intended nominee for Federal reserve chief, may prove to be tougher on banks.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bill Clinton":

"… nder. Yellen left the Fed board in 1997 to become chairwoman of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, and then she returned to academia. In 2 …"

Mel Watt enjoys close ties to financial industries

By Alison Fitzgerald

Bank leaders, PACs made prospective housing agency leader a top recipient of campaign cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Fannie Mae":

"… sp;President Barack Obama has appointed to oversee mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has received more campaign money from financial interests …"

"… owns to help homeowners at risk of default to stay in their houses.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy and securitize about 90 percent of all new mortgages i …"

"… ;             Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s PACs contributed $11,500 to Watt’s campaign from …"

Top 5 super PAC donors by industry

Investing, casinos top list thanks to billionaires' donations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… ts to preserve the mortgage interest deduction, restructure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and raise the cap for credit union lending and Fannie- and Freddie-backed …"

Daily Disclosure: Realtors spend big on California race

By Rachael Marcus

National Association of Realtors backs Rep. Brad Sherman in a big way

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… s of interest to realtors, including disaster insurance and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.Sherman sponsored a bill in 2011 to amend the Flood Insurance Reform Act, …"

Bailed-out banks, Freddie Mac, AIG gave $6 million to 2008 conventions

By John Dunbar and Michael Beckel

Corporate donors to 2008 party conventions included financial institutions bailed out by government.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wells Fargo":

"… ions as “our sponsors.”This year, companies ranging from Coca-Cola and Wells Fargo to Xerox and UPS are working to ensure that they have a presence at both c …"

"… both conventions.“There’s a lot of cost around the convention,” said Wells Fargo spokesman Kathy Harrison. “It is important as a good corporate citizen t …"

"… “It is important as a good corporate citizen to support the host city.”Wells Fargo was one of the banks that benefited from the government’s bank bailout, …"

"… s came from U.S. Bancorp ($1 million), Goldman Sachs & Co. ($255,000), Wells Fargo ($250,000), J.P. Morgan Chase ($100,000) and Morgan Stanley ($100,000) and …"

Dissent among Republicans over defense spending

By Aaron Mehta

Grover Norquist opposes Romney plan to increase the military budget

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… e decided to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan rather than reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That had tremendous consequences.”Mitt Romney, in contrast, has called …"

Report: Countrywide won influence with discounts

By The Associated Press

Subprime lender Countrywide bought influence of Washington elite with mortgage discounts

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… ns of pieces of legislation that would have reformed Fannie" and its rival Freddie Mac, the committee said.Some of the discounts were ordered personally by forme …"

Watchdog groups call on Newt Gingrich to disclose all health center clients

By Fred Schulte and Joe Eaton

Public interest groups demand health center's client list

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican presidential candidate":

"… level of scrutiny,” she said. …"

Raging against the foreclosure machine

By Ben Hallman

Automated foreclosure process creates errors, stifles modifications and enrages helpless homeowners

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mortgage":

"… led to sign up for a modification plan with their loan servicer, GMAC Home Mortgage, Cassandra Gray said. The modification lowered their payment from $1,128 …"

"… to pools of 5,000 or more. They are then sliced up and sold as securities. Mortgage servicers bid on the rights to manage these loan pools before they are sol …"

"… aged lenders to stop caring whether the loans they were making were sound. Mortgage giants like Countrywide approved as many loans as possible knowing that Wa …"

"… ton III, a U.S. bankruptcy judge in Aberdeen, Miss., ordered American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. to pay borrower Glen Cothern’s legal expenses due to its …"

Gingrich's health center was power player in a host of Washington policy debates

By Fred Schulte and Joe Eaton

Gingrich's Center for Health Transformation was power player on host of issues

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican presidential candidate":

"… broad array of health care interests has been far more extensive than the Republican presidential candidate has acknowledged, a review by the Center for Public Integrity has found.&n …"

FactCheck.org's guide to the New Hampshire debates

By FactCheck.Org

FactCheck.org lays out the busy weekend for Republican presidential candidates leading up to N.H. primary

Excerpts from this story referencing "Club for Growth":

"… passed the Senate — a point we made in 2006, when the conservative Club for Growth attacked then-Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island on some of the same proj …"

Fraud and folly: The untold story of General Electric’s subprime debacle

By Michael Hudson

High-paid employees of fraud-plagued, GE-owned WMC Mortgage included ex-porn star, strippers

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mortgage":

"… loans by paying roughly half a billion dollars to buy California-based WMC Mortgage Corp.What GE got in the bargain, former WMC employees say, was a place whe …"

"… ng.Founded in 1955, it had been known for much of its life as Weyerhaeuser Mortgage, a subsidiary of the pulp and paper giant Weyerhaeuser Co. By the lat …"

"… ck defective WMC loans.By October 2007 — as Riedel had predicted — WMC Mortgage was effectively out of business, dead after having pumped out roughly $110 …"

"… loans under GE’s watch, according to industry data tracker Inside Mortgage Finance.‘Living it up’And Amy Brandt?She was “living it up,” at le …"

FACT CHECK: White House brings partisan slant into payroll tax explainer

By FactCheck.Org

In a new explainer video, White House displays ‘Washington Monument syndrome’

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… of the current rate of $85,000, increasing fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to some lenders, reducing unemployment benefits, and freezing federal pay …"

Pro-Romney group trashes Gingrich in new ad

By Aaron Mehta and Peter H. Stone

An outside spending group that supports Mitt Romney produces slick ad slamming Iowa poll leader Gingrich

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… $300,000 for ethics violations while in Congress; taking $1.6 million from Freddie Mac just before "it helped" cause the financial meltdown; and accepting $ …"

Gingrich ventures took in more than $105 million over a decade's time

By Peter H. Stone

Proceeds from various ventures added up to more than $105 million

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Enterprise Institute":

"… transformational policies.”Norm Ornstein, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute — where Gingrich held a part time perch before his campaign — said in …"

FACT CHECK: GOP candidates misstate taxes and federal government pay

By FactCheck.Org

Republican debate featured mistakes on how many people pay taxes and how much they spend on tax prep

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… percent, or taxes increased, unless Congress acts beforehand.Gingrich and Freddie MacGingrich defended his lobbying for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporati …"

"… h defended his lobbying for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) by saying he merely advised the agency that history would prove its po …"

"… nvestigative article by AP reporter Pete Yost stated:The AP, Dec. 8, 2008: Freddie Mac enlisted prominent conservatives, including Gingrich and former Justice De …"

"… records.Gingrich talked and wrote about what he saw as the benefits of the Freddie Mac business model.We’ll leave it to readers to judge whether Gingrich was h …"

Obama housing plan gets faint praise

The president outlined a new plan to help homeowners, GOP presidential candidates rely on free market

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… e worth.HARP allows borrowers with loans owned or insured by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to apply for an interest rate reduction.While the plan to expand HARP is n …"

"… e first half of 2010 saved on average $125 to $150 each month according to Freddie Mac.The Republican candidates for president said at a debate in Las Vegas last …"

"… .To qualify for the expanded HARP program, the home must have been sold to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae on or before May 31, 2009. The borrower must be current on t …"

GOP candidates in foreclosure capital say government not the solution to crisis

By Michael Hudson

Republican candidates in Nevada say foreclosure mess will go away if government stays out of it

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… ight course is to let the markets work,” said former Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota had the most impassioned response …"

Mortgage industry tanks, fraud continues at Countrywide

By Michael Hudson

As the mortgage industry melted down, fraud investigator kept up the pressure, soon lost her job

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… ng Finance Agency, which oversees mortgage investing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has filed massive lawsuits charging that Countrywide, Bank of America and …"

Obama's new plan for underwater mortgages may be too little too late

By Michael Hudson

Obama orders Fannie and Freddie to work with borrowers; earlier programs helped only a few

Excerpts from this story referencing "Troubled Asset Relief Program":

"… sure crisis. Since 2009, the government has pledged nearly $50 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money to help struggling homeowners modify mortgages that are in de …"

Investor protections imperiled by Wall Street, GOP assault on financial reform

By John F. Wasik

Wall Street and GOP assault consumer protections in Dodd-Frank reforms

Excerpts from this story referencing "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau":

"… ll the funding mandated by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law for the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Increasing the annual funding sought by the SEC and the Commodity Future …"

"… nce between brokers and investment advisers. The Dodd-Frank law created a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and an SEC Office of the Investor Advocate, both designed to protec …"

Borrower Nightmares: Disabled homeowner alleges broker, bank sold her mortgage she couldn’t afford

By Ben Hallman

Queens woman fights foreclosure on her childhood home

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mortgage":

"… But that wasn’t the loan that the broker had asked the lender, Emigrant Mortgage Co. of New York to approve, Mosunic’s lawsuit alleges. An hour later, M …"

"… repairs to a downstairs apartment. Emigrant Bank, the parent of Emigrant Mortgage, said in written answers to questions from iWatch News that loan documents …"

"… interest rate.  Rholda Ricketts, Deputy Superintendent of Banks for Mortgage Banking , told iWatch News that the regulator strongly supported a 2008 la …"

As housing crisis festers, mortgage servicers spend $8 million on political contributions

By Michael Hudson and Aaron Mehta

Mortgage servicers pony up $8 million in political donations as housing crisis festers

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wells Fargo":

"… with the firms — Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co. and Ally Financial Inc. — over allegations of widespread abuse …"

"… es.Four of the five companies under scrutiny—Bank of America, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup — are major donors for state and federal political campaig …"

"… re vital to financial corporations when the Democrats controlled the House.Wells Fargo gave over $1 million to candidates, party committees and other PACs since …"

"… on to candidates, party committees and other PACs since the start of 2009. Wells Fargo has given at least $45,000 each to the NRCC and NRSC and at least $30,000 …"

2012 election + weak housing market = new White House policies?

By Shirley Gao and Julie Vorman

The fast-approaching 2012 election has the Obama administration eyeing new policies to breathe life into housing market

Excerpts from this story referencing "Fannie Mae":

"… Wall Street Journal reports.Policy options include having mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac relax their lending rules to investors; allowing investors …"

"… rs are either in foreclosure or far behind in their monthly payments.Blame Fannie Mae - A Republican member of the now-defunct Financial Crisis Inquiry Commissi …"

"… Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission is trying to revive the argument that Fannie Mae and government housing policies – not greedy Wall Street banks and lax r …"

"… banks and lax regulation – are to blame for the 2008 financial meltdown.Fannie Mae led the way into risky lending, not the private sector, writes Peter Walli …"

Consumer advocate Warren returns to ring for more sparring with GOP-led panel

By Julie Vorman

Elizabeth Warren returns to GOP-led hearing for more sparring over consumer agency

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ben Bernanke":

"… dnesday, July 13Fed’s report card on economy –Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers his semi-annual testimony on monetary policy and the state of the …"

"… A. Thursday, July 14Fed’s report card II - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers his semi-annual testimony on monetary policy and the state of the …"

Financial reform this week: How to handle a Too Big To Fail bank near collapse

By Julie Vorman

FDIC panel tackles tools needed to dismember biggest banks

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sheila Bair":

"… o place to handle an extremely large and complex failure,” FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said earlier this month when announcing the creation of the advisory group …"

"… rt."Friday, June 24FDIC chief – Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair, who ends her term on July 8, speaks at National Press Club's newsmaker lu …"