'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 "Medicare":

"… forming her that her disability payments, those of her daughter, and their Medicare benefits were being cut off. The Social Security Administration said she l …"

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 "Mortgage":

"… of creative investors’ turning Mortgage debt into a tradable commodity. Mortgages were placed in pools and securitized. Very often the deeds to the homes, …"

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 "finance":

"… into the system" Cecala says, as lenders permit smaller down payments and finance more investment properties. Riding out the storm After First Franklin clo …"

"… Mortgage and chaired by a former CEO of the government-sponsored mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae. Prospect’s mortgage offerings include interest-only lo …"

"… ket turned. Lehman Brothers, for example, bought BNC Mortgage in 2004 and financed subprime loans offered by other companies. Jim Harrington was a senior vi …"

"… e says, and left the industry during the 2008 crisis. He currently teaches finance at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. “ …"

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 "JPMorgan Chase":

"… thin a few days, on Monday, March 17, Bear was gone — subsumed into JPMorgan Chase & Co. with the help of the Federal Reserve for a price that was approx …"

"… t. These flaws are entirely unacceptable to me." ResCap, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup settled for $25 billion with the Jus …"

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 "JPMorgan Chase":

"… ions was.” When WaMu was seized by the FDIC on September 25 and sold to JPMorgan Chase, the Fed was repaid in full. Supervision at the San Francisco Fed wasn’ …"

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 "Freddie Mac":

"… rack Obama has appointed to oversee mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has received more campaign money from financial interests than any other i …"

"… meowners at risk of default to stay in their houses.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy and securitize about 90 percent of all new mortgages in the U.S. and g …"

"…           Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s PACs contributed $11,500 to Watt’s campaign from 2004 until their 20 …"

Top 5 super PAC donors by industry

Investing, casinos top list thanks to billionaires' donations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Harlan Crow":

"… vorite candidate: Mitt RomneyTop donors: National Association of Realtors, Harlan Crow and Crow Holdings, Gary Morse and various Morse-owned corporations in The …"

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 "Lehman Brothers":

"… once again posting healthy profits — with at least one major exception. Lehman Brothers, whose bankruptcy filing in 2008 spun the global financial markets into a …"

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 "House Financial Services Committee":

"… he company became a trusted adviser in Congress and was consulted when the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee considered reform of Fannie and Freddie and u …"

"… to Towns' loan.—Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif.—Top staff members of the House Financial Services Committee.—A staff member of Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas, a member of the Financi …"

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 "president":

"… crutiny,” she said. …"

"… ld be a problem to release a full list of his clients,” said Tom Fitton, president of the conservative group Judicial Watch. “Politically, disclosure can …"

"… feel there is something that he doesn’t want people to see. Running for president is whole different 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 "Congress":

"… though he was not a lobbyist.”James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, said the law lacks t …"

"… rsity, said the law lacks teeth, especially in regard to former members of Congress. “Gingrich was in the advocacy business,” Thurber said. “It gets aro …"

"… from state governments, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Congress.“In order to get that audience you have to do whatever you can do, and t …"

"… February 2007, the center released a “Health Action Agenda for the 110th Congress” that advocated a series of plans, from health saving accounts to initia …"

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 "Freddie Mac":

"… hand, Gingrich did not earn “$30,000 an hour” as a consultant to Freddie Mac. His consulting firm earned $25,000 to $30,000 a month from the …"

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 "Victor Argueta":

"… n people we thought were going to bring us back in the right direction,” Victor Argueta, a former risk analyst at WMC, says. “But it just never happened.”By 2 …"

"… in 2004, she says.“I didn’t really see much of a change,” Roman says.Victor Argueta, the former risk analyst, says he didn’t see much change either.Meetings …"

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 "Al Gore":

"… r millions of illegal immigrants"; that he teamed up with Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore on global warming; and that he was a longtime supporter of a national …"

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 "CEO":

"… p-eds and white papers, according to the center’s website.Nancy Desmond, CEO of both the Gingrich Group and the health center, stressed in a statement …"

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 "Center for Responsible Lending":

"… ile homeowners avoid foreclosure," said Kathleen Day, a spokeswoman at the Center for Responsible Lending. "It takes them a few steps back from the cliff."The program was designed …"

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 "New Hampshire":

"… ted that when the Republican presidential field debated economic policy in New Hampshire last week, the word “foreclosure” was mentioned – once. The Sun said …"

"… uesday’s debate, citing Nevada’s decision to move its primary ahead of New Hampshire’s.) Nevada homeowners are unlikely to see positive equity in their homes …"

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 "loans":

"… discourage aggressive fraud investigations in order to protect the flow of loans into the company’s production pipeline.One of her first tasks was to ove …"

"… forging their signatures on documents and lying to them about the type of loans they were getting. She reported this, she said, to her supervisors, t …"

"… han the homes were actually worth, as well as the investors who bought the loans on Wall Street, Zachary said. In April 2007, his suit said, he sent a …"

"… s unit, warning that selling people overpriced homes and putting them into loans they couldn’t afford was a “formula for disaster.”His suit claimed t …"

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 "Congress":

"… nt Barack Obama’s jobs speech, but for about 20 seconds—after he urged Congress to pass his $447 billion economic stimulus bill—he offered a quick sketc …"

"… according to a fact sheet distributed by the White House. It does not need Congressional approval. “This has the potential to not only help these borrowers …"

"… or HAMP, just $1.2 billion has been spent, according to a recent report to Congress by the office of the inspector general of TARP. In an interview with iWat …"

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 "Honeywell":

"… PAC.  Of the 20 top contributors to Bachus, only two—ExxonMobil and Honeywell—had no direct connection to financial services. All told, Bachus' campa …"

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 "Citigroup":

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

"… ive companies under scrutiny—Bank of America, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup — are major donors for state and federal political campaigns. Between th …"

"… s committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.Citigroup has given $850,000 to candidates, party committees and other PACs since th …"

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 "Home Affordable Modification Program":

"… ut economists and consumer groups say those efforts have fallen short. The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), launched soon after President Barack Obama took office, has so far …"

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 "CFPB":

"… cast. …"

"… ve vowed to block an Obama administration nomination of Warren to head the CFPB. They’ve even gone one step farther and threatened to block anyone nomin …"

"… arther and threatened to block anyone nominated for the job – unless the CFPB is restructured to weaken the director’s authority."We should never entr …"

"… by, the top Republican on the Senate Banking committee, recently said. The CFPB director is supposed to have a five-year term, much like the head of the F …"

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 "Citigroup Inc.":

"… ; Poor’s President Deven Sharma, MIT economist Simon Johnson, and former Citigroup Inc. Chairman John Reed are among the 18 members of the FDIC Advisory Committee …"