'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 "Palm Beach County":

"… t want to see your face back here.” At least twice that morning at the Palm Beach County Courthouse she refused to delay foreclosure trials in cases where the bank …"

"… work they were supposed to keep was never kept,” said Thomas Ice, a Palm Beach County lawyer. Banks and their lawyers turned to so-called robo-signers, employe …"

"… ainst every rule of evidence since the beginning of time,” said Ice, the Palm Beach County foreclosure lawyer. Ice said that for someone to authenticate business rec …"

"… faith in Florida’s legal system, among them Carmen and David Abdo. The Palm Beach County couple is facing simultaneous foreclosures on three homes. They got into t …"

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 "bank":

"… Sept. 15, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11, the largest bankruptcy in the nation’s history. The move set off a series of dramatic act …"

"… ff a series of dramatic actions in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street as bankers and regulators sought to avoid a shutdown of the global economy. To mar …"

"… rs hastened the downfall of Merrill Lynch after the Wall Street investment bank bought it in 2006 for $1.3 billion. He was still running First Frankl …"

"… t assure the quality of the loans we originate.” The next year, federal banking regulators said First Franklin was among the lenders with the highest f …"

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 "Securities and Exchange Commission":

"… ies for the future?” asked Jordan Thomas, a former attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission who now runs the whistleblower practice at Labaton Sucharow in New York. …"

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 "bank":

"… ter’s recent profile of Yellen provides an illuminating road map of what bankers, investors and markets can expect from the academic economist now ascen …"

"… running to become chairwoman of the Federal Reserve and that has many bankers and Wall Street titans worried. The diminutive vice chairwoman of the …"

"… Street titans worried. The diminutive vice chairwoman of the U.S. central bank — an academic economist who is married to a Nobel Prize-winning economis …"

"… n — an area where she’d have tremendous power as leader of the central bank — are less well-known. “Her strengths are as an economist and thinkin …"

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 "Franklin Raines":

"… st $4,250 from 1998 through 2004, with Fannie’s controversial former CEO Franklin Raines chipping in $1,500 to help Watt keep his seat. Bank of America, Watt’s …"

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 "National Association":

"… tell us what the disclaimer at the end says, and we will check it out. …"

"… ing onto the general election.Friday’s $500,000 investment came from the National Association of Realtors’ traditional political action commitee, though the group als …"

"… olitical action commitee, though the group also has a super PAC called the National Association of Realtors Congressional Fund.The National Association of Realtors is the …"

"… per PAC called the National Association of Realtors Congressional Fund.The National Association of Realtors is the primary trade group representing realtors and is also a …"

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 "Congress":

"… nd moved the convention from San Diego to Miami Beach.The scandal prompted Congress to enact a new law that would provide taxpayer funding for the parties' co …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… timately pays them."Johnson in 2008 resigned as a leader of then-candidate Barack Obama's vice presidential search committee after The Wall Street Journal reporte …"

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 "vocal critic":

"… oup Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which has been a vocal critic of Gingrich’s advocacy efforts. “These folks were paying him a fortune …"

Raging against the foreclosure machine

By Ben Hallman

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… ers. Most home loans are bought by Wall Street banks or by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bundled together and placed into pools of 5,000 or more. They are then sl …"

"… had assessed on one occasion and $45 on three other dates. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac servicing guidelines (page 301-2) say that payments on loans made after 19 …"

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 "Newt Gingrich":

"… it’s hard to disentangle promoting an idea from promoting an interest.” …"

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 "Newt Gingrich":

"… A major storyline heading into New Hampshire has been former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s stepped-up attacks on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Gingrich …"

"… not the terms guaranteeing Planned Parenthood representation on the board.Newt Gingrich’s BaggageGingrich’s laser-like focus on Romney is in retaliation for a …"

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 "Washington Post":

"… ces and warn that those would be the first ones cut.That was what the Washington Post once dubbed the tactic pursued by the late George B. Harzog, dir …"

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 "co-founder":

"… lled offline after an iWatch News reporter reached Carl Forti, a co-founder of Restore Our Future. Experts have been waiting to see when Restore …"

"… e running or where. When asked whether GOP ad man Larry McCarthy, another co-founder of Restore Our Future, created the ad, Forti also declined to comment …"

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 "Freddie Mac":

"… sulting services. The Gingrich Group also had many other clients including Freddie Mac, which paid it almost $2 million for several years of consulting work.Some …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… eclosure crisis met the campaign trail this week in Nevada, with President Barack Obama and Republican candidates for president suggesting sharply different appro …"

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 "Freddie Mac":

"… the housing crisis on government-chartered mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have been taken over by the government and bailed out by taxpayers. …"

"… ublicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, has said: “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were the main cause of the nation’s current financial turmoil.” The fe …"

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 "Los Angeles":

"… itness statement in a Countrywide shareholders lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles. After the company had closed one branch and was preparing to shut fi …"

"… ny’s fraud hotline. The company responded, her lawsuit in state court in Los Angeles said, by firing her.The case was settled last year before Countrywide had …"

"… a colleague and boss. Among them is Larry Goebel, a former captain in the Los Angeles Police Department’s internal affairs unit who worked with Foster at Coun …"

"… y. He now works as head of security for the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County.Bank of America declined to answer questions about Goebel’s accou …"

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 "nonprofit housing":

"… o is executive director of Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People, a nonprofit housing group. “Once again we’re not getting serious about what caused this an …"

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 "Connecticut":

"… second-highest amount of any House member, from the industry. Jim Himes of Connecticut received $1.2 million. He was followed by Ron Klein of Florida and Carolyn …"

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 "Bank":

"… ith its release contingent on repairs to a downstairs apartment. Emigrant Bank, the parent of Emigrant Mortgage, said in written answers to questions fro …"

"… ue on heating oil, and other debt, she needed money badly. Enter Emigrant Bank, which offered a program that allowed homeowners to borrow about half of t …"

"… s are at closings to look out for the interests of their client—Emigrant Bank—not borrowers, mortgage brokers, or anyone else. He said that his attorn …"

"… -sponsored by New York’s City Bar Justice Center and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said she has reviewed hundreds of mortgages from every major …"

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 "Freddie Mac":

"… ercent for the week ending Aug. 4, according to a survey by mortgage giant Freddie Mac.What’s holding back the housing market, Carliner said, is a glut of avai …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), launched soon after President Barack Obama took office, has so far helped only about 600,000 borrowers. Another 4 mil …"

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 "Freddie Mac":

"… uld eliminate a government-sponsored enterprise charter for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and would also limit legal fees paid by Fannie and Freddie to defend form …"

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 "Washington Mutual":

"… 08 when several large institutions such as Merrill Lynch, Countrywide, and Washington Mutual saw their liquidity and stock prices rapidly plunge, forcing the governmen …"

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