Sunshine state uses fees to prevent sun from shining on judicial records

By Alison Fitzgerald

In Florida, a court is charging massive fees for some public records.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… rest. We are still awaiting records from several other districts. …"

"… added, without including estimates of staffer hours and hourly rates. The Center for Public Integrity refused to pay the amount, arguing that the fees were excessive. Charging …"

"… o has tried to get similar records from other Florida counties.  The Center for Public Integrity on July 15 requested documents related to how judges in the county were di …"

"… er the state implemented a new plan to cut a backlog of pending cases. The Center for Public Integrity's report on Florida foreclosures found that many judges were rushing cases …"

'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 …"

Investigating Florida's parallel legal system for foreclosures

By Alison Fitzgerald and Sarah Whitmire

A Q&A with Senior Reporter Alison Fitzgerald on her most recent investigation into Sunshine State foreclosures.

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 …"

Former subprime executive making risky loans again

By Daniel Wagner

Andy Pollock, who led First Franklin's bad loan factory, is pushing interest-only loans at new firm.

Excerpts from this story referencing "CEO":

"… ut never out. The veteran subprime executive has been named president and CEO of WDB Funding, the company announced last week. WDB is a national le …"

"… lines,” according to its website. Until 2008, Pollock was president and CEO of First Franklin, a subprime lender whose risky loans to vulnerable consu …"

"… September report by The Center for Public Integrity about former subprime CEOs who are back in the game, developing loans that push the limits of tighte …"

Report: Some lose homes over as little as $400

By The Associated Press

Some homeowners lose houses for a little as $400 in overdue taxes, consumer group says

Excerpts from this story referencing "JPMorgan Chase":

"… aid, the government auctions the lien to investors. Past investors include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and people who respond to Internet get-rich schemes, the …"

New whistleblower cases allege continued bank fraud

By Amy Biegelsen and Emma Schwartz

Mortgage modifications and appraisal processes in question

Raging against the foreclosure machine

By Ben Hallman

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wells Fargo":

"… regulators also say they have done their part: last year, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and other big servicers agreed to give more than 4 million …"

"… mall home they bought six years previous. On Sept. 12, agents working for Wells Fargo Home Loans generated two “broker price opinions”—estimates, basicall …"

"… estimates, basically, of the value of the Stewart home. As loan servicer, Wells Fargo was in charge of collecting payments and managing a default or foreclosure …"

"… the judge said. The charges were assessed under circumstances contrary to Wells Fargo policy and were “unreasonable under the circumstances,” she ruled, aft …"

Feds investigating possible fraud at GE’s former subprime unit

By Michael Hudson and E. Scott Reckard

Federal investigators looking into possible fraud at GE's now-closed subprime lender

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ameriquest Mortgage":

"… tgage brokers, making it a less-familiar name than giant retailers such as Ameriquest Mortgage Co. and Countrywide Financial Corp. Still, in 3½ years under GE’s owner …"

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 …"

Woman says GE-owned subprime lender deceived, defrauded her

By Michael Hudson

Mortgage on modest home becomes legal nightmare for West Virginia woman

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mortgage":

"… d out the costs and details of her loan.The $67,500 loan was funded by WMC Mortgage Corp., a subsidiary of General Electric since 2004.GE shuttered WMC in 200 …"

Ex-WaMu worker claims he was shunned for refusing to push toxic loans on borrowers

By Michael Hudson

Ex-WaMu employee says he fought pressure to sell toxic loans

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank failure":

"… k, in September 2008, after regulators seized WaMu in what was the largest bank failure in U.S. history.Saffer charged in a lawsuit filed in 2009 in Los Angeles S …"

Bank of America to pay record settlement over Countrywide abuses

By John Dunbar

Bank of America to pay record settlement over Countrywide abuses

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mortgage":

"… ending practices at Countrywide in a series of stories called “The Great Mortgage Coverup.” Perez said more than 200,000 African-American and Hispani …"

Whistleblowers ignored, punished by lenders, dozens of former employees say

By Michael Hudson

Former mortgage company employees say fraud was widespread in industry

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citigroup":

"… ng a growing number of emails and phone messages from people who worked at Citigroup’s subprime lending unit, CitiFinancial. The lender, they told Lee, was u …"

"… e demanded to resolve an employment dispute.”With the pressure building, Citigroup went out of its way to warn other current and former employees to keep qui …"

"… iet about what went on at CitiFinancial, according to Reuters news service.Citigroup, Reuters said, hired a famed litigator “to help fight allegations of ill …"

"… h at least 15 current or former employees, reminding the ex-employees that Citigroup would enforce the “non-disparagement clauses” in their severance agree …"

Worst may be yet to come in foreclosure crisis, study says

Millions more homes at 'imminent risk of default' study says

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mortgage":

"… ften as white borrowers.The study – “Lost Ground, 2011: Disparities in Mortgage Lending and Foreclosures” – concludes with a plea for stronger governm …"

Obama housing plan gets faint praise

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

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 …"

'Occupy Wall Street' aims ire at foreclosures

By Michael Hudson

Singing protesters try to block foreclosure in Brooklyn courtroom

HUD cuts to devastate mortgage counseling agencies across nation

By Ben Hallman

HUD mortgage counseling program loses funds, hundreds of housing counseling agencies hammered

Excerpts from this story referencing "House Appropriations Committee":

"… ding to government data. The counseling money may not be coming back. The House Appropriations Committee recently approved a budget for 2012 that also doesn’t include any HUD ho …"

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 …"

Countrywide protected fraudsters by silencing whistleblowers, say former employees

By Michael Hudson

Exclusive interview with a high-ranking Bank of America whistleblower reveals corruption that led to the financial collapse

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mortgage":

"… e 12/2/11: Eileen Foster, the fraud sleuth profiled in iWatch News' "Great Mortgage Cover-Up" series, appeared on CBS News' "60 Minutes" on Sunday night (12-4 …"

"… foreman earning $126,000 a year, according to a legal claim later filed by Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Co., a Mortgage insurer. It turned out that the borrowe …"

"… Mortgage broker controlled by a five-time convicted felon. One Source Mortgage Inc.’s owner, Charles Mangold, had served time for weapons charges and o …"

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 …"

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 …"

Reporter Michael Hudson Talks Mortgage Fraud on KCBX

Michael discusses annual FBI mortgage fraud report

FBI brags about chasing down mortgage fraudsters but big banks are left untouched

By Michael Hudson

FBI report identifies mortgage fraudsters of all stripes – except banks

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ameriquest Mortgage":

"… and attorneys general around the nation. The state authorities accused its Ameriquest Mortgage subsidiary of using bait-and-switch salesmanship, inflated appraisals and …"

A roundup of investigations in the three years since the last market crash

By Shirley Gao

iWatch News reports on the financial crisis from 2008 to now

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ameriquest Mortgage":

"… rywide Financial Corp, responsible for at least $97.2 billion, followed by Ameriquest Mortgage Co./ACC Capital Holdings Corp with at least $80.6 billion and New Century …"

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

"Dear CFPB" wish lists urge action on mortgages, payday loans, prepaid cards

By Shirley Gao

Advocacy groups have long wish lists for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Borrower Nightmares

By Julie Vorman

Leaderless CFPB faces big job taming predatory lenders

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank":

"… w $7,000 from Linville’s Bank account but never paid a cent to Discover, Bank of America, Lowes and other major creditors. After filing for personal ban …"

Mortgage servicing standards at the top of consumer agency's agenda

By Julie Vorman and Shirley Gao

New consumer agency sets mortgage servicing standards as a top priority

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mortgage":

"… s before she could execute trades for her fund, which suffered as a result. …"