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.

'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 "Florida":

"… r it was foreclosing on her tiny yellow ranch-style house in Jacksonville, Florida, after the 45-year-old mother of three fell behind on her payments. When Y …"

"… long delays in Young’s case to the slow judicial foreclosure process in Florida and complications related to Young’s original lender which went out of b …"

"… ad in recent years throughout the country, but are especially prevalent in Florida, where as of June 2, 48,630 homes in some stage of foreclosure sat vacant, …"

"… oreclosures come in two forms. The first is the unintentional byproduct of Florida’s judicial foreclosure process, which can take months and result in “p …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… ies facing families caught in a year-old initiative intended to accelerate Florida's foreclosure process. As Florida tries to clear its courts of hundreds of …"

"… ar-old initiative intended to accelerate Florida's foreclosure process. As Florida tries to clear its courts of hundreds of thousands of pending foreclosure …"

"… rter Alison Fitzgerald spent months investigating the underlying causes of Florida's foreclosure frenzy, and we wanted to know more about the story behind th …"

"… dled with red flags — what in your mind is the most egregious outcome of Florida’s foreclosure initiative? What I saw is that the initiative tilts the 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 "Fannie Mae":

"… of policy changes from the Federal Housing Finance Administration and from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provided some motivation to speed the process. FHFA overs …"

"… for the agency because it’s operating under government conservatorship. Fannie Mae has similar fees for delays beyond 660 days to foreclose and sell a home i …"

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.

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

New whistleblower cases allege continued bank fraud

By Amy Biegelsen and Emma Schwartz

Mortgage modifications and appraisal processes in question

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… t with five major lenders.  A suit unsealed March 7 alleges that Bank of America fraudulently misled borrowers and regulators in order to keep customers ou …"

"… ted.As a condition of accepting $45 billion from the federal bank bailout, Bank of America promised to help move troubled borrowers into the taxpayer subsidized Home …"

"… gory Mackler, formerly an employee of Urban Lending Solutions, the company Bank of America contracted to manage HAMP complaints.Mackler claims the company developed …"

"… were eligible for federally subsidized loan modifications.The suit claims Bank of America:Told borrowers and regulators that a complaint was “under review” whil …"

Raging against the foreclosure machine

By Ben Hallman

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "GMAC":

"… were thrilled to sign up for a modification plan with their loan servicer, GMAC Home Mortgage, Cassandra Gray said. The modification lowered their paymen …"

"… wered their payment from $1,128 to $768 per month. But after three months, GMAC began returning their payments, the Grays claim in a complaint filed with …"

"… claim in a complaint filed with the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks. GMAC customer service representatives told them there was a “computer glitch …"

"… s a “computer glitch” and that the problem would be resolved. Instead, GMAC twice started a foreclosure action. GMAC claimed it had no record of any …"

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 "Mortgage":

"… into potentially criminal business practices at Burbank, Calif.-based WMC Mortgage Corp. during the home-loan boom, according to four people with knowledge o …"

"… rs, 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 …"

"… ed in guilty pleas to egregious fraud. One, at Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. in Florida, included the creation of fictitious loans. The othe …"

"… ;in Florida, included the creation of fictitious loans. The other, at U.S. Mortgage Co. in New Jersey, involved selling the same loans twice — once to credi …"

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 …"

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 "finance":

"… at would be fixed for two years, after which, the broker said, she could refinance and keep a fixed rate.The appraisal was done by a West Virginia-based real …"

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 "finance":

"… e interest rates tracked the prime rate and borrowers wouldn’t have to refinance their existing mortgages to get a little more cash out of their homes.He u …"

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 "Mortgage":

"… d Ed Parker, former fraud investigations manager at now-defunct Ameriquest Mortgage Co., a leading subprime lender. “But we were not welcome because we affe …"

"… “boiler room” operation and a frat-house blowout.At Citizens Financial Mortgage Inc., a small Pennsylvania-headquartered lender, the out-of-control behavi …"

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 "Bank of America":

"… fired for reporting widespread fraud at the lender, which is now owned by Bank of America. A Congressional investigation found that Washington Mutual executives cre …"

'Occupy Wall Street' aims ire at foreclosures

By Michael Hudson

Singing protesters try to block foreclosure in Brooklyn courtroom

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jamie Dimon":

"… the chief executive of JP Morgan Chase & Co.: “The United States of Jamie Dimon? No! STOP unlawful foreclosures.”Morales, the housing activist, told the …"

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 "Nashville":

"… “People can’t afford to travel to our office much less to Memphis and Nashville,” she said. Homes on the Hill, a Columbus, Ohio, counseling service, is …"

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 "home builders":

"… int venture between Countrywide and KB Home, one of the nation’s largest home builders. Countrywide KB Home Loans provided the credit that allowed home buyers to …"

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 "Bank of America":

"… By the fall of 2008, she was out of a job too. Countrywide’s new owner, Bank of America Corp., told her it was firing her for “unprofessional conduct.” Foste …"

"… doing the right thing. Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor ruled that Bank of America had illegally fired her as payback for exposing fraud and retaliation agai …"

"… eblowers. It ordered the bank to reinstate her and pay her some $930,000. Bank of America denies Foster’s allegations and stands behind its decision to fire her. …"

"… of corruption that protected fraudsters, abused borrowers and helped land Bank of America in a quagmire of legal and financial woes. In government records and in i …"

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 "Inspector General":

"… st recent report, the TARP Inspector General’s office, now led by acting Inspector General Christy Romero, criticized the Treasury Department for failing to set clea …"

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 "Margaret Mosunic":

"… from the same word,” she said. “I just want to keep my home.”  …"

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 "America":

"… reet-level fraudsters.Richard Eskow, a senior fellow with the Campaign for America’s Future, a progressive think tank, calls the new report the latest exam …"

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 "Bank of America":

"… process, including the falsification of documents. Four of the companies—Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co.—have spent …"

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 "Bank of America":

"… mortgage servicers.Government officials are negotiating with the firms — Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co. and Ally Fina …"

"… tation to process foreclosures.Four of the five companies under scrutiny—Bank of America, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup — are major donors for state and f …"

"… ovided by the subscription-only CQMoneyLine. Since the start of 2009, Bank of America has donated at least $3.2 million to candidates, party committees and othe …"

"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

Excerpts from this story referencing "America":

"… ated and have surged in popularity in the past few years, especially among Americans lacking bank accounts. But many pre-paid cards carry a slew of small fee …"

"… add up if a consumer is unaware of all the fees.The Consumer Federation of America says the CFPB should step in and ensure that consumers aren’t lured into …"

"… 000 debt collectors, has put together its own blueprint for “modernizing America’s consumer debt collection system.” The plan aims to improve communica …"

"… ould "stop banks from tricking people into incurring overdraft fees," says Americans for Financial Security and U.S. PIRG. While Federal Reserve rules requir …"

Borrower Nightmares

By Julie Vorman

Leaderless CFPB faces big job taming predatory lenders

Excerpts from this story referencing "Margaret Mosunic":

"… erms changedAfter living in her Queens, N.Y., brick rowhouse for 40 years, Margaret Mosunic was approached by a mortgage broker offering her a $40,000 home equity loa …"

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. …"

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