crowinghen

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1 year, 9 months ago
  • I’m not having any luck, either. It says the website is down. (I hope that’s because there were so many people trying to watch, but of course I can’t help being suspicious that someone who doesn’t want people to hear it took down the website.)

    On the story on the website (bradleymanning.org) earlier about the presentation, it said it would also show on CSPAN, but it’s not on either of the three CSPAN channels. They didn’t say it would be live, so if anyone finds out when it will be shown, hopefully they will post the info.

  • Abigail,

    Thanks for this post. It seems to me that every transaction involving MERS in county land records needs to be unwound and all the parties who actually at one time or another (while under the MERS umbrella) held a mortgage interest in a property need to be identified on the land records and titles cleaned up.

    In the meantime, if I am going to purchase a home and I go to the county land records and find a mortgage filed that has MERS as a party (or agent for a party)how can I find out who actually bought that mortgage? (If I find a release, I won’t feel comfortable that it is valid because of all the robo-signing, the lack of quality of the MERS database, etc. For all I would know, the release was not made by the valid holder of the mortgage.) And I don’t have access to the MERS database to even find out who they said at one time held the mortgage.)

    What would you do to try to find out that the release was valid?

    Or would you simply avoid all properties where the land records indicate a MERS-involved mortgage was ever on the property?

  • crowinghen commented on the blog post CFPB Releases Mortgage Servicing Rules Under Consideration

    2012-04-10 09:32:32View | Delete

    It looks like they are not going to require that the monthly statements include a very crucial piece of information: THE NAME OF THE ENTITY THAT OWNS THE NOTE AND MORTGAGE.

    The servicers must be required to list who owns the note and mortgage on the statements. That knowledge would have saved a lot of grief for a lot of homeowners…ones where the foreclosure documents showed the wrong owner. In the old pre-MERS days, the homeowner could have found that information in the county land records. Now they have no way of finding out, and at minimum the servicer should be required to tell them.

    I believe we all have a right to know to whom we owe money. The servicer is just the middleman.

  • crowinghen commented on the blog post CFPB Releases Mortgage Servicing Rules Under Consideration

    2012-04-10 09:29:49View | Delete

    It looks like they are not going to require that the monthly statements include a very crucial piece of information: THE NAME OF THE ENTITY THAT OWNS THE NOTE AND MORTGAGE.

    The servicers must be required to list who owns the note and mortgage on the statements. That knowledge would have saved a lot of grief for a lot of homeowners…ones where the foreclosure documents showed the wrong owner. In the old pre-MERS days, the homeowner could have found that information in the county land records. Now they have no way of finding out, and at minimum the servicer should be required to tell them.

    I believe we all have a right to know to whom we owe money. The servicer is just the middleman.

  • I absolutely agree that the servicing industry needs to be disbanded. They have played a major role in so many of the illegal foreclosures, and cause homeowners to go through a lot of stress and effort to correct their ‘errors’–which appear too often to be a feature, not a bug since late payments and foreclosures bring in additional revenue for the servicers.

    And I think that having 3rd party servicers helps the banks obscure who actually owns the loan. As someone else suggested a few months ago, the servicer should be required to state who owns the loan on each monthly mortgage statement. That would have helped a lot of homeowners who were foreclosed on by a bank that didn’t even own their loan….and the homeowner had no way of knowing who did own it.

    I am fortunate to be able to make my mortgage payments online, and if I fill in my email address each time, they send an email saying the payment was received. I do that, and to be double sure I have a record, I do a screen print of the web page that confirms the payment went through, paste it into a Word document and save it with ‘mortgage payment’ and the date in the file name so I can find it if I ever have to prove each payment was made. (Back in 2010, I googled the name of my servicer and found that it is one that has been named several times in foreclosure fraud articles. They just changed their name after the old name became associated with those issues.)

    I don’t trust them….a couple years ago they sent me a small check which they said was a refund of my escrow overage. The thing is, I pay my own insurance and real estate taxes–because I didn’t want them to screw that up–so I don’t have an escrow account. I didn’t cash the check because I figured they’d discover their error and reverse it and decide I was late on a payment or something.

  • crowinghen commented on the blog post Bankers Finally Get a Voice With Their Own SuperPAC

    2012-04-05 06:24:42View | Delete

    If Beverage is part of this SuperPAC, look for them to fund politicians willing to try to take away the non-profit status of credit unions. I attended meetings where he spoke in the 1980′s and again in 2004….and nothing had changed….his obsession was credit unions. He goes on and on and on about how unfair it is that credit unions don’t pay taxes so they can give customers better rates on loans and savings. So, if he has any role with the SuperPAC, I can’t imagine that won’t be part of what the SuperPAC wants to accomplish.

    Seriously, he seems personally obsessed with credit unions….he acts as though the credit unions are the big bad guys crushing the regional and small banks under their bootheels, when during this same time period it was the big banks trying to wipe out the small banks that they couldn’t buy out. (I can’t believe that guy has been head of the Okla Bankers Assoc for what appears to have been his entire working life….railing against credit unions.)

    I agree the regional bankers would do well to draw sharp distinctions between the TBTF banks and themselves, and support breaking up the TBTF banks, but that’s not likely. Still, I find it odd that they won’t call out the big boys….they have a lot more to gain than to lose, financially and in public opinion, by publicly calling out the big boys on their crimes and demanding they be broken up.

    Small and regional banks as well as credit unions have benefited from Occupy and other progressives’ efforts to get people to move their money from the mega-banks. What people like Beverage would see is that the credit unions got a large chunk of that and will redouble their efforts to make credit unions less attractive.

    We need to watch out for any legislation aimed at harming credit unions, because my guess is that this SuperPAC is going to be pushing for legislation to take away the credit unions’ non-profit status and put restrictions on what products and services they can offer.

  • Exactly. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if it’s a D.

    Putting DeChristopher in solitary with all those restrictions, I would imagine he no longer has internet access and couldn’t organize a campaign against the company moving the jobs overseas.

  • I suspect you are right about it being a congressperson with ties to the oil and gas industry.

    However, another less likely angle just occurred to me: What if the member of congress who made the call also receives large donations from the same company that donated to DeChristopher’s defense fund, and he/she doesn’t want any publicity (especially during the election season) about the donor company moving jobs manufacturing jobs overseas because it would hurt his/her re-election campaign?

    I hope Peaceful Uprising, who knows for certain the name of the donor, checks into this angle, just in case.

  • crowinghen commented on the blog post The Roundup for March 4th, 2012

    2012-03-05 08:34:09View | Delete

    Please forgive if this has already been posted…I missed some of the threads last week, but Yves had this last week. Some folks in Florida who signed a warranty deed in lieu of foreclosure, satisfying the mortgage and assuming their debt was extinguished, have found that their notes have been sold (apparently to collectors) and they are being pursued for payment.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/02/yet-another-mortgage-scam-homeowners-not-getting-cancelled-notes-after-foreclosures-hit-by-later-claims.html

    Which is another reminder that no matter how a debt is paid–not just through resolving a foreclosure case–banks should be required to immediately mark the note cancelled and return it to the borrower.

    As we learned from the report (made public a month or so ago)from Fannie Mae’s law firm in response to the problems Ray LaVelle (or LeValle?) brought to Fannie’s attention, Fannie only returns paid notes (and they don’t mark them cancelled so they are still negotiable) to servicers or borrowers if the state requires it or the borrower requests it. The rest (approximately 40%) are sent to a 3rd party shredder….still not marked paid or cancelled, so still negotiable.

    And since servicers apparently — based on foreclosures by the wrong bank and lost note affidavits–don’t always know who owns the note, there’s the chance that they could be sold and the holder in due course can pursue the borrower for payment even if they have paid the loan in full.

  • crowinghen commented on the blog post Joe Nocera’s Puzzling Column on Fracking

    2012-02-28 14:14:01View | Delete

    I didn’t realize Ackerman McQueen did the OERB TV ads. You’re right…they were very effective PR.

    During the last few months when there was a local news segment on the KeystoneXL, it was inevitably followed by an ad touting how many jobs the pipeline would create.

    I keep my small TV all the way across the room so that I can’t break it by throwing something at it when I’m screaming at those ads.

  • crowinghen commented on the blog post Joe Nocera’s Puzzling Column on Fracking

    2012-02-28 14:09:01View | Delete

    I’ve lived in the eastern third of the state except for six months in OKC when I realized that I didn’t like flat land and new trees. I love the rolling hills and trees in this part of the state. I grew up in a small town and we used to play follow the leader over a small stream in the neighborhood where the water had all sorts of rainbow colors from the industrial plant where our fathers worked. We were very careful not to fall in….we didn’t know what those chemicals were, but even as kids we knew it would be bad news if we fell in. That plant is long shuttered, but the pollution is no doubt still there. And later I learned that the people whose yards abutted the stream died of some very rare cancers.

    It’s such a shame that such a beautiful environment has been treated so badly…and still hard for me to realize that we’ve learned nothing. The oil and gas industry still reigns and the media bows down to it.

  • crowinghen commented on the blog post Joe Nocera’s Puzzling Column on Fracking

    2012-02-28 13:54:49View | Delete

    I didn’t realize that was a law, but it’s certainly how they operate. And it appears that the industry calculates the equation….I doubt that the benefit of not destroying the water supply of x people, not destroying x acres of cropland, not having hundreds of people paying for earthquake repairs, etc ever gets added to the public benefits in the cost vs benefits equation. (And it’s almost impossible to estimate the extent of the costs to the public and individuals who are individually impacted…hard to predict how many wells go bad, or the risk of an entire aquifer being contaminated.)

    Thanks for bringing that up….it appears that law is definitely playing a role in all of this.

  • crowinghen commented on the blog post Joe Nocera’s Puzzling Column on Fracking

    2012-02-28 13:38:02View | Delete

    A gallon of milk falling off the kitchen table would make quite a mess…and the fracking is making a big mess as well. Most in the media don’t know enough to ask the right questions and they buy the BS the industry (and the corporation commission) is telling them. That’s why I was so impressed with the investigative reporters series on fracking….until it was yanked. I’m guessing there were some calls from some industry bigwigs to station management.

    Until this column, I hadn’t heard about the methane….it just adds another layer to the insanity of allowing fracking.

  • crowinghen commented on the blog post Joe Nocera’s Puzzling Column on Fracking

    2012-02-28 13:09:56View | Delete

    A few days after the quake, a geology professor told me that they didn’t think it was the fracking per se (it causes the smaller quakes) but likely it was the injection wells. I came home and googled and found this article.
    http://www.kansas.com/2011/11/12/2099938/scientists-search-for-link-between.html

    And since you have lived in the state, you probably aren’t surprised that at the time there were no media stories in Oklahoma asking the questions. (Or else they would say fracking didn’t cause it, which technically might be right, but the injection wells wouldn’t be there if fracking wasn’t.)

    Oklahoma has some beautiful country and it’s such a shame that it has sold its soul and its environment for a few jobs, and oil which may or may not be used in this country. (Even if it is being used here, it’s not worth spoiling the water, the land, and causing a lot of private property owners great financial distress…because they’re on their own in dealing with the damage caused by the drillers.)

  • crowinghen commented on the blog post Joe Nocera’s Puzzling Column on Fracking

    2012-02-28 12:26:59View | Delete

    I didn’t realize that fracking is used for oil as well as gas until this CBS evening news story last week featuring an Oklahoma oilman saying his oil production had increased 50% in the last 5 years because of new technology…turns out the ‘new technology’ is fracking. And he said there were 100 wells within 2 to 3 miles of where he was standing during the interview. Here’s the link:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57384161/boom-times-are-back-in-okla-oil-production/?tag=mncol;lst;1

    This ran the same day that the local affiliate suddenly stopped its multi-segment investigative report…and didn’t run the segment that they had been promoting about earthquakes and fracking. Here’s a link to the interactive map where you can click on a county and find out how many wells are located there. (I had tried to find such a map–or even a list–and hadn’t been able to find it.)
    http://www.newson6.com/story/16987907/oklahoma-oil-and-gas-injection-regulations-under-fire

    The reporter was doing an excellent job with the segments…she had already covered the story of one guy who one day got up and rinsed out his mouth with water and said it felt like he had been shocked and it was very salty (and until that day his water had been fine), and another man whose crops won’t grow on the land where it did grow. Both are near injection wells. And the Okla Corporation Commission insists there’s not a problem. (Fox in charge of henhouse.)

    And here’s a link to the map and list of earthquakes in the last month in Oklahoma. These are in the range that have been associated (including the independent report from the UK) with fracking. (The larger quakes are related to the injection wells….and when they frack, they have to have injection wells to dispose of the wastewater.)
    http://www.okgeosurvey1.gov/pages/earthquakes/recent-earthquakes.php

    And now the White House has blessed the new pipeline to be built going south to Texas from Cushing….right through the area where the 5.6 quake occurred in November, as well as the 4.5+ quake earlier that day and 4.7 occurred a day or two later. No one is talking about this.

  • I think it might depend on how you look at the expense. With the pipeline, the risks associated with spills (and earthquakes increase that likelihood) are transferred in large part to the people who will be affected, just as the damage from quakes caused by the injection wells from fracking and the loss of drinking water and loss of crops due to contamination.

    Homes and some public buildings (one on a college campus as I recall) were damaged by the 5.6 quake. Since (until fracking) this wasn’t a quake-prone area, most people don’t have earthquake insurance, and if they do, the deductible is very high, so they will have out-of-pocket expenses even if they do have insurance coverage.

    Oklahoma’s governor applied for FEMA assistance to cover damage from the quakes and was turned down. It seems to me that the state AG should pursue the company (or companies) with injection wells near the quake to determine who is responsible, and try to recoup damages for those affected. But he’s too busy not doing mortgage fraud investigations and filing a lawsuit because he opposes making religion-related employers provide birth control coverage in their employees health insurance policies.

    With both fracking and pipelines, the profits are privatized and the risks and losses are either socialized or are transferred to the unfortunate people whose property and water source is affected.

    I don’t know whether sending it by rail is more expensive or not, but the way things operate now, I don’t think all the costs are being factored in because some are borne by people other than those benefiting from the sale of the oil. To the seller of the oil, a pipeline through quake-prone land (land made quake-prone by the oil & gas industry) may be less expensive…..but the cost to other people is, in my opinion, too great. And they aren’t included in the decision-making process.

  • This is insane. Last fall, there was a 5.6 earthquake in Oklahoma….largest quake ever recorded in the state. There were quakes before and after that one….the forequake was about 4.7 and the aftershock about the same. At the time, I noted that if you located Cushing on a map and drew a line starting at Cushing and going due south, when you get about 20 miles south of Cushing, the 5.6 and at least one of the 4.7 (maybe both) one of those quakes was 4 miles to the east and one was about 4 miles to the west of that point 20 miles south of Cushing on that line.

    Those quakes (according to real scientists who don’t work for the oil and gas business or the state and federal agencies supporting that industry who are the foxes in charge of the henhouse)believe these large quakes were caused by the injection wells associated with fracking. There has been a ‘swarm’ of 2.5-3.0 quakes in central Oklahoma that can be attributed to fracking; the big quakes are caused by the injection well for disposing of the waste from fracking.

    A local news station was doing a really good and heavily promoted multi-segment investigative report on fracking last week, and they were supposed to have the next segment on earthquakes, but last Wednesday it just ended…no more promos, no new segments. In fact, there was a noon news segment on Wednesday where the reporter was doing a live webchat and would answer a few of the questions people posted on the livechat during that hour. She answered one question on the air in the first five minutes and said she would be back and answer more, but after someone asked about the Cushing pipeline route and the big quakes, a lot of oil & gas supporters started posting saying that the wells suddenly polluted, the crops dying near fracking and the quakes were absolutely not caused by fracking, she didn’t come back on the air to answer any more questions. And that’s when the promos stopped, and there was no more mention of the segment about fracking and earthquakes that they had been promoting.

    The next evening on the CBS national news, there was a story about an Oklahoma oilman talking about how Oklahoma’s oil drilling is booming and he said something like thanks to the new technology, we could be energy independent in something like 10 years. That new technology? Yep…they are not only fracking for gas here, they are now fracking for oil.

    And now I read this….they’re building that pipeline from Cushing to Texas…right through the injection well quake zone.

    Oh, and that excellent investigative reporter had already reported there were 11,000 fracking wells in Oklahoma.

    As I said, insanity.

  • crowinghen commented on the diary post Bank Settlement Was a Bait and Switch All Along by Scarecrow.

    2012-02-18 21:08:31View | Delete

    Fractal, I’m in. What do we need to do to help pull it all together? I’m glad you think the settlement can be challenged as against the public interest…I’ve been wondering about that for the last week. Do you see any chance that they won’t be able to find a judge to rubber stamp it? [...]

  • crowinghen commented on the blog post Live Chat – William K. Black: The Foreclosure Settlement

    2012-02-17 14:19:04View | Delete

    The attitude of the attorneys who drafted that report seemed to be ‘you don’t have to worry about any liability (or obligation to do the right thing) unless a lot of people sue you and that hasn’t happened, so carry on’. Kudos to LaVelle for trying to get Fannie Mae to address it, and that report seems pretty damning to me in terms of what they knew and did nothing about.

  • crowinghen commented on the blog post Live Chat – William K. Black: The Foreclosure Settlement

    2012-02-17 13:04:00View | Delete

    I think you said in an earlier comment that there hadn’t been enough pressure was put on Obama to force him to get rid of the people like Holder and Geithner and get people in place who will investigate, enforce and prosecute. Personally, I don’t hold out much hope that Obama would do that, but if here is a chance, do you think that a million (or millions) of signatures on online petitions delivered to the White House and/or the campaign HQ…and copies taken to the news departments of every major network and cable news would do any good?

    Also, regarding the Fannie Mae law firm’s report in response to Ray LaVelle’s investigation, I was most shocked by the fact that they do not stamp paid notes canceled or paid in full. The report said that they return these endorsed-in-blank (negotiable!) notes to the servicers if state law requires it or if borrowers request it, and the other 40% are sent to a third party for shredding. Negotiable instruments! People who have paid the notes (even if the mortgage no longer attaches to their home) could be taken to court to pay again if those notes fell into the wrong hands (or were sold to a holder in due course). And the report said if it was a holder in due course, the homeowner had no defense. That is unconscionable…those notes should be stamped paid or canceled immediately, regardless of whether they are returned or destroyed. The law firm didn’t seem to think this was a big deal because apparently no one had complained….

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