Friday, February 25, 2011

Four Federal Foreclosure Mitigation Programs on the Chopping Block

Rep. Spencer Bachus, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, announced this week that he has scheduled a subcommittee hearing and full committee markup of four bills that will terminate what he says are "failed and ineffective housing foreclosure programs." On the chopping block are the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Short Refi Program, and the Emergency Homeowner Relief Fund passed under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

FBI Cracks Down on Mortgage Fraud Schemes Across the Country

As the housing market struggles to get back on its feet, one element holding it back is the prevalence of fraud that increases in times of trouble. In December the CoreLogic Fraud Index revealed fraud losses for 2010 were estimated to be $11 billion. In the past week, the FBI has reported several convictions for mortgage fraud schemes all over the country. The agency says scams involving false promises and fraudulent sales pitches will continue to be a major focus.

U.S. Pushes for Deal in Mortgage-Servicing Cases

The Obama administration is trying to push through a settlement over mortgage-servicing breakdowns that could force America's largest banks to pay for reductions in loan principal worth billions of dollars, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Terms of the administration's proposal include a commitment from mortgage servicers to reduce the loan balances of troubled borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth. The cost of those writedowns will not be borne by investors who purchased mortgage-backed securities. If a unified settlement can be reached, some state attorneys general and federal agencies are pushing for banks to pay more than $20 billion in civil fines or to fund a comparable amount of loan modifications for distressed borrowers.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ben Ezra under AG Investigation


A Consumer Message from FDIC Chairman Bair for America Saves Week

This is America Saves Week. But it’s hard to talk about putting money away during these tough economic times, let alone actually doing it.

The good news is that even as we are working to dig out of the recent recession, Americans are finding ways to save more money. The recent financial crisis has wreaked economic havoc on a lot of families. But if there is one silver lining, it is that we have learned the hard lessons of too much borrowing. We are paying down our debt and saving more. In the process, we are rediscovering the peace of mind of financial security achieved through saving.

It doesn’t have to be hard to find $10 a week to save. Do you buy your lunch every day when you’re at work? Instead, make a sandwich or salad at home and bring it into the office once or twice a week. Or skip your afternoon snack from the vending machine.

Eventually, this savings can add up to a lot. If you put $10 every week into a savings account and even if it earns only 1 percent interest, you will have more than $2,600 in five years, $5,400 in 10 years, and more than $11,500 in 20 years – perhaps just when you are ready to retire or need that money to send a child off to college. Compare this to just making minimum payments on a credit card balance of $5,000. Paying an interest rate of 15 percent, it would take 24 years to repay the balance, and you would pay more than $7,000 in interest to your credit card company.

There are easy ways to make saving automatic. Open up a savings account if you don’t already have one and have a portion of your paycheck deposited directly into that account. Or ask your bank to regularly transfer a set amount of money from your checking account into the savings account. You can even have your tax refund directly deposited into your savings account.

Help your children save more, too. When you give them their allowance, pay them a little extra – say a quarter or 50 cents -- to put straight into their piggy banks. That way you will teach them the value of saving automatically. Buy them a clear plastic piggy bank or some other transparent container so they can watch their quarters pile up and grow. After they’ve accumulated several dollars, take that money to the bank and put it in a safe, FDIC-insured bank account. Many banks offer savings accounts just for kids with no fees and no minimum-balance requirements.

By allowing children to accrue savings and earn interest from an early age, children’s savings accounts can finance much of a child’s college education. Studies show that even a small amount of savings significantly influences a child’s desire to attend college. Moreover, built up over time, children’s savings accounts can reduce reliance on student loans and ease young people’s financial burden. Tragically, last year, college graduates started out in life owing an average of $24,000 in student debt.

We owe it to ourselves and to our kids to have the peace of mind of a secure financial future. Let’s budget, save and spend responsibly. Who knows? Maybe the government will get the same idea and stop spending and borrowing so much, too.

During this America Saves Week, I encourage all Americans to join me and my family in making a renewed savings commitment. Let’s resolve to maintain that commitment throughout the years to come.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Of News

Christopher Perry- AZ’s Stern in Criminal Trouble

MERS Surrenders?


Reswick v. Reswick (In re Reswick), No. 09-32489, slip op., 9th Cir. BAP, Feb. 4, 2011.

The automatic stay which terminates 30 days after the filing of a petition, filed within a year of the dismissal of a prior case, pursuant to § 362(c)(3) terminates as to both the debtor and property of the estate.


Federal Housing Finance Agency

Foreclosure Prevention & Refinance Report
Third Quarter 2010


Obama seeking to wind down Fannie, Freddie


MERS no Right to Transfer Mortgage

Chase and Military Members

Social Media

Seduced: For Lawyers, the Appeal of Social Media Is Obvious. It’s Also Dangerous

Stern Update

Last week in Lee County, an attorney for David Stern’s office begged for leniency (and got it time and time again) by arguing that they were withdrawing from 150,000 cases across the State of Florida. The company had only approximately 50 employees remaining as of last notice. Guess Stern is taking a financial hit personally- he’s liquidating assets.,0,3087303.story

Foreclosure Cases

Augenstein v Deutsche Bank

2nd DCA SMACKDOWN- Attorney’s Fees Due in Foreclosure Cases!

Denial- You arte in Distress

Bachelor Aaron Buerge: I'm in Bankruptcy, But Not Broke

The happily married former "Bachelor" star found true love over the course of the reality show in 2002 only to call it quits not one month later. In a somewhat insightful commentary on his debts, amounting to more than four times his assets, Buerge asserts, "I'm not in financial distress - nothing like that.",,20467397,00.html


This is a follow-up piece on the decision, from the Wall Street Journal:

The actual holding of the case granted the MFR in favor of the movant, on the grounds that the prior judicial foreclosure ruling the party was trying to enforce was res judicata; the exciting part of the decision comes when the judge holds that not withstanding the ruling, in future cases where a party appears in court with a claim based on an assignment from MERS, they will be out of luck...this is the actual ruling:

Borders' First Day Motions

Here is the Declaration supporting the Borders' First Day Motions. Tells you the structure of the company, what went wrong, the general plan. I always find these fascinating. Of course they have two stores in Manhattan which is why they filed there.

I love Borders.  I am going to miss them, the one on Gulf to Bay is Closing.

Dressing for Work

The USB ( a Swiss Company) published a 43 page guidelines on proper dress code.  From the exerts it looks like a good idea, and that American are no longer the only ones who have forgoten how to dress for Work.

There was the usual advice about wearing dark gray, black, or navy blue (they "symbolize competence, formalism, and sobriety"), warnings about skirt length (they should hit the middle of the knee), and the plea for "light makeup" (foundation, mascara, and "discreet" lipstick).

Then, UBS offered these tidbits:

• Don't wear "designer stubble" or "excessive facial hair" if you are male (or female, I suppose).

• Do wear timepieces, "since wristwatches suggest reliability and great care for punctuality." But don't wear earrings if you are male.

• Don't eat garlic or smoke cigarettes to avoid imparting bad odor.

Some Exerts from the Code:


For women:

• Wear your jacket buttoned.

• When sitting, the buttons should be unfastened.

• Make sure to touch up hair regrowth regularly if you color your hair.

For men:

• Store your suit on a large hanger with rounded shoulders to preserve the shape of the garment.

• Schedule barber appointments every four weeks to maintain your haircut shape.


• Eating garlic and onions

• Smoking or spending time in smoke-filled places

• Wearing short-sleeved shirts or cuff links

• Wearing socks that are too short, showing your skin while sitting

• Allowing underwear to be seen

• Touching up perfume during or after lunch break

• Using tie knots that don't match your face shape and/or body shape

Hey if their parents don't teach them how to dress some one has to.   I say publish it again an the critics be damned!    I hope they added no face piring and visable tats to their list!

Michigan Bankruptcy Case

6th Circuit: Richardson v. Schafer (In re Schafer)


2011 Fed. App. 0002P(6th Cir BAP 2011)


Michigan's bankruptcy specific exemption statute (Mich. Comp. Laws Section 600.5451) is unconstitutional under the Bankruptcy Clause of the United States Constitution (Article I, sec. 8, cl.4). Judgment of the bankrutpcy court is reversed. The Court found that since Michigan had not opted out of the federal exemption statute established under 11 U.S.C. Sec. 522(d), Michigan debtors could elect either state or federal exemptions.

Banks Push Home Buyers To Put Down More Cash

The down payments demanded by banks of homebuyers have ballooned since the housing bust, forcing many people to rethink what they can afford and potentially shrinking the pool of eligible buyers, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Last week, the Obama administration called for gradually raising down payments to a minimum of 10 percent on conventional loans, meaning those that can be bought or guaranteed by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The median down payment in nine major U.S. cities rose to 22 percent last year on properties purchased through conventional mortgages. FHA-backed mortgages, which require 3.5 percent up front, made up about half of loans for home purchases last year, according to housing-research firm Zelman & Associates, but borrowers often pay higher interest rates and must pay private mortgage insurance, often driving their monthly payments higher.


A report released yesterday by nonprofit research group Center for Responsible Lending said that the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CreditCARD Act) has made billions of dollars in charges more transparent for consumers, which should help lower costs over the long term, the Wall Street Journal reported. The report examines the impact of federal credit card rules on consumers one year after many of the new rules mandated by the CreditCARD Act were put in place. To recoup lost revenues, banks have rolled out new fees since passage of the CARD Act.

Truth in Caller Id


Ms. Sheila C. Blair, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation gave a comprehensive statement regarding the status of the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate; 538 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington D.C.

Stanford Law School

While the rest of the university will endure a 3.5% tuition hike for the 2011-12 academic year, Stanford Law School will receive a special 5.75% tuition hike. The law school currently charges $44,880 in tuition alone. Once you include books and other living expenses, the suggested budget for a Stanford Law student is $71,535 per year.

Never Thought my $100,000 legal education was cheap until now!    Compared to $214,605.00 it's a bargin.