Tag Archives: Mortgages

Wells Fargo Accused Of Fabricating Foreclosure Documents

Wells Fargo Accused Of Fabricating Foreclosure Documents

Wells Fargo Accused Of Fabricating Foreclosure Documents

Will Someone Go To Jail This Time?

With foreclosures not exactly making front page news anymore, a recent internal report states the Justice Department massively overstated its successes in targeting mortgage fraud while in fact ranking it as a low priority for investigation. Sound familiar? Our government overstating successes?

And talk about mortgage fraud, this report comes at a time when a recently revealed internal Wells Fargo document appears to guide lawyers step by step on how to fabricate missing documents to foreclose on homeowners. Wasn’t it bad enough to falsify signatures with robosigning? Imagine a bank creating missing documents in order to foreclose on homeowners.

The Justice Department’s inspector general says despite playing a key role in the nation’s financial crisis, mortgage fraud was deemed either a low priority or not a priority at all.

Sounds Like An Inside Job

This attitude seems eerily familiar to what documentary filmmakers Charles Ferguson highlighted in the Academy Award winning documentary Inside Job. He spotlighted how during and after the serious mortgage scandal and meltdown that no one lending executive has gone to jail.

Now with this recent Wells Fargo scandal we shall see is that fact remains true.

For those who wish to read the whole report and transcript then click on the link –



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Many Credit Reports Contain Incorrect And Outdated Information

Many Credit Reports Contain Incorrect And Outdated Information

Many Credit Reports Contain Incorrect And Outdated Information

Credit Reports Have Many Errors According To New Survey

With so many Americans suffering from the “credit score blues”, a new study that determined that 22 percent of Americans surveyed admitted that they have never checked their credit report seems all the more timely.

The survey (from FindLaw.com) concluded that nearly one quarter said that they found issues with their credit report, that it contained incorrect or outdated negative marks as the main problem.

More specifically, 23 percent of Americans mentioned that they have had a problem with their credit report and 10 percent of problems involved incorrect or outdated information, such as delinquency payments, payment history, collection actions, court judgments, and bankruptcies.

At 9 percent, the report revealed that incorrect or outdated personal information, such as one’s address, marital status, and work history. Other issues commonly reported included identity theft or credit information getting mixed up with someone else’s (5 percent), as well as incorrectly reported low credit scores (3 percent).

Another 4 percent said they have been denied credit because of incorrect information on their credit report.

With so many Americans suffering from low credit scores due to short sales, late mortgage payments and bankruptcies, we find it disturbing that such a high percentage of Americans do not take the effort to do their due diligence when it comes to checking and, if necessary, challenging their scores.

Website To Check Credit Reports For Free

A good way to check the report is to use AnnualCreditReport.com which offers three free credit reports per year. Consumers who would like to get the actual credit score need to pay a nominal fee.

Credit scores have a huge impact on a person’s ability to obtain a mortgage, credit card, auto loan or other credit, as well as renting an apartment.

Although credit report problems appear to be fairly common, the survey found 68 percent of people who did encounter an issue reported that the credit reporting agencies corrected the problem to their satisfaction, while 18 percent mentioned that they did not fix the issue.

For those who had more than one issue, 14 percent said they were able to get at least one issue resolved.

Anyone concerned about a low credit score and would like an insider tip about to increase the score in a short time period then please contact us and we will send you an “insider tip.”


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FHFA Extends HARP For Another Two Years

FHFA Extends HARP For Another Two Years

FHFA Extends HARP For Another Two Years

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Granted The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) A Two-Year Extension

Oh, the sweet sound of the government (in this case the FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator) extending the HARP program. The HARP program had been due to expire at the end of the year but with the extension will live until a least until December 31, 2015.

Like the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act, the government determined that many homeowners would benefit from the extension of the program and that letting it lapse would cause a severe impact among still struggling or underwater homeowners.

To date, more than 2 million homeowners have refinanced through HARP. Those HARP numbers include hundreds of thousands of underwater borrowers. The FHFA reports that 252,443 borrowers with loan-to-value ratios over 125 percent have been able to refinance through the program.

The FHFA stated that many additional homeowners can still qualify for HARP.

Updated HARP Guidelines

For the most updated guidelines, FHFA outlined the following eligibility requirements for the HARP program:

  • The loan must be owned or guaranteed by the GSESs
  • Loans must have been sold to the GSEs on or before May 31, 2009
  • The mortgage can’t be one that was previously refinanced under HARP unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March to May, 2009
  • LTV must be greater than 80 percent
  • Borrower must be current on their mortgage payments with no late payments in the last six months and no more than one late payment in the last 12 months


Filed under Mortgages

Buying a Home 44% Cheaper than Renting Despite Rising Home Prices

Buying a Home 44% Cheaper than Renting Despite Rising Home Prices

Buying a Home 44% Cheaper than Renting Despite Rising Home Prices

San Francisco Remains 19 Percent Cheaper Than Renting

The real estate market seeing low inventory and higher asking prices, the question for buyers remains – rent or buy? Even with local Bay Area real estate prices surging, the rental prices have by and large kept pace. So for the most part, the gap between buying and renting remains relatively slight.

According to recent study by Trulia, buying a home in San Francisco remains 19 percent cheaper than renting. (See below for the Trulia determination).  Down in San Jose, the numbers display that buying a home shows a 24 percent benefit versus renting. Nationally the number rests at 44 percent. Over the past year, the gap between renting and buying narrowed most in the Bay Area.

One year ago, buying in San Francisco saw numbers 35 percent cheaper than renting and 38 percent cheaper than renting in San Jose. A noted above, the different now sits at 19% and 24%, respectively. Both San Jose and San Francisco have seen strong price increases in the past year.

One key for the affordability being so close in the Bay Area remains that falling mortgage rates have kept buying almost as affordable as renting. Freddie Mac reported that between February 2012 and February 2013 the 30-year fixed rate dropped from 3.9% to 3.5%.

Some people think that we continue to head for another housing bubble which would well be the case. Interest rates will most likely remain low for the remainder of the year but after that who knows?

Renting Versus Buying Formula

See below for Trulia’s renting versus buying formula:

  1. Calculate the average rent and for-sale prices for an identical set of properties. For this report we looked at all the homes listed for sale and for rent on Trulia from December 2012 to February 2013. We estimate prices and rents for the similar homes in similar neighborhoods in order get a direct apples-to-apples comparison. We are NOT just comparing the average rent and average price of homes on the market, which would be misleading because rental and for-sale properties are very different: most importantly, for-sale homes are 47% bigger, on average, than rentals.
  2. Calculate initial total monthly costs of owning and renting, including maintenance, insurance, and taxes.
  3. Calculate future total monthly costs of owning and renting, taking into account price and rent appreciation as well as inflation.
  4. Factor in one-time costs and proceeds, like closing costs, down payments, sales proceeds, and security deposits.
  5. Calculate net present value to account for opportunity cost of money.

To compare the costs of owning and renting, we assume people will get a 3.5% mortgage rate, reside in the 25% tax bracket and itemize their federal tax deductions, and will stay in their home for seven years. We also assume buyers get a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and put 20% down.

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More Robo-Signing Settlement Money To California

More Robo-Signing Settlement Money To California

More Robo-Signing Settlement Money To California

LPS Agrees To Pay $120.6M Settlement To 46 States With California Leading The Pack

If you thought that the states, including California, had finished with suing lenders for faulty foreclosure practices think again. For all of the robo-siging allegations that took part LPS (Lender Processing Service) recently agreed to pay $120.6 million to 46 states and Washington D.C.

The $120.6 million settlement requires that LPS review the foreclosure documents executed between January1, 2008 and December 31, 2010 to determine if any wrongdoing took place or if any of the documents need to be corrected.

Lender Processing Services Inc. has agreed to pay more than $120 million and review three years of documents to settle allegations that the company “robo-signed” and otherwise improperly handled mortgage documents that LPS and its subsidiaries handled for loan servicers in foreclosure proceedings.

California Heads The Settlement Payout With $35, 592,284.

California, one of the thirteen states that lead the probe, heads the settlement payout with a total of $35, 592,284. To view a full state-by-state breakdown of payouts click on the last page of the settlement.

All of this settlement money may look impressive at first glance but where the settlement money actually ends up represents an entirely different question.

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Homeowners Urged To Apply For Unemployment Benefits Through Keep Your Home California

Homeowners Urged To Apply For Unemployment Benefits Through Keep Your Home California

Homeowners Urged To Apply For Unemployment Benefits Through Keep Your Home California

Keep Your Home California Offers Unemployment Mortgage Assistance

Unemployed homeowners concerned about the federal extension of unemployment benefits ending soon may soon receive a safety net from Keep Your Home California. With so much of the attention focused on the “fiscal cliff” the state managed Keep Your Home California program urges homeowners to apply immediately for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program, which provides as much as $3,000 per month for up to nine months in mortgage payments.

Many of the homeowners who have fallen behind in their mortgage payments have done so because they cannot find secure employment. Keep Your Home California will continue to make mortgage payments for out-of-work homeowners approved and enrolled in the program, regardless of whether federal extension benefits are extended into 2013.

Some of the guidelines for homeowner benefits from Keep Your Home California remain strict. For the unemployment benefits homeowners need to be eligible for unemployment benefits when they go through the counseling portion of the Keep Your Home California application process, and must have a mortgage payment that exceeds 31% of their income.

To be eligible for the mortgage assistance, homeowners must be experiencing a serious economic hardship, meet county-by-county income limits, and their mortgage servicer must participate in the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance

Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program Offers Up To $25,000

The Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program offers as much as $25,000 to help struggling homeowners catch up on their payments. The program can offer a maximum of $100,000 from the Principal Reduction Program to help economically distressed homeowners with their underwater mortgages.

In addition, the Transition Assistance Program provides up to $5,000 to financially strapped homeowners who have agreed to move from their home as part of a short sale with their mortgage servicer.

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Filed under California, down payment assistance, Foreclosure, Mortgages, short sales

The Second Report From The Monitor for the Attorney General Settlement

The Second Report From The Monitor for the Attorney General Settlement

The Second Report From The Monitor for the Attorney General Settlement

Key Findings From The Attorney General Settlement

The Monitor for the Attorney General Settlement recently released his second report. For those who wish to read the entire report we provided a link here.

The full Settlement period covered in the report starts March 1, 2012 and ends September 30, 2012. The information provided to monitor Joseph A. Smith comes directly from the Servicers.

For a brief overview we highlighted some of the key findings.

Under the Settlement, the Servicers have committed to providing the following minimum Consumer Relief obligations:
• $200,000,000 for Ally
• $8,574,200,000 for Bank of America
• $4,212,400,000 for Chase
• $1,789,000,000 for Citi
• $4,337,000,000 for Wells
• 309,385 borrowers benefited from some type of Consumer Relief totaling $26.11 billion, which, on average, represents about $84,385 per borrower. This figure includes both completed Consumer Relief and active first lien trial modifications.
• 21,833 borrowers successfully completed a first lien modification and received $2.55 billion in loan principal forgiveness, averaging
approximately $116,929 per borrower

Consider the fact that much of these Consumer Relief obligations include trial modifications which often only serve the bank. The bank benefits as it gets two things from the borrower:

1-      Their money
2-      Their information

The bank makes no guarantees that they will provide a permanent loan modification and even if they do it may not be something that benefits the homeowner.

Additionally as we have noted in earlier posts about loan forgiveness, the servicers cherry pick from the loan in which to offer loan
forgiveness. Oftentimes, the services choose loans to offer principle reductions that will benefit the bank more than the homeowner. Fore example, they may offer a principle reduction to a “bad” loan that they have decided to write off entirely (like one that went into bankruptcy) instead of one where a homeowner is trying to save their home.

Additionally the report tallies the complaints from consumers (from mid-April to the end of October) about the issues they are facing from servicers.

California Leads Nation In Settlement Complaints

California led the nation in the numbers of complaints with 781. The report also tracks the complaints of professionals (attorneys, caseworkers, counselors and other professionals helping consumers with their mortgages) and California also led the nation in complaints with 47.

The Second Report From The Monitor for the Attorney General Settlement

The Second Report From The Monitor for the Attorney General Settlement

The Second Report From The Monitor for the Attorney General Settlement

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