POLITICS IN THE FALL: REPR BRAD MILLER

EDITOR’S NOTE: I don’t know Brad Miller bradmiller.house.gov but I’m sending him a donation. Gretchen Morgenson says he’s worth getting to know and I am going to do just that.

He’s running for re-election in North Carolina, and except for a scant few other members of Congress, he is one of the few that has actually studied the issues confronting 20 million homes and the resulting impact on the economy. What really distinguishes him is that he has something that virtually nobody else in politics has — an idea. It’s hard to imagine someone in politics who actually wants to do something rather than just say something. It’s even harder to imagine that there is someone already in Congress that “gets it” and is taking on the tyrannical control of the big banks in Washington, D.C.. Yet there he is.

If we as a group support Brad Miller, give him the money he needs to campaign properly, and if we can ferret out some other people like him, things might actually change — not just in Washington, but at our dinner tables. Like Alan Grayson www.congressmanwithguts.com in Florida, one man, getting national attention can change the dialogue, change the national perception of an issue being twisted by vested interests and help create at least a first step toward resolution that is fair, equitable and realistic.

This article identifies only one of many conflicts of interests that the large servicers have. This one is about keeping you paying the second mortgage and deluding you into letting the first mortgage slip into default. There is a reason for this behavior — a self-serving reason that runs counter to the interests of the homeowner, the investors who advanced money for the loans, the taxpayers, and everyone else who is affected by unemployment and stagnation in our national economy). The reason is that the servicers are out for themselves and the “trustees are letting them do it because all they care about is getting their monthly fee.

Elimination or strict regulation of the servicing infrastructure would eliminate or mitigate the foreclosure epidemic. Brad Miller has identified that fact with clarity. As a member of congress he is representing you wherever you are and whatever your political affiliation. If you are sick of the bank bailouts, sick of the factual constipation caused by the banks and all those elected and appointed officials who are paid to do the bidding of the banks, then start voting like it.

Personally I have little in common with the tea party movement that consists mostly of people who voted for Bush and the republicans who created and enhanced this mess to unimaginable proportions — and then handed it over to the democrats with a smirk. But I have one thing in common with them — if the candidate is not very convincing that they intend to actually DO something rather than TALK about it, then the “candidate” is not running for office they are marketing for a lucrative job. Fire them, regardless of party affiliation unless they really convince you they know what they are talking about and can articulate specific proposals to fix the problems we face.

August 14, 2010

In This Play, One Role Is Enough

By GRETCHEN MORGENSON

MEET Brad Miller, a Democratic representative from North Carolina who was elected to Congress in 2002, talks straight and understands how big banks can put consumers at peril.

He is worth getting to know, not only because of his deep concern about the foreclosure epidemic, but also because he has made a compelling recommendation to level an exceedingly tilted playing field in mortgage finance.

Depending upon your perspective, Mr. Miller is either the right man in the right place on Capitol Hill — if you’re a consumer — or a threat to the status quo.

A lawyer who worked on consumer protection issues in North Carolina, Mr. Miller is not new to battling banks. In March 2009, along with Representative William D. Delahunt, a Democrat from Massachusetts, he proposed the creation of an independent consumer agency; it became a part of the recent financial overhaul. This past March, Mr. Miller introduced a bill that would eliminate one of the most pernicious conflicts of interest in banking today: the dueling roles played by the big mortgage servicers.

These companies — the biggest are Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citibank — operate as the back office for the mortgage lending industry. In good times, their tasks are fairly simple: they take in monthly mortgage payments and distribute them to whoever owns the loans. In many cases, large institutions like pension funds or mutual funds own the mortgages, and servicers are obligated to act in their interests at all times.

When borrowers are defaulting in droves, as they are now, loan servicing becomes much more complex and laborious. Servicers must chase delinquent borrowers for payments and otherwise manage these uneasy relationships, possibly into foreclosure.

So where does the conflict of interest lie? Often, the same bank that services a primary mortgage owned by another institution also owns a second mortgage or home equity line of credit on the same property. When that borrower has trouble meeting both payments, the servicer has an interest in making sure that amounts owed on the second lien, which it owns, continue to be paid even if the first loan, which it has no interest in, slides into delinquency. About two-thirds of primary mortgages are serviced by banks who do not own them but hold the accompanying seconds.

This conflict is a crucial reason that the government’s loan modification program has been so woefully ineffective. The Treasury Department never forced the second-lien holders who service troubled primary mortgages to reduce the amount they are owed by borrowers, even though such a move would give them a better shot at keeping their homes.

Of course, the big banks that hold these second liens have little interest in letting borrowers write them off entirely, or in part, because the institutions would have to absorb huge losses on them. As long as the borrower is eking out payments on the second liens, the banks that own them can pretend that they are performing and keep recording them at high values on their books.

The top four banks hold approximately $450 billion in second liens that are supposed to take a backseat to the investors who hold the primary mortgages. But because of the front-seat role big banks play as servicers, they are in a position to put their interests first.

“Unless we can make servicers modify mortgages through bankruptcy or eminent domain, the servicers are not going to reduce principle,” Mr. Miller, 57, said in a recent interview. “Their stance does seem largely driven by accounting concerns — they are trying to maintain the fiction that the mortgages are worth the value they are carrying them at on their books.”

Enter Mr. Miller’s bill, the Mortgage Servicing Conflict of Interest Elimination Act. It bars servicers of first loans they do not own from holding any other mortgages on the same property.

Mr. Miller’s bill has not gained much attention since it was introduced in March. But it ought to, because the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law is utterly silent on servicer conflicts.

The bill would give these institutions a reasonable amount of time to divest either their servicing businesses or their interests in home mortgages, Mr. Miller said. A likely outcome is that the four biggest banks would spin off their mortgage servicing operations. This would not only resolve the conflict between loan servicers and investors, but it would also result in smaller, less complex banks, he said. That is surely a major benefit.

Another is that Mr. Miller’s law, if enacted, would break up the logjam now thwarting mortgage modifications. “We must reinvent our mortgage finance system,” he said. “This is a huge part of our economy, and we cannot have a healthy recovery with the housing sector as sick as it is.”

A member of the House Financial Services Committee, Mr. Miller concedes that he did not see the financial crisis coming. But he said that several years ago he became aware that increasingly poisonous mortgages were being peddled to consumers.

“These mortgages were not designed to increase homeownership; they were designed to trap people in debt and strip the equity in their home as home prices appreciated,” Mr. Miller said. “For the financial industry, that increasing wealth from middle-class homeowners was an attractive target; if they could trap families in a cycle of borrowing every three years or so, then a lot of increased wealth in their homes would end up in the financial sector rather than with those families.”

Mr. Miller recognizes that his is an uphill climb because the big banks have many friends in high places across Washington. “Americans have come away from this persuaded that everything has been done to help the banks and not to help them,” he said. “And in a democracy, that’s a real problem.”

Still, he said he has recently noted a slight shift in the balance of power. “I’ve seen the banks going from losing no fights to losing a few fights,” he said. “What I’ve found is the more fights we pick, the more success we have.”

Here’s to more fights, then. Many more.

35 Responses

  1. Give Him your 2 Cents on these 2 future initiative of the Federal Gov.
    Uniform Nonjudicial Foreclosure Act (UNFA) and Uniform Assignment of Rents Act (UARA)

  2. KP… you are so right… these past years have been an attempt to “cleanse the system” of toxic evidance while stringing the average American along.. hope & change and all that…

    Dodd is leaving… will be interesting to see where he land’s…

    I say forget the “consumer agency” Warren needs to run for office

    “Simultaneously Dodd has been successfully sidelining Warren to head the new independent consumer agency, and I believe he’ll be the winner of the job – hand picked by Wall Street themselves to make sure it benefits them, not us. Most of Obama’s key appointees have been – shockingly – graduates of GS.”

  3. “The Creature from Jekyll Island” by Edward Griffin.

    Comprehensive history of corruption of banking and their influence over government from Greeks to present day.

    This Mortgage Fraud is just another example of what they’ve always done. My hope is that we’ve got this blog, with Weidner’s and a few others, and a slow but steady stream of case-law, some judges, and some tactics which will be hard to snuff out.

    http://www.amazon.com/Creature-Jekyll-Island-Federal-Reserve/dp/0912986212

  4. Rep. Brad Miller is on MSNBC right now!!!

    He is sharp and brought up valid points.

  5. BSE GETS IT.

    NEVER AGAIN

  6. Really Neil I respect what you and Brad have accomplished with spreading the word on this movement for homeowners but do you have any facts that back up the following statement:

    “Personally I have little in common with the tea party movement that consists mostly of people who voted for Bush and the republicans who created and enhanced this mess to unimaginable proportions — and then handed it over to the democrats with a smirk”

    You know it was Barney Frank and Co. that exerted political pressure on Fannie and Freddie to “increase homeownership” and Summers, Rubin et al that snuffed out the efforts of the CFTC to regulate derivatives. We all know what there political affiliation is…there is plenty of blame to go around on both sides of the aisle. We need people in congress that will quit pointing fingers at the other party and actually represent the interests of the common man and not the lobbyist’

    Truth

  7. MILLER’S CAMPAIGN FINANCING IS STRONG ON INSURANCE, REAL ESTATE, LAW FIRMS AND LOBBYISTS.

    Miller’s 2010 combined pac/campaign industry profile shows his #1 sector to be finance/insurance/real estate with $102K, and #3 lobbyists at $72K. His 100 individual donor list includes lots of insurance, real estate, lobbyists and law firms. Miller’s campaign finance lies with the industries his bill could hurt. You might want to visit his opensecret.org donor file. http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cid=N00025093&cycle=2010&type=C&newMem=N&recs=100 If you do, check out his career ‘top industries’ list and chart.

    This bothers me when his name is being touted as a ‘reformer’ on the side of the people. Simultaneously Dodd has been successfully sidelining Warren to head the new independent consumer agency, and I believe he’ll be the winner of the job – hand picked by Wall Street themselves to make sure it benefits them, not us. Most of Obama’s key appointees have been – shockingly – graduates of GS.

    Very few Americans believed that Dodd, IMHO a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street, was suddenly a advocate for the people. I think Miller should be looked at with a cautious eye in this current political maelstrom.

  8. Monday 16 August 2010

    Cheers, Anonymous:

    I am keenly aware of the fraud going on. My point in bringing up history is to let people know how deeply engrained and systemic has been fraud and deceit.
    Everyone thinks, if we could only fix the way lenders conduct their business, or vote in change, everything would work out, fairly.

    When I talk about fraud and deceit, it is in the context of this corporate federal government being based ENTIRELY on same. How can anyone correct that by dealing with the symptoms? Cannot be done.

    Those who want to see the gov’t or someone “fix it,” miss the point. It cannot be fixed, will not be fixed, and things will continue to get worse. The concerns about fraud “today” is a symptom of the culture developed over the past 100 years. The issues I raise go to the root cause, and until that is dealt with, it will be more of the same.

    Deal with the present, however anyone wishes. To this day, few can see the deja vu of what traspired in the 1930s, when the Fed purposely tightened money, bringing about the collapse of the stock market, leading to the “taking” of farms.

    Gee, didn’t the market just undergo a near collapse, starting in 2007, and isn’t the Fed once again leading the way in meddling into what used to be a capitalistic system, and instead of frams, now it is homes?

    Yep, deal with the fraud of today. Surely it is not related to the past in any way, shape, or form.

    Politicians will not fix anything because the fix they are on will not allow it. Follow the money…it goes way back.

    Change? Who was the last politician that ran his entire platform of change? “Yes, we can!!” Now that he is in office, can anyone distinguish him from George Bush or Clinton, et al, except for personal “style?”

    The best thing homeowners losing their homes can do is learn how to defend themselves in court. THAT is change each one CAN control, and even that is not
    easy. Judges continue to stand in the way, backing the system, from which they get huge under-the-table payoffs.

    What judges cannot ignore is law, and the obvious breaking of the rules of procedure. For as “negative” as I may be perceived about not putting “faith” in a government blantantly screwing people, I cannot endorse sites like this enough as the greatest hope for obtaining meaningful results, one house at a time.

    Learning from the succes of one win eventually turns into ten, ten becomes 100, and the swell grows. Your contributions on helping to understand the securitization mess is helpful. Drilling down into too fine details will not serve many, but knowing which are the right questions to ask and demand can, and will make a huge difference.

    I am not against anyone here. I choose to deal with what is and attack the source…the way in which loans were made, and by whom, the lack of a chain of title, faulty assignments, etc. These are real, tangible, and can help defeat the other side.

    Look how MERS is being toppled. How did that come about? Court cases, one decision at a time, one
    building on the succuess or learing from the failure of another.

    Marching on the street? Those who lose their homes will be there if they choose not to fight the right fight, in court. Changing those who are voted in? There is a constant turnover of “politicians,” and what change takes place? Things continue to get worse.

    I do not pretend to have the solutions, but I do know what will work, and where, and that is fighting the faulty loan documents and in court. The fact that sites like this exists is the brightest ray of hope, to date.

    Kind regards…

  9. Hi edgetraderplus,

    Right now, we are concerned about the fraud today. And, about the homeowners losing their homes – under fraud.

    Politicians will not fix it because they are taking large campaign donations from the financial institutions – and if they go against the money source of their continued election – they will lose. This can be fixed – and right know, economically, it would be the best thing to do to boost consumption, unfortunately, the largest part of our GDP.

  10. Problem, Reaction, Solution. This is the agenda. The government is not here to help. But only here to create fear and chaos. We will continued to be scammed as long as Wall Street controls this government. Get these S.O.B.s out of office now !

  11. US Government promotes predatory lending. Now, Millions in a position of usury while others collect unjust enrichment. Seven years later, Homeowners suffer losses, other families being relocated to the streets. Here is proof. Decide for your self.

    Click below:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNqQx7sjoS8

    DO not trust your government. Democrats or Republican’s They are nothing but puppets within the arranged agenda. The laws of this land take from the tax payer with nothing in return. They stole form the poor, fleeced the middle class and gave more to the bastards connected in Washington. It’s time to fight. Be a patriot ! Stop your payment. Speak your voice and be heard. There is nothing to fear. They are nothing but shadows and dust.

  12. I’m reading these posts. When something is orchestrated, it is planned from beginning to end.
    I’d been aware for a long time of a plan to dislocate the population and force it to migrate/move/relocate to other areas. I saw a chart on the internet, and the guy said, “if you live in an area with a red dot over it…you will move!” I was thinking…now how on earth is that going to happen?! What I’m saying is, a plan is a plan, and many think that going to a council meeting will change ‘this’ plan. Nope. The Bell county people ended up on the news, but they were upset at how much the people they elected were making in salary from their tax dollars.
    This is not about how much local politicians make. This is about an industry that controls a lot more than your foreclosure.
    It’s about the conscious of the world, and about love and fear.
    We need to get a handle on the whole picture. The loss of a piece of land, or home is small compared to the bigger plan. If I go into details someone will scream about 2012 or NWO or something else. But anyway, just understand, that what is happening is allowed..and many will modify and lose their homes later, and many will pay and never get the deed released and lose their home later, and many will fight and fight and the last one standing keeps their home for a while and a job loss or a stroke or higher taxes, or anything else will make them lose their home later. Heck, imminent domain is still out there.

    Just relax. This is something we ‘don’t’ have control over. So we stop and think of what we do have control over.

    There’s a lot of energy fighting each other, even those that ‘work’ for the guys running this crazy chess board.

    If we lose ourself in this battle, then they take us with them to the world they are creating for themselves, and ‘if’ there is a judgment day, you go with them to that too, for being like them in a negative sort of way.

    I’m just saying, what happened to me felt like a bad dream, and I was explaining it to someone near the pool today and he was hung up on the equity I had in the home that was taken, since I never did an equity loan, never used it as an ATM, etc.
    I told him…looks like I rented a home for 10 years without realizing it, and it was stolen from me.
    I told him, if I paid for it for another 20 to the wrong company who would not and did not have an assigned beneficiary status, then I would have been paying for 20 years, a company who could not release the deed when I was done. In the end, I’d have a home that ‘still’ wasn’t mine. What’s better, leave now or leave later. Leaving now, a man with a gun will come to my door and make me get out of what is mine.
    T.V. is not going to give you the answers, and what you see is orchestrated to keep you from knowing the truth.
    As long as you don’t know the truth, you will continue to be blindsided by everything that is coming, because time is running out so the bad things will happen closer, and faster, and frequently.
    I’m sure dancing with the stars, or amazing race, or glee or whatever catches you eye in the celebrity gossip will be the carrot many will follow (their free will) and not know what is really going on.
    Whatever happens, love is the key, no matter what anyone says, and fear leads to doing things to hurt someone and that comes back on you just as bad as what these guys are doing to us.
    A drowning person takes anyone close by with them. These people are negative, and they need as many negative people as they can have. The planet is positive, Earth is vibrating at a positive frequency, (search it on the internet). There is a war going on for the souls of this planet and more. It’s more than foreclosures and one house at a time.
    Earth will continue to vibrate at a higher frequency because many of us have given up the illusion that we ‘owned’ a home or had property. If it was ours, no one could talk it from us. It was not ours. We’d been hoodwinked!
    Let go, and let Go(). There is a better solution, we just have to ride out this last set of waves to get there. Our remedy is greater than a judge sitting on a bench. No on will be able to say ‘they didn’t know’ when the time comes to be accountable for their part in all of this.
    Language of Love is the key, and time is running out.
    Choose a side, because when the door closes like it did on Noah’s Ark, you deal with your choice (free will).
    Believe or not believe, won’t change what I said. Won’t make it happen, and won’t make it go away.

    Light and Love,
    Trespass Unwanted, sui juris in propria persona.

  13. edgetraderplus who gives a @##$#$! about the theories of fraud. FRAUD GOES BACK TO THE TIMES AND BEFORE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. WAY BEFORE THE ROTHSCHILD FAMILY.

    EVE TRICKED ADAM TO EAT THE APPLE AND WE ARE STILL PAYING FOR IT. THE FRAUD STARTED WITH ADAM AND EVE.

    CHANGING THE CITY ORDINANCES AND GOING TO THE LOCAL ATTORNEY GENERAL AND DISTRICT ATTORNEY OFFICE.

    WHAT ARE YOU GONNA TELL THEM THAT THE FRAUD STARTED IN 1871?

    WHO IN HIS/HER RIGHT MIND THINKS THAT A CONGRESSPERSON OR SENATOR IS GONNA SAVE US?

    “WE THE PEOPLE”

    NEVER AGAIN

  14. I LOVE THE GENIUSES AND ALL THEIR COMMENTS.
    THE MOSQUE NEXT TO GROUND ZERO IS GONNA BE BUILT BECAUSE THEY GOT THE CITY COUNSEL TO OKAY IT. THAT IS ALL. EVERYBODY ELSE CAN GO FLY A KITE.

    THE BLUECOLLAR PEOPLE OF CITY OF BELL FIGURED IT OUT THEY WENT TO THE CITY COUNSEL MEETINGS

    EVEN THE BANKS FIGURED IT OUT AND ARE PROBABLY PAYING OFF OR KISSSING THE LOCAL SHERRIFF OR POLICE AND THE LOCAL POLITICIANS ASS.

    MATT WEIDNER HAS AN ARTICLE IN THE BLOG ABOUT BANKSTERS PEOPLE BREAKING INTO PEOPLES HOUSES AND CONDUCTING ILLEGAL REPOSESSIONS OF HOUSES. THE POLICE IS NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. BECAUSE THE BANKS ARE GOING TO THE COPS BEFORE US AND TO THE
    LOCAL POLITICIANS.

    WHILE WE WAIT FOR FEDERAL BAILOUTS THAT IS NEVER REALLY GONNA HAPPEN. BECAUSE WE WILL BE OUT OF OUR HOMES.

    CITY COUNSEL MEETINGS GO TO LOCAL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE.

    CITY ORDINANCES KICKING THE BANKS OUT OF OUR COMMUNITIES.

    WE CAN TALK ABOUT ALL THESE THEORIES WHICH IS GREAT FOR THE INTELLECT. I LIKED READING

    LARRY BROWN TODAY ANONYMOUS IS BACK ETC…..

    WE NEED TO GO BACK TO BASICS . FUNDAMENTALS. INDIANA STATE BASKETBALL UCLA COACH WOODEN
    SAY IT AINT SO RONALD REAGAN.

    WAKE UP AMERICA BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

    NEVER AGAIN

  15. Sunday 15 August 2010

    Sorry, Anonymous. I passed commenting on your last post but cannot on this one.

    >”This is about fraud.”

    True. But not the symptomatic fraud being addressed.

    >”This is about correcting an economy that has been promoted, in past decade, upon concealed and hidden FRAUD”

    The fraud extends back to 1871, but what is a few decades? It continued in earnest once the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was passed…two days before Christmas is a clue, but few pay any attention to the customs of passing legislation.

    >”There is only one way – right now – to restore the US economy – and that is by restoring the America consumer to a position that can contribute to the overall GDP.”

    Where, at any time in the history of this country was the “American consumer” in charge of the economy? And what forces do you, or anyone, for this is not about you, what forces do you think put the “consumer” its collective position…by accident? I will pass on the rest of that paragraph.

    >”Congress, and the administration, and US officials understand this – they are well aware of the situation. They just do not know how to fix it .”

    If that premise were true, and it is not, than by understanding and being aware of it, the panoply of pupperts to which you refer would also know how to fix it. The reason why no form of “government” can/will “fix it” is because no one in goverment would ever be allowed to fix what has been so clumsily orchestrated by higher powers…powers that could not care one wit about Americans. No one seems to understand that. Cognitive dissonance, I suppose.

    >”No economy will grow based upon continued fraud.”

    So very true, and it is the exact same reason why the United States has been an economic Banana Republic over the last several decades. The fraud has been more massive than most everyone can fathom. Who here has even heard of the Lieber Code, under which the corporate Federal government rules?

    Nothing against you, Anonymous. Your expressed views are commonly held, and all of the reporting and comments from news articles, et al, are merely dealing with the symptoms of a country barely on life support.

    Can anyone point to positive change in this country since the Republic upon which it WAS built has been steadily taken over, in the past century? Sure, there were periods of growth 50 years ago, but how is the government working for you, [collectively], these past decades?

    Hint: It is not the “goverment” of the people, by the people that most people still believe is true.

    If there is ANYONE who agrees that the commercial debt instruments, aka Federal Reserve Notes posing as “dollars, are nothing more than a fiat substitute, where is the anger? Where is the outrage of the most massive fraud ever?

    Few do not even know there is such a fraud.

    Everything else bandied about here is merely dealing with symptoms.

    David Krieger said it best. If there is going to be ANY change, it will have to come in the courts…and even that is a sliver of hope.

    Those in foreclosure, focus on what the lenders have done wrong. Gwen Caranchini has made this very same point. Argue the wrongs in court, backed by case law to support points made. This still is a country of laws, BUT it is an uphill battle to get judges to enforce it against the system.

    The federal government could care less about you, me, or anyone. The handwriting has been on the wall, but people just do not want to believe it, or else refuse to see it.

    I said it below…this blog and Weidner’s blog, among a few others, offer the best means for making headway, one house at a time. Ask Neil Gartner or Matt Weidner if they know of any better way that is effective?

  16. PJ and Dave Kreiger

    Forget the tax dollars – and the tea party whiners.

    This is about fraud. This is about correcting an economy that has been promoted, in past decade, upon concealed and hidden FRAUD. It is about nothing else.

    The tea party group and tax dollar groupies are concerned about one thing – their own investments and tax dollars paid. If saving their investments – and paying less taxes – means continuing the fraud – they will fight for that. The problem is – if these groups and groupies do not see a substantial improvement in the US Economy – their investments will be eaten alive – and their tax dollars WILL increase.

    There is only one way – right now – to restore the US economy – and that is by restoring the America consumer to a position that can contribute to the overall GDP. Once that happens – we must look to shift our economy from 70% Consumption to a – once again – growing economy.

    These groups and groupies are fighting the one thing that may save them – restoring the mortgage market to price stability by halting the rampant FRAUDULENT foreclosures and fraud.

    If these groups and groupies do not wake up – there will be consequence to their own “portfolios” – and – at that point, no one will be able to save THEM.

    Congress, and the administration, and US officials understand this – they are well aware of the situation. They just do not know how to fix it – without alienating the whiners – who are just concerned about their own CURRENT pocketbook – which, is in great jeopardy in the near future. We have become a nation of fast solutions – fast food, fast games, and fast fraud – with no control – and no long-term solution..

    Wake up! – tea party groups and tax groupies – go back to Econ 101 class. And for us, continue to speak out loud and clear – and often. No economy will grow based upon continued fraud.

    And, thanks to Kathleen Hayes – host of the Hayes Advantage (Bloomberg) – for allowing some to articulate the unfairness of the Congressional response to the mortgage crisis. All efforts to help the people were thwarted. An unfairness that MUST eventually be addressed. The consequence of not doing so – is too great to all.

    Victims will continue to also pull down those that think they are above it all.

  17. Neil.. this is not something that as handed to the Dem’s with a smirk by the GOP… both sides of the aisle fostered this crime… no one here needs to hear the facts surrounding this.

    As for the Tea Parties at least they are advocating for themselves and their issues… what wrong with that , at least they are doing something regardless of what one thinks of them.

    What should outrage people is that the Financial Reform Bill was engineered by Frank & Dodd.. this is one more slap in the face of hard working Americans… it’s like living in the twilight zone.

  18. Charles Hugh Smith, who can be found at oftwominds.com, put it on paper perhaps as well as any. Here’s part of his description of the crimes committed:

    1. Enable trillions of dollars in mortgages guaranteed to default by packaging unlimited quantities of them into mortgage-backed securities (MBS), creating umlimited demand for fraudulently originated loans.

    2. Sell these MBS as “safe” to credulous investors, institutions, town councils in Norway, etc., i.e. “the bezzle” on a global scale.

    3. Make huge “side bets” against these doomed mortgages so when they default then the short-side bets generate billions in profits.

    4. Leverage each $1 of actual capital into $100 of high-risk bets.

    5. Hide the utterly fraudulent bets offshore and/or off-balance sheet (not that the regulators you had muzzled would have noticed anyway).

    6. When the longside bets go bad, transfer hundreds of billions of dollars in Federal guarantees, bailouts and backstops into the private hands which made the risky bets, either via direct payments or via proxies like AIG. Enable these private Power Elites to borrow hundreds of billions more from the Treasury/Fed at zero interest.

    7. Deposit these funds at the Federal Reserve, where they earn 3-4%. Reap billions in guaranteed income by borrowing Federal money for free and getting paid interest by the Fed.

    8. As profits pile up, start buying boatloads of short-term U.S. Treasuries. Now the taxpayers who absorbed the trillions in private losses and who transferred trillions in subsidies, backstops, guarantees, bailouts and loans to private banks and corporations, are now paying interest on the Treasuries their own money purchased for the banks/corporations.

    9. Slowly acquire trillions of dollars in Treasuries–not difficult to do as the Federal government is borrowing $1.5 trillion a year.

    10. Stop buying Treasuries and dump a boatload onto the market, forcing interest rates to rise as supply of new T-Bills exceeds demand (at least temporarily). Repeat as necessary to double and then triple interest rates paid on Treasuries.

    11. Buy hundreds of billions in long-term Treasuries at high rates of interest. As interest rates rise, interest payments dwarf all other Federal spending, forcing extreme cuts in all other government spending.

    12. Enjoy the hundreds of billions of dollars in interest payments being paid by taxpayers on Treasuries that were purchased with their money but which are safely in private hands.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/financial-con-decade-explained-so-simply-even-congressman-will-get-it?page=2

  19. There must not be any “dealing” with the banks and bankers that caused this carnage WHATSOEVER! No discussions. No attempts at reconciliation.

    Remember, these people have taken down our entire system. To deal with them on any terms, other than to seek their complete annihilation, is to dance with the devil.

    They’ve very effectively equity stripped the world, and now they seek our land and buildings, residential as well as commercial. This desecration must be stopped. NO DEAL! To even think about it gives them a position of respect they are totally unworthy of. They are scum! Nothing less.

  20. Grayson is unique among progressives in that he supports our only real Allie in the middle east, Israel! The Fire Dog Lake crowd is all over him like ants on a neck bone over it because they just love the Arabs and their homicidal ways. The problem is that most of the other so called progressives might be willing to take on the big banks are not only pro-Muslim loony tunes but are socialist in their leanings and don’t understand capitalism enough to take on corporations without letting the baby go down with the bath water. Bless Grayson for being pro-Israel and may the Muzzies never build a mosque in NY.

  21. Federal Judges–

    when one reads the letter in my prior post from the General Counsel it references a link to http://www.tsp.gov for further information about federal judges’ retirement plans.

    If you go to that website…you will not be able to login, but if you look around on it there is a discussion of Blackrock–and that the judges’ retirement plans include Blackrock.

    Next go here and read what it says about BlackRock and Maiden Lane (toxic assets)

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/35925017/Are-Federal-Judges-Retirement-Plans-invested-in-MBS-ABS-Maiden-Lane-and-Blackrock

    So federal judges more than likely have BlackRock retirement investments and should be recusing themselves from Homeowner/borrower/foreclosure/fraud victim lawsuits!!

    Blackrock does invest in ABS & MBS. I’ll post more later.

  22. Sunday 15 August 2010

    The part of Dave Krieger’s comment that is true is that any change is going to come from the court system.

    The reality of that statement make this blog and Matt Weidner’s contributions from the firing line, supported by case decisions, the most important sources of hope in making any change.

    The war will be won by one battle at a time. Read these case decisions to learn what is working and what is not. They are a treasure trove.

    Those who want to enforce their beliefs, go ahead, “take to the streets,” etc.

    Those who want to be effective for themselves can find some form of solutions within the cases being fought in he court system, the only plaing field where from which meaningful change will come.

    Not popular, but just my opinion.

  23. Unsurprisingly our high brow NC Representative, Brad Miller, has a shill at the New York Times, one that likely thinks herself “quite adroit” in her choice of titles, In This Play, One Role Is Enough. Polifrog finds the amalgamation of the NYT, and Brad Miller just another example of a campaign of privilege and Miller elitism.

    Morgenson described Miller this way:

    …a Democratic representative from North Carolina who was elected to Congress in 2002, talks straight and understands how big banks can put consumers at peril.

    From nearly the first lines we are told by the NYT that Brad Miller is “your man” and that whatever follows is NOT HIS FAULT. Yet where was his vaunted understanding of banking and housing prior to the near depression we have been experiencing? Brad Miller’s mealy mouthed answer is found later in the article:

    A member of the House Financial Services Committee, Mr. Miller concedes that he did not see the financial crisis coming. But he said that several years ago he became aware that increasingly poisonous mortgages were being peddled to consumers.

    Are these the sentiments of a leader or just a man doing the two-step with responsibility?

    The reality?

    What was being peddled was not only that home ownership at any cost was a proper role for government but that home ownership through the enticement of inexpensive debt was the path to that end. The fact that the mortgage industry responded to the government’s push to lend to riskier and riskier individuals seems to be lost on Brad Miller.

    Has an election passed in which a politician has not uttered the terms “home ownership” or used the phrase “affordable homes”? Over the years the phrases became an election mainstay, but it wasn’t just election rhetoric politicians were enticing the voters with, it was the danger of cheap debt . Being lawmakers, the politicians had tools at their disposal to make good on their campaign promises of “affordable homes”, promises we still hear from Brad Miller today.

    They used their influence over Fannie and Freddie Mac as qasi-public companies beholden to government to enlarge the pool of dollars available for lending. They found that they could influence Fannie and Freddie to purchase increasingly riskier loans from banks thereby freeing those same banks to make more loans. And, of course, congress could and did create laws that forced lending institutions to make loans under threat of red lining, to individuals they may have otherwise turned down as a high risk. Over time even the Federal Reserve got in on the game and lowered interest rates through the Federal Fund discount rates. The fact is that the lending industry did what they were asked to do by our leaders in DC and when the industry used nefarious methods to get the job done, government turned a blind eye. This the result of the collusion of government and industry,each with like-minded goals.

    This Government intervention in housing market for the laudable goal of “home ownership” resulted in a mega bubble that, like all bubbles, popped. Although the current downturn began in the sub-prime mortgage market, it spread across a loan industry weakened with the risky debt holders forced upon it by DC. and others who stretched themselves thinly to take advantage of the “cheap home loans”. Since then our country has been careening toward a near depression.

    What is Brad Miller’s solution now? Bolt tweaking on failed government policy.

    Enter Mr. Miller’s bill, the Mortgage Servicing Conflict of Interest Elimination Act. It bars servicers of first loans they do not own from holding any other mortgages on the same property.

    If you think this is a solution for anything but Brad Miller’s need for electioneering before an election, Polifrog has some prime swampland in eastern NC to sell you.

    Government intervention in the economy has consequences but under this congress and the leadership of Brad Miller, the buck stops everywhere but their desks. And before you buy Miller’s Brooklyn Bridge built on shifting blame, ask yourself if a true leader with all of the much referenced qualifications of Brad Miller would have lead this nation into our current financial malaise.

  24. Sunday 15 August 2010

    In Dave Krieger’s last paragraph from the post above, he states:

    “The only thing that is going to change this mess is our court system. I did not say for better or for worse; but these justices also serve the Constitution and the interests of our citizens. God help us.”

    This is true and not true. I do not have the section from American Jurisprudence handy, but judges are told that if there is ANY WAY POSSIBLE to interpret a ruling that has nothing to do with the Constitution, do it.

    In other words, the Constitution is of no consequence. Understand that the structure of law in this country has been perverted from organic Constitutional rights to that of Roman statutary law. “Stare decisis” accomplished that. Look it up and learn what it means for yourself.

    Many readers do not like it when I comment about what has happened to the Federalization of this country, at the expense of the organic Constitution, so I leave it to anyone to pursue the available information on their own. If not, stop compaining about what goes on in this country. Beliefs ABOUT reality do not mean the beliefs are correct, but most argue their beleifs, anyway.

    NO judge is obligated to follow the Constitution. It does not exist in a statutory law system. IF one wanted
    to attempt to get a judge to follow the Constitution, one
    first has to claim all inalienable rights, waiving none, and THEN, at the same time, introduce a certified copy of the judge’s oath to support the Constitution of his state and the country. That is the simple version.

    The very first step a judge MUST take before entering the office of becoming a judge is to take an oath of office. Read the Constitution and State Rules of Procedure and you will find this to be true.

    Anyone who believes a solution will be forthcoming from the government or ANY “elected” official is reveling in a pipe dream.

  25. The banks don’t “offer” mortgages: they “buy” mortgages.

    The maintain the opposite is compartmentalized fraud.

    Brad Miller illustrates the importance of following the money trail as it courses out of one hidden ravine via an underground river into another hidden valley thousands of miles away.

    NB: it is always helpful to remember that the home owner is the mortgage “offerer”. The bank is the party who “buys” the home owner’s “paper” and sends dollars to the “home owner” who just sold “his mortgage” – which is no more than his “promise to pay”.

    We are mistaken to think that the home owner is the party with the burden of “caveat emptor”. Whereas in fact, it is the “mortgage purchaser” and each subsequent purchaser “in due course” who must overcome the presumption of being the party required to have exercised the due diligence due from a buyer at the time of purchase.

    The buyer must watch his own back.

    NB (continued): Ludwig Wittgenstein in his one and only book, TractatusLogico-Philosophicus, wrote:

    “The limits of my language means the limits of my world.”

    By accepting other persons’ language to describe something, we then fall into the trap of the fraudsters’ construction of things: Wittgenstein cautioned us.

    Gretchen’s roster of the usual suspects (Citi, Morgan, et al.) invariably use the phrase “to offer a mortgage” when what they really mean is “we will buy your mortgage”.

    The last thing that the big bank monopsony wants is for all of us to understand and appreciate that we were actually the “sellers” of mortgages.

    Each mortgage offer made by any home owner is a “contract of adhesion” forced on a seller: why?

    Because invariably the buyer, which is a bank, wants the homeowner/seller’s offer of a “mortgage for sale” to be on the bank’s form: with absolutely no negotiation.

    Thus the banks and each of the purchasers “in sequitur” accept the burden of overcoming any ambiguity in the contract –as is always true in the case of a “contract of adhesion”.

    Now – back to Brad Miller:

    Remember the birthday party game we played as children before the internet: where you followed your string rolling it up as you went to find your prize. Remember the parents trying to sort out tangled strings: it was wonderful!

    Brad has followed the yellow brick road and figured out that the banks are hopelessly conflicted by their own 2nd mortgages, et. al.

    Their being so conflicted is not so serious as their abject failure to disclose their conflicts.

    That is why this whole affair is a classic presentation of compartmentalized fraud.

    And the banks violate the prime directive of all trustees and fiduciaries: which is that thou shall not commingle the beneficiaries funds with your own or other persons’ money.

    The breach of trust committed by a bank which is conflicted by its own proprietary lending to a mortgage seller who simultaneously appears in the banks book of trust accounts may be a very serious breach indeed.

  26. OK–see this letter from the General Counsel upon my request to obtain a list, under the FOIA, of each and every security offered to a federal judge in their retirement plans.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/35846133/Judicial-Branch-Exempt-From-FOIA

    any other ideas how we can get the information?

  27. Unfortunately, from what Gretchen Morgenstern writes, I am still not convinced, for the following reasons:

    (1) Brad Miller, like every other Democrat, always wants to “create another agency” to solve the problem. Every time an agency is created, more tax dollars get spent on make-work positions that generally are given out as favors to someone connected with that politician’s constituency.

    (2) According to Morgenstern, and I don’t know how many of you caught this, “Unless we can make servicers modify mortgages through bankruptcy or eminent domain, the servicers are not going to reduce principle,” Mr. Miller, 57, said in a recent interview. “Their stance does seem largely driven by accounting concerns — they are trying to maintain the fiction that the mortgages are worth the value they are carrying them at on their books.”

    What part of this equation does Mr. Miller NOT understand?
    SERVICERS CANNOT MAKE LOAN MODIFICATIONS IF THEY DON’T OWN THE NOTES! Gobbledygook!

    (3) Come the marketing campaigns for this November, everyone’s got a “solution”. Typical politician doublespeak.
    Unfortunately, with the current power structure of “Frank” politicians in the House and “Dodd-gy” counterparts in the Senate, the current watered-down legislation is only going to exacerbate the situation because they cater to the banking lobbyists.

    I majored in political science in college, and I fault BOTH sides of the aisle for this mess. I am principally Libertarian, but there are things I even disagree with in their platform, especially when you pare away items in their agendas that conflict with the Constitution.

    Couple that with another attorney-President that doesn’t “get it” and come November, you’re going to have another lame-duck-two-year syndrome.

    The only thing that is going to change this mess is our court system. I did not say for better or for worse; but these justices also serve the Constitution and the interests of our citizens. God help us.

  28. STOP THE AMERICAN HOLOCAUST NOW

    NEILS APPROACH PLUS

    Here is an article in the latimes today

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-council-salaries-20100815,0,3183746.story

    NEVER AGAIN

    IT MUST BE DONE AT THE CITY LEVEL.

  29. Neil you are correct.. this is not about party affliation… this is about the future of our nation.

  30. THE AMERICAN ILLEGAL FORECLOSURE HOLOCAUST

    WE NEED TO ELIMINATE THESE BANKS AND CORRUPT POLTICIANS FROM OUR COMMUNITIES. LEARN THE LESSONS FROM THE CITY OF BELL. THEY TOLD THE POLITICIANS GET OUT BECAUSE YOU WILL DO IT AGAIN.

    THE CITY OF BELL IS STILL IN THE LATIMES AND ALL THE BLUE COLLAR CITIES ARE DOING THE SAME.

    THE SAME WITH THE BANKS THEY HAVE HAD A GOOD RUN FOR OVER 150 YEARS IT IS TIME TO LET THEM RENEW. THEY ARE CAUSING US TO GET FAT AND LAZY. I DONT MIND FAT BUT IT IS THE LAZY PART. JUST LIKE DRUGS.

    IT CAN BE DONE MUCH EASIER WITH CITY ORDINANCES AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF A CITY.

    TO BIG TO FAIL = TOTALITARIANISM COMMUNISM AND FASCISM

    NEVER AGAIN

  31. WE NEED TO APPLY CURRENT LAW AND PUT THESE CRIMINALS IN JAIL.

    WHILE I SUPPORT BRAD MILLERS BILL.

    ALL THESE PROPOSALS ARE LIKE ANY ADDICTED PERSON WHO IS PLAYING TRICKS ON HIM/HER SELF.

    WE WILL TAKE ANOTHER PILL TO FORGET THE PILL WE HAVE BEEN TAKING UNTIL NOW.

    NEVER AGAIN

  32. Neil – don’t you hate when I am the first one to comment??

    I agree – Brad Miller needs our support. His proposal is a good one. However, there are servicers that are not affiliated with the large banks – such as American Home Mortgage Servicing and Homeq (now being purchased by Ocwen) (see HAMP) for list.

  33. Dear Neal:

    I can’t believe you fell for this trick after all the good things and truths you have written about the decades of fraudulent banksters and politicians. With this one comment you have alienated so many hard working people, and, yes, tea party people like me, who understand the true nature of our country’s financial problems, are suffering this problems, and are determined to do something about it. It is ONLY Democrats who are suffering? Only Libertarians?

    Ken McLeod

    “Personally I have little in common with the tea party movement that consists mostly of people who voted for Bush and the republicans who created and enhanced this mess to unimaginable proportions — and then handed it over to the democrats with a smirk. “

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