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Her new book “Reckless Endangerment” is a good read. Gretchen was amongst the first to drill down on the mortgage meltdown and expose numerous illegal practices of lenders and foreclosers (different parties, as we know). In many ways she has led the way for other journalists who bothered to take the time and really look at the crisis instead of carrying Wall Street’s spin. Buy her book — it’s available on Amazon and Kindle.

That said, Gretchen has not fully embraced the entire picture — probably because she is not a lawyer and lawyers she might have interviewed would have been reluctant to state outright what we already know: that the mortgages were defective, fabricated instruments that the homeowners were tricked into signing without all the terms being disclosed anywhere at the closing or before it. She hasn’t done much yet to dispel the myth that the homeowners have a moral duty to repay a valid debt.

It isn’t a valid debt and the moral decision of whether to pay is an individual one based upon the circumstances of each homeowner, most of whom were tricked mostly by the lender’s endorsement of a false appraisal on the home leading the homeowner-borrower and the investor-lender to believe that the property was worth more than the debt. The moral duty myth has been flipped on its head.

Nobody would say that the investors have a moral duty to take the loss from this scheme, so why say that the homeowners have a moral duty to accept the loss? It wasn’t their idea.

Slowly but surely though Gretchen has been evolving into a full understanding of the issues, so give her time. She is persistent and thorough. Her analysis and commentary is precise and well-reasoned.

16 Responses

  1. CEA,

    Thanks — and have some other avenues.

    Am continually plugging.

    Situation is extremely serious.

  2. I don’t understand why it is not at issue that in order to apply for HAMP you were REQUIRED to discontinue payments. I did not care about the value of my home or it’s inflated appraisal that came at the hands of ‘foreclosure threats’ by overzealous employees and the bonus bucks for turning soft money into hard. (It is my HOME, not a get rich quick endeavor.) In doing so, I refinanced out of fear of loss of my home of 34 years and although it was required that I pay off the soft money ‘revolving credit’ that I found were owned by my mortgage company, knowing I had PLENTY of equity I used the opportunity to repair/replace roofs gutters doors. HOWEVER, upon realization that these needed repairs & upgrades were ill advised because my house was no where near the appraised value, this was a loss that I incurred at the hands of the greedy banks manipulations, lies, & non disclosures. Fast forward to the reality of the loan product that was a calculated scheme to acquire the home, following the loss of equity, AND then benefit from the upgrades and improvements I invested, HOW IN THE HELL does it reasonably lead to ANY discussion that I GOT or would stand to get ANYTHING for free!! It boggles the mind. Add to that the continuing process in which bogus fees, costs, and ultimate loss in the legal fight give weight to ANY, much less all discussions centered on everyone but ME. Just because the bank attorney claims I defaulted, did nothing, and ultimately am a deadbeat riding on a clerical technicality I bear the brunt entirely. I DID NOTHING WRONG! After months and months of flat out lies, ignoring all requests for information and accountability, hidden fees and costs, legal expenses and ruined credit, (not to mention the 69K bogus proof of claim that ruins me via IRS), I am excluded from supposed solutions. Now that of course does not include the loan mod rip offs I paid, plus the attorney fees to defend my interest in the property which has lead to Deutsche (trustee for who, I still don’t know) winning in summary judgement THEN assigning their attorney fees to me. This is the sickest tangle of manipulation and lies I can imagine and with that said, why should I jump up and down at any fines to billionaire perps that represent a grain of sand on an endless desert when my life’s work has been obliterated. It is not warm and fuzzy to hear the two loan mod frauds that I paid and helped the AG prosecute and collect (massively), because it is being suggested to benefit low income housing. Just not me. The investors who will hold it for the bond advantages of developing the property I sacrificed and invested in for 35 years stand behind these front men who have the gall to speak of ‘free houses’ and defaulted loans when I was told I was approved and only needed needed voluntarily dismiss my bk filing to complete the process. After a year in court they claim to have sold it the very next day. They let me continue paying my attorney over a year beyond the supposed sale which disposes me of fair access to the courts too. That represents 7K additional payments plus filing for zero! These people are Insane and after this nightmare, I can’t be sure I’m not as well!

  3. Anonymous, try
    and click on “Send an email to Gretchen”

    Don’t forget to remind her that profit or loss is the result of calculated business risks. If it was not professionally ‘calculated’, it was gambling.

  4. Little more information — real estate tax services hired by mortgage servicers to pay escrow property taxes to township — and process default taxes. Who authorized??

    And, who held/holds large stakes in these “tax services” — the very entities that report on you for credit reporting — and compose your credit score — Experian and Equifax hold stake. .

    One of the best ways to keep borrowers in fraudulent debt — is to report them as delinquent — whether or not you really are. And, before you really were. And, these credit reports are loaded with errors. Will report current status inaccurately — by burying paid accounts in the “comments” section — – not the required status field. Comments section not utilized by FICO. Paid?? when??? Closed?? when — and by who??? Collateral?? warning on credit reports.

    And, was ever any prior refinance or debt ever really reported as paid off?? Credit -reporting agencies — just do not know — oh – those confusing fields. Contact the lender they say.

    BUT —you say — WHAT lender??? The one you (Equifax/Experian) report on ?? Not the lender — you forgot to put — “collection rights sold.”

    Memorial Day weekend. Thoughts and prayers to all veterans and their families. Freedom — that is what you fight/fought for — for us. Much thanks.

    Freedom from the banks wrath?? the fight is difficult — a different battle. Peace?? not with the current control.

  5. SERVICERS — FOR WHO???? The bank –or……your neighborhood unfriendly hedge fund/debt buyer.

  6. Maybe should see Dylan. Someone else may have already posted this video — if not — see —

    “Dylan Ratigan: Foreclosure Fraud Whistleblowers Speak Out”

    Whistleblowers (must work for the company) have much to possibly gain — given the new law. Let ’em come —

  7. Forget it — Gretchen was a stockbroker — allegiance??

  8. How do you get in touch with Gretchen??

    Ready to spill.

  9. We are omitting a key fact: Money changing is a business, homeownership is not.

    Good point cea

    Hardly equal bargaining positions

  10. Right on, CEA!

  11. .
    “…homeowners have a moral duty to accept the loss?

    We are omitting a key fact: Money changing is a business, homeownership is not.

    TRUE Business is about taking calculated risks, based on common business practices.
    Homeowners are usually not skilled in the art of assessing business risks.
    Because of asymmetry of knowledge and skills, customers have a reasonable expectation not to be ripped-off by “reputable” money brokers.

    However, Money changers tell their investors, the folks with clean money: “You knew that there was a risk, you took the risk, tough luck, your money is my money; no liability here. That’s all there is to it”.

    In order to restore a productivity based economy, isn’t it time for the borrowers, to say the same thing?
    1.YOU GOT THE MONEY, TWICE (at least).
    2.Anything else is fraudulent unjust enrichment adding even more counts to already numerous RICO charges.

    It was the PROFITABLE “risk” by the money changers which is central to the issue of moral.

  12. ANONYMOUS—(or anyone that might know):

    I want to file Chap 7 and treat the false “mortgage” like the unsecured debt that it is (the servicer has no proof of conveyance to a trust—or even that the trust still exists and all my statements say ‘debt collector’)—so do I just ignore the fact that it says “mortgage” on my credit report?

  13. I would have paid if I had known who to pay but I refused to pay imposters. What’s moral about that? That’s intimidation seems like. The blackmailers will let you keep your house (for now) if you pay. I knew that was no longer true as they put me in “default ” three times in a little more than a year, even though I paid every month. Morality has nothing to do with this when you don’t know who legitimately owns the “debt.”

  14. Please add me to your email list so I can get your daily postings. Thank you.

  15. […] Source: Livinglies’s Weblog […]

  16. We need a few more like Neil and Gretchen , please continue to spill the beans. Do not give up until someone significant who created this mess goes to jail.

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