Ten Million American Families Sliding Towards Foreclosure


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Forgiving the debtors is the right thing to do, Greider continues, “because the bankers have already been forgiven. The largest banks were in effect relieved of any guilt for their crimes of systemic fraud or for causing the financial breakdown—when the government bailed them out, no questions asked.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The answer that is obvious but nonetheless untrue is that if we forgive the borrowers then the financial system will collapse because nobody will be paying their bills. That answer assumes that the Banks have a loss from defaults which they don’t — at least not nearly as large as the numbers we have been seeing.

And I don’t think that anyone is really saying seriously the borrower “forgiveness” should be total. Everyone should share in this mess. But reality and practicality require that we do what WILL work rather than what SHOULD work in the mind of someone whose perspective is narrowed down to ideology. People are not going to stay and pay. Not if the investment is so far underwater that there is no hope. They lose hope when none is offerred.

So the only practical thing to do is reduce those balances which were bloated and untrue when the deal was made and which were the responsibility of the Banks to confirm, which they didn’t because they were not using their own money to lend. That is why I call it principal correction rather than reduction. It really isn’t forgiveness or reduction. It is just correcting the balance to reflect (a) what should have been done in the first place to value the property and (b) the current values which sure enough show that the Banks were all “wrong” when they rubber stamped or robo-signed approvals of appraisals.

Sherwood Ross
November 8, 2011

Of the 55-million families with mortgages, 10.4-million of them “are sliding toward failure and foreclosure”—a tragedy that will depress the U.S. housing market for years to come, a result of too many houses for sale and too few buyers.

That’s the blunt conclusion of distinguished economics journalist William Greider, to be published in an article in the November 14th issue of The Nation magazine.

America’s “Economic recovery will have to wait until that surplus (excess houses) is gone, because the housing sector has always led the way out of recession,” Greider says. “The more housing supply exceeds demand, the more prices fall. The more prices fall, the more families get sucked into the deep muddy. The vicious cycle is known in the industry as the death spiral. So far, there’s no end in sight.”

Greider says the solution is to forgive the debtors: “Write down the principal they owe on their mortgage to match the current market value of their home, so they will no longer be underwater. Refinance the loan with a reduced interest rate, so the monthly payment is at a level that the struggling homeowner can handle.”

Forgiving the debtors is the right thing to do, Greider continues, “because the bankers have already been forgiven. The largest banks were in effect relieved of any guilt for their crimes of systemic fraud or for causing the financial breakdown—when the government bailed them out, no questions asked.”

Far from a show of gratitude, Greider notes the response of the banks has been ugly. “Right now, these trillion-dollar institutions are methodically harvesting the last possible pound of flesh from millions of homeowners before kicking these failing debtors out of their homes—the story known as the ‘foreclosure crisis.’”

The largest and most powerful banks are standing in the way of the solution and the Obama administration “is standing with them,” Greider adds, “because bankers and other creditors would have to take a big hit if they were forced to write down the debt owed by borrowers. The banks would have to report reduced capital and their revenue would decline if homeowners were allowed to make smaller monthly payments.”

President Obama, he says, “seems to be playing a sly double game—protecting banks from sharing the pain while proclaiming sympathy for embattled homeowners.” Greider adds, “The government, in effect, has been sheltering banks from facing the hard truth about their condition.” Banks may be valuing mortgages or mortgage bonds at 85 cents on the dollar when their true market value is closer to 30 cents. “That strengthens the case for a general and orderly write-down now: if many of these loans aren’t ever going to be rapid, then the assets now claimed by the banks are imaginary.”

Greider quotes Stephen Roach, a Morgan Stanley economist and lecturer at the Yale University School of Manaagement, who says, “Some form of debt forgiveness would be a clear positive. Debt forgivness is a big deal when so many Americans are underwater and unable to keep up with their payments… With debt reduction, people would feel less reluctant to spend money on new things. If you can do that, then companies will feel more confident about future demand, less reluctant about hiring more workers.”

Roach believes the government can instruct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which hold some $1.5 trillion in housing loans or mortgage-backed securities, to take a write-down on their outstanding loans. “Then the government can put pressure on the banks to do the same thing. The banks will resist, but they have to go along if the government is forceful enough,” Roach says.

However, housing-finance expert Laurie Goodman, said the government is making it harder for homeowners to get new mortgages despite the sagging housing market. “Almost every single proposed government action has been aimed at further tightening credit availability,” she told the Senate Banking Committee last September.

With 25 million workers unemployed or underemployed, the President enjoys great popular support for pushing through a massive jobs bill, raising the minimum wage and shoveling money into the pockets of hard-pressed homeowners to help them pay their mortgages. Instead, as Greider says, Obama has been siding with the banks. Worse, he keeps squandering tax dollars on foreign wars opposed by the most Americans. There’s not much left over to stimulate the economy when the Pentagon has sucked up $800 billion in direct costs to wage war in Iraq with indirect costs, estimated by economist Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, at a staggering $4 trillion.

Sherwood Ross is a Miami-based public relations consultant “for good causes” who writes on political and military topics. Reach him at sherwoodross10@gmail.com

This article first appeared on the Global Research website.

35 Responses

  1. Unjust enrichment is a counterclaim not precisely an affirmative defense

  2. Louise

    If you go for Quiet Title — and it was a refinance — you MUST go back further than the current refinance. Prior discharges —- in great question — and would not be a subject of the Quiet Title.

  3. If you want to keep you house, you will have to sue for Quiet Title or if you lost the house, wrongful foreclosure. The chain of title is broken.

  4. Ian,

    There are also trustees for derivative contract holders — which may or may not be the same. But, derivative contract holders do not require a trustee — because they are not securities — but, rather contracts. Trustee — is then bogus.

    As to Jeff Barnes — he is absolutely correct — you get NOTHING during discovery — no matter how many times you say “PLEASE.” Why, because courts only care about — “You owe the money.” And, this is the courts fault —- they do not ask — you owe the money to WHO?????? — Some are — but, not enough courts.

    Insurance fraud is — criminal — no matter what type of insurance fraud it is — it is criminal. And, insurance fraud was/is rampant. And, that is the responsibility of the Department of Justice — who wants to sign away rights in a ridiculous settlement.

    This is the fault of government, Congress, the administration, and government agencies. They have allowed the fraud to continue — without investigation. In fact, they would rather that the issues be brought up in court — then before the agencies — because they know the courts are weak in enforcing discovery.

    That is the current game. Agencies WANT the issues in court — relying on courts to dispose of. Despite fact — that agencies are well aware of the fraud.

  5. James – was it fair to dole out 13 trillion via the Fed to rescue banks from themselves? Homeowners like me aren’t concerned about the big down payment I made, I was fortunate to have the means to do so. I am more than 100K underwater, and I don’t want to see my neighborhood go to hell, I don’t want to see more suffering. I do not want to see any family lose their home, they are not to blame. Fairness means lowering their burden, working out a deal, not more foreclosures, evictions, fraud and destruction, an bringing the Banksters to justice.

  6. ANONYMOUS- over at Jeff Barnes, Esq., site, he states that he has requested no less that 9 times during discovery, evidence? of payments made by insurors following “default” of the “loan”. To date, his requests have not been answered, not once. As you have stated often, insurance fraud has always been, and is still, illegal. Have you uncovered any evidence whatsoever in that regard?
    Barnes also touches on loans transferred out of bankrupt entities without the bk trustee’s approval, loans transferred years after the closing date of the trust, thereby violating and therefore invalidating the REMIC provisions of the PSA etc.
    Thanks for the clarification of the security investors versus the investors for the collection rights confusion, which is never addressed. Also, Neil here used to post about the trustee for the trust, versus the trustee for the certificate holders. No mention of that lately. Who’s on first?

  7. cubed2k


  8. and now we have this. Global Acceptance Company. GACC.

    Global Acceptance Credit Company (GACC) is a purchaser, servicer and reseller of distressed consumer debt. GACC was formed in 1997 and is based in Arlington, Texas. The company purchases credit card, consumer loans and auto deficiency portfolios and liquidates these through both collections and re-sales.

    We regularly purchase consumer debt portfolios from a variety of originators and resellers and offer these portfolios for resale. Our inventory includes credit card, student loan, consumer loan, and auto deficiency portfolios, at all levels from fresh to warehouse both in-statute and out-of-statute. We will stratify any portfolio by state or region and work with all levels of client companies from the smallest collection agency or law firm to large resellers.



    I ask, any mention of the legal aspects of all this, any “ASSIGNMENTS” of debt…………………

    It is all BS. And it is all written above to never tell you your legal rights. It sounds all legal. It is a racket. It is all a business model hoping dumb americans do not know anything about the court system and civil codes and proceedures and all based on the fact that americans do not respond to summons and complaints for contract breeches 95% of the time because they just do not know. Or must hire a lawyer for more than the debt is worth……………….which is created from nothing to begin with,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,oh my god.

  9. Seriously, there is no redemption for the homeowners. I have done everything in my power to stop my foreclosure, Qualified Written Request, Loan modifications, even asking for the “blue ink” copy of the promissory note (that’s a joke). It has all turned into a big joke.
    My home was bought January of 2007 and sold to Wall Street Investors on February 9, 2007 under SEC CWABS 2007-2. Yes, I found my loan number in there big as day. No one can produce the promissory note, but I live in Texas so guess what, the home is being auctioned off on December 6, 2011. Recontrust is holding foreclosure auction for Bank of America Servicer for The Bank of New York as Trustee for the certificateholders of CWABS Inc., asset-backed certificates series 2007-2 who is (now can I have a drum roll please)? THE MORTGAGEE OF THE NOTE AND DEED OF TRUST associated with the above referenced loan Bank of America N.A., as the Mortgage Servicer is representing the Mortgagee, whose address is 400 Countrywide Way, Simi Valley, CA 93065. The mortgage servicer is allowed to represent the mortggee by virtue of a servicing agreement with the mortgagee. (Pooling Service Agreement) that I never got to see and the deception of selling my mortgage less than 2 weeks after I bought it. No stopping the banks, and why should I have to pay somebody to keep my own home that the bank does not own?
    Let Bank of America take the home and foreclose on it illegally. Nothing is going to stop them. Let’s put someone in jail for a misdemeanor charge but lets let the banks rob american’s blind and never suffer or reap any consequences for their actions.

  10. see it is my opinion that they, the banks, big global banks, used credit cards as the testing ground and implemented the term “debt collectors” so as to confuse and get agreement or acceptance by people in general, and that has been going on for a few decades now, and once that was established, and laws lobbied to change it all,

    why they, big global banks moved into mortages, got glass-stegall removed, game on. It’s all about monthly payments and keeping people in debt, keeping monthly payments at a level so as to keep people paying a monthly fee, a toll booth, cash flow. With mortgages, it’s a little harder to get one’s wits around,,,,,,,,,,,but that’s what I think.

  11. @anonymous.

    it’s an affirmative defense, but how does one get there?

    affirmative defense being ‘unjust enrichment”

    “Unjust enrichment has three elements. First, the plaintiff must have provided the defendant with something of value while expecting compensation in return. Second, the defendant must have acknowledged, accepted, and benefited from whatever the plaintiff provided. Third, the plaintiff must show that it would be inequitable or unconscionable for the defendant to enjoy the benefit of the plaintiff’s actions without paying for it. A court will closely examine the facts of each case before awarding this remedy and will deny claims for unjust enrichment that frustrate public policy or violate the law.

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/unjust-enrichment#ixzz1dGW6IQ3g



    So if a bank lent me money, via a loan or credit card. I defaulted. They wrote off, then sold the debt for pennies on the dollar. Person who bought the debt is only out pennies on the dollar. But yet they try to get the debtor to pay for the whole amount. Their profit being what was original owed minus what they paid for it less expenses. Person who bought the debt has No contract with debtor and there was no actual assignment between original creditor and person who bought the debt for pennies on the dollar. That would be unjust enrichment.


    “The debtor must be notified when a debt is assigned so that he or she will know who to make payments to and where to send them. If the debtor sends payments to the old creditor after the debt has been assigned, it is likely that the payments will not be accepted, which could cause the debtor to unintentionally default. Also, when a debtor receives such a notice, it is a good idea for him or her to verify that the new creditor has recorded the correct total balance and monthly payment for the debt owed.

  12. James

    Addendum: 2% interest gets applied retroactively to calculate the principal paydowns and the negative interest and to the past due payments. The sham penalties and foreclosure mill “services” get wiped out. 2% ongoing. Investors might like to get 2% today. Everything else is crashing or will crash and mbs is at the root of it…. that is if there was ever a “mortgage” which there wasn’t. Where is there a “leader” who can tell it like it is to the American people. I’ll vote for him or her. A handful of AG’s and a few in the mainstream press are starting to get it. Impeach everyone and fill their spots with those who can impose the rule of law.

  13. Oh — and one more thing —- lets say you are one of the homeowners that are paying — not in foreclosure — and you have RESPA and TILA violations that you allege —- who are are you going to bring those RESPA and TILA violations against??? The security investors???? Absolutely not.

    Is Mr. Garfield saying that all violations are to be alleged against the security investors — even if you are paying??? ie — those under-water that are still paying??? This would be tossed out of court in an instant.

    Why??? the security investors ARE NOT the lender, not the mortgagee, and not the creditor.

  14. cubed2k

    YES. And, the banks were debt buyers — and then they had proprietary trading with subsequent debt buyers.

    Leave the security investors out of it. Sure — they lost interest rate investment income (could no longer earn 14%) — but they were never YOUR lender, never your creditor, never your mortgagee, never your debt collector, and NOT currently foreclosing on your home!!!!!

    Absolutely absurd to think otherwise.

  15. James

    Thinking all mortgages should get marked down to the same loan to value of the current mortgage using todays comaparable sale price. Then subtract pincipal payments made on the current loan and add negative interest as in option arms. For instance if you had a 100% loan it would be 100% of today’s value. If your loan amount increased because of negative interest it might be 110% or so of today’s value. If you had a 50% ltv loan it would be 50% of today’s value. If you paid an 80% loan to value down to 40% of original loan it would be 40% of today’s value.

    Only problem is securitized mortgages aren’t even linked to the true beneficiary anymore if they ever were and even the payments may not have reached that party. Means all new paper just covers up the true fraud and the homeowners sign off on it and keep paying the interloper fraudster under threat of losing a home as if the debt is secured by a home which it isn’t.. Nobody agreed to pay debt buyers. How this gets fixed is beyond me. Maybe everyone with a mortgage should just pay taxes and insurance and those without mortgages get a stimulus bonus, those who were illegally foreclosed get homes back and or restitution and the big banks can just be allowed to fail. They have already failed if the true accounting ever gets disclosed. Their other massive gains are illgotten and they should go to jail and pay up. Can’t help wondering what exactly would happen in that senario. Are too many fixed income funds now tied up in debt buyer relationships that have nothing to do with the house? Let them sue the banks. Maybe there is enough illgotten gains to go around. The real deal at signing means the signer “maker” sold the note. They are owed the profits not the strawmen. It’s been paid many times over.

  16. @anonymous,

    “With investors — it is a different story. They are the parties that own collection rights — and they are the parties that hide during a foreclosure action.
    BIG distinction between security investors and investors.”

    Yes, I get it. The media likes to leave out “security”.

    I suppose you can liken investors to junk debt buyers of defaulted credit card debt or student loans or auto loans. And the junk debt buyers actually call themselves “debt collectors” but they no collect for another, they collect for themselves. Whereas, security investors bought ABS credit card debt, ABS auto loans, etc from banks.

  17. @Allessandro

    I actually find this line in that zero hedge article you posted below very interesting:

    “In the decision to buy a home, as in any investment decision, it is very important to distinguish between levels and changes”

    You see,,,,,,,,,,,,in the decision to buy a home, as in any INVESTMENT decision………………..

    Let’s see, most people buy homes because they want to own them, and after 30 years why they no pay rent. Now I also think most people figured if they had to move because of jobs or whatever, why they could sell and not get a loss, but maybe some profit figuring in inflation and all. And that was the way it was until Wall Street entered the home mortgage game.

    Now maybe one thinks what about flippers, well, those guys did exchange somewhat, they painted, did some fix up’s, they added value. Nothing wrong with that.

    Well lets see housing is down 50% and in my area 70%———-thank you inflation and thank you Federal Reserve for price stability.

    Who has profited handsomely from all this in the modern world of financial engineering? And let’s see, since American’s are wiped out financially and now have no credit,,,,,,,,why the rich swoop in and the rich get richer. And the rich are not in debt, but their corporations may be in debt.

    I am not hating corporations or good ceo’s, you know which ones I am talking about.


  19. If people cannot understand the difference between security investors and investors/creditors — we lose the battle.

  20. meant — “NOT being able to realize the high interest rates — the bank “loan owners” pledged to them

  21. Alessandro Machi,

    You have to separate security investors from investors. Security investors are NOT the creditor — not the lender — not the mortgagee — and have nothing to do with loan ownership. Security investors lost “interest rate” income by by being able to realize the high interest rates — the bank “loan owners” pledged to them — on the home-buyers back. Security investors are entitled to nothing but current cash pass-through on bank owned receivables (whether off or on balance sheet).

    With investors — it is a different story. They are the parties that own collection rights — and they are the parties that hide during a foreclosure action.

    BIG distinction between security investors and investors.

  22. James,

    First of all — the subprime loans were nearly 100% refinances — not new home purchases. Nevertheless, the real fraud is in the bank loans — not the Freddie/Fannie loans — who the government now wants to help. These F/F loans are victims of a falling economy — but— not necessarily of fraud. It is those fraudulent bank loans — that were former GSE loans — that fraudulently became “bank” loans — that are being ignored — with no aid whatsoever. That is the fraud that remains — NOT investigated.

    And, if it makes your heart feel better — these victims are willing to file for BK — in order to have the fraud exposed and their loans “CORRECTED.” I do not think accepting BK is the choice of most Americans — but, it is the choice of many victims who cannot otherwise be heard.

    Victims of fraud — should be helped FIRST — before victims of the down-turned economy — which, by the way, is not only due to the housing crisis — but, rather, was caused long before by the giving away of American industry.

  23. This idea to write down debt to the current value is extremely unfair to those who paid large down payments. Because of their hard-earned money poured into a home, they are not considered underwater. How about writing down ALL mortgages in the amount of the difference between the fraudulent (inflated) appraisal and current value, PLUS any down payment amount paid?

    If the bailout money had been given to the homeowners instead of the banks, none of us would be worried about losing our homes or that they are a bad investment, deserving of strategic default.

  24. Joann, I have an article on Swarm the Banks that identifies how much has been lost in home equity since 2007. http://swarmthebanks.blogspot.com/2011/10/hat-tip-to-zero-hedge-for-exposing.html

  25. Thanks anonymous. The irony in your answer, which I agree with whole heartedly, is that this comes down to greed. Instead of taking the sure investment and a smaller profit, the pension fund managers and apparently even our own government wanted MORE profits instead.

    But now everybody is afraid to upset the investors who wanted MORE and say too them, too bad but your non-guaranteed investment got shafted. Instead, they are trying to say that very thing to the homeowner who just assumed their own government or the federal reserve was backing their mortgage.

    Wall street, the banks and our own government are trying to tell the homeowner too bad, YOU GOT shafted, and they are doing the shafting by not allowing the homeowner to restructure their debts unless they are placed in default first.

    This is just outrageous.

    The homeowner in most instances assumed the government or the federal reserve was watching their back, when it appears both the government and the federal reserve had bailed and gone to the back of the wall street securitization buffet line.

    The immediate answer to all of this is to allow the homeowner to restructure their mortgage debt WITHOUT being placed into default first.

  26. Justice is what we want. The banks need to get their asses kicked. If we, the People, committed these crimes of fraud, RICO, and perjured and forged documents, we would go to jail. The banksters need to go to jail, and nobody is going to be happy until they do. It is slowly getting closer. Do not give up!

  27. Pushing up the minimum wage will cause greater amounts of layoffs. Businesses are struggling. I had to lay off all my employees and run my business by myself and my husbands help whom is on medical leave at home due to rectal cancer surgery, so I am here thirteen hours a day only because I close an hour earlier now. Already hurting businesses will not be able to pay higher wages and higher taxes.

  28. And good ol boy Mit Romney states we the people and our government should all just let the cards fall and let the government rent out our houses. I will do everything to make sure he does not become president.

  29. You never hear the figures for the total number who have already foreclosed since mid 2006. Peaks occurred in 2005 in many areas and flippers (investors, realtors – people with money – not owners who just kept paying until broke many now for years still in toxic products) started handing in the keys a few months after that. . Can’t find the info online even. Quarter by quarter would be interesting. Anyone have this? I think it is about 10 million already foreclosed added to the 10.4 mentioned in this article as on the way. CNBC says 50% of all mortgages are underwater now. Overlooked in this data also is the number of Americans affected. A single mortgage represents not only single people but also couples, families and extended families. It’s a lot of people. It’s a lot of votes. Congress and all the rest have no clue it is this bad. Banker press has won the spin game. No one gets the servicer nightmare sham and the fraudclosure nightmare sham until they miss a payment for any reason. Eyes open then. The same fraud exists for people paying on time. They should question where their payments have been going.


    SINCE 1997/1998

    1031 EXCHANGES


    as long as ‘GRANTEE’ Assigns and/or Successors ‘Exchange Title’ inside ‘TITLE EXCHANGE’

    Title Commitment Issued First
    Appraisal 2nd
    Attach consumer to existing bond held by Indenture Trustee third
    Record in Land Record First Party who benefitted moving promissory note sale back to Indenture Trustee c/o Qualfied Intermediaries RELS WFHM Freddie Office of President Institutional Des Moines Iowa and RELS Correspondent LENDING ‘Fannie’ Minneapolis MN

    “Among other steps, the Nevada law makes it a felony—and threatens to hold individuals criminally liable—for making false representations concerning real estate title. Individuals are also subject to civil penalties of $5,000 for each violation.”


  31. Marie

    Credit to you – too — for asking the right question!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Excellent piece from Alessandro Machi.

    The answer is, Alessandro, because the Wall Street securitization was earning a much higher rate than other government bonds — and Freddie/Fannie loans. Thus, even Freddie/Fannie wanted in on these high yielding mortgage securities — wanted in enough to let their loans go to Wall Street — and then F/F would purchase the securities. Questions about how F/F did this — and insurance — is the real issue that has not been investigated.

    Government is now talking about principal reductions on current F/F loans — due to high amount of borrowers under-water. Government can not order Wall Street to do the same. And, there can be no principal reductions — which MUST be a new contract — on Wall Street loans because no one knows who currently holds collection rights acquired by derivatives and other means. To divulge the current creditor would open numerous “investor” lawsuits by the debt buyer derivative holders and other third party contract holders. This would go against the deregulation laws that were implemented — and, in fact, fueled the entire financial crisis.

    If Freddie or Fannie is not your current investor — NO ONE is going to tell you who your current investor (creditor) is. This has nothing to do with security investors — as they are not the investor/creditor.

    Further, although something is now in talks in government regarding F/F — what about all those who are not current — or have already lost their home to foreclosure fraud. It is unthinkable that some will be saved from likely imminent foreclosure — and others — who are already victims — will not be helped.

    The only way those in foreclosure — or those that have already lost their homes — will be helped is by a complete investigation of the fraud — which the DOJs and government have failed to do. Not only did Wall Street get “relief” — but they have been isolated from investigation. Why?? because Congress allowed deregulation by repeal of the Glass-Steagall — and passage of the Futures Modernization Act.

    Principal reduction/correction cannot be achieved without disclosure of the current investor/creditor. Congress did enact an amendment to the TILA (and Fed Res Opinion that defines “creditor”- now codified as Rule to the Act) — that mandates that the actual creditor be identified. All are ignoring — and continuing to conceal — even before courts. Trying to negotiate with someone who is not your creditor/investor is worthless.

    So, Mr. Garfield — how do you propose a principal (correction) reduction – which must be a new contract — on the millions of loans that are not Fannie/Freddie — and in which the investor/creditor is unknown??? Unless it is recognized that security investors are NOT the investor/creditor — we can never achieve a valid principal reduction on Wall Street orchestrated “loans.”

  33. Part of the problem here is Obama and the general all around government is trying to let the banks slide out from under their crimes. How can you modify a payment for a mortgage that was fraudulently induced. Fraud in a contract, voids the contract.

    By the way, does anybody know about serving Citibank or CitiMortgage as trustee for MLMI2006-HE-5? It appears that Citi entities are trying a new tack–not answering lawsuits, nor providing documents to clients.

  34. I wrote a piece on swarm the banks that asks a question I don’t think has been asked before in regards to the home mortgage controversies.


  35. A mortgage, the reduced principal of which is owed to whom?

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