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Saturday, Dec 3, 2011 7:00 AM MST

Foreclosure battle: A new hope

As Occupy gears up for a foreclosure campaign, state attorneys general show backbone in tussle over bank fraud

Curtis Jones stands in front of his two-story townhouse in Delray Beach

Curtis Jones stands in front of his two-story townhouse in Delray Beach, Fla., in October 2010. Seven years ago, Jones took out a mortgage with Countrywide Financial Corp to buy his home. The company has now launched foreclosure proceedings against him. Jones has fought for more than a year to keep his home from being foreclosed.  (Credit: Joe Skipper / Reuters)

This week, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley sued five of the biggest banks in the country – including Bank of America, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo – for alleged foreclosure fraud.

As the New York Times noted, the move “diminishes the likelihood of a comprehensive settlement between the banks and federal and state officials to resolve foreclosure improprieties.”

And Coakley’s suit comes just as Occupy Wall Street organizers are planning a campaign focusing on the foreclosure crisis that will likely feature eviction defenses, protests at banks and the like. The Occupy Our Homes project is launching on Tuesday.

But the foreclosure crisis can be dizzyingly complex, and the issue is still opaque to many Americans who have not been directly affected. For an update on what’s going and to get context on the Coakley suit, I spoke to Alan White, a visiting professor at Tulane law school who has written widely on the foreclosure crisis.

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Justin Elliott
Justin Elliott is a Salon reporter. Reach him by email at jelliott@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin  More Justin Elliott

 

9 Responses

  1. Go, Martha!
    Now whats the matter with the rest of you AG’s? Sam Olens, you are a traitor, and a disappointment. You fooled me once, but you won’t get a second opportunity, pal. All that talk about criminal prosecution of the bankers involved in fraudulent foreclosures evaporated once you got your foot in the door, and your wallet stuffed with banker campaign donations, I guess. Enjoy your job while you can, because you’re out of there at shift change.
    God bless and watch over Martha Coakley! Keep the faith, people.

  2. So what”money” is this we’re all talking about anyhow?I gather most if not all who post/read here are aware of that little”problem”.We have not HAD any”money” since ???? ~some insist even before 1913…I suspect maybe we lost the Original jurisdiction and united States with the 1st Emergency War powers Act(always an act,eh?) and we are a separate so called shadow government,a Corporation and it’s related to the District of Columbia vs the rest of the country,fed employees vs all others?So much information it takes a scholar to sift through the info/misinfo/disinfo…some truth but now all and nothing but…I concur with Chris;indeed,a LITTLE bit of truth is a very very dangerous thing…I have been unable to settle down my energy fields for over a week,on edge;but then out-O-U-T of this so called”money” no work no hope a little change so why not be”edgy”? Where is the light at the end of this tunnel?

    I have a friend whom I used to work fort from time to time.She was born in the Ukraine.She is educated in both Europe and America and built a business for herself from ground up.Her statement to me is that it is exactly like it was under the communist regime…just a polite veneer over it…for now.I try to push that out of my mind but having observed and read and questioned….

    I have no bank account left,never rang up credit card debt.A 10 year old vehicle,need to renew lie-sense by end of the month,insurance due,etcetera.Gas and electric about to be turned off barring a miracle.Did not and do not intend to apply for”government assistance/aka Socialist Serve Us-es…maybe”pride” they say..well,ya’ think????Will be 60-if I don’t up and die before the month’s end…eyesight is needing some haaaalp,dental haaaalp…house in foreclosure BUT now a notice of “Independent Foreclosure Review” from the bank/Citimortgage pursuant to enforcement actions April 13 2011… a consent order with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency,the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS)!!!;so called independent BUREAUS of the U.S. Department of the Treasury….OR the Board of Governors of the FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM…..the investigation applies if the “customer” incurred financial injury and should receive compensation or other remedy due to errors,MISREPRESENTATION, or other deficiencies in the foreclosure process during the period 1/1/2009 to 12/31/2010……sent via CitiMortgage… my children’s father has this mortgage in his name I am not listed on it;he stopped paying as of last August.He left the family.Battling the irs,lost in the delusion that he will”win” via the Constitutional constraints upon our government…

    a long story.I have lost hope per work@anything that approaches “enough” but that is emotion…maybe…maybe reality…?

    I am attempting to hold to Hope against impossibilties…maybe I have long since lost any contact with this reality which strikes me as altogether,unreal…I know I’m not alone in that…warmest regards to all who are still striving toward Truth and Justice and Liberty…may God Bless…I’m beginning to lose it methinks…it’s supposed to snow here tonight,1st of the season…2-4…we’ll see…I’m simmering the turkey carcass without the usual aromatics and that broth/stock is starting to smell like heaven…empty belly a lot these days,like millions…wherefore art thou,America…????Off to do more research and gnash teeth,wring hands…wish it were NECKS!!!Ooooops…just sayin’…:(

  3. Friends of mine who are way underwater on their home but not ever late on payments were recently contacted by Bank of America and they are now going to refinance their mortgage and lower their interest rate. I told them they are only doing that because you have an original Countrywide mortgage and they do not have any of your original paperwork and so they are trying to get you to do this so they can establish new documents and proper chain of title going forward. They just looked at me and said, but they are lowering our interest rate. But I could tell they were thinking, you lost your house to foreclosure, were evicted, had your possessions thrown in the trash, then had the foreclosure rescinded by the bank and now your house is sitting there empty and Freddie Mac says they own it and Bank of America, Freddie Mac and Orlans Associates won’t answer calls, e-mails, letters or Qualified Written Requests. The OCC has been investigating our complaint for 6 months and still no reply. You have signed a lease to rent another house, they ruined your credit, etc. They know the whole story, yet they are going to sign anyway!

  4. chris—because the media is OWNED by the BANKS…and the government is OWNED by the BANKS…we are on our own!!!

  5. You know enrgaged: I cannot fathom why this stuff is not all over the media outlets. For me, this scam is the biggest in history.

    Nothing compares to this fraud on an entire nation of people.

    The cover up is everywhere. WOW!

  6. @chris,

    That’s been a gripe of mine for quite a while now: how on earth can banks still show profits when the rest of the world is gasping for air? And why do nabers still get obscene bonuses for such a job “well done”!

    It’s moving though. And I love the idea of I.R.S. getting involved…

  7. “Dizzyingly complex” and also extremely simple:

    Third party debt collectors are getting away with stealing houses. That’s pretty damn simple.
    And TOTALLY CRIMINAL.

  8. After reading the Salon article and the blogs, my comment is this: For those of you who sit silent and blame homeowners, you too are guilty of living the lie. You get what you deserve. Not wanting to know the truth, the WHOLE truth is hurting you. This systematic fraud and failure could not continue without the silence of millions of people who want to sit at home and make believe it is somehow not related to them and not their problem. If people bought more than they could afford, how is it the banks are not broke, foreclosures are at a record high and the houses are selling at .$30-.$50 cents on a dollar? How could that be and the bank still be in business? Use your heads people, that’s what you have a brain for.

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