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Editor’s Comment: 

National Notary Association to take Up Issue of  Forgery, Robosigning and attesting to authority in corporate capacity.  Arizona’s Ken Bennett, Secretary of State, is among the officials leading the charge on this issue.

Notary Trade Group: Foreclosure Fraud Crisis Highlights Need For Legal, Trusted, Ethical Notarizations

Posted: 21 Apr 2012 09:07 PM PDT

The National Notary Association recently announced:

§ With the foreclosure ‘robo-signing’ crisis and the National Mortgage Settlement sending shockwaves through America’s mortgage industry, three nationally prominent Secretaries of State will convene a special Keynote Panel at the National Notary Association’s 34th Annual Conference this June to discuss the growing demand for trusted, legal notarizations, and what Notaries need to do to increase public protections and reduce liability risks.

§ Secretaries of State Elaine Marshall of North Carolina, Beth Chapman of Alabama, and Ken Bennett of Arizona are at the forefront of developments transforming the role of Notaries Public. Their insights will be a highlight of Conference 2012 — especially in light of mounting nationwide concerns over notarial compliance and risk management.

§ We are pleased that these three influential Secretaries — all of whom are among the top minds in notarial issues — will join us to address the nation’s Notaries and their employers during this critical time,” said NNA President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas A. Heymann.

§ The foreclosure crisis put the spotlight squarely on the high value of legal and ethical notarizations. These Secretaries will provide their perspectives on what needs to be done to strengthen the notarial process and avoid these types of financial crises.”

For more, see Secretaries of State to Address Notary Compliance, Liability, Consumer Protection Following National Mortgage Settlement(Distinguished State Leaders Will Convene Keynote Panel at the National Notary Association’s 2012 Conference in San Diego).

31 Responses

  1. I just signed the petition “National Notary Association: Remove LSI/LPS Speakers from their National Conference” on Change.org.

    It’s important. Will you sign it too? Here’s the link:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/national-notary-association-remove-lsi-lps-speakers-from-their-national-conference

    Thanks!

  2. @Enraged: MERS is just a database to facilitate endless counterfeiting of fiat$$$

  3. @ lan

    “Ian, on April 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm said:
    iwantmynpv- so you were at the bar mitzvah with tnharry? I thought i saw you over there stuffing your pockets with those little smoked fish things. I was doing okay until I found that matzoh ball in my borscht, so I went to the BBQ joint and loaded up on pork instead.”

    You guys are off the hook 🙂

  4. Understood Shelley. You mean we’re not in Kansas anymore? Amerika….the once beautiful….amber waves of genetically modified…..

  5. Here is a video on just how your social security number makes you owned and sold at the stock market. And instructions of how to Check this out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4f6_pehQ60&feature=fvwp&NR=1

  6. E.Tolle, dont take it personally tolle, the rule of law is becoming road kill and does not stand with all judges. We will all pray your judge goes by the rule of law. Then your good.

  7. Write to Mr. Schneiderman, regarding editorial in today’s NY newspaper (see below).

    Mr. Schneiderman, we do not care about fraud against security investors, the “investors” in the fraudulent (subprime) debt are the culprits that have destroyed our lives. You had the opportunity to pursue the fraud against the parties that perpetrated the fraud, and instead, you settled, leaving us to fend for ourselves in courts of law that are clueless — because you settled instead of pursuing investigation, thus, continued concealment of the real fraud. .

    Your office, and the Department of Justice, have been given mounds of evidence regarding the fraud. We resent that you settled, and your settlement does nothing for us — except, maybe, continue the fraud by bogus loan modifications for the very few.

    What services can you possibly provide, that does not continue the fraud?? We needed you to stand firm. You did not.

    Eventually, the fraud that you did not investigate, will be exposed.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/attacking-foreclosure-crisis-article-1.1067516

  8. Well, E.Tolle–if I saw you, I’d hand out a few granola bars to you—honest!

  9. @ tnharry, by alleging fraud with particularity, I would hope to defeat the lack of standing on my part. I’m guessing since there’s undeniable fraud involved, including obfuscation alongside perjury, I should be able to challenge the assignments, asking for nullification. If the judge is in a good mood and the planets are aligned, that is. And if that doesn’t happen, I’ll be tying balloon animals in Kroger’s parking lot on weekdays, on the weekends holding a cardboard sign by the freeway “will give useless legal advice for food”.

  10. @e tolle – that’s a little too vague to comment on. what would be the remedy you would ask the court to declare? as for the assignments, I wonder if you might have an issue with your own standing, depending on how you set things up. for instance, if Bank A assigned the same thing to B and C, then B and C may have arguably been damaged by the multiple assignments, but you might have a hard time demonstrating damages or standing to litigate that issue.

  11. @ tnharry, you said, “the judge does not act as a detective investigating all aspects of the case…”

    I’m thinking of asking for a declaratory judgment seeing as how I have assignments purporting to show Bank A to Bank B, then Bank A to Bank C and further manglings. I’d be asking for proof of “valuable consideration” and a declaration on that. Any thoughts? Is this something that would be considered in the realm of reasonable i.e. grantable requests? Any perceivable downfalls?

  12. “Somewhere in Europe, there is in a glass case, the severed hand of a Notary who falsified a document. I bet there Notaries follow the law.”

    They don’t have notaries, i.e.,people whose job it is to certify the authenticity of a signature. What they call “notary” is an attorney who specialized in a number of issues: real estate, probate, wills, etc.

    The peons with limited education who sign and back date real estate documents don’t exist. This is strictly an American institution.

  13. Hello TN. Thx

    ARGH…so much to learn. I don’t remember who said it but the analogy of the matrix is totally appropriate.

    At this point I don’t even know if I took the red or the blue pill? The further down I dig the more questions that come up. It’s seems like 1 untruth after another.

    I can’t believe we were fleeced so bad.

  14. @hman – it sounds like it might have been at the trial court level rather than an appellate court. virtually no precedential value if so

  15. Has anyone seen this case? William Delo v GMAC. I stumbled across a website that says they were successful in stopping GMAC because of title issues. Anyway I can’t find the case and wanted to read it for myself. Here’s a link to the firm.

    http://azhomelawyer.com/foreclosure/az-home-lawyer-wins-pivotal-case-in-foreclosure-fight/

    Anyway, if anybody can find this case or has knowledge would be much appreciated. I’m wondering if it sets a presedence and what court this was won in.

  16. @ tnharry
    Thank you – your reply was helpful! I am slowly learning so much.

  17. @jenn – your questions raises an issue that I think bears more discussion for the benefit of other readers asking similar questions. you implied that the court ignored the robosigner and trust transfer issues. in most situations (there are very limited exceptions) the judge does not act as a detective investigating all aspects of the case. they rely on the parties to present their legal theories or claims to the court through the use of admissible evidence. so, if no one put the robosigner and trust transfer issues into dispute, then they weren’t considered.

    in your fact pattern, if the debtor objects to the claim, then the burden shifts to the claimant to prove their claim. there will be different issues depending on whether they file as servicer or holder, but your attorney should know what to do.

  18. I have another question I would like feedback on please.
    I have been reading judgements with cases that have elements that are similar to mine to see what worked and what did not. I notice on a few when the “servicer” or “lender” is trying to provide a proof of claim (when the issue is do they have any standing) I am shocked to see the court will accept a loan being assigned by a “known” robo signer in 2010 to a trust that closed in 2006 – the court did not address that or have an issue and none was raised.
    In this example they (the court) did catch that MERS had assigned both deed and note and was not mentioned on the note so they granted the homeowner an automatic stay while they sorted out the MERS issue…
    How does one show the court the loan can not be assigned to a trust in 2009 when the trust closed in 2005? That would kill the claim of the “lender” – right?
    I am going to have a lawyer when things get that far – I just like having a plan.

  19. @tnharry,how many people will be at the bar mitzvah?

  20. @John Anderson,

    You want to go back to the talion law? Steal once: lose a hand. Steal twice, lose the other one. Steal three times and you’ll die (jeez, how are you going to do that with no hands…?)

    Here are the new graphs of the bank resignations as of 4/23/12. America and Europe joined at the hip. Asia behind and, far, far behind, we have Australia and Africa. Interesting.

    (http://americankabuki.blogspot.com/2012/04/banker-resignation-graphs-as-of-42312.html

  21. @Niedermeyer,

    You should check your state’s rules about notary fees. In my state, the most they can charge for a signature is $5.00 (or is it $2.00? Anyway, nowhere near $20.00 per page). In fact, there’s a reason most banks do it for free… It’s because it’ supposed to be very, very inexpensive.

    People don’t know that and pay anything that is asked from them. If you paid too much, you can report her and get your money back.

  22. @enraged ,

    Agreed ,, not a real profession on it’s own but it is required for many people … someone at a local bank will be a notary .. I just bought 2 small new motorcycles in a small town from a licensed car dealer ,, a one man shop .. we had to go to a neighbor who charged $40 ($20*2) to notarize the manufacturers certificate of origin … the lady was making good money … we had to wait for her to return from a closing where she also collected a larger fee (her notary fee plus an extra amount for travel) .. considering the minimal investment it’s good side money, she made at least $100 before 10am for $0.05 worth of ink. My point is that they only have their integrity to sell and if that is diminished in the general publics eyes then ALL notaries lose… The trade group should see that and protect their members.

  23. What a joke and sad commentary.
    No talk of purging, the hundreds, if not thousands of Notaries, who have committed felony fraud thousands of times.
    The banks, who were working through third party vendors have so far kept prosecutors from charging and prosecuting ANY of these law breakers.
    Somewhere in Europe, there is in a glass case, the severed hand of a Notary who falsified a document. I bet there Notaries follow the law.
    Although, it may sound sever, we need a place like this in the Smithsonian Museum. The “Hall of Retribution” where we display various body parts of the perpetrators and participants in the worlds largest financial fraud ever perpetrated, so the children can see what happens to liars and crooks.

  24. Ted’s responses leave a lot to be desired. he suggests that the mortgages weren’t recorded at all when he’s really complaining about assignments not being recorded. and then he starts rambling about federal law requiring those assignments be recorded. then again, maybe he’s just the senior partner “mouthpiece” for the firm and isn’t burdened y knowing and understanding the facts of his case.

  25. For the actual complaint, go to:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/04/mers-rico-welborn-banksters.html

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    Interview, MERS RICO complaint: Doug Welborn, State District Court Clerk vs. MERSCORP Shareholders and Trustees (“the banksters”)

    By lambert strether of Corrente.

    Yes, I know that Doug Welborn, East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court vs. MERSCORP Shareholders and Trustees (“the banksters”) is a bit unwieldy as a case name, but it’s a lot less wieldy than the actual name — [32 parish clerks in Louisiana, so far] vs. [16 big banks including TBTF poster weasels BAC, JPM, and WFC (but not GS)] — so I think I’ll just go with “Welborn” from here on in.

    The triple damages claim under civil (sigh) RICO is a billion dollars or so for Louisiana alone — real money — which makes Welborn interesting. Even more interesting is that RICO, as a “theory of the case,” is simple, clean, and easy to explain, unlike so many of our criminal banksters’ crooked schemes. We caught up with the trial lawyer for Welborn, Ted Lyon, and interviewed him. Did I mention the claim is for a billion?

    Skip ahead, if you wish, to the interview, it’s indented, but the backstory is important, too: Hat tip to alert reader Roger Bigod, who piqued my interest in comments with “county clerk’s suit”, leading to this link on Louisiana clerks suing the banks under RICO. So I searched the go-to site on foreclosure fraud and found this post (love the graphic!), which linked to this fine story in the Baton Rouge Advocate. The reporter, Bill Lodge, had some excellent quotes from Richard D. Faulkner, Esq., so I found Faulkner and called him. Faulkner was gracious enough to play phone tag with a pseudonymous blogger whose answering machine was full, and then to hear him out. He put me in touch with Ted Lyon, who’s going to try Welborn. (It seems that these days there are very few lawyers who actually appear in court, but Lyon is one such. I note with pleasure that Lyons took a packet from Koch Industries for the death of a child.) I then arranged, on very short notice, for a professional interviewer (hat tip, Stephen Malagodi) to speak with Lyon, and a professional transcriptionist (hat tip, KL), whose collaboration you see below. With more time, we’d have done more preparation and some editing, but think of any solecisms as signs of authenticity, like scars in fine leather.

    I go through all this detail, not to bewail the rigors of a blogger’s life, but to raise a single, simple question: Why does The New York Times give front page treatment to a $25 million bribery scandal run out of Bentonville, Arkansas, and no coverage whatever to the filing of a $1 billion dollar lawsuit over an accounting control fraud scheme run largely out of Manhattan? (“Your search – Baton Rouge RICO site:www.nytimes.com – did not match any news results”; 2:20AM, April 25, 2012.) A question that answers itself, once asked. Perhaps Krugman will cover the story in his blog.

    So, to the interview, which took place yesterday, April 24,at 9:00AM EST. Note that one of our goals in the interview was to get the theory of the case explained in simple terms, so that we can explain it to our neighbors or in the coffee shop. After the interview there is a copy of the complaint, and so, readers, you may introduce as much complexity as you wish. (If the copy does not display in your browser, try the link.) Further, you will notice that Lyon seems to be familiar with the great Peggy Noonan’s dictum It would be irresponsible not to speculate. And, quite properly for one in his position, to disagree with it completely. You, readers, however, may speculate freely!

    SM: We’re speaking with Ted Lyon of Ted Lyon & Associates. Mr. Lyon is filing a suit regarding the MERS, Mortgage Electronic Registration System. Thank you for joining us, Mr. Lyon.

    TED LYON: Well, thank you.

    Tell us what MERS is.

    TED LYON: Mortgage Electronic Recording System is a system set up by a number of banking entities, primarily in New York, the large financial institutions, to avoid recording fees that they are due to pay across the United States every time they record a mortgage. This is tied back to the mortgage-backed securities that nearly brought the country to financial ruin. It was developed on Wall Street by a lot of folks in that industry, and each time you have a mortgage, by law in almost every state, the person that sells that mortgage or transfers it, in other words the bank, is supposed to pay a recording fee to your local county clerk so they can keep the title clean and record it. They set this system up so they wouldn’t have to pay these fees, and we believe that eventually they have benefited to the tune of billions of dollars as a result of that, by not paying county clerks across the United States.

    Well, let’s back up just a minute. The actual system, the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, is a computer database, basically, but that was set up by one company. Why do you say that it was set up by banks? Isn’t it a single company?

    TED LYON: Correct. But all the evidence that we have developed shows that it was a scheme that was developed by the defendants that we have in this lawsuit.

    Well, who are your defendants?

    TED LYON: Well, I don’t have the list here. There are several of them [see below. –lambert]

    How would you describe them? Are they the big four banks, or who are they?

    TED LYON: The defendants are the major banking entities in the United States as well as some other banking entities, but the largest ones in the United States, but almost all of them are very huge banking entities.

    So is MERSCORP, Incorporated itself part of your suit or not?

    TED LYON: Yes, it is.

    So MERSCORP , Incorporated is the actual company that runs this database. They’re included plus the major institutions in the banking industry, is that right?

    TED LYON: Yes.

    Okay. So, give me a little bit about the background of this case. How did it come about? Who’s your plaintiff?

    TED LYON: Well, right now we have a number of counties or parishes in Louisiana that have signed on with us. I think the number is over 32, and we have more coming in every day. And that’s the basis of our lawsuit, because the county clerks, or the clerks of court is what they’re called in Louisiana, they are required to record these mortgages and they have not been given that information. This is a very serious issue because if you have a house and you have a mortgage on it, you want to be sure that if you buy a house that has a mortgage on it you have a clear title to it. So by failing to do that recording, we believe it affects the title. I mean this has happened all over the country. And we also have a number of counties in Texas that we represent and we’re going to be filing a suit in Texas here in the near future.

    So you’re filing on behalf of county – I would assume mostly county governments. Are there no individual homeowners that are involved in this?

    TED LYON: No. Our case is we’re representing the counties or the parishes. We’re not representing any individual homeowners, even though they have been damaged also. That’s not our lawsuit. Our lawsuit we think is on firmer footing, and what makes this different than most other lawsuits – there have been a number of lawsuits filed against MERS across the country, but they’re basically all, almost all of them have been brought as a result of the individual homeowner. We’re not going to go that route because that’s just too time-consuming and also many of those cases have been lost.

    So, given that, tell us the theory of your case, since it’s not representing homeowners but it is representing local government entities. Tell us the reason for that approach.

    TED LYON: Well it’s pretty simple. We believe they’re required by law to pay recording fees every time they change these mortgages. In other words, every time they transfer a mortgage they’re supposed to pay a recording fee to the county, by law. And they set up this system to avoid that. And so each time they transfer a mortgage, instead of recording it with the county clerk or the parish, the clerk of court, they record it through MERS. And so they’re avoiding paying the $150 each time they – and I’m giving you just a ballpark figure here, $150, maybe as much as $200 – each time they change that mortgage. So they don’t pay that to the county clerk. So the county clerk, the county government, the parish government, loses that $150 to $200. And when you multiply that times the number of mortgages that are changed, that change hands in a county the size of some of the counties down in Louisiana, you’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Now, you say that the defendants set this system up to avoid the payment of these fees. The defendants may say that they set this up because the process is cumbersome, that they were trying to establish some efficiencies in the mortgage security market. So, do you have – (crosstalk)

    TED LYON: Well, when you’re talking about – yeah, sorry, go ahead.

    I’m sorry. Do you have any evidence that the reason that they set this system up was indeed for the avoidance of paying these fees rather than, you know, inefficiencies in the business model?

    TED LYON: Yes. Their website says it. And it said it for a number of years. As well as depositions that have been taken in other cases by some other chief executives.

    So they specifically say themselves that the reason that they set this up was to avoid the payment of these local government fees?

    TED LYON: Exactly.

    Now, that probably isn’t in itself against the law, trying to, you know, trying to maximize your profits. It’s certainly not against the law in the United States. How – the simple fact that they may admit that they were doing this to avoid these particular fees, is that itself a basis for your suit?

    TED LYON: No, they’re required by law to record these mortgages with a county government official. There’s no doubt about that. There is no – the federal law requires that. And they are not living up to the federal law. It’s not – there isn’t any, in our opinion as lawyers in this case, there’s no debate over that. We know, based on federal laws, that they are required to record that with a local county government, and they are not doing that. They have not been doing that for over 10 years.

    Is there a reason why you are filing this suit in Louisiana? Is there something particular about the law in Louisiana that is conducive to this suit?

    TED LYON: Well, Louisiana does have very strong laws in this area and we have some very good local counsel in Louisiana that are helping us on the case, and we were able to get most of the local governments down there to sign on. I mean, we’re in the process of doing the same thing in Texas, but it’s a little more difficult in Texas because of you have to have so many different levels of local government agree, whereas down in Louisiana they can pretty much, if the clerk of court wants to agree to the lawsuit, it’s a pretty simple matter. So in Texas or with some other states you have to go through the county attorney and then he has to go to the Commissioners Court – I mean, it’s, I would liken it to herding cats to sometimes get all these local politicians to sign on. But it’s coming along.

    So, if your case in Louisiana is successful, will this have implications in other states?

    TED LYON: Absolutely. If we’re successful in Louisiana, it will have a ripple effect across the country.

    In what way? I mean you just said that filing these suits in other states is much more complicated, so how would winning in Louisiana impact what the law is in Illinois, for instance?

    TED LYON: Well, almost every state has the same recording requirement that they record those mortgages locally, so in every state they’re not doing it. So it’s a simple matter of proving to your local elected official that this is a case that they need to bring. And of course this is a test case, so if in fact we are successful, then we feel very confident that other states will follow.

    How big is this suit? Is it going to be, does it have the potential to be another tobacco industry sized case?

    TED LYON: I don’t want to compare it to that. We think it’s huge. How big it is and how huge it may be is totally – it depends on whether or not we have the case. I mean, if we actually have the law right, and we think we do, then it’s going to be huge. I won’t characterize it as being as big as the tobacco litigation, though.

    Well let’s compare it, just for the sake of comparison, to the tobacco litigation case. That took a long time for those suits to finally succeed, I think 10 or 15 years. How long do you think this fight is going to drag out, at least in Louisiana?

    TED LYON: Well, I think in Louisiana, and in federal court you have what is called a 12(b)(6) motion, and that’s where they try and dismiss your case for lack of evidence, a good lawsuit. And this is the first one of these cases that’s like this that’s been filed. If they are successful, then it’ll be over very quickly. If they are not successful, and we are successful, then from there you would spend probably a year or more determining the damages. The damages are relatively easy to figure. We can do that, you know, because everything is now recorded through computers. You can run these numbers very quickly. You can determine – for instance, wherever you live you have a county government, and they have, there are so many houses in that county, and we know, we can determine from our computer discovery how many times those mortgages have been sold. It’s relatively simple to figure out how many times that house has been sold, what the recording fees would be, and then add that to the number that they would owe. And then in addition to that, under the federal RICO act, racketeering influenced corrupt practices act, you have treble damages on that, so you get your actual damages, then you treble those. And then you have attorneys fees, and those are kept up with on an hourly basis. So that would be a fairly – it’s not like the tobacco litigation, because that took a long time to determine the damages. But this case is pretty simple from a damages standpoint.

    Why isn’t this a class action case, or is it?

    TED LYON: It’s not a class action in Louisiana because we didn’t want it to be, and we wanted to have individual counties because we need their cooperation to come up with their damages, and we wanted to have a contractual relationship with each county that we represent down there. We don’t want to have to – one of the problems that you have with a class action, if you have one in this area, is that you may have a county that doesn’t want to cooperate, that doesn’t cooperate, it makes it real hard for your damages [for them?]. We want them to have some incentive to compute their damages.

    Well you say the damages are fairly easy to compute. Have you computed them? Do you have any idea what the potential damages are?

    TED LYON: We think in Louisiana the damages are over a billion dollars.

    And that’s just in Louisiana, and you say that if you win your suit that this will have import in other states, so if we’re talking a billion dollars in Louisiana, we’re talking a lot of money potentially nationwide, correct?

    TED LYON: Correct.

    Some people have speculated that if you win your suit and this does in fact go national, that the defendants in this case, basically the U.S. banking industry, is going to face a need for recapitalization. So, you know, what was too big to fail in 2008 and 9 and 10 is still too big to fail. So are we looking at the possibility of, you know, catastrophic banking failure if your suit succeeds and goes national?

    TED LYON: No, I don’t think so.

    Do I detect a little hint of hopefulness there, that, no, you hope it doesn’t, or – ?

    TED LYON: No. No, I don’t think so, at all.

    Well, if we –

    TED LYON: When you look at the national, when you look at the assets of every one of these defendants, they can afford to pay the damages that they have taken from the counties over a number of years and pay those back to the counties. And if they stole that money, which is what we’re saying they did, they owe it. And they have made multiples off the money that they took from the counties, and their assets are well, well within the realm of paying these damages.

    So you don’t, you don’t see any real dire consequences for the banking industry if this – if your suit and similar suits in other states succeed?

    TED LYON: No. They have plenty of money to pay these damages.

    Now you said, you mentioned earlier about possible RICO implications here. Yours is a civil suit, but can you see criminal charges coming out of your case through the discovery process? Have you, can you tell us what you expect to find in discovery?

    TED LYON: No, I really don’t want to speculate on that. We’ll just have to wait to see what the evidence – where the evidence goes and what it points to.

    So you just don’t want to comment about the possibility of criminal charges coming out here?

    TED LYON: No.

    Hm. Okay.

    TED LYON: That would be pure speculation on my part.

    Well thank you very much, Mr. Lyon. We appreciate it, and good luck with your case, sir.

    TED LYON: All right, well you have a good day.

    You too, sir.

    * * *

    Here’s a copy of the complaint:

  26. Off topic. Important nevertheless. We are slowly getting to a united angry America. Angry is ok. Isolated angry isn’t worth much. United angry is… well… what needs to happen!

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/04/george-washington-tarp-overseer-debunks-bailout-myths-big-companies-havent-repaid-tarp-funds-and-funds-to-help-homeowners-havent-been-disbursed.html

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    George Washington: Tarp Overseer Debunks Bailout Myths: Big Companies HAVEN’T Repaid Tarp Funds … And Funds to Help Homeowners HAVEN’T Been Disbursed

    Debunking Bailout Myths
    Apologists for government bailouts push two main myths:

    •That all of the bailout funds have been repaid
    •That the bailouts helped the average American
    But the official government overseer of the Tarp bailout program – the special inspector general for TARP, Christy L. Romero – has debunked both myths.

    Today, Romero wrote the following to Congress:

    After 3½ years, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) continues to be an active and significant part of the Government’s response to the financial crisis. It is a widely held misconception that TARP will make a profit. The most recent cost estimate for TARP is a loss of $60 billion. Taxpayers are still owed $118.5 billion (including $14 billion written off or otherwise lost).

    And earlier this month, Romero stated that the portion of the Tarp funds which were supposed to help homeowners haven’t been disbursed:

    A fund to support homeowners in the communities hit hardest by the collapse of the housing bubble has disbursed just 3 percent of its budget and aided only 30,640 homeowners in the two years since its creation, according to a report released on Thursday by a federal watchdog office.

    The Hardest Hit Fund, which was created in the spring of 2010, grants money to state housing finance agencies for efforts to help families that are facing foreclosure. It has “experienced significant delay” because of “a lack of comprehensive planning” by the Treasury Department and limited participation by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the large mortgage servicers, said the report by the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

    “Look at the TARP money that goes out to the banks,” said Special Inspector General Christy Romero in an interview with The Huffington Post. “That goes out in a matter of days. This has been two years and only 3 percent of these funds have trickled out to homeowners.”

    Indeed, bailing out the big banks hurts – rather than helps – the American economy. See this, this and this. (And it doesn’t take a PhD economist to guess that using bailout funds to buy gold toilet seats and prostitutes is probably not the best way to stimulate the economy as a whole).

    The only way to really stimulate the economy would be for the government to give money to the little guy on Main Street – instead of the big boys on Wall Street. And see this.

    Yet the big banks continue today to be bailed out through a wide variety of overt and hidden schemes … while the little guy gets nothing.

    This is true even though the American people were opposed to the bank bailouts from day one, and continue to oppose them:

    As I’ve noted since 2008, Americans are united in their overwhelming disapproval for bailouts to the big banks.

    This has remained true right up to today.

    As Rassmussen found only last month (as summarized by KXLF news):

    Today’s Rasmussen Reports survey finds that most Americans don’t like bailouts for financial institutions.

    60% Oppose Financial Bailouts; 74% Say Wall Street Benefited Most

    Survey of 1,000 American Adults

    ***

    • Just 20% think it was a good idea for the government to provide bailout funding to banks and other financial institutions, but 60% say otherwise.

    • While many activists try to link the Republican Party and Wall Street, Republicans think the bailouts were a bad idea by an eight-to-one margin.

    • Those not affiliated with either major party think they were a bad idea by a four-to-one margin. Democrats are much more evenly divided. Thirty-four percent (34%) of those in the president’s party say the bailouts were a good idea while 42% disagree.

    • Overall, 68% believe that most of the bailout money went to the very people who created the nation’s ongoing economic crisis, but 12% disagree and 21% aren’t sure.

    [And see this]

    As the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent notes, the recent proposal from lobbyists to the American Bankers Association recommending ways to co-opt the Occupy movement accurately stated:

    Well-known Wall Street companies stand at the nexus of where OWS protestors and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism. Both the radical left and the radical right are channeling broader frustration about the state of the economy and share a mutual anger over TARP and other perceived bailouts. This combination has the potential to be explosive later in the year when media reports cover the next round of bonuses and contrast it with stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season.

    (Except that it is the majority of Americans – not “extremists” on either side of the aisle – that share this anger).

    The “Tea Party” movement was centered on the protesting government bailouts of the giant banks, before it was hijacked by the mainstream Republican party, Sarah Palin, Neocons and others. See this, this, this, this and this.

    Ron Paul said last month at a GOP debate:

    Bailouts came from both parties…. If you have to give money out, you should give it to people losing their mortgages, not to the banks.

    And one of the most common sayings of Occupy Wall Street protesters is:

    Banks got bailed out. We got sold out

  27. @Niedermeyer,

    I may be wrong but I wouldn’t call “Notary” a profession. pretty much any citizen without a criminal record can become one and, in some states, there isn’t even any training on ethics and the role/mandate of the notary: you pay $29.00, you get a little booklet about what you can or cannot do and that’s about it. Every so-many years, you pay to renew. Many of those involved in robo-signing became notaries exclusively for the purpose of LPS/MERS operations, and only at the height of refi. Many others became notaries when foreclosures took off. I would venture to guess that the fee for their license was paid by their then-employer.

    I’m all in favor of having standards all across the board but I’m growing a little uneasy with the idea that we are moving fast toward centralization… Then again, since i have no idea what the real agenda is, I’ll take it as a good news until proven otherwise.

  28. Well at least they’re 3 Sec’y of States from states that have been moving in the direction of the rule of law… I don’t see how this piece gets fixed without applying pressure in the form of judges refusing to acknowledge robo-signed / robo-notarized docs or people being sued… Right now a notary stamp is just about worthless. The trade group will get an earful from these people .. they should move protect their profession.

  29. hold the presses – this isn’t an announcement of a working group, a task force, or even an investigation – it’s an announcement of a panel making a presentation to a bunch of people at a conference….

    in other news, there’s a bar mitzvah in ballroom 2 of the San Diego Mariott that same weekend…..

  30. Nothing about how to fix what was already done. I guess it will only be “from this day forward…”

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