FRAUD IS THE CENTRAL PROBLEM

It is hard to state this strongly enough. The entire mortgage backed securitization structure was based upon FRAUD. An intentional misstatement of a material fact known to be untrue and which the receiving party reasonably relies to his detriment is fraud. BOTH ends of this deal required fraud for completion. The investors had to believe the securities were worth more and carried less risk than reality. The borrowers had to believe that their property was worth more and carried less risk than reality. Exactly the same. Using ratings/appraisals and distorting their contractual and statutory duties, the sellers of this crap defrauded the investors, who supplied the money and the borrowers were accepted PART of the benefit.

See this article posted by our friend Anonymous:

Posts by Aaron Task
“A Gigantic Ponzi Scheme, Lies and Fraud”: Howard Davidowitz on Wall Street
Jul 01, 2010 08:00am EDT by Aaron Task in Newsmakers, Banking
Related: XLF, AIG, GS, JPM, BAC, C, FNM
Play Video
Play VideoNow Playing
Day one of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’s two-day hearing on AIG derivatives contracts featured testimony from Joseph Cassano, the former head of AIG’s financial products unit. Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn was also on the Hill.
Meanwhile, the Democrats are still trying to salvage the regulatory reform bill, with critical support from Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.) reportedly still uncertain.
According to Howard Davidowitz of Davidowitz & Associates, what connects the hearings and the Reg reform debate is the lack of focus on the real underlying cause of the financial crisis: Fraud.
“It was a massive fraud… a gigantic Ponzi Scheme, a lie and a fraud,” Davidowitz says of Wall Street circa 2007. “The whole thing was a fraud and it gets back to the accountants valuing the assets incorrectly.”
Because accountants and auditors allowed Wall Street firms to carry assets at “completely fraudulent” valuations, he says the industry looked hugely profitable and was able to use borrowed funds to make leveraged bets on all sorts of esoteric instruments. “Their bonuses were based on profits they never made and the leverage they never could have gotten if the numbers were right – no one would’ve given them the money in their right mind,” Davidowitz says.

To date, the accounting and audit firms have escaped any serious repercussions from the credit crisis, a stark difference to the corporate “death sentence” that befell Arthur Anderson for its alleged role in the Enron scandal.
To Davidowitz, that’s perhaps the greatest outrage of all: “Where were the accountants?,” he asks. “They did nothing, checked nothing, agreed to everything” and collected millions in fees while “shaking hands with the CEO.”

Foreclosure Defense and Offense: Class Actions in Play

Mortgage ruling could shock U.S. banking industry
Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:14pm BST
By Gina Keating – Analysis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A lawsuit filed by a Wisconsin couple against their mortgage lender could have major implications for banks should a U.S. appeals court agree that borrowers can cancel their loans en masse when their lenders violate a federal lending disclosure law.

The case began like hundreds of others filed since the U.S. housing boom spawned a rise in sales of adjustable rate loans. Susan and Bryan Andrews of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, claimed that lender Chevy Chase Bank FSB had hidden the true terms of what they believed was a good deal on a low-interest loan.

In their 2005 lawsuit, the couple said the loan’s interest rate had more than doubled by their second monthly payment from the 1.95 percent rate they thought was locked in for five years. The interest rate rose well above the 5.75 percent fixed-rate loan they had refinanced to pay their children’s college tuition.

The Andrews filed the case seeking class action status; and in early 2007, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman ruled that the bank had violated the Truth in Lending Act, or TILA, and that thousands of other Chevy Chase borrowers could join them as plaintiffs.

The judge transformed the case from a run-of-the-mill class action to a potential nightmare for the U.S. banking industry by also finding that the borrowers could force the bank to cancel, or rescind, their loans. That decision was stayed pending an appeal to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is expected to rule any day.

The idea of canceling tainted loans to stem a tide of foreclosures has caught hold in other quarters; a lawsuit filed last week by the Illinois attorney general asks a court to rescind or reform Countrywide Financial Corp (CFC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) mortgages originated under “unfair or deceptive practices.”

‘MASSIVE CLASS SUITS’

The mortgage banking industry already faces pressure from state and federal regulators, who have accused banks of lowering underwriting standards and forcing some borrowers, through fraud, into costly adjustable loans that the banks later bundled and sold as high-interest investment vehicles.

The loans have caused serious instability in the financial sector, as mortgage interest rates adjusted upward and borrowers began defaulting at a significant rate starting in 2007, drawing lawsuits from investors and homeowners.

Federal appeals courts disagree over whether class-wide rescission under the Truth in Lending Act is available, said attorney Christine Scheuneman, whose firm represented Chevy Chase at the district court.

“If class treatment is found to be available for rescission …, given the current crisis not predicted in 2005, the result all over the country could be massive class suits,” said Scheuneman, a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

The Truth in Lending Act, a 1968 federal law designed to protect consumers against lending fraud by requiring clear disclosure of loan terms and costs, lets consumers seek rescission, or termination, of a loan and the return of all interest and fees when a lender is found in violation.

Should the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agree with Judge Adelman, banking industry associations predict “confusion and market disruption” as banks curtail lending further.

“Class certification of rescission claims would saddle the mortgage lending industry and secondary market with billions of dollars of class action exposure for supposed violations of TILA that do not give rise to any actual damages,” the financial services associations wrote in an amicus brief.

But the Andrews’ attorney, Kevin Demet, said lenders want to scare the judiciary into banning class action rescissions because they were unable to convince Congress to do so in the 1990s.

“If (banks) get relief (from the appeals court), it’s activist judges trying to give them what they could not get legislatively,” said Demet, of Demet & Demet of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Consumer advocates said the banks would have “no more or no less” liability for the tainted mortgages if the court found in favor of the Andrews plaintiffs.

But an adverse ruling for borrowers would cut off an important remedy. Borrowers would “lose the opportunity to use rescission to save their homes from foreclosure or to rescind their mortgages and refinance into affordable ones,” the Center for Responsible Lending, the National Consumer Law Center, Public Citizen and AARP Foundation Litigation wrote in an amicus brief filed in the case.

Both sides said the case will likely be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

(Reporting by Gina Keating; Editing by Mary Milliken and Gerald E. McCormick)

%d bloggers like this: