Daily Archives: June 29, 2012

Government watchdog criticizes FHFA principal reduction delays

The Government Accountability Office found principal reduction would help some struggling homeowners and criticized the Federal Housing Finance Agency for delaying a decision to involve Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the effort, according to a report released Friday.

“Given the December 31, 2013, deadline for entry into a HAMP permanent loan modification and the lead time required for the enterprises to implement a principal forgiveness program, it is critical that FHFA take the steps needed to expeditiously make a decision about allowing the enterprises to engage in HAMP principal forgiveness modifications,” the GAO said in its report.

Read on.

Wells Fargo threatens foreclosure leader Archbishop King’s home – auction postponed again to July 20

Wells Fargo threatens foreclosure leader Archbishop King’s home – auction postponed again to July 20.


Update: The auction has been postponed once again to July 20.

Just when you felt safe in your home, here comes another shark attack! Wells Fargo Bank – that shark – seems poised to bite off your leg with no warning

We received late word tonight, Wednesday, June 20, that, despite the verbal promise from Wells Fargo Foreclosure Specialist Jamie Gyamfi to Archbishop Franzo King to extend his sale date to July 21, the bank will attempt the sale tomorrow, June 21, anyway.

Ms. Gyamfi gave a verbal extension to Archbishop King so an appraisal could place him in a program to save his home. The day following, when the appraiser completed the job, he told Archbishop King that Wells Fargo would let him know the results in three days. The bank, however, has not notified him. Nor have they put in writing the extension date promise.

Both verbal and written contracts are binding. Additionally, Archbishop King understands the law states that, for 30 days following such a promise or contract, the sale can’t resume.
Archbishop King suspects the bank could be engaging in a form of “dual tracking” where one department makes a promise to work with the homeowner while another sends auctioneers to points of sale like San Francisco City Hall and, unknown to the owner, auctions off the home.

After Barclays, HSBC, RBS, UBS and Citigroup also probed, says UK Treasury chief

Four more global banks are being investigated for the alleged financial market manipulation that led to fines of $453 million against Barclays Bank, British Treasury chief George Osborne said Thursday, causing stocks in those groups to plummet.

Osborne said Citigroup in the U.S., Switzerland’s UBS, and Britain’s HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland were also being probed for allegedly providing false figures on key interest rates upon which mortgages and consumer loans are priced.

On Wednesday, U.S and British regulators imposed the fines on Barclays for manipulating the interest rate — the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) — to its advantage between 2005 and 2009.

The banks’ share price fell sharply as investors priced in new hefty fines. By midday in London, Barclays shares had fallen 16 percent, RBS nearly 13 percent, HSBC 4 percent and Lloyds Banking Group 7 percent. In premarket trading in New York, Citigroup shares were down 1.9 percent.

“Banks were clearly acting in concert,” said Andrew Tyrie, a British lawmaker, who is also chairman of the influential Treasury Committee in the House of Commons. “I fear it’s not going to be the end of the story, that we are going to find that other banks have been involved.”

Read on.

News Flash: It is Illegal for Debt Collectors to Stalk Debtors on Facebook or Threaten to Kill Their Dogs

Even a polite call from a debt collector could ruin your day — but imagine if a collector called you names, swore at you, stalked you on Facebook or even threatened to kill your dog.

Bad behavior by debt collectors is on the rise: in 2011, theFederal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 180,000 consumer complaints regarding abusive debt collection practices, almost 40,000 more than the previous year. “It was an unprecedented number,” says Thomas Pahl, assistant director of the division of financial practices for the FTC. And in 2012 so far, Pahl says: “Consumer complaint numbers continue to be very high.”

The increase probably results from the bad economy combined with the Federal Trade Commission’s stepped-up enforcement of debt collection practices, Pahl says. For example, in 2011, the agency filed a lawsuit against a California debt collector, hired by a funeral home, who threatened to dig up the body of the debtor’s daughter — and also to shoot her dog. “The FTC has been more active in bringing cases, so there’s more awareness that people can complain to us,” Pahl says.
However, a growing number of consumer complaints does not mean that bad behavior is rampant in the industry, says Mark Schiffman, vice president of public affairs for ACA International, a debt collector trade association that trains its members to comply with debt collection laws. “It’s really only a tally of complaints to the FTC,” Schiffman says. “Someone might say ‘Joe’s Collection Agency called me at noon on a Tuesday and I didn’t like it.’ That’s a complaint, but [the debt collector] didn’t do anything wrong.”

Read more: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/true-debt-collection-horror-tales-1282.php#ixzz1z9NnADJ2

Biloxi Buzz for Friday


Future Of Rupert Murdoch’s Newspapers In Doubt

Democrats Face Long Road To November Despite Health Care Victory

House Votes To Hold Attorney General In Contempt

Reverse Mortgage Foreclosures On The Rise, Seniors Targeted For Scams

Reverse mortgages, a lifeline for seniors struggling to pay bills in allowing them to turn home equity into cash, are entering into foreclosure at an “alarming” rate, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray said Wednesday.

One out of every 10 seniors with a reverse mortgage is in default or foreclosure, Cordray said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday timed to coincide with the release of a reverse mortgages report prepared for Congress.

The agency also found that seniors often don’t really understand the terms of the loan, a problem exacerbated by deceptive mailings and other advertisements, Cordray said.

“We will work with our partners at the federal, state and local level to root out these kinds of scams,” Cordray said. He described one flier that portrayed a reverse mortgage as a “government benefit,” which is wrong, and that contained “blatantly false information about loan repayment options.” He did not go into further detail about who sends out these notices but said that the agency has authority to ensure that the reverse mortgage market works well for consumers.

Reverse mortgages let homeowners older than 62 borrow against the equity of their home without their having, in turn, to make any loan payments, provided that they stay in the house. This type of mortgage is traditionally structured so that the loan balance will gradually increase over time. Lenders, such as MetLife bank, which is currently the biggest issuer of these loans, then own a greater and greater stake in the property. Borrowers can stay in their home even if the loan balance exceeds the home’s value, but they are still responsible for taxes and insurance payments throughout the process. When a borrower dies, the heir of the estate sells off the home and repays the federally insured loan and keeps what is left over.

Read on.

Foreclosure catches homeowner by surprise

Foreclosure catches homeowner by surprise.

It was the home Penny and her husband had been searching for.

“This was our dream house and it hurts my heart that we’re losing it,” Penny said.

The couple lost it after Penny’s husband lost his job, and she took a 45 percent paycut.

“I contacted my mortgage company at the time, let them know what was going on, asked if maybe we could work something out,” she said.

Penny says a loan modification fell through due to lost paperwork.

Other programs didn’t work either, she says.

Finally, Penny says Everhome Mortgage agreed to a short sale through a real estate agent, who put their dream home on the market.

“Four days later we had an offer, in the meantime, our mortgage company had started foreclosure proceedings.”

Penny says it hired a “property preservation” company, which entered the house to change locks.