Daily Archives: August 11, 2012

HUD Secretary: Holding the Banks’ Feet to the Fire

A recent article by the Huffington Post’s Peter S. Goodman showed how one homeowner from the Bronx has continued to struggle to save her home because of the outrageous treatment she’s received at the hands of the bank that services her loan. Reporting with painstaking detail the obstacles Bank of America has thrown up as Katie Diaz spent months trying to secure a mortgage modification that lowered her monthly costs, Goodman’s piece highlights the reality too many homeowners have faced during this crisis — the dropped calls, lost paperwork and poor customer service that leaves them frustrated, confused and unsure whether they will be able to save their home.

Unfortunately, the author assigned much of the blame for these failures not to Bank of America, Ms. Diaz’s servicer — but rather to the $25 billion mortgage servicing settlement that Bank of America and four other servicers agreed to this spring. The largest mortgage relief effort in history, the settlement provides $17 billion in consumer relief and billions more to states that can be used for proven anti-foreclosure efforts like housing counseling. It also creates tough new customer service standards that require servicers to put an end to the kind of behavior faced by Ms. Diaz.

However, from Goodman’s piece, the reader is left to believe that the settlement has failed before it has even fully taken effect.

Read on.

Fannie Mitt?? In Real Estate Deal, Romney Made His Loss a Couple’s Gain

MISSOURI CITY, Tex. — Look closely and it is there, sandwiched between Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Partners II and D3 Family Bulldog Fund: the mortgage on Timothy and Betty Stamps’s modest home on Gentle Bend Drive here.

Nearly lost among the blizzard of hedge funds, thoroughbred horses and other gold-plated investments in Mitt Romney’s personal financial disclosures, the interest from the $50,500 mortgage is loose change to Mr. Romney, whose net worth has been estimated at close to a quarter-billion dollars.

Yet for the Stampses, who have been writing $600 monthly checks to “Willard M. Romney” for 15 years, the money they borrowed from him to buy their home in 1997 was life-changing.

The mortgage is the last vestige of a troubled, and previously unreported, investment by Mr. Romney in Texas real estate in 1982, before he struck it rich as the wunderkind of Bain Capital. And while the Stampses’ happy ending is a counterpoint to the image, seized upon by political opponents, of Mr. Romney as a cold, calculating financier, the episode also offers an early illustration of his appetite for deals promising low risk and high return.

Read on.

Biloxi Buzz for Saturday

Tiger’s Big Day At Major Golf Tournament

 

Good News For Supporters Of Legalized Pot

 

Chinese Media: Politician’s Wife Confessed To Murder