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09 Feb 2012 11:12


Biz: Federal government, states agree to settle with mortgage industry

  • $26 billion “historic” settlement with the mortgage industry
  • $17B of that settlement is expected to help out more than 1 million homeowners — breaking that dow, that’s an average of $17,000 each
  • 50 states could sign on as part of the settlement, making it the largest multistate settlement since the big tobacco deal in 1998
  • $2,000 the amount some homeowners who already lost their homes to foreclosure could get as part of the long-planned settlement source
  • » But is all this enough? While some will say the settlement doesn’t go far enough in addressing the concerns homeowners have dealt with in the years since the housing bubble burst, officials suggest it could provide $40 billion in mortgage relief by reducing loan principals, which would make the dollars go further. Problem is, it’s estimated that homeowners collectively owe $700 billion more on their homes than they’re actually worth. So while the dollar number sounds high, it may only be a drop in the bucket comparatively.

22 Dec 2011 01:03


U.S.: Countrywide will pay massive settlement over subprime crisis

  • $335 million settlement over discrimination charges source
  • » They allegedly steered minorities towards bad mortgages. The company, something of the focal point of the subprime housing scandal, now has to face the music. Bank of America, the parent of Countrywide Financial, had to settle claims from before it purchased the company, a four-year period during the housing boom when loans were handed out very easily. In the case of Countrywide, however, there is evidence that while white homeowners got offered normal mortgage, black or Latino homeowners of similar stature received a subprime mortgage instead, meaning that they were given higher interest rates and unfavorable terms for loans, making it easier to default. As part of the settlement with the Justice Department, the company denied the charges, while Bank of America distanced itself from the housing-boom-era actions

19 Jun 2011 23:47


Biz: Home foreclosure backlogs laughably long in some states

  • 62 year backlog for foreclosures in New York state (no really) source
  • » And they’re far from alone: Nearby New Jersey has a backlog stretching back a solid 49 years, and noted foreclosure mecca Florida has a decade-long backlog. A big reason? The courts are overworked on this issue and can only handle so many cases. But even in the 27 states where courts aren’t involved, the wait is often still significant — at least a year in many cases. Beyond the courts, the entire system is overworked — and lenders seem to be in no rush to add any more repossessed houses to their balance sheet.

11 Oct 2010 09:24


Biz: States ready to throw collective book at mortgage lenders

  • Know how we know that the government is taking this whole foreclosure thing seriously? Well, more than two-thirds of the state attorney generals are about to probe the mortgage industry to see what happened with all that questionable paperwork that they’ve reportedly been plowing through the legal system. Last week, Bank of America halted foreclosures in all 50 states, but other companies have yet to follow suit to that degree. source

10 May 2010 10:57


Biz: Which mortgage firm is asking for another government handout?

The company lost $13.1 billion in their last quarter, so now they’re hitting up the government for another $8.4 billion. Fannie’s too big to fail. source

24 Apr 2010 12:00


Biz: Goldman Sachs e-mails: Yeah, we bet against mortgages

  • Of course we didn’t dodge the mortgage mess. We lost money, then made more than we lost because of shorts.
  • Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein • In an e-mail regarding its role in the mortgage crisis. The e-mail, one of many released by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, suggests that the company was betting against the failing housing market and profiting significantly from it – one of the main claims of the SEC’s lawsuit against the investment firm. This could be bad news for Goldman Sachs. source

07 Apr 2010 10:17


Biz: Alan Greenspan: The mortgage crisis not caused by the poor

  • The house price bubble, the most prominent global bubble in generations, was caused by lower interest rates but. … it was long-term mortgage rates that galvanized prices, not the overnight rates of central banks, as has become the seeming conventional wisdom.
  • Former Federal Reserve Chairman (and all-around smart guy) Alan Greenspan • Speaking in business-ese about something which we can put much more simply: Low interest rates that allowed low-income people to buy houses didn’t cause the housing crisis. Instead, the culprit was a couple levels up the food chain. Speak English, Alan. (Greenspan, by the way, is attempting to defend his legacy here.) source