Archive for December, 2010
On Friday, the Attorney Generals for both Nevada and Arizona filed suit against Bank of America, a copy of Arizona’s complaint can be seen here, claiming the bank was slow in ramping up loss mitigation efforts and then misled homeowners with false assurances that they would not be foreclosed upon while requests for loan modifications were pending.
Bank of America’s response was nothing more than a deflection, claiming they were “disappointed” with the lawsuits as they are already in negotiations with every state Attorney General over allegations of robo-signing and general sloppiness by the Bank in handling foreclosures.
This response, of course, fails to deal with the main issue raised in the lawsuits, and that is Bank of America lied, ahem, “mislead” homeowners into the arduous process of home modification while continuing to proceed with foreclosure actions. These suits have little to do with robo-signing and much to do with deception, fraud, and general underhanded dealings by the Bank.
This is getting serious, folks, the pendulum is starting to swing and the time to act is now. Contact an attorney now who is versed in the nuances of foreclosure defense before these banks get another bail out and the federal government forecloses on your right to bring a lawsuit against those who harmed you.
It is no secret that bank “owned” homes that have been foreclosed upon have made up an increasing proportion of the overall residential real estate market. Financial news network CNBC is reporting that more Americans are now willing to consider buying a foreclosed upon property, but that they expect a big discount to do so.
The reason behind this demand for a discount: risk.
Would-be home buyers are right to see the risk in buying a foreclosed home, just as the big banks engage in risky behavior every time they try to foreclose on a house–particularly one with the loan made within the last 5-10 years. It is questionable, at best, as to whether banks today have legally foreclosed on a house. Robo-signers who fraudulently created mortgage documents created genuine issues as to the legality of many foreclosures, and therefore, the subsequent sales (the old adage is true–you can’t sell what you don’t own). Equally important, in my view, is whether the banks that are foreclosing on homes can legally do so because they do not actually hold the mortgage. The home loans have been pooled, sold, choppped up into pieces, and then re-sold to investors through the process called securitization. Once again, you can’t sell what you don’t own.
Personally, I would be very hesitant to purchase a house that has been foreclosed upon, no matter how good the deal. I know there are great discounts, but with the banks’ questionable lending and foreclosure practices coming into the light, I think we’re going to see more and more foreclosures voided and more attempts at foreclosure stopped by the courts.
Of course, the best solution is to keep the banks from foreclosing in the first place. If you are facing a foreclosure, or concerned about a default, the best move is to contact an attorney who can help you avoid adding one more home to the banks’ roster.
Wikileaks, the controversial website that publishes confidential and classified documents about corporations, celebrities, and even governments, has recently stated that it plans to release thousands of confidential documents on one of the largest U.S. banks. While no one is sure which bank will be the target, the speculation is that it is Bank of America. According to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the site acquired over 5 GB worth of data from a Bank of America executive’s hard drive. Mr. Assange has stated that these documents will show a pervasive culture of corruption and will prompt investigations and reforms.
Wikileaks is a real mixed bag. On the one hand, their recent disclosure of classified documents from the U.S. Department of State posed a genuine threat to our nation’s diplomatic relations. Many would describe this as outright treason. However, on the other hand, they are also exposing deeply concealed fraud and corruption at some of the highest corporate levels. That is definitely a more commendable activity.
Regardless of how you feel about Wikileaks morally, this upcoming release of bank documents is definitely a story worth following. Bank of America is one of the big 4 banks in the United States (along with Citi, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan Chase). If the documents are as explosive as advertised and do indeed lead to banking reform–which would likely include mortgage lending reform–the impact could be drastic. Stay tuned to theforeclosurelawblog.com for developments on this story.