Posted to Youtube by Twitter user @SusanB26, she recalls from painful personal experience how she learned about bank fraud. Perhaps her sharing this information can be of help to someone else.
29 documents found in 0 seconds.
- 100 Stories of What Wall Street Broke
- Bail out
- Bank of America
- Bear Stearns
- Big banks
- Colorado Progressive Coalition
- Department of Justice
- Economic Crisis
- Eric Schneiderman
- Federal Housing Administration
- Home Defender's League
- Mortgage Giants
- New York
- Occupy Los Angeles
- Occupy Our Homes
- Occupy Wall Street
- Swiss authorities
- The Untouchables
- Wall Street
- Wells Fargo
- attorney general
- bad mortgages
- civil complaint
- disrupting foreclosure auctions
- fighting back
- global benchmark interest rates
- home loan
- homeless advocates
- housing boom
- housing justice
- housing justice activists
- mortgage-backed securities
- occupy la
- presidential task force
- prevent evictions
- restoring vacant homes
Steve: “It’s fraud. It’s clearly fraud. If I did that to anyone else, I’d be in jail.”
From "100 Stories of What Wall Street Broke," here is Steve's story:
When the economy crashed and his business slowed down, Wells Fargo offered to modify Steve’s loan to lower his payments. After making a series of trial payments, Wells Fargo notified Steve that his modification was on the way.
A few days later he received a letter stating that his modification had been denied. The Wells Fargo representative he spoke with reassured him that they had made a mistake and that he should keep making the payments, which he did for seven months.
Steve then started to receive foreclosure notices. Again, the bank representative assured him that the notices had been sent in error.
Then Steve checked his credit. Wells Fargo had reported him delinquent on his mortgage for the last six months. The reduced payments that Steve had agreed to pay for the previous months had been put into a separate trust by Wells Fargo, and they had not gone towards his mortgage.
Steve took the case to court but lost despite mountains of evidence in his favor. He lost his home and his business.
Steve is fighting back with the help of the Colorado Progressive Coalition.
"100 Stories of What Wall Street Broke" is a project created by the Home Defender's League, which is collecting first-person accounts from homeowners around the country. Homeowners can submit their own stories here.
The Home Defenders League is a national movement of underwater homeowners and their allies "Fighting Wall Street to get back what Wall Street stole from us and for a stronger economy for all of us."
In "The Untouchables," Frontline investigates why Wall Street's leaders have escaped prosecution for any fraud related to the sale of bad mortgages. Are Wall Street's big bankers untouchable?
Producer Martin Smith joined HuffPo Live on Tuesday to discuss his investigation into the lack of prosecution of Wall Street executives for any fraud related to the sale of bad mortgages:
Commenting on clips from the episode showing former home loan underwriters explaining how they would laugh as they pushed through mortgages that were too expensive for the borrowers, Smith said this type of behavior was "very frequent and common."
"There are lawsuits that name 35 -- easily 36, 37 -- of these kind of testimonies," Smith told HuffPost Live host Jacob Soboroff. "And these guys are joking about it at this point, but of course it's not really funny in the end because it all resulted in the collapse of 2008, a million people losing their houses, many people out of work and businesses seeing demand sink."
"It was like a party," one former loan underwriter tells Frontline's" Martin Smith. "We were getting through these loans as quick as we can. They were not being looked at like they should've been looked at."
A full transcript of the report is available here.
The PBS Frontline investigation "The Untouchables," airs on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. Frontline investigates how more than four years since the financial crisis, not one senior Wall Street executive has faced criminal prosecution for fraud. Are Wall Street executives “too big to jail"? Check out the preview video above. You can check your local viewing schedule here.
Swiss bank UBS said Wednesday it will pay a $1.5 billion fraud fine for orchestrating the manipulation of benchmark interest rates in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Last week, British bank HSBC agreed to pay $1.92 billion -- the largest bank fine ever -- to settle a U.S. investigation into the bank’s alleged money laundering with drug cartels. But still, UBS’s stiff penalty is more than three times the $450 million fine levied on British bank Barclays in June, which had also admitted to rigging the LIBOR rate, which is used to price worldwide loans. It hasn’t been a good couple of years for UBS, which also lost $2.3 billion in a rogue trading scandal earlier this year.
Dozens of UBS staff rigged the Libor rate, which is used to price trillions of dollars worth of loans, in collusion with brokers and traders at other banks, according to an investigation by authorities in multiple countries.
The controversy is expected to ensnare other big lenders and spark criminal and civil lawsuits against individuals involved. The penalty UBS agreed with U.S., UK and Swiss authorities far exceeds the $450 million levied on Britain's Barclays in June, also for rigging Libor, and the second largest ever imposed on a bank.
"This is an endemic banking industry problem and shows how far the industry has fallen, failing itself and its customers," said Neil Dwane, chief investment officer for Allianz Global Investors.
"For the future it shows that without strong regulation and strong and new management throughout most of the biggest banks, there can be no reasonable expectation that they will improve their behavior substantially - at least UBS now has strong new management."
Unfortunately, it still seems that strong regulation of the banks ranks right up there with jail time for criminal bankers.
Via Occupy Wall St., via Occupy Our Homes. Be sure to check out their website for more information on how you can support on-going occupations to save homes from foreclosure, including active campaigns like this one to save the home of cancer patient Jacqueline Barber in Atlanta, the Hernandez family currently being harassed by LAPD in Los Angeles, and many more!
Four years after an economic meltdown precipitated by Wall Street greed, fraud, and recklessness in the housing market, Americans continue to face an epidemic of unjust foreclosures. While homeowners and renters seek help to keep their homes, banks have rushed to foreclose and evict, and in too many communities, homes remain vacant while neighbors sleep on the street.
But homeowners, housing justice activists, homeless advocates, and occupiers have come together to fight back under the banner of the Occupy Our Homes movement. Community organizations and occupy groups came together last December to challenge the housing crisis and confront the crooks at the banks who are stealing our homes. On December 6, 2011, scores of groups around the country participated in a day of action for housing justice, launching the Occupy Our Homes movement.
Homeowners, renters, and the homeless joined forces to fight the banks and reclaim our communities. All over the country, activists declared housing a human right. We came together, occupying our homes to prevent eviction, disrupting foreclosure auctions, restoring vacant homes to community use, and protesting the banks that caused this mess in the first place.
And we showed time and again that when people fought for their homes, they could win.
But the fight is far from over. Despite dozens of victories for homeowners around the country, banks are still choosing to foreclose instead of taking payments. Banks are still refusing to negotiate with families who seek only a fair solution that keeps them in their home. Banks are still using fraudulent tactics like robo-signing to speed through illegal foreclosures—months after a weak settlement meant to stop this practice. Bank-owned houses continue to sit empty and untended, destroying property values and pushing more and more families underwater.
A year since the start of the Occupy Our Homes movement, we are recommitting to reclaiming our homes and our futures. On Thursday December 6th 2012, we call on communities to turn the spotlight on the crisis that continues to hold our neighborhoods and our economy hostage.
We will take action together:
- Eviction defenses/home occupations
- Reclaiming vacant homes for the homeless
- Establishing foreclosure and eviction-free zones
- Foreclosure auction sit-ins
- Marches on the banks
Occupy Our Homes started with a simple idea: bring the bold, creative energy of the Occupy movement into hard-hit communities and build power through victories for the 99%. We've won homes, churches, community landmarks, and stopped evictions while relieving debt and reclaiming land along the way.
On Thursday December 6th, 2012, we’ll re-invest in this movement to defend our homes, hold Wall Street accountable, and affirm the human right to housing. Join us in solidarity with homeowners, tenants and the homeless to build a just housing system—for the 99%.
If you as an individual or any Occupy group or community-based organization are interested in participating in the D6 actions, please complete this form and someone from Occupy Our Homes will be in touch.
Wells Fargo is the latest collateral damage from the housing boom. U.S. prosecutors are suing the bank -- the country’s largest originator of home loans -- for defrauding the government, accusing it of issuing mortgages without proper discern and then lying about their condition to the Federal Housing Administration. When these problematic loans later defaulted, the Federal Housing Administration was obligated to cover the hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. The lawsuit attempts to reclaim those damages. “The bank will present facts to vigorously defend itself against this action,” a Wells Fargo rep said in a statement.
In a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, the prosecutors accused Wells Fargo, the country’s largest originator of home loans, of defrauding the government for more than a decade. The bank recklessly issued mortgages and then made false certifications about their condition to the Federal Housing Administration, a government agency that insured them, the complaint said.
The problematic loans were not eligible for the government insurance, according to the lawsuit, and when they soured, the F.H.A. was obligated to cover the losses. The Justice Department is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
“Yet another major bank has engaged in a longstanding and reckless trifecta of deficient training, deficient underwriting and deficient disclosure, all while relying on the convenient backstop of government insurance,” Preet S. Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, whose office filed the lawsuit, said in a statement.
According the the government's complaint, Wells Fargo knew about the vast number of deficient loans but concealed them from the F.H.A.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a civil complaint against JPMorgan Chase for fraud in the selling of mortgage-backed securities. Schneiderman is the co-chairman of a presidential task force formed in January to investigate possible civil and criminal misconduct in the formation and sale of mortgage-backed securities. The allegation is over securities issued by the investment bank Bear Stearns in 2006 and 2007. JPMorgan acquired Bear Stearns in March 2008.
The federal mortgage task force that was formed in January by the Justice Department filed its first complaint against a big bank on Monday, citing a broad pattern of misconduct in the packaging and sale of mortgage securities during the housing boom.
The complaint contends that Bear Stearns and its lending unit EMC Mortgage defrauded investors who purchased mortgage securities packaged by the companies from 2005 through 2007. The firms made material misrepresentations about the quality of the loans in the securities, the lawsuit said, and ignored evidence of broad defects among the loans that they pooled and sold to investors.
Moreover, when Bear Stearns identified problematic loans that it had agreed to purchase from a lender, it was required to make the originator buy them back. But Bear Stearns demanded cash payments from the lenders and kept the money, rather than passing it on to investors, the suit contends.
Always, it's about the money. No criminal charges, again, because the feds wouldn't receive a cash settlement. Yet over 7,000 Occupy Wall Street protesters have been beaten, pepper-sprayed, arrested, and jailed...bankers? Zero. No justice here.
However, this was done in Schneiderman's capacity as the New York Attorney General, not the task force. A lack of confidence in the task force, perhaps?
Foreclosure fraud is on the rise in California and Occupy Los Angeles activists say elected officials are doing nothing to stop it. California had the nation's highest foreclosure rate this summer, contributing to at least two major cities seeking bankruptcy protection. The state attorney general has promised relief but homeowners have yet to see it.
A recent Atlanta news report details instances of foreclosure fraud in Georgia and how Georgia officials fail to take prosecutorial action despite a new law that makes foreclosure fraud a felony, punishable by fines and jail time.