“It’s massive, it’s criminal, it’s wrong…” says Ticktin Law Group

Three years ago, I began blogging about the fraud that the banks were committing.  That was at a time before the massive foreclosures were beginning.  Now, the fraud is being exposed and grabbing national attention.

The fraud I wrote about then and have continued to write about in this blog will take the banking system and those we bailed out to their knees albeit by the back door.  Yes, they committed fraud when originating the loans, they committed fraud when they securitized those loans and committed fraud when they sold those securities to the public.  In other words they have been operating what I have consistently called an “organized crime” which should have been – and I hoep will be prosecuted under RICO – The Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The title of this blog comes from a quote by the Ticktin Law Group of Deerfield Beach as was reported by their local TV station.

WPTV.com, News Channel 5 reported the following story:

Law firm says it has proof of illegal foreclosure system by Mike Trim.

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla – Bank of America, Chase, and other huge banks have stopped foreclosures due to potential problems with paperwork.

Now, a South Florida law firm says it has hundreds of cases in Palm Beach County that prove some of those banks may have been committing a crime.

The law firm calls them “robo signers,” people who rushed faulty foreclosure paperwork through the court system.

Within a tower of foreclosure depositions shown at the Ticktin Law Group’s Deerfield Beach office, senior legal counsel Peter Ticktin says the group has discovered the groundwork of an illegal home foreclosure system.

Ticktin said, “It’s massive, it’s criminal, it’s wrong and it’s proven with what lawyers call a mountain of evidence.”

That evidence, according Ticktin, includes incorrect foreclosure paperwork pushed through by all types of banks.

The mountains of evidence they have proves how the banks have been illegally forclosing on homes in many cases.  but this is just the tip of the iceberg.  I believe what will come of all of this new publicity will be a beginning of  “justice” for the American people who have been robbed of their wealth and homes.

Some will say- and aree saying – that homeowners have an obligation to pay for the mortgages they signed for.  In normal and ordinary circumstances I would have and did agree with that statement.  However, these are not ordinary circumstances.  You see, we are in the middle of the worst financial crisis this country has ever seen.  Yes, even worse then the Great Depression which, I believe, history will prove.

The crisis was first blamed on “bad loans” some called  liar loans.  It was blamed on “bad Loans” like the Pay Option Arm loan and it was primarily blamed on the third party loan originators – mortgage brokers.  As a result of the initial blame the mortgage broker industry was virtually wiped out leaving hundreds of thousands of mortgage industry employees out of work.  They were the first casualties of this crisis.  Employees of literally hundreds of mortgage companies – from minimum wage workers to commissioned loan officers – found themselves out of work and unable to find new work.  The first of what was to become millions of Americans unemployed.  This unemployment was the cause of many of the first round of foreclsoures.  As the crisis developed and millions of Americans joined the ranks of the unemployed, more and more foreclsoures began thus creating the current foreclosure crisis we are all experiencing.

But what has this to do with meeting your obligations you may be asking.  Let me try to explain a long and very complex situation in a short amount of space (the stroy can really fill a very long book).

Before the mid 90’s, qualifying for a mortgage was very difficult.  There were very strict guidelines created by our two government sponsored enterpirses, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Basically those guidelines were a minimum credit score of 620, a cash down payment of at least 5%, and a debt to income ratio of 29% 0 meaning you could not spend more then 29% of your total gross income – which had to be verified by the underwrites of the bank making the loan.  If you met those guidelines and the banks “approved” your loan then Fannie or Freddie would buy that loan from the bank.  Fannie and Freddie securitized some of these loans and kept some loans in their own portfolios.  Fannie and Freddie were both private corporations whose stock traded on the stock market.

Then came a push from the government under President Bill Clinton to create more homeowners in this country and we saw the birth of what became known as sub prime loans – loans that did not “conform” to Fannie or Freddie’s guidelines and therefore could not be sold to them.

Point of Interest: When a bank made a mortgage loan and sold it to Fannie or Freddie at a discount,k the bank actually got all the money they loaned back with a profit.  This way the banks could keep lending money over and over again.  Now the banks could loan more money then they had in deposits unlike the old days when savings and loan companies (S & L’s) would only loan a certain percentage of their deposits.

With the advent of sub prime loans, banks and non bank lenders began to loan money at a higher interest rate then loans “conforming” to Fannie and Freddie guidelines.  Because of the higher interest rates on these loans there was a higher rate of return for investors who invested money in these non bank lenders which in turn was used to make mortgage loans with.  Federally chartered banks like JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc. were unable to make these loans by law so they set up “non bank” subsidiaries (many times carrying their bank name) to make these loans.  However, since there was no market to sell or securitize these loans, all these loans had to be kept in house.  If a lender ran out of money to lend, it simply did not lend.

Then came a new revaluation by several Wall Street firms, primarily Lehman Bros., Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns.  They realized that they could buy these high interest rate loans – which were easier to qualify for – package them into securities and sell them worldwide to investors offering them a gigh rate of return due to the high interest rates charged to borrowers.

Now thre was an outlet to “recycle” the money which created an almost unlimited supply of money to lend.  You see, the money was loaned, sold, securitized and recycled back to the original lenders to loan again.  This became so successful that the three major Wall Street firms I mentioned above – who created the guidelines for qualifications – began to lower, lower again and lower again the guidelines so that almost anyone co9uld qualify for a mortgage.  Hence the “liar loans (stated income and/or stated income stated asset loans, the pay option arm loan, the no income loan, the no income no asset loan, etc.

With qualifications almost non existent, buyers flocked to mortgage brokers, lenders and banks who had subsidiaries to get mortgages.  You see, it was the banks who created the frenzy and the bubble in the first place.  Two things were happening here.

First , the banks and non bank lenders (many of whom were owned by our banks and the three Wall Street firms mentioned above) were making money on money they never had.  Each time they made a loan they sold it to Wall Street, got their money back with a profit.  Profits were rising steadily.  Imagine making being able to loan money, make billions of dollars on money you never even had.

Second, the Wall Street firms were making even more billions of dollars selling these packaged loans called Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS).  They were offering higher  rates of returns then anyone could get anywhere else.  As a result, countires like Iceland, governments – local and state, pension plans as well as individual worldwide wanted a “piece of the action”.

The first fraud:

In order to keep the investor market strong and chomping at the bits to buy into these MBS’s, Wall Street (via firms like the three mentioned above as well as Goldman Sachs) had to show the investment world that these were SAFE investment.

There are three rating agencies who rate securities – Standard and Poors, Fitch and Moody’s.  Their highest rating is AAA – meaning that the risk of loss of your investment is minimul to almost non existent.  These rating agencies are paid by Wall Street banks to evaluate and rate their securities.  As such and to capture all this new rating business for all the thousands of new securites being created, these rating agencies began to stamp all of the securities AAA – WITHOUT EVER actually investigating their contents as to credit worthiness.

These admissions of fraud and guilt by former rating agency employees were made several years ago on national TV programs such as 60 Minutes.  They admitted to the fraud which created a buying frenz;y by investors which in turn created a need for more mortgages to be packaged and sold as MBS issues.  Again, to answer the need for “paper” to securitize Wall Street had to lower the qualifying guidelines for borrowers.

The next fraud:

It didn’t take long for Americans to realize that the “American Dream” of homeownership was possible and they began to flock by the millions to realtors, mortgage brokers, lenders and builders.  The bubble began.  The demand for housing almost out weighed the available inventory of homes.  Speculation began on pre construction, the likes of which we have never, ever seen in this or any other country.

As purchase contracts were written by the millions the banks and lenders had more business then ever before and more then they could physically handle in underwriting.  But they didn’t care.  They needed all the mortgage loans they could get so they could sell them to Wall Street at a profit.

Underwriting – that arduous task of investigating, verifying and scrutinizing all the information and documentation submitted with the mortgage application – began to erode.  Underwriters were given instructions to approve loans often times and in many cases with little or no regard to the validity of the information submitted

Point of interest: Even Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac created an automated underwriting system whereby their computers would approve or disapprove a loan submitted without a human ever looking at the file.  They even taught loan originators how to work the system to get approvals.  The “system” would often NOT REQUIRE verification of the information.  The “system” itself was often tweaked so that it would approve more – or sometimes even less depending on the volume – as both of these GSEs had the same investor feeding frenzy waiting to buy their MBS issues.

The bubble could have been prevented had the frauds mentioned above – as well as the inducement to commit fraud amongst realtors and loan originators by the banks and the Government Supervised Enterprises – Fannie and Freddie – not occurred.

The banks had discovered a game they could play – with full knowledge of the fraud and illegal activities – that would literally make them trillions of dollars.  Indeed, Wall Street exec’s, commissioned securities salespeople and the top exec’s of our main street banks all profited beyond any amounts of money ever before thought possible.  The GREED that Gordon Gecko – the fictional character of the 90’s move “Wall Street” became a reality.

The banks created a market they knew would implode.  They knew that when it did implode – and it was just a matter of time – that they could profit once again by taking back the houses they so willingly and easily lent on – selling them as foreclosure sales and profiting yet once again.

The fraud – history will record as the greatest fraud EVER in the history of the world – continues.

The fraud continues in that in this frenzy for greed and commissions, the banks and Wall Street never did the proper paperwork to legally assign or transfer the mortgage notes to the security they created to sell to investors (the MBS).  They in effect sold “air” as their mortgage backed securites defrauding MBs investors both big and small.  Legally many of the securities do not really own the mortgage notes.  The banks or their servicing company subsidiaries are foreclosing on homes THEY HAVE NO LEGAL RIGHT TO.  ANOTHER FRAUD!

The fraud continues:

Now, in their effort to profit even more and to “cover up” all of their previous frauds, they are committing even more fraud by creating documents that are needed but do not exist to prove ownership of the note.  They are forging signatures of borrowers (proven by admission publicly and by deposition (in many stories over the past three years).

The fraudulent Affidavits are the tip of the iceberg as I previously reported.  It is the key that opened Pandora’s box.  The banks committed fraud to create this financial devastation, they committed fraud to cover up their crimes and are committing fraud to continue to steal the wealth of the people.

REMEMBER, ALL THE BANKS THAT MADE THESE LOANS HAVE BEEN PAID IN FULL FOR THESE LOANS.  If proper audits are made of the actual accounts of the actual banks that legally own the loans, we would find their ledgers to show PAID IN FULL.

Now, hopefully you can see why I said above , these are not ordinary circumstances.

The banks falsely manipulated the real estate market with unreal appreciation creating values they knew would crash.  As a result, they crashed our economy, put millions of us in the unemployment lines (so they could take back our homes), put millions of us on welfare via food stamps, put thousands of businesses out while continueing to rake in profits – both personal and corporate – with the aid of our government.

Our courts too have been complicit save a handfull of judges from Ohio, New York and Florida who saw the fraud and ruled against the fraudsters.

Now the banks are crynig foul.  They will correct the fraud and continue on.

How do you take back an illegal action and make it legal.  Can you rob a bank then take the money bakc that you stole a week later and walk away scott free?  I don’t think so.  But that appears to be what has and is still happening.

THE LAW IS THE LAW FOR EVERYONE:

The law is the law for everyone.  My favorite saying.  If it applies to me then it MUST apply to the banks.  If it is a crime they must pay the price of imprisonment just like you and I would.  The admission of guilt – like in the recent case of former Countrywide Bank CEO Mozillo – of paying a fine for the crime (a felony) is absurd.  The 67.5 million dollars is just a drop in the bucket for the hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars he made through fraud.  If evaluated, it would make Bernie Madoff look like a petty street criminal and he is doing 125 years in prison.

Now is the time to fight back.  If you are in foreclosure, seek out the help of a qualified foreclsoure defense attorney.  If you are not in foreclsoure, take the time to investigage your mortgage.  Find out who owns it.  Find out if it was ever assigned legally to any other part;y or entity.  Find out which mortgage backed security owns or claims to own you mortgage note

and most important of all,

let your politicians know that you will not stand for this.  The 50 Attorney Generals of each state and Fannie and Freddiehave joinned forces to investigate these frauds.  Let them know you want JUSTICE.  Let our Federal Government, Attorney General Holder, President Barack Obama, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (also not with clean hands in this whole mess) along with you Senators and Congressmen know that they cnanot cover this up.  They cannot gloss over it and they above all CANNOT PROTECT THE BANKS THAT ARE GUILTY.

If it means their demises then so be it.  There are plenty of other smaller banks who can step in and who are not guilty.

There are pelnty of attorneys who are standing up for your rights.  Many of whom I have mentioned in this blog like the Ticktin Law Group I referenced above. They are true Americans along with the judges who have stood up for the law and people’s rights.

Stand up and fight.  Get on the band wagon – it is leaving the gate.

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Shelley  On January 16, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Do you have any information on a David Aguilar?

  • Tedwa  On February 4, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    I want to show your article to some friends that totally disagree with me about the banksters frauds, but… can you do a spell check on your work? I’m sorry, but sometimes a mispelled word is all someone needs to discount any article. I can understand it totally and 100% agree with you. Very good article and links, thanks. Ted

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