Tag Archives: apocalypse

Modern Investigative Reporting Aids Those in Foreclosure


Warning: Off-topic subject, although it illustrates the value of old-fashioned investigative reporting.

After this post was written and scheduled, I came upon a news story that sets the context for the story. I will paste it here, in italics.

It’s easy to judge someone who spends more money than he makes and gets into financial trouble. It’s irresponsible. At first, that is the way I felt about all people who bought too much house, then lost their homes to foreclosure.

The more I read the background news stories, the more I came to believe many were lured into a snare designed by certain financial organizations to be a massive money-making machine. Select lenders and investment banking institutions purposely behaved irresponsibly because they had a plan. They figured out how to make money using “mismanagement”  and avoid consequences. (The perfect legal defense: “Your Honor, I used poor judgement and made some bad management decisions.”) Stupidity isn’t a crime, unless it can be proved to be a smoke screen for outright fraud. Once these banks were en masse in insolvency (they all did the same inane, irresponsible acts), then step two of the devious plan kicked in: suck massive amounts of free money out of the general populace through tax-supported bailouts. With no paybacks. Forever. (Where can I get me one of them? I’d like $40 million dollars a month indefinitely for being criminal stupid.)

Lend– bad loan, good loan, it doesn’t matter. Make money. Package and sell the bad mortgages to investors, teachers’ retirement funds, firemen’s retirement funds, policemen’s retirement funds, your retirement funds, foreign governments. Make money. Pass off the consequences to unsuspecting others. Mortgages defaults. Pension funds lose the money they need to pay out retirement benefits. Get government to tax citizens and give the $$$ to lenders–no strings attached, no pay back required. Bail out. Make money. Foreclosure.  Real Estate is sold. Make money. The cycle begins again. Make Money.

Sadly, citizens do pay consequences for bad behavior. That’s where the news story comes in. The institutions which figured out how to profit from fraud haven’t paid consequences–yet. That’s where the original post comes in. Someone clever has figured out a way to turn the game back on the banksters in certain circumstances.

But first the newly added news clipping from Reuters:

Spain promises to spare needy from eviction after suicides

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos promised on Monday that no needy family will go homeless over mortgage arrears, responding to public fury at a homeowner’s suicide as she was being evicted.

Facing accusations that politicians and banks are complicit in de facto “murder”, Spain’s banking association said its members would suspend eviction orders for two years for those borrowers worst hit by economic crisis and record unemployment.

Banks have repossessed close to 400,000 homes in Spain since a property bubble burst in 2008 and the nation subsequently sank into recession, throwing millions out of work and unable to keep up mortgage payments to the banks.

Last Friday’s suicide of 53-year-old Amaia Egana has inflamed a public already angered by what they see as a lack of compassion among Spanish banks, many of which have benefited from taxpayer-funded bailouts organized by the political elite.

Now to the originally scheduled post:

An investigative reporter discovered that a segment of the mortgage banking/ investment banking community purposely defrauded investors and homeowners. His investigative findings are now compiled in a book called Clouded Titles.

The subject bankers defrauded pension funds and other investors by selling worthless mortgage backed securities. The same bankers also unscrupulously by-passed laws governing title and mortgage records so that millions of homeowners with a mortgage may not be able to sell their homes. Why? Because the homeowner will not be able to provide clear chain of title, solely due to lender fraud and mismanagement. Further, the banks skipped out paying millions in taxes and fees to local governments when they short-cut the law through robo-signing and other techniques. So the mortgage-handling entities cheated investors; they swindled homeowners; they skipped out like a dead-beat parent on paying their fees and taxes to local, state and federal governments.

Currently, a multi-BILLION dollar lawsuit has been filed by the U. S. federal government seeking damages. There is a successful movement growing among injured mortgagees who are suing  in court to prevent eviction and foreclosure. Some have seen the courts stop the banks from foreclosing or even from collecting mortgage payments.

For anyone who has received repeated letters about a change in who owns your mortgage or a change to where you send your house payment, you may eventually learn your title is clouded and you may be paying someone who doesn’t legally own your mortgage, and therefore, your home.

For those persons, I am providing the following information about the author and his  book Clouded Titles.

Dave Krieger is a former major market radio news reporter and news director and television news reporter/anchorman and investigative journalist, who won national and state news awards from Associated Press Broadcasters. Dave was a former member of Radio and Television News Directors Association. Dave began studying law in early 1990; specializing in real estate, tort, consumer credit and collection issues.

His first self-published work, The Credit Restoration Primer, a 263-page, self-help, credit repair book, was first released in 1995 and is now entering its 4th Edition.

Dave currently serves as a paralegal and legal research analyst for Wade Kricken, an attorney in Dallas, Texas, who specializes in consumer and real estate law and foreclosure defense. He has lectured at the Texas County Clerk’s school hosted by the V.G. Young Institute and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and currently conducts audits of county land records and instructs attorneys on the subject of Chain of Title Assessments & Quiet Title Actions in continuing legal education courses around the country.

The newest version of his book, Clouded Titles, is 396 pages of updated information about the aspects of foreclosure defense, strategic default, quiet title actions and county land record functions; coupled with a detailed Index and Table of Case Citations and comes highly regarded by attorneys.

Additional commentary from MSNBC on a related subject– listen to the end to hear the “banking corruption” remark. Ignore the politics. This is your chance to look behind the curtain in OZ. It’s your life. You are the one behind the eight ball. You and your kids and your grandkids. Know who is using the system and putting the screws to you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TZ0LqnaeuA&feature=share&list=PL2WWM-Cq2nuJ59drKmEEfsSkwZ9C2n5Gm

Lessons Learned from Hurricane Sandy


Before Hurricane Sandy hit U. S. shores, I heard a few emergency preparedness public service announcements that urged people to collect food, water, and other supplies needed for three days in the event Sandy cut off access to services.

What Sandy–and Katrina for that matter–taught me is this:

  1. The loss of electricity means more than the absence of lights. Use of gasoline pumps, ATM machines, heaters, cold food storage and other necessities can be lost. Pharmacies close so that those who are ill can’t get prescription medications. Refrigerated or frozen food at home or in grocery stores and restaurants spoil. Banks close so no one has access to their money.
  2. The loss of access to necessities can last much longer than anyone anticipates. Older or disabled persons living on top stories of buildings without electrical power to run elevators or health-related equipment may be cut off from things they need to stay alive. In the aftermath of Sandy, some communities were told the citizens would have to make do without power for six weeks or more. At the onset of winter, life can get brutal quickly if one has no way to keep warm.
  3. The destruction of infrastructure impedes the flow of commerce. In the aftermath of Sandy, it was difficult to get food and water to stores or distribution centers because debris clogged roads. Further, disruptions in energy distribution meant folks had a hard time buying gasoline to fill tanks so they could drive outside the destruction zone for supplies. Or vehicles were destroyed by flood waters, leaving owners stranded. One cruise ship that departed before Sandy hit, and was scheduled to sail for seven days, returned to New York to find the port closed and access denied. On the 15th day, the ship was still at sea, uncertain when it could return to its home port. Those on board didn’t know if their cars were still where they left them or washed away.
  4. To complicate matters more, society breaks down. Tempers flare and fights start over situations where one person attempts to take advantage of another. People cut into line instead of waiting their turn. Vandals use the cover of chaos to steal or damage property. Price gouging is rampant. The vulnerable are fearful. Children are sent to the safety of homes of distant relatives, while parents stay behind to clean and defend the homestead, which may have become a hazardous dump site.
  5. Few individuals had a plan for how to survive a disaster of Sandy’s magnitude.

When writing about a disaster setting, be accurate about the depth of the devastation. In the days following Sandy, several persons who were directly impacted by the storm said to us, “It’s nothing like you see on TV. It’s much worse.”