Posted by CM on November 25, 2009
As always, here is your monthly Mortgage Servicer Performance Report through October 2009 from the Treasury Dept.
The pretty graphs show that housing inventory is increasing while mortgage rates, home prices and home sales are all dropping.
PHH Mortgage is still not listed as a participant in this program. According to some, PHH Mortgage is one of the tenth largest mortgage servicers. Why aren’t they participating? If they are, why aren’t they visible on this report?
See the report here
Posted in Foreclosure, Green Tree Servicing, Mortgage Servicers, PHH Mortgage, Short-sales, Treasury | Tagged: Foreclosure, HAMP, modification, mortgage, mortgage servicer, mortgage servicer performance report, refinance | Leave a Comment »
Posted by CM on September 2, 2009
WHO: Denise Richardson, Advocate/Founder of www.givemebackmycredit.com
Advocates for Fairness in Lending, www.AFFIL.org
WHAT: National Consumer Empowerment Conference & Expo
WHEN: Saturday, November 21, 2009
WHERE: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Hollywood, Florida
WHY: “Yes, We Care! Uniting Consumers With Their Advocates”
This national conference and expo is the first of its kind. Both advocates and consumers will come together to openly discuss issues and share resources.
Please attend this conference if you can. Hopefully STOP! Mortgage Servicers will be able to attend! Also, if you can’t make it but think your town would be interested in hosting a conference like this, let the organizers know. You never know what might happen!
For more information:
PDF Flyer for event
Give Me Back My Credit
Posted in Foreclosure, Green Tree Servicing, Mortgage Service Providers, Mortgage Servicers, PHH Mortgage, Short-sales | Tagged: affil, consumer empowerment conference and expo, Foreclosure, givemebackmycredit, mortgage, Mortgage Servicers | Leave a Comment »
Posted by CM on September 2, 2009
Not much is changing folks. This story is yet again about families who tried to modify their loans, were unsuccessful and had to move because of foreclosure. This specific story is about Litton Loans, owned by Goldman Sachs. We have all heard that home sales are increasing but I wonder how many of those home sales are foreclosure sales?
1. Foreclosure: Losing the American Dream. Martin H. Bosworth. Consumer Affairs. 9/1/09
Posted in Foreclosure, Green Tree Servicing, Mortgage Service Providers, Mortgage Servicers, PHH Mortgage, Short-sales | Tagged: consumer affairs, Foreclosure, goldman sachs, litton loans, modifications, mortgage, Mortgage Servicers | Leave a Comment »
Posted by CM on August 24, 2009
Hi All! As the founder of STOP! Mortgage Servicers, I was asked to do a guest blog post on Denise Richardson’s site, Give Me Back My Credit!
I have always been a nonbeliever in the status-quo. So when my husband and I failed in the sale of our first house, I just didn’t accept the failure.
Click Here to read more
You can also find this guest post on Zimbio
This is FANTASTIC Exposure! Thank you again Denise!
Posted in Congressional regulation, Foreclosure, Green Tree Servicing, Mortgage Service Providers, Mortgage Servicers, PHH Mortgage, Short-sales | Tagged: Foreclosure, give me back my credit, give me back my credit" X Foreclosure X mortgage servicers X mortgages X Zimbio, Mortgage Servicers, mortgages, PHH Mortgage | Leave a Comment »
Posted by CM on August 19, 2009
A couple recently sold their home and submitted an offer to buy another home. This new home was damaged from flooding during a hurricane. The couple wanted to purchase the home to fix it up. Well, their first mortgage company refused to appraise the house for the offered price and instead kept lowering the price. So, the couple went to Bank of America and found a loan officer who would approve a “drive by” appraisal. The real estate agent then took all the photographs off of the internet and put curtains on the windows so that all the appraiser could see was the outside of the house. And low and behold, the house appraised for the exact amount that the couple offered on the house.
In today’s New York Times, there is an article about the appraisal business. The Home Valuation Code of Conduct now says that “brokers and real estate agents can no longer order appraisals, only lenders can.” Evidently folks in the mortgage industry feel that only unethical appraisers are getting the jobs with the new code. Based on the story above, I would agree with their argument.
Source: In Appraisal Shift, Lenders Gain Power and Critics. By David Streitfeld for The NYTimes 8/18/09
Posted in Congressional regulation, Court Filings, Foreclosure, Mortgage Service Providers, Mortgage Servicers, New York Times, PHH Mortgage, Short-sales | Tagged: appraisals, bank of america, home valuation code of conduct, lenders, NYTIMES, real estate agents | Leave a Comment »
Posted by CM on August 19, 2009
Last week I watched a story on CNN about two homeowners who left their home when they received their foreclosure notice (auction notice I assume). Well, about a year later, they were being threatened with jail time due to credit liens, unpaid property taxes, and unpaid city code fines (their home was fined by the city because of the lack of curb appeal). Unfortunately I have not been able to locate CNN’s story to provide a link or a reference so the words used are not verbatim. But it really doesn’t matter because I have heard this story time and time again. You think the bank is foreclosing, you move out and a year later you find that you still own the house that has become virtually worthless.
In my personal story, our home has been vacant and on the market for a year and a half. Because of the story above, I have decided not to take all the utilities out of my name until I have proof that PHH Mortgage or someone else actually bought the house during the auction. The last thing I need is to go to jail next year. My family wouldn’t like that very much.
For further reading on this subject, please read: House ‘Under Water’? Do Like the Banks Do and Just Walk Away. By Scott Thill for AlterNet.org 8/19/09
Posted in Congressional regulation, Foreclosure, Green Tree Servicing, Mortgage Service Providers, Mortgage Servicers, PHH Mortgage, Short-sales | Tagged: alternet.org, banks, cnn, Foreclosure, mortgage, Mortgage Servicers, PHH Mortgage, scott thill | Leave a Comment »
Posted by CM on August 19, 2009
I have advocated complaining as a means to fix our problems with the mortgage industry. After reading Tammy’s letter from Denise Richardson’s website, I am not so sure that complaining is working. Tammy in Florida has a truly heart wrenching story. But what struck me the most is how much she has complained and that she writes to the White House daily. I thought I wrote to the White House and other elected officials a lot. I think Tammy writes more than I do. My point here is that our complaints on the internet and with various politicians and federal agencies are simply not doing enough if anything. We need to step up our efforts.
What do we do now? I really want to hear from you all out there. I want to know your suggestions for how to move forward. I have set up social media accounts and a message board so we can facilitate discussions and brainstorm ideas. My ultimate goal is to convene a hearing on Capital Hill where we can all voice our complaints and then be a part of the solution. How do we get there from here? Remember that no well-meaning idea is a bad idea.
Just to get some ideas flowing, we could copy what Obama’s Organizing for America (OFA) groups are doing for health care reform. We could hold neighborhood meetings and organize petition signing efforts within our communities. We could even use OFA’s events calendar to promote our own events. We could also use the message board on this site to plan events. We can invite the press to our meetings. So, join the community, spread the word and share your ideas. Let Tammy’s story inspire you and remind us all that we are not alone and Individually we are Strong. Together we are Powerful.
Posted in Congressional regulation, Foreclosure, Green Tree Servicing, Mortgage Service Providers, Mortgage Servicers, PHH Mortgage, Short-sales, white house | Tagged: denise richardson, florida, Foreclosure, give me back my credit, green tree, mortgage, Mortgage Servicers, obama, OFA, organizing for america, PHH Mortgage, white house | Leave a Comment »
Posted by CM on August 11, 2009
By Coleen Martinez
First, let’s begin our discussion with an explanation of what Mark-to-Market (MTM) is. From the Forbes website, Investopedia, MTM is the following1:
- A measure of the fair value of accounts that can change over time, such as assets and liabilities. MTM aims to provide a realistic appraisal of an institution’s or company’s current financial situation.
- The accounting act of recording the price or value of a security, portfolio or account to reflect its current market value rather than its book value.
- When the net asset value (NAV) of a mutual fund is valued based on the most current market valuation.
The Forbes’ website goes on to try to explain what happens in a MTM situation. Take the “financial crisis of 2008/20091” (as if this crisis is ancient history) as the starting point of the following explanation. So, as we all know, banks went around the country selling and buying lots of bad loans on houses with inflated prices. And when the bubble burst, the loans that the banks were holding lost their value and in consequence, the banks themselves lost their value. Forbes explains the above situation as this:
“Problems can arise when the market-based measurement does not accurately reflect the underlying asset’s true value. This can occur when a company is forced to calculate the selling price of these assets or liabilities during unfavorable or volatile times, such as a financial crisis. For example, if the liquidity is low or investors are fearful, the current selling price of a bank’s assets could be much lower than the actual value. The result would be a lowered shareholders’ equity.1”
The bank bought loans for inflated values. In turn, the bank sold shares based on the inflated values of the loans and ultimately marketed itself at an inflated price to have investors buy shares of their company so everyone could be happy and rich. When the bubble burst, the bank would have lost its’ value because the loans lost their values, and ultimately the shareholders would lose the value of their high priced stock in the bank.
What the Forbes quote above is trying to explain is that during a financial crisis, banks with bad loans will appear worse than they appear. So to combat this awful situation for the banks, the MTM rule was kicked to the curb. In April 2009, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) created “new guidelines that would allow for the valuation to be based on a price that would be received in an orderly market rather than a forced liquidation.1”
Based on the financial industry’s faulty logic, they have concluded that during a financial crisis, they are allowed to value their assets at a price of their desire. When doing this “magic math” banks will not lose shareholders because their only value is based on a bunch of bad loans. Banks will instead keep all of their value and shareholders by lying about the value of their assets. Isn’t this just fantastic!
I felt bad for not knowing about the MTM rule in the first place and not knowing about the rule’s demise in April. I try really hard to know about current events especially when it comes to mortgage news. Then I realized that rules disappearing and reappearing in the financial world is exactly why we had a “financial crisis of 2008/2009.1” It seems that while President Obama is trying to put forth new regulations in the financial industry, Wall Street is still playing their games.
I guess that you wouldn’t be surprised to know MTM is a company also. Check them out, they offer BPO’s (Broker Price Opinions) or as we know them as, appraisals2. I suppose that this website promises BPO’s in an “orderly market, not a forced liquidation market.1” My personal experience tells me that the BPO’s ordered for my vacant home on the market were based on a bubble market (orderly), not a reality market (forced liquidation).
While doing research for this piece, I came across a wonderfully titled opinion piece on the Forbes website titled, “Why Mark-to-Market Accounting Rules Must Die.3” The writers complain about how terrible the rule is for banks and why we should allow the financial industry to get rid of the rule. Clearly these writers have no clue as to the affect of not having this rule does for the average citizen.
My house has been vacant and listed for sale since February 2008. After 6 months on the market, I started requesting approval of short sale offers. Every single BPO we received was entirely too high and not at all reflective of the current depressed market value of my home, of the neighborhood, and of the town. Obviously my mortgage servicer had decided early on to ignore the MTM rule and now they can ignore the MTM rule in good conscience.
In summary, the MTM rule has been relaxed to allow banks to value their assets as they see fit. In a financial crisis, they can keep their assets valued high even though the assets might be low. However, in a normal market, banks have to value their assets at face value. The financial industry’s idea of a stable market is our idea of a bubble market, whereas our idea of a stable market is the financial industry’s idea of a “forced liquidation1” market.
We are still in a financial crisis. Banks still won’t modify mortgages. Obviously if banks modified mortgages they would be admitting that the values of their assets are lower than when they were first purchased. As we have realized, this asset lowering in turn can lower the overall value of the bank. Clearly this is why banks won’t accept short sales because they would have to admit that the loans are not as valuable as first thought. This is why banks won’t refinance because typically the payment amount and interest will go down and thus lower the value of the loan. This is why banks won’t modify mortgages that are underwater because again, they have to admit that the value of their loan has decreased. Plus, by keeping an inflated value on mortgages, servicers earn ¼ to ½ percent per value of each mortgage5. By keeping the values/mortgages/loans/assets at an inflated price, both the banks and mortgage servicers win.
Lastly, “by allowing a property to go into foreclosure, banks have postponed the inevitable, admitting the value of their asset has decreased.4” Take it from someone who knows, banks can drag out a pending foreclosure for a long time and all the while, they get to keep the same high value of their assets for as long as possible. Plus, when the property does foreclose, banks and servicers earn fees5.
I believe the MTM rule has become a joke. Either we create a new rule or refer to the old rule and actually enforce it.
- Mark-to-Market on Investopedia, A Forbes Digital Company. Found 8/11/09
- Mark-to-Market. Found 8/11/09
- Why Mark-to-Market Accounting Rules Must Die by Brian S. Wesbury and Robert Stein. Posted 2/24/09. Found 8/11/09.
- Our view on housing: On foreclosures, lenders play ‘extend and pretend’. USA Today Editorial Board. Posted 7/28/09. Found 8/10/09
- AP IMPACT: Government Mortgage Partners Sued for Abuses. Daniel Wagner. Associated Press. 8/5/09.
Posted in Congressional regulation, Foreclosure, Green Tree Servicing, J.P. Morgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Mortgage Service Providers, Mortgage Servicers, New York Times, PHH Mortgage, Short-sales, Treasury, white house | Tagged: AP, assets, “bubble market”, “financial accounting standards board”, “financial crisis”, “forced liquidation market”, “mark-to-market”, “market value”, “mortgage servicers”, “short sales”, banks, forbes, Foreclosure, geithner, Investopedia, modifications, mortgages, MTM, obama, Treasury, underwater, USAToday | Leave a Comment »