FORECLOSUREGATE AND OBAMA'S 'POCKET VETO'
President Obama indirectly vetoed the legislation by declining to sign the bill passed by Congress while legislators are on recess.
Even Gretchen Morgenson in the New York Times characterizes the problem as “flawed paperwork.”
Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray announced on Wednesday that he is filing suit against Ally Financial and GMAC for civil penalties up to $25,000 per violation for fraud in hundreds of foreclosure suits.
You Can’t Recover What Doesn’t Exist
[C]reating . . . means fabricating documents out of whole cloth, and look at the extent of the offerings. The collateral file is ALL the documents the trustee (or the custodian as an agent of the trustee) needs to have pursuant to its obligations under the pooling and servicing agreement on behalf of the mortgage backed security holder. This means most importantly the original of the note (the borrower IOU), copies of the mortgage (the lien on the property), the securitization agreement, and title insurance.
The Tranche Problem
How do you create a subprime derivative? . . . You take a bunch of mortgages . . . and put them into one big thing. We call it a Mortgage Backed Security. Say it’s $50 million worth. . . . Now you take a bunch of these Mortgage Backed Securities and you put them into one very big thing. . . . The one thing about all these guys here [in the one very big thing] is that they’re all subprime borrowers, their credit is bad or there’s something about them that doesn’t make it prime. . . .
Watch, we’re going to make some triple A paper out of this. . . Now we have a $1 billion vehicle here. We’re going to slice it up into five different pieces. Call them tranches. . . . The key is, they’re not divided by “Jane’s is here” and “Joe’s is here.” Jane is actually in all five pieces here. Because what we’re doing is, the BBB tranche, they’re going to take the first losses for whoever is in the pool, all the way up to about 8% of the losses. What we’re saying is, you’ve got losses in the thing, I’m going to take them and in return you’re going to pay me a relatively high interest rate. . . . All the way up to triple A, where 24% of the losses are below that. Twenty-four percent have to go bad before they see any losses. Here’s the magic as far as Wall Street’s concerned. We have taken subprime paper and created GE quality paper out of it. We have a triple A tranche here.
First they said it was MERS who was the lender. That clearly didn’t work because MERS lent nothing, collected nothing and never had anything to do with the cash involved in the transaction. Then they started with the servicers who essentially met with the same problem. Then they got cute and produced either the actual note, a copy of the note or a forged note, or an assignment or a fabricated assignment from a party who at best had dubious rights to ownership of the loan to another party who had equally dubious rights, neither of whom parted with any cash to fund either the loan or the transfer of the obligation. . . . Now the pretender lenders have come up with the idea that the “Trust” is the owner of the loan . . . even though it is just a nominee (just like MERS) . . . . They can’t have it both ways.
My answer is really simple. The lender/creditor is the one who advanced cash to the borrower. . . . The use of nominees or straw men doesn’t mean they can be considered principals in the transaction any more than your depository bank is a principal to a transaction in which you buy and pay for something with a check.
So What’s to Be Done?
[I] f you meet your Lender (investor), you can restructure the loan yourselves and then jointly go after the pretender lenders for all the money they received and didn’t disclose as “agent.”
Those who bought MBS from institutions that improperly securitized this paper can and should sue the securitizers to well beyond the orbit of Mars. . . . [I]f this bankrupts one or more large banking institutions, so be it. We now have "resolution authority", let's see it used.
Most major banks are insolvent and cannot (and should not) be saved. The best approach is something like a banking holiday for the largest 19 banks and shadow banks in which institutions are closed for a relatively brief period. Supervisors move in to assess problems. It is essential that all big banks be examined during the “holiday” to uncover claims on one another. It is highly likely that supervisors will find that several trillions of dollars of bad assets will turn out to be claims big financial institutions have on one another (that is exactly what was found when AIG was examined—which is why the government bail-out of AIG led to side payments to the big banks and shadow banks). . . . By taking over and resolving the biggest 19 banks and netting claims, the collateral damage in the form of losses for other banks and shadow banks will be relatively small.