The Great Foreclosure Scandal

The other day The Wall Street Journal introduced me to a new word. From German, it is fremdschämen, meaning “a feeling of cringing embarrassment for the actions of others.” If only to discuss reality TV shows, English really needs NYS-Notary-Seal to adopt this one. We can spell it without the umlauts. It is pronounced something like FREM-shame-in.

I bring this up because there is a minor scandal brewing that has just inspired fremdschamen in me. The Consumerist has taken to calling it the Foreclosure Fracas. Wednesday’s update on it in The New York Times began:

The uproar over bad conduct by mortgage lenders intensified Tuesday, as lawmakers in Washington requested a federal investigation and the attorney general in Texas joined a chorus of state law enforcement figures calling for freezes on all foreclosures.


Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, and 30 other Democratic representatives from California told the Justice Department, the Federal Reserve and the comptroller of the currency that “it is time that banks are held accountable for their practices.”

In a request for an investigation into questionable foreclosure practices by lenders, the lawmakers said that “the excuses we have heard from financial institutions are simply not credible."

So what, you may ask, is the nature of the bad conduct that has inspired this intensifying uproar and calls for drastic action? The closest the Times gets to explaining that (and it is closer than many other media and blogs manage) is in the 8th and 11th paragraphs of the story.

Dubious notary practices used by banks to justify foreclosures have come under scrutiny in recent weeks as GMAC and other top lenders suspended homeowner evictions over possible improper procedures.

….

As banks’ foreclosure practices have come under the microscope, problems with notarizations on mortgage assignments have emerged. These documents transfer the ownership of the underlying note from one institution to another and are required for foreclosures to proceed.

Notarizations? Seriously? Some of the paperwork was not stamped properly? It is time banks were held accountable for this?

Well, yeah, basically that’s it. Bad paperwork.

To apply for a foreclosure judgment, a bank needs to submit an affidavit saying that it deserves to foreclose. Only natural persons can make an affidavit, so these are signed by a mid-level bank employee who, as a matter of form, states that he has personal knowledge of the case from reading the voluminous paperwork involved. Given that the same employee typically makes hundreds or even thousands of such affidavits a month, it ought to surprise nobody that he does not, in fact, have any personal knowledge of the case nor should it be surprising that the notarizations of those affidavits are not always done properly.

I am a great believer in the rule of law. So shame on the banks for cutting corners. But you can hardly blame them. This is a creaky Nineteenth Century system being applied to a massive Twenty First Century problem.

Moreover, it has not been alleged that there is anything substantively wrong with the foreclosure filings, only that the banks failed to say mother-may-I once or twice. Any reasonable person would assume that the ancient legal principle of “no harm, no foul” would apply here.

And, of course, this scandal has been going on for at least a few years without any furor. So why is it blowing up now? Why have California attorney general Jerry Brown and Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal both called for a temporary halt to foreclosures in their states? Here is a hint: Brown is running for governor and Blumenthal hopes to become a senator.

Fremdschamen does not kick in for me just because a bunch of politicians cravenly seize on a fairly flimsy excuse to attack foreclosing banks in the weeks before an election. Fish gotta swim, etc. It starts to come over me when so many reports on this molehill-turned-mountain fail to even hint at its manufactured aspect. (Besides the Times, see, for example, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, and The Consumerist.)

And then cringing embarrassment fully arrived this morning. The Times piece from Wednesday had told us that

The Ohio secretary of state, Jennifer Brunner, suggested in a telephone interview on Tuesday that a bill passed by Congress last week about notarizations could facilitate foreclosure fraud.

The bill she referred to, obscure until that moment, had passed the house on a voice vote in April and the senate unanimously last Monday. It had been a pet project of Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) for at least five years and would simply require that states accept the validity of out-of-state notarizations if they were valid in their home state.

Unlike the President, I have never been employed as a professor of constitutional law, but it seems to be that this ought to be the rule already. The phrase “full faith and credit clause” comes to mind. A state shouldn’t be able to decide that another state’s notarizations aren’t good enough, any more than it can decide another state’s drivers licenses or divorces are not valid.

This morning comes the news that the legal scholar at the helm of our great nation has vetoed the bill. It is his administration’s first veto.

And that is fremdschamen. Use it in a sentence today.

No Comments

  • By M, October 8, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

    full faith and credit is only viable up to a certain extent. the federal government has been eroding it left and right, most notably with DOMA.

  • By jim, October 8, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

    fremdschamen is a great word. I get that when watching The Office.

    I honestly think this is a *perfect* thing for politicians to beat the banks up over.

    Unless I’m missing some key detail that the press hasn’t reported or doesn’t know… then it appears outright open/shut case of fraud. The banks are in the wrong, broke the law and have no excuse other than they didn’t really feel like bothering to do it right. Makes perfect political fodder. Does what they did really matter? No not much at all. But banks don’t get a free pass to commit fraud cause they are lazy and cutting corners or cause the fraud is “no big deal” in their eyes.

    I DO blame the banks here. They committed fraud in an unethical and assembly line manner. They get whats coming to them for that. They should be fined and condemned for their actions.

    I really don’t see why its that big a deal to require a bank authority to actually read a foreclosure document. Banks assume we read our credit card terms and conditions. So I assume banks read their documents that they sign. Fair is far.

  • By Stagflationary Mark, October 8, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

    “Given that the same employee typically makes hundreds or even thousands of such affidavits a month, it ought to surprise nobody that he does not, in fact, have any personal knowledge of the case nor should it be surprising that the notarizations of those affidavits are not always done properly.”

    Swearing under oath that you have personal knowledge without actually having personal knowledge is a criminal offense. It is called perjury.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affidavit

    “An affidavit is a formal sworn statement of fact, signed by the author, who is called the affiant or deponent, and witnessed as to the authenticity of the affiant’s signature by a taker of oaths, such as a notary public or commissioner of oaths. The name is Medieval Latin for he has declared upon oath. An affidavit is a type of verified statement or showing, or in other words, it contains a verification, meaning it is under oath or penalty of perjury, and this serves as evidence to its veracity and is required for court proceedings.”

    Here’s something even more illegal than that though.

    http://4closurefraud.org/2010/01/19/fabrications-forgeries-comparing-signatures-titles-on-mortgage-documents/

  • By Neil, October 8, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

    I’m sympathetic to the view that the system sucks and should be reformed. And therefore vetoing the law change that takes a baby step in that direction is stupid.

    But it is certainly true that signing an affidavit saying you have personal knowledge when you don’t is a crime. Trying to short circuit the crappy system isn’t the solution.

    Of course, the politicians that are making hay from all this are being ridiculous because their fix is the opposite of what needs to happen (and so they’ll lose face when either nothing changes, or the change is bank-friendly). Foreclosing needs to be possible, and it needs to be possible for a big bank to efficiently foreclose on delinquent properties. The current anti-bank populism that basically takes the attitude that you should be able to borrow as much money as you want with no consequences if you don’t pay it back is getting out of hand.

  • By Jules, October 8, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

    You make a nice arguement, but you seem to say that bank executives fraudulently notarizing documents is the equivalent of “some of the paperwork was not stamped properly”. This paperwork is important and is required to be notarized for a reason. The bank employee was wrong.
    These events make it obvious to me that this is no time to make it easier for banks to rush through foreclosure documents. I think the president did the right thing.

  • By Adam, October 8, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/07/countrywide-goes-kafka-%E2%80%93-a-first-person-narrative.html

    Anecdotal, but still…”Bad paperwork” only seems trivial when it’s not your home

  • By Mt, October 8, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

    It was also Countrywide that took a woman’s pet bird.

    I think that something gets lost in the broader discussion about foreclosures: Countrywide is a bad company. Bank of America and Ken Lewis did a poor job on acquisitions, among many other things, and they added a truly lousy Countrywide organization to their corporate soup of apocalyptic misery.

    The system needs fixing, and other companies have made mistakes, too – but I see that Countrywide is behind an amazing amount of disgraceful errors.

  • By Craig, October 8, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

    I’m generally on board with your view. I am growing increasingly frustrated with otherwise sane commentators using words like theft and fraud to describe a state of affairs in which a borrower defaults on a mortgage and the note holder takes possession of the house.

    People are confusing procedure with substance here; when a procedural problem trumps a substantive issue, we usually call that a “technicality,” and consider it (at best) a regrettable necessity, important for preserving the integrity of the system…even if the occasional criminal then gets to walk free. But the banks are mean and the borrowers are sad, so an improperly notarized document is suddenly more important than basic questions of justice and fairness.

  • By Dan, October 8, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

    “I am a great believer in the rule of law. So shame on the banks for cutting corners. But you can hardly blame them.”

    Actually, you can. You can blame them as much as I can be blamed for not fully reading any long-ass legal document that I signed or clicked through. If I agree to be bound by all terms and conditions, then so does Big Business. It *cannot* be a two-way street. If a home-owner can be blamed for not reading every word in his mortgage document, then so can the bank. Period.

    Besides, if you’re going to take a man’s shelter, the least you can do is dot your i’s and cross your t’s.

    The system is broken, but Big Business doesn’t get a pass because it’s Big Business.

  • By jim, October 8, 2010 @ 7:09 pm

    Craig, this is not about saying the banks are evil or that the foreclosures are wrong. I don’t think this is “theft” at all. But using the word “fraud” is correct IMHO. I’m using the word “fraud” because I believe that is technically what it is called when someone signs an affidavit on a document claiming they read it when they didn’t actually read it and then has it notarized by a notary that did not witness him sign it. This is what GMAC did about 100,000 times apparently.

    Banks are supposed to know it is not OK to tell “little white lies” about things like affidavits and notarization on their legal documentation. Can we not at least expect that much of them? The people we trust with all our money should be held to a fairly high standard as far as following the letter of the law with legal contracts I think.

    Of course none of this means it is OK for a deadbeat to not pay their mortgage or that foreclosures are the act of mean greedy banks. Of course if someone lost their house to foreclosure because they didn’t pay their mortgage then that is perfectly legal and proper. Saying the banks did something wrong doesn’t imply the borrowers are all innocent victims.

  • By Craig, October 8, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

    Jim, I appreciate your points. And I want to say first that I am not a lawyer. “Fraud” is a complicated notion; I read that it has nine elements under the common law, among them that the plaintiff in the action must have relied upon the fraudulent statement and suffered damages as a result of that reliance. Can that case be made when we are talking about a “robo-signer” signing substantially true documents? I guess we’ll see how this thing plays out in Ohio. For my part, I have my doubts. Perhaps an attorney needs to be disbarred. Perhaps a notary needs to go to jail. But the idea that these foreclosures are permanently tainted by, as I say, questions only of paperwork, not of substantial ownership? I’m dubious. We’d be beside ourselves if people _lost_ their homes because of an improperly notarized document.

  • By Tyler, October 8, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

    In a vacuum what you write makes sense. In context the banks previous irresponsibility affords them all the trust and respect of any other felon.

  • By Life is stranger than movies, October 8, 2010 @ 9:12 pm

    One of my favorite movies, is “A time to kill” in which a lawyer (Matthew McConaughey) defends a black man for killing the white rapist of his young daughter. Its a racially charged drama, and in the closing arguments, the lawyer has the jury close their eyes while he recounts the brutality of the initial crime….and then stuns the jury with the phrase…”now imagine she were white.”

    Its a reminder that the law is, and strives to be, blind to the parties before her. I have a hard time believing that should a homeowner have had paperwork or notary issues that we would be using such terms as fraud, etc. or advocating that the transaction be negated.

    So, I’m with the Curmudgeon. We need to be careful that the distasteful characters of the current drama don’t push us towards policy that we’d be unwilling to live with if the characters were reversed, as they certainly will be at some point in the near future.

  • By Frank Curmudgeon, October 8, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

    M: Which is why I think DOMA is prima facie unconstitutional.

    Everybody: I was only being a little jokey when I referred to “no harm no foul” as a legal principle. It really is in this case. In order for this to rise to the level of fraud, some harm has to come of it and that is very hard to imagine. What we are talking about here is a self-parody of a technicality, something do devoid of substance that in other circumstances we would all use it as an example of how crazy lawyers are. Craig makes a great point that we would all be deeply outraged if the shoe were on the other foot, if homeowners had committed a similarly technical violation and were losing their houses faster because of it.

    And don’t we all think that the paperwork for each mortgage is, for all practical purposes, identical to the paperwork from the other mortgages in a given state?

  • By Stagflationary Mark, October 9, 2010 @ 1:46 am

    Craig,

    “But the idea that these foreclosures are permanently tainted by, as I say, questions only of paperwork, not of substantial ownership? I’m dubious. We’d be beside ourselves if people _lost_ their homes because of an improperly notarized document.”

    I’d be besides myself if someone went to prison for murder based on an affidavit that was based on hearsay, even if that person was later found to be innocent and was released.

    I’d be similarly besides myself if someone lost their home in foreclosure based on an affidavit that was based on hearsay, even if that person was later found to be unjustly foreclosed upon and the foreclosure was therefore negated.

    So if you can tell me that we have proof that not one home out of the hundreds of thousands of homes has been foreclosed upon simply because of an incorrect affidavit (that could and should have been based on personal knowledge and not just the hearsay of others) then I will grant you your point.

  • By jcompton, October 9, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    Yeah, sorry, but I’m with Dan. You wag your finger and tsk at people who complain when they get nailed by fine print on page 30 of the cardholder agreement they agreed to. If you want to play it that way, then banks have to play by their/your rules, too.

  • By jim, October 9, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

    Well I’m not a lawyer either. I believe its fraud to lie on a legal contract, but I dunno for sure. If theres a better term for it then I’m ears. The Ohio attorney general IS suing them for fraud on this though. The Ohio AG is a lawyer. It will be up to the courts to decide if what they did is fraud or not and if it should be punished and how.

    I’m not arguing that the foreclosures are tainted. I certainly wouldn’t throw out all the foreclosures over this either. I doubt there has been significant impact on the foreclosures and this is a paperwork processing legality issue more than not. The impact of the crime is probably not much. But a crime is a crime. And banks have to follow the law. Lawyers especially should not be taking such short cuts with the law out of convenience.

    Does anyone here think its actually OK for the banks to flaunt the law even in a small amount in a systematic, assembly line manner simply cause the letter of the law is an inconvenience to them? Can we at least all agree that what they did was wrong and should be stopped? Or do some of you actually argue its OK for banks to “break the law a little bit” when they feel like it?

  • By jim, October 9, 2010 @ 6:42 pm

    Frank: “if homeowners had committed a similarly technical violation”

    There is large difference between a single layman individual making a mistake and a professional institution doing something on purpose over 100,000 times as a matter of policy.

    I would say that the individual might need a slap on the wrist if you can show they did what they did on purpose. We can all agree that its obvoius the banks did what they did on purpose so they should get a punishment of at least a wrist slap X 100,000.

  • By Stagflationary Mark, October 10, 2010 @ 11:19 am

    jim,

    “There is large difference between a single layman individual making a mistake and a professional institution doing something on purpose over 100,000 times as a matter of policy.”

    I would also add that homeowners do commit similarly technical violations any time they willingly lie on their income tax returns. Here’s how that tends to work out.

    Perjury

    The rules for perjury also apply when a person has made a statement under penalty of perjury, even if the person has not been sworn or affirmed as a witness before an appropriate official.

    An affidavit is a written statement under penalty of perjury.

    An example of this is the United States’ income tax return, which, by law, must be signed as true and correct under penalty of perjury (see 26 U.S.C. § 6065). Federal tax law provides criminal penalties of up to three years in prison for violation of the tax return perjury statute. See 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1).

  • By Hibryd, October 10, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

    Hey, now, let’s ease up on this “perjury” talk. I mean, in many cases the signatures were forged outright, so that’s not perjury!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2010/09/22/GR2010092206765.html

  • By jim, October 10, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

    Mark, I do think there is a difference between making a mistake or cutting a corner and outright mortgage fraud. If the banks didn’t actually do anything wrong in the actual foreclosure documents then what we’re talking about is procedure. Of course its not OK to just flaunt the law cause they dislike the procedure but if it didn’t impact the actual foreclosure documents then I don’t really think they should all go to prison for infinity.

    Its kinda like jaywalking. If nobody dies then you usually don’t get arrested. But if every member of a police department makes it policy to jaywalk every day of the week for years then that is worse than if an individual does it one time. The police should know better and going about it as policy is even more concerning.

  • By jim, October 10, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

    Hibryd, I think if I signed my name 10000 times a month that gradually over time the signature would get more and more sloppy to the point of it evolving from neat penmanship to a spikey loop swirl. My theory is that is what you’re seeing in those pictures that look like 8 different people signed the name. I could be wrong though, if you’re going to cut every corner then why not have your underlings sign the documents.

  • By Craig, October 10, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

    StagMark,

    Show me a case of a bank foreclosing on a property they do not in fact hold a mortgage against, and I will sign a petition to bring back public flogging. If not flaying alive. But that’s not, by and large, what we’re talking about here. A borrower goes into default and the servicer forecloses. That is what is supposed to happen.

  • By Stagflationary Mark, October 10, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

    jim,

    Perhaps I am just tired of reading about fraud. I’ve seen it first hand more than once. I worked at Cendant when the you know what met up with the fan.

    http://money.cnn.com/1998/08/27/companies/cendant_folo/

    “NEW YORK (CNNfn) – Executives at the former CUC International, now a part of Cendant Corp., “deliberately and fictitiously” manufactured about $500 million in fake revenue over a three-year period in an attempt to ensure CUC’s earnings matched analysts’ expectations, according to a long-awaited report Thursday by Cendant’s auditors.”

    Craig,

    I am completely okay with LEGAL foreclosures.

    I am not okay with affidavits (sworn written statements under penalty of perjury) being “hearsay” documents. We are supposed to have due process in this country. We are not just supposed to trust the word of the banks and call it done.

    You wanted to see a case of a bank foreclosing on a property they do not in fact hold a mortgage against? Okay, here you go.

    Man without Mortgage Loses Home in Foreclosure

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/09/man-without-mortgage-loses-home-in-foreclosure/

    Why are we automatically trusting the word of the bank over the word of the homeowner? We shouldn’t have to. There should be a clear paper trail to show exactly what is going on. From the link…

    “I feel like I’m hanging in the wind and I’m scared to death,” said Grodensky. “How did some attorney put through a foreclosure illegally?”

  • By kitty, October 11, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

    @Craig: “Show me a case of a bank foreclosing on a property they do not in fact hold a mortgage against, and I will sign a petition to bring back public flogging”

    More examples:
    http://www.theledger.com/article/20100212/news/100219908
    http://www.galvnews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=4e1cfb1bebbf31e1

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2010/03/bofabird.html

    I am not sure if any of these errors were related to document problem mentioned above. What I am actually curious about is why in cases of wrongful foreclosures bank employees aren’t legally liable for illegal trespass and destruction of personal property. Also, it seems the burden of trying to prove that you aren’t in default falls on you and not the bank. But if your documents or even a key to the safe deposit box are in the house, it might be difficult.

  • By Boston Steve, October 11, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

    Big banks have been getting away with all sorts of illegal and immoral business practices for years, and it is time they are held accountable. Robosigning documents is illegal – period.

    As you say Frank, this has been going on for some years, so that makes it OK?

    Should people who don’t pay their mortgage get kicked out of their homes, of course they should. But they should be foreclosed legally.

    Try “cutting a few corners” with your bank, I’ll wager they will NOT say no harm no foul…

  • By Craig, October 11, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

    I see that in some of the cases linked above, the bank has acknowledged their error and pledged to correct it; in others, legal action is underway. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the first homeowner decided to try a lawsuit as well. Where the banks acted terribly, they deserve to be punished. If public flogging is an option and there is a petition, show me where to sign.

    The bank was wrong on a question of _substance_ in each of these cases, and the bank is assuredly not getting to keep any of the properties–with unspecified damages and legal expenses into the bargain. I hope they get a sound thrashing–but in no wise are these items typical of the overwhelming majority of foreclosures in the country today, in which a borrower goes into default and the lender (or servicer) seizes the property.

    Lastly, as Kitty pointed out, there’s no clear reason to link any of these cases to the “tainted titles” or “robo-signer” issues under discussion. I think we do well to avoid conflation on the one hand, and to focus on the real cases of bird-napping, salmon-spoiling malfeasance on the other. People who haven’t paid on their note in twelve months are entitled to very, very little of either solidarity or indignation.

  • By Stagflationary Mark, October 11, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

    Craig,

    “I see that in some of the cases linked above, the bank has acknowledged their error and pledged to correct it; in others, legal action is underway.”

    For the sake of argument, what if the bank was offering an affidavit (sworn written testimony) based on personal knowledge in a murder trial.

    Let’s say there was a conviction. The person went to prison. A few weeks later the error was pointed out. The bank admitted there was a “procedural problem” with its previous sworn testimony and wishes to make things right (i.e., the bank employee did not have the personal knowledge that he claimed to have, and instead was basing his sworn written testimony on the opinions and hearsay of others, which was later found to be incorrect).

    First, how exactly would the bank make it right? Second, what exactly gave the bank the right to step outside the law like that?

    “Robo-signing” seems criminal to me and in my opinion is a form of fraud. It offers the *potential* of great injustices. How many injustices actually occurred will no doubt be debated for many years. In my opinion, it only takes one great injustice though.

    It’s kind of driving while intoxicated. Serious slap on the wrist for the most part unless the person manages to kill someone in the process? That ups it to a whole new level in the court’s eyes. Is it fair? You tell me. Drunk people are not in control of their faculties. Any one of them could kill someone with a car. Luck would seem to play a huge part in the outcome.

    I think that’s also the case with robo-signers. Banks were drunk on cost cutting. If all the documents signed are 100% valid (or at the very least would have appeared valid upon closer scrutiny) then there probably is no harm, no foul. Slap on the wrist would be sufficient. There better not be home foreclosed on by mistake though, especially if all it would have taken was a token amount of actual “personal knowledge” (that the person swore under penalty of perjury that he/she had) to see the error.

    That said…

    “People who haven’t paid on their note in twelve months are entitled to very, very little of either solidarity or indignation.”

    I am in complete agreement. Not paying one’s mortgage is not a crime, nor should it entitle one to a free house. My arguments are based solely on the potential fraud and criminal activity within the banking system.

  • By Boston Steve, October 12, 2010 @ 9:29 am

    Stag Mark,

    “Banks are drunk on cost cutting” – Not only cost cutting but drunk on fees as well….

    Record 38.5 Billion last year in overdraft fees, and $ 2 Billion a year in ATM fees.

    Now average atm charge (to use your own money, while they save on tellers) – $ 1.98 per transaction, BOA basic checking account per month $ 8.95, bounced check fee – $ 32.00, stop payment fee $ 30.00….

    At least all the money goes to a good cause:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704625004575089742035330432.html

  • By Boston Steve, December 20, 2010 @ 11:45 am

    Frank writes:

    I am a great believer in the rule of law. So shame on the banks for cutting corners. But you can hardly blame them. This is a creaky Nineteenth Century system being applied to a massive Twenty First Century problem.

    Moreover, it has not been alleged that there is anything substantively wrong with the foreclosure filings, only that the banks failed to say mother-may-I once or twice. Any reasonable person would assume that the ancient legal principle of “no harm, no foul” would apply here.

    Really?

    The cost of delinquency

    Nationwide, non-payment of HOA fees is among the top problems facing condo, single-family, and other planned development associations today, says Thomas M. Skiba, chief executive officer of the Community Associations Institute in Alexandria, Va.

    Just a few homeowners who stop making HOA fee payments can cut into an association’s budget quickly. Annual HOA fees average $420 for single-family homes and $2,400 for condos, the U.S. Census Bureau says.

    If too many homeowners stop paying their HOA fees, lenders may be unwilling to make mortgages or refinance properties in the community. Fannie Mae, for example, won’t guarantee loans in condominiums where more than 15% of the homeowners are 30 days or more overdue on HOA fees. That can hurt property values.

    According to a study by the Alexandria, Va.-based Community Associations Institute, more than seven out of every 10 bank-owned houses and apartments are not making regular assessment payments to the government-like boards that operate the projects in which the properties are located.

    Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/delinquent-hoa-fees-how-collect/#ixzz18fQQXgsp

  • By Boston Steve, December 22, 2010 @ 9:26 am

    BOA has over 1,000,000 REO properties !!!

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40777392/ns/business-the_new_york_times

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