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Old 01-29-2008, 10:32 AM   #21
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We didn't give them "squatters rights", but we did give countless thousands of Americans a new home to live in for 2 or 3 years, and even paid their closing costs, with some even receiving money at the close of escrow.

I agree owning a home is not a moral question, but teasing someone with one for a few years (knowing they will eventually lose it) borders on cruelty. The CEO got his millions. The lender got his cut, as did the loan officer, appraiser, real estate agent, title insurance company, and escrow company. Do you think any of these parties stopped for a minute to tell the buyers that they probably could not afford the house they were buying? No, they got their easy commission, so why should they worry. Did the buyer think he could really make those rapidly accelerating payments, or was the caught up in a false illusion of the American Dream that was placed like bait in front of him by unethical and greedy corporate America? Did everyone really believe that real estate prices were going to go up for ever? Was it really different this time? Even the credit rating companies got their cut for giving a phony rating to the nearly worthless paper that was sold around the world in the form of CDOs to unsuspecting banks, hedge funds and pension funds. Some of this paper is now worth only 50 cents on the dollar or less. Are you trying to tell me that no one should take responsibility for these crimes? Do you think it's an accident that 1% of American households are now in foreclosure? I stand by my assertion that greed trumps morality in modern American society.
Crimes is a strong word. Let me understand this, in your view ANYONE with sub-prime credit that got a home they couldn't afford is a "victim", basically someone took advantage of them?

I don't know about you, but folks try to take advantage of me every day, spammers, solicitors, etc. Funny I don't fall for it. Is it because I'm so smart? No, it's because when I apply COMMON SENSE, it works........

On the one hand, you have people that quite honestly were not good credit risks getting homes for two reasons:

1)Soaring values of homes with "no end in sight", and

2)Creative lenders that used ambiguous lending tactics to get folks into the homes.

A recipe for disaster? Turns out yes........

So, let me make sure I get this correctly. You are saying that ALL the parties in this mess need to PAY for their crimes, right? And, the "homeowner" was coerced and/or made to sign a document that was fake?

You have a bigger imagination than me. Sounds like the one of the two biggest human emotions, in this case GREED, came to light for the BUYER of the home in the equation.

But, fear not, Mr.Government steps in and bails them out. Now someone with a FICO of 750+ who makes $175,000 a year (one of my clients) has trouble getting the bank to agree to a 100% finance, because of "tightened lending policies" when another guy with a FICO of 550 is sitting in a 125% LTV, got a check at closing to spend on goodies, and gets a free ride...........how nice is that??
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:41 AM   #22
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In the 70's & 80's, loan officers went to prison for assisting home buyers in falsifying information on VA or FHA mortgage loan applications in order to earn what was then a 1/2 % commission of the loan amount. Why do we not now hold the same high standards for conventional loans?
We may well see some jail terms handed out. But there are some significant differences this time around:

- The vast majority of these bad loans were not govt paper, they were private market stuff. So you can try for civil suits, but probably not criminal.
- Many of these loan programs were some flavor of low doc/no doc/stated income. While borrowers were not supposed to falsify their data, if nobody actually checked then it is going to be hard to prove that things were fraudulently filled out.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:01 AM   #23
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You are putting words in my mouth. Please use your analytical skills to correctly interpret this question, which I will pose a second time: Are you trying to tell me no one should take responsibility for these crimes?

Does "no one" mean the same as everyone?
How about if the homeowner does the same prison time as the CEOs, would that be fair?

You are trying to put the "helpless homeowner victim" on one side, and the "big bad greedy CEO's" on the other. It is not as cut and dry as you think.

Maybe I need to ask you this: Do the people who SIGN loan documents to close on a house have ANY accountability at all in all of this?

To me, the homeowner that fails to keep up his/her end of the bargain is as guilty as the folks who used questionable lending practices to give someone a home they should not have gotten..........
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Buyers Were Frequently Just As Guilty As Others
Old 01-29-2008, 11:59 AM   #24
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Buyers Were Frequently Just As Guilty As Others

As someone who was a loan officer for a major mortgage banker for six years in the late 70's and early 80's in Southern California, I apologize for not stating my opinions more clearly.

I've actually had a subprime loan myself. My wife worked in the mortgage department of a credit union in San Diego before we moved from there a year and a half ago after we ER'd. In 2004, we knew we were definitely going to sell our house in 2006, so we took out a refi in a low-interest subprime loan at DWs place of employment.

We sold our house to a self-employed buyer who qualified on his own income with Countrywide Financial for a subprime loan. In fact, the buyer's wife had bad credit and could not even have her name on the application. We are not innocent bystanders ourselves as we did indeed capitalize off of the subprime crisis.

I thought the loan documents at DW's credit union offered a high degree of clarity. In fact, I think a moron may have been able to understand that the loan would probably reach astronomical levels in a few years. We signed the loan docs as planned, because we were trying to make a quick buck and knew for sure we'd sell our home. We had a very high FICO scores, but took an advantage of low teaser rates.

I believe that subprime borrowers who claim ignorance in failing to understand the language in the loan docs are for the most part merely trying to gain sympathy and most are probably not telling the truth.

No, I believe anyone who was involved in fraud in a real estate loan application should suffer they consequences. Many of these buyers were just taking an advantage of the situation. There is a reason why many had a low FICO score and had little or no money for a down payment or closing costs. Many are able to make their house payment, but have chosen foreclosure instead because their loan is now upside down. They enjoyed living in a nice house for a couple or three years for less than what they probably would have paid for in rent. They have definitely exploited the system.

By the way, DW received a phone call from one of her former co-workers who told her the mortgage department for that large credit union had been closed down. Her CEO did not even have the decency to tell anyone in that department that they'd be getting laid off. Some had recently taken out loans for new cars, which thy wouldn't have done, had they known about the layoff in advance. Shortly, thereafter, DW called the credit union about her CD accounts, only to be greeted by a person with a thick foreign accent who obviously received the phone call in India. DW took all of her money out of that credit union and placed it in a local bank.

I think buyers, loan officers, CEOs, appraisers and real estate agents should all pay for their misdeeds for what happened the past few years, whether it be criminal or civil action. Will that happen? Probably not. Will a few be used as examples by the government and chastised by the press? Probably yes.
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:31 PM   #25
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..... Do you think any of these parties stopped for a minute to tell the buyers that they probably could not afford the house they were buying?.....
Do you think it would have made one ounce of differenct even IF they were told? NOT....

As a real example... back in my trust days... there was a guy who had won the lottery... and he was always broke because he would spend the money (got something like $150K/year).. SO, he sold his winnings for less than half of the NPV... We had an escrow account that we managed to collect the winnings and paid out the offer to him.... BUT, we asked him a few times if this is what he wanted as it could not be undone and the price was low... he said yes....
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:37 PM   #26
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We may well see some jail terms handed out. But there are some significant differences this time around:

- The vast majority of these bad loans were not govt paper, they were private market stuff. So you can try for civil suits, but probably not criminal.
- Many of these loan programs were some flavor of low doc/no doc/stated income. While borrowers were not supposed to falsify their data, if nobody actually checked then it is going to be hard to prove that things were fraudulently filled out.
Actually they did break a federal law if they signed that they were making more money than what they really made... I know of a former lawyer who was in the Fed pen for a year doing just that... this even though he paid the loan off long before they charged him with a crime...
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:42 PM   #27
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To me, the homeowner that fails to keep up his/her end of the bargain is as guilty as the folks who used questionable lending practices to give someone a home they should not have gotten..........
Both are guilty.
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:51 PM   #28
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IMHO, the entire mess if a result of greed or ignorance. Everyone involved to some degree is responsible. Is it a crime, fraud or minor offense is debatable. Is it a violation of a moral or social standard is also questionable. In short, I dunno.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:00 PM   #29
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GREED and making a fast buck.

ABC News article - FBI Wades Into Subprime Mortgage Mess Official Confirms the Bureau Is Investigating 14 Companies for Accounting Fraud

ABC News: 'Greed' Sparks FBI Mortgage Probe

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Old 01-29-2008, 11:44 PM   #30
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Crimes is a strong word. Let me understand this, in your view ANYONE with sub-prime credit that got a home they couldn't afford is a "victim", basically someone took advantage of them?

I don't know about you, but folks try to take advantage of me every day, spammers, solicitors, etc. Funny I don't fall for it. Is it because I'm so smart? No, it's because when I apply COMMON SENSE, it works........

On the one hand, you have people that quite honestly were not good credit risks getting homes for two reasons:

1)Soaring values of homes with "no end in sight", and

2)Creative lenders that used ambiguous lending tactics to get folks into the homes.

A recipe for disaster? Turns out yes........

So, let me make sure I get this correctly. You are saying that ALL the parties in this mess need to PAY for their crimes, right? And, the "homeowner" was coerced and/or made to sign a document that was fake?

You have a bigger imagination than me. Sounds like the one of the two biggest human emotions, in this case GREED, came to light for the BUYER of the home in the equation.

But, fear not, Mr.Government steps in and bails them out. Now someone with a FICO of 750+ who makes $175,000 a year (one of my clients) has trouble getting the bank to agree to a 100% finance, because of "tightened lending policies" when another guy with a FICO of 550 is sitting in a 125% LTV, got a check at closing to spend on goodies, and gets a free ride...........how nice is that??
New York prosecutors are now investigating "whether Wall Street banks witheld crucial information about the risks posed by investments linked to subprime loans." Reports that were order by the banks have raised concerns about "high risk loans known as exceptions." Exceptions failed to meet even the very lax standards of subprime mortgage companies and Wall Street firms. The problem is that the banks failed to disclose the details of these reports (that they themselves had ordered) to credit reporting agencies or investors.

New York attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, is focusing on how banks bundled billions of dollars of these "exception loans" with other subprime debt into complex mortgage instruments.

The attorney general's office in Connecticut is conducting a similar survey.

In a nutshell, these inquiries are investigating the role Wall Street played in, "igniting the mortgage boom that has imploded with a burst of defaults and foreclosures."

Exception loans are no small piece of the estimated one trillion dollars in subprime loans. Some experts estimate these loan comprise up to five hundred billion dollars or more of the total subprime loans that were made.

In Connecticut, only civil charges can be brought, however, in New York the attorney general may file civil as well as criminal charges.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is currently investigating how Wall Street sold complex mortgage instruments. More than thirty investigations are currently being performed by the S.E.C., however, no conclusion has been reached on security law violations.

Subprime lenders relaxed their underwriting guidelines during the housing boom and began offering "no doc", that is, loans that do not verify income. They played a major role in helping to inflate the housing bubble.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/12/bu...HOoqDk0DnYN0xg
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Old 01-30-2008, 06:02 AM   #31
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What gets me is that people who HAVE the ability to repay their loans and are upside down,are simply throwing their keys and walking away.

The truly sad part is that many of them show no remorse,or personal accountability.I hope it bites them where the sun don't shine.

L.A. Land : Los Angeles Times : When homeowners just walk away...
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Old 01-30-2008, 06:42 AM   #32
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NBC News article Hidden victims of mortgage crisis: Pets

Hidden victims of mortgage crisis: Pets - Mortgage mess - MSNBC.com

This makes the current situation even sadder not only are families in trouble but so are their pets. Things are really bad when Kitty and Puppie are also victims.

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Old 01-30-2008, 07:05 AM   #33
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NBC News article Hidden victims of mortgage crisis: Pets

Hidden victims of mortgage crisis: Pets - Mortgage mess - MSNBC.com

This makes the current situation even sadder not only are families in trouble but so are their pets. Things are really bad when Kitty and Puppie are also victims.

GOD BLESS
It's all about responsibility, and sadly, some people really do not take their responsibilities seriously.

This doesn't surprise me at all, because I think that most of those who would take on unrealistic and risky mortgage loans that they can't afford, are not shepherding their finances in a responsible manner.

The same people probably do not fully comprehend the responsibilities of pet ownership. It's really sad for their poor pets, who never asked for this kind of treatment and can't understand it.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:29 AM   #34
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It's all about responsibility, and sadly, some people really do not take their responsibilities seriously.

This doesn't surprise me at all, because I think that most of those who would take on unrealistic and risky mortgage loans that they can't afford, are not shepherding their finances in a responsible manner.

The same people probably do not fully comprehend the responsibilities of pet ownership. It's really sad for their poor pets, who never asked for this kind of treatment and can't understand it.

You are so on point here.

I am so sick of hearing how the poor fool is going to lose his house because of a subprime loan. Bottom line everyone who signed the papers at closing saw what would happen IF rate went up, and they would and have. I know in my case I NEVER would have gotten into a situation where a 1000 payment could balloon to a 2500 paymen in 3 or even 6 years out. Nope.

Now the problem for everyone is when that neighbor of yours does foreclose and then anothe around the block then the one behind your house. It Efs up everything in the neighborhood. Not sure how to fix that mess, other than getting out and moving if you could sell your place.

No easy answers, but many who talk about how messed up things are are well right, It is messed up out here in the land of realestate.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:38 AM   #35
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It's all about responsibility and greed.

USA today - UBS adds $4B to subprime losses, bank deep in red
UBS adds $4B to subprime losses, bank deep in red - USATODAY.com

Excerpts from the article
The latest disclosure lifted the bank's total write-downs from the subprime debacle to $18.4 billion and will likely increase pressure on chairman Marcel Ospel, at the UBS helm during its push into risky U.S. investments, to resign.
UBS, world banking's leading wealth manager, posted an $11.45 billion loss for the last three months of 2007 and a full-year loss of 4.4 billion francs, a grim closure to its worst performance in history.

End of excerpts.

It appears that the subprime fisaco is getting worse and worse.

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Old 01-30-2008, 07:39 AM   #36
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New York prosecutors are now investigating "whether Wall Street banks witheld crucial information about the risks posed by investments linked to subprime loans." Reports that were order by the banks have raised concerns about "high risk loans known as exceptions." Exceptions failed to meet even the very lax standards of subprime mortgage companies and Wall Street firms. The problem is that the banks failed to disclose the details of these reports (that they themselves had ordered) to credit reporting agencies or investors.

New York attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, is focusing on how banks bundled billions of dollars of these "exception loans" with other subprime debt into complex mortgage instruments.

The attorney general's office in Connecticut is conducting a similar survey.

In a nutshell, these inquiries are investigating the role Wall Street played in, "igniting the mortgage boom that has imploded with a burst of defaults and foreclosures."

Exception loans are no small piece of the estimated one trillion dollars in subprime loans. Some experts estimate these loan comprise up to five hundred billion dollars or more of the total subprime loans that were made.

In Connecticut, only civil charges can be brought, however, in New York the attorney general may file civil as well as criminal charges.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is currently investigating how Wall Street sold complex mortgage instruments. More than thirty investigations are currently being performed by the S.E.C., however, no conclusion has been reached on security law violations.

Subprime lenders relaxed their underwriting guidelines during the housing boom and began offering "no doc", that is, loans that do not verify income. They played a major role in helping to inflate the housing bubble.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/12/bu...HOoqDk0DnYN0xg
how much people were sent to jail after the 2000 bust and after we learned all the nonsense wall street said back then? Enron and Worldcom there were real crimes there.

in this case the ratings agencies have disclaimers that pretty much say this is a guideline and do your own research

what will probably happen is they will make a deal, pay off the AG's and admit no wrongdoing and start working to make money off the next bubble. wall street doesn't make money because they are smart, most people there are just average intelligence people. they make money off hype and the stupidity of others
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FBI Opens Subprime Inquiry
Old 01-30-2008, 07:45 AM   #37
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FBI Opens Subprime Inquiry

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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
We may well see some jail terms handed out. But there are some significant differences this time around:

- The vast majority of these bad loans were not govt paper, they were private market stuff. So you can try for civil suits, but probably not criminal.
- Many of these loan programs were some flavor of low doc/no doc/stated income. While borrowers were not supposed to falsify their data, if nobody actually checked then it is going to be hard to prove that things were fraudulently filled out.
Fourteen companies are currently being investigated for subprime-related fraud. Included in this investigations are violations of possible accounting fraud and insider trading. The New York Times reported today that these violations are connected to loans made to borrowers with weak or subprime credit.

The inquiry which began last Spring includes companies in the financial industry and is focusing on mortgage lenders, loan brokers and even Wall Street banks that packaged the securities that were then sold to unsuspecting banks around the world.

The FBI has been warning for years that mortgage fraud there "is a significant and growing problem. In 2006, there were 35,000 suspicious activity reports. This is a very sizable increase from 2005 when there were 22,000 reports and 7,000 in 2003.

Many of the cases are now focusing on local and regional mortgage fraud rings that involve speculators, loan officers and brokers.

I think we're only now seeing tip of the iceberg in the criminal fraud that permeated the home loan industry over the past few years, which helped to further inflate the housing bubble. Unfortunately, the global economy will now have to pay the piper.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/30/bu...er&oref=slogin
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:57 AM   #38
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Fourteen companies are currently being investigated for subprime-related fraud. Included in this investigations are violations of possible accounting fraud and insider trading. The New York Times reported today that these violations are connected to loans made to borrowers with weak or subprime credit.

The inquiry which began last Spring includes companies in the financial industry and is focusing on mortgage lenders, loan brokers and even Wall Street banks that packaged the securities that were then sold to unsuspecting banks around the world.

The FBI has been warning for years that mortgage fraud there "is a significant and growing problem. In 2006, there were 35,000 suspicious activity reports. This is a very sizable increase from 2005 when there were 22,000 reports and 7,000 in 2003.

Many of the cases are now focusing on local and regional mortgage fraud rings that involve speculators, loan officers and brokers.

I think we're only now seeing tip of the iceberg in the criminal fraud that permeated the home loan industry over the past few years, which helped to further inflate the housing bubble. Unfortunately, the global economy will now have to pay the piper.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/30/bu...er&oref=slogin
Ummm, have you watched how this game is played over the past several years?

How about an example:

NY atty genl Spitzer and CA ins commissioner Garamendi announced investigations into supposed price fixing by insurance brokers with the collusion of some insurers. They spent a lot of time shooting their mouths off to the press, and then started investigating. They turned up some undoubtedly sleazy behavior and some downright illegal activities. What was the eventual outcome? Some companies had a rapid change in leadership. Some paid fines. Just about everyone in the industry changed their business methods even if they weren't involved so as to avoid doubt. That's about it.

My best guess is that we see at most the same outcome in these nnew FBI investigations.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:50 AM   #39
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Bloomberg.com article - Banks May Write Down $70 Billion, Oppenheimer Says

Bloomberg.com: Worldwide

The current rate of foreclosures and the subprime loan fisaco are contributing factors.

GOD BLESS
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:49 PM   #40
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Can anyone help with some good ol' fashion data mining?

I'd like to see a graph of percentage of homeowners from, say, 1908-2007. I'm curious if we're just seeing a revision to the mean. Was the runup in house prices simply supply repricing to restrict demand? At a macro level, it's long struck me that we have had an increase in homeownership which, while causing a housing boom, also caused prices to rise in order to restrict demand. At some point demand should drop to satisfy the mean and prices should follow accordingly.

Sure, there's lots of honest-to-goodness greed, fear, and doubt in the mix along the way, but I don't know if you should need to account for that with a macro view of the situation.
back to 1965...

Homeownershiprateq42007.jpg (image)
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