( – promoted by buhdydharma )
I just came across this article in Mother Jones, which is a bit horrifying:
Walters’ discovery that her home had been sold out from under her marked the low point of a four-year fiasco that began when Ocwen Loan Servicing became her mortgage servicer in late 2004. Through no fault of her own, Ocwen incorrectly processed or lost dozens of Walters’ payments and charged her more than $2,000 in late fees and thousands more in additional charges-all without notifying her. The Florida-based company tried to foreclose on her three times. After she paid more than $10,000, Walters figured things were settled. But Ocwen had other ideas.
Please read the entire article, it’s a tale of shocking usury, which we’re used to by now, but what is more telling to me is the reaction of various agencies of the Federal government, which I am mournful to remind people who believed in Barack Obama, he now heads.
The FTC has settled three major cases since 2003, resulting in settlements totaling almost $70 million. But even that hasn’t kept servicers in check. EMC Mortgage, a JP Morgan Chase subsidiary, settled with the FTC in 2008 for misleading and ripping off borrowers. That settlement, however, didn’t help consumers like Tammy Cothran, who says EMC foreclosed on her house outside Pensacola, Florida, even though she wasn’t in default. She has appealed to state and federal agencies, and even faxed the White House daily for five weeks. Those efforts left her frustrated: HUD told her it couldn’t help because her mortgage isn’t insured by the Federal Housing Administration, and the FTC said it was “not in a position to intervene.”
These are people who weren’t “irresponsible” by anyone’s conceivable standards. They didn’t consciously lapse on their mortgage payments, they didn’t ignore problems.
It’s chilling to realize that if you own a home, due to people who commit conscious fraud, you can have your dwelling sold out from under you, and not even know anything is happening until 3 days before you’re evicted.
This is fraud, and from what Deanna Walters was being told, no one in the Federal Government or any agency was willing to do anything about it.
While it is the job of Congress to pass more stringent oversight laws, these are elements of the executive branch who are responsible to see that the laws that do exist are executed and enforced. It is fair to wonder why, with more than a year in office, the District Attorney’s office is not vigorously prosecuting the many hundreds or thousands of these fraudulent businesses, identity thieves and others who are making the lives of Main Street Americans a living hell in perilous economic times.
While we are waiting patiently, perhaps in vain for relief for so many ordinary Americans from circumstances brought about by the Great Recession, criminal operations such as the one trying to take Ms. Walters home from her are escaping scott free because the Federal Government passes the buck from one agency to another and refuses to do anything.
You can do nothing at all wrong, be as responsible as any reactionary conservative could possibly wish, and still have your life and livelihood deprived by fraudsters, and have the insult to injury added by Federal Agencies to be told that they’re “not in a position to intervene”.
When do we start to demand that basic laws such as fraud — to say nothing of holding people accountable for war crimes — are enforced in a timely and reparative fashion? That to me would seem to be basic. It would seem to me to be a prerequisite for civilized life.
Is this what is meant by Change we can Believe in? Or is worrying about actual people’s lives being destroyed a form of subversive criticism, or else “wanting a pony”? Is enforcing the laws that do exist what was meant when the Obama administration said “governing is complicated and difficult” ?
If it is, then he should resign, because examples like this lead one to believe that governing isn’t being done at all.