Speaking of “Change we can Believe in”

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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.


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  1. They have the rights of people.  If they have the rights of people, they should be able to be put in jail, like people.

    • Edger on February 10, 2010 at 22:52

    California’s 18th congressional district which includes Stockon, CA where Walters home was, has a The Mortgage Crisis page on his Congressional website.

    Big f’ing help he is.

  2. In my semi-psychotic ramblings you have stumbled upon the obvious.  On small part of the Illuminati Plan to destroy America.  I know people think I’m nuts for saying it flat out.  Every area of American life is at stake here.


    • Xanthe on February 11, 2010 at 01:01

    the law and working consistently on this one portion of their life (to the detriment of others – children, employment, etc.) they are pitted against real lawyers (or shall I say people with law degrees) – and the larger mortgage companies will contract the work out to lawyers who do nothing but this stuff, so they have it downpat.  I know because I worked for a lawyer who handled this stuff.  Don’t believe that an employee can’t make decisions to help the mortgage holder – they can.  I did several times (tho my boss didn’t know) – sometimes even a slight delay can help a mortgage holder.  

    Matter of fact, a little guy going up against lawyers is a real problem in this country.  Who the heck can afford a lawyer anyway.  And the bigger the scam, the better the law firm hired – they are all out there fighting for business.  You can bet law firms made a lot of money off  TARP.

    I admire this woman – I can barely call AMEX to complain about my interest rate.  You have to have a really strong constitution to fight these situations and be a little crazy as well.  Otherwise, they’ll crush you.

    P.S.  Not all “crazy” is bad btw.

  3. handling our previous mortgage. We refinanced 7yrs years ago to pay off a federal tax debt that was in its self a decade long nightmare. The mortgage had an ARM and Ocwen wasn’t who we had signed with they just bought it from Countrywide. We got a new mortgage about 6 months before the ARM kicked in. We refinanced though our Community Bank/Credit Union. I took in the ream of paper that was the Oswen mortgage, and our loan officer went through it and found it was full of hidden booby traps and dicey APR’s etc. I can’t understand why these companies are allowed to bundle you loans up and sell them. It doesn’t seem like it should be legal.

    The banksters should be trust busted, and they ought to repeal the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. They need severe regulations not this bogus consumer agency or taxing their massive dicey investments and bonuses. they not only should restore Glass-Seagal but add more restrictions on what the so call financial services industry can do across the board with your loans and money. They won’t even admit this is needed as they all believe as Obama said that this country is about ‘wealth creation, we do not disparage wealth here’. So any reform we get will end up like the HCR bill a bill that delivers us all up to further the profits of the ‘wealth creators’.                  

  4. We need to start ignoring the “rhetoric” and get something going for those truly interested in saving whatever we can salvage from a country that is self-destructive.  Couldn’t agree more!

    One thing we need to do is pay less attention to the “detrimental” forces and get a voice/active movement of our own going (redundant of the above)!

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