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Facing foreclosure — Stan Zimmerman’s two-part series

If you haven’t read Stan Zimmerman’s two-part series on foreclosure in the Pelican Press newspaper — you should. I know the second part is out on stands right now … or you can read it online here at Foreclosures: crisis of decades

Zimmerman interviewed many people for the story on deep background and wrote, “We are in a collision between Great Depression-era law and ultra-modern finance.”

It’s detailed and insightful reporting … and necessary reading even if you’re not directly affected by the foreclosure crisis — you are most definitely indirectly affected. You can read the first part of the series here:
Foreclosure not the end of pain.

Zimmerman, who’s collected plenty of press awards over the years, should nab another for this series.

It’s so well-written but a bit hard to read without feeling overwhelmed at how to work through this challenge that is displacing and up-ending the lives of tens of thousands of families and individuals just in Sarasota County.

Posted on January 15th, 2011Comments RSS Feed
3 Responses to Facing foreclosure — Stan Zimmerman’s two-part series
  1. RE: Response to Stan Zimmerman’s foreclosure series

    Dear Ms. Hackney;

    First, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to you and your staff, for producing what I truly feel, is the best written media publication newspaper in perhaps all of southwest Florida.
    I know I’ve mentioned this to you several times, and each week the Pelican Press just keeps getting better and better. The Pelican Press I feel, is the most un-biased, fresh covered topics and perhaps the finest journalists available. Ms. Hackney, I don’t know how you continue to do it, or what formula you’re using, but whatever it is, it’s working!

    Ms. Hackney, after reading Stan Zimmerman’s series on the recent foreclosure crisis, I felt compelled to offer my response. I feel it’s the most I can do as I’m a victim of the current foreclosure crisis.

    Secondly, Stan Zimmerman, did an outstanding job, by providing so much input into this series. You can tell, Stan researched this topic quite extensively and left no item left unsaid, with the exception of one; where is the representation for the homeowner – where is the justice?

    Ms. Hackney, whether or not my response goes unpublished, just by writing in response, helps to relieve the stress this current foreclosure crisis has had on me. Ms. Hackney, it’s just my response to Mr. Zimmerman’s series, as I’ve been fighting with J.P. Morgan Chase going on three years now. My mediation hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, February 1st.

    Thank you again Ms. Hackney, again, for being there for the readers who likes a quality, un-biased paper, written by fine journalists as Mr. Zimmerman.

    Respectfully, The Advocate

    Where is our representation?

    This is in response to the well written, extensively researched series on the current foreclosure crisis written by Stan Zimmerman.

    While in the series, Mr. Zimmerman, covers quite extensively, the acts of a deficiency or personal money judgments, to where a bank may wait for up to five years after you’ve foreclosed on your home until they come after you, for every possession you own, to recoup the losses on the original mortgage of your home. You will, I’m certain, be reading a lot more on these acts by the banks.

    While there seems to be so many well written laws in favor of the banks to cover their losses, my question is this; “where is the same legal representation for the homeowner, the homeowner who has seen the value of their home depreciate, some as much as 75% Where are the same laws which are written to cover the banks losses, to protect the depreciation value of the 90% of the homeowners in the State of Florida which are presently underwater in their mortgages?

    The Right is saying; wait homeowner, you signed on the dotted line, and are expected to honor your contractual obligations. But the Left is saying, wait just a second; whose fault is it, that 90% of the mortgages in the state of Florida are currently underwater. Who is responsible for the current foreclosure crisis facing us today? The answer: “The Banks!

    J.P. Morgan Chase, received over 25 billion dollars in Government bailouts through the Troubled Asset Relief Program – (TARP), which monies were to be used to help the struggling homeowner to stay in their homes.

    As I’m writing this;

    • Chase reported a 47% increase in business during the last quarter of 2010. Business was so good to J.P. Morgan Chase, that in fact, they set aside over 10 billion dollars for cash bonus pay-outs to their employees. In the month of August alone, Chase has acquired 1,200 new bank branch offices.
    • Chase has not provided a single permanent mortgage modification to a mortgage holder in Sarasota County, yet, Chase’s CEO’s have received the largest cash bonuses in banking history. CEO Jamie Dimon received over $27.8 million dollars in 2008 alone.
    • There has not been a single documented legal case, in which a homeowner has won a foreclosure suit against a major bank, for the scrupulous way they’ve been conducting business. (Take a look at the disaster of the Rocket Docket – resulting in hundreds of forged foreclosure documents signed and stamped, without so much as even having been read by qualified representatives, and why has there not been any class action judgment suits brought against a bank yet for the crimes committed?) And why are so many judges simply just turning the other way, and saying this was just an oversight and quite possibly, just a big mistake caused by the banks?

    The predicament now, is to confront the banks and the mortgage industry, where it has become clear, that billions of dollars in home loans were sold, guaranteed and rated as safe without anyone bothering to examine whether the loans were made with due regard of the rules.

    You can make a case, call it the caveat emptor case – that the banks should not be able to recover any losses they suffered from loans that went bad. If the banks had performed rudimentary checks before the loans were made, sold, rated, insured or scrutinized, it’s very likely the major problems on the mortgage would have been visible before disaster hit. The bottom line: there would have been a drastic reduction in the number of bad loans, thus fewer foreclosures. J.P. Morgan Chase not only failed to check one’s credit history before providing the mortgage loan, they never so much as even ran an employment verification to see if the mortgage applicant even had a job, before stamping Approved ! Don’t you think, J.P. Morgan Chase has an obligation to protect the investments of their clients. The way they conducted their banking practices during the height of the bubble real estate market, is a clear indication they did not.

    Ok, we can prove the banks were the major contributing factor of the foreclosure crisis, thus, the home values depreciating at record pace, due to the number of delinquent mortgages resulting in foreclosures. Again; where is the justice to protect the homeowner? If JPMorgan Chase used the money they received through the Government bailouts and provided permanent mortgage modifications, more people would have stayed in their homes. There would be fewer foreclosure cases, and property values would increase, rather than the other way around. But I guess it was more important to take the money from the Government and just shell out the highest recorded cash bonuses in history, during a time when there have been the largest number of homeowners losing their homes, in any time since the great depression.

    I guess the message the banks are conveying, is; “do as we say, not as we do” Sound familiar?

    Regards, The Advocate

  2. Advocate, you so so correct my friend. I loved reading Judge Lee Haworth’s quote the other day regarding the Robo-Signing and how the banks are getting away with this fraud. Judge Haworth said; Well, this may be just an oversite on the banks part”…oh yea Judge Haworth, over 50,000 “over-sites” each week. Judge Haworth, I’m a Florida Licensed Notary, if I for one second was caught stamping a document, without the signee present, I’d be in jail on Main St. Judge Haworth, why are you turning your back on this. And Hawk, you are so right my friend, where is the justice?!

    MC, you truly must read this story published in the November issue of the Rolling Stone. Quite possibly, the very best story on the foreclosure crisis you will ever set eyes on. Also MC, you won’t find excerpts posted in this story, printed anywhere in our local papers.

  3. Fannie & Freddie KNEW banks were not doing due diligence and more and more bad loans were being passed along to bundle and sell. Congress was telling the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s, to move faster, spot check fewer mortgage applications and to stop nit picking.

    The Government knew the housing market was out of control as far back as 2003, despite repeated warnings by financial advisors, regulators and even the FM’s. But there was so much money to be made in the crazy “bubble” market. Ironically, those who made the most money during this period of chaos, were the real estate agents and mortgage brokers. Trouble is, they were held harmless and non-accountable by the Government.

    Without the brokers gathering and passing along sometimes questionable and sometimes blatant bogus qualification paperwork, these loans would never, ever have even made it past the pre-qualification process and woul dnot have been approved. Hence, the current foreclosure crisis would never have begun, were it not for the shady work by the banks, real estate agents and brokers.

    But what does this mean to the “little guy” whose mortgage is so far underwater, they’ll never be able to sell their home….not a damned thing, as long as we continue to have judges, who simply turn their backs at justice!

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