Tag Archive for: foreclosure help

Detroit Free Press – Jan 16, 2014 –

Ken Gross: How the Legislature hurt Michigan homeowners

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A foreclosed house sits for sale in Southfield. / 2011 photo by Carlos/Osorio/Associated Press
By Ken Gross

Detroit Free Press guest writer

I’m not sure why this applies — but the adage “all good things must come to an end” rang true last week, a key afforded to homeowners expired.

In July 2009, the Legislature passed a statute to help homeowners facing foreclosure to save their home. The law mandated that before a lender could foreclose by advertisement (the common way in Michigan), a homeowner had to receive written notice of a right to request a mediation. If this request was submitted in a timely fashion, a bona fide effort to modify the mortgage was available. I can tell you the law worked — and worked well — and similar laws were then passed in other states. This law helped thousands of Michiganders save their homes from foreclosure and was recognized by mortgage industry experts as a good law to avoid foreclosure and assist in curtailing Michigan’s foreclosure crisis.

Unfortunately, the law, which had been modified over the last couple of years, was extended through only Jan. 9 of this year. In its place, the Legislature has passed a new law, which irrationally helps only certain people. If the servicing agent for your mortgage is one of the five lenders subject to the National Mortgage Settlement (Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi or GMAC/Ally), the servicer must provide you a letter offering you 30 days to elect to have a meeting to attempt to work out a modification. If that is your choice, the lender cannot commence foreclosure proceedings until the meeting has occurred.

But here’s the rub. If one of the five lenders transfers your loan to another servicer, the new servicer is not bound by the law. If you happen to have a mortgage held by someone other than these five lenders, you receive no protection. It makes you scratch your head and ask: “Why does my neighbor, whose mortgage is with Chase, get the benefit of help, and I don’t because my mortgage is held by HSBC, Comerica, Fifth Third, Huntington or any one of the hundreds of other lenders?” This makes no sense, whatsoever. On top of that, a “meeting” under the new rule has no standards or mandates such as existed under the previous law.

The Michigan Legislature has succeeded in unraveling the one good thing it did to help a Michigan homeowner in mortgage trouble.

Ken Gross is an attorney with Thav Gross and host of “Financial Crisis Talk Center,” which airs 8:30-10 a.m. on WDFN-AM (1130) and on MyTV20 at 11 a.m. Sundays.

Ken Gross Comments on $25 Billion Settlement in Michigan Lawyers Weekly

 

MICHIGAN

LAWYERS WEEKLY

State to share in $25B settlement

Michigan one of 49 states to sign on to compensate for ‘abusive practices’

POSTED: 11:02 PM Friday, February 17, 2012
BY: Carol Lundberg

Michigan will share in a settlement said to be worth $25 billion, but it’s not exactly raining cash on Michigan’s foreclosure problem.

Michigan joined 48 other states in a $25 billion settlement with the country’s five largest mortgage lenders.

The settlement, intended to hold mortgage servicers accountable for what U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said were “abusive practices,” will provide some relief to homeowners struggling to pay mortgages that are more than their houses are worth.

But the amount of relief is so small, too small to stabilize the country’s still-crippled housing market, said Matthew Heron of Clark Hill PLC in Detroit.

“If you think about it, how could it really solve the problem of $700 billion worth of underwater mortgages?” he asked. “The reason the housing market isn’t recovering yet is a function of the economy, of the free market.”

Heron represents lenders. Though the settlement doesn’t cover the damage to state budgets and individual borrowers as a result of the foreclosure crisis, it does give states’ attorneys general a little bit of resolution without requiring them to invest a lot of resources in investigations.

“The investigations by the attorney generals haven’t resulted in significant settlements, and they do put a burden on the states, which are having economic problems,” Heron said.

But the states and borrowers certainly aren’t going to receive $25 billion worth of relief.

Of the $25 billion, the banks — Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and GMAC/Ally — are paying about $5 billion in cash to federal and state governments, or approximately 1 percent of their combined market capitalization.

Of that, $1.5 billion will be used to establish a Borrower Payment Fund to provide payments to borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure, according to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. The payments will be as much as $2,000, though details have not yet been worked out.

The payments to state and federal governments will be used to repay public funds lost as a result of servicer misconduct, and to fund programs such as legal aid and housing counseling that the states are providing. The settlement excludes borrowers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages, who make up approximately half of the homeowners in the U.S.

Schuette said in a press release that Michigan residents will receive approximately $500 million dollars, but the only hard cash flowing into Michigan will be $101 million, which will be paid mainly to the State of Michigan. (See “Settlement details,” right.)

That payment is not meant to make up for a foreclosure,” said attorney general spokesman John Selleck. “It’s a punishment for poor customer service by the banks. We were getting calls from people who would be on the phone with a mortgage servicer trying to get some kind of help with their payments, at the same time that the bank was foreclosing on them.”

He said that when the housing market crashed in 2008, it crashed very hard and very fast.

“The banks just didn’t handle their customers the way they should,” Selleck said. “The settlement is to address two main thrusts — horrendous customer service by the banks, and robosigning, which we are still criminally pursuing.”

Michigan has been particularly hard-hit by the foreclosure crisis. Last year, a California-based analytics firm, CoreLogic, reported that 35 percent of Michigan homeowners are underwater in their mortgages.

The deal does nothing to solve the problems in the housing market, which will continue to be a drag on the economy because small business owners aren’t able to create jobs when they have no equity in their real estate, said Kenneth Gross of Thav Gross PC in Bingham Farms. Gross represents borrowers.

What would help borrowers the most, he said, is principal reductions, something the banks have been reluctant to do.

“This settlement doesn’t address any of that. It’s extremely limited to the issues of robo-signing and fraudulent foreclosures,” Gross said.

“Basically what’s going to happen is everyone in the world going to call my office wondering how to get their $2,000,” Gross said. “But no one knows yet who will be eligible to receive what. There have been 1.9 million foreclosures with another 1.9 million still to come.”

The settlements will not prevent individual borrowers from suing their lenders if they have a cause of action, Heron noted.

“What this does do is to free up the attorney generals and their resources to decide what they want to dedicate their time to,” Heron said. “The public settlement funds are being used to prop up the services the states would have a hard time providing.”

If you would like to comment on this story, please contact Carol Lundberg at (248) 865-3105 or carol.lundberg@mi.lawyersweekly.com.

Podcast of the January 26, 2013 Radio Show – Part 1 – Word of the Day is “Status” – The Economy; Part II – What is Financial Crisis Management? and Part III – When it Makes Sense to Modify a Mortgage

CLICK HERE FOR PODCASTS & VIDEOS

Radio Show Summary for 1/26/13 – The Financial Crisis Talk Center…

Word of the Day is “Status” – As in the Economy

Part II – Learn how it came about and what is Financial Crisis Management

Part II – When a Loan Modification is the right move

 

 

Catch it all!

Q & A About the Independent Foreclosure Review – Announced the Week of 11/1/11 – from the Wall Street Journal with Commentary from Ken Gross

Commentary from Ken Gross at The Financial Crisis Talk Center:

Below is the text of Questions and Answers that appeared in the Wall Street Journal about the “Independent Foreclosure Review” process announce by the Administration this week. The Financial Crisis Talk Center’s take on this program is that it is an “INSULTING” waste of financial resources that will accomplish virtually nothing other than add to the frustration homeowners who have been abused have already suffered. The items that are compensable as set forth below – are all outrageous and unusual actions in the foreclosure process that can be redressed by victims using the services of qualified attorneys. This program is NOT going to provide relief for robo signing foreclosures and people whose due process rights were violated in taking their homes because of non-payment. If you have gone through foreclosure, the most important issues to focus on are whether you have or still have the opportunity to begin anew debt free. This mean – if you have lingering credit card debt or exposure on second mortgages or the deficiency on the first mortgage, you should meet with an experienced financial crisis management attorney to learn your options is ridding yourself of any lingering debt. Anyway this is out take – but so you have the benefit of being informed – info on the program is set forth below:

From the Wall Street Journal :

Independent Foreclosure Review

Looking for information about the Independent Foreclosure Review?

Homeowners whose primary residence was part of a foreclosure action between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010, and whose home loan was serviced by a participating servicer, may be eligible for an Independent Foreclosure Review.

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (federal bank regulators) have required an Independent Foreclosure Review by an independent consultant to identify eligible customers who may have been financially injured due to errors, misrepresentations, or other deficiencies in their foreclosure process. If the review finds that financial injury occurred, the customer may receive compensation or other remedy.

To qualify, your mortgage loan would need to meet the initial eligibility criteria:

  • Your mortgage loan was serviced by one of the participating mortgage servicers.
  • Your mortgage loan was active in the foreclosure process between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.
  • The property was your primary residence.

Eligible customers will be mailed a letter by December 31, 2011 that explains the Independent Foreclosure Review process and a Request for Review Form that identifies some examples of situations that may have led to financial injury. The form must be completed and postmarked not later than April 30, 2012.

If your mortgage loan meets the initial eligibility criteria and you have questions, need a form by mail, or need help completing the form you have received in the mail, call 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. ET or Saturday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET.

This information is accurate as of date of printing and is subject to change without notice. All other communications, legal documents and disclosures will be provided to you in English. We recommend that you obtain the services of an independent third party interpreter to assist you as needed.

Independent Foreclosure Review


Q1. What is the Independent Foreclosure Review?

As part of a consent order with federal bank regulators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) ( independent bureaus of the U.S. Department of the Treasury), or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, fourteen mortgage servicers and their affiliates are identifying customers who were part of a foreclosure action on their primary residence during the period of January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010.

The Independent Foreclosure Review is providing homeowners the opportunity to request an independent review of their foreclosure process. If the review finds that financial injury occurred as a result of errors, misrepresentations, or other deficiencies in the servicer’s foreclosure process, the customer may receive compensation or other remedy.

Q2. What is a foreclosure action? What foreclosure actions are part of the Independent Foreclosure Review?

Foreclosure actions include any of the following occurrences on a primary residence between the dates of January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010:

  • The property was sold due to a foreclosure judgment.
  • The mortgage loan was referred into the foreclosure process but was removed from the process because payments were brought up-to-date or the borrower entered a payment plan or modification program.
  • The mortgage loan was referred into the foreclosure process, but the home was sold or the borrower participated in a short sale or chose a deed-in-lieu or other program to avoid foreclosure.
  • The mortgage loan was referred into the foreclosure process and remains delinquent but the foreclosure sale has not yet taken place.

Q3. How do I know if I am eligible for the Independent Foreclosure Review?

Your loan must first meet the following initial eligibility criteria:

  • Your mortgage loan was serviced by one of the participating mortgage servicers listed below.
  • Your mortgage loan was active in the foreclosure process between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.
  • The property was your primary residence.

If your mortgage loan does not meet the initial eligibility criteria outlined above, you can still have your mortgage concerns considered by calling or writing your servicer directly.

Q4. Who are the participating servicers? What mortgage servicers and their affiliates are part of the Independent Foreclosure Review process?

The list of participating servicers includes:

  • America’s Servicing Co.
  • Aurora Loan Services
  • Bank of America
  • Beneficial
  • Chase
  • Citibank
  • CitiFinancial
  • CitiMortgage
  • Countrywide
  • EMC
  • EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company
  • GMAC Mortgage
  • HFC
  • HSBC
  • IndyMac Mortgage Services
  • MetLife Bank
  • National City Mortgage
  • PNC Mortgage
  • Sovereign Bank
  • SunTrust Mortgage
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wachovia Mortgage
  • Washington Mutual (WaMu)
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Q5. What are some examples of financial injury due to errors, misrepresentations, or other deficiencies in the foreclosure process?

Listed below are examples of situations that may have led to financial injury. This list does not include all situations.

  • The mortgage balance amount at the time of the foreclosure action was more than you actually owed.
  • You were doing everything the modification agreement required, but the foreclosure sale still happened.
  • The foreclosure action occurred while you were protected by bankruptcy.
  • You requested assistance/modification, submitted complete documents on time, and were waiting for a decision when the foreclosure sale occurred.
  • Fees charged or mortgage payments were inaccurately calculated, processed, or applied.
  • The foreclosure action occurred on a mortgage that was obtained before active duty military service began and while on active duty, or within 9 months after the active duty ended and the servicemember did not waive his/her rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Q6. How does my mortgage loan get reviewed as part of the Independent Foreclosure Review?

Homeowners meeting the initial eligibility criteria will be mailed notification letters with an enclosed Request for Review Form before the end of 2011.

If you believe that you may have been financially injured, you must submit a Request for Review Form postmarked no later than April 30, 2012. Forms postmarked after this date will not be eligible for the Independent Foreclosure Review.

If you have more than one mortgage account that meets the initial eligibility criteria for an independent review, you will receive a separate letter for each. You will need to submit a separate Request for Review Form for each account. It is important that you complete the form to the best of your ability. All information you provide may be useful.

Q7. How can I submit the Request for Review Form?

Homeowners meeting the initial eligibility criteria will be mailed notification letters with an enclosed Request for Review Form before the end of 2011. If you received the notification letter, you can send in your Request for Review Form in the prepaid envelope provided, postmarked no later than April 30, 2012.

If your loan is part of the initial eligible population and you need a new form by mail, have questions, or need help completing the form you have received in the mail, call 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. ET or Saturday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET.

Q8. Who can submit or sign the Request for Review Form?

Either the borrower or a co-borrower of the mortgage loan can submit and sign the form. The borrower signing the Request for Review Form should be authorized by all borrowers to proceed with the request for review. In the event of a finding of financial injury, any possible compensation or remedy will take into consideration all borrowers listed on the loan, either directly or to their trusts or estates.

Q9. What if one of the borrowers has died or is injured or debilitated?

Any borrower, co-borrower or attorney-in-fact can sign the form. In the event of a finding of financial injury, any possible compensation or other remedy will take into account all borrowers listed on the mortgage loan either directly or to their trusts or estates.

Q10. Do I need an attorney to request or submit the Request for Review Form?

No. If your mortgage loan meets the initial eligibility criteria and you are currently represented by an attorney with respect to a foreclosure or bankruptcy case regarding your mortgage; please refer to your attorney.

The Independent Foreclosure Review is free. Beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee in exchange for a service to complete the Request for Review Form.

Q11. If I have already submitted a complaint to my servicer, do I need to submit a separate Request for Review Form to participate in this process?

If your mortgage loan meets the initial eligibility criteria, you should submit a Request for Review Form to ensure your foreclosure action is included in the Independent Foreclosure Review process.

Q12. What happens during the review process?

You will be sent an acknowledgement letter within one week after your Request for Review Form is received by the independent review administrator. Your request will be reviewed for inclusion in the Independent Foreclosure Review. If your request meets the eligibility requirements, it will be reviewed by an independent consultant.

Your servicer will provide relevant documents along with any findings and recommendations related to your request for review to the independent consultant for review. Your servicer may be asked to clarify or confirm facts and disclose reasons for events that occurred related to the foreclosure process. You could be asked to provide additional information or documentation. Because the review process will be a thorough and complete examination of many details and documents, the review could take several months.

The Independent Foreclosure Review will determine whether financial injury has occurred as a result of errors, misrepresentations or other deficiencies in the foreclosure process. You will receive a letter with the findings of the review and information about possible compensation or other remedy.

Q13. How do I know who my servicer is? How do I find them?

The company you sent your monthly mortgage payments to is your mortgage servicer. It is not necessarily the company whose name is on the actual foreclosure documents (although in most cases, it is). If you don’t remember the name of the servicer for your foreclosed property, we suggest you review cancelled checks, bank statements, online statements or other records for this information.

If you are still unsure of who your mortgage servicer is or do not see their name listed in Q4, please call 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. ET or Saturday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET.

Q14. If I request an Independent Foreclosure Review, is there a cost or will there be a negative impact to my credit?

The Independent Foreclosure Review is a free program. Beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee in exchange for a service to complete the Request for Review Form.

The review will not have an impact on your credit report or any other options you may pursue related to your foreclosure.

Q15. Where can I call if I need help completing the form or have any questions about the review process?

Call 1-888-952-9105 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. ET or Saturday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET. If you have already submitted a Request for Review Form, please have your Reference Number available to expedite your call.

Q16. How are military servicemembers affected by the Independent Foreclosure Review?

Servicers are required to include in the review all loans covered by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that meet the qualifying criteria. However, servicemembers or co-borrowers may also request a review through this process. Financial injury may have occurred if the foreclosure action occurred on a mortgage that was obtained before active duty military service began and while on active duty, or within 9 months after the active duty ended.

Q17. How am I affected if I submit a Request for Review Form while in active bankruptcy?

If you submit a Request for Review Form and a review is conducted of your foreclosure process, this will have no impact on your bankruptcy. The letter being sent to you about the Independent Foreclosure Review is not an attempt to collect a debt. If you are in bankruptcy, please refer this letter to your attorney.

Q18. I’m still working with my servicer to prevent a foreclosure sale. Will I still be able to work with them?

Yes, continue to work with your servicer. Participating in the review will not impact any effort to prevent a foreclosure sale. The review is not intended to replace current active efforts with your servicer.

Q19. How long will the review process take and when can I expect a response?

You will be sent an acknowledgement letter within one week after your Request for Review Form is received by the independent review administrator. Because the review process will examine many details and documents, the review could take several months. The Independent Foreclosure Review will determine if financial injury occurred as a result of the servicer’s errors, misrepresentations or other deficiencies in the foreclosure process. You will receive a letter with the findings of the review and information about possible compensation or other remedy. Not every finding will result in compensation or other remedy.

Q20. What happens if the review finds that I was financially injured as a result of errors, misrepresentations or other deficiencies in the foreclosure process?

You will receive a letter with the findings of the review and information about possible compensation or other remedy. The compensation or other remedy you may receive will be determined by your specific situation. Not every finding will result in compensation or other remedy.

Q21. What happens if the review finds that I was not financially injured as a result of errors, misrepresentations or other deficiencies in the foreclosure process?

You will receive a letter with the findings of the review. Not every finding will result in compensation or other remedy.

Q22. What if I disagree with the eligibility requirements or the result of the Independent Foreclosure Review?

The decision of the review is considered final and there is no further recourse within the Independent Foreclosure Review process. The Independent Foreclosure Review will not have an impact on any other options you may pursue related to the foreclosure process of your mortgage loan.

Q23. Does filing a Request for Review Form prevent me from filing other litigation or action against the servicer?

No. Submitting a request for an Independent Foreclosure Review will not preclude you from any other options you may pursue related to your foreclosure.

Fannie, Freddie Spend $640,000 on Conference

Comment from Ken Gross -This is so far beyond pathetic – Frannie and Freddie spend $640,000 on a conference for 100 people ($6400/per) to entertain the mortgage companies — This is an insult to the very foundation of democracy. Ed DeMarco – the prince of NO PRINCIPAL REDUCTION on mortgages – you need to join the ranks of the 13 million unemployed Americans – NOW, RIGHT NOW!!!!!

Sometimes lines are crossed, then again, other times– you find out the other side doesn’t even recognize that a line exists … this is one of those times – we have funded them with 150 BILLION of US Taxpayer money – which is growing every day — and rather than solve the housing crisis – they are spending money on Bonus (13 Million for 10 execs, and throwing AIG style parties for the mortgage lenders) Tomorrow – when another 1,000 or so people lose their homes to foreclosure – we need to ask the question – How can we allow this to go on?

FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL —

  • DECEMBER 1, 2011

Fannie, Freddie Spend $640,000 on Conference

 

By ALAN ZIBEL

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac spent more than $640,000 this fall to send 100 employees to a Chicago mortgage-industry conference and to host events there, a decision the companies defended amid criticism from a lawmaker.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the government-controlled mortgage-finance companies, outlined the costs in a letter to Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R., Texas), a member of the House Financial Services committee. Mr. Neugebauer, who had sought details on the conference, called the spending “lavish.”

The federal housing regulator “has special responsibility to make sure that Fannie and Freddie are run responsibly and in a way that minimizes taxpayer losses,” Mr. Neugebauer said.

The spending included nearly $342,000 for travel, food, hotel and meeting-room space and $74,000 on four invitation-only dinners for mortgage-lending companies that do business with Fannie and Freddie. The companies spent about $140,000 to sponsor the conference and about $68,000 for registration fees, the regulator said.

The companies’ top regulator defended the spending as a whole, but said he would apply greater scrutiny to sponsorships and dinner events. “I believe we can and should provide more detailed direction regarding such expenditures in the future,” Edward DeMarco, acting director of the FHFA, wrote to Mr. Neugebauer in the Nov. 23 letter. The letter was released Wednesday by Mr. Neugebauer’s office.

Fannie and Freddie dominate the U.S. mortgage market, purchasing and guaranteeing about 70% of new loans from mortgage lenders. Though lenders have few other outlets to purchase their mortgages, Fannie and Freddie say they value face-to-face meetings with customers as a way to understand their needs.

“The cost savings associated with meeting hundreds of customers at one location versus traveling to various locations across the country is significant,” said Amy Bonitatibus, a Fannie spokeswoman. Freddie spokesman Doug Duvall said the event allowed Freddie to meet “with our lender customers in a cost-efficient way. In just two days we held approximately 200 meetings.”

Fannie and Freddie have reduced their spending on conferences since they were put under federal control, and attend such events when there is enough business justification for doing so, the FHFA said. Scrutiny of Fannie and Freddie has grown on Capitol Hill; their federal rescue three years ago has so far cost taxpayers more than $151 billion. Lawmakers have been irate about large bonuses paid to executives hired to run the companies after their near collapse in September 2008.

The conference, held in October, was also sponsored by the mortgage-lending divisions of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. as well as other service providers. Speakers included Rep. Spencer Bachus (R., Ala.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

Ken Gross – STOP House Rep. Olson’s Attempt to Brings Unfair Foreclosure Reforms to Committee

The Financial Crisis Talk Center urges you to take the steps listed below to help STOP this deplorable action. There is no justification or rationale to Mr. Olson’s bill. His action represents a callous disregard of a problem that has reached epidemic proportions. Beyond that – why would we shorten the 6 month redemption period that has been the law of the State of Michigan for the last 50 years? What on earth happened to the concept of our legislature doing something designed to help its constituency? Is the banking industry the new constituency? If so, where does that leave the residents of the State of Michigan? I urge you to read the below post from Michigan Forward and make the calls and pass the word. Bottom line – if we remain quiet – the train will run us over. — Ken Gross on Thanksgiving Day – 11/24/11

 

House Rep. Olson Brings Unfair Foreclosure Reforms to Committee

By Brandon Jessup,Issues &Research

Michigan State House Representative Rick Olson (R) from Saline has introduced more unfair housing policy before Michigan’s homeowners. Olson’s HB 5176 reduces the 6-month redemption period to 3 months. As anticipated this legislation is designed for loans where the “original mortgagee has never assigned the mortgage or the indebtedness secured by the mortgage and has not transferred the power to service the mortgage.” We expect this bill to be taken up at a meeting of the Housing Banking &Financial Services Committee  on either November 30th or December 7th.

The Michigan Foreclosure Task Force anticipated this action in a previous post. This administrative nightmare for Michigan’s housing industry and homeowners. MFTF opposes the changes made to Michigan’s foreclosure redemption period by HB 5176. HB 5176 presents a fundamental unfairness to homeowners who don’t know whether or not their loan meets the above criteria and more importantly have no choice in the matter. This bill will further delay the loan modification process Michigan homeowners rely on to preserve their homes. HB 5176 creates a paper log jam for the big lending institutions that hold approximately 90% of Michigan mortgages.

Michigan Forward is asking your help in gaining public support for our position which will require all of us  to act quickly!

Please immediately, call or email  the following House Banking Committee Members:

Rep. James Womack –(517)373-0589JimmyWomack@house.mi.gov
Rep. Paul Clemente –(517) 373-0410PaulClemente@house.mi.gov
Rep. Jon Switalski –(517) 373-1772JonSwitalski@house.mi.gov
Rep. Woodrow Stanley –(517) 373-8808WoodrowStanley@house.mi.gov
Rep. Rick Olson –(517) 373-1792RickOlson@house.mi.gov

When you call these State Representatives give them this clear message:

  • Shortening the 6-month redemption period on any residential mortgage is bad news not only for Michigan’s at-risk homeowners but for all of us in terms of reducing our property values,increasing the number of vacant properties,eroding the local tax base that pays for basic services and further slowing the housing market and our overall economic recovery.
  • Specific to HB 5176,shortening the redemption period on loans as  defined in the bill is fundamentally unfair to homeowners who don’t know whether or not their loan meets the criteria and more importantly have no choice in the matter.

Two Friends – Fannie and Freddie (from the Financial Crisis Talk Show – On Air November 12, 2011)

A poem – emphasizing and poking fun at the reality that the banking industry is the benefactor of the Fannie and Freddie Mac bailout that as of this date is at $156 Billion dollars of taxpayer money. All indications point to a settlement of the Fannie and Freddie Mac lawsuit against the major banks in the $25-29 Billion Range. Guess who will cover the loss of $126 Billion – plus??

Fannie & Freddie *** Two Friends

By Ken Gross

November 12, 2011

 

Once upon a time in our great land

Two friends to all  –

Fannie and Freddie sat on a wall

But then came a crises and they both took a great fall

 

All the King’s financial wizards, banks and good men

couldn’t put Frannie and Freddie  back together again

 

Their best friends – the banks – then cried “oh no”

Because without their great friends to buy their bad loans

All the great loss would be on their bones

 

But with the magic of political debate

And a 147 billion of taxpayer loot in the crate –

they assembled Fannie and Freddie back together again

 

Now their great friends are again covering their loans

Leaving all of us with nothing but moans

So now all they need is to settle the score

And the scam no doubt  will become lore

 

Though some complain it matters not

The deal will be cut behind doors that are closed

At a cost that’s a mere pittance against the billions lost and foreclosed

 

But considering these days –  it’s certainly not

much a surprise …

As we watch them silently laugh in our face

 

One thing is certain – it’s a disgrace

for the whole human race

Mr. President – You Need to Deal – By Ken Gross

Mr. President – You Need to Deal

The big speech came – and went. Another speech offering that which we anticipated but not that which America needs. A proposed $447 Billion program – and the President neglects to mention the price tag in the speech. I suppose that is the prerequisite to avoid addressing in specifics a realistic plan to pay for it. After witnessing Congress’s infantile behavior last month on the deficit cap – it is a certainty that the President’s program will go nowhere – other than causing another slow burn of intransigence by Congress.

Sometimes you need to make a deal that your adversary cannot refuse. You do this carefully – but when you need something done  – if it’s important enough – you do it. In this case, the President needs two things – he needs to stimulate jobs and the economy and he needs to garner support for next November. Instead of offering a plan the Republican’s will now have a field day complaining about – he should have taken the podium and laid out a program the Republican’s could not refuse. First – tell us it’s going to cost $447 Billion. Second – that though he doesn’t like it – we’re going to pay for it by shelving Obama Care for 5 years – with the exception only of keeping the no pre-exisiting condition requirement and providing coverage for dependent children to age 26. Third – acknowledge what everyone already knows –without a housing market the economy has no chance. To stimulate housing, tell us that mandated principal reduction on homes underwater will occur and that you will mandate easing the credit restrictions to refinance and purchase a new home. Top this off by telling us that the cost will be charged to the banking industry who caused this fiasco.

Mr. President, if you went in this direction,– the Republican’s could not say no – because the cost would be covered, we all want economic growth and the banking lobby would be handcuffed to protest. If you want four more years – you’re going to need to be a much better deal maker.

Ken Gross is an attorney with THAV GROSS PC (www.thavgross.com) and hosts The Financial Crisis Talk Center (www.fctalkcenter.com), a radio program that airs weekly at 8:30 AM on Saturday mornings on WDFN “The Fan” 1130 AM.

Spotlight On the News with Chuck Stokes – Ken Gross appears to discuss Short Sales and What to Do if You're Underwater in Michigan

Houses Under Water – Solutions for Michiganders – Ken Gross Interviewed by Chuck Stokes – On Spotlight on the News 6/25 Channel 7

Catch TV Broadcast – Ken Gross on Detroit Wants to Know – The Housing Crisis – MERS Foreclosure and Michigan's Expiring Mediation Law

In depth discussion of the MERS Class Action in Michigan as a result of the recent Michigan Court of Appeals decision and the need for Michigan to take action to extend the Foreclosure Mediation Law that is expiring July 5, 2011