Tag Archive: foreclosure


Foreclosure Compensation Scam photo foreclosurecompl_zps3823f4d2.jpg

10TV.com

Vinton County Woman Wants Possessions Back After Bank Tried To Repossess Wrong House

 

Monday July 22, 2013 5:32 PM
UPDATED: Tuesday July 23, 2013 10:03 AM
 

An Vinton County woman is looking to get her belongings back after a bank incorrectly broke into her house and took them.

Katie Barnett says that the First National Bank in Wellston foreclosed on her house, even though it was not her bank.

“They repossessed my house on accident, thinking it was the house across the street,” Barnett said.

Barnett, who had been away from the house for about two weeks, said she had to crawl through the window of her own house in order to get in after she used her own key that did not work.

Some of the items in her house had been hauled away, others were sold, given away and trashed.

It turns out the bank sent someone to repossess the house located across the street from Barnett’s house, but by mistake broke into hers instead.

“They told me that the GPS led them to my house,” Barnett said. “My grass hadn’t been mowed and they just assumed.”

She called the McArthur Police about the incident, but weeks later, the chief announced the case was closed.

 

Read More and  Watch Video Here

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Foreclosure compensation checks arrive, but anger some homeowners

Families who endured years of anguish or lost their homes due to banks wrongly reporting they were behind on their mortgage payments are calling the compensation payments resulting from a government settlement, many of which number in the low hundreds, “insulting.” NBC’s Lisa Myers reports.

Millions of American homeowners who have struggled with foreclosures are now receiving checks for compensation from the companies that serviced their mortgages — part of the federal government’s efforts to resolve the foreclosure crisis. But some of those receiving checks tell NBC News that the payments are an insult that neither punishes the banks enough for “deficient” practices nor helps harmed homeowners recover.

Karen Pooley, 50, of Seattle, told NBC News that she fell behind on her mortgage after losing her job in the building industry in early 2009, and received a notice of default in February 2010.

Pooley said she’s been fighting to save her home from foreclosure for the past three years.   Believing that her servicer did not follow legal procedures, she said she has contested the foreclosure through her state’s foreclosure process, and managed to stop three foreclosure sales.  She said she also has tried to get authorities to investigate.

Last month, she received her settlement payment, a check for $300.

“It was more than pathetic. It was insulting,” Pooley told NBC News. “I spent more in money on postage providing government agencies with detailed descriptions of what had happened in my case.”

Timothy Platt, 52, a truck driver from Indianapolis, told NBC News he’s also been fighting to save his home from foreclosure the past three years.  He claims his servicer made a mistake, declaring he and his wife behind on their mortgage when they were not.  Platt is suing the servicer, but has found trying to prove his case frustrating.

“They (the banks) have misrepresented the facts,” he wrote to NBC News in an email last month, “they have insisted on pursuing foreclosure.” 

On Thursday morning, Platt emailed NBC News, saying his settlement check had just arrived. It was for $500.

“It’s kind of like a, like a slap in the face,” Platt told NBC News during a stopover in Chicago.  “We’ve been trying to work through this for three years now, and we have no help whatsoever, and we’ve lost lots.”

Both homeowners believe their mortgage servicers are in the wrong.  Each has gone to court to prevent the servicers from taking their homes.  Their respective servicers declined to comment to NBC News.

The compensation payment checks, which range from $300 up to $125,000, are part of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement announced in January between federal regulators and 13 mortgage servicing companies, which were subject to enforcement actions for “deficient practices in mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing.”  Deficient practices have included errors and misrepresentations and the “robo-signing” of documents.

The regulators are the U.S. Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

The recipients of the checks are mortgage loan borrowers whose homes were in any stage of a foreclosure process during 2009 or 2010, and whose mortgage servicers were among the 13 companies, or their subsidiaries or affiliates.  Compensation payment checks, which began going out April 12, have so far been sent to 3.7 million homeowners. In all, 4.2 million eligible mortgage loan borrowers will receive them.

The 13 servicers are: Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.

According to the OCC’s online FAQ about the agreement, the servicers agreed “to provide more than $9.3 billion in cash payments and other assistance to help borrowers. The sum includes $3.6 billion in direct cash payments to eligible borrowers and $5.7 billion in other foreclosure prevention assistance, such as loan modifications and forgiveness of deficiency judgments.”

By comparison, the five largest banks alone – Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorganChase, Bank of America – earned $60 billion in total profits last year.

Payout guided by ‘the matrix’
What determines how much homeowners receive?

The largest payouts – $125,000 – are going to 1,082 members of the military wrongly foreclosed upon, and to just 53 homeowners across the country foreclosed upon even though they never missed a mortgage payment.  But most of the recipients – almost 2 million homeowners – will get the smallest payments of $300 to $600.

How much each homeowner gets depends on a complicated financial matrix designed by the regulators.

“In determining the payment amounts,” reads a recent OCC press release, “borrowers were categorized according to the stage of their foreclosure process and the type of possible servicer error.  Regulators then determined amounts for each category, using the financial remediation matrix published in June 2012 as a guide, incorporating input from various consumer groups.”)

Read Full Article and Watch Video Here

They  really  need  to  make  sentences  for  animal  cruelty and  animal abuse  more  substantial

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By Lydia Warren

PUBLISHED: 13:24 EST, 6 March 2013 | UPDATED: 13:27 EST, 6 March 2013

A dog who was found starving and locked in a cage at a foreclosed home is on the road to recovery, authorities have said.

The three-year-old dog, an Australian Shepherd mix, was found on February 22 by a real estate agent who was changing the locks at a foreclosed home in Leland, North Carolina.

The animal was found locked in a crate and was so severely dehydrated and malnourished that he could not move his hind legs, according to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.

WARNING: Disturbing content

Cruel: This emaciated dog, an Australian Shepherd mix, was found abandoned at a foreclosed homeCruel: This emaciated dog, an Australian Shepherd mix, was found abandoned at a foreclosed home

Disturbing images of the emaciated animal show his spine protruding from his back with his ribs visible through his skin. Investigators believe he had been left in the cage for three weeks.

He was taken into the custody of Brunswick County Sheriff’s Animal Protective Services and was named ‘Springer’ by staff. Dental tests suggest he is around three years old.

He remains at the unit and deputies have already had several inquiries from members of the public about adopting the dog, Emily Flax from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Department said.

‘He is recovering wonderfully,’ Flax said. ‘He is very, very sweet-natured, very energetic and playful. He’s a very good boy.’

Springer
Springer

On the mend: The dog, who is believed to be three years old, is being cared for by the animal unit at the sheriff’s department, where he was named ‘Springer’ by staff. He will be put up for adoption when he is well

Heartbreaking: Investigators believe Springer had been locked up in a cage in the home for three weeksHeartbreaking: Investigators believe Springer had been locked up in a cage in the home for three weeks

 

Politics, Legislation and Economy News

 

 

Economic News  :  Mortgage Crisis

 

 

 

Fixing the Mortgage Mess in America

The Game-changing Implications of Bain v. MERS

by Ellen Brown
 

Two landmark developments on August 16th give momentum to the growing interest of cities and counties in addressing the mortgage crisis using eminent domain:

(1) The Washington State Supreme Court held in Bain v. MERS, et al., that an electronic database called Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is not a “beneficiary” entitled to foreclose under a deed of trust; and

(2) San Bernardino County, California, passed a resolution to consider plans to use eminent domain to address the glut of underwater borrowers by purchasing and refinancing their loans. 

MERS is the electronic smokescreen that allowed banks to build their securitization Ponzi scheme without worrying about details like ownership and chain of title.  According to trial attorney Neil Garfield, properties were sold to multiple investors or conveyed to empty trusts, subprime securities were endorsed as triple A, and banks earned up to 40 times what they could earn on a paying loan, using credit default swaps in which they bet the loan would go into default.

As the dust settles from collapse of the scheme, homeowners are left with underwater mortgages with no legitimate owners to negotiate with.  The solution now being considered is for municipalities to simply take ownership of the mortgages through eminent domain.  This would allow them to clear title and start fresh, along with some other lucrative dividends.

A major snag in these proposals has been that to make them economically feasible, the mortgages would have to be purchased at less than fair market value, in violation of eminent domain laws.  But for troubled properties with MERS in the title—which now seems to be the majority of them—this may no longer be a problem.  If MERS is not a beneficiary entitled to foreclose, as held in Bain, it is not entitled to assign that right or to assign title.  Title remains with the original note holder; and in the typical case, the note holder can no longer be located or established, since the property has been used as collateral for multiple investors.  In these cases, counties or cities may be able to obtain the mortgages free and clear.  The county or city would then be in a position to “do the fair thing,” settling with stakeholders in proportion to their legitimate claims, and refinancing or reselling the properties, with proceeds accruing to the city or county.

Bain v. MERS: No Rights Without the Original Note

Although Bain is binding precedent only in Washington State, it is well reasoned and is expected to be followed elsewhere.  The question, said the panel, was “whether MERS and its associated business partners and institutions can both replace the existing recording system established by Washington statutes and still take advantage of legal procedures established in those same statutes.”  The Court held that they could not have it both ways:

Simply put, if MERS does not hold the note, it is not a lawful beneficiary. . . .

MERS suggests that, if we find a violation of the act, “MERS should be required to assign its interest in any deed of trust to the holder of the promissory note, and have that assignment recorded in the land title records, before any non-judicial foreclosure could take place.” But if MERS is not the beneficiary as contemplated by Washington law, it is unclear what rights, if any, it has to convey. Other courts have rejected similar suggestions. [Citations omitted.]

If MERS has no rights that it can assign, the parties are back to square one: the original holder of the promissory note must be found.  The problem is that many of these mortgage companies are no longer in business; and even if they could be located, it is too late in most cases to assign the note to the trusts that are being tossed this hot potato. 

Mortgage-backed securities are sold to investors in packages representing interests in trusts called REMICs (Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits), which are designed as tax shelters.  To qualify for that status, however, they must be “static.” Mortgages can’t be transferred in and out once the closing date has occurred. The REMIC Pooling and Servicing Agreement typically states that any transfer after the closing date is invalid. Yet few, if any, properties in foreclosure seem to have been assigned to these REMICs before the closing date, in blatant disregard of legal requirements.

The whole business is quite complicated, but the bottom line is that title has been clouded not only by MERS but because the trusts purporting to foreclose do not own the properties by the terms of their own documents.  Legally, the latter defect may be even more fatal than filing in the name of MERS in establishing a break in the chain of title to securitized properties.

What This Means for Eminent Domain Plans:

Focus on San Bernardino

Under the plans that the San Bernardino County board of supervisors voted to explore, the county would take underwater mortgages by eminent domain and then help the borrowers into mortgages with significantly lower monthly payments. 

Objections voiced at the August 16th hearing included suspicions concerning the role of Mortgage Resolution Partners, the private venture capital firm bringing the proposal (would it make off with the profits and leave the county footing the bills?), and where the county would get the money for the purchases. 

A way around these objections might be to eliminate the private middleman and proceed through a county land bank of the sort set up in other states.  If the land bank focused on properties with MERS in the chain of title (underwater, foreclosed or abandoned), it might obtain a significant inventory of properties free and clear.    

The county would simply need to give notice in the local newspaper of intent to exercise its right of eminent domain. The burden of proof would then transfer to the claimant to establish title in a court proceeding.  If the court followed Bain, title typically could not be proved and would pass free and clear to the county land bank, which could sell or rent the property and work out a fair settlement with the parties.

That would resolve not only the funding question but whether using eminent domain to cure mortgage problems constitutes an unconstitutional taking of private property.  In these cases, there would be no one to take from, since no one would be able to prove title.  The investors would take their place in line as unsecured creditors with claims in equity for actual damages.  In most cases, they would be protected by credit default swaps and could recover from those arrangements. 

The investors, banks and servicers all profited from the smokescreen of MERS, which shielded them from liability.  As noted in Bain:

Critics of the MERS system point out that after bundling many loans together, it is difficult, if not impossible, to identify the current holder of any particular loan, or to negotiate with that holder. . . . Under the MERS system, questions of authority and accountability arise, and determining who has authority to negotiate loan modifications and who is accountable for misrepresentation and fraud becomes extraordinarily difficult.

Like MERS itself, the investors must deal with the consequences of an anonymity so remote that they removed themselves from the chain of title. 

On August 15th, the Federal Housing Finance Agency threatened to take action against municipalities condemning federal property.  But to establish its claim, the FHFA, too, would have to establish that the mortgages were federal property; and under the Bain ruling, this could be difficult. 

Setting Things Right

While banks and investors were busy counting their profits behind the curtain of MERS,  homeowners and counties have been made to bear the losses.  The city of San Bernardino is in such dire straits that on August 1, it filed for bankruptcy. 

San Bernardino and other counties are drowning in debt from a crisis created when Wall Street’s real estate securitization bubble burst.  By using eminent domain, they can clean up the destruction of their land title records and 400 years of real property law.  And by setting up their own banks, counties and other municipalities can use their own capital and revenues to generate credit for local purposes.  

Homeowners who paid much more for a home than it was worth as a result of the securitization bubble have little chance of challenging the legitimacy of their underwater mortgages on their own.  Insisting that their state and local governments follow the lead of Washington State and San Bernardino County may be their best shot at escaping debt peonage to their mortgage lenders.

Ellen Brown is an attorney and president of the Public Banking Institute, http://PublicBankingInstitute.org.  In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she shows how a private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her websites are http://WebofDebt.com and http://EllenBrown.com.

Ellen Brown is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Ellen Brown

Politics and Legislation

Britain pushes for mass surveillance society

Uploaded by RTAmerica on Mar 15, 2012

Soon you can be watched everywhere you go in the UK. All your emails, texts and phone calls will be monitored and you can even be seen where cameras can’t. This could all be possible with a new anti-terrorism spy plan. Security companies will have real time access to all your personal happenings at the click of a button. Here is our report.

N.Y. Passes DNA Requirement For Convicted Criminals

Early on Thursday, lawmakers in New York approved a bill that will make the state the first to require DNA samples from almost all convicted criminals — and make its DNA database one of the largest in the nation.

http://www.nhpr.org/post/ny-passes-dna-requirement-convicted-criminals

GOP: Obama, Dems need to do more to fight high gas prices

By Molly K. Hooper

Republicans attacked President Obama’s energy policies as the cause of high gas prices in Saturday’s weekly address.

http://thehill.com/video/house/216505-gop-obama-needs-to-do-more-to-fight-high-gas-prices

White House looks to change the optics in debate over rising gas prices

By Amie Parnes

The White House is shifting its optics on gas prices after struggling in recent days to win the public debate over the issue.

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/216499-white-house-changes-optics-in-debate-over-rising-gas-prices

Obama: Fight high gas prices by ending subsidies, fraud

By Jamie Klatell

While saying there is no “silver bullet,” President Obama said Saturday that regulating energy markets and cutting government subsidies to big oil firms will help control spikes in the prices of gas.

http://thehill.com/video/administration/216507-obama-fight-high-gas-prices-by-ending-subsidies-fraud

White House: Colleges must cover birth control for students

By Sam Baker

Most universities will have to cover birth control in their students’ health plans, the Obama administration said Friday.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216485-white-house-says-colleges-must-cover-birth-control-for-students

GOP split on health-law repeal strategy

By Julian Pecquet

Two conservative Republicans on Friday blasted House leaders for scheduling a vote to repeal an unpopular provision of the healthcare reform law.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216487-republicans-at-odds-over-health-law-repeal-strategy

If You Took the Greed Out of Wall Street, All You’d Have Left Is Pavement

Robert Reich, Op-Ed:

The Street has only itself to blame. It should have welcomed new financial regulation as a means of restoring public trust. Instead, it lobbied intensely against the new Dodd-Frank Act and refused to resurrect Glass-Steagall. The cost of such cynicism has leached deep into America, finding expression in Tea Partiers and Occupiers and millions of others who think the Street has sold us out.

http://www.nationofchange.org/if-you-took-greed-out-wall-street-all-you-d-have-left-pavement-why-greg-smith-s-critique-way-too-nar

The Power of Recalls in Wisconsin

John Nichols, Op-Ed:

With Wisconsin recall elections looming against four Republican state Senators — as well as Governor Scott Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch — the state’s politics was thrown for another loop Friday when a targeted senator up and quit. State Senator Pam Galloway, a Tea Party favorite and one of Walker’s steadiest backers in the legislature, announced her immediate resignation from the legislature and her decision not to contest the recall election.

http://www.nationofchange.org/power-recalls-wisconsin-1331997712

Economy

Five Charts That Prove We’re in a Depression and That the Federal Reserve and Washington Are Wasting Money

By Graham Summers

Wall Street and mainstream economists are abuzz that we’re seeing a recovery in the US due to the latest jobs data. These folks are not only missing the big picture, but they’re not even reading the fine print (more on this in a moment).

The reality is that what’s happening in the US today is not a cyclical recession, but a one in 100 year, secular economic shift.

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1331571258.php

 

Gas prices still climbing, top $4 in 6 states
Pump prices click higher to national average of $3.83 a gallon, with 6 states above $4.00

Gasoline prices rose again Friday and are now averaging more than $4 in six states and Washington, D.C. Oil had its biggest gain in three weeks and natural gas prices also rose.

Retail gasoline prices were up a penny on Friday to a national average of $3.831 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/gas-prices-still-climbing-top-165457157.html;_ylt=Ao1Q5Ln8g6oB0Kdt8qRBnJSiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0dnFmNjdlBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIFRvcCBTdG9yeSBSaWdodARwa2cDYzVlMDc2YjMtNWRmNS0zMmUzLWE5YzgtNjI0NzA1ZWRhOGNiBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzI3NGFjZTk5LTZmYTAtMTFlMS1iZjdhLWM0YTZhNDQyZTAyZA–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

Oil hits $107 after US denial of crude release
Oil rises past $107 a day after US denies plan to release crude supplies

NEW YORK (AP) — Crude oil prices rose Friday, a day after the government denied reports that the U.S. and the U.K. plan to release some of their strategic crude reserves.

In New York trading, benchmark oil for April delivery rose $1.95 a barrel, or about 2 percent, to finish at $107.06, the biggest gain since Feb. 24.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/oil-hits-107-us-denial-203308690.html;_ylt=Aomo5PjMW6oZV0lJwGXaEKSiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTN0bzllaW1tBG1pdANOZXdzIFRvcGljIDIEcGtnA2E1NDFjNTU0LTdlNGQtMzc0NC1iMjk1LWZkMjYxZWZmZWQzMwRwb3MDNQRzZWMDTWVkaWFTZWN0aW9uTGlzdAR2ZXIDYzA0MmI5NjAtNmZhOS0xMWUxLWJhZGEtNmQ5MmYzZWE2NjFk;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

Doomsday Survey: 51% of Americans Believe a Financial Collapse Is Imminent; 85% Say Country Is Overwhelmingly Under-Prepared

A recent survey of 1,007 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over suggests that most of us believe a doomsday scenario of some kind will occur in the next twenty five years.

With three million preppers in the U.S. getting ready for widespread disaster, gun sales sky rocketing, and retail precious metals purchases at unprecedented levels, the results of the survey performed by Kelton Research on behalf of National Geographic shouldn’t be surprising.

http://learnhowtobeprepared.com/2012/03/doomsday-survey-51-of-americans-believe-a-financial-collapse-is-imminent-85-say-country-is-overwhelmingly-under-prepared/#.T2VkYLRZfe8

 

The Fed Isn’t Providing Monetary Morphine; Its Spreading Financial Cancer That Is Killing the Markets And Democratic Capitalism In General

CONTRIBUTOR: Graham Summers.

~ Phoenix Capital Research While the vast majority of commentators look at the market action of the last three months and celebrate, I cannot help but shudder. The reason is that the stock market has been propped up solely by Central Bank and/or Federal Government intervention or the hope…

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1903/390/The_Fed_Isnt_Providing_Monetary_Morphine;_Its_Spreading_Financial_Cancer_That_Is_Killing_the_Markets_And_Democratic_Capitalism_In_General.html

Preventing the Fall of Rome

Gar Alperovitz, Op-Ed:

How far continuing financial and political pressures may lead other officials to attempt to secure revenues by selling off public assets is an open question. Public resistance to such strategies, although less widely publicized, has been surprisingly strong in many areas. Toll road sales have been held up in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and newly elected Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently voiced his opposition to an attempt to privatize Midway Airport as previously attempted by Daley.

http://www.nationofchange.org/preventing-fall-rome-1331994900

 

Senate Bill Could Roll Back Consumers’ Health Insurance Savings

Lena Groeger, News Report:

This is the first year that companies are required to send out rebates. According to a report by state insurance commissioners, if rebates had been handed out last year, insurers would have had to pay consumers almost $2 billion. If they had carved out the broker fees, as proposed in the two current bills, consumers would have gotten only about $800 million. The rebates have gotten relatively modest attention. Only 38 percent of the public is even aware of the rule’s existence, according to a Kaiser poll.

http://www.nationofchange.org/senate-bill-could-roll-back-consumers-health-insurance-savings-1331996903

 

Wars and Rumors of War

Panetta Disarms Marines in Afghanistan Amid Fears of Possible Rogue Marine Shooting

Uploaded by ObamaBC on Mar 14, 2012

It has been denied that Secretary of Defense Panetta’s disarming of Marines in Afghanistan March 14 had anything to do with a rogue Army sniper’s killing of sixteen Afghan civilians earlier in the week, but many are calling the move highly unusual, and one source states disarming Marines in a combat zone is contrary to military protocol. Approximately two hundred Marines were told to leave their weapons outside a tent while listening to Panetta’s speech, but many state disarming the Marines will lead to a morale problem due to a high official distrusting his own troops. Sources state the Marines felt uncomfortable being without their weapons in what is essentially a war zone. What many considered a rush to judgement given the the rogue U.S. sniper’s history of PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury), Leon Panetta had stated almost immediately that the soldier could face the death penalty. This was odd and hypocritical to many, given that many feel the Obama administration ostensibly armed drug cartels with Fast and Furious weapons that were used to kill hundreds of Mexican citizens, and at least two U.S. citizens, Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata, and no one has called for the death penalty in these cases, let alone actual charges being filed.
3/14/12 By Kris Zane

 

How Mossad Justified Its Murder of an Innocent Iranian Electrical Engineer

By Gareth Porter

On July 23, 2011, a 35-year-old Iranian electrical engineering student named Darioush Rezaeinejad was gunned down as he and his wife, who was also wounded in the attack, waited for their child in front of a kindergarten in Tehran.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30850.htm

 

America and the Middle East:
Psycho Warriors Who Deceive Humanity

By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD

Global peace, humanity and security of the Middle East region are the net causality of Obama’s egomaniac rhetoric.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30849.htm

 

Top diplomat: Saudi Arabia is smuggling arms to Syria:

Arab diplomat says Saudi Arabia is delivering military equipment to Free Syrian Army ‘to stop bloodshed by Assad’s regime’.

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=51267

U.S. ‘Concerned’ About Iranian Flights to Syria:

The United States has expressed concern that Iranian cargo planes overflying Iraq may be shipping weapons to Syria.

http://en.rian.ru/world/20120317/172223863.html

 

Turkey urges citizens to leave Syria, set to cut consular services:

Move comes as reports indicate 4 members of the Gulf Cooperation Council will close their embassies in Syria over the ongoing political crisis.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/turkey-urges-citizens-to-leave-syria-set-to-cut-consular-services-1.419083

 

Environmental

 

The Department of Homeland Security Plans to Build a High-Risk Virus Research Center in the Heart of America

J. D. Heyes, News Report:

“The United States works on the frontline of livestock animal health research to defend against foreign animal, emerging, and zoonotic diseases that could threaten the U.S. livestock industry, food supply, and public health,” says Homeland Security Under Secretary for Science and Technology Tara O’Toole, in a departmental risk assessment posted online. “To address congressional requirements, this detailed, updated risk assessment reaffirms that we can build a safe and secure facility to meet this important mission.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/department-homeland-security-plans-build-high-risk-virus-research-center-heart-america-1331990145

 

The True Cost of the Tar Sands

Video Report:

“Garth Lenz is an award winning conservation photographer whose work has been seen in shows around the globe. Recently he appeared at a TEDx event in Victoria, BC Canada with his exhibition, The True Cost of Oil. Through Lenz’s photography, this exhibit showcases the beauty of some of Canada’s pristine environments—and the dire impact that tar sands oil extraction has on them.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/photos-true-cost-tar-sands-1331993923

 

 

Misc

‘Kony 2012’ director hospitalized

Published on Mar 16, 2012 by CNN

CNN’s Erin Burnett reports that one of the men behind the “Kony 2012” video was found in the street in his underwear.

 

US soldier accused of shooting Afghan civilians identified

By Carlo Munoz

The U.S. soldier accused of going on a shooting rampage that left 16 Afghan civilians dead on Sunday has been identified as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, a U.S. official confirmed to The Hill.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/army/216503-us-soldier-accused-in-afghan-shootings-identified

 

Big Pharma’s Evil Motives Exposed (video)

CONTRIBUTOR: BARRACUDA.

Former Scientist, and Pharma Executive Speaks Out On The True Motives of Big Pharma Dr. John Virapen has worked more than three decades in the pharmaceutical industry. As an insider, former scientist and whistleblower, he is now dedicated to expose and create awareness on how the pharmaceutical industry is operating with…

 

Democrats Push New Obama US Flag: Here Is A Picture Of It (Shocking?) (Shocking?)

 

CONTRIBUTOR: RidgeRunner.

Some Democrats are flying, selling and proposing an Obama faced American Flag. How do you feel about this? What feeling does this picture evoke in you as an American? …

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1892/295/Democrats_Push_New_Obama_US_Flag:_Here_Is_A_Picture_Of_It_Shocking.html

 

Foreclosure Victim Wins $18 Million as Part of Federal Mortgage Settlement

Travis Waldron, News Report:

“Fraudulent foreclosures have reached near-pandemic levels since the collapse of the housing market. At banks like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America, fraudulent practices like robo-signing were approved by upper-level management, and employees with no banking experience were given vice-president level titles so they could sign foreclosure documents (one Wells Fargo ‘Vice President’ came to the bank from a pizza restaurant).”

http://www.nationofchange.org/foreclosure-victim-wins-18-million-part-federal-mortgage-settlement-1331996983

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/l-randall-wray/new-yorks-us-bankruptc…

If you have a mortgage that passed through MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Service), it has been declared by a US Bankruptcy Judge to be illegal, and your bank may not have any right to foreclose!  Take this article to your attorney and discuss, if this is the case.

New York’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court Rules MERS’s Business Model Is Illegal

L. Randall Wray

Professor of Economics and Research Director of the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability, University of Missouri–Kansas City

Posted: February 16, 2011 03:00 PM

United States Bankruptcy Judge Robert Grossman has ruled that MERS’s business practices are unlawful. He explicitly acknowledged that this ruling sets a precedent that has far-reaching implications for half of the mortgages in this country. MERS is dead. The banks are in big trouble. And all foreclosures should be stopped immediately while the legislative branch comes up with a solution.

For some weeks I have been arguing that MERS is perpetrating foreclosure fraud all across the nation. Its business model makes it impossible to legally foreclose on any mortgaged property registered within its system — which includes half of the outstanding mortgages in the US. MERS was a fraud from day one, whose purpose was to evade property recording fees and to subvert five centuries of property law. Its chickens have come home to roost.

Wall Street wanted to transform America’s housing sector into the world’s biggest casino and needed to undermine property rights to make it easier to run the scam. The payoffs were bigger for lenders who could induce homeowners to take mortgages they could not possibly afford. The mortgages were packaged into securities sold-on to patsy investors who were defrauded by the “reps and warranties” falsely certifying the securities as backed by top grade loans. In fact the securities were not backed by mortgages, and in any case the mortgages were sure to go bad. Given that homeowners would default, the Wall Street banks that serviced the mortgages needed a foreclosure steamroller to quickly and cheaply throw families out of the homes so that they could be resold to serve as purported collateral for yet more gambling bets. MERS — the industry’s creation — stepped up to the plate to facilitate the fraud. The judge has ruled that its practices are illegal. MERS and the banks lose; investors and homeowners win.

Here’s MERS’s business model in brief. Real estate property sales and mortgages are supposed to be recorded in local recording offices, with fees paid. With the rise of securitization, each mortgage might be sold a dozen times before it came to rest as the collateral behind a mortgage backed security (MBS), and each of those sales would need to be recorded. MERS was created to bypass public recording; it would be listed in the county records as the “mortgagee of record” and the “nominee” of the holder of mortgage. Members of MERS could then transfer the mortgage from one to another without all the trouble of changing the local records, simply by (voluntarily) recording transactions on MERS’s registry.

A mortgage has two parts, the “note” and the “security” (not to be confused with the MBS) or “deed of trust” that is usually just called the “mortgage”. The idea behind MERS was that the “note” would be transferred from seller to purchaser, but the “mortgage” would be held by MERS. In fact, MERS recommended that the “note” be held by the mortgage servicer to facilitate foreclosures, but in practice it seems that the notes were often lost or destroyed (which is why all those Burger King Kids were hired to Robo-sign “lost note affidavits”).

At each transfer, the note and mortgage are supposed to be “assigned” to the new owner; MERS claimed that because it was the “mortgagee of record” and the “nominee” of both parties to every transaction, there was no need to assign the “mortgage” until foreclosure. And it argued that since the old adage is that the “mortgage follows the note” and that both parties intended to assign the notes (even if they did not get around to doing it), then the Bankruptcy Court should rule that the assignments did take place in some sort of “virtual reality” so that there is a clear chain of title that allows the servicers to foreclose.

The Judge rejected every aspect of MERS’s argument. The Court rejected the claim that MERS could be both holder of the mortgage as well as nominee of the “true” owner. It also found that “mortgagee of record” is a vague term that does not give one legal standing as mortgagee. Hence, at best, MERS is only a nominee. It rejected MERS’s claim that as nominee it can assign notes or mortgages — a nominee has limited rights and those most certainly do not include the right to transfer ownership unless there is specific written instruction to do so. In scarcely veiled anger, the Judge wrote:

“According to MERS, the principal/agent relationship among itself and its members is created by the MERS rules of membership and terms and conditions, as well as the Mortgage itself. However, none of the documents expressly creates an agency relationship or even mentions the word “agency.” MERS would have this Court cobble together the documents and draw inferences from the words contained in those documents.”

Judge Grossman rejected MERS’s arguments, saying that mere membership in MERS does not provide “agency” rights to MERS, and agreeing with the Supreme Court of Kansas that ruled “The parties appear to have defined the word [nominee] in much the same way that the blind men of Indian legend described an elephant — their description depended on which part they were touching at any given time.”

Read the  rest  of  the article  here  :

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/l-randall-wray/new-yorks-us-bankruptcy-c_b_824167.html