Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘foreclosure

Police and Thieves

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The foreclosure lawyers down in Jacksonville had warned me, but I was skeptical. They told me the state of Florida had created a special super-high-speed housing court with a specific mandate to rubber-stamp the legally dicey foreclosures by corporate mortgage pushers like Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan Chase. This “rocket docket,” as it is called in town, is presided over by retired judges who seem to have no clue about the insanely complex financial instruments they are ruling on — securitized mortgages and laby rinthine derivative deals of a type that didn’t even exist when most of them were active members of the bench. Their stated mission isn’t to decide right and wrong, but to clear cases and blast human beings out of their homes with ultimate velocity. They certainly have no incentive to penetrate the profound criminal mysteries of the great American mortgage bubble of the 2000s, perhaps the most complex Ponzi scheme in human history — an epic mountain range of corporate fraud in which Wall Street megabanks conspired first to collect huge numbers of subprime mortgages, then to unload them on unsuspecting third parties like pensions, trade unions and insurance companies (and, ultimately, you and me, as taxpayers) in the guise of AAA-rated investments. Selling lead as gold, shit as Chanel No. 5, was the essence of the booming international fraud scheme that created most all of these now-failing home mortgages.

The rocket docket wasn’t created to investigate any of that. It exists to launder the crime and bury the evidence by speeding thousands of fraudulent and predatory loans to the ends of their life cycles, so that the houses attached to them can be sold again with clean paperwork. The judges, in fact, openly admit that their primary mission is not justice but speed. One Jacksonville judge, the Honorable A.C. Soud, even told a local newspaper that his goal is to resolve 25 cases per hour. Given the way the system is rigged, that means His Honor could well be throwing one ass on the street every 2.4 minutes.

Matt Taibbi goes inside Florida’s foreclosure disaster in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. Via MetaFilter.

It turns out that underneath that little iceberg tip of exposed evidence lies a fraud so gigantic that it literally cannot be contemplated by our leaders, for fear of admitting that our entire financial system is corrupted to its core — with our great banks and even our government coffers backed not by real wealth but by vast landfills of deceptively generated and essentially worthless mortgage-backed assets.

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November 12, 2010 at 9:06 am

‘The Great Housing Swindle’

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Unlawful Foreclosure

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Citing “potentially unlawful practices,” Attorney General Roy Cooper has asked lenders to stop foreclosures in North Carolina. Also via Atrios.

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October 6, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Four for Monday Night

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Three Quick Links

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Three quick links.

* The Michigan GOP gets spanked over their illegal scheme to disenfranchise foreclosed homeowners.

* Green recovery watch: California’s emphasis on energy efficiency has created more than 1.5 million jobs over the last 30 years and boosted payroll in the state by nearly $45 billion, according to a report from the University of California, Berkeley.

* Is college for everyone? Marty Nemko argues in The Chronicle of Higher Education no, it’s not. As a PhD candidate looking to go on the job market in the next few years, I must strenuously, strenuously disagree.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 20, 2008 at 7:17 pm

Lose Your House, Lose Your Vote

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In Michigan, Republicans think if your house is foreclosed, you should lose your right to vote.

The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

“You can’t challenge people without a factual basis for doing so,” said J. Gerald Hebert, a former voting rights litigator for the U.S. Justice Department who now runs the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington D.C.-based public-interest law firm. “I don’t think a foreclosure notice is sufficient basis for a challenge, because people often remain in their homes after foreclosure begins and sometimes are able to negotiate and refinance.”

As for the practice of challenging the right to vote of foreclosed property owners, Hebert called it, “mean-spirited.”

We saw these tactics before in 2000 and 2004, and I imagine we’ll keep saying them in 2012, 2016, 2020, and on and on, until somebody starts prosecuting officials who screw with elections.

Undercutting the foundation of our democracy is not part of the campaign game.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 11, 2008 at 5:15 pm