Mortgage Meltdown

Discussion in 'Economy' started by indago, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. indago
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    CNN — LOU DOBBS TONIGHT — Aired January 29, 2009 - 19:00 ET

    LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Seething anger tonight at the federal government's utter failure to help homeowners in danger of losing their homes, even as the government is spending literally trillions of dollars to help out banks, investment companies. There were more than three million foreclosure filings last year, a million people foreclosed upon. Now, one lawmaker, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur says it's time for homeowners to fight back, exercising squatter's rights.

    Drew Griffin, of our Special Investigations Unit, with the report.

    (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

    DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATION UNIT CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The notices came to her home in April. Andrea Guice's bank foreclosed on her, behind in payments, out of work, a husband sick, she had nowhere to go.

    So she decided to follow the advice of her Congresswoman, and go nowhere. Guice is part of a new movement in the Housing crisis, squatters.

    (on camera) For lack of a better term, you're kind of squatting in this house, aren't you?

    ANDREA GUICE, FORECLOSED HOMEOWNER: Basically, yes. Yes.

    GRIFFIN: Last resort?

    GUICE: Last resort, yes.

    GRIFFIN (voice over): More than 4,000 properties were foreclosed on in Toledo's Lucas County last year. This year, it could be worse. There's a county clerk whose full-time job is typing up and sending out foreclosure notices.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tomorrow morning this will be mailed out.

    GRIFFIN: Elected officials are saying Toledo is not in a recession, it is a depression. It is this bleak backdrop that inspired Toledo Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur to take the floor of the House earlier this month to tell her constituents to stay put.

    REP. MARCY KAPTUR, (D) OHIO: So I say to the American people, you be squatters in your own homes; don't you leave.

    GRIFFIN: Kaptur says she has had it with government bailouts for Wall Street banks, but nothing for homeowners. She is advocating for a legal revolution, a demand that not one of her constituents leaves their home without an attorney and a fight.

    (on camera) Even if they've been foreclosed on, don't leave?

    KAPTUR: If they've had no legal representation of a high quality, I tell them stay in their homes.

    GRIFFIN (voice over): Kaptur is behind a strategy called produce the note. Mortgages have been so divvied up on Wall Street that banks are having a hard time finding that original paperwork, adding a delay to foreclosures.

    She is also pushing banks to rework loans, especially those banks getting bailouts and holding mortgages of folks getting tossed out.

    KAPTUR: They are vultures. They prey on our property assets. And I guess the reason I'm so adamant on this is because I know property law and its power to protect the individual home owner. And I believe that 99.9 percent of our people have not had good legal representation in this.

    GRIFFIN: Without a lawyer, Andrea Guice bought a $147,000 home with nearly $40,000 down.

    GUICE: I should have had an attorney. I really should have had the attorney. I did not know.

    GRIFFIN: She admits she didn't read the paperwork, didn't learn, until it was too late, she had a sub-prime loan. Her payments of $883 a month jumped in a year to more than $1,500. When it did, she stopped paying.

    (on camera) So they foreclosed on you?

    GUICE: They have foreclosed on me, yes.

    GRIFFIN (voice over): The law firm representing the bank in Guice's foreclosure declined comment to CNN. Another one of the banks Guice believes holds her notes, Wells Fargo, said it wouldn't comment on individual cases, but tries to work with homeowners.

    Backed by her Congresswoman, Guice simply is not budging.

    (END VIDEOTAPE)

    GRIFFIN: Lou, no one's saying, "don't pay your mortgage." What the Congresswoman is saying if you're being foreclosed on, don't just leave. Don't assume you have to leave your house. And you're going to have a run, I know.

    And I think what she'll tell you is, look, we bailed out the banks, but part of that bailout was to help the homeowners, the counselors, the lawyers. Well, in Toledo, Ohio, where are they? Lou.

    DOBBS: Indeed, a question across the country that is being asked. Drew, to get it straight, Miss Guice paid how much for that house?

    GRIFFIN: I couldn't believe it either, Lou. It was $147,000 house. I saw the paperwork. She put down nearly $40,000.

    DOBBS: Just about 30 percent.

    GRIFFIN: There's no reason she needed to be in this sub-prime. She admits she got hood winked.

    DOBBS: And Wells Fargo is the mortgage holder?

    GRIFFIN: Is the end-run mortgage holder, right. Not the person that wrote up the loan, as you know.

    DOBBS: Right.

    GRIFFIN: This loan was written up by a broker and sold probably ten times.

    DOBBS: Well, we should — you know, the fact is that the mortgage brokers, the people who are involved in this, should be being prosecuted in point of fact. Let me be very — just arch about this, if I may — they deserve to be prosecuted, because this is unfair.

    I would hope Wells Fargo would have the decency, the honesty, the integrity and the national — a sense of national obligation to straighten this out. It is not adequate, Wells Fargo, for you to say you don't talk about individual cases, because that's all we've got in this country are individual cases, people.

    Drew thank you very much.

    GRIFFIN: Thank you, Lou.

    DOBBS: Drew Griffin, outstanding reporting.



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  2. indago
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    CNN — LOU DOBBS TONIGHT — Aired January 29, 2009 - 19:00 ET

    LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Joining me now is Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. You just saw her in Drew Griffin's report. Congresswoman, let me say to you, if I may, with all objectivity that I can muster, with fairness and balance, God bless you for taking this position. Because it's about time one of our elected representatives has the guts to say what you've said.

    KAPTUR: Well, thank you, Lou, very much. You know, 10 percent of our properties have been foreclosed here in the last two years. And our community is not unique. And what has become very clear is that even though we were promised that the Wall Street bailout was primarily to address this home foreclosure crisis, it hasn't made a bit of difference.

    DOBBS: But what I have to ask you now is that Congress has had the opportunity, the Democrats have been in charge of that Congress for two years. We have seen the Republican administration for eight years give corporate America a free hand.

    We have seen both the Clinton administration and the Bush administration push back regulation. When are we going to see action by this Congress to relieve, to help the homeowner and take urgent, immediate action because this is not in any way — anything less than a tragedy?

    KAPTUR: It's a national crisis. And it is the proximate cause of this economic downturn; the housing foreclosure crisis. I did everything I could when Congress reconvened this year to urge the President, our Speaker, our leadership to move the FDIC and the SEC into their proper position in this economy to do these workouts.

    And that has not been done. And this week we had to pass a stimulus bill in the House to try to pick up some of the casualties and give them a little life support. But the real problem is, that the FDIC and the SEC have been superseded by the U.S. Treasury Department, —

    DOBBS: Right.

    KAPTUR: — which has no history in workouts. And that's the problem. They're using the wrong agency to resolve this crisis.

    DOBBS: And Sheila Bair, the Chair of the FDIC, we've got to give great credit. She has been talking about this issue —

    KAPTUR: Yes.

    DOBBS: — throughout. She has been sensitive and forthright about the issue. You know, I guess the issue here also becomes, we are a nation of laws. At what point does telling a person, as you have, to just exercise squatter's rights — at what point are you bumping up against the issue of breaking the law?

    KAPTUR: Well, you know, Lou, the problem is that these families haven't had proper legal representation. Most of these companies on Wall Street can't even find the loan, and they have not properly noticed the homeowner under the Truth and Lending Act and the Real Estate Practices Act.

    DOBBS: Right.

    KAPTUR: If you really look at the fine print, these Wall Street firms can't find the loan. They've divided it up into so many pieces, so there's a legitimate question in the law as to where that deed, where that loan actually is.

    DOBBS: In point of fact, it's not — to be clear, if there's no note, there is no debt?

    KAPTUR: That's right.

    And if you don't have proper legal representation — and I mean good legal representation — what happens to the homeowner in places like our region is, they're law abiding people. They're afraid and they leave the property.

    I say your biggest right is to hold on to your property. The law is on your side.

    DOBBS: Marcy Kaptur, I'm sure that millions of Americans and the folks in Ohio appreciate you being on their side.

    KAPTUR: Thank you.

    DOBBS: Marcy Kaptur, thank you very much, Congresswoman from Ohio.
     

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