The current foreclosure mess is being presented in the MSM as the following: Banks trying to foreclose on deadbeats and being obstructed by the courts. However unless all mortgage data is wrong that is not what is happening. The overwhelming majority of deadbeat mortgages are owned or at least guaranteed by the Federal government. So the federal government is hiding behind the banks to avoid the public record of foreclosing on its own citizens. This is illegal. Why does the federal government own the mortgages? The short answer is that the interventions in the mortgage banking system going back to at least the S&L crisis in the late 80s/early 90s have involved the federal government taking on financial risk to avoid a real estate shake out. The long answer involves all the different ways $5+ trillion in BS notes ended up as an unfunded liability of the federal government. The long answer involves several books. Just go to the local library or bookstore (online or not) pick about 10 that suit your worldview and read them the story ain't simple. So the federal government in various ways is on the hook for the worse loans out there but what makes those loans so bad? Lack of documentation is the biggie. Mortgage originators who were sloppy about who they loaned to were most often sloppy about record keeping as well. If deed, note or other required documents either do not exist or cannot be found then the mortgage claim will most likely not be honored. GMAC/Ally the first problem child to surface is a subsidiary of the federal government. The relationship of MERS the electronic depository of most mortgage records in question was set up near DC in Reston VA which does sound suspicious even without its admitted ties to fannie mae and freddie mac. MERS has not kept ownership transfers updated at the county courthouses which is just as bad as no documents. So the federal government is trying to foreclose on its own citizens without legally valid claims to many and probably most of the properties. In fact it may have foreclosed millions of houses already without a defensible claim to those houses, that will be really expensive. So when does this mess go critical with class action lawsuits out the wazoo?