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It seems ridiculous. Why would a lender reject a workout, reject modification, reject a short sale and insist on a foreclosure — and then walk away from the property? Why has this not been a center of attention as hundreds of communities, cities and states have been decimated by this phenomenon?
The answer turns on the themes of this blog and several other media outlets but nobody in a position to change the conversation wants to face up to the single true statement about this: somehow the banks are making more money going to foreclosure (and walking away from the property) than doing a workout to save the loan as a valuable asset. The foreclosure sale is worth more to them than the property.
The banks are not stupid. They know that destroying neighborhoods and cities results in a precipitous drop in home values (going to zero in many places). They know that this results in a disastrous deterioration of the value of the security for the alleged loans.
So we are faced with a second undeniable truth: the banks are not losing money on foreclosures, they are making money.
So when Senators like Menendez and Booker from New Jersey write a letter to federal regulators asking them to look into the wild phenomenon of Zombie foreclosures, we can only hope that such Senators and the federal regulators will ask themselves some very simple questions. That is the only way this crisis will be averted and it is a vehicle for bringing down the largest banks who are performing illegal acts every day in foreclosures across the country.
If we go beyond the basic questions, then we start to drill down to the real facts — not the ones that practically everyone assumes to be true.
How could the banks not be losing money on Zombie foreclosures? The loss of the loan and the loss of the property securing the loan obviously reduces the value of the alleged loan to zero. In fact, it creates a liability to the bank for walking away after they kicked out the people who own the house. The City can go after them for taxes and the prospect of liability for attractive nuisance and other torts requires them to pay for insurance or brace for impact when the lawsuit happens. Any normal banker will tell you that this is not an acceptable scenario nor is it industry practice amongst banks who make loans.
Hence the conclusion that the parties who invoking the foreclosure procedures did not make loans — nor did anyone else in their alleged chain. The part of the deal where the lender hands over the cash to the closing agent never happened in those loans. If it had happened then the loan and the property would have value to these banks and other entities. Since it was “other people’s money” involved in that “loan” transaction, the banks simply don’t care what happens to the loan or the property except that THEY want the foreclosures to the detriment of the owners of the property, the detriment to the Pension funds whose money was somehow used to make the alleged loans, the detriment of our communities, and the detriment of government which ramped up to handle all the new housing only to find that their tax base vanished.
So if the banks are not losing money on the alleged default of the borrower, it opens the door to understanding that practically anything else they do would result in profits to the banks who are illegally and fraudulently controlling the foreclosure process. When they bring a foreclosure action they use self proclaimed authority that is presumed to be true even though truth is not involved. They have credibility even though they lack the truth.
It’s a perfect world to Wall Street. They use nonexistent entities as claimants in the foreclosure process thus insulating themselves from liability for wrongful foreclosure when those few cases actually get decided on the merits. The money from the pension funds goes into the pocket of the Wall Street banks instead of those empty Trusts.
The pension funds gets a certificate of ownership and debt from the empty trust and they are contractually bound not to ask questions about any specific loan. Ever wonder why that provision is in every Pooling and Service Agreement. So while intermediary parties have a party with pension money, the pension money was used to fund loans that were underwritten for the purpose of loss instead of the usual profit motive. And by knowing that the loans would fail the banks were able to get even more money by betting on loans that they knew would fail. And then they got even more money by betting on the loss of value of the certificates. And they got even more money when they engaged in the Re-REMIC practice of closing out the old trust and starting a new one. And to add insult to injury, the pension fund keeps getting paid by the wrongdoers from a “reserve fund” consisting entirely of pension money. Pouring salt on that wound is the bank’s hubris in claiming the right to recover “servicer advances” made from the reserve pool — only upon foreclosure sale. And the cherry on top is that the “servicers” who are not servicers sell the right to recover servicer advances in additional securitization schemes.
Homeowners take it personally when the servicer tells them they were rejected by the investor for a modification (false claim). They think it must be personal because no other explanation makes sense to them. But that is because they don’t have the information on “securitization fail.”
The BIG LIE is that lenders are foreclosing. They are not. In fact, there are no lenders in the legal and conventional use of the word. There are only victims of fraud.