Other States Bail Out CA Mortgages

FEB. 10, 2012

By CHRISS STREET

Just over a week ago I published here on CalWatchDog.com “New California Budget Crisis May Torpedo November Tax Increase Initiative.” The report illuminated how state Controller John Chaing had shocked California’s spendthrift politicians by announcing the state would be out of  cash beginning March 8 and would miss up to $5.4 billion in vendor payments through May 1.

The timing of the Chaing announcement was disastrous for state politicians because it destroyed any hope that Governor Jerry Brown’s $6.9 billion tax increase initiative on the ballot in November would pass.

Now it appears that Brown successfully lobbied for California to get $6 billion in cash and siphon off a total of $18 billion from the $25 billion mortgage settlement with the five largest U.S. banks, who were accused of fraud in the handling of foreclosures and loan modifications.

But as Franklin Center Vice President and CalWatchDog.com Contributing Editor Steven Greenhut asks in a deliciously sarcastic article, “Why should a taxpayer in Houston or Wichita bail out irresponsible California homeowners, banks and the state’s public employees’ retirement fund?”  Greenhut highlights that the mortgage settlement money is really just another accounting entry because the real source of cash to fund the “Left Coast” is “implicitly via Federal Reserve/Government coffers.”

Crony Capitalism

Most Americans still snarl about crony capitalism when they think of multinational banks taking a $1 trillion slurp of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash and then paying themselves record bonuses, while hiking fees and cutting off borrowers.  But with President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress solemnly telling Americans healthy banks were key to our future, most Americans gritted their teeth and came together to bail out the banks, insurance companies and other financial firms.

When the good people of the other 49 states learn the terms of this bail out, I believe they also come together.  But this time they will be showing their fangs and carrying pitch forks!

With only 13 percent of the GDP of the United States, California gets 72 percent of the settlement proceeds.  Undoubtedly the five national banks will pass 100 percent of the cost of this settlement onto all their customers nationally.

Consequently, 87 percent of the increased bank fees will be paid by other states to bail out California’s insolvent budget.

Kamala Harris, California’s attorney general, claimed the settlement may help roughly 250,000 California borrowers by requiring the banks to cut mortgage debt amounts and extend $2,000 payments to homeowners who already suffered foreclosure.  But Greenhut points out that powerful interest groups, such as the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which had nothing to do with individual mortgage holders being unfairly foreclosed upon, carved off a piece of the settlement money to bail out some of their investment losses on real estate speculation that resulted from bad advice. 

Bad Advice

According to the Los Angeles Times, a 17-month investigation recently found that some of that bad advice came from Federico Buenrostro Jr., the former chief executive of the $250 billion California public employee pension fund.  It seems that he and a couple of his pension board buddies were recently accused of pressuring subordinates to invest billions of dollars of pension money with politically connected firms and strong-armed for a $4 million in fee to be paid to consultant Alfred J.R. Villalobos, who later hired Buenrostro.

Most Californians refer to Jerry Brown as left wing, but I think he just proved he is more left brained.  Left brain thinkers excel in math, language studies and logic problems.  Since the banks that settled only control or own only 7.3 percent of all outstanding single-family mortgages, every time Brown wants to increase spending, he just needs to do another “settlement.”

After all, California bank customers only pay 13 percent of the settlement costs, while the State gets 72 percent of the proceeds.  Either Brown is very smart or the other 49 governors and their Legislatures are really stupid.

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12 comments

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  1. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 10 February, 2012, 10:31

    You think we live in a democracy? You think we can solve this problem at the ballot box???

    When the powers of government and corporate america merge it is referred to as ‘fascism’.

    This drop in the bucket $26B (which the taxpayers and consumers will end up paying for anyway) does nothing to solve the problem or to prevent the financial fraud from happening again sometime in the future. It’s just another payoff at the top with a few crumbs falling to the serfs and peons.

    All it does is release the banks from further liability or prosecution for the criminal robobsignings and securitizations.

    See it for what it is.

    Reply this comment
  2. David H
    David H 10 February, 2012, 11:50

    Mr. Prince of Hell, the key is to break up the large corporations and controlling interests, and this plan is in harmony with our constitution as stated by our founding fathers. Anti-trust is the remedy, not rioting in the streets. You will be labeled as a terrorist and sidelined quicker than you can pick up a rock (or shoot one of you arrows.)

    Reply this comment
  3. Bob
    Bob 10 February, 2012, 12:20

    “it destroyed any hope that Governor Jerry Brown’s $6.9 billion tax increase initiative on the ballot in November would pass…”

    I dunno, Chriss. The Cawleefornia (as Ahnode sez) voters will fall for almost anything. They did for the bullet (to the head) train and that stem cell nonsense.

    If Brownie wails loud and long enough that it’s “for da childern” and he throws in some funding for pro sports stadiums and free ice cream for the voters his tax increases will probably pass in a landslide.

    Reply this comment
  4. Wayne Lusvardi
    Wayne Lusvardi 10 February, 2012, 12:48

    I believe a section of the California Constitution expressly forbids any “gift of public funds” to private individuals. I don’t know if there is a counterpart Federal law. If there is how can this wealth transfer be pulled off?

    Reply this comment
  5. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 10 February, 2012, 13:11

    “Anti-trust is the remedy”

    Yeah, how’s that anti-trust working out lately for ya? The Too Big To Fails (the frauds who perpetrated the meltdown) have grown enormously bigger since 2008. In 2002 the top 10 US banks owned 55% of the market. Today they own 77% of the market. The richest 10% of Americans own 90% of the nation’s assets.

    So what are you going to do, David H? Call your senator or write your congressman?? 😀 How’d that work out with TARP? Fight back at the ballot box??? How’d that work out since 2010?? Are your Tea Party leaders going to save you?? 😀 As far as I can tell all of them are in on it up to their necks. Face it. Your system is owned by the financial oligarchs and you are a debt slave. You can deny it all you want. But it’s the truth. Your political leaders are owned by the financial oligarchs. And if the latest fraudclosure sham doesn’t prove it to you there is nothing I can do to help you.

    Reply this comment
  6. Jean Meadows
    Jean Meadows 10 February, 2012, 16:11

    Look folks this is a pay off… if the homeowners sign those checks and deposit them into their accounts they are indemnifying the banks and the government from wrongful doing and wrongful acts.

    The fed has proven the banks are guilty for mishandling the Federal Loans. Each one of those contracts is a FEDERAL DOCUMENT. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the rest of the Global Paperhangers are in the background and they are trying to cover up a lot more than the mishandling of those file.

    The bottom line is that the Bank’s don’t have money and are not supposed to have money. The banks are service providers for their account holders. Those account holders are REITs, Hedge Funds, Insurance Companies and so on. Those entities invested money into to pools that were structured by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under the Federal Guidelines. The banks were a marketing arm to sell the loans to the homeowners.

    No one, in any of this, has gone after the Title Companies to enforce the loan contracts either. The lenders (banks) had a fiduciary responsibility to notify the borrowers, title companies and county records departments when they sold those loans to the second lender. When the loan got sold from one lender to another the contract was in breach.

    Not the contract between the lender and borrower, because they all covered themselves with the right to sell the debt in the disclosures package. The breach of contract took place between the Title Company and the Lender and the Clerk of Courts and the Lender. The lender under the Fair Credit Reporting Act had a responsibility to also notify the credit agencies with the lien change too. So in a sense the banks gave the counties, title companies, and the Federal Government the finger…

    That money should be put into a constructive trust under the comptrollers office for each county to work with the department of HUD to clean up all the clouds on title and fix those homeowner’s credit and give them back the property. Under title law in every state, if illegal activity took place on a property transaction, the title is supposed to retro act back to the prior “non-criminal” owner.

    Meaning that if the bank was negligent, and the property was sold to a new owner, the original owner that surrendered the property to the violator is entitled to have the property back. The violator has to pay damages to the current homeowner for restitution and return the property back the victim which would be the person who lost the home in the foreclosure due to the negligence of the lender. If not, then the victim has the right to place a cloud on title until the damages have been taken care of and lien the property so that the current owner on title can’t refinance it or sell it until the cloud has been cleared.

    The reason I suggested the Constructive Trust is because if the lender did loans in each state is require to put funds into a Constructive Trust, it will give each State and County the resources needed to correct the clouds on title properly and to ensure that the victim/owner has been properly dealt with. If the Fed does not follow this process, then the victim/owner will be able to again sue the Federal Government for due process, breach of contract, gross negligence and more.

    Everyone is overlooking that there are different rights involved. Each State has their rights for Credit. Lending falls under the State Credit Laws. But each state has Title Laws and the Credit Laws do not apply to the Title and Land Ownership Laws. Land Ownership Laws and Credit/Lending Laws also have Federal Laws that have to be adhered to. When the Bail Out Bill was done the Federal Government ignored the Lending Laws and the Land Ownership Laws of both the Federal Government and the States.

    If they have just admitted that the banks were found to be conduction illegal or inappropriate activity related to the Federal Guidelines than:

    1. Why didn’t Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac get into trouble along with the Banks?

    2. Where is HUD? Aren’t they responsible for oversight? That is why there is a HUD 1 form required to be done on every piece of property and it is required to be reported to HUD when a loan is done on a Single Family Residence, Duplex, Triplex, Four-plex. They knew it was going on. Why didn’t they do anything about it?

    3. Who determined that the regulations have been violated? What is their creditably. As of right now I don’t see anyone enforcing the Federal or State Laws, still. They have had over 6 years to fix this. That means that if the American People hurry up, they can file a lawsuit now because you have 7 years for the statue of limitations for property law to file a suit involving criminal wrong doing.

    4. Why weren’t all the wholesale trade line lenders get into trouble (400+)? How is it that the top banks are getting into trouble but the Private Mortgage Companies that issued PMI on all of the those loans and the other lenders that were slinging home loans out like tossing candy into a crow of kids are not getting into trouble? Some of those guys were getting BPS and YSP in the 8% and up ranges. If you don’t know what BPS and YSP is; it is very simple, Yiels Spread Premium which was a bonus for the clearing houses and wholesale lines when the loan get sold on the secondary market; Broker Point Spread was a branch or Broker bonus that got paid to the brokers and loan officers.

    5. What are they going to do to correct this? They have put this agency in place called the NMLS which is ran by the top Bankers and the top Bankers’ Lawyers. I haven’t seen any corrective measures taken to correct the lack of education for loan professionals. Also I have not seen any way for enforcement to take place other than for them to collect fees for a new licensing type. There is no check and balance in the system or process that they have now and all the education is controlled by their bankster buddies so that only select people can benefit.

    6. Who is the responsible party to correct this in the future? The States have to take back control from the Fed and the Fed has to regulate the States. If the State takes back control and monitoring than the Fed and States have to do with this industry that they did with the Appraisal industry in the 80’s. Which ever law has the most restrictions is followed and overrides the weakest law. The purpose of OREA doing this was to protect the banks and the consumers. DRE and HUD didn’t do that.

    7. Why haven’t these people had criminal charges pressed against them for Federal Document______? If you reported something to the Federal Government and the Federal Government than endorsed it which caused investors and customers to feel comfortable with it, don’t you think that if someone broke the law or didn’t follow FEDERAL REGULATIONS that they would be put in Jail? If the banks did the loans under the guidelines (pretenses) that they were following the Federal Regulations and Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were exiting those “Bundles” of home loans to the global market under the understanding that they were following the FEDERAL REGULATIONS and didn’t, than why is it that the people running Enron when to jail for closing down a company and not honoring contracts and retirement accounts, but these guys just literally snatched and sold off the home underneath MILLIONS of people and their families and no one has said a damn word!

    8. When is there going to be a Congressional Hearing? This question should make you ask why we didn’t have a Congressional Hearing about any of this. The other thing you should ask is why there wasn’t a Congressional Hearing to decide if the Bail Out Bill was needed. I don’t understand why it was so urgent to pay off or “Bail Out” the banks when the banks originally did the loans they knew it would be a 30 year payback. That’s right folks. Most of the seasoning on the “Bail Out” loans were less than 5 to 7 years into payments of 30 year loans. If the bank and the investors knew that they had to wait 30 years to get paid back on the loan… WHY DID THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAY THEM BACK IN 5 TO 7 YEARS WHEN WE HAD 30 YEARS TO DO IT IN?

    Congressional Hearing? Well I guess not! I guess we don’t have to be accountable when we spend the US Tax Payers Money. But when those same investors didn’t get all the money back or the shuffled the mortgage bundles of joy around on the market, why did they get to keep coming back for more BAIL OUT MONEY after the debt to them was settled and when they had already gotten paid from the Tarp Money, Bail Out Sr and Bail Out Jr, Private Mortgage Insurance payment, and they got to keep the house and sell it to the next victim? Between the home owner, the PMI Insurance Company and the Bail Outs the “Investor” got paid at least 3 times.

    Maybe next time we should go to a loan shark to by a house. He’s only going to make us pay for it 1 time and charge us 25%? At least if he won’t cut your legs out from under you because he is SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT YOU HAVE TO GO TO WORK TO MAKE MONEY TO PAY HIM!

    9. Why hasn’t there been an charges brought up against Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac? How did it happen that the two main sculptures of mortgage programs got to influence HUD and the banks on what loans to shuffle off on to home owners while they were dumping junk mortgage bundles into the global market to make the US loose global value and property values and no one got into trouble. For that matter a few of these folks that were at the helm of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac are working as ADVISERS TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

    10. What happened to the REIT’s, Trusts, Insurance Companies and investors that put their money into the Mortgage Funding Pools at the origination stages of the initial closing of the loan? The banks did one thing for sure that was illegal, across the board, they made loans at the Escrow tables and closing tables with money they didn’t have. Meaning the banks don’t have money, they are a service provider. The money was coming from off shore investment trusts and account holders. Banks are not supposed to have money.

    With that said, if banks are service providers and are not supposed to have money and are supposed to facilitate the movement of money; than can someone tell me why we had to Bail Them Out? Where did the the companies/banks take all of that money or should I say “Who Did They Give It To”?

    11. Where did all the title companies go that were supposed to be servicing the Title portion of the Loan Contract. Title and Escrow don’t just get used at the closing to facilitate the title lien and transfer ownership and money. The lender was supposed to use the same closing title company for the Foreclosure too!

    12. Why isn’t each state getting compensated for the loss in Taxes because of the defaults? The States have lost their budgets to run their States in a Safe, Protective, Productive and Competitive manner because they have had to cut Fire department, hospital, educational, and standard quality of life and safety areas of their budgets out. Please don’t mistake my message on government. I love my God, Country, Family. I would like to keep my country clean and safe. It costs money to do these things.

    But when I see an area that has 6,000+ US Vets that provide the very blanket of Freedom I sleep under every night, come home to a community homeless shelter because there is no housing… and we have just paid Millions for houses to sit on Land Banks empty and just about condemned… and they can’t get their Military Benefits because they don’t have a permanent address to file for what they are entitled to… It is a little hard to swallow while these thieves have taken everything that these Vets were off protecting with their lives and tossing it out into the hands of con-artists and hustlers.

    Someone is going to have to give me a better answer as to why this is not a problem. I need a better explanation as to why the government thinks that it is ok. I want to know why we are paying these people to steal this country. I have a right to know and so do you.

    Reply this comment
  7. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 11 February, 2012, 09:29

    I believe a section of the California Constitution expressly forbids any “gift of public funds” to private individuals

    And how was that section enforced when the state and every muni in it gave away trillions of dollars in retroactive pension increases???? How did our constitution work then Wayne?????

    Laws don’t mean a thing nor matter if they are not enforced.

    Reply this comment
  8. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 11 February, 2012, 09:40

    The richest 10% of Americans own 90% of the nation’s assets.
    So what are you going to do, David H? Call your senator or write your congressman?? How’d that work out with TARP? Fight back at the ballot box???

    David H, just in case you were unaware of this fact-94% of the American population was against the first TARP bailout-94%, yet it still passed. Those financial institutions, ALL OF THEM, should have never been bailed out, nor GM nor Chrysler-they should have all failed like any mom and pop or little average taxpayer would have been allowed to fail-you didn’t see the feds bailing out the little guys did you??? No, only the connected few who pay homage to the Congress.

    Beels is 100% correct.

    Reply this comment
  9. Confused in OC
    Confused in OC 11 February, 2012, 22:56

    What the heck is this all about? Why does the state get the money from the suit against the banks for the foreclosures. The state did not deal with my stress, headache, fear of loosing my home NOR did the state support me in any way during this 4 year mess with the banks. Now they want to give me $1500-$2000 as compensation for FOUR YEARS of hardship. The state is clearly looking out for STATE and screw it citizens. This compensation does not even cover 2 month rent! SHame on them ALL OF THEM!

    Reply this comment
  10. queeg
    queeg 12 February, 2012, 13:59

    Enjoy life….your rants are meaningless….

    Reply this comment
  11. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 13 February, 2012, 09:59

    “Why does the state get the money from the suit against the banks for the foreclosures. The state did not deal with my stress, headache, fear of loosing my home NOR did the state support me in any way during this 4 year mess with the banks. Now they want to give me $1500-$2000 as compensation for FOUR YEARS of hardship”

    At least Confused in OC is asking the RIGHT QUESTIONS – even if he/she doesn’t understand the fundamentals of the problem.

    Yes, Confused in OC. Those who were ILLEGALLY EVICTED from their homes will get a whopping $2000 max. Isn’t that kind of the financial oligarchs??? That won’t even reimburse the damaged homeowners for the moving expenses incurred after their illegal evictions.

    You see, there is an evil and corrupted pact or collusion between government and corporate America. They freely exchange massive amounts of money beween themselves while throwing the serfs a crumb or two. Much of the Fraudclosuregate money will go to the state so that they can bail out the pension funds which have nothing to do with Fraudclosuregate.

    When government and corporate powers merge it is referred to as “fasism”. Keep that in mind as we move forward. It’s not going to get better. Only worse.

    Reply this comment
  12. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 13 February, 2012, 17:52

    I do applaud the fact that Beelzebub has the guts to put the correct label on the cozy relationship between our corporate interests and our government. Fascism also accurately describes the blind fealty to authority that seems central to our Republican party.

    Reply this comment

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