Hunkering Down For Another 'Blame It On American Homeowners' Media Blitz
We popped over to Twitter recently, for a quick search of all things "foreclosure" and we were somewhat surprised by an oversized banner atop of the Twitter search results page.
The banner has since been removed, although we discovered that the Twitter banner linked us to a December 28, 2011 Business Insider blog posting by economist Tom Lawler. Mr. Lawler begins his blog post with the "Absurdly Low Number Of Foreclosure Sales Were Completed In 2011" headline and ends with the following:
"While there are no data that I know of that break out the number of seriously delinquent loans or loans in the foreclosure process backed by properties that are vacant (or rented out by owners not paying on the mortgage), at least one industry consultant who has looked at some (unfortunately confidential) data told me that the % of loans in the foreclosure process that are not occupied by the owner of the property is “shockingly” large."
Although we were unfamiliar with economist Tom Lawler and so a bit of investigating was in order, we have been painfully aware of the soured and seemingly worthless contributions of so-called "economists", leading up to and since the 2008 U.S. economic and real estate crisis. Were it not for bogus examinations, manufactured work papers and misleading forward-looking forecasts prepared by "economists" and corporate "auditors", all of whom have managed with stealth-like cleverness to fly under the 'responsibility and accountability' radar, American citizens and taxpayers may have dodged the financial crisis bullet of 2008.
But we digress…
A Google search turns up a charming September 8, 2009 Wall Street Journal article entitled "An Economist Goes Country, Real-estate expert Tom Lawler trades suburban Virginia for horses and corn". The 2009 article paints a lovely portrait of the 20-acre farm, "surrounded by grassy hills", that Mr. and Mrs. Lawler purchased in northern Virginia. The Wall St Journal article also states that Mr. Lawler has been "considered one of the most influential minds on the housing market".
We paused for a moment to ponder such a 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' rise and fall of "one of the most influential minds on the housing market". A 'housing expert' may have been a noteworthy and respectable professional description, back in 2009. Now, as we begin 2012 and after hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of us, have had our homes extorted, in broad daylight and right on county Courthouse steps across America, we are beginning to realize that the term 'housing expert', was and is, nothing more than an oxymoron. How quickly and how dramatically things have changed.
The 2009 Wall Street Journal article goes on to state that Mr. Lawler was a "former senior vice president for risk policy at Fannie Mae". We file that tidbit of information away, for another time. The names of former Fannie Mae executives have been popping up all over the media recently, and not in a good way.
Meanwhile, over at CNN Money, Les Christie wrote a December 28, 2011 column entitled "Foreclosure free ride: 3 years, no payments", where he comes right out of the gate, with 'guns-a-blazing' against American owner-occupied residential property owners. He writes:
"Delinquent borrowers facing foreclosure are learning that they can stay in their homes for years, as long as they're willing to put up a fight. Among the tactics: Challenging the bank's actions, waiting to file paperwork right up until the deadline, requesting the lender dig up original paperwork or, in some extreme cases, declaring bankruptcy."
Les Christie goes on to say:
"Nearly 40% of homeowners in default have not made a payment in at least two years, according to LPS."
Bad, bad homeowners. How do we current and already foreclosed-upon homeowners live with ourselves, after treating poor, defenseless banks and mortgage servicers so shamefully.
And so begins another Blame-It-On-American-Homeowners media blitz.
CNN Money's Les Christi considers LPS quote-worthy, although he fails to disclose to readers, the very recent lawsuit filed by the Nevada Attorney General, against LPS, which "includes allegations of widespread document execution fraud, deceptive statements made by LPS about efforts to correct document fraud, improper control over foreclosure attorneys and the foreclosure process, misrepresentations about LPS’ fees and services, and evidence of an overall press for speed and volume that prevented the necessary and proper focus on accuracy and integrity in the foreclosure process."
As we move along to reading other columns and articles, we discover that the media blitz against American homeowners continues with headlines such as "Banks can't keep up with foreclosures anymore" and "Some Homeowners Could Get Away With Defaulting on Mortgage Payments for Years" .
Poor, poor banks. Bad, bad homeowners.
What might our average-American-citizen takeaway be about all of this? Should we be complacent about the federal government taking our taxpayer dollars and giving the money to a largely unsupervised, possibly criminally-failed Fannie Mae, who then gives our taxpayer dollars to senior executives, for the purchase and renovation of charming multi-million-dollar farms, while millions of we American homeowners, who have always been honest, hard-working and financially responsible, continue to have our homes extorted from us and our credit destroyed?
When is enough, enough?
What motivates some in the 1%, to make unfounded claims and comments against those of us in the 99%, who have always followed the rules and who simply want financial institutions, Wall St and other business providers to also follow the rule of law? Is it money that motivates them? Is it power? Is it the sheer magnitude of the wrongdoing by financial institutions and Wall Street, and a cover-up so massive and evil, that there is no room for honesty, transparency and justice?
Is there perhaps a hidden, smoke-filled back room somewhere, with a roundtable of 'cigar-smoking-put-your-feet-up' financial industry and Wall St corporate executives, and the media pundits who support them, that get together regularly to concoct misrepresentations about the 99%, that are then fed to the public?
As we begin 2012, it is time for answers, transparency and justice. American citizens deserve answers, we deserve transparency and we deserve justice.
"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence." -- John Adams, A Defense of the American Constitutions 1787 --
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