Over the last several years, Americans have been treated to a steady diet of explicit proof that the entirety of the United States government, federal, state and local are captive of the banking and corporate interests that were allowed to engage in the most grossly abusive violations of law and policy ever visited upon a governed people. At the federal level, the banking and financial sector executives paid off every federal official and agency. The return on their investments (bribes, campaign contributions, etc.) has been a windfall…..the banking and financial sectors stole trillions in taxpayer dollars and were allowed to keep it.
Some of that money funneled down to the state level where state legislatures, executive and judicial branches were bribed….bribes paid for by the money stolen from taxpayers by the banks. The bribes were not exactly explicit, the bribes were characterized as fines or payments, but the practical manifestation is exactly the same…..the money stolen from taxpayers now funds court systems that are operating to take away homes from those very taxpayers that were robbed.
This is not hyperbole or opinion or speculation, the entire crime spree and the resulting bribery/extortion consequence is detailed with excruciating detail in the National Mortgage Settlement (and the OCC settlement and now Ocwen Settlement and the LPS Settlement) and on and on it goes. The high level criminals construct massively profitable criminal enterprises and when they’re caught they pay a few percentage points back as the cost of doing business to the the regulators and enforcement authorities that are supposed to protect the general public and the public treasury and the general good.
But we all know that government does not function to reign in or regulate, but to reward and capitulate to the entities and criminal organizations that have so irreparably damaged this nation by causing fundamental instability to the very foundations of the entire country. Far more troubling is the impact and manifestation this has had upon especially the judicial system in the State of Florida, at trial and appellate level and straight up to the Florida Supreme Court which has abdicated its responsibility to the far more significant and lasting concepts of justice and the Rule of Law. It is undeniable that judges in this state have bent to the pressures of the legislative and executive branches and are doing the temporal bidding, fulfilling their expressed demands, rather than preserving the bedrocks of The Rule of Law.
What we see in the execution of the Foreclosure Backlog Reduction Initiative is classic policy siloing, where one aspect of the objective is walled or siloed from the next such that all the untouched parts perform their function in a way that does not interfere with the larger policy objectives. In the case of foreclosures, it manifests in a broad and explicit policy of CLEAR THE FORECLOSURE BACKLOG, but demands that all other ancillary aspects and considerations of that goal be ignored. The policies are siloed, the blinders put on like draft horses each draw team pointed in a straight line and not permitted to see the larger perspective.
And yet, as bad as things are across this country, as one-sided as abusive and ugly…they are going to get worse. Because while the financial criminals are walking away scott free, everyday Americans are set to get hit worse than ever before. Not only will they be hit with foreclosures, but the result of foreclosures will be crippling tax debt.
How do you like that…the banks will take write offs of the bad debt that is the mortgages they are foreclosing on while the Americans that are kicked to the curb will continue to pay the price…..in the form of tax debt…..
Underwater homeowners often try to negotiate with their bank so that they can sell their homes for less than they owe in a short sale or have their mortgage balance reduced. But the difference between what the homeowner owes and the lower sales price approved by the bank is considered income for the homeowner and subject to tax by the Internal Revenue Service.
For example, someone with a $100,000 mortgage who is allowed to sell their house for $80,000 is supposed to pay taxes on the remaining $20,000.
But a law known as the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act saved such homeowners from the tax burden. Last year, Congress rushed to extend the law during negotiations about the fiscal cliff but only through the end of 2013. Now it’s down to the wire again.
Lawmakers and housing advocates argue that the rule hurts those who are already financially strapped. Since 2009, more than 220,000 homeowners have sold their houses for less than they were worth through a short sale with help from a government program. There are more than 6 million homes still underwater across the country, according to a third-quarter report from research company CoreLogic.