and then we’ll finally examine all that’s wrong with foreclosure
Over the last four decades, the real economic foundation of this country was decimated….factories, producers, nuts and bolts were shut down and shipped overseas.
This domestic product, real production and tangible things, were replaced by financial services, fake money and non-existent assets…much of those assets comprised only of paper or accounting entries.
The housing bubble of the last two decades is the most dramatic example of this. No real innovation or increase in real assets occurred, it was merely the illusion of asset in the form of dramatically increasing housing value, across the country. This phantom asset value was necessary to create to plug the holes in real GDP output that had been lost.
The 2008 collapse was the first real consequence of a phantom asset economy. Domestically and then worldwide, we were forced to recognize that The Emperor Has No Clothes.
The reaction to the 2008 collapse was not and has not been any accounting for the crimes and the fraud that caused the collapse. In fact, it has been entirely the opposite. Rather than forcing a real accounting and making substantive foundational changes in the overall economy that would help prevent future collapse, the US and world governments did exactly the opposite:
The reaction to the worldwide financial crimes spree that precipitated the 2008 collapse was not punish the criminals….but to give them even more power.
There is no dispute on this point. As detailed and defended in books like Timmy Geithner’s new delusion, the entire US Treasury was turned over to the criminal banking institutions. Incredibly, those that caused the collapse did not pay for their crimes….they were rewarded with their crimes in the form of trillions of dollars in free money. The Bush and then Obama administration are mere front organizations for the real governing institutions…the financial institutions, led by the financial wizards Paulson, Bernanke, Geithner, Dimon, Blankfein. High profile public policy debates over things like abortion and the care of veterans and Miley Cyrus are merely distractions to keep the American people from focusing on the real issues like the collapsing value of the dollar or crisis levels of food inflation. While Americans are distracted by cell phones and Faux News, they’re ignoring the fact that the size of food containers are decreasing while at the same time, the cost of that decreasing volume of food package is increasing.
Food, then shelter, then family. Those are the hierarchy of human need. Food and shelter have been under attack, but far too many people have not begun to come to grips with those attacks. Turning to housing policy, remember that the National Mortgage Settlement was perhaps the most extraordinarily executed propaganda exercise every carried out. The press reported that is was an extraordinary and history settlement where corporate and banking wrongdoers paid for their crimes. Wrong. Not. Even. Close.
The reality, as detailed in the terms of the National Mortgage Settlement, is that The Banks stole trillions of dollars in real money from the United States Government. The National Mortgage Settlement was not about robo-signing..that was a distraction within a distraction. The real substantive claims in the NMS were the False Claims Act counts….these counts detail how The Banks submitted trillions of dollars in false insurance claims related to housing and defaulted mortgages…and those claims were paid by taxpayers…resulting in trillions of dollars in money that was just flat out robbed from the American people. But rather than be held accountable for this crime spree, the terms of the NMS allowed the banks to keep their stolen loot and continue to operate business as usual.
Now there were bribes negotiated as part of the NMS, those bribes coming in the form of cash settlements paid to the states that were part of the NMS. In Florida, the bribes are detailed in Senate Bill 1852(2013).
According to the terms of the NMS, the money was supposed to be used to…
With respect to the $334 million payment received by The State of Florida, pursuant to the settlement agreement, each State Attorney General must designate the uses of the funds:
To the extent practicable, such funds shall be used for the purposes intended to avoid preventable foreclosures, to ameliorate the effects of the foreclosure crisis, to enhance law enforcement efforts to prevent and prosecute financial fraud, or unfair or deceptive acts or practices and to compensate the States for costs resulting from the alleged unlawful conduct of the Defendants. Such permissible purposes for allocation of the funds include, but are not limited to, supplementing the amounts paid to state homeowners under the Borrower Payment Fund, funding for housing counselors, state and local foreclosure assistance hotlines, state and local foreclosure mediation programs, legal assistance, housing remediation and anti-blight projects, funding for training and staffing of financial fraud or consumer protections enforcement efforts and civil penalties
But that did not happen. Instead, the money has been turned over to The Banks (remember the ones that stole this money from the US Taxpayers) in the form of direct funding to a foreclosure court system which is working with brutal efficiency to Clear the Foreclosure Docket, and return properties and improperly originated and obtained mortgages back to The Banks. With this money, a record number of foreclosure Final Judgments are being entered. But at the end of the foreclosure process, the “public” foreclosure auction, these stolen assets are not being returned to the larger public, the open market in any transparent or legitimate way…instead, in more than 80% of the cases, the foreclosed properties are being returned to the criminal banking enterprises through improper manipulation of the “public” foreclosure auctions. The Banks are not permitting real third party purchasers to gain access to these assets at market prices…they are all conspiring to artificially inflate the value of those assets to create a false and inflated asset price.
The Banks, using money stolen from US Taxpayers are operating a foreclosure court system which works primarily to expedite the return of their assets to them. And in exchange, Florida courts get shiny new computers. It’s just extraordinary how direct, public and specific the terms of the bribe were. We The Banks, will pay Florida money, but only if The State will work for us to more quickly take “our” assets back. Here it is:
55 Section 2. The nonrecurring sum of $5,262,579 is 56 appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the state courts 57 system to provide technology solutions that expedite foreclosure 58 cases through the judicial process. Such technology solutions 59 must enable judges and staff to effectively use electronic 60 documents when disposing of foreclosure cases, produce orders 61 electronically, provide for electronic calendaring, serve orders 62 electronically, and generate case management reports. All 63 technology enhancements to expedite mortgage foreclosure cases 64 must be completed in accordance with the standards set by the 65 Florida Court Technology Commission regarding functionality as 66 outlined in the Case Processing Application Standards. 67 Section 3. The nonrecurring sum of $16 million is 68 appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the state courts 69 system to provide supplemental resources, including, but not 70 limited to, additional senior judge days and temporary case 71 management staff in the trial courts to reduce the backlog of 72 pending foreclosure cases. 73 Section 4. The nonrecurring sum of $9.7 million is 74 appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the clerks of the 75 court to enhance levels of service to assist and support the 76 courts in expediting the processing of backlogged foreclosure 77 cases.