Virulent Worm Destroys U.S. Housing Market

Over 70 million properties in the USA may have clouded titles. Americans may be forced to file a quiet title suit just to be able to convey clear title to their properties. In one of the most explosive interviews to date, David Krieger, author of the new book Clouded Titles, blows the whistle on the business model and operations of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) on It’s Rainmaking Time!® with Kim Greenhouse. . . Ellen Brown JD, a regular onThe Kaiser Report, the founder and chair of the Public Banking Institute and the author of Web of Debt, pops in to discuss the legal ramifications of the erosion of the entire system and how everyone might be made whole.

Listen here.

10 Responses

  1. I have 25 years experience in Banking (in Australia), and having a title to your own home is very simple(apart from paying off the loan) and so I, like Ellen Brown, am totally at a loss to understand the American system as it has ‘morphed’ into today. If Ellen doesn’t understand what is going on, nobody is going to know.
    But it does seem that Wall st has declared war on the American people, and fleecing them out of their homes is the new growth industry. Deregulation has been a disaster, and Bankers can seemingly DO whatever they want TO whoever they want, with impunity. Certainly, deregulation has freed the Bankers of the need to act with any integrity or ethical behaviour.
    Maybe it’s time for “American home owners”(has that become an oxymoron?) to demand answers from their Congressmen who seemingly have given Wall st carte blanche to “screw over anyone they want to, and demand that the people behind this fraud(and I mean the big guys at the top–follow the money) be jailed for what they are, duplicitous thieving bastards.

    • Yep, thieving bastards. And where is the law? Why does it let them get away with murder? I was very impressed with this article by Gretchen Morgenson

      Amazing to me is that even once a house is paid off, the banks keep many of the notes, which are not even marked cancelled, and these notes are negotiable — can be used as cash and presumably as collateral.
      THERE was a time when Americans had mortgage-burning parties: When they paid off a promisory note, they celebrated by burning the release of the lien.

      But they kept the canceled promissory note — and there was a reason for that. Promissory notes, like dollar bills, are negotiable currency. Whoever holds them can essentially claim them.

      According to O.C.J. Case No. 5595, Fannie held roughly two million mortgage notes in its offices in Herndon, Va., in 2005 — a fraction of the 15 million loans it actually owned or guaranteed. Who had the rest? Various third parties.

      At that time, Fannie typically destroyed 40 percent of the notes once the mortgages were paid off. It returned the rest to the respective lenders, only without marking the notes as canceled.

      Mr. Lavalle and the internal report raised concerns that Fannie wasn’t taking enough care in handling these documents. The company lacked a centralized system for reporting lost notes, for instance. Nor did custodians or loan servicers that held notes on its behalf report missing notes to homeowners.

      The potential for mayhem, the report said, was serious. Anyone who gains control of a note can, in theory, try to force the borrower to pay it, even if it has already been paid. In such a case, “the borrower would have the expensive and unenviable task of trying to collect from the custodian that was negligent in losing the note, from the servicer that accepted payments, or from others responsible for the predicament,” the report stated. Mr. Lavalle suggested that Fannie return the paid notes to borrowers after stamping them “canceled.” Impractical, the 2006 report said.

      This leaves open the possibility that someone might try to force homeowners to pay the same mortgage twice. Or that loans could be improperly pledged as collateral by some other institution, even though the loans have been paid, Mr. Lavalle said. Indeed, there have been instances in the foreclosure crisis when two different institutions laid claim to the same mortgage note.

      • Thank you Ernie for your comments, and the article about Mr. Lavalle.It is fascinating. Especially poignant: Mr. Lavalle said, “Fannie Mae, its directors, servicers and lawyers appeared to have an institutional policy of turning a willful blind eye to evidence of mortgage origination and servicing fraud.”
        This article confirms my worst cynical suspicions. But it is better to be informed about bad things than not to know about what is going on.

        • Thanks, Calliope. Yes, to me it was shock to learn that the banks keep a high percentage of the notes — not cancelled, and according to the article negotiable like cash — of houses that have been paid off. Why would they do such a thing if they weren’t using them as collateral or have some foulness up their sleeves? That is just so incredibly rotten. The deeply criminal behavior of the banks warrants out worst cynical suspicions.

  2. […] Ellen Brown Featured Writer Dandelion Salad August 25, 2012 Over 70 million properties in the USA may have clouded titles. Americans may be […]

  3. Hooray for you Mr. Brian Harry. You are all the way over yonder in Australia, but I’m glad to read your posts. You and Ellen and a 12 year-old girl from Canada (plus a small% of Americans) get what the banksters are really doing, the bastidges.
    I don’t have a backgound in banking and finance, but I get that public banks, and reforming the fed and the current banking system in the U.S and Europe is a MUST. I’ve been blogging on other websites about it, and have written to what I thought were progressive websites, but they either mark my comments as spam, or just ignore them.
    It seems that the public media, and even Current TV are loath to mention a word about reforming the banking system, and setting up state, city, or county or even postal public banks. All they talk about are bandaid solutions, such as the Glass-Steagall or Dodd Frank regulations, which the far-right wingnuts have already gutted completely into oblivion.
    All three branches, it would appear, have been bought NOT to talk about this. The media have been bought into silence on this subject as well.
    When people try to sell their homes, they might begin to find out that their titles have been “disappeared”.
    Since nobody in the government is holding the banksters accountable, and those with any power to do so are probably bought into silence, what can we do? The Congress is totally inept and corrupt. One Dennis Kucinich came up with an amendment to the fed, which I thought was good, but what happened? I doubt it got any notice.
    We have a plutocracy, a “looter elite” which is feeding on the carcass of a decaying Empire.

    • “Looter Elite” That’s good, I like it. The Media in America is one of the major problems. They play the role of “selling” the status quo to the public. They anesthetize the people so that the “advertising dollar” stays with them. We get the same rubbish in Australia where citizen Murdoch owns 75% of the newspapers. The 1% keep getting away with their crimes, while 99% of Americans are regarded merely as “Consumers”.

  4. The President promised with New York AG Schneiderman leading the fight, they’d get to the bottom of this mess. Nothing.
    All the Administrations programs re “underwater mortgages” were for naught. Never question asked of who placed them “under water”. Some existing mortgages have been rewritten but Where Is Our Equity? That is what has been stolen from each of us and the statue of limitations is tick tick ticking away!

  5. Think about the simplicity of this mess! The Banks write you a mortgage, say thirty years. Money created out of thin air mind you. You give the Bank a 10 to 20 % down payment and at the fifteen year mark, you have basically paid off the principle amount borrowed. From that point forward if you default the Bank forecloses on you. They have the entire principle back and now have a piece of real estate free and clear to resell for a profit. They have basically stolen your money and your home. Pretty simple.

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