February 24, 2015
- House of Representatives Introduced Bill H.R. 855 to Permanently Extend the New Markets Tax Credit which was designed to spur new or increased investments into operating businesses and real estate projects located in low-income communities. The NMTC Program attracts investment capital to low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their Federal income tax return in exchange for making equity investments in specialized financial institutions called Community Development Entities (CDEs).
Banking Regulators Seek Public Comment - The Agencies are asking the public to comment on regulations in the Banking Operations, Capital, and the Community Reinvestment Act categories to identify outdated or otherwise unnecessary regulatory requirements imposed on insured depository institutions and their regulated holding companies.
February 23, 2015
Judge Drain issued a biting Memorandum of Decision on Debtor’s Objection to Claim of Wells Fargo Bank, NA in the case In re Carrsow-Franklin (No. 10-20010, Jan. 29, 2015). The Court granted the debtor’s claim objection “on the basis that Wells Fargo is not the holder or owner of the note and beneficiary of the deed of trust upon which the claim is based and therefore lacks standing to assert the claim.” (1)
This blog, and many other venues, have documented the Alice in Wonderland world of mortgage assignments in which something is true because the the foreclosing party, like the Red Queen herself, says it is.
Judge Drain adds to the evidence with ALLCAPS, a touch I can’t remember seeing in another judicial opinion that I have blogged about:
Because Wells Fargo does not rely on the Assignment of Mortgage to prove its claim, the foregoing evidence is helpful to the Debtor only indirectly, insofar as it goes to show that the blank indorsement, upon which Wells Fargo is relying, was forged. Nevertheless it does show a general willingness and practice on Wells Fargo’s part to create documentary evidence, after‐the‐fact, when enforcing its claims, WHICH IS EXTRAORDINARY. (17-18, emphasis in the original, footnote omitted)
In retrospect, legal historians will be shocked by the lending industry’s practices which seemed to ignore the law in favor of convenience. MERS, and the practices which arose from it, was an attempt to circumvent clunky laws in favor of efficiency. For many years, many judges went along with this regime. Since the foreclosure crisis began, however, more and more judges are engaging in a more rigorous analysis of the documents in a particular case and the applicable law governing mortgage notes and foreclosures. When these judges find that a transaction does not comply with the relevant law, it is incumbent upon them to deny the relief sought by the foreclosing party as Judge Drain did here.
February 20, 2015
Mainstreet.com quoted me in Potential Homeowners Should Seek Counseling Before Making First Purchase. It reads, in part,
Many consumers have made buying their first home less of a daunting task by seeking housing counseling from a non-profit organization.
In 2014, more than 73,000 people received housing counseling from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s member agencies, making it the highest volume experienced during the past five years. The renewed interest in housing counseling could be an indicator that many people are considering home ownership as an affordable option.
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Homeowners should look at a range of mortgages before committing to one since the typical American homeowner moves every seven years, said David Reiss, professor of law at the Brooklyn Law School in N.Y. For example, obtaining a “relatively expensive 30-year fixed rate mortgage may not make sense,” he said, if you can save a lot in monthly payments with an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM).
ARMs have a certain period of time where the interest rate remains the same, such as 84 months for a 7/1 ARM or 120 months for a 10/1 ARM and then it adjusts each year for the remainder of the mortgage.
“This might be particularly true for very young households or for empty nesters, both of whom may have different needs in five or ten years,” Reiss said. “It is hard to predict where interest rates and prices are going, so holding off on buying when it seems like the right time to do so for your personal situation is risky.”
- CRS Report, ‘Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI): Programs and Policy Issues’, by Sean Lowry. (Need Bloomberg BNA Subscription)
- Consumers’ mortgage shopping experience, by CFPB.
- HUD Subsidized More Than 106,000 Noncompliant Households. (Discussing HUD’s large-scale failure in oversight of requirement that persons living in subsidized housing perform eight hours of community service per month, or enroll in job training).