Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mpls. homeowner must post $50,000 bond to avoid eviction, judge rules

Embattled homeowner needs to post a $49,940 bond by Monday. Her supporters may try to block the eviction.

By ABBY SIMONS, Star Tribune

Last update: June 26, 2009 - 6:01 AM
A Minneapolis woman who has battled eviction could be forced out of her house as early as next week unless she can post a $50,000 bond.

Although negotiations between Rosemary Williams and GMAC Mortgage still are underway, Hennepin County District Judge Lloyd Zimmerman ruled Thursday that Williams must post a bond of $49,940 by Monday.

Public plea for donations

If Williams does not come up with the money, GMAC could obtain an eviction notice as soon as Tuesday. Williams and her supporters made a public plea for donations. Meanwhile, they vow to try to physically block the eviction and face arrest.

"We are absolutely outraged and think this is a violation of all her rights as a citizen," said Cheri Honkala, an activist for the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign and a friend of Williams. "This $49,000 determines whether she has a right to due process."

Honkala said "hundreds" would show up at the home to protest and try to prevent an eviction. Williams' home in the 3100 block of Clinton Avenue S. was sold in September as part of a foreclosure begun after she fell behind on payments on a second, adjustable-rate mortgage.

'Nuisance property' suit

After Williams, 60, failed to leave the house by March 30, GMAC went to court to have her evicted. Williams' attorneys fought the eviction, but on June 18 Judge Zimmerman granted GMAC summary judgment.

Separately, last month, the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) and 17 of Williams' neighbors filed a lawsuit contending that if Williams is forced out, her home will become another nuisance property in the neighborhood.

Zimmerman dismissed the suit, saying that because Williams lives at the property, all allegations of nuisances are hypothetical and that the plaintiffs failed to prove any "wrongful conduct" by GMAC.

In a statement, GMAC spokeswoman Jeannine Bruin said because Williams intends to appeal, she cannot discuss the ongoing court matter.

"GMAC Mortgage continues to be open to reaching an agreeable settlement with Ms. Williams in this matter," she wrote.

Williams' attorney, Jordan Kushner, said he expected the judge to require a bond but didn't expect it to be so high.

Abby Simons • 612-673-4921


Monday, June 29, 2009

$hitiGroup Banned in Japan

Citigroup's PR disaster in Japan By Jim Kim Comment | Forward

This is exactly what Citigroup doesn't need right now: Japan's financial regulator has essentially banned the bank from the retail market for a month after uncovering deficient controls related to money laundering. The bank was ordered to revamp its governance, controls and management structure. It cannot advertise during the ban, which will start July 15, according to the Financial Times.

This is embarrassing on several fronts. CEO Vikram Pandit has been touting the bank's international strength as of late, suggesting it as a point of differentiation from other big banks. This makes it look like a novice. Recall that Citigroup was forced to shut down its Japanese private banking business in 2004 after it was accused of all sorts of regulatory lapses. Citigroup is downsizing in Japan, but it still needs to prove it's a seasoned international company.


Citi faces retail sales ban in Japan
By Michiyo Nakamoto in Tokyo and Francesco Guerrera in New York

Published: June 26 2009 10:09 | Last updated: June 26 2009 18:48

Citigroup suffered a fresh setback when Japan’s financial regulator banned it from selling retail financial products for a month after finding the US group had failed to take sufficient measures to prevent suspicious transactions, including money laundering.

The Financial Services Agency told Citi to revamp its governance, internal controls and management structure, and has barred it from advertising retail banking products or soliciting retail business in Japan during the ban, which begins on July 15.

FSA statement - Jun-24
Citibank Japan statement - Jun-24
Citi faces uncertainty after departure - Jun-21
Four vie for Citi’s Japan unit - Jun-17
In depth: Citigroup - Jan-16
The penalty is a major embarrassment for the group, which was forced to shut its Japanese private banking business in 2004 after it was accused of breaking rules and having lax controls.

The FSA’s action comes just days after Ajay Banga, the head of Citi’s Asia-Pacific arm, announced he was moving to MasterCard, leaving Citi without a leader in the region.

Citi is shrinking its presence in Japan, which it once regarded as a major market, by selling businesses to bolster its battered balance sheet and repay billions of dollars in US government aid.

The FSA said Citi had failed to implement an improvement plan it had submitted to the FSA five years ago, when it was instructed to adopt stronger internal controls. The FSA said the lack of compliance showed Citi executives “. . . lack an understanding of the rules applied in Japan, such as laws and regulations, and an awareness of improvement”.

The breach of Japanese rules came to light after Citi reported a suspicious bank account, which it believed might be connected to laundering. The group investigated with the regulator and uncovered more accounts – said to be fewer than 500 – that were suspected of being linked to criminal entities.

The FSA said Citi had failed to develop adequate control systems for the detection, monitoring and follow-up of suspicious deals. Citi’s system relied on a database of extremely limited input that had not been updated since 2004, the FSA said.

Citi said it took the FSA action “very seriously”. It said it was “committed to focus all necessary resource to implement every necessary measure to prevent further occurrence”.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another Ray of Hope (dashed)?

Success at last for making contact with Annette (who I call) my "caseworker" at "Big-Shiti." I was beginning to think for a time that she was avoiding me (for some strange unknown reason) Must make note of gist of our conversation today and the resultant end of same. Mutch too much tired to go any further tonite. It has been a very rough last couple of days. Just getting over the sadness of fathersday without him, and now, mothers birthday tomorow. Gosh I miss them so much. Cherish your parents (and grandparents) while you can. Just a silly reminder. Heres another one, be sure and check back soon for an update to this story.

Update: June 27, 2009

Annette, my "caseworker" at $hiti informs me that since our minimum payments balloned from $519 to $930, and now, with late fee and penalties and fines, its over $10,000 they want for a minimum payment - we are NOW (at last!) finally (may-be) eligible for a loan modification! Isnt that wonderful news - that we MAY be eligible. Well, it beats what they were saying before, that due to making so much money a year ($30,000) we absolutely WERE NOT eligible, so I guess we are making progress,....knowing now that at least we MAY be;

Here is what Annette has told me she is going to do for us; (no guarantees, she says) submit a loan modification application to the further-ups to see if we can get our interest rate lowered from 8 3/45 to 2% (!) add in our taxes and insurance and all our "arrears" and keep the payments under $500!!!!! Wouldnt that be wonderful? She even told me to hold off sending any payment until I heard from her regarding our application. I told Annette that if $hiti could make that happen, I would happen, I would have to take down this website and start talking "nice" about them! We shall see said the blindman...stay tuned for more updates on our amazing adventure with $hiti.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Suprize in the Mail Today, A Big One

During my last conversation with my $hitiFinancial gal (Annette) from "The Executive Response Team," she informed me that since we were makeing 33, 000 per year (gross) that we would not qualify for any sort of a loan modification, not even to lower our 8 3/4% interest rate! Her only advise to us then was to just keep making the minimum payment of $519.37 per mo. I reminded her that I just got a letter from $hiti informing me that they had created an escrow to pay 4,000 in back taxes for us (which has already been incorporated into our Chapt 13 BK re-payment plan) and so now they are telling us our minimum payments, instead of $519.37 per mo will jump to $932.83!!! Well Annette tells me that she doesnt have that showing on her data base (yet) and advised me that I should just go ahead and send in the $519.37,...adding that we will worry about the rest later, once that data catches up with her system (Geeze, in this day and age of lighnting fast electronic transmissions - why wouldnt all $hitis datafiles have all relevant info on them? What can the hold up Be?

Well, today I was getting ready to send $hiti our monthly payment of $519. 37, had the check all made out and was ready to send when I opened the mailbox only to find a letter from $Shiti which was the mortgage bill for July. I was pretty certain that this was the dreaded bill with the escrow in it that would raise our monthly payments from $519.37 to $932.83. However, MUCH to my suprise, the current minimum payment due is indicated at $10,814.61!!! Wow! Talk about not working well with others, we are getting out and out screwed, without even any vaseline! Unless, (I am thinking) this is her way of making it impossible for us to afford the payment - just so we will qualify for a lan modification? Wouldnt that be nice?! Wont know til she returns my call tomorrow (I hope)

I dont understand how this "minimum" payment got so high, but I can give you a little bckground on the case;

In 2008 my husband lost his job and was out of work for a period of severn or eight months. All during this time we were unable to make any payments on the mortgage. However, I do believe they put that amount ($10, 475.58) into an Escrow Balance that did not increase our minimum-payment of $519.37, you know, like "tacked it on" to the back of the loan. I believe this is because we let them know that that amout ($10,475.58) was being incorporated as a debt in our Chap 13 plan. It is important to remember that $hiti is not a named Creditor in our bankruptcy and hasent even commenced a foreclosure on us yet, nor have they fild a claim with the BK as a Debtor. Anywas, I do understand the jump from $519.37 to $932.83 - which was due to $hiti paying $4,000 in our back taxes (which I have said before, were also included as a debt in our Chap 13 and $hiti knew this! Nevertheless, they went right ahead and created a seperate escrow for the $4,000 in taxes which DID jump our minimum monthly payments to $932.83.....but what I dont understand is how they got the "current payment due" as $10,814.61!!!!

Here is how the bill reads;

Account Information
Type of Mortgage: Fixed Rate
Principal Balance: $67, 123.58
Extension Interest: $2,801.94
Interest Rate: 8.18000%
Escrow Balance: $10,475.58
Interest Year to Date: $1,834.40
Taxes Paid Year to Date: $5,175.88

Account Activity

Payments Recieved Current Payments Due

Date: 06/02/09 07/01/09
Principal $61.39 $69.85
Interest $457.98 $449.52
Escrow: $413.46
Total Mortgage Payment $932.83
Delinquency Expenses: $284.00
Late Charge $249.12
Past Due Amount $9,348.66
Total Amount Due $10,814.61

We have had this mortgage and been paying on it for NINE years, except for that period of 7 or 8 months when my husband was out of work. Alltogether, $Shiti paid maybe $8,000 in back taxes over those years.,...plus the $9,000 we are in arrears for the time my husband was out of work. All these figures are included in our Chapter 13 repayment plan which $hiti knew about and confirmed with our BK lawter! So why did they do things to our account using these figures knowing they were being paid off through the BK. This, and their late fees and "Extension Interests" and "Delinquincey Expenses" are what boosted our (affordable) minimum payments of $519.37 to $932.83, and now, to an all time (impossible high) of $10,814.61!!! Who do you know that has a mortgage payment that high, I mean, except for the filthy rich?

It will be interesting to know how this pans out because I too am undecided about how to handle this. I keep thinking to fight fight fight but what good is that if the town and county keep raising our taxes to the point where we cant even afford them. Maybe I will get away from it all by riding out of here in my donkey cart with all my worldly belongings in it. I can travel around the country "for the cause" of bashing greedy bastard bankers....particularly $hiti-Bank. I can almost see the signs hanging off of the sides of my cart, "$$hiti took our house, made us homesless. Took everything but my ass!" Hee Haw Hee Haw Hee Hee Haw Haw. Aint lifegrand!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Banks Foreclosing on Soldiers Homes @ 4X U.S. Rate!

Just another of the great, many American Disgraces of the Day. It just goes to show ya how cold hearted and cruel these Big Banks are,...foreclosing on soldiers homes! For shame on the greedy bastards!

Foreclosures in Military Towns Surge at Four Times U.S. Rate

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By Kathleen M. Howley

May 27 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Jeffrey VerSteegh, who repairs F-16 jets for the 132nd Fighter Wing, departed Des Moines, Iowa, in April for his third tour in Iraq. The father of four may lose his home when he returns.

The four-bedroom farmhouse he and his wife, Kathleen, own near the Iowa State Fairgrounds went into default in December after their monthly mortgage costs doubled to $1,100. Kathleen missed work because of breast cancer and they struggled to keep up the house payment, falling behind on other bills. Their bankruptcy was approved by the court a week after VerSteegh left for Iraq.

In the midst of the worst surge in mortgage defaults in seven decades, foreclosures in U.S. towns where soldiers live are increasing at a pace almost four times the national average, according to data compiled by research firm RealtyTrac Inc. in Irvine, California. As military families like the VerSteeghs signed up for the initial lower rates and easier terms of subprime mortgages, the number of people taking out Veterans Administration loans fell to the lowest in at least 12 years.

``We've never faced a situation like this, not in the Vietnam War, World War II, or the Korean War, where so many military are in danger of losing their homes,'' said Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, a Washington-based advocacy group started in 2002 by Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans. ``No one asked them for their credit score when we asked them to fight for us.''

Military Foreclosures

Foreclosure filings in 10 towns and cities within 10 miles of military facilities, including Norfolk, Virginia, home of the Navy's largest base, rose by an average 217 percent from January through April from a year earlier. Nationally, the rate was 59 percent in the same period, according to RealtyTrac, which tallies bank seizures, auctions and default notices.

The biggest surge was in Columbia, South Carolina, home to Fort Jackson, where the Army trains recruits for combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Properties in some stage of foreclosure rose 492 percent from a year earlier, RealtyTrac said. The second-biggest increase was 414 percent in Woodbridge, Virginia, next to the Marine Corps Base Quantico.

Foreclosure filings tripled in the cities surrounding Norfolk Naval Base and the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base near Oceanside, California, RealtyTrac said. Havelock, North Carolina, site of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, saw foreclosures more than double.

Weak Credit

Military families were targeted as customers during the boom in subprime lending because their frequent moves, overseas stints, and low pay meant they were more likely to have weak credit ratings, said Rudi Williams of the National Veterans Foundation in Los Angeles. In 2006, at the peak of U.S. subprime lending, the number of VA loans fell to barely a third the level of two years earlier, according to VA data.

VA loans totaled 135,000 last year, its fourth consecutive annual decline.

An Army or Marine Corps sergeant with four years of experience makes $27,000 a year, plus combat pay of $225 a month, according to the 2008 Military Authorization Act, which increased basic pay rates 3.5 percent from a year ago.

Soldiers authorized to live off-base also receive a housing allowance that this year starts at about $500 a month, 7.3 percent higher than in 2007, paid even when they are deployed. Counting the stipends, they still fall short of the 2007 median U.S. household income of $59,224 as measured by the National Association of Realtors in Chicago.

Legislative Effort

``Think about how much stress comes with a foreclosure, and then imagine you're walking the same tightrope while being employed in Baghdad,'' said Paul Rieckhoff, 33, the head of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and a former 1st lieutenant with the Army's 3rd Infantry Division.

The Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act protects soldiers and sailors from losing homes for nonpayment of mortgages only while on active duty and for 90 days after they return home. Members of Congress, including Senator Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, and Representative Bob Filner, a Democrat from California, are trying to extend that to a year, saying three months isn't enough.

Another flaw in the current law is it puts the burden on the soldiers, sailors or the families they left behind to come up with the paperwork and notify the bank, said Sullivan of the Washington Veterans' group. Unlike in other wars, members of the military often are able to telephone home or receive e-mails, creating a ``morale problem'' as they try to deal with foreclosure notices, he said.

VA Mortgages

``It's heartbreaking to see people struggling with a foreclosure while they or someone they love is in a war zone, or when they're trying to adjust after coming back from one,'' said Sullivan, a Cavalry Scout with the Army's 1st Armored Division during the 1991 Gulf War.

Lenders aren't required to keep records on the status of non-government loans to military members or veterans, said Mike Frueh, the VA's assistant director for loan management in Washington. Judging solely by data on VA mortgages, active military and veterans in the current housing slump are getting into trouble with their home loans at a pace only slightly above the civilian rate, he said.

The share of VA mortgages in foreclosure was 1.12 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with 0.96 percent for so-called prime borrowers with the highest credit scores, the Washington- based Mortgage Bankers Association said in a March 6 report.

`Stench of Death'

``My data comes from those that have VA loans, and we haven't seen, as I understand it, a big jump'' in foreclosures, said James Peake, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in Washington, in a May 20 interview.

The increase may yet be coming: the share of VA loans with payments 30 days or more overdue was 6.49 percent in the fourth quarter, double the rate of 3.24 percent for prime borrowers. The share of VA mortgages more than 90 days overdue was 1.54 percent, also double the prime rate, according to the bankers' report.

Monique Kelly, a disabled Iraq War veteran, said she is on the verge of adding to those VA delinquency numbers. The former Army staff sergeant in the First Armored Division paid her May mortgage bill halfway through the month and said she won't be able to make June's payment for her house in Owings Mills, Maryland.

Kelly, designated disabled by the VA because of post- traumatic stress disorder, said she bought the property in January for $305,000 and had to spend $10,000 fixing structural problems that were not disclosed to her.

``We fought for our country, and now we have to fight to save our homes,'' said Kelly. ``After living with the stench of death in Iraq, it seems like we shouldn't have to face problems like this when we come back.''

Help for Veterans

The VA has nine regional loan centers in the U.S. that last year provided counseling for 85,000 veterans who had problems with government-backed mortgages, Frueh said. He said he contacted Kelly to see if he can help her.

Counselors also try to help veterans who fall behind on non- VA loans, he said, though they don't track the number of those cases.

``We will always try to intercede on a veteran's behalf,'' said Frueh. ``If they have a VA-guaranteed loan, we can do more for them.''

Military families or veterans refinancing a mortgage have limited resources for VA-backed loans, Frueh said. The government can only guarantee refinanced veteran loans up to $144,000, Frueh said. The median price of a U.S. home was $219,000 last year, according to the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors.

`No Hope'

The law gives military personnel the right to have interest rates temporarily lowered to 6 percent on loans incurred prior to entering active service. To apply for protection, they have to send copies of their military orders to their mortgage servicing companies, even if they are on the front lines. The VerSteeghs in Iowa didn't know about that option, said Kathleen.

Before leaving for Iraq, the 43-year-old VerSteegh called the Bush Administration's Hope Now program created to help people facing foreclosure, his wife said.

``We got no hope from Hope,'' and no information about the potential interest-rate deduction, according to Kathleen VerSteegh.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co., the servicer of the VerSteegh mortgage, removed the VerSteegh property from foreclosure in April after receiving a copy of the husband's active duty orders, said Debora Blume, a spokeswoman for the bank's mortgage unit, in an e-mailed statement. Kathleen VerSteegh, 42, said they weren't notified of the change. The mortgage had gone into foreclosure on Dec. 31, Wells Fargo said.

Refinancing Plans

Wells Fargo ``is working with Mrs. VerSteegh to reduce her monthly payment during this time of financial hardship,'' Blume said.

Like many U.S. borrowers who got adjustable mortgages, the VerSteeghs planned to refinance into a better loan before their initial rate of 6.45 percent, fixed for two years, reset in December 2006. U.S. home values began to decline about six months before their first adjustment.

The so-called margin, a fixed charge added to the loan's index to determine interest rate resets, is 5.25 percent, about double the typical margin for an adjustable mortgage. Their loan is indexed to Libor, the London Interbank Offer Rate.

``We refinanced so we could get new windows and do some work on the house,'' she said. ``We assumed we'd have no problem getting another loan, but then it blew up in our faces.''

Now they can't apply to refinance into a VA mortgage because they owe more on the house than it's worth and ``our credit is shot,'' said VerSteegh.

Bonus Army

The last time veterans lost homes to this extent was during the Great Depression, said Sullivan of Veterans for Common Sense. The so-called Bonus Army of almost 20,000 World War I ex-soldiers marched on Washington in June 1932 to demand early payment of certificates granted for service.

U.S. infantry and cavalry regiments under the command of General Douglas MacArthur attacked their encampment with bayonets and sabers to disburse them.

VerSteegh, who gets to speak to her husband by telephone for 15 minutes once a week, said she tries to reassure him that everything on the home front is going well, even as she struggles with the threat of foreclosure and her health problems. She's eight weeks into a course of chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer and had a double mastectomy on March 14.

VerSteegh said she doesn't know exactly where her husband is, just that he's somewhere near Baghdad.

``I don't tell him the whole story, because he has to focus on his job,'' she said. ``The guys in his unit are depending on him.''

Foreclosure Filings Near Military Bases from January to
April, Compared With a Year Earlier:
Columbia, South Carolina: 492%
Woodbridge, Virginia: 414%
Triangle, Virginia: 363%
Oceanside, California: 182%
Norfolk, Virginia: 155%
Havelock, North Carolina: 133%
Carlsbad, California: 131%
Barstow, California: 120%
Columbus, Georgia: 102%
Twentynine Palms, California: 73%
U.S. Total: 59%

To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen M. Howley in Boston at kmhowley@bloomberg.net.


Working for $hitigroup a Patriotic Duty, Chairman Says, but

has close ties to Uncle Sam. Could this be a case of cronieism, special interest or conflict of interest? More like good ole American BS if you ask me. You want Patriotic Duty Mr BigBank Chairman, go on over to Afganistan and join our troops. I am sure they would love to have you there and they will show you what "patriotic duty" is, for real. Lots of soldiers lost their homes to BigBank forclosures while they were out doing their patriotic duty to keep your banker-asses safe. Yes, I am sure they would love to have you in the trenches with them,....so they could do their patriotic duty upon you!

Of all the ways the government's hefty ownership of Citigroup hurts the banks, the number one harm has to be recruitment. Fortune asked Citigroup chairman Dick Parsons about why anyone would want to work there. His answer: "It's almost like a patriotic duty...Plus it's damned interesting." Appealing to patriotism will likely not work--not while other banks are pitching the lack of government tinkering in corporate affairs and for many mid-level folks, the ostensible ability to make more money.

However, my sense is that Citi will still be able to attract younger folks sensing the ability to move fast, make their mark and gain experience. At the same time, there just might be some upside to a stock that now sits in the $3.50 range. The stigma of working for a bank that is 36-percent owned by the government may dissuade some. But if you go in with the right attitude, you may be able to move up quickly, which will look great on a resume. It doesn't have to be forever. Plus if you really want to work in finance at time when jobs are scarce and you are fierce, it might not be a bad place. It's not Goldman Sachs, but it never has been.

For more:

Citigroup’s chairman on the bank’s long-term hazard
by Patricia Sellers

How do you get top talent to work for a Fortune 500 company that’s one-third owned by the federal government, bound by onerous rules on pay and benefits, and so out of favor with investors that its stock won’t budge above $3.50?

If you’re Citigroup (C) chairman Dick Parsons, who is trying to help embattled CEO Vikram Pandit lure talent to the bank giant’s management and board, you pitch a higher calling. “It’s almost like a patriotic duty,” says Parsons about working at Citi. “Plus it’s damned interesting.”

Parsons, a Citi director since 1996, stepped up to chairman in February — an unexpected career shift for the man who spent most of the past decade as chairman and CEO of Time Warner (TWX). Parsons talked about Citi’s challenges in an interview with Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer Monday morning at “The Economy 2009,” a half-day confab hosted by CNN, Time and Fortune.

As healthier rivals such as JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) have received the green light to return TARP bailout funds to the federal government — while Uncle Sam’s ownership stake on Citi is growing larger — the bank’s main problem long-term will likely be “HR,” admitted Parsons. That is, Citi’s ability to lure top talent. “I do worry that we’ll be at a competitive disadvantage,” he said, pointing out that he’s working for no cash, only stock and options. “There are some people in the world,” he said, obviously referring to himself, “who want to do something that is fascinating and interesting and important.”

Maybe he should have added the word “impossible.” Anyone who stayed to the end of “The Economy 2009″ wouldn’t want to go work for Citi — or probably anywhere else in the banking industry. The summit closed with a doom-and-gloom panel that included Yale Professor Robert Shiller, New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini, and bank-industry analyst Meredith Whitney, who helped expose the balance-sheet problems at Citi and other banks two years ago. With CNN anchor Christine Romans leading the discussion, this session could have been titled “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” (No offense to Romans, who isn’t quite blond!)

As each of the three economic oracles vied to be more bearish than the other, they laid out a scenario where home prices will fall another 15-20%, unemployment will rise to 11% by year-end, the recession will last another six to nine months — and banks will pay the brunt of it. “Losses of banks will accelerate,” Roubini predicted, contending that commercial real-estate loans are the industry’s next toxic problem.

Whitney, who declined to talk about her outlook for Citi specifically, nonetheless agreed and suggested that it’s not yet the time to bet on an industry recovery. “Banks are sitting on rotting assets,” she said. “The liquidity crisis is over. But the credit crisis continues.”

Embedded video from CNNMoney.com Video

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4 Comments | Add a Comment | Email Digg Facebook
It is a fool’s errand to fish for A-team players by appealing to patriotism. That is not going to attract anybody. Instead, he should pitch it as a high pay-off opportunity. If they go to work for Citi, there will be short-term disadvantages, but if they help catapult the company back, their names will become legend, and they stand to profit big. They can write their own ticket after that. And the chance of failure is minimized since the government has already indicated Citi is too big to fail.

Posted By Brenda H., Atlanta, GA : June 16, 2009 2:36 pm
once the conversion of preferred to common stock takes place which gives the gov’t an approx. 34% stake citi will be the best capitalized bank bringing tier 1 common from a current $22.1 Billion to about $86 billion and boost citi’s tangible common equity to more than $90 Billion, not to mention that not having to pay those preferred dividends saves citi about $1 Billion. Furthermore, theres a good change that sumitomo bank will buy Citi’s japanese unit for about $6 billion. There’s a myriad of other things that Pandit, parsons and company are doing, the gov’t needs to not micromanage them and we’ll get through this.

Posted By Leonard DiFilippi Dupont WA : June 15, 2009 5:08 pm
“Patriotic Duty” – MY ASS! What an asinine statement. Welcome to the world of Obama.

Posted By SandyBeachWeil : June 15, 2009 4:41 pm
no…citi will rise again…
u’ll see. i’ll bet my life on it if u dare me..

Posted By LAM, NY,NY : June 15, 2009 3:37 pm

Friday, June 19, 2009

Are You Sure You Want to Fight Foreclosure?

You May Not Really Want to Avoid Foreclosure

Trying to avoid foreclosure

is not always the best thing to do in some cases. If you find yourself running behind on your house payments and struggling to keep your home out of foreclosure then you may want to read this article to find some comfort. It may not be the end of the road.

Most people think that when they receive foreclosure notices or harassing phone calls that it’s the end of the road for them. If you do not have a lot of equity built up in your home or perhaps you’re not in an area or neighborhood that has increased in value - You may not want to try and save your home from foreclosure.

During these times there are so many good values out there on property. It may not be all that difficult to find others that are struggling to make their payments on a home in a much better neighborhood.

Although getting into the burden of house payments may not be the solution for you. You still have to make payments fro something and you may find a reduced payment in a better home than which you are currently living in. Most people assume that because they’ll have bad credit, that is will be hard to qualify for anything and this may be true if you are trying to finance a home through a brand new loan. However during these times are so many different creative financing methods that you can use that your credit may not be as big a deal as you think.

If you need more foreclosure help then quickly head over to http://foreclosure-help-now.com where you will find helpful foreclosure tips, advice and resources including information on foreclosure plans, negotiating and more Avoid Foreclosure.


Hope Dashed? $hitiWars Con't

Well I just got off of the phone with Annette of the Executive Response Team and she had no good news for us.....grossing less then 32,000 per year, she says that we "make too much" to be eligible for any type of loan modification!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Glimmer of Hope for Us Too?

Well after my triade last June 10 (see post) with $hiti, where I told them that since they would not lift a finger to help us keep our home (refusing to lower the interest rate from 8 3/4%, or to modify the loan, etc.) I told them that they could take the house and that we would not be making any payments at all, and reminded them that since we are in the first year of a Chap 13 (where they are not listed as creditors, yet) that we could stall any forclosure attempt at least for another two years,.....and even then appeal appeal appeal where it will be tied up for even more years,.....and then in frustration I think I hung up on Alysa. Sorry about that hun. I know, I know, you are only doing your job and your checks say $hitiGroup on them. We KNOW where your loyalties lie.

Anyways, several moments later the phone rings and it is Annette @ 866-255-3901 Ex. 52192 (She wouldnt give her last name but said her extention # would ID her) Do any of these $hitiFolk have last names?

Where was I? Oh yeah. It seems they have moved our case OUT of the "Loss Mitigation" Department and into the EXECUTIVE Department, at least that is what Annette said, so I guess we are making progress in our quest and moving up the ladder.

Anyways, her first question to me was like music to my ears. "What is it that you would like us to do for you?"

Imagine that! Maybe there is hope for us yet.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another Day, Another Attempt to Connect & Resolve

First thing this morning I called the "loss mitigation" department of $hitiMortgage. Amazingly, I got through to someone and after about 1/2hr of my venting, the party told me I had the wrong party...that my "caseworker" was Alysa Bryson and that I should talk to her at 800-525-8246. He transferred me over (what! No Disconnect?) and got her answering machine. I left a message for her to call me inregards to newxt months mortgage payment which we cant make cause it balloned from $519 per mo to over $900 per month because of them paying off our 08 taxes and creating a seperate escrow account for them. By the way, these are the 08 taxes that are already being paid off through our Chap 13 payment plan! So now we are paying them twice.

The question is, shall I send $hitiMortgage anything at all? We could sent the original amount ($519) as "good faith" money that we want to work with them, but there is no way we can pay $900. The alternate plan, to tell them to FOff and start foreclosing, you know, stop paying all togther and do a little "Mortgage Squatting." I am sure since we are in a Chap 13 BK that we could drag it out for at least another two years (after the BK is over) before $hiti can even think about foreclosing,...that is, IF they can find the original note and mortgage contract.
We never signed anything with $hiti - our original loan was through FDA.

Federal homeowner program may be making a dent in foreclosures (not ours)

June 7th, 2009

Housing counselor Rita Miro (Savemyhomeusa) helps clients with a foreclosure-prevention program recently at the. (George Skene/Orlando Sentinel / June 6, 2009)

Scrambling to stay current with his mortgage, David Vale feared he was surely headed into foreclosure this year. Then the unemployed print-shop-equipment operator heard about a new program for financially troubled homeowners.

Last week, Vale, 59, and his wife, Bobbie, cleared the final hurdle to a “trial loan modification” that will cut their interest rate, lower their monthly payment and give the Orange City couple a fighting chance to save their home.

“My wife lost her job after she became disabled; then I got laid off,” he said. “We were still scraping by, but the handwriting was on the wall. Then we heard about this program that seemed exactly for people like us who had never been late on their mortgage. And it gave us some hope.”

Tens of thousands of people nationwide have tapped the federal Making Home Affordable initiative, the Obama administration said last week. The program, enacted in March, aims to help the millions of people current on their mortgages but struggling with payments and those delinquent on their loans.

Less than three months after its launch, more than 120,000 homeowners have received loan modifications and a few thousand more have gotten refinancings through the program, the Treasury Department reported. The early results are in stark contrast to last year’s ill-fated Hope for Homeowners program, which fell flat after it was beset by red tape and eligibility complications. It drew fewer than 100 applications nationwide after several months.

The new Making Home Affordable program still has a long way to go before it has measurable effect on the nation’s flood of foreclosures. Still, those on the front line of the crisis say it is the most promising initiative so far.

“There’s no comparison to other programs,” said Rosa Miro, a housing counselor with Consumer Credit Counseling of Central Florida who worked with the Vales. “I was never able to put even one client in any of those programs. This one at least gives people a real opportunity to recover.”

What the new program does differently, among other things, is throw some serious money — $75 billion — at the problem to provide financial incentives for all involved.

Financial incentives
In addition to getting more favorable terms, homeowners who qualify for the program and stay current with their loan will get as much as $1,000 a year taken directly off their mortgage principal over five years. Lenders and mortgage servicers will also get $1,000 for processing an application to modify or refinance a loan, plus another $1,000 if they approve the application.

That’s a big change from the past, when loan servicers got nothing for modification work but cash incentives from lenders for doing a foreclosure.

One of the big improvements, homeowner advocates say, was the passage only weeks ago of a federal law that shields mortgage servicers from lawsuits by angry investors in mortgage-backed securities.

The potential for litigation from investors has long been viewed as discouraging mortgage servicers from working with distressed homeowners trying to obtain relief. Simply put, servicers didn’t want to risk being sued if, by modifying people’s loans, they reduced the potential payoff of mortgages bundled and sold as investments.

The shield law and other such measures are gradually changing lenders’ and servicers’ attitudes toward working with troubled homeowners, said Jeff Perdue, president of Orlando Home Mortgage, a brokerage that works mostly with the new program’s refinance guidelines.

“We finally have something we can really work with,” he said. “It’s not a watershed by any means, but it is revolutionary compared to Hope for Homeowners. At least it’s making a dent.”

Foreclosures still soar
Still unclear is how much of a dent the program is making in the pile of foreclosures. Treasury officials would not release data on how many homeowners have applied, so the program’s approval rate is unknown.

In addition to the more than 120,000 loan modifications processed in the first three months, 3,650 homeowners have refinanced their mortgages through Making Home Affordable — a relatively meager total given the number of homeowners in distress. More than 2.4 million new foreclosures are expected by year’s end, according to an estimate by the Center for Responsible Lending, a consumer-watchdog and research group. And that estimate could wind up being low, because a record 12 percent of the 45 million mortgages in the country were delinquent during the first quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Against that backdrop, even the Making Home Affordable program has been pretty slow out of the gate, said Barry Zigas, housing director for the Consumer Federation of America, the nation’s largest consumer-advocacy group.

“I really haven’t seen much of a result from it yet,” he said. “I do understand that most of the biggest servicers have signed up, but this is still moving forward at a slow pace. They have a lot of applications in the pipeline, but foreclosures are still up.”

‘A number of hurdles’
The new initiative has also encountered some of the same problems as the old ones: homeowners getting the runaround at corporate call centers, confusion about program eligibility, uninformed customer-service reps, and mortgage servicers that won’t help borrowers until they’re behind on their loan payments.

“There are still a number of hurdles to overcome,” said Richard Scaggs, chief executive officer of Consumer Credit Counseling of Central Florida. “Overall, we do have a much-improved program now, and we’re getting much more buy-in from the servicers. But it is all so new, there are servicers out there who are really overwhelmed with it all.”
More information about Mortgage Modification Help


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Homeowners File Class Action Against Indymac

Homeowners in southern Nevada who have found themselves caught up in the current foreclosure crisis have filed a class action lawsuit to prevent further foreclosures, and to get restitution for those who've already lost their homes.

The lawsuit has been filed against the California bank Indymac, which was bought out by OneWest Bank, after facing potential bankruptcy itself at the beginning of the crisis.

The suit alleges that Indymac did not deal in good faith with customers borrowing money and used deceptive and unfair practices, such as focusing on minority groups and selling them loans the bank knew those clients couldn't pay.

One plaintiff, Luis Benito, secured a loan through Indymac and was told that the monthly payments would never exceed $2000. "Then I get this letter saying that my payment was going up on the first from $1,700 a month to $2,700 a month," he told Channel 8 Las Vegas Now Eyewitness News. Benito could not afford the increased payment and ended up in default of his loan.

Even then Indymac allegedly led him to believe he could save his home, indicating by letter that they would contact him within 30 days with a decision. However, Indymac reportedly never contacted Benito and his home was sold.

The suit could potentially involve tens of thousands of people.

Indymac Foreclosure Class Action Legal Help

If you or a loved one has suffered damages in this case, please click on the title above to fill out form and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.


A Disconnect Problem with $hiti

Well my free HUD approved Consumer Credit Counselor says to contact $hiti to ask them if they participate in the "Home Affordability Plan." I have talked a little before about the problems I encounter everytime I go to call them on the phone. I get put on hold, switched around to different departments and generally given the run-around until almost inevidably I get disconnected.

Today at 9:35, when I called the $hiti-Folk at the "Loss Mitigation" Department, its the same old story. Connect then switchover to the correct dept and then, another disconnect. I shall try this number one more time today; 1-800-422-1498 ex. 12091

June ____10:50 am; now if this aint enough BS to fuk up your whole day. Another disconnect as they were switching me to the right department....am I expected to sit here all day trying to get through? Maybe I should write them a dam letter and CC it to all interested parties; including my legislative representatives.

Third Try Today: 11am I called the exact same number as above and when an operater answered this time, she told me to call a different number and so I did. Here is the number she told me to call for the loss mitigation dept; 866-702-5963. Can you believe it? Here is the message I got "The number number or code you have dialed is incorrect."

I am going to call it quits for today and, like I said, write them a dam letter. Maybe that will get through to them ok.

Announcing Changes to the HOPE for Homeowners Program

On May 20, 2009, President Obama signed into law the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act. This act modifies the HOPE for Homeowners Program with the goal of helping additional families avoid mortgage foreclosure. It is anticipated that guidance related to these changes will be released within 30 days. The statutory changes to the program include:

• Additional compensation for primary and subordinate lien holders.
• Establishing incentive payments to servicers of loans refinanced under the HOPE for Homeowners Program, as well as originators of new HOPE for Homeowners mortgages.
• Reducing costs of the program to the consumer.

To learn more about the changes to the HOPE for Homeowners program and other important provisions contained in the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, click here.

The HOPE for Homeowners Program is an integral component of Making Home Affordable. For more information on the Making Home Affordable program, visit http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/.

If you are at risk of foreclosure do not wait for assistance. You should contact your mortgage lender immediately or call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) to reach a HUD-approved housing counselor. HUD-approved housing counselors can help you evaluate your income and expenses and understand your options - and - this counseling is FREE.


Helping Families Save their Homes Act 2009

Summary of S. 896 Provisions

HOPE for Homeowners: The bill amends the HOPE for Homeowners Program, to (a) permit reduction of excessive fee levels, (b) provide greater incentives for mortgage servicers to engage in modifications under the Program, and (c) reduce administrative burdens to loan underwriters by making the requirements more consistent with standard FHA practices. Specifically, the bill would:

Put the HUD Secretary in charge of running the program, relegating the Program Board’s role to an advisory capacity

Change the upfront fee from 3% to "up to 3%."

Change the annual fee from 1.5% to "up to 1.5%."

Require the HUD Secretary to weigh both the financial integrity of the program and the bill’s purposes of foreclosure prevention in setting premiums.

Change the provision for HUD to receive 50% of appreciation profit sharing to authorize "up to 50%" of such profit sharing; allow HUD to share this with the existing first or subordinate lienholders to induce loan writedowns; provide flexibility to assign any profit sharing rights HUD elects to share; cap profit sharing at up to the appraised value of the property when the existing loan was made.

Permit payments to servicers of existing mortgage loans on the property and to underwriters of the new FHA loan for each successful refinance.

Include a number of administrative changes, including:

o requiring conformity to FHA single family procedures and standards as much as possible;

o modifying current debt income affordability test to apply it at the time of the new loan application, instead of March 1st of 2008;

o modifying certification of no intentional default on other debts so that it now applies "to any other substantial debt" within the last five years; and eliminating reference to going to jail because of false statements;

o providing for slightly less prescriptive language regarding collection of income tax returns;

o eliminating extraneous LTV restrictions on use of second lien loans to maintain property; and

o barring borrowers with a net worth of more than $1 million.

Re-instate authority of HUD, with the concurrence of the Board, to conduct an auction to refinance loans on a wholesale or bulk basis.

Offset the costs of program changes with a reduction in TARP authority of $1.244 billion.

Servicer Safe Harbor: The bill provides a safe harbor from liability to mortgage servicers issuers, trustees, loan sellers, depositors, and any other person" to the extent the person’s cooperation is required to allow the servicer to engage in loan modifications, as long as the servicer provides a modification consistent with the Administration’s program or it utilizes Hope for Homeowners.

Deposit Insurance: The bill amends the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and the Federal Credit Union Act to enhance the liquidity and stability of insured depository institutions to ensure availability of credit and reduction of foreclosures. Specifically, the bill would:

Extends through 2013 the temporary increase in deposit insurance coverage for both the FDIC Deposit Insurance Fund and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Share Insurance Fund to $250,000 (the temporary increase is currently scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2009).

Provides FDIC an increase in borrowing authority to $100 billion, while providing a temporary increase until the end of 2010 to $300 billion. Specifically restricts FDIC from using the $300 billion for funding losses under programs established with Treasury under TARP.

Provides NCUA an increase in borrowing authority to $6 billion, with a temporary increase to $30 billion.

o Any amounts borrowed must be used only for insurance purposes.

o Neither the FDIC nor the NCUA has ever used this borrowing authority.

o The FDIC borrowing authority amount has not changed since 1991, even though the size of the industry has tripled. The NCUA borrowing authority has not changed since 1972 when it was established, even though the size of the industry has increased from $13.8 billion in 1972 to $813 billion at year-end 2008.

o Any money borrowed must be repaid, with interest, pursuant to a repayment schedule that must be in effect prior to receiving any money, and which is subject to a requirement to consult with and report to Congress.

Allow the FDIC to charge systemic risk special assessments by rulemaking, on both insured depository institutions and depository institution holding companies. For holding company assessments, the concurrence of the Secretary of the Treasury would be required.

FHA Approval: Contains numerous provisions to better ensure that predatory lending entities and individuals are not allowed to participate in the FHA home mortgage insurance program. Specifically, the bill would:

Require HUD approval of all parties participating in the FHA single family mortgage origination process.

Allow HUD to impose a civil money penalty against loan originators who are not HUD-approved and yet participate in FHA mortgage originations.

Make clear that an applicant is ineligible for approval if the entity or any officer, partner, director, principal, or employee of the entity is: a) suspended or debarred by any Federal agency; b) under indictment for, or has been convicted of, an offense that reflects adversely upon the applicant’s integrity, competence or fitness to meet the responsibilities of an approved mortgagee; c) subject to unresolved findings contained in a HUD or other governmental audit, investigation, or review; d) engaged in business practices that do not conform to generally accepted practices of prudent mortgagees; e) convicted of a felony related to participation in the real estate or mortgage loan industry; or f) in violation of provisions of the S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act.

Require that HUD receives notice of the debarment and any change in licensing status of a FHA approved mortgagee.

Require HUD to expand the existing FHA process of reviewing new applicants for FHA approval for the purpose of identifying those representing a high risk to the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund and implement procedures that expand the number of loans reviewed by FHA for lenders approved within the last 12 months, and include a process for random reviews that is based on loan volume by newly approved participants.

Require FHA approved mortgagees to use their HUD registered company names in all advertizing and to keep copies of all advertisements.

FHA and RHS Foreclosure Prevention

Expands the authority of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Rural Housing Service (RHS) to engage in foreclosure prevention in their respective single family loan programs, by allowing for both FHA and RHS the following new tools:

Partial Claims. Permits partial claims of up to 30%, which will allow reductions in debt service down to levels affordable to the homeowner

Standard for loss mitigation. Permits loss mitigation tools to kick in for loans that face "imminent default" (ie., not just loans in default)

Assignment Authority. Gives both FHA and RHS authority to facilitate loan modifications through assignment of loans, to address servicer loss mitigation disincentives relating to having to purchase loans from Ginnie Mae pools

McKinney-Vento Homeless Reauthorization

1st major program reauthorization in 20 years

Authorizes $2.2 billion for the program in FY 2010 and such sums in FY 2011

Expands the federal definition of "homeless" by counting families who will lose their housing in 14 days (current practice is 7), by adding families with children and unaccompanied youth who have experienced a long term period without living independently and can be expected to do so for an extended period, and adding those fleeing domestic violence or dangerous or life threatening situations

Expands flexibility to use funds to assist families with children not technically defined as homeless - by permitting local continuums to use up to 10% of their funds for such families, by expanding the proportion of funds going to homeless prevention activities (which can serve such families), and by allowing rural areas much more flexibility to serve such families

Streamlines McKinney-Vento homeless programs by consolidating the competitive grant program and by using a simplified match requirement

Additional Funding for HUD programs - HUD Authorizations not in House bill: (a) $10 million each of the next 2 years for advertising to increase public awareness or mortgage scams and counseling assistance, (b) $50 million each of the next 2 years for housing counseling in areas with highest foreclosure rates, (c) $5 million in each of the next 2 years for Fair Housing activities in areas with the highest foreclosure rates.

Tenants Protections: The bill allows bona fide tenants to remain in their residence, pursuant to their lease, following a foreclosure, except when the successor in interest or subsequent purchaser will occupy the unit as a primary residence - in that case the tenant must receive notice to vacate at least 90 days before the effective date of such notice. A lease or tenancy is bona fide if it is the result of arms-length transaction and if the rent is not substantially less than fair market rent.

Public-Private Investment Partnerships - Requires that any program to create a private-public investment fund must have conflict of interest rules, and requires funds to report on 10 largest positions in the fund and investors with greater than 10 percent interest in fund, to retain records by fund, to acknowledge fiduciary duty, and to develop ethics rules and screening. Allows the Special Inspector General access to books and records of a fund. Requires Treasury to consult with Special Inspector General on the interaction between the Private-Public Investor Program, the Term-asset Backed Securities Loan Facility, and similar programs and to issue conflicts of interest rules, including concerning the potential for excessive leverage as a result of interactions of program. Also makes additional funds of $15 million available to the Special Inspector General.

The House Manager’s Amendment includes the following key clarifications:

Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Refinements - Clarifies that states receiving the minimum allocation of NSP funding, that have otherwise fulfilled the targeting requirements of the program, may distribute any remaining funding to areas with homeowners at risk of foreclosure or in foreclosure. Maintains the statutory purpose of the NSP program, which is the rehabilitation and resale of abandoned and foreclosed properties. And eliminates the requirement that NSP properties be purchased at a discount from the current market appraised value.

Private-Public Investment Partnerships - The language makes clear that Treasury shall write the conflict of interest rules required by the provision. Clarifies that managers are to provide the Secretary information on any investor that holds an equity interest in a fund of at least 10 percent. Clarifies that Special Inspector General shall prioritize audits or inspections of any program funded in whole or part by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

Servicer Safe Harbor - inserts language to exclude actual fraud from the loan modifications and transactions protected by the amendment.


American Express a $hitiGroup?

Well, maybe not, but nevertheless, they are Greedy B@$TaRd$ too and belong in this Hall of Shame.

Click on title above to go to a wonderful "truth-tellin" blog I have found about the "border-line criminal behavior" of American Express. We must get the truth out while we still can.......

this one is going in my favorite links so you can always find it there.

Power to the People
Power to the People Right On!
-John & Yoko Lennon

Homeowner Affordability & Stability Plan; Home-run, No Hitter or Strike Out?

From Help for HomeOwners - a HUD approved Consumer Credit Counceling Service

Dear Homeowner,

Here is the White House Plan for Mortgage assistance you may be able to use.

Also let your congressman and senator know how your lender is treating you.

Cary Greer
Housing Counselor
CCCS of Greater Atlanta

A Member of Credability Network
2160 Satellite Blvd Duluth Ga. 30097




Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 at 9:36 am

Help for homeowners

The President’s strategy for economic recovery is a stool with several legs, as he’s said, and one of them is solving the foreclosure crisis.

"We must stem the spread of foreclosures and falling home values for all Americans,(turns out, he meant only "the credit qualified" which means if you are a homeowner struggling to keep your home but you have bad credit,...there is no help for you.) ..and do everything we can to help responsible homeowners stay in their homes," (well now again, you have to be a little more than "responsible," as stated above,....you have to have good credit. Is that to mean that those who are responsible homeowners (assuming that means you have shown the ability to make your payments on time) but lacking good credit are suddenly thrown into the "irresponsible homeowners" slot so there will be no help for homeowners making their payments but lacking perfect credit? Apparently so.)...he said yesterday as he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law.

Though communities across the country have been affected by the crisis, Arizona has been hit particularly hard -- in 2008, only two states had more foreclosures.

And President Obama is there today, in Phoenix, to unveil his "Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan," which will help bring relief to homeowners and bring some order to the housing market.

The President will talk more about his plan a little later today. In the meantime, we’re sure you have a lot of questions, like, Am I eligible for assistance? Might I be able to modify my loan? When do I apply? We've put together an example sheet that will show you what options might be available to you, depending on the circumstances of your mortgage, as well as answers to some common questions (below).

Questions and Answers for Borrowers about the
Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan

Borrowers Who Are Current on Their Mortgage Are Asking:

What help is available for borrowers who stay current on their mortgage payments but have seen their homes decrease in value?

Under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, eligible borrowers who stay current on their mortgages but have been unable to refinance to lower their interest rates because their homes have decreased in value, may now have the opportunity to refinance into a 30 or 15 year, fixed rate loan. Through the program, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will allow the refinancing of mortgage loans that they hold in their portfolios or that they placed in mortgage backed securities.

I owe more than my property is worth, do I still qualify to refinance under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

Eligible loans will now include those where the new first mortgage (including any refinancing costs) will not exceed 105% of the current market value of the property. For example, if your property is worth $200,000 but you owe $210,000 or less you may qualify. The current value of your property will be determined after you apply to refinance.

How do I know if I am eligible?

Complete eligibility details will be announced on March 4th when the program starts. The criteria for eligibility will include having sufficient income to make the new payment and an acceptable mortgage payment history. The program is limited to loans held or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

I have both a first and a second mortgage. Do I still qualify to refinance under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

As long as the amount due on the first mortgage is less than 105% of the value of the property, borrowers with more than one mortgage may be eligible to refinance under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan. Your eligibility will depend, in part, on agreement by the lender that has your second mortgage to remain in a second position, and on your ability to meet the new payment terms on the first mortgage.

Will refinancing lower my payments?

The objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to provide creditworthy borrowers who have shown a commitment to paying their mortgage with affordable payments that are sustainable for the life of the loan. Borrowers whose mortgage interest rates are much higher than the current market rate should see an immediate reduction in their payments. Borrowers who are paying interest only, or who have a low introductory rate that will increase in the future, may not see their current payment go down if they refinance to a fixed rate. These borrowers, however, could save a great deal over the life of the loan. When you submit a loan application, your lender will give you a "Good Faith Estimate" that includes your new interest rate, mortgage payment and the amount that you will pay over the life of the loan. Compare this to your current loan terms. If it is not an improvement, a refinancing may not be right for you.

What are the interest rate and other terms of this refinance offer?

The objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to provide borrowers with a safe loan program with a fixed, affordable payment. All loans refinanced under the plan will have a 30 or 15 year term with a fixed interest rate. The rate will be based on market rates in effect at the time of the refinance and any associated points and fees quoted by the lender. Interest rates may vary across lenders and over time as market rates adjust. The refinanced loans will have no prepayment penalties or balloon notes.

Will refinancing reduce the amount that I owe on my loan?

No. The objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to help borrowers refinance into safer, more affordable fixed rate loans. Refinancing will not reduce the amount you owe to the first mortgage holder or any other debt you owe. However, by reducing the interest rate, refinancing should save you money by reducing the amount of interest that you repay over the life of the loan.

How do I know if my loan is owned or has been securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

To determine if your loan is owned or has been securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and is eligible to be refinanced, you should contact your mortgage lender after March 4, 2009.

When can I apply?

Mortgage lenders will begin accepting applications after the details of the program are announced on March 4, 2009.

What should I do in the meantime?

You should gather the information that you will need to provide to your lender after March 4, when the refinance program becomes available. This includes:

information about the gross monthly income of all borrowers, including your most recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other sources

your most recent income tax return
information about any second mortgage on the house

payments on each of your credit cards if you are carrying balances from month to month, and payments on other loans such as student loans and car loans.

Borrowers Who Are at Risk of Foreclosure Are Asking:

What help is available for borrowers who are at risk of foreclosure either because they are behind on their mortgage or are struggling to make the payments?

The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan offers help to borrowers who are already behind on their mortgage payments or who are struggling to keep their loans current. By providing mortgage lenders with financial incentives to modify existing first mortgages, the Treasury hopes to help as many as 3 to 4 million homeowners avoid foreclosure regardless of who owns or services the mortgage. (Yeah, how? When? Where? ShitiMortgage says there is nothing they can do for us. They wont even lower our interest rate which is 8 3/4%!!)

Do I need to be behind on my mortgage payments to be eligible for a modification?

No. Borrowers who are struggling to stay current on their mortgage payments may be eligible if their income is not sufficient to continue to make their mortgage payments and they are at risk of imminent default. This may be due to several factors, such as a loss of income, a significant increase in expenses, or an interest rate that will reset to an unaffordable level. (Thats us! Wheres our help? I will tell you if I find it)

How do I know if I qualify for a payment reduction under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

In general, you may qualify for a mortgage modification if (a) you occupy your house as your primary residence; (b) your monthly mortgage payment is greater than 31% of your monthly gross income; and (c) your loan is not large enough to exceed current Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits. Final eligibility will be determined by your mortgage lender based on your financial situation and detailed guidelines that will be available on March 4, 2009.

I do not live in the house that secures the mortgage I’d like to modify. Is this mortgage eligible for the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

No. For example, if you own a house that you use as a vacation home or that you rent out to tenants, the mortgage on that house is not eligible. If you used to live in the home but you moved out, the mortgage is not eligible. Only the mortgage on your primary residence is eligible. The mortgage lender will check to see if the dwelling is your primary residence.

I have a mortgage on a duplex. I live in one unit and rent the other. Will I still be eligible?

Yes. Mortgages on 2, 3 and 4 unit properties are eligible as long as you live in one unit as your primary residence.

I have two mortgages. Will the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan reduce the payments on both?

Only the first mortgage is eligible for a modification.

I owe more than my house is worth. Will the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan reduce what I owe?

The primary objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to help borrowers avoid foreclosure by modifying troubled loans to achieve a payment the borrower can afford. Lenders are likely to lower payments mainly by reducing loan interest rates. However, the program offers incentives for principal reductions and at your lender’s discretion modifications may include upfront reductions of loan principal.

I heard the government was providing a financial incentive to borrowers. Is that true?

Yes. To encourage borrowers who work hard to retain homeownership, the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan provides incentive payments as a borrower makes timely payments on the modified loan. The incentive will accrue on a monthly basis and will be applied directly to reduce your mortgage debt. Borrowers who pay on time for five years can have up to $5,000 applied to reduce their debt by the end of that period.

How much will a modification cost me?

There is no cost to borrowers for a modification under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan. If you wish to get assistance from a HUD-approved housing counseling agency or are referred to a counselor as a condition of the modification, you will not be charged a fee. Borrowers should beware of any organization that attempts to charge a fee for housing counseling or modification of a delinquent loan, especially if they require a fee in advance.

Is my lender required to modify my loan?

(Heres the problem) No. Mortgage lenders participate in the program on a voluntary basis and loans are evaluated for modification on a case-by-case basis. But the government is offering substantial incentives and it is expected that most major lenders will participate. (Except of course, ours: ShitiFinancial)

I'm already working with my lender / housing counselor on a loan workout. Can I still be considered for the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

Ask your lender or counselor to be considered under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan.

How do I apply for a modification under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

You may not need to do anything at this time. Most mortgage lenders will evaluate loans in their portfolio to identify borrowers who may meet the eligibility criteria. After March 4 they will send letters to potentially eligible homeowners, a process that may take several weeks. If you think you qualify for a modification and do not receive a letter within several weeks, contact your mortgage servicer or a HUD-approved housing counselor. Please be aware that servicers and counseling agencies are expected to receive an extraordinary number of calls about this program.

What should I do in the meantime?

You should gather the information that you will need to provide to your lender on or after March 4, when the modification program becomes available. This includes

information about the monthly gross income of your household including recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other sources
your most recent income tax return

information about any second mortgage on the house

payments on each of your credit cards if you are carrying balances from month to month, and

payments on other loans such as student loans and car loans.

My loan is scheduled for foreclosure soon. What should I do?

Contact your mortgage servicer or credit counselor. Many mortgage lenders have expressed their intention to postpone foreclosure sales on all mortgages that may qualify for the modification in order to allow sufficient time to evaluate the borrower's eligibility. We support this effort. (Why not? You can bet the farm that the INTEREST on the loan wont stop accruing. Better yet, how about "debt forgiveness" for all and lets make a brand new start? This would include the forgiveness of all individual, corporate, and global (national and international debts, including the $5.00 I owe my cuz in Kat-Man-Do. Let the whole MTFKing world start over and go back to baubbles & beads as the basis of our monatary system. Hey, dont laugh, waaay "back in the days" ( was it Egyptin?) it was salt. Click on title above for an interesting page on the history of money, the dark history of banks, and other "money matters."

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Friend or Foe: Consumer Credit Counseling Services

I was browsing around on the net looking for information on how to save our home. Surely, I thought to myself, there must be some help out there for us...what with all the pre-bailout hype we heard from Congress when they were trying to get their BIG BANK bailout bills passed. You remember, dont you, who was it Barney Franks or Rangal or one of those politicio crooks, the one that is chairman (I think) of the house ways and means financial committees - whomever it was, I remember him stanind before congress and the world, supportin a YES vote on the BigBankBail, saying that it would be a good thing for "us" meaning the US - reasoning for us that if the big banks fail we all fail, and we, as Americans, couldnt or rather shouldnt allow that. He told us by helping the banks, the money would be used to help stop foreclosures & to assist homeowners in keeping thier homes. I specifically remember this guy (whomever his name is) telling us that if we passed this bill and the banks didnt work with us, (he even went so far as to say,) Americans could "contact him directly if anybody had a problem or complaint about a banks not wanting to help them. Given my situation with all the lawsuits and bankruptcies and stuff and our "un-certain" financial future,....you can imagine how interested I was in the subject and happy to hear the "good news" that the banks would be willing to help us keep our home! I remember thinking to myself , "I better keep track of that guy, I might need him someday. If I have any trouble with our Shiti bank, I will know who to contact." It was kinda a relief to know that at least, there was one person in Congress we could count on for help in getting the banks to do the right thing, post-bailout. Now, almost a year after the bailout, and I have some real complaints to voice, ll, I cant even remember his face or name!

Anyways, like I said, I was browsing around the internet looking for info on "How to Save Your Home" when I came across this what I thought or hoped would be or will be helpful link; We have started a case with them; Claim # 2012440


I called the telephone number on the website and within minutes got a free 45 min telephone consulation with a financial counselor. First thing he did was crunch the numbers, you know, our income against outgo and all that. After a few minutes, he come back with the bad (but not so shocking) news; we spend more than we make. Ha ha ha! I am laughing becuase WTF else is new? We thought that was the American way! Wait a minute. Here comes the relly I mean really good part....

He wants us to learn how to budget. This fiancial counselor apparently lays alot of blame for the foreclosure mess to our failure to live within our budgets." Of course right away I had to ask, "You mean like mean like our government." Ha Ha Ha

Of course he says Im not talking to the govt I am talking to you. and i said well maybe you should talk to to govt for they are the only ones who can really do anything to put pressure on the banks to make them lay off of the little guys and cut them some slack.

To be continued.....soon (I hope)

A Shiti-Attitude & email

----- Original Message -----
From: CitiMortgage
To: C&JJubic@nycap.rr.com
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2009 6:41 PM
Subject: Confidential message for GEORGE J JUBIC


Call CitiMortgage today to discuss your account status. We are happy to help you find the mortgage option that can best suit your needs!

We are available anytime, Monday – Friday, 8:00AM to 11:00PM Eastern Time.

Please call 866-929-8614† today!



Stop Lying. You are not happy to help us find the perfect mortage solution for us. You are not happy to help us at all. You refuse even to lower our interest rate from what we are paying now (8 3/4%!!)

You call US. I am tired of trying and not getting through or being put on hold and disconnected, or given the run around....

And the 08' taxes you paid for us without our knowledge and put into escrow were already incorporated into the BK repayment plan of which we are paying off now. Now we are paying those taxes TWICE. You got us all screwd up. By making a seperate escrow for the 08 taxes you paid on our house instead of simply modifying the loan to include the taxes in the mortgage, ...our payments went from $519 per mo to $900 something a mo!! You know our annual income is less than 33,000. How do you expect us to manage? You have made it impossible for us to afford even the monthly payments.

Thank you very much now we shall be sending you nothing at all.......until you fix the problem. You know what to do. While your at it, you can begin your search for the original note. The one you sent us was a copy.

Thanks again.

The Jubics

PS Why dont we talk about it here;


in my new "ShitiMortage" blog?

ShitiMortgage a MoTheR*uCk@R! Wont Lift a Finger to Help Us Stay in Our Home

If you recall in my blog of Thursday, May 21, I talked about my futile battle with Citifinancial Mortgage Co to get our interest rate lowered. Currently we are paying 8 3/4 % while the national average is about 4 or 5%. Do you think they would budge? Not a chance. They reason that since we had been making the payments right along, it was apparent to them that we were able to pay the 8 3/4% and therefore should continue doing so! Flabbergasted I asked, in a not so humble tone, "You mean to tell me there is nothing you can do for us to get our interest rate down?" Shitis' reply, "just keep making your payments. Here is a link to the rant about the interest rate;


The Continuing Saga; Wait til you hear what they done next about

THE TAXES. Its un-friggin real!

To be con't tomorrow
too tired to fUk w/it tonite, but it seems that ShitiMortgage is trying to make it so it will be impossible for us to keep the house. I thought they were supposed to be working to help homeowners keep their homes, at least, that is what the politicians were telling us when they gave them all that bailout $$$.

More about the tax thing later....it will blow you away...