Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, companies – and lenders – are allowed to access credit reports only for “permissible purposes,” like determining if a person is creditworthy. But federal regulators say a Florida-based subprime credit reporting company illegally obtained tens of thousands of consumers’ credit reports for use in marketing materials for potential clients, including payday lenders.
Tomorrow, President Obama is expected to call for the creation of a new watchdog agency that would help protect consumers from abusive credit card, mortgage, banking practices. The banking industry is not happy about the idea, reports CNN. But hey, they’re just looking out for us: “It’s bad for consumers,” a banking industry lobbyist told the network. Oh, well, never mind then, and pass me some more delicious subprime!
Here’s the official court filing (PDF) so you can get the full details on how Wells Fargo pushed or even fraudulently placed black borrowers into sub-prime loans, even when those borrowers could afford prime loans, along with an office environment where employees threw around racist slurs, calling black borrowers “mud people” and their mortgages “ghetto loans.” The official statements referenced in the NYT article are in this document in full. The affidavits begin on page 48. Two screenshots inside…
UPDATE: Read the affidavits here.
Last week I was watching Lou Dobbs while scrubbing my dentures and complaining about joint pain (two of those things are true, sadly), and I saw a segment on Ohio congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who is encouraging homeowners to stay put in their foreclosed houses. She argues that many of the loans made during the subprime fiasco may not be legit, and that you should seek legal counseling and demand a mortgage audit from the bank before leaving. Kaptur admits her advice doesn’t trump the sheriff knocking at your door with an eviction notice, but a real estate lawyer told the Toledo Blade that otherwise she has a point.
We think the idea of “Credit Crunch,” a print-it-yourself board game in this week’s issue of The Economist, is great. We’re not convinced it’s exactly cost-effective to print the board, cards, and money with your own equipment, though—as someone suggests in their comments section, maybe a web-savvy reader should create an online version.
The Attorneys General of Illinois and California announced today that they are suing Countrywide Financial for its role in the subprime mortgage meltdown.
The number of people filing for bankruptcy continues to increase, as bad mortgages and the rising price of [insert noun here] squeezes every last penny out of debt-laden consumers. The American Bankruptcy Institute says the number of filings was up 47.7% in April from a year ago, and up 7.1% from March ’08.
A new survey from Reuters and the University of Michigan found that a third of homeowners felt their homes lost value in February, compared to 16% a year ago.
Although December marked a slight decrease in Chapter 13 filings from November, 2007 overall logged a whopping 40% rise in the number of bankruptcy filings compared to 2006, reports the Wall Street Journal—over 800,000 filings in 2007, versus around 570,000 the previous year.
Rumors are flying that Stanley O’Neal is being forced to step down after a disastrous third quarter— making him the most prominent casualty of the subprime meltdown.
It must not be fun around WaMu headquarters today. Profits are down a whopping 75%.
Ameriquest, the lender the epitomized everything that was f*cked up about the subprime mortgage meltdown, is dead.
Golb at Money, Matter, and More Musings has located the worst credit card in the world. It is designed to prey on subprime borrowers who, sadly, cannot get a better card…
“Current conditions in the secondary mortgage markets create significant near-term profitability challenges,” Capital One said in a statement. “Further, recent and continuing developments in the mortgage markets reduce the long-term outlook for profitability in the business, as the company expects markets for prime, non-conforming mortgage products are likely to remain challenged.”
Countrywide has secured $11.5B in financing from 40 banks in an effort to remain afloat as the mortgage market crashes.