What drove the mortgage bubble in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis wasn’t just ill-prepared home-buyers signing on to subprime, adjusted-rate mortgages they couldn’t afford, or the lenders who effectively gave up on underwriting these loans so as to bundle and resell as many of them as possible. There were also credit rating agencies that gave these mortgage-backed bonds the seal of approval, even when they were worthless. [More]
Almost exactly a year after Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $2.6 billion to close the books on a Department of Justice investigation related to it role in the subprime mortgage crisis, the company is set to pay another $3.2 billion to settle federal and state allegations that it deceived investors in toxic mortgage-backed securities. [More]
If you thought that we were done with lawsuits related to the mortgage meltdown, think again. The U.S. Dept. of Justice is suing Quicken Loans, alleging that the lender improperly underwrote hundreds of FHA-insured home loans before and during the housing market crash, resulting in substantial losses for the federal government. [More]
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Angelo Mozilo, the curiously orange-tinted former CEO of Countrywide Financial, the nation’s largest mortgage lender during the housing boom; a mansion built on a swampland of toxic loans given out to just about anyone who applied. And even though Countrywide, a Worst Company In America winner, had to be bailed out by Bank of America — a deal that has since cost BofA at least $40 billion in settlements, penalties, write-downs, and legal fees — and even though Mozilo’s sunny mug will forever be seen as the face of the mortgage meltdown, he still doesn’t really see the problem. He also continues to refer to himself in the third person. [More]
Between settlements, fines, legal fees, and loan reductions, Bank of America’s tab for its part in the mortgage meltdown is well over $50 billion, including last week’s record-setting $16.65 billion deal. And yet BofA is still trying to fight a nearly year-old jury verdict involving a scam by Countrywide Financial that sold off oodles of worthless home loans before the housing bubble collapsed. [More]
Earlier this summer, when it looked like Bank of America and the Justice Dept. were reported to be on the brink of a settlement that would close the books on multiple cases involving the bank’s mishandling of toxic home loans in the run-up to the collapse of the housing market, it looked like BofA would be on the hook for around $12 billion. But now comes news that the deal could hit the bank for anywhere from $16-17 billion. [More]
It’s been about nine months since a federal jury found Bank of America liable for the “Hustle,” a pre-bubble Countrywide Financial program that removed safeguards to the mortgage underwriting process, resulting in a mountain of toxic, worthless loans. Yesterday, the judge in the case finally decided how much BofA — and the former Countrywide exec in charge of the program — should pay. [More]
A half-decade on from the collapse of the housing bubble, it looks like the Justice Dept. and Citigroup may have finally reached a deal that will have the bank forking over several billion dollars to close the book on allegations that it sold off a large number of worthless mortgages in the lead-up to the 2008 crash. [More]
Bank of America has already agreed to mortgage meltdown-related settlements totaling more than $50 billion, so what’s another dozen or so billion dollars heaped on top of that pile? That’s the latest figure being thrown about in the seemingly never-ending series of complaints and settlements tied to the bank’s bad behavior in the home loan business. [More]
On Sept. 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers became the largest bankruptcy filing in the history of this country. It was the first domino of many to fall, followed by the likes of Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Countrywide, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, and many other banks and investment firms that had bet too much money on the subprime mortgage market, only to have it collapse when people realized many of those bad loans would never be repaid. These events ripped apart the American economy and left people out of work for extended periods of time. But not most of the bankers responsible for the mess. [More]
We’ve written some incredibly sad stories about homeowners trapped in the mortgage meltdown maze, and this one certainly ranks up there among the most depressing. Not just because a man is dead, but because it could have all been prevented more than three years ago.
I’ve always been fascinated by the old expression, “The Cobbler’s children have no shoes.” It refers to a person who is so concentrated on using their specific skill set to take care of others’ needs that they ignore their own. Carl Richards is a professional financial planner, a guy who people paid to manage their money. He shares how while in the middle of telling people what to do with their cash, he ended up buying way more house than he could afford and ended it up losing it all. It may be a long time before he and his wife can be homeowners again.
Some of the crappiest mortgages ever made were issued in 2006, and right now those 5-year introductory teaser periods are expiring. That’s leading to a 300% increase in monthly payments for already strapped borrowers, and it’s what’s driving the first increase in delinquent mortgages since 2009, a banking expert tells Credit.com.
Helicopter drones looking for work outside the military might look well to apply at their local real estate office for a job. Turns out they’re not just good for conducting unmanned aerial strikes against insurgents, drones can also be used to sell mansions, via in-depth tour videos made with cameras mounted to their frames.
Home prices are headed for yet a third bottom, their lowest yet, says a new report by financial analytics company Fiserv.
Four Fannie Mae staffers have been placed on administrative leave while federal investigators probe a series of foreclosed apartments the enterprise sold.
In an unprecedented move, the SEC warned S&P that it might be suing it over its rating of a mortgage-backed bond. It’s the first warning a credit rating firm has gotten over its behavior leading up to the financial crisis.
Just because Freddie Mac has a glut of properties on its hands, buyers can’t expect Costco prices. Most of the buyers approaching Freddie have been looking to buy at 40-60% off of market price, like the final weeks of a Borders liquidation sale. Instead, Freddie is sending them back this letter which says sorry, we’re only taking less than 10% off.