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November 25, 2009 Posted by | Successful Foresclosure Defense | 1 Comment

Fremont Investment and Loan’s docket report 1:09-0cv-00900

FREMONT DOCKET CARROLL CASE

Docket Report for Carroll, et al. v. Fremont Investment & Loan.

 

November 25, 2009 Posted by | Foreclosure Filings - General, Fremont Investment & Loan | Leave a comment

Fremont Investment and Loan Motion To Dismiss

FREMONT’S MOTION TO DISMISS

Robert Carroll, et al. v. Fremont Investment & Loan

November 25, 2009 Posted by | Foreclosure Filings - General, Fremont Investment & Loan | Leave a comment

Foreclosures mark pace of enduring U.S. housing crisis

http://www.reuters.com/article/smallBusinessNews/idUSTRE59705J20091008?sp=true

By Tom Brown

MIAMI (Reuters) – Every 13 seconds in America, there is another foreclosure filing.

That’s the rhythm of a crisis that threatens to choke off hopes for a recovery in the U.S. housing market as it destroys hundreds of billions of dollars in property values a year.

There are more than 6,600 home foreclosure filings per day, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonpartisan watchdog group based in Durham, North Carolina. With nearly two million already this year, the flood of foreclosures shows no sign of abating any time soon.

If anything, the country’s worst housing downturn since record-keeping began in the late 19th century may only get worse since foreclosures, which started with subprime borrowers, have now moved on to the much bigger prime loan market on the back of mounting unemployment.

In congressional testimony last month Michael Barr, the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for financial institutions, said more than 6 million families could face foreclosure over the next three years.

“The recent crisis in the housing sector has devastated families and communities across the country and is at the center of our financial crisis and economic downturn,” Barr said.

A September report by a foreclosure task force appointed by Florida’s Supreme Court pointed to a shift in the root cause of foreclosures: “People are no longer defaulting simply because of a change in the payment structure of their loan. They are defaulting because of lost jobs or reduced hours or pay.”

Florida had the nation’s highest rate of homes — 23 percent — that were either in foreclosure or delinquent on mortgage payments in the second quarter, and the report said “the latest news for Florida is horrifying.”

A recent pickup in sales and home prices in some regions has been heralded as a sign that the crisis in residential real estate may be close to bottoming out, after the steepest price decline since at least 1890.

But nearly half of recent sales have been attributed to foreclosures or “short sales” at bargain-basement prices.

Even as the U.S. economy seems to be recovering from its worst recession since the Great Depression, mortgage delinquencies continue to rise. And that adds risk to any relatively upbeat assessment, since foreclosures depress the value of nearby properties while eroding the net worth of homeowners and the tax base for communities nationwide.

The Center for Responsible Lending says foreclosures are on track to wipe out $502 billion in property values this year.

That spillover effect from foreclosures is one reason why Celia Chen of Moody’s Economy.com says nationwide home prices won’t regain the peak levels they reached in 2006 until 2020.

In states hardest-hit by the housing bust, like Florida and California, the rebound will take until 2030, Chen predicted.

“The default rates, the delinquency rates, are still rising,” Chen told Reuters. “Rising joblessness combined with a large degree of negative equity are going to cause foreclosures to increase,” she added.

Anyone doubting that the recovery in U.S. real estate prices will be long and hard should take a look at Japan, Chen said. Prices there are still off about 50 percent from the peak they hit 15 years ago.

Jay Brinkmann, chief economist with the Mortgage Bankers Association, said foreclosures are expected to peak in the second half of 2010. But that forecast is based on a projection that unemployment will begin falling after topping out “barely in double digits by the middle of next year.”

Last week the Labor Department reported the unemployment rate rose to a 26-year high of 9.8 percent in September, in the latest evidence that a turnaround in the jobs market is the missing link in the economic recovery.

Since the start of the recession, the number of unemployed people has soared 7.6 million to 15.1 million. In Florida, unemployment is hovering at a nearly 40-year high of 10.7 percent, led by a steep decline in construction jobs.

MODIFICATIONS AND “MONSTERS”

Mortgage modifications, the centerpiece of a plan unveiled by the Obama administration in March to help as many as 9 million struggling borrowers hold onto their homes, have gotten off to a sluggish start.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates U.S. banks, said in a September 30 report that banks and loan services stepped up efforts to help distressed homeowners in the second quarter, more than tripling the loan modifications that reduced principal.

“This trend represents a significant shift from earlier quarters, when the vast majority of loan modifications either did not change monthly payments or increased them,” it said.

Only a relatively small number of homeowners have seen financial relief from so-called “loan workouts” so far, however, and government officials acknowledge that far more is needed to reverse the national tide of foreclosures.

Help would be more than welcome in areas like Miami Gardens where there is a pervasive sense of anger about banks and the blight caused by foreclosures in a city that once boasted one of the highest home-ownership rates in the country.

A predominantly African-American community of 111,000 people, just north of Miami, it now has a 13 percent foreclosure rate — the second highest in Florida — and a glut of shuttered or boarded-up homes.

“The banks were bailed out first. We all assumed that they were going to turn around and help other people but that didn’t happen,” said Ruby Milligan, 61, a teacher who took early retirement after suffering a mild stroke several years ago.

She received a foreclosure notice from Deutsche Bank in August last year, but still lives in her Miami Gardens home, fearing a knock on the door with an eviction order any time.

Her retiree income is considered insufficient to qualify her for any modification of the adjustable-rate home-equity loan that she took out when the property was worth far more than it is today, she said.

“I feel that the banks should write these mortgages down,” Milligan said. “They wrote these bad mortgages, they created these monsters.”

One way of easing the crisis would be so-called “cramdowns,” a measure giving bankruptcy judges authorization to write down the principal on homeowners’ mortgages.

A similar measure helped curtail family farm foreclosures in the 1980s, but Representative Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat, said the banking lobby killed it when it came up for approval by Congress earlier this year.

“We fought that fight before and lost it,” Miller said. “The industry will continue to oppose it.”

(Reporting by Tom Brown; Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Claudia Parsons)

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

November 20, 2009 Posted by | News | 2 Comments

Ohio AG Sues Second Mortgage Loan Servicer / WCPN.org

Ohio AG Sues Second Mortgage Loan Servicer / WCPN.org.

November 18, 2009 Posted by | News | Leave a comment

Foreclosure Judge Helps Homeowners

http://www.consumerwarningnetwork.com/2009/09/14/foreclosure-judge-helps-homeowners/

November 17, 2009 Posted by | News | Leave a comment

Commonwealth v. Fremont Investment and Loan (Dec. 9, 2008)

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Foreclosure Filings - General | 1 Comment

2009_06_09_fremont_consent_judgment

 

see attached!

November 10, 2009 Posted by | News | Leave a comment

Attorney General Martha Coakley Reaches $10 Million Settlement with Subprime Lender Fremont Investment and Loan

Attorney General Martha Coakley Reaches $10 Million Settlement with Subprime Lender Fremont Investment and Loan

Thousands of homeowners protected from foreclosure

View accompanying media:

 

BOSTON Today, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office entered into a settlement with Fremont Investment & Loan and its parent Fremont General Corporation (“Fremont”) to resolve the Commonwealth’s lawsuit against the California-based lender.  Fremont has agreed to pay the Commonwealth $10 million in consumer relief, civil penalties and costs.  Fremont has also agreed not to foreclose upon unfair loans without certain protections for borrowers or originate unfair loans in the Commonwealth.  Those protections against foreclosure, which have been in place since the Superior Court issued a Preliminary Injunction in March 2008 are now permanent and also apply to the loan holders and servicers who acquired the Fremont loans since the injunction issued. 

“The American dream of homeownership has turned into a nightmare for many borrowers because of predatory lending practices.  We have vigorously sought to hold companies accountable for these practices, and today we have taken another important step toward achieving that goal.” said Attorney General Coakley. “With the $10 million we have obtained through this settlement, we have an opportunity to provide consumers and the Commonwealth with additional relief from the predatory lending practices that have besieged our state and nation.  We will continue to hold companies responsible for their role in the foreclosure crisis.” 

Under the terms of the settlement, Fremont has agreed to pay the Commonwealth $10 million, including $8 million in consumer relief, $1 million in civil penalties, and $1 million in costs, including attorneys’ fees.  The consumer relief funds will be used to redress the negative impact of mortgage foreclosures, predatory lending practices, and to provide relief to Massachusetts borrowers. 

Additionally, the settlement makes permanent the terms of the preliminary injunction granted in February 2008.  In that preliminary injunction, the Superior Court held that certain Fremont loans were “presumptively unfair” because by their very terms—short term interest rates followed by payment shock, plus high loan-to-value and high debt-to-income ratios—were likely to lead to default and foreclosure.  For those loans, the court established a notice and objection process before Fremont or its assignees or servicers could initiate foreclosures. Under this process the Attorney General’s Office receives:

  • 30 days’ advance notice for loans that are either (1) ‘not presumptively unfair’; (2) vacant; or (3) not the borrowers’ primary residence.
  • 45 days’ advance notice for loans that are ‘presumptively unfair.’

If the Attorney General’s Office objects after initial notice then the parties have 15 days to resolve their dispute.  If the dispute remains then Fremont must seek court approval to foreclose.  After the notice and objection process, Fremont may only proceed with a foreclosure to which the Attorney General objects if Fremont requests and receives approval from the Superior Court.  In considering whether to allow the foreclosure, the court will consider, among other factors, whether the loan is unfair and whether Fremont has taken reasonable steps to work out the loan and avoid foreclosure.  Fremont also agreed not to originate unfair loans.

The Attorney General’s Office filed suit on October 5, 2007, in Suffolk Superior Court against Fremont and its parent company, Fremont General Corporation based on the defendants’ unfair and deceptive loan origination and sales conduct. The complaint specifically alleges that the company was selling risky loan products that it knew was designed to fail, such as 100% financing loans and “no documentation” loans.  The complaint further alleged that the company sold these loans through third party brokers and provided financial incentives to these brokers to sell high cost products.

As a result of the lawsuit, up to 2,200 Fremont-originated loans have been protected from unrestricted foreclosures, because the preliminary injunction allowed foreclosures to proceed only after the underlying loan was analyzed for unfair, ultra-risky loan criteria.  Although Fremont originated about 15,000 loans in Massachusetts from 2004 through 2007, only 2,200 of those loans remained “live” when the lawsuit commenced.  Even though most of the 2,200 loans had been transferred to new holders and servicers, the Superior Court’s preliminary injunction required that those holders also were restricted by the court’s order.  

 The enforcement action against Fremont is a central part of Attorney General Coakley’s initiative to combat predatory lending.  The settlement follows the unanimous decision from the state’s highest court, the Supreme Judicial Court, in December 2008 which affirmed the Superior Court’s order barring Fremont from foreclosing on any structurally unfair loan without court approval.  That decision confirmed the fundamental aspects of the Commonwealth’s case against Fremont, namely that a lender’s failure to reasonably assess a borrower’s ability to repay his or her loan and the use of loan features that predictably lead to foreclosure is unfair and deceptive in violation of Massachusetts law.  The SJC further affirmed it is unfair and a violation of the Massachusetts law to originate loans in such a manner that would lead predictably to a borrower’s default and foreclosure, even if such loans are underwritten with the assumption that borrowers could refinance out of the loans.

Attorney General Coakley has undertaken a multifaceted approach to combat the foreclosure crisis and predatory lending.  This initiative includes Attorney General Coakley’s latest inquiry into the role of securitizers—those who bundled mortgage loans and sold them as mortgage-backed securities or other investments—and recent $60 million settlement with Goldman Sachs  for its role in securitizing subprime loans, including subprime loans originated by Fremont.  The Attorney General’s Office has also sued Option One  and its parent H&R Block, alleging unfair, deceptive and predatory lending practices, and obtained preliminary injunctions against those companies.  The Office also promulgated consumer protection regulations, effective in January 2008, governing mortgage lenders and brokers.  In addition, the Attorney General’s Office has also brought civil and criminal actions against local lenders and brokers who engaged in fraudulent lending activity, or who perpetrated foreclosure rescue or loan modification scams

This matter was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Jean Healey, John Stephan, and Shannon Choy-Seymour of the Consumer Protection Division, Financial Investigator Christine Murphy, and Assistant Attorney General Christopher Barry-Smith, Chief of the Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau.        

##########

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Fremont Investment & Loan, News | 1 Comment

U.S. Foreclosure Market Data by State — Q3 2009

Report methodology

The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing reported during the month or quarter — broken out by type of filing at the state and national level. Data is also available at the individual county level for both Q1 2009 and March 2009. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default — Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). If more than one foreclosure document is filed against a property during the month or quarter, only the most recent filing is counted in the report.

 

U.S. Foreclosure Market Data by State — Q3 2009

                                  Properties with Foreclosure Filings
Rate
Rank       State Name         NOD     LIS     NTS     NFS     REO    Total
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
      U.S.                  153,255 188,986 263,957  94,590 237,052 937,840
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
31    Alabama                     8       0   3,808       0   2,135   5,951
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
33    Alaska                      9       0     534       0     221     764
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
2     Arizona                    20       0  36,176       0  14,146  50,342
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
21    Arkansas                  339       0   3,002       0   1,837   5,178
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
3     California            111,741       1  87,377       0  50,935 250,054
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
9     Colorado                   41       0  11,437       0   4,787  16,265
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
25    Connecticut                 0   3,422       0     408   1,283   5,113
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
38    Delaware                    0       4       0     483     291     778
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
      District of Columbia      405       0     619       0     159   1,183
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
4     Florida                     1  95,790       1  39,403  21,729 156,924
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
7     Georgia                    53       1  22,088       0  11,243  33,385
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
14    Hawaii                    449       0   1,499       0     795   2,743
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
5     Idaho                   2,916       0   3,021       0     594   6,531
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
10    Illinois                    0  18,585       1   8,980   9,704  37,270
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
20    Indiana                     0   2,362       0   4,504   5,235  12,101
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
43    Iowa                        1       0     658       0   1,292   1,951
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
31    Kansas                      0     538       0   1,129   1,735   3,402
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
41    Kentucky                    1   1,050       0   1,126   1,102   3,279
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
37    Louisiana                   0     762       0   2,092   1,132   3,986
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
42    Maine                       0     234       0     577     242   1,053
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
12    Maryland                    3   6,795       0   5,795   2,210  14,803
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
17    Massachusetts               1   7,779       0   3,159   1,728  12,667
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
8     Michigan               11,454       0  10,575       0  14,997  37,026
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
18    Minnesota                  31       0   5,450       0   5,139  10,620
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
40    Mississippi                 4       1     841       0   1,374   2,220
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
30    Missouri                   24       0   4,470       0   3,398   7,892
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
47    Montana                     1       0      19       0     273     293
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
45    Nebraska                  241     247      12       6     229     735
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
1     Nevada                 19,949       0  16,329       0  11,647  47,925
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
27    New Hampshire              14       0   1,372       0     558   1,944
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
15    New Jersey                  0  11,816       0   3,878   2,414  18,108
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
35    New Mexico                  0     890       0     837     456   2,183
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
39    New York                    0  11,048       1   2,316   1,877  15,242
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
36    North Carolina          1,028       4   4,158       0   4,628   9,818
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
49    North Dakota                0       3       0      59      52     114
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
13    Ohio                        0  12,137       0   8,707   8,801  29,645
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
29    Oklahoma                  744     843     396   1,980   1,069   5,032
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
11    Oregon                    108       2   7,033       0   3,175  10,318
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
34    Pennsylvania                1   4,961       0   5,232   3,973  14,167
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
26    Rhode Island                1       0     871       0     682   1,554
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
24    South Carolina              1   3,695       1   1,153   2,696   7,546
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
44    South Dakota                0     110       0     105     149     364
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
22    Tennessee                   4       1   4,730       0   6,153  10,888
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
28    Texas                      86       4  17,256       0  12,492  29,838
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
6     Utah                    3,515       0   3,564       0   2,474   9,553
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
50    Vermont                     2       1       7       0      52      62
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
16    Virginia                   51       1  10,136       0   6,499  16,687
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
23    Washington                  0       0   6,142       0   4,233  10,375
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
48    West Virginia               6       0     287       0     277     570
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
19    Wisconsin                   1   5,899       0   2,661   2,620  11,181
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-
46    Wyoming                     1       0      86       0     130     217
—-  ——————–  ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-

November 6, 2009 Posted by | News | Leave a comment