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Author Archives: ProPublica

ProPublica

What Elections Could Do to Financial Regulations

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by Marian Wang, ProPublica As Americans go to the polls today, their votes will influence a number of issues that we’ve been watching, whether it be the foreclosure scandal or implementation of financial regulation and healthcare reform–some of our favorite topics. So here’s our attempt to parse some of the election coverage and bring these issues into sharper focus: Foreclosure ... Read More »

A Who’s Who in the Foreclosure Scandal.

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by Marian Wang, ProPublica The unfolding foreclosure scandal just keeps expanding. Scrutiny first fell on the “robo-signers” who rubber-stamped banks’ foreclosure paperwork, but they’re one of the many players who may have contributed to the mess.To help sort it all out, we’ve drawn up a cast of characters. Let’s start with the basics: Loan Originators/Mortgage Issuers – Banks make mortgage ... Read More »

Robo-Signer Foreclosure Scandal Update

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by Marian Wang, ProPublica There are more headlines every day about banks using shortcuts and questionable paperwork to push through foreclosures. A group of 40 state attorneys general is expected to announce an investigation this week into the mortgage servicing industry, while calls for a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures– an idea the White House opposes– have grown louder. It’s not ... Read More »

Putting the Foreclosure Paperwork Scandal in Perspective

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by Marian Wang,ProPublica The scandal over flawed paperwork and sloppy practices by mortgage servicers continues to broaden. The issue is complicated, and “robo-signers” — individuals working for servicers and signing off on thousands of foreclosure documents without much verification — are only part of the picture. So we brought some of our questions about the broader foreclosure process to Geoff ... Read More »

Biggest Banks Nailed by Foreclosure Paperwork Problems

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by Marian Wang, ProPublica Three of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers have halted foreclosures as scrutiny increases over whether they verify the required paperwork. Several other servicers have also been faulted for foreclosure affidavits that were signed without much authentication, but they have not yet halted foreclosures. Last week, we noted that the discovery of “robo-signers” — employees who signed ... Read More »

For-Profit Schools Donate to Lawmakers Opposing New Financial Aid Rules

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by Sharona Coutts, ProPublica Between 2005 and the beginning of this year, Rep. Donald M. Payne, D-N.J., received $6,000 in campaign contributions from sources related to for-profit colleges. This year, he received more than $20,000 from the schools and their lobby groups, according to campaign finance records. What changed? For one, the colleges have upped their lobbying efforts considerably in ... Read More »

Tips for Getting Loan Modifications for FREE

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by Srinivas Rao, ProPublica ProPublica asked a simple question of more than 700 homeowners dealing with the administration’s mortgage modification program: Knowing what you know now, what tips would you give someone who’s struggling with a mortgage payment?Their advice: Get help, stay organized, and don’t give up. In total, 718 homeowners, all of whom applied for a loan modification through ... Read More »

Mortgage Loan Modification Profiles: In Trial Limbo

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by Karen Weise ProPublica, Download the audio. Listen to Michael and Concetta talk about the loan mod process. Last fall, Wells Fargo told Michael and Concetta Acevedo that after a three-month trial, they could get a permanent mortgage modification that would allow them to keep their Staten Island townhouse. Instead, 10 months later, the Acevedos are still making trial payments ... Read More »

Loan Modification Profile: Fed Up, Giving Up, and Moving On

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by Karen Weise ProPublica, Today, 8:53 a.m. Download the audio. Listen to Wallace Farmer talk about the loan mod process. On a recent Friday morning, Wallace Farmer packed up and moved out of his Baltimore row house. After over a year of confusion and delays, JPMorgan Chase told Farmer that he made too much for a mortgage modification through the ... Read More »

Government Mortgage Modification Programs Still Not Working

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by Paul Kiel ProPublica, Today, 11:33 a.m. Each month, the Treasury Department releases new information about how homeowners in its mortgage modification program are faring. And each month, the numbers get bleaker. Take a look at our graphical rundown of the numbers, broken down by each bank or mortgage servicer participating in the program. Have you worked for a servicer ... Read More »

Mortgage Loan Modification Problems. Delayed then Denied, Often Mistakenly

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Loan Mod Profiles: Delayed then Denied, Often Mistakenly by Karen Weise ProPublica, Today, 10:09 a.m. Download the audio. Listen to David Moe talk about trying to get a loan mod. Retired pastor David Moe describes the process of trying to get a loan modification — only to be denied after more than a year — as nothing short of “The ... Read More »

New York Jumps Ahead With Law Making Mortgage Companies Accountable on Loan Mods

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by Paul Kiel ProPublica, 48 minutes ago New York regulators have crafted new laws to give the state authority to punish mortgage servicers — something the Treasury Department, in administering its struggling mortgage modification program, has so far failed to do. The new rules set clear standards for how servicers must handle homeowners seeking a modification. “We will not hesitate ... Read More »

Bogus ‘Obama Mom’ Grants Lure Students

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by Sharona Coutts ProPublica, July 23, 10:34 a.m. July 26: This story has been corrected. Listen to Marketplace’s version of this story. After being laid off from her job as a high school teacher in Dayton, Ohio, Nicole Massey decided to go back to college. For months, she scoured the Web for ways to fund her tuition, while supporting her ... Read More »

Allied Home Mortgage Capital Still Around But Why With All the Complaints?

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As his competitors imploded one by one, Jim Hodge, the folksy founder of Allied Home Mortgage Capital, touted his sprawling Houston firm as a survivor. Not only was Allied still standing, Hodge told employees in a company newsletter in December, it was thriving. “The good news,” Hodge wrote, “is that even though we are all having to work harder, most ... Read More »

Loan Modification Program Still Limping Along

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New data released Monday by the Treasury Department shows continued delays and disappointment faced by homeowners in the administration’s mortgage modification program. 190,000 homeowners remain stuck in trial mods that have lasted over six months, still waiting to hear whether they’ll receive a permanent modification. Most of those homeowners will likely be dropped from the program. Even homeowners who’ve successfully ... Read More »

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