Archive for April, 2013

Journey Visits Ashland

Wolves and Writing

It was reported today that OR 7, better known as Journey, has returned to Jackson County and has been hanging out near Emigrant Lake. Emigrant Lake is a large reservoir and popular recreation site five miles south of Ashland. An interesting bit of trivia is that when the lake was expanded in 1960 it completely submerged the tiny town of Klamath Junction.

Emigrant sign

Journey has gone as far south as Yreka in his recent travels, twice crossing over busy Interstate 5. This is as far west as he has ever traveled. Before returning south on his travels, he trotted north to Douglas County, near Diamond Lake.

Ashland is where I live, and people here are excited to know that a wild, grey wolf is close at hand. If there were ever a place where wolves would be accepted, Ashland is it. Our population tends to be progressive and environmentally concerned. Ashland was a…

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Oregon Woman Wins 3-Year Fight Against Wells Fargo Foreclosure

  • Oregon Woman Wins 3-Year Fight Against Wells Fargo Foreclosure (ABC News)

    Oregon Woman Wins 3-Year Fight Against Wells Fargo Foreclosure (ABC News)


A woman in Tualatin, Ore., is breathing a sigh of relief after a three-year battle to prove Wells Fargo had wrongfully moved to foreclose on her home, saying she had missed mortgage payments.

A judge ruled Wednesday that Wells Fargo failed to prove she was actually behind in her payments, which Delores Dingman, 80, attributes to the bank’s simple “accounting errors.”

“I just praise God for it all because I kept praying so many times about this, because I knew I had made the payments, but their accounting errors made it hard,” she said.

The judge heard six hours of testimony and then ruled to cancel the judicial foreclosure.

Dingman and her late husband moved into their four-bedroom home in 1967, 46 years ago.

After her husband, Leland, died in March 2008, Dingman took out a new mortgage with Wachovia while she paid off his medical bills, never missing a payment. Court records show she promised to pay $308,000 plus interest June 16, 2008.

The next year, after Wells Fargo’s acquisition of Wachovia was completed in Jan. 2009, Dingman began receiving foreclosure notices. She believes the bank did not correctly process her payment since around October 2009.

But her bank records show her mortgage payments have been deposited by Wells Fargo. Despite efforts to clear up the mistake and paying more than $12,000 in attorney fees, her home went into judicial foreclosure.

Read more: U.S. Foreclosures Up 2 Percent, Second Straight Monthly Increase

She had been employed by the local Kmart since it opened 40 years ago but stopped working when the store closed last year.

She continued to pay her monthly mortgage amount of more than $2,300 while paying her attorney, Terry McLaughlin , to help her clear up the mistake.

“There is going to be more litigation,” McLaughlin said, declining to comment further.

Wells Fargo said in a statement, “We are reviewing the court’s decision and considering all of our options at this time.”

Dingman said, “I’m very sorry to say I don’t feel confident in their accounting whatsoever.”

This is not the first time Wells Fargo has been involved in an error on a foreclosed home. The bank’s contractors mistakenly cleared out the home of a retired couple twice in Twentynine Palms, Calif., after confusing it with a neighboring foreclosed home.

The bank previously said it worked with Dingman “since 2009 to identify options that would allow her to stay in the home.”

Dingman said there has been no cooperation from the bank.

“Foreclosure is always the very last option we explore with any customer,” Wells Fargo said November in a statement. “We feel foreclosure is bad for the customer, bad for their neighborhood, bad for their community and bad for us as the lender. Our goal is to keep our customers in their homes, have them pay off their loans, and own their homes outright. Given that there is active litigation around their loan we can’t discuss the case in any more detail at this time.”

In the past few years, her payments were considered missing even though she has checks that have Wells Fargo’s stamp on the back after they have been deposited, Dingman said.

When Dingman visited a Wells Fargo Branch to try to clear up the matter, they were directed to talk to a representative over the phone, White said. That person said the bank could not discuss the matter with her because her home was in foreclosure.

In the spring of 2011, Dingman wrote a certified letter asking Wells Fargo to send her a payment history. She said the bank provided her with a payment in the fall of 2012.

According to court records, Wells Fargo says that Dingman’s unpaid principal balance was $299,672.08.

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Senator Warren Gives Them Hell!

Deadly Clear

Elizabeth-Warren2“The Fed messed with the wrong senator…” posted David Dayen on Salon.  Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) grilled federal officials about illegal bank foreclosures at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Thursday. She wanted to know if they would give information to victims of illegal foreclosures–or if they just want to protect the banks. Warren asked, “You now know individual cases where the banks violated the law, and you’re not going to tell the homeowners, or at least it’s not clear yet whether you’re going to do that?”    

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From Deadly Clear Blog

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Elizabeth Warren Blasts Regulators For Protecting Banks
Posted on April 16, 2013
“The Fed messed with the wrong senator…” posted David Dayen on Salon. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) grilled federal officials about illegal bank foreclosures at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Thursday. She wanted to know if they would give information to victims of illegal foreclosures–or if they just want to protect the banks. Warren asked, “You now know individual cases where the banks violated the law, and you’re not going to tell the homeowners, or at least it’s not clear yet whether you’re going to do that?”

ELIZABETH WARREN: “So do you plan to give the families this information? That is, those families that have been victims of illegal foreclosures, will you be giving them the information that’s in your possession about how the banks illegally foreclosed against them?”

RICHARD ASHTON, DEPUTY GENERAL COUNSEL, FEDERAL RESERVE: “I think that’s a decision that we’re still considering making. We haven’t made a final decision yet.”

ELIZABETH WARREN: “So you have made a decision to protect the banks, but not a decision to tell the families who were illegally foreclosed against?”

“Elizabeth Warren vs. Captured Banking Regulators. Guess who wins.

Brand new clip from Senate hearing Thursday on illegal foreclosures. Warren blasts the Federal Reserve lawyer for shielding big banks and hiding fraud.

WATCH: Elizabeth Warren Kicks Bank Regulator’s Ass” writes the DailyBail.

“You work for the people not the banks!”

ELIZABETH WARREN:”You have made a decision to protect the banks but not to help the families who were illegally foreclosed on. Families get pennies on the dollar for being the victims of illegal activities. And you know of cases where the banks broke the laws, but you are not going to tell the homeowners. People want to know that their regulators are watching out for the American public, not the banks.”

Now we’re getting to the real nitty gritty! The Senate realizes these bank settlements are not equitable. Senator Warren states it very clear – “pennies on the dollar for being victims of illegal activities” – you can’t get much clearer than that! Then let’s change how these settlements are calculated.

It’s a fact that many, if not nearly all of these loans from 2003-2008 (over 84 million mortgages) had inflated appraisals. It’s a fact that the banks patented nearly every aspect of these defective mortgage loans from birth to death as if to legitimize the process. The loans were based primarily on the borrowers credit score and willingness to pay – rather than on the a legitimate appraisal (which was really only a sales tool to fool the borrowers into over-mortgaging their home). And this is why so many homes are underwater.

Most homeowners would prefer a reduction in principal as opposed to a meaningless financial settlement. Why not reduce the principal by 20% for each modification violation, another 30% for dual tracking and fraud, another 20% for filing false documents?

And for wrongful foreclosures – why not a 50% reduction in principal in addition to attorneys fees and costs? Percentage Principal Reductions. This would seem like a more equitable approach.

Reducing the principal would help the economy and get the courts over the “free house” crutch they keep leaning on. It would also keep the cash in the banks and given the recent draft of the Brown-Vitter bill – the banks are going to need to keep the cash.

“Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and David Vitter (R-La.) have been working on a bill to block the largest banks and financial firms from receiving federal subsidies for being deemed Too Big to Fail. On Friday, a draft version of that bill was leaked to Tim Fernholz of Quartz, much to Vitter’s chagrin,” wrote the Washington Post.

Seeking Alpha says: ”The Brown/Vitter bill being rolled out in Congress is essentially Armageddon to the TBTF banks, says Goldman, seeing it as mandating another $1.1T in equity for the banking system. Banks would need 12 years of earnings to build this amount organically, though the bill would give just 5 – say goodbye to lending. Break up the banks? BAC, C, JPM, and WFC all have multiple divisions with more than $400M in assets – the level at which the bill gets tough on lenders.”


It is clear that there have been illegal activities in the mortgage securitization scheme and lame attempts at modification by the banks. Certainly, there were investors whose pension and retirement funds were lost as a result of the banks’ bad acts. It all boils down to the fact that banks screwed everybody – only the investors had more warnings. The investors probably bought the bonds because they were told they would be AAA+ and liquid and that foreclosures would be covered by insurance. Of course, nobody has ever grilled a pension fund financial director for public record, but you really have to wonder why anyone would have been buying these securities after January 2007 when credit had stopped rolling for the banks, especially, if they were doing their due diligence.

Actually, after the RTC v. Key Financial [appeal] decision in 2002 – don’t you think you’d do some research into what and where you were investing Billion$ of other people’s pension fund dollars? Yeah, this has been going on for quite a while.

We’re only addressing the modification abuses here, although we all know there are many more claims and fraudulent paperwork. Not to mention the rigged LIBOR interest rates which should be stripped out of each and every defective ARM loan and the homeowners allowed to apply all of their payments (past, present and future) toward the principal.

Want to get tough on banks?

If you’re not going to send the banksters to jail consider an equitable alternative: Settlement penalties for the banks due to their modification abuses and violations, fraud and other bad acts that are intended to benefit the homeowner should be factored in percentages that reduce the principal and interest. Reduce the principal accordingly on the mortgage notes and cut the interest rates to 2%; and 0% on LIBOR ARMS. Only then will we start to see some stability on the home front.

We can push for “percentage principal reductions” (PPR) in lieu of cash penalties if we don’t like the $300 pittance checks. Even the U.S. Senate realizes how lame these bank settlements are for homeowners.

There are still those, however, it appears – that fail to understand homeowner frustration such as one assistant AG who remarked to his constituent when the small size of the settlement check was brought to his attention,

“[O]f course, you are always free to return the check to them or throw it away and not cash it.”

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Way to go Bill! What needless Bullshit!

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Americans are acting like a bunch of damned cattle!

Deadly Clear

How many people have to lose their savings, their equity and their pensions before there is a revolution – or is the intellectual revolution already here – “refuge to reconstruction”? That is the $54 Billion dollar question.

Posted by Larry Doyle, Sense on Cents

One man’s wealth tax becomes another man’s wealth confiscation

Property RightsI have no doubt that given the need for sources of revenue by Uncle Sam and other sovereign governments, the topic of “the protection of property rights” will be increasingly brought front and center in the public arena.

We saw this play out in Cyprus just a few weeks back, and we witness another example of this topic just the other day in a WSJ article, Now He’s After Your 401(K).

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Pit bulls are very loyal animals; they make great search and rescue animals. They have gotten a bad rap from idiots that fight dogs.

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Now that is scary!

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