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Archive for March, 2014

FHFA Settles With BofA for $5.83 Billion Over Countrywide Legacy Loans

http://nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news47937/FHFA-Settles-With-BofA-%245.83-Billion-Over-Countrywide-Legacy-Loans?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=NMP+Daily%3A+FHFA+Settles+With+BofA+for+%245_83+Billion+Over+Countrywide+Legacy+Loans+and+More+___&utm_campaign=20140327_m119753830_NMP+Daily%3A+FHFA+Settles+With+BofA+for+%245_83+Billion+Over+Countrywide+Legacy+Loans+and+More+___&utm_term=FHFA+Settles+With+BofA+for+_245_83+Billion+Over+Countrywide+Legacy+Loans

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced it has reached a settlement in cases involving Bank of America, Countrywide Financial, Merrill Lynch, and certain named individuals totaling approximately $5.83 billion. Bank of America Corporation owns Countrywide and Merrill Lynch. The cases alleged violations of federal and state securities laws in connection with private-label, residential mortgage-backed securities (PLS) purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 2005 and 2007. Allegations of common law fraud were made in the Countrywide and Merrill Lynch cases.

The Agreement provides for an aggregate payment of approximately $9.33 billion by Bank of America that includes the litigation resolution as well as a purchase of securities by Bank of America from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“FHFA has acted under its statutory mandate to recover losses incurred by the companies and American taxpayers and has concluded that this resolution represents a reasonable and prudent settlement of these cases,” said FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt. “This settlement also represents an important step in helping restore stability to our broader mortgage market and moving to bring back the role of private firms in providing mortgage credit. Many potential homeowners will benefit from increasing certainty in the marketplace and that is very much the direction we should be taking.”

Of the 18 PLS suits filed in 2011, FHFA now has claims remaining in seven suits against various institutions and remains committed to satisfactory resolution of these pending actions.

The settlement agreement regarding private label securities claims between FHFA and Bank of America involves the following cases: Federal Housing Finance Agency v. Bank of America Corp., et al., No. 11 Civ. 6195 (DLC) (S.D.N.Y.); Federal Housing Finance Agency v. Countrywide Financial Corp., et al., No. 12 Civ. 1059 (MRP) (C.D. Cal.); Federal Housing Finance Agency v. Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., et al., No. 11 Civ. 6202 (DLC) (S.D.N.Y.); as well as one Merrill Lynch security in Federal Housing Finance Agency v. First Horizon National Corp., No. 11 Civ. 6193 (DLC) (S.D.N.Y.).

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Inside Source: Gov’t officials are withholding Fukushima radiation data — Levels much higher than expected — Releasing numbers would “have a huge impact” — Over 2,000 millisieverts per year where residents are being encouraged to return

 
Published: March 25th, 2014 at 2:49 pm ET 
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http://enenews.com/inside-source-govt-officials-are-withholding-fukushima-radiation-data-levels-much-higher-than-expected-releasing-numbers-would-have-a-huge-impact-over-2000-millisieverts-per-year-wher

Mainichi, Mar. 25, 2014: A Cabinet Office team has delayed the release of radiation measurements from three Fukushima Prefecture municipalities, and plans to release them later with lower, recalculated results, the Mainichi learned on March 24. […] According to one source, the original measurements were higher than expected, prompting the Cabinet Office team […] to hold the results back over worries they would discourage residents from returning. The Mainichi has acquired documents drawn up in November last year detailing the radiation measurements and intended for release. The documents, however, were never made public. According to this and other sources, the measurements were taken in September last year in the city of Tamura’s Miyakoji district, the village of Kawauchi and the village of Iitate […] According to an inside source, the Cabinet Office team had noticed that measurements taken with older dosimeters distributed by Fukushima Prefecture municipalities to residents showed radiation measurements much lower than those recorded by aerial surveys. The Cabinet Office team had planned to release the latest measurements […] putting special emphasis on how low the figures were. The new results, however, were significantly higher than expected, with the largest gap coming in Kawauchi. There, the Cabinet Office team had predicted radiation doses of 1-2 millisieverts per day, but the data showed doses at between 2.6 and 6.6 millisieverts. Cabinet Office team members apparently said that the numbers would “have a huge impact” […] and release of the results was put off. At the request of the Cabinet Office team, the JAEA and NIRS then recalculated the results by ditching the assumption that people would be outside eight hours a day […] Under these new assumptions, a farmer was now expected to spend around six hours a day outdoors.

Atsuo Tamura, official on the Cabinet Office team: “We did not hold the results back because they were too high. We did so because it was necessary to look into whether the assumptions for residents’ lifestyle patterns matched reality.”

Shinzo Kimura, associate professor of radiation and hygiene at Dokkyo Medical University: “The assumption of eight hours a day outside, 16 hours inside is commonly used, and it is strange to change it. I can’t see it as anything but them fiddling with the numbers to make them come out as they wanted.”

See also: Asahi: ‘Mind-boggling’ cesium levels far from Fukushima plant — Japan Times: “Health ministry in denial” — Interview: “They force us to forget everything”; Gov’t radiation levels “complete fiction”; “Mass media is biggest criminal… worse than Tepco”

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POLICY: LAW

http://washingtonexaminer.com/a-whistleblowers-worst-nightmare/article/2546069 

A whistleblower’s worst nightmare 

BY DIANE DIMOND | MARCH 21, 2014 AT 2:52 PM 

TOPICS: 2007 HOUSING CRISIS WHISTLEBLOWERS LAW 

Photo – Sadly, there is not enough space here to tell you the entire 7-year saga of whistleblower Michael Winston, but the bottom line is this: He got royally screwed by the California judicial system.

Sadly, there is not enough space here to tell you the entire 7-year saga of whistleblower Michael…

Justice is supposed to be blind. But what happens when it turns out to be blind, deaf and dumb?

Sadly, there is not enough space here to tell you the entire 7-year saga of whistleblower Michael Winston, but the bottom line is this: He got royally screwed by the California judicial system.

Winston, 62, is a mild-mannered Ph.D. and a veteran leadership executive who has held top jobs at elite corporations such as McDonnell Douglas, Motorola and Merrill Lynch. After taking time off to nurse his ailing parents, Winston was recruited by Countrywide Financial to help polish their corporate Image. He was quickly promoted — twice — and had a team of 200 employees.

It’s almost unheard of for a top-tier executive turning whistleblower, but that’s what Winston became after he noticed many of his staff were sickened by noxious air in their Simi Valley, California, office. When the company failed to fix the problem, Winston picked up the phone and called Cal-OSHA to investigate. Retaliation was immediate. Winston’s budget was cut and most of his staff was reassigned.

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Several months later, Winston says he refused Countrywide’s request to travel to New York and, basically, lie to the credit ratings agency Moody’s about corporate structure and practices. That was the death knell for Winston’s stellar 30-year-long career.

When Countrywide was bought out by Bank of America in 2008 — following Countrywide’s widely reported lead role in the sub-prime mortgage fiasco that caused the collapse of the U.S. housing market — Winston was out of a job.

In early 2011, after a month-long trial, a jury overwhelmingly found that Winston had been wrongfully terminated and awarded him nearly $4 million. Lawyers for Bank of America (which had assumed all Countrywide liabilities) immediately asked the judge to overturn the verdict. Judge Bert Gennon Jr. denied the request saying, “There was a great deal of evidence that was provided to the jury in making their decision, and they went about it very carefully.” Winston and his lawyer maintain they won despite repeated and egregious perjury by the opposition.

Winston never saw a dime of his award, and nearly two years later, B of A appealed. In February 2013, the Court of Appeal issued a stunning reversal of the verdict. The court declared Winston had failed to make his case.

“This never happens … this isn’t legal,” Cliff Palefsky, a top employment lawyer in San Francisco told me during a phone conversation. “The appeals court is not supposed to go back and cherry-pick through the evidence the way this court did. And if there is any doubt about a case, they are legally bound to uphold the jury’s verdict.”

None of the legal eagles I spoke to could explain why the Court of Appeal would do such an apparently radical thing.

The Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower protection group in D.C., has been watching the Winston case closely. Senior Counsel Richard Condit says he believes the appeal judge wrongly “nullified” the jury’s determination.

“This case is vitally important,” Condit told me on the phone. “Seeing what happened to Winston, who will ever want to come forward and reveal what they know about corporate wrongdoings?” GAP and various legal academicians are trying to figure out a way to get Winston’s case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

There have been whispers about the possible malpractice of Winston’s trial lawyer failing to file crucial documents that might have satisfied the appeal court’s questions. His appellate lawyer didn’t even tell him when the appeals court was hearing the case and Winston was out of town. The LA District Attorney and the Sheriff’s Department refused to follow up on evidence that Countrywide witnesses, including founder Angelo Mozilo, had blatantly committed perjury on the stand. Some court watchers speak of the, “unholy alliance” between big corporations and the justice system in California.

Winston, who says he spent $600,000 on legal fees, further depleted his savings by appealing to the California Supreme Court. That court refused to hear his case.

During one of our many hours-long phone conversations, Winston told me, “So, here I sit,” the whistleblower. The good guy loses. And the bad guys, officials at the corporation that cheated and lied and nearly caused the collapse of the U.S. economy — win.”

There’s a lot of talk out of Washington these days about “economic equality.” But seven years have passed since the housing crisis and the feds have not prosecuted one key executive from any of the financial giants that helped fuel the economic crash. Too big to fail — and too big to jail, I guess.

Bank of America has spent upward of $50 billion in legal fees, litigation costs and fines cleaning up the Countrywide mess. Their latest projections indicate they’ll spend billions more before it’s over. To my mind, a stiff prison sentence for the top dogs who orchestrated the original mortgage schemes would go much further than agreeing that they pay hefty fines. That’s no deterrent to others since they all have lots of money.

A recent email I got from Michael Winston, a proud man who has been unemployed for four years, said: “I have just received (a) court order mandating that I pay to Bank of America over $100,000.00 for their court costs. This will be in all ways — financial, emotional, physical and spiritual — painful.”

If a top-tier executive can’t prevail blowing the whistle on a corrupt company, if the feds fail to pursue prison terms, and if a jury’s verdict can be over-turned without the opportunity to appeal — what kind of signal does that send to the dishonest?

You know the answer. We’re telling them it is OK to put profit above everything else. We’re telling them to continue their illegal behaviors because there will be no prison time for them. At worst, they may only have to part with a slice of their ill-gotten gains.

This is not the way the justice system is supposed to work.

 

DIANE DIMOND, a Washington Examiner columnist, is nationally syndicated by Creators Syndicate.

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A Very Good Article To Read for Foreclosure Victims

LIBERTY ROAD MEDIA

Some great articles by Bill Butler at Liberty Law, who knows a thing or two about securitization and foreclosure fraud, as he won one of the first (if not the first) lawsuit over securitization in 1996.  Butler has been railroaded by the Minnesota federal judiciary, having been fined (and now suspended) in the neighborhood of $323,000 for presenting what the courts called “frivolous” arguments in foreclosure cases.

Of course, “frivolous” really means “bank-defeating” and so therefore the arguments couldn’t be allowed.  You know, “frivolous” argument and reasoning like this:

In the example above, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A, as Trustee of the Series 2004-B Trust, claims to be the sole and exclusive owner of the securitized mortgage.  If Wells is in fact the owner, it must have acquired legal title to the loan on or before February 26, 2004.  New York law states that transfers to a…

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JPMorgan Chase Bets $10.4 Billion on the Early Death of Workers

Monday, March 24, 2014 11:07

(Before It’s News)

Families of young JPMorgan Chase workers who have experienced tragic deaths over the past four months, have been kept in the dark on many details, including the fact that the bank most likely held a life insurance policy on their loved one – payable to itself. Banks in the U.S., as well as other corporations, are allowed to make multi-billion dollar wagers that their profits from life insurance policies on employees will outstrip the cost of paying premiums and other fees. Early deaths help those wagers pay off.

According to the December 31, 2013 financial filing known as the Call Report that JPMorgan made with Federal regulators, it has tied up $10.4 billion in illiquid, long term bets on the death of a large segment of its employees.

The program is known among regulators as Bank Owned Life Insurance or BOLI. Federal regulators specifically exempted BOLI in passing the final version of the Volcker Rule in December of last year which disallowed most proprietary trading or betting for the house. Regulators stated in the rule that “Rather, these accounts permit the banking entity to effectively hedge and cover costs of providing benefits to employees through insurance policies related to key employees.” We have italicized the word “key” because regulators know very well from financial filings that the country’s mega banks are not just insuring key employees but a broad-base of their employees.

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Source: http://rinf.com/alt-news/breaking-news/jpmorgan-chase-bets-10-4-billion-early-death-workers/

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Trees

If you liked the post on the 3200 year old tree, you should also visit:

http://uncletreeshouse.com/

A lovely site.  I know that I enjoyed my visit there!

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You Have No Idea How Bad It Is,’ Says Ex-Spook On Destruction Of US

Friday, March 21, 2014 23:52
 http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2014/03/you-have-no-idea-how-bad-it-is-says-ex-spook-on-destruction-of-us-2923606.html

(Before It’s News)

Nazi America

Examiner.Com

Anthony Martin

On Wednesday it was reported that America’s enemies within, mainly those who are part of the “progressive movement,” are very close to their ultimate goal of the complete demise of the Republic has envisioned by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Today there is even more disturbing news.

An “ex-spook” as they are known, in other words a retired member of the CIA, stated concerning the effort to destroy the U.S., “You have no idea how bad it is.” The enemies of freedom and the Constitution within the country, he said, have now succeeded in putting most of their goals in place. “Think of how far they have come since 2008,” he continued, “Most Americans don’t even recognize their own country anymore. They feel like foreigners in their own land.”

“If we continue down the present path,” he concluded, “Our liberties will be dust in the wind by 2016. These people are organized, relentless, persistent, and dangerous. And they have been at it since the early 1900s.”

The former agent did not wish to be more specific about what he knows due to the fact that if he did so, it would be easy enough to figure out his identity based upon the in-depth knowledge he has of certain facts.

These “enemies within” are generally known as progressives, although the term has fallen in and out of vogue based upon changing perceptions of the public. Progressives are known under a variety of names. Liberals, collectivists, statists, Marxists, neo-Marxists, socialists, and “democratic consensus builders” are some of the more common terms that people who stand for freedom and liberty have used to describe progressives. But it all boils down to the same thing. In order for them to achieve their self-described utopia, human freedom and liberty must be severely restricted and controlled, and the power of the centralized government must be greatly strengthened.

Read More Here

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You must see this:

http://beforeitsnews.com/blogging-citizen-journalism/2014/03/cold-hard-proof-us-is-a-military-police-state-video-2451684.html?utm_campaign=&utm_content=beforeit39snews-verticalresponse&utm_source=direct-b4in.info&utm_medium=verticalresponse&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fb4in.info%2FiVzq

 

I knew things had gotten out of control, but DAMN!!!

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Hearsay on Hearsay: Bank Professional Witnesses Using Business Records Exception as Shield from Truth

by Neil Garfield

Wells Fargo Manual “Blueprint for Fraud”

Well that didn’t take long. Like the revelations concerning Urban Lending Solutions and Bank of America, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the the intermediary banks were hell bent for foreclosure regardless of what was best for the investors or the borrowers. This included, fraud, fabrication, unauthorized documents and signatures, perjury and outright theft of money and identities. I understand the agreement between the Bush administration and the large banks. And I understand the reason why the Obama administration continued to honor the agreements reached between the Bush administration and the large banks. They didn’t have a clue. And they were relying on Wall Street to report on its own behavior. But I’m sure the agreement did not even contemplate the actual crimes committed. I think it is time for US attorneys and the Atty. Gen. of each state to revisit the issue of prosecution of the major Wall Street banks.

With the passage of time we have all had an opportunity to examine the theory of “too big to fail.” As applied, this theory has prevented prosecutions for criminal acts. But more importantly it is allowing and promoting those crimes to be covered up and new crimes to be committed in and out of the court system. A quick review of the current strategy utilized in foreclosure reveals that nearly all foreclosures are based on false assumptions, no facts,  and a blind desire for expediency that  sacrifices access to the courts and due process. The losers are the pension funds that mistakenly invested into this scheme and the borrowers who were used as pawns in a gargantuan Ponzi scheme that literally exceeded all the money in the world.

Let’s look at one of the fundamental strategies of the banks. Remember that the investment banks were merely intermediaries who were supposedly functioning as broker-dealers. As in any securities transaction, the investor places in order and is responsible for payment to the broker-dealer. The broker-dealer tenders payment to the seller. The seller either issues the securities (if it is an issuer) or delivers the securities. The bank takes the money from the investors and doesn’t deliver it to an issuer or seller, but instead uses the money for its own purposes, this is not merely breach of contract —  it is fraud.

And that is exactly what the investors, insurers, government guarantors and other parties have alleged in dozens of lawsuits and hundreds of claims. Large banks have avoided judgment based on these allegations by settling the cases and claims for hundreds of billions of dollars because that is only a fraction of the money they diverted from investors and continue to divert. This continued  diversion is accomplished, among other ways, through the process of foreclosure. I would argue that the lawsuits filed by government-sponsored entities are evidence of an administrative finding of fact that closes the burden of proof to be shifted to the cloud of participants who assert that they are part of a scheme of securitization when in fact they were part of a Ponzi scheme.

This cloud of participants is managed in part by LPS in Jacksonville. If you are really looking for the source of documentation and the choice of plaintiff or forecloser, this would be a good place to start. You will notice that in both judicial and non-judicial settings, there is a single party designated as the apparent creditor. But where the homeowner is proactive and brings suit against multiple entities each of whom have made a claim relating to the alleged loan, the banks stick with presenting a single witness who is “familiar with the business records.” That phrase has been specifically rejected in most jurisdictions as proving the personal knowledge necessary for a finding that the witness is competent to testify or to authenticate documents that will be introduced in evidence. Those records are hearsay and they lack the legal foundation for introduction and acceptance into evidence in the record.

So even where the lawsuit is initiated by “the cloud” and even where they allege that the plaintiff is the servicer and even where they allege that the plaintiff is a trust, the witness presented at trial is a professional witness hired by the servicer. Except for very recent cases, lawyers for the homeowner have ignored the issue of whether the professional witness is truly competent,  and especially why the court should even be listening to a professional witness from the servicer when it is hearing nothing from the creditor. The business records which are proffered to the court as being complete are nothing of the sort. There documents prepared for trial which is specifically excluded from evidence under the hearsay rule and an exception to the business records exception.

Lately Chase has been dancing around these issues by first asserting that it is the owner of a loan by virtue of the merger with Washington Mutual. As the case progresses Chase admits that it is a servicer. Later they often state that the investor is Fannie Mae. This is an interesting assertion which depends upon complete ignorance by opposing counsel for the homeowner and the same ignorance on the part of the judge. Fannie Mae is not and never has been a lender. It is a guarantor, whose liability arises after the loss has been completely established following the foreclosure sale and liquidation to a third-party. It is also a master trustee for securitized trusts. To say that Fannie Mae is the owner of the alleged loan is an admission that the originator never loaned any money and that therefore the note and mortgage are invalid. It is also intentional obfuscation of the rights of the investors and trusts.

The multiple positions of Chase is representative of most other cases regardless of the name used for the identification of the alleged plaintiff, who probably doesn’t even know the action exists. That is why I suggested some years ago that a challenge to the right to represent the alleged plaintiff would be both appropriate and desirable. The usual answer is that the attorney represents all interested parties. This cannot be true because there is an obvious conflict of interest between the servicer, the trust, the guarantor, the trustee, and the broker-dealer that so far has never been named. Lawsuits filed by trust beneficiaries, guarantors, FDIC and insurers demonstrate this conflict of interest with great clarity.

I wonder if you should point out that if Chase was the Servicer, how could they not know who they were paying? As Servicer their role was to collect payments and send them to the creditor. If the witness or nonexistent verifier was truly familiar with the records, the account would show a debit to the account for payment to Fannie Mae or the securitized trust that was the actual source of funds for either the origination or acquisition of loans. And why would they not have shown that?  The reason is that no such payment was made. If any payment was made it was to the investors in the trust that lies behind the Fannie Mae curtain.

And if the “investor” had in fact received loss sharing payment from the FDIC, insurance or other sources how would the witness have known about that? Of course they don’t know because they have nothing to do with observing the accounts of the actual creditor. And while I agree that only actual payments as opposed to hypothetical payments should be taken into account when computing the principal balance and applicable interest on the loan, the existence of terms and conditions that might allow or require those hypothetical payments are sufficient to guarantee the right to discovery as to whether or not they were paid or if the right to payment has already accrued.

I think the argument about personal knowledge of the witness can be strengthened. The witness is an employee of Chase — not WAMU and not Fannie Mae. The PAA is completely silent about  the loans. Most of the loans were subjected to securitization anyway so WAMU couldn’t have “owned” them at any point in the false trail of securitization. If Chase is alleging that Fannie Mae in the “investor” then you have a second reason to say that both the servicing rights and the right to payment of principal, interest or monthly payments in doubt as to the intermediary banks in the cloud. So her testimony was hearsay on hearsay without any recognizable exception. She didn’t say she was custodian of records for anyone. She didn’t say how she had personal knowledge of Chase records, and she made no effort to even suggest she had any personal knowledge of the records of Fannie and WAMU — which is exactly the point of your lawsuit or defense.
 

If the Defendant/Appellee’s argument were to be accepted, any one of several defendants could deny allegations made against all the defendants individually just by producing a professional witness who would submit self-serving sworn affidavits from only one of the defendants. The result would thus benefit some of the “represented parties” at the expense of others.

Their position is absurd and the court should not be used and abused in furtherance of what is at best a shady history of the loan. The homeowner challenges them to give her the accurate information concerning ownership and balance, failing which there was no basis for a claim of encumbrance against her property. The court, using improper reasoning and assumptions, essentially concludes that since someone was the “lender” the Plaintiff had no cause of action and could not prove her case even if she had a cause of action. If the trial court is affirmed, Pandora’s box will be opened using this pattern of court conduct and Judge rulings as precedent not only in foreclosure actions, disputes over all types of loans, but virtually all tort actions and most contract actions.

Specifically it will open up a new area of moral hazard that is already filled with debris, to wit: debt collectors will attempt to insert themselves in the collection of money that is actually due to an existing creditor who has not sold the debt to the collector. As long as the debt collector moves quickly, and the debtor is unsophisticated, the case with the debt collector will be settled at the expense of the actual creditor. This will lead to protracted litigation as to the authority of the debt collector and the liability of the debtor as well as the validity of any settlement.

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         Foreclosure filings were reported on 124,419 U.S. properties in January 2014, an 8 percent increase from December but still down 18 percent from January 2013.  Foreclosure filings were reported on 1,361,795 U.S. properties in 2013, down 26 percent from 2012 and down 53 percent from the peak of 2.9 million properties with foreclosure filings in 2010.  But still, 9.3 million U.S. residential properties were deeply underwater representing 19 percent of all properties with a mortgage in December 2013, down from 10.7 million homes underwater in September 2013.[1] 

            In 2006 there were 1,215,304 foreclosures, 545,000 foreclosure filings and 268,532 Home Repossessions.  By 2007 foreclosures had almost doubled – up to 2,203,295 with 1,260,000 foreclosure filings and 489,000 Home Repossessions.  2008 saw an even further increase to 3,019,482 foreclosures, 2,350,000 Foreclosure filings and 679,000 Home Repossessions.  In 20093,457,643 foreclosures, 2,920,000 foreclosure filings, and 945,000 Home Repossessions.  2010:  3,843,548 foreclosures, 3,500,000 foreclosure filings, and 1,125,000 Home Repossessions.  2011:  3,920,418 foreclosures, 3,580,000 foreclosure filings, and 1,147,000 Home Repossessions.  Then January to September 20121,616,427 foreclosures 1,382,000 foreclosure filings and 572,844 Repossessions.  The remainder of 2012 – September through December saw an additional 2,300,000 foreclosures, 2,100,000 foreclosure filings and 700,000 Repossessions.  In other words, from 2006 through 2012, there were a total of  21,576,117 foreclosures; 17,637,000 foreclosure filings; 5,926,376 Home Repossessions.  The foreclosures added to the repossessions is equal to:  27,502,493[2].  The numbers are staggering.

            Many of the homes have been wrongfully foreclosed upon, where either the party had not been in default, or the foreclosing party lacked standing to foreclose.  It has become almost as lawless as the wildwest, or comparable to a shark feeding frenzy.


[1] All of the foreclosure figures came from RealtyTrac:  http://www.realtytrac.com/content/foreclosure-market-report

[2] http://www.statisticbrain.com/home-foreclosure-statistics/                                                                 Statistic Verification  Source: RealtyTrac, Federal Reserve, Equifax

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‘Ultra-Rare’: Up to 70 endangered ‘whales’ by California coast — Seen once in several decades, lives in open ocean — Breached as if performing, rubbing heads on boat — So loud thought it was engine — “Seemed to be speaking to camera” — Also spotted in Western Pacific same day (VIDEO)

Published: March 14th, 2014 at 5:11 am ET
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Corona Del Mar Today, Mar. 13, 2014: False killer whales are members of the dolphin family and are listed as endangered […] “According to the news, these are so rare that they haven’t been seen in Southern California for well over a decade,” [Sgt. John Hollenbeck] said. “They were traveling in a pod of perhaps 50 or so, spread out over about a quarter of a mile. They were very noisy. I could hear them whistling and singing to each other through the hull of my boat as they passed around me. I’ve heard that many times before before with common dolphins, but these were much louder. Initially, I didn’t even realize it was their song – I thought there was something wrong with the engine on my boat.”

Pete Thomas Outdoors, Mar. 13, 2014: [There were] between 50 and 70. […] [Capt. Dave Anderson] managed not only to capture close-ups of the false killer whales, but vocalizations […] including one that seemed to be speaking to the camera. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Anderson said. “I was sitting there for about five minutes and the whales came over and surrounded me. Their whistles were so loud I could hear them above the surface.”

KPCC, Mar. 12, 2014: Ultra-rare ‘false killer whales’ sighted off California – [NOAA’s Jay Barlow] says he last saw this species in Southern California in the early 1980s […] Normally they live in tropical waters, and Barlow says even there they are rarely seen. One reason false killer whales are seen so rarely is that they typically live in the open ocean […]

CBS, Mar. 12, 2014: “I have been cruising in this area for many years, and I have never seen this species of cetacean off of our coast.” -Capt. Mike Bursk, Ocean Institute’s RV Sea Explorer

GrindTV, Mar. 13, 2014: On Monday morning, a pod of similar size was spotted off Ensenada, Mexico […] during each sighting, one animal stood out because of the peculiar shape of its spine. [Bursk] said the false killer whales came to him and were riding in his wake. When he stopped, some of the mammals rubbed their heads against the vessel. […] [Capt. Larry Hartmann] spent about 45 minutes alone with a small pod, and said they were breaching, as if “performing for me.”

South China Morning Post, Mar. 13, 2014: Hong Kong’s unusually chilly waters didn’t put off one unusual group of visitors. A pod of about 100 false killer whales has been in local waters […] the first mass sighting of the marine mammal in Hong Kong. […] researchers found the sight of the pod deeply impressive. “If you looked around, they were everywhere. It was spectacular view” [Dr Samuel Hung Ka-yiu said] “I can’t really think why (they were here).”

See also: US Gov’t Expert: Large marine animals likely sensed danger of Fukushima plume and fled, “Not going to wait until they start to die off” — Explains unprecedented concentrations of whales and other sea life clustering off West Coast? (VIDEO)

Watch footage from the West Coast encounters here

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contaminated-mine-to-be-sold-as-feed-to-dairy-farms-tv-residents-flat-out-concerned-for-their-saf?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

US Gov’t: Never faced challenge like this, but “not giving up hope” at WIPP;

Salt from contaminated mine to be sold as feed to dairy farms —

TV: “Residents flat out concerned for their safety”;

“I want to believe them… but I don’t” —

Reuters: ‘Falling slabs’ may have breached waste drums (VIDEO)

Published: March 7th, 2014 at 10:32 am ET
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Reuters, Mar. 5: The leak may have been caused by falling slabs of salt that created a breach of a drum or drums containing waste, officials have said.

Joe Franco, US DOE, Mar. 5: “We have not faced this kind of challenge in our 15-year history”

KRQE, Mar. 5: Damage control is in full swing.

KRQE, Mar. 6: A lot questions remain about the WIPP radiation leak. On Thursday at a town hall meeting in Carlsbad, residents and many WIPP supporters told officials they’re frustrated […] Some residents say they’re flat out concerned for their safety […]

Carlsbad Current Argus, Mar. 6 (emphasis added): Plans cleanup crews are considering underground at WIPP include mining some of the salt off the existing wall […] WIPP currently sells the salt to local private industry, including for use as salt feed at local dairies. Franco said he thinks the DOE should be able to continue selling the mined salt.

Carlsbad Current Argus, Mar. 6: David Klaus, deputy under secretary for management and performance, and David Huizenga, senior advisor for the DOE’s Office of Environmental Management, made the trip to Carlsbad from Washington D.C. and said that the DOE is not giving up hope that all radiation particles in WIPP’s south salt mine can be eradicated. “There’s no other option for us, we need to go down there, sort it out […]” Huizenga said.

Senator Mark Udall, Mar. 6: “It’s absolutely critical for DOE to be as open and transparent as possible […] The community understandably has questions about health and safety”

Senator Mark Udall, Mar. 6: “We’re doing everything we can to […] give the community the info they need to make decisions with their lives.”

AP, Mar. 6: DOE [and EPA] have all said there’s no public health threat, but watchdog groups have questioned whether officials are holding back information related to the leak.

National Journal, Mar. 6: [EPA] regional chief Ron Curry said the early analyses indicate that no related medical complications are likely to arise in nearby populations.

Franco, Mar. 5: “Ongoing air and environmental monitoring around the WIPP site, both by our contractor and by independent parties, is showing no significant off-site contamination.”

Karen Armendaruz, resident, Mar. 6: “I want to believe what they’re saying that the levels are practically non-existent, but truthfully, I don’t really believe that.”

Watch the KRQE broadcast on last night’s town hall here

 

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