by Jeff Sovern
I'm listening to the audio version of David Dayan's book Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud. A lot of it will be familiar to those who followed media reports of the foreclosure crisis and robo-signing, but having it all pulled together gives it considerable impact, and those who didn't follow the reports and believe in the rule of law will find it particularly alarming. I will probably have more to say about it when I am further along in it. But for the moment, I thought this was an interesting and disturbing quote:
Servicers turned HAMP into a predatory lending program, squeezing borrowers for every payment they could get and then foreclosing anyway. After keeping people in trial modifications for a year, servicers would suddenly reject permanent relief and demand the difference between the trial and original payment, under threat of eviction. Bank of American employees later testified they were given Target and Best Buy gift cards as bonuses for lying to homeowners, denying HAMP modifications, and pushing people into foreclosure.
Incidentally, so far in my listening, the work of three consumer law professors has been mentioned: Katie Porter, Chris Peterson, and Alan White. It's nice to see members of the consumer law professor community acknowledged.