Friday, November 12, 2010

Bailing Out the Securitization Deviants

It's pretty obvious that a lot of mortgage paper documentation is inaccurate or non-existent. The solution to those in the process of facing foreclosure is pretty simple. Go to court and say, "Show me the documents." If the documents are in order, the foreclosure continues. If the docs aren't in order, end of foreclosure process.

This simple process to follow to rule of law could be overthrown to, surprise, protect the big banks.

John Carney writes:

When Congress comes back into session next week, it may consider measures intended to bolster the legal status of a controversial bank owned electronic mortgage registration system that contains three out of every five mortgages in the country.

The system is known as MERS, the acronym for a private company called Mortgage Electronic Registry Systems. Set up by banks in the 1997, MERS is a system for tracking ownership of home loans as they move from mortgage originator through the financial pipeline to the trusts set up when mortgage securities are sold.

The system has come under scrutiny by critics who charge MERS with facilitating slipshod practices. Recently, lawyers have filed lawsuits claiming that banks owe states billions of dollars for mortgage recording fees they avoided by using MERS...

...some critics say that sloppiness at MERS—which has just 40 full-time employees—may have botched the chain of title for many mortgages. They say that MERS lacks standing to bring foreclosure actions, and the botched chain of title may cast doubts on whether anyone has clear enough ownership of some mortgages to foreclose on a defaulting borrower. The problems with MERS system led JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to stop using MERS for foreclosures in 2008.

Now it appears that Congress may attempt to prevent any MERS meltdown from occurring. MERS is owned by all the biggest banks, and they certainly do not want it to be sunk by huge fines. Investors in mortgage-backed securities also do not want to see the value of their bonds sink because of doubts about the ownership of the underlying mortgages.

So it looks like the stage may be set for Congress to pass a bill that would limit MERS exposure on the recording fee issue and perhaps retroactively legitimate mortgage transfers conducted through MERS private database.
 Got that? Damn the rule of law. Damn the sanctity of a contract. Congress is getting ready to tell the courts, "Just accept any toilet paper MERS throws at you, and then throw the bums out of their house. We have campaign contributors the banking system to protect.

Will Obama sign such legislation? Puhleeze. As Neil Garfield puts it:
 It appears that the Obama administration is ready to pardon all the securitization deviants by signing this bill into law.


  1. Where's Louis the Prefect when you need him; sacre bleu...............PS: We're already dead.

  2. Bad management from Congress bails out MERS poor quality.

  3. And if you object? shoots you?

  4. Congress had better not legislate that violation of numerous state and local laws is okey dokey by them. The banksters should pay for every document transfer they evaded and recreate the chain of title, even if they have to pay illegally foreclosed borrowers for the privilege. This has to do with the rule of law, like the illegal invaders issue. It is no excuse that too many wrongs were done to prosecute them individually. But you can sure take the profit out if it. And while they are at it, no more marking to book. Start marking to market and stop the fraudulent bonuses paid for with, many times, my tax dollars!