The Dark Side of the American Dream: How to Steal a Home

The economy is still sluggish even with fourth quarter growth rates at about 3 percent. I think this growth is skewed quite a bit because this is the holiday season. Americans love to consume.

No matter the situation Americans are going to spend money on their families for the holidays. Electronics devices, gadgets, smartphones and tablets are going to sell as they seem recession proof. Recent high school and college graduates are not going to find jobs in their preferred fields, but they still need to support themselves. They’re going to capitalize on the host of seasonal retail jobs sprouting up because of the holiday season. But what happens when the holiday season is over? It’ll be a cold winter to say the least.

Have we hit rock bottom yet?

In addition to a weak work force, Americans are still losing their homes from a scheme that was doomed from the beginning (ask yourself why the big players on Wall Street bet against mortgage-backed securities). Not only are they losing their homes, but they are losing their homes through fraudulent means. Investigations into America’s mortgage fraud continue. Here are the recent persons and events in foreclosure fraud crisis:

  • Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley recently filed a broad civil suit against five major banks and the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems for alleged foreclosure fraud. She found that mortgage services allegedly routinely falsified documents in order to speed up the process of foreclosures—foreclosures they did not even own.
  • Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Mastro indicted two employees of Lending Processing Services. She found 606 felony and misdemeanor counts of fraud.
  • In similar Nevada news, Tracy Lawrence a notary public, allegedly signed thousands of false documents She allegedly signed notaries without the notarized person in her presence. She was due for a court appearance the morning of Nov. 11 this year. When she didn’t show up, police searched for her and found her dead in her apartment.
  • The Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing earlier in the year after finding that JP Morgan allegedly illegally foreclosed on 18 U.S. military homes. This is a violation of the Servicemember Civil Relief Act. Bank regulator have found new evidence that supports 5,000 military homes may have been illegally foreclosed.

With about 4 million delinquent loans to begin flowing through the market come 2012, the recession is far from over (though overall foreclosures are down 14% from a year ago). With more strain placed on the political and economic system, prepare for some heightened activity come 2012. More protests, more people applying for food stamps, record-low profits for businesses and more cuts to public programs. On the brightside, we get to see Obama and the Republicans point fingers at each other because all of 2012 will be a campaign year. Woohoo!

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