Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Lawyers & Theft Of Escrow/Trust Account MoneyCBC News: Lawyers misappropriated millions from clients' funds but few faced criminal charges (Disciplinary actions include suspension, disbarment for professional misconduct)
CBC News: Betrayal of Trust (A CBC investigation reveals how lawyers across Canada have misappropriated and mishandled clients money, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, or sometimes even charging vulnerable people top dollar for shoddy services)
University of Pennsylvania Law Review: "If You Can't Trust Your Lawyer ....?"
The New York Times: When Lawyers Steal the Escrow
The New York Times: Thieving Lawyers Draining Client Security Funds
The Associated Press: N.Y. fund for cheated clients wants thieving lawyers disbarred
The Missouri Bar: Righting Wrongs (Compensating Clients Financially Harmed By Their Attorneys' Actions)
Land Contract/Contract For Deed RacketsThe New York Times: Housing That Ruins Your Finances and Your Health (ie. Rent-To-Own, Contract For Deed, Land Contract Ripoffs)
National Consumer Law Center: Toxic Transactions: How Land Installment Contracts Once Again Threaten Communities of Color
The Costs of Being PoorThe Costs of Being Poor (Two new books explore how difficult the housing market and criminal justice system make it to climb out of poverty)
Fair Housing: Assistance AnimalsAccommodating Requests for Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals
Lead Contamination In Rental Apartments/Seller-Financed HomesThe New York Times: Seller-Financed Deals Are Putting Poor People in Lead-Tainted Homes
The New York Times: Their Soil Toxic, 1,100 Indiana Residents Scramble to Find New Homes
ThinkProgress: An Indiana City Is Poised To Become The Next Flint
The Washington Post: How companies make millions off lead-poisoned, poor blacks
Maryland Attorney General: Attorney General Frosh Files Suit Against Access Funding for Exploiting Lead Paint and Other Injured Marylanders
Lawsuit: State of Maryland v. Access Funding, LLC, et al.
Commentaries on Banksters & Their HandiworkThe Yale Law Journal: In Defense of "Free Houses"
Rolling Stone: Why the Banks Should Be Broken Up - by Matt Taibbi
Use of Arbitration Clauses In Nursing Home Contracts To Strip Families Of Their RightsThe New York Times: Pivotal Nursing Home Suit Raises a Simple Question: Who Signed the Contract?
NJ.com: Read the Fine Print: Pre-dispute Arbitration Language in Long-Term Care Contracts Strips Families of Their Rights
Land Contract/Contract For Deed Ripoffs By Deep-Pocketed Foreclosure InvestorsThe New York Times: Market for Fixer-Uppers Traps Low-Income Buyers
Section 8 Housing Voucher TrapNew Republic: The Section 8 Voucher Trap (For Yonkers families, the search for affordable housing is long and weary)
Property Snatching Scams By Prosecutors & PoliceInstitute for Justice: Policing for Profit (The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture - 2nd Edition) (go here for press release)
Home-Snatching Scams In New York CityThe New York Times: Real Estate Shell Companies Scheme to Defraud Owners Out of Their Homes (Relying on the secrecy of limited liability companies, white-collar thieves are targeting pockets of New York City for fraudulent deed transfers, leaving the victims groping for redress)
Who Can You Trust? The Foreclosure Rescue Scam Crisis in New York
Zombie Debt Buyer Abuse Of Consumers/Court SystemABA Journal: Debt-buying industry and lax court review are burying defendants in defaults
'Granny-Snatching'/Abuse Of The Guardianship SystemThe Wall Street Journal: Abuse Plagues System of Legal Guardians for Adults (Allegations of financial exploitation and abuse are rife, despite waves of overhaul efforts) (Non-WSJ subscriber? Try here, then click appropriate link)
Beware The Fine Print: Consumers Forced To Sign Away Their Rights To Use Court SystemThe NY Times: Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice (Part 1 in series examining how clauses buried in tens of millions of contracts have deprived Americans of one of their most fundamental constitutional rights: their day in court)
The NY Times: In Arbitration, a ‘Privatization of the Justice System’ (Part 2)
The NY Times: In Religious Arbitration, Scripture Is the Rule of Law (Part 3)
The NY Times: Arbitrating Disputes, Denying Justice (Editorial)
Corruption/Bullying On The BenchThe Guardian: Corrupt justice: what happens when judges' bias taints a case?
Debt Collection Suits Squeezing Black NeighborhoodsProPublica: The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods (First-of-its-kind analysis shows that the suits are far more common in black communities than white ones)
ProPublica White Paper: Racial Disparity in Debt Collection Lawsuits: A Study of Three Metro Areas
More On Crappy Foreclosure Titles After Masschusetts High Court RulingsHouston, we've got a problem - Bevilacqua
Unmasking The Loan Modification RacketsHave I Got a Deal for You! An Undercover Investigation of Mortgage Loan Modification Scams
Foreclosure Mills' Abysmal Record In Complying With New NYS Foreclosure RequirementsJustice Deceived: How Large Foreclosure Firms Subvert State Regulations Protecting Homeowners
MFY Legal Services Report On Questionable Practices By Process Servers In Debt Collection CasesJustice Disserved: A Preliminary Analysis of the Exceptionally Low Appearance Rate by Defendants in Lawsuits Filed in the Civil Court of the City of New York
Stemming Sewer Service In New York CityPublic Interest Lawyers Are Key in Passage of Landmark Legislation to Stem “Sewer Service” in New York City
Robosigners ReturnMortgage Mess Redux: Robo-Signers Return (A Reuters investigation finds that many banks are still employing the controversial foreclosure practices that sparked a major outcry last year)
Void vs. VoidableBeyond a Definition: Understanding the Nature of Void and Voidable Contracts
Commentary On The Crappy Title Mess Created By Fraudulent ForeclosuresDaily Finance: Why the Foreclosure Mess Settlement Proposal Can't Fix the Damage
Naked Capitalism: On the Clouded Title Mess and the Difficulties of Cleaning It Up
Loyola Consumer Law Journal: Toward a More Equitable Balance: Homeowner and Purchaser Tensions in Non-Judicial Foreclosure States
Albany Law School Research Paper: Property Title Trouble in Non-Judicial Foreclosure States: The Ibanez Time Bomb?
Articles On MERS Authority To Act In Foreclosure ActionsMortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.: A Survey of Cases Discussing MERS’ Authority to Act
Criminal Prosecutions Of Foreclosure Rescue ScamsCriminal Prosecutions Of Sale Leaseback Peddlers In Equity Stripping Foreclosure Rescue Deals
FTC Report On Dealing With Bill Collectors & Zombie Debt BuyersRepairing A Broken System: Protecting Consumers in Debt Collection Litigation and Arbitration
Promissory Note PrimerWhat Is A Note & Why Is It So Important?
Video: Foreclosure Fraud Crisis ExplainedFraud Factories: Rep. Alan Grayson Explains the Foreclosure Fraud Crisis
Get Up To Speed On Spotting & Preventing Foreclosure Rescue ScamsForeclosure Rescue Scams Reading List
National Law Center on Homelessness & PovertyStaying Home: The Rights of Renters Living in Foreclosed Properties
Video "Tutorial" Demonstrates Use Of Dubious Affidavits, Assignments, Notary Acknowledgements By Lender, Law Firm In Foreclosure Actions5-Part You Tube Video Bank Foreclosure Fraud
Walking Away From An Underwater Mortgage?Underwater and Not Walking Away: Shame, Fear and the Social Management of the Housing Crisis
Foreclosure DefenseBasic Foreclosure Litigation Defense Manual
10-Year Report Addressing Myriad Of Access-To-Justice Challenges Facing Low-Income New YorkersExpanding Access To Justice In New York State
Foreclosure Rescue - Sample Criminal IndictmentsForeclosure Rescue - Sample Criminal Indictments
Article 3/UCC Title Issues When Enforcing Promissory Notes In Foreclosure ActionsWhere's The Note, Who's The Holder: Enforcement Of Promissory Note Secured By Real Estate - by Hon. Samuel L. Bufford & Hon. R. Glen Ayers
State Bar Advisories Addressing Relationship Between Lawyers & Loan Modification/Foreclosure ConsultantsCalifornia: ETHICS ALERT: Legal Services to Distressed Homeowners and Foreclosure Consultants on Loan Modifications
Florida: ETHICS ALERT: Lawyers should be very wary of loan modifiers
Sample Foreclosure Defense Legal DocumentsForeclosure Legal Documents
National Consumer Law Center ReportsWhy Servicers Foreclose, When They Should Modify, and Other Puzzles of Servicer Behavior
DESPERATE HOMEOWNERS: Loan Mod Scammers Step In When Loan Servicers Refuse To Provide Help
FORECLOSING A DREAM: State Laws Deprive Homeowners of Basic Protections
DREAMS FORECLOSED: The Rampant Theft of Americans' Homes Through Equity-stripping Foreclosure 'Rescue' Scams
CONSUMER PROTECTION IN THE STATES: A 50-State Report on Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices Statutes
Foreclosure "Rocket Dockets" - The "Rubber Stamp" Method Of Foreclosure AdjudicationCBS News Video: Pay Up Or Move Out
CNN Video: As Foreclosures Mount, Florida Court Turns To 'Rocket Docket'
The Wall Street Journal: A Florida Court's 'Rocket Docket' Blasts Through Foreclosure Cases (2 Questions, 15 Seconds, 45 Days to Get Out; 'What's to Talk About?' Says a Judge)
"Produce The Note" Strategy When Dealing With Missing Promissory Notes In Foreclosure ActionsABC Video: Fighting Against Foreclosure (Some homeowners have found a new tactic to keep the banks at bay)
CNN Video: Produce The Note!
CNBC Video: Foreclosure Loophole
Consumer Warning Network On Missing Promissory Notes & Servicing Secrets In Foreclosure ActionsVideo: Fight Foreclosure: Make ‘Em Produce The Note!
Video - Text: Fight Foreclosure: Produce The Note "How-To"
Text: Fight Foreclosure: Produce The Note "How-To" In Non-Judicial States
Video: Mortgage Servicers' Secret
Federal Trade Commission On Avoiding Foreclosure Rescue ScamsVideo: Real People, Real Stories: Avoid Foreclosure Rescue Scams
Freddie Mac On Foreclosure RescueVideo: Freddie Mac Dramatizes An Equity Stripping Scam (English)
Video: Freddie Mac Dramatizes An Equity Stripping Scam (Spanish)
Educational Videos On Recognizing Mortgage Foreclosure ScamsVideo: Foreclosure scams prey on homeowners (Reuters News Service)
Video: Basics of Mortgage Foreclosure Scams (Illinois Legal Aid)
Foreclosure Rescue/Deed Theft: News On VideoVideo News Reports On Foreclosure Rescue
Video News Reports On Deed Theft
Foreclosure Scams Employing Abuse Of Federal Bankruptcy Court SystemFinal Report Of The Bankruptcy Foreclosure Scam Task Force
Reports From The Center For Responsible LendingIndyMac: What Went Wrong?: How an “Alt-A” Leader Fueled its Growth with Unsound and Abusive Mortgage Lending
Unfair and Unsafe: How Countrywide’s irresponsible practices have harmed borrowers and shareholders
Countrywide in the Courts: A sampling of consumer lawsuits brought against Countrywide
Steered Wrong: Brokers, Borrowers, and Subprime Loans
Continued Decay and Shaky Repairs: The State of Subprime Loans Today
Real Estate Settlement Procedures ActHUD Settlement Agreements With Alleged Violators
General Information (for Consumers & Industry)
Study: 98% Of Loan Mods Reviewed Resulted In No Reduction In Principal Balance; No Monthly Payment Reduction In Nearly 50%Rewriting Contracts, Wholesale: Data on Voluntary Mortgage Modifications from 2007 and 2008 Remittance Reports
Defaulting on the Dream: States Respond to America’s Foreclosure Crisis - The Pew Charitable Trusts ReportFull Report (51 Pages)
Press Release (with State by State Fact Sheets)
ABC NEWS Nightline On Mortgage Servicing Company RipoffsVideo
Download Article Examining Mortgage Servicing Companies' Frequent Non-Compliance With Law In Consumer Bankruptcy CasesMisbehavior and Mistake in Bankruptcy Mortgage Claims
by Katherine M. Porter
University of Iowa - College of Law
Massachusetts Attorney General Report on Predatory LendingThe American Dream Shattered: The Dream of Homeownership and the Reality of Predatory Lending
NYS Commission Of Investigation On Subprime Mortgage LendingA PERFECT STORM: Easy Money and the Mortgage Meltdown (The Subprime Mortgage Crisis in New York State)
National Community Reinvestment Coalition Study On Mortgage Lending & RaceIncome Is No Shield Against Racial Differences in Lending
Reverse Mortgages: Niche Product or Mainstream Solution? Report on the 2006 AARP National Survey of Reverse Mortgages Mortgage ShoppersReport Summary
Full Report (228 Pages)
U.S. Conference Of Mayors: Vacant & Abandoned Properties And The Foreclosure CrisisReport: Vacant and Abandoned Properties: Survey and Best Practices (42 Pages - 0.5 MB)
Press Release: English Spanish
$60 Million and Counting: The Cost of Vacant and Abandoned Properties to Eight Ohio CitiesExecutive Summary (14 Pages)
Full Report (without city sections) (20.2 MB)
Full Report (20.2 MB)
PBS' Bill Moyers Journal On Destruction Of Cleveland, Ohio's Slavic Village Due To Unregulated Proliferation Of Subprime LoansVideo
Informational Resources To Promote, Support Vacant Property Revitalization EffortsNational Vacant Properties Campaign
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