Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cleaning up the nation's financial crisis often rewards the firms that helped create the mess.

"Too many homeowners face foreclosure without receiving any meaningful assistance by their mortgage servicer, a reality that is growing worse rather than better," said a report from the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group .
Several companies in the Treasury program have been cited by judges or regulators for having engaged in improper behavior with their customers.

They include Select Portfolio Servicing Inc. , a Utah -based company formerly known as Fairbanks Capital Corp. ; Countrywide Home Loans Inc. , now a unit of Bank of America Corp. ; Carrington Mortgage Services LLC , based in California ; Saxon Mortgage Services Inc. , a unit of Morgan Stanley ; EMC Mortgage Corp. , now a subsidiary of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. ; and Green Tree Servicing, a Minnesota company.

SHOOT: Mess is the word. How do you get someone addicted to greed to somehow not be. Simple answer: you can't. You don't.
clipped from
FILE - In this June 24, 2009 file photo, a house for sale in San Francisco is
The federal government is engaged in a massive mortgage modification program that's on track to send billions in tax dollars to many of the very companies that judges or regulators have cited in recent years for abusive mortgage practices.

The firms, called mortgage servicers, have been cited for badgering, manipulating or lying to their customers; sticking them with bogus fees, or improperly foreclosing on them.

Mortgage servicers are the middlemen between homeowners and the investors that hold their mortgages, collecting homeowners' checks and disbursing payments for the mortgages, property tax and insurance. They're a necessary player for any modification.

The reliance on such companies points to an ironic paradox for federal regulators: Cleaning up the nation's financial crisis often rewards the firms that helped create the mess.

"Servicers look for reasons to avoid making the modifications when they are most needed, rather than for opportunities to make them," Trauss said.

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