The CFPB Proposes to End Payday Loan Traps

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced today that they are considering plans to put an end to "payday debt traps" by requiring lenders to help make sure borrowers can repay their loans. The CFPB is also proposing to restrict how lenders can collect payments from debtors’ bank accounts, and rack up huge fees. These protections being considered would apply to payday loans, vehicle title loans, deposit advance products, certain high-cost installment loans and open-end loans. (more…)

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Former Missouri Real Estate Agent Sentenced for $5 Million Mortgage Scam

The United States Department Of Justice (USDOJ) announced this week that a Missouri woman who operated a real estate business was sentenced to federal prison for a $5 million mortgage fraud scheme.

Teresa Jean Whitten, 41, of Claycomo, was sentenced to six years by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple, and to pay $1,527,607 in restitution, according to Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. (more…)

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Supreme Court to Rule on Underwater Second Mortgage Bankruptcy Code

Under the current bankruptcy code, in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, homeowners may be able to discharge their debts on underwater second mortgages. Section 506(d) of the code says that if “a lien secures a claim against a debtor that is not an allowed secured claim, such lien is void.” Section 11 of USC 1322 says a that homeowners, under certain situations, may be able to wipe out their 2nd mortgages.

The condition is that the price of your home has declined to a level that is lower than the value for the first mortgage. If so, this is when these second mortgage liens may be "stripped off or voided" from the asset of the debtor because there is insufficient equity in the asset after the senior liens, such as the first mortgage, have been deducted.

The facts are that the banks don't like this law one bit. If it was up to them, borrowers would have to pay on these drowning debts until the debtor dies and is placed six feet under. (more…)

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63 Year Old Texas Real Estate Agent Sentenced to Prison for Mortgage Fraud

The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) recently announced that a 63-year-old real estate agent from Red Oak, Texas was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme, U.S. Attorney John M. Bales said.

King pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with his role in the scam, and he was ordered to pay $685,704.73 in restitution. (more…)

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California Man Wanted in Connection With $44 Million Loan Modification Scam

Two weeks ago we reported that two Southern California men from the Inland Empire were arrested in an alleged massive loan modification scam that resulted in victims losing over $44 million dollars.

The two people taken into custody were disbarred California attorney, Stephen Lyster Siringoringo, 34, of Westminster, California, and Joshua Michael Cobb, 32, of Upland, California.

However a third suspect, Alfred Orn Clausen, 41, of Rancho Cucamonga, is still at large and wanted in connection with this massive fraud.alfred-clausen


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The Partnership to Strengthen Homeownership Act Protects the 30-Year Mortgage & Taxpayers

Congressmen John K. Delaney, John Carney, and Jim Himes introduced legislation called the Partnership to Strengthen Homeownership Act this week that was created to protect the fixed-rate 30-year mortgage. The legislation is also intended to keep home affordability stable for the middle class, and shield American taxpayers from future bailouts by reforming the housing finance system.

Part of the legislation deals with the winding down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over a five year period. Their government guarantee and charter will be removed and they will repay the government with interest for the government’s investment in the institutions.  (more…)

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to Streamline Loan Modifications for Struggling Homeowners

The  two Government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation), announced on Tuesday that they are changing the way they modify some mortgages.

The reason for the change is because many of the loans previously modified under the Home Affordable Modification Program or "HAMP" were often fixed for only five years. Many of these homeowners are now struggling, or simply cannot make their higher monthly mortgage payments once their rates had adjusted upward. (more…)

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2,200 North Carolinians to Get Money Back from Suntrust for Wrongful Foreclosures

(Source: NC AG) - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced this week that about 2,200 North Carolinians who are owed a total of $2 million from SunTrust for wrongful foreclosures should start receiving claim forms in the mail this week.

“Foreclosures hurt our families, neighborhoods and communities,” said Cooper. “This settlement gives people who lost their homes to wrongful foreclosures an opportunity to get some money back.” (more…)

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Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey Results Show Optimistic Mortgage Demand and Profit Outlook

(Source: Fannie Mae) WASHINGTON, DC – Fannie Mae’s first quarter 2015 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey™ reveals an improving outlook among mortgage lenders regarding their lending activities and market expectations. Compared with last quarter and the same period last year, this quarter’s results show that more lenders expect mortgage demand and their profit margin to grow over the next three months. Results also show that credit tightening observed last year has continued to trend down gradually moving into 2015. For GSE-eligible purchase loans, 71 percent of lenders surveyed say they expect purchase mortgage demand to go up over the next three months, compared with 59 percent reported during the same quarter last year. Additionally, 41 percent of lenders reported increased profit margin expectations, compared with 21 percent during the same quarter last year. (more…)

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Required paperwork needed to apply for a loan modification

When you apply for a loan modification, your mortgage servicer is going to review your entire hardship and financial situation to determine your eligibility for a modified payment. With that said, you will need to gather all the required paperwork and financial information required to begin the process.

Here’s a quick and simple list of items you will need to apply for a loan modification. Keep all these documentations in a folder that is easily accessable, and please keep in mind that you may have to send this paperwork many times to your mortgage servicer because they will claim they never got it, or you need to update it, etc. (more…)

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New Detroit Foreclosure Program to Help 7,500 People Save Their Homes

Deadline to get into affordable payment plan is March 31st 

(Source: City of Detroit) - More than 40 percent of the 18,000 Detroit families facing foreclosure on the home they own and occupy have taken advantage of new programs that are allowing them to keep their homes, Mayor Mike Duggan and Wayne County Treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz announced today.

The announcement comes in the midst of what may be the nation’s largest-ever foreclosure prevention effort in Detroit.  As of January 1st of 2015, there were 62,000 properties in Detroit facing tax foreclosure.  It is estimated, however, that nearly half of those are either vacant houses or lots.

Of the roughly 35,000 occupied properties facing foreclosure, 18,000 are owned by the individuals or families who live in them.   However, thanks to recently enacted anti-foreclosure laws, and the work of the Wayne County Treasurer, 7,500 of those families already have entered into payment plans or other agreements that have allowed them to keep their home.  The majority of these homeowners have entered into payment plans that significantly reduce the amount of interest they have to pay.

New Laws Are Working, More Need To Apply

Keeping Detroit homeowners in their homes has been a top priority for Mayor Duggan and Treasurer Wojotowicz since late last year.  Seeing the coming wave of foreclosures on the horizon, Mayor Duggan and Deputy Treasurer Dave Szymanski traveled to Lansing in November to successfully urge lawmakers to pass a landmark package of foreclosure prevention bills.

Those bills, which passed with strong bipartisan support, were signed into law by Governor Snyder in December.   The new laws allow for:

  •        a reduction in the interest rate on overdue taxes from 18% to 6%.
  •        reduced down payments (10%) for those entering into a payment plan
  •        a cap on the overall past due taxes.  Those in payment plans will see their overall tax bill capped at no more than 25% of the market value of their home.

In addition to the 7,500 owner-occupants who have staved off foreclosures, the owners of approximately 10,000 properties – mostly rentals - also have entered into stipulated payment plans to avoid foreclosure.  Thousands more have paid their taxes in full on vacant houses and lots they own in the city, according to Wojotowicz.  In all, 27,000 properties are no longer facing foreclosure.

March 31 Deadline Looming

Despite the great success so far, there still are upwards of 10,000 homeowners who have until March 31st to sign up for a payment plan and avoid foreclosure.  With the deadline fast approaching, Wojtowicz urged homeowners to contact the Treasurer’s office now to enter into an affordable payment plan and avoid long lines.

“We have more and better options for homeowners facing back taxes than ever before,” said Wojtowicz.  “But we can’t help homeowners if they don’t come talk to us.  Most people who have come through have been amazed and how simple and affordable the process is to get into a payment plan.”

To help ease residents’ tax burden, Mayor Duggan has announced double-digit property assessment reductions for most Detroit homeowners in each of the past two years.  He also was a leading advocate for the new legislation.

“When we went to Lansing, we did it for the 18,000 families in Detroit who, despite these assessment reductions, still were at risk of losing the homes,” Mayor Duggan said.  “Treasurer Wojtowicz has done a fantastic job of getting people know into these new programs. But we want to make sure we reach everyone.”

How to get help

The Wayne County Treasurer’s Office is located at 400 Monroe, Suite 530 in Greektown.  For more information, please call 313-224-6105 or email  More information also can be found at

These upcoming workshops also are available for residents to learn more.

Wednesday, March 11th 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m

Hosted by U-Snap-Bac

U-Snap-Bac 14901 E. Warren, Detroit, MI 48224

Friday, March 13th 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 PM

Hosted by City Covenant Church

City Covenant Church 13624 Stout, Detroit, MI 48223

Saturday, March 14th 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Hosted by Marygrove College Institute for Detroit Studies

Marygrove College - Madame Cadillac Hall, 8425 W. McNichols, Detroit, MI 48221

Saturday, March 21st 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Hosted by GESU Catholic Church

GESU Catholic Church 17180 Oak Drive, Detroit, MI 48221

Saturday, March 28th 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Hosted by U-Snap-Bac

Samaritan Center 5555 Conner, Detroit, MI 48213

Source: City of Detroit

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