Saturday, March 12, 2011

Foreclosure Defense: Lenders Conspired with Appraisers to Inflate Realty Prices

Your Key Foreclosure Defense

I have repeatedly explained how appraisers colluded with lenders, mortgage brokers, Realtors, and realty sellers to falsely inflate the price of realty. 

Three Realty Valuation Methods

 Appraisers have three factors they ethically must include in realty valuation estimates:
  1. Market value, what people feel willing to pay;
  2. Replacement cost - cost of similarly situated raw land, improved, with a similar structure erected, and depreciated to present condition;
  3. Income capitalization - the amount of money it can produce when deployed in business, such as renting out.
Four Decades of Collusion to Skyrocket Realty Prices

Today's collapsed values of realty don't show that government and lenders conspired to destroy realty values.  Oh, they conspired all right, to STEAL property, but the realty has only started to collapse to its ACTUAL value from the horrendously inflated prices of the above-named colluders.  The collusion has gone on for the past FOUR DECADES, at least.

The appraisers virtually ignored Replacement cost and Income capitalization valuation methods in their formal appraisals which lenders and Realtors used to justify cheating buyer/borrowers. Those methods valuations would have revealed in the past that the realty had a lower composite value, as they might reveal today that iit has a higher composite value.

If you want a glimpse of the actual market value today, look at what houses bring in foreclosure sales.  A woman told me a couple of weeks ago that her house, on which she had a $148,000 mortgage loan, went through foreclosure and sold at auction for $28,000, its actual market value.    You can bet realtorsm sellers, and lenders ignore this when pricing realty.

A Plan of Action - SUE

What shall we do to stave off foreclosure or punish scurrilous lenders?

Get the house re-appraised to determine its actual value when you bought it.  Take the auction price and appraisal as proof of conspiracy to defraud you. If you have lost the house in foreclosure, move to vacate the void judgment, demand an evidentiary hearing to prove the colluders cheated you, file a complaint of fraud and ask the court for disgorgement and treble damages.  You might also sue the FDIC and OCC for failing to police the crooked lender, and ask for punitive damages.  

You can use the below article and other info from Professor William K Black, plus the report at http://fcic.gov to find prove the conspiracy.


I believe the above realities, properly presented in court, will stop or reverse most realty foreclosures, especially for residential realty.

Prove Monetary Fraud and Demand Disgorgement

Please note that unless you prove some kind of serious monetary fraud in a foreclosure defense, you will most likely sooner or later lose the realty to foreclosure because the court knows for a fact (whether true or not) that you borrowed money, got a house with it, owe the money, and must forfeit the realty as a consequence of not paying.

Many means exist to show the court that the purchase,  loan, mortgage, assignment, securitization, and foreclosure process contains fraud.  Your attorney must skillfully present them, however, or the courts will simply rule against you because judges have conditioned themselves to believe the above ideas about your owing the debt.

Any evidence of such conditioning operates to prove prejudice against you and justifies and unceasing effort to disqualify to disqualify the judge.
I consider it critically important to sit with a financial analyst and understanding the financial impact of the various routes litigation can take.  In some cases a disgorgement of funds (return of all players to their original financial status, might work against the borrower/buyer.  Consult a competent attorney and, independently, a skilled mortgage fraud examiner who knows how to prove appraisal fraud.  You can find the only competent examiner through Ombudaman at Mortgage Attack, http://mortgageattack.com, 727 669 5511.

Relevant Excerpts from news articles


The New York Attorney General's investigation of Washington Mutual (WaMu) (one of the largest nonprime mortgage lenders) and its appraisal practices supports this dynamic.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said [that] a major real estate appraisal company colluded with the nation's largest savings and loan companies to inflate the values of homes nationwide, contributing to the subprime mortgage crisis.
"This is a case we believe is indicative of an industrywide problem," Cuomo said in a news conference.
Cuomo announced the civil lawsuit against eAppraiseIT that accuses the First American Corp. subsidiary of caving in to pressure from Washington Mutual Inc. to use a list of "proven appraisers" who he claims inflated home appraisals.
He also released e-mails that he said show executives were aware they were violating federal regulations. The lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan seeks to stop the practice, recover profits and assess penalties.
"These blatant actions of First American and eAppraiseIT have contributed to the growing foreclosure crisis and turmoil in the housing market," Cuomo said in a statement. "By allowing Washington Mutual to hand-pick appraisers who inflated values, First American helped set the current mortgage crisis in motion."
"First American and eAppraiseIT violated that independence when Washington Mutual strong-armed them into a system designed to rip off homeowners and investors alike," he said (The Seattle Times, November 1, 2007).
Note particularly Attorney General Cuomo's claim that WaMu "rip[ped] off … investors." That is an express claim that it operated as an accounting control fraud and inflated appraisals in order to maximize accounting "profits." A Senate investigation has found compelling evidence that WaMu acted in a manner that fits the accounting control fraud pattern.
Pressure to inflate appraisals was endemic among nonprime lending specialists.
Appraisers complained on blogs and industry message boards of being pressured by mortgage brokers, lenders and even builders to "hit a number," in industry parlance, meaning the other party wanted them to appraise the home at a certain amount regardless of what it was actually worth. Appraisers risked being blacklisted if they stuck to their guns. "We know that it went on and we know just about everybody was involved to some extent," said Marc Savitt, the National Association of Mortgage Banker's immediate past president and chief point person during the first half of 2009 (Washington Independent, August 5, 2009).
Inducing endemic appraisal fraud is an optimal strategy for a lender that is engaged in "accounting control fraud." Accounting control frauds drove the second phase of the S&L debacle, the Enron era crisis, and the ongoing crisis.




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Bob Hurt
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