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Pump and Dump: When “Lenders” Have No Risk of Loss They Spend Millions Selling Defective Loan Products and Blame Borrowers

livinglies.wordpress.com | May 21, 2019

It's easy to blame borrowers for loans that are in "default." The American consensus is based upon "personal responsibility"; so when a loan fails the borrower simply failed. But this does not take into account the hundreds of millions of dollars spent every year peddling loans in the media and the billions of dollars paid as commissions and bonuses to those who sell defective loans to consumers.

The current case in point, in addition to the ongoing crimes of residential foreclosures, is the last decade in the taxi industry where in New York the playbook that produced the mortgage meltdown produced a replay that is now on display in New York City, where select major owners of taxi medallions artificially propped up prices of medallions, and then lured low earning drivers to take loans of $1 million to buy the medallions from the City who was complicit in the scheme. Now the loans are all in "default" while the players all got rich.

This is a direct parallel with the mortgage meltdown. Developers artificially raised prices in their developments creating a basis on which to base false appraisals of home prices that went far above home values. Then the banks lured borrowers into loans that were doomed to fail, producing "defaults" that did not take into account all the money that was made by selling and reselling the loan data and attributes. Local government was complicit in allowing the false appraisals to stand and even used the absurdly high "values" for taxation of real property.

The "default" only exists if two conditions are present. The first condition is a party who actually has a financial loss arising from nonpayment. The second condition is that the party owning the debt and presumably suffering the "loss" is allowed to ignore the profits generated from selling the name, signature and reputation of the borrowers.

In my view the first condition is not met in nearly all current loans. There is only one party who ever had any actual money directly invested in the loan; that is the investment bank who was doing business under various names to protect itself from liability and to preserve anonymity.

A key point to remember in assessing blame for nonpayment is that where there is no actual risk of loss for nonpayment on loans, the lenders will lend any amount of money on any terms to anyone. We saw that in the NINJA, No Doc and other crazy loans. We saw that because the "lenders" didn't care about anything other that getting your name, signature and evidence of your reputation from credit reporting agencies.

The truth is that they didn't care if the borrower paid anything. But the borrower didn't know that and thus reasonably relied on the supposition and the law that placed the responsibility for viability of the new loan on the lender, not the borrower.

The investment bank sold the risk of loss and sold the debt multiple times. Its financial investment in the loan frequently never happened at all because it was using investor money, or terminated in all events within 30 days after the loan was included in a supposed portfolio of loans.

Concurrently with the sale of certificates to investors who were seeking secure income, and who received nothing more than a disguised promise from the investment bank, the investment bank sold the debt, risk of loss and other attributes of the loan dozens of times to other investors in the form of "contracts" that hedge losses or movement in the value of the certificates that were issued to the pension fund investors who bought certificates.

In my view these sales were nothing more than the sale of the borrower's name, signature and reputation, without which the sale could never have occurred. All sales derived their value from the promise of the investment bank to make regular payments to the owners of certificates who had disclaimed any interest in the debt, note or mortgage, leaving such ownership to the investment bank. All promises by the investment bank derived their value from the name, signature and reputation of the borrower. And all sales of debt or risk of loss to additional investors derived their value from the value of the promise contained in the certificates.

Each sale represented profits arising from the name, signature and reputation of the borrower used on loan documentation that originated the loan. Hence the profits represent undisclosed compensation that according to TILA and RESPA should have been disclosed at closing. Imagine a borrower being told that his $200,000 loan would be generating $2 million in profits for the bank. Negotiations over the loan would likely be different but in any event the Truth in Lending Act requires the real players (Investment bank) and the real compensation (all profits, fees and commissions) to be disclosed to the borrower.

I have suggested and I am still receiving comments on whether the borrower might be entitled to royalty income for each sale. If so, the royalty income due would substantially offset the amount due on the loan, but the catch is that the investment bank must be joined in such foreclosures as a real party in interest.

However, regardless of the success of that theory, the fact remains that there is no debt left on the books of any entity as an asset or which is subject to risk of loss. By definition then, the mortgage is not enforceable because there is no current party who has paid value for it.

The named foreclosing party, as it turns out, rarely receives any proceeds from a successful foreclosure sale. In many cases the "named party" cannot be identified.

When the check is issued as proceeds of the sale of the foreclosed property it is deposited into the account of the investment bank. It all goes to the investment bank despite the fact that the investment bank has no debt on its books against which to apply the receipt of such proceeds. That debt has long since been sold and is no longer on its books as a risk of loss.

 

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