Surprised that NJ let us all down again?

From HousingWire:

The shocking truths for homeowners struggling against foreclosure

Several big banks have negotiated large settlements with the Department of Justice for their role in the housing bubble and subsequent economic collapse.

While the historic settlements sound promising on the surface, a study by Denbeaux & Denbeaux law firm exposes why struggling homeowners shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for relief.

The report, “Mortgage Fraud” finds that:

New Jersey homeowners subject to the first Agreement made by the Attorneys General were not apprised or made aware by Wells Fargo that they already had the protections and the right to the promised modifications that were contained in the California Class Action Settlement. Instead, these homeowners were sent the “new” settlement agreement which contained promises and protections they already had (not explained) and a check in the amount of $178.04 in exchange for all their rights and defenses.

The report also claims that Wells Fargo has perpetrated a seemingly endless cycle of misleading, deceptive and exploitative practices in response to its misleading, deceptive and exploitative practices.

“It’s all about enforcement by the states, and truthfully, New Jersey’s Attorney-General hasn’t made homeowners a priority,” said Josh Denbeaux, a partner in the firm. “Wells Fargo was allowed to revoke the terms of the original settlement for homeowners in New Jersey by brokering another deal where homeowners surrendered their rights to legal action in exchange for $178.04.”

Anti-foreclosure and housing advocates rightly point out that out of court settlements protect banks from exposing their predatory lending practices through evidence discovery in courts, which is why NJ Communities United is issuing a series of policy recommendations that the State of New Jersey should consider to provide relief for homeowners victimized by predatory lending and questionable foreclosure practices.

“The result of the legal acrobatics and out-of-court settlements has essentially let Wells Fargo and other big banks off the hook for their predatory lending practices in low-income communities of color,” said Trina Scordo, executive director of NJ Communities United. “Wells Fargo preyed on these communities then negotiated away the rights of homeowners to take legal action. Homeowners deserve their day in court – or at the very least, enforcement from the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General.”

The crisis is not lost on leaders in hard-hit Newark.

“As Newark’s Chief Executive, tackling the mortgage crisis is one of the highest priorities of my administration,” said Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark. “Not only is this problem creating undue hardships on too many Newark families, but abandoned homes due to foreclosure are decimating our neighborhoods and draining critical resources from the City’s budget. At the end of the day, the Wells Fargo settlements have not provided any real relief for struggling homeowners in New Jersey. In fact, it appears that the settlements – and lack of enforcement by the New Jersey Attorney General – have only paved an unimpeded path towards foreclosure for thousands of New Jersey homeowners.”

“I’m not hopeful that future bank settlements will provide any relief to homeowners,” said Trina Scordo. “This Wells Fargo case study exposes the legal maneuvering by banks to keep their crimes hidden while continuing to strip communities of their wealth. This is why we’re issuing policy recommendations to the Governor’s Office, the NJ Attorney General and the NJ State Legislature.”

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62 Responses to Surprised that NJ let us all down again?

  1. Essex says:

    New Jersey is a unique ecosystem of predators and prey.

  2. grim says:

    As a New Jerseyan, I’d much prefer to assign malicious intent to this, rather than acknowledge the wholesale incompetence of our state government.

  3. grim says:

    Stay royal my friends, crush velour from wall to wall.

    From MarketWatch:

    Priciest new homes in U.S. built in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania region

    Buyers who want a new home in the Middle Atlantic region are paying up, reflecting pricier tastes and high local labor costs, according to recent research.

    The median sales price for a new “spec” single-family home in the Middle Atlantic was $131 per square foot in 2013 — 52% more than the U.S. median — making that region the country’s most expensive, according to findings from the National Association of Home Builders, which crunched government data for its report. Speculatively-built homes are residences constructed on a builder’s land that are sold in one deal along with the land.

    The Middle Atlantic includes New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. High home prices in these states show that the relatively large share of well-heeled buyers are demanding nicer finishing touches, such as ceramic rather than vinyl flooring.

    “It’s the level of finish, the level of accessories,” said David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist.

    Higher costs in the Middle Atlantic region also reflect other higher costs, such as construction workers’ wages, he said. Meanwhile, the country’s least expensive spec homes in 2013 were found in the West South Central region, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. Homes there cost $73 per square foot, according to NAHB.

  4. Fast Eddie says:

    Jury Duty today. Ugh! Last time I did this I was selected for jury and was on a week long trial. How can I get out of it? What answer do I give to get dismissed?

  5. Tell them you advocate Sharia law.

  6. Fast Eddie says:

    [5],

    Depending on their political stance, they might welcome it. Maybe I should show up in a Haz Mat suit.

  7. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    [4] eddie,

    “Let 12 idiots decide” attributed to various, unnamed judges.

    Eddie,
    Getting out of jury duty is harder than ever but Clot is onto something. You have to make yourself undesirable to at least one side, and preferably to the court so that the lawyers can use a challenge for cause and not burn a peremptory challenge on you. This isn’t an issue until you get to voir dire, so no issues until you are actually question for a panel. That is when you can usually get out of it.

    Case in point: I was voir dired in VA and a bail bondsman was sitting next to me. He wanted off the panel in the worst way and asked me how to get out of jury duty. It was an employment discrimination case involving a black plaintiff so he told the clerk and attorneys at sidebar that he harbored negative opinions of black people due to his work and did not think he could be fair. He was dismissed. On another voir dire, in a PI case, I volunteered that I had a bad back, possibly from an injury. Counsel asked me what I did about it and I said “Some PT and Advil, and tough it out.” I was dismissed (although the other atty on the panel was also dismissed so it might have been that). In PA, while I was in grad school, I told the court that while I could serve, if the trial would last over X days, that would be a hardship because of an infant in my care. The court dismissed me and the judge even thanked me for at least being willing to serve (I knew the trial would last much longer).

    Bear in mind that you cannot make a false statement to the court, so if you go and tell the judge that you are a closet r@cist, they had better not be able to prove you aren’t.

    Now, if you show them your posting history here, they should dismiss you for cause regardless since they will see you as an unstable, unpredictable loose cannon.

  8. Fast Eddie says:

    Me? An unstable loose cannon? ;) If I was on a jury in the past, what does that say about the other candidates? lol! Why can’t they choose lesser informed and unattached folks? I tend to speak in whole sentences, maybe that’s why I can’t get dismissed.

  9. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    [8] eddie

    “If I was on a jury in the past, what does that say about the other candidates? ”

    It says we are well and truly fuct.

  10. Fast Eddie says:

    [9],

    lol! Only one thing left to do; start drinking heavily!

  11. yome says:

    Re: Jury Duty, 4 letter word- bias. No lawyer in their right mind will pick you if you will be bias to the case.

  12. yome says:

    The last one I was called, it was against a Chiropractor chasing patients. I said, I go to a Chiropractor and I like them I will be bias on the case. Told me to go down stairs,waited till the end of the day to go home

  13. Toxic Crayons says:

    Remember, no victim, no crime.

    Fast Eddie says:
    October 14, 2014 at 6:49 am
    Jury Duty today. Ugh! Last time I did this I was selected for jury and was on a week long trial. How can I get out of it? What answer do I give to get dismissed?

  14. NJT says:

    Three times when I wound up in front of the judge he asked “Have you ever been a victim of a crime?”. I replied “Yes” (carjacked once and vehicle broken into twice with items stolen back in the 90s when working in the city as an IT field tech.).

    EXCUSED.

    The last time the judge asked me “would you think a Police officer would be less inclined to tell the truth, more inclined to tell the truth or completely impartial (something like that, don’t remember exactly). I said less inclined. The judge asked me why. I said “I believe the officer will say anything that keeps him out of trouble and receiving a paycheck”.

    Excused.

  15. jj says:

    I have never served on Jury duty but was called once, get there and they pick me right away and prisioner did not have a suit to wear so they canceled as it was not fair to do it in a orange jump suit and I was back home by lunch.

  16. 1987 Condo says:

    My first trial we convicted a thug for robbery and punching out the 78 year old lady homeowner, it was in NY and was his 3rd strike-gone for 20 years. My last trial we denied the attempt of an illegal immigrant to collect $1 million for a bogus malpractice lawsuit.

  17. chicagofinance says:

    From Jeff Macke:

    On a technical basis there’s no where to hide anymore. That’s sort of good in that it’s the end of the beginning of the sell-off but bad in that we don’t know where prices will bottom.

    In the grand spirit of stupid technical chart names I’ve re-launched my chilling Gacy’s Basement indicator. Named after the serial killing clown John Wayne Gacy, the indicator is triggered when the 200 day moving average breaks on big volume and the government is a pack of idiots. We haven’t seen it since 2011.

  18. jj says:

    I bought stocks yesterday, well not really stocks but some money into the Fidelity Contra Fund at the close as it has a lot of names that took a hit.

    Bonds are crazy over priced right now in particular Treasuries and NY Munis.

    Any picks? I got my 10-15-2014 interest to put to work tommorrow and no bonds for me as they are crazy pricey with 30 year treasury under 3%

    chicagofinance says:

    October 14, 2014 at 9:27 am

    From Jeff Macke:

    On a technical basis there’s no where to hide anymore. That’s sort of good in that it’s the end of the beginning of the sell-off but bad in that we don’t know where prices will bottom.

    In the grand spirit of stupid technical chart names I’ve re-launched my chilling Gacy’s Basement indicator. Named after the serial killing clown John Wayne Gacy, the indicator is triggered when the 200 day moving average breaks on big volume and the government is a pack of idiots. We haven’t seen it since 2011.

  19. gary (10)-

    Show up for jury selection drunk.

  20. jj (18)-

    Get short equities, and pour a fruity drink.

  21. Fast Eddie says:

    (19) LOL! You’re killing me. I am here, sitting; showered, way too clean cut and dressed for the occasion. I am much too presentable wearing Calvin Klein and Johnston Murphy in this neck of woods.

  22. jj says:

    This is just a blip, JP Morgan has a higher yield than the 30 year treasury.

    Which makes more sense to buy?

    Burn Nancy Snyderman at the Stake says:

    October 14, 2014 at 9:37 am

    jj (18)-

    Get short equities, and pour a fruity drink.

  23. Juice Box says:

    re # 4 – I always tell them I will use logic and reason to come up with a conclusion.

  24. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    There’s no such thing as live TV anymore. I’ve noticed that OTA radio sports broadcasts are about 10 seconds ahead of TV, and I get that. Every digital waypoint introduces a delay. What I was surprised to find out this morning, though, is that the CNBC video feed in my Ameritrade online trading tools is a full 10 seconds in front of my Comcast cable feed, even though it comes over the same cable. I would have thought it would be the other way around.

  25. Pete says:

    Fast Eddie,

    If its a civil case make it be known that you are lititgious yourself. I mentioned how I was the plaintiff in several small claims cases and the defendant’s attorney used their peremptory challenge on me within seconds of completing.

  26. NJGator says:

    Fast Eddie (4) – Lib is on Jury Duty in Essex County today. It’s going to be a banner day for Words with Friends. I’ve already heard from him by 9:30 that he gets 90 minutes for lunch.

  27. Libturd embarrassed to call these other jurors my peers says:

    Last time I was asked to serve, I told the judge, “I don’t like niggaz!” This of course, was not true, but I had to get out of serving every Wednesday for a minimum of the next 6 months as I was chosen to serve on a grand jury. I had just gotten my first real job out of college and didn’t want to blow it. The judge was pissed, being a black man himself and almost locked me up for contempt. That was 1995. Today is the first time I’ve been called to serve since. It takes balls, but it works.

  28. Fast Eddie says:

    Sitting here and waiting. It’s a call to duty and a necessary evil. I’ll get picked, guaranteed, because I’m too honest.

  29. chicagofinance says:

    It is probably more of a control issue. FCC controls broadcast TV, which Ameritrade feed is not. As an example, Simon Hobbs let drop that Tim Cook is gay, and that seemed to pass through the media undetected…….must have gotten the dump…..

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    October 14, 2014 at 9:56 am
    There’s no such thing as live TV anymore. I’ve noticed that OTA radio sports broadcasts are about 10 seconds ahead of TV, and I get that. Every digital waypoint introduces a delay. What I was surprised to find out this morning, though, is that the CNBC video feed in my Ameritrade online trading tools is a full 10 seconds in front of my Comcast cable feed, even though it comes over the same cable. I would have thought it would be the other way around.

  30. Juice Box says:

    Eddie tell them you will use logic and reason to determine your vote. Defense lawyers hate smart people, and it is not a lie.

  31. joyce says:

    (31)
    Juice,
    I would say that both attorneys hate smart people.

  32. chicagofinance says:

    ExPat: At my aunt’s funeral, her financial advisor comes to the cemetery and joins in the “filling the grave” (Jewish). My cousins noticed and said “who the fcuk is this? and what is he doing here?”……pretty eye opening for me in terms of what depths people will stoop……the guy is Italian and is the only one there wearing a kippah…..and this guy works at a very prominent RIA in NYC…..I was repulsed. Stunningly really…..

  33. NJGator says:

    Lib really has nothing to worry about except maybe getting picked for a Civil panel. Last time I served Jury Duty in Essex, I watched as the defense attorney used up their peremptory challenges knocking every potential white, suburban juror off the panel.

  34. Libturd embarrassed to call these other jurors my peers says:

    10 year down to 2.22

  35. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    [31] juice

    “Defense lawyers hate smart people, and it is not a lie.”

    Sorry, need to clarify: Criminal defense attorneys hate smart people. On the civil side, plaintiff’s attorneys hate smart people.

  36. Fast Eddie says:

    Logic and pragmatism are exactly my intent. Why should I feign ignorance when it’s not true?

  37. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    [26] pete,

    Another good stratagem. Basically, anything you can do to make yourself as unappealing as possible to one side or the other in the case at bar will get you booted.

    It’s not hard to figure this out when you are reasonably intelligent and look at the case at bar.

    In fact, the ease by which intelligent people can get out of jury duty is one reason we encourage people to settle: You don’t want your case decided by 12 people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.

  38. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    [37] Eddie

    “Why should I feign ignorance when it’s not true?”

    Why not? You feign erudition, don’t you?

    Ba Dum! Thank you, you’ve been a great audience. I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your server.

  39. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    Oh, and a final note on juries from this apocryphal tale:

    80 years ago, a law firm sent a young associate to try a case against its client, a large corporation, in a faraway small city. The attorney tried the case before a jury and won. He telegraphed the news back to his office, and since telegraphy was expensive, he wrote just three words: “Justice has triumphed.”

    The response from the firm was “Appeal at once.”

  40. Fast Eddie says:

    Nom,

    You forgot to say, “Try the veal, I’m here all week.” :-)

  41. jj says:

    Italians are very good at filling graves with dirt in New Jersey particlarly shallow ones around the Meadowlands

    chicagofinance says:

    October 14, 2014 at 11:02 am

    ExPat: At my aunt’s funeral, her financial advisor comes to the cemetery and joins in the “filling the grave” (Jewish). My cousins noticed and said “who the fcuk is this? and what is he doing here?”……pretty eye opening for me in terms of what depths people will stoop……the guy is Italian and is the only one there wearing a kippah…..and this guy works at a very prominent RIA in NYC…..I was repulsed. Stunningly really…..

  42. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    That’s a fair point, but it is the cable system, not broadcast that has all the delays baked in, mostly for technical reasons. Over-the-air true broadcast signals arrive at sets way before cable broadcasts do by several seconds. The digital system is also why when you see interviews across the Atlantic with a delay between question and answer on news programs. I understand that even calling “3, 2, 1 Happy New Years!” over cable systems presents a myriad of problems that need to be fudged around so that most subscribers get the call at approximately the right time. In our own home, standard definition TVs receive “live” (live-ish?) sports broadcasts seconds before HD TVs but HD TVs receive some other programming seconds before HD. For a baseball game, plain old AM radio is almost a full two pitches ahead.

    It is probably more of a control issue. FCC controls broadcast TV, which Ameritrade feed is not. As an example, Simon Hobbs let drop that Tim Cook is gay, and that seemed to pass through the media undetected…….must have gotten the dump…..

  43. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    the last HD should have been “SD”.

  44. chicagofinance says:

    ATM Withdrawal (Mad Max Edition):

    Criminals in England escaped with thousands of dollars in cash after they detonated an ATM, according to reports.

    The crooks allegedly pumped gas into the HSBC money machine in Bristol before blowing it up. They also used a crowbar to smash a window. Bills and debris spread across the street as the thieves fled with their haul.

    Cops are now hunting for who they described as a number of “darkly dressed” suspects.

    “The alarm was activated at 2:28 a.m. Monday,” Detective Inspector Andy Gwyther from Avon and Somerset Police told ITV News. “Police arrived very quickly and when they got here they found the ATM machine had been attacked.”

    It’s the fifth attack of its kind in the city in 18 months, reports the Western Daily Press.

  45. Juice Box says:

    Meanwhile across the pond, take a vacation on your pension, heck go on a shopping spree.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/11160371/George-Osborne-use-your-pension-as-a-bank-account.html

  46. Fast Eddie says:

    All jurors dismissed. No one was called. I believe someone mentioned on the way out that it’s a rare occurrence. There were only 25 of us in a very empty juror waiting room. Good timing, I suppose.

  47. jj says:

    Great News Eddie. Hey I am putting a bid in on a 4,100 square foot house. It is an older home. But my wife and I were wondering since plots are pretty cheap near me now how much would it cost to actully built a 4,100 square foot home in the NJ/LI area? I guessed at least 180 a square foot but wonder if that is a good guess

    House is pretty price at 809K but it is on a 100×100 lot and was renovated in 2003, house built originally in 1928. The 2003 reovation not a gut job, but he did a inground pool, outdoor built in gas bbq area, all new windows, new kitchen and new bathroom and in that renovation house added several hundred feet as he expanded master bed and a deck. House still needs a new bathoom and laundry room and paint job but pretty much he got it 80% done and a 4,100 square foot house it is a lot of ground to cover.

  48. grim says:

    You could build a 4,100 square foot house for half your estimate if you GC yourself.

  49. POS cape says:

    48

    In my case I didn’t have to do anything to get dismissed. Case was hispanic guy slipped in TJ Maxx and was suing. I saw that plaintiff’s attorney was dismissing all middle age white guys. I was called and made the jury, but I barely warmed the seat before plaintiff’s attorney said “Please excuse juror #3” (me).

  50. painhrtz - whatever says:

    Popping in from self imposed exile where are the idiots?

    My tact for getting out of jury duty Unless it is murder, burglary, or rape, which are obviously guilty, I’m voting nullification across the board no matter the offense since the laws of the state are unjust as they seek to restrict liberty of individual citizens. If it is a civil case whoever has the money is obviously guilty and should provide restitution to the plaintiff.

    See I learned something from my liberal friends.

    Back to work man I have been busy

  51. Anon E. Moose says:

    Rags [52];

    Can we get a word in about cooking the books? “Core” CPI – i.e., exclude the expensive stuff that everybody must buy (food, energy, housing), but by all means include the latest iCrap27 which allegedly pushes inflation down because you’re getting more features for your money; “Chained” CPI – revising the basket of goods over the period — if people both then and now only have $100 to spend, and thus spend no more than that, call it ‘no inflation’ even if they later got less or inferior goods for their money.

    How about the equity market run up? In the face of no broad fundamental improvement.

    I see it exactly like inflation during the reign of the “Maestro”; they just didn’t see it because their indicators weren’t measuring the places where it was showing up.

  52. Fabius Maximus says:

    Oh those crazy Albanians.

    Serbia v Albania abandoned after flag sparks mass brawl
    Euro 2016 qualifier: Players and fans fought after a drone flew an Albanian flag over the match in Belgrade
    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/oct/14/serbia-albania-euro-2016-flag-halted

  53. Fabius Maximus says:

    Tax news of the day

    Finally a step in the right direction!

    The Irish finance minister has said he is abolishing the controversial “Double Irish” tax structure.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29613065

  54. Michael says:

    Yes, so now spread that inflation to the rest of the economy in the form of wage inflation and let’s get some real growth going.

    “A big reason this risk hasn’t come to fruition is, while not as dangerous so far as we thought, it appears QE was only mostly useless. To the extent even that is only mostly true, where effects did show up, it actually caused rather a lot of inflation, but inflation that went straight into the pockets of those who needed it least and whom Paul wouldn’t swerve his car to avoid. That is, it inflated financial assets, benefited the rich, and enhanced inequality.”

  55. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    [56] comrade Fabian,

    Yup. More work for tax attorneys.

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