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October 04, 2010

Rep. Alan Grayson explains the Foreclosure Fraud Crisis

This is what I was talking about last week. Because of the haphazard way mortgages were handled and tracked in the last ten years, banks no longer know who owns homes, who owes on homes. The courts face so many tens of thousands of these cases that no one is getting their fair time in court. It's a crisis. Grayson, one of the best Congressfolk around, lays it out for you. YouTube - Fraud Factories: Rep. Alan Grayson Explains the Foreclosure Fraud Crisis

October 01, 2010

Fisher-Price recalls 11 Million toys after tricycles cause genital bleeding

Fisher-Price recalls 11 million items for infants, toddlers - Parenting - TODAYshow.com
In the wake of multiple child injuries in the United States and Canada, Fisher-Price Inc. announced that it will recall more than 11 million items geared toward infants and toddlers, including tricycles, high chairs and toys. The sweeping recall, announced Thursday, comes after 24 reported incidents of injuries to young children. Seven kids needed stitches after being cut by pegs on Fisher-Price high chairs, and at least six 2- to 3-year-old girls experienced genital bleeding when they sat or fell against protruding plastic ignition keys on Fisher-Price toddler tricycles. “Consumers should immediately place the trikes out of children’s reach and contact Fisher-Price for a free replacement key,” the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a statement about the tricycle incidents.

What your taxes pay for

Chart Receipt Of The Day | Talking Points Memo

September 30, 2010

JPMorgan suspending foreclosures

The foreclosure process nationally is unraveling. During the housing boom, mortgages were given to anyone who had a pulse, because Wall Street was desperate for the packaged mortgage debt products. These mortgages were packaged and repackaged and sliced and repackaged until no one knew at the end of the day who actually owned the note on the home. Surprisingly this isn't a problem as long as people keep paying their mortgages, but when the wheels came off the economy a few years back and banks tried to foreclose on people, well, in the words of Martin Lawrence, "Shit got real." See, in many states you can only foreclose on someone if you own the debt on the property. If you have the papers and the deed and whatnot. And because of all the repackaging nonsense, many banks have no clue who really has the papers. They lack legal standing to foreclose on people. Now sure, it's not like banks ever let something so pesky as the law stop them. Many kept right on foreclosing on folks, but when people fought back in court and demanded proof the cases fell apart. Also, some banks have been foreclosing on people whose houses weren't even in debt. It's messy, is what I'm saying, and the banks have no one to blame but themselves. What does this mean? It means that the housing crisis is not over. It's still slowly falling apart all around us. And the banks aren't nearly as solvent as they pretend to be, as they still have yet to write down the value from all the homes (we're talking hundreds of thousands of homes) that still are to be foreclosed. JPMorgan Suspending Mortgage Foreclosures - NYTimes.com
In a sign that the entire foreclosure process is coming under pressure, a second major mortgage lender said that it was suspending court cases against defaulting homeowners so it could review its legal procedures. The lender, JPMorgan Chase, said on Wednesday that it was halting 56,000 foreclosures because some of its employees might have improperly prepared the necessary documents. All of the suspensions are in the 23 states where foreclosures must be approved by a court, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida and Illinois. The bank, which lends through its Chase Mortgage unit, has begun to “systematically re-examine” its filings to verify that they meet legal standards, a spokesman, Tom Kelly, said. Last week, GMAC Mortgage said it was suspending an undisclosed number of foreclosures to give it time to take a closer look at its own procedures. GMAC simultaneously began withdrawing affidavits in pending court cases, throwing their future into doubt. . . .

Target caught dumping toxic waste in California

Target ordered to stop dumping hazardous waste
An Alameda County judge has ordered Target stores to stop any illegal disposal of products containing hazardous waste. Superior Court Judge Steven Brick's injunction follows a civil lawsuit filed last year alleging that more than 240 Target stores in California improperly disposed of hazardous materials over a five-year period. The investigation began in 2005 when prosecutors say Target Corp. collected and crushed batteries, telephones and computers in stores' trash compactors to avoid costly disposal fees. The complaint was filed by the Alameda County district attorney's office, 19 other district attorneys and state Attorney General Jerry Brown. All nine of the Target stores in Alameda County are involved, prosecutors said. "Target's unlawful actions have put the health of Alameda County residents at risk," District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said in a statement. "The violation of our state's environmental protection laws will not be tolerated." In a statement, Target disputed the prosecutor's claims.