Control Fraud: The Ticking Time Bomb.
From an article written at Huffington post on February 25th by William K Black:
"As a white-collar criminologist and former financial regulator much of my research studies what causes financial markets to become profoundly dysfunctional. The FBI has been warning of an "epidemic" of mortgage fraud since September 2004. It also reports that lenders initiated 80% of these frauds.1 When the person that controls a seemingly legitimate business or government agency uses it as a "weapon" to defraud we categorize it as a "control fraud" ("The Organization as ‘Weapon’ in White Collar Crime." Wheeler & Rothman 1982; The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. Black 2005). Financial control frauds’ "weapon of choice" is accounting. Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime — combined. Control fraud epidemics can arise when financial deregulation and desupervision and perverse compensation systems create a "criminogenic environment" (Big Money Crime. Calavita, Pontell & Tillman 1997.)"
Last week I got an e-mail from someone who has Homecomings Financial as a lender. They describe the exact kind of behavior that has been destroying America. I have been writing about and describing this to others for several years now. We the mortgage borrowers for these financial terrorists were the proverbial canary in the coal mine. I have been warning people for years about the fact that there was something far more sinister afoot. I have warned that it is going to get worse before it gets better, and that we will not solve this problem until we get to the truth about what is going on. I can tell you from my first hand experience and e-mails from others that we are a long way from solving this crises. You can read about my financial nightmare with GMAC here.
The story I received in the mail is another example of the lawlessness of which I speak. There is some reason why they continue to fearlessly behave in this illegal way. I am not sure what the reason is exactly, but the problem continues to be covered up. We still are not saying it out loud. Millions of people have been defrauded out of their homes. When this comes out, it will be devastating. Also we are still not facing the fact that foreign entities bought these toxic assets and are still holding some of the purse strings to our economy and that of the world. Some 83 million has been spent to lobby against cram down legislation that would affect the illegal fees and continue to cover up the fake bottom line.
Back to the e-mail. I got an e-mail this week from a couple who are in the process of being defrauded out of their home. Their story is so familiar and so typical that it makes me ill. You can search the internet googling "Homecomings Financial and fraud" and find literally thousands of posts that tell a story like mine and this one. In this case, Homecomings wrote the couple a letter and said they had to pay their taxes through escrow, despite the fact that this couple had been paying the taxes on their own for years. Homecomings began charging them the escrow amount and then applying their payments to include the escrow amount.
This couple didn’t think this was legal. They called them and got what we all get when we call Homecomings. They were routed to voice mail or got shuffled from one "wrong" department to the other, basically they got the run around. Soon, late fees were charged and this couple is facing foreclosure. This story is happening over and over again, but no one is reporting it. Obama isn’t talking about it. And no one is stopping it. Homecomings is unafraid and continues this behavior. I told the couple about the class action lawsuit, I encouraged the couple to report it to the FDIC and I shared the link to the class action lawsuit against homecomings and GMAC.
When this started for me, I kept saying "this feels like terrorism". I said that it felt like the mob was running my loan. It was loan sharking and they had my home over a barrel.
When Obama made that statement last night it confirmed for me that this problem is bigger than most of us realize. I get it, because I have one of these loans. I think that our whole banking industry is being held hostage and being treated in the same manner as I am in my loan with Homecomings Financial. There is a complete black out on the story about accounting fraud. No one is picking up the story that William Black tells and lots of people have trouble believing my story. I think the belief is that if this were going on we would know about it.
I have been living with this criminal behavior in my life in chapter 13 bankruptcy for 3 years and struggled with it for 2 years before I finally filed. There is a very large and powerful criminal element running our finance sector. I think that Obama fears the confrontation and that it involves global issues and relationships with foreign investors and foreign countries. I don’t think that it’s just AIG threatening America, but clearly by Obama’s description they are. I think it’s bigger than that. I think that Obama is trying to keep the lid on this story not only because the outrage will reach epic proportions as we find out how many people lost their homes, but that we might find out who has been buying up the property in America at bargain prices. There is a much bigger story here and we still haven’t heard it. There is a reason why my story and the story of so many others is not reaching mainstream America. There is a reason that Obama used the metaphor he did. These people have more power than we realize. Enough to hold not only me hostage in my bad loan, but enough to hold all of America hostage as well. Welcome to my world.
I know that emptywheel described this very scenario by AIG that they were threatening us with a global disaster if we did not pay those bonuses but I think the scenario Obama used last night describes a larger problem, one that I have been alluding to for many years now. The fraud involved is huge. Millions lost their homes. They are holding us all hostage. It is terrorism.