• Home Sales Increase While Prices Decrease

    The federal regulator for the country’s two largest mortgage finance providers said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expected to gradually increase the fees they charge lenders in the next year, Reuters reported on September 19, 2011. Although the two firms do not directly make loans, they provide financing to banks and lenders by purchasing mortgages and either keeping them on their books or packaging them for sale to investors which pay Fannie and Freddie a “guarantee fee” when they buy mortgages. Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, told Reuters those “guarantee fees” would be increased in order to lessen the companies’ long-term exposure to risk.

    The White House has supported increasing the guarantee fees to help reduce “the government’s footprint in the U.S. housing finance system and attract more private capital to the mortgage market,” according to Reuters. President Barack Obama’s budget plan estimated that an increase in guarantee fees at Fannie and Freddie would produce projected savings of $28 billion over 10 years. DeMarco said the changes in guarantee fees may include increased costs for riskier loans and for mortgages in states with more stringent foreclosure laws.

    You can imagine whom those new fees will eventually get passed on to, which is why if you are currently facing foreclosure, now is the time to seriously consider filing for bankruptcy . Our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys can assist you with a bankruptcy means test and answer all of your questions regarding Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 processes. The only way you can worsen your situation is to do nothing about it, so you have nothing to lose by contacting our firm today for a free consultation.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyers

  • Feds Pick On Poor And Powerless

    The “mortgage fraud” defendants dragged into the grand federal courtrooms at 219 S. Dearborn St. are not bankers, but instead are “realtors, loan originators, ‘straw buyers’ and, occasionally, lawyers.” Chicago criminal defense lawyer and DePaul University Adjunct Professor of Law Leonard Goodman made that assertion in a September 13, 2011 piece for the newsmagazine In These Times. Goodman claims, “Many of the folks taking the rap for the mortgage mess here in Chicago are minorities. Nearly all are poor and politically powerless.”

    Goodman’s piece noted how press releases from the U.S. Attorney’s Office speak of a coordinated effort against the perpetrators of mortgage fraud, but then also notes how Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi reported “that the Securities and Exchange Commission has been captured by the financial criminals it is charged with investigating.” Furthermore, Goodman also mentioned a National Public Radio appearance by former litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board during the S&L crisis, William K. Black, in which he “lamented that the major culprits of today’s crisis have gotten off scot-free.”

    A majority of Goodman’s piece, however, revolves around the sad tale of 52-year-old former train conductor Calvin Townsend, who attended a seminar on how to use other people’s good credit to invest in property with no money down and over the next two years used straw buyers to purchase 21 homes. Townsend lost everything after the housing market collapsed in 2007 before being indicted for mortgage fraud “together with 20 others on the bottom rung of the mortgage mess” in 2008.

    Goodman concludes that “the moneyed interests own at least two branches of our federal government-the ones that make the laws, and the ones that enforce the laws,” but you should know that if you are also struggling through hard times as a result of the mortgage mess, you do have options. If you need to eliminate bills and stop foreclosure, our firm can supply you with the Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy information you need to maximize the benefits of filing. Whether you need assistance with car repossession or wage garnishment, our law firm can assist you in completing a bankruptcy means test to eliminate bills and stop foreclosure. Contact one of our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers today to help get a fresh start on your finances and a new chance at living debt free and credit rich.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys