Mortgage Shark Attack

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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The economic meltdown has been rife with villains, from corporate execs who turned their TARP payouts into multimillion dollar paydays, to corrupt politicians who favored Corporate America for their own financial gain.

Another group for the scoundrel list? Loan servicers, the mortgage middlemen who literally cheat Americans out of house and home because (you guessed it) it lines their pockets. While fact-checking a story about these sharks, I rifled through a thousand legal complaints against the nation’s ten largest mortgage servicers, and spoke with homeowners who have been cheated out of thousands of dollars—all while fearing they may literally be kicked to the curb.

Last year, as the problem worsened, Obama established the Home Affordable Modification Program to try to get servicers to negotiate with homeowners to keep their homes. But after months, the program has not done nearly enough to prevent predatory servicing or skyrocketing foreclosure rates.

In her testimony (pdf) to Congress last year, attorney and mortgage expert Diane Thompson called the epidemic a “foreclosure tsunami.” And with little to suggest a systemic change, it doesn’t look like it will stop raging anytime soon.

Read the full story here.

See a list of subprime lenders who are reaping the benefits of HAMP here.

And click here for a list of resources to help homeowners deal with mortgage hell.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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