UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. See main page for full contents

February 26, 2009

FBI WARNED OF MORTGAGE FRAUD EPIDEMIC FIVE YEARS AGO

William K. Black, Huffington Post - The FBI has been warning of an "epidemic" of mortgage fraud since September 2004. It also reports that lenders initiated 80% of these frauds. 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." Financial control frauds' "weapon of choice" is accounting. Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime -- combined. . .

The FBI correctly identified the epidemic of mortgage control fraud at such an early point that the financial crisis could have been averted had the Bush administration acted with even minimal competence. . .

Fraud is the principal credit risk of nonprime mortgage lending. It is impossible to detect fraud without reviewing a sample of the loan files. Paper loan files are bulky, so they are photographed and the images are stored on computer tapes. Unfortunately, "most investors" (the large commercial and investment banks that purchased nonprime loans and pooled them to create financial derivatives) did not review the loan files before purchasing nonprime loans and did not even require the lender to provide loan tapes. . .

Worse, the S&P document demonstrates that the investment and commercial banks that purchased nonprime loans, pooled them to create financial derivatives, and sold them to others engaged in the same willful blindness. They did not review samples of loan files because doing so would have exposed the toxic nature of the assets they were buying and selling. The entire business was premised on a massive lie -- that fraudulent, toxic nonprime mortgage loans were virtually risk-free. . .

What commentators have missed is that the big banks often do not have the vital nonprime loan files now. That means that neither they nor the Treasury know their asset quality. It also means that Geithner's "stress tests" can't "test" assets when they don't have the essential information to "stress." . . .

2 Comments:

Blogger scott said...

It also means that you can possibly delay foreclosure by asking the bank to "prove" it owns the house by producing the original loan documents!

February 26, 2009 5:02 PM  
Blogger RONALD RYAN said...

The real dirty secret is that the Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), where all kinds of mortgages, including too many subprime that were doomed to fail, were intentionally meant to fail, because the real money was made by a few people from purchases of multiple Credit Default Swaps (CDS). The largest and most widespread fraud in the history of the world. Not an exaggeration.

October 5, 2009 9:44 AM  

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