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nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency.
These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice."
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Abraham Lincoln

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In a world gone mad we are the villains. We wield the truth and the light. In the end we will only be answerable to ourselves and our God. If we win then we inherit the earth, if we lose we get to Heaven.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Geitner's utter and complete incompetence combined with Citi Banks is almost hypnotic. It is like watching a train wreck, you just can not look away. . .

This from Mandelman Matters

After One Year, Obama Plan to Help Modify 

Second Mortgages Modifies NONE… Nada, Ziperino!

Well, woohoo!  It’s been just a few weeks shy of one year since the Obama Administration announced its plan to help 1.5 million homeowners modify their second mortgages, and the program has actually done something I did not think was possible.  It’s actually managed to help… no one!

 You’ve gotta’ think that no matter how stupid the government program is, one of whatever will simply slip through the cracks somehow.  

Wow.  Someone deserves some sort of prize or at least a plaque of some distinction.  Has this ever been achieved before in these United States, or anywhere else for that matter?

I mean, I would venture to guess that if the government announced a program whereby a U.S. citizen was required to send in $100 in order to receive a bag of flaming dog poo on their front step, well… more than one bag would get delivered… maybe even more than one each month.  Oh sure, the government would probably deliver the bag of flaming poo late and to the wrong address, but still.

According to a story in the Huffington Post, the plan was announced last April.  Treasury released guidelines in August.  And five weeks ago, Bank of America, the largest mortgage servicer in the country with three million seconds signed up.  Five weeks ago.  Stop it… they’ve been busy.
But wait… Bank of America’s spokesperson said a few days ago that the bank was STILL awaiting guidelines from Treasury before they would proceed to ignore them.  A Treasury spokesperson responded by saying that the bank could technically begin the process now.  To which the Bank of America spokesperson said: No we can’t.  To which the Treasury’s spokesperson said back: Yes, you could… technically.  To which Bank of America’s spokesperson replied: Your mother could… technically.  To which Treasury’s spokesperson said: Yeah, well I know I am, but what are you?  And then she ran off stage crying.
Last week, Vikram Pandit, who is Citigroup’s CEO and whose name sounds like a Bond villain set to take over the world by blowing a giant hole in the earth’s atmosphere, told a Congressional Oversight Panel why Citi has not yet signed up to participate in the program:
“We’ve said to the Treasury we’re willing to work with them as to what this program is.  We have just seen the details.  I think it’s prudent for us to go through that before we sign on.”
He’s right.  Take your time, Vikram… or Vik… do you suppose it’s okay if I call him “Vik”?  Don’t let anyone rush you into something that might save the U.S. economy.  You just keep focused on how to continue to justify your job and pay out bonuses as you run a bank that should have been placed in receivership ages ago.  We gave Citi $320 billion in loan guarantees last year, along with tens of billions in TARP funds, in case you have successfully suppressed the unpleasant memory of watching Timmy Geithner explaining the accounting shenanigans he’d come up with on television on Monday morning as he stood shoulder with someone from the Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund.  I haven’t, obviously.
RealtyTrac says there were 3 million homes lost to foreclosure, so figure closer to four, and RealtyTrac admits that this year could be worse.  One reason is that  so many distressed homeowners do in fact have second mortgages. The Obama Administration has estimated that “up to 50 percent of at-risk mortgages currently have second liens.”  So, that’s a lot.
According to the Huffington Post, the fact sheet that came along with the administration’s April 28, 2009, announcement of the second lien program noted:
Second liens contribute to the number of American homeowners unable to afford their housing payments. Even where a first mortgage payment may be affordable, the addition of a second mortgage payment can increase monthly payments beyond affordable levels. In addition, second mortgages often complicate or prevent modification or refinancing of a first mortgage.
The Second Lien Program will help create a sustainably affordable mortgage payment for millions of homeowners who qualify for a first mortgage modification, yet still face challenges in affording their monthly payments because of a second mortgage.
According to Citi’s regulatory filings, about 42 percent of the bank’s second mortgages are now worth more than the underlying assets.  See… plenty of time.  Don’t jump into anything too quickly, Vik baby.  Steady as she goes.
Okay, so it’s only been a year.  We can’t expect miracles from Washington.  They’re busy, and they have a lot more important things to do than deal with problems created by second mortgages.

This would be funny if it weren't true.

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