Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Banking lobby defeats bipartisan effort to stall foreclosures in Virginia

Times like these are very few and far between when you have bipartisan legislation in the Virginia General Assembly that takes on the Banks.  On the House side you have Bob Marshall (R) Manassas (yes, that Bob Marshall), Betsy Carr (D)-Richmond, and Vivian Watts (D)-Annandale who introduced HB 1506, and on the Senate side, Chap Petersen and Don McEachin are carrying the companion bill, SB 836

These bills require Banks and Mortgage Lenders to give 30 days notice of intent to foreclose and sell.  Currently, they only have to give you 14 days notice.  As we all know, the Great Recession has forced hundreds of thousands of people to go into bankruptcy and lose their homes.  In several cases the rush to get these bad mortgages off their books snagged people who were financially sound and had never missed a mortgage payment, or been even late on a payment, leading to the foreclosure and sale of their homes. 

So, how could this happen you ask?  Not doing their jobs, that's how.  Also, sloppy record keeping.  By doing a simple titles search and comparing that to the home owner's payment history would have avoided anything like this happening.  For years, the Mortgage Industry has been relying on a system called MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System), where they entered the information into the system and basically forgot about it until a homeowner was far enough behind on their payments that it would notify the lender.  The problem with that is people enter the data and sometimes that information isn't accurate. 

But do the Banks care?  Clearly not.  What's wrong with giving people more time to see if they can scrape together the money to get caught up, or prove that they've been making their payments on time so they can clear up these problems?  Evidently, not even a staunch conservative and a Tea Party populist like Delegate Bob Marshall being the Chief Co-sponsor of this bill, could convince his fellow Republicans to do the right thing.  They need time to,... "STUDY IT"

When bipartisanship like this occurs in the Virginia General Assembly, it should be celebrated.  As for the Banks, they get bailed out, again. 

Images found at: http://homesfortmill.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/foreclosure-home-sale-sign.jpg and http://www.sarasotahomesforsalenow.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/BofA-forces-foreclosure.jpg

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Eric Holder: Takin' down the MOB, Ken Cuccinelli: Hasslin' college professors

While it might be unfair comparing the jobs of the Attorney General of the United States to the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, but this merits the comparison. 

U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, announced the arrests of 110 out of 127 people connected to organized crime in New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island
.  According to the FBI, this is one of the "largest single-day operations ever to target the Mafia." 

As for Virginia Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, he's still focused on bringing down Climate Change researcher Michael Mann, who doesn't even work at the University of Virginia anymore.  Cuccinelli's "Climate Change Inquisition" has prompted several legislators in the Virginia General Assembly (albeit, Democratic Legislators) to introduce a bill to reign-in Cuccinelli so that he actually does his job. 

Definitely a contrast in, should we say, styles.  Makes you wonder if Cuccinelli understands that the job of the Attorney General is to prosecute actual criminals, not persecute those who don't think like you. 

Image found at: http://www.cbsnews.com/i/tim//2010/07/02/ken_cuccinelli_370x278.jpg