The foreclosure thing

What Axelrod missed:

Hey, so who actually “owns” these foreclosed properties anyway? Funny you should ask… Sometimes the party named as the plaintiff in a foreclosure will purport to be some sort of trust, other times it will be something called the Mortgage Electronic Registry System or MERS. Either way, it is a total joke. Most of the time no one actually knows and it doesn’t matter becausemore than half of the $10.7 trillion in mortgages outstanding in this country are owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac i.e. you, and hundreds of billions of others are guaranteed by other federal agencies or programs.

So put yourself in the shoes of these rightful owners, since they’re yours anyway: do you really want to evict millions of homeowners in the worst real estate market since the cholera epidemic, just so your houses can be ransacked by the lockup mercenaries, disemboweled and converted into meth labs by local entrepreneurs and blamed for the downward spiral in the values of surrounding properties many of which you also own? No of course not, only the mortgage servicers want that. You want to try and cut a deal with the homeowner, like Tim Geithner was supposed to facilitate with that “making home affordable” program that Rick Santelli used to launch a thousand tea parties, except that in his infinite ignorance Geithner outsourced that whole endeavor to the servicers who predictably sabotaged it entirely. Some private mortgage investors have tried to sue the servicers for this very reason, but it’s hard to even know who wants what because…

4. The entire industry stopped keeping track of who bought and sold.This brings us back to the aforementioned MERS. Headquartered in Reston, MERS was founded by this guy Paul Mullings who is now an executive at Freddie Mac and it is currently helmed by a fellow named R.K. Arnold who according to one account spends his leisure time collecting military toys. MERS was created to sidestep the process by which buyers and sellers of homes used to record transactions with local authorities by just entering deed and lien information electronically into a database. MERS did not even have to lobby anyone to change any laws do this, apparently: “The mortgage industry just changed how the land title system worked without getting anyone’s okay,” a law professor explained to the Washington Post. Various libertards are now arguing that since mortgages change hands a lot more often than actual houses do, MERS is the only “efficient” way of doing things, which might be true were there any evidence they were actual “doing” anything; two lawyers I spoke with and everyone quoted by anyone else who has actually done any reporting into the matter say that MERS has a pretty sloppy record of recording this stuff, since it has almost no employees of its own. That has not stopped MERS from volunteering its name to be used on the “plaintiff” side of millions of foreclosure actions, despite having no claim to anything at all except a poorly-kept database no one uses, but they have stopped doing that so much in recent months because a lot of judges have decided it might be against the law. But really, should someone have to have a claim on your house to file a foreclosure notice on it?

5. Homeowners Associations are still foreclosing on the houses of members who are delinquent on their dues by amounts of $150 or so.Seriously, how is this legal? How do I keep reading the same story over andover? Because we live in a banana republic that is carrying out some sort of unmanned drone attack on our so-called property rights for no apparent reason other than to juice the  official indicators of housing market “activity” and that sort of thing such that Steve Pearlstein will continue telling us it’s all okay, business as usual, that the whole snafu will be resolved very, very quickly, safe in the knowledge that anyone who begs to differ is guaranteed to lose the audience within the first 160 characters anyway.