Robo-signers. Moratoriums. Botched documents. In the midst of a complicated and crooked mess, New Deal 2.0 asked leading thinkers and activists to help navigate the maze of the foreclosure crisis. Our “Foreclosure 411” series focuses on the values inherent in explaining why we should care and what the crisis means to all of us. In the fourth part, foreclosure attorney Bubba Grimsley quizzes himself on some telling numbers coming out of the crisis.
Q. How many clients have come to my group and said, "we would like our house for free, we are deadbeats, and we hear that you can get us a free house"?
Q. How many of our clients have a servicing error, or are what we call "servicer driven defaults" ?
A. ALL OF THEM (187 +/- at press time).
Q. How many robo-signers, if you slow them down enough, can turn back time? After all, the assignments they are executing MUST have been completed, in order to make them legal, in 2007 (best case scenario) but 2003, 2004, or 2005 is more likely.
Q. How many servicers have servicing software that recognizes a mortgagee currently in bankruptcy court (or protected by the automatic stay)?
A. I'm not terribly sure here, but our sources say ZERO.
Q. How many bankruptcy cases are filed each year in this country?
A. Roughly 1.5 million.
Q. What percentage of Chapter 13 cases fail?
Q. How many of these Chapter 13 cases are servicer driven?
A. GOD only knows, but it has to be HUGE. Once a Chapter 13 debtor loses their home, there typically isn't anything left to fight for.
Q. How many of us wish we had the money back we sent to Obama's campaign?
A. Me, for one.
Q. How does Bradley Arant Boult Cummings get to be GMAC's national foreclosure defense firm (cleaning up the mess the mills have made) and also get to "investigate" servicer abuses for Fannie and Freddie?
A. Beats me, but it's very funny, in a sick sort of way.
Q. How many businesses besides GM (which owns Ally Bank), other than banks, got saved by government bailouts?
A. NONE. Oh, and Halliburton doesn't count.
Q. Who will get the naming rights to the Treasury? AIG or Goldman Sachs?
A. Let's flip a coin.
Q. How many homes could have been saved if the Fed had used the $600 billion they are using to buy treasuries to pay down underwater mortgages? And what stabilizing effect would that have on the economy?
A. A hell of a lot.
Bubba Grimsley is a foreclosure attorney in Alabama.