Freddie Mac Didn’t Set Out to Profit from Homeowners Trapped in High-Rate Mortgages by Cora Currier for ProPublica Mortgage giant Freddie Mac did not keep homeowners trapped in high-interest loans in order to boost profits on billions of dollars’ worth […]
Yet the Obama administration bet the success of its foreclosure prevention program on the ability and willingness of that same troubled industry to help homeowners -- and lost. The program, overseen by the Treasury Department, has been characterized largely by lax enforcement and deference to banks.
Here’s the problem: Credit rating companies have long contended that their conclusions are protected by the First Amendment, much as if their ratings were as irrelevant to the markets as, say, your average financial column. Dodd-Frank tried to change that, designating the agencies “experts,” just like lawyers or accountants, when their ratings were included in S.E.C. documents for certain kinds of offerings. That would make them liable for material errors and omissions in their ratings.
Many foreclosures have been thrown into question because of flawed documentation such as inaccurate affidavits describing a mortgage's history. But three recent court cases point to another type of flaw in foreclosure filings that could place thousands more cases in doubt: false attorney signatures on court documents.