I think that mistermix’s post, wondering at the absence of libertarian writing on the subject of foreclosures, is very fair. I’ve spent too much time asking the question “What should be done with people not paying their mortgages?” in DougJ’s thread. So let me change gears for a moment (though I think it is legitimate to ask specifically what should be done in these cases – if the current system is wrong, there must be some other solution…?).
I’m not terribly well-versed in the foreclosure problems beyond Taibbi’s article on the matter. I think foreclosures are an important tool to keep lenders lending and the rules are set up so that homeowners can walk away from that debt without being totally crushed under it for the rest of their lives – but I agree with many commenters that if a lender can’t find the paperwork they should either not be allowed to foreclose or at least face a steep uphill battle in court. Yes, the burden of proof should be on the one doing the foreclosing. But I think it is also fair to take into account whether or not the homeowner is behind on payments. Surely a record of payments made to the lender should factor into all of this?
Some sort of government investigation or audit should take place to find out what’s going on with these rocket-dockets to be sure.
In any case, I say mistermix’s critique is fair because it is – libertarians are not proposing meaningful solutions to the foreclosure problem as far as I can tell. I do take issue with DougJ’s follow-up however. Simply writing off all libertarians as people who could care less about corporate abuse is a ludicrous assertion. Libertarians focus on how government and corporations work together to create far worse problems than either could achieve working on their own. They do this because that’s their political belief – that’s what separates them from many other liberals who see government as a solution to corporate abuse.
And actually, this government-corporate collusion may very well be what’s happening with these foreclosures. The legal system is allowing shoddy paperwork and rushed proceedings to go forward because it favors the interest of big corporations over that of the little guy. And yes, there is very little at all being written about this in the libertarian corners of the internet, and that’s a shame because this really is an extension of the mentality behind ‘too big to fail’ – crony capitalism.
All that being said, I don’t have enough knowledge of the actual proceedings in these rocket-docket cases to say much more. Foreclosure is an important part of lending, but it should be handled properly and with due process. Courts should not favor the interests of big banks over the interests of homeowners, though it is no surprise that they do.
Will you and DougJ just make out, already?
MAWM…he is touching me…
@Peter: Making out is not always the answer, Peter.
@schrodinger’s cat: This doesn’t even make sense.
Then shut the fuck up, since you don’t know what you’re babbling on about.
I’ve said it before – I’ve told you before, and I’ll tell you again. for a couple of hundred years, we’ve had a bright line standard on land and mortgage transactions. Your heroes came up with innovative new investment vehicles, but didn’t want to spend the money to properly process the recording.
Because of long and unhappy experience with bad behavior from debtors seeking to avoid judgment liens with quick self-serving transfers and because of some bad lender behavior, the set of standards previously employed included some rigid requirements that kept everything working.
In the end, if you don’t hold the proper documentation, you don’t get in the door of the courthouse – it is a matter of standing.
Now, please do us all the favor of remaining silent on matters in which you have no training or experience.
ETA: And no, you don’t get to open foreclosure litigation as part of a fishing expedition. You either have a clearly documented legal right to collect payment and foreclose or you don’t.
I haven’t read every commenter in detail, but I’m not sure that that many are suggesting a greater burden of proof upon the parties initiating a foreclosure as much as an equal burden upon both parties. And the argument is that there is often little enforcement of such burdens upon the foreclosing parties.
Maybe it would make sense to weigh the burden more heavily upon the foreclosures in principle, but I would think that the burden would fall more lightly upon the mortgagee mainly because the sorts of proof lain upon the mortgagee would be fairly simple to require.
I’m not sure that proving that you’re the one who owns the property you wish to foreclose is such a burden, as it didn’t used to be. The argument regarding a shirked burden by the foreclosing institutions appears to be that institutions stopped giving much of a shit about either maintaining accepted legal proof of ownership or in making sure that the legal procedures on the foreclosure process were followed.
Businesses exploit legal ‘loopholes’ or painstaking legal burdens on their opponents on a routine basis. It would be odd if such moves weren’t available to non-businesses, or to smaller businesses.
@E.D. Kain: DougJ, drank your milkshake in the last thread and now your complaining. Of course YMMV.
ETA: I do appreciate it, when you respond to us in the comments.
It’s worth noting that many liberals – take Bernie Sanders for example – take a smart approach here. Instead of seeing “government as a solution” (in the sense of a “government takeover of X”) he pushes policies that keep corporate abuse from becoming an issue in the first place. His amendment on the financial reform bill to limit the size of banks is a great example of that. If banks are limited in size to 1% of total deposits nationwide, there will be no “big” banks, and thus no systemic risk in the failure of any one. This changes the incentive structure.
@Michael: So sayeth the high and mighty blog commenter.
Honestly, at this point I’m not sure anyone can speak with very much certainty or clarity on the matter.
But I do realize that telling people to “shut the fuck up” is a very handy way to not have to engage them and to feel good about yourself all at the same time!
I see that you have chosen not to address or recognize the fundamental criticism that you received in DougJ’s thread.
I’d say Naked Capitalism does.
@BR: Actually some libertarians, like Tyler Cowen, have taken a similar approach to bank size.
@E.D. Kain: Aw, c’mon. You two are obviously crazy about each other.
@schrodinger’s cat: No he didn’t “drink my milkshake” – what are we fucking four-year-olds? Is this sort of immature machismo really necessary?
Courts should not favor the interests of big banks over the interests of homeowners, though it is no surprise that they do.
But if the laws or a few legal precedents were adjusted to create a more balanced approach from the courts, the system would continue to be imperfect. And libertarians would say, “Ah ha! This is just further evidence of government’s failure.” Because somewhere in the Libertarian mind is a Utopia where everything is perfect and all people are decent, responsible, and eat at Applebees.
And this is why Libertarianism is useless to me.
Then please explain how the foreclosure situation would resolve itself with less government intervention? The courts (government) are the only remedy consumers have for contract disputes. Eliminating them means that consumers have no remedies.
FWIW, I don’t think there’s necessarily much collusion really taking place here, rather I think the courts are falling to a prejudice – that big business is inherently less fraudulent than consumers, which is a rather right-wing frame. So when banks show up with their pretty folder of papers and consumers show up with their tattered folder of papers, the courts quite instinctively show bias toward the banks.
Libertarians seem to be just as susceptible, if not more so to this frame – that corporations are inherently honest brokers because they have this sort of perfect ‘rational self interest’ that rises above the human failings of its executives. It’s bullshit and completely contrary to evidence, but it permeates libertarian theory. Contrasted to that, libertarians do not believe that government can escape the human failings of elected and appointed officers, even though at least in the latter case you have generally self-interested voters providing a check, something lacking with corporations (and no, individual shareholders don’t count because they no longer have power – collective shareholders, that is, other corporations and agencies do).
@Omnes Omnibus: What would you define as the ‘fundamental criticism” Omnes?
I’ve yet to see libertarians go to war with government in order to limit corporate power. Of course, they could have just been playing 11 dimensional chess when they went to war with the Consumer Protection Agency, went to war over any attempt to rein in Wall Street, went to war over environmental regulations, and went to war over any attempt to tax or regulate corporations.
So maybe they are just playing a cagey game, pretending to be corporate whores. I doubt it.
Villago Delenda Est
There have been cases in California where homeowners made regular payments to an entity that long ago sold the mortgage to some other entity but didn’t bother to inform the homeowner that this happened. So the homeowner was sending the previous lender checks, which, by some amazing accident, didn’t get forwarded to the new lender. Or anyone down the chain.
This is because the actual interest on the home loan is NOT where the money is. The money is in the fees for reselling the loan down the pike. So no one is interested anymore in the actual loan, except as something they can sell to someone else.
Couple this with the outright, unadulterated fraud we see in Florida, which is given a wink wink nudge nudge from the bench, and you’ve got a problem. Florida is SCREWED. Their economy is SCREWED. The “predictability” that is mandatory for capitalism to function is GONE in Florida. You cannot buy a property in Florida now with any assurance that the title will be clear. There is none.
The boring paperwork, that is the basis of title in this country, has been forgotten because actually paying attention to title and the chain of custody costs time and money that cuts into sacred profit!
@E.D. Kain: Jesus, man. people have explained this to you several times. If you are the owner on the deed, people can only take it away from you if they can prove that they have superior rights. IOW they need to show that they have the right to receive payment, the right to foreclose if they have not received payment, and that they have not received payment. If they cannot prove any one of these things, hundreds of years of property law and dozens of years of secured transactions law say that they cannot take the property.
@Martin: Nobody is suggesting eliminating the courts. But if the courts are favoring big business over homeowners, then we have a problem with government. Eliminating government is not the only solution once you identify a problem with government. I honestly don’t know what the best solution would be, but it does strike me as fairly obvious that if the courts are doing this then the problem stems from the government even if the banks are on the Dark Side here as well.
The slippery slope of libertarianism.
If there’s someone who has a right to foreclose, of course such a record is important.
@Omnes Omnibus: Okay, and what are your examples (other than the Taibbi piece) of this happening with absolutely no proof?
Mmmmm – snide doesn’t suit you well.
That might be the funniest thing that I’ve ever seen somebody who admits to being a pig ignorant fuckwit on a topic ever say. How many foreclosures have you filed? More than me? How many consumers have you defended on foreclosure suits? More than me? Have you briefed this topic for courts like I have? Have you sorted through lien priorities on behalf of vendors like I have?
Constantly ignoring the written material on this earns you a “shut the fuck up”. Deal with it.
You know, it all comes down to how you define libertarian. I was too breezy about that. Too busy but I’ll come back to this later.
@E.D. Kain: Honestly, at this point I’m not sure anyone can speak with very much certainty or clarity on the matter.
Who you gonna believe, Bank of America or your own lying eyes? See, for you to say this means that you haven’t done any reading on the matter. 49 state AGs have been investigating what they called deceptive and misleading practices for over three months now. Robo-signing is at the heart of the investigation.
E.D., if more, or even most, libertarians did this, and did it convincingly, there would be a more convincing case for their place in the commentariat. But it’s consistently liberals who do this kind of thing. Government may be more often the solution, but it’s not the solution.
The question is one of interest, and of a greater good, and while most of us find government flawed, we at least can have hope that its methods can be impacted and shaped by the greatest number of people.
Compared to, say, the Chamber of Commerce, it’s no contest.
Villago Delenda Est
Your milkshake is gone, E.D. Your pathetic attempts at Jedi mind tricks do not work here.
You’ve been totally pwned, to use WoW trade chat terms, in DougJ’s thread. Totally and completely.
@E.D. Kain: Failure to recognize that property law already establishes who the owner is. I now see why you did not respond to everyone explain this issue. You were working on this post.
In a sane world banks could not foreclose on properties they have never held the note to, but they do.
In a functioning mortgage market, banks would not be allowed to break and enter and change locks to houses they don’t hold the paper to, but they do.
In a lawfully functioning world, banks would not be shoveled trillions of taxpayer dollars to keep them from collapsing, have the government buy their “bad debt”, give them interest free “loans” so they can “invest” in government bonds and sell them back to the government at a profit.
Sorry if I don’t share your concern that people should be responsible and pay their mortgages or face the consequences (implied in your off the hand remarks about people who have paid their mortgages shouldn’t be foreclosed on — well DUH!) In a functioning mortgage market with banks working within the law that wouldn’t even be an issue, because the mortgage would be up-to-date and there is no legal reason to foreclose on a mortgage with the payments being made on time.
Now I’m confused, why do you have no problem with the banks not fulfilling their legal obligations while taking trillions of taxpayer dollars? Your main concern seems to be with individual taxpayers paying their bills. PS. All the money being shoveled to the banks could have paid off the first mortgages of all middle to low income people who would have then taken their “new found” money and used it to pay the rest of their bills, bought new stuff and stimulated the hell out of the economy, creating demand which would have spurred companies to actually, you know, HIRE MORE PEOPLE.
Why would that have not been a better use of taxpayer money than handing it over to the banks with virtually no strings?
@Stillwater: So then good, we’ve got our investigations under way. I hope they hang the bastards (metaphorically at least) once they find out what’s going on.
Of course you don’t.
Swear to God, libertarianism is the bowel movement of a bunch of concern trolls.
From what I have observed, the fundamental problem with libertarianism is that it completely ignores the most basic fact of human nature, which is that the powerful will almost always abuse those weaker than themselves, whether the powerful are corporations or individuals.
Preventing that abuse as much as reasonably possible is my view of the role of government. Libertarians seem to view this as “over-regulation”.
Also, I think this is what irritates most of the commenters:
Then why are you arguing with people who are?
@Villago Delenda Est: See it’s comments like this that make it very, very hard to take you guys seriously. It’s all about PWNing and what not. All this violent imagery. Hmmm. Violent imagery, implicit violence and use of threats and bravado. Sounds like a certain topic we’ve been discussing around here lately.
I’m actually curious what you think is going to happen going forward with robosigning / foreclosures and whether it’s going to come to a head this year. I remember reading Chris Whalen saying that he anticipates that in the first six months of this year that servicing costs will hurt the big banks so bad that one of them will be recognized by the markets as insolvent.
How do you see it playing out, and on what timeline?
E.D. – The problem I have with Libertarianism (one defined by Fonzi, Reason et al) is that I have seen little if any critique of corporate coercion. For example, at Reason I see plenty of critiques about government coercion, some of which I agree with (drug war, liquor monopolies). But I have to hit the search bar to find only two piece in the last few months touching on the very real problem of banks trying to circumvent foreclosure law. And in them Cavanaugh doesn’t take them to task, but rather wonders what can be done to help them get back on track.
Corporate coercion is a very real thing, one that can occur without the assistance of the government. And I am wondering when Libertarians will actually start talking about it.
Corporations do what is legal to maximize their profits. No legal constraints, no constraint at all.
The outcome of the form of libertarianism you advocate puts corporate rights over individual rights. Those of us who value individual rights over corporations will naturally be insistent you acknowledge real world consequences.
There is plenty of written material proving property confiscation even when there was lien or other contesting claim. Relying solely on your feelings and ideology is immature.
Do your own research, then come back and make fact-based arguments. I’d welcome the results.
Johnny Gentle (famous crooner)
Or how about this:
The burden of proof should be on the state when prosecuting a crime, but I think it is also fair to take into account whether the defendant actually committed the crime.
You see, that’s kind of ridiculous. The burden is on the plaintiff in our legal system, period. If you can’t prove up your own case, do not pass go.
It’s amazing that anyone would still argue for some kind of special legal protection to banks because, y’know, it’s not right for someone to potentially get a free house. No other plaintiff in any kind of civil case gets this kind of judicial favoritism. How about letting the state win criminal cases easier because it’s not fair that a criminal might walk away?
More importantly, the real issue is this: this isn’t brain surgery. All these frickin’ banks have to do is show they actually own the loan in question. How hard should that be? I’m sorry you thought you could make a windfall second profit off securitizing mortgages and it backfired completely. But when you gamble and lose, the casino isn’t supposed to give your money back. It’s the banks’ own damn fault that shady lending practices and securitization turned their paperwork into Swiss cheese.
Hell, states are allocating money specifically to speed up foreclosures and clear out the dockets–in other words, states are funding the judicial system to produce a specific pro-bank outcome.
So really, screw the banks. They already got bailed out, and there’s no way in hell they deserve more special favors from the legal system.
Yes, be it “I drank your milkshake” or “Next time we’re going to bring our guns”, it’s really sad how both sides of the aisle employ violent rhetoric.
Villago Delenda Est
Libertarianism is, at it’s most primal, a rationalization for adults to behave like three year olds screaming “mine, mine, MINE!”.
That’s what it boils down to.
The complexity of the fact that individual liberties, by absolute necessity, sometimes will indeed come into conflict and hopefully an honest broker will sort that conflict out and preserver the greatest amount of liberty for all parties that is possible seems to escape them, even though they claim it’s the basis for their entire world view.
Because they side, consistently, with the bullies.
@E.D. Kain: First, already provided to to you in the previous thread. I don’t care to copy and paste the work of others. Why don’t you go look? Second, you had asked about ownership of the properties and proof thereof. You were given the answer. You are now shifting the goalposts by asking for proof that abuse of this is widespread. Third, why exactly do you get to pick which sources are used? If some provides something other than the Taibbi article (which people have done), how are we to know that you will not simply dismiss that evidence as well?
@John Cole: Oh, are you all well-versed in this subject? Are all the front-pagers here well-versed in every subject they blog about? I find this exceedingly hard to believe. Nor am I the sort who just doesn’t write about stuff because I’m not an expert in it – isn’t this sort of the point of blogging? To write about things as part of an ongoing effort to gain knowledge? That some commenters here have read a few blog posts on the matter doesn’t make them really well-versed either, but certainly it is all in the eyes of the beholder.
The banks made a royal hash of the paperwork for the loans that they held. It wasn’t a coincidence or unavoidable happenstance or even benign neglect. They made the conscious decision to abandon proper management of the loans in order to extract short term gain. (which they DID extract)
E.D. You are big on asking whether a homeowner in a house with a muddied title (muddied by the loan originator/owner/servicer, not by the homeowner) should be allowed to keep the home. Turn the question around. Should a loan originator/holder/servicer who consciously chose to not manage the loan properly so that they could win big in Vegas in the short term be entitled to be treated as if they had managed their side of the loan properly?
Or is moral hazard only a problem for the serfs?
@E.D. Kain: Holy fucking shit, really? SERIOUSLY?!
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
A proper role of the parties in power would be constant debates over what level is reasonable.
well, that and he’s not a liberal.
@E.D. Kain: I would think that you wouldn’t front page a topic that you’ve only shown interest enough in to read only one article, but maybe that’s just me…
It’s not like this topic hasn’t been in the news for the last 2 years.
Oh dear, now poor old E.D.’s worried about the violence implied by milkshakes while excusing that posed by M16 imagery. We’ll take up a collection for your dry cleaning bill when that terror actually occurs, all agreed? Put down the shovel dude: we understand that you have an idea about how the world works together tidily in your abstract ethereal theory, we’re just living and coping with things down here in the lumpy messy meaty bits of life as it is actually lived.
@E.D. Kain: I thought we were vicious jackals. May be we are 4 year old vicious jackals.
Seriously though, you did not answer many of the questions raised in the last thread and then you put up this thread, which to me read like a whiny 4 year old, complaining to his mom. You get so self righteously angry. You remind me of my little brother when he was 4. Hence my original comment.
ETA: Just so that it is clear. I was just teasing a little bit, no violence real or imaginary was intended. We tease John Cole about everything from his kitteh to his moping habits, he never seems to mind. Sorry if I hurt your feelings.
“Some sort of government investigation or audit should take place to find out what’s going on with these rocket-dockets to be sure.”
Too bad libertarians have spent so much time wailing about and derailing Big Government regulations that might have prevented this in the first place.
On the plus side, I believe every state Attorney General’s office has investigations. On the downside, they’ll probably offer a cost of business fine to “settle the issue” so banks can foreclose with phony legal documents. Got to protect the banksters.
@E.D. Kain: No, but when I don’t know something, and someone comes along with some experience and authority, I accept what they have to say rather than make new counter-arguments based on my deeply-held principles.
And I wasn’t attacking you, I was just telling you what infuriates most of the commenters. I know he’s angry and attacking you, but that is the gist of what Michael is saying.
Hard to imagine how that could have happened when Conservative Jesus proclaimed “Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.” You have an entire party dedicated to packing the courts with people that believe this regardless of how much government there is. Who could have predicted they would side against more regulation?
Villago Delenda Est
And yet, again, you miss the point here.
Your arguments have been found to be very lacking. At first, you wave your hand about paperwork, and then you deny you were disdainful of paperwork, when it’s obvious to everyone in the room that you were. I was not the only commenter to pick up on this.
It appears that approaching you on a childish level doesn’t get the message through to you, either, as you then revert to a faux-adult stance in an effort to escape the unassailable truth, if you have any intellectual integrity.
Which is the problem.
The banks are having problems proving that they have a superior interest in the real property in question. Yet, you’re bitching about the possibility that the occupant of the home missed a payment. The bank apparently, from what I can gather from your general tone, shouldn’t be questioned about this. The prole needs to be evicted! NOW! The moral hazard of banks tossing people out of homes that they have no demonstrated right to is TRIVIAL compared to the moral hazard of some prole squatting in a house!
We see this broken, illogical thought pattern repeatedly from both Galtian overlord types and their lickspittle prole minions.
“I’m not terribly well-versed in the foreclosure problems beyond Taibbi’s article on the matter. I think foreclosures are an important tool to keep lenders lending and the rules are set up so that homeowners can walk away from that debt without being totally crushed under it for the rest of their lives – but I agree with many commenters that if a lender can’t find the paperwork they should either not be allowed to foreclose or at least face a steep uphill battle in court. Yes, the burden of proof should be on the one doing the foreclosing. But I think it is also fair to take into account whether or not the homeowner is behind on payments. Surely a record of payments made to the lender should factor into all of this?”
In a word, no. The problem is not that homeowner A owes money, it’s that the banks have no idea who A owes money to, and they can’t prove it. Proving it is their job, and it’s one that the law requires in detail. More specifically, the law has (for a long time) placed the burden of establishing certain basic facts on the bank, and provided concrete, definable steps to follow. It’s not some “reasonable person” fuzzy test, it’s: “place these exact words here, on this size paper.” If the bank does that, then the homeowner loses. Every. Single. time.
But they didn’t follow those rules, which were designed to give both sides certainty in a really, really important transaction. So that’s too bad for them. Had they followed their legal obligations, they would have no problems at all. Indeed, given the fact that you could pretty much tack an interest rate onto a dog turd and sell it as “innovation” to state and federal legislators, the fact that they didn’t try to head this off before the explosion is inexcusable.
If you haven’t, I’d really recommend some books on behavioral/cognitive science. Check out “predictably irrational” or “how we decide” (or both). Those works might color your thinking a bit on this kind of problem, and how to correct the behavior of the banks. (Hint: permitting bank Mulligans won’t do it).
@scav: Really, truly, I wonder if you people talk to real people in the real world this way. I very much doubt it.
@E.D. Kain: But libertarians frame all solutions in the form of ‘what should we do to government’. No other solutions are really ever considered. How about ‘what should we do to corporations?’ There’s a reason why this problem didn’t exist until recently, and it’s not because government has changed in function or structure.
The reason why libertarians haven’t shown up to this problem is that it doesn’t lead to their desired outcome. That’s another reason why they’re glib – they avoid discussions that don’t fit into their worldview, and this is one of them.
@E.D. Kain: Thank you for that. I mean, really, if we can’t agree on the basic facts at play, at least in broad outline, then there can be no discussion for or against a particular position.
E.D. – Here is a link to a story from September of last year highlighting just five cases of banks wrongfully repossessing or trying to seize properties, in some cases properties they didn’t even own.
It’s a major problem and it would be great if Libertarians actually, you know, SAID something about it.
It’s an easy to read PowerPoint slide show, though the actual office named above has individual cases which can be reviewed.
Here’s a filed case example of the sections mentioned and illustrated in a page/slide (p. 37) in the linked presentation regarding fraud in foreclosures via forgeries on the part of Mortgage Servicers:
The ECD has other cases which can be read.
@John Cole: Ding!
@stacie: “And this is why Libertarianism is useless.”
@E.D. Kain: Some of the commenters here are lawyers who specialize in this area, have experience in the area, and/or have taken courses in property and secured transactions law. I tend to think that if one blogs about something one knows little about, one should be open to learning from the commenters who do know something about it. I always understood that as the point of such a post. To me saying, in effect, “I don’t know much about this, but here is what I think,” is a reasonable blog post if one is then ready hear what people who do know about it have to say. Simply because you know little about a topic does not mean that it is unknowable.
ED – go to barry ritholtz’s place (the big picture) for a rundown of what the massive issue is.
short of it is –
1. the investigations are complete. all 50 AGs said there was fraud and perjury on the part of the banks. all 50 declined to press criminal charges.
2. the above mentioned thousand or so years of property law.
3. the banks were not respecting the requirements of the PSAs rendering the actual security in breech.
The solution, short term, is to start criminial prosecutions against both corporations and the individuals as well and throw a bunch in the klink and dissolve felonous coporations.
the long term solution is to restore personal liability to the board of directors (which is abscent in deleware, why so many corporations are incorporated in that state). This allows share/bond holders to go after the board of directors for malfesance or simple incompetence.
ANyway, go hitup Barry’s place and then come back to the discussion. He’s a financial guy AND a lawyer so he can talk about it from both sides.
@E.D. Kain: you must have a very polite family or haven’t been to a really good knock-down seminar or colloquia. It’s possible.
My gut feeling is that due to an absence of political will in Congress to do anything which makes sense on a coordinated basis, you’re going to see a protracted clusterflop divided by state lines. The losses that BoA, Wells Fargo and citi will take in places like OH and MA will cause a sea change in practice. Florida is a lost cause in terms of its judiciary – it opted to take the easy way out and look the other way on robosigning. Georgia is the same.
Timeline – if you avoid foreclosure through year end, you’ll probably be OK. If you’re in foreclosure on Florida or Georgia, start looking for a rental. Look for nice results by year end in foreclosures in NJ, Mass and OH. other states could be looking at situations where it takes years to pick through the pieces.
@John Cole: Did you see in the post where I say “commenters make good points” and “I agree with X and Y” – do you also see how, no matter what I write, the commenters simply enjoy the arena so much that it doesn’t and won’t ever matter unless I adopt their worldview entirely? So far I have still not seen any terribly substantive solutions presented to this problem. Just a lot of libertarian-bashing dressed up as – what? As a solution itself? Nah, these threads aren’t about proposing solutions, they’re about “PWNing” and “kicking ass” etc. ad infinitum. Hell, even asking questions is met generally with “You’re pathetic” etc. So I ask “Can the homeowner prove they own the home without at the same time proving that they owe money on it” or something to that effect and it’s met with snarling jackals ready for blood. This is no way to conduct debate. And yes, I know that this will be construed as me “whining” but really – this is still no way to have a debate. It’s a sad excuse for one.
@E.D. Kain: See the difference is that Cole and the rest of the frontpagers don’t tend to keep digging when the commenters who are well-versed in a subject call them on something. But, yes, I know your philosophy buys you an exception.
I’m going to go knock off a bank with a milkshake.
One of my favorites from the AG presentation above was when the foreclosure assignee no longer exists, like IndyMac or Lehman Brothers. Imagine how much more difficult it would be for them to prove that they are the entitled mortgager.
We should “account” for people who haven’t paid mortgages when dealing with thieving banks? Uh, how, why, and to what end? Like, on the other hand, maybe we just shouldn’t.
Haha, that’s such horseshit.
Five paragraphs too late.
Oh, and I see now why you’ve generally refrained from engaging in the comments section. Your prior instinct to avoid it was solid.
Are you kidding me? If an owner is behind on payments, then there is someone out there who probably should foreclose on them, the issue with the robosigning and the rocket dockets is that the banks can’t prove that they should be the ones doing the foreclosing.
You mean, other than the examples of this happening, what examples of this happening are there? DIAF.
@E.D. Kain: E.D., it is difficult to have debate about solutions if we cannot agree on the problem.
ETA: There have been a number of people who have addressed your questions reasonably. We have become frustrated and a bit short tempered at the fact that you seem to not acknowledge our answers.
@Corpsicle: I could teach you, but I’d have to charge.
I was shocked to discover that the mainstream libertarian position was to oppose net neutrality.
This caused me to update my thinking about libertarianism and embraced by Americans.
Libertarianism seems to be anti-government authoritarianism.
Sorry, but I just don’t see real-world libertarians as being useful allies on anything.
They sometimes talk about torture and government abuses on civil liberties, but it’s mostly to draw rubes in the tent to indoctrinate them on their economic ideology.
@E.D. Kain: You’re pretty transparent about scrupulously avoiding the myriad real substantive criticisms directed at you, deflecting to the understandably exasperated comments of a few. Your attempting to opine about something that you admittedly know next to nothing about is exhibit 1 of why BJ’ers refer to this as glibertarianism. You’re heading towards Jonah Goldberg “faarrtt” country, dude. I’m a lawyer, and I don’t know much about foreclosures, so I would defer to people who know the facts. A bit OT, I thought “libertarianism” was grounded in the primacy of individual human liberty. Why do most prominent libertarians seem to have no problem with the Chief Justice forwarding the idiotic concept that a corporation is a “person”? It’s a conspiracy to limit individual responsibility, albeit one that may be allowable under appropriate regulation. A corporation is not, and never will be, a person. Loughner (huh, what thought), and it’s progeny Citizens United are some of the worst decisions ever made by a Supreme Court.
Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel)
And if that leads to tighter regulations then you’re down with that, right?
@E.D. Kain: So far I have still not seen any terribly substantive solutions presented to this problem.
There you go again deliberately confusing issues. The comments you’re claiming were simply harping on you no matter what you write were in fact trying to educate you about a state of affairs you didn’t understand (and were apparently completely unaware of). Now you shift the posts to the ‘well, if it’s such a big deal, where are all the solutions to this problem?’ But that wasn’t the topic of the OPs in either case, nor is relevant to the ongoing discussion. If you want to hear proposed solutions, ask the question, write a post (accurately!) outlining the problem, how it seems intractable (or whatever) and what can be done about it.
Christ, you might learn something!
Michael got this at 5 but it bears repeating.
If the question is “should somebody be allowed to foreclose”, the buyer’s payment history is relevant.
But that’s not the question. The question is whether *a particular party* is entitled to foreclose.
You don’t get to foreclose if you can’t demonstrate that you own the note.
It would be lovely if the courts were more sympathetic to homeowners, but nobody’s even asking for that. What people are pissed off about is the fact that banks can throw people out of their homes without having to demonstrate that they have the standing to do so.
@Omnes Omnibus: Did you read my post? Did I not, quite plainly, say that this is a problem?
@E.D. Kain: I AM NOT ARGUING WITH YOU. I AM TELLING YOU WHY I THINK THEY ARE!
@Corpsicle: Is it chocolate or is it strawberry?
@E.D. Kain: Really dude? Really? Did you actually read any o those threads, or did you just skin the first paragraphs?
Culture of Truth
Spinal Tap voice:
“Libertarians care about corporate abuse, it’s jus’ not widely reported.”
Hasn’t Atrios offered some ideas on this many times before?
I think his general thought for situations where the occupant is way underwater but can otherwise afford reduced payments is some remedy in principal modification that keeps occupant in the house. The bank is taking a haircut either way, so why not keep someone in their home and keep the home off the market.
All the HAMP stuff did generally was squeeze perhaps a few more payments out on folks who ended up foreclosed on anyway.
Now there certainly could be some recourse for the bank in the future on that haircut. I’m not saying occupants should get a free ride.
Of course there are many situations where people cannot not afford their payments because they were never really paying enough anyway due to negative amortization or other variable rate lending. It may be impossible to keep those folks in their home, because they can’t really afford even the reduced value.
I’m not a lending expert or economist, so I’m sure this is a lot more involved, but principal mod is one way to prevent some foreclosures.
It’s always the government’s fault.
In the event that corporations continue to fuck people over … I’ll be over here bitching about taxes and seat belt laws.
@Georgia Pig: Really? Did you read the post?
@John Cole: I bet Tunch listens better than Kain.
@John Cole: Okay, okay. No need to shout. But still.
I don’t have an answer to your question, but I do think the mortgage mess brings up another important criticism of Libertarianism, one which I’ve frequently seen mentioned in Atrios. Libertarians tend to assume the existence of the free market as pre-existing government (and I say this as someone who was myself a Libertarian in my youth). It’s almost mathematical in its attraction; one takes as a first principle that the freedom for me to swing my fist ends before I hit your nose, and goes from there.
The trouble is that free markets don’t arise out of nothing. The system of property ownership in particular is a necessary prerequisite for functioning capitalism. And the system of property ownership didn’t come out of nothing, it’s a complex system of rules and procedures that has evolved over time, that is enforced by governments.
What’s surprising, at least to me, is that the capitalists out of hubris are ignoring the foundations that made capitalism possible. If capitalism falls, it will be because the capitalists killed it.
A close friend was an attorney at a title insurance company. S/he was forced out for refusing to participate in various fraudulent and illegal activities.
Fraud is deeply embedded in the current real estate and mortgage business.
That’s the Gordian Knot. How do you change the business practices from widespread fraud to following the law without hurting the powerful people who make money off the fraudulent practices?
Kain: There’s no excuse for you writing about this topic before you educate yourself on it. The information is readily available.
It is not the job of the commentariat here to educate you.
No offense to E.D., but that made me laugh quite a bit.
@E.D. Kain: You said there is a problem. I don’t yet think that there is agreement over what the problem is. A history of payments has virtually nothing to do with with who may foreclose. This is a huge legal issue.
E.D., I think the problem is that you are arguing something different. The issue isn’t about whether a bank or the resident has a stronger legal claim. The issue is that banks are using extra-legal, fraudulent methods to repossess or to try to repossess properties. Really, the issue isn’t the resident at all. It is the banks ignoring the law and committing fraud to take away properties.
If the government did this, you’d be pissed and rightly so. Heck, I hear libertarians bitch all the time about police departments using drug laws to take away property of people who have done nothing wrong (and I agree with their anger). Well, in many ways this is the same situation, but I don’t see any equivalent outrage from the Libertarian side. Why?
BUT LIBERALS WANT HIGH TAXES!
Man, good on ya to see how many shit sandwiches you can eat–no puking though–gotta keep ’em down.
Look ’em up:
Rule of Law
Srsly though, do some basic research before you open your yap up.
Finally though, I sure with John would take away your posting privileges. I’ve read some of your stuff with an half-open eye but this one tells me that you’re seriously out of your league. Maybe you should go back to NRO? That sounds more like your cuppa tea..
To respond re: the deeds and the homeowner’s right to the property, etc. I absolutely agree. These are very good points and I don’t mean to disregard them – they influenced the writing of this post. So, with that out of the way, what exactly is wrong with writing a post saying that A) it’s true libertarians haven’t written about this enough and B) that more oversight into these rocket-dockets should take place?
Seriously – in a post basically conceding to those arguments, while still disagreeing with the caricature of libertarianism presented by DougJ – what on earth do people actually find here to disagree with so vehemently?
I think the big implicit critique of libertarians here is this: we have a clear cut, widespread, and extensive example of big business literally stealing people’s homes. The libertarian response from even the “reasonable” libertarians is “I’m not terribly well-versed in the foreclosure problems beyond Taibbi’s article on the matter.” If no libertarian is paying attention to private property issues when the problem is big business, how can I take seriously the idea that libertarians care about private property?
The answer is simple.
Libertarianism is not a real ideology. It’s a PR program for corporate authoritarianism.
When has libertarianism ever taken a stand against corporate abuses of power other than situations where the “libertarians” want to blame government for the problem?
I’ve been following the mortgage mess closely for quite some time. If you want to find out more, I suggest reading these blogs:
Yves Smith’s blog Naked Capitalism at:
Matthew Weidner’s blog (a Florida foreclosure lawyer) at:
and of course, Barry Ritholtz at:
And this presentation from the Florida Attorney General’s Office is an excellent starter:
The main points (only some of which are discussed here) are:
1) The banks setup the MERS system to avoid paying transfer taxes thereby bypassing the country registration systems that have been the backbone of U.S. Real Estate practice for hundreds of years, long before the founding of the country. Any transfers of mortgages are supposed to be recorded at the county level. Banks have avoided this by keeping the notes in the name of a shell company called MERS which is essentially a bank-owned private mortgage recording system that bypasses the laws of many states.
Many have argued that this is tax fraud. Many billions of dollars in taxes were avoided through this system.
2) The banks sold mortgages to investors and act as servicers for the loan. They get paid more if a mortgage is foreclosed than if it is not. They get paid fees that makes it advantageous to foreclose even if the investor AND the homeowner get screwed in the process.
Consider what happens in the FL market with a 90% loan to value loan for a $180,000 loan on a $200,000 house. When the market drops 50% the house is worth only $100,000 and might sell at auction for $80,000 and after fees the investor might get $70,000 back. But the banks acting as servicers would rather have this happen than have the homeowner get an $80,000 write down for the note to the value of the house at $100,000 which would mean $30,000 more for the investor and the homeowner would get to keep their house and avoid foreclosure. So the banks win but the homeowners lose and the investors lose.
One of the supposed stipulations of the bailout funding was that the banks would work to refinance properties in danger of foreclosure. They have not done this in good faith because it has not been as profitable for them. They took our money and haven’t lived up to their end of the bargain, namely working with homeowners to reduce principal for people who can still pay a decent mortgage payment.
3) The banks screwed up the record keeping. In many cases, they won’t be able to prove they have the right to foreclose or even who owns the notes.
4) The banks have been committing fraud and perjury against the courts in conjunction with their attorneys and paid agents by forging documents in order to initiate the foreclosure process. This has been pervasive.
What’s wrong with allowing banks to repossess? They are nice, upstanding business people. Of course they are following the law and don’t need oversight. Isn’t that how the free market works?
Villago Delenda Est
That’s the problem with libertarianism in general. The imagine the world works one way, when in fact, if they bothered to take a look at it, seriously and in detail, it works another way entirely.
My favorite example of libertarian stupidity is the libertarian idiots who work in IT, who would not have careers if it wasn’t for the evil government taxing people for the Apollo Program (that made desktop computers possible) and DARPA (which gave us the Internet that AT&T told the Department of Defense back in the 60’s was “impossible”).
They think that all this stuff just emerged like Athena from the head of Zeus, without understanding all the things that came before that made it possible.
I know, history is a dry subject for most. It’s so boring. It’s not flashy. But it does help you understand why things are the way they are. Forgetting what Glass-Stegall was addressing led us into this mess. All those terrible Hitlerite/Stalinist/Islamic regulations that the vile totalitarians of the New Deal insisted on were put in place for a reason. Now we have to relearn that reason, the hard way.
@Dave: The extra-legal stuff the banks are doing – they’re still doing this through the courts, right? So this is a government issue. And yes, libertarian should be worried by it.
Again, libertarians don’t care about the foreclosure fraud when everything about it screams that it should be a huge libertarian issue. Why is it not? Because DougJ and mistermix say that reasonoid libertarians only care about the wealthy and powerful corporations. You say, “not true, that’s a deliberate misrepresentation of libertarian philosophy.”
And here we are.
And if you want to get the background on the whole mortgage securitization mess, read Tanta’s old uber-nerd posts.
All hail Tanta.
I think you need to further define “Libertarian”. I’m sure there are some reasonable libertarians around concerned with corporate malfeasance and the like, but I think it’s hard to argue with the fact that most institutional libertarian ideology is not concerned with corporations in the slightest, and most journalists waste their time with, for the most part, useless things that do not concern the vast majority of Americans. For example, the largest and most well-know think-tank – FreedomWorks – is funded by the Koch Brothers and is dedicated to destroying any kind of reasonable government oversight in the economic sector. During the health care debate, instead of acknowledging that, yes, insurance companies should have to accept people with pre-existing conditions and dedicate more of their revenue to health care as opposed to corporate profits, they coined the term “Obamacare” and simply attacked any effort to reform health care at all. So no, I don’t agree with your premise that libertarians care about corporations; they seem to be solely dedicated to undermining trust in the government.
Culture of Truth
“they’re still doing this through the courts, right? So this is a government issue. And yes, libertarian should be worried by it.”
and yet no one is really surprised they don’t seem to be.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@elm: Actually, on this site, it can be. Most of the commenters here accept that. John has a history of saying “I have just learned something and I am wrong.” A trait not too many people have.
Another issue to throw into the mix: predatory lending.
Villago Delenda Est
Oh, obviously it was NECESSARY for John to shout. Because until he did, your osmium armor was deflecting every previous comment.
Are you so committed to your ideology you really don’t understand the arguments made by your critics?
If so, you have stopped learning.
Well, there’s libertarianism in abstract theory and libertarianism in corporeal practice and ED seems to be defending the theoretical ideal version and the attack is on the in-practice version(s).
@E.D. Kain: so are you saying that “regulatory capture” has occured with the court system… that would seem to be both a corporate and government problem… do you have a solution for that? If that’s what you’re saying then there is no recourse for average citizens.
@elm: Hell, I wouldn’t even mind if E.D. enlisted the commentariat to educate him if he seemed willing to learn.
@Villago Delenda Est
IT libertarians are the worst. I stopped reading Slashddot after I read one too many comments from IT libertarians who insisted they never got anything from the government.
“I read sites on the Internet and taught myself how to code PHP and write HTML.”
Their capacity for self-delusion is astonishing. If only we could convert it to electricity.
@E.D. Kain: And yes, libertarian should be worried by it.
Ah, finally back on track. They ‘should’ be worried about it, but as DougJ pointed out, they are assiduously avoiding writing about it. Why is that?
The banks are breaking the law. The courts are enabling this.
Therefore, the problem is government.
This is the classic libertarian syllogism. It’s also why nobody other than libertarians take libertarianism seriously.
I think the whole issue of libertarian vs. liberal on the possibility of regulatory capture by corporations comes down to this. Libertarians either think corporate abuses aren’t that bad or don’t think good governance is possible. I’m also inclined to believe that this second tendency is prominent from the number of libertarian authors who use phrases like “Honestly, at this point I’m not sure anyone can speak with very much certainty or clarity on the matter” or “It’s technically true but collectively nonsense” or “No one could have known that.” When dealing with corporate abuse of government authority its much easier to just blame ‘big government’ than actually address the mechanisms through which the abuse takes place.
Yes, governing is hard work and, yes, many of these problems are complicated, but most of us would rather work to fix these problems than throw up our hands and give ourselves over to our Galtian overlords.
Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but this comment shows the main problem that I have with libertarians. You’re worried because they’re using the courts, and therefore the government. Yeah, you don’t want people who are making their payments forced out of their homes, but it really seems like it’s the government involvement, not the criminal behavior of the banks that is sticking in your craw. Would you be as worried if there was a setup to settle foreclosures through private mediation instead of a state courtroom?
I know I’m being redundant here, but no, no, no. If I sue to foreclose on you, do you have to show record of payment? No. I don’t hold your mortgage note. Not until I can prove legally that I do would you have to show your payments. And if I proved I did hold the note, this issue of fraud disappears. Maybe there’s another issue of your payments not being credited, or something else, but that’s not the dispute here.
I would like this question addressed.
@E.D. Kain: Hmmm…I do see what you are getting at. In some cases, yes. The Florida “rocket-docket” is the clearest example of government/corporate coercion. In other cases, though, the banks are simply doing it on their own and hoping that, post-seizure, the courts will simply agree to it.
Either way, I still have yet to see a major Libertarian figure or publication engage in a sustained attack against this kind of corporate behavior. Whereas Kelo sent them into hyperbolic fits of rage.
The more important question is: Why are you letting him do this on the front page? This amounts to front page trolling.
He was no less ignorant about what constitutes a monopoly two months ago. Plenty of commenters there pointing out he was pig fucking ignorant about that as well.
@DougJarvus Green-Ellis: Please don’t make a front page post about it. The only way to win a game of No True Scotsman is not to play.
@sukabi: It’s quite possible. I mean, why else are banks allowing these sorts of things to occur?
@Carl Nyberg: that will happen when one of the banks steals their home and not before.
Culture of Truth
The beauty of this argument is that if government were not at all involved – if say, corporations hired thugs to assault those who owed them money – by E.D.’s standards the libertarian would not care.
So Government Not-Involved = No Problem
Government-Involved = Government Is the Problem
You go from a smart premise to a bunch of nonsense very quickly.
Yes, securitized loans are essential to the extension of credit, and they occur not just in the home loan market, but also in car loans, commercial real estate, and business loans of all sorts–inventory, equipment, etc. So, one point well established.
Now, it’s nice that you “agree” that lenders should have a hard time foreclosing when they don’t have the right paperwork. The problem is that the law is that unless you are the person with the right to enforce, you don’t get to foreclose. Whether you, ED Kain, agree or not is irrelevant. This isn’t a matter of technicalities or fudged paperwork or whatever. It’s not a procedural issue, but rather a substantive right that you either possess or don’t possess.
And if you don’t have that right, you don’t get to foreclose–regardless of how far behind someone is, regardless of whether they’ve made payments to you or not. If you don’t have the right to enforce note/mortgage, you don’t get to come to court and ask for a mulligan.
You think it’s important that people are actually behind on their mortgages and they’ve made payments to a particular entity, but those two things just aren’t important in the least. If you have a mortgage and the servicing rights are transferred, you don’t have any right to contest that transfer or to see if it was done properly. You are simply informed that you will need to send your payments to someone else. And if you don’t, they will try to foreclose on you. So, even if you’ve made payments to a particular mortgage servicer, you are at their mercy insofar as they are the ones responsible for properly transferring servicing rights. That you have made payments to someone is not in fact evidence that you owe them money.
More importantly, the problem with your analysis is that it doesn’t take into account the sort of work that courts actually do. Most of my clients in foreclosure did not get there because they had poor budgeting skills or because they didn’t want to pay their mortgage or because they bought a sports car instead. They’re in foreclosure because they lost a job, a spouse, or their health. What they want is to be able to go to court and tell the court all the reasons they fell behind and have a judge side with them. In short, what they want is justice–to be treated as they deserve according to their abilities and circumstances. But no judge is ever going to do that, because it’s not a justice system. It’s a legal system.
ED, you want the same thing. You want people to go into court and to be treated according as they deserve according to their abilities and circumstances. The difference is that you hold different views about what people can do and what is necessary in these cases. That’s why you think the banks not having the right to enforce should be balanced against the fact that people haven’t paid. You think that is the just out.
The thing is that it’s not the legal outcome. That should be the end of the story.
Hold on, E.D.
Doesn’t libertarianism assume a court system to arbitrate disputes over contracts?
You seem to assume that a more perfect court system would be created without government.
What would this court system based on something other than government look like?
Do you think banks would require borrowers to use their court system? Do you think this court system would be better at preventing fraud by banks in the loan collection process?
@daveNYC: No – the courts are the only means by which to do this. I’m not worried because they’re somehow “choosing” to use the government. I’m worried because this is the only avenue – the only conceivable avenue – to handle foreclosures, and yet the banks are still getting preferential treatment by the courts. Do you see how this is troubling? Beyond the banks being assholes, do you see how the government’s role in this is deeply, deeply troubling?
First, some of it was carryover from the previous thread where you manifestly did not accept these ideas. Second, even in this post you continued to advance the premise that, because you knew little about the topic, no one did or could. This can be quite frustrating to people who do know and who took the time to try to educate you. It fairly drips with disdain towards those people. Third, I still do not think that you are on the same page as everyone else as far as what constitutes the problem. I don’t mean that we disagree as to solutions as liberals and libertarians; I mean that I, for one, am not sure that you perceive the central problem as being the ability of a bank to take the property of a property owner without establishing that they have a superior right to it. I see that you recognize it as a problem, but not that you see it as the problem.
@Ailuridae: I disagree with not letting him post on the FP. I say let the natural course of events play itself out: either EDK learns to write with more precision and knowledge, or he gets weary of being bashed in the comments. I retain the hope that ED will realize his favored political theory is empirically inadequate, and will come to more nuanced views – which include more facts, less first principles and a rejection of the conservative belief that simply thinking really hard about a topic is sufficient to learn the truth. Obviously, ymmv.
@daveNYC: E.D. stated earlier that the government is the only entity invested with the power to make the use of violent force legal. I take it that such violence is conceived as something primal and so also the source of legal and regulatory distortions in the economic system. If I’m reading him correctly, this is also why every systemic evil gets traced back to the government: government is the source of the legal violence, or at least the entity that authorizes the appearance of the violence as a systemic (rather than extrasystemic) element. I had to speculatively fill in some gaps there, but that’s as best as I could reconstruct it.
Libertarians fail and cannot be taken seriously when they see the government colluding with corporations as a justification for reduced government involvement, when it’s clear and getting clearer government is the only force capable of managing the externalities that arise from corporations doing the only thing they’re supposed to: maximizing profit.
They make government the enemy anyway you slice it. Colluding with corporations, or interfering with maximizing profit.
@Culture of Truth: This is total bullshit and a huge misrepresentation of what I’m actually saying.
@E.D. Kain: Yes. You say:
That is mostly nonsense, because libertarians, at least the self-identified ones and not the ones in your imagination, rarely say anything of the sort. As DougJ noted, most don’t give a rat’s ass about corporate abuse. This position that you ascribe to “libertarians” is more often espoused by liberals these days. Self-identified “libertarians” mostly bitch about public employees, taxes and gun regulation, with a few oddballs that want to smoke dope or surf for porn.
Regarding the substantive issue of mortgages, others have amply pointed out your ignorance about the concept of standing. “Little guys” get shut out of courts on a daily basis for technical reasons relating to standing. You don’t even get to bring your payment records if you don’t have standing.* Courts should have no business granting standing to corporate entities who fail to follow what are really quite simple procedures that have been done for ages. Getting back to my point on corporate personhood, a bank or other corporate entity should never be granted the same leeway on standing that an individual might because of the corporation’s ability to deflect liability using the corporate form. That is also how you get improperly influenced judges, because it lets the association (not person) who knowingly or negligently failed to follow procedures get into the court, where they can take advantage of their superior resources and the prejudices of certain judges. It does not matter whether the homeowner is at fault under law; if you can’t show you own it, then you don’t. That’s how you reinforce corporate governance. Make the shareholders realize that their officers are a bunch of crooks or incompetents.
*btw, payment records are only direct evidence for the mortgagee about what he has already paid, not what he owes or who he owes it to. At best, it is only indirect evidence of ownership and can be highly unreliable. For example, he could have been paying money to the wrong party. Or, as we have seen, some financial institutions have a tendency to make up evidence when it suits their needs.
@Carl Nyberg: 3!
(Sorry for going old school)
@Culture of Truth: That’s not quite right. The difference would be that if the government was not involved then it would simply be illegal activity. I take it that E.D. would say that corporations hiring thugs would not be a political matter but a legal one.
@Carl Nyberg: I never said that. Again, you are putting words in my mouth. Courts are absolutely legitimate and should be government-based, not private. But that means that any problem with the court system must be traced not to the plaintiffs – the banks – but to the courts themselves. Not that banks are the good guys here, but that the problem – the real problem – is that the court system is letting them get away with it.
I have to disagree with you on that one. We actually managed quite well with the existing regulations on foreclosure. We spent a lot of time in the past 200 or so odd years measuring land, making records of those measurements, recording the transactions and those long mortgage contracts we sign are the result of that process. So that it will be clear if (heaven forbid) someone can’t pay back a loan, judges can clearly determine who owns the loan and therefore who should get the property the loan was secured with. That way, we don’t have to listen to what people meant to do. We just know what was done because someone, you know, recorded it using language that court officials could understand. (Since the originators seem to have made the same errors again and again when it comes to assignment, who are we to say they indended to do something else?)
This new system where we just pretend that the loan was properly transferred because that was what would have been intended has consequences. I think by the time we’re done, we are going to end up finally eliminating the privileged position that real property has had as an asset relative to other financial assets, just because no one will trust the records.
Culture of Truth
@jwb: Corporations hiring thugs is a concept utterly divorced from the rule of law. The way people fill in the blanks around here is astonishing. So far nobody has said anything about ridding ourselves of the courts, only that the problems in these cases should be traced back to the courts.
OT – Peter King is apt to get kicked out of the Libertarian Conservative club. He’s put up a bill to ban firearms within 1000 feet of Federal officeholders.
Culture of Truth
Well then it’s just more circular logic.
Barb (formerly Gex)
So you don’t know what to do about it, yet previously you seemed to rest solely on the side of “we can’t let those mooching
homeownerssquatters steal this house from a bank that claims, but cannot prove, it owns it”.
On the other hand, this thread has a lot of meat (I haven’t read the other ED Kain thread) that has a lot more debate than the kind of emo we’ve been having the past couple of threads. After awhile getting emo in every thread wears people (like me) down.
E.D. Kain – You need to listen and assess. Yeah, I realize a lot of FP will write things that they know little about but John if you notice doesn’t get very defensive. If things get crazy, he’ll tell us all to fuck off. :-)
I just find it incredibly embarrassing to read someone who is largely ignorant of the details of whatever they write about and who then become defensive when it is pointed out that they are ignorant.
If ED just made his posts and engaged in comments without whining about “they are so mean to me” that would be a lot more tolerable.
And, this is also the first instance of his ever where he admits he was initially completely full of shit. That’s an improvement on previous posts I suppose but two hours of reading on the issue would reveal the problem pretty clearly.
Not true, back in the day banks used to hold the loans they extended. Securitization does make extending credit easier, but it’s not essential.
@E.D. Kain: I do get how the government’s role, at the state level, is troubling, however I feel the core issue to be concerned about is that the banks are attempting to pull this fast one, not that they’re getting help from some crappy state courts to do it. The court system is relatively open, and abuses like this can be seen, documented, and stopped. The underlying MERS related mess that led to the banks needing the rubber-stamp courts was far less so.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
When you buy a home, you get a deed, which proves you own the home. When you buy a home with a mortgage, you borrow money from the bank, and put up the newly purchased deed as collatoral. You own the home. You just owe the bank money for its purchase. If the bank can’t prove that you owe them money, then they can’t claim the deed in liu of payment. This is why the burden of proof has to be on the banks. This is common knowledge and the fact that you seem not to understand how the process works may underlie some of the scorn you are getting from commentors.
What do you mean by the “rule of law”? It’s not so far divorced from reality, if you know anything about evictions.
Everybody’s brave and tough until an issue touches too close to them. (Not that I’m not completely disagreeable to his proposal).
The banks own the government. If you throw around enough money through campaign contributions, you can get the government to do anything you want. The banks own the judges, own the Congress and own the regulatory system. If you can get the judiciary, legislature and regulatory systems to grovel at the feet of any type of private enterprise, crap like this will happen.
Who gives a shit about fairness when there is money to be made? In the end, it’s always about the money.
@E.D. Kain: We’re saying the same thing, right, that corporate thugs should be construed as a legal not a political issue. I can’t tell whether you’re agreeing or disagreeing with me.
“…the powerful will almost always abuse those weaker than themselves, whether the powerful are corporations or individuals…”
This isn’t a problem for libertarians, and they don’t fail to acknowledge it. Libertarianism exists to provide a philosophical rationale for the abuse of the weak and poor by the more powerful, be they individuals or corporations. This is what all that hoo-hah about state of nature and protecting liberties and shrinking government all boils down to: a means of placating the shivering masses that their sorry plight is the natural state of things and/or the result of oversized, wasteful government.
I really don’t think there is a nickel’s worth of difference between the libertarian dream world and run-of-the-mill feudalism, except maybe the serfs get to own guns.
Culture of Truth
The way people fill in the blanks around here is astonishing.
Yes, well the libertarian solution to this is blank, as far as I can tell.
Did he make an exception for MPs from Belfast?
Shorter ED Kain: Ok, so even though I know nothing about this topic, I’m pretty sure delinquent payments are just as much of a problem as corporations mass-stealing homes they have no claim on. Libertarians ignore this issue, sure, but really we recognize that government is the problem now and forever amen. UPDATES: Ya’ll are just mean and don’t get it.
No disagreement, I mistyped–should have said “secured” credit, not “securitized” credit. Sorry for the confusion.
I’ll play a pair of scissors made out of rock. I’m invulnerable and score a million points to the oogie power.
Of course we do. We also know what the libertarian solution is: to remove regulation. So, essentially, to stop big business using government to get the results they want, we’re going to get rid of the government, and then once government’s out of the way big businesses won’t get the results they want. Is that what’s supposed to happen? Because I may be a little stupid here, but I can’t figure out what’s going to stop them then.
It’s been brought up several times that a significant cause of the problem is the short-circuiting of long-standing principles and practices in favor of efficiency and greater profitability. Un-doing a lot of the “improvements” made over the past decades would be a good place to start. By and large, foreclosures and securities used to work pretty well, even with big bad government involved; why was that?
Barb (formerly Gex)
@Elvis Elvisberg: I love how proof that there have been no payments is enough to prove you should be foreclosed on. Even if the reason you aren’t sending in payments is because you paid off the loan to some other bank than the one that is repossessing.
That’s it. Let’s just check someone’s checking account. If they haven’t been making payments, then a bank has the right to take it, paperwork be damned.
@E.D. Kain: Yes, there’s clearly no history of corporations using thugs to abuse people absent government intervention. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_union_busting_in_the_United_States
@jwb: I’m saying corporations should not be handling their legal problems with hired thugs.
If a lender “can’t find the paperwork”, then it can’t prove that it, in fact, owns the homeowner’s debt. Therefore, it cannot foreclose the right to redeem that debt. This is rock-bottom basic respect for private property, something I had thought libertarians took as gospel. But I guess if the party asserting ownership of a debt is a Big Bidness, then the rules are different.
I appreciate this post very much, I didn’t expect it at all and thought you were gone. Still, I would like to see more “original content” from you instead of the You-are-wrong-but-I-am-right ombudsman posts, but ok, maybe later. It’s true that not all libertarians are alike, and I think that your main joint at the League is superior to other places like Reason, McArdle and Gillespie. About libertarianism in general, I don’t get the distrust of government and the libertarian refusal to improve it instead of abolishing it. Also, in my opinion, there is not exactly something that might be called an alliance of goverment and corporate sector. It’s rather the case that the corporate sector took control over much of the government through the power of money on politicans and non-political individuals.
And I don’t think that it is justified to talk about “the government” as a unified block. If it was that simple there would be much less partisanship. And I can’t see a goverment agenda, something that the government as an institution wants to achieve.
@E.D. Kain: he drank your milkshake.
we ALL drink your milkshake every FUCKING DAY you dishonest poseur.
all you soi disant libertarians are just twodollah ho’s engaging in intellectual prostitution- pustulant syphilitic whores sucking Big Businesses dick, while frantically looking away from the socon jeesus humpers you sold your souls to for power.
@Culture of Truth: I don’t think it’s exactly circular, but given that the philosophical foundations are grounded in a suspicion of governmental power but the need for government to authorize the legal system, I don’t find the distinction between the political and the legal to be particularly coherent.
How about you fucking read up on an issue first before you go pontificating about it, and make sneering comments like “Honestly, at this point I’m not sure anyone can speak with very much certainty or clarity on the matter’ at people just because YOU don’t know fucking know anything about the topic of discussion you voluntary threw yourself into?
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: I do understand this. What I was trying to get at is that a payment history to a lender would serve as some proof that the buyer owes money on a mortgage. I do agree that the burden of proof should be on the bank, but if a homeowner is not making payments that is a piece of the puzzle when it comes to court. That being said, if there is systemic corruption on the part of the banks, then the next question we have to ask is why is the court system allowing it to go forward? Isn’t that the more vexing of the problems, give that the courts are supposed to be impartial, but banks act in their own self interest?
The banks aren’t being assholes, they are being criminals.
Here’s my solution – reinstate effective regulation of the financial sector. Put the fuckers on a stout leash. Put some of them, in fact, in jail, for a long time.
The lenders violated Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, common sense and their own past practices in handing out shoddy loans. They are violating sound accounting principles as well as the law in doling out shoddy foreclosures.
And then there is this. The Republicans, yes the Republicans, wrote laws that prevented state regulators from clamping down on banks, and then weakened federal regulations. In addition, the Bush/Cheney regime made sure that the federal organizations specifically tasked with overseeing lenders either did nothing or looked the other way.
But the free market theory was that lenders would be punished by the free market if they behaved badly. Instead, they got Congress to write laws insuring them from having to bear the legal or financial consequences of their mistakes.
In short, the conservative lie that fewer regulations would result in love and happiness all around has once again been shown to be a simplistic fable.
And note that the Republicans hobbled “big government” (the feds) and yet refused to let smaller government (the states) deal with abusive practices by lenders.
And yet, the GOP is promising that if we just add more de-regulation, everything will be fine.
@schrodinger’s cat: should read you are not your.
Grammar fail, sorry!
You know, I think I politely addressed addressed the questions and concerns E.D. raised. I, and perhaps my self-regard is too high, have not been jackal-like except in that I was part of the group levying criticisms. Despite this, I am not seeing a substantive response to anything I have said. Have I been so inconsequential in my comments as to be not worth a response or might here be something else? Of course, some may see this as whining, but it isn’t, really.
You fucking pig. You filthy fucking pig. Six people are dead and twice as many are seriously injured. And you want to compare the campaign of intimidation and implied violence from the right in the lead up to that attack to an anonymous comment that “you got pwned” and that “someone drank your milkshake” because you are, as usual, bloviating about a topic about which you know nothing.
You want to see some violent imagery? How about “I hope you get cancer, Kain. I hope you get cancer and die.”
On banks: break ’em up (like we did to AT&T) and prevent ’em from recombining. This’ll lead to more competition (= a better deal for customers), the end of “too big to fail”, and possibly a reduction in banks’ coercive power over government: all good things.
What say you, E.D.?
@russell: Regulation isn’t the issue when it comes to foreclosures. Regulation needs to happen when the lending is first occurring and when the mortgages are being sold to investors. What needs to happen at the point of foreclosure is a better court process – which isn’t really ‘regulation’ as far as I can tell. This will likely have to be fought in the courts.
@E.D. Kain: The fact that someone is or is not behind in his payments is in no way involved in establishing if a particular bank has the right to foreclose. See tons of rebuttal to the Morality Play school of economic thought.
Culture of Truth
“they’re still doing this through the courts, right? So this is a government issue.”
But E.D., disputes in the U.S. inevitably end up in courts.
Or they don’t, in which case it’s divorced from the rule of law, or something.
But if we’re going to have the rule of law, then yes, a government of some kind is probably going to be involved.
Do libertarians think government should not be involved in dispute resolution? And if government is not the solution regarding corporate abuse, like liberals believe, as you say, what is?
Sorry if you feel insulted but I’m not alone in not figuring out what the hell you are talking about sometimes.
It is amazing to me that ED has tossed around moral hazard here a couple of times and not talked about where the obvious moral hazard lies – with banks and the securitization or mortgages.
Now, there is a reason for that. Despite people pointing out at the time that it likely had disastrous consequences libertarians broadly cheered the financial legislation that led to innovations such as securitization of mortgages. Now they are confronted with a situation where one of their libertarian “principles” – deregulation at all cost has completely thrown out of whack their most important libertarian “principle”: the sanctity of property rights. They can’t address the latter without admitting their clear moral responsibility for it from earlier.
I think there should be a system where any property owner can challenge for ownership of their property if they hold a deed. If a bank can’t step forward in 90 or 180 days proving that they own the property the property is auctioned publicly. It would be a back door cram down.
@E.D. Kain: No one says a bank can’t foreclose if it ain’t getting paid. It can, if it has its ducks in a row.
@Midnight Marauder: Actually, the genesis of my post was my objection to DougJ’s characterization of all libertarians. I stumbled into this topic and was merely trying to concede to some of those points, and to what I said was a fair critique by mistermix, while responding to what I thought was an unfair critique by DougJ. The topic of foreclosures was somewhat incidental to this, hence my ‘not reading up on it’ beforehand.
@Tonal Crow: I’m not against breaking up the banks.
This is an excellent analysis of libertarianism. It explains why libertarianism is appealing and how it shifts the blame for every problem in society back to government.
However, I wish I became convinced libertarians actually wanted to reduce the coercion and violence in society. I suspect most of them want the violence and coercion shifted from people like them (affluent people who are mostly White) and toward people they don’t like.
Aye, there’s the rub….you have no legitimacy, Kain.
you are a LIAR.
you are treated here EXACTLY AS YOU DESERVE TO BE TREATED.
you have no “good” conservative or libertarian ideas.
you have talking points and slogans derived from the same Dead White Guy Failosophy that has destroyed our economy.
you are part of the same old feedlot management drenchfeeding the cattle the same recycled shit.
we aren’t gonna take it here.at least i won’t.
go be someone elses Token “Reasonable” Conservative.
the game is up here.
people see right through you.
you are a dishonest intellectual whore, and you are just as toxic to the national discourse as Palin or Rush or Douchebag.
you are perpetuating poisonous conservative mythology on Coles kindness.
It’s not fair to call into question the homeowner’s record of payment beyond the complaint being made in front of the court. I’m a month behind on my gas bill – should someone then be allowed to repossess my car?
The issue of being behind payment is what the foreclosure proceeding is about. It is “does this person owe you money” and “have they stopped paying it”. In essence if the answer to the first can’t be established, then the second isn’t called into question.
Any other questions about a person potentially getting a “free house” or something else are really only a person’s search for justice in the universe – they got something for free, why can’t I? Unfortunately, there is no justice in the universe, which is why the Yankees have 27 rings.
Or used to owe money. Or owed money on a different property. Or incorrectly paid money to a lender (instead of the correct lender) due to a servicing screwup. Or, or, or… what was this supposed to prove exactly?
And why is a libertarian so concerned that this homeowner might be getting something that he’s not entitled to, and that someone should step in and take the house? This sort of smells of big government redistribution, instead of the result of a properly executed property dispute in the courts. What is a libertarian society doing trying to right societal “wrongs” like this?
You’re making this much MUCH harder than it needs to be.
Point 1: When the US Sup Ct issued its Kelo decision, libertarians across the internet went berserk, from the Agitator to Volokh.
Point 2. Banks are acting really badly right now on proving up their entitlement to foreclosure. These bad acts include but are not limited to (a) getting the Florida Legislature to pass a law allowing for a rocket docket; (b) robosigners committing perjury by attesting to things that they don’t actually know; (c) utter mismanagement of their chain of title to the mortgage, so that “proof” of their right to foreclose is grossly inadequate.
Point 3. Gee, it’s kinda funny that the big internet libertarians, like Reason or for that matter League of Ordinary Gentlemen get all bent out of joint about Kelo and yet have so little to say about the foreclosure scandal. Yeah, it’s their blogs and all, so they can talk about whatever they feel like, but still the silence is kinda funny. One might think that libertarians’ claimed concern about the fusion of government interests with corporate interests is a lie. (but that would be uncharitable. there must be some other explanation.)
It is exactly regulation: the use of the power of We the People to ensure fairness. That the regulation comes via judicial rulemaking (i.e. court rules) or judicial lawmaking (i.e. common law and interpretation of statute) is a distinction without a difference from regulation that comes from statute or executive-issued regulation.
@Citizen Alan: This is off-topic of course, but where is the causal connection between right-wing rhetoric and Loughner? Nobody has been able to make that connection. So get off your high horse.
If a lender “can’t find the paperwork”, then it can’t prove that it, in fact, owns the homeowner’s debt. Therefore, it cannot foreclose the right to redeem that debt. This is rock-bottom basic respect for private property, something I had thought libertarians took as gospel. But I guess if the party asserting ownership of a debt is a Big Bidness, then the rules are different.
Yep. It seems to me that siding this is a clear libertarian principle slam dunk. Yet, no libertarian is writing on the issue and ED is trying to dance around it. Which is why mistermix, Doug, you and me all came to the same conclusion about professional libertarianism being less about property rights and more about preserving the rights of corporations against breathing individuals. But, ED has told us that is immensely unfair. He just can’t make an argument as to why it is unfair.
@Tonal Crow: I disagree. These are two very different beasts. What is decided in the courts is very different than the sort of rules written at the legislative level.
@E.D. Kain: It seems to me that you saddled that horse up for someone to ride.
@E.D. Kain: Under our legal system, both constitute the law.
@ericblair: Libertarianism? The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, might be getting a deal he isn’t. All hail and apologies to H.L. Mencken
@E.D. Kain: You could be more wrong, but you’d have to make an effort at it. Legislatures set the rules for civil proceedings. Here in California, for example, we have a really thick title in our codes called “Code of Civil Procedure”.
ED, ignorance is curable but stupidity is not. I urge you to work on curing your ignorance before you convince me (and lots of other people) that you’re being stupid.
How about “I hope your children grow up to be WECs and have to go to Oral Roberts, Kain.” How about “I hope your children grow up to be Indian and Chinese ‘guest’ labor.”
How about “I hope your mom gets Alzheimzers” because we couldnt do ESCr in this country for 10 years.
but hey, that sure protected those slave fetuses didnt it?
Why? Both kinds of rules are made by government. From the point of view of libertarian theory, I don’t see any difference between rules made by legislatures and rules made by courts. Why do you?
E.D. Kain you objected when Culture of Truth characterized your position as:
E.D. Kain, do you not understand that the banks have been presenting fraudulent information to the courts?
How is it primarily the responsibility of the courts that the banks are perpetrating fraud?
It really does seem that your version of libertarianism exists to absolve corporate bad actors of responsibility for their actions while shifting the blame to the government.
Culture of Truth
I’ve been accused of writing bullshit. I am more than willing to admit I’m wrong. But I must say right now I can’t tell what E.D. or libertarianism stand for.
But the implication, above that, libertarians are concerned with government-corporate collusion, while liberals don’t care about it or encourage it, is – pardon my language – laughable.
And Another Thing...
@Corpsicle: So I’m reading along berating myself for having given ED the benefit of the doubt and one last chance to be “taken seriously,” and there you are with a gem that gave me a hearty laugh. Thank you.
Oh, and ED your responses on this thread have all the maturity and insight of a 15 year old.
Why? Because he has no idea what he is talking about.
What procedures should courts implement to prevent plaintiffs from committing fraud?
Have you suggested something that might work in the real world?
Barb (formerly Gex)
@Omnes Omnibus: To be fair, that is not my problem. My problem is that he thinks it is no big deal to throw people out of their homes and is unwilling to put that off for even a little while while the foreclosing bank is asked to, um, prove that they have a claim.
Fuck that. That corporation won’t be wondering where their kids will be sleeping. I’m starting to think libertarian is nearly synonymous with mild sociopathy.
@Carl Nyberg: Then whose responsibility is it to make sure that the fraudulent information is regarded as fraudulent if not the courts? Who else can ensure this?
@Villago Delenda Est:
This. A million, billion, trillion times: this.
The major problem, as I’ve learned in my three plus years of litigating mortgage fraud, is MERS. MERS, for those who don’t know, is basically a private recording system that borrowers do not have access to. Apparently, no one knows what legal standing MERS has. They are often listed as a “nominee” of the lender and/or servicer, but they have shown up in different courts in different states declaring that they have different rights in identical situations. That is the curtain that needs to be pulled back, but it is being fought like hell; which leads me to believe that there is much more malfeasance behind the curtain than we even want to know.
Also, in defense of some libertarians, there are those who believe that corporations/LLCs should be disbanded and outlawed and that business entities should be either sole proprietors and/or some form of partnerships. I’m not sure that’s a great position, because I don’t necessarily believe that a passive investor should be held personally liable for actions of a business.
@E.D. Kain: So this means the libertarian position is in favor of tighter and stricter regulations by the government?
wallah…..when a frontpager says THAT and then proceeds to vomit up a buncha ill-formed incorrect cafeteria-glibertarian talking points…and then whines about his bullshytt being snarked on or poorly received…..well…..ISNT IT ABOUT FUCKING TIME TO SHOW THIS ASSCLOWN THE DOOR?
HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO SEE HE GOTZ NUTTIN?
@Francis: For court proceedings, yes, but not for outcomes. This is not merely a matter of proceedings so far as I can tell, though yes – the rocket-docket appears to be. Nevertheless, I’m not sure court proceedings could be labeled as ‘regulations’.
@E.D. Kain: you never did address regulatory capture, care to now?
@E.D. Kain: At a certain level, the court system depends upon the parties who come before it to not fake evidence. If someone who has no compunction about lying and is capable of appearing credible presents evidence to a court, the evidence might be accepted.
Barb (formerly Gex)
@E.D. Kain: So your new complaint is that government isn’t strict enough on the banks? How does that square with your “if they haven’t been paying, kick ’em out” shortcut solution to the problem? When presented with banks with no paperwork and homeowners not making payments, you seemed to automatically decide that the homeowner should be held responsible, not the bank, and should be kicked out.
Edward G. Talbot
I detect a couple of points you have made most strongly that I think are at the core of all the disagreement among commenters
1.The fact that the courts malfunctioning can be summed up as a “government problem.”
2.The fact that Libertarians have been unfairly painted with a broad brush as not caring about corporate abuse.
I believe the two points are related. The courts are malfunctioning (IMO) because of decades of big business buying politicians, which trickles down to the courts. Buying politicians has always happened of course, but in recent decades, its impact has become more pronounced. Therefore for practical purposes, most government problems are at their core problems with too much control by corporations. Now, you may look at the same set of facts as I do and not come to this same conclusion – but I suspect most of the commenters who disagree with you are coming down closer to what I am outlining here. Either corporations are in control or government has miraculously malfunctioned in their favor.
Which gets to #2. Libertarians by and large do not look at the set of facts the same way. What’s more, and I’m sure you would agree, many libertarians, such as many of the folks at Reason, criticize government far more the corporate power behind it. That seems backwards to many of us. There will never be any hope for getting government back on track until the more fundamental problem is corrected, yet most libertarians give that issue a fraction of the time. To me, they will always be unserious about actually solving problems as long as that persists. Doesn’t mean I can’t have a rational discussion, but the end point of such discussions will almost always be both sides saying, “Dude, you’re just wrong about what is needed.”
@E.D. Kain: Probably someone else has already pointed out that the beauty of this blog is that we can say what we REALLY feel, even if it’s really immature, when we can’t really do that to the people in line at the post office, or at the extended family holiday thingamajig. Why you and not them? Because this is a sort of zone of consent to such things.
And sometimes people go too far; horseplay leads to tears! And then they sometimes apologize and it’s okay. And then we get up and start running over the couch cushions again because it’s fun. So I wouldn’t hold people to the standard they have to observe in the so-called real world because, ugh, no fun.
Another thing: there seem to be two issues unfortunately merging into one.
1. You as ombudsman for the Libertarians. Did you want to be this? You seem to be wearing their sins around your neck like a dead albatross. I guess because you hang with them. This means you have to take extra pains to put a grocery separator between you and them on this corporate-whore issue. I thought you kind of did, but maybe a separate post is called for. A thorough, specific, this-is-not-me manifesto.
2. Foreclosures. Having said “I don’t know much about this”, of which I approve, you then have to adopt a more humble approach when discussing the topic. More asking and less telling, and no assuming that the commenters also don’t know much about this. They may know a lot, or at least a lot about the part they’ve studied or dealt with personally. We’re all blind men feeling the elephant, and should pool our info instead of contradicting each other.
It’s hard to do in an atmosphere where everyone conflates you with people they [rightly] can’t stand, on a topic that hits literally close to home for lots of people. Try to be patient and stick to the topic, everything I said about couch cushions notwithstanding.
Are you OK with government breaking up banks by force?
@Barb (formerly Gex): Well, that is a problem as well, if it is the case. I was proceeding on the assumption that understand that this was indeed the issue was the problem.
@scav: I don’t know if there is a ‘libertarian position’ on the foreclosure issue, and I certainly can’t speak for it. But in some cases better regulation is called for, and in others less regulation is called for. I would say that in the financial industry, more rigid regulation in general is a good idea, and certainly tighter leverage requirements. I’m also not averse to breaking up too big to fail banks.
Here’s an idea: in cases where the paperwork is lacking & it’s questionable who holds title to the house, just void the damn thing entirely & declare that the ones living there now own it. Occupancy & use, bitches!
That may not be “the libertarian position” on foreclosures, but it’s my position.
@Carl Nyberg: I’m not sure what other way they would break them up – I imagine the ‘force’ in question would be a law…
wtb moar ED Kain deththread – pst me…
Free bit of advise for E.D. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIoZ1bsILF8
Sometimes, it just ain’t about you…but then again, sometimes it is.
Actually, I’ve done a ton of asking. Much of which has been answered with scorn over the fact that I may not know this or that about the issue.
This is a perfectly reasonable post – if it addressed what the real problem is. But it doesn’t, because, as Kain admits, he has no idea what the problem is. Frankly, there are many, and none of them are good. The banks set up a parallel ownership tracking system that does not comply with current legal requirements. They cannot prove they own properties they are foreclosing on. That’s a big deal. The people who have bought foreclosed properties do not have clear title to those properties. That’s a big deal. People who are current on their mortgages are being foreclosed because the banks are incompetent and arrogant. That’s a big deal.
People having a traditional mortgage (one not hacked up and sold as a security), who have been delinquent in their payments, and getting foreclosed IS NOT THE PROBLEM. But thanks for your thoughts on that subject, as irrelevant as it is.
@E.D. Kain: Fair enough. But can you see why it is a little wearying after two long threads to discover you don’t know much about the foreclosure situation and now, not much about the libertarian position on the subject? ETA: Sorry to say I’ve entirely and utterly missed the whole asking for enlightenment part of the proceedings.
@Paris: you forgot to mention that the banks set up MERS, the alternate title tracking mechanism, to avoid paying the title tracking fees to individual counties, costing county and state governments billions of dollars in funds. And then they failed to actually track the titles.
Do you have any real world experience with courts?
Should plaintiffs be able to go to court and make false claims of debt to the courts?
Do you realize how onerous it is for an individual to defend against a bad-faith lawsuit?
Also, did you not see my question about the procedures courts should implement to prevent fraudulent information being presented to the courts?
At some point policy needs to be implemented by real people in real world cases.
What procedures should be enacted to prevent litigants from perpetrating fraud?
@E.D. Kain: I don’t know if there is a ‘libertarian position’ on the foreclosure issue
And that (again) brings us back to DougJ’s post, and your claim that his suggestion (that libertarians favor corporations over individuals) was ‘ludicrous’. I mean, if property rights and contracts are the cornerstone of libertarian philosophy, how can there not be a libertarian position on the foreclosure issue? It’s a situation where corporations are clearly violating the law, violating property rights and fraudulently creating contracts out of thin air.
FFS, really? Don’t blame your commenters for your ignorance. Nobody here has a duty to educate you except for yourself.
My particular scorn for your posting is focused on the fact that, despite your admitted ignorance, you chose to post on the front page rather than to educate yourself in the slightest.
From your postings and style, I can’t help but think that you value ideology more than evidence because you are not arguing from any evidence.
@Edward G. Talbot:
I agree largely with this. This is actually sort of my point: government is often captured and controlled by corporations. Making government bigger doesn’t seem to change this. If anything, it just allows corporations to capture a bigger government.
Then in all honesty, maybe you need to do a better job of editing your thoughts into a post that is an actual coherent reflection of your ideas and feelings, because what you are generating right now is absolute disjointed nonsense. Why in the world you thought you could throw up a post that discussed foreclosures (once again) after failing to credibly address the comments and answers directed towards you in the previous thread is astonishing to me.
No one forced you to write more misguided, easily disprovable bullshit about foreclosure; that’s a choice you made. If you wanted to write a post defending the good name of libertarians, then just write a fucking post about that. But don’t create your own albatross by choosing an area to write about that you admittedly have not the slightest clue about, and don’t get all pissy when people who have actual real world experience with the issue call you out for being a know-nothing on the topic.
It strikes me as incredibly disingenuous for you to now attempt to argue that the topic of foreclosures was somehow incidental to this topic, since the basis of the “fair critique” is that libertarians don’t give a shit about property rights despite their adamant claims.
That you would then proceed to write post after post, and comment after comment, on a topic that you admittedly know almost nothing about is most certainly far from incidental.
No. But if the courts are set up in such a fashion that they won’t take the time to figure out what is true and what isn’t, that’s still the fault of the courts.
@E.D. Kain: and what, for the third time is your solution to regulatory capture?
In the long run, we’re all dead. Doesn’t mean we have to make it easy for murderers to kill us.
Rather than John Cole terminating E.D. Kain as a frontpager, JC should require E.D. Kain to respond to all the issues raised in this thread after EDK gets a night to sleep on it.
If E.D. Kain’s positions don’t evolve, I think that’s pretty good evidence that EDK is an ideological johnny-one-note. And we’ve seen this show.
By all evidence would allow private corporations completely unfettered rights to whatever the fuck they wanted with no recourse). 150 years ago Adam Smith, with his experience limited to the economies at the time, recognized that the “wonders” of free-market capitalism break down when corporations are too concentrated and have the upper-hand/power over the people/government. That E.D. and other latter-day-disciples of Libertarianism can’t see this proves how unserious they are.
That the government is involved in adjudicating disputes between businesses and individuals is not the problem. It is the government’s actions in these cases, doing the bidding of big business, is the problem.
The answer is not to remove the gov’t, but for the gov’t to be independent of the corporations and for the laws (passed by the legislative wing, enforced by the judicial wing) to not enforce big business bias.
It’d be like saying, “My kid does a shitty job at his math homework, therefore the answer is for the teacher not to assign such hard work, and my kid will then learn on his own”. Uh, no, the answer is for my kid to do a better job in on his homework.
Wonder why Libertarian logic doesn’t apply to corporations? Corporations have proven entirely incapable of acting properly during their entire existence – so wouldn’t this all just be better if we got rid of the concept of corporations?
@E.D. Kain: The scorn has come from the fact fact that your lack of knowledge apparently led you to decide that no one had knowledge. I do not speak much on the topic of particle physics because I don’t know much about it. I do know that there are people who know quite a bit about it. I don’t assume that particle physics is ineffable because I don’t “eff” it. When you signed on to blog here, were you aware of how the place functioned? If a front pager or commenter pontificates on topic about which he or she knows next to nothing, it is a virtual certainty that there is someone around who knows about the topic and that the person will eat the pontificator’s lunch. Feelings can get hurt, but knowledge can be gained.
And Another Thing...
@E.D. Kain: He yelled because you’re not LISTENING !
Do you have any instinct for survival? He picked you. He regularly defends you. He wants a libertarian point of view on his blog. He wants you to succeed.
When my 15 year old came home from school one day and said “what does it mean when somebody says you’re your own worst enemy?” I knew we were making progress. Think about this concept.
That’s a total strawman. The ideological goal of most/many posters here is not “making government bigger” (as if that’s an end in its own) but rather in making government work for the people. Transparency and accountability are vital to any effective governance.
You’re the one who appears to have a blind allegiance to ideology (cut regulation and cut taxes, regardless of the facts) — not the rest of us.
Barb (formerly Gex)
@Ailuridae: Excellent summary. I would add that he has given the impression that there is a bigger moral hazard in one individual getting something for free than it is to give banks license to just grab houses from people. It was a fair amount of work to get him to concede there was moral hazard the other way.
A malevolent mind might argue that Kain’s sketchy knowledge about the foreclosure process and DougJ’s accusation of libertarian ignorance about these issues are related.
@E.D. Kain: Court procedure — rules of evidence, etc.– who decides this or revises it? Isn’t it the legislature?
And even if it were the courts, you can’t just say “the courts have to change it!” or whatever, because courts can’t do anything until somebody sues somebody, or appeals their decision. It has to come before them in a legitimate Smith v. Jones way. If it doesn’t, that’s what legislation is for. Or a ballot initiative.
@Stillwater: Because it’s hard to get someone to understand something when their salary depends on them not understanding it. They’re not talking about it because they want to keep making a salary.
I’d say we have trolls on this site that are better regarded than this particular frontpager.
Barb (formerly Gex)
@Omnes Omnibus: I can see no other interpretation to focusing on whether the homeowner paid and asking if homeowners should get something for free when we are debating the problem of banks foreclosing without paperwork.
We say: banks foreclosing without paperwork bad
He says: people getting homes without paying for them is a moral hazard
I conclude: E.D thinks it is better to have the banks foreclose and kick the homeowner out
@E.D. Kain: YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY.
you have been saying nothing here for months.
EVERY FUCKING THREAD YOU WRITE GOES TO THIS.
SHUT THE FUCK UP.
i tole u guyz he was a woeful scrub when he showed up here.
hes wearing greens and Cole gave him a FP mercy epic.
hes got no pots, no glyphs, and his tree is all wrong.
he is specced libertarian.
kick him before he wipes the raid.
I have stayed out of most of the E.D. Kain fight threads in the past, so I have a question. Is this how they always work?
I’m going to ask a third time.
What policies and procedures should courts implement to prevent litigants from perpetrating fraud on the courts?
Everybody agrees in principle that litigants perpetrating fraud is a bad thing.
But you seem like an ideological fool to blame the courts for the fraud of the banks, if there is no system that can be reasonably implemented to prevent fraud.
Regardless of whether there is a “direct causal connection” between a lunatic’s assassination attempt on a Democratic congresswoman and the pervasive campaign of violent imagery that the right has maintained against Democratic politicians for years (which, IMO, was for the purpose of stirring up violent lunatics), the fact remains that you had the audacity to compare
1. an ad by Sarah Palin that put cross-hairs over Giffords district and mentioned her by name;
2. a campaign fundraiser in which Giffords’ Republican opponent invited people to fire off AK-47’s in order to “get on target” and “remove” Giffords;
3. a campaign event in another district where Republicans actually did shoot at human-sized targets which bore the initials of the Democrat in the race (the candidate just couldn’t imagine how the initials got put there);
4. a package of white powder and swastikas sent to Raul Grijalva’s office as recently as last October; and
5. far too many other incidents of either terroristic threats to Democrats by rightwing citizens or violent rhetoric coming directly from Republican candidates, politicians and party officials
to some anonymous dude on the Internet saying somebody “drank your milkshake” and “you got pwned” neither of which is even impliedly violent! And you had the unmitigated gall to do this when the bodies were barely even cold! And even now, after reflection, you don’t see anything objectionable about the comparison and say I’m on a “high horse” for responding!
God, I hope you don’t have children. I can’t imagine how bad a father a soulless freak like you would be.
@Omnes Omnibus: Yes.
@Omnes Omnibus: Same here, although I think that in the past he’s not been involved directly in the comments.
@Barb (formerly Gex): I am coming around to your view of the matter. The lack of substantive engagement and the goal post shifting starts to add up.
@E.D. Kain: They’re not allowing it, they’re doing it. And they’re doing it because it makes them more money. Why else would they be doing it?
Let me put it a little differently… the courts (outside of the rocket docket in FL) are committing sins of omission, while the banks are committing sins of commission. Furthermore, the profit motive explains completely why they would choose to behave this way, esp. given that they have done similar things in the past with no consequences.
Who bears the greater culpability? The courts, or the banks?
@Citizen Alan: I am not a dude, I iz a girl.
@Carl Nyberg: I think as individuals we are left on our own in E.D.’s world… he won’t address recourse issues.
@Phoebe: Depending on the jurisdiction, judicial procedural rules are established by legislatures, by quasi executive/judicial rulemaking under legislative authority (e.g., sentencing commissions), by courts under legislative authority, and by courts under inherent authority. All courts have inherent authority to make prospective procedural rules (it’s part of what it means to be a court), and all courts, by interpreting existing procedural rules, also effectively make both retrospective and prospective rules on a case-by-case basis.
In other words, it’s kinda complicated.
These threads would be more entertaining if I didn’t have the sickening suspicion that Kain will end up with a column in a prominent newspaper.
Libertarianism was hijacked by Randroids & business mouthpieces, who have way more access than people who remain consistent on these type of issue. That’s why.
In other words, to do the impossible. They’ll never be independent of business influence, because no one that ranks the average person above fellow elites has any chance in hell of getting real power. The system is inherently rigged.
Exactly. This is what happens when you grant some organizations of people privileges at the cost of others.
@polyorchnid octopunch: Doggone it! Now you’ve gone and given EDK the answer!
@Belafon (formerly anonevent), @jwb: I’d be thrilled if he took advantage of the many, many, many posts in this thread and prior threads that attempted to educate him about the most basic facts on the subject. Of course the problem is that he hasn’t, he’d rather post standard-issue Libertarian talking points (cut taxes & deregulate) than to get familiar with the issue.
But he’s still going at it, no education, no reading, no research, just the same old talking points after dozens of comment replies.
Maybe I’ll recast my criticism in that language:
A=A, therefore you’re wrong.
I am starting to regret wasting my time here then. At first, I really thought he just did not know about the issue and, if certain facts were pointed out, he would get the picture. At that point, a potentially interesting discussion of liberal v. libertarian solutions could have occurred. In the end, the scornful complaints about being scorned are the kicker. Oh, well. Live and learn, I guess.
@Carl Nyberg: How about “three strikes and you’re out”, as in revoking a corporation’s charter if a court holds that its officers have perjured themselves three times? Gotta get on that “zero tolerance” mojo, don’tcha know?
If Government is always oppressive, then why is an area/country which has a weak government like Waziristan/Somalia, not a libertarian paradise?
I thought we wouldn’t know if you were a girl or a guy until we opened the box. Or am I misremembering that experiment.:)
@Carl Nyberg: he shouldnt be here AT ALL.
that fetus=slave idiocy was enuff for me and the other supersapients.
like Maya said, when someone shows you who they are, believe them…..
the first time.
Barb (formerly Gex)
Ultimately, E.D. you proved Doug’s point when the argument first came up. The discussion was about banks foreclosing without paperwork. As a libertarian, instead of discussing that problem, you IMMEDIATELY started talking moral hazard in relation to the homeowner. Then you suggested losing your home isn’t that terribly tragic.
Now, you could have addressed the corporate problems initially and proved Doug wrong. But you didn’t. You just started pointing every other direction.
Culture of Truth
I can’t believe I read the whole thing!
PS I like you E.D., even though you used naughty language.
@Citizen Alan: No, we would find out it whether live boy/dead girl. Someone’s political career might end as a result.
@Citizen Alan: he has one child at least.
or should i say…….emancipated fetus?
Jesus Fuckall, are you really that deliberately obtuse?
For government to be able to regulate, it has to have teeth. You’re like those sorts of libertarians who love to see pretty language in the Bill of Rights, but not have them be actually enforceable by any court.
For a judiciary to be independent and effective, it has to NOT be composed of a bunch of Federalist Society/Heritage Foundation sycophants, who would sell out their own mothers if it meant they could be deemed “conservative, original intentionalists who are tough on crime and don’t coddle ne’er do wells”.
@Omnes Omnibus: always. its a fucking tape loop.
I’m sorta in favor of going Old Testament.
If you perpetrate fraud in the attempt to force someone from his/her home, you lose your home to victim of your attempted crime.
If the perp is a renter, you are responsible for 10 years of your rent payments to the victim.
And if corporations solicit their employees to do i–even once–yes, dissolve the corporation and zero out the shareholders.
We need more accountability in U.S. society.
@Citizen Alan: You wouldn’t know but I would, any way I prefer the many worlds interpretation of this experiment.
i tole u guyz
he was a woeful scrub
he showed up here. hes wearing greens
and Cole gave him a FP mercy epic.
hes got no pots,
and his tree is all wrong.
he is specced
Adjusted for poeticality.
@schrodinger’s cat: Well, it it gets me out of this particular universe, Out of that box Moggy!
I think it’s interesting that E.D. Kain focuses on the morality of making payments.
Why is this important to E.D. Kain? Why is it more important than banks actually owning the mortgage they are foreclosing upon?
It reminds me of the people who scold the borrowers for irresponsible borrowing, but who aren’t troubled by the lenders for irresponsible lending.
It does sorta seem like E.D. Kain is part of a movement that blames who they want to blame and absolves who they want to absolve.
@Omnes Omnibus: That’s funny. Hey and don’t make fun of me, what are we 4 year olds?
@Carl Nyberg: see, now there’s a solution a majority of people could get behind.
and ideologically it should fit into a true libertarian world view.
I repeat my point from the earlier thread.
On one side of the political equation in this country was a guy who, as a State Senator, has drafted and gotten passed legislation that mandates videotaping of police interrogations.
On the other side in 2008 was a man who supports an expansion of the War on Drugs, but at the same time championed tax cuts.
Who did Libertarians vote for? The same people they always vote for at a 60-40 to 70-30 clip, historically. They take tax cuts over everything else. And when I read Reason magazine or Megan McCardle, I see a continued kowtowing to big business and a faith-based approach to ‘free markets’ and ‘less regulation’ that inevitably, with a little understanding of consequences, points to less freedom and less choice for private individuals, which is the exact opposite of what Libertarians claim to stand for.
When the rubber meets the road, the majority of Libertarians ditch their principles for a few extra Shmuckers in their pockets. Therefore, I refuse to take them as seriously as they take themselves.
What in the world are you talking about? Why do libertarians always make a fetish over bigger/smaller and ignore the question of effective government?
You appear to be conceding the point that corporations will rape the public. But your solution is much like saying, “A criminal mob has bought off the police and the courts. Therefore, if we shrink the police force and fire all the judges, there will be less crime.”
@Brachiator: It would seem that the super secret motto of the current batch of libertarians is “Fuck you, I’ve got mine.”
No he showed up as a plate wearer in green/grey clothies tellin people “don’t tell me how to play – I play like i wanna” OK dude, but this is why you don’t get raid spots and most people have you on ignore.
@meh, lets take up a collection and have L2P tattoed on ED’s forehead.
First, should you bother to educate yourself, check out “non-judicial foreclosure.” Many states have it; a lender doesn’t need a court to foreclose, they just need a false affidavit and the money to publish notice. The owner has to challenge, by initiating a lawsuit–expensive and difficult. but hey, this is a gov’t problem. Let’s not worry about corporate abuse–why, abusive lenders will lose customers, and the market will be fine. And if you can say this:
you don’t deserve the privilege of posting. I’m sure you’re as pig ignorant of bankruptcy and creditor law as you are of property law and the definition of monopoly. After foreclosure, in most cases, the borrower still owes the amount of debt over the amount realized on a foreclosure sale. You probably also don’t know that foreclosure sales seldom realize “fair market value.”
Except as a teaching tool for those who haven’t realized the moral and intellectual vacuity that is libertarianism, there’s not much reason for you to write.
Mother of mercy. The lenders are often liars. Full stop. Why don’t you either research the issue, talk to lawyers, accountants, somebody, before offering an opinion?
A homeowner not making payments is NOT part of the puzzle. If a lender issues a Form 1099A, he is obligated to show an amount for the principal balance outstanding. If the homeowner has stopped paying, this amount should be the last amount on a freaking balance sheet for the homeowner. But because mortgages were sliced and diced, often the lender of record did not know what this amount was.
But it is their responsibility to know it and to keep track of it, especially since they are reporting this amount to the government and using this amount to show shareholders what the value of their mortgages are.
By fudging this number, the lender cheats homeowner’s and investors.
In other situations, the lender is supposed to show the Fair Market value of the property. This is supposed to represent the current value of the home. In reality, it often represents whatever number is needed to get the property off the lenders’ books.
Yeah, the homeowner can challenge these amounts. But in the real world, often there is no one that they can call at the lender’s office to verify, challenge, refute or verify these numbers.
But let’s put aside corporate/government collusion. What is the libertarian solution to this problem?
@Brachiator: don’t hold your breath, he’s playing in DougJ’s latest thread…
Bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Jebus, do bother to fucking learn fucking anything? The problem on the bank side is that they agreed, as a matter of corporate policy and to facilitate fees and profit, to ignore the legal process available to document and prove ownership of loans secured by property. They invented the MEWS system and agreed among themselves that it would substitute for actual, you know, legal records as a basis for securitizing loans and reselling them. Then they got a nice libertarian solution from the republicans–a law preventing the gov’t from regulating derivative securities. Like the ones that they evaded formal documentation of in securitizing home loans.
then they paid themselves billions of dollars, blew up the financial system and rebuilt it on the backs of the taxpayers. And now they’re trying to grab the properties they loaned on, without being able to prove who owes what to whom, and they’re crying gov’t interference when they can’t meet the requirements, because they agreed those requirements didn’t matter, when it suited them.
And you think it’s a government problem. You’re a clueless fucking twit. And a whiner.
We could’ve headed off the whole passed-around-the-globe mortgage thing by simply stipulating that to sell a mortgage to another institution requires the consent of the original person to take out the mortgage. Seeing no benefit in it for them, I suspect they would’ve said “no” en masse.
The strange thing is that libertarians may not have much of anything. And unless they keep their money in Galtian mattresses, they end up rescuing the banks along with everybody else.
And maybe in libertarian Randian Never Never Land, libertarians never have their homes foreclosed on.
It’s funny. I have no problem with Kain posting. It’s just odd that his posts are so empty of factual content, and read like ramblings from the land blind philosopher kings.
So in other words there is a big and growing problem that makes property ownership in real estate less clear. Private property rights in a very old and traditional type of property are weakened. Now traditional liberals, Manchester Liberals were big on property rights and the rule of law. Their concerns ended there, but even Scrooge was not doing anything illegal.
Now “Libertarians” claim be just 19th century liberals. So they should care a lot about the erosion of private property rights and the rule of law.
But they stay silent and don’t even see the problem.
So why listen to a political movement that is mum on one of it’s claimed core competencies?
@sukabi: yeah ED cut an ran from this latest epic asswhuppin.
hes up there walking backwards like crazy.
will no one deliver us from this torment?
@Brachiator: I have no problem with him posting either. I will now just see him as a post on which some of the more knowledgeable people around here can sharpen their claws.
This thread is like a pile-on. Is this what all of EDK’s threads are like? or is this just people venting their grief and anger (about Giffords, and just Right-wing malfeasance in general) onto one of the few conservative/libertarians who’s actually willing to engage? I really didn’t see anything horrible about this post or his comments – the main issue I have is his lack of response to some of the resources that commenters have provided (thank you for that, folks!). And I definitely have not seen ANYTHING that implies EDK’s default is wanting folks to be kicked out of their homes: that’s disingenuous, ludicrous, and entirely unfair. (See comment 31(?) for example.) And when the Repubs pull that shit on us, we quite rightly rip them a new one. So stop it. Oh, and getting your panties in a twist because he hasn’t answered some of your questions? OK, I would bet that I’m as alarmed and pissed over regulatory capture (for example) as most people here are, but I gotta tell you — writing out what I would want to do about that is not something I would be able to do off the cuff on a blog comment – I would want to do a fair amount of research and pondering, thanks — and I would want to have a fair amount of time to polish those words, particularly where the readers are prone to attack. So, EDK, I don’t think it’s fair of commenters to attack you for not having a ready answer to some of the questions/topics they’re bringing up — on the other hand, I think it’s fair of them to be crabby that you’re not acknowledging some fair points (though given we’re already at 262 as I’m drafting this, I’m not sure that acknowledging all of the fair points is feasible! :-)).
@Brachiator: I think it’s a “feature” of the “Sound Bite” culture… most of the stuff that passes for “reasoned argument” these days is devoid of any real substance… one talking point, divorced from reality, after another with the speaker / writer not knowing wtf they’re talking about. All self-described experts.
This is especially hilarious considering you wrote the following after that statement:
And that Kain prefaces his
blog commentoriginal post with comments like this:
And that makes this statement from you:
look all the more ridiculous.
I don’t expect Kain to answer my questions. My issue with what he has written here, and his general approach, is that he writes from ignorance. He admits that he knows little to nothing about foreclosures, and then proceeds to offer an opinion about who is at fault, which is inevitably big government. There are some areas where maybe this is half way acceptable. But here, it’s just a waste of time.
It’s much like somebody writing, “Why did the Challenger Space Shuttle blow up? Big government.”
“You can’t foreclose if you can’t demonstrate you hold the note”.
Call it regulation, legislation, law, what have you.
I also have no problem with a lovely stout leash for banking practices upstream of foreclosure.
For instance, if you transfer the note or mortgage, you have to file proper paperwork with local registries of deeds.
I appreciate that the courts are not doing their job, but the solution to that is for the courts to do their job, not for them to get out of the picture.
I have to say, it’s pretty unclear what point you’re trying to make here. You agree, you agree, you agree, except you think folks are being unfair to libertarians.
in a word, YES.
he fails on knowlege, pontificates madly on topics he has no understanding of, blames BEEG GOVERNMENT for everything, and runs away and pisses and moans to Cole and his glibertarian homies about how meean we are.
its a fucking tape loop.
Hah. So true (and I really need a bit of comedy relief today). Yesterday I went to an update seminar for tax practitioners. One of the day’s segments was on how to deal with Forms 1099A and 1099C with bad numbers from lenders. It ain’t pretty, and is extremely time consuming. And yes, the problem has become worse during the present foreclosure crisis compared to earlier years when banks locally held the mortgage and (for various reasons) kept more accurate records.
As an aside, a relative is in the mortgage business. He notes how banks deliberately hold onto mortgages if they think they can be made good, but will unload them in a nanosecond if they need to clear the books, without regard to the homeowner.
And it is a little interesting to find that in the libertarian fantasy universe, big government is always bad, but business can be as big as they want to be and the free market still runs smooth.
Hearing about the real world consequences of lenders’ folly makes Kain’s ruminations even more ridiculous.
Hmm. I guess I don’t see what’s so ridiculous about it. I think it would be perfectly acceptable for me to post a general blog entry about a topic without knowing much about that topic, particularly when I’d acknowledged as much. I also think it’s fair that, when asked a specific question related to that topic, I be able to have some time to think about that specific question — though as I said, I also think it’s only fair that when confronted by a good question, I say “good question!” even if I’m not yet ready to answer it.
That’s fair. Everybody has their own idea of what blog posts should be, which changes according to the blogger and context (which I think it should, at least to a certain extent,imo). I guess, I’m just not seeing him blaming “big government” exactly. Wanting better government, certainly. Which I think is what we all want! (Though, really, who DOES want big government? Biggest strawman ever. Well, not literally, but on the list! I really wish all the “small government” folks who go off on “liberals want big government” rants, would outline (1) what they want government to provide, (2) what services they want, that they don’t want government to provide, and how they plan on realistically acquiring those services, and then we can argue about big enough.)
Thanks again to everybody providing useful references/experiences. Have a happy day, everyone.
If this is libertarian reasoning (and I really don’t care if it is) the premise is just wrong. If the bank wants to take your house because they allege the homeowner hasn’t paid, the homeowner doesn’t have to prove anything. The bank does. Many of the comments make this point in a variety of ways–some politely, some not.
Second, the place describes itself (in its brilliant tag lines) as both “lacking identity” and a haven for “jackals”. So really–you had no idea? So it’s just as retarded for people to say that you ought to be “let go” as it is for you to complain that people on the internets are meanies. (Can I have my High Broderism tea set now?)
In all seriousness, Ritholz has a whole bunch of stuff up on this, and has been tracking this issue for a long time. See especially his discussion of MERS– a company formed for no other purpose than to facilitate the processing of loans in derogation of state law. It is a gigantic goatfuck (that’s a legal term of art).
Villago Delenda Est
We had a better court process…until the banks, in their insatiable greed, bypassed it with the MERS system and fucked everything up, aided and abetted by the Republican party which continues, to this very day, funded by the Koch Brothers and other “libertarian” types, to do everything they can to prevent that better court process from returning because it gets in the way of them making even more money they do not need other than to take it away from other people who are unworthy because they don’t have as much as the Koch Brothers already have!
I’ve never heard that as a legal term of art, but, given the banks’ malfeasance, it should be right up there with “res ipsa loquitur” and friends.
“Nor am I the sort who just doesn’t write about stuff because I’m not an expert in it”
That’s clearly true. The question is why? Why aren’t you the sort who doesn’t write about stuff because you have no expertise or experience in it? (My guess? Because that would leave you with absolutely nothing to write about.)
“isn’t this sort of the point of blogging?”
Ummm… no, not in my view. The best blogs by far are those written by people who do have actual experience and expertise in what they write about.
Blogs like this one are mostly just for shits and giggles, blowing off steam, etc. It’s fun, but is not really what’s best about blogging.
@E.D. Kain: The proof has been published repeatedly, if you’re to stubborn or stupid to read it, it’s your own fucking fault.
Still bringing the weak shit, Kaine.
Then stop making yourself into the ignorant “punch me” doll, and it will stop happening.
@John Cole: bingo.
incidentally though this thread is daid:
foreclosure is a judicial process wherein the lender recovers the title of the property pursuant to the terms of the mortgage and the governing state laws. the lender cannot foreclose if it does not comply with those terms, any more than the mortgagor can not comply.
but, more importantly, the mortgage is enforceable only if it is in compliance with state law. if the mortgagee fails to comply, by, for example, not recording the instrument, it cannot avail itself of the process. whatever the mortgagor does or doesn’t do isn’t relevant.
@E.D. Kain: But it is almost always a good answer.