Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lame Duck Watch: Legitimizing Foreclosure Fraud Edition

I have previously posted about the fraudclosure mess here, herehere and, more recently, here.  To summarize, I never thought that H.R. 3808 was ever a big deal, but I thought the fraudclosure mess was a much bigger deal than it has been portrayed in the mainstream media.

But wait, H.R. 3808 appears to be back.  There's a lot of breathless talk about this, especially from one of my favorite curmudgeons, Karl Denninger.   The claim is that Congress is going to attempt to override Obama's veto of H.R. 3808.  I don't buy it.  Yes, the override procedure has been set in motion, but the same steps lead to laying the bill to rest once and for all.  We'll see.

Regardless, H.R. 3808 alone is not nearly enough to sweep the fraudclosure mess under the rug.

I've done a little digging, though, and there is a straightforward, one-step approach for Congress to pass a law that forgives and perpetuates fraudclosre without ostensibly passing an ex post facto law.  I still think this approach violates Due Process, but there is precedent.

It turns out that there are two federal non-judicial foreclosure statutes (12 U.S.C. Sec. 3701 et seq. and 12 USC Sec. 3751 et seq.).  Currently, these statutes are limited to mortgages owned by HUD.  One way that Congress could avoid the fraudclosure mess, which has been caused by judicial foreclosure states, would be to expand the federal non-judicial foreclosure subject matter jurisdiction to include private rights of action based on securitized mortgages and/or government-guranteed mortgages.  Voila: no Due Process required; fraud authorized!

If you're looking for legislation that may possibly affect the fraudclosure mess, in addition to the keywords that other sites have listed, make sure to add "Title 7," "Title 12," "Title 15," "Title 28," "7 USC," "12 USC," "15 USC," and "28 USC."  In view of the above analysis, I think it is possible for Congress to pass a sweeping change without using many (or any) of the foreclosure-centric keywords.  Also look carefully at anything offered by an outgoing member of the legislature (especially Chris Dodd and perhaps even Russ Feingold; nobody is above suspicion).