Update 3: Ahhh BofA was facing the MASS AG Suit when they found religion. This is limited to the worst products in the Countrywide portfolio:
…The bank’s program is limited to Countrywide borrowers whose loan balance is at least 120% of the estimated home value, who are at least 60 days overdue, and who can show that financial hardship makes them unable to meet current payments. The bank estimated that 45,000 customers will qualify for principal reductions averaging more than $60,000.
Only the riskiest loans will be eligible. They include subprime loans; “option adjustable-rate” mortgages entailing minimal payments now but big increases later; and certain loans that have a fixed rate for two years and then adjust annually.
The bank’s move is part of an agreement to settle claims over certain high-risk loans made by Countrywide Financial, which the bank acquired in mid-2008. The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, which was negotiating with the bank, said it was prepared to file suit had the agreement not included principal reductions….
Update 2: Some details from Reuters by way of CalculatedRisk:
From Reuters: BofA to start reducing mortgage principal-sources
Bank of America will … announce plans to start forgiving mortgage loan principal for troubled homeowners who owe more than 120 percent of their home’s value or are battling ever-expanding “negative amortization” loans.
According to a summary of the program obtained by Reuters, Bank of America pledged to offer an “earned principal forgiveness” of up to 30 percent in two stages. The lender will first offer an interest-free forbearance of principal that the homeowner can turn into forgiven principal annually over five years, provided they stay current on their payments….
Update: In an amazing coinkydink the IG just issued a report ripping the Obama Housing Plan to shreds just as these ‘voluntary’ principal reduction programs are announced, heh:
A government watchdog agency criticized the Obama administration’s $50 billion campaign to avert foreclosures by reducing mortgage payments for millions of distressed borrowers.
A report by the inspector general of the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, said results of the loan-modification program so far have been disappointing. The report, released Tuesday evening, also said that the U.S. Treasury has failed to measure results properly for the Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP, and that it may merely delay foreclosures in too many cases.
When President Obama launched HAMP in early 2009, the government said it would help as many as three million to four million homeowners avoid foreclosure. So far, however, about 169,000 households have successfully completed trial periods and been given long-term payment relief…
I know this is unpopular. However, if we had done what Hillary proposed in 2007 (HOLC like FDR did) or what MAC proposed in 2008 (every homeowner getting a reduction to market rates, not forgiven, but the principal being non interest bearing and tacked onto end of loan), then IMO the housing markewould have cleared already.
Instead President Credit Suisse-UBS has continued with the EPIC fails of HARP, HAMP, extend and pretend, and we STILL face 5-6 million foreclosures in the year ahead.
Now Bank of America is doing what Sheila Bair at FDIC has been proposing for two years, they are writing down principle on underwater loans. ThThey are approaching it in a manner which ties the homeowner to the home, it can be done. So you ‘earn’ the forgiveness over a 5 year period of payments. This way underwater homeowners stay and the cash flow is assured for 5 years. Good deal.
The key issue IMO is with continued UE we cannot sustain the underwater walkaways, resets in pick a pay horror products AND the natural loss of homes to UE. Something needs to be done to clear it out before it continuesto snowball. We have entered the double dip in housing already, see sidebar for HousingWire and CalculatedRisk pieces.
Also recall please that the ENTIRE BASIS OF TARP was HOUSING. The way it was sold by Paulson was that it was a vehicle to purchase MBS and CDS b and free the banks from the problem. Had they done this they could have done HOLC like FDR, bought the loans and written them down in one fell swoop (and anyone who thinks taxpayers arent already backing these collapsing loans hasnt been paying attention- FAN FRED which now have an UNCAPPED TAXPAYER GUARANTEE from treasury, are backing ALL the remaining loans being writtern today). See our piece this week on FAN FRED .
Diana Olick reported it on CNBC this morning, PS MiM are BofA shareholders) when the video comes up we will post!
forgive typos, on the go with the netpad EEEPC which is kewt but doesnt show the whole box I am typing in right now, arrgle!
Meredith Whitney & Jamie Dimon on principal forbearance in the JPMorgan Chase earnings call PLUS Are JPMC, BofA, Citi taking kickbacks for second liens on short sales?! & HAMP/MHA assisted a whopping 7% of those eligible last year..
Update: Short Sale Kickback video added
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In other great news, Diana Olick is breaking a HUGE story now on CNBC that the big servicers, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citi have demanded off-HUD, off ClosingStmt payments to release second liens they hold in short sales (against RESPA law).
Treasury told Diana they were unaware of this and will look into it. Good grief. and they wonder why the servicers dont want to do mods? THEY ARE GETTING KICKBACKS ON SHORT SALES! Plus they get an INCENTIVE PAYMENT to do short sales from Treasury (we the taxpayers) now. My Lord this is unreal.
Again this is the fault of the WH and Treasury. Treasury actually RAISED the cap on the ‘incentive fees’ the servicers can earn by doing their damn job as servicers today to 35 billion. Banks will do exactly what they can and no more. Sheila Bair at FDIC is the only one moving on principal forbearance, as usual she is ahead of the curve.
Plus the AP isn’t buying the BS spin anymore in its reporting of the much vaunted numbers Treasury is spinning today on their newly permanent mods (which they told the servicers to waive documentation for to achieve, the only thing the trial mods can be disqualified for now is ‘property’ disqualification, nice eh?):
The Obama administration’s mortgage relief plan provided help to only 7 percent of borrowers who signed up last year, another black mark for the struggling program.
Ouch that’ll leave a mark.
About 900,000 borrowers have enrolled in the $75 billion program since it launched in March, the Treasury Department said Friday. But as of last month, only about 66,500 homeowners had received permanent relief. Another 46,000 have been approved and should be finalized soon.The plan aims to make borrowers’ mortgages more affordable by reducing the mortgage interest rate to as low as 2 percent. They receive temporary modifications, which are supposed to become permanent after borrowers make three payments on time and complete necessary paperwork, including proof of income and a letter explaining the reason for their financial hardship.
The Treasury Department is pressing the 102 mortgage companies that are participating in the program to do a better job….
This is a great back and forth. I think we can confirm Treasury is doing exactly JACK SHXT about meaningful mods after hearing this discussion, so much for Obama being tough on those fat cats:
Here is an exchange between Meredith Whitney and Jamie Dimon on the JPMorgan conference call this morning (ht Brian):
Whitney: [W]e’re reaching a critical point in terms of all of the loan modification efforts and this is an industry question but then how it specifically affects your Company, given the fact that the industry feedback and statistics on the loan modification efforts are not good, so you question what’s the next initiative and the issue of principal forbearance. How much momentum do you think that has, can you comment on what stage we are in terms of obviously the extension ends [soon] with the last slug is over in February, so where do you think we are in terms of the government’s efforts to influence banks to do certain things?
Dimon: Well remember we do modifications of our own and we do the government modifications and I do think they’re kind of new, it was complex, and I think people will get better at it over time, Meredith. We have not thought of a better way to do it than loan by loan, which is does the person want to live there, can they afford to live there, and we really think that the payment, how much you’re paying is more important than principal. Even if you are going to do something on principal, to do it right you have to do it loan by loan and it effectively comes a similar kind of thing. The difficulty is the loan by loan part and we’ve asked the government and I think they tried to streamline a little bit to have programs because there’s too much paperwork involved in it so a lot of the reasons we’re not getting to final modifications half the time we don’t finish the paperwork, so they need the lower payments but they weren’t finishing the paperwork so we’re trying to get better at it, honestly, we rack our brains to figure out if there’s a better way to do it and you can do it more macro than loan by loan but once you start talking about macro, you’re going to get involved in a lot of issues about whether the people live there, whether they have the ability to pay, whether they were honest when they first told people how much their incomes were, so we’re working through it.
Whitney: Okay, do you get a sense that there’s something right behind HAMP, that there’s another solution for the government or is it more your efforts?
Dimon: We’re trying to do this, look, we’re trying to have ideas and they are trying to have ideas but if we had a brilliant one we would be very supportive of doing it. We want to do the right thing for the people.
Whitney: Okay, so a point of clarification on your answer, issue of principal forbearance is not something that people should be overly concerned about with respect to reserves and capital for the bank?
Dimon: No, I think if there’s a macro government force on something like that you could have a fairly significant effect on loan loss reserves and losses, etc.
Whitney: But is that a real, any momentum?
Dimon: Honestly Meredith you probably know as well as we do.
Whitney: I don’t know. I can’t help myself on that one.
Neither can we!
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Update: Oh this is rich, Andy Stern and SEIU are having an ‘end too big to fail’ rally outside Golden Slacks, it sounds like they are actually supporting the Dodd position which the WH is NOT supporting but we know Andy Stern is there (WH) more than anyone else…so are they ‘accidentally’ using the same words as Jamie? Are they helping to keep Golden Slacks’ negative profile so high they don’t bid on taking any of the assets in the FDIC bank seizure sales? (Jamie is against the Dodd too big to fail legislation because he reportedly wants to buy some of those assets and Golden is a competitor…is the WH not really against the Dodd legislation and lying to Jamie? Is Stern just greedy or is this planned? man oh man…)
…a couple hundred of them — led by Service Unions International Union president Andy Stern — plan to gather outside of Goldman Sachs’ Washington offices Monday morning to protest the firm’s mega-bonuses, and demand the end of the “too big to fail” doctrine, according to a press release.
The event will be held outside 101 Constitution Ave. N.W., an office building that’s home to many of the most powerful lobbyists and corporations in town, including Goldman. It’s also where you can find POLITICO’s Capitol Hill bureau (in the basement).
Among their demands, the protesters will say that Goldman bankers should donate their reported $23 billion in bonuses to foreclosure prevention programs….
wow. We supported Jamie Dimon for Treasury Secretary. Face it Geithner already gave billions to the banks via AIG and CITI, may as well have a TOUGH fox guarding the hen house, and Jamie is the toughest. Paul Volcker who gets wheeled out for the occasional photo-op is clearly being ignored, treated like the ‘crazy Uncle’, as Charlie Gasparino puts it. Obama is listening to only one banker it seems, Jamie who has vested interests in keeping things as they are.
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Airtime-Fri. Nov. 13 2009 – 12:50 PM ET – CNBC’s Charlie Gasparino has the details on whether Jamie Dimon is too powerful.
Jamie Dimon- ‘No Bank Should be Considered Too Big to Fail’
…Dimon, in a Washington Post opinion piece, said the government shouldn’t provide artificial life support to banks that don’t perform. “The term ‘too big to fail’ must be excised from our vocabulary,'” Dimon wrote in Friday’s Post.Yet he said it shouldn’t be the size of the institution that drives the new regulatory policies being considered in Congress but rather their ability to manage risk and provide the best services for customers.
Gentle Ben on the Hill: Takes Bair’s Position on Uber-Regulator! Agrees Fed should share power with panel on risk oversight!
WOW! A whole new tone from Ben! He is now on board with Sheila Bair of FDIC and Mary Schapiro of SEC’s positions, that no single regulator should have this power. And MiM totally agrees!!
To watch Ben’s testimony LIVE in front of Congress see CNBC Live link here
The head of the Federal Reserve adopted a new tone Thursday over a key plank of the Obama administration’s proposed plan for financial regulation reform, saying new oversight powers proposed for the U.S. central bank should be shared with other regulators.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told a congressional panel that a new council of financial regulators, not just the Federal Reserve, should monitor systemic risk in the economy.Bernanke’s comments came amid growing skepticism in Congress and beyond about an administration proposal to give the Fed the lead role in policing the economy for systemic risk, albeit in coordination with an inter-agency council.
..He also told the panel all systemically important financial firms should answer to a consolidated regulator, whether or not the firms own banks.
But an inter-agency council should be used to monitor the very broadest sorts of risk, he said, placing new emphasis on an idea embraced by increasingly vocal critics of the Fed.
Update from MM The regulators aren’t backing down. Excellent.
…Reuters sheds more light on the turf battle between Geithner/Emanuel and the regulators:
Top U.S. bank regulators will speak out on Tuesday against some key elements of the Obama administration’s plan to reshape financial regulation, saying parts of it were unneeded or could be disruptive.
The officials’ defiance, in prepared congressional testimony obtained by Reuters, came despite a warning given to them on Friday by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
In private remarks punctuated with expletives, Geithner urged the regulators to end their turf battles and show support for President Barack Obama’s plan, according to a person familiar with the situation on Monday.
But that seemed to have little impact on John Bowman, acting director of the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), an agency slated for closure under the Obama plan.
“We do not support the administration’s proposal to establish a new agency, the National Bank Supervisor (NBS), by eliminating the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency … and the OTS,” Bowman said in written remarks to be given to the Senate Banking Committee at a hearing…
Since Sheila as head of FDIC, won’t just GIVE away the regulatory power to Treasury, Timmeh is mad mad mad. No doubt he stomped his foot, making him look even more like Rumpelstiltskin were that possible….
Timmeh and Larry Summers together are like the Hot and Cold Misers..seriously, look at the faces…then add the personalities…
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner blasted top U.S. financial regulators in an expletive-laced critique last Friday as frustration grows over the Obama administration’s faltering plan to overhaul U.S. financial regulation, according to people familiar with the meeting….Mr. Geithner told the regulators Friday that “enough is enough,” said one person familiar with the meeting. Mr. Geithner said regulators had been given a chance to air their concerns, but that it was time to stop, this person said.
Among those gathered in the Treasury conference room were Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair.
Friday’s roughly hourlong meeting was described as unusual, not only because of Mr. Geithner’s repeated use of obscenities, but because of the aggressive posture he took with officials from federal agencies generally considered independent of the White House. Mr. Geithner reminded attendees that the administration and Congress set policy, not the regulatory agencies.
Mr. Geithner, without singling out officials, raised concerns about regulators who questioned the wisdom of giving the Federal Reserve more power to oversee the financial system. Ms. Schapiro and Ms. Bair, among others, have argued that more authority should be shared among a council of regulators.
Well, gee since only Ben, Tim, Mary and Sheila were in the room, and the argument is that Ben should get more power which Mary and Sheila are resisting, clearly he can only have been cursing and threatening Mary and Sheila…just like his boss, he has an issue with powerful women who get in his way…..frakker…It’s kind of TOTUS’ karma ain’t it? Everywhere he turns middle aged women are in his way….I’ve got news for them, Sheila is one tough ‘cookie’ she isn’t rolling over for anyone…heh..
Shorter Timmeh/Rumpelstiltskin “If I say we can turn this damned straw into gold then we can!”
Hey I tried not to make elf comparisons and then People mag named him and I kid you not, one of the sexiest men of the year. Well alrighty then…guess they haven’t seen any CW shows last season….
See MM for more coverage…
Johnny Cash courtesy of askeboy
Reminder, here is where we were almost a year ago now, the world was ending and Hank was in a sea of flotsam and jetsom trying to keep us afloat..do I like what he did, hell no, am I glad TOTUS and Timmeh werent alone at the reins then? Hell yes!
Update: Video as it is available…
Watching them grill Hank on the Hill
Live feed here
IMO this is bad, very very bad..
This is what they would do with a CIA investigation of ‘Torture’…go back and question shxt they knew about and never opened their mouths about before to look good….
They are going back and questioning every aspect of decisions they KNEW at the time were being madem, that they rolled over for..
After 9/11, after the collapse of Lehman, things were not ‘normal’
Never thought I could feel bad for Hank but I do..
This is a witch hunt and a kangaroo court and a clusterfark all rolled into one…
These people have NO CLUE about the financial system, and the things they are allowing Team TOTUS to do RIGHT NOW IMO far outweigh what Hank did with TARP and BofA and Merrill…
Shit Chrysler Senior Debtholders were threatened a few months ago, none of these Congress critters made a peep..
These are the same tools who LOVED them some Hank in October of 2008…
Hank does not look well….
The Critters are frankly really interrogating him at this point…cutting him off…beating him up and bullying him in fact with emails he has never seen…this is a guy they schmoozed like crazy, a guy who like it or not saved the system form collapsing, I do not agree with everything they did and didnt want TARP but we HAVE A FINANCIAL SYSTEM TODAY b/c Hank did something, unlike the Congress who was clueless and led by Nancy who was busy interfering with national elections and not minding the store….
Dennis Kucinich has bene on a MISSION to get Ken Lewis fired and BofA shareholders a nifty lawsuit, he is on CNBC now attacking Paulson….
Update: CIT Group files bankruptcy; No Government aid for CIT….Thursday Market Mover: Paulson on the Hill…
Update: 11/2/09: Bad, sad news, CIT Group went belly-up this weekend despite the 2B taxpayer infusion and the Carl Icahn offer. Bad news for small business. But it is an attempt to dump the debt and live on, so maybe it will live to fight another day.
CIT Group Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection Sunday, in a final attempt to restructure and keep the doors open at the century-old commercial lender.
Now, the lender to nearly a million small and midsize businesses must maintain its customer base as it tries to rehabilitate under Chapter 11 protection. Most financial firms sell off assets or liquidate in bankruptcy amid fears that customers will draw down credit lines and spark a run on the bank.
But CIT garnered support from about 90% of voting debt holders for a prepackaged reorganization plan that could allow the lender to speed through Chapter 11 and emerge with a new business model by year’s end. Under the plan, bondholders will exchange their debt for new debt that matures later, as well as nearly all the equity in a reorganized CIT.
The bankruptcy stay would eliminate some $10 billion in debt from the lender’s balance sheet, the company said. CIT has been weighed down by more than $30 billion in bond debt.
A $2.3 billion taxpayer bailout extended to CIT late last year under the Bush administration will be wiped out in the bankruptcy. Common shareholders will be wiped out, too.
The plan is among the first attempts to restructure a financial firm in bankruptcy court and have it emerge relatively intact. The board approved CIT’s decision to seek Chapter 11 protection in a meeting Sunday. “The board appreciated that this is a [historic] sort of filing,” said a person close to the lender. “It is clearly unprecedented.”…
Charlie Gasparino is reporting on CNBC’s Kudlow that Sheila (Bair of FDIC) brought the hammer down and drew the line in the sand saying NO MORE BAILOUTS…shxt it would have to be on small business that the money train dried up eh?
Well, we love Sheila here at MiM (we wanted her or Jamie Dimon of JPMC for Treasury)and Timmeh was saying from Saudia Arabia that he was confident they would find a way to do the bailout, so we enjoy it when his toes are stepped on, bitter and petty that’s us today fer shure, BWAAAAHAAAA.
Hope Sheila’s foot met Timmeh’s axx on this one, FDIC should have the too big to fail wipeout authority IMO not the Fed and for Gawds sake not the Treasury….
CNBC on imminent CIT bankruptcy following FDIC and Treasury decision not to bailout…
… CIT Group, a major lender to small- and mid-sized U.S. businesses, said on Wednesday that talks with the government to bail out the company had ended, a development that could make bankruptcy likely.
…”Discussions with government agencies have ceased,” the New York-based company said in a statement. “There is no appreciable likelihood of additional government support being provided over the near term.”
The announcement came after last-ditch talks in which Treasury Department had been concerned about a worsening liquidity crunch at CIT over the last few days, and that government aid would not put the lender on a path to recovery….
Tomorrow BIG NEWS will be HANK PAULSON testifying on Capitol Hill about the Merrill BofA shenanigans, should be lots of fun. Hanks is the man who handed free market capitalism over to the government and then retired with hundreds of thousands of Golden Slacks shares…..Hank Hank Hank, when he sees whatis happening now how does he feel? He opened this door and TOTUS swagga’d through it….
Our MANY posts on Hank, Timmeh, AIG, Merrill, BofA, CITIBANK, Sheila, are too numerous to link…
Smashing Pumpins fan made video with footage of Tours in France, courtesy of buissonland