Lucrative fees may deter efforts to alter loans, The New York Times, July 2009
Banks and other mortgage servicers have made big bucks on the fees associated with delinquent loans, because of rules that one Federal Reserve Bank of Boston paper called a "perverse incentive to foreclose rather than modify." This piece surveys the homeowners caught in purgatory – and why the servicers seemed to want to keep them there.
Fannie and Freddie's foreclosure barons, Mother Jones, August 2010
One of the first stories to shed light on a "foreclosure mill." A Florida law firm tore through cases as quickly as possible, while frequently signing off on dodgy documents. The firm has since been shut down.
Grave errors as undead rework loans, The Wall Street Journal, July 2010
Homeowner Sarah Larson, a 33-year-old acupuncturist, tried to get a break on her $1,055-a-month mortgage from Bank of America. The bank requested three important documents: bank statements, a utility bill and her death certificate. She replied: "I am not sending a death certificate because I am not deceased. I am currently still living."
Mortgage mess: Shredding the dream, Businessweek, October 2010 How banks' carelessness and underinvestment in back-end infrastructure contributed to paperwork errors and lost promissory notes that many argue worsened the housing crisis.
Ties to insurers could land mortgage servicers in more trouble, American Banker, November 2010
Here's another way that mortgage servicers have profited from struggling homeowners: by forcing them to pay for expensive and unnecessary insurance policies.
The next housing shock, CBS' "60 Minutes," April 2011
This piece investigates the prevalence of "robo-signing," focusing on one company where a number of employees signed one woman's name to thousands of documents because her name was short. None of the major banks agreed to talk to "60 Minutes."