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http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2007/08/coming-soon-tru.html


Every now and again, a potentially significant story manages to slip through the cracks, barely noticed by anyone. A recent Dow Jones article by Jilian Mincer -- "Mtge Lawsuits Could Bail Out Some Borrowers" -- is just such an article. The only reason I even knew about it was because I spoke with the reporter and was quoted in it.

It is a fascinating tale that I suspect won't be ignored for long. For those few people familiar with the Federal Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA), this won't be much of a surprise. To everyone else, read on.

What happens if a buyer fails to comply with the TILA rules? The borrowers are allowed to RESCIND THE LOANS AND VOID THE MORTGAGES ON THEIR HOMES. The mortgage lender is then just another unsecured creditor, who must get in line behind everyone else who may have filed a lien on the property. Who ever files first (Credit card, auto finance, doctors, etc.) has first priority.
[...]
And, here's the real rub:    This kinda makes you wonder what sort of due diligence the secondary market actually did on these basic non-compliant loan errors in the sub-prime market. How about the CDO banking underwriters -- didn't their Legal review these docs for compliance with existing laws prior to purchasing trillions of dollars worth of the stuff? Was their fraud involvd, or did these guys just miss it?

This is basic stuff, and its amazing that in the headlong rush to write these garbage loans, no one caught very basic, banking 101 type rule.    

It just shows how little oversight by the regulators there was in this space. Hard to imagine, but the Central Bankers either never reviewed these loan documents, or never caught these basic disclosure errors.

And yes, I place some of the blame on the Greenspan Federal Reserve -- they were the regulatory authority in charge of bank mortgage lending when these junk mortgages were written . . .

Emphasis mine.

by Laurent GUERBY on Wed Aug 22nd, 2007 at 08:37:04 AM EST

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