Following a rough and tumble year in the banking industry, Belial Bank’s feckless fearless leader, B.L. Zebub, believes it is high time to bring some levity and loyalty to the lowly troops who have been tirelessly foreclosing all the Beleaguered Borrowers they may have missed the first and second time around.  Mostly, however, B.L. is concerned about the reputational damage his bank has suffered this year.  Once known as the largest bank in America as measured by hubris, it is at risk of losing this mantle of distinction.  On the Chinese calendar, 2012 has been Belial Bank’s Year of the Rat.

B.L. is hoping against hope to instill a sense of pride among the rank and file; he knows that his company’s  promise to the feds to install a “single point of contact” [or “SPOC”] for every borrower seeking help, has become a sham.  Problem is, after a couple of weeks on the job, the SPOCs either quit, get fired, or leave to take more respectable jobs in the collection and repo industries. And then there was the public relations nightmare Belial Bank suffered after it was disclosed to the press that the top brass were giving prizes to supervisors who could run up the highest number of SPOCs for a single borrower in the shortest amount of time.  Last week’s big winner, Art O. DeLay, won a hundred crisp dollar bills and the afternoon off to visit The Devil’s Den Gentlemen’s Club, conveniently located just down the street from Belial’s headquarters.  [Cover charge waived.] Continue reading “Belial Bank’s 2012 Holiday Planning Meeting”

Following the National Mortgage Settlement, B.L. Zebub, Belial Bank’s once fearless leader, is waffling on whether to jump into the fray, and start writing down the mortgage balances for his Beleaguered Borrowers.  Not that the milk of human kindness flows through his icy veins – he’s just trying to figure out an “angle” so he can game the system and still appear to care about The Little Guy.  For the last three years, Belial Bank has put up incredible loan modification numbers without actually having to modify a single borrower’s loan.  The trick, of course, has been to continually move the goal posts, so while their borrowers may get to the 80, 90, or 95-yard line, they never quite get the ball into the end zone.  Once they get close, Belial either tells them they don’t qualify, or they can’t get a mod because they didn’t get their paperwork in on time.  

B.L. has perfected this insidious shell game ever since he attended a banking industry seminar entitled “Loan Modification as Performance Art” which blends the best of Kabuki dancing and Liar’s Poker.  From that moment on, as if awakening from a deep sleep, B.L. had an epiphany:  “It’s not what you do that counts – it’s what you appear to do.”  This little known mantra explains why the Behemoth Banks continuously chant to distressed homeowners: “We’re here to help,”  when what they’re really saying is “We’re here to help you out of your home.” 

So once again, B.L. has convened his trusted advisors to discuss the national mortgage settlement, which, he has learned, contains some interesting “incentives” to encourage the Big Banks to take principal write downs on their borrowers’ loans.  B.L.’s plan is not to erase ALL borrower negative equity, but just enough to keep them in the game and on the field.  As a Big Bank Servicer, B.L. knows all too well that he needs his borrowers’ loans to stay in the servicing pool, however non-performing, as long as possible before letting them slip into the Abyss.  Since servicing fees for non-performing loans means Big Money to Big Banks, he needs to find a new gimmick to entice his borrowers.  He has concluded that principal write downs, courtesy of the National Mortgage Settlement, may be just the ticket.  Thus, for those distressed homeowners awash in negative equity, the promise of a principal write-down – however meager – may keep them circling the drain a bit longer before he pulls the plug.

Participating in this hastily convened conference call is B.L.’s legal intern, Les Guile, who was successful at the last meeting in totally alienating the head of Belial’s South American Derivatives Trading Desk, Chase N. Prophett, by suggesting he was “small minded” and “morally vacuous.”  Liz Pendens of the title industry is on the phone, fidgeting, as usual, in anticipation of some new hair-brained idea from B.L. and his cronies. Joining in on the call is Dee Faulting, the Queen of Hearts in default servicing. Dee has just arrived back from a recent default servicing convention where she was awarded the title of “Most Inspirational” for her unwavering willingness to foreclose as many homeowners as possible regardless of the severity of their hardship. Damian Faust, Belial’s chief legal counsel, is back with us, after weathering a storm of protest over the vanity plate, “TBTF,” that he ordered for his new Porsche Carrera.  Kenneth Y. Slick III (aka “KY”), is also on the phone conference.  He is B.L.’s “Idea Man” whose most recent claim to fame was to suggest that Belial institute a $10.00 debit charge fee after Bank of America, following a storm of protest, retracted its $5.00 fee.  B.L.’s loyal secretary, Lucy Furr, has dutifully transcribed this conversation, careful to redact even the hint of profanity, just in case Julian Assange got ahold of the transcript and made it public.  Alas, Lucy failed again, which explains how this purloined post fell into my hands. – PCQ Continue reading “Belial Bank Discusses Principal Write-Downs”

Following the Morgan Stanley Mess, B.L. Zebub, Belial Bank’s now skittish leader, begins to wonder if his own empire is “Too Big to Manage.”  In an effort to reestablish the appearance of control, and avoid having a “Dimon in the Rough” moment, he has hastily convened an emergency meeting.  In addition to the usual suspects, a new attendee has been invited, Chase N. Prophett, head of Belial Bank’s South American trading desk.

B.L.’s legal intern, Les Guile, is in attendance, and after nearly a year of participating in these meetings, has developed into B.L.’s Jiminy Cricket, continuously reminding all attendees that the banking and servicing industries could use a crash course in morality training. Title industry hand-wringer Liz Pendens has called in on speaker phone, as has Dee Faulting, the Lizzy Borden of the default servicing industry.  Damian Faust, Belial’s chief legal counsel, could not make the meeting, as he is currently contending with the scandal that erupted when he was recently spotted sporting vanity plates on his new Porsche Carrera with the letters “TBTF.”  Lastly, Belial’s chief henchman, the morally vacuous, Kenneth Y. Slick III (aka “KY”), is in attendance, having recently returned from England after linking up with Morgan Stanley’s now infamous trader, Bruno Michel Iksil, aka “the London Whale,” in an effort to better understand what not to do when playing with fire derivatives.  B.L.’s loyal secretary, Lucy Furr, has dutifully transcribed this conversation. As before, Julian Assange insists that I not reveal the source of this purloined post. – PCQ

B.L. Zebub:  “Well, everyone, it’s been an interesting few weeks.”   The last time we met, it was a disaster.  I got it into my head that Belial Bank needed a reputational makeover, so I impetuously hired that hack from Spit Shine Public Relations.  I foolishly thought that somehow, if we polished up our image, the American people would grow to like us.  After I fired her, I personally undertook my own PR campaign, which fell flat.  It cost us an extra half million dollars, and I ended up deciding it’s just no use. Fate has conspired against us, and we simply have to accept the fact that we have so alienated the Little People, that we should just stop trying to endear ourselves to them.  So let’s just get started with….” Continue reading “Belial Bank’s Derivatives Trading Desk”

After taking one on the chin, compliments of Federal Judge Michael Simon in James II, the bank we love to hate has decided it needs to polish its tarnished image.  B.L. Zebub, Belial Bank’s CEO and President for Life, has it in his head that a quick little reputational makeover will work wonders as he gears up for Oregon’s mandatory mediation law this coming July.  B.L. – never the shrinking violet – believes that he can, over the course of a couple of months, restore Belial to its reputation of yesteryear, when bank stocks were considered a good long term investment, and mothers actually wanted their daughters to marry bankers.  B. L. believes that by the time mandatory mediation become law, his Big Bank will have attained the reputational equivalent of Mother Teresa in the eyes of the press and public.  This time B.L. has convened an in-person meeting of his covert coterie of conspirators to introduce his newest hire from the firm of ‘Spit Shine Public Relations,’ whose motto “We Polish Your Image” caught B.L.’s attention on a late night commercial during women’s roller derby.

In attendance, are B.L.’s eclectic group of dysfunctional participants, including his honest but naïve legal intern, Les Guile; title industry hand-wringer Liz Pendens, who has tried heroically to distance herself from the banking interests following Judge Simon’s recent ruling that  skewered the pro-MERS decisions of his fellow federal judges; Dee Faulting, of the default servicing industry, who still can’t understand why she isn’t on the short list at the Big Banks’ evening soirees.  She actually believes that default servicing is “a noble profession.”  Also in attendance is the always popular, Kenneth Y. Slick III (aka “KY”), who views himself in these meetings with the same narcissism as Joe Biden at a political rally.  And, of course, in attendance is B.L.’s loyal acolyte, Lucy Furr, who dutifully transcribes, scrubs, and prints up these sterling examples of “Bank Think.”   As before, I cannot reveal how this transcript fell into my hands. – PCQ Continue reading “Belial Bank Hires Gonzo Public Relations Firm!”

In a hastily convened telephone conference, B.L. Zebub, Belial Bank’s devilish, but distraught, leader, queries the attendees on the remarkable [some might say “miraculous”] turning of the tide [which some might liken to the parting of the Red Sea] for Bantam Borrowers over the past couple of weeks in Oregon.  Since such analogies smack of divine intervention, B.L. Zebub, who is captain of the “Other Team,” regards them as blasphemous, and grounds for expulsion from his little coterie of today’s callers. Of particular concern to our heretofore confident commander, is the recent ruling by Federal Judge Simon in the James case and the 11th hour passage of Oregon’s SB 1552.


In attendance are some of the best and brightest minds in the banking, servicing, and title industries: B.L.’s honest but naïve legal intern, Les Guile [who has begun to lose patience with the “See No Evil” attitude of some of the telephone attendees]; title industry hand-wringer Liz Pendens [who has decided that she is through carrying the water for the more powerful Big Banks]; Liz’s polar opposite, Dee “The Destroyer” Faulting, of the default servicing industry [who was once spotted over the Christmas Holidays trying to remove a ten dollar bill stuck in a Salvation Army Red Kettle]; Damian Faust, Belial’s lead counsel [whose Curriculum Vitae touts that fact that he received a perfect score on the MMPI for anti-social behavior]; and lastly, the Bank’s chief schemer and PR man, Kenneth Y. Slick III (aka “KY”), who is reveling in his recent success in expunging from the public record an old teenage criminal conviction for cruelty to small animals that his third ex-wife had threatened to take public.  B.L.’s loyal secretary, Lucy Furr, has dutifully transcribed this conversation. As before, I promised my contacts at Wikileaks that I would not reveal the true source of this purloined post. – PCQ


B.L. Zebub:  “Well, let’s get started.  No need for introductions; time’s running out – and so is our luck.  I want to hear from you Damien; what the hell is happening?! One day we’re riding high, confident in the fact that we’re getting the best of those pesky little borrowers, and now we’re on the ropes. I thought the Beyer result and the first James ruling signaled the end of the issue; MERS was held to be a legal beneficiary in those cases, so I thought we could move on.  Hell, our lobbyists down at the Oregon Legislature were telling the politicians during the 2012 Session that they were so confident in the future, we didn’t even need to sneak in a last minute gut-and-stuff bill this time. Continue reading “Belial Bank Bemoans The James Decision (Part II) and Oregon’s SB 1552 (2012)”

This secret congressional testimony was surrepetitiously  transcribed and delivered anonymously to me by a high-level government employee who had recently been foreclosed by Cerberus Servicing Systems, a little known, but highly aggressive foreclosure company.  Cerbrus’ namesake is the mythical three-headed dog, guarding the gates of Hell, preventing those who enter from ever leaving.  Cerberus Servicing goes after those borrowers the Big Banks wants to teach a “lesson” to, since it requires a uniquely demonic and unconscionable set of skills. Cerberus’ trademark tactic is to pretend to be interested in assisting homeowners to modify their loans, using platitudes such as “We Care” and “We’re Here to Help,” while simultaneously commencing a foreclosure against them. Cerberus personnel are known for their perverse enjoyment of intentionally losing a homeowner’s modification paperwork and then ignoring their pleas to postpone the foreclosure sale date so they can re-send the documents a 4th or 5th time.  PCQ

Chair: “Good morning.  If everyone is here, let’s get started.  As you know, this hearing is not open to the public.  We are seeking answers into the causes of the credit, housing and foreclosure crises.  Sworn testimony will be taken.  Hearing transcripts will be prepared but not released to the media or members of the public.  They will be held under court-imposed seal and are not subject to FOIA requests, since this proceeding is still in its earliest investigative stages.  Those testifying have been granted limited immunity from prosecution, so you do not have the right to invoke your Fifth Amendment privilege.  However, you are all accompanied by your attorneys, and you may confer with them before answering any question.  Accordingly, we expect honest and forthright testimony.  No evasion, equivocation, or  dissembling.  Questions have been prepared by the Committee’s Chief Counsel, and acting as Chair of the Committee, I will read them.  I reserve the right to ask follow-up questions, if appropriate.  Our first witness is from the banking industry.  Please state your name and employment position for the record.”

B.L. Zebub: “My name is B.L. Zebub and I am the CEO of Belial Bank.  We are the largest bank in the country, as measured by hubris.”

Chair: “We need your full name.  What do the initials “B” and “L” stand for?”

B.L. Zebub: “Sir, that is my name.  The letters are not initials. My full legal name is ‘B.L. Zebub.'”

Chair: “Mr. B.L. Zebub, please provide us with your opinion as to the chief causes of the credit, housing and foreclosure crises, as you seem them.” Continue reading “Secret Congressional Testimony – Was P.T Barnum Right?”

As we move into the New Year, our friends in the banking, servicing, and title industries have hastily convened a conference call to deal with the latest MERS setback in court.  It seems that when Fannie Mae sought permission to evict some folks from the home it had recently foreclosed, the local Jackson County Circuit Court Judge said “Fannie May Not.”  As usual, Belial Bank’s devilish President and CEO, B.L. Zebub, moderates.  He is joined by his trusted cronies to consider what to make of this decision coming out of sleepy Southern Oregon.  In attendance with  B.L. is his honest but naïve legal intern, Les Guile, who, of late, has developed a tendency to speak more freely.  Could it be that a conscience stirs within this young novitiate, and that he is tiring of the Machiavellian personalities on these calls?  Also in attendance is title industry hand-wringer Liz Pendens and her nemesis, Dee Faulting, of the default servicing industry.  Damian Faust, Belial’s lead counsel and hatchet man is present, as is the Bank’s chief schemer and PR man, Kenneth Y. Slick III (aka “KY”).  B.L.’s loyal secretary, Lucy Furr, has dutifully transcribed this conversation, although she apparently forgot to “scrub” it, as instructed by B.L.   As before,  I am unable to disclose the source of this purloined post. – PCQ

B.L. Zebub: “I just read the decision in Federal National Mortgage Association vs. Goodrich. Well, the timing couldn’t be more prophetic; December 7, 2011 and we find out we just got bombed in court.  Folks, I want to know what happened here!   This was a little garden variety eviction.  It can’t get much simpler than that.  All the bank has to prove is their superior right of possession.  We have our high-powered bank attorney flown all the way down to……..where is it “Jackson County” Orygon?  Where the hell is that?  Quick, someone, see if you can locate it on an AAA Trip Tik!  I doubt it.  Do they even have an airport there?  Did we have to pay to have our attorneys chauffeured to court again?!  That’s the problem – all those backwater bleeding heart liberal judges feeling sorry for the little guy!  I had a bad feeling about this case the minute I found out it wasn’t going to be tried in Portland.  It seems the farther away from the city you get, the more risk there is that some wild-eyed lib is gonna take issue with MERS.  Remember what happened in the Flynn case?  Where was that, Columbia County – wherever that is?  Damien, enlighten us. What went wrong?  I assume our lawyers take off their Rolex watches and Tiffany jewelry before they go to court.  We don’t want these hayseeds thinking that we actually make a pretty good living foreclosing Oregonians out of their homes.” Continue reading “Belial Bank Conference Call Discussing The Goodrich Decision & MERS”

As we approach 2012, our friends in the banking, servicing, and title industries are on their last conference call of the year; this time discussing how to put a better face on the banking industry.  Belial Bank’s President and CEO, B.L. Zebub, moderates. He has convened his trusted cronies to consider various schemes to cast the Big Banks in a better light for 2012.  In attendance are B.L., his honest but naïve legal intern, Les Guile; title industry hand-wringer Liz Pendens; and her nemesis, Dee “Take No Prisoners” Faulting, of the default servicing industry; Damian Faust, Belial’s lead counsel and hatchet man is present, as is the Bank’s chief schemer and PR man, Kenneth Y. Slick III (aka “KY”).  B.L.’s loyal secretary, Lucy Furr, has dutifully transcribed this conversation. As in the past, I am legally prohibited from revealing the source of this purloined post. – PCQ

B.L. Zebub: “OK, do we have everyone on the line?”

Lucy Furr: “B.L., I think everyone is on the line.” B.L. Zebub: “Good.  Well everyone, we’re rounding the corner into a new year, so I thought it appropriate to have an open discussion on what goals we ought to set for 2012.  I have some thoughts of my own, but would like to hear from the rest of you first.” Continue reading “Belial Bank’s Conference Call Re: New Year’s Resolutions”

When we last left this telephone conference in Part One, Damien Faust, chief legal counsel for Belial Bank, was regaling everyone with his brilliance in creating the following legal provision that the Big Banks had quietly inserted into every lender’s trust deed forms:

“Borrower understands and agrees that MERS holds only legal title to the interests granted by Borrower in this Security Instrument, but, if necessary to comply with law or custom, MERS (as nominee for Lender and Lender’s successors and assigns) has the right to exercise any or all of those interests, including, but not limited to, the right to foreclose and sell the Property; and to take any action required of Lender including, but not limited to releasing and cancelling this Security Instrument.”

Les Guile:  “That seems kinda sneaky to me.  These are standard forms.  The banking industry prints them out for consumers to use so they don’t have to go to an attorney every time they get a loan.  Of course the consumers don’t read it – they wouldn’t understand it if they did.  But, if I were to paraphrase what this clause really says, it would be something like this:

Borrower understands and agrees that in order to make MERS legal under state law, it has the right to do anything the lender can do if necessary to comply with the laws and customs of that state.’

Under that rationale, if the lender also sold jelly beans, MERS could do so as well, if it was necessary to make MERS legal in that state.  But this isn’t sophistry – you tried that and failed.  It’s downright silly. It’s like the old Roadrunner cartoons where he escapes through a tunnel painted on the side of a mountain.  The banking industry stuck a portable hole in its trust deeds that only MERS can escape through.” Continue reading “Judicial or Non-Judicial? Belial Bank Debates How to Foreclose Oregon Homeowners – Part Two”

Once again, the best and brightest minds in the banking, servicing, and title industries are on yet another conference call discussing the latest events in the ever-changing legal landscape of Oregon foreclosures.  Although Belial Bank’s President and CEO, B.L.Zebub, believes that the sun, moon, and stars are lining up in their favor, he still has nagging doubts about the best way to foreclose Oregon homeowners.  These doubts spring not from the conscience, but the pocketbook.  Accordingly, he has convened his trusted cronies to decide whether to foreclose Oregon homeowners judicially or non-judicially. In attendance are B.L., his honest but naïve legal intern, Les Guile; title industry hand-wringer Liz Pendens; and her nemesis, Dee “Take No Prisoners” Faulting, of the default servicing industry; Damian Faust, Belial’s lead counsel and hatchet man; and lastly, the Bank’s chief schemer and PR man, Kenneth Y. Slick III (aka “KY”).  B.L.’s loyal secretary, Lucy Furr, has dutifully transcribed this conversation. As in the past, I am prohibited from revealing the source of this purloined post. – PCQ

B.L. Zebub:  “Hello all!  The last time we held a conference call, it was triage time at the bank.  We had been staggered by a couple of Oregon court rulings, McCoy and Hooker, that made us think we’d have to re-foreclose Oregon homeowners all over again – not that they don’t deserve to be foreclosed twice as a good lesson for not making their payments! Ha! But lately, we’ve seen our fortunes change.  Damien, why don’t you fill us in on some of the details?  Are we finally at the bottom of the 9th inning yet?”

Damien Faust:  “Well, maybe.  It’s true, we scored a couple of runs for the home team.  These were the Beyer decision and the James decision.  The Beyer opinion is a good example of what can happen when borrowers represent themselves; the judge drinks the banks’ Kool Aid that is served up in the form of legal arguments that remain largely unopposed.  But who’s complaining?!  In this case, the judge actually concluded that MERS was a “beneficiary” under Oregon law because it was entitled to “benefits” – i.e. the right to receive the loan payments under the promissory note.  Specifically, he said that “One right of the lender is to receive payment of the obligation, so this clause must grant that right to MERS as well.” The amazing thing is that MERS itself has never argued that.  If someone sent MERS a mortgage payment, they would toss it back to them like a hand grenade without the pin.”

Les Guile: “Excuse me, Mr. Faust. I’m not sure I understand.  How does the court read into the trust deed a right to receive payments under the promissory note, if MERS itself says it doesn’t accept borrower payments?” Continue reading “Judicial or Non-Judicial? Belial Bank Debates How To Foreclose Oregon Homeowners – Part One”