Prologue:  You can’t make this stuff up!  In an effort to shed its past transgressions, like a snake sheds its skin, Nationstar Mortgage has had a makeover that includes assuming a new name. It is now officially, “Mr. Cooper”. This redo, or in golfing parlance, “mulligan”, had been in the works for some time – since 2015. The backstory can be found, here and here.  This anthropomorphic transformation is, per its YouTube video, here, so the company can become “more human”. As I recall, Dr. Frankenstein tried that too, with disastrous results. ~PCQ Continue reading “Q-Rant! From The Lipstick On Pigs Department: Nationstar Becomes “Mr. Cooper””

For those folks familiar with the lending and servicing industries, Ocwen is likely a familiar name.  Metaphorically speaking, it has become a regulatory piñata, with many state and federal watchdogs taking swipes at the company whenever the mood strikes. However, this attention is not necessarily undeserved or unexpected. It goes with the territory. You see, Ocwen is a – pardon another metaphor – a carrion eater; its business model includes servicing distressed mortgages, i.e. those in default and possible heading to foreclosure. It is the collection agent of last resort, the company that pays lenders money for the privilege of foreclosing homeowners. Continue reading “Did Ocwen Just Get “Out-Ocwened”?”

RexNature seems to have given the biggest, meanest beasts pretty thick skins. Presumably, this is so they can savage their victims without being hurt themselves. Of course, these beasts were also endowed with a brain the size of a walnut, which didn’t help their dispositions. Between their thick skin and slow synapses, these monsters usually made fast and furious work of their smaller prey.

However, based upon recent reports [which may or may not be true] it appears that one of these Darwinian features – a thick skin – does not carry over to the biggest and meanest of servicers, Ocwen Loan Servicing. Instead, we are learning that it is apparently thin skinned – at least when it comes to being vilified. Continue reading “Ocwen, ‘Sticks & Stones’…And Gag Rules?”

Breaking NewsIntroduction.  After a false start in 2012, the 2013 Oregon Legislature has just passed its “new, improved” version of what was generally known as the Mandatory Mediation Law. Besides tweaking various provisions in the prior law, SB 558 closed a loophole big enough that the Big Banks were able to drive their Foreclosure Bus through it.  Until July, 2012, virtually all lenders, except Wells Fargo, were conducting their foreclosures non-judicially, i.e. outside the court room.  With limited exceptions, the process, which is found in ORS 86.705 – 86.795, had been the sole method used for residential foreclosures in Oregon for the past fifty years. While lenders have always had the option to judicially foreclose Oregon homeowners who defaulted on their loans, it was rarely used.  In fact, in 1959, when the trust deed law was enacted, it was the lenders that lobbied long and hard for it; they knew it was far faster and cheaper than going to court to foreclose.      Continue reading “QUERIN LAW: SB 558 – Oregon’s New Mandatory Resolution Conference Law for Borrowers Facing Foreclosure (2013)”

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”

This is the second installment of my article looking back over the past five years at Portland housing statistics.  Part One examined the real reason for the housing crisis which officially commenced in 3Q 2007, and looked at the historic numbers for average and median (i.e. “mean”) sale prices according to the RMLS™. The link to Part One is here

 The Rest of the Story. Besides pricing over the past five years, what about time on the market?  Available inventory?  Number of listings? Closed sales? Let’s look at each one:

1.     Time on the MarketUntil 3Q 2007, an overheated real estate market was still burning through inventory.  In August 2007, the average time on the market was 56 days less than two months from listing to “pending sale.”[1]  The following month, September, 2007, banks began realizing that the drumbeat of subprime defaults was not going away.  They tightened their underwriting requirements almost immediately.  Over time, they began to even restrict borrowers from tapping their HELOCs based upon ZIP code.  As short sales and REOs began to fill the real estate marketplace, buyers and appraisers began viewing the sales figures as legitimate comps by which to gauge present value.  All the while, many potential buyers remained on the sidelines, waiting for prices to hit bottom.[2]  Many sellers who were fortunate enough to have equity during the following five years had to decide whether to wait until the market turned, or sell their home and recover far less equity than they had earlier.[3] Continue reading “Portland Metro Housing Prices – The Last Five Years [Part Two]”

 “It’s one thing to be stubborn when relying on well-reasoned principle; it’s quite another to be stubborn relying on no principle.” Anonymous [Sort of.] 


An interesting, though not surprising, article recently appeared in The Oregonian, titled: “Lenders not engaging in Oregon foreclosure mediation program.”  Before discussing what’s behind the banks’ decision, it is necessary to understand that SB 1552, Oregon’s mandatory mediation law, is essentially focused on the following two groups:

  1. Folks whose trust deed is being foreclosed non-judicially.  That is, a Notice of Default has been recorded in the public records. This event triggers the mandatory mediation law, and requires lenders[1] to offer the borrower an opportunity to meet and mediate, to see if an agreement can be reached on a specific “foreclosure avoidance measure” [e.g. modification, deed-in-lieu, short sale, or any other such mechanism that avoids the foreclosure]. If the borrower timely responds, complies with other criteria, and pays a $200 filing fee, the foreclosing lender must participate.  If the lender does not participate, or fails to do so in good faith,[2] it cannot receive the coveted “Certificate of Compliance” from the mediator.  This Certificate must be recorded on the public record before the sale can occur.  No Certificate, no foreclosure.[3]
  2.  Folks who are not in a formal non-judicial foreclosure, but due to their economic circumstances, are “at risk” of default under their note and trust deed.  The law does not define at “at risk” borrower.  Thus, it could be someone who is still current, but is on the cusp of defaulting due to the high cost of their mortgage payments; or it could be someone who hasn’t paid for a year, but the bank has not yet commenced any foreclosure.  Thus, even if a bank routinely forecloses judicially, such as Wells Fargo, before the foreclosure is filed in court, an “at risk” borrower could request that Wells enter into mediation to see if the parties could agree on a foreclosure avoidance solution.  But the sticking point in “at risk” mediations is that SB 1552 contains no sanction for lender non-compliance.[4]

The recent Oregonian article focused largely on folks in category No. 2, since clearly, banks that commence non-judicial foreclosures in Oregon must comply.  So, with that preface, herewith are some snippets from the Oregonian article:

  •  “The state’s contractor charged with running the mediation program told an advisory committee in Salem on Wednesday that 132 eligible homeowners applied for the program on the grounds that they are at risk of foreclosure. The law allows at-risk borrowers to request a meeting with their lender even before they’ve missed a payment. *** But none of the mortgage servicers responded to the requests within 15 days as required under the law that created the program.”
  • “When asked by The Oregonian for the reason, the answer was simple: ‘They just don’t want to play,” said Jonathan Conant, who is managing the state mediation program on behalf of the Florida-based Collins Center for Public Policy. He added that the five largest lenders operating in the state have indicated they won’t participate in the mediation process under any circumstances.’”
  • “Meanwhile, lenders have also stopped filing out-of-court foreclosures. More are proceeding with court-supervised foreclosures, avoiding the mediation program altogether through the traditionally slower and costlier judicial foreclosure process.”
  • According to the article, here’s what the Lender’s Lobby and Lackeys say:
    • “There is just so much coming at these folks in terms of new requirements,” Markee[5] said. ‘Many of them are talking to their legal counsel and other learned people trying to make rational decisions about how to proceed with this issue.’” [Hmm. “Legal counsel and other learned people….” Now there’s a phrase that begs to be parsed. Hopefully, at least one such “learned” person will include someone schooled at the College of Common Sense.  Just a small dose would hopefully convince the Big Banks that totally ignoring Oregonians’ pleas for help will backfire.  More about this later. – PCQ] 
    • Markee and Kenneth Sherman Jr., general counsel for the Oregon Bankers Association, both told the advisory committee they couldn’t explain why mortgage servicers hadn’t responded to the requests for mediation. [Sorry guys – But as a fellow lawyer, I don’t believe that for a minute. First, you wouldn’t even talk to The Oregonian without your clients’ OK.  Secondly, you wouldn’t be quoted saying  anything without first having it vetted by your clients in advance. Third, to say you “don’t know,” really means that your Big Bank clients told you to say you “don’t know.”  Fourth, you do know.  The real reasons are pretty clear.  But if struggling Oregon homeowners were told the real truth, they’d quickly decide that your industry should never be permitted to conduct business in this state again. More about this later. – PCQ]

Before moving on, let’s look at the actual text of the law.  What follows is taken from Section 2(7)(a) of SB 1552, the “at risk” provisions.  The references to “grantor” refer to the borrower; the “beneficiary” is the lender or servicer that is foreclosing; the “trustee” is the foreclosure trustee who actually conducts the non-judicial foreclosure process; and the “mediation service provider” is The Collins Center for Public Policy, which has been designated by the Oregon Attorney General to coordinate all mediations arising under SB 1552.

  • “A grantor that is at risk of default before the beneficiary or the trustee has filed a notice of default for recording under ORS 86.735 may notify the beneficiary or trustee in the trust deed or the beneficiary’s or trustee’s agent that the grantor wants to enter into mediation. Within 15 days after receiving the request, the beneficiary or trustee or the beneficiary’s or trustee’s agent shall respond to the grantor’s request and shall notify the Attorney General and the mediation service provider identified in subsection (2)(b) of this section. The response to the grantor must include contact information for the Attorney General and the mediation service provider.”  [Emphasis mine.]
  • “A grantor that requests mediation *** may also notify the Attorney General and the mediation service provider of the request. The Attorney General shall post on the Department of Justice website contact information for the mediation service provider and an address or method by which the grantor may notify the Attorney General.”
  • “Within 10 days after receiving notice of the request *** the mediation service provider shall send a notice to the grantor and the beneficiary that, except with respect to the date by which the mediation service provider must send the notice, is otherwise in accordance with the provisions of subsection (3) of this section.”
  • “A beneficiary or beneficiary’s agent that receives a request under paragraph (a) of this subsection is subject to the same duties as are described in [the remaining applicable provisions of SB 1553].”

So when the 2012 Oregon Legislature said that when an “at risk” borrower requests mediation, “…the beneficiary or trustee or the beneficiary’s or trustee’s agent shall respond to the grantor’s request and shall notify the Attorney General and the mediation service provider….” [Emphasis mine.]  – what did it mean?

As lawyers, we were taught that when certain legislative action is called for, it can be divided into those that are required versus those that are only permissive [or in legal parlance, those that are “precatory”].  For example, words like “shall” and “must” are mandatory.  Compliance is compulsory.  Words such as “may,”  “should,” “can,” etc. are permissive.  An example of a permissive statement in a will, might be: “I hope that my son and daughter will keep the house in the family.” It is purely a wish or desire; it is not a requirement.  The will does not say that the son and daughter cannot sell the family home; to the contrary – they can do so without violating the terms of their inheritance.

However, as any sixth grader knows when his parents tell him that he “must do his homework before being allowed to play outside with his friends,” there is little room left for negotiation.  So it is with the use of mandatory words such as “shall” in the “at risk” provisions of SB 1552.  Had the Oregon Legislature intended for banks to have a  choice in deciding whether or not to respond to an “at risk” borrower’s request to mediate, it could have easily said so by using permissive rather than mandatory words.  By changing a single word, the mandate for how Big Banks are to deal with mediation requests from “at risk” Oregon homeowners would be entirely different.  For instance, it could have said:

“Within 15 days after receiving the request, the beneficiary or trustee or the beneficiary’s or trustee’s agent may respond to the grantor’s request by notifying the Attorney General and the mediation service provider identified in subsection (2)(b) of this section.”

Clearly, such a simple change was within the power of the drafters of SB 1552.  To put a finer point on all this, let’s look at other portions of the “at risk” provisions quoted above:

  • “A grantor that is at risk of default before the beneficiary or the trustee has filed a notice of default for recording under ORS 86.735 may notify the beneficiary or trustee in the trust deed or the beneficiary’s or trustee’s agent that the grantor wants to enter into mediation. [Emphasis mine.]
  • “A grantor that requests mediation *** may also notify the Attorney General and the mediation service provider of the request.” [Emphasis mine.] 

Clearly, the use of the word “may” in these two instances, is because not all “at risk” borrowers” may want to mediate.  And if they choose to mediate, they may not elect to notify the Attorney General. Those that do, can, and those that don’t, need not.  These are voluntary choices; not mandatory imperatives.

Voilà! Now we know that the drafters of this legislation understood the difference between “shall” and “may”!  They were used differently for a reason.  Now was this all that difficult?

Remember, that both the lender and consumer lobbies were at the table when SB 1552 was negotiated.  The Big Banks and their high paid lawyers could have pushed back on the choice of “shall” or “may” – but they didn’t.  And so, when I hear lawyers, lobbyists and lender lackeys say that the Big Banks need to consult with “legal counsel and other learned people *** to make rational decisions about how to proceed… I want to gag.  Why the handwringing? “Shall” means “shall.”  “May” means “may.”  It’s not like we’re trying to interpret the First Amendment to the Constitution.

So when the mandatory mediation law says that banks “shall” respond, there is no room to rationally argue that they have a choice of not responding. Ignoring “at risk” Oregon homeowners who want to mediate a foreclosure avoidance solution clearly violates the spirit and intent of the law.  And like so many other legal positions taken by Big Banks over the last five years, this too will come back to haunt them. [Continued in Part Two]

[1] This law does not apply to individuals, financial institutions, mortgage bankers, and consumer finance lenders     that commenced 250 or fewer foreclosures in the preceding calendar year.

[2] In Big Bank lexicon, the term “good faith” is noticeably absent, so we can expect an argument from the lenders’ lobby and lackeys, as to exactly what that term requires of them.

[3] Note that 1552 only applies to non-judicial foreclosures.  Thus, a lender could decide to avoid the mandatory mediation process altogether, and simply file the foreclosure in court, and proceed judicially.

[4] Lest someone say that this was a bonehead mistake, I think not.  Legislative negotiations on such a volatile issue can result in an impasse, where the consumer lobby must say to itself, better to have the provision included, even without a built-in enforcement mechanism, than to have nothing at all.  I agree.  The fact that mandatory mediation is in the law at all, is a minor miracle.  I’m comfortable with leaving it up to a judge to determine if it’s OK for the Big Banks to thumb their noses at Oregon’s distressed homeowners. So far, the courts have been lining up pretty consistently behind the Little Guy – Niday being the most recent example.

[5] Jim Markee, a lobbyist representing the Oregon Mortgage Lenders Association.

For anyone who has sought a loan modification or some other pre-foreclosure solution to their distressed housing situation, they must surely recall the treatment – or lack of treatment – they received from their lender or servicer.  In some instances, one knows in a heartbeat that the processing job has been outsourced to some third world country, where the communications break down before they start. In other instances, the processor has the monotone of one that has just taken a Valium before getting on the line. They have the same people skills as zombies reading teleprompters. Perhaps the most ridiculous ruse is the official title these folks are given, considering their low-level status on the corporate ladder:  “Office of the CEO and President.” Given the number of employees carrying that title, this “Office” must be the size of a football stadium.

The question that has plagued me for the last several years has been, “Why don’t the Big Banks improve their customer relations?”  For every distressed borrower they offend, they’ve not only lost a future customer, but possibly a half dozen more family and friends the borrower tells.

Well help may be on the way!  Of course, not from the Big Banks and servicers. No, they’re far too busy and important to develop an outreach program that actually injects a sense of humanity into the process of helping others. In a sense, when it comes to aiding distressed homeowners, the job of Big Bank public relations has also been outsourced  – this time to Fannie Mae.

As reported in DS, Fannie Mae has announced a customer care training program:

“What we’ve learned through the housing crisis is that if everybody takes the responsibility to work together and act early, then we can prevent foreclosures and keep families in their homes in many cases,” said Leslie Peeler, SVP of Fannie Mae’s National Servicing Organization. “We want our servicers to be trusted counselors to their customers, from attentively collecting documents to advising them of their options and guiding them through the process.” [Underscore mine. – PCQ]

Well, Riddle Me This Batman: Where were you guys in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011?  Why is this just now occurring to you?   Have you had an epiphany?  Are you only now realizing that it helps to treat borrowers like human beings?

Here are some P.R. tips for Fannie’s servicer trainees:

  • Don’t lose the borrower’s paperwork;
  • Don’t insult them with requests to update information that cannot and does not change [such as a lifetime disability];
  • Don’t work with a borrower while at the same time initiating a foreclosure against them – that isn’t a trust-builder;
  • Don’t play the “trial modification” game, where you take their money, never credit it to their account, and then after 8-10 months, unceremoniously deny them for permanent mod for unspecific reasons;
  • Don’t state in your recorded voice-messages that you return all calls in 24 hours, if you have no intention of doing so;
  • Don’t give your supervisor’s name and number on your telephone greeting, and conveniently fail to include their extension;
  • Don’t….well, you get the point.

According to the DS News article:

“One key component of the program is to create a single point of contact in the call center for each customer to ensure that a relationship can be built between the homeowner and their servicer representative.  A single point of contact can also help ensure that foreclosure prevention options are properly presented.”  [Underscore mine. – PCQ]

Hmmm.  But what good is a single point of contact, if they can’t seem to keep their job?  I have one client seeking a modification and we’ve had five different “single points of contact” in less than a year. Where is the “relationship building” there?

Memo to Fannie Mae: Have as required reading for your trainees, Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends And Influence People” and – as difficult as it may sound – Have them memorize the entire Golden Rule. Yes, all eleven words!

Well, the stealthy lending lobby is up to its old tricks.  Just as they did in the 2011 Oregon Regular Session, they prefer to work quietly in the cloak room.  But should we be surprised?  Honest work can be conducted in the open, only those fearing detection, confrontation, and truth, operate in the shadows.

Senate Bill 1552 requires lenders and their henchmen, the servicers, to formally offer mediation to borrowers as a means of foreclosure avoidance. It has passed the Oregon Senate by a resounding 26-4 vote.

Senate Bill 1564 would outlaw the lenders’ use of “dual tracking” i.e. commencing a foreclosure and offering to discuss modification at the same time. It passed the Senate by a 20-10 vote.  Dual tracking is a tactic akin to holding a gun to the head of a borrower and saying “OK, let’s talk.”  As the foreclosure date looms, and the bank/servicer continues to lose paperwork and demand new records, the homeowner franticly tries to get the foreclosure date postponed so discussions can continue.  Of course, the modification negotiators at servicers like Bank of America, politely demur, saying they cannot postpone until five days before the sale date.  “No early commutations here!  You have to be on the steps of the scaffold before we’ll consider stopping the show.”

As a reception for these two bills, House Co-speaker Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) and Rep. Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver) have, according to the Oregonian’s Editorial Board, “…shown no willingness to give the Senate Bills a hearing.  Echoing the question asked by the Oregonian Editorial Board on February 18, Why not help people keep their homes? How about it, guys?

What is incredible is that Rep. Whisnant represents the folks from Sunriver in Central Oregon – ground zero for the Oregon housing crisis.  Rep. Whisnant’s webpage contains the following declarative:

“It is an awesome responsibility to serve as a State Representative and great honor. My job is to represent you and I will do that to the best of ability. I hope you will use the web page to monitor how I am serving the citizens of District 53.” [My italics. – PCQ]

OK, Rep. Whisnant, I’ll tell you how you’re doing for your constituents.  Lousy!  You’re throwing your own people under the bus for the sake of Big Banks.  You represent thousands of people at the epicenter of the housing crisis – no single area has suffered more than Central Oregon – but you block these two humane efforts to help folks – to lighten their load.  Instead, you take your orders from the Big Banks and the attorneys carrying their water.  Perhaps you should knock on a few doors of the folks you serve.  Ask them if they think your political maneuvering is in their best interest.

And if this was not enough, we learn in Monday’s Oregonian that Republican leaders are pursuing a“gut and stuff” effort in the House, designed to emasculate Senate Bills 1552 and 1564.  For a look at the entire “gut and stuff” bill, go to this link.

In presenting the “gut and stuff” proposal, Rep. Whisnant told the Oregonian that “Mediation isn’t for everyone   *** My purpose is to make sure that we help as many distressed homeowners as possible.”

Riddle me this Batman:  In making mediation voluntary for the banks, how does that change the status quo? As you know, it changes nothing.  The Big Banks do nothing voluntarily.  Your scheme will hurt – not help – “as many homeowners as possible”. You should be ashamed.

Here’s a “back of the napkin” summary of what the Big Bank lobby and their toadies’ efforts would do:

  • It would deprive Oregon homeowners of the ability to meet face-to-face with their banks’ representatives to mediate the terms of a loan modification before the foreclosure sale can be completed.  Under SB 1552’s pre-foreclosure mediation requirements, a real live representative would have to be in the same room with the borrowers.  And yes, the executioners would have to remove their hoods as they enter the room.
  • It would permit “dual tracking” which results in keeping homeowners at the mercy of the Big Banks as they seek modification.
  • Rep. Whisnant’s “gut and stuff” solution to dual tracking is to require lenders to contact borrowers whom they haven’t heard from before, and tell them whether they would “qualify” for a modification.  If they don’t qualify, then, quoting the Red Queen “Off with their heads.”  Rep. Whisnant has apparently never engaged in the banks’ sham modification games.  If he had, he would know that it is a fool’s errand.  For years, the banks, concealed behind the curtain of anonymity, have toyed with thousands of homeowners, denying modifications for little or no reason – all with no accountability.  Requiring that a bank representative actually look a borrower in the eye would at least bring some accountability and explanation to the modification process.
  • Rep. Whisnant’s “gut and stuff” would roll back Attorney General Kroger’s emergency regulations issued last month that sought to bring loan servicers under the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act – a useful legal tool for borrowers who have been treated deceptively by Big Banks.
  • And amazingly, the “gut and stuff” would resurrect the banking industry’s efforts of last year designed to retroactively legalize MERS, thus preventing foreclosing lenders and servicers from having to record the chain of trust deed assignments that led up to the current bank conducting the foreclosure.  I have addressed these efforts in a prior post, here.

So what’s behind the banking lobby’s 11th hour efforts to kill pro-borrower legislation?  The answer is simple:  They prefer to operate in the shadows, anonymously, quietly, and behind closed doors. This “gut and stuff” is a perfect example; not having the honor to formally draft and present a real bill that says what they want, the banking lobby slithers behind the scenes, looking for a pro-borrower bill that it can “relate to” then quietly inserts its own venomous language.  A quote from C.S. Lewis comes to mind:

“The greatest evil is not done in those sordid dens of evil that Dickens loved to paint but is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices.”

Have Big Banks Become Deer in the Headlights?

“…any assignments of the beneficial interest must be recorded in order for a non-judicial foreclosure to comply with the Oregon Trust Deed Act.  The defendant [borrower] presented evidence in Exhibit 104 that by December 4, 2009, and apparently through December 11, 2010, Freddie Mac was the owner of the mortgage and therefore the holder of the beneficial interest in the property.  No evidence that this transfer of the beneficial interest was ever recorded was presented by plaintiff [bank], so I am concluding that the recording never occurred.”  Honorable Jenefer Stenzel Grant, Circuit Court Judge, Columbia County, Oregon. [Memorandum Opinion, June 23, 2011. Parentheticals mine. PCQ]

Once again, the best and brightest minds in the banking, servicing, and title industries are on yet another conference call, as they continue to hear the distant drumbeat of defeat.  In addition, we are joined by Belial’s version of cub reporter Jimmy Olson, honest but naïve, legal intern, Les Guile. The title industry is represented by Liz Pendens, whose has had previous contentious exchanges with Dee Faulting, the feisty representative of the default servicing industry.  Damian Faust, Belial’s lead counsel and hatchet man, and its chief schemer and PR man, Kenneth Y. Slick III (aka “K.Y.”) have joined the conversation, as well. Lucy Furr, B.L. Zebub’s loyal secretary, has dutifully transcribed the conversation, presumably scrubbing it for any admissions that might result in a perp walk like Lee Farkas.  Regretfully, I cannot reveal how this purloined post has fallen into my hands. – PCQ

B.L. Zebub:  “Well gang, it’s certainly been an eventful few months, hasn’t it?  Visitors 10, Home Team, zip.  I’ve hastily called this phone conference to see if we can’t figure out what’s happening to our industry, and how we can turn things around.  I want solid contributions from each of you. No handwringing Liz, and no bickering, Dee.  I’m tired of the blame game.  Les, if you have a question or two, go ahead and ask.  We want to make sure your internship is a memorable one.  KY, let’s start with you – and by the way, I enjoyed that “confidential” interview you gave that ended up on the Internet, with not one single redaction.  You sounded pretty full of yourself – what were you thinking when you let yourself be interviewed without first having that reporter take a TSA-style enhanced body search by our security team?  That hidden tape recorder was your undoing.”

K.Y. Slick: “B.L., believe me, that will never happen again.  That “reporter” was the most gorgeous gal I’ve ever seen.  She was a perfect ‘10’.  I took her at her word when she whispered that I was the most fascinating and mysterious banking exec she’d ever met.  Of course, it didn’t help that we’d had a couple of shots of Devil’s Springs Vodka at Lucifer’s Lounge before the interview.  Anyway, back to business.  My take on this mess, B.L., is that we’re getting pilloried by the press.  It seems that whenever there’s a win for the little guy, the press picks it up and splashes it across the front page; but when we are successful in kicking another family out of their home, no one seems to notice.  I just don’t get it.  My thought is that we should jump-start our PR machine; get them out into the street.  Have them follow the U-Haul trailers around town to see if another family has lost their home to a successful foreclosure.  Hang out at the courthouses and talk to some of the foreclosure mill attorneys.  Find out which cases look promising, and then stand ready near the courtroom when the judge evicts the borrowers from their home.  These are human interest stories too – just the other side of the mirror. The press is sure to pick them up. And remember, “Any ink is good ink.” Continue reading “Triage Time At Belial Bank – U.S. Bank vs. Flynn”