Author: Jeremy Bagott

Fannie Seeks Upstanding Invisibles for Long-Term Commitment 11

Fannie Seeks Upstanding Invisibles for Long-Term Commitment

Fannie’s big news about embracing the “invisibles,” under the pretext of helping the underserved, Fannie announced it had tweaked the knobs and dials on its impenetrable underwriting algorithm in order to fit “credit invisibles” for mortgages.  In the final scene of the 1990 mob masterpiece “Goodfellas,” wise guy Henry Hill recalls his life as he enters federal witness protection. “It was easy to disappear. My house was in my mother-in-law’s name. My cars were registered to my wife. My Social Security card and driver’s license were phony. I never voted. I never paid taxes. My birth certificate and my arrest...

Why Are Fannie, Freddie Peddling Exotic Junk-Rated Risk Swaps? 5

Why Are Fannie, Freddie Peddling Exotic Junk-Rated Risk Swaps?

Meanwhile, cratering home prices are eroding demand for the junk-rated credit transfers.  As mortgage giants Fannie and Freddie bend the knee to their political overlords, they securitize ever riskier loans. It’s a sign of the times. But while no one was looking, the twins – who wield the full faith and credit of the U.S. government – began quietly offloading this surplus risk in the form of so-called “credit-risk transfers.” The U.S. taxpayer should be worried. As the public learned in 2008 with AIG’s credit-default swaps, hidden risk injected into the financial system doesn’t stay hidden for long. The twins,...

FTX Bought Government’s Silence; Did Fintechs Buy Attacks on Appraisers? 11

FTX Bought Government’s Silence; Did Fintechs Buy Attacks on Appraisers?

The nation’s 80,000 licensed real property appraisers should pay close attention to the manipulation of Washington by FTX, which turned out to have the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme.  Fallen crypto whiz kid Sam Bankman-Fried and his associates are a living testament to the power of political donations in American politics. It’s unclear precisely what the more than $70 million in political donations bought FTX during an 18-month period leading up to the midterms, but one can speculate the money silenced what was once a brisk debate on Capitol Hill and at the U.S. Treasury on the regulation of crypto-currency....

Preference Falsification - Why Licensees Parrot Notions They Know Are Untrue 20

‘Preference Falsification’ – Why Licensees Parrot Notions They Know Are Untrue

Preference falsification has resulted in some appraisers parroting talking points they know to be untrue.  People who live under authoritarian regimes rarely reveal their true feelings. They get used to lying. Parroting the party line becomes second nature in oppressive societies. It’s not a reflection of one’s moral compass but a survival mechanism. In his book “Private Truths, Public Lies,” Timur Kuran, an economist and political scientist at Duke University, writes about this disconnect, known as “preference falsification.” Preference falsification is dangerous because it lends an air of permanence to structures that are brittle and susceptible to sudden collapse. Kuran...

DEI Bosses at Financial Institutions Have a Problem - Diversity 10

Top DEI Bosses Have a Problem – Diversity

The ranks of the new DEI bosses at the financial institutions are no more diverse than the appraisers their institutions see as the enemy. If the lack of diversity of appraisers is inherently bad, how could the same not be said for the DEI bosses?  A full 93 percent of U.S. birdwatchers are white. Just 4 percent are African-American and a paltry 1 percent are Asian-American. Just 5 percent are Hispanic (which includes both blacks and whites). This was according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as reported in National Geographic a number of years ago. Another study found...

Racket at Attorneys General Group Will Ring Familiar to Appraisers 1

Attorneys General Shady Business

Racket at Attorneys General Group Will Ring Familiar to Appraisers The nation’s licensed real property appraisers will recognize a scheme run by a nonprofit known as the National Association of Attorneys General. It will remind the former of the abuses visited on them by a tiny, free-spending 501(c)(3) publisher and its captured federal minder. The National Association of Attorneys General describes itself as a nonpartisan national forum for America’s state and territory attorneys general and their staff members. The group has close ties with trial lawyers, who bring tort cases on behalf of the states’ top law enforcement officers and...

Wells Fargo Workers Went on Appraisal-Fraud Bender 13

Wells Fargo Workers Went on Appraisal-Fraud Bender

Loan officers at Wells Fargo altered values in the bank’s database, so loans would qualify for so-called appraisal waivers… It feels like Ground Hog Day all over again. Who can forget the Wells Fargo banker who, stressed from opening fraudulent accounts in the name of hapless depositors, had begun guzzling hand sanitizer? That was in 2016. New revelations from the nation’s second-largest mortgage lender will make the U.S. taxpayer want to take a good long pull on the nearest bottle of hand wash. Dozens of loan officers at Wells Fargo altered values in the bank’s database, so loans would qualify...

HUD Secretary's Comments Evoke Folly of 1919 Sex Scandal 16

HUD Secretary’s Comments Evoke Folly of 1919 Sex Scandal

Secretary Fudge launched into what sounded remarkably like discriminatory rhetoric: “The problem is who is in the appraisal industry. When you look at an industry that is 95% white … Because [the white appraisers] collect the data, the data is not good data.” Sometimes when government investigates a perceived problem, it creates a genuine one. Assistant Secretary of the Navy (and future president) Franklin D. Roosevelt sent two investigators in 1919 to Naval Station Newport in Rhode Island to look into reports of immoral behavior – code at the time for “homosexual activity.” Their report found no such activity. But...

Fannie Mae Bullies Lenders, Ensnares Appraisers in Farcical Probes 12

FNMA Ensnares Appraisers in Farcical Probes

You feel like Fannie Mae is simply trying to get rid of appraisers. A lot of appraisers feel that way… “Even amidst tragedy there is sometimes farce,” wrote author Daniel Prokop. Unleashing tragedy and farce in equal measure, mortgage giant Fannie Mae is using its muscle to coerce lenders to repurchase early COVID-era loans. Fannie apparently deems them now too risky for its portfolio. As a ploy, say observers, Fannie is generating automated appraisals similar to Zillow’s “Zestimates” and using them to undermine appraised values in loans it wants to offload. Fannie’s automated system then sends unsigned boilerplate complaints to...

Appraisal Foundation, Like Khloe Kardashian, Rattled Tin Cup for PPP Alms 2

Appraisal Foundation, Like Khloe Kardashian, Rattled Tin Cup for PPP Alms

Yet it applied for $270,706 in PPP relief intended to aid small businesses, such as the mom-and-pop appraisal shops coerced at the state level into participating in the foundation’s privately run regulatory regimen… Wearing a scoop-neck black catsuit from her brand’s High Shine Compression line, media personality Khloé Kardashian, whose net worth has been reported at $60 million, turned heads recently at Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila launch party in Malibu. What could this fashionista and socialite have in common with the Appraisal Foundation, an obscure publisher with a government franchise and guaranteed annual grants from a tiny captured federal agency?...

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