Foreclosure settlement

black hole moneyTo truly eradicate the underlying rot behind the banks’ Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) program, you need to follow the money.

Counties lost millions on mortgage transfer fees, but who gained the most from all this? The real money was made by those involved in turning these mortgages into federal government-back securities that could be bought and sold on the open market.

The sweetest of the sweet deals are those mortgages that were run through city or county “housing” departments, which resulted in the securities also attaining the status of tax-free municipal instruments.

You only have to go back to the Housing Finance Authority (HFA) of Hillsborough County which in Nov. 2010 got approval from the Board of County Commissioners to bond $250 MILLION to buy and sell existing bank low-income home mortgages.

Just the potential 1% processing fee to turn these mortgages into tax-free municipal bonds should be enough to launch an investigation into who gets what and why. Who then also benefits from offering these bonds for public sale?

The County taxpayers gain not a dime from all this financial activity, but pay dearly in cleaning up the mess thus caused.

It is way past time to lift this MERS rock at the county level to expose the slimy creatures crawling there.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


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