Goldman Sachs Owns Our House? Um No They Don't

Monday, November 02, 2009 , , , , 6 Comments

Show me the note!

The Miami Herald:

When California wildfires ruined their jewelry business, Tony Becker and his wife fell months behind on their mortgage payments and experienced firsthand the perils of subprime mortgages.

The couple wound up in a desperate, six-year fight to keep their modest, 1,500-square-foot San Jose home, a struggle that pushed them into bankruptcy.

The lender with whom they sparred, however, wasn't the one that had written their loans. It was an obscure subsidiary of Wall Street colossus Goldman Sachs Group.

Goldman spent years buying hundreds of thousands of subprime mortgages, many of them from some of the more unsavory lenders in the business and packaging them into high-yield bonds. Now that the bottom has fallen out of that market, Goldman finds itself in a different role: as the big banker that takes homes away from folks such as the Beckers.

The couple allege that Goldman declined for three years to confirm their suspicions that it had bought their mortgages from a subprime lender, even after they wrote to Goldman's then-Chief Executive Henry Paulson -- later U.S. Treasury secretary -- in 2003.

Unable to identify a lender, the couple could not capitalize on a mortgage hardship provision that would allow them to defer some payments, or on a state law enabling them to offset their debt against separate, investment-related claims against Goldman.

In July, the Beckers won a David-and-Goliath struggle when Goldman subsidiary MTGLQ Investors dropped its bid to seize their house. By then, the college-educated couple had been reduced to shopping for canned goods at flea markets and selling used ceramic glass.

Theirs is an infrequent happy ending among the hundreds of cases in which subsidiaries of Goldman, better known for sending top officers such as Paulson to serve in high-level Washington posts, have sought to contain bondholder losses by foreclosing on properties and evicting delinquent borrowers.

Goldman spokesman Michael DuVally declined to comment on individual cases or on the firm's new role in bankruptcy courts.

Show me the note, of course, is a months-old tactic used to delay foreclosure proceedings, especially when a homeowner is totally sure they didn't sign a mortgage with Goldman Sachs. How could they? That's not what an investment bank does.

I won't rub it in that I rent. But you can suck it anyway.

We were horribly irresponsible but you allowed us to be that way so now you have to figure out how to get things normal again. Our bad!

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


Ubu said...

Reading the article, it's pretty clear these people were complete idiots when it came to money, and the thing that really did them in was the 70k they took out of the house to prop up their failing business. The Miami Herald takes their position, uncritically, on every particular, event though none of it ads up; this couple bullshitted themselves and then bullshitted the lazy reporter. The banks are predators, but the couple are fools; they knew damn well what was going happen when their note ballooned. And what kind of moron uses their house as an ATM for their business (which was probably as badly planned as everything else they did)?

Anonymous said...

What kind of immoral crooks go around the country, buying up what they know to be garbage mortgages, and then "(u)sed offshore tax havens to shuffle its mortgage-backed securities to institutions worldwide, including European and Asian banks, often in secret deals run through the Cayman Islands, a British territory in the Caribbean that companies use to bypass U.S. disclosure requirements"?

Oh, no, let's not focus our attention on the mega-crooks who got taxpayer bailouts of $23 trillion and couldn't bother to register every transfer of every mortgage (possibly to not pay local transfer fees, possibly for more nefarious purposes (like bundling the same mortgage more than once?)). Let's get all outraged because a couple who were desperately struggling to save their business acted foolishly but somehow were saved by the blatant greed of the Big Banks.


Ubu said...

I'm on board 100% with your criticism of the banks involved, and am in no way part of deflecting attention away from them; thousands of those motherfuckers should be in prison for life, and yes, their crimes are much more nefarious because they had a full idea of what they were doing.

But my criticism of all the American dildos who have been lying to themselves about their finances and how a business runs and what they imagine they are entitled to stands; without the dishonest idiots trying to get something for nothing, the pigmen would not have been able to run these scams. The idiot voters elect the scumbag politicians who promise the idiot voter free shit.

I bet $100 that if I looked closely at this couple, and had a transparent look at their balance sheets and spending habits, I'd roll my eyes out of my head. BTW, I make 6 figures, and I shop for canned goods at the same flea markets they whine about having to go to in San Jose. I prefer the the one on Capitol; it has better used stuff, and the vendors are more willing to haggle. I was frugal long before it was cool


I'm right there with you, and I've always criticized these people along with the banks. Everyone is to blame, and idiots who got in over their heads are just as guilty as Goldman Sachs or anyone else.

WC Varones is with me on this one if you don't already read him as well you should:

Fuck 'em all. At least my $0.02

Ubu said...

Yes, I like WC, and read him each morning. And yes, fuck 'em all, you are right there. Plenty of blame all the way down the line.

The last decade was a free-for-all for ammoral banksters lending leveraged money to con artist real estate scammers who sold it, massively overpriced and overhyped, to equally narcissistic and lazy buyers who thought the good life was free and who, in turn, convinced their illegal servants to believe the same thing. Now they all want to sit down and eat my hard won grubstake for dinner. I hope they all clusterfuck themselves into a live volcano. Grrrrr! I'm going to a dive bar to drink and bitch about this some more.


I'll be at the Hemlock drowning my sorrows in Racer 5 filling my little reporter notebook with evil plans to take down the immoral banksters ;)

and p.s. fuck yes on the San Jose flea market - I love it :)