There was an interesting blog war that erupted last week between Paul Jackson at Housing Wire and Yves Smith aka Susan Webber at Naked Capitalism about a recent ruling in Alabama in which the Alabama judge ruled the PSA used in the securitization of a homeowner’s loan cannot be used as a part of a foreclosure defense strategy because the homeowner is not a party in the PSA. You can read Paul Jackson’s rebuttal from March 6th here.
I don’t know how such a ruling got the attention of these two or what started it but both articles make for a very capivating and entertaining read. In a way it was Financial Geekdom’s version of the old Count/Counterpoint debates from Saturday Night Live in the 1970s.
I have followed both of these bloggers for a while and both have extensive knowledge of the financial industry and although the back and forth did get kind of heated (in a professional way), I think it’s the type of discussions we need among the participants in financial reform.
We especially need it for those of us involved in foreclosure defense. Last year, I caught heat from the foreclosure activist groups in Florida for criticizing Neil Garfield over the things he was telling homeowners during his traveling seminars for pro se litigants.
Matt Weidner had a fit because I blogged about his histrionic Glenn Beck style blogs and Gloria Allred PR stunts he and Christopher Forrest were manufacturing for their law firms and how these stunts had the potential to blow up in their faces. They also had the potential to hurt the very people they were trying to help.
There are a lot of big egos in foreclosure defense from people who believe they are experts because they went to a 4 or 5 hour Neil Garfield or April Charney seminar and because they got their name in the paper a few times. We see that with people like Michael Redman at 4closurefraud.com or with people who blog on Lisa Epstein’s Foreclosure Hamlet website.
People like Redman, Weidner and company don’t want to have the debate or an exchange of opinions because when you get down to the brass tacks, they only know only what they were taught at their respective mortgage seminars. In Redman’s case it’s whatever his boss Carol Asbury, a protege of Neil Garfield tells him.
Last year, when I wrote the Garfield piece, I allowed activists to post opposing views on this site and if you click the link to the article you can still see them. As you can see from the comments, they don’t want to have the debate because it will expose the fact they really are not the experts they portray themselves as.
Last month, Matt Weidner blogged about the financial crisis being a Communist conspiracy by the banks and that we live in some type of Orwellian Marxist society controlled by the banking industry. After reading his blog, it’s apparent he never actually read the Communist Manifesto because the Communist Manifesto calls for a government controlled bank not a privately controlled one base on free market ideas.
Then four days later, he insinuated on his blog that Rocket Dockets are the Florida equivalent to the Star Chambers of medieval Europe where judges would meet in secret to administer their own brand of justice. In this case, Weidner claims that its controlled by the banking industry.
Here’s the truth, Rocket Dockets are an excuse attorneys give when they can’t get a judge to listen to their arguments. I’ve found that attorneys who complain about Rocket Dockets don’t know how to argue foreclosure cases.
Anyone who has ever worked in sales knows you have to cold call. In cold calling, you have 30 seconds to make your pitch. If not, the sales lead will hang up on you. Rocket Docket judges are the same way. You need to know what you’re talking about and you need to know how to keep their attention. As Alec Baldwin says in his scene from Glengarry Glen Ross, “A-I-D-A! Attention, Interest, Decision, Action. Attention – Do I have you attention? Interest – Are you interested? I know you are, because it’s f*** or walk. You close or you hit the bricks. Decision – Have you made your decision for Christ? And Action.”
Matt Weidner’s Glenn Beck style paranoia about conspiracy theories plays on the fears of people ignorant of how mortgage lending works and it plays well to his legions of activist friends who don’t know any better. Does Matt Weidner understand how mortgage lending works? I don’t know if he does or he doesn’t but his histrionic helter-skelter blog posts don’t exactly make it sound like he does.
Since they started springing up two years ago, all I’ve heard foreclosure advocates do is whine, whimper and complain. They sit on the alter of revenge with asinine demands for the destruction the banking system and a free house for everyone. What they feel to realize is homeownership in this country is a privilege not a birth right. They actually believe their whining, whimpering and complaining will create these results.