And Yes, I’m quoted in the article! 

Jeff Wattrick, MLive
If you want to talk about Wall St. kneecapping the middle class, the conversation has to start with the subprime mortgage meltdown and the foreclosure mess that followed. It’s an issue the Occupy movement has focused on, including here in Detroit where protesters rallied outside a downtown Bank of America branch Wednesday.
The mortgage system that nearly destroyed the American economy is very similar is remarkably similar to the way the drug trade was portrayed on “The Wire.”
You start with the end user, be it a mortgage buyer or a junkie like Bubbles. They would do anything to get their fix (or seven bedroom mcmansion at 48 Mile Road) and mortgage orginators/street dealers like the Barksdale Organization were happy to provide the product. If you wanted a million dollar mortgage with an initial monthly payment of $25, according to Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short,” there was someone who could get you just such a deal.
Up the ladder, mortgage originators sold their loans to Wall St. banks (Lehman Brothers’ Dick Fuld is kind of comparable to The Greek on “The Wire”) so no one particularly cared if the mortgages they were writing were garbage or solid. They didn’t have to service them. The banks weren’t worried either because, you know, housing prices could only possibly go up according the collective wisdom of several thousand Harvard MBAs. Besides, AIG was insuring them against any losses.
Of course, there were plenty of politicians—from George W. Bush to Chris Dodd—happy to play the role of Clay Davis, so long as the money kept rolling.
Which it did until it stopped. Then it was send money, guns, and lawyers time.
The real victims, as it turned out, weren’t the banks and insurance firms dealing with sunk costs (they got a bailout), or even necessarily the people being foreclosed up, but rather their mortgage-paying neighbors who saw their own home values tank with every foreclosed vacant in the neighborhood. In a sense, thanks to the financial industry, we are all West Baltimore.
As Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) put it: “The free market has helped make America great, but it only functions when people deal with each other honestly and transparently.  At the heart of the financial crisis were unresolved, and often undisclosed, conflicts of interest. Blame for this mess lies everywhere from federal regulators who cast a blind eye, Wall Street bankers who let greed run wild, and members of Congress who failed to provide oversight.”
But that was three years ago. Since then we’ve elected a new president, two new Congresses, moved GM and Chrysler through structured bankruptcy, and even saw the Detroit Lions rebuild. Why is the mortgage situation still dead weight crushing the economy?
The short answer, according to mortgage fraud investigator Steve Dibert, is a moral hazard. Despite multimillion-dollar federal programs to help banks prevent foreclosure, they have no incentive to work with underwater homeowners.
“When they do modifications, they tell people you have to be 80-90 days behind before they can help you, which is horse pucky,” said Dibert. “They do that because they’re trying to get a certain number of loans to go into default so the insurance policy will pay off the investors.”
Dibert says despite claims to the contrary, the banks have total control to modify a loan. It isn’t up to third-party investors. To make matters worse, he says, “foreclosure mill” law firms have financial incentive to shortcut the foreclosure process.
“It’s not simply just the deadbeat homeowner just not paying the bill,” said Dibert. “It’s the wild, wild west of banking. Especially with law firms like Orleans. You know, Linda Orleans doesn’t care. Linda Orleans is just after the matter and bringing in as many of these as she can because she get pad $2500-$3000 per file.”
Dibert’s investigation into Orleans practices led to allegations of illegal “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents.

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