State Legislators: Today’s Foreclosure Scandal just the Tip of the Iceberg

LISTEN UP Colorado Legislators:  Today's Foreclosure Scandal News in the Denver Post: is the tip of the Iceberg.  I've been telling Democrats and anyone else who would listen about it for years.  Absorb this from the story:  "Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said he was disturbed by what investigators uncovered, fostered largely by how the state's foreclosure system carried little oversight." 

Think about that sentence:  Our Republican AG is questioning the oversight of our laissez-faire foreclosure system!


Realize that Attorney Castle helped change the state foreclosure laws to his favor in 2006 and that there are homeowners throughout the state being unlawfully foreclosed upon with no documentation.  The banks are literally stealing homes from borrowers where they are not even the party of interest and have no skin in the game.  It is more difficult to repossess a car than a house in our state.


"Colorado is the only state in the country that allows an unsworn statement by an attorney for a foreclosing party — without any penalty — to say, 'Trust me, judge, these guys are the qualified holder for this deed of trust,' " Federal District Court Judge William Martinez said last year. "Is there another state that has lowered the bar for a foreclosure any lower?"

One former attorney who worked for Castle testified in 2012 when some foreclosure law changes failed to get to a state House vote, said he routinely signed foreclosure documents with limited but legal underlying documentation — at the direction of his boss.  He now works to defend homeowners in foreclosure cases.

It's time we quit listening to the Colorado Bankers Association," which is an accomplice in the foreclosure scam and pretends to represent banks in the state when in reality only 1% of assets represented by CBA are headquartered in Colorado (note Citigroup is a leading large-asset member of CBA who just cut a $7 Billion deal for a small part of their reported misdeeds in the mortgage securitization scam that should've been prosecuted under the RICO Act).  Ask why the "Colorado" Lobbyst Arm of the CBA has to bank at the JPMorgan Chase Branch in Baton Rouge.  (Pull up their actual filings on Tracer and click on View Filed Report at the bottom of this page).

Realize how the tables are being turned on MERS, the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, in some states that require all transactions of home ownership be recorded locally — not in an electronic database run by the banking industry who is complicit in the scam.  We should be able to go to our County Clerk and Recorders office to see who owns property, but MERS has undertaken a bloodless coup to hold half of the nations ownership records in the bank-owned system.  Colorado needs to require publicly recorded ownership documentation, just as Pennsylvania does.  Earlier this month a court ruled that MERS must stand trial to determine how much money it owes that state for avoiding recording fees and that should be a requirement here. Don't buy that garbage about how interest rates are lower because of MERS, and remember it when it becomes impossible to get a clear title to property down the road (Hint: Don't believe you'll be safe with title insurance either).

It's time to fix the system and demand we treat the largest asset most of us will ever have with respect before the banks turn us all into renters of "their" houses.  

FIX THIS NOW! Make it a Legislative Priority in 2015.  

— Dennis Obduskey, Co-Chair, Progressive Democrats of Colorado


Vote “Uncommitted” at caucus to support Progressive values

Many Democrats are disappointed with the Obama administration’s failure to consistently defend Americans against the destructionist tactics of the extreme right-wing over the last three years. While we acknowledge the many gains that have taken place in spite of the most obstructionist Congress in history, we still have a long way to go. While we strongly support the re-election of the President, we will not allow the issues most important to most Americans to be relegated to the back of the of the Democratic Party bus.

Too often we’ve seen the administration’s leadership falter, beginning with the first moments of the President’s term, when he named an anti-progressive chief of staff to lead his agenda. We shed no tears that Rahm Emanuel has gone, but too many of those strong-arm and financially motivated issues continue to linger.

Still open is Guantanamo Bay, a tribute to torture and policies that have even caused the indictment of the prior President and Vice-President in some countries while no meaningful investigation and action on our own soil has been ordered. American troops are still dying in Afghanistan.

The attack on working families and their children continues. Across the country, local jurisdictions and states have publicly rejected the Secure Communities (SCOMM) program and have told the federal government that they do not want SCOMM to destroy their communities, break families apart, and encourage discriminatory police practices such as racial profiling. The Bush Administration’s No Child Left Behind law and its push toward the privatization of public education exacerbated under programs such as Race to the Top, continues punish families, rather than addressing the socioeconomic root causes of struggling schools and the need to better fund education. We can’t continue these actions and still say we include everyone in the tent.

There are still far too many involved in the Administration related to the financial collapse preceding the election of the President, and we hope that Tim Geitner makes good on his plans to no longer serve as Secretary of the Treasury in a second Obama term. We hope some of the other economic advisors are asked to join him. Eric Holder has done little to inspire confidence in investigating the banking collapse that his former law firm blessed when they gave the OK to a banking-run system that has wrecked home ownership records throughout the country. More prosecutions took place during the Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s and 1990s than have taken place at the Justice Department for obvious criminal acts that almost created a new Great Depression.

Hardly a sound was whispered when Treasury and Justice failed to take Standard and Poor’s to task for their favorable treatment of poor-quality mortgage backed securities, while at the same time allowing S&P to hold the country’s debt rating seemingly for ransom in the palm of their hand. Not good enough.

The banking industry has taken far too much from the 99%, which was so well demonstrated through the Occupy Wall Street and related movements, and have given back virtually nothing. The historical “housing settlement” that offers a pittance to those improperly foreclosed upon still does virtually nothing to provide fair treatment to our citizens negatively impacted when that industry stuffed itself with profits. While finally appointing a director to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the President refused to act decisively and sooner with the spine behind the backbone of the CFPB, Elizabeth Warren. We wish her well and success in her effort to become a member of the US Senate as a person with true progressive values.

We have thus far turned our back on landowners and citizens who receive water from underground resources, and failed to put an honest effort into stopping the expansion of fracking, and other failures that are within the control of the administration in the EPA have been left without attention. Further, the administration has shown a keen lack of judgment in the protection of our food supply by appointing Monsanto executives to the FDA.

The campaign arm of the Obama Administration, “Organizing for America” must look to recalibrate its purpose from one hoping to create an army of lemmings, to one tasked with moving towards a constitutional amendment to abolish the effects of Citizens United and work to remove money from politics, not further entrench it through a self-sustaining system that instead circumvents the Democratic Party altogether.

These are just a few issues that cause us to pause.

We encourage Democrats attending the Colorado caucuses on March 6 to register their disappointment with the administration by casting a vote for “uncommitted,” by listing their issues, and by bringing them forth to county assemblies. We urge them to follow through at county assemblies and work to become uncommitted delegates to the national convention.

Make no mistake: we support the re-election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. We also support election of more true progressives, which we believe really are the core of the American public.

We still believe that the Democratic Party is a place for democratically-supported dissent and airing of grievances, and we expect the titular head of the party to listen to the voices of its most dedicated activists.

Andrea Mérida and Dennis Obduskey

Co-chairs, Progressive Democrats of Colorado