Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tanta vs. Aaron Krowne vs. Gretchen Morgenson

Since this is bound to be a slow news period, here's an entertaining story I've been watching for the last couple of days. If you're in a philosophical mood, have a couple of hours to spare, and enjoy learning about the minutiae of the foreclosure process, pour your self a cup of coffee and check out these links.

The story begins on Many of you will remember that URL as belonging to a well-known house flipper turned investment guru turned bankrupt divorcee. Well, no longer. As of a few months ago, the URL was purchased by Aaron Krowne, the proprietor of the Mortgage Lender Implode-o-Meter. Earlier this week, he ran a story with the not-inflammatory-at-all title of:

Deutsche Bank Foreclosures Tossed Out of Ohio Federal Court - "They Own Nothing!"

As you can imagine, this story generated much interest in the Bubblesphere. I, for one, smelled a rat, but not understanding much about the foreclosure process (or how it relates to securitization), I had no way of parsing the information. Apparently, a lot of other people had the same problem. And when an issue like this occurs, there is only one person to turn to: Tanta on Calculated Risk.

After several pestering comments from the likes of me and several others (which she patiently answered), Tanta formerly weighed in on the issue in classic fashion:

Deutsche Bank FC Problems and Revenge of the Nerd
In Re Foreclosure Cases

You might have thought that would put the subject to bed. You would have been mistaken. Just this morning, this article appeared in the New York Times:

Foreclosures Hit a Snag for Lenders

Adding to the drama, NY Times reported Gretchen Morgenson neglected to credit Aaron Krowne for breaking the story! The response from Tanta was swift:

GM Watch: The Flap Continues

That's where the story stands as of this morning. I'll post any updates as they come in.


Aaron Krowne and his fellow blogger Moe Bedard have posted a rebuttal to Tantas argument. Also, another similar ruling has been made by a different federal court in Ohio:

The Judicial Integrity of the United States Court is "Priceless" – 27 More Foreclosures Dismissed

True Sale, False Securitizations

**Update #2**

Gretchen Morgenson as published a much-dialed-back article on the additional Ohio foreclosures. I wonder if Tanta scared her off her assumptions just a little:

Judge Demands Documentation in Foreclosures


Gwynster said...

Great Tanta quote
"Politically? That'll go over like a pregnant pole-vaulter."

Seriously, I love this chick. Great post. I had missed all this flap as work has been hellish.

Buying Time said...

I wasn't aware of it till I read the NYT article this morning...and figured it wouldn't be the last I would be hearing of it.

... said...

She's great. Is pointing out much of the fast and loose stuff going on at very high levels.

Its been a big party in the finalcial ring - not just at your local mortgage lender.

Spread the blame across the IQ range.

Those financial models that fell apart this year multiplied the real estate distress into a free fall.

Follow the bonus money to some nice penthouse in NYC!

Anonymous said...

Come on, really? They think they can get out of the foreclosure? At most they might be able to delay the inevitable.

If you can't pay your obligation, you loose your house.