As the White House Dithers on Warren, 525,000 Homes Have Been Foreclosed On

TPM captures the current state of play of the rumors that the White House will appoint Elizabeth Warren as interim head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau:

Reports coming in that President Obama will name Elizabeth Warren as interim director of the consumer protection bureau created by the new financial regulatory law.

Late Update: Maybe not so fast. Fox was one of the outlets originally reporting this and has now retracted that report, saying they may have “misheard” White House spokesperson Bill Burton on board Air Force One. Reuters says Burton simply confirmed that Warren is “obviously in the mix.”

Later Update: The pool report from Air Force One reads as follows:

on Warren:no announcements but soon. no confirmation of interim appointment. essentially, nothing new

The Boy Who Cried Wolf Update: White House releases statement knocking down the reports:

Elizabeth Warren has been a stalwart voice for American consumers and families and she was the architect of the idea that became the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The President will have more to say about the agency and its mission soon.

Kicking Dead Horse Update: White House pool reporter sends supplement to pool report: “For emphasis: Burton did not say anything new about Warren.”

Now, when Obama was asked whether he was going to appoint Warren last week, in addition to talking about what a close friend Warren is of his, he also asserted that it has “only been a couple of months” since the CFPB was created (starting at 22:15).

Now, the idea for this agency was Elizabeth Warren’s.  She’s a dear friend of mine.  She’s somebody I’ve known since I was in law school.  And I have been in conversations with her.  She is a tremendous advocate for this idea.  It’s only been a couple of months, and this is a big task standing up this entire agency, so I’ll have an announcement soon about how we’re going to move forward. And I think what’s fair to say is, is that I have had conversations with Elizabeth over the course of these — over these last couple of months. But I’m not going to make an official announcement until it’s ready. [my emphasis]

That suggests the Administration feels little urgency about getting someone at Treasury who will speak for the needs of consumers as the rest of the agency caters to the needs of the banksters.

I wonder whether the roughly 525,000 homeowners who have lost their homes to foreclosure since the Financial Reform bill was signed think that there’s no urgency to having a consumer advocate at Treasury?

image_print
  1. klynn says:

    We had a home foreclose in the last few months in our neighborhood. There is a neighborhood not to far away which has been badly hit. People are taking $100,000 hits. It is hurting the municipal tax base and hurting the school budget.

    “Consumer advocate at the Treasury” probably sounds like an oxymoron to anyone losing their home.

    BTW, your Twitter feed has been a bit interesting.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yup. Think how many move lives are going to be ruined as the millionaires inside the beltway play political games with this. The MEdicare position was considered urgent, why not this one.

      And yeah, that. For some reason I felt the need to demonstrate what entails “rudeness” for those who can stand no criticism of Obama. I think I’m done now.

  2. PJEvans says:

    It’s only been a couple of months

    And the sooner you start, the sooner things can get fixed. Unless broken is what you really want, Mr President. /s

    You’d think he’d have figured out by now that waiting doesn’t get things doen, unless you’re a Republican and want nothing to happen.

  3. bobschacht says:

    I’d think it would be a big plus for him to nominate Warren immediately, and send her to Ohio and PA and other key places (Las Vegas?) to talk with consumer groups in the districts where her voice could make a difference. What are they waiting for?

    Bob in AZ

  4. BoxTurtle says:

    The WH is not “dithering”. The delay on Warren is desired and they’re trying hard to find a reason not to put her in the job.

    Boxturtle (Obama is under terrific pressure from Summers and Dodd to find a reason)

    • noor says:

      What is really disturbing about it is that putting Warren in place would do quite a bit of good in motivating voters to go to the polls in the first damn place. I would forgive anybody, myself included, for thinking they want to lose big this fall — because they could not do a better job of demotivating likely Dem voters than what going on right now.

      I am starting to suspect that neither party wants to win in November, because that would mean they have to look like they are doing something productive for working families. And neither side has the balls to do what necessary — they sold them to the plutocracy.

      • econobuzz says:

        What is really disturbing about it is that putting Warren in place would do quite a bit of good in motivating voters to go to the polls in the first damn place.

        Really doubt it.

    • john in sacramento says:

      The WH is not “dithering”. The delay on Warren is desired and they’re trying hard to find a reason not to put her in the job.

      Boxturtle (Obama is under terrific pressure from Summers and Dodd to find a reason)

      x 2

      It’s like when people said Bush was stupid. IMO, he wasn’t — it was an act. He didn’t verbalize so well, which was a huge part of the act, and I think he knew exactly what he was doing. He was cunning as hell

      Obama has the same masters, but he just has a different way of serving them and carrying out their orders. His act is the big bad Senate Republican obstructionists won’t let him do anything, so he has to cater to them while he pretends that he’s not one of the vast majority of The De Facto Plutocrat Party (Republican and Democratic) in Washington

    • uneasyone says:

      Personally, I think they are waiting for a dramatic occurrence of some kind to completely saturate the news cycle. The fix is in and they want to slip somebody else under the radar.

      The only reason that might not happen is the continuing pressure exerted on her behalf by the left. Still, I’m laying 5 to 1 against her appointment. I really want to be wrong about this.

  5. phred says:

    The fact that the WH doesn’t care about foreclosed homeowners isn’t really news given the HAMP debacle.

    What really astonishes me though, is that they feel no urgency with the upcoming elections. They are doing nothing to give middle class Americans a reason to vote for them. Nothing.

    And worse, congressional Dems are letting them get away with it.

    To me, that is astounding.

    • GulfCoastPirate says:

      The fact that the WH doesn’t care about foreclosed homeowners isn’t really news given the HAMP debacle.

      What really astonishes me though, is that they feel no urgency with the upcoming elections. They are doing nothing to give middle class Americans a reason to vote for them. Nothing.

      And worse, congressional Dems are letting them get away with it.

      To me, that is astounding

      Why do you find this astounding given Rahm was his first appointment?

      I’m curious as to what folks are thinking of doing in November. If you vote Democratic Rahm will be proven correct. That progressives/liberals are basically a bunch of shits that will do what they are told. If we don’t vote Democratic we could find ourselves with a very nasty looking Congress come January. I’m in Ron Paul’s district and he’s going to get re-elected so it doesn’t matter what I do but I’m voting for RP. I don’t see how the Democrats change unless they learn where their votes are coming from.

      • phred says:

        GCP, good to see you : )

        I get the fact the Dem leadership are a bunch of Republicans in Dem clothing, heck I’ve made that argument myself pretty regularly. Nonetheless in a business that depends on at the very least maintaining a pretense of popularity at the polls, the Dems nonchalance really does shock me. They’re not even going through the motions.

        It’s like they’re saying to the electorate, “the coup is over, so go ahead and bitch or don’t show up or whatever, but it doesn’t fucking matter no matter what you do, so this it, it is what it is”.

        I know they’re corrupt. I know they all plan to cash in and get cushy lobbying gigs when they leave office. I know all these things, and yet, I still find myself surprised by the complete and total contempt with which the Dem leadership is treating the public.

        Call me Pollyanna, but I thought at some level we exerted some influence (not us easily dismissed DFHs of course, but a majority of pissed off voters ought to be able to get a rise out of someone in the WH), but I guess not. Can’t help it, I find it shocking.

        • GulfCoastPirate says:

          I agree. It is shocking. I just don’t see how anything changes if people keep supporting the Democrats with no consequences for their actions.

      • phred says:

        Oh, and to answer your question, I’m voting Green where I can, writing in “public option” where I can’t.

  6. jakegittes says:

    They are doing nothing to give middle class Americans a reason to vote for them. Nothing. To me, that is astounding.

    1) When Obama went to the Senate, he chose Leiberman as his mentor.
    2) They are ideological twins
    3) If Leiberman/Obama were switched, would you be surprised if Joe wanted more Republicans in Congress?

    Think of how hard Obama and Rahm had to work to get right wing legislation through congress (rotating villains, strong arming Reid and Pelosi, secret deals with lobbys, etc.)without their fingerprints appearing on it. With a GOP congress, Obama gets the right wing legislation he wants and can sign it toot sweet in the interest of bipartisanship.

    That isn’t CT. That is a dispassionate look at what they are doing…their actions. “Professional left”….”should be drug tested”? Months before an election? C’mon.

  7. joanneleon says:

    I picked out the same part of Pres. Obama’s statement as particularly bothersome and commented on it at GOS last week:

    One other thing that bothered me was that the President said “well, it’s only been a couple of months.” As with everything since the meltdown two years ago, this administration has not moved fast enough with financial reform, and after a seemingly interminable wait for some kind of legislation, two months is a long time. Where is the sense of urgency that matches the seriousness of our situation and the suffering on Main Street?
    http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2010/9/10/19350/9341/53#c53

    At the time, several people in the blogosphere thought that the speech was a strong indication that Warren would be appointed, and possibly soon. I didn’t share the same vibe at the time. Obama’s initial reaction, the body language, indicated to me that it was a question he really didn’t want to answer.

    Yesterday’s ping ponging news was disappointing. But I thought that a Bloomberg article published last night was encouraging, and that Bernie Sanders’ statement about hearing “good news” was a pretty good sign. However, if all of this news came from the same source (the Burton misread) then I’m back to wondering WTF they’re doing, and to thinking that the “only a couple of months” statement is a signal that they are not concerned about Warren getting started any time soon. And this would be just one more way for the White House to communicate to the American people that they don’t think that this is an emergency. And *that* IMHO is why Democrats are looking at a disaster at the polls this November.

    When the banks are in trouble, they move mountains. When the people are in trouble, Meh, it’s only been a couple of months.

    • noor says:

      Yeah, I remember that. If we actually do get Warren, it will rank as a minor miracle.

      I think we are being played again. No way Summers, Geithner, Bernanke et al will allow this new bureau to be effective. Someone in another thread here mention Brooksley Borne, and the example is instructive. Summers was a player in that particular backstabbing, too, BTW.

      • BoxTurtle says:

        If we get her, it will be because they had to go to plan B: remove all (enough) power from the job itself to prevent her from becoming a nuisance.

        Boxturtle (Those of us who voted for Obama in the primary may have another slice of humble pie now)

  8. rosalind says:

    ot: Toyota sudden acceleration update:

    “Santa Ana will be ground zero for sudden-acceleration lawsuits against Toyota Motor Corp. after a panel of judges last week consolidated the cases to the federal court there…The Santa Ana court was chosen because it is close to Toyota’s U.S. sales headquarters in Torrance.​..Toyota has already suffered a couple legal setbacks the past couple weeks.

    Over the objections of Toyota’s lawyers, an arbitrator ruled last week that the company’s former attorney Dimitrios Biller can use internal Toyota documents to press his claim that he was hired to “plan and carry out discovery fraud” on behalf of the company.

    The Supreme Court of Texas ruled Aug. 27 that Toyota must face charges that it acted in contempt of court in a 2007 rollover suit by hiding evidence from the plaintiff.”

    • PJEvans says:

      The Santa Ana court was chosen because it is close to Toyota’s U.S. sales headquarters in Torrance

      ‘Close’ is not the word I’d use. It’s at least an hour by car. (Assuming normal traffic and normal car.)

  9. ThingsComeUndone says:

    I wonder whether the roughly 525,000 homeowners who have lost their homes to foreclosure since the Financial Reform bill was signed think that there’s no urgency to having a consumer advocate at Treasury?

    Do we have any polling of this group and their parents, friends, relatives who they probably have been begging for money from to try and keep their homes?
    Do we have any polling of and how many people are behind on their house payments and at risk of losing their homes?
    Any polling of their parents, friends and relatives who I’m sure are also being hit up for cash.
    We need this information angry people vote. Angry people complain to anyone who will listen. Passion can sway votes.
    I have no idea how they are leaning.

  10. BearCountry says:

    When the banksters said that they needed big $$ or they would fry the economy, w prepared the way and obamarahma carried forth with no strings attached. The banksters then started throwing money at each other, just bathing in money. When the people on Main Street started sinking under the waves, if they had second houses threatened with foreclosure, or other peripheral property, they could get help in the courts. If the people had their main, and only home, threatened, well, the court’s hands were tied and no help available. With all of the pain in the country and obamarahma’s response is that it has only been two months, he is using the talk of E. Warren as a lure with no real care about the people on Main Street.

  11. eCAHNomics says:

    Better crosscheck O’s donor records with the vultures who scooped up those 525,000 homes at well below even depressed prices.

    • nahant says:

      That would be a full time endeavor eCHAN… But I would like to see it extended to all foreclosures… I bet there is something fishy going on there by all the Banks… Ya know good for “special investors’ that the banks have… There are always rich vultures during time like this..

      • eCAHNomics says:

        You can betcher bottom dollar a LOT of bad stuff & cronyism going on in the foreclosures & subsequent purchases. And I’ll bet a lot of people know a lot of stuff, like local RE agents. A good reporter could get endless stories, but no one will bother because RE advertises in newspapers & they are on their last legs.

        • nahant says:

          Good point sadly.. Some one like Marcy who would be tenacious looking at all the different counties records in the country and I know most are online these days. I have used our local ones to check on some real estate transactions try to help out a friend…

          • eCAHNomics says:

            Chat up the local RE agents. My very limited experience with them is that they can’t keep their mouths shut. Simple, neutral Qs, like how long does it take to move a foreclosed house; is that faster than non-foreclosed houses sell; if so, is there a discount; who has the money to buy them; how do they get mortgages & from whom; are they bought by groups or individuals, etc. (I remember seeing a bit that in one recent month something like 70% of existing home sales were all cash; you know those buyers are vultures.)

    • papau says:

      “Chris “the fuck” DuDD!!!Threatens to defund the Consumer Protection Agency if Warren is appointed!!” –

      I do not believe that is possible as the Agency budget is not a defined number that Congress can vote on – The Agency budget is defined as a percentage of the Fed budget I believe.

      As to Warren – Saying we knew Obama was lying to us is easy these days post the public option – but I guess we have yet another event where we can note that Obama lies – jerking the base – the professional left – around one more time.

  12. nomolos says:

    Just back from voting in the primary and wrote in Elizabeth Warren at every position listed. Total waste of time no doubt but then this administration is a total waste of time as well.

    I will say that the present occupant of the WH is without doubt a white christian.

    • strangelyenough says:

      “I will say that the present occupant of the WH is without doubt a white christian [Republican].”

      Hoover definitely comes to mind.

        • ducktree says:

          “There’s nothing like a Hoover when you’re dealing with dirt.”

          ~ Ernestine Tomlin to J. Edgar Hoover (“Is this THE Jedgar Hoover?” *snort*)

          [Mod, sorry for the OT; couldn’t resist] (:>

  13. solerso says:

    Im sure Warren is a good person and would be a good pick to head that agency. But whats the big deal? she isnt going to save over 500,000 homeownders. She isnt going to fix health care or end the wars. Shes not going to reverse the downward slide. She’ll be a footnote in history and i suspect the whole Warren story blow up is to get Obamas utterly disallusioned voters back into the conversation. If he plays this the way he’s played EVERYTHING else, the talk and rumors will go on through November then he’ll pick no one, or someone from Merril or goldman.

  14. donbacon says:

    It’s a done deal, but the official announcement isn’t ready yet. Got to run out to Staples for a new ink cartridge. Be right back. I promise.

    The idea for this agency was Elizabeth Warren’s. She’s a dear friend of mine. She’s somebody I’ve known since I was in law school. And I have been in conversations with her. She is a tremendous advocate for this idea,” he said. “I’ll have an announcement soon about how we’re going to move forward. I have had conversations with Elizabeth over these last couple of months. But I’m not going to make an official announcement until it’s ready.

  15. noor says:

    I can tell you how I’m leaning, because I’m not working due to health reasons and family is helping us out: I am holding my nose to vote for my Blue Dog rep, because where I live, there’s no other option — no primary challenger, no third-party, nothing but a Blue Dog and Tea Party-leaning Republicans. I am livid with the Republicans. I haven’t forgotten anything that they’ve done over the last ten years. I am also pissed off at the Democrats for failing to to hold together — and yes, I blame the Blue Dogs most of all. But as stinky as they are, the Republicans are worse. If I were to vote Rethug or abstain, I might as well send the bank jingle mail.

  16. kumari says:

    525,000 homeownewrs did not get forclosed on. They did not own their homes. Their Mortgage Companies owned those homes. The Mortgage Companies lend to the buyer so the purchaser can pay the builder, contractor, etc. for the house. Not paying the loan back is not an option, or there are consequences. The money lent does not belong to the purchaser but to me who place my money in a savings account of some kind.
    I do not want to be compelled by the thugs in Washington to pay for someone else’s home thru further taxation.
    Just another example of how Liberal policies in Washington do not work. This is the failure of “The Community Re-Investment Act” period.

    • Kassandra says:

      Well, some from Drudge or Red State finally made it over here with their selfishness and lack of common sense.

    • nahant says:

      hey youse guys should take it in the shorts for ensnaring many home owners into loan shark loans… greedy p*icks.. The rich ARE vultures first and foremost they have always preyed on the rest of us… You know “Law of the Jungle” thats what youse guys Want.

    • dakine01 says:

      Actually for many of those homes, due to the marvelous technology, no one has a clue who actually owns the homes since the banksters couldn’t be bothered to properly update the paperwork

      And many of those loans were based on fraud by the Mortgage companies.

      But I guess that’s free enterprise in operation, right?

      • scribe says:

        That commenter looks like the kind of sucka the mortgage banksters were looking for – the kind who’d buy the line “you don’t have to worry about reading all that, just sign on the line”, and would so sign, only to find in a year or so that the interest was suddenly 14 percent or something.

      • GulfCoastPirate says:

        Try looking at a fucking deed before proving your ignorance next time

        You shouldn’t be talking that way about your new teabagger congressman. :)

    • wavpeac says:

      These loans are full of fraud, and down right lies. Misapplied payments, irrational and unfair fees (they charged me 10 per check to cash my check electronically without notifying me…it just became a miscellaneous fee), escrow account irregularities, forced insurance schemes.

      I am so sick and tired of the narrative about ignorant, greedy poor people buying homes beyond their means. I have stated for a long time that this was a perfect storm with regard to health insurance, medical costs, and unemployment. People on well planned out budgets with several months of “income” in savings found themselves two months delinquent which would “trigger” (Elizabeth Warren’s words) a “bomb” of fees, and illegal behaviors. This would happen to people who were two months behind, so they would be vulnerable financially, and were in a category of people who would not be heard when they tried to report these illegal behaviors.

      Bushco defunded the FDIC, so that there was no one to follow up on reports of fraud. I scream about the illegal behavior, the violations of TILA and RESPA laws because the favorite predatory behavior is to minimize, deny and blame. We must focus on the fraud. If we take our eyes off that ball, we miss the most important element of this story. Many of these foreclosures could have been avoided by simply following the laws on the books, and adding some new ones in regard to the fees.

      The problem is that these violations happenened in such large numbers that the remedy is problematic. Millions of people have lost homes to fraud. What do you do, once you acknowledge it, how do the courts deal with it? Obama is up to now, preventing it from coming to the courts by leaving all the bushco safe guards in place and focusing on the “irresponsible homeowner” argument. It is a matter of national concern, as to what will happen once the truth about these loans is unleashed. I am certain that it’s not as simple as putting Warren in and letting her “protect” consumers from this point out. These banks violated laws already in existence. If we begin enforcing them now, what does this mean about the past violations?

      Our economy will have to deal with the fraud and Obama is working too hard to control the outcomes. He is worried about what will happen when the worlds largest financial institutions are caught red handed in fraud. When millions of homeowners wake up and realize that they lost their homes in part due to this fraud, the anger will be unbelievable. Most people do not realize how cut and dried this is because the narrative has kept the lines very blurry in regard to what is legal and illegal. When they realize that their statements may have been inaccurate, that it’s illegal for a bank not to give you a history of your payments with the fees recorded, that it’s not legal to force insurance when you already have insurance etc…there will be hell to pay for Obama.

      What WILL Obama do with all the fraud that has already occurred?? We know he likes to just “move on” but just like with the torture issue, he begins to cross the line into collusion, and basically already did, when he bailed out these financial institutions. I mean legally what happens when this truth becomes obvious? There will be consequences to Obama and to our economy if this truth is told.

      WE are in a situation in which all our lawmakers hands are dirty. ALL of them. Obama is such a freakin’ “control the consequences freak” that we are not getting enough truth to make an accurate map of the problem. Without an accurate map we are LOST.

  17. scribe says:

    Give Barry a break – he’s been busy.

    Writing a children’s book.

    It’s due out two weeks after the midterms.

    Anyone who’s ever tried knows just how hard it is to write anything, so don’t get all bent out of shape over him not getting around to those pesky appointments and stuff.

  18. Dameocrat says:

    I personally would like her to run for president as an independent or green in 2010. She definitely is known well enough to do it. I expect nothing but false friggen hope from the white house.

  19. behindthefall says:

    I keep wondering whether it would have helped matters to have had a grand lottery (like the draft back when) in which the lucky winners — say, 15 to 20 % of the households owing, say, up to $250k on their mortgages — got their mortgages paid off by the gov’t. Might have been a way to avoid a lot of pain all around AND keep the “stimulus” from going into the pockets of people who REALLY didn’t need it, i.e., the banks without serving much useful purpose beforehand.

  20. frmrirprsn says:

    I wish Ms. Warren would tell Obama to go Cheney expletive himself and run for the senate from Massachusetts.

    • rosalind says:

      from the article:

      Elliot Peters, the San Francisco attorney who represented the ballplayers, said that unless the government petitions the U.S. Supreme Court for review, the 9th Circuit ruling “puts an end to the government’s ability to use any of the seized materials.”

      countdown to Obama’s DOJ doing just that begins…now.

      (emphasis mine)

      • bmaz says:

        Tough road on that; the standard of review is that the trial court’s evidentiary ruling must be the result of an abuse of discretion by the trial court (District Court) judge; if not, then the ruling stands. Pretty hard to see how there was any abuse of discretion here. Every judge that has seen these facts have been dismayed and called the conduct of the government agents and prosecutors to be beyond egregious. This is all behind why I keep saying the case against Roger Clemens is total crap. These are the agents and prosecutors working the Clemens case too; in fact it is all the same big case. And it is absolutely filthy dirty with law enforcement and prosecutorial misconduct. I know people involved in this case and the public does not understand the half of the tainted and ethically questionable shit that has gone down from the government. If you are interested, here is the most recent en banc opinion; it fills in some of the story but certainly nowhere near all of the really bad stuff – there is much, much more.

  21. zapkitty says:

    “As the White House Dithers on Warren, 525,000 Homes Have Been Foreclosed On”

    That’s not a bug, that’s a feature.

  22. Citizen92 says:

    I have a feeling, just a feeling, that this year’s GOP vote fraud strategy will somehow involve the use of foreclosed homes.