Thursday, October 10, 2013
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Thursday, October 3, 2013
Every day in neighborhoods across the country, low-paid workers with little oversight or training decide whether to break into someone else's home.
They are independent contractors working indirectly for banks, including Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America.
Mortgage agreements give these banks the right to enter abandoned properties, even those that are locked up, to secure them against the ravages of weather and to perform other simple repairs. But the contractors they hire to do this work sometimes force their way into houses and condominiums that are still occupied by their owners, changing out locks and removing what they find inside, including family heirlooms and other valuables.
"These companies don't ask the homeowner, don't go to a court to get permission to go inside," said Matthew Weidner, a consumer lawyer in St. Petersburg, Fla., who has handled several such cases. "They just send unlicensed, unregulated people who break down doors and do whatever they want."
Fed up with what they claim is a serious violation of their property rights -- and sometimes outright theft -- homeowners are fighting back.
In the past five years, people in 31 states have filed more than 250 lawsuits against the six largest national companies that contract directly with banks to inspect and repair homes in some stage of default or foreclosure, a Huffington Post review of court records found. The majority of these cases have come in the past 18 months.
The most-sued contractor is Safeguard Properties, based in Valley View, Ohio. The company, the subject of a previous HuffPost investigation and a new NBC News report, has been named in at least 135 lawsuits filed by homeowners alleging unwarranted break-ins.
Lawyers and other industry experts say growing awareness of the national scope of the problem has pushed more consumer complaints into courts. On Facebook and in online forums, homeowners swap tales of unauthorized break-ins and theft and solicit advice for how best to respond. Some attorneys who brought early cases against the industry are now sought for their expertise.
"I get these calls all the time," Weidner said.
One of his clients, Deanna Tedone, returned to her Tampa, Fla., home last year to discover that a contractor working for U.S. Bank had ripped huge holes in her walls, purportedly on a search for hazardous Chinese-made drywall.
The bank claims it was simply trying to protect its investment in the property, where Tedone and her husband had quit making monthly mortgage payments. But neither the bank nor the contractor, who worked for Five Brothers, based in Warren, Mich., had bothered to inform Tedone, who still owned the house, that such a radical procedure was in store, she claims in a lawsuit. Moreover, the contractor made a mess of it -- ripping out walls, leaving huge piles of possibly contaminated rubble strewn about, all without obtaining the proper permits from the city, she said.
The bank's action essentially killed any chance that she could sell her home at a short sale, and thus avoid the huge hit to her credit that a foreclosure deals, Tedone said.
"When you sell you have to disclose everything," she said. "And I don't know what was done."
Conflicts between contractors and homeowners are an outgrowth of a housing crisis that fueled rapid expansion in a previously little-noticed corner of the mortgage industry. In the past decade, the largest banks have increasingly outsourced their responsibilities to look after distressed real estate to a growing cadre of companies that do what is called property preservation, or field-services work.
Even now, with the housing market booming again in some areas, more than 3 million homes in some stage of default or foreclosure are subject to a monthly bank inspection, according to RealtyTrac, an online real estate company.
Disputes most often arise in instances where a borrower has missed a few payments, or is in the early stages of the foreclosure process. Sometimes owners just walk away from their homes, leaving it to the bank to mow lawns, fix broken windows or patch roofs.
Bank inspectors are sent each month to look for evidence of abandonment, but too often, say homeowners and even some of the contract workers themselves, they don't even get out of the car.
This is a result of lax supervision and regulation, critics say. Inspectors have little financial incentive to be cautious, often earning just a few dollars to inspect a property, after various other subcontractors have taken a cut of what the bank pays for inspections. On Craigslist, contractors solicit workers to inspect homes for as little as $1 or $2 each.
Bad inspections lead to work orders issued to clean out or lock up homes that are still inhabited by their rightful owners. Dozens of complaints allege that a resident was at work or on vacation when a contractor break-in occurred.
Adam Reynolds, a Naples, Fla., contractor who owned his own preservation company until last year, said he was routinely dispatched on such missions. "Countless times," he said, he would punch out a door lock and go inside a residence only to discover personal photos on the shelves and fresh food in the refrigerator.
Reynolds said he would immediately leave the property in such situations, as the contracting companies require in written guidelines. But others go ahead with these work orders, regardless of what they discover inside, homeowners and other contractors maintain. Indeed, some appear to see a fully stocked home as an opportunity to loot valuables.
In Chicago, Majorie Principe claims she returned home to find that a Safeguard contractor had taken her furniture, books, savings bonds and electronics.
In Cleveland, Bruce Brown claims a Safeguard contractor stole all of his clothes.
In Atlanta, Woldeab Medhin was arrested after he forced his way back into his home after a Safeguard contractor locked him out. The worker, as it turned out, had the address mixed up and was at the wrong house.
All have sued, seeking unspecified monetary compensation.
Safeguard is also the target of a fraud lawsuit filed earlier this month by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Her office has received more than 300 complaints against the company in Illinois alone, she says.
More state actions could be coming. A spokeswoman for the Florida attorney general said her office was "reviewing" complaints regarding Safeguard.
In addition, plaintiffs' lawyers have named Safeguard in two class-action lawsuits: one filed in Chicago federal district court and another in Ohio, in Cuyahoga County state court.
In at least two instances, homeowners have alleged that the worker Safeguard hired to fix up or clean out a property had a lengthy criminal background.
For its part, Safeguard maintains that it strictly oversees and screens its subcontractors, performing background checks, auditing their work and requiring that they carry insurance. The company says the number of complaints against it is partly a function of its size: Safeguard completed 1.5 million work orders last year, the company said, making it far and away the biggest player in the industry.
A Safeguard spokeswoman declined to comment further on the Illinois investigation, or the homeowner lawsuits.
So far, there isn't much case history to suggest how this litigation will turn out. Some previous lawsuits have been dismissed, others have settled for undisclosed sums.
But Safeguard has shown it's willing to fight back. The company recently sued Kevin Kubovcik, a former employee who ran its complaint department until 2010. In April, Kubovcik provided HuffPost with records that showed he was logging about 85 incidents a month involving an alleged theft or break-in. The company claims that disclosure violated a confidentiality agreement and is seeking "in excess" of $25,000 from Kubovic.
It's also unclear how much legal liability the banks that hire companies like Safeguard have for such alleged abuses. In the past, banks have tried to shunt liability onto the contracting companies. But the $25 billion settlement struck with state attorney generals last year requires that five of the largest banks "perform appropriate due diligence" in examining any third-party contractors' "expertise, complaints and qualifications." Failure to do so could hypothetically lead to fines or other penalties. No public actions have been taken yet.
Sonia Wisniewska, a California homeowner, said she hopes heightened scrutiny of the property preservation industry will help yield a favorable result in her lawsuit against Wells Fargo and another large contracting company, Lender Processing Services, which she filed last month.
Wisniewska's case is one of the most unusual of those reviewed by HuffPost. She lives alone in a remote corner of Santa Barbara County, on a ranch miles from the nearest neighbor. One afternoon last year, Wisniewska angrily confronted a contract worker who snuck through the security gate guarding her long driveway.
When the contractor refused to leave, Wisniewska retrieved her shotgun and fired a warning shot into the sky. She was arrested on grounds that she had recklessly discharged a firearm.
Although the charges were eventually dismissed, Wisniewska claims the turmoil scared off a friend who was prepared to assume the ranch's deed and thus allow her to avoid foreclosure on a property she could no longer afford to keep.
The experience, Wisniewska said, was devastating. "I couldn’t get a job with the felony hanging over me. I lost weight. I had insomnia and depression," she said. "I don't want anyone else to have to go through this."
original article here
Man who attempted to sign up claims he was threatened with drivers license being revoked, federal tax lien on home
Paul Joseph Watson
October 2, 2013
A man who attempted to sign up for Obamacare online was told that a fine of over $4,000 dollars a year for refusing to take out mandatory health insurance could be taken directly from his bank account, and that his drivers license would be suspended and a federal tax lien placed against his home, according to an entry on the HealthCare.gov Facebook page.
If true, the implementation of Obamacare is going to be a whole lot more draconian than Americans have been led to believe.
Will Sheehan claims that when he tried to sign up for Obamacare and then register to opt out, he received an ominous warning. Sheehan’s full Facebook post reads;
“I actually made it through this morning at 8:00 A.M. I have a preexisting condition (Type 1 Diabetes) and my income base was 45K-55K annually I chose tier 2 “Silver Plan” and my monthly premiums came out to $597.00 with $13,988 yearly deductible!!! There is NO POSSIBLE way that I can afford this so I “opt-out” and chose to continue along with no insurance.I received an email tonight at 5:00 P.M. informing me that my fine would be $4,037 and could be attached to my yearly income tax return. Then you make it to the “REPERCUSSIONS PORTION” for “non-payment” of yearly fine. First, your drivers license will be suspended until paid, and if you go 24 consecutive months with “Non-Payment” and you happen to be a home owner, you will have a federal tax lien placed on your home. You can agree to give your bank information so that they can easy “Automatically withdraw” your “penalties” weekly, bi-weekly or monthly! This by no means is “Free” or even “Affordable.”
Sheehan went on to point out that the site makes you input all your personal information before giving you an indication of the costs, meaning a database of the “uninsured” is being built. He added that he could not afford to pay the premium so would have to break the law and pay the fine, leaving him with no health care coverage.
The federal government has consistently denied that any fines pertaining to Obamacare non-compliance could be seized from bank accounts, despite reports last year that the IRS had hired 16,500 new agents to harass citizens who attempt to evade the new law.
“There’s no criminal sanctions for not paying this, and there’s no ability to levy a bank account or do seizures,” then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman said in April 2010.
In addition, Americans who refuse to pay for mandatory health insurance “shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution,” according to the law itself.
Section 1501(g)(2) of the Affordable Care Act also states that the IRS cannot “file notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section.”
EIther Sheehan’s claim that he received this notice is a lie, or the feds have been dishonest with the American people all along, and the revolt against Obamacare is about to take “don’t tread on me” to a whole new level.
Read a copy of the full exchange on Facebook below.
Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71
FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet
FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013. Filed under: Consciousness Disasters Earth Changes Just Zen National Emergency
by Zen Gardner
There’s lot going on right now with all of these frantic so-called “preparedness” drills. With government closing and the lights in Washington going out you can’t help but wonder. And what comes to mind? The many end of the world scenarios we’ve had pumped at us from birth, sensationalized heavily by “special effects” frenzied Hollywand.
Do they really know something? Or is this just more fear programming to gain a tighter grip on humanity. Or is it both?
We can pretty much assume insider media moguls and movie producers have a lot of information at their fingertips we’re apparently not privy to. How they get this info is almost fun to visualize, almost like an old Spy vs Spy cartoon. Only these control creeps are ugly and dark.
Actually, many producers and writers have openly testified they’ve been “given” the ideas or script outlines by apparent “operatives”. This is especially the case when they show these huge scenes of massive military operations or the propaganda is particularly pointed; you then know the “suppliers” of all this equipment and backdrop have a heavy hand on the scale.
It’s clearly a pervasive factor in the content of these movies. The scale of social engineering on our planet is extraordinary.
Apocalypse In The NewsThe social programmers love this subject. While they try to keep their credibility with the more wary audience with comments about “crackpots, kooks and conspiracy nuts”, these Illuminist media controllers push the End of the World scenario big time.
We’ve seen the alien invasion how many times? Even the White House gets blasted on several occasions. We’ve had the asteroid impact over and over. Plagues killing us off are big, as are huge earthquake scenarios. Even a frozen future world with ‘Day After Tomorrow’ type movies. And it gets more bizarre all the time.
It’s imprinting, or entraining the human psyche. Also known as programming. In this case it’s predictive programming.
Don’t you find it ironic they produce this stuff hand over fist and then these same elitists and their complicit media and education stooges work hard to belittle anyone who actually believes it? Isn’t that called getting “jerked around”?
Actually it’s a very sophisticated mind control technique, a deliberate mixture of traumatized cognitive dissonance while injecting predictive programming. It’s all acclimating their subjects to manipulated tension, fear and the ever present threat and even assumed “knowledge” of eventual apocalypse. Nasty psychopathic bastards, in a nutshell. But it’s effective.
Why, you ask? Are there deliberate forces out to decimate our planet? Is this what was done to Mars and other worlds by some parasitic other dimensional force?
The simple greed explanation makes no sense in the light of the suicidal rape and destruction of our planet we’re witnessing. There is a bigger picture we need to be aware of. Fortunately with that comes the empowerment to use the right tools to combat such an apparently inter-dimensional parasitic force.
But I digress…or did I?
The Looming “Kill Shot” Solar Flare and Grid Failure Drills
I’m all on board with speaking up about potential natural disasters. The USGS isn’t even reporting earthquakes accurately any more and the weather news is completely controlled by the black op arm of the defense department. The EPA doesn’t test for chemtrail chemicals and shut down their radiation sensors.
The whole system has been co-opted and we need to fend for ourselves, and many alternative reporting sources are doing a great job of this.
This solar cycle news has been open knowledge for years now, warning us of some very real potential serious problems when it reaches its maximum, where we’re at now. Oddly it’s been a disappointment as far as intensity goes, but this magnetic shutdown is worth learning about. We’re still hearing about potential massive solar flares hitting that could cripple whole continents. And this is real. Even insider Michio Kaku has “predictively” been in the mainstream news talking about it, only to have the story shuffled into the subconscious once again.
Now we’re seeing upcoming massive grid failure drills, including the recent impromptu power outage in New York City that was no doubt some sort of test just recently. Then this great “Shake Out” supposed earthquake preparedness in the US heartland has now become an annual event and will also be taking place.
As if they care. Again, it’s conditioning. All based on fear and greater control. The programmed human outcry? “Save us. We need more security!” Please give us more controls for these uncontrollables!”
All this reminded me of this weirdly predictive movie once again. And appropriately it’s the SUN that brings the end!
“Knowing” – A Massive Example of ProgrammingThis movie keeps coming back to me and I understand why, especially recently. With incoming comets, reports of hundreds of fireballs, and our central star undergoing a magnetic flip and shutdown influencing our deliberately destabilized planet in profound ways, it’s no wonder.
The movie “Knowing” is slow as far as movies go, and Nicolas Cage is pretty much the same guy you see in all his movies. The plot is actually relatively simple, and is drawn out using interim catastrophes leading up to the big revelation at the end as his child gets swept into the phenomenon of hearing the “whisperers” who’ve given coded warning messages to a couple of generations of contactees of what’s about to transpire.
Nick goes a bit berserk as he figures out the code and traces the predicted disasters, but his passionate search culminates when he decodes the last line of the predictive numbers as “ee”…the “end of everything”.
First the Official Trailer for the Effect…
This next clip is pretty amazing. I don’t necessarily go along with all of the interpretations, but you’ll have to admit there are a lot of hinting “coincidences” that are jammed into this movie.
This was released a year before the gulf oil disaster and way before Fukushima.
The Bigger ImplicationBy the way, in the story the aliens who gave the messages and keep appearing and whispering to the kids are these light beings disguised as “men in black” types. They eventually lead them to where these space craft will take them off planet to safety just before the event. In fact, they and other chosen children around the globe are deposited in other worlds to propagate, as in the Garden of Eden story imprinted on the human conscience.
Despite the Programming….Once you stop wondering, you’ve stopped.
I may not go for Hollywood’s tricks, but I like to think freely, outside of paradigms. And I like to try to understand the message I’m “supposed to be getting” for what it is and I try not to swallow it hook, line and sinker. But to also not discard whatever I’m being given offhandedly as if there’s no truth to anything.
Hey…knowing is knowing…and I’m often wondering what others seem to be knowing…if they really know anything. Or if they’re just trying to program me again, ha! Oh how they don’t realize how on to them we are!
We need to be awake and aware, and alive. Love, understanding and right knowledge then come with the territory.
original article here
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Lissynote~ I love this, very very funny and great minds getting together... if we had politicians as interesting as these guys ... i might actually vote... soon again every man will be As King, and every woman be Queen.