Friday, November 26, 2004

Illinois Governor Caught up in Squaliforme PR Machine

The juggernaut that is Ameriquest's public-relations machine has netted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and the city of Schaumburg.

Now the squaliforme that is spending billions (taken from victims) on everything from a blimp to the Superbowl to a ball field in Texas to a Seattle football team to NASCAR is getting 25 million in Illinois tax credits for a promise to create over two thousand jobs in the Chicago suburb.

Anybody else see what this Honorable Court sees here?

Governor, you come west of the Pecos and you'll learn what a cattle prod can be used for.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

News Media Squaliforme Cheerleader of the Week

Once again this Court must step in (yes, even during the holiday week) and expose another news operation that just doesn't get it.

Submitted to the Court from a source in another part of the great state of Texas, an article by none other than the "Real Estate Editor" of the Dallas Morning News, Steve Brown.

In an article from the November 19th edition, "Foreclosure listings increase," Mr. Brown takes the same, trite, ill-informed and misleading squaliforme-endorsed line on the issue. Without lifting a finger to dial a phone or email a consumer advocate or even explore the 'net about the squaliformes stories in other sources, Mr. Brown quotes only George Roddy, the head of the echeneidae* Foreclosure Listing Service:
"Mr. Roddy said he blames the continued high foreclosure rates on more corporate
layoffs in North Texas and looser loan standards."

"The downsizing of jobs and lowering of salaries continues," he said. "Some people are hanging on, but each month that goes by, more of them can't go on any longer.

"The other problem is the screwball loans they are making," Mr. Roddy said. "They are loaning money to anybody that is breathing."
Wrong, Mr. Roddy, and wrong Mr. Brown for repeating the squaliforme myth about jobs and the economy being behind the foreclosure plague.

And Mr. Roddy is being very disingenous. They don't make loans to anybody that is breathing. They make loans to people because they know they can be taken advantage of by their fellow squaliformes in the loan servicing industry. And when the victim runs out of resources to fight them, another loan will eventually be generated.

This Court is not unaware of the Dallas Morning News' unclean hands in these issues. This Court's source also cited other pieces from writers Pamela Yip and Danielle DiMartino who are unwilling to pull the curtain back and let people see the squaliformes for what they really are.

Given the revenue from real estate and financial services advertising, it is no wonder they take a soft approach in these stories.

But this Court and this Honorable Judge have no such softness for promoters who willingly seek to keep the public misinformed.

The Dallas Morning News gets the News Media Squaliforme Cheerleader of the Week Award.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean.

[(Note from the Clerk of the Court: His Honor wishes to advise locals to not show up on Court property or the environs thereabout with a copy of the Dallas Morning News.)]

*See October archives for an introduction to echeneidae.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Latest Consumer Credit Counseling Scam action

Well, someone at the FTC decided to move against one of the worst of the squaliforme enablers.

Better Budget Financial Services (BBFS) and its principals, John Colon, Jr. and Julie Fabrizio-Colon, have defrauded consumers out of hundreds or thousands of dollars each, causing many to be sued by their creditors and forcing others into bankruptcy. The FTC has asked the court to award consumer redress to the victims of this scam. On November 3, 2004, the court entered a temporary restraining order halting the defendants’ illegal business practices, freezing their assets, and appointing a temporary receiver pending a preliminary injunction hearing.

As good as that FTC announcement sounds, the problem is the Colons have been stealing people's money for FOUR YEARS!

Restitution? Sure, sounds great. Doesn't work. Frozen assets? Only the ones they know of. The Colons have their wealth protected somewhere, you can bet.

Victims of squaliformes get pennies on the dollar in these kinds of cases. The slowness to act on complaints only helps the crooks amass personal wealth that won't be found, let alone touched.

I guess justice on the other side of the Pecos is a bit different than 'round here.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Note from the Clerk of the Court

[(The Clerk of the Court is in receipt of a communication from an alleged squaliforme-retained lawfirm suggesting the Honorable Judge Roy Bean is going too far in his public condemnation of their clients.

It is my duty to report for the public record that I have been instructed to advise that His Honor has not had an appropriate amount of time to digest the entire complaint, let alone bring his laughter under control.

There were a number of verbal outbursts related to the ancestry of the complainants, most of which were associated with what His Honor wished to be recorded about them. Be it known that this Clerk managed to prevail in vigorous oral argument to delete their absurdities and their names from the record - at least for the time being.

Something along the lines of "go $#*& yourselves" would seem to suffice.

The Clerk of the Court.)]

Fitch Pitches Petulant (Phony) Fit

You can almost hear them singing "neh-neh-neh-neh-neh, we told you so," behind this one:

On Nov. 7, 2004, the Massachusetts Predatory Home Loan Practices Act (the Act) will become effective. This legislation increases the risk of unlimited assignee liability relative to the existing Massachusetts predatory regulations. Because of this risk of uncapped liability, Fitch Ratings will not rate any deals with Massachusetts mortgage loans that are subject to the Act after the effective date.

So the lap-dog rater who stayed curled up and snoozed all the while the mortgage servicing squaliforme Fairbanks Capital stole billions of dollars from consumers stuck with predatory loans now wants to act on behalf of all of the squaliformes. So they take a slap at the Massachusetts legislators by claiming they won't rate mortgage paper because of the protections the state wisely enacted.

Fitch has previously indicated that it will not rate residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) transactions which contain loans that are originated in jurisdictions which have enacted legislation that may result in unlimited purchaser or assignee liability for predatory lending practices of an originator, broker or servicer. Thus, as of Nov. 7, 2004, Fitch will not rate any transactions that contain Massachusetts 'high cost home mortgage loans'.

Note from this Honorable Judge: Massachusetts, stick to your guns, dammit! Responsible lenders will fill any real void the squaliformes supposedly leave.

See here, this Court is fed up with Wall Street's and Fitch's utter disdain for the real sources of their revenue, the victims. As in, the borrowers.

When conduits buy loan portfolios and Wall Street sells bonds and then just sits there immune from liability for what their squaliforme partners set up and then passed on to them, they're only helping them keep the scams going. By providing for assignee liability, they might have to look at who they're feeding and what the results could be. And if they didn't like who put the loan together or the predatory terms they could opt not to buy the bonds.

And guess what, pretty soon the squaliformes wouldn't be able to make the predatory loans. And the servicers wouldn't be able to prey on the victims and threaten them into paying billions more than they really should!

Of course, this Court recognizes should those circumstances come about, there would be a corresponding reduction in funds available for the servicer squaliformes to pay Fitch to do the ratings.

So instead of wanting to do something about predatory and abusive lending and servicing, Fitch is all to comfortable with how good the squaliformes have been to them! And they're dutifully providing ammunition for Wright Andrews and his ilk to use to get legislation passed at a federal level to prevent states from acting when Washington bows to the squaliforme altar of financial gluttony without regulation.

Get ready for more and more "news" about the consumers in Massachusetts not being able to get loans.

And if some yahoos in Massachusetts back down to these crooks, they bettter not wander very far out here west of the Pecos. We have an aversion to that type of enabler. Don't want 'em taking up good air, let alone space in the jail. Keeping them away is what cattle prods are for. Usually only takes one or two pokes to be effective. (Leaves a helluva mark. Bet it smarts like all get out.)

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Legal Lunacy of the Week Award

Among the worst of the squaliformes, Cross Country Bank and it's Applied Card Systems collection arm are being nipped at by a number of states Attorneys General.

Having fingers wagged at it is more like it. Over and over again.

In Pennsylvania, AG Jerry Pappert sued the companies in June and settled this week for a paltry $450-thousand plus having to set up a refund program for some of the victims.

Any wonder why this crap keeps going on?

Aside from the ridiculously small charge, the Legal Lunacy of the Week Award goes to Pappert for letting the squaliforme get off without admitting they did anything wrong!

If the Judge in the Court overseeing this case approves this idiotic settlement, he'll be the recipient of another LLOTWA as well.

Rocco Abessinio, the head of Cross Country, is the one who tried to get West Virginia's AG voted out of office because they're going after him for at least $2-million for that state's victims. And he threatened to close an office and let 550 people go because of it, but of course, now it turns out they had planned to close it well before the AG went after them.

The FTC settlement in August let them off with nothing more than an agreement to not abuse customers any more. And again, they didn't have to admit they were doing anything wrong!

"The things we agreed to stop doing are things that we don't do anyway," he is quoted as saying.

This Judge wonders what pictures of these officials Abessinio has stashed away in his safe.

If Rocco Abessinio was brought before this court, there wouldn't be a settlement. There'd be a very short, very public trial in which Abessinio admits deliberate wrongdoing among other things. Followed shortly thereafter by a hanging party.

Until that time, Abessinio merely becomes Squaliforme Hall of Shame Dishonoree inductee one.

Induction effective immediately.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


The squaliformes are led from the top of their own executive food chain.

Not only are they insulated from prosecution by their wealth and ability to amass legal expertise to guide them away from responsibility when things go wrong, they also like to display the image that they are plausibly ignorant about what their underlings do to victims.

The story is getting as old as the Emperor's New Clothes.

Attempting to blame a few rogue elements in an organization smells like garbage after a week in the sun.

Any executive with three operating brain cells could gain control of predatory lending elements or abusive practices in his or her company. It's nothing more than a matter of will. The evidence of how to treat people with respect and with honorable intentions dominates among reputable businesses led by men and women with truly honorable intentions.

The fact is, those who would be brought to trial and appear in this Court are led by executives who like to insulate themselves and the other members of their boards of directors from responsibility for inculcating a climate of make-the-numbers-no-matter-what all the way down into the customer-facing operations.

Here west of the Pecos they would be subject to logic and appropriate retribution for their collective greed and avarice at the expense of victims.

As it is, they rub shoulders with the financial elite and find ways to pass money around to influence the right politicians to not only maintain the quality of their hunting grounds, but to improve on their chances of not having to worry about justice.

But names are going to be named here. It is time for the public to find out more about the squaliformes dictators, leaders and down-in-the-depths wranglers. The list at the left of the blog will soon display a hall-of-shame of individual shark wranglers.

By the order of this Court, protection from public disdain is hereby lifted.

To the squaliformes leadership, your family, friends and neighbors are going to learn a lot more about you in the near future.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean.

Friday, November 05, 2004

The unquenchable thirst for information

The squaliformes are among the most data-thirsty of lifeforms. They have actuaries, statisticians, academicians and computer system experts working hard to let executives make decisions that will maximize profits. They also have public relations professionals diligently working on ensuring there will be no limits to what they are able to collect and use about their victims.

The farcical "protections" now in place are nothing more than window dressing for the benefit of the small minority of organizations representing the views of people who understand the peril they are about to be put into. As the information brokers continue to assemble their networks of data sources and implement database systems without actual oversight or effective controls, the data is being gathered and stored for future use when the industry can leverage Congress into letting them openly use it.

Using credit scoring for auto insurance purposes was the first real test of their power, and while a few states have stepped in and taken the only rational step (banning the use of it) the influencers have managed to get some states to either study it before simply letting them do it or they were powerful enough to just bull their way through and do it. A few took some tentative steps to regulate it somewhat but without an outright ban there is no effective restriction because no one is really watching them while they're doing it.

What most people don't realize, but more will as we age and come into contact with the healthcare delivery system in this country, medical records are an almost un-tapped ocean of personal information from which the squaliformes can make judgements about you.

Demographic profiling of medical records will allow them to analyze new risk factors and develop scores based on things like lifestyle choices, illnesses, even dietary patterns. And the data is already being collected and analyzed for the life and medical insurance squaliformes by MIB (formerly known as the Medical Information Bureau).

So if you go to your doctor and get treated for say, alcoholism, don't you think your auto insurer would be interested in that? You bet your a** they are. And with health insurance reform coming down the pike in Washington this next session, don't be surprised if you wake up one morning and find out they've already started sharing MIB reporting data on you for things other than medical insurance claims fraud detection.

The squaliformes are ready to trade almost anything to get around the limits on actually using the information they already have and continue to collect. It's too late to stop the collection (your medical records are routinely sent to MIB), so now it all comes down to trying to keep them from using it for something other than the purposes they say they use it for.

Believe me, I know a bit about horse trading, and it's gonna be fast and furious!

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


[(Note from the Clerk of the Court: His Honor wishes to express his profound relief that the elections are over. The Court will resume a more normal schedule when the Judge completes the rounds of celebratory and commiseratory parties.

The Clerk of the Court.)]