Date Archives November 2012

USB Wall Charger

A USB wall charger – one of those things you see and wonder, “Why has it taken so long?”

I suspect we will be seeing more and more of these as options in new construction … we’re thisclose to a time when buyers choose to eliminate the landline entirely when building. But for security systems and the occasional power outage, the need for landlines continues to diminish.

Image courtesy -

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Foreclosure Relief Sunlight

Where Are the Foreclosure Deal Millions Going in Your State? - ProPublica

I know, this is national news and I really strive to focus on matters local to the Charlottesville area, but this is striking (and sadly not surprising).

$66.5 Million: The amount of money Virginia received as part of the massive mortgage settlement in April 2012.

$7 Million: The amount of that used for homeowners.

$59.5 Million: “The AG turned over the entirety of the funds to the state legislature without stipulations on how it could be spent.”

And then there’s this:

A must-read piece of investigative journalism from ProPublica reveals that there was little to no oversight to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), mortgage services did almost whatever they wanted, the government neither noticed nor cared, and taxpayers and homeowners are getting robbed.

The documents also show how the Treasury Department coddled servicers that weren’t complying with the program’s rules. Once a year, servicers are required to certify that they are complying with the program’s rules. But servicers define for themselves what it means to comply. A company that admits violating the rules is allowed to merely submit a cover letter with their certification stating the exceptions and how it would fix the problems.

One of our requests has dragged on for more than two years, and even after all that time, the department continues to withhold certain documents, though it says it intends to turn over more. (See here for a full index of the documents we’ve obtained so far. If we receive more, we will add them to our collection when we receive them.)

In some cases, the Treasury even withheld the documents of servicers who never objected to their release. When ProPublica informed the Treasury that certain servicers had said they had no objection to releasing the documents, the Treasury finally turned them over.

The election’s over. Nothing has changed and likely won’t.

But if your disillusionment is less than mine, find out who your legislator is and ask him or her why/how they’re squandering these funds.

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