Hats off to banks charging foreclosure fees!

November 6, 2007, 2:23 PM UTC

I want to thank all you guys for a terrific day yesterday. As one of you pointed out, I got up on the wrong side of the bed and felt the end of the world was at hand. Some of you agreed with me. Others didn’t. Still others were very jolly about the whole thing and WELCOMED the end of the world. I like that attitude. A special hats-off shout-out to the fellow who commented to a prior post and nominated Dracula as one of his favorite saints. Fangs very much.

But seriously, today is another day and the sun is bright and shining in the newly-minted sky. Actually, it’s raining here in New York and quite chilly, but you know what I mean. You can’t live your life in full awareness of Armageddon every day, right? Interest rates are coming down! Hedge funds and their managers are getting knocked around like whack-a-moles at a carnival. The truffles just came in to my favorite expense account restaurant. Life is good.

Maybe best of all is how America is snapping to, joining the rest of the world in its vital, highly-competitive, can-do, anything-goes spirit on the global playing field. In that vein, I would like to offer the first annual Mr. Cool Poisoned Toothpaste Award for Competitive Global Business Ethics to the banks and other lending institutions who are now foreclosing on the homes of defaulting debtors.

They win this soon-to-be coveted prize not so much for the foreclosures themselves, but for all the extra fees they are piling onto the future occupants of Chapter 11 who committed themselves to ARMs and are now falling down on their promise to pay the piper now that the piper has raised the interest rate on their mortgage.

In an article headlined “Borrowers Face Dubious Charges In Foreclosures” the fearsome Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times writes:

“The amounts can be significant. Late fees accounted for 11.5 percent of servicing revenues in 2006 at Ocwen Financial, a big servicing company. At Countrywide, $285 million came from late fees last year, up 20 percent from 2005. Late fees accounted for 7.5 percent of Countrywide’s servicing revenue last year. But these are not the only charges borrowers face. Others include $145 in something called “demand fees,” $137 in overnight delivery fees, fax fees of $50 and payoff statement charges of $60. Property inspection fees can be levied every month or so, and fees can be imposed every two months to cover assessments of a home’s worth.”

There’s much more. I highly recommend a thorough read of this one. It makes you feel that this great nation of ours can compete with anybody on the world stage, at least in certain things.

So buck up, everybody! There is no fate but what we make, right? And we’re making it every day. Have a good one.