Tag Archives: Mortgage crisis

New Bill Proposed to Help Homeowners With Foreclosure, Senator Al Franken (It Takes A Comedienne To Get The Job Done!)

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


Senator Al Franken has proposed a new bill that would help homeowners navigate the foreclosure process with the focus on saving  homes from foreclosure.  The tenets are listed below,


FROM – The Huffington Post, www.huffingtonpost.com

Here’s a summary of the bill from Franken’s office:

When homeowners think that their mortgage servicer is breaking HAMP’s rules, has lost their paperwork, or has otherwise done something wrong, it’s very hard to figure out where to turn. They can call their servicer–but that often is a dead end. They can call the official hotline for homeowners at risk of foreclosure–but that only gets them to housing counselors who are working on a government contract and have no real authority to fix the problem or withhold servicer incentives. Homeowners who use their own lawyers or housing counselors to help them navigate HAMP often fare no better–lawyers report stories of contacting regulators about problems with the HAMP program, only to be told, “If the servicer says this is correct, it must be correct.”

This amendment would address this problem, creating an Office of the Homeowner Advocate (OHA) modeled after the successful Office of the Taxpayer Advocate at IRS. OHA would be funded from money that is available for the costs of administering the HAMP program, but is not otherwise committed. OHA would:

* Have three primary functions:
o To assist homeowners, housing counselors, and housing lawyers in resolving problems with the HAMP program
o To identify areas (both individual and systemic) where homeowners, housing counselors, and housing lawyers are having problems in dealing with the HAMP program
o To identify possible administrative and legislative changes to HAMP
* Have an independent director, appointed by the Secretary of Treasury in consultation with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. This director would have a background as an advocate for homeowners and have experience dealing with mortgage servicers. The director cannot have worked for a servicer or for the Treasury Department within the past four years.
* The Director of OHA will be available to testify in front of the Senate Banking Committee and House Committee on Financial Services at least four times a year, or at any time at the request of the Chairs of either committee, and will issue a formal report to Congress once a year.
* Staff designated by the Director would have the authority, on a case-by-case basis, to withhold incentives from servicers or require repayment of previously paid incentives.
* While a person is appealing their case through OHA, homes may not go to foreclosure sale until the OHA process is finished or 60 days have passed, whichever is shorter.


Banks foreclosed on 2.8 million homes in 2009, and the first quarter has already seen 932,000 filings — a 16 percent increase from the foreclosure pace at the beginning of last year.

Franken’s amendment would give homeowners someone to call when they’re having trouble with the bank servicing their mortgage. The homeowner advocate would be modeled on the well-regarded taxpayer’s advocate office within the IRS.

“What happens is that one of the problems is that the servicers or representatives who talk to people on the phone don’t seem to be expert as they might be. That’s sort of the problem that this is addressing,” he said. “Or they’re told you’re too late, or this form didn’t come in, or that, or we didn’t get this thing. Of course the person did send that thing. So there’s just a lot of people reporting kind of frustrating interactions with the servicers’ representatives.”

Franken said he’s heard too many stories of avoidable foreclosures. “That’s a disaster. That’s a tragedy. Someone’s home is their home. Each one of these foreclosures is a tragedy.”


This is a great idea  – Do your own research then let your congress person know how you feel.






Huffington post excerpts from article by Arthur DelaneyAl Franken Fighting For Homeowners’ Advocate “

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Poem -” Banks That Tank”

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “




Banks that simply refuse to re-adjust

to lend some trust

on the general populace,

They need to be busted down to size (2-4% of GNP)

landing a big surprise

when they realize

it ain’t a sin

to take it on the chin

and re-adjust ( some mortgages) before we bust!

 Pinata –

What is a piñata?:

A piñata is a figure, usually made from a clay pot covered with paper mache and decorated in bright colors, with candy and fruit inside. At parties piñatas are suspended from a rope and children, usually blind-folded, take turns hitting it with a stick until it breaks and the candy falls out onto the ground and the children rush to collect it. Breaking the piñata is a fun activity at Mexican parties.

From About.com




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Friendship Is The Key To Saving Our Democracy From Becoming Frozen In Opposing Views

 ” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


” Friendship is the mutually cooperative and supportive behavior between two or more people. In this sense, the term connotes a relationship which involves mutual knowledge, esteem, affection, and respect along with a degree of rendering service to friends in times of need or crisis” From Wikipedia


Friends have disagreements- friends argue ideas- friends yell at one another- friends cover each other’s back -FRIENDS TALK NO MATTER WHAT and 

they come together, in the end.

That is what we need in congress again.  The late Senator Ted Kennedy and Orin Hatch are two good examples of this  process as attested to in the inspiring and incisive memorial that Senator Hatch  gave at Senator Kennedy’s viewing.

It is the key to having a productive discussion and creating legislation between the differing opinions of this large nation.

Let’s demand that our legislators democrat and especially republican do the job we are paying them to do, work together and find solutions to the problems in this country – If you have no new ideas and can’t be a “friend” then get out of the way (and the congress)


Peace      and start talking and producing legislation ! 

Bill co-sponsors Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., before signing the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act AP Photograph


Written By Orin Hatch from Article on www.politico.com

America has lost a giant in politics and public policy. I have lost a close personal friend.


People called us the “odd couple,” which was certainly true. There are few men with whom I had less in common. Ted was born to a famous patrician family of Boston. He attended private schools and Harvard University. He was politically liberal, and liberal in his lifestyle – at least until he married Vicki Reggie, who set him straight. I grew up in a poor, working class family in Pittsburgh. Where Ted was the affable Irishman, I was the teetotaling Mormon missionary.


We did not agree on much, and more often than not, I was trying to derail whatever big government scheme he had just concocted. And, in those years that Republicans held the majority in the Senate, when it came to getting some of our ideas passed into law, he was not just a stone in the road, he was a boulder.


Disagreements over policy, however, were never personal with Ted. I recall a debate over increasing the minimum wage. Ted had launched into one of his patented histrionic speeches, the kind where he flailed his arms and got red in the face, spewing all sorts of red meat liberal rhetoric. When he finished, he stepped over to the minority side of the Senate chamber, put his arm around my shoulder, and said with a laugh and a grin, “How was that, Orrin?”


We did manage to forge partnerships on key legislation, such as the Ryan White AIDS Care Act, State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and most recently, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. Ted was a lion among liberals, but he was also a constructive and shrewd lawmaker. He never lost sight of the big picture and was willing to compromise on certain provisions in order to move forward on issues he believed important. And, perhaps most importantly, he always kept his word. When our carefully balanced compromise legislation came to the Senate floor, Ted often had to lead the opposition to amendments offered by Democratic colleagues that he would rather have supported. But, he took the integrity of our agreement seriously and protected the negotiated package.

And, when my mother and father died – times of deep sorrow for me – Ted Kennedy was there with the right words and sincere sympathy. Ted was a man experienced in facing tragedy, having grieved more than his share, and yet became stronger for it. He and Vicki flew to Utah to attend my mother’s funeral, a gesture that will always mean a great deal to me.


We can all take a lesson from Ted’s 47 years of service and accomplishment. I hope that America’s ideological opposites in Congress, on the airwaves, in cyberspace, and in the public square will learn that being faithful to a political party or a philosophical view does not preclude civility, or even friendships, with those on the other side.


When reflecting on my dear friend’s life, my thoughts continue to turn to the future of this great nation. With the loss of such a liberal legislative powerhouse who spoke with conviction for his side of the aisle but who was always willing to look at an issue and find a way to negotiate a bipartisan deal, I fear that Washington has become too bitterly partisan. I hope that Americans in general and Washington politicians in particular will take a lesson from Ted’s life and realize that we must aggressively advocate for our positions but realize that in the end, we have to put aside political pandering, work together and do what is best for America.


Personally, I mourn the loss of my dear friend Ted Kennedy. I will miss sparring with him over policy, his unparalleled skills as a legislator, his wonderful sense of humor, and his generous nature. And Americans from all points on the political spectrum can surely admire the example of a United States senator who was dedicated to the last to advancing the vision of America that he held so dearly.


Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Republican, is the senior senator from Utah.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26482_Page2.html#ixzz0Rl4Y1deo


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Cozy Cocktails For Job Hunters / Shanghai Happy Hour

“A Pale Green Mermaid Blog Happy Hour”


After a long day of beating the pavement, or keyboard as it were looking for that elusve  job, kick you shoes off and  give yourself a happy hour.


Below is a cocktail I created last night!  Take one part gin, 4 parts water – pour over ice, drop 2-3 peppermint candies into the drink. one red straw, stir till pink/ place a yorke peppermint patty at the base of the drink and serve!

(Yorke patty is to be eaten after the cocktail is gone!)

A typical cocktail, served in a cocktail glass.

A cocktail is a style of mixed drink. Originally a mixture of distilled spirits, sugar, water, and bitters,[1] 

Note: Origin

The term originated in the United States Navy. In the 1920s, “happy hour” was slang for on-ship performances. “Happy” in this context meant slightly drunk.[citation needed]

The idea of drinking before dinner has its roots in the Prohibition era. When the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act were passed banning alcohol consumption, citizens would host “cocktail hours”, also known as “happy hours”, at a speakeasy (an illegal drinking establishment) before eating at restaurants where alcohol could not be served. Cocktail lounges continued the trend of drinking before dinner. “Happy hour” entered civilian use around 1960, especially after a Saturday Evening Post article in 1959.

from Wikipedia

***FDR had cocktails as a regular activity while he was in the White House during the depression.


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Dollar Store Tip!

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


This  is a new series of sporadic DOLLAR store tips, Whenever I come across a great product I will pass it along to you, my readers, your there aren’t you?

So here is the first tip ,


Anyone who likes body wash ( I use it just the same for bubble bath)  They are selling a  nifty new brand called, 

Perfect Purity 

18 oz  (which is a good amount, not your puny squeeze bottle that lasts 3 bubble baths-  did I say I LIKE BUBBLES!)

The flavors are Lemon Grass Grapefruit or Pomegranate Mango.  

Ooooo la la and the wash keeps it’s bubbles not like some brands where you toss it in the tub, leave  to let the tub fill up and by the time you return your back to plain old unexciting water!

So to recap 18 oz, great scents, bubbles everywhere aaaaaaand one, uno, single DOLLAR!   

Have a great Monday!



You can buy online  but it is more fun to look around! Dollar Tree seems to have taken over many of the smaller chains but if there is no Dollar Tree near you just stop by the local one!



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Saturday Night Flash Story “Micro – Moo”

“A Pale Green Mermaid  With Irridescent Scales And White Feathered Wings  Blog




Theresa  pressed the final disconnect on her five way conference call.  She sipped the recently delivered mocha-lime frappe.

“Miss Upland.”

Turning she saw Featherstone.  Leland Featherstone.  The big cheese.  The boss of bosses.  She stared at him with her mouth agape.

” Wipe that froth off your lips Miss Upland.  I want to talk to you in my office.  Now!”  He turned knocking over a freshly alphabetized  set of files.

Theresa gazed at his departing figure and decided to take another sip making sure just a fluff of froth remained on her lip.  She stood up, straightened her satin plum suit and walked slowly to Mr. Featherstone’s green office door.

Mr. Featherstone’s office was located at the end of a yellow hallway where, periodically, red overhead light fixtures cascaded pools of pale mauve fluorescent light.  Her orange fake snakeskin boots clicked their way, Armageddon like , to her destiny.  Walking swiftly she tripped, rip went the edge of her skirt which had attached itself to the wall – her body continued its tumultuous trajectory, finally slamming against Mr. Featherstone’s office door.

The door made a small creak,then drifted open.  Theresa peered around the corner as she pulled up the netting of her fuchsia colored fishnet stockings.

Mr. Featherstone glanced back at her.  She straightened her skirt  and focused her discombobulation.

” You really need to fix that loose piece of tile ,” she said staring at the well polished gleaming floor.

” Close the door Miss Upland, and try not to cause anymore destruction.”

Theresa pulled the gold knob snapping the door behind her.  Mr. Featherstone absentmindedly gestured to the purple chair opposite his grey desk.

” As you know Miss Upland.”

” Ms. Upland, if you please.” 

” Let’s not start that again… now, there has been some, how shall I say this…”

” Please be frank Mr Featherstone,”  said Theresa still adjusting  her homemade couture.

“Allright, Mr. Shaumbaum believes you have been pilfering Micro- moos.”

” Micro- who?”  Theresa said moving uncomfortably in her chair.

” Micro- moos.”  Mr Feathertone said abruptly.

”  You are going to have to be clearer – please, relate to me the whole allegation.”

”  Mr. Shaumbaum has let me know we have a deficit, a rather large one of Micro-moos…the creamer packets…in the staff kitchen.”  He blurted.

” Oh.”

”  He has made an allegation and I must respond.  Now, we cannot let this fester, first a moo then a…”

”  But Mr. Featherstone, I don’t even  use Micro-moos as you call them, I send out for my…”

” Now Miss Upland, an accusation has been officially and as I said, made by a credible source and I as supervisor must respond.  So you are, as of today, on restricted access to the Micro-moo container – until – we see if the drain continues.”

” But…”

”  Dismissed Miss Upland.”

She reminded herself of her new motto, “Do not fight stupid fights”, so she shrugged her shoulders and said.  ” I reiterate I am Micro-moo free.”

Mr Featherstone waved her off.

She closed the door behind her mumbling, ”  The indignities that one must endure to earn a paltry paycheck.”  She was determined not to allow this Micro-moo gate incident  to cast a cloud over what was otherwise a minimally annoying day.

She clicked back down the hallway.

“Pssst…Theresa…Pssst.”   The office door of Henrietta Bogel, executive assistant, was halfway open.  A hand gestured for Theresa to come inside.  The beckoning finger clutched in its palm a cluster of Micro-moos.

She stopped, looking side to side, thinking – I don’t want to get further involved in this Micro-moo gate, but she was intrigued.   She straightened her jacket and walked inside.

It was Henrietta attached to those Micro-moos.  ” Shhhh. ”  Henrietta said, pressing her face inches from Theresa’s chin.  ”  They suspect you?  Good, by the time they figure out what is happening I’ll be in South America.”

”  Henrietta what is all of this about you don’t even drink coffee, if I remember correctly.”

” Forget that, It is superfluous, don’t you understand – don’t you see?”

” Henrietta…”

” It is the principal of the thing.  I’ve been here for thirty years yet , after my retirement party I received a notice – I wasn’t even told in person. ”  Henrietta opened the drawer of her desk file cabinet and tossed the creamers in.  Theresa watched as she struggled to close the drawer, jamming the edges of the moos behind the metal plate, quickly she sealed the drawer with tape.

” So you are the one…”  Theresa held the side of her forehead.

” Clam up Upland, and listen.  I will be getting eighty percent of my pension – eighty percent.”

” But Henrietta, how are non dairy creamers involved in this?”

”  I am going to drive Featherstone crazy.  I have two weeks left.  I am striking back.  No, I say no Micro-moos will be available for Featherstone’s morning cup of java, not while I am still here.”  Henrietta thrust her freckled finger in the air.  ” Power to the…”

Theresa slinked around Henrietta and quickly exited.

As she walked down the hallway she thought about life, death and the meaning of Micro-moos.






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Saving Pennies Using Ethnic Markets And Produce Junctions

“A Pale Green Mermaid Blog”

One way that I save money and have some fun is browsing “ethnic” markets.  Now when I say “ethnic markets” I mean a market that caters to a specific clientele such as Asian , Hispanic, Russian etc.  What I have noticed is that they tend to keep the prices down and fruits or veggies in their markets and are usually better quality (fresher).

The fun element comes when you try something that you never tasted before like octopus fritters or the numerous homemade noodles in the Asian markets or the desserts offered at Russian markets, they are quite a treat!  You get to understand a culture in some way by eating their food.

The other place to get loads of fresh and interesting  green stuff are the produce outlets or junctions that you pass on the road, there is one near where I live where you can not only get 2 romaine lettuce heads for 1 dollar,1 bag of oranges for a dollar …etcetera…

( I am beginning to see a pattern here… in these posts… I am obsessed with buying things that cost one dollar !!! I suppose that it stems from when I use to go upstate in Penna and visit lake Nuangola when I was young.   If you walked around the lake through the swamp, complete with missing planks on the walkway that covered the deep green muck teeming with frogs, turtles, dragonflies and at night the dive bombing bats, yes bats!  Well, if you made it through the swamp and walked up the hill, at the top was the… 

PENNY CANDY store! that’s right all the candy was one-uno -single -penny!!

I realize as I am writing this post my obsession with bargains must have been engendered as I walked back over the swamp, the setting sun tinting everything orange and my shorts ladened with pockets full of penny candy…

So check out your local produce provider they skip the middle man and the middle man’s profit, creating a deal for you!




Filed under Economy, Fat Cat Skinny Cat Musings, Life