American Home Mortgage chief Michael ...

American Home Mortgage chief Michael Strauss takes stand -

There are 44 comments on the Newsday story from Aug 7, 2007, titled American Home Mortgage chief Michael Strauss takes stand -. In it, Newsday reports that:

WILMINGTON, Del -- As more than 60 attorneys representing American Home Mortgage's creditors gathered Tuesday in a federal bankruptcy courtroom, the Melville lender's attorney James L. Patton Jr.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.

LIer

Bronx, NY

#21 Aug 8, 2007
Another lying, greedy scumbag of a CEO.
MED

Norfolk, VA

#22 Aug 8, 2007
A former AHM employee wrote:
<quoted text>
You have access to cobra like the rest of us and not for anything most of what Newsday has posted in the last few weeks has been less that "factual". I know a lot of there content has been incorrect. You should not beleive everything you read. What is the nice word for niave?
Please spare me, how can these employees afford cobra on unemployment. What is the word for got your head up your rear? LOL
Jason Storm

Hayward, CA

#23 Aug 8, 2007
Read Carefully wrote:
Yet another round of executive "I don't knows" and "I don't recalls". The Kenny Boy,'Berto and Rummy defense.
When is someone, anyone, going to be held to account for these spectacular screwups?
You are right on the money here. White collar crime for the most part goes unpunished in America.
Pinkey36

Elizabeth, NJ

#24 Aug 8, 2007
william brody wrote:
is there any legal opinions relating to the payment of the mortgage held by what was american home corp? should the money be set aside in an escrow account at the bank. what about the portion of the payment that is escrow for taxes? as a 72 year old senior, i am very confused about this. all types of investigations are going on with the State of New York, the State of Delaware
American Home Mortgage borrowers may be wondering what to do now. Here are some answers:(Excerpts from Newsday)

What should I do if I already have a loan from American Home Mortgage? Keep making payments, says Jonathan Pinard, Hauppauge-based president of the Empire State Mortgage Bankers Association. The terms of the loan cannot be changed. It's likely the mortgage will be sold to another lender.

What if I have a mortgage guarantee from American Home but haven't closed on my house yet? "Start making calls to other lenders," Pinard said. Those with strong financial backgrounds who want a traditional mortgage probably won't have a problem getting another guarantee. But those who were looking for so-called exotic loans, such as interest-only or no-income-verification mortgages, may have a harder time, Pinard said.

You may, however, find that rates have gone up. For instance, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage on May 24 was 6.37 percent, according to Freddie Mac. Now, it's 6.69 percent.

Also, you may have to pay additional fees, said Lita Smith-Mines, a real estate attorney in Commack. See whether the new lender will accept American Home's appraisal of the property. The service can cost several hundred dollars.

If you are supposed to close in the next week, ask your seller to give you time to go somewhere else, Smith-Mines said.

What if I am refinancing my mortgage with the company? If you have not closed yet, it's likely you will have to find another lender. If you closed within the past week, you should contact American Home to see whether it will fund your refinanced mortgage. Since borrowers have the right to rescind the refi within three business days, American Home may not have funded it.

"There's a very strong possibility you may go to pick up your check and find there is no check," Smith-Mines said.

Will American Home's problems make it harder to get a mortgage? Experts are divided on this issue. Some said they feel there are more than enough lenders to meet the demand, while others said that other financial institutions will be more cautious about approving mortgages, particularly to people with weaker credit histories.

Is there anything I need to worry about if I've paid off an American Home Mortage loan? Make sure you have your mortgage satisfaction documents. If you don't, check to see if it has been recorded with the county. If not, call American Home now.
Jason Storm

Hayward, CA

#25 Aug 8, 2007
LIer wrote:
Another lying, greedy scumbag of a CEO.
We all need to realize one thing: Companies ALWAYS are protected and the YES people / a** kissers (most senior managers) are the enablers.
Jason Storm

Hayward, CA

#26 Aug 8, 2007
A former AHM employee wrote:
<quoted text>
I am amazed at how bitter all of you people are - a company went under plain and simple - I am sure it was not the intention of Strauss to go belly up so that he can screw his employees and "kick them to the curb" and I am also sure that there is no "cover up". Grow up people. AHM just hit a string of bad luck and they could not recover. What about the fact that over 100 top mortgage companies have been forced to close their doors in the last year due to the ailing market. There really is no scandal here despite what you want to beleive.
Well obviously you are not one of the bright forer employees. This situation and how it unfolded (the rapid pace) definately stinks of potential wrong doing. So Mr. Dumbass get a clue!!
Former AHM Employee

Islandia, NY

#27 Aug 8, 2007
Did anyone receive their Cobra package yet to complete? I haven't. Already checked the mail and there was nothing there. Guess I'll have to call HR and find out when they sent it. Or maybe call in to ADP and find out what's up.
Welcome to Planet Earth

New York, NY

#28 Aug 8, 2007
MED wrote:
<quoted text> Please spare me, how can these employees afford cobra on unemployment. What is the word for got your head up your rear? LOL
Thank you. There isn't a chance in the world that I can pay for Cobra with unemployment...well maybe I can, lets see...I can not pay rent, or my car, or any of my bills, and I will just have to forget about eating...WOW in retrospect, I guess that guy was right. What a stupid @$$,
Freddy D

Oceanside, NY

#29 Aug 8, 2007
Anybody know the names of the 10 officers who got shot down for bonuses???
inTheKnow

Shoreham, NY

#30 Aug 8, 2007
Former AHM Employee wrote:
Did anyone receive their Cobra package yet to complete? I haven't. Already checked the mail and there was nothing there. Guess I'll have to call HR and find out when they sent it. Or maybe call in to ADP and find out what's up.
You will receive your COBRA package within 30 days ( give or take ) from your insurance company. Expect payments to be approx $430 per single person .. not sure on family.

coverage begins from the last day of the current month you were emplyed and you will have 45 days to register and sign-up.
Common Sense

Pearl River, NY

#31 Aug 8, 2007
Let's cover a couple of topics here folks.

1. I'm glad to see that the judge didn't buy into the 40% raise for the top executives... I guess he didn't buy the idea that other companies would be actively recruiting a bunch of clowns that managed to run their own company into the ground and did such a poor job winding things down when it did fail. Was Stauss for real trying to float that one? The way they treated their employees is a VERY good indicator of just how bad a management team they were. Good for the judge.

2. The doubling of other employees salaries... pretty standard in these situations, but not worth it for those who stay... trust me... being the last off the ship (even with a nice paycheck) isn't a good idea. You float off with the rats and the garbage. Not much hope in that!

3. The whole situation is simple... the real estate / Mortgage broker industry is just the latest "economy" spinning "income" in America. It was nothing more than a Ponzi scheme that we all knew would, at some point, fall apart. Just as the "internet" economy did several years ago.

America is feeding on itself folks. And it hasn't got too long before there's nothing left and it falls. There's a lot of pain headed our way and you best be prepared. This isn't biblical ranting.. or dillusional chatter... it's reality. And it seems our elected officials don't care. Time to take back America folks. Time to revolt. The middle class is keeping this ship afloat but it's getting tougher day by day.

Move your assets off shore. Get out of the dollar. Know that governement will be able to do little when the fall comes.

I use to think it would happen in my kids lifetime and I'd be long gone. But it's moving much faster then I had thought. It's going to happen in my our lifetimes. For those who think this is crazy talk... thank for reading this far... go back to your simple lives and continue to support a failing system... work hard... pay your taxes...

For the rest of you... start looking around and reading the truth about our economy and society. You'll be much better prepared.

Ignorance is bliss... I'm not so blissfull these days!

The bonuses

Tenafly, NJ

#32 Aug 8, 2007
were meant as hush money. These executives know where the skeletons are and where the fresh bodies are buried. Now, without the bribes, they'll probably talk. Strauss is in for it. If I were the judge, I'd confiscate his passport. There's no extradition agreement between the US and Israel.
John M

Bloomingdale, IL

#33 Aug 9, 2007
Hey, JS - Hang in there, you never know what opportunities may come along. As they say, one door closes and another one opens..

As I keep saying, all those people taking cheap, uninformed shots at AHM, keep it to yourself.
oh John

Brooklyn, NY

#34 Aug 9, 2007
The mangement dreamteam about which you keep waxing poetic FAILED in the most profound way possible. They let the whole operation get sold to the gypsies while they fiddled.

Do you really think this scenario of credit drying up was unpredictable? OR was it their job to anticipate and plan for such a likely eventuality?

Face reality, they only looked like they knew what they were doing, just like daytraders looked like they knew what they were doing during the dotcom era - any fool could make it work during the hysteria. It's making it work when it's slow that shows what a management team is made of. And we did learn what ahm's management team was made of - failure.

Oh, and you failed too, so face it and deal.
another 1 bites the dust

Philadelphia, PA

#35 Aug 9, 2007
I understand that AHM/ABC was up for sale as far back as April. Can anyone confirm?
Another former employee

Pleasantville, NY

#36 Aug 9, 2007
John M wrote:
Hey, JS - Hang in there, you never know what opportunities may come along. As they say, one door closes and another one opens..
As I keep saying, all those people taking cheap, uninformed shots at AHM, keep it to yourself.
I couldn't have said it better myself! I guess some people just have nothing better to do with their lives than spread unsubstantiated rumors.
Cttwizard

Brooklyn, NY

#37 Aug 9, 2007
As a former AHM Employee, it is with deep regret and sadness things had to come to this... It was obvious that our company was changing months ago in anticipation and observation of the downturn in the housing market. Bussiness plans were enacted bringing our operational structure in line with other mortgage lenders to facilitate a buyout if and when nessesary to prevent such an occurance as an BK. Enough said, Michael Straus worked dilligently day end and out building this company that provided Jobs and livelyhoods to houndreds of employees and their families. I am upset at those who that continue to bite the hand that fed them, and I too say what comes around goes arround. I am Proud to have been an AHM Employee and I am greatful and thankful for the time I spent there, and getting to know the people I worked with and befriended.
Almost a customer

Chaska, MN

#39 Aug 10, 2007
Many of the posts on this site are from former employees of AHM/ABC and my condolences go out to you all working in the trenches. I wish you all best of luck in finding comparable work. I also have a great deal of concern for consumers who are either current customers or were about to become customers of AHM/ABC. I'll share a personal experience I recently had. I started working with a broker to refinance my existing mortgage (not with AHM/ABC) back on July 11, 2007. I was told by the broker that ABC had the best program for me (Power 10 Libor, I think), but we had to close by July 31 because the broker was told by ABC that this particular loan program was to be discontinued at the end of the month. I did research on the program, looked over all the documentation, asked dozens of questions, and finally decided the ABC refinance program was the best option for me. What I failed to do was do research on AHM/ABC. I have purchased (or refinanced) over a dozen times in my life, and have never felt the need to do research on the credibility of a lender. We proceeded to get all the paperwork filled out and the broker submitted it to ABC on July 24th. There was one hitch however(so I was told); that ABC was so busy with servicing loans that they had problems getting my appraisel approved. They told the broker they had to outsource the appraisel approval process because they were so backed up. They drug their feet for 4 days on an appraisel approval that should have taken 1 day. All other paperwork was in order with no issues. Finally after a great deal of pressure from the broker, ABC finally approved the appraisel and we were good to go and proceeded to close on July 30th, thinking the funds would be disbursed shortly thereafter. In the transaction, we were also planning to pay off some additional debt (credit cards, couple smaller loans, etc) so we decided earlier to not make our monthly payment on those other debts, including not making our mortgage payment again knowing our original mortgage would be paid off when funds were disbursed. We then left on vacation on Aug 1st and just got back last night. Our broker called us yesterday telling us AHM/ABC went bankrupt!! Talk about major shock setting in!!! We have since been called by our credit card companies and other loan companies we were planning to pay off telling us we have late fees, etc.(By the way we have excellent credit ~750 score and have never been late on any payments). Credit card companies have no sympathy, they are unwilling to waive late fees and have locked the accounts; even though we have explained the situation about AHM, they are unwilling to waive fees. Ok, now my dilema: even though I failed to research the credibility of AHM, you can't tell me they did not know they were going to file bankrupcy on July 30th when they approved everthing and allowed us to close!! That's like writing a bad check with no funds!! If I did that, I'd be in jail right now! And were they really so backed up getting all these loan appraisels approved that they had to outsource this process?? Sounds pretty fishy to me. I have no sympathy whatsoever for the execs at AHM. My question to the legal folks out there: Do I have any rights as a consumer to go after AHM (even though they do not have any money) for potentially harming my credit rating due to late fees I now have, totally screwing up my financing and having to find an alternative refiancing program, causing my 20 year marriage to nearly go down the drain, blah, bla, blah!!! My broker told me they had 20+ loans that were closed and supposed to be funded by AHM. This is sickening. So just wanted to share a personal story which I'm sure hundreds (if not thousands) of other potential customers are probably going through similar situations as mine. So they didn't only screw the employees, but also many brokers, and many consumers. God Speed to all!!
MED-Former AHM Employee

Virginia Beach, VA

#40 Aug 11, 2007
Another former employee wrote:
<quoted text>
I couldn't have said it better myself! I guess some people just have nothing better to do with their lives than spread unsubstantiated rumors.
Really? Who elected you judge and jury? Well they are calling for a jury trial with the SEC. I'm sure all his dirty laundry will come out then. If he goes to "club fed" then us little people will be able to hold our heads up high say, "we did have something better to do with our lives and shared our substantiated rumors". This man made 3.3 million dollars last year I'll bet he can afford cobra and pay his mortgage and buy food for his family. The least he could have done was offer some sort of severance package to his hard working employee's before he patted them off with a press release of "good bye" enjoy finding a job in a recessed lending job market. What a guy!
Another former employee

Pleasantville, NY

#41 Aug 13, 2007
MED-Former AHM Employee wrote:
<quoted text>
Really? Who elected you judge and jury? Well they are calling for a jury trial with the SEC. I'm sure all his dirty laundry will come out then. If he goes to "club fed" then us little people will be able to hold our heads up high say, "we did have something better to do with our lives and shared our substantiated rumors". This man made 3.3 million dollars last year I'll bet he can afford cobra and pay his mortgage and buy food for his family. The least he could have done was offer some sort of severance package to his hard working employee's before he patted them off with a press release of "good bye" enjoy finding a job in a recessed lending job market. What a guy!
Moron - First of all, the SEC has to investigate these kinds of incidences. There has been no wrong doing the stocks were collateral and they had to be sold to pay investors. Secondly the company went bankrupt! How do you propose AHM give severance if there is no money? Come on now! Now please stop obsessing over my opinions and try to focus on losing some of your bitterness and move on.

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