The terms for the settlement of the robo-mortgage scandal and the states participating in the settlement are expected to be resolved soon. Unfortunately, as this settlement approaches, new and grave questions have emerged. These questions raise the possibility that the government may be turning a blind eye to tax evasion and fraud.
Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto won’t decide by today whether to join a nationwide settlement with banks over foreclosure practices, a spokeswoman said. A deadline for joining the accord was today.
Masto’s office is “still reviewing the terms” of a proposed nationwide settlement over bank foreclosure practices, Jennifer Lopez, a spokeswoman for the attorney general said. Masto is “working to address Nevada homeowners’ needs,” Lopez said. Masto said in a Jan. 27 letter to state and federal officials involved in negotiating the accord that she needed answers to 38 questions to evaluate the deal.
After New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed his new complaint against JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and the Mortgage Electronic Registry System, I got an email from the AG’s spokesman. “Looking forward to your story on the MERS lawsuit in the wake of your inaccurate conjecture this week,” it said, referring to my column expressing skepticism that the recently-announced joint mortgage-backed securities task force will accomplish more than the individual task force members have.
As I said in that piece, I’m eager for my skepticism to be proved unfounded. I hope the task force tells the world exactly who is responsible for the greed-driven securitization deficiencies already alleged in private MBS suits and in Congressional reports. I hope someone comes up with a legal theory to hold wrongdoers accountable for packaging mortgages that never should have been issued into securities that were (allegedly) not what they were represented to be.
That, however, is not what the AG’s new case does. […]
Once again we’re hearing that a foreclosure fraud deal is about to be announced between major banks, the U.S. government and most or all of the states. We’ve heard that before, only to have the deadline pushed back so that holdout Attorneys General can be brought on board with the agreement.
Deal, or no deal? We’re not sure, but it’s certainly possible we’ll hear something today, tonight or tomorrow.
How will we know if it’s a good deal for the American people? After all, this is an issue with a lot of moving parts. It includes all of the states and multiple agencies within the Federal government, and involves a multitude of allegations involving several different kinds of crime that come under different jurisdictions. Even the statutes of limitations are a moving target.
It’s incredibly important that you–voters–understand that you are being lied to right now by your Federal Government and Team Obama.
Today a still secret deal will be announced and signed by the Bailed-Out Banks (B.O.B.s), our Federal Government, and an unknown but probably tragically high number of states attorneys general. You’ll hear this deal called a “Robo-signing settlement”, though it’s impossible to see how it can end the fraudulent manufacture of evidence by creditors in foreclosure cases. You might also hear it called a “mortgage servicer settlement”, because the B.O.B.’s conduct while wearing their mortgage servicing hats is supposedly the focus of the deal. But here’s how it should be known: The United States’s Latest Lavish/Slavish Gift to the Bailed-Out Banks Settlement.
A multi-state mortgage settlement in the works for more than a year will likely be pushed back again as dissident U.S. states continue to press specific concerns and ignore a Monday deadline to decide whether they will sign it.
States had been given two weeks to assess a proposed settlement, under which top U.S. banks would pay up to $25 billion in exchange for resolving civil government lawsuits about misconduct in servicing home loans and pursuing faulty foreclosures.
But on Monday, as a close-of-business deadline loomed, many states had not yet reached a decision.
We have even received information in recent days that shows LPS, a document mill includedin the proposed settlement, specifically requested to have this criminal investigationconverted to a civil lawsuit. It seems clear that they are aware of their vulnerability to these charges, and are attempting to save their company’s stock price by avoiding responsibility.
Rumor (Now Confirmed) behind the scenes points to LPS also being part of the discussions to walk.
This is outrageous!
States that balked at bank liability releases in a proposed $25 billion nationwide settlement over foreclosure practices must decide by today whether its mortgage relief and reforms are worth the legal claims they’ll give up.
While some states have already announced their intention to sign the deal, others including California Attorney General Kamala Harris have yet to publicly commit in part due to terms that protect the banks from future litigation. Without Harris, the deal’s value will drop by several billion dollars, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The agreement is “beyond fixing,” said George Goehl, executive director of National People’s Action, a network of community organizations which advocates for fair lending and affordable housing.
“People are very disappointed in what this is going to be both in terms of dollars and release of claims,” Goehl said in a telephone interview. “We’re giving away the store.”
With a deadline looming on Monday for state officials to sign onto a landmark multibillion-dollar settlement to address foreclosure abuses, the Obama administration is close to winning support from crucial states that would significantly expand the breadth of the deal.
The biggest remaining holdout, California, has returned to the negotiating table after a four-month absence, a change of heart that could increase the pot for mortgage relief nationwide to $25 billion from $19 billion.
Another important potential backer, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York, has also signaled that he sees progress on provisions that prevented him from supporting it in the past.
The potential support from California and New York comes in exchange for tightening provisions of the settlement to preserve the right to investigate past misdeeds by banks, and stepping up oversight to ensure that the financial institutions live up to the deal and distribute the money to the hardest-hit homeowners.
Just when you’ve thought you seen, heard and been hurt by this all, Abigail has another jackpot story on her site…besides what’s to stop them since they aren’t protecting the homeowners!
Abigail C. Field-
A shocking aspect of the proposed foreclosure fraud settlement among Bailed-Out Banks, the state attorneys general, and the Feds has rightly gotten a lot of attention, namely the Bailed-Out Banks’ ability to use other people’s money to pay their “penalty.” I confess, when I first heard about it, I figured it was a testament to the federal government’s craven capitulation to the Bailed Out Banks. (Let’s call them the B.O.B.s, rhymes with S.O.Bs.) But now I know it’s much worse than that, thanks to excellent reporting by David Dayen. The federal government really wants the B.O.Bs to use pension fund money to pay their “penalty.”
In his State of the Union speech, President Obama said and proposed many reasonable-sounding things. One of them was this:
We’ll also establish a Financial Crimes Unit of highly trained investigators to crack down on large-scale fraud… financial firms violate major anti-fraud laws because there’s no real penalty for being a repeat offender… So pass legislation that makes the penalties for fraud count.
And tonight, I’m asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorney general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis.
Now, how could you be against that? In his speech, and indeed as has been true for his entire career, Mr. Obama deserves an A for rhetoric. But what grade does he deserve for action? Alas, he flunks.
In late February, Charles Ferguson’s film – Inside Job – won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. And now the film documenting the causes of the 2008 global financial meltdown has made its way online (thanks to the Internet Archive). A corrupt financial industry, its corrosive relationship with politicians, academics and regulators, and the trillions of damage done, it all gets documented in this film that runs a little shy of 2 hours.
Inside Job (now listed in our Free Movie collection) can be purchased on DVD at Amazon. We all love free, but let’s remember that good projects cost real money to develop, and they could use real financial support. So please consider buying a copy.
Hopefully watching or buying this film won’t be a pointless act, even though it can rightly feel that way. As Charles Ferguson reminded us during his Oscar acceptance speech, we are three years beyond the Wall Street crisis and taxpayers (you) got fleeced for billions. But still not one Wall Street exec is facing criminal charges. Welcome to your plutocracy…
Watch this video in it’s entirety. This is not about the right or the left or in between. This is about a plot for the rich to get richer and strip away your savings and your rights! Again, watch this video please and do not think for a moment this does not affect you. IT DOES!
This is about standing up for your rights!
America is NOT broke… Not by a long shot. The country is a wash in wealth and cash…It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred in the greatest HEIST in History. From the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the Über rich.
Right now there are 400 Americans who have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.