The current administration is revisiting the so called "Foreclosure Settlement"
* First....consider the settlement that the Obama Administration is now beginning to trumpet as one of its greatest achievements. This is the joint forty-nine state & federal settlement wherein the banks claim to eventually settle...by paying a paltry $25 billion. (the 'headline number' provided by the White House) Not only is this a completely "disingenuous" claim, but it was systematically and totally dismantled by Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism (Top ranked financial blog).
In reality, and with maybe... a mere $5 billion (moved around on their books), the five criminal banks were released from ALL STATE lawsuits stemming from the massive and systemic fraud that went into the origination and servicing of housing loans throughout the bubble and into the crash. For this paltry sum, the banks were released from all liability stemming from a decade-long-run of illicit activities that fleeced millions of customers and inflated a bubble that eventually destroyed the economy of the United States and much of the world. Now, you might ask, to what did the five large banks, party to the settlement (Bank of America, Wells-Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Citibank, and Ally Bank) agree to do in exchange for this wonderful bounty of sweeping immunity? They committed themselves, after much dodging and wrangling, to follow the law of the land! (Are you serious ! Really!) Specifically, they promised to stop engaging in fraudulent foreclosure practices. That is harsh! (sarcasm!)
Consider the massive evidence of FRAUD -- besides the reams of paper and court documents, this includes the many witnesses who have spoken to the media, written testimonials or books, already testified in court on related matters, etc. Then, consider even this partial list of crimes to be investigated. Accounting fraud screams out for action under Sarbanes-Oxley; loan origination fraud (including, by 2006, almost universal appraisal fraud); the robo-signing, forgeries, and post-dating of documents that for years were routinely submitted to courts during legal proceedings; the myriad of tax avoidance scams and lost paperwork that were a core feature of the mortgage electronic registration systems; the deliberate misrepresentation in the "Warrants and Reps" attached to the packaging and sale of mortgage-backed securities and derivatives thereof; and on and on it goes. (I should add that, coincidentally, soon after this settlement was signed, several states inexplicably dropped or settled what were very promising criminal investigations.)
But, let us be fair, the Administration got more than that (exaggeration !) Contingent on their meeting a number of criteria, families found to have lost their home through fraudulent actions taken by one of these five gigantic loan servicers were to be eligible to receive $1,500 to $2,000! Now, I cannot speak for you. But if, as a consequence of fraud or negligence on the part of a major bank, I lost my home and as a consequence also lost my credit rating, neighborhood, dignity, and the ability of any children I might have to remain in the schools and with the teachers with whom they were familiar, I would be very angry. If, years later, I got a check for $2,000, such a paltry payment for all that I had lost would strike me as only one more of a long line of humiliations. Some real personal homeowner humiliations are shared below
Apparently, Obama's campaign managers believe that reminding
* Excerpts above ....come from a brilliant HuffingtonPost Blog by Robert Prasch titled:
The Obama Administration, the 49 State Mortgage Settlement, and the Spin: A Study in Shamelessness (HERE)
Related post: Home is Where the Vote Is (HERE)