As much as the banking industry has been revealed as corroded and broken over the past few weeks, the regulatory apparatus hasn’t fared much better. They’ve shown themselves to be asleep at the wheel on Libor, unable to stop money laundering at HSBC, and captured by the industry they’re supposed to regulate. And the latest discovery may be the worst yet.
|By: David Dayen Thursday July 19, 2012 10:05 am|
|By: David Dayen Thursday March 29, 2012 6:00 pm|
Here’s an almost completely unremarked-upon side effect of the foreclosure fraud settlement: the tax implications. If you are one of the lucky few eligible to receive a principal reduction from the settlement, when the banks aren’t paying off their penalty bulldozing homes and waiving deficiency judgments, you have to reckon with this: because of the expiration of a Congressional law, every dollar you receive in principal reduction would be viewed for tax purposes as income, and thusly taxed. Most of the people needing a principal reduction are in dire financial straits; they wouldn’t need a write-down otherwise. So now, we’re going to hit them with a big tax bill that they can pay for with money they don’t have.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday March 20, 2012 8:15 am|
Being the Americans that we are, we have focused on Staff Sergeant Robert Bales and his mental state rather than the 16 Afghan civilians he killed, all of whom had names too. But indulge me for a moment to address one aspect of Bales’ mental state. It turns out that he had a mortgage problem. And as such, he probably was a victim of a violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday December 21, 2011 5:00 pm|
The Department of Justice has announced a $335 million settlement with Countrywide, the former subprime mortgage giant now subsumed into Bank of America, on claims of housing discrimination. And once again we see that Countrywide doesn’t have to admit wrongdoing for their crimes.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday November 30, 2011 10:30 am|
Eric Schneiderman’s has gone where federal regulators fear to tread, to actually do the jobs of the federal government should do. In foreclosure fraud, he undertook the investigation that the feds would not. Now he is applying that to foreclosures on active-duty military service members.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday November 29, 2011 2:10 pm|
The Office of Comptroller of the Currency has been “reviewing” foreclosures, checking for various errors and wrongful actions. It now appears they’re looking at 5,000 foreclosures against active-duty military, which may be in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and other laws.
|By: David Dayen Friday November 11, 2011 6:12 am|
It wasn’t the intention of the White House to only pass the veterans hiring initiative; it was folded into a broader bill that offered tax credits for all hires. But the practical effect of offering a big sum of money to a company to hire a veteran is that a veteran will get privileged in hiring decisions over a non-veteran, when a position needs to be filled. I can’t see how this would boost employment in any way, just favor one type of applicant over another. That’s decent news for veterans, but bad news for anyone who didn’t go into the military.
|By: David Dayen Monday May 16, 2011 3:31 pm|
Maybe the foreclosure crisis hasn’t been fully solved. But at least we have those consent orders on the top mortgage servicers. At least federal regulators will lay down the law and we’ll get to see those independent reviews of each mortgage company and the wrongful foreclosures they initiated. I mean, at least there will be some transparency and discovery, right? right?
|By: David Dayen Tuesday May 10, 2011 5:16 pm|
Whatever shallow hopes remaining that the 50-state Attorney General investigation into foreclosure fraud would yield anything meaningful has been dashed by this leak of the latest settlement terms, which eliminate mandated principal reductions as a penalty.
Once again, we’re going to have to look elsewhere for justice and accountability in foreclosure fraud.
|By: David Dayen Friday May 6, 2011 2:50 pm|
We definitely need strong federal servicer standards, and CFPB is a great place to house them. All the more reason to recess-appoint Elizabeth Warren as soon as possible.