On March 13, I read the foreclosure fraud settlement documents and noticed that the banks would be eligible to get credit for their penalty for performing routine actions, like waiving deficiency judgments, bulldozing or donating homes. Two full weeks later, the New York Times got around to reading the documents and noticing the same thing.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday March 28, 2012 7:30 am|
|By: David Dayen Thursday February 23, 2012 6:54 am|
There’s nobody who hates navel-gazing more than I, so I will try to dispense with this quickly. Glenn Thrush thinks I’m wrong to attribute the same perspective on Eric Schneiderman to Tom Miller, who dissed him on the record, and Shaun Donovan.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday February 22, 2012 9:45 am|
Whether you believe in Eric Schneiderman’s ability to deliver a legitimate investigation on mortgage securitization fraud or not, you have to admit that the united front on opposition to a settlement on foreclosure fraud collapsed the moment that he agreed to helm that federal investigatory task force. Now Iowa AG Tom Miller is publicly denigrating Schneiderman’s role in setting the terms, claiming he didn’t do much.
|By: David Dayen Thursday February 9, 2012 4:19 pm|
I really only have one question. “Will we put people in jail?”
|By: David Dayen Thursday February 9, 2012 5:30 am|
This settlement arises from multiple abuses found in the servicing of loans and the foreclosure process over the past several years. At the height of the housing bubble, banks sliced and diced mortgages and traded them with little regard for the rules following land recording or securitization to such a sloppy extent that they lost track of the true owner on potentially millions of homes.
To cover up for this massive failure, banks and their servicing units have been found to have routinely forged, back-dated and fabricated documents at county recorder offices and state courts across the country. Furthermore, they employed “robo-signers,” who signed hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of documents and affidavits without any knowledge of the underlying mortgages. In addition, investigations uncovered massive servicing abuses, including illegal fees charged to borrowers, putting borrowers into foreclosure at the same time as they were working out loan modifications, failing to honor previous settlements where promises were made on modifications, and countless other errors that maximized servicer profits and gouged homeowners.
There are also cases of wrongful foreclosures where homeowners have been turned out of their homes without just cause, and servicer-driven foreclosures, where servicers illegally added late fees and applied payments inaccurately, pushing the homeowner into foreclosure. This is but a smattering of the examples of foreclosure fraud and servicer abuse found in a series of interlocking investigations, court depositions, reviews of documents in registers of deeds offices, and homeowner testimonials.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday February 7, 2012 8:45 am|
The deadline for state Attorneys General to sign on to the foreclosure fraud settlement came and went yesterday, and the major holdouts – the Justice Democrats, the AGs from the five states who have objected to the settlement all along (Nevada, New York, California, Delaware, and Massachusetts), still aren’t signed on. And they’re still objecting, or at least bargaining.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday January 24, 2012 10:00 am|
The New York Times describes the foreclosure fraud settlement in terms of inches. They say that a deal is “closer,” but they give little evidence to back that up. In fact, there’s more evidence here that the key AGs involved, who did not personally attend Monday’s session in Chicago with Shaun Donovan and other Administration officials, aren’t too keen on the terms.
|By: David Dayen Saturday January 21, 2012 12:00 pm|
This is a $25 billion settlement when there is $700 billion in negative equity in the country. This is a settlement that, according to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, will help 1 million homeowners, when 10.7 million are underwater and millions of others have been wrongfully foreclosed upon. This is a settlement that could put $17 billion of credits toward principal reduction (the rest of the money would go to legal aid, refis, short sales, token payoffs to foreclosed borrowers, and penalties), when there is more than twice as much sitting unused in an account as part of HAMP.
|By: David Dayen Friday January 13, 2012 6:55 am|
A group of approximately 14 AGs met in Washington to set an alternative course to the settlement, the talks of which have consistently missed deadlines and failed to move forward. Leading those talks are the Justice Democrats who have been critical of the settlement and who have worked on their own investigations and lawsuits in their states.
|By: David Dayen Friday December 9, 2011 1:20 pm|
We have a new deadline for the 50, er, 43-state foreclosure fraud settlement. It’s not July Fourth or Labor Day or Halloween, but now Christmas. More holidays have been selected for the target settlement date than have been selected for vignette-laden films directed by Gary Marshall. But this time, Tom Miller means it!