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Mortgage Settlement Wrangling Continues, Banks Balking at Schneiderman MERS Suit

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The Administration, through the nominal head of the bank settlement negotiations, Iowa attorney general Tom Miller, has moved its final deadline for a deal yet again, this time to Thursday.

One event of the day was a non-event. New York AG Eric Schneiderman has scheduled a conference call to the media on the settlement for 6 PM, then postponed it indefinitely 10 minutes before the scheduled time. One can presume that whatever he had intended to say was rendered moot by events…but what events? The only thing one can infer is that he is presumably still negotiating. Per Reuters (hat tip Lambert):

Last Friday New York filed a lawsuit that conflicted with part of the settlement. His office has been in discussions with bank lawyers to move forward with both the lawsuit and the settlement, according to two other sources familiar with the matter.

According to another person familiar with Schneiderman’s thinking, the tenuous nature of the talks caused the postponement. Schneiderman still is a holdout, that person said.

So, reading between the lines, it looks as if Schneiderman saw his MERS lawsuit as not inconsistent with the settlement (remember, Delaware and Massachusetts both have filed MERS suits, and the Massachusetts suit targets the five biggest servicers along with MERS) and the banks begged to differ. This is consistent with the report by Loren Berlin in Huffington Post:

Bank executives argue that New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman is using the lawsuit to go after claims already covered under the settlement, said the source.

But perhaps the biggest news was that Florida is now among the states not yet signed up. This is pretty surprising, given that Republican AG Pam Bondi had the nerve to hector California’s Kamala Harris last week for not joining the settlement. Although some reports indicated that Florida had gotten a sweetened deal, the HuffPo story says she wants a side deal, which is what California would get.

So far, the states that are listed as not yet agreeing to the settlement are California, Florida, New York, Nevada, Delaware, Arizona, and Massachusetts. The bad thing about this list, from the officialdom’s perspective, is that it includes the states that were the epicenters of the housing bust.

But while the claim is that these states will eventually fall into line, it is the banks that now appear to be the serious holdouts, as news reports we highlighted yesterday indicated. From Huffington Post:

Bank concerns reached fever pitch on Friday when the New York State attorney general’s office sued Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, accusing the banks of deceptive and fraudulent use of a private database used to register mortgages.

“I think it’s fair to say that the banks are becoming an obstacle to completing this settlement now,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The banks clearly don’t want to be exposed to MERS litigation. While Schneiderman and Massachusetts’ Coakley face some hurdles in pinning liability on the banks (they have MERS, foreclosure mills, and vendors like LPS as scapegoats liability shields), the bad press and the exposure of document defects would embolden and aid stressed homeowners and thus be damaging to them.

The other interesting tidbit of the day was the report by Shahien Nasiripour of the Financial Times that the Administration is pushing hard to get this deal closed. That could be inferred by the way HUD chief Shaun Donovan has taken a high profile role, including talking to “progressive” media (yours truly is apparently in a special category, “incorrigible”).

But the FT piece reveals that some core constituencies aren’t buying what the Administration is selling:

Aides to President Barack Obama have in recent weeks courted civil rights groups and borrower advocacy organisations, scheduling meetings and calls in an attempt to gain support for the expected settlement and muffle criticism from key political allies…

The meetings have occasionally served as a “gripe session”, as one participant called them, because many of Mr Obama’s most ardent supporters have criticised the pending deal’s terms for the degree of relief provided and the extent of the release from legal claims it provides for banks desperate to minimise mortgage-related liability…

Janis Bowdler, a housing expert at the National Council of La Raza, the largest US Hispanic civil rights group, said the settlement would be a good start for the White House as it seeks to prove it is doing all it can for homeowners.

“Wrapping up the settlement now is the right thing to do, but it’s only going to be a win for them politically if they follow up with the financial crimes task force,” Ms Bowdler said…“Otherwise, if this is it, and they’re satisfied with just $25bn, I don’t think that will be enough to convince voters that they were doing all they could to fix the housing market.”

Oh, they plan to do more: put some small and maybe even mid sized players in stocks in the town square, the closer to the elections, the better. As we know all too well, the Administration only wants to appease voters, not fix the problem. What it seems to fail to recognize is the the housing market is in such distress that token measures and gimmickry are unlikely to do the trick.

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69 comments

  1. legalator

    Once Again it is the homeowners left out. But, Wait, arent we forgetting about the tax consequences for the investors who invested in trusts of MBS where the mortgages were never securitized due to the failed assignments and failed chains of title? The banks are anxious to get rid of the evidence that there were no legitimate assignments; in some cases the lender went bankrupt and the mortgage and note were never assigned legally and there is no record. Instead of tip toeing around the mulberry bush with banks begging them to deal why not just prosecute them for the fraud foreclosures and tell the truth that there are 60 million homes that cannot legally be foreclosed? And, Judges must start following the rule of law themselves instead of routinely ruling in favor of banks ignoring the briefs of the homeowners.

    1. Blurtman

      Yes, but besides laziness and lack of concern for the law, why else have not the banks properly assigned the mortgages to the trusts? Because they want to lend them out into the shadow banking system. Lending what you don’t own. No one goes to jail. Not Corzine. And certainly not Timmay.

  2. sleeper

    Is there a parallel between the final days of the healthcare reform bill ?

    From here it seems that folks have realized that in dealing with Mr Obama et al the foot dragger or the hold out gets more and more money thrown at their feet.

    Unfortunately in the rush to make a deal the idea that there is or was a rule of law was the first thing to be discarded.

    Next step is into the abyss of utter lawlessness.

  3. nowhereman

    precisely, let’s get a settlement before anyone finds out how culpab.le we ar
    sounds right to me.
    same as fukushima, 20 seiverts is safe for your daughters.

    1. Damian

      i dont see what the advantage is in any kind of settlement unless its $100+++

      this is just a means to get obama beyond the election then the banks will never pay and never perform

      let the chips fall where they may – i think multiple suits in a myriad of jurisdictions and discovery shared – produces a better deal in 15 months than today – the banks comitted FRAUD end to end – dont give up any claim – once you got one or several lower level people on criminal charges – the food chain will be given up easier and easier – all the way to the top – there are multiple ways to finance the cost

      i vote NO on any settlement unless $500 billion is on the table !

    2. Damian

      i dont see what the advantage is in any kind of settlement unless its $100+++

      this is just a means to get obama beyond the election then the banks will never pay and never perform

      let the chips fall where they may – i think multiple suits in a myriad of jurisdictions and discovery shared – produces a better deal in 15 months than today – the banks committed FRAUD end to end – dont give up any claim – once you got one or several lower level people on criminal charges – the food chain will be given up easier and easier – all the way to the top – there are multiple ways to finance the cost

      i vote NO on any settlement unless $500 billion is on the table !

  4. Middle Seaman

    $25B seems way short of amount needed for decent compensation and fixing of pending foreclosures. $100B seems closer to the right figure. (It is still less than the trillions the banks got from Obama.) The banks believe, probably correctly, that they run the country and should be able to shut up the opposing AGs. Like most of the rich, they see $25B as a huge sacrifice on their part.

    Obama’s loyalty is with the banks. There is no other political entity powerful enough to twist the banks’ arm. If Harris and Schneiderman stick to their guns there will be no settlement for years.

    1. Lambert Strether

      But $25B is more than enough to buy off the people’s “representatives” in 40 states. “Compensation,” of course, had nothing to do with it. This is just the three-card monte guys sharing the take with the cop on the corner.

    2. Eric377

      A calculation, please. And while we are at it, could anyone explain the damages done to a non-foreclosed mortgaged homeowner for me? The parties whose interests seem most damgaged under the variety of sins lumped together as mortgage related would seem to be homeowners foreclosed by someone without the legal authority to foreclose, MBS investors who bought products not backed the mortgages claimed and finally counties who registration fees were avoided by MERS registered transactions. Undoubtedly there will case-specific instances of others with legitimate damages, but “I borrowed more than I probably should have” doesn’t seem a general rationale for claiming damages. Yet a great deal of the purported “value” of this proposed settlement seems to be directed at this phenomena.

      1. different clue

        If you have a pension fund which contained Big Shitpile securities in it which have lost value or will lose it, that is damage to your pension fund. If you live in a county which has been deprived of money by deprivation of deed registering charges due to deeds being “registered” over at MERS, then you are sharing whatever quality-of-life reductions are imposed on your countyload of people due to revenue intake reductions. If your state has lost money due to the losses imposed by the Gang-Banker triggered crash of values and jobs and loss of tax money to your states, then you share in the damage.

        At the less tangible level, you are subject to future stealth-theft of the “value” of every monetized thing you own as long as you live in the Gang Bankers Kleptonomy.

        I am not sure how to calculate these damages down the level of your specific self, but I feel confident the damages exist.

      2. oldsoul

        Excellent point. The homeowners who lost their homes on criminally concocted paperwork because the “bank” claimed they were in default are thrown to the wolves as irresponsible. The “banks” crashed the economy and they get a slap on the wrist consisting mostly of the cost of doing business on second mortgages and a cash penalty of much less. Those who were not the victims of the crimes are now being given some benefit for being “responsible” borrowers who are presently underwater on their mortgages. Good luck to all of them as they try to prove that they are responsible enough to merit consideration on their second mortgages by the “banks.” I will bet Mitt Romney $10,000.00 of monopoly money that there is a phoney late charge on every mortgage account in America.

  5. psychohistorian

    Thanks for the blow-by-blow….or is that wrangle-by-wrangle.

    I keep wanting to see some wrangled into serious jail time.

  6. Z

    As far as the banks supposed irritation with the settlement, this all could be a little theatre for the paying public so that the banks get to posture that they are paying a heavy price for their malfeasance and are unhappy with the settlement while obama gets to be portrayed as the tough sheriff. It’s win-win-win … they get some more of their crimes written off and it also deftly pumps up their very capable head pr man, obama, to the public during an election year.

    If it involves deceit, you really can’t put anything past them …

    Z

    1. Carla

      To your last point, Z, my favorite quote of the year so far is from one Nye Lavalle, profiled in “A Tornado Warning, Unheeded” in last Sunday’s Times. He said:

      “From my own personal experience and 20 years of research and investigation , nothing – and I mean nothing – that a bank, lender, loan servicer or their lawyer says or puts on paper can be trusted or accepted as true.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/business/mortgage-tornado-warning-unheeded.html

      It’s a frigging crime syndicate — shut it down!

    2. oldsoul

      And then there was the faux outrage produced on Fox News that deadbeat homeowners are entitled to anything. Don’t worry, Fox. Deadbeat homeowners won’t get anything because there is no such thing as a deadbeat homeowner. Only crime victims. The crime victims won’t get anything either.

  7. bmeisen

    Shouldn’t MERS be shut down? This fiasco in social engineering aka socializing costs while privatizing gains ended and the recording function returned to the time-consuming, inefficient, old-fashioned (from the standpoint of the coked out derivatives sociopath) Registrar of Deeds? Wouldn’t a settlement with or without Schneiderman simply kick the can down the road? What about the homeowners who aren’t in foreclosure, who just want to sell their homes in a few years and find that prospective buyers are scared off because the chain of title is a mess.

    I guess a settlement would take a weed wacker approach to this issue and like the weeds I bet the chain of title questions would come back next summer.

    1. eclair

      MERS should certainly be shut down. Having a data base, that is controlled by a private corporation that is wholly owned by banks and mortgage lenders, in charge of recording notes and their assignments, is like putting the wolves in charge of the flocks of sheep.

    2. DeadlyClear

      With 3 companies all named Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. created between 1995-1999 and MERSCORP, Inc. which absorbed 2 of them including the trademark MERS® which was used for the “system”; and given that the MERSCORP, Inc. created Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (III) with the acronym MERS (not to be confused with the trademarked MERS®) and this is the strawman entity in the mortgages with no employees or assets; and given the fact that banks were all members of MERSCORP, Inc. – not Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (III) , but the bank employees were actually working for MERSCORP, Inc. under the guise of (III); and that there was no disclosure to the homeowner of MERSCORP, Inc. who appears in the mortgage contracts with the homeowner and PSA with the investors as the MIN# which does not belong to (III) but belongs to MERSCORP, Inc., well, maybe they are trying to sort out what issues belong to which entity… Gee, do you really think they should be settling so soon?

  8. Stephanie

    Well, I, for one, am completely confused about what to do with my mortgage. The conversation here on NC is often one about who is making out better, who’s culpable, all the mistakes that have been made, etc….but, as a homeowner who may be under water, I’ve still little idea about what practical steps to take….and it seems like the banks are moving forward. I received a text last night (strange way of communicating with customers) from my bank wanting to know if I wanted to restructure my loan. But, after all I’ve been reading, I wonder who makes out better on these deals? Do I try to restructure? Do I wait?

    1. sleeper

      I have to agree –

      The banks deliberately deal with the borrower on a piecemeal basis while pursuing an hidden agenda designed to maximize profits and minimize liability.

      This is exactly the rational that got us into this mess.

      So what to do ?

      Here’s what I think -

      First if your payments are about the same as rent continue to make payments if possible.

      Otherwise admit that it ain’t gonna work and walk away after
      milking the bank for as many payments as possible. This is just what the big boys do when they make a poor investment.

      And don’t waste any money on that new kitchen upgrade.

      And use any means to protect what assets you have other than your house.

    2. Stephanie

      Actually, I should say that I *assume* it was from my bank. It’s hard to tell where numbers originate. I suppose it could have been from a random mortgage broker/scammer/other who got my number??? IDK. Here’s what it said—”Are you having a hard time paying your mortgage? Do you need help restructuring the mortgage to get a lower payment? If so, reply HELP. To cancel, reply STOP.” I guess that seems pretty fishy. (needless to say, I didn’t reply)

      1. 2little2late

        Stephanie wrote: “Actually, I should say that I *assume* it was from my bank. It’s hard to tell where numbers originate. I suppose it could have been from a random mortgage broker”

        You just backed into the problem in a nutshell….bets are way in the money that who you think is your mortgagee isn’t, they’re simply filling the clown shoes everybody’s wearing these days in the banking industry.

        “….my bank wanting to know if I wanted to restructure my loan…”

        Sure they want to restructure! But instead of restructure, it should read: legitimize my mortgage with new signatures, basically a quicky refi, making the cloud on title go away, or so they hope. It’s all the rage. Why charge $5 on checking when you can steal houses for nothing?

        1. Stephanie

          Well, that thought had crossed my mind, i.e. that they want to refinance because then I’m removed from the list of possible people who can contest the original loan. I wasn’t sure who this last text message was from, but my bank (Nationstar, which just recently acquired my mortgage from a hemorrhaging BoA) has been on me since they acquired my mortgage to refinance. The fees looked exorbitant, though the interest rate was okay, so I’ve been resisting. Just seems like a bait and switch kind of deal.

        1. Gubbmint Woman

          I was thinking that Stephanie was automated too. Similar posts always begin with something that implies that they were a ‘moral’ borrower: “I was responsible”. As in the people who were attacked with a so-called contract that was written to steal from them were “not responsible”. Following this in the formula, we have the “what about me” deception that crooks rely on to cover their violent attrition. It goes like this “Hey, I was a non-defaulter, livin within mah means, and followed the rules, but now that the Banks are ‘down’ I can score somethin’ too” The propoganda is at torrent levels these days, even the websites you visit are underwritten by the enemy. I too am a roboposter. Ta Ta!

  9. Woodrow Wilson

    “Administration only wants to appease voters, not fix the problem.” -

    A rash of banking executives hanging from lampposts across the country might get their attention.

  10. Pearl

    Stephanie, Do you mind saying which bank? I wonder how many others received texts last night. I find that really interesting….

    1. Stephanie

      See under my original post…I may have jumped to the wrong conclusion…..though, I’m still confused about what all of this wrangling means in practical terms.

      1. steelhead23

        There are many considerations for those underwater but able to pay their mortgage. Among those should be a realization that housing in some areas was grossly overpriced and your home may not be worth what you paid for it (or the remaining principal on your mortgage) for years as the uncertainty created by the Obama Administration’s unwillingness to reconcile insolvent banks, force them to take and book losses, and other shenanigans simply keeps the market from clearing. There is no single answer, but until you view your decisions and actions as purely a business decision, you will be at the bank’s mercy – and they are not merciful. Good luck.

        1. Stephanie

          “and they are not merciful.”

          Yet, they sound so nice on the phone. :/

          I’m not sure my home is grossly underwater…it’s in MI, and I think the bubble was further along in the deflation process than elsewhere when I bought it in 2007. I’m just trying to get a handle on the culpability of the banks, what’s fair, what’s not, and how to get to a reasonable meeting point. For me as a layperson, though, it feels almost impossible to enter into good faith negotiations with the bank.

        2. Eric377

          Describing paying a contracted debt to a bank as per the conditions of the contract as being at the mercy of the bank sounds insane to me. The borrower agreed to pay X, so on what planet is paying X supposed to be some great hardship? Yes, you can default and yes, the lender probably should think about that possibility, but only for their own best interests. And the borrower should not even expect that the lender’s decision necessarily makes logical sense with respect to the results of the specific loan as lenders usually need to manage a portfolio. It is often better for the portfolio to take suboptimal result on one loan than to create expectations on 200 more.

          1. different clue

            This would be as good a time as any for a house-ownership-law expert to explain what all the different terms and layers of meaning around house “ownership” mean.
            Deed? Title? Mortgage? Note? etc?

            Just what is it exACTly that got registered in the good old days down at the County Courthouse? The “deed”? And what exactly is the “deed” exactly?

            Does a “deed” to Stephanie’s house even exist at all anywhere anymore? If it does, is there a legal way to force somebody who knows where it is, to say where it is?
            And if so, is there a further legal way to force whoever knows where it is . . . to register its existence at Stepanie’s county courthouse recorder of “deeds”? Just because something “was registered” in the Wilderness of MERS Mirrors, does that mean it has to stay “registered” there? Is there NO legal way to retro-force its retro-registration back down to earth in a particular county courthouse?

          2. LucyLulu

            Yes, the borrower signed a promissory note with the banks agreeing to certain terms. However, like all contracts, the note can be rendered unenforceable, or the terms modified, if fraud occurred at the time of execution, there was inadequate disclosure of the terms, or if a promissory note in the lender’s name can not be located. All three of the above have commonly been demonstrated to have occurred.

            While it would be far simpler if the mortgage crisis was merely a matter of homeowners biting off more than they could chew, the lenders engaged in fraudulent and illegal behavior for years leading to inflated home prices, buyers who were unqualified being approved for homes that were appraised (by lenders, with their knowledge) at well over market value, large bonuses for executives, and ultimately the global financial crisis. Keep reading here, Eric. You will learn a lot.

  11. Tam

    Front page story in today’s paper reports that my state’s AG has signed onto the deal, saying the state will get millions out of it. And second, it will also be good for borrowers.

  12. Tom Stone

    Stephanie, both Pearl and I are familiar with the process and the problems. There are people you can contact who can help you make an informed decision. Nye is one and both Pearl and I can be reached through our profiles on Calculated Risk and I would be happy to share what resources I have.

  13. Tyzão

    It just doesn’t make sense that Bondi hasn’t signed on — can’t figure that one out. Must be more than meets the eye to that detail. I wonder who/what is holding over her — the Gov. Is Columbia HCA coming back to haunt them?

    1. aletheia33

      spoken like a true elite.
      this one is just “incorrigible” –needs “correction,” abuse or simple neglect should do the trick nicely, dang doesn’t work on this one!
      wake up, your powers of “correction” do not fully extend to independent journalists yet, meister.
      and we the people have not ALL surrendered just yet either.

      yves the incorrigible, the indomitable!
      brava, brava. stay that way.

      1. aletheia33

        oh, i forgot, along with abuse and neglect, the usual “buying.” doesn’t work on this one either.

  14. Eric377

    Notionally the scope for state AGs to go after entities and individuals involved in mortgage crimes and irregularities is huge, but practically the more important targets will probably outlawyer them and keep at it for years, a bunch of the other players are defunct and many of the individuals will turn out to be low level people told to sign those papers, staple this to that and mail them over to that law firm…better get 70 a day done or it is back to JiffyLube for you. The final settlement will be a bitter day for those interested in justice, but a much better settlement isn’t so likely. Better would be the Feds simply distributing $4B or so to the 50 states earmarked for investigating and prosecuting mortgage crimes, but that’s not going to happen.

    1. LucyLulu

      Depending on existing state statutes, some states are legally in a better position to pursue suits than others, and of course, NY and DE are in the unique position to pursue securitization issues. However, practically speaking you make a good point that I suspect is underlying the motivation of some of these AG’s. They can settle now for a lesser amount that is guaranteed, or they can attempt to use underfunded staffs to pursue investigations and suits up through the appellate courts that would likely not yield relief for homeowners for several years, assuming they prevail.

      Still, the agreement sucks. The GOP wants to cut “entitlements” including SS, and now they want to deplete retirement funds as well. Old age is looking less and less attractive all the time.

  15. Susan the other

    Maybe Schneiderman, and now the AG from Missouri, (the two most recent suits) filed their last minute lawsuits intentionally to precipitate just this response because the banks had been coy and quiet and things just didn’t feel right. So now everyone knows where the banks stand re MERS. It really should make the settlement impossible. Looks like the banks are the ones who are incorrigible.

    1. Bill C

      That’s what I’ve been thinking, Schneiderman shrewdly used his suit to light a fire under the banks, to show what could be done if they don’t stop “bargaining” and make an agreement favorable to the AGs and “the People”
      (whoever they might be, certainly not us).

  16. steelhead23

    http://www.bloomberg.com/video/85935336/
    A tad off topic, but this video suggests that Obama is privately telling Wall Street (including those TBTF banks) that he is not going to run against Wall Street during his campaign. He really wants their money. Just a guess here folks, I suspect that would mean that he is going to pressure Schneiderman et al. to settle. Just a guess mind you.

    1. sleeper

      Is anyone running against the banks ?

      It would appear that both political parties have agreed not to.

      And that is what send shivers down the GOPs back about the Newt / Bain Capital ads.

      The banks own congress and the executive branch.

    2. LucyLulu

      I can’t verify the accuracy of the report but one of the news shows last night reported that Wall St. was pulling its support for Obama and backing the GOP candidates. Personally, I think it more likely they would want to hedge their bets by supporting both sides of the aisle, but just thought I’d throw this out there.

  17. kris

    I’m a conservative but I like Schneiderman. Strong man.
    I do not think he’ll give up. I actually think he’s the one messing up the whole thing on purpose by faking 2nd thoughts.

  18. kravitz

    shoo be doo be doo….

    BofA Stalls Refinance Clients as Wells Fargo Says It’s ‘Open for Business’
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-07/bofa-said-to-put-off-loan-refinancing-clients-as-u-s-relief-spurs-demand.html

    “The HARP 2 program is a much bigger deal than people thought, and Bank of America is dysfunctional to begin with,” Paul Miller, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets Corp., said in an interview. “This is a result of getting out of the business at the exact time they should be getting into the business.”

  19. Westcoastliberal

    “As we know all too well, the Administration only wants to appease voters, not fix the problem.”
    Doesn’t that just about sum it up? While families are losing their homes to fraud, corruption, and greed, Obama and his administration are working on cooking up some new “PR” that will make it “appear” they’re doing something to solve the “problem”, while backslapping those Banksters who caused the meltdown, with their hands out for another “donation”. Makes me want to puke.
    I’ll say this one more time..how on Earth can their be a “settlement” without an investigation? If Obama truly wanted to “do something” he would have hired Bill Black years ago.

  20. kravitz

    K&L Gates, notes HousingWire, will help defend banks from Schneiderman.

    “For those who are targeted, Congressional investigation activities offer both opportunities and dangers. The opportunities include the chance to distinguish lenders and service companies – the good, the bad and the ugly – one from the other. They allow businesses and the industry as a whole to offer their side of the story. They can also provide an opportunity for companies to establish and maintain positive relationships with decision makers. The dangers are similarly high. Personal and reputational risk can be involved. An entire industry may be challenged.”

    K&L Gates Launches Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force
    http://www.klgates.com/kl-gates-launches-financial-fraud-enforcement-task-force-02-08-2012/

    K&L Gates readies defenses against Schneiderman, DOJ
    http://www.housingwire.com/article/kl-gates-readies-defenses-against-schneiderman-doj

  21. b.

    If Schneiderman thinks he can finesse the criminals in the White House, he is a fool, However, if he actually pulls off 11-dimensional chess to sabotage their attempt to run the clock and obstruct justice – so far a very successful campaign – he should become president on competence grounds – morals are entirely optional at this stage. And who knows, maybe he has no choice but to dance (cue Richard Gere in “Chicago”), facing an offer he cannot refuse.

  22. charles sereno

    I hope Yves’ use of the word “incorrigible” sparks an interest in its usage. True, it has a lot of letters and is a little hard to spell. But consider its meaning — “Difficult or impossible to control or manage.” Like a picture, it’s worth many (other) words.

  23. LucyLulu

    From an article posted today,

    The Treasury Department said in January it would pay investors, including the GSEs, triple for each dollar of principal allowed to be written off through the Home Affordable Modification Program. The FHFA is considering the offer.
    http://www.housingwire.com/article/democrats-allege-fannie-mae-killed-principal-reduction-program-2010

    Am I misreading this or did the Treasury really offer to reimburse investors triple for every dollar of principle mod offered to homeowners? And if so, why would the FHFA turn the offer down? How could the servicers justify not taking the Treasury up on the offer if the PSA required they optimize the assets in the securitization pools? (The second question is more rhetorical since we know the servicers have not aligned themselves with the investors’ interests, but DeMarco certainly has insisted on minimizing the GSE’s losses.)

  24. LucyLulu

    From article below, the banks are taking the upcoming suits over securities fraud by Schneiderman and DOJ seriously. Apparently 11 banks have already received subpoenas, and the CT attorney general has now joined forces with Schneiderman and Biden and is recruiting private investigators to assist with research. In anticipation, the banks have hired a top legal firm to begin preparing their defenses.

    http://www.housingwire.com/article/kl-gates-readies-defenses-against-schneiderman-doj

  25. Conscience of a Conservative

    I get the feeling the White House is really working over time on this one. They don’t want this to be an election issue. My question is how much has the white house courted media and bloggers to support? There have been some news stories…

  26. SoCal 7

    WE THE PEOPLE must demand accountability from our government. This may sound trite, but unless we do in increasing numbers, the three-card monty game will continue, and the cop on the corner will continue to get paid off (as was so well said elsewhere here).

    Sadly, WE THE PEOPLE cannot rely on our elected leaders and their appointees. The only concern they have is that WE THE PEOPLE re-elect them so the shenanigans can keep on rolling.

    WE THE PEOPLE want to know and demand to know ALL of the facts, ALL of the misfeasance, malfeasance and fraud. WE THE PEOPLE further demand that the criminal and derelict actions be punished, and example made of and a clear message be sent that these avaricious and heinous behaviors that damaged American citizens, American investors, any and all harmed, that this course of dealing is reprehensible.

    To think what actors like Angelo Mozilo, Dick Fuld, Hank Paulson and scores of others before and presently have done to our economy, our rule of law and to WE THE PEOPLE and our families and individual wealth, that they are seeking this shield, this HALL PASS is beyond the palest of pale and a disgrace to our great country, our laws and faith and trust.

    If any of WE THE PEOPLE break a law, deceive for gain, forge signatures, we rightly are vigorously prosecuted and jailed and fined. How cannot it not be true or even more reprehensible that individuals in the public trust, with more responsibility are not so vigorously held to account?

    State AG’s remember this as you go forward in your discussions. Think of your legacy. Remember WE THE PEOPLE and for your sake, your state and WE THE PEOPLE, do not let them get away with this.

  27. hrsaccount

    These banks need to start being responsible for their actions!! I’m glad that they are being taken to task for what they contributed to our mortage mess!

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