This was shared by Tiffany Arthur in Foreclosure Prevention: Real Estate Agents, Investors, Bankruptcy Attorneys, Mortgage/Lending Agents @ LinkedIn
With details of the proposed $25 billion settlement with the nation’s largest banks over the robo-signing fiasco now out in the public eye thanks to the Associated Press, we feel a large sense of disappointment.
There’s no question that this deal will change the mortgage industry for the better. Some homeowners will even have a much better chance of being able to restructure their loans when facing foreclosure under this deal.
No One’s Getting Their Keys Back
Yet, there are many out there who are going to feel little comfort with this agreement. Here’s what the deal is NOT going to do. It’s not going to put people who’ve lost their homes (again because of deceptive foreclosure practices) back in those houses, or give them any real financial security.
According to the deal, about 750,000 Americans, which by the way is about ½ of the people who are eligible for help under this settlement, may get a check for about $1,800. That’s the equivalent of one of those parting gifts they’d give contestants when they lose on Wheel of Fortune. In other words, it does them very little good.
Now it’s true that about a million current homeowners will supposedly get their loan balances reduced by an average of 20 thousand dollars. That’s great, and something we here at the South Florida Law Blog have been begging for. But when you consider their are about 11 million out there with underwater mortgages, A LOT of people will be no better off.
Banks Still On Easy Street
And here’s the other thing this deal doesn’t do. It doesn’t hold the banks accountable. Why after the mountains and mountains of evidence of wrong-doing, is the government still playing nice-nice with the nation’s lenders?
The funny thing about this settlement, despite the fact that it’s long overdue, it feels rushed. There hasn’t been a full investigation into the banks’ conduct, no discovery, yet here this deal is, as if they are trying to push it through before anyone notices. It’s feels as if they are trying to avoid the investigation in the first place!
Red Flags Already Raised
Several politicians, including Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, are already raising concerns over a lack of a proper investigation. We should also point out that the attorneys general in New York and California, a state with one of the highest foreclosure rates, have split from the federal government to pursue their own investigations. The ink on this deal isn’t dry and yet it’s already raising red flags.
“Wall Street is again trying to pass the buck,” Brown told the Associated Press, “Instead of criminal prosecutions, we’re talking about something that’s not more than a slap on the wrist.”
The banks have dragged their feet, in order to escape any real punishment. The perception still remains that the banks are too big to be punished, there is nothing in this deal that invalidates that notion. While we agree this deal should be and is about fixing the system, there is a call for retribution from homeowners that this deal simply doesn’t address.
“This is not vengeance against the banks,” Brown told HousingWire about the deal.
But shouldn’t it be?
Tags: Associated Press, barack obama, fallout, foreclosure, foreclosure practices, foreclosures, Harriet Johnson Brackey, large banks, mortgage, mortgage industry, mortgage practice, Oppenheim Law, personal finance, President Obama, Real Estate, robo, settlement, sherrod brown, South Florida Law Blog, wheel of fortune