Foreclosure settlement - Input Junkie
"This issue has never been about anything other than allowing homeowners, hardworking people, to be able to stay in their homes," California Atty. Gen.Kamala D. Harrissaid at a Los Angeles news conference."
The deal also includes incentives to lenders to provide assistance to homeowners within the next year.
Which is to say, it's basically political, not about getting justice for the people defrauded.
It's not impunity. It releases the banks only from civil liability, and only for one particular type of abuse, "robo-signing," the use of forged signatures and forged notarizations to speed up foreclosure. The mortgage fraud task force is still moving forward, faster than they have any time in the last three years, and as its co-chair announced last night on Rachel Maddow's show, they expect to be handing out criminal indictments to people high up in the big banks fairly soon.
The only reasons the banks signed off on this, no more than they're getting is, that (a) to them, $25 billion is nothing, they'll pay that out of a tiny fraction of the interest they've earned on their bailout money, and (b) robo-signing fraud was always going to be the easiest to prove.
No, there is one thing wrong with this: robo-signing was also the grounds that most people had to actually reverse their foreclosures. The administration is definitely turning its back on those victims of the housing bubble; if you've already lost a house to foreclosure, neither Obama nor the banks has any interest in you getting it back. All that's going on here, now, is an argument over whether or not any designated high-ranking scapegoats go to jail, as has long been traditional after bubbles (the banks intend that to be no, the administration thinks that it'll be yes) and how much of the profit from the frauds during the bubble the shareholders get to keep (the banks want to keep it all, the administration hopes to claw back enough of it to make fraud less lucrative than honest business).
It's not justice. But it's not impunity, either.
Still, when I think about the costs of losing a house, even getting the house back is just the beginning of compensation.
|Date:||February 10th, 2012 02:47 pm (UTC)|| |
So basically, the .gov is saying, "Thanks for playing. You don't get to save your house but here's a dandy consolation prize and the home version of our game.
REAL ESTATE IS EVIL. ONLY THE BANKS EVER WIN.