So the so-called regulators have gotten in on the Wells Fargo debacle:
“…four major watchdogs have taken notice. New York’s attorney general, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the New York State Department of Financial Services and the United States Trustee Program — a unit of the Department of Justice that oversees bankruptcy courts — have obtained copies of the 150-page Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Foreclosure Attorney Procedures Manual cited in the allegations filed in federal court in New York, sources said.”
Forgive us if we don’t get our hopes up that this will lead to meaningful action against the banks. Schneiderman talks a good game and sues the right people, but very often ends in settlements, as in “AG Schneiderman Announces $13 Billion Mortgage Settlement With JPMorgan Chase” from just the end of last year. However, as Salon’s David Dayen pointed out, that fine works out just, well fine for JPM:
“Meanwhile, almost all of the [settlement] deal, save a $2 billion penalty to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento to settle a civil lawsuit, is tax deductible as a business expense. Assuming a 38 percent rate for deductions (as JPMorgan does) on $7 billion in business expenses, this knocks another $2.66 billion off the real cost to JPMorgan Chase. A ballyhooed $13 billion settlement winds up being closer to $2.74 billion. That’s less than what BP or GlaxoSmithKline paid in their Justice Department settlements.”
Settlements don’t help homeowners. They don’t end the fraud business model adopted by all the big banks. And by the corporate world in general.
The conventional wisdom is coming around!
One nice thing about this latest article–it contains a startling change from the typical narrative regarding banks and foreclosures. Here’s that startling change:
“For hundreds of years, Americans could rely on clear homeownership records kept in county courthouses.
But the securitization of mortgages destroyed this system, thanks to the loans changing hands multiple times, and MERS, an unreliable electronic record-keeping system created by banks to bypass county courthouses and the associated filing fees.”
What’s beautiful about this is that these grafs are not attributed to a source (at least not clearly and uneqivocally so) , unless conventional wisdom can be considered a source. In other words, the writer of this article and her editor do not feel that stating that MERS is unreliable and that securitization destroyed the county recording systems as controversial or in need of attribution or qualification. Saying those things is apparently now considered as a much of a “known fact” as the sun shining in a blue sky. I’ll take progress wherever I can get it!