Robo-Signing Banks Not Off Hook

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com 

Last week, this story from Reuters really got me upset.  The headline read: “States negotiating immunity for banks over foreclosures.”  The story said, “A coalition of all 50 states’ attorneys general has been negotiating settlements with five of the biggest U.S. banks that would include payment of up to $25 billion in penalties and commitments to follow new rules. In exchange, the banks would get immunity from civil lawsuits by the states, as well as similar guarantees by the Justice Department and Department of Housing and Urban Development, which have participated in the talks.”  (Click here for the complete Reuters story.)  I was outraged.  I posted a link to the story on the USAWatchdog site with my commentary that said, “Negotiating with criminals!!! POX on AG’s!!!” 

It has been alleged that millions of loan documents have been forged in so-called foreclosure mills because the banks did not possess the correct documents to kick people out of their homes.  One name, “Linda Green,” has shown up signed differently more than 20 different ways.  The name has been so widely used in the mortgage mess it is now synonymous with fraudulent mortgage documents.  (Click here to read more about mortgage documents with fake signatures from the AP.)

I think investigators should be able to find evidence of fraud at the loan origination level, the securitization level and the foreclosure level.   This is an outrage, and I think criminal activity is so widespread that the AG’s should be considering RICO charges, not cutting immunity deals for the bankers!  The Iowa AG, Tom Miller, is spearheading negotiations for the states.  He and other AG’s who signed on to the immunity deal should be ashamed and fired at the same time!!  Why did Mr. Miller even bother to go to law school?  I thought these guys were supposed to investigate and prosecute crimes.

Apparently, I am not the only one that thinks it is a bad idea to let the banks off the hook.  Yesterday, Bloomberg reported Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley was not backing the immunity deal, and she’s not the only one.  The story said, “The banks in settlement talks with state and federal officials are seeking broad releases to protect them from legal claims. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said yesterday she won’t support a deal that includes certain releases. New York and Delaware have raised similar concerns over terms of a possible deal. All three states are conducting investigations tied to mortgage operations of banks. Delaware and Massachusetts officials say a foreclosure settlement shouldn’t provide releases for some claims, including the bundling of mortgages into securities, while the inquiries continue.  “We’re not prepared to do a broad liability release for either securitization issues or for MERS until we’ve completed that piece of investigation,” Coakley said in a telephone interview yesterday. MERS is a national database of mortgages used by banks.  State and federal officials are negotiating a settlement with the five largest mortgage servicers, including Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), over their servicing and foreclosure practices. Attorneys general from all 50 states began investigating the practices last year.”   (Click here to read the complete Bloomberg story.)  

The bankers want to get off with a slap on the wrist even though they caused the meltdown of 2008.  Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, and pray justice is truly served on the big bank weasels.

Comments
  1. mitch Bupp

    Once again the little man will have no recourse against the big banksters if the AG’s sanction criminality. This is just disgusting to say the least.
    Every politician or judge or attorney general says that is negotiating with these bankersters who knowingly or willingly failed in their judiciary duty to follow even basic financial law should be disbarred or run out of office. These banks then forged documents to cover their neglect is nothing more than a giant conspiracy. I have yet to hear ask the banksters, “When did you realize so many documents were missing and who sanctioned the use of forgeries?”.
    This is not just a crime against the mortgagors but every taxpayer since about 80 percent of homes are guaranteed by HUD and any investors who bought CDO’s. The very bankers who brought the country to the brink in 2008 are going to get away with the largest crime in history.

    And I read today that President Obama is going to the mega-banksters and privately telling that the US will not default! Mr. President, WTF? Why are you telling it privately to these banks? This will give them a competitive edge with insider government information. This is inherently unfair to the rest of the business community. This should be illegal for you to use your position as president and interfering with the free market just as it should be with members of the kleptocratic Congress.

    Thanks Again for your reporting, Greg.
    Mitchell P Bupp

    • Greg

      Thank you Mitch for your analysis and comment!
      Greg

  2. Diane Carol Mark

    Hi Greg,
    A couple of years ago Eckhart Tolle appeared on a LIVE Oprah webinar that was conducted worldwide. They talked for ten 1-1/2 hour sessions with each session covering a chapter in his book A New Earth. When they got to Ch. 9, I wrote a quote from the show and have kept it on my refrig. It applies to the issue you discuss here, and certainly, many other issues you discuss as well.

    “The end result is going to carry the energy of what it took to get there.” –E. Tolle

    No worries. What goes around, comes around.
    :) Diane

    • Greg

      Diane Carol Mark,
      Thank you for the quote and comment this is a good one!
      Greg

  3. iknowbetter

    Let’s see now. If your property title is already clouded by your lender’s robosigning malfeasance, isn’t your title further eroded by gubmint legal malfeasance, aka, letting the crooked lenders off with a fine?

    The Justice Dept. describes this ‘fine and decline’ policy as “prosecutorial deferment.” I’m betting anyone else would call it a ripoff after already being ripped off. Evidently, our taxes don’t actually fund the Justice Dept. It’s just limping along without really doing anything. Justice needs a bitchslappin’.

    The policy of ‘look away’ and just ‘extract monetary fines’ is why we’ve seen no prosecutions.

    If the gubmint won’t stand up, who’s left to do it? We the people.

    Check out http://4closurefraud.org/

    …ikb

    PS. Keep on keeping on, Greg

    • Greg

      Thank you IKB,Mark and Jan for weighing in.
      Greg

  4. Mark R. Spengler

    I read this same article yesterday and was outraged myself. If I can get the e-mail addresses of all the AG’s I would definitely communicate with everyone of them. This is another egregious example of how da Boyz in the big banks are breaking the laws and not being held accountable.

    How many more “coverups” do we have to experience before we are moved to act? Any help would be appreciated.

  5. Jan

    Sadly, the majority of AG’s will prevail. They are the states new rainmakers. Most of the states are in need of a big cash infusion and it would take a long time and cost big bucks to bring the case to court. The AG’s settle, the state gets a gob of cash,the homeowners are still out in the street wondering what the hell happened to the American Dream.

    The taxpayers are screwed and the banksters will get big bonuses for being so cleaver. There is no rule of law for them.

  6. Enginer

    The major scam on the middle class is that M.E.R.S. seeks to circumvent the document registration requirements, costing local land (and tax) offices millions upon millions of dollars.

    Guess who pays? The middle class. I’d rather pay when i take a mortgage out, not by bailing out the Banks again!

    • Greg

      Thank you Enginer, Hubert and Bob.
      Greg

  7. hubert

    What I find the most surprising is the fact that You are surprised and disgusted!
    There is nothing you here. Check ALL the legal actions against US financial institutions (fully responsible for the mess we are in)and you will see that all they got was a slap on the wrist. You will find a fine of $200M or $500M or even 4 billions (BOA) but no action against the CEO’s, CFO’s….
    This is America!! The US Government and bankers are working together and the US citizens (taxpayers)are paying the price. The system is now bankrupt BUT you can be sure that neither the heads of government (including the corrupt and “stupid” Congress(wo)men)OR the bank(er)s will continue to enjoy the life of the rich and famous.
    I am not “disgusted” anymore…I know and understand what is going on and honestly think that the US citizens have been brainwashed so much and for so long that the American Empire will disappear with no public reaction. SAD STORY!

    • David

      Finally, someone who understands that those in authority are not stupid, just evil.

  8. Bob

    We the people have choice.
    I have a good idea.

    Start a campaign called “switch” ” the country belongs to the tax payers”
    The concept is, if you are a bank and you mislead the taxpayers, everyone should switch to another bank, a local bank, a regional bank. This way you can see who has your money and march into the bank if there is an issue, not a super multinational who cares too big to fail bank.

    This can be done. Have a wall of shame, listing banks that don’t care about you. And a good bank list.

    If we the people switch, then the bank will die by it’s own sword. No lawsuits, no blood other than it’s own based on it’s own bad behavior.

    It will work because it is simple, effective, and non violent.

    Thoughts??

  9. Roger Boswarva

    It outraged me too Greg.

    Though what is more important to me is the fact that these AG’s are in essence violating our Constitutional Right to due process!

    How come they think they can “negotiate away” and violate our right to due process to sue for damages resulting from from crimes and fraud.

    Make no mistake: what the Banks and their “service providers” have wrought is a situation wherein any honest person trying to buy or sell a home now is confronted with no clear title! Last I heard, the title insurance companies are declining insurance due to the frauds committed by the banks.

    And what about the recovery of damages caused to honest individuals whose property had been fraudulently and/or erroneously foreclosed on? Are these AG’s negotiating away the right to sue for recovery of damages?

    America needs to protest a storm of outrage at this whole affair . . . including against the AGs for even considering infringing our rights to civil suit recovery of damages.

    The AGs should be spending their time bring criminal charges against the actual individual persons specifically, as well as the corporations, who have committed the Federal Crime of bank fraud by way of falsifying documents and/or supervised and/or authorized and managed the fraudulent actions.

    Yet, even after it was known to all that this fraud had occurred on a massive scale, the same individuals and organizations went ahead and continued it!

    It is hard to comprehend the scale of insensitivity and mutton-headedness this constitutes.

  10. ken

    As an outsider (a Canadian) it looks to me like the US justice system (and Federal Gov’t) has been bought and paid for by the big Wall street banks. Unfortunately I think this is a situation that will be VERY hard to undo without a major revolt by the people and I think that is still years away so I think things are going to get a LOT worse before they get better.

    Please keep publishing your opinion Greg, I wonder how long the “justice system” will allow the ordinary citizen to publish comments exposing the unfairness of the system?
    Ken

    • Greg

      Ken,
      I hope for a long time. I am trying to make a living doing this. Thank you for your support and comment.
      Greg

  11. Keith

    Dear Greg,

    Somehow those in the (federal) government have come to misunderstand what the purpose of government was intended to be at the founding of our nation, which was to protect the liberties of the citizens from intrusion by the various states, and to protect the union of those states in order that individual liberties can be best protected. In other words, to prevent tyranny. The idea that protecting government is the role of government is not new, and is simply foolish thinking by those who are employed by government wishing to protect their own livelihoods, though at it’s worst it is those that lead government deliberately using their power to oppress others. I’m not sure that has or will happen here, but it can’t be ruled out. Either way, government tends to somehow devolve into a tyrannical system, no matter how it is founded.

    Instead of outright control by a messianic leader, or a group of governing oligarchs, what I see government minions like the state AGs doing is buying into the belief that protecting the economy is the same as protecting the nation. To them it is not unreasonable to believe that economic collapse caused by widespread banking failure would so destroy the economy that the government would no longer be able to protect the union. So it becomes somehow necessary for the government to abandon it’s core mission. In order to protect the union, which provides the means to preserve liberty for the citizens of this union, it is seen as appropriate to subvert the rule of law that is the basis for the protection of civil liberties. In order to keep the dog from biting its own tail, the owner cuts off the dog’s head!

    Our system of government may not allow a direct tyranny through the electoral process, but it is more and more clear that such a tyranny is not needed. The tyranny that we face is more subtle and right under our noses. It’s the economy itself, and our belief that it is the most important underpinning of our nation. We have made it into a centralized system of money-changing, but economy doesn’t have to be so cash-dependent. Economy is about you and me working hard for a living, and there are many ways that gets done with little or no money all over the world. We could be just as strong of a nation with far less cash, if only we were willing to work for it. Those who design to control the masses know that there is little taste for hard work among the people today, and the system of cash-dependence is very convenient for those who peddle cash. As long as we allow it, the money-changers have always been willing tyrants.

    Here’s hoping we remember that liberty is priceless and has no cash value.

    Keith

    • Greg

      Thank you Keith and Art for your comments and analysis.
      Greg

  12. Enginer

    A word you rarely hear is democracy. Washington talks about being our “Representatives,” but our is certainly not Representative Democracy.

    we live in a bought and paid for representative KLEPTOCRACY. Our golden rule, “He who has got the gold makes the rules.”

    If you have the stomach, read “Who Rules America.” (just Google it) Wealth concentration comes from ability, opportunity, and a tilted playing field. How do we get our Representatives and Senators to represent all American fairly, not just kow-tow to those that make big campaign contributions?

  13. Ron

    Engineer,

    I read your comments and I agree with you that we are playing on a tilted playing field. Americans that are losing their homes in foreclosure must recognize that the Attorneys for the banks have been preparing for this financial crises for 10 years now. The guy with a wife and a couple of kids that is losing his home and job needs to recognize that he is behind the eight ball, so to speak.
    So in order to level the playing field, this individual must “fractionalize” his title to his real property before he is foreclosed upon. In this manner, by granting his title now to his wife and his children in equal shares, the banks must have a Judicial Foreclosure which includes the rights of his minor children, etc. This is a subject that the banks do not want the consumer to know about. Google “Fractionalized Title to Real Property”.

    Good luck,

    Ron

  14. Ricky

    “When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission
    from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors;

    when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work,
    and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them
    against you…

    you may know that your society is doomed. ”

    –Ayn Rand

    Guess she saw it all 50 plus years ago. Just read Atlas Shrugged again, after way too many years since college lit class.

    • Ron

      Your comment was a great reminder of the many warnings that we have had. I am going to read that book again. I read the book about 40 years ago. At that time, her writings came off to me as “un-American” because of the harsh way she described economic conditions and human rights.
      Looking back, I had a lot to learn and still do.
      Ricky, you are right on the money.

  15. Stop Foreclosure Maryland

    As a Maryland foreclosure defense lawyer, I am not surprised about how silly the settlement is. In some cases, the “settlement” includes principal reductions, but for loans that are already owned by the bank, meaning free money. On a more optimistic note, some of the judges in my state – Maryland – are starting to take homeowners seriously not only in stopping foreclosure, but also in suing the banks for robo-signing on various affidavits in the foreclosure proceedings.

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