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.