The Tampa Bay Times published an editorial this week that details the flagrant evildoing that banks and financial institutions as well as mortgage servicers in this country have been orchestrating over the years, and how it has hurt the country, and particularly Florida home owners. In an editorial entitled, “Banks’ foreclosure deceptions go deep,” the newspaper points out things that we have been monitoring for a while now and ends with the belief that since the Big Bank settlement agreement did not release these banks from future criminal investigations, Tampa Bay Times opines that there should be criminal prosecutions (having reviewed the Inspector General Reports into the bank’s actions).
The newspaper’s position (and we agree) is that these big five financial institution’s settlement monies are not enough to cover all the bad things for which they are responsible, and for which Florida homeowners (and other foreclosure fraud victims across the country) will be dealing with for years and years in the future.
As for the Inspector General Reports, they are available to the public online and you can download them here:
- Ally Financial: Audit Memorandum No. 2012-PH-1801 – Title: Ally Financial, Incorporated Foreclosure and Claims Process Review
- Bank of America: Audit Memorandum No. 2012-FW-1802 — Title: Bank of America Corporation, Foreclosure and Claims Process Review
- CitiMortgage: Audit Memorandum No. 2012-KC-1801 — Title: CitiMortgage, Inc. Foreclosure and Claims Process Review
- JPMorganChase: Audit Memorandum No. 2012-CH-1801 – Title: JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. Foreclosure and Claims Process Review
- Wells Fargo: Audit Memorandum No. 2012-AT-1801 – Title: Wells Fargo Bank, Foreclosure and Claims Process Review
Larry’s Tip: As we periodically discuss here, the AG Settlement has really been more of a benefit to these big five national banks than anyone else, particularly the Florida homeowner and those Floridians who lost their homes to foreclosure. To read the details of the federal investigation into these five financial institutions, and to learn that the bank managers did have knowledge of the crazy activities that were being carried out, day by day – even hour by hour, is important for American citizens to know, and we hope that you take advantage of having these reports available to read online, at no charge.
However, there’s so much more to consider here. For one thing, this coverage only deals with FIVE banks. Granted, these are five of the biggest financial institutions across the country, but here in Florida there are plenty of smaller banks and credit unions who are foreclosing on homes and going for deficiency judgments on a regular basis. They aren’t a part of this deal, they aren’t a part of the Tampa Bay Times editorial piece.
Another thing. The aftermath of the ForeclosureFraud catastrophe to our economy overall and to Florida families specifically is much more than whether or not someone, somewhere will make them pay money in a settlement to the government. There’s real, long term damage here that has to be corrected.
- Consider the quiet title problem that we are addressing in our current series.
- Consider the number of deficiency judgments sought based upon fraudulent documentation.
- Think about the bad and illegal collection practices happening everyday and what harm they cause.
- Consider the destruction of lives, as documented by Propublica, “The Great American Foreclosure Story: The Struggle for Justice and a Place to Call Home.”
Florida will be cleaning up the mess made by ForeclosureFraud for years to come. Unfortunately, that clean up isn’t going to happen in one big sweep; instead, it’s going to happen over time as individual victims file their suits and pursue their claims for justice in various courthouses across the state and across the country.
If you have questions or comments, please feel free to Chat with Larry in the comments below, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (954) 458-8655.