The Foreclosure Fraud is The Settlement Itself
David Dayen nails what we’ve known all along..
THE NATIONAL MORTGAGE SETTLEMENT WAS A SCAM, A FRAUD, A CON JOB.
In Florida it’s much worse than that because the money the banks paid for the crimes they committed funds the court system that’s being used to give the banks what they want. And now that the settlement is over, now that the monitor has released his report, I predict the gloves really will come off…now the banks will have free reign to really punish consumers.
Yesterday, the National Mortgage Settlement monitor, Joseph Smith, released his final crediting reports, confirming that all five banks (Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Ally, now known after bankruptcy as Residential Capital, or ResCap) have now satisfied the consumer relief portion of the foreclosure fraud settlement. The banks were required to spend $20 billion in “credited” relief (some actions received less than a dollar-for-dollar credit). Smith exults that the gross relief provided totaled over $50 billion, and that “more than 600,000 families received some form of relief.”
What the mainstream media reports on this don’t tell you is that the $50 billion number is wildly inflated: for example, it includes $12 billion worth of deficiency waivers in non-recourse states, which the IRS confirmed have no value whatsoever. But I didn’t know just how inflated these numbers were, and how empty the promises, until I went through them all.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan did make a prediction about how many homeowners would get relief under the settlement, so we have a benchmark. He used it over and over in the PR push to get it inked. The number? 1 million.