The idea was to get a settlement with these banks that could bring in billions of dollars in aid for hundreds of thousands of troubled homeowners who’d been served faulty foreclosure documents, some of them including forged signatures. But the shape of this agreement disturbed Schneiderman. He said banks were looking for a release from investigation and prosecution on other mortgage practices: how huge volumes of bad loans were made to begin with, and the creation of toxic mortgage-backed securities. Federal-State Meeting Planned to Rally for Foreclosure Accord (h/t David Dayen)
A “consequential” meeting in Chicago? It’s all very nebulous.
This comes during the week of Davos, where news is already being made.
“We have a general morality gap, we are over-leveraged, we have neglected to invest in the future, we have undermined social coherence, and we are in danger of completely losing the confidence of future generations,” said Klaus Schwab, host and founder of the annual World Economic Forum.
“A general morality gap” certainly applies on the U.S. foreclosure crisis, which is why some activists are sounding the most recent alarm.
Van Jones and George Goehl have one version:
Rumor has it that on Monday, after months of negotiation with big banks, the White House may announce a settlement that would let the banks off the hook for their role in the foreclosure crisis — paying a tiny fraction of what’s needed in exchange for blanket immunity from future lawsuits.
We hope these rumors are untrue.
President Obama has the ability to stop and change the direction of this sweetheart deal. He should reject any deal that benefits the one percent and lets the big banks get away with their crimes. Instead, the president should stand with the 99 percent and push for real accountability and a solution that will help millions of people in this country.
State attorneys general are being invited to meet with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and a Justice Department official to rally support for a proposed settlement with banks over foreclosure practices, said the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.
Materials about the proposed deal are being sent to all states, and Democratic attorneys general have been asked to meet on Jan. 23 with Miller, Donovan and Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, said Geoff Greenwood, a spokesman for Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
It’s unclear whether this is really coming to a head or a fake out, but enough people are concerned that it has Van Jones sounding the warning cry, with protesters ready, while there were reports last week that heavy weights like A.G. Schneiderman hadn’t yet committed to being present.
From what is available to read it sounds to me the attorneys general who want banks to be investigated for robosigning and fraudulent tactics are being squeezed. There’s little evidence that they’re falling for it.
But pressure like Van Jones is applying preemptively, isn’t a bad thing, because we’ve all seen the Obama administration time and again side with moneyed interests.