It's a valid question that many Americans have asked in recent years, but that has gone largely unanswered -- why haven't officials from large banks who ordered robo-signing, fraudulent and false documents to be created and other illegal activities not faced prosecution?
Their actions have led to millions of foreclosures nationwide, including foreclosures in Miami and other parts of South Florida. Home values have plummeted and mortgages have fallen to unprecedented "underwater" levels, leading some homeowners to consider what's known as "strategic default." And yet bank officials at the top continue to enjoy multi-million dollar bonuses, raises and other perks.
As our Miami Foreclosure Lawyer Blog has reported, some prosecutors have taken some steps to criminally charge people who were involved in the process. But more needs to be done, as our Miami foreclosure defense lawyers pointed out here.
The bottom line is it has been about four years since the bubble began bursting on the real estate market in this country. A lot of the activity happened in Miami and throughout Florida as well as Nevada and California -- places were people speculated on homes, but it has spread nationwide.
And in that time frame, little has been done to punish the people who caused the mess. A recent article published in The Nation begs the same question -- why hasn't more been done?
By now, there is plenty of evidence that bank officials ordered fraudulent activity, including fabricating documents to support a foreclosure on people's houses. But, still, little has been done to prosecute these criminals.
As the article suggests, banks officials pushed bad loans and then used unethical and illegal foreclosure practices after the fact. No Wall Street firm or high-ranking bank official has faced criminal consequences.
The article is critical of the Obama Administration for not doing anything to punish the banks who created the mess in the first place. Rather, the Fed pushed more than 7 trillion dollars to save the banks and created meager programs for homeowners that were rarely used.
The administration is also putting pressure on attorneys general, including those in New York, Delaware, Nevada and elsewhere, who haven't joined the others who are going to agree to let banks walk away from civil lawsuits filed by states for a meager $20 billion. The rogue AGs smartly haven't agreed to such a small sum of money in exchange for letting banks off the hook.
A recent 60 Minutes piece on the topic, in part, included comments from a senior Countrywide executive, who said the fraud was rampant and systematic. Not only a few people, but branches and regions of banks were doing it. The executive, whom our blog has written about, recalled the story about finding documents in a recycling bin in a Boston-area branch that had been literally cut and pasted together to use in foreclosure cases.
Even when Citigroup executives found that 60 percent of the mortgages they were buying from Countrywide were fraudulent and alerted higher-ups, they ignored it and told investors and the public they weren't.
60 Minutes pressed a Justice Department official about why more bank officials and executives haven't been prosecuted and got a typical answer that there are investigations ongoing. It's no wonder the American public has lost confidence in government because of situations like these.
It's obvious that people struggling with a Miami foreclosure can't rely on the government for help. If you are in such a position, an experienced Miami foreclosure defense lawyer can help dig you out of the hole you're in by fighting back against banks.
If you're battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas, contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991.
More Blog Entries:
103-Year-Old Woman Saved From Foreclosure Eviction by Cops, Movers: December 5, 2011
Why Hasn't the Government Gone After Mortgage Fraud, by George Zornick, The Nation