Back in January, the federal government announced it was launching a new, prosecutorial task force that would go after banks for the mortgage and securities fraud that spawned the housing crisis and led to thousands suffering Miami foreclosures.
Our Miami foreclosure attorneys were hopeful this task force would finally stem the abuse of power issues that plagued these large banks and allowed them to commit crimes on such a massive level - crimes that continue to impact average people on a very real level on an every day basis.
However, we've been paying close attention to all the developments pertaining to issues that effect those struggling with foreclosure in Miami, and we've noticed that not a whole lot is happening with this task force. In fact, two months after making a splashy announcement regarding the implementation of this new team, not only does it appear stagnant - they haven't even hired a supervisor.
This is a task force that President Obama rolled out in his State of the Union Speech. This was a task force that was supposed to slap criminal sanctions on banking institutions for the harm that they inflicted on the country's very stability through unethical and illegal practices. This was a task force that planned to use the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 to prosecute the key players.
And while this is all great in theory, words don't mean much unless you back them with action. In this case, by the time Obama made his speech, you would have thought the pieces would have been aligned.
At this point, however, we should probably come to expect such response from a government that appears all but complicit - from the blind eye to their initial actions, to the bailouts and now an utterly impotent prosecutorial effort.
While we knew this task force couldn't possibly right all the wrongs committed by these financial institutions, we had hoped it would pack a punch that would make these banks think twice before stepping outside the law. However, not only does the top supervisory position of this task force remain unfilled, so do a number of the other 54 positions.
While the task force has apparently gone ahead with issuing subpoenas in certain cases, that is a very incremental beginning to what would anyway be a long and arduous process - even if you had all the right people in place.
What this makes very clear is that the announcement - and perhaps the entire task force - was all merely for show, rather than a serious step at tackling some very real systematic problems.
While our Miami foreclosure attorneys are disappointed, we aren't surprised. And again, this just further illustrates why, if you're facing foreclosure, you need an aggressive attorney who knows the system well. We've seen it over and over again - these banks will continue to push the limits of the law (to say nothing of morality) unless they are challenged by someone who is familiar with their tactics and the system.
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.
The Administration PR Fail on the Securitization Task Force, By Abigail Caplovitz Field, Reality Check
New task force to investigate mortgage-backed securities, By Sam Weber, PBS