“Bull By The Horns” Offers Insider Details of Housing Crisis

A new book penned recently by the former FDIC chairwoman details her perspective of the housing crisis, a unique look as told by someone who was in the eye of the storm.villainflorida.jpg

Our Miami foreclosure lawyers understand that in her book, “Bull by the Horns,” Sheila Blair calls the federally-mandated lookback reviews not only a ruse, but a serious waste of time and money.

This issue, specifically, is of great importance because it’s ongoing today, and could directly effect how much financial relief will be meted out to struggling homeowners and those who were wrongly foreclosed upon.

The reason Blair – and others – have widely criticized the effort (we wrote about it recently in our Miami Foreclosure blog) is because these so-called independent contractors are paid high salaries by the banks themselves. These contractors are responsible for weighing the widely varying damages suffered by homeowners as a direct result of the bank’s inadequacies and/or scams.

The effort has been touted by bankers and state government leaders as a positive step in the right direction. However, we must consider that anyone who is paid – and paid well – by the bank to conduct these reviews, determinations are more likely to be made in the bank’s favor.

Some of these contractors being hired to conduct the reviews have already to date been paid between $50 million and $250 million. Some analysts have estimated that one of those companies is expected to eventually rake in approximately $1 billion.

How is this “independent” again?

Bair brought up another point in her book: The banks recently announced they would offer an extension for homeowners seeking a review of service actions under the April 2011 federal consent orders. Previously, the deadline was at the end of this year. One might see this as a positive, but the fact is, it’s merely a way for banks to drag their feet. The longer they wait, the less likely they are to have to shell out the money to borrowers. The contractors, too, are in no hurry to speed the process, as they longer they work for these financial giants, the more they get paid.

This is why it’s so critical to have an experienced foreclosure defense lawyer on your side who can press these companies into action. Trying to do it alone often results only in frustration and failure.

Although Bair’s book does criticize the federal administration’s handling of the crisis – specifically the lack of a truly independent review – she failed to deliver this message with any sort of force when she testified before the House Committee on Finance Services in the summer of last year. Instead, her responses were flimsy and lukewarm. It wasn’t until the book came out – more than a year after it would have had any impact on borrowers – that she even mentioned in public this idea of an independent, multi-agency review board.

Her words, while worth the read, come too little, too late.

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. Also, don’t miss Miami Foreclosure Attorney Bruce Jacobs on 880AM/the Biz, every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on “Mortgage Wars,” discussing foreclosure topics that matter to YOU.

Additional Resources:
Sheila Bair Called It – Foreclosure Lookback Reviews Are A “Ruse”, Oct. 24, 2012, By Francine McKenna
Megabanks Extend and Pretend They Won’t Pay for Foreclosure Fouls
, Sept. 24, 2012, By Francine McKenna, American Banker
More Blog Entries:
Should Banks Be Left to Their Own Devices? Oct. 6, 2012, Miami Foreclosure Lawyer Blog