Late last month, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi crowed that Floridians had received more than $8 billion in relief under the national mortgage settlement signed by 49 state attorneys general and five of the country’s largest mortgage servicing banks.
Our Miami foreclosure lawyers wish we could tell you this was more than utter nonsense.
The whole point of that deal, of course, was to keep people in their homes by reducing artificially inflated principal mortgage rates and to reimburse those who had already been wrongly forced from their homes.
Instead, these banks have racked up credit toward this relief in the form of short sales and forgiveness of debt that they could never actually collect anyway (see our blog on Second Mortgages as a Back Door to Foreclosure). Neither of these, of course, serves to keep people in their homes or right the very real and very extensive criminal and moral wrongs these banks have perpetuated – and continue to perpetuate.
What’s more, a portion of the fines they had to pay the state as part of the whole settlement has been funneled into the court system so that foreclosure cases may be more quickly churned through the process.
In fact, these are the same foreclosure cases at the center of the robosigning crisis – the ones that clogged the state court’s pipeline because so many of them were laden with fabricated and forged documents. These very same cases are now being flushed through the system in the form of swift final judgments, using “relief” money supposedly paid to homeowners. These judgments – particularly in Miami-Dade – continue to ignore the root problems that got us into this crazy mess in the first place. But somehow, this is the state attorney general’s definition of “relief”?
Yes, this will certainly teach those banks not to carry out crimes against taxpayers again. However, it’s not surprising when you consider in light of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent admission that: Yes, some banks are simply too large to prosecute.
Imagine a scenario wherein criminal drug cartels were allowed to reach a settlement agreement with the attorney general. That settlement involved a fine, which was then used to pay for special drug courts, for which special judges and staff were brought on. And then all of sudden, let’s imagine that tens of thousands of pending drug cases were dropped, with the courts claiming it was in the best interest to simply resolve them – despite the fact that most of the “evidence” used to drop the cases was forged and fabricated, and everyone knew it.
There would be no end to the outrage. And yet, THIS is what is happening with the banks. They are in effect being rewarded by their bad behavior.
What’s more, the judges who are assigned to these cases aren’t even subjected to a vote. Because they preside over a special court, they are appointed. So there is no risk of feeling the wrath of the people.
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.
100,000 Floridians Received Approximately $8.3 Billion in Relief Under National Mortgage Settlement, Feb. 21, 2013, Press Release, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office
More Blog Entries:
South Florida Foreclosures and the Rise of the Robo-Witness: Part 2, March 3, 2013, Miami Foreclosure Lawyer Blog