A recent report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency revealed that approximately 1.2 million borrowers were embroiled in a wrongful foreclosure action by 11 different financial institutions.
Our Miami foreclosure lawyers understand this represents a significant amount of the nearly 4 million borrowers who have undergone a foreclosure action.
Ultimately, nearly 245,000 of those 1.2 million lost their homes. Of those, about 1,600 were service members who were protected under the 2003 Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
Comedy Central Comedian Jon Stewart slammed this revelation in a recent episode, calling out not only the banks but the anti-regulatory sentiment that has been so pervasive, particularly among the political right. This is the stance that essentially says the government is incapable of effectively overseeing the banks that the free market should be allowed to reign.
Stewart criticized the government’s decision to allow banks to hire consultants to analyze the alleged wrongdoing. As we all saw, this was disastrous, with regulators finding serious flaws with regard to issues of independence and the ultimate integrity of the findings. In the end, the entire process was scrapped in favor of a lump sum settlement. Stewart mocked the debacle as “helping almost no one,” which he said would be a fitting government slogan.
Jail time for the banking leaders who had perpetuated all this to begin with? Why would we do that when we can simply settle for a non-calculated, arbitrary $9 billion – enough, he said, to be impressive-sounding to consumers, small enough to have no effect on the banks whatsoever — ensuring at best that those wrongfully foreclosed upon would get a few hundred dollars. That is, of course, assuming the checks don’t bounce, which a great deal of them apparently did when the first round started being issued last month.
It didn’t help that those disastrous reviews ended up costing $2 billion – 22 percent of the total payout.
Stewart’s comic relief – and public shaming – provide a welcome reprieve for the millions of people who have suffered unnecessarily through the negligence and criminal actions of financial institutions that knew better or should have known better.
Thankfully, some 1.1 million homeowners were able to successfully fight off foreclosure with a loan modification. Unfortunately, many others weren’t so lucky, due to a practice called “dual tracking.” This is when the bank is simultaneously working out a loan agreement, yet also proceeding with a foreclosure. More often than not, the foreclosure happens first – and that has been no accident.
The practice has since been restricted by those “pesky” federal regulators, who have outright banned the practice in situations where a permanent modification has already been approved. Still, it remains widespread to a troubling degree.
So while the entire process seems laughable, the consequences can be quite serious. Call us today to see how we can help.
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.
Stewart Slams Wrongful Foreclosures: Like A Key Party, But ‘Instead Of F*cking Your Wife,’ They Lose Your Deed, May 7, 2013, By Josh Feldman, Mediaite.com
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