NPR Runs Bank of America PR Piece, Neglects to Explain Why Bank is Donating Foreclosed Homes

By: Friday August 24, 2012 8:55 am

NPR ran a sappy story yesterday about Bank of America donating foreclosed homes, which got a critical response in their comment section. Here’s a representative sample of the comments: This was a poorly researched, uncritical story by NPR. Why is it good thing to dispossess 2500 families from their homes and then give the houses [...]

Bank Camo-Washing Not Leading to Actual Payouts for Servicemembers

By: Thursday July 19, 2012 8:11 am

As much as the banking industry has been revealed as corroded and broken over the past few weeks, the regulatory apparatus hasn’t fared much better. They’ve shown themselves to be asleep at the wheel on Libor, unable to stop money laundering at HSBC, and captured by the industry they’re supposed to regulate. And the latest [...]

Camo-Washing Extends to Housing Regulators

By: Thursday June 21, 2012 9:38 am

I’ve coined the phrase “camo-washing” to describe the persistent dynamic where banks bend over backwards to recognize and compensate for mistakes made in the mortgage and foreclosure process relating to military families, while everyone else gets to twist in the wind. Practically every big bank has made good in wildly extreme ways to violations of [...]

NYT Botches Story on OCC Foreclosure Reviews

By: Wednesday April 4, 2012 7:36 am

The headline sounded impressive: “Review Finds Possible Flaws in More Than 138,000 Foreclosures.” And it’s a review from the notoriously bank-friendly Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, to boot! Maybe the government has gotten the message on the practices of the mortgage industry! Hardly. The 138,000 number is out of a universe of homes [...]

House Democrats Try to Stop Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Beneficiaries From Getting Hit With Big Tax Bill

By: Thursday March 29, 2012 9:35 am

Here’s an almost completely unremarked-upon side effect of the foreclosure fraud settlement: the tax implications. If you are one of the lucky few eligible to receive a principal reduction from the settlement, when the banks aren’t paying off their penalty bulldozing homes and waiving deficiency judgments, you have to reckon with this: because of the [...]

Afghan Massacre Suspect Had Foreclosure Problems at Home

By: Tuesday March 20, 2012 6:45 am

Being the Americans that we are, we have focused on Staff Sergeant Robert Bales and his mental state rather than the 16 Afghan civilians he killed, all of whom had names too. But indulge me for a moment to address one aspect of Bales’ mental state. It turns out that he had a mortgage problem. [...]

Administration Announces Not-New New Housing Relief Programs

By: Tuesday March 6, 2012 11:15 am

I’ll get to the President’s press conference (still ongoing) in a moment, but at the top of it, he announced a series of “new” measures on housing. I put “new” in quotes because I don’t see how these are particularly new measures. Today, the President is announcing two steps the Administration is taking to support [...]

DoJ Settles – Again – With Countrywide on Fair Lending Claim

By: Wednesday December 21, 2011 12:57 pm

The Department of Justice has announced a $335 million settlement with Countrywide, the former subprime mortgage giant now subsumed into Bank of America, on claims of housing discrimination. The Justice Department on Wednesday announced the largest residential fair-lending settlement in history, saying that Bank of America had agreed to pay $335 million to settle allegations [...]

Schneiderman Takes Over: Investigation Commenced on Wrongful Military Foreclosures

By: Wednesday November 30, 2011 7:09 am

Eric Schneiderman’s profile lately has been to go where federal regulators fear to tread, to actually do the jobs of the federal government when they fail to do so. In foreclosure fraud, he undertook the investigation that the feds would not. Now he is applying that to military foreclosures, although the authority here is a [...]

5,000 Active-Duty Military Foreclosures Reviewed for Violations of Law

By: Tuesday November 29, 2011 8:15 am

I have been remiss in not writing more about the Office of Comptroller of the Currency’s efforts to “review” foreclosures and check for various errors and wrongful actions. I simply don’t believe they will have much of an impact. Most of the reviews are being carried out by “independent” entities¬† selected and paid for by [...]

More Camo-Washing: DoJ Gets $117,000 Per Violation From BofA on Wrongful Military Foreclosures

By: Friday November 11, 2011 6:10 am

Over six months ago, I wrote a piece for The American Prospect about something I dubbed “camo-washing,” an effort by big banks to prove their attentiveness to the foreclosure crisis by going out of their way to compensate military families for violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. These violations included egregious behavior, like moving [...]

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