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Big Bank Watch: While feds give banks sweet deal, Attorneys General and homeowners declare fight far from over

By Tim Lilienthal

Yesterday, federal regulators provided the big banks with a sweet deal that offers only surface “enforcement actions” on the banks’ fraudulent and abusive lending practices.

This announcement came on the tails of the release of a new a “study” that tries to scare elected officials and the public about any real effort to hold big banks accountable.

The good news – on Tuesday homeowners, took the fight directly to the 50-state Attorneys Generals and Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan in North Carolina.

Here’s the full scoop.

Read more



Press Statement: Homeowners strongly condemn consent decree proposed by federal agencies that would let big banks off the hook for mortgage fraud

For Immediate Release: April 6, 2011

Contact:
Liz Ryan Murray, National People’s Action: 562-310-7330/liz@npa-us.org
Tim Lilienthal, PICO National Network: 413-537-0631/tlilienthal@piconetwork.org

Homeowners strongly condemn consent decree proposed by federal agencies that would let big banks off the hook for mortgage fraud
Encourage federal agencies to work with 50-state Attorneys General to reach shared agreement

Once again the Federal banking regulators are showing their true colors and standing up for big banks and not American homeowners.  The Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation are reportedly moving ahead with a consent agreement against the nation’s big bank mortgage servicers that lets them almost completely off the hook for their illegal behavior and years of consumer abuse.

The Banking Accountability Campaign comes out firmly against these moves by the federal regulators.

Read more



Big Bank Watch: 60 Minutes report leads Massachusetts county official to challenge Bank of America over $22 million in mortgage fees

By Julie Chinitz

It’s not just homeowners that have been bankrupted by the big banks’ mortgage fraud activities.  Local governments have started to assess the budget damage as well—and it isn’t pretty.

Essex County, Massachusetts’, Register of Deeds John O’Brien says that in his area, almost 150,000 mortgages have “cloudy” ownership records due to a plan by the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) to avoid millions of dollars in government fees. The estimated cost to his county so far? $22 million. O’Brien wants his state to stop depositing county funds into Bank of America, which has part ownership of MERS.

“Perhaps when these lenders lose millions of dollars in deposits, they may begin to understand the seriousness of their actions. It seems to me that their business model, which has been referred to as ‘fees for thee, not for me,’ needs to be abolished,” O’Brien told the Eagle Tribune.

O’Brien said he was moved to speak out after Sunday’s “60 Minutes” investigative report on how big banks have used forged and fraudulent documents, robo-signers, and dummy vice-presidents to kick people out of their homes.

Read more



The Daily Dupe: How the big banks made $25 billion off the backs of homeowners

Welcome to “The Daily Dupe,” a spotlight on the big bank’s spin machine.

On the heels of a successful National Call-in Day, new reports show that the big banks’ own stock holders are turning against them.

Bank of America stock holders are suing the board and some officers claiming losses due to the bank’s faulty mortgage recording and foreclosure paperwork.

Read more



47 states. Thousands of calls. And it just won’t stop.

Yesterday, thousands of you called your Attorney General and demanded that they choose a side: the homeowners they’ve sworn to protect or the big banks that broke the law and bankrupted the economy.  And they heard you.  Calls were made in 47 states!

This is no small feat. And it’s all because of you.

Because of your call, the Attorneys General will have YOUR WORDS in mind as they sit down today with the big banks to hammer out the terms of the settlement to their fraudulent practices. They know that we will accept nothing less than a settlement that saves homes and forces the banks to pay for their crimes.

Here’s what some of you reported: Read more



Glenn Beck is right?!?!

Could this be? Is it true? Did Glenn Beck get something correct on his show last night??
On his Fox show last night, Beck said:

Tomorrow, the National People’s Action, NPA, a good friend of SEIU, is calling for people to flood their Attorney General’s office with phone calls demanding that their Attorneys General stand with the homeowners, not the big banks to investigate foreclosure practices.  I don’t think union members want to destroy America, but if you stay silent you will have the same effect.

Read more



Today: Call your Attorney General!

Today is the day that you can stand up for yourself and millions of other Americans. It’s the day when you can call upon your Attorney General and demand that he/she holds the big banks accountable for their crimes.

The 50-state Attorneys General have the opportunity to restore both millions of homeowners and our economy by delivering a strong settlement against the big banks. But the big bank’s lobby and spin machine is already in overdrive, trying to weaken a middle-of-the-road settlement proposal suggested by the Attorneys General in early March.

Our goal is to generate 10,000 calls and send a clear message to our Attorneys General to deliver a strong settlement. Will you be one of those 10,000 calls?

Hold Big Banks Accoutable!Call your Attorney General right now at 866-200-6444

Demand nothing less than a strong settlement against the big banks. By calling the 866 number, you will be directly connected to your state Attorney General’s office. Tell your Attorney General:

“My name is [__insert name__] and I am a resident of [STATE]. The Attorney General must come out in support a settlement that provides justice for millions of homeowners and holds the big banks accountable for their crimes. Nothing less is acceptable. Thank you.”

Then

Tell us how the call went!

Your First Name:
Your Email:
What did your AG, or the receptionist, tell you?

Why call your Attorney General? Read the 5 Reasons To Call Your AG today >>


STATE AG NAME PHONE
Alabama Luther Strange (334) 242-7300
Alaska John J. Burns (907) 465-3600
Arizona Tom Horne (602) 542-4266
Arkansas Dustin McDaniel (800) 482-8982
California Kamala Harris 510-622-4500
916-323-8270 (main comment voicemail)
Colorado John Suthers 303-866-4500
Connecticut George Jepsen (860) 808-5318
Delaware Beau Biden (302) 577-8338
District of Columbia Irvin Nathan (Acting) (202) 727-3400
Florida Pam Bondi (850) 414-3300
Georgia Sam Olens (404) 656-3300
Hawaii Mark Bennett (808) 586-1500
Idaho Lawrence Wasden (208) 334-2400
Illinois Lisa Madigan (312) 814-3000
Indiana Greg Zoeller (317) 232-6201
Iowa Tom Miller (515) 281-5164
Kansas Derek Schmidt (785) 296-2215
Kentucky Jack Conway (502) 696-5300
Louisiana James “Buddy” Caldwell (225) 326-6000
Maine William Schneider (207) 626-8800
Maryland Douglas F. Gansler (410) 576-6300
Massachusetts Martha Coakley (617) 727-2200
Michigan Bill Schuette (517) 373-1110
Minnesota Lori Swanson (651) 296-3353
Mississippi Jim Hood (601) 359-3680
Missouri Chris Koster (573) 751-3321
Montana Steve Bullock (406) 444-2026
Nebraska Jon Bruning (402) 471-2682
Nevada Catherine Cortez Mastro (775) 684-1100
New Hampshire Michael Delaney (603) 271-3658
New Jersey Paula T. Dow (609) 292-4925
New Mexico Gary King (505) 827-6000
New York Eric Schneiderman (518) 474-7330
North Carolina Roy Cooper (919) 716-6400
North Dakota Wayne Stenehjem (701) 328-2210
Ohio Mike DeWine (614) 466-4320
Oklahoma Scott Pruitt (405) 521-3921
Oregon John Kroger (503) 378-4400
Pennsylvania William H. Ryan, Jr. (Acting) (717) 787-3391
Rhode Island Peter Kilmartin (401) 274-4400
South Carolina Alan Wilson (803) 734-3970
South Dakota Marty Jackley (605) 773-3215
Tennessee Robert E. Cooper Jr. 615-741-3491
Texas Greg Abbott (512) 463-2100
Utah Mark Shurtleff (801) 538-9600
Vermont William Sorrell (802) 828-3173
Virginia Ken Cuccinelli (804) 786-2071
Washington Rob McKenna (360) 753-6200
West Virginia Darrel V. McGraw (304) 558-2021
Wisconsin J.B. Van Hollen (608) 266-1221
Wyoming Bruce A. Salzburg (307) 777-7841

P.S. Have you signed our petition yet? We’re gathering tens of thousands of signatures to deliver straight to the Attorneys General in the next month to demand a strong mortgage settlement. Sign the petition here.



The Daily Dupe: How a borrower goes to jail, but the big bankers don’t

Welcome to “The Daily Dupe,” your daily highlight of the big banks’ spin machine. We’ll be posting a “dupe” everyday in the lead up to our second National Attorneys General Call-In Day on Tuesday, March 29.

Come back to Crime Shouldn’t Pay tomorrow for info on how you can make your call. Tomorrow is critical because the state Attorneys General will be meeting with Bank of America, Wells Fargo,  J.P. Morgan Chase and more on Wednesday to start negotiations for the final settlement. The Attorneys Generals need to hear from us now!

Today’s Daily Dupe brings us the story of Charlie Engle, now in federal prison for his role in the housing market mess. Is he a big banker that gambled with mortgages and crashed our economy?

No.

One of the shady mortgage brokers that the financial firms turned to for generating the mortgages they repackaged and sold on Wall Street?

No again.

Read more



5 Reasons To Call Your Attorney General on Tuesday, March 29

Tomorrow is the day where you and thousands of people will call our Attorneys General to demand a strong settlement against the big banks. Why is your phone call so important?

  1. The 50 state AG’s are starting negotiations with the big banks to hammer out settlement details NOW.
  2. A settlement decision could be made as early as May!
  3. The big banks are going to do everything they can to weaken any settlement that holds them accountable. (They are already crying foul against the first soft settlement proposed by the 50-state Attorneys General in early March.)
  4. A strong settlement means that millions of homeowners who are the victims of fraudulent mortgages could stay in their homes, while millions more could receive restitution.
  5. A weak settlement means that those responsible for perpetrating massive mortgage fraud would continue to get away with their crimes.

Tomorrow’s Details

Who: YOU + thousands of others
What: Call your Attorney General and demand a strong settlement with the big banks.
Where: From your work, home, or place of business
When: Tomorrow, March 29th
Why: Because the Attorneys General must hold the big banks accountable.
How: The phone number, a sample telephone script, and other details will be sent to you tomorrow morning.

Call your Attorney General tomorrow to demand they choose a side: the homeowners they’ve sworn to protect or the big banks that broke the law and bankrupted the economy.

To see the full list of settlement demands, please visit The Homeowner’s Bottom Line.