Wednesday, May 18, 2011

No Mortgage Principal Relief For Florida

The Florida law firm of David J. Stern was caught falsifying foreclosure documents to force homeowners out of their homes. The "rocket docket" foreclosure courts, set up by the Florida legislature, was found to have judges that did not review documents before evicting homeowners. Forbes reports that Florida has led the nation in reported cases of mortgage fraud two years running. Banks have been illegally kicking people out of their homes and are now trying to settle with the federal government.

Yet the Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and FDIC have entered into a consent decree with the 14 largest mortgage lenders that illegally foreclosed on thousands of homeowners. The deal includes no fines or criminal penalties. Banks must hire outside consultants to review all foreclosures from 2009 and 2010 and identify those who lost homes or were denied loan modifications due to fraud by the banks or firms they hired to assist with the foreclosure process and repay them. Does the government seriously believe that consultants who rely on the banks for their paychecks will find any home­owners who were victims?

The answer is no. The defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen signed off on Enron CFO Andrew Fastow's money laundering hedge funds. Andersen feared losing the highly profitable Enron account. Anderson changed its name to Accenture. Countless people have been made homeless because of the big banks illegal foreclosures. The Federal Reserve's and the Obama administration's response is to file no criminal charges. It is sickening.

A bipartisan group of state attorney generals are working to provide reduction in the mortgage principal owed by homeowners. This would provide relief to about 2 million Florida homeowners. CNBC reports that Florida has the seventh highest foreclosure rate in the country.

43 state attorney generals have reached bipartisan census on banks lowering mortgage principals. One of the seven against making banks comply to this agreement is Florida's Pam Bondi. Hysterically, Bondi claimed that lowering the mortgage principal would encourage homeowners to default. What Bondi doesn't add is that the agreement would allow states to be able to fine and have other penalties against banks.

Bondi's decision to not sue BP is proof she values protecting corporate interests above the people of Florida. Bondi could care less how many people are thrown out on the streets because of fraudulent mortgages practices by banks. Floridians have an Attorney General just as horrible as its Governor.

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