You'd think that if debt collectors were suing you, they'd want to make a big deal out of it, right? Wrong: Their preferred method of delivery was a plain, first-class letter. Why? Because the mere fact of mailing was considered proper notice.
The big banks recently agreed to pay $25 billion to the victims of foreclosure abuse. Yes, $25 billion might sound quite impressive. But here in Miami, the virtual "ground zero" of the foreclosure crisis, we're wary.
The robo-signing settlement is the latest -- and potentially the largest -- piece in the U.S. housing policy puzzle. Even though it's partly punishment for banks' wrongdoing, it is also another answer by the government to the question of how it can help the housing market.
We need a solution at the scale of the problem, so that families can get back on their feet, the economy can get working, and people can reach for their American dreams again instead of watching them drown.
The Federal government and the Attorneys General from 49 states have signed a deal with five major banks over charges of fraud, including reported acts of widespread perjury and forgery, in the so-called "robo-signing" scandal.
The banks engaged in a years' long pattern of what can only be described as fraudulent if not criminal conduct that would put anyone else in prison for years if not decades, yet banks get to buy off the cops with some money to help just a few of the victims they created.
We'll win some but we'll lose some, and some of the time we will do both at the same time. That is the story of the robo-signing settlement that has finally become a done deal after many long months of struggle over it.
Investigation is needed into not just whether massive robo-signing occurred but why it was being done. The alleged justification -- that the bankers were so busy that they cut corners -- hardly seems credible given the extent of the practice.