(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Another state attorney general is suing five major banks and Mortgage Electronic Registration System Inc. and its parent company over deceptive foreclosure practices. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley filed the suit on Wednesday seeking redress from Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc., and Ally Financial.
Ms. Coakley joins a small group of state attorney generals from larger states that have been hit the hardest by the foreclosure/mortgage fraud scandal:
Ms. Coakley, whose reputation was tarnished after her loss to a Republican for the late Ted Kennedy’s senate seat, has been strong on tightening state regulations and force banks to assist financially stressed homeowners save their homes:
Coakley spoke in support of legislation she filed in January with state Senator Karen Spilka, an Ashland Democrat, and Representative Steven M. Walsh, a Lynn Democrat. The proposed law, which they call An Act to Prevent Unlawful and Unnecessary Foreclosures, focuses on mortgage loans that are considered to be risky, including those with interest-only payment and adjustable rates.
The bill would require lenders to analyze a borrower’s financial information to determine whether modifying the loan to a more affordable payment would be more beneficial financially to the lender than going through the lengthy and costly process of taking the property through foreclosure. Many lenders already undertake such a study before deciding whether to foreclose, but the bill would permit homeowners to file a lawsuit if the process does not occur, according to Coakley’s staff.
The proposed law also would force lenders to prove they are the legal owner of mortgages before foreclosing, incorporating the findings of recent foreclosure-related decisions from the state’s Supreme Judicial Court.
These five state attorney generals are doing the hard work that should be done by the US Attorney General Eric Holder. Instead Mr. Holder is still clinging to Iowa AG Tom Miller’s stalled negotiations with the banks to settle the fraud for a mere $25 billion and exoneration from criminal prosecution. Mr. Holder has made protecting banks and corporations his priority and just recently announced a new initiative to prosecute intellectual property rights thefts by the public. This is not what Americans elected this administration to do.