Thursday, February 23, 2012

A dearth of perp walks

There's a running joke on the internets. I can't remember it exactyly but it goes something like, want to steal a little money, rob a bank. Want to steal a lot of money, own a bank. Sadly, it's not a joke. The same bastards who robbed the world economy and crashed it in 08 are still at it. Foreclosure scams are the new grand larceny.
Big financial institutions continue to foreclose on troubled borrowers in error -- either while a homeowner is awaiting a loan modification or because of fees incorrectly added to the seizure -- according to a national survey of attorneys representing borrowers.

One intent of the recent $25-billion mortgage settlement among attorneys general, the nation's five largest mortgage servicers and certain federal agencies was to do away with such errors, but in recent weeks consumer advocates have raised concerns that borrowers who are in the foreclosure process may still be harmed.

More than 80% of the attorneys surveyed said they had in the last year represented a borrower who was awaiting a loan modification but a foreclosure sale was attempted.
Atrios flagged this story this morning and then finds the new angle in their scam. After they wrongfully take the homes, the Banksters buy the foreclosed properties themselves and become slum lords. They ignore rules and regulations without fear of retribution.

And why would they be afraid? They sucked up most of the money betting on the fradulent mortgages in the first place and the government bailed them out when they lost the bet. None of the major players paid a price for their crimes. As Charlie succinctly puts it:
They will not stop — I mean, they absolutely will not stop — until a couple of hundred of them are thrown into jail for terms so long that they scare the tassels off the loafers of the ones who are left unarrested.
The incentives are fucked up. They arrested a few petty thieves like Bernie Madoff for show. Nothing is going to change until they perp walk a whole bunch of the serious larcenists.

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