Thursday, November 18, 2010

Banks, Foreclosures, and Deceit

In his article, in the Tuesday November 15th edition of the New York Times, about foreclosures, David Streitfield discloses the Banking/Mortgage industry’s callousness to the plight of homeowners across the country. Mr. Streitfield writes, referring to Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase "Both have maintained whatever missteps their personnel might have made... No one lost their house who should not have, the banks say". This arrogance is why we cannot fix the mortgage problem. Why did the homeowners end up in foreclosure? Perhaps the Banks and lenders did not follow the LAW about mortgage lending; so by their logic the mortgages should be discharged.

The technicalities that the Banks dismiss are the basis for the protection of property rights. If the foreclosure documents are forged or unverified, the Banks have no way to know if the borrower should have been foreclosed against. This is akin to law enforcement saying that the Miranda warnings given to suspects are not needed because the person would not have been arrested if he/she was not guilty. The same Banks, a mere 2 years ago, argued that they needed federal help to survive, while they really needed help to build profits. Can we hold them to the same standard in dealing with the substance of modifications - that they must grant a modification because the homeowner should have kept his/her house anyway, job loss and bad lending aside?

On the same day, the Times ran another article about the fact that Bank of America, the largest holder of mortgages, has the lowest percentage of Making Home Affordable or HAMP modifications, among the 5 major mortgage servicers/lenders. Maybe there is a mere technicality that will allow some Federal agency to force the mammoth B of A to follow the program in place for modifications, instead of arbitrarily denying such relief just because to paraphrase the Banks, No one will lose their house who doesn't deserve to lose it!

Author's Copyright by Richard I. Isacoff, Esq, November 2010

1 comment:

Jon E. Lewis said...

It is amazing what is going on with these lenders. They broke the rules in approving these loans, and now, they want to put their foot on the homeowners' necks.