Gov. Walker “Walks” All Over the Proposed Foreclosure Settlement

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger

Just the other day we learned of the proposed foreclosure abuse settlement between the Attorney Generals of almost all 50 states and the Big Banks.  In that pending settlement, the Banks will be depositing up to $26 Billion dollars into a fund designed to help homeowners whose homes are under water and who have been foreclosed upon.  “Federal and state officials today will finally announce that they’ve reached a settlement with the nation’s biggest banks over the banks’ various foreclosure fraud abuses, such as “robo-signing” foreclosure documents and submitting falsely notarized documents to courts. The settlement has been in the works for several months, as a few key states — most notably California and New York — were holding out for tougher terms against the banks.”  Think Progress  While some still think the settlement does not go far enough, there is evidence that the settlement could provide real relief for homeowners and for the real estate market.  But the concept of helping the market and homeowners gets lost, at least in the mind of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin!

Gov. Walker and his Wisconsin Attorney General have decided that the lions share of any settlement funds heading to Wisconsin are not going to be used for their agreed upon purpose, but to help balance his ailing state budget!  “However, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) — whose high profile assault on workers’ rights has prompted a recall effort against him — isn’t planning to use the money to help homeowners. Under the terms of the settlement, Wisconsin is set to receive $140 million, $31.6 million of which comes directly to the state government. And Walker is planning to use $25.6 million of that money to help balance his state’s budget:  Of a $31.6 million payment coming directly to the state government, most of that money – $25.6 million – will go to help close a budget shortfall revealed in newly released state projections. [Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen], whose office said he has the legal authority over the money, made the decision in consultation with Walker.  “Just like communities and individuals have been affected, the foreclosure crisis has had an effect on the state of Wisconsin, in terms of unemployment. … This will offset that damage done to the state of Wisconsin,” Walker said.”  Think Progress

Somehow, Gov. Walker and his AG are trying to make us believe that funds that have been tentatively agreed upon to be used to help individual homeowners and former homeowners, will be better utilized to balance his budget that has been criticized for making gifts to corporations at the expense of the individual citizens and public education.  Journal Sentinel   Did Gov. Walker think that the big blow-up over contraception the last few days would hide this story of outright theft from the homeowners who need it the most?

Notwithstanding your opinion of the proposed settlement, what good at all will this proposed settlement be to homeowners and the real estate market if individual Governors are allowed to raid the funds and use them in ways that they were not intended to be used?  Is this just one more example of politicians attempting to line their pockets or to service their “base” and leaving the taxpayers in their dust?  Will this attempted theft by Walker be one more nail in his political coffin with his pending recall election later this year?

In this writers opinion, the Feds and the majority of Attorney Generals from across the country need to make sure that when the agreement is finalized that individual Governors cannot be allowed to defraud the public and steal the funds delegated for homeowner relief.  How do the state Attorneys General prevent this kind of deception what weakening the impact of this settlement?  What do you think?

52 thoughts on “Gov. Walker “Walks” All Over the Proposed Foreclosure Settlement”

  1. Where are the Public Memorandums for all the legal proceedings? Has anyone found those yet? I have searched and searched, and come up short Wouldn’t one would think that if 49 states are involved, one would be able to find at least one state that has released the court documents. If anyone has found a link to the .pdf versions of the memorandums I would love to check them out. Any help would be great! Thanks!

  2. California has always lead the nation in reforms, even in prop 8, citizen-sponsored reform. Could we ask our friends there to proposition on cutting defense and aerospace spending, shutting down spy satellite launches from Vandenberg, etc. (Facetiously said of course).

    We have to start somewhere and have a bunch of state governors and legislatures ready to follow the lead—just as they are on all the Repugnant issues at the moment.

    How do you stop “substance” abuse when it involves world control, consensus control, and economy control—–as well as milking us cows for all we are worth.

    Yattata, yattata, yack!!!

    Questions, yeah. Where’s my answers. Am too old to find them.

  3. idealist,
    you start anywhere. It won’t ever get done if we don’t make any significant cuts in non-essential defense line items. And it won’t get done if we do not get money out of politics. But that is another discussion.

  4. Mike S.,
    Your last sentence says it all about taxes.

    We know what has to be cut and from where. But how to motivate representatives who are bought and also dependent on defense jobs?

    How do you stop the biggest of them all, even bigger than big oil?

  5. Let’s strip away the politics for a second and look at the schematics. The anti-taxation meme that has been pushed for many years now has caused politicians on all levels to be afraid to raise needed tax revenue in all but seemingly surreptitious means. These include raising tolls, raising the cost of parking/traffic fines, passing off court costs to those appealing summons, etc. All politicians whether middle, right, or left are now doing this to avoid being attacked for raising taxes. Since certain State and local services cannot be cut substantially and in these times there is an increased need for revenue lost from the feds, creativity has become the norm. These moneys are seized by the State governments in lieu of raising taxes to eliminate and/or decrease deficits. This is a legacy left to us by those who blindly object to taxation. The aftermath of that anti-tax legacy has left this country with a crumbling infrastructure and a dearth of needed services. Pathetically, those proponents of anti-tax all the time have caused more harm to this country than has Al Qaeda, while pretending to be patriots.

  6. The Democratic Governor of Missouri and his Democratic AG have just joined the Scott Walker club by announcing that they will steal $40 million of the projected foreclosure settlement funds to help fund education. While I admire more funding for education, these funds are not designed for that purpose.

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