Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor
It seems that a week doesn’t go by without news of the latest Big Bank agreeing to pay billions in a settlement with the government over their past and continuing abuses concerning mortgages. This past week was no exception.
“Preliminary reports say that a $16 to $17 billion settlement will soon be announced between the Justice Department and Bank of America. That would break the record for the largest bank settlement in history, set less than a year ago by a $13 billion agreement between Justice and JPMorgan Chase.” Crooks and Liars
Sixteen billion dollars is not chickenfeed! However, as we have learned in the many past settlements, the dollar amounts can be a little deceiving.
“Much of the “consumer relief” in past deals has turned out to be nothing more than gamesmanship with numbers. Banks modify loans in ways that are advantageous to them, offer deals they almost certainly would’ve offered anyway, and then count them against their “settlement” obligations.
That’s the kind of thing that happened with the much-hyped “$25 billion” foreclosure fraud deal announced in 2012. Subsequent settlements (including last month’s “$7 billion”Citigroup deal) have been vulnerable to the same kind of abuse.
Now the Wall Street Journal reports that $7 billion to $8 billion from the Bank of America deal will be allocated for “consumer relief, such as reducing mortgage balances for struggling homeowners,” while $9 billion will go to “the federal government, states and other government entities.” Only the $9 billion is a sure thing – and most of that money will go to government agencies that have a poor record of providing relief to wronged homeowners.
What’s more, it hasn’t been announced whether this deal, like Citigroup’s recent settlement, will be tax-deductible. If so, Americans will get shortchanged at the federal level, too.” Crooks and Liars
If the full amount of this latest “settlement” would actually get to abused and defrauded investors and borrowers, it would go a long way in making people whole. Why does it seem that the Justice Department and the SEC provide a large number for the media and then when the facts come out, the allegedly criminal banks are paying out a fraction of the agreed upon settlement amount?
In light of the consistent failure of the Justice Department and the SEC to criminally prosecute bankers and Banks for what could be called serial mortgage fraud, it could be argued that prosecutors are purposely giving the Banks a “free pass”. I realize that I may be stating the obvious, however, if it is obvious why do prosecutors keep shying away from criminal prosecutions? Is the Fix in?
In light of the recent past, Bank of America seems to have been a frequent recipient of what I allege are sweetheart deals or slaps on the wrist. I am not the only one who thinks the Big Banks are getting off easy.
“Worst of all, nothing in these settlements is likely to dissuade bankers from engaging in similar misadventures in the future. When the New York Times studied bank settlements several years ago, it found that banks routinely violated the pledges they made in agreements like these.
Bank of America had engaged in six repeat violations as of November 7, 2011. Since then it’s been a party to mortgage-related settlements that include the (allegedly) $25 billion foreclosure fraud deal; a $9.3 billion multi-bank settlement in 2013; and an $8.5 billion agreement with a group of mortgage investors it had defrauded.
Many deals with other big banks were also struck during that time. But there have been no criminal prosecutions of big-bank executives, an omission that Federal Judge Jed S. Rakoff lamented in a recent speech. Rakoff called the lack of prosecutions from the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission “technically and morally suspect” and characterized the excuses they’ve given for failing to prosecute as “hollow” and “lame.”’ Crooks and Liars
Let’s review. Bank of America has been involved in at least 6 repeat violations, just in the last 3 years and yet no one is in jail. If a Big Bank like Bank of America is allowed to allegedly break the law on multiple occasions and the only penalty is a money settlement or fine, why should any Big Bank change its behavior? They can make a lot more money breaking the laws, even with the so-called billions paid in settlements.
These big banks are corporations and we have learned that “corporations are people”, so why haven’t any of these corporate “people” been put in jail? Why haven’t these “people” been forced to do the perp walk in front of the cameras? The now infamous Bernie Madoff was jailed for defrauding many customers with his investment scheme, but maybe his only mistake was not establishing a corporate bank first. If Bernie Madoff had been Bank of Madoff, would he be in jail now? What do you think?
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53 thoughts on “Bank of America Escapes Jail… Again”
These banks that are part of the Federal Reserve have systematically designed this fraud to steal the hard working American people’s homes. This is more than personal. We work our lifetime to pay off our homes and just by them manipulating the market they drive the real estates prices down and encouraging the home owner to refinance and then they come in for the kill. They raise the interest rates crash the economy and cause unemployment that effects the ability to pay their mortgage. In the meantime they have sold our homes as a security to trust ( only they didn’t in many cases get in in in time) . They lie to the courts and say the trust own the mortgage and after the homeowner proves with an audit that they don’t. They were two year too late getting it in the trust. The homeowner proves this and the complicit judges still forecloses on the homeowner. Obama was selected to help them with these crime . We no longer have a government representing the people. These are sad times for such what once was a great country. These Zionest Jewish bankers are still winning , their greed is as wide as our oceans, their crimes are as evil as Satan.
As further evidence they victimized us this stuff was being discussed a full two years before it was done to us but we had no idea. I had no idea until I looked for it to help reveal some of what I may not clearly state. It is definitely a wide ranging conspiracy to defraud. And why else would they be out here six hours after he was indicted if we were incorrect about them installing a remote shut off valve in order to prevent us from bathing and normal life around every court date??? They must be borderline crazy but are still getting away with it inpart. And we’re still being foreclosed on no matter what we try to prove.
Sorry he may not own UMG but it is widely known he or his cohorts control it. The other participants utility wise are Kentucky power American electrical power. They now have us blocked for online bill payments forcing you to drive over an hour or to pay for certified to be sure they don’t ‘lose’ your payment as bank of America did. We queried this pretty hard due to terrible inconvenience and lack of reason and they told us in writing that the reason is we had tried to pay six times in thirty days with ou expired card which expires in 2018. It is the most mindless harassment and dishonesty wherein they strive to disconnect the power despite it has been regularly paid for over four years. This is the company whomtold our female guest that it didn’t matter how much she rubbed herself on him, he would have to come out and shut the power off despite the fact that she fell forward trying to see his computer screen which clearly revealed a bad date and double billing of an mat paid several months prior. He was not in an official company truck. But they did claim him in the five hour phone conversation where several people clearly stated to the company what their employee had done. That along with the water guy asking to see nipples. Later we realized it was just another form of intimidation highly improper and probably illegal. This is the story of a wrongful foreclosure by boa and their retained attorney. They are determined to force the homeowner into bankruptcy to defend the home. So much was done they also broke into our car and destroyed the hard drive to the computer containing much of the evidence but not enough of it and that also exists on video. http://www.topix.com/forum/city/phelps-ky/TUTDHDRDDMHK4V5HR
Mr. Lawrence Rafferty, thank you for covering this tawdry subject. We have so much evidence of collusion by so many, it’s almost unbelievable. But not if you live through it as we have and are. It’s truly the worst and most frightening thing, they attempted to criminalize us and have had us followed, our home and car vandalized and even lied that we had threatened people in order to have us illegally investigated. They redirected the water to our home. Every time we had a court date the water would be shut off. This is not a joke. The day the state rep was indicted for other matters he is also bff with judge two in our cases, this entire street lit up six hours later at three in the morning, digging up and undoing whatever had been done to our water pipes down the way leading to the property. Not the first time the water district mountain water district has been caught marginalizing a homeowner and property. When we tried to report this they accused us of threatening their employees who actually came out to take our water meter despite we had paid months in advance. They first surged our home causing plumbing issues at every source of water and the plumber we called also bff with the judge caused thousands more in damage but did fix the shower.
We admit it does sound offbeat but it happened. PLUS. Luckily our security camera and an alert family member was recording all the ‘alleged threats’ no one made and you can clearly hear that it was just a quiet conversation even laughing. This stemmed from when they came to take the meter while we had a pcs complaint filed and their surging had caused a six hundred dollar bill. Those same guys, allegedly threatened by us were out again the other day for another problem with their equipment, not looking the least nit threatened. Pretty sure they don’t even know it was said and the attorney for the water district fabricated the tale. The records for the water company are sealed and said not to be public record. WHAT????
The office manager who is employed by UMG where MWD was put ‘inside’ of to hide records actually told me on video that they were going to fix the bill for us but then decided they didn’t like us because we were rude and so left the six hundred dollar bill intact. At the same time employees from both companies had been sexually suggestive to females on the property and aggressive in one case, asking to see nipples. Completely unprovoked. Then the power bill quadrupled. Luckily it is all on video. You can see the meter running up hundreds of kWh when no one is home and nothing is on. Our electric bill was nearly six hundred dollars. So yes this law firm does have multiple connections and uses every tool imaginable to drive the homeowner out. Because their proof is nonexistent. A default never existed. The attorney they tried to get us to hire is bff with the indicted state rep who, by the way, is also owner of the UMG and has his own private cops at and for his energy company. A many page indictment available at page one Kentucky.
Jimmy22: Your comment at August 11, 2014 at 9:45 am betrays a severe lack of sophistication and understanding about principles involving the law and the marketplace.
The fact is that many homebuyers were sold on the idea of owning a home through a very powerful messaging system that included talking heads of authority figures like Alan “Wage Inflation” Greenspan and others. Coupled with scores of advertisements and tV and movies, homebuying became as fashionable as cigarette smoking (Ahhh, the American *coff-coff* dream).
Point in fact, many homebuyers lacked the sufficient understanding of what they were getting into and were not told by their underwriters, who were only interested in collecting their commission. There was a time when bnks felt a fiduciary obligation to shareholders and depositors to prequalify homebuyers in order to fit them with a mortgage instrument they could afford.
In that sense they functioned more like physicians assessing a patient or lawyers crafting a case for a client.
Of course, you probably self-diagnose and draw up your own contracts. You certainly seem self-taught.
Are you forgetting that Bank of America is a six time offender, just since 2011?
rafflaw – not here to defend Bank of America.
Too bad about Robin Williams. I was as shocked as when Benny Hill went that way. Could probably blame the Psychs if we had the full story. (they love to destroy talent)
traveling limey – I could go into a long discussion about the demise of Robin Williams career and how he got where he is today, but I am sure you are capable of doing the same thing. Jonathan Winters had bipolar disorder and Robin Williams seems to have been the same.
When you are the Superpower Mafia and you are in bed with Mafia banks like B of A, WF, Citibank, you want the whores to keep giving you money so you bail them out with Joe Public’s money. As long as you support the Troops, the Republicans & the Democrats, instead of America, the people, there will be no change for the better.
traveling limey – fyi Wells Fargo did not need to be bailed out by the government but was told that if they didn’t take the money and they needed more money down the road, they would not get it. So, they took the money and repaid it, with interest.
Why does the government deem big banks as “too big to fail” ?
They have failed and we bail them out… WHY?
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