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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hear No Evil - Speak No Evil - See No Evil

A months-long investigation into abusive mortgage practices by the Federal Reserve found no wrongful foreclosures, members of the Fed's Consumer Advisory Council said Thursday.

During a public meeting attended by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and other regulators, consumer advocates on the panel criticized federal bank regulators for narrowly defining what constitutes a "wrongful foreclosure." At least one member of the panel voiced concerns that the public would not take the Fed's findings of improper practices seriously, since the wide-ranging review did not find a single homeowner who was wrongfully foreclosed upon.

If you don't look for something how could you ever find it?  But will anyone do anything about the Banks?

All 50 state attorneys general joined together last fall to probe banks' foreclosure practices after several companies halted home repossessions when improper paperwork practices -- like the so-called "robo-signing" scandal -- came to light. The law enforcement officers have said they've found banks violated numerous state laws. State and federal officials are considering a large-scale settlement with banks and mortgage servicers that could include penalties totaling up to $30 billion and requirements to modify more distressed mortgages.

But is $30 billion enough?  Or is this just a way of sweeping the issue under the rug?

Mary Tingerthal, the Fed council's vice chair and the commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, worried that the public would only pay attention to the report's "headline" finding, she said, which is that bank examiners did not find improper foreclosures. The Fed did find significant problems in banks' mortgage operations, she said.

But what is the scope of the issue?  Last year, foreclosure notices were filed on more than 3 million properties, according to data provider Realtytrac. More than one million homes were repossesed, a record. More than 11 million Americans currently owe more than their home is worth, according to CoreLogic, a real estate data provider.

So in 3 million foreclosures you couldn't find a single problem?  Seriosuly?  See No Evil!

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