Attorney General Eric Holder Delivers Remarks at the Mortgage Servicers Settlement Press Conference

Attorney General Eric Holder Delivers Remarks at the Mortgage Servicers Settlement Press Conference

Washington, D.C. ~ Thursday, February 9, 2012

Good morning. I’m pleased to join with Secretary Shaun Donovan; Attorney General for the State of Iowa, Tom Miller; Associate Attorney General, Tom Perrelli; HUD Inspector General, David Montoya; and Attorney General for the State of Colorado, John Suthers – to announce our latest step forward in righting the wrongs that led to our nation’s housing-market collapse and economic crisis.

Today, the Departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development – along with 49 state attorneys general and other federal agencies – have reached a landmark $25 billion agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers: Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Company, Citibank, and Ally Financial, which was formerly GMAC.

This agreement reflects our commitment – at both the federal and state levels – to ensure justice, and to recover losses, for victims of reckless and abusive mortgage practices. In addition to addressing many of the most egregious mortgage loan servicing abuses that our investigations have uncovered, this agreement establishes significant new homeowner protections to help prevent future misconduct. It also provides substantial financial assistance to victim borrowers. In fact, it is the largest joint federal-state civil settlement in history.

Although every American can be encouraged by today’s settlement and the progress it achieves, I realize more work must be done. That’s why we have taken steps to ensure that the claims we are releasing through this settlement will not interfere with our ability to move current investigations and prosecutions forward – and to advance the work of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

Let me be clear on this. While today’s agreement resolves certain civil claims based on mortgage loan servicing activities, it does not prevent state and federal authorities from pursuing criminal enforcement actions. And it preserves extensive claims related to mortgage securitization activities, including the claims that will be the focus of the new Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group. Furthermore, the agreement does not prevent any claims by any individual borrowers who wish to bring their own lawsuits.

This agreement underscores a point that many of you heard me make here at the Justice Department, less than two weeks ago, when Secretary Donovan and I announced – and convened the first meeting of – the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force’s new Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group. I noted that, by focusing on collaboration – and by bringing our government’s full enforcement resources to bear – we can improve our ability to identify and prosecute misconduct in our financial markets, recover losses, prevent fraud, and hold those who violate the law accountable.

Today’s settlement proves this – and is a remarkable example of cooperative law enforcement. Multiple federal agencies – including DOJ, HUD’s Office of the Inspector General, the Federal Housing Administration, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Special Inspector General for the Trouble Assets Relief Program – played key roles in achieving this settlement. And we partnered with state attorney general offices and state banking regulators from across the country, who brought valuable expertise – and unique, on-the-ground experience with those directly affected by the foreclosure crisis – to this resolution.

In particular, I want to recognize the outstanding work of the Justice Department’s United States Trustees Program, and our United States Attorneys’ Offices.

The U.S. Trustees Program, which serves as the watchdog of all bankruptcy court operations, was one of the first federal agencies to investigate mortgage servicer abuse of homeowners in financial distress. As part of their investigation, Trustees reviewed more than 37,000 documents filed by major mortgage servicers in federal bankruptcy court – and took discovery in more than 175 cases across the country. These efforts were advanced by several United States Attorneys, including U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch from the Eastern District of New York, who is here with us. During a three-year investigation, her office issued multiple subpoenas, reviewed over two million documents, and interviewed numerous witnesses. They have worked tirelessly to seek justice for homeowners who were treated unfairly and taxpayers who footed the bill. And the information and evidence that these teams compiled – and the expertise they provided – was essential in reaching this historic settlement.

Similar large-scale reviews were also conducted by HUD, FHA, and others. Our investigations revealed disturbing practices. For instance, we saw that – far too often – servicers pushed borrowers into foreclosure, even though federal regulations required the servicers to try other alternatives first. These failures didn’t just hurt borrowers who might have been able to afford modified mortgages. They fueled the downward spiral of our economy – and of communities nationwide. They eroded faith in our financial systems. And they punished American taxpayers, who have had to foot the bill for foreclosures that could have been avoided.

With this settlement, we are recovering precious taxpayer resources. And the state attorneys general will be establishing a fund to facilitate payments to borrowers who, as a result of improper lending practices, lost their homes during the foreclosure crisis. Mortgage servicers also will be required to dedicate substantial resources – approximately $20 billion – to provide relief and assistance to struggling homeowners and neighborhoods. And the agreement includes specific provisions that will enhance protections – and help ensure justice – for U.S. service members and their families.

I also want to note that, with this settlement, we aren’t just holding mortgage servicers accountable for wrongs they committed. We are using this opportunity to fix a broken system, and to lay the groundwork for a better future. Our nation’s leading mortgage servicers will be required to follow a new set of standards, which will be overseen by an independent monitor – and will be enforceable in federal court.

My colleagues will discuss some of the details of today’s settlement more specifically – and I encourage anyone seeking addition information to visit a new website that we’ve established: www.NationalMortgageSettlement.com

I want to thank everyone who contributed to this achievement. And, now, I’d like to turn things over to one of the leaders of this important work – Secretary Shaun Donovan.

~

4closureFraud.org

Comments
7 Responses to “Attorney General Eric Holder Delivers Remarks at the Mortgage Servicers Settlement Press Conference”
  1. John says:

    There will be a paper to sign releasing all claims against the banks and mortgage companies, I’ll bet.
    All of them would gladly pay $2000.00 for each home to get the house in a legal position to have a clear title and be sold and a NEW mortgage given that is all in their favor and totally legal.
    This reminds me so much of the land deals and promises, treaties, given the American Indians for reservation land. People have not changed in their hearts when greed is the driving force!

  2. lvent says:

    F**CK HIM….!
    WE KNOW WHO THE TRAITORS ARE NOW!
    CONGRESS ARE THE TRAITORS!
    THEY CREATED THE FEDERAL RESERVE!
    THE FEDERAL RESERVE IS THE BIGGEST SWINDLE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD!
    THEY LEND NO MONEY!!
    THEY HIJACK THE WEALTH OF NATIONS FOR THE DEBT THEY CREATE OUT OF THIN AIR!
    AMERICA….WAKE UP!
    STOP PAYING, CONFORMING AND COMPLYING WITH BIG LIES!

    • lvent says:

      THE FEDERAL RESERVE ISNT EVEN FEDERAL!!!!
      THEIR NAME IS ANOTHER DECEPTION TO MAKE YOU BELIEVE ANOTHER BIG LIE….!
      THE FEDERAL RESERVE IS A PRIVATE BANK, OWNED AND OPERATED BY THE MONEYED ELITE!!!!!!
      THEY ARE NOT PART OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT….THEY HIJACKED OUR GOVERNMENT……AND THE U.S. TREASURY…THE PEOPLES MONEY VIA CONGRESS!!!
      THEY — USE MASS DECEPTION…FRAUD….TO MAKE YOU BELIEVE THEIR LIES!
      THEY BRAINWASH!
      THEY LEND NO MONEY!
      THE FED ARE HIJACKERS…OF THE WEALTH OF NATIONS!
      THEY ARE COMING FOR OUR NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY NEXT….!
      ALL UNDER THE GUISE OF FRAUDULENLTY INDUCED DEBT!.
      CREATED FROM MONEY THEY NEVER LENT!
      STOP PAYING, CONFORMING AND COMPLYING!
      OBAMA…NOR ANY POLITICIAN CAN DO THAT FOR YOU!
      STOP BELIEVING THE LIES!
      WAKE UP AMERICA!

  3. kravitz says:

    ES Press Release.

    A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN SECURES $136 MILLION FOR STRUGGLING NEW YORK HOMEOWNERS IN MORTGAGE SERVICING SETTLEMENT
    http://www.ag.ny.gov/media_center/2012/feb/feb09a_12.html

    “Winning his long, persistent demand that a wide array of sweeping civil and criminal claims not be released without investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today a $136 million settlement for New York with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses, the most per “underwater” borrower of any state in the nation, and the fourth highest dollar amount nationwide as part of the federal-state settlement. In addition to penalties for past abuses, the settlement includes direct relief to victims of wrongful foreclosure conduct, loan modifications including principal reductions for struggling homeowners, and funds that can be used to support foreclosure legal assistance and housing counseling programs. Today’s settlement, which also imposes strong national standards for mortgage servicing, fulfills Attorney General Schneiderman’s demand that he retain the right to bring legal action over misconduct that has not yet been investigated, a right that was absent from earlier settlement proposals.”

    “Among the critical legal claims Attorney General Schneiderman fought for, and successfully preserved in today’s settlement are:
    • All criminal claims.
    • All claims based on mortgage securitization misconduct, under securities fraud statutes, including New York’s Martin Act, and other sources of law. This includes securitization claims based on servicing, foreclosure or origination-related facts.
    • All claims directly against the private national mortgage electronic registry system known as MERS, as well as claims against financial institutions for the use of MERS in the Attorney General’s recently filed lawsuit over a wide range of deceptive and fraudulent practices in New York.
    • All claims for violations of fair lending lawsthat relate to discriminatory practices in loan origination.
    • All tax claims, including any claim that the failure to transfer mortgage loans to the securitization trusts or other conduct violated tax rules.
    • All claims by counties for lost mortgage recording fees; and
    • All claims and defenses held by private and third parties, including those held by individual mortgage loan borrowers.”

  4. I have told myself numerous times that I need to move on and quit pulling up this foreclosure information; however here I am again, all of my pain started in 2008, most all and I do mean ALL of my neighbors have already moved on, even into new homes, and here I still sit. I applaud Governor Brown at the time AIG for holding Countrywide accountable, although I never saw any monies and never will, and I applaud our A
    IG Harris for defending those of us so totally screwed! some by our own mistates along with everything else in this mess certainly deserved better! I am sure the new programs are great for first time buyers, only one home owner, people with children, a dog and a cat, however one shouldn;t assume that just because the person owned more than one home they are criminals. There was a time when alot of families moved up and kept the other home or transferred properties into other properties after deaths in familiy didn;’t make you a criminal, it was the American way of taking care of yourselves, most of us average workers with no special retirement plans, had to count on our houses for income or the opportunity to size down, all of it is now lost! $400,000 inheritance and equity of homes 12 yrs, totally lost, that isn;t counting loans, that is the cash down payment paid, and struggling to deal with at most times rude servicers, or just a note on the door, dishonest agents, and all of the above, there has been ABSOLUTELY NO WHERE TO GO! Even Hud Couselors are for one home owner only, and if one could afford the Legal Counsel that is always solicitating?? one most likely wouldn;t be in this mess. I am happy that Kamila Harris gave it her best shot! Thank God I live in California, I am sure Govenor Brown is watching and he isn;t likely to go quietly in the night! After fighting for 5 yrs, is a joke! fighting for what ? Homes 75% off purchase price? the banks shuld have beeb taking us out too lunch! And I agree they can keep their $2,000 it doesn;t bring my homes back, nor does it do anything about my good credit that is now destroyed, It doesn;t take a rocket scientist to see who wins these things! I am thankful for this information and support from all of you, you have managed to keep me going and provide a sense of humor through all of it! So Thank you very much for handing in there with me & others.

  5. Guy_Fawkes says:

    Justice??? No, it’s JUST-US

    “You homeowners better appreciate all the assistance we did to help the banks screw you in the ass. And we now deserve a thank you.”

    • Katheryn says:

      Well first things first. I’m sure that all the AGs and politicians will give themselves a nice raise or bonus for all their “hard” work to bring these criminals to justice. The bank cartels have crossed their hearts and hoped to die that they will do a better and more efficient job in the future. Heck, they’ve already hired their own independent monitors; how could anyone doubt their sincereity. As you try to survive and pay the basic monthly bills to keep a roof over head, food on the table and fuel for your cars to get to work; do not fret….your $2,000 lifesaver is on it’s way. Hey- they promise! Oh, and by the way, I didn’t notice whether they attached a date to these life saving checks…are they planning on sending them out this century or next? I’m sure it will be quite the process to figure out “who” is entitled to this life changing sum of money. What a Joke What a Joke What a Joke It is beyond personally insulting the way I see it. It is almost like they are waiving it in our faces; “we won succers”. Just shut up and keep the money pouring in to our pockets. GSM’s that what I have said. Our country is just one big government sponsored mafia, this settlement just drove my point home.

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