Matt Stoller | Robosigning Still Going on at Wells Fargo, Reports HUD Inspector General
Matt Stoller is a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. You can follow him on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/matthewstoller.
I’ve been going over the mortgage settlement documents over the past few days – a lot has been released, with many implications. There is plenty to criticize. Subprime Shakeout has a great summary, and David Dayen has done a wonderful job going through the nitty gritty. Abigail Field has a spectacular review of the problems with the servicing standards. I’ll make a few criticisms of my own below. But I think the most interesting parts of the document release were the HUD Inspector General reports on the five banks and the DOJ complaint. What these prove is what we’ve always known – the law enforcement community knew exactly what these banks were doing. DOJ simply chose not to prosecute. There was intent to defraud, fraud, and frankly, according to HUD.
In fact, it’s not clear that the past tense is the correct tense to use. The Wells Fargo report is particularly interesting on that last point. Take it away, HUD OIG (italics are mine).
At the time of our review, affidavits continued to be processed by these same signers, who may not have been qualified, and these signers may not have adequately verified certain figures because they accessed a computer screen of data showing a compilation of figures instead of verifying the data against the information through review of the books and records kept in the regular course of business by the institution.
I’m sorry, but WHAT THE $&*@!?!? I’m so glad Eric Holder has cut a deal with Al Capone while Capone is still on a shooting spree. And note, this isn’t just robosigning, this is potentially overcharging homeowners with junk fees and just generally not verifying accurate data on who owes what to whom. There really is no lesson here except “crime pays”.