Attorney General Kamala Harris Appoints Law Professor & Foreclosure Fraud Expert Katherine Porter to Monitor $18B Settlement with Banks

And here in Floriduh, Bondi appoints a low level “foreclosure specialist” from Lender Processing Services /sarcasm…


Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Appoints Independent Monitor to Protect Interests of Homeowners in $18 Billion California Commitment

SACRAMENTO — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the appointment of Professor Katherine Porter of the University of California, Irvine School of Law as the California monitor of the commitment by the nation’s five largest banks to perform as much as $18 billion worth of homeowner and borrower benefits in the state. Attorney General Harris’ decision to appoint a California monitor was made independent of the national settlement, and Professor Porter’s role is focused exclusively on ensuring compliance in California.

This California commitment is part of a national federal-state mortgage settlement penalizing robo-signing and other servicing and foreclosure misconduct that is currently pending approval in a federal court in Washington, D.C. Upon approval of the settlement, California’s monitor will assist the Attorney General’s office in holding the banks accountable for their commitments to the state and ensuring that the promised benefits are delivered to homeowners in full and on time.

“Hundreds of thousands of California homeowners will benefit from the commitments of up to $18 billion extracted from mortgage lenders. We must enforce full and timely compliance with these commitments, and the appointment of Professor Porter as our California monitor is central to that enforcement,” said Attorney General Harris. “Professor Porter’s wealth of experience and knowledge will protect the interests of homeowners and ensure the settling banks deliver on their promises,” Attorney General Harris continued.

“I will work hard to make sure banks hold up their promises to change troubling practices so that families and communities across California see the benefits of the settlement,” said Professor Porter. “Part of repairing the damage of the mortgage crisis is restoring public confidence that our largest financial institutions will treat consumers fairly and follow the law.”

Katherine Porter is a Professor at University of California, Irvine School of Law. She specializes in commercial and consumer law, including mortgage foreclosures and bankruptcy, and just released a book, Broke: How Debt Bankrupts the Middle Class. In 2007, Porter authored an empirical study that offered some of the first systemic evidence of the problems in mortgage servicing that harmed homeowners. She has worked with other government entities, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, on issues relating to mortgage servicing.

Upon approval of the settlement, Professor Porter will verify the extent and timeliness of lenders meeting their obligations to California homeowners. Using information obtained by the national monitor of the mortgage settlement, former North Carolina Commissioner of Banks Joseph Smith, Professor Porter will review lender filings, homeowner reports and complaints, and other compliance documents to ensure that benefits committed by the banks are performed and result in meaningful relief to California borrowers. She will regularly report the results of her findings to the Attorney General’s Office.

The appointment of Professor Porter as the state’s monitor is one of a series of enforcement mechanisms to ensure transparent compliance with the national settlement and the separate California agreement. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan Chase will face significant financial penalties if they do not meet their guarantee of a minimum of $12 billion in principal reductions and short sales for homeowners within the state. Unlike the larger national agreement, which is only enforceable in a federal court in Washington, D.C., the agreement reached with California empowers Attorney General Harris to enforce the penalty provisions in California state court.

California secured the estimated $18 billion in borrower benefits and relief as part of a national multistate settlement to penalize robo-signing and other bank servicing and foreclosure misconduct. The agreement comes after California departed from the multistate negotiations last September when the relief to California was estimated at $4 billion. Attorney General Harris insisted on more relief for the most distressed homeowners, on stronger enforcement provisions, and that California and other states preserve key investigations into mortgage misconduct.

California’s separate commitment also creates important incentives to ensure that banks will reduce the principal mortgage balance of underwater homeowners in California’s hardest-hit counties and that the principal reductions in these and other California communities will occur within the first year of the settlement. Professor Porter will ensure that both the California-specific and national settlements are properly implemented in the state.

“The California commitment provides a path for thousands of struggling homeowners in California to retain their homes, while preserving our ability to investigate banker crime and predatory lending,” added Attorney General Harris. “This is one important stride in our ongoing efforts to address the mortgage and foreclosure crisis that has devastated too many California communities.”

Attorney General Harris earlier this month joined Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and other state legislators to unveil the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, designed to protect homeowners from unfair practices by banks and mortgage companies and to help consumers and communities cope with the state’s urgent mortgage and foreclosure crisis. The legislation would make permanent and available to everyone the interim reforms agreed to as part of the California commitment, including a single point of contact for mortgage-holders and restrict the unfair and inherently deceptive system of dual-track foreclosures. State legislators authoring key components of the Homeowner Bill of Rights include Assemblymembers Wilmer Carter, Mike Davis, Mike Eng, Mike Feuer, Holly Mitchell, Nancy Skinner, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and Senators Mark DeSaulnier, Loni Hancock, Mark Leno, and Fran Pavley.

Attorney General Harris also continues her work to have the Federal Housing Finance Agency authorize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – holders or guarantors of over 60 per cent of California mortgages – to participate in targeted programs of principal reduction that will benefit struggling homeowners, stabilize the country’s housing market, and benefit taxpayers.

The state’s Mortgage Fraud Strike Force continues its work to crack down on all forms of mortgage misconduct. Earlier this month, three prominent attorneys were arrested and are accused of running a loan modification scam.

A photo of Professor Porter is attached to the electronic version of this release at

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10 Responses to “Attorney General Kamala Harris Appoints Law Professor & Foreclosure Fraud Expert Katherine Porter to Monitor $18B Settlement with Banks”
  1. Screwed CA Homeowner says:

    None of the billions will filter down to help the housing crash victims/innocent homeowners. Banks will collect many times over on the value of the home (through FHA/Insurance/Credit default Swaps, etc etc), then turn
    around and sell it and get paid again. FRAUD FRAUD FRAUD, and then banks don’t even own the home.
    Investors are getting screwed big time and many are NOT even suing the banks for this practice. Pension
    Funds own most of the MBS-useless garbage, and in the future will BLOW UP! Pensioners will get nothing.
    The FRAUD runs so deep, starting with our bought-and-paid-for CORRUPT POLITICIANS and is pervasive
    through Wall Street and the Too-Corrupt-To-JAIL Big Banks. Pull your money out! Vote all Incuments OUT,
    and START PROSECUTING all of these FRAUDULENT Crimes by the Dirty Rotten Scoundrel BANKS!
    Vote Kamila OUT!!! She just sold us out…BIG TIME! READ the actual mortgage settlement for details, don’t
    listen to the hype on lame stream media. The settlement rewards the TBTF banks with even more $$$$$$!
    Let’s default on the FEDERAL RESERVE debt and US DEBT that has been illegally wracked up…..and get rid of FIAT money. Time to start new with State Banks, and lay to rest the CORRUPT ones. There is no reason
    we should be paying interest on money the gvmnt borrows. End the private banking cartel of the FED!!

  2. Elyse says:

    She has been bought and paid for and will never help the California homeowners…no matter what she say’s or who she hires!

    The banks have won and we are idiot’s to fight this loosing battle…live in your home as long as you can and save every friggin penny you can…then move on and get your lives back….

    • proseway says:

      I agree with you that the majority of homeowners are fighting a losing battle….especially anyone still believing in the “free house” nonsense. But that being said, giving up and walking away is not an option I am comfortable with. Everyone has to do what is best for them, and this is a very difficult fight. But, even if I lose and walk away with nothing, I will go down fighting because I am fighting for my family’s future and for what is right. I know the 26B Settlement was not fair, but it was an admission of guilt. Do you think there would be any settlement at all if there weren’t people out there fighting? I have to believe there are bigger and better settlements down the road.

  3. Richard Engle says:

    I am so sure Professor Porter will really step up. What will it take for people to figure out that this whole settlement deal is a joke? There is no difference between Bush and Obama, Holder and MERS, Uncle Tom and Aunt Jemima, Geithner and Ari Fleisher, and on and on. This party is over unless the 99% decide to do something about it.

  4. Jim Bethea says:

    Would love to sit on the side lines of this event ~ Most cases only involve the little elements like TILA and Unfair Trade Practices, etc ~~ Many of these surface argues usually take losts of time to argue and even if found to be a violation only carry small fines and a slap on the wrist ~~ The banks get all crazy when you start talking about “constructive fraud” – “aiding and abetting” – “criminal violations of the RICO laws both State & Federal” – “willful disregard for the law” – “check kiting” – Things that go “bump in the night” and can also send many to jail ~~ lmbo ~~ If you are having a problem with viper snakes then simply moving them a couple of miles down the road will not fix this issue, because in Arizona it has been proven many many times that they will come back to visit !!!

    • I like the way you think. We were involved in a wrogful suit for foreclosure (we did not own the home in question). We have been fighting the bank and thier attorneys for one month shy of 2 years. We agreed to a settlement package and the Bank and thier attorneys have kept the settlement package from us. (they renigged) Our only option is to spend more time and money while all along our credit has been obliterated. We need someone to help us.

      • teresa says:

        Here are a few suggestions: (1) Private investor to purchase the home in question, and then work something out so that the tenant or you can live there and buy it back, when you are able. I work for an investment company, we have access to our own private money, it would depend on where the house is, the value, etc.
        (2) I don’t want or mean to provide legal advice, as I am a california attorney, but I would not wait around for the bank. You are running up against potential statutes of limitations, etc., so make sure you get an order from the judge extending time and not counting this; (3) Have you requested discovery? I mean, hard hitting requests such as: Information on the loan-trace the loan history; if it has been sold, then, there may be an issue re what party has standing; especially if the “investor” for your property is not identifiable because the loan was divided and sold in different pools? (4) If that’s how it is,the last thing these banks want under oath is how not only did they scam the tax payers by inventing loans that homeowners would never be able to pay off, (neg-am, option arm loans), and this was not explained to the homeowner;
        The chopped-up Beni Hana type loans that are identified with a number in a trust pool, were not modifiable-so many people were placed in trial mods, they paid perfectly, and then were denied based on the NTV treasury department formula, which states that modifying the loan must meet certain financial criteria which includes a cash flow benefit to the investor. Think about it: Remember the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, and at one point he’s attacked by the wicked witches flying monkeys, ; and his stuffing is all over the place; and he describes part of me is over there, and then over here, and over there- in other words, when your loan is in a similar status to the scarecrow, and pieces are contained in different pools, (a) which pool decides; (b) if modified,what happens to its impact on the investment pool?

  5. Jeff Triage says:

    I’m not sure why Porter doesn’t push harder to protect consumers after what has happened. Maybe I misunderstand some of her writing, and she is a law instructor, but after pointing out the many ways the Banks have broken the law, it seems strange that she be overseeing a total joke of a “settlement”.
    Perhaps the Banksters are trying to buy off all the good guys, they already own a number of “Professors.”

    • rick schillinger says:

      So what,only 5% qualify.I have eight loans with Wells Fargo and none of them do.The real outcome of this settlement/sellout,is the banks now feel empowered to foreclose and even short sales are way more difficult.Kamala may be better than Obama and Holder,but it appears the Obama team got their way,and we’ve all been sold out.

      • Stan Laquer says:

        “I have eight loans with Wells Fargo” Do you really?
        Banks have propogandizers everywhere – they keep pushing the idea that it’s the victims fault. They are rightfully terrified that more people will understand that Banks became criminal enterprises. OCCUPY!

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