NY AG Schneiderman Tries to Make the Enforcement Fraud Settlement Meaningful
When the National Mortgage Settlement was announced, I called it an enforcement fraud because every major law enforcement entity in the country signed off on letting banks overcharge people, use fake documents and otherwise abuse homeowners with impunity, so long as they didn’t do it too many people for six straight months. Pigs could get fat, hogs would get slaughtered. (The legalese is in the settlement is “threshold error rate.”)
Or not; the maximum penalty for six months of too many violations was $1 million. Hard to see a deterrent effect of any kind in $1 million when the enforcement population is five of our biggest banks. (Sure, if the banks were really really bad in the same way for four total quarters the penalty could then be $5 mil, but c’mon, the settlement itself was more than 1000x that number, and the settlement didn’t drive change, it produced “threshold error rates.”)
And when this deal was done, it had Eric Schneiderman’s signature on it, something he gave for a task force that was obviously staffed to fail, as I noted at the time. But now it seems he’s got buyer’s remorse.